Monday, May 20, 2024

"I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General"

Well, sure, the inscription on our next memorial says "Lt.-General", which outranks a Major-General, but in addition to not scanning as well if you are singing the line from Gilbert and Sullivan (as I did repeatedly while researching this memorial), other sources give the rank of the man being memorialized as "Major-General".*

The website informs us that Major-General Charles Frederick Torrens Daniell CB (1827-1889) was a British Army General holding high office in the 1880s.

Born in Berkhamsted in Hertfordshire, the youngest son of Thomas Daniell of Aldridge Lodge, Staffordshire and Little Berkhamsted in Hertfordshire and of Mary née Smith of the Smith banking family, Daniell was commissioned into the 38th Regiment of Foot.

He served as a Major in the Crimea with the 38th Regiment of Foot.

In 1884 he was invited to command an Infantry Brigade at Malta and then in 1886 he was appointed General Officer Commanding Northern District. He remained in this post until 1889.

He died on 26 July 1889 in Beaufort Gardens, South Kensington. There is a beautiful memorial to him in York Minster created from sculpted stonework with inscriptions around oaken doors in the area leading to the vestry. [This is the memorial we are looking at in today's post.]

In 1849 he married Charlotte Vernon, and then in 1856 he married Mary Smith, his first cousin: they had one daughter.

The memorial was erected by their daughter Constance and her husband Charles Graves-Sawle, whose initials appear in the inscription on the plaque, which also notes that York Minster is the church where they were married (this last explains why this memorial is erected here).

There are two coats of arms on the memorial. The one on the left is that of Daniell, Argent a pale fusilly sable, for General Charles Frederick Torrens Daniell. 

The one on the right is Sawle quartering Graves, with Daniell in pretense; these are the arms of the general’s daughter, Constance née Daniell, and her husband, Captain Charles Graves-Sawle. They are blazoned: Quarterly: 1 and 3, Azure three falcon's heads erased within a bordure or (Sawle); 2 and 3, Gules an eagle displayed in chief a mural crown [Burke's General Armory says it should be a naval crown] between two bombs or fired proper (Graves); overall an inescutcheon Argent a pale fusilly sable (Daniell).**

* "The seeming incongruity that a lieutenant general outranks a major general (whereas a major outranks a lieutenant) is due to the derivation of major general from sergeant major general, which was a rank subordinate to lieutenant general (as a lieutenant outranks a sergeant major)." (per Wikipedia)

** As General Daniell's only child was a daughter, in English practice she became an heraldic heiress, allowing her husband to place her paternal arms on an inescutcheon on his shield, denoting that any children they have would be able to quarter their father's arms with their mother's. It may be that in this case, the Daniell arms would be placed in the third quarter, replacing one of the Graves' quarters. Unless the Graves-Sawle arms were deemed to be in impartible quartering, in which case the quarterly Graves-Sawle arms would be placed in their entirety in quarters one and four as a "grand quarrter," and the Daniell arms would be placed in quarters two and three. Ain't heraldry fun?

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