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1. An officer in the British Colleges of Heralds who ranks below a herald.
2. A follower or attendant.

[Middle English pursevant, attendant, from Old French poursuivant, from present participle of poursuivre, to follow, from Vulgar Latin *prōsequere; see pursue.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. (Heraldry) the lowest rank of heraldic officer
2. (Historical Terms) history a state or royal messenger
3. (Historical Terms) history a follower or attendant
[C14: from Old French, from poursivre to pursue]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈpɜr swɪ vənt)

1. a heraldic officer of the lowest class, ranking below a herald.
2. an attendant; follower.
[1350–1400; Middle English pursevant < Middle French purs(u)ivant, present participle of pursuivre to pursue, follow]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
The case has been much debated by pursuivants and kings-of-arms.
At each of these portals were stationed two heralds, attended by six trumpets, as many pursuivants, and a strong body of men-at-arms for maintaining order, and ascertaining the quality of the knights who proposed to engage in this martial game.
He was accompanied by the heralds, pursuivants and the herald trumpeters.
But of course Browning, once he's actually read hard, shakes free of those pursuivants, jumps the brook, switches back and is off and running (H.
Owen was a maker of priest holes, those cunningly concealed hidingplaces where Catholic families could hide a priest, when the authorities - the pursuivants - came calling.
Seemingly an unambiguous case of recusant sedition, the plot resulted in a governmental clampdown on Catholic sympathizers, some of whom were compelled to serve as spies and pursuivants to prove their loyalty to the crown.
The continuing practice of recusancy, compelling Catholics to attend Protestant services or pay a steep fine, brought about great financial hardship as "farmers and laborers who decidedly preferred the old forms of worship, were deprived of their rites and ministers, and ruined by spies, pursuivants and bad neighbours, who carded off their goods under cover of collecting recusancy fines, till one by one they gave up the struggle and conformed."
It was no historical accident that pursuivants in Elizabethan times hunted down "massing" priests.
Soldiers known as "pursuivants" searched for priests and for laypeople, known as recusants, who refused to obey the anti-Catholic laws.
Most high-ranking among the heralds were the kings of arms, who alone could grant heraldic coats of arms, while the most junior were known as pursuivants. Although a great deal is known about the functions of heralds generally, relatively little is known of the individuals themselves.
I think it will have to be one of the Pursuivants. You haven't got a pursuivant?