HIS volume is the outgrowth of the interest excited by the Historical and Archeological Collection which was brought together in the ‘Bishop’s Castle’ – a reproduction of the ancient Castle of Glasgow, designed by the late Mr. James Sellars for the Glasgow International Exhibition of 1888. That collection of Scottish National Memorials was the largest and most important that had ever been brought together, and it was felt to be worthy of a more permanent record than could be given by any official catalogue. It was therefore determined to prepare a volume which should not only be an illustrated memorial but a national contribution to the History of Scottish Antiquities and a vivid picture of Scottish life. Of that determination the present volume is the fulfilment.
The whole collection has been carefully examined by experts, who have contributed accounts of many relics which are intimately bound up with Scottish history. The more important contributions have been discussed and illustrated in detail, while whatever was deemed of trivial or merely local and limited interest has been either omitted or passed over without comment. The story given with each object lent, and the story told by the object itself have been duly weighed. In some cases it has been found that the appearance of the objects is inconsistent with traditions which have been cherished regarding them, but it has been thought proper, when these traditions themselves were found to be of wide acceptance and venerable antiquity, to give some account of the stories which attach to them.
The article upon old Scottish Silverplate and its Hall-marks gives, it is believed, for the first time a full account of the condition of silversmiths’ work in various parts of Scotland from many of which it has long disappeared. The paper upon Archery may also be specially mentioned on account of the fulness with which the medals of the Royal Company of Archers have been for the first time described and illustrated; while the very remarkable relic known as the Kennet Ciborium has been made the subject of a thorough historical and scientific investigation and has been illustrated with all completeness.
The portions of the work for which the several contributors are responsible are indicated in the Table of Contents. The opinion and advice of these gentlemen were, however, freely communicated on many other points; and substantial contributions from several of them are scattered throughout the entire book. Thus notes by Mr. John M. Gray [signed ‘J. M. G.’] and Mr. Brook [signed ‘A. J. S. B.’] will be found in many parts of the work. Thanks are due also to Mr. David Murray, LL.D., and Mr. J. Dalrymple Duncan for several contributions which do not appear in the sections specially connected with their names.
In a work containing so much and such varied information, it is impossible to enumerate the names of all who have afforded assistance; but in addition to those whose names are on the title-page, particular mention must be made of Mr. Walter Clark, of the Edinburgh Museum of Science and Art, for his contributions relating to Edinburgh; of Mr. A. H. Constable for his exhaustive description of the Kennet Ciborium; of Mr. Murray Lyon for his paper on the Roman Lodge, and of Dr. Joseph Anderson, of the Society of Antiquaries, for the invaluable assistance that he has rendered throughout the progress of the work, and for the untiring courtesy with which he has placed the resources of the Library of the Society and of the Museum of National Antiquities at the disposal of the Editor and his fellow-workers.
The Publishers also desire to acknowledge the kindness of those who have permitted the use of existing engravings for the purpose of reproduction in this volume. These are acknowledged in detail in the List of Illustrations.
One word as to the arrangement in the volume. The material has been divided into groups, but it has not been possible to preserve the integrity of each group, owing to the interlacing of subjects. A piece of antique silver or of furniture may be found under the heading of Burghal Relics, and not under that of Scottish Plate or Scottish Life. A portrait or a medal may have been dealt with as a historic or personal relic rather than as a work of art. A reference to the Index will, however, remove any inconvenience of search owing to such apparent incongruities.
GLASGOW, April 15, 1890.