London, Volume 6

Knight, Charles


CXXX.-Public Statues.

CXXX.-Public Statues.




In glancing at the title of this paper, which, let us ask, of the public statues of London would in all probability occur to the generality of readers? There can be but answer to the question--the statue of Charles I. at , which is of the best, of the earliest, and by far the most historically interesting of the whole. At , then, let us commence our survey of the chief of these works. The place itself may be said to be sacred from a very early period to the great object of monumental sculpture, that of commemorating persons whose virtues have shed a glory upon our common humanity: for here it was that the body of the admirable queen of Edward I., Eleanor, rested for the last time on its way from Lincolnshire to the Abbey, and where accordingly, as at all the other resting-places, a cross was erected by her husband; in whose


prolonged life of ruthless warfare this event forms a most touching incident. But the name-Charing Cross itself, whence is that derived?

From the village existing here even before the erection of the cross,

answers your mere antiquary, glad to adopt any hypothesis rather than which has a


of poetry or romance in it; but, really, he must excuse us, if, in the present instance, in the absence of a particle of proof that there was a village here before the period in question, we believe the popular and romantic explanation of the name, to be also the most probable and satisfactory,--and that is, , or dear queen. The cross was sculptured in wood, which was afterwards replaced by of stone. This was of an octagonal form, in the pointed style of architecture, decorated with no less than figures. We may judge of the quality of the sculpture by looking at the recumbent statue of the

dear queen

in , which is supposed to be by the same artists, scholars of the school of Niccolo Pisano; a statue of almost unequalled purity and beauty. It is not wise to undervalue the services of the church reformers of the century, but, in commercial phrase, there is a heavy to the account: the destruction of the statue at forms among the long list of items.

The associations of the statue which, in the following century, succeeded to the site of the cross, are generally of a painful character; but there is noticeable exception. The exceedingly expressive and beautiful piece of sculpture, which represents Charles I. (the earliest equestrian public statue in London, by the way), may be looked upon as a happy memorial of of the most enlightened and munificent patrons of art England has known. And, since there appears little probability of our coming to an unanimous opinion as to whether Charles was a martyr or a tyrant, we may at least unite in honouring the memory of him who brought the Cartoons into this country, who helped to make the names of Raphael, Titian, Correggio, Guido, and Rubens household words among us, who had Vandyke for his chief painter, Inigo Jones for his chief architect. The artist of the king's statue, Hubert le Soeur, was himself of the numerous band of able men whom Charles's taste and liberality tempted hither. He was a pupil of John of Bologna, and arrived in London about . Of the many works executed by him in bronze in this country, the statue at seems to be the only ever mentioned now, perhaps as being the only now existing. This was cast in , for the Earl of Arundel, the famous collector, and to whom Charles is said to have been materially indebted for his artistical tastes. The subsequent history of the statue is very curious. During the civil wars it was sold to a brazier in , of the name of John River, with orders to break it in pieces; the brazier, however, was too much of a loyalist, or too much an admirer of art (which is the more likely, as the statue would hardly have been sold to a known favourer of the royal cause), or, which is likeliest of all, had too keen a perception of its pecuniary value at some future time, to obey his orders; so he buried it, and satisfied the officers of government by showing them some broken pieces of metal. That our

worthy brazier,

as he has been called, was not overburdened with any very strict principles of honesty we know from an amusing anecdote related by M. d'Archenholz, who says he cast a vast number of handles of knives and forks in brass, which he sold as made of the broken statue. They were bought with great eagerness by both parties-by the


loyalists as a mark of affection to their monarch, and by the republicans as a memorial of their triumph. At the Restoration the statue was, of course, restored too. And, as a preliminary, a libation of blood was poured forth, as if to wash away the memory of its temporary degradation. Here the scaffold was erected for the execution of the men of the Commonwealth; and, to mark beyond the possibility of mistake the thirst for vengeance from which the act sprang, the executioners, inspirited by the presence of the king at a short distance, and fulfilling, no doubt, the orders given to them, actually revelled in cruelty, adding tortures that not even the execrable terms of the sentence could be supposed to include. When Coke was cut down and brought to be quartered, Colonel Turner called to the sheriffs' men to bring Mr. Peters to see what was doing; which being done, the executioner came to him, and rubbing his bloody hands together, asked him

how he liked that work?

