'Charters of Crossraguel Abbey'





THE Common Seal of Crosraguel was singular in retaining the same impression throughout the existence of the monastery, though the matrix was replaced once or twice. The design was a rich one, of delicate workmanship, displaying a figure of the Virgin with the Infant Jesus in her arms, sitting within a richly panoplied niche. The background is diapered, and in the base there is a group of four monks praying. The circumscription is:—


It was a single seal, without the reverse impression found in other cases. The earliest impression preserved is attached to

a charter (No. 13) dated about 1360, from the Culzean Muniments, an engraving of which is given here.

The Conventual Seals attached to others of these charters so late as 1573 agree in every particular with this specimen, from which we may assume that the same matrix was in use so long as there were charters to sign and abbots to sign them. An engraving is given in Laing's Catalogue{1} of another Crosraguel Seal, taken from a charter by the abbot and convent in 1546, from General Hutton's Collections. This is identical with the others; but we must notice that the allusion to the Crosraguel Seal appended to the citatory letter from Abbot John of Paisley in 1370,{2} gives a slightly different circumscription, namely: Sigillum Abbatis Monasterii de Crosragmol. This may, however, be only a clerical error. No instance occurs of a Crosraguel Abbot affixing his private seal to any letters or documents, as was frequently the case elsewhere.

Many of the other seals engraved are of exceptional interest; notably those of Malcolm de Carrick in 1370;{3} of James Stewart of Cardonald in 1571;{4} and of the Official General of the Diocese of Glasgow in 1500;{5} which are all in fine preservation, and characteristic of their different dates.  


1 Parliamentary Paper in Eeg. House, Edinburgh. ===================================




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