Glasgow - City of Sculpture
By Gary Nisbet
Hamilton & Miller
(fl. 1846-52)

Firm of monumental sculptors working from premises in Mason Street (now Cathedral Street), they are remembered for their large-scale monuments in Glasgow's most important cemetery, the Necropolis.

John Miller started on his own as a sculptor at 36 Weaver Street in 1844 and resided at 119 Rottenrow throughout his career. After his partnership with Hamilton ended, he continued on his own again from 1853-6.

His partner Hamilton is a mystery, with no mention of him at all in the Post Office Directories, other than as one half of the partnership.

Their Necropolis work includes the monument to James McCulloch (1849); the James Davidson of Ruchill Mausoleum, from a design by J T Rochead (1851); and the Gothic monument to Mrs Mathew Montgomery, which was designed by Charles Wilson in the manner of a Decorated Gothic wall tomb (c.1852).

The Montgomery monument was one of the most elaborate Medieval-style structures in the Necropolis until a storm severely damaged it shortly after it was completed, bringing down parts of its crocketed pinnacles.

In the years since, the monument has been a regular target for vandals who, as well as damaging the stonework further, made off with one of its statuettes of Hope and Resignation by George Mossman (the other figure was eventually moved to a council store for safekeeping, whilst broken bits of the monument are scattered on the ground around it).

Hamilton & Miller's largest commission for the Necropolis, the Davidson of Ruchill Mausoleum, a severely plain Greek temple, has also suffered badly through vandalism and neglect.

The firm's final listing in the PODs was in 1852, the reason for the partners' break-up unknown.


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