College of Heralds. Orders for this Office. 140

College of Heralds. Orders for this Office.

Arms and Funerals of one Bucher, a Mercer of London, a Man of small Parentage, with Helmet, Crest, Coat of Arms, Penon, and a Pall, and himself attendant in his rich Coat.

There was another Herald belonging to this College at this Time, and a Man of Note (I do not say, for his Vertues.) His Name was Brookes, or Brookesmouth, York Herald, being preferred thither from being Rougecross Pursivant, about the Year 1592. He understood neither Latin nor French, to qualify him for his Place, but having been once a Painter, he had an excellent Hand in tricking Coats of Arms, hardly to be equalled by any of the rest, as appears by a Book still remaining in the Office of his own doing, containing the Arms of the Nobility, if I rightly remember. Which curious Skill of his was, I suppose, the Reason that the Lord Burghley bare a Favour to him, and once gave his Hand for him to be preferred to be Norroy against Camden, namely, Anno 1593, when Edmund Knight, Norroy, was very sick, and Camden was nominated to the Place.

Brokesmouth York, Herald.

This Brokesmouth is best known for his presumptuous Attempt, to confute several of the Learned Camden's Genealogies of the Nobility in his Britannia. Against whom that excellent Man (an unequal Match for him) vindicated himself so fully; and shewed so plainly the Ignorance and Malice of his Antagonist, (and yet with much Gentleness and Modesty) that he was thenceforth esteemed a very ignorant Man in Heraldry, and a notorious Calumniator to all Posterity. Besides this, he was of a very scandalous and evil Life. He once brake open the Office, and took away all the Books belonging to it, and an Iron Chest, and took thence the Order and other Muniments. He was once condemned at Newgate for two Felonies, and burnt in the Hand. He was also guilty of Whoredom and Uncleanness. He was supposed to be a Procurer of perjured Persons in the Star-Chamber, detected in the Court of Requests; twice degraded; and the Queen's Coat of Arms which he wore was pulled over his Ears. And for his Ignorance of Languages and Learning, and other Misdemeanors, by the Judgment of the Earl of Leicester, and all wise Men, thought to be unfit to be an Officer of Arms, or to be permitted to come to her Majesties Presence, being a Vagabond, and not worth 3l. But after Leicester's Death he began to shew himself again; and afterwards got such Friends and Credit that he dared to oppose himself against Garter; and vexed him both in the Exchequer and Star Chamber, by slanderous Acts and Suits commenced against him, and a great many vexatious Interrogatories, chiefly taken out of Informations the said Garter had, in Conscience and Care of the Office given the Lord Treasurer concerning him. So that he was fain Ann. 1594, to beseech the said Lord to consider of his Credit and Service to the Queen for Thirty Years, trusting that he would have respect to him for his Office, Place, and Parents; and how Brookesmouth spared not Time, Means, Place or Persons to discredit him. In short, he rendred himself uneasy to all the Society, so turbulent was he in the Office, impugning all their honest Proceedings in Matters of Funerals, and other Cases of Office. Insomuch, that Sir Edward Hoby, Knt. deputed by the Lords in Commission for the Office of Earl Marshal, writ to them in this manner; "There is one Brokesmoth, now York, a wonderful lewd Fellow, untemperate, quarrelsome, and all the Office weary of him." Yet he endeavoured afterwards to obtain that Place of Norroy, with much Assurance of his own Qualifications, tho' he miss'd it.

Camden's Antagonist.

Brokesmouth's Qualities.

In the Years 1593, 1594, 1595, 1596, the Office was much neglected by reason of the great Quarrels of the Kings and Heralds among themselves as we have heard in part. The College went into ruin for want of Reparation, the Office was discontinued, and the Books of the Office embezzelled. Some of these Officers, (however Learned) were hasty and passionate, others of them debauched in their Lives, or ignorant in Languages and Heraldry. The Lord Treasurer Burghley, and Lord Howard, Lord Admiral, were commissioned by the Queen to act in the Office of Earl Marshal of England; being authorized with full Power from time to time to call before them all Officers of Arms, both Kings of Arms, Heralds, and Pursuivants; and to cause due Inquisition to be made of all manner of Arms by them given to any Person without good Warrant; or usurped and taken by any Person without the like Warrant; and upon due Examination and Tryal thereof, to revoke and disannul all such as should be so tried, unlawfully assigned or usurped. By vertue of this Commission and Authority in this decayed Estate of the Heralds College, they deputed Sir Edward Hoby, and Sir George Carew, Kts, to view the present State of the Office, and to make Statutes and Orders for the better Regulation of it for the future: Which they did, laying before them the true Intent of their first Charter, and drew up a Book for the Reformation of the Office. And September, 1596, presented it to the said two Peers, desiring them to subscribe it, that so it might be of force; which whether it was so subscribed or no by them I cannot tell. But the Exemplification of this Book would be too large here to insert.

The Commissioners for Earl Marshal, their Power.

Depute Persons to view the present State of the Office.

The Book bore this Title, "ORDERS to be observed and kept by the Kings, Heralds, and Pursuivants of Arms that now are, or hereafter shall be, and established by us, the Right Honourable Lord Burghley, Lord High Treasurer of England; Charles Lord Howard of Effingham, Lord High Admiral of England; and Henry, Baron of Hunsdon, Lord Chamberlain of her Majesties Houshold, Knights of the most Noble Order of the Garter, and deputed by Commission for the Office of Earl Marshal of England."

Orders made for the Officers.

The Dedication of these Orders (which was made to the Lord Treasurer, and the Lord Howard of Effingham) giving an Account of the Reason and Occasion of making them, I shall insert, being to this Tenor: "That whereas it had pleased their Lordships by Vertue of her Majesties Commission to their Lordships, granted for the Exercise of the Earl Marshals Office of England, to Authorise, Ordain, and Depute them, Sir Edward Hobbye, and Sir George Carewe, Kts. for the View of the present State of the Office of Arms, commonly called Darby House in London. These were to signify unto their Lordships, that according to the Instructions and Charge given in that Behalf unto them, they had oftentimes made their Repair unto the said Office; and as far forth as they might, had accomplished the same in all Points. "

The Dedication of them.

" And forasmuch as they found the Howse it self to be fawlen into great Ruine, through want of due Reparations, and habitable Use, the Office discontinued, and in as great Decay for lack of Books, and general Exercise therein, Garter and Clarentieux, at open Wars for their Livings and Profits; and the Heraults and Pursuyvants (Factions between them) daily Arresting, Suing, and Undoing one another: Their Opinions therefore were, that there could be no speedier Reformation of all their Errors and Abuses, than the re- establishment of the general Office, according to the true Extent of their Charter and Corporation, which appointed one Place, one common Seal, and mutual Consent "