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.[1] 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 these duties are performed by the Junior Deacon and Senior Deacon.[2]

Nationally appointed pursuivantsEdit

English Pursuivants of Arms in OrdinaryEdit

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

English Pursuivants of Arms ExtraordinaryEdit

Scottish Pursuivants of Arms in OrdinaryEdit

Scottish Pursuivants of Arms ExtraordinaryEdit

Irish Pursuivant of ArmsEdit

Welsh Pursuivants of Arms in OrdinaryEdit

Privately appointed pursuivantsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "History". College of Arms.
  2. ^ California Monitor and Officer's Manual

External linksEdit

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