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in base, two fishes of the second. Taken from a MS in the British Museum, No. 1079.
Tuam, See, [Ireland] az. three persons erect, under as many canopies, or stalls, of Gothic work, or, their faces, hands, and legs ppr.; the first represents an archbishop, habited in his pontificals; the second, the Virgin Mary, a circle of glory over her head, holding in her left arm the infant Jesus, head radiant; the third, an angel, having the right arm elevated, and under the left arm a lamb, all of the second.
Turners'Company, [London. Incorporated 12 Juue, 1604; arms granted 17 Dec. 1634] az. a Catharine-wheel betw. two columns, or; in chief, a regal crown ppr.; in base, an axe ar. handled of the second, lying fesseways, the blade downward.—Crest, a female figure ppr. representing St. Catharine, her hair dishevelled, her head within a circle of glory of the first, and ducally crowned or, vested az. lined with ermine; supporting with the dexter band a catharine-wheel of the second; in the sinister hand a sword, the point resting on the wreath, ar. hilt and pommel or. Motto, By faith I obtain.
Tutbury Monastery, [Staffs.] az. a saltier, vaire, or and gu. betw. four crescents ar. Another coat, vaird, or and
Ulvescourt Priory, [Leic] gu. seven mascles conjoined, three, three, and one, or.
University Library, [Cambridge. It was finished at the cost and charges of Thomas Scott, otherwise Rotherham, who was first, Bishop of Rochester, afterwards Bisbop of Lincoln, then Archbishop of York, Secretary of State, Chancellor of England, Privy Seal to Edward IV. and at length Cardinal, under the title of Sancta Caecilia] two coats impaled, viz. the dexter, the arms of the See of Rochester; impaling, vert, three stags, trippant, ar. two and one, attired or; being the arms of the founder.
University College, [Oxford. Originally founded in 872, by King Alfred; and in 1219, refounded and endowed by William, Archdeacon of Durham] az. a cross patonce betw. four martlets, or.
Upholders' Company, [London. Arms granted 1465; approved and entered in the Visitation of London, 1634] sa. three pavilions (in the original grant they are called spurvers) erm. lined az. garnished or, two and one, within a pavilion; in base, a lamb, couchant, ar. on a cushion tasselled or; over the head a cross pattee fitchee gu.
Upholsterers' Company, [Newcastle upon Tyne] The same arms.
Upholders, [Chester] sa. three pavilions ar. lined erm.
Vale Royal, or Dunhall, Abbey, [Ches.] gu. three lions pass, guard, in pale, or: over all, a crosier, the staff gu. the crook sa.; all within a bordure of the last, bezantee.
Valla Crucis Abbey, [Denbighshire] sa. a lion ramp, harry of eight, ar. and gu. betw. three cross crosslets fitchee of the second.
Victualling Office, hath no armorial ensign. On the seal are two anchors, in saltier, with their cables interlaced.
Vintners, [London. Originally denominated Merchant 'Wine Tunners of Gascoyne; on 15 July, 1366, obtained from Edward III. a charter for their carrying on an exclusive trade to Gascoyne, for the importation of wine; and this charter hath by some persons, althongh errone
ously, been imagined to be their charter of incorporation; whereas the letters patent for incorporating the company, were not granted until 1437: arms granted in 1442] sa. a chev. betw. three tuns, ar. Patron, St. Martin.
Virginia College, [Arms granted 14 May, 1694] vert, a college, or edifice, ar. masoned ppr.: in chief, the rising sun or, the hemisphere of the third.
Virginia Merchants, [London] ar. a cross gu. betw. four escutcheons, each regally crowned, ppr.; the first escutcheon in the dexter chief, quarterly, France and Eugland quarterly; the second escutcheon in the sinister chief, the arms of Scotland; the third escutcheon in dexter base, the arms of Ireland; the fourth escutcheon as the first.—Crest, a maiden queen, couped below the shoulders, ppr. her hair dishevelled of the last, vested and crowned with an eastern crown or. Supporters, two men in complete armour, with their beavers open; on their helmets, three ostrich's feathers ar. each charged on the body with a cross gu. (i. e. from side to side, and from the gorget to the girdle) and each holding in the exterior hand a lance, ppr. Motto, En dat Virginia quartern.
