Author Topic: Clan Thomson & Heraldry  (Read 10807 times)

Allan Thomson

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Clan Thomson & Heraldry
« on: January 03, 2010, 04:27:50 PM »
The importance of heraldry to the formation of a Clan Thom(p)son cannot be overstated.  In the pursuit of recognition of Clan Status and a Thomson Chief it would be normal for the clan to seek recognition from the Court of the Lord Lyon in Scotland.  

The simplest way forward is to provide evidence of a strong support amongst Thom(p)son’s for the idea of a clan ie the clan list/roll call which this forum and website will help to achieve.

The next hurdle is to unearth or create a chief.  It would be nice to unearth evidence of an existing Chief of Clan Thomson however while some have argued the theoretical existence of a Clan Thomson Chief it is unlikely that we will ever be able to find details of that individual (if they did indeed exist).  Its more likely that Clan Thom(p)son would have to seek recognition of a new Chief and approach the Lord Lyon via a process known as a Derbhfine.  This is described succinctly in the Clan Duncan Society Website (see link http://www.clan-duncan.co.uk/clan-recognition-derbhfine.html ).  

In essence the Derbhfine process requires the Clan to bring together 9 or more armigers (armiger = a person who has a Grant of a Coat of Arms (Scotland)) or Thomsons who are significant Land owners in Scotland.

Clan Thom(p)son could seek to recruit 9 clan members (who are eligible for a grant of arms from Lyon Court – ie of Scottish Descent etc etc http://www.lyon-court.org/lordlyon/228.html ) to achieve this process anew they would need 9 members and each of these would need to be willing to pay between £1,194.00 and £1,926.00 UK Pounds for a grant of arms.  In a nutshell.... this could become an expensive business..!! (potentially 15,000 – 17,500 UK Pounds) possibly more as the price of petitioning for arms tends to rise in April of each year.

Rather than seek to create 9 new armigers it would make sense to seek favourable support from at least 9 existing Scottish Armigers who could help take this process forward.  This Clan website has a list of some 50 or so Thom(p)son arms http://www.clanthompson.org/arms1.html.  Find these armigers or there descendants....it would be a good starting point and details of the older ‘grants of arms’ are now available to view via the scotlands people website (charge of £10 per entry).  

I am interested in the Heraldry of the Thom(p)sons and will add any details here that I find.  I hope that it will spark some interest amongst other forum users

Allan Thomson
« Last Edit: January 16, 2010, 08:27:45 PM by Forum_mgr »

Allan Thomson

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Re: Clan Thomson & Heraldry
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2010, 04:31:11 PM »
To kick things off here are some details I have uncovered about one of the armigers highlighted in the "arms" section of this website.

Robert Charteris Thomson of Amisfield.

I was able to access a copy of the Letters Patent for this armiger via the www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk  website.  He was granted arms on 10th March 1894 by the Lord Lyon King of Arms in Scotland.  

BLAZON:  Argent a fess Azure between two mullets in chief Or and a stag’s head cabossed in base proper.  (blazon is the term for the written description of the arms – for the image see this website www.clanthompson.org/arms3.html )

The letters patent show Robert was the son of William Thomson of Hamilton Canada (b???? - d1880) and his wife Jean Charteris.
The Letters Patent provides no further history on his Thomson ancestry but focuses on the ancestors of the armigers mother Jean Charteris.  The document provides a link between Jean Charteris and Sir John Charteris of Amisfield, Dumfries, Scotland who died circa 1615.  

A google search of “Robert Charteris Thomson” finds further details via the Whitehern Museum Archives www.whitehern.ca/.  This site is a repository of information on the McQuestens Family of Hamilton Ontario including many letters from the period between (1849 – 1934).  It is within the letters that some further information on Robert Charteris Thomson is available and also through footnotes created by the researcher Dr Mary Anderson.

“Robert Charteris Thomson, lumber merchant, lived at "Amisfield," 1 Duke Street, near Whitehern. The home had been purchased by Robert in 1887, but had been previously owned by his father, William Thomson  and his mother Jean (Charteris)Thomson.  There were several branches of the large Thomson family in Hamilton [Canada] and they are frequently mentioned in the letters.”


I have no further information on this armiger or his descendants but if it was indeed a large family then it is possible that there is a living descendant who may have or may yet be entitled to matriculate the original or differenced arms.  Perhaps a relation will stumble across this Clan Forum..?

