In 2012, David Sellar, then Lord Lyon, stated in a letter to a purchaser of a souvenir plot:

"I have no official remit or governance over the sale of souvenir plots."

This is contrary to the popular belief that Lord Lyon is an authority on the matter.

What is the Role of Lord Lyon?

The office of Lord Lyon has existed since the 14th century.

The Lord Lyon is the King of Arms in Scotland. He is the sole Judge of the Court of the Lord Lyon - which has its very own Procurator Fiscal -  and has jurisdiction over heraldic business in Scotland.  It has been a criminal offence to use unauthorised Arms in Scotland since 1592, when an Act of the Scottish Parliament was passed.

In 1672 a further Act of the Scottish Parliament was passed, which authorised the creation of the Public Register of Arms in Scotland. 

Officers of the Court of Lord Lyon are occasionally consulted on matters of heraldry and genealogy by members of the public.

Peculiar Citings

The Lord Lyon has been erroneously cited as a relevant source of information on the sale of souvenir plots on numerous occasions.  Solicitors, newspapers, land reform activists, magazines and others have mistakenly referred to Lord Lyon as "Scotland's authority on titles", when he is no such thing.

This is all the more strange given Lord Lyon's public representations, which are almost exclusively confined to forcing small football clubs and other associations to change their badge.

It is little wonder that the office of Lord Lyon - a part-time post with a salary of between £56000k and £78500 per year, has been called into question.  

The 16th Century law it enforces is archaic, and it was designed to prevent 'unworthy and improper' people from displaying Arms.