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Statues - Hither & Thither

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Beverley
East Riding of Yorkshire

Yorkshire & Humberside

Minster Yard
(The Minster Church of St. John)

Statues at Beverley Minster

Robert Smith
1897-1908

Beverley /  Statues at Beverley Minster   Beverley /  Statues at Beverley Minster

Description

Beverley Minster is one of the largest parish churches in England, larger than one-third of all English cathedrals and regarded as a gothic masterpiece by many. On the west and north facade are 99 statues of saints and kings. The scheme was made by canon Henry Edward Nolloth (1846-), who "filled the vacant niches with quite a large number of statues engaging, at his own expense, a sculptor, who worked in his studio in Beverley for years, and producing some fine examples of saints and fathers in God" (Hull Daily Mail, 30 August 1926 British Newspaper Archive). According to Nolloth's 1930 book there are 108 statues at the exterior, we have found 99 (8 staties in the arch of the west portal we couldn't photograph).

The sculptor was Robert Smith, his obituary in the Hull Daily Mail of 31 May 1909 was: "The remains of Mr Robert Smith, a well-known Beverley sculptor, who had been working for the past 12 years on the restoration of the statuary in Beverley Minster, was buried in St. Martin's Cemetery, Beverley, on Saturday. Mr Smith was 61 years of age, and had carved over 70 statues, most of them life size. He did also a considerable amount of work under Sir Gilbert Scott, Sir Arthur Bloomfield, and other eminent architects. Nobody will feel his loss more than Canon Nolloth, whose hobby is keep beautiful the Minster which is in his charge.(British Newspaper Archive).

Front facade

Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster

A West Portal

Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster
[1] s. ioh. evan.
St John the Evangelist conventional name for the author of the Gospel of John - considered to be the same person as John the Apostle (Wikipedia).
Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster
[2-7] Six patriarchs
Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster
[8-13] Six patriarchs
The Twelve Patriarchs (each with his standard or emblem). The twelve sons of the patriarch Jacob (who was later named Israel) and his two wives, Leah and Rachel, and two concubines, Zilpah and Bilhah (Wikipedia).
[2] Reuben, a sword in his right hand, and an olive branch in his left, wavers between thoughts of peace and war
[3] Simeon bears the "instrument of cruelty".
[4] Levi, the father of the priestly tribe, displays mitre and censer.
[5] Judah, the progenitor of the royal tribe, is crowned and sceptred, and the lion crouches at his side.
[6] Zebulon dwelling "at the haven of the sea," carries the model of a primitive ship
[7] Issachar, the peace-loving agricultural tribe (this is the true meaning of Gen. xlix 14, 15), carries sickle and mattock, a field of corn appears in the background, and a lamb by his side.
[8] Joseph denoted by the fruitful vine.
[9] Dan, the judge, holds a pair of scales, and a serpent lies at his feet.
[10] Gad, armed with a spear.
[11] Asher is crowned with a chaplet of olive, and bears a sheaf of corn, emblematic of the fertility of his land.
[12] Naphtali is denoted by the hind at his side.
[13] Benjamin denoted by a wolf.
Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster
[14-16]
Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster
[17-19]
Six figures from the old testament
[14] Moses, with the Tables of the Law.
[15] Aaron in the robes of the High Priest, holding the budding almond rod.
[16] Isaiah, holding a pen, and his prophetic scroll.
[17] Daniel, with a lion at his feet.
[18] David, with his harp.
[19] Solomon, with the plan of the Temple.
Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster
[20-21]
Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster
[22-23]
Four figures from the old testament
[20] Noah, holding the model the Ark (Wikipedia).
[21] Adam, as the gardener with his spade (Wikipedia)..
[22] Eve with her distaff (Wikipedia)..
[23] Abraham, arrested by the voice of God, when about to sacrifice his son; the ram appearing below, his horns entangled in a thicket (Wikipedia).
Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster
[24-26]
Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster
[27-29]
Statues on the inside of the north and south tower buttresses
[24] Josiah, king of Judah, c. 649–609 BCE (Wikipedia).
[25] Miriam, with her timbrel; prophetess, sister of Moses and Aaron (Wikipedia).
[26] Jeremiah, one of the major prophets (Wikipedia).
[27] Hezekiah, king of Judah, c. 715-686 BCE; bearing the sun-dial (Wikipedia).
[28] Hannah, praying; mother of Samuel (Wikipedia).
[29] Ezekiel, with the two wheels involved; central protagonist of the Book of Ezekiel (Wikipedia).

