Survey of London Monograph 16, College of Arms, Queen Victoria Street. Originally published by Guild & School of Handicraft, London, 1963.
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NORROY KING OF ARMS
At first the kings of arms of this province used various titles with the addition 'of the north' or 'of the Norreis' (northmen), but in 1464 Thomas Holme was named Norroy and that name has been used ever since.
18 March 1276, 'Petrus Rex hyraudorum citra aquam de Trente ex parte boriali' acknowledged the receipt of 20 mks from Sir John de Horbury (Harl. Ch. 54, g. 44). This is the earliest known reference to a king of arms by a territorial style.
According to Thynne 'Andrew Windsor Norroy King of the heralds' occurs early in Edward III's reign ('On the Duty and Office of an Herald of Arms', Hearne, Curious Discourses, 1, 159); nothing to show whether Windsor was family name or whether, as Anstis plausibly suggests, he was Windsor herald and promoted thence to Norroy (Coll. of Arms MS. O.A. II, 615); in either case may be identified with 'Andreu Noreis Roy d'Armes de North' and 'Andreas Norrois (or de Noreys) Rex heraldorum' who appears May-July 1338 (Issue Rolls and Wardrobe Account, 12 Ed. III) and with 'Andreas Roy Norreys' of Issue Roll, Michaelmas, 22 Ed. III, 1348 (Coll. of Arms MS. O.A. I, 75; II, 212–13, 615; H. & H., p. 35).
Also probable he is Windsor herald, then said to be principal king of arms in England, who attended Bishop of Lincoln to France and defied King Philip in 1339 (Joshua Barnes, History of Edward III (1688), pp. 134–5).
Herald of Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March, who granted him 10 mks a year 1 November 1377; 1381 entered royal service, but still called March; king of heralds by Michaelmas 1384; soon afterwards in charge of northern province; 11 January 1386 styled 'John March, Noreys King of arms'; Froissart calls him in 1394 'roy d'armes d'Angleterre', that is, doyen of the heralds in England, but in 1395 'roy d'Irland tant que en armes'; no other evidence that he was Ireland and he is still called March in Issue Roll, Michaelmas, 19 Ric. II, 1395, that being his last appearance in public records. Throughout career used name March originally given him by Mortimer. Owned property in Calais.
Lancaster herald to John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, by 1389 if not c. 1380; king of arms by 1392 but still called Lancaster and still in duke's service; retained name Lancaster under Henry IV, on whose accession was made king of arms of the northern province; doyen of the English heralds from (probably) 1399 until institution of office of Garter in 1415; made will 4 July 1415, but may have lived some years longer for it was not entered in Bishop of London's Register until April 1419, and there is no mention of any king of arms of the northern march from 1415 until January 1420 when William Boys, Exeter, was marshal 'des Norreys'.
Arms: Nine pieces of ermine & ermines. Crest: A woman's head in a hood or cowl which forms the mantling. Badge: A circular towel or torse of twisted cloth with knotted ends. (Seal among East Sutton Park muniments in Kent County Record Office.)
Is almost certainly the Lancaster king mentioned in public records 1425–34, having been in royal service from the time of Henry IV; may indeed have succeeded Richard Bruges c. 1419, in which case he can hardly be the same as John Ashwell who was Clarence in 1420. Probably remained Lancaster until shortly before Boys' creation 1436.
Dorset herald to Thomas Beaufort, Earl of Dorset, and Exeter on Beaufort's promotion to Duke of Exeter in 1416; attended chapter at Rouen 5 January 1420 as Exeter and Marshal to Norroy. Served John, Duke of Bedford and Anjou as Anjou king after Beaufort's death in December 1426. In France most of this time. Later entered royal service; 1436 cr. Lancaster, king of northern province; in Aquitaine 1439–40; still Lancaster 1446.
