Monday, December 5, 2016

The Arms of Oswald of Scotstoun

Here is yet another armorial memorial window to be found in the Glasgow Cathedral, this one to a family with some ties to another family whose arms we have already seen.

The window bears the legend:

This window replaces an earlier window
to the memory of the family of Isabel
Oswald of Scotstoun, 1856, and
incorporates the coat of arms from
that window.

The arms of Oswald of Scotstoun were first matriculated in 1764 and are blazoned: Azure a savage wreathed about the head and middle with by leaves having a quiver of arrows by his side bearing a bow in his left hand proper and pointing with his right to a blazing star in the dexter chief point or within a bordure ermine. The crest, not listed in Fairbairn's Crests, is A three-masted ship with the lower sails furled proper flags flying gules, and the motto (also not found in Crests) is Non mihi commodus uni (Not for myself [a] comfortable one [life?]).

Unusually for Scotland, although there are several other instances also to be found among the armorial windows in the Cathedral, the motto is placed beneath the shield rather than above the crest.

Scotstoun is situated on the right bank of the Clyde in the county of Renfrew. The house was originally built about the beginning of the eighteenth century by William Walkinshaw, the then owner, who also adorned the place "with curious orchards and gardens, stately avenues and large enclosures sheltered with a great deal of beautiful planting.” The river front was added in 1825 by the late Miss Oswald from designs of David Hamilton.

George Oswald (1735-1819) was a banker and a tobacco merchant who was elected Rector of the University in 1797. A minister's son from Dunnet in Caithness, Oswald came to Glasgow to work for his uncles, the leading tobacco merchants Richard and Alexander Oswald. He became a partner in the Glasgow tobacco firm Oswald, Dennistoun & Co and in the Glasgow Ship Bank. He inherited the estates of Scotstoun and Balshagray near Glasgow and Auchincruive in Ayrshire.

We have already shared several Dennistoun arms to be found in Glasgow Cathedral in our post of November 17, 2016 at

The following information on the history of the Oswalds of Scotstoun and their estate comes from “The Oswalds of Scotstoun” found on-line at

James Oswald was the son of a well-to-do Burgess of Kirkwall in Orkney, who came over to the mainland in the middle of the seventeenth century and settled in Wick. He had two sons, James and George who were both ministers. James was an Episcopal minister and George was a Presbyterian minister.

James (the Episcopalian minister, 1654 -1699) had two sons Richard (1687 - 1766) and Alexander (1694 - 1763) who were rich merchants and shipowners. The brothers built themselves a grand mansion in the Stockwell area of Glasgow called "Oswald's Land with great cellars below to store tobacco and wines but it was demolished around 1875 to make way for the new bridge being built for the Union Railway Company. They bought Scotstoun estate in 1751. They were bachelors and died at Scotstoun House (which had been built by the above mentioned William Walkinshaw). The estate passed to George Oswald, their second cousin (the son of the Presbyterian minister).

That George Oswald was the Presbyterian minister of Dunnet and had eleven children, the eldest son being James.

This James Oswald (1703-1793) was a minister like his father and succeeded him at the parish of Dunnet. He was a Doctor of Divinity and was the Moderator of the General Assembly in 1765. He later moved to Methven in Perthshire and stayed there as minister until he was aged over eighty when he moved to Scotstoun. He had a number of children, of whom his son George was to inherit Scotstoun Estate from the two bachelor brothers Richard and Alexander as explained earlier.

We now come to George Oswald of Scotstoun (1735-1819) who inherited the estate in 1766. He was a successful Glasgow tobacco merchant and was also a partner in the famous Old Ship Bank. He was Rector of Glasgow University in 1797   His son James Oswald of Scotstoun (1774-1822) a captain in the Royal Navy inherited Scotstoun and when he died in 1822 (presumably unmarried) it passed to his sister Elizabeth (1767-1864).

