Robert Walker biography

Robert Walker

Minister of religion, Deceased Person

1755 – 1808


Who was Robert Walker?

The Reverend Robert Walker was a Church of Scotland minister, best known as the subject of the oil painting The Skating Minister by Henry Raeburn, one of Scotland's best known paintings.

Walker was born in Monkton in Ayrshire. Many of his male relatives were Church of Scotland ministers: his father was the minister in Monkton; his uncle, also Robert Walker, was minster at St Giles' Cathedral in Edinburgh and Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1771; his grandfather had been minister at Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh. His mother was the daughter of a merchant from Virginia. His father became minister of the Scottish Kirk in Rotterdam in 1760, and it is likely that Walker learned to skate on frozen canals in the Netherlands. After his mother's death in the Netherlands, his father remarried in 1767 to the widow of a Scottish merchant in Rotterdam.

Like his father and grandfather, Walker became a Church of Scotland clergyman. He was granted a licence to preach by the Presbytery of Edinburgh on 24 April 1770, shortly before his 15th birthday. Willielma Campbell, Lady Glenorchy, presented him as minister of Cramond, near Edinburgh, in November 1776.


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Apr 30, 1755
Monkton, Ayrshire
  • Scotland
Jun 13, 1808

on July 23, 2013

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