Sir David Amess MP

15 October 2021

Following the death of Sir David Amess MP, instructions have been received that HM Government Departments should lower their Union flags to half mast as soon as possible today until 2000 on Monday 18 October.

Any other UK national flags flown alongside the Union Flag when it is at half-mast should also be at half-mast. If a flag of a foreign nation is normally flown on the same stand as the Union Flag, it should be removed.

Following government advice the College of Arms has now re-opened to the public. All are welcome to visit, and see the Earl Marshal's Court, on weekdays between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Enquiries may also be made by telephone on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on (+44) 207 248 2762, by email addressed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or through the form on this website here

Woodcock Sir Thomas cropped

Sir Thomas Woodcock, KCVO, Garter King of Arms, retired from the College of Arms on 30 June 2021. He graduated from Durham University, and then read for an LLB at Cambridge, before being called to the Bar at the Inner Temple. In 1975 he joined the heraldic practice of Sir Anthony Wagner, Garter King of Arms, and was appointed Rouge Croix Pursuivant in 1978. He became Somerset Herald in 1982. In 1997 he was promoted to Norroy and Ulster King of Arms, and was appointed Garter Principal King of Arms on 1 April 2010 in succession to Sir Peter Gwynn-Jones. He was Librarian of the College of Arms until 2010, overseeing the archive and conservation departments. Sir Thomas was Genealogist of the Order of the Bath and of the Order of St John; and served as Inspector of Regimental Colours, and of RAF Badges, as well as being Advisor on Naval Heraldry to the Royal Navy from 1996 to 2021. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and has published widely on heraldic and related subjects; and he was the editor of the Dictionary of British Arms, bringing to publication decades of work by different scholars on sources for medieval heraldry. He was appointed Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order in 1996, being promoted to Commander in 2011 and Knight Commander of the Order in 2021. He has been a Deputy Lieutenant for Lancashire since 2005.

Sir Thomas Woodcock is succeeded by David Vines White, now Garter King of Arms. David White was appointed Rouge Croix Pursuivant in 1995 and was promoted to Somerset Herald in 2004. He was the Registrar of the College of Arms from 2014 to 2021. The London Gazette notice of his appointment can be seen here.

 

The Queen has been pleased by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the Realm dated 1 July 2021 to appoint David Vines White, Esquire, lately Somerset Herald, to the office of Garter Principal King of Arms, vacant by the retirement of Sir Thomas Woodcock, KCVO.

David White was appointed Rouge Croix Pursuivant in 1995 and was promoted to Somerset Herald in 2004. He was the Registrar of the College of Arms from 2014 to 2021.

His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh: it was announced on 9 April 2021 that His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, had died that day at Windsor. His Royal Highness’s funeral took place in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle on 17 April. At the close of the service Thomas Woodcock, Garter King of Arms, proclaimed as follows:

Thus it hath pleased Almighty God to take out of this transitory life unto His Divine Mercy the late Most High, Mighty and Illustrious Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich, Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Knight of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle, Member of the Order of Merit, Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order upon whom had been conferred the Royal Victorian Chain, Grand Master and Knight Grand Cross of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Lord High Admiral of the United Kingdom, One of Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council, Admiral of the Fleet, Field Marshal in the Army and Marshal of the Royal Air Force, Husband of Her Most Excellent Majesty Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, Sovereign of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, whom may God Preserve and Bless with long life, health and honour and all worldly happiness.

Phillip O’Shea, New Zealand Herald Extraordinary, proclaimed His Royal Highness’s New Zealand styles and titles at the State Memorial Service held at Wellington Cathedral of St Paul on 21 April.

 His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh KG KT OM GCVO GBE

10 June 1921 - 9 April 2021

 

 Funeral Arrangements

It has been announced by Buckingham Palace that the funeral of His Royal Highness will take place in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, at 15:00 on Saturday 17 April. For all information regarding the Funeral and associated observances please consult www.royal.uk

 

Following the death of John Magufuli, President of Tanzania, special instructions have been received that as a mark of respect, UK Government Buildings should lower their Union Flags to half-mast today Thursday 18 March 2021 until until 2000 hours this evening. 

Any other UK national flags flown alongside the Union Flag when it is at half-mast should also be at half-mast. If a flag of a foreign nation is normally flown on the same stand as the Union Flag, it should be removed.

Local authorities are not bound by this request but may wish to follow it 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. Enquiries regarding the correct protocols for the flying of Union and other flags should be addressed to the Officer in Waiting at the College of Arms in the first instance.

Register to receive up-to-date advice from the College of Arms on official flag-flying days, instructions for flying flags at half-mast, and other relevant information, here.

 You can now register to receive up-to-date advice from the College of Arms on official flag-flying days, instructions for flying flags at half-mast, and other relevant information. Please visit this page to submit your details.

St Stephens House ACB patent compressedTHE SOCIETY OF ST STEPHEN’S HOUSE: A grant of Arms, Crest and Badge was made by Letters Patent of Garter, Clarenceux and Norroy and Ulster Kings of Arms dated 2 November 2020. The Letters Patent recite briefly this institution's history, founded in Oxford in 1876, and now a Permanent Private Hall of the University of Oxford. The blazon is as follows:

Arms: Per chevron Gules and Sable in chief two Cross Crosslets and in base a Celestial Crown Or.

Crest: Upon a Helm with a Wreath Or and Gules An Eagle rising wings displayed and inverted Or supporting with the dexter wing a Candlestick Gules therein a candle Argent enflamed proper.

Badge: A Cross crosslet Or surmounted by a Closed Book Gules leaved Argent and charged with a Key wards upwards Or.

Vincent 444College of Arms Ms Vincent 444: Nicholas Upton (died 1457) wrote a highly-regarded treatise on heraldry, knighthood and the art of war known as Libellus de Officio Militari. A copy of this, known as the Baddesworth version, was compiled in 1458. This College of Arms manuscript consists of a fine copy of the Baddesworth version, created by Robert Glover, Somerset Herald, in 1572. It subsequently belonged to Augustine Vincent, Windsor Herald (died 1626), and came with many other manuscripts collected and created by him, to the College of Arms, courtesy of a bequest by Ralph Sheldon of Beoley in Worcestershire.

This opening relates to an idealised account of the ceremony by which a knight was created; with copies of medieval illuminations showing the investiture with a collar, and with spurs. Coll Arm Ms Vincent 444 pp. 170-171.

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