Monday, July 16, 2018

An Armorial "Antiques Roadshow" Find

I pretty regularly watch the television series Antiques Roadshow, both the English and the American versions. Partly because of my interest in history, partly because I learn a lot from listening the appraisers, and, yes, a little bit because I hope that someday soon something I own (besides my heraldry books) will be found to be worth  lot of money. (The fact that this latter has not yet happened, and realistically, probably never will, has done nothing to dampen my enthusiasm.)

Anyway, we were watching the latest episode of the American version of the series on our local Public Broadcasting Service station, KERA, and one of the items that had been brought in for an appraisal was one that immediately caught my eye: a piece of armorial china. So I whipped out my cell phone (whatever did we do in the olden days when we didn't have telephones in our pockets that would also take pictures?) and took a shot of the screen:

The appraiser spent a fair bit of the few minutes he had on-screen talking about the Chinese export trade and the figures in the white cartouches on the gold circle inside the rim of the plate. (My memory of what he said about them is that on china for use in China, there would be four, or perhaps six, different figures. On this plate, for the European trade, there are only two, which are repeated. This last was apparently something that would never have been done for use in China. The feeling that I got from his description was of a number of Chinese porcelain painters sitting around discussing among themselves that they didn't have to put in more effort than necessary, because the "foreign devils" would buy anything. Hahahahahahaha. But maybe I'm reading too much into a sixty to ninety second appraisal.)

Anyway, my interest, of course, was to see if I could identify the martial arms on the plate. And, sure enough, a quick review of Papworth's Ordinary of British Armorials, Burke's General Armory, and Fairbairn's Crests came up with the following:

The husband's arms (on the dexter, or left for the viewer, side of the shield):

Martin: Azure two bars or in chief a rose between two bugle-horns (no tincture given; on this plate they are argent). (Papworth)

Martin: Azure two bars or in chief a rose between two bugle-horns of the first. (Nope, nope, nope. That makes the charges in chief azure on azure, and thus effectively invisible. That cannot be correct.) (Burke)

The wife's arms (on the sinister, or right for the view, side of the shield):

Peck: Or on a chevron gules three crosses patty of the first. (Papworth)

Peck (Samford Hill, co. Essex, and Wood-Pelling and Methwould, co. Norfolk, temp. Charles II.). Or on a chevron gules three crosses formée of the field. Crest – Two lances or in saltire headed argent pennons hanging to them gold each charged with a cross formée gules the spears enfiled with a chaplet vert. (Burke)

The crest, An anchor or surmounted by a bugle-horn sable does not appear in Fairbairn’s Crests.

I have been unable to find which Mr. Martin married which Miss Peck, or when, or where, but it's nice to know that they were able to set their dinner table with a setting of nice chinaware with their marital coat of arms upon it.

And as I have noted many times before, you can find heraldry everywhere, even when you're just sitting of an evening relaxing while watching TV, with no expectation of seeing a coat of arms.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

An Armorial Memorial to Two Brothers

The number of questionable coats of arms on memorials in St. Margaret's Chapel, Westminster, continues to mount. For example:

This beautifully carved memorial to two brothers, Edward and Owen Reynolds, which has carved and painted arms at the top and bottom.

The memorial plaque reads:

Here lieth interred ye bodie of Edward
Reynoldes Esq., late Clarke of his maties
Privie Seale & Register of ye Court of Re-
quests who departed this life ye 18 day
of Decembr, Ano Dni 1623. By him also lieth
ye bodie of his brother Mr Owen Reynolds,
who deceased ye 16 of April, 1610. To whose
memories Edward, & Lancelot Reynolds Gent:
have here placed these ensving verses made
by ye said Edward Reynolds in his life time.

Gloria, vita, decor, thesaurus, fama, voluptas,
Vana, breuis, fragilis, fluxus, temeraria, mollis,
Fumus, bulla, jris, fax, ventus, dulce venenu,
Vanescit, perit, arescit, liquefit, fugit, angit.
Orbe nihil toto stabile est cito corruer orbis
Et vafti jn nihilu uanescet fabrica mundi.
Sola fides firman parit, æternad corna
Sola fides Christi meritis, sunt catera nugæ.

