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Stevenson, R. L.
Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)

Arms: Argent on a chevron azure, between two fleurs de lys in chief of the second and a light-house in base proper, three mullets of the first.

SOURCE, NOTES & CREDITS: Source for blazon: Entry 1046, page 70, “Ordinary of Scottish Arms”, Volume 1, second edition of 1903, for Alan Stevenson, C. E. in 1865. Source for background illustration: a stained glass armorial window in Glasgow Cathedral bearing arms said to be those of Robert Stevenson, grandfather of RLS. Source for text: D.Q. Wedvick adapted from Wikipedia article and HSS forum thread in the section “The Application of Heraldry” on Stevenson Arms in Glasgow Cathedral initiated by John Macfie on Friday 23 April 2010.

Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson was born on 13 November 1850, Edinburgh. His father, Thomas Stevenson was the youngest son of Robert Stevenson, C. E. and the brother of the lighthouse engineers Alan and David Stevenson. Between 1854 and 1886 Thomas designed many lighthouses, with his brother David, and then with David's son David Alan Stevenson. It was this other brother, Alan Stevenson, uncle of RLS, who received a grant of arms in 1865 which was then we believe, retrospectively depicted as belonging to his father Robert in the Glasgow Cathedral. Thomas married Margaret Isabella Balfour and RLS was their only son. As to RLS having a right to these arms is surely questionable, as no matriculation for arms for him exists of which we are aware. Perhaps he might have matriculated a differenced version of them had he petitioned, but we thought in view of his being such a famous Scots author it would be nice to put these up as his uncle was an armiger indeed.

RLS became world famous with the publication of Treasure Island in 1883 followed by many others such as “The Black Arrow”, 1883, “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”, 1886, “Kidnapped”, 1886 and “The Master of Ballantrae”, 1889. He has been greatly admired by many authors, including Ernest Hemmingway, Rudyard Kipling, Vladimir Nabokov, J.M. Barrie and G.K. Chesterton who said of him that he "seemed to pick the right word up on the point of his pen, like a man playing spillkins ( like Pick –Up- Sticks ). He died at the age of only 44 on 3 December 1894 in Vailima, Samoa. dqw 20100430

The artwork is a rendering by John Hamilton Gaylor

Wedvick Armorial, 141, Stevenson, 20100430
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