"The Age of Iron Men, when mighty sinews made light of obstacles. This was before the time of mincing pages and sanctimonious heralds, and all the peerages. A great name must be won by deeds, and a strong fief held by courage and watchfulness." (Harold Lamb, The Crusades)
("Sanctimonious"? "Sanctimonious"?! Well, okay, I admit it; sometimes I can be a little bit sanctimonious.)
I'm an Academic Herald. I'm not a "real" herald; I don't register people's coats of arms (though I can certainly suggest designs for those who might be interested). What I do is study, research, teach, and write about heraldry. And I like to share what I have learned about heraldry, hence this blog. I hope that you'll find it informative, interesting at least occasionally, and worth your time to come back. Got a question? Comments? Feel free to let me know. I'd love to hear from you. You can find my contact information in my Profile.
This is what happens when an heraldic artist has never seen anything more than a very rough description of an heraldic beast when painting ...
Genealogical Speakers Guild
Genealogical Speakers Guild
Monday, August 1, 2016
It's NOT a "Crest"!
Sorry! Sorry! Sorry!
It's just that while trying to read this really great story from last week, they (or, at least, writer Christy Parker) kept referring to this ship's badge as a "crest," which it isn't, and it just kept raising my blood pressure every time they referred to it as that. (And they did so a lot in this story.)
Anyway, the good news is that one (of two known examples) of the ship's badge of the Maltese heritage site Fort St. Angelo, one of two such forts designated as "stone frigates" by the Royal Navy, has been found in Ireland and is being returned to Malta to the naval museum there.
Fort St. Angelo was classified as HMS Edgmont in 1912, and became HMS St. Angelo in 1933. The fort became the property of Malta in 1979 and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The metal casting of the badge (mounted, as you can see above, on a wooden plaque) was created shortly before or during WWII. It was discovered in an antique chest of drawers brought from England to south Tipperary by a returning emigrant, and remained there for some twenty years. Then Michael Faul, an inspector of fisheries, acquired it and it sat in his garage for another 25 years. From him it passed to David Cooley (on the right in the photo above), who three years later asked local businessman Hugh Carson to research its history.
On learning of its origins, it was determined to return the ship's badge to Malta, which is being done now through the offices of the Irish Navy on the ship LÉ James Joyce.
It's a great story, the repatriation of an historical piece of heraldry to the place where it belongs. I just wish they'd not called it a "crest" so many times.