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The Character Statues

The Fair Maid of Perth

Found on the west facade of the Scott Monument.

The Fair Maid of Perth (from the novel of the same name, 1828) is wearing a long plain dress possibly trimmed with fur, and a purse hanging on her right hip.

Catharine, daughter of Simon Glover, one of the burgesses of Perth, is "universally acknowledged to be the most beautiful young woman of the city or its vicinity". She is much admired by the "young gallants of the royal court" but is unimpressed by their attentions, her beauty being, "notwithstanding her natural kindness and gentleness of disposition, rather allied to reserve than to gaiety".

She is wooed by Harry Gow, the blacksmith, and also passionately loved by Glover's apprentice Conachar. Disturbed by Harry's "vanity and wrath" and his inability to stay out of fights, she rejects his suit although she does in fact love him, especially since he has defended her from attempted abduction by the Duke of Rothesay and his villainous accomplice Sir John Ramorny.

Catharine is appalled by the violence and brutality of the age, and consents to marry Harry Gow only after he hangs up his broadsword.

About the Sculptor

David Watson Stevenson (1842 to 1904)

Stevenson was born in Ratho, Midlothian on 25 March 1842 and died in Edinburgh on 18 March 1904. He trained at the Trustees School and Life School, and later also in Rome, before working under William Brodie for eight years.

While assistant to Sir John Steell, he did statues of ‘Science’, ‘Learning’ and ‘Labour’ for the Scottish National Memorial to the Prince Consort in Charlotte Square. His statue of Robert Burns (1898) is in Bernard Street, Leith. Others include ‘Sir John Steell when sculptor to Her Majesty for Scotland’ (1887) and ‘Napier of Murchiston’(1898) both now in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

Also on the Scott Monument, the figures of Queen Mary, James VI, Charles I, Halbert Glendinning and Montrose.

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