James Balfour Paul

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The heraldic achievement of the Office of the Lord Lyon King of Arms.
The grave of James Balfour Paul, Dean Cemetery

Sir James Balfour Paul, KCVO (16 November 1846 – 15 September 1931) was the Lord Lyon King of Arms, the officer responsible for heraldry in Scotland, from 1890 until the end of 1926.

Sir James was the second son of the Rev. John Paul of St Cuthbert's Church, Edinburgh and his spouse Margaret Balfour, and was admitted an advocate in 1870. Thereafter he was Registrar of Friendly Societies (1879–1890), Treasurer of the Faculty of Advocates (1883–1902), appointed Lord Lyon King of Arms in 1890, and made a Knight Bachelor in 1900[1] and KCVO in 1926.[2]

He was also admitted an Esquire of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, and was a member of the Royal Societies and University (Edinburgh) Clubs. He resided at 30 Heriot Row, Edinburgh.

Sir James married, in 1872, Helen Margaret (d. 20 December 1929), daughter of John Nairne Forman of Staffa, WS. They had four children: three sons and a daughter. One son, John William, also became a heraldic officer, while another, Arthur Forman, became an architect and partner of Robert Rowand Anderson.

Sir James is buried with other family in Dean Cemetery in Edinburgh, in the north section immediately east of the opening in the wall between the original cemetery and the north extension.

Published works[edit]

  • The History of the Royal Company of Archers, William Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh, 1875
  • Heraldry in relation to Scottish History and Art, Edinburgh, 1890.
  • An Ordinary of Arms Contained in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland. 2nd edition, Edinburgh, 1903.
  • The Scots Peerage, compiled and edited by Balfour Paul.
  • Ancient Artillery, with some notes on Mons Meg in The Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, volume 50, 1915-1916, pps: 191-201.


  • Kelly's Handbook to the Titled, Landed, and Official Classes, 1903, London, p. 1156.
  1. ^ "New Year's Honours.". The Times. 1 January 1900. p. 9. 
  2. ^ "New Year's Honours.". The Times. 1 January 1926. p. 12. 

External links[edit]

Heraldic offices
Preceded by
George Burnett
Lord Lyon King of Arms
1890 – 1927
Succeeded by
George Sitwell Campbell Swinton