Peter Gwynn-Jones

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Sir Peter Gwynn-Jones
Peter Gwynn-Jones.jpg
Gwynn-Jones, in his capacity as Garter Principal King of Arms, taking part in the Garter Day procession at Windsor Castle.
Born 12 March 1940
Died 21 August 2010(2010-08-21) (aged 70)
Nationality British
Education Wellington
Alma mater Trinity College, Cambridge
Occupation Officer of Arms
Years active 1973–2010
Employer HM The Queen
Organization College of Arms
Title Garter Principal King of Arms
Term 1995–2010
Predecessor Sir Conrad Swan
Successor Thomas Woodcock
Awards Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order 1994
Commander of the Royal Victorian Order 1998
Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order 2010

Sir Peter Llewellyn Gwynn-Jones, KCVO (12 March 1940 – 21 August 2010) was a long-serving Officer of Arms at the College of Arms in London. He was Garter Principal King of Arms, the senior English officer of arms, from 1995 to 2010.

Life and career[edit]

Gwynn-Jones was born in 1940, the son of Major Jack Gwynn-Jones, of Cape Town. He was educated at Wellington College, and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he obtained an MA. In 1970 he joined the College of Arms and became assistant to Sir Anthony Richard Wagner, who was the Garter Principal King of Arms. In 1973 Gwynn-Jones was appointed Bluemantle Pursuivant of Arms in Ordinary.[1] In 1982 he was promoted to herald,[2] and served until 1995 as Lancaster Herald of Arms in Ordinary and became House Comptroller of the College of Arms. In 1995 he was appointed Garter Principal King of Arms,.[2] He retired in 2010.[3] He died on 21 August 2010.[4]

Appointments and honours[edit]

Gwynn-Jones was Secretary of the Harleian Society from 1981 until 1994, Inspector of Regimental Colours from 2 October 1995, and Inspector of Royal Air Force Badges from 1996.[5] He was also appointed in 1995 Genealogist to the Order of the Bath,[6] Genealogist of the Order of St Michael and St George, and Genealogist of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem. He was non-executive Vice-President of The Heraldry Society from 1996.

Gwynn-Jones was appointed Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order (LVO) in 1994, promoted Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO) in 1998, and appointed Knight of Justice of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem (KStJ) in 1995.[7] In anticipation of his retirement The Queen promoted Gwynn-Jones Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO) in the 2010 New Year Honours.[8]

Coat of arms[edit]

Gwynn-Jones's coat of arms was granted on 8 May 1971. The blazon for the shield is Argent goutté Gules a Fret engrailed and molined at the mascle point Sable. At the same time he was granted the crest A Coati sejant Sable collared and lined Or. This coat of arms represents the first effort at heraldic design by Gwynn-Jones. "Gwynn" is Welsh for "white" and his ancestors bettered themselves through careers in the army. Thus, the red drops on a white field are an allusion to both his name and his ancestry. The crest is derived from the fact that his paternal ancestors came from Coity, Glamorganshire. This allusion is apt because Gwynn-Jones also had a particular liking for the animal.

The Coati Sable[edit]

Gwynn-Jones's autobiography, The Coati Sable: The Story of a Herald, was published by The Memoir Club in 2010, coinciding with his retirement as Garter[9] The title is a reference to the coati (a type of American raccoon) that featured on Gwynn-Jones's own coat of arms and served as a punning allusion to Coity, Glamorganshire.[10]

See also[edit]


  • Gwynn-Jones, P. Ll. (1998) The Art of Heraldry : origins, symbols, designs, London : Parkgate, ISBN 1-85585-560-7
  • Gwynn-Jones, P. Ll. (2010) The Coati Sable: The story of a Herald, Durham : The Memoir Club, ISBN 978-1-84104-205-3


  1. ^ "No. 45947". The London Gazette. 6 April 1973. p. 4481. 
  2. ^ a b "No. 48932". The London Gazette. 25 March 1982. p. 4121. 
  3. ^ "No. 59385". The London Gazette. 8 April 2010. p. 6033. 
  4. ^ College of Arms. "What's New". Retrieved 24 August 2010. 
  5. ^ "No. 54442". The London Gazette. 19 June 1996. p. 8321. 
  6. ^ "No. 54193". The London Gazette. 24 October 1995. p. 14335. 
  7. ^ "No. 54309". The London Gazette. 6 February 1996. p. 1807. 
  8. ^ "No. 59282". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2009. p. 3. 
  9. ^ The Memoir Club. "The Coati Sable". Archived from the original on 23 December 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2010. 
  10. ^ "Sir Peter Gwynn Jones". Daily Telegraph, UK. 1 September 2010. Retrieved 2 September 2010. 

External links[edit]

Heraldic offices
Preceded by
Francis Sedley Andrus
Bluemantle Pursuivant
Succeeded by
Terence David MacCarthy
Lancaster Herald
Succeeded by
Robert John Baptist Noel
Preceded by
Conrad Swan
Garter Principal King of Arms
Succeeded by
Thomas Woodcock