The Harris Legacy

The Original Grant of Arms to Arthur Herrys Esq.  1578 


The Harris Family of Essex County England 

The Harris Family of Virginia 

The Harris Family of North Carolina 

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Transcribed by Vance C. Harris

To all and singirley aswell nobles and gentils as others to whome these presents shall come be seene heard read or understoode Willm flower Esquire otherwise called Norroy principall Herald and Kinge of Armes of the East West and North partes of the realme of England from the ryver Trent northward Sendeth greetinge in our Lord God everlastinge. Anciently from the beginninge the valiaunt and virtuous actes of excellent personce have ben commended to the worlde and posteritie with sondrey monuments and remembrances of their goode deseartes: emongest the which the chiefest and most usuall hath ben the bearinge of signes and tokens in shieldes called Armes beinge evident demonstrations and testimonies of prowesse and valour diversly distributed accordinge to the qualities and deseartes of the persones meritinge the same. Whiche order as it was prudently devysed in the beginninge to shirre up enflame the hartes of men to the mutation of virtue: even so hath the sam ben contynued from tyme to tyme and yet is continually observed ot the intent that suche as have don commendable service to their Prince or countrey either in warre or peace may there fore receave due honor in their lyves and also derive the same successively to their offspringe and posteritie for ever. Emongest the which nomber Arthur Herrys of Crixsey in the countie of Essex Esquire third sonne of William Herrys of Southminster Esquire the sonne of John Herrys of Prittlewell in the countie of Essex Esquire beinge lineally descended from those of that surname in the north partes of this realme within my province and so by just descent and prerogative of birth beinge the berers of those tokens of honor from his ancestors: hath required me ye sayd Norroy to deliver and describe unto him his sayd ancient Armes as he may lawfully use them without piudice or offence to any other person. And because upon searche ther is no Creast founde properly to belonge to his ancient cote (as unto meny ther ar none) he hath further desyred me to assigne unto his sayd ancient Armes a Creast meete and Lawfull to be boren. I the sayd Norroy of an especiall zeale and goode affection boren unto ye sayd Arthur Herrys for his virtues to me well known have condescended to his request and by power and authoritie to me committed by letters patent under ye great seale of England have assigned given and graunted unto ye sayd Arthur Herrys for his Creast on the heaulme a Stagges head tosengy coupe silver and gules horned gold situate on a wreathe golde and asure mantelled gules doubled silver which together with ye sayd ancient Arms viz: the field gold on a bend engreyled asure three cingfoiles of ye field more plainly appereth depicted in ye margine hereof Which Creast together with ye said ancient Armes and every part and parcel therof I the sayd Norroy King of Armes by power and authoritie aforesaid do by these presentes give and graunt ratifie and confirme unto the sayd Arthur Herrys to his offspringe and to all the offspringe and posteritie of ye said John Herrys forever. He and they ye same to have holde use beare enioy and shew foorthe at all tymes and forever hereafter with their due differences accordinge unto ye law of Armes in shield coleamure pen on seale hachement or otherwise at his and their libertie and pleasure without the impediment lett or interruption of any person or persones. In witnesse wherof I the said Norroy king of Armes have hereunto subscribed my name and sett to ye seale of myne office the xxixth day of November In the yere of our Lord God MCCCCClxxviii and in the xxith yere of the reigne of our most gracious souvereigne Lady Queene Elizabeth.