An uncle of mine by marriage, who was a very distinguished historian, once asked me, when I was a young man, whether I was interested in Heraldry. I said that I was not. ‘I'm glad of that,” he said, “heraldry strikes me as being for a historian about on the same level of interest as stamp collecting.” – Maurice Keen, in the Preface to Origins of the English Gentleman
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.
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!
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!
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 HALES MEMORIAL
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.
translation of the Latin inscription above the carved bas-relief of James Hales reads:
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
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).
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.
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
JOHANNIS TURNER S. T. P.
in defendendis Ecclesiæ Anglicanæ furibus strenuum se gessit Athletam,
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
Collegium SS. Trinit: Cantab: ad penitiora scientiarum
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
Cantuariensi, Regia assignavit
Uxorem duxit Saram Tucker
Clerici in agro
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 (https://www.british-history.ac.uk/survey-kent/vol12/pp55-108) 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.
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
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.
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 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.
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).
Argent three lions passant in pale gules overall on a bend azure three
mullets argent [or?].
Lozengy or and gules on a chief argent a lion passant gules.
I have to admit, I found myself suitably impressed by this monument.
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
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).
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
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".
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.
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
General Sir Mark
Walker, VC, KCB
son of Captain
of Gore Port Co.
Born Nov 24, 1827. Died
July 18, 1902.
A devoted and
he served throughout
the Crimean Campaign
was wounded at the
battle of Alma
won the Victoria
Cross at Inkerman
and was again
He also served
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
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
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).