Armorial Register - International Register of


  The Armorial Register -
                                International Register of Arms
International Register of Arms
Volumes 1, 2 and 3.

The Armorial Register - International Register of Arms Acceptance Policy

The armorial bearings of persons resident in countries with an existing law of arms and/or granting authority

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The Arms of The Royal and
                                  Parliamentary Burghs of Scotland

The Arms of The Royal and Parliamentary Burghs of Scotland

Last Update: 20/09/2023

Acceptance Policy for the International Armorial Register of Arms

Granted, Recorded or Matriculated Arms

The armorial bearings of persons resident in countries with an existing law of arms and/or granting authority [or former Granting Authority] will only be accepted as having the authority of the Crown (or of the granting authority if outside the UK), if they have been granted, recorded or matriculated by the recognised granting authority and that they are the rightful arms of the applicant. Where armorial bearings are being claimed or used by way of “ancient usage” the editor may ask to see a recent matriculation or exemplification of the arms before they can be recorded against the name of the present bearer. If there is no proof of a grant, exemplification or matriculation from the Crown (or other granting authority) then the armorial bearings will be recorded as Assumed (please note that Scottish armorial bearings will only be accepted if they are recorded in the register of the Lord Lyon King of Arms).

In cases where, for example, a citizen of the United States of America is using armorial bearings by descent from an armigerous ancestor who emigrated to the USA from, say, England or Scotland where the arms were granted to said ancestor, the editor will expect to see a recent matriculation or exemplification of the arms or genealogical proof of descent from an armiger*. In the event that the armiger is not inclined to matriculate his/her arms with a heraldic authority or provide genealogical proof of descent from an armiger the arms will be registered as ‘assumed arms’ (see below).

The “status” of arms in the Register will be recorded as Granted, Recorded or Matriculated; alongside a record of the relevant granting authority where there is one. In cases where there is no lawful granting authority the arms will be shown as “assumed” and the date of assumption recorded. The College of Arms (England) has adopted the practice of granting honorary arms to “foreigners”; such arms will be recorded as honorary.

* Genealogical proofs. The Armorial Register does not have the resources to verify genealogical proofs. Where an armiger is claiming descent from a prominent family, proofs will only be accepted from official or recognised sources within the country of the claimed descent, for example, if a person is claiming descent from a prominent Irish (armigerous) family then it will be expected that the genealogy would have been proved within the Office of The Chief Herald of Ireland and not in some foreign register or authority. 

Assumed (Burgher) Arms

Subject to the discretion of the editor all 'assumed' arms will be required to comply with the accepted norms of heraldic design for the host nation. The Company intends the publication to be a register of already existing arms that conform to the laws, customs, and traditions of the country where the arms originate. Where laws and customs governing external additaments are undefined, the register will record only a basic achievement.

Titles, Awards and Medals

Where the applicant uses a title or titles or their armorial bearings feature additaments such as awards and medals, ecclesiastical hats or supporters and coronets of rank the applicant will be expected to assure the editor that they are genuinely entitled to them and that the awards and titles themselves stem from genuine authorities. The Editor's decision will be final.

It will be the aim of the editor to ensure that all armorial bearings within the International Armorial are genuine and the persons whose names are included therein will be expected to give an undertaking that the information they have furnished is true in every respect. Where an armiger uses assumed arms he will be expected to satisfy the register that prior to their assumption every effort was made to ensure that the blazon could not be mistaken for any other coat of arms already in use by another person, body or corporation. If, however the editor should discover, that any record may not conform to the information supplied then the relevant entry may be deleted from the register until the point at issue has been resolved.

A contemporary popular view of Lairdship titles has taken a unique twist in the 21st century. Millions of sales of souvenir land plots from buyers who show no interests in the opinions of the Registry of Scotland or of the Court of the Lord Lyon. They see their contract purporting to sell a plot of Scottish souvenir land as bestowing them the informal right to the title Laird. This is despite the fact that the buyer does not acquire ownership of the plot because registration of the plot is prohibited by Land Registration (Scotland) Act 2012, s 22 (1) (b). As ownership of land in Scotland requires registration of a valid disposition under Land Registration (Scotland) Act 2012, s 50 (2) the prohibition on registration of a souvenir plot means the buyer does not acquire ownership, and accordingly has no entitlement to a descriptive title premised on landownership.

