London, Volume 6

Knight, Charles


CXXXI.-College of Arms.

CXXXI.-College of Arms.




How have the mighty fallen!

may well be the exclamation of any who has read of the respect paid to, and the authority exercised by the heralds of the olden times, and contrasts them with the perfect indifference with which those of the present day are looked upon, and the impunity with which their privileges are suppressed or violated. Too many of the modern members of the College of Arms might have taken as their motto the celebrated of the House of Courtenay,

Ubi lapsus? Quid feci?

and in the answer to the question might perhaps be found the cause of the . It might certainly be said that they had done nothing to sustain themselves or their science in the opinion of the world, and that, consequently, both had fallen in public estimation, and a herald become merely a tolerated appendage of empty show, instead of a useful and respected officer of state, exercising a high and wholesome authority, and professing a science, which, however it may be ridiculed or perverted, will never fail to interest and instruct those who pursue it with properly directed intelligence. It is lamentable, also, to reflect that neither talent nor character were always considered indispensable qualifications for the attainment of the highest


offices in the College of Arms; that the only some of the principal members studied were those they should make to their clients; and that, provided they bore Or and Argent enough in their purses proper, they cared little for the largest blot in their family escutcheons-putting upon , in defiance of all English heraldic legislation; that-

But this eternal blazon must not be

To ears of flesh and blood.

Let us trust that those times have past. The College has a Garter King of Arms, whose acquirements and conduct are such as must entitle him to the respect of all parties, and whose creation, although

per saltum,

is acknowledged to have been as long deserved as it was from circumstances [n.82.1]  immediately necessary.

To Richard Champneys, Gloucester King of Arms, the English heralds are indebted for their charter of incorporation. At his instance, Richard III., by letters patent, dated (the year of his reign), directed the incorporation of heralds, assigning for their habitation


messuage with the appurtenances, in London, in the parish of All Saints, called Pulteney's Inn, or

Cold Harbour

, to the use of


, the most principal and approved of them for the time being, for ever, without compte or any other thing thereof to us or to our heirs, to be given or paid.



received the name of Poulteney's Inn from Sir John Poulteney, who had been times Lord Mayor of London, and who purchased and dwelt in it, He gave it to Humphrey de Bohun, Earl of Hereford and Essex. The Earl of Arundel became possessed of it by marrying De Bohun's niece. In the year , it belonged to John Holland, Duke of Exeter and Earl of Huntingdon, who therein magnificently feasted his half-brother, Richard II. In the next year it passed to Edmond Langley, Earl of Cambridge, from whom it came to the crown. Henry IV., by his patent, dated , granted it to his son Henry, Prince of Wales. Henry VI., in his year, conveyed it to John Holland, Duke of Exeter, whose son, Henry, being a Lancasterian, lost it by attainture of Parliament. Edward IV. kept it in his own hands; and at Richard III.'s accession, it belonged to the crown, and, according to Stowe, was a

right fayre and stately house,

when Richard gave it to Sir John Wroth or Wrythe, or Wriothesly, Garter King of Arms, in trust for the residence and assembling of heralds; and the College of Arms considering him as their founder, although Richard Champneys had perhaps a fairer claim to the title, adopted, with a change of colours, Sir John's armorial bearings for their official seal. King Henry VII., who invidiously subverted the establishments of his predecessors, dispossessed the heralds of their property in . They removed to the Hospital of our Lady of Roncival, or Rounceval, at , where now stands . The heralds having no claim to it, they were only there upon sufferance of the crown; and in Edward VI.'s reign their revenues were so much diminished, that they petitioned for and obtained exemption from taxes. Soon afterwards, Derby or Stanley House, which had been erected by


Thomas Stanley, Earl of Derby of that-name, on St. Benets Hill, having passed into the hands of Sir Richard Sackville by virtue of mortgage, was sold by him to Thomas, Duke of Norfolk, Earl Marshal. He instantly transferred it to the crown, and it was re-granted, by charter of Philip and Mary, to Sir Gilbert Dethick, Garter, and his associates in office, . In the Great Fire of London, , Derby House was destroyed, and the present building was erected on the old site after the design of Sir Christopher Wren, by the munificence of the nobility, assisted by the members of the College, particularly William Dugdale, at that time Norroy King of Arms, who built the north-west corner of the College at his own expense. At the moment we write, the College of Arms is undergoing thorough repairs, and a fire-proof room is building behind the old library, for the better preservation of the more valuable books and MSS. Amongst the most interesting curiosities in the library are, the Warwick Roll, a series of figures of all the Earls of Warwick from the Conquest to the reign of Richard III., executed by Rous, the celebrated antiquary of Warwick, at the close of the century, and a Tournament Roll of Henry VIII.'s time, in which that monarch is depicted in regal state, with all the

pomp, pride, and circumstance of glorious (mimic) war.

