Thursday, 25 June 2015

Arms in Eaglesham

Passing today through the planned village of Eaglesham, south of Glasgow, I caught sight of the arms of the Earl of Eglinton on the old Cross Keys Inn. Here is a snap, together with a picture of Archibald, 13th Earl of Eglinton, in full romantic fig for the famous tournament of 1839.

The whole tournament, which fitted in with the chivalric spirit encouraged so much by Sir Walter Scott, was inspired by a furious reaction to the cheap-skate coronations of William IV and Queen Victoria when the nation's heritage of pomp and ceremony seemed to be going down the tubes. The superb quality of modern English ceremonial should not mislead us into thinking it was always so. I heartily recommend the hugely-entertaining account of the Eglinton Tournament found in "The Knight and the Umbrella" by Ian Anstruther.