Thursday, June 29, 2023

Arms of the See and Deanery of Ely

Having finished our heraldic tour of Holy Trinity Church Bottisham, we move on to the next stop on the sightseeing tour in August 2022, Ely Cathedral.

There are two coats of arms which appear in a number of places in, and just outside of, Ely Cathedral.

One, which we have seen before both in Cambridge and at two parish churches we have already seen -- the Church of St. Andrew and St. Mary Grantchester and Holy Trinity Church Bottisham -- are the arms of the See of Ely.

At Ely Cathedral, the arms of the See, Gules three crowns or, can be found standing alone, as here:

Or along with the arms of the Deanery of Ely, Gules three keys erect wards to dexter or, as on this memorial to Cathedral choristers who lost their lives in World War I:

We will also be seeing the arms of the See impaling personal arms of several of the Bishops of Ely on their memorials as we come to them.

Finally, of course, the arms of the Deanery of Ely appear in number of places, from signs just outside the entrance to the Cathedral:

to various explanatory signs inside the building:

(Yes, we will be visiting the memorial of Bishop Simon Patrick, next to this sign, on our tour.)

Next time, some of the heraldic glories to be seen in the Cathedral's Stained Glass Museum!

Monday, June 26, 2023

More Heraldry in the Wild

I swear, it seems like nearly every time I turn around, no matter where I am or what I am doing, I will find heraldry of one kind or anther.

This time, it was while going to my first appointment to a physical therapist. (I messed up my right shoulder working the yard, trying to move something heavier than I should have.* My physician and the therapist both think I didn't do anything seriously damaging to it beyond a sprain, and so a few weeks of physical therapy should have be "back in action" before long.)

Anyway, while I was there, I just happened to notice (because I am so attuned to looking for things on shield shapes, don't you know?) this large sign hanging on one wall.

This is the sort-of heraldic logo of the Grand Prairie, Texas, High School. Their mascot is the Gopher, and school is located, appropriately enough, at 101 Gopher Boulevard in Grand Prairie.

The shield is probably best described as Per chevron and per pale to chief with various charges, including the State of Texas with a star marking the location of the City of Grand Prairie, a key and scroll in saltire, and a sideways oval with a large "G" on it. (This last appears to be basically taken from the logo of the American football** team the Green Bay Packers of Wisconsin. See, e.g. Taking the place of a crest is a lit torch bendwise sinister issuing from behind the shield, and the shield itself surrounded by a laurel wreath superimposed in base by a double scroll with the words "Grand Prairie" and "Gophers".

It is not by any means the best heraldic design. Indeed, it bears many of the hallmarks of "design by committee" where none of the members of the committee had any real knowledge in or experience of heraldry.

Nonetheless, there it was, all heraldry-like, hanging on the wall, out there "in the wild", and so I had to photograph it and share it with you!

* Sometimes it makes me want to write new words to the old 1965 song by The Bobby Fuller Four ( In this case, the wording would be: "I fought the yard, and the yard won." It's happened before.

** I always feel the need to specify "American" football, to differentiate it from what the rest of the world knows as football. See immediately below.

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Heraldry in the Wild

So there we were, three members of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, all there with but one purpose: to clean the gravestone of Capt. William S. Parmley (1834-1885). Not only did Capt. Parmley serve in the 33rd Iowa Infantry during America's Civil War, but after that conflict he helped to establish the Fort Worth, Texas Post No. 4 of the Grand Army of the Republic and was for some time its Commander.

The GAR was a nationwide association of Union veterans established following the war. The Sons of Union Veterans, wishing to carry on the ideals of the GAR of Fraternity, Charity, and Loyalty as their ranks were dwindling in the early 20th Century owing to the deaths of their members, became the successor organization, and continues to honor the memory of their service and sacrifice in maintaining the Union.

Following his death in 1885, Post No. 4 was named in honor of Capt. Parmley.

So we were there to clean his marker of the dirt, grime, and lichen which was growing on it, as a token of our respect for his service both during the Civil War and after in the GAR.

But as is often the case, particularly to me as a herald, it always pays to look at my surroundings. And while looking around nearby Capt. Parmley's gravesite, wouldn't you know it, but I found some heraldry - or at least some heraldry-like depictions - right there "in the wild" as it were.

