Letters Patent of a Royal License....

Posted to: The Google+ Heraldry Community

Posted by: Marc-André Laverdière

Created on: March 13 2017 at 13:41

Letters Patent of a Royal License to quarter inherited arms.

In the UK, it was common to have an 'name and arms' clause to a Will - whereby someone would inherit something on condition that they took the deceased's arms and last name.

But since that went beyond the terms of the original Letters Patent, somebody's permission was needed.

For some reason, that goes beyond the scope of the Earl Marshal's mandate. So the prerogative was kept by the Sovereign in England.

Which means that the Kings and Queens have had to sign official papers allowing this on a regular basis for centuries. Once that is done, the College of Arms issues a new Letters Patent following that fact.

AFAIK, Lyon handles the full Royal Prerogative in Scotland, so the Sovereign isn't involved. As for Canada, I'm not aware of a case like that yet, but I'd expect this to be handled by the Governor General, since he's been delegated the full Royal powers on armorial matters.


Details about L262 Grant of Arms to Lewis Owen Williams-Owen 1925

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