Career summarized by pat. 8 August 1450, confirming annuity of £10 granted in lieu of 12 mks 'primo concessis Willimo Coler pursevant et postea eidem Willimo per nomen Willimi Tendale alias dicti Willimi Chestre Herrold et nunc confirmatis eidem per nomen Willimi Tendall alias Lancastre Regis Armorum'; cr. Collar at Merton 1 November 1436 (Cotton MS. Cleop. F. iv. 108); sent repeatedly with despatches to France, Burgundy and Brittany; Chester c. 1443; still often employed on French affairs; king of arms c. Easter Term 1447, when Issue Roll names John (? Tyndale) Chester; Chester, king of arms, in pat. 6 May 1448, but in pat. 8 August 1450, called Lancaster, title then regularly used by kings of the northern province; 1450 sent to Ireland; 1451 during Jack Cade's rising rode post-haste up and down the country foundering two horses and having to hire a third; then sold the King his tabard, worth £20; 1456 attended Duke of York on Scottish expedition; still living 7 December 1460, when he and other heralds were granted arrears of largesse; probably d. soon after.
Arms uncertain. Lant's Roll, placing him as Lancaster temp. Hen. IV but otherwise ignoring him, gives: Argent, a fess gules between 3 garbs sable, cf. Wm. Tyndale Lancaster (12) but ? Seal on Ironmongers' Co. bear a spread eagle (not on a shield), and flourish enclosing signature 'Lancastre' ends in a slipped trefoil interlaced with a triangle point downwards.
Perhaps s. of Thomas More, Guyenne; said to have been Antelope temp. Hen. VI; probably the Rouge Croix sent April 1462 to arrest a pirate in the Thames estuary, for 'John More alias Windsor herald' was given like mission 22 June 1470; probably succ. Holme in both posts c. 1460 and 1468 respectively; 1465 mission to Burgundy; 1471–5 missions to France, Scotland and Spain; 1475 marshal of arms (? to Holme, Norroy); 1478 Norroy; attended funeral of Edward IV, coronations of Richard III and Henry VII and creation of Jasper Tudor, Duke of Bedford, and other peers 28 October 1485; the reference (p. 287) to the presence of Normandy king of arms with Garter at Henry VII's coronation, 30 October 1485, suggests that More may have held this office, while displaced by Machado, and as such may have supplied the place of the displaced Clarenceux Holme; 1486 pat. and annuity as Norroy renewed; d. 22 April 1491; burd in Greyfriars (Christ Church), Newgate St, where 'Margarete Norrey', who d. vigil of St Francis, 1487, also burd. In will dat. 10 April 1491, calls himself Norroy and names his wife Eleanor, so 'Margarete Norrey' probably his dau. In pat. attesting arms of Leathersellers' Co. 20 May 1479 says wife was of that company. S. was Blanch Sanglier.
S. of Thomas Yonge; distant cousin and, according to some, heir of Sir Thomas Greville alias Cooksey, by common descent from Urian de St Piere, of Cheshire; also related to Edmund Dudley (attainted 1510).
Said to have been Guisnes, Bluemantle and Windsor; Windsor certainly wrong and no corroboration of pursuivantships; title as pursuivant not given in pat. of Somerset, but probably Falcon, for on same day as Yonge's pat. of Somerset an unnamed Rouge Dragon was granted the annuity of £10 which 'Fawcon late one of the King's pursuivants & now one of the King's heralds' had (pat. 9 Hen. VII, m. 18 (19), 18 January). This annuity granted to Falcon 1 March 1486 and paid at least down to Michaelmas, 6 Hen. VII, 1490. In interval Falcon appears frequently in Issue Rolls, etc.; personal name never given but probable that Yonge was meant and that he was appd 1 March 1486, vice Walshe (appd by Ric. III and attainted 1 Hen. VII); sent to Ireland and South Wales 1487; France 1488, France and Brittany 1489, Germany, Denmark and Poland 1490; and overseas 1491 (Coll. of Arms MS. O.A. III, 91, etc.).
