Date and place of birth: Bridge Street, Galashiels, 14 October 1879
An outstanding and globally-renowned sculptor, Thomas Clapperton studied at the Mechanics Institute in Galashiels before completing his training at the Glasgow School of Art and at Kensington School of Art, as well as the Royal Academy School in London, where he later opened a studio.
His work, which focussed mainly on individual and equestrian figures, was in demand locally and across the world.
In addition to the impressive Border Reiver at the Galashiels War Memorial, the bust of Sir Walter Scott in Bank Street, Galashiels, and the Flodden Memorial and bronzes surrounding the Mungo Park Memorial in Selkirk, Clapperton was famous for the much-loved Wonderland Statue in Oamaru’s Botanical Gardens (New Zealand).
While he is also well known in Scotland for the bronze statue of Learning (‘Mrs Mitchell’) on the dome of the Mitchell Library in Glasgow and the bronze group Springtime (‘Peter Pan’), on Glasgow Green, Clapperton’s best known work in Scotland is arguably the statue of Robert the Bruce at the entrance to Edinburgh Castle.