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Edinburgh, West Parliament Square, Statue Of Fifth Duke Of Buccleuch

Statue (19th Century)

Site Name Edinburgh, West Parliament Square, Statue Of Fifth Duke Of Buccleuch

Classification Statue (19th Century)

Alternative Name(s) High Street; Queensberry Memorial

Canmore ID 113247

Site Number NT27SE 780

NGR NT 25675 73581

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2020.

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Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council Edinburgh, City Of
  • Parish Edinburgh (Edinburgh, City Of)
  • Former Region Lothian
  • Former District City Of Edinburgh
  • Former County Midlothian

Architecture Notes

NT27SE 780 25675 73581

ARCHITECT: Sir Robert Rowand Anderson


Project (1997)

The Public Monuments and Sculpture Association ( set up a National Recording Project in 1997 with the aim of making a survey of public monuments and sculpture in Britain ranging from medieval monuments to the most contemporary works. Information from the Edinburgh project was added to the RCAHMS database in October 2010 and again in 2012.

The PMSA (Public Monuments and Sculpture Association) Edinburgh Sculpture Project has been supported by Eastern Photocolour, Edinburgh College of Art, the Edinburgh World Heritage Trust, Historic Scotland, the Hope Scott Trust, The Old Edinburgh Club, the Pilgrim Trust, the RCAHMS, and the Scottish Archive Network.

Field Visit (9 November 2000)

The Duke looks down over the High Street, his right leg forward, his right hand clutching his cloak and his left hand holding his gloves. He wears the robes of the Order of the Garter. The tall hexagonal pedestal in stone has three tiers of bronze decoration: a top gallery with huntsmen and hounds chasing a stag (by D. W. and W. G. Stevenson) ; the second tier has reliefs of scenes from the Duke's life, and allegorical figures at the corners; the third tier has larger bronze reliefs of episodes in the Scott family history, and rampant stags holding shields at the corners. The cresting and other details are ornately gothic.

The reliefs on the second tier are by Thomas Stuart Burnett and are (1) the coat of arms of the Duke of Buccleuch on a garter plate (NW); (2) the Duke receiving Queen Victoria at Dalkeith on the occasion of her first visit to Scotland in 1842 (W); (3) the Duke planning the Granton Harbour (SW); (4) the anniversary dinner given by the tenantry of the Duke in Edinburgh in 1878 (SE); (5) the installation of the Duke as Chancellor of Glasgow University (E); (6) the Duke as a colonel of militia at the head of his regiment (NE).

The allegorical figures are by William Birnie Rhind, and represent Fortitude, Liberality, Temperance, Prudence, Charity and Truth.

The bronze panels on the third tier (seven feet from the ground) are by Clark Stanton and are (1) the death of Sir Walter Scott, fourth Lord of Rankilburn and Murthockston, at the Battle of Homildon Hill in Northumberland in 1402; (2) the burning of Catslack Tower in Yarrow by the English in 1548, when Lady Buccleuch (Elizabeth Kerr of Cessford) and her household perished; (3) the attempted rescue by Sir Walter Scott of Buccleuch and Branxholm (c.1490-1552) of James V from the thraldom of the Earl of Angus in 1526; (4) the burning of Branxholm by the English during a raid in 1532; (5) the rising of the Scotts under the Warden Buccleuch, to recover the spoil taken in an English raid; (6) the interview between Sir Walter, first Lord Scott of Buccleuch (1565-1611) and Queen Elizabeth I, when Buccleuch went to London to appease Elizabeth for the rescue of Kinmont Willie (William Armstrong) from Carlisle Castle in 1596.

The six rampant bucks, by David Watson and William Grant Stevenson, each hold a shield emblazoned with the arms of families allied by marriage to the Buccleuchs: (1) Lady Henrietta Hyde, daughter of the Earl of Rochester, and wife of James, Earl of Dalkeith, eldest son of Anne, second Countess of Buccleuch; (2) Lady Jane Douglas, eldest daughter of James, second Duke of Queensberry, and wife of Francis, second Duke of Buccleuch; (3) Lady Caroline Campbell, eldest daughter and co-heiress of John, second Duke of Argyll and Greenwich, and wife of Francis, Earl of Dalkeith; (4) Lady Elizabeth Montagu, daughter of George, Duke of Montagu, and wife of Henry, third Duke of Buccleuch; (5) the Hon. Harriet Townshend, daughter of Thomas, Viscount Sydney, and wife of Charles William Henry, fourth Duke; (6) arms of Scott, impaled with those of the Duchess-Dowager of Buccleuch, Lady Charlotte Anne Thynne, daughter of the Marquis of Bath.

In March 1885 the Town Council of Edinburgh received a letter from Lord Balfour of Burleigh, Secretary to the Buccleuch Testimonial committee, requesting a site in Parliament Square for the proposed memorial. This was granted (1). In October 1885 the Town Council approved the designs (2).

On 23 April 1887, The Builder reported that Boehm's statue of the Duke had been completed, and that the bronze reliefs entrusted to Clark Stanton, Thomas Stuart Burnett and the Stevensons were nearly completed. It was proposed to proceed with the erection of the monument in June, and it was expected to be finished within five or six weeks (3). On 22 October 1887 however, The Builder reported that it had been informed that 'an unfortunate hitch' had occurred: there was not sufficient standing room for the statue on top of the pedestal, 'a foot projecting over in front and a mass of drapery behind.' The figure was intended to stand within bronze cresting which surrounded the top of the pedestal, but this had to be removed (4).

On 7 February 1888 the memorial was unveiled by the Earl of Stair and the Town Council of Edinburgh assumed care and custody of it.

The statue faces north-west. The cost of the monument was £6,700.

Walter Francis Montagu Douglas Scott, 5th Duke of Buccleuch and 7th Duke of Queensberry (1806-1884)

Inspected By : D. King

Inscriptions : On bronze plaque on front of stone pedestal (raised gothic letters):


On lower plaque:


Signatures : The six panels by Clark Stanton are signed:

On the panels on the NW, NE and E sides (incised letters): Clark Stanton, RSA, Sc.

On the panels on the W, SW and SE sides (incised letters): Clark Stanton Sc

Design period : 1885-1888

Year of unveiling : 1888

Unveiling details : Unveiled by the Earl of Stair on 7 February 1888

Information from Public Monuments and Sculpture Association (PMSA Work Ref : EDIN1365)


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