Bartle Frere - Whitehall Gardens, London, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 51° 30.342 W 000° 07.403
30U E 699630 N 5709986
Quick Description: This statue, of Bartle Frere, is one of three statues given a place in Whitehall Gardens that are along the Victoria Embankment in Central London. Frere's statue is the middle of the three.
Location: London, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 5/20/2012 8:54:37 AM
Waymark Code: WMEF49
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
Views: 2

Long Description:

This bronze statue, about 125% life-size, stands atop a grey, granite pedestal that has a Portland stone base. The pedestal has some bronze decoration and Bartle Frere's name carved on it. The statue was sculpted by T Brock in 1887 as shown on the bronze base of the statue. Bartle is shown wearing ceremonial robes and is holding a partially opened scroll between his hands. He is bare headed and is looking slightly to his right towards the Houses of Parliament.

The British Empire website (visit link) tells us:

"'When a bully with a black hat and a moustache is caught with a smoking gun in his hand, posses and juries don't ask very penetrating questions. Frere was the sort of villain cinema audiences love to hate, a sanctimonious, pig-headed, officious, self-righteous, ambitious city slicker from out of town. One hundred years after the event there is no reason to revise this estimate and award him a retrospective white hat and a shave.'

Norman Etherington is possibly the most vocal critic of Sir Bartle Frere, but he is only the latest in a very long line. What is remarkable about this criticism is the fact that there has not been a comprehensive biography of this 'bully in a black hat' published since J.B. Martineau wrote one in 1895 - which is astounding, given the level of interest in the Zulu War.

Frere was born in 1815 into a family of fourteen. He was educated at Bath and in 1834 went out to work for the East India Company in the Bombay presidency. In 1842 he was appointed private secretary to the Governor of Bombay and in 1847, after a spell of leave in England and Italy, he was appointed Resident at Sattara, a Native state south of Bombay. He was present at its annexation (under Lord Dalhousie's Doctrine of Lapse) on the death of the Rajah (although he personally opposed the annexation) and became the Commissioner for Sattara thereafter. In 1850, at the age of 35, he was promoted to be Commissioner for the newly pacified, but still unruly, province of Sind, with responsibility for the strategically important Bolan Pass, a post he held for the next five years. In 1856 he took sick leave and sailed for England, before returning to India in March 1857. He played an active part in the suppression of the Indian Mutiny and by 1865 had risen to become the Governor of Bombay, in which role he had more experience of the North-West frontier as well as an active involvement in the problems caused by the slave trade in East Africa and the Persian Gulf. By 1868 he was back in England, known as a leading 'India hand' and keen geographer, he was proposed as, but declined the post of, President of the Geographical Society (he was elected in his absence in 1873). His interest in the anti-slavery movement prompted Lord Granville to send him out to Zanzibar in 1873 to negotiate a treaty which would effectively outlaw the trade in East Africa and the Persian Gulf. Success in Zanzibar raised him to the rank of Privy Councillor and in 1876 he was given the further task of shepherding the Prince of Wales on an Indian Tour, before Carnarvon finally asked him to take on the job of Confederation in South Africa. The defeat at Isandhlwana and his subsequent recall ended a brilliant career and he died, broken, in 1885.

URL of the statue: [Web Link]

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