Sir Henry Raeburn

William Creech, 1745 - 1815. Publisher and Lord Provost of Edinburgh (1806)

About this artwork

The influential Edinburgh bookseller William Creech published the first Edinburgh edition of Robert Burns’s poems. Although Burns called Creech “my friend, my patron”, he had to remind his publisher to pay him while he patiently waited in Edinburgh. Creech published Sir John Sinclair’s ‘Statistical Account of Scotland’, a detailed parish-by-parish survey of the nation. He also published his own work, such as his musings on Deacon Brodie’s trial and execution, printed just days after he had served on the famous burglar’s jury. He was also a co-founder of Edinburgh’s Speculative Society, a debating club whose members included various great figures such as Sir Walter Scott and Francis Horner. The club still continues.

  • title: William Creech, 1745 - 1815. Publisher and Lord Provost of Edinburgh
  • accession number: PG 1041
  • artist: Sir Henry RaeburnScottish (1756 - 1823)
  • depicted: William Creech
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Painting
  • subject: Burns Scottish literature
  • medium: Oil on canvas
  • date created: 1806
  • measurements: 127.00 x 101.60 cm (framed: 147.00 x 119.00 x 14.20 cm)
  • credit line: Given by the family of the Reverend Robert Watson 1928
  • photographer: Antonia Reeve

Sir Henry Raeburn

Sir Henry Raeburn

Originally apprenticed to a goldsmith, Henry Raeburn showed enormous artistic talent as a young man. In 1784 he moved to London where he met the important portrait painter Joshua Reynolds. He spent some time in Italy but returned to Edinburgh in 1787 where he began painting portraits of the rich, famous and important people of his day. He was in constant demand and received many honours: in 1822 he was knighted when the King visited Edinburgh. Sir Henry Raeburn died a year later.