Grant of arms

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Grant by Clarenceux King of Arms Robert Cooke to Henry Draper of Colnbrook giving him the right to use the arms illustrated; dated 14th October 1571. Source: The National Archives UK

A grant of arms is an action by a lawful authority, such as an officer of arms, conferring on a person and his or her descendants the right to bear a particular coat of arms or armorial bearings. It is one of the ways in which a person may lawfully bear arms in a jurisdiction regulating heraldry, another being by birth, through inheritance.

A grant of arms is distinguished from both a confirmation of arms and a registration of arms. A grant of arms confers a new right, whereas a confirmation of arms confirms an existing right; and a registration of arms is a record which does not purport to create or confirm any legal right.

A grant of arms is typically contained in letters patent which provide self-contained proof, upon production of the letters patent, of the right conferred. A modern English grant of arms, for example, from officers of the College of Arms in London, will begin with the words "To all and singular to whom these presents shall come...", thereby showing that it is addressed to anyone in the world to whom it may be presented.

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References[edit]

  • G.D. Squibb, The High Court of Chivalry p. 184 (Oxford 1959).