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  • image A81
Bas relief, 'Britannia attended by Peace and Plenty'. SM A81. ©Sir John Soane's Museum, London. Photo: Lewis Bush

John Bacon the Elder (1740 - 1788), sculptor

Bas relief, 'Britannia attended by Peace and Plenty', model for the monument to Daniel Seton in St Thomas' Cathedral in Bombay (Mumbai), India

Terracotta bas relief

Height: 33.7cm
Width: 61cm

Museum number: A81

Curatorial note

This fine terracotta was the model for a monument commemorating a British official of the East India Company, for whom this subject, lauding the benefits of British rule, would have been considered highly appropriate. In the Handbook of the Bombay Presidency, 1881, the account of St Thomas' Church mentions the memorial to 'Daniel Seton, Lieut.-Governor of Surat Castle, who died there April 17th 1803'. The finished marble is dated 1804 and would have been carved in London and then shipped out to India.

St Thomas' was consecrated in 1718 as the first Anglican Church in Mumbai, within the walls of the fortified British settlement: it is one of the oldest churches in India. Bombay island was under Portuguese rule before becoming part of the dowry of Catherine of Braganza on her marriage to King Charles II under the Anglo Portuguese treaty of 1661. In 1668 King Charles transferred it to the East India Company for a loan of £50,000 pounds and the foundation stone of St Thomas' Church was laid in 1676. The building is full of memorials to British officials who died during the rule of the East India Company, including a number by John Bacon and the other leading sculptors of Regency London, Flaxman and Chantrey.

Literature

Handbook of the Bombay Presidency - With an account of Bombay city, John Murray, London, 1881. p.125.


If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: worksofart@soane.org.uk