William Drummond of Hawthornden, 1585–1649. Poet

King James VI & I – Art & Culture at the Jacobean Court

Abraham van Blijenberch William Drummond of Hawthornden, 1585 - 1649. Poet 1612

William Drummond of Hawthornden, 1585–1649. Poet 

Attributed Abraham van Blijenberch (1575/6–1624) 

1612, oil on panel 

After moving to England in 1603 James promised to return to Scotland every three years, but in reality James only made one return to his northern kingdom in spring 1617. Accompanying him on his progress were Scottish and English courtiers and councillors. Together they spent around three months visiting his palaces and royal burghs and they were hosted at the homes of Scottish noblemen and women. 

William Drummond had spent much of his childhood at court where he was surrounded by poets and writers. Despite initially training to become a lawyer Drummond changed career to become a noted poet and historian. To celebrate the king’s return to Scotland he wrote the poem Forth Feasting. It was presented to James at an entertainment given by the Earl of Winton at Seton Palace in May 1617.  

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Gilbert Kirkwood (active 1609–1645), Balmaghie Communion Cup, 1617–1619, Silver. National Museums of Scotland (X.2015.130.5) 

Balmaghie Communion Cup

Gilbert Kirkwood (active 1609–1645)

1617–1619, silver

In 1617 an Act was passed by the Scottish Parliament which made it a legal requirement for all churches to have cups, cloths and tables for Communion. This cup, which is one of a pair, was made shortly after the Act was passed for the Balmaghie Parish Church in Galloway. The elegant footed cup was made by the Edinburgh goldsmith Gilbert Kirkwood and is engraved with the minister's initials 'MHM' for Mr Hew McGhie, and 'P KnP BMG' for the Parish Kirk of Balmaghie. The cup is an early example of seventeenth century ecclesiastical plate, but also the tangible result of a policy made under James. 

View this artwork at National Museums Scotland


King James VI & I – Art & Culture at the Jacobean Court

King James VI & I – Art & Culture at the Jacobean Court