B Tower Buttresses

North tower South tower
B1 B2 B3 B4
Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster
[30] lucius
St. Lucius of Britain, legendary 2nd-century King of the Britons; credited with introducing Christianity into Britain (Wikipedia).
Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster
[31] eadwin
St. Edwin of Northumbria (c. 586-632/33), King of Deira and Bernicia, converted to Christianity in 627 after marrying Æthelburh (Wikipedia).
Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster
[32] r. aedilberg.
Æthelburh of Kent (born 601), queen consort of Northumbria, the second wife of King Edwin (Wikipedia).
Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster
[33] b. adelsta.
Æthelstan (c. 894–939), King of the Anglo-Saxons (924-927) and King of the English (927-939) (Wikipedia).
Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster
[34] s. ioh. bev.
St. John of Beverley (died 721), English bishop active in the kingdom of Northumbria (Wikipedia).
Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster
[35] eborius
Eborius or Eburius (fl. 314), the first bishop of Eboracum (York) known by name (Wikipedia).
Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster
[36] paulinus
St. Paulinus of York (d. 644), Roman missionary and the first Bishop of York, converted king Edwin to Christianity (Wikipedia).
Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster
s. vilfrid
[37] St Wilfrid of York (c. 633 - 709 or 710), Abbot of Ripon, archibishop of Canterbury (Wikipedia).
Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster
[38] s. hild
St. Hilda of Whitby (c. 614 - 680), founding abbess of the monastery at Whitby (Wikipedia).
Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster
brithunus
[39] St. Bercthun or Britwin of Beverley (d. 733), disciple of St. John of Beverley; abbot of Beverley (Wikipedia).
Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster
i. de hotham
[40] John Hotham (d. 1337), Chancellor of the Exchequer, Lord High Treasurer, Lord Chancellor and Bishop of Ely (Wikipedia).
Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster
s. aug: cant:
[41] St. Augustine of Canterbury (6th century), first Archbishop of Canterbury; the 'Apostle to the English' and a founder of the English Church (Wikipedia).
Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster
[42] coifi
Coifi or Cofi, the last high priest of the temple of Thor at Goodmanham in the Kingdom of Northumbria in 627, member of king Edwin's council (Wikipedia).
Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster
[43] walterl'espec.
Walter Espec (d. 1153), founder of Kirkham Priory (c. 1130) and Rievaulx Abbey (1132) (Wikipedia).
Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster
[44] siward
Siward, Earl of Northumbria, 1041-1055 (Wikipedia).
Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster
[45] g. de grimsby
Gilbert de Grimsby, vicar, with the standard, 1299 (Hiatt 1898, p. 48).
Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster
[46] s. tho. cant
Thomas Becket, also known as Saint Thomas of Canterbury (c. 1119 - 1170), Archbishop of Canterbury 1162-1170 (Wikipedia).
Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster
[47] bæda
The Venerable Bede (c. 673 - Jarrow 735), English Benedictine monk at the monastery of St. Peter and its companion monastery of St. Paul in the Kingdom of Northumbria of the Angles (Wikipedia).
Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster
[48] (unknown)
Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster
[49] (unknown)

