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Archbishop Dunbar's Seal

Mitchell Library, Glasgow Collection

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Archbishop Dunbar's Seal

Seal of Gavin Dunbar, Archbishop of Glasgow, 1524-1547. St Kentigern is shown with his mitre and crozier, and is crowned with the nimbus. The salmon and the ring are at his side. The shield below bears the arms of his family.

Dunbar was tutor to the young James V prior to being consecrated as archbishop. One of his first acts was to issue a curse on thieves and reivers in the Scottish Borders, in the interests of peace with England.

Protestant doctrines began to take hold in Scotland during his archbishopric and Dunbar played his part in the persecution of followers of the new faith, condemning a number of them to martyrdom. For this he was roundly denounced by John Knox.

The death of James V in 1542 led to further civil strife. The Earl of Lennox rose against the regent, the Earl of Arran, with the support of many Glasgow citizens. They were defeated at the Battle of the Butts on Gallowmuir in 1544, when 300 of them were killed and the regent's forces went on to pillage the city.

Reference: Mitchell Library, GC 941.435 REN

Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning

archbishops, Battle of the Butts, Border reivers, coats of arms, curses, Gallowmuir, heraldry, persecution, Protestant martyrs, Protestantism, Protestants, seals

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