Scottish Armorial Bearings

  • Reference
      GB 133 Eng MS 4
  • Dates of Creation
      [157-] (19th Century binding)
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      Extent of unit of description: 320 x 180 mm.  1 volume (48 folios); Medium: paper.

Scope and Content

The manuscript contains various coats of arms of past and present (circa 1570) major nobility and royalty of Scotland, from Robert I to James VI. Underneath the coats of arms are the titles of holders and in the case of royalty some information on spouses. In the case of Queen Mary there are the words '...that now liveth' under the coat of arms of her father James V, and with the heraldry of James VI, the future James I of a united England and Scotland, there are the words ' ...that is now K[ing] [of] Scotland'. Both these details suggest an older date than the nineteenth century binding and it appears that the original work containing the coats of arms and their corresponding notes was damaged by fire and whatever was salvageable was cut out and pasted into the present volume.

There are also handwritten annotations on some of the nineteenth century pages consisting of quotes from, and critiques of, theological and literary works - see ff. 8v, 29v, 41r, 45v and 46v. On the front fly-leaf are some partially illegible notes written in pencil on the possibility that the manuscript was produced during the Regency of the 1st Earl of Mar, James Erskine (d. 1572).

Access Information

The manuscript is available for consultation by any accredited reader.

Acquisition Information

Purchased by Mrs Enriqueta Rylands, on behalf of the John Rylands Library, in 1901 from James Ludovic Lindsay, 26th Earl of Crawford.


Description compiled by Henry Sullivan, project archivist.

Other Finding Aids

Catalogued in the Hand-List of the Collection of English Manuscripts in the John Rylands Library, 1928 (English MS 4).

Custodial History

Formerly part of the Bibliotheca Lindesiana, the Library of the Earls of Crawford and Balcarres, from Haigh Hall, Wigan, Lancashire (bookplate inside front cover). The thirty-shilling mark on the back of the front cover suggests that the manuscript was bought for that amount by either the 25th or the 26th Earl of Crawford.

Geographical Names