CALLING ALL BELLS AND BELL DESCENDANTS
YOUR CLAN NEEDS YOUR HELP
Your voice is needed to demonstrate that Clan Bell is worthy of taking its rightful place among the many time-honored clans of Scotland. Clan Bell is referred to as an armigerous clan, or in simplest terms a clan without a current chief. William “Redcloak” Bell, who died approximately 1628, is generally recognized as the last chief of our name. The chiefship of Clan Bell has remained dormant since then.
To aid in the public’s understanding of these matters, the Court of the Lord Lyon published a Guidance Note pertaining to the chiefship of a clan or family. We encourage Bells everywhere to give this document a thorough read and familiarize themselves with the processes involved.
In June 2019, a Bell Family Convention was held in Gretna Green, Scotland, to select a candidate for the position of commander. Having an individual named to this position is an important step for Clan Bell as it would help us remedy the dormancy of our clan chiefship. Unfortunately, that 2019 meeting did not produce a suitable outcome.
In his subsequent decision on the matter, the Lord Lyon opted not to name a commander and stated several reasons why he felt Clan Bell was not yet ready for this step, namely that insufficient canvassing was performed in relation to the appointment of a commander or who that commander should be. Only 16 votes were cast, with 13 of them coming from North America. As part of his decision, the Lord Lyon deferred selection of a commander for the Name of Bell for a period of three years. After that, the clan could resubmit its petition for consideration.
Clan Bell Society began operations shortly after this with our launch in January 2020. Since that time we have been working to bring Bells together, raise the profile of our clan, and lay down a solid foundation upon which to build. Now entering our fourth year, we have taken great strides toward this end, but there is much work yet to be done.
While the prescribed three-year deferment has passed, holding another Bell Family Convention at this time would be premature. If Clan Bell wants to be successful in its next attempt, we simply must get the word out. In a recent meeting, the board members of Clan Bell Society discussed this topic and a plan was devised to better reach Bells all around the world. As part of our outreach efforts, we need to first establish majority agreement on the need for a commander. Once we have established agreement in significant numbers, we can move forward with the process of selecting a suitable candidate for the position of commander, and then submit this individual’s credentials to the Court of the Lord Lyon for approval. A commander’s duties would include identifying all viable candidates for the chiefship and aiding in the preparation of their petitions to the Court of the Lord Lyon, as well as representing Clan Bell’s interests at the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs. If no viable candidate for chief can be identified within a prescribed period of time, there is a pathway for the commander to become chief, but this would also require approval from the Court of the Lord Lyon.
THIS IS WHERE YOU COME IN. Wherever you are in this world, Clan Bell Society wants to hear from you. Kindly send us a note below with your name, general location, email address, and thoughts on this endeavor. Your voice matters and will go a long way toward achieving this goal.
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