Talk:College of Arms

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Good articleCollege of Arms has been listed as one of the History good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Article milestones
February 11, 2012Good article nomineeListed
Did You Know
A fact from this article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "Did you know?" column on February 2, 2012.
The text of the entry was: Did you know ... that the College of Arms was reincorporated by Queen Mary I on 18 July 1555, although its officers of arms had proclaimed her rival Lady Jane Grey as rightful queen two years earlier?

Name Change[edit]

I think the law surrounding change of name is a bit more complicated: IIRC one may change one's name (given names, surname) at will, and deed poll is merely a way of giving evidence of the fact. But if one has a Christian name, that is a lot harder to change I think. —Ashley Y 03:06, Feb 1, 2004 (UTC)

"Currently only the United Kingdom... have heraldic authorities" -- but the UK as such doesn't (England-and-Wales do, and Scotland does, but there's no overall UK authority), so this sentence might be better recast. (Oh, and this is perhaps picky, but ₤ is the lira sign; £ is the pound sign.) Marnanel 21:06, 21 Feb 2004 (UTC)

The paragraph beginning "Arms are inherited ..." seems like it has more to do with heraldry than the College. Is it here because it is a specific feature of English heraldry, and the manner in which the college grants the use of arms? PRB 12:58, 26 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Inheritance of arms varies between heraldic jurisdictions so, yes, this description fits well into an article concerned only with English heraldry as administered by the College of Arms in London. Chelseaboy 09:56, 31 August 2005 (UTC)

I removed the link to quartering because it was being redirected to Drawing and quartering, which I know is wrong. If someone who knows something about quartering arms wanted to add a page and/or a disambiguation, and then make this a link again, that would be helpful. mjscud 14:33, August 17, 2005 (UTC)

Quarter (heraldry) redirects to division of the field. -- ALoan (Talk) 16:07, 17 August 2005 (UTC)
I've now created a new page on Quartering (heraldry) and a disambiguation page for Quartering directing to Drawing and quartering and to Quartering (heraldry). Chelseaboy 09:56, 31 August 2005 (UTC)

The payment scheme of the heraldic officers is ambiguous: Are the sums mentioned paid per day of work, a week, a month or a year? I know it sounds like a silly question at first, but since it _is_ mentioned that the payment is only nominal, one is left to wonder. (ie, is it per day, or is a leftover from somewhere in the 15th century, and is the salary for a longer stretch of time) --GNiko 02:27, 20 August 2005 (UTC)

The payments are annual and I have edited to make this explicit. Chelseaboy 09:56, 31 August 2005 (UTC)

It might be a good idea to include more details on applying for a coat of arms. The petitioner (in England and Wales; this procedure doesn't apply in Scotland) must submit a "memorial" (written petition) to His Grace the Duke of Norfolk, the Earl Marshal (although, as the article says, it's the heralds who actually make the decision). You also have to include a CV. I believe the current fees for a patent of arms are around £3,000 (UK money), although this might be out of date. Walton monarchist89 13:02, 27 February 2006 (UTC)

John Brooke-Little[edit]

Hey...I've added the John Brooke-Little article to the list for peer review. Any of you contributors are welcome to make additions to the discussions.--Evadb 10:15, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

Law of Arms[edit]

This article needs to be connected to the article for the Law of Arms, and vice versa. — Hex (❝?!❞) 19:18, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Done. talkGiler 15:35, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

lead image size[edit]

Hi. As far as I'm aware, there isn't any system of user-defined 'small', 'medium', and 'large' images. So all user-sized images will be the same size (default is 180 pixels). But not all images are appropriate to view at the same size; the college of arms façade image, for example, really needs a much larger size to be coherent than Lant's Roll image does. (And the default 180-pixel width is clearly not enough.) So I can't think of any solution other than forcing a 250-pixel width. And WP:MOS#Images does in fact make allowance for this reality. This is one of those cases where forcing a certain width is appropriate. Doops | talk 15:46, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

I have a couple of higher res pictures if you want to check them out Merlin-UK (talk) 03:07, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

£14 / annum??[edit]

£14 / annum for the King of Heralds? Not likely! No-one can live on £14 per year. Is this true? Jake the Editor Man (talk) 18:24, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

Er, no indeed. Garter King of Arms gets a magnificent £49.07, the two provincial Kings of Arms a slightly less exuberant £20.25. Still not much, I know... But they supplement their incomes by charging professional fees for private practice work. talkGiler 15:30, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
I believe £14 is actually only the government payment of their wages; in addition the College pays them from the £3950 or more it charges, and private work (particularly family trees) in which the College is involved. - Jarry1250 (t, c) 18:01, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

