Hey, I thought Aurelio was a member not a welcomed guest… is this one of those ones that needs to be corrected T.R.?
Far be it for me, a Colorado Cowboy, to tell the Spaniards what they ought to do or not. However, as a Colorado Cowboy and therefore an American I can confidently say that any group or person who intentionally - which is why I said in a previous post I don’t know for certain - tries to ennoble themselves or others on the play of words like what was potentially being done is bad form and should be called as much.
Now I don’t know if the Coronista (sp?) was doing this on purpose, or if he was being taken advantage of by clients, but it is bad. I suspect it falls on the clients trying to usurp some title of nobility when there really isn’t any. Of course I could have this whole thing on the Coronistas wrong… that wouldn’t be a first. 8)
My previous answer disappeared off this board!
I am going to play the devilâ€™s advocate ...
I really think the issue here is how valid is a private certification right now in Spain?....
Well ... counselor… ...... it appears that Luis is qualified to say with some authority how legally valid a private Spanish certification may be:
I am a Spanish European solicitor with an expertise in Peerage & Nobility European Law
I suppose it all depends on why one wants to register/confirm/grant/whatever one’s arms in a foreign country. There is of course no legal effect here of a foreign registration, though it does prove that as of thus-&-such a date you were using the arms in question. Of course, there are any number of other ways to establish a record of use without the expense of a foreign grant—one of the private registries like ACH or USHR, or a copyright registration of the artwork, or for that matter a posting here or elsewhere. All of these, foreign or domestic, have equal legal validity here (i.e. none) as to a legal right to exclusive use of the arms, or of a right to bear arms (wappen). Copyright will legally protect the particular artwork for a period of time, but not the arms themselves—i.e. the heraldic design, which can be rendered in any number of styles, all equally "correct" heraldically. The others will record the heraldic design, but with no legal "teeth" under US law. Any perceived social or legal status as an "armiger" that may be implied, or even expressed, in a foreign registration is legally meaningless here, and socially questionable at best.
A foreign registration may (or may not) give you a really nice piece of artwork and calligraphy, which is a nice family heiorloom. In some cases, the assistance of the foreign herald may also be useful. However, these benefits are also available from non-official sources, and in some cases may far surpass the "official" product artistically, & probably for considerably less money.
The only "special" value of a foreign registration is whatever sentimental attachment one may have for "the old country" and its traditions, or the possibly greater permanence of the record (websites and private groups do sometimes fail), and whatever additional exposure the registration may (or may not) give to your arms. If these are worth the cost to you, go for it, & we’d all love to see a scanned version of the certificate or patent or whatever! If not, enjoy the arms anyway and please share them with us!
Well, there are several things to say. With respect to Floresta, he has the same right as everybody to be in this business, and act on behalf of his customers, and certify arms for them. But he is doing it under a quite ambiguous and intentionally malevolent legal frame. He was using the appointment as advisor of Municipal Heraldry in Castilla-Leon to make think people that he had some kind of legal authority. The fact is that he is not a heraldic authority. Also, he was playing with his nobility title to make ignorant people think he had some kind of special powers and prestige. This is all a subtle game, but it works with many people.
I am myself a Spanish nobleman, but I do not use my full name, and I do not put links to portraits of my ancestors or to the ancestral house of my family in the south of Galicia. I do not display my coat of arms in public, and I take a quite moderate attitude. What it is ridiculous for me is to think that a very well educated man like Floresta, a far more eminent lawyer than me, is using his knowledge to do â€œstrange and quite ambiguous things â€œ. Floresta has the same rights as anyone in Spain to certify arms, if he does it as a private person and using the right legal tools. But not as a Cronista. And he was playing with the appointment of regional advisor to confuse people.
The effects of private registration are good if you do it with a notary. If the coat of arms is registered with a notary, that document will never be destroyed. It will be filed in an archive of the Ministry of Justice with a reference number, and it will be always available for all those who want to see it. It is also the beginning of something very good, because if you put in writing your intention of assuming arms before witnesses, and with the notary validation, you develop historical rights in one hundred years. Then, that coat of arms will be considered historic, and permanently attached to your family.
I say it again. It would be better to have a true Cronista. But we do not have one, at least for now.
