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The Character Statues

George Buchanan

Found on the west facade of the Scott Monument.

George Buchanan is shown as a scholar wearing loose robes and holding a textbook, his demeanour is serious.

The great humanist, poet and Protestant theorist and poet George Buchanan (circa 1506 to 1582) is one of three historical figures (cf. Charles I and John Knox) represented in the Scott Monument who do not appear as characters in any of the novels or poems.

In 'Tales of a Grandfather', Scott briefly mentions Buchanan as "the celebrated scholar" who composed "some severe satires against the corruptions of the Roman Catholic religion".

In 'The Fortunes of Nigel', he is recalled as James VI's rigorous tutor. Scott describes the office of whipping-boy, the holder of which received all the corporal punishment which should otherwise have been visited upon the sacred person of the young King. But, Scott says, "Under the stern rule of George Buchanan, who did not approve of the vicarious mode of punishment, James bore the penance of his own faults", a fact which did not endear him to his pupil.

About the Sculptor

John Rhind (1828 to 1892)

Born in Banff, John Rhind was the son of a master stonemason and descended from a line of stonemasons since the early 18th century.

He studied sculpture in the studio of Alexander ‘Handyside’ Ritchie, and his son, William Birnie Rhind also became a sculptor and created statues for the Monument. Rhind was elected ARSA (Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy) in 1892, but died before signing the membership roll.

His portrait busts include ‘William Gladstone’ 1886 for the Scottish Liberal Club, ‘Victoria and Albert’, ‘Darwin’, ‘Michaelangelo’ and ‘Newton’ all 1859 which can all be found in the Royal Scottish Museum. He executed a fine statue of William Chambers (1890) in bronze in Chambers Street and one of Dick (1883) at the Royal Veterinary College.

Rhind also has other statues in the National Gallery of Scotland, Scottish National Portrait Gallery and St Giles Cathedral.

His statues on the Scott Monument are Ivanhoe, John Knox, Rob Roy, Lucy Ashton, Ravenswood, Dugald Dalgetty, George Buchanan and Richie Moniplies.

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