Thursday, September 25, 2014

Norway, Part Four - A Bit of British Heraldry

I managed to run across one other non-Norwegian bit of heraldry during our stay in Oslo.  And though not as big or impressive as the arms of Bavaria on a German ship in port, it was nonetheless a pleasant surprise.

Seen in the bookshop at the Fram Museum, housing the polar ship Fram ("the strongest wooden ship ever built and still holds the records for sailing farthest north and farthest south"), on the cover of The Wicked Mate: the Antarctic Diary of William Campbell, was a picture of his pennon ...

... bearing his crest of a boar's head couped close.

Of course, I can never see a boar's head without remembering this little bit of verse by C.W. Scott-Giles in Motley Heraldry:

The boar's head couped in English fashion
Includes the neck--a generous ration;
In Scotland, when this charge appears
It's cut off close behind the ears;
But with the herald's wonted tact
I draw no moral from this fact.

But back to being serious, wasn't that a nice little bit of British heraldry to find in a museum shop in Norway?


  1. So why is a Scot using the Cross of St George on his pennon?

  2. I can think of at least a couple of possibilities. One is that he was actually born south of the Scottish border in England. Another may be that he lived and worked in England, and felt himself more English than Scottish. There are probably more possibilities. Without knowing more about the man, it's just speculation at this point.