Surrounded by trees and hidden from view in Brampton, Cumbria, is a statue in memory of George Howard, the 7th Earl of Carlisle.
Beneath the simple local monument however is a story that links the American Confederate States, the IRA in Northern Ireland, Queen Victoria and Walt Disney.
It sounds like an ideal pub quiz question but the answers put this statue at the heart of a series of revelations not previously exposed.
The Grade II monument is positioned on one of the highest hills to one side of the town of Brampton, known as the Mote.
Sculpted in 1869 by JH Foley RA in London, it was cast in bronze by H. Prince & Co Founders of Southwark.
The carved inscription on the sandstone plinth reads:
Erected by the people of Cumberland
the public services and personal worth of
George William Frederick Howard
Seventh Earl of Carlisle K.C.
Born April 18 1802 Died December 5 1864
It appears that at least two variations of the same outline were made around the same time.
- The Earl depicted dressed in robes of Knight Garter – in Brampton
- The Earl depicted dressed in robes of the Order of St. Patrick – erected in Phoenix Park, Dublin.
It is thought that a third statue depicting the Earl dressed in robes of the Order of the Garter, again by Foley, is to be found at Castle Howard in Yorkshire. However this is not confirmed.
In 1835 he was appointed to the Privy Council and appointed Chief Secretary for Ireland
On the death of his father in 1848 he became the 7th Earl of Carlisle, and took his seat in the Lords.
In February 1855 he was appointed Lord Lieutenant (Viceroy) of Ireland.
One other connection between the town of Brampton and the Earls of Carlisle, is the railway.
The Brampton railway opened in 1775 and was also known as the Dandy line. It was used to haul coal from the Naworth Estate for onward travel to Newcastle.
Sculptor – JH Foley RA (1818-1874)
Born into a grocers family in Dublin John Henry Foley studied art. He moved to London to study at the Royal Academy in 1835.
He had his first Royal Academy exhibition in 1839.
His most famous work in Britain is the Albert Memorial in London. He was chosen as a replacement for Carlo Marochetti who died before he was able to complete the outline designs.
JH Foley was also responsible for designing the Great Seal of the Confederate States of America in 1864.
In April 1863, the Congress of the Confederate States commissioned the design of a Great Seal for the new nation’s official documents. Since no die engravers where in the Confederacy (and thus no Confederate coins) the project was assigned to James M. Mason, the Confederacy’s diplomatic representative in London. Mason contracted with J. H. Foley and Joseph H. Wyon, Chief Engraver to Her Majesty’s Seals, to design and produce the seal.
The seal was donated to the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, USA where it remains today.
Foley is also responsible for The Stonewall Jackson Monument, Richmond, Virginia (1874).
JH Foley is remembered in a statue adorning the outside of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
He is buried in the crypt of St. Paul’s Cathedral.
About H. Prince & Co statue foundry
Other work of note by H[enry] Prince & Co include:-
A statue of Richard Green – London – Richard Green was a local ship owner and philanthropist
Works on the Albert Memorial – London, Kensington Gardens – additional statues
More about the statue foundry can be found on the National Portrait Gallery website.
The answers to the linking question-
The links between the American Confederate States, the IRA in Northern Ireland, Queen Victoria and Walt Disney are:
- JH Foley – was responsible for designing the Great Seal of the Confederate States of America in 1864
- The IRA blew up a statue of the Earl of Carlisle, by JH Foley, in Dublin in 1956,
- Queen Victoria commissioned JH Foley for the main central sculpture of the Albert Memorial in London.
- And finally – Walt Disney visited Naworth Castle, the country seat of the Howards, in 1935.
If anybody may have further information on the alleged third statue or has any more interesting information, then please contact us via the comments section at the end of this post.