Chester Herald

Survey of London Monograph 16, College of Arms, Queen Victoria Street. Originally published by Guild & School of Handicraft, London, 1963.

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Walter H Godfrey. Anthony Wagner, 'Chester Herald', in Survey of London Monograph 16, College of Arms, Queen Victoria Street, (London, 1963) pp. 119-129. British History Online [accessed 26 May 2024].

Walter H Godfrey. Anthony Wagner. "Chester Herald", in Survey of London Monograph 16, College of Arms, Queen Victoria Street, (London, 1963) 119-129. British History Online, accessed May 26, 2024,

Godfrey, Walter H. Wagner, Anthony. "Chester Herald", Survey of London Monograph 16, College of Arms, Queen Victoria Street, (London, 1963). 119-129. British History Online. Web. 26 May 2024,


Chester is said to have been instituted by Edward III as herald of the Prince of Wales, and under Richard II William Bruges was certainly attached to the then Principality of Chester, which was created as an appanage of the Prince of Wales, whilst under Henry IV he was one of Prince Henry's household. The title was in abeyance for a time under Henry VIII, but since Jackson's appointment in 1525 Chester has been one of the heralds in ordinary. In 1911, when the future Edward VIII was created Prince of Wales, Chester was one of his retinue.

Badge: A golden garb, from the arms of the Earl of Chester.


Chester, c. 1393.

Granted 10 mks a year for services to the King 26 February 1393 (Pat. 16 Ric. II, m. 31); 1394 attached to Earl of Nottingham's staff as Captain of Calais (protection dated 23 February, 17 Ric. II); paid 2 years' annuity Easter Term, 18 Ric. II, 1395; d. before 1398 (Coll. of Arms MS. O.A. II, 505).

2. WILLIAM BRUGES (1398). See Garter (1).



Antelope, temp. Hen. VI.

Rouge Croix, temp. Hen. VI.

Chester, temp. Hen. VI.

Said to have been previously Antelope and Rouge Croix.

Arms: Argent, on a chief gules 3 roses argent.

4. WILLIAM TYNDALE or TENDALE (c. 1443). See Norroy (9).


Chester, c. Easter Term 1447.

Named as John Chester herald in warrant for issue 20 July 1447; probably appd not long before; sent to France soon after, and again late that year, and ordered June 1448 to inquire into alleged capture of five French ships by English 'pirates'; uncertain how much longer he held the place (Coll. of Arms MS. O.A. II, 507).

Surname nowhere given but certificate concerning one of the piracy complaints and dat. 7 October 1448 is signed 'Chest. herrod' with a slipped trefoil at the end of the signature. As William Tyndale's signature as Lancaster ended with a trefoil and triangle interlaced may be inferred that John was also a Tyndale, perhaps William's son.


Huntingdon, c. 1441 (?).

Chester, temp. Hen. VI (?).

Only known from item in inventory of Benolt's books: 'a booke wryttyn by Willm. Whityng alias Huntingdon herauld & after Chester of Cronicles in frenche of popes... wit the armes of divers gentilmen painted' (H. & H. (1956), p. 151, no. 6). No indication of the date, but Huntingdon, herald of John Holand, Duke of Exeter, witnessed Legh's grant of arms to Thomas May, 1440, was prisoner in France November 1446 (see also John Wrexworth, Guyenne) and took message to Duke of Alençon 1458.

As Chester must have been between John (Tyndale) and John Water.

Perhaps father of Thomas Whiting, Chester.


Warwick, date unknown.

Chester, c. 1455 (?), dismissed 1471.

Name only known from two documents: (1) pat. 2 July 1471, granting comprehensive pardon to John Water or Walter, herald of arms, lately called Chester herald and lately called Warwick herald; and (2) bond 17 July following by Holme, Norroy and John Dee, Montacu, as his sureties. Not said when he held those two offices; probably herald to Richard Earl of Warwick, the 'King maker', becoming Chester c. 1455, and dismissed (probably in April) 1471 for supporting the earl at Barnet Field. Cannot have been reinstated as Chester for Thomas Whiting had that place in 1473; may perhaps have been made York, see John Water, York (3).

April 1465 lent to Lord Scales to carry his challenge to the Bastard of Burgundy; although royal herald then wore Scales' tabard (Excerpta Hist., pp. 172, 175, 192).



Wallingford, temp. Hen. VI.

Bluemantle, temp. Hen. VI.

Chester, temp. Hen. VI (? temp. Ed. IV).

March, c. 1480.

