Monday, April 24, 2017

Heraldry on the Kelvingrove Exterior - Part 2

Continuing our alphabetical way around the exterior of the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, we come to the following coats of arms. As before, the non-Kelvingrove images are from Heraldry of the World:




Elgin and Nairn. Here, two coats of arms have been "impaled" on a single shield:



Forfar. Here the arms are so completely different that they share no common elements at all:

Haddington. Here, too, the two shields are completely different:

Next time, Inverness through Peebles!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Heraldry on the Kelvingrove Exterior - Part 1

There is all around the exterior of the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum a series of thirty carved shields (beyond the non-heraldic ones) with coats of arms from various towns and counties in Scotland. Because of the number of shields, I am going to break them up into two groups of seven and two groups of eight.

Additionally, while they are all in alphabetical order on the building, from where we walked down to the Museum I ended up beginning halfway through the alphabet, right after Inverness. However, in the interests of doing them "up right" (and because my OCD won't have it any other way), we are going to start with Aberdeen and work our way around to Wigton.

I will also be pointing out along the way how some of these arms have changed since being carved for the Kelvingrove, as town and county councils have been merged, eliminated, or otherwise changed, thus forcing changes to their heraldry.

In the four posts about these shields on the exterior of the Kelvingrove, the images of the arms which are not photographs of the red sandstone carvings were found on the website, Heraldry of the World.

First, Aberdeen:

Then, Argyll. As you can see, this is one of those which has changed, while retaining parts of the earlier coat:




Bute. Another one that has changed in the interim:

Caithness. This one has changed a lot, the carved arms on the Kelvingrove bearing more resemblance to the arms of the Earls of Caithness (the colored arms below) than to the current civic arms (though both retain the lymphad [ship]):

Next time, Dumbarton through Haddington!

Monday, April 17, 2017

The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum - Non-Heraldry

Following our tour of the University of Glasgow, we all marched down the hill to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.

It's a big place, with a most eclectic collection. I mean, really, in one of the main halls there were stuffed birds and animals on one side (including an elephant!), some silver pieces on the other side, and overhead a Spitfire Mk XXI.

But the biggest display of heraldry, and non-heraldry, was on the exterior of the building.

Today, I thought I'd share the non-heraldry with you, and then get into the major display of heraldry that goes all the way around the building.

First, of course, since it's both large and over a main doorway, is this tribute to Pheidias or Phidias (480-430 B.C.), a Greek sculptor, painter, and architect, creator of one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, his statue of Zeus at Olympia, and who was the director of the construction of one of the most famous buildings in the world, the Parthenon in Athens.

Another non-heraldic display on a shield bears the name of the Venetian Renaissance painter Tintoretto (1519-1594).

And then there's this blank shield with a roundel containing an imperially crowned lion's face above it.

All really cool, and very nicely carved, but despite the shield shapes, not really heraldry now, is it?

Join us next time for that!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

A Final Coat of Arms at the University of Glasgow

Before moving along to our next venue in Glasgow, there is one more coat of arms to consider.

It is placed on the exterior of a building, in the same doorway as the arms of Bishop William Turnbull, whom we have already considered.

(I must say, that's a great place to display a pair of coats of arms! But I digress ...)

Based on the date on the scroll across the lower part of the shield, 1870, I have to assume that these are the arms of James Graham, the Fourth Duke of Montrose, who was Chancellor of the University from 1837 until his death in 1874, Or on a chief sable three escallops or.

The date commemorates the move of the University from the "Old College" on High Street in Glasgow to the new site on Gilmorehill (where it remains) in November 1870.

I am unsure about the coronet atop the shield. It is not the coronet of a Duke. It comes closest to a Lord of Parliament in the Scots Peerage, but that coronet is the same as that of a Baron, which has four pearls (large white roundels) atop the upper rim, not five pearls contained within the circlet, as here.

That question aside, what a wonderful display of heraldry, commemorating a major event in the history of the University.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Heraldry in the Choir Stalls of the Memorial Chapel, Glasgow University, Part 2

Continuing our review of the heraldry of the University Chancellors in the choir stalls of the Memorial Chapel at the University of Glasgow, today we're going to look at the ones on the left-hand side as you face the altar.