The first was on the grave marker of Charles Mortimer Brown (1867-1897) and Joseph Mortimer Brown (1816-1899).

A close-up shows a "heraldry-like" object, consisting of a tilted shield topped by a helmet and crest (this latter is very difficult to make out, but further research indicates that it is an eagle), the shield surmounted by two battleaxes in saltire. This is the emblem of the Knights of Pythias, a fraternal organization founded in Washington, DC in early 1864.

The other heraldic item is on the grave marker of J.W. Pinkard (1852-1885).

On Mr. Pinkard's marker, the carving is a little more heraldic, but I have not (yet) been able to identify it.

On the shield, which is topped by a helmet and what looks like a horsetail crest, in chief there are two crossed swords and in base a chevronel separating the letters F, C, and (I believe) B.

I suspect that this is one or another of the many fraternal organizations which were formed in the latter half of the 19th Century, but I have been thus far unable to identify it for certain. It bears some resemblance to some of the Knights of Pythias emblems, but I've been unable to find this particular design amongst them. And while the F, C, B matches the Knights' motto of Friendship, Charity, Benevolence, their designs generally place the B in base rather than the C.

So is this bit of heraldry also a Knights of Pythias emblem? It may be, as there are some similarities, but as I've found no insignia of the Knights that contain two swords in chief (any crossed weapons are always the battleaxes), I am hesitant to make a firm identification without further study.

In any event, it was serendipitous to find these two bits of heraldry while spending time in a cemetery for something else altogether.

As I've said any number of times, and this time once again demonstrates the point: "You can find heraldry everywhere!"

Monday, June 19, 2023

Pledger and Allington and Coningsby, Oh My!

For our final heraldic memorial in Holy Trinity Church Bottisham in Cambridgeshire, we come to the multiply quartered arms marking the tombs of Thomas Pledger (died 1599) and his wife Margaret Coningsby (died 1598), whose first husband was Robert Allington.

The inscription on the memorial reads:

Here lyeth Margaret, daughter of William Conningesbye of Kings Lynn, one of the Justices of the Common Plees at Westminster, who married Robert Allington ........ by whom she has five sons and six daughters that is to say; William, John, Gyles, James, George, Alice, Margaret, Elizabeth, Fraunces and Beatrix. After, she married with Thomas Pledger, gentleman, with whom she lived thirtie and fower yeres, and died the 16th day of Maye, ano domini 1598. and sayde Thomas Pledger dyed the 13th daye of March 1599 in the three score and tenth year of his age.

The full memorial bears three shields.

The first, at the top, is the arms of Pledger:

In Burke's General Armory we find: Pledger (Bottlesham [I suspect this should be Bottisham], co. Cambridge). Sable a fess engrailed between three bucks trippant or pellety. Fairbairn's Crests gives us: Pledger/Pledgred, Cambs., A buck’s head erased or in its mouth an oak branch vert fructed or.

So far, so good. But the we come to the other two shields of increasing complexity on the monument. The first, above the statue of Thomas Pledger, are those of Pledge impaling Coningsby:

Sable a fess engrailed between three bucks trippant or pellety, impaling Quarterly: 1 and 4, Gules three conies statant [should be sejant] argent within a bordure engrailed sable [yep, sable!], a crescent argent for difference* (Coningsby); 2, Or a lion rampant gules; 3, Sable a fess ermine between three goat’s heads erased argent (Farby/Feerby/Fereby).

* The arms without the crescent are those of Coningsby of Norfolk and Hertfordshire. Margaret’s father, Sir William Coningsby, M.P. (~1483-1540), was the second son of Sir Humphrey Coningsby.

And finally, above the statue of Margaret (Coningsby) (Allington) Pledger, we find this shield (please feel free to click on the image below to go to a larger, more detailed picture):

These are the arms of Margaret's first husband, Roger Allington, impaling Coningsby: Quarterly of six: 1, Sable a bend engrailed between six billets argent (Allington); 2, Gules three covered cups argent(?); 3, Argent(?) on a fess between three birds three birds, a canton ermine; 4, Gules on a bend sable(?) three human(?) faces argent; 5, Per fess ? and ? a pale counterchanged three birds (?); and 6, (?) fretty (?), a canton (?); impaling Quarterly: 1 and 4, Gules three conies statant [should be sejant] argent within a bordure engrailed sable[!], a crescent argent for difference (Coningsby); 2, Or a lion rampant gules; 3, Sable a fess ermine between three goat’s heads erased argent (Farby/Feerby/Fereby).