Richard Stanton is shown in Lant's roll as Wallingford, Bluemantle and Chester under Henry VI; probably identical with 'Richard Chester alias Richard Marche, King of arms, of Harrow on the Hill', named in Close Roll, 20 Ed. IV, m. 10d, 1 July 1480, but dates of appointment as Chester and March uncertain.

Arms: Sable, an orle of 8 martlets argent.



Guisnes, temp. Ed. IV.

Rouge Croix, temp. Ed. IV.

Chester, temp. Ed. IV (sic).

Arms: Gules, a saltire vair between 4 leopard faces or.



Falcon, pursuivant, temp. Ed. IV.

Bluemantle, temp. Ed. IV.

Chester, 1 Ric. III, 1483 (sic).

Arms: Ermine, 3 scocheons sable.

Certainly not Chester in 1483 for that title was in Thomas Whiting 1473–95.



Nucelles, post 1462.

Chester, c. September 1473.

Described as Nucelles pursuivant in pat. as Chester; retainer of Anthony Wydevill, lord of Scales and Nucells and later Earl Rivers; 1465 accompanied Chester (John Water) when he took Lord Scales' challenge to the Bastard of Burgundy and wrote account of subsequent tournament; also wrote, in French, account of funeral of Richard, Duke of York, and poem about him (see Excerpta Hist., pp. 171–212); 1466 attended Chalons-de Breuil duel at Tours; appd Chester between Water's dismissal c. May 1471 and 3 September 1473, when was at Arlon to inform Duke of Burgundy of Prince Richard's birth (Archaeologia, lxxxiv, pl. 1); confirmed as Chester by pat. 18 December 1483 and 25 September 1486; sent to France several times by Henry VII; still living 10 Hen. VII, 1494–5.

B.M. MS. Harl. 48, which contains above poem, in his handwriting.

Arms: Per saltire azure & ermine, in the fess point a leopard's face or & in chief 3 roundels argent (Coll. of Arms MS. M. 3, fos. 49, 64 b).



Berwick, temp. Ed. IV.

Rouge Croix, temp. Ed. IV.

Chester, temp. Hen. VII.

Probably Lant's invention. Certainly not Chester, and no reliable evidence for the pursuivantships.

Arms: Azure, a chevron between 3 griffin heads erased & a chief or.



Montorgueil, pursuivant, temp. Hen. VII, herald, pat. 7 April 1516.

Chester, p.s. 5 July 1525, cr. 29 May 1533.

Only known holder of title Montorgueil, first as pursuivant, perhaps appd c. 1494 for service in the Channel Islands, then by name, 'Ranulph Jackson alias Mount Argule', and further in 1516 the patent promoting him to 'Mount Argule' herald granted him 20 mks a year 'as held by Thomas Whiting' (see above no. 11); but title not changed to Chester until p.s. 1525. Not cr. till 1533 and in meantime still called Montorgueil in Heralds' Partition Book. Last mentioned Christmas 1545.

Arms: Vert, a fess or between 3 magpies proper.

Burke's General Armory, following Berry and Robson, puts the magpies on the fess, no doubt a misinterpretation of Noble's 'vert, a fess or, 3 magpies proper'.

14. WILLIAM FLOWER (1545). See Norroy (26).

15. ROBERT COOKE (1562). See Clarenceux (14).



Newhaven, appd, c. 1544 (?), reappd 1562.

Chester, pat. 18 July 1567.

Probably grandson of John Hart of Northolt, Middlesex, who d. 1500. Perhaps the same as John Hart, b. c. 1527, LL.B. and Fellow of Trinity Hall, Cambridge. Newhaven pursuivant probably attached to English garrison of Ambleteuse (alias Hameltue or Newhaven) 1544–9, and again 1562–3 to the English force at Le Havre alias Newhaven; Chester 1567; employed by Court of Wards and Liveries 1569–74; d. 16 July 1574.

Author of works on orthography and pronunciation, (1) unpublished, dat. 1551 (B.M. MS. Royal 17, C. vii); (2) An Orthographie (1569); (3) A Methode [of phonetic spelling] (1570).

(Bror Danielson, John Hart's Works (Stockholm, 1955), p. 13, etc.; N. & Q., cciii, 222–4.)

Arms: Gules, a bend between 3 fleurs de lis argent, a crescent for difference.

17. EDMUND KNIGHT (1574). See Norroy (27).



Bluemantle, signet 21 April, pat. 25 April, cr. 4 June 1587.

Chester, nom. 1589, pat. 16 May 1590, cr. 25 March 1592.

