Thursday, December 28, 2017

A Newer Heraldic Memorial

It's not just old heraldic monuments in these churches in Scotland; sometimes, you may run across a much more recent one.

For example:

This heraldic plaque was erected in St. Michael's Church, Linlithgow, in 1990.

The entire inscription reads:

Merchant, Diplomat, and Friend of Scotland.
Ambassador of Charles, Duke of Burgundy,
to the Court of King James III,
Conservator of the Privileges of
Scottish Merchants in Flanders.
Born in Bruges 1424, killed in Scotland 1483,
and buried near this place.

Erected by the Heraldry Society of Scotland 1990.

The coat of arms is almost remarkably simple:

Rietstap's Armorial Général blazons his arms as D'or à la bande échiqueté d'argent et de sable de trois tires. I would blazon it simply as Or a bend checky argent and sable.

The collar surrounding the shield is that of a Knight of the Order of the Unicorn, into which Order he was inducted by King James III at the end of the year 1468.

While on pilgrimage, while staying at a monastery in North Berwick, he was attacked by an armed gang who killed him on January 23, 1483.

He has his own page on Wikipedia, which gives a much lengthier biography, and even lists his and his wife, Margriet van der Banck's, sixteen children. You can find that article on-line at

It's a really nice, modern memorial to an interesting man.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

Here's a very last minute heraldic gift for the family pet, just in case you may have left him or her out of your shopping plans.

And some good advice for making it through the holidays; it also is, I think, good for life in general!

May your Christmas be a joyous, and heraldic, one!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

An Older Heraldic Memorial

One of the things that I really enjoy about visiting churches in Great Britain is the sheer number of heraldic memorials, their sometimes widely varying ages, and the many forms that they take.

Continuing our heraldic tour of St. Michael's Church in Linlithgow, Scotland, we came across this memorial:

The form is not a common one; indeed, I don't remember seeing others just like this in our travels over the years. (I must say, though, that I really admire the carving of the rope around the circular top of this monument!)

The inscriptions on the main body of the monument read:

Sir James Sandilands Hamilton.
Died 1733.

Sir Walter Sandilands Hamilton, Bart.
A.D.C. to General Churchill,
Died 3rd April 1762.

Helen Lady Hamilton.
Died 13th November 1770, aged 79.

daughter of Thomas Hamilton, of Olivestob.
Died 23rd January 1771, aged 87.

It is, of course, the arms carved at the top which got my attention.

The arms of Hamilton of Westport are blazoned in An Ordinary of Arms by Sir James Balfour Paul as Gules three cinquefoils ermine within a bordure argent enaluron of eight martlets gules.

For those to whom the term enaluron is unfamiliar, Parker's A Glossary of Terms Used in Heraldry says: "Bordure enaluron: a name given to one charged with eight birds of any kind, and it may be blazoned an enaluron of (say) eagles, which would imply that it was a border, and that it was charged with eight eagles. The word is probably only a corruption of the French en orle."

The arms here are, of course, a suitably differenced version of the well-known arms of Hamilton, Gules three cinquefoils ermine.

Walter Sandilands, son of William Sandilands of Hilderston, Linlithgowshire, married in 1674, Anna Hamilton, daughter and heiress of James Hamilton of Westport, Linlithgowshire, and in consequence assumed the name and arms of Hamilton. Walter's son, Sir James Sandilands Hamilton of Westport, dying in 1733 (as noted on the monument), was succeeded by his brother, Sir Walter Sandilands Hamilton.

Sir Walter Sandilands Hamilton, a captain in the army who served thirteen campaigns under Marlborough, married his cousin Helen, daughter of Thomas Hamilton, of Olivestob, the "Helen Lady Hamilton" on this monument. Martha Hamilton, the last entry, would have been her sister.

They had two sons, James and Thomas, both military officers who died without issue, and daughters.

Sir Walter’s eldest daughter Grizel, married John Ferrier, Esq. of Kirkland, Renfrewshire, writer in Edinburgh, and their son, on succeeding his grandfather, Sir Walter, in 1763, also took the name of Hamilton.

What an interestingly complex family history, all wrapped up into a single monument to members of this family in a church in Linlithgow.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Brass Heraldic Memorials to Two Members of a Family

Continuing our way around the interior of St. Michael's Church in Linlithgow, we came across two brass heraldic plaques in memory of different members of a family.

