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15 August 2013 @ 09:43 pm
Word of the day - Pursuivant  
pursuivant, n. and adj.
[‘ Freq. with capital initial. Originally: a junior heraldic officer attendant on a herald or nobleman. In later use: an officer of the English, Scottish, or (formerly) Irish heraldic authority, ranking below a herald; (in Scotland also) a private officer of arms, appointed by an earl.’]
Pronunciation: Brit. /ˈpəːs(w)ᵻv(ə)nt/, U.S. /ˈpərs(w)əv(ə)nt/, /ˈpərs(w)iv(ə)nt/
Forms:  α.    15 parseuant;   Sc.  pre-17 persevand,   pre-17 persevant,   pre-17 persevante,   pre-17 persewande,   pre-17 persewant,   pre-17 persowant.  β.    ME porcevaunt,   ME purcevant,   ME in a late copy purcevunte,   ME purciwant,   ME purcyvawnte,   ME pursefaunt,   ME purseruant,   ME in a late copy purseyvant,   ME pursiuaunt,   ME pursyuaunt,   ME–15 purcevaunt,   ME–15 purcyvaunt,   ME–15 purseuaunt,   ME in a late copy–15 purseuaunte,   ME–16 pursivant,   ME–16 pursuyvant,   ME–16 pursyvant,   ME–17 pursevant,   15 purceaunte,   15 purceuant,   15 purceuaunte,   15 purcivant,   15 purcyuaunt,   15 pursevaunt,   15 pursewant,   15 pursuiaunt,   15 pursyuant,   15 pursyvaunt,   15–16 pursiuant,   15–16 pursuiuant,   15–16 pursuyuant,   15–17 purseuant,   15–17 pursueuant,   15–17 pursuevant,   15– pursuivant,   16 purcephant,   16 purseueant,   16 purssyvant,   16 pursuvant;   Sc.  pre-17 purcyfant,   pre-17 pursafant,   pre-17 purschewant,   pre-17 pursefand,   pre-17 purseivant,   pre-17 pursephand,   pre-17 pursephant,   pre-17 purseuant,   pre-17 pursevand,   pre-17 pursevaunt,   pre-17 pursevaunte,   pre-17 pursewand,   pre-17 pursewant,   pre-17 pursewat transmission error,   pre-17 pursifant,   pre-17 pursiphant,   pre-17 pursivant,   pre-17 pursiwant,   pre-17 pursovant,   pre-17 pursowant,   pre-17 pursuevant,   pre-17 pursvivant,   pre-17 purswivant,   pre-17 purswyvant,   pre-17 pursyfant,   pre-17 pursyffane,   pre-17 pursyphant,   pre-17 pursyvand,   pre-17 pursyvant,   pre-17 17 pursevant,   pre-17 17– pursuivant.  γ.    ME in a late copy poursevunte,   15 poursiuant,   16–17 poursuivant;   Sc.  pre-17 poursevantt,   pre-17 poursuivant,   pre-17 powrsefand,   pre-17 powrsont.   N.E.D. (1909) also records a form of the ending  lME -syaunt.
Etymology:As noun <  Middle French poursuivant, poursievant, poursiewant (French poursuivant) junior heraldic officer attendant on a herald (c1325 as poursivans, plural; now hist.), follower (late 14th cent.; compare Old French poursuiant (1320)), messenger sent on an errand to obtain something (1422), suitor (?a1463; now rare), use as noun of present participle of poursivre, poursuivre pursue v. Compare post-classical Latin pursevandus, pursivandus junior heraldic officer (from 1487 in British sources). Compare earlier pursuant n., pursuand n., pursuer n. As adjective apparently alteration of pursuant adj. after Middle French, French poursuivant (adjective), use as adjective of present participle of poursuivre pursue v. Sense B. 1 is apparently not paralleled in continental French until much later (1798 in partie poursuivante); however, compare Anglo-Norman partie pursuant prosecuting party (see pursuant adj.) and the corresponding spec. use of Middle French, French poursuivant (noun) plaintiff, prosecutor (1457).
In pursuivant of (also at) arms at sense A. 1b after Middle French poursuivant d'armes (early 14th cent.; compare Anglo-Norman pursuant d'armes (late 14th cent. or earlier); French poursuivant d'armes (now hist.)); compare also post-classical Latin pursivandus armorum, pursivandus ad arma (1555, 1570 respectively in British sources).

With the α. forms compare γ. forms at pursue v. and discussion at that entry.

Older Scots forms in -and are probably by association with the usual Older Scots form of the present participle (see -and suffix1); compare also earlier pursuand n.

In form purseruant apparently influenced by servant n.
A. n
a. Freq. with capital initial. Originally: a junior heraldic officer attendant on a herald or nobleman. In later use: an officer of the English, Scottish, or (formerly) Irish heraldic authority, ranking below a herald; (in Scotland also) a private officer of arms, appointed by an earl.
