Skip to main content

Full text of "The right to bear arms"

See other formats

Gc M.L 

1239399 ; 



3 1833 00837 0105 


THE ^ 


' Surely even those who affect the greatest contempt for 
Heraldry will admit that if Arms are to be borne at all, it 
should be according to the laws of Arms.' — Planch6. 

Second Edition, Revised and Enlargred 


ELLIOT STOCK, 62 Paternoster Row 





Preface .... 




The Origin and Meaning of Arms and 
Gentility. — The Rights and Prerogatives 
OF the Sovereign . . . , 





The Earl Marshal. . . • . 



The College and Officers of Arms . 




The Granting of Arms 




The Visitations 




Proof of the Existence of the Authority 
of the Crown and College of Arms at 
THE Present Date 




Armorial Law in Scotland 




Armorial Law in Ireland 



The Right to Bear Arms 



Foreign Arms 

. 203 


Popular Fallacies . 
Index .... 

. 208 
• 233 


Nowadays it is the fashion to proclaim oneself to 
be democratic. That is unfortunate, and, more- 
over, it is a piece of hypocrisy. For in very truth 
there are but few of those of gentle birth who 
are really either democratic or socialistic in their 
ideas, or rather in that innermost private set of 
ideas which they keep for their own especial 
comfort. Those who are not of gentle birth 
need not trouble themselves to use arms and 

Years ago a writer penned these lines : ' There 
is no subject more difficult to be dwelt on than 
that of honourable descent ; none on which the 
world are greater sceptics, none more offensive to 
them ; and yet there is no quality to which every 
one in his heart pays so great a respect.' 

As time goes on this dogmatic statement re- 
mains absolutely correct ; it might almost be said 
that the two concluding phrases really gain in 
weight and accuracy, day by day, the more that 

lO Preface 

the world outwardly condemns and ignores such 
a standpoint. 

I have been called to account for asserting the 
existence of ' caste ' in England. It does exist, 
and it seems idle not to recognise the fact. And 
yet the critics of the Press ignore it, or ridicule 
the suggestion. Many of our journalists are un- 
fortunately unacquainted with the class which 
exists by privilege, which claims, asserts, pos- 
sesses, and exercises privilege and its prerogatives. 
Outsiders are quick enough to grasp the fact, 
and a well-known American writer, Mr Julian 
Ralph, in an article on 'English Characteristics' 
in Harper's Magazine, tersely but truly sums the 
whole matter up thus : — 

* In England you can trace caste from the 
sorrowing Lady on the throne to the top-hat 
and long coat of the simplest gentleman in the 
West-End, or the same hat and short coat of 
the humblest clerk in the City. From top to 
bottom, the English love it all. Let no one 
humbug I my reader with the assertion (born 
of our republican wishes) that the lines of caste 
grow looser, or that monarchy is under a death- 
sentence in England. The youngest, most 
sheltered oak in that land is not as firmly 
rooted nor as sure of a long existence.' 

Now armory is, and always has been, the pre- 
rogative of the privileged class. Armorial bearings 
are not necessary to any man. They are but the 

Preface 1 1 

outward and visible sign of the technical rank of 
'gentility,' the lowest hereditary rank. And so 
long as the possession of arms is a matter of 
privilege (even though this privilege is no greater 
than is obtained by a payment to the Crown of 
the fees upon a patent of arms), so long will a 
certain (though it may be small) prestige attach 
to the possession of arms. The world always 
values anything to which prestige attaches, and 
the possession of which is in any way a matter 
of privilege. 

The following is merely one instance of the 
manner in which the unauthorised use of arms is 
slowly but surely taking effect in lessening the 
prestige of armory. At the beginning of this 
century every peer and every gentleman used 
his seal of arms in sealing a letter. This practice 
was followed almost without exception. Those 
who had no arms used wafers. A certain well- 
known character, at that period, sorted his letters 
in the following manner : — Those which bore seals 
of arms he opened himself, because they were 
likely to be from people of his own class ; those 
which were wafered he sent unopened to his agent, 
the probabilities being that they related to no more 
than business matters. When adhesive envelopes 
were introduced the use of armorial bearings on 
correspondence continued, and the upper classes 
had their stationery embossed with arms o r crests 

1 2 Preface 

And I think I am right in saying that this practice 
continued to be pretty generally recognised until 
about thirty years ago. Then came the era of 
that abominable advertisement, * What is your 
crest, and What is your motto ? Send name and 
county and three-and-sixpence, no charge if an 
order for stationery be given,' The natural result 
was that everybody could afford three-and-six- 
pence, and this advertisement was taken advantage 
of to an extent which it is almost impossible to 
realise. The privileged classes found their 
privilege of armory was being infringed by 
people who, it was notorious, could have no 
pretence to such privilege, and consequently the 
highest classes ceased to value it, or, at any rate, 
ceased to value that particular opportunity of 
displaying their right to the privilege. The 
result is that now one scarcely ever sees a crest 
or coat-of-arms upon the notepaper of those who, 
in slang phraseology, are members of * the 
smartest sets.' Peers still continue pretty 
generally to use their coronets, simply because 
the possession of a coronet is still recognised as 
a matter of privilege, and the very few of ancient 
ancestry who still possess * badges ' use these 
because it is now impossible to get a badge. 

In olden time a knowledge of heraldry and 
genealogy was a part of the ordinary education 
of every gentleman. Armory and sport were the 

Preface 1 3 

prerogatives of aristocracy, and it is curious in this 
respect to notice that these two accompaniments 
of birth were so intimately interwoven that 
' Porny,' ostensibly a dictionary of heraldic terms, 
contains many sporting words for which by no 
stretch of imagination or research can a place be 
found within the limits of armory. 

But nowadays things are otherwise. Not only 
does heraldry form no admitted part of one's 
education, but, on the one hand, some boast with 
gusto of a profound ignorance upon the subject ; 
some others think it necessary to apologise for 
any slight knowledge of it which they may possess. 
It is difficult to understand such a state of affairs. 
For armory is a subject which concerns every 
gentleman, and a subject with w^hich, sooner or 
later, somehow or other, every gentleman has to 
deal, even if his flirtation with the science be no 
greater than the engraving or the wearing of the 
signet ring upon his finger. 

At the end of the seventeenth century the 
powers of the Heralds to ruthlessly deface or 
destroy false armory to a great extent ceased to 
be exercised. The reasons of this cessation were 
political. If at that time, and coeval with the 
waning influence and importance of heraldry, the 
use of arms had then equivalently declined, no 
harm would have been done. The result would 
have been that armory, like chivalry, would by 

14 Preface 

now have been dead and would have passed away 
into the limbo of antiquity. One is tempted 
sometimes to wish that this had been the case. 
But it has not, and heraldry is now and still a 
living, breathing, actual reality, and never before 
within these realms has the use of armorial 
bearings been so widespread and so extensive. 

The average individual who ranks himself as, and 
is accounted by his neighbours to be, a gentleman 
by birth (I am not here employing the word in its 
Exeter Hall translation, but rather with the defi- 
nition which the term now colloquially carries), 
invariably has a crest or coat of arms upon his 
silver, his spoons and forks, perhaps on his china, 
on his bookplate, on his seal, on his carriages, his 
livery buttons, and his harness. In all prob- 
ability he armorially decorates the monument 
he erects to his father's memory. And yet whilst 
the whole or a part of his armorial bearings must 
catch his eye several times a day, he is content to 
trust the decision or control concerning them to 
the knowledge which he supposes to exist on the 
part of his tailor, his stationer, his jeweller, or his 
coach-painter. As a matter of fact, the ignorance 
of these sort of tradesmen on the point is colossal 
and profound. The average jeweller or coach- 
painter has no more knowledge of heraldry than 
one's greengrocer. It is leaning on a broken reed, 
indeed, to trust your heraldry to such a person. 

P7'eface i ^ 

Whilst it is hopeless to expect that a detailed 
acquaintance with the intricate laws of armory will 
ever again become universal, there are certain 
fundamental facts that require no great effort of 
memory to assimilate, and which it is desirable 
should be known by every gentleman. 

The use of arms is the assertion of one's gentility 
in the same manner that the use of a coronet of 
rank is the advertisement by the user of the fact 
that he is a Peer. Tell the average man this, 
and he will pooh-pooh it. But it remains a fact. 
Why does an upstart put a crest on his livery 
buttons and on his carriage ? Because he wishes 
to do as his betters do. Why do his betters do 
it ? Because their fathers did it before them, and 
they are glad enough to show the world that 
they had forefathers to copy,— forefathers who 
were gentlemen. Hundreds of men sneer at the 
whole thing, and say they don't care a button about 
arms. They generally use them all the same, and 
woe betide any one who questions their right to 
what they may display. I have nine threats of 
libel actions in my drawers at the moment for 
indicating that different people are using arms 
without a right thereto. And not one of the nine 
can show the vestige of a right. I am not quite 
sure whether the proportion of bogus arms in 
use is greatest amongst High Sheriffs, O.C.'s, 
Jubilee Knights, Fellows of the Society of Anti- 

1 6 Preface 

quaries, or City Aldermen. The proportion is 
about 50 per cent, bad, all round. Why do people 
object to have their arms described as bogus? 
Because every one knows that the chief glory and 
the great beauty of arms and crests are that they 
are both hereditary,— because in the frantic struggle 
to get into Society nine men out of ten will tell lie 
upon lie to prove that their fathers were not 
labourers or ' dans cette galere,' and will therefore 
use bogus arms in the vain endeavour to show 
that they and ' their people ' are not of the vulgar 
crowd. That is snobbery, rank, utter, and absolute. 
It takes a gentleman of birth and of ancestry to 
admit 'in Society' that his father swept a 
crossing for a living, or that his mother took 
in lodgers or washing. So we get back to the 
fact that the use of armorial bearings or of a 
coronet is merely the assertion or advertisement 
of gentility or Peerage rank. Every Peer uses his 
coronet, every pseudo-gentleman sports arms in 
some way or other. If it be snobbish to tell the 
world that you are a Peer or a gentleman, well, 
then, snobbery must be somewhat of an aristo- 
cratic failing. No one accuses a Peer of snobbery 
for using his coronet to show that he is ' My Lord.' 
Why, then, is a man a snob for using a coat of 
arms to show he is a gentleman ? The proudest 
title in the world is that of an English gentleman. 
Where is the snobbery in claiming it if a right to 

Preface 1 7 

it exists ? There are degrees of gentility of course, 
and ancient gentility is much more estimable than 
modern. But they are both gentility, the one 
taking precedence before the other. But better 
modern gentility, better even raw new gentility, 
if it be genuine, than a bogus claim to ancient 
ancestry. Manners have nothing to do with one's 
gentility. ' Manners maketh man! George IV. 
was the first gentleman in Europe, and no one 
ever accused him of good manners. Manners 
are assumed, just as the motto (' Pour y parvenir ') 
of the Manners family has been wittily translated 
to mean ' In order to obtain,' or ' For what 
you can get.' Gentility is merely hereditary rank, 
emanating, with all other rank, from the Crown, 
the sole fountain of honour. It is idle to make the 
word carry a host of meanings it was never in- 
tended to. Arms are the sign of the technical 
rank of gentility ; the use of arms is the advertise- 
ment of one's claim to that gentility. Arms mean 
nothing more. By coronet supporters and helmet 
can be indicated one's place in the scale of pre- 
cedence ; by adding arms for your wife you assert 
that she also is of gentle rank ; your quarterings 
show the other gentle families you represent ; 
difference marks will show your position in your own 
family (not a very important matter) ; augmenta- 
tions indicate the deeds of your ancestors which 
the Sovereign thought worthy of being held in 


1 8 Preface 

especial remembrance. By the use of a certain 
coat of arms, you assert your descent from the 
person to whom those arms were granted, con- 
firmed, or allowed. That is the beginning and end 
of armory. Why seek to make it mean more? 
Why garb it in falsehood till it becomes ridiculous ? 
Some will tell you an argent field means ' purity.' 
The purity extends no further than the whiteness 
of the shield. Purity and chastity are not 
hereditary— armorial bearings are. Nor does a 
crimson shield mean descent from Emperors. 
One can inherit a field of gules without any 
corollary of birth in the imperial purple. A bend 
does not indicate warrior ancestors, nor did this 
charge originate in the scarf of a military officer. 
It first occurred because an extra strip of wood 
across a shield was found to be a convenient way 
of adding stability to such an article. And after- 
wards somebody painted the strip of a different 
colour. And a painted strip across a shield no 
doubt was made use of long before military officers 
put a sash over their shoulders, or, indeed, many 
other clothes about their bodies. There is scarcely 
a heraldic charge that has not at some time 
or another had some fable or so-called ex- 
planation attached to it. The pity is that many 
of these puerilities are still believed. Small 
wonder, then, that armory is viewed with con- 
tempt by so many. But if armory be to you no 

Preface 19 

more than a mere subject of contempt, leave it 
alone ; don't abuse it by improper use. 

But if the display of armorial bearings is the 
assertion of gentility, is it not contemptibly 
snobbish to use arms when no gentility exists,— to 
steal the signs of another's gentility, and thereby 
assert to the world that you are of gentle birth 
when you are not; to proclaim yourself to be 
related to some noble family of your name, when 
even the name of your grandfather is perhaps 
unknown to you ? Yet this is done every day. 

Here is the origin of many of the arms and 
crests in use. A man who, as far as he himself 
knows, is of no ancestry, begins to rise in the 
Social Scale. He must do the same as his 
betters, so he starts a crest or coat of arms. He 
simply gets it put on his property by some 
tradesman with whom he is dealing. Either his 
tradesman selects it, or he chooses it himself over 
the counter out of a book of illustrations, all of 
which, by the way, already belong to other people. 
From one article it is transferred to another, till all 
his belongings are decorated with it. His son, one 
generation further away from 'the people,' asks 
about it. The father probably shuffles— he is 
ashamed to own it only originated in a trades- 
man's shop— and vaguely tells his son 'it came 
to him from his father,' or 'he didn't know 
much about it, but his people had used it,' or 

20 Preface 

some other such gorgeous fairy tale, garnished 
to suit the taste. So the son accepts, as one 
of his articles of faith, the divine belief in his 
own descent from gentle ancestors, for faith 
is the substance of things hoped for, and the 
evidence of things unseen. And he swears by 
all his little tin gods, and by the sacred ashes 
of his sainted forefathers, that the arms he 
uses are his by right, and one has to call his 
attention to the fact publicly in black and white 
before he can be even induced to make the least 
inquiry about the arms in question. That he 
doesn't know who his forefathers were or where 
may be their ashes are merely details. His son 
in his turn, it may be, does take a fleeting interest 
in the matter. There is usually an amateur 
herald in a family about every third generation. 
But he always starts his inquiries from the wrong 
end. He takes his own right to the arms for 
granted. When he finds that the arms were 
registered 250 years ago to some family, this family 
are at once claimed as ancestors. ' The arms are 
the same, you know ; we must be descended from 
them.' Prove to him that he is not, or that it is 
unlikely, what then does he do ? Spin you a sweet 
little story about missing registers, which perhaps 
you may believe, and perhaps not. I have been 
told of so many ' crucial ' parish registers that are 
missing that the wonder is there is a solitary one 

Preface 2 1 

left in the kingdom. Or he will swear his people 
were omitted at the Visitations through the 
stupidity of the Heralds, Probably they were 
respectable yeomen who knew better than to 
presume to bear arms — or he will tell you a story 
of a mesalliance, a Gretna Green marriage, and a 
disinheritance ; there have been more of such heirs 
disinherited than have ever existed to quarrel with 
their fathers. Or perhaps his ancestors dropped the 
use of arms through religious scruples (whilst even 
Quakers have accepted baronetcies, and been made 
Lords - Lieutenants) ; or else he will abuse the 
Heralds and Kings of Arms for granting his arms 
— HIS, if you please — to some other family 250 
years ago, which family were in no way related 
to his people. Wherefore he thinks the Heralds 
ought to be called to book. And all the time 
the whole thing is merely a colossal delusion, for 
it is quite possible he can't tell you even the 
name of his own great-grandfather. 

And there are dozens who will read and admit 
everything I have said. ' Oh yes — quite true, I've 
no doubt it exactly applies to my neighbour Smith,' 
and it will never dawn on them that they them- 
selves are in the same boat. A man's belief in his 
own right to bear arms, and in his own gentility, is 
absolute and profound. His father told him so. 
Therefore he must be a gentleman. He needs 
no more proof of his own gentility, or of his 

2 2 Pf^eface 

own right to bear arms, and though one might 
move mountains, the pity of it is that many 
will remain unconvinced of their errors to the 
day of their death. So I suppose I must go 
on preaching the gospel of true armory for yet 
a while longer. 




If one may be permitted to use an expression 
suitable to this utilitarian and commercial age, 
armorial bearings are the hall-mark of one's 
gentility. Nowadays it is somewhat difificult to 
get this subject treated seriously. It is a very 
prevalent fashion to sneer at the display of arms 
as snobbish and as antiquated, and, of course, 
following the example of the fox in the ancient 
parable, those who have no arms affect and pro- 

* In view of the correspondence in the Saturday Review and else- 
where challenging my premises, the following pages (which, in a 
very abbreviated form, have been partly published in the Genea- 
logical Magazine) have been written. I have no doubt that had 
they been written by an Officer of Arms, with access to the records 
at the College, the case could have been proved even yet more 
conclusively. My proofs are merely those to which, as an ordinary 
member of the outside public, I could obtain access at the Record 
Office, etc. 

24 The Right to Bear Arms 

claim an utter contempt for heraldry. People 
of this class would have us believe such an 
opinion to be universal. But in this country the 
use of arms (apart from any question of right 
to bear them) is purely voluntary. The Revenue 
authorities require that those who use arms shall 
pay an annual tax of one or two guineas, accord- 
ing to the manner of using. From this voluntary 
taxation the Revenue received during the year 
1899 the sum of ;^75,347. In addition, some 
thousands use arms or crests while successfully 
evading the tax. So that it is fairly evident that 
the estimation still placed upon arms by the 
general public is considerable. 

Arms are not a necessity ; consequently, as no 
one is compelled to use them, I have yet to learn of 
one single solitary position in life which neces- 
sitates the use of a personal coat of arms. A man 
can be born, can live, and can die perfectly happy 
and contented without a coat of arms, good or 
bad. There are millions who have done it. 
There are millions who will do it in the future. 

One of the most popular fallacies with regard to 
arms is the supposition that the tax which is paid 
annually by those who use armorial bearings 
confers a valid right to arms. It does nothing 
whatever of the kind. It is simply and solely a 
method of taxation, and of itself neither gives nor 
grants any tangible right to arms. I am quite 

Origin and Meaning of Arms, &c. 25 

aware that the wording of the form of receipt for 
the annual payments under this form of taxation 
can, by reason of the imperfect English in which it 
is expressed, be, perhaps, twisted into such read- 
ing ; but the status of the whole affair can be 
readily explained by reference to the somewhat 
analogous taxation of men-servants, guns, dogs, 
and game. By paying the taxes upon these 
matters you do no more than satisfy the taxation 
requirements of the Inland Revenue. You pay for 
your licence to use a gun, but that does not give 
you a gun, and all the dog licences in the world 
will not create a pup to your use. The right to the 
possession of either the dog or the gun must be 
obtained, usually by payment and from some other 
quarter. In the same way the payment for an 
annual licence upon a carriage does not make you 
the happy possessor of even the most humble 
conveyance, and even after the payment for a 
licence to employ a man-servant, you still have to 
make your terms with the individual and pay his 
wages. Up to the present the Inland Revenue 
authorities at Somerset House have not yet 
started an establishment for the supply of either 
carriages, dogs, guns, or game, but they neverthe- 
less exact the taxation which has been prescribed. 
In precisely the same manner, whilst they exact 
taxation for the use of armorial bearings, they do 
not supply them, and the payment of the taxation 

26 The Right to Bear Arms 

does not create a right of possession to that in- 
corporeal hereditament — a coat of arms. 

Many would have us to think that a coat of 
arms has no value and no meaning, and that there 
is no ownership in arms. An equally prevalent 
idea is that everybody has got a coat of arms, and 
that it is only a question of 'finding it' A 
more fallacious idea could hardly exist. Another 
mistaken idea is that anybody can assume a crest 
in the same haphazard manner in which one 
designs a monogram. 

Now this idea that crests are not hereditary and 
may be assumed at pleasure is very deep-rooted. 
Many will admit they have no right to arms, whilst 
vehemently asserting and maintaining a claim to a 
crest. Let me say at once and emphatically that 
such an idea is utterly incorrect. There are many 
coats of arms legally in existence to which no crests 
have ever been assigned, but there is not a solitary 
crest lawfully existing without its complementary 
coat of arms. Unless there be an undoubted right 
to arms, it is absolutely certain there can be no 
right to a crest. A crest is essentially but a part 
of a formal armorial achievement and cannot exist 

An equally foolish and much more prevalent 
idea is that every coat of arms commemorates 
some glorious achievement of some unfortunately 
forgotten ancestor. I daresay there are 50,000 

Origin and Meaning of Arms, &c. 27 

coats of arms in existence. I question if even 500 
are truly capable of such explanation. Arms, in 
ancient days, were used for purposes of distinction ; 
they were therefore a pun on a man's name or on 
the name of his lands, and were generally due to 
some such cause. 

Let me, if possible, make it clear what arms 
are, and whence comes authority to bear them. 

Many people trace the origin of armorial bear- 
ings to the Greeks, and one writer takes them 
back to the Chaldeans, because a Chaldean ex- 
ample exists of an eagle drawn in the form in 
which an eagle displayed is at present heraldically 
depicted. I am not concerned herein to discuss 
that or any kindred point. There is no doubt, of 
course, that shields have been decorated in some 
form or another from remote ages. Equally is it 
certain that tribes and individuals have used 
badges both for personal and tribal purposes. 
But in spite of all that has been written on one 
side and on the other, we are still without any 
definite evidence that such a thing as a coat of 
arms, in the sense we now understand the term, 
had any existence whatsoever at the time of the 
First Crusade. In the whole of the Bayeux 
tapestry there is no design which can be properly 
classed or considered as a coat of arms. To my 
mind, this definitely proves that there was no such 
thing as a coat of arms in existence at that time. 

28 The Ricrkt to Bear Arms 


Soon after this undoubtedly arms were in use, both 
on the Continent and in these countries ; in fact, 
their assumption appears to have been fairly coeval 
throughout the whole of Europe. There is little 
doubt that the Crusades exercised a vast influence 
both in forming the rules of armory and in stimu- 
lating the birth of the science. Apart from certain 
questions of technique, which vary according to 
the requirements and ideas prevalent in the 
different countries in former times, armory is 
much the same from one end of Europe to the 
other. There are many of its forms and rules, 
many of its terms, and practically all of its charges, 
identical in all countries, and this undoubtedly 
points to and almost incontrovertibly proves a 
common origin of heraldic law. 

* At all times and in all countries the condition 
of society has been one of inequality. The broadly- 
marked difference between the nobleman or gentle- 
man and the rest of the community is one of the 
most prominent features of mediaeval life, and the 
source from which the less abrupt gradations of 

* The wording of the following paragrapli being very similar to 
an extract from a well-known book, it may, perhaps, in the opinion 
of some, be considered that I should acknowledge the extract by 
quotation marks ; but a careful comparison will show that the 
quotation is by no means exact, so the responsibility remains my 
own. Where quotation marks are used, no alterations have been 
made. I think it well to make this explanation, as otherwise the 
odium attaching to ' X ' might be wrongly transferred to other 
writers whose books I have similarly laid under contribution in a 
slightly altered form. 

Origin and Meaning of Arms, &c. 29 

rank in modern society have been gradually de- 
veloped. According to feudal ideas, the whole 
land was, in the first instance, the property of the 
Sovereign, from whom it was held under the 
obligation of rendering stated military service, 
with or without the further obligation of attend- 
ance at his court and council. The immediate 
vassals of the Crown, who were in the first in- 
stance called Barons (as emphatically the King's 
i!ien\ enjoyed in some cases the office of Comes or 
Dux, and had vassals, who held their lands from 
them by a like military tenure, and with obliga- 
tions of attendance at the courts of their superiors 
similar to those by which the latter held their 
lands from the Sovereign. By a constitution of 
this kind, but with variations in detail, society 
was held together in most parts of Europe. 
The landholder was the nobleman or gentleman, 
and the smallest tenant of land held by military 
tenure participated in the privileges of nobility. 
The gentry of England had many privileges re- 
cognised by law. If a churl or peasant defamed 
the honour of a gentleman, the latter had his 
remedy in law ; but if one gentleman defamed 
another, the combat was allowed. For similar 
offences a gentleman was punishable with less 
severity than a churl, unless the crime were heresy, 
treason, or excessive contumacy. A churl might 
not challenge a gentleman to combat, quia con- 
ditiones inipares. 

30 The Right to Bear Arms 

Side by side with feudalism grew up the use of 
distinctive devices, by which on banner or shield 
the performers of military service were distin- 
guished. Like ^QJus imaginum of classic times, 
the right to bear insignia gentilitia became from 
the very evolution of heraldry the distinctive 
privilege of the nobly born. * Nobiles,' says Sir 
Edward Coke, * sunt qui arma gentilitia anteces- 
sorum suorum proferre possunt' To use the words 
of Camden : ' Nobiles dividuntur in minores et 
majores. Nobiles minores sunt equites aurati, 
armigeri, et qui vulgo generosi et gentlemen 
vocantur,' Or in the language of Sir James 
Lawrence {Nobility of the British Gentry, p. 3, 
4th edition, London, 1840): 'Any individual who 
distinguishes himself may be said to ennoble 
himself.' A prince judging an individual worthy 
of notice gave him patent letters of nobility. In 
these letters were blazoned the arms which were 
to distinguish his shield. By this shield he was to 
be known, or nobilis. ' A plebeian had no blazonry 
on his shield, because he was ignobilis, or unworthy 
of notice. . . . Hence arms are the criterion of 
nobility. Every nobleman, in the true meaning of 
the word, must have a shield of arms. Whoever 
has a shield of arms is a nobleman. In every 
country in Europe without exception a grant of 
arms (or letters of nobility) has conferred gentility 
on all the descendants' [in the male line]. 

Origin and Meaning of Arms, &c. 31 

Out of Great Britain, the term ' noble ' is still 
habitually used in its original sense ; and the 
prerogative of raising persons merely to ' noble ' 
rank is continually exercised by Continental Sove- 
reigns. Nearly every foreign grant of arms is in 
reality a grant of nobility, containing, inter alia, a 
gift of certain arms. This was formerly the case 
in England. The practice which has gradually 
established itself in England of restricting the 
words ' noble ' and ' nobility ' to members of the 
Peerage, whilst in itself incorrect, has also caused 
much confusion and misunderstanding to arise in 
the use and abuse of the word ' gentleman,' which, 
strictly speaking, is identical with, and only 
another form of, the word ' nobleman.' While the 
stricter meaning of the word is in a measure 
retained to the present day in the expression 
'gentleman by birth,' it has often come to be 
difficult for one who is not a genealogical expert 
to know who is or who is not a ' gentleman ' — i.e., 
a gentleman of coat-armour. The less abrupt 
gradation of ranks, and a mistaken ' courtesy ' 
adopted by society in general, have caused the 
word ' gentleman ' to be applied in an idiotic 
manner to any one whose education, profession, or 
perhaps whose income, raises him above the lower 
level of ordinary trade or menial service, or even to 
a man of polite and refined manners and ideas. 
Such an idea is absolutely wrong. I have myself 

32 The Right to Bear Anns 

heard and seen a drunken chimney-sweep come 
to blows in a public-house on being informed 
he was not a gentleman. Nothing a man can 
do or say can make him a gentleman without 
formal letters patent of gentility — in other words, 
without a grant of arms to himself or to his an- 
cestors, either near or far removed. And once 
the right to arms has been conferred, no action, 
good or bad, can remove that gentility, except a 
formal attainder from the Crown. Somebody once 
remarked that it is 'a pity some gentlemen 
are such blackguards.' — Quite so, but their black- 
guardly conduct does not remove their gentility, 
which is hereditary. 

Now, I am quite aware that the word ' gentle- 
man ' is at the present day wrongly used to carry a 
wider meaning. There is no necessity to write me 
long letters demonstrating the fact, and letters on 
the subject in the Press are equally unnecessary. I 
admit that the word colloquially is now used 
differently, but I say such a usage is wrong, ab 
initio, and all the wrongful use of the word that 
takes place cannot alter its true meaning. The 
following case in the Earl Marshal's court, which 
hung upon the definition of the word, conclusively 
proves my contention : — 

'• 2\st Nov. 1637. — W. Baker, gent., humbly 
sheweth that having some occasion of con- 
ferrence with Adam Spencer of Broughton 

Origin- and Meaning of Anns, &c. ^iZ 

under the Bleane, co. Cant., on or about 28th 
July last, the said Adam did in most base and 
opprobrious tearmes abuse your petitioner, 
calling him a base, lying fellow, etc., etc. The 
defendant pleaded that Baker is noe Gentle- 
man, and soe not capable of redresse in this 
court. Le Neve, Clarenceux, is directed to 
examine the point raised, and having done so, 
declared as touching the gentry of Wilham 
Baker, that Robert Cooke, Clarenceux King of 
Arms, did make a declaration loth May 1573, 
under his hand and scale of office, that George 
Baker of London, gent., sonne of Christopher 
Baker of Tenterden, sonne of J. Baker of the 
same place, sonne of Simon Baker of Fever- 
sham, CO. Cant., was a bearer of tokens of 
honour, and did allow and confirm to the said 
George Baker and to his posterity, and to the 
posterity of Christopher Baker, these arms, etc., 
etc. And further, Le Neve has received proof 
that the petitioner, William Baker, is the son of 
William Baker of Kingsdowne, co. Cant., who 
was the brother of George Baker, and son of 
Christopher aforesaid.' The judgment is not 
stated. (The original Confirmation of Arms 
by Cooke, loth May 1573, may now be seen 
in the British Museum. Genealogist for 1889, 
p. 242). 

In those times, to say that a man was ' no gentle- 
man ' was understood to imply that he had no 
right to bear arms — the badge and proof of the 
social rank of a gentleman — and such a statement 
was a real injury and insult. It is almost im- 


34 The Right to Bear Arms 

possible to place oneself into the mode of feeling 
which obtained in the seventeenth century and 
earlier ; the rank of gentleman {nobilis) in those 
times was real, and not a mere claim to good 
manners or a certain income, as we now unfor- 
tunately consider it. 

The word ' gentleman ' originally came from 
gentle, — i.e., ' nobilis,' — a rank, as we read ' gentle ' 
or ' simple ' ; but the moralisers have taken it up as 
a weapon, and have etymologised and distorted it 
into a qualitative term, and it is rammed down 
one's throat that the only gentility of value is the 
possession of an idealised code of manners. Such 
may be desirable, but it is not gentility. Thus, 
we of this generation, having had a false interpreta- 
tion foisted upon us, are quite confused as to the 
real meaning of the word ! 

In an order made by Charles Brandon, Duke of 
Suffolk, Earl Marshal (i 524-1 533) settling the fees 
payable upon grants of arms, he uses the words, 
' Every byshoppe tkat sJiall be ennobled, £\ol and 
then follows the scale of fees for those of other 
ranks. A reference to the grant of Arms to 
Roger and Thomas Keys on page 51 will show 
that the grant of ' nobility ' was definitely put into 
actual words, as follows : — 

' We ennoble, and make and create noble, the said 
Roger and Thomas, on account of their deserts 
at our hands, together with the heirs, begotten 

Origin and Meaning of Arms, &c. 35 

or to be begotten, and the descendants of the 
said Thomas ; and in token of this nobility^ we 
give and grant by these presents for ever the 
arms and coat of arms in these our present 
letters depicted, etc' 

Alexander Pope {Essay on Man, ep. iv., line 203) 

^^•^te:- 1239399 

' Worth makes the man, and want of it the fellow.' 
It will be noticed that he did not write it ' gentle- 
man,' nor is it so expressed in ' manners makyth 
man,' which I take to be earlier than Chaucer ; for 
it is supposed to have been chosen by William of 
Wykeham as the motto for Winchester College, 
when he founded it in 1393. 

That the word gentleman continues to be 
wrongly used is simply due to the vanity of 
plebeians, who are so small-minded that they 
cannot bring themselves to admit they are not 
gentlemen, and therefore try to prostitute the word 
to carry only that lower qualification, which shall 
but include those attributes which they conceive 
themselves to possess. Presently we shall have 
everybody saying they are 'dukes,' and that the 
qualification therefor is no more than the posses- 
sion of decent manners. The real right in the 
case of a Gentleman equally as in the case of a 
Duke is derived by patent from the Crown, and 
the one is as much a matter of rank as the 

2,6 The Right to Bear Arms 

In all European countries which recognise the 
rule of a Sovereign (of course, dismissing for the 
moment modern evolutions of dominion) arms are 
unquestionably an honour and a matter of honour 
in the prerogative of the Sovereign to confer. 

Undoubtedly, in the infancy of the science, 
people chose and assumed their own arms, and 
instances are known where noblemen have con- 
ferred arms on those of lower status. In 
early days people chose and assumed a good 
deal of their own mere motion. But in all 
countries this right was soon appropriated and 
annexed to the Crown at a time when the Crown 
had and exercised authority on its own motion 
and initiative, without waiting for any Parliament 
or Convention to confer such authority upon it. 
With the rest of Europe I am not attempting to 
deal, though it is curious that within the last few 
years, both in Russia and in Germany, a similar 
movement and criticism have arisen with regard to 
arms and titles equivalent to the reformation in 
this respect which has been going on in England 
within the last ten or fifteen years. It will be 
sufficient for my purpose to demonstrate the 
evolution of the present authorities in the British 
Empire. That contains quite enough abuses 
without going further afield. 

A coat of arms is an estate of inheritance, and it 
is a principle of law that no man can of himself 

Origin and Meaning of Arms, &c. 2)7 

create or grant an estate of inheritance to him- 

Because people five hundred years ago were not 
always brought to book for inventing arms for 
themselves, there are those at the present day who 
would foster the idea that this method may still 
be pursued. A criticism of a bogus coat of arms 
produces nearly always, first, the statement that 
' these arms have been used by my ancestors for 
centuries, or for very many generations,' which is 
usually untrue, or else some wild assertion that the 
arms were in existence, and have been continually 
used since a time before the existence of the 
College of Arms. These statements are always un- 
truths. I myself have never known a single one 
for which documentary evidence is forthcoming, 
and the personal knowledge of no man runs to 
such a period. In a large proportion of the cases 
of the use of unauthorised arms, the facts generally 
turn out to be that the arms were ' found ' for 
3s 6d, or some such sum, at an heraldic stationer's, 
perhaps ten or perhaps twenty years ago, or 
were perhaps supplied gratis with a ' guinea 
box of stationery.' It was then afterwards ascer- 
tained that they were quoted in Burke's General 
Armory as belonging to a family of the same 
name, which family were promptly claimed as 
ancestors. 'The arms are the same, you know; 
we must be descended from them.' A suggestion 

38 The Right to Bear Arms 

that the arms or the necessary proofs of descent are 
not registered at the College of Arms as a rule pro- 
duces a sneer concerning a payment of fees to the 
heralds. When it is pointed out that the College of 
Arms acts under the authority of the Earl Marshal, 
the sneer is transferred to him. Certainly I have 
never heard it actually carried back to her Majesty, 
but logically, of course, there is no reason why it 
should not be, for the Earl Marshal acts under the 
direct authority of the Sovereign. Consequently, 
it is just as well to make it perfectly plain that the 
authority really does exist in the person of the 
Sovereign, and in the next place, that it has been 
by the Sovereign, within certain limits, definitely, 
legally, and in all due form, delegated to the Earl 
Marshal and the Officers of the Corporation of the 
College of Arms in and for England, Wales and 
the Colonies, to Lyon King of Arms in and for 
Scotland, and to Ulster King of Arms in and for 
the kingdom of Ireland. 

I should be sorry to commit myself to any definite 
statement as to the earliest instance of the assertion 
by the Crown of its authority over and control of 
armorial matters. Most writers content them- 
selves with a reference to the writ of Henry V., 
which I quote on page 44. But certainly the Crown 
must have been recognised as the authority at a 
much earlier date, for in 10 Edward II. (13 17) a 
licence is said to have been granted to Edmund 

Origin and Meaning of Arms, &c. 39 

Deincourt to transfer his name and arms to 
Isabella, his heir presumptive. The only licence, 
however, now upon the Patent Rolls to Edmund 
Deincourt which I have been able to find, relates 
to the disposal of his lands. It refers in the 
preamble to the name and arms, but these are not 
thereinafter specifically dealt with, and if this really 
be the licence in question, the concession of the 
permission for the change must be presumed in- 
ferentially from the preamble and from the licence 
to settle the estates. But another and d, previous 
licence is referred to in the licence of 13 17, and 
this other I have been unable to find. 

Per contra, Lord Hoo had made a grant of name 
and arms without the King's licence, and this was 
adjudged void. I have not the exact date of this, 
but Lord Hoo died February 13, 1454-5. 

Here, however, is the very earliest instance I 
can find of the existence and exercise of authority 
and control in relation to Coat-Armour. I refer to 
the well-known Scrope v. Grosvenor case. This 
is extremely important, for it affords conclusive 
evidence that even at that date (1390) there was 
such a matter as law and order in the use of arms. 
Apparently one person had a remedy against 
another ; an appeal lay to the Marshal and 
Constable, who sat as judges with authority, not 
only to adjudicate between two disputants but 
with authority to assign arms ; and, more than 

40 The Right to Bear Arms 

all, the case shows plainly that the right of appeal 
was to the King personally^ who not only decided 
the case, but of his own motion quashed the arms 
assigned by the Constable to Sir Robert Gros- 
venor. The case can be found summarised 
in Part V. of the Herald and Genealogist 
(June 1863). As every one knows, after a pro- 
tracted hearing before the Constable and the 
Deputy of the Marshal, the famous coat ' Azure, 
a bend or ' was allowed to Sir Richard le Scrope 
as his rightful arms. The Constable in his 
judgment assigned to Sir Robert Grosvenor the 
Arms ' Azure, a bend or, with a plain bordure 
argent' Sir Robert Grosvenor at once appealed 
to the King. 

The final judgment recites the original sentence 
by the Constable, and condemnation of Sir 
Robert Grosvenor in the costs, with reservation 
of the taxation of the same. The King, con- 
sidering the great and frivolous delays in the 
cause, and that the Commissioners have fully 
suspected and diligently examined all the acts 
produced, and the witnesses in the first as well as 
in the second instance, with full and mature 
deliberation, had with his uncle the Duke of 
Acquitaine and Lancaster and other learned 
persons, declared the sentence and judgment pro- 
nounced by the Constable as aforesaid to have 
been in all points good and lawful — that is to 

Origin and Meaning of Arms, &c. 41 

say, that the arms, ' Azure, a bend or,' do appertain 
to the said Sir Richard le Scrope, and doth ratify 
and confirm the same, adjudging the said arms 
to Sir Richard and his heirs, and laying and 
imposing upon Sir Robert Grosvenor and his 
heirs perpetual silence in respect of the bearing 
of such arms entire or with difference, and con- 
demning him, the said Sir Robert and his party, 
in the costs and expenses of the said Sir Richard, 
the taxation whereof the King reserves to him- 
self or his Commissioners. And whereas the 
said Constable hath of his courtesy awarded and 
ordained to the said Sir Robert, to bear the 
arms, ' Azure, a bend or, with a plain bordure 
argent,' the King, nevertheless, considering the 
premises, and that such bordure is not a suffi- 
cient difference in arms between two strangers 
[in blood] in one kingdom, but only between 
cousin and cousin in blood ; considering also that 
the said Sir Robert hath in his libel of appeal 
demanded generally that the said sentence should 
be cancelled and annulled, and also that in his 
two objective informations to the Com.missioners 
he had alleged that the award and ordinance of 
the said arms with a plain bordure was erroneous, 
inasmuch as he had never demanded such arms, 
requiring that such award and ordinance so 
made should be cancelled and annulled ; and 
considering further that the said Richard hath 

42 The Right to Bear Arms 

preferred the same requisition ; the King there- 
fore cancels and annuls the said definitive 
sentence accordingly. Given and promulgated 
as the King's definitive judgment, in the great 
chamber called the Chamber of Parliament with- 
in the Royal Palace of Westminster, the 27th 
of May, in the thirteenth year of his reign. 
Here is another instance a year or two later : — 

' P' Thoma Comite Marescallo et Notyngh' * 

' R' Om'ibz ad quos etc. sal't'm. Sciatis q'd cum 
dil'c'us et fidelis Consanguineus n'r Thomas 
Comes marescallus et Notyngh' h'eat iustu' 
titulu' hereditatiuu' ad portand' p' cresta sua 
vnu' leopardum de auro cum vno labello albof 
qui de iure asset cresta filii n'ri primogeniti 
si quern procreassem.' Nos ea considerac'o'e 
concessim' p' nob' et heredibz n'ris eidem 
Thome et heredibz suis q'd ip'i p' differencia 
in ea p'te deferre possint et deferant vnu, leo- 
pardum et in loco labelli vna' coronam de 
argentof absqz impedimento n'ri vel heredu' 

* Patent Roll (339), 17 Ric. II., Pt. i, mem. 2, 

t It is worthy of note, by the way, that whilst the label is blazoned 
' white,' the crown is blazoned argent. The Royal labels are alwaj'S 
white, and if the distinction is adhered to, it of course does away 
with the apparent impossibility of depicting the label upon the 
'unicorn argent.' It has been stated that the white label is 
reserved for the Royal Family. Whilst the existence of such a 
rule is not asserted at the College of Arms, it is a significant fact 
that no official exemplification of a 'white' label exists to any 
arms other than the Royal Arms, and I myself do not know of 
an instance of an ' argent ' label. 

