Herald

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Pictures of heralds from the 14th-17th century, from H. Strohl's Heraldischer Atlas Strohl Heraldischer Atlas t01 3.jpg
Pictures of heralds from the 14th–17th century, from H. Ströhl's Heraldischer Atlas
English heralds, wearing tabards, in procession to St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle for the annual service of the Order of the Garter in 2006. (l-r) Wales Herald of Arms Extraordinary (Michael Siddons), Somerset Herald of Arms in Ordinary (David White), Maltravers Herald of Arms Extraordinary (John Robinson), York Herald of Arms in Ordinary (Henry Paston-Bedingfeld), Windsor Herald of Arms in Ordinary (William Hunt). Heralds at Garter Service.jpg
English heralds, wearing tabards, in procession to St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle for the annual service of the Order of the Garter in 2006. (l-r) Wales Herald of Arms Extraordinary (Michael Siddons), Somerset Herald of Arms in Ordinary (David White), Maltravers Herald of Arms Extraordinary (John Robinson), York Herald of Arms in Ordinary (Henry Paston-Bedingfeld), Windsor Herald of Arms in Ordinary (William Hunt).
Herald Gelre of the Duke of Gueldres (around 1380) Herald Gelre of the Duke of Gueldres.jpg
Herald Gelre of the Duke of Gueldres (around 1380)
Bavarian herald Jorg Rugen [de] wearing a tabard of the Coat of arms of Bavaria, around 1510. Jorg Rugen (ca 1510).jpg
Bavarian herald Jörg Rugen  [ de ] wearing a tabard of the Coat of arms of Bavaria, around 1510.
A 14th-century illustration showing an English herald approaching Scottish soldiers - an incident of the Anglo-Scottish Wars Scottish soldiers in the 14thC.jpg
A 14th-century illustration showing an English herald approaching Scottish soldiers – an incident of the Anglo-Scottish Wars
Tabard worn by an English herald in the College of Arms Pursuivant tabard.jpg
Tabard worn by an English herald in the College of Arms

A herald, or a herald of arms, is an officer of arms, ranking between pursuivant and king of arms. The title is commonly applied more broadly to all officers of arms.

Contents

Heralds were originally messengers sent by monarchs or noblemen to convey messages or proclamations—in this sense being the predecessors of modern diplomats. In the Hundred Years' War, French heralds challenged King Henry V to fight. During the Battle of Agincourt, the English herald and the French herald, Montjoie, watched the battle together from a nearby hill; both agreed that the English were the victors, and Montjoie provided King Henry V, who thus earned the right to name the battle, with the name of the nearby castle. [1]

Like other officers of arms, a herald would often wear a surcoat, called a tabard, decorated with the coat of arms of his master. It was possibly due to their role in managing the tournaments of the Late Middle Ages that heralds came to be associated with the regulation of the knights' coats of arms. Heralds have been employed by kings and large landowners, principally as messengers and ambassadors. Heralds were required to organise, announce and referee the contestants at a tournament. [2] This practice of heraldry became increasingly important and further regulated over the years, and in several countries around the world it is still overseen by heralds. In the United Kingdom heralds are still called upon at times to read proclamations publicly; for which they still wear tabards emblazoned with the royal coat of arms.

There are active official heralds today in several countries, including the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, Canada, and the Republic of South Africa. In England and Scotland most heralds are full-time employees of the sovereign and are called "Heralds of Arms in Ordinary". Temporary appointments can be made of "Heralds of Arms Extraordinary". These are often appointed for a specific major state occasions, such as a coronation. The Canadian Heraldic Authority has created the position of "Herald of Arms Emeritus" with which to honor long-serving or distinguished heraldists. In Scotland, some Scottish clan chiefs, the heads of great noble houses, still appoint private officers of arms to handle cases of heraldic or genealogical importance of clan members, although these are usually pursuivants.

