From the Archives

07 October 2013

Over the years the College has received many donations of manuscripts, photographs and some artefacts from retiring College employees, Officers of Arms, or their families. These will not go on to form part of the College's official records, but are nonetheless worthy of preservation in its archives. Modern computer systems make listing and sorting these items much more straightforward, and this work is currently being undertaken as part of a larger project to address some of the issues around storing an expanding archive in a finite space. Some of the items rediscovered in the course of this work are particularly valuable for those interested in the history of the College in the early twentieth century. For more information about the archives of the College of Arms see here.


Artist's work book

Artists work bookThis page of an artist's sketch book dates to 1931 and is an excellent example of the stages through which a design progressed - the initial sketch, another with annotations giving further details to be executed, and the finished item sent to the commissioning Officer for approval. The colours in which the Indian pheasant are depicted are particularly beautiful.


Artist's account ledger

Artists accounts ledger

These accounts ledgers show the work of the College from the point of view of the artists who were commissioned to realise the designs devised by Officers of Arms for their clients. This page, from 1922, is headed with the name of the Officer commissioning the work (A G B Russell, who was created Lancaster Herald in the same year) and shows the amount charged for different types of work, and the names of clients for whom the work was intended. On this page these include HRH The Prince of Wales, the Inner Temple, the Borough of Southport, the Duchess of Albany, and Westmoreland County Council.


Silver cigarette case belonging to Keith W Murray, Caernarvon Pursuivant of Arms (1860-1922).

Cigarette caseThis silver cigarette case was presented to Keith Murray, Caernarvon Pursuivant, by Sir Alfred Scott-Gatty, Garter King of Arms, in 1910. Rather than having their names inscribed on the case, Scott-Gatty chose to use Murray's crest and motto and Garter's achievement of arms instead.

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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