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Edinburgh, George Street, George Iv Statue

Statue (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Edinburgh, George Street, George Iv Statue

Classification Statue (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Hanover Street

Canmore ID 99083

Site Number NT27SE 617

NGR NT 25337 74036

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/99083

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2018.

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 617 25337 74036

Sculptor: Sir Francis Chantrey, 1831.

Activities

Project (1997)

The Public Monuments and Sculpture Association (http://www.pmsa.org.uk/) 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 (13 March 2002)

Standing figure of George IV wearing a large, long cloak, which he holds with his left hand at his chest. In his outstretched right hand he holds a sceptre. He is bare headed and has his right foot forward.

The statue is 'representing the gracious monarch in a very 'first-gentleman-of-Europe' attitude'. (1)

Erected by public subscription to commemorate the visit of George IV to Edinburgh in 1822.

At a meeting of the Town Council of Edinburgh, held on 18 May 1825, it was reported that Lord Meadowbank and Sir William Arbuthnot [of the Statue Committee] had informed the Lord Provost's Committee that it had been resolved that the Statue of His Majesty should be a pedestrian one; and 'that His Majesty, to whom application had been made to point out the proper site, had directed Mr Chantry (sic.), the Sculptor, to visit Edinburgh for the express purpose of reporting to His Majesty his opinion on the subject.' Chantrey decided that the statue should be placed in front of Register House, or on George Street at the crossing of Hanover Street, leaving the king to choose which he preferred. The Town Council agreed to grant permission for either site (2).

At a meeting of the Town Council on 14 January 1829, a letter was read from Lord Meadowbank informing the Lord Provost that, according to Chantrey, the statue was 'in a state of so great forwardness that it [would] be ready for being erected in the course of next summer.' The king had decided that he wished the statue to be placed at the junction of George Street and Hanover Street, and the Town Council had given their consent to that. The Committee appointed for erecting the statue (chaired by Lord Meadowbank) were thus in a position to erect a pedestal, which was intended to be formed of granite and not more than eight feet square (3).

At a meeting of the Town Council on 16 June 1830, a report by the Magistrates, Old Magistrates, Convener etc. was read. This discussed a request from the Statue Committee for further funds from the Town Council, to pay for the pedestal, for conveying the statue from London, and for erecting it in Edinburgh. However, as the Town Council had already donated one hundred guineas, 'on the faith of the statue being equestrian', they refused to make any further contributions (4).

The Statue Committee must have raised further funds elsewhere, for the statue arrived in Edinburgh, was placed on a pedestal, and was unveiled on 26 November 1831 at nine o'clock (5).

Inspected By : T.S.

Inscriptions : On south face of pedestal (incised letters) :

GEORGE IV / VISITED / SCOTLAND / MDCCCXXII

On north face of pedestal (incised letters) : ERECTED / MDCCCXXXI

Signatures : At top of east face of pedestal (incised letters) :

CHANTREY. SC.

Design period : 1825-1831

Unveiling details : 26 November 1831

Information from Public Monuments and Sculpture Association (PMSA Work Ref : EDIN0656)

References

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