348 Kings Of Arms v Painters and Stainers

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

This free content was Born digital. All rights reserved.

'348 Kings Of Arms v Painters and Stainers', in The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640, (, ) pp. . British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/348-kings-of-arms-painters-stainers [accessed 1 March 2024]

In this section


Kings of Arms v The Painters and Stainers of London

May 1634 - January 1637


This was a cause of office in which the Kings of Arms prosecuted the Painters and Stainers of London for painting arms for funerals without permission from the heralds. It was one of the series of cases brought in May 1634 to curb the improper display of coats of arms [see causes 175, 180, 181]. It was also part of the ongoing dispute between the Heralds and the Painter-Stainers' Company over rights to paint arms, particularly at gentlemen's funerals. In September 1624 the Heralds had complained to the Earl Marshal about this and secured a direction from the king to summon and imprison delinquents. The Company claimed that an agreement had been reached in 1618 by the commissioners for the Earl Marshal whereby painters were allowed to paint arms which had been approved by the Heralds in their Visitations without licence. An agreement reached with William Camden, Clarenceux King of Arms, in 1621, and renewed in 1631, licensed eight arms painters, including Henry Lilly and William Winchell, to paint arms under direction from the heralds, provided they did not solicit business for themselves. The main hearings in this case lasted from May 1634 - November 1635. Dr Duck on behalf of the Kings of Arms objected to the witnesses that were painters and stainers, suggesting they would swear for their own advantage, and Dr Eden on their behalf argued that those of the prosecution's witnesses that were Heralds would do likewise. However, Paul Isaackson and Rowland Buckett, two members of the Company did affirm that several funerals 'and other such workes of armourie' had been performed by painters without the 'impeachment or approbacon of the heralds'. The earlier agreements and letters patent of the Painter-Stainers' Company of London were examined. Sentence was appointed to be heard on 28 January 1637 but no details of it survive.

Plaintiffs' and Defendants' cases

7/39, Interrogatories and lists of witnesses

'Powl Isaackon and Rowland Buckett

Produced upon that part of our answer to the petition on affirming of the officers of armes which is the first,vz. that as well the armes painters as the landskipp painters story painters are members of our body:

and upon the 1. of his duplication, vz. that they pay dueties to us as they were painters and are liable to our search.

Powl Isaakson, Rowland Buckett, Richard Mond, John Allen produced upon the second part of answer to the third part of the herald affermance, vz. that divers funerals and other such workes of armourie have bene performed by Painters without impeachment or approbacon of the heralds.

James Ewin, Richard Moudy, John Allen, Thomas Bass, Arthur Blackmore

Produced upon the duplication or the answer to the 8th part of the heralds' replication, vz. that some of them subscribed not voluntarily, but being under commitment and the rest for feare of...and upon the 2 part of our answer to the 8th part of the heralds affirmance, vz. that they who subscribed conceived the meaning of that which they subscribed unto was that marshalling of armes belonged not to the painters, but painting of armes did belong unto them.

Powl Isaackson, Rowland Buckett and Tho Bapp are also to be examined upon the second part of ane answer to Garter's petition, vz. that Painters have armes kin__ out of __ sett out to view, upon their stalls and shopps the kings armes and armer of the nobilitie until by order of 3 May 1634

Note in margin: 'James Ewen and Ric Munds also to the 4th reason mentioned in the inconveniences at the end of the Paynters answer to the peticon of the office of armes exhibited 30 October 1634.

Endorsed: 'Pawle Isaackson, Rowland Buckett, Thos Babb, Richard Mundy, John Allen, Arthur Blackmore, James Ewen'.

[1st attached page]

'To my very loving brother Mr Gilbert Dethicke at his house in Knightrider street near Doctors Commons, London, these':

Witnesses for the painters: 'Pawle Isaackson, Rowland Buckett, Thos Babb, Rich Mundy, John Allen, Arth Blackmore, James Ewen'.

Witnesses for the kings of arms: 'Ann Philpott, Tho: Thompson, Henry Chetwyn, William Penson, James Seagar, John Knight, William Wincholl, Richard Price, Christopher Treswell'.

All except Winchell and Price were noted as 'done'.

