Thursday, September 29, 2016

Heraldry on The Corinthian Club Exterior, Glasgow

The Corinthian Club in Glasgow, just around the corner from the Trades Hall which was the site of the XXXII International Congress of Genealogical and Heraldic Sciences, was originally built in 1884 as a bank (as so many of the other old, historic buildings in Glasgow were, according to our taxi driver). Though the building has gone through several iterations since that time, most recently in 2010, when it became an upscale host for a casino and several restaurants, bars, and clubs, because of its historic status, the exterior facade remains unmodernized.

On a pediment over the door of the entrance is this lovely heraldic sculpture:

Though I didn't find anything to confirm it, I'm pretty sure that the shield bears the arms of the city of Edinburgh (dexter, to the viewer's left) (Argent a castle triple-towered and embattled sable masoned argent and topped with three fans gules windows and portcullis shut also gules situate on a rock proper), and, of course, the city of Glasgow (sinister, to the viewer's right) (Argent on a mount in base vert an oak tree the stem at the base thereof surmounted by a fish on its back proper with a signet ring in its mouth or, on the top of the tree a redbreast and in sinister fess point an ancient handbell proper).

The crest is a sheaf of wheat with a sickle bound with it. (The harvest brought in; appropriate for a bank, I would think.)

Higher up on the building is a colonnade which stretches across the width of the building, with large statues interspersed with roundels on Baroque shields surrounded with appropriate flora, bearing the arms of seven Scottish cities and towns: Dundee, Kilmarnock, Greenock, Perth, Ayr, Paisley, and Aberdeen. (You will notice that they are all well-protected by netting from the tender attention of the local pigeons! In our travels, Jo and I have discovered that pigeons, and seagulls, apparently have not regard or consideration for art.)

All in all, a really nice display of heraldry.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Three Different Renditions of a Coat of Arms

We found these three different renditions of the same coat of arms in different places during our travels about the City of Glasgow:

These are all depictions of the arms of the County of Lanark, or Lanarkshire, which were granted to the County on December 24, 1886.

They are blazoned in Balfour Paul's Ordinary of Arms as: Parted per chevron gules and argent two cinquefoils pierced in chief and a man's heart in base counter-changed. The crest is A demi-eagle displayed with two heads sable beaked gules. The motto, Vigilantia, means "vigilance." (Tying in very well with the two-headed eagle, which can watch both coming and going!)

The cinquefoils are taken from the arms of Hamilton, one of the County's prominent families, and the heart is taken from another important family, Douglas.

So the arms have a lot of meaning for the County, and are of a classic simplicity.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Old and New Versions of the Same Arms

It's always nice to find an organization which has a coat of arms to not only find them using it, but even "updating" it so as to not seem quite so "stuck in the past" as can sometimes happen when they don't realize that a coat of arms is not a trademark, and thus does not have but a single "correct" depiction.

In this case, as we walked about the streets of Glasgow, Scotland, we ran across the following depictions of the arms (indeed, in the first two instances, the complete achievement of arms, with crest and supporters) of the Bank of Scotland (whose arms were first granted in 1701).

The very wide "bordure" around the shield in these depictions is actually not a part of the arms; apparently the stone carvers didn't differentiate between the edge of the shield and a bordure, which is a charge upon the shield.

The arms are blazoned: Azure a saltire argent between four bezants (or roundels or), a clear allusion both to Scotland (with the blue field and white saltire) and the business of banking (the term bezant comes from the old golden coin of Byzantium, and so signifies money, and by extension, banking). The crest is a cornucopia, a symbol of wealth and plenty. The supporters are Plenty (holding another cornucopia) (dexter) and Justice (sinister). The motto is Tanto uberior (So much the more plentiful, or The more to prosper).

And here is how they have "modernized" their arms (and turned it into their logo):

I know a lot of heraldry enthusiasts are somewhat less than enthusiastic about the use of logos, but I find that updating a coat of arms (thereby turning it into a logo) is a lot more satisfying than doing as a number of corporations have done, which is to simply jettison the "old" coat of arms and create an entirely new - and often too soon outdated - logo. The arms, on the other hand, can be modified in any number of ways which can modernize them in accordance with changing tastes, while retaining the connection to the past in a way that no newly-designed logo can.

