Statues - Hither & Thither

Great Britain
London
London

Greater London

Whitehall / Horse Guards Road (WC2)
(Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

Sculptures at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Henry Hugh Armstead & John Birnie Philip
1861-74

London /  Sculptures at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office   London /  Sculptures at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Description

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office occupies a building which originally provided premises for four separate government departments: the Foreign Office, the India Office, the Colonial Office, and the Home Office. Construction on the building began in 1861 and finished in 1868, and it was designed by the architect George Gilbert Scott. The Whitehall wing was originally occupied by the Home and Colonial Offices, while the India Office occupied the western or park end. English sculptors Henry Hugh Armstead and John Birnie Philip produced a number of allegorical figures for the exterior. Their statues in the Whitehall wing were placed in 1874. No information was found about the dating and the sculptors of the statues on the Park wing.

On the exterior of the building are next to several allegorical figures 24 statues of politicians and 19 portrait medaillons of various important men. On the façades of the inner courts are many more statues and portraits, but these are not visible for the public.

I. Whitehall side: former Home and Colonial Offices

A. Top frontage

London - Sculptures at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Britannia and her companions by Henry Hugh Armstead and J. Birnie Philip.
  1. Legislation: Woman with paper (by Armstead).
  2. Wisdom: Woman with book (by Philip).
  3. Queen Victoria as Britannia, seated between a lion and a unicorn (by Philip).
  4. Justice: Woman with sword and scales (by Philip).
  5. Navigation: Woman with rudder (by Armstead).

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B. The continents

Reliefs in the spandrels on first storey; sculpted by Henry Hugh Armstead

    Left bay [Home Office], by John Birnie Philip
  1. law
  2. agriculture
  3. art
  4. science
  5. manufacture
  6. commerce
  7. literature

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    Central bay [Home Office]
  8. 1st floor: an Angel and Christianity
  9. 2nd floor: ?

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    Right bay [Colonial Office], by Henry Hugh Armstead
  10. government, man with crown and sceptre.
  11. europe, female with ship and horse.
  12. asia, female with elephant.
  13. africa, female with child, and a banana tree and hippopotamus.
  14. america, female with feathers and spear.
  15. australasia, female with sheep and kangaroo.
  16. education, youth with book.

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C. Relief portraits

In the roundels in lunettes on second storey; sculpted by Henry Hugh Armstead and John Birnie Philip
Starting at the King Charles Street side, along Whitehall from right to left and then around the corner in Downing Street.

    Left corner bays [Home Office]

  1. henry.ii - Henry Curtmantle (Henri Court-manteau) (Le Mans 1133 - Chinon 1189), King of England 1154-1189 (Wikipedia).
  2. henry.i - Henry Beauclerc (Henri Beauclerc) (Selby 1068 - Castle of Lyons-la-ForÍt 1135), king of England 1100-1135 (Wikipedia).

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    Left bay [Home Office]

  3. gascoigne - Sir William Gascoigne Kt. (c. 1350 - 1419), Lord Chief Justice of England (Wikipedia).
  4. sinclair - unknown
  5. reynolds - Sir Joshua Reynolds (Plympton 1723 - London 1792), English painter, specialising in portraits (Wikipedia).
  6. bacon - Sir Francis Bacon (London 1561 - Highgate, Middlesex 1626), English philosopher and statesman (Wikipedia).
  7. watt - James Watt (Greenock, Renfrewshire 1736 - Handsworth, Birmingham 1819), Scottish inventor and mechanical engineer whose improvements to the Newcomen steam engine were fundamental to the changes brought by the Industrial Revolution in both his native Great Britain and the rest of the world (Wikipedia).
  8. smith - Adam Smith (Kirkcaldy, Scotland 1723 - Edinburgh 1790), Scottish moral philosopher and a pioneer of political economy, the founder of 'klass. Nationalökonomie' (Wikipedia).

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    Central bay [Home Office]

  9. ethelbert - Æthelberht of Wessex, king of Wessex, 860-865 (Wikipedia).
  10. edward.the.confessor - Edward the Confessor, one of the last Anglo-Saxon kings of England and is usually regarded as the last king of the House of Wessex, ruling from 1042 to 1066 (Wikipedia).
  11. alfred - Alfred the Great, king of Wessex, 871-899 (Wikipedia).

