Thursday, June 28, 2018

A Carved Marble Armorial Memorial

There are, naturally enough, a number of carved stone armorial memorials in St. Margaret's Chapel, Westminster.

For example:

The inscription reads:

departed ye Life of
ye Small Pox March
ye 11th 1714/5 in ye 23d Year
of Her Age: and lies
Interr’d near ys Place
by Her Father ye
CARY of Clovelly
in the County of
Erected to Her memoy
by Her Friend

And, of course, I probably wouldn't have included this memorial here if it didn't have a coat of arms on it:

The arms of Cary are found in Burke's General Armory: Argent on a bend sable three roses argent (sometimes barbed and seeded proper). The Visitations of the County of Devon blazon the arms of Cary of Clovelly as: Argent on a bend sable three roses argent, a martlet for difference.

(Yes, I know that it looks like someone has at one time or another colored the field here as or, and the coat is so blazoned in The History of the Parish Church of Saint Margaret, in Westminster.  Still, I have shared other coats of arms which have been miscolored before now, most notably this one: Given that example, don't give me any static about this one!)

In case you are wondering, Clovelly, Devon, is in the west of southern England on the southern shore of Barnstaple or Bideford Bay, about one-third of the way between Hartland Point to the west and the city of Bideford to the east.

Edward Cary and his daughter Judith appear in The Visitations of the County of Devon Comprising the Heralds' Visitations of 1531, 1565, and 1620, with additions by Lieutenant-Colonel J.L. Vivian, with these entries:

Edward Cary, 4 son [of George Cary and Anne, née Handcock), named in the wills of his uncle [Sir Robert Cary] and father, a minor 1679, Rector of Silverton and Sub-Dean of Exeter at 26 years of age, d. 28 Dec. 1695, buried in St. Margaret's, Westminster.

Edward Cary married a daughter of Thomas Pointington of Penecot.

Judith [Cary], only child, d. 11 Mar. 1714-15, aged 23, of small pox, bur. in St. Margaret's, Westminster.

It is so sad to see a life taken so young.

Monday, June 25, 2018

A Monument to a Deceased Son

On one wall inside St. Margaret's Chapel is found a white marble memorial with a tri-colored mosaic border around it, containing a coat of arms and a short poem by American jurist Oliver Wendell Holmes.

To the dear Memory of
Cyril Lytton Farrar
born at Harrow march 19th 1869
Died at Peking February 2nd 1891

Afar he sleeps whose name is graven here
where loving hearts his early doom deplore
youth, promise, virtue, all that made him dear
Heaven sent, earth borrowed, sorrowing
to restore.                              O.W. Holmes

Cyril Lytton Farrar was the son of the Revd. William Frederic Farrar, Rector at St. Margaret's from 1876 until he became Dean of Canterbury. More information about father and son can be found on-line at

The beautifully simple arms of Farrar are: Argent on a bend engrailed sable three horseshoes argent.

A beautiful memorial to a son who died young (age 22) in a far and distant land.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

A Brass Memorial to a Peer

The second brass memorial to share from St. Margaret's Chapel in Westminster was this one:

Sacred to the memory of
the Right Honourable
Charles Shaw-Lefevre P.C. G.C.B. D.C.L. L.L.D.
of Heckfield Place in the County of Southampton,
for nearly 18 years Speaker of the House of Commons.
Upon his retirement from the Chair in 1857,
he was elevated to the Peerage by the title
Viscount Eversley.
His Lordship was High Steward of Winchester,
Captain General and Governor of the Isle of Wight,
and A.D.C. to the Queen.
He died Decr 28, 1888, in the ninety fifth year of his age,
when the title became extinct.

