Thomas Hosmer Shepherd, 1792 - 1864
A View of Edinburgh City Centre and Castle from Calton Hill with Dugald Stewart Monument in the foreground
Edinburgh City Center & Castle from Calton Hill
pencil and watercolour
54 x 82 cm. (22 x 32 in.)


This landscape shows a view of Edinburgh City centre and Castle beyond , looking down Princes St to St Mary’s Cathedral. The Dugald Stewart Monument in the foreground is modelled on Tower of the Winds in Athens, Greece by Lysicrates. One of the key structures on Calton Hill that help earn Edinburgh the sobriquet ‘Athens of the North’. The monument is a memorial to the Scottish philosopher Dugald Stewart (1753–1828). It is situated on Calton Hill overlooking Edinburgh city centre and was completed in 1831.

Dugald Stewart was a professor at the University of Edinburgh, holding the chair of moral philosophy from 1786 until his death. The Royal Society of Edinburgh commissioned the monument and selected its site in 1830. The monument is modeled on the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates in Athens, Greece and is a circular temple of 9 fluted Corinthian columns around an elevated urn. This example of the architecture of ancient Greece had been brought to wider attention by James “Athenian” Stuart and Nicholas Revett’s illustrated survey, The Antiquities of Athens, published in 1762.

The Towering monument to Sir Walter Scott can also be seen in the distance ,located  in Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh, opposite the Jenners department store on Princes Street and near to Edinburgh Waverley Railway Station, which is named after Scott's Waverley novels.  It is the largest monument to a writer in the world.

The tower is 200 feet 6 inches (61.11 m) high, and has a series of viewing platforms reached by a series of narrow spiral staircases giving panoramic views of central Edinburgh and its surroundings. The highest platform is reached by a total of 288 steps. It is built from Binny sandstone quarried near Ecclesmachan in West Lothian.

In terms of its location, it is placed on axis with South St David Street, the main street leading off St Andrew Square to Princes Street, and is a focal point within that vista, its scale being large enough to totally screen the Old Town behind. As seen from the south side, Princes Street Gardens, its location appears more random, but it totally dominates the Eastern section of the gardens, through a combination of its scale and elevated position relative to the sunken gardens.

Following Scott's death in 1832, a competition was held to design a monument to him. An unlikely entrant went under the pseudonym "John Morvo", the name of the medieval architect of Melrose Abbey. Morvo was in fact George Meikle Kemp, forty-five-year-old joinerdraftsman, and self-taught architect. Kemp had feared his lack of architectural qualifications and reputation would disqualify him, but his design (similar to an unsuccessful one he had earlier submitted for Glasgow Cathedral) was popular with the competition's judges, and in 1838 Kemp was awarded the contract to construct the monument.

John Steell was commissioned to design a monumental statue of Scott to rest in the space between the tower's four columns. Steell's statue, made from white Carrara marble, shows Scott seated, resting from writing one of his works with a quill pen and his dog Maida by his side. The monument carries 64 figures (carried out in three phases) of characters from Scott's novels by a variety of Scots sculptors including, Alexander Handyside RitchieJohn RhindWilliam Birnie RhindWilliam BrodieWilliam Grant StevensonDavid Watson StevensonJohn HutchisonGeorge Anderson LawsonThomas Stuart BurnettWilliam ShirreffsAndrew CurrieGeorge Clark StantonPeter Slater, and two female representatives, Amelia Robertson Hill (who also made the statue of David Livingstone immediately east of the monument), who contributed three figures to the monument, and the otherwise unknown Katherine Anne Fraser Tytler.

The foundation stone was laid on 15 August 1840. Following permission by an Act of Parliament (the Monument to Sir Walter Scott Act 1841 (4 & 5 Vict.) C A P. XV.), construction began in 1841 and ran for nearly four years. The tower was completed in the autumn of 1844, with Kemp's son placing the finial in August of the year. The total cost was just over £16,154. When the monument was inaugurated on 15 August 1846, George Meikle Kemp himself was absent, having fallen into the Union Canal while walking home from the site on the foggy evening of 6 March 1844 and drowned.


Recognised as the capital of Scotland since at least the 15th century, Edinburgh is home to the Scottish Parliament and the seat of the monarchy in Scotland. Historically part of Midlothian, the city has long been a centre of education, particularly in the fields of medicine, Scots law, literature, the sciences and engineering. It is the second largest financial centre in the United Kingdom and the city's historical and cultural attractions have made it the United Kingdom's second most popular tourist destination, attracting over one million overseas visitors each year.

