Manuscript of the Month: Grant of arms to the Dublin Guild of Tailors, 1655

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Tailors' ArmsThe very existence of this document is somewhat surprising, as it was issued during the Cromwellian inter-regnum in Ireland, a regime that despised ostentatious show. Nevertheless, ‘Richard Carney, Principall Herald of Armes for the whole Dominion of Ireland’ prepared this grant of arms to the Dublin Guild of Tailors in 1655.  This guild was founded in 1418 by royal charter and was second in order of precedence in the Dublin City Assembly.  The grant of arms states that the Dublin guild used the arms of the Merchant Taylors of London but that it had now applied for arms in its own right.  Carney concurs with this request, ‘in perpetuall memorie of (not onlie the ever constant Loyaltie of the said Cittie of Dublin and the many greate and famous services by them done the Commonwealth).’  The grant is issued on parchment and the top portion consists of three coats of arms, those of Ireland (left) and Dublin (right) with the arms of the Commonwealth in the centre; their inclusion indicates support for this grant. The Tailors’ arms is in the left panel, with its motto ‘Nudus et Opervistis Me’ (I was naked and you clothed me) a quotation from the New Testament (Matt. 25, 36). Elements of the coat of arms include the head of John the Baptist (whose feast was the guild’s swearing-in day, 24 June).  The guild colours were white and watchett (light blue) and these are referenced in the arms.


The grant of arms was donated to Tailors’ Hall by a member of the public who had found it in her house.   It was placed on permanent loan by An Taisce with Dublin City Library and Archive and was conserved by Elizabeth D’Arcy, 2015.

Grant of arms to the Dublin Guild of Tailors

Manuscript of the Month: Grant of arms to the Dublin Guild of Tailors, 1655 (click to enlarge)

 

Manuscript of the Month

Each month, Dublin City Archives will be showcasing a manuscript from their collections on our blog. Check back next month for the next instalment!

 

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