Excerpted from The Art of Heraldry by Arthur Charles Fox-Davies 1904
Roger Carlton Sherman, NSC, Chancellor
Of the exact origin of arms and armory nothing whatever is definitely known, and it be comes difficult to point to any particular period as the period covering the origin or armory, for the very simple reasons that it is much more difficult to decide what is or what is not to be admitted as armorial.
Until comparatively recently heraldic books referred armory indifferently to the tribes of Israel, to the Greeks, to the Romans and to the Assyrians and the Saxons; and w are equally familiar with the “Lion of Judah” and the “eagle of the Caesars.” In other directions we find the same sort of thing, for it ahs ever been the practice of semi-civilized nations to bestow or to assume the virtues and the names of animals and of deities as symbols of honour. We scarcely need refer to the North American Indians for proof of such a practice. They have reduced the subject almost to an exact science; and there cannot be a shadow of a doubt that it is to this semi-savage practice that armory is to be traced if its origin is to be followed out to its logical and most remote beginnings. Equally it is certain that many recognized heraldic figures, and more particularly those mythical creatures of which the armorial menagerie alone has now cognizance, are due to the art of civilizations older than our own.
The widest definition of armory would have it hat any pictorial badge which is used by an individual or a family with the meaning that it is a badge indicative of that person or family and adopted and repeatedly used in that sense, is heraldic.
Sloane Evans in his “Grammar of Heraldry” gives the following instances of evidence of the greater antiquity.
1. Take ye the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel, after their families, by the house of their fathers, with the number of their names.... And they assembled all the congregation together o the firs day of the second month; and they declared their pedigrees after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward.... And the children of Israel shall pitch their tents, every man by his own camp, and every many by his own standard... (Numbers i. 2, 18, 52)
2 Every man of the children of Israel shall pitch by his own standard, wit the ensign of their father’s house..... (Numbers ii. 2)
3. Aeschylus, the Poet: “Frowning he speaks, and shakes the dark crest streaming o’er his shaded helm, In triple wave; whilst dreadful ring around, The brazen bosses of his shield, impressed, With his proud argument: ‘A sable sky, Burning with stars; and in the midst full orb’d, A silver moon; ‘the eye of night o’er all, Awful in beauty, forms her peerless light.”
“... No mean device is sculptured on this shield; ‘a man in arms...’
“.....His well orb'd shield he holds, new wrought, and with a double impress charged; A warrior, blazing all in golden arms...”
4. Herodotus, the Historian: “And to them is allowed the invention of three things, which have come into use among the Greeks: For the Carians seem to be the first who put crests upon their helmets and sculptured devices upon their shields.”
“(Sophanes) bare on his shield, as a device, an anchor”
5. Tacitus, the historian: “They relinquished the guard of the gates; and the Eagles and the other Ensigns, which in the beginning of the tumult they had thrown together, were not restored each to its distinct station.
Celtic Women Warriors
Among the ancient Celts women rulers and warriors were so common that when a group of Brigantian captives was brought to Rome in the reign of Claudius they automatically assumed his wife, Agrippina the Younger, was the ruler and ignored the Emperor while making their obeisance to her. In 51 AD the Brigantian Queen, Castimandua, allied herself with Rome as a client state after delivering to the Romans a rebel war-lord she had captured in battle.
Other well-known Celtic warrior queens include Aife of Alba (modern day Scotland) and her contemporaries Mebd of Ireland and Scathach of Skye. In 61 AD Queen Boudicca of the Iceni of Norfolk led a major rebellion against the Romans during which she sacked and burned modern-day London and St. Albans.
The first recorded effort to bar women from military participation was a law passed in 590 A.D. at the synod of Druim Ceat. It proved to be unenforceable when the women warriors refused to lay down their arms and comply with it.
Aethelflaed, oldest daughter of Alfred the Great, was considered the chief tactician of her time. She united Mercia, conquered Wales and subdued the Danes becoming the de facto ruler of the Mercians and Danes. She was killed in battle in June 918 AD at Tammorth in Staffordshire.
In 1100 Maude de Valerie, a Welsh revolutionary, raised an army to rebel against the oppressive regime of King John. She was captured on the battlefield and died as his prisoner.
In the 15th century Maire o Ciaragain led Irish clans against the English and was known for her ferocity in battle.
In 1545, Lilliard led the Scots at the Battle of Ancrum in one of their last victories over the English forces. She killed the English commander but lost her own life later in the battle.
Graine Ni Maille (1550-1600) was an Irish princess who commanded a large fleet of war galleys which wreaked havoc on the English navy, shipping and coastal towns.
Traditional Irish Toasts
May you have warm words on a cold evening,
A full moon on a dark night,
And the road downhill all the way to your door.
May you never make an enemy
When you could make a friend
Unless you meet a fox among your chickens.
May you have the hindsight to know where you've been,
the foresight to know where you're going,
and the insight to know when you've gone too far.
May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back,
The sun shine warm upon your face,
The rain fall softly upon your fields,
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.
May the rocks in your field turn to gold.
May the saints protect you,
And sorrow neglect you,
And bad luck to the one
That doesn't respect you.
May you look back on the past with as much pleasure as you look forward to the future.
May your fire be as warm as the weather is cold.
May your fire never go out.
