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The Character Statues

George Heriot

Found on the on the lower tier of the South West buttress of the Scott Monument.

George Heriot or “Jinglin’ Geordie” as he is known in Edinburgh is dressed in a cape over a short jacket, typical of a Renaissance gentleman, and holding an effigy of the Castle - the goldsmith's ‘assay mark’ for gold and symbol of Edinburgh.

George Heriot (The Fortunes of Nigel, 1822): Based on the historical figure (1563-1624) who established Heriot's Hospital for the education of the sons of impoverished burghers of Edinburgh, "Jingling Geordie" is a goldsmith and an "old and faithful servant" to James VI and I. He is always canny with his riches, to the frustration of the King, who describes him as "so damnably ready with his gold-ends of wisdom and sae accursedly backward with his gold-ends of siller".

About the Sculptor

Peter Slater (1809 to 1860)

Born in Edinburgh, Slater was the son of a marble cutter. He worked as an assistant carver with Samuel Joseph who took him to London where he later studied at the Royal Academy having been recommended by Wilkie Collins.

Other works include a statue of James Watt, for Adam Square, a copy of a work by Chantrey; a monument to Dr Carson (1855) in St. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh.

There were in fact two Peter Slater - most likely father and son - involved in working on this statue. The elder sketched the design and the younger executed it after his death. They both exhibited at the Royal Academy, with the younger exhibiting between 1846 and 1870.

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