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The Scottish system of heraldry is strictly controlled and is believed to be the purest in the world. It is administered through the office of the Court of the Lord Lyon whose ruling is supreme in armorial matters. It is founded on the belief that arms can belong too only one person at a time and therefore there is no "family coat-of-arms" as such. There is a mistaken belief that associates the ownership of arms with snobbery. But any Scotsman or Scotswoman of good character and who has contributed to the quality of life in their community may apply to the Court of the Lord Lyon for issuance of arms. If the applicant can prove his or her descent in the male line from a previous owner of arms, then these arms may be awarded with a "difference".

In early days all legitimate children used their father's arms and inherited them after his death. Therefore, the need to distinguish between father and son and between son and son into succeeding generations arose and thus the system of "differencing for cadency" was instituted. This system identified the senior of the family and the position in that branch of the individual. It is possible to difference arms by modifying the original arms while keeping distinctive features and producing a new composition. This could be done by changing the colors of the various fields but a wider variation was available by changing the charges; variation in size and number, inserting new or related charges, or by slightly altering the original charges. All of these changes were made within the accepted framework which maintained the primary characteristics of the original arms.

This "differencing" appears to be the answer to our question to the Lord Lyon as to the "correct" arms for the MacNaughton’s. Mrs. C. C. Roads, Lyon Clerk and Keeper of Records, in her letter of April 1991 stated that both of the arms shown below are indeed the Chiefly Arms of Macnaghten. Figure 1 (which we have been using heretofore) merely shows the shield, crest, supporters and motto. In Figure 2 the compartment, upon which the supporters stand, the helmet and mantling have been added. She added that "these arms are the property of the Chief and only he may use them. It is not appropriate for clansmen to use his Coat of Arms as it Identifies the Chief and the Chief alone. It is appropriate, however, for clansmen to use the Chief's crest within a strap and buckle bearing his motto."

Clan MacNaughton's Coat of Arms (Basic) MacMillan (heraldic basic)

 Clan MacNaughton (Basic)

Clan MacMillan (Basic)


Sir Malcolm Macnaghten BT personal CoA   Chief George MacMillan personal CoA

 Sir Malcolm F. Macnaghten of Macnaghten, Bt.
personal Coat of Arms (Heraldic)

Chief George MacMillan's 
personal Coat of Arms (Heraldic)

Permission for use granted by
Sir Malcolm F. Macnaghten of Macnaghten, Bt.

Permission for use granted by
Chief George MacMillan, MacMillan of MacMillan & Knap

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