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The Execution of the Marquis of Montrose

Edward Matthew Ward

This is an oil painting of James Graham, 1st Marquis of Montrose being hanged and quartered in Edinburgh in 1650.  

This painting was originally intended to hang in a corridor in the House of Commons.  However it was found that the paintings, with their heavy gilt frames, made the corridor too narrow, so the artist was asked to paint the same subjects in fresco instead.

James Graham was a Scottish nobleman who was one of the most respected and yet reviled men of his time. He was a poet, sportsman and military general who fought first for the forces of Parliament and later for King Charles I. In 1650 he was condemned as a turncoat and his execution was a major public event. It was expected that the crowd would delight in expressing its hostility to Graham, however his bearing and fortitude converted the hostile crowd.