Amelia Robertson Hill
Amelia Robertson Hill (15 January 1821 – 5 July 1904), birth record Emmilia McDermaid Paton, was a prominent female Scottish artist and sculptor throughout the 19th century and one of the few with very public commissions, most noteworthy being the statue of David Livingstone in Princes Street Gardens and Robert Burns in Dumfries. She also was the main female contributor to the statues on the Scott Monument, contributing three figures thereon.
She was born in Wooer’s Alley, Dunfermline, the daughter of Joseph Neil Paton (1797-1874) a damask designer and Catherine McDiarmid. She had a sister Jemima, born in 11 November 1823 and her brothers were both artists: Joseph Noel Paton (13 December 1821 - 26 December 1901) and Waller Hugh Paton (27 July 1828 - 8 March 1895).
In 1862 she married the pioneer photographer David Octavius Hill as his second wife and her career blossomed. They lived in Edinburgh. His role as secretary of the Royal Scottish Academy played a part in this. In 1861 they moved to George Square, and in 1863 to Calton Stairs. In 1868 they set up home at Rock House, on the south-west corner of Calton Hill near the southern entrance steps to the hill. Although they are famously connected with this address they lived here only two years. He died in 1870 and Amelia moved out of the house, to Newington Lodge. She placed a bronze bust of his likeness, sculpted by her own hands, on his grave. They had no children.
The 1891 census describes her as “sculptor, retired” but she exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy until 1902, aged 82.
She died at her house, Newington Lodge, 38 Mayfield Terrace on 5 July 1904 aged 83.
She was buried next to her husband in Dean Cemetery, beneath her own sculpture of 34 years earlier.
- Bust of John Fergus MP, Kirkcaldy Town Hall (1861)
- Marble bust of Mary Louise, Countess of Elgin, Lord Elgin Hotel, Ottawa (1863)
- Marble busts of Rev. Robert Smith Candlish in his role as principal of New College, one of the leaders of the Scottish Disruption, held by the University of Edinburgh (1864 and 1865)
- Marble bust of Rev. Horatius Bonar, hymn-writer (1865)
- James Wemyss of Wemyss MP, Fife County Hall (1866)
- Marble bust of Thomas Carlyle, National Trust of Scotland collection (1866)
- Marble bust of David Livingstone (1866)
- Bust of Edward Cazalet (1866)
- Bust of her husband, David Octavius Hill (1867)
- Marble bust of Sir George Harvey (1867)
- Marble bust of David Brewster, scientist (1867)
- Three stone figures for the Scott Monument on Princes Street, Edinburgh (1870) (Magnus Troil, Minna Troil and Richard the Lionheart)
- Pet Marjorie, the child author (1870)
- Marble bust of her brother, Joseph Noel Paton, Scottish National Portrait Gallery (1872)
- Bust of Sir James Young Simpson (1872)
- Painting, “Ludlow Castle, evening” (1873)
- Very prominent statue to David Livingstone on Princes Street in Edinburgh (1875) erected by public subscription.
- Memorial to Regent Murray in Linlithgow, marking the place of his assassination (1876)
- Figures of "Painting" and "Poetry" flanking the shoulders of the ornate entrance to the Albert Buildings, 22-30 Shandwick Place, Edinburgh (1877)
- Statue of Robert Burns, Church Place, Dumfries (1881)
- Bust of Percy Bysshe Shelley, exhibited RSA (1882)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Amelia Robertson Hill.|
- "OPR Birth and Baptism Search Return for children of Joseph Paton and Catherine McDermaid". Scotland's People.
- Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
- "The Character Statues".
- Buildings of Scotland: Edinburgh by Gifford McWilliam and Walker
- Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: Hill, Oxford University Press
- Dictionary of Scottish Art and Architecture, 2004