The College of Hereditary Nobility of Hungary

Rematriculating and Granting Armorial Bearings

All persons descending from the original recipient of the historical armorial bearing, regardless of their present place of residence, are in one form or another entitled to official recognition of their armorial inheritance by the College of the Hereditary Nobility of Hungary - Matricula Armorum and other heraldic authorities and societies.

Rematriculation

Rematriculation of previously granted armorial bearings is an official recognition of past honours and the present hereditary right of the petitioner to such arms. The petitioner at the beginning, or any time during the process, must provide genealogical evidence to support the petition. The genealogical evidence is the final determining factor for the rematriculation category.

Genealogical - Hereditary Senior (Elder) Line

The rematriculation of hereditary coat of arms takes place after the petitioner provides genealogical proof that the petitioner descends in a direct senior (*primogeniture) line of succession from the armiger to whom the original grant of arms was issued, or by providing evidence showing legal right to such hereditary arms by the virtue (right) of adoption or marriage.

*primogeniture is the right, by law or custom, of the firstborn to inherit the entire estate, to the exclusion of younger siblings (**compare to ultimogeniture). Historically, the term implied male primogeniture, to the exclusion of females. According to the Norman tradition, the first-born son inherited the entirety of a parent's wealth, estate, title or office and then would be responsible for any further passing of the inheritance to his siblings. In the absence of children, inheritance passed to the collateral relatives, in order of seniority of the males of collateral lines.

Equal (or absolute) primogeniture

Fully equal primogeniture (or Absolute Primogeniture) is a law in which the eldest child of the sovereign succeeds to the throne, regardless of gender, and where females (and their descendants) enjoy the same right of succession as males. This is currently the system in Sweden (since 1980), the Netherlands (since 1983), Norway (since 1990), Belgium (since 1991) and Denmark (since 2009).[1] The Succession To The Crown Bill of 2004 proposed changing the line of succession to the British throne to absolute primogeniture. The former Kingdom of Hungary also operated under semi-Salic law.

Agnatic succession

Agnatic (or semi-Salic) succession, prevalent in much of Europe since ancient times, is the restriction of succession to those descended from or related to a past or current monarch exclusively through the male line of descent: descendants through females were ineligible to inherit unless no males of the patrilineage remained alive.

In this form of succession, the succession is reserved firstly to all the male dynastic descendants of all the eligible branches by order of primogeniture, then upon total extinction of these male descendants to a female member of the dynasty. Current monarchies that operate under semi-Salic law include Luxembourg. Former monarchies that operated under semi-Salic law included Austria (later Austria-Hungary), Bavaria, Hanover, Wurttemberg, Russia, Saxony, Tuscany, and the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.

Genealogical - Cadet Branch

The rematriculation of hereditary coat of arms takes place after the petitioner provides genealogical proof that petitioner descends in a direct line within a **cadet (***ultimogeniture) branch from the armiger to whom the original grant of arms was issued, or by providing evidence showing legal right to such hereditary arms by the virtue (right) of adoption or marriage.

**cadet branch is a term in genealogy to describe the lineage of the descendants of the younger sons (cadets) of a monarch or patriarch. In the ruling dynasties and noble families of much of Europe and Asia, the family's major assets -- titles, realms, fiefs, property and income -- have historically been passed from a father to his firstborn son in what is known as primogeniture; Younger sons -- cadets -- inherited less wealth and authority to pass to future generations of descendants.

***Ultimogeniture, also known as postremogeniture or junior right, is the tradition of inheritance by the last-born of the entirety of, or a privileged position in, a parent's wealth, estate or office. The tradition has been far rarer historically than primogeniture, inheritance by the first-born. In medieval England, the principle of patrilineal ultimogeniture (i.e. inheritance by the youngest surviving male child) was known as Borough-English. In 1327, a court case found it to be the tradition in the borough of Nottingham, whereas in areas influenced by Anglo-Norman culture, primogeniture was prevalent.

Which law of succession applies in present-day Hungary?

In principle, it is not possible to choose the applicable law, but the heirs can decide to use Hungarian substantive law before a Hungarian notary. The applicable law for substantive law is determined by the deceased's nationality. The provisions of Hungarian procedural law always apply for a succession.

Which criteria are used in Hungary to determine the applicable law?

Succession will be governed based on the law which was the personal law of the deceased at the time of his or her death. (§ 36 (1) of Law-Decree No. 13 of 1979 on International Private Law) The deceased's personal law is determined by his or her nationality.

