Three quarter length portrait of Charteris, who looks intently into the fire with his left hand resting on a Bible placed on a table. A subdued range of colour and a sensitive study of the head.
Charteris was born in 1835 in Wamphray in Upper Annandale, in the parish school-house. After attending the local school, he entered Edinburgh University at the age of 13, to study Arts and Divinity. He graduated BA in 1852 and MA in 1854. To these degrees were added in 1868 the Honorary DD from Edinburgh and from Abderdeen in 1906, and the LLD from Edinburgh in 1899.
His ministerial career had begun in the charge of St Quivox, Ayrshire (1958-1859); next, New Abbey, Kirkcudbright (1859-1863); and then, Park Church, Glasgow (1863-1868).
In 1868 he was appointed to be Regius Professor of Biblical Criticism (in fact, New Testament) in Edinburgh University, a position which he held until 1898, when ill-health compelled him to seek early retirement. At a time when there was no direct pastoral training for candidates for the Ministry, Charteris propunded the notion of Clinical Theology, and provided practical training for students in the Blackfriars Street mission. His name is also associated with the founding of the Young men's Guild and the Woman's Guild in the Church of Scotland, and he was astrong and persuasive supporter of the work of the Church overseas. He was a Royal Chaplain, first to Queen Victoria and then to King Edward VII, and was elected Moderator of the Church of Scotland in 1892. He died in 1908.