Monday, December 30, 2019

You Just Never Know Where You Might See Heraldry

So my wife and I went to a small antiques show/fair a couple of weeks ago, mostly because a friend of hers had a booth there, as well as because you never know, we might find something that we just can't live without.

It shouldn't have been surprising, because as I've said many times before, "you can find heraldry everywhere!", but there we were, and there it was -- heraldry!

In this specific instance, one dealer had a pair of cast metal bookends (I'm not showing you the whole picture, as he requested that I not upload the pictures I took of them to the internet, and I promised that I wouldn't, so you're just seeing the details here) with the seal of the University of Pennsylvania on them.

At the base of the seal on each of the bookends was the arms of the original Proprietor of Pennsylvania, William Penn, Argent on a fess sable three plates.

Yes, the bookends are heraldic; no, I didn't buy them. (The price was a little steep for my current budget, I have no personal relationship to the University, and I'd have to try to find a place in the house to put them. Plus, for some reason I no longer feel the need to buy every item I see that has heraldry on it. So, yeah, I took a couple of photographs of them and then left them there.)

The coat of arms on the bookends is not the one that the University currently uses, though as you can see from the image below, the arms they use are clearly related to/based on Penn's arms (with elements from Benjamin Franklin's arms on the chief).

All in all, a fun little bit of heraldic serendipity as part of a pleasant morning getting out of the house with my wife!

Thursday, December 26, 2019

A Memorial With the Well-Known Barclay/Berkeley Coat of Arms

At our next armorial memorial in Canterbury Cathedral, we find the arms of Robert Barclay (also found spelled as Barkley and Berkeley).

Unusually, the memorial plaque does not actually specifically name the person being memorialized.

                   He that’s imprisond in this narrow roome
                   Wert not for custome needs nor verse nor toombe
                   Nor can from theise a memorie be lent
                   To him, who must be his toombs monument
                   And by the virtue of his lasting fame
                   Must make his toombe live long, not it his fame
                   For when this gaudie monument is gone
                   Children of th’ unborne world shall spy ye stone
                   That covers him, and to their ffellowes crye
                   Tis here tis here about Barkley doth lye
                   To build his toombe then is not thought soe safe
                   Whose virtue must out live his Epitaphe.

There are two shields pendent from the gold surround of the plaque on the face of the monument:

Gules a chevron between ten crosses formy argent.

Gules a chevron between ten crosses formy argent, impaled by [blank, but painted gold].

I have been unable to find any more information about Robert Barclay/Barkley/Berkeley in any of the usual sources (e.g., Wikipedia, guides to Canterbury Cathedral, etc.).

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

A (Canterbury) Cross for Christmas

The Canterbury Cross is called that because it was designed after a Saxon brooch, dating ca. 850 that was excavated in 1867 in St. George's Street, Canterbury, England.

The original brooch is now kept in the Beaney House of Art & Knowledge, the central museum, library, and art gallery at 18 High Street in Canterbury (just three blocks from the Cathedral Gate).

But you can also find a much larger Canterbury cross mounted on a wall inside the Cathedral, and so I leave you with this image along with my best wishes for a very happy Christmas!

Monday, December 23, 2019

Another Large Armorial Memorial in Canterbury Cathedral

The next stop on our heraldic tour of Canterbury Cathedral is the Hales Memorial.

The descriptive sign on the wall next to the Memorial states:


The inscription refers to JAMES HALES,
Treasurer to the Portuguese Expedition of 1589,
who died of fever and was buried at sea;
to his widow, DAME ALICE, who died in 1592;
to CHEYNEY HALES, their son, who died in 1596;
and to RICHARD LEE, Alice's widower,
who erected the monument.

A translation of the Latin inscription above the carved bas-relief of James Hales reads:

Sacred to Posterity. To the memory of Sir James Hales, Knt. Renowned for military Achievements and public Employments, and dear to his country, who being appointed Treasurer in the expedition to Portugal, returning from thence to his native country, died in the year 1589.

To Alice, his relict, a Woman adorned with all the gifts of Nature and Piety, who died in 1592.

Cheney Hales, only son of the above-mentioned James and Alice, who died 1596, snatched away by an untimely death.

Richard Lee, armiger, the surviving and sorrowful husband of the said Alice, has erected this monument.

