|Clan Buchanan Society International Inc.
|The Arms of the Buchanan|
|This is a very informal discussion of the progression of the Arms of Buchanan Chiefs.
The earliest references to Arms for the Buchanans consisted of three boars heads. A boars head often indicated hospitality, I assume in the form of a roasted boar (head and all) on the table. These early references are reflected by the three boar's heads on the Shield of the Clan Buchanan Society International, Inc. as is displayed on the home page of this web site.
The Arms changed around 1420 to that of the Rampant Lion or Royal Standard. This was as a result of the marriage of Sir Walter Buchanan (12th Buchanan) to Isobel Stewart, daughter of Murdoch Stewart, Duke of Albany and Regent of Scotland. When Murdoch was executed by James I, the Buchanans lost their closest claim to the throne of Scotland and in acknowledgment of that loss changed the color of the lion to black.
Soon thereafter, the exploits of Sir Alexander Buchanan (Walter's brother) earned for the Buchanans the Clan Badge or Crest we display to this day. Sir Alexander was in France with a corps of Scottish soldiers to aid the French King Charles in a war against the English King Henry IV. At the battle of Beuge in 1421, Alexander drove his lance thru the left eye and skull of the Duke of Clarence who also happened to be Henry's son and heir. Alexander then lifted the Duke's crown or jeweled encrusted cap above his head in victory and signaled the defeat of the English. The upraised hand holding aloft a ducal cap in victory is worn with pride by Buchanan's around the world.
There are some who believe that the French King was so grateful to Alexander that he granted the Buchanans the use of the double tressure flory counterflory around the Black Rampant Lion resulting in an Arms that is identical to the Royal Standard of Scotland with the exception that instead of red on gold it is black on gold. Claude Buchanan (CBSI Herald at Large) has pointed out however, that it wasn't for another 200 years - the 1600's - that the double tressure flory counterflory first appears in a Buchanan Coat of Arms. It would seem odd that the Buchanans would wait that long to display such an honor, casting serious doubt on that myth.
The final touch may have been added to the Arms in 1681 when the last Chieftain of the Clan, John Buchanan died without successors and the Buchanan estates had to be sold to satisfy his debts. The Black Rampant Lion now is seen shedding tears lamenting the loss of the Chieftain and lands.
For a very comprehensive history of the Heraldry of the Buchanans go to Claude Buchanan's incredible web site: Heraldry of the Clan Buchanan
|Early Buchanan Seals may have appeared similar to this one.|
|The earliest appearance of the Lion in the Buchanan Arms was after the marriage of Walter Buchanan to Isobel Stewart a member of the Scottish Royal Family. Originally it was probably red. This was changed to black after 1425 to mourn the death of Isobel's father, Duke of Albany. With his death the Buchanan's one claim to the throne of Scotland was lost.|
|The Clan Badge of the Buchanans: a ducal cap raised in victory celebrates Sir Alexander Buchanan's victory over the Duke of Clarence at the Battle of Beuge in France.
The motto: Clarior Hinc Honos = Brighter the Honor Hence
Another well known motto of the Buchanans is
Audaces Juvo= I Help the Brave.
|The double tressure flory and counter flory was added to the Arms in the 1600's probably by John Buchanan of that Ilk. There are some who believe it was awarded by King Charles of France after Sir Alexander's heroic deeds at the Battle of Beuge but this is most likely a myth.|
|The complete Heraldic Achievement (Coat of Arms) of John Buchanan of that Ilk. John was the last Laird of the Clan Buchanan and died in 1681. This rendering beautifully incorporates all the elements of the Buchanan Arms, Badge/Crest and Motto. It was John Buchanan who probably added the double tressure flory counter-flory to a Buchanan Coat of Arms for the first time.
(Courtesy Claude Buchanan)
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