Third s. of James Thomas of Llanvihangel, co. Glamorgan, descended from Gwilim ap Jenkin ancestor also of Herbert, Earl of Pembroke (G. T. Clark, Genealogies of Morgan and Glamorgan, p. 252, etc.); Bluemantle 1587 and thence Chester; d. 19 June 1603.

In 1597 Garter Dethick said he had 'a knowledge of some languages, but small experience'.

Arms: Per pale azure & gules, 3 lions rampant argent.



Rouge Croix, docquet 2, pat. 4 February, cr. 26 March 1592.

Chester, nom. June 1603, bill 4, docquet 27 February 1604, confirmed 10 December 1613, pat. 5 April 1617, resd 21 June 1618.

Probably s. of Edmund Knight, Norroy; Rouge Croix 1592; nom. Chester June 1603, but before he could pass pat. Penson surreptitiously obtained pat. of Chester; dispute lasted ten years, Knight functioning as Chester; 1613 Lords Commissioners of Earl Marshalship decided in Knight's favour and appd Penson Lancaster. Resd 21 June 1618 in favour of Chitting, and d. following October. In 1597 Garter Dethick held him well skilled in arms and pedigrees.

Arms: Vert, a bend of 5 lozenges or with a crescent for difference.

20. WILLIAM PENSON (1603). See Lancaster (23).



Chester, signet 12, pat. 18 July 1618.

Of Islington; b. 1580, s. of Thomas Chitting, of Wortham, Suffolk. Bought place of Chester from Thomas Knight 1618; as Clarenceux's deputy visited Berkshire and Gloucestershire 1623 and Lincolnshire and Derbyshire 1634; d. Islington 7 January 1638. Member of Gray's Inn; left manuscripts on the Extinct Baronage of England, Suffolk Tenures and other subjects.

(D.N.B.; etc.)

Arms: Quarterly argent & azure, on a bend gules 3 quatrefoils argent. Crest: A talbot's head erased argent. Motto: Fidelitate et Sagacitate.

(Davenport, English Heraldic Book-Stamps, p. 114; etc.)

22. EDWARD WALKER (1638). See Garter (12).

23. WILLIAM DUGDALE (1644). See Garter (13).


? Chester, temp. Protectorate.

Called cousin with 'Young Will Ryley'; said to have been Chester under the Protectorate (Chester Waters, Genealogical Memoirs of the Chesters of Chicheley, p. 181; cf. Noble, p. 262); no corroboration.


Chester, signet June, sworn 10 August 1660.

S. of a tanner (Gybbon's 'Inquisitio sincera'); of the Middle Temple; Clerk in Tower Record Office; Captain in Royalist army; Chester at Restoration. A skilful herald and staunch supporter of the E.M. against Sir Ed. Walker, whose son-in-law Sir John Clopton called him 'that implacable enemy of my father's' (Hamper's Dugdale, p. 409). Offered the Gartership on Walker's death, but declined on score of ill-health. D. 23 April 1677. Left several books to the College; owned Brick Close, near Green Park, London (B. H. Johnson, Berkeley Square to Bond Street (1952), p. 15, etc.). His dau. Frances married Thomas May, Chester. Friend of Gregory King.



Rouge Dragon, pat. 16 December 1675.

Chester, E.M. wt. 24 April, pat. 6, cr. 24 May 1677.

B. February 1644, eldest s. of Thomas May of Sutton-Cheyney, Leicestershire, descended from Wadhurst and Mayfield, Sussex; son-in-law of Thomas Lee, Chester; educ. Market Bosworth, Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and New Inn, London; Rouge Dragon 1675, and Chester on Lee's death; co-deputy for St George, Clarenceux, at Vis'ns of Northamptonshire and five other counties 1681–3; d. of consumption at Sutton-Cheyney 22 December 1689.

(Nichols, Leics., iv, 548.)

Arms: Gules, a fess between 8 billets or, a crescent for difference. Crest: From a crown or a leopard's head gules, a crescent for difference (Coll. of Arms MS. K. 2. 75).


Mawson (2)

Blanch Lyon, R. wt. 5 March 1680.

Rouge Croix, signet March, R. wt. 22, cr. 24 March 1686.

Chester, pat. 16 January, R. wt. 6, cr. 8 February 1690, resd 16 July 1720.