The answer of the brave and high-principled man was simply that he was not at all terrified, and that he might do his worst. And when he was upon the ladder, he said to the sheriff,

Sir, you have butchered


of the servants of God before my eyes, and have forced me to see it, in order to terrify and discourage me, but God has permitted it for my support and encouragement.

[n.67.1]  These were not very attractive reminiscences to be connected with any statue, and the matter was still worse when the connexion was so intimate as between the events and the individual represented by the particular statue in question. For the time, at least, it ceased to be looked upon as anything but a party memorial, and it was treated accordingly. Andrew Marvell, especially, seems to have made it for London what the celebrated statue of Pasquin was for Rome, a vehicle for lampoons against the government. Here is his notice of the statue, written evidently whilst it was in process of restoration:

What can be the mystery, why Charing Cross This five months continues still muffled with board? Dear Wheeler, impart, we are all at a loss Unless we must have Punchinello restor'd. 'Twere to Scaramouchio too great disrespect To limit his troop to this theatre small, Besides the injustice it were to eject That mimic, so legally seiz'd of Whitehall. No, to comfort the heart of the poor Cavalier The late King on horseback is here to be shown; What ado with your Kings and your statues is here! Have we not bad enough, pray, already of one? Does the Treasurer think men so loyally true When their pensions are stopp'd to be fool'd with a sight? And 'tis forty to one, if he play the old game He'll reduce us ere long to rehearse forty-eight. Forty-eight--the year of Charles's execution.

This, from a patriot like Marvell, presents but an awkward commentary on the doings of the restored government. The date of the verses is pretty nearly marked by the allusion to the stoppage of the pensions in the last verse, which, no doubt, refers to the King's wholesale robbery of the kingdom by the sudden


close of , in , which spread ruin far and wide, not only by the positive losses incurred, but also by the destruction of public credit. Bankers and commercial men especially suffered. That of these should almost immediately afterwards erect a public statue to the monarch who had thus signalised his reign, was odd enough: and we cannot wonder that Andrew Marvell was once more roused; and, as he has connected the history of this statue with the at , as we shall presently have occasion to show, we may here pause a moment to notice it. On and around the site of the present , there was formerly a market known as the Stocks Market, in which was a conduit; to commemorate at once his loyalty and his mayoralty, Sir Robert Vyner set up an equestrian statue of Charles II. on the top of this conduit. Neither as a likeness nor as a work of art did the statue attract admiration: Marvell says,

When each one that passes finds fault with the horse,

Yet all do affirm that the King is much worse;

And some by the likeness Sir Robert suspect

That he did for the King his own statue erect.

Thus to see him disfigur'd--the herb-women chide,

Who upon their panniers more gracefully ride.

The explanation came out at last: Sir Robert Vyner, like another wealthy citizen, when bent upon an expensive pleasure had still a frugal mind, and so, having got hold of a statue of John Sobieski, King of Poland, with his horse trampling down a Turk, converted it into a Charles the ; and as to the prostrate figure, if it was hinted, as was very natural, that it was Cromwell, why, Sir Robert could only smile, and own the

soft impeachment.

After the pulling down of the conduit, the statue lay for years among the rubbish about ; but in it was given by the Common Council to a descendant of the original giver, who removed it to his country seat, where, for aught we know, it is still preserved. Might it not be recovered by a proper application? We cannot but regret the loss of such an inexhaustible treasury of mirth--of so capital a sculptured joke, only the more amusing from the reflection that its author by no means intended anything of the kind.