Jurat 16 June: ' Pawle Isaackson, Rowland Buckett, Thos Babb, John Tayler, Tho Knight, Henry Lilley, John Wythy, William Drayton, Matthew Sampson'.

All except Tayler and Wythy were noted as 'done'.

List of the names as above with addition of Mary Thompson sworn 15 November 1635

[2nd and 3rd attached pages ]

List of witnesses as above with notes of which articles they were expected to respond to in the interrogatories and when they had been sent for examination.

7/40, Order to disqualify witnesses

Against the painters and stainers, no date:

'Paul Isaackson, Rowland Buckett, Henry Lilly, Thomas Bab, John Taylor, Thomas Knight, Richard Munday, John Allen, Mathias Jemson, Arthur Blackamore, James Ewin, Christopher Treswell, William Draughton'

These are all painters and free of the Companie of Painters Stayners and therefore to be excepted against as no competent witnesses swearing for their owne advantage'.

Dr Eden took a similar exception to the witnesses for the crown.

7/57, List of names of painters and stainers

List of names of the painters and stainers as in 7/40, on 16 June 1635

7/74, List of witnesses

Meeting on Friday 19, before Sir Henry Marten in his chamber:

'Mr Powle Isaackson, Mr Rowland Buckitt, Mr Thomas Babb, Mr John Taylor, Mr Thomas Knight, Mr Henry Lylly, Mr John Wilhy, Mr William Droiton, Matthew Tomson.'

7/77, Unsigned note, no date

A compulsory to appear against: 'John Taylor, Tho Knight, Henry Lilly, Thomas Babb, William Drayton, Mathias Jenson, Rowland Buckett, Paule Isaackson, <John Withy>'.

CSP Dom. 1635-6, p. 38, Petition of the Company of Painter Stainers of London to Arundel

The earl having declared his purpose to settle a course between the Officers of Arms and the petitioners in a controversy depending in the earls' court, they beg him to take these considerations to his view. The point in dispute was whether he painters might paint arms without the allowance or licence of the heralds. The painters contended that all painters were to be free of their company, and that this extended to the painters of arms which had been allowed by the heralds, to whom belonged, it was conceded, the marshalling of arms, but who had always employed freemen of the petitioners' company in painting them. The petitioners refer to Camden's book of certificates remaining in the heralds' office in proof that divers unlicensed painters painted arms in his time, besides Winchel, Treswell and Kimbie whom only the heralds say Camden allowed. They also state that by an order made in 1618 by the Lords Commissioners for the office of Earl Marshal painters were permitted to paint arms well known and formerly allowed by heralds in their visitations without licence. They point out that the charge will be great to the subject if gentlemen must have approbation for all scutcheons every time they have occasion to use them and if painters be compelled to go to the heralds for allowance for arms whenever a sign is to be painted. They urge the antiquity of their art, and trace it back to Jeremiah and Ezekiel, the prophets, and to Apelles in the time of Alexander the Great. Finally they complain of Dr Rives who in most contemptible manner in open court vilified and disgraced them.

7/1, Petition of James Elline of the Painters and Stainers Company to Arundel [damaged]

'May it please your most honourable lordship and the rest of this honourable court to hear my defence. Be it knowen to you that I am heir wrongfully attaich[ed] by the company of Painters and Stainers of London in as much as I am a freeman of London and never consented to goo to lawe with the king's servants, the Officers of Arms, but have continuall spoken ageinst it to severall of them, and did absent my selve from their company in this act of going to lawe with the harolds of armes. Yet they have prevailed upon my ignorans that *y* most com amongst them to take an oathe with them in regard th[e]y tould me for the good of the company, but sins I have examined my... otth made to the Citti of London. I daier not be examined upon the latter othe wicht I took at Dockters Comens among them, but doe wholy and with all my hart stik to my first othe that I tooke when I was made a free man of London and will not suffer my selve to be brought into bondage. And yf heirin I doe wrong the company they are bound by their first othe, to shew me at the coman lawe wittin the Citti of London wheir I am likwis bound to answer them and no weir elss. And if any of the kings or harolds of armes have any thing to charg me with heir I am at me Lord Marshall's command to answer them, what thy shal object agienst me to whom I most humbly submit my selve to be at me Lord Marshall's plesur, only reserving my oth to God.'

