Heraldry Online Blog

5 January 2015

Bookplate: Richard Joseph Sulivan (1752-1806)

Filed under: Coat of Arms,Heraldry,People — Stephen J F Plowman @ 21:17
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Vendor look-back-in-time has on sale at eBay the bookplate of Richard Joseph Sulivan of Thames Ditton.  The bookplate would appear to date from between 1778 when he married Mary Lodge and his receipt of a Baronetcy in 1804.

Bookplate Sulivan Richard Joseph

Arms: Per fess the base per pale, in chief Or a dexter hand couped at the wrist holding a sword erect proper hilted Gules the blade entwined with a serpent proper between two lions rampant respectant of the second the dexter base Vert charged with a buck trippant Or on the sinister base per pale Argent and Sable a boar passant counter-changed.

Impaling: Gules a lion rampant Argent crusily of the field within a bordure flory Argent (for Lodge)

Crest: On a ducal coronet Or a robin holding in the beak a sprig of laurel proper.
Motto: Lamh foisdineach an uachtar (What we gain by conquest we secure by clemency).

Bookplate: Davies Gilbert formerly Giddy

The bookplate of Davies Gilbert PRS (1766-1839), formerly Giddy, is on sale at eBay, the vendor is bungalowblondie2.  Davies Giddy was the only son of Rev’d Edward Giddy and Catherine Davies. Catherine was heiress to her father and was one of the co-heirs to the Barony of Sandys of the Vine which fell into abeyance in 1683 after the death of the 8th Baron.


In 1808 Davies Giddy married Mary Anne Gilbert.     Following the death of Mary’s uncle, Davies Giddy took the Name and Arms of Gilbert.

Gilbert-Davies Bookplate2

Arms: Quarterly 1st Argent on a chevron Gules three roses of the field with a canton Gules for difference (for Gilbert)
2nd Or a fess engrailed Vert in chief a lion passant Gules in base three torteaux two and one (for Giddy)
3rd Argent a fess ermines between three pierced mullets Gules (for Davies)
4th Argent three bendlets Sable on a canton of the last a cross of the first (for Noye)
5th Or a fess indented between three crosses crosslet fitchy Gules (for Sandys of Ombersley)
6th Argent a cross raguly Sable (for Sandys of the Vine )

With an escutcheon of pretence
Argent on a chevron Gules three roses of the field (for Gilbert)

Crest:A squirrel sejant Gules cracking a nut Or charged on the shoulder with a cross crosslet gold for difference

Motto: Teg yw Hedwch

Their children bore the Arms without the canton Gules for difference.



31 December 2014

Grant of Arms: Thomas McKenny Hughes and George Ravensworth Hughes

There have been three Grants of Arms sold on eBay by vendor thebizaar that relate to one family.  The first of 1808, Sir Thomas McKenny Bt, I have already recorded.


The second Grant of Arms (8th August 1905) was to Thomas KcKenny Hughes, grandson of Sir Thomas McKenny, and was sold for £102.

McKenney ThomasHughes Arms

Arms: Argent a lion rampant Gules on a chief enarched of the last two crosses couped of the field
Crest: A demi lion rampant Gules between two crosses couped Argent.
Motto: Fide Et Virtute Valeas

The third Grant of Arms (20th June 1955) was to George Ravensworth Hughes and sold for £112.  George was Thomas KcKenny Hughes’ second but eldest surviving son.  His brother was killed in World War One.


Arms: Sable a covered cup Or encircled by a chaplet of Honeysuckle flowered proper.
Crest: Issuant from a coronet composed of four sprigs of Honeysuckle the stalks cojoined and embellishing the rim Or a cubit arm vested Gules the hand gauntleted proper and grasping a roll of parchment bend sinisterwise Argent.
Motto: Vincit Veritas

In October 1995 George Ravensworth Hughes recorded a Declaration at the College of Arms that he would thereafter bear his Arms quartered with those of his late father.  He also declared that he would only use the Crest granted to him.


Arms: Quarterly 1st & 4th Sable a covered cup Or encircled by a chaplet of Honeysuckle flowered proper 2nd and 3rd Argent a lion rampant Gules on a chief enarched of the last two crosses couped of the field.
Crest: Issuant from a coronet composed of four sprigs of Honeysuckle the stalks cojoined and embellishing the rim Or a cubit arm vested Gules the hand gauntleted proper and grasping a roll of parchment bend sinisterwise Argent.
Motto: Vincit Veritas


25 December 2014

Bookplate: Sir Edmund Antrobus Bt

Filed under: Coat of Arms,Heraldry — Stephen J F Plowman @ 21:25
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Antrobus is one of the names covered in my Armorial and eBay now has on sale the bookplate of Sir Edmund Antrobus Bt, the vendor is look-back-in-time.

