Object Details

Statue of VIII Duke of Devonshire

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General Information
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Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright for Photograph:

Creative Commons

Location

Street:King Edwards Parade
Town:Eastbourne
Parish:Eastbourne
Council:Eastbourne Borough Council
County:East Sussex
Postcode:BN21
Location on Google Map
Object setting:Garden
Access is:Public
Location note:On the Western Lawns opposite The Grand Hotel
In the AZ book:East Sussex
Page:161
Grid reference:K9
The A-Z books used are A-Z East Sussex and A-Z West Sussex (Editions 1A 2005). Geographers' A-Z Map Company Ltd. Sevenoaks.
OS Reference:TV6198

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Makers

Name : Edward Alfred Briscoe Drury
     Role:Sculptor
Company/Group :The Morris Singer Company Ltd.
     Role:Foundry

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General Information

Commissioned by: Public subscription
Installation date:1910
Unveiling date:24/10/1910
Work is:Extant
Owner custodian:Eastbourne Borough Council
Object listing:Grade II: of special interest warranting every effort to preserve them
Listing date:17/05/1971
Description:The statue portrays the Duke in the robes of a Chancellor of Cambridge University. On his shoulder hangs the collar of the Order of the Garter, with a pendant of George V. He faces inland and holds a pince-nez in his right hand as was his habit when addressing a public assembly. The pedestal is decorated with the Devonshire arms, surrounded by the Garter.
Inscription:On the pedestal, facing King Edwards Parade, gilt inscription:

SPENCER COMPTON
EIGHTH
DUKE OF DEVONSHIRE KG
CHANCELLOR OF THE UNIVERSITY
OF CAMBRIDGE LORD LIEUTENANT
OF THE COUNTY OF DERBY MAYOR
OF EASTBOURNE 1897 --- 1898
BORN 23 JULY 1833
DIED 24 MARCH 1908
ERECTED BY THE INHABITANTS OF EASTBOURNE
IN RECOGNITION OF HIS GREAT SERVICE TO
HIS COUNTRY AS A STATESMAN AND OF HIS
DEEP INTEREST IN THE PROSPERITY AND
WELFARE OF THE TOWN 1910

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Classification

Categories:Sculptural, Free Standing, Commemorative
Object type1:Statue
Object type2:Sculpture
Subject type1:Figurative
     Subject subtype1:Standing
Subject type2:Portrait
     Subject subtype1:Full-length

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Object Parts

Part 1:Stepped (2) base
     Material:Grey granite
     Height (cm):45
     Width (cm):195
     Depth (cm):195
Part 2:Statue
     Material:Bronze
     Height (cm):260
     Width (cm):90
     Depth (cm):110
Part 3:Pedestal
     Material:Grey granite
     Height (cm):240
     Width (cm):135
     Depth (cm):135

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Object Condition

Overall condition:Good
Risk assessment:No known risk
Date of on-site inspection:14/04/2007

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History

History:The bronze statue of Spencer Compton, 8th Duke of Devonshire, by Alfred Drury (1856 – 1944) was erected on the Western Lawns in 1910, two years after the Duke’s death. The Duke was Mayor of Eastbourne between 1897 and 1898. The statue portrays him in the robes of a Chancellor of Cambridge University. He died in 1908 at Cannes. He was married in 1892, at the age of 59, to Louisa Frederica Augusta von Alten, widow of the late William Drogo Montagu, 7th Duke of Manchester. Upon his death, he was succeeded by his nephew. The statue was unveiled on 24 October 1910 by the Duke of Norfolk. After the unveiling there was a lunch at the Grand Hotel attended by amongst others, the IX Duke of Devonshire, the Duke of Norfolk and Lord Willingdon. Louisa, Duchess of Devonshire was unable to attend due to ill-health.

