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 went on to be a major influence in the early settlement of Otago.
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Free Church of Scotland
Oil painting by David Octavius Hill
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