British Grants of Arms  1570-1721 (bulk 1684-1700)
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Collection Scope and Content Note

This bound volume contains individual copies of documents, which grant persons or institutions of England or Ireland the right to bear hereditary coats of arms or admit members to the peerage. The volume was once owned by Earl George Macartney; his bookplate appears on the inside front cover. The documents are arranged in three sections, dating from 1666 and 1684-1694 (Section I), 1570-1700 (Section II), and 1716-1721 (Section III). The first two sections (103 pages and 77 pages, respectively) are separately paginated and indexed. The third section consists of 18 non-paginated, non-indexed pages. Many of the earliest items are likely 18th-century copies.

The documents in Sections I and II are predominantly grants allowing Englishmen to establish or bear hereditary coats of arms, signed by the Garter King of Arms, Norroy King of Arms, and/or the Earl Marshal. They present justifications for a named individual to bear a coat of arms or assume a noble title, often mentioning their high standing and ancestral longevity. Those items related to heraldic devices often provide details about the badge to be granted. Many documents are accompanied by pencil sketches, ink drawings, and colored drawings of coats of arms. Several items reflect notable individuals and institutions, such as Sir George Jeffreys (p. 17); Francis Nicholson, then governor of Maryland (p. 93, 1693/4); and the College of William and Mary (pp. 96-97, May 14, 1694). A few documents in Section II are petitions sent to officials, requesting them to grant coats of arms or similar favors.

The third section holds 18 pages of copied documents, which bestow noble titles upon the following individuals in England and Ireland between 1716 and 1721:

  • John Beaumont, Viscount
  • Thomas Parker, Baron
  • James Stanhope, Viscount
  • Matthew Aylmer, Baron
  • Philip Wharton, Duke
  • George Carpenter, Baron
  • William Grimston, Baron
  • Lionel Cranfield Sackville, Duke
  • William Posonby, Baron
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