Arms300TCA Arms Letters Patent smThe Turnbull Clan Association (TCA) was granted official arms by the Lord Lyon King of Arms, Edinburgh, Scotland. This is indeed a milestone for TCA. While in the past only a few Turnbull individuals have been granted official arms, this is the first time that Turnbull Clan itself has been recognized with its own Arms.

The Lord Lyon is the Scottish official responsible for regulating heraldry and issuing new grants of arms to individuals and organizations. In addition, he oversees state ceremonials in Scotland, confirms claims to existing arms, and serves as the judge of the oldest Heraldic court in the world still in daily operation.

The officers of TCA have made the granting of arms a top priority. After taking office as president, Wally Turnbull began the lengthy application process with the Lord Lyon’s office. After the exchange of many forms and documents, the file was placed with the Lord Lyon for review. In June, the following Warrant (granting of arms) was issued.

Warrant for Letters Patent from
Lord Lyon King of Arms
in the application of

Edinburgh, 14 June 2006; 3 The Lord Lyon King of Arms, having considered the foregoing Petition, AUTHORISES the Lyon Clerk to prepare Letters Patent granting unto the Petitioners the 4 following Ensigns Armorial, videlicet:- Argent, within a double chaplet nowed of eight Celtic knots Gules a bull’s head erased Sable. Above the Shield is placed an Helm suitable to an Incorporation (videlicet:- a sallet Proper lined Gules) with a Mantling Gules doubled Argent, and on a Wreath of the Liveries is set for Crest a bull’s head erased Sable, within a double chaplet nowed of eight Celtic knots Gules. And GRANTS WARRANT to the Lyon Clerk to matriculate the same in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland.

The Coat of Arms originated as a jacket or tabard worn by a mediaeval Knight over his armor in order to identify himself. In modern days, the Coat of Arms is applied to what is officially called an “Achievement,” which consists of various parts. There parts include a shield, helmet, mantling, wreath, crest, motto and sometimes supporters and decorations.

There is a widespread misconception that a family or a clan can have a family or clan Coat of Arms. Many heraldic and clan web sites and other media suggest that a person has the right to use the family or clan Arms. This is completely incorrect.

A Coat of Arms belongs only to one individual person and can only be used by that person and no one else. In order for a person to be able to use a Coat of Arms it is necessary for that individual person to apply for a personal Coat of Arms to be granted to him or her . What is permitted is for a member of a clan to use the clan crest (see The Clan Crest Badge – Part 2, by Sandy Turnbull, Bullseye 2006 Volume 7, Number 9, page 5). The actual Coat of Arms belongs to an individual or in our case the organization. The TCA Coat of Arms is for use to the organization and its members only.

It is interesting to note that the official grant of arms is a description of the arms in heraldic terms, not the actual of those arms done by the Herald Painter. The above warrant which describes the Coat of Arms granted will be used by a Heraldic Artist to be put into painting form. The world renowned Heraldic Artist, Romilly Squire, has been commissioned to do the TCA arms. This should be completed within the next several months. Done well it is a lengthy process and TCA feels very fortunate to have one of the best Heraldic Artists doing this. A copy of the Arms and the text of the Letters Patent are placed on record in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland in name of the petitioner, and then the process is complete. Once Arms have been granted and recorded in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland, they are protected by law and by respect for tradition.

For more information on the Coat of Arms see Bullseye, Volume 5, issue 12, December 2004.