Allan


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« Last Edit: January 11, 2010, 02:29:12 PM by Allan Thomson »

Stirling Thompson

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Re: Clan Thomson & Heraldry
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2010, 05:56:12 PM »
We do have one other armiger at the moment, Scott Thomson in Aberdeen. So we only need seven more! I hope we can find them and someday attain full recognition as a clan in our own right. In the meantime we're pursuing the idea of corporate recognition for the Clan Thom(p)son Society as representing the Thom(p)son name through the Lyon Court. The more members we can get on the ground in Scotland the better so hopefully you can help us out in that area. Oh yes, before I forget, welcome to you and yours and hope you will continue as an active member!
Stu
Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!
Stu

Allan Thomson

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Re: Clan Thomson & Heraldry
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2010, 02:33:40 AM »
Thanks Stu,

I searched Scott Thomson on the forum and I have now seen his posts and his excellent arms.  I had missed this when browsing the forum earlier. 

Allan 



Allan Thomson

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Re: Clan Thomson & Heraldry
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2010, 03:03:08 AM »
Arms of MITCHELL-THOMSON

In another (hopefully interesting) delve into the world of Thomson Heraldry (ah I do love lazy public holidays in the snow !!) I looked up the Lyon Court Records for Mitchell-Thomson.  I have always quite liked the design of these arms while my wife feels they differ to much from the usual Thomson pattern design.

In 1891 Mitchell Thomson (1846 – 1918), City Councillor of Edinburgh, petitioned the Lord Lyon King of Arms for a grant of arms.  This chap had quite a distinguished career and ended as Lord Provost of Edinburgh.
 
Arms of Mitchell Thomson are shown on  http://www.clanthompson.org/arms2.html and the arms of his son on a subsequent page http://www.clanthompson.org/arms4.html.  

I have trawled the internet for references to this armiger and there descendants and I note that the current holder of the arms would be Malcolm McEacharn Mitchell-Thomson. 3rd Baron Selsdon.

(1846 – 1918) Mitchell Thomson, Lord Provost of Edinburgh.

(1877 – 1938) William Lowson Mitchell-Thomson, William Lowson Mitchell-Thomson, 1st Baron Selsdon KBE PC, known as Sir William Mitchell-Thomson, 2nd Baronet, from 1918 to 1932, was a British politician.

(1913 – 1963) Peter Mitchell-Thomson, was born in 1877 to the 1st Baron Selsdon and would later succeed his father as Lord Selsdon. He was an active sports racer and in 1949 he earned the distinction as the first Scotsman to win the Le Mans 24 Hour race, co-driving a Ferrari 166 with 1934 Le Mans winner Luigi Chinetti.

(1937 - ) Malcolm McEacharn  is the current Baron Selsdon.  THE 3RD BARON SELSDON , of Croydon, Surrey and a Baronet (Sir Malcolm McEacharn Mitchell-Thomson, Bt)

A Baron.... A potential Chief for the Clan..? Perhaps (if he was interested) and yet I gather the Lord Lyon has issues about Chiefs with hyphenated names (see Duke of Hamilton and Clan Douglas).  

Allan Thomson

(Apologies for the broken web links - cant seem to get the links to work..!)


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« Last Edit: January 11, 2010, 02:31:17 PM by Allan Thomson »

Allan Thomson

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Re: Clan Thomson & Heraldry
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2010, 01:46:47 PM »
JAMES RODGER THOMSON OF DALMUIR HOUSE
-Arms granted on 01/07/1874- Volume 9 Folio 58 of the Register.  

James Rodger Thomson was married to Marion Paterson Neilson.  He lived at Mountblow house in Old Kilpatrick, Dunbartonshire.  He was the son of George Thomson (b1815 - 1866).   His father George went into business with his brother James (elder) Thomson and they formed the firm James & George Thomson.  They started with engine building but expanded into shipbuilding in 1851.  Their company was well known on the Clydeside and they produced over forty steamers.  They had premises at Govan, Glasgow and then new works at Clydebank with a staff of some 4000 employees.  James (elder) retired early and his brother George died suddenly with the company then transferring to George’s sons (also called James & George).

