Armigerous clans

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Amigerous Clan

The arrms of Clan Abercromby

An armigerous clan is a Scottish clan, family or name which is registered with the Court of the Lord Lyon and once had a chief but does not have a chief currently recognized as such by Court of the Lord Lyon. They are clans where the chiefdom is vacant or disputed.

Many kin groups catagorised as 'armigerous clans' are lowland gentry families who are unlikely to have ever had a chiefly tradition. In many cases their current circumstances are obscure, reflecting failures of dynastic fortune and the massive social changes which overtook the British landed classes in the wake of the First World War.

The term 'armigerous' is a heraldic term which means that a person or people are entitled to bear heraldic arms <ref></ref> Armigerous families therefore have officially recognised heraldry.

Finding Clan Chiefs

Many armigerous clans are dormant. This means that they are not currently united by a family association or any leadership which promotes a common identity and heritage associated with the name. Others are most likely extinct in that no modern family bears the name.

The process of achieving recognition of a clan chief is long and complex. <ref></ref> Despite this in modern times a number of armigerous clans have produced claimants who have successfully petitioned to be recognised as chiefs. These include the Cumming and Davidson families, chiefs of which were recognised in 1997 and were admitted to the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs and the Strange and Trotter families who were admitted in 1995 and 1996 respectively. <ref>George Way of Plean and Romilly Squire, Scottish Clan and Family Encyclopedia, 344</ref>

In 2007 Richard Barclay Allardice of Allardice was recognised by the Lord Lyon as chief of Clan Allardice

In December 2013 Sir John Cunningham was recognised by the Lyon King of Arms as chief of Clan Cunningham and Lord Kilmaurs. <ref></ref> There had not been a chief since the eighteenth century.

The Council for Scottish Armigerous Clans and Families

A new body, the Council for Scottish Armigerous Clans and Families, was constituted in 2010. <ref></ref> The Council has two primary aims.

  • To aid 'chiefless' clans and families to obtain official recognition as Clans, through the election or appointment of a hereditary Chief, by the Lord Lyon, King of Arms of Scotland.<ref></ref>

List of Armigerous Clans

Key to Sources for Arms <ref>Way of Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 346</ref>

  1. The Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland. The numbers given refer to particular volumes of the Lyon Register.
  2. Pont's Manuscript
  3. Alexander Nisbet System of Heraldry.
  4. Burke's General Armoury.
  5. Burke's Peerage.
  6. Sir James Balfour-Paul The Scots Peerage.
  7. Sir Robert Forman's Manuscript (often erroneously called Workman's Manuscript).
  8. Charles Norton Elvin A Dictionary of Heraldry.
  9. Sir George Mackenzie Science of Herauldrie.
  10. Thomas Crawfurd's Manuscript.
  11. R. R. Stoddart Scottish Arms.
  12. James Arnott The House of Arnot.
  13. Sir James Balfour-Paul Ordinary of Scottish Arms.
  14. Lyndsay of the Mount's Armorial.



Clans of Scotland

Amigerious Clans

Abercromby Abernethy Adair Adam Aikenhead Ainslie Aiton Anderson Armstrong Arnott Auchinleck Ballie Baird Balfour Bannatyne Baxter Bell Belshes Bethune Beveridge Binning Bisset Blackadder Blackstock Blair Blane Blythe Boswell Brisbane Buchannan Butter Byres Cairns Calder Caldwell Callender Carruthers Chalmers Cheyne Clelland Clephane Cockburn Congilton Craig Crawford Crosbie Dalmahoy Dalrymple Daziel Dennistoun Don Douglas Duncan Dunlop Edmonstone Fairlie Falconer Fenton Fleming Fletcher Forrester Fotheringham Fullarton Galbraith Galloway Garden Gartshore Gayre Ged Gibsone Gladstains Glas Glen Glendinning Gray Gunn Haliburton Halkerstone Halket Hepburn Heron Herries Hog Hopkirk Horsburgh Houston Hutton Inglis Kelly Kinloch Kinnaird Kinnear Kinnimont Kirkcaldy Kirkpatrick Laing Lammie [[Langlands Learmonth Little Livingstone Logie Lundin Lyle Macaulay MacBrayne MacDuff Macewen MacFarlane MacFie MacGillivray MacInne Mackie MacClellan MacQuarrie MacQueen Macrae Masterton Maule Maxton Maxwell McCorquodale McCulloch McIver McKerrell Meldrum Melville Mercer Middleton Moncur Monteith Monypenny Mouat Moubray Mow Muir Nairn Nevoy Newlands Newton Norvel Ochterlony Oliphant Orrock Paisley Paterson Pennycook Pentland Pitblado Pitcairn Pollock Polwarth Porterfield Preston Pringle Purves Rait Ralston Renton Roberton Rossie Russel Rutherford Schaw Seton Skirving Somerville Spalding Spottiswood Stewart Strachan Straiton Sydserf Symmers Tailyour Tait Tennant Troup Turnbull Tweedie Udny Vans Walkinshaw Wardlaw Watson Wauchope Weir Whitefoord Whitelaw Wishart Wood Young