Cheshire Heraldry Web Journal (Blog)

A journal of the activities of an Amateur Armorist.

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Grant of Arms to a Camera Dealership

October 6th, 2015 · No Comments

I stumbled across this report a couple of days ago. In the good tradition of newspaper/magazine reporting the headline is completely erroneous (it isn’t a grant of arms to Nikon at all but rather one to the company of Grays of Westminster, a Nikon camera dealership. An informative read despite the headline.


→ No CommentsTags: Heraldry

Saint Edward the Confessor

October 2nd, 2015 · No Comments

Until about 1350, Edmund the Martyr, Gregory the Great and Edward the Confessor had all been regarded as English national saints, but Edward III preferred the more war-like figure of St George, and in 1348 he established the Order of the Garter with St George as its patron. It seems however, that Edward the Confessor remained the Patron Saint of the English Royal Family.

The 13th of October is set down by the Church as the feast day for St. Edward the Confessor and, as we approach the appointed day, I have been giving some thought to adding this feast day to my list of “flag flying days” (I was Christened in St. Edward’s Church, Leek, so it seems appropriate to add it). However, I have never been too fond of the attributed arms of Edward the Confessor (1003 – 1066); they have always ever so slightly troubled me.

Though never actually used by Edward (heraldry did not exist at that time), they were created several centuries after his death, probably by, or for, Richard II, in the late 1300’s, when he used the coat as part of his own achievement. It is thought that the design supposedly was inspired by the reverse of one of Edward the Confessor’s coins which had a cross with a martlet in each quadrant. If that is the case, and I have no reason to doubt that it, why on earth did the designer add that extra martlet which, in my humble opinion, completely unbalances the shield and is completely unnecessary.


→ No CommentsTags: Flying Heraldry · Heraldry

Lancashire Heraldry Group – Study Day

September 30th, 2015 · No Comments

I’m looking forward to being in good company tomorrow at the Heraldic Study Day.


Speakers include:

Chris Ward “The Heraldic Ceiling at Holy Trinity Church, Blackburn”

Stephen Tudsbery-Turner “Heraldic Devices on Edwardian Picture Postcards”

Edward Mallinson “Photographing Heraldry”

Jim Winstanley “Early Knights of the Garter – Heraldry Explained”

→ No CommentsTags: Cheshire Heraldry Society · Heraldic Study Day · Heraldry

Manorial Guild Limited – struck off.

September 23rd, 2015 · Comments Off on Manorial Guild Limited – struck off.

Way back in 2014 I wrote about the “Commom” Seal of The Manorial Guild (which to be fair was changed some while after I had an interesting conversation with the Guild’s founder) and I thought that it would be appropriate to report to my reader that The Manorial Guild Limited, a professional membership organisation, whose address and director’s name is that of the website of the same name, has been voluntarily struck off the Company Register.

The Commom Seal of the Manorial Guild.


It’s relatively straight forward when an embryo organisation starts up without limited liability (i.e. its owners or founders or Trustees retain full liability) and then goes on to become a limited liability company, but things can get a little bit confusing when a company applies, voluntarily,  to be struck off the register and then appears to continue to operate.  Has the Guild ceased to operate or has it simply chosen to opt out of the protection of limited liability? Perhaps its sole shareholder has decided that the burden of reporting to Companies House is too much and that retaining unlimited liability is somehow preferable.

It is probably more usual for a membership organisation that has chosen to become a limited company to take the route of being a private company limited by guarantee without share capital; in other words, owned by its members rather than by shareholders.  That way, it is the members themselves who benefit from their own financial contributions, share the liability equally and profits can not be drawn to the benefit of any one member. As a company limited by guarantee, it will be managed by its members and there will be (or ought to be) annual election whereby its membership can choose a committee and a Chairman.

The Manorial Guild Limited however, was formed as, and operated on the basis of, a private company limited by shares; its sole share holder being Sean Thomas Arthur Rafferty (whose first name may in fact be Lord though he would prefer you to believe that it is a title and he uses it as such). Shareholders can and do profit from their businesses.

As I write, the website of the Manorial Guild appears to be adopting a policy of business as usual and there is no mention at all of the fact that the company has been removed from the Register of Companies House. One wonders if its “committee” is aware of the fact?


It is worth noting that when a limited company is struck off, upon dissolution, all rights vested in, or held in Trust for, the company are deemed to be bona vacantia, and accordingly will belong to the Crown. This would imply, to this writer at least, that the Registered Trademarks taken out by the Manorial Guild now belong to the Crown.


Comments Off on Manorial Guild Limited – struck off.Tags: Odds and bobs

It’s carved in stone now.

September 15th, 2015 · Comments Off on It’s carved in stone now.

I am delighted to report that last Thursday I received the sandstone carving of my arms; all hand carved by Kristof Paul Von Goldenau (the order facilitated by Hamish Bell). Measuring approx 40 cm x 30 cm the work is of excellent quality and I can certainly recommend the mason who undertook the work.

Martin Goldstraw's arms

This is the image upon which the carving was based (image by Ljubodrag Grujic)

And here is the result (photographs taken from various angles to give an idea of the depth of the carving):




A big thank you to Kristof, who undertook the carving, and Hamish for facilitating the work on my behalf.

Comments Off on It’s carved in stone now.Tags: Heraldry

The Tayleur Arms

September 10th, 2015 · Comments Off on The Tayleur Arms

My reader may well recall that way back in January 2014 I wrote about the Inn sign at the Tayleur Arms at London-on-Tern (the old armorial sign had, at some point in time, been replaced with one of a clipper called the Tayleur) and I then went on to have a very pleasant conversation with Lawrence, the landlord, who was very receptive to looking into changing the sign back to an armorial one at some point in time. Unfortunately, a few short months later the business was ravaged by fire and totally destroyed.

