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Heraldic collection of John Scrymgeour.

Identifier: Adv.MS.31.5.2

Scope and Contents

The material was copied by John Scrymgeour of Myres, presumably for his own use, possibly from Adam Loutfut`s heraldic manuscript (British [Museum] Library, Harleian MS.6149). Some of the items in Loutfut`s manuscript have been omitted, and the rest occur in a different order.

Loutfut`s manuscript is described in ‘The Book of the Ordre of Chyvalry’, pages xxvi-xxix. (In the following description, ‘Loutfut MS.1-19` refers to the various sections of the manuscript as listed therein.)

The contents of the manuscript are as follows:

(i) A treatise on tournaments (folio 1). It begins with the proclamation, 1447, of Arthur, Constable of France and later Duke of Brittany, and includes Loutfut MS.1, 9, 3 and 4.

(ii) `The description of the offices of Counstable Mareschall and utheris officiaris of armes with the blasoning ... to be put in armes ...` (folio 18 verso). This corresponds to Loutfut MS.2, but does not depict the various coats of arms.

(iii) A treatise on heraldry and blazon (folio 52). Loutfut MS.16. A section on how to cry largesse (folio 57) occurs in the Loutfut manuscript, folios 42-44. The shields depicted in the Loutfut manuscript are omitted.

(iv) The text known as `Liber Armorum`, beginning `How for to devyde gentillmen from churlis` (folio 67). Loutfut MS.5.

(v) `The Ordre of Chyvalry` (folio 74). Loutfut MS.8. There are many variations from the Loutfut text as edited in ‘The Book of the Ordre of Chyvalry’. The most important of these is the additional paragraph at the end, not found in any of the other versions, in which Scrymgeour states that although the treatise was intended for English knights, it also applied to Scots.

The book is in the same hand throughout, and has rubrics and initials in red from folio 1 to folio 46. A folio is missing between folios 5 and 6, but there is no lacuna in the text. An inscription in a 16th-century hand on folio ii reads `This book wes wreatin be my grandsir Mr Jhon Scrymgeo[ur] of Myris Maister of Warke to ye kings Majestie`.

The leaves have been trimmed, possibly to fit this binding. Remains of capital letters, apparently indicating the first leaf of each gathering, are visible in the lower margins of folios 1, 11, 23, 35, 47, 59, 69, 80, 92. Printer’s waste is inside the covers under the pastedowns.


  • Creation: 1st half of 16th century.


0.00 Linear metres (ii + 98 folios. Folio.)

Language of Materials


Custodial History

The volume contains the ex-libris and device of Sir James Balfour of Denmilne (folios ii, 98): Denmilne number 65. It was bought by the Advocates’ Library in 1698 at the sale of Balfour`s library.

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.664.

Related Materials

British [Museum] Library, Harleian MS.6149.

For another manuscript containing similar material, see Adv.MS.31.3.20: Heraldic collection of Sir David Lindsay.


‘Book of the Ordre of Chyvalry’, edited by Alfred T P Byles (Early English Text Society, Original Series, 168) (London, 1926).
Scrymgeour`s manuscript is discussed in ‘Gilbert of the Haye`s Prose Manuscript’, edited by J H Stevenson (Scottish Text Society) (Edinburgh, 1914), volume ii, page xxxiii, and (with the other surviving copies), in more detail, in ‘Deidis of Armorie’. edited by L A J R Houwen (Scottish Text Society, 1994), volume i, pages lxiii-lxx.
National Library of Scotland Catalogue of Manuscripts
National Library of Scotland
13 07 2015
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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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