Posts Tagged ‘statues and memorials in London. Cavendish Square’

 

This statue was placed in St James’ Park in 1903 as a memorial to the Royal Marines who had died during the actions in South Africa and China. During world war 2 it was removed for safekeeping and in 1945 was relocated to a site in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, moving again 3 years later to its current site in the Mall.

Adrian Jones, the sculptor, had first hand experience of the campaign in South Africa. He had qualified as a Veterinary Surgeon and joined the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, serving in Abyssinia, Ireland, Egypt and South Africa before retiring with the rank of Captain in 1890. He then decided to pursue a career as a sculptor and perhaps his most famous piece of work is ‘ Peace in her Quadriga’ which sits on top of the Wellington Arch.

Wellington Arch. Photo by Matt Brown (https://www.flickr.com/photos/londonmatt/)

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William (also known as George) Bentinck (1802-1848) was the second son of the 4th Duke of Portland. After he had completed his education, he joined the army but left in 1822 after brief service in the Hussars.

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He became the private secretary to his uncle, George Canning, then Foreign secretary for the British Parliament. In 1828 William inherited his father’s seat in parliament. He appears to have played little active part in politics preferring to concentrate on his racing stable. However in 1846 he suddenly found a cause. Robert Peel the conservative Prime Minister was seeking to repeal the Corn Laws, which banned imported grain and thus kept the prices high. In this Peel was supported by the opposition and opposed by most of his own party. The leaders of the anti-reformers were Benjamin Disrali and William Bentinck. It is said that when he got up to speak on the subject it was the first words he had spoken in the chamber for 18 years. Their campaign was unsuccessful and the repeal act was passed although it cost Peel his political career. Bentinck resigned from parliament the year afterwards and died of a heart attack in 1848 at the age of 46.

This statue stands in Cavendish Square and was errected in his memory in 1851.

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Prince William, Duke of Cumberland was born in 1721.The third son of King George II he joined the army in 1742 and was involved in campaigns against the French from 1742-5 (war of Austrian Succession). In 1745 he was recalled to the UK to deal with the Jacobite rebellion in Scotland and the subsequent invasion of England. He successfully drove the army of Charles Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) back into Scotland and finally defeated him at the battle of Culloden in 1746. Although his actions earned him the nickname ‘ Butcher Cumberland’ he was widely acclaimed for his success. He returned to the continent but he never really achieved the same success and eventually he was forced to return home in ignominy in 1757. He retired from public life and pursued his interest in botany. He died in 1765.

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The original monument on this plinth in Cavendish Square was erected by his officers in 1770 and stood there for almost 100 years until it was removed in 1868. The current statue which is carved from soap is by Meekyoung Shin and was erected in 2012.

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