Monday, April 29, 2024

Married, But Clearly Not for Long

The short marriage of the husband and wife who are commemorated in our next memorial remind me of a line from Act I, Scene II, of Shakespeare's Richard III: "I'll have her, but I will not keep her long."

This memorial is that of a married couple who didn't have many years together: he died at 25, while she lived to 73.

The inscription reads:

to the memory of the
Revd Geo. Wm. Anderson,
who departed this life
on the 16th day of April,
in the Year of Our Lord 1785,
and in the 25th year of his age.
to his widow
Lucy Anderson,
who afer an exemplary life
of unaffected piety,
and active benevolence,
died at Harrowgate
on the 20th of Septr 1830,
aged 73 years.
The memory of the just
is blessed.

George W. Anderson's wife was Lucy Moore, and the arms painted on the memorial show Anderson impaling Moore.

The husband's arms are a variant and cadet of “Anderson (Penley, co. Herts, bart., created 1643; extinct 1899; the heiress, Elizabeth Anderon, m. Simon Harcourt, Esq. Clerk of the Crown). Argent a chevron between three crosses crosslet (another, three crosses formy) sable. Crest—A water spaniel passant or (from Burke's General Armory).

Here the crosses are fleury, and there is a crescent for difference in chief.

The wife's arms are Moore: Azure on a chevron between three lion’s heads erased or three martlets sable (also from Burke's).

The memorial is done without extravagance, and the arms and crest painted simply within a moderately ornate frame. All in all, a fitting memorial to a couple who didn't have many years together.

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Another Great 17th Century Armorial Memorial

As I said last time, I really enjoy seeing 17th Century armorial memorials, and today we're going to look at another, also armorial, but even more sculpturally figural, memorial.

This is the memorial of Frances Matthew, née Barlow, who died a year after her second husband, 1629.

Take your time to really look at all that this memorial offers. Take your time. I'll wait.

In addition to the statue of the lady herself kneeling in prayer (on a very plush cushion) with her prayer book in front of her and placed between a pair of pulled back stone "curtains," she is flanked by two black Corinthian columns, themselves flanked by two symbolic figures. The columns rest on a pair of skull and crossed bones, and there are two infants (lacking wings, they cannot be meant to be cherubs), all in addition to the three shields of heraldic display.

Frances was the daughter of William Barlow, Bishop of Chichester, and the wife of: first, Matthew Parker (died 1575), a son of Matthew Parker, Archbishop of Canterbury, and; second, following Matthew's death, and for over 50 years, Tobias (Toby, Tobie) Matthew, Archbishop of York.

As a side note on Frances, her husband Tobias Matthew left his fortune not to his sons but to his wife. She gave Tobie's collection of over 600 books, then valued at £300, to York Minster. These books are the basis of the Minster library (now housed at Old Palace, York).

But we're here about the heraldry, aren't we?

In addition to the two small shields immediately above each column -- the one on the left being her marital arms of Matthew (Argent a lion rampant sable) impaling Barlow (Argent on a chevron engrailed between three crosses crosslet fitchy sable two lions combattant argent), and the one on the right being her paternal Barlow arms (on a heater shaped shield, presumably to balance the impaled arms on the left) -- at the top of the monument we have the arms of Barlow on a lozenge, as was onsidered proper for a lady.

It's an amazing work of the sculptor's art, all in recognition of a lady who must have been pretty amazing herself.

Monday, April 22, 2024

I Love Seeing 17th Century Armorial Memorials

Because they are just so incredibly complex to look at; it takes time to really take one in fully and see all the different elements and how they come together to create a united whole.

And the three-dimensional sculptures are only a part of that. Along with the heraldry, of course!

A good example of this in York Minster is the memorial of Sir William Ingram of Catell and Thorpe (ca. 1565-1623).

The kneeling figures here are those of Sir William Ingram, Sr. and his wife, Katherine Edmonds. We can tell this because, although A Guide to the Heraldry in York Minster identifies the crest beneath the male figure correctly as that of Ingram, it misidentifies that beneath the female figure as "The Greville Crest"; that crest is actually the Edmonds crest: A greyhound sejant sable bezanty collared or. (The Greville crest is A greyhound's head erased sable bezanty gorged with a collar argent charged with three pellets, similar thematically but not the same at all.) I have pencilled in a correction in my copy of A Guide.

