The Lord Lyon’s Collar
On Dec. 4, 1998, I, as immediate past President, was deeply honored to have the opportunity to present to Sir Malcolm Innes of Edingight, Scotland’s Lord Lyon King of Arms, in the beautiful Signet Library adjacent to Parliament Hall in Edinburgh, a beautiful Gold collar to be worn on State occasions, replacing the one of English design of ESSES, (identical to the one worn by English Lord Lyons) since the original one of Scottish design had somehow disappeared about the time of Culloden in the mid 1800’s
This remarkable project to provide Lyon with a proper Scottish Collar was coordinated by the St. Andrews Society of San Francisco over a period of about 3 years. This world wide project was conceived, coordinated and brought to a successful conclusion by the persistent efforts of our member Mark Dennis, Advocate, who now lives in Scotland. We arranged for 40 St. Andrews Societies from around the World to each provide a gold link for the chain. Never before have so many individual St. Andrews Societies worked together on a joint project. On the reverse of each of the 40 links is engraved the name of the donor St. Andrews Society, and hanging from the chain is an enameled oval pendant of St. Andrew behind the silver cross of his martyrdom, all under the ancient Crown of Scotland. The reverse of the pendant bears the inscription “The gift of the St. Andrews Societies in the World to Her Majesty the Queen, her Lord Lyon, and the Scottish People”. No longer will the Lord Lyon, the Chief Heraldic Officer of Scotland wear the Collar of English design! We are proud to have rectified this problem.
The presentation of the new Collar to Lyon was a most impressive, and memorable occasion in the beautiful Signet Library adjacent to Parliament Hall in Edinburgh, in the presence of the Officers of Arms of Scotland, adorned in their colorful Tabards, and representatives of 17 of the 40 donor St. Andrews Societies who had contributed a link to the project as well as many distinguished guests including our Patron Angus, Duke of Hamilton and Brandon, and his wife Kay. Members of our Society present included Col. James Campbell of Gleneagles and his wife Adriane; Mark Dennis and his wife Rona; Gordon Keller and his wife Anne, and my wife Betty.
Immediately following the colorful presentation ceremony, there were several receptions and a dinner. The next day an elaborate civic reception for the representatives was held in the Civic Chambers off the Royal Mile, followed by a formal dinner in the gorgeous Advocates Library. The following day, we were part of the procession into St. Giles Cathedral for the annual St. Andrews Day celebration. Here, Lyon wore his new Collar for the first time in public.
William C. Blair