Appd Somerset 1493; April 1494 sent to Denmark; 1502 attached to embassy to Hungary and attended 29 September marriage of Wladislas II and Anne de Foix (N. & Q., 8s, iii, 101, etc.); 1503 attended Princess Margaret to Edinburgh for her marriage 8 August to James IV; remained there two years (his account of the mission in Coll. of Arms MS. 1st M. 13, 76, etc., and Leland, Collectanea, ed. Altera, iv, 271); new tabards then supplied for Yonge and Bluemantle (Banelee) cost 33s. 4d. each (Cal. Doc. Scot., iv, 441); 10 October 1510 pat. as Somerset confirmed; 5 November 1510 attached to Sir Gilbert Talbot, Deputy of Calais, with protection for three years; two and a half months later appd Norroy and ten days later, 4 February 1511, agreed with Wriothesley to share Norroy's home duties and profits, no doubt because of his own absence in Calais.
No record of any other foreign missions as Norroy, but in 1513 granted arms to John Beaumont, gentleman usher, and jointly with Wriothesley to John Giffard of Chillington (crest), Thomas Salter of Oswestry (2 May, H. & G., 1, 125), Godfrey Foljambe of Walton (crest and badge, 9 June), and John Nevill of Chevet (crest), and 4 March 1516, also with Wriothesley, granted Standard to Sir John Carr (H. & G., 1, 79; facsimile in Genealogist, N.S. viii, and R. E. Carr, History of the Family of Carre, ii, i; 1916 Heraldic Exhibition Catalogue, p. 60).
Of Crich, co. Derby; said to have been Calais, Bluemantle and Richmond, but not so; really Guisnes, Lancaster and Norroy; June 1506 as Guisnes attended Dr Yonge, ambassador to Brussels; 1509–20 sent overseas nearly every year, more often to Margaret of Savoy in Flanders but also to France, Rome and Germany; 1513 attached to Thérouanne expedition and sent with King Henry's defiance to Louis XII; 1520 at Field of Cloth of Gold; d. c. April 1522.
Arms: Wriothesley's Roll of Grants (Soc. Antiq. MS. 443, no. 159) and other MSS. show Azure, a chevron ermine between 3 eagles argent & on a chief embattled or 3 roundels sable, as granted to Thomas Wall, Norroy, temp. Hen. VIII. But his son's armorial, Soc. Antiq. MS. 679, fo. ccxxii ('Wall's Book of Arms') and also Lant's Roll, omit the eagles and it is to be observed that in 679, which was compiled in 1530, several words have been scrawled over and totally obliterated where the eagles might have been mentioned. It therefore looks as though Wriothesley granted Norroy the version with the eagles and that the son, on becoming Garter, discarded the eagles back-dating the change to include his father. It is possible that Garter also simplified the crest; Soc. Antiq. MS. 679, fo. 14, gives for Norroy: On a torse or & sable an eagle's head per pale argent & azure between 2 wings each charged with 3 gouttes, all counterchanged; but the General Armory (1878) gives Garter's crest as: An eagle's head couped argent.
The Patent Roll, 7 Hen. VIII, p. 3, m. 31, includes a grant of the office of Norroy to Wall on 21 May (1515, L. & P., Hen. VIII, ii, no. 483), but this must be a mistake for not only are the day and month the same as in the 1516 pat. (Pat. 8 Hen. VIII, p. 2, m. 13, 21 May 1516, L. & P. Hen. VIII, 11, no. 1927), but John Yonge was still Norroy in March 1516 when he granted the Carr standard, and William Jenyns' pat. of Lancaster (vice Wall) is dated 22 May 1516. Failing any positive evidence it seems probable that the 1515 entry was cancelled by 'Vacatur quia alibi' or some such phrase, but the roll is damaged at that point, the margin and part of the text having gone. The fact that Anstis (Coll. of Arms MS. O.A. II, 251) mentions the 1516 pat., but says nothing of the 1515 entry, suggests that the damage occurred after he wrote and that the cancellation was still visible when he examined the roll at some time before 1744.
