The sitter in a portrait in the McLean Museum collection has recently been identified as a merchant from Port Glasgow. His name is Archibald Simpson and he was born around 1821, apparently in Port Glasgow, and by 1841 was earning his living as a clothier living on the south side of Church Street. By 1851 he seems to have given up his business and is recorded in that year's census as a 'Student of Divinity'.
On 21 July 1857 he married Christina Wilson, the eldest daughter of Robert Wilson, the Port Glasgow ship owner. The marriage was not to last very long, for Archibald was to predecease his wife, and Christina herself was to die shortly afterwards at Mary Street, Port Glasgow on 21 November 1862 aged 34.
The painter of the portrait has not yet been identified. The work itself carries no signature or other identifying mark, so any the creator must remain conjectural. It would appear to have been painted around 1850, a date which rules out local artist John Fleming, who died in 1845. One possibility is that it is the work of Archibald McVicar, whose fine portrait of Sir Gabriel Wood is currently on display in the McLean Art Gallery.