Edinburgh is Scotland's second most populous city and the seventh most populous in the United Kingdom. The official population estimates are 464,990 (2012) for the Locality of Edinburgh (Edinburgh pre 1975 regionalisation plus Currie and Balerno), 507,170 (2016) for the City of Edinburgh, and 1,339,380 (2014) for the city region. Edinburgh lies at the heart of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland city region comprising East Lothian, Edinburgh, Fife, Midlothian, Scottish Borders and West Lothian.

The city is the annual venue of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. It is home to national institutions such as the National Museum of Scotland, the National Library of Scotland and the Scottish National Gallery. The University of Edinburgh, founded in 1582 and now one of four in the city, was placed 17th in the QS World University Rankings in 2013 and 2014.The city is also famous for the Edinburgh International Festival and the Fringe, the latter being the world's largest annual international arts festival. Historic sites in Edinburgh include Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace, the churches of St. Giles, Greyfriars and the Canongate, and the extensive Georgian New Town, built in the 18th century. Edinburgh's Old Town and New Town together are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which has been managed by Edinburgh World Heritage since 1999.

Recognised as the capital of Scotland since at least the 15th century, Edinburgh is home to the Scottish Parliament and the seat of the monarchy in Scotland. Historically part of Midlothian, the city has long been a centre of education, particularly in the fields of medicine, Scots law, literature, the sciences and engineering. It is the second largest financial centre in the United Kingdom[9] and the city's historical and cultural attractions have made it the United Kingdom's second most popular tourist destination, attracting over one million overseas visitors each year.

The earliest known human habitation in the Edinburgh area was at Cramond, where evidence was found of a Mesolithic camp site dated to c. 8500 BC. Traces of later Bronze Age and Iron Age settlements have been found on Castle Rock, Arthur's Seat, Craiglockhart Hill and the Pentland Hills.

When the Romans arrived in Lothian at the end of the 1st century AD, they discovered a Celtic Brittonic tribe whose name they recorded as the Votadini. At some point before the 7th century AD, the Gododdin, who were presumably descendants of the Votadini, built the hill fort of Din Eidyn or Etin. Although its location has not been identified, it seems likely they would have chosen a commanding position like the Castle Rock, Arthur's Seat, or Calton Hill.

In 638, the Gododdin stronghold was besieged by forces loyal to King Oswald of Northumbria, and around this time control of Lothian passed to the Angles. Their influence continued for the next three centuries until around 950, when, during the reign of Indulf, son of Constantine II, the "burh" (fortress), named in the 10th century Pictish Chronicle as oppidum Eden, was abandoned to the Scots. It thenceforth remained under their jurisdiction.

The royal burgh was founded by King David I in the early 12th century on land belonging to the Crown, though the precise date is unknown. By the middle of the 14th century, the French chronicler Jean Froissart was describing it as the capital of Scotland (c. 1365), and James III (1451–88) referred to it in the 15th century as "the principal burgh of our kingdom". Despite the destruction caused by an English assault in 1544, the town slowly recovered, and was at the centre of events in the 16th century Scottish Reformation and 17th century Wars of the Covenant.

In 1603, King James VI of Scotland succeeded to the English throne, uniting the crowns of Scotland and England in a personal union known as the Union of the Crowns, though Scotland remained, in all other respects, a separate kingdom. In 1638, King Charles I's attempt to introduce Anglican church forms in Scotland encountered stiff Presbyterian opposition culminating in the conflicts of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. Subsequent Scottish support for Charles Stuart's restoration to the throne of England resulted in Edinburgh's occupation by Oliver Cromwell's Commonwealth of England forces – the New Model Army – in 1650.

In the 17th century, Edinburgh's boundaries were still defined by the city's defensive town walls. As a result, the city's growing population was accommodated by increasing the height of the houses. Buildings of 11 storeys or more were common, and have been described as forerunners of the modern-day skyscraper. Most of these old structures were replaced by the predominantly Victorian buildings seen in today's Old Town.