(Just to complicate matters, there is another James Oswald (1779 - 1835) who was well known in Glasgow. This James was the elder son of Alexander Oswald of Shieldhall who was the brother of George Oswald of Scotstoun (see above). This James was MP for Glasgow and inherited the estate of Auchincruive. According to reference book called "St. Mungo's Bells" published in 1888, Oswald Street in Glasgow was named after the Alexander Oswald of Shieldhall.)

Elizabeth was known as "Old Miss Oswald" and was born and died in Scotstoun House. By the age of 90 she had never seen a doctor and she died aged 98.

On Elizabeth's death, Scotstoun passed to the grandson of her sister Katherine.

Katherine had married Robert Haldane of Airthrie so became Mrs Haldane. They had one married daughter, Mrs Haldane Gordon who had one son James Gordon Oswald. (Note how these families incorporated maiden names and inheritance names into their own name).

James Gordon Oswald was the last owner of the estate of farmlands and it was he who started to feu off the estate for housing at the end of the 1800's. He died at San Remo, Italy in 1897, but his obituary in the Glasgow Herald concentrated on the history of the family and said very little about the man himself. In the history of Scotstoun Churches there is a reference to the fact that he laid down a condition when granting fueus for Scotstoun which stated that "the trafficking or selling spiritous or fermented liquors is forever prohibited".

Following his death in 1897, he was succeeded by his son James William Gordon Oswald who cotinued to feu off the estate and his name appears in many title deeds for South Jordanhill.

Unlike the Smiths of Jordanhill whose family (and all its branches) was fully recorded in "Burke's Landed Gentry", there is no entry for the Oswalds of Scotstoun. There is however a full entry for the Oswalds of Auchincruive which relates to another branch of the Oswald family mentioned briefly above.

All in all, a fascinating history of a family with a most unusual coat of arms.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

A Middleton and Two Campbells

There is another set of three armorial windows in Glasgow Cathedral with the arms of Middleton and two Campbells.

The center window (with the Middleton arms) bears the legend:

This window replaces the Munich glass
presented in memory of William Middleton, Esq.
died September 1850 and incorporates
the coat of arms from that window.

The coat of arms in that window is:

Burke's General Armory gives these arms as: Middleton (Earl of Middleton, Scotland). Per fess or and gules a lion rampant within a double tressure flory counterflory all counterchanged, with the crest Issuing out of a tower sable a lion rampant gules, and the motto Fortis in arduis (Brave in difficulties).

The window here is clearly not that of the Earl of Middleton, but the arms are exactly the same, as is the crest and motto. But the Earldom of Middleton with those arms was created in 1660 and forfeited 1695. (Why, yes, I do have my own copy of Burke's Dormant and Extinct Peerages. Why do you ask?) So I am not at all certain of the relationship, and I have been unable to find any biographical information either on-line or in the Dictionary of National Biography about William Middleton, Esq. who died in September 1850.

To the left and right, respectively, of Mr. Middleton's window are windows containing the following arms:

With no biographical information about Mr. Middleton, it is much tougher to track down to whom these arms belong. G. Harvey Johnston's The Heraldry of the Campbells identifies them as Campbell of Stracathro, with a blazon of Gyronny of eight or and sable within a bordure engrailed azure, on a canton argent a galley oars in action sable and on a chief argent three hunting horns sable viroled or and stringed gules. He states that these arms were recorded in 1859.

The left-hand coat also bears a mullet in the center of the shield for a difference, and both coats bear the Campbell crest of A boar's head proper.

It's a shame that we do not have more information about the individuals memorialized in these windows. The detail in the stained glass is of very high quality, and presumably cost a pretty penny to have done. I just can't find (so far) the individuals being memorialized here.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Three Generations of Douglases

Well, okay, it's really four generations, but probably not all linked in direct order, oldest to youngest.

There is a set of three armorial stained glass windows in the Glasgow Cathedral which memorializes three generations of a branch of the Douglas family.

