History of the Stewarts | Historical Objects
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The Bute Mazer
14th-century Drinking Bowl from Rothesay Castle
The coats of arms are those of The High Steward of Scotland, between the lion´s paws in the senior position, then (going clockwise), the arms of Douglas, Fitzgilbert, John Fitzgilbert, Crawford and Stewart of Menteith. The High Steward in question was Walter, 6th High Steward, who married Marjory Bruce. The Douglas shield refers to ´The Good Lord James´, another hero of Bannockburn and later to gain lasting fame as the man who set out with the Heart of the Bruce to the Holy War, only to die heroically in Spain on the way. Fitzgilbert, whose arms were gules three cinquefoils ermine, was the ancestor of the great house of Hamilton, who came to bear the same arms. John Fitzgilbert, brother of the last, was Captain and Keeper of Rothesay Castle, who probably caused the mazer to be made, though without its present rim and straps. Fifth is the shield bearing gules a fesse ermine for Crawford, Lord of Loudoun, Heritable Sheriff of Ayr. Lastly, we have the shield of Sir John Stewart, Lord of Arran and Earl of Menteith.
The rim, straps and foot date only to the first half of the sixteenth century and were added by Ninian Bannatyne of Kames, a castle a few miles to the north of Rothesay. Though unmarked, there is reason to suppose that the rim and straps were made by Peter Lymeburner, goldsmith in Glasgow, c.1525.
The mazer was bought by the 5th Marquess of Bute and is now on long loan to the National Museums of Scotland.