David Hume portrait at Paxton House

Claire McDade, the new director of Paxton House looks on at a newly aquired painting of David Hume on loan from the National Galleries of Scotland.
Claire McDade, the new director of Paxton House looks on at a newly aquired painting of David Hume on loan from the National Galleries of Scotland.

by Sandy Neil

the 300th birthday celebrations of Berwickshire philosopher David Hume have been enhanced by the loan of a portrait of him by Allan Ramsay which is now on display in Paxton House’s picture gallery.

Picture of David Hume by Allan Ramsay now being shown in Paxton House.

Picture of David Hume by Allan Ramsay now being shown in Paxton House.

Paxton House’s new director Claire McDade was on hand to welcome the portrait last week.

The painting, on loan from the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, will preside over their Enlightenment Evening and Georgian Banquet during the David Hume tercentenary festivities on Saturday, April 30.

Earlier that day, Chirnside will also be hosting a Philosophy Festival in tribute to the village’s world famous son, who grew up at Ninewells Farm.

A programme of the day’s free events is available at www.chirnside.org.uk.

“To exhibit Raeburn’s portrait of David Hume is an honour for Paxton, which is one of only two houses in Scotland partnered to the National Portrait Gallery” explained Claire, who came to her new job directing one of Scotland’s finest Palladian mansions from working in museums and galleries in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool.

“We’re also displaying the Battle of Prestonpans Tapestry until April 28, telling the story of the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745 from Bonnie Prince Charlie’s arrival to his invasion of England.

“It’s 104 metres in length and created by more than 200 volunteer embroiderers from across the country.”

“I am delighted to be living and working in such a beautiful part of the country,” Claire said on her return to Scotland.

“Paxton House is a spectacular place with so much to see and do. We aim to make it the best family day out in the Borders, and we look forward to welcoming everyone back for the new season.”

Paxton is opening its Spring Fair on Saturday, April 9, and Sunday, April 10, followed by an ‘Easter Extravaganza’ with egg hunts, rolls and decorating competitions on Sunday, April 24.

All details of Paxton’s events, including tickets for their Georgian Banquet, can be found on their website at www.paxtonhouse.co.uk. Entrance to the Spring Fair costs £1.