Funny thing. I had never noticed that there was quite a fine bust of Edward VII on the Mile End Road, not far from the statue of William Booth, but much less rhetorical. It was apparently ‘Erected by a few freemasons’ by a local firm, Harris and Sons of the Mile End Road. I hope it isn’t on the list of statues to be torn down, although he was certainly an Imperialist:-
8 thoughts on “Edward VII”
I was intrigued to check who the sculptor was, but no name is listed. Apparently it is inscribed with the seemingly anti-imperialist text of, ‘Peace hath her victories no less renowned than war.’
Yes, I looked too. I hope someone might know. Charles
“Peace hath her victories no less renowned than war.”- from one of Milton’s letters to Cromwell. Another not-to-miss on the Edward VII trail is the Edward VII Jewish Memorial Drinking Fountain in Whitechapel Rd. I should think there’d be a terrible fuss if they were minded to pull that one down…
Dear Robin, Yes, indeed, also a piece of very beautiful arts-and-craft sculpture. So, why was Edward VII big in Whitechapel or is it East London patriotism? Charles
Dear Charles, There was a flurry of memorials in 1911. On p.514 of ‘The Builder’ of that year we learn that Mr Harris of Messrs. Harris & Son was the sculptor chosen for Mile End, and that Henry Poole was commissioned to make a similar memorial for Bristol. There is also a round up of other memorial commissions, including one in Cannes. I’ll try to get hold of the full piece – annoyingly I have only s partial view of the page.
Dear Robin, Brilliant ! The plot thickens. Charles
Dear Charles – yes, it would be good to give the author of this piece the posthumous recognition he deserves. Always fun to add a dewdrop to the leaky chalice of common knowledge. I’ll email you a screenshot of the tantalising fragment I found in The Builder, saying that Mr Harris of Harris & Son Monumental Masons was the sculptor. I need to ask a RIBA friend if he has access to a fully digitised version. It is a fine piece; one shouldn’t preemptively undermine Mr Harris, but I can find no reference to anything else by him, so one wonders if in fact the piece might be by one of the Harris in-house or freelance sculptors. This Edward has a sensitivity that seems to set him apart from run of the mill memorial work. It would be interesting to know what Philip Mould, or indeed Bendor, make of it. Here for interest is a link to the fascinating story of Edward and Victoria sculptures in Cannes (the Builder piece mentions these too) https://journals.openedition.org/erea/5809?lang=en
There was a bronze plaque on the monument to to him in King Edward Memorial Park, but it has been nicked and probably ended up melted in a scrap yard for a few quid.
In the midst of all the Tory press brouhaha about ‘tearing down all the statues…” it is important to note that this has happened only once, to the Colston statue in Bristol.