The English College of Heraldry is the official repository of the coats of arms and pedigrees of English families and their descendants. The College investigates, records, and advises on the use of coats of arms (armorial bearings), royal grants, and pedigrees.
The College is under the control of the King of England and by that extension, the Regent. Below the Regent are three kings of arms (Garter, Norroy, and Clarenceux), heralds, and pursuivants (junior heralds). The Ulster King of Arms of Ireland and the Lord Lyon, King of Arms of Scotland also have access to the College as ambassadors to share knowledge, advice, and heraldic work.
Charter of the English College of HeraldryEdit
- By the grace and divine right of his Majesty, the King of England, Long John Silver, this English College of Heraldry is hereby formed and maintained and all members of the aforementioned College will adhere to these proclamations or face discipline as appropriate to their actions.
- All and every branch, clauses, and articles therein contained (other than such branches, clauses and sentences as hereafter shall be excepted) may, with a vote by the Heralds Council, be repealed, and shall from thenceforth be utterly void and of none effect.
1.The English College of Heraldry, from here out referred to as the College, will provide support in the form of coats of arms, seals, banners, and all manner of things artistic to all the peoples, guilds, villages and variations thereof, of England, regardless of political, economic, or religious goals, however the greatest effort will be made by the members of this College to abstain from any relations with criminal organizations or purveyors of criminal action.
2. The College will maintain all artistic things produced by the College, as a matter of course, to provide inspiration on future projects and recognize that the destruction of such, even that of rejected projects, should be considered a error by the membership unless such art is deemed so insufficient of artistic value that it could never provide inspiration, by the leadership of the College.
3. The College will collect and display all official coats of arms, seals, banners, and other artistic things not produced by the College at large that are held and displayed by the, villages, counties, and important persons of England so as to clearly congregate them in one location for reference and knowledgeable purpose.
4. The College will strive to inspire and put forth its junior members before the public at large, so as to create an open atmosphere of artistic cooperation between our commissioners and our membership, and recognize achievement with due reward.
Criterium for Membership in the CollegeEdit
1. First and foremost, the person must be a person of England, and permanently reside within her borders unless duties grant her travel to foreign soil.
2. The person must be in good standing with the Crown and Counties of England, having committed no serious offenses and being involved in no conspiracies to commit such.
3. The person must demonstrate interest in the College by informing the current leadership of a desire to join.
4. The person must read, sign, and adhere to this charter, its amendments and attachments, and the acknowledge the wisdom of the will of the leadership of this College and demonstrate such within a time granted by prudence and good judgment.
5. A member is allowed to leave at any such time as they desire, with a minimum of lecture and fanfare. Any such things that may mark you as a member of the College should be left behind and goodwill granted the person on their continued journeys.
Rules and Standards for Good Discipline within the CollegeEdit
1. Recognizing the membership of the College is composed of individuals, each with independent ideas and opinions, and recognizing that there is a place for the expression of these things, it is hereby demanded that the College not be that place. All manner of things debatable, which may be outraging, inflammatory, or discriminatory, are not to be spoken within these halls. The leadership of the College will have the final say on such topics, and continued disrespect for this mandate will be considered cause for expulsion from the College.
2. The continued destruction of works of art by a member, against the will of the leadership of the College will be considered grounds for discipline, which may include expulsion from the College. The punishment of such an action is to be considered by a court of the leadership of the College, and not generalized, recognizing each case is separate and thus separately accountable.
3. The refusal to sign this charter, even after being granted access to these halls, should be considered immediate grounds for expulsion, unless the person or his peers can prove ignorance or lack of access.
4. The coercing of junior members by senior members, or even the leadership of the College, for personal, political, financial, or religious means is grounds for immediate expulsion, stripping of all titles and license granted by the College and public denouncement of said person. This should be considered the gravest of all crimes, and dealt with as swiftly and efficiently as possible.
5. The making of statements not prejudicial to the good name of the College will not be uttered by anyone wearing the regalia marking them as a member of the College. If the person can not conduct themselves in a manner of respect and acceptance, like a good scholar of the College, then they should not bear anything marking them as a member of such. The College will not force upon its members its ideals, and it expects the same in return. The punishment of such an action is to be considered by a court of the leadership of the College, and not generalized, recognizing each case is separate and thus separately accountable.
6. The displaying of any coats of arms, seals, banners, or other artistic things by any member of the College that were not created or recognized by the College will be a manner of warning. Continued refusal of compliance, or vocal opposition of such warnings will result in more serious discipline. The punishment of such an action is to be considered by a court of the leadership of the College, and not generalized, recognizing each case is separate and thus separately accountable.
Responsibilities of the CollegeEdit
The College is required to create and maintain rules and guidelines for those areas that they are charged with overseeing.
The King has the sole right to veto anything voted on or done by the College. Charter changes must be approved by the Heralds Council and then submitted to the King. Rules must be approved by the Heralds Council.
Guidelines should generally be developed through discussion and will be established once approved by one of the kings of arms. Three members or one King of Arms can call for a formal discussion and vote on any section of these.
Areas that the College oversees includes, but are not limited to, the following:
- Coats of Arms
- Noble title awards
- Noble Houses
- Grand Duchies
- Buildings and Structures
Ranks and Regalia of the CollegeEdit
1. Given the nature of the College and individualism, all ranks will be displayed in Latin, the English translation thereof and the English equivalent, the calling of such being a choice of the individual, and recognizing all names for the same rank as equal.
