The English armorials from the reigns of Henry III and Edward I, covering the years 1240-1307, have been admirably edited and published by T.D. Tremlett and H. Stanford London in Rolls of Arms of Henry III, 1967; by C.R. Humphery-Smith in Anglo-Norman Armory, 1973; and by G.J. Brault in Rolls of Arms of Edward I, I-II, 1997.

Armorials of the later reigns, e.g. the plantagenets Edward II (1307-26), Edward III (1327-1377), Richard II (1377-99), the lancastrians Henry IV (1400-13), Henry V (1413-22), Henry VI (1422-61), and the yorkist Edward IV (1461-83) are nearly all only available as blazoned copies with little if any critical analysis. Furthermore they are mostly published in old journals, often difficult to get, or similarly in rare mimeographs, e.g. by R.W. Mitchell from the Heraldry Society of Scotland - long out of print.

A number of armorials, presumably from the reign of Richard II, have been examined for the Ordinary, and it is the intention to publish blazoned copies, followed by critical editions.


Parliamentary Roll of Arms, N / PRA. With 52 known copies this armorial has the largest number of known versions, and most are full copies made from 16C on. The primary manuscript, BL. Cotton Caligula A xviii, fo.3r-21v, is one of the very few original fair copies known in England from the Middle Ages. It can be segmented into 35 parts, one of earls and bannerets, 30 by county, and a tail of 4 segments added as a afterthought. Of the 1110 names and arms in Anglo-Norman blazon, 83 were inserted or added by a late 15C hand. The original 1027 entries were written between September and November 1309 with a number of cancellations made over the next two years. It has been claimed as an inventory of the fighting knights from the reign of Edward I (r.1272-1307), but was more likely a survey of influential lay people from the beginning of the followng reign of his son Edward II - compiled by a person in the affinity of his favourite Pier Gaveston E.Cornwall.

The Powell roll of arms, PO; The Powell Roll is a general armorial with 672 entries, of which 45 are painted as rectangular banners and the rest on elongated pointed shields. The coats of arms represent 4 royals (Edward III, Prince of Wales, Lionel, John), 13 earls, a first batch of 27 barons (incl. a few bannerets), 147 knights primarily from East Anglia, a second batch of barons, followed by alternating small groups and individuals from most English counties.

The armorial was compiled in 1348, and is known from 3 manuscripts: a presumed contemporary, a partial copy of 1584, and an almost full copy of 1812. This edition includes a concordance with the transcriptions of J. Greenstreet, and discussions on contents, composition, date, and the use of brisures by the Beauchamp, Ufford, Neville and Zouche families. The compiler remain anonymous.

Newcastle - ex-Boroughbridge, Newcastle, O; Formerly attributed to be a list of the loyalist knights that fought and defeated rebels commanded by Thomas E.Lancaster at Boroughbridge (Yorks.) in 1322, this armorial of 214 coats-of-arms was shown by Bridget Wells-Furby to represent participants at an improvised tournament held in September 1319 outside Newcastle just before the host marched off to besiege Berwick.

Rouen and Gentry, T / ROU, GY / GTY; The Rouen, pretends to be a list of 107 English present at the siege of Rouen in 1418. Six manuscripts are known, varying in length from 49 to 107 items. This armorial is misnamed and more likely a short general roll of English nobles and gentry compiled c.1410, and incorporating the armorial known as the Gentry Roll. However, there is a possibility that the Gentry part covers individuals living c.1480, i.e. the transition between the Houses of York and of Tudor.

Willement's Roll; S / WIL; London, British Library, Ms.Egerton 3713; 605 coats of arm, incl. the founding knights of the Order of the Garter. This edition is preliminary, as the analysis is not completed. However all items are blazoned, commented and with references. It is published as an interim measure until the full analysis will be available, not before late 2010. The older transcription by Thomas Willement (1824) can be found on www.archive.org.

William Jenyns' Ordinary; WJ / WJO; (a) London, College of Arms, Ms. Jenyns' Ordinary; (b) London, Soc.Antiquaries, Ms.664/9, a very close Hatton-Dugdale facsimile; 1611 arms as an ordinary. This edition is preliminary, as the analysis is not completed. However all items are blazoned, commented and with references. It is published as an interim measure until the full analysis will be available, not before late 2010.

Several aspects of it are discussed by Dr. Paul A. Fox in a series of articles on 14th C ordinaries of arms in The Coat of Arms, the first (mainly on Thomas Jenyns, TJO) was published in 3rd ser. 2 (2006), No.212, pp.97-102, a second on the WJO in 3rd ser. 5 (2009), No.218, pp.55-64, and with a discussion on cadency in No.215 (2008) pp.21-28. The cooperation of Dr. Fox is gratefully acknowledged.

Urfé, URF-en; a segment of 369 coats of arms of English nobles and gentry from the early part of the reign of Richard II, probably compiled 1380. The Urfé is a large composite armorial of french origin containing 2855 arms in 54 segments.

Currently in work:

County Roll; CY / CTY; London, Soc.Antiquaries, Ms.664/iv; 700 arms, a Hatton-Dugdale facsimile with many blank items; grouped by counties in NW and Eastern England.


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