The first reads as follows:

To the Glory of God
for the adornment of his house
and in loving memory of
Sir William Baillie,
of Polkemmet, Linlithgowshire 2nd Baronet
born 2nd Feb. 1816, entered into rest 21st July 1890.
Deputy Lieutenant Convener of the Co. for 27 years
Hon. Colonel 1st Brig. Scottish Div. R.A.
formerly Captain Midlothian Yeo. Cavy.
A true friend and liberal supporter
of the Church of Scotland
and for 45 years a
Representative Elder
in her
General Assembly.

The second reads:

To the Glory of GOD
In loving remembrance of
William Lyon Dennistoun Baillie
Captain Royal Scots Fusiliers
killed in action
at Frederickstad, South Africa
on 25th October 1900 aged 28.
"Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life."

Both plaques bear a coat of arms, though on the plaque for Sir William Baillie the arms are done in black and white.

In the Lyon Ordinary the arms of Baillie of Polkemmet are blazoned as: Quarterly: 1 and 4, Azure nine mullets three three two and one or within a bordure counter-nebuly argent and sable; 2 and 3, Azure a lion rampant in chief three mullets argent (for Inglis of Murdiston). The first matriculation of these arms was made in 1672-7; the second in 1794; and the third in 1810.

The crest is A star [which I take to be an estoile, which has wavy rays] of eight points issuing out of a cloud proper, with the motto In caligine lucet (It shines in the dark), and with supporters Two lions guardant argent.

Sir William Baillie also bears the badge of a Baronet of Great Britain (Argent a sinister hand couped gules) in the center of his shield.

What a beautifully done set of brass armorial plaques to two members of the Baillie family.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Burgh Arms In and About St. Michael's

In addition to the various Royal Arms in various places in St. Michael's Church in Linlithgow, Scotland, there are also a number of depictions of these arms:

On some of the ceiling bosses:

And behind the main altar:

They are the arms of the Burgh of Linlithgow, a Royal Burgh created about 1138 by King David I. The arms were granted July 16, 1673, and are blazoned Or a greyhound bitch sable chained to an oak tree within a loch proper. The motto is My fruit is fidelity to God and the King.

The arms may be canting; one of the possible meanings of Linlithgow is "the lake of the gray dog."

These arms were used until 1975, when Linlithgow was incorporated into the West Lothian District Council, which in 1996 became the West Lothian Area Council.

Nearby, outside St. Michael's, I also found these two armorial roundels:

The first, of course, is yet another rendition of the arms of Linlithgow.

The second is an alternate coat of arms sometimes used by Linlithgow, Azure St. Michael slaying a dragon beneath his feet with a lance in his dexter hand and holding in his sinister hand a shield of the Royal Arms of Scotland [Or a lion rampant within a double tressure flory counter-flory gules].

The motto more usually seen with these arms is Collocet in cœlis nos omnes vis Michælis (Michael's strength sets us all in heaven). The one used here, St. Michael is kinde to strangers, seems to me to be at odds with his depiction as slaying a dragon who, not being native to Scotland, must be considered to be a stranger, I think. But maybe that's just me. ☺

Monday, December 11, 2017

Royal Heraldry in St. Michael's Church

St. Michael's Church in Linlithgow is a substantial edifice, and so it is not surprising to find examples of the Royal Arms there.

For example, the Royal Arms of Scotland;

On a panel behind the altar;

Another on a ceiling boss;

 And even in one of the needlework tapestries which depict events from the history of the church.

There are also the Royal Arms of the United Kingdom as used in Scotland:

Again, from a panel behind the main altar;

And a Hanoverian carved achievement of arms (King George I and/or II) mounted on some of the stonework.

There is even, in another one of the needlework tapestries there, the Arms of the United Kingdom under the Commonwealth.

The arms depicted are, of course, Quarterly: 1 and 4, Argent a cross gules (for England); 2, Azure a saltire argent (for Scotland); and 4, Azure a harp or (for Ireland), on an inescutcheon of pretense, Sable a lion rampant argent armed and langued gules. (This last is the arms of Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth. Nothing quite like saying, "Yeah, that's me. I'm the boss" heraldically.)

It was really nice to be able to see some of the historical, as well as the current, Royal Arms in the church.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Another Saint, and the Arms of an Earl

In the third panel of the stained glass window at St. Michael's Church in Linlithgow, Scotland that I've been sharing with you, above the lower portion of King David I and his attributed arms, is the figure of St. Bridget.

