Riordan Family history


Certificate of Arms


As I have indicated under Family skeletons, my father was desperate to be accepted as an “English Gentleman”, and in 1937 he applied to the College of Arms in London for a Patent of Arms. This was granted on the 20th of November in 1937. The certificate, which is shown below, is on parchment, and measures 530 mm by 385 mm. The three seals are in brass cans 70 mm in diameter, attached to the certificate by black ribbons. Unfortunately the sealing wax has suffered somewhat from our hot summers, and the detail has rather softened. The certificate was supplied in a handsome wooden box, covered in red leather, and embossed with the initials of George the Sixth.

The wording of the certificate reads:

TO ALL AND SINGULAR to whom these presents shall come Sir Gerald Woods Wollaston, Knight Commander of the Most Honorable Order of the Bath, Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, Garter Principal King of Arms, Sir Arthur William Stuart Cochrane, Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, Clarenceux King of Arms, and Algar Henry Stafford Howard, Esquire, Companion of the Most Honorable Order of the Bath, Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, upon whom has been conferred the Decoration of the Military Cross Norrey King of Arms, Send Greeting: WHEREAS Adrian William Riordan of Fitz Gibbon Crescent Caulfield in the State of Victoria and Commonwealth of Australia, Esquire, Captain the Australian Staff Corps, hath represented unto the Most Noble Bernard Marmaduke Duke of Norfolk, Earl Marshal and Hereditary Marshal of England, Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, and one of His Majesty's Most Honorable Privy Council, that he is desirous of having Armorial Bearing duly established and recorded to him under lawful authority and hath requested the favour of His Grace’s Warrant for Our granting and assigning such Arms and Crest as may be proper to be borne and used by him and his descendants according to the Laws of Arms AND FORASMUCH as the said Earl Marshal did by Warrant under his hand and Seal bearing date the Nineteenth day of November instant authorize and direct Us to grant and assign such Armorial Ensigns accordingly KNOW YE THEREFORE that We the said Garter Clarenceux and Norrey in pursuance of His Gracs’s Warrant and by virtue of the Letters Patent of Our several Offices to each of us respectively granted do by these Presents grant and assign unto the said Adrian William Riordan the Arms following, that is to say: Or, a Chevron Gules on a Chief dancetty Azure three Trefoils slipped Argent. And for the Crest, on a wreath of the Colours a Black Swan standing in Reeds proper as the same are in the margin hereof more plainly depicted to be borne and used for ever hereafter by him the said Adrian William Riordan and by his descendants with due and proper differences according to the Laws of Arms. IN WITNESS whereof we the said Garter Clarenceux and Norrey Kings of Arms have to these Presents subscribed Our names and affixed the Seals of Our several Offices this Twentieth day of November in the first year of the Reign of Our Sovereign Lord George the Sixth by the Grace of God of Great Britain Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas King, Defender of the Faith etc, and in the year of Our Lord One thousand nine hundred and thirty seven.

Gerald Wollaston: Garter          Arthur Cochrane: Clarenceux          Algar Howard: Norrey

 © Roger Riordan 2004-2019

The Riordan Arms

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