12 November 1635.

Signed by James Elline.

Bodleian Library, Oxford, Ashmole MS, 857, pp.111-12, 115-16, 116-17, Certified Copies of Documents

[p.111-12] 'Copie of King James his order to the Earl Marshal to restreine the incroachment of armes painters'

Rt. trustie and welbeloved cozin and councelor, wee greet you well.

Upon information and complainte unto us reade that certaine painters and other trademen of our cittie of London, and of other partes of this our kingdome, have now of late taken the boldnes as of themselves to painte and marshall the coates of armes for the funeralls of divers persons of this our realme, without the allowance first had and obtayned of our officers of armes or making them acquainted therwithall, whereby not only our saide office (unto whome the famous kings and queens of this our land have committed the ordering and disposinge of things of this nature) are much damnifyed, both in their livelyhood and creditt, and sundry good orders by the Earles Marshall for tyme being in this behalf made, infringed and broken, but also many foule abuses and wronges are dayly perpetrated to the great scandall and prejudice of the ancyent nobility and gentry of this our realme, wee therefore for the speedy redresse of this mischiefe doe hereby will and command you that, as to your office of Earle Marshall of right apperteineth, you doe cause such persons as are, or hereafter shalbe found, delinquents in cases of this nature to appear before you and, according to the quality of their offences, to cause them to receive due punishment, either by imprisonment or otherwise for the same, that by their examples others may be forewarned and dishartened from attempting the like in tyme to come. Wherein we require your speedy care and circumspection that by continuance this mischief may not grow past amendment.

Theobalds, 19 Sept 22 Jas 1624'

'This is truly copied out of the original remayninge in the custodye of the rt. hoble. the Earl Marshal and this 21 Jan 1635/6 truly examined by us Wm Le Neve Clarenceux, Edward Whitley

[p.115-16] The subscriptions of the Arms Painters' 1 April 1633

'We whose names are herunder subscribed doe ingeniously and voluntarily acknowledge that the direction, marshalling, ordering and disposing of all matters concerninge armes and atchievements doe properly appertayne to the kings of arms in their peculier provinces respectively. And wee doe hereby faithfully promise that in all things concerninge armes before we shall apointe or sett forth the same wee will give notice therof unto such of the kings officers of arms whome it may concerne, by reason of their office or implyment, and will not proceede therein but by their direction and approbation first had and obtayned

sigs. Rich Mundy, Thomas Babb, John Witlie

Wm Winchell, John Taylor, Chr Treswell

Thomas Knight, Richard Price'

'Examined by us Wm Penson Lancaster, Tho Thompson Rouge Dragon'

[p.116-17] 'A remembrance of the causes grounds and reasons of the commitment of Robert Kinby painter from Arundell House Thurs 21 Sept 1624 to the Marshallsea by the rt. hoble. the earl of Arundel and Surrey, Earl Marshal'

'The first cause was for that Kinby contrary to order, being none of the eight painters so appointed for that purpose, did presume and take uppon him to performe worke at funeralls without consent and allowance of the officers of armes.

The second cause for that it was the proved that some worke he haddone was performed erronoiusly and falsely.

The third cause for that hee having had warning by some of the heralds and pursuivants that hee should desist and not goe on with some worke by him begun, hee, notwithstanding, did goe forward with it, and not soe only, but did give ill language to the partyes soe warned him, saying he would doe itt, doe what they could.'

'Examined by us Wm Penson Lancaster, Tho Thompson Rougedragon'

