Viceroy of India, John Lawrence, crosses the Foyle after fifty years
The former Viceroy of India, John Lawrence, has moved from his home of over 50 years on the grounds of the old Foyle College in Springtown to the school's new campus in the Waterside.
The statue of one of the school’s most significant former pupils has finally followed the hundreds of students who had already made the migration from the cityside at the start of the current school year.
The transfer is only the latest in a series of remarkable journeys the picaresque sculpture has made since it was cast in honour of the former of Viceroy and Governor-General of India in the 1880s.
A spokesperson for the school explained: “The statue was commissioned in London in 1881 and erected near the Mall.
“It was donated to India for Queen Victoria’s jubilee and erected in front of Government Buildings in Lahore 1887 and later torn down and damaged during the Indian Mutiny.
“The statue was discovered by a former old boy and returned to the London foundry where the damage was repaired.
“Shipped to Derry and erected at Foyle College At Lawrence Hill 1963 before being transferred to the then new school at Springtown 1967, he was then relocated from the site after 50 years in 2017 and transferred to the new Foyle College site across the River Foyle on the Limavady Road in April 2018.
“It’s last move was funded by The Honourable The Irish Society and the Former Pupils’ Association.”
Lawrence, who attended the school from 1823 to 27, later became Viceroy of India between 1864 and 69 when the sub-continent was still under the rule of the British crown.
During his tenure in South Asia over a million people starved in the great Orissa famine of 1866 while it’s estimated a further 1.5million died during the Rajputana famine towards the end of his governorship in 1869. His viceroyalty was also marked by his policies of increasing educational opportunties for Indians and of avoiding conflicts with the neighbouring Afghan peoples.