'In brilliant sunshine, with atmosphere clear and bracing in an unwonted degree, the public unveiling of the statue erected as a memorial of the 8th Duke of Devonshire took place on Monday, a large and representative assemblage being present to witness the ceremony. The site chosen for the erection of the monument - the centre of the Western Lawns, King Edward's Parade, is admitted on all hands to be an admirable one. Not only is the position a particularly conspicuous one, both with regard to its immediate surroundings and to the seafront generally. It is also appropriately identified with the magnificent parade which the late Duke conveyed to the town, having himself succeeded to it from his father, William, the 7th Duke, whose outlay upon the parade and the zig-zag drive to Beachy Head approximated to a quarter of a million of money.'
'…The cost of the actual statue was £1000… At the request of the committee the task of unveiling was undertaken by the Duke of Norfolk, E.M., K.G.; as Lord Lieutenant of the county. His grace arrived with the Duke of Devonshire (mayor of the borough), who was supported by the Aldermen in their robes, and members of the Statue Committee. Lines of flags bedecked the vicinity, and within an enclosure seating accommodation was provided for subscribers and other ticket-holders. The numerous concourse included many ladies, and beyond the reserved space the general public had gathered in large numbers. Alderman H.W. Kray, J.P., before asking the Duke of Norfolk to perform the duty for which they had assembled, explained the proceedings of the committee leading to the choice of memorial and to the subsequent steps for carrying out the project. He observed that the proposal to erect a statue had the hearty concurrence of her Grace Louise Duchess of Devonshire. Answering the question why any public memorial should be raised at all, the speaker said they recognised in the late Duke no ordinary man. He was one who had the welfare of Eastbourne at heart, and when he came into possession of Compton Place he immediately began to improve and make that residence one fit for the distinguished guests whom in the future he was able to invite. These guests included his Majesty the late King Edward, the most eminent statesmen of the period, and other prominent personages, many of whom came to Eastbourne for the first time. Another reason was that the deceased nobleman had been Mayor, and yet another was the fact that he was one of the only two freemen of the borough, Mr. Carnegie being the other. But there was a higher and broader view of his claims upon their admiration and gratitude. He was a man of strong opinions - not a jelly-fish - and his qualities and services as a statesman were invaluable. It would be a good thing for the State if more men of his strength of will existed at the present time, - men who having deliberately formed an opinion, stuck to it and saw that it was carried out. It was because of this marked trait of the late Duke's character that the committee did not confine their appeal for subscriptions to the inhabitants, but went outside.
Being asked to unveil the statue, the Duke of Norfolk proceeded, under the guidance of the sculptor, to pull the cord which held together the cloth covering at the apex of the monument. For some reason the operation was ineffective; and at the call of the sculptor two workmen at the rear of the pedestal pulled violently at the cloth. The immediate result was merely to disclose the top of the figure and to tear away the lower part of the cloth. Thereupon one of the men ascended a ladder and completed the clearance of the torn remnant. Hence the act of unveiling was not a very happy achievement, due, however to no fault on the part of the Lord Lieutenant. On the statue becoming fully disclosed to view, the large concourse rose, and the Municipal Band played the National Anthem'.
'The Duke of Norfolk addressing the assemblage said he recognised that this was a domestic event in the life of Eastbourne, and he could have wished that an Eastbourne man had performed the ceremony. But the affectionate respect in which the late Duke was held by the town was shared by everyone in the country. The late Duke of Devonshire was a great statesman and a great Englishman, and he might remind them that in London also a statue was to be set up to show the estimation in which he was held by all classes of his countrymen. This was a statue of a man with the deepest sense of honour, with the keenest appreciation of the calls of duty - a man who, in the opinion of all who knew him, was the last to thrust himself into a conspicuous position, but who, when he was put in such a position, followed unswervingly the path of duty. Those in Eastbourne who knew all that the late Duke had done for the town might feel that no statue was needed to express their feelings; but they were anxious that it should be known to all time that the man of whom all England was proud was so closely connected with their town. The very site on which that statue was erected belonged to Eastbourne because the Duke of Devonshire gave it to the town. In all that pertained to the welfare of Eastbourne the Duke's interest was unswerving, and his generosity was unbounded. That statue would record for all time what Eastbourne believed, and rightly believed, was the debt it owed to his memory. He made use of no empty compliment when he congratulated Eastbourne on the admirable manner in which Mr. Drury had carried out his work. It seemed to him an especially fine work - a worthy addition to the town which the Duke loved so well, and he was sure that nothing could be better calculated to remind them of what the late Duke of Devonshire was and to keep his memory green among them…'
The IX Duke was invited to accept the statue on behalf of the town: 'There were always many who desired that a memorial should be what was called ''something useful''; but he thanked them sincerely for having decided that this memorial should take the form of a permanent monument, and he was glad to say that their selection of a sculptor had been attended with the greatest possible success (applause). This terminated the proceedings at the unveiling. A luncheon took place afterwards in the Prince's Room at the Grand Hotel...'
(Eastbourne Chronicle)
Hard archive file:Yes

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References

Source 1 :
     Title:'Eastbourne's Historic Street Furniture'
     Type:Book
     Author:Eastbourne Local History Society.
     Page:15
     Publisher:Eastbourne Local History Society.

Source 2 :
     Title:'Eastbourne A Pictorial History'
     Type:Book
     Author:Elleray, Robert D.
     Date:00/00/1995
     Publisher:Phillimore and Co. Ltd. Chichester.


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Photographs





Date: 14/04/2007
Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Date: 14/04/2007
Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Date: 14/04/2007
Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Date: 14/04/2007
Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons

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