Above her head is a knight on horseback, bearing a banner with fleurs-de-lis and whose pauldron (shoulder armor) marks him as a Crusader (Argent a cross gules). But especially, he carries a shield with the well-known arms of Douglas: Argent a heart gules on a chief azure three mullets argent.

I suspect that this is meant to be "Good Sir James" Douglas, who was slain in August 1330 fighting under King Alfonso XI of Castile against the Muslims of the Kingdom of Granada, carrying the heart of Robert Bruce as a token of Bruce's unfulfilled ambition to go on crusade.

According to John Barbour's description of Douglas' last battle, when the enemy broke, Sir James and his companions followed hard behind. Having outstripped most of his men in the pursuit, Douglas suddenly found himself far out in front with only a few of his followers around him. As he rode back to rejoin the main body, he saw Sir William St. Clair of Rosslyn surrounded by a body of Moors who, seizing their opportunity, had quickly rallied and counterattacked. With the few knights who were with him, Douglas turned aside to attempt a rescue but, outnumbered twenty to one, the group was overrun. It has become a popular legend that Douglas then took from his neck the silver casket which contained the heart of Bruce and threw it before him among the enemy, saying, "Now pass thou onward as thou wert wont, and Douglas will follow thee or die." (Alas, this story seems to be a 16th-century addition to Barbour's poem.)

By 1333 Bruce's heart was incorporated in the arms of Sir James' son, William, Lord of Douglas, and it has been a prominent part, sometimes with a golden crown, of the family's arms ever since.

Monday, December 4, 2017

A Saintly Coat of Arms

In the large four-panel stained glass window in St. Michael's Church in Linlithgow, Scotland, which I showed you in my last post, one panel was dedicated to the patron saint of Scotland, St. Andrew.

In addition to being shown with his cross, above his head is a shield Azure a saltire argent, which in flag form is probably the premier emblem of Scotland's people. (The arms with the red lion within a double tressure flory counter-flory is the emblem of the King or Queen of Scotland.)

The arms, as a symbol of Scotland, are also found elsewhere in St. Michael's Church, on a panel behind the altar;

and on one of the ceiling bosses.

Why, yes, I did almost get a dizzying  case of vertigo taking this picture. Why do you ask? All I can say is, "Thank goodness for a good telephoto lens!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

A _Very_ Royal Heraldic Window

The next stop on our heraldic tour was St. Michael's Church in Linlithgow, where we were treated to a very impressive display of Royal heraldry.

Across the bottom of the window, accompanied by their coats of arms, are:

King James IV, with the Royal Arms of Scotland by his left shoulder, in the first panel;

King David I of Scotland, bearing the same arms as those attributed to the canonized English King Edward the Confessor, Azure a cross flory between five martlets or, in the third panel. (St. Edward the Confessor died in 1066, well before King David's reign over Scotland.)

And at the right, in the fourth panel, Queen Victoria, with the Royal Arms as used in Scotland.

I want to discuss a couple of the other panels in this window in the near future, but I wanted to share this impressive display of Royal heraldry with you first.

Monday, November 27, 2017

We're Not Sitting With the Hoi-Polloi

For our last look at the heraldry contained in the church at Abercorn, Scotland, I have saved the best, or at least the largest and most "in your face," for last.

I am speaking, of course, of the Hopetoun Loft, a separate enclosure with its own private entrance built behind and above the altar by the Earl of Hopetoun.

This is the view from the floor of the church, looking up into the Hopetoun Loft. (You really need to click on the image above to get the full effect from the larger image.)

Here's a closer view, with the achievement of arms sandwiched in between the two pillars of fruit, between two copies of the letter H surmounted by a very large earl's coronet.

If you are going to "mark your territory" heraldically, by golly, this is how you do it! Just sayin'.

The foliate framing around the upper edge of the front of the Loft has two copies of the arms, one facing the church (top) and the other facing the Loft (bottom), each surmounted by an earl's coronet and supported by, well, I'm not sure what they are. At first blush I thought that they are mermen or mermaids, but closer inspection shows no fish tails, only a continuation of the green foliage. In any event, they are not the supporters found in the full achievement painted on the back wall of the Hopetoun Loft.

But, of course, it is that large achievement of arms painted on the back wall that really catches the eye.

It is the marital arms of Charles Hope, the 1st Earl of Hopetoun, on the dexter (left side of the viewer) side, and his wife, Lady Henrietta Johnstone, daughter of William Johnstone, the 1st Marquess of Annandale, on the sinister side. The Hope and the Johnstone/Johnston families, both coming from the same area and moving in the same social circles, intermarried over the course of several generations, some generations becoming Hope-Johnston and other Hopes taking Johnstone as a middle name.