The center of the three windows bears the legend:

This window replaces the Munich glass
presented by the Countess of Home and
incorporates the coat of arms from
that window

The coats of arms in the three windows, going from left to right, are:

Archibald James Edward Douglas, 1st Baron Douglas (1748-1827), was a Scottish politician. He was MP for Forfarshire from 1782 to 1790 and Lord Lieutenant of Forfarshire from 1794 to 1827. In parliament he was a loyal follower of Henry Dundas and William Pitt, and hoped to be rewarded with a peerage. Although he would have preferred an earldom, he was created Baron Douglas, of Douglas in the County of Lanark, in 1790.

Lord Douglas married first (1771) Lady Lucy Graham (1751-1780), daughter of the 2nd Duke of Montrose, and secondly (1783) Lady Frances Scott (1750-1817), sister of the 3rd Duke of Buccleuch. He had nine children (five sons and four daughters, most of whom reached old age). Douglas died on 26 December 1827 at Bothwell Castle, Lanarkshire. He was buried in Douglas parish church in the same county.

He was succeeded by his sons Archibald (1773-1844) as 2nd Baron Douglas of Douglas, Charles (1775-1848) as 3rd Baron and Rev. James (1787-1857) as 4th Baron, on whose death, the Barony of Douglas of Douglas became extinct.

The arms of Douglas of Douglas on the dexter (left) side of the shield are blazoned: Quarterly: 1, Azure a lion rampant argent crowned with an imperial crown or (Galloway); 2, Or a lion rampant gules surmounted by a ribbon in bend sable (Abernathy); 3, Argent three piles gules (Wishart); 4, Or a fess checky azure and argent surmounted of a bend sable charged with three buckles of (Stewart of Bonkill); overall on an escutcheon Argent a heart gules crowned or on a chief azure three mullets argent (Douglas of that Ilk).

The paternal arms of his wife, Lucy Graham, are blazoned: Quarterly: 1 and 4, Or on a chief sable three escallops or (Graham); 2 and 3, Argent three roses gules (Montrose).

Of his four daughters, who all married, only one left issue, the Hon. Jane Margaret. She married Henry, Lord Montagu, second son of Henry, third Duke of Buccleuch. Lady Montagu succeeded as heiress to the Douglas estates in 1837.

The arms of Lord Montagu (with Douglas in pretense), include in the second quarter the Royal Arms of Charles II debruised by a baton sinister argent (James Crofts, Duke of Monmouth, was an illegitimate son of Charles II), Campbell in the fourth quarter, and in the third quarter, Or on a bend azure a mullet of six points between two crescents or (Scott).

The eldest of Lady Montagu's four daughters succeeded on her death, and married Cospatrick Alexander Home, 11th Earl of Home, who in 1875 was created a baron of the United Kingdom by the title of Lord Douglas of Douglas. Their eldest son, Charles Alexander Douglas Home was the 12th Earl of Home and Lord Douglas in 1888 edition of the Dictionary of National Biography and had possession of the Douglas estates at that time.

The Earl of Home's arms are: Quarterly: 1 and 4, Vert a lion rampant argent (Home); 2, Or an orle azure; 3, Argent three popinjays vert beaked and membered gules (Pepdie of Dunglas); with, of course, an inescutcheon of pretence for Montagu.

Three generations of Douglases, with increasingly complex heraldry as heiresses transmitted the Douglas arms to their children.

There are a number of photographs of memorials and effigies of members of the family, including an effigy of and a stained glass window with the arms of Lucy Elizabeth Montagu Douglas of Douglas, Countess of Home (1805-1877), on a webpage of St. Bride’s Church, Douglas, Lanarkshire, at

Finally, in a window in another part of the Cathedral presented in 1958 by The Cameronians Regiment, and listing all of the regiment's engagements in World War II, we have this display of arms:

The quarters are all those familiar to us from Douglas of Douglas above, with the addition of a label of three tags vert. The coronet atop the shield is that of a Marquess. The supporters are a wild man proper and a stag rampant or. The crest (the same as one of the two used by the Earl of Home) is On a cap of maintenance proper a salamander vert encircled with flames of fire also proper and the motto, Jamais arriére (Never behind). Both crest and motto are associated with (no surprise here!) Douglas.

