OREALD.COM - An Old Electronic Library
eng: a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Monuments of the Heroes

Pages: <1> 2

The first circumstance to be noted about the subject of this chapter is that patriots, as distinct from professional soldiers and war-waging monarchs, are not largely commemorated in this country. Let us deal with them and their memorials first.

On Westminster Bridge can be seen the massive piece of statuary depicting Boadicea with her daughters, "the British warrior-queen," who, in a.d. 62 led the revolt of the Iceni and Trinobantes against Suetonius Paulinus and put 70,000 Romans to the sword. This is the work of Thomas, father of the more distinguished sculptor, Sir William Hamo Thornycroft. Sir Hamo is responsible not only for the portrait statue of John Bright, "the tribune of the people," at Rochdale, of General Gordon, the hero of Khartoum, behind the Nelson Column in Trafalgar Square, and of Gladstone, the champion of the "masses" against the "classes," in the Strand, but for the equestrian figure of Oliver Cromwell outside Westminster Hall, which the Earl of Rosebery gave to the nation. Cromwell is represented in Manchester by a bronze statue wrought by Matthew Noble, who executed the Wellington monument in that city, the statue of Lieut.-Gen. Sir James Outram, "the Bayard of India," on the Victoria Embankment, and that of Sir John Franklin, the undaunted Arctic explorer, in Waterloo Place. In his London effigy, quaintly enough, the great regicide who "gart kings ken that they had a lith in their neck" has the spurs affixed to his boots upside down and wears them the right on the left boot and the left on the right boot. In somewhat similar fashion in the case of two equestrian statues carved by Sir Francis Chantrey, that of George IV in Trafalgar Square and that of Wellington in front of the Royal Exchange, the soi-disant and the real victor of Waterloo are both shown riding without stirrups. The noblest, however, of our warrior patriots to be honoured with a memorial is Alfred the Great, to whom within recent years a statue has been erected in Winchester, the ancient capital of England. Cranmer's and Ridley's devotion to the Protestant cause is celebrated by "The Martyrs' Memorial" at Oxford. That great naval captain Sir Francis Drake is commemorated in his native county of Devonshire by two colossal statues, one at Tavistock, the other on the Hoe at Plymouth, both the work of Sir Joseph Edgar Boehm, who carved the Wellington group at Hyde Park Corner, the recumbent Prince Imperial in S. George's Chapel, Windsor, and the Sir John Boyne, Lord Lawrence and Lord Napier of Magdala in Waterloo Place. Sir John Eliot, the magnanimous champion of Parliamentary rights whom Charles I imprisoned in the Tower until he died of consumption, seems to be uncommemorated. But Colonel John Hampden, who refused to pay Ship Money to the same sovereign and received his mortal wound in the skirmish with Prince Rupert's forces at Chalgrove Field, can boast of four memorials, one erected by his great-grandson, Robert Trevor Hampden, fourth Lord Trevor, in the church of Great Hampden, two set up by his biographer, Lord Nugent, one at Chalgrove, the other at Stoke Mandeville, and a fourth, a statue lately unveiled, at Aylesbury. Another Whig patriot, Lord William Russell (or William, Lord Russell), who was executed for alleged complicity in the Rye House Plot against Charles II, is doubly commemorated, firstly by a large medallion which occupies the centre of the elaborate monument to his father and mother that can be seen in the Bedford chapel of Chenies church, Buckinghamshire, secondly by the reversal of his attainder on the accession of William and Mary and by his description, in the preamble to the patent making his father, the fifth Earl of Bedford, a duke, as "the ornament of the age," in 1694.

Of monuments to heroes which challenge attention by their commanding site, two may be mentioned, one the tower built on an abrupt eminence of Brandon Hill, outside Bristol, which celebrates the fourth centenary of the discovery of North America by John Cabot and his sons, Sebastian, Lewis and Sanctea; and the other the tower, 220 feet high, which crowns the Abbey Craig, 362 feet high, on Allan Water, three miles north of Stirling, as a monument to the great Scottish patriot, Sir William Wallace, who won his greatest victory near this spot in 1297. The other famous Scottish liberator, Robert the Bruce, receives fitting honour at Loch-maben, in the chapel of which royal burgh he is said to have been born. His statue stands in front of Lochmaben town hall; and at Bannockburn, near Falkirk, where he defeated the English and achieved the independence of Scotland, the Bore Stone is still piously preserved at which he planted his standard. Another memorial to Wallace, a colossal bronze statue from the chisel of W. G. Stevenson, R.S.A., is erected in Union Terrace Gardens, Aberdeen, where also may be seen Baron Marochetti's seated figure of the Prince Consort and a bronze statue of Burns. The city also contains the bronze statue, by T. S. Burnett, A.R.S.A., of General Gordon, placed in front of Gordon's College, and the obelisk of Peterhead granite, 70 feet high, set up in the square of Marischal College to the memory of Sir James McGrigor, the military surgeon who was three times its Lord Rector.

