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The Character Statues

Lucy Ashton

Found on the west facade of the Scott monument.

Lucy Ashton (from the novel 'The Bride of Lammermoor', 1819) is depicted as a rather stern beauty in a long loose dress, open at the neck showing a string of pearls or beads around her neck, her tied-up hair crowned with a small ornate tiara. She is holding a feather or quill-pen in her left hand.

Daughter of Sir William Ashton, Lucy is the tragic heroine of this novel, which is a kind of Border ballad in prose form. She has a "gentle, soft, timid, and feminine" nature and is "borne along by the will of others with as little power of opposition as the flower which is flung into a running stream".

Her song 'Look not thou on beauty's charming' seems to presage something of her fate. She loves, and is loved by the Master of Ravenswood, her father's enemy. Political expedience leads both men to an accommodation in which Ravenswood and Lucy become betrothed. Lucy's mother, however, sets about destroying their proposed union, breaks her daughter's spirit and forces her into a marriage with the Laird of Bucklaw.

Believing herself betrayed by Ravenswood, Lucy sinks into insanity, stabs her new husband and shortly after dies.

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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