Open main menu

Sir Algar Howard as Norroy King of Arms reading out the accession proclamation of George VI in 1936.

Sir Algar Henry Stafford Howard KCB KCVO MC TD (7 August 1880 – 14 February 1970) was a long-serving officer of arms at the College of Arms in London. He was the third consecutive Fitzalan Pursuivant of Arms Extraordinary to attain the highest rank at the College of Arms.

Early life and familyEdit

Algar Henry Stafford Howard was born on 7 August 1880. He was eldest son of Sir Edward Stafford Howard, KCB, JP, DL (1851–1916), of Thornbury Castle and Cilymeanllwyd in Carmarthenshire, and his first wife, Lady Rachel Campbell (died 1906), youngest daughter of John Campbell, 2nd Earl Cawdor.[1] He married Violet Ethel, daughter of Sir Henry Meysey Meysey-Thompson, 1st and last Baron Knaresborough, on 11 October 1921. She was the widow of Captain Alexander Moore Vandeleur, 2nd Life Guards, who was killed in action at Zandvoorde during the First Battle of Ypres on 30 October 1914.[2] The couple had two daughters: Anne Violet (born 1923), who married John Cahill, son of John Cahill, of Knockrom West in Cartaglon; and Elizabeth Helen (born 1924), who married Harold William Norman Suckling Walker, eldest son of Colonel James Coulthard Walker of the Indian Army.[1]

Military careerEdit

Howard was appointed a Second lieutenant of the Carmarthen Militia Artillery on 31 January 1900,[3] and was promoted to Lieutenant on 6 September 1900. In the First World War Howard served with the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars. He won the Military Cross and attained the rank of Major.

Heraldic careerEdit

Howard was educated at Harrow School and King's College London. Howard began his heraldic career on 23 May 1911 with an appointment as Fitzalan Pursuivant of Arms Extraordinary for the coronation of King George V.[4] This was followed in October of that year with appointment to the office of Rouge Dragon Pursuivant of Arms in Ordinary.[5] In 1919, Howard was promoted to the office of Windsor Herald of Arms in Ordinary and he held this position until 1931.[6] In that year he was made Norroy King of Arms when Sir Gerald Woods Wollaston was promoted. Howard was also appointed Registrar of the College of Arms in 1928, and during the Second World War the records of the College were stored at his home of Thornbury Castle in Gloucestershire for safekeeping. In 1943, the office of Ulster King of Arms was merged with that of Norroy and Howard became the first Norroy and Ulster King of Arms. He remained in this office until 1944, when he was promoted to Garter Principal King of Arms.[7] He retired from this office, and from the College of Arms, in 1950.

Howard was created Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO) in 1935, Companion of the Bath (CB) in 1937, Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO) in 1944, and Knight Commander of the Bath (KCB) in 1951.


Coat of arms of Algar Howard
On a chapeau gules turned up ermine & differenced with a crescent sable a lion statant gardant, tail extended, or with a crown argent about its neck.
Gules, on a bend between 6 crosses crosslet fitchy argent a escutcheon or charged with a demi-lion rampant pierced through the mouth with an arrow in a royal tressure gules, a crescent for difference on the bend; quartering Brotherton, Mowbray, Warren, Dacre & Greystoke.[8]
Sola Virtus Invicta ("Virtue alone is invincible")
the circlet of the Royal Victorian Order and Order of the Bath.
Arms derived from the House of Howard and the Dukes of Norfolk.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 2007, vol. 2, p. 2909
  2. ^ Burke's Irish Family Records
  3. ^ "No. 27159". The London Gazette. 30 January 1900. p. 601.
  4. ^ "No. 28504". The London Gazette. 16 June 1911. p. 4506.
  5. ^ "No. 28545". The London Gazette. 27 October 1911. p. 7794.
  6. ^ "No. 31598". The London Gazette. 14 October 1919. p. 12654.
  7. ^ "No. 36552". The London Gazette. 6 June 1944. p. 2707.
  8. ^ Godfrey, Walter H; Wagner, Anthony (1963). "'Garter King of Arms', in Survey of London Monograph 16, College of Arms, Queen Victoria Street (London, 1963), pp. 38-74". Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  • Appointment to Norroy, The Times, 7 February 1931
  • Obituary, The Times, 16 February 1970

External linksEdit