At the peak of the monument is a representation of the Ingram arms and (outsized!) crest:

The arms are blazoned: Azure a chevron between three lions passant or, and the crest, although painted here and on the face of the monument as gold, or or) is blazoned: A cock proper.

All in all, though, I think that you can see just from this one example why it is that I love seeing 17th Century armorial memorials.

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Memorial to a Wife by Her Sister

Our next armorial memorial in York Minster has a bit of a story to tell: Though it has on its face the marital arms of a woman, it was not erected by her husband, but by her younger sister. (Who, based on her marriage, may have had more funds available to her to erect this monument.)

Dorothy Langley, née Willoughby, who died April 13, 1824, has this lovely memorial with an intricately carved gothic canopy over it:

Dorothy, as the inscription on the monument tells us (though in less detail), was the oldest daughter of Henry Willoughby, 5th Baron Middleton, and his wife, Dorothy, née Cartwright.

Dorothy (the daughter) married Richard Langley of Wykeham Abbey in 1784.

Dorothy's younger sister, Henrietta, had married Richard Lumley-Saunderson, 6th Earl of Scarbrough, and it was Henrietta who erected this monument to her sister, and not, as we more commonly expect to see, by Dorothy's husband Richard Langley. (But then again, the wife of an Earl may have had more funds available to her than a "mere" Esquire.)

No matter. Immediately below the canopy, we find the marital arms of Dorothy (Willoughby) Langley.

The blazon is: Quarterly: 1 and 4, Paly of six argent and vert a canton gules; 2 and 3, Or a fess between three crescents gules (Langley); impaling Quarterly: 1 and 4, Or fretty azure; 2 and 3; Vert on two bars or  three water bougets sable (Willoughby).

Burke's General Armory gives the arms for Langley of Wikeham Abbey, Malton, county York, with the fess and crescents in the first and fourth quarters, and the paly -- without the canton -- in the second and third quarters. But he also cites several Langleys bearing Paly of six argent and vert (without the canton), including Langley of Langley, county Durham and Sheriff Hutton, county York, so that would appear to indicate that the paly quarters are the pronomial arms of this Langley family, which would normally properly be placed in the first and fourth quarters.

The Willoughby, Baron Middleton, arms may also be seen (carved but not painted) on the memorial to Henry, 5th Baron Middleton in St. Leonard's Church, Wollaton. See, e.g.,,_5th_Baron_Middleton

Burke does not give these colors for the second and third quarters of the Willoughby arms, citing them as: Or on two bars gules three water bougets argent. I do not know how to account for this difference in the colors. Is Burke incorrect? Possibly (see the Langley arms above). Did the painter of the arms on this memorial make an error? Possibly. (I have seen paintings of heraldry where it looked like the painter had a limited pallet, and so used the colors he or she had to hand rather than the correct ones.)

Still, it's a lovely memorial, and well worth sharing with you.

Monday, April 15, 2024

It's Sad to See Someone Die So Young

Our next armorial memorial is to a young wife to died far too early, at the age of 22, when she had been married for just a year and three months.

This is the armorial memorial of Lady Mary Hore, née Howard.

She was the daughter of Ralph Howard, 1st Viscount Wicklow, and his wife Alice Forward, the daughter and heiress of William Forward of Castle Forward, County Donegal. Following the Viscount's death, in December 1793 Alice was created Countess of Wicklow.

Lady Mary was the wife of Rev. Thomas Hore, the second son of Walter Hore of Harperstown, whom she married in 1797.

The inscription on the monument gives the particulars of her relations and the circumstances of her young death.

Finally, of course, we come to the relief-carved coat of arms near the top of the monument.

Sable a double-headed eagle displayed within a bordure engrailed argent, in chief a martlet for difference (Hore); impaling  Gules a bend between six crosses crosslet argent (Howard). The crest is A demi-eagle displayed [azure?], The motto is Constanter (With constancy).

