London, Published by Smith, & Elder, Fenchurch Street, 1825.
Coloured aquatint. 475 x 625mm. 18¾ x 24¾". Some restoration.
A view of the centre of Gretna Green in Dumfriesshire, from the "Views in Scotland" series. In the C18th & C19th the village became the favourite destination of eloping couples because of disparity between marriage laws: in England brides under 21 needed parental consent, while in Scotland they could be as young as twelve. Situated just over the border it was the nearest place for elopers to marry. As long as there were at least two witnesses even the blacksmith could perform the ceremony. Although it cannot be proved it is believed that 'I. Clark" is the Scottish painter John Heaviside Clark, famed as 'Waterloo Clark' for his early sketches of the battle. He was also skilled in aquatinting, and certainly none of this series has a named engraver. This is one of the few plates in the series to feature 'action': a coach and four has just pulled up in a cloud of dust and locals are rushing out, probably to offer their services.
Abbey No: 489.
[Ref: 18606] £240.00