C Tower Friezes

C1
Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster
[50] melton - William de Melton, archbishop of York, 1317-1340 (Wikipedia).
[51] r. johan - John Lackland (1166-1216), king of England 1199-1216 (Wikipedia).
[52] de a.d. totinham - (unidentified).
C2
Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster
[53] winwald - Winwald (d. 751), second abott of Beverley (Hiatt 1898, p. 48).
[54] margaret - probably St Margaret of Scotland (c. 1045-1093), sister of the Anglo-Saxon king Edgar Ætheling, (Wikipedia)
[55] r. edouard - Edward I (1239-1307), king of England 1272-1307 (Wikipedia)
[56] eleanor - Eleanor of Castile (Castile 1241 - Harby, Nottinghamshire 1290), was the first queen consort of Edward I of England (Wikipedia).
[57] kinsius - Cynesige (d. 1060), Archbishop of York between 1051 and 1060 (Wikipedia). Before 1900.
C3
Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster
[58] henric: iv - Henry IV (Bolingbroke Castle 1366 - Westminster Abbey 1413), king of England 1399-1413 (Wikipedia).
[59] ioh: fisher - John Fisher (1469 – 1535), Catholic bishop, cardinal, and theologian, executed by order of Henry VIII (Wikipedia).
[60] henric: v - Henry V (Monmouth Castle 1386 - Château de Vincennes 1422), king of England 1413-1422 (Wikipedia).
[61] catherina - probably Catherine of Lancaster (1373 – 1418), daughter of John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster, Queen of Castile by marriage to King Henry III of Castile
[62] hen: vi - Henry VI (Windsor Castle 1421 - Tower of London 1471), Son of Henry V and Catherine of Valois; king of England 1422-1461 and 1540-71 (Wikipedia).

North facade

Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster

D North Tower Frieze

Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster
[63] [here]bald - Herebald, Abbot of Tynemouth. June 1899.
[64] ethelbreda - St. Æthelthryth (c. 636 - 679), East Anglian princess, a Fenland and Northumbrian queen, abbess of Ely (Wikipedia). June 1899.
[65] thomas i - Thomas of Bayeux (d. 1100), Archbishop of York from 1070 until 1100 (Wikipedia). June 1899.
[66] edw. iii - Edward III (1312-1377), king of England 1327-1377 (Wikipedia). June 1899.
[67] philippa - Philippa of Hainault (c. 1310/15 - 1369), wife of King Edward III (Wikipedia) June 1899.
[68] gul. wykh. - William of Wykeham (1320 or 1324 - 1404), Bishop of Winchester and Chancellor of England (Wikipedia). June 1899.

E North Tower Buttresses

E1 E2 E3
Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster
[69] r. alchfrid - Alhfrith, (c. 630 – c. 664), King of Deira under his father Oswiu, King of Bernicia (Wikipedia). June 1899.
Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster
[70] edw. conf. - Edward [the] Confessor, one of the last Anglo-Saxon kings of England and is usually regarded as the last king of the House of Wessex, ruling from 1042 to 1066 (Wikipedia). June 1899.
Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster
[71] wickwan - William de Wickwane (d. 1285), Archbishop of York, between the years 1279 and 1285 (Wikipedia). June 1899.
Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster
[72] nevill - Robert Neville (1404 – 1457), Bishop of Salisbury and Bishop of Durham; provost of Beverley (Wikipedia). June 1899.
Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster
[73] s. alured - Alredus, or Alfred of Beverley (12th century), sacristan of the church of Beverley, chronicler, wrote c. 1143 the Annales sive Historia de gestis regum Britanniae (Wikipedia). June 1899.
Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster
[74] s. cuthbert - St. Cuthbert of Durham (c. 634 - 687), monk, bishop of Lindisfarne and hermit (Wikipedia). June 1899.
Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster
[75] The only ancient statue. Hiat (1898) writes: According to Mr Bilson, it is intended for a "Percy, in the mantle of a peer, with the arms of Percy quatering Lucy on his breast, probably the second earl, Hotspur's son, who was slain at St. Albans."
Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster
[76] edw. p - Edward the Black Prince (1330 - 1376), eldest son of King Edward III; one of the most successful English commanders during the Hundred Years' War (Wikipedia). June 1899.
Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster
[77] victoria r. - Queen Victoria (London 1819 - Osborne House 1901), Queen of Great-Britain, 1837-1901 (Wikipedia).. Unveiled 18 June 1897 by the Mayoress, Mrs. Whiteing
Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster
[78] Edward, Prince of Wales (King Edward VII) (1841 - 1910), King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions and Emperor of India, 1901-1910 (Wikipedia). June 1899.
Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster
[79] Queen Elizabeth I (1533 - 1603), Queen of England 1558-1603 (Wikipedia).