A sword and dagger, said to have belonged to the unfortunate James, King of Scotland, who fell at Flodden Field, are also in the possession of the Officers of Arms; a legitimate trophy of the illustrious House of Howard, whose Bend Argent received the honourable augmentation of the Scottish Lion, in testimony of the prowess displayed by the gallant Surrey, who commanded the English forces on that memorable occasion. There is nothing worthy of much remark in the edifice itself, which is composed of brick, and has rather a gloomy appearance.



Passing through the gateway upon St. Benet's Hill, the hollow arch of which is esteemed a curiosity, you find yourself in a square paved court-yard, on the north side of which is the principal entrance, approached by a flight of stone steps, and opening directly into the Grand Hall, in which the Court of Chivalry was formerly held. On the right hand is the old library, from which a door opens into the new fire-proof room aforesaid. On the left, a broad staircase conducts you to the apartments of several of the Officers of Arms. In the Grand Hall above-mentioned, and facing the entrance, is the judicial seat of the Earl Marshal, surrounded by a-ballustrade: but

the chair is empty, and the sword unswayed.

The Court of Chivalry is numbered amongst the things that were, and

le nouveau riche

may now sport his carriage emblazoned all over with the bearings of half the noble families of England, without the fear of the Earl Marshal before his eyes, or of the degrading process of having his unjustly assumed lions or wyverns publicly painted out by some indignant herald. On the south side of the quadrangle is a paved terrace, on the wall of which are seen escutcheons, bearing the arms (and legs) of Man, and the other the Eagle's claw, both ensigns of the House of Stanley. They have been supposed to be relics of the original mansion: but are not ancient, and have been put up merely to mark the site of Old Derby House.

Of the practice of the Curia Militaris, or Court of the Earl Marshal, in the early centuries, no satisfactory documents have reached us:

though it may be presumed,

says Dallaway,

that precedents of it were followed as scrupulously as the memory of man or oral tradition could warrant.

It was usually held within the verge of the Royal Court by the High Constable and Earl Marshal, who called to their assistance as many of their peers as they thought expedient; and the processes were conducted by the heralds, doctors in civic law, who were assessors by commission, and their inferior officers. Appeals were sometimes made to the Court of King's Bench, which, in course of time, were the cause of its virtual, though not of its actual, abolition. Henry V. gave the title of Garter King of Arms to William Bruges or Brydges, and with it the precedence of all others; and since that period Garter has been always principal officer of arms. In the same sovereign issued an edict, directed to the sheriff of each county, to summon all persons bearing arms to prove and establish their right to them. Many claims examined in consequence of this inquiry were referred to heralds as commissioners; but the regular chapter held by them in a collegiate capacity is said to have been at the siege of Rouen, in . The outlines of a code of laws and observances were then formed and approved of, and this being the general notification of the institute of their appointment and legislation as officers of the king, not merely personal servants, but public functionaries, it has been held by collectors of heraldic documents as a most valuable record. On their ultimate incorporation by royal charter, in the reign of Richard III., they began with more authority and effect to execute their office, dividing England into districts as north and south of Trent. To Clarencieux King of Arms was assigned the jurisdiction of the southern provinces, and to Norroy (or North King) those of the North. Over all presided Garter principal King of Arms. The regular wages or salaries of the members of the College were settled as follows:--


Garter40l. per annum.
Every Herald20 marks
Every Pursuivant10l.

Their fees, as early as the reign of Richard II., appear to have been considerable, viz. on the coronation of the king, and on that of the queen. At the displaying of the king's banner in any camp or host of men, the officers present received . At the displaying of a duke's, , and so downwards. On the king's marriage, ,

with the gift of the king's and queen's uppermost garments.

At the birth of the king's eldest son, , and at the birth of the younger children. Then at Christmas, on New Year's Day and Twelfth Day, at Easter, on Day, at Pentecost, and on Allhallows Day, the king's largess was or , the queen's as many marks, and so the princes and nobles according to their rank. There were also additional fees and allowances when the heralds went out of the country on any mission, or were present at any battle with the king, or at the knighting of any man-at-arms, or nobleman, when they received a largess in proportion to the rank of the new-made knight; the king's eldest son giving , and the younger sons .

That thus a sufficient revenue might be obtained to support the respect due to the immediate servants of the crown and the nobility, these demands were scrupulously complied with, and the heralds were empowered to inflict a censure upon any who refused to accede to the customs and observances appointed upon such occasions. Of such amount were their emoluments in the early reigns that William Bruges, Garter King of Arms . Henry V., could receive the Emperor Sigismond at his house in Kentish Town, and entertain him sumptuously; and the other heralds kept proportionate state, and were thought worthy of titular honours; even the , or pursuivants, had the privilege of becoming knights.

In the century it appears that many of the fees had been abolished or evaded, for Francis Thynne, Lancaster Herald, , in his

Discourse on the Duty and Office of a Herald of Arms,

observes that

if heralds might have fees of every


which gave them fees in times past, they might live in reasonable sort, and keep their estate answerable to their places: but now (whether it be our own default, or the overmuch parsimony of others, or faults of the heavens, since by their revolutions things decay when they have been at the highest, I know not) the heralds are not esteemed; every


withdraweth his favour from them, and denyeth the accustomed duties belonging unto them.

of the most useful employments of the heralds was the registering or recording of the gentry allowed to bear arms throughout the kingdom.