In looking at the allusions contained in the lampoons of Marvell, we need to refresh our recollections of the actual events of the time, in order to avoid doing the satirist injustice; it is hard to believe that the

merry monarch

could be so very despicable as he is described. Unfortunately, however, what Marvell and others then said upon the strength of individual conviction, rather than from positive proof, has been since proved to be true to an extent that they could hardly have been aware of. We do not allude to the profligacy of the domestic life, but to the before unheard--of conduct in English annals, of an English monarch becoming a secret pensioner of the court of France, and making the foreign policy of the state dependent upon the bribes of the other. Who can wonder at the indignation of a man who called Milton friend; a man whose entire history proves alike the probity, the enthusiasm, the courage, and the ability, that he devoted to the public service? The paper which has chiefly led to these remarks is in the form of a dialogue between the statues of Woolchurch (or Stocks Market) and Charing. Marvell, after giving various reasons to show that we need not be surprised at what he is going to relate, gives us to understand that


the riders, weary of sitting so long, stole away evening, and that the horses took the opportunity of meeting each other and having a little conversation, partaking, it must be acknowledged, of the scandalous. After some plain speaking as to the subserviency of church and state to the King's mistress, with allusions to the injury done to widows and orphans by the closing of , as before mentioned, to maintain the pride of the said lady, at all of which, remarks the Charing horse to his companion,

My brass is provoked as much as thy stone,--

They both break into a kind of frenzy at the sights that meet them on all sides in connection with the government. Thus runs the alternate complaint

Woolchurch.To see Dei Gratia writ on the throne And the King's wicked life say God there is none.

Charing.That he should be styled Defender of the Faith Who believes not a word what the Word of God saith.

Woolchurch.That the Duke should turn Papist, and that Church defy For which his own father a martyr did die.

Charing.Though he changed his religion, I hope he's so civil Not to think his own father is gone to the devil.

After a good deal more in the same strain, Charing seems to remember they are getting warm, so bids Woolchurch

Pause, brother, awhile, and calmly consider What thou hast to say against my royal rider.

Woolchurch.Thy priest-ridden King turned desperate fighter For the surplice, lawn sleeves, the cross, and the mitre; Till at last on the scaffold he was left in the lurch By knaves, who cried up themselves for the church, Archbishops and bishops, archdeacons and deans.

Charing.Thy King will ne'er fight unless for his queans.

Woolchurch.He that dies for ceremonies dies like a fool.

Chaaring.The King on thy back is a lamentable tool.

And now the horses grow so scurrilous that we must leave them, quoting, however, a couple of passages of the concluding part of their dialogue, which show the poet could prophesy well as to the future, whatever might be the correctness of his views as to the past. To the question of Woolchurch,

What is thy opinion of James Duke of York?

Charing answers,

The same that the frogs had of Jupiter's stork. With the Turk in his head, and the Pope in his heart, Father Patrick's disciples will make England smart. If he e'er be king, I know Britain's doom; We must all to a stake, or be converts to Rome. Ah, Tudor! Ah, Tudor! of Stuarts enough- None ever reigned like old Bess in the ruff!

Woolchurch.But canst thou devise when things will be mended?

Charing.When the reign of the line of the Stuarts is ended.

We have but to step to the back of the Banqueting House to find a memorial that forms a striking commentary on the concluding line--the statue of James II., who did become king, who began the career the poet shadowed out, but who was


not permitted to complete it: the

line of the Stuarts



instead, by a dethronement.

It is curious that none of the histories of London mention the origin of this statue of James, which is by Gibbons, and not only valuable for its intrinsic excellence, but as showing that the fame of Gibbons as a carver on wood is founded on a solid base,--that he was, in short, a truly fine artist, in the higher sense of the term; and it is only to be regretted that he had not oftener worked in the more durable material, on the larger subjects. The employer of Gibbons in this work, and in a corresponding statue of Charles II., was, it appears, Tobias Rustat, Keeper of and Yeoman of the Robes, who took it into his head to present the King and his brother with their statues in brass, at an expense of each. Hence the Charles now in , the James at . Allan Cunningham says of the latter,

It has great ease of attitude, and a certain serenity of air;

but it has more than this--the character of the man is as legibly inscribed on that brass as historian has ever written it on paper. Think but for a moment of him who could admit to an audience his own brother's son, the Duke of Monmouth, in the hope apparently of learning something that might be useful to him, and then, unmoved by all the unfortunate duke's passionate pleadings for life, dismiss him coolly to the axe; or of him who, when the infamous Jeffreys returned from the task of hanging up by hundreds, with scarcely the semblance of a trial, the people who had aided, or were supposed to have aided--it was all the same-Monmouth in his ill-managed revolt, made the event memorable by a most emphatic eulogy on the judge in the


accompanying the announcement of an equally emphatic promotion to the Chancellorship. James was clearly wrong when some months afterwards, in expressing his concern for Jeffreys' illness, brought on by debauchery, he said such another man would not easily be found in England: the force of sympathy should have told him need not seek far. We have only to think of these things, and then turn our glances upon the gloomy inexorable features of Gibbons' statue to feel at once-Such was the man.