In the English College of Arms there are three Kings of Arms, six Heralds, and four Pursuivants; in the court of the Lyon King of Arms in Scotland there are three Heralds, and three (until 1867, six) Pursuivants. In the office of the Ulster King of Arms in Ireland (until 1943) there were two Heralds and (variously) up to four Pursuivants.
1427 in  J. Robertson Illustr. Topogr. & Antiq. Aberdeen & Banff (1862) IV. 34 Georgeo de Murray Alishay persewande.
c1450 (▸c1380) Chaucer House of Fame 1321 Pursevantes and heraudes, That crien ryche folkes laudes.
c1485 (▸1456) G. Hay Bk. Law of Armys (2005) 261 [He] has first tane sik a beste..to bere jn his schelde..or jn blasoun apon his heraulde or perseuandis brest.
?a1500 R. Henryson tr. Æsop Fables: Trial of Fox l. 844 in Poems (1981) 36 Ane vnicorne..ane buste in breist he bure; Ane pursephant semelie, I ȝow assure.
1556 in  J. G. Nichols Chron. Grey Friars (1852) 64 It was proclamyd opynly with the kynges shreffe and two harraldes and two pursevanttes and a trumpet.
1583 in  G. P. McNeill Exchequer Rolls Scotl. (1901) XXI. 560, I Robert Campbell, Carrik pursuevant..charged Maister Patrik Vaus..to content and pay.
1607 T. Dekker & J. Webster Famous Hist. T. Wyat sig A3, Send for Heralds, call me Purseuants, Wher's the King at armes?
1675 W. Dugdale Baronage Eng. I. 639/2 He had Licence to send into France, by Northampton Herald, and Anlet Pursuivant, eight Cloths of Scarlet.
1722 W. Forbes Inst. Law Scotl. I. ii. 191 The Lyon King of Arms, or King at Arms,..attests Genealogies, admits Officers at Arms, viz. Heralds, Pursevants, and Messengers.
1766 J. Entick Surv. London in New Hist. London IV. 27 The four pursuivants..are also created by the earl-marshal.
1821 Times 20 July 1/4 In the lobby between the House of Lords and the Painted Chamber—the Kings, Heralds, and Pursuivants of Arms.
1866 Chambers's Encycl. VIII. 24/2 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.
1902 Westm. Gaz. 24 May 10/1 He held the office of his Majesty's Unicorn Pursuivant for Scotland.
1959 E. Waugh Let. 2 Sept. in  M. Amory Lett. Evelyn Waugh (1980) 527, I knew a Rouge Dragon Pursuivant once... All heralds stammer. Your chum will not rise above pursuivant if he has the full use of his tongue.
2004 Sunday Herald (Glasgow) (Nexis) 10 Oct. 3 The Queen arrived at 10.30 with a minimum of flummery, including a couple of members of the Royal Company of Archers, a brace of Pursuivants, and two Heralds.
b. More fully as pursuivant of (also at) arms. Also with capital initials.
The term pursuivant of arms is the preferred term at the English College of Arms.
1532–3 Act 24 Hen. VIII c. 13 Any henche man, heralde, or purcevant at armes.
1658 E. Phillips New World Eng. Words at Poursuivants, The four Pursuivants at Arms are those that attend the Heralds, and are called Bluemantle, Rougecrosse, Rougedragon, and Percullis.
1673 N. Wanley Wonders Little World iv. xxxv. 426 His Carkass was found naked amongst the slain, filthily polluted with blood and dirt, trussed upon an Horse behind a Pursivant at Arms.
1722 London Gaz. No. 6084/5, Portcullis, Pursuivant of Arms.
1745 C. Cibber Papal Tyranny in Reign King John i. i. 4 My Liege, a Pursuivant at Arms assures us, King John is now in View, and would have Parley.
1805 Scott Lay of Last Minstrel iv. xxix. 119 The pursuivant-at-arms..Before the castle took his stand.
1851 J. R. Planché  (title) Pursuivant of arms.
1898 Times 30 May 8/5 Two Pursuivants of Arms..without insignia of any kind, carrying only their short white staves, came next.
1900 Atlanta (Georgia) Constit. 5 Apr. 2/4 Shortly before her arrival the pursuivant at arms..galloped up to the lord mayor and asked permission for the entrance of the queen.
1992 Times (Nexis) 13 June, Elizabeth..was recently appointed as the first female pursuivant of arms in Scotland.
a. A royal or state messenger, esp. one with the power to execute warrants; a warrant officer. Now hist.
1503 in  N. H. Nicolas Privy Purse Expenses Elizabeth of York (1830) 87 A purcevaunt belonging to my lord the Kinges Chambrelain.
1535 Bible (Coverdale) Jer. li. 31 One purseuaunt shal mete another, yee one poste shal come by another, to bringe the kinge of Babilon tydinges.