A period must arrive,

says Dallaway,

when the immediate inheritors of honours and estates being no more, collateral claimants have to be sought, according to the tenures and injunctions of the original possession. In the lapse of years and the confusion of events such relations become obscure; and, without a regular

and impartial record, where could satisfactory proof be obtained? An attention therefore to genealogical inquiries of such obvious utility was the chief employment of the heralds after their incorporation; and though they found precedents and authorities of their own privileges very serviceable to themselves, the advantages to be derived from their institution were evidently those which result from the confidence with which the public resorted to their archives and were determined by their reports.

That such investigations might be as general and extensive as possible, a visitation of each county was decreed by the Earl Marshal, and confirmed by a warrant under the privy seal, and. a plan was formed by which the intention might be best answered. The most ancient visitation of which any account is recorded is made by Norroy King of Arms . Henry IV., A. D. , and preserved in the Harleian Lib., C. Others are said to have been made in the reigns of Edward IV. and Henry VII.; but in a commission was granted, and executed by Thomas Benoilt, Clarencieux, for the counties of Gloucester, Worcester, Oxford, Wilts, Berks, and Stafford; and from that period visitations were regularly made every or years; and the gentry were so well convinced of the advantage of them that they gave every encouragement to the plan by liberal communications. By these visitations many of mean origin, possessed of considerable property, were brought into notice, and procured entries of themselves as the founders of modern families. Of those who were delegated to the exercise of this function the most celebrated are

the learned Camden,

Elias Ashmole, Sir Edward Byshe, William Dugdale, Augustus Vincent, and Robert Glover; and whoever compares these accumulated labours with each other will find a wide difference in the ability and industry of the several compilers. Of the essential consequence of incorruptible truth in the detail of genealogies thus compiled and registered, as supported by the strongest evidence, the final decision which was given by them in all cases of claims either to hereditary honours or property sufficiently evinces. The heralds were at that period invested with authority equivalent to the duty in which they were engaged, and were assisted in the performance of it by general consent, not only of the higher ranks, but of those who were eager to avail themselves of armorial distinctions, which, as the symptom of the decline of chivalry, were, as early as the reign of Henry VIII., permitted to be purchased by men of sudden wealth and civil occupation; witness

an order made by Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, Earl Marshal of England, what all degrees shall pay for the grants of new arms,

in which it is ordained that

temporall men which be of good and honest reputacion, able to mayntayne the state of a gentleman,

shall have arms granted to them upon the payment of certain fees therein set down, varying, according to their possessions, from to

The Officers of Arms appear to have availed themselves, as far as possible, of the fund of genealogical knowledge which had been collected in various monasteries, when these records were dispersed at the dissolution.

It is probable,

says Dallaway,

that by them the ordinance of parochial registers was suggested to Cromwell, Lord Essex, the Vicar General, who, in


, caused his mandate to be circulated for that purpose

and there can be little doubt that, but for the disinclination of government to throw the patronage into the hands of an


independent hereditary officer like the Earl Marshal, the general registration of births and deaths would have had its head-quarters on St. Benets Hill, instead of in . The heralds had a natural right to be the workers of and gainers by this useful institution, as the genealogists of the empire; and, considering the way in which their privileges and emoluments have been lately curtailed, such an arrangement would have been a mere act of justice towards them. In a commission of visitation was directed to Thomas Hawley, Clarencieux,

to correct all false crests, arms, and cognizances; to take notice of descents; and to reform all such as were disobedient to orders for funerals, set forth by King Henry VII., whereby it is also provided, that all such as should disobey the same, should answer thereunto upon lawful monition to him or them, given before the High Marshal of England ;

and in the and of Philip and Mary, another commission, with the same authority, was delegated to William Harvey, Hawley's successor, who was empowered to levy fines against delinquents at his will and pleasure. The jurisdiction of the Earl Marshal's Court was very generally allowed at this period; for, in , a pursuivant having been arrested, an order of Privy Council was sent to the Lord Mayr, asserting the prerogative of that Court, to which aloine its own officers were amenable. Many suits respecting the legal assumption of arms were argued before the Earl Marshal, or his Commissioners; but the more frequent causes were the prosecutions of those who usurped the privileges, and received the fees of heralds at funerals, by providing and marshalling achievements without their authority. Several abuses having arisen in the practice of the Court, and immunities lain dormant, a body of statutes and ordinances was published by Thomas, Duke of Norfolk, Earl Marshal, dated , by which regulations might be enforced; but about the year , the validity of the Earl Marshal's authority was very severely questioned by repeated appeals to the Courts of King's Bench and Chancery. Ralph Brooke, or Brooksmouth, York Herald at this period, had frequent controversies with the Kings of Arms respecting the partition of fees, and the ground of his suit having been dismissed his own Court as vexatious and nugatory, and he himself being suspended for contumacy, he strove to repossess himself by common law. In consequence of these proceedings the Earl Marshal laid the particulars of his claim before the Privy Council and other Peers, who assembled for that purpose in the Star Chamber, on the . Brooke contended that no Court of Chivalry could be legally held but by the High Constable of England, which office, since the death of Edward Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, was in . The Council, however, after a long investigation, decided in favour of the Earl Marshal, as having been anciently vested with equal authority, and as being the supreme of that Court in the absence or non-existence of the High Constable. With this decision the King was so well pleased, that he issued a Commission under the Great Seal, directed to Thomas, Earl of Arundel and Surrey, by which all former privileges were absolutely renewed and confirmed, and the peculiar jurisdiction of his Court was duly recognised and published. The College of Arms then consisted of regular officers, being reduced to that number, as they continue to the present day.


