Two arms in right of two different jurisdictions?

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Jonathan Webster
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Two arms in right of two different jurisdictions?

Postby Jonathan Webster » 12 Sep 2012, 00:47

Consider this scenario: a person lives in a country with an heraldic authority; and applies for and is granted arms; and then (for whatever reason) applies for a grant or registration of arms in another heraldic authority that accepts applications from non-citizens, and is likewise registered or granted; would that be a contravention of the law of Heraldry, or would the person thus bear two sets of arms, one in respect to each country?
Last edited by Jonathan Webster on 10 Sep 2013, 02:52, edited 1 time in total.

Jonathan Webster
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Re: Two arms in right of two different jurisdictions?

Postby Jonathan Webster » 12 Sep 2012, 00:55

-Also can anyone think of any (non-royal) examples? I can think of a few (eg the present Queen of the UK; in respect of each state she is sovereign of), but as Royal arms do.not normally follow the usual rules and conventions of normal heraldry, that can be be dismissed as an acceptable precedent.
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steven harris
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Re: Two arms in right of two different jurisdictions?

Postby steven harris » 12 Sep 2012, 01:52

I do not wish to speak out-of-turn, but - Yes!

Our very own Martin Goldstraw had arms registered with the College of Arms (London) in Dec 2000. Those arms were subsequently matriculated with the Court of the Lord Lyon (Scotland) in Nov 2002.

I must assume that other examples exist - especially with the Bureau of Heraldry (South Africa) accepting registrations from anywhere.

(I most sincerely apologize to Martin if I'm incorrect in his information)
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Jeremy Kudlick
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Re: Two arms in right of two different jurisdictions?

Postby Jeremy Kudlick » 12 Sep 2012, 03:03

Robert D. Watt, LVO, formerly Chief Herald of Canada, had arms granted by the College of Arms in 1983 and registered them in Canada on June 15, 2001. He also matriculated his father's arms based upon those of his father's first cousin with Lyon Court in 1987 and registered them in Canada on February 15, 2008. On April 15, 2009, he was granted supporters to augment a quartered coat using the crests from both previous achievements with the Scottish arms in 1st and 4th and the English arms in 2nd and 3rd.

Arms from the College (no images available)
Arms from the Lord Lyon (Letters Patent only, no image of the arms)
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Chris Green
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Re: Two arms in right of two different jurisdictions?

Postby Chris Green » 12 Sep 2012, 06:58

Mr Watt's case takes to a logical conclusion what needs to be done to bring together one's own first generation CoA when a right to different arms from an earlier generation (and a different heraldic authority) occurs. In Mr Watt's case the "earlier generation" arms were created retrospectively, but they could equally have been discovered by later research into family history. The addition of supporters to Mr Watt's arms has to do with his former appointment and nothing whatever to do with the amalgamtion of two CoAs.

More generally, if one has valid arms granted by a heraldic authority, why would one wish to/need to seek a grant of arms from another authority that makes grants to people with no connection with that country? What possible advantage is to be gained? The new arms would have no status in the country of one's original arms (and indeed if that country were Scotland might I imagine lead to a stiff rebuke from Lord Lyon). I suppose it may be frustrating to have a CoA by descent that one thinks is an ugly mess. There must be several members of the British aristocracy who would dearly love to have different arms for aesthetic reasons! But to take and use a different CoA from an authority in a country with which one has no connection strikes me as a denial of one's family history.

I know of one example of a person with arms from one European country who subsequently obtained quite different arms from two authorities that were happy to grant arms to people with no connection with the countries in which they operate. Looked at from a historical perspective, where arms were meant to identify a knight from any other knight, having three would have been confusing and could even have been construed, rightly or wrongly, as indicating divided loyalties. But, that said, in the 21st century there is nothing illegal about garnering different CoAs from different sources. I wouldn't do it and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone else, but it is certainly possible.
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Arthur Radburn
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Re: Two arms in right of two different jurisdictions?

Postby Arthur Radburn » 12 Sep 2012, 11:16

Jonathan Webster wrote:Consider this scenario: a person lives in a country with an herald authority; and applies for and is granted arms; and then (for whatever reason) applies for a grant or registration of arms in aother herald authority that accepts applications from non-citizens, and is likewise registered or granted; would that be a contravention of the law of Heraldry, or would the person thus bear two sets of arms, on in respect to each country?

As others have already said, there are plenty of examples. There are enthusiasts in the IAAH and other heraldry societies who have had their arms granted or registered in as many countries as will oblige them, e.g. their home country and South Africa and Spain, even Kenya. Apparently, they like to collect the different documents and emblazonments.

There are some South Africans who have obtained grants of arms from the CoA or the Lord Lyon, and then registered them at the Bureau of Heraldry. A Canadian who appears to have disapproved of the CHA devised arms and a badge for himself and registered them at the Bureau. Later, he reconciled himself to the CHA and obtained a grant from them, and then cancelled his SA registration.
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Martin Goldstraw
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Re: Two arms in right of two different jurisdictions?

Postby Martin Goldstraw » 12 Sep 2012, 14:10

Arthur Radburn wrote: //snip// and then cancelled his SA registration.


Interesting, it never occurred to me that a registration could be cancelled (or that anyone would wish to do so).
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Arthur Radburn
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Re: Two arms in right of two different jurisdictions?

Postby Arthur Radburn » 12 Sep 2012, 16:28

Martin Goldstraw wrote:Interesting, it never occurred to me that a registration could be cancelled (or that anyone would wish to do so).

It's rare, but it does happen. Cancellation is notified in the Government Gazette, but
no reasons are ever published.
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steven harris
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Re: Two arms in right of two different jurisdictions?

Postby steven harris » 12 Sep 2012, 16:56

Chris Green wrote:I suppose it may be frustrating to have a CoA by descent that one thinks is an ugly mess. There must be several members of the British aristocracy who would dearly love to have different arms for aesthetic reasons!


Are there regulations against a person eschewing inherited arms for a new design? I thought that at least one British family of nobility had been granted "better" arms when their original arms were taken to be too gaudy. But I can't recall which family... :oops:

Arthur Radburn wrote:
Martin Goldstraw wrote:Interesting, it never occurred to me that a registration could be cancelled (or that anyone would wish to do so).

It's rare, but it does happen. Cancellation is notified in the Government Gazette, but
no reasons are ever published.


That is indeed quite interesting...
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Martin Goldstraw
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Re: Two arms in right of two different jurisdictions?

Postby Martin Goldstraw » 12 Sep 2012, 18:21

Here is one example of a family reverting back to its original arms and eschewing a later grant.
http://cheshire-heraldry.org.uk/weblog/ ... liverpool/
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