Royal Celtic Society ArmsThe Royal Celtic Society

For nearly 200 years, the Royal Celtic Society has been at the cutting edge of activity to support the language, literature, music and culture of the Highlands and Western Islands of Scotland. The Society holds regular events for members, awards medals for excellence in music and literature and sponsors a wide range of organisations dedicated to the traditions, language and arts of the Highlands and Islands.

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We were delighted to hear from our member, Dr Joseph Morrow QC, the Lord Lyon King of Arms, at the last lecture of the year on 3rd December 2018 at New Register House.

His subject was The Heraldry of the Clans,  As always, he enthralled his audience with a wide ranging presentation, not only of what is u nique or particular to the heraldry of the clans, but on the defnition of the clan itself, of how it differs from a lowland kin group and why some families (Smith came in for particular attention) could never be defined as a clan.

He discussed the process by which chiefs are recognised, referring particularly to the recognition of Iain Gunn of Banniskirk and the recent commission granted to Iain MacGillivray as Commander of Clan MacGillivrya.  There are two examples of how appointment as a clan commander can untimately, usually after an interval of several decades, lead to recognition of as chief where there is no immediately obvious heir.

The event was well attended with some well qualified commentators including Lyon Clerk Russell Hunter, his predecessor Elizabeth Roads, Dr Bruce Durie, Professor David Purdie and clan chief Dr Jonathan Leask of that Ilk, which led to a spirited, vigorous discussion.  We are grateful to the Lord Lyon for an informative and stimulating afternoon.


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