Garter, Principal.Lancaster.Rouge Croix.
Clarencieux.Somerset.Blue Mantle.
 Windsor.Rouge Dragon.

These now hold their places by patent under the Great Seal, by appointment of the Earl Marshal. The order of their succession is solely at his disposal, and the last-appointed officer takes the title but not the rank of his predecessor.[n.88.1]  King Charles I., having, whilst Duke of York, imbibed much of the romantic and martial spirit which was so conspicuous in his brother Prince Henry, continued, after his accession to the throne, to show the most marked respect to the heralds individually, and to encourage the esteem in which the College of Arms was then held by the superior ranks in society; and the unshaken loyalty which was upon every emergency displayed by the Officers of Arms, in gratitude for that royal patronage, continued unimpaired, even after his worst fortunes had deprived the sovereign of all power to afford them support, and they were consequently ejected from their posts, and forced to retire from public life. In Charles was driven to Oxford, as an asylum from the impending storm. Many of the attendant nobility accepted of academic honours at that time; and it affords very high testimony of the respectability of heralds in England, that they were equally admitted to the distinctions which the University could bestow. William Dugdale, Rouge Croix Pursuivant, and Edmund Walker, Chester Herald, were created Masters of Arts; and Sir William le Neve, Clarencieux King of Arms, was admitted to the dignity of Doctor of Laws. In , we find George Owen, York Herald, John Philipot, Somerset Herald, and Sir John Borrough, Garter King of Arms, made Doctors of Laws; and in , Sir Henry St. George, .Garter King of Arms also made LL.D.

With whatever contempt Cromwell before he became Protector had treated royalty, and spurned at every ceremony and ensign by which it was denoted, no sooner was he invested with the power than he assumed the pageantry of a king. The national crosses were certainly substituted for the lions, the fleurs de lys, and the harp, but the paternal bearing of Cromwell was invariably placed in the centre, both upon his standards and his coins. His Peers of Parliament were created by patent, in the margin of which, amongst other ornaments, are a portrait of him in royal robes, and his paternal escutcheon, with many quarterings; and both at his investiture and his funeral; Byshe and Riley, appointed by him Garter and Norroy, officiated according to the ancient ceremonial, and appear to have been encouraged in the usual attendance upon the Court. At his funeral, indeed, the bill of expenses for banners and escutcheons of his arms, and other heraldic ornaments, alone amounted to between and !

The restoration of Charles II. gave hopes of the re-establishment of all former


systems which had splendour and pageantry for their object; and his coronation was conducted in the most sumptuous style. Sir Edward Walker, the faithful servant and historian of the late king, was confirmed in his office of Garter,[n.89.1]  and those of the surviving heralds who had been driven from their situations during the Commonwealth were recalled, with assurances of future patronage. The decline of the Court of Chivalry, which had been gradual in former periods, was now hastened by the growing dislike of the canon law, and the arbitrary decisions and penalties frequently incurred upon very frivolous occasions. Causes, vexatious and nugatory, were multiplied to an excess very inimical to constitutional liberty; and the authority which was at submitted to without suspicion of eventual abuse, was exerted scarcely less arbitrarily than that of the detestable Star Chamber. In this degenerate state Mr. Hyde (afterwards Lord Chancellor Clarendon), as early as , proposed the dissolution of the Court of Chivalry as a public improvement. He said,

That he was not ignorant that it was a court in tymes of war anciently, but in the manner it was now used, and in that greatness it was now swollen into, as the youngest man myght remember the beginning of it, so, he hoped, the oldest myght see the end of it. He descended to these particulars, that a citizen of good quality, a merchant, was by that court ruined in his estate and his body imprisoned, for calling a swan a goose.

It is, however, suspected that Mr. Hyde's indignation would not have been roused against such abuses had not a near relative of his incurred the censure of the Heralds in their visitation in , and been branded as an usurper of armorial distinctions. After the Restoration, and under the auspices of the Duke of Norfolk, the ingenious Dr. Plott was directed to collect and arrange all the existing evidences of the history and privilege of the

Curia Militaris,

with a view to reconcile the public mind to the re-establishment of its jurisdiction. The effort was, however, unsuccessful, for, after a long interval, the last cause concerning the right of bearing arms (being that between Blount and Blunt) was tried in the year : the most celebrated that has come down to us being that between the Scrope and Grosvenor families, . Richard II.; an elaborate history of which has been published from

the Scrope and Grosvenor Roll,

and contains the interesting evidence given by John of Gaunt, Chaucer, and many other noble and illustrious personages of that period.

