Daniel King was born in Chester son of William King, a baker, and became a well known engraver. He was apprenticed as an heraldic painter to Randle Holme, sometime deputy for a King of Arms. He began his apprenticeship on 3rd Sept 1630, and was admitted a member of the Chester Stationers' Company in Aug. 1640. He was steward in 1642/3. He made an annual payment to the company from 1639 to 1642/3, during which years he employed a number of journeymen, but thereafter he ceased to make payments and evidently left the city. On visiting Chester in 1660 he was received and entertained by the Stationers' Company of that city. Wood states that he made an unfortunate marriage, and that after his wife had robbed and left him, he died heartbroken near York House, in the Strand, about 1664.
King was a major source for Ormerod.
Daniel King is not accepted as an heraldic authority but in his book, "The Vale Royal of England", he was fortunate enough thanks to the generosity of his patron, Peter Venables Baron of Kinderton, to have been able to include the armorial bearings of some 520 Cheshire Gentlemen. King's Vale Royal (1656) published in London, contains parts of Sir Peter Leycester's Antiquities Of Cheshire, some of the work of William Smith and William Webb and a section on the Isle of Man by Challoner, but the title page carries the name of King in such a manner as to suggest that he was the principal author of the whole work. Dugdale told Wood that he was not able to write one word of true English, being "a most ignorant, silly fellow," and moreover "an arrant knave." The engravings to the "Vale Royall" are admirably done by King himself in the style of Hollar, who may have trained him in part.
William Smith (c.1550 – 1618) who is not to be confused with the 18th century William Smith “Father of English Geology”, was an antiquarian and Rouge Dragon at the College of Heralds/College of Arms. This was an institution that specialised in genealogical work, increasingly more so during the Elizabethan age as the minor gentry rose in importance. The Rouge Dragon is the name of one of the Pursuivants, an heraldic officer attendant on the heralds, often attached to a particular nobleman, named so because of their badges. Smith produced the Smith Map of Chester.
William Webb, writing in late 1621, composed an "Itinerary of Nantwich Hundred" which Daniel King then included in his Vale Royal.
Texts of the Works
The texts below are those of John Poole published in 1778