|Jurisdiction||England north of the river Trent and Northern Ireland|
|Governing body||College of Arms|
Norroy and Ulster King of Arms is the Provincial King of Arms at the College of Heralds with jurisdiction over England north of the Trent and Northern Ireland. The two offices of Norroy and Ulster were formerly separate. Norroy King of Arms is the older office, there being a reference as early as 1276 to a "King of Heralds beyond the Trent in the North". The name Norroy is derived from the French nort roi meaning 'north king'. The office of Ulster Principal King of Arms for All-Ireland was established in 1552 by King Edward VI to replace the older post of Ireland King of Arms, which had lapsed in 1487.
Ulster King of Arms was not part of the College of Arms and did not fall under the jurisdiction of the Earl Marshal, being the heraldic authority for the Kingdom of Ireland (the jurisdiction of the College of Arms being the Kingdom of England and Lord Lyon's Office that of the Kingdom of Scotland).
Ulster was Registrar and King of Arms of the Order of St Patrick. Norroy and Ulster King of Arms now holds this position, though no new knights of that Order have been created since 1936, and the last surviving knight died in 1974. Heraldic matters in the Republic of Ireland are now handled by the office of the Chief Herald of Ireland (a part of the Genealogical Office in the National Library).
The arms of the new office of Norroy and Ulster King of Arms were devised in 1980 based on elements from the arms of the two former offices. They are blazoned: Quarterly Argent and Or a Cross Gules on a Chief per pale Azure and Gules a Lion passant guardant Or crowned with an open Crown between a Fleur-de-lis and a Harp Or.
The current Norroy and Ulster King of Arms is Robert Noel, who succeeded Timothy Duke in 2021.
|Arms||Name||Dates of office||Notes||Ref|
|Peter de Horbury||(1276)|
|Office holders referred to as Lancaster King of Arms.|
This title was used for the King of Arms of the northern province in the reigns of Henry IV, V and VI, instead of Norroy.
|The title reverted to Norroy King of Arms.|
|Sir Christopher Barker||1536|
|William Segar||1593–1603||Morgan Coleman had also applied for the position.|
|Sir Richard St George||1603–1623|
|Sir John Burroughs||1623–1634|
|Sir William le Neve||1634–1635|
|Sir Henry St George||1635–1644|
|Sir Edward Walker||1644–1645|
|Sir William Dugdale||1660–1677|
|Sir Henry St George||1677–1680|
|Sir Thomas St George||1680–1686|
|Sir John Dugdale||1686–1700|
|Peter Le Neve||1704–1729|
|Sir Charles Townley||1751–1756|
|Sir Isaac Heard||1774–1780|
|Sir William Weldon||1894–1911|
|Sir Henry Burke||1911–1919|
|Sir Arthur Cochrane||1926–1928|
|Sir Gerald Wollaston||1928–1930|
|Sir Algar Howard||1931–1943|
|Title combined with Ulster King of Arms|
|Arms||Name||Dates of office||Notes||Ref|
|Title formerly Ireland King of Arms|
|Bartholomew W. Butler||1552–1566|
|Daniel Molyneux and Adam Ussher||1629–1633|
|Thomas Preston, 1st Viscount Tara||1633–1655|
|Sir Richard Carney||1655–1660|
|Sir Richard St George||1660–1683|
|Sir Richard Carney and George Wallis||1683–1698|
|William Hawkins and John Hawkins||1722–1759|
|William Hawkins||1765–1787||Knighted 17 March 1783|
|Rear Admiral Sir Chichester Fortescue||1788–1820|
|Sir William Betham||1820–1853|
|Sir Bernard Burke||1853–1892|
|Sir Arthur Vicars||1893–1908|
|Sir Nevile Rodwell Wilkinson||1908–1940|
|Vacant, duties performed by Thomas Ulick Sadleir (Deputy Ulster)|
|Duties in the Republic of Ireland taken up by the Chief Herald of Ireland|
|Arms||Name||Dates of office||Notes||Ref|
|Sir Algar Howard||1943–1944||Howard was descended from the Dukes of Norfolk; he was born in Thornbury Castle, where he lived for many years. Educated at King's College London, he was later admitted to the Inner Temple as a barrister. His first appointment at the College was in May 1911 as Fitzalan Pursuivant Extraordinary and he attended the Prince of Wales' investiture that year. He was promoted to Rouge Dragon Pursuivant that October, followed by Windsor Herald in 1919 and Norroy King of Arms in 1931, to which was added Ulster King of Arms in 1943. After he resigned as Garter, he served as Extra Gentleman Usher to the Queen from 1952 till his death, aged 89, in 1970.|
