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Welcome Message from the President

I am delighted to welcome you to the College of Arms Foundation's website, relaunched in 2023, which seeks to present English heraldry and the work of England's heraldic authority, the College of Arms, to the American public.

Originally, the purpose of the Foundation was to raise funds towards the upkeep and renovation of the College of Arms building in the City of London and to promote the study of heraldry. The fabric of the College has been restored and upgraded since then, allowing the Foundation to pursue new objectives. In 2001, the Foundation's focus changed to promote knowledge of, and interest in, English heraldry in the United States. In 2012, the Board of Directors voted to make a multi-year financial contribution to support the production and publication of a volume of A Catalogue of Manuscripts in the College of Arms Records.

As well, the Foundation seeks to inform American audiences about English heraldry by producing events featuring experts on the subject.

A coat of arms, by definition the shield portion of the entire armorial achievement, is unique and may only be borne legitimately by the grantee, his male descendants, and any heraldic heiresses. The College is renowned for the high quality of its designs, which artfully adapt a historical art form to modern-day needs. New designs of armorial bearings – consisting of a shield, helm, mantling and crest – often contain visual references to the accomplishments or career of the person to whom the arms were granted.

Americans unfamiliar with heraldry imagine that it is "dead." Nothing could be further from the truth. The College in England receives dozens of petitions for armorial bearings each year. Heraldry is very much alive and well and enjoyed by many. This is the fundamental message of the Foundation.

We welcome all persons interested in heraldry - in particular English heraldry - to participate in and support our activities.

John Shannon - President

The College

The Foundation

  • About Our Foundation
  • Officers & Directors
  • Services & Projects
  • Membership & Contributions
  • Contact
  • Heraldry

  • Components of Arms
  • Language of Heraldry
  • Art of Heraldry
  • Heraldry in America