Monday, January 30, 2017

Royal Heraldry in the Trades Hall, Glasgow

There is a lot of heraldry throughout the Trades Hall in Glasgow, Scotland.

No, I mean, really, there is a lot of heraldry there. Including, as you will see here, a number of depictions in different media of the Royal Arms, both Scotland and the United Kingdom as used in Scotland.

Of all of them, though, I think the one that captured my imagination the most was this little carved stone one, which substituted a clock for the Royal Arms. Please note the carefully carved rose and thistle at the base of the clock.

All in all, I think the various displays of the Royal Arms in the Trades Hall show a high quality of craftsmanship as well as a high level of patriotic pride. Well done!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Some New Information on an Old Post

Way back at the end of December 2014 I had discussed an armorial plate that I seen in the National Gallery in Washington, DC. (

Reader of this blog and friend Darrel Kennedy, Assiniboine Herald at the Canadian Heraldic Authority, sent me some photos from a book, China for the West by David Howard and John Ayers, which shed some more light on that plate and the history of the set to which it originally belonged.
I am simply going to quote from the book, interjecting a few of my own comments in square brackets:

1740 or 1743
9 in (22.8 cm)

Magnificently enamelled in a wide rage of famille rose colours copying minutely a coloured painting sent to China (413a) [immediately below].

There is no trace of Chinese design in this service and every stroke, down to the bends in the blades of the water reeds, is a faithful mirror of the original. There are two variations from the pattern: first, the original was painted on a dull buff background (almost as if the local(?) painter did not know of the white porcelain that was then flowing into Europe), and secondly, the scalloped effect of the whole central ground, which is shown clearly on the pattern, has not been translated on to the plate. These two differences apart, the reproduction is exceptionally accurate and marks out this service as one of the finest ever made.

The provenance and documentary evidence are scarcely less interesting. The quarterly arms are of Leake Okeover, born 1702, and impale those of his wife Mary Nichol whom he married in about 1730. On the rim are four reserves with his crest  and their cypher L.M.O. It must have been in 1738 that he first ordered a service of porcelain from China, sending a painted pattern with the words on the reverse The Arms of Leake Okeover Esqre. of Okeover near Ashbourn in the Peak in the County of Derbyshire - a pattern for China plate. Pattern to be returned.

In 1740 and 1743 two deliveries were made (see 413b) [immediately below].

The first is dated 16 January 1740, listing "70 Plates and 30 Dishes", which with duties and boxes cost £99 11s. 10d, and signed Ralph Congreve. The second is dated 1743, rreading "from ye Jerusalem Coffee House, Change Alley, a consignment of fifty plates and four large dishes with your arms". It is addressed to "Leake Okeover Esqre." by Joseph Congreve, Commander of the Ship Prislowe. Thus a total of not less than 120 plates and 34 dishes were delivered but, as far as is known, no piece of another shape. The price of £1 each reflects their very high quality and may be compared with the prices of the two services delivered to Charles Peers a decade earlier.

Leake Okeover died in 1765 without an heir, but the estates, as well as these documents, are still in the possession of his family. Over the years a very small number of plates have left the family [including, I have to assume, the two I saw in the National Gallery in Washington] and in March 1966 a perfect specimen was sold at auction for the then surprising price of 580 guineas [a guinea is one pound one shilling, or in decimal currency £1.05. 580 guineas would be £609, or US$741.88 at the current exchange rate. In any case, it's a lot of money to spend for a single plate]. In March 1975 a hundred pieces, dishes and plates, of which more than half had some damage, were sold by Sir Ian Walker-Okeover Bt for almost 58,000 guineas [£60,900 or US$74,336.71], thus confirming an appreciation in value of at least six hundred times over the two hundred and forty years (although the currency is probably worth about one sixtieth of what it then was). Fortunately, the care with which this service was designed and then painted in China is matched by the care with which it has been treated since.

Thus much from China for the West. It's a great supplement to the information I was previously able to find out about these plates two years ago, and I have to thank Darrel for remembering my original post and for sending me this additional information that I can now share with all of you.

Monday, January 23, 2017

A Little Heraldry in the Foyer

It is not possible to walk into the Trades Hall in Glasgow without seeing heraldry. I mean, not only do you pass under a variant of the arms of the City of Glasgow (the tree and bird have been removed from the shield and have become the crest) when you approach the front door:

But even after you have entered the building, you are finding heraldry just about wherever you look. And although the carved armorial oak benches that stretch down one side of the entryway (and I'll be covering those in more detail in another post), if you look carefully to your left as you move along the entryway, you will see some more heraldry in the display cases there.

The whole building really is full of heraldry, just about anywhere you choose to look.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

An Uncomfortable-Looking, But Heraldic, Chair

Despite the thick, velvet-covered cushions on this chair in the Glasgow Trades Hall, I'm not at all sure how comfortable it would actually be to sit in it. (As you can see from the photograph below, they had cordoned it off with tape, so I didn't get to actually try sitting in it.)

However, it is the decoration on the upright back that really caught my eye.

