Edinburgh, 28 August 2002; The Lord Lyon King
of Arms, having considered the foregoing Petition, with the Productions
and Proof adduced, (Primo) for aught yet seen OFFICIALLY RECOGNISES the
petitioner as James Edward Moir MacArthur of that Ilk, Chief of the Name
and Arms of the Honourable Clan Arthur; (Secundo) for aught yet seen
MAINTAINS, RATIFIES and CONFIRMS unto the Petitioner and his heirs,
Chiefs of the Honourable Clan Arthur, the following Ensigns Armorial,
Videlicet:-Azure, three antique crowns Or. Above the Shield is
placed an Helm befitting his degree with a Mantling Azure doubled Or,
and on a Wreath of the Liveries is set for Crest two branches of bay in
orle Proper, and in an Escrol over the same this Motto "FIDE ET OPERA".
And for his Standard three and a half metres long having Azure a St.
Andrews Cross Argent in the hoist, of two tracts Azure and Or with his
Crest in the first and third compartments and a sprig of Wild Thyme
Proper in the second compartment with this Slogan "EISD O EISD" in
letters Or on two traverse bands Gules; and for Pinsel 135 centimetres
long and 60 centimetres high Argent, bearing upon a Wreath of his
Liveries Azure and Or, two branches of bay in orle Proper within a strap
of leather Proper buckled and embellished Or inscribed with the Motto
"FIDE ET OPERA" in letters of the Field all within a circlet Or,
fimbriated Azure, bearing his title "MACARTHUR OF THAT ILK" in letters
Sable, and in the fly on an Escrol Sable surmounting a aprig of Wild
Thyme Proper, being the proper plant badge of the Clan Arthur, the
Slogan "EISD O EISD" in letters of the Field; (Tertio) GRANTS WARRANT to
the Lyon Clerk to prepare an Instrument of Confirmation and to
matriculate the foresaid Ensigns Amorial in the Public Register of All
Arms and Bearings in Scotland; and (Quarto) CONFIRMS the Petitioner as
Representer of the Noble and Ancient House of MacArthur of Milton in the
Ensigns Armorial matriculated in the Public Register of All Arms and
Bearings in Scotland of date 25 August 1991 (Volume 70, Folio 110).
Note by Lord Lyon King of Arms in Petition of
James Edward Moir MacArthur of Milton
There are two issues to be determined in this case.
The first is the question of whether the Arthurs or MacArthurs are to be
treated as a clan in their own right. The second is whether it has been
established that the Petitioner is the rightful heir to be confirmed as
The Petition draws on many years of genealogical
research undertaken by a number of different people. A considerable
amount of research was done by Niall 10th Duke of Argyll in
the 1930s. Then more recently research was done by Mrs. English and by
Ian MacArthur. Arthur MacArthur of Philadelphia contributed a
considerable amount of research and then in 1986 Hugh Peskett was
commissioned to complete the search for a Chief. This Petition is based
on Mr. Pesketts work in which he acknowledges particularly the value of
the research done by Duke Niall of Argyll.
The Petition is based on following the descent of the
MacArthurs of Tirivadich and Innistrynich. Clan Arthur is accepted as
one of the oldest Clans of Argyll both by Sir Iain Moncreiffe of that
Ilk in "The Highland Clans" and by Frank Adam and Sir Thomas Innes of
Learney in "The Clans, Septs and Regiments of the Scottish Highlands".
The research done by Mr. Peskett shows that the MacArthurs of Tirivadich
are well documented from 1494 and that there is reason to believe that
they were in a position of some importance from well before that date.
It is also clear they were using armorial seals from the 16th
century if not earlier. The evidence which has been presented confirms
the views expressed in "The Highland Clans" and in "The Clans, Septs and
Regiments of the Scottish Highlands" and I accept that the MacArthurs
should be treated as a clan under the name Clan Arthur.
The research done by Duke Niall, which Mr. Peskett
has verified using original sources rather than the Dukes transcripts
wherever possible, traces the MacArthurs of Tirivadich from John
MacArthur of Tirivadich who was alive in 1495 down nine generations
through John MacArthurs eldest grandson Duncan MacArthur of Tirivadich
and down three generations through John MacArthurs younger
grandchildren Niall MacArthur of Querlane and John MacArthur of Drissaig.
Mr. Pesketts research has identified two further generations in the
main line, at which point this line becomes extinct. Duke Niall
identified four sons of Niall MacArthur of Querlane and Mr. Pesketts
research has found no further record of any descendants of any of these
four sons. I am asked to accept the assumption that no such descendants
exist. If there were any such descendants they would have a better claim
than the Petitioner whose descent is from John MacArthur of Drissaig.
Before considering the Petitioners own descent I
must eliminate the possibility of there being any descendants who have
not been found from Duncan MacArthur of Tirivadich or Niall MacArthur of
Querlane. To do this I am asked to apply the principle non
apparentibos ipsos non existentibus praesumuntur. This was applied
inter alia MacNab of MacNab (1957 SLT Lyon Court 2) and in
the Judgement given by Lord Normand on behalf of the Committee of
Privileges of the House of Lords in Viscountcy of Dudhope (1986 SLT (HL)
6). There His Lordship states "There must come a time when, despite all
uncertainties, the search for documents rigorously conducted will
probably discover all the available evidence. I do not say that the
research in this case has certainly discovered all the existing
evidence, but I think it would be surprising if any new evidence were to
be found." From the evidence which has been submitted I am satisfied
that there is no obvious further research which has not been explored.
This Petition was ordered to be advertised in the
Press and in the Clan Arthur Newsletter and while I have received
correspondence indicating the possibility of other claims being made, no
intimation of any competing claim has come forward within the time
allowed. I therefore consider that it is proper for me to apply the
non apparentibos principle in this case.
I turn now to the Petitioners descent. The
Petitioner was granted arms in 1991 and proved his genealogy at that
time back to Margaret MacArthur Moir who died about 1775. In 1775
Archibald MacArthur Stewart recorded Arms. He was a great nephew of
Margaret MacArthur Moir and his genealogy is recorded back to John
MacArthur of Milton who died about 1674. Mr. Pesketts research provides
the links to trace the genealogy of John MacArthur of Milton back to
John MacArthur of Drissaig. The Petitioners descent has thus been taken
back to John MacArthur of Drissaig.
Accordingly I am prepared to accept that, since no
other person with a better claim has come forward, the Petitioner is for
aught yet seen the present Representer of the MacArthurs of Tirivadich
and should therefore be accepted as Chief of Clan Arthur.
I will accordingly grant this Petition.