Summary of proceedings

Dr Duck was counsel for the Kings of Arms, Dr Eden for the painters and stainers. The court was due to hear the verdict of the Earl Marshal on 20 October 1634. There were further proceedings before Lord Maltravers on 24 January 1635. On 9 May 1635 witnesses on behalf of the painters were to be submitted to examination. On 30 May Dr Eden was to respond to the Officers of Arms, and Mr Peacock was warned to attend. On 9 June Dr Duck exhibited letters patent of the Company of Painters and Stainers from 20 July 1558 and 17 March 1598 subscribed by Norroy King of Arms, and others from James I's reign subscribed by Sir Richard St George, Norroy King of Arms. On 16 June 1635 Duck, on behalf of the Kings of Arms examined the letters patents of the painters and stainers, dated 31 January 38 Eliz I, signed by Matthew Carew and William Lamberd, clerks, along with their letters patents dated 10 July 1603, signed by Charles Caesar and John Michell, clerks, and 'Articles of agreement, had, made, concluded, condiscended unto, and fully agreed upon the third day of July 1624', signed by Thomas Babb, William Winchell, Richard Price, Richard Munday, Henry Lilly, John Withie, Christopher Treswell. Duck also produced for examination the agreement 'By the right honourable the Lords commissioners for the office of Earl Marshall of England, the Kings most excellent Majestie andc... at Whitehall 1618 E. Worcester. Lenox. G. Buckingham. Nottingham. Pembroke. T. Arundell and 'The Book of Orders made Chapters in the Office. J. 27, examined by us William Penson, Lancaster, Thomas Thompson, Rougedragon, 1 April 1633'. On the same day Duck produced as witnesses John Philpot, Thomas Thompson, Henry Chetwyn and William Penson, and also, James Seagar, John Knight, William Winchell, Richard Price and Christopher Treswell. Thomas Babb, Thomas Knight, Rowland Buckett, Paul Isaackson, John Tayler, Henry Lilly, William Drayton and Matthew Jenson were also warned to appear to testify that afternoon. On 19 June 1635 Dr Duck produced as witnesses Paul Isaackson, Rowland Buckett, Thomas Babb, John Tayler, Thomas Knight, Henry Lilley, John Wythey, William Drayton and Matthew Jenson. On 7 May 1636 it was appointed to hear the sentence in the first session of Michaelmas term, but sentence was delayed and again appointed to be heard on 28 January 1637.


For the Kings of Arms, see S. A. Baron, 'Sir John Borough (d.1643)'; S. Wright, 'Sir William Le Neve (1592-1661)'; and T. Woodcock, 'Sir Henry St George (1581-1644)', Oxford DNB (Oxford, 2004).

Rowland Buckett was mentioned in the 1634 visitation of London as an alderman deputy for part of Aldersgate Ward. He was the son of Michael Buckett, freeman of London and Margaret, daughter of William Glover of Warwickshire.

Powle Isaacson of London was the second son of William Isaacson of Sheffield, co. York and Ellen, daughter of Thomas Waplade of Banbury, co. Oxford. Powle married Catherine, daughter of Marmaduke Peacock of Spenithorne, co. York.

J. J. Howard and J. L. Chester (eds.), The Visitation of London in 1633, 1634, and 1635 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 15, 1880), vol. 1, p. 117; J. J. Howard (ed.), The Visitation of London in 1633, 1634, and 1635 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 17, 1883), vol. 2, p. 3.

The heralds had complained to the Earl Marshal in September 1624 that 'Upon information and complaint unto us made that certayne painters and other tradesmen...have now of late taken bouldnes as of themselves to paint and marshal the coates of armes for the funeralls of divers persons of this our realm without the allowance first had and obtayned of our officers of armes, or making them acquainted therewithall. Whereby not only our said officers...are much damnifyed both in their livelihoods and credit and sundry good orders by the Earl Marshalle for the tyme being in this behalfe made, infringed and broken, but also many foule abuses and wrongs are perpetrated to the great scandall and prejudice of the ancient nobility and gentry of this our realm: W. A. D. Englefield, The History of the Painter Stainers Company of London (1923), p. 81

An agreement made in June 1621 with Willam Camden appointed an approved list of

painters, including Henry Lilley and William Winchell, to carry out work, and not to send 'notes' to the houses of deceased knights soliciting work for funerals, but wait for work to be brought to them after the heralds had been notified. In June 1631 there was fresh set of orders confirming this and specifying that the eight approved painters should only take on work under direction of the heralds: Englefield, History of the Painter Stainers , pp. 81-3

In a 1660 petition the heralds were still complaining about the painters opening their shops to business without approval of the heralds and taking on themselves the title of 'Herald Painters': ibid ., pp. 118-20.


