Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/343

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The European Sky -God. 329

cille, planted a small religious establishment on the site of Glasgow. Upon a tree beside his clearing in the forest he is said to have hung a bell for the purpose of summoning his savage neighbours to worship.^ As a boy at Culross he had restored to life a pet redbreast belong- ing to his teacher St. Servanus.^ And, when Queen Languoreth of Cambria lost the signet-ring entrusted to her by King Rederech, St. Kentigern found it for her in the belly of a salmon caught in the river Clud.^ All these details of his legend are commemorated in the arms of the City of Glasgow, viz. : ' Arg. on a mount in base vert an oak tree ppr., the stem at the base thereof surmounted by a salmon on its back, also ppr., with a signet ring in its mouth or ; on the top of the tree a redbreast and in the sinister fess point an ancient hand- bell, both also- ppr.'* It may be suspected that St. Kentigern's oak, like the oaks of St. Brigit and St. Columcille, had a sanctity of its own quite apart from its use as a Christian belfry. Mr. J. M. Mackinlay points out that as late as 1500 A.D. the Arbores sancti Kenti- gerni were landmarks in the district, while in their immediate vicinity, close to Little St. Mungo's Church, is a well dedicated to him, another Kentigern's well being actually included within Glasgow Cathedral.^ Mr. Mackinlay further suggests that the oak, the salmon, and the redbreast of the Glasgow arms may have been no mere emblems of certain acts of St. Kentigern, but rather the repositories of his external soul. That Christianity was here grafted on to a heathen stock seems to me highly probable. The oak and the salmon, as we have

^ Chambers Book of Days i. 103.

- Forbes Lives of S. 2\^nian and S. Kentigern p. 42 f.

' Id. ib. p. 99 ff.

■* Sir James Balfour Paul Lyon Ordinary of Scottish Arms p. 370 no. 5449.

^ Mackinlay Folklore of Scottish Lochs and Springs p. 50.

^ Id. ib. p. 239 f.