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Lindsay Armorial: the armorial register of Sir David Lindsay of the Mount, Lyon King of Arms from 1542 to 1555.

Identifier: Adv.MS.31.4.3

Scope and Contents

In 1630 the armorial was formally recognised by the Privy Council as an official register and a note to that effect, signed by Sir James Balfour, Lord Lyon, and Thomas Drysdale, Islay Herald, is on folio 110 verso.

The manuscript was shown in the Heraldic Exhibition in Edinburgh in 1891 (see ‘Memorial Catalogue’, number 663).

The contents are as follows:

(i) Latin verses on and a painting of the royal arms (folio 1 verso).

(ii) Arms of mythical persons and European rulers (folio 7).

(iii) Arms of John Balliol and the Scottish queens from St Margaret to Mary of Lorraine (folio 15 verso).

(iv) Arms of the Scottish nobility and gentry (folio 25). An explanation why the manuscript includes forfeited arms appears on folio 53.

(v) Arms of Sir David Lindsay and a note on Scottish families originating in England, Hungary and France (folio 110).

(vi) Arms of various Lords Lyon, the royal arms and arms of Scottish peers in several hands of the late 16th and 17th centuries (folio 112).

(vii) A 17th-century list of and index to the arms of the gentry depicted on folios 54-109 (folio 145). There are also some verses in a 19th-century hand (folio 149 verso), and additional notes and two other coats-of-arms (folios 151-152).

Sections (i)-(v) are Lindsay`s original compilation with a few additional leaves. This part only is reproduced in the facsimile editions; for a discussion of its make-up, see `The Armorial Register of Sir David Lindsay of the Mount`, pages 12-19.

The volume was rebound in 1911 and some of the first leaves are misplaced; the correct order should be folios 1-3, 5, 4, 9, 6, 10-11, 7, 12, 8, 13. See also `The Armorial Register of Sir David Lindsay of the Mount`.

The manuscript is painted throughout and some of the material appears in decorative cartouches.


  • Creation: 16th century-17th century.

Language of Materials



0.00 Linear metres (152 + several blank folios (folios 1-2 and 149-50 vellum). Quarto.)

Custodial History

The manuscript belonged to Sir James Balfour in 1630 (his signature and the date are on folios 1 verso and 110 verso), and was later acquired by Sir Robert Sibbald (see ‘Bibliotheca Sibbaldiana’, page 138, number 92).

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.84.

A facsimile of the manuscript, edited by David Laing, was published in Edinburgh in 1822, and another edition in 1878.


The manuscript is described in ‘Heraldry in relation to Scottish history and art’ by James Balfour Paul (Edinburgh, 1900).
‘Memorial Catalogue, Heraldic Exhibition, Edinburgh, 1891 (Edinburgh, 1892).
Lawson, H A B. `Armorial Register of Sir David Lindsay of the Mount` in ‘Scottish Genealogist’, iv (1957).
‘Bibliotheca Sibbaldiana’ (Edinburgh, 1722).
National Library of Scotland Catalogue of Manuscripts
National Library of Scotland
10 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
George IV Bridge
Edinburgh EH1 1EJ
0131 623 3700