Thursday, September 21, 2023

Those Words Must Mean Something Different in English Than They Do In Texan

Our next two bits of heraldry are coats of arms that we have seen before (along with another, new one that we'll be seeing more of later), but I'm giving them their own post because they are located on the "shortest street in York", the one with the unusual name.

Back in 1505, it was called "Whitnourwhatnourgate", meaning "What a street!"

Sometime later, it was changed to Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate. As being easier to pronounce, I suspect. (And just in case you think I might be making this up, here's one of the helpful location and direction signs posted there.)

Still, as I stated in the title to this post, I think those words, or at least those syllables, don't mean the same thing in York as they might here in Texas, where they could be taken to mean one should whip, or whop, or both, one's "Ma", or mother, at a gate.

But of course, we're here not to talk about the morality, or immorality, of whipping one's mother at a gate. We're here for the heraldry, which can be found on two other signs at the street.

The first, which we have seen before, is the arms used by the City of York Council, here placed on a sign near a bicycle stand explaining the best ways to lock up your bike to prevent its theft.

The other, on an historical marker, contains both the arms of the City of York (Argent on a cross gules five lions passant guardant or) with the cap, sword, and mace on the upper right, and on the upper left, a new bit of heraldry for us, the badge of the York Civic Trust, Azure a fleur-de-lis or dimidiating Gules a crowned leopard's face or.

Please feel free to click on any of the images above to see a larger, more detailed photograph of these signs.

The badge of the York Civic Trust (the Trust says its vision is "promoting heritage, shaping tomorrow") is based on the pre-Stuart Royal Arms of England, Quarterly: 1 and 4, France modern (Azure three fleurs-de-lis or); 2 and 3, England (Gules three lions passant guardant in pale or).

I think you might be hard-pressed to say "historic York, England" more concisely than with these last two pieces of armory.

I could be wrong, but I don't think so.

Monday, September 18, 2023

Non-Governmental Uses of the Arms of the City of York

While the coat of arms of the City of York, England can be found on public buildings and used by the City and the City Council, I also noticed a couple of instances of the use of the City's arms by entities not directly affiliated with the local government.

This first, though, is directly licensed by the City of York Council through their Taxi Licensing Team, which involves fees and charges in addition to requirements for vehicles to meet certain specific standards, not to mention that only a limited number of hackney carriage licenses are available to be allocated.

Be that as it may, I found one of those hackney carriages bearing the arms of the City:

Additionally, one of the local public houses (or, pubs) was also using the City's coat of arms. Welcome to The York Arms:

Later on in another post, we will see different one of these pub signs which are fairly common in England, of "X Arms" or "The X Arms" where "X" is a specific individual or, as above here, city.

The City of York is obviously very proud of its coat of arms, and it was a pleasure to see them in so many different places, and even used by non-civic entities like taxicabs and public houses.

Thursday, September 14, 2023

More Examples of the Arms of the City of York

So today we're going to visit some of the other places where I found the arms of the City of York (Argent on a cross gules five lions passant guardant or) used within the walls of the old city.

This first one is the arms of the City found on a public water fountain built, as it notes on its face, in 1880:

I love the dolphins and the decorations made to look like waves here.

Another was found on much newer display surface, the side of a Dial & Ride bus, "York's flexible bus service":

And finally, in a manner that can be found all over the British Isles (including Ireland), on the lowly but armorial dustbin (that's a trash receptacle, for my American readers):

Next time, not everyone who uses the arms of the City of York is necessarily directly affiliated with the City or the City Council. Stay tuned!

Monday, September 11, 2023

The Arms of York in York, England

As I noted last time, the arms of the City of York, England, can be found all around the city. (You can even buy tee shirts with the arms on them, though I was a bit disappointed not to find any caps emblazoned with the arms. So I will just have to "make do" with the armorial tee shirt I purchased there.)

Anyway, there are enough different examples that I photographed while we were there to fill at least two blog posts, along with some others later on which have other coats of arms besides the City of York's arms on display.

Naturally, buildings in the city are a frequent backdrop for display of the City's heraldry. Here, for example, over the doorway of the old York Dispensary:

And here, in full color, on the Mansion House in St. Helen's Square:

And over the doorway to what is now the Antique Centre at Duncombe Place:

And then, not surprisingly, on the iron gate entrance to a local park:

And finally, on the building housing Gregg's Bakery -- and here the bycocket (see my previous post for the definition and discussion of this cap) has reversed its orientation and is painted like a true heraldic cap of maintenance:

Note also that in the two panels above, the sword and mace have reversed their placement from each other, even though the bycocket/cap of maintenance and the lions on the cross remain the same.