These arms are found in Burke's General Armory and are given as follows:

Shaw-Lefevre (Viscount Eversley). Sable a chevron between two trefoils slipped in chief argent and a bezant in base issuant therefrom a cross paty or. (This last charge is more generally, and succinctly, blazoned a mound. Franklyn and Tanner, in their An Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Heraldry, give the following: mound: [M.E.] lit. the earth; hence, the regal orb; hence, a representation of this: always equatorially banded with a rising demi-meridian ensigned with a cross paty.) Crest: Six arrows interlaced saltirewise three and three proper with an annulet or. Supporters: On eigher side a talbot, that on the dexter gules on the sinister sable each charged on the shoulder with a mace erect gold. Motto: Sans changer (Without changing).

Charles Shaw-Lefevre, Viscount Eversley, 1794-1888, has an entry amounting to a full page in the Dictionary of National Biography (,_Charles_(DNB00)), which discusses his career in some detail, as well as informing us that he married in 1817 Emma Laura Whitbread, the daughter of Samuel Whitbread M.P. for Bedford. She died in 1857. They had six children: three sons, all of whom died young; and three daughters. It was the death of the male heirs which caused the extinction of the title upon the death of Charles in 1888.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Some Heraldry in St. Margaret's Chapel, Westminster, London

On the other side of the street behind the Houses of Parliament in London, and standing next to Westminster Abbey, is the (comparatively) little chapel of St. Margaret's.

You can often see St. Margaret's in flyover pictures of the Houses of Parliament with the Elizabeth Tower, which houses the bell known as Big Ben, and of Westminster Abbey. In the photograph here, St. Margaret's is the white building with the attached tower right next to the two red double-decker buses. So you can see how it can often be overlooked, as people generally are much more interested in the two major landmarks between which it is sandwiched and by which it is dwarfed.

We were there (putting off our visit to the Abbey for earlier another day, when the line to get in was shorter) because it happens that I have a familial relation to St. Margaret's. A couple of my 11th great-grandparents (John Bray and Margaret Haslonde) were married and buried at St. Margaret's, and their daughter (Mary Bray) was baptized, married, and she and her husband Thomas Whitney (my 10th great-grandparents) were buried there. So you can see that I had a Very Good Reason™ for visiting.

St. Margaret's Chapel was founded not too long after the establishment of the Abbey next door because, as the website of the Chapel notes, "as the monks of the newly-founded monastery of St. Peter in Westminster were disturbed by the people of Westminster who came to hear Mass. So the monks set about building a smaller church next to the Abbey where the local people could receive all the sacraments and ministrations of the Church, thus leaving the monks in the Abbey undisturbed. The church was dedicated to St Margaret of Antioch about whom little is known, though her cult was extremely popular in the middle ages."

While we were there, soaking up the atmosphere of this church where some of my ancestors were baptized, married, and were buried, I (naturally enough) noticed a lot of heraldic memorials in the chapel, and over the next few posts, I will share some of these with you. (Not all of them, by any means. I had photographed less than half of the building when I was asked to stop photographing memorials, and it was only then that I saw the small sign that requested people not take pictures. I don't think it is strictly enforced; there were a lot of cell phones and cameras taking pictures. I think I probably just exceeded their limit. So when I was asked to stop, I stopped. But since I wasn't asked to delete the ones I had already taken, I feel that I can share them with you here in this non-commercial setting.)

So, to begin, let's start with a couple of brass memorials. Here's the first one:

In Memory of
Thomas John Estall,
son of Thomas and Sophia Estall,
died April 7th 1816, aged 15 months,
Sophia Estall, mother of the above,
died January 9th 1831, aged 38 years,
Alfred Charles Estall,
died March the 30th 1835 aged 9 years,
and Thomas Estall, husband of the above,
who died December 10th 1835, aged 47 years.

The arms are hatched, so a blazon would be: Azure three estoiles or on a chief gules a lion passant argent. The crest is: A lion passant argent maintaining in his dexter forepaw an estoile [or]. The motto beneath the shield is: Vi et arte (By strength and art).

I was entirely unable to find these arms in Burke's General Armory, or in Papworth's Ordinary of British Armorials, nor have I found the crest in Fairbairn's Crests, and the motto cited in Fairbairn's is attributed only to Chisholm, Ferguson, and Stevens. No Estall.

