The Heralds' Visitations of Northamptonshire

Keith Lovell

21st May 2011

St Andrew's Hospital, Billing Road, Northampton

Although Keith Lovell has lived in London all his adult life, he is a native of Northamptonshire and spends two or three weekends here each month at his family home near Wellingborough. A life-long interest in local history led him to a particular interest in heraldry, thanks to an early introduction to Volume 4 of the Victoria County History of Northamptonshire, with its line-drawings of manorial shields-of-arms. A career in teaching led to lecturing in evening institutes around the capital, giving courses in amorial studies, and each summer for twenty years, he ran a residential summer school, The Pleasures of Heraldry, at Knuston Hall. There have been numerous lectures in venues from village scout-huts to the Victoria and Albert Museum, the British Museum, the Burrell Collection Glasgow, the Society of Antiquaries and, occasionally, radio and television. He is a Fellow of the Heraldry Society.

From the reign of King Henry VII to that of King Charles II, their Majesties' Officers of Arms, the Heralds, systematically visited every county of England to survey and record the use of armorial bearings by all persons who considered themselves eligible to do so. They carefully recorded all lawfully borne coats of arms and also the pedigrees of those who bore them. These records, many of them now published, are an invaluable source of information for historians and genealogists. This lecture examines the Heralds' travels through Northamptonshire and the demographic indications of their records.

This lecture followed the Annual General Meeting of the Society.

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