Wednesday 29 September 2010

A Mainwaring dilemma.

The armorial bearings of Mainwaring of Nantwich as recorded in the Visitations of 1613 are: Argent, two bars Gules, in chief a mascle Sable. In the College of Arms ruling entitled "The Bearing of Arm by Women decreed by the Kings of Arms in 1997" it is stated that "An unmarried woman may continue to bear her paternal arms on a lozenge, oval or similar vehicle of display (not being an escutcheon or a colourable imitation thereof) or on a banner". Taking these rules, the Mainwaring of Nantwich armorial bearings can be borne by father and unmarried daughter as illustrated below:

The Mainwaring dilemma.

This creates something of a dilemma when the arms on a lozenge are interpreted per the above direction because rule 9 states that "Divorced women should (as hitherto) revert to their paternal arms on a lozenge until remarriage; the use of a mascle to indicate divorce will be optional".

The mascle in the Mainwaring arms is anything but optional; perhaps we shouldn't jump to conclusions when applying the 1997 rules!

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