Thursday, February 1, 2024

A Tale of Two Archbishops

Well, not a "tale", exactly, but certainly the arms of two archbishops.

On the raised pulpit in the nave in York Minster we find the personal arms of two different Archbishops of York, each impaled as is the custom with the arms of the See of York.

Immediately above is a closer view of the pair of shields.

In each instance, the arms of the See of York are as we have seen before: Gules two keys in saltire wards to chief argent in chief a crown or.

The arms should have a Royal crown in chief, but as A Guide to the Heraldry in York Minster notes on page 13, "Nineteenth cenntur antiquarian studies, which confused See of York Modern with the earlier attrigbuted arms of St. Peter ..., led to the appearance of a curious pointed cap instead of the crown. This can be seen on some modern furnishings, e.g. nave pulpit."

On the left, and immediately above, we have the arms of the See of York impaling those of Cosmo Gordon Lang, 1st Baron Lang of Lambeth (1864-1945), Archbishop of York 1909-1928, and Archbishop of Canterbury 1928-1942. If you would like to know more about him, he has a large entry in Wikipedia at

His personal arms as painted here would be blazoned: Quarterly per fess indented argent and sable, in dexter chief an open book argent edged or and inscribed sable, in sinister base two leaves in fess vert, overall a crescent gules.

However, the blazon of these arms given in the Lambeth Palace Library Research Guide differs in significant ways from what is emblazoned here in the Minster. The blazon from the Research Guide is: Quarterly per fess indented argent and sable, in the first quarter an open book proper leaved gules in the last quarter two dock leaves vert. That blazon drops the crescent entirely, fixes the "no metal upon metal" tincture violation, and specifies the type of leaves.

And on the right, and immediately above, we have the arms of the See of York impaling the personal arms of  William Temple (1881-1944), Archbishop of York 1929-1942, whose entry in Wikipedia can be found at:

Archbishop Temple's arms, which as painted here match the blazon found elsewhere, are blazoned: Quarterly: 1 and 4, Or, an eagle displayed sable; 2 and 3, Argent, two bars sable each charged with three martlets or.

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