Scotch-Irish-L ArchivesArchiver > Scotch-Irish > 1999-02 > 0918409209
From: "Richard P. Hudson" <>
Subject: Re: McClintock
Date: Sun, 7 Feb 1999 11:40:09 -0600
Pardon my intrusion, but perhaps I may assist. I am the herald of a
local Scottish society and do blazon as a hobby.
Arms are always portrayed as though you were looking directly at the
bearer of the shield. Hence, right and left are reversed for the
observer. Also, dexter is ever dominant unless it is written otherwise
in the patent. A shield divided per pale (vertically, down the center)
gules and azure, would be displayed with red on the left for the
observer and blue on the right. There is then a large chevron of white,
with the tiny black devices that have come to represent ermine tails (a
tiny black dot with a bit of a triangular device beneath), that
separates the shield from side to side. The first scallop shell is gold
and on the observer's left and above the arm of the chevron. The second
is silver and opposite the first. The third bears both gold and silver,
separated through the center and along the same line that separates the
red and blue of the field. The gold is on the observer's left and the
silver to the right.
The "Rathdonnell" arm, you indicate, are the same as the above except
that the scallop shells are all silver. This generally indicates
cadency. A cadet branch is established through a new grant of arms or
the 'differencing' of an existing patent which is then granted. Cadet
branches are relatives, say cousins, who are deserving of honorable
mention and who have applied for same. Sometimes an armigerous person
dies and has no immediate heir, but let us say, he has willed his lands
and money to his mother's male cousin, yet the original patent doesn't
allow for females inheritors and this must cross to the mother's side.
Because of the value of the estate the arms will be permitted to pass by
whatever granting authority, but they may difference the arms, as if to
make everything look quite neat. Often in such cases, titles will be
permitted to pass as well, except for Lyon Court. No one wants to speak
for Lyon Court, they are sticklers for proper procedure. Also, their
pedigrees are the world's cleanest. In truth, much of English nobility
and the royal family would be in limbo, were Lyon Court called upon to
take over and prove the rights to arms in England and Wales.
The chevron in the arms above is quite large and, depending on the
artist, would take up about 1/5 to 1/4 of the entire face. The chevron
is geometrically quite like that on the sleeve of a British private.
The center of the chevron points downwards unless stated otherwise in
By the way, whenever arms are quartered the most prestigious is, unless
otherwise stated, placed first and fourth. This is to say that the
observer sees it in the upper left and lower right. The reason for the
right and left (dexter and sinister) being reversed is that arms are
depicted as though held as a shield by a combatant and being described
I hope I have helped and not simply muddied the water even more.