Heraldic Times — Sir William Dugdale RSS

The Heralds' Visitations part 9

In Sir William Dugdale’s Visitation of Yorkshire 1665-1666 we have a valuable indication as to the thoroughness of the Heraldic inspections, and as to the members of families who were not at home when the Heralds called. Nearly one-third of the gentry required by Dugdale to produce proof of Coats of Arms and pedigree failed even to respond. Two years after the Visitation, Dugdale issued a list of these persons, with a warning that they were not to use the arms and titles under pain of penalties from the Earl Marshal. As the editor of the Visitations justly remarked, the descendents of many of these families would have rejoiced had they then placed their pedigrees on record. In the case...

Continue reading →

The Heralds' Visitations part 8

The period of prescription is the length of time that a family could prove their right to bear a particular Coat of Arms. This period varied according to the strictness of the particular Herald, but it was rarely less than 60 years or 2 generations at the time of the Heralds’ Visitations 1530 – 1688. The most interesting point about this recognition of arms borne by prescription is that the period runs for 60 or 80 years before the time of making the claim. It might have been thought that the time should have run for 60 years before the foundation of the College of Arms in 1484, or before the commencement of the Visitations in 1530. At either of...

Continue reading →