Monday, November 11, 2019

An Armorial Tomb

Now we come to an armorial tomb set along a wall in Canterbury Cathedral.

As the sign next to it notes, this is:

The Tomb of
King’s Scholar, Canterbury
1834 -1853

I could copy a lot of stuff off the internet about Bishop Broughton, but really, it's probably a lot easier for both of us if you just look at his entry on Wikipedia at (Besides, if you do go to the Wikipedia page, you can see a painting of him, as well a the copy of this tomb (in which he is buried) at St. Andrews Cathedral in Sydney, Australia (in which he is not).

But of course it was the six armorial shields being supported by angels along the side of his tomb which caught my attention. (As always, you can click on one of the images here to see a larger one with more detail.) Going from left to right, we find:

To the left we have the arms of the Diocese of Melbourne (Azure on a chevron argent between in chief a crosier and a palmer's staff and scrip or and in base four mullets of six points one two and one argent an open book proper); and to the right, the arms of the Diocese of Tasmania (Azure, a crosier in bend surmounting a key (wards upwards and outwards) in bend sinister or between four mullets of eight points argent (representing the Crux Australis).

The arms of Bishop William Broughton/Diocese of Sydney (Argent two bars and on a canton gules a cross argent, impaled by Azure four mullets of eight points in cross argent). The arms on the sinister side of the shield (to the viewer's right) were granted on February 22, 1836 to Broughton as the first Bishop of Australia, and later on November 10, 1967, to the diocese of Sydney. This same shield is shown in the Broughton windows in St. James’ Church, Sydney, and in St. John the Baptist’s Church, Ashfield, except that those reverse the two sides in the more generally accepted pattern, placing the Diocesan arms to dexter (the viewer’s left) and the Broughton arms to sinister (the viewer’s right).

Diocese of Aukland, New Zealand, Azure three mullets of eight points one and two argent.

The arms to the left may be a version of the Anglican Church of Australia, which were granted in 1967 and are blazoned Azure on a cross gules fimbriated argent a mitre or between four mullets of eight points argent. The version here, which precedes the grant by over a century, places a crosier on the cross behind the mitre, and moves the four mullets to the field around the cross.

Cecil Humphrey-Smith identifies this shield as the arms of the Diocese of Adelaide, Argent on a cross between four estoiles gules a pastoral staff overlaid by a mitre or.

The second coat is the arms of the Diocese of Newcastle: Gules a pastoral staff enfiled with a ducal coronet or all within a bordure sable semy of billets palewise argent. (The billets on the bordure are very hard to see here, but if you look closely at a larger image, they are there.)

All in all, a nice display of heraldry from the Antipodes.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

A (Comparatively) Simple Armorial Memorial

This next armorial memorial in Canterbury Cathedral is a comparatively simple one, and yet I can't help but think it holds every bit as much love and pathos as many of the larger, more complex ones.

Near this place
lies the Body of JOHN PORTER
of WANDSWORTH in the County of Surry Esqr.
He departed this Life
the 22d of March 1764, Aged 67.
He married CATHERINE
Daughter of
Lieut. General SUTTON
by whom he left
One Son and Five Daughters.

Requiescat in Pace.

John Porter of Allfarthing, married Catherine Sutton, daughter of Lt. Gen. Richard Sutton, and by her had six surviving children. The manor of Allfarthing, in Wandsworth (London), had been granted by James VI and I to his son Charles, apparently with a view toward it being given to Endymion Porter. Thomas Porter, son of Endymion, had a remainder interest but debt problems of his father caused the loss of the manor in 1652. Thomas Porter's brother, George Porter, recovered the manor and it descended to John Porter of Allfarthing, who was lord of the manor in 1723 when he married Catherine Sutton.

Still, it was the arms at the top of the memorial plaque which caught my attention.

This marital coat of arms is blazoned: Sable three porter’s bells argent and a canton ermine (Porter), impaled by Argent a canton sable (Sutton).

I find it interesting that both the husband's and the wife's coats of arms contain a canton; this is something that is not commonly seen. A canton is a rare enough charge; to find two of them must be very rare.

They did seem to go in for some pretty florid shield shapes in the late 18th Century, though, didn't they?

Monday, November 4, 2019

Three Armorial Memorials Without Personal Heraldry

I've grouped these next three armorial memorials together because, while they have heraldry of a sort on them, none of them bear the personal arms of the person memorialized.

