Monday, February 19, 2024

An Heraldic Memorial to a Rear-Admiral

This next memorial dates to the early days of World War I.

Rear-Admiral Sir Christopher Craddock (1862-1914) lost his life on November 1, 1914, in the Battle of Coronel, off the coast of Chile, a naval engagement between the Royal Navy and the German East Asia Squadron under Vice-Admiral Graf Maximilian von Spee. There is a Wikipedia article which gives the story of the events leading up to, the course of, and the aftermath of the Battle of Coronel. It can be found on-line at:, and is well worth the read.

The inscription on the monument can say far better than I why Rear-Admiral Craddock is memorialized here (you can, of course, click on the image below to see a larger, and more readable, photograph of the insccription):

 At the top of the monument are the Rear-Admiral's arms:

His arms ar blazoned: Argent on a chevron sable three garbs or, a bordure wavy sable. His crest is A bear’s head sable muzzled gules charged with a bend sinister wavy or. And his motto is: Nec temere nec timide (Neither rashly nor timidly).*

The monument, sculpted by F. W. Pomeroy, was placed in York Minster on June 16, 1916.

* Although some of the Royal Navy sailors who died in the Battle of Coronel might not agree with the first half of his motto. Still, it was war, and I'm not going to play "armchair admiral" here and try to second-guess what the Rear-Admiral could've/should've done differently.

Thursday, February 15, 2024

A Coat of Arms We Have (Partly) Seen Before

In today's post, we come to the arms of one of the Deans of York Minster, whose pronomial arms we have seen before on our way to visit the Cathedral. I am speaking, of course, of the arms of Arthur Perceval Purey-Cust.

You can refer back to my post of December 21, 2023 ( for the rendition of his pronomial arms impaled by those of the See of York (modern). (I didn't remark on it in that post, but that is a huge martlet "for difference" on those carved and painted arms!)

Anyway, here in the interior of the Minster is a large, carved, and brightly painted memorial to Dean Purey-Cust, set in the midst of a memorial to the "boys" of the Minster Choir who lost their lives in World War I and World War II.

Arthur Perceval Purey-Cust (born Cust) (1828-1916), was Dean of the Cathedral 1880-1916. He has his own entry on Wikipedia at where you can learn more about the man and his life.

This close-up of his memorial shows his quartered arms impaling those of his wife, Lady Emma Bliss Bligh.

The entire achievement would be blazoned: Quarterly: 1 and 4, Ermine on a chevron sable three fountains proper (Cust); 2, Or an escutcheon between eight martlets sable (Brownlow); and 3, Argent on a fess between three martlets sable three mullets argent (Pury/Purey), overall in chief a martlet sable for difference; impaling Azure a griffin segreant or armed and langued gules between three crescents argent (Bligh). Crest: A lion's head erased sable langued gules collared compony argent and sable (should be "compony argent and azure). The motto is: Esse quam videri (To be, rather than to seem).

The addition of the "martlet for difference" is, of course, the cadency difference for a fourth son.

Anyway, I found myself more than a bit overwhelmed by this memorial; the photographs here do not really do it justice. It really needs to be seen in person to get the full effect there in the cathedral.

But I hope that you can get a least a feel for how truly gorgeous this memorial is.

Monday, February 12, 2024

I Had That, and Now I Have This, Too!

Over the years I've had the opportunity to attend a number of conferences and heraldry society meetings which have included a formal banquet. And one of the features of these formal dinners is the oppoturnity to bring your own "table shield" or "table banner" to mark the place where you are sitting.

So some years ago I created a table banner of my own arms. Nothing too fancy; I mean, I printed the cardstock "banner" on my laser printed, and went to the local hobby/crafts store to get the materials to make the banner pole and stand.

And the results weren't too awful, if I do say so myself.

The "banner" wraps around (and is glued to) the pole, and so the arms show on both sides (just like on a real banner!). The pole has a round finial at the top, and slips into a hole drilled into the star (technically, I suppose, a "Lone Star", but then, I do live in Texas) that is glued to the round base. So it comes apart into two pieces for travelling, and I created a cardboard protective case for the banner itself, to help keep it from bending.

But I've had the urge to get something a little more professionally done, and finally decided it was time to do so.

So I contacted one of the members of the Royal Heraldry Society of Canada who creates table shields (, and together we went through the consultation and design phases, and very shortly, just a few days ago, I received my new table shield in the mail.

It has my coat of arms (Argent two chevronels azure between three apples gules slipped and leaved proper) on one side,

and my crest (An apple tree proper fructed gules) on the other side:

Mr. Cowan decided to have a little fun with the crest; you'll note that one of the apples has fallen from the tree and is partially hiding behind the torse. I think it's a nice "addition" to the crest!

