Petition: recommendation

The petition of Alexander Nisbet anent his book of heraldry read again, and his case recommended to the lords commissioners of her majesty's treasury as follows.

Recommendation to the treasury in favour of Alexander Nisbet

Her majesty's high commissioner and the estates of parliament, having heard the petition of Alexander Nisbet showing to them that heraldry has been highly esteemed for many ages by all the kings and princes in Europe, and the knowledge thereof sought after by the most honourable persons in Christendom, is so well known that the petitioner supposed there is none will call in question its worth or usefulness, which will evidently appear by the petitioner's treatise of heraldry, speculative and practical, now almost ready for the press, wherein the petitioner has fully described the nature of arms and given a particular account of their beginning and rise, and also a large description of all the proper and natural figures in heraldry, showing by whom they are carried amongst us and for what reasons, so far as can be learned from the memorials of their worthy progenitors, with such genealogical deductions of many noble and ancient families as will instruct the rise of their paternal bearings and conduce to the knowledge of their genealogical pennons, gathered with great care from authentic documents in fine, as the petitioner has, with much pains and labour, collected from foreign authors, our own histories, manuscripts, old rights, evidence, charters, monuments, tombs and seals, whatsoever may contribute to the reviving and perfecting the science of heraldry, so he has continued his diligence in searching after such things as may render his book more useful and pleasant, to which he has also added a description of joustings and tournaments and their use of old with us, so that after the space of many years the petitioner has brought his work near a close which (it's humbly presumed) will tend to the honour of the nation, the advantage and satisfaction of many families, (whose names and honours will be thereby transmitted to posterity and made known to the ingenious both at home and abroad) and may be of general use to noblemen and others when they travel and behold the multitude of ensigns armorial which are met with abroad in every house whether religious or common. Lastly, what assistance a work of this nature may afford curious antiquaries for the better understanding of seals, medals, history and ancient records, is so well known to his grace and the high and honourable estates of parliament, that the petitioner needed discourse it no further. The petitioner not being able to defray the great charge his book will amount to in furnishing fine large paper, printing, (especially italic types whereof there are very few in this kingdom) and the expenses of cutting in copper plate the armorial ensigns of this ancient kingdom, the several devices of our kings and many coats of arms that are to be found upon monuments, churches, tombs and seals of honourable families now extinct, whose names and honours are worthy to be perpetuated, therefore, he humbly craved his grace and honourable estates of parliament to take the circumstances to their generous consideration and grant an allowance (out of what fund his grace and honourable estates should think fit) as might enable him to perfect his design, and to nominate a receiver of the said money who shall see it applied to the said ends, and to be accountable to his grace and honourable estates therein, and lastly to commission such persons, as his grace and honourable estates should think fit, to revise the petitioner's papers and oversee the press that nothing passes derogatory to the honour of this ancient kingdom, or any particular family, as the said petition bears. Which her majesty's high commissioner and the said estates of parliament, having this day considered, they have recommended and hereby recommend the case of the petitioner to the lords commissioners of the treasury to grant him allowance of £248 6s 8d out of what fund they shall think fit, and to appoint persons to revise the petitioner's papers to the end mentioned in the petition.

  1. NAS. PA2/38, f.123v-124.