Return to Hamilton: Queen Victoria Statue

I think the most entertaining monument that I saw on my walk about Hamilton was the sculpture of Queen Victoria, not so much the sculpture, but the engraved words attached.  VICTORIA QUEEN AND EMPRESS: A MODEL WIFE AND MOTHER

From the Hamilton Public Library website, we read a detailed account about the history of the construction and maintenance of the sculpture over the years.  Very interesting stuff.  As was with most architecture of the time in the City of Hamilton, the industrial environment reeked havoc on stone, given the high oxidation factor.

On May 23, 1908, the Spectator wrote: “Hamilton women are becoming renowned all over Canada for their patriotism. One good deed after another is accomplished by the loyal women of the city, and each good deed rebounds to the credit of Hamilton as a whole.”


†Local newspapers reported the sculptor’s name as Philippe Hebert. The sculptor was christened Louis-Philippe Hébert, but usually went by the name Philippe Hébert. The Hamilton sculpture of Queen Victoria is signed “Philippe Hébert.” [Colin S. MacDonald, A Dictionary of Canadian Artists, Vol. 2, 1989, p. 411.]

P1110492 P1110496This was quite a contrast to the bustling world of 2013 Hamiltonian society; the shopping, the cabs and the Tim Horton’s cups tossed down on the sidewalk.  The Queen would not have approved of the women’s summer fashion either!

From Henley’s Hamilton, we see this analysis of photographs taken in the period.

Queen Victoria Statue Unveiling

A photographic essay – all images taken by Cochrane.

Above is part of the crowd, estimated at 22,000, on hand to witness the unveiling of the Queen Victoria  statue. Note the military guard of 100 members of the 13th Regiment (white pith helmets on right) and 100 member of the 91st Highland Regiment (kilts and bear skin hats, left.)

Taken moments later, camera turning slightly north from James st. – the crowd in this view fills the north branch of King street completely.

Crowd opens to allow the arrival of Canada’s Governor-General Early Grey and the rest of the official party.

The statue is unvelied and the gentlemen in attendance doff their hats.

The governor-general addresses the assembled after the unveiling.

All photos courtesy, PreVIEW, Local History and Archives, Hamilton Public Library.

Related, but to a very small degree, this, from Andrew Evan’s travels and his Alberta Story: Queen Victoria’s Underwear.

2 thoughts on “Return to Hamilton: Queen Victoria Statue

  1. What a fascinating post !
    In Lancaster UK , we also have a very similar statue in the town square of Queen Vic.
    I agree about the fast food – more packaging !
    I have been following a blog called Zero Waste Home – I think it might interest you !

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