Seal impression (cast), Abbot John

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of Holyrood Abbey, Edinburgh

Postcard of Seal impression (cast), Abbot John.
© National Museums Scotland

Seal impression (cast), Abbot John

This is a 19th century sulphur cast of a seal impression. The impression was made from the seal of John, Abbot of Holyrood Abbey in Edinburgh, dating from 1371.

The seal has a Gothic design of three compartments, one above the other, each having a canopy of three arches. The upper compartment shows the Coronation of the Virgin, the centre shows the crucifixion, and the bottom one shows the abbot. The gold border is modern cardboard trim.

Seals were used extensively from the 12th century in Scotland by kings, clergy, nobles and towns. In a society where few people could read or write, they provided evidence that documents were authentic.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-180-001-776-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0504: National Museums Scotland Part 2
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  K.1999.1351
Date: Date of cast: 19th century; Date of seal: 1371
Material: Sulphur; brown. Inscription: S . ABBATIS . SCE . CRCIS . DE EDINBUR.
Dimensions: 45 mm L x 37 mm W
What: Seal / cast
Who: John, Abbot of Holyrood Abbey
Where: Scotland, Midlothian, Edinburgh, Holyrood
Description: Brown sulphur cast of the seal of John, Abbot of Holyrood Abbey, 1371
  • Stevenson and Wood, i, p. 183, no 110 
  • Stevenson, J.H. and Wood, M. Scottish Heraldic Seals - Royal, Official, Ecclesiastical, Collegiate, Burghal, Personal, vol i. Glasgow, 1940, p 183, no 110. 
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