Antrobus Bookplate

The blazon (107th Edition Burke’s Peerage):

Arms: Lozengy Or and Azures on a pale Gules three estoiles of six points wavy of the first.
Crest: Issuing out of rays proper a unicorn’s head couped Argent horned and maned Or gorged with a wreath of laurel proper.
Supporters: Two horses proper.
Motto: Dei Memor Gratus Amicis






20 December 2014

Bookplate: Colin Campbell BAILLIE

Filed under: Heraldry — Stephen J F Plowman @ 16:05

There is a bookplate for Colin Campbell Baillie on Sale at eBay by vendor prexiepost.


Baillie-Colin Campbell

The vendor is unsure of the identity of Colin Campbell Baillie.  I have had a look at this and my results are that he was the son of Hugh James Baillie and Joyce/Jessie Mills, the grandson of James Baillie and Colin(a) Campbell and the great grandson of Colin Campbell of Glenure and Janet Mackay of Bighouse.  He was born in 1818 and in 1856 married Anne Catherine Strickland (nee Fitzgerald), a widow.  He died, without issue, on the 16th March 1889 at Glenure House, Charlton Kings near Cheltenham.

My attempt at the blazon is;

Arms: Quarterly 1st & 4th Azure nine estoiles three three two and one Argent (for Baillie) 2nd Grand Quarters i & iv Gyronny of eight Or and Sable ii Argent a galley Sable iii Or a fess chequy Argent and Azure (for Campbell) 3rd Azure on a chevron Or between three bears’ heads couped Argent muzzled Gules a roebuck’s head erased enclosed by two hands issuant from the ends of the chevron each holding a dagger proper (for Mackay)

Crest: A boar’s head couped proper.

Motto: Quid Clarius Astris

A version of the Arms are displayed in the 1898 book “A History and Genealogy of the family of Baillie of Dunain, Dochfour and Lamington”, where in the bears’ heads are now boars as well differences with the chevron.  However, the latter might need to be taken with a bit of salt when it comes to accuracy.



I would welcome any other insights into these Arms.




30 November 2014

Bookplate: Shanly

Filed under: Coat of Arms,Heraldry — Stephen J F Plowman @ 12:19
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A bookplate for the name Shanly is on sale at eBay by the vendor klunder1928.  The Arms are an interesting mix of per chevron and per pale;


Burke’s General Armory gives the following blazon;

Shanly (Fearnaght, co. Leitrim).
Arms: Per chevron Vert and per pale Or and Ermine a chevron ermines in chief three estoiles of the second and in the dexter base a lion rampant Gules.

Crest: An arm in armour embowed proper the hand also proper grasping a broken sword Argent hilt and pommel Or therefrom five drops of blood.

Motto: Pro patria et religione.

The name Shanly is not included in the three volumes that record Sir Augustus Wollaston Frank’s bequest of British & American bookplates to the British Museum.


29 November 2014

Jeremiah Devlin -Grant of Arms 1873

There is a rather splendid Grant of Arms to Jeremiah Devlin of New York and to other descendants of his father on sale at eBay, vendor steampunkannie.  The Grant is signed by Sir John Bernard Burke, Ulster King of Arms.  The sale ends 29th December 2014 and the price is set to US$1,198.


Jeremiah Devlin of New York

Arms:  Azure an Irish cross Or between three mullets Argent.

Crest:  A griffin passant Gules charged on the shoulder with an Irish cross as in the Arms.

Motto:  Crux Mea Stella

Update:  11th December 2014; the sale “was ended by the seller because there was an error in the listing”.  It will be interesting to see if it is re-listed.


27 November 2014

Thomas McKenney – Grant of Arms 1818

The Grant of Arms to Thomas Kenney by Ulster King of Arms in 1818 has been sold on eBay for £375.50, vendor thebizaar;


Sir Thomas McKenny, 1st Bt, (born 1771 died 1849)

Arms: Or a fleur-de-lis between three crescents Azure on a chief Vert a greyhound at full speed pursuing a stag Argent attired Or.

Crest: On a wreath of the colours a cubit arm in armour proper garnished Or the gauntlet grasping a scroll Argent.

Motto: Vincit Veritas


Kenney-Thomas Debretts2




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.


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