A ruling by the Kings of Arms enrolled at the College of Arms, which permits the heads of the governing bodies of corporate bodies and other organizations to impale the organization's coat of arms with their own arms, during their term of office. This ruling does not imply permission for individuals to use the crest or supporters of the body of which they are head.

Whereas the marshalling of Arms by impalement is of ancient incidence and has been of frequent occurrence not only in respect of the Armorial Bearings of husband and wife but also as regards the personal Arms of a Bishop and the Arms of his Diocese and the like usage has been considered appropriate generally to be adopted by others being holders of office as particularly was provided when a Grant of Armorial Bearings was made to the Norwich Union Life Assurance Society by Patent bearing date the 14th day of April 1938 whereby the Arms of the said Society were authorized to be borne and used by the President of the said Society and by his successors impaled with his or their family Arms during his or their terms of office and in extension of such usage it was further decided at a Chapter of the Kings of Arms, Heralds and Pursuivants of Arms held on the 8th day of October 1947 in the case of a Mayor of a Borough or a Lord Mayor of a City that a Mayor being a lady might impale her marital Arms with those of the corporation of which she was head And Whereas having regard to the said examples of ancient and modern practice in the marshalling of Arms by impalement and to the greater number and the more varied nature of corporations as also other bodies not being corporate that are entitled to bear and use Arms at present than existed in the past it is deemed expedient that certain principles of marshalling as are of application in such respect should be set forth and specifically described by us to which end it is hereby declared that it is and shall be suitable and fitting for the duly elected or appointed head of the board council committee court or other group in which the management and governance of a body corporate having Arms is vested (by whatsoever name such board or group be known) during his or her term of office as such head to bear and use the Arms of the body corporate impaled on the dexter side of an escutcheon with his or her family Arms and that when such person is a married lady or is unmarried it shall be proper for her to impale the Arms of such corporation with her marital Arms or with her paternal Arms as the case may be And it is further declared that it shall be fitting and suitable for the duly elected or appointed head of an armigerous body not being a corporation likewise to impale the Arms of such body with his Arms and if such head be a married lady or unmarried it shall be proper for her to impale the Arms of such armigerous body with her marital Arms or with her paternal Arms as the case may be, such usage as also that hereinbefore described in the marshalling of Armorial Bearings by impalement being regarded in all respects as and deemed by the Kings of Arms to be in accordance and conformity with the Laws of Arms.

A. Colin Cole, Garter
Anthony R. Wagner, Clarenceux
J. P. Brooke-Little, Norroy & Ulster

16 July 1980


College reference: Miscellaneous Enrolments 1/312

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