The sitter was born into a farming family at Logierait in Perth and Kinross. He secured employment in Edinburgh as a wig-maker's apprentice and progressed to become an officer of the Court of Exchequer. Through careful investment he amassed a fortune, which on his death he left in trust to the Company of Merchants of the City of Edinburgh to found a school for orphan and destitute boys. This was Daniel Stewart's College, which through merger became Stewart's Melville College in 1972. He entrusted its 'perpetual management' to the Edinburgh Merchant Company. Daniel Stewart himself commissioned this portrait by Henry Raeburn to become part of his own collection. His collection was passed to Daniel Stewart’s Hospital and in turn passed to the Merchant Company.
Where to see this painting?
The Merchant's Hall, The Company of Merchants of the City of Edinburgh
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