Said to have been Comfort and Rouge Croix, but really Calais and Richmond; 1510–12 attached to Sir Robert Wingfield, ambassador to the Emperor; on many later missions to Low Countries, France, Spain, Italy, etc. Appd Norroy 1522 but d. soon after, then living in St Giles', Cripplegate.
Lant's statement that William was Guisnes and Portcullis is impossible. He was Marleon de Aye (nestling hawk) to Sir Charles Brandon, E.M., who cr. him his pursuivant and so named him 2 October 1522. Thence Lancaster and later Norroy.
1530 visited South Wales and Herefordshire as Benolt's deputy, and 1533 visited Lancashire and Cheshire. Latter visitation said to have been made under special commission from Benolt although both counties were in Tonge's province as Norroy.
1553 and 1558 attached to the forces against the Scots. On latter occasion, assisted by Colbarne, Rouge Dragon, recorded pedigrees and arms of many northern families, no record of this in College and it is not officially counted as a Vis'n. Further northern pedigrees and arms recorded in 1560–1.
D. 13 December 1561; burd St Dunstan's in the West where his widow, Dorothy née Breame burd 1 December 1596. Two drawings, quite different but both purporting to depict the effigy on his brass are extant (Surtees Soc., vol. 122, frontispiece; Dingley, History from Marble, ed. Camden Soc., p. cccclvii).
Arms: Quarterly, (1 & 4) azure crusuly, a lion rampant gardant argent (Dalton); (2 & 3) argent, 3 bars azure with 3 voided lozenges gules in chief (Fleming). Crest: A dragon's head vert purfled & winged or. Motto: Il Sera Come Dieu Plaira. (Seal; Brass; etc.)
Probably s. of John Flower, tailor and corn-merchant of York, and b. c. 1498, but nothing definite known about him before appointment as Guisnes 1536. 1555 Hawley, Clarenceux, appointed him his marshal.
Alike as pursuivant and as herald very often employed abroad. As Norroy mostly in England; between 1563 and 1585 visited, either in person or by his deputy Robert Glover, practically the whole of the northern province. 1585 he and Clarenceux Cooke jointly deputed Lewis Dwnn to visit Wales.
Nothing known as to his birth or parentage; successively Rouge Dragon, Chester and Norroy; d. at Whitton, Middlesex; burd Twickenham 30 October 1593. Several College MSS. are in his handwriting; others of his MSS. in Caius College, Cambridge, bequeathed 1680 by Serjeant Surgeon John Knight. Smith, Rouge Dragon, complained that he could neither write nor speak true Latin, true French or true English.
Father of Robert, candidate 1611 for appt as Rose; perhaps father of Thomas Knight, Chester. Dr John Knight above-mentioned, who described himself as s. of Thomas Knight, arms-painter (Perrin, British Flags, p. 57), bore the same quarterly arms and owned many of Norroy's MSS., was probably a near relative, though pedigree in Serjeant Surgeon John Knight (by E. M. and R. T. C. Calvert, 1939) makes him s. of John Knight, of Winwick, Huntingdonshire and Northamptonshire, herald-painter to Charles I, and says nothing of either Edmund or Thomas.
Arms: Quarterly, (1 & 4) vert, a bend of 5 lozenges or; (2 & 3) per chevron argent & sable, 3 pierced cinquefoils counterchanged. Crest: A demi-friar holding a lantern in one hand & a rosary in the other, his gown or, cape & hood argent. Motto: Suivant Saint Pierre.
Only surviving s. of Sir William Dugdale, Garter; b. 1 June 1628; M.A. of both Oxford (1661) and Cambridge (1664), and member of Gray's Inn; for a time Chief Gentleman of the Chamber to Lord Chancellor Clarendon and afterwards Deputy-Lieutenant and Justice of Coventry.