Of Norfolk St, Strand, and East Barnet, Hertfordshire; b. 12 April 1646, at Wigston, Leicestershire, a younger s. of Thomas Mawson of Great Wigston; Captain of Horse in Royalist army; 1680 Blanch Lyon, later Rouge Croix and Chester; 1680, as 'evidence keeper' to the Duke of Norfolk, supplied material for A particular of the Lordship of Bittesby...; 1709 still working on the duke's evidences and collecting papers re Earl Marshal's office; resd heraldship 16 July 1720; 1721 appd by P. Le Neve, Norroy, his deputy for Lancashire; d. East Barnet 5 January 1723; burd there (M.I.). Father of Richard Mawson, Windsor.

(See also Cass, East Barnet (London and Middlesex Arch. Soc.), p. 204.)

Arms: (1) As pursuivant: Per bend sinister ermine & ermines, a lion or.

(2) Granted 1692: Per fess ermine & ermines, a pale counterchanged & over all a lion salient or. Crest: A lion's head or with collar gobony ermine & ermines.



Chester, pat. 15 December 1720.

Of Tiverton, co. Somerset; b. c. 1682; s. of John Stibbs, J.P., and thrice mayor of Bath; bought place of Chester from Mawson 1720; d. at College 10 January 1740; burd in family vault Bath Abbey (M.I.).

According to Martin Leake a sensible man and good officer, but not 5 feet tall, squat and bandy-legged; an eternal gossip and knew more private history than any man in the Kingdom which made him an entertaining companion.

Arms granted to him 4 February 1723: Per pale gules & azure, on a chevron embattled between 3 estoiles or 3 fusils sable. Crest: Out of a mural crown per pale gules & azure a phoenix in flames with wings expanded or semy of estoiles gules.

On his bookplate he quartered: (2) sable, a stag's head caboshed between flanches argent (Parker); (3) vert, 3 horses courant argent bridled or (Fry).



Arundel, E.M. wt. 16, R. wt. 30 June, cr. September 1735.

Chester, pat. 22 February 1740.

B. c. 1707, s. of William Huchenson by Elizabeth dau. of Francis Lord Howard of Effingham; related to the Duke of Newcastle through his mother. Clerk in Duke of Newcastle's office; Gentleman Sewer to Queen Caroline; Secretary to D.E.M. 1732; Arundel 1735 and later Chester; d. at his house in Dorset Court, Westminster, 22 June 1752; burd in St Margaret's Churchyard. Friend and agent of John Cheale who left to him all his work as Norroy. He was personable, of good parts and education, but over-fond of dress and pleasure and neglected his work.

Arms: ..., a lion rampant...between 8 crosses crosslet....



Chester, appd August, pat. 27 September 1752, resd 5 July 1791.

Of Thorpe Hall, Essex; b. March 1739, second s. of Garter Leake. Appd Chester 1752 when only 13; resd 5 July 1791, in favour of his youngest brother George; E.M's Secretary 1763–5; Clerk in Treasury 1763; Commissioner of Public Accounts 1785; Comptroller of Army Accounts 1794; retired 1811; d. at Marshalls, High Cross, Hertfordshire, 7 April 1836, aged 97; burd in Thorpe-le-Soken Church, Essex (M.I.); inherited his father's MSS. and gave them to George. Ancestor of Martin-Leake of Marshalls.

Arms: As Garter with a crescent for difference.



Chester, E.M. wt. 22 July, pat. 10 August, salary from 24 June 1791.

B. 1753, youngest s. of Garter Leake; Chester on his elder brother's resignation 1791; sometime Captain in the army, a memorandum by Nayler, 9 April 1800, says 'Chester absent on military duty & has never attended to official business'; d. at Kennington 4 November 1834; burd at Stepney. On his death the College bought from his executor most of his father's collections.

Arms: As Garter with a molet for difference.

31. WALTER ASTON BLOUNT (1834). See Clarenceux (38).



Rouge Dragon, E.M. wt. 9, Gazette 19, pat. 28 June, salary from 9 June 1848.

Surrey, E.M. wt. 23, R. wt. 27 August 1856, title held concurrently with that of Rouge Dragon.

Chester, pat. 9 December, salary from 9 November 1859.

B. 24 June 1812, fifth s. of Stephen Cooper Dendy of Horsham, Sussex, and brother-in-law to Edward Howard-Gibbon, Norroy.

Private Secretary to the thirteenth Duke of Norfolk and from 1849, as Rouge Dragon, official Secretary to him and to the fourteenth Duke. 1856 and 1858 attached to Garter missions to Turkey and Prussia, being appointed Surrey just before the former. D. London 15 May 1864.

(H. & G., ii, 547–8; Gent. Mag.; etc.)

Arms granted 1793: Quarterly argent & azure, on a bend invected & cotised sable between 2 molets or ermined sable 3 cinquefoils or. Crest: On a mount between 2 slips of laurel vert a bezant charged with a unicorn's head couped azure. Motto: Respicio Sine Luctu.



