The College of Arms Foundation is managed by a Board of Directors, led by four Officers appointed by the Board. The Officers and Directors are heraldry enthusiasts in the US. The Officers and Directors have deep and varied knowledge in areas of heraldry.
The Foundation can assist Americans with their inquiries towards acquiring arms.
Additionally, Foundation leaders are available for speaking engagements.
In recent years, the College of Arms Foundation has provided funds for three projects at the College of Arms and has just announced a fourth.
A CATALOG OF RECORDS AT THE COLLEGE OF ARMS
One project was partially funded by the Foundation with five annual grants commencing in 2012. This financial support went towards the publication of a new reference book, A Catalog of Records at the College of Arms. The records in question are numerous, miscellaneous papers the College has accumulated over the centuries containing official heraldic or genealogical information. They are simple records, not full-blown pedigrees or visitations. Nonetheless they enjoy an official status and are an important source of heraldic information.
The book was edited by Robert Yorke, who had retired after many years as the College’s Archivist. The gathering, organizing, and describing the records was a long and painstaking process, and this Catalog will be an essential reference work for current and future researchers. In addition to the five annual grants, a further subsidiary grant provided for the indexing of the book, a momentous task for an editor.
The work is complete! Copies are available for purchase directly from the College of Arms at the price of £60 plus postage and handling. You can contact them by mail: College of Arms, 130 Queen Victoria St., London, ECV4 4BT, U.K. Alternately, you can email for information at reception(at)college-of-arms.gov.uk.
THE PIGOTT LIBRARY
The second project was funding provided to the College of Arms for the creation of an archive storage room to be known as The Pigott Library. The grant was made possible in 2013 through the generosity of Mark C. Pigott, KBE. At the time the grant was made, John Shannon announced "My fellow Foundation board members and I are very pleased to be able to make this grant, which will result in an improved facility for storing the College's most ancient records."
CONSERVATION OF MANUSCRIPT NORFOLK 12
The third and most recent project was fully funded by the Foundation with two annual grants in 2019 and 2020. The funds provided for the restoration of a large pedigree volume, Norfolk 12 (ID 1765). Restoration of this volume is part of a major program to conserve historic manuscripts and printed books in the College of Arms working library. Norfolk 12 required much restoration as the spine was seriously eroded and parchment pages were detached. Interestingly, this volume has strong American associations, including a pedigree of the Raleigh family, the forebears of the famous Sir Walter Raleigh.
Other pedigrees with an American connection that are included belong to Courtauld family, including British industrialist Samuel Courtauld (1793-1881) who was born in New York, and the Reichel family, including Moravian bishop. A non-American pedigree included is that of John Hanning Speke (1827-1864), who explored Africa in search of the source of the Nile, becoming the first European to reach it, Lake Victoria. The Earl Marshal thanked the Foundation for the funding. This restoration was completed in early 2021, during COVID.
NEW - CONSERVATION OF MANUSCRIPT NORFOLK 3
We are pleased to announce our latest project.
The Board of Directors of the College of Arms Foundation decided in March 2023 to approve £10,000 in funding for the conservation of an important historical manuscript.
This latest grant is to conserve a historic book of pedigrees referred to as Norfolk 3 (ID 1727). It is one of the Norfolk series of large volumes of pedigrees, often illustrated with family coats of arms. Norfolk 3 is one of the earliest volumes, containing recorded pedigrees dating between 1807 and 1810, and at 216 pages contains a high number of paintings of arms. Among the pedigrees listed are a branch of the Howard family of Corby Castle in Cumberland, relatives of the Dukes of Norfolk and Earls Marshal of England, and a biographical entry on General Cornelius Cuyler, an American loyalist and descendent of the Schuyler family of New York, who was created a baronet in 1814.
The work needed to conserve the manuscript is both extensive and painstaking. The binding is failing. The entire volume will be taken apart and a new spine attached to it. The task draws on traditional bookbinding skills and is time-consuming. Conservation work is estimated to take nine months to complete. The Foundation’s grant will fund the complete restoration of the manuscript.