Origin and Meaning of Arms, &c. 43 

n'ror' sup'd'c'or'. In cuius etc. T. R. apud 
Westm' xii die Januar [17 Ric. II.]. 

' p' br'e de priuato sigillo.' 

The translation of the foregoing is as follows : — 

' The King to all to whom, etc., Greeting: Know that, 
whereas our well-beloved and faithful kinsman, 
Thomas, Earl Marshal and Earl of Nottingham, 
has a just hereditary title to bear for his crest a 
leopard or, with a white label,* which would be 
of right the crest of our eldest son if we had 
begotten a son. We, for this consideration, 
have granted for us and our heirs to the said 
Thomas and his heirs that for a difference in 
this behalf they shall and may bear a leopard, 
and in place of a label a crown argent,* without 
hindrance from us or our heirs aforesaid, — In 
witness, etc. Witness the King at West- 

L. minster, the 12th day of January [17 Ric. II.]. 

■ ' By writ of Privy Seal.' 

I am told of a general armorial edict as early as 
the reign of Richard II. Whether such an edict 
ever existed or not I cannot say, for I have been 
unable to learn anything whatsoever about its 
existence or its tenor. But I imagine no one will 
be so foolish as to question the fact that sufficient 
power and authority were vested in the person of 
King Henry V. to make and enforce such regula- 
tions as he thought necessary. 

Certain is it that in the year 141 8 he issued a 
writ, of which a copy follows : — 
* Ihid., t, p. 42. 

44 The Right to Bear Anns 

Writ of Henry V, regulating Coat- Armour, 
* Rex Vicecomiti salutem, etc. Quia, prout in- 
formamur, diversi homines, qui in viagiis 
nostris ante haec tempora factis, Arma & 
Tunicas Armorum vocat, Coat-Armours in 
se susceperunt, ubi nee ipsi nee eorum Ante- 
cessores hujusmodi Armis ac Tunicis Armorum 
temporibus retroactis usi fuerint, & ea in pre- 
senti viagio nostro in proximo, Deo dante, 
faciend' exercere proponant ; & quanquam 
Omnipotens suam gratiam disponat prout vult 
in naturalibus, equaliter Diviti & Pauperi ; 
volentes tamen quemlibet Ligeorum nost- 
rorum predictorum juxta status sui exigentiam 
modo debito pertractari & haberi : Tibi pre- 
cipimus, quod, in singulis locis intra Ballivam 
tuam, ubi per breve nostrum nuper p'monstris 
faciendis p'clamari demandavim' publico ex 
parte n'ra proclamari fac' quod nullus cujus- 
cunque status, gradus, seu conditionis fuerit, 
hujusmodi Arma sive Tunicas Armorum in 
se sumat, nisi ipse jure antecessorio, vel ex 
donatione alicujus ad hoc sufficientem potes- 
tatem habentis, ea possideat aut possidere 
debeat. Et quod ipse Arma sive Tunicas illas 
ex cujus dono obtinet die monstrationis sue, 
personis ad hoc per nos assignatis seu assig- 
nandis manifeste demonstret, exceptis illis qui 
nobiscura apud bellum de Agincourt arma 
portabant, sub pcenis non admissionis ad pro- 
ficiendum in Viagio predicto sub numero ipsius 
cum quo retentus existit, ac perditionis vadio- 
* Close Roll, 5 Henry V., mem. 15. 

Origin and Meaning of A^nns, &c. 45 

rum suorum ex causa predicta perceptorum, 
necnon rasura & ruptura dictorum Armorum 
& Tunicarum, vocat' Coat-Armours, tempore 
monstrationis sue predicto, si ea super ilium 
raonstrata fuerint seu inventa. Et hoc nulla- 
tenus omittas. T. R. apud Civitatem Nov, 
Sarum, secundo die Junii. 

' Per ipsum Regem. 

' Consimilia Brevia diriguntur Vicecomitibus 
Wilts, Sussex, Dorset, sub eadem data.' 

Of the foregoing, the following may be taken as 
an exact translation : — * 

' The King to the Sheriff, greeting, etc. — Whereas, 
as we are informed, [of] divers men who, on 
our journeys heretofore made, assumed unto 
themselves Arms and Coats of Arms, called 
Coat-Armours, in cases where neither they nor 
their ancestors in times gone by used such 
Arms and Coats of Arms, and propose to make 
use of them in our present journey, now, God 
willing, just about to be made ; and, although 
the Almighty distributes his favours in nature 
according to his will, equally to the rich man 
and to the poor ; nevertheless we, willing that 
each of our lieges aforesaid should be held and 
considered as his rank demands, charge you to 
cause to be publicly proclaimed on our behalf, 
in all places within your Bailiwick, where by 
our writ we have lately commanded proclama- 
tions to be made for the holding of musters, 

* Similar writs are addressed to the Sheriffs of Wilts, Sussex, and 

46 The Right to Bear Arms 

that no one, of whatsoever rank, degree or 
condition he may be, shall assume such Arms 
or Coats of Arms, unless he possesses or ought 
to possess the same in right of his ancestors, or 
by the gift of some person having adequate 
power for that purpose. And that he shall 
plainly show forth, on the day of his mustering, 
by whose gift he holds those Arms or Coats of 
Arms, to the persons for this purpose by us 
assigned or to be assigned, those excepted who 
bore arms with us at the battle of Agincourt, 
under pain of not being admitted to take part 
in the journey aforesaid in the train of him by 
whom he may have been retained, and of the 
loss of the wages received by him on the said 
account, together with the stripping off and 
breaking up of the Arms and Coats called 
Coat-Armours aforesaid, on his mustering 
aforesaid, if they shall have been displayed or 
found on him. And this you are in no wise 
to omit. Witness the King at the City of 
New Sarum, 2 June [5 Hen. V.]. 

' By the King himself.' 

It is on this writ that I take my stand for 
the statement that the authority was vested in 
and assumed and asserted — arrogated, if you 
like — by the King. There cannot be anything 
clearer or more definite than the clause ending : 
Et quod ipse arma sive tunicas illas ex cujus dono 
obtinet die monstrationis sue personis ad hoc per 
nos assignatis seu assignandis manifeste demon- 

Origin and Meaning of Arms, &c. 47 

stret exceptis illis qui nobiscum apud bellum de 
Agincourt arma portabant' 

Since the date of that proclamation, the sole 
power and authority concerning arms has re- 
mained with and has been asserted by the Crown. 
The continuity has never lapsed ; there has been 
no interregnum ; there has been no waiving of 
the control ; and though in modern times the 
enormous powers formerly exercised by the 
officers of arms have not been rigidly or objec- 
tionably enforced, the power and authority has 
remained, and still exists in its absolute entirety. 

There are those of that certain class of mind 
which is quite content to accept anything as gospel 
for which there is Shakesperean authority. For 
their benefit I quote the following, for it is not 
unlikely that Shakespeare had this writ in mind, 
or perhaps it was a matter of common knowledge 
in his day that use of arms at Agincourt was 
accepted as proof of gentility, when he put these 
words into King Henry's mouth on the eve of 
that great battle (Act IV., scene iii.) : — 

' We few, we happy few, we band of brothers ; 
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me 
Shall be my brother ; be he ne'er so vile, 
This day shall gentle his condition.' 

After the restoration Charles II. issued a 
warrant, a copy of which is now preserved in the 
College of Arms, in the course of which he re- 

48 The Right to Bear Arms 

asserted that matters of names and arms were 
matters in the sole prerogative of the Crown. I 
append a copy of that part of it which relates to 
my subject. The Warrant is dated June 6th, 
1679, and recites that the Duke of Newcastle had 
represented that his son and heir-apparent, Henry, 
Earl of Ogle, had married Elizabeth, Lady Percy, 
sole daughter and heir to Jocelin, late Earl of 
Northumberland, deceased, and had 'earnestly 
besought us to grant our Royal assent, leave 
and allowance That he the said Henry, Earl of 
Ogle, and the descendants of his body by the 
said Eliz., Lady Percie, may assume and take 
the Surname of Percie and bear the Armes of 
Percie quarterly with his own Paternall Armes, 
neither of which may regularly be done according 
to the law of Armes without y speciall dispensacon 
and Licence of us, as we are by Our Supream power 
and Prerogative the onely Fountain of Honour 
Know ye therefore that we of our Princely Grace 
and Speciall Favour, at y'' humble request of the 
said Duke of Newcastle and Earl of Ogle, have 
given and Granted, and do by these presents give 
and grant, unto him the said Earl of Ogle and to 
the heirs and descendants of his body to be be- 
gotten on y« sd. Eliz. Lady Percie now his wife, 
and to every of them full power, licence and 
authority to assume and take,' etc., etc. 

The Patent goes on to recite the permission 
given, and ends with a clause requiring the 

Origin and Meaning of Arms, &c. 49 

warrant to be duly registered in the College of 

The Sovereign, of his or her direct initiative and 
mere motion, in ancient times occasionally directly 
intervened in armorial matters. At the present 
day the same practice is still carried out. The 
Kings of Arms in England, for example, have 
no power in themselves to grant the lawful arms 
of one family to another family, and in England 
and Ireland a Royal Licence under the Privy 
Seal and actual sign-manual of the Sovereign 
is necessary if it is wished to assume the arms 
of another family. In one or two cases, e.g., in 
the granting of arms to a Colony, the Sovereign 
has, even in the present reign, granted arms direct 
by means of a Warrant merely commanding such 
arms and warrant to be recorded in the Heralds' 
College. This is then done, and such arms exist 
simply on the strength of the Warrant, no formal 
Patent being issued by the Kings of Arms. A 
similar course is adopted when arms are assigned 
to the different members of the Royal Family. 
Probably it is news to many that the Royal Arms 
as such are not hereditary, in the ordinary sense 
of the word, and a separate warrant issues for each 
individual. But all such Royal Warrants relating 
to Arms are always required to be, a7id are, recorded 
in the College of Arms. The following is an ex- 
ample of an ancient grant of arms direct from the 
Sovereign : — 

50 The Right to Bear Arms 

Me'" q'd ista billa lib'ata fuit d'no Cancellar' 
Angl' xix° die Maii Anno xxvij exequend' * 

' Placeat supp'mo d'no n'ro Regi de gr'a v'ra 
sp'ili graciose co'cedere fidelibus ligeis v'ris 
Rogero Keys cl'ico et Thome Keys fr'i sue 
vr'as litteras patentes tenorem subsequentem 
in debita forma co'tinentes Rex etc. Om'ibz 
ad quos p'sentes I're p'uen 'int sal' t'm. Cum 
p'ncipis cuius-cu'qz intersit et deceat suos 
subditos p'cipue illos qui sibi s'uicia impendent 
honoribz p'uilegiis et dignitatibz p'miare et 
decorare ut ad h'mo'i s'uicia impend' citius 
animent' et fiant p'm'ciores hinc est q'd nos 
co'sideraco'em h'entes ad grata et laudabilia 
s'uicia que dilectus cl'icus noster Rogerus Keys 
multiplicit' ac diu'simode nobis ta' in op'ac'o'is 
n'ris edificac'o'is Collegii nostri Regalis b'te 
Marie de Eton iux'* Windesor' q'm alias 
impendit et impendet infutur' volentes qz 
eid'm Rogero ac Thome Keys fr'i suo et suis 
sup' p'dict' honoribz p'iuilegiis et dignitatibz 
gr'am n'ram impartire eosd'm Roger' et 
Thoma' tanq' b'n' merit' 'se nobis h' at' necnon 
ab eod'm Thoma p'creatos et procreand' et 
descendentes ab eod'm nobilitamus nobiles q' 
facimus et creamus. Et in signu' h'mo'i 
nobilitat' arma et armor' insignia in hiis p'ntibz 
n'ris I'ris depictaf cum libertatibz immunitatibz 

* In the Museum of the P.R.O. (central stand). This of course 
is not the actual document making the grant. The formal grant, 
however, is known to have been issued, and was no doubt issued in 
the terms prayed. 

tThe arms in question were depicted per chevron gules and 
sable, three keys erect, wards upwards, or. 

Origin and Meaning of Arms, &c. 51 

priuilegiis Franchesiis juribz et aliis insigniis 
viris nobilibz debit' et consuet' imp'p' dam, 
et concedimus p' p'sentes. In cuius rei testi- 
moniu' has I'ras nostras fieri fecim' patent' T 
meip'o etc' 

Of the foregoing document the following is a 
translation : — 

Memorandum that this bill was delivered to 
THE Lord Chancellor of England on the 
19TH DAY OF May in the 27TH year. 

' May it please our supreme lord the King of your 
especial grace graciously to grant to your faith- 
ful lieges Roger Keys, clerk, and Thomas Keys, 
his brother, your letters patent in due form, of 
tenor as follows : — 

' The King, etc., to all to whom these present 
letters shall come, greeting. Whereas it behoves 
and becomes every prince to reward and adorn 
with privileges and dignities all his subjects, 
especially those who render him services, that 
they may be the better encouraged to perform 
such services, and may be rendered the more 
prompt therein, we, having regard to the good 
and praiseworthy services of divers kinds ren- 
dered to us on many occasions by our beloved 
clerk, Roger Keys, both in the work of building 
our Royal College of the Blessed Mary of Eton 
by Windsor, and; in other ways, and which he 
will continue to render us, desirous of bestowing 
our favour on the said Roger and Thomas Keys, 
his brother, and his [ ? family] as regards the 
said honours, privileges and dignities, we en- 
noble, and make and create noble, the said Roger 

52 The Right to Bem^ Arms 

and Thomas, on account of their deserts at our 
hands, together with the heirs, begotten or to 
be begotten, and the descendants of the said 
Thomas ; and in token of this nobiHty, we give 
and grant by these presents for ever the arms 
and coat of arms in these our present letters de- 
picted,* with the hberties, immunities, privileges, 
franchises, rights and other distinctions due and 
accustomed to noblemen. In witness whereof 
we have caused these our Letters to be made 

' Witness myself, etc' 

A specific Royal Warrant is also necessary in the 
case of each and every ' augmentation of honour ' 
to a coat of arms or crest. Up to the present 
time (and certainly for more than the last century) 
every such Royal Warrant has contained a clause 
making the grant conditional, and only operative 
upon its being recorded in the College of Arms. 
In fact, the Warrant nowadays is usually more in 
the nature of a specific authority to the Officers of 
Arms to issue the grant of and duly record the 
Royal concession of grace. Without such a 
warrant any addition to a coat of arms is merely 
an alteration of it, and not an augmentation. 

A very common little failing, by the way, is this : 
When a family have been illegally making use of 
arms for some time, and are then, for some reason 
or other, induced or required to place their armorial 

* Ibid., t, P- 50. 

Origin and Meaning of Arms, &c. 53 

matters upon a legal footing, and a patent of arms 
is obtained under the hands and seals of the Kings 
of Arms, the coat of arms which has previously 
been in use is never granted to the person intact. 
If a desire for a coat similar to the one in use be 
preferred, some alterations and additions to it are 
of course introduced, varying according to the 
discretion of the Officers of Arms and the circum- 
stances of the case, in order to render it a different 
and new coat of arms, and to satisfy the require- 
ments of one of the rules of the College that no 
two coats of arms which may be granted by its 
officers shall be alike. The usual tale which one 
is told — if the fact of the grant being modern by 
any chance transpires — is, if you please, that the 
alterations and additions are ' augmentations.' 
Some of the older grants simply made additions 
to the coats which had been previously used, and 
this, to an ordinary individual, might lend some 
semblance to the idea. But to the propagators 
of such cheerful little fables I would add this 
fact to their knowledge : An ' augmentation ' re- 
quires, as explained above, a special Warrant from 
the Sovereign. The ' augmentations ' legitimately 
existing are very few in number, and are very well 
known. A complete list of all augmentations, which 
it has long been an ambition of mine to publish, 
would occupy but little space. I have notes of 
most, if not of all, but I have no sufficient means 

54 The Right to Bear Arms 

of ensuring that my list would be complete to 
warrant my putting it into type. 

Here I only refer to the matter of augmentations 
to illustrate the direct action of the Sovereign, and 
for this purpose I append copies of the grant by 
King Henry VIII. of the Howard augmentation to 
commemorate the victory at Flodden Field, — of 
the Royal Warrant from Her Majesty Queen 
Victoria authorising and granting the Speke 
augmentation, — and of the Letters Patent which, 
following upon the Royal Warrant therein referred 
to, granted the augmentation to the Family of 

The Howard Augmentation of Arms.* 

To Commemorate the Victory of Flodden. 

(Being a part of the Letters Patent conferring the 
Dukedom of Norfolk.) 

' R' om'ibz ad quos etc., Sal't'm .... Et ut 
ilia victoria impost'um h'eat' in memoria & 
cunctis videat' p'petta fuisse conducio'e 
regimine & gub'naco'e d'c'i Consanguine! n'ri 
de ub'iori gr'a n'ra dam' & concedim' p'fato 
Duel & hered' suis temporibz futuris imp'p'm 
in signu' illius victorii q'd ip'e Dux & hered' sui 
p'd'c'i portent & gerant in medio bende armor' 
p'prii no'is p'fati Ducis. videl't scuto de haward 
integram medietatem sup'ioris partis leonis 
rubei sagitta ore confossi depictat' q' rectis 
coloribus Armor' regni Scocie, que d'c'us idem 
* Patent Roll, 621, 5 Hen. VIII., Pt. ii., mem. 13. 

Origin and Meaning of Arms, &c. 55 

Jacobus nup' Rex Sector' portavit h'end' 
tenend' & gerend' d'c'am medietat' sup'ioris 
partis leonis rubei sagitta ore confossi depictat'q' 
modo & forma p'dict' p'fato Duci & hered' suis 
p'd'c'is imp'p'm .... 

' T. R' apud Westm' primo die Februarii. 

Translation of the foregoing Grant of the Aug- 
mentation of Arms : — 

'The King to all to whom, etc., greeting .... 
And in order that that victory [the Battle of 
Flodden] may hereafter be had in memory, 
and that it may appear to all that it was 
achieved by the generalship, guidance and 
governance of our said cousin, of our more 
ample grace we give and grant to the aforesaid 
Duke and his heirs as a sign of the said victory 
for all time to come, that the said Duke and 
his heirs aforesaid shall carry and bear in the 
middle of the bend of the arms of the proper 
name of the said Duke, to wit on the shield of 
Howard, a demy Hon gules, pierced in the 
mouth with an arrow, depicted in the colours 
proper to the arms of the Kingdom of Scot- 
land, which the said James, late King of 
Scots bore, to have and hold the said demy lion 
gules, pierced in the mouth with an arrow, 
and depicted in the manner and form afore- 
said to the said Duke and his heirs aforesaid 
for ever .... 

' Witness the King at Westminster, the first 
day of February [1514].' 

56 The Right to Bear Arms 

Grant of Augmentation of Arms and Supporters 
TO THE Father of Captain Speke, the 
Discoverer of the Sources of the Nile.* 
' Victoria R. — Whereas we, taking into our 
Royal consideration the services of the late 
John Hanning Speke, Esquire, Captain in 
our Indian Military Forces, in connection 
with the discovery of the Sources of the 
Nile, and who was, by a deplorable accident, 
suddenly deprived of his life before he has 
received any mark of our Royal favour ; and 
being desirous of preserving in his family the 
remembrance of these services by the grant of 
certain honourable armorial distinctions to his 
family arms : — 

^ Know ye that we, of our princely grace and 
special favour, have given and granted, and 
by these presents do give and grant unto 
William Speke, of Jordans, in the parish of 
Ashill, in the county of Somerset, Esquire, the 
father of the said John Hanning Speke, our 
Royal Licence and Authority that he and his 
descendants may bear to his and their armorial 
ensigns the honourable augmentation follow- 
ing : that is to say — On a chief a representation 
of flowing water superin scribed with the word 
Nile ; and for a crest of honourable augmenta- 
tion a crocodile ; also the Supporters following : 
that is to say— On the dexter side a Crocodile, 
and on the sinister side a Hippopotamus, pro- 
vided that the same be first duly exemplified 
according to the Law of Arms, and recorded in 
our College of Arms, etc. 

* This is reproduced from the Appendix to Woodward & Burnett's 
Treatise on Heraldry. 

Origin and Meaning of Arms, &c. 57 

' Given at our Court of St James's, the 26th 
day of July 1867, in the thirty-first year of our 

' By Her Majesty's Command, 

' Gathorne Hardy.' 

The Patent granting the Augmentation to com- 
memorate THE Battle of Bladensberg. 

' UO all anC) singular to whom these present 
shall come Sir Isaac Heard Knight Garter 
Principal King of Arms and George Harrison 
Esquire Clarenceux King of Arms of the South 
and West Parts of England from the River 
Trent Southwards send Greeting Whereas His 
Royal Highness the Prince Regent by Warrant 
under His Majesty's Royal Signet and the 
Sign Manual of His Royal Highness in the 
Name and on the Behalf of His Majesty bearing 
date the Twenty-fifth day of August last did 
signify unto the Most Noble Charles late 
Duke of Norfolk Earl Marshal and Hereditary 
Marshal of England deceased that taking into 
consideration the highly distinguished Services 
of the late Robert Ross Esquire Major General 
of His Majesty's Forces and Lieutenant Colonel 
of the 20th Regiment of Foot deceased upon 
divers important occasions and the signal 
Intrepidity displayed by him in the brilliant 
action with the Enemy on the Plains of Maida 
in Calabria and throughout the recent arduous 
and Splendid Achievements of His Majesty's 
Arms in the Peninsula particularly at the 
memorable Engagement at Corunna and in the 
several brilliant and decisive Actions with the 

58 The Right to Bear Arms 

Enemy at Vittoria in the Pyrenees and at 
Orthes and more especially the Ability Promp- 
titude and Energy with which on the 14th day 
of August 1 8 14 with the Troops under his 
command he accomplished the Capture of the 
City of Washington in America after having 
on the same day defeated the Army of the 
United States at the Village of Bladensberg 
although greatly superior in Force and strongly 
posted with Cannon And considering also that 
the said Major General unfortunately but 
gloriously fell at the head of His Majesty's 
Troops under his Command on the 12th day 
of September following in an arduous attempt 
to gain possession of the Town of Baltimore 
And being desirous to commemorate these 
important Services His Royal Highness had 
been pleased to give and grant His Majesty's 
Royal Licence and Permission that the follow- 
ing honourable Armorial Ensigns may be placed 
on any Monument to be erected to the memory 
of the said Major General Ross viz*' "Per fess 
embattled in Chief a dexter Arm embowed and 
encircled by a Wreath of Laurel the Hand 
grasping the Colours of the United States of 
America the Staff broken On a Canton a repre- 
sentation of the Gold Cross with which His 
Majesty was pleased to honour the said Major 
General in testimony of His Royal Approbation 
of his Services in base the Arms of Ross of 
Ross Trevor'' with this Motto " Bladensberg." 
And for Crest in addition to that of Ross the 
following Viz* " Out of a Mural Crown a dexter 
Arm grasping the Colours as in the Arms" 


Origin and Meaning of Arins, dfc. 59 

And His Royal Highness did further grant and 
ordain that the said honourable Armorial 
Distinctions may be borne and used by Eliza- 
beth Catherine Ross Widow and Relict of 
the said Major General during her Widowhood 
and by his Descendants and that she and they 
may henceforward be called " Ross of Bladens- 
BERG " as a Memorial to them and to His 
Majesty's beloved subjects in general of the 
Loyalty Ability and Valour of that highly 
distinguished Officer whose valuable Life was 
thus gloriously devoted to the Service of his 
Country Provided the said honourable Armorial 
Distinctions be first duly exemplified according 
to the Laws of Arms and recorded in the 
Heralds' Office otherwise the said Royal Licence 
and Permission to be void and of none effect 
And forasmuch as Henry Thomas Howard 
MoLYNEUX Esquire Deputy with the Royal 
Approbation to his Brother the Most Noble 
Bernard Edward Duke of Norfolk Earl 
Marshal and Hereditary Marshal of England 
did by Warrant under his hand and seal bear- 
ing date the twentieth day of April instant 
authorize and direct us to exemplify such 
honourable Armorial Distinctions accordingly 
Know ye therefore that We the said Garter 
and Clarenceux in obedience to the said 
Royal Command in pursuance of the said 
Warrant and by Virtue of the Letters Patent of 
our several Offices to each of Us respectively 
granted do by these Presents exemplify 
the honourable Armorial Distinctions follow- 
ing that is to say Per fess embattled Argent 

6o The Right to Bear Arms 

and Or in Chief issuant a dexter Arm 
embowed vested Gules CufF Azure encircled by 
a Wreath of Laurel the hand grasping a Flag 
Staff broken in bend Sinister therefrom flowing 
the Colours of the United States of America 
proper in Base the Arms of Ross of Ross 
Trevor on a Canton of the third pendent from 
a Ribband a Representation of the Cross pre- 
sented by Command of His Majesty to the 
said late Major General in testimony of his 
Royal Approbation of his Services with the 
Motto " Bladensberg " And for a Crest of 
honourable Augmentation in addition to the 
Crest of the Family of Ross of Ross Trevor the 
following that is to say On a Wreath of the 
Colours Out of a Mural Crown Or a dexter 
Arm grasping the Colours as in the Arms as 
the same are in the Margin hereof more plainly 
depicted the said Arms and Crest to be placed 
on any Monument to be erected to the Memory 
of the said late Major General Robert Ross 
and to be borne and used for ever hereafter by 
his Descendants and the said Arms to be borne 
and used by her the said Elizabeth Catherine 
Ross during her Widowhood according to the 
Tenor of the said Royal Warrant and the Laws 
of Arms In Witness whereof We the said 
Garter and Clarenceux Kings of Arms have 
to these Presents subscribed our Names and 
affixed the Seals of our several Offices this 
twenty-sixth day of April in the Fifty-sixth year 
of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord George 
the Third by the Grace of God of the United 
Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland King 

Origin and Meaning of Arms, &c. 6i 

Defender of the Faith etc. and in the year of 
our Lord One thousand eight hundred and 

' Isaac Heard Garter Principal King 

' of Arms. 

' George Harrison Clarenceux King 
' of Arms.' 

One last proof of the presently operative direct 
action of the Sovereign : — Each successive Duke 
of Norfolk is personally invested by the Sovereign, 
who, on his succession, hands to each Earl Marshal 
the baton or staff, which is the outward symbol of 
his office. The present Earl Marshal was so in- 
vested in January 1869. 

So much in proof of the direct action and inter- 
ference of the Crown. I have shown the authority 
to exist, I have shown the continuity of such direct 
action by the Crown from early times into the 
present reign. 

But it is only in very special circumstances that 
the Crown directly exercises its prerogative. 



The Crown has delegated in England much of 
its authority — in fact, most of the details of the 
granting and control of armorial bearings — to the 
Earl Marshal and the officers of the College of 

Anciently the offices of High Constable and 
Marshal, though held by different people, were 
much interwoven. 

Briefly, the duties attached to the office of High 
Constable were these : — He held the chief com- 
mand in the army and had cognisance of all 
military offences ; he regulated all matters of 
chivalry, such as tilts and tournaments and feats of 
arms ; he was the supreme judge in the Court of 
Chivalry, in which he sat in conjunction with the 
Earl Marshal. In 13 Richard II. (i 389-90) a 
statute was passed to check the encroachments of 
their Court upon the other courts of law, and its 
jurisdiction was restricted to 'contracts and deeds 

The Earl Marshal 63 

of arms,' and ' things which touch war, and which 
cannot be discussed or determined by the common 

Camden disposes of this subject thus : — ' Profit- 
less questions have also arisen which of these two 
was chief. In early times the Constable took pre- 
cedence, but as judges they were equal. The follow- 
ing writ is relied upon to show that the Constable 
was principal, but it may only convey that either 
could initiate an action, and the Constable in this 
does do.' 

A Writ out of the Court of Chifalry. 

' Jehan, filz, frere, & Uncle au Roys, Due de Bed- 
ford, Conte de Richmond & de Kendall, & Con- 
nestable d'Angleterre, a nostre trescher cousin 
Jehan, Due de Northfolk, Mareschal d'Angle- 
terre Saluz. Nous vous mandons & chargeons 
que vous faeez arrestre & venir devant nous ou 
nostre Lieutenant a Westminster, a la quinsieme 
du Saint Hillari, proehain venant, William 
Clopton, du Counte de Suif, Esquier, pour 
adonques respondre devant nous ou nostre 
Lieutenant en la Courte de Chivalree a Robert 
Dland, Esquier, du Counte de Nicholl, de eeque 
le dit Robert adonques luy surmettra par voie 
darmes, touchant ee, qu'il fauxment & 
eneontre honeste & gentilesse d'armes, ad- 
mis & appose le seel de ses armes a 
un faue & forge fait, as dammages du dit Robert, 
de C^ & plus : a ce qu'il di remandantz par 
devers nous a dit jour ou iceste nostre mande- 

64 The Right to Bear Arms 

ment, cous ce que vous en aurez faitz. Donne 
soubz le seal de nostre office, le xxiij jour de 
November, I'an de regne nostre Seigneur le 
Roy Henry Sisme, puis le Conquest d'Angle- 
terre, cestisme.' 1428. — (Camden's Remaines, 
by Phillipot, 1674, p. 240). 

' That other great officer of state, the Marshal of 
England, was termed simply Lord Marshal, until 
the title of Earl Marshal was bestowed on Thomas 
Mowbray, Earl of Nottingham, by King Richard 
II. in 1386. The patent, dated 12th January in 
that year, increased the powers attached to the 
dignity ; he is therein authorised to preside in the 
Court of Chivalry, to summon the heralds to assist 
him, etc., etc. ; previously he had only sat in con- 
junction with the Constable (Pat. Roll, 9 Richard 
II., Part i., memb. 38 ; Dallaway, p. 93).' 

The foregoing quotation I take verbatim from 
The Earl Marshal's Court of England, by George 
Grazebrook, F.S.A.* The information may be 
perfectly accurate, but I have failed to find the 
patent in question upon the Patent Rolls. The 
reference given is manifestly an incorrect one. 
There is a grant of the Marshalship to Thomas, 
Earl of Nottingham, 30 June, 4 Ric. II., in place of 
Thomas, Earl of Kent, and 10 Feb. 1397 the Earl 
of Nottingham was constituted Earl Marshal. 

The Earl Marshal accompanied the Royal Court 
in its journeyings, and his jurisdiction extended 

* I gratefully acknowledge having taken many extracts from this 

The Earl Mai'shal 65 

for twelve leucas (miles), to the 'verge' of the 
Court.* This was confirmed by patent (Pat. Roll, 
13 Edward III., Part ii., memb. 33 ; and 36 Edward 
III., Part iii., memb. 23). His Court took cognisance 
of all matters relating to honour, arms, and pedigree, 
and directed the proclamations of peace and war ; 
it was the Curia Militaris or Court of Chivalry ; 
during times of war it was with the army, and in 
times of peace sat in the Aula Regis or King's 
Court ; and when the ancient Aula Regis came 
to be divided among new branch courts, the 
Marshals appointed deputies — in the King's Bench, 
the Marshal of the Marshalsea, or Marshal of the 
King's Bench. In the Exchequer, the deputy was 
named Marshal of the Exchequer, or Clerk of the 
Marshalsea of the Exchequer. Appeals from the 
Earl Marshal's Court could be carried into the 
King's Bench {Dallaway, 95, 289). Francis 
Thynne, Lancaster Herald^ writing under date 3rd 
March 1605 (Hearne's Curious Discourses, ii., p. 
1 56), says : ' The Earl Marshal's Court had power 
to imprison and commit to the Marshalsea. The 
Constable and Earl Marshal have a law by them- 
selves, and the common law takes cognisance of it 
and concurs ; and just in the same way it concurs 
in ecclesiastical law.' — See the judgment by Mr 
Justice Needham, sitting with the Justices Ashton, 
Moyle, and Prisott. Mr Justice Needham pro- 

* Verge^ i.e., the 1 2-mile compass or radius. 


66 The Right to Bear Arms 

nounced, ' Le comen Ley prendera conizance de 
Ley de le Conestable et Marshal : car en appelle 
de morte est bone justificacione que le morte, luy 
appelle de Treasone devant le Conestable et 
Marshal par qui ils combateront la, er le defendant 
vanquisht le morte al mort : Et c'est bone justifica- 
tione al comen Ley : Et Ashton et Moyle con- 
cesserunt que comen Ley prendra notice del Ley 
del Conestable et Marshal : Tamen Prisott contra : 
Mes puis ques les trois disont, ut supra : Prisott 
non negavit.' The above decision seems to have 
been given before 1461. Many great causes, 
bearing entirely on heraldic matters, have come 
before this Court. Dallaway, pp. 79, 80, notices as 
the most remarkable, Harding and St Loe, 1312 ; 
Warburton and Georges, 1321 (Coker's History of 
Dorset, "g. 25) ; Sitsilt and Fakenham, 1333 (Collins' 
Peerage, vol. iii., p. 108) ; Scrope and Grosvenor, 
1389 (Dugdale's MSS., Ashmol. Mus. Oxon. ; Sir 
N. Harris Nicolas published the Roll in 1832 ; 
Herald and Genealogist, vol. i.) ; also Hugh, Lord 
Maltby, against Hamond Beckwith, for having 
assumed his arms, 1339. A mandate was issued, 
1 8th January 1339, summoning Beckwith to pro- 
duce ' such evidence and records of arms as we shall 
allow, and to appear before us on 14th October.' 
Beckwith proved his right to the satisfaction of the 
Court, and received a certificate confirming to him 
the right to bear the disputed arms. The severest 

The Earl Marshal 67 

punishment which could be inflicted by this Court 
was degradation from the honour of knighthood. 
This was entirely, I suppose, social and heraldic — 
there seems to have been no fine or money 
— and it was decreed with the utmost reluc- 
tance. Only three instances of such jurisdic- 
tion of the Court remain on record : Sir Andrew 
Barclay, 1322; Sir Ralph Grey, 1464; and Sir 
Francis Michell in 162 1. In 1568, Thomas, Duke 
of Norfolk, then Earl Marshal, issued statutes and 
regulations as to the process of his Court. These 
may be found at length in Vincent's Precedents 
(Coll. of Arms), p. 52, {Dallaway, p. 267), and are 
printed by Edmondson, i. 143. In the College of 
Arms are a good many abstracts of cases that came 
before this Court, with the judgments upon them ; 
these were the notes taken by various heralds for 
their private use. Here is an example : — (3) 30th 
Nov. 1637. — Sir Richard Blount v. Sir Francis 
Moore, for using the arms of Moore of Barcaster. 
It appears that Sir Francis had no right, but was 
descended from the Moores of Barfield, co. Berks, 
whose coat he may lawfully bear. 

In January 1667 Sir Edward Walker, Garter, 
entered a complaint against Henry Parker, painter- 
stainer, in the Earl Marshal's Court, for the 
offence of marshalling a funeral, when Parker was 
committed to the Marshalsea. Under a writ of 
Habeas Corpus he was then brought before the 

68 The Right to Bear Arms 

King's Bench, which declared the sufficiency of 
the Earl Marshal's Court, and sent him back to 
prison. After his submission, Parker was again 
brought up at the King's Bench, and that Court, on 
2nd February 1668, declared he might go at liberty, 
being no prisoner of theirs. 

I have now shown the origin of the authority 
of the Earl Marshal and how this authority 
and control were exercised. Though the Earl 
Marshal's Court no longer sits, its authority has 
never been abrogated, nor has the authority of the 
Earl Marshal been in any way curtailed. That in 
many directions this power and authority is not 
enforced at the present day, as it might be, is to be 
regretted. And having dealt with the office of Earl 
Marshal, the next step is to show how the authority 
has come into the hands of His Grace of Norfolk. 

I append a copy of the Letters Patent heredit- 
arily vesting the office of Earl Marshal in the 
Howard family. By virtue thereof the Duke of 
Norfolk presently holds the office of Earl Marshal, 
and exercises the jurisdiction appertaining to his 

De con' Digntat' et Offic' Henrico D'no 

' Carolus Secundus Dei gratia Anglic, Scotia 
Francie et Hibernie Rex fidei Defensor etc. 
Archiepiscopis Ducibus Marchionibz Vice- 
* Patent Roll, 24 Charles II., No. 3142. 

The Earl Marshal 69 

comitibz Episcopis Baronibus Justiciariis Baro- 
nettis Militibus Armigeris Prepositis liberis 
hominibus ac omnibus Officiariis ministris et 
Subditis n'ris quibzcunqz ad quos presentes 
litere prevenerint salutem Cum 

[Here follows grant of the Earldom of Norwich.] 

