Nicholas Charles or Carles (died 1613) was an English officer of arms, the Lancaster Herald between 1609-1613. He made a copy of an early and rare 13th century roll of arms, the original of which is now lost, known after him as "Charles's Roll".
Charles, according to Mark Noble, was son of George Carles, a London butcher. At an early age he entered the College of Arms as Blanch-Lion pursuivant; on 21 April 1609 he was created Lancaster herald in the place of Francis Thynne. In 1611 he accompanied Sir Richard St. George, Norroy king of arms, in his visitation of Derbyshire, and on 22 July 1613 William Camden, the Clarenceux king of arms nominated him his deputy for the visitation of Huntingdonshire. Charles had barely completed this task when he died on 19 November 1613. He was a friend of Camden and Sir Robert Cotton. Thomas Milles commended Charles in his Catalogue of Honour; and Edmund Howes, the continuator of John Stow's Chronicle, acknowledged his assistance.
Camden is said to have purchased Charles's manuscript collection after his death for £90; it went to the College of Arms and British Museum. It includes a collection of epitaphs in the churches of London and elsewhere, with drawings of monuments and arms (Lansd. MS. 874); and a catalogue of the officers of the College of Arms (Harl. MS. 5880). Richard Gough states that John Le Neve possessed a manuscript visitation of Staffordshire by Charles, and Sir John Cullum a visitation of Suffolk; but these documents could not be traced later. Charles's Huntingdonshire visitation is extant in three copies, and one, marked "C. 3 Huntingdon 1613" at the College of Arms, was edited for the Camden Society by Sir Henry Ellis (1849).
Nicholas married Penelope, daughter of Sir William Segar, Garter king of arms, who survived him. She then became the wife of Timothy Cartwright of Washbourn, Gloucestershire. By her second husband she was mother of Thomas Cartwright.
- Stephen, Leslie, ed. (1887). "Charles, Nicholas". Dictionary of National Biography. 10. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
- Rogers, Nicholas. "Charles, Nicholas". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/5150. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
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