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Campbell Arms: An Introduction to Scottish Heraldry

In the era of the clans in Scotland, the Campbells were one of the most successful, arguably the most successful, rising to positions of great power and influence. Part of that success is attributable to the fact that they were one of the most extensive clans. As the rule in Scotland can be summarized as “one man, one coat,” Campbell heraldry is also extensive, and this can be used to explain the characteristics of Scots heraldry. On Tuesday, 21 September, our speaker was Paul Campbell, Editor of the Journal of Clan Campbell Society (North America), Member of the Advisory Board of the American College of Heraldry, member of the Heraldry Society of Scotland, member of the Clan Campbell Society (N.A,) and a Scottish armiger, who introduced Scottish heraldry using the arms of members of Clan Campbell as examples.

The audience in the G&B boardroom

The speaker, Paul Campbell

Mark Pisapia and Ellsworth G. Stanton III, MBE

H. McKelden Smith and Andrew Ogletree

Jorge LK. Rivera III, a guest, and Francis J. Sypher, Jr.

Pauline Brooks, Laren Silberman and Lee Ballinger

Mark Pisapia

Paul Campbell and Victoria Campbell Kirsten

Andrew Ogletree and Fracis J. Sypher, Jr.

Paul Campbell

H. McKelden Smith and Gary L. Dycus

Craig H. Metz and Jorge L. Rivera III

Grand portrait on the G&B boardroom

The Arms of the New York St. Andrew's and St. George's Societies

Duncan Bruce, past President of St. Andrew’s Society in the State of New York, and John Shannon, Executive Director of St. George’s Society of New York, each spoke about how their respective organizations acquired armorial bearings at a meeting held at the offices of the New York Genealogical & Biographical (G&B) Society on 12 May 2010. The event was co-sponsored by the G&B Committee on Heraldry and the College of Arms Foundation.

Both societies were founded over 200 years ago and each acquired arms at almost the same time, relatively speaking. What’s a few years compared to centuries?

Mr. Bruce prefaced his talk on the Scottish arms with a description of Scotland, the origins of its people, culture and legal system, all different from the English; and briefly related the history of the St. Andrew’s Society, enumerating some of its most famous members, who included Alexander Hamilton, Andrew Carnegie and Hugh Downs, to name but three.

The Society’s arms (shown above, left) were granted in 2008 by the Court of the Lord Lyon, Scotland’s heraldic authority, housed in New Register House in Edinburgh. It is presided over by an official known as the Lord Lyon. Sat the time the arms were granted, Robin Orr Blair held the office.

The process began with a petition to the Lord Lyon for a grant of arms, which was approved. Then began the process of designing them. The goal was to marry St. Andrew and New York, that is to say, to create a heraldic design expressing the Society and its locale.

The patron saint of Scotland is St. Andrew and the flag of Scotland is a Cross of St. Andrew: a white cross in saltire on a blue field. It was inevitable that the New York St. Andrew’s Society would contain a differenced St. Andrew ’s cross. In this instance, the flag is in the chief of the shield with an apple at the center to difference it. This is a reference to New York: the “Big Apple”.

The main part of the shield is red and bears a ship between five gold roundels. The ship represents the migration of the early Scottish settlers to New York, and the gold roundels the five boroughs of present day New York City. The shield rests on a barrel, which Mr. Duncan said could represent flour – or whiskey. Above the helm is a bluebird, the official bird of the State of New York.

St. Andrew’s Society was also awarded supporters, which is a relatively rare privilege. The left (or dexter) supporter is an Indian, representing the original natives of New York; the right (or sinister) supporter is a Scottish merchant. The whole achievement rests on a compartment.

Mr. Shannon began his presentation with a review of different emblems that the New York St. George’s Society had used in the past. The problem was that more than one St. George ’s Society used the same emblems, a popular one being a design by Benedetto Pistrucci, produced for the Royal Mint in 1817.

In 1996, it was proposed that St. George’s acquire arms from the College of Arms in London. The College is the heraldic authority for England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The cost of the arms (£11,000) was entirely underwritten by members of the board of directors.

As in Scotland, a petition (called a “memorial”) was drawn up, in which the Society requested arms from the Earl Marshal of England, the formal head of the College. The Earl Marshal in turn issued a warrant to the Kings of Arms, England’s three senior officers of arms, authorizing them to devise the arms. In England, individuals receive a grant of arms while corporate bodied receive a devisal.

A committee was established to work on the design. As with St. Andrew’s Society, the goal was to express the Society in heraldic terms. England, St. George, New York, and charity were to be represented.

The device of St. George slaying a dragon has already been appropriated, both on the shield (by the Order of the Garter) and in the crest (by the Royal Society of St. George). Therefore, neither could be used by the New York Society.

The shield contains a red cross on a white field, which is the Cross of St. George and flag of England. This is seldom granted nowadays since it is the national emblem. For difference, there are demi-garbs (or split wheat sheaves). New York is represented by the crest: a hemisphere with an American eagle, which is a direct quote from the arms of the City, surrounded by a circlet of mullets (or American) stars. (The City’s arms have been used for over two centuries. If they were granted, it is not known by whom.)

St. George’s too was awarded supporters: they are St. George, identified by the cross on his shield, on the left (or dexter), and a Lenape Indian on the right (sinister) with trade goods at his feet. The Lenapes hunted in the environs of Manhattan when the first European settlers arrived there.