' Cumqz precharissimus Avus noster Jacobus 
nuper Rex Anglie beate memorie per literas 
suas patentes geren' dat' vicesimo nono die 
Augusti Anno Regni sui decimo nono dederit 
et concesserit Thome nuper Comiti Arundel 
Surr' et Norfolcie Avo dicti Henrici Domini 
Howard dictum officium Comitis Mariscalli 
cum omnibz et singulis suis pertinentiis pro 
termino vite sue prout per easdem literas 
patentes plenius apparet Et postea dictus Avus 
noster per alias literas suas patentes geren' dat' 
primo die Augusti Anno Regni sui vicesimo 
recitando ipsum informatum fuisse quod Idem 
Comes Arundel et Surr' Comes suus maris- 
callus in nonnullis causis coram ipso in Curia 
mariscall' adtunc dependent' Judicialiter pro- 
cedere protraxit ex quibusdam dubiis divulgat' 
Comitem, Mariscallum, ministrum tantum fuisse 
ad precepta et judicia constabularii exequenda 
tametsi idem Avus noster non tantum da 
absoluta potestate Comitis mariscalli vacante 
constabulario nunquam dubitavit verum etiam 
eundem Comitem Mariscallum Constabulario 
existente una cum eodem Constabulario fore 
Judicem Tamen in huiusmodi moment! causa 
absqz deliberac'one extraordinaria prius exhibita 
procedere non volebat Ideoqz per semet ipsum 

70 The Right to Bear Arms 

et concilium suum privatum satisfactionem 
amplam per multas et dilucidas probationes 
accipiens eosdem Constabular' et Comitem 
Mariscallum conjunctos Judices insimul et 
seperatim in utriusqz eor' vacac'oe fore idem 
avus noster per dictas literas suas patentes 
authorizavit voluit et mandavit eidem Thome 
Comiti Mariscallo quod deinceps in omnibus 
causis quibuscumqz unde curia Constabular' et 
Mariscalli cognitio spectabat adeo judicialiter et 
definitive procederet prout aliqui constabular' 
sive Mariscalli huius Regni aut iunctim aut 
divisum procedebant Quodqz Idem Comes 
Mariscallus honorabiles processus eiusdem Curie 
omnibz mediis cum addic'one jurium quorum- 
cumqz eidem spectant' Necnon Recordorum et 
president' Antiquorum assistantia restituere et 
stabilire conaretur prout per eisdem literas 
patentes inter alia plenius liquet et apparet 
Que quidem litere patentes ultimo menc'onat' 
et declarac'o in eisdem fact' quatenus menc'o 
fit in eisdem Uteris patentibz de absoluta potes- 
tate Comitis Mariscalli vacante Constabulariat' 
aut quod Constabularius et Comes Mariscallus 
essent conjuncti Judices insimul vel separatim 
in utriusqz eorum vacatione intelligend' sunt 
solum modo respectu et relatione habit' ad 
curiam Constabular' et Mariscalli et in causis 
unde curie predict' cognitio spectabat Et 
sic per presentes declaramus et volumus in- 
telligi et quod non extendant ad vel exponi 
debeant de alia authoritate quacumqz ad 
ofiRcium constabularii solummodo spectant' 
Sciatis insuper quod nos fidelitatem obsequium 
et benemerita dicti Henrici Domini Howard 

The Earl Marshal 71 

intime contemplantes de ampliori gratia n'ra 
speciali ac ex certa scientia et mero motu n'ris 
dedimus et concessimus ac per presentes pro 
nobis heredibus et successoribus n'ris damns et 
concedimus eidem Henrico Domino Howard 
officium AJariscalli Anglie unacum nomine et 
honore comitis Mariscalli Anglie Ipsumqz 
Henricum Dominum Howard Comitem Maris- 
callum Anglie creamus ordinamus et consti- 
tuimus per presentes Eique Nomen Stilum 
Titulum Statum Authoritatem Jurisdicc'onem 
Dignitatem et honorem Comitis Mariscalli 
Anglie dedimus, Imposuimus et prebuimus ac 
per presentes damns imponimus et prebemus 
unacum omnibus et singulis dignitationibus 
precedentiis preheminenciis Jurisdicc'onibus 
proficuis com'oditatibus emolumentis advan- 
tagiis officiis et nominac'onibus officiarior' 
omnibusqz aliis privilegiis Juribus potestatibus 
authoritatibz ceterisque suis pertinentiis 
quibuscunqz tam in Curiis n'ris quam alibi 
eidem officio Comitis Mariscalli Anglie quali- 
tercunqz sive quomodo-cunqz spectantibus 
aut de jure pertinentibus Ac ulterius per 
presentes ipsum Henricum Dominum Howard 
in eodem officio Comitis Mariscalli Anglie et 
ceteris premissis eidem officio ut prefertur 
pertinentibus investimus et stabilimus et 
corroboramus in tam amplis modo et forma 
prout Henricus Dominus Maltravers nuper 
Comes Arundel Surrey et Norfolcie pater dicti 
Henrici Domini Howard vel Thomas Comes 
Arundel Surrey et Norfolcie Avus dicti Henrici 
Domini Howard vel Thomas nuper Dux 
Norfolcie Avus dicti Thome Comitis Arundell 

72 The Right to Bear Arms 

Surrey et Norfolcie vel Thomas quondam Dux 
Norfolcie avus dicti Thome Ducis Norfolcie 
vel Johannes Mowbray quondam Dux Norfolcie 
vel aliquis alius Comes Mariscallus Anglie ante 
hec tempora officium illud habens sive exercens 
habuit sive exercuit seu de jure habere sive 
exercere potuit habend' tenend' exercend' et 
occupand' predictum officium ac omnia et 
singula authoritates Jurisdicc'ones potestates 
com'oditates proficua et cetera premissa 
quecunqz eidem officio qualitercunqz pertinent' 
sive de jure spectant' eidem Henrico Domino 
Howard et heredibus masculis suis de corpore 
suo legittime procreatis et procreandis per se 
vel per sufficientdm deputatum suum aut per 
sufficientes deputatos suos Et ulterius de 
vberiori gratia nostra speciali dedimus et 
concessimus et per presentes pro nobis heredibus 
et successoribus nostris damus et concedimus 
prefato Henrico Domino Howard et heredibus 
masculis de corpore suo sic ut prefertur 
exeuntibus Quod ipsi et quilibet eor' deputat' 
rac'one dicti officii habeant gerant et deferant 
tam in presentia nostra heredum et successorum 
nostrorum quam alibi Baculum Aureum ad 
utrumqz finem de Nigro annilatum et cum 
signo armor' nostror' et heredum et successor' 
nostror' in superiore fine dicti baculi et cum 
signo armorum comitis Mariscalli Anglie pro 
tempore existent' in inferiori fine ejusdem 
baculi sculpt' et ornat' licite et impune absqz 
impetic'one nostri heredum et successor' 
nostror' vel justiciarior' seu alior' ministror' 
nostror' quor'cumqz heredum vel successorum 
nostror' Et ut idem Henricus Dominus 

The Earl Marshal "jt, 

Howard et heredes masculi de corpore suo 
exeuntes ut Comites Mariscalli Anglie juxta 
nominis sui decentiam honorificentius se habere 
ac onera ipsis incumbentia manutenere sustinere 
et supportare valeant ac quilibet eorum manu- 
tenere sustinere et supportare valeat de vberiori 
gratia nostra speciali ac ex certa scientia et 
mero motu n'ris dedimus et concessimus ac per 
presentes pro nobis heredibus et successoribus 
nostris damus et concedimus prefato Henrico 
Domino Howard et heredibus masculis de 
corpore suo exeuntibus unum alium an'ualem 
redditum viginti librar' legalis monete Anglie 
de exitibus et revenc'o'ibz hanaperii cancellarie 
nostre heredum et successor' nostror' pro- 
venient' sive crescent' per manus custodis sive 
clerici eiusdem hanaperii aut aHorum occupa- 
torum sive receptorum proficuor' et exituu' 
ejusdem hanaperii pro tempore existent' ad 
Festa Annunciac'onis beate Marie Virginis et 
Sancti Michaelis Archangeli per equales 
portiones annuatim solvend' Et si contingat 
prefatum Henricum Howard obire sine herede 
masculo de corpore suo legitime procreato tunc 
volumus et per presentes pro nobis heredibus 
et successoribus n'ris concedimus statuimus 
et ordinamus quod officium predictum remaneat 
heredibus masculis de corpore Thome nuper 
Comitis Arundeir Surrey et Norfolcie Avi dicti 
Henrici Domini Howard legitime procreatis 
Quodqz heredes masculi de corpore dicti 
Thome successive habeant et teneant Officium 
Comitis Mariscalli Anglie cum suis pertinentiis 
universis Et Comites Mariscalli Anglie 
vocentur et nuncupentur Baculumqz Aureum 

74 The Right to Bear Arms 

sic ut prefertur de Nigro annilatum gerant tam 
in presentia n'ra heredum et successor' nostror' 
quam alibi idemqz officium exerceant per 
se vel per deputatum aut deputatos suos 
sufficientes habeantqz similem an'ualem 
redditum viginti librar' de revenc'o'ibz dicti 
hanaperii nostri heredum et successor' nostror' 
provenient' solvend' iisdem modo et forma et ad 
similes anni terminos Eademqz privilegia pre- 
heminencias ceteraque premissa quecumqz 
eidem officio spectantia seu annexata in tam 
amplis modo et forma prout dictus Henricus 
Dominus Howard et heredes masculi sui pre- 
dict' virtute harum literar' patentium fruuntur 
et gaudent seu frui et gaudere debeant et si 
contingat quod nullus fuerit heres masculus de 
corpore dicti Thome Comitis Arundell' Surry 
et Norfolcie Avi dicti Domini Henrici Howard 
legittime procreatus tunc et pro defectu talis 
exitus volumus et concedimus et per presentes 
pro nobis heredibus et successoribus nostris 
statuimus et ordinamus qviod officium predic- 
tum remaneat heredibus masculis de corpore 
Thome nuper Comitis Suffolcie Quodque 
heredes masculi de corpore dicti Thome 
Comitis Suffolcie successive habeant et teneant 
dictum officium Comitis Mariscalli Anglie cum 
suis pertinentiis universis et Comites Mariscalli 
Anglie vocentur et nuncupentur Baculumque 
Aureum sic ut prefertur de Nigro Annilatum 
gerant tam in presentia nostra heredum et 
successor' nostror' quam alibi Idemqz officium 
exerceant per se vel per deputatum aut depu- 
tatos suos sufficientes habeantqz similem annu- 
alem redditum viginti librarum de revenc'oni- 

The Earl Marshal 75 

bus dicti hanaperii nostri heredum et succes- 
sorum nostror' provenient' solvend' iisdem 
modo et forma et ad similes anni terminos 
eademque privilegia preheminentias ceteraque 
premissa quecunque eidem officio spectantia 
seu annexata in tarn amplis modo et forma prout 
dictus Henricus Dominus Howard et heredes 
masculi sui predict' virtute harum literarum 
patentium fruuntur et gaudent seu frui et 
gaudere debeant Et si contingat quod nullus 
fuerit heres masculus de corpore dicti Thome 
nuper Comitis Suifolcie legitime procreatus 
Tunc et pro defectu talis exitus volumus et 
concedimus et per presentes pro nobis here- 
dibus et successoribus nostris statuimus et 
ordinamus quod officium predictum re- 
maneat heredibus masculis de corpore Domini 
Willielmi Howard nuper de Nav/orth in Comi- 
tatu Cumbrie legitime procreatis qui quidem 
Willielmus Dominus Howard fuit filius natu 
minimus dicti Thome nuper Ducis Norfolcie 
Quodque heredes masculi de corpore dicti 
Willielmi successive habeant et teneant dictum 
officium Comitis mariscalH Anglie cum^ suis 
pertinentiis universis Et Comites mariscalli 
Anglie vocentur et nuncupentur Baculumqz 
Aureum sic ut prefertur de Nigro Annilatum 
gerant tam in presentia nostra heredum et 
successorum nostrorum quam alibi idemque 
officium exerceant per se vel per deputatum 
aut deputatos suos sufficientes habeantque 
similem annualem redditum viginti librarum 
de revenc'onibus dicti hanaperii nostro here- 
dum et successorum nostrorum provenient' 
solvend' iisdem modo et forma et ad similes 

76 The Right to Bear Arms 

anni terminos eademque privilegia prehemi- 
nentias ceteraque premissa quecunque eidem 
officio spectantia sive annexata in tarn amplis 
mode et forma prout dictus Henricus Dominus 
Howard et heredes masculi sui predict' virtute 
harum literarum patentium fruuntur et gaudent 
seu frui aut gaudere debeant Et si contingat 
quod nullus fuerit heres masculus de corpora 
dicti Willielmi legitime procreatus Tunc et 
pro defectu talis exitus volumus et concedimus 
et per presentes pro nobis heredibus et succes- 
soribus nostris statuimus et ordinamus quod 
officium predictum remaneat perdilecto et fideli 
consanguineo nostro Carolo Comiti de Notting- 
ham et heredibus masculis de corpore suo legi- 
time procreatis et procreandis Quodque idem 
Carolus Comes Nottingham et heredes masculi 
de corpore suo procreati successive habeant et 
teneant dictum officium Comitis Mariscalli 
Anglie cum suis pertinentiis universis Et 
Comites Mariscalli Anglie vocentur et nuncu- 
pentur Baculumque Aureum sic ut prefertur 
de Nigro Annilatum gerent tam in presentia 
nostra heredum et successor' nostror' quam alibi 
idemque officium exerceant per se vel per 
deputatum suos sufficientes habeantque simi- 
lem Annualem redditum viginti librarum de 
revenc'onibus dicti hanaperii nostri heredum 
et successorum nostror' provenient' solvend' 
iisdem modo et form' et ad similes anni terminos 
eademque privilegia preheminentias ceteraque 
promissa quecunque eidem officio spectantia 
sive annexata in tam amplis modo et forma 
prout dictus Henricus Dominus Howard et 
heredes masculi sui predicti virtute harum 

The Earl Marshal 77 

literarum patentium fruuntur et gaudent seu 
frui et gaudere debeant, volumus etiam ac per 
presentes concedimus prefato Henrico Domino 
Howard quod habeat et habebit has literas 
nostras patentes sub magno sigillo nostro 
Anglie debito modo fact' et sigillat' absque fine 
seu feodo magno vel parvo nobis in hanaperio 
nostro seu alibi ad usum nostrum proinde 
quoque modo reddend' solvend' vel faciend' Eo 
quod expressa mentio de vero valore annuo vel 
de certitudine premissorum sive eorum alicujus 
aut de aliis donis sive concessionibus per nos seu 
per aliquem progenitorum sive predecessorum 
nostrorum prefato Henrico Domino Howard 
ante hec tempore fact' in presentibus minime 
fact' existet aut aliquo statuto actu ordinatione 
provisione proclamatione sive restricc'oe in 
contrarium inde antehac habit' fact' edit' 
ordinat' sive provis' aut aliqua aha re causa vel 
materia quacunque in aliquo non obstante 
In cujus rei testimonium has literas nostras 
fieri fecimus patentes Teste meipso apud West- 
monasterium decimo nono die Octobris Anno 
Regni nostri vicesimo quarto. 

' Per breve de privato sigillo.' 
Translation of the foregoing Grant to Henry, 
Lord Howard, of the hereditary office of Earl 
Marshal: — 

' Charles the Second, by the Grace of God, King 
of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, 
Defender of the Faith, etc., to the Archbishops, 
Dukes, Marquesses, Earls, Viscounts, Bishops, 
Barons, Justices, Baronets, Knights, Esquires, 

yS The Right to Bear Arms 

Officers, and free men, as all our officials, 
servants and subjects whomsoever, to whom 
these present letters shall come. Greeting. — 
Whereas . . . 
[Here follows the grant of the Earldom of Norwich.] 
' And whereas our very dear grandfather, James, 
late King of England, of blessed memory, by 
his letters patent bearing date the 29th day 
of August, in the nineteenth year of his reign, 
had given and granted to Thomas, late Earl of 
Arundel, Surrey, and Norfolk, grandfather of 
the said Henry, Lord Howard, the said office of 
Earl Marshal, with all and singular its appur- 
tenances for the term of his life, as by the said 
letters patent more at large appears : And 
afterwards our said grandfather by other his 
letters patent, bearing date the first day of 
August in the twentieth year of his reign, 
reciting that he had been informed that the 
same Earl of Arundel and Surrey, his Earl 
Marshal, postponed proceeding judicially in 
certain causes then pending before him in the 
Marshal's Court, by reason of certain doubts 
spread abroad that the Earl Marshal was only 
attendant upon the precepts and judgments of 
the Constable, although our same grandfather 
never doubted not only the absolute power of 
Earl Marshal, when the office of Constable was 
vacant, but also that the said Earl Marshal, 
when the Constable was in office, was a judge 
together with the said Constable. Neverthe- 
less, in a matter of such moment, he was 
unwilling to proceed without special delibera- 
tion first had, and therefore, having received 

The Earl Marshal 79 

ample satisfaction for himself and his Privy 
Council by means of many and very clear 
proofs, that the said Constable and Earl Mar- 
shal are judges conjointly, acting together or 
separately in the vacancy of either of their 
offices, our said grandfather by his said letters 
patent, authorized, willed, and commanded the 
said Thomas, Earl Marshal, that thenceforward 
in all causes whatsoever, the cognisance 
whereof belongs to the court of the Constable 
and Marshal, he should proceed judicially 
and definitively in the same manner and 
degree as any Constables or Marshals of this 
Kingdom have proceeded either jointly or 
severally ; and that the said Earl Marshal 
should endeavour to reconstruct and establish 
the honourable processes of the said Court, by 
all manner of means, together with all rights 
whatsoever thereunto belonging, with the 
assistance of records and ancient precedents, as 
among other things in the said letters patent 
more fully appears and is set forth. Which 
said letters patent last mentioned, and the 
declaration made therein, in so far as mention 
is made in the same letters patent of the 
absolute power of the Earl Marshal while the 
office of Constable is vacant, or that the 
Constable and Earl Marshal are conjointly 
judges together or separately, while the office 
of either of them should be vacant, are to be 
understood only in respect and relation to the 
Court of the Constable and Marshal, and in 
causes the cognisance whereof belongs to the 
Court aforesaid. And thus by these presents 
we declare and will it to be understood, and 

8o The Right to Bear Anns 

that they do not extend to, nor ought they to 
be interpreted of, any other authority whatso- 
ever to the said office of Constable belonging. 
Know, moreover, that we, closely considering 
the fidelity, good service, and deserts of the 
said Henry, Lord Howard, of our further 
special grace, and of our certain knowledge and 
mere motion, have given and granted, and by 
these presents, for us, our heirs and successors, 
do give and grant to the said Henry, Lord 
Howard, the office of Marshal of England, 
together with the name and honour of Earl 
Marshal of England, and by these presents we 
create, ordain, and constitute him, the said 
Henry, Lord Howard, Earl Marshal of Eng- 
land, and have given, bestowed, and conferred, 
and by these presents do give, bestow, and confer 
to and upon him the Name, Style, Title, Rank, 
Authority, Jurisdiction, Dignity, and Honour 
of Earl Marshal of England, together with all 
and singular the dignities, precedencies, pre- 
eminences, jurisdictions, profits, commodities, 
emoluments, advantages, offices, and nomina- 
tions of officers, and all other privileges, rights, 
powers, authorities, and all other things what- 
soever thereunto appertaining, both in our 
courts and elsewhere, to the said office of 
Earl Marshal of England, in any manner or 
wise belonging or of right appertaining. And 
further, by these presents we invest, establish, 
and confirm him, the said Henry, Lord 
Howard, in the said office of Earl Marshal of 
England, and the other things aforesaid to the 
same office as aforesaid appertaining, in the 
same ample manner and form as Henry, Lord 

The Earl Marshal 8i 

Maltravers, late Earl of Arundel, Surrey, and 
Norfolk, father of the said Henry, Lord 
Howard, or Thomas, Earl of Arundel, Surrey, 
and Norfolk, grandfather of the said Henry, 
Lord Howard, or Thomas, late Duke of Nor- 
folk, grandfather of the said Thomas, Earl of 
Arundel, Surrey, and Norfolk, or Thomas, 
formerly Duke of Norfolk, grandfather of the 
said Thomas, Duke of Norfolk, or John 
Mowbray, formerly Duke of Norfolk, or any 
other Earl Marshal of England, having or 
exercising the office before this time, has had 
or exercised or of right could have or exercised 
the same, to have, hold, exercise, and occupy 
the office aforesaid, and all and singular the 
authorities, jurisdictions, powers, commodities, 
profits, and other things aforesaid whatsoever 
to the said office in any way belonging or of 
right appertaining to him, the said Henry, 
Lord Howard, and the heirs male of his body 
lawfully begotten and to be begotten, by 
himself or by his sufficient deputy or deputies. 
And, moreover, of our further especial grace, 
we have given and granted, and by these 
presents for ourselves, our heirs and successors, 
do give and grant to the aforesaid Henry, Lord 
Howard, and the heirs male of his body issuing 
as aforesaid, that they and their deputies by 
reason of the said office, shall have, bear, and 
carry, both in the presence of us, our heirs and 
successors, and elsewhere, a golden rod, ringed 
with black at either end, bearing at the upper 
end the arms of ourselves, our heirs and 
successors, and at the lower end the arms of 
the Earl Marshal of England for the time 


82 The Right to Bear Arms 

being, carved and adorned, lawfully, with 
impunity, and without hindrance from us, our 
heirs and successors, or the justices, or other 
servants whomsoever of us, our heirs or 
successors. And that the said Henry, Lord 
Howard, and the heirs male from his body 
issuing, and every one of them may be able 
with the greater honour to maintain, sustain, 
and support the burdens incumbent upon them 
in accordance with the dignity of their name, 
of our further special grace, certain knowledge 
and mere motion, we have given and granted, 
and by these presents for us, our heirs and suc- 
cessors, do give and grant to the aforesaid 
Henry, Lord Howard, and the heirs male of 
his body, one other annual rent of ^20 of 
legal money of England from the issues and 
revenues of the hanaper of our Chancery, and 
the Chancery of our heirs and successors issuing 
and arising, by the hands of the keepers or 
clerk of the said hanaper, or other the holders 
or receivers of the profits and issues of the said 
hanaper for the time being, to be paid annually 
at the Feasts of the Annunciation of the Blessed 
Virgin Mary and Saint Michael the Archangel 
in equal portions. And if the aforesaid Henry 
Howard happen to die without an heir male 
of his body lawfully begotten, then we will, and 
by these presents for us, our heirs and successors, 
we have granted, decreed and ordained that the 
office aforesaid shall remain to the heirs male of 
the body of Thomas, late Earl of Arundel, 
Surrey, and Norfolk, grandfather of the said 
Henry, Lord Howard, lawfully begotten, and 
that the heirs male of the body of the said 

The Earl Marshal 83 

Thomas successively shall have and hold the 
office of Earl Marshal of England with all its 
appurtenances, and shall be called and known 
as Earls Marshal of England, and shall carry 
the golden rod thus ringed with black as afore- 
said, both in the presence of us, our heirs and 
successors, and elsewhere, and shall exercise the 
same office themselves or by their sufficient 
deputy or deputies, and shall have a like annual 
rent of twenty pounds from the revenues of the 
said hanaper of us, our heirs and successors, to 
be paid in the same manner and form and at 
like terms of the year, and the same privileges, 
pre-eminences and other things aforesaid what- 
soever to the said office belonging or annexed, 
in such ample manner and form as the afore- 
said Henry, Lord Howard, and his heirs male 
aforesaid, by virtue of these letters patent, 
occupy and enjoy, or ought to occupy and enjoy 
the same ; and if it happen that there shall be 
no heir male lawfully begotten of the body of 
the said Thomas, Earl of Arundel, Surrey, and 
Norfolk, grandfather of the said Lord Henry 
Howard, then and in default of such issue, we 
will and grant, and by these presents for us, 
our heirs and successors, decree and ordain, 
that the office aforesaid shall remain to the 
heirs male of the body of Thomas, late Earl of 
Suffolk ; and that the heirs male of the body of 
the said Thomas, Earl of Suffolk, successively 
shall have and hold the said office of Earl 
Marshal of England with all its appurtenances, 
and shall be called Earls Marshal of England, 
and shall carry the golden rod ringed with 
black as aforesaid, both in the presence of us, 

84 The Right to Bear Arms 

our heirs and successors and elsewhere, and 
shall exercise the same office themselves or by 
their sufficient deputy or deputies, and shall 
have a like annual rent of twenty pounds out of 
the revenues of the said hanaper of us our heirs 
and successors, to be paid in the same manner 
and form as is aforesaid and at like terms of the 
year, and the same privileges, pre-eminences, 
and other things aforesaid whatsoever to the 
said office belonging or annexed, in such ample 
manner and form as the said Henry, Lord 
Howard, and his heirs male aforesaid by virtue 
of these letters patent occupy and enjoy, or 
ought to occupy and enjoy the same. And if 
it happen there shall be no male heir of the 
body of the said Thomas, late Earl of SuffiDlk, 
lawfully begotten, then and in default of such 
issue we will and grant, and by these presents 
for us, our heirs and successors, decree and 
ordain that the office aforesaid shall remain to 
the heirs male of the body of Lord William 
Howard, late of Naworth, in the county of 
Cumberland, lawfully begotten, which said 
William, Lord Howard, was youngest son of 
the said Thomas, late Earl of Norfolk, and that 
the heirs male of the body of the said William 
successively shall have and hold the said office 
of Earl Marshal of England with all its appur- 
tenances, and shall be called and known as 
Earls Marshal of England, and shall carry the 
golden rod ringed with black as aforesaid both 
in the presence of us, our heirs and successors 
and elsewhere, and shall exercise the same office 
themselves or by their sufficient deputies, and 
shall have a like annual rent of twenty pounds 

The Earl Marshal 85 

from the revenues of the said hanaper of us, 
our heirs and successors, to be paid in the same 
manner and form, and at Hke terms of the year, 
and the same privileges, pre-eminences, and 
other things whatsoever above said to the said 
office belonging or annexed, in such ample 
manner and form as the said Henry, Lord 
Howard, and his heirs male aforesaid by virtue 
of these letters patent occupy and enjoy, or 
ought to occupy and enjoy the same. And if 
it happen that there be no heir male of the 
body of the said William lawfully begotten, 
then and in default of such issue we will and 
grant, and by these presents for us, our heirs 
and successors, decree and ordain that the office 
aforesaid shall remain to our well-beloved and 
faithful cousin Charles, Earl of Nottingham, 
and the heirs male of his body lawfully begotten 
and to be begotten, and that the said Charles, 
Earl of Nottingham, and the heirs male of his 
body shall have and hold the said office of 
Earl Marshal of England, with all its appurte- 
nances, and shall be called and known as Earls 
Marshal of England, and shall carry the golden 
rod, ringed with black as aforesaid, both in the 
presence of us, our heirs and successors, and 
elsewhere, and shall exercise the same office 
themselves or by their sufficient deputy or 
deputies, and shall have a similar annual rent 
of twenty pounds from the revenues of the 
said hanaper of us, our heirs and successors, to 
be paid in the same manner and form, and at 
like terms of the year, and the same privileges, 
pre-eminences, and other things aforesaid what- 
soever to the said office appertaining or annexed. 

86 The Right to Bear Arms 

in such ample manner and form as the said 
Henry, Lord Howard, and his heirs male afore- 
said, by virtue of these letters patent, occupy 
and enjoy, or ought to occupy and enjoy the 
same ; we will, also, and by these presents 
grant to the aforesaid Henry, Lord Howard, 
that he may and shall have these our letters 
patent under our Great Seal of England, made 
and sealed, without fine or fee, great or small, 
to be paid or made on that account to us into 
our hanaper or elsewhere to our use. It being 
understood that express mention of the actual 
annual value, or of the definitiveness of the 
things aforesaid or of any of them, or of other 
gifts or grants made heretofore by us, or by any 
of our progenitors or predecessors to the afore- 
said Henry, Lord Howard, by no means stands 
made in these presents ; and any statute, act, 
ordinance, provision, proclamation, or restric- 
tion to the contrary, hitherto had, made, pub- 
lished, ordained or provided, or any other 
thing, cause or matter whatsoever notwith- 
standing. — In witness whereof we have caused 
these our letters to be made patent, witness 
myself at Westminster, the nineteenth day of 
October, in the twenty-fourth year of our 

' By writ of Privy Seal.' 

As I have already stated, His Grace the present 
Duke of Norfolk, by virtue of the foregoing Letters 
Patent, is now Earl Marshal. 

Every Royal Warrant of the present day relating 
to arms, a change of name, precedence or any- 

The Earl Marshal 87 

thing of that nature, is addressed "/<? our right 
trusty and well- beloved Cousin and Councillor^ 
Henry, Duke of Norfolk, K.G., Earl Marshal and 
Hereditary Marshal of England, TO WHOM THE 

Each Earl Marshal, moreover, personally re- 
ceived from the actual hands of the Sovereign his 
baton or rod of office, as he succeeds to the inherit- 
ance of his office. 

In addition to his other duties, he nominates 
the English Officers of Arms. 



In the earliest times the Kings, Heralds, and 
Pursuivants of Arms were not public officials ; 
many powerful nobles, and certainly most 
members of the Royal Family, attached individuals 
to their persons to attend to their armorial require- 
ments. Such heralds had then little or no 
authority over the general public ; but certainly in 
the reign of Richard III., if not at a much earlier 
date, the Royal Officers of Arms were erected into 
a close Corporation by Royal Charter, and there- 
after, as now, formed the Corporation of the College 
of Arms. 

Now the date of the incorporation of the various 
Officers of Arms is nearly always quoted as the first 
year of the reign of Richard III. Certainly there 
is a charter bearing the date the 2nd March, i 
Richard III., which will be found hereafter re- 
printed in full. The original charter is now in the 
British Museum. This certainly does erect the 
Officers of Arms into a corporate body, and if 

The College and Officers of Arms 89 

■nothing else can be found, is in itself of full and 
ample extent for that end ; but, I believe, it really is 
principally as an actual matter of fact, no more than 
the grant of the messuage in Coldharbour ; and the 
fact that it contains a clause erecting the Officers 
of Arms into a close corporation, is by no means 
proof that they were not at that date already a 
corporate body ; for a supplementary charter, or a 
charter of confirmation, at that date, nearly always 
regranted everything that existed before. My own 
opinion is that the Officers of Arms must have been 
a corporate body at a much earlier date, for I am 
given to understand that there are records at the 
College of Arms as far back as the reign of 
Richard II., which can be explained in no other 
way than by the supposition that they were already 
acting as a corporation. At the same time no 
King of Arms or Herald seems to have officiated 
in the Scrope v. Grosvenor case. But I can find 
no record on the Patent Rolls of any charter before 
the one of Richard III., so that there is no alter- 
native but to take one's stand upon that charter, 
and consequently I reprint it. But there can be 
no doubt that the Officers of Arms, whether 
incorporated or not, were accustomed to meet in 
chapter long before the reign of Richard III. 

The Officers of Arms still remain members of 
the Royal Household. The charter of Richard 
III., and the subsequent confirmations of it, can be 

90 The Right to Bear Arms 

found set out in Noble's History of the College of 
Arms. As they are there set out they are not 
absolutely without mistake ; but to all intents and 
purposes they are correct. They deal rather with 
the constitution of the officers into a corporate 
body, and the privileges as such conferred upon 
them, than with the point I am concerned to 
emphasize, namely, their absolute control of all 
armorial matters in England. 

The following is a copy of the earliest known 
Charter : — 

Liters de Incorporatione Heraldorqm.* 
' Rex, omnibus ad quos, etc., salutem. 

' Sciatis quod nos, de gratia nostra speciali, ac ex 
carta scientia & mero motu nostris, necnon 
certis considerationibus nos specialiter moven- 
tibus, concessimus pro nobis & haeredibus 
nostris, quantum in nobis est, dilectis nobis, 
Johanni Writhe, alias dicto Garter regi armo- 
rum Anglicorum, Thomae Holme, alias 
dicto Clarensu regi armorum partium 
Australium, Johanni More, alias dicto 
Norrey regi armorum partium Borialium, 
Richardo Champney, alias dicto Gloucester 
regi armorum partium Walliae, & omnibus 
aliis heraldis, prosecutoribus, sive parsevandis 
armorum, quod ipsi & successores sui scilicet, 
le Garter rex armorum Anglicorum, rex armo- 
rum partium Australium, rex armorum Boria- 

* Enrolled on Patent Roll, I R. III., Pt. 3, mem. 5, and printed 
in Rymer's Feeder a, vol. xii., p. 215. 

The College and Officers of Arms 91 

Hum, rex armorum partium Wallise, ac omnes 
alii heraldi, prosecutores, sive pursevandi 
armorum, qui pro tempore fuerint, imper- 
petuum sint unum corpus corporatim in re, 
& nomine, habeantque successionem per- 
petuam, necnon quoddam sigillum commune 
pro negotiis & aliis agendis eorumdem habere 
& excercere valeant imperpetuum, ac quod 
ipsi & successores sui per nomina le Garter 
regis armorum Anglicorum, regis armorum 
partium Australium, regis armorum partium 
Borialium, regis armorum Walliae, and aliorum 
heraldorum, prosecutorum, sive pursevandorum 
armorum imperpetuum, nuncupenter. 

' Et quod ipsi & eorum successores per eadem 
nomina sint personae habiles & capaces in 
lege, ac nomen illud habeant & gerant im- 

'Et quod iidem Garter rex armorum Anglico- 
rum, rex armorum partium Australium, rex ar- 
morum Borialium, rex armorum partium 
Wallise, ac alii heraldi, prosecutores, sive pur- 
sevandi armorum, & successores sui, per 
hujusmodi nomen, terras, tenementa, haeredita- 
menta, & possessiones, ac bona & catalla 
qusecumque perquirere & habere possint. 

'Ac pro terris, tenementis, redditibus, & 
possessionibus, juribus, rebus, bonis, catallis 
quibuscumque ; in quibuscumque actionibus, 
causis, demandis, querelis, & placitis, tarn 
realibus & personalibus quam mixtis, cujus- 
cumque generis fuerint vel naturae, in quibus- 
cumque curiis, coram quibuscumque justiciariis 
aut judicibus, spiritualibus vel secularibus,, 
placitare & implacitari, ac respondere & res- 

92 The Right to Bear Arms 

ponderi valeant imperpetuum, prout & in 
eodem modo quo cateri liegiae nostrse per- 
sonse habiles & capace sin lege placitare & 
implacitari, respondere & responderi po- 
terunt & consueverunt. 

* Quodque prsedicti Garter rex armorum Angli- 
corum, rex armorum partium Australium, rex 
armorum partium Borialium, rex armorum 
Wallise, & alii heraldi, prosecutores, sive 
pursevandi armorum, & eorum successores, 
& eorum libitum invicem commorentur, ac 
ad dies, loca, & tempora congrua & opor- 
tuna, quotiens & quando eis placuerit, ad 
tractandum, communicandum, & concordan- 
dum inter se ipsos, & una cum aliis, pro 
consilio & avisamento, pro bono statu, 
eruditione, & regimine, facultatis suae 
praedictse convenire possint. 

* Et, ut ipsi quendam locum sive mansionem 
congruum in ea parte habeant, de gratia 
nostra speciali et ex mero motu. 

' Dedimus & concessimus eisdem, Garter Regi 
Armorum Anglicorum, Regi Armorum Partium 
Australium, Regi Armorum Partium Borialium, 
Regi Armorum Wallise, & aliis Heraldis, 
Prosecutoribus sive Pursevandis Armorum, 
unum Mesuagium cum Pertinentis in Londonia 
in Parochia Omnium Sanctorum Parva vocat 

' Habendum & Tenendum Mesuagium illud 
cum Pertinentiis eisdem Garter regi armorum 
Anglicorum, regi armorum partium Australium, 
regi armorum partium Borialium, regi ar- 
morum Wallise, & heraldis, prosecutoribus, 
sive persevandis armorum, & successoribus 

The College a7id Officers of Arms 93 

suis, ad usum duodecim principalium & pro- 
borum eorundem pro tempore existentium 
imperpetuum, absque compoto seu aliquo alio 
inde nobis vel hagredibus nostris reddendo vel 

' Et ulterius de uberiori gratia nostra con- 
cessimus & licentiam dedimus, pro nobis & 
haeredibus nostris prasdictis, quantum in nobis 
est, praefatis Garter regi armorum Anglicorum, 
regi armorum partium Australium, regi armo- 
rum partium Borialium, regi armorum Walliae, 
& aliis heraldis, prosecutoribus, sive pur- 
sevandis armorum, & successoribus suis, quod 
ipsi terras, tenementa, redditus, & posses- 
siones, quae de nobis non tenentur in capite, ad 
valorem viginti librarum per annum, ultra 
reprisas, & ultra messuagium praedictum, 
cum pertinentiis, a quibuscumque personis 
secularibus vel regularibus adquirere possint. 

' Habenda & tenenda eis & successoribus suis 
imperpetuum, ad intentionem inveniendi unum 
capellanum idoneum ad celebrandum singulis 
diebus, in messuagio praedicto, vel extra, ad 
libitum regum armorum praedictorum, pro 
salubri statu nostro & Annae consortis nostrae, 
& Edwardi principis Walliae, primogeniti nostri, 
dum vixerimus : & pro animabus nostris cum 
ab hac luce migraverimus, ac pro bono statu 
omnium benefactorum regum armorum supra 
nominatorum dum vixerint, & pro animabus 
suis cum ab hac luce migraverint, ac pro 
animabus omnium fidelium defunctorum, juxta 
discretiones & ordinationes praedictorum Gar- 
ter regis armorum Anglicorum, regis armorum 
partium Australium, regis armorum partium 

94 The Right to Bear Arms 

Borialium, regis armorum Wallise, & aliorum 
heraldorum, prosecutorum, sive pursevandorum 
armorum, & successorum suorum. 

' Et haec omnia absque impetitione, impedi- 
mento, perturbatione, aut gravamine nostri 
vel haeredum nostrorum, justitiariorum, vice- 
comitum, escaetorum, coronatorum, ballivorum, 
seu ministrorum nostrorum quorumque. 

' Et absque aliquibus aliis Uteris regis paten- 
tibus, seu aliquibus inquisitionibus super aliquo 
brevi de ad quod dampnum, aut aliquo alio 
mandate regio in ea parte quovismodo prose- 
quendo, habendo, faciendo, capiendo seu retor- 

' Et absque fine seu feodo inde nobis vel 
haeredibus nostris, fiendo seu solvendo ; statute 
de terris & tenementis ad manum mortuam non 
pronendis edito, aut eo quod expressa mentio 
de vero valore annuo messuagii prsedicti, aut 
cseterorum prsemissorum, sive eorum alicujus, 
vel de aliis donis sive concessionibus per nos aut 
aliquem progenitorum, sive prsedecessorum 
nostrorum, regum Anglise, prsefatis Johanni 
Writhe, Thomae Holme, Johanni More, & 
Richardo Champneys, aut eorum alicui, ante 
hsec tempora factis in presentibus minime facta 
existit, aut aliquo statute, actu, ordinatiene, 
sive restrictione in contrarium factis, editis, sive 
ordinatis, aut aliqua alia re, causa, vel materia 
quacumque, non obstante. 

' In cujus, etc. 

' Teste rege, apud Westmonasterium, secundo 
die Martii. [i Ric. III.] 

' Per breve de private sigillo.' 

The College and Officers of Arms 95 

Hereafter follows the Translation of the foregoing 
Charter of Incorporation to the Heralds : — 

* The King to all to whom, etc., Greeting. 

' Know that we, of our especial grace, certain 
knowledge and mere motion, and for certain 
other considerations specially moving us, have 
granted for us and our heirs, as far as in us hes, 
to our beloved John Writhe, otherwise called 
Garter King of Arms of England, Thomas 
Holme, otherwise called Clarenceux King of 
Arms of the Southern parts, John More, other- 
wise called Norroy King of Arms of the Northern 
parts, Richard Champney, otherwise called 
Gloucester King of Arms of the parts of Wales, 
and to all other heralds and pursuivants of 
arms, that they and their successors, to wit, the 
Garter King of Arms of England, the King of 
Arms of the Southern parts, the King of Arms 
of the Northern parts, the King of Arms of the 
parts of Wales, and all other heralds and pur- 
suivants of arms, for the time being, shall be in 
perpetuity a body corporate in fact and name, 
and shall preserve a succession unbroken, and 
have authority to have and use a common seal 
in their business and other transactions for 
ever, and that they and their successors shall for 
ever be called by the names of Garter King of 
Arms of England, King of Arms of the Southern 
parts. King of Arms of the Northern parts. King 
of Arms of Wales, and other heralds and pur- 
suivants of arms. 

' And that they and their successors by the 
said names shall be persons able and capable in 

96 The Right to Bear Arms 

law, and shall have and bear that name for 

' And that the said Garter King of Arms of 
England, the King of Arms of the Southern 
parts, the King of Arms of the Northern parts, 
the King of Arms of Wales, and the other 
heralds and pursuivants of arms, and their 
successors by this name, shall have power to 
acquire and hold lands, tenements, and here- 
ditaments, and property, goods and chattels of 
every kind. 

' And they shall have power to plead or be 
impleaded, themselves to be defendants or to 
make others defendants, for lands, tenements, 
rents and possessions, rights, properties, goods 
and chattels of what sort soever, in whatsoever 
actions, causes, demands, quarrels and pleas, 
real, personal and mixed, of whatsoever kind or 
nature they may be, in whatsoever courts, 
before whatsoever justices or judges, spiritual 
or secular, as, and in the same manner as, our 
other lieges, persons able and capable in law, 
have been allowed and accustomed to plead 
and be impleaded, to be themselves defendants 
and to make others defendants. 

' And that the aforesaid Garter King of Arms, 
the King of Arms of the Southern parts, the 
King of Arms of the Northern parts, the King 
of Arms of Wales, and the other heralds and 
pursuivants of arms and their successors, and 
any of them in turn, shall dwell together, and 
may meet together, on days and at times and 
places suitable and convenient, as often and 
whenever they please, to treat, hold communi- 
cation and agree among themselves and with 

The College and Officers of Arms 97 

other persons, for counsel and advice with a 
view to the efficiency, erudition and regulation 
of their faculty aforesaid. 

'And in order that they may have some 
place or mansion suitable for this purpose, of 
our especial grace and mere motion we have 
given and granted to them, the said Garter 
King of Arms of England, the King of Arms of 
the Southern parts, the King of Arms of the 
Northern parts, the King of Arms of Wales, 
and the other heralds and pursuivants of arms, 
a messuage with its appurtenances in London, 
in the Parish of All Saints, the Little called 

' To have and to hold the said messuage with 
its appurtenances to them, the said Garter 
King of Arms of England, the King of Arms 
of the Southern parts, the King of Arms of the 
Northern parts, the King of Arms of Wales, 
and the heralds and pursuivants of arms and 
their successors, to the use of twelve principal 
and honest men among them for the time 
being for ever, without any account or other 
thing to be made or returned thereof to us or 
our heirs. 

