Situation Vacant: Lord Lyon King of Arms

Mr David Sellar, 37th Lord Lyon

Mr David Sellar, 37th Lord Lyon

The Lord Lyon King of Arms, Scotland’s chief heraldic officer and the most junior of Scotland’s Great Officers of State, is set to step down later this year. Mr. David Sellar was appointed to the role in 2008 and will retire in December after five years in the role.

The Lyon Court regulates and has jurisdiction over matters relating to Scottish heraldry, which includes establishing and issuing Coats of Arms and maintaining the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings and the Public Register of Genealogies and Birthbrieves in Scotland. Lord Lyon is the sole King of Arms in Scotland and is specifically responsible for determining and granting new arms.

The post is appointed on the recommendation from Scotland’s First Minister, and appointed by Her Majesty the Queen under section 3 of the Lyon Kings of Arms (Scotland) Act 1867. Applications are currently being accepted and close on the 31st of October. The vacancy listing on the Scottish Courts website states that applicants must be legally qualified.

Current and 37th Lord Lyon Mr David Sellar (1941) is a also a solicitor, herald and genealogist, with degrees from Oxford and Edinburgh in history and law respectively. He has published works on the Lordships of the Isles and the origins of many Highland families including the Campbells, MacDonalds, MacDougalls, MacLeods, Lamonts, Maclachlans and MacLeods. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and has served as a member of the Ancient Monuments Board for Scotland and was the vice-president of the Society of Antiquities of Scotland.

The 300 year old Lyon Court, located just off Edinburgh’s Princes Street, is the oldest heraldic court in the world that is still in daily operation. It is fully integrated into the Scottish legal system and has the power to bring criminal charges against people in Scotland for the misuse of heraldry on behalf of the court’s dedicated prosecutor, the Procurator Fiscal. In 2008 Donald Trump faced prosecution by the court for using a coat of arms which had not been approved to promote his golf club.


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