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Bernard Gilpin making peace among the warring clans on the English Border with Scotland. Photograph after W.B. Scott.

  • Scott, William Bell, 1811-1890.
  • Pictures

About this work

Also known as

Composition known as : Bernard Gilpin making peace among the Borders, takes down the glove in Rothbury Church, circa 1570


"The scene shows Bernard Gilpin removing a glove from the wall, left hanging there as a challenge and symbol by families at feud. Fighting was common even inside the church where rivals would meet. For his willingness to intervene and help bring peace to the area Bernard Gilpin became known as 'The apostle of the Borders'. The man reading the lesson is a likeness of Sir Walter Calverley Trevelyan, the owner of the glove is Mr Charlton of Lee Hall and the man in the helmet is William Bell Scott himself. "--National Trust website

"Another famous story regarding Bernard Gilpin at Rothbury church, is the subject of one of William Bell Scott’s wall paintings at Wallington Hall. While preaching one Sunday morning, Gilpin observed a glove hanging up in the church and asked the sexton what it was for. The sexton told Gilpin that it was meant as a challenge to anyone who removed it. Gilpin asked the sexton to take the glove down, but he not surprisingly refused, fearing for his life. Gilpin therefore removed it himself, placed it in his breast pocket and continued with his sermon against the evil ways of his congregation. For some reason no one had the courage to challenge Gilpin."—David Simpson, 'Rothbury, Cragside and Coquetdale', website of England's North East, , accessed 31 May 2019

Gilpin is depicted twice: once as himself holding a gauntlet, faced by the threats from the Reivers on both sides, and once as a a figure in a stained glass window behind, with legend "Bernard Gilpin at the Border. Be diligent in all well doing"



Physical description

1 photograph : photoprint, toned in brown ; sheet 36.5 x 36 cm


Wellcome Library no. 3163019i

Reproduction note

After one of eight oil paintings illustrating the history of the English Border with Scotland painted between 1856 and 1861

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