Dear Laurel, Lena and Gerald and a tip of the hat to the Sinclair List,
((In response to the notes that follow this response;))
Excellent research and this is good evidence that the motto existed in the family from before the 1400's. One of the interesting observations of Rosslyn was that is was a stone depository or archive of many of the cultural, mythical and spiritual values of the time. I leave it to better scholars that I to develop this side. I do suggest though that the design and carving at Rosslyn was done with the most planned purpose behind it hence the inclusion of the motto is an important element and statement. I am assuming that it was integrated with the original carvings of the time when the chapel was built.
The important thing I have learned is that it predated the revival of the clan culture in 1800 when a lot of what we know know as "clan" identification was developed or redeveloped and was important to the ancestral family.
Now I suspect that discovering the origin of such mottos is very difficult and may go well back in time to sources that may remain forever unidentified. What is then curious is the following;
1. When did such mottos start becoming common for family leaders.
2. Was the practice started in the Norman Culture or did it await the period after the migration to the Anglo Saxon Culture in England Wales and Scotland?
3. Was the letter "W" in the alphabet at the time or was v = w or indeed was there a Swedish import of the motto into the spelling of work-verk. We forget that the Swedish culture was highly developed in the middle ages and had heraldry and chivalry to becoming a well developed art. I suspect that because the "o" was also changed (work = verk) we are looking at old English, phonetic language or simply the import of another word from Sweden.
4. Alternatively was this a Scottish / British origin. (As the use of mottos was widespread, I suspect not).
5. For the uninitiated, was the Caithness Coat of Arms the same as the Sinclair Coat of Arms?
6. What is the significance of the artichoke?
Neil (Morse -Wallgren) Sinclair
Hello Neil And all,
I hope I do not need permission to offer this quote?
See the booklet entitled, "ROSSLYN CHAPEL" by The Earl of Rosslyn on page 14
ist paragraph -- "The memorial is surmounted by an artichoke and bears the
Caithness coat of arms and the family motto, 'Commit thy verk to God' ".
Yes, it is spelled verk and not work!
On 20-Oct-99, Neil Sinclair/Peggy Rintoul wrote:
> Laurel posed an excellent question on mottos and one I have thought of yet
> have never found an answer. In fact in any research I have conducted on
> family crests and tartans, I never found any clue or authority as to where
> any of the clan mottos originated and why. Any enlightenment is appreciated.
> Neil Sinclair Toronto/PEI/Argyle
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Spirit One Email <email@example.com>
> To: Sinclair Discussion <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Date: 20 October, 1999 12:40 PM
> Subject: Motto
>> Does anyone know when our Motto: "Commit Thy Works Unto God" was first
>> adopted? Frederick Pohl seems to indicate pg 28 of "Prince Henry Sinclair"
>> that Henry knew of it. But how far back does it go?
>> [ This is the Sinclair family discussion list, email@example.com
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