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The Character Statues

Queen Elizabeth

Found on the north facade of the Scott Monument.

Queen Elizabeth (from the novel 'Kenilworth', 1821) is shown in typical regal fashion in a long gown, with a large ruff around her neck, and a crown on her head. She is holding a globe in one hand and the sceptre of state is supported by the other.

Scott wrote that, having had "a certain degree of success" in delineating Mary Queen of Scots in The Abbot, he was naturally induced "to attempt something similar respecting 'her sister and her foe', the celebrated Elizabeth".

He drew Elizabeth as:

"at once a high-minded sovereign, and a female of passionate feelings, hesitating betwixt the sense of her rank and the duty she owed her subjects on the one hand, and on the other her attachment to a nobleman [Leicester], who, in external qualifications at least, amply merited her favour."

She was "fond of governing by factions, so as to balance two opposing interests, and reserve in her own hand the power of making either predominate… To finesse - to hold the cards - to bridle him who thought himself highest in her esteem… were arts which she used throughout her reign".

"Her subjects had the full benefit of her virtues, which far predominated over her weaknesses; but her courtiers. and those about her person, had often to sustain sudden and embarrassing turns of caprice, and the sallies of a temper which was both wild and despotic".

About the Sculptor

William Walker (1791 to 1867)

Walker was born in Musselburgh in 1791 and died in London on 7 September 1867. He studied in Edinburgh under James Mitchell and went to London in 1816 to study stipple engraving under T. Woolnoth.

On his return to Scotland in 1819, he produced some fine stipple engravings after Sir Henry Raeburn, including ‘Sir Walter Scott’.

Walker also engraved the well known plate of ‘Robert Burns’ after Naysmyth. His other plates include ‘The passing of the Reform Bill’, ‘The Aberdeen Cabinet’, (1857), and ‘Distinguished Men of Sciences living in Great Britain’ (1807).

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