* And further, of our more ample grace, we 
have granted and given licence, for us and our 
heirs aforesaid, as far as in us lies, to the afore- 
said Garter King of Arms of England, the 
King of Arms of the Southern parts, the King 
of Arms of the Northern parts, the King of 
Arms of Wales, and the other heralds and 
pursuivants of arms, and their successors, that 
they may have power to acquire lands, tene- 
ments, rents and possessions, not held of us in 


98 The Right to Bear Arms 

chief, to the value of twenty pounds per 
annum, beyond outgoings, and in addition to 
» the messuage aforesaid with its appurtenances 
from any persons whatsoever, secular or 

* To have and to hold to them and their 
successors for ever, for the purpose of providing 
a suitable chaplain to officiate every day, in the 
messuage aforesaid or outside, at the pleasure 
of the Kings of Arms aforesaid, for the health- 
ful state of us and of Anne, our consort, and of 
Edward Prince of Wales, our first-born son, 
during our lives ; and for our souls when we 
shall have quitted this world, and for the 
welfare of all the benefactors of the Kings of 
Arms above named during their lifetime, and 
for their souls when they shall have quitted this 
world, and the souls of all the faithful, who are 
departed, at the discretions and by the arrange- 
ments of the aforesaid Garter King of Arms of 
England, the King of Arms of the Southern 
parts, the King of Arms of the Northern parts, 
the King of Arms of Wales, and the other 
heralds and pursuivants of arms, and their 

* And all these things without let, hindrance, 
disturbance or annoyance from us or our heirs, 
our justices, sheriffs, escheators, coroners, bailiffs 
or ministers whomsoever. 

' And without any other royal Letters Patent 
or other Inquisitions upon any writ of " ad 
quod damnum," or any other royal mandate in 
this behalf in any wise to be issued, had, made, 
taken or returned. 

' And without fine or fee thereon to us or our 

The College and Officers of Arms 99 

heirs to be made or paid, the Statute of Mortmain 
notwithstanding, and the fact that express men- 
tion of the true annual value of the messuage 
aforesaid, or of the other premises, or of any 
one of them, or of the other gifts or grants 
heretofore made by us or any one of our pro- 
genitors or predecessors. Kings of England, to 
the aforesaid John Writhe, Thomas Holme, 
John More and Richard Champneys, or any 
one of them, is by no means set forth in these 
presents and any statute, act, ordinance, or 
restriction to the contrary, made, published or 
ordained, or any other thing, cause or matter 
whatsoever notwithstanding. 

' In witness whereof, etc., etc. 

' Witness the King at Westminster, the 
second day of March, [i Ric. III. J 

' By writ of Privy Seal.' 

There have been other charters, etc., confirming 
the powers and privileges, notably a charter dated 
1 8th July 1555 (Pat, i & 2 Philip and Mary, Part ii., 
memb. 35) ; and by the express command of Queen 
Elizabeth a set of ordinances and statutes were 
drawn up by Thomas, Duke of Norfolk, Earl 
Marshal, bearing date i8th July, 10 Eliz. (1568). 

The next step is the appointment of the Officers 
of Arms. The Earl Marshal (by his patent) enjoys 
the privilege — or has to endure the penalties — of 
nominating persons to hold such appointments as 
these become vacant ; but the officers individually 

lOO The Right to Bear Arms 

and actually hold office by specific Letters Patent 
under the Great Seal of England, issued separately 
to each officer as he is appointed. The following 
is a copy of the Letters Patent, of the earliest 
instance I can conveniently lay my hands upon, 
creating a King of Arms, followed by the Letters 
Patent which appointed William Henry Weldon, 
Esquire, to his office of Norroy King of Arms, the 
most recent appointment of this kind which the 
Crown has made. The following is a copy of the 
Letters Patent appointing John Wrythe to the 
Office of Garter : — 

' Rex * omnibus ad quos etc. Salutem. Sciatis quod 
cum non sit nouu', set iam diu ab antiquis 
te'poribus usitatu', quod inter ceteros officiales 
& Ministros quos Principu' lateribus pro eoru' 
magnificencia atq' gloria, adherere decet eoru' 
quibus officii Armoru' cura co'mittitur copia' 
habere debeat, ut nee te'pus belloru' neq' pacis 
sine co'uenientibus & aptis Ministris debeat 
preteriri. Nos igitur co'siderationis acie' in 
laudabilia seruicia que dilectus nobis Johannes 
Wrythe alias nuper dictus Norrey, Rex Armoru' 
parciu' Borialiu' Regni nostri Anglie, in hiis 
que ad officium illud spectare intelliguntur, 
exercuit dirigentes eund' propterea, & non 
minus ob solerciam et sagacitatem quas in eo 
satis habemus exploratas, in principalem Haral- 
dum & Officiorum incliti nostri Ordinis Garterii, 
Armorumque Regem Anglicorum, ex gracia 
nostra special! ereximus, fecimus, constituimus^ 
* Pat., i8 Ed. IV., Part ii., m. 28, 

The College and Officers of Arms loi 

ordinauimus, creauimus, et coronauimus ; ac 
per presentes erigimus, facimus, constituimus, 
ordinamus, creamus, & coronamus, ac ei oflScium 
illud, nee non nomen le Garter, Stilum titulum 
libertates & pre-eminencias huiusmodi officio 
conveniencia et concordancia, ac ab antiquo 
consueta, damus et concedimus, ac ipsum in 
eisdem realiter inuestimus. Habend' occupand' 
et exercend' Officium illud, ac nomen, stilum, 
titulum & preeminencias predict' eidem Johanni 
pro termino vite sue, cum omnibus iuribus, 
proficuis commoditatibus & emolumentis eidem 
officio qualitercumque debit' pertinen' siue 
spectan' Et ulterius concessimus et per presentes 
concedimus prefato Johanni in Regem Armorum 
Anglicorum ut prefertur erect' Quadraginta 
libras per annum racione et causa officii illius. 
Percipiend' eidem Johanni singuHs annis 
durante vita sua pro vadiis, & feodis officii pre- 
dicti, de parua customa nostra, in portu ciuitatis 
nostre London, per manus custumariorum siue 
collectorum custume predicte, in portu pre- 
dicto pro tempore existen' ad terminos Sancti 
Michaelis et Pasche per equales porciones, una 
cum tali Liberata Vesture, qualem, et eisdem 
modo et forma prout aliquis alius huius- 
modi Rex Armorum siue principaHs Haraldus 
tempore Domini Edwardi nuper Regis Anglie 
tercii progenitoris nostri habuit et percepit 
Habend' & percipiend', annuatim Liberatam, 
huiusmodi eidem Johanni singulis annis ad 
terminum vite sue ad magnam Garderobam 
nostram per manus custodis eiusdem pro 
tempore existentis Eo quod expressa mencio 
de vero valore annuo premissorum, seu alicuius 

I02 The Right to Bear Arms 

eorum, aut de aliis donis siue concessionibus 
eidem Johanni per nos ante hec tempora fact' 
in presentibus minime fact' existit Aut aliquo 
statute, actu, ordinacione, prouisione, seu re- 
strictione in contrarium fact' edit' ordinat' seu 
prouis' Aut aliqua alia re, causa vel materia 
quacumque non astant' In cuius etc. Teste R. 
apud Westm' sexto die Julii per ipsum Regem 
& de data predict.' 

The following is a translation of the foregoing 
Patent to Garter King of Arms : — 

* The King to all to whom, etc.. Greeting. Know 
ye that as it is no new thing, but a thing now 
long accustomed from of old time, that, among 
the other officers and servants whom, for their 
magnificence and glory, it behoves Princes to 
have around them, there should be plenty of 
those to whom the care of Arms is committed, 
so that the times neither of war nor peace 
should pass by without suitable and apt servants : 
We, therefore, taking into our keen observation 
and in consideration of the praiseworthy ser- 
vices rendered by our well-beloved John Wrythe, 
otherwise lately called Norrey, King of Arms 
of the Northern parts of our Kingdom of 
England, in those things which are understood 
to belong to the aforesaid office, for this reason, 
and not less on account of the shrewdness and 
sagacity which we have had ample proof to 
be in him, we, of our especial grace, have 
erected, made, constituted, ordained, created and 
crowned, and by these presents do erect, make, 
constitute, ordain, create and crown him Prin- 

The College and Officers of Arms 103 

cipal of the Heralds and Officers of our illus- 
trious Order of the Garter, and King of Arms 
of England, and we give and grant to him the 
said office, with the name of le Garter^ and the 
style, title, liberties and pre-eminences to this 
office appertaining and agreeable, and of old 
time accustomed, and we actually invest him 
with the same. 

' To have, occupy and exercise the said office, 
and the name, style, title and pre-eminences 
aforesaid to the said John for the term of his 
life, with all rights, profits, commodities and 
emoluments to the said office in anywise due, 
appertaining or belonging. And further, we 
have granted, and by these presents do grant, 
to the aforesaid John, erected to be King of 
Arms of England as aforesaid. Forty pounds 
per annum by reason and on account of the 
said office, to be received yearly by the said 
John every year during his life, as the wages 
and fees of the office aforesaid from our lesser 
customs in the port of our City of London, by 
the hands of the customers or collectors of the 
Customs aforesaid in the said port for the time 
being, at the terms of St Michael and Easter, in 
equal portions, together with such livery of 
raiment as any other such King of Arms or 
principal Herald had or received in the time of 
our Lord, Edward the Third, late King of Eng- 
land, our progenitor. To have and receive this 
livery each year to the said John for the term 
of his life at our Great Wardrobe by the hands 
of the Warden thereof for the time being ; it 
being understood that express mention of the 
actual annual value of the things above men- 

104 '^^^ Right to Bear Arms 

tioned, or of any one of them, or of other 
grants heretofore made by us to the said John, 
is by no means made in these presents, and any 
statute, act, ordinance, provision or restriction 
to the contrary, made, pubHshed, ordained or 
provided, or any other thing, cause or matter 
whatsoever notwithstanding. 

' In witness whereof, etc., etc. 

' Witness the King at Westminster, the 6th 
of July [i8 Edw. IV.]. By the King, and on 
the day aforesaid.' 

Here is a copy of the warrant for the prepara- 
tion of the present Norroy's Patent : — 

' Victoria R. * 

'Victoria by the Grace of God of the United 
Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Queen 
Defender of the Faith To Our right trusty and 
well-beloved Councillor Farrar Lord Herschell, 
G.C.B., Our Chancellor of that part of Our said 
United Kingdom called Great Britain Greet- 
ing : We Will and Command that under the 
Great Seal of Our said United Kingdom re- 
maining in your custody you cause these Our 
Letters to be made forth patent in the form 
following : — 

' Victoria by the Grace of God of the United 
Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Queen 
Defender of the Faith To all to whom these 
presents shall come Greeting : Whereas it hath 
been of ancient times accustomed that amongst 

* Copy from the original Royal Warrant now (March 15, 1898) in 
the Enrolment Office at the Law Courts. 

The College and Officers of Arms 105 

other Officers and Ministers whom it is meet 
should be attendant upon the persons of 
Princes suitable to their high dignity and glory- 
there should be more especially proper Officers 
to whom the care and office of arms in times of 
war and peace may be committed And whereas 
the Office of Norroy King of Arms and principal 
Herald of the North parts of that part of Our 
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland 
called England is become vacant by the pro- 
motion of George Edward Cokayne, Esquire, 
late Norroy to the Office of Clarenceux King of 
Arms Know Ye therefore that We of Our 
especial grace certain knowledge and mere 
motion and for divers other good causes and 
considerations Us hereunto especially moving 
Have advanced made ordained constituted and 
created And by these presents for Us Our 
heirs and successors Do advance make ordain 
constitute and create Our trusty and well- 
beloved William Henry Weldon, Esquire, 
Windsor Herald, a King of Arms and a prin- 
cipal Herald of the North parts of that part of 
Our said United Kingdom of Great Britain and 
Ireland called England And We have given and 
by these presents Do give unto him the name 
of Norroy which We do give and grant unto 
the said William Henry Weldon with the style 
title liberties pre-eminences and commodities 
suitable agreeable and belonging and anciently 
accustomed to the said office And him We 
have really crowned and invested and by these 
presents do crown and invest therewith To 
have enjoy occupy and exercise the said Office 
and the same style title pre-eminences and 

io6 The Right to Bear Arms 

commodities aforesaid unto him the said 
William Henry Weldon during his good be- 
haviour in the said office with all rights profits 
commodities and emoluments whatsoever to the 
same Office in anywise belonging and apper- 
taining Giving moreover and granting unto 
the said William Henry Weldon Norroy all and 
singular other things which are incumbent 
upon the said Office of Norroy King of Arms or 
are known to be appertaining of right or by 
custom in times past to be done transacted and 
executed And further Of our more abundant 
grace We do give and by virtue of these pre- 
sents grant unto the said William Henry Weldon 
Norroy authority power and licence with the 
consent of the Earl Marshal of England or his 
Deputy for the time being in writing under 
their hands and seals from time to time first 
given or signified of granting and appointing 
to eminent Men Letters Patent of Arms and 
Crests jointly and together with Garter and 
Clarenceux Kings of Arms or one of them or 
by himself alone without them at the will and 
pleasure of the Earl Marshal or his Deputy for 
the time being according to their Ordinances 
or Statutes from time to time issued or to be 
issued respectively in that behalf and not 
otherwise nor in other manner so as that if the 
said William Henry Weldon Norroy shall act 
any of the premises to the contrary, this Our 
present grant and all things herein contained 
shall cease and be utterly and altogether void 
and of none effect or force whatsoever More- 
over We have given and granted and by these 
presents for Us Our heirs and successors Do 

The College and Officers of Arms 107 

give and grant unto the said William Henry 
Weldon advanced by Us a King of Arms and a 
principal Herald of the North parts aforesaid 
Twenty pounds nineteen shillings and eight 
pence sterling by the year by reason and in 
consideration of the same Office and for the 
exercise thereof To have and receive the same 
unto him the said William Henry Weldon 
Norroy yearly and every year during his good 
behaviour in the same Office at the Office of 
the Chamberlain of Our Household for the 
time being the same to commence from the 
seventh day of March One thousand eight 
hundred and ninety-four being the day of the 
promotion of the said George Edward Cokayne 
and be computed and paid by the day after the 
rate of Twenty pounds nineteen shillings and 
eight pence by the year unto and for the Feast 
of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary 
from thence next ensuing and the subsequent 
payments quarterly at the four most usual days 
of payment in the year by even and equal 
portions Together with such Liveries and 
Clothing as and in the same manner and form 
as any other person being a King of Arms or 
Herald of Arms in that part of Our United 
Kingdom aforesaid had and received in the 
time of Edward the third Our progenitor 
heretofore King of England or afterwards To 
have and receive such liveries and clothing 
unto him the said William Henry Weldon 
yearly during his good behaviour in the said 
office at the Great Wardrobe of Us Our heirs 
and successors by the hands of the Keeper of 

io8 The Right to Bear Arms 

the same Wardrobe of Us Our heirs and suc- 
cessors for the time being In witness, etc. 
' Witness, etc. 

' Given at Our Court at St James's the tenth 
day of March One thousand eight hundred and 
ninety-four in the fifty-seventh year of Our 

' By Her Majesty's Command, 

(Signed) H. H. Asquith.' 
In the reign of George III. there were many 
Warrants issued of one kind and another bearing 
on the authority of the Crown in Armorial Matters, 
or on the devolution of its authority to the Officers 
of Arms. One in particular has a very especial 
bearing upon the subject. After the reconstruction 
of the Order of the Bath, the genealogist of that 
Order had admitted and recorded pedigrees and 
arms without proof thereof being previously made 
in the College of Arms. The officers of the 
College entered a protest against this practice, and 
on the complaint in due course being laid before 
the King, he referred the entire matter to the Law 
Officers of the Crown for their consideration and 
report. The Royal Warrant which was issued after 
the delivery of their report contains the following 
crucial and decisive words : — 

* And whereas it was by the said Chapter ' [of the 
Order of the Bath] ' resolved that as it appeared 
to the Chapter to be the opinion of the Law 
Officers of the Crown that the Heralds {that is 

The College and Officers of Arms 109 

to say, the Kings, Heralds and Pursuivants of 
our College of Arms) have the original cogniz- 
ance of pedigrees and Coat- Armour^ and that 
the Genealogist cannot properly receive any 
evidence of Pedigree or Coat-Armour^ to be 
entered in his Books in pursuance of the 
Statutes, except from the College of Arms, the 
Chapter therefore humbly recommended to 
us that we would be pleased to command,' etc., 

And then follow minute instructions to be ob- 
served in the future, agreeably to the foregoing 
opinion, as to the methods of procedure within 
the Order of the Bath. These instructions, which 
are lengthy, deal only with methods of procedure, 
and relate to no part of my argument : and I 
only quote from the Warrant to show the opinion 
of the law officers of the Crown after they had 
officially investigated the point. 

There is another Warrant, I believe, of the reign 
of George IV., which is of a similar character, but 
this, unfortunately, I have not seen. 

If further confirmation is needed, one only re- 
quires to notice the formal notification in the London 
Gazette of any change of name and arms by Royal 
Licence. In such an instrument it will be seen that 
the final clause runs somewhat as follows : ' Know 
Ye that We of Our Princely Grace and Special 
favour have given and granted and do by these 
Presents give and grant unto him the said A. B. 

no The Right to Bear Arms 

our Royal Licence and Authority that he may 
take and henceforth use the surname of C in 
addition to and after that of B, and that he may 
bear the Arms of C quarterly with his own family 
Arms, and that such surname and Arms may in 
like manner be borne and used by his issue, 
the said Arms being first duly exemplified accord- 
ing to the Laws of Arms and recorded in Our 
College of Arms otherwise this our Licence and 
Permission to be void and of none effect' 

For the benefit of any one who has never had the 
opportunity of perusing a Royal Warrant of this 
character, I may repeat that such warrants are 
addressed ^ to our Right trusty and well-beloved 
Cousin and Councillor, Henry, Duke of Norfolk, 
K.G., Earl Marshal and Hereditary Marshal of 

The Corporation of the College of Arms consists 
of three Kings of Arms (Garter, Clarenceux, and 
Norroy), six Heralds (Somerset, Lancaster, Rich- 
mond, York, Chester, and Windsor), and four 
Pursuivants (Rouge Croix, Rouge Dragon, Blue- 
mantle, and Portcullis). 



By virtue of the Powers conferred by their 
several Letters Patent upon the Kings of Arms, 
arms have been assigned and granted by Patents 
under their hands and seals since the fifteenth 
century. I append copies of Letters Patent 
making such grants — an ancient and a modern 
instance. Here is the former : — 

* XlO all and Singulare as well nobles and gent as 
others to whome these pntes shall come be 
seen heard read or understanded Sr Gilbart 
Dethicke Knight als * garter principall Kinge of 
Armes, Rob* Cooke esquyer als Clarencieulx 
Kinge of Armes of the southe partes and 
William Flower esquyer als Norroy Kinge of 
Armes of the northe partes of England send 
greetinge in O"' Lord god everlastinge foras- 
much as aunciently from the begininge the 
valiaunt and vertuouse actes of excellent per- 
sonnes have been coramendid to the world and 
posteritie with sondry monumentes and re- 
membraunces of their good deseartes : Ermong- 

* alias. 

112 The Right to Bear Arms 

est the which the chiefest and most usuall hathe 
been the bearinge of signes in shyldes called 
Armes beinge none other thinge then de- 
monstraciones and tokens of prowesse and 
valior diuerslye distributid accordinge to the 
quallities of the personnes meritinge the same 
To thentent that suche as by their vertues do 
adde and shewe forthe to the aduauncment 
of the comunne weall the shyne of their good 
lyfe and conversacon in dayly practyse of 
thinges worthy and commendable beinge the 
very trewe and perfect tokens of a right noble 
disposition may therfor recieue dewe honor in 
their lyves and also deryve and continewe the 
same successively in their posteritie for eur 

Hub wberas Me tbe sapb Kinges of 

Armas are credibly enfourmid by diuerse honest 
and discreet personaiges that William Camborne 
alias Paynter of deverell within the Parishe of 
Gwynior within the Comitye of Cornewall gent 
hathe of longe tyme vsed him self so vertuously 
and discreetly that he well deseruith and 
meriteth to be in plases of honor admitted 
reputed and taken in the number and company 
of other gent ^U COnSi^eraCOn WberOt and 
for A further consideraco' of the Worthinesse 
of the same Willm Camborne whose Auncestors 
he'tofore haue borne Armes as apere* on p . . . 
shewd vnto vs for the same, not knowinge in 
what manne'' or dewe forme he ought [to] beare 
them w'^out preiudice of any other and nowe at 
his instant request We the sayd Kinges of 
Armes by power and aucthoritie to vs com- 
mitted by letters patentes vnder the great seale 
of England haue rectyfied confirmed assigned 

The Granting of Anns 113 

geven and graunted to the sayd William Cam- 
borne these Armes and Creast folowing viz. — 
azure iij blockes argent one either of theim an 
anlett sables Vppon a heaulme one a torce 
siluer and azure iij broken broad arrowes gold 
knit with a lase geules mantled geules dubled 
argent as mor playnly appeareeth depicted in 
this margent which Armes and creast and 
euery part and peel therof we the sayd Garter 
Ciarencieulx and Norroy Kinges of Armes do 
by these pntes ratefye confirme assigne geve 
and graunt vnto the sayd William Camborne 
als Paynt' and to his posteritie for euer and he 
the sayd Armes and creast to vse beare and 
shewe at all tymes and for euer heerafter at his 
liberty and pleasure w^^'out the impediment lett 
or interruption of eny p'sonne or p'sonnes %\\ 
WitnCSSC wherof we the Kinges of Armes 
aforsayd haue signed these p'ntes with o' handes 
and sett therunto o'' seuerall scales of Armes 
the [22°'*] daye of [July] Anno Dni 1569.' 

The following is a copy of the wording of a very 
recent grant of arms. I have no permission to 
reproduce it, consequently I trust I may be excused 
for having omitted the names : — 

'To All and Singular to whom these Presents 
shall come Sir Albert William Woods 
Knight, Garter Principal King of Arms and 
Walter Aston Blount Esquire Clarenceux 
King of Arms of the South East and West 
Parts of England from the River Trent South- 
wards Send Greeting : Whereas William F 
of Park in the Parish of in 


114 '^^^ Right to Bear Arms 

the County of Berks Gentleman hath repre- 
sented unto the Most Noble Henry Duke of 
Norfolk Earl Marshal and Hereditary Marshal 
of England that it appears upon an examination 
of the Records of the College of Arms that 
Armorial Ensigns have not been duly recorded 
to him and being unwilling to use any without 
lawful authority He therefore requested the 
favour of His Grace's Warrant for Our granting 
and assigning such as may be proper to be 
borne by him and his descendants and by the 
other descendants of his father Samuel F 
of Hall in the Parish of in 

the County of Worcester Gentleman deceased 
That the Memorialist having intermarried with 
Martha daughter of Thomas P of 

in the said County of Worcester 
Gentleman deceased further requested that 
arms for P might be assigned in the 

same Patent to be borne and used by his said 
Wife according to the Laws of Arms And 
Forasmuch as the said Earl Marshal did by 
Warrant under his hand and seal bearing date 
the Twenty - eighth day of September last 
authorise and direct Us to grant and assign 
such Armorial Ensigns accordingly Know ye 
therefore that We the said Garter and Clar- 
ENCEUX in pursuance of His Grace's Warrant 
and by virtue of the Letters Patent of Our 
several Offices to each of Us respectively granted 
do by these Presents grant and assign unto the 
said William F the Arms following for 

F that is to say Per Cheveron dove- 

tailed Gules and Argent in Chief two Lions 
heads erased of the last and in Base a Sala- 

The Granting of Arms 115 

mander in flames proper And for the Crest On 
a Wreath of the Colours Upon a Mount Vert 
an Antelope Argent seme of Estoiles Sable 
armed and unguled or resting the dexter fore- 
foot upon a Fountain proper as the same are 
in the margin hereof more plainly depicted to 
be borne and used for ever hereafter by him 
the said William F and his de- 

scendants and by the other descendants of his 
father the said Samuel F deceased 

And by the authority aforesaid We do further 
grant and assign the Arms following for P 
that is to say Erminois an Eagle displayed in 
chief an Escallop between two Fleurs-de-lis and 
in Base a Fleur-de-lis between two Escallops 
all Azure as the same are more plainly impaled 
with the Arms of F to be borne by her 

the said Martha Wife of the said William 
F the whole with due and proper 

differences according to the Laws of Arms In 
Witness whereof We the said Garter and 
Clarenceux Kings of Arms have to these 
Presents subscribed Our names and affixed the 
Seals of Our several Offices this Twenty-fourth 
day of January in the Forty-eighth year of the 
Reign of Our Sovereign Lady Victoria by the 
Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great 
Britain and Ireland Queen defender of the 
Faith etc. and in the year of Our Lord One 
thousand eight hundred and eighty-five. 

' (Signed) Albert W. Woods Garter 

'(Signed) Walter Aston Blount 

ii6 The Right to Bear Arms 

A Patent of Arms in England usually grants 
arms (and as a consequence confers gentility) 
to a man 'and his descendants according to 
the laws of arms.' Often ' the other descendants 
of his Father ' are added, as in the above instance : 
and occasionally, but very exceptionally, the limi- 
tation has been still further widened. Such arms 
then equally descend to all legitimate descendants 
in the male line of those persons to whom the 
arms are granted. Daughters of the house being 
heiresses and co-heiresses in blood have a right to 
the arms during their lifetime, and transmit the 
right to them as quarterings (but only as quarter- 
ings) to their descendants. Daughters not being 
heiresses have the right only during life, and can 
in no way transmit a right to those or any 
other arms. Daughters, whether heiresses or not, 
neither inherit nor transmit the crest. Unless an 
undoubted right to arms exist in the direct male 
line, all rights to quarterings, etc., become dor- 
mant, unless or until a lawful right to arms in the 
male line has been established. The son of a 
plebeian father is plebeian and 'ignobilis,' no 
matter even if his mother were a Peeress in her 
own right. 

From an order made by Charles Brandon, Duke 
of Suffolk, Earl Marshal, as to the granting of 
arms to various ranks in the Church, the following 
extract is taken : — 

The Granting of Arms 117 

' And also to temporall men, which be of good 
and honest reputacion, able to mayntayne the 
state of a gentleman, and that none shall enter- 
prise to beare anie signs or tokens of arms, etc., 
withoute they be authorised so to do by 
Clarenceulx King of Arms [therefore this was 
addressed to his province], uppon paine of im- 
prisonment and to fyne at the King's pleasure : 
provided that after the said King of Arms, his 
Marshal of Armes shall not geve or graunt 
armes to any vyle or dishonest occupation in 
any wyse.' 

There is then the following lists of the charges 
for all Patents of Arms : — 

' Every byshoppe that shall be ennobled, £\o ; 
abbots and pryors of great possessions, £\o ; 
abbots and pryors of meane possessions, ^6, 
13s 4d ; deanes and archdeacons, _^6, 13s 4d ; 
men of the Church having benefices, 100 M., or 
about by the year, £(i ; every Crafte being in 
corporation, £10 ; every temporall man having 
100 M. by the yeare in land or fees, _^6, 13s 6d ; 
all other being of substance under the same 
valour in lands or goods, £(> ; of them which 
be worth in moveable goods 1000 M. or above, 
£(i ; of them that be worth in land and goods 
1000 M., /5.' 



Having dealt with the granting of arms by the 
specific patents of arms of ancient or modern times, 
each of which definitely contains the limits and 
limitations to which it is confined, and in and to 
which the arms therein granted devolve, the most 
crucial incident in the history of British armory is 
to be found in the Visitations which took place 
throughout the whole of England in the sixteenth 
and seventeenth centuries. 

The Visitations were perambulations throughout 
the country performed by the Officers of Arms 
acting under a Royal Commission, in virtue of 
which they enrolled and confirmed the arms 
legally in use at that period by the landowning 
and arms-bearing families then in existence, to- 
gether with pedigrees. The arms submitted to 
them were allowed and confirmed, or respited for 
proof, or else rejected. The definite production of a 
specific grant for the arms in question was not ne- 
cessarily insisted upon by the Heralds, who allowed 
and confirmed arms as borne by right when the 
right to these was established to their satisfaction. 

The Visitations 119 

There were three principal Visitations throughout 
the whole of the kingdom. Of course the actual 
years vary in different localities, but roughly they 
took place about the years 1580, 1620, and 1666. 
There were some number of counties visited also 
about the year 1680. 

Copies of many of the Commissions issued to 
the Kings of Arms were printed in the Minutes 
of Evidence taken in the Shrewsbury Peerage 
Case. But the earliest Commission was issued 
20 Henry VIII. (1528-9) to Thomas Benolte, 
Clarenceux, and empowered him to visit his pro- 
vince as often as he should deem it necessary, and 
to convene before him or his deputy all persons 
that do or pretend to bear arms, or are styled 
esquires or gentlemen, and to require them to pro- 
duce and show by what authority they claimed the 
same. It further gave him powers to enter all 
houses, castles, and churches, and to survey all 
arms or other devices of persons within his pro- 
vince, and he was to pull down or deface all arms 
unlawfully assumed, whether on plate, jewels, paper, 
parchment, windows, tombs, or monuments, and to 
make infamous, by proclamation, all offenders ; 
and his commission included full powers to destroy 
all examples of heraldry falsely assumed, wherever 
it could be discovered, and ' to make infamous ' by 
proclamation all and all manner of persons that un- 
lawfully or without just authority, vocation, or due 

I20 The Right to Bear Arms 

calling had usurped or taken upon him or them any 
manner of title of honour, dignity, or worship, as 
esquire, gentleman, or other. 

The next Commission seems to have issued in 
1555 to Thomas Hawley, Clarenceux, containing 
similar directions and powers, whereby it was 
also provided that all such as disobey the same 
should answer thereunto, upon lawful monition to 
him or them given, before the High Marshal of 

In the 5th and 6th of Philip and Mary (1558) 
another Commission, with the same authority, was 
issued to William Harvey, Clarenceux, who was 
further empowered to levy fines against delinquents 
at his will and pleasure. 

I append an exact copy of a Commission issued 
by Queen Elizabeth. The majority are in almost 
identical terms. 

' Com'iss' p' Willo Flower al's Norrie ar' rege 


* Elizabeth by the grace of God Quene of England 
Fraunce and Ireland defender of the fayth etc. 
To our trusty and welbeloved servaunte Wilm 
Flower esquier als Norrey King of armes of the 
east west and northe parties of our realme of 
England from the ryver of Trente northwarde 
and to all other our loving subjects greating: 
Forasmuche as God of his greate clemencie and 
goodness hathe subjected to our impere and 
gov'naunce the nobilitie people and comons of 

The Visitations 121 

this our realme of England Wee mynding of 
our royall honour and absolute power to us 
comytted to visit survey and vewe throughout 
all our realme of England and all our d'nions 
as well for a due order to be kepte and observed 
in all things touching thoffice and dueties 
app'teyning to amies as also for reformacon of 
dyv'se and sondry abuses and discords dayli 
rising and growing for want of ordinarie 
visitacons surveys and views in tymes con- 
venient according to the auncient fourrae and 
lawdable custome of the lawes of armes and 
that the nobylitie of this our realme may be 
p'served in ev'y degree as appteyneth as well in 
honor as in wourshipp. And that ev'y p'son 
and p'sons bodyes polytique corporate and 
others may be the better knowen in his or 
theire estate degree and misteries without con- 
fusion or disorder. Have therefore constituted 
deputed ordeyned and appoynted for us and^in 
our name our said welbeloved servaunt Will'm 
Flower al's Norrie King of Armes in the said 
east west and northe parts of our realme of 
England from the said ryver of Trent north- 
warde to visite all the said p'vynce and the 
parts and members thereof appteyning to 
thoffice and charge of the said Norrie Kyng of 
armes from tyme to tyme as often and when as 
he shall thinke most necessarie and convenient 
for the same and not only to enter into all 
churches castells howses and other places at his 
discrecon to p'use and take knowledge survey 
and viewe of all mann' of armes cognisaunces 
crests and other Hke devises with the notes of 
theire descents pedegrees and marriages and 

122 The Right to Bear Anns 

the same to enter and recorde into a register 
or booke of armes according to suche order as is 
p'scribed and set furthe in the office chardge 
and othe taken by our said servaunte at his 
creacon and coronacon and also to correcte 
cumptrolle and refourme all mann' of armes 
crests cognizaunces and devises unlawfull or un- 
lawfully usurped borne or taken by any p'son 
or p'sons within the same p'vince cont^'ry to the 
due order of the lawe of armes and the same to 
rev'se put downe or otherwise deface at his 
discrecon as well in coote armors helmes 
standerd pennons and hatchmets of tents and 
pavilions as also in plate Jewells pap' parchement 
wyndowes gravestones and monuments or else- 
where wheresoev' they be sett or placed 
whether they be in shelde schoocheon lozenge 
square rundell or otherwise howsoev' cont*rie to 
the autentiq' and auncient lawes customes rules 
privileges and orders of armes. And further 
wee by these p'sents do geve and graunte to 
the said Norrie full power and aucthorytie to 
reprove comptroU and make infamous by 
p'clamacon to be made at the assises or gen'l 
sessions within the same his p'cincte to be had 
and kepte or at suche other place or places as 
he or they shall thincke moste mete and con- 
venient all and all mann' of p'son or p'sons that 
unlawefully and without just aucthorytie 
vocacon or due calling doo or have done or 
shall usurpte or take upon hym or them any 
name of tytle of honour or dignitie as esquier 
gentleman or other. And likewise to reforme 
and comptroU all suche as at any funeralls or 
interments shall use or weare any morninge 

The Visitations 123 

apparell as gownes hoods tippetts or suche like 
cont'ry to the order lymitted and p'scrybed in 
the tyme of the moste noble prince of famous 
memorie King Henry the seaventh our grand- 
father otherwise or in any other sorte then to 
theire estates and degrees dothe or shall 
app'teyne. And further-more by these p'sents 
wee p'hybite and forbidd that no paynter 
glazier goldsmyth graver or any other artificer 
whatsoev' hee or they be within that sayd 
p'vynce of the said Norrye shall take upon 
them to paynte grave glass devise or set furth 
by any wayes or means any mann' of armes 
crests cognisaunces pedegrees or other devises 
p'teynyng to the office of armes otherwise or in 
any other forme or manner that they may law- 
fully do and shalbe allowed by the said Norrie 
his deputie or deputies according to the 
auncient lawes and statutes of armes. And we 
forbid and likewise straitely com'and all our 
sheriffs com'issaries archedeacons officials 
scrivenours clerks wryters or other whatsoev' 
they be to call name or write in any assises 
sessions courte or open place or places or els to 
use in any wryting the addicon of a esquier or 
gentleman onlesse they be hable to stand unto 
and justifie the same by the lawe of armes and 
the lawes of our realme or els be asserteine 
thereof by advertisement in wryting from the 
said Norrie Kinge of armes or his deputy or 
deputies attorney or attorneys. And further 
we straightly com'aunde and chardge that no 
other p'son or p'sons shall intromitt or medle 
in any thing or things touching or conc'nying 
the office of armes within the said p'vynce 

124 The Right to Bear Arms 

wythout the speciall lycence auctorytie of the 
sayd Norrie in wryting under the seale of the 
said offyce had an obteyned from the sayd 
Norrie all which sayd power p'hemynence 
jurisdiction and aucthorytie above specified for 
us our heires and successors we do geve and 
graunte by these p'sents to the sayd Will'm 
Flower al's Norryie during the naturall lief of 
the said Norrie in as large and ample mann' 
fourm in ev'y thinge and thinges as any his 
predecessours or any other bearinge the name 
or title of Norrie have or had did or mighte do 
by force of any I'res patents graunted by any of 
our predecessors or as of righte he or they 
oughte or might have used to do by force of 
his said office with all mann' of p'ffitts advaun- 
tages and emoluments thereto belonging. 
Wherefore we will and straightly com'aunde 
and chardge all and singular justices sheriffs 
maiors baylieffes and all other officers ministers 
and constables and all ev'y our loving subjects 
that in the execucon of the p'misses they 
effectually employ theire best ayde assistaunce 
furtheraunce and counsaill to our said servaunt 
his deputie or deputyes so often and when as 
he or any of them shall requier the same in all 
that you conveniently may as you tender our 
favour and will answer to the cont*rye at your 
p'ills. And further by these p'sents we do 
aucthoryze our said s'vaunte to nominate and 
appoynte under the seale of his said office so 
many deputies and attorneys as shalbe thought 
by him expedyent for the better execucon of 
all and singular the p'misses. And if theare 
fortune to fall out in this our visitacon any 

The Visitations 125 

mann' of scruple doubte question or any mis- 
demeaner of any p'son or p'sons whatsoev' that 
canne not be conveniently disised or ended by 
our said s'vaunte or such deputie deputies' or 
attorneys as he under the seale of his said office 
shall name and appoynte. Then our mynde 
and pleasure is that our said servaunte his 
deputie deputies or attorneys named as is afore- 
said shall com'aunde such p'rson or p'rsons 
whome the said question doubte or misdemeano"' 
shall conc'ne under a c'tain payne and at a 
c'tain day to appeare before the earle marchall 
of England for the tyme being before whome 
the said sruple question or misdemeano"" shalbe 
harde and ordered according to the lawe and 
custome of armes in that case p'vyded and of 
auncient tyme used any statute lawe p'clamacon 
custome or usage to the cont*ry in any wise 
notwithstanding. In witnes whereof we have 
caused these our I'res to be made patents. 
Wytnes ourself at Westm' the x**" day of July. 

After the issue of such a Commission the Kings 
of Arms themselves, in some cases (and in others 
the Heralds or Pursuivants whom they appointed 
their deputies) proceeded to the counties and 
commenced their Visitations. 

The Officer of Arms concerned exhibited his 
Commission from the Sovereign to the High Sheriff 
of the county, and the High Sheriff directed the 
bailiff of each hundred to furnish the Officers of 
Arms with a list of all persons in that hundred 
using arms or calling themselves esquires or 

126 The Right to Bear Arms 

gentlemen. Therefore the real responsibility for 
the due issuing of the summons to every indi- 
vidual rested not with the Officer of Arms, who 
was probably a stranger in the locality, but with 
the local officials, who could surely be trusted to 
know the names of those in their own particular 
jurisdiction who came within the limits laid down ; 
and it should be remembered that in those days 
the lines of social demarcation were much more 
clearly defined than is nowadays the case. 

The Officer of Arms then issued a summons 
either direct to everyone upon his list to attend 
at an appointed place, and there and then prove 
their right to arms, or else issued his orders to 
the bailiff of the hundred, deputing this work of 
summoning to him ; consequently if there were 
any omissions in the lists of those summoned, the 
fault lay with the local officials, and not with the 
Officer of A nns. 

The summonses issued by the Marshal or 
deputies of a King of Arms were in the following 
form : — 

* Com Gloucester. 

' To the Bailiff of the Hundred of Crowthorne 

and Minety. 

' These are to require you, and in his Majesty's 

name to charge and command you, that 

forthwith, upon sight hereof, you warn those 

Baronets, Knights, Esquires, and Gentlemen, 

The Visitations 1 2 7 

whose names are within written, personally to 
appear before us, Thomas May, Esq., Chester 
Herald, and Gregory King, Rouge-dragon, 
Officers at Arms, Deputies and Marshals to 
Clarenceux King of Arms for the county of 
Gloucester, at the Swan Inn, in Cirencester, on 
Wednesday, the sixteenth day of August next, 
by nine o'clock in the morning, where we 
intend to sit for registering the descents and 
arms of all the gentry within the said hundred, 
and that they bring with them such arms and 
crests as they use and bear, with their pedi- 
grees and descents, and such other evidence 
and matter of record and credit as (if need 
require) may justify the same ; that we 
knowing how they use and challenge their 
titles, and by what right and authority they 
bear, or pretend to bear arms, we may 
accordingly make entrance thereof, and register 
the same in the College of Arms, or else to 
proceed as his Majesty's commission under the 
great seal of England injoyneth on that behalf. 
And those persons who may not conveniently 
bring such their ancient evidences and writings 
as will serve to prove the antiquity of their 
race and family, but shall be desirous to have 
us come to their houses, upon signification of 
such their desires, for the furtherance of his 
Majesty's service, we, or one of us, will repair 
unto them so soon as conveniently we may. 
And if there should be any of the degrees and 
qualities above mentioned omitted within your 
liberties in these our directions, that you like- 
wise insert their names, and warn them also to 
appear on the day, and at the place above 

128 The Right to Bear Arms 

mentioned. Accordingly hereof charge them 
not to fail, as they will avoid the peril that may 
ensue. Of the particulars you are to make a 
true and perfect return, together with this 
your warrant, and what you have done therein, 
at the time and place above appointed. 