I have not, at this point, been able to determine the owner of these arms. As a peer, you'd think he'd appear (pun intended. Sorry!) in my Burke's Peerage of 1938, but he's not there under Douglas, nor Home, nor Buccleuch (this last I knew would be a stretch, but I looked anyway). But without knowing his title, I'd have to thumb through the 3,000+ pages of that book looking for this coat of arms, and I'm not ready to devote that much time to this hunt right now.

In any case, it's a great display of heraldry and deserves its place here with the other, older Douglas memorial glass.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Another Stained Glass Armorial Window

I have been frustratingly unable to find much information about the person who is memorialized in this next stained glass armorial window in the Glasgow Cathedral.

The text at the bottom of the window states that:

This window replaces the Munich
glass presented 1861 in memory of
James Tennant, Esq. of St. Rollox

I have, however, found nothing about this particular individual. I have found a fair bit about Charles Tennant of St. Rollox (1768-1838, and whose monument in the Glasgow Necropolis across the street from the Cathedral bears a statue of him sitting in a chair), and some about (one of) his son(s), John Tennant (1706-1878). James Tennant of St. Rollox, presumably a relative of Charles and John, however, remains elusive. (I think that the dates are not quite right for him to be the person to whom Robert Burns was writing in his "Epistle to James Tennant." That James, son of John Tennant, was the younger brother of Charles Tennant of St. Rollox noted earlier in this paragraph, and would have been roughly contemporary with him, making that James a little early for the 1861 date of the original window.)

I have also been unable to determine if Scottish actor David Tennant (Dr. Who, Hamlet, Richard II, GracepointBroadchurch, and a whole lot of others) is a descendant or relative of James Tennant, Esq. of St. Rollox or Charles Tennant of St. Rollox or his son John Tennant.

(It turns out that he is not; a link forwarded to me by friend, and blog follower, Margaret Sainte Claire, notes that David Tennant is a stage name. He was born David McDonald.)

Be all that as it may, it's a nice coat of arms to be found in that window.

The blazon of the arms of Tennant of St. Rollox (matriculated 1856) is: Argent two crescents in fess sable on a chief gules a boar's head couped of the first. The crest is A sail proper. Though not appearing in the window, Fairbairn's Crests gives the motto as Dabit Deus vela (God will fill the sails).

Monday, November 21, 2016

Thank Goodness for Genealogical Data

For this next armorial window in the Glasgow Cathedral, I had to do a bit of genealogical research.

The window is dedicated to Ninian Hill of Lambhill, but a brief search on-line came up with three (or four!) different individuals by that name: one 1621-1685; another 1623-ca.1682 (who may be the same as the first one, since the dates are so close); a third ca.1660-1738; and finally, a fourth 1690-1711.

Fortunately, the window also mentioned the name of his wife, and that helped to narrow down the identification of which particular "Ninian Hill of Lambhill" the window was dedicated to.

The full inscription on the window reads:

This window replaces and earlier window
presented in 1865 by Thomas Hill, Esq.
of Merrylee in memory of Ninian Hill
of Lambhill and Mary Craufurd of
Jordanhill, his spouse, and incorporates
the coat of arms from that window.

By searching for the combination of Ninian Hill of Lambhill and Mary Craufurd, I was able to determine that the man memorialized here is Ninian Hill of Lambhill and Gairbraid, who was born about 1660 and died in 1738. He was the son of Ninian Hill of Lambhill and Jean, daughter of John Caldwell of that Ilk. He married Mary Craufurd, daughter of Hew Craufurd of Jordanhill. (The elder Ninian Hill had married first Margaret, daughter of Hew Craufurd of Cloberhill, though they had no issue. It is these two marriages by a Ninian Hill of Lambhill to daughters of two different Hew Craufurds, one of Cloberhill and one of Jordanhill, which has led to some conflating of Ninian Hill elder and younger by researchers.) Ninian Hill the younger was, like his father, a Burgess of Glasgow.

