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Why does the Conductor walk in front of the hearse?

Why does the Conductor walk in front of the hearse?
This dates back to medieval England when the College of Arms arranged funerals for all the nobility within their trade and the Head of the College of Arms would walk in front of the cortege as a mark of respect to the deceased.

This has evolved through the ages and now all funerals have a Conductor.

Also, in the 1650’s when the funerals were undertaken by those outside of the College of Arms for those other than nobility, (and from which the name undertaker came about) this still carried on, as the gentleman who had arranged and was carrying out the funeral, also escorted the funeral to the graveyard – this also reflects the College of Arms and was the forerunner to today’s Conductor.

Information from www.college-of-arms.gov.uk