What a great display of civic heraldry to see, just wandering about within the old walls of the City of York!

Thursday, September 7, 2023

On to Historic York and the Arms Used by the City Council

Or, as the Scandinavians who settled there called it, Jorvik.

York, the next stop on our trip to England last year, is an historic city which in many ways revels in its historicity. Among other things, it boasts the longest remaining old city walls in England, punctuated by several gatehouses, or "bars". (We will be visiting some of these bars later, as they - oh, yeah - have heraldry on them!)

But one of the other things that a heraldry enthusiast (like myself) will notice is that the City's coat of arms can be found all over the place. I spent several days wandering the streets of York, and I am pretty certain (not the least based on the book Heraldry and the Buildings of York by Hugh Murray, published in 1985 and which I purchased a copy after returning home) that I have not seen half the examples of them!

Be that as it may, the City arms I found in so many places that I'm going to have to break the examples up into a couple of different posts.

Today, the arms as used by the City of York Council.

It is unknown when the City's arms were granted, but it is likely that they were at least adopted, if not granted, during the reign of King Edward III (1327-1377). They were recognized by the College of Arms during a Visitation in 1584, confirmed by a note from the heralds in February 1587.

The arms are blazoned: Argent on a cross gules five lions passant guardant or. They often appear with a crossed sword and mace behind the shield, surmounted by what is termed a "cap of maintenance", but whose form is that of a bycocket* gules turned up ermine. The sword, mace, and bycocket in the achievement of arms are based the actual sword, mace, and cap presented to the City by King Richard II in 1389 (the sword) and 1392 (the mace and cap).

What follows are examples of the arms of the City as used by the City of York Council, and which were found all about old City of York:

This next one is even a "two-fer"; two depictions of the City of York Council arms in a single location.

This next one is on a building "to let" (not "toilet"!); that is, the space is available for someone to rent:

The arms are used by the Council pretty much like a logo, but as they are, in fact, the arms and accompanying accoutrements of the City, I find it to be a refreshing, appropriate, and frequent(!) use of the ancient arms of York.

* French, chapel à bec. Nowadays this form of medieval cap is often referred to as a "Robin Hood" hat, because it has appeared in so many Robin Hood movies.

Monday, September 4, 2023

A Final Monument in Ely Cathedral with a Complex Display of Heraldry

For our final heraldic monument in Ely Cathedral (there are others, but as I noted at the beginning of this series from the Cathedral, we only had a limited amount of time to visit, and so I missed a fair bit of the heraldry to be found there), we come to the monument to Henry Caesar, Dean of Ely 1614-1636.

Henry Caesar, also known as Henry Adelmare, a member of the 400 year-old Adelmare family of Treviso in the Veneto, was the son of Giulio Cesare Adelmare, an Italian physician to Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth. When Henry and his brother, Sir Julius Caesar, became English citizens, they adopted their father’s middle name as their surname.

As you can see, the monument is quite large, and consists of a kneeling representation of Dean Henry Caesar as well as two pillars and a long inscription in Latin, not to mention the three heraldic shields at the top.

The inscription reads:

Post Tempestatem Tranquillitas. Effigies Reverendi viri Henrici Caesaris alias Adelmarii, S. Theologiae Professoris, huius Eccl. 20 plus minus Annis Decani vigilantissimi; Filii illustris viri Julii Caesaris Adelmarii, Medicinae Docttoris, serenissimis Reginis Mariae & Elizabethae principis Medici, Fratris honoratisimi D. D. Julii Caesaris Militis, & juris utriusque Doctoris; binis Regibus Jacobo & Carolo Magistro sacrorum Scriniorum, & 3 Consiliis secretioribus; de antique stirpe Adelmaria Familia Trevesana Venetorum Annis prope 400 illustri oriundi; Vita celebis, Religione devoti, Humanitate candidi, Gravitate placidi, Charitate in huius Eccl. chorum & musas Cantabrigienses ultimo Testamento munifici, praesentis Vitae Bonis felicis, futura, Spe felicioris, Fruitione felicissimi : Qui 27 Junii, Anno Domini 1636, placide in Dom, obdormivit, Annum Ætatis suae agens 72. Qui & hoc memoriae sacrum meruit a Carolo Casare Agnato suo charisimo & Executore solo.

Of these three shields at the top of the monument, we have:

In the center, Gules two keys in saltire wards upwards in chief the letter D or (a variant of the arms of the Deanery of Ely), impaling Quarterly: 1 and 4, Gules three roses argent barbed and seeded proper on a chief argent three roses gules barbed and seeded proper (Caesar); 2, Sable two bars in chief three swans argent beaked and legged gules (Cesaryna or Adelmare); 3, Gules three crescents or (Perient).

