Henry Gibson Duguid

The High Street, looking West from John Knox's House, Edinburgh (early 1820s)

About this artwork

The High Street forms part of Edinburgh's famous Royal Mile, which leads from the Castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Duguid's view looks towards the Castle, which is concealed by the distant buildings. In the foreground people gather for water at one of the wells. The brown building on the right is one Edinburgh's oldest and was supposedly once the home of Protestant Reformer John Knox, however it is unlikely that Knox ever actually lived there. Dominating the skyline are the spires of the Tron Kirk and the High Kirk of St Giles where Knox preached his famous sermons. This drawing is likely to date from the early 1820s, as it shows the original steeple of the Tron Kirk, which was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1824 and subsequently re-built.

Henry Gibson Duguid

Henry Gibson Duguid

Duguid was primarily a painter of landscapes and buildings, working mainly in oil and watercolour. His dates of birth and death are unknown, but according to entries in the Edinburgh Annual Directory, he was a teacher of 'painting, drawing and pianoforte' at various addresses in the city between 1827 and 1860. Duguid's subject matter was largely confined to views of Edinburgh, and consequentially he produced an invaluable record of the city's appearance prior to its extensive remodelling over the subsequent decades. There was a heightened interest in recording the Old Town at this time as many of the streets were being swept away during road building and general social improvement.