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The Potter Armorial, Part One - Wemyss's Appalling Hobby:
From the Party Guilty of Committing 'Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn'
The Potter Armorial, Part One
The Ministry of Magic are pleased to present, in conjunction with the Wizarding College of Arms and the University of Domdaniel and its constituent colleges, the Potter Armorial.
Although, thankfully, the vicious theory of ‘blood status’ is now consigned at last to the dustbin of history, names, lineage, and arms remain, quite properly, important in the Wizarding World. Many family, kinship, and household magics, after all, are strongly linked to names and lineages; similarly, grants of arms and honours are the outward and visible sign of the trust and confidence reposed in deserving Witches and Wizards by their society and by the Ministry – and, ultimately, by the Crown, the Sovereign being, after all, the fount of honour. With the late unnatural and wicked Rebellion behind us, new armigers have arisen, old families have been renewed and their services recognised with re-granted or differenced arms, and cadet branches of certain families have been granted new achievements recognising their creation of what will be new families of note in Wizarding society. The Victors have, naturally, been accorded recognition and honour in some small repayment of a debt too great ever fully to be repaid, and a renewal of ties to the Continent has resulted in the differencing of some arms and the re-grant of others, as will be seen below.
The Ministry, the College of Arms, and the University wish to dedicate this publication to its inspiring spirit, the late John Brooke-Little, who, like Elias Ashmole before him, did so much to regularise the heraldic contacts between the Muggle and Wizarding communities, and to the memory of the late the Rt Hon Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, OM (1st), MPC, MW, Chief Mugwump, Fellow of Paracelsus, and long-time Headmaster of Hogwarts.
E. Abercrombie
On behalf of the College of Arms, I am honoured to assist in the presenting of this valuable reference. It is our hope that it will serve to enhance an appreciation of matters too often dismissed as mere frippery and vanity, and that it will reflect the glory of those to whom, by their services, praise and glory and honour are due.
H. Slughorn
1.       The Art and Science of Arms
The Ministry of Magic, which exercises by charter, commission, and Order of the Joint Privy Council (the Muggle Privy Council and the Wizarding Privy Council together) the authority and prerogatives of the Crown and of the Crown-in-Wizengamot, governs the Wizarding Community in the British Isles. More specifically, the Wizengamot and the Ministry exercise the legislative and executive authority in the name of the Sovereign equally in England, Wales, Cornwall, Scotland, the Isles, Man, the Channel Islands, the Shetlands, the Orkneys, and all of Ireland without regard to the subsequent Muggle partition thereof and the subsequent Muggle establishment of the Republic of Ireland. Similarly to the Irish situation, the Moot and the Ministry govern the Wizarding communities of the Isle of Man and of the Channel Islands in right of HM’s titles of, respectively, Lord of Man and Duke of Normandy, notwithstanding the different Constitutional arrangements of the Muggle world.
Likewise, the Wizarding College of Arms: Logres Principal King of Arms; Tintagel King of Arms, Isles King of Arms, Mercia King of Arms, Tara King of Arms, Cornwall King of Arms, Alba King of Arms, and Cumbria King of Arms; Wessex, Hogwarts, Scilly, Lagan, Fenlands, Kent, Tweed, Galloway, Bantry, and Danelaw Heralds; and Merlin, Wyvern, Yale, Talbot, Martlet, Salmon, Fusil, Lymphad, Fetterlock, and Bezant Pursuivants of Arms: is the heraldic authority for the Wizarding world throughout the Crown’s dominions. As such, it works in close consultation and shares officers with the (English) College of Arms, the Court of the Lord Lyon, and the Office of the Chief Herald of (the Republic of) Ireland. For complex historical reasons that are also evident in the location of both HogwartsSchool and of the University of Domdaniel, the Wizarding College of Arms naturally is most closely allied with the Lyon Court. However, it is the object and charge of the College to preserve local distinctiveness in grants of arms, and non-Scots achievements are not forced into the strictures of Scots heraldry, as will be seen. Wizarding arms are personal to the bearer in magical terms as well as in law, and, as much as is practicable, reflect the armiger’s personal interests and background as well as his or her lineage.
One way in which, by common assent, the principles of Scots heraldry have been shown useful in the grant of Wizarding arms, is in the use of ‘grand quarterings’ to marshal the extremely complicated armorial inheritances of most older Wizarding families, but the adoption of this convention throughout the British and Irish Wizarding world is by no means indicative, as is sometimes wrongly believed, of any undue ‘Scots influence’ in Wizarding heraldry. This remains the case despite a joking observation current in the Ministry in the early years of the 21st Century, that there were three Blairs in charge of things, as the Muggle PM, as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, and as Lord Lyon (Robin Orr Blair, LVO, WS), and that of the three, the Lord Lyon was the only Blair worth a two-Sickle damn.
