John Birnie (1856–1946)

© the artist's estate. Image credit: Highland Council

How you can use this image

This image can be used for non-commercial research or private study purposes, and other UK exceptions to copyright permitted to users based in the United Kingdom under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised. Any other type of use will need to be cleared with the rights holder(s).

Review the copyright credit lines that are located underneath the image, as these indicate who manages the copyright (©) within the artwork, and the photographic rights within the image.

The collection that owns the artwork may have more information on their own website about permitted uses and image licensing options.

Review our guidance pages which explain how you can reuse images, how to credit an image and how to find images in the public domain or with a Creative Commons licence available.


Add or edit a note on this artwork that only you can see. You can find notes again by going to the ‘Notes’ section of your account.

John Birnie was born in Banffshire in 1856. From 1872 to 1877 he worked with the Royal Bank of Scotland. He then began a life-long career in distilling. Birnie spent eight years at Benrinnes Distillery on Speyside before coming to Inverness in 1885 to take charge of the Glen Albyn Malt Whisky Distillery at Muirtown.

For 16 years Birnie was a member of the Town Council. He served as treasurer for six years and as a magistrate for three. He was elected provost in 1910, a post he held for six years. As provost he took a leading role in organising aid for soldiers on active duty in the First World War and in providing comfort for the bereaved.

Inverness Town House



John Birnie (1856–1946)




oil on canvas


H 102.5 x W 88 cm

Accession number


Work type



See a tag that’s incorrect or offensive? Challenge it and notify Art UK.

Help improve Art UK. Tag artworks and verify existing tags by joining the Tagger community.

Normally on display at

Inverness Town House

High Street, Inverness, Highland IV1 1JJ Scotland

This venue is open to the public. Not all artworks are on display. If you want to see a particular artwork, please contact the venue.
View venue