F North Porch and Nave

F1 F2 F3
Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster
[80] St. John the Divine (John of Patmos), the author named as John in the Book of Revelation (Wikipedia). January 1900.
Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster
[81] St. Mary Saint Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ (Wikipedia). January 1900.
Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster
[82] St. Nicholas (4th century), Bishop of Myra (Wikipedia). January 1900.
Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster
[83] St. Martin of Tours (Savaria, Pannonia (now Szombathely, Hungary), 316 - Candes-Saint-Martin, Gaul 397), 3rd Bishop of Tours. Around his name much legendary material accrued and he has become one of the most familiar and recognizable Christian saints (Wikipedia). January 1900.
Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster
[84] St. Catherine of Alexandria (early 4th century), Virgin princess, martyr; she was condemned to death on the spiked breaking wheel, but, at her touch, it shattered (Wikipedia).

G North Porch Gable

Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster
Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster
[85] Angel with trumpet
Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster
[86] St. John the Baptist (c. 6 BC- c. 36 AD), itinerant preacher and a major religious figure who led a movement of baptism at the Jordan River. He baptized Jesus at "Bethany beyond the Jordan." (Wikipedia).
Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster
[87] Christ
Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster
[88-93] Six Apostles
Beverley - Statues at Beverley Minster
[94-99] Six Apostles
The Twelve Apostles The Twelve Apostles were the primary disciples of Jesus. During the life and ministry of Jesus they were his closest followers and became the primary teachers of the gospel message of Jesus. Their names are Peter, Andrew, James the Great, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, James the Lesser, Judas Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot (Wikipedia).
[88] St James the Lesser, with a saw.
[89] St Bartholomew, with a knife.
[90] St Philip, with a Tau cross.
[91] St Jude, with a club.
[92] St Andrew, with a saltire behind him.
[93] St Peter, with a key
[94] St Paul, with a sword (replaces St. John, see no [86].
[95] St James the Greater, with a pilgrim's staff.
[96] St. Matthew, with a staff
[97] St. Thomas, with a square.
[98] St. Simon, with a boat.
[99] St. Matthias ?

Newspaper notes about the statues of Beverley Minster

27 January 1897 (Hull Daily Mail):
proposed statues for vacant niches. A conference of officials and other persona of influence interested in Beverley Minster was held yesterday in the Guildhall, under the presidency of the Bishop of Beverley, to consider a proposal for placing statues in the vacant nichas of the west front and towers. Models of several of the subjects proposed were exhibited in the room and it was explained that as the trustees of the Minster Old Fund would contribute the stone and flxing the statues could be executed by an accomplished sculptor at a cost of £15 each. A resolution approving the proposal was moved by Colonel Cussons, seoonded by Mr J. Mills, and supported by the Archdeacon of the East Riding. The resolution was carried, and a committee was appointed. It was announced that 12 figures had been promised out the 29, which form the principal features of the first installment of the design (British Newspaper Archive).

19 April 1897 (Hull Daily Mail):
beverley photographic society's exhibition. This afternoon the fourth annual exhibition was held in the Assembly Rooms. The entries are more numerous than before, and some of the exhibits are exceedingly fine. Among other special features may be named (...) models of the statues now being prepared for the Minster, lent by the sculptor, Mr Smith. (...) The total number of entries was close upon 500 (British Newspaper Archive).

28 May 1897 (Hull Daily Mail):
The scaffolding is up, and arrangements are being made at Beverley Minster for the placing of the first instalment of the statues in the niches. The studio of the sculptor (Mr Smith) is now crowded with kings, queens, archbishops, saints, and other distinguished people.
The subscribers of the statues being placed the Minster at Beverley select their own subjects. The Freemasons of the town have chosen a statue of the Prince of Wales [78], which will be given a fitting position upon the Queen's left hand in the north porch. Over 40 statues have now been promised.
The ladies of Beverley have shone with more warmth and enthusiasm than some other places in the Jubilee. They undertook to contribute a statue of the Queen [77], and they have subscribed the amount twice over (British Newspaper Archive).