Well, I am very pleased to report that the rebuild is virtually completed and although the pub sign has yet to make an appearance, the business has reinstated its heraldic origins with a pleasing relish.


The newly commissioned  Tayleur Arms coat of arms, and the way it looks on the new menu boards.


An advertisement for staff -the arms proudly displayed.


The template for the arms.

Needless to say that I am delighted (not sure about the use of mantling when the helm is not present but hey, it’s progress).



Comments Off on The Tayleur ArmsTags: General · Pub Signs

Cheshire Heraldry Society September meeting

September 6th, 2015 · Comments Off on Cheshire Heraldry Society September meeting

Due to unforeseen circumstances the scheduled talks for September and October have had to be switched. The talks are now:

Sept 26th 2015:       Heraldry at Aldermaston. John Titterton F.S.A.
Oct 17th 2015:          The Regalia of Ashton Court Leet. Martin Goldstraw J.P., F.S.A. Scot.




Full details of times and venue can be found here:


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It really doesn’t do to copy

September 1st, 2015 · Comments Off on It really doesn’t do to copy

Now, I realise that I have occasionally been accused of being an expert on Cheshire Heraldry and sometimes, I have, perhaps somewhat immodestly, played along with the impression that I may well be, but even I would never admit to being infallible; I have been known to make mistakes and when I do I’m either the first to notice or, when someone else notices, I’m usually quite ready to be grateful that my mistake has been pointed out to me so that I can correct it.

Today, I had a very pleasant email from a lady by the name of Wickstead which was followed up by an equally pleasant telephone call from the lady’s mother, the family genealogist (also a Wickstead). Although the subject of their contact was, for them, rather frustrating, it brought to my mind the old warnings we used to get from our teachers not to copy the works produced by other pupils and it made me smile.

Apparently the new owners of The Wickstead Arms, Nantwich, decided to have their pub sign repainted following the reopening of their business and it seems that whoever did the job for them simply lifted the image from my website and slavishly copied it in its entirety without asking. How do I know this?

Well, because I now know that the original image I made, the one copied by the pub, was incorrectly emblazoned. The blazon is correctly recorded on my website as Wicksted, of Nantwich, Arms: Argent, on a bend Azure, between three Cornish choughs proper, as many garbs Or. However, for some reason which now entirely escapes me, when I made the image (quite a while ago) I depicted the birds as something more akin to a generic heraldic bird with the colourings of a female blackbird with white wings – don’t ask me why, I simply can’t remember. It seems a strange depiction as I know full well that a Cornish chough is a blackish bird with a curved red beak and red legs!

Here, on the left is the original image from my website and on the right is the newly painted pub sign. Similar? Too much of a coincidence I suggest.


Here is what the correct depiction of the arms should look like.


I would like to believe that had I been officially consulted about the arms (and asked for permission to copy the image) I would have double checked and discovered my mistake in good time to prevent mishap. As it is the only lesson to be learned here is that warning so often given by generations of good teachers.

My thanks to the Ladies Wickstead for pointing out my mistake and allowing me the opportunity to correct it on the website; good luck with contacting the publican. I fully understand your frustration but you must forgive me if I don’t have a great deal of sympathy for the owners of the Wickstead arms, I shall have a quiet chuckle to myself when I next see “their” sign.


Comments Off on It really doesn’t do to copyTags: Heraldry

Thomas Arthington Esq – Bookplate

August 13th, 2015 · Comments Off on Thomas Arthington Esq – Bookplate

The latest addition to my collection is the bookplate of Thomas Arthingron Esq (F. 753  Size: 10.5 x 8cm) from the Greenwood Album*


An 18th c. bookplate of Thomas Arthingron Esq of Arthington Yorkshire.

The Arthingtons were around in the 12th century , when Peter de Arthington gave a grant to fund the establishment of a Cluniac nunnery.


The seal of Arthington Priory ( National Archives)

The family history seems to be lost in the mists of time, although Thomas is listed as the Sheriff of Yorkshire 1767-1768 and that his will was proved in the Court of York 5 December 1801.

*Called the Greenwood Album, after the album’s manufacturer rather than the albums previous collector(s). This is because exact provenance is a little mixed. It is believed that many of the plates are duplicates from the John Simpson collection which sold at Bonhams in May 2005 and the album came to the present owner by way of Dr. Geoffrey Vevers, a past secretary of the Bookplate Society.

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Non heraldic – heraldic pubs.

August 11th, 2015 · Comments Off on Non heraldic – heraldic pubs.

On my journey, now undertaken as often as I can, to Tywyn, I always pass a country inn called The Cross Foxes* and I often wonder whether its patrons are aware that the name has an heraldic, and therefore historic, significance. The name, Cross Foxes, refers to the charges in the armorial bearings of Wynnstay and whilst there is absolutely nothing on the facade of this particular inn to hint at its origins, there are, perhaps by way of compensation to us heraldry addicts, quite a few hotels and public houses in and around Wales illustrating the arms of this family.


As I write this note, The Wynnstay Arms Hotel, Heol Maengwyn, Machynlleth, is being advertised for sale by Rightmove. I hope it finds a good owner who will look after it and improve it (and retain the original armorial Inn Sign).



Cross Foxes – Bar Grill Rooms, Dolgellau, Gwynedd LL40 2SG

Comments Off on Non heraldic – heraldic pubs.Tags: General · Heraldry