' Given under our hands and seals this 
twentieth day of July, in the thirty-fourth year 
of the reign of our most gracious Sovereign 
Lord, Charles the Second, by the grace of God, 
of England, France, and Ireland (King), 
Defender of the Faith, etc., annoque domini 

' Thomas May, Chester. 

' Gregory King, Rouge-dragon.' 

The following is a copy of a Summons issued 
direct to a gentleman to appear before a Deputy 
to a King of Arms. 

' Workingham parish, Co. Berks. 

' To Mr Henry Staverton. 

'You are personally to appear before Elias 
Ashmole, Esq., Windsor herald of arms, on 
Saturday, being the nth of March next, by 
eight of the clock in the morning, at the signe 
of Bear of Redding, there to enter your descent 
and armes, and to bring with you such arms 
and crest as you bear. Whereof you are not 
to fail, as you will answer the same before the 
Lords Commissioners for the office of Earl 
Marshal of England.' 

The Visitations 129 

There were three courses open to a man on 
receipt of a summons. As has been seen, he was 
bound and was made to attend, or else suffer most 
unpleasant consequences, but it was then at his 
pleasure either to prove to the satisfaction of the 
Herald that the arms he bore were his by right, or, 
failing this, to there and then rectify them by 
means of a grant or confirmation. If neither of 
these courses was adopted, the man was required 
to sign a declaration disclaiming any right to arms. 

What proofs the Heralds required the produc- 
tion of to establish this legal right I am utterly 
unable to say, nor can I find that anyone else is at 
the present time exactly aware upon what lines 
the Heralds worked. One can only surmise. But 
I fancy it can be taken for granted that all arms 
shown to have been in use prior to the battle of 
Agincourt were accepted, as then existing by 
right, without question. With regard to other 
arms, there were ancient ' rolls of arms ' in 
existence, and the arms of important families were 
matters of everyday household knowledge. In 
cases of this kind, there is little doubt that if such 
arms were to be allowed unaltered, or only with 
the addition of recognised marks of cadency, strict 
proof was required of the descent from these 
distinguished families. In the cases of less im- 
portant families using arms, which in no way 
interfered with the rights of other people, one's 

130 The Right to Bear Arms 

experience leads one to suppose that the claimants 
were treated more easily and the arms admitted 
(that is, they were recorded and confirmed with 
little or no alteration) upon the strength of usage 
for a certain period. What this needful period of 
usage was none of my inquiries have so far ob- 
tained for me any definite knowledge, and for this 
reason I am inclined to think that there can be 
little doubt that the Officers of Arms making the 
Visitations had a wide latitude and liberty of 
action allowed them, and consequently judged 
each case upon its own particular merits. This 
seems to me to be the only conclusion which is 
possible. There were then, of course, cases of 
arms entered and confirmed at the Visitations, for 
which prior and specific grants could be produced, 
and there were the arms in use before the battle of 
Agincourt, but arms for which usage only could 
be quoted, exist, and are legal now, not by virtue 
of this usage, but on the strength of their being 
recorded, or of their confirmation at the Visitations. 

But it should be borne in mind that of the large 
number of coats of arms allowed and confirmed at 
the Visitations, a very large number, probably the 
great majority, were only legalized then, were 
rectified at that time, were then altered or amended 
or granted or confirmed as the Heralds thought 
necessary, and only legally date from that period. 
Though a common enough belief, it is absolutely 

The Visitations 1 3 1 

incorrect to suppose that the arms then entered 
were all then registered and admitted by virtue 
of sufficiently ancient usage. There were precious 
few of that character in existence. It is im- 
perative that the true status and character of these 
Visitations should be thoroughly understood. 
They were in no sense or degree a recognition or 
admission that a man had a right to choose his 
own arms, or assume such distinction without a 
grant or warrant from the Crown or its officers. 
Visitations wei^e primarily for the protection of 
those who lawfully possessed the right, that they 
might show how and whence they had obtained it, 
and for the preservation of their evidences of right. 
But at the same time, the Crown, of its grace and 
concession, put forward an opportunity for those 
who were using arms without authority to render 
such arms legal by having them rectified and 
recorded by the Heralds. If a man did not em- 
brace the opportunity, the arms he used remained 
as they were before — that is, bogus, not merely un- 
recorded. The arms were illegal ; the opportunity 
of making them legal was ignored, therefore the 
fault lay with the individual himself, not with the 
Heralds. The descendants of such people must 
blame their ancestors for being so foolish as to let 
the opportunity pass. I fail to see what more 
the Officers of Arms could possibly have done to 
prevent a man losing his opportunity. For arms 

132 The Right to Beai- Arms 

are legal by virtue of their recognition and regis- 
tration by the Crown, not by virtue of their usage. 

When a coat of arms was formally entered as 
correct in the official Visitation Books, its legality 
was thereby admitted, and was never afterwards 

The Heralds on their Visitations had full powers 
to do many things, and among other punitory 
measures, to inflict fines and penalties ; but on 
this point they seem to have been peculiarly 
forbearing. I have not so far been able to trace 
one instance, and I believe that at the College of 
Arms they have no record of a money fine levied 
by the Heralds on a Visitation. Such penalties, 
however, could be inflicted in other ways, although 
they appear to have been very sparingly applied. 
A monition before the Earl Marshal would entail 
heavy expenses as well as costs. In Harl, MS., foL 
69, among a quantity of heraldic matter, copies of 
Warrants and Summonses for the guidance of 
the Heralds on their Visitations, is the following 
form : — 

' To M' R. B. of N., gentleman, these to be 

'M^^ R. B., for asmuch as yo'' Refused to make 
yo"' apparance before me at N., where I 
latelie sate for the Registringe of the gentle- 
men w*hin the Wapentake of A., according to 
such warning as was given yo'' by the Baylife 

The Visitations 133 

of the same Wapentake I am of dutie to pro- 
ceede as my Commission appointeth in such 
Cases of Contempt. These are therefore to 
Require yo" and in the Queen's Ma"*' name to 
Charge and Comaund yo" to appeare personally 
before the Right honourable George Earl of 
Shrewsbury, Earl Marshal of England on the 
first day of October next ensuing to answer 
unto and yeild a Reason of that yo'' Disobed- 
yence and Contempte : hereof faile yo"^ not as 
yo" will avoyd the forfeiture of X^' to her Ma*"' 
use, and the further peryll and trouble that 
may ensue. — Written at B. the 19th daye of 
N. An" 1 59 1 

* By me Rougecrosse Marshall 

for Clarencieulx King of Armes.' 

If a man, when summoned, was unable to prove 
his arms, and declined to rectify them at the time, 
he was then required over his own signature to 
disclaim all and any right to bear arms, and these 
lists of disclaimers were published in the county 
towns at the conclusion of the Herald's Visitation. 

To those who disclaimed, nothing beyond the 
publication of their names was done. They had 
each signed the declaration that they were not 
entitled to bear arms. Here is what one writer 
says : — ' Lists of these Disclaimers, with their own 
signatures, now appear attached to Visitations pre- 
served in the College of Arms, and are considered 
as absolute renunciations of heraldic honours, and 
binding upon their posterity.' Edmondson, 1. 160, 

134 ^-^^ Right to Bear Arms 

says the same thing : — ' Were obliged, under their 
own hands, to disclaim all pretence or title there- 
unto for the future.' Considerable pressure was 
probably brought to bear on these persons, for 
they had to ' Prove their arms, or then put them 
in order, or else sign a renunciation, or be cited 
before the Earl Marshal,' and if they chose the 
alternative of renunciation and signed, there was 
an end of the matter (and certainly of any pre- 
scriptive usage they might have put forward for 
consideration), for ever as far as they and their 
actual descendants were concerned. 

The Form of a Disclaimer can best be shown by 
the reproduction of an actual instrument : — 

'Cheshire. 3 Sept. 1663. 

' We, whose Names are here underwritten, being 
duly summoned by William Dugdale, Esq., 
Norroy King of Arms, in his Visitation of the 
County Palatine of Chester, as well for the 
approving and justifying our bearing of Arms, 
as the taking upon us the Names and Titles 
of Esquires or Gentlemen ; not being able to 
shew any good Right to either of those Titles, 
nor knowing at present of any Arms belonging 
to us, do hereby disclaim all such Attributes 
and Arms ; and do promise henceforth to for- 
bear to make use of either, until such time as 
we can by lawful Authority do the same. 

'Robert Morrey, ^ 

'Jonathan Crosse, L Chester.' 

'James Knoll, 

' Richard Heath, etc., / 

The Visitations 135 

Though the list of disclaimers in each county is 
frequently a lengthy one, I have found no instance 
of any man who possessed an undoubted right to 
arms disclaiming the right. If a man had been 
known to possess arms, I do not think that he 
would for one moment have been allowed to 
' disclaim.' The Heralds, acting under their Royal 
Commissions, had and exercised sufficient powers 
to compel a proper compliance with the regulations 
laid down. The fees required by the Heralds for 
registering the pedigree and arms did not amount 
to much, and so that no injustice should be done in 
the case of any gentleman who possessed arms by 
lawful right, but who was yet too poor to pay the 
small amount of fees demanded, these fees were ex- 
cused him, and the record of the arms was duly made 
without charge. This can be proved by reference 
to several Visitations. Further, if any man desired 
to record a pedigree and did not want arms, the 
pedigree appears to have been recorded ; for one 
instance, at any rate, I call to mind in a Visitation 
of London where the Herald entered the pedigree 
and added the laconic remark, ' He hath no arms 
and standeth in contempt thereof Nor were the 
Heralds hard in requiring the proof to be imme- 
diately forthcoming, for many arms are entered as 
exhibited and respited for further proof In some 
case no further proof was ever made, and the arms 
still stand in the Visitation Books as exhibited and 

136 The Right to Bear Arms 

' respited for further proof, but no proof made.' In 
fact, the Heralds, considering the enormous powers 
conferred upon them, seem to have strained every 
point in favour of the claimant which they could 
possibly do consistently with the due and proper 
execution of their duties. 

My experience has led me to this opinion, that 
where nowadays we hear these glowing and gran- 
diloquent accounts of arms on ancient monuments 
and of long usage, which arms are not recorded in 
the Visitations, the explanation can usually be found 
by consulting the list of disclaimers. It stands to 
reason that, if a family were then using the arms 
of another family of the name with whom they 
could show no relationship, or using arms which 
were spurious, the Heralds had no alternative but 
to disallow the arms precisely as would be done at 
the present time ; and if the arms were wrong 
then, usage for the two centuries which have since 
elapsed has conferred no right whatsoever upon 
those of the descendants who are still making use 
of them. 

The Herald, of course, entered the arms and 
pedigrees which were submitted, confirmed, or 
admitted, in a rough draft-book. When he re- 
turned to London a fair copy was made, and the 
pedigrees and arms were checked by the records 
contained in the College. The whole was care- 
fully corrected, and the corrected and authoritative 

The Visitations 137 

copy was delivered into the custody of the College 
of Arms in conformity with the requirements of the 
Royal Commission. In spite of many categorical 
statements in print and elsewhere to the contrary, 
these official records in their entirety remain in the 
custody of the Corporation of the College of Arms, 
which they have never left. Many of the rough 
draft-books, however, are now elsewhere. The 
officers who made them seem to have thought, and 
probably rightly, that after the official, and exa- 
mined, and corrected, and authentic copy was 
duly lodged, the uncorrected, badly-written, ridicu- 
lously-drawn rough draft became their personal 
property. The College did not trouble about these 
drafts, and many are now at the British Museum 
and other libraries. But it is well to warn those 
who think they are authentic that they are nothing 
of the kind. They are crammed full of mistakes 
and interpolations. Many of the latter are of 
quite recent date. They have never been kept 
under proper control, and in most cases it has been 
open to every reader (who felt so inclined) to add 
just whatsoever pleased him best, and instances 
are known where not only isolated details, but even 
entire pedigrees, have been mischievously added. 

Some of the Visitations, more or less incorrectly, 
some very incorrectly, have been printed and pub- 
lished, but these printed Visitations have only been 
taken from the incorrect copies and rough drafts 

138 The Right to Bear Arms 

and not from the official records. These published 
books are not sufficiently correct for much reliance 
to be placed upon them. A popular idea seems to 
be that if a descent can be shown from anyone 
whose names appear upon a Visitation pedigree, 
the right to the arms recorded with that pedigree 
follows as a matter of course. 

Certainly it would, if the arms were undoubtedly 
old and were then merely registered ; but in cases 
where the arms were then put in order, only an 
application at the Heralds' College will definitely 
show how far this confirmation carried. 

Another point with regard to the pedigrees 
entered at the Visitations should be borne in mind, 
and it is this. The pedigrees then entered, and 
particularly those in the earlier Visitations, were 
not complete pedigrees of the families, and were 
not put forward as such. They were merely 
sufficient of each pedigree to establish the right of 
the claimant in question to the arms he bore. 

Bearing in mind that the summoning was done 
by the local officers, or else upon lists supplied by 
local officials, who surely knew their own neigh- 
bourhood, it may with safety be said that after the 
third Visitation it is inconceivable that any large 
land-owning or any arms-bearing family existing 
during the whole period covered by the three 
Visitations should have been omitted from each one 
of the three, and it must not be forerotten that in 

The Visitations 139 

the comparatively few cases where the right to 
arms must have undoubtedly existed by prescrip- 
tion (which, I take it, meant use at or before the 
date of the battle of Agincourt), such prescription 
needed to have originated before the date of the 
very first Visitation. Therefore it is a safe con- 
clusion that after the end of the third Visitation 
the whole of England had been swept clean, and 
that every coat of arms continuously in use, 
properly or improperly, during the period had been 
by then either allowed or condemned. Since the 
Visitations it has been absolutely impossible in 
England to obtain, and utterly useless to put 
forward, any prescriptive right to arms whatsoever. 
Arms are good or they are bad as they are re- 
corded or unrecorded. I have yet to learn of 
any instance in England of an unrecorded and un- 
disclaimed coat of arms in uninterrupted use to the 
present day, which Jwnestly dates from before the 
period of the Visitations. 

That no further Visitation has since been made 
is infinitely to be regretted. It is the saddest 
thing one can find to chronicle in the history of 
British armory. But the reason is not difficult to 
understand. By the time the next Visitation 
became due. His Majesty James II. was held to 
have abdicated the throne, and William III., by 
Act of Parliament and by the strength of his own 
right arm, reigned in these Kingdoms three. The 

140 The Right to Bear Arms 

real strength and basis of his support were due in 
the greater proportion to the middle and trading 

The upper classes and the aristocracy, those 
whom Visitations concerned, were to an appre- 
ciable, if not to a large, extent in sympathy with 
the exiled King. Many were still Catholics. 
King William was by no means sure of his throne, 
and hesitated to issue a Commission to be fulfilled 
' in the name of the Crown ' with the drastic 
powers of entry, confiscation, and defacement, which 
the Heralds had enjoyed under the previous Com- 
missions. Consequently the matter remained in 
abeyance. George I. came to the throne by Act 
of Parliament in due course, and the matter was 
again broached. Recognising the value and need 
for the Visitations, it was proposed that another 
Commission should issue, without the whole of these 
powers to which so many of the gentry objected. 
The Heralds, however, were of the opinion that a 
Visitation of this kind would be of little value. 
Now, when (owing to the absence of what would 
have been most valuable records) it is so evident 
that anything would have been better than nothing, 
one thinks that they were wrong in coming to such 
a decision, but one can understand the manner in 
which they looked at the matter. George I. was 
anxious to conciliate the ancient gentry of his 
realms, and thought it wiser to let the old powers 

The Visitations 141 

and authority lie dormant ; and Culloden and 
Lord Derwentwater's rebellion amply showed that 
the Hanoverian Kings were far from possessing 
the loyal allegiance of many of the better-born 
amongst their subjects. 

But let it not for one moment be supposed that 
the discontinuation of the Visitations meant that 
the Crown abrogated its right or authority in 
matters armorial. It did nothing of the kind ; and 
pedigrees continued to be examined and recorded 
as hitherto, when application was made — the 
Crown issued its warrants to the Officers of Arms 
— the Earls Marshal did the same — the Kings of 
Arms continued to grant arms as they had done 
theretofore. That the Crown's authority and pre- 
rogative now exists and is still exercised, I have 
already shown by the quotation of Royal Warrants 
dating down to the reign of Queen Victoria. 



I HAVE not the shadow of a doubt but that 
many of my readers will say or think : ' Oh, 
but that's all ancient history ! nobody troubles 
about the Crown or the College of Arms now ; 
their laws and their day are all over and done 
with.' They are not. Here are two facts, and my 
critics can date them 1898 — not 1498 nor 1698, 
but 1 898, — within a couple of years of the twentieth 
century. When a man is about to be created a 
baronet, he receives a notification from the Home 
Office that, before his Patent can be signed or 
sealed, he is required, by a Royal Warrant of 
George HI., to prove that he is entitled to bear 
arms by grant or inheritance, and also required 
to record his pedigree at the College of Arms. 
His right to bear arms will be judged, not by any 
fancy formulae of his own, not by the peculiar ideas 
of some heraldic writers who glibly plead and 

Crown and College of Arms 143 

advocate a kind of modern ' prescriptive ' right, 
but by the rules and laws I have endeavoured to 
explain in the foregoing pages. And his patent 
as a baronet vi^ill date, and therefore his precedence 
amongst baronets will rank, after the date of the 
certificate issued from the College of Arms to the 
Home Office that the arms and pedigree have been 
proved and are on record. Here is another little 
fact. On June the loth, in the year of grace 1898, 
the case of Joicey-Cecil v. Joicey-Cecil was tried 
in the High Court of Justice, Chancery Division, 
before Mr Justice Kekewich. This case afforded 
an amusing illustration of the mode in which a 
coat of arms is supposed to be 'found' by 
an ordinary seal engraver instead of through the 
Heralds' College. The plaintiff in the case was 
the wife of Lord John Pakenham Joicey-Cecil, and 
is legal tenant for life in possession of the large 
estates devised by the will of the late Colonel John 
Joicey. The marriage took place in September 
1896, the husband, then Lord John Pakenham 
Cecil, thereupon assuming the name of 'Joicey- 
Cecil.' The defendant, at present the only child 
of the marriage, is the legal tenant in tail in 
remainder to the estates. Colonel John Joicey 
died in August 1881, having by his will devised 
extensive estates in Northumberland to the use 
of the plaintiff for life, for her separate use, with 
remainder to the use of her first and other sons 

144 The Right to Bear Arms 

successively in tail. Then followed a 'name and 
arms clause,' providing that every person who, 
under the will, should become entitled as tenant 
for life or in tail to the estates, 'and who shall 
not then use and bear the surname and arms of 
" Joicey," shall, within one year after he or she 
shall so become entitled to the said estates, or 
(being an infant) within one year after he or she 
shall attain the age of twenty-one years, and also 
every person whom any woman so becoming 
entitled shall marry, shall, within one year after 
such woman shall so become entitled or shall 
marry, whichever event shall first happen, take 
upon himself or herself . . . the surname of 
"Joicey," together with his or her own family 
surname, and quarter the arms of "Joicey" with 
his or her own family arms, and within one year 
apply to the Crown for a licence to use and bear 
the said surname and arms of " Joicey." ' Then 
followed a forfeiture clause on failure to comply 
with the above conditions. The plaintiff and her 
husband accordingly, shortly after their marriage, 
obtained a Warrant from the Crown authorising 
them to use the name of 'Joicey' in addition to 
and before that of ' Cecil,' and also authorising the 
husband to bear the arms of 'Joicey' quarterly 
with his own family arms. But the Warrant (or 
Royal Licence) contained the invariable clause 
requiring it to be first recorded and the arms 

Crown and College of Arms 145 

exemplified in the College of Arms, otherwise 
the Royal Licence to be void and of none 
effect. Now the testator had been in the habit 
of using a coat of arms and crest which appeared 
in Burke's Armory (edition 1878) as belonging to 
the families of ' Joyce,' ' Joice,' or ' Joys,' and in 
a copy of that book in the possession of a 
West-end seal engraver, the words 'Joicey omne 
solum forti patria' were found written in manu- 
script after the entry relating to the names ' Joyce, 
Joice, or Joys ' thus : — ' Joyce, Joice, or Joys, Or 
Three Torteaux in bend between two bendlets 
gules. Crest, a demi chevalier in armour brandish- 
ing a scymitar all ppr. Joicey omne solum forti 
patria.' These arms and crest were not recorded 
in the College of Arms as belonging to any family 
of the name of 'Joyce' or 'Joice' or 'Joys,' but 
they were recorded as belonging to a family named 
' Ince,' in Lancashire. No person of the name of 
'Joice' was, in fact, recorded in the College of 
Arms as entitled to bear any arms at all. And 
consequently the College of Arms point blank 
refused, and rightly refused, to exemplify these 
so-called arms of Joicey with the undoubted arms 
of Cecil. Under these circumstances Lord John 
Pakenham Joicey- Cecil applied to the College of 
Arms for a grant of such arms as might be proper 
to be borne by him and the plaintiff and their issue, 
and one of the Heralds of Arms had prepared a pro- 


146 The Right to Bear Arms 

posed coat of arms to be quartered with the arms 
of Cecil, and similar in some respects to the arms 
used by the testator. In the meantime the 
application, by special case, was made to the 
Court for its opinion (i) whether the assumption 
of the surname of 'Joicey' together with and 
before that of ' Cecil ' was such a compliance with 
the will as to avoid a forfeiture ; and (2) whether, 
having regard to the fact that the arms borne by 
the testator were not his own, but those of the 

* Ince ' family, and had been wrongfully assumed 
by him, and to the fact that there were no arms of 
' Joicey ' at that time recorded in the College of 
Arms, the condition as to quartering the arms of 
'Joicey' contained in the will was incapable of 
taking effect. The special case now came on for 

Mr Justice Kekewich held that the will in 
terms authorised the use of the name of 'Joicey' 

* together with ' the name of ' Cecil,' and that the 
circumstance that it was used before instead of 
after ' Cecil ' was immaterial ; also that the con- 
dition as to quartering the arms of Joicey had, 
under the circumstances, no operation and was 
incapable of taking effect, inasmuch as the testator 
had no right whatever to bear any arms. There- 
fore the original condition was one which it was 
impossible to comply with. The grant of the pro- 
posed new coat of arms was therefore carried into 

Crown and College of Arms 147 

effect The case of Joicey-Cecil v. Joicey-Cecil 
was tried June the loth, 1898. Does any one 
require any further proof that, at the present day, 
even the Common Law recognises the rightful 
ownership of arms? 

Upon the publication of the first edition of 
this book, a review of it appeared in a periodi- 
cal Literature, and this review was promptly 
followed by a letter from a correspondent, who 
attempted to discuss my book, when it was ap- 
parent to any one that he could not have read it. 
The chief of several statements he made was 
the following : — ' In the first place there is no 
necessity to prove a claim to Arms in order to use 
them, it having been ruled in a Court of Law many 
years ago, that any man has the right to adopt any 
heraldic device he likes, and that after using it 
for a certain time it becomes bond-fide his own.' 

Now I absolutely deny in toto the right of an 
ordinary law court to attempt to adjudicate upon 
an armorial matter. Nor can I find that any case 
has ever been tried which rested upon such a 
jurisdiction. The point has certainly come up as a 
side issue in some number of cases, but which it is 
that the said correspondent referred to I am at a 
loss to know, for no such ruling as that referred to 
has ever been made. Perhaps, however, the corre- 
spondent of Literature may be referring, as I have 
found others do, to a certain case which had some 

148 The Right to Bear Arms 

little connection with the matter. And as this case 
is so frequently alluded to, let us examine it. It is 
referred to in an article on 'Trade-marks and Crests' 
in the Herald and Genealogist^ vol. 3, 1866. But 
it will be seen that the case had really nothing to 
do with the right to arms or crest. It merely 
amounted to whether a bogus crest was to out- 
weigh a genuine trademark. Needless to say, the 
judgment was that it could not. The case was 
that of Standish v. Whitwell (March 1866) before 
the Vice-Chancellor Sir William Page Wood. 

The circumstances of the case were as follows : — 
The plaintiffs, carrying on business under the title 
of The Eagle Coal and Iron Company, at West 
Bromwich, in Staffordshire, have for the last 
twenty years used for their mark an eagle with 
outspread wings, and their iron, which had acquired 
considerable reputation, had been commonly 
known as Eagle Iron. The defendants, Messrs 
Whitwell & Co., being iron manufacturers at the 
Thornaby Ironworks, Stockton-upon-Tees, about 
May 1865, adopted an eagle with outspread wings, 
similar to that of the plaintiffs, accompanied with 
their initials, ' W. W. & Co.,' as a distinctive mark 
for the better qualities of iron which they began to 

On discovering the sale of this Eagle Iron at a 
lower price than their own, the plaintiffs com- 
plained of the infringement of their trademark ; 

Crown and College of Arms 149 

when the defendants stated that the Eagle was 
their family crest, and that they had not been 
aware that there was any Company already using 
such a brand. In the correspondence that ensued, 
the plaintiffs stated that after searching the 
heraldry books, and the records of Heralds' College, 
they had failed to find any such crest belonging to 
the family of Whitwell. The defendants replied 
that, 'whether registered at the Heralds' College 
or not, the crest of an eagle had been used by their 
family for thirty years, and, at least, two genera- 
tions previously;' and they sent an impression 
of the seal that exhibited it. 

Such were the heraldic arguments on either side : 
the plaintiffs believing or affecting to believe that 
the allegation of a ' family crest ' was a fraudulent 
pretence invented for the purposes of the action ; 
and the defendants, who adhered to more meek and 
pacific language, representing such a view of their 
conduct as a harsh and unjustifiable imputation. 

The Vice-Chancellor appears to have coincided 
with the latter view, for, whilst he regarded a 
decree for an injunction as a matter of course, he 
reprobated the imputations of fraud, which the 
legal advisers of the plaintiffs had in the first 
instance advanced, and on that account disallowed 
the plaintiffs the cost of their first affidavit, which 
asserted this charge of fraud as to the use of the 
crest by the defendants. 

150 The Right to Bear Arms 

The result from the heraldic point of view might 
seem to be, that a trademark is a matter of much 
greater sanctity in the eyes of the common law 
than a crest, for the actual legality of the crest 
as used by the defendants never came into the 
question. The defendants merely pleaded that 
they used the crest in good faith, and had done so 
for thirty years. So that for the purposes of 
the action the crest was accepted as legal, but 
the case certainly cannot be held to have proved 
that the Whitwell family had a lawful right 
to an eagle for a crest. The contrary was the 
result, for as a matter of fact the Whitwells at 
once discontinued to use it. It simply is that the 
gentleman's remedy does not lie in the Court of 
Chancery, but whilst utterly denying the right of 
an ordinary law court to adjudicate upon an 
armorial matter, it will not be without interest, if, 
for the sake of those who swear by the law courts, 
I refer to a case which was tried in the year 
1886. A certain Mary Anne Eliza Austen be- 
queathed her property with certain remainders, 
and the clause of the Will in question was as 
follows : — 

' Provided always and I hereby declare my Will 
to be that every person who under or by virtue of 
this my Will shall become entitled as tenant for 
life or tenant in tail male or in tail to the actual 
possession or to the receipt of the rents and profits 

Crown and College of Arms 151 

of the premises hereinbefore devised in strict settle- 
ment and who shall not then use and bear the 
surname and Arms of my late husband Major 
Austen shall within one year after he shall so 
become entitled or (being an infant) within one 
year after he shall attain the age of twenty-one 
years (unless in the said respective cases any such 
person shall be prevented by death) take upon 
himself and use in all deeds and writings which he 
shall sign and upon all occasions the surname of 
Austen together with his own family surname, and 
also quarter the Arms of Austen with his own 
family Arms and shall within the said one year 
(unless prevented by death) apply for and en- 
deavour to obtain a proper licence from the Crown 
or take such other steps as may be requisite to 
authorise him so to take use and bear the said 
surname and Arms of Austen.' 

Then followed an ordinary forfeiture clause. 
Now, the said Major Austen had no right to the 
arms he used, and consequently the College of 
Arms declined to exemplify them to the devisee. 

The question therefore arose whether the 
plaintiff's failure to obtain the grant from the 
Heralds' College operated as a forfeiture. The 
case was tried on the 5th of May 1886, in the 
High Court of Justice, Chancery Division, before 
Mr Justice Chitty (Austen v. Collins). Judgment 
was to the effect that the forfeiture did not operate 

152 The Right to Bear A7'ms 

on account of the devisee's failure to obtain the 
grant on its being shown that he had made every 
endeavour to comply with the terms of the direc- 
tion. The case is important, but, like the Joicey- 
Cecil case, to which I have already referred, the 
judgment in itself merely upholds the College of 
Arms in its definite refusal to recognise unauthor,^ 
ised arms, but the pith of the matter for those who 
swear by the words of an ordinary judge, lay in 
certain very crucial remarks of Mr Justice Chitty 
in pronouncing judgment. These remarks are 
omitted in the ordinary law reports, and I quote 
them verbatim from the Times report* on the 
following day as follows : — 

' The rule, no doubt, was that for the purpose of 
complying with the conditions of an ordinary name 
and arms clause, a grant from the Heralds' College 
must be obtained. There were divers statements 
in the text-books to that effect, and those state- 
ments had never been questioned. It was, more- 
over, to be borne in mind that the law was that 
a coat of arms descended as an estate of inherit- 
ance (Comyns's Digest, sub lit. Court of Chivalry). 
A man could not of hijnself create or grant an estate 
of inheritance to himself It was, therefore, plain 
that a mere vohmtary assumption of a coat of arms 
was not enough, but that a properly authorised 
grant— z>., a grant by the Heralds' College— was 

* See Times, May 6th, 1886. 

Crown and College of Arms 153 

essential to a fair compliance with the condition of 
an ordinary name and arms clause.' 

I think I have now proved incontrovertibly 
that in England from an early period — at least, as 
far back as 141 8 — down to the present day, the 
control of arms has been both theoretically and 
in fact vested in the Sovereign. I have shown 
the exercise and absolute continuity of that 
authority ; I have shown how the Sovereign 
in exceptional cases has reserved and still 
exercises the prerogative to act direct ; I have 
shown how the working, control and super- 
vision has been and still is in England delegated 
by the Sovereign to the Earl Marshal and 
the Officers of Arms ; I have shown how by 
grants and by the Visitations with the powers 
of defacement and disclaimer this supervision 
has been exercised. 

By the due and proper recording of pedigrees 
the proof of the right to bear arms can be estab- 
lished and preserved for posterity and in per- 

The incontrovertible deductions and conclusions 
from the foregoing are: (i) That to formally 
establish the right to bear arms in England by 
inheritance, legitimate male descent must hQ proved 
to the satisfaction of the College of Arms ^ either from 
some person to whom the right has been granted 
by Patent, or from some person to whom the right 

154 The Right to Bear Arms 

was confirmed at the Visitations ; (2) that the 
assumption and use of legal arms by a person 
who is not included in the limitations recited 
in the grant or confirmation thereof is theft ; 
(3) that arms only originating from an unauthor- 
ized source, or in the invention or imagination 
of a man or of his ancestors, are illegal and void 
of authority ; (4) that unless arms have been 
sanctioned at some time or another by the Crown, 
or its duly accredited Officers of Arms, they cannot 
be and are not legal or valid. 



Let us now turn to Scotland. 

Owing to a lack of records, it is difficult to trace 
the continuity of the authority of the Crown to so 
remote a period in Scotland as in England. I 
don't think I can improve upon the form in which 
the whole subject is discussed in the ' Ordinary of 
Scottish Arms ' by Sir J. Balfour Paul, Lyon 
King of Arms. I have no permission to repro- 
duce so large an extract from Lyon's book, but I 
trust I am not doing wrong in making the quota- 
tion, which I do with all apologies, and thanks to 
the writer for having so ably demonstrated the 
facts of the case : — 

' The earliest Scottish Armorial in existence is 
said to have been prepared by or under the 
superintendence of Sir David Lindsay of the 
Mount about 1542. It is impossible to say 
whether it took from the first an official character, 
but that there must have been some such recog- 
nised record before the close of the sixteenth 
century is clear from several references which are 

156 The Right to Bear Arms 

made to the Liber insignioriim, or " Book of Arms," 
in the Acts of the Scottish Parliament at that 
period. In 1592 an Act was passed authorizing 
the Lyon and his Heralds to hold Visitations 
throughout the realm in order to distinguish the 
arms of the various noblemen and gentlemen, and 
" thaireftir to matriculat thame in thair buikis and 
registeris." It is unfortunate that this permission 
to make Heraldic Visitations was never largely 
taken advantage of; had it been, and had the 
Registers indicated in the Act been properly kept, 
it is unlikely that the Privy Council would have, 
within the next forty years, practically authenti- 
cated as an official record Sir David Lindsay's 
MS. above referred to, which they did in the 
following terms : — 

" This Booke and Register of Armes, done by Sir 
David Lindesay of the Month, Lyone King of 
Armes, reg. Ja. 5, conteines 106 leaves, which 
register was approvine be the Lordies of his 
Majesties Most Honourable Privie Counsale at 
Halierude hous 9 December 1630. 

" Sir James Balfour, Lyone. 
" Thomas Drysdale, Hay Herauld, 
" Register r 

' Whatever may have become of the official 
Registers previous to the date of the commence- 
ment of the present one, it is certain that many 
collections of arms were from time to time made, 

Ar7iiorial Law in Scotland 157 

both by the Officers of Arms and others. Sir 
Robert Forman, Lyon (15 5 5-1 567), presented to 
Queen Mary a roll containing 267 Scottish coats 
of arms. In addition to the " Workman MS." 
now in the Lyon Office, at least four other 
Armorials belonging to the sixteenth century, and 
relating to Scotland, are in existence, and were 
shown at the Heraldic Exhibition held at Edin- 
burgh in 1 89 1, while the seventeenth-century 
collections are comparatively numerous. As time 
went on, however, the absence of an authentic and 
official Register of Arms was more and more felt. 
In 1639 the Committee on Articles appointed the 
Lyon to do diligence for cognoscing and matricu- 
lating all arms, and to represent the same to the 
Privy Council, that they might take some course 
to prevent arms being assumed irregularly. In 
1662 it was apparently found that the registration 
of arms was more neglected than ever, though 
Cromwell had appointed one, if not two, Lyons 
during his administration of the Government. By 
an Act passed in that year it was provided, inter 
alia, that "... Considering what disorders 
and confusions have arisen and are dayly occa- 
sioned by the usurpation of Cadents, who against 
all rules assume to themselffs the armes of the 
Cheeff house of the familie out of which they are 
descendit, and that other mean persones who can 
nowayes deryve thair succession from the families 

158 The Right to Bear Arms 

whose names they bear, as they have just assumed 
the name, doe therafter weare the coat of that 
name to which they pretend without any warrand 
or grund whatsumever, ... no younger brother 
or caudent of any familie presume to carie the 
armes of that familie bot with sech distinctions as 
shall be given by the Lyon King of Armes ; " and 
it was likewise provided that all persons were to 
have their arms examined and renewed by the 
Lyon, and inserted in his Register. This Act, 
however, did not remain long in the Statute-Book ; 
considerable dissatisfaction appears to have been 
created by it, possibly from the amount of the 
fees which it entitled the Lyon to exact at the 
funeral solemnities of the nobility and their wives, 
and it was repealed in the following year, 1663. 
It is not very clear whether the above-quoted 
allusion to the Lyon Register can be taken as 
implying that at that time there was such a record 
in existence, or whether it merely means that a 
Register was then to be commenced. But as the 
present Register was certainly commenced within 
the next ten years as new, it may fairly be inferred 
that no official Register of Arms, with the excep- 
tion of Sir David Lindsay's MS. mentioned above 
as having been approved by the Privy Council, 
was in existence at the period of the Restoration. 
What had become of the old Registers, if such 
there had been, has been a matter of some specula- 

Armorial Law in Scotland 159 

tion : both water and fire have been held to be 
answerable for their destruction. It is by some 
thought that they may have formed part of that 
cargo of records originally carried off to London 
by Cromwell, and ultimately jettisoned from the 
frigate Eagle or lost with the ship Elizabeth of 
Burntisland, when, owing to the representations of 
the Scottish Parliament, they were being restored 
to their proper home. On the other hand, Arnot, 
in his " History of Edinburgh," mentions that the 
Lyon Office Records were burnt in a fire which 
took place about 1670, and that the Act under 
which the present Register was instituted was in 
consequence passed shortly afterAvards. As, how- 
ever, there is no mention made of any such fire in 
that Act, which merely alludes in general terms 
to the many " irregularities of these late times," it 
can hardly be regarded as authentic history, and 
it is unnecessary to do more than allude to the 
causes which have been thought likely to have 
induced the Scottish Legislature to take the steps 
they did for the formation of an entirely new 
Register. It has been shown that an attempt had 
already been made in 1662 to improve the Regis- 
tration of Arms, but it had come to nothing. In 
1672 the Parliament again addressed themselves 
to the subject, and this time with success. They 
had the advantage of a member who was himself 
well acquainted with heraldry — Sir George Mac- 

i6o The Right to Bear Arms 

kenzie of Rosehaugh — and he not improbably took 
a special interest in drawing the Act, which took 
its place on the Statute-Book as the Act of 1672, 
cap. 47. It ratified generally the Act of 1592 so 
far as it related to Visitations and the penalties 
to be inflicted on persons using arms without 
authority, and it ordered all persons of whatsoever 
degree, who were in the habit of using arms, to 
give in a description of such arms and of their 
lineage to the Lyon Clerk, in order that they 
might be distinguished with " congruent differ- 
ences," and that the Lyon might enter them in his 
books and registers, and might grant arms to 
" vertuous and well deserving persones." The 
Register now instituted was to be considered as the 
true and unrepealable rule of all arms and 
bearings in Scotland, and was ordered to remain 
in the Lyon Office as a public Register of the 
kingdom for all time coming. All persons who 
used arms after the expiration of a year and a 
day from the passing of the Act rendered them- 
selves liable to a fine of one hundred pounds, 
and the goods on which the arms were engraved 
were to be escheat to the King.' 

The Act reads as follows. I quote it in full, as 
it definitely confirms the important point that 
cadets in Scotland are not entitled to bear the 
undifferenced arms of the head of their family. 
And to those who cavil at the personal authority 

Ar^norial Law in Scotland i6i 

of the Crown, it is wholesome to point out that in 
Scotland, at any rate, the matter is governed by 
common Parliament-made law, carrying, of course, 
therewith the formal assent of the Crown. 

* Copy of the Act concerning the Priviledges of 
THE Office of Lyon King at Armes. 

