Born at Skirling; attended local hearing school but withdrew before completion because of his deafness. Drew extensively as a young boy; joined a group of coach painters as an apprentice, but quit to pursue artistic painting and established his own portrait studio in Edinburgh. Later, he became renown as a painter of animals, especially horses. He was also tapped to paint the official British victory painting of the Battle of Waterloo. Despite his success, he became an alcoholic and was preyed upon by unscrupulous acquaintances, leaving him nearly in poverty by the time of his death from a burst blood vessel. Buried in the Skirling churchyard.
Deaf Lives, p.102; Movers & Shakers, p.67-69.
31 August 1780-11 July 1836