Hill, David Octavius

BORN 20 May 1802, Perth, Perthshire - DIED 17 May 1870, Edinburgh
GRAVE LOCATION Edinburgh: Dean Cemetery, Dean Path

David Octavius Hill was the son of a bookseller and a publisher. When his older brother started working for Blackwood's in Edinburgh he followed him there to study at the School of Design. His paintings were shown at the Institution for the Promotion of the Fine Arts in Scotland and in 1829 he was among the founders of the Scottish Academy in 1829 of which he became thesecretary. He illustrated work by Walter Scott and Robert Burns. In 1837 he was financially able to marry his fiancee Ann Macdonald. But after the birth of their daughter Charlotte in 1839 Ann became an invalid and she died on 5 October 1841 and was buried at Greyfriars Churchyard in Perth.

In 1843 Hill witnessed the Disruption Asembly that saw 450 ministers leave the Church of Scotland and start the Free Church of Scotland. Encouraged by Sir David Brewster, he and Robert Adamson took a series of photographs to capture all ministers that were involved. He used them for his large painting "The Disruption of 1843" that was completed in 1866. Together with Adamson he continued his photographic experiments at Rock House on Carlton Hill in Edinburgh. They took photographs of the construction of the Walter Scott Monument but also local landscapes and ordinary workmen.

In 1862 he married the sculptor Amelia Robertson Paton. After the death of his daughter he found it hard to concentrate on his work. In 1869 bad health forced him to resign as secretary of the Royal Scottish Academy. He died in 1870 and was buried in Dean Cemetery, where a bust sculpted by Amelia was placed on his grave.

• Wife: Hill, Amelia Robertson (1862-1870)

Related persons
• had grave monument executed by Hill, Amelia Robertson


The grave of David Octavius Hill and Amelia Paton at Dean Cemetery, Edinburgh.
Picture by Androom (05 Nov 2019)


David Octavius Hill - Wikipedia

Hill, Emma

Published: 15 Jul 2022
Last update: 15 Jul 2022