' Our Soveraigne Lord Considering, that albeit by 
the 125 Act of the 12 Parlia* holden by his 
Maiesties grandfather in the yeir 1592 the 
usurpation of Armes by any of his Maiesties 
leidges without the authority of Lyon King of 
Armes is expresly discharged ; And that in 
order thereto, Power and Comission is granted 
to the Lyon King of Armes or his Deputes, to 
visite the whole Armes of Noblemen, Barrons 
and Gentlemen, & to matriculate the same in 
their Registers, and to fine in One hundreth 
pounds all others who shall unjustlie usurp 
armes ; As also to Escheit all such goods and 
geir as shall have unwarrantable Armes in- 
graven on them. Yet amongst the many 
irregularities of these late times, very many 
have assumed to themselvis Armes, who should 
bear none, and many of those who may in law 
bear have assumed to themselvis ye Armes of 
their chieff, without distinctions, or Armes 
which were not carried by them or their pre- 
dicessors. Therefor His Maiestie with advice 
and consent of his Estates of Parlia* Ratifies 
and Approves the foresaid Act of Parliament : 
And for the more vigorous prosecution thereof 
Doth hereby Statute and Ordain that lettirs of 


1 62 The Right to Bear Arms 

publication of this present Act be direct to be 
execute at the mercat cross of the heid Burghs 
of the Shires, Stewartries, BailHaries of Royalty 
& Regallitie and Royal Burrowghs chargeing 
all and sundry Prelates, Noblemen, Barons & 
Gentlemen who make use of any Armes or 
Signes armoriall within the space of one yeir 
aftir the said publication, to bring or send ane 
account of what Armes or Signes armoriall they 
are accustomed to use ; and whither they be 
descendants of any familie the Armes of which 
familie they bear, and of what Brother of the 
ffamilie they are descended ; With Testificats 
from persones of Honour, Noblemen or Gentle- 
men of qualitie anent the Verity of their having 
and useing those Armes, and of their descent 
as afoirsd, to be delivered either to the Clerk of 
the Jurisdiction where the persones duells, or 
to the Lyon Clerk at his office in Edinburgh, 
at the option of the party, upon their receipts 
gratis without paying any thing therefore : 
Which Receipt shall be a sufficient exoneration 
to them, from being obleidged to produce 
again, to the effect that the Lyon King of 
Armes may distinguish the sds Armes with 
congruent differences, and may matriculat the 
same in his Bookes & Registers, and may give 
Armes to vertuous and well deserving Persones, 
and Extracts of all Armes, expressing the 
blasoning of the Arms undir his hand and seall 
of office : For Which shall be payed to the 
Lyon the soume of Tuentie merkes by Every 
Prelate & Nobleman, and Ten Merks by Every 
Knight & Baron, and five merkes by every other 
persone bearing Armes, and noe more : And 

Armorial Law in Scotland 163 

his Mat'* hereby Dispenses with any penalties 
that may arise be this or any proceiding Act 
for bearing Armes, befor the Proclamation to 
be issued hereupon. And it is Statute & 
Ordained with consent forsd that the sd 
Register shall be respected as the true and 
unrepeallable rule of all Armes & Bearings in 
Scotland to remain with the Lyons office as a 
publict Register of the Kingdome, and to be 
transmitted to his Successors in all tyme 
comeing : And that whosoevir shall use any 
other Armes any manner of way, aftir the 
expireing of year & day from the date of the 
Proclamation to be issued hereupon in maner 
forsd shall pay One hundred pounds money 
ioties qiLoties to the Lyon, and shall likewise 
escheat to his Maiestie all the moveable Goods 
& Geir upon which the fds Armes are engraven, 
or otherwise represented. And his Maiestie 
with consent forsd Declaires that it is onlie 
allowed for Noblemen & Bishopes to subscrive 
by their titles ; And that all others shall sub- 
scrive their Christned names, or the initiall 
letter thereof with there Sirnames, and may if 
they please adject the designations of their 
Lands, prefixing the word Of to the fds designa- 
tions. And the Lyon King at Armes and his 
Brethren are required to be carefull of informe- 
ing themselvis of the contraveiners heirof, and 
that they acquaint his Maiesties Councill there- 
with, who are hereby impowered to punish 
them as persones disobedient to and con- 
traveiners of the Law. It is likewise hereby 
Declaired that the Lyon and his Brethren 
Heraulds are Judges in all such causes con- 

164 The Right to Bear Arms 

cerning the malversation of Messingers in their 
office, and are to enjoy all other priviledges 
belonging to their Office which are secured to 
them by the Lawes of this Kingdome, and 
according to former practice.' 

Under a strict interpretation of the above Act, 
this opportunity of * matriculation ' of ancient 
Scottish Arms might well be held to have long 
since lapsed. I am in no way speaking for Lyon, 
nor do I wish to in any way hamper his discretion, 
but I believe it to be correct, and consequently it 
cannot be too widely known that the present Lyon 
King is by no means averse, if satisfactory evidence 
can be produced, to still exercise his prerogative 
and discretion, and matriculate at the present date 
arms which can be shown to have been authori- 
tatively borne prior to the passing of the above 

In Scotland, Lyon King of Arms still exercises 
his power of restraining the improper assumption 
of arms : the late ' Lyon ' caused a quantity of 
unauthorised heraldry to be removed from the 
windows of Glasgow Cathedral and from other 
public buildings ; and quite recently the present 
Lyon exercised a similar jurisdiction in the case 
of a public building on which various coats of 
arms were incorrectly displayed. Mr Grazebrook, 
in his Heraldry of Worcestershire, p. 27, quotes 
some delightful lines, published in Blackwood'^ 

Armorial Law in Scotland 165 

Magazine in June 1865, on the subject of ' How 
to make a Pedigree ' : 

' But I'll give you here a hint 

Your ambitious views to stint — 
There's a limit that a wise man will not pass ; 

You may safely vaunt and vapour 

While it's only done on paper, 
But you'd better keep from panel and from glass ; 

For if there you lay a brush, 

It may put you to the blush, 
Should the Lyon at your 'scutcheon make a dash : 

If your arms, so well devised, 

Are not " duly authorized," 
All your quarters may some morning get a smash.' 

When the writer in Blackwood penned these 
lines, he evidently did not contemplate a time 
when it would be no longer safe to 'vaunt and 
vapour while it's only done on paper.' 

The following is a copy of a typical ^Scottish 
grant of Arms : — 

' To all and sundry whom these presents do or 
may concern. We, George Burnett, Esquire, 
Doctor of Laws, Advocate, Lyon King of Arms, 

send Greeting : Whereas, James S , 

residing at Banchory, in the county of Kincar- 
dine, Esquire, Fellow of the Society of Anti- 
quaries of London, hath by petition of date the 
tenth day of July current, represented unto Us, 
that he is the only surviving son of the late 

William of Streatham, in the county of 

Surrey, Esquire, formerly of the city of Aber- 

66 The Rizht to Bear Arms 

deen, Master of Arts, Fellow of the Royal 
Society of Edinburgh, Royal Academician^ 
Honorary Royal Scottish Academician, Pro- 
fessor of the Theory of Fine Arts in King's 
College, London, and Inspector of Government 

Schools of Design, by Jane Bickerton B ^ 

his wife, and grandson of the deceased William 

, of Fonthill and Cuttlehill, both in the 

county of Aberdeen, Esquire, Doctor of Medi- 
cine, Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 
by Margaret Chalmers his wife ; and hath 
prayed that We would grant Our Licence and 
Authority to him and to his descendants, and 
to the other descendants of his said grandfather, 
to bear and use such ensigns armorial as may be 
found suitable and according to the Laws of 
Arms : Know ye, therefore, that We have 
devised, and do by these presents assign, ratify, 

and confirm to the said James S , 

Esquire, and to the descendants of his said 
grandfather, with such congruent differences as 
may hereafter be matriculated for them, the 
following ensigns armorial, as depicted upon the 
margin hereof, and matriculated of even date 
with these presents in Our Public Register of 
all Arms and Bearings in Scotland, viz.. Argent, 
a cheveron embattled between three leopard's 
faces sable. Above the shield is placed a helmet 
befitting his degree, with a mantling gules 
doubled argent, and on a wreath of his liveries 
is set for crest, a lion rampant gardant sable 
murally gorged argent, sustaining a flagstaff 
proper, thereon hoisted a banner parted per 
bend embattled or and gules, charged with a 
leopard's face counterchanged, and in escrol 

Armorial Law in Scotland 167 

over the same this motto, " Decide and Dare." 
In testimony whereof these presents are sub- 
cribed by Us, and the Seal of Our office is ap- 
pended hereunto, at Edinburgh, the twelfth 
day of July, in the year of our Lord one 
thousand eight hundred and eighty-six. 

' (Sd.) George Burnett, Lyon.' 

But, unlike English Arms, the unaltered Scottish 
coat descends only to the heir male of the family, 
or (as a quartering) through heirs female being 
heirs portioners. The younger sons and cadets 
(though they naturally inherit the inherent gentility 
of the original creation) have no right to bear the 
arms until they have been re-matriculated to them- 
selves in Lyon Register, and such marks of 
cadency added as Lyon King of Arms may see 
fit to require. The re-matriculated and differenced 
coat then descends in like manner to the heir male 
of the person matriculating : the cadets of that 
branch are again each in their turn required to 
re-matriculate. So that in Scotland to prove a 
right to arms it must be shown that you are the 
heir male amongst the descendants of a grantee of 
arms or of one who has matriculated. 

The following is an example of a Patent of 
Matriculation, by which a cadet of an ancient 
family had the arms of the head of that family 
matriculated to himself with due marks of 
cadency : — 

[68 The Right to Bear Arms 

Extract of Matriculation of the Arms of 
Norman Hay Forbes, Esquire. 

' Norman Hay Forbes, Esquire, Fellow of the 
Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, 
residing at Drumminor, Tunbridge Wells, in 
the county of Kent, having, by petition to the 
Lord Lyon King of Arms, of date the thirtieth 
day of November ultimo, represented that he is 
the second son of the late Frederick Murray 
Hay Forbes, born in the year 1830, Major 
Bengal Staff Corps, by Honoria his wife, 
married the second day of January 1858, 
daughter of the Reverend William Knox 
Marshall, Bachelor of Divinity and Prebendary 
of Hereford ; that the said Frederick Murray 
Hay Forbes was the second son of Robert 
Forbes of the Honourable East India Com- 
pany's Civil Service, Bengal, born on the first 
day of June 1808 by Frances Dorothea his wife, 
married on the twenty-sixth day of March 
1828, second daughter of Thomas Law Hodges 
of Hemsted Park, near Cranbrook, in the 
county of Kent ; that the said Robert Forbes 
was the sixth son of James Ochonchar, seven- 
teenth Baron Forbes, by Elizabeth his wife, 
daughter of William Hunter of Polmood, in 
the county of Peebles ; that the Arms of 
William, eleventh Lord Forbes, were recorded 
in the Public Register of All Arms and 
Bearings in Scotland, in or about the year 
1672 ; and the said petitioner having prayed 
that the said Arms might be matriculated of 
new in the said Public Register in his own 

Armorial Law in Scotland 169 

name, with a suitable difference, the Lord 
Lyon King of Arms, by interlocutor of this 
date, granted Warrant and Bearings in Scot- 
land in the name of the petitioner Norman 
Hay Forbes, Esquire, Fellow of the Royal 
College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, the follow- 
ing ensigns armorial, viz. : Azure three bears' 
heads couped argent muzzled gules within a 
bordure counter-company of the second and 
first, charged with three crescents counter- 
changed. Above the shield is placed a helmet 
befitting his degree with a mantling azure 
doubled argent, and upon a wreath of his 
liveries is set for crest a stag's head -couped 
proper, and in an escrol over the same this 
motto, ' Grace me guide,' and in an escrol under 
the shield is placed this motto, ' Lonach.' 

* Matriculated the fifteenth day of December 


' Extracted furth of the Pubhc Register of 
All Arms and Bearings in Scotland. 

* (Signed) J. W. Mitchell, 

'Lyon Clerk.' 

The following is another example : — 

Extract of Matriculation of the Arms of 
William John Home Mylne of Anwell Grove 
IN THE County of Hertford, Esquire. 

' William John Home Mylne of Anwell Grove, in 
the county of Hertford, Esquire, of Queen's 
College, Oxford, Master of Arts, at present re- 
siding at Weston-Super-Mare, in the county of 
Somerset, having by Petition to the Lyon King 

170 The Right to Bear Arms 

of Arms, of date the twenty-second day of June 
current, represented that he is the second son 
of the late Robert William Mylne, Esquire, of 
An well Grove aforesaid, and Hannah, his wife, 
daughter of the late George Scott, Esquire, of 
Ravenscourt Park, Hammersmith, in the county 
of Middlesex, in the Commission of the Peace 
for the said county ; that the said Robert 
William Mylne was grandson and representa- 
tive of Robert Mylne, Esquire, of London, 
Architect, whose Arms were matriculated in 
the Public Register of all Arms and Bearings 
in Scotland, on the eighth day of September 
1767 ; and Mary, daughter of Robert Home, 
his wife, which Robert Mylne was greatgrand- 
son of Robert Mylne of Balfarge, his (then) 
Majesty's Master Mason, whose Arms were also 
matriculated in the said Public Register about 
the year 1672 ; that in both these matricula- 
tions the descent of the petitioner's family is set 
forth from John Milne, Master Mason to King 
James III., and the said Petitioner having 
prayed that the said Arms might be matriculated 
of new in his own name in the said Public 
Register, with a suitable difference, the Lyon 
King of Arms, by Interlocutor of this date, 
granted warrant to the Lyon Clerk to matri- 
culate of new in the Public Register of all Arms 
and Bearings in Scotland, in the name of the 
petitioner, William John Home Mylne, Esquire, 
the following ensigns armorial, viz.. Or, a cross 
moline azure quartered pierced of the field 
between three mullets of the second, within a 
bordure gules for difference. Above the shield 
is placed a helmet befitting his degree with a 

Armorial Law in Scotland 171 

mantling azure doubled Or, and on a wreath of 
his liveries is set for crest a pallas's head couped 
at the shoulders, proper vested about the neck 
vert, on the head a helmet azure beaver turned 
up, and on top a pluniaish gules, and in an 
escrol over the same this motto — " Tarn Arte 
Quam Marte." 

' Matriculated the 29th day of June 1891. 

' Extracted furth of the Public Register of 
all Arms and Bearings in Scotland. 

' (Sd.) J. W. Mitchell, 

'Lyon Clerk.' 

It should be borne in mind that whilst a grant 
in England carries to all descendants in the male 
line, a grant in Scotland only descends to the heir 
male for the time being, or as a quartering to heirs- 
general being heirs-portioners. 



I HAVE now shown how the Crown has asserted 
its authority, and exercises its control concerning 
armorial matters in England and in Scotland ; 
there only remains Ireland to be dealt with. Theo- 
retically, the laws of arms in Ireland are the same 
as those of England ; but in Ireland, as in Scot- 
land, the Earl Marshal exercises no jurisdiction, 
and Ulster King of Arms has sole and supreme 
authority under the Crown. 

Although there was an officer with the title of 
* Ireland King of Arms ' as early as the reign of 
Richard II., and though, at least, three other 
persons were so designated, it is extremely doubt- 
ful whether they exercised any heraldic jurisdiction 
in that country. 

Certain is it that no trace can now be found of 
any official act in Ireland by any such officer, and 
the earliest assertion of the armorial authority of 
the Crown in Ireland that I am aware of was the 

Armorial Law in Ireland 173 

appointment of the first Ulster King of Arms. 
A copy of his Letters Patent will be found in 
Rymer's Fcedera. The powers therein granted to 
him have been confirmed and re-granted to each of 
his successors in their separate Letters Patent ; 
and in the face of these Letters Patent, and 
bearing in mind the powers which have been 
attached to such Letters Patent in England, and 
also the fact that the Crown is, and must be, the 
supreme and sole fountain of honour, there can be 
no question as to the entire authority in Ireland o 
Ulster King of Arms. 

I annex a copy and a translation of the Letters 
Patent I refer to, creating the first Ulster King of 

' De constituendo Regem Armorum & Principalem 
Heraldum Hiberni^.* 

' Rex omnibus ad quos, etc. Salutem. 

' Sciatis quod, cum inter reliquos qui ad nostrae 
Regias Majestatis Splendorum Ornatumq' spec- 
tant OfficiarioSj non infimum ab antique inter 
primse Classis Vires vindicant sibi locum 
Heraldi, qui a Veteribus vocari Heroes soliti 
sunt, quorum (scilicet) est Regum Lateribus 
pre eerum Magnificentia & Gloria assistere, 
Reipublicae consulere, Virtutes egregiaque Prin- 
cipum Facinora, & amplissimos Triumphos 
celebrare, fortia Virerum facta extellere Vitia 

* Rymer's Fcedera^ vol. xv., pp. 305, 306 (Lon. 1713), Pat., 6- 
E. VI., Pt. iv., mem. 2. 

174 ^^^ Right to Bear Anns 

exprehendere, & Armorum Curam suscipere, 
deniq' Domi & Militiae Bonis omnibus usui esse. 

* Nos Muneri huic tarn amplo OfEcioque 
splendid© Virum alioquin industrium prseficere 

' Perpendentesq' Fidelitatem, Rerum praxim 
Prudentiam Probitatem ac Diligentiam dilecti 
& fidelis servientis nostri Bartholomaei Butler 
alias York, ac gratuitum acceptabile ejusdem 
Bartholomaei Butler quotidianum & laude dig- 
num servitium ac strenuam praecarissirao Patri 
nostro Nobisq' antehac Operam impensam 
habentes, Jure merito id poscente, ac caeteris aliis 
Causis & Considerationibus Nos moventibus. 

' De Gratia nostra speciali, ac ex certa Scientia 
matura Deliberatione & mero Motu nostris, 
eundem Bartholomaeum Butler alias Yorke in 
Regem Armorum & Principalem Heraldum 
totius Regni nostri Hiberniae ereximus fecimus 
constituimus ordinavimus creavimus, Nomen 
[Ulnester] ei imposuimus, & realiter coronavi- 
mus, ac per Praesentes erigimus facimus consti- 
tuimus ordinamus creamus, Nomen ei Ulnester 
imponimus & realiter coronamus, ac Officium 
illud, necnon Nomen Ulnester, Stilum Titulum 
Dignitatem Libertatem Praeeminentiam Jura 
Commoditates quaecumque, hujusmodi Officio 
nunc & ab antiquo pertinentia dicto Bar- 
tholomaeo Regi Armorum Ulnester damus & 
concedimus per Praesentes, 

' Habendum tenendum occupandum gauden- 
dum & exercendum Officium illud, ac Nomen 
Stilum Titulum Commoditates & Praeeminentias 
praedictas eidem Commoditatibus & Emolumen- 
tis quibuscumq' praedicto Officio qualitercumq' 

Armoinal Law in Ireland 175 

nunc & ab antique spectantibus debitis sive 

' Dantes ulterius & per Tenorem Prsesentium, 
concedentes eidem Ulnester Auctoritatem Po- 
testatem Libertatem Facultatem & Licentiam 
Clarorum Virorum Arma & Insignia inspiciendi 
discernendi corrigendi & ratificandi, 

' Necnon unicuiq' DifFerentias in eisdem 
secundum Armorum Leges imponendi & ordin- 

' Literasq' Patentes Armorum Claris Viris & 
idoneis Personis donandi, 

' Ac caetera omnia & singula quae dicto in- 
cumbunt Officio Regis Armorum sive inesse 
dinoscuntur in Jure vel ex Consuetudine tem- 
poribus retroactis faciendi exercendi & exe- 

' Qui quidem Ulnester, ad hunc Statum voca- 
tus. Nobis praesentibus, aliisq' Regibus Heraldis, 
ac quamplurimus Magnatis & Fidedignis Regni 
nostri Anglise praedicti, tunc coram Nobis 
prsesentibus, & specialiter per Nos ad hoc 
vocatis adhibitis & solempniter requisiti, super 
Sancta Dei Evangelia solempne prsestitit Jura- 

' Dedimus insuper & concessimus, ac per 
Praesentes damns & concedimus eidem Bar- 
tholomaeo, a nobis in Regem Armorum & 
Principalem Heraldum totius Regni nostri 
Hibernise, ut praefertur, erecto, Quadraginta 
Marcas bonae & legalis Monetae Angliae per 
annum, aut tot & tantas Denariorum Hiberniae 
Summas quae se extendant ad praedictum 
Valorem Quadraginta Marcarum Anglias ratione 
causa & excercitio ejusdem Officii pro Vadio & 

176 The Right to Bear Arms 

Feodo Officii prsedicti percipiendarum eidem 
Bartholomaso singulis Annis durante Vita sua^ 
de Thesauro nostro ad Receptam Scaccarii 
nostri Dublinensis, per manus Thesaurarii & 
aliorum Officiariorum nostrorum ibidem pro 
tempore existentium, ad Festa Paschas & Sancti 
Michaelis Archangeli! sequis Portionibus annu- 
atim solvendarum, una cum tali Liberatura & 
Vestura, quali & in eisdem modo & forma prout 
cseteri Reges Armorum & Principales Regni 
nostri Anglise Heraldi habent seu habere debent. 

' Habendas & percipiendas Liberaturam & 
vesturam hujusmodi eidem Bartholomaeo annu- 
atim, pro Termino Vitse suae, ad magnam 
Garderobam nostram Angliae per Manus Cus- 
todis ejusdem pro tempore existentis ; 

* Eo quod expressa mentio etc. aliquo Statute, 

'In cujus rei, etc. 

' Teste Rege apud Westmonasterium primo 
Die Junii [6 Edw. VI.] 

' Per Breve de Privato Sigillo.' 

Translation of the Letters Patent creating the 
first Ulster King of Arms : — 

' The King to all to whom, etc., Greeting. Know 
ye that, whereas, among the other officers, who 
appertain to the splendour and adornment of 
our Royal Majesty, the Heralds, called Heroes 
by the ancients, claim from of old a place 
not the least among the men of the first 
rank, whose duty it is to attend Kings for 
their magnificence and glory, to take counsel 

Armorial Law in Ireland 177 

for the common weal, to celebrate the valour, 
noble deeds and widespread triumphs of Princes, 
to extol the brave doings and reprehend the 
vices of men, to undertake the care of Arms, 
and finally to be of service to all good men 
both at home and in war. 

' We, desiring to appoint to this lofty func- 
tion and splendid office, a man in other respects 

' And weighing the faithfulness, experience 
of affairs, prudence, probity, and diHgence of 
our well-beloved and faithful servant Bartholo- 
new Butler, otherwise York, and the gratui- 
tous, acceptable, and praiseworthy daily labours 
of the said Bartholomew Butler, and the zealous 
service heretofore rendered to our father and 
to us, according to the claims of right and 
merit, and all the other causes and considera- 
tions moving us thereto, 

' Of our special grace, and of our certain 
knowledge, mature deliberation and mere 
motion, we have erected, made, constituted, 
ordained, created and crowned the said Bar- 
tholomew Butler, otherwise York, King of Arms 
and Principal Herald of the whole of our King- 
dom of Ireland, and given him the name of 
Ulster, and by these presents do erect, make, 
constitute, ordain, create, and actually crown 
him such, and give him the said name of 
Ulster, and by these presents give and grant 
the name, style, title, dignity, liberty, pre- 
eminence, rights and commodities whatsoever 
to such office now and from of old time belong- 
ing to the said Bartholomew, Ulster King of 


178 The Right to Bear Arms 

'To have, hold, occupy, enjoy and exercise 
that office and the name, style, title, commo- 
dities and pre-eminences aforesaid to him, with 
all profits and emoluments whatsoever to the 
aforesaid office in any way now, and from of 
old time, belonging, due or appertaining, 

* Giving further, and by the tenor of these 
presents, granting to the said Ulster, authority, 
power, liberty, faculty and licence to inspect, 
determine, correct and ratify the arms of 
renowned men, 

' And also to impose and ordain differences 
in the same in accordance with the laws of 

' And to grant Letters Patent of Arms to 
renowned men and suitable persons, 

' And to do, exercise and discharge all other 
things whatsoever which belong to the office of a 
King of Arms, or are considered to be a part of 
the same in right or by custom from times 
gone by, 

' Which the said Ulster, called to this rank, m 
the presence of us and of other Kings Heralds, 
and numerous magnates and liege subjects of 
our Kingdom of England aforesaid, then present 
before us, and for this purpose specially called, 
summoned and solemnly cited by us, took a 
solemn oath upon the Gospels. 

'We moreover gave and granted, and by 
these presents give and grant to the said 
Bartholomew, erected by us, as aforesaid, to be 
King of Arms and Principal Herald of the 
whole of our Kingdom of Ireland, forty merks 
of good and lawful money of England yearly, 
or so much and so many sums of Irish money 

Armorial Law in Ireland 179 

as shall amount to the value aforesaid of forty 
marks, by reason, cause and exercise of the 
office aforesaid as wages and fee of the office 
aforesaid, to be received by the said Bartholo- 
mew every year during his life, out of our 
treasure at the Receipt of our Exchequer in 
Dublin by the hands of our Treasurer and 
other officers there for the time being, to be 
paid at the Feasts of Easter and St Michael the 
Archangel in equal portions, together with 
such livery and raiment as, and in the same 
manner and form as, other Kings of Arms and 
principal Heralds of our Kingdom of England, 
have or ought to have, 

' To have and receive the livery and raiment 
aforesaid to the said Bartholomew yearly for 
the term of his life, at our great Wardrobe of 
England by the hands of the Keeper of the 
same for the time being, 

' Providing that express mention, etc., any 
statute, etc. 

' In witness whereof, etc. 

'Witness the King at Westminster, the 
first day of June. [6 Edw. VI.] 

' By writ of Privy Seal.' 

The following is an example of a typical Irish 
Grant of Arms : — 

* To all and singular to whom these presents shall 
come, I, Sir Arthur Edward Vicars, F.S.A., 
Ulster King of Arms and Principal Herald of 
all Ireland, Registrar and Knight Attendant of 

i8o The Right to Bear Arms 

the Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick, send 
greeting : Whereas, application hath been 
made unto me by 

of in the county of 

Down, one of Her Majesty's Most Honourable 
Privy Council in Ireland, one of the Justices of 
Peace and present High Sheriff of the county 
of , also one of the Justices of the 

Peace for the said county of Down and for the 
city of Belfast, 

setting forth that he is desirous that armorial 
ensigns may be duly marshalled and assigned 
unto him and his descendants by lawful 
authority, and registered and recorded in the 
office of Ulster King of Arms in Ireland, to the 
end that the Officers of Arms there and all 
others, upon occasion, may take full notice and 
have knowledge thereof, and hath, therefore, 
prayed that I would grant and assign unto him 
and his descendants such armorial ensigns as 
he and they may lawfully use and bear : Know 
ye, therefore, that I, the said Ulster King of 
Arms, having taken the request of the said 
applicant into consideration, am pleased to 
comply therewith, and by virtue of the power 
unto me, given by Her Majesty's Royal Letters 
Patent under the Great Seal of that part of the 
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland 
called Ireland, and by the authority of the 
same, have given and granted, and by these 
presents do give, grant, and assign unto the 

and his descendants the Arms following, that is 
to sav : — Argent, a saltire gules between, in 
chief and in base a bugle horn stringed sable, 

Armorial Law in Ireland i8i 

and in fess two sea-horses respecting one 
another proper, for crest on a wreath of the 
colours a falcon's head erased per saltire argent 
and gules, and for motto, *' Deeds not Words," 
the whole, as is more clearly depicted in the 
margin, to be borne and used hereafter by 
him the said 

and his descendants for ever, with their 
due and proper differences, according to the 
laws of Arms, without the let, hindrance, 
molestation, or interruption of any person or 
persons whatsoever. In witness whereof, I 
have subscribed these presents and affixed 
hereunto my Official Seal, this thirteenth day 
of May in the sixty-first year of the reign 
of our Sovereign Lady Victoria, by the Grace 
of God of the United Kingdom of Great 
Britain and Ireland Queen, Defender of the 
Faith, and so forth, and in the year of our 
Lord One thousand eight hundred and ninety- 

' (Sd.) Arthur E. Vicars, 

' Ulster King of Arms of All Ireland.' 

But when we come to deal with the manner 
in which armorial control has been exercised in 
Ireland, it is impossible to speak with that cer- 
tainty and precision that one can with regard to 
England. Ireland has ever been in a troubled 
state, and a certain proportion of her population 
have always defied the rule of the 'Sassenach.' 
Such defiance, of course, carries with it no authority 
for the use of illegal arms, but it explains the some- 

82 The Rwht to Bear Arms 

what limited and haphazard and perfunctory manner 
in which the English Crown asserted its control in 
Ireland in any matter in former times ; for when 
there were nobles and chiefs who defied and fought 
in actual warfare for very regality and sovereignty, 
the dictum of a Herald acting in the name of the 
English King would have been considered of but 
small moment in Ireland in ancient times ; and the 
Irish official records of armorial matters are therefore 
not so extensive by any means as could be wished. 
In a series of articles which have been running for 
some length of time in the Kilkenny Moderater, 
under the heading of a ' Calendar of Documents 
relating to Kilkenny,' by G. D. Burtchaell, M.A., 
M.R.I.A., F.R.S.A.I.,* the opportunity is taken to 
enumerate the Records of Ulster's Office, and 
incidentally to give a brief history of armorial 
matters in Ireland. From one of these articles I 
have drawn largely. 

Bartholomew Butler, the first Ulster, died in the 
year 1566, and the following year was succeeded 
by Nicholas Narbon, Richmond Herald. Soon 
after Narbon's appointment a new method for 
preserving pedigrees by means of funeral certi- 
ficates was adopted in England. Heraldry was 
fast losing its strictly military importance, owing 
to the gradual decay of the feudal system, together 
with the adoption of altered weapons and 

* Secretary to the present Ulster King of Arms. 

Armorial Law in Ireland 183 

methods of warfare. But it had become cus- 
tomary to conduct funerals with a considerable 
amount of heraldic pomp. The armorial bearings 
of the deceased were depicted on escutcheons 
attached to the bier, and in the case of those of 
high rank upon banners and bannerolls borne by 
friends and relatives of the dead. Hence the 
Officers of Arms were required to attend at 
funerals for the purpose of seeing that arms were 
not improperly assumed by those who had no 
right to them, as well as for the purpose of 
marshalling the funeral procession. In England 
funeral certificates were taken pursuant to the 
' Orders to be obseruide and kept by the Officers 
of Armes made by the highe and mighty Prince 
Thomas, Duke of Norfolk, Erie Marischall of 
Englande Ano. 1568, the xviii. day of July, yn 
the Tenth yere of the Reigne of Queene Elizabeth,' 
wherein it is ordained that ' Everie King of Armes, 
heraulde, or pursuivante that shall serue at any 
funerall . . . shall bring into the librari or Office 
of Armes a trewe and certaine Certificate vnder 
the hands of the Executors and Morners that shall 
be present at the said funerall conteyninge the 
daye of the deathe, the place of buriall of the 
person deceased ; and also to whom he or she 
married, what issewe they hade, what years they 
were of at the tyme of the said buriall, and to whom 
they were married, to the intent that the sayd 

184 The Right to Bear Arms 

certificate may be regestrede and do remayne as a 
perpetuall recorde in the sayd office for ever.' 

I have not alluded to these Funeral Certificates 
in dealing with the College of Arms in England, 
because in England, through the existence of other 
and better records, funeral certificates have played no 
very important part. But in Ireland, owing to the 
absence of other armorial records, they form a most 
important series of records. In that country, im- 
mediately upon Narbon's appointment, the follow- 
ing order was made by the Lord Deputy and Privy 
Council for regulating the use of Arms and the 
conduct of funerals : — 

' H. Sidney. 

* To all noble estates and gentle, as well sp'uall as 
temporall, of what estate, degree or condition 
soever they or any of them be, and to all maiors, 
portriffs, baylififs, souraignes, sheriffs, constables, 
and other officers, ministers, and subjects, greet- 
ings : Forasmuch as Nicholas Narbon, otherwise 
named Ulster, Principall Herald and Kinge of 
Armes of this realme of Ireland, intenteth to re- 
paire into all the pets of ye same to visite and 
oversee the Armes, devises and conisances of 
all nobles and gentlemen, and if any default be 
found in any their coat armours, standards, 
baners, pennons, or conisances or other token of 
nobilitie and honnor contrarie to the laudable 
usage of ye realme of England, he to reforme 
the same in such due order as to the Lawe of 
Armes doth appertaine, and to correct all false 

Armorial Law in Ireland 185 

armorie and all such as without his consent doe 
psume to beare armes or signe of nobilitie, ex- 
cept they be hneally descended of bloud and 
name from such their anncestors as by the Lawe 
of iVrmes they may of right beare and use. 
Alsoe upon true certificatt to him made to re- 
gister all the Armes, descents, and marriages of 
all nobles and gentlemen of this realme of 
Ireland, and alsoe to reforme all such as at 
interments or funeralls use any other maners or 
weare gownes, hoods, or tippets above their 
estates or degrees, and all those that shall dis- 
obey the same, to make answeare thereunto 
before the High Marshall of Ireland, and alsoe 
to see yt no paintor, graver, goldsmith, or any 
other artificer doe sett forth or make or 
devise any newe armes, or devise any con- 
usance other than of antiquitie apptaineth 
without the appointment of the said Vlster 
King of Armes or his lawfuU deputie within 
the said realme of Ireland. Wee, there- 
fore, not onely will and require, but also com- 
mand you, and every of you, that unto ye 
Ulster King of Armes in the full execution of 
that his office belongeth, and so by authoritie 
to him given by ye Queen's Maiestie by her 
Lres Pattents, as appeareth, that you doe give 
and shew yor lawfuU ayde and assistance when 
he shall require you, as you will answeare to ye 
contrarie. Robert Weston, Cane, Adam Dub- 
lin, R. Trimleston, Willm. Fz. Wm., John 
Plunkett, R. Dillon, Ni. Bagenall, Frances 
Agard, Tho. Cusacke.' 
Under this order Narbon held twelve Visitations 

1 86 The Right to Bear Ar7ns 

in the course of the following six years. Unfor- 
tunately the originals are lost, and only a portion 
of those relating to the county and city of Dublin 
and the surrounding counties remain. Those for 
Cork and Limerick, which he is recorded to have 
taken, are missing. Although there is no record 
of a Visitation having been held for Kilkenny, there 
are some grounds for supposing that there was. 
Only half a dozen funeral certificates taken by 
Narbon are known to exist, and they all relate 
to persons belonging to Dublin. He held office for 
over twenty years, and resigned in 1588. His 
successor was Christopher Ussher, uncle to the 
famous Archbishop. Hardly any of his official 
acts are on record during the nine years he was in 
office. On his death in July 1 597, he was succeeded 
by Daniel Molyneux, who held office for thirty-five 
years. He was an eminent antiquary, and has left 
behind him several collections of historical notes 
chiefly relating to the monastic establishments 
in Ireland, besides notes of pedigrees of many 
families. These are now among the MSS. in the 
library of Trinity College, Dublin. During his 
time he appears to have attended to the proper 
discharge of the duties of his office. He held 
Visitations for the city and county of Dublin, and 
also for the county of Wexford. But the difficulties 
he had to contend with through unauthorised per- 
sons taking upon themselves to emblazon arms for 

Armorial Law in Ireland 187 

the nobility and gentry, as well as from the neglect 
of funeral ceremonies, are shown by the following 
letter from his Majesty, dated at Westminster 7th 
April 1630. 

' The King to Lord Viscount Falkland, Deputy 

'Right trusty and well-beloved cousin and 
counsellor, we greet you well. Whereas, com- 
plaints hath been exhibited to us by our well- 
beloved servant, Daniel Molyneux, Ulster 
King of Arms and Principal Herald of that our 
realme of Ireland, of divers and sundry abuses 
and disorders concerning arms and armoury 
there, occasioned partly through the boldness 
of some mechanical persons who presume to set 
forth Arms for the nobility and gentry without 
direction from him, being the proper officer 
appointed to attend that service, and partly 
through the nobility and gentry themselves, 
who have of late, as we are informed, wholly, 
in a manner, laid aside all funeral rights and 
ceremonies ; we could not but take the same 
into our princely consideration, as a matter 
requiring speedy redress and reformation, as 
well in regard of the nobility and gentry 
themselves whom so deeply in honour it con- 
cerneth, and whose houses cannot but in a 
short time grow into many perplexities and 
confused disorders in their Arms and pedigrees 
if all use of Arms be laid aside at obsequies and 
funerals, and no entry made of the day of their 
decease, matches, and issues ; as likewise in 
regard of our servant, a chief part of whose 

The Right to Bear Arms 

maintenance and livelihood ariseth from such 
fees and perquisites as usually grow due at 
funerals and obsequies of the nobility and 
gentry, which doth the rather fall into our com- 
sideration at this time when the several ranks 
of nobility are increased in that our kingdom, 
and a new dignity of baronet there settled, it 
seemed a thing very disproportionate that our 
civility and the number of noblemen of all 
degrees being enlarged, and a new dignity of 
honour being also added, that the King of 
Arms or Herald, who is the officer of honour, 
should not likewise increase in matter of respect 
and profit, at least not to be in worse respect 
and meaner state than before. Our pleasure is 
therefore, and we do hereby require and 
authorise you, that taking to your assistance 
such of the nobility and of our Council there 
as you shall think fit, you enter into considera- 
tion and set down a course for redressing of the 
aforenamed abuses, taking for your direction 
therein an order or decree set forth in print by 
the Commissioners of the Earl Marshal's office 
for reforming of the like enormities in this our 
kingdom of England, dated the loth day of 
November in the sixteenth year of our late 
dear father's reign, laying down some such 
course and order for the redress of the former 
enormities, and for the support of our Officers of 
Arms there, as shall be thought fit and reason- 
able to stand with the state and condition of 
that our Kingdom, with proviso that he have 
satisfaction for such funerals of the lords, 
knights, and others of eminent place and quality 
as of late have not made use of this office : which 

Armorial Law in Ireland 189 

course and order we require and authorize you 
for the present, and all other our chief gover- 
nor or governors of that our Realme to see 
duly executed from time to time as occasion 
shall be offered hereafter ; and for the better 
preventing of many disorders and incon- 
veniences for the time to come, and to the end 
that the genealogies and pedigrees of the 
nobility and gentry, for the furtherance and 
advancing of our service as occasion shall be 
offered hereafter, may be more ready and in 
better order than heretofore they have been. 
Our further pleasure is, and we do hereby 
require and authorise you to see our servant 
countenanced and furthered in the execution 
of a Commission of Herald's Visitation through- 
out the several places and quarters of that our 
kingdom ; and if any whom it shall concern be 
backward or refractory against the due execu- 
tion of the forenamed Commission, our pleasure 
is that you take special notice of them, hereby 
requiring and authorising you to use such 
means as in anywise they be made obedient to 
this our command and pleasure to you signified 
in that behalf.' 

Richard St George resigned the office of Ulster 
King of Arms in 1683, and Carney was appointed 
to succeed him. The following year he was 
knighted, being the first Ulster who received that 
honour. He died 1692, and with him the practice 
of entering funeral certificates almost entirely 
ceased. This was chiefly owing to the custom of 

iQO The Right to Bear Arms 

using armorial ensigns at funerals being gradually 

The fees payable to the Officer of Arms were 
regulated by the rank of the deceased person, and 
by the Officers of Arms being personally in 
attendance at the funeral. The fee for a gentle- 
man was £% which is the fee now fixed for 
making a funeral entry in the Office of Arms. 
When the arms of the deceased person are 
entered, the right of his descendants to these 
arms is established. When no arms are entered 
it is presumed that the right to arms was not 

The following are copies of two typical Funeral 
Certificates now in Ulster's office. The original 
of each is accompanied by a drawing of the Arms. 

(i) ' Hugh Buye Magaghegan of Castletoune, in the 
county of West-meath, deceased the loth of 
June 1622. He had to wife Elenor, dr. of 
Walter Tyrell of Clunmoyle, in the aforesaid 
County, by whome he had issue — Arte, James, 
Thomas, Richard, Rose, Neyle, Conly, Connell, 
Mary, Margery, Elenor, Anne, & Elizabeth.' 

(2) ' Bryan mac Dermott of Carrigg, in the county 
of Roscoman, Esq''., eldest sonne of Bryan mac 
Dermott, eldest sonne of Rory mac Dermott, 
eldest sonne of Teige mac Dermott, eldest sonne 
of Rory oge mac Dermott, eldest sonne of Rory 
Keogh mac Dermott, tooke to wife Margarett, 
daughter of Rickard Bourk of Derrymaclaghnye, 

Armorial Law in Ireland 191 

in the county of Galloway, Esq^, by whome 
hee had issue, Tirlagh, alias Terence, eldest 
Sonne & heire, whoe tooke to wife Margarett 
daughter of Feagh Bourke mac Davye of 
Downeoman, in the county of Galloway, Esq^, 
Connor, second sonne, died without issue, 
Charles, 3rd sonne, whoe tooke to wife EUinor, 
daughter of William O'Molloy of Croghan, in 
the county of Roscoman, Esquire, Bryan, 4th 
sonne, as yett unmarried, a Captaine beyond 
seas, Teige, fifth sonne, as yett unmarried, & 
some other sonns that died young without 
issue, Honora, eldest daughter, died young, 
Mary, second daughter, married to Patrick 
Plunkett, second sonne of James Plunkett, 
eldest sonne of S'' Christopher Plunkett, 
Margaret, 3rd daughter, married to Conn 
O'Roirk of , in the county 

of Letrim, gent., Vny, 4th daughter, as yett 
unmarried, Honora, 5th daughter, alsoe as yett 
unmarried. The said first mentioned Bryan 
departed this mortall life at Athlone the 8th 
of January 1636, and was interred in the Parish 
Church of Clonemacknosie, in the county of 
, being the proper buriall 
place belonging to that Family. The truth of 
the premisses is testified by the subscription of 
Tirlagh, alias Terence m'Dermott, eldest sonne 
and heire of the said Defunct, whoe hath re- 
turned this certificate into my oflfice to be there 
recorded. Taken by me, Thomas Preston, Esq'., 
Ulester King of Armes, this 17th of April 1637. 
' Terence Mac Dermott.' 