From the statue of James at , and the recollections suggested by it, naturally turns towards , and to the statue there, which, according to a writer in the

Gentleman's Magazine,

in ,[n.70.1]  represents the Duke of Monmouth; whilst Hughson, in his

Walks through London,

says it is a statue of James, and lastly, the Rev. Mr. Nightingale, in the

Beauties of England and Wales,

ascribes the honour to Charles II. The inscription on the base was illegible when the last named gentleman noticed it, in , and so remains Monmouth, it appears, resided here, in a house, the site of which is now occupied by Bateman's Buildings, and , when built, was called by his name. This was subsequently-perhaps on Monmouth's disgrace-changed to King's Square, and then again by his admirers to , from the watchword, Soho, used on the day of battle at Sedgemoor, where the Duke was defeated. The name, Monmouth Square, however, appears to have been in common use so late as , when the writer in the

Gentleman's Magazine,

to whom we have alluded, thus designated it. As to the statue, it would, perhaps, be impossible to find a more striking illustration of the folly of those who think


that memorials of brass or[stone can perpetuate the memory of men whose merits have not been of an equally durable character. The circumstances we have mentioned show that the statue must necessarily have been the subject of much animated discussion: scarcely a century and a half have elapsed since its erection, and yet we know not to whom it belongs, whether to Charles, to his son, or to his brother.

Odd coincidences occur with regard to the localities chosen for some of the public statues of London; we may in particular mention , the statues of James's successor in , and of George I. in . It was in the of these places that James built a large house for his favourite mistress, Catherine Sedley, created by him Countess of Dorchester; and there--nowhere but there--does Chance, as if to show she is not always the blind goddess she seems, bring in later times the statue of him who so quietly handed James down from the throne, and banished him from all the delights of his harem, from all the pleasant anticipations of an occasional , such as we were to have enjoyed, according to Andrew Marvell, had the bounteous giver been spared to us. The statue of the hooked-nose King and warrior, William, the hero of our

glorious Revolution,

stands on a pedestal in the middle of the circular sheet of water that adorns the square, embowered in green foliage. The equestrian statue of George I., in , which was formerly at Cannons, in Hertfordshire, suggests equally awkward reminiscences. The house built on the spot, then known as Leicester-fields, was founded by of the Sydneys, Earl of Leicester. Here the unfortunate Queen of Bohemia, daughter of James I., lived and died; and here subsequently, when George I. and his son quarrelled, the latter took up his residence, collected about him the disaffected of all classes, and made Leicester House notorious for political intrigue. A system of undisguised warfare between father and son took place; and it became but too evident to the nation at large, horrible as the fact was, that they hated each other. The explanation is sufficiently evident. The Prince's mother was that Sophia Dorothea of Zell, whose painful and mysterious story has excited so much interest. On the assumed ground of her infidelity with Count Konigsmark, who suddenly disappeared (it was afterwards discovered that he had been assassinated), she was confined in the solitary castle of Ahlen, on the river Aller, for years, and there she died only a few months before her husband George I. The feelings of the Prince, who, it is well known, tenderly loved his mother, and naturally believed her innocent, since there were numbers of persons less interested who believed the same, may be readily imagined. Once during her life he is said to have made a bold attempt to obtain an interview with her, and for that purpose crossed the river on horseback; but the jailor to whom she was entrusted, Baron Bulow, was immoveable. On the other hand, George I., if he really believed in the story of his wife's guilt, is not altogether without excuse, since the very relationship of his presumed son was thereby questioned. As a conclusion to these notices of George I. and , it is to be observed that the unseemly spectacle presented by him and his son, was repeated very nearly in the same manner when the latter succeeded the throne, by him and his son Frederick, who died here. Pennant happily called the house a

pouting-place for princes.