The Hope of Hopetoun arms are blazoned Azure on a chevron or between three bezants a bay leaf slipped vert. The Johnstone of Annandale arms are blazoned Quarterly: 1 and 4, Argent a saltire sable on a chief gules three cushions or (Johnston); 2 and 3, Or an anchor gules (Fairholm of Craigiehall). The shield is surmounted by the coronet of an earl. The crest is the same we have seen in the Hope of Craighall window a few posts ago: A globe fracted at the top under a rainbow with clouds at each end all proper. The supporters are: Two female figures in loose garments hair dishevelled each holding in the exterior hand an anchor all proper. (Again, the anchor is an emblem of hope, and thus cants on the surname.) The motto is At spes infracta (But hope is undaunted), also playing on the surname.

All in all, the Hopetoun Loft is a magnificent display of heraldry, and as I said above, if you are going to "mark your territory" heraldically, this is how you do it! (Though I do wonder how the regular members of the parish felt about being literally "looked down upon" by Lord and Lady Hopetoun and their family during services there.)

Thursday, November 23, 2017

A Monument for a Wife

In another part of the church at Abercorn, in a narrow alcove where I could not get directly in front of it - hence the angle of the photographs here - was a monument to the memory of the wife of the man memorialized in my last post, Thomas Dalyell of the Binns: Janet, daughter of Edward Bruce, 1st Lord Kinloss.

The inscription reads, to the extent I can make it out from this angle, as follows (I have placed what I believe are the missing letters in brackets):

[H]ere Rest The Remaines [of J]anet Brvce, wife of Thomas [Dal]yel of Binns, who when [she] had lived 61 yeeres changed [her] transittorie life with that [bles]sed and eternal the 1 Dec[ember] Anno M DC XXXIIII [1634].

[Within] the closure of this narrove grave
[Lie all] those graces a good wyfe could have
[But o]n this marble they shall not be be read
[for th]en the living envye wold the dead

[...] D maritus moerevs P

The four-line poem is is an epitaph by poet William Drummond. The last line on the memorial, in Latin, speaks of the grief of the husband.

But of course it is the coat of arms at the peak of the memorial which attracted me first.

The arms here would be blazoned Or a saltire and chief gules on a canton argent a lion rampant azure armed and langued gules. There is a difference, though, which you can see more clearly on the larger photo (click on the photo above to see it), in that the lion on the canton is debruised by a ribband. I am not certain why the ribband is here. It does not appear on the tomb of her father (,_1st_Lord_Kinloss), nor can I find it in any other Bruce-related arms. And yet, there it is on her memorial here. Like so many other things in life, I guess it's a mystery.

Yet how special to see two separate monuments to a husband and wife, both beautifully carved, both armorial, in this old Scottish church in Linlithgow.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Nice Try, But No Cigar, err, Heraldic Medallion

There was an auction on Saturday, November 18, of a bunch of movie props, artifacts, jewelry, and so on created by Joseff of Hollywood. I had gone and signed up to submit a proxy bid on one particular item:

It is a medallion worn by actor Vincent Price as "Prime Minister" Richelieu in the 1948 movie The Three Musketeers (starring Gene Kelly, Lana Turner, Van Heflin, June Allyson, Frank Morgan, and Angela Lansbury, besides Mr. Price).

I was especially interested in it because of a confluence of three factors: heraldry, movie history, and genealogy.

First, it's not only heraldry, but it is historically correct heraldry used in a movie. The medallion is the arms of Cardinal Armand Jean du Plessis, Duke of Richelieu and Fronsac, Argent three chevronels gules. (The coronet of sitting atop the shield is not accurate, being the coronet of a French count, not a duke. Still, they used the correct coat of arms in the movie!) So there's that.

Second, it's from an old movie, and more specifically, an old costume drama, and people who know me well know that I have an interest in such movies. Indeed, I have a regular monthly movie review, mostly of movies set before the 17th Century (which "definition" has been expanded to include, for example, the various incarnations and remakes of The Three Musketeers) and in pre-technological fantasy worlds (such as The Lord of the Rings, among others). You can find a new movie review each month on my website at So there's that.

And, finally, there is a familial link, in that it turns out that Vincent Price is my sixth cousin, twice removed. (Don't tell my children about this connection yet. I've written about our family connection to Mr. Price in their Christmas present for this year, Appleton Family Stories 2017. So, shhhh!)

