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.
This 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
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