011-01High Court of Chivalry: on 7 December the website of the records of the High Court of Chivalry in the years 1634-40 went live at www.court-of-chivalry.bham.ac.uk. This period was the busiest in the court's history, largely due to the popularity of actions for scandalous words likely to provoke a duel, essentially a civilian species of action for defamation brought by members of the gentry or nobility. Many of the cases relate to questions of status, including disputes over social rank and the right to arms. The case papers and the stories behind them constitute a rich source for the study of the language of status, of the long drawn-out attempt to prevent duelling, of the relationship between different branches of the law, and of early modern social, sexual and scatological insult. They also offer insights into gender relations, processes of litigation and dispute settlement, as well as a wealth of biographical detail on plaintiffs, defendants and witnesses. They have considerable genealogical potential.

Left: a statement by a notary public from the bundles of court records at the College of Arms, with the notary's mark in the form of a portrait.

The website, prepared by a Centre for Reformation and Early Modern Studies project on the Court, publishes detailed abstracts, in a fully searchable form, of all surviving material from the 738 cases of which we have information, of over 1000 cases which went before the court in the period in question; the material is held largely at the College of Arms, with some additional records at Arundel Castle. The online version of the project also represents the first stage in a College of Arms plan to create a website for the High Court of Chivalry, exploring the history of the court and introducing the legal and heraldic questions connected with it and the Law of Arms.

Work on this project has been carried out by Dr Richard Cust and Dr Andrew Hopper of the Centre for Reformation and Earl Modern Studies, University of Birmingham, with funding provided by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. A companion volume to this web site, containing an account of the court's history and summaries of the cases for this period will be published by the Harleian Society in spring 2007 as Cases in the High Court of Chivalry, 1634-1640 edited by R. P. Cust and A. J. Hopper.
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Welcome to the eleventh edition of the College of Arms Newsletter, which is produced every three months and sent automatically and free to those who subscribe by entering their name and e-mail address in our mailing list. Other benefits for those who submit their names in this way include advance notice of College of Arms events, relevant publications, and media appearances. If you wish to remove your name from this list, to send the newsletter on to someone else, or send a genealogical or heraldic enquiry to the College, please make use of the links listed at the top of this page.

opening ceremony of the Congress at St AndrewsThe opening ceremony of the Congress at St Andrews was attended by a number of officers of arms from official bodies around the world. This photograph, shows most of these officers, including Hubert Chesshyre, Clarenceux King of Arms, (far left, standing); Clive Cheesman, Rouge Dragon Pursuivant (third from right, kneeling); and Alastair Bruce, Fitzalan Pursuivant Extraordinary (third from left, kneeling). It is reproduced courtesy of the Congress website, www.congress2006.com.

Welcome to the tenth edition of the College of Arms Newsletter. This has been created to keep interested members of the public up-to-date with the activities of the College of Arms and its officers, including matters of genealogical and heraldic significance such as recent grants of arms and recently recorded pedigrees. It is produced every three months and sent automatically and free to those who subscribe by entering their name and e-mail address in our mailing list. Other benefits for those who submit their names in this way include advance notice of College of Arms events, relevant publications, and media appearances. If you wish to remove your name from this list, to send the newsletter on to a friend, or send a genealogical or heraldic enquiry to the College, please make use of the links listed at the top of this page.

South Georgia and Sandwich IslandsSouth Georgia and Sandwich Islands: the flag of this overseas territory, illustrated left, has been approved by Her Majesty and accordingly placed on record at the College of Arms, along with the flag of the commissioner of the territory. College reference: Standards 5/96, 97.

Welcome to the ninth edition of the College of Arms Newsletter. This has been created to keep interested members of the public up-to-date with the activities of the College of Arms and its officers, including matters of genealogical and heraldic significance such as recent grants of arms and recently recorded pedigrees. It is produced every three months and sent automatically and free to those who subscribe by entering their name and e-mail address in our mailing list. Other benefits for those who submit their names in this way include advance notice of College of Arms events, relevant publications, and media appearances. If you wish to remove your name from this list, to send the newsletter on to a friend, or send a genealogical or heraldic enquiry to the College, please make use of the links listed at the top of this page.

ohn Brooke-Little in his uniform as Norroy and Ulster King of ArmsLeft: John Brooke-Little in his uniform as Norroy and Ulster King of Arms in conversation with the then Earl Marshal, the 17th Duke of Norfolk, on the occasion of the College's quincentenary in 1984. See In Memoriam, below.

Welcome to the eighth edition of the College of Arms Newsletter. This has been created to keep interested members of the public up-to-date with the activities of the College of Arms and its officers, including matters of genealogical and heraldic significance such as recent grants of arms and recently recorded pedigrees. It is produced every three months and sent automatically and free to those who subscribe by entering their name and e-mail address in our mailing list. Other benefits for those who submit their names in this way include advance notice of College of Arms events, relevant publications, and media appearances. If you wish to remove your name from this list, to send the newsletter on to a friend, or send a genealogical or heraldic enquiry to the College, please make use of the links listed at the top of this page.

 

The College of Arms Newsletter is produced every three months and sent automatically and free to those who subscribe. Other benefits for those who submit their names in this way include advance notice of College of Arms events, relevant publications, and media appearances.

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