Alex MAXWELL FINDLATER
The original arms were based on Scottish arms, believed to have been used by the family, another branch which remained in Scotland using a similar design. They were granted in 1863 by Ulster King of Arms, to Alexander Findlater of Dublin and of the Slopes, Kingstown, to be borne by the descendants of his father, John Findlater, of Greenock, Renfrew, according to the laws of arms.
Findlater is a place-name in Banff, with a castle dating from before 1264, but no lineal relationship is known to the de Fynlaters, although the later family clearly originated from this area. In these arms, we find the stars, so common in Scottish arms of the North East, as particularly exemplified by the arms of Murray, Azure three stars Argent, and Sutherland, Gules three stars Or. Similar arms are Innes of that Ilk, Argent three stars Azure, and Brodie, Argent betwixt three stars Azure a chevron Gules. The Innes arms are Murray reversed and the introduction of a chevron into the Brodie arms suggests that they were an early cadet of Innes. In Scotland the chevron was generally used in this early period as a difference, as indeed was the fess.
The Eagle is a solar symbol, associated in ancient Greece with Zeus and in Roman times with military prowess and imperium. In Christian times it became associated with St John, for one of the beasts around the throne of God was like a flying eagle. Charlemagne adopted the eagle as a symbol of his position as Holy Roman Emperor.
This symbolism probably did not influence the Findlater arms, the design being most likely based on the known Brodie descent, with tinctures changed. The tinctures are probably not symbolic, but it is a possibility that the eagle might refer to the height of Findlater Castle.
For the matriculation Lyon required two differences, one for a second son, and one for a fourth son. The bordure Or is used in the Stodart system for a second son, and Lyon allowed a Maxwell saltire on the breast of the eagle, for the matriculant's grand-parents, Herbert Snowden and Evelyn Maxwell Findlater. Herbert was the sixth son, but fourth with issue.