We are interested in James Rodger Thomson and the descent of his arms.  He had four sons that I have been able to identify:

1)   William Neilson Thomson – Born 24 July 1871
2)     James Rodger Thomson Jr - Born 8 October 1872
3)   Frederick Claude Thomson – Born 22 October 1874
4)   George Thomson- Born 15 November 1877

Thomson, William Neilson - Joined the 1st Dumbartonshire Rifle Volunteer Corps and was commissioned 2/Lt  22 February 1890. He was posted to 'G' Company at Maryhill. He resigned his commission on 4 December 1895.  In 1899, he joined the Queen's Own Royal Glasgow Yeomanry and was sent to South Africa at  the declaration of the Boer War. In 1901, he transferred to the State Railway Service (later know as the Imperial Railway Service) where engineers were sorely needed to drive armoured trains carrying troups and ammunition.  William died, while so employed, of yellow fever at Watervaal Onder, Transvaal on 4 March 1901. He is buried in at Watervaal Onder, South Africa.

Thomson, James Rodger Jr - see below

Thomson, George  2/Lt,  Died 11 September 1916 at Guillemont, Somme, France and buried 12 September 1916 in Guillemont Road Cemetery, Guillemont, France. Lt Thomson joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force to World War 1 in 1914 after to emigrating to Canada in 1907 along with his other brothers.   He was assigned to duty with the Division Ammunition Park as a private soldier. His enrolment number was 2424. On arrival in England in early 1915, he was offered a commission in the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders as a 2Lt which he readily accepted. This offer was made as a result of his late father being an Honorary Colonel of the regiment. Due to the horrific losses suffered by the London Scottish in earlier campaigns of 1916, George was seconded to duty with them. He died in that portion of the Battle of the Somme that took place around the area of Guillemont and not far from other infamous battle names such as Courcelette, Fleurs and the Quadrilateral. He died of his wounds that same day and was buried the following day in the Guillemont Road Cemetery.

Thomson, Frederick Claude I was contacted by a descendant of Frederick Claude Thomson.  Frederick fought in the Boer war. Subsequently emigrated to Canada.  Later he fought in the World War I.  I note Frederick had issue of two daughters.  

James Rodger Jr – I have been unable to ascertain any further information on James.  Its probable that he went to Canada given the information above.  It is also possible that there are living descendants of these Thomsons entitled to the original arms.  There may even have been other brothers  - although I have found no evidence of this.


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« Last Edit: November 16, 2010, 02:36:30 PM by Allan Thomson »

Stirling Thompson

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Re: Clan Thomson & Heraldry
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2010, 03:22:37 PM »
Very interesting stories indeed. Keep up the great work! Hey, if you get the chance maybe you could recruit Dave Thompson, SMP Highlands and Isles! Don't know if he's armigerous or not but to have an SMP as a member would be quite the coup!
Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!
Stu

Allan Thomson

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Re: Clan Thomson & Heraldry
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2010, 05:38:38 AM »
In 1672 an Act of the Scottish Parliament authorised the creation of the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland. This Register is maintained by the Lyon Clerk and Keeper of the Records and contains an official copy of every Coat of Arms granted in Scotland since 1672.

Modern registatrations of grants of arms tend to be accompanied by a wealth of detail about the armiger and their family unfortunately the same is not true of the early registrations in 1672 – which were presumably carried out fairly quickly to comply with the new system of registration.  

A number of early Thomsone arms were registered with the Lyon Court in 1672.  These early registrations contain little more than the verbal description of the arms (blazon) and the name of the armiger.  Whilst interesting by their very existence these entries do not tell us how long the arms had been in use and we cannot glean much useful information about the armigers who registered them.

VOLUME 1 (1672) contains the following Thomson(e) entries:

Quote
JAMES THOMSONE one of the Clerks of the Exchequer bears Argent a stag’s head cabossed proper attired with ten tynes Gules in chief three cross crosslets fitchée Sable.  Above the shield a helmet  befitting his degree mantled gules doubled argent; Next is placed on ane torse for his crest a hand holding a cross crosslet fitchie sable.  The motto in ane Escroll Honestie is the best policie

Mr WILLIAM THOMSONE of Fairliehope, Writer to her Majesties Signet Bears Argent a stag’s head cabossed proper on a chief wavy Gules a crescent between two mullets of the first.  Above the shield a helmet  befitting his degree mantled gules doubled argent; Next is placed on ane torse for his crest a quill proper surmounted of a crescent Or.  The motto in ane Escroll Fato Prudentia Major

