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The Character Statues

Friar Tuck

Found on the upper tier of the south-east buttress of the Scott Monument.

Friar Tuck (from the novel 'Ivanhoe', 1819), the bearded Holy Clerk of Copmanhurst is shown in the habit of a monk, holding a jug in one hand and pledging a toast with a drinking horn with the other

The jolly Clerk of Copmanhurst is one of the followers of Locksley (Robin Hood). Supposedly leading the austere life of a hermit, he has a "bold, bluff countenance… and cheeks as round and vermilion as those of a trumpeter…. Such a visage, joined to the brawny form of the holy man, spoke rather of sirloins and haunches, than of pease and pulse."

He entertains the Black Knight overnight in his woodland cell, but when the Knight later reveals himself as King Richard, the Friar asks to be excused from serving in his guard, since he is beset by "the sin of laziness": "To be a yeoman in attendance on my sovereign the King - the honour is great, doubtless - yet, if I were to step aside to comfort a widow in one corner, or to kill a deer in another, it would be, 'Where is the dog Priest?' says one. 'Who has seen the accursed Tuck?' says another. 'The unfrocked villain destroys more venison than half the country besides…' In fine, good my Liege, I pray you to leave me as you found me."

About the Sculptor

Clark Stanton (1832 to 1894)

George Clark Stanton was born in Birmingham in 1832 and died in Edinburgh on the 8th January 1894. He was educated at King Edward’s Grammar School and Birmingham School of Art, where he studied silversmithing. He was also a painter of portraits, portrait miniatures and rustic subjects, often on a romantic, literary and historical theme.

“His heroines wore richly coloured dresses and his backgrounds are finely detailed, yet his pictures carry great conviction and never appear like theatrical charades”.

While working for Elkington and Mason he was sent to Florence to study Renaissance sculpture and metalwork. In 1855 he settled in Edinburgh and lived at 1 Ramsay Lane, but sold very few artworks during his life and was continuously in debt. He was elected ARSA (Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy) in 1862 and RSA in 1885.

Other works include bronze panels on the Buccleuch Memorial on the Royal Mile and statues of ‘Army and Navy’ on the Albert Memorial in Charlotte Square.

Other figures on the Scott Monument by Stanton are Rebecca and Sir Piercie Shafton.


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