There is a lot of dirt and grime that has built up on these shields, making identification of the correct tinctures a bit of guesswork.

Nonetheless, it is an impressive display of heraldry, memorializing a man, his wife, and her first husband.

Thursday, June 15, 2023

The Heraldry of a Loving Couple

Today we come to the last, and largest, of the Jenyn family memorials in Holy Trinity Church Bottisham.

This sculptural monument is to Elizabeth Jenyns née Soame (died 1728), and her husband Sir Roger Jenyns (died 1740). The memorial shows Sir Roger and Elizabeth sitting on their tomb lightly holding hands with each other and each holding a book in their other hands.

Beneath their statues, the inscription to Dame Elizabeth reads as follows:

In this vault lyeth the Body of Dame
Elizabeth Ienyns Wife of Sr. Roger Ienyns
Who dyed the first of May
1728 Ætatis 62:

She was a Lady of great Virtue and piety
And thro the whole course of her life of
An Unbleamished Reputation, A constant
Attendant of Publick as well as a Strict
Observer of Stated hours of her Private
Devotion, Her piety as Well as her Uncomon
Tenderness and compassion of Nature
Engag’d her in dayly Acts of Charity.

As Well in her life as at her Death, She was
Of a Mild Temper, a Gracefull and Winning
Presence, an Easey and engageing
Conversation, tho her own infirmityes
Often interrupted the natural
Cherefullness of her disposition. She was
An affectionate Wife, an Indulgeing Mother,
A Sincere Friend, and a good Christian.
Att her Death Sr. Roger Ienyns by her desire
Setled the Schooleing of 20 poor Children
And as his addition the Cloathing of them
And a Schoole to teach them and others
in forever.
Very nearby on the wall of the church is a monument to her husband, Sir Roger Jenyns:

In this Vault
lyeth the Body of Sr. Roger Ienyns Knt.
Lord of the Mannor’s of Allington and Vauxes in this Parish
Who descended from Sr. Iohn Ienyns of Churchill
In Somersettsheire. Hee Marryed Elizabeth Daughter
Of Sr. Peter Soame of Heydon in Essex Barrt. By whom
He had onely One Sonn Soame Ienyns who Marryed
Mary Soame of Deerham Grange in Norfolke
Hee dyed the 22 day of Septr. 1740
Ætatis 77
But, of course, it's the heraldry that we are most interested in.

The marshaled arms here are: Argent on a fess gules three bezants, in dexter chief an inescutcheon Azure a crescent or* (Jenyns) impaling Gules a chevron between three mallets or (Soame). It bears the same crest of the demi-lion maintaining a spear and motto (Ignavis nunquam, Never lazy) that we have seen in other Jenyns memorials and hatchments in the church.

We see these arms, not marshaled together but on separate shields (and without the inescutcheon on the Jenyns arms) elsewhere in the church, commemorating a charitable foundation established by Sir Roger Jenyns in 1730. On it you can see the Jenyns and the Soames coats of arms on the left and right, respectively.

What a wonderful collection of the heraldry of a number of generations of the Jenyns family can be found in this parish church in Bottisham, Cambridgeshire.

* I am unfamiliar with what the inescutcheon is supposed to represent. It is not the badge of a baronet (Argent a sinister hand appaumy gules). Is it meant as a display of a cadency mark? (A crescent is the English cadency mark of a second son.) Does it acknowledge some rank or award received by Sir Roger? I don't know. Do you?

Monday, June 12, 2023

An Armorial Memorial and Two Hatchments: More Jenyns Heraldry

Continuing our look at the heraldic memorials in Holy Trinity Church Bottisham in Cambridgeshire, England, I had to group this armorial memorial and two hatchments, because they all relate to the same married couple.

The memorial remembers George Leonard Jenyns (1763-1848) and his wife Mary Jenyns (née Heberden) (1763-1832), as well as their son Soame (died 1803 age 14).

