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Civic heraldry of the United Kingdom

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LAUDER (Burgh)

Incorporated into : 1975 Ettrick and Lauderdale (1996 Scottish Borders)

Coat of arms (crest) of Lauder

Official blazon

Or, the Blessed Virgin standing and holding the Holy Child all Proper.

Above the Shield is placed a mural crown suitable to a Royal Burgh and in an Escrol below the Shield is this Motto "Avito Jure".


The arms were officially granted on March 21, 1938.

Lauder is an ancient Burgh which may have been a Royal Burgh in the reign of King Robert I (1306-1329) or else a Burgh of Barony granted by the same King to his famous commander, Sir James Douglas.

The arms are based on the Burgh seal, which bore a representation of the Virgin and Child; there is a 1725 impression on record but the seal is obviously much older.

The gold field is the obvious choice if the Virgin and Child are to have their proper colours. The connection of the Virgin Mary with Lauder is not clear, as she does not seem to have been the patron saint of the town. It may, however, come from Dryburgh Abbey whose monks had the advowson of Lauder parish church until the Reformation and the Virgin and Child appear on several Abbey seals.
Alternatively, the connection may have something to do with the Hospital of Lauder (founded c. 1170), which appears to have been dedicated to the Virgin and to St. Leonard.

The Latin motto - "By ancestral right" - was adopted in 1938 and denotes that the arms have been used by Lauder for many centuries.

seal of Lauder

Seal of the burgh as used in the 1890s
Coat of arms (crest) of Lauder

The arms in the Coffee Hag albums +/- 1935

The arms are now used by the Lauderdale Community Council.

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Literature: Urquhart, 1974; Image from Lord Lyon's twitter account