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Statue of William Huskisson

A Grade II Listed Building in Riverside, Liverpool

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.4007 / 53°24'2"N

Longitude: -2.9774 / 2°58'38"W

OS Eastings: 335113

OS Northings: 389769

OS Grid: SJ351897

Mapcode National: GBR 75Q.YX

Mapcode Global: WH877.7SG9

Plus Code: 9C5VC22F+73

Entry Name: Statue of William Huskisson

Listing Date: 5 March 2010

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1393705

English Heritage Legacy ID: 504865

Location: Riverside, Liverpool, L1

County: Liverpool

Electoral Ward/Division: Riverside

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Liverpool

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Merseyside

Church of England Parish: St Luke in the City Team

Church of England Diocese: Liverpool

Tagged with: Statue

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Description



392/0/10361 DUKE'S TERRACE
05-MAR-10 Statue of William Huskisson

II
Memorial statue. 1846. Cast by Ferdinand von Miller, director of the Royal Foundry in Munich, from marble statue of 1836 by sculptor John Gibson. Bronze.

DESCRIPTION: Huskisson is depicted as a standing figure looking down in reflection. He is wearing a Roman toga with right shoulder and part of chest exposed. Left hand raised across chest and right hand holding a scroll. Behind is a bollard inscribed OPUS IOANNIS GIBSON ROMAE. / FUDIT FERD. MILLER MONACHII. / MDCCCXLVII.

Modern granite plinth not of special interest.

HISTORY: William Huskisson (1770-1830) was MP for Liverpool (1823-30), keen advocate for free trade, and supporter of Roman Catholic emancipation. First ever railway fatality, knocked down by Stevenson's Rocket on the occasion of the opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway in 1830.

A public subscription for a memorial raised £3,000 and a competition was agreed. Subsequently John Gibson, a celebrated local sculptor who had trained under Antonio Canova, was awarded the commission without recourse to a competition. A marble statue of 1833 was placed in Huskisson's mausoleum (q.v.), designed by John Foster Jnr in St James's Cemetery, Liverpool. A large number of subscribers complained that the statue could not be properly seen. Huskisson's wife paid for a second marble version to be made for the Customs House. It was instead placed at the Royal Exchange, London, now in Pimlico Gardens. Mrs Huskisson then paid for the third, bronze version. It was unveiled in 1847 in front of the Customs House. After World War II the Customs House was demolished due to bomb damage. In 1954 the statue was moved to the N end of the boulevard separating Princes Avenue and Princes Road. The pedestal remains, but the statue was pulled from it in 1982 because it was erroneously believed that Huskisson was a slave trader. It was then housed at the Oratory, St James's Mount Gardens until 2005, when it was moved to its present location.

The statue has been restored since 1997 when it was described as having been coated in black epoxy resin and the surface of the bronze was extensively pitted with larger holes.

SOURCES: Terry Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of Liverpool (Liverpool, 1997), 150-3.


REASONS FOR DESIGNATION DECISION
The memorial statue to William Huskisson is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* It is a well-executed memorial statue by the renowned Victorian sculptor, John Gibson, cast in bronze from the 1846 marble version by Ferdinand von Miller, Director of the Royal Foundry of Munich
* The subject is interestingly portrayed in classical drapery, in the manner of a Roman senator, giving an air of grave dignity and simplicity, in contrast to the prevailing fashion of the time of using contemporary dress for memorial statues
* Huskisson, who was MP for Liverpool (1823-30) and advocate for free trade, is now most commonly remembered for his notorious death as the first ever railway fatality, being run over by Stevenson's Rocket at the opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway in 1830.

Reasons for Listing


The memorial statue to William Huskisson is recommended for designation at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* It is a well-executed memorial statue by the renowned Victorian sculptor, John Gibson, cast in bronze from the 1846 marble version by Ferdinand von Miller, Director of the Royal Foundry of Munich
* The subject is interestingly portrayed in classical drapery, in the manner of a Roman senator, giving an air of grave dignity and simplicity, in contrast to the prevailing fashion of the time of using contemporary dress for memorial statues
* Huskisson, who was MP for Liverpool (1823-30) and advocate for free trade, is now most commonly remembered for his notorious death as the first ever railway fatality, being run over by Stevenson's Rocket at the opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway in 1830.

External Links

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