Click Here To Go Back To The Merchant Company Home Page
Venue Hire Charities Company Today Education Board History Events Diary Contact Us Members Area
The Company of Merchants of the City of Edinburgh
  Incorporated by Royal Charter Granted by King Charles II in 1681

The Coat of Arms was formally approved by the Lord Lyon King of Arms in 1693, twelve years after the granting of the Royal Charter which established The Edinburgh Merchant Company.

A new corporate identity, designed in 1994, re-introduces the first Merchant Company seal with its contemporary coat of arms, which continues to reflect the stature and position of The Edinburgh Merchant Company today.

Interpretation of the Coat of Arms explains the significance of each element and demonstrates the continuing relevance of the insignia to the essential purpose of Members today -

  • The ship in full sail describes the importance, then as now, of Scotland’s export trade. The saltire worn by the ship and the St Andrew’s cross demonstrate that the Merchant Company is Scottish.
  • The crowned thistle, one of the Royal crests in Scotland, indicates that the Merchant Company is incorporated by Royal Charter.
  • The gold ells, representing the rods or yardsticks used for measuring lengths of cloth, and the pair of balances, display the Merchant Company’s mercantile origins.
  • The castle is the crest of the City of Edinburgh.
  • Above the shield, the sphere or globe signifies that Members, then as now, are engaged in trade world-wide.
  • The symbol is reinforced by the motto Terraque Marique, “ by land and by sea” and by the sea unicorns, half-land and half-sea creatures. The respect in which the Merchant Company was held is reflected in the Lord Lyon’s granting of the sea-unicorns as supporters, as they were allowed only to peers and very important corporations.
The Merchant Company’s coat of arms has appeared in many forms in its 300 year history. Today one of the most exquisite representations is in The Master’s Badge, presented by John M Archer (Treasurer 1963-1965) in memory of his father Sir Gilbert Archer (Master 1930-1932). The badge is made of gold, platinum and enamel and encrusted with precious and semi-precious gems and jewels. The Badge was first worn by HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, when he was Master of the Company, 1965-1966.

  Protecting The Interests Of Traders In The City
telephone email:
home | venue hire | charities | company today | education board | history | events diary | members area | contact us
  Copyright © 2000-2004 The Company of Merchants of the City of Edinburgh