A System of Heraldry, Speculative and Practical

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    Storia, Saggistica

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The learned and ingenious Mr Alexander Nisbet, author of this System of Heraldry, has, in his Preface to the First Volume, so fully accounted for the original and progress of Armorial Bearings with us, and other nations, and, in the Treatise itself, so elaborately and accurately described and exemplified the several branches of the Science of Heraldry, that it will be equally superfluous to add any thing to what he has said in the former, or bestow any encomiums on his performance in the latter, which has sufficiently recommended itself to all who rightly understand the noble science there treated of.<br><br>But Mr Nisbet not being able to overtake his whole design in one volume, as at first he intended, for the several reasons set forth in the said Preface, he therefore promises an Appendix, or Second Volume, wherein the several branches of heraldry, not there treated of, were to be illustrated; and, as this undertaking is now finished, and presents itself to the public, it will be necessary that the editor should say something in behalf of the performance.<br><br>In the First Part of this Volume, the following branches of Heraldry, viz. Marks of Cadency, Marshalling of Divers Coats in one Shield, Exterior Ornaments, &c. are fully treated of, and illustrated by proper examples, all which were executed by the author himself in his own lifetime; the manuscript copy of which, in his own hand-writing, the editor has preserved for the satisfaction of the curious.<br><br>The other parts handled in this undertaking, are inserted because of their coincidency with the principal subject treated of in this Volume. Of this kind is the chapter of Funeral Escutcheons, which was composed by Roderick Chalmers, herald, and herald-painter in Edinburgh, whose understanding and practice in. these matters is well known; and the other chapters, such as that of Precedency, the Office and Dignity of Heralds, c.and that concerning Public Processions and Cavalcades, which gives an idea of the grandeur of this ancient and once flourishing kingdom, were all carefully collected from MSS. in the Lawyers Library, and the writings of the learned Sir George Mackenzie, &c.<br><br>To render this work the more useful and complete, the editor has given the Return of the Lords of Session, to an order of the House of Peers, concerning the Scots peerage; which cannot fail to give satisfaction, as it was the result of the inquiries of that august Court into the records of the nation, and is a most exact and authentic state of our peerage at this day.

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