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Our Motto

On this page, we briefly touch upon what a motto is, the motto of the Watsons of Saughton, and how we've modified it to create a motto for the Clan Watson Society.

What is a Motto?

Many coats of arms will feature a motto, which is typically shown written on a scroll of parchment. The motto is often a war cry, family slogan, or other inspiring phrase that has some meaning to the bearer of the arms.

What is the Watson Motto?

There is no one motto that can be considered the common "property" of all Watsons; however, when we look at coats of arms of various Watsons we do see some similarities. The Watson mottos, with a few exceptions, are based on the verb to flourish, and one motto in particular can be associated with the Watsons of Saughtons and other Watsons that we believe were close to them: Insperata Floruit, or "Flourished Unexpectedly".

James Watson of Saughton Motto, 1818
William Watson Motto, 1880
John Watson of Nielsland Motto, 1871
George Watson Taylor Motto, 1815
James Watson of Langley House Motto, 1881
James Miller Heron Watson Motto, 1912
James Miller Heron Watson Motto, 1913

John Philip Wood, an 18th-Century historian who knew the family and conducted research on their behalf, has proposed that the Watsons of Saughton are descended from the earlier Watsons of Cranstoun Riddell; more precisely, he postulates that the main branch of the Watsons of Riddell died out and that the Watsons of Saughton are descended from a junior sibling of a head of the Cranstoun Riddell family. His theory, therefore, is that although the main Cranstoun Riddell family died out, this minor branch became the very successful family of the Watsons of Saughton. Given that the death of the head of a family was often terminal for the continuation of the family line, he proposes that the motto Insperata Floruit was adopted by the Watsons as a recognition of the family once again becoming prominent despite the odds being stacked against them.

We feel that adopting the motto "flourished unexpectedly" sets the wrong tone, as we are in the process of building a new society for all of the name of Watson. Stating that we will flourish unexpectedly implies that there is an expectation of failure from Day 1!

What is The Clan Watson Society Motto?

Having said that, we do still wish to recognise the Watsons of Saughton as being a key part of the story of the Watson name, and so we do want the Clan Watson Society motto to reflect that of the chiefs of the name. As such, we have modified the motto to be a much more inspiring fit for us, our aims and our ambitions.

Our motto is:

"Long May We Flourish!"

...and to answer the obvious question, we won't be using the Latin version as the Latin translation is dum floremus - enough said!

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