Hac vici, hac morior fide
Mihi Christ, in vita
Et morte lvcrv.

(And, no, my knowledge of Latin is not nearly good enough to translate the lower parts for you. Sorry!)

It was, of course, the arms which attracted me.

The History of the Parish Church of Saint Margaret, Westminster, published in 1847 (and which I have been quoting in many of these posts of heraldry in St. Margaret's), blazons these arms as: Argent; a chevron lozengy gules and sable between three crosses fitchée of the third.

Before we get into the difficulty of the colors, let me discuss a couple of other issues with that blazon. First, the chevron is not "lozengy;" it is checky. "Charges, whether placed on, or in, an ordinary, always incline in the direction of that ordinary.  It would, therefore, be incorrect to draw the four billets, in the fourth quarter [of the arms of Panmure, Per pale argent and gules, on a saltire between four herrings naiant five billets all counterchanged], in the same manner as the centre one." (John E. Cussans, The Grammar of Heraldry, 1866, p. 50 (see also, Handbook of Heraldry, by the same author, 1882, p. 160)) This rule applies to ordinaries which are divided, as for example, checky. On a chevron, as here, the checks should follow the line of the chevron. So the chevron is properly blazoned as checky, and not lozengy.

Second, the crosses are clearly carved as crosses crosslet fitchy.

Okay, now that I've got that off my chest, let's discuss the tinctures. The chevron here is painted checky gules and or. I have no idea where The History got "sable" from. Further, looking closely (and you can click on the image above to see a larger picture), the crosses are painted azure, not sable.

Unfortunately, Burke's General Armory does not shed much light on the question of how these arms should be painted, though it does point to some possibilities. If we ignore (as I think we should) those Reynolds arms which bear a chevron ermine, we still have:

Reynolds (Carshalton, co. Surrey). Argent a chevron checky gules and azure between three crosses crosslet fitchy of the third.

Reynolds (borne by Sir Joshua Reynolds, as appears from a grant of the Freedom of a London Company to him). Argent a chevron lozengy gules and azure between three crosses crosslet azure.

Reynolds (Shotley, co. Suffolk). Argent a chevron checky azure and gules between three crosses formy fitchee vert, on a chief embattled sable as many [three] mullets or.

Reynolds (co. Suffolk, and Great Yarmouth, co. Norfolk). Argent a chevron lozengy gules and azure on a chief of the third [azure] a cross formy fitchy between two mullets or.

Reynolds. Argent a chevron lozengy gules and azure between three crosses formy fitchy vert on a chief sable three mullets of the field [argent].

So none of these arms match those (as painted) on the memorial here.

There is an Owen Reynolds of Westminster in the Visitations of Surrey, but only in a genealogy noting that Celina, daughter and co-heir of Owen Reynolds of Westminster married William Engler of Carsalton, Surrey. No arms are mentioned for Owen.

So, once again I find myself at a bit of a loss, here to determine the arms' correct tinctures of brothers Edward and Owen Reynolds. It may very well be that the author of The History mistook what was supposed to be azure for sable on the chevron and crosses of the arms, and that a later painter got the correct tincture for the crosses, but substituted gold for the blue on the chevron. At least that's the hypothesis I'm going with for now, unless and until additional evidence surfaces.

In any event, it's another really nice monument with some good heraldry, whatever the correct colors may be.

Monday, July 9, 2018

An Old Memorial With Confused (or, at least, Confusing) Arms

This next memorial in St. Margaret's is an older one to a father and young daughter who predeceased him. It's a lovely monument, though time hasn't always treated it well; the head and feet of the father (on the left) are now missing.

If you look carefully (and you can click on the image above to see a larger picture), you will note that the eldest daughter (kneeling right behind her mother) is carrying a skull in her hands, as a mark of her being deceased.

