The History of Leith

January 31, 2012

Monuments in the Parliament Hall

Of the statues of the distinguished Scottish statesmen and lawyers, the most noticeable are a colossal one of Henry first Viscount Melville in his robes as a peer, by Chantrey ; on his left is Lord
Cockburn, by Brodie ; Duncan Forbes of Culloden, in his judicial costume as President of the Court, by Roubiliac (a fine example) ; the Lord President Boyle, and Lord Jeffrey, by Steel; the Lord President Blair (son of the author of ” The Grave”), by Chantrey.
On the opposite or eastern side of the hall (which stands north and south) is the statue of Robert Dundas of Arniston, Lord Chief Baron of the Scottish Exchequer, also by Chantrey; portraits, many of them of considerable antiquity, some by Jameson, a Scottish painter ^who studied under Rubens at Antwerp. But the most remarkable among the modern portraits are those of Lord Brougham, by Sir Daniel Macnee, P.R.S.A. ; Lord Colonsay, formerly President of the Court, and the Lord Justice-Clerk Hope, both by the same artist. There are also two very fine portraits of Lord Abercrombie and Professor Bell, by Sir Henry Raeburn. Light is given to this interesting hall by four windows on the side, and the great window on the south. It is of stained glass, and truly magnificent. It was erected in 1868 at a cost of ,£2,000, and was the work of two German artists, having been designed by Wilhelm von Kaulbach, and executed by the Chevalier Ainmiller of Munich. It represents the inauguration of the College of Justice, or the Supreme Court of Scotland, by King James V., in 1532. The opening of the court is supposed by the artist to have been the occasion of a grand
state ceremonial, and the moment chosen for representation is that in which the young king, surrounded by his nobles and great officers of state, is depicted in the act of presenting |the charter of institution and of confirmation by Pope Clement VII. to Alexander Mylne, Abbot of Cambuskenneth, the first Lord President, who kneels before him to receive it, surrounded by the other judges in their robes, while the then Lord Chancellor of Scotland, Gavin Dunbar, Archbishop of Glasgow, and afterwards of St. Andrews, with upraised hand invokes a blessing on the act.

source-Old and New Edinburgh

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