Another equestrian statue of George I. stands in , where it was erected in by Sir R. Grosvenor, the founder


of the square. Of that distinguished Roman warrior, George II.-for so the sculptor by his costume represents him-we have a statue in , which, though unnoticed hitherto in any of the topographical works on London, has an entertaining bit of gossip attached to it. This, like the statue of George I., was formerly at Cannons, the seat of the Duke of Chandos, and formed of a series. During the sale that took place, a gentleman, an acquaintance of the auctioneer, came in, and, catching his eye, nodded in token of friendly remembrance.

Thank you, Sir,

was the immediate comment--down went the hammer-

The statue of that excellent monarch is yours.

What could the possessor do with such an immense piece of sculpture but give it to the public?

But though we have a statue of George II., of the great events of his reign--the endeavours made by the young Pretender to restore the Stuart lineis much more forcibly impressed upon us, in gazing on the statue of that king's brother, the Duke of Cumberland, in : which was erected, as the inscription informs us, by Lieutenant General Strode, in memory of

his private kindness; in honour of his public virtue,

in . The private kindness we are bound to believe, and gratitude is at all times an admirable quality; but General Strode should have made somewhat surer about the public virtue, before he called upon the public to participate in his own feelings of admiration. Popular nicknames have generally much truth wrapped up in them, and the Duke of Cumberland's is by no means an exception.

The Butcher

was the title applied to him in his own day, and it is likely to outlive the statue which, in disregard to the best feelings of human nature, has been set up. Men may differ as to the value of the Duke's services in overthrowing the rebels at Culloden, or they may even agree that they were most valuable; but the horrors of the wanton cruelties that followed must be universal. The atrocities committed by him in the Highlands, in pursuance of his scheme of a

little bloodletting,

are sickening to contemplate. The men were hunted like wild beasts, not to conquer but to exterminate; the women were subjected to outrages compared with which death were light; children were shot, mangled, or precipitated over the sides of the steep rocks in their parents' eye-sight; whilst the houses of the wretched people were so completely plundered and destroyed that it became a common spectacle to behold persons of all ages, frantic with hunger, actually following the army which had wrought all their ruin and misery, to beg for the mere offal of their own cattle. When that purification of our public statues, which there is so much reason to hope for, shall take place, and none be left standing that do not fulfil the conditions which Morality and Art are alike interested in demanding from the men whose effigies are to adorn our high places, we trust exception may be made--the Duke of Cumberland's statue; let not that be destroyed; keep it, if it be but to inscribe on it, for the good of the people, the people's own short summary of his character, and thus leave it to posterity. Who shall say what suffering and disgrace may not be spared in future wars, if wars there must be, by so decisive and permanent an expression of a sound public feeling?

There is little to say in praise of the sculpture of the statues belonging to this period--the early part of the eighteenth century. Not that people were altogether


indifferent on the subject. had only to walk through the upper end of to see that there was a positive rage for sculpture, such as it was. That street, or road, as it might then be called, was lined with the shops of statuaries, finishing at with a regular depot for the sale of shepherds and shepherdesses, and copies from the antique, in lead, and all nicely painted. We can guess as to the quality of the Arcadian innocents; and as to the copies from the antique, Ralph, writing in , says,

they are so monstrously wretched that


can hardly guess at their originals.

The statue of George I., in , was by Van Nost, it is said; but Malcolm speaks of Vancost, as modelling a statue of the same monarch, from that of Charles I. at , in , and he, it appears, was of

Hyde Park Corner


so, in all probability, the statue was of the productions of the depot. About this time a fresh importation of foreign artists took place, and once more works of merit appeared in our public places; and let us not contemn the sculpture shops: it was at of them, belonging to Henry Cheere, that the order was given for a statue of Handel, for , and executed by a journeyman; that journeyman was Roubiliac, who at once rose to fame. Scheemakers and Rysbrack appeared in England about the same time; to the last we owe the statue of Sir Hans Sloane, in the gardens of the Apothecaries' Company, .
And it is quite refreshing to pause a moment in the contemplation of the character of the man represented; active to save rather than destroy, far beyond even the usual limits of his benevolent profession--that of a physician,--more ambitious of the power of doing good than of achieving wealth and rank which, nevertheless, he did achieve, in order that they too might


