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.
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.
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.
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.
My reader has just pointed me to a conversation on a medieval and fantasy roll playing forum where a lady calling herself Cherish informs her fellow participants that she has been successful in tracking down the coat of arms for her maiden name. “Here’s our coat of arms” she proudly proclaims!
The lady states that her maiden name is Goldstraw and stakes her claim to “our” coat of arms without realizing that in doing so she makes it necessary for me to disclaim any relationship to any married lady whose maiden name is Goldstraw who calls herself “Cherish”. Since the arms belong to me, and may therefore only lawfully be used by me and my descendants according to the law of arms I feel that her claim to be my legitimate offspring should be refuted most vigorously; perhaps her real father should be made aware that she appears to have disclaimed him!
A larger image of the conversation can be found here:
New entry to the 1663 Visitations:
Legh of West Hall High Leigh
Arms: Or, a lion rampant Gules.
Crest: A dexter cubit arm vested Or charged with two pallets Sable holding in the hand Proper a tilting spear in bend sinister also Or.
Recently acquired - the bookplate of William Craig (1745-1813), Scottish judge and litterateur, see in Oxford DNB.
Probably a cadet of Craig of Riccartoune (Lyon Register Volume 1, page 130 1672 - 1694)
Having just returned from a few days away I was pleased to notice that among the many brown envelopes waiting to greet me on the door mat was the package containing the quarterly membership magazine and journal from the British Association for Local History. My expectations of a good read rose quite considerably when I saw the photograph on the front cover of their magazine Local History News. Atcham Bridge with the armorial bearings of (the now defunct) Shropshire County Council. I set the magazine aside and promised myself a good read when I next sneaked a cuppa. It’s not often matters heraldic are discussed in Local History magazines.
Later in the morning I sat down, cup in hand, full of anticipation expecting to read something about the bridge and the armorial bearings of Shropshire County Council.
Oh dear! The inside cover proclaimed ” Cover Picture, Atcham Bridge (1774) near Shrewsbury on 11th February 2014 showing exceptionally high flood levels on the River Severn (copyright James P. Bowen) see article p 9″. The article in question …… “Extreme Weather Events” !
Without wishing to commit the cardinal sin of ignoring St. Georges Day (rapidly approaching) I thought I would jump on the band wagon and advertise the growing interest in International Heraldry Day by featuring the winning design put forward by Alexander Liptak.
I have in my possession two boxes of The Heraldry Society’s magazine The Coat of Arms, dates ranging from the 1966 to 2004 which I am selling on behalf of The Cheshire Heraldry Society. I am offering them at £1.99 each including UK postage.
A complete inventory of available issues can be downloaded here: http://cheshire-heraldry.org.uk/coat-of-arms-inventory.pdf
Back in January I wrote about the Tayleur Arms and had the pleasure to have a conversation about the Inn sign with one of its owners. This morning, local radio is reporting that the Inn has been ravaged by fire. My thoughts are with all involved in the business, both staff and customers.
This is the certificate I sent to Richard, the landlord, who had agreed to display it in the bar. Fortunately Richard and Eve, managed to escape in their night clothes, along with their 14-year-old son Elliot and some guests who were staying the night. It is of little consequence that the certificate is no doubt lost and I hope that should the owners be fortunate enough to be able to rebuild their business and their future I will be able to supply a new one.
Latest addition to the collection is the bookplate of William Moreton A.M.
As recorded in the Cheshire Visitations
Morton of Morton
Arms: Quarterly -
1 & 4 Argent, a greyhound courant Sable
2 & 3 Gules, a cross engrailed Ermine [Macclesfield]
Crest: A wolf’s head couped Argent, collared with a wreath Argent and Vert.