879. Visitations.

It was the duty of the provincial Kings of Arms, as ministers responsible for the true bearing of arms, to visit their provinces1. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries special royal commissions were issued to the Kings of Arms to visit the different counties in England and Wales and record the arms and pedigrees of all who could establish a right to the title of esquire or gentleman2. The visitations were carried out county by county. The gentry in the respective counties were directed to attend the visiting King of Arms or his deputy at such place as he