John Bacon’s commission to produce a statue of Admiral Lord Rodney to be located in the main square of Spanish Town Jamaica led to a further 11 requests from senior government officials and wealthy planters over the next decade. I include 5 examples here; three from Spanish Town Cathedral and one each from Kingston Parish Church and St James's Church Montego Bay. The comments on these works come from the pen of the eminent historian of Jamaica, Frank Cundall.
After the Rodney memorial, the monument in the cathedral, Spanish Town, erected to the memory of the Earl of Effingham, governor of Jamaica, and his countess, is the most important and the most beautiful work by Bacon in Jamaica. It is of marble, and bears the legend "J. Bacon, sculptor, London, 1796." On a base stands an urn, decorated with festoons of flowers, and bearing, under an earl's coronet, the arms of Effingham. Above the urn, hanging on an obelisk which rises from the base of the monument, are represented the Chancellor's seal, the mace and sword in saltire, and the usual emblematic scales. On one side of the monument, clasping the urn, is an elegant female figure personifying Jamaica, bearing the crest of the colony, an alligator passant proper, on her zone. On the other side is a lovely boy, his left hand holding an olive branch, resting on a cornucopia full of tropical fruits, and his right hand upon a shield bearing the arms of Jamaica as granted by Charles II. The epitaph [is] written by Bryan Edwards, the historian of the West Indies, and then member of Assembly for Trelawny.
The monument in Kingston Parish Church to Dr. Fortunatus Dwarris, member of the House of Assembly for St. George and his stepdaughter (
Ascend to Bliss ye gentle Spirits
Where yon Angel soars above:
Their Virtue her Reward Inherits
Crowne'd with Heav'n's eternal love.
Of the monuments in St James Church, Montego Bay, the best is that of Mrs. Rosa Palmer, by John Bacon, R.A., of the year
List of John Bacon’s Jamaican works (from Roscoe)
|47||John Wolmer (†1729)||Funerary Monument||1789||St. Thomas, Kingston, Jamaica|
|49||George McFarquhar (†1786)||Funerary Monument||1791||St. James, Montego Bay, Jamaica|
|56||Dr Fortunatus Dwarris (†1790) and his niece, Anne Neufville (†1782)||Funerary Monument||1792||Kingston, Jamaica|
|72||Malcolm (†1781) and Eleanor Laing (†1747)||Funerary Monument||1794||St. Thomas, Kingston, Jamaica|
|74||Rosa Palmer (†1790)||Funerary Monument||1794||St. James, Montego Bay, Jamaica|
|82||E Prince||Funerary Monument||1795||Port Antonio, Jamaica, WI|
|96||Thomas, 4th Earl and Catherine, Countess of Effingham (both †1791)||Funerary Monument||1796||Spanish Town Cathedral, Jamaica|
|105||Anne Williamson (†1794)||Funerary Monument||1798||Spanish Town Cathedral, Jamaica|
|108||Richard Batty (†1796)||Funerary Monument||1798||Spanish Town Cathedral, Jamaica|
|110||Francis Rigby Brodbelt (†1795)||Funerary Monument||1799||Spanish Town Cathedral, Jamaica|
|112||Mary Carr (†1798)||Funerary Monument ?||1799||Kingston Cathedral, Jamaica|
|150||Admiral Lord Rodney||Statue||1786-1790||Spanish Town, Jamaica|
Cecil, Rev Richard. Memoirs of John Bacon RA. London: Seeley, 1822.
Cundall, Frank. Historic Jamaica. London: Institute of Jamaica, 1915.
Roscoe, Ingrid; Hardy, Emma and Sullivan, Dr M.G. A Biographical Dictionary of Sculptors in Britain 1660-1851 New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009.
Last modified 13 December 2015