The Armorial Register Limited is of the view that it is inappropriate for a person who has purchased what purports to be a souvenir plot of land amounting to little more that a novelty certificate to call himself (or be referred to by others) as “Laird” or “Lord”. Where a person has changed their first name to any form of name which might be mistaken for a title, The Armorial Register Limited will ensure that for clarity the first name is highlighted as being nothing more than a first name and is not a title.

N.B. The Office of the Chief Herald of Malta has presented us with some difficulty. Despite the claims to legitimacy by the "Chief Herald" in the early days, there was in fact no lawful authority until finally, after complaints had been lodged (by a Director of this Company) with the Maltese Ombudsman, legislation was put into place giving the office legitimacy early in 2022. The Armorial Register Ltd now accepts Maltese grants and registrations for registration however, the present Chief Herald of Arms of Malta has set some challenges in his modus operandi. One of the immediate anomalies is his creation, anew, of a nobles coronet but, in the limited time we have had to appraise his actions, one of the most disturbing is the fact that he appears to have granted a "baron's coronet" and even supporters to those few Scottish Feudal Barons who have approached him for a registration of their arms. It has come to our attention that a number of Scottish (feudal) barons have chosen not to seek recognition from the Lord Lyon King of Arms of Scotland (or can no longer obtain recognition) and have chosen instead to swim over to Malta to seek recognition. There is clear legislation set down in Maltese law (Gieh ir-Repubblika Act, Ch. 28-29) which forbids the Chief Herald to acknowledge any foreign title unless it has the recognition of the original Sovereign State. It appears that the Chief Herald of Arms of Malta is content to ignore this legislation.

We are uncomfortable with his actions in recognizing a number of "foreign" titles that have no recognition in their originating Sovereign State and his granting a baron's coronet to Scottish Feudal Barons. The Lord Lyon does not allow a coronet of rank to Scottish Feudal Barons.

Until we are able to either come to terms with this anomaly or there is further clarification, possibly from the Lord Lyon though we doubt he would concern himself with what is happening in Malta as his is not an International Register, we will not record/illustrate Maltese grants/registrations awarded to foreigners with any additaments unless those additaments would have been granted in their own country of residence/domicile or the country from whence their grant of arms originated. This policy does not in fact change our existing policy of recording the arms of legitimate holders of dignities in the manner in which they would have been displayed in the country from whence the title originates. For clarity, if a potential registrant wishes to be recorded, in our register, as a Scottish Feudal Baron then their arms will be displayed with the appropriate additaments (which does not include a Maltese baron's coronet).  

Companies, Societies, Associations, Membership Organizations etc.  
Applications received from Companies, Societies, Associations, Membership Organizations and Charitable Bodies will all be dealt with on their individual merits however, it will be expected that the organization will have been fully active for a minimum of five years and be able to supply, as a minimum, documents of incorporation or relevant founding documentation such as Constitution along with proof of their accounts. The Armorial Register Limited will not register the arms of Dormant or Non Trading Companies. Charities will be required to provide similar documentation including Constitution and accounts.

Further Information

Applicants are strongly advised that if they are in any doubt about the acceptability of their armorial bearings they should make prior enquiries. Unfortunately, during 2020 PayPal altered their fee policy and no longer reimburse us for their fee when we have given a refund therefore, where an applicant has submitted an application which is deemed to be patently un-heraldic and unacceptable having not availed themselves of our willingness to check their application prior to making a payment, we will only be able to refund the net amount (our fee less the PayPal charge we have incurred).

The Armorial Register reserves the right not to accept any application. Where a substantial amount of work or research has been undertaken on any application which proves to be unsuitable for the register (i.e self styled (bogus) titles or no legitimate right to use of arms or additaments) we reserve the right to recoup any costs incurred.

The Armorial Register will undertake to alter and amend any errors to a web page entry as soon as is practicable. Registrants may make additions and alterations to their entry free of charge for 28 days after publication. After the initial 28 day period all corrections, amendments and alterations to an entry will be subject to a £30 administration fee. No charge will be made if a correction is necessary as a result of editorial error. All amendments and alterations will be at the Editor’s discretion.


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