Following the Treaty of Union in 1706, the Parliaments of England and Scotland passed Acts of Union in 1706 and 1707 respectively, uniting the two kingdoms in the Kingdom of Great Britain effective from 1 May 1707. As a consequence, the Parliament of Scotland merged with the Parliament of England to form the Parliament of Great Britain, which sat at Westminster in London. The Union was opposed by many Scots, resulting in riots in the city.By the first half of the 18th century, despite rising prosperity evidenced by its growing importance as a banking centre, Edinburgh was described as one of Europe's most densely populated, overcrowded and unsanitary towns. Visitors were struck by the fact that the various social classes shared the same urban space, even inhabiting the same tenement buildings; although here a form of social segregation did prevail, whereby shopkeepers and tradesmen tended to occupy the cheaper-to-rent cellars and garrets, while the more well-to-do professional classes occupied the more expensive middle storeys.

A painting showing Edinburgh characters (based on John Kay's caricatures) behind St Giles' Cathedral in the late 18th century
During the Jacobite rising of 1745, Edinburgh was briefly occupied by the Jacobite "Highland Army" before its march into England. After its eventual defeat at Culloden, there followed a period of reprisals and pacification, largely directed at the rebellious clans. In Edinburgh, the Town Council, keen to emulate London by initiating city improvements and expansion to the north of the castle, reaffirmed its belief in the Union and loyalty to the Hanoverian monarch George III by its choice of names for the streets of the New Town: for example, Rose Street and Thistle Street; and for the royal family, George Street, Queen Street, Hanover Street, Frederick Street and Princes Street (in honour of George's two sons).

In the second half of the century, the city was at the heart of the Scottish Enlightenment, when thinkers like David Hume, Adam Smith, James Hutton and Joseph Black were familiar figures in its streets. Edinburgh became a major intellectual centre, earning it the nickname "Athens of the North" because of its many neo-classical buildings and reputation for learning, recalling ancient Athens. In the 18th century novel The Expedition of Humphry Clinker by Tobias Smollett one character describes Edinburgh as a "hotbed of genius". Edinburgh was also a major centre for the Scottish book trade. The highly successful London bookseller Andrew Millar was apprenticed there to James McEuen.

From the 1770s onwards, the professional and business classes gradually deserted the Old Town in favour of the more elegant "one-family" residences of the New Town, a migration that changed the city's social character. According to the foremost historian of this development, "Unity of social feeling was one of the most valuable heritages of old Edinburgh, and its disappearance was widely and properly lamented."

Although Edinburgh's traditional industries of printing, brewing and distilling continued to grow in the 19th century, and were joined by new rubber works and engineering works, there was little industrialisation compared with other cities in Britain. By 1821, Edinburgh had been overtaken by Glasgow as Scotland's largest city. The city centre between Princes Street and George Street became a major commercial and shopping district, a development partly stimulated by the arrival of railways in the 1840s. The Old Town became an increasingly dilapidated, overcrowded slum with high mortality rates. Improvements carried out under Lord Provost William Chambers in the 1860s began the transformation of the area into the predominantly Victorian Old Town seen today. More improvements followed in the early 20th century as a result of the work of Patrick Geddes, but relative economic stagnation during the two world wars and beyond saw the Old Town deteriorate further before major slum clearance in the 1960s and 1970s began to reverse the process. University building developments which transformed the George Square and Potterrow areas proved highly controversial.

Since the 1990s a new "financial district", including a new Edinburgh International Conference Centre, has grown mainly on demolished railway property to the west of the castle, stretching into Fountainbridge, a run-down 19th-century industrial suburb which has undergone radical change since the 1980s with the demise of industrial and brewery premises. This ongoing development has enabled Edinburgh to maintain its place as the United Kingdom's second largest financial and administrative centre after London. Financial services now account for a third of all commercial office space in the city. The development of Edinburgh Park, a new business and technology park covering 38 acres (15 ha), 4 mi (6 km) west of the city centre, has also contributed to the District Council's strategy for the city's major economic regeneration.

In 1998, the Scotland Act, which came into force the following year, established a devolved Scottish Parliament and Scottish Executive (renamed the Scottish Government since September 2007. Both based in Edinburgh, they are responsible for governing Scotland while reserved matters such as defence, taxation and foreign affairs remain the responsibility of the Parliament of the United Kingdom in London.

Artist biography

Thomas Hosmer Shepherd (1792–1864) was a topographical watercolour artist well known for his architectural paintings.

Thomas was the brother of topographical artist George "Sidney" Shepherd, Thomas was employed to illustrate architecture in London, and later EdinburghBath and Bristol. His paintings were the basis for steel engravings in many books (see bibliography).