But owing to the absence of Irish records — not 

192 The Right to Bear Arms 

necessarily records which could be looked for in 
Ulster's Office, but parish registers, for example — 
it is exceptionally difficult to prove an Irish 
pedigree, and thereby strictly and unquestionably 
establish, in the manner required in England, a 
right to arms. 

But for a long time the difficulty arising from 
faulty records has been remedied, and succeeding 
Ulster Kings of Arms have had the power (and 
have continually and continuously exercised it) 
of confirming by patent arms which have been in 
use, but for which usage no sufficient legal sanction 
or authority can be shown. Whether or not the 
required length of usage has always been the same 
I am unable to say, but at the present time Ulster 
King of Arms will issue a confirmation, under his 
hand and seal, to any one within his jurisdiction, 
of any arms in use when these can be shown to 
have been continuously borne for at least three 
generations, or else for at least one hundred 
years. Ulster is the only King of Arms who 
still has authority to issue a 'confirmation' of 
previously unauthorised arms. But, of course, 
he can only confirm those arms which come 
within his Irish jurisdiction. Usually, some slight 
alteration or addition is made to the coat of arms 
and crest at the time of confirmation. The extent 
and nature of this alteration are entirely within the 
discretion of Ulster King of Arms, and vary 

Armorial Law in Irelajid 193 

according to the circumstances of the case ; but 
I have known cases where the continuous use of 
the arms has been proved back to the seventeenth 
century, in which no alteration whatsoever has 
been made. But, as I have said, the nature and 
extent of the alterations rests with Ulster King of 
Arms. A confirmation is equivalent in legality to 
a grant ; and, like a grant, a confirmation recites 
the limits within which the arms confirmed are to 
descend. The limitations are usually to the 
descendants of the father or grandfather, but 
where proper and sufficient reason has been 
shown, these limits have been extended on some 
occasions in a very wide-reaching manner. 

The following are copies of typical Irish Con- 
firmations of Arms : — 

'To all and singular to whom these presents 
shall come, I, Arthur Edward Vicars, Esquire, 
F.S.A., Ulster King of Arms and Principal 
Herald of all Ireland, Knight Attendant on the 
Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick, send 
greeting: Whereas, John Joseph Greene, 
Esquire, Bachelor of Arts and of Medicine of 
the University of Dublin, Surgeon-Major Army 
Medical Staff, eldest son of John Greene of 
Clare Street, in the city of Dublin, deceased, 
grandson of Godfrey Greene of Green mount, 
in the county of Kilkenny, and great-grandson 
of John Greene of Greenville, in the said 
county of Kilkenny, Esquire, who was son of 
John Greene of the same place, Esquire, hath 


194 ^-^^ Right to Bear Arms 

made application to me setting forth that his 
immediate ancestor, Godfrey Greene, Esquire, 
was granted the castle, town, and lands of 
Ballynemony, ahas Mooretown Keating, and 
other lands in the county of Tipperary, by 
Letters Patent, bearing date the twenty-third 
day of July in the thirtieth year of his late 
Majesty King Charles II., and that the armorial 
ensigns borne by the descendants of his said 
ancestor, the last mentioned Godfrey Greene, 
do not appear to have been recorded in this 
office, and praying that I would ratify and 
confirm the same with such distinction as may 
be proper to be borne by him and his 
descendants and the other descendants of his 
aforesaid great-great-grandfather, John Greene 
of Greenville, in the county of Kilkenny : 
Know ye, therefore, that I, the said Ulster 
King of Arms, having taken the request of 
the said applicant into consideration, am pleased 
to comply therewith, and, by virtue of the 
power to me given by Her Majesty's Letters 
Patent under the Great Seal of Ireland, and by 
authority of the same, by these presents do 
ratify and confirm unto the said John Joseph 
Greene, Esquire, and his descendants, and to 
the other descendants of his said great-great- 
grandfather the Arms following, viz. : — Vert, 
three bucks trippant or, each gorged with a 
ducal coronet gules ; crest issuant from a 
ducal coronet gules, a buck's head or ; motto, 
" Nee timeo nee sperno." The whole as is 
more clearly depicted in the margint, to be 
borne and used for ever hereafter by him, the 
said John Joseph Greene, Esquire, and his 

Armorial Law in Ireland 195 

descendants and by the other descendants of 
his aforesaid great - great - grandfather, John 
Greene of Greenville, in the county of Kil- 
kenny, Esquire, according to the Laws of Arms, 
without the let, hindrance, molestation, or 
interruption of any person or persons whatever. 
In witness whereof, I have hereunto subscribed 
my name this thirty-first day of December in 
the fifty-seventh year of the reign of our 
Sovereign Lady Victoria, by the Grace of God 
of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and 
Ireland, Queen, Defender of the Faith, and so 
forth, and in the year of our Lord One 
thousand eight hundred and ninety-three. 

' (Signed) Arthur E. Vicars, 
' Ulster King (Seal) of Arms of All Ireland.' 

Here is another confirmation worded somewhat 
dififerently : — 

' To all and singular to whom these presents shall 
come, I, Sir John Bernard Burke, C.B., LL.D., 
Ulster King of Arms and Principal Herald of 
all Ireland, Knight Attendant on the Most 
Illustrious Order of St Patrick, do hereby 
certify and declare that the armorial bearings 
above depicted, viz. :— Argent three bars gules, 
on a canton of the second a mullet or ; crest, 
a horse passant proper, charged on the shoulder 
with a mullet or ; motto, " Fortiter et recte," 
are confirmed and do of right belong and 
appertain unto James Franklin Fuller, F.S.A., 
descended from the family of Fuller of the 
county of Kerry, being only son of Thomas 

196 The Right to Bear Arms 

Harnett Fuller, Esq. of Glashnacree, near 
Kenmare, in the said county of Kerry, by his 
wife Frances Diana (daughter of F. C. Bland, 
Esq., D.L., of Derriquin Castle, by his wife 
Lucurda Herbert), who is the son of Captain 
Edward Fuller of Sackville and Beechmount, 
also in Kerry, by his wife Elizabeth (daughter 
of the Rev. John Blennerhassett by his wife 
Louisa Goddard), who was the son of Thomas 
Fuller, Esq., Treasurer of the County of Cork, 
by his wife Ann (daughter of John Pincell, 
Esq., by his wife Mary Leader of Mount 
Leader), who was the son of William Fuller of 
West Kerries, in the county of Kerry, by his 
wife Jane (daughter of William Harnett of 
Bally Neury, by his wife Miss Pellican of 
Peloquin, a sister of the Rev. William Pellican,) 
Rector of O'Brennan), and his descendants and 
the other descendants of his aforesaid grand- 
father, with their due and proper differences, 
according to the laws of Arms, without the let, 
hindrance, molestation, or interruption of any 
person or persons whatsoever. In witness 
whereof, I have hereunto subscribed my name 
this day of July in the thirty-eighth year of 
the reign of our Sovereign Lady Victoria, by the 
Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great 
Britain and Ireland, Queen, Defender of the 
Faith, and so forth, and in the year of our 
Lord One thousand eight hundred and 

' (Signed) J. Bernard Burke, 
' Ulster.' 

Armorial Law in Ireland 197 

The fees upon a confirmation amount to very 
little ; and by the large number of confirmations 
which have been issued, a result is being now 
rapidly obtained in Ireland equivalent to the results 
and records in England consequent upon the Visita- 
tions. But it should be borne in mind that such 
confirmations are concessions of grace, consequent 
on the troublous times in former days in Ireland, 
and cannot be construed into anything in the 
nature of the admission of a right to bear (or at 
any time to have borne) arms which lack the sanc- 
tion of the Crown. 

That this opportunity of confirmation exists in 
Ireland for those within the jurisdiction of Ulster 
King of Arms, I think cannot be too widely known 
or taken advantage of, and it seems to me an intense 
misfortune that the point is not officially brought 
prominently before the notice of those members of 
the Irish landed gentry who are still making use 
of arms without authority ; for it must stand to 
reason that at some future date the Crown will 
recognise that it is then by such concessions, con- 
firming the use of arms which have been originally 
improperly assumed at such comparatively recent 
dates, that no valid excuse whatsoever could pos- 
sibly be alleged for this illegal assumption. 

Irish arms descend, as do arms in England, to all 
legitimate descendants in the male line. So that in 
Ireland to prove a right to armorial bearings by 

198 The Right to Bear Arms 

inheritance it is necessary to show legitimate male 
descent from a person admitted to have had a right 
to arms or to whom the right was granted — (i) in 
a Visitation ; (2) in a funeral certificate ; (3) in a 
confirmation ; or (4) from a person to whom the 
right has been granted in a specific Patent and 
Grant of Arms, 

There is no annual tax for the use of arms in 
that country. Doubtless this is but ' another 
injustice to Ireland.' 

The fees upon Patents of Arms in every case, 
England, Scotland, and Ireland, have been fixed 
and decided by the Treasmy, and the Treasury j 
absorbs the whole of the fees in Scotland and in 
Ireland, and a portion of the fees in England. 



To those who would still maintain that a man 
may invent arms for himself, I would point out 
(i) that Henry V. decreed that arms borne without 
authority were to be stripped off and broken up. 
Charles (Brandon), Duke of Suffolk, Earl Marshal 
(i 524-1 534), ordered 'that none shall enterprise to 
beare anie signs or tokens of arms, etc., withoute 
they be authorised so to do.' Henry VHI., Philip 
and Mary, Elizabeth, Charles I. and Charles II., 
all in their Commissions commanding Visitations 
to be made, and in other Warrants and Orders, 
decreed that false arms were to be defaced ; the 
Kings of Arms made those disclaim who would 
not rectify their arms. Charles II. says of the 
assumption of name and arms : — ' Neither of which 
may regularly be done according to the law of 
Armes without y speciall dispencacon and Licence 
of us, as we are by Our Supream power and Pre- 
rogative the only Fountain of Honour.' The Earl 
Marshal's Court over and over again called people 

200 The Right to Bear Arms 

to book for illegal use of arms, the present Lyon 
King of Arms has interfered to prevent the dis- 
play of bogus arms on a public building, and the 
ordinary Law Courts in 1898 set aside the con- 
ditions of a will because the arms in question were 
of no authority. And yet there are some who 
' don't recognise the authority of the College' and 
the Officers of Arms. 

In all that I have written on the subject I have 
never mentioned or criticised in the slightest 
degree a person who has made neither use, pretence, 
nor display of arms or title. My sole object in 
writing here and in the Saturday Review has been 
to induce the users of illegal arms to DROP them. 
I am far from wishing the granting of arms — the 
signs of gentility — to be extended to people who 
in other matters make no pretence to the attributes 
of gentility. 

How in the face of all the foregoing facts there can 
still remain those who refuse to recognise the autho- 
rity of the Crown and College of Arms in armorial 
matters passes my comprehension. That there 
are such I am well aware, that many of these ought 
to know better I am equally aware, and that there 
are those who, knowing the whole of the foregoing 
facts, still advocate a kind of help-yourselves-to-any- 
Arms-and-Crests-you-fancy sort of policy I am 
also aware. But until the laws are altered. Arms 
are, and will remain, matters of honour in the pre- 

The Rizht to Bear Arms 201 

rogative of the Crown to grant and create, and it is 
almost as much a matter of certainty that as long 
as a sovereign exists within the Empire the 
authority in England will continue to be delegated 
to the Earl Marshal and the Officers of the College 
of Arms. 

Briefly, then, to sum up : to formally establish 
the right to bear arms in England it is necessary 
to prove to the satisfaction of the College of Arms 
legitimate male descent from some person to 
whom a grant of arms has been made, or from 
some person to whom arms were confirmed at the 
Visitations. In Ireland the same, or else from 
some person whose right to arms has been 
officially admitted, or to whose descendants arms 
have been confirmed. Failing this, there is no 
alternative if you desire to use arms, but to obtain 
a grant of arms yourself, or, if you be under the 
jurisdiction of Ulster King of Arms, and can pro- 
duce the necessary evidence, a confirmation. In 
Scotland, if you are the heir male of a grantee, or 
of any one to whom arms have been matriculated, 
you are entitled to bear these arms ; if you can 
only establish a junior descent, you must have 
the arms matriculated to yourself, even if it be 
your father who was the grantee ; if you cannot 
show any such descent, you must petition for a 

If you cannot prove a right to arms, and if you 

202 The Right to Bear Arms 

cannot afford or are not in a sufficient position to 
obtain a grant, then do refrain at least from using 
unauthorised arms. 

To those who profess an entire contempt for 
heraldry, in all sincerity I offer one word of advice. 
Such a standpoint is quite justifiable — it is almost 
understandable. Do have the courage of your 
own opinions, and leave Arms and Crests alone — 
use none, — and SEE THAT YOUR wife does the 





Perhaps it may be desirable to add a few notes 
concerning the status of foreign arms in England. 

A foreigner coming into this country is amen- 
able to the laws of honour of his own country 
and the authorities controlling them in that 
country so long as he retains his original natio7iality. 
Those foreign laws and the laws of armorial 
registration and control vary considerably, but 
there is one fundamental rule which is now, and 
has been for some centuries, admitted practically 
from one end of Europe to the other. With 
countries outside Europe one need not trouble. 
American heraldry is beneath notice (I do not 
refer to the armory of American scions of English 
gentle families) ; and the barbaric totemism of 
semi- civilised countries, though perhaps the origin 
of our own heraldry is hardly sufficiently evolved 
to be considered as armory. The one fundamental 
European rule is this — that arms are a matter of 

204 The Right to Bear Arms 

honour, and that the conferring of honour and 
honours is a prerogative of sovereignty.* 

All European countries recognise the sovereign 
acts of every other de facto European sovereign, 
so long as these acts are constitutional acts, 
according to the constitutional law of the country 
over which each particular sovereign reigns. 
Now every de facto sovereign can grant arms to 
his own subjects. No sovereign can lawfully grant 
arms to another sovereign's subjects. Arms and 
titles are precisely identical, and it requires the 
consent or definite documentary recognition of the 
sovereign of the grantee to render lawful and 
valid a grant of either arms or title from a foreign 
sovereign. In England this is conveyed by 
means of what we know as a royal licence. The 
formalities are somewhat the same in Germany, 
which, after our own, is probably the country the 
most carefully controlled. These royal licences 
are but very rarely granted in England ; but two 
or three cases of arms come to my mind — e.g.^ 
Thornton, which was a grant of an augmentation 
of arms and a title by the King of Portugal 
to an actual English subject. For the same 
reason no grant of arms can be made by the 
English College of Arms to an American citizen. 

The universal sovereignty of the Pope is ad- 
mitted in some countries, and consequently arms 

* I except the Republics of Switzerland and Venice. 

Foreign Arms 205 

and titles granted by the Pope are recognised in 
Spain and Italy, and perhaps in other countries. 
They are also recognised by the present French 
administration. No Papal grant has been officially 
recognised in this country, that I am aware of, 
since the Reformation. 

A sovereign grants arms to a man and his 
descendants, and, unless that grant be revoked 
(which can only be done in England by attainder) 
the right remains for ever, and cannot be disputed 
(after proof of descent) in the country in which 
the arms originated. But no sovereign can be 
compelled to recognise in his own country honours 
conferred by another sovereign, beyond the re- 
cognition that courtesy demands should be ex- 
tended to a foreigner and a foreign subject whose 
credentials are in order. Directly the nationality 
is changed and the status of foreigner is at an end, 
that courtesy of necessity also comes to an end, 
for as an English subject an immigrant becomes 
entirely amenable to English law, and the English 
law recognises no arms as legal in this country or 
for English subjects save those recorded in the 
official College and Offices of Arms. 

The procedure for the registration of foreign 
arms in this country is as follows : A certificate is 
obtained that, prior to becoming an English subject, 
the person in question, in the country from which 
he came, was entitled to bear certain arms. This 

2o6 The Right to Bear Arms 

certificate must issue from the Government de- 
partment (of the country of origin) which has the 
control of such matters. I believe I am correct in 
saying that there is now some Government de- 
partment having proper control in almost every 
European country. It is essential that the certifi- 
cate should issue from the Government department, 
and it has to be countersigned by the English 
ambassador or minister resident in the country of 
origin, which I take it is the guarantee that the 
certificate is official and has been lawfully issued. 
This certificate is then taken to the College of 
Arms and recorded there. I am not positive 
regarding all the formalities of the operation, 
but the arms are not altered in any way, their 
legality is fully admitted, and will never afterwards 
be questioned. After their registration they will 
be treated as an English coat of arms subject to 
English heraldic law. I have often been flatly 
contradicted on this point of registration, and 
informed it is never done, and that such certificates 
are never issued. It is done constantly. The 
supporters granted in Germany to Baron Roths-' 
child, even (namely, Dexter, a lion or, and sinister, 
a unicorn argent), were afterwards, when the 
need arose, registered in England without question, 
though I do not for one moment believe or suppose 
that any Englishman would ever have been allowed 
to obtain such a grant. 

Foreign Arms 207 

A great many people emphatically assert that 
the English College of Arms insist on regranting 
or else confirming all foreign arms. Both state- 
ments are incorrect. The College, nowadays, 
never ' confirm ' any arms at all. If a proper 
certificate is produced, the arms are ' recorded,' and 
are neither altered, regranted, nor confirmed. If 
no certificate is forthcoming, the presumption is 
that the applicant has no arms at all, and arms 
are then granted in the ordinary way. 

The descendant of a foreigner cannot be said to 
lawfully possess in this country a legal right to 
arms unless they are officially recorded. Failing 
such a certificate as I describe, his right to arms 
would not be admitted (for example, if creation as 
a baronet compelled him to prove his right), but at 
the same time one would hesitate to describe the 
arms as ' bogus ' or ' spurious.' I myself should 
call them ' foreign,' and mentally class them with 
'foreign' titles. 

At the same time I would warn any who are 
interested in the point, that the proportion of the 
so-called ' foreign ' arms in use in this country 
which are spurious, or which are rank and im- 
pudent assumptions, is as great as, if not greater 
than, the proportion in the case of purely English 



Now, if it were possible to treat of Armorial 
Bearings, and at the same time to refrain from 
mentioning the College of Arms, I should do 
so ; but it is not. If arms are admitted to 
have any attributes whatsoever, it is necessary to 
consider what they really are, whence they 
originate, and by what laws they are governed. 
But the moment one mentions the College, for 
some reason which I am at a loss to understand, 
there is a prompt outbreak of correspondence in 
the Press, violently abusing the College and its 
officers, individually or collectively, past or present. 
In 99 cases out of every loo, the letters emanate 
from would-be armigerous persons whose claims to 
the arms they have assumed have, after investiga- 
tion at the College of Arms, been rejected on the 
score of their not being descended from the grantee. 
If these letters were written with a full knowledge 
of the whole bearings of the case in question, and 
of the laws and regulations of the science of 

Popular Fallacies 209 

armory, of the Crown, and of the Earl Marshal, no 
one could complain, but they are always incorrect 
deductions from cases of personal grievance gener- 
alised into vague but sweeping complaints of the 
whole College, and equally sweeping generalisa- 
tions on the laws of armory. If any person thinks 
he himself has a personal grievance against any 
Officer of Arms in his public capacity, why on earth 
doesn't he complain to the Earl Marshal? An 
offending officer would be promptly required to 
explain by the Earl Marshal, if he had not properly 
fulfilled his duties and obligations as a servant of 
the Crown. Instead of pursuing this obvious 
method, the grumblers, probably knowing at heart 
that they have no real ground of complaint, write a 
very garbled version of their grievances to the papers. 
It is no part of the duties of the Officers of 
Arms to conduct correspondence in the news- 
papers, and it has grown into a kind of etiquette 
at the College that none of its officers shall take 
part in a newspaper war. The result is that most 
people believe the College of Arms to only exist 
' on sufferance,' and by a policy of lying low.' No 
office, dignity, or privilege is held in this country 
by more potent right, if Letters Patent or Royal 
Warrants or Charters of Incorporation have any 
meaning or any effect, and yet there are some 
persons who ' don't recognise the authority of the 


2IO The Right to Bear Arms 

So that for the sake of the mistaken ones, who, 
for one reason or another, write to uphold the use 
of spurious and illegal arms, I propose to shortly 
recapitulate some of the most prominent objections 
which I recollect to have seen put forward, and 
the reasons of their non-avail. With many, 
silence carries assent ; consequently when no reply 
emanates from an Officer of Arms to a newspaper 
accusation, the public accepts the accusation as 
* found proved.' The accusations are simply made 
through lack of knowledge of the true facts. 

In the first place, book after book, and so-called 
authority after authority, are quoted in support of 
this or that contention. There is no single printed 
book whatsoever which is official or authoritative. 
The laws of arms have never been codified, and they 
exist, not in the manuals or handbooks of heraldry, 
which are nearly all of them hopelessly wrong, 
but in the laws and precedents which have to be 
searched for, but which can be found amongst the 
records of the College, and which are well known 
by the Officers of Arms. Consequently it is no 
good trusting to printed books. Many people seem 
to think that books published under the names of 
Officers of Arms must be official. They are 
nothing of the kind, and no single one that I know 
of has ever been put forward by its author as of 
that character, not even the publications of the late 
Sir Bernard Burke, Ulster King of Arms. The 

Popular Fallacies 2 1 1 

only book which possesses anything like an official 
character is the ' Ordinary of Scottish Arms,' by 
the present Lyon King of Arms, from the intro- 
duction to which I have quoted. Though its 
accuracy renders it worthy of being accepted as 
official, it was not, however, published by the 
Government or as a Government publication. 

I have already dealt with arms which it has 
been claimed were omitted at the Visitations, 
though then borne by right. Personally I don't 
believe such a case exists, and I cannot learn of 
any such case having been ever proved before the 
Chapter of the College. So that neither I nor any- 
one else quite know what would happen if such a 
case by any chance were proved. 

In nearly every newspaper correspondence upon 
the subject of armory, somebody or other states 
that part of the records of the College are missing, 
or are faulty, and that there are many genuine 
grants which have been issued of which no record 
has been kept. How this idea originated I am at 
a loss to imagine, for I question if there is in 
Europe any set of records more perfect and of 
equal age. But if by any chance any genuine 
grant of arms were to turn up which was not 
registered at the College, the validity of it would 
not be disputed by the College, and those arms 
would be allowed to any descendant in the male 
line of the grantee ; he would not be required to 

212 The Right to Bear Arms 

obtain a new grant of them ; but if no grant of 
them can be produced, and when no official record 
of such a grant exists, the natural presumption is 
that the arms never were granted. Does any one 
for one moment think that the House of Lords 
would allow a peerage of which there was no 
patent of creation, no writ to which it could be 
assigned, and no record amongst the records of the 
House of Lords that such a peerage had been en- 
joyed? The House of Lords does not presume 
that its records and officers are at fault merely 
because a certain family have assumed a titular 
distinction of which there is no proper record. In 
the same way, it is rather absurd to presume that 
the Heralds' College should be wrong because 
they possess no record of arms borne by a certain 
family, which family can produce no official evi- 
dence whatever of their authenticity. But the 
most universal of all objections taken to the 
College of Arms or to its Officers has degenerated 
into the sneer concerning a payment of fees, and 
many people in their innocence prefer a bogus coat 
of arms concerning which no fee has been paid 
to the Crown, to a legal coat which they are 
pleased to stigmatise as a ' bought ' one. 

Surely a little reflection must dissipate such an 
idea. A grant of arms, though doubtless of a 
greatly lesser value, is technically a patent of gen- 
tility in precisely the same manner as the letters 

Popular Fallacies 213 

patent creating a peerage constitute a patent of what 
we here in England commonly and colloquially call 
nobility. Each of them is issued signed, not by 
the Sovereign, but by the officers of the Sovereign 
whom the Sovereign has delegated to attend to 
such matters. Each of them are letters patent 
signifying the will and pleasure of the Sovereign 
to all and singular whom they may concern. 
Each of them grants a definite honour. Each of 
them distinctly recites the limits within which this 
honour is to devolve. 

But every Peerage patent that is issued carries 
with it the obligation of certain fees which are 
required to be paid to the public exchequer, and 
various other payments which the Crown requires 
to have made to those of its servants who are con- 
cerned in the preparation and passing of the patent. 
Surely the Crown has a right to say in what manner 
its servants shall obtain their remuneration for the 
due and proper fulfilment of their duties to the 
Crown, whether actually upon the patent in 
question or not. Every Peerage title created by 
letters patent has involved the payment of these 
fees by somebody. They are the reimbursement 
of the Crown of the cost to the Crown in pre- 
paring and issuing and creating and controlling 
titles and their necessary letters patent. Lord 
Wolseley is the only instance of a peer who has 
objected to pay these fees that I, or I fancy any- 

214 The Right to Bear Arms 

one else, have ever heard of. Even he paid them 
(though under protest), because the Crown insisted 
that he should. 

When a Patent of Arms is applied for, certain 
fees are payable : objection is sometimes taken to 
their payment, and a coat of arms granted by 
patent gets stigmatised as a 'bought' one in 
consequence of the necessity of this payment 
But the cases of a Patent of Arms and a Patent 
of Peerage are identically the same, inasmuch as 
on the issue of either patent certain fees are 
required to be paid. These fees upon a Patent 
of Arms, as in the case of a Patent of Peerage, 
are merely the reimbursement of the Crown of 
the cost to the Crown of granting this honour 
of gentility and of the concession of arms to 
the applicant. The Crown considers it necessary 
that its College of Arms shall be maintained for 
the due and proper registration and control of 
Armorial Bearings, and if the Crown chooses that 
the remuneration of its officers for the work and 
duties which the Crown requires them to perform 
shall be made out of a portion of the fees paid upon 
grants of arms, that is the concern of the Crown 
and not of the applicant for its grace and con- 
cession. That my contention is theoretically and 
absolutely correct can easily be proved by reference 
to the revenue of the Lyon Office in Scotland. 

In Scotland the Crown appoints certain officers 

Popular Fallacies 215 

to do its work, and now pays them what it con- 
siders to be adequate salaries for the due per- 
formance of their duties. The natural consequence 
is that the whole of the fees paid upon grants or 
matriculations [with the exception of the actual 
payments made to the handicraftsmen who paint 
and engross the patents], are paid either in the 
form of stamp-duty directly to the revenue of the 
Crown, or are handed over by the Lyon Office to 
H.M. Exchequer. What are known as the ' fees 
of honour ' of a Scottish Herald, formerly a portion 
of his remuneration, which are collected by virtue 
of various Royal Warrants, are now paid into the 
Treasury. When the point was raised in the House 
of Commons some little time ago, it was shown that 
the salaries and expenses of Lyon Office were 
practically equivalent to the amount received in the 
stamp-duty upon the patents, so that it is self- 
evident and incontrovertibly evident that in Scot- 
land, at any rate, the fees paid upon patents of 
arms are merely the reimbursement to the Crown 
of the cost to the Crown of issuing and regulating 
these concessions and grants of arms. Were a 
similar system adopted in England it would be 
similarly evident that the same identical contention 
would hold good ; and the mere fact that instead 
of receiving adequate salaries from the Treasury 
the officers of the College of Arms are remuner- 
ated by a proportion of their fees, merely ensures 

2i6 The Right to Bear Arms 

that those officers who do any particular piece of 
work shall obtain the payment for doing it. 

It is a popular idea that an appointment in the 
Heralds' College is a sure and easy way to wealth. 
This is far from being the case. The salary of a 
Pursuivant is about thirteen pounds, and of a Herald 
about sixteen pounds a year. For this they have 
many duties to perform for which these sums are a 
ridiculously small recompense, and the Crown has 
decided that the remainder of their remuneration 
shall come from a proportion of the fees paid on 
patents of arms. 

Though it has really nothing whatever to do 
with the public, I may perhaps here say that by 
far the larger proportion of the incomes of the 
Heralds and Pursuivants is not due to any salary 
or proportion of fees (which together amount to 
comparatively little), but comes from an entirely 
different source. 

It is no part of a Herald's official duties to the 
Crown to work out a pedigree or collect genea- 
logical evidences. This work might be performed 
outside the College, and there is nothing to pre- 
vent this beyond the fact that it would seldom be 
done half so well by an outsider. It is from this 
unofficial work that the Officers of Arms derive the 
greater part of their incomes, and when all is said 
and done, the sums total of these incomes fall far 
short of what many a man in another calling in 

Popular Fallacies 217 

life, but in a similar social position, would expect 
with the experience, training, knowledge and 
education necessary, and in consideration of the 
labour involved. 

Consequently, if a coat of arms granted by 
patent is to be stigmatised as ' bought ' from the 
Crown, then of a surety every Peerage granted by 
patent is equally ' bought,' and it should be borne 
in mind that with the exception of the very few 
ancient coats of arms allowed on sufficient proof 
as existing by right at the Visitations, every single 
coat of arms of legal authority has been ' bought ' 
or paid for at some time or another. A payment 
made two hundred and fifty years ago is liable to 
be ignored or forgotten, but the fact that the 
payment was made even so long ago places an 
ancient coat of arms upon an identical footing 
with a modern one as far as the question of pur- 
chase is concerned. 

A spurious coat of arms upon which no pay- 
ment has been made is in precisely the same 
position as a bogus baronetcy, and is equally open 
to criticism. So that if modern arms are to be 
stigmatised as * bought,' the same remark must 
apply to ninety-nine out of every hundred of the 
coats of arms, ancient or modern, now legally in 
use, and to every Peerage created by patent. 

If a family whose origin is plebeian desire to 
legally acquire gentility, a start must be made at 

2i8 The Right to Bear Arms 

some time. Consequently we see men nowadays, 
and not necessarily very wealthy men, but men 
claiming to live according to the habits and customs 
of gentle people, who ' honestly acquire, and pay 
the fees upon, a grant of arms which " they and their 
posteritie " can " have, occupie, and injoye " as their 
own and their children's : they have not robbed 
anyone, or stolen it with secrecy, after choosing 
the prettiest coat ; there is no occasion for shame, 
or the fear of being found out. No ! The consti- 
tuted authority has granted and confirmed it, and 
recorded their names in the indelible Book of 
Chivalry. The first step has been honestly taken 
in planting the family tree.' 

Another frequent newspaper objection is that 
the Officers of Arms, when it has been necessary to 
obtain a new grant of arms, require too great an 
alteration to be made in the design which has been 
hitherto illegally in use. Now no two coats of 
arms which may be granted are ever allowed to 
interfere one with another. Each new grant must 
be sufficiently different and distinct for anyone 
versed in armory to be able to recognise the 
difference. It is outrageous to suppose that a 
family of no ancestry (merely because for a certain 
short length of time they have made improper use 
of a purloined coat of arms) shall be allowed to 
obtain a grant the design of which might encroach 
upon and infringe the duly recorded and granted 
rights of some other family. 

Popular Fallacies 219 

Those who make the loudest objection on this 
point are usually those for whom really the very 
least consideration is due. They are always those 
who know little of armory and its laws, who know 
less of the Heralds' College and its laws, and still 
less of the thousands of genuine Armorial Bearings 
properly recorded with which their own ideas are 
bound to clash. 

On the other hand, there are those who seem to 
consider that they and their families have vested 
interests in certain and particular charges. It is 
hopeless to attempt to argue with such people, 
and I fail to see what cause of annoyance or 
ground for complaint can exist when the altera- 
tions are sufficient in number and prominence to 
prevent anyone with a knowledge of armory mis- 
taking the one coat for the other. There are some 
people who could hardly tell the difference between 
the Royal Arms and, say, the Arms of the City of 
London. It is no crime to be ignorant of 
Heraldry. But at the same time it is hopeless to 
attempt to always introduce sufficient variance to 
be recognised by a person of this class. Those 
who have no personal interest in these two con- 
tentions, and have no argumentative axe to grind, 
I fancy are ready enough to admit that between 
these two schools of complainants the Heralds' 
College hold the balance very fairly. 

Still yet another class contend, and one notori- 

2 20 The Right to Bear Arms 

ous newspaper correspondent contends somewhat 
viciously, that failing a direct proof of descent no 
new coat of arms should be granted in any way 
resembling the legitimate arms of any other 
family of the name. This is an academic point 
capable of much argument on either side, but at 
the same time it should be borne in mind that 
many openly assert that it should be possible to 
tell a man's name from the arms he bears. In 
ancient times this was nearly always possible, and 
such an idea is the very foundation of the whole of 
Scottish Armory. Such an idea has also been 
admitted to a large extent from the very earliest 
times in English Armory, so that whilst there is 
much to be said in favour of the contention which 
I have referred to, and whilst I admit it has my 
thorough sympathy, to establish such a position 
now would be to upset the whole of the present 
and past regulations. 

A common enough complaint is that a modern 
coat of arms is not artistically or heraldically as 
' good ' a coat as an ancient one. I frankly admit 
it. But by a warrant of a former Earl Marshal 
certain distinctions must very properly be made 
between any new grant and any existing arms 
with which it might clash. A simple coat of arms 
such as " Azure, a bend or," or " Gules, a lion ram- 
pant argent," it is now impossible to obtain. Such 
have all been long ago appropriated, and it is 

Popular Fallacies 221 

because they have been appropriated for so long 
that a simple coat has become what it is, ' the sign 
of an ancient house.' As a natural consequence, 
that, of course, is one great reason why ' simple ' 
coats are so urgently desired. It is due to nothing 
more or less than the dishonest snobbishness 
which desires to pose before the world as possessing 
more ancient ancestry than it does. But if the 
perennial grumblers on this point would leave the 
designing of arms entirely to the Officers of Arms, 
instead of insisting, as the majority of the appli- 
cants do, that the new arms are to be as like the 
old improperly appropriated coat as the laws of 
the College will admit (such insistance being 
usually dictated by the desire to hide the fact 
that the genuine arms are not those previously in 
use), it would be found that new arms were very 
much simpler than sometimes turns out to be 
the case. 

Another argument is made much of, and it is 
this, that the Heralds will not admit descent from 
an armigerous family, and a consequent right to their 
arms, without the production of proof which it is 
frequently now almost or quite impossible to supply. 
There are unquestionably and unfortunately a 
few such cases in which the legal proof, which it is 
necessary to provide, places the family in a pitiable 
position. But it must stand to reason that unless 
a thing is incontestably proved, it cannot be 

22 2 The Right to Bear Arms 

accepted without prejudice to the rights of other 
people. When all is said and done, the fact 
remains, and must remain, that the hard posi- 
tion in which these few families now find them- 
selves is solely due to the negligence of their own 
ancestors in failing to properly record their pedi- 
grees when the necessary proofs were readily 
accessible and when the facts still remained 
matters of their own everyday knowledge. But 
of the many cases in which this excuse is put 
forward, there are but few indeed in which it has 
the semblance of truth. 

I don't know whether it is generally known that 
even in the Law Courts a man's sworn testimony 
as to the name and identity of his father and of his 
grandfather are, failing evidence to the contrary, 
accepted as legal evidence. It is much the same in 
the College of Arms, and any man is allowed to 
enter a large proportion of the facts concerning his 
own pedigree from his grandfather, on his own 
solemn aiifirmation, without the formality of the 
production of actual documentary proofs. The 
Heralds, of course, take the precaution of checking 
the information so recorded, so that the risk of false- 
hood being deliberately palmed off upon them is, 
through their precautions, reduced to a minimum. 
But at the same time the opportunity so afforded, if 
properly taken advantage of, is such that the rights 
of no family need lapse from any pecuniary reason. 

Popular Fallacies 223 

The cost of recording such a pedigree is trivial, 
and if members of arms-bearing families would 
only continue from time to time to enter up these 
short pedigrees there would be no grievances, 
and there would be none of the great expense of 
collecting the evidences and proving a long 
pedigree which occasionally causes a genuinely 
armigerous family to allow their descent and 
right to arms to be questioned or disputed. 

Though it has been necessary to write as above, 
I wish distinctly to say that in the course of my 
articles in the Saturday Review I have as far as 
possible, and as far as I have known, refrained 
from holding up to criticism cases which hung 
upon any such supposition. 

But as a matter of fact the cases where this sort 
of thing is usually said, and where an unproved 
descent is asserted, nearly all turn out upon in- 
vestigation to be simply unvarnished untruths. 

A great many people when it comes to argu- 
ment are fond of setting up a lot of ninepins to 
knock down, which said ninepins are not being 
played in that particular game. Now a very 
specious ninepin of this character in the game of 
argument is the false issue by which it is sought to 
set forth that the Heralds officially say that the 
use of arms is illegal unless the pedigree is fully 
entered up to date in the College of Arms. 
People really ought to credit the Heralds with a 

224 ^^^ Right to Bear Arms 

little common-sense. Arms are granted to certain 
people and their descendants according to the 
laws of arms for ever. Only attainder can take 
away that right. It is the descent from the grantee 
which the Heralds, when speaking officially, quite 
rightly refuse to admit until it is proved. It is 
hardly to be supposed they would record or certify 
the right to the arms of the said grantee unless 
the descent were proved and recorded. They 
dare not admit such a right unless it is sufficiently 
proved for it to be impossible, as far as human 
judgment can go, for it to be subsequently shown to 
be wrong. But no Herald was ever so foolish as to 
say that the right did not exist without the pedigree 
being recorded. It simply is that they will not 
certify that it does exist unless the descent is 
proved. There is a wide difference between the 
two. And the specious misstatement so frequently 
put forward which I refer to above I can only term 
a piece of utter and wilful misrepresentation. 

But it is too much to suppose that Officers of 
Arms will accept a mere statement of descent as 
proof of a right to arms. The Psalmist in his 
haste remarked that all men are liars, and he 
spoke with no experience of armorial bearings or 
of the temptation they afford to depart from the 
truth. It has been wittily remarked that the 
Psalmist might equally have said it at his 

Popular Fallacies 225 

It should be dearly understood that if the 
descent from a grantee exists, it is not the right to 
the arms which is denied. It is the fact of the 
descent which is not admitted until it is proved. 
The right to arms follows the proof of descent, and 
is then admitted, even officially, as a matter of 

Personally I think those with a right to arms 
are very short-sighted not to record their pedi- 
grees generation by generation. The cost of 
doing this is little more than a matter of shillings 
each time, and the proof being always on record, 
the descent can never thereafter be disputed or 
questioned. If the registration is left beyond 
three generations the cost of proving the descent 
increases rapidly. For three or less generations 
it is trivial. 

One constantly recurring complaint against the 
College of Arms and the Officers of Arms relates 
to what the public are pleased to term the enor- 
mous cost of recording a pedigree and thereby 
establishing a right to arms. 

The entire cost of the matter in the case of a 
long pedigree is heavy, but I think the public are 
under a great misapprehension. The official fees 
for the examination of a pedigree before the 
Chapter of the College of Arms, and for the 
recording of it in the books of the College, are 
by no means great. Where, then, does the 


226 The Right to Bear Arms 

cost come in ? In collecting the evidences by 
virtue of which the pedigree is proved. There is 
no reason at all why this should be done by any 
Officer of Arms, except that he will probably do the 
work better and more cheaply than an outsider. 
The documents and records, official and unofficial, 
to which he has access in the College are much 
more numerous than is popularly supposed. 

And wherein lies the hardship of a small ex- 
pense in proving a pedigree ? One never hears of 
a peer grumbling because it is a matter of personal 
expense to establish and prove his really inalien- 
able right to succeed his father. Therefore, why 
should a gentleman grumble because it is a trivial 
matter of expense to him to prove and establish 
his succession to the lower, but still hereditary 
rank. Entering a pedigree at the College from 
one's father or grandfather costs nothing like the 
amount it costs a peer to prove the same thing in 
the House of Lords. But if the obvious expediency 
of entering these short pedigrees generation by 
generation is ignored, then naturally the cost of 
collecting the evidences mounts up rapidly. It is 
just the same in a Peerage case. 

It seems to be a general idea that an utterly 
unknown pedigree can be worked out for 200 
years for a couple of pounds or so. To anybody 
who has any such idea, I merely recommend that 
they should honestly try to collect the evidences 

Popular Fallacies 227 

themselves. They will then have some idea of 
the cost of getting the facts together, from Parish 
Registers, from Somerset House, and the Record 
Office. They will have some idea of the hours 
and hours of searching which in the end only too 
often prove to be void of result. But it has all 
been genuine and honest work, and somebody 
must pay for it. But if you have got the necessary 
evidences in your own possession, or have collected 
them yourself, the cost of recording them in the 
College of Arms will be little indeed. But I 
would ask amateur genealogists to bear in mind 
that the necessary evidences must include, as a 
minimum, all certificates of baptism, marriage and 
burial, and officially certified copies of the wills 
(where they exist) of at least every male through 
whom descent is alleged. It is no good thinking 
an old family Bible, two or three letters, and an 
impression of a seal, will substantiate a pedigree 
from the Visitations to the present day. 

