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Alexander Handyside Ritchie


1804 - 1870

Sculptor. Ritchie was born in Musselburgh, the son of a brick-maker. He was educated in Edinburgh, attending the School of Arts in the city, before continuing his studies in art and sculpture in Rome (1826-30). Returning to Musselburgh, he opened a studio on Princes Street in Edinburgh.

He specialised in busts for private clients, together with statues for public buildings. His statues can be seen on the facade of the Royal College of Physicians (1844), on the former headquarters of the Commercial Bank of Scotland (now the Dome) on George Street, on the parapet of the Bank of Scotland in St. Andrew's Square and several on the Scott Monument (Princes Street Gardens). In 1850, Ritchie restored the sundial on John Knox's House (Edinburgh). In Glasgow, he created unusual reliefs of minting and printing money for the former Commercial Bank in Gordon Street. He also completed work for the Houses of Parliament in London.

Ritchie carved a number of notable public statues, including two of Sir Walter Scott (George Square, Glasgow in 1837 and Selkirk 1839), the Fisherman's Monument (Dunbar; 1856), Hugh Miller (Cromarty; 1858), John Knox (Valley Cemetery, Stirling; 1858) and Sir William Wallace (Lanark; 1859). His statue of St. Andrew, originally commissioned for an Edinburgh insurance company (1850), can now be seen in St. Andrews Botanical Gardens.

Ritchie also executed monumental sculpture in the cemeteries of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Stirling.

He died almost penniless.


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