Delhi Herald of Arms Extraordinary...[edit]

Hi—I was about to add this office to the list of Heralds Extraordinary, when I noticed that it wasn't in the box at the foot of the article either. For further information see William Peyton and Delhi Durbar. Interestingly, it gets no other Ghits. May I be bold, or is this for others to do? I'm a bit unsure about changing the template box at the bottom of the article... Thanks. talkGiler 14:09, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

I think that it would be best to wait until a stub has been written to add the title to the box. I mentioned a Coat of Arms article on Peyton's talk page which I recall having a lot of information about the office and the use of heraldry at the Durbar. I can try getting a start on it this week and then add it to the template.--Eva bd 15:04, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
Good idea. I've written a stub here; it's not much, but it's a start! talkGiler 16:15, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
Added!--Eva bd 16:58, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Mowbray Herald of Arms Extraordinary...[edit]

While we're at it, can we add Mowbray too? Thoughts? talkGiler 14:14, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

I'd say the same as for Delhi. Wait till we get a stub,then add it to the nav template.--Eva bd 15:06, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
Added!--Eva bd 16:59, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Coat of arms of the College[edit]

Is there any specific reason why the coat of arms of the College itself doesn't exist in SVG, but the arms of all its officers do? Legally, as far as I know, it should have the same status, i.e. we should be able to do it. I will check with the people who vectorise arms. --B. Jankuloski (talk) 02:15, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Coat of Arms[edit]

Hi...recently, this edit of mine was reverted without explanation. Wouldn't it be better to include an actual artistic rendering from the College than a computerised rendering of the same?-- (talk) 08:45, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

I think it is new policy that svg files are preferred, as there is no blurring when you change sizes. Tinynanorobots (talk) 04:21, 10 September 2011 (UTC)

New See also links[edit]

I've taken the liberty to add two new links to the See also section, linking to articles on two affiliated societies.

I hope these will stay, but please feel free to raise any doubts here.

In the interest of full disclosure -- I am a member of the White Lion Society, but the reason I added the links here was that the WLS article is marked as orphaned and I wanted to remove that tag.

We could also add links to articles on similar heraldic institutions in other countries. Suggestions? --TOR (talk) 10:38, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

Complete new rewrite as of 27th January 2012[edit]

As of today (27 January 2012), I have put out a complete rewrite of the article. This section is for any comments regarding this overhaul. Best Regards Sodacan (talk) 19:22, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

3 'citation needed' reference template was placed earlier, I have taken them out and will support them with sources here:
  • "King Richard III was said[by whom?] to be greatly interested in heraldry" (Wagner, Heralds of England: A History of the Office and College of Arms, p.130): "Richard Duke of Gloucester, the King's brother, had been Constable of England since 1469 and in that capacity supervised the heralds and is said, as we have seen, to have made regulations for their reformation. His interest in heraldry is further indicated by his ownership of two important Rolls of Arms, recorded by Sir Thomas Wriothesley."
  • "There has been some evidence[citation needed] that prior to this charter, the royal heralds had already met as a chapter.[citation needed]" (Fox-Davies, The right to bear arms, p.88 & 89): "[the charter] certainly does erect the Officers of Arms into a corporate body, and if nothing else can be found, is in itself of full and ample extent for that end ; but, I believe, it really is principally as an actual matter of fact, no more than the grant of the messuage in Coldharbour ; and the fact that it contains a clause erecting the Officers of Arms into a close corporation, is by no means proof that they were not at that date already a corporate body ; for a supplementary charter, or a charter of confirmation, at that date, nearly always regranted everything that existed before. My own opinion is that the Officers of Arms must have been a corporate body at a much earlier date, for I am given to understand that there are records at the College of Arms as far back as the reign of Richard II."
Anymore? Sodacan (talk) 10:10, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
References belong in the article. Removing tags without actually addressing them is, as I am sure you are well aware, not acceptable. In addition, that Fox-Davies quote does not support the assertion that there is evidence the College met prior to incorporation. In fact, the ref says the exact opposite; it is opinion, only. → ROUX  15:39, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
I am sorry about removing them, I know it was not acceptable, but I did it anyway. The Fox-Davies quote is opinion, but it does say that in his opinion the Officers of Arms have records as far back as Richard II. This is evidence of that they have acted as a body before the charter of 1484. If this was rephrase will it be acceptable? or will complete deletion be the only answer? Sodacan (talk) 15:48, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Opinion is not evidence. Do you have a reference with evidence? → ROUX  15:55, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Hold on, just got this: "From 1420 the Royal heralds had a common seal and acted in some ways like a corporation. In 1484 they were granted a charter of incorporation by Richard III, and given a house in Coldharbour in Upper Thames Street, London to keep their records in.". Much more precise, with a date, replace the source or add to it? Sodacan (talk) 15:59, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
That is evidence, but not particularly solid. Are there any sources other than the College which state this? → ROUX  16:17, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes, just found it in Wagner, it is rather long to transcribe down, in the book from page 68-69, Wagner writes that there is a document from 1420 which has resolutions to the governing of the office of arms and its members. Later he talks about the officers holding chapters, the first definitive record being in 1474. Should all this info be added or just an addition of refs? Sodacan (talk) 16:23, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
"The authenticity of another heraldic document of Henry V's reign is, however, unquestioned, the resolutions of a chapter of the King of Arms and Heralds of the King of England held at Rouen on the 5th of January 1420. They exist in a French and an English text, and the heading of more than one copy of the French text states that it was written on the 18th of December 1467 in London, at the request of Walter Bellengier, a native of Dieppe and King of Arms of Ireland, who had then been an officer of arms fifty five years and more, by his servant Jehan Pelhisser, scholar of the University of Paris. There were present at the chapter Garter, Clarenceux and Ireland Kings and Leopard, Clarence, Exeter and Moubray Herald; Exeter being also Marshal of Arms of the Norreys and perhaps representing the absent King of Arms of the northern province. The resolutions were to govern the office of arms and its members, and the first is to the effect that they should be fairly written out, sealed with the common seal of the office and sworn to and sealed with his own seal by each of its members. [...] These clauses are of great interest as representing a voluntary act of incorporation of the office, and the next clauses confirm it by providing that officers thereafter appointed shall not share in partitions of largess of fees unless they first take an oathof obedience to the constitutions." (Anthony Wagner, Heralds of England p.68-69) Sodacan (talk) 16:49, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
I removed it again, but have now replaced it with the refs from: Anthony Wagner and the College Website. Now can we remove the other two tags before that? Sodacan (talk) 16:33, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

