Cheshire Heraldry Web Journal (Blog)

A journal of the activities of an Amateur Armorist.

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Despicable trading practices of Bucket Shops

November 20th, 2017 · Comments Off on Despicable trading practices of Bucket Shops

Despicable trading practices of Bucket Shops

I have recently had to turn down an application to register the arms of Augustus. Not only did the arms not belong to the applicant but simple research showed that they weren’t even the arms of anyone named Augustus. I attach a very simple report sent to a very disappointed “armiger” who had in fact been ripped off by yet another Bucket Shop. This sort of trading is despicable.

Comments Off on Despicable trading practices of Bucket ShopsTags: Fakes and Fables · Heraldry

Funeral Certificates – Boulton

November 1st, 2017 · Comments Off on Funeral Certificates – Boulton

The Armorial Bearings recorded in the Cheshire and Lancashire Funeral Certificates 

William Boulton, Gentleman, 1629.
Arms: Argent, on a bend engrailed Gules three leopards’ faces of the first.
Crest: On a holly bush Vert, fructed Gules, a hawk with wings expanded Argent.

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The Visitations of 1613

October 27th, 2017 · Comments Off on The Visitations of 1613

I am presently working on editing the version of the Visitations of 1613 for publication in book form.

Here is a taster:


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Whimsical Wilmslow

October 26th, 2017 · Comments Off on Whimsical Wilmslow

It seems that Wilmslow Town Council is seeking “a new identity” with Members no longer sure that their armorial bearings serve the purpose of identifying the town. This is a great pity and most probably results from the usual lack of understanding of how armorial bearings can be displayed. They are apparently (according to one Councillor) “quite a cheerful little thing’ with some history behind it it doesn’t stand out very well – particularly compared to other logos, such as the Cheshire East Council one.” I have to say that to state that the Cheshire East logo stands out more than the arms of Wilmslow really is missing the point of heraldry; the only reason the Cheshire East logo is recognisable as being the logo of Cheshire East is because the name Cheshire East is written all over it!

In these days of austerity, when many Councils would find it hard to justify the expenditure involved in the petition for a new grant of arms from Her Majesty’s Officers of Arms, surely it is appropriate for the electorate to challenge the unnecessary expenditure which will inevitable arise in the commission of a new logo?

Let us remind ourselves of the history behind this “cheerful little thing”.

Granted on June 21, 1951 by The College of Arms and therefore having the authority of the Crown behind them, the arms are based on those of the Cheshire family of Fitton – Argent on a Bend Azure three Garbs Or (derived from those of the Earldom of Chester). The wavy bends were added for difference and also allude to the rivers Bollin and Dean.


The arms of Fitton.

The bear’s head is derived from the crest of the Beretons and the silver estoile is from the Handforth arms, a reference to the families that held the Manor of Handforth. The crown is from the insignia of the Greg family, who operated the earliest cotton mills at Styal, refered to by the wreath of cotton.

Comments Off on Whimsical WilmslowTags: General · Odds and bobs

Bookplate of John Vardon

October 17th, 2017 · Comments Off on Bookplate of John Vardon

One of the pleasures of editing the Cheshire Heraldry website over the years is that I have benefited from speaking to and corresponding with many people who share my enthusiasm and one such person is Philip Beddows of the City of London who very kindly sent the bookplate of John Vardon to add to my collection.

Verdon, Alton, county Stafford; Or, fretty Gules a crescent for difference.

Mr. Beddows writes:

“John Vardon lived at No. 3 Gracechurch Street in the City of London and came from Congleton in Cheshire. His family’s name was spelt “Verdon” until the later 1600s. They were one of the cadet branches of the de Verduns of Alton, who settled in Cheshire – at Woodford and Fulshaw, Wilmslow. They are remembered in the name of Vardentown near Alderley, which was originally spelt Verdontown.

The other Verdons whose heraldry appears in quarters of some Cheshire families, Sable, a lion rampant Argent, are the Norfolk branch of the family. These arms were recorded at the Dunstable Tournament in 1309, where members of the de Verdons of Norfolk were present with the head of the family, from Alton; the need to tell them apart from each other at the tournament may be the reason for the difference in their heraldry.”

Thank you Philip, I am most grateful.

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In Memoriam

August 30th, 2017 · Comments Off on In Memoriam

In memory of my father who passed away at the age of 90 on Tuesday 29th August. His life was all that he could have wished and he died a contented man.

Set Your Mind Free


Have you ever set your mind free?

To wander down Memory Lane?

To linger at every Milestone

to savour this wonderful game?


How far back do you want to go?

It’s really up to you.

You can leave out all your troubles

or just leave in a few.


What about the times you “nearly”?

Perhaps you’d better leave those.

Just put on the pink spectacles

that smell of the fragrant rose.


Can you go back to the Twenties

when Al Jolson sang Sonny Boy

in the very first of the talkies

that gave such wonder and joy?


Perhaps the hungry Thirties

when unemployment stalked the land

and when discipline at school

was the cane across the hand?


Then from ’39 to ‘45

when Britain fought for its life

those dark heartbreak years

of tragedy, grief, and strife.


Those dreamy early Fifties

with rationing still in force

when a really tasty meal

was that laced with H.P. Sauce.


And then the late Fifties

at last climbing the hole

enter a new phenomenon

in the shape of “Rock and Roll”.


Did the Sixties get a bit better?

You may even have managed a car.

