.......Classical Heraldry .......

Arms of the 13th and 14th Centuries (3)


Arms of de Balliol
Sir John de Balliol ~ Gules an orle Argent.

This, as also the other five shields on this page, belongs to one of the Competitors for the Scottish crown after the death of the Maid of Norway in 1290. Balliol was judged by the English King, Edward I, to have the superior right (as he would be judged by modern law today, although then it was not so clear-cut), and he was crowned King of Scots in 1292. He subsequently rose against King Edward, was crushed, and abdicated the throne in 1296.

Arms of Bruce of Annandale
Robert de Brus, Lord of Annandale ~ Or a saltire and chief Gules.

The death of the Maid pushed descent of the crown back to the bastard offspring of her great-great-grandfather or to the lawful descendants of his brother David. When the bastard lines had been ruled out, the nearest Competitors were the descendants of David's three daughters. Balliol was a son of the daughter of the eldest. Robert de Brus was the son of the son of the second daughter.

Arms of Dunbar and March
Patrick, Earl of Dunbar and March ~ Gules a lion rampant Argent, on a bordure of the last ten roses of the first

Patrick, 7th Earl, 4th Earl of Dunbar and 1st Earl of March, was the great-grandson of Ada, bastard daughter of King William "The Lion", but he withdrew his claim, swore fealty to King Edward, and was appointed that King's Lieutenant for Scotland. His wife, Countess Marjorie, took the Scottish side and held Dunbar Castle against the English.

Arms of de Hastings
Sir John de Hastings ~ Or a maunch within a double tressure flory counter-flory Gules.

The third of the nearest "legitimate" Competitors was the son of the son of Ada, the youngest of David's daughters. Like Robert de Brus, as the son of the son of a daughter he considered his right above that of Balliol, but nevertheless suggested Scotland should be divided into three. These arms he bore at the siege of Carlaverock, but his seal bore a cross on a field charged with fleurs-de-lys.

Arms of de Soulis
Sir Nicholas de Soulis ~Ermine three chevronels Gules

Marjory, the bastard daughter of the Maid's great-grandfather King Alexander II, married Alan Durward the Justiciar and had a daughter Ermengarde whose son, Sir Nicholas de Soulis, was the nearest Claimant in blood to the Maid (although of an illegitimate line) His was a powerful family of the time and he was one of those selected to go to France to negotiate an alliance against the English then at war in France.

Arms of de Vesci
Sir John de Vesci ~ Or on a cross Sable a cross patriarchal of the field.

Sir John de Vesci was the illegitimate son of the Competitor Sir William de Vesci, the grandson of Margaret the third bastard daughter of King William "The Lion" by her husband Eustace. The artist's reason for giving here the name of the son, instead of the father who was the Competitor, is almost certainly owed to the error of the original author, Sir Thomas Grey of Heton.

Return to first page of Classical Arms

Arms of Imperial Russia
The Shape of the Shield ~ Part One
The Shape of the Shield ~ Part Two
The Shape of the Shield ~ Part Three
The Shape of the Shield ~ Part Four
From the St Petersburg Collection
The Current Magazine Contents page
© 2000 The Baronage Press and Pegasus Associates Ltd