The Court of the Lord Lyon

The Court of the Lord Lyon is a Court of Law that deals with Scottish Heraldry.

It is headed by the Lord Lyon King of Arms who is a senior Officer of the Crown and who is responsible for the Granting of Arms and the organisation of ceremonial occasions in Scotland.

The Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland dates from 1672 and includes blazons and paintings of all the Arms dating from that date to modern day. Each Coat of Arms shown in this Register can be identified to an individual. In Scotland there is no such thing as a family Coat of Arms. What there is, is a common visual trait that may flow through Shields that share the same name.

Heralds and Pursuivants

In Scotland at the moment there are three Heralds and three Pursuivants at any given time. There is a pool of six names for Heralds and six names for Pursuivants that can be chosen from, once a new officer has been appointed.

The Court
Heralds Pursuivants
Ross Unicorn
Rothesay Dingwall
Albany Ormond
Marchmont Kintyre
Snawdoun Carrick

At the moment there is a lady Herald and a lady Pursuivant. Only Canada has other lady officers. The Officer's duties are mainly ceremonial but they should also promote the Lyon Office and its work by giving talks, presenting Letters Patent, lectures, writing articles encouraging Petitions for Arms and aiding ‘would be’ Petitioners in setting out their case to Lord Lyon.

In terms of Ceremonial work at present there are approximately 5 or 6 occasions throughout the year that Lord Lyon and the 6 officers of Arms attend.

The Uniform

The uniforms of the Heralds and Pursuivants is the recognisable and colourful Tabard which goes over the red jacket or levee jacket topped by a velvet hat. Lyon's Tabard is made of cloth of gold, the Herald's sport tabards made of satin and that of the Pursuivants is of flowered damask silk.