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Title: Pursuivant  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Private Officer of Arms, Court of the Lord Lyon, College of Arms, March Pursuivant, Windsor Herald
Collection: Government Occupations, Officers of Arms, Positions of Authority
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


The Honourable Adam Bruce, former Finlaggan Pursuivant of Arms

A pursuivant or, more correctly, pursuivant of arms, is a junior officer of arms. Most pursuivants are attached to official heraldic authorities, such as the College of Arms in London or the Court of the Lord Lyon in Edinburgh. In the mediaeval era, many great nobles employed their own officers of arms. Today, there still exist some private pursuivants that are not employed by a government authority. In Scotland, for example, several pursuivants of arms have been appointed by Clan Chiefs. These pursuivants of arms look after matters of heraldic and genealogical importance for clan members.

Some Masonic Grand Lodges have an office known as the Grand Pursuivant. It is the Grand Pursuivant's duty to announce all applicants for admission into the Grand Lodge by their names and Masonic titles; to take charge of the jewels and regalia of the Grand Lodge; to attend all meetings of the Grand Lodge, and to perform such other duties as may be required by the Grand Master or presiding officer. The office is also at the local Masonic lodge level in the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania. In that jurisdiction it is the Pursuivant's duty to guard the door of the lodge, and announce and escort applicants for admission into the lodge. The office is generally unknown at the local level in Masonic jurisdictions outside Pennsylvania, where the equivalent role is named the Inner Guard.


  • Nationally appointed pursuivants 1
    • English Pursuivants of Arms in Ordinary 1.1
    • English Pursuivants of Arms Extraordinary 1.2
    • Scottish Pursuivants of Arms in Ordinary 1.3
    • Scottish Pursuivants of Arms Extraordinary 1.4
    • Irish Pursuivant of Arms 1.5
    • Welsh Pursuivants of Arms in Ordinary 1.6
  • Privately appointed pursuivants 2
  • See also 3
  • External links 4

Nationally appointed pursuivants

English Pursuivants of Arms in Ordinary

Pursuivants wore their tabards traversed, with the sleeves front and back, until the reign of James II.

English Pursuivants of Arms Extraordinary

Scottish Pursuivants of Arms in Ordinary

Scottish Pursuivants of Arms Extraordinary

Irish Pursuivant of Arms

Welsh Pursuivants of Arms in Ordinary

Privately appointed pursuivants

See also

External links

  • The Court of the Lord Lyon
  • The College of Arms
  • The Canadian Heraldic Authority
  • The Office of the Chief Herald of Ireland
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