Friday 15 October 2010

1613 Visitations - updates completed.

The web pages illustrating the 1613 Visitations of Cheshire are now updated. These pages feature illustrations of the armorial bearings recorded at the  Heralds' Visitations of Cheshire in the year 1613 published in 1909 by the Harleian Society. The book contains few illustrations and those that are included are in black and white.
The visitations contained  a collection of pedigrees of families with the right to bear arms however this work concerns itself not with those pedigrees but with the armorial bearings themselves and I have attempted to turn the written description of the arms (the blazon) into a coloured illustration for every relevant entry. There are twenty seven pages of images in this section of the site.

Now  I just need to start those of 1663!

Thursday 14 October 2010

Wright (or Wrong?)

Where there is a discrepancy between blazon and emblazon, which is the more important? It is a conversation often held between armorists and relates almost entirely to ancient arm and really not at all to modern arms which have letters patent setting out the details of the grant. With ancient arms, it's a bit like the chicken and egg question so we tend to revert to our reference books.

In the case of the arms of Wright of Bickley, Burke's General Armory (which isn't always accurate but can be of immense use) informs us that the arms were confirmed on the 18th of December 1583  as being Argent, two bars Azure, on a chief of the second three leopards' faces of the first. A quick check of the Visitations MS confirms that in this instance Burke is right although Burke includes the details of a crest which are absent from the Visitations MS. All is well so far and we can rest in the knowledge that the arms as described by Burke have the authority of a confirmation at the Visitations - they are official. However, when we check what arms were confirmed to Wright of Bickley at the later Visitations we see a slight, although quite unsatisfactory, difference; the arms are recorded in the Visitations of 1613 as: Barry of six Azure and Argent, in chief three leopards’ faces of the last. The Visitations of 1663 don't assist us a there is no entry for Wright of Bickley.

Wright or Wrong

It's quite easy to imagine what happened. It seems to me that at each Visitation the herald was shown a visual representation of the arms and he interpreted the blazon; the same image has been interpreted differently - one correctly the other incorrectly. It can and does happen with predictable frequency. Technically speaking we are looking at two different coats of arms and yet both ought to be recognisable as Wright of Bickley. Too small a difference to make a difference? I know which one I prefer and if these were my arms, I would stick with the confirmation of 1583.

Wednesday 13 October 2010

Warburton, of Arley. Visitations of 1613

Warburton, of ArleyArms: Quarterly -
1 Quarterly Argent and Gules, in the second and third quarters a fret Or [Dutton]
2 Argent, a chevron between three cormorants Sable [Warburton]
3 Argent, three chevrons Gules, on a canton of the last a mullet Or [Warburton Ancient, or Orreby]
4 Argent, a shield voided Sable, an orle of martlets of the last [Winnington]
5 Sable, a cross patonce Argent [Pulford] [this coat is also recorded elsewhere as that of Eaton]
6 Azure, a garb Or, between two bezants in fess [Grosvenor]

Crest: On a wreath Argent and Azure, a saracen's head affrontee, couped at the shoulders proper, wreathed about the temples Argent and Azure and issuant therefrom three ostrich feathers Or.

Heraldry Meeting


This Saturday (16th October 2010) The Cheshire Heraldry Society in conjunction with The Heraldry Society is pleased to host Andrew Gray's lecture "Monks at Arms - puzzles of monastic heraldry".

Details of all the society's events can be found on the society web page.

Saturday 2 October 2010

Macclesfield Charter Trustees and the arms of Macclesfield Borough

There appears to be a public momentum to petition for a new Macclesfield Town Council. Such a body would supersede the present Macclesfield Charter Trustees and take over their ceremonial functions and assets. If those who seek a new Parish Council (which may be called a town council) are successful, I am hopeful that they would seek advice from the College of Arms to reclaim the original coat of arms of the now defunct Borough Council.  

The arms of the former Macclesfield Borough Council granted 1960 and used until 1974

The arms of the former Macclesfield Borough Council granted 1960 and used until 1974.

Back in June 2009 it came to my attention that, as part of an awareness raising campaign, Macclesfield Charter Trustees had resolved to undertake the  "Design of an appropriate coat of arms for use on letterheads". Rather than rush for my pen and ink to remind them that as Charter Trustees of Macclesfield they probably had the right to use existing arms (perish the thought that they felt they could, or needed to, invent their own quite without authority)  but I decided to wait and see.

Fortunately, at their September meeting, the Trustees resolved to amend the earlier minute to read; "to arrange for the design of letterheads to incorporate the coat of arms of the old (pre- 1974) Macclesfield Borough".

It would be nice to see a resurrection - especially since these arms are still displayed in the town.

ARMS: Argent a Lion rampant Azure holding between the forepaws a Garb of Wheat proper.
CREST: On a Wreath Or and Azure out of a Circlet composed of four Towers conjoined with a Castle Wall Gold a Unicorn's Head Argent armed and crined of the first and gorged with a Label of five points Azure.
SUPPORTERS: On each side a Stag Or gorged with a Wreath Gold and Azure pendent therefrom by a Guige proper an Escutcheon that on the dexter Gules a Cross engrailed Ermine that on the sinister Argent a Chevron between three Bugle Horns stringed Sable.
BADGE: Upon a Plate encircled by a Torse Or and Azure a Lion holding a Garb as in the Arms.

Motto 'NEC VIRTUS NEC COPIA DESUNT' - Neither virtue nor plenty are lacking.
Granted 20th July 1960.

College of Arms Newsletter April 2024

 The latest College of Arms Newsletter for April 2024 is now online .

Popular Posts