be useful to the same end, Sir Hans Sloane's long and well-spent life entitles his memory to national respect and honour. But why do we allude to his general character? We need not leave these gardens for an evidence of what Sir Hans Sloane was. When the formed the plan for the establishment of a dispensary to provide medical attendance and medicines gratuitously to the poor, Sloane was of the most energetic of its supporters. The apothecaries opposed the scheme with great heat and violence, and a tremendous paper war broke out, which, whilst it amused the town mightily, caused much ill-will between the members of the respective parties. Sloane was, of course, a favourite mark of attack, both from his position and his activity. Chance gave him an opportunity of exhibiting his resentment of the treatment he had experienced. In he purchased his estate, of which the garden, then in the occupation of the Apothecaries' Company, formed a part. Of course, it was not to be expected he was going to keep such tenants; so he immediately gave them-the freehold. The Company honoured itself as well as its benefactor by erecting this statue. No fear that such a memorial will ever be met by the questioning glance, so full of meaning, and which, put into words, says-Why art thou? It were a pretty problem for the reader to solve-How many of our other metropolitan statues are there of which the same may be predicated?

Up to the commencement of the reign of George III. but native artist, Gibbons, had appeared in modern times in England whose works are now distinguished for their excellence: Cibber, the author of the admirable figures at Bethlehem Hospital, we need hardly remind our readers, was a foreigner; but the faint promise held out, even by the advent of that , was to be nobly realised a century later; then Bacon, Banks, and Flaxman successively appeared, each raising higher than it had been before his appearance the reputation of the growing school of English sculpture. We have here to do with the only, Bacon, the author of the pile in the court of , embodying in the lower stage a recumbent figure of Thames, and in the upper, a statue of George III. cannot but look with more than ordinary curiosity upon such a work, from the remembrance of Bacon's memorable offer to the Government to undertake the national monuments at a certain per centage below the parliamentary price.

Spirit of Phidias,

exclaimed Fuseli, when he heard of it,

Bacon is to do all the stone-work for the navy and army; they ought also to give him the contract for hams and pork.

As to the figure of Thames, the sculptor certainly thought well of it himself, for he sent it to the Academy exhibition; but Allan Cunningham calls it

a cumbrous effort of skill,

and justifies, he says, the question of the queen, Why did you make so frightful a figure?

--an awkward question for a painter's nerves to come from such a quarter; but the courtiers about Her Majesty might have taken a lesson from the adroitness of Bacon, in his answer:


said he, lowly bowing,

cannot always effect what is ever within the reach of nature--the union of beauty and majesty.

In another point of view some interest attaches to this group as a proof of the artist's skill in working in a difficult material.

Then, and long after,

observes Bacon's biographer, in a pleasant and instructive passage,

an air of secresy and mystery was observed concerning the art of casting in metal; and a process at once simple and easy was taught to be regarded as something magical. Of the materials


which composed the external and internal mould,--the mode of rendering them safe for receiving the liquid burning metal,--the melting of the copper,--the quantities of alloy, and the proper degree of heat,--the working artists spoke a mysterious language, resembling in no small degree those conversations on Alchymy so happily ridiculed by Ben Jonson:--

Let me see

How is the Moon now? eight, nine, ten days hence

He will be silver potate ; then three days

Before he citronize; some fifteen days

The magisterium will be perfected,--

And then we've finished.

That Bacon maintained the secrets of the profession there can be little doubt, since the men who wrought his marble were not permitted to acquaint themselves with the arrangements of the foundry. His practice was to cast the figure in many pieces, and then to unite them into an entire whole by the process of burning or fusing the parts together. This plan had its advantages; it required small moulds, which were easily dried and readily handled,--small meltings, too, of metal,--nor was failure attended with the destruction of the entire mould of the figure. But it had this disadvantage: by the fusing together of many small pieces the just proportions of the whole were apt to be injured, and the figure liable to display an imperfect symmetry compared to a statue cast in




parts. The veil has been raised a little of late from the mystery of bronze-casting. In the splendid foundries of Chantrey and Westmacott colossal statues,


feet high, are cast at a couple of heats, and the whole process is exhibited to any


whom curiosity or chance may happen to conduct to the artist's studio when the moulds are ready and the metal melted.


