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Armorial bearings or Arms of a family or organization are generally known as crests and also as coats of arms, they also take form as banners, buntings and as decorations on shields. Some of these arms a reproduced below for our research purpose's. For use of Scottish arms and crests to comply with Scottish Law see What Are My Arms?

The Bethune / Beaton family in Scotland became hereditary rulers of Balfour, the ruling Lord was known as Bethune of Balfour and later Beaton of Balfour, (as the Beaton form of the name became more popular). The family was also represented in Pitlochy and Coppeldrie or Capeldray in Fife by the family of Archibold Bethune, father of Peter Bethune, who became doctor to the Lord's of the Isles.

Other branches of the family were septs of the clans were they lived, that is they swore allegiance to the clan chiefs and supported them in maintaining the community. The Bethunes (Beatons) of Skye were associated with the McDonalds and McLeods some of the tartans are reproduced below, see Tartans.

Crests, shields and Arms

Bethune Early Coat of Arms
Early Bethune Coat of Arms 
Shield of Baudewyn de Betune,
Lord of the manor of Skipton in Craven, brother of the Count of Flanders and Count of Albemarle and Ile; who married Hawisa, Countess D'Albermarle
Shield of Robert de Betune,
bore, or, a lyon rampant sable;
Appears on the Camden Roll.
Shield of John de Betune,
bore, azure, on a chief argent a lion passant gules; Appears on the Dering Roll.
Beton, Beaton, Betton, and Betune, a lion, passant, sa. Fortis in arduis. pl. 48, cr. 8. 
Bethune of Blebo, Scotland,
an otter, issuing, argant. Debonnair. Pl. 9, cr. 9.
Bethune, Scotland, 
an otter's head, couped, ppr. Urbane. Pl. 126, cr. 14.
Bethune of Nethertarvit,
a physician's quadrangular cap, sa. Resolutio cauta. pl. 39, cr. 3.

Tartans of the Clans that Bethune and Beaton are Sept

Balfour Tartan  Balfour Tartan
McLeod of Skye Clan Tartan
Bethune named Tartan, a variation of the McBeth Tartan. Bethune Name Tartan
Coming soon, Tartan of Mcdonald of Sleat

Dictionary Of Heraldry (A short guide)

Argent The metal silver (a. ar. or arg.), usually represented by the colour white.
Bendy  A shield divided bendwise into an even number of divisions.
Couped Cutt off cleanly.
Gules The colour red.
Passant  Used to describe beasts who are walking along, the dexter fore paw raised.
Rampant  Used to describe beasts who have the left hind leg on the ground, whilst the others wave fiecely in the air.

 Some Books On Scottish Heraldry

"Scots Heraldry", 2nd edition (Oliver and Boyd, Edinburgh: 1956).Sir Thomas Innes of Learney

"Scots Heraldry", revised by Malcolm Innes of Edingight (Johnston & Bacon, Edinburgh: 1978). Sir Thomas Innes of Learney

"An Ordinary of Scottish Arms, Volume I", ed. Sir James Balfour Paul, 2nd edition (William Green and Sons, Edinburgh: 1908).

"An Ordinary of Scottish Arms, Volume II" (Edinburgh: 1977).

"Fairbairn's Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland (Charles E. Tuttle Company Inc., Rutland, Vermont: 1974)". James Fairbairn

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Copyright 1999 Clifford P. Bethune 

The material, images and information contained in these pages is copyright of Clifford. P. Bethune 

Reproduction for personnel and research purposes is allowable. For other use's please contact the author. 

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