Bluemantle, pat. 23 August, salary from 30 June 1849.

Chester, pat. 21 July, salary from 15 May 1864.

A cadet of Lane of King's Bromley; b. 3 March 1833 at Leamington, sixth s. of Rev. Charles Lane, Hon. Canon of Canterbury. Bluemantle 1849 aged 16, then Chester; Secretary to the Garter mission to St Petersburg 1867; a consistent absentee from the College; d. 24 May 1913. Published The Royal Daughters of England (4 vols.). Compiled an elaborate pedigree tracing his family back to the Conquest (Genealogical Mag., 1, 131), but Round scoffed at the earlier part as 'an account on the old lines' (Family Origins, p. 10).

He and Molyneux-Seel were among the first 'gentlemen' appointed after E.M. decided against nominating ex-clerks (like Collen, Courthope, etc.), but in 1869 Serjeant Bellasis opined he knew nothing of the business, did not trouble to learn it and rarely came to College; in 1869 had only attended twenty-one chapters out of fifty-one, and when in waiting left Collen to do all the work; he had then no residence in London and lived with his parson brother in Norfolk.

Arms granted 1678: Per fess or & azure, a chevron gules between 3 molets counterchanged, a canton of England, a fleur de lis for difference. Crest: A demi-strawberry roan horse proper, bridle sable & buckle or, between the feet a royal crown proper. Motto: Garde Le Roy. (See Chester's own account of these arms in Genealogical Mag., 1, 206.)



Portcullis, pat. 9 April, salary from 12 March 1894.

Chester, pat. 20 June, salary from 24 May 1913.

B. Aberdare, Glamorganshire, 13 April 1856, second s. of Thomas Joseph, formerly Watkin; in early life a cowboy in Texas; resumed name of Watkin by R.L. 13 August 1894; Barrister on South Wales circuit; Portcullis 1894 and later Chester; d. 3 October 1915.

Published 'The two Gwaethfoeds' and other articles on Welsh pedigrees. Indexed Protheroe collection of Welsh MSS. in the College; more than 50 volumes of his Welsh collections acquired by the College at his death.

Arms granted to his father 1886: Argent, on a saltire indented sable ermined argent between 4 spear-heads sable a spear-head argent, a border engrailed sable. Crest: In front of 3 spears, points downward, one in pale & 2 in saltire, sable a wolf's head proper charged on the neck with a fess ermine. Motto: Ofner Na Ofno Angan.

35. ARTHUR WILLIAM STEUART COCHRANE (1915). See Clarenceux (44).

36. SIR JOHN DUNAMACE HEATON-ARMSTRONG (1926). See Clarenceux (46).



Bluemantle, pat. 24 February, salary from 30 January 1948.

Chester, pat. 23 January 1956, salary from 30 November 1955, resd 5 July 1960.

B. 20 April 1920, s. of John Geoffrey Frere of Hartley, S. Rhodesia; educ. Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge; Intelligence Corps 1944–8; Bluemantle 1948; F.S.A. 1950; Chester 1956; resd 1960.

Arms granted and confirmed 1948: Or, 2 leopard's faces between 2 flanches gules. Crest: Out of a 'ducal' coronet gules an heraldic antelope's head argent, armed, crined & tufted gules. Motto: Traditum Ab Antiquis Servare. Frère Ayme Frère. Badge granted 1948: On a mount vert an heraldic antelope lodged argent, armed, crined, tufted & unguled & gorged with a 'ducal' coronet therefrom a chain over the back gules.



Rouge Croix, pat. 20 April, salary from 14 April 1954.

Chester, pat. 1 November, salary from 5 July 1960.

Of 53 Allington Crescent, N.W. 9; b. 18 January 1907, s. of John Walter Verco, of Chelsea; educ. Tollington Park Central School, London; employed College 1924–39; R.A.F.V.R., 1940–45, Flight-Lieutenant; 1945 returned to College; Secretary to Sir G. Bellew, then Somerset, Sir A. Howard, Garter, and Sir G. Bellew, Garter; M.V.O. 1952; Rouge Croix and O. St J. 1954; Chester 1960; Earl Marshal's Secretary 1961.

Arms granted 1954: Per pale argent and azure, 11 molets of six points counterchanged (representing the constellation Virgo). Crest: A Cornish chough proper the wings elevated & addorsed & doubled sable fretty or (in allusion to the arms of Bellew). Mantling: Azure & or. Motto: Vitam Impendere Vero.