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    Right bay [Colonial Office]

  12. elizabeth - Elizabeth I (Greenwich Palace 1533 - Richmond Palace 1603), Queen of England 1558-1603 (Wikipedia).
  13. drake - Sir Francis Drake (Tavistock, Devon, 1540 - Portobelo, Panama, 1596), British sea captain and vice admiral (Wikipedia).
  14. livingstone - David Livingstone (Blantyre, South Lanarkshire 1813 - Chief Chitambo's Village, in present day Zambia 1873), Scottish Congregationalist pioneer medical missionary with the London Missionary Society and an explorer in Africa. (Wikipedia).
  15. wilberforce - William Wilberforce (Kingston-upon-Hull 1759 - London 1833), English politician, philanthropist, and a leader of the movement to abolish the slave trade (Wikipedia).
  16. franklin - Sir John Franklin (Spilsby, Lincolnshire 1786 - aboard HMS Terror near King William Island, Canada, 1847), British Royal Navy officer and explorer of the Arctic (Wikipedia).
  17. cook - James Cook (Marton, Yorkshire 1728 - Hawaï 1779), British explorer, navigator and cartographer, famous because of his three voyages to the Pacific Ocean (Wikipedia).

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    Right corner bays

  18. edward.iii. - Edward III (1312-1377), king of England 1327-1377 (Wikipedia).
  19. edward.i. - Edward I (1239-1307), king of England 1272-1307 (Wikipedia).

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D. Statues in niches at the corner bays

- South Wing [Home Office], Secretaries of State for the Home Department, by John Birnie Philip: The individual identification of the statues with the secretaries of state is not completely sure.

    Facing Whitehall

  1. Top left: Sir George Cornewall Lewis, 2nd Baronet (1806 - 1863), British statesman and man of letters; Home Secretary 1859-60 (Wikipedia).
  2. Top right: William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne (1779 - 1848), British Whig statesman who served as Home Secretary (1830-1834) and Prime Minister (1834 and 1835-1841) (Wikipedia).
  3. Bottom left: Sir Robert Peel (Ramsbottom, Lancashire 1788 - London 1850), British Conservative statesman, twice Prime Minister (1834-35 and 1841-46), Home Secretary 1822-27 and 1828-29. (Wikipedia).
  4. Bottom right: Robert Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool (1770 - 1828), English politician and both the youngest and longest-serving Prime Minister (1812-27); Home Secretary 1804-06 and 1807-09 (Wikipedia).

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    Facing King Charles Street

  5. Top left: William Grenville, 1st Baron Grenville (1759 - 1834), British Whig statesman. He served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1806 to 1807 as head of the Ministry of All the Talents; Home Secretary 1779-81 (Wikipedia).
  6. Top right: Sir James Graham, 2nd Baronet (1792 - 1861), British statesman; Home Secretary 1841-46 (Wikipedia).
  7. Bottom left: Sir George Grey, 2nd Baronet (1799 - 1882), British Whig politician; Home Secretary 1846-52, 1855-58, 1861-66 (Wikipedia).
  8. Bottom right: John Russell, 1st Earl Russell (1792 - 1878), British Politican, twice Prime Minister (1846-52 and 1865-66)and Home Secretary 1835-39 (Wikipedia).

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- North wing [Colonial Office], Secretaries of State for the Colonies, by Henry Hugh Armstead: The individual identification of the statues with the secretaries of state is not sure at all.

    Facing Whitehall

  1. Top left: Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby (Knowsley Park, Lancashire 1799 - Knowsley Park, Lancashire 1869), English statesman, three times Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; Secretary of State for War and the Colonies 1841-42 (Wikipedia).
  2. Top right: Henry Pelham-Clinton, 5th Duke of Newcastle (1811 - 1864), British politician ; Secretary of State for War and the Colonies 1852-54 (Wikipedia).
  3. Bottom left: Edward Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton (London 1803 - Torquay 1873), English novelist, poet, playwright, and politician; Secretary of State for the Colonies 1858-59 (Wikipedia). NB The statue shows more likeness with his son, Robert Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Earl of Lytton, who was Viceroy of India between 1876 and 1880.
  4. Bottom right: Henry Grey, 3rd Earl Grey (1802 - 1894), English statesman; Secretary of State for the Colonies 1846-52 (Wikipedia).

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    Facing Downing Street

  5. Top left: Sir William Molesworth, 8th Baronet (London 1810 - 1855), English statesman; Secretary of State for the Colonies July-Oct. 1855 (Wikipedia).
  6. Top right: Charles Grant, 1st Baron Glenelg (Kidderpore, Bengal 1778 - Cannes 1866), Scottish statesman; Secretary of State for War and the Colonies 1835-1839 (Wikipedia).
  7. Bottom left: Frederick John Robinson, 1st Earl of Ripon, known as The Viscount Goderich (London 1782 - 1859), British statesman; Prime Minister of the United Kingdom 1827-1828; Secretary of State for the Colonies Febr.-Aug. 1827 (Wikipedia).
  8. Bottom right: Henry Bathurst, 3rd Earl Bathurst (London 1762 - 1834), British statesman; Prime Minister of the United Kingdom 1827-1828; Secretary of State for War and the Colonies 1812-1827 (Wikipedia).

