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Clan Murray Society Coat of Arms

Updated: Aug 9, 2023

Many clan and family societies without a recognized Chief of the Name and the Arms claim to be “armigerous” or bearing arms. However, as reported in the blog “Clan and Family Society Coats of Arms,” only seven societies can accurately be designated as “armigerous” since they were granted arms by the Lord Lyon, King of Arms, an agency of the Scottish government.

One of those societies is the Clan Murray Society. Keith Murray-Hetherington JP, FSAScot, served as Convenor of the Society from 1987 to 1990. In this role, he designed and matriculated the Society’s Coat of Arms. He is currently the Head Trustee (Chairman) of the Castle Cluggy Charitable Trust. He shares his experience and the results of his efforts.

- Editor

The design of the Shield is based on the undifferenced Arms of Murray, that is to say, Azure three mullets Argent (three silver stars on a blue background). The symbol used to indicate the supportive and co-operative nature of the Clan Society is interlaced annulets (circles/rings) and Lord Lyon granted five annulets on a band in the middle of the Shield. The Motto must in some way answer or reply to that of the Chief - "Furth Fortune and Fill the Fetters" - an instruction by King James II in 1475 to 'go forth, good fortune go with you and fill the chains with your prisoners'. Lord Lyon was happy to approve my suggested wording: "FORWARD WITH FORTUNE", which reflects the aspirations of the Society. The Crest was approved as a tower Argent masoned Sable on the Wreath (a white and black tower symbolising Comyn's Tower, part of the original Blair Castle), charged with a ducal or crest-coronet Azure (a blue coronet representing the patronage and noble status of the Chief).

On 25th March 1988, my proposal to petition Lord Lyon King of Arms for a grant of armorial bearings was agreed at the Annual General Meeting of the Murray Clan Society in Edinburgh, subject to a separate fund being established, and subject to approval from the Clan Chief, His Grace the 10th Duke of Atholl, who wholeheartedly supported the proposal stating that that he was "convinced that it is a good idea for the Society to petition Lord Lyon King of Arms and I certainly approve of the decision taken". Donations to the fund reached £1,030.45. On 15th May 1990, the Murray Clan Society was granted the Ensigns Armorial with the following proclamation:


WE, Malcolm Rognvald Innes of Edingight, Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, Writer to Her Majesty's Signet, Lord Lyon King of Arms, send Greetings: Whereas, Keith Murray-Hetherington, Convenor, for and on behalf of THE MURRAY CLAN SOCIETY having headquarters at Blair Castle, Blair Atholl in the County of Perth, having by Petition unto Us of date 28 October 1988 Shewn; THAT the objects of the said Society are to promote social links among people bearing the name Murray, and to stimulate interest in the history, culture and traditions of the Clan; AND the Petitioner having prayed that there might be granted unto him and on behalf of The Murray Clan Society such Ensigns Armorial as might be found suitable and according to the Laws of Arms, KNOW YE THEREFORE that We have Devised, and Do by These Presents Assign, Ratify and Confirm unto the Petitioner for and on behalf of The Murray Clan Society, the following Ensigns Armorial, as depicted upon the margin hereof, and matriculated of even date with These Presents upon the 14th page of the 75th volume of Our Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland, VIDELICET:- Azure, five annulets conjoined in fess Argent between three mullets of the Last. Above the Shield is placed an Helm suitable to an Incorporation (VIDELICET: a Sallet Proper lined Gules) with a Mantling Azure doubled Argent, and on a Wreath of the Liveries is set for Crest a tower Argent, masoned Sable, charged of a crest-cornet Azure, and in an Escrol over the same this Motto "FORWARD WITH FORTUNE", by demonstration of which Ensigns Armorial the said Society is amongst all Nobles and in all Places of Honour, to be taken, numbered, accounted and received as Society Noble in the Noblesse of Scotland; IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF We have Subscribed These Presents and the Seal of Our Office is affixed hereto at Edinburgh, this 15th day of May in the 39th Year of the reign of Our Sovereign Lady Elizabeth the Second, By the grace of God, of United Kingdom of Great Briain and Northern Ireland, and of Her Other Realms and Territories, Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, and in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Nine Hundred and Ninety.

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