ANDREW THOMSONE, Advocate in Aberdeen, Brother to Mr William Thomson, Writer to his Majesties Signet, gives Argent a stag’s head cabossed proper on a chief wavy Gules a lozenge betwixt two mullets of the first.  On ane helmet befitting his degree with a mantle gules doubled argent and wreath of his colours is sett for his Crest a crane holding in the beak a  twig of palme proper.  The motto in ane Escroll, Curae cedit Fatum

JAMES THOMSON Merchant in Kirkaldie Bears Argent a stag’s head cabossed proper on a chief engrailed Gules a mullet between two crescents of the first.  Above the shield a helmet  befitting his degree mantled gules doubled argent.  The motto in ane Escroll Honestie is good policie

DAVID THOMSONE portioner of Ketle Bears Argent a stag’s head cabossed proper on a chief invected Gules a mullet between two crescents of the first.  Above the shield a helmet  befitting his degree mantled gules doubled argent.  The motto in ane Escroll Amo Honesta

Mr WILLIAM THOMSONE of Fauchfield Bears Parted per pale Argent and Gules a stag’s head cabossed and attired with ten tynes counterchanged on a chief Azure a cross crosslet fitchée Or between a spur-revel and a crescent of the first.  Above the shield a helmet  befitting his degree mantled gules doubled argent.  The motto in ane Escroll Deus Providebit

Mr THOMAS THOMSONE of Cocklow Bears Parted per pale Argent and Gules a stag’s head cabossed and attired with ten tynes counterchanged on a chief wavy Azure a cross crosslet fitchée Or between two spur-revels of the first.  Above the shield a helmet  befitting his degree mantled gules doubled argent.  The motto in ane Escroll Deus Providebit

All of these arms can be viewed in the gallery of arms within this website or via Stephen Plowman’s online armorial http://www.heraldry-online.org.uk/thomson/Thomson-Arms-Vol-I.htm

A number of interesting points about the early registrations.  Only two have registered a crest with the rest simply registering a sheild.  The mottos are similar in a few but not all cases.  I wonder what the connection (if any) was between William Thomsone and Thomas Thomsone that they should share the exact same motto.

Allan


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« Last Edit: January 16, 2010, 08:28:43 PM by Forum_mgr »

Thomas Thompson

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Re: Clan Thomson & Heraldry
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2010, 10:38:31 AM »
Hello again Alan.  Welcome to the forum.

   Your topic on the Thomson armigers is a needed subject as most of my fellow Americans know very little about heraldry.

    I would be interested in any information you might have on the achievement of Sir Roy Thomson of Fleet.  His grandson,
David Kenneth Thomson, 3rd Baron of Fleet. is reported to be the 16th richest man in the world. I wrote to him twice but was unable to get my letter past his social secretary. Of course, in his defense he was quite involved in the purchase of the news agency Reuters. I didn't ask him for a donation or assistance/involvement with Lord Lyon, I just thought it would be proper to get his permission to use the Thompson Dress Blue tartan as our clan tartan.

     Do we, in fact, need his permission to use a tartan that is in common usage in the tartan market? Secondly, is there any possibility that you might be able to contact him through a different address (the only one we could find was a business address in Toronto, Canada) and pursue this question and inform him of our efforts to resurrect Clan Thom(p)son?

Allan Thomson

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Re: Clan Thomson & Heraldry
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2010, 01:17:09 PM »
Hi Tom,

I doubt I would have any more luck contacting David Kenneth Thomson, 3rd Baron of Fleet than you have enjoyed yourself.  I think it is admirable that you wrote to him asking permission to use the tartan but I doubt that it is necessary to do this.  It would have been excellent to have such a powerful Thomson armiger endorse the Clan Thom(p)son Society.  I have often wondered if Sir Roy Thomson of Fleet was actually considering seeking Clan Chief Status when he had the Tartans designed but if he was he never followed through.  An important point to be made here is that neither a clan society nor a group of armigers alone can form a clan - the process really requires the co-operation of both.

I intent to try and continue my research into the other Thomson armigers.  Its worth ascertaining how many of the arms in the gallery might represent a possible existing armiger who might be prepared to join the Clan Thom(p)son Society.  Likewise it is interesting to note which of the older armigerous Thomson families have petered out.  On that note my next post will relate to James Thomson of Wester-Bogie.

