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The crest for Carmichael is a broken lance raised triumphantly. This is a reference to the Battle of Baugé on 22 March 1421, during the Hundred Years War, when a Scots force was fighting for the French against the English. During the battle, Sir John Carmichael rode at full force against the English commander Thomas of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Clarence (second son of King Henry IV), knocking the duke clean off his horse, although breaking his lance in the process. On the ground Clarence would be wounded in the face by Sir John Swinton and then Sir Alexander Buchanan finalled killed Clarence with his mace. Buchanan’s crest became a hand holding aloft Clarence’s coronet. This is the account of the battle from Walter Bower’s extensive Scoticronicon.
The battle of Bauge as depicted in Ies Vigiles de Charles VII, manuscrit de Martial d'Auvergne, vers 1484 from Wikimedia Commons.
The French motto ‘Tout Jour Prest’ or the older ‘Toujours Prest’ means ‘always ready’, ie, the Carmichaels are always ready to show such bravery. Both crest and motto are recorded in Nisbet’s 1722 System of Heraldry for the Earl of Hyndford, a titled created for the second Lord Carmichael.
MKP 21 October 2021