an heraldic /hereditary[edit]

Someone who doesn't understand or use British English is editwarring to remove perfectly correct grammar from this article. See here for example; 'an heraldic' and 'an hereditary' are perfectly correct British English, the subject of the article is British, and thus per WP:ENGVAR should not be changed.

Unless you have an actual source stating that 'an hereditary' is incorrect, STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING. For God's sake, if you don't speak the language you shouldn't be editing. → ROUX  20:33, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

Unlike you, I both understand it and use it. For a reputable source that contradicts your archaic usage of "an" see the New Oxford Dictionary of English (1999). George Ponderevo (talk) 21:11, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
As I said on your talkpage, that source states there is a divergence of opinion. Apparently you don't understand what those words mean. And the link I provided uses an equally reputable source, also from 1999. Again, have you got evidence that the usage is definitively incorrect? We both know you don't, I just want you to admit it. → ROUX  21:14, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
The rule is quite clear: if the initial "h" is silent, as in "hour", then "an" is correct; if it isn't, then "a" is correct. So, how do you pronounce "hereditary" As "ereditary"? I somewhat doubt it. George Ponderevo (talk) 21:25, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
Still waiting for evidence stating that it is definitively incorrect, as opposed to a 'divergence of opinion.' You will understand, I trust, that I won't be holding my breath waiting. Don't bother replying unless and until you have such evidence. → ROUX  21:30, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
As I've already said several times, the rule is quite clear, and depends on how the word "hereditary" is actually pronounced. Your "an hereditary" would only be correct if the initial "h" is silent, which it isn't. Here's another explanation for you. George Ponderevo (talk) 21:40, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
Blah, blah, blah. You clearly don't understand elision of initial consonants, but whatever; I have learned over my years here that it is more than pointless to expect people to bother understanding anything before they throw in their ill-informed opinion, particularly when it's Americans having less than no clue about non-American variants of English. → ROUX  21:42, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
You make far too many assumptions for your own good Roux. I am not an American for one, and your position on the correct use of the indefinite article is unsupported by even the tiniest shred of logic and no modern authority. George Ponderevo (talk) 21:47, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
Here are a few more authorities on the matter, in addition to the two already provided:
  • The Daily Telegraph Style Guide: "a/an: an hour, heir; a hotel, historian (if the H is pronounced, use A)".
  • Purdue Online Writing Lab: "use 'an' before unsounded "h'. Because the 'h' hasn't any phonetic representation and has no audible sound, the sound that follows the article is a vowel; consequently, 'an' is used."
  • Fowler's Modern English Usage, page 1: "'A' is used before all consonants except silent h (a history, an hour); an was formerly usual before an unaccented syllable beginning with h ... an hotel, an hereditary title ... But now that the h in such words is pronounced the distinction has become anamolous and will no doubt disappear in time."
  • The Guardian and Observer Style Guide: "Use an before a silent H: an heir, an hour, an honest politician, an honorary consul; use a before an aspirated H: a hero, a hotel, a historian".
I have now provided six reliable sources all saying the same thing, one of which specifically says that "an hereditary" is anomalous, whereas Roux has produced none in support of his position. Consequently I do not expect him to continue edit-warring to maintain his archaic verion of "an hereditary". George Ponderevo (talk) 00:23, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:College of Arms/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Tim riley (talk · contribs) 18:32, 9 February 2012 (UTC) Beginning critical read-through. A few typos corrected on first read-through, which please check. More soonest. Tim riley (talk) 18:32, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for taking this on! Sodacan (talk) 10:45, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
If there is any issue concerning the citations or the sources (anything content-wise) please let me know I have all the texts with me and is more than willing to help. I won't comment on the issue below just yet, as my position concerning it should be obvious :) Thanks again, Sodacan (talk) 14:42, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
Request for a second opinion

