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Heraldic Times — France RSS

National Arms, part 10

GREAT SEAL OF THE USA Once the concept of sovereignty expressed in Coats of Arms had become accepted in other parts of the world it was only natural that as countries, which had been colonies, attained independence they should continue the tradition. Of course, not all Arms adopted followed traditional patterns but the intention was clear. On July 4th 1776 the British Colonies in the southern part of North America formally declared their independence. After long and fruitless discussion, the Continental Congress, on June 20th 1782 approved the design for what was to be the Great Seal of the United States of America. This was the work of many hands, but the design on the reverse of the Seal was...

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The end of medieval heraldry

One of the first European instances of Sovereigns attempting to gain control of Heraldry occurred in England in 1418, when Henry V, about to set out for France issued a writ to various sheriff’s of counties in his domain. The translation of this writ from Latin is as follows.“ Whereas as we are informed of diverse men , who on our journeys heretofore made, assumed, unto themselves arms and coats of arms called coat armour, in cases where neither they nor their ancestors in times gone by used such arms and coats of arms, and proposed to make use of them in our present journey, now, God willing, just about to be made; and although the Almighty distributes his favours...

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Castle spotlight, Château de Castelnaud, Dordogne France

On the southern side of the Dordogne River, between Domme and Beynac, Castelnaud is a magnificent castle, with splendid views across miles of rolling countryside. It is is built on a rocky outcrop and offers a splendid panorama on the Dordogne valley. The Château de Castelnaud is a medieval fortress that was erected to face its rival, the Château de Beynac. The oldest documents mentioning it date to the thirteenth century, when it figured in the Albigensian Crusade; its Cathar castellan was Bernard de Casnac. Simon de Montfort took the castle and installed a garrison; when it was retaken by Bernard, he hanged them all. During the Hundred Years War the castellans of Castelnaud owed their allegiance to the Plantagenets,...

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