However, after bit more research, I found the following in the Armorial général des registres de la noblesse de France by d'Hozier (1867): "D'Estelle, en Provence. Jean-Baptiste-André d'Estelle, écuyer, justifie sa filiation depuis. Nobel Jean-André d'Estelle, commissaire d'artillerie (1531). Seigneurie de la Plage d'Aren." The blazon given there for the arms would be translated as: Azure three estoiles or on a chief gules a lion passant argent.

So I think it's safe to say that the family was originally French, though I cannot do more than speculate as to how they came to England, or when, or why they are memorialized in St. Margaret's Chapel in the heart of London, England.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Wow! I Hadn't Realized I Had Missed Sharing These.

You know how it is, you are just going along and living your life and getting stuff done and making progress on some of your to-do projects, and then something happens that throws you completely off track, and by the time you're back on your feet you've completely forgotten about where you were and what you were going to do, and so you've skipped entirely something? And a few years later, you run across the fact that you have completely spaced on something and now you have to go back and begin again?

Yeah, that's never happened to me, either.

Well, maybe once.

Way back in March 2015, I had posted that I was going to be taking a short leave of absence from posting owing to breaking my ankle in the yard here ("I fought the yard, and the yard won") because, among other things, it had become very difficult to get upstairs and sit at my computer. (See my post of March 27, 2015 at for more details on this "incident" which has had such an effect as to blot from my mind some of the posts I was going to create back then.)

In any case, that hiatus interrupted a somewhat slapdash series I had been doing on the heraldry I had photographed in and around London, England in the fall of 2014. And in the process of doing another big project (I've decided to try to organize many of my photos of heraldry taken over the years into a single folder on my computer that amounts in essence to an armorial of coats of arms that I have seen and photographed), I discovered that I had, in fact, failed to continue that series of posts of heraldry found in and around London.

So here I am, three years later, finally taking up pen (keyboard?) in hand and writing about some of the coats of arms that I can identify (and then adding them to my folder of "heraldry I have seen").

So to begin anew:

We started out early one morning to visit a specific church in the City of Westminster.

The arms of the City of Westminster in London are not to be confused with the arms of Westminster Abbey, which is located in the City of Westminster, which latter can be found on a sign outside the Abbey:

No, the arms of the City of Westminster, though they also contain "on a chief [an x] between two roses" are, as you can see, quite different:

Here (above) they are as depicted on the wall of the City Archives ...

And here, drawn in a very modern rendering on a temporary wall around a construction site. (I have cropped out the words "Welcome to Westminster" that were also on the sign.)

And, frankly, it is examples like these two depictions, classic and modern, that I like to use when I see people arguing to replace an "outdated" coat of arms with a modern logo, as a way to demonstrate how heraldry is not a static art, and that a coat of arms can be updated to appeal to new tastes without tossing the arms into the dustbin of history to be replaced by something completely different, which itself may have a short shelf-life and itself need to be replaced in just a very few years.

Anyway, "Welcome to Westminster!" I hope that you will enjoy the next several posts of some of the heraldry to be found there.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Why Is the Coat of Arms on the High Court in Canberra, Australia, Incorrect?

That's the question asked by ABC Net Australia News about this image:

Admittedly, most folks wouldn't notice the issue. Do you?

Go ahead, I'll give you a little space to see what you notice.

All done? Did you notice the the supporters of the arms - a kangaroo and an emu - are actually not supporting the arms?

Indeed, they are not even touching the shield.

Not that non-supporting supporters are necessarily a new thing; witness the following examples of supporters not supporting the shield, all from England drawn in the late 1700s:

So, as I say, it's not necessarily a new thing, although in none of these earlier examples do we have both supporters not even touching the shield at all.

Anyway, I thought it was an interesting article, containing some interesting history and some just as interesting opinions, and thought I should share!

