College of Heralds. 141

College of Heralds.

" for all their Doings; and to be governed by the Earl Marshal, or Marshals for the time being, as had been accustomed. Out of whose Ordinances, Statutes and Decrees heretofore made, they [Sir Edmund Hobby, and Sir George Carew] had also gathered a Method, or Form of Government which they held very expedient and necessary. "

" All which, (standing with their Lordships good Likings) they humbly presented to be ratified by their present Authorities under their Hands and Seals. So that from henceforth the same might not be altered, nor frustrated. But to be recorded into the Chancery, until by Parliament it might be made an Act irrevocable, to their Lordships perpetual Memory. It was Dated Sept. 28. 1596."

The Exordium of the Book shewed some Antiquities of this Office, viz.

"First, That it appeared unto them, the Commissioners, that sundry antient Ordinances, Statutes, and Decrees had been made and established (as well by the most High and Mighty Prince Thomas of Lancaster, Duke of Clarence, &c. as by divers other Constables and Earl Marshals of England succeeding, until the time of Thomas late Duke of Norfolk) for the good Estate, Rule, and Government of the Office and Officers of Arms."

" That it was manifest also by a memorable Chapter, houlden by the Kings, Heraulds, and Pursuivants at Roan in Normandy, tempore HEN. 5. what necessary Orders were to be had and observed amongst themselves, and their Successors for ever. "

" Further, That in the time of Rich. 3. the Kings, Heraulds, Pursuyvants of Arms, were by special Charter, under the Great Seal of England, made one Body Politique in Name and Fact, and Collegiate at Coleharbor in the City of London; confirming therein Garter, principal King of Armes of English Men, and Clarencieulx, and Norroy, provincial Kings, by the Name of King of the South, and King of the North, to be continued in Succession. "

" Henry VII. and Henry VIII. confirmed and allowed their Letters Patents, and by Signatures licensed their Authorities. "

" Edward 6. amplified their Liberties and Privileges, under his Great Seal. "

" And Q. Mary re-established their Corporation in Derby House in London, as a College wherein the Kings, Heralds, and Pursuyvants should inhabit, assemble, communicate, exercise, and keep all their Books, Rolls, and Muniments, for their better Erudition, and good Estate of her Majesties Office of Armes. "

" All which being for many Years discontinued thorough great Disorders amongst themselves, and the Non-residence of late Earl Marshals, whereby many gross Absurdities and Abuses had been ingendred and committed; It was now her Majesties high Will and Pleasure, that they the said Commissioners should enquire, see into and reform all such Errors and Abuses as they found in the said Office, and Officers of Armes. And therefore had established such good Orders and Decrees, as might from henceforth by no Remove, Change or Election of any Earl Marshal, or Marshals, be revoked, altered or made void, any Ordinance, Statute, Act of Office, Charter, or Decree heretofore made to the contrary hereof notwithstanding."

And then follows the Orders. The Titles whereof are, I. The Site of the House appropriated to the College of Heralds. II. Records to be safely kept. III. Daily Attendance in the Office. IV. Prerogative and Office of Garter. V. Burials, &c. for Garter. VI. Office of Provincial Kings. VII. Burials, &c. for the provincial Kings. VIII. Arms to be given with Consent of the Earl Marshal. IX. None to trick or publish Armes to Posteritie, without privity of the Office. X. Chapters to be holden for Learning, Knowledge, and Doubts. XI. Allowance of Pursuivants. XII. Avoiding of Controversies, the Gall hitherto among them. XIII. How far Authority is yielded to the Kings Chapter. XIV. Power in Visitations. XV. Oath for Performance, and due keeping of these Statutes.

The common practice of attaining to Preferment in this Office is gradual: First a Pursuivant, then a Herald, before any arrive to the Profit and Honour of a King at Arms. A very proper and reasonable Method, that the Heralds should be taken from the Pursuivants, and the Kings out of the Number of the Heralds; and that generally by Antiquity of Standing; whereby the Hope of future Advancement might be a Spur to their Diligence in the Study of Arms; and that Kings, by long training up in that Science, might be substantially Learned, and Exercised in the History of Honour and Arms, of whom the greatest Knowledge in such Points was reasonably look'd for, so as to be the Arbitrators of those Matters, and to whom the Rest were to apply themselves for Resolution in any Difficulties or Questions thereof.

Preferments in this Office obtained gradually.

And therefore when Mr. St. George (afterward Sir Richard St. George) a Learned Man, and of great acquired Knowledge, particularly in Heraldry, was recommended to the Lords Commissioners, and petitioned for the Place of Norroy, the Heralds and Pursuivants petitioned the same Lords; shewing, "That it was contrary to all Order of the Office, nor Precedent of the like, since their first Corporation; and a great Wrong and Disgrace to them, that a Man who had never been employed in her Majesties Service one Day, should overgo so many that had spent both their Youth and Wealth in her Service, and overthrown their better Fortunes by the Hopes and Expectations of Preferment here, when it fell."

The Heralds Petition against St. George; and why?

And that this was for a long Series of Time the constant Practice, may appear to the Eye in a Table drawn out by Lant, Portcullis in the Year 1595, when himself stood for Advancement to a Heralds Place upon a Vacation, in a Petition to the Lords in Commission. By which Table may be seen the Names of all this College, from the Times of K. Edward IV. and their gradual Preferments, unto the latter End of Q. Elizabeth. It it intitled, A Catalogue of all the Officers of Arms, showing how they have risen by Degrees; "First, to be a Pursuivant Extraordinary, then a Pursuivant in Ordinary; after that an Herald; and Lastly, a King of Arms. Which Order hath been observed, as herein appeareth, since K. Edward IV. and long before, unto this Year; confirmed by many Precedents, gathered and collected by Thomas Lant, now Pursuivant of Arms by the Name of Portcullis, who humbly beseecheth your Honour to afford him such Favour, as so many have obtained for a Heralds Room, that is, or shall be next void, who hath left all other his Hopes of Preferment, to serve her most excellent Majesty. And he shall ever be bound to pray that you may long live in Happiness of great Honour."

A Series of the Heralds from 1460.

ab initio R. Edw. 4.

It may be mentioned for the Honour of the Heralds, that from some of them have sprung very Noble Families; and others have been adorned with Excellent Learning. The Right Noble Family of the Wriothesleys, Earls of Southampton, was derived from John Wrythe, or

The Heralds honourable for Nobility and Learning.