Wadham College, [Oxford. Founded in 1613, by Nicholas Wadham, of Merefield, Somers. and Dorothy, his wife, sister of John Lord Petre] gu. a chev. betw. three roses, ar. barbed vert, for Wadham; impaling, gu. a bend or, betw. two escallops ar. for Petre.
Wakefield, Borough, [Yorks.] az. a fleur-de-lis or.
Wakers, [Edinburgh] gu. a chev. ar. betw. two habricks, in chief, of the last, and a tezel, in base, or.
Walden, Borough. See Saffron Walden.
Walden Abbey, [Essex] az. on a bend gu. cottised or, betw. two mullets of the last, three escallops ar.
Wales, Principality, quarterly, or and gu. four lions pass, guard, counterchanged.
Wallingford, Borough, [Berks.] hath no armorial ensign. The corporation seal is ancient, and represents a man on horseback, in full speed, armed cap-a-pie, and bearing on his left arm his shield, charged with the arms of France and England quarterly; on his helmet a cap of maintenance; thereon a lion, statant, guard, ducally crowned ; his dexter arm extended, and holding a sword erect, the pommel fastened to a chain which passes from the gorget: the horse fully caparisoned. Legend, Sigillutn commune de Wallingford.
Walsingham Monastery, [Norf.] ar. on a cross sa. five billets of the first. Another coat, ar. on a cross, quarterly pierced, a tree, erased, vert. Another coat, ar. on a cross sa. lilies, stalked, of the first.
Waltham Abbey, [Essex] ar. on a cross engr. sa. five cross crosslets fitchee or. Another coat, az. two angels, volant, or, supporting a cross Calvary on three graces, ar.
Wardon Abbey, [Beds.] az. three pears or, two and one.
Wareham, Borough, [Dors.] gu. a crescent surmounted of an etoile of six points, or, betw. three fleurs-de-lis reversed, of the last.
Warsop Abbey, [Notts.] ar. on a bend gu. betw. six martlets of the last, a crosier or.
Warwick, Town, hath no armorial ensign.
Water Ford And Lismore, See, az. a saint standing on three degrees, or steps, vested in a loose robe, with ravs of glory round bis head, holding a crucifix before
him, in pale, his bands extended to the extremities of the cross, and the foot of the cross resting on the upper step, all or.
Watermen's Company, [London. Incorporated 1556] harry wavy of six, ar. and az.; on the middle bar a boat or; on a chief of the second, two oars, in saltier, of the third, betw. two cushions of the first, tasseiled or.— Crest, a dexter arm, embowed, ppr. vested ar. holding in the hand an oar, erect, or; over the crest, this motto, By command of our superiors. Supporters, two dolphins az. tinned or.
Wax Chandlers, [London. Incorporated 1484; arms and crest granted 1487; supporters granted 11 Oct. 1536] az. on a chev. ar. betw. four mortcours (i.e. lamps) or, as many roses gu. seeded of the third, barbed vert. —Crest, a maiden ppr. kneeling among various flowers of the last, vested or, turned up erm.; in her hand a chaplet, or garland of flowers of the first. Supporters, two unicorns gu. guttec d' eau; armed, crined, and unguled or; gorged with a chaplet of roses gu. leaved vert; thereto a flat chain or; at the end of the chain, three rings of the last. Motto, Truth is the light.
Weavers' Company, [London. Incorporated in the reign of Henry I. and obtained from Henry II. when at Winchester, a confirmation of their liberties. Originally, this fraternity consisted of cloth and tapestry weavers. Arms granted by Holme, in 1487: and confirmed by Cook, in 1690; the supporters granted, and the arms and crest again confirmed by Segar, 10 Aug. 1616; entered and approved at the visitation of London, taken by St. George, 1634] az. on a chev. ar. betw. three leopards' heads or, each having in the mouth a shuttle of the last, as many roses gu. seeded of the third, barbed vert.—Crest, a leopard's head or, ducally crowned gu. in his mouth a shuttle of the first. Supporters, two wiverns, with wings endorsed, erm. purfled or; on each wing a rose gu. seeded gold, barbed vert. Motto, Weave truth with trust.
