SSA Gallery

The Society of Scottish Armigers
Home > WA Religious
Click to view full size image
Arms: Quarterly:1st Argent a lion rampant Gules armed Or; 2nd Or a dexter hand couped in fess holding a cross crosslet fitchée Gules; 3rd Or a galley oars in saltire Sable, in the base undy Vert a salmon naiant Argent; 4th Argent an oak tree Vert surmounted of an eagle Or.

These are the arms of MacDonald of Clanranald, see below as to why they are used here.

Bishop Hugh MacDonald ( 1699-1773), the first Highland Scottish Roman Catholic Bishop in Scotland after the Reformation and a Jacobite, was a younger son of the tacksman of one of the chief farms of South Morar the lands belonging to the Laird of
Morar, one Allan MacDonald whose ancestor was conceded these lands by Clanranald
and which were granted by James VI in a Royal Charter in 1610. We believe this estate
consisted of some thousands of acres in the West Highlands, south of Knoydart and just
east of the islands of Skye, Rum and Eigg.

This laird had three younger brothers the oldest of which was Alexander MacDonald who
had two wives, by the first he had two sons and a daughter, Allan Ruadh, Alexander and

In about 1697 he remarried another Mary, daughter of MacDonald of Kinloch-Moidart
having two more sons and a daughter: Hugh ( our Bishop Hugh MacDonald ), John and
Catherine. So, our Hugh was the nephew of the Laird Allan MacDonald ( also known as

Doing some research in the “An Ordinary of Arms”, Paul, 2nd Ed of 1903, and having had
correspondence with Snawdoun on the subject, we determined that the Lairds of Morar
were not armigerous themselves simply because they never matriculated arms as they
were entitled to do. Non-the-less, they were key followers of Clanranald and
had a Clanranald derbfine been called, MacDhughaill ought to have been summoned to
the conference for his vote in affairs.

According to David M. Bertie author of the book, “The Heraldry of the Bishops of
Scotland”, it became clear from the surviving seals that bishops of the time used the arms
undifferenced of lay relatives, supposing that having a mitre atop the shield or a crozier
behind the shield would serve as a suitable difference.

So, we show Bishop Hugh MacDonald as using the arms of MacDonald of Clanranald.
We also feel that Bishop Hugh MacDonald was constantly running around trying to assist
his parishes ( There were an estimated 4,000 Catholics in the Highland District vs. about
800,000 Protestants in the same area. ) start and run a seminary, and hiding from the said
numerous Protestants who disapproved of his activities, so that he hadn’t time to use
heraldry as a practical matter.

Aeneas MacDonnell of Morar, we believe bought the remains of the estate of Morar in the mid 19th century matriculating arms at Lyon Court in 1860, but his was an unrelated family.


Bishop MacDonald:
“Hugh MacDonald, Highlander, Jacobite & Bishop”, by John Watts, John Donald Publishers, Edinburgh, 2002

“The Heraldry of the Bishops of Scotland”, by David M. Bertie, The Heraldry Society of
Scotland, Edinburgh, 2018, pages 186-190

Aeneas MacDonnell of Morar:
“An Ordinary of Arms”, Paul, 1903, page 84, entry 1230.

The artwork is a rendering of John Hamilton Gaylor

2018 0903
StMargaret2.jpg Mangers_3.jpg Clanranald.jpg Loyola.jpg Liguori2-1455.jpg
Rate this file (current rating : 0 / 5 with 1 votes)