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Sir John Clerk of Penicuik, 1676 - 1755. Judge of the Exchequer Court in Scotland

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Sir John Clerk of Penicuik, 1676 - 1755. Judge of the Exchequer Court in Scotland About 1725

Not on display

  • Scottish Art
A judge, architect, antiquary and composer of baroque music, Sir John Clerk of Penicuik was one of the most talented men of his generation. He studied law in Glasgow and Holland, but to his father’s dismay often neglected his legal studies in favour of music. After a grand tour of Europe, Clerk returned to Scotland in 1700 where he became an advocate and an MP for Whithorn. He was one of the Scottish commissioners who negotiated the Treaty of Union and sat in the new Parliament of Great Britain in 1707. Clerk retired from politics the following year to rekindle his legal career and after inheriting his father’s estate in 1722 he devoted more and more time to cultured activities.

Glossary Open

Act of Union

A law passed in 1707 that united England and Scotland under a single parliament.


Relating to the study or collection of antiques, particularly from the civilisations of ancient Greece and Rome. It is also used for a person engaged in this work.


A general term for European art and architecture from the 17th to the mid 18th centuries. It particularly refers to works characterised by a sense of movement and theatricality.

Grand Tour

An educational tour of Europe, especially through France and Italy taken by (particularly British) aristocratic youth from the 17th to the 19th centuries. Such tours were seen as essential for a full understanding of classical civilisation. They were also important opportunities for collecting art and antiquities.

Act of Union, Antiquarian, Baroque, Grand Tour


  • Acc. No. PG 1355
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 127.00 x 101.60 cm (framed: 141.00 x 115.00 x 8.50 cm)
  • Credit Purchased 1937