As you can see, it is a gilt or brass plate with the engraved arms of the City of Glasgow (with motto) in the center surrounded by the arms of the fourteen Trades which make up the Trades Hall. Please feel free to click on the image, which should take you to a larger version where the arms of the various guilds should be more readily identifiable.

I suppose it should not be too uncomfortable to sit it, so long as you do not slouch and let your head rest against the back of the chair.

But it is a wonderful thing to look at, isn't it?

Monday, January 16, 2017

A Trades Hall Stained Glass Window

In another portion of the Trades Hall in Glasgow, there is a very large stained glass window containing the arms of Glasgow and each of the fourteen trades that make up the association.

Here you can see at the top what is effectively the arms of the City of Glasgow as used by the Trades Hall; the crest is not St. Mungo, as it is in the City's arms, but a sheaf of fourteen arrows (one for each of the trades comprising the Trades Hall). Underneath the arms is the legend "Instituted by Letter of Guildry" and the date "1605."

To the left and right (dexter and sinister), respectively, of the Trades arms are the arms of the Hammermen and the Fleshers.

The remaining arms are in twelve panels consisting of four rows of three, each with a scroll beneath the shield of the motto of that trade. These panels are, from left to right, and top to bottom:

The Tailors, the Bakers, the Masons;
The Cordiners, the Skinners, the Gardiners;
The Maltmen, the Wrights, the Barbers; and
The Weavers, the Coopers, and the Dyers (elsewhere, the Bonnemakers and Dyers).

Each panel has as a background a pattern of thistles, roses, and harps (for Scotland, England, and Ireland, the constituent countries of the United Kingdom).

The window was Presented to the Trades Hall by James T. Tullish, Deacon Convener 1887-1888.

Now that's a fine display of heraldry!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Heraldry in the Dome of the Trades Hall, Glasgow, Scotland

The XXXII International Congress of Genealogical and Heraldic Sciences was held last August in the Trades Hall in Glasgow, Scotland.

It's a beautiful building in so many different ways, having been designed in 1791. And one of its prominent features is the dome in one of the main rooms, underneath the one that you can see from the exterior of the building.

The interior of the dome, however, is truly gorgeous, and not just heraldically. (Though as you can see, it is that, too!)

Around the lower edge of the dome are the coats of arms of the various Glasgow trades. We'll take them in order all the way round the base of the dome.

Here, the arms of the Skinners, the Bakers, and the Weavers (each of the leopard's faces is holding a weaver's shuttle in its mouth):

 And then the arms of the Gardeners (with Adam and Eve on either side of the tree, with gardening implements on the chief) and the Barbers (with the tools of their trade, along with a periwig):

Followed by the arms of the Fleshers and the Masons:

And then the arms of Wrights and the Coopers (as you can see, nearly every trade has some of the tools of its trade on its coat of arms):

Next, the arms of the Tailors and the Hammermen (that's one big hammer!)"

Followed by the arms of the Maltmen (just about everyone's favorite people!) and the Cordiners:

And finally, the Bonnetmakers and Dyers (you have to love the rainbow for the Dyers, don't you?):

They are not always easy to read in these photographs, but each trade has its motto painted onto the edge of the dome under its coat of arms.

What a beautiful collection of heraldry, and what a beautiful setting for them!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Heraldry Has Its Uses

And its misuses.

Like, for instance, telling your shield from someone else's shield. Especially when the one you've found has vertical stripes, and yours has horizontal, as in this vignette found on-line at

A Nice Set of Royal Armorial Stained Glass Windows

I'm going to finish up my survey of some of the heraldry in Glasgow Cathedral (yes, I know, there's a lot more to be seen there, but if I go through all of it, we might never get to all of the other heraldry we saw in Scotland during the week that we were there, and you'd miss out on some really cool heraldic stuff!) with these pictures from a really nice set of stained glass windows with Royal arms from the reign of King George VI.

There was some scaffolding framework erected at the time we were there, which partially blocked the view of some of these windows. It's a minor distraction, however, and in no way takes away from admiring the art and skill with which these windows were created.

We'll start with the two central (out of a total of four) windows. The first (the second window as you look from left to right) contains the arms of George VI as King of Scotland.

The second (the third window as you look from left to right) has the Royal arms of George VI for use in Scotland:

The window on the left displays the marshalled arms of George VI as used in Scotland and his wife, Queen Elizabeth (née Bowes-Lyon). (On a personal note, I really, really like the Bowes-Lyon arms! Their visual simplicity, despite being quartered arms, and colorful design make them among my favorite coats of arms anywhere.) 

Finally, in the right-hand window, we come to the arms of Prince Phillip and his wife, the then-Princess Elizabeth (now Queen Elizabeth II*) bearing the Royal arms for use in Scotland with the label of the heir. Note the way the two shields are tied together with knots.

All in all, this is a very impressive set of windows, and a fitting foursome with which to end our survey of heraldry in the Cathedral at Glasgow, Scotland.

* If we were to use the older style of titles, say for example from the early 17th Century as was done during the reign of King James, I suppose it would end up as something like "Elizabeth, of England the second and of Scotland the first."

