William Edward Hartpole Lecky, M.P. by Sir William Goscombe John, 1860-1952. Unveiled 1906. Bronze, on a carved stone plinth. The near end of Library Square, Trinity College, Dublin

The Dublin-born Lecky, an alumnus of Trinity College, was important as an historian, intellectual historian and political thinker. In 1895, he was elected to represent Trinity College in Parliament. He achieved many honours, and was (like Joseph Lister and G. F. Watts) one of the original recipients of the Order of Merit in 1902. A man of refined artistic tastes, he was nevertheless somewhat ungainly, "tall and thin, with rather disjointed limbs, flapping hands, and a high forehead. Long, fair hair covered a dome-shaped head, in which the eyes were gentle, the nose long, and the down-turned lips full. The front of his face was clean-shaven, but he wore side-whiskers which met under his chin" (Spence). In this relaxed, reflective pose, Goscombe John has caught not only these physical characteristics, but also Lecky's self-containment (he could be something of a recluse).

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Captions and commentary by Jacqueline Banerjee. Photographs by Robert Freidus (2017) and Bannerjee (2009). [You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite it in a print one.]


Spence, Joseph. "Lecky, (W) Edward Hartpole (1838-1903)." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Online ed. Viewed 29 July 2009.

Last modified 22 April 2018