The Heraldry Society of Scotland
25 Craigentinny Crescent
Edinburgh, EH7 6QA
Scotland, UK.




Scots Heraldry -The Heraldry Society of Scotland

  An Annotated Bibliography of Scottish Heraldic Materials Page 3 - compiled by Leslie A. Schweitzer & David Hunter of Montlaw.

Laing, Henry, Descriptive Catalogue of Impressions from Ancient Scottish Seals (T. Constable, Edinburgh, 1850)

Laing, Henry, Supplemental Descriptive Catalogue of Ancient Scottish Seals, (Edmonston and Douglas, Edinburgh, 1866)

An alphabetical listing, by surname, with blazons and some notes pertaining to the seals. Some seals are illustrated. The initial volume covers seals from 1094 to the time of the Commonwealth, while the supplemental volume covers seals from 1150 to the 18th century.


Lindsay of the Mount, Sir David, Laing, David LLD ed., Facsimile of an ancient heraldic manuscript emblazoned by Sir David Lyndsay of the Mount 1542, (William Paterson, Edinburgh, 1878)

This roll was completed by Sir David Lindsay in 1542, the year he was appointed Lyon King of Arms. He had, however, been acting in the capacity of Lyon before that date. The roll also contains other shields that were added later in the 16th c., according to Balfour Paul 1900.

The Roll covers all of Scotland including some Highland entries, as well as some attributed arms and arms of Royalty from other areas of Europe. It is the earliest known extant official Register of Arms in Scotland.

This edition of the roll provides colored redrawings of the entire roll. It includes an index by page giving the names attached to the armory. It also translates other text written by Lindsay (which is necessary since the hand is difficult to read.) It also provides an alphabetical cross-reference by surname, and a very short preface.

Lions and Thistles: An Exhibition of Six Centuries of Scottish Heraldry (Heraldry Society of Scotland, Edinburgh, 1995) (ISBN: 0 9525258 1 X)

This is a small pamphlet briefly describing the objects on display at an exhibition held in 1995 by the Heraldry Society of Scotland. The exhibit focused on Scottish heraldry from the Armorial de Gelre (1380) to the late 20th century. Categories of exhibits included Heraldry used for identity, the Fount of Honour, the Heraldic Executive, and Heraldry for the Living and the Dead. While the pamphlet does not included pictures for all the exhibited items, there are many plates, including eight color plates of the exhibit.

Loutfut, Adam, Deides of Armorie: A Heraldic Treatise and Bestiary, 2 vols, (Scottish Text Society, Edinburgh, 1994) (ISBN: 1 897976 09 7)

A heraldic treatise written in Scots by Adam Loutfut, Kintyre Pursuivant, ca. 1494. The first volume gives the full text of the treatise. It also gives an analysis of the various surviving copies which were used in presenting the treatise. The treatise is reprinted in modern type with a few pages of the original manuscript for illustration. Most of the original illustrations have been omitted in this process. The treatise is written in the Scots dialect of English, not in Scots Gaelic. The second volume provides a dictionary for the Scots and heraldic words used as well as copious reference notes for the first volume.

McAndrew, B, Balliol Roll (New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, 2002)

This is a roll of arms containing the arms of some 36 Scots associated with the Balliols during that period in history.  This is believed to be the earliest surviving roll of arms from Scotland.  It is reproduced in full color in this volume, with a discussion of the age and history of the roll, and of each person who is contained in the roll.

MacDonald, William Rae, Scottish Armorial Seals, (William Green & Sons, Edinburgh, 1904)

A collection of the descriptions of as many Scottish armorial seals as could be identified, both as armorial and as to whom they belonged, in the early twentieth century. The volume contains approximately 3000 seals, arranged alphabetically by the surname of the owner. For each seal, the description contains the name and any offices of the owner, a description of the armorial bearings found on the seal, a transcription of the legend surrounding the seal, the size of the seal, the documents to which it is appended, and a listing of any other works in which the seal is found. The volume also contains 22 plates, containing photographs of 24 seals.