19 June 1897 (Eastern Morning News):
(...) Directly after the service the ceremony of unveiling the statue of Victoria will he performed by the Mayoress. The Queen's statue [77] will he placed in a niche on the north side of the Minster, facing Highgate, and immediately underneath an existing statue, the personality of which is conjectural. Six of the statues that will adorn the west front will, it, is hoped, be in position on Queen's Day (British Newspaper Archive).

23 June 1897 (Hull Daily Mail):
The Rev Canon Nolloth yesterday stated that the movement for the embellishment of the exterior of Beverley Minster had been taken up, not only in Beverley, but elsewhere. Amongst other gifts of statues promised for the western tower, one, if not two, would be presented by the inhabitants of Beverley, in America (British Newspaper Archive).

23 March 1898 (Hull Daily Mail):
The people of Beverley in Massachusetts have heard of the attempt at restoration being made by the people of Beverley in ecsaying to fill with statues the niches on the beautiful West front the Minster, and the Historical Society in the Massachusetts town have just forwarded a cheque for £35, the cost of two statues, to the Vicar of Beverley Minster, through the President (Professor Woodberry) (...).(British Newspaper Archive).

16 April 1898 Beverley and East Riding Recorder:
Mr S. Smith moved, and Colonel Cussons seconded, that a vote of thanks be recorded and a copy of the same sent to their friends in Beverly, Massachusetts, for their contribution of £35 for two statues in the Minster front. The Vicar suparted the motion, and thought the proposal most appropriate and proper. The whole of the circumstances in connection with the movement were most gratifying. Statues had been contributed by the Archbishop, the Archdeacon, the Chancellor, the Freemen of the borough, the women of Beverley, the vicar's Men's Bible Class, the Guild of St. John — those poor deaf and dumb people who annually visited the Minster, and who, in great measure by penny collecting cards, had raised sufficient money to subscribe for a figure of their patron saint - their friends in new Beverly, and by a large number of residents (British Newspaper Archive).

16 June 1898 (Hull Daily Mail):
Another section of statues is ready to be placed in the south tower of the Minster, and when these are erected the exterior of the fine old pile will have quite a finished appearance. Although the work may be postponed for some time, Canon Nolloth is anxious to see that every niche contains a statue (British Newspaper Archive).

25 August 1898 (Hull Daily Mail):
The statues at the Minster are being rapidly completed. All the niches in the western front are now occupied, and the work has been commenced at the northern face of the northern tower. When the whole scheme is finished, the outward appearance of the fine building will be improved (British Newspaper Archive).

1 May 1899 (Hull Daily Mail):
Mr Smith, the sculptor of the statues at Beverley Minster, has "hoisted" 35 figures into the niches, and has seven statues at the present time being executed (British Newspaper Archive).

27 June 1899 (Hull Daily Mail):
work at beverley minster.
The beautiful old Minster at Beverley is to be still further beautified. The work of adorning the exterior has now been going on for two and a half years, in the way of filling in the niches with statues of prominent men in history. The work has been entrusted to Mr. R. Smith, of London, and through his labours no fewer than 35 figures, many them larger than life, and weighing over a ton, have been placed round the outside of the ancient place of worship.
In his studio, close the Minster, Mr Smith now has another batch of figures ready to put in position. First amongst the fourteen, is one of the Prince of Wales in his Masonic robes [78], and it is to be placed in line with the one of the Queen [77] at the north side. The statue was presented by the Constitutional Lodge of Freemasons at Beverley in the Diamond Jubilee year. Such a presentation from the Freemasons is unique in its way, and is supposed to be the only such presentation that hag been made.
A figure of Edward, the Black Prince [76], presented by Mr T. Willis Mills (Town Clerk) will be on the second tier from the ground. The other large figures are St. Cuthbert of Durham [74], from Mr and Mrs Newbaid; St. Alured [73], a Beverley historian, from Mr D.F. Burtin, J.P.; Archbishop Wickwane [71] (donor of Figham), and Archbishop Neville [72] (donor of the Westwood) by the Freemen of Beverley; King Alchfrid [69], by the Vicar (Canon Nolloth); Edward the Confessor [70], from Mrs Rigg, sister-in-law of Canon Nolloth; and Queen Phillipa of France [67], wife Henry V. [not correct]
The remaining figures are smaller are to be placed in line between the buttresses. They are of Ethelredi (founder of the Monastery of Eley), Edward III., William of Wykeham (founder of Winchester), Archbishop Thomas, who built a good deal of York, and Herebald, Abbot of Tynemouth. The red clay model of the Prince of Wales, which Mr Smith moulded, and from which he cut the store figure, is to given to the Constitutional Lodge as a memento. It is thought likely that other statues will be given, and there is yet room for them on the walls (British Newspaper Archive).