So, naturally enough, with all three of these factors connecting to this one object, I was very interested in acquiring it if I could. I carefully considered my options, looked at what the auction house estimate was, reviewed my budget, and submitted a bid for a little over the high estimate.

Alas, I was informed by email on Saturday that I had been outbid for this medallion. Am I disappointed? Well, yeah, of course. I mean, I have a personal interest and familial connections to this medallion. Am I really upset to have lost out on it? No, because I had submitted the bid that I thought my budget would bear, and I wasn't going to pay so much that I would worry about next week's or next month's groceries. I can only hope that whoever won the bidding on it will put in somewhere in pride of place in his or her collection. I know that I would have.

Another (Even Older) Monument to A Dalyell of the Binns

Back in that corner of the church at Abercorn, Scotland, was another monument to another member of the Dalyell of the Binns family.

The inscription reads:

What was mortall of Thomas Dalyell of Binnes lyeth heere. Hee was descended of the auncient race of the Lo[rd]s of Dalyel now Erles of Carnwath. He left successours of his verteous fortunes, a sonne and a daughter maried to William Drummond of Rickertoune. Efter 69 yeeres pilgramage on earth hee was removed to the rest of heaven the 10 day of Februarie Anno 1642

The angels on each side of the banner with the legend appear to be blowing shofars, or ram's horns.

But of course, it's the heraldry on top that held the bulk of my attention.

The arms are those of the oldest of Dalyell of the Binns, Sable a naked man arms extended proper, in dexter chief a crescent for difference. (A crescent is often seen as the heraldic difference for a second son.) The crest is slightly different from the Dalyells we have seen, being: In dexter hand a sword proper, instead of a scimitar. The motto above the crest, too, is different: Non mihi sed alns (Not for myself, but for the high [God?]), instead of I dare.

It is possible that the crest is a transitional one; the crest of the Dalziel Earls of Carnwath is A dagger erect proper (without being held by a hand).

I have not found a lot of information about this Thomas Dalyell of Binns; much more is found about his son (unnamed in the inscription), General Thomas Dalyell of Binns (ca.1599-1685), also known as "Bluidy Tam" and "The Muscovite De'il". See, e.g. What I have found (in the Dictionary of National Biography, in an article about his son Thomas) about this Thomas Dalyell of Binns is that he acquired the property of Binns in Linlithgow in 1629, that he was the second cousin of the Earl of Carnwath, and that he married Janet Bruce, daughter of the first Lord Bruce of Kinloss. (More about Janet (Bruce) Dalyell of Binns in our next post.)

This memorial is a beautiful piece of carving; the helmet and mantling is especially well done and striking, as is the hair of the angels, and it was a pleasure to be able to see it.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Heraldic Memorial to Another Dalyell of the Binns and His Family

Deeper into the less traveled portions of the Abercorn Church, we found this beautifully carved heraldic memorial.

As you can see, it's carved in deep relief, and is placed there in memory of Sir William Cunningham Cavendish Dalyell, Baronet; his wife, Maria Sampayo (sister of the French minister at Hesse, Anthony Sampayo); their son, Osborne William Dalyell (who predeceased his parents); their daughter, Maria Christina (Dalyell) Taylor; and their other son, Sir Robert Alexander Osborne Dalyell, Baronet.

Sir William was the 7th Baronet, succeeding his older brother. Sir Robert was the 8th Baronet. He died unmarried, and the baronetcy became dormant until 1914.

Sir William Cunningham Cavendish Dalyell has his own entry on Wikipedia, and you can learn about his naval career and the actions in which he took part during the Napoleonic Wars at

But, of course, it's the heraldry that is the reason we're discussing this memorial here.

The arm in the crest of the Dalyells of the Binns we looked at in the last post has now become simply A hand holding a scimitar both proper. The motto above the crest is still I dare, but the motto below the shield has lost a word, becoming Right and reason instead of For right and reason. The supporters are more unambiguously Two lions sejant erect (gules armed and langued azure).

The badge of a baronet of Nova Scotia depends from a circlet (it is not a belt or garter) bearing the legend Fax mentis honestæ gloria (Honest fame is the torch of the mind).

