Monday, July 24, 2023

Coats of Arms: Marriages and Inheritances

For our next item from the Stained Glass Museum in Ely Cathedral, we have these four stained glass panels, possibly by William Price the Elder, which came from the Chapel at Denham Place.

Denham Place is a 17th-century country house in Denham, Buckinghamshire, surrounded by an 18th-century landscape park, possibly laid out by Capability Brown. The house was constructed in 1688–1701 for Sir Roger Hill. The architect was probably William Stanton.

Sir Roger Hill (1642–1729) of Denham Place, Buckinghamshire was an English landowner, courtier and Whig politician who sat in the English and British House of Commons between 1679 and 1722. In 1667, he married Abigail Lockey, the daughter of John Lockey of Holmshill, Hertfordshire, Sir Roger was knighted in July 1668. He was appointed a Gentleman of the privy chamber in 1668, a position he held until 1685.

Now, one of the things that I like about heraldry in general, and these four heraldic stained glass panels in particular, is that it makes it possible to find at least some of the history of a family -- the marriages with other families and the inheritance of other coats of arms brought in through marriage to heraldic heiresses -- just by looking at the impaled coats (in the first instance) and the quartered coats (in the second instance) without requiring the observer to conduct detailed genealogical research in order to know whose arms they are.

Witness these four heraldic stained glass panels:

In the upper left of the panel, we find the marital arms of Sir Roger Hill and his wife Abigail Lockey. Gules a chevron engrailed ermine between three garbs or (Hill) impaling Argent a bend between two water bougets sable (Lockey).

In the upper right, we see the arms of John Hill and his wife Joan Banister. Gules a chevron engrailed ermine between three garbs or (Hill) impaling Vert a maunch argent (Banester).

The bottom two shields are the same quartered arms: Quarterly of eight: 1, Gules a chevron engrailed ermine between three garbs or (Hill); 2, Gules a lion rampant overall a bend ermine (Falcon?); 3, Vert a maunch argent (Banester); 4, Gules a cross argent between four plates (?); 5, Sable a saltire argent (?); 6, Sable a bend or between six fountains proper (Stourton) (brought into the family through the marriage of John Hill and Cecily Stourton before 1424); 7, Gules three lions passant in pale argent overall a bendlet compony or and azure (Fitz-Payne); and 8, Argent a cross between four mullet gules (Banbury? Danbury? Flamank/Flammyke?).

No, obviously I was not able in the short time I spent researching these shields to determine the exact family name for each quarter. For example, do you know how many different family surnames have borne Sable a saltire argent? Admittedly, it's not a huge number, but to determine which of the eight families (not counting spelling variants) that appear in the Dictionary of British Arms for this blazon would require more genealogical research than I have the "copious free time" to do. I mean, really, if I'm going to spend some hours doing genealogical research, I'm going to spend in researching my own family tree and not the 17th century Hills of Denham Place. Just sayin'.

Still, though, they're a beautiful set of window panels, aren't they?

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