27 September 1899 (Hull Daily Mail):
(...) At present the sculptor is engaged on the north, the north tower and west front being compete. It is designed to fill the north porch with twenty figures. Large ones are intended for the lower tier, these four being the four saints of the parishes of Beverley - St. Martin [83], St. Nicholas [82], St. Mary [81], St. John [80]. St. Martin, a fine piece of work, on which Mr Smith is at present engaged, has been presented by Mr Watt, of Bishop Burton. Above these worthies it is intended to place a small series of twelve disciples [88-99], with the Lord [87] in the centre; and above, John the Baptist [86], and above again, an angel with a trumpet [85], the latter having been given the organist, Mr Camidge (British Newspaper Archive).

25 January 1900 (Hull Daily Mail):
In future ages Beverley Minster will be surrounded and strengthened by many beautiful statues. When the scheme is complete, 200 niches will filled. At present about 50 in the west and north tower hold examples of the sculptors art.'
Another section has been started — the north porch facing Highgate. It is proposed to erect representing the four parishes. Three of the statues have already been given, follows: St. Martin of Tours [83], presented by Mr Hall Watt, Bishop Burton; St. Nicholas [82], by Mr E. Mills; and St. John the Divine [80], by W. Harrison.
The fourth statue, representative of St. Mary's parish [81], now required. Miss Wray, daughter ot Alderman Wray has started a subscription amongst the ladies. It is desirable that the effort should meet with a response sufficient to complete the quartette.
There will be a tier of the Twelve Apostles [88-99], and here again is opportunity for those inclined to show generosity. The Vicar has given the centre figure, which will pourtray Our Lord [87] sitting in majesty with orb, giving benediction.
Above, it is proposed to erect a statue of St. John the Baptist [86], the cost of which has yet to provided. Surmounting all will be the figure of an angel with the trumpet [85], the gift of Mr. Cammidge, organist at the Minster.
It is the intention of the sculptor complete the north porch section. The present empty niches appeal eloquently to the generosity of lovers of art and religion. The necessary statues can be obtained at the following cost: — Statues of the Apostles [88-99], £6 10s each; statue of St. Mary [81], £15; and statue of St. John the Baptist [86], about £12. It is surely an honour to be able to enhance the "frozen music" the Minster (British Newspaper Archive).

4 July 1900 (Beverley Echo):
The total cost of the 54 statues already fixed on the Minster, has been £1341, which £761 has been met by contribution and £580 by the Trustees the Minster Old Fund, who provided the cost of the Ketton stone, the heavy scaffolding and the fixing of the statues. Twelve small figures of teh Apostles [88-99] and a large one of John the Baptist [86] are still required (British Newspaper Archive).

1 September 1900 (Beverley and East Riding Recorder):
There are five statues ready to be placed in the North or Highgate porch of the Minster, and another (St. Mary) is being given by the young ladies belonging to St. Mary’s parish (British Newspaper Archive).
Mr. Smith, the architect who is doing the work in connection with the Minster statues, has offered to complete the small figures of the Twelve Apostles [88-99] for £60, or £5 each (the stone, etc., to be found by the Minster Trustees) and the Vicar hopes this amount will be raised by the end of the month; there will only then remain the "St. John the Baptist," [86] which will cost £l2, and this magnificent porch will again become one of the leading features of the Minster. The collections at the Sunday service and at the Harvest Festival will be given to the fund for completing the statues in the Highgate porch. (British Newspaper Archive).