If arms were anything in the nature of a necessity, 
the whole of the complaints I refer to regarding 
the so-called ' rights ' of unrecorded arms, etc., 
might perhaps have weight as arguments for 
increased facilities. Arms not being a necessity, 
but a matter of privilege, emanating from the 
Crown through its officers, and a privilege which, 
within certain limits, the Crown is willing should 
be obtained on certain terms, it must stand 

228 The Right to Bear Arms 

to reason that if people decline to comply with 
and recognise those terms and conditions, they 
cannot lawfully possess the privilege. 

Another grievance is, and it is a common 
enough assertion, that arms are now granted 
to all and sundry who will pay the fees. That 
is absolutely wrong. Of their own motion in 
England neither Kings of Arms nor Heralds can 
grant arms to anybody. The Earl Marshal's 
separate warrant for each separate case is 
absolutely indispensable. And it rests entirely 
with him, and is absolutely and entirely a 
matter in his own personal discretion, to say 
whether an applicant is in a sufficient position in 
life to have arms or not. 

Applications have been refused in quite recent 
times, and applications to assume (with the name) 
the arms of another family are constantly refused. 
That refusals are not rhore common is entirely due 
to the fact that the Officers of Arms will not 
pilt forward applications from those whom they 
know would receive refusals. The control over 
the College of the Earl Marshal, when he finds it 
necessary to move, is very real and effective. 

Of the new grants of arms which are issued^ 
probably — sooner or later — I get to hear of at least 
a third. Those who know my identity will doubt- 
less admit the statement I make in the foregoing 
sentence to be probably correct. Those who do 

Popular Fallacies 229 

not know the personality of ' X ' must please 
try to believe that it is so. I have never in my life 
known a single case where arms have been granted 
to a man who was not palpably living in that style 
of life in which the use of arms is usual. Many 
people have been knighted who would probably 
have been previously refused arms. The class, and 
the rank in life, of those people who nowadays 
obtain grants of arms is vnich higher at the present 
time than it was in the time of the Tudors, when 
heraldry was about at its highest point in England. 
All sorts of letters and complaints have appeared 
in armorial newspaper correspondence. Some 
are anonymous, but a little patient care and inves- 
tigation will in nearly every case reveal the identity 
of the writers. These letters are naturally either 
for or against. Amongst the latter never once has 
any one attempted to disprove the existence of the 
authority I have in the foregoing pages put for- 
ward. They are merely concerned in abusing 
different Officers of Arms alive or dead, collectively 
or individually. Nearly every writer whom I have 
identified I know to be some one with a personal 
grievance against the duly constituted authorities, 
usually relating to his own arms or pedigree. 
Unfortunately it is on the loudly expressed opinions 
of these biassed individuals that the public so often 
form their conclusions. Those without any personal 
grievance seldom trouble to intrude in these news- 

230 The Right to Bear Arms 

paper fights. The consequence is that the pubh'c 
never hears of the hard work, the careful and 
minute examination of pedigrees, the safeguards 
against mistakes, or of the endless labour and 
research which, without fee or reward or any 
publicity, different Officers of Arms undertake and 
perform, and have done for ages past, in order 
that they may record or make accessible facts and 
evidence which will perhaps be wanted in the 
future. Here is an example. There has been 
a great hubbub recently about bogus baronets. 
Needless to say these individuals have never 
paid a sou to have their true pedigrees proved or 
recorded. But of the English cases, I myself know 
that the evidence is collected in the majority of 
instances, and is ready when the occasion officially 
needs its production. That is only one in- 
stance of many I could quote. And I probably 
do not even know myself of a tithe of the records 
the Corporation possess. But when I know from 
long experience that the Officers of Arms do the 
whole of their official duties genuinely and fear- 
lessly, and when I know the rules and safeguards 
of the College prevent the contrary, I think it is 
just as well that the general public should be 
equally informed. 

I have written this book solely for the love I bear 
for the science and practice of Armory. I hold no 
brief for the Heralds' College, nor for all, nor for 

Popular Fallacies 231 

any of its officers. I am fully aware that in my 
writing I have not even the good wishes of some 
of them. I am not concerned to glorify the 
College. I have neither the wish nor the intention 
to weave laurel wreaths for the brows of any of its 
officers, past or present. But as the law now 
stands, the fact must still remain, as it does, that 
the Sovereign is the Fountain of Honour, and that 
matters armorial have been delegated in England 
in all due form to the control and supervision of 
the Earl Marshal and the College of Arms, and 
to the Kings, Heralds, and Pursuivants of Arms 
forming the Corporation of the College. 


Abuse of College of Arms, 208, 

Achievements, 26. 

Acquitaine and Lancaster, Duke 

of, 40. 
Act of Parliament granting 
Howard augmentation, 54, 55. 
Acts of Scottish Parliament, 156, 

Action taken by Crown direct, 49. 
Address of Royal Warrants, 86, 

87, no. 
Advertisement to find Arms, 12. 
Agard, Frances, 185. 
Agincourt, 44, 46, 47, 129, 139. 
All Saints' Parish, 92, 97. 
American Heraldry, 203. 
Americans not eligible for grants 

of Arms, 204. 
Anne, Queen Consort, 93, 98. 
Anwell Grove, 169. 
Appointment of Officers of Arms, 

Armorial Law in Scotland — see 

Chapter VH.; and in Ireland — 

see Chapter VIII. 
Armory, Burke's General, 37, 145. 
Arms, the Criterion of Nobility, 

30 ; date of, 27 ; an estate of 

inheritance, 26, 27, 152; foreign 
in England— see Chapter X. ; 
granting of — see Chapter IV.; 
heredity of, 16, 18 ; a matter 
of privilege, 10, 11, 227 ; mean- 
ing of, use of, 15, 17, 18; not 
a necessity, 227 ; origin and 
meaning of — see Chapter I., 27 ; 
origin of spurious, 19, 20; 
revenue from, 24 ; simplicity 
of old, 220, 221 ; source of, 27 ; 
taxation of, 24, 25 ; of Austen, 
151, 152; Camborne alias 
Paynter, 112, 113; Greene, 
193-195; Howard, 54, 55; 
London, 219 ; Moore of Bar- 
caster, 67 ; Mylne, 170 ; Scot- 
land, 54, 55 ; Speke, 56 ; and 
see Officers and College of. 

Aristocracy, prerogatives of, 13. 

Arnot, 159. 

Arundel, Surrey and Norfolk, 
Thomas, Earl of, 69, 71, 73. 74, 

Ashill, 56. 

Ashmole, Elias, 128. 

Ashmolean Museum, 66. 

Ashton, Justice, 65, 66. 

Asquith, Right Hon. H. H., 108. 

Assumption of Arms, 36. 



Athlone, 191. 

Attainder, 32, 205. 

Augmentations, 52, 53, 54, 55-61 ; 
to Arms of Howard, grant of, 
54, 55; to Arms of Ross of 
Bladensburg, 54 ; to Arms of 
Speke, 54, 56, 57, 58. 

Aula Regis, 65. 

Austen Arms, 151, 152 ; v. 
Collins, 150, 153 ; Major, 151 ; 
Mary Anne Eliza, 150. 

Authority of Books denied, 210; 
of the Crown, 41, 42, 46, 47, 61, 
153, 200 ; of Crown, earliest 
instance of, 38 ; of Crown and 
College at present date proved 
— see Chapter VI.; of Earl 
Marshal, 68 ; of his Court, 68. 

Award of King re Scrope v. 
Grosvenor, 41. 


2S, 12, 27, 29. 

Bagenall, Nicholas, 185. 

Baker «/. Spencer, 32, 33 ; Christo- 
pher, 33 ; George, 33 ; J., 33 ; 
Simon, 33 ; William, 32, 33. 

Balfarge, 170. 

Balfour, Sir James, 156. 

Balfour, Paul — see Paul. 

Ballynemony, 194. 

Bally-Neury, 196. 

Baltimore, 58. 

Banchory, 165. 

Barclay, Sir Andrew, 67. 

Baronet, creation of a, 142 ; 
Warrant regarding creation of, 

Bath, Order of, 108, 109. 

Baton — see Rod. 

Bayeux tapestry, 27. ^ 

Bear Inn, Reading, 128. 
Beckwith, Hamond, 66. 
Bedford, John, Duke of, 63. 
Beechmount, 196. 
Benolte, Thomas, 119. 
Birth of Armory, 28. 
Blackwood's Magazine, 164, 165. 
Bladensberg, Battle of, 57, 58— 

see Ross of Bladensburg. 
Bland, Frances Diana, and F.C., 

and Lucurda, 196. 
Blennerhassett, Elizabeth, John 

and Louisa, 196. 
Blount, Sir Richard, 67 ; Walter 

Aston, 113-115. 
Blueraantle, no. 
Bogus Baronets, 230. 
Book of Arms, 156. 
Books, official authority of, denied, 

Books of the Visitations, 135-137. 
Brandon, Chas., Duke of Suffolk, 

34, 116, 199. 
British Museum, 33, 88, 137. 
Broughton-under-the-Blean, 32. 
Burke, Sir John Bernard, Ulster 

King of Arms, 37, 145, 195, 

196, 210 ; Margaret, 190, 191 ; 

Feagh, 191 ; Richard, 190. 
Burke's General Armory, 37, 145. 
Burnett, George, 165, 167. 
Burntisland, 159. 
Burtchaell, G. D., 182. 
Butler, Bartholomew, 174, 175, 

176, 177, 182. 

Calabria, 57. 



Calendar of Documents relating to 
Kilkenny^ 182. 

Camborne, William, alias Paynter, 
112, 113. 

Camden, 30, 63, 64, 

Carney, Ulster King of Arms, 189. 

Carrigg, co. Roscommon, 190. 

Cases, heraldic, in Earl Marshal's 
Court, 66, 67 ; re definition of 
gentility, 32, 33 ; use of a 
Crest as a trademark, 148, 149 ; 
Austen v. Collins, 150, 153; 
Blount V. Moore, 67 ; Harding 
V. St Loe, 66 ; Joicey-Cecil v. 
Joicey-Cecil, 143, 144, 145, 146, 
147, 152 ; Lord Malt by t/. Beck- 
vvith, 66 ; Henry Parker, 67, 68 ; 
Scrope V. Grosvenor, 39, 40, 41, 
66, 89 ; Sitsilt v. Fakenham, 
66 ; Standish v. Whitwell, 148, 
149 ; Warburton v. Georges, 66, 

Caste in England, 10. 

Castletoune, co. Westmeath, 190. 

Cecil, Arms of, 144, 146 ; and see 

Certificate of Fuller Arms, 195, 
196 ; of Foreign Arms, 206. 

Chaldeans, 27. 

Chalmers, Margaret, 166. 

Chamberlain — see Lord Chamber- 

Champney, Richard, 90-99. 

Chancellor, Lord, 104. 

Chancery, High Court of, 143, 
150, 152. 

Change of Name, Royal Licence 
for, 48,109, no. 

Charges, origin of, 18. 

Charles L, 199. 

Charles H., 47, 48, 68, 77, 127, 
161, 194, 199. 

Charters of College of Arms, 88- 
99 ; of Philip and Mary, 99 ; 
of Richard HL, 88, 89. 

Chaucer, 35. 

Chester Herald, no; (May), 127. 

Chitty, Mr Justice, 152. 

Chivalry, Court of, 64, 65. 

Cirencester, 127. 

Clarenceux Kingof Arms, no, 117, 
133; (Benolte), 119; (Blount), 
113-115; (Cokayne), 105, 107; 
(Cooke), 33, III, 112, 113; 
(Harvey), 120; (Harrison), 57, 
59, 60, 61 ; (Hawley), 120 ; 
(Holme), 90-99 ; (Le Neve), 

Clonemacknosie, 191. 

Clopton, William, 63. 

Cokayne, Geo. E., 105, 107. 

Coke, Sir Edward, 30. 

Coker, 66. 

Coldharbour, 89, 92, 97. 

College of Arms, see Chapter HL, 
and pages 23, 32, 37, 38, 42, 
49, 52, 53, 56, 62, 67, 108, 109, 
127, 133. 137, 138, 141, 142, 
143, 145, 148, 149, 151, 152, 
200, 201, 204, 207, 208, 214, 
219, 222, 223, 226, 227, 230, 

Collins, 152. 

QjoViSxi^ Peerage^ 66. 

Colonies, Grants of Arms to, 49. 

Comes, 29. 

Commission of Queen Elizabeth 
commanding a Visitation, 120- 
125; for Visitations, 118-125. 

Commissioners for Office of Earl 
Marshal, 128, 188. 

' Committee of Articles,' 157. 

Common Law recognition of 



Right in the Bearing of Arms, 

Commons. See House of. 

Comj'ns' Digest, 152. 

Confirmation of Arms, 192-198, 
and see Visitations ; Fees, 197 ; 
Arms to Baker, 33 ; Beckwith, 
66 ; Fuller, 195, 196 ; Greene, 

Consent of Earl Marshal necessary 
to granting of Arms, 106, 228. 

Constable, 39, 40, 65, 66, 69, 70, 
78, 79, and see High Con- 

Cooke, Robert, 33, iii, 112, 113. 

Coronets of Peers, 12. 

Corunna, 57. 

Cost of Recording Pedigrees, 223, 
225, 226, 229. 

Court of Chivalry, 63, 152, and 
see Earl Marshal's Court. 

Courtesy of Society, 31. 

Cranbrook, 168. 

Crests, use of and right to, 26 ; 
grant of, to Earl of Nottingham, 
42, 43. 

Criterion of Nobility, Arms the, 

Cromwell, 157, 159. 

Crosse, Jonathan, 134. 

Crown, the, 18, 29, 32, 35, 36, 38, 
140, 141, 142, 155, 161, 172, 
182, 197, 200, 209, 213, 217, 
227 ; the Fountain of Honour, 
48, 199 ; Law Officers of, 108, 
109 ; Rights and Prerogatives 
of — see Chapter I. 

Crowthorne and Minety, 126. 

Crusades, 28 ; First, 27. 

Curia Militaris, 65. 

Curious Discourses (Hearne), 65. 

Cusacke, Thomas, 185. 
Cuttlehill, 166. 

Dallaway, 64-67. 

Date of Incorporation of College 
of Arms, 88, 89 ; of origin of 
Arms, 27; of Visitations, 1 19. 

Definition of Gentlemen, 31, 32 ; 
of Nobility, 31. 

Degradation from Knighthood, 67. 

Deincourt, Edmund, 38, 39 ; Isa- 
bella, 39. 

Delegation of authority by 
Crown, 62. 

Deputy of Marshal, 40. 

Deputy Earl Marshal, 59, 106. 

Deputies of Kings of Arms, 125. 

Derriquin Castle, 196. 

Derrymaclaghnye, 190. 

Derwentwater, Earl of, 141. 

Descent of Arms, 116, 197, 198. 

Destruction of Arms at Visita- 
tions, 119. 

Dethicke, Sir Gilbert, ill, 112, 

Devolution of Arms, 116, 197, 198. 

Differences between New and Old 
Arms, 217, 219. 

Dillon, R., 185. 

Direct action of Crown, 49. 

Disclaimers, 133, 134, 135, 136 ; 
form of, 1 34. 

Dland, Robert, 63. 

Dorset, History of,6(>. 

Dorset, Sheriff of, 45. 

Downeoman, 191. 

Drysdale, Thomas, 156. 

Dublin, 176, 179, 186. 

DubHn, Adam, Archbishop of, 185. 



Dugdale, William, 66, 134. 
Duties of High Constable, 62 

of Officers of Arms, 216. 
Dux, 29. 

'Eag^le,' the, 159. 
Eagle Coal & Iron Co., 148, 149. 
Earl Marshal — see Chapter II. 
Earl Marshal, 34, 38, 57, 61, 62, 

63, 99, 106, no, 116, 128, 132, 

134, 141, 153, 173, 183, 199, 

201, 209, 228, 231. 
Earl Marshal's Court of England, 

Earl Marshal's Court, 32, 62, 65, 

68, 69, 70, 78, 79, 199 ; Staff, 

61 ; and see Rod and Staff. 
Earliest instance of authority of 

Crown, 38, 
Edmondson, 67, i 133, 
Edward II., 38. 
Edward III., loi, 103. 
Edward IV., 104. 
'Elizabeth,' the, 159. 
Elizabeth, 99, 120, 183, 199. 
Essay on Man, 35. 
Estate of Inheritance, Arms an, 

36, 37. 152. 
Etiquette of College of Arms, 209. 
Eton College, 50, 51. 
Exchequer, 65, 215. 

Fallacies as to Arms, 24, 25, 26, 

Falkland, Viscount, 187. 

Fees on ancient grants of Arms, 
34, 116 ; on a Confirmation of 
Arms, 197 ; for funeral certifi- 
cates, 190 ; of Lyon King of 
Arms, 158, 162, 163, 164 ; upon 
Patents of Arms, 198, 213, 217 ; 
excused to those unable to pay, 
135; of Honour of Scottish 
Heralds, 215. 
Fellows of the Society of Anti- 
quaries, 15. 
Feudal Law, 29, 30. 
Feversham, 33. 
Fines, 67, 132, 163. 
Fitzwilliam, Wra., 185. 
Flodden Field, 54, 55. 
Flower William, iii, 112, 113, 

Faidera (Rymer), 90, 173. 
Fonthill, 166. 

Forbes Arms and Patent of 
Matriculation, 168, 169 ; Eliza- 
beth, Lady, 168 ; Frances Doro- 
thea, 168 ; Frederick Murray, 
168 ; Honoria, 168 ; James 
Ochonchar, Lord, 168 ; Norman 
Hay, 168, 169; Robert, 168; 
Wm., Lord, 168. 
Foreign Arms— see Chapter X. 
Foreign grants of Arms, 31. 
Forman, Sir Robert, 156. 
France, 205. 

Fountain of Honour, 48, 231. 
Funeral Certificates, 182, 183, 185, 
189, 190 ; fees on, 190 ; of 
Bryan MacDermott, 190, igr ; 
of Hugh Magaghegan, igo. 
Fuller Arms and Patent of Con- 
firmation, 195, 196 ; James 
Franklin, Thomas Harnett, 
Frances Diana, Edward, Eliza- 



beth Thomas, Ann, William, 

Garter King of Arms, lio; (De- 

thicke), III, 112, 113 ; (Heard), 

57, 59, 60, 61 ; (Walker), 67 ; 

(Woods), 113- 115; (Writhe), 

Genealogical Magazine^ 23. 
Genealogist, 33. 
Genealogist to Order of the Bath, 

108, 109. 
General Armory, Burke's, 37, 145. 
Gentility, a hereditary rank, 18, 

35; technical rank of, 11, 30, 

Gentleman, definition of word, 

31, 34; derivation of word, 34 ; 

wrong use of word, 28 ; 35 ; 

English, 18; 'by birth,' 14, 

31 ; of ' Coat Armour,' 31. 
Gentry, privileges of, 29. 
George I., 140. 
George III., 57, 60, 108. 
George IV., 18, 109. 
Georges, 66. 
Germany, 36, 204, 206. 
Glasgow Cathedral, 164. 
Glashnacree, 196. 
Gloucester King of Arms (Champ- 

ney), 90-99. 
Goddard, Louisa, 196. 
Granting of Arms — see Chapter 

Grants of Arms to Colonies, 49 ; 

by Sovereign, 49 ; to Baker, 33 ; 

to Roger and Thomas Keys, 34, 

50, 51, 52; Scottish, 165-167; 

to William F ,113- 

115; of Crest to Earl of 
Nottingham, 42, 43 ; ofHo'ward 
Augmentation, 54, 55 ; of Ross 
of Bladensburg Augmentation, 
57-61 ; of Title of Earl 
Marshal, 64 ; of Office of Earl 
Marshal to Dukes of Norfolk, 
68-86 ; of name of ' Bladens- 
burg,' 57-6r ; of Speke Aug- 
mentation, 56, 57, 58. 

Grantees of Arms, social status 
of, 228, 229. 

Grazebrook, George, F.S.A., 64, 

Greeks, 27. 

Greene Arms and Patent of Con- 
firmation, 193-195 ; John Joseph, 
John Godfrey, 193-195. 

Greenmount, 193. 

Greenville, 193. 

Gretna Green, 21. 

Grey, Sir Ralph, 67. 

Grosvenor, Sir Robert, 39, 40, 41, 
66, 89. 

Gwynior, 112. 


Habeas Corpus, writ of, 67. 
Hall-mark of gentility, 23. 
Hammersmith, 170. 
Harding v. St Loe, 66. 
Hardy, Gathorne, 57. 
Harnutt, Jane and William, 196. 
Harper's Magazine, 10. 
Harrison, George, 57, 61. 
Harvey, William, 120, 
Hawley, Thomas, 120. 
Heard, Sir Isaac, 57, 59, 60, 61. 
Heath, Richard, 134. 
Hearne, 65. 



Heiresses, 116. 

Hemsted Park, 168. 

Henry V., 38, 43, 44, 45, 199. 

Henry VI, 63. 

Henry VHI, 53, 119. 

Herald and Genealogist^ 40, 66, 

Heraldic Exhibition, 156. 
Heraldry of Worcestershire, 164. 
Heralds' College — see College of 

Herbert, Lucurda, 196. 
Heredity of Arms, 16, 18, 116, 

I97i 198 ; of gentility, 32. 
Herschel, Farrer, Lord, G.C.B., 

High Constable, 62, 63. 
High Marshal — see Earl Marshal. 
High Sheriffs, 15, and see Sheriffs. 
History of the College of Arms 

(Noble), 90. 
History of Dorset (Coker), 66. 
History of Edinburgh, 159. 
Hodges, Frances Dorothea, 16S. 
Holme, Thomas, 90-99. 
Hol}rrood House, 156. 
Home Office, 142, 143. 
Hoo, Lord, 39. 
House of Commons, 215; of 

Lords, 212, 226. 
Howard, Henry, Lord, 68-86 ; 

Lord William, 75, 84, 85 ; 

Augmentation, Grant of, 54, 55 ; 

Molyneux, Henry Thomas, 59. 
Hunter, Elizabeth, 168 ; William, 


Ince Arms and Family, 145. 
Incomes of Officers of Arms, 216. 

Incorporation of the College of 

Arms, 88. 
Inheritance of Arms, 116, 197, 

198 ; of Quarterings, 1 16. 
Inland Revenue, 25. 
' Insignia Gentilitia,' 30. 
Interference of Lyon King of 

Arms with bad Arms, 164, 

Ireland, 38 ; armorial law in — 

see Chapter VIII. ; King of 

Arms, 172. 
Irish Confirmations of Arms, 193- 

197; Grant of Arms, 179; Re- 
cords, absence of, 192. 
Islay Herald (Drysdale), 156. 
Italy, 205. 

James II., 139. 

Joice — see Joicey. 

Joicey, Arms and Name of, 144, 
145, 146, 147. 

Joicey, Col. John, 143, 144. 

Joicey-Cecil, Lord John Paken- 
ham, 143, 144, 146 ; v. Joicey- 
Cecil, 143, 144, 145, 146, 147, 

Jordans, 56. 

Joyce — see Joicey. 

Joys — see Joicey. 

Jurisdiction of Earl Marshal, 64. 

Keeper of Wardrobe, 176, 179. 
Kekewich, Mr Justice, 143, 146. 
Kent, Thomas, Earl of, 64. 
Keys, Roger and Thomas, 34, 



Kilkenny Moderator, 182. 

King, Gregory, 127, 128. 

Kings of Arms, 49, ill, 119, 125 ; 
and see by Name and Title, and 
refer to Officers of Arms and 
College of Arms. 

King's Bench, 65, 67, 68. 

King's College, 166. 

King's Court, 65. 

Kingsdowne, 33. 

Knighthood, degradation from, 

Knights, Jubilee, 15. 
Knoll, James, 134. 

Labels in Arms, 42. 

Lancaster Herald, 1 10; (Thynne), 


Lawrence, Sir James, 30. 

Laws of Arms, 210. 

Leader, Mary, 196. 

Le Neve, 33. 

Le Scrope — see Scrope. 

Letter from King to Lord Falk- 
land, 187-189. 

Letters Patent — see Grants of 
Arms, and Patents of Arms ; of 
Officers of Arms, 100 ; appoint- 
ing W. H. Weldon to be Norroy 
King of Arms, 100, 104-108 ; 
appointing John Wrythe to be 
Garter King of Arms, 100-104. 

Liber Insignorium, 156. 

Licence of Crown, 48. 

Lieutenant of Court of Chivalry, 

Limitations of a Confirmation, 
193 ; of Grants of Arms, 115 ; 
of Patents, 213. 

Lindsay, Sir David, 15^, 156, 

Literature^ 147. 

London, 33; Arms of, 219- 
Gazette, 109 ; Port of, loi, 103. 

Lord Chamberlain, 107 ; Chan- 
cellor, 50, 104; Deputy, 184; 
Marshal — see Earl Marshal. 

Lords — see House of. 

Lyon Clerk, 160, 162, 170 ; 
(Mitchell), 169, 171. 

Lyon King of Arms, 38, 156, 157, 
158, 161, 162, 163, 165, 167, 
168, 169, 200; (Balfour), 156; 
(Burnett), 164, 165, 167; (For- 
man), 156 ; (Lindsay), 155,. 
156 ; (Paul), 155, 211, 

Lyon Office, 156, 159, 160; fees 
in, 214, 215. 

Lyon Register, 160, 162, 163, 164, 


MacDermott, Funeral Certificate^ 
190, 191 ; Bryan, Rory, Teigh, 
Rory Oge, Rory Keogh, Mar- 
garet, 190 ; Bryan, Tirlagh,, 
Terence, Margaret, Connor, 
Charles, 191 ; Eleanor, Bryan, 
Teigh, Honora Mary, Margaret, 

Mackenzie, Sir George, 159. 

Magaghegan, Funeral Certificate, 
190 ; Hugh Buye, Eleanor, 
Arte, James, Thomas, Richard, 
Rose, Neyle, Conly, Connelly 
Mary, Margery, Eleanor, Anne, 
and Elizabeth, 190. 

Maida, Plains of, 57. 

Maltby, Hugh, Lord v. Beckwith,, 



Maltravers, Henry, Lord, 71, 81. 

Manners, 18, 

Manners, Family and Motto, 18. 

Marshal, 39— see Earl Marshal ; 
High (of Ireland), 184. 

Marshall, Honoria, 168 ; Rev. 
William Knox, 168. 

Marshalsea, 65, 67. 

Mary, 156. 

Matriculation of Arms, 157, 160, 
162, 163, 167. 

May, Thomas, 127. 

Meaning of Arms — see Chapter I. 

Milne, John, 170. 

Mitchell, Sir Francis, 67. 

Mitchell, J. W., 169, 171. 

Mistakes in Printed Books of 
Visitations, 137. 

Molyneux, Daniel, 186, 187— see 
-or of Barfield, 67 ; Sir Francis, 

Mooretown Keating, 194. 

More, John, 90-99. 

Morrey, Robert, 134. 

Motto of Manners, Family, 18. 

Mount Leader, 196. 

Mowbray, Thomas — see Notting- 
ham, Earl of; see Norfolk, 
John, Duke of. 

Moyle, Justice, 65, 66, 

Mylne Arms and Patent of Ma- 
triculation, 169, 170, 171 ; 
Hannah, 170; Robert, 170 ; 
Robert William, 170 ; Wm. 
John Home, 169, 170. 


Name and Arms, Clauses in Wills, 
143, 144. HS. 146, 147,150-153- 

Name, Royal Licences for Change 

of, 48, 109, no. 
Name, Scottish, 163. 
Narbon, Nicholas, 182, 184, 185, 

Naworth, 75, 84. 
Necessity of Arms denied, 24. 
Needham, Justice, 6$. 
Newcastle, Duke of, 48. 
Newspaper correspondence, 208, 

211, 229, 230. 
Nicolas, Sir N. Harris, 66. 
Nile, source of, 56. 
Noble, 90. 

Noble, definition of word, 31. 
Nobleman, 28. 

Nobility of British Gentry, 30. 
Nobility, Arms, the criterion of, 

30 ; definition of, 31 ; Patents 

of, 213. 
Nomination of Officers of Arms, 

Norfolk, Earl of — see Arundel ; 

Dukes of, 54, 61, 68, 86, 87, 

no; Bernard Edward, Duke 

of, 59 ; Charles, Duke of, 57 ; 

Henry, Duke of, 87, no, 113- 

115 ; John, Duke of, 63, 72, 

81 ; Thomas, Duke of, 67, 71, 

72, 75, 81, 84, 99, 183. 
Norroy King of Arms, no; 

(Cokayne), 105; (Dugdale), 134 ; 

(Flower), in, 112, 113, 120-125; 

(More), 90-99; (Weldon), 100, 

104-108 ; (Wrythe), 100, 102. 
Northumberland, Jocelin, Earl of, 

Norwich, Earldom, grant of, 69, 78. 
Nottingham, Charles, Earl of, 

76, 85 ; Thomas, Earl of, 42, 

43, 64. 




O'Brennan, 196. 

Officers of Arms— see Chapter 1 1 1 . ; 
and see College of Arms and 
Kings of Arms, and see Officers 
by names and titles; also 
pages 99, 118, 126, 130, 131, 
141, 145, 146, 153, 156, 157, 
183, 199, 209, 210, 221, 223, 
228, 229, 230, 231 ; nomina- 
tion of, 87 ; salaries, incomes, 
and official duties, 216. 

Ogle, Henry, Earl of, 48. 

Omissions at Visitations, 211. 

O'Molly, Eleanor and William, 

Opinion of Law Officers upon 
Protest of Officers of Arms, 
108, 109. 

Order of Charles Brandon, Duke 
of Suffolk, as to Fees on Grants, 
116 ; of Earl Marshal, 34 ; for 
Officers of Arms re Funerals, 

Ordinances for College of Arms, 

'Ordinary of Scottish Arms,' 155. 

Origin of Arms — see Chapter I. 
and p. 27 ; of charges, 18 ; of 
spurious Arms, 19, 20, 37. 

O'Roirk, Margaret and Conn, 

Orthes, 58. 

Ownership of Arms, 26. 

Papal grants, 205. 
Parker, Henry, 67, 68. 
Parliament, 42. 

Patent of Arms to William Cam- 
borne alias Paynter, 111-113; 
Granting Arms (Irish), 179, 
180, 181 ; of confirmation of 
Fuller Arms, 195, 196 ; of con- 
firmation of Greene Arms, 193- 
195 ; of matriculation, 167- 
169 ; of matriculation of Mylne 
Arms, 169; of Peerage, 212, .(| 
217 ; of first Ulster King of 
Arms, 173-179; of Arms, 30, 
31, 32, 212, 217; of Peerage, 
212, 217. 

Paul, Sir J. Balfour, 155- 

Paynter, William, alias Camborne, 
112, 113. 

Pedigrees, recording of, 153, 221- 
227 ; entered at Visitations, 

Peerage cases, 212, 

Pelican, Miss and Rev. Wm., 196. 

Peloquin, 196. 

Peninsula, the, 57. 

Percy, Elizabeth, Lady, 48 ; Sur- 
name and Arms of, 48. 

Philip and Mary, 120, 199, 

Phillpot, 64. 

Pincell, Ann, John, Mary, 196. 

Plunkett, Sir Christopher, 191 ; 
John, 185 ; Mary and Patrick, 

Pope, Alexander, 35. 

Pope, The, 204, 205. 

Popular fallacies — see Chapter 

Porny, 13. 

Port of London, loi, 103. 

PortculHs, no. 

Portugal, King of, 204. 

Powers given to Officers of Arms 
at Visitations, 119, 132. 



Practice at Visitations — see Visi- 

Precedence of Baronets, 143. 

Precedents (Vincent), 67. 

Prerogatives of aristocracy, 13 ; 
of the Sovereign — see Chapter 
I., and pages 36, 48, 61, 199; of 
the Sovereign to confer Arms, 

Preston, Thomas, 191. 

Prince Regent, H.R.H., 57. 

Prisott, Justice, 65, 66. 

Privilege, Armory, a matter of, 
10, II, 227. 

Privy Council, 156, 157, 159, 184. 

Privy Seal, 49. 

Procedure for registration of 
Foreign Arms, 206. 

Proof of Arms at Visitations — see 
Visitations ; of authority at 
present date of Crown and 
College — see Chapter VI. ; of 
right to Arms, 153. 

Protection of Trademarks and 
Crests, 150. 

Protest of Officers of Arms against 
Genealogist of the Bath, 108. 

'Purchase' of Arms and Peer- 
ages, 217, 

Purpose of Saturday Review 
Articles, 200. 

Pyrenees, 58. 


Quarterings, 116. 
Queen's Counsel, 15. 
Quotation marks, explanation of 
use herein, 28. 

Rank, Gentility hereditary, 18. 

Ralph, Julian, 10. 

Ravenscourt Park, 170. 

Reading, 128. 

Rebellion of Lord Derwentwater, 

Recent Grant of Arms, 113-I15. 

Record Office, 23, 227. 

Recording of pedigrees, 153, 221- 

Reformation, 205. 

Refusals of Arms, 228. 

Remames^ Camden's, 64. 

Registration of Foreign Arms, 
205, 206. 

Revenue from Taxation of Arms, 

Richard II., 42, 43, 64, 89, 98, 
99, 172. 

Richard III., 88, 90. 

Richmond, Earl of, 63 ; Herald, 
no; (Narbon), 182. 

Rights of the Sovereign — see 
Chapter I. 

Rod of Earl Marshal, 61, 72, 73, 
74,75,76, 81,83,84,85,87. 

Ross of Bladen sburg Augmenta- 
tion, 54 ; Elizabeth Catherine, 
59, 60 ; Major-General Robert, 
57, 60 ; of Ross Trevor, Arms 
of, 58, 60. 

Rothschild, Baron, 206 ; Sup- 
porters, 206. 

Rouge Croix, no, 133. 

Rouge Dragon, no; (King), 127, 

Royal Arms of England, 49, 219 ; 
Commissions for Visitations, 
11S-125; Family, Labels of, 




42 ; Licences, 49, 204, 206 ; 
Clauses in, 48, 109, no; for 
Austen, 151, 152 ; to take 
Name and Arms of Percy, 
48 ; for name of Joicey, 144, 
145, 146, 147 ; Warrants, 52 ; 
method of address, 86, 87, no ; 
of George III., reciting author- 
ity of Officer of Arms, 108, 
109 ; of George IV. re Baronets, 

Russia, 36. 

Rymer, 90, 173. 

Sackville, 196. 

St George, Richard, 189. 

St Loe, 66. 

Salaries of Officers of Arms, 216 ; 
of Norroy King, 107. 

Sarum, New, 45, 46. 

Saturday Review^ 23, 200, 223. 

Scotland, 38 ; Armorial Law in — 
see Chapter VII. ; Arms of, 54, 
55 ; James, King of, 55. 

Scott, George and Hannah, 170. 

Scottish Grant of Arms, 165, 167 ; 
ordinary of Arms, 21 1 ; Parlia- 
ment — see Acts of, 157-164 ; 
signatures, 163. 

Scrope V. Grosvenor, 39, 40, 41, 
66, 89 ; Sir Richard le, 40, 41. 

Shakespeare, 47. 

Sheriffs — see High Sheriffs and 
page 125 ; of Wilts, Sussex, 
and Dorset, 45. 

Shrewsbury Peerage Case, 119. 

Sidney, H., 184. 

Signatures in Scotland, 163. 

Sneers as to payment of fees, 212, 
217 ; at Armory, 23, 24. 

' Snobbery,' 17, 19, 35, 221. ,3 

Social status of Grantees of Arms, 
228, 229. 

' Society,' 16, 17, 28, 29, 31. 

Somerset Herald, no. 

Somerset House, 25, 227. 

Source of spurious Arms, 19, 20. 

Sovereign, 29, 38, 40, 53, 213, 
231 ; acts of Foreign Sove- 
reigns, 204; rights and pre- 
rogatives of — see Chapter I. 

Spain, 205. 

Speke, augmentation, 54, 56, 57, 
58 ; Capt. John Hanning, 56 ; 
William, 56. 

Spencer, Adam, 32, 33. 

Spurious Arms, origin of, 19, 20. 

Standish v. Whitwell, 148, 149. 

Statutes to check encroachments 
of Earl Marshal's Court, 62 ; for 
College of Arms, 99 ; of Duke 
of Suffolk re Arms, 199 ; as to 
regulations in Earl Marshal's 
Court, 67. 

Status of Foreign Arms in Eng- 
land — see Chapter X. ; of 
Grantees of Arms, 228, 229. 

Staverton, Henry, 128. 

Stockton-on-Tees, I48. 

Streatham, 165. 

Suffolk, Chas. Brandon, Duke of, 
34, 116, 199; Thomas, Earl of, 
74,75,83,84. I 

Summoning to appear at Visita- " 
tions, 126, 127, 128, 132, 133, 

Summons to a Gentleman to 
attend a Visitation, 127 ; to 
Bailiff to notify Visitations, 126- 

Surrey, Earl of — see Arundel. 



Sussex, Sheriff of, 45. 
Swan Inn, Cirencester, 127. 

Taxation of Arms, 24, 25, 198. 
Tenterden, 33. 
Thornaby Iron Works, 148. 
Thornton Title and Augmentation, 

Thynne, Francis, 65. 
Times, 1 52. 
Totemism, 203. 
Trademarks and Crests^ 147, 
Treasury, the, 198, 215. 
Treatise on Heraldry^ 56. 
Trent, 57. 

Trimleston, R., 185. 
Trinity College, Dublin, 186. 
Tudor Period, 229. 
Tunbridge Wells, 168. 
Tyrell, EJenor and Walter, 190. 


Ulster King of Arras, 38, 173, 192, 
193, 197, 201 ; (Carney), 189 ; 
(Burke), 37, 145, 195, 196, 
210; (Butler), 174, 175, 176, 
177, 182 ; (Narbon), 182, 184, 
185, 186; (Molyneux), 186, 187; 
(Preston), 191 ; (St George), 
189; (Ussher), 186; (Vicars), 
179-181, 182, 193-195- 

United States of America, 58, 59. 

Usage of Arms, voluntary, 24 ; 
right by, see Visitations ; of 
Crests, 26. 

Use of Arms, meaning of, 15, 17, 

Ussher, Christopher, 186 ; Arch- 
bishop, 186. 

Vicars, Sir Arthur E., 1 79-1 81, 
182, 193-195- 

Victoria, 54, 56, 104, I15, 14I, 
195, 196. 

Vincent, 67. 

Visitations — see Chapter V., and 
pages I18-141, 153, 154, 156, 
160, 184, 185, 186, 189, 197, 
199, 211, 227; books, 135, 136, 
317 ; printed copies of, 137. 

Vittoria, 58. 

Voluntary, use of Arms is, 24. 


Wales, 38 ; Edward, Prince of, 
93, 98- 

Walker, Sir Edward, 67; ?'. Parker, 

Warburton v. Georges, 66. 

Wardrobe, Keeper of, 107, 108. 

Warrant of Charles II., 47, 48; 
of Crown re Grants, 49 ; of 
George III., 108 ; of George 
IV., 109 ; for Letters Patent 
appointing W. H. Weldon to 
be Norroy King of Arms, 104- 
108 ; for Visitations, 199. 

Washington, capture of, 58. 

Weldon, William Henry, 100, 104- 

West Bromwich, 148. 

Weston, Robert, 185. 

Weston-super-Mare, 169. 



Westminster, 43, 55, 77, 86, 94, 

99, 102, 104; Royal Palace of, 

Whitwell & Co., 148, 149 ; Crest, 

William III., 139. 
Wills — Names and Arms clauses 

in, 150, 153. 
Wilts, Sheriff of, 45. 
Winchester College, 35. 
Windsor, 50, 51; Herald, no; 

(Ashmole), 128; (Weldon), 105. 
Wokingham, 128. 
Wolseley, Lord, 213,214. 
Wood, Sir Wm. Page, 148, 149. 
Woods, Sir Albert W., K.C.B., 


Woodward & Burnett, 56. 

'Workman M.S.,' 156. 

Writ out of Court of Chivalry, 63 ; 

of Henry V., 38, 43-46. 
Writhe, John, 90-102. 
Wrythe — see Writhe. 
Wykeham, William of, 35. 

'X,' 28, 229. 

York Herald, no; (Butler), 174, 

Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Ro-i:, London, E.C.