Joseph Edmondson

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Joseph Edmondson wearing his herald's tabard and Collar of SS, mezzotint by John Jones, from a painting by Thomas Beach Joseph Edmondson.jpg
Joseph Edmondson wearing his herald's tabard and Collar of SS, mezzotint by John Jones, from a painting by Thomas Beach
Typical depiction of a heraldic achievement drawn by Edmondson (with later tinting, here the arms of Dunning), in Baronagium Genealogicum DunningArms BaronagiumGenealogicum 1764.jpg
Typical depiction of a heraldic achievement drawn by Edmondson (with later tinting, here the arms of Dunning), in Baronagium Genealogicum

Joseph Edmondson (died 1786), was an English herald and genealogist whose principal work is the Baronagium Genealogicum ("or the Pedigrees of the English Peers, Deduced from the Earliest Times: Originally Compiled by Sir William Segar, and Continued to the Present Time"), 5 volumes, published in London, 1764.



Edmondson was originally apprenticed to a barber, but afterwards became a coach-painter, and being much employed in emblazoning arms on carriages was led to the study of heraldry and genealogy. He was elected a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, and in March 1764 was created Mowbray Herald Extraordinary. This appointment in the College of Arms did not prevent him from continuing the coach-painting business, which he carried on successfully for many years. The appearance of his Baronagium (1764) attracted the attention of the nobility, and brought him much employment in the compilation of pedigrees. Most of the peers had their genealogies drawn up or rearranged by him. When the baronets made an unsuccessful attempt to obtain some augmentation of their privileges, as appendages to their titles, they chose Edmondson as their secretary. He died at his residence in Warwick Street, Golden Square, on 17 February 1786, and was buried in the cemetery of St James's, Piccadilly. His extravagant manner of living prevented him from leaving any considerable property to his son, who continued the business of coach-painter till his death, which happened soon after that of his father. Edmondson's library was sold by auction in 1788.


A fine portrait of Edmondson, in his tabard and collar of SS., engraved by Bartolozzi, is prefixed to the first volume of the Complete Body of Heraldry. There is another portrait of him in mezzotint by John Jones, from a painting by Thomas Beach. In the British Museum there is a printed catalogue of his library, including a collection of manuscripts sold 26–28 June 1786.

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    Wikisource-logo.svg This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : "Edmondson, Joseph". Dictionary of National Biography . London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.