Weavers, [Exeter] per saltier, az. and gu.; in fesse, two shuttles, paleways, or; in chief, a tezel; in base, a pair of sheers, lying fesseways, ar.: on a chief erm. a slea betw. two burling-irons, of the third.
Weavers, [Edinburgh] gu. on a chev. ar. betw. three leopards' heads, cabossed, in each mouth a shuttle, all or, as many roses of the field.
Welbeck Abbey, [Notts.] gu. three lozenges, conjoined, in fesse, ar. each charged with a rose of the first.
Wells, City, [Somers.] per fesse, ar. and vert, a tree ppr. issuing from the fesse line; in base, three wells, two and one, masoned ...
Note.—These arms are somewhat doubtful, as Mr. Edmondson, upon strict enquiry, and consulting the records of that city, could not find the blazon, nor description of any arms belonging to it. The corporation seal, which is very ancient, represents a tree, from the root whereof runs a spring of water; on the sinister side thereof, stands a stork, picking up a fish: on the dexter side of the tree is another bird, resembling a coruish chough.
Wells, See. See Bath And Wells.
Wells Deanery, bears the same arms as the See of Wells,
viz. az. a saltier, quarterly per saltier, or and ar. Wendling Abbey, [Norf.] az. three crosiers or, two and
one; over all, on a fesse gu. three plates, each charged
with the letters I.H.S. sa. Wendover, Borough, [Bucks.]
Wenlock, Borough, [Salop]
Wenlock Monastery, [Oxon] az. three garbs or, two and one; in pale, a crosier of the last.
Weobley, Borough, [Heref.]
Westbury, Borough, [Wilts.] quarterly, or and az. a cross patonce, within a bordure, charged with twenty lions ramp, couuterchanged.
West India Merchants, [London] az. three ships; hulks, masts, and rigging or; the sails all furled, the pennants and ensigns ar. each charged with a cross gu.: on a chief of the second, a pale, quarterly, viz. first and fourth, az. three fleurs-de-lis or; second and third, gu. three lions pass, guard, in pale, or; all betw. two roses of the fourth, seeded of the second, barbed vert.
West-lowe. See Port Pigham.
Westminster, City, [Arms granted 1 Oct. 1601] az. a portcullis, with chains pendent, or: on a chief of the last, in pale, the arms of Edward the Confessor, betw. two united roses of York and Lancaster.
Westminster Abbey, [Midd.] az. on a chief, iudented, or, a crosier on the dexter side, and a mitre on the sinister, both gu. These were the ancient arms; the present are the same as those of the Deanery.
Westminstbr Deanery, az. a cross patonce betw. five martlets, four in the cantons of the cross, and one Id base, or; on a chief of the last, a pale quarterly of France and England, betw. two roses gu. seeded or, barbed vert. The Dean of Westminster, being invariably also Dean of the order of the Bath, bears the arms of the deanery, impaling his own paternal coat, encircled with the ribbon of the order, with the badge pendent thereto.
Weymouth and Melcombe-regis, Borough, [Dors. These two towns were, by act of parliament, 13th Elizabeth, united, and made one town and corporation; in consequence whereof, in the 34th year of the same reign, Cook, Clarencieux king of arms, by his grant, dated 1 May, 1529, granted and appointed to the said united towns and corporation, for their arms, az. on the waves of the sea, in base, ppr. a ship of three masts, tackled and rigged, all or; on the fore and mizen masts, two square banners; on the first, per pale, gu. and vert, two lions pass, guard, gold; on the second, quarterly, ar. and gu.; on the first and fourth, a lion ramp. purp.; on the second and third, a castle of the first; on the hulk of the ship, an escutcheon, per fesse, or and gu.; in chief, three chev. of the second; in base, three lions* pass, guard, in pale, of the first. Common seal, az. a bridge of three arches, double embattled, ar. standing in the sea ppr.; in chief, an escutcheon, per fesse, or and gu.; on the first, three chev. gu; on the second, three lions pass, guard, in pale, of the first.
