THE General Armory first appeared in the year 1842, and was most favourably received. The long period that has since elapsed has, by the acquisition of vast materials, tended to the completion, and it is hoped to the perfection of the original work. Founded on the Heralds' Visitations, the County Histories, and the heraldic writings of Dugdale, Camden, Guillim, Edmondson, Berry, Nicolas, and others, the present edition of the Armory is, I venture to assert, the most comprehensive Collection of Arms ever brought together, embracing, as it does, some 60,000 coats. The most minute and watchful editing, rendered necessary by the technical nature of the blazons, has been bestowed upon it. Every line required to be closely examined, and each heraldic description to be correctly entered. Despite, however, of this anxious attention, errors will doubtless be detected; but these will, it is confidently expected, meet with the reader's indulgence. The work comprises the Armorial Bearings of the Noblemen and Gentlemen of the British Empire, and the various Coats that are to be seen in churches and family mansions, together with those traceable on Seals, Deeds, Wills, and Monumental remains.
History and genealogy, linked as they are with Heraldry, are illustrated and in some instances explained, by the Science of Arms.
Heraldry arose with feudalism, attained its full growth is Mediaeval times, and now, in the 19th century, is prized by all who can show honourable ancestry, or wish to found honourable families.
Valuable as the assistance has been which I have derived from the authorities who have written upon the subject, the result of my endeavours would be incomplete were it not for the generous aid afforded me by many distinguished friends.
To George Burnett, Lyon King of Arms, my deepest obligation is due. With energy untiring, with liberality unrestricted, and with kindness unwearied, he has done for this book and for Scotland generally what has never before been attempted. The heraldry of the historic kingdom over which his jurisdiction extends is, thanks to his learning and ability, fully and authoritatively given in this edition of the General Armory. My debt is also great, and my acknowledgments are most cordially offered, to several members of the Heralds' College England, My old and esteemed friend
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