Monday, May 13, 2024

An Officer and a Knight

Yes, I know that the phrase is usually "an officer and a gentleman," but in this instance, the gentleman was knighted, so there you go.

Our next memorial to a military man in the crypt of York Minster is that of General Sir John Grenfell Maxwell and his wife, Louise Selina née Bonynge, who both died in 1929.

You can find out a lot more about the General's life and career on-line at:

The arms are blazoned: Argent a saltire between in chief a rest* sable and in base a holly leaf vert. The crest is: A stag proper attired argent,couchant before a holly bush proper. And the motto over the crest is: Reviresco (I grow strong again).

Both the crest and the motto are those of Clan Maxwell. The Clan does not currently have a chief (the last one, William Maxwell of Carruchan, died in 1863), and is considered by Lord Lyon to be an armigerous clan. The General’s arms are a differenced version of the Clan’s arms, which feature an argent field with a sable saltire.

* More frequently blazoned as a clarion, this charge, as Franklyn and Tanner tell us in their An Encyclopædic Dictionary of Heraldry, is "a primitive musical instrument, being a shepherd's pipe; in heraldic art, highly conentionalized. ... In the course of its history it has been mistaken for, and blazoned as, a lance-rest ..., and as a ship's rudder, and has numerous alternative terms: 'clarendon', 'claricimbal', 'claricord', 'clavecimbal', 'lance-rest', 'organ-rest', 'rest', 'rudder', and 'shepherd's pipes'; all except clarion and organ-rest are now obsolete."

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