Whaley Monastery, [Lane] gu. three whales, haurient, or; in each mouth a crosier of the last.
Wharler, Town, gu. a cross Tau, the upper part vair, the under ar.
Wheelwrights'Company, [London. Incorporated 3 Feb. 1670] gu. a chev. betw. three wheels, or; on a chief ar. an axe, lying fesseways, ppr.—Crest, a dexter arm, embowed, vested gu. cuffed ar. holding in the hand ppr. a mallet or. Supporters, two horses ar. Motto, God grant unity.
Whitby Abbey, [forks.] az. three snakes, encircled, or, two. and one.
Whitchurch, Borough, [Hants.]
in the dexter chief quarter, an annulet or. WlCK, Royal Burgh, [Scotland] WlGAN, Borough, [Lane] WlGTON, Royal Burgh, [Scotland] Wilton, Borough, [Wilts.] The seal is very antique, and represents, in a Gothic niche, highly enriched, the figure of a shtiiie of Gothic work; over it, an angel, holding an escutcheon of the arras of England, viz. three lions pass, guard.in pale. Wincbcomb Abbet, [Glouc] barry of six, ar. and az.; ou a chief of the last, two pellets betw. as many gyrons, dexter and sinister, ot the first; on an inescutcheon of the last, a cross gu. _
WlNCHELSEA, Borough, \Suss.] The arms are the same as those used by the Town and Port of Sandwich. This borough hath also a very ancient seal, representing a ship, with a castle at the head, and another at the stern: and on one part of the seal, is a small escutcheon of the arms of England, Mz. three lions in pale. Winchester, City, \u. five castles, in saltier, ar. masoned ppr.; on the inister side of the centre castle, in fesse, a lion pass, gua-d.or; on the dexter side, a lion counter-pass, guard, o" the last. Winchester, See, gu. wokeys, endorsed, and conjoined at the bows, in bend Blister, the upper or, the lower ar. betw. them a sword, intend dexter, of the third, hilted and pommelled gold. I
fate.—The Bishop of Wiqester, being invariably Prelate of the order of the Garter, alw, encircles the arms of the See (impaling his own paternalft) with the garter, bearing also the badge of that order peno} beneath.
Winchester, Deanery, [ a sword ar. hilt and pommel or, in bend sinister, bet%vo keys, endorsed and interlaced, in bend dexter, rihe last; in the centre chief point, the letter R of theird. Winchester College, beathe same arms as New College, Oxford. • Windsor, Borough. See V Windsor. Windsor Deanery, ar. a _»9 gU. The arras of this deanery are always borne i\led with the paternal coat of the dean, within the gkF( as the dean is always Register of that order. \ WoRKlNGHAM, Borough, [B, ] hatb no armorial ensign. The seal represents al|prD) slipped and leaved. Legend, Worhingham. \ Woodmongbrs' CoMPANYionc|on> Incorporated 29 Aug. 1605 ; but, for their B,ractices, they, in 1668, thought convenient, in order \oi^ a greater punishment, to surrunder their charte„j accordingly did so] gu. a sword, erect, ar. hilt ani,,,,,^ or> enfl|ec| wjtn a ducal coronet of the last, bttvvo Haunches of the second, each charged with a fi^ ,,pr._Crest, on a mount vert, a grove of trees, \^T . a |ion jssuant from the grove or. Supporters, J,uman figUres; the dexter representing St. John the Lt ppr vested wjtn a short coat of camel's hair, beltejm) the waigt> and holding in the dexter hand a bCn wnicn are lhe following words, The axe is laid K t 0j the free . all ppr. his arms and legs naked, rthis head a circ|e of glory; sinister, a female ngurei^^g St Ca_ tharine, vested and habited, all p^ her nea(1 an
eastern crown or, resting the sinister hand on a wheel of her martyrdom, of the last. Motto, Unitafortior. Woodstock, Borough, [Oxon] gu. a stump of a tree, couped and eradicated, or; in chief, three stags' heads, cabossed, ar. all within a bordure of the last, charged with eight oak-leaves, lying fesseways, vert.—Crest, in a ducal coronet or, an oak-tree ppr. fructed of the first. Supporters, two Savages ppr. hairy over their bodies, wreathed round the head and loins with oak-leaves vert, beards and hair sa. each holding a club, erect, or.