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II. Park side: former India Office

A. Central Bay

The façade of the India Office is decorated with statues of eight governor-generals on the 2nd and 3rd floor.

3rd floor

  1. Lord William Bentinck, Lord William Henry Cavendish-Bentinck (Buckinghamshire 1774 - Paris 1839), British soldier and statesman; Governor-General of India, 1828-1835 (Wikipedia).
  2. Lord Auckland, George Eden, 1st and last Earl of Auckland, (Beckenham, Kent 1784 - Hampshire 1849), English Whig politician and colonial administrator; Governor-General of India, 1836-1842 (Wikipedia).
  3. Lord Hardinge, Henry Hardinge, 1st Viscount Hardinge (Wrotham, Kent, 1785 - Tunbridge Wells, Kent, 1856), British field marshal; Governor-general of India, 1844-1848 (Wikipedia).
  4. Lord Ellenborough, Edward Law, 1st Earl of Ellenborough (1790 - Southam House, Gloucestershire 1871), British Tory politician; Governor-General of India, 1842-1844 (Wikipedia).

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    London - Sculptures at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
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2nd floor

  1. Lord Dalhousie, James Andrew Broun-Ramsay, 1st Marquess of Dalhousie (Dalhousie Castle, Midlothian 1812 - Dalhousie Castle, Midlothian 1860), Scottish statesman; Governor-General of India, 1848-1856 (Wikipedia).
  2. Lord Canning, Charles John Canning, 1st Earl Canning (Gloucester Lodge, Brompton 1812 - London 1862), English statesman; Governor-General of India, 1856-1862 (Wikipedia).
  3. Lord Elgin, James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin and 12th Earl of Kincardine (London 1811 - Dharamsala, Punjab, British India 1863), British colonial administrator and diplomat; Governor General of the Province of Canada, 1847-1854, Viceroy of India, 1862-1863 (Wikipedia).
  4. Lord Lawrence, John Laird Mair Lawrence, 1st Baron Lawrence (1811 - 1879), British Imperial statesman; Viceroy of India, 1864-1869 (Wikipedia).

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B. Left and Right Bay

The rivers Indus and Ganges and Indian regions.

    Left bay

  1. River god (Indus or Ganges) with attendants on the left corner.
  2. Female figure with a branch.
  3. Female figure with a box.

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    Right bay

  4. Female figure.
  5. Female figure.
  6. River god (Indus or Ganges) with attendants on the right corner.

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    Facing King Charles Street

  7. Female figure.
  8. Female figure with jar.

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Sculptors

Sources & Information

Tags

  • Continents, Four
  • Cook, James
  • Dalhousie, Lord
  • Derby, Earl of
  • Drake, Francis
  • Eden, George
  • Education
  • Edward I (King of England)
  • Edward III (King of England)
  • Edward the Confessor
  • Elgin, Lord
  • Elizabeth I (Queen of England)
  • Ellenborough, Lord
  • Europe (continent)
  • Explorer
  • Franklin, John
  • Ganges (personification)
  • Gascoigne, William
  • Glenelg, Lord
  • Government
  • Governor-General
  • Grant, Charles
  • Grenville, William
  • Grey, George
  • Grey, Henry
  • Hardinge, Henry (Lord)
  • Henry I (King of England)
  • Henry II (King of England)
  • Indus (personification)
  • Inventor
  • Jenkinson, Robert
  • Justice (Justitia)
  • Lamb, William
  • Law (allegory)
  • Law, Edward
  • Lawrence, John Laird Mair
  • Lewis, George Cornewall
  • Literature
  • Liverpool, Earl of
  • Livingstone, David
  • Lytton, Lord
  • Manufacture
  • Melbourne, Lord
  • Molesworth, William
  • Monarch
  • Navigation
  • Newcastle, Duke of
  • Painter
  • Peel, sir Robert
  • Pelham-Clinton, Henry
  • Philanthropist
  • Philip, John Birnie
  • Philosopher
  • Politician
  • Reynolds, Joshua
  • Ripon, Earl of
  • River god/goddess
  • Robinson, Frederick John
  • Russell, John
  • Science (allegorical figure)
  • Sinclair
  • Smith, Adam
  • Smith-Stanley, Edward
  • Trade (allegorical figure)
  • Viceroy
  • Watt, James
  • Wilberforce, William
  • Location N 51°30'9" W 0°7'34"

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    Item Code: gblo035; Photograph: 3 August 2014
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    © Website and photos: René & Peter van der Krogt