Welcome to the historical database of the

Incorporation of Goldsmiths.

To use the system, please click on the search link above to go to the login window and click the register button if you are a first time user. The database is completely free to use, all you have to do is register.

This database brings together much of the known information on goldsmiths of Edinburgh from the twelfth century to the twentieth century. The majority of records date from the sixteenth century up to 1986, with lapsed customers of the office up to 2011.There are over seven thousand biographies and numerous illustrations of makers' marks. It will enable the user to match marks on pieces of silver or gold with the maker of that item, and provide biographical information on that maker. You can search by makers' mark, by the name of the maker, and specifically for a keyword appearing in the records. Results are listed in order of relevance.

The database also now includes information on Glasgow goldsmiths from the surviving records of the Glasgow Assay Office (opened in 1819 and closed in 1964).

The database also includes brief biographies of many provincial Scottish gold and silversmiths. In time, images will be added to these biographies.

Please check on the 'WHAT'S NEW' section below to read about new material being added to the database.

This database is based on information mostly found in the archives of the Incorporation of Goldsmiths. All records and research have been input to the database by the Archivist of the Incorporation of Goldsmiths, Elspeth Morrison.


The creation of the database would not have been possible were it not for the research and transcription of the records by Henry Steuart Fothringham, whose help on this project has been invaluable. He has been responsible for many of the biographies and has attributed marks to many of the early makers whose details were absent from the surviving records. Our thanks go to the National Museums of Scotland who have allowed us to use photographs taken from the Silver, Made in Scotland exhibition in 2008, and from their archives. Our thanks are due to Perth Museum and Gallery and Dumfries Museum who have generously allowed us to use images from their collections. Thanks also to the auctioneers Lyon & Turnbull and Woolley & Wallis who have kindly given us many examples of provincial Scottish marks from recent sales.


This database is constantly being updated as new research becomes available. Recently we have begun to add Henry Steuart Fothringham's researched biographies of Edinburgh goldsmiths in the Notes section. This will take the next three months to complete, but should mean that more information gleaned from the archive and other sources is available. Below is a list of the abbreviations used in the biographies indicating the sources used:

ABC1 = Act Book of the Convenery of Deacons of the Trades of Edinburgh, vol.1 (1577-1678)
ABC2 = Act Book of the Convenery of Deacons of the Trades of Edinburgh, vol.2 (1678-1755)
AMA = Assay-Master’s Accounts: vol.1, 1681-82 to 169#; Vol.2, 168# to 1701-02
CC8 = Edinburgh Commissary Court
CC9 = Glasgow Commissary Court
Census = National decennial Census, beginning in 1831, identified by year.
Culme = Culme, John. 1987: The Directory of Gold & Silversmiths, Jewellers & Allied Traders 1838-1914, From the London Assay Office Registers. 2 vols. Antique Collectors’ Club, Woodbridge, 1987.
Dir. = Edinburgh Post-Office or Trade Directory for year(s) stated
EAO Daybooks = Edinburgh Assay Office Day Books (accounts of silver assayed), (1905-1971)
EAO Duty Books = Edinburgh Assay Office Duty Books (accounts of silver assayed), (1799-1890)
EAO Reg. = Edinburgh Assay Office, Registration Books, 3 vols.
ECA = Edinburgh City Archives
EGM = Edinburgh Goldsmiths’ Minutes, with volume, item & page numbers; 18 vols. (1525-1976)
EMR = Edinburgh Marriage Register
GHHM = George Heriot’s Hospital Minutes
GRA1 = Goldsmiths’ Register of Apprentices, vol.1 (1694-1786)
GRA2 = Goldsmiths’ Register of Apprentices, vol.2 (1793-1860)
Grimwade = Grimwade, Arthur. (19##): London Goldsmiths, their Lives, Work & Marks, more.
GWHM = George Watson’s Hospital Minutes
Indent. = Original indenture papers, numbered 1-## (NAS: GD1/482/26)
IR1 = General Register of Apprentices (Inland Revenue papers, National Archives (of England), Kew); identified by volume & page number.
Laing = Rev. John Anderson (Ed.): Calendar of The Laing Charters A.D.854-1837, belonging to the University of Edinburgh. Edinburgh, James Thin, 1899.
NAS = National Archives of Scotland. Incorporation archives placed there on loan by the Incorporation are to be found at GD1/482/*.
OPR = Old Parish Registers. In some cases the originals have been consulted. Latterly, however, these have not been available and must be viewed on-line or on microfilm.
Ravelston = Hallen, Cornelius (Ed.). 1894: The Account Book of Sir John Foulis of Ravelston 1671-1707. 1SHS, vol.16, Edinburgh, 1894
Robert B. Barker = Robert B. Barker, London, who has kindly provided information derived from his own original researches, principally in connection with Jamaica and also some wills and testaments registered in England.
RBP = Gordon MacGregor. 2006: The Red Book of Perthshire. 2006
Reg. Cart. St.G. = Registrum Cartarum Ecclesie Sancti Egidii de Edinburgh. Bannatyne Club, Edinburgh 1859.
Sasines = Register of Sasines, for place stated.
SC6 = Ayr Sheriff Court
SC70 = Edinburgh Sheriff Court
S.M. Notes = Stuart Maxwell’s Manuscript Notes.
TMHM = Trades’ Maiden Hospital Minutes, # vols (17##-19##)
Wood = Wood, John Philp. 1794: The Ancient and Modern State of the Parish of Cramond. Edinburgh, printed by John Paterson, 1794


The Incorporation of Goldsmiths takes no responsibility for the incorrect identification of marks from the limited information available on this website and database. This information is intended as a guide and is available for research only, not for commercial purposes.