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Dickins was educated at Epsom College, Surrey and Emmanuel College, Cambridge, where he graduated with a Law degree in 1968. He qualified in 1972 as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales, but a keen interest in genealogy and heraldry eventually led to his engagement in 1986 as a research assistant at the College of Arms. Since 1995 he has worked closely with Garter Principal King of Arms, Peter Gwynn-Jones while at the same time pursuing a fully independent legal career. He has made a special study of the relationship between intellectual property law and the present-day law of arms. He was appointed Arundel Herald of Arms Extraordinary in 1998, taking over from Rodney Dennys. Dickins is married with two sons and his other interests include music and fell-walking.
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