It may also be noted that there has never been the distinction between ‘the shield and the distaff’ in Wizarding society: Witches are quite as likely as Wizards to play an important part in all aspects of Wizarding life, including warfare, defence, and the keeping of the Queen’s Peace. There are therefore many Witches who are in the most literal sense armigers, arms-bearers, in their own right. Nonetheless, in keeping with British heraldic convention, Witches’s arms are displayed not on shields but on ovals or lozenges, as a matter of tradition. Their achievements of arms also do not include a helm, although, where appropriate, a cap of maintenance, coronet, or academic cap is shown, and in only very rare cases do their achievements include supporters and mottoes or slughorns. Supporters, mottoes, badges, and the like are jealously guarded and rarely awarded honours in any case, regardless of the armiger’s sex, and of course the only woman in Great Britain whose achievement bears as of right a helm, is HM the Queen, as Sovereign.
a. The Ministry Arms
The arms of the Ministry are the Sovereign’s Wizarding arms absent the helm. As is the case of HM’s achievement in Scotland, the Wizarding arms of the Sovereign differ somewhat from her arms as commonly depicted in her capacity as Queen of the United Kingdom in the Muggle World.
The first quarter is quarterly England and France Ancient. The second is Scotland. The third quarter, Azure, three crowns ancient Or, is the ancient arms of Ireland. The fourth quarter quarters the arms of Man, Wales, the Isles, and UlsterThe inescutcheon, Sable, a griffin Argent, beaked and armed Or, langued Gules, is the official shield of the Minister and, suitably differenced, of the various departments and agencies of the Ministry, derived from the ancient arms of the Wizengamot as a body corporate. 
The Crown, without the Sovereign’s helm, surmounts the shield, superimposed upon a Cap of Sorcery. The supporters are, dexter, a Unicorn, Argent, crined and armed Or, langued Azure, and, sinister, a Lion, Parti per fess Gules and Or, armed and langued Azure. It cannot sufficiently be stressed that neither supporter is gorged of a coronet; rather, each is depicted with (debruised of) a crown on the shoulder, a Saxon crown, Azure, in the case of the dexter supporter and a Crown ancient, Or, in the case of the sinister. The compartment shows the plant-badges of the Home Nations, and both the English and the Scots mottoes are displayed, being Dieu et ma magie, ‘God and my magic’, and, Nemo me impune exsecratit, ‘No one hexes me with impunity’, respectively.
b. The Arms of the WizardingCollege of Arms
It may be admitted that the Arms of the College of Arms are in some sense characteristically Scots, in combining a chief Gules with a saltire of the same. The charges, however, clearly convey that the Wizarding College of Arms has heraldic jurisdiction over all of Britain’s and Ireland’s Wizarding world, as shown by the charges: a Wessex-derived Wyvern Or in the chief between the two escutcheons Argent that are the common device of heralds, the ‘red dragon’ of Wales, the Scots lion, and the Tudor rose. It cannot sufficiently be stressed that the Stag salient, Gules, slotted and attired Azure, is not, as ignorantly supposed, an aggrandising reference to the late James Potter, anymore than is the stag, lodged that depends from the Ministerial chain of office: both are taken from the ancient Royal device deriving from the crest of the Sovereign’s former arms as Lord and later King of Ireland. The Anglo-Norman, Yorkist, and Isles-derived supporters hardly need further explication; the portcullis device that depends from the chaplet that engorges the achievement is taken from the device of the Magical Privy Council, which it later shared with the Muggle House of Commons. Again, the inescutcheon of Sable, a griffin Argent, beaked and armed Or, langued Gules, represents the Ministry and the Wizengamot as the governing body of the Wizarding World. The College’s full achievement shows the shield surmounting two herald’s batons of wand-wood, crossed in saltire, which are adorned with gold phoenixes.
c.       The Arms of the University and its Colleges
The University arms are naturally characteristic of Scots arms, it having always shared its fabric with Hogwarts School. The Azure tincture is specifically dark and blazoned so in the original patent, and the much newer foundation of Oxford adopted this colour as ‘Oxford blue’ in after years in surreptitious tribute to Domdaniel.
The arms of Godric College are the undifferenced arms of Godric Gryffindor himself; the arms of the other colleges are evocative of their founders or namesakes, if not actually ‘canting’ arms, as witness the ‘imperial eagle’ and French fleur de lis of Albertus Magnus or the ‘Dominican’ arms of Thomas Aquinas College. The arms of Merlin College are reputed, however anachronistically, to be those of Merlin himself, and are certainly the basis for the Ministry’s and the Moot’s arms, which are differenced by a change of the tincture of the field.

Part Two to follow.

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