Monday, August 26, 2019

Armorial Windows in the Water Tower

Moving out of the Chapter House on our way to the interior of Canterbury Cathedral, we passed through the Water Tower, built in the 1160s. The upper section was rebuilt in the time of Prior Chilleden (1391 to 1410).*

And, of course, there was some heraldry in it.

We're not going to go over every coat of arms in these windows -- there are plenty of pictures of all of them that can be found on-line -- but here's a quick review of some of them:

Here, the arms of the Archepiscopal See of Canterbury impaled with those of Archibishop Baldwin (1184-1190), Gules two bendlets and a bordure argent.

In the lower windows below these arms, we have Humphrey Bohun, 12th Earl of Hereford (d. 1372), who married Joan, daughter of Richard Fitzalan, Earl of Arundel. Azure, a bend argent cotised between six lions rampant or (Bohun); marshalling Quarterly: 1 and 4, Gules a lion rampant or (Fitzalan); 2 and 3, Checky or and azure (Warrene);

And Edmund of Langley. Quarterly France modern and England a label of three points argent each charged with three torteaux. (The red roundels have faded almost completely to white.)

In the window immediately to the right of Bohun and Langley, we find the arms of Archbishop William Courtenay (1381-1396), Or three roundels gules and a label azure charged on each point with a mitre or;

And Edward of Woodstock, the Black Prince’s “shield for peace”, Sable three ostrich feathers each with a scroll argent across the quill inscribed Ich Dien sable.

At the top of the next window to the right, we see the arms of the See of Canterbury impaled by those of Archishop Theobald (1139-1161), Barry or and azure a chief indented gules. (The book Coats of Arms of the Archbishops of Canterbury blazons Theobald’s arms as Or two bars azure and a chief indented gules. I suspect an error by the stained glass artist for this window, as the arms look more like Azure two bars or and a chief per fess indented gules and or. But maybe that's just me.)

And finally, in the lower windows below Theobald's arms, we find Edmund of Langley (I believe), Quarterly France modern and England a label of three points argent each charged with three torteaux. (Here again, the red roundels have faded almost completely to white.);

And John Beaufort, Earl of Somerset. Quarterly France and England all within a bordure compony argent and azure. (The window shows the bordure with the tinctures reversed, i.e., azure and argent.)

It's a small room, but it's got a lot of historical coats of arms in it.

* There's an old saw about the difference between Europeans and Americans is that Europeans think a hundred kilometers is a long way, while Americans think a hundred years is a long time. So clearly, this tower was built, and then rebuilt, a very, very very long time ago!

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