It really is a lovely monument in a neo-Classical style. It's so sad that it is to the memory of a young wife, only 22, married for just over a year, whoe died here in York on her way to Scarborough "for the recovery of her health".

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Well, This One Turned Out to Be Frustrating to Properly Identify

I mean, really, I've been researching heraldry for a long time now, and particularly for something like quartered arms, attached to a family of a not terribly common surname, and accompanied with an inscription that helpfully gives the person's name, you'd think I would be able to track down the arms and its colors fairly readily.

Alas, no.

The armorial memorial in question is that of Ranulph or Randolph Hurleston, who died in 1587. He was, as the little information I could find about him explains, a member of the Council of the North.

There is a two-sentence description in A Guide to the Heraldry of York Minster that gives the above information. He does not appear in the Dictionary of National Biography, and an internet search simple repeats the information in the Guide. The inscription on his marker adds very little to that information:

"The bodi of Ranulph Hurleston, Esquier, one of the honorable councel in these north parts lieth here in hope of ioiful resurreccion who adorned with great gifts of lerning, gravitie, wisdom ioined with rare godliness: was alwais careful for advancing of the sincere doctrine of Christe, and of that æquitie which everiwhere ought to be observed, never ceasing his faithful labours to profite this church and common welth: until it pleased our gracious God merciful (in a veri short moment, without ani, or with the least, dolors of death) to ende all the labors of his faithfull servant and to translate his sowle into his æternal rest. XIII Aprilis Anno Christi Incarnati 1587. All the daies of his peregrinacon were LXII years for whose godli life the Anointed Saviour be praised for ever. Amen."

So we are left with the not especially well carved coat of arms:

Looking at quarters 1 and 4, Burke's General Armory gives us Hurleston/Hurlestone (both from Chester), with a blazon of Argent a cross of four ermine spots sable.

For quarters 2 and 3: There are three “[plain field] three garbs … within a [plain] bordure …” in Papworth:

Cummin/Cumming, Azure three garbs within a bordure or
Berkhead/Birkenhead/Brickbed/Brickhet, Sable three garbs or within a bordure argent; and
Berkhead/Brickhed and Segrave, Sable three garbs within a bordure or.

So it might be any (or, for that matter, none) of these.

In the fess point of the shield is a crescent for difference, the crescent being the cadency mark of second son.

Burke's gives the Hurleston crest as: An ermine passant argent. (What is carved here is pretty clearly a wolf statant.) Fairbairn's Crests gives a wolf statant as being borne by the following families, none of whom are Hurleston: Biddulph, Carden/Cardin, Dane, Iles, Knott, Lawley, and Preston.

The situation remains if we assume that the crest carved here is a fox; several families bearing a fox statant, none of whom are Hurleston.

Finally, the motto is, Virtus vitæ laus (Praise the virtue of life). It does not appear in my copy of Fairbairn's.

So, after doing all this research through the heraldry books, where did I end up?

Right where I began, with the two-sentence description in A Guide to the Heraldry of York Minster.

Well, sometimes that is both the attraction and disappointment of heraldry, and life, too, for that matter. Some you win, some you lose, and some (as here) you just break even.

Monday, April 8, 2024

It's Always Interesting to Run Across Some 17th Century Given Names

And some of those interesting forenames were not always necessarily borne by Separatists or Puritans, although they did seem to favor such given names (e.g., Increase, Praise God, Humiliation, or my current personal favorite: If-Christ-Had-Not-Died-For-Thee-Thou-Hads't-Been-Damned). But such forenames were not exclusive to the Puritans, as we will see looking at today's armorial memorial to an archbishop of York, Accepted Frewen.

Accepted Frewen was Archbishop 1660-1664, though as both the inscription on the memorial, above, tells us in part, and his entry in Wikipedia at tells us more fully, he was also: President of Magdalen College, Oxford; Vice Chancellor of Oxford University; Dean of Gloucester; and Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry; in additon to being Archbishop of York.

His arms, shown at the top of the monument, consist of the See of York (modern) impaling Frewen (Ermine four bars azure a demi-lion rampant gules [Burke says "proper"] issuant in chief). The arms here are ensigned with a mitre, which we are told is a style typical of the Restoration.