Note.—A seal of this borough, which is modern, has the bordure charged with eight oak trees, erased. The ancient seal has oakleaves, as before-mentioned.
Woolmen, or Woolpackers' Company, [London] gu. a wool-pack ar.
Worcester, City, quarterly, gu.and sa. over all, a castle, triple-towered, ar.; on a canton of the last, a fesse betw. three pears, sa.
Worcester Priory, ar. ten torteauxes; on a canton gu. the Virgin and Child, all or.
Worcester, See, ar. ten torteauxes, four, three, two, and one.
Worcester, Deanery, ar. twelve torteauxes, three, three, three, two, and one; on a canton az. the Virgin Mary, a circle of glory over her head; in her dexter arm, the Infant Jesus, head radiant,; in her sinister arm a sceptre; all or.
Worksop Abbey, [Notts.] gu. a saltier ar. j over all, a crosier, iu pale, or.
Worksop Priory, [Notts.] or, a lion ramp, per fesse, sa. and gu.
Wotton-basset, Borough, [Wilts.] gu. a chev. betw. three lozenges, ar.
Wotton-waven College, ...quarterly; first and fourth, or, a chev. gu.; second and third, or, a band ppr. issuing from a maunch gu. holding a rose of the last, stalked and leaved vert.
Wrights, [Edinburgh] az. a carpenter's square and compasses, conjoined, in pale, ar.
Yarmouth, Borough, [Norf.] per pale, gu. and az. three demi lions pass, guard, conjoined, in pale, with as many deroi herrings ar.
Note.—The original arms, as appears by the seal, were, az. three herrings, in pale, ar. Yarmouth, Borough, [Hants.] The seal represents an
antique ship with three masts, on waves, in base. Yarmouth, Little, ar. a chev. betw. three lions' gambs, erect and erased, sa.
Note.—It is most probable this should be three s*al»' feet.
York, City, ar. on a cross gu. five lions pass, guard, or. The great seal of the city hath on it the arms; aud on the dexter and sinister side, an ostrich's feather, in a scroll, as appears by a drawing thereof, entered in the Visitation of the county of York, taken by Glover, in 1584.
York, Archbishop of, and Primate of England, gu. two keys, in saltier, ar.; in chief, a regal crown or.
York, Deanery, gu. two keys, iu saltier, endorsed, ar. betw. three plates, two in-fesse, and one in base; in chief, a regal crown or.
Worcester College, [Oxford. Originally founded in 1283, by John Giffard, Baron of Brimsfield, and called Gloucester College. At the Reformation, it was suppressed, and converted into a palace for the bishops of Oxford; but soon after erected into an academical hall, by Sir Thomas White, founder of St. John Baptist College, and so continued till 1713, when it received a charter of incorporation, and an endowment from Sir Thomas Cookes, of Bentley, Wore, who named it Worcester Col
lege] or, two chev. gu. betw. six martlets sa. three, two, and one.—Crest, a mural coronet or, therein a dexter arm, in armour, ppr. garnished of the last, grasping a sword ar. hilled and pommelled gold, on the arm two chev. gu.
Amongst the numerous and diversified peculiarities by which the human mind is characterised, it is scarcely possible to find one more predominant and universal, or that can be traced to a more amiable origin, than that of a solicitude to testify our veneration and regard for those of our deceased relatives or contemporaries, whose virtues or abilities had rendered them illustrious in life, by splendid and imposing funeral solemnities. This sentiment of respect for departed worth, appears to be as extensive as human nature itself, and coeval with the primordial existence of the species; pervading mankind in every region of the habitable globe, in all the nameless varieties and gradations of barbarism and refinement, and under every modification of government. That a feeling of this description, at once powerful and prevalent, should be variously exerted and displayed, can excite no astonishment in the minds of those who are tolerably conversant with the phenomena of human nature; since passions essentially the same are known to be capable of almost endless inflection. Hence the number, sumptuousness, and variety of funeral solemnities amongst our progenitors, which emanated from this sentiment. The rites, ceremonies, and solemnizations, peculiar to the interment of the dead, in ancient times, seem to have originated in a conviction or persuasion of the survivor», that the feelings, passions, and habits, of those who had crossed the "bourne from whence no traveller returns," bore an obvious and striking analogy to the mortal scene from which they had been removed by the interposition of death, with this difference, that their new existence would be susceptible of a higher degree of enjoyment, and accompanied with an inconceivable and ineffable accession to their felicity. And what renders this hypothesis of their origin more probable, is, that those things which were identified with the predilections, habits, and pleasurable pursuits of the deceased, while living, or which he was known to have regarded with satisfaction and complacency, usually constituted an essential aud conspicuous part of such ceremonials and processions, and were not unfrequently deposited with him in the tomb.
