The MacGill Society USA

Arms of Viscount Oxfuird

Noel Cox
originally published in (Winter 2000) 75 New Zealand Armorist 4-5

Lord Oxfuird's heir, now the 13th viscount, lives in the United Kingdom, as did his lordship in later life. The current viscount, a nephew of Sir Donald, was educated at St Peter's School, Cambridge, and Wanganui Collegiate School.

The first viscount was a Lord of Session in 1629, one of the judges of the Scottish Court of Session, or High Court. He was a member of the Scottish Parliament from 1630, and of the Committee of the Estates in 1651. He was again a Lord of Sessions from 1661.

The title of Viscount Oxfuird was in abeyance since the death of the second viscount in 1705. Although the family was not extinct, no one individual could claim the exclusive right to it until 1977. Donald Makgill succeeded his father in the right to the title in 1926, though it was not until over fifty years later that he was able to persuade the Committee of Privileges of the House of Lords to admit his claim to the viscountcy. It was thereupon called out of abeyance, and Viscount Oxfuird took his seat in the House of Lords as twelfth Viscount Oxfuird

The armorial bearings of Viscount Oxfuird are Gules three martlets Argent.

The supporters are dexter, a horse at liberty Argent gorged with a viscount's coronet and thereto affixed a chain, maned and hooved Or. The sinister supporter is a bull Sable, hooved unguled, collared and chained Or. A horse at liberty is rampant, and chained, but the chain is unloosed. A bull with hooves ungules has hooves of a tincture of a different colour than the body, in this case Or on a Sable body.

The crest is a phoenix in flames Proper. In view of the revival of the title in 1977 this is a singularly appropriate crest.
Clan crest image (24K-gif)

 Clan Badge image
Clan Badge

The motto is Sine Fine. Translated as: "Without End" (also translated: "Always and Forever")



gules red
martlet or merion a mythical bird shared like a martin with feathers in place of its legs, the mark of a fourth son.
argent (arg.) the metal silver, shown as white in heraldic illustration

dexter the right-hand side of a shield viewed from the position of the person holding it
gorged encircled round the throat gorges a whirlpool
maned used of an animal when the mane is of a different colour from the body
hooved (hoofed) used to describe the colour of the hooves of an animal when different from the colour of the animal itself; cloven-footed animals are said to be unguled
Or Gold
sinister the left side of the shield
sable (sa.) black
unguled used of animals' hooves when they are coloured differently from the body
rampant used of an animal standing on its hind legs

Another definition of the Martlet:

Martlet, (fr. Merlette, possibly the diminutive of the merula, merle, or blackbird): a bird resembling a swallow, with thighs but no visible legs. They form a very common bearing, being found in early Rolls, and are as common in French arms in English. They may be of any tincture, even of ermine (see example under Crescent), and are very frequently represented in orle (q.v.). It is used also as the difference of the fourth son.
Yet another definition of the Martlet, also called a Swallow:
One who has been disposessed of land. Sign for fourth son.
In Ireland the Martlett was the bird of perpetual movement.

A rendition of the Martlet can be found in the McGill University Arms

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