Audy Alteram Partem
Our Slogan – Ye Grit Pool

first pealed to Heaven in thirteen hundred and Seventy-Seven.

Mercer Slogan
This family crest appears on one of the gateposts of the burial ground of the Mercers of Gorthy at Glentulchan near Buchanty (JM)
Can you not see it? Strange obliquity!
MERCER synonyms hoar antiquity //
Cardinal Wardlaw from Adam downward brings
From sire to son our ancient Scottish Kings
David The First, that “sair saint to the Crown,”
As his descendants cannot us disown;
The Royal Stuart and Wallace blood remains
And flows with lively vigour through our veins;
Le Seigneur de Couci, ni Prince, ni Roi,
From him YOUNG TIME our early cadence saw;
From Paris’ Grand Provosts too we claim
Our Gallic blood – they Huguenots became –
Titles, lands, honours, country they forsook,
And refuge on our soil of freedom took;
We two Aleumuses claim as our sires;
Then Thomas, whose son, John, Aldie acquires;
Schir Andro, Michael, and his son Andrew;
We from Sir Laurence to existence grew;
Robert of Newton, Andrew was his son,
Then through three Laurences our blood did run;
Pitteuchar’s “Will,” Sub-Sheriff of Perthshire;
George, who Dryden and Gorthy did acquire,
Thirteen sires had we in six hundred years –
A fact most true, as it most strange appears, –
From Thomas, born twelve hundred and sixty,
To George, who died in eighteen fifty-three.
Aleumus first had not attained manhood
When Tay and Almond swept off Perth in flood;
So “sicker ’tis as onie thing on erth,
The Mercers aye are aulder than auld Perth.”
Then should we bear us bravely, do no shame,
Nor blot the scutcheon of our ancient name;
Strive, sternly strive, till called to lay life down,
Through God’s good grace to make
Christ’s Cross our Crown.
The Mercier family motto is “Toujours fidele” or “Always faithful”

17 thoughts on “Mercer Crest and Motto

  • 23/April/2012 at 1:50 am

    Can you translate this for me?

    From sire to son our ancient Scottish Kings
    David The First, that “sair saint to the Crown,”
    As his descendants cannot us disown;
    The Royal Stuart and Wallace blood remains
    And flows with lively vigour through our veins

    Thank you for your time, and research.

    Cpl. William H. Mercer

    • 5/September/2012 at 5:52 pm

      Hi William,
      Sorry for taking so long to reply. The poem is from the gatepost of a burial ground in Scotland. It is thought to have been written by William Thomas Mercer. I’m not sure how much of the poem you wanted us to explain but I assume that it is only the phrase in quotes. That “sair saint to the crown”. The On-Line Scots Dictionary gives many meanings for the word “sair” In this context however, I would say it means “greivous”. The story goes that King David, during his lifetime, built several abbeys and did other good works for the church. As a result he became known as Saint David, although he was never actually canonised. However, the result of his generous expenditures was that he virtually bankrupted himself. Some 300 years later King James I visited his tomb and is said to have referred to him as “that sair saint to the crown”. In other words his saintly acts caused grievous harm to the crown.
      I hope this answers your question.
      Jim Mercer

  • 12/September/2012 at 8:27 am

    Good day Mr. Jim Mercer,
    Yes you did answer some of my question. I just have one more. In the poem it talks about Stewart and Wallace run in our veins. Does that mean we are related to the Wallace’s and Stewart’s? Thanks again for your time.

    William Mercer

  • 12/September/2012 at 11:41 pm

    Hi William,
    I have no documented evidence that the Mercer family that is one of the main features of this website, is related to the Stuart or Wallace families. Presumably the writer of the poem thought that they were.

    Also, you should be aware that not all Mercer families in Scotland are related to these patrician Mercers from Perth. They have a key place in our website because of their history, much of which has been well documented. They also played important roles in government, military and other aspects of Scottish, and later, British history. As a Mercer myself, descended from a family in the parish of Kennoway, I know through DNA testing, that I am not related to the Perth family.
    You no doubt already know that a Mercer was a dealer or trader in fine fabrics, so there were probably quite a few of them in the distant past who were not necesarily related in any way.
    I hope this helps,
    Jim Mercer

  • 30/October/2012 at 12:10 am

    Hello, I am the grand daughter of Willard H. Mercer of the Mercer family out of Perth Scotland, and I am doing a biography and history paper on the Mercer heritage of Scotland. I was wondering as to what the translation of “first pealed to heaven in thirteen hundred and Seventy-Seven,” meant? Anything would be helpful! Thank you!

