Our Legal Heritage: Statue of George Kinloch

In the third of our occasional series looking at Scotland’s legal heritage, both grand and obscure, Graham Ogilvy appreciates Sir John Steell’s statue of George Kinloch in Dundee.

George Kinloch is not the only outlaw in Scotland to be publicly commemorated. Stirling’s Wallace Memorial, the obelisk to the Scottish Martyrs on Edinburgh’s Calton Hill and Rob Roy MacGregor’s grave at Balquhidder all spring to mind.

But sandwiched between Queen Victoria and Robert Burns (depicted in another of Steell’s sculptures) on Dundee’s Albert Square, Kinloch is largely forgotten today.

Kinloch was that rarest of creatures – a democratic landowner and was known as The Radical Laird. In 1819 he was outlawed after failing to appear on sedition charges in connection with his advocacy of popular rights at mass meetings held to protest the Peterloo massacre. He subsequently fled to France where he had first been inspired by democratic ideals during the French Revolution.

Kinloch’s daughter interceded with George IV during his celebrated trip to Scotland in 1822 and he was allowed to return to his estate at Carnoustie. Following the passing of the Reform Act of 1832, Kinloch was elected as Dundee’s first MP but died in 1833.

The statue to Kinloch was erected in 1872 to commemorate ‘the signal triumph of political justice.’

Photo credit: By Stephencdickson - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Share icon
Share this article: