The third and lowest order of heraldic officers. The office was instituted as a novitiate, or state of probation, through which the offices of herald and king-at-arms were ordinarily to be attained, though it has been held that a herald or king-at-arms may be made per saltum.
In ancient times any great nobleman might institute his own pursuivant with his own hands and by his single authority. The dukes of Norfolk had a pursuivant called Blanch-lyon, from the white lion in their arms. The Pursuivant of the dukes of Northumberland was styled EspĂ©rance from the Percy motto, and Richard Nevil, earl of Salisbury, had a pursuivant called Egle vert.
Related term(s): Heraldic; Herald; King-of-Arms; Blanch-Lyon; EspĂ©rance; Egle Vert
Last modified: 08.31.06
Source information: Wilhelm, Thomas. A Military Dictionary and Gazetteer. Philadelphia: L.R. Hamersly & Co., 1881. 464.