An uncle of mine by marriage, who was a very distinguished historian, once asked me, when I was a young man, whether I was interested in Heraldry. I said that I was not. ‘I'm glad of that,” he said, “heraldry strikes me as being for a historian about on the same level of interest as stamp collecting.” – Maurice Keen, in the Introduction to Origins of the English Gentleman
I'm an Academic Herald. I'm not a "real" herald; I don't register people's coats of arms (though I can certainly suggest designs for those who might be interested). What I do is study, research, teach, and write about heraldry. And I like to share what I have learned about heraldry, hence this blog. I hope that you'll find it informative, interesting at least occasionally, and worth your time to come back. Got a question? Comments? Feel free to let me know. I'd love to hear from you. You can find my contact information in my Profile.
I recently ran across an article I hadn't seen before about an old heraldic roll of arms that had been found in a London antique shop o...
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Monday, July 23, 2018
Two Modern Armorial Memorials
I found these next two armorial memorials in St. Margaret's Chapel, Westminster, to be especially interesting because they appear to be of a new pattern of such memorials. They are dated 1978 and 1990, respectively, but are certainly of a particular type, a horizontal rectangular stone slate (I think. they look like slate, but I suppose they could just as easily be molded concrete stained or colored to mimic slate) containing the memorial language with a square notch extending from the center of the upper edge on which the coat of arms is carved and painted.
The first one is a memorial to Sir Dingle Mackintosh Foot, 1905-1978. He served as a Member of Parliament, for Dundee (1931-1945) and for Ipswich (1957-1970), and was Solicitor General for England and Wales (1964-1967) under Prime Minister Harold Wilson. Sadly, he died on June 18, 1978 in a hotel in Hong Kong after choking on a bone in a chicken sandwich.
His arms are beautifully carved and painted:
The arms would be blazoned Or on a chevron engrailed sable between three lion's jambes erased gules three wheels or. The crest is something like Atop a tower sable sustained by a pair of lion's jambes gules a Cornish chough proper (that is, sable beaked and legged gules). The motto is Pro lege et libertate (For law and liberty).
The other memorial of this type is that of Eric George Molyneux, Baron Fletcher of Islington, 1903-1990. He was a Member of Parliament for Islington East from 1945 to 1970, as well a Minister Without Portfolio from 1964 to 1966 under Prime Minister Harold Wilson. On July 9, 1970, he was created a life peer as Baron Fletcher of Islington in Greater London.
The arms (surmounted by the coronet of a baron), and once again beautifully carved and painted, have echoes of the ancient arms of Molyneux, Azure a cross moline or, as the well as the crest, which here (as then) issues from a cap of maintenance, or chapeau.
The arms here would be blazoned Azure two arrows in saltire points to chief between four crosses moline or. The crest is Issuant from a chapeau gules turned up ermine a cubit arm proper vested sable the hand holding a rolled scroll bendwise sinister argent surmounted by an arrow bendwise point to chief or. His supporters are bowmen from two different periods of English history, and the motto is Labor ipse voluptas (Labor itself is a pleasure).
I always find it interesting to see the various styles, and the evolution of styles, of armorial memorials, and these two are, I think, lovely examples of a modern form of such. Don't you?