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Heraldic Stained Glass Memorial to a Family

This next memorial window in Glasgow Cathedral stands out a bit because it separates the arms and the crest into two panels of nearly equal prominence.

The legend at the base of the window states that:

This window replaces an earlier window to
the memory of James Dunlop of Garnkirk, Marion
Buchanan his spouse, Lelias Dunlop their
daughter, John Dunlop their third son, by Miss
Dunlop of Coper Mount, 1858, and incorporates
the coat of arms from that window.

The arms for Dunlop of Garnkirk as given in Balfour Paul's An Ordinary of Arms (matriculated 1672-7) are blazoned Argent a double-eagle [we might rather say now, a double-headed eagle] displayed gules, a mullet for difference. Here, the mullet is missing, but a bordure azure has been added. (Under the Stodart system of differencing often used in Scotland, a bordure azure is the difference for a fifth son.)

 Burke's General Armory gives for Dunlop of Carmyle and Garnkirk (1779), Argent a two-headed eagle displayed gules in dexter chief a rose gules, a bordure azure, with the crest A hand holding a dagger in bend sinister proper, and two mottoes: above the crest, Merito [Deservedly]; and below the shield E spinis [From the thorns].

James Dunlop, 5th of Garnkirk and of Tolcross was born in 1741, the son of Colin Dunlop of Carmyle and Martha Bogle. served as heir to his father on 24 October 1777. He purchased Garnkirk from his uncle, James Dunlop, 4th of Garnkirk. He passed away in 1816.

He married in 1774 Marion Buchanan of Mount Vernon (1754-1828), the daughter of George Buchanan of Mount Vernon (1728-1762) and Lilias Dunlop of Garnkirk (this lineage presumably makes James Dunlop and Marion Buchanan cousins to some degree, though clearly not to the degree that would bar their marriage. Cousins marrying is not limited to royal families; in my own family tree, it turns out that my parents are second cousins once removed, which makes me, I think, my own third cousin once removed. It almost reminds me of that old comic song, "I'm My Own Grandpa." But I digress).

James and Marion (Buchanan) Dunlop's children were:
   Colin Dunlop of Tolcross (1775-1837)
   George Dunlop of Tolcross; Writer to the Signet (1777-1852)
   John Dunlop of Tolcross (1779-1830), merchant (memorialized in this window)
   James Dunlop of Tolcross (1781-)
   Martha Dunlop of Tolcross
   Lilias Dunlop of Tolcross (1778-1813) (memorialized in this window)
   Marion Dunlop of Tolcross (-1868)

Garnkirk is about 6 miles north-east from Glasgow, in the Parish of Cadder. Anciently, Garnkirk belonged to the Church, and was first secularized in 1587, by Charter from the Commendator of Glasgow, to John Stirling, son of Stirling of Balquharrage, a cadet of the Stirlings of Cadder. On 10 March 1634, “Robert Stirling in Garnkirk, and John Stirling, his eldest lauchful sone” [lawful son], conveyed “the town and lands of Garnkirk” to “Mr. John Dunlop, merchant burgess of Glasgow, and Elizabeth Dunlop his spouse, and longest liver.”

It's a beautiful and touching memorial to an old Glasgow family, and I'm glad that I can share it with you.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Children Remembering Their Parents

Having seen a memorial to their deceased children by parents in the last post, this time we visit a memorial to a parent by his children.

The text in this window states:

This window replaces an earlier
window presented by the
children of James Reddie,
Advocate, in his memory
and incorporates the coat of
arms from that window.

The coat of arms is:

The blazon, found in Burke's General Armory, is given as Azure three swans wings addorsed within a bordure argent. The crest is blazoned there as An arm in armor couped at the shoulder embowed and resting on the elbow holding a scimitar all proper.

The James Reddie memorialized here is, I believe, James Reddie (1773-1852), legal author, born at Dysart in 1773, educated at the High School, Edinburgh - where he was contemporary with Henry (afterwards Lord) Brougham - at the university of Edinburgh, and the college of Glasgow. He passed advocate in 1797. After giving promise of high eminence in his profession, he accepted, in 1804, the offices of town clerk, assessor of the magistrates, and presiding judge in the town court of Glasgow. These posts he retained until his death on 5 April 1852. His leisure he devoted to the study of the development of law and legal theory, of which the following works were the fruit: 1. 'Inquiries, Elementary and Historical, on the Science of Law,' London, 1840; 2. 'An Historical View of the Law of Maritime Commerce,' London, 1841; 3. 'Inquiries into International Law,' London, 1842; and 4. 'Researches, Historical and Critical, in Maritime International Law,' Edinburgh, 1844.

Not the most gripping reading, I think, but I may be prejudiced by having worked for lawyers for some thirty-plus years.

Still, a man worth remembering, and it is touching to know that his children memorialized him to future generations in this way.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

New Year's Wishes for All My Friends

Here's offering all my friends - and I consider all of you who drop by here, either regularly or only occasionally, to be my friends - my very best wishes for a Happy New Year!

(The above image borrowed from