Seal of John Laing, Bishop of Glasgow, 1473-1482. St Kentigern and the legendary salmon with the ring feature prominently. To the left, the figure with the spear is possibly St Michael, while to the right St Catherine is represented, with her wheel. Below, the arms of the bishop are supported by two angels.
In 1476 Laing obtained a charter from James III, extending the jurisdiction of the Bishop's regality of Glasgow, and confirming to the Bishop powers "to constitute and appoint provosts, bailies, sergeants, and other officers within the said city, for the management and government of the same, as often as shall seem expedient to him, and to appoint to and remove from these offices such persons as he shall think proper."
The charter indicates the importance of the role of the bishops in Glasgow's civic affairs in medieval times. The exercise of privilege by the bishop and his clergy was generally considered to be more beneficial for the citizens than in areas where civic privileges were held by barons.
Reference: Mitchell Library, GC 941.435 REN
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning