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The Arms of the last Chief of Clan Maciver

The Arms of the last Chief of Clan Maciver

A. G. Bennett (View posts)
Posted: 1099960258000
Classification: Query
Here's something I was thinking about, and wondering if any who are knowledgable in Scottish heraldic law could help.

My dates and facts may be a little rusty, but the story goes along these lines:

The Duke of Argyll (Chief of Clan Campbell) offered to all Macivers the opportunity to own their own calps (plots of land) if they were to change their name to Campbell and to swear allegience to him. Many did, but some did not, and fled to Lewis and Skye. These clansmen retained the name Maciver. Now, the Chief of Clan Maciver at that time, Duncan, agreed, and changed his name to Campbell. From that point on, Clan Maciver had no Chief, and was thus a broken clan. Now, Duncan's last descendant, Sir Humphrey Campbell died in 1818. My question is this: Would the Arms of Clan Maciver have passed to Sir Humphrey, and then expired upon his death, or would they have been forfeit when Duncan changed his name to Campbell? Any thoughts?

Re: The Arms of the last Chief of Clan Maciver

G2 (View posts)
Posted: 1100014724000
As far as I'm aware, the arms stay with the name. If the then chief of Clan Maciver renounced his name, he would also have to renounce the arms associated with that name, which could then be applied for by whoever succeeded the chap who changed his name. None of the Campbells would have been able to use those arms without changing their name also.
Looking in Burke's General Armory, it shows two entries for McIver - the first is in the surname of M'Iver and is given as Quarterly Or and Gules a Bend Sable.
The second is in the surname of M'Iver Campbell and the arms have the undifferenced Campbell arms in the 1st quarter and include the first M'Iver arms in the 4th quarter. The Crest and Motto are the same for both. So it would appear that the Chief didn't renounce his M'Iver name at all, just changed it to M'Iver Campbell and inherited another three quarterings for his shield. I would imagine that to find out all the legalities involved you would have to enquire of the Office of the Lord Lyon as he is the arbiter of all heraldic things Scottish.
Regards,

Re: The Arms of the last Chief of Clan Maciver

A. G. Bennett (View posts)
Posted: 1100017286000
Classification: Query
Very interesting to find. Thank you for your help.

Perhaps this question should be directed to the Lord Lyon, but if the Chief did place himself under the Duke of Argyll, would he then lose his Chiefdom (Chieftainship? As you consult Burke's, I'll consult my OED...looks like chiefdom).

At any rate, upon the death of Sir Humphrey (having no heirs), I suppose the arms (those quartered with Campbell) fell into abeyance. However, since there are Macivers who do NOT swear loyalty to the Duke of Argyll, and they have no current Chief (broken clan), could anyone apply for the original arms of Maciver (Quarterly Or and Gules a Bend Sable) if they could prove some relationship to Duncan, the last Chief?

Re: The Arms of the last Chief of Clan Maciver

G2 (View posts)
Posted: 1100043841000
That indeed would be a question for Lord Lyon to answer, because it is only he who can make that decision. However, my own thoughts on the matter would be that the arms belong to the M'Iver name and may possibly be available for a M'Iver of the broken clan - one of them may be accepted as the current Chief if he/she were to apply to Lord Lyon and resurrect the Clan M'Iver

If the chap who made his allegiance to the Duke of Argyll died without either male or female issue, I would have thought that the Chieftainship would automatically pass to one of the 'broken-Clan' M'Ivers in the manner similar to how a title is passed to another branch of the family in the remainder of Britain (ie., third cousin or great nephew, and so on, etc.).

Chiefship is a title of honour and dignity within the nobility of Scotland. Any claimant to such a title must establish, to the satisfaction of the Lord Lyon representing the Sovereign, that he or she is entitled to the undifferenced arms of the community over which they seek to preside. It is the determining of chiefship which is among the Lyon Court's central work.

Many of the cases which have come before the Lyon Court in the last 50 years have related to the chiefships of clans. There are now about 140 clans that have chiefs recognised by the Lord Lyon.

A clan or family. which has a recognised chief or head confers noble status on the clan or family which gives it a legally recognised status and a corporate identity. A family or name group which has no recognised chief has no official position under the law of Scotland.

The Lyon Office would definitely be the place to make your enquiries. Lord Lyon, himself, has an email address robin.blair@waitrose.com and you should be able to contact the Lyon Office through their webpage to be found at www.lyon-court.com/ and another URL that you might find useful is www.myclan.com/clanship/heraldry/court.php

Let us know how you get on if you do contact the Lyon Office.

Regards,

Re: The Arms of the last Chief of Clan Maciver

A. G. Bennett (View posts)
Posted: 1100130525000
Classification: Query
I will be inquiring with Lyon Court, but first I will need to make sure my history is up to snuff. This is quite a task as my personal library is some distance from my current abode. I will keep you informed though.

Re: The Arms of the last Chief of Clan Maciver

Posted: 1540420871000
Classification: Query
If you want to read all about the MacIver Campbell of Asknish family you should read 'The Troubled Laird,' the biography of Duncan MacIver Campbell (available on Amazon kindle) and you will find out what happened to this lineage - spoiler alert - it continued on after Sir Humphrey Trafford Campbell.
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