New mace to play key role at university event

Thursday 20 February 2003

The latest addition to a collection of maces dating back to medieval times is to play a key role in the forthcoming installation of Sir Clement Freud as Rector of the University of St Andrews this week (Friday 21st February, 2003).

The silver mace, which will be known as the Rector’s Mace, is the first to be made for the University since 1958 and will join a unique collection of maces already owned by the University.

It will be carried at this Friday’s official installation of Sir Clement, who was elected by the Students’ Association last October.

The mace will feature a figure of the monk, Laurence of Lindores (1373 – 1437), who was one of the most important figures in the foundation and the launching of the University and the first Rector.

Dr Brian Lang, the University’s Principal and Vice-Chancellor, was approached by Mr Donald Wintersgill, a Glasgow-born silversmith, who wished to design, make, and donate to the University, a new mace which would symbolise the role of the University’s Rector.

“I am honoured and thrilled to add to the truly outstanding and magnificent collection of maces the University already owns,” said Mr Wintersgill.

Mr Wintersgill has designed a 14 cm high figure of a monk holding a book for the finial of the mace, following Dr Lang’s suggestion of a depiction of Laurence of Lindores.

The University holds three stunning 15th century silver maces, the Mace of the Faculty of Arts, the Mace of the Faculty of Canon Law and the Mace of St Salvator’s College. The maces represent the authority of the University and have been carried in ceremonies for over five hundred years.

Two further maces were commissioned during the course of the 20th century. The first, the Mace of the School of Medicine, was made in Edinburgh and was presented to the School by an anonymous donor in 1949.

In 1958 the University mace was acquired, by means of the Dugald Clark Bequest. It was designed and created in London by Leslie Durban. The head takes the form of the figure of St Andrew, modelled on the celebrated painting by El Greco in the Prado, Madrid.

A further mace, The University Mace, was presented to University College, Dundee, in 1912 (when this was part of the University of St Andrews). It was passed to Queen’s College in 1954 and to the University of Dundee in 1967.

In addition to creating the new mace for St Andrews, Mr Wintersgill, who is also a journalist and author, is writing a history of University’s Rectors. He has written a similar book for the University of Glasgow and is currently working on an edition for the University of Edinburgh.




Issued by Beattie Media On behalf of the University of St Andrews Contact Gayle Cook on 01334 467227, mobile 07900 050103, or email [email protected] Ref: new mace feb 2003 View the latest University news at

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