JOB DESCRIPTION AND ADVERTISEMENT

PROBATIONARY OFFICER OF ARMS

Organisation

The College of Arms is the official heraldic authority for England, Wales, Northern Ireland and most of the Commonwealth realms. It is responsible for the granting of new coats of arms and the recording of pedigrees. The College also maintains official registers of arms and pedigrees. The officers of arms, in addition to their ceremonial duties, advise on matters relating to dignities, honours, precedence and official symbols, and undertake genealogical, historical and other research.

The College consists of up to thirteen officers of arms, also known as heralds, individually appointed by the Crown on the recommendation of the Earl Marshal.

Brief description

The College of Arms is seeking to recruit a new probationary officer of arms with military experience subject to a twelve-month training period. This role would suit someone with a genuine interest in British and Commonwealth history. The successful candidate will learn how to deal with heraldic and genealogical enquiries arising from members of the public and various organisations, how to process applications for new grants of arms and about other work undertaken by the College. Upon completion of this training period, the candidate will be assessed with a view to formal appointment as an officer of arms. If appointed, he or she will run an independent heraldic and genealogical practice within the College generating his or her own income.

Detailed description

The successful candidate will work, until appointment, for a number of officers of arms and learn about the following types of work:

  • Professional work undertaken by the officers of arms such as dealing with heraldic and genealogical enquiries from members of the public and organisations, processing applications for new grants of arms, undertaking genealogical, historical and other research, and establishing rights to arms and the descent of dignities by inheritance
  • Work undertaken for the College such as cataloguing various collections of manuscript and printed volumes and updating registers and pictorial indexes for research purposes
  • Official work undertaken by the officers of arms on behalf of the Royal Household and the Government.

The candidate will work under the supervision of an officer of arms and be subject to periodic performance reviews.

Upon satisfactory completion of his or her training period, the candidate will be formally assessed with a view to being recommended to the Earl Marshal for formal appointment as an officer of arms. If appointed, he or she will run an independent heraldic and genealogical practice within the College generating his or her own income. In the early years after appointment, he or she will need an additional source of income to supplement his or her remuneration as an officer of arms.

Requirements

The role would suit a candidate with military experience, excellent research and communication skills and with a strong interest in heraldic and genealogical matters.

Essential

  • Good university degree
  • Excellent analytical and drafting skills
  • First-rate communication skills (oral and written) and approachability
  • Enthusiasm, adaptability and ability to learn quickly
  • Professionalism, proactive nature and ability to work independently with minimal supervision
  • Ability to deal directly with members of the public
  • Ability to establish a wide network of contacts.

Highly desirable

  • Military experience as a commissioned officer
  • Knowledge and experience of heraldry and genealogy
  • Knowledge of British and Commonwealth history, languages and legal matters

Remuneration

This is a full-time role based at the College of Arms. The work will be remunerated at a rate of £16.00 per hour (equivalent to approximately £30,000 per year).

Applications

Applicants must send a covering letter of no more than two pages in length explaining how he or she meets the requirements of the role and a CV to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The application period is from 10 September to 8 November and interviews will take place on 2, 3 and 4 December 2019. Shortlisted candidates will be asked to provide the names and contact details of two referees and to submit a recent short piece of written work on any subject.

The successful candidate must have permission to work in the UK by the start of their employment. 

Moon J F compressedA grant of Arms and Crest was made to Jonathan Frederick MOON of High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, by Letters Patent of Garter and Clarenceux Kings of Arms dated 29 April 2019. College reference: Grants 182/77. The blazon reads as follows:

Arms:  Azure on a Pall reversed between in chief on the dexter an Increscent and on the sinister a Decrescent Or a Quill palewise Gules.

Crest: Upon a Helm with a Wreath Or and Azure a demi Chinese Dragon Gules holding between the forefeet a Fleur de Lys Or. 

Windsor Herald

13 July 2019

By Letters Patent under the Great Seal dated 5 July 2019, Her Majesty The Queen has been pleased to appoint John Michael Allen-Petrie, Rouge Croix Pursuivant of Arms, to the Office of Windsor Herald of Arms, vacant by the retirement of William George Hunt, Esquire, T.D.

HRH Prince Charles was created Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester by Letters Patent dated 26 July 1958. Building on the ancient tradition of bestowing this title on the eldest son and heir apparent of the Sovereign, and following the precedent set by the future Edward VIII, who was formally recognised or invested as Prince of Wales at a ceremony at Caernarfon Castle in 1911, it was decided that Prince Charles should be formally invested in a ceremony there. He would be invested by The Queen with the sword, coronet, ring, rod and mantle, whilst the Letters Patent of his creation were read in Welsh; and would then take his oath as Her Majesty’s liege man.

