The earliest grants of arms in England were thought to be around 1390 when coats of arms were discovered in various documents and court records as being granted by the Crown. Some of these earliest grants actually proclaim that the recipients are being proclaimed noblemen and gentlemen.

Grant of Arms to a French Tutor in 1522This is what a Grant of Arms looked like in 1522. It was granted to Jean Belmain, a French tutor to Royalty. Grants were illustrated and written by hand. It was considered an honor to be granted a coat of arms

In December 2015 Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions offered for sale the Grant of Arms to Jean Belmain, a French tutor to King Edward VI and Queen Elizabeth I.

Suggested reading . . .
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grant_of_arms
http://www.college-of-arms.gov.uk/services/granting-arms

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