Scone Palace exhibits two paintings with an extraordinary history

11 July 2018

Scone Palace is exhibiting two new paintings, which are on loan from the Stewart Society. The paintings, by John Singleton Copley, depict Duncan Stewart and his wife Anne, a couple with an extraordinary history.

Duncan Stewart of Ardsheal came from a famous Highland family which supported the Jacobite case in the rising of 1715 and 1745. He was the eldest surviving son of Charles Stewart, the commander of the Appin regiment at the Battle of Culloden.

Educated in Stirling, Duncan emigrated to the USA and became a collector of customs in Connecticut. During the American War of Independence, he supported the government against the rebels.

In 1767 he married Anne Erving, daughter of the governor of Boston. A family story relates how, during the War of Independence, Anne stole the keys of the city prison from under her father’s pillow so that her husband could liberate two Scottish prisoners. 

After Culloden, Duncan’s father Charles Stewart spent time hiding in the hills before fleeing to France, and his estates in Ardsheal, Argyll were confiscated by the government. The estates were finally returned to Duncan in 1785 and he and Anne settled back in Ardsheal where he inherited the chieftainship of the Clan of Appin.

The paintings will be on permanent exhibit at Scone Palace from this Friday, July 13, 2018.