New Lord Lyon Appointed

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Chris Green
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New Lord Lyon Appointed

Postby Chris Green » 18 Jan 2014, 07:25

http://scottishgovernment.presscentre.com/News/New-Lord-Lyon-King-of-Arms-appointed-856.aspx

Googling Joe Morrow (or The Rev’d Canon Dr Joseph John Morrow, J.P., O.St.J, to be more accurate) elicits no direct connection with heraldry other than the statement that he "has been a student of heraldry for over thirty years". His other interests are clearly eclectic: not mentioned in the official announcement is his role as a Scottish Episcopal Church minister (he is Diocesan Chancellor of the Diocese of Brechin), his former position as Grand Master Mason of the Grand Lodge of Antient Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland and his political work as a Labour Party councillor in Dundee.

It will be interesting to learn what other Scottish "students of heraldry for over thirty years", not to mention the other members of the Court of the Lord Lyon, think of this appointment.
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Re: New Lord Lyon Appointed

Postby Martin Goldstraw » 18 Jan 2014, 15:38

He is well known in close Scottish heraldic circles and has long been a member of the Heraldry Society of Scotland. If I recall correctly he made a bid for election onto the HSS Committee at the last AGM (though I can't actually remember whether he was successful) so he appears to have made a move even as early as last spring to gain closer ties with Scots heraldry. We have to bear in mind that the primary consideration any interview panel would have required would be that of an experienced and qualified advocate/judge and he certainly has considerable legal and tribunal expertise. Although the successful candidate can amply demonstrate a considerable knowledge of heraldry, the appointment of Robin Orr Blair as the first part time Lyon in 2001 amply demonstrated that knowledge of heraldry was not required! Lyon Blair was simply a country solicitor and had no experience as a judge and even less knowledge of heraldry (none at all in fact); in short, he was out of his depth and had to rely far too heavily on Lyon Clerk. I believe that in the end the appointment made him ill. I don't believe that the new Lyon will be at all fazed with the requirements of the job but of course time will tell.
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Re: New Lord Lyon Appointed

Postby Chris Green » 18 Jan 2014, 15:46

If I recall correctly he made a bid for election onto the HSS Committee at the last AGM (though I can't actually remember whether he was successful)


He isn't mentioned among the officers of the HSS listed on their web-site.

Non-Scots (like me) - and many Scots too - should take time to read this page from the HSS web-site which explains the necessity for Lord Lyon to be experienced as a judge, rather than deeply learned in matters heraldic as Garter would be expected to be:

http://www.heraldry-scotland.co.uk/lyon-court.html
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Re: New Lord Lyon Appointed

Postby Martin Goldstraw » 18 Jan 2014, 15:52

Chris Green wrote:
If I recall correctly he made a bid for election onto the HSS Committee at the last AGM (though I can't actually remember whether he was successful)


He isn't mentioned among the officers of the HSS listed on their web-site.


Sadly, the HSS webiste isn't up to date and the list of Committe members is not accurate.
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Re: New Lord Lyon Appointed

Postby Martin Goldstraw » 18 Jan 2014, 15:59

Update: I am reliably informed by another longstanding Committee Member that the new Lyon was successful in gaining a place on the HSS Committee at the last AGM.
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Re: New Lord Lyon Appointed

Postby Ryan Shuflin » 20 Jan 2014, 23:24

Any idea if we should expect to see changes?

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Re: New Lord Lyon Appointed

Postby Chris Green » 21 Jan 2014, 07:12

Any idea if we should expect to see changes?

As the Reverend Doctor is a judge and a cleric by profession while his interest in heraldry might eventually have got him a Fellowship of the IAAH, I would guess that he is likely to treat legal precedents with great respect and therefore unlikely to make any innovations heraldically. More importantly, those with cases pending regarding the Chieftainship of Clans (such as Rob Strachan of Clan Strachan) will be looking very closely at his judicial history for any hints as to how he may handle their cases.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clan_Strachan
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