There is a fair bit of information about Rev. Jenyns available on-line. Here is a brief synopsis (and, of course, you can always read the inscription on the memorial, above, to learn more):

George Leonard Jenyns was an English priest and landowner. He was the son of John Harvey Jenyns of Eye, Suffolk, and was born at Roydon, Norfolk. He entered Gonville and Caius College (whose arms we have seen before), Cambridge in 1781. He graduated Bachelor of Arts in 1785, and was ordained that year, and received his Master of Arts from Cambridge in 1788. He became Dean and rhetorical praelector of his college in 1787. He was vicar of Swaffham Prior, Cambridgeshire 1787–1848 and prebendary of Ely Cathedral, 1802–1848. He inherited Bottisham Hall in Bottisham and a considerable fortune from his first cousin twice removed Soame Jenyns in 1787. He became Chairman of the Bedford Level Corporation, and also of the Board of Agriculture. At Bottisham Hall he built a new house, constructed for him by 1797; and also expanded the Jenyns estate by purchases. In 1788 he married Mary Heberden (1763–1832), the daughter of the physician William Heberden and his second wife Mary (Wollaston) Heberden.

At the peak of the memorial is a marshaled coat of arms: Argent on a fess gules three bezants (Jenyns), impaling Erminois four lozenges conjoined in fess vert on a chief azure a crescent (should be an annulet) between two suns or (Heberden). Crest: Jenyns, A demi-lion rampant or maintaining in both forepaws a spear or headed argent. Below the arms is the Jenyns motto: Ignavis nunquam (Never lazy).

Also in the church are two hatchments relating to this couple. The oldest memorializes the death of May (Heberden) Jenyns. As is usual in hatchments, the background behind the wife's half of the shield, the use of a ribbon in a knot instead of a crest, indicates that it is she who died, and the white background on his side of the shield indicates the her husband survived her.

Here again we see the arms of Jenyns impaling those of Heberden: Argent on a fess gules three bezants (Jenyns) impaling Erminois four lozenges conjoined in fess vert on a chief azure an annulet between two suns or (Heberden).

The other hatchment memorializes the death of George Leonard Jenyns. Here we have the use of a crest over the arms and the black background behind his side of the shield indicates that now it is the husband who has passed away.

Argent on a fess gules three plates (should be bezants) (Jenyns) impaling Ermine (should be erminois) four lozenges conjoined in fess vert on a chief azure a crescent sable (should be an annulet or) between two suns or (Heberden).

As you may have noticed, only one of the three depictions of the marshaled arms matches with the blazons found in Burke's General Armory. The other two have errors: the use of a crescent instead of an annulet in the wife's arms on the memorial plaque and on the husband's hatchment; and the color of the roundels on the husband's arms on his hatchment. (Let this situation be a lesson: you can't always trust a depiction of a coat of arms to be an accurate rendition of what the arms are supposed to be!)

Nevertheless, it's not often that you can find an armorial memorial and the hatchments of both husband and wife all together. So this was an uncommon display of memorial heraldry in Bottisham church.

Thursday, June 8, 2023

I Promised You Some More Jenyns Coats of Arms

In my last post, I said that we'd be seeing some more Jenyns coats of arms, and today, we're going to look at a couple of them.

First up is a memorial to Roger William Bulyer Jenyns, 1858-1936. As you can read on the memorial itself, it was erected by his wife, Winifred née Pease, and their three living sons; George Arthur Jenyns, Roger Soame Jenyns (see below), and Edward Thomas Jenyns.

The blazon of the Jenyns arms is the same as in the previous post: Argent on a fess gules three bezants. On the tablet there is a crest above the arms: A demi-lion rampant or maintaining in both forepaws a spear sable [it should be, or] headed argent.

The next memorial is that to Roger Soame Jenyns (1904-1976). This memorial was erected by his wife, Ann née Berridge, and their two sons.

Roger Soame Jenyns, who usually wrote his name simply as Soame Jenyns, has his own Wikipedia entry, along with a listing of the books he authored, at:

The blazon once again of these really very simple, uncomplicated arms is: Argent on a fess gules three bezants.

