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The Character Statues

Sir Piercie Shafton

Found on the east facade of the Scott Monument.

Sir Piercie Shafton (from the novel 'The Monastery', 1820) is shown as a foppish character in doublet and hose and is tweaking or twirling his moustache.

A cousin of the Duke of Northumberland, Sir Piercie is an English knight remarkable for his high-flown chivalric language and absurd devotions to the excesses of courtly behaviour. Forced to take refuge in Scotland because of political indiscretions in England, he infuriates Halbert Glendinning with his arrogance and vanity, and fights him in a duel.

His ornate discourse falls flat on Mary of Avenel, but "was marvellous to the ears of Mysie the Miller's daughter, and not the less so that she did not comprehend the meaning of a single word which he uttered". Mysie Happer becomes devoted to Sir Piercie, and in the end so does he to her. As the Abbot says of him, "He is a coxcomb, my lords, but he is a generous, though a vain fool."

About the Sculptor

Clark Stanton (1832 to 1894)

George Clark Stanton was born in Birmingham in 1832 and died in Edinburgh on the 8th January 1894. He was educated at King Edward’s Grammar School and Birmingham School of Art, where he studied silversmithing. He was also a painter of portraits, portrait miniatures and rustic subjects, often on a romantic, literary and historical theme.

“His heroines wore richly coloured dresses and his backgrounds are finely detailed, yet his pictures carry great conviction and never appear like theatrical charades”.

While working for Elkington and Mason he was sent to Florence to study Renaissance sculpture and metalwork. In 1855 he settled in Edinburgh and lived at 1 Ramsay Lane, but sold very few artworks during his life and was continuously in debt. He was elected ARSA (Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy) in 1862 and RSA in 1885.

Other works include bronze panels on the Buccleuch Memorial on the Royal Mile, and statues of ‘Army and Navy’ on the Albert Memorial in Charlotte Square.

Other figures on the Scott Monument are Friar Tuck, Rebecca, and Saladin

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