In the St. George's Square of his native city, Glasgow, Sir John Moore, who led the immortal midwinter retreat to Corunna and died there, is celebrated by a statue, the work of Flaxman. In the neighbourhood of this memorial are Chantrey's James Watt, Marochetti's equestrian Queen Victoria and Prince Consort, Mossman's Livingstone and Peel, Foley's Lord Clyde (Sir Colin Campbell) and Hamo Thornycroft's Gladstone. An equestrian figure of William III, which stands in the Trongate, was presented to the city in 1735 by James Macrae, a native of Ayrshire, who was Governor of Madras from 1725 to 1730. The only other commemoration of William of Orange, except the equestrian statue at Dublin, seems to be the one erected to him at Brixham, Tor Bay, Devonshire, where he landed on November 5, 1688 (the stone on which the prince first set foot when he disembarked is preserved on Brixham Pier); for his sole memorial in Westminster Abbey is his waxen effigy or "herse". A third monument set up to the memory of General Gordon, in which Onslow Ford has depicted him mounted on a camel, is to be seen at Chatham. The finest public effigy in Bradford is Havard Thomas's statue of "Buckshot" Forster.

Another gallant man prematurely cut off, Captain James Cook, the circumnavigator and map-maker, is commemorated by a statue at Whitby, where he was apprentice, and by another in the Mall, London, the latter the work of Sir Thomas Brock, the sculptor who, helped by his assistants, created the elaborate Queen Victoria Memorial outside Buckingham Palace.

For a description of the work of individual sculptors a sentence or two apiece must suffice. Louis Francois Roubiliac, a naturalised Frenchman, will be remembered by his Abbey monuments to the second Duke of Argyll, to Marshal Wade (the maker of military roads in the Highlands), to Admiral Sir Peter Warren, and to Handel, and by his two statues of Shakespeare at the British Museum and of Newton at Trinity College, Cambridge; Joseph Nollekens, the miserly R.A. of Dutch descent who left 200,000, by the story of his almost incredible economies, by many of his busts and by his "Three Captains" at Westminster; John Flaxman for his designs for the Iliad, the Odyssey and Dante, for his monuments to Lord Mansfield and General Paoli, the Corsican patriot, in the Abbey, and for those to Reynolds and Nelson in S. Paul's; John Gibson for his "Tinted Venus," for his statue of Kirkman Finlay in the Merchants' Hall, Glasgow, and for those of Huskisson and George Stephenson at Liverpool; Sir Francis Legatt Chantrey for his statue of Pitt in Hanover Square, of Sir Joseph Banks, P.R.S., at the British Museum, of Roscoe and Canning at Liverpool Town Hall, and of Francis Horner, of Mrs. Siddons, "The Tragic Muse," and of Sir John Malcolm, the Indian administrator, in the Abbey; Baron Carlo Marochetti, a naturalised Italian, for his bronze Richard Coeur de Lion in Old Palace Yard, for his statue of Lord Clyde in Waterloo Place, of Lord Clive at Shrewsbury, and of Wellington at Leeds, and for his monuments to Viscount Melbourne, Queen Victoria's first Prime Minister, and to Major-General Sir A. W. Torrens, of Inkerman fame, at S. Paul's; Sir Richard Westmacott for his Abbey statues of Addison, Pitt, Fox, and the assassinated Prime Minister Spencer Perceval, for his S. Paul's monuments to Sir Ralph Abercromby, Lord Collingwood, Viscount Duncan, Captain Cook and General Pakenham, for his statues of the fifth Duke of Bedford in Russell Square and Charles James Fox in Bloomsbury Square.

Coming now to the Abbey, we find monuments erected there to such celebrated naval heroes as Admiral Vernon, the first issuer of "grog," Admiral Kempenfelt, who went down with "The Royal George," and Admiral Watson, of Black Hole of Calcutta and Chandernajore fame. Three captains who perished in Rodney's crowning victory over La Grasse off Dominica, Bayne, Blair and Lord Robert Manners, are also commemorated there; as are three others, Harvey, Hutt and Montague, who fell in Earl Howe's great fight of the First of June (1794).

