Thursday 14 May 2015

Grants of Arms to persons owning the dignity of baron etc.

Sources close to The Armorial Register Limited tell me that there is an imminent announcement due to be published on the Lyon Court website (probably as early as tomorrow) the content of which may well show a different legal opinion on Feudal Lordships and Earldoms to that which had been published by the previous Lord Lyon. It is noticeable that the link on the Lyon Court website to the “General guidance regarding Baronial Additaments and Territorial Designations” whilst still remaining actually (at the time of writing this note) leads to a blank page so the previous opinions on these matters have been removed; perhaps in anticipation of an amended opinion. The links " Note relating to baronies 4th December 2009" and "Note relating to petitions for Grants of Arms by persons owning a dignity of baron" also now lead to blank pages where the content has been removed.

I am informed that there may well be a different approach to the words that will be used on Letters Patent and it may well be that in future a petitioner who has shown that he possesses a feudal barony, lordship or earldom will not be shown as (for example) Joe MacSporan, earl of Edinburgh, but instead there will be some form of general (vague?) recognition that his ownership of the dignity has brought him into the jurisdiction of the Lord Lyon and he is therefore entitled to armorial bearings. We may well see some form of reversal of opinion and an acceptance of feudal earldoms (all be it that the earldom is a dignity in baronium). There is no indication that new barons etc will receive anything other than the present baronial helm and I have every reason to believe that this will remain the same.

I believe that the new announcement will also indicate that the present Lord Lyon is satisfied that an entry in the private Barony Register (presently headed by Alistair Rennie, a lawyer and a former Deputy Keeper in the Registers of Scotland) is appropriate and acceptable proof of the ownership of a dignity.

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