The Peel Statue
 
The Peel Statue, on the eastern-side of the Square, facing Cross Street, was erected by public subscription in 1852, being carved out of a single block of limestone by local sculptor, Mr. Thomas Duckett.
 
The Peel Statue Preston had a great deal of respect for Robert Peel, who sacrificed his political career to repeal the hated Corn Laws, and the many processions which passed through the Square often paused here.
 
The 7 feet 6 inches plot of land on which it stands was conveyed in an Indenture, made the 31st May 1852, to the Mayor, Aldermen and Burgesses of Preston by James German of Whitlingham House Esquire, for a 'consideration' of 21. The statue was ceremoniously unveiled the same day, Whit Monday 1852, by the Mayor, Alderman T. Monk and a distinguished company of gentlemen. It is inscribed:

Sir Robert Peel, Baronet.
Erected by Public Subscription, 1852.

In 1857 Dr T Monk, still a leading figure in the town physician, borough magistrate, a former Mayor and Deputy Lieutenant of the County - was convicted of forging the will of his former patient, Mr Edward Turner. He was sentenced to penal servitude for life but was released for good behaviour after 10 years. Soon after Dr Monk was jailed Preston Corporation tried to conceal it's shame from posterity by erasing his name wherever possible and his name was chiselled from the base of the Peel Statue. [See Press Notices.]

See also, The Ducketts of Preston, a poem by the Preston poet Jake Jackson.

 
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© Marian Roberts 1996