Type Medallion , Statue
Boswell is represented with his sword by his side, notebook under his arm, and walking stick held behind his back. The face of Boswell is taken from a portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds, and his figure and costume from Langton's sketch of his friend. Around the top of the pedestal are medallions of five of Boswell's friends; Burke; Samuel Johnson's pupil, the actor David Garrick; Goldsmith; Mrs Thrale; and Sir Joshua Reynolds. Below these are scenes in which Johnson and Boswell took part; Johnson and Boswell in the Hebrides; Johnson introducing Boswell to the Literary Club of London; Johnson and Boswell supping at the Three Crowns Inn, Lichfield. Boswell's coat of arms and crest of a hawk with the motto 'Vraie Foy' [true faith] are also included.
The statue and pedestal have received a special coating to preserve it from atmospheric pollution and the base stone was repaired with epoxy resin and stainless steel pins. Some core material and support iron work were left inside the legs, and damp and corrosion were treated. (1)
James Boswell (1740-1795) is best known as the biographer of Doctor Samuel Johnson. He spent much of an extravagant life in London and in Europe. He moved in a social circle of intellectuals, using them as contacts to meet Johnson, whom he eventually met in 1763. The pair became friends and with the approval of Johnson, Boswell made notes of many of their conversations. His 'Life of Samuel Johnson' published in 1791 was an immediate success.
Inscribed, south side: THE WORK/ OF/ PERCY FITZGERLAD M.A. F.S.A./ BIOGRAPHER OF BOSWELL/ ALSO EDITOR OF BOSWELL'S JOHNSON/ PRESENTED BY HIM/ TO/ THE CITY OF LICHFIELD/ W.R.COLERIDGE-ROBERTS. MAYOR/ HERBERT RUSSELL TOWN CLERK/ 1908.
North side, beneath figure: BOSWELL
Adjacent to relief panel of Johnson and Boswell: 1740/ 1795
North side, within the three portrait medallions: GOLDSMITH GARRIC (sic)
North side, within roundel below relief panel: Vraie [bird] Foy
East side, within portrait medallion: REYNOLDS
East side, within bronze relief: At/Three Crowns
West side, within portrait medallion: THRALE
West side, within bronze relief: At the Club
PMSA recording information