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The Collation

Marginalizing heralds and antiquaries

Title page of Augustine Vincent’s A discouerie of errours

The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were a period of major transition for English heralds, as the number of arms being granted increased exponentially, requiring improved methods of record-keeping. Their job was both ceremonial (ordering and keeping score at tournaments, ordering funerals) and archival (granting and confirming coats of arms, carrying out visitation to determine the accuracy of the pedigrees and coats of arms that people claimed, and compiling dictionaries of arms to prevent duplication). Not infrequently, they disagreed with each other and with other scholars about matters of accuracy and the nature of proof, and a copy of a book at the Folger provides an excellent example of the importance they placed on getting it right.


These are some of the best marginal comments ever! I’m going to use them next time I comment on a blog post that annoys me.

Lyn Tribble — November 17, 2011

One more time, a new very interesting comment of its hand-writtenannotations inside this nobility book

Jorge Zevallos-Quiñones Pita — November 20, 2011