Scrapbook: Symbols and Sacred Emblems

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Volume entitled Symbols and sacred emblems, compiled by Thomas Willement, containing notes and drawings of a variety of sacred symbols. Includes cuttings from various published works (including from books by Willement), drawings of monuments etc., and some letters to Willement from various correspondents. Pasted in at folio 177 is a vellum folio from an illuminated manuscript (calendar for March and April), n.d. (probably fifteenth century).

Administrative / Biographical History

Thomas Willement (1786-1871), was a writer on heraldry and stained-glass artist. He was the son of Thomas Willement, coach, herald, and house painter and artist to the Duke of York. Willement was pre-eminent among a small group of stained-glass artists, who, in the early nineteenth century, utilized the medieval method of making a stained-glass window from separate pieces of coloured glass bound together with lead strips, rather than, as with eighteenth-century artists, using coloured enamels to paint pictures on plain glass. The bulk of his work until the 1840s was heraldic in character, reflecting an absorbing interest underlined by the publications he produced in the same period, which included: Regal heraldry: the armorial insignia of the kings and queens of England (1821); Heraldic Notices of Canterbury Cathedral (1827); Facsimile of a contemporary roll with the names and the arms of the sovereign and of the spiritual and temporal peers who sat in parliament held at Westminster A.D.1515 (1829); A Roll of Arms of the Reign of Richard the Second (1834); and An account of the restorations of the collegiate chapel of St George, Windsor, with some particulars of the heraldic ornaments of the edifice (1844). At some time Willement was appointed heraldic artist to George IV and in 1832 he was elected a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries.

Source: Stanley A. Shepherd, 'Willement, Thomas (1786-1871)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004. By permission of Oxford University Press - http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ref:odnb/29440.

Conditions Governing Access

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.

Note

Description compiled by Henry Sullivan, project archivist, and Elizabeth Gow, archivist, with reference to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography article on Thomas Willement.

Other Finding Aids

Catalogued in the Hand-List of the Collection of English Manuscripts in the John Rylands Library, 1928 (English MS 30).

Custodial History

Formerly part of the Bibliotheca Lindesiana, the Library of the Earls of Crawford and Balcarres, from Haigh Hall, Wigan, Lancashire.