Relics

General Mercer’s Sword
This was carried by General Hugh Mercer at the battle of Princeton when he was mortally wounded. It was presented to the Society in 1841 by Mrs. H. Morgan, granddaughter of General Morgan, to whom General Mercer had given the sword as he lay dying. It is carried at the head of the procession at St. Andrew’s Day annual dinners, often in recent years by members Dr. Daniel Blain and his son, Daniel Blain, Jr., who are direct descendants of General Mercer.  View a presentation of the Sword to the Museum of the American Revolution at this link.

mercer_sword

The Rams’ Heads
Two Rams’ heads are also carried in the procession on St. Andrew’s Day. The smaller ram’s head snuffbox with a caringorm embedded in its forehead was presented to the Society in 1848 by Drs. Nathaniel Chapman and John K. Mitchell, members of the Society. The larger ram’s head snuff mull was presented to member Guy Gundaker in 1924 in Edinburgh at the convention of Rotary International when he was president of that organization. He presented it to the Society shortly before his death in 1960.

ramhead1       ramhead02

The Loving Cup
The large silver loving cup was a gift to the Society by its members in 1899 in observance of the 150th anniversary of the formal beginnings of the Society.

loving_cup

The Quaich and Sgian Dhu
To commemorate the 200th anniversary of the founding of the Society, nine living past presidents in 1947 presented the silver quaich to the organization. This was crafted by Thomas Bayard Beatty and is used in the haggis ceremony at the annual dinners.

In 1947 member Thomas Beatty presented to the Society a sgian dhu which he crafted, using in the handle the same wood which had been used in the Lectern. Unfortunately, this sgian dhu was lost about 1977 and was replaced by a sgian dhu of standard Black Watch officers issue, which appears in the photograph, and which has continued to be used in the Haggis Ceremony at our annual dinners.

quiach

The Lectern
The lectern which graces the head table at all Annual Dinners is made from a beam of white oak which is several hundred years old. It was removed during restoration work on the ancient forewall of the Half Moon Battery at Edinburgh Castle.

lectern

Arrangements to obtain the wood were made in 1947 by Society members, Thomas Beatty, with the then ambassador of Great Britain to the United States, Lord Inverchapel. In due course, the wood arrived. It was a beam about seven feet long and 10 inches square, weighing about 300 pounds. Beatty located a firm in Newtown, Bucks County, the Watsons, who had sawn many timbers for the Bryn Athyn Cathedral, to saw the beam into useable lumber. Beatty completed the project in time for the 200th annual dinner of the Society in 1947, when it was used by Lord Inverchapel for his notes.

The Gavels
In 1884, William Pirrie Sanderson presented this gavel made of oak from “Abbotsford” (the home of Sir Walter Scott) and cherry from Dryburgh Abbey. A second gavel presented in 1906 by Wilfred Powell, is made from oak, copper, mahogany, and iron from Lord Nelson’s favorite ship, “Foudroyant” and a third gavel made of balsam, carob (husk), and olive woods collected in Palestine, was presented to the Society in 1907 by an unknown donor.

gavel

The Treasurer’s Box
The 1749 “rules” required that a “strong box be provided wherein should be safely lodged the Rules and Orders of the Society, with all moneys in stock and the securities for same … to be produced at each Anniversary Assembly for the Inspection and Examination of the members.” The box, locally made of Pennsylvania walnut 27″ x 18″ x 15″ was acquired, “previously owned”, in 1750. In 1881 this chest, by then decorated with a figure of St. Andrew and his cross, was refinished and a descriptive plate added. This treasured relic is today an exhibit in the Society’s Library and is presented on a walnut stand given to the Society for this purpose by our former President, James S. Bishop, in memory of his mother.

The Johnston Decanter
The Society’s decanter of Edinburgh Crystal is engraved with the Society’s Insignia and date of organization, 1747. One side is also engraved with the name of William H. Johnston, President 1982-83, who presented it to the Society, that the Society might have the distinction of having its own designated ceremonial decanter. A Society medal is affixed by a gold chain around the decanter’s neck. This medal and chain had been worn as designation of Office by earlier Presidents up to and including Mr. Johnston.

decanter