The Investiture of the Prince of Wales took place at Caernarfon Castle on 1 July 1969. Some footage of the ceremony may be seen here.  The ceremony was arranged by the Earl Marshal, Duke of Norfolk, with the Officers of Arms acting as his staff officers. What follows is an exhibition of some of the records of this work, which are held in the archives of the College of Arms.

1Personal flag granted to the Prince of Wales to be used in Wales. Granted by Royal Warrant, 21 May 1968. College of Arms Ms I. 83 p. 161 

Her Majesty's Government has instructed that to mark Armed Forces Week, Government buildings are encouraged to fly the Armed Forces Flag from Monday 24 June until Saturday 29 June 2016 inclusive. If flying alongside a national flag, the national flag should be in the senior position.

All Whitehall Government Buildings are also encouraged to fly the Rainbow Flag from Monday 1 July until Saturday 6 July inclusive to mark London Pride. If flying alongside a national flag, please ensure the national flag is in the senior position.

Local authorities are not bound by these instructions but may wish to follow them for guidance. Devolved administrations are responsible for issuing instructions for the flying of the Union Flag on buildings in their estate and others as necessary.

For information about Armed Forces Day flags and issues relating to the flying of flags more generally, please contact the Officer in Waiting at the College of Arms.

By Letters Patent under the Great Seal dated 13 June 2019, Her Majesty The Queen has been pleased to appoint Mark John Rosborough Scott to the office of Bluemantle Pursuivant of Arms, vacant since the promotion of Michael Peter Desmond O'Donoghue to the office of York Herald in 2012.

Mark Scott was born in Yorkshire in 1990 and educated at Leeds Grammar School and the University of Oxford, where he read Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Mansfield College and received the degree of Master of Arts.

By Letters Patent under the Great Seal dated 12 June 2019, Her Majesty The Queen has been pleased to appoint Adam Simon Tuck to the office of Rouge Dragon Pursuivant of Arms, vacant since the promotion of Clive Edwin Alexander Cheesman to the office of Richmond Herald in 2010.

Adam Tuck received his first degree, of Master of Arts in History, from the University of Cambridge (Corpus Christi College); and his second degree, of Master of Arts in Graphic Design, from the University of the Arts London (London College of Communication). Outside his heraldic work he has been a graphic designer for over ten years, including working as the in-house designer at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA).

Royal Arms I51.131 compressedThe Royal Arms: Queen Victoria was born 200 years ago, on 24 May 1819, and came to the throne on 20 June 1837, on the death of William IV. The German possessions of the Crown passed to her uncle Ernest Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, who became King of Hanover. At a meeting of the Privy Council held on 21 July 1837 it was ordered that the Earl Marshal should appoint proper persons to attend a committee of the Council, who were to settle what alterations might be necessary to the Royal Arms as far as Hanover was concerned. The Earl Marshal appointed Sir William Woods, Clarenceux King of Arms, then acting as Deputy Garter, as well as Joseph Hawker, Richmond Herald and Charles Young, York Herald. A further meeting of the Privy Council held on 26 July received the report of the committee, which stated that the Officers of Arms had advised changes to the Royal Arms whereby the escutcheon representing the German possessions should be omitted. An illustration of the design is shown left, taken from the official records of the College of Arms. This was approved by Queen Victoria and a Royal Proclamation then issued dated 26 July 1837 setting out the new Royal Arms. The Royal Arms are still used in this form today. College reference: I.51/127.

Sir Henry Farnham Burke

25 February 2019

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the appointment of Sir Henry Farnham Burke, KCVO, CB, FSA, as Garter King of Arms. Son of Sir Bernard Burke, Ulster King of Arms, and grandson of John Burke, the founder of Burke’s Peerage, Sir Henry inherited the family enthusiasm for genealogy but brought to it a discernment it is said his father lacked. He built up a very large practice and at his death bequeathed to the College of Arms 184 volumes of material relating to his genealogical research cases. Born in 1859, Henry Farnham Burke was appointed to the College of Arms as Rouge Croix Pursuivant in 1880. He was promoted to Somerset Herald in 1887. He became Norroy King of Arms in 1911 and Garter Principal King of Arms by Patent dated 22 January 1919. He died in 1930. In Heralds of England (1967) Sir Anthony Wagner wrote that Burke “had studied all the branches of his profession and was thorough in all he undertook. His character was forcible and his energy and acumen brought him great professional success.”

Burke Sir Henry Farnham 72dpiPortrait of Sir Henry Farnham Burke

Acc 2018 01 pt 2 title pageThis beautiful pedigree book of the de Trafford family contains the genealogy traced by Farnham Burke in 1890 as Somerset Herald, the position he held from 1887 to 1911.