Sir James Hales (d.1589) of The Dungeon in the parish of St. Mary Bredin, Canterbury, Kent, was a soldier who served as treasurer of the 1589 expedition to Portugal, a reprisal for the attack by the Spanish Armada on the English fleet the year before. He died as the expedition was about to return home to England and was buried at sea by his fully armed body being dropped feet first over the side of his ship.

He married Alice Kempe (d.1592), a daughter of Sir Thomas Kempe (1517-91), of Olantigh, near Wye, Kent, a Member of Parliament for Kent in 1559, by his wife Katherine Cheney, a daughter of Sir Thomas Cheney (1482/87-1558), KG, of the Blackfriars, London. (This last is presumably the reason for naming James and Alice’s only son Cheney Hales.)

Alice later married Richard Lee, who erected this monument to his wife, to her first husband, and to Cheney Hales.

The Hales arms appear in a couple of different places on the monument:

They are blazoned: Gules three arrows or. [Sometimes blazoned as: Gules three arrows or flighted (feathered) and barbed argent.

The Lee arms, marshaled with those of Alice Kempe Hales Lee, also appear on the monument.

These arms are blazoned: Argent a fess between three crescents sable (Lee), impaled by Quarterly of six; 1, Gules three sheaves within a bordure engrailed or (Kemp); 2, Azure three lions rampant within a bordure or (Chickles?); 3, Or a chevron between three cinquefoils gules (Chichele); 4, Sable a cross voided or (Apulderfield); 5, Sable three lions passant between two bendlets engrailed argent(?) a mullet in sinister chief for difference (Browne?); and 6, Quarterly: i and iv, Gules a lion rampant or (?); ii and iii, Sable a fret or in the center a crescent gules for difference (Maltravers).

            We have seen a different version of the Chicheley arms before, in the arms of Henry Chicheley, Archbishop of Canterbury 1414-1443, Argent a chevron between three cinquefoils gules.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

But What Happened to the Coat of Arms?

The next memorial on our tour is one to John Turner, S.T.P. vicar of Greenwich, who was installed in the twelfth Prebend in June 1717; he was a prebendary likewise of the church of Lincoln. He died in December, 1720, and was buried in Canterbury Cathedral in the north isle of the nave, where there is this monument erected to his memory, with an inscription in Latin:

Prope Hoc marmor quod mortale babuit reliquit
Vir Pietate, Doctrina & Morum Suavitate insignis
in defendendis Ecclesiæ Anglicanæ furibus strenuum se gessit Athletam,
in asserenda doctrina Redemptionis Salvatoris nostri Mystam pium,
In debito Regi obsequio prestando subditum fidelem.
Utoxetor in Com: Stafford: eum nascentem cunis excepit
Anno Dom 1660 die 16 Novembris,
Schola Patria in primis Doctrinæ Elementis Erudivit;,
Collegium SS. Trinit: Cantab: ad penitiora scientiarum adyta
investigenda admisit Admissum Brabeis et Honoribus auxit
Schola in Erica Nigra Ludimagistrum doctissimum
Ecclesiæ ad Orphanotrophium ædis Christi Lond: Praeconem disertissimum
Grenovicum Pastorem fidelissimum habuit
Canonicatum in Ecclesia Cathedrali Lincoln Gratia Episcopi
In Metropolitica Cantuariensi, Regia assignavit
Uxorem duxit Saram Tucker
Clerici in agro Suffolciensi Filiam
Ex qua Filium et Filias duas genuit
Tandem cum nihil in rebus humanis firmum et stabile
Febri Correptus, in domo sua Cantuariensi,
Sexagenario Major, extremum obijt diem,
Anno Reparatæ salutis 1720, 7° Decemb:
Vidua boc pietatis Monumentum posuit.

A translation of the Latin text reads:

Near this marble rests all that is mortal of John Turner, D.D. a man for piety, learning, and sweetness of manner remarkable; an indefatigable assertor of the Rights of the Church of England, the Doctrine of the Redemption of our Blessed Savior; a faithful subject and truly loyal to his Prince; to whom Utoxeter, in the County of Stafford gave birth, Nov. 16, 1660, whom a country school instructed in the first Rudiments of Learning; and Trinity College, Cambridge, admitting him to the inmost recesses of science, adorned him with Rewards and Honors. He was the learned Master of a School at Blackheath, an eloquent Preacher at Christ Church, London, and a faithful Pastor at Greenwich. By favor of the Bishop of Lincoln he was Canon of Lincoln; and, by the King’s favor, of this Metropolitan Church of Canterbury. He married Sarah Tucker, a Clergyman’s daughter in Suffolk, who bore him one son and two daughters. At length, nothing here being firm and stable, he died of a fever in his house at Canterbury, the 7th of December, 1720, aged 61 years. His Widow, in pious regard, erected this Monument.

