The History of Leith

March 24, 2012


In answer to a request for information regarding the
two small Communion cups presented to the church by
Dr Mitchell, the Session Clerk has received from Mrs
Mitchell a letter written to her from Homburg by
F. Baer,, dated 24th October 1893. In the letter the
following information is given :—” S. Baer bought the
cup at an auction held in the Schloss, after the decease of
our last landgrave, Ferdinand. By accident, an inner,
secret partition was discovered in a cupboard in the wall
after the landgrave’s death ; it contained a quantity of
silver articles and among them this cup. It is said to
have been brought over by the landgravine, Elizabeth,
daughter of George III. of England, who married our
landgrave Frederic Joseph. This lady brought over
many works of art, old china, and other curious and
ancient objects. I enclose the arms of the landgraviate
of Hesse Homburg drawn on paper; the two coats
of arms in sealing wax were the arms of the landgraves,
and the blue paper seal the arms of the town
of Homburg.”
The first of the cups was bought by Dr Mitchell himself
in Homburg, and the second, which is exactly the
same in size and design, was accidentally acquired in the
manner explained in this letter.
The cups appear, however, to have a history going
further back than is indicated in the letter, since they
bear the date 1617, boldly engraved above the words
” Beati pacific!”—i.e. “Blessed are the Peacemakers”—
a motto which doubtless was part of the reason inducing
Dr Mitchell to make the purchase. They are richly
embossed with the Royal Arms of England, and with
figures of hound, eagle and dragon.
From the circumstances of the Arms appearing upon
them, it may be inferred that they were originally intended
for use in some royal place of worship in England,
and the letter explains how they came to bs translated to
The following inscriptions are carved on the cups .—
” By vertuous living doth alle honour rise
An euille life brings infamie & shame
To follow His Councell that is most wise
Bring endless glory & immortal fame.”
‘( Such as on earth Gods glory do advance
Shall ever be had in remembrance.”
” For every one shall receive according
to the works done
But sure the name of euill doers shall rott
Eternal wo shall fall unto their lott.”
D. R.

source-South Leith Church magazine 1912

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