I think the Bank of Scotland is to be commended for continuing to use their arms in the 21st Century.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Public Memorials to an Old Glasgow Family

After leaving the Glasgow Necropolis, we wandered by the Cathedral (just across Wishart Street from the Necropolis) as well as the nearby Hospital, where we found two different renditions of the same coat of arms.

The Hutcheson arms from the memorial just outside the Cathedral

The Hutcheson arms on the Hospital which the brothers founded

The arms are those of George and Thomas Hutcheson, generous and revered philanthropists in the early 17th Century in Glasgow.

Burke's General Armory blazons the arms as: Argent a fess vert surmounted of three arrows, the middlemost in pale, the other two bend dexter and sinister wise, points meeting in base gules in chief a boar's head erased sable. (It seems to me that it would more correct to blazon the arrows as the middlemost palewise, the other two bendwise and bendwise sinister, and more concise to blazon the them as "in pile" or possibly "pilewise", but what do I know?)

The following information comes from the on-line version of the Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 28:

Thomas Hutcheson (1589-1641), joint-founder with his elder brother George of Hutcheson's Hospital, Glasgow, followed, like his brother, the profession of public writer, and was keeper of the register of sasines of the regality of Glasgow and district. Besides ratifying on 27 June 1640 the deeds of his brother, he by deed dated 9 March 1641, mortified certain bonds amounting to twenty thousand merks for the erection, in connection with George Hutcheson's hospital, of  'a commodious and distinct house of itself for educating and harbouring twelve male children, indigent orphans, or others of the like condition and quality, sons of burgesses.' This was supplemented by the mortification on 3 July 1641 of bonds amounting to a thousand merks, and on the 14th of an additional sum of 10,500 merks to assist in building the hospital. He laid the foundation-stone on 19 March of the same year. He died on 1 Sept. following, in his fifty-second year. He was buried beside his brother George on the south side of the cathedral church of Glasgow, where there is a Latin inscription to his memory.

This portrait of Thomas Hutcheson is thought to be by Anthony Van Dyck

George Hutcheson (1580?-1639), of Lambhill, Lanarkshire, joint-founder with his younger brother Thomas, of Hutcheson's Hospital, Glasgow, was the son of John Hutcheson, an old rentaller under the bishops of Glasgow in the lands of Gairdbraid. His mother's name was Janet Anderson. He became a public writer and notary in Glasgow, and by his success in business added considerably to the wealth he had inherited from his father. He acquired a high reputation for honesty, and as an illustration of his moderation in his charges, it is stated that he would never take more than sixteen pennies Scots for writing an ordinary bond, be the sum ever so large. He died, apparently unmarried, 31 Dec. 1639, and was buried on the south side of the cathedral church of Glasgow. By deed bearing date 16 Dec. 1639 he mortified and disposed a tenement of land on the west side of the old West Port of Glasgow with yard and tenements there, for the building of 'one perfyte hospital for entertainment of the poor, aged, decrepit men to be placed therein,' for whose maintenance after the hospital should be built he also mortified certain bonds amounting to the principal sum of twenty thousand merks. The inmates were to be aged and decrepit men above fifty years of age who had been of honest life and conversation. Other mortifications to the hospital were made by his brother Thomas.

(Why is it that, having just passed my 68th birthday, the phrase "aged and decrepit men above fifty years of age" bothers me? Yes, I understand that life expectancy in the 17th Century is not what it is today, but still, "aged and decrepit" at 50?)

From other sources, we find that:

Thomas Hutcheson also bequeathed £1,000 for the rebuilding of the ruinous buildings at the Old College, and 2,000 marks to employ "ane bibliothecare [librarian]". The librarian was to be appointed by the College authorities and "be the counsall of the burgh of Glasgow" for a period of four years.

Thomas' wife was Marion Stewart, who died in November 1670. She was the daughter of James Stewart of Blackhall. She commissioned the tomb, which was built in in the Jacobean style around 1641, and restored by architect T.L. Watson and sculptor William Vickers in 1902. The monument also commemorates her through her initials, which are entwined with her husband's on its front, and her family's coat of arms (for photographs, please see below).

Balfour Paul's An Ordinary of Arms blazons the arms of Stewart of Blackhall as: Or a fess checky azure and or, overall a lion rampant gules. (Burke's General Armory cites two versions, one which matches Balfour Paul, and one which places the fess overall, as in the depiction on the Hutcheson monument.)