You can find the full article, with more pictures of other examples of the Australian arms and its supporters, on-line at


Thursday, June 7, 2018

Heraldic Controversy in Scotland: A Follow-Up

In a post on May 24 (, I'd discussed an issue between the Craigie Primary School in Perth, Scotland, and the office of the Lord Lyon King of Arms. This controversy centered around the armorial badge/logo used by the school:

Well, there have been some new developments, and apparently there has been a lot of exaggeration and hypersensitivity about this school badge vis-a-vis the Lord Lyon (I am shocked, Shocked!, I say, to find that the press has blown this issue all out of proportion), and that now, perhaps, cooler heads will prevail.

In a letter to Pete Wishart, MP for Perth and North Perthshire, the Lord Lyon's office said: "Be it extremely clear to you or to any constituents who are parents, at no time was any enforcement of the law discussed, only information given about what the present situation was. [It is] an exaggerated story which has captured some people's imagination but not based on the reality of how these matters are dealt with within a modern Scotland."

In his letter, he added he will also visit the school himself to explain his role and the heraldic laws to the pupils.

The letter continued: "[Lord Lyon] would be grateful if [Mr Wishart] would pass this on to the parents concerned, that there is no question of me being in any dispute with the school or the pupils of the school, who I hope to visit personally before the summer break to explain my role to them directly. In my view the matter has been dealt with disproportionately in relation to the issue at stake but I am clear that this does not start in my office, but simply has been based on misinformation about what has gone on."

Parents had set up an online petition to the UK Government in response to the heraldic dispute. The petition aims to make primary and small schools exempt from the Lord Lyon King of Arms Act of 1672.

Anyway, at least for the foreseeable future, the school will be able to continue using its badge, and Dr. Morrow, Lord Lyon King of Arms, will visit the school and do a little educating about heraldry and heraldic enforcement in Scotland in the 21st Century.

You can see more about this new development on-line at and

Monday, June 4, 2018

It Seems That The Internet Will Just Not Shut Up About This

Okay, this is starting to get pretty ridiculous.

As I posted on May 25 (, the coat of arms for the new Duchess of Sussex had been announced, ending a lot of speculation about what they would look like and to whom they would be granted. I thought that that announcement would end the speculation and controversy.

Boy, was I wrong!

Coat of Arms

People are complaining about the coronet around the neck of her songbird supporter. (

Some are complaining that the arms should have been granted to her father instead. (

The Duchess's half-sister complains that the arms "looks like it was drawn by someone in a kindergarten classroom." (

And then there's this article, whose title says, well actually, overstates, it all: "Meghan Markle's coat of arms is the biggest design crime of 2018." (And to borrow a line from the movie City Slickers, "Year ain't over yet.")

And don't even get me started on some of the comments to be found with some of those articles, and in the on-line groups on some of the social media, like Facebook!

"But couldn't Thomas Markle use his daughter's arms by courtesy, differenced by a label enarched of one point, as described by Sir Thomas Innes of Learney while Lord Lyon?" (Short answer: No. As one commenter put it so well, "what happens in the northern kingdom has no relevance to what happens in Queen Victoria Street." In other words, the College of Arms - on Queen Victoria Street in London - is not bound by the statement of a herald in a different heraldic jurisdiction, in this case, Scotland.)

"Birds as supporters almost always look ridiculous and this, sadly, is no exception."

"The rationale seems a bit underwhelming. 'I value sun rays, Pacific water, and the power of communication' seems like a dating profile. Feels almost civic."

And many discussions about how good/bad/indifferent the official blazon of the arms is.

Do I have my own quibbles with the Duchess's coat of arms? Yes, I do, but they all pretty much relate to the specific depiction as released by Kensington Palace as created by the College of Arms, and I suspect that if the artists had had more time to create the image, all or most of my minor quibbles would have been addressed. And they still could be, in future renditions, as the coat of arms is not a trademarked logo, and so it doesn't have to slavishly match the original depiction every single time.

And finally, as another commenter on a completely different conversation on Facebook noted the other day, 

I suggest we move on to something more substantive, like over-interpreting the social and political significance of the Duchess of Sussex's arms. 

Good advice, I think.