Margaret Perient was Dean Henry Caesar’s mother.

To the left, we have: Gules three roses argent barbed and seeded proper on a chief argent three roses gules barbed and seeded proper (Caesar).

And to the right: Gules three roses argent barbed and seeded proper on a chief argent three roses gules barbed and seeded proper (Caesar), impaling Sable two bars in chief three swans argent beaked and legged gules (Cesaryna or Adelmare).

The shields in the center and on the right are somewhat unusual, containing as they do both the Caesar and Adelmare arms. To the best of my research, Dean Henry Caesar never married, so the marshalled shield on the right does not contain (in the usual fashion) the arms of a wife, but the (older?) arms of Aldemare.

All in all, a complex memorial, with even more complex heraldry, some of which leaves me wishing for more information.

Thursday, August 31, 2023

The Arms of Three 19th and 20th Century Bishops of Ely

Having seen the arms of four 17th and 18th Century Bishops of Ely, we're going forward in time to the arms of three 19th and 20th Century Bishops of Ely.

First, we have an armorial bearing the arms of Thomas Danpier, Bishop of Ely 1808-1812.

The shield on the left is the arms of the See of Ely, and that on the right is the arms of Bishop Danpier, Or a lion rampant sable on a chief gules a label of five tags argent.

Next, we see the arms of Joseph Allen, Bishop of Ely 1836-1845, as seen on his tomb in the Cathedral with a statue of his recumbent figure.

It's not easy to see, but if you click on the image above to see the larger version of this photograph, you will see two shields flanking the central inscription. Each shield is the arms of the See of Ely impaling Per bend sinister or and sable six martlets in pale three and three counterchanged (Allen). Each shield is surmounted by a bishop’s mitre.

And finally, we have the arms of Frederick Henry Chase, Bishop of Ely 1905-1924, on a memorial plaque.

Here again, as with the memorial plaque to Bishop Danpier, above, we see the arms of the See of Ely on the left, this time surmounted with a bishop's mitre, and the arms of Bishop Chase, also surmounted with a bishop's mitre, on the right.

The Bishop's personal arms are: Gules four crosses crosslet on a canton argent a lion passant azure.

I have to admit that I'm not certain exactly what it is that causes me to be so attracted to armorial memorials (and tombs and gravestones), but I cannot deny that I am attracted to them, and look for such things wherever I am able to travel.

Do you find yourself consciously looking for heraldry when you travel, too?

Monday, August 28, 2023

The Arms of Four 17th and 18th Century Bishops of Ely

Having looked at a large stained glass window with the arms of four of the Bishops of Ely last time, today we're going to look at the armorial memorials to four more Bishops of Ely, all dating to the 17th and 18th Centuries.

As you will see, these memorials take various forms, and we are going to visit them in chronological order.

First we have the memorial to Benjamin Laney, Bishop of Ely 1667-1675.

The 1674 (rather than 1675) date on the plaque above is an artifact of the fact that at this time in England, the new year did not begin until March 25. As a consequence, while Bishop Laney died on January 24, at the time the year was still 1674. The change to what are termed New Style dates (where the year begins on January 1) was not made in England until December 31, 1751.

At the top of this monument, beneath a bishop's mitre, are these arms:

The See of Ely impaling Or on a chevron between two fleurs-de-lis gules a lion passant guardant or (Laney).

Next we have the memorial set into the floor of Ely Cathedral to Peter Gunning, Bishop of Ely 1675-1684.

The inscription simply reads (in English): Peter, Bishop of Ely. At the top of this marker are these arms, surmounted once again by a bishp's mitre:

The See of Ely impaling Gules on a fess between three doves argent three crosses formy gules (Gunning).

Next we have the memorial to Simon Patrick, Bishop of Ely 1691-1707.

Surmounted with a bishops mitre, the arms are the See of Ely impaling Gules three pallets vair on a chief or a lion passant azure (Patrick).

And finally, we come to the memorial to John Moore, Bishop of Ely 1707-1714.

The monument is beautifully carved with a very long Latin inscription on what is visually a mantle. Immediately above the mantle, surmounted by a bishop's mitre and accompanied with palm branches and two bishop's croziers, are the arms.

Here we have, beautifully carved, painted and gilded, the See of Ely impaling Ermine on a chevron azure three cinquefoils or (Moore).

It's quite a range of types of memorials to these four Bishops of Ely, but they all serve the same purpose of memorializing these men who served the See and the Cathedral for so many years two and three centuries ago.

