Registration number 20080329B
This certifies that the heraldic arms of Duncan Hamilton Neilson are registered as an original design and are described by the blazon below
2005 Court of the Lord Lyon (Neilson)
1885 - 1976 : Holder of the Degree of Master of Arts with Honours of the University of Glasgow; sometime Lieutenant, Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders during first World War; Minister of the United Free Church of Scotland.
These arms were granted by Lord Lyon to Duncan Hamilton Neilson (1885 – 1976) in memoriam and are borne by his daughter, Dunella Mackay Neilson, and his grandson, Robert Ian Neilson Gordon. In good Scots ‘clanish’ tradition, the design of these arms reflects those previously granted to others of the name.
The main elements (a field party per chevron Argent and Or, in chief two sinister hands couped and erect Gules) are to be found in many Neilson arms and, in particular, Neilson of Craigcaffie – who claimed descent from Neil, earl of Carrick, husband of Margaret Stewart, who died in 1256. Sometime after 1314, the lands of Craigcaffie were granted by royal charter, to John, son of Neil Carrick, who took the name of Neilson as his patronymic, adding the word son to Neil, instead of the usual Gaelic prefix mac.
The feature in base (a torteau charged with a cinquefoil Ermine) refers to my grandfather’s Hamilton blood (and given name).
The crest of a paschal lamb passant holding a cross staff and banner of St Andrew Proper refers to his calling as Minister of the United Free Church of Scotland.
The motto again follows good Scottish practice, answering the motto of the MacNeils (of which the Neilsons are a recognised dependency). The MacNeil motto in the Gaelic is ‘Buaidh no Bàs’ meaning ‘Victory or Death’. For a clergyman, this has been recast as ‘Buaidh air Bàs’ – ‘Victory over death’.
Robert Ian Neilson Gordon