He and his wife Mary sold part of their property in Glasgow, specifically the lands of Ramshorn and Meadowflat, to the Burgh for “three Houss or Hospitalls” ("the Merchants, Trades, and Hutchesones Hospitalls") there in 1694.

The arms of Hill of Lambhill were matriculated in 1676 by Ninian Hill of Lambhill (the elder) and are blazoned Azure a hill or with the sun rising and appearing over the top thereof in his splendour [proper, or also or].

The arms as shown in the window are the arms of Hill of Merrylee, matriculated in 1865 (and so about the same time as the original window was donated), and so must be the arms of the donor of the window, Thomas Hill of Merrylee, whose arms are blazoned Azure a hill or with the sun rising and appearing over the top thereof in his splendour [proper, or also or] within a bordure ermine. The crest is The Bible expanded proper, and the motto is Veritas superabit montes (Truth shall cross mountains).

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Armorial Windows to Three Dennistouns

Not as closely related as the husband and wife in the last post, here we have armorial stained glass memorials to Robert Dennistoun, to James Dennistoun of Dennistoun, and to Alexander Dennistoun of Golfhill. I have not done the research to see how they are related, but they must be at least cousins to a greater or lesser degree. Based on the arms shown in the windows, I must believe that James is from the senior line, and that Robert and Alexander are cadets of that senior line.)

Though the arms are all differenced, they each bear the crest blazoned in Fairbairn's Crests as: In a hand an antique shield sable charged with a mullet argent (all three windows, however, show the mullet as or), and the first two have the same motto (the third has no motto in the window at all): Adversa virtute repello (I repel adversity with fortitude) (which sounds to me more than a bit like a spell that might be cast in Harry Potter. But maybe that's just me).

The first window, memorializing Robert Dennistoun, bears the legend:

This window replaces an earlier window
presented by Anne Penelope Dennistoun 
in memory of her husband Robert
Dennistoun, Esq., and their children,
and incorporates the coat of
arms from that window.

Robert Dennistoun, merchant, was the son of James Dennistoun (d. 1796) , one of the leading American merchants, and during the latter part of his life resided in Glasgow, and his second wife, Mary Lyon. Robert married Anne Penelope Campbell, a daughter of Archibald Campbell of Jura, and they were the parents of James Robert Dennistoun ('Ruffy'; he got this nickname from his wearing a fringe or “ruff” of beard under his chin), and grandparents of Admiral Peel Dennistoun.

Robert was a partner in George & Robert Dennistoun & Co. of Glasgow until his death c. 1815. The firm of G & R Dennistoun is known to have been the mortgagees-in-possession of Wingfield and Belle Vue estates on St. Kitts in 1825. He was one of the prime movers behind the formation of the Glasgow West India Association in 1807.

Robert Dennistoun's arms are blazoned: Argent and bend sable between a unicorn's head erased gules horned or and a cross crosslet fitchy gules, on a canton argent a demi-lion azure.

His wife's paternal arms are blazoned: Quarterly: 1 and 4, Gyronny of eight sable and or [should be or and sable]; 2, Azure a boar's head couped or; 3, Argent a lymphad oars in action sable.

The second window, memorializing James Dennistoun, bears the legend:

This window replaces and earlier window
presented by Isabella K. Murray in
memory of her husband
James Dennistoun, Esq., of Dennistoun
died 13th Feb 1885, and incorporates the
coat of arms from that window.

I believe the current window has Mr. Dennistoun's date of death incorrect; all the records that I found on-line for him give a death date of 1855. I suspect that the date was worn in the original, and that the 5 became an 8 in error.