First, we have the memorial to Maj. Gen. Henry J. Degacher:

To the Memory of
Henry James Degacher,
Major General in H: M: Service,
Companion to the Order of the Bath,
Colonel of the 24th
South Wales Borderers Regiment,
Commanded 3rd East Kent
Regimental District 1882~1887.
Born 24th Feb: 1835 ~ Died 25th Nov: 1902.

The heraldic portion of the memorial plaque consists of the badge of the 24 Regiment of Foot South Wales Borderers:

The Regiment has had a long and distinguished existence, much of which is outlined in its Wikipedia page at Early in its history, it was deployed to Egypt in the aftermath of the Battle of Abukir in March 1801. During the Anglo-Zulu War, it also took part in the battles of Isandlwana (dramatized in the 1979 movie Zulu Dawn) and Rorke's Drift (immortalized in the 1964 movie Zulu).

The Regimental Badge bears the figure of an Egyptian sphinx couchant atop a rectangle with the word "Egypt" all within a laurel wreath bearing the letters "SWB".

The next memorial is to a number of the officers (both commissioned and non-commissioned) and unnamed men of the "Rank and File" of the 3rd East Kent Regiment ("The Buffs").

Memory of
Lieutenant & Adjutant G.A. Colvill,
Lieutenant T.F.C. Armstrong,
Sergeant and Orderly Room Clerk S. Julian,
And 12 Rank and File,
Who died whil’st serving with the 1st Battalion
3rd (East Kent) Regiment “The Buffs” in the Campaign
In the Malay Peninsula, in 1875 and 1876.
Also in memory of
Captain H.J.M. Williams,
Lieutenant C.E. Mason, 2nd Lieutenant G.R.J. Evelyn,
And 27 Rank and File,
Who died whil’st serving with the 2nd Battalion
3rd (East Kent) Regiment “The Buffs” in the Zulu War,
South Africa, of 1878 and 1879.

This monument is erected by the officers,
non-commissioned officers and men
of the Regiment,

More information about the Regiment can be found in its Wikipedia article at

The badge of The Buffs is a crest, Atop a torse a dragon passant. Beneath the dragon is a scroll with the words "The Buffs"; beneath that scroll is another with the motto of the Regiment, Veteri frondescit honore (Its ancient honor flourishes).

Our final memorial is to Lt. Col. R.C. Cokayne-Frith, Major of the 15th "The King's" Hussars.

To the Memory of
Lieut. Colonel R.C. Cokayne-Frith
Major 15th “The King’s” Hussars.
Born 17th June 1863.
Died 16th September 1900.
From the result of an accident at Canterbury,
Whilst commanding the Cavalry Depot.

This memorial is erected by his brother officers
as a token of their love and respect.

Once again, more information about this Regiment can be found at Wikipedia at

The badge of the 15th "The King's" Hussars is a crown atop which is a lion statant guardant all within the garter of the Order of the Garter, which bears the phrase honi soit qui mal y pense. Below these elements is a scroll with the words "The King's XV Hussars".

None of these are, strictly speaking, heraldry, but they certainly are heraldic in the sense that they are each a visual representation of a regiment of HM Armed Forces, as well as a token of the esteem in which the men they memorialize were held by the men with whom they served.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

A Memorial to an Admiral

Moving along in our review of some of the heraldic memorials and monuments in Canterbury Cathedral, we come to a comparatively modest memorial to Admiral of the Blue* Richard Edwards, Esq.

The inscription reads:

To the Memory of
Richard Edwards, Esqr.
Admiral of the Blue
who departed this Life the 3d Februy, 1795,
in the 76th Year of his age

His remains are interred under
a Black Marble nearly beneath this

It appears that he was promoted to the rank of Admiral of the Blue less than a year before his death in Fordwich, Kent. Nonetheless, he served a long and distinguished career, and was twice Governor of Newfoundland, Canada, both times in time of war: first in 1757 for the defense of the colony against the French; and second in 1779 for the defense of the colony against American privateers.

This painting of then-Rear Admiral of the Blue Richard Edwards was made by Nathaniel Dance in 1780.

Richard Edwards Royal Navy Admiral by Nathaniel Dance 1780.jpg

At the top of this memorial is a painted depiction of his coat of arms:

The arms are blazoned: Per bend sinister ermine and counter-ermine a lion rampant and a bordure engrailed or.

* That is, Admiral of the Blue Squadron of the Royal Navy, at that time the third highest rank in the Navy, the two higher officers being 1, the Admiral of the Fleet, and 2, the Admiral of the White Squadron. (In 1805 a new rank, Admiral of the Red Squadron was added between the Admiral of the Fleet and the Admiral of the White Squadron, making Admiral of the Blue Squadron the fourth highest rank in the Navy.)

