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The Unicorn

Hello David!

The following publication probably as the full answer, but I have not yet traced a copy.

Emblems of Scotland (Heraldry Society of Scotland, Edinburgh, 1997)

  This is a short pamphlet presenting a series of five papers by various authors, which were originally presented at a symposium in 1996 sponsored by the Heraldry Society of Scotland. The subjects of the papers include the Lion of Scotland, the Double Tressure, the Unicorn, the Saltire and the Thistle. Each of the papers discusses the origin and uses of the symbol, and occassionally provides examples of non-royal or governmental use.

  They have a developing website at http://www.heraldry-scotland.co.uk/modern.htm, but few details yet.

At http://members.tripod.co.uk/GlasgowZoopark/d3982454.htm you will find an article about unicorns and Scotland from Glasgow Zoo (who better qualified).  This tells of "the almost certain connection between St. Fillan's relics, the bell and crozier and the coronation stone of Westminster. The handle of this bell was described to the writer by perhaps the most prominent antiquarian authority in Scotland, as composed of a rough representation of a double-headed sea monster, from the centre of each head of which springs a single horn, comparatively short in this case, but not uncommonly, in other designs, produced to a much greater length. 
Now, in June 1488, we have a record that this bell was carried at the coronation of James the Fourth, and in his reign we first find the unicorn appearing in the Royal Arms of Scotland, rampant lions having been used previously. During the reign of James V. the unicorns were continued, but during the minority of Mary lions again appear. 

To lay down positively the exact relationship of the armorial design to the natural, historical, and mythical unicorn, would most likely have been difficult for the learned originator, even in those comparatively plain-spoken days; but we may note that men and not maidens carried them - at first at anyrate. M. 

1. In an inventory of the jewels, etc. of Queen Mary of Scotland made at Fotheringay Feb. 20, 1587, and now preserved in the Public Record Office, London, mention is made of "a piece of unicorn's horn." "Unicorn's horn" is also mentioned among the jewels of Charles I."

See also http://www.unicorn-party.org/heraldry.htm

Yours aye


----- Original Message ----- 

From: "David & Gloria Bouschor" <haggis@chartermi.net>
To: <sinclair@matrix.net>
Sent: Friday, May 04, 2001 1:18 AM
Subject: Re: Lion Heraldry

> Hi Ian,
>     Along the lines of the lion; I am aware that William the Lion used the
> lion rampant banner.  When did the unicorn come to represent Scotland 
[ Excess quotations omitted. ]