Legal Status of Private Officers of Arms

Is it legal? Does it matter? Discuss it here.
Ryan Shuflin
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Legal Status of Private Officers of Arms

Postby Ryan Shuflin » 10 Jun 2013, 23:53

Do private officers of arms have legal status? or require any recognition?

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Edward Hillenbrand
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Re: Legal Status of Private Officers of Arms

Postby Edward Hillenbrand » 11 Jun 2013, 01:56

Can you be more specific as to what you mean by "private Officers of Arm? I think this is a case of people misunderstanding due to our common language. I am thinking of some sort of private armed security. I am not sure if that is what you meant.
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Ryan Shuflin
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Re: Legal Status of Private Officers of Arms

Postby Ryan Shuflin » 11 Jun 2013, 04:11

A herald employed by a private person. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Private_Officer_of_Arms

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Chris Green
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Re: Legal Status of Private Officers of Arms

Postby Chris Green » 11 Jun 2013, 07:16

One of our Scottish members can probably help here, John Duncan of Sketraw possibly.

For what it is worth, which is very little, I doubt very much whether there was ever an Act of Parliament legally entitling certain nobles to create Officers of Arms. However it is conceivable that they were at some stage individually granted Letters Patent giving that right. I would surmise that the status of the Scottish Private Officers of Arms in fact stems from tradition rather than law. Their status and duties seem to be anchored in the traditions of the clans concerned - Hay, Mar, Lindsay and Donald. Other equally important clans and their chiefs do not have the same tradition.

I think that the fact that when the post of Finlaggan Pursuivant was revived in 2005 after 500 years, Ross Herald was present representing the Court of the Lord Lyon, was the best evidence that Private Officers of Arms are "legal" in Scotland. The Wiki article uses the word "recognised" by the Court of the Lord Lyon King of Arms. Merely putting on a tabard and calling oneself "MacThingy Pursuivant" would not result in such recognition being forthcoming!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finlaggan_Pursuivant

In England there are no Private Officers of Arms, but two of the Royal Pursuivants of Arms Extraordinary - Fitzalan and Howard - have titles which suggest that they are the Private Pursuivants of the Earl Marshal, the Duke of Norfolk. The current Fitzalan is in point of fact a Scot - Colonel Alastair Bruce of Crionaich. The Howard appointment is currently vacant having only been filled (also it seems by a Scot) once since its creation as recently as 1992.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fitzalan_Pursuivant_Extraordinary

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_Pursuivant_Extraordinary
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Chas Charles-Dunne
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Re: Legal Status of Private Officers of Arms

Postby Chas Charles-Dunne » 11 Jun 2013, 10:30

Ryan Shuflin wrote:Do private officers of arms have legal status? or require any recognition?

There are those who would argue that the College of Arms are private officers.
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Chris Green
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Re: Legal Status of Private Officers of Arms

Postby Chris Green » 11 Jun 2013, 10:32

There are those who would argue that the College of Arms are private officers.


Enlighten us.
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Chas Charles-Dunne
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Re: Legal Status of Private Officers of Arms

Postby Chas Charles-Dunne » 11 Jun 2013, 10:52

Chris Green wrote:
There are those who would argue that the College of Arms are private officers.


Enlighten us.


Lord Lyon is a civil servant; is paid a wage; and collects revenues for the Crown. Whereas the College is self financing and the monies it collects go to the Kings, Heralds and Pursuivants and to maintain the building and its fabric.
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Martin Goldstraw
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Re: Legal Status of Private Officers of Arms

Postby Martin Goldstraw » 11 Jun 2013, 11:35

Chas Charles-Dunne wrote:There are those who would argue that the College of Arms are private officers.


This is a misinformed view which entirely ignores the facts. Whilst it may be corret that the officers of the College are forced (regrettably) to be self financing it is none the less a fact that they do receive a poor stipend which has not kept pace with inflation since its inception. One only has to peruse the London Gazette to obtain undoubted proof that the officer are "of the Crown" and appointed by the Queen.

Publication Date: Thursday, 8 April 2010

Notice Code: 1108

Crown Office

House of Lords, London SW1A 0PW


1 April 2010


The Queen has been pleased by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the Realm dated 1 April 2010 to appoint Thomas Woodcock, Esquire, LVO, Norroy and Ulster King of Arms, to the office of Garter Principal King of Arms, vacant by the retirement of Sir Peter Llewellyn Gwynn-Jones, KCVO.
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Chris Green
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Re: Legal Status of Private Officers of Arms

Postby Chris Green » 11 Jun 2013, 11:41

Lord Lyon is a civil servant; is paid a wage; and collects revenues for the Crown. Whereas the College is self financing and the monies it collects go to the Kings, Heralds and Pursuivants and to maintain the building and its fabric.


True. But "private" in this case means "not royal". The Pursuivants in question were appointed by the Chiefs of the four clans and bear their arms on their tabards. All other Kings of Arms, Heralds and Pursuivants in England and Scotland are royal appointments. How they are funded (or not) is not relevant. In fact their basic salaries are paid by the Crown (£49.07 for Garter down to £13.95 for a Pursuivant).
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JMcMillan
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Re: Legal Status of Private Officers of Arms

Postby JMcMillan » 11 Jun 2013, 13:03

Chris Green wrote:
Lord Lyon is a civil servant; is paid a wage; and collects revenues for the Crown. Whereas the College is self financing and the monies it collects go to the Kings, Heralds and Pursuivants and to maintain the building and its fabric.


True. But "private" in this case means "not royal". The Pursuivants in question were appointed by the Chiefs...


We're confusing our pursuivants here. Those referred to in Martin's post are Bluemantle, Portcullis, Rouge Dragon, and Rouge Croix.
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