The Convention of  

 The Baronage of Scotland 


The Chapeau

The owner of a barony will be given a chapeau or cap of maintenance as part of his armorial achievement, if requested. This is described as "gules doubled ermine" for most barons in possession of the caput of the barony.

Some ancient baronies of Argyll and the Isles, originally owing allegiance to the Crown through the Lords of the Isles or other high nobles of the region, may historically have a chapeau lined with ermines (white tails on black).

An azure chapeau is appropriate for the heirs of ancient baronial families who are no longer owners of the estates.

Uniquely a chapeau Gules furred Vair was considered appropriate to the Livingstones of Bachuil. In 2003 the Lord Lyon found that the Bachuil title was not a feudal Barony and that vair, rather than ermine, was the appropriate fur for the chapeau of a barony held by the grace of God ( 'par le grace de Dieu').

The chapeau can be used in the same manner as a coronet. For instance it may be used on a visiting card, the flap of an envelope, to ensign the circlet of a crest badge as used on a bonnet or pinsel. It is used as a handsome motif on the ties of the Convention.

In the past this cap was usually put in place of the torque or torse upon which rests the crest where it looked very handsome (as shown here). But today’s custom is to squeeze the chapeau into the space directly above the shield and below the helmet. For anyone with artistic sensitivities this is an unfortunate place to put it, since it muddles and confuses the display, especially when the helm is half turned towards the observer. One solution is to display the arms alone, without the helm, and place the chapeau above, which is heraldically sound and most attractive, although it means that the crest is not part of the picture.