I always find it wonderful to see multiple generations of a family using their coat of arms. Do you?

Monday, June 5, 2023

A Very Armorial Pulpit

One of the very notable features in Holy Trinity Church Bottisham in Cambridgeshire, at least to a heraldist, is the armorial, albeit modern, pulpit.

There are, in fact, four shields with coats of arms on the outward sides of the pulpit.

Seen above, the first two are, from left to right, the arms of the Diocese of Ely (Gules three ducal coronets or), and the Archepiscopal See of Canterbury (Azure a cross-staff or its cross argent overall a pall argent charged with four crosses formy fitchy sable).

These are, of course, the arms of the See and Archepiscopal See to which Holy Trinity Church Bottisham belongs.

Moving around to the right of the pulpit, we find the following two coats of arms:

The first is, of course, the medieval attributed arms of the Holy Trinity, the Scutum fidei ("shield of faith") for whom the church is named. These attributed arms go way back, and can be found in this form (though on a blue shield) in the late 15th century Wernigerode Armorial from southern Germany. (In England, the scutum fidei almost invariably appears on a red shield.) The image on the shield appears in various manuscripts as far back as the 12th century.

These arms are a visual representation of the Holy Trinity, where each of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are God, and God is each of them, but the Father is not the Son is not the Holy Spirit is not the Father. It summarizes the first part of the Athansian Creed in a compact diagram form.

The final coat is the marshaled arms of a member of the Jenyns family (Argent on a fess gules three bezants) and his wife (Gules on a chevron between three (crows?) reguardant of three cinquefoils sable). Below the shield is the motto, Navis Nunquam.

I do not know which member of the Jenyns family the arms belong to; and the wife's arms appear in none of my ordinaries, I suspect because they were granted since the publication of those volumes. Nor have I been able to find anything in any of the numerous on-line photographs and articles about the Church which gives me any information. (There are several which explain the shield of the Holy Trinity, above, but none which give any information about when who paid for the renovation of the pulpit, which would at least give clues as to whose arms these are.

The Jenyns family has worshipped at Holy Trinity Church Bottisham for quite a while, and we will be seeing more of the Jenyns arms in future posts.

Thursday, June 1, 2023

An American Heraldic Stray in Cambridgeshire, England

Having done now with our personal side trip to Grantchester while attending the International Congress of Genealogical and Heraldic Sciences held last year in Cambridge, we come now to the full-day excursion for Congress attendees, which took us to two parish churches and to Ely Cathedral.

There was, alas, no heraldry to be found in the Church of St. Cyriac and St. Julitta in Swaffam Prior, so my few photos of some of the old gravestones that I took for my wife, who enjoys old carved grave markers as much as I do, won't be included here, as being unrelated to the topic of this blog.

Holy Trinity Church Bottisham, though, had a fair bit of heraldry in it, and you will get to see what I saw there.

As one on-line reviewer said of this church, "it is thought to be one of the most recognizable churches in Cambridgeshire. It's a very fine building - one of the four in Cambridgeshire that Simon Jenkins rated with three stars - and definitely worth visiting." I have to agree.

But one of the most surprising, at least to me, bits of heraldry to be found there was an heraldic stray, all the way from the United States of America.

The 361st Fighter Group was a unit of the 8th U.S. Army Air Force, whose primary function was to escort and protect the bombers of the "Mighty Eighth" in their missions to bomb targets in occupied Europe during the last half of World War II.

The planes used by the Group are shown in profile on the memorial plaque above: to the left, a P-47D Thunderbolt (with the "razorback" canopy and fairing); to the right, a P-51D Mustang (with a "bubble" canopy giving greater all-round visibility for the pilot). If you click on the image above, you can see in greater detail the entire plaque and these two aircraft.

The insignia at the center top of the plaque is, of course, that of the 8th Air Force. Here's what it looks like in full color. (This image is taken from Wikipedia.) On a blue field, a winged numeral 8, the lower part charged with the pre- and early-WWII roundel marking U.S. military aircraft: Azure on a mullet throughout argent a roundel gules.

I have to admit that I never expected to find U.S. military heraldry in a parish church in England! It just goes to show once again that "You can find (all kinds of) heraldry everywhere!"