OT: 13 August 1927 – Iain Macrae [“Chief of the Clan Macrae”]

The Oban Times, 13 August, 1927

[Chief of the Clan Macrae]


 Glasgow, 4 August, 1927

Sir,–In your issue of the 6th July, there appears a letter entitled Clan Macrae Association, in which your correspondent contradicts certain statements on the subject of the Unveiling Ceremony at Clachan Duich, Kintail, which appeared in your valuable paper of that date.

Your correspondent states that in 1909, after an exhaustive trial, the Lyon King dismissed the petition of the late Sir Colin G. MacRae, asking to be officially recognized as the Chief of the Clan MacRae. The late Sir Colin G. MacRae did no such thing.

(1) For the simple reason that the Lyon King never had the power to decide on the Chiefship of the Clan.

(2) What the late Sir Colin G. MacRae applied for was matriculation of the coat-of-arms with supporters as used by his ancestors.

The Lyon refused this petition on the grounds that the petitioner had failed to prove user of arms or supporters previous to the passing of the Act, 1672, Cap. 47. In the notes appended to his decision, the Lyon says–

“It is not a matter of pedigree which is primarily involved, still less is it one of the Chiefship of a clan with which this Court is concerned only so far as it might be the warrant for a matriculation of supporters, and… as he (the Petitioner) only asks for a matriculation of arms on the ground that his ancestors use them before 1672, and as I have found that he has not proved this, it does not appear to me that it is necessary for me to go into the question of Chiefship in detail.”

No words could more clearly express the purpose of the petition or the opinion of the Lyon that his decision was not on any question of Chiefship, as has been erroneously suggested. “To live in hearts they leave behind, is not to die.”–Yours, etc.,

Iain MacRae