EMBLEMS OF IRELAND - The Harp:
by Bridget Haggerty
It once graced the flag of the Republic, it still appears on official government documents as well as the Presidential flag, and it is displayed on Irish coins. For centuries, the harp has been a beloved emblem of Ireland. In fact, it is said that the Irish concentrated so much of their musical ability into playing the harp, that for many years, the development of music in Ireland was brought to a relative standstill.
So, how did it become an emblem synonymous with the Emerald Isle? According to tradition, an early king of Ireland whose name was David, took the harp of the Psalmist as his badge. This might explain why it was once called a cruit which can mean lyre. Folklore says that the first harp was owned by Dagda, a chief among the Tuatha De Danaan. The De Danaan were at war with the Fomorians and the harp was taken from Dagda by the gods of cold and darkness. Two other gods, Lugh representing light, and Ogma representing art, penetrated the Fomorian fortress, recovered the harp and restored it to Dagda. The gods in returning the harp to him, pronounced two secret names for the instrument and, at the same time, called forth summer and winter. From that point on, when Dagda played, he could produce a melody so poignant, it would make his audience weep, an air so jubilant it would make everyone smile, or a sound so tranquil, it would lull all who listened to sleep. Thus, with its secret or magical names, the instrument became the dispenser of Sorrow, Gladness and Rest.
Whichever way the harp became Ireland's own unique instrument, and subsequently, its national emblem, history tells us that the people who played it were highly trained professionals who usually performed for the nobility. They were held in very high regard and were often asked to accompany a bardic poet who was giving a reading. However, with the emigration of Ireland's leading families in the 17th and early 18th century, there was a steep decline in the harping tradition and the last traditionally-trained harpist died in the mid-19th century. Interestingly, these superb musicians played with their fingernails and not with the flesh of the fingertips as is done today. It's also interesting to note that new families of English descent were hospitable to well-known harpists such as O'Carolan, and it was a man from the north, Dr. Michael MacDonnell, and an Englishman, Edward Bunting, who assembled the last harpers in Belfast in 1792. Even though very generous fees were offered, they were able to attract only 11 players from the whole country. Bunting attempted to write down as much of the music as he could and his collection is incredibly important because it contains the only remaining remnants of what the ancient tradition must have been like.
So, while this oldest emblem of Ireland is still very much apparent - even to appearing on the Guinness label - most of the ancient airs and melodies it once produced are long gone. Perhaps the first verse of a famous poem by Thomas Moore says it best:
The harp that once through Tara's halls
The soul of music shed,
Now hangs as mute on Tara's walls,
as if that soul were fled.
So sleeps the pride of former days,
So glory's thrill is o'er,
And hearts that once beat high for praise,
Now feel that pulse no more.
The Duke of Argyll
Sir Ian Campbell, 12th Duke of Argyll was born on 28 August 1937.1 He was the son of Sir Ian Douglas Campbell, 11th Duke of Argyll and Louise Hollingsworth Morris Clews.1 He married Iona Mary Colquhoun, daughter of Sir Ivar Iain Colquhoun of Luss, 8th Bt. and Kathleen Nimmo Duncan, on 4 July 1964.1 He died on 21 April 2001 at age 63.
Sir Ian Campbell, 12th Duke of Argyll was educated at Le Rosey.1 He was educated at Glenalmond College, Perthshire, Scotland.1 He was invested as a Fellow, Royal Society of Arts (F.R.S.A.) in 1953.3 He was educated at McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.1 He gained the rank of Captain in the service of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.3 He was a director of Aberlour Glenlivet Distillery Company, White Heather Distillers, and Muir Mackenzie & Company in 1973.3 He succeeded to the title of 12th Duke of Argyll [S., 1701] on 7 April 1973.1 He succeeded to the title of 5th Duke of Argyll [U.K., 1892] on 7 April 1973.1 He held the position of Chief of Clan Campbell (Mac Cailein Mor) on 7 April 1973.3 He held the office of Keeper of the Great Seal [Scotland] on 7 April 1973.3 He held the office of Keeper of Dunstaffnage, Carrick, Tarbert and Dunoon Castles on 7 April 1973.3 He held the office of Hereditary Grand Master of the Royal Household [Scotland] on 7 April 1973.3 He held the office of Admiral of the Western Coasts and the Isles on 7 April 1973.3 He succeeded to the title of 12th Lord of Inverary, Mull, Morvern and Tirie [S., 1701] on 7 April 1973.1 He succeeded to the title of 21st Earl of Argyll [S., 1457] on 7 April 1973.1 He succeeded to the title of 12th Viscount of Lochow and Glenyla [S., 1701] on 7 April 1973.1 He succeeded to the title of 12th Marquess of Kintyre and Lorn [S., 1701] on 7 April 1973.1 He succeeded to the title of 12th Earl of Campbell and Cowall [S., 1701] on 7 April 1973.1 He succeeded to the title of 21st Lord Lorne [S., 1470] on 7 April 1973.1 He gained the title of 15th Lord of Kintyre [S., 1626] on 7 April 1973. He succeeded to the title of 22nd Lord Campbell [S., 1445] on 7 April 1973. He succeeded to the title of 14th Baronet Campbell, of Lundy in Angus
The Duke was the Noble Advisor of the Noble Society of Celts from its inception until his death. His charm, wit and typical Scottish pragmatism will be sorely missed by all.