Stuff you might never otherwise have known had you not read this blog.

Monday, October 28, 2019

A Tale of Three Thornhursts, Part Three

The third, and final, memorial to a Thornhurst in St. Michael's Chapel in Canterbury Cathedral is to a woman who married into the Thornhurst family.

The Latin inscription below her effigy figure translates as:

Lady Dorothy Thornhurst, daughter of Roger Drew of Dentsworth in Sussex, Esq., who after the decease of Dr. Hippocrates d’Otten, a celebrated physician of the illustrious family of Otten, in Holsatia, married a second time to Sir Stephen Thornhurst, knight, and survived him; her ashes were mingled with his in this place on the 12th of June in the 55th year of her age, and in the year of our Lord 1620. In pious memory of her, her sorrowful niece Martha Norton hath erected this monument.

This memorial inscription is followed by a six-line elegiac poem in Latin, which translates as:

Had Juno, Venus, and Minerva praise?
Such thou wert once, yet who thy fame will raise?
Shall with and beauty meet superior foes?
And must this urn thy sundry gifts enclose?
Here lies thy dust, thy soul to heaven-ward flied,
And claims her seat above the starry skies.

Immediately below the memorial text (in the image immediately above) is her father's coat of arms (Drewe); Ermine a lion passant gules.

And at the peak of the monument is a quartered coat, presumably those of her father quartered by those of her mother.

These arms are blazoned: Quarterly: 1 and 4, Ermine a lion passant gules (Drewe); 2 and 3, Argent two bendlets between two martlets sable (Bradshaw).

This Thornhurst memorial, too, is a fine example of the stonecarver's art, and a nice display of heraldry, too.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

A Tale of Three Thornhursts, Part Two

Our next Thornhurst memorial in St. Michael's Chapel, Canterbury Cathedral, has the carved figures of both husband and wife, Sir Stephen Thornhurst, the fourth husband of Mary (Giffard) Baker Fletcher Thornhurst. Yes, she was married three times.

The kneeling man in this memorial is said to be, on the website of the Canterbury Historical and Archaeological Society, but is in fact not, Sir Richard Baker, MP (1527-1594), who died in Cranbrook, Kent, and is buried at St. Dunstan's Church there.

The figure here is that of Mary's third husband, Sir Stephen Thornhurst, d. 1616.

His second wife, the reclining figure just below him, resting her head on her right hand (in what is often called the "toothache" position, is Mary (Giffard) Thornhurst, d. 1609.

There are more coats of arms on the memorial than I could see from the entrance, but there are two that can be seen in the photograph above. (The coat of arms between the left-hand pillar and Sir Stephen, seen in a photo found on-line at, are the arms of Giffard on a lozenge; that is, Mary Giffard (Giffard) Thornhurst's paternal arms.)

The lower of the two arms that can be seen in my photos here, between the effigy of Sir Stephen Thornhurst and the pillar to the right, are the marital arms of Sir Stephen and Mary: Ermine on a chief gules two leopard's faces argent (Thornhurst), impaled by Gules three lions passant in pale argent (Giffard).

At the top of the monument is another, larger depiction of the Thornhurst arms and crest, similar to the that on the monument to Sir Thomas Thornhurst we saw in my last post.

Again, the Thornhurst arms are Ermine on a chief gules two leopard's faces argent, and the crest is A greyhound couchant or.

Here, too, the memorial is a credit to the stonecarver's art, as well as being a nice display of heraldry.

Monday, October 21, 2019

A Tale of Three Thornhursts, Part One

In St. Michael's Chapel, Canterbury Cathedral, there are three large, ornate memorials to three members of the Thornhurst family.

Going from left to right as you stand at the entrance to the Chapel, we first espy the memorial to Sir Thomas Thornhurst, son of Sir Stephen Thornhurst, d. 1627 during the unsuccessful English invasion of the French Isle of Rhee, and his wife Barbara, née Shirley, d. 1639.

As you can see here, Sir Thomas is shown in armor recumbent resting on his right elbow, his left hand holding up a shield of his arms (Ermine on a chief gules two leopard's faces argent). His wife Barbara is shown laying upon her back, her head on a double pillow, and her right hand resting on a book.

There are two explanatory plaques on the memorial, the upper one in Latin, and the lower one in English.

Near the top of the monument is an achievement of arms: shield, helm, mantling, and crest.

