SKU # : SS 125
15th Century Scottish cross
2 3/8" x 7/8" - 60 x 22.5 mm
Kilmory Chapel, Knapdale,Scotland
From stylistic evidence, this cross would seem to date from the late fifteenth century. This would make sense as the man in the hunting scene is Alexander MacMillan, Fifth of Knap. As a child, he escaped the 1430 "Palm Sunday Massacre" in Lochaber, where his father and most of his near kin were killed. He married Erca McNeil, daughter of the Constable of Castle Sween and became Constable himself during the mid-1470's. This scene shows MacMillan with his leash of Deerhounds stalking a stag which would indicate that he is a "friend of the King" as one needed royal permission to hunt deer.
The cross has the earliest depiction of a man in full kilted dress. The chief is shown with kilt and an ax chasing a deer which is going into the thicket at the top of the cross. On the other side of the cross is a remarkable scene of Jesus on the cross as he commends John and Mary, Jesus' mother, to each other's care (John 19:25-27). John, patron of the Tonsured Servant, and Mary, patroness of the Knapdale MacMillans, were the ones who stood by Jesus in his last hours.
Clan MacMillan website: http://www.clanmacmillan.org/index-2.html