Despite the statement in the list of Canons or Prebendaries of Canterbury Cathedral ( that “[a]t top are the arms of Turner, impaling Tucker and quarterings”, there are now as you can see no arms remaining on shield; only a crest atop the helmet. A lion passant or.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Boy, Oh, Boys!

In our review of some of the heraldic monuments and memorials in Canterbury Cathedral, we next come to this very impressive one of Sir John Boys, who died in 1612. (Not to be confused with Dean John Boys who is buried in the Dean's Chapel, nor with Sir John Boys (1607-1664.)

This Sir John Boys was the Royalist Governor of Donnington Castle in Berkshire during the English Civil War, who served at various times as Canterbury MP, judge in the Chancery Court of the Cinque Ports, Recorder of Canterbury, and steward to five Archbishops. He also founded Jesus Hospital almshouses which still operate on the Sturry Road.

Sir John m. (1) Dorothy, daughter of Thomas Pawley of London, merchant; and (2) by 1599, Jane (d. 12 Feb. 1634), daughter and coheir of Thomas Walker, leatherseller, of London, widow of Daniel Bende of London. Both of his wives are depicted kneeling below his reclining figure (above) on the face of the monument, above.

A more complete biography containing the offices he held and his activities can be found on-line at

A translation of the Latin inscription on the face of the monument reads:

To Sir John Boys, of the family of Fredvile, Knight, a learned Lawyer; Steward of the temporalities to five Archbishops of Canterbury; Assessor in this Court to three Wardens of the Cinque Ports, Recorder of the City of Canterbury; founder of Jesus Hospital in the Suburbs; a man of singular piety, gravity and mildness: He married two Wives, Dorothy Pawley, and Jane Walker, but leaving no child, he restored his devoted Soul to Christ his Saviour, August 28, 1672, aged 77.

Sir John's arms are placed at the top of the monument, flanked on either side by the arms of his first wife (to dexter, the viewer's left) Dorothy Pawley, and his second wife (to sinister, the viewer's right) Jane Walker.

Quarterly: 1, Or a griffin sergeant sable within a bordure gules (Boys); 2, Sable a chevron argent between three buckles or (Phalop); 3, Argent on a fess sable between three lion’s heads erased gules three bezants (Ringley); and 4, Quarterly per fess indented ermine and gules a bordure azure (Langley).

Pawley: Argent three lions passant in pale gules overall on a bend azure three mullets argent [or?].

Walker: Lozengy or and gules on a chief argent a lion passant gules.

I have to admit, I found myself suitably impressed by this monument.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

A Memorial With a Coat of Arms, But Not His Arms

The next armorial memorial has a coat of arms on it, but atypically not the arms of the man it is memorializing.

The memorial is to Edward Youde, Governor of Hong Kong between May 20, 1982 and his death on December 5, 1986. Sir Edward is especially remembered for his tenure as the Hong Kong Governor and his role in negotiating the Sino-British Joint Declaration, which was signed in Peking in 1984. This, among other things, made it clear that the British would leave Hong Kong in 1997 after 156 years of colonial rule.

Hong Kong's only Welsh Governor was widely liked for his kindly demeanor and greatly admired for his formidable erudition. In an editorial following his death, the Chinese-language newspaper Ming Pao compared him to Zhuge Liang, a chancellor of the state of Shu Han during the Three Kingdoms period, who had “pledged to work diligently on state affairs until death.”

During a visit to Peking, Sir Edward suffered a fatal heart attack in the British Embassy in the early hours of December 5, 1986, while asleep. He was the only Governor of Hong Kong to die in office.

At his funeral - Hong Kong's first state funeral with full military honors - the streets were lined with people. The casket, draped in the Union Flag, was carried by ten guardsmen, and a 17-gun salute was fired from the shore station of HMS Tamar. Sir Edward was cremated, and his ashes buried in the memorial garden at Canterbury Cathedral.