The severest punishment that could be inflicted by this court was that of degradation from the honour of knighthood; and, as proof of the reluctance with which it was decreed, instances only are recorded, during centuries, and those at very distant periods: that of Sir Andrew Harclay, in ; of Sir Ralph Grey, in ; and of Sir Francis Michell, in . The following minute of the latter case may be considered interesting enough for insertion here:--

Degradation of Sir Francis Michell upon petition of parliament. Only


prior instances :--Andrew Harclay and Sir Ralph Grey. College of Arms summoned by the Earl Marshal to attend in their Coats of Arms, at


, on

Wednesday, the

20th day of June, 1621

. Sir Francis Michell being brought into Court, without the bar, and there sat upon a standing for that purpose, J. Philipot, Somerset, read these words:--

Be it known to all men, that Sir F. Michell, Knight, for certain heinous offences and misdemeanours by him committed, was thought worthy to be degraded of his honour by sentence of Parliament. His Majesty being hereupon moved, and his royal pleasure known, it likewise has pleased him, for example's sake, that their grave and condign sentence should this day be accordingly put into execution in manner and form following; that is to say, his sword and gilt spurres, being the ornaments of knighthood, shall be taken from him, broken and defaced, and the reputation he held thereby, together with the honourable title of knight, be henceforth no more used.



of the Knight Marshal's men, standing upon the scaffold with him, did cutte his belt whereby his sword did hange, and soe let it fall to the ground; then he cut his spurres off from his heels, and hurled the


one way into the Hall, and the other another way. That done, he drew his sword out of his scabbard, and with his hands brake it over his head, and threw the


piece the


way, and the other piece the other way. Then the rest of the writinge was read and pronounced aloud, viz.:

But that he be from henceforward reputed, taken, and styled an infamous errant knave. God save the King.

In , the ceremony of degrading the Duke of Ormond, attainted of treason, from his Order of the Garter, was performed at Windsor; and in our time we can, unfortunately, remember the banner of a Knight of the Bath being pulled down by the heralds, and kicked out of Henry the 's Chapel, at .

The last visitation was made in James the 's time. Some memoranda of of the latest visitations are curious enough to deserve transcription, viz. :--

John Talbot of Salebury, a verry gentyll esqwyr, and well worthye to be takyne payne for.-Sir John Townley, of Townley. I sought hym all daye, rydynge in the wyld contrey, and his reward was ijs., whyche the gwyde had the most part, and I had as evill a jorney as ever I had.-Sir R. H., knt. The said Sir R. H. has put awaye the lady his wyffe, and kepys a concubyne in his house, by whom he has dyvers children; and by the lady aforesaid he has Leyhall, whych armes he berys quartered with hys in the furste quarter. He sayd that Master Garter lycensed hym so to do, and he gave Mr. Garter an angell noble, but

he gave me nothing, nor made me no good cher

, but gave me prowde words;

in return for which the herald took care to chronicle the above scandal.

We can easily understand that the somewhat inquisitorial nature of these visitations would render them (particularly if the herald in the slightest degree abused his powers) exceedingly distasteful to the public at large, and personally annoying to some individuals; at the same time, we cannot but believe that properly conducted they might be of considerable utility to the nation, and only vexatious to those who have no claim to consideration in such matters. We have already pointed out the right which, in our opinion, the College of Arms possessed to the office of General Registration, and the only, but far from satisfactory reason for erecting a new and separate establishment; and we need scarcely remark on the value and importance of such evidence as these minute and authentic genealogical records would afford in cases of disputed property, titles,


&c. With regard to armorial bearings, whilst we are of the number who can fully appreciate the honest pride and satisfaction with which the lineal descendant of who has deserved well of his country contemplates or displays the escutcheon which has through centuries been handed down to him untarnished, and can understand the natural desire of even the most remotely connected with ancient and honourable families to enjoy the reflected lustre of the quartered achievement, we have no hesitation in expressing our opinion that the absurd vanity which induces nearly every person who possesses a gold seal, or a silver spoon, to decorate it with a crest to which not in a -we had almost said, a --has any shadow of pretension, is a fair subject for investigation and taxation in a form and on a scale differing from those at present prescribed, and that here again the herald might be employed with equal benefit to himself and the revenue.