2. The wearing of Regalia established by the College for each rank is optional and can not be forced upon any member, with the exception of the leadership of the College who must proudly and prominently display their membership.
3. Recognizing that some titles granted by the College may appear to denote sovereignty over a particular region or village, no such power can, in fact, be given by this organization.
4. The Ranks within the College are:
1. Recognizing the need for judgment by a group as opposed to an individual from time to time the College will maintain two councils, one composed of the Kings of Arms, and one of all heralds rank Pursuivant and higher, which will perform their duties as outlined in this charter and as leadership requires.
2. The rules of the college grant to certain Kings of Arms the right to allow exceptions to specific rules when such exceptions seem warranted.
3. Other matters that require a vote shall be voted on by the Heralds Council except when the Kings of Arms believe that the matter is urgent and agree by a simple majority on a change. Any such change can then be discussed by all members of the College and a new vote by the Heralds Council can be held if at least three members or one King of Arms calls for a new vote.
Coats of Arms, Seals, Banners, and All manner of Things ArtisticEdit
1. The requester of any work by the College will be referred to as a commissioner, in that they commission the work from the College. All respect and candor should be made towards commissioners when describing their options for a creation, even if such requests would violate traditional heraldic form, it is not the duty of a member of the College to instruct what is right and proper, only to advise.
2. Recognizing that a coat of arms is formed about an arm, or shield, and is traditionally reserved for those awarded such by the crown, the College will provide such design to any individual asking of it and produce said article for wear by individuals as a representation of self or as an article of membership. That said, care should be taken by the College to produce coats of arms for individuals of upstanding character and deserving as deemed by the leadership of the College.
3. Recognizing that seals are similar to coats of arms in that they contain heraldic symbology but have no arm, or shield, these should be reserved for those purposes not deemed in need of a coat of arms, as in villages of minor population, individuals that have not yet proven to be of worthy esteem, and other such things.
4. Recognizing that banners contain little or no heraldic symbology and may or may not be of an animated nature these can be provided for any individual or group asking in lieu of, or in addition to, a coat of arms or seal.
5. The naming of all coats of arms, seals, and banners should be done in English, if at all, as to provide it's description and purpose to all those who witness its presence.
6. The mottoes to be displayed upon coats of arms, seals, and banners should be in one of the common languages, that is to say English, Latin, Greek, Italian, French, German, or Spanish at the commissioner's behest.
On the reception and wearing of official titlesEdit
There are six ranks of peerage:
- Grand Duke/Duchess
THESE RANKS ARE SOLELY PURE RP.
1. A grant of armorial bearings recognises the contribution or future contribution made to England by the organisation or person implicated.
2. Whoever will be attributed an official coat of arms from the College of Heraldry is required to be well acquainted with the rules relating to the wearing of his title and coat of arms and to subject himself/herself to them.
3. Upon the reception of a noble title, the person involved will have to swear the following oath to be able to wear his title proudly and to help England’s growth:
- I, *Name*, now *Title received*, swear obedience to my King, hence to my country, promising to uphold England’s standards and to let it grow without hindrance. I shall fight felony and malice with all my strength and humbly wear my title. I agree and promise to uphold this statement:
- Ye shall swear to bear faith, truth, and obedience only to the king's majesty, and to his heirs of his body, begotten and to be begotten, and to England. In case any oath be made, or has been made, by you, to any person or persons that conflict with this oath, that then ye are to repute the same as vain and annihilate; and that, to your cunning, wit, and uttermost of your power, without guile, fraud, or other undue means, you shall observe, keep, maintain, and defend England, and all the whole consequences thereof; and this ye shall do against all manner of persons, of what estate, dignity, degree, or condition soever they be, and in no wise do or attempt, nor to your power suffer to be done or attempted, directly or indirectly, any thing or things privily or apartly to the let, hindrance, damage, or derogation thereof, or of any part of the same, by any manner of means, or for any manner of pretence; so help you God, all saints, and the holy Evangelists.
4. A person having received a title of nobility has the privilege to appose the “Sir” prefix in front of his name. A duke may be addressed by the prefix “His grace” or “Her grace”, whilst the Regent may be addressed by the title “Your Highness”.
5. The title received will be consigned in a registrar of all English Titles & grounds attributed.
6. A peerage is granted for life, and may be revoked only by the King’s authority or by a vote from the council of heralds.
7. A Peerage will be associated to a geographic element.
8. These ranks are solely but a title, they do not confer immediate power over peers.
9. Please note the Duke rank is the same as the elected Duke, which changes every 2 months, at each ducal election.
Amendments and Additions to the CharterEdit
1. Given that as time passes, so do ideals and traditions, so must be made a process to add to, refine, and improve the charter as necessity dictates.
2. Any member of the College may suggest an amendment or addition, as long as he has the support of at least two other members, and will work with the leadership of the College to make sure it is presented in proper language as to fit with the text of charter.
3. Once a final draft of said amendment or addition is made it will be presented for the Herald Council to discuss and then to be accepted or rejected as a part of the charter, except in such case as it is deemed necessary by the Kings of Arms of the College for continued function of the College, in which case it will be enacted immediately.