The shield is a beautiful work of carving; much of it is even hatched. It consists of the arms of Sir William impaling those of his wife, Maria Sampayo. The blazon for these arms comes from the Lyon Ordinary and my translation of the French blazon found for these arms in Rietstap's  Armorial Général:

Quarterly: 1 and 4, Or a bend checky sable and argent between three buckles azure (Dalziel of Binns); 2 and 3, Sable a naked man arms extended proper on a canton argent a sword and pistol in saltire proper (Dalziel of Binns); impaling, Quarterly: 1, Azure a cross potent or; 2, Quarterly: i and iv, Or an eagle displayed gules; ii and iii, Checky or and azure; all within a bordure gules charged with eight letters S or; 3, Or six crescents pendant two two and two azure; 4, Azure five fleurs-de-lis two one and two or.

The oddity of have two different quarters, both for Dalziel of Binns, in Sir William's arms comes from the fact of the naked man in the second and third quarters being the first matriculation in 1685 and the checky bend in the first and fourth quarters coming from the second matriculation in 1772, when the quarterly coat here was registered.

My take on all this: It's a beautiful memorial to a family with an interesting history. And it includes some great heraldry.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Heraldic Memorials to Two Cousins

Continuing our heraldic tour of Abercorn Church in Scotland, we found two memorial plaques to different members of a family, both of whom had military service, one of whom had been an officer of arms in the Court of the Lord Lyon.

The family is Dalyell of the Binns, with their very unique coat of arms: Sable a naked man his arms extended proper on a canton argent a sword and pistol in saltire proper. (Other branches of the family bear the arms within a bordure instead of the canton. The earliest form listed in the Lyon Ordinary, 1672-77, borne by Dalziel, Earl of Carnwath, is: Sable a naked man his arms extended proper.)

One of these plaques was in memory of Sir James Bruce Wilkie Dalyell of the Binns, 9th Baronet, and of his wife, Dame Mary Marjoribanks Robertson.

The arms are those of Dalyell of the Binns blazoned above, with a second, sinister canton bearing the badge of a Baronet of Nova Scotia.

The crest is A naked arm embowed brandishing a scimitar both proper, with a motto (above the crest) is I dare with a second motto below the compartment (which is a vert mound scattered with thistles proper), For right and reason. The supporters are two lions rampant [or are they really sejant erect?] gardant gules armed and langued azure.

The second memorial plaque is for Gordon Dalyell of the Binns, once Unicorn Pursuivant of Arms in the Court of the Lord Lyon.

His arms are: Quarterly: 1 and 4, Sable a naked man his arms extended proper on a canton argent a sword and pistol in saltire proper; 2, Or a saltire engrailed sable between two swans naiant in fess undy or in a loch proper, in chief a mullet gules for difference (Loch of Drylaw); 3, Or a bend checky sable and argent between three buckles azure (Dalziel of Binns).

(And this, children, is why you should never place charges that don't contrast with the field on which they are placed. I had to enlarge the picture below a lot before I noticed the swans! Click on the picture below to see the larger image where they are slightly more noticeable.)

The crest is the same as for Sir James, above, as well as the mottos and compartment. The supporters, however, are each bearing a banner of the Dalyell canton. The pendent ribbon and medal of St. Andrew holding his cross are, I assume, for his service to the Crown in the political service and/or as Unicorn Pursuivant (1939-1953).

Next time, another monument to another Dalyell.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

An Heraldic Memorial Window in Abercorn Church

Moving now from the heraldry on the exterior of the church at Abercorn, Scotland, we went inside to find, among other heraldic displays, this large armorial stained glass window.

It's a beautiful window, of Christ holding a lantern and knocking at a door ("I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me." Rev. 3:20)

Of course, the part of the window that most attracted me was the achievement of arms at the bottom.

For such simple arms, the crest (which is unusual in that it has a torse sitting atop a crest coronet; normally the crest coronet is used in place of the wreath) is a fairly complex one. You can click on the image above to go see the full-size picture, which shows the details of the crest more clearly.

It is the arms of Hope of Craighall (first matriculation 1672-7; second matriculation 1780): Azure a chevron or between three bezants. The crest is A broken globe surmounted of a rainbow with clouds at each end proper. The supporters are Two females vested vert winged or on their heads garlands of roses proper each sustaining in her exterior hand an anchor azure. The motto is At spes non fracta (But hope is not lost).

The anchors are a common symbol of hope, and the motto, of course, also plays on the surname.

The Hopes of Craighall have been Baronets of Nova Scotia since Thomas Hope was created baronet on February 19, 1628. They also use the motto At spec infracta (But hope is undaunted).