2 November 1900 (Hull Daily Mail):
A deal of interest has been evinced in the scheme of Canon Nolloth, to fill the niches at Beverley Minster with statues, not only because the minster is one of the most beautiful ecclesiastical buildings in the country, but because the object for which the scheme was partly launched, that of celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of the Queen, makes it of more than usual importance. Over 50 statues have already been placed in position, and there are five others ready be fixed. Canon Nolloth is hoping get the rest of the figures for the north porch. The offertories at the recent harvest festival were devoted to this special purpose, and amounted to over £30. Since then, Miss M. Woodcock, who, with her sister, has already given two of the largest of the west front figures, has generously given another £5 for one of the small figures of the Apostles (British Newspaper Archive).

12 December 1900 (Beverley Echo):
(...) And the statue of Kinsius [57], on the north tower, is the gift of "the Vicar's Men's Bible Class." (British Newspaper Archive).

31 August 1901 ( Beverley and East Riding Recorder):
The scaffolding is at last down from the North Porch, and the twenty beautiful figures on it and the adjoining buttress, together with the careful restoration of much of the rich carving which had decayed, give it a fine appearance. The whole of the figures reflect the greatest credit upon Mr R. Smith. An anonymous donor has given £20 to the Statues’ Fund, and the figures of St. Alured of Beverley [73], and the Apostle of St. Matthew, have assigned to him in the revised and completed list the statues and their donors, which is about to be framed and hung in the N.W. corner of the nave (British Newspaper Archive).

9 April 1903 (Beverley Echo):
The Vicar the Minster feels no doubt peculiar pleasure in shewing that the magnificent fabric over which he presides is, with one exception - Lichfield - the most beautifully decorated of any cathedral in the kingdom. The statues on the exterior are now complete (British Newspaper Archive).

15 June 1903 (Hull Daily Mail):
Harold Frankish (12), Tom Coates (11), Matthias Woodthorpe (9), and Arthur Willison (9) were summoned for throwing stones at the statues on the north-west front of the Minster last Monday. — The Chief Constable said the police spent half their time running after boys. - The boys were let off on paying 2s 6d each costs, and promising not to offend again (British Newspaper Archive).

5 September 1908 (Beverley and East Riding Recorder):
From the Minster Magazine. The sculpture of the west portal, comprising 37 figures has just been completed. The beautiful figure of St. John Evangelist [1], the patron saint in the central niche which soars upward in front of the west window, was presented (by Mr and Mrs Thomson Foley) several years ago. When the churchyard was protected, and the lower portions of the fabric preserved from injury, Mr Robert Smith was commissioned to execute the other 36. Immediately below the west window are twelve niches. As the Twelve Apostles, with the seated figure of our Lord in the centre, have already been placed in the north porch, and as it is very probable that the Twelve Patriarchs were intended to appear over the west door, here we have placed them, and we have thought it well to fill the other 24 niches with Old Testament saints and worthies, like "the Bible of Amiens," so that the adornment of the main entrance to the Minster should symbolize the Hebrew Church as the portal of the Christian Church — the Law preparing the way for the Gospel.
Beginning with the lowest range of four niches, we have on either side of the entrance, Adam, as the gardener with his spade [21], and Eve with her distaff [22]; Noah, holding the model the Ark [20]; and Abraham, arrested by the voice of God, when about to sacrifice his son [23]; the ram appearing below, his horns entangled in a thicket. In the middle tier are Moses, with the Tables of the Law [14]; Aaron in the robes of the High Priest, holding the budding almond rod [15]; David, with his harp [18]; Solomon, with the plan of the Temple [19]; Isaiah, holding a pen, and his prophetic scroll [16]; and Daniel, with a lion at his feet [17].
In the upper row, the Twelve Patriarchs appear, each with hiss distinctive emblem. "Unstable Reuben," a sword in his right hand, and an olive branch in his left, wavers between thoughts of peace and war [2]; Simeon bears the "instrument of cruelty" [3]; Levi, the father of the priestly tribe, displays mitre and censer [4]; Judah, the progenitor of the royal tribe, is crowned and sceptred, and the lion crouches at his side [5]; Zebulon dwelling "at the haven of the sea," carries the model of a primitive ship [6]; Issachar, the peace-loving agricultural tribe (this is the true meaning of Gen. xlix 14, 15), carries sickle and mattock, a field of corn appears in the background, and a lamb by his side [7]. The warlike Gad is armed with a spear [10]; Dan, the judge, holds a pair of scales, and a serpent lies at his feet [9]; Asher is crowned with a chaplet of olive, and bears a sheaf of corn, emblematic of the fertility of his land [11]; Naphtali is denoted by the hind at his side [12]; Joseph by the fruitful vine [8]; and the youthful Benjamin by a wolf [13].
The three large figures on the inside of the north tower buttress are King Josiah [24], Miriam (with her timbrel) [25], and Jeremiah [26]; and on the south tower buttress, King Hezekiah (bearing the sun-dial) [27], Hannah, praying [28], and Ezekiel, with the two wheels involved [29].
In the hollow of the large centre moulding of the arch are eight exquisite little niches. In these have been inserted the principal Old Testament types of our Lord: Abel, the shepherd; Isaac, bearing the wood for his intended sacrifice; Melchezidek, with crown and mitre, bread and wine; the "Captain the Lord’s Host," a warrior-angel; Joshua, with the sun graven on his shield; Samuel, listening to the heatenly voice; Elijah and the ravens; Jonah, escaped from the whale.
A noteworthy result of the addition of this important group of sculpture the west front has been to bring out the unsurpassed richness of the carved work of the niches. Before the statues »ere inserted, the eye discontentedly surveyed a series of hard paral elograms, and the wonderful beauty of the canopies and bases attracted but little attention. Now the exquisite, but long empty, frame has received its picture, and each enhances the beauty of the other. (British Newspaper Archive).