  • Plaintiffs' and Defendants' cases
    • Interrogatories and lists of witnesses: 7/39 (3 May 1634 - 10 Jul 1635)
    • Order to disqualify witnesses: 7/40 (no date)
    • List of names of painters and stainers: 7/57 (16 June 1635)
    • List of witnesses: 7/74 (c. Jun 1635)
    • Unsigned note: 7/77 (c. Jun 1635)
    • Petition to Arundel: CSP Dom. 1635-6 , p. 38 (c. Jun 1635)
    • Petition to Arundel: 7/1 (12 Nov 1635)
    • Certified Copies of Documents: Bodleian Library, Oxford, Ashmole MS, 857, pp.111-12, 115-16, 116-17 (21 Jan 1636)
  • Proceedings
    • Proceedings: 7/18 (c. Apr-May 1634)
    • Proceedings before Arundel: 1/1 (20 Oct 1634)
    • Proceedings before Maltravers: 1/2 (24 Jan 1635)
    • Proceedings: EM348 (9 May 1635)
    • Proceedings: EM349 (30 May 1635)
    • Proceedings before Arundel: 8/24 (9 Jun 1635)
    • Proceedings before Marten: 1/13 (16 Jun 1635)
    • Proceedings before Marten: 1/13 (19 Jun 1635)
    • Proceedings before Huntingdon: 8/25 (20 Jun 1635)
    • Undated proceedings: R.19, fos. 390-399 (c. Jun 1635?)
    • Undated proceedings: College of Arms MS. 'Court of Chivalry' (act book, 1636-8) [pressmark R.R. 68C] (hereafter 68C), fos. 64r-67r (c. Apr 1636?)
    • Proceedings before Maltravers: 68C, fos. 74r-83v (7 May 1636)
    • Proceedings before Arundel: 68C, fos. 51r-59r (28 Jan 1637)
    • Proceedings: R.19, fos. 381-2 (28 Jan 1637)

People mentioned in the case

  • Allen, John
  • Babb, Thomas (also Bapp)
  • Bass, Thomas
  • Blackamore, Arthur
  • Borough, John, knight
  • Buckett, Margaret
  • Buckett, Michael
  • Buckett, Rowland, painter stainer
  • Caesar, Charles, clerk
  • Camden, William
  • Carew, Matthew, clerk
  • Chetwyn, Henry
  • Dethick, Gilbert, registrar
  • Draughton, William
  • Drayton, William
  • Duck, Arthur, lawyer
  • Eden, Thomas, lawyer
  • Elline, James (also Ewin, Ewen)
  • Glover, Margaret
  • Glover, William
  • Hastings, Henry, earl of Huntingdon
  • Herbert, William, earl of Pembroke
  • Howard, Charles, earl of Nottingham
  • Howard, Henry, baron Maltravers
  • Howard, Thomas, earl of Arundel and Surrey
  • Isaackson, Catherine (also Isaacson)
  • Isaackson, Paul, painter and stainer (also Powle Isaacson)
  • Jenson, Matthew (also Jemson)
  • Knight, John
  • Knight, Thomas
  • Lamberd, William, clerk
  • Le Neve, William, knight
  • Lilley, Henry, painter stainer
  • Marten, Henry, knight
  • Michell, John, clerk
  • Munday, Richard (also Munds, Moudy)
  • Peacock, Catherine
  • Peacock, Marmaduke
  • Penson, William, herald
  • Price, Richard
  • St George, Henry, knight
  • St George, Richard, knight
  • Sampson, Matthew
  • Seagar, James
  • Somerset, Edward, earl of Worcester
  • Stuart, Charles I, king
  • Stuart, Esmé, duke of Lennox and earl of March
  • Stuart, James I, king
  • Tayler, John (also Taylor)
  • Thompson, Thomas, pursuivant
  • Treswell, Christopher
  • Waplade, Thomas
  • Whitley, Edward
  • Winchell, William, painter stainer
  • Withie, John (also Wythey, Withy, Witlie)

Places mentioned in the case

  • London
    • Aldersgate Ward
    • Doctors' Commons
    • Knightrider St
  • Oxfordshire
    • Banbury
  • Warwickshire
  • Yorkshire, North Riding
    • Spennithorne
  • Yorkshire, West Riding
    • Sheffield

Topics of the case

  • cause of office
  • coat of arms
  • city company
  • funeral ceremony
  • Herald
  • heraldry
  • King of Arms
  • painter stainers