There is to say that there is a risk in everything. All the heraldic authorities have done â€œstrange thingsâ€ from time to time. Some of the certifications of the Cronistas are quite dubious, and others not. But similar strange things happen everywhere. We can take a look at the things that happened in Ireland. There was a time when all the titles of the world and the most dubious baronies and coats of arms were registered there.
Also, in the Lyonâ€™s court is clearly stated that only Scottish people or people with Scottish ancestry can apply for coats of arms in Scotland. Well, I have seen the arms of Willi Sturzenegger, a guy of Swiss German ancestry who lives between France and Thailand have arms granted by Lyon. He bought in the nineties the â€œFeudal Earldom of Arranâ€ for 250000 sterling pounds. I have seen the data of the registration in the excellent books published by Burkeâ€™s peerage. Well, he is â€œHolder of the territorial earldom of Arranâ€. Well, either you are an earl, or not. â€œHolder of some bought dignityâ€ sounds grotesque to me, and if a person like that tried to be called Lord or earl in my presence, I would put him straightaway in his place with a quite assertive attitude. I am sure there is a perfectly legal explanation for this guy Sturzenegger. Also, I am sure that the eloquent and verbally skilful Floresta could justify what he does with some embellished words. But we must remember that words are words, and a clever person can play with them.
What do I mean for this? There are errors, misconceptions and big ambiguities everywhere. We should not be surprised for all these things. Nobility and heraldry have been always very dark waters since time is time, and they will always be. I can say that the SCA will not trick people, and that the service would be probably very slow, simple, and honest.
Very informative and insightful reply! I agree completely with your disdain for "bought titles". I never understood how that was even considered proper, but I guess some people will attach a price to anything…
Thank you for your clarification on Floresta as well, I was quoted a very large sum for him to "grant" my arms in Spain and I certainly wouldn’t want to pay that kind of money for a piece of parchment with no legal protection or validity.
. Nobility and heraldry have been always very dark waters since time is time, and they will always be.
Part of the AHS’s educational mission is to untangle the concepts of nobility, heraldry, and protection. Each can exist without the other. It is sad that there are Spaniards who will pay a lot of money for a title when all they have to do is go to a notary to have a protected coat of arms. I just don’t see the point of having a true Cronista, based on what you have said.
Of course, there is other way to get a Coat of Arms in Spain. It is when the King in person makes you noble. But this is not at the reach of common or normal people. In thirty years, not more than 25 people have been given titles. The king does not give titles easily. Yes, if you have a title given by the King, your coat of arms will be included in the Spanish Gazette, signed by the King himself.
Most of you may have already seen this image, but for the rest of you here is a photo of one such grant:
Click here to see it larger:
Andrew J Vidal wrote:
I agree completely with your disdain for "bought titles". I never understood how that was even considered proper, but I guess some people will attach a price to anything…
Some titles were and are attached to a piece land, buy the land you get the title. In the Netherlands you can buy a "Heerlijkheid" and you can then use "Heer van" whatsoever behind your name this does not enoble you and you do not become a member of the nobility but I guess it is nice to have :cool:
The grant is beautiful only one thing puzzles me why are the arms of Castile and Leon the only ones depicted in the border ?
I would guess that since this certificate was prepared by La Floresta, and he is the cronista of Castile & Leon, he decorated it accordingly.
(The fact that La Floresta prepared a certificate of arms that was approved by the King in connection with an ennoblement does not affect the underlying legal question about La Floresta’s authority to issue certificates in his capacity as cronista of C&L. The King’s signature presumably trumps all of this, although there is at least an argument—made in the Council of State, as I recall—that even the King cannot grant arms unless and until the parliament passes a law giving him the power to do so. I don’t know enough about Spanish constitutional law to know whether the concept of inherent royal prerogatives exists there.)
That’s not a Spanish Grant. It is a regional "certification of arms" signed by some civil servant of Castilla y Leon. The signature is "Castilla y Leon".
I have a concern that the discussion on the Spanish College of Arms and the cronistas may be a little one-sided.
The status of the cronistas has been discussed on various heraldry forums many times, and the situation with their status is somewhat more complex than posts in this thread would lead one to believe.
Although certifications by Don Vincente were signed by the Spanish Ministry of Justice, I have seen copies of correspondence from officials within the Spanish government stating that the seal from the ministry only validated his signature, and that his actions were private. Recent certificates issued by Don Alfonso have notarial signatures which attest to the same thing—validating his signature.
