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