Michael Peter Desmond


Walk of life:
Oficer at the College of Arms, genealogist, researcher, writer
Biographical details:

MA (Cambridge) is the current Bluemantle Pursuivant of Arms in Ordinary at the College of Arms in London. He was appointed to the office on 17 January 2005, on successful completion of a period of probation. After graduating from Cambridge University, O’Donoghue worked for several years as a genealogist and researcher, including time spent as research assistant to two Windsor Heralds–the late Theobald D Mathew and William George Hunt. With Clive Cheesman, Rouge Dragon Pursuivant of Arms in Ordinary, O’Donoghue is the current co-editor of The Coat of Arms, published by The Heraldry Society. The two officers of arms took over that position in 2005 from the late John Brooke-Little, former Clarenceux King of Arms.

The College of Arms is the official repository of the coats of arms and pedigrees of English, Welsh, Northern Irish and Commonwealth families and their descendants. Its records also include official copies of the records of Ulster King of Arms the originals of which remain in Dublin.

The officers of the College, known as heralds, specialize in genealogical and heraldic work for their respective clients.

Coats of arms have been and still are granted by Letters Patent from the senior heralds, the Kings of Arms. A right to arms can only be established by the registration in the official records of the College of Arms of a pedigree showing direct male line descent from an ancestor already appearing therein as entitled to arms, or by making application through the College of Arms for a grant of arms. Grants are made to corporations as well as to individuals.

Specific research interests