Clearly, the new table shield is larger than the old table banner, and is certainly less susceptible to the dangers of traveling (e.g., getting bent or broken in the luggage), and it comes with its own felt carrying bag (something my homemade table banner lacks).

Given the quality of the new table shield, it was less expensive that I had feared it would be, and I am as happy as I could possibly be with it.

I can hardly wait for the oppoturnity to attend a conference and set it up at my place at the banquet!

Thursday, February 8, 2024

The Arms of an Earl

Underneath one of the towers in York Minster is placed an armorial plaque commemorating the gifts and skills of those who saved the tower from collapse.

At the very top of this plaque are the arms of York Minster (modern), followed by the inscription:

With Thanksgiving to God
for those whose gifts and skills
saves this tower from collapse
and especially to
Lawrence Rogert Lumley
Eleventh Earl of Scarbrough K.G.
First High Steward of York Minster

At the base of the marker are the arms of the Earl:

His arms are blazoned: Argent a fess gules between three popinjays vert collared gules. (Burke's Peerage notes that these are the arms of the Thwengs, apparently assumed by Marmaduke de Lumley (1341-1365) instead of the original arms of the Lumleys, which were six popinjays.) The crest is: A pelican in piety in her nest proper. The supporters are: Two parrots wings addorsed and inverted vert. (Yeah, as depicted here, they look a little more like eagles to me, too.) And the motto is: Murus aeneus conscientia sana (A sound conscience is a wall of brass).

Lawrence Roger Lumley, K.G., (1896-1969), 11th Earl of Scarborough, MP for York, and as noted above, the First High Steward of York Minster.

He married Katherine Isobel McEwen, sister of Sir John McEwen, 1st Baronet, on 12 July 1922 at St. Margaret's, Westminster.* They had five children: one son, who succeeded as the 12th Earl, and four daughters.

Like Queen Victoria and the Prince of Wales Edward Albert, whose cyphers we have seen before in the Philosophical Society's garden, Lumley was a Patron of the Yorkshire Philosophical Society.

* St. Margaret's, which stands next to Westminster Abbey in greater London, has a personal family connection, as my 11th great-grandparents, John Bray and Margaret Haslonde, were married in St. Margaret's on August 13, 1553. Both John and Margaret (Haslonde) Bray were also baptized, and later buried, at St. Margaret's, and all of their eight children were baptized there. So, as I said, a personal family connection.

Monday, February 5, 2024

So, This Happened

If you've been a regular reader here, then you know that I've been researching and writing and teaching about heraldry for a long time. I don't do it for any potential accolades; even the title of this blog informs you that I believe heraldry is "an esoteric topic".

So imagine my surprise when I was emailed to inform me about this little item shortly before it was posted on the American Heraldry Society Facebook page:

Did I expect anything like this? No, I did not. It had never even crossed my mind as a possibility.

I am deeply humbled that my work in the field of heraldry has been considered worthy of this honor.

Admittedly, it's not the only recognition I have received in this field over the years.

On September 19, 2019, I was elected an Associate member of the Académie internationale d'héraldique, and even way back in December 2006 (long enough ago that I had pretty much forgotten about it, way back there in the mists of time) I was elected a Fellow of the International Association of Amateur Heralds.

Anyway, it is deeply humbling to be honored by people whose work in heraldry I have long admired and which works I believe well surpasses my own little contributions to the field.

I will try to live up to be worthy of the honors that have been granted me. So you're probably going to be stuck reading this blog for quite some time to come!

Thursday, February 1, 2024

A Tale of Two Archbishops

Well, not a "tale", exactly, but certainly the arms of two archbishops.

On the raised pulpit in the nave in York Minster we find the personal arms of two different Archbishops of York, each impaled as is the custom with the arms of the See of York.

Immediately above is a closer view of the pair of shields.

In each instance, the arms of the See of York are as we have seen before: Gules two keys in saltire wards to chief argent in chief a crown or.

The arms should have a Royal crown in chief, but as A Guide to the Heraldry in York Minster notes on page 13, "Nineteenth cenntur antiquarian studies, which confused See of York Modern with the earlier attrigbuted arms of St. Peter ..., led to the appearance of a curious pointed cap instead of the crown. This can be seen on some modern furnishings, e.g. nave pulpit."