Renvoi: If, in accordance with this Law-Decree, foreign law is applicable, the material rules of the applicable foreign law directly settling the issue in question shall govern. If, however, the foreign law refers back to the Hungarian law, the Hungarian law shall be applicable. (§4 of Law-Decree on IPL)

Matriculation

Grants of armorial bearings are honors from the College of the Hereditary Nobility of Hungary - Matricula Armorum. Any person or corporate bodies (schools, municipalities, societies, associations, institutions, etc.) may petition the College of the Hereditary Nobility of Hungary - Matricula Armorum to receive a grant of armorial bearings.

Note: When creating new armorial bearing some background information from the petitioner will be needed by the College of the Hereditary Nobility of Hungary - Matricula Armorum herald to assess the eligibility of the request and the preparation and the generation of the new armorial bearing.

There are three main stages in the grant process:

  • the creation of a written description,

  • the preparation of a preliminary design, and

  • the production of the official letter's patent.

Once the processing fee has been paid, the herald begins work with the petitioner to determine the elements of a possible design, which must follow the rules of heraldry. After the written description of the armorial bearings has been approved by the College of the Hereditary Nobility of Hungary - Matricula Armorum, it is sent to the petitioner for acceptance.

The third stage involves the preparation of the grant document called "letter's patent". This official document includes the final artistic illustration of the armorial bearings accompanied by a legal text. It is signed by the appropriate officials, and the seal of the College of the Hereditary Nobility of Hungary - Matricula Armorum is applied to it.

The petitioner decides whether the letters patent will be an Option I or an Option II format (see pp. OI - OII).

The letter's patent could be generated in one of two languages (Hungarian or English), and the petitioner indicates which language.

All costs must be paid before the Letters Patent can be sent to the petitioner.

The grant is entered in the Matricula Armorum Register of Arms, and the official notice of the grant is published on the College of the Hereditary Nobility of Hungary - Matricula Armorum official Web.

The College of the Hereditary Nobility - Matricula Armorum requires that the petitioner cover all direct costs related to the grant of armorial bearings.

These costs are in three parts

The processing fee for all petitioners, fixed at 350 Euros (plus GST where applicable). An invoice for this fee is sent at the time the warrant authorizing the grant is signed. Please note that payments forwarded before the invoice is sent will be returned to the petitioner.

Variable costs of research and/or specialized translation, to cover, for instance, the translation of mottoes into Latin or other foreign languages. In cases requiring additional research, the petitioner will receive an estimate and will pay a supplementary fee to the researcher.

Artwork costs, paid by the petitioner directly to the artist assigned by the Matricula Armorum. The maximum cost of the artwork is established before each stage of the process, and the petitioner indicates agreement by signing contracts. Artwork is forwarded to the petitioner by the Matricula Armorum, together with the artist's invoice, payable within thirty days of receipt.

The cost of one preliminary design ranges from 200 Euros to 800 Euros depending on the complexity of the design and the number of components. The cost increases if the petitioner wishes to make changes that require the revision of the preliminary design or the creation of new artwork.

The cost of the letter's patent depends on the format of the document chosen by the petitioner, the complexity of the design, the number of components in the grant, and the inclusion of additional decoration.

Three formats are available for the letter's patent

Option I-A (one sheet folded in a binder)

  • dimensions: approximately, 297 mm (11.69") high and 420 mm (16.54") wide;

  • heading: hand painted;

  • granting text: inscribed in calligraphy;

  • coat of arms, flag and badge: hand painted, with 24k gold where applicable;

  • bound in a hard cover binder;

  • cost: approximately, 2,000 to 3,000 Euros for art and calligraphy.

Option I-B (one sheet folded in a binder)

  • dimensions: approximately 297 mm (11.69") high and 420 mm (16.54") wide;

  • heading: printed in color on high quality white ivory paper;

  • granting text: print generated by laser printer;

  • coat of arms, flag and badge: generated by computer;

  • bound in a hard cover binder;

  • cost: 1,200 Euros for the entire work.

Option II (one sheet suitable for framing)

  • dimensions: approximately, 400 mm (16") high and 560 mm (22") wide;

  • heading: hand painted;

  • granting text: inscribed in calligraphy;

  • coat of arms, flag and badge: hand painted, with 24k gold where applicable;

  • cost: approximately, 5,000 to 6,000 Euros for art and calligraphy.

In summary, the minimum cost of a grant of a coat of arms (shield, crest, helmet, mantling, and motto) is approximately 2,000 Euros, including the processing fee, one preliminary design and the Letters Patent.

Note: The Brevet, Certificate and the Letters Patent also make a reference to the original granting authority.

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