Trotter Heraldry    Heraldry    Home

A study of Scottish differencing in practice

Scots Heraldry has been given secure legal basis by a series of Acts of Parliament, the last and greatest being that of 1672. These established that in Scotland only one person at a time may bear a particular coat of arms, that it must be granted by The Lord Lyon and that other members of their family must have due or appropriate differences, preferably sanctioned by The Lord Lyon.

As an Englishman for whom differencing is not the normal practice, this proved to me to be a bit of a stumbling block in my understanding of the heraldry of the Trotters which are a family of clear Scottish origin. I have only recently made a proper study of the arms Lyon has sanctioned for the Trotters, and in a sub-heading also for the Browns, another bunch of Scotsmen. This study can be seen in earlier pages on Trotter heraldry on this site.

I have now obtained the copies of the all grants or matriculations of arms issued for all members of this family and can review the due differences for the arms of those who were not in any line of heirs male. Heirs male of course use a label of three, or more for grandchildren, points until their father dies when they automatically take on the paternal arms undifferences. There are also clear rules for the siblings of heirs male. With these Trotter matriculations, none were for descendants of an armiger, so this is a study of how the Lord Lyon handled the due differences for people who were related but not descended in any male line from armigers:

  1. Part 1: The differences found in Trotter matriculations
  2. Part 2: The differences found in Brown matriculations
  3. Part 3: The derived rules of differencing practice for non-cadet relations