Tuesday, 10 May 2022

Arundel Herald Extraordinary

Not yet Gazetted but it is very pleasing to see that The College of Arms has appointed a lady to their ranks. Professor Anne Curry has been appointed as Arundel Herald Extraordinary, the first woman to be so appointed. Congratulations Professor Curry, may you be the first of many.

Image courtesy of the BBC.

Wednesday, 4 May 2022

John Alexander Duncan of Sketraw

 It is with great sadness that I have to report the passing today of my very great friend and colleague of almost a quarter of a century, John Duncan of Sketraw after a short illness.

John was released from hospital late last month to be in the bosom of his beloved family after being diagnosed with cancer of oesophagus which had spread to his liver. Typical of him, he set about calmly and efficiently setting his affairs in order whilst receiving visitors from family and friends. He remained focused and positive to the end and died peacefully surrounded by his loved ones.

He will be very much missed and my thoughts and prayers are with his wife Susan and his three sons. God bless you John.

John being presented to the 
Duke of Rothesay at the Gathering of the Clans in 2009.

Wednesday, 27 April 2022

Grants and registrations from the Chief Herald of Malta

It has come to my attention that the Chief Herald of Malta has now complied with the requirement to publish his grants and registrations for the previous year (in this case years). Details can be found on the following link however to see the actual records of grants and registrations you will have to scroll down quite a way. The transparency is refreshing however, I am disappointed that the Chief Herald has taken it upon himself to enhance foreign grants with coronets. It would seem that a Scottish baron, although not entitled to a coronet in Scotland, is somehow entitled to a Maltese coronet of rank. In addition,  he appears to have accepted Rwandan titles despite them being mere promissory notes from a now deceased King. He has, it seems added a veneer of officiality to what has otherwise been frowned upon. Why am I not surprised.


Tuesday, 1 February 2022

Maltese Herald tidying up loose ends


I'm being bombarded with emails and messages about the Chief Herald of Malta this morning.

It seems that he's sent out a Round Robin email setting out his newly minted authority and linking to the, now lawful, new, Gazette announcement of the date new legislation took place along with the link to the actual legislation. The email gives confirmation that he has now, officially and legally, been appointed, by Heritage Malta (phew, I bet he's relieved). 

It is a tacit acknowledgement that his grants etc made under the 2019 Gazette notice had no basis in law and a tacit acknowledgement that his appointment actually had no basis in law until it was just last month confirmed by Heritage Malta post the new Reg's coming into force. 

HOWEVER, the good news is that, under his real now existing powers, he has recognised the pre existing grants etc and brought them into his now lawful records. Hopefully, now he will alter his preamble on documents issued by him to reflect the proper date of his authority rather than rely on the meaningless 2019 Gazette notice. 

So, a clean slate.

Friday, 21 January 2022

Mission Accomplished. Maltese Herald Legal (at last).

Well, it finally happened. On the 21st January 2022 the Malta's Chief Herald finally became legitimate and actually now has some legal powers to act.

I am, needless to say, delighted that, after being dragged kicking and screaming, Parliament has, at long last (two years I believe), finally granted some lawful authority to Heritage Malta and its Chief Herald. I shall peruse the legislation at my leisure however, to date, I have resisted commenting because, in the only detailed grant I have seen, in that instance at least, the new armiger was Maltese (although in that grant, which may pre-date his authority, he relies still on the unlawful Gazette entry as his authority). 

I just hope that the Chief Herald doesn't get his fingers burned by trying to recognise "foreign" titles and nobility. I shall maintain the watching brief but merely as one of the many interested bystanders. 

The full document can be found here: https://legislation.mt/eli/sl/445.7/eng

PS I do like this bit:

(5)  For the purposes of sub-regulation (4), the Chief Heraldshall by the 31st of January of every year cause to be made available at a publicly accessible website on the internet of the Office or the Agency and published in the Gazette a notice containing the following:(a)  a  list  of  all  the  Letters  Patent  issued  during  the previous basis year indicating the particulars of the individual orbody  corporate  in  whose  favour the Letters Patent has been issued, the date of grant and a blazon of the arms so granted; and(b)  a list of all the Certificates of Registrations issued during the previous basis year indicating the particulars of theindividual or body corporate in whose favour the Certificate of Registration has been issued, the date of grant and a blazon of the arms so registered.