On the left, and immediately above, we have the arms of the See of York impaling those of Cosmo Gordon Lang, 1st Baron Lang of Lambeth (1864-1945), Archbishop of York 1909-1928, and Archbishop of Canterbury 1928-1942. If you would like to know more about him, he has a large entry in Wikipedia at

His personal arms as painted here would be blazoned: Quarterly per fess indented argent and sable, in dexter chief an open book argent edged or and inscribed sable, in sinister base two leaves in fess vert, overall a crescent gules.

However, the blazon of these arms given in the Lambeth Palace Library Research Guide differs in significant ways from what is emblazoned here in the Minster. The blazon from the Research Guide is: Quarterly per fess indented argent and sable, in the first quarter an open book proper leaved gules in the last quarter two dock leaves vert. That blazon drops the crescent entirely, fixes the "no metal upon metal" tincture violation, and specifies the type of leaves.

And on the right, and immediately above, we have the arms of the See of York impaling the personal arms of  William Temple (1881-1944), Archbishop of York 1929-1942, whose entry in Wikipedia can be found at:

Archbishop Temple's arms, which as painted here match the blazon found elsewhere, are blazoned: Quarterly: 1 and 4, Or, an eagle displayed sable; 2 and 3, Argent, two bars sable each charged with three martlets or.

Monday, January 29, 2024

Some Military and Civic Heraldry

There is a section of York Minster that displays some English military and foreign civic heraldry in a combined display and memorial.

The military heraldry is that of The 14th West Yorkshire Regiment, The Prince of Wales’s Own:

And this part of the Minster memorializes the Regiment's service during World War I in France and Flanders:

The other shields, each within a wreath and supported by two angels, are the civic heraldry in the title of this post, the coats of arms of the cities where they were stationed at various times during the Great War.

In this overview shot, we see the arms, from left to right, of Ypres, Belgium, and of Cambrai and Fère-En-Tardenois (between Paris and Reims), France. We'll look more closely at each of these further below:

The arms of Armentieres (the city of the oft-sung Mademoiselle), France:

The arms of Neuve Chapelle (WSW of Lille), France.

And close-ups of the first three: Ypres, Belgium;

Cambrai, France;

and, again, Fère-En-Tardenois:

You will probably have noticed that most of these places have the date(s) when the Regiment was stationed there.

So there you have it: the Who (the 14th West Yorkshire Regiment, The Prince of Wales’s Own); the Where (various cities in France and Belgium); the When (the dates they were posted to most of these places); and should already pretty much be aware of the Why (World War I).

What an impressive memorial!

Thursday, January 25, 2024

The Great Stone Shields of York Minster, the Final Part

See, I told you we'd come to an end of these shields flanking the many archways inside York Minster! And here we are, down to the last of them. (Or at least, the last of the ones that I photographed while I was there. As I said before, I'm not certain that I saw and photogrraphed all of them.)

In any event, these are the final five sets:

On the left, we have the arms of Henry le Scrope, 1st Baron Scrope of Masham (1312-1392), Azure a bend or overall a label argent (whose arms we have seen earlier in this series); and on the right, the arms of Henry Percy, 3rd Earl of Northumberland, (1421-1461) or his father, Henry Percy, 2nd Earl of Northumberland (1393-1455), Quarterly: 1 and 4, Or a lion rampant azure (Percy); 2 and 3, Gules three lucies haurient in fess argent (Lucy).

And in this photo, on the left we have the arms of John de Mowbray, 2nd Baron Mowbray (1286-1322), Gules a lion rampant argent; and on the right, another coat we have seen earlier, the attributed arms of Ulf, Vert six lions rampant or.

In this picture, on the left we have the well-known arms of Mortimer (there are several Mortimers who could be meant here: Edmund, 2nd Baron Mortimer (1251-1304); Roger, 1st Earl of March (1287-1330); Roger’s son Edmund (1302-1331); or a few others, Barry of six or and azure, on a chief or two pallets between two gyrons azure overall an inescutcheon argent; and on the right, another coat we have seen elsewhere in the cathedral, the attributed arms of Edwin, King of Northumbria, who converted to Christianity in 627, Gules three crowns or.

Over this arch, we have two attributed coats of arms: on the left, those of St. Edward the Confessor, Azure a cross flory between five martlets or (St. Edward was considered their special patron saint by several kings of England, most notably King Richard II); and on the right, the well-known arms of St. George, Argent a cross gules. St. George is, of course, the patron saint of England.

And finally, two coats of arms we have seen earlier in this series: the arms of Hugh FitzHenry (d. 1305) or his son, Henry FitzHugh, Azure three chevronels braced and a chief or (the chevronels may be an error for Azure fretty a chief or, as found in Burke’s General Armory and in Aspilogia III, The Rolls of Arms of Edward I); and and on the right, Henry le Scrope, 1st Baron Scrope of Masham (1312-1392), Azure a bend or overall a label argent.

