Coats of Arms for Cities of Scotland
Aberdeen -Three castles encased in a red and gold emblem with a lion on each side on their hind legs holding the emblem. These castles are said to represent the defensive during the reign of King Robert.
Arbroath -The mark of the portcullis. Said to symbolize strength and stop the upraise of its people.
Conongate –A stags head. Said to be representing an attack that be ford King David I against a stag.
Dundee -Three lilies in a double handled vase which first appeared in 1416. It is said to symbolize St Mary and the flowers are to show purity and strength.
St Andrews -A diagonal cross. This symbol has a few stories behind it; one dating back to Greek methodology the other about the legend of king Ungus fighting the English in the late eighteen century. Never the less this is the national flag of Scotland.
Elgin -The mark depicts St Giles of France who became the patron of Elgin (said to be because of ancient ties between Scotland and France). The mark is the saint protecting himself from behind an arrow. This is said to again come from when the saint was wounded by a huntsman.
Forres -The mark of Nelson’s tower which is at the top of Clunny Hill. The tower was built as a memorial to Admiral Nelson in 1808 in victory over Napoleons fleet in 1805.
Greenock -This was established as a port in 1669 and the mark for the area became an anchor which was to show the importance of shipbuilding in the area.
Inverness The camel of the town represents the eastern trade links for the burgh and was used as early as 1760. Later the coat of arms was changed to a camel and an elephant; however the burgh lost its coat of arms in 1975.
As mentioned earlier these marks all have a story from where they were punched and tell us why the hallmarks were made for that area. Silversmiths used to travel around a lot which is why you may see the initials of silversmiths with different town marks. Up until 1964 there were two assay offices in Scotland, one in Edinburgh and one in Glasgow to which only Edinburgh now remains. It was seldom that silversmiths sent their items of silver to be hallmarked at the Edinburgh or Glasgow offices. Items were only marked with the maker’s initial and with the town the item was crafted in. This was usually done to avoid the duty charge which was re-imposed in 1784. That’s why for up to the period of 1860 there is more town marked plate than there is duty marked silver. Items produced in the 17th century were marked similar to that of other Scottish provincial towns.