Thomas Hosmer Shepherd was born in France on 16 January 1793, the son of a watchcase maker. On returning to England, the Shepherd family settled in a neighbourhood close to the City Road, and Thomas was baptised at St Luke Old Street, on 24 February.

Throughout his career, from 1809 to 1859, Shepherd was patronised by the celebrated interior designer, Frederick Crace, who became equally famous as a collector of views and maps of London. Crace commissioned him to produce watercolours of specific London buildings and locations, and also bought others from him. The fame of the Crace Collection then acted as a springboard for Shepherd’s career, as he began to receive commissions from others, including Rudolph Ackermann. From around the time of its foundation in 1809, until its demise in 1828, Shepherd produced a series of street views for Ackermann’s magazine, 
The Repository of Arts, sometimes in collaboration with his elder brother, George Sidney Shepherd.

Though he became virtually synonymous with the modern city, Shepherd was equally skilful in representing the countryside. To this end, he made a number of sketching tours, the first in 1810.

Eight years later, Shepherd visited France, probably on his honeymoon, an event apparently commemorated in the naming of the first of his seven children, Frederick Napoleon Shepherd, who was born in June 1819. By 1820, the family had settled at 26 Chapman Street (now Batchelor Street), Islington, one of the new streets on the west side of the Liverpool Road, on the edge of the built up area of the city. He used his home address when advertising as a drawing master.

From this time, Shepherd established himself as a book illustrator, with contributions to the part work, 
Londina Illustrata (1819-25), again in collaboration with his brother, George, among others. Security and success soon arrived, with his first commission from the publisher, Jones & Co, based at the Temple of the Muses, Finsbury Square. The first part of Metropolitan Improvements appeared in 1827, and comprised numerous steel engravings after drawings by Shepherd, with a commentary by the architect, James Elmes. Its popularity not only ensured further commissions for Shepherd from Jones but ‘induced many publishers to embark on similar works’ (an unsigned review in the Gentleman’s Magazine for March 1829, cited by J F C Phillips, Shepherd’s London, London: Cassell 1976, page 11).

The sequel to 
Metropolitan Improvements, entitled London and its Environs, would begin to appear in 1828.

During 1827, Shepherd made sketching tours of the West Country and Scotland in order to prepare his drawings for 
Modern Athens! (1829) and Bath and Bristol (1829-31), published by Jones with commentaries by the well-known antiquarian, John Britton. Yet, while Jones and Shepherd planned other volumes about parts of Great Britain (and Shepherd responded by travelling to Ireland in 1828), no further such publication materialised. 

Shepherd began to work with other publishers, often reworking the images of London that he had drawn for Jones, while also broadening his horizons. So he exhibited four watercolours of Scotland at the Society of British Artists, in 1831 and 1832, and produced illustrations of Westmorland and the Rhine, by 1832 (though not necessarily on location).

A decade later, Shepherd moved to 2 Bird’s Buildings (now part of Colebrooke Row), north of Camden Passage, Islington – probably to better accommodate his growing family. From that time, he provided some images for 
The Illustrated London News, but became very poor, and was sustained only by the continuing patronage of Crace, who died in 1859.

Shepherd himself died in Islington on 4 July 1864. His wife, Jane Maria, and at least three of his children survived him. They included Frederick Napoleon Shepherd, who carried on the family tradition of topography, and Valentine Claude Shepherd, a wood engraver.

The Crace Collection in the British Museum contains nearly 500 images by Shepherd, including 38 views of Edinburgh for 
Modern Athens!

His work is also represented in numerous other public collections, including Kensington & Chelsea Library and the V&A.

Shepherd's work, mostly topographical, is characterized by an attention to detail, along with lifelike scenes that contained people, carriages and horses. His first acclaim came with Metropolitan improvements, a publication of modern London architecture commissioned by Jones & Co. He worked mostly for Frederick Crace, who employed him to paint old London buildings prior to their demolition, with much of the work surviving in the Crace collection at the British Museum

Further reading:
Brian Reginald Curle and Patricia Meara, 
Thomas Hosmer Shepherd, 1793-1864: a descriptive catalogue of watercolours and drawings in the local collections of Kensington and Chelsea libraries, London: Kensington and Chelsea Public Libraries, 1973;
Lucy Peltz, ‘Thomas Hosmer Shepherd (1784-1862)’, H C G Matthew and Brian Harrison (eds), 
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
Oxford University Press, 2004, vol 50, page 245;
J F C Phillips, 
Shepherd’s London, London: Cassell 1976