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Colston Avenue

Edward Colston

Bristol 1636 - Mortlake 1721
English merchant, philanthropist, slave trader, and Member of Parliament
(Wikipedia)
John Cassidy
Coalbrookdale
1895

Bristol /  Edward Colston   Bristol /  Edward Colston

Description

Bronze statue of Edward Colston 'in the dress of the seventeenth century, thoughtfully leaning his staff; and around the pedestal arc bronze tablets depicting incidents, allegorical and otherwise, in the life of Colston.' The statue was unveiled 13 November 1895 by the mayor of Bristol at the 124th anniversary of Colston's death.
On the pedestal are four panels, one with an inscription and three with reliefs, and the corners are adorned with dolphins.

Bristol - Edward Colston
Inscription
Bristol - Edward Colston
Two winged hippogryffs rising from the water hold together a large anchor, also supported by a merman. In the foreground a mermaid. It symbolizes the maritime enterprise, supported by the powers of the sea.
Bristol - Edward Colston
A captain and some crew members around a dolphin, representing the legendary incident when a leak in one of Colston's vessels was plugged by a dolphin.
Bristol - Edward Colston
Colston distributing alms to widows and orphans.

Inscription(s)

EDWARD
COLSTON
born 1636
died 1721
ERECTED by
CITIZENS of BRISTOL
AS a MEMORIAL
OF ONE OF the MOST
VIRTUOUS: and
WISE: SONS OF
THEIR CITY ·
A.D. 1895

An extra plaque was to be added early 2019 with the text:

Edward Colston (1636-1721), MP for Bristol (1710-1713), was one of this cityís greatest benefactors. He supported and endowed schools, almshouses, hospitals and churches in Bristol, London and elsewhere. Many of his charitable foundations continue. This statue was erected in 1895 to commemorate his philanthropy.

A significant proportion of Colstonís wealth came from investments in slave trading, sugar and other slave-produced goods. As an official of the Royal African Company from 1680 to 1692, he was also involved in the transportation of approximately 84,000 enslaved African men, women and young children, of whom 19,000 died on voyages from West Africa to the Caribbean and the Americas.

At the last moment, Bristol's Mayor at the time, Marvin Rees, stepped in to veto the wording.

Signature

(Inscription panel): john cassidy fecit
(Statue): Coalbrookdale

Sculptor

Sources & Information

Tags

  • Cassidy, John
  • Coalbrookdale
  • Colston, Edward
  • Dolphin
  • Merchant
  • Mermaid
  • Merman
  • Orphans
  • Philanthropist
  • Sea monster
  • Statue
  • Woman with child
  • Location (N 51°27'16" - W 2°35'48")

    Item Code: gbsw045; Photograph: 21 March 2019
    Of each statue we made photos from various angles and also detail photos of the various texts.
    If you want to use photos, please contact us via the contact form (in Dutch, English or German).
    © Website and photos: René & Peter van der Krogt