It might be supposed that of the accomplished sculptors here referred to, Westmacott, had really obtained a commission of the extensive character sought by Bacon, so large is his proportion of the statues erected in the present century. Whilst the other sculptors whose talents have been in requisition, have, as yet at least, given us each but a solitary specimen of their skill, as Chantrey in the colossal bronze statue of William Pitt, in , of the noblest of our public statues, erected in ; Wyatt, in the bronze equestrian statue of George III., erected in , in ; Gahagan, in the Duke of Kent's statue, also in bronze at the top of , erected by public subscription as a tribute to his public and private virtues; and Mr. Clarke, of Birmingham, in the bronze-seated figure of Major Cartwright, in , where the venerable reformer long resided; the sculptor in question alone has given us more than all his brother artists put together. Before we notice these, we must add a few words on the statue just mentioned of --him who, according to Canning, was

the old heart in London from which the veins of sedition in the country were supplied.

The honest and indefatigable Major Cartwright, whose zeal for what he believed to be the public good must be honoured even by those who disapprove of the means by which he pursued it, can afford even to have the attack recorded without the slightest apprehension of injury to his memory. A striking evidence of the purity of his intentions


was given on his being brought up for judgment, in , on the verdict of guilty of sedition, &c., when

the learned judge spoke with so much respect of the character and motives of Major Cartwright that it was afterwards humourously remarked by that gentleman that he thought he was going to offer him a reward instead of inflicting a fine.


Westmacott's public statues, taking them in the order of their execution, are those of the Duke of Bedford, Fox, the Achilles or Wellington at , the statue of the Duke of York on the pillar overlooking St. James Park from , and Canning's statue in . The Bedford and Fox statues are noble works, and most happily situated, facing each other; the on the south side of , the other on the north side of , the opening of forming a fine avenue, as it were, between them. The Duke rests arm on a plough, whilst the hand of the other grasps the gift of Ceres; and the characteristics thus expressed are continued and still further developed by the children, representative of the seasons, at the corners, and by the interesting bas-reliefs that adorn of the sides:


in we see preparations making for the dinner of the rustic labourer, his wife is busy on her knees, a youth is blowing the horn, and countrymen and a team of oxen complete the group; in the other the business of reaping and gleaning is shadowed forth, of the figures, a young woman in the centre, of graceful form and sweet features, is evidently the village belle. The statue has only this inscription: Francis, Duke of Bedford, erected . It is of bronze, and about feet in height. The statue of Fox represents the statesman seated, arrayed in a consular robe, and full of dignity. The likeness is said to be


This inscription, also, is noticeable for its simplicity--

Charles James Fox. Erected MDCCCXVI.

Thus should it always be! When a people are not sufficiently acquainted with the merits of its public men, to appreciate the honour done them in the erection of public statues, by all means let us wait till they are. Greater advantages even than the waiters anticipate would flow, not unfrequently, from such a rule.

It was a strange piece of tyranny,

observes a writer in the

Quarterly Review,

[n.77.1]  in allusion to
the Achilles,

to press it into our service; but in our service it cannot abide; remove the inscription, and the Greek is a Greek again.

Although the time was that could not take up a newspaper but to read attacks or defences of this

best abused

of statues, or pass a print-shop without a laugh at some new caricature of the ladies' work, and when, of course, the whole subject became most wearisomely familiar, it may be useful now to some of our readers to have it stated that it is copied from of splendid specimens of ancient art, standing in front of the Papal palace at Rome. Each consists of a figure in the


act of reining a fiery steed; and the have been supposed to represent Castor and Pollux. They are attributed to no less an artist than Phidias. As to their history, it is believed that they were conveyed from Alexandria by Constantine the Great, to adorn his baths in Rome, among~the ruins of which they were found. To add to the doubts that envelope the whole subject, the horses were discovered some distance from the human figures, and may therefore never have belonged to them. It was certainly a daring idea to take of these figures and stamp it decidedly Achilles, which, however, it may in reality be, though the presumption is sadly against it; and then, by a kind of mental process, which every of course was expected to perform for himself, to transform Achilles into Wellington. But the event itself was unique, the subscription of the ladies of England for a statue to a great warrior; and we suppose it was therefore deemed advisable to commemorate it in a equally unique manner. The inscription runs thus,

To Arthur, Duke of Wellington, and his brave companions in arms, this statue of Achilles, cast from cannon taken in the battles of Salamanca, Vittoria, Toulouse, and Waterloo, is inscribed by their country-women.