Mackenzie of Rosehaugh, G., Scotland's Herauldrie: the Science of Herauldrie treated as a part of the Civil law and Law of Nations, (Heir of Andrew Anderson, Edinburgh, 1680)

This is the first treatise on Heraldry written from a Scottish perspective. The material is presented in the classic "modern" heraldic treatise format. The text discusses all the necessary elements of heraldry, and provides multiple examples of that elements use, with woodcut illustrations of the arms discussed. The focus is on Scots heraldry, but includes reference to foreign matters as appropriate. It incorporates a legalistic view of allowable marks of cadency, external ornaments on the achievement, and inheritance of armory. This author has been recognized by the Lord Lyon and by justices of Scotland’s courts as "the greatest of [Scotland’s] heraldic writers." Be this as it may be, Nisbet, A System of Heraldry, infra, is of greater use to the average researcher.

Matthew, S., The Knights and Chapel of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle (Eaglebank Publications, Edinburgh, 1988) (ISBN: 0 95088 980 6)

This volume is concerned with the history of the chapel of the Order in St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh, built in 1911. The volume addresses the history of the Order, the architecture of the chapel, the officers of the Order, and the Knights of the Order in 1988. It contains many photographs of the chapel, including all of the stall plates of the Knights alive in 1988. Finally, drawings of the banners of the knights displayed in the Cathedral are provided.

Moncrieffe of that Ilk, Iain, and Pottinger, Don, Scotland of Old (John Bartholomew and Sons, Ltd, Edinburgh, 1983) (ISBN: 0 7028 0668 4)

A poster containing lively depictions of the arms of the chief of name for some 174 clans and 12 territories of Scotland. The drawings are in a beautiful medieval style. It is recommended that other sources be checked, as the depictions of some of the arms may not be accurate (most generally as to tincture used).

Moncreiffe of that Ilk, Iain and Pottinger, Don, Simple Heraldry, (John Bartholomew and Son, Ltd, Edinburgh, 1978) (ISBN: 0 7028 1009 6)

The usual adjectives applied to this book are "delightful" and "charming." A basic introduction to heraldry in a Scottish context with very entertaining original illustrations by Pottinger. The book covers the usual material (charges, grammar of heraldry, cadency, marshalling, etc.)

Moncreiffe was Albany Herald, and Pottinger was a Unicorn Pursuivant at the Lyon Court when this edition was published. Be aware that other editions of this show Iain’s surname in its earlier form of Moncreiffe of Easter Moncreiffe.

Montgomery-Massingbird, Hugh, Lord of the Dance: A Moncrieffe Miscellany (Debrett’s Peerage, London, 1986) (ISBN: 0 905649 81 8)

This volume contains many of the writings of Sir Iain Moncrieffe of that Ilk. The collections are in the topics of genealogy, royalty and peerage, heraldry, Scotland, and things outside Scotland. As is typical of Moncrieffe’s writings, much of the material is fun and lighthearted, but informative.

Moule, T., Bibliotheca Heraldica Magnae Britanniae, (Heraldry Today, London, reprint 1966)

This is a bibliography of heraldic books. It discusses all known English-language books on heraldry and other assorted heraldic materials, including much in other languages, published in England before the reign of Queen Victoria. The Moule index numbers are often used in other bibliographies and references, such as the Heraldry Today catalog. It is an annotated bibliography. The materials covered include all aspects of heraldry, including the ceremonies, and some limited materials on genealogical matters.

Nisbet, A., An Essay on Armories, (William Adams Junior, Edinburgh, 1718)

This essay is primarily on how to combine arms: marshaling to show descent, marriage, tenancy of office, and arms composed by including features from arms of another person into an original coat for various reasons. It is hard to come by, and many of the points covered in this work are covered with equal benefit in the much more readily available Gayre of Gayre and Nigg’s Heraldic Cadency.

Nisbet, A., A System of Heraldry, 2 vols, (T and A Constable, Edinburgh, 1722, reprinted 1984)

A classic standard heraldic treatise on heraldry, organized by armorial features used, and apparently attempting to list arms for every Scottish family, alive at the time or extinct. This is a two-volume set in which the first volume was published in 1722, and the second volume some time later. The first volume relates to items in the arms (tinctures and charges), and the second is almost exclusively on external portions of the achievement as well as an extensive genealogical appendix. The second volume was not written entirely by Alexander Nisbet. A System of Heraldry is one of the most useful research sources for finding the armory of a Scots family. It is also the best readily available source discussing charges used in Scots heraldry.

The index to the volumes is a challenge given the publisher’s liberal treatment of the alphabetical order. Each volume contains a general index and a surname index.


Next Page

© The Heraldry Society of Scotland   last Update 05 Jun 2017