Thursday, August 24, 2023

One Window, Four Panels, and the Arms of Four Bishops of Ely

Ah, cathedrals! Soaring ceilings, wide naves. Oh, yeah, and the feast for the eyes that is stained glass.

This four-paneled window in Ely Cathedral memorializes in wondrous color the arms of four Bishops of Ely, each supported by two angels and surmounted with a bishop's mitre also supported by the angels. Also flanking each coat of arms is a scroll with the dates (in Roman numerals) of each Bishop's tenure in office.

On the left side of the window (and please click on either of the images below to see the full-size photographs in all of their glorious detail), we find:

On the left, the arms of Hugh Northwold, Bishop of Ely 1229-1254. The arms consist of the See of Ely impaling the Bishop's personal arms, Azure three crowns each enfiling two arrows in saltire or; and 

on the right, the arms of Hugh de Balsham, Bishop of Ely 1256-1286. Here also, the See of Ely impaling the Bishop's personal arms, Or three pallets gules.

And on the right side of the window, we see:

To the left, the arms of John de Hotham, Bishop of Ely 1316-1337. Again, the See of Ely impaling his arms, Barry of eight azure and argent on a canton or a martlet sable; and

to the right, the arms of John Alcock, Bishop of Ely 1486-1500. The See of Ely impaling Argent on a fess between three cock’s heads sable combed and wattled gules a bishop’s mitre or. We have seen these arms before, with the addition of a bordure charged with crowns, in the arms of Jesus College, Cambridge, which Bishop Alcock founded in 1496.

These windows are a testament to the stained glassmaker's art, and are, frankly, a riot of color. If you ever get the chance to visit Ely Cathedral in person, make sure you do not miss this window! My photographs are nice, but they do not really do these windows the kind of justice that they deserve.

Monday, August 21, 2023

Wait! What?? I Think There May Be an Error Here

Researching this next memorial found in Ely Cathedral, I was reminded of a line from the Star Trek parody, and homage, movie, Galaxy Quest: "That's not riiiight."

This large brass memorial is, as it says on its face, "in Memory of the Men of the Isle of Ely Who lost their lives in the War in S. Africa 1899-1902".

The Isle of Ely, as we are told, is an historic region around the City of Ely in Cambridgeshire which formed an administrative county between 1889 and 1965, when it was incorporated into Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely.

Until it was granted arms on May 1, 1931 (for which see, it used the arms of the See of Ely which we have reviewed here recently, Gules three crowns or.*

So can you see in the detail image below what the problem is?

The shield here is clearly colored as Azure three crowns or, not gules (that is, blue, not red).

Indeed, it was the red field with three gold crowns which was carried over into the grant of arms in 1931, establishing pretty firmly, I think, that the blue field here is an error.

Now, admittedly, the arms of the See of Ely are based on the attributed arms of East Anglia, which has a blue field. Of course, these arms with a blue field never existed, the Kingdom of East Anglia ceasing to exist as an independent kingdom in the 10th Century, a couple hundred years before heraldry came into being.

Yes, I know that basically I am picking nits, and that most people looking at this memorial to so many local men who lost their lives in the Boer War would not notice that the coat of arms here is incorrectly colored.

Still, I thing it would have been nice if they could have better respected those lost lives by putting the correct color on the shield of this memorial.

* For purposes of this post, I am not going to get into the propriety, or impropriety, of the County Council of the Isle of Ely appropriating (or misappropriating) the arms of the See of Ely to represent the Isle. That's a whole other discussion in itself!

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Personal Crests on Military Memorials

Having looked at memorials in Ely Cathedral to military men containing in the first instance Regiment badges and in the second instance personal coats of arms, we now come to memorials to soldiers, all from the 4th Battalion Suffolk Regiment bearing the personal crests of those being memorialized.

This is the memorial to Col. Harry Frost (1845-1898), placed here by his brother officers, past and present.

At the top of the memorial is his crest: A trefoil slipped between a pair of wings erect azure.

Next is the memorial of Capt. and Hon. Major Albert Julian Pell (1864-1916) (another casualty of World War I).

Here, too, at the top is his crest: On a mural crown a mullet pierced sable, along with his motto: Mente Manuque (With mind and hand).

And finally, we have the memorial of Lt. Col. William Browne Ferris (1841-1906), erected here by his family.

At the top we find his crest: Issuant from a crest coronet a sinister hand appaumy between a pair of wings erect all proper, along with his motto: Toujours pret (Always ready).

The variety in crests is almost as great as that in coats of arms, and it always is of interest (at least to me) to see crests used as a means of memorializing someone.