Story: Religion and society

Establishing the Free Church of Scotland

Establishing the Free Church of Scotland

On 23 May 1843, 386 Presbyterian ministers signed the Act of Separation and Deed of Demission and established the Free Church of Scotland. They believed that the established Church of Scotland did not give congregations effective input into the choice of ministers.This painting by David Octavius Hill, showing the church's first General Assembly and the signing of the documents, took 23 years to complete. Hill painted more than 400 people from photographic images of those at the assembly (and a number who weren't). 3.6 metres wide and 1.4 metres high, the painting has hung in the Free Presbytery Hall in Edinburgh since 1866. The Free Church was a major influence in the organised settlement of Otago.

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Free Church of Scotland
Oil painting by David Octavius Hill

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How to cite this page:

John Stenhouse, 'Religion and society - European origins', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/artwork/28387/establishing-the-free-church-of-scotland (accessed 18 November 2019)

Story by John Stenhouse, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 4 Apr 2018