Thursday, October 3, 2019

Two Related Armorial Memorials in Canterbury Cathedral


Continuing our meandering path through Canterbury Cathedral, we came across these two armorial memorials in the floor, related because the wife of the one bears the same arms as the husband in the second.

The first is a memorial to Thomas Hill and his wife, Matilda (Elstob) Hill:


THOMAS HILL, Armgr.
Johan: Hill, Salopien: Armigri et Annae unicae
Filiae et Hæredis Roberti Sontly de Sontly
prope Wrexham in Agro Denbigen Armigi
Filius natu maximus
Hic requiscit
Qui uxorem duxit Matildam Filiam
Caroli Elstob S.T.P. et hujus Eccles.
Prebendarii
Ex qua Filios duos et totidem Filias
Suscepit.
Mortem obiit die 23 Martii An:
Dom: 1734 Aetastis 42.
Filiarum Altera tantem superstes.
Matilda their daughter died an infant 1727.
Mrs Matilda Hill died May 17th 1779 aged 82.
Charles Hill died January 10th 1780 aged 40.


The marshaled arms of Thomas and Matilda Hill are blazoned: Quarterly: 1 and 4, Ermine on a fess sable a castle triple-towered argent (Hill); 2 and 3, Ermine a lion rampant sable (Sonlly); impaled by Per pale gules and vert a fleur-de-lis argent (Elstob). Crest: A wolf’s head erased azure holding in its mouth a trefoil slipped vert. (The blazon of the crest comes from Fairbairn's Crests; I don’t know where Humphrey-Smith in his Alphabetical Catalogue of Coats of Arms in Canterbury Cathedral found the “overlaid with two bars” on the wolf’s head he blazons there.)

There is a coat of arms found in Bolton’s American Armory in use by a Hill (Ermine on a fess sable a two-towered castle proper), but the crest is entirely different (Issuant from a tower two branches erect).

I do not find the "Sontly" inscribed on the memorial in any of the general references. I suspect that “Sontly de Sontly” is an error for “Sonlly”. (Well, unless the “Sonlly” in Burke’s General Armory is an error for “Sontly”. I mean, it's not like Burke's doesn't also contain errors.)

Then, nearby, we found a memorial to Charles Elstob, the father of Matilda (Estob) Hill of the previous memorial:


CAROLUS ELSTOB, S.T.P.
Canonicus hujas Ecclesiae
Obit 19 Novembris
Ao Dni 1721, Aetatis 74
et MATILDA uxor ejus
Obit 30 Junii
Ao 1739 Aetat 81.
Hoc tumulo condiuntur.


The blazon of the marshaled arms here is: Per pale gules and vert a fleur-de-lis argent (Elstob); impaled by Argent on a fess engrailed gules between three martlets sable three cinquefoils argent (Payne). Crest: A fleur-de-lis [argent].

Charles Elstob was Prebendary of Canterbury from 1685-1721. His will, probated March 5, 1722, is in the National Archives, Kew. He is less well-known than his niece and nephew, of whom he had guardianship, Elizabeth Elstob (1683-1756), the Anglo-Saxon scholar, and William Elstob (1673-1715), cleric, both of whom have their own entries in the Dictionary of National Biography. Indeed, most of the information available on the internet about Charles Elstob is in his relationship to his niece and nephew.

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