Heraldry is the system by which coats of Arms and other armorial bearings are devised and regulated. Anyone domiciled in Scotland, or of Scottish ancestry and domiciled in most parts of the Commonwealth, can petition for a grant of Arms. Both individuals and corporate bodies are entitled to use Arms.
How to apply for Arms
The grant of Arms is at the discretion of the Lord Lyon King of Arms, who is the monarch’s representative in heraldic matters in Scotland. We have helped many clients to submit petitions to the Lord Lyon, including:
- preparing and submitting the petition
- presenting necessary documentary evidence
- making suggestions for the devisal of the Arms, ensuring they fit within the rules and traditions of Scottish heraldry
- dealing with any issues that arise.
Advising non-British citizens on applications
Arms are generally not granted to non-British citizens, but ownership of land in Scotland may bring people within the jurisdiction of the Lyon Court.
An alternative way of achieving this is through the ownership of a Scottish feudal ‘dignity’, such as a barony or lordship. However, petitions by non-British citizens are considered by the Law Lyon on a discretionary case-by-case basis.
Therefore, if the intention of acquiring a Scottish dignity is to apply for Arms, it is important to take expert advice before doing so. Our Rural Services team’s long-standing interest and experience is very beneficial to clients, and we have helped many Scottish expatriates and people of Scottish descent to make a link with their roots in this way.