Appointed Windsor on Ashmole's resignation 1675, and on 8 December 1684, owing to his father's failing health, the E.M. appointed him Deputy Garter. On his father's death sought to succeed as Garter, but the Earl Marshal would only appoint him Norroy. Kt. March 1686. 1690 was suspended by order of the Council dated 30 May, but the suspension was discharged two months later (E.M's wts. 5 June and 16 August 1690). The reason for the suspension is not stated. D. at Coventry 31 August 1700; burd at Shustoke, Warwickshire (M.I.).
Of Lincoln's Inn and Mortlake, Surrey; b. c. 1637; s. of Robert Devenish of Fetter Lane, London, a cadet of Devenish of Upsidlinge, Dorset. An 'entering Register' of the High Court of Chancery; bought the place of York from Wingfield 1674; d. Mortlake 7 April 1704; burd there (M.I.).
Arms: Vert, a saltire engrailed or between 4 crosses crosslet fitchy argent. Crest: A demi-tyger salient vert (argent, on his hatchment), armed & tufted or, holding in the dexter paw a cross crosslet fitchy argent. Motto: Sub Cruce Viresco.
B. London, baptized St Michael's, Cornhill 22 January 1661, s. and heir of Francis Neve, citizen and draper of London, an upholsterer in Cornhill; grandson of Firmian Neve of Ringland, Norfolk, and distant cousin of Sir W. Le Neve, Clarenceux. Resumed (? assumed) the name Le Neve. Educ. Merchant Taylors' School, Trinity College, Cambridge, and Middle Temple; F.R.S.; first President of the Society of Antiquaries 1707–24; 1690 Rouge Croix; 1704 Richmond and a few weeks later Norroy; a Deputy Chamberlain of the Exchequer c. 1693, resd 1706. As Norroy strenuously upheld the rights of his office; a leader of the College's opposition to Anstis' appointment as Garter. 1716 Garter mission to Bishop of Osnabrugh (Ernest Augustus, brother of George I). D. at Great Witchingham, Norfolk 24 September 1729; burd in chancel there. A unitarian and a Freemason.
As a man Martin Leake found him slovenly in dress, sordid and selfish in disposition and niggardly in his ways, save as regards his library on which he grudged no expense. Hearne found him parsimonious and odd but goodnatured and communicative. As an antiquary industrious, with abnormal powers of work; mainly occupied in calendaring records and collecting material for a history of Norfolk and its families, these collections forming the backbone of Blomefield's and Parkin's Norfolk. Bought the St George collections on Sir Thomas's death 1703. Contemplated leaving all his collections to the College but did not complete the bequest. Collections now dispersed. Many, including the Paston Letters and much Norfolk material, came through his widow to her second husband, Tom Martin of Palgrave, who bought many more at the sale in 1731; this included some 800 MSS., rolls and charters.
Extracts from five volumes of his memoranda are printed in Norfolk Arch. Soc. Trans., ii; Gent. Mag., N.S. xv, xviii, xx; Topographer and Genealogist, iii, and Crisp's Fragmenta Genealogica, three volumes of original letters; B.M. MSS. Harl. 4712–13, 7525, calendared by Walter Rye, Norwich, 1895.
Beside the Paston Letters, two interesting MSS. he owned are 'William Jenyns' Ordinary' (Coll. of Arms) and 'Peter Le Neve's Book' (MS. Harl. 6163, the second of the two fifteenth-century rolls published in the De Walden volume Two Tudor Books of Arms).
(D.N.B. memoir, by Walter Rye, very full down to 1706, but sketchy thereafter. See also Nichols' Lit. Anec.; Hearne's Collections, viii, etc.; N. & Q., 2 s. xii, 105; Hist. Soc. Antiq., passim; R. & C.; Norfolk Arch., ii, 369.)
Called 'King' Cheale, by his friends who counted him a 'very good fellow'; s. of John Cheale of Findon, Sussex; b. 1699; d. Findon 8 May 1751. Made Norroy through influence of Dukes of Newcastle and Richmond, having been cr. Arundel a month earlier for form's sake. Neglected his duties as Norroy leaving everything to Huchenson, Chester. Martin Leake's account of him more amusing than complimentary.
