The church and the highlands



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method of differing arms at pleasure by the voluntary addition of the crescent, mullet, martlet, etc., is not recognised in Scotland.

These, however, we repeat, can be but secondary considerations where the Celtic population of Scotland is concerned. It is true that in our secondary capacity as Scotsmen, we may take a legitimate interest in Scottish heraldry, which, how­ever much corrupted by foreign influences and arts, must necessarily appeal to us, so long as it remains a part of the existing system. Among ourselves, however, the institution of nobility and the forma­tion of a body of heraldic rules or laws can 'be referred to a period of the highest antiquity. " I am obliged to mention it as the singular glory of the Irish nation " (says the Irish historian, Keating) " that their Milesian ancestors had so great a veneration, and valued themselves so much upon the nobility of their extract, that they preserved their pedigrees and genealogies with the greatest care; and it is evident that in former times there were alone 200 principal annalists and historians in the kingdom, who


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