Statue of Edward VI (Cartwright)

The statue of Edward VI by Thomas Cartwright at St Thomas' Hospital, Lambeth, London is one of two statues of the king at the hospital. Both commemorate Edward's re-founding of the institution in 1551. The statue was designed by Nathaniel Hanwell and carved by Thomas Cartwright in 1682, during the rebuilding undertaken by Sir Robert Clayton when President of the hospital. The statue originally formed the centrepiece of a group of figures which adorned the gateway on Borough High Street. It was moved to its current location at the north entrance to the North Wing on Lambeth Palace Road in the 20th century. It was designated a Grade II* listed structure in 1979.

Statue of Edward VI (Cartwright)
ArtistThomas Cartwright
Completion date1682
MediumPurbeck marble
SubjectEdward VI
Coordinates51.4998°N 0.1188°W / 51.4998; -0.1188
Listed Building – Grade II*
Official nameStone Statue of Edward VI
Designated30 May 1979
Reference no.1319933

Edward VI

Edward VI was the son of Henry VIII and his third queen, Jane Seymour. Born on 12 October 1537, he succeed his father at the age of nine in 1547 but never attained his majority, dying aged 15 in 1553.[1] During the Reformation St Thomas', as a religious foundation, was deprived of its revenues and estates and was closed in 1540.[2] In 1551, Edward granted a charter for the hospital's refounding.[3]

St Thomas' Hospital

The origin of St Thomas' Hospital was the sick house attached to the Church of St Mary Overie[4] in Southwark, founded in the 12th century.[5] By the late 17th century, the hospital was in a dilapidated state and Sir Robert Clayton employed the architect, and St Thomas' governor, Thomas Cartwright to undertake complete rebuilding.[6] The new buildings, of red brick and in a classical style were completed just after Clayton's death, in 1709.[4] Following the complete reconstruction of the hospital in 1872, on a site further up the River Thames at Lambeth,[6] the statue was moved to the new site and has been repositioned subsequently.[7]


The statue was commissioned by Robert Clayton, designed by Nathaniel Hanwell and carved by Thomas Cartwright.[7] It formed the centrepiece of a grouping that stood on the gateway to the hospital from Borough High Street. The king was originally flanked by carvings of two pairs of disabled figures, which are now located inside the North Wing of the hospital.[8] The statue is of Purbeck limestone and the order for "effigies of King Edward the Sixth and fower cripples to be carved in stone" was placed on 11 November 1681. Cartwright charged £190 for the work.[8] The king is depicted in Tudor clothing and wearing a crown. He holds a sceptre in his right hand and the charter authorising the re-establishment of St Thomas' in his left.[9][lower-alpha 1] The statue stands on a modern plinth. The statue was listed as a Grade II* structure in 1979.[9]


  1. At some point prior to a September 2013 photograph, the right arm had been damaged and removed. Photographic evidence shows it had been repaired and replaced by February 2016.[9]


  1. "BBC – History – Edward VI". Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  2. "King's Collections : Archive Catalogues : ST THOMAS'S HOSPITAL: Medical school records". Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  3. "St Thomas' Hospital – British History Online". Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  4. "History of St Thomas' Hospital – Florence Nightingale Museum London".
  5. "St Thomas' Hospital – British History Online".
  6. "St Thomas' Hospital, London". 17 February 2014.
  7. Cherry & Pevsner 2002, p. 361.
  8. "PMSA". Archived from the original on 29 January 2019. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  9. Historic England. "Stone Statue of Edward VI  (Grade II*) (1319933)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 29 January 2019.


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