Acquisition of Scottish Arms through the Court of the Lord Lyon King of
Those who wish to use arms in any personal sense must petition for a
Grant of Arms or—if they can trace their ancestry back to a direct or,
in some cases collateral, ancestor—a "cadet matriculation" showing their
place within the family. When a grant, or matriculation, of arms is
successfully obtained, an illuminated parchment, narrating the pedigree
as proved, is supplied to the Petitioner, and a duplicate is recorded in
the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland and/or the
Public Register of Genealogies and Birthbrieves.
Application for such a Confirmation, by Letters Patent or Matriculation,
from the Lord Lyon King of Arms is the only way to obtain a genuine coat
British Commonwealth. Anyone domiciled in Her Majesty's realms overseas
or in the Commonwealth (except those of English, Welsh or Irish ancestry
who should approach Garter King of Arms in London or the Chief Herald of
Ireland in Dublin or Canadians who should approach the Chief Herald of
Canada in Ottawa) can apply to the Lord Lyon King of Arms of Scotland
for grant or matriculation of arms.
Foreign Countries. Arms are not granted to non-British citizens (though
those of Scottish ancestry can apply to the Lord Lyon King of Arms for
cadet-matriculations, as above described) Moreover even if not of direct
armigerous descent, foreigners of Scottish descent can often arrange for
a cousin in Scotland, or in one of Her Majesty's overseas realms get
arms established by the Lord Lyon King of Arms, and thereafter
themselves to obtain a cadet matriculation. Each party is in such cases
is supplied with an illuminated parchment.
Applying for Arms Introduction
On behalf of the Sovereign, the Lord Lyon King of Arms exercises the
Royal Prerogative committed to him by the Acts of 1672 cap. 47 and 1867
30 & 31 Vict. cap. 17, to grant Arms to .virtuous and well deserving
persons". The Court of the Lord Lyon is a court of law, and applications
for Arms are made by a formal "Petition". This is done on the initiative
of the person wishing to obtain Arms, who submits a Petition to the Lord
Lyon stating who he is and asking for Arms to be granted to him.
The process is not complicated, and there are four main varieties of
on any special difficulties or any matters not covered can be obtained
by writing to the Lyon Clerk at the Court of the Lord Lyon, H.M. New
Register House, Edinburgh, EH1 3YT, and to whom all completed Petitions
should be sent. All such correspondence is 'CONFIDENTIAL:.
Once Arms have been granted and recorded in the Public Register of All
Arms and Bearings in Scotland, they are protected under the law of
Scotland. Any infringement of a person's armorial rights in Scotland may
be drawn to the attention of the Procurator Fiscal to the Court of the
Lord Lyon, who may mount any necessary prosecution of the offender.
In return for this permanent legal protection and for the maintenance of
the permanent registration of Arms in the Court of the Lord Lyon, Fees
are charged to the Petitioner.
These fees are
made up of the dues to H.M. Treasury, Herald Painter's fees and costs of
materials in preparing the Petitioner's Letters Patent. This is his
title deed to his Arms, written in a formal script on vellum,
illustrating his Arms in full colour, and sealed with the Seal of the
Lord Lyon King of Arms. The fees are fixed by Statute, and rise from
time to time.
All statements made in Petitions must be accompanied by legal proof,
usually Certificates of Birth and Marriage for statements of parentage
and ancestry. It is the Petitioner's responsibility to provide this
proof. Neither the Lord Lyon nor the Lyon Clerk may take any part in
providing the proof. Petitioners may employ their own genealogists to
provide the proof. They may employ any of them directly, at their own
responsibility, or with the assistance of an Officer of Arms.
Petitioners requiring assistance in preparing the Petition may write to
the Lyon Clerk at the Court of the Lord Lyon stating their requirements
and objectives. If an Officer of Arms is engaged he will provide an
advance estimate of his fees for his professional assistance. If
required by the Petitioner he will take charge of any genealogical
research needed, employing the researchers and supervising their work on
behalf of the Petitioner, and will periodically report on its progress
as the Petitioner may require.