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Clan Ewing: Heraldry


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The heraldic traditions of Clan Ewing go back at least to 1566, when the first Ewing Coat of Arms is recorded in the Workman Armorial. In the same year, one William Ewin (sic.) was summoned to attend the court of Mary Queen of Scots.

A particularly interesting feature of the shield is the flag which sits atop the chevron. In heraldic language, the chevron is said to be 'ensigned' - a mark of special favour granted by the sovereign. The Ewing arms are ensigned with the Ensign of Scotland, possibly denoting William Ewing's appointment as Bearer of the Ensign of Scotland. It is said that one of Queen Mary's standard bearers was a William Ewing. It seems very likely that the ensignment of William's shield marks his appointment as the queen's standard bearer, and shows the flag he carried.

Ewing Coat of Arms from the Workman Armorial 1566
The earliest record of the Ewing Shield is somewhat crudely sketched in the Workman Armorial, 1566

According to one account, almost identical record of the arms was once to be seen in the churchyard of Bonhill, Dumbartonshire, where it marked a grave dated 1600. The arms recorded in the Workman Armorial may reflect earlier Ewing shields which would not have been ensigned, but all Ewing Coats of Arms today include the ensignment.

As an armigerous clan, Clan Ewing has no official crest, but all evidence indicates that the traditional crest was the same as that used by the Ewings of Craigtoun and Keppoch, which is shown below.

Ewing Clan Crest - Motto: AUDACITER

The crest badge of Ewing of Craigtoun and Keppoch (above) is described as a demi-lion rampant with a star in its dexter (or right) paw; Motto: AUDACITER.

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