HERALD, an officer whose duty during the middle ages was to carry challenges or peaceful messages from one prince or nobleman to an•ither to proclaim peace or war, to lay out the lists in jousts or tournaments, to be the witness of all combats, whether general or particular, and to record in writing the names of those who behaved most valiantly, to number the dead after battle, and specially to supervise all matters connected with the bearing of coat armour, the marshalling of processions, and other state ceremonies. His func tions were something like those of the Greek kerux (zipsE), and the Roman Fecialis ; but the origin of the name is mach disputed, and the actual date of the institution uncertain. The word Heraldus occurs in the imperial constitu tions of Frederick Barbarossa, A.D. 1152, about the same time to which the origin of heraldry is with most reason assigned. The earliest mention of a herald in Eng land is in a pell-roll of the 12th Edward III. ; but there is little doubt that the office existed as early at least as the dawn of hereditary coat-armour. The English heralds were first incorporated by Rich ard III. [HERALD' COLLEGE.] There are three orders or grades of' heralds, namely, kings of or at arms, heralds, and pursmvants. They were anciently crea ted with much ceremony, and the mode is curiously detailed by Gerard Legh spud Upton. "It is necessary," says he, "that all estates should have couriers as their messengers for the expedition of their business, whose office it is to pass and repass on foot, being clad in their prince's colours 'parted upright;' that is to say, half of one colour and half of another, with the arms of their sovereigns painted on the boxes in which they carried their despatches, and which were fixed to their girdle, on the left side. It was not permitted to them to bear the arms of their lord in any other manner." " They were knights," he adds, " in their offices, but not nobles, and were called knights-caligate of arms, because they wore 'startuppes' (a sort of boot or gaiter) 'to the middle leg.' When they had conducted themselves properly in this situation for seven years, they were made chevaliers of arms, and rode on horseback to deliver their sovereign's messages, clad in one colour, their gar ments being only guarded or trimmed with the colour of their sovereign, and bearing their boxes aforesaid, with the arms painted on them, on the left shoulder, and not elsewhere.' " From these runners and riders the three orders of heralds were supplied, and the cheva lier of arms, having served another seven years, was created a pursuivant. The herald of the province, to whom he was to be pursuivant, wearing his coat of arms, took the candidate by his left hand, holding in his right a cup of silver, filled with wine and water, and leading him to his sovereign, in the presence of many witnesses duly summoned for this purpose, inquired by what name the pur suivant was to be created ; and upon the sovereign's answer, proclaimed his style accordingly, pouring some of the wine and water upon his bare head. He then
invested him with the tabard, or herald's coat, emblazoned with the arms of the sovereign, but so that the sleeves hung upon his breast and back, and the front and hind parts of the tabard over his arms, in which curious fashion he was to wear it till he became a herald. Strutt has given a representation of the pur suivant so attired from the Harleian MS. 2278, without being aware of the distinction. The oath of office was then administered to him, and lastly the sove reign presented bin• with the silver cup aforesaid. Having on..a been made pur suivant, he might la, created a herald, " even the next day," which was done by the principal herald or king of arms lead ing him in like manner before the sove reign, but bearing a gilt instead of a sil ver cup, and turning the tabard so that the sleeves hung in their proper place over the arms. A collar of SS was then put about his neck, one S being argent, or silver, the other sable, or black, al ternately, and when he was named, the prince himself poured the wine and water on his head, and after the oath was administered gave him the cup as before ; whereupon the herald cried, "A largess." The kings of arms were created tu:d solemnly crowned by the princes them selves, and distinguished from the he ralds by richer tabards, the embroidery being on velvet instead of satin, gilt cel lars of SS, and coronets composed of a plain circle of gold surmounted by six teen strawberry leaves, eight of which are higher than the rest.
Modern heralds of all classes are now made and appointed by the earl marshal, and their functions and privileges are much abridged and disregarded. The present number in England is fourteen, viz. : four kings of arms—Garter, Claren cieux, Norroy, and Bath. The second and third are provincial kings ; Claren cieux has power over all parts of Eng land south of the Trent, and Norroy over all parts north of it. Six heralds— Somerset, Chester, Windsor, Richmond, Lancaster, and York ; and four pursui vants—Rouge Dragon, Portcullis, Blue Mantle, and Rouge Croix. In Scotland there is one king at arms, named Lyon ; and in Ireland one, named Ulster. To these regular officers are sometimes add ed, by command of the king to the earl marshal, a herald or pursuivant extraor dinary. Such were the heralds Arundel, Norfolk, and Mowbray ; and on the oc casion of the funeral of the late King William IV., Mr. Albert Woods, son of Sir W. Woods, Clarencieux king of arms, was created Fitzalan pursuivant extraordinary.