Another service of great trust and high consideration, belonging of ancient right to the Officers of Arms, is the bearing of letters and messages to sovereign princes and persons in authority. Abandoning their claim to a much higher rank, viz. that of the and Feciales of the Greeks and Romans (the venerable ambassadors who had the privilege of denouncing war or concluding peace, on their responsibilities), none will attempt to deny that they were, from the earliest periods in which mention is made of them, the chosen and respected messengers of their royal or noble masters. Legh, quoting

Upton's own words

(the earliest writer extant on the science of heraldry), says,

It is necessary that all estates should have currours, as suer messengers, for the expedicion of their businesse, whose office is to passe and repasse on foote

theis are knights in their offices, but not nobles, and are called Knightes caligate of Armes, because they weare startuppes (a sort of boot-stocking) to the middle-leg. Theis when they have behaved themselves wisely and served worshipfully in this roome ye space of vii yeres: then were they sett on horsebacke, and called

Chivalers of Armês

(or Knight Riders),

for that they rodd on their soveraignes messages.

Theis must be so vertuous as not to be reproved when he hath served in that rome vii yeares, if his soveraigne please he may exalt him


degree higher, whiche is to be created a Purcevaunte

and when he hath served any time he may, at the pleasure of the prince, be created an Hereaught, even the next day after he is created Pourcevaunt:

and then he adds,

An Hereaught is an high office in all his services, as in message,


messengirs from Emperour to Emperour, from Kyng to Kynge, and so from


prince to another; sometyme declarynge peace, and sometyme againe pronouncing warre. Theis like Mercury runne up and downe, having on them not only Aaron's surcot, but his eloquence, which Moses lacked.

This honourable and important service has in modern times been most unceremoniously transferred from the Officers of Arms to certain persons appointed by the Secretary of State, and termed King's (or, as now, Queen's) Messengers. Before the elevation of Mr. Canning to the premiership, these appointments were generally given to nominees of the nobility-their valets, butlers, or sons of such domestics; persons without any recommendations except those of their masters. Mr. Canning very properly put a stop to this practice; and justly considering that the bearers of important dispatches (of necessity admitted to the presence of the highest personages in their


own or other countries-nay, it has happened, to that of the Sovereign himself) should have the education and manners of gentlemen, took every opportunity of filling up the vaecancies as they occurred with a very superior class of young and intelligent men, possessing a suffcient knowledge of the principal European languages, accustomed to good society, and capable of acting in any emergency with the spirit and discretion that usually accompany such advantages. This was a great improvement; but the injustice done to the Heralds remained unredressed. The same jealousy of patronage prevented most likely the acute and accomplished minister from employing, as of old, the Pursuivant or the Herald--the Knight Caligate, or the Knight . (The latter no longer, alas, remembered by the present generation, who pass down

Knight Rider Street,

within sight of the College, in utter ignorance of the origin of its appellation.) Yet such were the original King's Messengers-men of great learning, of good conduct, admissible to knighthood and nobility-whose persons were sacred, and whose services were liberally rewarded by prince and peer, whether they were the bearers of a cartel of defiance, a treaty of peace, an order of knighthood, or an autograph letter of congratulation or condolence.[n.92.1]  Thus it is in this age of reformation and utilitarianism, an ancient institution is abolished or neglected, as obsolete, without consideration as to the possibility of adapting it to the spirit or the necessity of the time. Having gradually deprived the heralds of all important business, and wholesome authority, the very despoilers are the to comment upon the utter inutility of the establishment! Let us look at the article of the admonition given to the herald on his creation-

You shall not suffer


gentleman to malign another, and raylynge you shall let (

i. e

. stop) to the uttermost of your power.

Here is useful employment, heaven knows, and sufficient, too, for a College possessing a times as many members. We beg to call the attention of

the General Peace ,Society,


the Society for the Suppression of Duelling

(the of Honour and Chivalry), to this peculiar portion of the duty and office of the heralds. Nay, the Noble and Learned Lord who has so lately amended the Law of Libel might have fairly claimed the assistance of Garter and the Officers of Arms in his praiseworthy undertaking. In all questions affecting the honour of noblemen and gentlemen, the heralds are certainly privileged to form the Court of Review.

We cannot conclude this necessarily brief and cursory notice of the Heralds' College without chronicling a few of the worthies who have shed lustre on the Institution, and are also ornaments of the general literature of Great Britain. Earliest and highest, perhaps, stands

the learned Camden,

the son of a painter-stainer in the , where he was born ; educated at and School, and then sent to Magdalen College,


Oxford, from whence he removed to Broadgate Hall, now Pembroke College, where, in , he took his degree of Bachelor of Arts. He returned to London at the age of , and, after rendering himself conspicuous as Master of School, gained the Head-Mastership in the year . His



Annals of Queen Elizabeth,

and his

Remains concerning Britain,

will satisfy posterity that his reputation has not exceeded his desert, but that he was

worthily admired for his great learning, wisdom, and virtue, through the Christian world.

He was created Clarencieux King of Arms, in , without having served as herald or pursuivant, though for

fashion sake,

says Wood,

he was created Herald of Arms called Richmond, because no person can be King before he is a Herald,

the day previous to his elevation.

This was done,

he adds,

by the singular favour of Queen Elizabeth, at the incessant supplication of Foulk Greville, afterwards Lord Brook; both of them having an especial respect for him and his great learning in English and other antiquities.

Camden died at Chiselhurst, in Kent, on the , at the age of , and was buried in .

