Rouge Dragon Pursuivant

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, 'Rouge Dragon Pursuivant', in Survey of London Monograph 16, College of Arms, Queen Victoria Street, (London, 1963) pp. 219-228. British History Online [accessed 29 May 2024].

Walter H Godfrey. Anthony Wagner. "Rouge Dragon Pursuivant", in Survey of London Monograph 16, College of Arms, Queen Victoria Street, (London, 1963) 219-228. British History Online, accessed May 29, 2024,

Godfrey, Walter H. Wagner, Anthony. "Rouge Dragon Pursuivant", Survey of London Monograph 16, College of Arms, Queen Victoria Street, (London, 1963). 219-228. British History Online. Web. 29 May 2024,


Instituted by Henry VII on 29 October 1485, the eve of his coronation, in reference to the royal badge, the 'red dragon of Cadwallader'. One of the four pursuivants in ordinary.

Badge: A rouge dragon passant on a green mount.

1. NAME UNKNOWN (1485), cr. 29 October 1485, salary by pat. 21 April 1486, paid to Easter 1491.

2. NAME UNKNOWN (1494), by pat. 18 January 1494 Rouge Dragon was granted the annuity previously enjoyed by Faucon, John Yonge, see Norroy (16), paid to Easter 1496.

3. WILLIAM TYNDALE or TENDALE (temp. Hen. VII). See Lancaster (12).

4. ?THOMAS BYSLEY. See York (9).

5. WILLIAM HASYNG or HASTINGS (? 1521). See Somerset (4).

6. THOMAS MILLER or MILNER (1530). See Lancaster (16).

7. FULK AP HOWEL (1536). See Lancaster (17).

8. MARTIN MARROFFE (1539). See York (12).

9. WILLIAM COLBARNE or COWARNE (1553). See York (13).

10. EDMUND KNIGHT (1565). See Norroy (27).

11. NICHOLAS PADDY (1574). See Lancaster (20).

12. JOHN RAVEN (1588). See Richmond (16).



Rouge Dragon, cr. 23 October 1597, pat. 20 March 1603.

Merchant, traveller, cartographer, antiquary and herald; b. c. 1550 Warmingham, co. Chester; younger s. of Randle Smith of Oldhaugh, co. Chester, perhaps B.A. Brasenose College, Oxford, February 1567; c. 1575 Citizen and Haberdasher of London; c. 1578 in Germany; for a time kept Goose Inn, Nuremberg; returned to England on father's death 1584, and 1585 settled in Cheshire; (fn. 1) c. 1595 petition for place in College supported by Garter, Clarenceux, rour neralds and four pursuivants who certified him 'of honest life & conversation, both learned & langwaged, & able to serve her Majesty & therefore worthy to be of our Society'; Rouge Dragon 1597; d. 1 October 1618; burd St Alphege's Churchyard.

Skilful and laborious as herald but, perhaps embittered by lack of promotion, prone to ill-natured criticism of his colleagues, see e.g. his 'Abuses ... to the prejudice of the Officers of Arms', MS. 1186. 1, in Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington.

Left many MS. collections, genealogical and topographical, including 'The Particular Description of England' (printed 1879), 'A History of Cheshire', 1585 (incorporated in D. King's Vale Royal, 1656), an 'Armorial of the Princes... of Germany', 1593, an 'Alphabet of Arms', 'Smith's Ordinary' (Coll. of Arms MS. E.D.N. 22), an armorial of families named Smith, an English Baronagium, 'The XII Worshipful Companies or Misteries of London' comprising an armorial of the lord mayors, sheriffs and aldermen of London, 1605 and 1609; some of his MSS. in Philipot Collection at College of Arms, others in British Museum, Bodleian, etc.

(See also D.N.B.; 1879 edit. of his Particular Description; Athen. Oxon. ed. Bliss, ii, 233–4; H. & G., v, 25.)

The publication of a facsimile of the 1605 (Bodleian) MS. of the 'XII Worshipful Companies' was advertised in 1875 (Brit. Arch. Assoc. J., xxxi, 502–3), but the project was not carried out. The 1609 MS. is in the Guildhall Library, London.

Arms: Quarterly, (1 & 4) per pale or & gules, 3 fleurs de lis counterchanged (Smith); (2 & 3) azure, a fret or (Oldhaugh). Crest: A fleur de lis per pale or & gules.

At first he added a crescent for difference, but later omitted this as the senior line of Cuerdley was extinct.

14. JOHN PHILIPOT (1618). See Somerset (12).

15. THOMAS THOMPSON (1624). See Lancaster (24).

16. EDWARD WALKER (1637). See Garter (12).



Rose Rouge, cr. 4 January 1634.

