Tuesday 15 February 2011

Is it really heraldry?

Occasionally I am called upon to wear another hat where I am asked to edit an armorial register. The task is not arduous, gives me a great deal of pleasure and has brought me into contact with many very pleasant people who wish to make public their armorial bearings. There is however one rather sad side to my task and it is one which brings me into contact with an increasingly difficult and embarrassing part of the heraldic world; it is a sort of heraldic subculture populated by those who wish to be perceived as something other than what they are. Amongst the genuine applicants for the register there is a tiny smattering of those who cause my eyebrow to be raised who do not meet the criteria. Some are quite convincing and I freely confess to falling foul to more than one deception which thankfully, because of the public nature of the register, has not gone undetected for long. Most however are naive and easily picked out as being most unsuitable for registration and are easily dealt with; we now have an unofficial, unpublished "rogues gallery" which gives no end of amusement. 

Why, you ask, am I making this post? I invite you to take a look at this so called "heraldic achievement" :

Not the best of efforts to produce a coat of arms

Let us set aside for the moment the titular claim (which is not accepted) and the painfully obvious fact that a genuine barony of European antiquity would have arms which were more easily recognisable as being genuine and look at the "arms" themselves.  I have no doubt that the soi disant baron is very proud of his armorial bearings but it is increasingly worrying that so many people who adopt and assume arms anew seem to be taking the advice of those who really ought not to be giving it.  It is quite clear that whomever designed this particular coat of arms knew nothing about heraldry. This is an abominable example of bucket shop arms which shows no real understanding of the individual elements of armory. The supporters are ridiculous, I very much doubt whether the designer would understand the purpose of or even the term "quartering", the motto has been replaced in the usual bucket shop way by the name and the mantling (if that is what it is) has lost all relationship with the helm and torse and has become a sort of background plantation growing out of the motto scroll!  I can't think what the black radiating lines or wings behind the achievement are supposed to be nor why the helm has horns growing out of the shoulders! I am no expert on European heraldry but I am at a loss as to what Czechoslovakian tradition allows axes in saltire behind the shield.  

Why oh why, when there are so many free and informed resources such as The International Association of Amateur Heralds and The American Heraldry Society to name but two, do people still design such abominations?

Monday 14 February 2011

Heraldry along the A59.

This Saturday's Cheshire Heraldry Society lecture by Derek Walkden is Heraldry along the A59 and is presented in conjunction with The Heraldry Society.

 All meetings are held at Townley Street Schoolroom, Townley Street, Macclesfield, starting at 2.30 pm, (room opens at 2.00 pm) followed by refreshments. (Pay and Display car park 100 yds.)

 Perhaps we'll see you there?

Saturday 12 February 2011

What a rip off!

A recently developed, fast growing, expose web site has recently caught my eye and I believe that is well worth sharing with my reader.


It's quite possible that most people who treat themselves or their loved ones to their "one square foot of Scotland" don't really take the blurb about being able to call themselves a Lord (corrupted and wholly incorrect form of Laird) or Lady all that seriously; it is quite certain that even if you did own one square foot of Scottish land you would not legally be considered a Laird ... the very thought that you could is quite laughable. But the worrying thing is that some may actually believe that they are a Lord, that they do in fact own a piece of Scotland and what's more they have a piece of paper proving it. I can not believe that this is so.

Ownership of such a small piece of land can't legally be recorded in the Scottish Land Register so what are they actually purchasing? The land legally still belongs to the original owner and as far as I can see there is nothing to stop him, if he so wished, selling it all on to someone else.

My real  worry is that those who purchase these "Lairdships" are funding the lifestyle of the vendor in return for a worthless promise.

Wednesday 9 February 2011

Cheshire Heraldry The Visitations of Cheshire 1533 to 1580

I have now taken delivery of the book Cheshire Heraldry The Visitations of Cheshire 1533 to 1580 and have added a Pay-Pal button for convenience.

Details can be found at http://cheshire-heraldry.org.uk/publications

Thursday 3 February 2011

The Kinderton Roll

I am in the process of producing new images for the King's Vale Royal portion of the web site with a view to eventual publication; I certainly wouldn't wish the original images to grace the pages of a book!

I've also decided to rename the project for the publication. Henceforth I shall be calling this little armorial The Kinderton Roll of Arms, or simply The Kinderton Roll. The Vale Royal of England was a book first published by Daniel King in 1656. Daniel was born in Chester and was a well known engraver. At one time, he was apprenticed as an heraldic painter to Randle Holmes, sometime deputy for a King of Arms. Daniel King was fortunate enough thanks to the generosity of his patron, Peter Venables Baron of Kinderton, to have been able to include the armorial bearings of some 520 Cheshire Gentlemen in his book. It is thought that the arms were recorded as being in use c1630.

650th Anniversary of the 1361 Justices of the Peace Act

A celebration outside Ludlow Magistrates Court House last week. Ludlow Court is thought to be the oldest surviving Magistrates court in the country - sadly it is to close this year!

Tuesday 1 February 2011

Cheshire Heraldry Publishes first book.

Cheshire Heraldry is pleased to announce the imminent publication of
A4 Hardback full colour gloss cover, 278 inner pages printed throughout in full colour with 350 armorial illustrations.


 This volume features 350 colour illustrations of the armorial bearings recorded at the Heralds' Visitations of Cheshire in the years 1533, 1566 and 1580 along with a fragment of the records of the Visitation of the City of Chester in 1591 as published in 1882 by the Harleian Society. The book published by the Harleian Society contains few illustrations and those that are included are in black and white.

Although the visitations contained a collection of pedigrees of families with the right to bear arms this work confines itself to their armorial bearings alone. The author has simply attempted to turn the written description of the arms (the blazon) into a coloured illustration for every relevant entry. 

ISBN 978-0-9568157-0-5
Price £39.99 plus Postage & Packing

It is anticipated that the book, which will be available on line, will be ready for delivery from Wednesday 9th February.

A preview can be seen by clicking on the image here: http://cheshire-heraldry.org.uk/publications/

A free heraldry symposium courtesy of the Yorkshire Heraldry Society

 The Yorkshire Heraldry Society will be hosting a free heraldry symposium on Saturday 20th April 2024 at Bradford Grammar School. You can do...

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