Spencer Compton - Whitehall, London, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 51° 30.291 W 000° 07.571
30U E 699439 N 5709884
Quick Description: A former politician, Spencer Compton Cavendish, standing atop his plinth in Whitehall, London.
Location: London, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 7/21/2011 3:21:13 AM
Waymark Code: WMC3K7
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member 3am
Views: 13

Long Description:

The statue stands at the corner of Whitehall and Horse Guards Avenue. The stone plinth stands about 5 metres (16 feet) high and the bronze statue stands about 4 metres (13 feet) high on top of the plinth.

The carving on the plinth is attractive with a snake knotted into a figure of eight knot above the lettering. The inscription on the front of the plinth reads: 

Spencer Compton
Eighth Duke
Born 1833 Died 1908

The statue shows the Duke facing west towards Whitehall. He is wearing a cape and the regalia of his office.

The Marquess of Landsdowne, who was heading a committee to arrange a statue to honour the Duke of Devonshire, wrote to the Office of Works for approval of the proposed site. No objection was raised.

By 1909 the commission to execute the statue had gone to the sculptor Herbert Hampton who showed a model to the King for his approval. The King approved.

By 1911 the statue had been erected and was ready for unveiling and there was a discussion as to whether Westminster City Council would take the statue into their charge but it was in fact agreed that Office of Works would take over responsibility.

Wikipedia has an article about Spencer Compton Cavendish that tells us:

Spencer Compton Cavendish, 8th Duke of Devonshire KG, GCVO, PC, PC (Ire) (23 July 1833 – 24 March 1908) was a British statesman, previously known (1858–1891), whilst heir to the Dukedom, as Marquess of Hartington (a courtesy title - as this was not a peerage in its own right he was free to sit in the House of Commons, as was not uncommon for the sons of peers at the time). He has the distinction of having served as leader of three political parties (in succession- as Leader of the Liberal Party in the House of Commons, 1875–1880; of the Liberal Unionist Party (1886–1903); and of the Unionists in the House of Lords (1902–1903), though the Conservatives and Liberal Unionists operated in close alliance from 1892–1903 and would eventually merge in 1912). He also declined to become Prime Minister on three occasions, not because he was not a serious politician but because the circumstances were never right.

URL of the statue: [Web Link]

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