Rouge Dragon, docquet 27 January, pat. 1 February 1638.

Of St Botolph's, Aldersgate; b. c. 1589, second s. of John Lilly, of London, Joiner, descended from family in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire; Citizen and Painter-Stainer (apprenticed 1605), established in Little Britain; 1633 committed to Marshalsea for meddling in funeral of Mr Williamson without Norroy's instructions, but 1634 appd Rose Rouge and same year deputed with Owen to visit Essex, Worcestershire and Bedfordshire; Rouge Dragon January 1638; d. 29 (or ? 19) August following; burd Farnham Church, Essex (M.I.).

Very skilful limner and illuminator with some reputation as herald and genealogist; employed by prominent persons of his day; executed inter alia sumptuous pedigrees of Howard, Digby, Newdegate and Sandys. Genealogical work sound in later generations, but marred by yielding to fashionable craze for a Saxon descent. William Sedgwick, the 'skylfull Armes-paynter' employed by Hatton and Dugdale, was sometime his servant.

Compiled 'Pedigrees of the Nobility' (Lit. Anec., viii, 711), 'Pedigrees of Worcestershire Families, 1634' (B.M. Add. MS. 19816, fos. 100, etc.), and 'Genealogies of the Families of Weston & Cave, 1632' (Add. 18667).

(See also D.N.B., Surrey Arch. Coll., vi, 277; J. H. Round, Peerage and Pedigree, ii, 15, 39, and Peerage and Family History, p. 76; Walpole, Anecdotes, ed. Dallaway, 11, 45; Genealogist, N.S. xxxi, 215; Hamper's Dugdale, p. 11, etc.; Lit. Anec. and Lit. Hist.; Squibb, Court of Chivalry Cases, Harl. Soc., cvii, 40–1.)

Arms: confirmed by Segar; Gules, 3 lilies argent, stalks & leaves vert, in a border argent, a crescent for difference.



Rouge Dragon, E.M. wt. 2, R. wt. 9, pat. 12, cr. 24 September 1638, resd c. July 1657, resumed tabard at Restoration, resd April 1661.

Somerset designate, 1646, not appd.

B. c. 1617; already retained by Thomas, Earl of Arundel in 1636. 1637 published A True Relation... of the Earl's mission to the Emperor in 1636. 1638 Rouge Dragon; 1646 designated for promotion to Somerset, but appointment not completed. Very active during Civil War in service of Parliament, especially in Shropshire; Lieutenant-Colonel in the Parliamentary forces; M.P. for Bridgnorth 1654; Governor of Shrewsbury 1655. 1657 resigned and went to America. At Restoration returned to England and resumed old place as Rouge Dragon, but resigned again April 1661; returned to America and d. at Boston early 1683. Will proved 26 February 1683.

His eldest s. John, the Restoration dramatist, d. in London 1712.

(Dict. Amer. Biog.; A. F. White, John Crowne, His Life and Dramatic Works (Cleveland, U.S.A., 1922); etc.)

Arms: Azure, 3 wolves passant in pale argent collared or with a crescent for difference.



Rouge Dragon, intruded October 1658, pat. 25 February 1659.

B. c. 1634, third s. of Dr John Exton, Judge of the Admiralty Court; related to several members of the College. His mother was dau. and heiress of Ralph Brooke, York, and his wife Elizabeth, descended from the two Dethick Garters, was sister to Henry Dethick, Richmond, while her first cousin Anne was wife of John Watson, the intruding Bluemantle. Also connected with Robert Treswell, Somerset, whose wife, like Exton's greatgrandmother, was a Castle of Glatton, Huntingdonshire.

Educ. Merchant Taylors' School. Said to have been a Bachelor of Laws, but of what University is not known. Appd Rouge Dragon by Oliver Cromwell, probably in 1657 when Crowne emigrated; appointment confirmed by Richard Cromwell. At the Restoration, when Crowne resumed his tabard Exton's petition for the place of Windsor failed. Thereafter he appears as a notary public and a proctor in the Courts of Arches and Chivalry.

Made his will 18 March 1718 (P.C.C. 119 Tenison); burd St Benet's, Paul's Wharf, 17 May 1718.

(Prestwich, Respublica, p. 189; Merchant Taylors' School Register; etc.)

Arms: Gules, a cross between 4 crosses crosslet fitchy or. Exton & his brothers quartered with this the arms of Brooke (q.v.) & used the crest of Brooke. (1687 Vis'n of London.)

19. FRANCIS SANDFORD (1661). See Lancaster (27).

20. THOMAS MAY (1675). See Chester (25).

21. GREGORY KING (1677). See Lancaster (28).

22. PIERS MAUDUIT (1690). See Windsor (26).



Blanch Lyon, R. wt. 27 May 1690.