The achievement rests on a unique compartment, a stone wall, which is an allusion to the old wall at Wall Street. The combination of supporters – a saint and an Indian - is also unique.

The motto (Let Mercy Be Our Boast and Shame Our Only Fear) was composed by Bishop Benjamin Moore of New York, in the very early 19th century. In addition to expressing the Society’s charitable philosophy, it was also almost as old as the Society. It had to be retained as the motto and it was.

The arms were officially devised in 1999 and delivered to the Society’s annual English Ball in April of 2000.

A reception followed the presentation.

McKelden Smith, President, New York Genealogical & Biographical (G&B) Society; Kitty Ockenden, OBE; and Frank Sypher, member of the G&B Heraldry Committee

A member of St. Andrew’s Society attended the event in full Scottish traditional attire

Paul Campbell and William Carr, MBE

David Oscarson

Duncan Bruce and John Shannon

Ann Morgan, Michael Pisapia and Pauline Brookes

Beverly Behan and Tessa Dunning

McKelden Smith and Patience Freeman

Sporting Heraldry Presentation: by Bruce Patterson

New York heraldists who gathered on 29 April 2010 at the New York genealogical & Biographical (G&B) Society to hear Bruce Patterson, Saint-Laurent Herald of the Canadian Heraldic Authority, speak on “Sporting Heraldry” were not disappointed. Known for his professional presentations, Mr. Patterson revealed a wide range of heraldry with sporting associations.

Mr. Patterson took as his starting point the Vancouver Winter Olympics of 2009 and began his talk with the logo for the winter Olympics, based on the inukshuk, an Indian structure. Mr. Patterson showed two examples of Canadian arms containing the same structure as a charge:

The inukshuk in the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games logo; other arms incorporating the inukshuk

The herald moved swiftly on to discuss the arms of Vancouver; logos of previous Olympic games held in Canada - Montreal, 1976; Calgary, 1988 - and the arms of those cities; and then the arms of the host cities of summer Olympic games, including Athens, Paris and Amsterdam. Then followed the arms of cities that hosted Winter Olympics.

Arms of the Cities of Vancouver, Athens and Paris

Next followed arms of Olympic personages, starting with the Baron de Coubertin, who pioneered the games in the 19th century; and later presidents of the International Olympic Committee, such as Count Rogge, who was ennobled by the King of the Belgians; and the recently deceased Marques of Samarranch, who was ennobled by the King of Spain.

Arms of Baron de Coubertin; Count Jacques Rogge; and the Marques de Samaranch

There were slides of splendid championship cups donated by Governors General of Canada, who all bore arms: Lord Stanley, Earl Grey, Lord Minto and Adrienne Clarkson. The arms are on the cups, along with the names of the winning teams.

There were more slides of the arms of Canadian athletes, such as Norman Kwong, a revered Canadian sportsman, and Linda Thom, a 1984 Gold medalist; arms of towns with famous sports teams, such as Trail, British Columbia, home of The Smoke Eaters; arms of universities containing team mascots, like the McGill Martlets and the MacEwan Griffins; and the arms of Lionel Conacher, a celebrated Canadian marksman.

Mr. Patterson the showed arms of associations, like the Canadian Royal Colwood and Royal Ottawa Golf Clubs, one with crossed golf clubs and the other with golf balls; the Scottish Bowling Association, the Queens Park Football Club, and the Royal Burgess Golfing Society of Edinburgh.

The sport of cricket was represented by the arms of Lilywhites, with two cricket players as supporters; Upper Canada College of Toronto, with one cricketer supporter (the other being a gowned faculty member); and the arms of Sir John Major, a great cricket enthusiast, whose arms contain three wickets.

Under rowing, there were the arms of the Royal St. John’s Regatta and the town of Henley-on-Thames. Related to rowing is the Disabled Sailing Association of British Columbia (motto: Nothing Is Impossible).

The towns of Rossland, in British Columbia, and Lillehammer, in Norway, feature skiers on their arms.

Mr. Patterson showed the arms of the Football Associations of England, Scotland and Wales; and those of the president of the Watford Football Club, Sir Elton John; and the arms of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.

There were team logos that resemble heraldry: the National Hockey League, the National Football League, the New York Rangers and Manchester United.

Mr. Patterson concluded his talk by showing the arms of the cities hosting the 2012 (London’s Borough of Newham, England), 2014 (Sochi, Russia) and 2016 (Rio de Janeiro) Olympics; the Canadian Heraldic Authority; and himself.

A reception followed the presentation.

Cathy Michelsen, Development Director, New York Genealogical & Biographical (G&B) Society and Frank Sypher, member of the G&B Heraldry Committee

Jim and Mary Trager

Curtis M. Estes

Rev. Christopher Johnson and Rev. Michael Lankford-Stokes

Bruce Patterson, Saint-Laurent Herald, Canadian Heraldic Authority

Owen C. Smith

Michael Pisapia and William Carr

Jean Savage and Jorge L. Rivera III, member of the G&B Heraldry Committee

Douglas Kiddie and David Smisek

Bruce Patterson and Luc Duerloo

Douglas Kiddie and Gary L. Dycus

Ann Morgan and Andrew Cusack

Frank Sypher and Luc Duerloo

Rev. Guy Selvester, member of the G&B Heraldry Committee, and Bruce Patterson


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