Wednesday 21 October 2020

Oh dear, Burke's have upset the Booths!

It has come to my attention that there is considerable disquiet in the households of the various collateral descendants of the Booth baronets of Allerton Beeches over what is believed to be the latest faux pas committed by the nouveau owners of the Burke's brand; one of them used the term "ignoramuses!".

So, what is all the fuss about?

The substantive content of the Burke's Peerage website hides behind a paywall so this matter has only come to my attention via outraged family members who have reported the matter to me. Readers of my weblog will recall that way back in August 2008 I reported that the present baronet had asked that the image hitherto shown on the family entry in Burke's Peerage be redone. Garter had confirmed that Sir Alfred Allen Booth's grant of arms in 1916 was not "in lieu" of the ancient arms thus, since Sir Alfred seemed to be something of a revisionist, Sir Doug (the present baronet) wished to revert to the old arms but with the same motto as used by his family.

My modest contribution to the updated entry was this new image which reverts back to the original arms used by the family. Garter was quite content that cadency marks were unnecessary as it was felt that the arms were adequately identified by the inclusion of the baronet’s escutcheon.  


Image used by Burke's Peerage (website) from 2008 to date.

Apparently, my modest contribution has now quietly been replaced by this one:

Image used by Burke's as at October 2020.

It would appear that the present baronet has been heraldically demoted!

The present image is most inappropriate for a baronet, as anyone with the slightest bit of knowledge of heraldry should know. Gone has the baronet's escutcheon. Gone has the open faced helm appropriate to a baronet. The heraldic display has been reduced to that of a mere gentleman.  It no longer complies with Garter's guidance that cadency marks were unnecessary as it was felt that the arms were adequately identified by the inclusion of the baronet’s escutcheon; it no longer displays the baronet's escutcheon.  

What one earth are the new owners of the Burke's brand thinking of? The brand may well have some antiquity but the newly established company that owns it are, at least in this reported instance, failing in their duty to the brand and showing their complete lack of experience. Let us hope that the complaints are heeded and that Sir Doug is heraldically reinstated. 


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