Rouge Dragon, signet January, pat. 16 February, R. wt. 5 May 1691, resd 27 June 1700.

Third s. of Sir John Clopton of Clopton, Warwickshire, by Barbara dau. and heiress of Garter Walker. Blanch Lyon 1690 when only about 18; Rouge Dragon 1691; resd 27 June 1700. Barrister Middle Temple 1696; Kt. 1732; d. New Place, Stratford-on-Avon, 28 December 1751.

(Halliwell-Phillips, An Historical Account of New Place (1864), p. 209; etc.)

Arms: Quarterly with a crescent for difference; (1 & 4) per pale or & gules, a cross formy counterchanged (Clopton); (2) paly of 4 pieces or & azure, a lion rampant counterchanged (Cockesfield); (3) Quarterly, (i & iv) argent, a chevron anchored between 3 crescents sable; (ii & iii) argent, on a cross gules 5 leopard faces or (Walker). Crests: (1) For Clopton: a bird with displayed wings standing on a tun fessways, all or; (2) for Cockesfield: a lion's head erased paly of 4 pieces or & azure. (1682 Vis'n of Warwickshire.)

24. JOHN HARE (1700). See Richmond (22).


Rouge Dragon, pat. 27 May 1704.

B. c. 1672; of Wanstead, Essex, and later of St Andrew's, Holborn; Attorney-at-Law, member of Clifford's Inn and the Inner Temple; also Deputy Chamberlain in the Tally Court of the Exchequer. Committed suicide by drowning in a pond at Islington 27 October 1720.


Blanch Lyon, E.M. wt. 13 May 1719, cr. 24 June 1720.

Rouge Dragon, pat. 4 September 1721, salary from Michaelmas 1720.

Of Church St, Hackney, Middlesex; Clerk in Excise Department nearly fifty years; E.M's Secretary; Blanch Lyon 1719 and thence Rouge Dragon; 1745 declined promotion to Windsor vice Mawson; d. at Hackney 2 March 1755, aged 72; burd New Burying Ground, Lamb's Conduit Fields. Sensible and good-natured and would have made an excellent herald could he have devoted his time to it.

27. HENRY HILL (1755). See Windsor (31).



Rouge Dragon, pat. 23 May 1758, salary from 11 November 1757, resd 10 November 1763.

Sometime apprentice to Nourse, bookseller in the Strand; later Clerk in South Sea House; candidate for Chester vice Huchenson 1752; Rouge Dragon 1758; resd 10 November 1763, in favour of Lock for £335; Lord Effingham, D.E.M., promised to reappoint him at first opportunity, but d. before vacancy occurred.

Made an index to Vis'n Books in College of Arms, sometime penes G. W. Marshall.

His father a Steward in Effingham family and Clerk in Salt Office.

Arms granted to him 1761: Argent, a pall sable & on a chief or a dragon passant gules between 2 chaplets vert flowered gules. Crest: A dragon salient gules holding between the foreclaws a chaplet as in the arms.

29. THOMAS LOCK (1763). See Clarenceux (28).

30. RALPH BIGLAND (1774). See Garter (24).

31. BENJAMIN PINGO (1780). See York (27).


Rouge Dragon, pat. 13 April, salary from 11 February 1786, resd 1 May 1797.

Only child of... Phillips, of the East Indies, a younger s. of Thomas Phillips sometime coroner for co. Brecon; Rouge Dragon 1786; resd 1 May 1797.

33. JAMES CATHROW (1797). See Somerset (21).

34. CHARLES GEORGE YOUNG (1813). See Garter (26).



Rouge Dragon, Gazette 3, pat. 19 June, salary from 15 May 1820.

B. in College, 9 November 1786, s. of Francis Townsend, Windsor; baptized St Benet's, Paul's Wharf, 26 March 1787; Rouge Dragon 1820; d. 14 April 1833, at Putney, burd there.

Sometime editor of Debrett's Peerage; published Calendar of Knights, 1828. His widow sold his and his father's collections to the College of Arms, see Francis Townsend Windsor (33).

Arms granted 6 February 1823 to him and his uncle Rev. Thomas Town send, rector of Aisthorpe, Lincolnshire: Quarterly, (1 & 4) per fess azure & argent, a pale engrailed & counterchanged & 3 escallops argent (Townsend); (2) or goutty gules, a dragon's head erased gules & on a chief sable 2 boar's heads couped argent (Spooner, for his paternal grandmother); (3) per chevron formy at the point argent & sable, 2 ravens sable in chief & a lion rampant & looking backwards in base argent (Protheroe, for his mother). Crest: A castle with 2 towers & issuant therefrom a demi-stag proper attired or. Motto: Nulla Pallescere Culpa.




