Sunday 26 April 2020
Fynney of Fynney, nr Leek
The mysterious case of the arms of Fynney of Fynney, nr Leek, Staffordshire.
In the Church of St. Edward The Confessor, Cheddleton, Nr. Leek Staffordshire is a “Brass” monument, now greatly blackened and illegible, to the memory of Fielding Best Fynney and Maria his wife, son of Samuel Fynney and Sarah his wife, of Fynney in the Parish of Cheddleton and county of Staffordshire Armigeri. But all may not be as it seems.
““Behold here is the hereditary tomb of Fielding Best Fynney and Maria his wife, son of Samuel Fynney and Sarah his wife, of Fynney in the Parish of Cheddleton and county of Staffordshire Armigeri. Bearer of the Coat of Arms, a descendent through the direct male line of John, Baron Finis, blood relative of William the Conqueror in the place above mentioned in the year of 1066 And more over Hereditary Governor of the Forts of Dover in the county of Kent, and Custodian And Guardian of the Five Ports In the year of 1083".
This is of course simply a statement and can not be taken as evidence of the bloodline; it is more of a statement of what Fielding Best believed, or would have us believe.
Fielding Best Fynney Died in 1806.
Now, although there is a record of the arms of Fynney (Co. Stafford) in Burke’s General Armory (viz: Vert, a chevron between three eagles displayed Or, armed and langued Gules. Crest: A staff raguly Or. Motto: Fortem Posce Animum.), a letter in The Gentleman’s Magazine Volume 51 1781 states that the letter writer has searched the records of The College of Arms and found no record of the arms nor any record in the reliable accounts of the historian Eardeswick that acknowledges any family or place as Fynney of Fynney. A later letter, in the Notes and Queries Volume 44 1871 by John Sleigh, writer of a History of Leek, not only describes the quarters of the arms in a MS held by the family but also appears to defend the genealogy (again in a MS held by the family). If we are to believe the accuracy of the search (of the records of the College of Arms) made in 1781 by “L” then it would seem that the historian, John Sleigh, may well have had the wool pulled over his eyes. It would seem that not only are the arms (and supporters) of Fynney of Fynney not authorised (the College of Arms would probably use the term bogus) meaning that the many quarterings are also somewhat suspect, but that the elaborate descent set out in the MS attested by Sleigh may well also be questionable.
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