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Field Visit

Date 30 July 1999

Event ID 612438

Category Recording

Type Field Visit

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/event/612438

Statue of seated life-size small dog on circular base with crenellations, on top of marble column with two coat of arms, rising out of shallow marble basin. Plain cylindrical marble base has dedication plaque.

One of the coats of arms is that of the City of Edinburgh: a shield decorated with a three-towered castle, surmounted by an anchor and flanked by a maiden and a hind. The other is that of Baroness Burdett Coutts: a shield decorated, in the first and fourth quarters, with a stag's head, above which is a pheon (the barbed head of a dart or arrow); and with two bars on which are martlets, in the second and third quarters. The shield is flanked by a stag and a lion, and surmounted by a crown.

According to Benedict Read, the statue was modelled from life just before the dog died. (1)

Greyfriars Bobby stayed for fourteen years at the grave in Greyfriars Churchyard of his policeman master John Gray.

Inscriptions : On base of sculpture (incised letters): GREYFRIARS BOBBY / FROM THE LIFE JUST BEFORE HIS DEATH.

On bronze plaque on base of fountain (raised letters): A TRIBUTE / TO THE AFFECTIONATE FIDELITY OF / GREYFRIARS BOBBY / IN 1858 THIS FAITHFUL DOG FOLLOWED / THE REMAINS OF HIS MASTER TO GREYFRIARS / CHURCHYARD AND LINGERED NEAR THE SPOT / UNTIL HIS DEATH IN 1872 / WITH PERMISSION / ERECTED BY THE / BARONESS BURDETT COUTTS.

On banner above Edinburgh coat of arms (incised letters): NISI DOMINUS FRUSTRA

Signatures : On bronze base beneath tail:

Wm. BRODIE. R.S.A. Sc. 1872.

Design period : 1872

Year of unveiling : 1872

Information from Public Monuments and Sculpture Association (PMSA Work Ref : EDIN0122)

People and Organisations

References