Or did you join the Hippy trail

to strum on an old guitar?


The Seventies and Eighties

they just came and went

as you pressed your nose to the grindstone

to pay your mortgage or your rent.


And so into the Nineties

did you think you could relax?

BUT! Governments liked your money

so you had to run to pay the Tax.


Then into the new Millennium

can you now take a well-earned rest?

And think back to all those years

and know you’ve passed the test.


Now into the present day

are your memories still intact?

Hold on to them very tightly

so nothing can detract.


But I must offer some caution

be aware of the tempting rose

for your conscience will be waiting

your meanderings to expose.


Derrick Goldstraw

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Sir John Booth, Knight, 1678.

August 23rd, 2017 · Comments Off on Sir John Booth, Knight, 1678.

Sir John Booth, Knight, 1678.

Arms: Quarterly of 6: 1 and 6, Argent, three boars’ heads erect and erased Sable; 2, Argent, a fesse engrailed Gules. 3, Azure, two bars Argent in chief as many mullets of the second. 4, Bendy of ten Or and [Azure]; 5, Argent, a mullet Sable. Over all a crescent for difference Gules.

Crest: A lion passant Argent.

Comments Off on Sir John Booth, Knight, 1678.Tags: Funeral Certificates · Heraldry

Mrs. Alice Birkenhead, 1632.

August 22nd, 2017 · Comments Off on Mrs. Alice Birkenhead, 1632.

The arms of Mrs. Alice Birkenhead, 1632. as recorded in the site dedicated to the blazons recorded in the Cheshire and Lancashire Funeral Certificates book.

Arms:(in a lozenge*) Quarterly of 15: 1 and 15, Argent, three chevronels Gules between as many martlets Sable, a crescent for difference; 2, Argent, a chevron Sable between three pellets; 3, Azure, a chevron between three garbs Or; 4, Gules, a crescent Or between three cinquefoils Argent; 5, Argent, a chevron Purpure between three leopards’ faces Sable; 6, Argent, a bend engrailed Sable, in sinister chief an escallop Gules; 7, Azure, a cross couped the ends flory Argent between four martlets; 8, Argent, a lion rampant Purpure; 9, Argent, a cross raguly Gules; 10, Argent, two bars Gules in chief three mullets of the second; 11, Azure, a chevron between three covered cups Or; 12, Sable, three shacklebolts Argent; 13, Vert, three buglehorns Argent stringed Or; 14, Azure, a lion rampant Argent.

N.B. These are the arms of Singleton. Mrs. Birkenhead was the daughter of John Singleton of Stenninge, Lancashire.
No tincture is stated for the martlets in quarter 7. M.G.

* Note dated 3rd August 2017: The more I play with sketches of these arms, the more I find that the concept of them on a lozenge is silly and utterly impractical. I have no idea whether they were ever actually painted in such a way or whether this is simply a paper record of the blazon that someone, without giving the matter a great deal of thought, decided should be on a lozenge to represent a lady. A simple sketch of the 1,2,3,3,3,2,1 layout with the fields tinctured appropriately looks like a brick wall covered in graffiti. Begin to add charges and ordinaries and I quickly found that the oblong nature of most of the quarters which also have sloping sides makes the addition of ordinaries such as chevrons look horribly distorted and leaves little room for the charges (especially if they happen to be adjacent to one of the sloping sides). Lozenges are awkward enough for single shields, one of 15 quarters is, I have decided, utterly ridiculous. I shall note that the original (which has no image) states “on a lozenge” but I shall depict the image upon a shield.

Comments Off on Mrs. Alice Birkenhead, 1632.Tags: Funeral Certificates · Heraldry

National Archives – Representing Blackness

August 22nd, 2017 · Comments Off on National Archives – Representing Blackness

The National Archives presently has an exhibition titled “Representing Blackness” and one image which caught my eye was that of a pedigree of Sir Robert Troutbeck.

It’s an interesting, if somewhat uncomfortable, insight into our history and well worth a visit:

The Visitations of 1533 to 1580 record the arms of Troutbeck as Azure, three trouts fretted in triangle Argent with two (alternative) crests: Crest 1 A Moor proper, wreathed around the loins and temples …… holding in the dexter hand an arrow Or, barbed and flighted Argent, and in the sinister a round shield or target Gold. Crest 2 A Moor’s head in profile proper on a wreath of four trout Argent.

In the Troutbeck Chapel of St. Mary’s Church in Chester were (formerly) sumptuous monuments in memory of Sir William Troutbeck, who fought at the battle of Blore-Heath in 1549 and his son Sir Adam who died in 1512.

This image, showing the crest (simply described as  a head on a wreath of trout) is taken from a copy of Glover’s Ordinary of Arms (1584); it does not appear to be that of a “Moor” … or does it?


Comments Off on National Archives – Representing BlacknessTags: General · Heraldry

Knights in miniature

August 22nd, 2017 · Comments Off on Knights in miniature

Knights in miniature.

I came across this little chappy while doing a routine Google search for anything that might catch my fancy relating to Cheshire Heraldry. He was on a Pinterest page by one Robert Hornsby (the arms were attributed to the Cheshire Heraldry site). I certainly admire the skills behind the creation of these fellows.

The arms are those of Zouch: Argent, two bars Azure on a chief on the second three leopards’ heads caboshed of the first. As depicted in the Kindeton Roll of Daniel King.  (Scroll down to the bottom of the page).

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