Cheshire Heraldry Web Journal (Blog)

A journal of the activities of an Amateur Armorist.

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Heraldic Badge

January 27th, 2015 · No Comments

In a recent discussion in the Heraldry Society of Scotland forum I was reminded that Lord Lyon Balfour Paul wrote in Heraldry in Relation to Scottish History and Art, p.126: “What should be put on liveries is the badge which can be selected at the individual will of the owner.” I am of course aware that more recent Lords Lyon have lent the impression that they have assumed authority over the granting of badges (restricting the granting of them to certain ranks) and that very recently, post the Abolition of Feudal Tenure, a statement has been issued to the effect that newly minted feudal barons (Scottish) will not be granted badges (or standards) however, there remains a view that Lyon’s grant (or recognition) is not required; one writer participating in the discussion commented that “The fact that recent Lyons have allowed or disallowed badges is irrelevant because Lyon has no authority over them. Anyone, including post AFT barons, may assume badges at will, and if Lyon does elect to grant them, they have no greater authenticity than assumed ones. The Lord Lyon is King of Arms, not the Grand Panjandrum. Balfour Paul was quoted as an authoritative ( = knowledgeable) source.”

This discussion has been of great interest to me not least because Balfour Paul’s authoritative comment brought me to the undoubted fact that for a great many years now I have had the quiet enjoyment of my own heraldic badge (and I have not sought “official” recognition of that badge from anyone as I have never felt that I needed it). With a few moments to spare this afternoon, I mocked up my own “statement of fact” which is, I suppose, a statement of assumption; unfortunately, I have been using the badge for so long now, I can’t recall the actual date of its invention.

Martin’s heraldic badge

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Leicester of Tabley

January 27th, 2015 · No Comments

 Newly added to the Visitations series at

Leicester of Tabley
Arms: Quarterly:
1 & 4 Azure, a fess Gules fretty Or between three fleur-de-lis of the last.
2 & 3 Azure, a garb Or [Grosvenor]

Crest: A swan’s head and neck erased Argent guttee de sang.     

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Bookplate Peter Sherston Esquire Lincolns Inn 1758

January 21st, 2015 · No Comments

Newly acquired to the bookplate collection, this one caught my eye because it is an example of what I feel is the correct orientation for a buglehorn (as opposed to the Scots tradition which places horns the other way). To me, it makes sense that a bugle horn should face to the dexter because this is the default position for practically all charges and if one imagines the default position for a bugler blowing his horn as a charge then this is the way the horn would face.

Ex Libris Armorial Bookplate Peter Sherston Esquire Lincolns Inn 1758

Ex Libris Armorial Bookplate Peter Sherston Esquire Lincolns Inn 1758

Arms: Sable, a cinquefoil Or between three buglehorns Argent stringed of the second.

Mantling: Sable and Or.

Crest: On a wreath of the colours, a stag lodged reguardant Or, armed and hoofed Gules, charged on the shoulder with a cinquefoil Vert.

There is an entry for his descendant, Major Charles Davies Sherston J.P., in Fox Davies’ Armorial Families.

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Perhaps I shouldn’t support it!

January 12th, 2015 · No Comments

Lyon Court recently tweeted an image of the armorial bearings of Lord Boyd-Orr …


and it got me thinking. ….


Only joking … honest.

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Christmas Cuff Links

January 8th, 2015 · No Comments

Ordered from I received a gift of personal heraldic cuff-links from sandy this Christmas.


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Edward Osborne (1530 - 1592)

December 18th, 2014 · No Comments

I quite often receive enquiries from readers who can’t follow or translate a blazon and this morning I received an enquiry about the arms of Edward Osborne from a reader who had found a reference to his armorial bearings in Genealogical Memoirs of the Extinct Family of Chester of Chicheley, Their Ancestors and Descendants.

The enquiry  went thus:

I am having trouble understanding what is meant by the following description of the English coat of arms for Edward Osborne (1530 - 1592).  It is described as… “argent two bars gules on a canton of the last, a cross of the first in chief, a crescent for difference”. [reference Genealogical Memoirs of the Extinct Family of Chester of Chicheley, Their Ancestors and Descendants Robert Edmond Chester Waters - page 233]

There are several Osborne coats of arms, but this doesn’t seem to match any. 

Any help would be appreciated” 

I’m not sure whether the enquirer placed some of the punctuation in the blazon correctly and it may well be that this fact alone didn’t help. It may also have been the tradition of using “of the last” and “of the second” which often confounds the novice.

Here’s my take on the blazon and the resultant emblazonment:

The Armorial Bearings of Edward Osborne (1530 - 1592).  

Argent, two bars Gules on a canton of the Last a cross of the First in chief a crescent for difference. 

Argent = silver or more commonly depicted as white. The first tincture is always that of the field of the shield.

two bars Gules = the two bars placed upon the shield and they are Gules (red).

on a canton of the Last = a canton of the last mentioned tincture which is Gules (red)

a cross of the First = a cross of the first mentioned tincture which is Argent (white)

in chief a crescent for difference = placed upon the shield in chief point is a crescent denoting a cadency mark for the second son. [It matters not what the tincture of the crescent is as long as it stands out]

Putting it all together the blazon can be emblazoned to produce these armorial bearings:


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An Heraldic Birthday Card

December 11th, 2014 · No Comments

As well as a wee dram, Sandy completely surprised me with a hand made “armorial” birthday card this morning. I couldn’t stop laughing and now I can’t stop smiling when I look at it: Wonderful!




For those who aren’t familiar with the armorial reference:


And here’s the wee dram … which also has an heraldic interest.



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Two new bookplates added to the Gallery

November 26th, 2014 · No Comments

The latest acquisitions to be added to the Cheshire Heraldry Gallery:

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Bookplate of Henry Valentine Stafford-Jerningham, 9th Baron Stafford

November 18th, 2014 · No Comments

New to the collection.

Bookplate of Henry Valentine Stafford-Jerningham, 9th Baron Stafford

Ex Libris Henrici Baronis de Stafford.

Very finely engraved full armorial with two crests, all within the name garter and surmounted by a baron’s coronet. Not in the Franks Collection.

Signed (at each end of the motto scroll) CAB in ligature and OJ monogram.

Biographical info: Henry Valentine Stafford-Jerningham, 9th Baron Stafford (1802-1884).


Orlando Jewitt (1799-1869) produced some superb work, noteworthy for the fine detail he achieved on wood. For his details see

This bookplate must date between 1851 and 1869.

Dimensions of paper: 114×106mm

Condition: Good albeit bottom corners creased and some small spots on the paper.

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November Meeting Cancelled

November 12th, 2014 · No Comments

Dear All,

November meeting cancelled.

I have just been informed by the key holder of the venue where we hold our meetings that they have double booked the hall and as the other booking is for the whole complex rather than just the one room, they decided to cancel our booking. They are not at all bothered that we are a regular booking and that this leaves us without a venue at extremely short notice.

I regret therefore that our November meeting is cancelled. I will contact everyone on our membership list but if you know of anyone who might have been attending please let them know.

Please accept my apologies but at such short notice, there is little that we can do. I hope to see you at the Christmas Lunch and in the new year.

I’ll re-schedule my talk on the Ashton Court Leet

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