1569 in  W. H. Stevenson Rec. Borough Nottingham (1889) IV 132 A pursyuant that brought the proclamasyon.
1603 G. Owen Descr. Penbrokshire (1892) vi. 50 These were sent for by lettres by a purcephant to make their repaire to the Counsell of the marches.
1630 R. Norton tr W. Camden Hist. Princesse Elizabeth iv. 98 Men, taking vpon them the authority and Badges of the Queenes Pursuiuants, wandred vp and downe England with counterfeit warrants.
1648 T. Gage Eng.-Amer. 206, One of the State-Officers, a Pursevant.
1732 D. Neal Hist. Puritans I. vii. 417 A Pursuivant or Messenger was sent to his House with a Citation.
1753 Treat. Office Messenger xvi. 195 The essential Parts of a Charge of Horning may be comprehended in these seven Particulars: 1st, The Name, Sirname, and Name of the Executor's Office, thus, I—Herald, Pursuivant, or Messenger. 2dly, The Letters, which are his Warrant [etc.].
1823 Scott Peveril I. v. 152 If he falls in with the pursuivant fellow who carries the warrant of the Privy Council.
1861 C. Read Cloister & Hearth II. ii. 17 Or ever I wend to the first homestead, what should pass me full gallop but a pursuivant, brave as a popinjay; with a tin trump, and parchments thereto attached.
1968 Renaissance Q. 21 1 Bacon informed the envoy that on direct instructions from King James he would curb the activities of pursuivants against Catholics.
1985 A. Kenny Path from Rome (1986) x. 126 The hair's-breadth escapes of recusants hunted by pursuivants.
b. fig. and in extended use: a messenger, an agent. Obs.
?1536  tr. Erasmus Serm. Chylde Jesus i. sig. A.viv, That great purseuaunt Johan Baptist.
1583 B. Melbancke Philotimus (new ed.) sig. Aa2v, Iris the common messinger and purseuant of Ioue.
a1586 Sir P. Sidney Arcadia (1593) i sig. H5, Hir feet be Purseuants from Cupid sent, With whose fine stepps all loues and ioyes conspire.
1631 T. Dekker Match mee in London v. iv. 5 Vnlesse he sent his Purseuant death for her.
1697 T. D'Urfey Cynthia & Endimion ii. 19 If my Eyes deceive me not here comes The swift-wing'd Pursuivant of Jove.
3. A follower; an attendant. Also fig.
1513 G. Douglas tr. Virgil Æneid ix. x. 133 Ane Butes..That pursevant [L. armiger] tofor and squyer had be To Troiane Anchyses, fader of Enee.
1563 L. Humphrey Nobles or of Nobilitye sig. Vviv, Onely necessary seruants..As secretaries, Butlers, Purseuants, and other inferiour.
1649 R. Overton in  J. Lilburne et al. Picture in Leveller Tracts (1944) 229 Mr. Fountain, Mr. Drapes..and Mr. Wade the Schol-master became their Pursuevants or bloud-hounds, to hunt up to the Bar of the House of Commons.
1709 A. Hill Full Acct. Ottoman Empire iii. 10 The Divan is kept in an open Chamber of the Seraglio, whither the Vizier is magnificently attended by a great number of Pursuivants and Serjeants.
1845 H. W. Longfellow To a Child xiii, Fear, the pursuivant of Hope.
1854 N. Wiseman Fabiola ii. vi. 167 Proposed to be captain of a body of armed pursuivants picked out for their savageness and hatred of Christians.
1863 H. W. Longfellow Student's Tale vii, in Tales Wayside Inn 37 The sole pursuivant of this poor knight.
1885 R. Bridges Eros & Psyche viii. xvii. 99 But sleep, the gracious pursuivant of toil, Came swiftly down.
1932 T. E. Lawrence tr. Homer Odyssey viii., The pursuivants went forth to collect and bring the gifts.
1996 A. Theroux Secondary Colors 31 Doesn't the ‘roundness’ or orange in the robes of Hare Krishna pursuivants somehow match their shaven heads in welcoming simplicity?
4. = suitor n. 6. Obs. rare.
1523 J. Skelton Goodly Garlande of Laurell sig. B.iijv, Then to this lady & souerayne of this palace Of purseuantis ther presid in wt many a dyuerse tale.
B. adj.
1. Pursuing; prosecuting. Obs.
a1577 T. Smith Commonw. of Eng. (1609) 92 The party pursuiuant giueth good ensignes.
2. That follows; following upon; consequent. Also with to. Cf. pursuant adj. 2. rare.
1941 ‘R. West’ Black Lamb & Grey Falcon II. 151 They looked at him with grave and pursuivant anxiety.
1986 T. Mo Insular Possession xviii. 208, I counted the fingers of my hand to check they still tallied five pursuivant to the ruffian aiding me into his boat.