Cheshire Heraldry Web Journal (Blog)

A journal of the activities of an Amateur Armorist.

Cheshire Heraldry Web Journal (Blog) header image 1

Lesson for the day.

February 20th, 2017 · No Comments

Lesson for the day – the bordure.
I am coming across an increasing number of ” amateur heralds” who, whilst having competent digital/drawing/painting skills appear to be quite ignorant of blazon and, for that matter, the science upon which heraldry is founded; many of them appear to have their own idea of what a coat of arms is but don’t appear to have ever read a heraldry book.

I don’t wish to come over as too critical of these newly minted heralds, we all have to start somewhere, but I do wish that some basic research could be done first before offering to design arms for all and sundry. Many here would be delighted to advise but it isn’t difficult to do some basic research and many heraldry books are available free to download.

Perhaps here I should disclose the basis for my “rant”. Not for the first time have I been approached, with a request to supply a blazon, by someone who has had a coat of arms designed for them without its necessary heraldic description. Sometimes, the “arms” are completely inappropriate and on many occasions not even particularly heraldic. The latest conversation with such an armiger revolved around the decorative border around the shield applied, by the artist/designer. When I failed to mention it in the blazon, the new armiger asked why I had omitted it, at first believing that I must have overlooked it!

It took quite some time to convince Mr. new armiger that In heraldry, a bordure is a band of contrasting tincture forming a border around the edge of a shield, traditionally one-sixth as wide as the shield itself. It is sometimes reckoned as an ordinary and sometimes as a subordinary. There are no diminutives of a bordure and so the narrow line around the shield that had been depicted on his arms is nothing more than artistic embellishment and therefore can not be a part of the blazon.

He sent me an image (I regret that I can’t acknowledge its source) which simply reinforced my view. The narrow borders around these shields are simply artistic embellishment and not a part of the blazon. He has been mislead into believing that the wee border is to be a permanent and inheritable part of his arms despite the fact that heraldry is a science and fimbriations to a shield are meaningless.


→ No CommentsTags: Fakes and Fables · Heraldry

2017/18 speakers for Cheshire Heraldry Society

February 16th, 2017 · No Comments

I have just uploaded the speakers list for the 2017/18 season:

→ No CommentsTags: Cheshire Heraldry Society

Cheshire Heraldry Society Christmas Lunch

December 9th, 2016 · Comments Off on Cheshire Heraldry Society Christmas Lunch

I’ve had quite an heraldic week this week with Sunday in Cheltenham, Monday in Bath and Wednesday at Prestbury for the Cheshire Heraldry Society Christmas Lunch at the Bridge Inn. I took a few photographs while I was in each location and posted them in their own Google galleries.



Here are some photos taken pre-lunch at Prestbury’s St.Peter’s Church:

Comments Off on Cheshire Heraldry Society Christmas LunchTags: Cheshire Heraldry Society · Heraldry

Romilly Squire

December 8th, 2016 · Comments Off on Romilly Squire

At oo:15 on the morning of Wednesday 7th December my very dear friend Romilly Squire “of Rubislaw” departed this earth.

I have known Romilly for a great may years have enjoyed his hospitality almost every time I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Edinburgh; he was always hospitable, entertaining and, especially in our many discussions on heraldry, most knowledgeable and well informed. His humour was finely tuned and always used to the very best effect resulting in his company being second to none.

A founder member, Fellow and former Chairman of the Heraldry Society of Scotland, he was a very well known and respected heraldist with close links to the Court of the Lord Lyon both as a former heraldic artist to the Court and latterly with a special licence to appear before the Court and submit petitions on behalf of his clients (something which was unique to him). He had great pleasure in serving as Secretary to the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs for over 25 years, a position which allowed him to provide advice to many of Scotland’s families and clans. He was also co-author of the “Scottish Clan and Family Encyclopedia”.

Romilly, you will be greatly missed.


PS … he also loved dressing up!

Comments Off on Romilly SquireTags: General · Heraldry

Arms of France-Hayhurst

October 27th, 2016 · Comments Off on Arms of France-Hayhurst

France-Hayhurst of Bostock Hall


This wonderful image of the France-Hayhurst arms can be found on the Twitter page of the Hayhurst Arms village pub which describes itself as “A classic village pub which sits in the heart of Bostock where you’ll find log fires burning, a well stocked bar and a fantastic menu.”

Quarterly, 1st & 4th Hayhurst, Per chevron Sable and Or in chief two crosses pattee fitchee and in base a pair of wings conjoined and elevated counterchanged; 2nd & 3rd, France, Argent on a mount in base a hurst Proper, on a chief wavy Azure three fleurs-de-lis Or.

Crests – 1st Hayhurst, A cubit arm proper holding in the hand a cross pattee fitchee Or between two wings sable each charged with an annulet Gold; 2nd France, A mount thereon a hurst as in the arms from the centre tree pendant by a strap Azure a shield Gules charged with a fleur-de-lis Or.

Motto: Virtus Semper Viridis

Comments Off on Arms of France-HayhurstTags: Heraldry · Pub Signs

Cheshire Heraldry Society Talk

October 12th, 2016 · Comments Off on Cheshire Heraldry Society Talk

We look forward to welcoming Vic Taylor this Saturday who will be giving a talk to the Cheshire Heraldry Society on the topic of : Herald Townley and a Draft for his Coat of Arms.

