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Ian Grant
Finest kilt accessories, heraldic & ornamental hand engraving

About Heraldry

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How It Started & Its Role Today

Ian Grant's arms. Link to his blazon
Heraldry, which had its roots in the wearing of a coat of arms by medieval knights in armour and which evolved as a general method of identification in medieval and renaissance Europe, thrives today in modern Scotland.

In this section we only touch on the most basic elements of heraldry in order to place our engraving work in context. There is a wealth of information on this subject and our links page will be useful for those who would like to study the subject in more depth or apply for their own arms.

The use of heraldry was regularized in Scotland by the introduction of The Public Register of All Arms and Bearings which began in 1672.  This register is still supported by the Scottish legal system and in the last fifty years it has more than doubled in size.

Heraldry thrives today in Scotland because it has not been stifled by a class structure.  Our Celtic social system was strong on kinship and every clan member took pride in being directly related to the founder of the clan.  In his book on Scots heraldry Sir Thomas Innes of Learney records that at the time of the Union in 1707 half the population considered themselves to be part of the Scottish aristocracy.

Our law in Scotland entitles all men and women to Arms provided that they are "virtuous and well deserving".  Ian Grant is one such person: his Arms were granted in November 1979.  Click on the image on the right to see the grant of these Arms in the web pages of the Scottish Heraldry Society.