Sunday, 31 August 2008

Sir John Samuel Fletcher Baronet

Falling under the hammer on the 29th August were the Grant of arms to Sir John Samuel Fletcher Baronet, first and last baronet of Bryony Hill, along with a quite separate grant of his badge.

Sir John Samuel Fletcher Baronet

The seller chose to use a private auction so we have no way of knowing who the successful bidder or bidders were. The grant of arms was described by the seller as:  “Condition: Very good, vintage condition as pictures. Superbly hand painted coat of arms and other arms as shown. Signed and sealed by Henry Farnham Burke and Charles Harold Athill with clean, sharp wax seals contained in gilt skippets which are firmly attached by the original blue ribbons. On the reverse of the document is the statement that the document is recorded at the College of Arms, London and signed by Athill. The document comes in (what I assume is) the original box which is complete and undamaged but has some fading as pictures. The box is approx 22" x 4" x 3 3/4" and is material covered.” 

Sir John Samuel Fletcher Baronet

It sold for £350.
The grant of a badge is of some Cheshire interest as it is signed on the reverse by Chester herald in his capacity as registrar. This grant sold for £435.75 perhaps suggesting that the badge was more sought after than the grant – who knows.

Chester Herald

The vendor described the document as: “Condition: Very good, vintage condition as pictures. Superbly hand painted Badge Device and other Heraldic devices as shown. Signed and sealed by Henry Farnham Burke and Charles Harold Athill with clean, sharp wax seals contained in gilt skippets which are firmly attached by the original blue ribbons. On the reverse of the document is the statement that the document is recorded at the College of Arms, London and signed by Arthur Cochrane/Chester Herald. The document comes in (what I assume is) the original leather covered box which is complete and undamaged but has some wear to finish as pictures. The box is approx 29 1/2" x 4" x 3 3/4" when closed.”

Grant of a badge to Sir John Samuel Fletcher Baronet

Badge of Sir John Samuel Fletcher Baronet

Saturday, 30 August 2008

David Gordon Allen d'Aldecamb Lumsden of Cushnie 1933 - 2008

It is with immense sadness that I report to my reader the death of David Gordon Allen d'Aldecamb Lumsden of Cushnie, SMOM, MA, FSA Scot. who died yesterday 29th August 2008. 

Born on the 25th May 1933 in Quetta, Baluchistan, India he was the last of the family to hold the title of Baron of Cushnie Lumsden, Aberdeen having sold the barony in January 2004 to Alan Robertson just prior to the effects of the Abolition of Feudal Tenure (2000) Act which came into being in November of that year. He served with great joy and enthusiasm as Garioch Pursuivant to the Chief of the Name and Arms of Mar – presently Margaret of Mar, 30th Countess of Mar.

He has been Chairman of the Castles of Scotland Preservation Trust, since 1985 and President of the "1745 Association" and the Scottish Military History Society, since 1991 and his career saw him working as an executive with British American Tobacco from 1959 – 1982; a director of Heritage Porcelain Ltd., Heritage Recordings Ltd., and a Member of Lloyd's from 1985 – 2001. He was the Co-Founder of the Scottish Historic Organs Trust in 1991 and served as a Member of the Council of the Royal Stuart Society and Convenor of the Monarchist League of Scotland in 1993.

As well as serving as Garioch Persuivant he was also a Knight of Malta; Knight of Justice Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George; Knight in the Order of SS Maurice and Lazarus; and Patron of the Aboyne Highland Games.

The web site of the Castles of Scotland Preservation Trust notes that :  “David Lumsden [of Cushnie] was always interested in castles – ‘L’ and ‘Z’ plan towers and keeps which are the domestic fortified architecture of Scotland.  On retiring from his multinational which gave him work in Africa, India, Eastern Europe (then behind the Iron Curtain) and the Far East, as far as Japan, in the mid 1980s, he set up the Castles of Scotland Preservation Trust in conjunction with the late Lord Borthwick (senior), Nigel Tranter and Hugh Ross.  Shortage of Government funding for historic building projects was chronic and still is when compared with other European countries.
On returning from Africa in 1970, David restored two family properties – Cushnie House (built 1688 by Alexander Lumsden) and Tillycairn Castle (built 1540 by Mathew Lumsden).  These were so successful  that he went on to restore Leithen Lodge, Innerleithen, a fine shooting lodge (built 1886/7), in the Arts and Crafts tradition thereafter Liberton Tower in 1994, the first project of the Trust.”