The superior degree of moral illumination, resulting from the establishment of Christianity in the principal countries of Europe, was found to be incompatible with the continu
ance of many of the sepulcbal ceremonies, which had originated during the darknesiand superstition of mythological theology, aud consequently their abolition was regarded as indispensable. For, notwithstanding they had obtained great popularity, hal leen consecrated, and rendered venerable by their antiquity, if they be considered in relation to those perceptions of the dignity of human nature, deducible from the loftie speculations of philosophy, or the still more sublime and infinitely more ennobling and consolitary truths, which haveteen promulgated to mortals through the medium of revelation, relative to their immortal destination, they must be regarded as not only trivial and insignificant, but absolutely irrational and preposterous. Such parts of them, however, as were symbolical of the rank, merit, or honourable descent of the deceased, and were not absolutely hostile to the laws and precepts of Christianity, were retained.
The enterprising spirit and military genius of our northern ancestors, reudered peonal intrepidity and heroism, in their estimation, the most meritorious of all qualities. This inordinate, but absurd predilection for martial glory aud reputation was greatbiugmented and enhanced by the extraordinary success of their arms, and the numerous settlements which they acquired by their bravery. Nor is it by any means improbable, that the monotonous existeuce of these times of almost patriarchal simplicity, and the obvious paucity of its distinctions, tended greatly to give heraldic pomp and magnificence preponderating and undue importance. Hence it followed, that the instruments and habiliments of war, standards, banners, armorial bearings, &c. when publicly exhibited, were considered by them as the most unequivocal representations of merited distinction; and consequently formed a prominent part in their funeral processions; and, toperpetuate the glory of the deceased, were usually deposit! i» the church contiguous to his remains.
And here it majnot be improper to observe, that there is no truism in the»hole range ol human knowledge better authenticated, ornore generally admitted, by the wellinformed and experienced portion of mankind, than that barbarism and aiove of ostentation and parade are uniformly associated. The accuracy of this position will be imply corroborated by an appeal to the gorgeousness and splendour so peculiar to oriental despotisms, or to the carnivals and other imposing religious processions, which so frequently occur in Rome, and other parts of the papal dominions. Admitting it, then, as an indubitable fact, that this peculiarity of character is more prominently developed where knowledge and refinement have but partially exerted their benign and ameliorating influence, it must unavoidably follow, that this intellectual feature would be in very extensive operation, at the period of which we are now treating; for the feudal system was then in the zenith of its power— a system by no means favourable to the extention of knowledge. The intestine commotions which must necessarily have resulted from the rivalry, ambition, and jealousy of contiguous chieftains, afforded but little opportunity for moral or intellectual cultivation; and the then precarious and unsettled condition of society, would naturally induce a state of mind inimical to the ennobling, but sedentary and unobtrusive pursuits of literature and science, which can only be successfully prosecuted in tranquillity and repose. It is also highly probable, that those petty kings or chieftains would consider external pomp, ceremony, and etiquette, as in some degree essential to the maintenance of that unlimited power, which they so arbitrarily and despotically exercised over their followers; since meretricious ornament is found to operate with resistless fascination on the minds of a weak, indiscriminating, and illiterate multitude.
