Shakespeare Documents

19 January 2018

Shakespeare 1 cropped 2 compressedShakespeare Documentary Heritage recognised by UNESCO’s International Memory of the World Programme

The UNESCO International Memory of the World programme has recognised the immense significance to world culture of the ‘Shakespeare Documents’ – the key archival sources for William Shakespeare’s biography. This material now has equivalent status in the documentary sphere as the pyramids have for the world’s built heritage.

The successful nomination was led by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in partnership with The National Archives, Worcestershire Archives and Archaeology Service, the College of Arms, the British Library and London Metropolitan Archives in the UK, and the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C, USA. Together these specialist archive and library repositories care for the precious ‘Shakespeare Documents’.

Their inclusion on the International Memory of the World register recognises the universal cultural and historical value of 90 documents relating to Shakespeare’s baptism, burial, family matters, property records, legal actions and business dealings.

Dr Lynsey Darby of the College of Arms said, “Our archives have for centuries preserved official records of grants and confirmations of coats of arms, as well as records of genealogy and state ceremonial. Among the treasures of this archive are records of the grant of arms made to William Shakespeare’s father John of Stratford upon Avon in 1596. This application for a coat of arms on his father’s behalf shows the value the playwright placed on a visible symbol of his family’s gentry status, and the importance of having this status confirmed by the heralds of the College of Arms. We are delighted that these and other vital Shakespeare documents have been granted this special recognition of their significance.”

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 An Evening with John Blanke at the College of Arms

John Blanke Project
Friday, 1 December 2017 from 18:30 to 20:30 (GMT)
London, United Kingdom

Through the imaginations of artists, poets, historians and musicians, spend an evening celebrating the life of John Blanke, the black trumpeter to the courts of Henry VII and Henry VIII. John Blanke is the first person of African descent for whom we have both an image and a record.

John Blanke’s image appears twice in the 1511 Westminster Tournament Roll in the College of Arms collection. He is noted in the courts accounts of the day as having being paid wages; other records have him successfully petitioning Henry VIII for a wage increase and receiving a gift from the king. These records are held in the National Archives at Kew.

The John Blanke Project is a work in progress which celebrates the life of John Blanke through a variety of media and art forms – writing, drawing, poetry, music, plays. There have to date been over 50 individual contributions

This Symposium is an opportunity to hear about John Blanke and how he has inspired the John Blanke artists' imaginations to make their individual contributions to the project. It will be held at the College of Arms, Queen Victoria Street, London EC4V 4BT.

Tickets for the event can be obtained here

Standard Ticket: £9.08
Concessions Over 60, students, unwaged: £5.90
Under 16s Free
Ticket price includes booking fee

 

Coll Arm Ms Coll Jern 5 p 3Nelson's Chelengk: A new book on the history of the Chelengk presented to Horatio Nelson by Sultan Selim III after the Battle of the Nile in 1798, was published in October 2017. In Nelson's Lost Jewel, the author Martyn Downer describes the story of the exotic diamond jewel: its presentation to Nelson; the admiral's embellishment of it to make it more impressive; its use among his brother’s descendants as a brooch; its sale at auction in 1895; and its theft from the National Maritime Museum in 1951. An important watercolour painting of the lost Chelengk, recently discovered at the College of Arms and illustrated left, has shed much light on the form it took in Nelson’s lifetime. A replica has been made carefully based on the College’s painting. This uses appropriate diamonds cut in the 18th century or earlier and has been put on display to the public at the National Museum of the Royal Navy at Portsmouth.

 

Chester Herald

27 September 2017

By Letters Patent under the Great Seal dated 22 September 2017, Her Majesty The Queen has been pleased to appoint Christopher John Fletcher-Vane, Esquire, (lately Portcullis Pursuivant of Arms) as Chester Herald of Arms, vacant by the promotion of Timothy Hugh Stewart Duke, Esquire, now Norroy and Ulster King of Arms, with effect from 1 July 2014. The appointment is gazetted here.

Following the attack in Barcelona on 17 August 2017, instructions have been received that all buildings of Her Majesty's Government should fly the Union Flag at half-mast today. 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.

Flags should be raised to full mast after 20:00 this evening 18 August, and before 07:00 tomorrow morning.

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

By decision of the College of Arms all proceeds arising from the sale of The Armorial of Haiti will be donated to the international effort for the relief of Haiti
after the calamitous earthquake of 12 January 2010.

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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