The arms at the top of the memorial are not those of Governor Youde, but rather of Hong Kong: Argent two Chinese junks respectant proper sails barry argent and gules atop a base barry wavy of four azure and argent on a chief embattled gules a naval crown or. The crest is: A demi-lion erect or [armed and langued gules] imperially crowned proper holding in its forepaws a pearl [proper?]. The supporters are, Dexter, A lion rampant or [armed and langued gules] imperially crowned proper, and Sinister, A Chinese dragon or [armed and langued gules]. The compartment is a mount vert surrounded at the base by water proper; in effect, a peninsula or island (Hong Kong consists of both).

Monday, December 9, 2019

The Buffs, Again.

The next armorial memorial we came to in Canterbury Cathedral was one to the “Officer, N.C.Os and Privates of the 1st Battalion, the Buffs (East Kent Regiment) … killed in action or died of wounds and disease, from 1895 to 1898, during … the Chitral and Punjab Frontier Campaigns.”

I recommend clicking on the image here to see a larger picture of the memorial, where the names of the men can be seen more clearly.

The ornately carved stone memorial does have (just to the right of center) a shield that contains an altered version of the arms of the County of Kent (a rearing white horse, though the shield is left uncolored and the motto Invicta is placed on the shield rather than being placed under it), the main bit of heraldry on it is the badge of the Buffs, A dragon passant vert (bellied argent and wings marked gules).

Beneath the dragon is the motto of the Regiment, Veteri frondescit honore (Its ancient honor flourishes, or Its ancient honor is ever-green), all placed within a laurel wreath superimposed in base with a scroll bearing the words "The Buffs".

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Composers Get Armorial Memorials, Too!

Lest you think that it's just military men and former Archbishops who get all the armorial memorials in Canterbury Cathedral, we come now to one to an early 17th Century composer and organist. So there!

This is the memorial to Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625), an English composer, virginalist and organist of the Elizabethan and early Jacobean periods. Due to his sudden and early death (he was only 42 when he died), Gibbons' output was not as large as his older contemporary William Byrd's, but he still managed to produce various secular and sacred polyphonic vocal works, including consort songs, services, motets, more than 40 full anthems and verse anthems, a set of 20 madrigals as well as at least 20 keyboard works and various instrumental ensemble pieces including nearly 30 fantasies for viols. He is well known for the 5-part verse anthem This Is the Record of John, the 8-part full anthem O Clap Your Hands Together, two settings of Evensong and what is often thought to be the best known English madrigal: The Silver Swan. He is considered the leading composer in early 17th century England and a pivotal transition figure from the end of the Renaissance to the beginning of the Baroque era.

More about his life, works, and death from a cerebral aneurysm can be found in his Wikipedia article at

The text of the memorial plaque below his bust is, as is so common for the time, entirely in Latin. (No, I'm not translating this one for you. Sorry! Not sorry.)

His coat of arms is carved and painted at the very top of the memorial.

This coat is blazoned Or a lion rampant sable overall on a bend gules three escallops argent.

Monday, December 2, 2019

A Memorial to a Hero

Our next armorial memorial is one to a General who as a young (age 26) lieutenant won the Victoria Cross for his actions in the Crimean War and other medals and honors (which are reproduced on his memorial, below) for his service.

The text of the memorial reads:

To the beloved memory of
General Sir Mark Walker, VC, KCB
son of Captain Alexander Walker
of Gore Port Co. Westmeath Ireland
Born Nov 24, 1827. Died July 18, 1902.

A devoted and distinguished soldier
he served throughout the Crimean Campaign
was wounded at the battle of Alma
won the Victoria Cross at Inkerman
and was again dangerously wounded
before Sebastopol. He also served
throughout the Campaign in China of
1860 and was present at the action of
the Taku forts and the taking of Pekin.

Erected by his Widow.
(The "action of the Taku forts and the taking of Pekin" are events covered - well, from an American point of view, anyway - in the 1963 Charlton Heston movie, 55 Days at Peking.)

General Walker was born in Gore Port, Finea, County Westmeath in Ireland, the son of Captain Alexander Walker and Elizabeth Elliott. His younger brother was Sir Samuel Walker, 1st Baronet QC.  During the Crimean War, Walker was a 26-year-old lieutenant in the 30th Regiment of Foot (later the East Lancashire Regiment) of the British Army when the deed for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross was performed.

