The sitter was a genealogist and archivist and founder of the chair of ancient (Scottish) history and palaeography at the University of Edinburgh. In his will he left generous funds for the endowment of homes for the poor with preference being given to authors or artists, governed by a board of trustees. They were opened in 1901. Eventually it became clear to the trustees that the bequest was inadequate to maintain the homes and in 1960 responsibility for them passed to the Merchant Company and were known as the Sir William Fraser Homes.
Where to see this painting?
The Merchant's Hall, The Company of Merchants of the City of Edinburgh
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