As usual, you should be able to click on any of the pictures to see a larger version.

Here's an overview shot of those stalls:

This time we will be going in order of oldest to newest from right to left, the older ones being closer to the altar.

At at the far (right) end, we have:
     Alexander Burnet (1664, and again in 1674): Argent a cross paty gules between three holly leaves vert a chief azure.
     Robert Leighton (1671): Argent a lion rampant gules.

Next, we find the arms of:
     Arthur Ross (1679): Or a chevron checky sable and argent between three water bougets sable in chief a rose slipped and leaved gules.
     Alexander Cairncross (1684): Argent stag’s head erased and between the attires a cross crosslet fitchy surmounted on the top with a mullet all gules.
     John Paterson (1687): Argent in nests vert three pelicans feeding their young or on a chief azure three mullets pierced argent.

Continuing down the aisle away from the altar, we see:
     John Carmichael, 1st Earl of Hyndford (1692): Argent a fess wreathed azure and gules.
     James Graham, 1st Duke of Montrose (1714); William Graham, 2nd Duke of Montrose (1743); James Graham, 3rd Duke of Monstrose (1781); and James Graham, 4th Duke of Montrose (1837): Quarterly: 1 and 4, Or on a chief sable three escallops or; 2 and 3, Argent three roses gules barbed and seeded proper.
     Sir William Stirling Maxwell, 9th Baronet (1876): Argent on a chevron sable an annulet or gemmed azure. This is another coat which I have been unable to confirm in other sources. Burke's Peerage gives for the arms of Stirling-Maxwell of Pollok, including the 9th Baronet Sir William, Argent on a saltire sable an annulet or stoned azure. Is the chevron here an error for a saltire? (That would be my guess, but what do I know?)

Moving along, we find the following arms:
     Walter Francis Montagu-Douglas Scott, 5th Duke of Buccleuch and 7th Duke of Queensberry (1879): Or on a bend azure a mullet of six points between two crescents or.
     John Hamilton Dalrymple, 10th Earl of Stair (1885): Or on a saltire azure nine lozenges or.
     Sir William Thomson, Baron Kelvin of Largs (1904): Argent a stag’s head cabossed gules on a chief azure a thunderbolt proper winged or between two spur rowels argent.

Next, we have:
     Sir Archibald Philip Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery and 1st Earl of Midlothian (1908): Quarterly: 1 and 4, Vert three primroses within a double tressure flory counter-flory or; 2 and 3, Argent a lion rampant double-queued sable.
     Sir Donald MacAlister, 1st Baronet (1930): Quarterly: 1, Argent a lion rampant gules armed and langued azure; 2, Or a cubit arm fesswise vested argent maintaining a cross crosslet fitchy gules; 3, Or a lymphad oars crossed in saltire sable pennants flying gules; 4, Per fess azure and barry wavy argent and azure issuant from the line of division a castle atop a mount proper.
     Sir Daniel Macaulay Stevenson (1934): Argent a chevron between two fleurs-de-lys and a cog wheel gules on a chief sable two arrows in saltire points upwards between two mullets or.

And finally, at the far left end, we find:
     John Boyd Orr, Baron Boyd Orr of Brechin (1947): Argent three piles conjoined in point gules each charged with a wheat ear or on a chief checky gules and argent a pale azure charged with an estoile of six rays argent.
     Sir Alec Cairncross (1972): Argent stag’s head erased sable between the attires a mullet gules. (Compare with the arms of Alexander Cairncross (1684), above.)
     Sir William Kerr Fraser (1996): Azure three fraises on a chief argent a castle triple-towered sable roofed, windowed, and portalled with pennants flying gules between two trees atop each tree a bird [red head, back brown, and underside white] proper. (I haven't found a blazon for these arms; they are pretty recent and haven't appeared in the books yet. As a consequence, I am unfamiliar with what type of bird this is meant to represent; it's nothing that I am familiar with here in Texas, but that should be no surprise.)

And so we finish our review of the coats of arms in the choir stalls of the Memorial Chapel at Glasgow University. As I said (more than once), a wonderful display of heraldry, and an equally wonderful tribute to the Chancellors of the University since its founding.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Heraldry in the Choir Stalls of the Memorial Chapel, Glasgow University, Part 1

There is a wonderful display of heraldry in the choir stalls in the Memorial Chapel at the University of Glasgow. It is here that the University displays the arms of its Chancellors from its foundation in 1451 through today.

