Scotch-Irish-L Archives

Archiver > Scotch-Irish > 2001-07 > 0996245913

Subject: Re: [Scotch-Irish] Coat-of-Arms
Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2001 10:58:33 EDT

The following came from the Lord Lyon's web site a couple of days ago.
Armorial bearings, being for distinguishing persons of, and within, a
family, cannot descend to, or be used by, persons who are not members of the
family. The surname indicates the family to which a family belongs. A person
named Macdonald cannot bear a Ross coat of arms, or any part of it. The
Chief's coat of arms fulfils within the clan or family the same purpose as
the Royal Arms do in a Kingdom. There is no such thing as a "family crest" or
"family coat of arms" which anyone can assume, or a whole family can use.
Armorial bearings, of which the Crest is a subsidiary part, are a form of
individual heritage property, devolving upon one person at a time by
sucession from the grantee or confirmee, and thus descend like a Peerage.
They indicate the Chief of the Family or Clan, or the Head of each subsidiary
line or household descending from members who have themselves established in
the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland a right to a
subsidiary version of the arms and crest, containing a mark of difference
indicating their position in the Family or Clan. This is not a "new" coat of
arms, it is the ancient ancestral arms with a mark of cadency, usefully
showing the cadet's place within the family. It identifies where you, and
your own heirs, belong within the family. It is, as well as being beautiful,
a valuable system of identification. The parts of the armorial bearings
consist of: * The Shield, bearing the basic device * The Helmet, with its
Crest, which sits on top of the helmet * The Motto in a scroll * The Mantling
or cape, which kept the sun off the wearer's armour in hot weather * Very
rarely, two Supporters on either side of the shield, which are external
attributes of the arms of Peers, Chiefs and a very few other persons of
special importance, including Knights Grand Cross of Orders. It is illegal to
assume and purport to use your Chief's arms without a due and congruent
recorded difference. Anyone who does so merely publishes their own ignorance.
There is no such thing as a "Clan coat of arms". The arms are those of the
Chief, and clansmen have only the privilege of wearing the strap-and-buckle
crested badge to show they are such Chief's clansmen. One cannot have a crest
without first having a shield of arms, because the crest was a later
addition. Misuse of crests arises from misunderstanding of the badge rule
under which junior members of the family may wear in specified manner their
Chief's crest as badge. Crest Badge The Crest of the Chief is worn by all
members of the Clan and of approved Septs and followers of the Clan, within a
strap and buckle surround bearing the Chief's motto. This is for personal
wear only, to indicate that the wearer is a member of the Clan whose Chief's
crest-badge is being worn. The badge or crest is not depicted on personal or
business stationery, signet rings or plate, because such use would legally
import that the tea-pot, etc., was the Chief's property! Acquisition of
Grants and Matriculations of Arms Those who wish to use arms in any
particular sense must petition for a Grant of Arms or -- if they can trace
their ancestry back to a direct or, in some cases collateral, ancestor -- a
"cadet matriculation" showing their place with the family. Forms of Petition
and sample proof-sheets relative to such application can be supplied if
required. When a grant, or matriculation, of arms is successfully obtained,
an illuminated parchment, narrating the pedigree as proved, is supplied to
the Petitioner, and a duplicate is recorded in the Public Register of All
Arms and Bearings in Scotland and/or the Public Register of Genealogies and
Birthbrieves. Application for such a Confirmation, by Letters Patent or
Matriculation, from the Lord Lyon King of Arms is the only way to obtain a
genuine coat of arms. Tartans People normally wear only the tartan (if any)
of their surname, or a "district tartan" connected with their residence or
family's place of origin. Check out our Tartans page for more information.
Note: This information was taken from a leaflet published by the Court of the
Lord Lyon, HM New Register House, Edinburgh, EH1 3YT. "

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