Coats of arms in the Halliday and Holliday families
Arthur Radburn Online since 2008
Scottish and Irish arms
June 2008 / June 2016
Scottish and Irish arms : gallery
Please note that these arms are not freely available to anyone of Scottish, English or Irish descent who happens to be named Halliday or Holliday. Only the heraldry authorities of those countries can determine who has a rightful claim to them.
In Scotland, the heraldry authority is the Lord Lyon King of Arms in Edinburgh. It's illegal to use a coat of arms in Scotland unless it has been registered (matriculated) by the Lord Lyon.
You'll find a broader overview, placing these arms and sources in context, here.
Halyday These arms might be blazoned as : Per pale, dexter per fess Azure and Argent, in chief a saltire Argent and in base a crescent Gules; sinister Argent a sword palewise Gules.
This illustration comes from Stodart's Scottish Arms (1881). Stodart reproduced it from Workman's Manuscript, a roll of arms compiled c1565, which is preserved in the Lyon Office in Edinburgh. Which Halyday bore the arms is not indicated.
Source : SSA Vol 1
Halliday of Canonbie, Dumfries A sword erect and in chief three crescents.
According to Stodart (1881), "in the churchyard of Canonbie there is a Halliday coat cut in stone a sword erect and in chief three crescents." He gives no further details. As neither Balfour Paul's Ordinary of Scottish Arms (1893) nor Gayre's Roll of Scottish Arms (1969) mentions these arms, perhaps they predate the opening of the official Lyon Register in 1672 and were never officially recorded.
Source : SSA Vol 2
Sir John Halliday (d 1619) of Tulliebole, Kinross-shire On a chevron between three cinquefoils, a crescent.
These arms, impaled with those of Oliphant, are carved above the door of Tulliebole Castle, with the date 2 April 1608. As the initials IH are next to these arms, and HO next to the Oliphant arms, they clearly refer to Sir John and his wife Helen Oliphant. By 1619, however, Sir John had apparently adopted different arms (see below).
Sources : RCAHMS, SSA Vol 2
Halliday of Tulliebole, Kinross-shire Argent, a sword paleways the pommel within a crescent in base all Gules, and on a canton Azure a saltire Argent. Crest : A boar's head couped Argent armed Or. Motto : Virtute Parta.
Nisbet's System of Heraldry (1816) gives these as the arms, crest and motto of "Halliday of Tillybole". He names Pont's Alphabetical Collection (c1620) as his source.
A report of Sir John Halliday's funeral in 1619 suggests that he used these arms, in which case he must have assumed them some time after 1608 (see above). Stodart (1881) quotes 17th-century heralds Stacie and Porteous as saying that the canton of the Scottish flag was "ane reward" for the Tulliebole family.
John Halliday (2009) suggests that the canton may have alluded to the Halliday family's patronage of the St Andrew's Chapel in St Michael's Church in Dumfries.
Sources : BEH Vol 4, BGA 1847, BGA 1884*, JH, NSH, SSA Vol 2
* incorrectly blazoned
John Halliday (1682-1756) of Castlemains, Kirkcudbright According to Holliday's Brief History and Genealogy of the Holliday Family (2004), the Halliday of Tulliebole arms are carved on John's gravestone in St Cuthbert's churchyard in Kirkcudbright.
Source : HBHG
Robert Douglas Halliday of Coldbrook, Isle of St Croix Argent, a sword erect in pale proper hilted and pommeled Or the pommel within a crescent in base Gules, on a dexter canton Azure a saltire of the first. Crest : A boar's head couped Argent armed Or. Motto : Virtute Parta.
Robert Douglas Halliday was recognised as heir male of the family, and matriculated these arms at the Lyon Office on 28 March 1775. They were differenced (personalised) for him by changing the colour of the sword from red to 'proper', i.e. real-life colours.
Which Isle of St Croix is this the one in Nova Scotia?
Sources : BPO, GRSA, SSA Vol 2
Major John Delap Halliday (1749-94) of Castledykes, Kirkcudbright, later of The Leasowes, Shropshire Argent a sword erected in pale proper hilted and pommeled Or the last within a crescent in base Gules, a chief Ermine, and a dexter canton Azure charged with a saltire of the field. Crest : A dexter arm armed, couped below the shoulder proper flexed at the elbow grasping a dagger both proper the hilt and pommel Or and distilling drops of blood from the point. Motto : Merito.
