Heard, Isaac (DNB00)


HEARD, Sir ISAAC (1730–1822), Garter king-of-arms, born at Ottery St. Mary, Devonshire, on 10 Dec. (O.S.) 1730, was son of John Heard, gentleman, sometime of Bridgwater, and afterwards of London, by Elizabeth, daughter of Benjamin Mitchell of Branscombe and Salcombe Regis. He was educated at Honiton grammar school. At the age of fifteen he entered the navy as a volunteer, and served as a midshipman on board H.M.S. Lynn, and afterwards in the Blandford till 1751, when he settled at Bilbao in Spain. There he engaged in mercantile pursuits, but his speculations were frustrated by the outbreak of war between that country and England in 1757. He was afterwards employed by a London merchant, and was introduced to Thomas Howard, earl of Effingham, then exercising the office of earl marshal, who, noticing his liking for antiquarian research, appointed him Blue-mantle pursuivant-of-arms 5 Dec. 1759. He became Lancaster herald on 3 July 1761, Norroy king-of-arms on 18 Oct. 1774, gentleman usher of the scarlet rod of the order of the Bath, and Brunswick herald; Clarenceux king-of-arms 16 May 1780, and on the death of Ralph Bigland [q. v.], by patent dated 1 May 1784, Garter principal king-of-arms, receiving the honour of knighthood in the following month. He died in the College of Arms, London, on 29 April 1822, and was buried in St. George's Chapel, Windsor. He was twice married, but left no issue. A portrait of him was painted in 1817 by Arthur W. Devis.

[Noble's College of Arms, pp. 418, 422, 439, 441, 448; Gent. Mag. 1822, pt. i. pp. 466, 625; Nichols's Illustr. of Lit. v. 225; Nichols's Lit. Anecd. vii. 589; Evans's Cat. of Engraved Portraits, No. 5120; Townsend's Calendar of Knights, p. 31.]

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