Monday, November 17, 2014

Curses, Foiled Again!

So there I was, standing in St. Peter's Church in Sandwich, England, walking about and photographing just about every bit of heraldry I could see.  And there was plenty to see!

But among the heraldry there, there was a particularly nice hatchment, painted on wooden boards, hanging on the wall.

See?  Isn't that a great piece of heraldic art?  And I thought at the time that it should be reasonably easy to determine the husband and wife of this married pair.  As it turns out, I was only half right.

A search in Papworth's Ordinary of British Armorials quickly gave me the arms on the sinister side of this hatchment (to the right as you look at the picture, the wife's arms): Swinford.  Paly of six argent and sable on a chief gules three boar's heads couped or.  (Though Burke's General Armory gives no more information than Papworth; just the surname and a bare blazon.)

But the husband's arms, on the dexter side (to the left as you look at it), Per fess gules and or three fleurs-de-lis argent and a lion rampant gules, has evaded me.  I can't find it anywhere in Papworth; not under Per fess; not under Three fleurs-de-lys and in base; not under Lion and in chief.

So I have been, at least for now, foiled in my attempt to identify who this hatchment is supposed to memorialize.  If and when I finally track down the husband's surname, I have every expectation that I will be able to determine the specific married couple on the hatchment.

Still and all, though, isn't a beautiful piece of heraldic art?


  1. I'm no expert by any means, but could the fleurs-de-lys indicate a french husband? I don't know if your sources only list English armorials.

  2. It is possible that the arms are French, of course, but the use of fleurs-de-lis is not at all uncommon in English heraldry, without any known French connection. However, your comment makes me think I should double-check my copy of Renesse's Dictionnaire des figures héraldiques, an ordinary of European arms, just in case I've missed something there. Indeed, that part of Kent has had a fairly significant foreign population, though mostly, I believe, from the low countries.

  3. Do you have any idea of the date of this? I know that there were Swynfords bearing arms of a paly of 6, black and argent, but don't think I've ever seen them with boars heads on top. IIRC the paly was associated with the Burgate estate; one other example was of a Swynford woman who married into the Tyrrel family.

    1. Alas, I do not have a date for this hatchment. And as I noted in the post, Burke's just gives the name and the blazon; but no date, not even a city or county (though one could likely be correct in assuming county Kent, given the location of the hatchment in Sandwich).

      It is a rare form of Swinford arms. According to Burke, the Swinfords of county Essex use the Paly of six argent and sable, with one branch adding a blue chief. Two different Swinfords from the time of King Edward II bore Argent a chevron between three boar's heads couped sable, and Argent on a chevron sable three boar's heads couped or, respectively.

  4. Here is a link to a pedigree of Burgate including members of the Burgate, Swynford and Tyrrel families:

  5. And on page 44 of this book there are sketched arms of various Lords of Burgate with a paly of six, argent and sable, as well as two different seals for Swynford Lords of Burgate: