Colin Campbell, Baron Clyde (1792-1863) Born Colin Macliver, son of a Glasgow carpenter, but adopted by his maternal uncle, Colonel John Campbell. He trained for the army and was appointed ensign in the 9th regiment in 1808. He saw action in the Peninsular War, where he was twice wounded, and gave evidence of great bravery. Campbell remained a comparatively obscure soldier for the next forty years, serving in many parts of the world, but principally in China (1841-6) and India (1847-53). It was through his leadership of the 2nd (Highland) brigade of the 1st Division in the Crimean War that he won a reputation as an inspiring and intrepid commander, particularly in the Battles of Alma and Balaklava. In many people's opinion, Campbell, who was distrusted in some circles because of his excitability and displays of temperament, deserved higher military honours than he received. His humble origins were said to have told against him, though he was a great favourite with Queen Victoria, and Palmerston wanted him to be appointed commander-in-chief in the Crimea. He was appointed commander-in-chief in India in July 1857, with the mission to recapture those parts of the country which had fallen to the "mutineers". He was responsible for the relief of Cawnpore and Lucknow. For the British public he was the man who saved the British Empire in India. In July 1858 he was made Baron Clyde of Clydesdale, but in 1860 he returned from India in failing health.
Lord Clyde is shown wearing the informal uniform he wore during the Mutiny: patrol jacket, corduroy breeches, and high boots. The Illustrated London News commented:"The costume is that easy cool undress (the coat buttoned only at the throat), with hunting boots, by the wearing of which Lord Clyde set an example of contempt for regulation contrivances to secure suffocation and inefficiency which it is a pity has not had more influence". An old-fashioned cavalry sword, supposed to have been given to him by Lord Hardinge, hangs from his belt. A telescope case hangs from a strap at his side and he carries in his left hand a solar helmet of the type which he had recommended for use by the Indian Army. The statue stands on a cylindrical pedestal on a square base. Upon a lower granite base projecting in front of this, a female personification of Victory sits on the back of a couchant British lion. The figure wears a laurel crown and classical dress, including a scaly cuirasse over her upper torso. In her left hand she holds out a branch of olive. A sword is attached to her waist by a thin rope.
The memorial to Lord Clyde was promoted at a public meeting, held at Willis's Rooms, presided over by the Duke of Cambridge, on 13 Nov. 1863. Several eminent persons gave lengthy and moving encomiums on the dead general, prior to the passing of the resolution that a memorial be erected by public subscription. In his opening speech the Duke of Cambridge told the meeting that "Her Majesty herself, even in the distress and sorrow which has for so long a time surrounded her, was the very first to express the strongest desire that honour and justice should be done the illustrious soldier ..who had shown such devotion in her service ..". Dissent as to the manner in which the memorial should be financed was voiced by Sir J. Maxwell, who believed the expense should be defrayed by parliamentary grant, but he was told that "this was not the question which the meeting had assembled to discuss". The following Spring, the Times reported that, in pursuance of the resolutions agreed to at the meeting, the committee had placed themselves in communication with Baron Marochetti, "who furnished them with a design which has obtained unqualified praise from the best judges". Given the Queen's interest in the project, it is likely that Marochetti, who was an intimate of the royal family, had been lined up for the job from the start. The sculptor had long been attacked in the press as the recipient of very large amounts of public money, which would explain the very curt response given to Sir J. Maxwell's suggestion that Lord Clyde's memorial should be financed by government.
At the public meeting, Lord Stanley had suggested that Lord Clyde's statue should stand alongside those of his "two old companions in arms" Havelock and Napier in Trafalgar Square. When the 2nd Duke of Wellington approached the First Commissioner of Works, W.Cowper, on behalf of the committee, in March 1864, it was to request the much sought after site on the edge of St James's Park, overlooking Horse Guards' Parade, for the memorial. He was told by Cowper that the request would be considered "as soon as a design has been submitted to us of which I can approve". The site eventually offered was not directly opposite the Horse Guards Arch, but to one side, in front of the wall of the Admiralty. The subscription was sluggish. The Times announced that 8,000 guineas was the sum aimed at, attributing the backwardness of subscribers to the competition offered by another appeal for a statue of Lord Clyde for Glasgow.
The foundations of the memorial were already in place in April 1867, when the First Commissioner of Works received a sharp letter from the Admiralty, saying that if the memorial were to be erected in this position, it would cause "great and permanent inconvenience". On hearing that the Office of Works intended to concede to the Admiralty's objections, the Duke of Wellington penned an irate letter, saying that he understood that it was the habit of governments to adhere to the decisions of their predecessors, sometimes in cases where these had been manifestly wrong. In this case, the Queen and the Admiralty had been consulted, and the concession of the site had been entirely deliberate. However, the committee agreed to give up this site on the condition that it was assured the use of another, opposite the statue of Sir John Franklin, "in the garden adjoining the United Services Club". It expected the Office of Works to pay for the removal of the foundations and the re-erection of the pedestal on the new site. Expenditure for this purpose was sanctioned by the Treasury on 29 June 1867.