Sculptor

Sources & Information

Tags

  • Coifi, high priest
  • Cuthbert of Durham, St.
  • Cynesige
  • Dan (patriarch)
  • Daniel
  • Eborius
  • Edward I (King of England)
  • Edward III (King of England)
  • Edward VII (King of Great Britain)
  • Edward the Black Prince
  • Edward the Confessor
  • Edwin of Northumbria, St.
  • Eleanor of Castile
  • Elizabeth I (Queen of England)
  • Espec, Walter
  • Eva
  • Ezekiel
  • Façade with statues (church)
  • Fisher, John
  • Gad (patriarch)
  • Gilbert de Grimsby
  • Hannah
  • Henry IV (King of England)
  • Henry V (King of England)
  • Henry VI (King of England)
  • Herebald
  • Hezekiah
  • Hilda of Whitby, St.
  • Hotham, John
  • Isaiah
  • Issachar (patriarch)
  • James the Greater, St.
  • James the Minor, St.
  • Jeremiah
  • John Lackland
  • John of Beverley, St.
  • John the Apostle, St.
  • John the Baptist, St.
  • John the Divine, St.
  • John the Evangelist, St.
  • Joseph (patriarch)
  • Josiah
  • Judah (patriarch)
  • Jude the Apostle, St.
  • Levi (patriarch)
  • Lucius of Britain, St.
  • Margaret of Scotland, St.
  • Martin, St.
  • Mary, St.
  • Matthias, St.
  • Melton, William de
  • Miriam
  • Monarch
  • Moses
  • Naphtali (patriarch)
  • Neville, Robert
  • Nicholas, St.
  • Noah
  • Patriarchs, Twelve
  • Paul, St.
  • Paulinus of York, St.
  • Percy, Hugh
  • Peter, St.
  • Philip, St.
  • Philippa of Hainault
  • Reuben (patriarch)
  • Saint (unknown)
  • Simeon (patriarch)
  • Simon the Zealot, St.
  • Siward of Northumbria
  • Smith, Robert
  • Solomon
  • Thomas of Bayeux
  • Thomas, St.
  • Victoria (Queen of Great-Britain)
  • Wickwane, William de
  • Wilfrid of York, St.
  • William of Wykeham
  • Winwald
  • Zebulun (patriarch)
  • Location (N 53°50'20" - W 0°25'31")

    Item Code: gbyh223; Photograph: 1 August 2019
    Of each statue we made photos from various angles and also detail photos of the various texts.
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    © Website and photos: René & Peter van der Krogt