Monday 26 April 2010

A manorial coronet.

Heraldry addicts like me tend to spend far too much time trawling the world wide web in search of a fix ( in my defence, I am aware that there are far worse things to trawl for so it could be worse!) and I'm always pleased to see armorial bearings which, to my eyes at least, are new additions to the ether. Today, when searching for images of the insignia of the members of The Manorial Society of Great Britain, I noticed the arms of Peter N. Jones Esq., Lord of the manor of Holdingham.

I not only stumbled upon Mr. Jones' splendid armorial bearings but I also found some information on the design of the insignia used by Members of the aforementioned society - I am most grateful to Mr. Jones.

Using the information from Mr. Jones' website I have created an imaginary coat of arms for an imaginary lord of a manor onto which I have added the membership insignia  of the MSGB in much the same way that a knight or baronet would do. 

The arms of an imaginary lord of the manor.

It is worth noting the involvement of two prominent figures in the design of the insignia which Mr. Jones records as:

'DNS CUR BARO' is a diminuitive for 'DOMINUS  CURIA BARONAM' - Lord of the Court Baron, the Court of the Freeholders, or the baron's men, presided over by the Steward to the Lord of the Manor.
The crimson and ermine represent manorial lordship.
The Norman pillars and arch represent Monarchy, founded by William the Conqueror.  The Monarchy was based on military land tenure through the Manor.  The English Manors, as described in the Domesday Book in 1086 were the pillar and keystone of government.
'PER VIRGAM' - "By the Rod".  The rod or wand is the symbol of office and is carried by the Steward or Bailiff of the Manor representing the authority delegated to him by the Lord.  All males of the age of 16 and over are entitled to attend Court and on admittance are tapped on the left shoulder with the tip of the rod. 
The rod also symbolizes the Court's power to inflict punishment.  Lists of admittances in court rolls and books often began with "per virgam".
The Acanthus leaf coronet is the coronet of the Manorial Lord differenced accordingly from Royal or Noble coronets.
Green represents the spring growth of corn and gold the harvest.

The insignia was designed by Cecil R. Humphrey-Smith OBE, FSA Principal of the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies and authorized by Sir Colin Cole KCB KCVO KStJ TD BCL MA FSA (sometime Garter Principal King of Arms).

I haven't seen the insignia used armorially before but, having added it to the arms of Mr. Jones, I confess that it quite pleases me and I hope that I have started a trend.

Manorial Insignia

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