Among the Anglo-Indians who are Celebrated are General Stringer Lawrence, "the father of the Indian Army," Sir Eyre Coote, the famous Indian Commander-in-Chief, and Sir Stamford Raffles, who secured Singapore for this country and founded the Zoological Society. The two most interesting monuments of this kind in the Abbey are, however, the bas-relief by Van Golder representing the ill-fated Major Andre, who was hanged as a spy by Washington in the War of American Independence and who lies close beneath it in the south of the nave; and the memorial to General Wolfe erected near the chapel of S. John, in which Wilton, the sculptor, to show his anatomical knowledge, has carved the General's figure without clothes, and in which Capitsoldi, the author of the accompanying bas-relief, has delineated in the most elaborate fashion all the circumstances of Wolfe's death.

In S. Paul's are the marble monuments of our greater naval heroes, Rossi's Rodney, Flaxman's Earl Howe, Westmacott's Viscount Duncan (to celebrate the victory over the Dutch Admiral de Winter off Camperdown) and Baily's Sir John Jervis, Earl St. Vincent (the admiral whose title announces the scene of his triumph). Captain Rion, "the gallant good Rion" of Campbell's noble song, who fell before Copenhagen, has also his cenotaph there. The effigy of the first Marquis Cornwallis, Viceroy of India and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, stands opposite to that of Nelson. G. G. Adams's marble statue of Sir Charles James Napier, the conqueror of Scinde, is on the north side of the entrance to the north transept; the same sculptor is responsible for the colossal bronze statue of Napier which stands in Trafalgar Square. Sir William Napier, general in, and historian of, the Peninsular War, has a monument in the Abbey near that of his brother.

Other memorials recall Mountstuart Elphinstone, the Governor of Bombay who refused to be Governor-General of India; Sir Henry Montgomery Lawrence, brother of another governor-general, Lord Lawrence, and defender of Lucknow, who is represented by J. G. Lough's statue of him; Sir John Moore, of Corunna fame, who lies buried where he fell beneath a monument erected in the citadel by the Spanish commander the Marquis de la Romana.

Among modern London monuments are those of Lord Wolseley, Lord Roberts and Lord Kitchener on the Horse Guards Parade, Florence Nightingale in Waterloo Place, Edith Cavell in St. Martin's Place, and the memorial to the Guards, the Crimean, in Waterloo Place. The Great War memorials are described in Chapter XCVI.

The monuments erected to remind us of our great national heroes Nelson and Wellington call for more attention. The Trafalgar Square column, 145 feet high, surmounted by Baily's colossal statue of the admiral, 18 feet high, was erected in 1849 > and in 1867 the bronze lions, cast from Landseer's designs in the metal of guns recovered from the wreck of "The Royal George," were added. Nelson is also commemorated by an elongated turreted structure which stands on the highest cliff of Calton Hill, Edinburgh, by an obelisk, 143 feet high, which rests on the Green at Glasgow and is said to be a copy of one in the Piazza, del Popolo at Rome, and by a lofty pillar set up in Sackville (now O'Connell) Street, Dublin.

The duke has received even more posthumous tributes than the earl. Matthew Cotes Wyatt's colossal equestrian statue to the victor of Waterloo, once opposite Apsley House, has been removed to Aldershot. But among other trophies raised to him, besides those already mentioned, are a pillar near Wellington, Somerset; a statue by Marochetti near Strathfieldsaye; Hall's equestrian statue at Edinburgh Smirke's obelisk in Phoenix Park, Dublin; the colossal bronze statue of Achilles in Hyde Park, the work of Westmacott, erected by the ladies of England and cast from guns taken from the French; and the shield, 3 feet and 4 inches in diameter, executed in silver-gilt from James Stothard, R.A.'s design, which, representing Victory about to place the laurel on Wellington's head and Anarchy, Discord and Tyranny crushed beneath his horse's feet, was presented to the duke in the interval between the Peninsular and the Waterloo campaigns by the merchants and bankers of London. It only remains to add that, at Edward Gibbon Wakefield's suggestion, the capital of New Zealand was named after Wellington in 1840, that Wellington College for educating the sons of officers was opened as a memorial to him by Queen Victoria in 1859, that a mountain in Tasmania, at the foot of which the town of Hobart stands, was also named after him, that in the crypt of S. Paul's Cathedral, to the west of Nelson's tomb, is still preserved the funeral hearse made for his burial and cast from cannon taken in his battles, and that set upon Calton Hill, near Edinburgh, to his memory, is an incomplete reproduction of the Parthenon containing twelve out of the twenty-four Greek pillars of the original. In the same famous city, "the modern Athens," standing in front of the Register House, can be seen Sir John Steel's equestrian statue of the duke.

>>> Next page >>>
Pages: <1> 2

Pictures for Monuments of the Heroes

Home | Privacy Policy | Copyright | About