Robert Watt, the first Chief Herald of Canada and now Rideau Herald Emeritus, will be visiting Australia on a family holiday in February of this year. After a little badgering, Mr Watt has agreed to take some time out of his busy schedule in order to address a meeting of members of our Society and other interested parties in Melbourne on the evening of Monday 13 February 2017.
Mr Watt will speak on the topic of “Watts and the oak tree”, which is based on a paper he presented at the XXXII International Congress of Genealogical and Heraldic Sciences in Glasgow last year.
The paper explored all the arms on record in the Court of the Lord Lyon, both in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings and in documents preceding 1672, which were borne by individuals of the surname Watt. The majority of these feature some version of the Oak tree, often Vert, often rising from a mount Vert.
One of those armigers was John Brown Watt, a Member of the Legislative Council in New South Wales, whose arms were granted by Lyon in 1895. He had numerous descendants in both male and female lines, and some of them are still living in Australia.
The aim of the paper was to discover, by using these records and supplementing them with documents in the Scottish National Library, whether any reason for linking this surname to the tree can be found and to what degree, if any, the bearers of these arms were related in blood.
In 2005 we had the pleasure of hosting a lecture in Sydney by Robert Watt in which he gave a thorough and fascinating overview of the establishment of the Canadian Heraldic Authority in 1988, with numerous examples of arms granted since that time. A transcript of the lecture, with a supplementary volume containing all the illustrations of arms referred to in that lecture, were published as Heraldry News #39 and #39a, copies of which are available for purchase.
Details of the lecture in Melbourne are as follow:
Date: Monday 13 February 2017
Time: Doors open 6:00PM, lecture commences at 6:20PM
Location: Meeting Room
East Melbourne Library
122 George St
Entry is by way of gold coin donation, and bookings are essential as space is limited. Please contact the Secretary of The Australian Heraldry Society to make a booking, either by e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone (voice or text message) on 0431 701 055. Please RSVP by Saturday 11 February 2017.