  Lumsden of Cushnie

David Gordon Allen d'Aldecamb Lumsden of Cushnie 1933 - 2008

Sunday, 17 August 2008

An outing to Staffordshire.

Wednesday 13th August saw a respectable contingency of Cheshire Heraldry Society members gather together for a border skirmish into neighbouring Staffordshire. The trip was ably organised by member Philip Hind who did a sterling job in contacting the officers of six churches in relative close proximity to each other to arrange for what was in all cases a hospitable reception.

We were due to meet up at 11a.m. at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin at Ingestre. The church leaflet describes it to be "the only parish church outside London attributed to Sir Christopher Wren. Although documentary proof is lacking, architectural historians acknowledge this jewel hidden in the Staffordshire countryside as Wren's work". I am no expert on the work of Wren but I can certainly attest to the fact that the church is a hidden jewel; I was almost an hour late for the start of the tour, partly because I had been slightly delayed at the start of my journey but mainly because the church was, for me at least, a well hidden jewel! [Note to self - did you notice how everyone but you had a Sat Nav?]

I arrived as everyone else was leaving and so had but few moments to look around the church and absolutely no time to take any photographs before the rest of the pack were away. Now that I have found this "hidden jewel" I shall certainly return at my leisure to take more note of the splendid memorials to the Chetwynd/Talbot families (the earls of Stafford).

After an adequate but perhaps not altogether leisurely lunch at a local garden centre (we were already falling behind in our schedule!), where I did manage to exchange conversation heraldic with fellow enthusiasts, we moved on to our next venue, All Saints Church Sandon, slightly late for our 1.30p.m. appointment.  

Said to have been founded by the baron of Malbanc, the vicars of the church are known from 1311 when the patron was bishop of Lichfield. There is some splendid heraldry in this church and the gentleman who showed us around, although not knowledgeable in heraldry, was well versed in the family histories of the patrons. Of particular note in this church are the arms of the sons of the various earls of Harrowby whose cadency marks are differenced individually with charges from their mother's arms.

Harowby cadency marks

Harrowby cadency Sandon Church

There is also a wall painting of the family tree of Sampson Erdeswick, a colour reproduction of which was produced by JR Fernyhough, the Staffordshire antiquary who died in 1603. This coloured reproduction is reproduced here (courtesy of the William Salt Library) below a photograph of the real thing.

Wall painting of the family tree of Sampson Erdeswick

Erdeswick Pedigree

© William Salt Library (Staffordshire Views VIII-135)

Tombs at sandon Church

Mike, Harold and Leslie in studious pose.

Mike, Harold and Leslie in studious pose.

Our next appointment was at 2.30 p.m. where we all once more assembled together at Holy Trinity Church Eccleshall which is the final resting place of several bishops.

Bishop’s monument

It was here that eagle eyed Mike spotted an armorial fau par in the depiction of the arms of Queen Victoria; drop me a line if you can't spot it.

Arms of Queen Victoria

Time pressing and with our next appointment at 3.30 p.m. we moved on to the delightful and heraldically pleasing church of St. Peter at Broughton. This one was bursting at the seams with Cheshire heraldry well known to all of us in the form of the Broughtons of Broughton Hall who married into many Cheshire families including the Delves. It also had a mystery in the arms of its last patrons, the Hall family. The arms displayed in this splendid window clearly show those of the patron quartered with those of his mother and bearing an escutcheon of pretense of the arms of his wife. They tell a genealogical tale of their own but only genealogy (or an expensive enquiry to the College of Arms) can tell us who the arms on the left and right windows represent.

Hall Arms Broughton Church

St Peters church Broughton

Finally onto St. John Baptist Church Ashley at 4.30 p.m. from whence, after a general relaxed chat amongst ourselves, we dispersed.

