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The Colquhoun crest is a male red deer, a hart. Deer like these found on Scottish crests tend to have double meanings. On the one hand they are meant to reflect the qualities of the kindred and especially the chief: in this case the hart reflects the proud, noble, strong and brave virtues. On the other hard, deers used on crests are also a means to boast about the wealth and abundance of the family – in this case referring to the clan’s forests of Rossdhy and Glenmachome, held since the 1450s, and the great natural bounty of huntable animals there. This reflects the chief’s stewardship and command over the natural world.
The motto is ‘Si je puis’, meaning ‘if I can’. On the face of it this is less inspiring than most and seems somewhat non committal. The story behind it is much more compelling though. The story goes that King James I asked Sir John Colquhoun to capture Dumbarton Castle (which the Colquhouns would later become heritable governors of). Sir John’s response to the king’s order was to say ‘Si Je Puis’ (French being the language of court at the time, although Scots was becoming more prominent at this time). The fuller meaning of the motto would be ‘if I can, I will’.
Our older Carrick Clan Crest
MKP 30 June 2023