The Death of Archbishop Sharp.To Sir Walter Scott of Abbotsford Bart. this Print from the original Picture in the possession of William Lockhart Esq.r of Germiston, Is respectfully dedicated by his obliged Servants, William Allan & James Stewart.
London, Published April 3.d 1824 by Hurst, Robinson & Co. 90 Cheapside & 8, Pall Mall.
Copper engra with large margins. 480 x 640mm, 19 x 24¼".
The assassination of Archbishop Sharp by a band of Covenanters in 1679 on Magus Muir, outside St Andrews. Jailed during the Interregnum, Sharp was appointed Archbishop of St Andrews in 1661, just after the Restoration of Charles II. Despite being Presbyterian he sides with Charles against the Covenanters he had formerly represented, enforcing policies such as the Act of Supremacy (1669) which gave the King complete authority over the Church. After the Battle of Rullion Green in 1666 he is reported as having condemned to death eleven prisoners who had surrendered on a promise of mercy, telling them 'You were pardoned as soldiers, but you are not acquitted as subjects'. Such was his unpopularity in Scotland that when a group of Covenanters waiting to ambush the Sheriff of Cupar found Sharp instead they wasted no time in putting him to the sword, in front of his young daughter. This painting is hardly sympathetic to the Covenanters, who are depicted as ruffians, just as interested in looting the luggage as killing the defenceless Sharp. This conflicts with the Scottish perception of heroes dispatching a turncoat in league with the Devil.
[Ref: 24582] £260.00