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Personal life and education
Elizabeth Roads is the daughter of Lt. Col James Bruce MC and his wife Mary Hope Sinclair. As evidenced by her coat of arms, Roads is an indeterminate cadet of King Robert the Bruce of Scotland. She was born in 1951 and educated at Lansdowne House, Edinburgh, Cambridgeshire College of Technology, the Study Centre for Fine Art in London and Edinburgh Napier University (LLB with distinction). She married Christopher Roads in 1983, and they have two sons Timothy and William and a daughter Emily.
Elizabeth Roads joined the staff of the Court of the Lord Lyon in 1975 and was appointed Lyon Clerk and Keeper of the Records in 1986 . In this position, she maintains, among other things, the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland. She was appointed Linlithgow Pursuivant of Arms Extraordinary in 1987 and became the first woman to be appointed a royal officer of arms. This was a temporary appointment, when she represented the Lord Lyon in Canada in the discussions that led to the establishment of the Canadian Heraldic Authority. Roads was appointed Carrick Pursuivant of Arms in Ordinary in 1992 and promoted to Snawdoun Herald of Arms in Ordinary in 2010. She was appointed to be Secretary of the Order of the Thistle in 2014.
As Elizabeth Bruce, Roads was a founder member of the Heraldry Society of Scotland in 1977. She was Chairman of that Society in the late 1990s and is now a Fellow of the Heraldry Society of Scotland and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Heraldry Society of Canada. She is an Academician of the Academie Internationale d'Heraldique and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, both honours in recognition of her heraldic expertise. She has published many articles and lectures regularly on heraldic and genealogical subjects.
Honours and appointments
- 1986: Lyon Clerk and Keeper of the Records
- 1986: Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland
- 1987: Linlithgow Pursuivant of Arms Extraordinary
- 1992: Carrick Pursuivant of Arms
- 1996: Fellow of the Heraldry Society of Scotland (Founding Member 1977, Chairman 1997–2000, Chairman of Heraldic Exhibition “Lions and Thistles” 1995)
- 1998–2011: Hon. Treasurer, Scottish Record Society
- 2003: Associate Member, L’Academie Internationale d’Heraldique
- 2004: Honorary Fellow of the Royal Heraldry Society of Canada
- 2007: Council Member, Scottish Records Association
- 2008: Assistant Secretary, Order of the Thistle
- 2008: Academician, L'Academie Internationale d'Heraldique
- 2010: Snawdoun Herald of Arms
- 2010-date: Chairman, Scottish Records Association
- 2013-date: President, Old Edinburgh Club
- 2013: Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries
- 2014: Secretary of the Order of the Thistle
Orders and Decorations
|Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order (LVO)||2012|
|Member of the Royal Victorian Order (MVO)||1990|
|Officer of the Order of St. John||1999|
|Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal||1977|
|Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal||2002|
|Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal||2012|
Coat of arms
Elizabeth Roads bears Arms appropriate to her maiden name of Bruce. The blazon of the arms is: Or a Saltire Gules on a Chief Gules a Pale Argent charged of a Cross engrailed Sable. . Above the shield is placed a crest which is blazoned: From a Wreath of Or and Gules a dexter Arm in armour embowed the hand proper grasping a broken Sceptre Gules. The motto is shown on a scroll over the crest and is “SIC FUIMUS”.
- Scottish field 134, Holmes McDougall, 1988, p. 17, "Mrs. Elizabeth Roads, Lyon Clerk at the Court of the Lord Lyon"