Heraldry Online Blog

10 May 2014

Heraldic conundrum; Unidentified signet ring

Filed under: Heraldry — Stephen J F Plowman @ 18:18

Last week I received a request from Roy Aldington about helping identifying a signet ring that was found on land in Bruen Stapleford, Cheshire.  Dating the ring is also a challenge, Roy thinks it has a 16th or 17th century feel but a master engraver has suggested 13 century.  Whatever the date it is a beautiful artifact.

To get a better idea of the actual Arms, I have “flipped” the image so that it can be viewed properly.  I have also tweaked the contrast a bit to improve the view of the details. (Incidentally, the little purple blob in the dexter chief is thought to be sealing wax.)



My best guess at a blazon is;

Arms: [?] a saltire engrailed [?] in chief a cinquefoil* [?]

* Depending on how you squint it might also be a thistle or a rose

Crest: A hand grasping a saltire engrailed [?]


I have had no joy in finding any real clues to the owner’s identity.  However, I do not feel too bad about that because the Lyon Court, the Heraldry Society and the College of Arms seem to be in the same boat.

If anyone has any ideas, please feel free to join the search.




7 May 2014

Hopkinson of Wootton Court and of Edgeworth Manor, Glos

Earlier this year I was contacted by Richard Crook, of the landscape architects Portus & Whitton, to see if I could identify some heraldic stonework unearthed in land that was once part of the kitchen garden of Edgeworth Manor, Gloustershire.

Edgeworth Manor Coat of Arms1

A trawl through Burke’s General Armory looking at Arms associated with the surnames of various owners of Edgeworth Manor was not conclusive.  The closest match was for Hopkinson of Lofthouse, Yorkshire “Vert three pillows ermine“. That hinted towards Edmund Hopkinson who bought the manor in 1832 and died in 1869.

Richard then advised that Edmund’s father was George Caesar Hopkinson of Wootton Court who had served in the King’s Light Dragoons.  The Harleian Society’s Grantees of Arms made mention of a Grant of Arms to a Lt Col Hopkinson of Wootton Court in 1823.  Unfortunately, I could not find any mention of the blazon in any of my reference books or on the Internet.  After numerous searches I did manage to find a rather poor quality image of Edmund Hopkinson’s bookplate. That at least was sufficient evidence to confirm the identity of the stonework.

Edmund Hopkinson Bookplate2

I am extremely grateful to Timothy Duke, Chester Herald, who kindly supplied the full blazon;

The arms are blazoned Vert a Horse’s head couped Argent bridled Sable between three Cushions Ermine tasselled Or and the crest on a wreath of the colours (ie Argent and Vert) A dexter Arm embowed habited Azure cuff Gules (being the Uniform of His Majesty’s aforesaid 15th Regiment of Dragoons) the hand grasping a Sabre the Arm entwined with a Laurel branch all proper and in an Escocheon the word EMSDORF.  Below the arms is inscribed the motto ONCE AND ALWAYS (Coll Arm ms Grants 34, 10).

Using that blazon I had a go at producing my rendition of the Arms;

Hopkinson-ColonelI had not realised that the Battle of Emsdorf, in which the 15th Light Dragoons played a major role, was the first instance of a battle honour being awarded to a British Regiment.  I am a bit puzzled by the blazon for the crest because the various pictures of the 15th have them with red sleeves and blue cuffs.


13 April 2014

Lord Warrington and the Warrington Hotel, Maida Vale

Recently I was asked if I could identify the Arms displayed outside The Warrington Hotel in Maida Vale.

The Warrington Hotel

Fortunately, this was quite a straight forward investigation.  The 1929 edition of Fox-Davies’ Armorial Families provided the answer, The Right Honourable Sir Thomas Rolls Warrington, the 1st Baron Warrington of Clyffe;


The Supplement in Burke’s General Armory and the Harleian Society’s Grantees of Arms showed that, Thomas Warrington,  the father of Thomas Rolls Warrington was granted Arms in 1882.


Presumably the son petitioned for supporters when he was ennobled in 1926.  Lord Warrington died without issue and he was the only son of his father.  Thus his only sister would be the heraldic heiress to her father’s Arms.

With regard to the question “What is the connection between Lord Warrington and the Warrington Hotel?”.  I can only surmise, there is none.  Both father and son lived elsewhere in London.  I presume that when the hotel renewed the sign hanging outside they selected the most “interesting” Arms for the name Warrington.

Incidentally, last week I was researching the family tree of an old friend and Lord Warrington appeared as the husband of my friend’s 1st cousin three times removed.








24 March 2014

Heraldic Plate: Duke of Hamilton & Brandon

Ebay has another source of heraldic goods of interest I had previously overlooked, porcelain.  A 18th century plate bearing the Arms of the Duke of Hamilton & Brandon has just been sold.


Arms: Quarterly, 1st and 4th grand quarters counter quartered 1st and 4th  Gules three cinquefoils ermine (for HAMILTON) 2nd and 3rd Argent a lymphad Sable sails furled proper flagged Gules (for Earldom of Arran); 2nd and 3rd grand quarters Argent a man’s heart Gules ensigned with an imperial crown Or proper on a chief Azure three stars of the first (for  DOUGLAS).

