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The Character Statues

Wayland Smith

Wayland Smith (from the novel 'Kenilworth', 1821) appears as a rather wild looking character - long lank hair and beard, dressed in a leather apron and fur cloak, held on by a rope across his shoulder. He is holding a long handled hammer, the head between his feet.

Blacksmith, juggler, actor and physician, Wayland Smith has some of the near-mythical characteristics of the figure of Teutonic and English legend of the same name. He first appears in 'Kenilworth' as "a man in a farrier's leathern apron, but otherwise fantastically attired in a bear-skin dressed with the fur on, and a cap of the same, which almost hid the sooty and begrimed features of the wearer".

He has "the sharp, keen expression of inventive genius and prompt intellect". His medicinal knowledge, gained as apprentice to Dr Doboobie, enables him to save both the Earl of Sussex and Amy Robsart from Doboobie's attempts to poison them. He escorts Amy to Kenilworth and does his best to protect her throughout the novel.

The Wayland Smith statue on the Scott Monument was sculpted by J.S.Gibson. This is probably an early work by the Arbroath-born sculptor and architect JGS Gibson (1861-1951) who was in Edinburgh in the 1890s. He later built Middlesex Guildhall (current seat of the Crown Court, London). JGS Gibson often signed himself JS Gibson. [ref. Stuart Grays Edwardian Architecture and the Directory of British Architects 1834-1900.]

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