About this artwork

This painting is one of many likenesses of John Graham of Claverhouse and resembles the ‘Melville’ portrait, so named after its present owner. An able military commander, Claverhouse was known as ‘Bonnie Dundee’ because of his good looks. He earned his other nickname, ‘Bloody Clavers’, for his persecution of Scottish Presbyterians. When William of Orange invaded England in 1688, Claverhouse stood by the Stuart monarchy. For this, King James VII and II rewarded him with the title Viscount Dundee. After James fled to France, Claverhouse raised the Highland clans to fight for the Jacobite cause. His army won a resounding victory at the Battle of Killiecrankie on 27 July 1689, but Claverhouse was killed and opposition to William faded away.

Updated before 2020

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