|Sir Gerald Wollaston||1944–1957||A grandson of Sir Albert William Woods, Wollaston was educated at Harrow School and then Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated in 1893 with a law degree. He was called to the Bar in 1899, but joined the College three years later as Fitzalan Pursuivant Extraordinary for the coronation of Edward VII. Appointments as Bluemantle Pursuivant (1906), Richmond Herald (1919), and Norroy King of Arms (1928) followed. Having served as Henry Farnham Burke's deputy for a year, he succeeded him as Garter and oversaw the coronation of George VI; his experience and knowledge of ceremonial proved useful in assisting the young Earl Marshal. Earlier in his career, he was often called on to counsel in peerage cases. A "most painstaking and skilled herald with special bent to ceremonial", he published The Court of Claims in 1902, 1910 and 1936. After his Gartership, he served as Norroy and Ulster until his death in 1957.|
|Sir Walter Verco||1971–1980|
|John Brooke-Little||1980–1995||Brooke-Little was educated at Clayesmore School and New College, Oxford, where his interest in heraldry grew and his friends included the future Garter, Colin Cole. He joined the Earl Marshal's staff in 1952 and was a Gold Stick Officer at the coronation in 1953. Appointed Bluemantle Pursuivant in 1956 and Richmond Herald in 1967, Brooke-Little also served as Registrar at the College (1974–82), Norroy and Ulster King of Arms and Registrar of the Order of St Patrick (1980–85) and director of the Heralds' Museum from 1991 until his retirement. He founded the Heraldry Society in 1947 and was its Chairman for fifty years, after which he was its President; he edited its journal, The Coat of Arms, until 2004. His published work included updated editions of Boutell's Heraldry and Fox-Davies's Complete Guide to Heraldry. According to the Telegraph, he was the "brightest and ablest herald of his generation", but did not attain Gartership partly due to his "chaotic working practices". He died in 2006.|
|Hubert Chesshyre||1995–1997||After attending Trinity College, Cambridge, and Christ Church, Oxford, and graduating from both universities, Chesshyre became Rouge Croix Pursuivant in 1970, before serving as Chester Herald between 1978 and 1995 and Honorary Genealogist to the Royal Victorian Order from 1987 to 2010. He has been a member of the Westminster Abbey Architectural Advisory Panel and the Heraldry Society's Council. Along with Thomas Woodcock, he co-authored the Dictionary of British Arms: Medieval Armorial, volume 1.|
|Thomas Woodcock||1997–2010||Woodcock was educated at Durham University and Darwin College, Cambridge. He was called to the Bar in 1975, but started work as a research assistant to Sir Anthony Wagner that year. He was appointed Rouge Croix in 1978, Somerset in 1982 and Norroy and Ulster in 1997. He has co-authored a number of works on heraldry, including The Oxford Guide to Heraldry (1988) and all four volumes of Dictionary of British Arms: Medieval Ordinary (1992–2014).|
|Patric Dickinson||2010||Dickinson was educated at Exeter College, Oxford, and was President of the Oxford Union in 1972. A research assistant at the College of Arms since 1968, his first heraldic appointment was ten years later, when he became Rouge Dragon Pursuivant. Promotions to Richmond Herald (1989) and Norroy and Ulster King of Arms (2010) followed, before he became Clarenceux. Having served as the College's Treasurer since 1995, Dickinson was also the Earl Marshal's Secretary from 1996 to 2012 and has been President of the Society of Genealogists since 2005.|
|Sir Henry Paston-Bedingfeld||2010–2014|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Norroy and Ulster King of Arms .|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Coats of arms of the Norroy and Ulster King of Arms .|
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.
Clarenceux King of Arms, historically often spelled Clarencieux, is an officer of arms at the College of Arms in London. Clarenceux is the senior of the two provincial kings of arms and his jurisdiction is that part of England south of the River Trent. The office almost certainly existed in 1420, and there is a fair degree of probability that there was a Claroncell rex heraldus armorum in 1334. There are also some early references to the southern part of England being termed Surroy, but there is not firm evidence that there was ever a king of arms so called. The title of Clarenceux is supposedly derived from either the Honour of the Clare earls of Gloucester, or from the Dukedom of Clarence (1362). With minor variations, the arms of Clarenceux have, from the late fifteenth century, been blazoned as Argent a Cross on a Chief Gules a Lion passant guardant crowned with an open Crown Or.
The Garter Principal King of Arms is the senior King of Arms, and the senior Officer of Arms of the College of Arms, the heraldic authority with jurisdiction over England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The position has existed since 1415.
