Lyndsay of the Mount Armorial 1532-34


A new edition with full discussion and commentary by Alex Maxwell Findlater

A photographic facsimile edition of The Armorial of Sir David Lyndsay of the Mount (1532x46) will be published by subscription this year.

As well as a poet and playwright, Lyndsay was the Lyon King of Arms, ie the chief herald in Scotland. He had also been the Usher of the Prince, and when James IV died at Flodden, he remained as Usher to the infant King James V, whose character and interests were shaped partly by Lyndsay, who perforce took on the role of father figure. The Armorial was probably prepared as a livre d’or, to be carried to European courts by Lyndsay himself and by other ambassadors. Lyndsay’s heraldic legacy is very important.  Indeed the Armorial is one of the jewels of the National Library of Scotland; being what is called a ‘safe manuscript’, it has to be locked up every night.

The Armorial is the first comprehensive record of the Scottish corpus of arms, ie the significant families which made up the nation. A considerable number of arms of old are included which gives historic depth.  The Armorial, though by no means complete, provides a picture of the Scottish polity in the reign of James V: these are King James’ people as recorded by perhaps his closest associate.

The book will be in A4 format, because that is the approximate size of the original, a large quarto. The Armorial itself is of 130 folios, so 260 pages, and with introductory essays and appendices of 120 pages and commentary of some 400 pages, plus the normal apparatus, making a total of some 800 pages, which will be published in two volumes in the autumn of this year, 2018.  Two lithographic facsimiles of The Armorial were published in the 19th century; that of 1822 is quite unobtainable, while that of 1878 does come up for sale perhaps once in a decade, and has been scanned and reprinted. However neither of these has any critical apparatus, and this is sorely needed.

The author has written two earlier books, Aspilogia Scoticana (2006), a catalogue raisonnĂ© of medieval Scottish rolls of arms, and Lord Crawford’s Armorial (2008), which is a critical edition of that armorial of 1601/03. As substantial grant support has been obtained, the book will be very favourably priced at £49 and for Society members at £44. The book will be published by subscription, so that the names of subscribers are included. Now is the time to subscribe.

Only post-nominals relevant to Crown or State honours will be included after the names in the list of Subscribers.  If you wish to buy it, but do not wish your name to be included in the list of Subscribers or if you have any problem, please advise the author on .

Subscriptions will close on Monday 20th August 2018.

Prices: Members £44, non-members £49: these prices do not include postage and packing so the volumes will have to be collected, normally in Edinburgh, by arrangement.

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