This article is, IMO, impeccable in its content, and is well written, but it is enormously long. The WP guidelines (Wikipedia:Article size#A rule of thumb) say that articles with prose more than 100KB in size "almost certainly need to be divided"; this article passes that limit. The GA criteria don't, as far as I can see, say that extreme length is a bar to promotion. If it were up at FAC I have no doubt whatever that there would be calls for the history and function sections to be hived off into separate articles with a shorter summary on the main page (as has been done for later sections of the present article). But does its length disqualify it for GA? I hope not, as it is a magnificent piece of work. Advice earnestly sought. Tim riley (talk) 13:34, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

  • Second opinion: As far as I know there are no special rules applying to the lengths of GAs or FAs; the length recommendations in MOS apply to all articles. This article's size is 105kb and the wordcount is 9178; large but not by any means unprecedented; Michael Jackson runs to 208kb and 13496 words, Nikita Khrushchev is 124kb and 13974. Yes, these are FAs, but Jacko had 9300 words when it was GA. So I would not classify College of Arms as "extreme" length. I do wonder, if it is "a magnificent piece of work" (which I have no reason to doubt), whether GAN is its best destination, or whether a peer review followed by FAC would be more appropriate? That, of course, is the nominator's decision. Brianboulton (talk) 18:53, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
    • Many thanks to Brianboulton for that. I am much relieved. I shall give the article a last read-through tomorrow, before observing the GA promotion formalities. Tim riley (talk) 19:00, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

Overall summary[edit]

GA review – see WP:WIAGA for criteria

A most interesting, and certainly comprehensive article.

  1. Is it reasonably well written?
    A. Prose quality:
I wondered about "hefty" for the sentence of the chap in the pillory, but that's of no consequence.
  1. B. MoS compliance for lead, layout, words to watch, fiction, and lists:
  2. Is it factually accurate and verifiable?
    A. References to sources:
    Well referenced.
    B. Citation of reliable sources where necessary:
    Well referenced.
    C. No original research:
  3. Is it broad in its coverage?
    A. Major aspects:
    B. Focused:
  4. Is it neutral?
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. Is it stable?
    No edit wars, etc:
  6. Does it contain images to illustrate the topic?
    A. Images are copyright tagged, and non-free images have fair use rationales:
    Well illustrated.
I was surprised that the cigarette card from the 1930s is in the public domain, but no doubt those who run Commons know what they're doing.
  1. B. Images are provided where possible and appropriate, with suitable captions:
    Well illustrated.
  2. Overall:
    Pass or Fail:

The research that has gone into this article is formidable, and I congratulate the nominator most warmly. I echo Brianboulton's point, above, that there seems every reason to consider following the FAC route at some point. – Tim riley (talk) 10:35, 11 February 2012 (UTC)


Thoughts on whether a Milhist tag is appropriate here? If it were just an article on the College today, I'd say no ... but the history seems inseparable from military history. - Dank (push to talk) 23:15, 24 June 2012 (UTC)

Military history? that shouldn't really be there. The College lost its military role in the 15th century and afterwards it was only concerned with tournaments (and as a result; heraldry) and royalty/nobility. At best their earlier job was as diplomats and messengers, not particularly martial. Sodacan (talk) 23:26, 24 June 2012 (UTC)

"Denigration" and magnificence[edit]

Not sure exactly what you mean here, but certainly nobody was saying bad things about the heralds. Awien (talk) 12:58, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

Changed to "Fall and rise". Feel free to improve . . . Awien (talk) 14:08, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

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How many people (roughly) work at the College? Just wondered ... PhilUK (talk) 21:17, 20 February 2019 (UTC)