Proposed Coat of Arms for James Brown MacLea

You can view the proposed coat of arms below. Special thanks to Anthony Maxwell for the artwork, as well as his and others' comments on the proposed design.

The top left would be the arms of James, which would be inherited undifferenced by my father, Robert D. MacLea, his first son Robert, and Robert's son Patrick, in turn.

The top right is a proposed difference for my own arms. They would be identical in the quartering, but would be "quarterly indented" to provide a difference for the second son.

On the bottom is the actual granted arms of the Clan Chief of MacLea, the Baron Livingstone. (No ownership of those arms is implied.)

The differences between the shields of all three (the Crests will be quite different), is all in the fourth quarter (lower right).

The "Fourth Or, in chief a salmon naiant Proper, in base three bars wavy Azure" has been replaced with "Fourth parted perr fess wavy Or and Azure a sparrowhawk volante Sable in chief, a salmon naiant Proper with a gemmed ring in the mouth."

The revised fourth quarter will allude to our ancestor, James, as a "sparrowhawk" (a reference for a jeweller, because the jeweller's anvil is known as a sparrowhawk, as well as to James' blacksmith forebears who also used an anvil) flying over the water (to America), and also to the time the family spent in Glasgow (the salmon with the gemmed ring in its mouth is the symbol of Glasgow). This is quite clever, but retains a distinctive "MacLea look."

The second and third quarters being the same is a unique MacLea arms characteristic--indicating their role as the inheritors of the authority of St. Moluag as his "coarbs" and the bearers of his ancient staff. The Scottish lion in the first quarter is an indicator of descent from the Kingdom of Scottish Dalriada.

Of course, as I stated in the article on coats of arms in Scotland, these arms need to be approved by the Lord Lyon and should only be considered a proposal. He is ultimate arbiter of heraldry in Scotland and his opinions may be quite different. But with the Clan Chief on the same page, as well as an agent like heraldic artist Anthony Maxwell, the odds of the proposal being approved improve dramatically.

Here are the arms.

Proposed Arms for James Brown McLea and his rightful descendants