Photograph of Reverend Main

In 1843 a schism divided Scotland's established Church and a large number of parish ministers left the Church of Scotland in order to form the break-away Free Church of Scotland. David Octavius Hill undertook to produce a group portrait of an assembly of members of the new Church. In order to assist him in this massive project he photographed each individual in the group, producing calotype prints from which he worked on the group portrait. Photography was in its very earlier stages at this time and Hill worked closely alongside Robert Adamson to produce these calotypes. Many of the new members of the Free Church ministry were from the south-west. One of those immortalised in a preparatory photograph was the Rev. Thomas Maine of the High Kirk in Kilmarnock.
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David Octavius Hill & Robert Adamson
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East Ayrshire Council
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