Friday 27 October 2017

Thursday 26 October 2017

Whimsical Wilmslow

It seems that Wilmslow Town Council is seeking "a new identity" with Members no longer sure that their armorial bearings serve the purpose of identifying the town. This is a great pity and most probably results from the usual lack of understanding of how armorial bearings can be displayed. They are apparently (according to one Councillor) "quite a cheerful little thing' with some history behind it it doesn't stand out very well - particularly compared to other logos, such as the Cheshire East Council one." I have to say that to state that the Cheshire East logo stands out more than the arms of Wilmslow really is missing the point of heraldry; the only reason the Cheshire East logo is recognisable as being the logo of Cheshire East is because the name Cheshire East is written all over it!

In these days of austerity, when many Councils would find it hard to justify the expenditure involved in the petition for a new grant of arms from Her Majesty's Officers of Arms, surely it is appropriate for the electorate to challenge the unnecessary expenditure which will inevitable arise in the commission of a new logo?

Let us remind ourselves of the history behind this "cheerful little thing".

Granted on June 21, 1951 by The College of Arms and therefore having the authority of the Crown behind them, the arms are based on those of the Cheshire family of Fitton - Argent on a Bend Azure three Garbs Or (derived from those of the Earldom of Chester). The wavy bends were added for difference and also allude to the rivers Bollin and Dean.

The arms of Fitton.

The bear's head is derived from the crest of the Beretons and the silver estoile is from the Handforth arms, a reference to the families that held the Manor of Handforth. The crown is from the insignia of the Greg family, who operated the earliest cotton mills at Styal, refered to by the wreath of cotton.

Tuesday 17 October 2017

Bookplate of John Vardon

One of the pleasures of editing the Cheshire Heraldry website over the years is that I have benefited from speaking to and corresponding with many people who share my enthusiasm and one such person is Philip Beddows of the City of London who very kindly sent the bookplate of John Vardon to add to my collection.

Verdon, Alton, county Stafford; Or, fretty Gules a crescent for difference.

Mr. Beddows writes:

“John Vardon lived at No. 3 Gracechurch Street in the City of London and came from Congleton in Cheshire. His family’s name was spelt “Verdon” until the later 1600s. They were one of the cadet branches of the de Verduns of Alton, who settled in Cheshire – at Woodford and Fulshaw, Wilmslow. They are remembered in the name of Vardentown near Alderley, which was originally spelt Verdontown.

The other Verdons whose heraldry appears in quarters of some Cheshire families, Sable, a lion rampant Argent, are the Norfolk branch of the family. These arms were recorded at the Dunstable Tournament in 1309, where members of the de Verdons of Norfolk were present with the head of the family, from Alton; the need to tell them apart from each other at the tournament may be the reason for the difference in their heraldry.”

Thank you Philip, I am most grateful.

College of Arms Newsletter April 2024

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

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