THE LORDSHIP & BARONY OF KILMARNOCK
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BLAZON: Per saltire Argent and Azure, in chief a hind's head couped at the neck Proper, in base four gouttes Sable one, two and one, in each flank an antique crown Or, an enarched chief chequy Vert and Or.
Above the Shield, behind which is draped a feudo-baronial mantle Gules doubled of silk Argent, fur-edged of miniver and collar Ermine and fastened on the right shoulder by five spherical buttons Or, is placed a chapeau Gules furred Ermine, thereon an Helm with a Mantling Azure doubled Argent, and on a Wreath of the Liveries is set for Crest a greylag goose rising wings elevated and addorsed Proper, and in an Escrol over the same this Motto "AD MELIORA INSURGO".
For the Badge (as Baron of Kilmarnock) two concentric circles, the outer having at each of the four cardinal points the horn of a trumpet pointing outwards Gules, which Badge is depicted in the first and third compartments and the said Crest in the centre compartment upon a Standard three and a half metres in length of four tracts Azure and Argent, split at the end, having the said Arms in the hoist, with the Motto "AD MELIORA INSURGO" in letters Argent upon two transverse bands Gules.
The Ayre Coat of Arms shown above was adapted from original artwork rendered in gouache by heraldic artist Natalie Yegorov.
THE ARMS EXPLAINED
The Armorials shown (left) were granted to EUR ING David Ayre, Baron of Kilmarnock, by the Lord Lyon King of Arms and recorded on the 83rd page of the 85th volume of the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland. These Arms have the distinction of being 'the first of the name' ie. the first Arms ever granted to the AYRE name in Scotland.
The motto Escrol is positioned above the crest in Scottish Armorials. The motto 'AD MELIORA INSURGO' translates as 'I RISE TO GREATER THINGS'. The basis of the motto is aspiration; to convey a sense of striving to improve.
The Crest is a wild greylag goose. Their migration symbolises the advantages of flight and the benefits of travel, and to associate the Crest with the motto, the goose is shown 'rising' ie. with wings elevated.
The Helm is a 'barrel' helm, garnished with gold as befitting a Scottish feudal Baron, and is placed on a Chapeau. Behind the Shield is draped a feudo-baronial mantle fastening on the right shoulder with five spherical buttons. These are the baronial additaments.
The Shield is divided with the upper enarched area chequered in green and gold as a reference to the original holder of the barony, Thomas Boyd of Kilmarnock. The lower area is divided 'in saltire'.
In the top quadrant David's maternal Scottish family of Hindman is represented by the hind's head. The antique crowns in the side quadrants emphasise the great importance of the Lordship & Barony of Kilmarnock in Scottish history. In the lower quadrant four oil drops symbolise the armiger's professional engineering career in Scotland's North Sea oil & gas industry.
The Badge (shown above) is described in the blazon, and easily recognised on the Standard by the community. Although not part of the Coat of Arms, it is the subject of a Grant by the Heraldic Authorities in Scotland and England. An impression of the Badge is used on sealing wax.
THE THREE AND THE FIVE POINT LABEL
In Scotland, by the Law of Arms, every male user of Arms is required to have a variation appropriate to his position in the family. The Baron's son may use his father's Arms debruised by a three-point label indicating that he is the eldest son and heir apparent. His daughter, whilst she is unmarried, may display the Arms on a lozenge (a diamond shape) or on an oval-like version of the shield, without a label. Both of these are shown on the Letters Patent.
The Baron's grandson Jake, born 11th June 2008, has Arms debruised of a five-point label during his grandfather's lifetime indicating his position as the elder son of the eldest son. The label changes when the bearer of the plain coat dies and his eldest son succeeds.
The Baroness of Kilmarnock, the Baron's consort, uses the Baron's Armorials.
THE BARONIAL STANDARD
Until the Appointed Day (Nov. 2004) of the Abolition of Feudal Tenure Etc. (Scotland) Act 2000, Standards were assigned by Lord Lyon to feudal barons in respect of a following, in this case the community within the Lordship & Barony of Kilmarnock. The Standard is a long narrow tapering flag used to mark the assembly point of the following, but does not necessarily denote the presence of the owner (as his personal banner does). The Standard (shown flying below) is three and a half metres long, split at the end into two and rounded. It was beautifully made in the USA by Caberdancer Graphic Design Inc.
Wace (c.1115-c.1183) says 'The barons had gonfanons, the knights had pennons'. A gonfanon (formerly vexillum) hangs from a crossbar, and is shown below (at right).
DIGITISED BOOK INFORMATION
1 - The Project Gutenberg EBook of 'A Complete Guide to Heraldry' by Arthur Charles Fox-Davies can be read here.
2 - The 'Petition for Arms' Information Leaflet No.4 (.pdf) from The Court Of The Lord Lyon can be read or saved here.