Monday, 6 September 2021

Maltese Heraldry still in limbo but it's happening slowly but surely


The arms of the Office of Chief Herald of Arms of Malta (an office in progress)

Well, now that we have finally seen the creation, in late July of this year, of the legislation allowing the setting up of the Office of Chief Herald, we have now received assurance, from the Office of the Ombudsman, that Subsidiary Legislation is underway. Although it has to be said that, as yet, the Office of the Ombudsman has not been made aware of what may or may not be included and so there still remains the question of what exact powers the new Chief Herald might have; let us not forget that despite his protestations to the contrary, the Office does not yet exist and he does not yet have any powers. 

We will have to wait to see what any new legislation will say about the granting of new arms to foreigners and how will this be made to square with the limitations placed upon Heritage Malta which presently only allows it to deal with that which already exists and is a part of Malta's Heritage. We will have to wait and see how the granting of a newly invented coronet for the untitled nobility (out of new metal so to speak) will be shoehorned into the existing legislation which prohibits the very acknowledgment of nobility by a Government Official. There are still many questions to be answered including whether or not there will be sufficient in the legislation to bring out of limbo and into a lawful status the grants already made without any authority by Dr. Gauci; let us hope that the new legislation is sufficient to at last do justice to what ought to have been from the beginning, but sadly was not, a worthy enterprise. 

The process, for those who like me are actually interested, is that Article 72 (b)  of the Cultural Heritage Act grants the Minister for Culture the power to make regulations for the purpose of ensuring, “…the better fulfilment of the functions of the Entities;”.  The envisioned regulations will, it is proposed, enable Heritage Malta to fulfil its function of setting up and managing the Office of the Chief Herald (as per Article 8(4)(o) ).  Although the power to make regulations emanates from the main Act, we had to await the permission for the formation of the actual Office (the Entity) before any regulations to set it up and actually manage it could be made and, as we know, that has only just happened: We know now that, at long last, there has been an amendment to the original Act which was passed into law at the end of July this year (2021) which has now allowed Heritage Malta to set up the office of the Chief Herald (apparently though, according to the information received from the Office of the Ombudsman, the Office of Chief Herald can't actually be set up and managed until the Subsidiary Legislation has been made to enable Heritage Malta to fulfil its function of setting up and managing the Office of the Chief Herald so any assumption that the Office was instantly set up is still a tad premature). So, now we await the publication of the Subsidiary Legislation to enable Heritage Malta to fulfil its function of setting up and managing the Office of the Chief Herald. 

Subsidiary Legislation does not require Parliamentary assent. It takes on the form of a Legal Notice to begin with and this is published in the Government Gazette.  Following publication it is then generally referred to as subsidiary legislation. Just by way of example subsidiary legislation under the Cultural Heritage Act would be referred to as S.L. 455. [ ]  the space would be occupied by a number assigned to the particular set of regulations. Any new SLs or amendments to them are published on this website LEGISLATION MALTA. I have posted a link to Legislation Malta so that my reader can also keep an eye open for the long awaited legislation actually setting up the "Office" and giving the Chief Herald some teeth. At the time of writing this note, there is nothing yet.

Teething troubles there have undoubtedly been but at long last our efforts to see it all done properly appear to be paying off.


Wednesday, 1 September 2021

Changes and appointments at Lyon Court

The arms of Office of the Lord Lyon
image courtesy of SodaCan (Wiki)

Some news from Lyon Court:

The Lord Lyon has announced some promotions and appointments: 

Mrs Yvonne Holton to be Islay Herald, Liam Devlin Esq. to be Rothesay Herald,  John Stirling Esq. WS to be Ormond Pursuivant, Roderick Alexander Macpherson Esq. to be Unicorn Pursuivant, Professor Gillian Black to be Linlithgow Pursuivant Extraordinary, Colin Russell Esq., OStJ to be Falkland Pursuivant, Philip Tibbetts Esq to be March Pursuivant Extraordinary,  and Sir Crispin Agnew of Lochnaw Bt. LVO QC to be Albany Herald Extraordinary.

Ms Clare McCrory has been appointed Herald Painter in succession to Mrs Yvonne Holton who has held the post with great distinction since 2005.

Congratulations all.

Arundel Herald Extraordinary

Not yet Gazetted but it is very pleasing to see that The College of Arms has appointed a lady to their ranks. Professor Anne Curry has been ...

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