SIR HENRY RAEBURN, R.A. (STOCKBRIDGE 1756-1822 EDINBURGH)
SIR HENRY RAEBURN, R.A. (STOCKBRIDGE 1756-1822 EDINBURGH)
SIR HENRY RAEBURN, R.A. (STOCKBRIDGE 1756-1822 EDINBURGH)
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SIR HENRY RAEBURN, R.A. (STOCKBRIDGE 1756-1822 EDINBURGH)

Portrait of William Erskine, Lord Kinneder (1768-1822), three-quarter-length, in a black coat and white cravat

Details
SIR HENRY RAEBURN, R.A. (STOCKBRIDGE 1756-1822 EDINBURGH)
Portrait of William Erskine, Lord Kinneder (1768-1822), three-quarter-length, in a black coat and white cravat
oil on canvas
29 x 23 3⁄8 in. (73.7 x 59.3 cm.)
Provenance
Trustees of the late Captain Erskine of Kinneder by 1903.
Possibly [Property of Ralph Dundas, Esq. deceased, late of 28 Drumsheugh Gardens, Edinburgh, and are now Sold by Order of Mrs. R.W. Dundas]; Christie's, London, 23 November 1934, lot 72.
with Frederick Frazier Galleries, New York, by 1935.
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas B. Davis, Virginia, in 1935.
bequeathed to Eleanor Mackubin, Virginia.
Mrs. Lorin C. Hodges, New York, by 1959/63, and by descent to the present owner.
Literature
J.L. Caw, Scottish portraits with an historical and critical introduction and notes, London, 1903, p. 79, pl. 16.
J. Grieg, Sir Henry Raeburn, R.A., London, 1911, pp. 44, 50.

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Taylor Alessio
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Lot Essay

Baptised on 29 August 1768 at Muthill, Perthshire, Erskine was the son of William Erskine (d. 1783), episcopal clergyman at Muthill, and his wife, Helen, née Drummond. He was educated at Glasgow University, boarding with the Episcopalian clergyman and author Andrew Macdonald, who influenced him in his development of a passion for English literature. Erskine became an advocate in July 1790 and while practicing in court became a close friend of the poet Sir Walter Scott, who was himself a young lawyer. The friendship would last his entire life.

On 13 September 1800, Erskine married Euphimia (d. 1819), daughter of John Robison (1739-1805). They had two daughters and a son, William, who died in 1811. In January 1822, partly as a result of Scott's influence, he was appointed a judge, with the title Lord Kinneder. But within a few weeks of becoming a judge, Erskine, whose wife had died in 1819, was allegedly involved in a sex scandal with a well-known Edinburgh sex worker, Mrs. Burt. The charge caused Lord Kinneder such distress that he suffered a nervous breakdown, which finally caused pneumonia, from which he died on 14 August 1822.

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