A controversial cenotaph dedicated to a local physician with an unscrupulous past.
In a small park just off the promenade of Edinburgh’s seaside suburb of Portobello stands a plinth inscribed with the words:
“This fountain has been erected in remembrance of Dr Hugh Dewar, Portobello, by his grateful patients and numerous friends, who deplore the loss in the prime of manhood of a kind friend and skillful and beloved physician. His quiet charity was known to the needy. 1866-1914”
However, recent research has uncovered a more sinister backstory than this epitaph would lead many to believe. During the winter of 1914, a young woman named Jane Anderson went to Dewar to have her baby delivered. However, the procedure was botched and the 25-year-old died after an agonizing ordeal.
The incident provoked an inquest. Suspicion fell on the physician that he improperly handled the routine operation. A case of malpractice was brought forth and Dewar was charged with culpable homicide. But before Dewar could stand trial, he fell ill and died; it’s believed he ingested poison. His passing was not made public, nor was his autopsy certified.
Still under a cloud of misgiving, money was collected and a monument was erected in his honor. If it weren’t for the efforts of a handful of individuals, modern society may not be aware of this memorial’s questionable past.
Know Before You Go
Visible and accessible at all times.
Follow us on Twitter to get the latest on the world's hidden wonders.
Like us on Facebook to get the latest on the world's hidden wonders.Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook