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The Character Statues

The Glee Maiden

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

The Glee Maiden (The Fair Maid of Perth, 1828), a travelling minstrel is shown playing a lute, and wearing a simple dress with lace edges, her hair falls over her shoulders.

A travelling minstrel or glee-maiden, Louise "wore the dress of her calling, which was more gaudy than rich, and showed the person more than did the garb of other females". She carries "a small basket which contained her slender stock of necessities", her companion is "a little French spaniel dog", and her "sunny complexion, snow-white teeth, brilliant black eyes, and raven locks, marked her country lying far in the south of France".

She is placed by the Duke of Rothesay under the protection of Hal o' the Wynd, much to the latter's dismay, since he fears his reputation will be damaged by the association: "A proper queen of beggars to walk the streets of Perth with, and I a decent burgher!"

But he takes pity on her, for Louise's professional gaiety is forced - she covers "an aching heart with a compelled smile", as the song she sings suggests:

"Ah, poor Louise! The livelong day
She roams from cot to castle gay;
And still her voice and viol say,
Ah, maids, beware the woodland way -
Think on Louise."

About the Sculptor

John Hutchinson (1833 to 1910)

Born at Laurieston, Edinburgh, Hutchinson served an apprenticeship with a wood carver along with Robert Scott Lauder. He studied at the Trustees Academy in 1848 and in Rome in c.1849. He sculpted portrait figures in bronze, marble and wood.

“He blended a national vigour and realistic propriety with a feeling for the chaste purity of the classical ideal”

(From the Dictionary of Scottish Art and Architecture.)

Other works include a colossal John Knox for the quadrangle of New College, and the Adam Black monument in Princes Street both in Edinburgh. He has works in the National Gallery of Scotland and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

Also on the Scott Monument - Baron Bradwardine and Flora MacIvor.

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