Kathleen Scott

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Kathleen Scott
Baroness Kennet, FRSBS
Kathleen Scott.jpg
Kathleen Scott (1910).
Born (1878-03-27)March 27, 1878
Carlton in Lindrick, Bassetlaw, Nottinghamshire
Died July 25, 1947(1947-07-25) (aged 69)
Nationality British
Education St George's School, Edinburgh
Alma mater Slade School of Fine Art
Spouse(s) Robert Falcon Scott

Kathleen Scott, Baroness Kennet, FRSBS (27 March 1878 – 25 July 1947) was a British sculptor. She was the wife of Antarctic explorer Robert Falcon Scott and the mother of Sir Peter Scott, the painter and ornithologist. By her second marriage, she became Baroness Kennet.

Early life[edit]

Born Edith Agnes Kathleen Bruce at Carlton in Lindrick, Bassetlaw, Nottinghamshire, she was the youngest of eleven children of Canon Lloyd Stuart Bruce (1829–1886) and Jane Skene (d. 1880).

She attended St George's School, Edinburgh[1] then the Slade School of Fine Art, London from 1900 to 1902. She then enrolled at the Académie Colarossi in Paris from 1902 to 1906 and was befriended by Auguste Rodin. On her return to London, she became acquainted with George Bernard Shaw, Max Beerbohm and J.M. Barrie.


Her statue of her first husband in Christchurch, New Zealand (photographed before it was damaged in the earthquakes)
Captain Smith statue

Three of Scott's busts feature in the collection of London's National Portrait Gallery, and she is also the subject of thirteen photographic portraits there.

Robert Falcon Scott and Kathleen on Quail Island in Lyttelton Harbour, NZ, in 1910

She sculpted a statue of her first husband, Antarctic explorer Robert Falcon Scott, of which there are two versions: a bronze statue erected in Waterloo Place, London, in 1915 and a replica in white marble located in Christchurch, New Zealand, put up in 1917.[2][3] A plaque to Scott is on the exterior of the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge with a statue of "Youth" (1920), for which the model was A.W. Lawrence, younger brother of T. E. Lawrence ("Lawrence of Arabia").

She also sculpted a statue of Edward Smith, captain of the Titanic, after his death. This is situated in Beacon Park, Lichfield, England.

Her statue at Oundle School entitled "Here Am I, Send Me" is erroneously held to be modelled on Peter Scott.[4]

She also produced a small bronze of the Indian actor Sabu which is now missing, after a theft.

A memorial statue of Charles Rolls by Scott stands on the promenade in Dover.[5]

Personal life[edit]

She married the Antarctic explorer Captain Robert Falcon Scott, R.N., on 2 September 1908, and a year later gave birth to their son Peter Scott, who became famous in broadcasting, ornithology, painting, conservation and sport. In 1910, she accompanied her husband to New Zealand to see him off on his journey to the South Pole. A biographer of the Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen has suggested that, in her husband's absence, she began a brief affair with Nansen, the mentor of Scott's rival Amundsen.[6] In February 1913, while sailing back to New Zealand to greet Scott on his return, she learned of his death in Antarctica in March 1912.

In 1922, she married the politician Edward Hilton Young. Her second son, Wayland Hilton Young (1923–2009) was a writer and politician. Her grandchildren include Emily Young, artist, and Louisa Young, writer.

She was a member of the International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers.[7]


In 1913, she was granted the rank (but not the style) of a widow of a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath. This meant that, for the purposes of establishing official precedence, she was treated as if she were the widow of such a knight. However, she was not entitled to be called Lady Scott merely by virtue of this, and it did not amount to Captain Scott being posthumously knighted.

When her second husband was created Baron Kennet on 15 July 1935, she gained the title Baroness Kennet.

Popular culture[edit]

Scott was played by the actress Diana Churchill in the 1948 Ealing Studios film Scott of the Antarctic. John Mills played her husband.


  1. ^ http://www.stge.org.uk/alumnae/famous-old-girls
  2. ^ Christchurch Art Gallery
  3. ^ Louisa Young, A Great Task of Happiness. The Life of Kathleen Scott. Macmillan, London, 1995
  4. ^ From "The Eye of the Wind"
  5. ^ "The Rolls Memorial at Dover"Flight 4 May 1912
  6. ^ Huntford, Roland (2001). Nansen London: Abacus, pp. 566-568. ISBN 0-349-11492-7. (First published in 1997 by Gerald Duckworth)
  7. ^ "The International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers". Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain and Ireland 1851-1951. Glasgow University. Retrieved 31 May 2013. 

Further reading[edit]

  • A Great Task of Happiness: The Life of Kathleen Scott, ISBN 0-333-57838-4 (1995) - Louisa Young
  • A Father for my Son (biographical play, premiered 2000) - Jenny Coverack