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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.
Some Masonic Grand Lodges have an office known as the Grand Pursuivant. It is the Grand Pursuivant's duty to announce all applicants for admission into the Grand Lodge by their names and Masonic titles; to take charge of the jewels and regalia of the Grand Lodge; to attend all meetings of the Grand Lodge, and to perform such other duties as may be required by the Grand Master or presiding officer. The office is also at the local Masonic lodge level in the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania. In that jurisdiction it is the Pursuivant's duty to guard the door of the lodge, and announce and escort applicants for admission into the lodge. The office is generally unknown at the local level in Masonic jurisdictions outside Pennsylvania, where these duties are performed by the Junior Deacon and Senior Deacon.
The College of Arms, also known as the College of Heralds, is a royal corporation consisting of professional officers of arms, with jurisdiction over England, Wales, Northern Ireland and New Zealand. 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.
An officer of arms is a person appointed by a sovereign or state with authority to perform one or more of the following functions:
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.
Sir Malcolm Rognvald Innes of Edingight was Lord Lyon King of Arms of Scotland from 1981 until 2001.
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.
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 of Arms is the private officer of arms of the Clan Donald in Scotland.
Bute Pursuivant of Arms was a Scottish pursuivant of arms of the Court of the Lord Lyon.
George Alexander Way of Plean, The Much Hon. Baron of Plean in the County of Stirlingshire is a Scottish Sheriff and former Procurator Fiscal of the Court of the Lord Lyon in Scotland. In November 2015 it was announced that he was to be the first Scottish Sheriff to be appointed a member of the Royal Household in Scotland as Falkland Pursuivant Extraordinary at the Court of the Lord Lyon. In December 2017 he was promoted to Carrick Pursuivant in Ordinary.
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 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.
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.
The Cambridge University Heraldic and Genealogical Society was formed as the result of the merger in 1957 of a previous Heraldic Society with the Cambridge University Society of Genealogists.
Ormond Pursuivant of Arms in Ordinary is a current Scottish pursuivant of arms in Ordinary of the Court of the Lord Lyon.
Linlithgow Pursuivant of Arms is a Scottish pursuivant of arms of the Court of the Lord Lyon.
Falkland Pursuivant of Arms is a Scottish pursuivant of arms of the Court of the Lord Lyon.
John Inglis Drever "Don" Pottinger (1919–1986) was a Scottish officer of arms, artist, illustrator and author. He is remembered for the publication, with Sir Iain Moncreiffe, of Simple Heraldry, Cheerfully Illustrated (1953).
The Scottish Gaelic word clann means children. In early times, and possibly even today, Scottish clan members believed themselves to descend from a common ancestor, the founder of the clan, after whom the clan is named. The clan chief is the representative of this founder, and represents the clan. In the Scottish clan system, a chief is greater than a chieftain (ceann-cinnidh), a designation applied to heads of branches of a clan. Scottish clans that no longer have a clan chief are referred to as armigerous clans.
In Craft Freemasonry, sometimes known as Blue Lodge Freemasonry, every Masonic Lodge elects or appoints Masonic Lodge Officers to execute the necessary functions of the lodge's life and work. The precise list of such offices may vary between the jurisdictions of different Grand Lodges, although certain factors are common to all, and others are usual in most.
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.
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