On November 5, 1854 at Inkerman, Crimea, Lieutenant Walker jumped over a wall in the face of two battalions of Russian infantry which were marching towards it. This act was to encourage the men, by example, to advance against such odds – which they did and succeeded in driving back both battalions.

He was wounded by a howitzer shell later during his service in the Crimea which resulted in the amputation of his right arm. He retired from the army with the rank of general in 1893, and was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath. From 1900 until his death he was colonel of the Sherwood Foresters.

He died at Arlington, Devon, England on 18 July 1902, and is buried in Cheriton Road Cemetery in Folkestone, Kent.

His arms are blazoned: Azure a chevron engrailed ermine between three plates each charged with a trefoil vert. Crest: A dove [close] bearing an olive branch in his beak. Motto (a most fitting one, I think): Premo ad honorem (Pursue/press on to honor).

Thursday, November 28, 2019

In Memory of a Young Captain

Moving along in Canterbury Cathedral from St. Michael's Chapel, we came to this memorial to a young man (only 30 years old) who died in Northern Nigeria in 1904.

The text on the memorial reads:

In Loving Memory of
Formerly of XVI Lancers,
First resident of Azira, Northern Nigeria, West Africa,
who died Feb. 11th 1904, aged 30.
This tablet has been erected by his comrades to the memory of one
whose gallant and generous nature commanded the respect, admiration,
and affection, not only of his colleagues, but of the natives among
whom he worked and over whom he exercised a remarkable influence.
“By their fruits ye shall know them.”

Captain George Abadie was the son of Major General Henry Richard Abadie, C.B. (1841-1915), formerly Commanding IX Queen's Royal Lancers and Lt. Governor of the Island of Jersey, Commandant of the Cavalry Depot Canterbury from 1894-1897.

Captain Abadie died in Kano, Northern Nigeria, at the age of 30 of a malignant fever. He is interred in the European Cemetery there.

The arms, uncolored here, are blazoned: Bendy of six argent and gules four helmets in cross [tincture]. The crest is: An ostrich holding a sword erect in its dexter foot. The motto is Soiez prest. (This may be a misspelling of Soyez prêts, Be prepared.)

Monday, November 25, 2019

Once Again, "You Can Find Heraldry Everywhere!"

No, really!

I've said it many times before, and I will probably say it many times in the future, because it's true. You can find heraldry everywhere, sometimes in the most unexpected places, and even when you're not looking for it at all!

The most recent case in point:

I had dropped off one of my three-piece suits and a sports jacket at the dry cleaners. After I picked them up when they had been cleaned, I noticed that the clear plastic bags placed over them on the hangers to protect them from the elements had ... you guessed it! ... heraldry on them.

Running down the front was a row of a printed achievement of arms interspersed with shields with a lion rampant (to sinister) on them.

Here's an image of one of the latter:

Yes, I am sure that the lion is rampant to sinister, and not just printed on the other side, as the images of the achievements of arms with their accompanying lettering was correctly readable:

The achievement is, as many of you might recognize, the arms of the Kingdom of Sweden!

Now, why the arms of Sweden are printed on plastic protective bags for clothes in a dry cleaning business located in suburban Duncanville, Texas (just outside of Dallas), I cannot say. But they are undeniably the arms of Sweden:

I never expected, when I woke up in my home that morning just a few days ago, that I would find myself face-to-face, as it were, with heraldry out "in the wild".

As I said, and have said, and will say: You can find heraldry everywhere!

Thursday, November 21, 2019

An Armorial Memorial to a Prebendary

I learn a lot doing some of the research for these blog posts. In this instance, I realized that I really didn't know what the term "prebend" meant. So I looked it up.

Come to find out, the definition of "prebend" is "a stipend allotted from the revenues of a cathedral or a collegiate church to a canon or member of the chapter."

In other words, it's a cool thing to have a prebend. (I don't think I would qualify for one.)

Or maybe not so much; in the Church of England, at least these days, a "prebendary" is "an honorary canon having the title of a prebend but not receiving a stipend."

In any event, our next monument in Canterbury Cathedral is to a man who was advanced to a prebend of the Cathedral.

