“How deceived I have been … From your letters [of presentation] I understood you to be an ambassador, but all I got was a herald….” (Elizabeth I, responding to a young and importunate ambassador from the King of Poland who spoke out of turn and in inappropriate language, 1597)
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.
Many churches in England (and Scotland, too!) have an image of the Royal Arms somewhere in their interior. St. Mary-at-Lambeth is no exception to this general rule, although the Royal Arms are not especially conspicuous, placed as they are in corner being held by an angel which is also the support for one of the roof beams.
These arms are, of course, the Royal Arms as used by the Kings and Queens of England from the time of Henry IV through Elizabeth I, that is to say: Quarterly, France modern and England. (Or, far more wordily: Quarterly: 1 and 4, Azure three fleurs-de-lys or; 2 and 3, Gules three lions passant gardant in pale or.)
The arms are beautifully carved in fairly high relief, and gilded, and the angel holding them is wonderfully detailed.
I think it's a very tastefully done example of the Royal Arms, displayed in the protecting arms of an angel.