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The Character Statues

Amy Robsart

Found on the upper tier of the north-west buttress of the Scott Monument.

The statue of Amy Robsart (from the novel 'Kenilworth', 1821) shows her brooding over her father’s letter standing pensively

The daughter of Sir Hugh Robsart, Amy is secretly married to the Earl of Leicester, and "mewed up like some foreign slave" in Cumnor Place, an old country house near Oxford. Young and beautiful - "you might have searched sea and land without finding anything half so expressive or half so lovely" as her face - she endures her isolation "with pleasure" for love of Leicester. Yet she also shows "a spirit and temper as apprehensive as lightning, and as swift in execution", and almost persuades Leicester to abandon his court machinations. Kidnapped by Varney, she falls to her death through a trap-door.

About the Sculptor

William Brodie (1815 to 1881)

William Brodie was born in Banff on 22 January and died in Edinburgh 30 October 1881. He was the son of a shipmaster who moved to Aberdeen with his family. William was apprenticed as a plumber and studied at the Mechanics Institute,where he began casting small figures in lead. He developed onto modelling medallion portraits and in 1847 was encouraged to study at the Trustees School of Design, where he learnt to model on a larger scale. One of his first works was a bust of his patron Lord Jeffrey.

He was elected ARSA (Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy) in 1851, RSA in 1859 and became Secretary of the RSA in 1876.

Other works in bronze include: ‘Greyfriars Bobby’ (1872) near Greyfriars Kirkyard; ‘A Peer and his Lady Doing Homage’ (1875) for the Prince Consort Memorial in Charlotte Square, Sir James Young Simpson (1877) Princes Street West.

Other works in stone are ‘The Genius of Architecture crowning the Theory and Practice of the Art’ and the monument to Dugald Stewart on Calton Hill, a portrait bust of Rev. John Paul in St. Cuthberts church, as well as several on the Scott Monument - Jeanie Deans, The Earl of Leicester, Amy Robsart, Edith of Lorn, Oliver Cromwell, Helen MacGregor, and Madge Wildfire.

‘In portraiture Brodie had a peculiarly happy knack of catching the likeness. Furthermore, it was almost always a pleasing and characteristic likeness elevated without being over idealised.’

- Quote taken from the Dictionary of Scottish Art and Architecture.

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