John Delap Halliday matriculated these arms, crest, and motto, at the Lyon Office on 8 May 1779. The crest and motto appear to have been derived from the Delap family arms, his mother, Elizabeth Delap, being an heraldic heiress. It has been suggested that the ermine chief was derived from the Moncrieffe arms, to represent an ancestress of that name.
John's bookplate shows that he quartered his arms with the Delap arms (Argent, an eagle displayed Sable). His first bookplate showed the crest and motto which he had matriculated, but a later bookplate had the boar's head crest and the motto 'Virtute Parta' instead.
John's brother Francis Delap Halliday (1758-94) also used a bookplate showing John's arms quartered with Delap, with the boar's head crest and the same motto. This seems irregular, unless the terms of John's matriculation specifically provided for his brother to share the differenced arms.
Other bookplates belonging to John Delap's grandsons Francis Augustus Halliday (1811-72) and George Richard Halliday (1815-85) and some of their descendants show the same quartered arms. As they evidently lived outside Scotland, they followed English practice rather than Scottish practice, which would have required each of them to matriculate a differenced version of the arms.
For some reason, Francis Augustus' grandson General Sir Lewis Halliday VC (1870-1966) omitted the ermine chief from the arms.
Sources : AH, BEH Vol 2*, BGA 1847*, BGA 1884, BPO,
GRSA, HBHG, OWIB, RB, RBH Vol 1*
* incorrectly blazoned
Dame Henrietta Halliday Argent, a sword erected in pale proper hilted and pommeled Or the last within a crescent in base Gules, on a dexter canton Azure a saltire of the field charged with a star Gules. Crest : A boar's head couped proper. Motto : Virtute Parta.
Dame Henrietta Halliday matriculated these arms, crest, and motto at the Lyon Office on 3 February 1785.
Who was she? Today 'dame' is the female equivalent of a knight, but in the 18th century it seems to have been used as a form of address for ladies of high social status.
Sources : BPO, GRSA
'Halliday' Or(?), a sword paleways the pommel within a crescent in base all Gules.
These arms, labeled simply 'Halliday', are displayed at Sir Walter Scott's former home, Atherstone House, Melrose, Roxburghshire. Their origin is obscure, and the accuracy is open to question : the field appears to be gold (unless it's silver paint that has discoloured), and there is no canton. The connection may have been through Sir Andrew Halliday, who was a friend of Sir Walter Scott.
Source : JH
Dr William David Holliday (b 1949) of Dallas, Texas Argent, a sword erect in pale proper hilted and pommelled Or the pommel within a crescent in base Gules; a chief invected Gules charged with a martlet Or, in a canton Azure a saltire of the field. Crest : A boar's head couped Or charged with a martlet Gules. Motto : Virtute Parta.
Dr William David Holliday matriculated these arms, crest and motto at the Lyon Office on 16 November 2006. The matriculation is reported to have been deregistered on 27 June 2012.
Source : HS, LEM
Anthony Halliday Argent, a sword erect in pale Sable hilted and pommelled Or the pommel within a crescent in base Gules, on a dexter canton Azure a saltire Argent. Crest : A boar's head couped Argent and armed Or. Motto : Virtute Parta.
Anthony Halliday matriculated these arms, crest and motto at the Lyon Office in 2012.
Source : AH
Dr Alexander Henry Haliday (1728-1802) of Belfast According to the published catalogue of the Franks collection of bookplates in the British Museum, Alexander Haliday of Belfast used an armorial bookplate in 1753. Holliday (2004) confirms that it displayed the Halliday of Tulliebole arms.
This would accord with the confirmation of those arms to Haliday's great-nephew and namesake 105 years later. It's also possible that the 'Robert Haliday' bookplate depicting these arms which Holliday (2004) attributes to Robert Douglas Halliday may actually have belonged to Alexander's brother Robert, who was the grandfather of Alexander junior.
The catalogue of the Franks collection of bookplates also lists armorial bookplates used by a William Haliday and Daniel Haliday MD MRIA. Were they Dr William Haliday (1763-1836) and his son Dr Daniel (1798-1836), who was a Member of the Royal Irish Academy? One of William's bookplates depicts only the boar's head crest. Although the surname is spelled 'Haliday' on the bookplate, Holliday (2004) attributes it to William Holliday (d 1780) of Virginia USA.