If you have an interest in knowing more about any of the University's Chancellors, there is a list, with links to a short biography of each Chancellor, on the University’s website at

Because it's a good-sized choir, with lots of coats of arms, I'm going to break it into two parts. Today I'll do the the right-hand stalls (as you face the altar) with the newest and oldest coats of arms, and next time the left-hand stalls.

Here's an overview of the stalls on the right-hand side. (You should be able to click on any of the pictures to see a larger version.)

At the far left, closest to the altar on this side, is the arms - I believe; I have not been able to confirm the identification of these arms elsewhere - of the current Chancellor (since 2006), Sir Kenneth Calman: Argent on a fess azure between an open book argent bound gules, a garb gules marked or, and an oak tree erased fructed proper an arrow fesswise point to dexter proper.

In the next choir stall, we find the arms of the three oldest Chancellors (the dates in parentheses are when they became Chancellor of the University):
     William Turnbull (1451): Argent a bull’s head cabossed sable.
     Andrew de Durisdeer (1455): Argent on a bend azure three acorns or. (I have not been able to confirm these arms in the sources I have to hand.)
     John Laing (1474): Quarterly: 1 and 4, Argent a pale sable; 2 and 3, Argent three piles in point sable. )Here again, I have been unable to confirm that these arms are those of Laing. There are, though, several coats of arms belonging to Erskine based on Argent a pale sable. But given their placement in the order of Chancellors, and my confirmation of the others, these two shields pretty much have to be for de Durisdeer and Laing.)

Moving along, we find the arms of:
     Robert Blackadder (1483): Azure on a chevron argent three roses gules.
     James Beaton (1508): Quarterly: 1 and 4, Azure a chevron fess between three mascles gules or; 2 and 3, Argent on a chevron sable a lion’s head(?) an otter's head erased argent (for Balfour). (Thanks to reader Margaret Sainte Claire for the blazon corrections. Apparently, when there is a chevron in two of the quarters, my fingers want to make it a chevron in the other two quarters, even when it is obviously a fess!)
     Gavin Dunbar (1523): Or three cushions within a double tressure flory counter-flory gules.

In the next segment, we have:
     (Another) James Beaton (1550): Quarterly: 1 and 4, Azure a chevron fess between three mascles gules or; 2 and 3, Argent on a chevron sable a lion’s head(?) an otter’s head erased argent (for Balfour).
     John Porterfield (1571): Or a bendlet sable between a stag’s head erased and a hunting horn sable garnished gules.
     James Boyd, of Trochrig (1572): Azure a fess checky argent and gules in base a cross crosslet fitchy argent. The Lyon Ordinary gives for Boyd of Trochrig: Azure a fess checky argent and gules between in chief two crosses crosslet fitchy and in base two mullets argent.

Continuing on, I find that we are missing the arms of Robert Montgomery (1581), because next we have:
     William Erskine (1585): Argent on a pale sable a round buckle or.
     Walter Stewart (1587): Or a fess checky azure and argent overall a bend engrailed and in sinister chief a rose gules barbed and seeded proper.
     Nothing for yet another James Beaton (1598), whose arms are found above.
     John Spottiswoode (1603): Argent on a chevron gules between three oak trees eradicated vert a boar’s head couped or.

And next we find:
     James Law (1615): Ermine a bend between a mullet and a cock gules.
     Patrick Lindsay (1633): Gules a fess checky argent and azure.
     James Hamilton, 1st Duke of Hamilton (1642): Gules three cinquefoils ermine.

And finally, coming to the end of the choir stalls on the right-hand side as you face the altar, we have:
     John Thurloe (1658): Azure a chevron ermine between three cinquefoils argent. (Again, I have been unable to confirm these arms for him in other sources.)
     William Cunningham, 8th Earl of Glencairn (1660): Argent a shakefork sable.
     Andrew Fairfoul (1661): Argent three parrots proper.

As I said, a wonderful display of heraldry!

Next time, the choir stalls on the other side of the aisle.