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John Sawers` Armorial, containing the arms of the Scottish nobility, mostly painted on engraved outlines.

Identifier: Adv.MS.31.4.4

Scope and Contents

The later entries are unfinished and some are merely pencil sketches.

The manuscript was shown in the Heraldic Exhibition in Edinburgh in 1891 (see ‘Memorial Catalogue’, number 60).

The armorial is preceded by a printed form of charge concerning the right to bear arms, 1675 (folio ii verso) and a list of Scottish peers (folio iv). It is followed by an index and, on inverted pages 1-47, by a copy of a list of Scottish families and their arms by Thomas Craufurd, Professor of Mathematics at Edinburgh. For another version of this list, see Adv.MS.34.3.13, folio 1.


  • Creation: 1st half of 17th century.


0.00 Linear metres (viii + 241 + many blank folios + 47 inverted pages. Quarto.)

Language of Materials


Custodial History

According to signatures and notes on folio viii and elsewhere, Sawers had the manuscript in 1645. In 1654, it was bought by his son-in-law, Joseph Stacey, Ross Herald, who gave it to his son Isaac. It then passed to Henry Fraser, Ross Herald (died 1724), Roderick Chalmers, Ross Herald (died 1746), James and Robert Norie, and James Cummyng, Lyon Clerk Depute (died 1793).

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Presented, 1925, by the Faculty of Advocates to the nation on the foundation of the National Library of Scotland.

Existence and Location of Copies

Microfilm available: Mf.Sec.MSS.954.

Related Materials

Adv.MS.34.3.13: Short account of Thomas Craufurd of the blazening of arms of Scottish surnames, etc.


‘Memorial Catalogue, Heraldic Exhibition, Edinburgh, 1891 (Edinburgh, 1892).
National Library of Scotland Catalogue of Manuscripts
National Library of Scotland
10 07 2015
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared Using Local Descriptive Rules
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Repository Details

Part of the National Library of Scotland Archives and Manuscripts Division Repository

Archives and Manuscript Division
National Library of Scotland
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Edinburgh EH1 1EJ
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