Joseph Mallord William Turner

Troops Lined up on the Esplanade During the Procession to Edinburgh Castle with the Regalia


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 114 × 187 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CC 57 a

Catalogue entry

This drawing, made with the sketchbook inverted, shows troops assembled in the Esplanade of Edinburgh Castle for the procession with the Regalia on 22 August 1822. The page shows a detail from the view drawn on folio 36 verso (D13756), and as he had drawn the parade ground already, it was here sufficient to just indicate its proportions with a few parallel lines, marking out the edges of the ground and the position of the stands. Two lines of troops are indicated, though only the first half dozen or so on either side are actually drawn. On the left they are standing, and on the right they are mounted on horseback (as in the sketch on folio 56; D17603).
Inscriptions indicate where the ‘navy officers’ and ‘clergy’ are seated in the stands on the right, and where there is a ‘place for carriages’ behind the ‘stand[s]’ on either side. The inscription ‘Scarlet platform’ has been identified (see folio 38 verso; D17569) as referring to a carpeted platform on the Half Moon Battery where George IV could stand to wave to the spectators below. Inscriptions also note the position and number of troops, with ‘9 flanks [...] with Banners’ at the left, and ‘13 [who] line the Drawbridge’ near the Castle Gate.

Thomas Ardill
September 2008

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