The arms are blazoned: Quarterly: 1 and 4, Ermine on a chief gules two leopard's faces argent (Thornhurst); 2 and 3, Azure four pallets argent and a canton ermine (Shirley), overall a crescent sable for difference. Burke blazons the Shirley arms as Paly of six or and azure a quarter ermine, but that is not how they are painted here. The crest is a greyhound couchant or.

The whole monument is a tour de force of the stonecarver's art, in addition to being a nice display of heraldry.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

I'm Giving a Presentation on Heraldry to Genealogists, and You Can Attend

A little while ago, I was asked by the Georgia Genealogical Society if I would give my presentation An Introduction to Heraldry for Genealogists via webinar for them. I, of course, said I would be honored to do so, and as a result, on Thursday, December 12, 2019, at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time I will be doing just that.

The webinar is open on-line live to the first 500 people, regardless of whether or not they are members of the GGS. (The webinar is recorded and will be posted in the Members Only section of the GGS, along with copies of the handouts.)

I received an email this morning that this webinar is now open for registration, so if any of you are interested in this topic, please feel free to go to to learn more about what this presentation will cover, and register to attend.

An Armorial Monument to a Soldier

Off in one corner of Canterbury Cathedral is St. Michael's Chapel (also called the Buffs' Chapel or the Holland Chapel), a place crowded with large memorials and closed to visitors walking in. However, having a good camera with a telephoto lens, I was able to take pictures of a number of the armorial memorials, and today will share the first of those.

This is a large memorial to, as you can see from the inscription immediately below, William Prude, Esq., Lieutenant Colonel in the Belgian Wars, slain a the siege of Maastricht on the 12th of July, 1632.

At the peak of the memorial is what truly caught my eye, of course.

I zoomed in to get a closer view of the coat of arms, helmet, mantling, and crest (as always, you can click on the image to see a larger picture):

The arms are blazoned: Quarterly: 1 and 4, Azure three otters in pale each with a sand-pride (fish) in its mouth or (Prude); 2 and 3, Gules on a chevron between three trefoils argent three pellets (Searle).

The crest is: An otter's head erased or bearing in its mouth a sand-pride proper(?) [should be argent].

It is a massive monument, erected by his surviving son Searles Prude.

I have, alas, been unable to find out anything about his life; almost every reference to him on the internet goes back to this ornately-carved monument in Canterbury Cathedral.

Monday, October 14, 2019

The Coronation(s) Window in Canterbury Cathedral

Yes, I know that they named it the "Coronation Window", but really, considering that it contains the principal parties for two different coronations, shouldn't it really be called the "Coronations Window"?

As you can see in the photograph above, the lower register windows portray the figures of the 1937 coronation of King George VI (center left) with his Queen, Elizabeth (the late Queen Mother), and Princess Elizabeth (far left), now Queen Elizabeth II, and the late Princess Margaret (far right).

The upper register windows show the figures of the 1953 Coronation of Elizabeth II (center left) and Prince Philip, with their two children at the time, Prince Charles and Princess Anne. In the far left window, we have the four Lords Spiritual: the Archbishop of Canterbury, Geoffrey Fisher, the Archbishop of York, and the Bishops of London and Winchester. The far right window portrays the four Lords Temporal: the Lord Chancellor, the Lord Great Chamberlain, the Lord High Chamberlain, and the Earl Marshall.

Also in that far right window is a banner of the achievement of the Royal Arms of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

At the very peak of the window, just above the portion of the window showing the Annunciation, is another depiction of the Royal Arms, Quarterly: 1 and 4, England; 2, Scotland; and 3, Ireland, surmounted by a crown.

And finally, in between the upper register of windows and the upper part of the window we find two Royal badges and three coats of arms:

The Royal badges are a crowned Tudor rose, and a crowned portcullis.

The coats of arms are, from left to right:

The Salt-Fishmongers Company, Azure three pairs of keys crossed in saltire or on a chief gules three dolphins embowed argent.

The City of London, Argent a cross and in dexter chief a sword gules.

Barnewell, Per pale argent and gules three beavers statant in pale counterchanged.

The window was originally donated by John Barnewell (d. 1478), the London merchant who provided the priory with salt fish.

If you look carefully (you can click on the image above to see a larger photo), you can see that the dolphins on the chief of the Salt-Fishmongers Company also surround each of the three shields.

It's a beautiful piece of stained glass work; the two coronations by Sir Ninian Comper are a 1953 replacement of the 19th Century glass which was destroyed during World War II.

And, of course, the heraldry in it is nice to see, too!