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The Armorial Bearings of the Chester Heralds

Chester is said to have been instituted by Edward III as herald of the Prince of Wales. The title was in abeyance for a time under Henry VIII, but since 1525 Chester has been one of the heralds in ordinary. In 1911, when the future Edward VIII was created Prince of Wales, Chester was one of his retinue.

Badge: A Garb Or [from the arms of the Earl of Chester] royally crowned.     


John c. 1393    No arms

William Bruges 1398 - 1413
Arms: Nine pieces of Ermine and Ermines                                                                                                                         

James Billett (temp Henry VI)
Arms: Argent, on a chief Gules three roses of the first.                                                                       

William Tyndale c. 1443
Arms: Argent, a fess Gules between three garbs Sable.                                                                            

John (Tyndale?) c. 1447  - No Arms

William Whiting (temp Henry VI?) - No Arms

John Water/Walker c. 1455 - 1471 - No Arms

Richard Stanton (temp. Henry VI / Edw IV)
Arms: Sable, an orle of eight martlets Argent.                                                                                                       

Roger Stamford 9temp.Edw IV)
Arms: Gules, a saltire Vair between four leopards' faces Or.                                                                                                             

Roger Bromley (temp. Ric III)
Arms: Ermine, three escutcheons Sable.                                                                                                  

Thomas Whiting 1473 - 1495
Arms: Per saltire Azure and Ermine, in the fess point a leopard's face Or and in chief three plates.                                                                                           

   William Jenyns (temp. Hen VII?)
Arms: Azure, a chevron between three griffins' heads erased and a chief Or.                                                                   

Randall Jackson 1533 - 1545
Arms: Vert, a fess Or between three magpies proper.                                                                               

William Flower 1546 - 1562
Arms: Sable ermined Argent, a pierced cinquefoil Ermine.                                                                                                 

Robert Cooke 1562 - 1567
Arms: Gules, a cinquefoil Ermine in an orle of crosses crosslet fitchy Argent.                                                                                    

   John Hart 1567 - 1574
Arms: Gules, a bend between three fleur-de-lis Argent a crescent for difference.                                                                                     

Edmund Knight 1574 - 1590
Arms: Vert, a bend of five lozenges Or.                                                                                        

James Thomas 1590 - 1603
Per pale Azure and Gules, three lions rampant Argent.                                                                      

William Penson 1603
Arms: Gules, a chevron engrailed Argent between three estoiles Or.                                                            

Thomas Knight 1604 - 1618
Arms: Vert, a bend of five lozenges Or a crescent for difference.                                                      

Henry Chitting 1618 - 1638
Arms: Quarterly Argent and Azure, on a bend Gules three quatrefoils Argent.                                           

Edward Walker 1638 - 1643
Arms: Quarterly -
1 & 4 Argent, on a cross Gules five leopards' faces Or.
2 & 3 Argent, a chevron anchored between three crescents Sable.                                                

 William Dugdale 1644 - 1660
Arms: Argent, a cross moline Gules with a torteau in the dexter canton.                                          
Francis Ryley temp. Protectorate: No Arms.

Thomas Lee 1660 - 1667: No Arms.

Thomas May 1667 - 1689
Arms: Gules, a fess between eight billets Or a crescent for difference.                                                                                             

Charles Mawson 1690 - 1720
Arms: Per fess Ermine and Ermines, a pale counterchanged and over all a lion salient Or.                                    

Edward Stibbs 1720 - 1740
Arms: Per pale Gules and Azure, on a chevron embattled between three estoiles Or three fusils Sable.                                                                    

Francis Huchenson 1740 - 1752
Arms: ................ a lion rampant ............... between eight crosses crosslet.                                               


John Martin Leake 1752 - 1791
Arms: Quarterly -
1 & 4 Or, on a saltire engrailed Azure eight annulets Argent and in a canton Gules a castle of three towers Argent.
2 & 3 Paly of six Or and Azure, on a chief Gules three merlins Or with a crescent for difference.                                                                                                     

George Martin Leake 1791 - 1834
Arms: Quarterly -
1 & 4 Or, on a saltire engrailedAzure eight annulets Argent and in a canton Gules a castle of three towers Argent.
2 & 3 Paly of six Or and Azure, on a chief Gules three merlins Or with a mullet for difference. 

Walter Blount 1834 - 1859
Arms: Barry nebuly Or and Sable a crescent for difference.                                                                      

Edward Denby 1659 - 1864
Arms: Quarterly Argent and Azure, on a bend invected and cotised Sable between two mullets Or ermined Sable three cinquefoils Or.                                                                                                      

Henry Lane 1864 - 1913
Arms: Per fess Or and Azure, a chevron Gules between three mullets counterchanged a canton of England a fleur-de-lis for difference.                                                                   

Thomas Joseph-Watkin 1913 - 1915
Arms: Argent, on a saltire indented Sable ermined Argent between four spear-heads also Sable a spear-head Argent, all within a bordure engrailed Sable                                                                           

Arthur Cochrane 1915 - 1926
Arms: Per pale Or and Gules, two crosses trefly dimidiated & issuing from the dexter and sinister flanks counterchanged. 

Sir John Heaton-Armstrong 1926 - 1955
Arms: Quarterly -
1 & 4 Gules, three dexter arms embowed in armour Argent the hands closed proper
2 & 3 Vert, a lion rampant Argent.                                                                                                                

James Frere 1956 - 1960
Arms: Or, two leopards' faces between two flaunches Gules                                                                    

Walter Verco 1960 - 1971
Arms: Per Pale Argent and Azure, eleven mollets of six points counterchanged 

Hubert Chesshyre 1978 - 1995
Gules, two lions' gambs erased in chevron between three lures Or.

Hubert Chesshyre was stripped of his CVO in 2015 after it was revealed that during the Independent Inquiry Into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) he was found to have sexually abused a teenage chorister during the 1990s. Chesshyre’s case did not result in a criminal conviction. Rather, the inquiry heard “he was found to have committed the acts in question” in a trial of the facts, a legal proceedure undertaken when it is held that  the accused is deemed unfit to plead. The court recognised that Chesshyre had suffered a stroke and it was also stated that he had dementia. As a result, despite being found to have committed the abuse, he was given an absolute discharge.  

Whilst it would be innapropriate to ignore the fact that Chesshyre held the position of Chester Herald, I feel it appropriate to add this note to his entry which records that Chesshyre committed this abhorent abuse and as such, must be considered to be a peadophile. I commend the bravery of the particular survivor of abuse who had the courage to bring this deplorable abuse to court and my thoughts and support are extended to all other survivors.                                                                                                                           

Timothy Duke 1995 to 2017
Arms: Per fess Sable and Or, a fess per fess between two cotises their outer edges in the form of the upper rim of a ducal coronet all counterchanged.                                                                                                                                                                           

The Hon. Christopher John Fletcher-Vane    2017–Present

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