Cheshire Heraldry Web Journal (Blog)

A journal of the activities of an Amateur Armorist.

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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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Heraldic Roll Commissioned by the Fitton Family.

October 31st, 2014 · No Comments

Heraldic Roll Commissioned by the Fitton Family. Cheshire, England, late 16th century.


This spectacular 20 foot-long heraldic roll was commissioned to enhance the pedigree of the Fittons of Gawsworth, a family whose fortunes were on the rise - they were knighted in 1566 and would be made baronets in 1617; the last member named, Mary Fitton (1578-1647), was to become a maid of honor to Queen Elizabeth, and “the Dark Lady” of Shakespeare’s sonnets, while her brother was Treasurer of Ireland. According to this genealogical tree, the Fittons are related to the Earls of Northumberland and via them to the royal house of Plantagenet and to William the Conqueror. This fantasy was made possible by the marriage of Sir Edward Fitton of Gawsworth (1500-1553), High Sheriff of Cheshire, with Mary Harbottle, daughter of Guiscard Harbottle of Northumberland, himself the son of Margaret Percy. This Margaret Percy was the great-grand-daughter of Lord Marshall Henry Percy (1341-1408), who was the son of Mary of Lancaster and thus the great-great-grandson of King Henry III of England. Indeed, the rich heraldic material includes the “three golden lions on a red background” of the Kings of England, adopted by their cousins the Earls of Lancaster (with the addition of a label of three points azure, each point charged with three fleur-de-lys or). Richard the Lion-heart had been the first to use three lions for his seal, and the ambitious family from Gawsworth, in the County of Chester, incorporated them into their coat of arms.


Thanks and Credit to Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.

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Cheshire Heraldry Society November Meeting

October 31st, 2014 · No Comments

November 15th 2014

Due to unforeseen circumstances the scheduled speaker is unable to attend our November meeting so the Chairman of the Society (me) will be presenting an illustrated talk on The Heraldry of The Manorial Court Leet of Ashton-under-Lyne. This will include photographs and details of the manorial chain of office, mace and other items of heraldic regalia recently sold at auction.  This will be a more detailed preview of a short article which is due to be published in the Heraldry Gazette in December 2014.


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Next meeting of the Cheshire Heraldry Society October 18th 2014

October 11th, 2014 · No Comments

Just a reminder that our next meeting is

Oct 18th 2014

Masonic Symbolism: The 25 Most Common Symbols in Freemasonry. Pauline Chakmakjian  MA

Details of venue and times etc. along with all the other meetings can be found at:

I hope to see you there,


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Heraldry Study Day

October 1st, 2014 · No Comments

Heraldry Study Day

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Heraldic seals on antique bottles.

August 22nd, 2014 · No Comments

 Sealed Bottles

I have recently been in contact with an author and bottle collector who is about to publish a book which may also be of interest to my reader. He has recently written an article for a hobbyist magazine and I reproduce it here for your pleasure. 

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What’s your title today?

August 19th, 2014 · No Comments

From time to time I have the rather unpleasant task of turning down an application for an entry in The Armorial Register. Occasionally it is because the armorial bearings don’t meet our requirements (in which case we try to work with the applicant to remedy the problem) but more often than not it is because the applicant seeks verification of his so called title. “Proof” of the title is always called for, especially when the person refers to themselves as Lord First Name and Surname of Somewhere.

Today we had an applicant who sent along his proof and I thought it worth sharing his Letters Patent of Nobility (I have edited the image to remove his name and so called title to save embarrassing him) because it is of some armorial interest and worth discussing; of course there is no merit to the title and the holder of it is simply the victim.

I am quite sure I have seen the main arms somewhere but can’t bring it to mind; the wee group of 16 shields reminds me of images taken from Joseph Foster’s Dictionary of Heraldry and have, I’m quite sure, simply been added to add some credibility to an otherwise worthless document. The achievement top right, with the supporters, reminds me of the Ethiopian College of Heraldry but probably isn’t.

According to the title vendor’s website, our friend seems to have parted with over £900 for this piece of paper. Unfortunately he doesn’t appear to have researched the numerous sites warning against such a purchase. 

Bogus Title

For a larger image with correct attribution of the arms see


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A Celebration of Scottish Heraldry

July 22nd, 2014 · No Comments

Early in 2011, in anticipation of the 340th anniversary of the Lyon King of Arms Act 1672 The Armorial Register Limited, publishers of The International Register of Arms, invited the submission of digital photographic material for the publication of a fully illustrated book dedicated to the many practical ways in which Scottish Armigers of today enjoy and demonstrate their personal armorial bearings. This book is the result of the generous co-operation of participating Scots armigers.

A Celebration of Scottish Heraldry

This volume is not an armorial; its main purpose is to illustrate practical usage of Scots Armory in the 21st century.

All of those whose arms are recorded within its covers have armorial bearings recorded in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland and participants in this project were invited to submit photographs, along with as much detail as they wished, of any armorial item they have made use of be it their Letters Patent, library painting, crest badge, seal matrix, flag, cutlery, dirks, sporrans, engraved items or anything else which was deemed to be heraldically relevant. As a bare minimum the editors asked that their entry should be illustrated with an original grant of arms or matriculation document and as a concession to privacy it was agreed to blank out addresses etc if such was preferred. The editors have simply put together a number of examples they felt would be of interest to enthusiasts throughout the world and in doing so hope that this would also benefit the favoured heraldic artists and craftsmen of the armigers concerned. Containing 82 Letters Patent and over 233 other images, most of which have never been seen by the general public before, this book brings to life an infectious enthusiasm shared by its armigerous contributors.

Participation in this project was free and the editors thank all contributors for generously sharing with them the armorial bearings they hold so dear. The images illustrating this publication are supplied by the armigers themselves. 

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I’m sorry I never got to meet you.

July 9th, 2014 · No Comments

Some time ago, Mrs. Martin was stopped in the street by a neighbour who asked her if it was I who had an interest in heraldry; Mrs. M replied in the affirmative and was informed by the enquirer that she knew of someone who knew of someone in the village who had recently died and amongst the possessions of the deceased lady were a number of heraldry books. Apparently the someone who knew someone had had a vague recollection that they had heard somewhere (probably from someone else who knew someone else) that there was another gentleman in the village who studied heraldry and so all the someones who knew someone else began to ask around until … well, you get the idea.

Anyway, we thought nothing more of it until yesterday evening said neighbour, in her car, pulled up on our driveway with two bags full of books “I was going to walk up the road with these” she said, “but decided to drive because they were a little too heavy to carry far”. She presented me with two carrier bags full of books: “We thought you might like these … we didn’t like the idea that they would just go to a house clearance sale”. Needless to say, I thanked the good Samaritan, promised to find a good home for the ones I already had and pledged a donation to the charity of her choice.

Heraldry books

It seems that the lady was quite a keen student of the art and science of heraldry and many of the books contain newspaper cuttings of matters heraldic, one, from the Radio Times, dated June 24th 1949.


I’m delighted that my notoriety brought these books to my door but I can’t help feeling just a little bit sad that for a great many years I shared a hobby and enthusiasm with an elderly lady living in the same village and I never had the chance to meet her.

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