WILKIE, Sir David (1785–1841), painter of genre, historical subjects, and portraits. Autograph letter signed to Miss Margaret S. Adamson, Manse of Cupar, Fifeshire, 1 side of an 4to bifolium, with integral address leaf, Vicarage Place, Kensington, April 22nd 1837, offering his name and those of his brother and sister as subscribers to the publication of the Sermons of Miss Adamson’s father, the late Dr Adamson “one of my early and most kind friends ……. Be assured we all have sympathised most sincerely in the loss yourself and family have met with ….. ”.
At the foot is a list of the subscriptions placed: Mr Thomas Wilkie - one copy / Miss Wilkie - one copy / And for myself - two copies.
Address panel with circular and Maltese cross postal frank marks in red. Two holes to integral blank where the seal had been.
Dr Laurence Adamson (1767-1837) was the son of Rev James Adamson (1734-1807) and Anne Key. He attended St Andrews University, was ordained in 1794 and became Doctor of Divinity in 1814. He married Isobel Robertson in 1795, by whom he had 13 children 9including Margaret born in 1805). He served as Minister of Cupar, Fife, Scotland from 1825 until his death. Over and above a number of published sermons, he is best know for editing a new edition in 1803 of Sir Robert Sibbald’s work The History, Ancient and Modern, of the Sheriffdoms of Fife and Kinross, first published in 1710. The Sermons referred to in the letter were published in Edinburgh in 1838.
David Wilkie was born in 1785 in the manse at Cults, Fife, the third of the five children of the Revd David Wilkie (1738–1812), and his third wife, Isabella Lister. He attended school at Kettle and Cupar, and was admitted (with the help of influential neighbours) to the Trustees' Academy in Edinburgh where from 1799-1804 he learned drawing and painting. Local people around Cults (near Cupar) served as subjects in these early years for his first portraits. The families of Wilkie and Adamson had close associations both as neighbours in Fife, and through family members who were Ministers in neighbouring parishes.