Author Topic: Henry Thomson of Killour – Lord Lyon King of Arms (1496 – 1512)  (Read 6278 times)

Allan Thomson

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Henry Thomson of Killour – Lord Lyon King of Arms (1496 – 1512)

Records show there was a Lord Lyon King of Arms named Henry Thomson of Killour (1496 – 1512).  The territorial designation of Killour probably relates to Killour in Methven near Perth. 

Records regarding Henry Thomson, Lord Lyon have proven difficult to locate but one or two references have been uncovered.  The following are notes regarding various diplomatic missions.  I found these via a compilation on a website of the University College Cork http://www.ucc.ie/chronicon/scottishdiplomats/
   
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TO DENMARK (1505)
Thomson of Keillour, Henry, Lyon King of Arms
Got instructions from James IV at Holyrood on 3 Apr

The notes on this indicate that Lyon prepaid £56 expenses, 54s for his victuals and a captain of Leith given £55 for his passage.  Letters to Arch-bishop of Uppsala & Chancellor of Denmark. Instructed to help King John of Denmark reach an understanding with Sweden. Lyon who was described by James IV as 'an experienced councillor' and 'a man of much diplomatic skill' had been requested by King John as a mediator. To inform John that James IV is unable to send ships.

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TO LOW COUNTRIES/SPAIN (1507)

Robert Forman, Bishop of Glasgow; Henry Thomson, Lyon King of Arms.

king's letters of 6 Jan; back by mid-Sept.

Ambassadors

James IV offers Charles of Castile condolences on the premature death of his father Philip, hopes ancient pacts will be continued. Also to Henry VII, Max, Duke of Guelders, Lu & Denmark.

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TO ENGLAND (1509)
Andrew Forman, Bishop of Moray, Henry Thomson, Lyon, & John Sanchare, a priest of Aberdeen diocese, apostolic, imperial & royal notary.

Commission to Moray, 19 July; letter of credence on 30th; in EN til end of Aug. 

Ambassador

To arrange personal meeting between Henry VIII & James IV, to accept Henry VIII's oath & deliver J4's, to deal with border matters, to establish future arrangements to promote peace. Moray to effect 'a final conclusion'. 29 Aug - Thomson, Sanchare witness Henry VIII's oath to observe the treaty of Perpetual peace. Forman took oath on James IV's behalf but Henry VIII wanted James IV to take the same oath himself.

I will try and build on this information. 

Allan Thomson

Stirling Thompson

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Re: Henry Thomson of Killour – Lord Lyon King of Arms (1496 – 1512)
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2010, 06:26:01 PM »
Excellent work Allan! I've tried to find info on Henry Thomson for some time now but always without success. Perhaps you can find an answer to this... is there any familial connection between Henry and Peter Thomson who was Unicorn Pursuivant and later Islay Herald? Did Peter have his own arms?
Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!
Stu

Allan Thomson

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Re: Henry Thomson of Killour – Lord Lyon King of Arms (1496 – 1512)
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2010, 10:02:43 AM »
There is a "Keillour Castle" which lies between Methven and Fowlis Wester, near Perth, Scotland. 

Finding any references to "Thomson" in the region of Fowlis Wester and specifically Keillour, particularly references that fit the time frame for Henry Thomson Lord Lyon has been difficult.

Although there is no clear link to Henry Thomson of Killour the testament of David Thomson in "Easter Keillour", parish of Fouliis dated 24 Sep 1604 are held by Dunblane Commissary Court and are available via www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk 