Armorial bearings at St John Baptist Church Ashley

My report is but brief and features all too few photographs but I hope it gives a flavour of a day well spent amongst friends who share a common interest. My thanks must once again be given to Philip who organised it all so well; I look forward to the next time.

Arthur Durance George - Grant of Arms

Another EBay grant to fall under the hammer to the collector who uses the identity of lynnthorpe is that of Arthur Durance George, dated July 6th 1910. This time, lynnthorpe purchased a College of Arms English grant, the hammer falling at $199 (approximately £107). It seems that at some time in its life this grant of arms found its way to Southern California in the United States of America and, if the photos are accurate, it seems also to have lost its wax seals which is a pity. This well travelled grant will now be winging its way to Australia as I write.

Arthur Durance George - Grant of Arms

Arthur Durance George - Grant of Arms

Arthur Durance George - Grant of Arms

Friday, 15 August 2008

The Booth baronets of Allerton Beeches, Liverpool.

Since the image I produced of the Leigh coat was released to public view at the Burke’s Peerage and Gentry online site I have been asked to produce another image with a Cheshire pedigree.

Burke’s are in the process of updating the entry for the Booth baronets of Allerton Beeches, Liverpool. They descend from the Booths of Twemlow and it is intended to incorporate this descent along with an update of the Booth-Jones family (who last appeared in BLG 1952) along with other Booths descended from the Twemlow line. This updated pedigree will also detail the Booths of Dunham Massey, and as such, will no doubt be a most interesting pedigree to read.

The revised and updated project has been prompted by Sir Douglas Booth, the present baronet, with the genealogical work being undertaken by Hugh Peskett. The present baronet has asked that the image hitherto shown on the family entry be redone. Garter has confirmed that Sir Alfred Allen Booth's grant of arms in 1916 was not "in lieu" of the ancient arms thus, since Sir Alfred seemed to be something of a revisionist, Sir Doug wishes to revert to the old arms but with the same motto as used by his family.

My modest contribution to the updated entry is the new image which reverts back to the original arms used by the family. Garter was quite content that cadency marks were unnecessary as it was felt that the arms were adequately identified by the inclusion of the baronet’s escutcheon. 

Booth baronets of Allerton Beeches, Liverpool

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Alexander Dunsmure (take two).

On the 27th July I reported on the eBay sale of the matriculation document of the arms of Alexander Dunsmure and some days later I noticed that the same vendor was offering for sale more historical documents relating to the same name. Described (erroneously) as a Victorian Grant of arms, the document appears to be a confirmation of arms (now quartered) by Sir Bernard Burke, Ulster King of arms. The document sold for £103 but, sadly, it is now separated from the letters patent referred to earlier as it went to a different buyer.

Confirmation of arms to Alexander Dunsmure

Described by the seller thus (why do these people use upper case letters?):

[Quote]A VICTORIAN GRANT OF ARM TO ALEXANDER DUNSMURE 1891. FINE HERALDIC ILLUSTRATION

STATES THAT ALEXANDER DUNSMURE IS LIVING IN GLENBRUACH, THE SON OF, JAMES DUNSMURE SOMETIME SECRETARY TO THE BOARD OF BRITISH FISHERY.

COMPLETE WITH IT'S ORIGINAL ENVELOPE.

THE ENVELOPE WITH 3 LONDON POSTMARKS ON VICTORIAN STAMPS IS A HOUSE OF COMMONS ENVELOPE WITH EMBOSSED STAMP.

SIGNED TO FRONT, W A J AMHURST MP, ALONG WITH HIS BLACK WAX SEAL TO BACK. ALSO CALLANDER POSTMARK.

MAILED TO.

ALEXANDER DUNSMURE ESQ. GLENBRUACK, CALLANDER N.B. (NORTH BERWICK). 

SIGNED BY J BERNARD BURKE. ULSTER.

Sir John Bernard Burke, 5 January 1814 – 12 December 1892 was a British Officer of Arms and Genealogist.

His father, John Burke 1787–1848, was also a genealogist, and in 1826 issued a Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Peerage and Baronetage of the United Kingdom. This work, generally known as Burke's Peerage. [End Quote]

Confirmation of the arms of Alexander Dunsmure

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