On my last day in St Andrews before summer break, Michelle Romero and I were lucky enough to finagle our way into a private showing of the University’s maces to the Kate Kennedy Club, organized by the Head Janitor & Bedellus, Jim Douglas, M.A. It was amazing. The metalwork on these maces (six in total) is so intricate and beautiful.
The late R.G. Cant said that if he had to put a value to the maces, Bishop Kennedy’s mace (made in 1461 in Paris) would be worth £10 million, and the mace of the Faculty of Arts would be £5 million, though in effect they are priceless. I have to admit it was nearly frightening to hold £10 million pounds in your hands.
It’s such a shame that the modern mace for the whole of the University (furtherst left in the photo) pales in comparison to the others, especially since it is the mace used at Chapel and thus the mace used most often. Mr. Douglas told us that the rod of the Rector’s mace (not pictured) is actually a broomstick painted black. Apparently, the Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Brian Lang, is going to have it replaced with a lengthened ebony rod.