Friday, March 5, 2010

Sir Robert Peel

A recent post covered George Square in Glasgow.  Within the square, one finds statues of famous Scots, including Sir Walter Scott and Sir Robert Peel.  Peel was a statesman; Conservative Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during two separate stints covering nearly six years.  Peel was born on March 5, 1788.

Peel was born to an industrialist in Ramsbottom, Lancashire.  His political career began just after the turn of the century, as MP for Cashel, Ireland.  Peel was a Tory, and an ally of Sir Arthur Wellesley.

Scott and Peel were well known to each other, and there are several entries in Scott's Journal wherein Scott records dining with Peel.  On May 17, 1828, Scott enters: "...I went to Mr. Chantrey, and sat for an hour to finish the bust...".  The bust was done by Sir Francis Chantry of Norton, in North Derbyshire, England.  Chantry was one of the leading sculptors of his day, and the bust that Scott was sitting for had actually been ordered by Robert Peel.

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