The inscription below the carving of the kneeling family reads (I have substituted an "f" for the "long ess", since my keyboard does not have the long ess on it):

Heere resteth in afsured hope to rife in Christ the Body of Hugh
Haughton fourth Sonne of thomas Haughton of Haughton in ye Count
y of Chefter gent: who married Fraunces daughter of William Cooth of Sher
borne in the County of Dorfet gent: and by her had issue two
daughters, Elizabeth & Fraunces  Hee departed this life ye 17th day of
october 1616 aged 50 yeares & Elizabeth departed this life ye 28th day
of August 1615 aged 7 yeares and lieth here also interred.

Just above the kneeling figures of the family members is the inscription:

Frances Haughton in token of her love to her
husbande caused this monument to be erected

The monument bears two coats of arms: the paternal arms with crest at the top, and a marital shield impaling the husband's arms with his wife's at the bottom.

The History of the Parish Church of Saint Margaret's, Westminster, published in 1847, blazons these arms as: Sable, in chief for distinction, a martlet argent, three bars of the same. (A martlet is the difference for a fourth son.)

A more typical blazon for these arms would be: Sable three bars argent in chief a martlet (also argent) for difference.)

Unfortunately, the martlet seems to be missing here, and the bars are painted gold, or or.

Burke's General Armory gives the arms of "Houghton, or Haughton (Haughton, co. Chester ...)" as: Sable three bars argent, with the crest A bull's head sable attired argent charged on the neck with three bars of the last. Haughton of Haughton appears in The Visitation of Cheshire of 1580, with the arms Sable three bars Argent, and showing Hugh as the fourth son of Thomas Haughton of Haughton, Esq. and his wife Alice Steventon.

So it would appear that the bars being gold here is a (comparatively) recent error. The bull's head crest listed in Burke may have lost all of it its paint, nothing remaining of either the black on the head or the horns and bars in white.

Of the marital arms at the base of the memorial, the husband's arms are blazoned in The History as cited above, while the wife's paternal arms (Cooth) are blazoned there as: Gules a fess argent between three escallop shells of the same. (Nowadays we'd just say: Gules a fess between three escallops argent.)

But while the bars of the husband's arms are here closer to their correct argent, and if you look closely you can see something in the chief that might be a martlet (now overpainted black) (again, you can click on the picture above to see the larger image), the wife's arms only retain the red of the field, the fess having become black and the escallop shells gold.

Burke's General Armory has only one entry for Cooth, and he gives no county (we'd be looking for Cooth or Coothe in Sherbourne, co. Dorset): Gules a fess between three escallops or. Cooth does not appear at all in the Visitation of Dorset conducted in 1623.

So it may be that the modern painter followed Burke's blazon for the color of the shells, but that fess here is quite clearly black, and not either white (as it was blazoned in 1847) or gold (as it appears in Burke).

So there you have it; an early 17th Century memorial to a beloved husband and daughter, but with the arms of both husband and wife mispainted in one way or another in the years since.

Still, it's a beautiful monument, with a great use of heraldry.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

An Ornate Memorial With Complex Heraldry

There is quite a range of heraldic memorials in St. Margaret's Chapel, Westminster, from those just about a hundred years old to those much older. This next memorial is one of the latter, in addition to being one of the more ornate memorials there.

This is the memorial to Blanche Parry, daughter of Henry Parry of New-Court, Hereford, who died February 12, 1589, aged 82. She was Chief Gentlewoman of Queen Elizabeth's Most Honourable Privy Chamber and Keeper of Her Majesty's Jewels.

That death date makes her a contemporary of my 11th great-grandmother, Margaret (Haslonde) Bray, who was buried at St. Margaret's on March 28, 1588, and of my 10th great-grandparents, Thomas and Mary (Bray) Whitney, who were married at St. Margaret's on May 12, 1583, and who were both buried there (in 1637 and 1629, respectively). It is entirely possible that Thomas and Mary Whitney watched this memorial being erected in 1595. How cool is that?

