Full image caption
Robert Milligan. Engraving. Statue of Robert Milligan (c.1746-1809), in the West India Docks. Milligan was a wealthy West India merchant and shipowner, having previously managed his family's Jamaica sugar plantations. Outraged at losses due to theft and delay at London's riverside wharves, Milligan headed a group of powerful businessmen who planned and built West India Docks. Opened on the 27th August 1802, these docks were the largest structure of their kind anywhere in the world. Milligan served as both Deputy Chairman and Chairman of the West India Dock Company. As a piece of public art, Westmacott's statue broke new ground by providing a frank and unidealised representation of a merchant. The statue initially stood on this site (1813-1875) and was later moved to the nearby Main Gate (1875-1943).
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