William Chalmers of Westburn, Provost of Aberdeen

William Chalmers of Westburn, Provost of Aberdeen , 1741

John Alexander

Artist:John Alexander
Aberdeen, Scotland, 1686 - c.1766

Sitter:Provost William Chalmers

oil on canvas

The portrait was painted by John Alexander, to whom Chalmers was related. Alexander was a Jacobite and as a result spent some time in Rome in the 1750s. This provostal portrait dates from a little earlier and is contemporary with Alexander's portrait of his maiden aunts, the Misses Alexander, which hangs in the Painted Gallery on the other side of this house.

The sitter, William Chalmers, was born in 1695 and died in 1770. He married Helen Molieson or Mollison and they had a daughter, Helen Chalmers, who died in 1800. Chalmers was Provost of Aberdeen twice, from 1738 to 1739 and again from 1746-1747. He laid the foundation stone for the Infirmary in 1740 and was responsible for starting the Poor Hospital. He was also the first Provost elected legitimately after the Duke of Cumberland quashed the Jacobite council that ruled Aberdeen in 1745-6 and established in its place - albeit briefly - a military dictatorship under Cumberland's appointed Governors.


Owned by Aberdeen City Council under the curatorial care of Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums.
Out of copyright
Overall: Height: 76.5 cm, Width: 63.9 cm
Acc. No. ABDCC001050

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