Lancaster Herald of Arms in Ordinary is an English officer of arms at the College of Arms in London. The title of Lancaster Herald first occurs in 1347 at Calais, and to begin with this officer was a servant to the noble house of Lancaster. As a retainer of John of Gaunt (1377–1399) Lancaster was advanced to the rank of King of Arms, and was later promoted to the royal household of Henry IV, and made king of the northern province. This arrangement continued until 1464, when Lancaster reverted to the rank of herald. Since the reign of King Henry VII (1485–1509) Lancaster has been a herald in ordinary. The badge of office is a red rose of Lancaster, royally crowned.
John Philip Brooke Brooke-Little was an English writer on heraldic subjects, and a long-serving herald at the College of Arms in London. In 1947, while still a student, Brooke-Little founded the Society of Heraldic Antiquaries, now known as the Heraldry Society and recognised as one of the leading learned societies in its field. He served as the society's chairman for 50 years and then as its President from 1997 until his death in 2006.
Sir Henry Edgar Paston-Bedingfeld, 10th Baronet is a British baronet and retired officer of arms.
Sir Henry Farnham Burke, (1859–1930) was a long-serving Anglo-Irish officer of arms at the College of Arms in London.
Sir Gerald Woods Wollaston was a long-serving officer of arms at the College of Arms in London. Wollaston's family had a firm tradition at the College of Arms. Wollaston's great-grandfather was Sir William Woods, Garter Principal King of Arms from 1838 until his death in 1842. His grandfather was Sir Albert William Woods who held the same post from 1869 to 1904.
Major General Sir Algar Henry Stafford Howard was a retired senior British Army officer and long-serving officer of arms at the College of Arms in London. He served as the Garter Principal King of Arms from 1944 to 1950 before retiring. He was the third consecutive Fitzalan Pursuivant of Arms Extraordinary to attain the highest rank at the College of Arms.
Sir George Rothe Bellew,, styled The Honourable after 1935, was a long-serving herald at the College of Arms in London. Educated at the University of Oxford, he was appointed Portcullis Pursuivant in 1922. Having been Somerset Herald for 24 years, he was promoted to the office of Garter Principal King of Arms in 1950, the highest heraldic office in England and Wales. He served in that capacity until his resignation in 1961. As Garter, Bellew oversaw the funeral of George VI, proclaimed the late King's daughter, Elizabeth II, as Queen and took a leading role in the organisation of her Coronation in 1953. After his retirement, Bellew was Secretary of the Order of the Garter and Knight Principal of the Imperial Society of Knights Bachelor. He lived for many years at Dower House in Old Windsor, Berkshire, but later moved to Farnham and died in 1993, aged 93.
Timothy Hugh Stewart Duke, FSA is an officer of arms at the College of Arms in London.
Heraldic visitations were tours of inspection undertaken by Kings of Arms throughout England, Wales and Ireland. Their purpose was to register and regulate the coats of arms of nobility, gentry and boroughs, and to record pedigrees. They took place from 1530 to 1688, and their records provide important source material for historians and genealogists.
Ireland King of Arms was the title of an officer of arms to the King of England and Lord of Ireland from 1392 until the accession of Henry VII as King of England in 1485. A king of arms is the highest of the three levels of officers of arms, and usually enjoys heraldic jurisdiction over a geographical area. Despite the name Ireland King of Arms did not appear to exercise heraldic authority in Ireland, and indeed the connection with Ireland seems rather tenuous. The office may have been created preparatory to a subsequently aborted military expedition to Ireland. The last holder of the office, Walter Bellinger, did exercise the heraldic prerogative of a king of arms to grant armorial bearings, however two of his grants were annulled or regranted by other kings of arms as they felt he encroached on their provinces. In 1552, 70 years after the last Ireland King of Arms, the office of Ulster King of Arms was created. The holders of this office exercised control over the heraldic affairs of Ireland until the death of its last incumbent, Major Sir Neville Wilkinson, in 1941. Thereafter, heraldic affairs within what later became the Republic of Ireland were transferred to the Government of Ireland while the jurisdiction of Norroy King of Arms expanded to include Northern Ireland when the present office of Norroy and Ulster King of Arms was established in the College of Arms.
John Writhe was a long-serving English officer of arms. He was probably the son of William Writhe, who represented the borough of Cricklade in the Parliament of 1450–51, and is most remembered for being the first Garter King of Arms to preside over the College of Arms. Writhe is also notable for the contention that it was he who developed the system of heraldic cadency employed by English officers of arms to the present day.
Sir Christopher Barker was an officer of arms at the College of Arms in the City of London who rose to the highest position of Garter Principal King of Arms.
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Sir William Segar was a portrait painter and officer of arms to the court of Elizabeth I of England; he became Garter King of Arms under James I.
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The Queen has been pleased by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the Realm dated 6 April 2021, to grant unto Robert John Baptist Noel, Esquire, the Office of Norroy and Ulster King of Arms, vacant by the promotion of Timothy Hugh Stewart Duke, Esquire.