Sir William Dugdale, author of the celebrated



the Antiquities of Warwickshire,

was born at Shustoke, near Coleshill, in that county, on the . He was the only son of John Dugdale, Esq., of Shustoke, and of Elizabeth, daughter of Arthur Swynfin, Esq., of Staffordshire. Introduced by Sir Symon Archer, of Tamworth, to Sir Christopher Hatton and Sir Henry Spelman, he was by their joint interest with the Earl of Arundel, then Earl Marshal, created a Pursuivant of Arms Extraordinary, by the name of Blanche Lyon, : -, he was made Rouge Croix Pursuivant in Ordinary; and , Chester Herald. He attended Charles I. at the battle of Edgehill, and remained with him till the surrender of Oxford to the Parliament, in . Upon the restoration of Charles II. he was advanced to the office of Norroy King of Arms, by recommendation of Chancellor Hyde; and in he was created Garter Principal King of Arms, and knighted much against his own inclination,

on account of the smallness of his estate.

He died at Blythe Hall, in Warwickshire, on the , aged , and was buried at Shustoke.

He possessed,

in the words of Dallaway,

talents entirely adapted to the pursuits of an antiquary, and exerted indefatigable industry, directed to valuable objects by consummate judgment.

Elias Ashmole, founder of the Museum which bears his name at Oxford, was the only child of Simon Ashmole, a saddler at Lichfield, an improvident man, who

loved war better than making saddles and bridles.

Elias was born the . From a chorister in Lichfield Cathedral he became a student in law and music, a solicitor in Chancery, an attorney of the Common Pleas, a gentleman of the ordnance in the garrison of Oxford, and a student of natural philosophy, mathematics, and astronomy, in Brazennose College, at that University; a commissioner, and afterwards receiver and registrar of excise at Worcester; a captain in Lord Ashley's regiment, and comptroller of the ordnance; a botanist, a chymist, and an astrologer! He also acquired a knowledge of several manual arts, such as seal engraving, casting in sand, and

the mystery of a working goldsmith.

In he began to study Hebrew, and shortly afterwards general antiquities, which recommended him to the notice of Sir William Dugdale. In


this extraordinary man applied himself to the collecting of materials for

the History of the Order of the Garter.

Upon the Restoration, Charles II. made him Windsor Herald, ; and on the in that year he was appointed Commissioner of Excise in London. On the he was called to the bar in the Middle Temple Hall; and in , admitted F.R.S. In February, he was appointed by warrant to the secretaryship of Surinam, and preferment followed preferment. He received his diploma as M.D. from Oxford, in ; finished his history of

the Order of the Garter

in , and was presented by the King with as a mark of his special approbation. In he resigned his place of Windsor Herald, and after twice declining the office of Garter King of Arms, and the honour of representing the city of Lichfield in Parliament, terminated his days in honourable retirement,--, in the year of his age. He was buried at .

John Austis, an eminent English antiquary, was born at St. Neots, in Cornwall, or , , educated at Oxford, and became a student of the Middle Temple. In he represented the borough of St. Germains in Parliament, and in Queen Anne presented him with a reversionary patent for the place of Garter King of Arms. In the last Parliament of Anne, he was returned member for Dunhead or Launceston; and he sat in the parliament of George I. He afterwards fell under the suspicion of Government as being a favourer of the exiled family, and was imprisoned at the very time that the place of Garter became vacant by the death of the venerable Sir Henry St. George. After a long and bold struggle for his right as holder of the reversionary patent, he was created Garter in . He died -, aged . His most celebrated published works are,

The Register of the Most Noble Order of the Garter,


Observations introductory to an Historical Essay on the Knighthood of the Bath;

but he left behind him some most valuable materials in MS. for the History of the College of Arms, which are now in the Library.

Francis Sandford, Rouge Dragon Pursuivant, and then Lancaster Herald, . Charles II. and James II., has acquired a right to honourable mention as the author of a most excellent genealogical

History of England.

He also published the

Ceremonial and Procession at the Coronation of James II.,

in conjunction with Gregory King, Rouge Croix Pursuivant, and the

Funeral of General Monk.

He was descended from a very ancient and respectable family, seated at Sandford, in the county of Salop, and was son of Francis Sandford, Esq., and of Elizabeth, daughter of Calcot Chambre, of Williamscot, in Oxfordshire, and of Carnow, in Wicklow, Ireland. Francis Sandford was born in the Castle of Carnow, and at years of age was driven by the Rebellion to take refuge at, Sandford. At the Restoration, as some recompence for the hardships he and his family had experienced as adherents to Charles I., he was admitted into the College of Arms. Sandford was so attached to King James that he resigned his office on the Revolution in , and died

advanced in age, poor, and neglected,

in Bloomsbury or its vicinity, , and was buried in Upper Churchyard.