Sources : HBHG, HFB Vol 2, HSKD
Alexander Henry Haliday (1806-70) of Carmoney, Co Antrim Argent, a sword palewise the pommel within a crescent in base Gules; on a canton Azure a St Andrew's cross Argent. Crest : A boar's head couped Argent langued and tusked Or. Motto : Virtute Parta.
On 21 July 1858, Ulster King of Arms confirmed these arms to Alexander Henry Haliday of Carmoney, Co Antrim, and other descendants of his father William (who had been the nephew and heir of Alexander Henry Haliday MD of Belfast). Apparently, William's other descendants were his younger son Lt Col (later Lt Gen) William Robert Haliday (d 1878) and his daughter Hortense Haliday.
As this was a confirmation and not an original grant, the arms must have been in use by the family for at least three generations over at least one hundred years. This is borne out by the armorial bookplate which Alexander's great-uncle and namesake had used in 1753.
Sources : BGA 1884, NLI
Thomas Halliday (1761-1840) of Ewell, Surrey Ermine, a sword in pale proper the hilt within a crescent in base Gules; a canton Azure charged with a saltire of the first.
According to Jewer's Wells Cathedral (1892), these were Thomas's arms. He was the son of Dr Matthew Halliday (1732-1809) of Lochbroom, Dumfriesshire, who had a distinguished medical career in Russia. Thomas's sons, Sir Frederick Halliday (1806-1901) and Lt Gen John Halliday (1822-1917), had distinguished careers in Bengal.
Clearly, the arms are a variant of the Halliday of Tulliebole arms, but what is their source? They are not listed by Balfour Paul or Gayre, whose books were compiled from the official Lyon Register. Nor are they listed in Rylands' Grantees of Arms, which covers College of Arms grants up to 1898.
Source : JWC
Sir Andrew Halliday (1781-1839) Ermine, a sword in pale point upwards proper pommel and hilt in Gold between a mural crown in chief Or, a Crescent in base Gules, and two wreaths of laurel in fess Vert tied Gules; a canton Azure thereon a saltire Argent. Crest : A boar's head couped Argent surmounting a sword and a staff entwined by a serpent in saltire all proper.
Although he came from Dumfries, Sir Andrew Halliday was granted these arms by the College of Arms in England in 1823. They are clearly based on the Halliday of Tulliebole arms.
Sir Andrew was a distinguished army surgeon who served in the Napoleonic War, which would no doubt explain the military symbols (the laurel wreaths, the mural crown, and the sword in the crest) and the medical symbol (the staff entwined of a serpent). The crest is carved on Sir Andrew's gravestone in St Michael's churchyard in Dumfries.
Sources : BC Vol 2*, BGA 1847, BGA 1884, JH, LUDOS, RGA Vol 2
* incorrect drawing
William Halliday Halliday (1828-98) of Glenthorne, Devonshire According to Harrison's The Armorial and Genealogical Roll of the High Sheriffs for the Counties in England and Wales 1882-3 (1883), he used the undifferenced Halliday of Tulliebole arms. The book shows what appears to be a bookplate displaying the arms. William Halliday Halliday né Cosway was the son of Sir William Cosway and Elizabeth Halliday (a descendant of John Halliday of Tulliebole). According to Harrison, who no doubt got his information from William, he "assumed the name and arms of Halliday" in 1872. This was by means of a Royal Licence, but the notice published in the London Gazette refers only to the surname and not to the arms. Nor is Halliday listed in Rylands' Grantees of Arms, which covers College of Arms grants and Royal Licences up to 1898. It would appear, then, that he assumed the arms without authority.
Source : HHS, LG, RGA Vol 2
Major Ruthven Halliday (1908-??) of Chicklade, Wiltshire Argent, a sword erect proper between three crescents Gules, on a canton Azure a saltire couped of the field. Crest : A boar's head couped Argent semé of crescents Gules armed Or. Motto : Virtute Parta.
Burke's Landed Gentry (1969) gives these as the arms of Major Ruthven Halliday of Wales, formerly of Chicklade in Wiltshire, England. He was of Scottish ancestry : according to the published pedigree, a Halliday from Dumfries had acquired the manor of Chicklade in the 19th century.
Although they are based on the Halliday of Tulliebole arms, these arms appear to have been granted by the College of Arms, perhaps in the 1950s or '60s.
Source : BLG 1969
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