The Laird o’ Dumbiedykes
Found on the lower tier of the north-east buttress of the Scott
The Laird o’ Dumbiedykes (from the novel 'The Heart of Midlothian',
1818) was the eccentric lover of Jeanie Deans and he is shown arguing
Jock Dumbie succeeds his father as laird at the age of fourteen
or fifteen, when he is "a tall, gawky, silly-looking boy".
The old man offers two excellent pieces of advice: "Dinna let
the warld get a grip o' ye, Jock - but keep the gear thegither!"
and the more ecologically sound, "Jock, when ye hae naething
else to do, ye may be aye sticking in a tree; it will be growing,
Jock, when ye're sleeping."
Among his tenants are Davie Deans and his family, and young Dumbiedikes
nurtures a fond but chaste admiration for Jeanie Deans, "pertinaciously
gazing on her with great stupid greenish eyes" while sitting
in her father's cottage with his gold-laced cocked hat and tobacco-pipe.
Jeanie rejects his offer of marriage, but the kind-hearted laird
gives her money for her journey to London, and eventually he marries
the Laird of Lickpelf's daughter: "She sits next us in the
kirk, and that's the way I came to think on't."
About the Sculptor
William Brodie (1815 to 1881)
William Brodie was born in Banff on 22 January and died in Edinburgh
30 October 1881. He was the son of a shipmaster who moved to Aberdeen
with his family. William was apprenticed as a plumber and studied
at the Mechanics Institute,where he began casting small figures
in lead. He developed onto modelling medallion portraits and in
1847 was encouraged to study at the Trustees School of Design, where
he learnt to model on a larger scale. One of his first works was
a bust of his patron Lord Jeffrey.
He was elected ARSA (Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy) in
18521, RSA in 1859 and became Secretary of the RSA in 1876.
Other works in bronze include: ‘Greyfriars Bobby’ (1872)
near Greyfriars Kirkyard; ‘A Peer and his Lady Doing Homage’
(1875) for the Prince Consort Memorial in Charlotte Square, Sir
James Young Simpson (1877) Princes Street West.
Other works in stone are ‘The Genius of Architecture crowning
the Theory and Practice of the Art’ and the monument to Dugald
Stewart on Calton Hill, a portrait bust of Rev. John Paul in St.
Cuthberts church, as well as several on the Scott Monument - Jeanie
Deans, The Earl of Leicester, Amy Robsart, Edith of Lorn, Oliver
Cromwell, Helen McGregor, and Madge Wildfire.
‘In portraiture Brodie had a peculiarly happy knack
of catching the likeness. Furthermore, it was almost always a pleasing
and characteristic likeness elevated without being over idealised.’
- Quote taken from the dictionary of Scottish Art and Architecture.
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