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Stapleton Cotton 1st Viscount Combermere’s

equestrian statue, surrounded now

by traffic, would grace any capital.

For more than a hundred and fifty years

set before Chester Castle he rides south

towards Thomas Harrison’s Grosvenor Bridge

– once the longest single-span arch in the world –

opened by Princess Victoria.

The Viscount – soldier, politician,

diplomat – holds his feathered bicorne

at his side as if just removed in salute.


Though Combermere’s seat (once an abbey, now

a wedding venue) was a day’s ride away,

and Earl Grosvenor was the Roman city’s

capo di tutti capi, Chester’s

mercantile citizenry raised the cash

to have the statue designed and made

by Queen Victoria’s favourite sculptor,

Carlo Marochetti, whose Richard

Coeur De Lion holds his sword aloft

outside the Houses of Parliament.


However, like the Earl and the Viscount,

the merchants were knights of the chequered square,

and Stapleton Cotton – Valenciennes,

Salamanca, Bharatpur, c-in-c

West Indies then India – helped make

the British Empire safe for their dividends.




© Copyright David Selzer
1 Response
  • Sarah Selzer
    December 1, 2018

    As always I love the glimpses of history you bring with these! Indeed he has stood there almost unnoticed as the police station came and went, and now there’s the fancy hotel. Perhaps the good burghers of Chester who paid for it would approve….. he’s still immersed in the business of the city!

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