On a side note, Burke notes that his family's motto was Mutare non est meum (It is not mine to change). Not exactly a tenet of the Puritans, despite their desire to return to the simplicity of the early church without all of the forms, rituals, etc. (see, "popery") that they believed had been added over the centuries.

Anyway, I found it interesting to find a given name like Accepted in a context that was clearly not strictly Puritan. And with heraldry, too!

I swear, sometimes it just doesn't get much better than this!

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Is There Something About Marys and Martlets That I Don't Know?

Our next two memorials are to two wives, both named Mary, and whose memorials display heraldry which contains martlets.*

The first is that of Lady Mary Fenwick.

Lady Mary was the daughter of Charles Howard, 1st Earl of Carlisle, and the wife of Sir John Fenwick, Baronet.

At the top of the monument, surmounted by a knight's helmet (for her husband) and an earl's coronet (for her father), we see Per fess gules and argent six martlets counterchanged, the badge of a baronet (Argent a sinister hand appaumy couped gules) (Fenwick), impaling Gules on a bend between six crosses crosslet fitchy argent an escutcheon or charged with a demi-lion rampant pierced through the mouth with an arrow within a double tressure flory counter-flory gules, on the bend a mullet for difference (Howard, Earl of Carlisle).

Flanking the marital arms of Lady Mary are two more shields.

On the left, the arms of her father, Gules on a bend between six crosses crosslet fitchy argent an escutcheon or charged with a demi-lion rampant pierced through the mouth with an arrow within a double tressure flory counter-flory gules, on the bend a mullet for difference. No crest, but the coronet of an Earl surmounts the shield.

And on the right, the arms of her husband, Per fess gules and argent six martlets counterchanged, the badge of a baronet (Argent a sinister hand appaumy couped gules). Crest: A phoenix rising from flames proper gorged of a mural crown or.

Though this next monument memorializes several deceased children of Richard Sterne, the only one remembered armorially is his daughter, Mary, who married Rev. Thomas Pulleyn.

The arms are painted on a cartouche:

Azure on a bend cotised or [Burke says "argent"] three escallops gules on a chief or three martlets sable [Pulleyn/Pullein/Pullen], impaling Or a chevron between three crosses patonce sable (Sterne)

So, as it turns out, there is nothing connecting "Mary" with "martlet", as all nine of the martlets on these two memorials belong to their husbands' coats of arms.

Still, it was an interesting juxtaposition, and I had to research it and report back to you!

* For those very few of you reading this blog who don't know what an heraldic martlet is, J.P. Brooke-Little's An Heraldic Alphabet defines it this way:

"Martlet. A very common charge which resembles a house martin but has no shanks or legs, just tufts of feathers. It may have originally been a swift, as these apparently legless birds were to be found in large numbers in the Holy Land at the time of the Crusades."

So now you know.

Monday, April 1, 2024

The Gibson Girls

But in this case, it's not the well-known personification of the feminine ideal of physical attractiveness as portrayed by the pen-and-ink illustrations of artist Charles Dana Gibson the turn of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

No, these memorials in St. Stephen's Chapel, York Minster, are about about the Gibson sisters, Ann, Joanna, and Penelope, daughters of John Gibson of Welburn, and Ann's husband, Samuel Terrick. 

First, let's look at Samuel Terrick's monument:

He was, in addition to being the husband of Ann Gibson, chaplain to Archbishop John Sharpe, among other ecclesiastical offices which are given (in Latin) on the face of the monument. Samuel Terrick died on January 2, 1718/19, aged 51.

Atop the monument are the relief-carved and painted arms of Terrick impaling Gibson:

Gules three lapwings or, impaling Barry of six ermine and sable a lion rampant or. The crest is: A lion salient or.

(I have to admit, I really like the way the helmet is carved and decorated!)

A little further along, and we come to the two memorial to Joanna Gibson and Penelope Gibson:

According to the insriptions, Joanna Gibson died in 1733, and her sister Penelope in 1715.

Each bears the arms of their father, John Gibson, on a lozenge, as is appropriate.

Again, the blazon of these Gibson arms is: Barry of six ermine and sable a lion rampant or.

The carving on each of these monuments is so very well done, and the painting of the arms is, too.