Allan Thomson

Thomas Thompson

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Re: Henry Thomson of Killour – Lord Lyon King of Arms (1496 – 1512)
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2010, 02:00:54 PM »
For those without access to my letters to Lord Lyon I offer my questions/comments to Lord Lyon and his reply.
   The arms of Thomson of That Ilk, as described in the Workman's Manuscript (1565-1568) were never included in Lyon Court registrations. however, successive Lyons have accepted the existence of an unknown Chief and granted arms to Thomson Petitioners as indeterminate cadets with a central theme based upon that Armorial.
   David Sellar, Lord Lyon King of Arms, replied on 17 June 2008. "It is true, as you write, that many Thomson arms have been registered on a common theme, but this reflects the general rule in Scots heraldry that those bearing the same surname, whether related or not, are granted recognisably similar arms. It does not imply, as you suggest, that successive Lyons have accepted the existence of an unknown Chief."  A further explanation was given on 30 July 2008. "The Workman Manuscript describes a Thomson coat of arms as 'Thomson of that Ilk', the only place I believe, where such a designation occurs. Some later hand has added 'of Gourlabank' to this. Stodart (Scottish Arms) in the 19th century noted that these were the arms of 'Henry Thomson, Lyon King of Arms, 1504-12: he held the lands of Kellar, Farnyslaw, etc.., in the barony of Dirleton ....', but added his opinion that 'the designation of that ilk is complimentary', that is, I take it, intended to compliment or flatter Henry Thomson. I have just noticed further that J.H. Stevenson (Heraldry in Scotland, 1914) in his list of holders of the Office of Lord Lyon at the end of his second volume (supplied by Sir Francis Grant) designs Lyon Henry Thomson, 1496-1512 as 'of Kellour'."
    Notice how he apparently did additional research to correct my mistaken assumption about a central theme. Our American government officials could learn a lot from Lyon's courteous answers to my questions.
Tom

Allan Thomson

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Re: Henry Thomson of Killour – Lord Lyon King of Arms (1496 – 1512)
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2010, 02:25:42 PM »
Hi Tom

I think its logical to assume that the original Thomson arms were those of Henry Thomson - but it would be interesting to see some proof of this fact.  Stodart was a well known expert on Scottish arms - yet several hundred years separate Stodart from the 'Workman' manuscript so I wonder what evidence he had that these were the arms of Henry Thomson or was it an assumption on his part..?

My earlier posts tried to identify his location 'Keillour' and from what I can find this seems to be near Perth - however your most recent post appears to indicate a location within the Barony of Dirleton which seems to be in Edinburgh.  I had hoped that if we could pin down his location we might have better luck finding more information on this chap....

You are quite correct - the officials at the Court of the Lord Lyon are indeed very helpful. 

Allan Thomson

Stirling Thompson

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Re: Henry Thomson of Killour – Lord Lyon King of Arms (1496 – 1512)
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2010, 03:30:44 PM »
Allan, apparently there is a set of volumes originally published by the Scottish Record Society in 1945 that may have some genealogy info for Henry Thomson of Keillor. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear to have been digitized but perhaps you can locate it.

Court of the Lord Lyon: list of His Majesty's officers of arms and other officials with genealogical notes, 1318-1945
Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!
Stu

Mary

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Re: Henry Thomson of Killour – Lord Lyon King of Arms (1496 – 1512)
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2011, 04:12:22 PM »
NOTES AND QUERIES.

SECOND SERIES. —VOL. VI.
July - December 1858



LORD LYON KING-OF-ARMS.


(2°* S. v. 496.)

The following list of Lyon Heralds with additional information respecting them may not be unacceptable to A. S. A., and some of the readers of " N. & Q." :—

1. Sir William Cumyn was second son of William Cumyn of Culter and Inveralochy, an old cadet of the Earl of Buchan, and received from his father in 1483 the lands of Inveralochy, Aberdeenshire, on the narrative that William had taken his part in a family quarrel against his other sons Alexander (his heir) and James. He seems to have been a bustling personage, acted as macer from 1479 to 1494*; was a pursuivant in 1483, and in 1494 was appointed Marchmont Herald. As such he was knighted in 1507, and is designed October 25, 1518, " Lioune King-of-Armes."

2. Henry Thomson was Lyon either before or after Sir William Cumyn. In a notice early in the sixteenth century, mention is made of Christina Douglas, relict " Henrici Thomsone, Leonis Heraldi Regis Armorum."

* This office was of more importance in ancient times than of late, when, according to Pleydell (v. Gay Mannering) " one of the requisites to be a macer or officer in attendance upon our Supreme Court is that they shall be men of no knowledge."


Thomas Thompson

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Re: Henry Thomson of Killour – Lord Lyon King of Arms (1496 – 1512)
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2011, 06:20:44 PM »
Whee Thanks Allan
  I got more information than I expected.
Now I have to ask what is: "they shall be men of no knowledge" ?
 I have frequently had that label applied to me - probally well deserved.
Tom