Thank you for your patience as we have gone through this set of wonderfully carved and painted shields flanking the arches inside York Minster. I hope that they haven't bored you; they have certainly piqued my interest to wish to know more about them and the individuals they represent here in the cathedral!

Monday, January 22, 2024

The Great Stone Shields of York Minster, Part 7

Continuing our look at the stone shields flanking the (many!) archways inside York Minster (we're coming near the last of them, I promise!), today we see the following:

On the left, the attributed arms of St. Paul, Gules two swords in saltire points downward proper; and on the right, the attributed arms of St. Peter, Gules two keys in saltire wards to chief argent.

Here, looking through the archway, on the left we have Hugh FitzHenry (d. 1305) or his son, Henry FitzHugh, Azure three chevronels braced and a chief or. (The chevronels may be an error for Azure fretty a chief or as cited in Burke's General Armory and in Aspilogia III); and on the right, Henry le Scrope, 1st Baron Scrope of Masham (1312-1392), Azure a bend or overall a label argent).

And on the near side of the arch, in the center we see the attributed arms of Jesus Christ, Sable a Latin cross or with other symbols of the cruxifiction; and on the right the arms of William FitzRalph or Ralph FitzWilliam de Greystoke, Barruly argent and azure, three chaplets of roses gules.

And in this view from a slightly different angle as the previous photograph, the arms of Henry le Scrope, 1st Baron Scrope of Masham again, and on this side of the arch, from left to right, the attributed arms of St. Wilfrid, Azure three suns or; the attributed arms of Jesus; and the arms of William FitzRalph or Ralph FitzWilliam de Greystoke.

And from the same location, but looking further down the aisle, from left to right, we see the attributed arms of Jesus; the arms of William FitzRalph or Ralph FitzWilliam de Greystoke, Barruly argent and azure, three chaplets of roses gules; the arms of William le Latimer, senior (d. 1304), Gules a cross patonce or; and the arms of Robert de Clifford, Checky or and azure a fess gules.

And in our final archway for today, on the left we see the arms of Archbishop Richard le Scrope (1350-1405), third son of Henry, 1st Baron Scrope of Masham, Archbishop of York 1398-1405, who was executed in 1405 for his participation in the Northern Rising against King Henry IV, Azure a bend or and a label argent all within a bordure gules charged with mitres or; and on the right, the arms of Walter Skirlaw, canon of York and Bishop of Durham 1388-1406, Argent a cross triple-parted and fretted sable, or Argent a cross of six osiers intertwined sable.

As you can see, this last shield is proof once again that there may be more than one way to correctly blazon a coat of arms; either of the given blazons will accurately reproduce the shield here. Proof once again that heraldry is as much an art as it is a science.

Thursday, January 18, 2024

The Great Stone Shields of York Minster, Part 6

I know, I know! Here we are at Part 6 of looking at these shields in York Minster, and we're not done yet!

What makes it worse (at least to me) is that I'm not entirely sure that I managed to photograph all of them.

Nonetheless, here are today's shields and identifications:

Above we have the arms of England (in the person of King Edward I, Gules three lions passant guardant in pale or; and Edmund, Earl of Lancaster, brother of King Edward I (1245-1296), Gules three lions passant guardant in pale or a label of five tags azure each tag charged with three fleurs-de-lis.

And here we have, on the left, the arms of England in the person of King Henry IV, Quarterly France modern and England; and on the right, the arrtibuted arms of St. Edward the Confessor, Azure a cross flory between five martlets or. St. Edward the Confessor is regarded as their special patron by several kings of England, most notably King Richard II.

Here, on the left, William le Vavasour (d. 1311), Lord of Hazelwood, Or a dance sable; and on the right, Ranulph de Neville (d. 1331) or Robert de Neville, Ranulph’s son, Gules a saltire argent.

Over this archway, on the left, the arms of Archibald Alexander Neville, Gules on a saltire argent a crescent sable for difference; and on the right, Hugh FitzHenry (d. 1305) or his son, Henry FitzHugh, Azure three chevronels braced and a chief or. The braced chevronels here may be an error for Azure fretty a chief or, as these arms are blazoned in Burke's General Armory and in Aspilogia III.

And for our last entries for today, on the left, Henry Scrope, Azure on a bend or a lion rampant sable; and on the right, St. William of York, Or seven mascles conjoined three three and one gules. Saint William was Archbishop of York not once, but twice: from 1141 to 1147 and then again from 1153 to 1154.

Today's shields have a lot of nice, simple heraldry on them, and even a couple of arms differenced by cadency. So how cool is that?