George Hutcheson is also buried here (indeed, he was the first to be buried), but he is not mentioned on the monument at all, despite his being as generous and revered a philanthropist as his brother.

The Stewart of Blackhall arms

The marshalled arms of Thomas and Marion (Stewart) Hutcheson at the top of the memorial

Thursday, September 15, 2016

A Final Heraldic Monument from the Glasgow Necropolis

This final heraldic monument in the Necropolis at Glasgow does not contain a coat of arms at all, but only a crest and motto.

The monument is dedicated to James MacKenzie, Esq. (died 1838 at age 77); his wife Louisa Balfour (died 1855); their son, James MacKenzie, Esq. (died 1873); the younger James' wife, Elizabeth Campbell (died 1903), and two of James and Elizabeth's daughters, Louisa (died 1937) and Margaret (whose particulars were hidden behind grass in my photographs of the monument).

The following information about the MacKenzie family was found on the Rootsweb portion of the website:

James MacKenzie the Elder was a Lieutenant in the Second Battalion Scots Guards, and was also Lord Provost of Glasgow from 1806 to 1808. 
He married Louisa Balfour (born December 18, 1779) on November 8, 1805, at St. Cuthberts in Edinburgh. 
They had nine children, the youngest of whom, James MacKenzie (who received the name of his father after it having been given to two elder brothers, each of whom died young), was born October 6, 1825, and died March 6, 1873, in Bonhill, Dunbarton, Scotland.

The book Exhibition Illustrative of Old Glasgow, published in 1894, adds the information that James MacKenzie (the elder) of Craigpark was a merchant, and was Bailie in 1801-1802 in addition to his later service as Provost of Glasgow.

(Okay, yes, I'm just showing off a little now. But I continue to find it amazing what you can find out about people from a brief search on the internet. In the space of five minutes or so, I've been able to flesh out some more details about this MacKenzie family and learn something about their lives while sitting at my computer in Texas, making them far more than the simple recitation of names and death dates on a monument photographed in a moment on a hillside in Scotland. How cool is that?)

Anyway, I digress. We're here because of our interest in heraldry.

The monument has a deeply carved, three-dimensional crest and motto. The crest is blazoned in Fairbairn's as A mountain in flames proper, and the motto is given as Luceo, non uro (I shine, but not burn).

Given that this same crest and motto are used by MacKenzie, Earl of Seaforth, Chief of Kintail (according to Burke's General Armory), I would expect the arms (which do not appear on the monument) to be similar to (but presumably differenced from) the Earl's arms, which are: Azure a stag's head cabossed or.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Another Coat of Arms in the Glasgow Necropolis

The next armorial memorial I ran across while walking through the Necropolis in Glasgow, Scotland, was that of Alex (full name, Alexander) McDougall, 1798-1864.

The monument also memorializes two of his children, Elizabeth and Margaret, both of whom died young; his wife Isabella Richardson, who survived him by some years; and a David Thompson (his brother-in-law, I believe, from what I can read of the inscription).

The coat of arms at the top of the monument is a quarterly coat, with crest above and, unusually for Scotland, motto below. (The usual Scottish practice is to place the motto above the crest rather than below the shield.)

I did not find this coat of arms in Balfour Paul's An Ordinary of Arms, but from what I can make out of the various quarters on the monument, the first and fourth quarters are Barry [of six?] a lion rampant crowned (the first quarter is barry of six, while the fourth is carved as barry of seven), and the second and third quarters (assuming that the dots are hatching) are Or a lymphad sails furled oars in action. The crest is an arm embowed holding in the hand a cross crosslet fitchy. (I don't find this crest in Fairbairn's Crests.) The motto is Vincere vel mori (To conquer or die).

A search on-line found a number of Alexander McDougalls, but none whose birth and death dates (or residence in Glasgow) matched this one, and a perusal through the Scottish armorials I have did not find a match, either. (Some said for McDougall to see McDowell, and the arms for McDowell are Azure a lion rampant argent gorged with a crown or. But the field here is definitely Barry and the lions crowned rather than gorged.) So I don't know where else to look for this individual.