In addition, many orders of chivalry have heralds attached to them. These heralds may have some heraldic duties but are more often merely ceremonial in nature. Heralds which were primarily ceremonial in nature, especially after the decline of chivalry, were also appointed in various nations for specific events such as a coronation as additions to the pageantry of these occasions. In the Netherlands, heralds are appointed for the Dutch monarch's inauguration where they wore their tabards until 1948; these heralds proclaim the inauguration ceremony to have been completed to those inside and outside the Nieuwe Kerk.

English Heralds

English Heralds of Arms in Ordinary

English Heralds of Arms Extraordinary

Scottish Heralds

Scottish Heralds of Arms in Ordinary

Scottish Heralds of Arms Extraordinary

Canadian Heralds

Canadian Heralds of Arms In Ordinary

Canadian Heralds of Arms Extraordinary

Canadian Heralds of Arms Emeritus

Indian Empire Herald of Arms Extraordinary

See also

Notes

  1. Similar tabards are also worn by Officers Extraordinary, who are not not formally members of the College of Arms, but take part in ceremonial occasions. Scottish heralds under the authority of Lord Lyon King of Arms also wear tabards, but these display the current royal arms of Scotland.

Related Research Articles

Coat of arms Heraldic design on a shield or escutcheon

A coat of arms is a heraldic visual design on an escutcheon, surcoat, or tabard. The coat of arms on an escutcheon forms the central element of the full heraldic achievement which in its whole consists of: shield, supporters, crest, and motto. A coat of arms is traditionally unique to an individual person, family, state, organization or corporation.

Tabard

A tabard is a type of short coat that was commonly worn by men during the late Middle Ages and early modern period in Europe. Generally worn outdoors, the coat was either sleeveless or had short sleeves or shoulder pieces. In its more developed form it was open at the sides, and it could be worn with or without a belt. Though most were ordinary garments, often workclothes, tabards might be emblazoned on the front and back with a coat of arms (livery), and in this form they survive as the distinctive garment of officers of arms.

Lord Lyon King of Arms

The Right Honourable the Lord Lyon King of Arms, the head of Lyon Court, is the most junior of the Great Officers of State in Scotland and is the Scottish official with responsibility for regulating heraldry in that country, issuing new grants of arms, and serving as the judge of the Court of the Lord Lyon, the oldest heraldic court in the world that is still in daily operation.

College of Arms Corporation responsible for heraldry in England and Wales

The College of Arms, or Heralds' College, is a royal corporation consisting of professional officers of arms, with jurisdiction over England, Wales, Northern Ireland and some Commonwealth realms. The heralds are appointed by the British Sovereign and are delegated authority to act on behalf of the Crown in all matters of heraldry, the granting of new coats of arms, genealogical research and the recording of pedigrees. The College is also the official body responsible for matters relating to the flying of flags on land, and it maintains the official registers of flags and other national symbols. Though a part of the Royal Household of the United Kingdom, the College is self-financed, unsupported by any public funds.

Officer of arms State officer for heraldic, armorial or ceremonial duties

An officer of arms is a person appointed by a sovereign or state with authority to perform one or more of the following functions:

Pursuivant Junior officer of arms

A pursuivant or, more correctly, pursuivant of arms, is a junior officer of arms. Most pursuivants are attached to official heraldic authorities, such as the College of Arms in London or the Court of the Lord Lyon in Edinburgh. In the mediaeval era, many great nobles employed their own officers of arms. Today, there still exist some private pursuivants that are not employed by a government authority. In Scotland, for example, several pursuivants of arms have been appointed by Clan Chiefs. These pursuivants of arms look after matters of heraldic and genealogical importance for clan members.

King of Arms Rank of an officer of arms

King of Arms is the senior rank of an officer of arms. In many heraldic traditions, only a king of arms has the authority to grant armorial bearings and sometimes certify genealogies and noble titles. In other traditions, the power has been delegated to other officers of similar rank.

