Coats of Arms and Titles

Coat of Arms

One of the most frequently asked questions Manorial Counsel receive is “Do I get a coat of arms with the title”?

Whilst the common understanding is that both heraldry and lordships seem to have gone hand in hand throughout history, they do actually have completely different ways of being created and owned.

Firstly, let us remind you how lordship titles have passed through history.  Approximately half will have passed through inheritance i.e. father to son.  However, many passed through being conveyed to another family and also let us not forget the three main corporate bodies that owned lordship titles, the crown, the church and the universities.  Some lordship titles remained with these organisations for many hundreds of years.

As to coats of arms, these are split into two categories.  Corporate bodies like the universities would have had arms made up and that would have continued through time unchanged.  As for families these arms changed every generation and could not be sold as they related to just one person.  Whilst there would normally have been a family theme, each new holder would remove elements and add others so that the arms reflected who they were or wanted to be.  So whilst manorial and feudal titles were able to be traded, coats of arms were not.  So, by implication they could not have followed the same ownership unless staying in the same family.

Of course after acquiring a title, some wish to take elements of the coats of arms from the family that held the lordship throughout history, combined with their own family history and further incorporating individual elements to create a coat of arms to complement both title and family.

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