However, even if one takes the lowest common denominator and believes that the personal certifications of arms by the Spanish cronistas are only private opinions or actions, they are the private actions of persons appointed by the Spanish government, or a provincial government, to carry out the same, or similar, activities, i.e. heraldry. Both cronistas are/were highly learned, well respected, and considered experts in their field. Don Alfonso is widely published, involved with numerous chivalric and nobiliary organizations, and also has been called upon by King Juan Carlos for heraldic duties.
The Spanish College of Arms is also a private concern, and any documents it issues would also be private, presumably with some notarial validation of the signature(s). In this case, however, and in contrast, since this is a new concern we know nothing of the individuals involved, specifically their competence, ethics, or backgrounds.
I think it would be important to answer these questions before spending money there as well.
Well, that is a good point. I wonder why a higly learned, well educated chap, because Floresta has a Phd in Law, is giving personal certifications of arms under the authority of an appointment as advisor in municipal heraldry. I will also tell you that all the Cronistas had to pass examinations to qualify for the post. Vicente de cadenas did not take examinations. He was appointed straightaway by Franco. Floresta is very well qualified. And he also has an official appointment. But that only makes it worse. If Floresta was not qualified and had no appointment, i could excuse him. But he has all the necessary knowledge and expertise to know that the things he is doing are a bit "strange".
I have checked the laws, so:
1.The article number 16 of the Regional Decree 105/1991 of the 9th of May of the " Junta de Castilla y Leon " about the position of Cronista states: "El desempeÃ±o de este cargo no serÃ¡ remunerado" This means that his services shoud be for free and that he does not get any salary. Then i wonder why he charges for the certifications. Well, we can think that he charges only for the artwork and the cost of the materials, but it is not a bit expensive to charge 1200 euros for this? this must be because the higly learned and offcial cronista misinterprets the rules. We must excuse him, because he does not know what he is doing.
2. Floresta does not grant arms. He only certifies arms. ONLY THE KING GRANTS ARMS.
3. The arms certified by Floresta in his capacity of Cronista of Castilla y Leon are only valid in Castilla y Leon, but not in the rest of Spain.
4. If he uses a notary registration, his certifications are as valid as the ones made by anyone if the rules are properly followed.
5. He tried to be appointed as Cronista of Spain and his application was rejected. Why?
6. The thing is, and i clearly state this,that he behaves as if he had all the attributes and rights of the Cronista of Spain. As someone said before, he is higly learned and has an official appointment. Well, that only makes it worse, because he has the knowlege and the expertise to know very well that what he is doing is at least questionable. he can not have the benefit of the doubt.
With respect to the SCA, is a new private undertaking. If you want to know who are they, i advice you to send them an e-mail, and ask them what they can do for you.
it sure is a very beautiful rendition of arms i’ll tell you that! wow. who does the artwork for these sorts of things anyway? since they don’t have a granting authority unless the king ennobles someone, they wouldn’t have a college with artists in it, so who does the artwork? it is beautiful artwork.
I do not know, but i agree with you. The artwork is beautiful.
....Also, in the Lyonâ€™s court is clearly stated that only Scottish people or people with Scottish ancestry can apply for coats of arms in Scotland. Well, I have seen the arms of Willi Sturzenegger, a guy of Swiss German ancestry who lives between France and Thailand have arms granted by Lyon. He bought in the nineties the â€œFeudal Earldom of Arranâ€ for 250000 sterling pounds. I have seen the data of the registration in the excellent books published by Burkeâ€™s peerage. Well, he is â€œHolder of the territorial earldom of Arranâ€.
Not quite right. Anyone can own property in Scotland; the prerequesite for a Scottish Grant of Arms is to be resident in Scotland and/or own land. Willie satisfies that requirement. His territorial earldom is an elevated form of Feudal Barony which is why his Letters Patent has the additiments of a feudal baron, not of an earl.
Well, either you are an earl, or not. â€œHolder of some bought dignityâ€ sounds grotesque to me,...
To paraphrase a website I’ve seen: He isn’t bogus. His is a genuine feudal baronal title, and he was dealt with exclusively as an honest customer whose dream was of owning a Nobility Title; this was realistic in terms of his spending power and financial capacity to buy a title. .... additionally, his title accompanied 1,000 acres of land so it is not a "paper title."