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The Character Statues

Richie Moniplies

Found on the east facade of the Scott Monument.

Richie Moniplies (from the novel 'The Fortunes of Nigel', 1822) is depicted as a slightly foppish looking man-about-town, wearing a rakish bonnet with a big feather, a striped waistcoat and short cloak. He has a dagger and a sword in his belt, and a walking cane.

Lord Glenvarloch's servant, Richie is very proud of his Scottish roots: "I come of the old and honourable house of Castle Collop, weel kend at the West Port of Edinburgh."

Richie is disdainful of London's grandeur, and when asked if Edinburgh can boast as fine and navigable a river as the Thames, replies: "The Thames! God bless your honour's judgment, we have at Edinburgh the Water of Leith and the Nor' Loch!"

He is a faithful and honest man, sometimes foolish but at other times astute: "I make it a rule…always to speak any evil I know about my family myself, having observed that if I do not, it is sure to be told by ither folks."

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 Monplies.


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