Monday, 1 December 2014

The 12 Seals of Christmas #1



ARCHIVER: It's almost Christmas time, Seal.

SEAL: Indeed. Gets here faster every year doesn't it?

ARCHIVER: We usually celebrate advent on the blog and I've got a nifty idea for 2014.

SEAL: *listening face*

ARCHIVER: Well. You know how we love us a seal here at the archives?

SEAL: *blushes*

ARCHIVER: We were thinking of having a '12 seals of Christmas'. A different seal for every couple of days. You know, a fancy seal, an informal seal, a 19th century seal...

SEAL: *eagerly*- a 'Crazy' Seal!

ARCHIVER: Exactly, all the different kinds. Do you mind doing us a favour?

SEAL: Of course not! Anything! This is really exciting! Thanks so much for thinking of me!

ARCHIVER: Could you perhaps print out a list of documents with seals attached from our catalogue and then get them out for me? My bunions are playing up.

SEAL: *.......*

ARCHIVER: Did you hear me?

SEAL: *sulkily* - You mean wax seals? On bits of old letters?

ARCHIVER: Yes of course. Why, what did you think I was talking about? Seal? Seal? SEAL!

Oh well, better crack on:

Seal number 1 is attached to a Burgh of Kirkwall burgess ticket in favour of Mr John Geddes, druggist in Kirkwall.

Its date is the 4th of November 1862 and it was gifted to the archive in 1986.

A burgess ticket was originally granted to an inhabitant of a burgh who owned land. It was later restricted to merchants and craftsmen and later still could be presented to outsiders who had performed a service for the burgh. One needed a burgess ticket to practise a trade or vote in elections.

This seal is kept inside its own round, little, metal case which is awesome.

Orkney Archive Reference D1/85/4


  1. I laughed out loud at "Seal's" commentary. ^_^ Thanks for the chuckle!

    The seal in the article above is fascinating, as is the historical information behind it.

    I read the November posts, as well. Thank you for letting us have a glimpse into the lives of the soldiers and people during the Great War.


  2. Thanks Sue. We love both types of (S)seal really but don't let on. Hope your advent season is a delight.


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