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An officer of the College of Arms ranking below a herald. The four ordinary pursuivants are Rouge Croix, Bluemantle, Rouge Dragon, and Portcullis. The word is recorded from late Middle English, denoting a junior heraldic officer, and comes ultimately from Old French pursivre ‘follow after’.

From the early 16th century, pursuivant denoted a royal or State messenger with power to execute warrants; it refers especially in the 16th and 17th centuries to those who pursued the Catholic priests harboured by recusants.

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