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William Michael Irvine, Ph.D

Arms: Argent, three holly branches each consisting of as many leaves vert banded Gules, on a chief Azure three seagulls volant of the First, a bordure counter componv Azure and Argent.

Crest: Hallev's comet Proper


Granted: The Court of the Lord Lyon, 9th August 2005. Lyon Register, volume 86, folio 38

Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, Professor of Astronomy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst

Arms were granted in memory of my great grandfather, William Irvine, who was born in Scotland in 1841 and emigrated to America in 1855, settling in Salt Lake City. His shield omits the border illustrated on mine (above). The three holly branches are the traditional lowland Irvine arms, said to date from William de Irwyn or Irvine who was armour-bearer to King Robert the Bruce and who sheltered with the King under a holly tree. The blue chief with the seagulls represents both William�s emigration by sea, and the �miracle of the seagulls� in which the early settlers in Utah were saved from a plague of grasshoppers; his motto, Terram Novam Vento [borne by the wind to a new land], �answers� the traditional Irvine motto, haud ullis labentia ventis [not swayed by any wind] and seemed appropriate for the emigrant!

I am descended through William's fifth son Alexander Ray Irvine (my grandfather). Normally his Coat-of-Arms (if he had matriculated it) would be differenced from William's by a "bordure azure" [blue border]. However, because of the blue chief on William�s shield, the Lord Lyon decided to replace the bordure azure with a �bordure counter componv Azure and Argent� [double border of alternating blue and silver]. As the eldest son of his eldest son, my matriculated Arms include this border.

I requested a crest as part of my Arms;

Hallev's comet Proper, which the Lord Lyon tells me is the first comet on a Scottish Coat-of-Arms(!), seemed appropriate for an astronomer who has studied Halley�s and other comets. In fact, I was one of the 3 leaders for radio astronomy (Discipline Specialists) for the International Halley Watch, which planned, encouraged, collected, and cataloged observations of Halley�s Comet during its last appearance.

For a motto I decided to �answer� William�s with "TERRAS NOVAS EXPLORANTES" [exploring new lands], hopefully representative of anyone trying to learn or do new things, including an astronomer.

This rendition of the Arms is by David Allan
lawson-arms.jpg Kerr.jpg irvine-w-large.jpg inglis.jpg Henderson.jpg
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