The History of Leith

June 1, 2011

The Mitchell Memorial in South Leith Parish Church (1913)

The Mitchell Memorial in South Leith Parish Church (1913)
Architect: Sir Robert Lorimer (1864 – 1929), knighted for The Thistle Chapel, St Giles Cathedral, also architect of Scottish National War Memorial, Edinburgh Castle.
Sculptor of Figures : Louis Reid Deuchars (1870 – 1927), born Comrie, Perthshire, worked in Glasgow and south of England until he settled in Edinburgh in 1908, exhibited in major art galleries 1898 – 1925.
Subject : Dr James Mitchell, Minister of South Leith Parish Church for 40 years until death in 1903, worked to alleviate poverty in Leith, public life included Leith Hospital Board, Leith School of Science & Art.
Memorial: Allegorical figure of ‘Charity’ holding a baby with two other children at her feet in architectural setting, above two bas relief angels holding testimonial banner, and below that a bronze bas relief portrait medallion of Dr Mitchell framed by two overlapping Horns of Plenty and a scallop shell (symbol of the pilgrim). Also shields of the Incorporation of Tradesmen.
Materials : Trieste (white) and Verde Antico (green) marbles, bronze portrait
medallion and shields.
Contractors : Joseph Hayes, architectural sculptor (carved marble, including figures from plaster models supplied by Louis Deuchars). Allan & Sons,
monumental sculptors (supplied materials, masonwork & erected memorial). Charles Henshaw & Sons Ltd, architectural metalworkers
(casting bronzes).
Estimated Cost: £291 + £40 architect’s fee (final cost not known).
Unveiling : 2 February 1S13 by Dr Wallace Williamson.

(c) Louise M Boreham
12 May 2003

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