Thursday, August 17, 2017

Heraldry in Craufurdland Castle

The Craufurds of Craufurdland may live in a very old, historical* castle, but while it is historical, it is also their home, as you can see as soon as you walk in the front door ...

 ... where you are greeted by this fine old carved oak armorial bench, with the "Wellies" and outdoor shoes of the family lined up beneath it, a perfect juxtaposition of historical home and modern use.

The are two painted coats of arms, with crests and mottos, on the back of the bench.

The arms on the right are, of course, those of Craufurd, which we discussed in more detail in the last post: Gules a fess ermine.

The coat of arms on the left is the arms of Howison:

Of the Howison arms, Burke says: Howison (Braehead, co,. Midlothian; now [this is the 1884 edition of Burke] represented by Howison Craufurd, of Craufurdland, co. Ayr, and of Braehead, co. Midlothian). Ar[gent] a man's heart gu[les] on a chief az[ure] three fleurs-de-lis or. Crest - A dexter hand couped apaumée [proper]. Motto - Sursum corda. Once again, we turn to Fairbairn's Crests for the translation: Hearts upward.

Next time, we'll look at some more examples of the Howison arms in the castle, and later see how the Craufurd and Howison arms are combined there.

* They believe "The Keep" was built in the 1300s, and that the tower was then abandoned and the Laird's house built in the 1600s. Early 1700s saw the joining of the Laird's House to the Tower.

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Heraldry of a Fine Old Scottish Home

The day after our tours of the University of Glasgow, the Kelvingrove Art Galleries, Provands Lordship, Glasgow Cathedral, and the Burrell Collection, those of us who had signed up for it were taken on three days of tours around Scotland, and were treated to an amazing amount of heraldry.

First off on the first day was a stop at Craufurdland Castle, home to the Craufurds of Craufurdland since 1245. We were met and entertained by Simon Douglas Houison Craufurd of Craufurdland and Braehead, the 29th laird, and his wife Adity Priyadarshini, and their two daughters, Indra and Manisha.

Right off the bat we were treated to some heraldry, in the form of the Craufud remarkably simple coat of arms on the exterior of the house, both in the front and in the back.

The arms are blazoned in Burke's General Armory as: Crawfurd, or Craufurd (Craufurdland, co. Ayr: the heiress m. 1744, Howieson, of Braehand [s/b Braehead]). Gu[les] a fess erm[ine]. Crest - A marble pillar supporting a man's heart [proper]. Motto - Stant innixa Deo. Fairbairn's Crests gives the translation of the motto as "They stand depending upon God."

In a somewhat unusual use of heraldry, one of the chimney tops was made to resemble the pillar of the Craufurd crest:

Isn't that cool? I love it!

Next time: Heraldry as soon as you walk in the door.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

A "Final" Heraldic Work from the Burrell Collection, Glasgow

To "end" our tour of some of the heraldic holdings of the Burrell Collection (yes, I know it's taken a long time to get through this, but they have a lot of stuff there!), I thought I'd finish up with a "final" heraldic work.

This is a painted limestone tomb from the monastery of Santa Maria de Obarra, at Calvera (near Huesca), in northern Spain.

The sign accompanying this work tells us, in addition to the information just above, that:

The effigy is said to represent Don Ramon Peralta de Espés (d.1348), Captain General of the Armies of Aragon and Grand Admiral of Aragon and Sicily.

A lot of the paint has disappeared from the stone over the centuries, but if you click on the image above to see a bigger version, you will find that a fair bit of paint is still left, especially his belt, some of the small shields on his surcoat, and on the second shield from the left on the side of the tomb (Azure a griffin segreant or).

The shields on the side of the tomb repeat, being (left to right) a quarterly coat (assuming that the colors on the small shields on his surcoat are correct, Quarterly or and gules), the griffin, the quarterly coat, and another griffin.

And so we "end" our heraldic tour of the Burrell Collection with this very nice 14th century funereal piece of heraldry, and say "final goodbye" both to Don Ramon here and the gallery which houses Mr. Burrell's extensive collection!

Monday, August 7, 2017

A Little Heraldic Something to Hang on the Wall

As the owner of a very nice heraldic tapestry myself (a tapestry version of a portion of the Nine Worthies and Nine Female Worthies taken from an early 15th century fresco at Castello della Manta castle in Italy. We purchased the tapestry while we were in Bruges/Brugge, Belgium, while attending the XXVI International Congress of Genealogical and Heraldic Sciences back in 2004. It's been hanging in our living room ever since), this custom-made tapestry in the Burrell Collection caught my eye.

The accompanying sign included this information:

English, mid-17th century
Silk and metal on silk

The central panel depicts Old Testament story of the pious widow Judith and the Assyrian general Holofernes. Here, she is placing his decapitated head into a sack held by her maid.

The border depicts and number of different animals surrounded by a floriated scrollwork, from a rabbit to lions to a squirrel to a chicken to a wolf to other birds.

The accompanying informational poster tells us that the tapestry was made for Luke Lloyd (1608-95) and his wife, Katherine Whitney (1610-1701). Most of panels like this one were intended for large, wealthy houses, but this one belonged to Lloyd, a Puritan who served as a Captain in the Parliamentary forces during the [English] Civil War, and was Sheriff of Flintshire in 1648. He lived with his family in a timber and brick farmhouse known as the Bryn. His wife was from a Royalist family living in Acton, Cheshire.

Once again, though, what really caught my eye was the impaled coat of arms at the top center of the work.

I have been unable to find these Lloyd and Whitney arms in Burke's General Armory. Nor did I find these Lloyd arms in the Dictionary of British Arms.

In the Dictionary of British Arms, Vol. 3, I did find the following for the Whitney arms:

Richard Weteley/Whetely: Argent on a chief gules three garbs argent. (Though much of the silk thread has rotted away over the centuries, there does seem to be a little bit of red color remaining around the edges of the garbs.)

I did not find this Lloyd crest in Fairbairn’s Crests. (The majority of Lloyd crests were Demi-lions erect.) The closest to this crest (which appears to be atop a mount a boar statant pierced by a spear bendwise sinister), but none of which is an exact match, is attributed to Bacon.

Fairbairn’s Crests assigns the crest over the Whitney arms, A stag’s head holding in the mouth a serpent, to “Borthwick, Cart, Caw, *Finlayson, Tipper, Wigton.”

So the arms and crests are still a bit of a mystery, insofar as a confirmed identification goes, but still, what a wonderful piece of work, and how well it has survived over the last several centuries!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

An Old Armorial Chest

Also in the Burrell Collection was this old armorial chest dating back to the early 14th Century, and what a great way to haul and store your "stuff."

The accompanying sign read:

Painted chest of Richard de Bury
English; early 14th century
Inside the lid of this chest are colourful heraldic shields and fabulous animals. The outside of the chest would have been painted too. It was probably used to carry and store armour, both on the battlefield and at home. 
The "colourful heraldic shields and fabulous animals" are, from left to right:

With the exception of the third coat of arms (does anyone here not recognize England {though the quarters here are reversed; it is usually seen as Quarterly: 1 and 4, France [here, France ancient]; 2 and 3, England}. Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?), I have yet not found a firm attribution for these coats of arms.

You gotta love those critters, though, don't you? The last one, especially, to me is reminiscent of some of the animals and monsters found in the Book of Kells.

You can find a little more information about the chest and its background at

All in all, what a great way to haul and store your stuff!