Rather appropriate since we meet at Townley Street. Full details of this and all our talks can be found here:

Comments Off on Cheshire Heraldry Society TalkTags: Heraldry

Cheshire Heraldry

June 28th, 2016 · Comments Off on Cheshire Heraldry

I have just turned down a very polite request to licence the name “Cheshire Heraldry” for commercial use by someone who thought it would be a good idea to start a small heraldry/surname franchise (a bucket shop) in Cheshire. The very polite initial enquiry asked if I would mind if he traded as Cheshire Heraldry!

Of Course I mind.  In its own small way, Cheshire Heraldry has, over an increasing number of years, become a brand in its own right and I have absolutely no intention of having that brand associated with the questionable activities of any heraldry bucket shop. I persuaded the would be business man that he would be most unwise to risk his investment funds by using the name Cheshire Heraldry as I would certainly sue under the common law tort of passing off; I have traded and published under that name for over 17 years. Whether I also succeeded in persuading him that he would have a clearer conscience if he embarked on a more ethical business venture remains to be seen.

While I was “talking” to my friend the would be business man I decided that, as a further protection to the name, I would incorporate Cheshire Heraldry as a Limited Company. I shall continue, for the moment at least, to declare the income I receive from Cheshire Heraldry as a sole trader and I shall use the limited company in its dormant state to hold any other intellectual property I might consider in the future.


Comments Off on Cheshire HeraldryTags: Heraldry

I just can’t keep up with it any-more!

April 29th, 2016 · Comments Off on I just can’t keep up with it any-more!

I can’t keep up with it any more and I’m wondering why I should even bother.

On 23rd January 2014 I wrote on my Cheshire Heraldry Blog that I was shocked to learn that Andrew Stewart Jamieson had decided to lay down his heraldic paint brush and would no longer be taking any more commercial commissions to paint armorial bearings. Then, on 19th March 2015 I reported that it had been brought to my attention that Andrew Stuart Jamieson, who styles himself “Queen’s scribe and illuminator” had decided to return to the world of heraldic art. Now, it appears that we are back to square one with an announcement made by him on the 25th April (on his Facebook page) that he is no longer accepting commissions and has moved out of the field of heraldic art and into the field of fine art!


I think I’m probably repeating myself (hopefully for the final time) but I like Mr. Jamieson’s heraldic work and his heraldry will be missed. Fortunately for those wishing to commission art work he isn’t (or should that be wasn’t)  the only good heraldic artist out there.


Comments Off on I just can’t keep up with it any-more!Tags: Heraldry

Mathews’ American Armoury

April 15th, 2016 · Comments Off on Mathews’ American Armoury

This is the latest historical reprint from the stable of The Armorial Register.


Matthews’ American Armoury and Blue Book

First published in 1907, this book contains a list of many of the Americans with coats of arms. It includes biographical information, genealogical information, as well as a description of the arms, crest, and motto. Other information listed include clubs and societies the individual belonged to, and the persons’ residences along with a list of Royal Warrant Holders

A Clean original facsimile of the original, not an OCR copy.

The book, part of The Classic History and Heraldry Series, is in hardback with 358 pages and 923 black and white illustrations of Arms reproduced by facsimile from the original volume and is 6in wide x 9in tall (13.29cm wide x 22.23cm tall).

ISBN: 978-0-9568157-7-4

Price: £29.99 UK Pounds + Shipping & Packaging

Comments Off on Mathews’ American ArmouryTags: Facsimiles · Heraldry · Publications

Lawton of Lawton (Not)

February 7th, 2016 · Comments Off on Lawton of Lawton (Not)

My reader will know that I wear a number of hats, one of which is Director and Editor to The Armorial Register and it is no secret that we refuse far more applicants than we accept. I don’t usually make public details of refusals and they are usually kept private, for our own amusement, in a Rogues Gallery, however, today we received an application from a professional gentleman from the State of Texas, USA, which has a particular relevance to Cheshire heraldry.

The application was in the name of Lawton. I shall spare the applicant further embarrassment and withhold exact details of his name but alarm bells rang immediately because he used the title Sir, post-nominals CM.Hkt.B (whatever they are)  and stated that he was Baron of XXXXXXXX, London.

He stated that his arms had been “granted by Robert Cook, Clarencieux by l’res patentes. Dated 14 R. Elizabeth (1572)” and had been “registered in Burke’s General Armory, 1884”.  These details, along with the blazon, are correct in as much as they refer to the arms of Lawton of Lawton as recorded in Visitations of Cheshire however, the image submitted with the application was pure Bucket Shop.


Bucket shop arms of Lawton: Name in motto scroll is a definite no no, these are the arms an English gentleman who would never us that helmet, and the poor overall depiction and scale of the crest are all indications of the fact that these are bucket shop arms.

The Lawton Family is well known and well documented. Their armorial bearings are lavisly illustrated in a number of places in Cheshire and especially so on their own estates and they have beautiful hatchments in Church Lawton; it is highly unlikely that a scion of this family, who would be well aware of his heraldic heritage, would have to pay $9.95 to find out what his “family crest” was.


Where a citizen of the United States of America is claiming armorial bearings by descent from an armigerous ancestor who emigrated to the USA from England where the arms were granted to said ancestor, we expect to see a recent exemplification of the arms (from The College of Arms) or genealogical proof of descent from an armiger.

Sadly, this appears to be yet another example of ignorance of the fact that (in England) there is no such thing as a “surname” Coat of Arms.

Comments Off on Lawton of Lawton (Not)Tags: Fakes and Fables · Heraldry