Allan Thomson

Allan Thomson

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Re: Clan Thomson & Heraldry - THOMSON OF WESTER BOGIE
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2010, 01:28:55 PM »
JAMES THOMSON of WESTER BOGIE.

MATRICULATION OF JAMES THOMSON OF WESTERBOGIE 1811 Vol 2 Folio 59
Quote
JAMES THOMSON of Westerbogie in the County of Fife Esquire Clerk to the Signet and Representative of the family of Thomson of [Mugusk – sorry difficult to read] bears Parted per pale Argent and Gules a buck’s head cabossed and attired with ten tynes within a bordure engrailed all counter-changed on a chief Azure a cross crosslet fitchée Or between two spur-revels of the first. Crest: A branch of Palm proper; Motto Patientia Vinco.  

The Wester Bogie of the title relates to Wester Bogie in the Parish of Abbotshall in Fife, Scotland.  An excerpt from the 1861 Parochial directory for the Fife and Kinross parish of Abbotshall describes the House of Bogie as an elegant modern mansion, in the form of a castle.  
There is a reference in the Lyon Court to a John Berry of Wester Bogie who matriculated arms on 1 July 1785.

MARRIAGE & DESCENDANTS:

James Thomson Esq  married Helen Moncrieff daughter of Patrick Moncrieff on 23 July 1809.  They had one child, Lucy Thomson born in Edinburgh 1816.  Lucy Thomson married Robert Davidson who does not appear to have been armigerous and this would seem to have ended this armigerous Thomson family.

NOTES:
There are two factors from the grant of arms which I found quite interesting.  

1) The reference to "Representative of the Family of Thomson of (Mugusk..?)".  
- not quite sure why this should be stated on the grant of arms and it would be interesting to find out more....  As regards the actual name Mugusk ..? I am awaiting a reply from an expert who may be better able than I to read the old handwritting on the original grant.

I have now received word regarding my query:
Quote
I have looked at the entry to which you refer, James Thomson of Wester Bogie, Volume 2, folio 59 and understand your problem. I tend to think that the name is Magask or Magusk, and find a Magus Muir near St. Andrews, and as Wester Bogie is also in Fife (The Ordinance Gazetteer also mentions Bogie House in the Parish of Abbotshall close to Kirkcaldy) this may perhaps give you a clue as to location.
 
I see from the list of Writers to the Signet that James Thomson of Wester Bogie was the son of John Thomson, Merchant in Cupar, and this may also be an area worth researching. The entry also states that James Thomson of Wester Bogie married on 24th July 1809 Helen, died 1 June 1851, daughter of Patrick Moncrieff of Reidie, Fife. James died 25th October 1831 aged 82.
 
It has been pointed out to me that it is unlikely that the Lord Lyon would give or record a territorial designation for lands overseas thus it seems likely that Magask (?) is in Scotland and likely to be in Fife.

2) The crest of a branch of palm proper.
I would like to know why the armiger or LL decided on this unusual crest.  

Allan Thomson


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« Last Edit: January 11, 2010, 02:51:38 PM by Allan Thomson »

Allan Thomson

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Re: Clan Thomson & Heraldry
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2010, 12:31:09 PM »

The place name seems to be "Magask" and it would seem likely that the farm or land was probably Nether Magask.

There are still farm buildings and cottages with the name Magask to be found in the area between Coupar and St Andrews – the postcode KY16 9SN should bring this up on google maps if anyone is interested.

This part of the country appears to have been a bit of a hotbed for Thom(p)son armigers.

Allan Thomson


Allan Thomson

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Re: Clan Thomson & Heraldry
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2010, 10:13:52 AM »
A search of the index of Wills and Testaments reveals the following information that may pertain to some of the earlier Thomson armigers.

The testament, dative and inventory of James Thomsone, younger of Nether Magask, Parish of Ceres 13 May 1700 are available via St Andrews Commissary Court  are available online via http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk

The testament, dative and inventory of George Thomsone of Mayns 28 Jan 1691 are held by Edinburgh Commissary Court and are available online via http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk

The testament, dative and inventory of Arthur Thomson, Wright in Logie, 27 Jun 1793 are available via St Andrews Commissary Court are available online via http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk

Allan Thomson
« Last Edit: January 16, 2010, 08:30:42 PM by Forum_mgr »