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The Last Testament of Alexander Jaffray

4 March 3 September


This new exhibition at Aberdeen Art Gallery showcases The Last Testament of Alexander Jaffray. A rare and important document from 1673 that provides a fascinating insight into his faith at a time of religious persecution and political upheaval.

The Last Testament of Alexander Jaffray was acquired by Aberdeen City & Aberdeenshire Archives in 2022, with financial assistance from the National Fund for Acquisitions, the Friends of the National Libraries, and the Niven Bequest, which was left to the council’s archive several years ago. This is the first time the manuscript has been publicly displayed, so it is a great time to learn about Jaffray’s fascinating and turbulent life.

Jaffray was a two-time Provost of Aberdeen, educated at Aberdeen Grammar School and Marischal College. Jaffray’s religious affiliations changed throughout his life and reflected the religious upheaval of society. But following his retirement from political and civic life, Jaffray devoted his time to religious thinking. His views on religious liberty were broadened by his contact with Oliver Cromwell, and in 1662, he joined the Quakers.

During the 1660s and 1670s, the Quaker community in Aberdeen was likely the largest in Scotland. However, they became the focus of significant repression and persecution by the burgh authorities, who viewed them with suspicion and as a threat to the established order. Several of the leading lights within the Aberdeen Quakers, including Alexander Jaffray himself, were former magistrates or wives of magistrates, which made their break with traditional Protestantism all the more infuriating for those who remained within the established church and perceived the very presence of the Quaker community as an insult to authority.

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About POST

Kevin Mitchell and Chris Sansbury founded POST. This was from a desire to cut through the noise to share the great things that happen in Aberdeen. They focus on community, culture and also the interesting people of the city. The local artists, businesses and charities; photographers, musicians and entertainers. These are the people that make a positive impact on our city every day. So they use video, audio, writing and social media to amplify the voices in our community. And to ultimately give a platform to Aberdeen folk to engage and tell their own stories.

Recent work includes coverage of Spectra 2023, interviews with We Are Here Scotland founder Ica Headlam; Paralympic gold medalist, Neil Fachie; Aberdeen rapper Chef and his push for success; an article about the pedestrianisation of Union Street; coverage of Nuart Aberdeen and TEDx Aberdeen, as well as coverage of the campaign to Save the Belmont.

We are independent and entirely self funded. We just about cover our costs, but if you would like to help support our work, you could buy us a coffee.

Every one of us has the power, to plant an idea, a tree, a flower
– Angela Joss

POST Aberdeen

A self-funded project born out of a love for their city and people within it. Created by Chris Sansbury and Kevin Mitchell.

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