Alphabet of Arms

  • Reference
      GB 133 Eng MS 15
  • Dates of Creation
      16th to 17th Century [Possibly 1597]
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
      Middle English Latin
  • Physical Description
      Extent of unit of description: 308 x 200 mm.  1 volume (143 folios); Medium: paper.

Scope and Content

The volume, entitled Alphabet of Arms, comprises manuscript fragments bound together, mainly with a heraldic focus. Both on the inside front cover and the inside back cover are notes done in pencil.

The volume includes:

  • Deed of gift from one William de Longa Spata in 1236/7 (f. 1);
  • Latin treatise on titles in the Holy Roman Empire of 1612 (ff. 2-3);
  • Incomplete Scottish armorial with index (ff. 21-51 and f. 66);
  • Irish armorial (ff. 52-57v);
  • Anglo-Irish armorial entitled a very ancyent book of Armes in Golde contayning the coats of English and Irish race (ff. 58-65v);
  • European armorial (ff. 67-72v);
  • Transcript of a series of lists detailing the names of knights, bannerets and barons of the Bath and of the Carpet made on various historic occasions during 1485-1533 as well as aristocratic attendance on Edward III's and Henry V's campaigns (ff. 118-127v);
  • Small Latin treatise on heraldry (ff. 138-139v);
  • Treatise in English on the War of the Roses and the dynasties of the Houses of Lancaster and York (ff. 140v-143).

Access Information

The manuscript is available for consultation by any accredited reader.

Acquisition Information

Purchased by Mrs Enriqueta Rylands, on behalf of the John Rylands Library, in 1901 from James Ludovic Lindsay, 26th Earl of Crawford.


Description compiled by Henry Sullivan, project archivist.

Other Finding Aids

Catalogued in the Hand-List of the Collection of English Manuscripts in the John Rylands Library, 1928 (English MS 15).

Custodial History

Formerly part of the Bibliotheca Lindesiana, the Library of the Earls of Crawford and Balcarres, from Haigh Hall, Wigan, Lancashire. The first front fly-leaf has the name John Gough Nichols [(1806-1873) printer and antiquary] written on it with the statement that he bought this manuscript from Rimeli in Oxford Street in 1868.