Sir John Vanbrugh, the well-known dramatic author, and the architect of Blenheim and Castle Howard, received, as a compliment for his services in


building the latter edifice, the office of Clarencieux King of Arms, then vacant, from Charles, Earl of Carlisle, Deputy Earl Marshal; and notwithstanding very spirited remonstrances by the heralds over whose heads he had been appointed, he was confirmed in the situation, which he afterwards sold, for , to Knox Ward, Esq., avowing ignorance of his new profession, and neglect of all its duties. Of course, we do not notice Sir John as a herald who has done honour to the College, but as a person distinguished in literature and the arts, who has been registered as a member of it.

Francis Grose, Richmond Herald, the good-humoured and convivial writer on British antiquities, was the son of a Swiss who settled in England as a jeweller. He was born at Greenford in Middlesex, in , and at an early period of his life, obtained a situation in the College of Arms, where he eventually reached the office of Richmond Herald, which he resigned in , when he became adjutant and paymaster of the Hampshire Militia, and afterwards captain in the Surrey Militia. His numerous works are to be found in almost every library. The principal are

Views of Antiquities in England and Wales;

Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue;

Military Antiquities;

History of Dover Castle;

Rules for Drawing Caricatures;

The Guide to Health, Beauty, Honour, and Riches;


The Antiquities of Ireland,

completed by Ledwich, Captain Grose being suddenly carried off by an apoplectic fit soon after his arrival in Dublin, .

Edmund Lodge, Lancaster Herald, has left his name to us connected with the most beautiful and interesting series of ever published. The genealogical and biographical memoirs by which they are accompanied are highly creditable to his talents, of which the College was too soon deprived. Mr. Lodge was made Lancaster Herald in , and died .

Death has lately also robbed the College of another highly respectable and accomplished author and antiquary in the person of George Frederick Beltz, Esq., Lancaster Herald, F.S.A.: and the only Officer of Arms now living whose name is connected with British literature is not a member of the English College, but Ulster King of Arms for Ireland (Sir William Betham), who has contributed several most erudite and interesting works to the history of the language and general antiquities of Ireland. Be it remembered that we have not included in this list the heralds who have written on their own science only, but such as have shed more or less lustre over the whole world of letters. Amongst the former are to be found many learned and industrious writers:--William Wyrley, Rouge Croix Pursuivant, ; Sir William Segar, Garter; William Smith, Rouge Dragon Pursuivant; Ralph Brooke, York Herald; Augustine Vincent, Rouge Croix Pursuivant; Robert Glover, Somerset Herald, and his nephew and successor, Thomas Milles; John Guillim, Rouge Dragon Pursuivant; Gregory King, Lancaster Herald and Deputy Garter; Sir Edward Byshe, Garter; John Gibbon, Blue Mantle Pursuivant; Sir Edward Walker, Garter; Joseph Edmondson, Mowbray Herald Extraordinary; &c. &c. But few of these names are known to any but the students of heraldry, whereas most of the others are as

familiar in our mouths as household words,

and hold high and deserved place amongst


the worthies of England. We have a confident trust that, under the new impulse given to art by the works of modern antiquaries, and the liberal patronage and support of the present Sovereigns of England, France, Prussia, and Bavaria, the College of Arms, in despite of the difficulties with which it has to struggle, will receive many honourable augmentations to its roll of immortal members; and from its yet unexplored treasures of antiquity shed a flood of light upon the history, manners, customs, and habits of the people of England.


[n.82.1] The advanced ages of the worthy Clarencieux and Norroy Kings of Arms, either of whom if made Garter must have acted by deputy.

[n.88.1] According to Noble. James I. raised Garter's place from 40t. to 50l.; Clarencieux's and Norroy's each from 20l. to 40l.; the Heralds from 13l. 6s. 8d. to 20l. 13s. 4d. each, and the Pursuivants from 10l. to 20l. each, per annum.-Hist. Col. Arms, p. 191.

[n.89.1] Charles, also, to show the value he had for a well-tried servant, and to evince his regard for the College, augmented the salary of the then present, and every future Garter, by raising the sum paid out of the Exchequer from 50l. to 100l. per annum; and in 1664, by a decree, resolved upon in the Chapter of the Order of St. George, it was settled, that another 100l. per annum should be paid to Garter out of the revenues of the Order, in lieu of the casual annuities which had been formerly paid to him by the Sovereign and Knights.-Noble, Hist. Coll., p. 269.

[n.92.1] In Henry VII.'s reign there appear to have been twenty Pursuivants ordinary and extraordinary; and Noble says the reason why Henry VII. had so many officers at arms at some parts of his reign was the great correspondence upon the Continent he kept more than his predecessors. At this period Pursuivants were the regular messengers of our Sovereigns. Sometimes the extraordinary ones were created to be sent on a sudden emergency, without any expectation of further promotion: if they showed peculiar adroitness, they were sometimes made in ordinary, and from thence might become Heralds and Kings at Arms Henry had Berwick Pursuivant on the borders of Scotland, two for Ireland, several for our dominions in France, Jersey, and such as were yielded to Henry in Bretagne. These probably were often residents upon the spot whence the names of their office were taken; they were chiefly employed in carrying messages to and from the Governors to the Sovereign. --Hist. Col. of Arms, p. 100.