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Civic heraldry of the United Kingdom

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Incorporated into : 1975 North East Fife District Council (1996 Fife Area Council)

Arms (crest) of Pittenweem

Official blazon

Azure, in the sea a galley with her oars in action Argent, and therein standing the figure of Saint Adrian with long garments close girt, and a mitre on his head Proper, holding in his sinister hand a crosier Or; on the stern a flag disveloped Argent, charged with the Royal Arms of Scotland.

With this Word "Deo Duce".


The arms were granted on August 2, 1673.

Pittenweem was created de novo a Burgh of Barony of the Prior of Pitten­weem in 1526 and was made a Royal Burgh by King James V in 1541.

The arms repeat the device on an old seal of the Burgh of which a sixteenth­ century impression is on record. They show St. Adrian, the martyr of the May, on his hazardous sea journey to Scotland from Pannonia in Hungary. He established a community on the Isle of May, off the Fife coast, became a missionary to the Picts and is said to have been slain on the May about 870 during a Danish invasion.
St. Adrian is connected with Pittenweem, as a convent there was joined to the May community, and about the twelfth century monks from the May moved to Pittenweem to be nearer their property on the mainland. They built a priory and the town grew up around it.

The Latin motto "With God as leader" seems to refer to the Saint's journeys and his missionary enterprises.

seal of Pittenweem

Seal of the burgh as used in the 1890s

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Literature: Porteous, 1906; Urquhart, 1974