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University mace

Glasgow University Archive Services, photographic collection

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University mace

The University mace.

The mace is carried on ceremonial occasions and is a symbol of the historic power, privilege and tradition of the University of Glasgow. Early University maces have not survived but in the 1460s funds were raised to purchase a magnificent new one of silver, probably made in Germany. It has a crown "partly gilt and ornamented with blue enamel" which is composed of a polygon-shaped Gothic tower of three storeys, one storey being buttressed and with windows. On each wall surface of the lowest storey there is the half figure in relief of an angel holding a coat of arms. It was originally ornamented with figures of saints but these were removed about 1590.

The mace was taken to France in 1560 when Archbishop James Beaton fled to escape the clutches of the new Protestant authorities. It was returned to Glasgow in 1590. At the beginning of the 21st century it is still carried on most formal occasions, although the University was given a less ornate mace in commemoration of James Watt in 1951 and it is used at some other events.

Reference: Glasgow University Archive Services, ASNEG 3101

University of Glasgow

cermonies, maces, Reformation, silver, University of Glasgow

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