The cannon here referred to consisted of -pounders. The statue is about eighteen feet high, on a basement of granite, of about the same elevation. It was placed on the latter on the anniversary day of the battle of Waterloo, in ; and the records of the period tell us of a curious coincidence that marked the occasion. A writer in the

Gentleman's Magazine,


In ancient Greece the honoured victors of the Olympic games, on returning crowned to their native cities, were not permitted to enter them by the common way and gate; to distinguish them above all their co-patriots, a breach was made in the wall, by which they were borne home in triumph. By


of those accidents which seem to be fate, the Ladies' statue to the Duke of Wellington, when brought to its destination, was found to be too mighty for the gates by which it should have entered, and it became necessary to breach the wall for the admission of the trophy.

The statue of Canning and the Duke of York column require no particular mention; the former was set up in its place opposite , in ; and the latter completed in . This consists of a colossal bronze statue of the

Soldier's friend,

on the top of of the ugliest columns perhaps that the wit of sculptor ever yet devised, of pale red granite, feet high. The best thing about the whole is the view from the summit: what the Monument is for the east the Duke of York's pillar forms for the west of London.

Such are the public statues of London. What does the reader think of them? Let us recount and classify the whole. Omitting works attached to buildings rather for the purposes of architectural ornament than for anything else, such, for instance, as the statues, of James and his Queen, and Charles I. and II., but including the Nelson Testimonial, now in progress, and the Wellington Memorials, also unfinished, of Chantrey and Wyatt, there are kings and queens, namely,--Elizabeth, formerly at Ludgate, now in front of St. Dunstan's church, Charles I., Charles II,,[n.78.1]  James II., William III., Annes- before , in , , and in , Guildford


Street; of the George, of the , and of the George; brothers of kings, Cumberland, Kent, and York; warriors, namely, Wellingtons and Nelson; nobleman, the Duke of Bedford; statesmen, Fox, Pitt, and Canning; parliamentary reformer, Cartwright; public benefactor, Sloane; and work of art, the admirable figure of the Moor, shown on our last page, which stands in the gardens of . Of poets we have-none; philosophers-none; patriots in the highest sense of the term-none; moralists-none; distinguished men of science-none;--but, in short, the list is ended. Again we ask, what does the reader think of it? But the question is unnecessary, for even churchwardens are growing ashamed of such a gallery of England's Worthies. We see by the newspapers lately, that a tablet has been affixed to the external wall of Allhallows Church, , , commemorating the birth of Milton in the parish; and though the tablet is not a statue, we are content to think its promoters wish it were, and to agree with them. At all events, a tablet is something. A more important evidence of the growth of a better feeling on this subject, is the Premier's letter to the Secretary of the Fine Arts Commission, just published, from which it appears, that, at last, men of eminent civil, literary, or scientific services are likely to be admitted into a participation of the public honours lavished hitherto upon kings, and the eminent of the sword or of the forum almost exclusively. Sir Robert


Peel has, by her Majesty's command, empowered the Commissioners not only to consider of an appropriate site for such purpose in connection with the New Houses of Parliament, but also to consider generally that should govern the selection of the names to be so honoured. A knotty point, but that should be determined not only there, but everywhere else before another public statue is erected, to show alike by those we omit, and those we include, how ludicrously we estimate in our sculptures the respective greatness and value of our public men.


[n.67.1] Ludlow's Memoirs.

[n.70.1] Page 888.

[n.75.1] Cunningham, Life of Bacon, p. 241.

[n.76.1] Life, by his niece, F. C. Cartwright, vol. ii, p. 214.

[n.77.1] Vol. xxxiv. p. 131.

[n.78.1] The monument in Soho Square; which it is most probable was erected, like several others of the kingly statues, to mark the era of the buildings around, and as Soho Square was begun in the reign of Charles II., the statue is most likely to be his.