Rouge Dragon, E.M. wt. 18, pat. 30 April, salary from 14 April 1833.

Of Dublin City, descended from co. Leitrim; b. c. 1786; Junior Pursuivant, Ulster's office 1813; Athlone pursuivant, 2 May 1820; Dublin herald, 31 March 1827, retaining that title till his death; Rouge Dragon 1833; d. at College 14 May 1833, less than month after his appointment; burd St Benet's, Paul's Wharf.

Arms granted by Ulster 2 May 1820: Or, 2 lions passant in pale sable & on a canton sable a chessrook argent. Crest: Out of a marquess's coronet a dexter cubit arm in armour grasping in the gauntlet a naked dagger all proper. Motto: Nil Admirari.

37. THOMAS WILLIAM KING (1833). See York (31).

38. EDWARD STEPHEN DENDY (1848). See Chester (32).

39. GEORGE EDWARD ADAMS, afterwards COKAYNE (1859). See Clarenceux (39).

40. WILLIAM HENRY WELDON (1870). See Clarenceux (40).

41. ALFRED SCOTT GATTY (1880). See Garter (28).



Woods (1)

Woods (2)

Rouge Dragon, pat. 23 October, salary from 19 September 1886.

B. 5 March 1865, only s. of William Francis Woods (nom. pursuivant on promotion of Cokayne, Rouge Dragon, 1870, but appointment not effected), and grandson of Sir Albert Woods, Garter; educ. Haileybury; Rouge Dragon 1886; bankrupt 1889 owing to gambling, etc. (Punch, 2 November; The Times, 29 November); d. at Torquay s.p. 24 January 1893, four weeks after his wife.

Arms: As Sir A. Woods before and after 1891 grant.

43. EVERARD GREEN (1893). See Somerset (26).

44. ALGAR HENRY STAFFORD HOWARD (1911). See Garter (31).



Rouge Dragon, pat. 4 November, salary from 8 October 1919, resd 14 January 1922.

B. 1895, second s. of Arthur Dury Mitton of Brynlloches; sometime Lieutenant 2nd Dragoon Guards, Royal Scots Greys; Rouge Dragon 1919; resd 14 January 1922 and went to Australia; returned to London c. 1950 and set up as private genealogical agent.

Arms granted 1920: Per pale gules & azure, a double eagle or in a border checky or & gules. Crest: A double eagle azure, legs gules, a rose argent on each wing. Motto: Semper Fidelis.

46. JOHN DUNAMACE HEATON-ARMSTRONG (1922). See Clarenceux (46).



Rouge Dragon, pat. 19 October, salary from 14 October 1926.

B. Berlin 15 January 1894, s. of Kammerheer Carl E. von Geijer, of Swedish Diplomatic Service, and Lila Lucy née White. His mother married 1899 en secondes noces 5th Lord Abinger. Educ. Wellington and Trinity College, Cambridge; Lieutenant, Grenadier Guards 1917–19; F.S.A. 1929; d. suddenly 14 January 1941, at Cheltenham where on service as Captain, Intelligence Corps.

A conscientious and methodical worker; published in Genealogists' Magazine (vol. vi, 1933) list of 'Printed Visitations and County Pedigrees'; arranged heraldic section of Society of Genealogists Exhibition 1935.

(Who's Who; Burke's Peerage sub Abinger; etc.)

Arms granted 1928: Or, a vulture looking backwards with wings displayed sable collared or & standing on a sabre fessways proper, hilt to the dexter gold. Crest: A dexter arm embowed in armour, the hand grasping a sword fessways proper hilted or, all between 2 vulture's wings proper. Badge: A dragon's claw fessways erased gules grasping a rose argent slipped & leaved proper. Motto: Persevero.

48. MICHAEL ROGER TRAPPES-LOMAX (1946). See Somerset (28).



Rouge Dragon, pat. 17 May 1952, salary from 26 January 1951.

B. 13 January 1925, in Paris, s. of Duncan William Grinnell-Milne; educ. Marlborough and Merton College, Oxford, M.A.; served Indian Army Second World War; assumed surname of de La Lanne-Mirrlees by deed poll 15 October 1952; Rouge Dragon 1952.

Arms (of Grinnell-Milne) granted 1953: Or, a cross moline between 3 molets in a border embattled azure. Crest: From a crown of 4 fleurs de lis set on a rim or a martlet rising with wings elevated & addorsed sable, beaked gules & wearing a crown as in the arms. Motto: Tam Arte Quam Marte.


  • 1. These dates from D.N.B., but in his German Armorial Smith says he lived in Germany 1571–91.