Beneath are deposited the remains of
A person of distinguish’d Abilities and Merit,
both as a Divine and a Man of Business;
He sustain’d with great Credit the Character of
Chaplain and Secretary to Several Embassies in the Reigns
and in recompence for his faithful service, was advanc’d by the latter
of those Princes to a Prebend in this Church:
He enjoy’d that Preferment 40 Years
and by his singular Diligence in the duties of a Retired life,
maintain’d the Reputation which he acquired
in his Publick Employment.

He died May 9th 1765, aged 81 Years.

His entry in the list of 'Canterbury cathedral: Canons' in The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 12, states:

WILLIAM AYERST was installed in the third prebend of Canterbury Cathedral on Nov. 5, 1724. He was educated at Maidstone school, and then at University college, Oxford, and afterwards was fellow of Queen's college, in Cambridge; in 1703 he attended lord Raby, afterwards earl of Stafford, to the court of Berlin, as chaplain and secretary to the embassy; and again to the Hague in 1711, and to the congress of Utrecht in 1712; in the succeeding reign he attended Sir Robert Cotton, as chaplain of the embassy to France. He had been, at times, rector of Gravesend and Sturmouth, and vicar of Northfleet, and was afterwards rector of St. George and St. Mary Magdalen, Canterbury, all which he resigned, and in 1724 was promoted to this prebend. He published an elegant edition of Sallust, which he dedicated to Sir Joseph Williamson; he died on May 8, 1765, age 83, being then rector of North Cray, in this county, and of St. Swithin's, London. He was buried in the middle of the nave of the cathedral.

But it's really the heraldry that we're here for, and here is the shield placed near the top of the memorial.

The arms are blazoned: Argent on a bend engrailed sable a sun in his splendor in chief and an eagle rising wings expanded in base or, in sinister canton a cross crosslet gules.

Burke’s General Armory makes the eagle argent and the cross in sinister chief flory. Unfortunately, he cites no source for these arms, making a determination of which version is correct - the one painted here, or the blazon in the General Armory - extremely difficult.

That confusion notwithstanding, it's an interesting coat of arms, and the minor differences between the two sources do not make it any less so.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Heraldry near the Cathedral Gift Shop

Like a lot of other Major Tourist Attractions™, Canterbury Cathedral has a gift shop area where you can buy picture postcards, guidebooks in several languages, knickknacks and a wide array of other souvenirs. (And, frankly, if you get the chance to visit on of these places, I highly recommend buying at the very least a guidebook. And maybe a picture postcard or two of something that catches your eye. And maybe a little souvenir. Or two. Or three. Frankly, when my wife and I are together in one of these places, we seldom get out of there for less than US$100 or more. The most common phrase heard while we are in the gift shop is, "But we need it." But I digress.)

The gift shop in Canterbury Cathedral is off in one corner near a wooden door in a carved stone frame with two coats of arms, each held by an angel (I believe, unless their "wings" are actually meant to be a depiction of the back of a chair or some such. If that is the case, then they may be depictions of monks or other ecclesiastics).

Both coats are arms which we have seen before.

The angel on the left side is holding the arms of Simon Sudbury, Archbishop of Canterbury 1375-1381, Sable a hound sejant within a bordure engrailed argent.

The angel on the right side is holding the arms of the See of Canterbury, which we have seen all over the Cathedral, the Cathedral grounds, and indeed all around the City of Canterbury, Azure a cross-staff or with its cross argent overall a pall argent charged with four crosses formy [the crosses ought to be formy fitchy] sable.

Anyway, it was nice to have a little heraldry to look at while my wife was picking out a "few things" to bring home from the Cathedral gift shop. (We have one of those equal, 50/50 marriages; she decides what things to buy, and I pay for them. It's an even division of labor that way, apparently. 💏)

So if you ever have the opportunity to visit Canterbury Cathedral, be sure to drop by the gift shop, buy a guidebook and whatnot, and stop to say hello to Archbishop Sudbury and the little fellows holding his and the See's arms.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

A Somewhat Overstated Tomb in Canterbury Cathedral

After the somewhat understated tomb of William Grant Broughton, Bishop of Australia, which we reviewed in the last post, we come to the somewhat more florid tomb of Edward White Benson, Archbishop of Canterbury from 1883 to 1896.

No, really, you should click on the picture above to see a larger, more detailed copy. It's worth it. I'll wait.