Anyway, it was, of course, that great coat of arms at the top which really caught my eye.

The arms are blazoned in The History of the Parish Church of Saint Margaret, Westminster, as: Quarterly: 1 and 8, Argent a fess between three lozenges azure; 2, Argent a lion rampant azure; Gules; 4, Azure three hands couped or; 5, Gules a fess azure between three escallops or; 6, Sable a fess gules between three pellets; 7, Gules a bend or between six crosses crosslet sable.

Obviously, there are several discrepancies between that blazon and what we see on the shield above.

Burke's General Armory lists two slightly different coats of arms for Parry of Hereford: Argent a fess between three lozenges sable and Argent a fess between three lozenges within a bordure azure. The lion in the second quarter appears to be langued and crowned gules. The gules of the third quarter is carved and painted here as Gules three bars paly argent and (sable/azure). The "fesses" in quarters five and six are pretty clearly carved as chevrons, and that in the sixth quarter is charged with a crescent (which here may be be the mark of a second son). The bend in the seventh quarter is painted as cotised, and the crosses crosslet fitchy are painted or rather than sable.

In a complete turnabout from the usual situation (finding a reasonable amount of information on the father, but much, much less on his daughter), I've been having a hard time tracking down Henry Parry of New-Court (or New Court), Hereford. The family does not appear in the Visitation of Hereford of 1569, nor in that of London of 1568. Most of the references on-line to him relate to his daughter Blanche (she apparently died a very well-regarded, and wealthy, woman! See, e.g.,, and, among others), and I've not found his coat of arms anywhere, so it is very hard to discover how many of these discrepancies are due to mistaken overpainting in the centuries since the monument was erected and how many to other factors.

Still and all, it's a beautiful monument to a woman who spent much of her life serving her Queen, and who died in service to that monarch.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Another Carved Marble Heraldic Memorial

I have managed to find (and download) a .pdf copy of The History of the Parish Church of Saint Margaret, in Westminster by Rev. Mackenzie Edward Charles Walcott, published in 1847, which, among other things, gives a brief (very brief!) description many of the memorials and monuments in St. Margaret's Chapel. This is going to save me ever so much time in tracking down exactly who is being memorialized and how their coats of arms are blazoned. (It is by no means a panacea, but still, some of the basic research is already encapsulated in this little volume, and I hope that we all will gain something from that.)

Continuing my "amble" through the ambulatory of the chapel, I ran across this particularly nice carved marble memorial.

Lieth Interred the Body of
Late of this Parish, Esquire
Who departed this life
the Twenty eighth Day of
November 1715.
Aged 49 years.

His coat of arms, carved in relief and painted, are blazoned in the book above as: Party per pale. Sable; a lion rampant argent debruised with a bendlet gules. 2. Sable; on a cross or, four pellets between four fleurs-de-lys argent.

I would change the blazon a little to better conform with current practices: Per pale: 1, Sable a lion rampant argent debruised by a bendlet gules; 2, Sable on a cross or between four fleurs-de-lys argent five roundels sable.

Someone has clearly painted the lion and the fleurs-de-lys as gold since 1847! But they really should be argent (or white).

The Churchill arms (to dexter, on the viewer's left) are given in Burke's General Armory as: Sable a lion rampant argent debruised with a bendlet gules.

The arms on the sinister side of the shield (to the viewer's right) are given by Papworth's Ordinary of British Armorials as Banks (London, baronetcy 1661-99), Sable on a cross or between four fleurs-de-lys argent five ogresses.

I have not been able to find John Churchill, d. 1715, in the Dictionary of National Biography or any of the usual on-line sources. (There is a plethora of information about John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, but though a contemporary, he is not the John Churchill we're looking for here.)

Nor have I found a likely identification for his wife, who seems not to be either of the daughters of Sir John Banks, baronet. Mary Banks married John Seville, and her sister Elizabeth Banks married Heneage Finch, 1st Earl of Aylesford.

Still, though, it's a beautiful monument, with its little "garden" of flowers beneath the shield.