The Heraldry Society of Scotland
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Scotland, UK.




Scots Heraldry - The Heraldry Society of Scotland

  An Annotated Bibliography of Scottish Heraldic Materials Page 2 - compiled by Leslie A. Schweitzer & David Hunter of Montlaw.

Dennis, Mark, Scottish Heraldry: An Invitation, (Heraldry Society of Scotland, 1999) (ISBN: 0 9525258 2 8)

A basic introduction to heraldry from a Scottish perspective.  The pamphlet is well and entertainingly illustrated, primarily with the arms of persons using the charge being discussed. Some of the more useful points, not frequently seen in introductory books, include the display of external addiments for offices and positions, and several series of illustrations showing cadet differencing, for the Campbells, the Hendersons, and the Hays.

Edington, Carol, Court and Culture in Renaissance Scotland, (University of Massachusetts Press, Amherst, 1994). (ISBN 0 87023 034 1)

This book uses the life of Sir David Lindsay of the Mount as the focus of a discussion on the culture of Renaissance Scotland. Lindsay was a significant figure in his day. He is probably best known as a poet; his status as the populist ‘National Poet of Scotland’ was not eclipsed until the arrival of Robert Burns. However, he was also a political thinker, Courtier to James IV and V, and religious reformer.

He enters our realm of study because he was also a herald, whose career culminated in an appointment to the Lyon office. His heraldic and diplomatic career is discussed here, along with his other achievements.

Emblems of Scotland (Heraldry Society of Scotland, Edinburgh, 1997)

This is a short pamphlet presenting a series of five papers by various authors, which were originally presented at a symposium in 1996 sponsored by the Heraldry Society of Scotland. The subjects of the papers include the Lion of Scotland, the Double Tressure, the Unicorn, the Saltire and the Thistle. Each of the papers discusses the origin and uses of the symbol, and occasionally provides examples of non-royal or governmental use.

Gayre of Gayre and Nigg, R., Heraldic Cadency: The Development of Differencing of Coats of Arms for Kinsmen and other Purposes. (Faber & Faber Ltd, London, 1961)

A book on cadency, with extensive Scots examples.

Gayre of Gayre and Nigg, Robert, Heraldic Standards and other Ensigns, (Oliver and Boyd, Edinburgh, 1959)

A general book on flags, which was written with the advice of the then Lyon King of Arms. Discussions of Scots practice ca. 1959 are therefore quite accurate. A fair number of examples of Scots practice are discussed throughout. Illustrations are all redrawn.

Gayre of Gayre and Nigg, R., Roll of Scottish Arms, part 1, vols. 1 and 2 (The Armorial, Edinburgh, 1964 and 1969)

This set is an listing of all persons who matriculated arms in the Lyon Register, volume 1. Unlike the Lyon Ordinaries, this organizes the information by the surname of the person who matriculated, and includes not only the blazon of the arms, but also the crest, supporters, if any, and motto. Finally, it includes the date (or estimated date of the registration). The dates of matriculation range from 1672 to approximately 1804. The volumes do not include the matriculations of non-human entities such as corporations or cities, which were intended to be included in a later volume. Unfortunately, the companion volumes originally envisioned were not published.

Geddes, W. & Duguid, P., Lacunar Basilicae Sancti Macarii Aberdonensis (Heraldic Ceiling of St. Machar's Cathedral), (New Spalding Club, Aberdeen, 1888)

This is a volume concerning a heraldic ceiling in the cathedral in Aberdeen. The ceiling dates from ca. 1520. The arms included in the ceiling include leaders in the Roman church of that period, foreign Royals, and prominent nobles from Scotland. Each coat contained in the ceiling is discussed, primarily from a genealogical standpoint, and illustrated with a redrawing. There is also an illustration of how all the arms are laid out on the original ceiling.

Grant, Frances J., Court of the Lord Lyon: List of His Majesty’s Officers of Arms and other officers with Genealogical notes, 1318-1945 (Scottish Record Society, Edinburgh, 1945)

This provides a list of each known officer of arms in Scotland from the earliest known officer to 1945. In addition, it provides a list of the Lyon Deputes, the Lyon Clerks, and the Lyon Clerk Deputes. It also lists of the known extraordinary officers of arms, both those in royal service and those in service to the nobles of Scotland are provided. Finally, the genealogical notes give the occupation of the officer, the offices held, their parents, spouse, children, and other significant facts, including whether he matriculated arms. The editor was Albany Herald at the time this was published, having just stepped down from office as Lord Lyon.

Grant, Frances J., The Manual of Heraldry, (John Grant, Edinburgh, 1929)

This book is mostly a heraldic dictionary and grammar. These sections have nothing to particularly commend them over other books with similar contents. However, the author was Lord Lyon King of Arms and there are some particularly Scots discussions of some value. The book includes a discussion of the Heraldic Executive, which gives the dates of origin of the various Scots officers of arms (information not otherwise easily available.) It also contains an Order of Precedence as of the time of publication. (The 1929 edition indicates that this Order of Precedence had changed since an earlier edition.)

Grant, Frances J., Memorial Catalogue: Heraldic Exhibition Edinburgh, 1891, (T&A Constable, Edinburgh, 1892)

This is an illustrated catalogue of the first public exhibition of the heraldic arts in Britain. The text briefly describes each of the 1217 numbered exhibits (although many of the numbers consist of several items.) The 118 plates were chosen chiefly to illustrate the artistic aspects of Scots Heraldry. Six of the plates are in color, including a full color facsimile of the earliest known Scots grant of arms. The text does give the full text of several patents of a Scottish origin. The groupings of the exhibits include assorted grants and genealogies, books on heraldry, drawings, heraldic china and glass, seals, armorials from Scotland, England, and elsewhere, insignia of the British orders of chivalry, heraldic book bindings, and stained glass.

Innes of Learney, Thomas, Scots Heraldry, (Oliver & Boyd, London 1934)
Innes of Learney, Sir Thomas, Scots Heraldry, 2nd Ed, (Oliver & Boyd, London 1956)

Innes of Edingight, Malcolm, revisor, Scots Heraldry, 3rd Ed. (Johnston & Bacon, London, 1978) (ISBN: 0 7179 4228 7)

This is one of the most widely available volumes on heraldry in Scotland, and discusses the topic from a historical, legal, and artistic standpoint. Both the author and the revisor were Lord Lyon Kings of Arms.

The book covers the following topics:
·         Scottish Heraldry and the Clan System
·         The history of the Lyon Court and other officers of Arms
·         The Theory of Heraldry in Scotland (how heraldry relates to the culture and perceptions of nobility)
·         A standard Heraldic treatise style discussion of the elements of armory (includes a discussion of Blazon,
          not always found in general discussions)
·         The elements of the Achievement
The Scottish Grant of Arms (matriculation process, the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in            Scotland, Cadency and Rematriculation, Armorial Succession, etc.)
·         Marshalling of Arms
·         Heraldry as decorative art
·         Name and Change of Name
·         The Royal Arms and National Flag
·         Corporate Heraldry

All editions are copiously illustrated with heraldic art from the Middle Ages to the present day. Heraldic artifacts are illustrated both in photographs and in redrawings. Illustrations of modern heraldic documents are also included.

The illustrations for the first edition of this volume may be somewhat more extensive than those in the later editions. However, the later editions have more current information. For example, the third edition gives a Coat of Arms for the Duke of Rothesay (the senior Scottish title held by the Prince of Wales.) Since this title was untenanted when the first edition was issued, the coat was not included at that time.

The information on how to matriculate arms through the Lyon Court is also more current in the later volumes. We do, however, advise that anyone interested in matriculating through the Lyon Court should procure the Lyon Court’s guide to the matriculation process. The guide is free, and contains the most current information on this topic.

Jéquier, Léon, The Armorial Bellenville (Cahiers d'Heraldique V), (Le Leopard d'Or, Paris, 1983) (ISBN 2-86377-029-2)


This edition provides line-drawing redrawings of all the sections of Armorial Bellenville. For a description of the roll and its Scots component, see the discussion under Colin Campbell's article on the roll. Jéquier also provides discussion and analysis of the roll, in French. The analysis includes a partial Armorial, an Ordinary, the approximate dates of each portion of the roll, geographical breakdowns of the armory, and other information. Jéquier took his attributions for the Scots armory from Campbell's article.

Johnston, G., Scottish Heraldry Made Easy, (Heraldic Publishing Co., 2nd ed., reprinted 1972)

An extremely basic introduction to heraldry from the Scottish perspective.  While the author is to be complemented on selecting almost exclusively Scottish arms to provide examples of each type of charge mentioned, the charges used are not discussed, merely mentioned, followed by examples of blazons (and some illustrations) featuring those charges.  In addition, the blazons as given are not in Lyon Register form, but use the common English equivalent word to the greatest extent possible, so vert is never called vert in the blazons, but only "green."  The serious student, whether looking at the subject for the first time or the hundredth time, would be much better served by beginning to learn from some of the other introductions to Scottish heraldry.


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© The Heraldry Society of Scotland   last Update 05 Jun 2017