Elie and Earlsferry

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Incorporated into: 1975 North East Fife District Council (1996 Fife Area Council)

Arms (crest) of Elie and Earlsferry

Official blazon

Quarterly: 1st and 4th, Gules, on the waves of the sea in base undy Argent and Azure, an ancient one-masted ship in full sail Or, flying the Scottish pennon, and the mainsail charged with (the arms of Macduff, Earl of Fife) a lion rampant of the field, armed and langued of the Third; 2nd and 3rd, Vert, an ancient one-masted ship in full sail, oars in action, Or, flying the Scottish pennon, and on the mainsail the arms of Scott of Grangemuir, viz.: Or, on a bend Azure, between two crescents of the field, a mullet Argent, a bordure engrailed Gules.

Above the Shield is placed a Burghal coronet and in an Escrol below the Shield this Motto "Unitas Alit Comitatem" (1589 & 1598).


The arms were granted on July 22, 1930.

Elie and Earlsferry were united to form a single Burgh in 1929. Elie was created a Burgh of Barony in favour of William Scott of Grangemuir in 1598-99, while Earlsferry received from King James VI in 1589 a Charter which confirmed that it had been a free Burgh "beyond the memory of man". The united Burgh has been accepted as a Royal Burgh.

The arms recall in the 1st and 4th quarters Earlsferry, the older Burgh: the red and gold colours of Fife are used and the ship with Macduff's arms on its sail alludes to "The Earl's Ferry" ("Passagium Comitis") between the town and North Berwick which was for a time one of the main routes from the Lothians to Fife. The name of the Burgh and of the Ferry is traditionally associated with the assistance given to Macduff, Earl of Fife, by local fishermen who ferried him over to East Lothian when he was fleeing from Macbeth, the Mormaer of Moray, who succeeded Duncan I as King of Scotland (I040-I057).

The 2nd and 3rd quarters are for Elie, also by the sea, and repeat the ship motif; in this case the ship's sail bears the arms of Scott of Grangemuir.

The Latin motto "Unity fosters courtesy" is followed by the founda­tion dates of the two Burghs.


Seal of Elie as used in the 1890s
Arms (crest) of Elie and Earlsferry

Seal of Earlsferry as used in the 1890s

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Literature: Porteous, 1906; Urquhart, 1974