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Robert Douglas Watt

North Vancouver, British Columbia
Grant of Supporters
April 15, 2009
Vol. V, p. 435

Click on each image to enlarge. The blazon and symbolism for each element will accompany the enlarged image.



Quarterly first and fourth the Arms of Robert Douglas Watt as registered by the Chief Herald of Canada on the 15th day of February, 2008, second and third the Arms of Robert Douglas Watt as registered by the Chief Herald of Canada on the 15th day of June, 2001;


A lymphad Azure embellished and with pennons Or its sail Argent charged with a martlet Azure;


Out of a circlet of maple leaves Gules and roses Argent barbed and seeded proper, a lamb rampant winged Argent nimbed Or unguled Gules supporting a gonfanon Argent its cross Gules and streamers pendant Gules, Argent and Gules each fringed, the staff furnished and headed by a cross formy Or;






Two sea-cougars Gules queued and winged Argent each gorged with a coronet erablé Argent jewelled Gules, issuant from barry wavy Argent and Azure, and set before a grassy mount Vert strewn with maple seeds Or;



The arms in the first and fourth quarters are those of Mr. Watt’s father, George Cuthill Watt. These Canadian arms are based on a Scottish grant of 1987, to one of his father’s first cousins, David Brand Watt III. They feature an oak tree on a green mount, a symbol long associated in Scottish heraldry with people having the surname Watt. In the chief, the book between the wheat sheaves represents Mr. Watt’s great-grandfather, David Brand Watt I, a schoolmaster, who was the son and grandson of James and John Watt, bakers in Dunfermline, Fife. The border differences these arms from those of David Brand Watt III.

The arms in the second and third quarters are those granted to Mr. Watt from the English Kings of Arms in 1983. They blend references to British Columbia and his career. The books symbolize academic pursuits and occupations in various fields of applied history. The chevron and chevronnels represent the mountains, Hollyburn and Grouse, at the bases of which he has lived. They also refer more widely to the landscape of much of British Columbia, where he has lived most of his life. Mr. Watt has always been fascinated by the big cat of the province, the cougar, and shows it here in red, one of Canada’s national colours, appearing on white, the other national colour.


In the first crest, from his father, the lymphad and the martlet are borrowed from the arms of West Vancouver, where Mr. Watt and his father grew up.


In the second crest, the floral chaplet combines the national floral emblems of Canada, the maple leaf, and England, the rose, to symbolize his marriage with Alison Logan, a native-born Londoner. They were married in the Temple Church in 1973 and the symbols of the two Inns of Court that care for the Church are Pegasus and the Agnus Dei, hence the winged Agnus Dei.


FIRM FAITH AND BRIGHT HOPE is a phrase borrowed from a letter sent in 1911 from Mr. Watt’s great-grandfather David Brand Watt I to his fourth son, his grandfather, John Turner Watt, when John was taking up the duties as an elder in the Presbyterian Church in North Vancouver.


ROSE AND MAPLE LEAF ENTWINE FOREVER is a celebration of Mr. Watt’s marriage, a reference to the sinister crest, and an adaption from the famous patriotic song by Alexander Muir, “The Maple Leaf Forever”, referring to his love of Canadian history and his maternal descent from French Huguenot Loyalists who left New York in exile on HMS Hope in 1783.


These symbolize land, sea and air, the components that Mr. Watt worked with and moved across and through during his term of service as Chief Herald of Canada. The coronet is that same one found in the Arms of Office of the Chief Herald of Canada. The maple seeds in the compartment signify both the growth potential of the Canadian Heraldic Authority of which he was the first Chief Herald, and Mr. Watt’s immediate family: his wife, Alison; his two children, Michael and Catherine; and him.


Canada Gazette Information

The announcement of the Letters Patent was made on December 12, 2009, in Volume 143, page 3681 of the Canada Gazette.

Artist Information

Original concept of Robert D. Watt, Rideau Herald Emeritus, assisted by the heralds of the Canadian Heraldic Authority.

Cathy Bursey-Sabourin

Shirley Mangione

Recipient Information


View all Letters Patent for Robert Douglas Watt