  • 1/November/2012 at 5:23 pm

    Hi Gabrielle,
    The only references that I can find relating to the year 1377 are 1. In that year John Mercer of Perth was appointed Ambassador to England, charged with the payment of the ransom for the release of King David II, who was being held prisoner there, and 2. In that year, John’s son, Sir Andrew Mercer, raided Scarborough, England, with a fleet of ships to avenge his father’s treatment there.
    I’ll leave you to decide which, if any, of these events relates to the motto.

    • 10/August/2021 at 7:40 pm

      Hi Jim. I got today the Mercer genealogy, where is written, that John died 1379. He was married with Ada Murray, grand-daughter of Sir Andrew Murray (Andrew de Moray). Their son Sir Andrew Mercer was admiral of Spain in command of the allied fleets (Spain, France and Scotland) in the attack on Scarborough 1377. So at the website “England’s Barbicans 1377-1378” one can read the information about this attack (August-September 1377). They are also my ancestors. I am shore no. 2 is related to the motto!

      • 11/August/2021 at 4:49 pm

        I;m not sure what you mean by “No. 2 being a reference to the motto”.

      • 16/August/2021 at 9:44 pm

        Hi Cyrill,
        Good that you have got the genealogy. There are also a lot of other illegitimate family members not mentioned. Please visit my Mercer of Aldie family tree on, regards, Claire Winfrey nee Mercer.

  • 22/March/2013 at 5:26 pm

    My great grandfather was James Mercer. He had been in the merchant navy and settled in Belfast. His first son was christianed Hill Walker Mercer. The Walker was from his mother’s maiden name but i wonder about the first name, Hill. I have come across another Mercer family here in Northern Ireland that use the name Hill in their family but i don’t think we are related. Could any body help as to the use of this name?

  • 22/November/2019 at 5:45 pm

    Larry Mercer descendant of Stewart Mercer 1795- 1865 Born in Belfast, Ireland, Died in Lancashire. Trying find a link to go back further. Not sure if his Heritage was Irish or Scottish. His family all lived in Belfast area until emigrating to Canada in mid 1890’s.

  • 15/March/2021 at 2:23 am

    I have a ring with what looks like a family seal on it – it shows this crest and the slogan ‘The Grit Poul’ on it, with the initials JDM underneath. Any ideas what the slogan means, and to whom this may have belonged? Just so you know, the only thing I know about the Mercer side of my family is my grandmother’s maiden name: Frances Mercer Hill. She married a Broomfield from Hindhead, Surrey.

    I would love to post a copy of the photo of the ring, but it doesn’t seem to be possible.

  • 20/June/2021 at 1:14 pm

    I am puzzled by the “Ye Grit Pool.”
    I tried the online translator, of course.

    • 20/June/2021 at 4:10 pm

      It means “The Great Sea”. The Mercers were merchants with their own fleet of ships.

  • 16/August/2021 at 9:36 pm

    Hi all,
    I have always understood it related to Scarborough Bay ….
    There is a family poem which explains it..
    ‘ On Mercer’s escutcheon in a field of gold,
    Three crosses-patee gules in chief behold;
    En base an azure star ; a fesse gules too,
    Charged with three besants, glittering to view ;
    ” Crux Christi nostra” graven on the scroll –
    “Corona” forms the legend ‘neath the whole.
    En gold and besants the great wealth we trace
    Of him who held the High Treasurer’s place;
    By crosses patee, three in chief,’tis meant
    To designate from Barclay the descent;
    En Murray’s silver star, to azure turned,
    the Tullybardine linage is discerned;
    The fesse- of Andrew (first of Scotland’s three)-
    the baldric marks of naval chieftainrie;
    the crest – a stork’s head couped – in beak maintains
    A water-serpent writhing in death’s pains.
    the stork, with heralds, filial lobe designs,
    The snake sucess with victory combines;
    While our ancestral slogan – “Ye Gret Pule”-
    Of Scarborough’s capture tells, and England’s dule.
    Then Mercers, bear ye bravely-do no shame,
    Nor blot the scutcheon of our ancient name;
    For “sycker ’tis as onie thing on erthe”
    “The Mercers aye are aulder than auld Pearth,”
    Strive, sternly strive, till called to lay lifedown,
    Through God’s good grace, to make
    Christ’s Cross our Crown.
    Claire Winfrey nee Mercer

  • 2/March/2022 at 11:58 pm

    Our family has a copy of the coat of arms. My mother was a Mercer, of the New Jersey Mercers.
    The framed copy we have contains the language
    “The Grit Poul”.

    • 14/March/2022 at 7:53 pm

      FYI, The Grit Poul means “The Great Sea”.


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