Acc 2018 01 pt 2 achievement comp

College of Arms Ms Acc 2018/1 pt 2

Burke’s working papers were bound into very thick volumes with the title of the office he held at the time stamped onto the spine. This is an example of a volume created when he was Somerset Herald, showing pages containing a draft pedigree, the blazon of his client’s arms, and a questionnaire filled out by the client with information about his own and the immediately preceding generations. Other material gathered might include correspondence, copies of certificates, notes from parish registers, and the occasional photograph. The different sizes of the papers bound, combined with the thickness of the volumes, makes them awkward to handle.

Somerset 93 compCollege of Arms Ms H. F. Burke Collection 93

 

One of the College’s treasures is the mediaeval volume of painted coats of arms known as ‘Jenyns’ Ordinary’ (after one of its 16th-century owners, William Jenyns, Lancaster Herald). The volume was created in c. 1380 and contains 1,611 coats, mostly shields, but also some banners. This volume is thought to have been purchased by Burke in c. 1880 – 1890 for £4 from a bookseller near the British Museum, and was presented by him to the College during his lifetime.

Jenyns Ordinary f. 3v comp

William Jenyns Ordinary f. 19r compCollege of Arms Ms Jenyns’ Ordinary ff. 3v. and 19r.

 

Sir Henry Farnham Burke’s practice is thought to be the largest the College had ever had, at the time and possibly since. Besides his genealogical work, this of course including designing arms for new armigers, such as the ‘canting’ arms shown below, granted to Sir Jesse Boot in December 1909.

Grants 79 Boot compCollege of Arms Ms Grants 79 p. 162

The image below shows a detail of a pedigree from the College records shows the ancestry of Edmund Beachamp Tucker, subsequently Edmund Beauchamp Beauchamp, who took the surname and Arms of Beauchamp alone by Royal Licence dated 19 June 1905. Burke conducted much of the genealogical investigations himself and directed others in their searches in regional repositories. His collections of Tucker material from Devon are now of considerable value as many of the originals were destroyed during the Second World War.

Norfolk 23.118College of Arms Ms Norfolk 23/118

The Arms of Beauchamp were therefore exemplified to Edmund Beauchamp Beauchamp by Letters Patent of the Kings of Arms dated 19 August 1905.

Grants 75.213College of Arms Ms Grants 75/213

 

Sir Henry Farnham Burke took an active part in the arrangements for the Coronation of King George V and Queen Mary in June 1911. This page from the Order of Service for the ceremony shows him standing in for Clarenceux King of Arms, George Edward Cokayne (author of The Complete Peerage and The Complete Baronetage) who was seriously ill and died two months later. On his death, William Henry Weldon, Norroy King of Arms, became Clarenceux, and Burke was promoted to become Norroy King of Arms.

Coronation George V vol 5 compCollege of Arms Ms Coronation of King George V, vol 5

In this letter to Lord Edmund Talbot, Deputy Earl Marshal during the minority of the hereditary Earl Marshal, a representative of the Lord Chamberlain’s Office outlines arrangements for Henry Farnham Burke to receive his insignia of Office as Garter King of Arms. Farnham Burke, who was also knighted in 1919, held the position until his death in 1930, although his duties were exercised by a deputy during the illness of the last few months of his life.

Acc 2019 01 pt 1 file 3 HFBCollege of Arms Ms Acc 2019/1 pt 1

Coll Arm Ms I38.197 compressedSir Harford Jones and the Arms of Persia: During the Napoleonic Wars both Britain and France competed to form an alliance with the Persian Empire. The records of the College of Arms contain a transcript of a letter sent to the Foreign Secretary, George Canning, from Sir Harford Jones, British Minister at the Persian Court, dated 29th March 1809 at Tehran, which recounts an unusual series of diplomatic manoeuvres resulting in an unique heraldic honour. Jones recounts how at the behest of the French Ambassador, the Persian Emperor created the Order of the Lion and the Sun, an order of chivalry on the model of those which existed in Europe, and awarded it to several French dignitaries, including the famous diplomat Talleyrand.

The Emperor then offered the order to Sir Harford, but on the grounds of its instigation by and award to Napoleon’s representatives, he viewed himself as unable to accept it. The Emperor expressed disappointment, and in order to mitigate the situation, Jones offered to accept any other honour that His Majesty could give, and therefore received a patent granting him the right to use the Imperial Arms of Persia, with Supporters and surmounted by the Imperial Crown on a cushion. The letter concludes by stating that Jones would await his Sovereign’s command as to whether to actually make use of this unique honour, and precisely a year later on the 29th March 1810, George III issued a warrant to the Earl Marshal giving such permission and directing it to be recorded at the College of Arms. While the text of the Persian patent does not specify any limitations on how Sir Harford used the Imperial Arms, as recorded at the College of Arms they were added as a chief to his personal arms of Argent a Chevron Sable between three Ravens in the Centre Chief point the Star of the Imperial Ottoman Order of the Crescent proper, and the Imperial Crown on a cushion used as a second crest. College Reference: I.38/193; illustration of patent I.38/197.

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