By Dr Bruce Durie
Here we show the arms of the four current Durie armigers. Another page has more information on the current and earliest recorded Duries to bear arms (click here).
Note that the arms shown are exclusive to the chief and armigers, variants are exclusive to their heirs. They are not for use by anyone else!
Scottish Arms are therefore more traditional and use mediaeval charges and patterns of charges, unlike English and other Arms. Scottish heraldry differs in many other respects from English and other European heraldries.
In Scottish law, coats of arms are the individual heritable property of one person at a time. They do not refer to a family – there is no such thing as a “Family Coat of Arms” – and cannot legally be used except by the person granted them by the appropriate heraldic authority. No-one has the right to display Arms in Scotland without having these granted and registered by the Lord Lyon King of Arms, essentially the senior judge in the Scottish court of Heraldry, and with quasi-regal powers.
Not only is it illegal to bear Arms that have not been specifically awarded by the Lord Lyon, it is also illegal to invent Arms or to use existing or invented Arms.
No two people can bear the same Arms, but as heritable property they are inherited by the petitioner's heir, normally his eldest son, and by his eldest son in turn. This is not automatic - the matriculation process should be gone through before there is "achievement" of Arms.
Younger children inherit only a right to matriculate the Arms with a slight difference added, and they must petition separately for this to be done.
On the other hand, most individuals of Scottish descent, and who are "worthy and virtuous" can be granted Arms. These are based on the Arms of the chief of that name, even when there is distant or no blood relationship.