In its negotiations with the Crown Estate Paving Commission over the new site overlooking Waterloo Place, the committee was asked to lower the granite plinth to match the statue of Sir John Franklin. Although he considered the new site a good one for his monument, Marochetti was adamant that the committee should not concede to this demand, because of the time taken by the firm of Freeman & Co. in producing granite to order, and because a lower plinth would not allow room for his group of "Victory and a lion". The Paving Commissioners and the Office of Woods finally allowed themselves to be persuaded by the arguments put forward by sculptor and committee.
Interesting evidence survives of what may have been Marochetti's original intention for the group of Victory Seated on a Lion. A picture painted by John Ballantyne around 1866 shows Marochetti seated in one of his Sydney Mews workspaces. The room is dominated by a large plaster model of the Victory, who, at this stage, possesses an impressively ornithological pair of outspread wings. A chromolithographic reproduction of this painting is held in the National Portrait Gallery's reference collection (NPG D7620). So far nothing in the documentation for the monument has come to light, to explain why these wings were omitted in the version in Waterloo Place.
The Lord Clyde Memorial appears to have had no official unveiling. Its erection was announced by the Illustrated London News in its number for 7 Sept. 1867. The magazine recorded its response to the memorial in three separate reviews, the last one, of 18 Jan. 1868, accompanying its wood-engraved illustration. It was clearly delighted by the figure of the general, which it thought a most lifelike statue. However, in its second and third reviews it impugned Marochetti's originality even here, by drawing attention to his statue's resemblance to a painted portrait by Sir Francis Grant. Furthermore, it was from the start critical of the overall composition of the memorial, considering that the figure of the general, which from the ground appeared merely life-sized, was dwarfed by a figure it supposed to represent Britannia, which it described, wrongly, as truly colossal. Whilst admitting that the inclusion of such an allegory was novel and effective, this figure itself was "rudely modelled with the spare loins and broad shoulders of a man". "The formless dummy lion, if it was not actually by Sir Edwin Landseer, was an imitation of Sir Edwin's least admirable characteristics". This was a reference to lions recently placed at the foot of Nelson's Column, modelled by Landseer in Marochetti's studio, which had been criticised for their painterly modelling.
The memorial received a yet more blistering criticism from the pen of F.G. Stephens in the Athenæum (14 Sept. 1867). He was prepared to concede a small degree of credit for Marochetti's adoption of modern costume in the portrait figure, specifying that he had done this "not unsuccessfully as regards expressiveness". It was true that Marochetti had rejected even the cloak, used so often to conceal the details of modern attire. But the modernity which Stephens welcomed in the figure of Lord Clyde, he found unacceptable in the figure of Victory, describing her, despite her anything but modern costume as "a modern lady seated - in the manner of the cirque - upon the flanks of the stupidest-looking lion we have ever seen out of St Paul's or Westminster Abbey". He attributed the refusal of the original site to this "confectionery". The worst thing about the memorial was its "thoroughly Brummagem look". This was a reference to the cheap metalwork, for which Birmingham was famed. The sketchy treatment of the costume struck him as amateurish and careless, particularly the drapery folds, which he described as "a series of unmeaning furrows and gashes". The "miserable lion", on which the allegorical figure sits, was proof positive for for him that Marochetti had had no part in the authorship of the lions in Trafalgar Square. Most of the features excoriated in this review have come to seem, with the passage of time, the memorial's most commendable ones.
In his survey of Public Statuesin London, (The Broadway Annual, London and New York, 1867/68) Francis Turner Palgrave, probably the most hostile of Marochetti's British critics, described the memorial as "on the whole a favourable specimen of the artist's powers", before lambasting it in his customary manner. The figure of Lord Clyde, he claimed, disappeared beneath his uniform, raising "dismal anticipations" of what might be expected of Marochetti's figure of Prince Albert for the Albert Memorial. The allegorical group, once again identified as Britannia, "is not redeemed by any merit in the workmanship". He went on, "feet, arms, features here are as coarse and unfinished as if they were the work of an unpromising amateur, or were intended to represent physical malformation". The draperies were "a series of careless furrows and unmeaning masses, like the exploits of a boy with his first penknife; while the attitude is that of a vulgar milliner's girl, dawdling and stretching herself on a garden-seat, and ogling the passerby".
For sixteen years, the allegory's sword was missing. Someone signing himself "A Follower of Colin Campbell to Victory" claimed in a letter to the Morning Post in 1903, that he had, for some time, been attempting to draw the attention of the Office of Works to this situation, but without success. Due to a bureaucratic oversight the statue had not been taken into the care of the Office of Works after its erection, so the correspondent's original complaint fell on deaf ears. The custody problem was resolved on 11 Jan. 1901, when the Treasury authorised the department to take the memorial into its charge. The Morning Post letter now produced the desired effect. The repair was certified as carried out on 8 Aug.1903.