Still, it's a nice monument with a well-carved (except for the confusion about barry of six/seven) coat of arms on it.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

A Coat of Arms in the Glasgow Necropolis

Just the other side of a street from the Glasgow, Scotland cathedral (St. Mungo's), on a low but prominent hill is the Glasgow Necropolis. Opened in April 1833, about 50,000 individuals have been buried there (most without monuments, of which there are only about 3,500).

While we didn't manage to walk through the entire cemetery (it's about 37 acres, and is laid out as an informal park, so the paths meander about quite a lot), we did find a few heraldic (and pseudo-heraldic) memorials while we were there.

One was this memorial to Edward Alexander (1791-1875), merchant and Burgess of the City of Glasgow.

His arms, near the top of the monument, are incomplete; what remains is a copper base, hatched, with a chevron missing.

I didn't find Edward Alexander's arms in An Ordinary of Arms by Sir James Balfour Paul, but several Alexanders with similar arms appear in that volume. The closest one was entry number 4540 for "Alexander of Knockhill (1672-7):" Parted per pale arg[ent] and sa[ble]a chevron and in base a crescent, all counter-changed, a mullet for difference. If the mullet were to have been placed on the chevron, that could explain why no mullet appears on Edward Alexander's memorial here. (There are other possible explanations for it's lack here, too.)

Another entry, number 4578, is for "John Alexander, merchant, Glasgow (1861):" Parted per pale arg[ent] and sa[ble] a chevron counter-changed between a cross crosslet fitchée gu[les] and a galley, sail furled, in chief or, and in base a crescent counter-changed of the field.

Edward Alexander's arms show no trace of having any charges in chief (above the chevron), but the counterchanged crescent is plainly seen here, and the mention of Glasgow makes it of interest here.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Depictions of the Scottish Royal Arms in Glasgow

In addition to the many depictions of the Glasgow coat of arms, we saw a number of portrayals of the Royal Arms, sometimes the quarterly arms of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (often as displayed in Scotland, with Scotland in the first and fourth quarters rather than the three lions of England in those quarters), and sometimes the arms of Scotland alone (the lion rampant within a double tressure flory counterflory).

As before, some are newer, some are older, but all carved with skill.

This is the unicorn supporter holding the shield on the Mercat Cross in Glasgow.

This one, while not the Royal Arms, does quarter the French lily, Scottish thistle, Irish shamrock, and English rose.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

The Many Depictions of the Glasgow, Scotland City Arms

I'd mentioned the other day (see my post of August 22 at about my disappointment at not finding any tee shirts or baseball caps or anything else for the tourist trade with the arms of the City of Glasgow on them.

I was disappointed because they have a very interesting coat of arms with a good backstory to them.

St. Kentigern, also known as Saint Mungo (and I heard both names for him during our stay in the city), performed four miracles in Glasgow. The following verse is used to remember Mungo's four miracles:

Here is the bird that never flew
Here is the tree that never grew
Here is the bell that never rang
Here is the fish that never swam

The verses refer to the following:

The Bird - Mungo restored life to a robin, that had been killed by some of his classmates.

The Tree - Mungo had been left in charge of a fire in Saint Serf's monastery. He fell asleep and the fire went out. Taking a hazel branch, he restarted the fire.

The Bell - the bell is thought to have been brought by Mungo from Rome. It was said to have been used in services and to mourn the deceased. The original bell no longer exists, and a replacement, created in the 1640s, is now on display in Glasgow.

The Fish - refers to the story about Queen Languoreth of Strathclyde who was suspected of infidelity by her husband. King Riderch demanded to see her ring, which he claimed she had given to her lover. In reality the King had thrown it into the River Clyde. Faced with execution she appealed for help to Mungo, who ordered a messenger to catch a fish in the river. On opening the fish, the ring was miraculously found inside, which allowed the Queen to clear her name. (This story may be confused with an almost identical one concerning King Maelgwn of Gwynedd and Saint Asaph.)

All four charges appear on the City's coat of arms, and the crest is a demi-St. Mungo. And as I shall demonstrate below, the arms can be found all over the City. My question is, then why not on tourist souvenirs?

That being said, there are some wonderful depictions of the coat of arms (or elements from the arms) of varying ages and by some very skilled craftsmen. Witness the following which we found in our walks about the City. (How many of the bird, tree, bell, fish, and St. Mungo do you see?)

The first one, in color so you can really see it in all its glory, is from a window in St. Mungo's Cathedral.

This was on the glass surround of a streetside bus stop.