Lord Lyon Relishes his Role in the Heraldry Jungle

The guest speaker at the Provincial Grand Lodge of Renfrewshire East Education Dinner on Thursday, 24th May, was Rev’d. Canon Joseph J. Morrow – the Rt.Hon. Lord Lyon King of Arms and Past Grand Master Mason.

The event took place in the premises of Lodge Inchinnan No.1405 and began with an excellent three-course dinner.

Bro. Joe – as he said he preferred to be addressed – then delighted his large audience with a fascinating account of the history of heraldry in Scotland and his role as the present Lord Lyon.

The Lord Lyon makes a point during his well-received speech at the PGLRE Education Dinner

The office of Lord Lyon, he told his audience, could be traced back to the early 1300s when heraldry was largely to do with marking on shields so that friends and foe could be recognised in the heat of battle.

Bro. Joe used a series of slides to show how heraldry had developed through the ages – particularly in regard to Freemasonry with recognisable symbols in the coats of arms of Grand Lodge, Provincial Grand Lodges and Daughter Lodges.

He also pointed out that Scotland was the last country in the world where heraldry is legally enforceable and that, as Lord Lyon, he sits as a judge in his own recognised court which deals among other things with the legal inheritance of titles.

In his speech – which included many anecdotes that had his audience laughing – he revealed that he had his own crown which he would wear at the next Coronation if he was still in the post.

He concluded by saying that there was currently more interest than ever in individual, civic and corporate coats of arms as people sought to establish their identity.

RWPGM, Bro. Neil Fraser, thanked Bro. Joe warmly for his enthralling speech. He also thanked Lodge Inchinnan for hosting the event, those who had worked hard to organise it and the Brethren for their attendance.