In a state of society, then, when the public mind was so constituted and organized, that a love of magnificence and eclat formed its dominant and elementary feature, nothing could be more natural, than that the devices of heraldry should have been singularly attractive to the nobility, and have presented strong and peculiar claims to their attention and regard; being at once so obviously identified with ancestrel glory, the pageantry of state, and the "pomp and circumstance of war." Accordingly we find, that those families which were more particularly distinguished for their dignity, affluence, and power, in those parts of Europe, where the feudal system had been established, assumed various signs or marks indicative of honourable descent, family antiquity, illustrious matrimonial alliances, and the valourous achievements of their progenitors, to prevent the possibility of their being confounded with the lower orders of the people. These signs, the appropriate arrangement and classification of which were eventually raised to the dignity of a science, were also adopted in war, being usually painted or embroidered on their military costumes, that their followers or subordinates might be enabled to recognise them with greater facility and precision, as their natural and legitimate leaders, when congregated with the national force, of which, conformably with the feudal tenure, their martial retinue and dependants constituted a component part.
In the process of time, however, the hereditary distinctions peculiar to noble birth and extraordinary merit began to be adopted by families and individuals of comparative insignificance and obscurity, without the slightest regard to discrimination or propriety; and this observation applies more particularly to such of them as related to the solemnization of interments. Nay, this ambitious usurpation became at length so prevalent, as to threaten the total annihilation of all the external marks of distinction which had hitherto been appealed to, as the insignia of noble
descent and meritorious achievement. Such a spirit of rivalry could not but be viewed by the great with obvious jealousy and dissatisfaction ; and amongst the lower orders it was found to be productive of perpetual confusion and disturbance, and ultimately led to numerous and palpable absurdities. Nor did this growing disposition of the inferior classes to appropriate the honours of the great, appear to have been any where more predominant than in England, where pecuniary resources were more generally and extensively possessed, than by most other nations in Europe. In this state of things, the funerals of the lower orders were solemnized with the honours expressly and specifically intended for the gentlemen; the gentlemen's, with those of the knights; and the knights', with those of the nobility!
The noble and illustrious, who deemed themselves aggrieved by this unceremonious and indiscriminate adoption of their honours, in order to affect the demolition, or at least to diminish the prevalence of so ridiculous a mania amongst the iuferior gentry and commonalty, at length employed the kings and heralds of arms—a body of men by whom the complex science of armory was professionally studied and cultivated—to superintend and arrange their funeral solemnities. It came within the province of those functionaries, when their services were thus called into requisition, to dictate and prescribe the escutcheons, ensigns, banners, and armorial bearings proper to be borne professionally with the corpse to the place of interment, as appropriate to, and representative of, the rank and merit of the deceased. The number, quality, and character of the attendants, as well as the determination and adjustment of the various punctilios of precedency, relative to the order of the procession, incidentally arising from consanguinity, relationship, connexion, and dependency, were also committed to their charge, and subjected to their control.
The custom of thus constantly referring the regulation and superintendence of funeral obsequies, on the part of the nobility, to the kings and heralds of arms, that they might be managed with greater accuracy and decorum, soon rendered it a lucrative and honourable profession; the immunities and privileges of which, that body were anxious to monopolize and perpetuate. It was hardly to be expected, however, that the emoluments of a custom merely founded on the courtesy and spontaneous suffrages of the great, and totally unsupported by any legal or exclusive tenure, could be retained for any length of time without creating a spirit of competition amongst those who had the vanity to think themselves capable of managing the numerous and complicated ceremonials pertaining to funeral solemnizations, with a judgement and precision equal to that of the kings and heralds of arms. Conformably to this view, we learn that a body of men, calling themselves undertakers, in conjunction with and aided by a class of artizans denominated painters and paper-stainers, did not scruple to invade the prerogatives which the heralds of arms had so arrogantly assumed to be theirs imprescriptibly ; by which the business and profits, as well as the high estimation in which the former were held, became in a shoit time materially diminished. The circumstance of this supposed invasion of their privileges, gave great umbrage to the kings and heralds of arms; and at length, in the reign of Elizabeth, when sepulchral pageantry had reached the acme of its extravagauce, became the subject of a long and tedious dispute. To give the substance of this memorable struggle, would be as uninteresting to the reader, as it is