Photographs by the author. Many thanks to the National Trust at Kingston Lacy for permitting me to reproduce them here, and to Tricia and Iain Frew for arranging the visit to the house and making it so enjoyable. [Click on the images to produce larger pictures.]
Statue of Sir John Bankes in the Loggia
Left: Marochetti's full-size statue of Sir John Bankes. Right: Close-up of upper part of statue.
Statue of Sir John Bankes by Baron Carlo Marochetti (1805-1867), in the loggia at Kingston Lacy in Dorset. The loggia, forming a mezzanine at the first turn of the house's marble staircase, is a unique feature of the house, serving partly as a sculpture gallery, and partly as a shrine. The three bronze and roughly life-size statues that were installed here in 1855 are Sir John, his wife Lady Mary, and Charles I.
The Bankes coat of arms in relief on the pedestal of the statue.
The Bankes were the Royalist ancestors of the current owner of the house, William John Bankes (1786-1855), and had supported the King who had been deposed and executed by the Parliamentarians under Cromwell. Sir John (1589-1644) had been Charles's Attorney General and then Chief Justice of the common pleas, and was impeached and executed too at Oxford, after having denounced two earls as traitors. His widow and the women of her household, with only small force, had defended the family seat of Corfe Castle loyally, stoutly but finally unsuccessfully when it was twice besieged. After the second seige the castle was reduced to ruins and the family made the Kingston Lacy estate their main residence.
Two busts of Sir John on display elsewhere in Kingston Lacy
Left to right: (a) A bust in similar costume to that in the loggia, on a carved marble pedestal. (b) Another bust, similarly presented but sporting a hat. (c) This bust in close-up.
Philip Ward-Jackson identifies these busts as Marochetti's in his essay on Marochett's "expiatory monuments" in Dorset and the Isle of Wight (270), finding them to be based on seventeenth-century work by Hubert Lesueur, in Westminster Abbey. Ward-Jackson writes, "The busts are conflations of contemporary portraits of Sir John Bankes and of Lesueur's bust of Sir Thomas Richardson on his tomb in Westminster Abbey, the latter [the one in the middle here, shown more closely on the right] giving an idea of how the robes and headgear of a seventeenth-century judge might be rendered in sculpture" (270). It is interesting to see the preliminary work required for Marochetti to achieve accuracy in historical costume, especially.
- Statue of Charles I
- Statue of Lady Mary Bankes, Sir John's wife
- Kingston Lacy, the Bankes's family home
- Monument to Princess Elizabeth Stuart
Brooks, Christopher W. "Bankes, Sir John (1589–1644)." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Online ed. Web. 18 March 2018.
Greeves, Lydia. Houses of the National Trust. London: National Trust Books, 2008.
Ward-Jackson, Philip. "Expiatory Monuments by Carlo Marochetti in Dorset and the Isle of Wight." Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes. Vol. 53, 1990: 266-280. Accessed via JSTOR. Web. 18 March 2018.
Created 18 March 2018