Albert Woods

Sir Albert William Woods was an English officer of arms, who served as Garter Principal King of Arms from 1869 to 1904. The Woods family has a strong tradition of service at the College of Arms. Albert Woods was the son of Sir William Woods, Garter King of Arms from 1838 until his death in 1842. Likewise, the grandson of Albert Woods was Sir Gerald Woods Wollaston, who also rose to the rank of Garter King of Arms and served there from 1930 until 1944.

New Zealand Herald Extraordinary

New Zealand Herald of Arms Extraordinary is the officer of arms responsible for the regulation of heraldry in New Zealand. Although affiliated with the College of Arms in London, the New Zealand Herald lives and works in New Zealand, and is not a member of the College Chapter. The current New Zealand Herald of Arms Extraordinary is Phillip Patrick O’Shea.

Malcolm Innes of Edingight Scottish judge

Sir Malcolm Rognvald Innes of Edingight was Lord Lyon King of Arms of Scotland from 1981 until 2001.

Law of heraldic arms

The law of heraldic arms governs the "bearing of arms", that is, the possession, use or display of arms, also called coats of arms, coat armour or armorial bearings. Although it is believed that the original function of coats of arms was to enable knights to identify each other on the battlefield, they soon acquired wider, more decorative uses. They are still widely used today by countries, public and private institutions and by individuals. The earliest writer on the law of arms was Bartolus de Saxoferrato. The officials who administer these matters are called pursuivants, heralds, or kings of arms. The law of arms is part of the law in countries which regulate heraldry, although not part of common law in England and in countries whose laws derive from English law.

Private officer of arms

A private officer of arms is one of the heralds and pursuivants appointed by great noble houses to handle all heraldic and genealogical questions.

Finlaggan Pursuivant Officer of arms for Clan Donald

Finlaggan Pursuivant of Arms is the private officer of arms of the Clan Donald in Scotland.

Ross Herald

Ross Herald of Arms Extraordinary is a Scottish herald of arms Extraordinary of the Court of the Lord Lyon. The office is however held in Extraordinary after the retirement of the last holder in Ordinary.

Scottish heraldry

Heraldry in Scotland, while broadly similar to that practised in England and elsewhere in western Europe, has its own distinctive features. Its heraldic executive is separate from that of the rest of the United Kingdom.

Elizabeth Ann Roads, LVO OStJ is a Scottish herald, currently the Snawdoun Herald; in July 2018 she retired as Lyon Clerk at the Court of the Lord Lyon in favour of Russell Hunter.

Colin Cole (officer of arms)

Sir Alexander Colin Cole was a long serving officer of arms at the College of Arms in London. Eventually, he would rise to the rank of Garter Principal King of Arms, the highest heraldic office in England.

Thomas Hawley

Thomas Hawley was a long-serving officer of arms at the College of Arms in London. He began his career of royal service as a groom porter to Queen Margaret of Scotland from her marriage in 1503 until 1508. Although he may have been made Rose Blanche Pursuivant in the reign of King Henry VII, his first permanent heraldic appointment came in 1509.

English heraldry

English heraldry is the form of coats of arms and other heraldic bearings and insignia used in England. It lies within the so-called Gallo-British tradition. Coats of arms in England are regulated and granted to individuals by the English kings of arms of the College of Arms. An individual's arms may also be borne ‘by courtesy' by members of the holder's nuclear family, subject to a system of cadency marks, to differentiate those displays from the arms of the original holder. The English heraldic style is exemplified in the arms of British royalty, and is reflected in the civic arms of cities and towns, as well as the noble arms of individuals in England. Royal orders in England, such as the Order of the Garter, also maintain notable heraldic bearings.

Court of the Lord Lyon Court which regulates heraldry in Scotland

The Court of the Lord Lyon is a standing court of law which regulates heraldry in Scotland. The Lyon Court maintains the register of grants of arms, known as the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland, as well as records of genealogies.

References

  1. Keegan, John. The Face of Battle , 1983, Penguin Classics, ISBN   0-14-004897-9, pp 74, 77, 104–105
  2. The Historical Atlas of Knights and Castles, Ian Barnes, 2007 pp.176&177.