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May 2003 - First Authentic Scottish "MacAlpine" Coat Of Arms Granted!
Below is the first Coat of Arms of the “MacAlpine” name ever granted by a Lord Lyon King of Arms and recorded in Scotland's Lyon Register since its inception in 1672. This grant of Arms represents a historic event for the “MacAlpine” name and an important step on the path to recognition of our Clan.
In Scotland, a Coat of Arms (Arms) belongs to an individual person rather than to every person who bears that surname. Similar to a signature, Arms are a pictorial representation of a particular individual's name. Arms are heritable property and are passed down from generation to generation forever. Individuals who hold title to Scottish Arms (Armigers) and certain Scottish landowners are considered to be "Nobles" in the Lyon Court of Scotland. A Clan in Scotland is defined, legally, as a "noble community." To gain recognition of our Clan, we must have at least nine "Nobles" (at least five of whom must be Armigers) to form a committee called an "ad hoc Derbhfine." That committee selects one of its members for consideration by the Lord Lyon King of Arms to become "Commander" of the Clan. Upon Commission of a Commander, the Clan is officially recognized. The following Arms represent the first of the minimum five needed. Due to the traditions of Scottish heraldry, it is likely that any "MacAlpine" Arms granted in the future will have a "shield" similar to the shield in these Arms. Thus, we proudly present the first authentic Scottish "MacAlpine" Coat of Arms.
John Donald McAlpine, BA, CPA
Arms: Per bend Vert and Azure, on a bend Or a sword Gules in bend dexter, hilted Sable between in chief an antique crown Or and in base a bearded man's head Proper, severed at the neck
Crest: a curlew Proper
Motto: HONOUR ~ TRADITION ~ LOYALTY
Granted: The Court of the Lord Lyon, 4th December 2001. Lyon Register, Volume 83, Page 113.
The Arms were granted for and in memory of John Duncan McAlpine and devolved to his only son, John Donald McAlpine. The Letters Patent trace through John Duncan's father, Duncan McAlpine, to his grandfather, Donald McAlpine, and the county of Argyll in Scotland. The Arms, which are the first "MacAlpine" Arms ever granted by the Lyon Court, depict the traditional story of the death of King Kenneth MacAlpin's father, King Alpin, who was captured by the Picts and beheaded in 834 AD. This event inspired King Kenneth's war cry "Cuinich bas Alpin" (Remember the death of Alpin) used in the later defeat of the Picts in 843 AD which also serves as the war cry of Clan MacAlpine. The field tinctures of vert and azure reflect the principal colors in the earliest recorded MacAlpine tartan. The distinctive curlew is closely associated with Scotland, as is the distinctive MacAlpine name, and it produces a haunting call that can be heard echoing through the mists of Scotland's lochs, as can the MacAlpine heritage.