James Dennistoun of Dennistoun (1803-1855) was the son of James Dennistoun and Mary Ramsay Oswald. He received  his education at the universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, and became a member of the Faculty of Advocates in 1824. Having traveled abroad in 1825-26, in 1836 he again went abroad, and spent twelve years away from home, chiefly devoting himself to literary research and art. The winter generally found him at Rome, while the summers were given to journeys in Italy and Germany. He formed a collection of early Italian pictures, drawings, and medieval antiquities, with which he adorned his house in George Street, Edinburgh, his permanent home from 1847.

He was a magistrate and deputy-lieutenant for the county of Renfrew, and became a member of most of the societies formed for collecting materials for illustrating the history of Scotland.

His wife was Isabella Katherine Murray (1808-1864) was the daughter of James Wolfe Murray of Cringletie, Lord Cringletie, and Isabella Katherine Strange.

A bust of James Dennistoun of Dennistoun found in the frontispiece of the 1909 reprint of his three-volume work Memoirs of the Dukes of Urbino. (A tip of the hat and a hearty "thank you!" to my good friend and fellow heraldry enthusiast Margaret Sainte Claire of Glasgow for bringing this to my attention. All three volumes as well as another work by Mr. Dennistoun can be found at

James Dennistoun of Dennistoun's arms are blazoned: Argent a bend sable.

His wife's paternal arms are blazoned, I believe: Or a fetterlock and on a chief azure three mullets argent.

The third window memorializing Alexander Dennistoun of Golfhill, bears the legend:

This window replaces the Munich glass
presented 1861 in memory of Alexander
Dennistoun, Esq. of Golfhill and
incorporates the coat of arms from that window.

Alexander Dennistoun of Golfhill (1790-1874) married 1822 Eleanor Jane, daughter of John Thomson of Liverpool. He was educated at the University of Glasgow, and with his brother John, Jr. for many years took a leading interest in the business of the well-known firm of J. & A. Dennistoun (founded by their father in 1780). He was elected MP for Dumbarton in 1835, but only served one Parliament owing to ill health. In 1851 he commissioned this portrait of himself and his family:

The arms of Dennistoun of Golfhill were matriculated in 1865 and are blazoned: Per fess argent and ermine a bend sable between a unicorn's head erased and a cross crosslet fitchy gules.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Heraldic Windows of Another Campbell Husband and Wife

Continuing our tour of the heraldic stained glass in the Glasgow Cathedral, I ran across another married couple, in this case, Alexander Campbell of Hallyards and his wife, Barbara.

The first window (the one on the right as you are looking at them), bears the inscription:

"This window replaces an earlier window presented by the children of Alexander Campbell, Esq. of Hallyards in his memory and incorporates the coat of arms from that window."

The second window (on the left as you are looking at them, bears a similar inscription:

"This window replaces an earlier window presented by the children of Mrs. Barbara Campbell in her memory and incorporates the coat of arms from that window."

The blazon of the arms of Campbell of Hallyards given in Balfour Paul's An Ordinary of Arms is:

Quarterly: 1, Gyronny of eight or and sable; 2, Argent a broadsword in bend gules hilted sable; Argent a castle triple-towered sable; 4, Argent a ship in full sail proper in a sea undy vert; all within a bordure argent, and in the centre of the shield on an escutcheon Sable a boar's head erased or.

The arms were granted in 1814. The crest is A lion's head affronty proper and the motto: I bear in mind.

There is a portrait of him by Henry Raeburn.

Alexander Campbell of Hallyards, the son of John and Mary Campbell, came from Doune, the cradle of the family, hence the nickname Sandy Doune. Born in 1768, he was a man of great energy; the head of a large family, a captain of the Highland Sharpshooters, an ardent supporter of the Celtic Society and his business acumen (he was a partner in the West Indies trading company "John Campbell Snr & Co") earned him the additional nickname of Business Sandy. He died in 1817.

His wife was Barbara Campbell, daughter of Archibald Campbell of Jura and his wife Sarah. Barbara was born about 1774 in Jura.