Finlaggan Pursuivant

Finlaggan Pursuivant

Finlaggan Pursuivant of Arms is the private officer of arms of the Clan Donald in Scotland.

The Hon. Adam Robert Bruce (b. 1968) is the current Finlaggan Pursuivant of Arms and was appointed by Godfrey James Macdonald, 8th Baron Macdonald of Slate, Chief of the Name and Arms of Macdonald and High Chief of Clan Donald. This post was revived in 2005, after 510 years, in a ceremony attended by Ross Herald of Arms in Ordinary from the Court of the Lord Lyon and the four MacDonald chiefs.

Formerly a solicitor in Edinburgh, Bruce is the younger son of the Earl of Elgin & Kincardine and cousin of Alastair Bruce of Crionaich, the current Fitzalan Pursuivant of Arms Extraordinary. [] [] Installation of Clan Donald Officer of Arms by Gordon Casely] Adam Robert Bruce married Donna Maria-Sofia Granito Pignatelli di Belmonte, younger daughter of the Prince di Belmonte, on 17 May 2003, and their first child, Robert Frederick Angelo, was born on 7 January 2007. ["Forthcoming Marriages", The Times, 31 July 2002] [cite web | url= | title=Theroff's Gotha: Belmonte | accessdate=2007-01-24]

Bruce's heraldic title, comes from Finlaggan, near Port Askaig in Islay, the centre of the realm of the Macdonald Lords of the Isles until they lost power in 1493. [ Descended from the 12th-century King Somerled, the Lords of the Isles ruled Scotland from Kintyre to Lewis, and were effectively independent of the control of the Scottish Crown. The title Lord of the Isles is now borne by Prince Charles.]

Bruce was inducted as Finlaggan Pursuivant on Saturday, 11 June 2005 at Glencoe in the Scottish Highlands. He was sworn in during the re-creation of an ancient ceremony in front of a hundred Macdonald clansfolk and their supporters by Lord Macdonald with the assistance of Ranald MacDonald of Clan Ranald, Ranald MacDonell of Glengarry and Sir Ian Godfrey Bosville Macdonald, 17th Baronet of Sleat. He took an oath of office to "bear fealty and true service to the high chief of Clan Donald, and the chiefs and high council of the clan". The four chiefs, each dressed in a kilt of his family's tartan, ceremonially anointed the new pursuivant by sprinkling wine on his head to mark his new position. [] "New clan herald dons his tabard"]

The ceremony was conducted in front of a monument to the Massacre of Glencoe and was led by Portsoy resident Charles Burnett, Ross Herald of Arms at the Court of the Lord Lyon dressed in a tabard of the Royal Arms as used in Scotland. Bruce was given a baton of office and donned specially-woven £6,000 gold tabard emblazoned with the arms of Lord Macdonald – a red spread-eagle with a black galley on the breast. Bagpipers provided musical accompaniment. [ [] A North American woman present at the ceremony remarked "Gee, he looks like a playing card come to life"]

Mark Dennis, an advocate and heraldist in St Andrews, designed the ceremony for this occasion, a task made difficult since no records exist of exactly how a pursuivant may have been appointed. He also designed the Finlaggan tabard.

Bruce's installation as Finlaggan marks the revival of the ancient practice of senior clan chiefs having their own private pursuivants to look after matters of clan heraldry and genealogy. His position joins that of Slains Pursuivant to the Earl of Erroll, Garioch Pursuivant to the Countess of Mar and Endure Pursuivant of the Earl of Crawford and Balcarres.

References and notes

ee also

*Officer of Arms

External links

* [ The Court of the Lord Lyon]
* [ The Heraldry Society of Scotland]

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