Continuing Professional Development (CPD) talk by Lorna Kinnaird, covering the Thistle Chapel, Edinburgh and Scottish Heraldry

Lorna Kinnaird, a member of the Association of Scottish Genealogists and Researchers in Archives (ASGRA), recently delivered a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) talk focused on the Thistle Chapel, located within St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh, Scotland. This beautifully ornate chapel, with its origins dating back to the 1911 restoration of St Giles’ Cathedral, is dedicated to the Order of the Thistle, Scotland’s highest chivalric order.

The presentation not only covered the historical significance and intricate designs of the Thistle Chapel but also delved into the rich and deeply rooted tradition of Scottish heraldry, a tradition that serves as a bridge connecting us to our past.

Lorna explained the pivotal role of Dr. Joseph Morrow, Lord Lyon King of Arms and the Court of the Lord Lyon, located in New Register House, Edinburgh, as the authority responsible for heraldic matters in Scotland. It regulates the granting of new coats of arms, maintains records of existing arms, and ensures their proper use, thereby upholding the integrity of our heraldic heritage. This role assures us of the authenticity of our lineage.

Lorna also discussed the use of Common symbols in Scottish heraldry, including animals (e.g., lions, boars), plants (e.g., thistles), and objects associated with Scottish culture and history. For instance, the lion symbolizes bravery, the thistle represents resilience, and the boar signifies strength. These symbols often carry specific meanings and reflect the history and characteristics of the bearer.

Scottish heraldry is a valuable tool in genealogical research, offering insights into family history, lineage, and connections between different branches of a family. For instance, a family’s coat of arms can provide clues about their origins and relationships, and the use of specific symbols can indicate certain traits or achievements of the bearer.








Images Sourced from St. Giles Cathedral Website and Scotclan Website 

Written by Shirley Obrzud

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