Please help us to secure this important historical document

MHS is working very closely with the Friends of Ludlow Museum to secure this very important newly-discovered document and to have facsimiles made both for permanent display in Ludlow and for use in our own educational work in local primary schools. Read all about it here and please help us to achieve our far-reaching and imaginative objectives by making a donation.

In 1574, Sir Henry Sidney, Lord President of the Council of Wales and the Marches, set up, in the round chapel in Ludlow Castle, a display of the coats of arms of people associated with the castle's history. These included former owners of the castle from the 11th century down to Queen Elizabeth I and previous Presidents of the Council. The display also included the coats of arms of all 22 Members of the Council appointed by Queen Elizabeth in 1570. A couple of years later, Sir Henry arranged for a record of these shields to be made on a roll of parchment and this has survived and has recently come to light. Despite some fading and rodent damage the roll is generally in very good condition as you can see above. It is clearly of great significance to anyone interested in the history of Ludlow and the Marches. The inclusion of the arms of Earls of March and the Yorkists makes it of special interest, too, to the Mortimer History Society. Among the arms displayed are Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of March, and Joan de Geneville; Edmund Mortimer, 3rd Earl of March, and Philippa, Countess of Ulster; Richard, Duke of York and Cecily Neville; Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville; Henry VII and Elizabeth of York and Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn.

We first heard of the existence of the roll in 2015 and discovered that it was for sale. A Roll Group was immediately set up to secure it for Ludlow and to look at the best way of displaying and making use of it. Six of the nine members of this group are members of MHS: Jason O'Keefe (MHS Chairman), Philip Hume (MHS Secretary), Hugh Wood (MHS Membership Secretary and Roll Group Secretary), John Cherry (Roll Group Chairman), Tony Mahalski (Roll Group Treasurer) and Rosalind Caird (Roll Group Archivist). In order to gain charity status for the group, we have been taken under the wing of the Friends of Ludlow Museum who will become the formal owners of the roll.


   1   Use the Paypal button below

   2   Make a bank transfer to
        Mortimer History Society
        30-94-99  01255435 
        marking it "Heraldic Roll"

   3   Send a cheque made out to
        "Friends of Ludlow Museum Roll Account"
        to MHS Treasurer
        10 Pound Close, Ledbury HR8 2SU

    If you are a UK taxpayer you could help us 
    by completing the gift aid form here

The documents below give much more detail about the roll. As you will see we have exciting plans for its future. Because the roll is fragile, first thing is to create high-quality facsimiles. One of these can be put on permanent public display in Ludlow. Another copy will be incorporated into our existing MHS Schools Programme. As part of that programme, Hugh Wood visits primary schools in the 'Mortimer' area introducing them to heraldry. It will greatly enhance his programme to be able to take a copy of the roll into these schools and let the children see and touch something directly connecting them to Ludlow castle in Tudor times. 


The Heraldic Roll Project includes buying, copying, displaying and conserving it as well as producing literature and learning materials. If we are going to do everything we want to, we'll need around £20,000 in total. There is great interest and excitement about the roll in Ludlow and the surrounding area so we are hoping that we can achieve this. We are approaching MHS members at home and worldwide inviting them to help us to reach our goal.

Document 1 - More about the Heraldic Roll itself - background, description, authenticity, condition & acquisition - link

Document 2 - The Heraldic Roll Project - purchasing, copying, conserving, displaying, researching & educational use - link

Document 3 - A list of the coats of arms displayed on the roll - link