Arms: Quarterly, (1 & 4) gules, 3 eagles displayed or crowned argent (Cheale, granted 1672); (2 & 3) ermine, a chief quarterly or & gules (Peckham). Crest: An eagle's head or crowned argent. Motto: Bene Vivere et Laetari.
Antiquary and bibliographer, b. 14 July 1696, illegitimate s. of Wm. Oldys, LL.D., Advocate in Courts of Admiralty and Chivalry (d. 1708); 1724–30 in Yorkshire with Earl of Malton; 1731 sold his collections to Edw. Harley, Earl of Oxford; 1738 Harley's Secretary; 1736 published Life of Sir Francis Drake which moved Duke of Norfolk to determine to provide for him; from 1741 worked as bookseller's hack; 1751–3 in the Fleet for debt; 1755 Norfolk and thence Norroy; d. unmarried and insolvent at College 15 April 1761; burd in St Benet's, Paul's Wharf.
(See also, especially for his numerous publications and MS. remains, D.N.B.; Gent. Mag., liv, 160, etc.; N. & Q., is. v, 529–31; 2s. xi, 101; 3 s. 1, 1, etc.; Sir E. K. Chambers, William Shakespeare (1930), 11, 274, etc.)
Arms granted 1765: Per pale azure & gules 3 lions rampant or with a bezant in the centre. Crest: On a mural crown argent an eagle rising purpure holding in the beak an antique shield charged with the ancient arms of Dore, per pale azure & gules, 3 bees or.
B. 9 August 1799, a natural s. of Charles, eleventh Duke of Norfolk; by R.L. 31 January 1843, with consent of the thirteenth duke, assumed the additional surname of Howard and quartered the Howard arms 'with due distinctions of illegitimacy'; uterine brother of M. C. H. Gibbon, Richmond. His wife sister of E. S. Dendy, Chester.
Sometime Protector of Slaves in British Guiana and member of the Court of Policy there 1832–4. 18 March 1842, E.M's official Secretary; places of Mowbray and York soon followed; d. in John St, London (now 31 a St James's Square), 22 June 1849; burd in Churchyard of St Nicholas, the Arundel private chapel, at Arundel.
Arms granted and exemplified 6 February 1843: Quarterly in a border wavy gobony or & azure; (1 & 4) for Gibbon: Sable, a fret & in chief 2 open fetterlocks or (alluding to his title of York); (2 & 3) for Howard: Gules, on a bend between 6 crosses crosslet fitchy argent an escocheon or charged with a demi-lion pierced through the mouth with an arrow within a double tressure flory counter-flory all gules. Crests: (1) for Gibbon: A fret or & issuing therefrom an ostrich feather argent; (2) for Howard: Out of a crown or two wings gules each charged with a bend between 6 crosses crosslet argent, the whole debruised by a baton sinister party per bend or & azure. Motto: My Truste Ys.
B. Twickenham 1881; second s. of Percy Toppin, of Ellerslie, Shanklin, I.O.W.; Captain 3rd Bn. R. Irish Rifles 1915–19; Temporary Assistant Science and Art Museum, Dublin, 1901; Assistant Keeper Irish Antiquities, National Museum of Ireland 1906 and Art Division 1907–23; F.S.A. 1922; Bluemantle 1923, thence York and Norroy; M.V.O. 1946.
An expert on porcelain and a founder of the Irish Genealogical Research Society, author of Guides to British Pottery and Porcelain (Science and Art Museum, Dublin) and articles in Dublin Museum Bulletin (1911–13), Transactions of English Ceramic Circle and Burlington Magazine.
Arms granted 23 April 1927: Argent, a cross engrailed between 4 herons' heads erased sable. Crest: In front of a rising sun a heron with wings expanded holding in the beak a luce, all proper. Motto: Deo, Patriae, Amicis.