The tomb is emblazoned with the epitaph Benson had chosen: Miserere mei Deus Per crucem et passionem tuam libera me Christe ("Have mercy on me O Christ our God, Through Thy Cross and Passion, deliver thou me").

As with so many of the other "notables" buried, entombed, and/or memorialized in Canterbury Cathedral, you can find more information about Archbishop Benson's life in his article on Wikipedia at

But, of course, my passion is heraldry, and it was the three coats of arms along the base of the tomb which truly caught my attention.

The three shields are, from left to right:

The arms of the See of Canterbury, which we have seen quite a number of times in our review of the heraldry of the City of Canterbury and of Canterbury Cathedral, Azure a cross-staff or with its cross argent overall a pall argent charged with four crosses formy fitchy sable.

The impaled arms of the See of Canterbury with the personal arms of Archbishop Edward Benson, Azure a cross-staff or with its cross argent overall a pall argent charged with four crosses formy fitchy sable, impaled by Argent three trefoils slipped sable between four bendlets gules (Benson).

And finally, the Archbishop's personal arms, Argent three trefoils slipped sable between four bendlets gules (Benson).

Yes, I know that the arms here are painted such that you only see two red bendlets. Take my word for it, there are supposed to be four of them.

Additionally, Cecil Humphrey-Smith notes that: The field argent is strewn with trefoil-looking objects giving the appearance of ermine, but the Archbishop’s field should be argent. It is also observed that whilst on his seal as Archbishop there are three trefoils as here, on his seal as Bishop of Truro he bore a quatrefoil between two trefoils [between four bendlets].

So, there's apparently nothing like being able to change things up.

In any event, it truly is a beautifully wrought tomb, and the enameled shields are as bright and crisp as the day they were first installed.

Monday, November 11, 2019

An Armorial Tomb

Now we come to an armorial tomb set along a wall in Canterbury Cathedral.

As the sign next to it notes, this is:

The Tomb of
King’s Scholar, Canterbury
1834 -1853

I could copy a lot of stuff off the internet about Bishop Broughton, but really, it's probably a lot easier for both of us if you just look at his entry on Wikipedia at (Besides, if you do go to the Wikipedia page, you can see a painting of him, as well a the copy of this tomb (in which he is buried) at St. Andrews Cathedral in Sydney, Australia (in which he is not).

But of course it was the six armorial shields being supported by angels along the side of his tomb which caught my attention. (As always, you can click on one of the images here to see a larger one with more detail.) Going from left to right, we find:

To the left we have the arms of the Diocese of Melbourne (Azure on a chevron argent between in chief a crosier and a palmer's staff and scrip or and in base four mullets of six points one two and one argent an open book proper); and to the right, the arms of the Diocese of Tasmania (Azure, a crosier in bend surmounting a key (wards upwards and outwards) in bend sinister or between four mullets of eight points argent (representing the Crux Australis).

The arms of Bishop William Broughton/Diocese of Sydney (Argent two bars and on a canton gules a cross argent, impaled by Azure four mullets of eight points in cross argent). The arms on the sinister side of the shield (to the viewer's right) were granted on February 22, 1836 to Broughton as the first Bishop of Australia, and later on November 10, 1967, to the diocese of Sydney. This same shield is shown in the Broughton windows in St. James’ Church, Sydney, and in St. John the Baptist’s Church, Ashfield, except that those reverse the two sides in the more generally accepted pattern, placing the Diocesan arms to dexter (the viewer’s left) and the Broughton arms to sinister (the viewer’s right).

Diocese of Aukland, New Zealand, Azure three mullets of eight points one and two argent.

The arms to the left may be a version of the Anglican Church of Australia, which were granted in 1967 and are blazoned Azure on a cross gules fimbriated argent a mitre or between four mullets of eight points argent. The version here, which precedes the grant by over a century, places a crosier on the cross behind the mitre, and moves the four mullets to the field around the cross.

Cecil Humphrey-Smith identifies this shield as the arms of the Diocese of Adelaide, Argent on a cross between four estoiles gules a pastoral staff overlaid by a mitre or.

The second coat is the arms of the Diocese of Newcastle: Gules a pastoral staff enfiled with a ducal coronet or all within a bordure sable semy of billets palewise argent. (The billets on the bordure are very hard to see here, but if you look closely at a larger image, they are there.)

All in all, a nice display of heraldry from the Antipodes.