The alphabet is one set of arbitrary symbols. The figures of heraldry are another set of arbitrary symbols. In the fourteenth century every gentleman knew one: in the twentieth century every gentleman knows the other. The first gentleman was just precisely as ignorant for not knowing that c-a-t spells "cat," as the second gentleman is for not knowing that a St. Andrew's Cross is called a cross saltire, or that vert on gules is bad heraldry. -- G.K. Chesterson
I'm an Academic Herald. I'm not a "real" herald; I don't register people's coats of arms (though I can certainly suggest designs for those who might be interested). What I do is study, research, teach, and write about heraldry. And I like to share what I have learned about heraldry, hence this blog. I hope that you'll find it informative, interesting at least occasionally, and worth your time to come back. Got a question? Comments? Feel free to let me know. I'd love to hear from you. You can find my contact information in my Profile.
This is what happens when an heraldic artist has never seen anything more than a very rough description of an heraldic beast when painting ...
Genealogical Speakers Guild
Genealogical Speakers Guild
Monday, July 27, 2015
Movie Clip of the College of Arms
As some of you may have seen already - a couple of people have posted a link on Facebook, and the most recent College of Arms newsletter also included a link -- British Movietone has posted on YouTube a six-minute clip (I didn't see a date given, but it looks like sometime in the early 1930s) entitled "The First Film Ever Taken In . . . . . . . . 'The College Of Arms.'"
With a brief introduction by A.G.B. Russell, then Lancaster Herald, the film shows (alas! just in black and white) some of the holdings of the College of Arms. Among the ones that I recognized were:
A long scroll showing the funeral procession of a noble. [Update: This is more likely the College's copy of the Great Tournament Roll of Westminster, a record made of the tournament Henry VIII held in honor of the birth of his son Arthur by his Queen, Catherine of Aragon. It was the quick view of a riderless horse in the scroll that led me to believe this was a funeral procession, but I am told that there are also a few riderless horses in the Great Tournament Roll.]
An ordinary of arms with the impaled arms of King Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon
An edition (the 1622 edition, I believe, but I can't be sure of that) of Ralph Brooke's A Catalogue and Succession of the Kings, Princes, Dukes, Marqauesses, Earles, and Viscounts of this Realme of England, since the Norman Conquest, to this present yeere
The College's copy of the original of The Armorial of Haiti, republished by the College in 2007)
A large (vellum, I assume) pedigree of Admiral Horatio Nelson (signed by Lord Nelson himself)
At just over six minutes, it's a short clip, but of interest to heralds and heraldry enthusiasts alike.