Crests: 1 On a ducal coronet an oak tree fructed and penetrated  transversely in the main stem by a frame saw proper the frame Or (for  HAMILTON), 2 On a chapeau Gules doubled ermine a salamander in flames proper (for DOUGLAS).

Supporters: Two antelopes Argent armed, unguled, ducally gorged and chained Or.

Mottoes: Through (for HAMILTON), Jamais arrière (‘Never behind’) (for DOUGLAS).

The Arms also display an escutcheon of pretense for Spencer;

Arms: Quarterly Argent and Gules in the 2nd and 3rd quarters a fret Or on a bend Sable three escallops of the first.


The most likely armiger is James Hamilton, 6th Duke of Hamilton & 3rd Duke of Brandon.  In 1737 he married his third wife, Elizabeth Spencer, who was the daughter and coheir of Edward Spencer of Rendlesham, Suffolk.


22 March 2014

Armorial Update: Mitchell

Filed under: Coat of Arms,Heraldry,People — Stephen J F Plowman @ 13:50
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The latest edition of the College of Arms newsletter  included the blazon for the Grant of Arms to Andrew Alexander Mitchell of Spalding, Lincolnshire in August 2013.  I have added the details and my emblazonment to my Mitchell Armorial.  Unfortunately, neither my clipart collection nor my artisitc skills are currently up to reproducing the same “handcuffs/manacles” displayed in the newsletter.  One for my “to do” list.

15 March 2014

New Armorial: Beveridge

Filed under: Heraldry,People — Stephen J F Plowman @ 20:54
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I have added a new armorial for the surname Beveridge to the Heraldry-Online website. 

At the moment it consists of two English and three Scottish Arms.  I understand that the Scottish law firm Beveridge & Kellas also have Arms.  However, I have yet to get any details of the Grant or blazon.




21 January 2014

Arthur William Kay-Menzies – Grant of Arms 1929

Filed under: Coat of Arms,Heraldry,People — Stephen J F Plowman @ 21:10
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The 1928 Grant of Arms to Arthur William Kay-Menzies has recently sold on eBay for £164, vendor swan1011.

Menzies Grant2


Arthur William Kay-Menzies, born 1874 died 1944.

Interestingly, the blazon appears to be missing the field for the 2nd & 3rd quarters:


Arms: Quarterly 1st & 4th Gules two swords in saltire points upward proper pommels and hilts Or on a chief invected Argent three roses of the field barbed and seeded proper (for Menzies) 2nd & 3rd [Argent] Within two bendlets engrailed an annulet between two crescents Sable (for Kay).
Crest: In front of a Saracen’s head affronte and erased wreathed about the temples with laurel proper two spears saltirewise also proper surmounted by a rose as in the Arms (for Menzies) Within the horns of a crescent Azure a goldfinch between two branches of laurel proper (for Kay).
Motto: Vil God I Zal

The Arms are also listed in the 1929 edition of Armorial Families:

Menzies AR

19 January 2014

Robin Anthony Blantyre Gowlland – Grant of Arms 1987

Filed under: Coat of Arms,Heraldry,People — Stephen J F Plowman @ 20:35
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The rather impressive 1987 Grant of Arms to Robin Anthony Blantyre Gowlland has just been sold on  eBay for £296 by vendor charlesa1867.

gowland grant

Robin Anthony Blantyre Gowlland, born 1932.

Arms: Gules a fess chequy Argent and Azure between in chief two crozier heads and in base an anchor Gold.

Crest: A dove Argent holding in the beak a sprig of olive Vert supporting with the dexter claw a cross moline Gules.
Motto: Sola Juvat Virtus  (Virtue Alone Avails).
Badge: Across moline Gules environed by a corde of rope ensigned by an ancient crown Gold.

Unusually for a sale of a Grant of Arms, I believe the Grantee is still living.

18 January 2014

Henry Pelham Burn – Grant of Arms 1906

The 1906 Grant of Arms from the Lyon Court to Major Henry Pelham Burn is on sale at eBay with a “Buy it Now” price of £1,500.

Burn Grant

The Grant is listed in the Lyon Register as 19/9, 25th October 1906.

Arms: Or a chevron between two spur revels in chief and a hunting horn in base Sable garnished Argent.

Crest: A dexter hand proper holding a hunting horn as in the Arms.

Motto: Ever Ready

Major Burn also has an entry in the 1929 edition of Armorial Families:

Burn-ARFrom the excellent set of photographs supplied by the vendor, diggerlee, it seems that Major Burn had the Grant made to an ancestor – I cannot make out the actual relationship.  Also included within the sale is a bookplate of Charles Maitland Burn who bears the same Arms but with the chevron engrailed and impaled with the Arms of Russel.  They are listed in the Lyon Register as 19/10, 31st October 1906.

8 January 2014

Two new Armorials: Casely and Goldstraw

Two new (albeit small) armorials have been added to the Heraldry Online website;

  1. Goldstraw
  2. Casely


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