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A Quarterly Review of County and 

Family History, Heraldry 

and Antiquities 

APRIL 1902 

The Copyright of all the Articles and Illustration} 
in this Review is strictly reserved 




MALMF.SBURV ....... ' 





PEERAGE CASES . . . By W. A. LINDSAY, K..C. (Windsor Herald) III 







The Grcsleys of Drakelowe ..... By J. HORACE ROUND 19; 

The House of Douglas By Sir GEORGE DOUGLAS, Bt. 203 

Popular Heraldry Book Making ... By OSWALD BARRON, F.S.A 207 

The Stewarts By J. HORACE ROUND 218 

The Coronation : Three books, and a protest . By L. G. WICKHAM LKGG 210 










THE pages of THE ANCESTOR will be open 
to correspondence dealing with matters 
within the scope of the review. 

Questions will be answered, and advice 
will be given, as far as may be possible, 
upon all points relating to the subjects 
with which THE ANCESTOR is concerned. 

While the greatest care will be taken 
of any MSS. which may be submitted for 
publication, the Editor cannot make him- 
self responsible for their accidental loss. 

All literary communications should be 
addressed to 







;./../, "Heraldic ',/ it I y-n Cat?" 


THE writer of the following pages feels that a little 
explanation and a short apology is perhaps needed in 
presenting an account of his own ancestors to the general 
reader, and he trusts that the somewhat personal title of this 
paper may not forbid of its perusal. 

Two views entirely contradictory to one another are always 
held respecting any account of a particular family written by 
one of its members : the first is that the account may be 
interesting and that, at all events, it is probably well authenti- 
cated in every detail, and is therefore worth reading ; the 
second, that the writer, blinded by that personal and ' egotistic ' 
interest which is inseparable from human nature, has inflicted, 
or has attempted to inflict, upon the public a collection of 
facts and fictions, truths and lies, all of which are equally un- 
interesting and equally unimportant to that reading public. In 
this case however the writer trusts that the former of these 
two views may be the one adopted, with the following addi- 
tional qualifications moreover that it is not here intended to 
write the history, pure and simple, of a single family, but that 
a family, which represents to us so much of English life in its 
past generations, and which through its members has been of 
some service to the nation in its time, may be the means of 
reviving for us the memory of men and things long since 
buried in the dust of ages and hidden in the almost impene- 
trable gloom that ever hovers o'er the path taken by retreating 

In these days of hurry and bustle, ot hastening hither and 
thither, of railways, telegrams, and an unrestricted press, when 
invention upon invention renders life more luxurious and 
when, as a nation, we are every day tending to become more 
and more cosmopolitan, it is sometimes truly pleasing to 
picture to ourselves the lives which our ancestors lived in the 
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, to try and think their 
thoughts and to imagine ourselves (if it be possible) deprived 
of all the means of rapid motion, rapid communication, and 


the power of unbridled criticism in affairs political, which were 
not theirs. 

In all countries great political movements must of necessity 
alter the conditions of social life, and it may safely be said that 
the French Revolution and its immediate results influenced 
social life in England far more than is generally supposed. 

The close of the eighteenth century saw England involved 
in an almost deadly struggle for existence for out of the 
ashes of France's fallen monarchy there had arisen a foe in 
the person of Napoleon Buonaparte than whom England has 
never had one more determined for her overthrow. 

War, it is said, is good for the internal life of a nation, and 
it must be admitted that the wars which we waged with 
Napoleon brought about very real and lasting changes in our 
system of political thought, in our society, and roused us as a 
people from our national lethargy. 

The reader may ask what has this diversion to do with the 
stated object of this paper : to which the answer is that the 
last part of the eighteenth century must be considered to have 
been the close or one of the most interesting epochs in the 
domestic, social and literary history of our country, and as 
such deserves our special attention. Just as the great Con- 
stitutional Revolution of 1688 marks the time when the life of 
the Court ceased to be the life of the nation so the opening 
of the nineteenth century announced that the rule of a proud 
aristocracy and of corrupt municipalities was at an end hence- 
forth the people must not be forgotten. Whether it was for 
the better or the worse it is not the object of this paper to try 
and demonstrate. 

The lives and letters of the members of the Harris family 
illustrate very fairly well for us the state of things alluded to 
in the foregoing paragraphs ; they give us a perfectly natural 
and unfringed account of events social, literary and political, 
which fill the pages of subsequently-written histories, bio- 
graphies and other works of a retrospective character, and 
which are only too often marred by the personal bias of the 

The more important members of the Harris family who 
flourished during the latter half of the eighteenth century, 
their immediate relations and friends, were all either Members 
of Parliament, public servants or men of the world ; they were 
likewise imbued with strong social, literary and musical tastes, 


Ajltr tk< raiHtinjrby Sir THoinas Lau-ren^t. 


which not only brought them into close contact but, in 
several cases, into an intimate friendship with the leading 
men of the day. The names of such men as the Grenvilles, 
the Pitts, Lord North, Lord Shelburne, Eden Lord Auckland, 
the Elliotts Gilbert and Hugh David Garrick, Gibbon the 
historian, and last, but by no means least, that of the great 
Handel himself are constantly to be found among the more 
familiar of those mentioned in the Harris papers. 

There is at Heron Court a large number of family letters, 
despatches and diaries, carefully preserved and methodically 
ordered, many of which were published by the third Earl of 
Malmesbury, and have since then ranked high among original 
authorities for the history of the eighteenth century. 

The chief writers and recipients of these were James Harris, 
' the amiable philosopher of Salisbury," M.P. for Christchurch, 
Hants, a Lord of the Admiralty and afterwards of the 
Treasury, Secretary and Comptroller to Queen Charlotte, 
consort of George III., and his wife, Mrs. Elizabeth Harris, 
and their son James, first Earl of Malmesbury. Others too 
there were who have contributed much that is very interesting 
and entertaining to this epistolary collection, but their names 
are far too many to enumerate here suffice it to mention the 
following, who form the more immediate family circle : the 
Lord and Lady Shaftesbury of the day, cousins to James 
Harris of Salisbury ; Thomas Harris, a master' in Chancery, 
and the Rev. William Harris, Chaplain to the Bishop of 
Durham, brothers to the said James Harris, and therefore 
uncles of the first Lord Malmesbury ; Edward Hooper of 
Heron Court, M.P. and Chairman of Customs, a very near 
kinsman of the Harrises and the last of an old county family 
who made Lord Malmesbury his heir, as well as a host of 
public and well known men, many of whom have already been 
noticed and several of whom also form the subject of anecdote 
later on. 

The Harrises came of an old Wiltshire family at least old 
when placed in the strong light of the new scientific methods 
of genealogical research ; for them no pedigree had ever been 
' faked,' for them no attempt had ever been made to ascribe a 
descent from demi-gods and mythical heroes ; simply they had 
lived, and simply they had died. 

The family of Harris is first heard of in the year 1561, 
when in the July of that date one William Harris espoused a 


youthful widow, Mrs. Cicely Sherne, who bore to him a son 
and heir, Thomas by name, who dwelt at Orcheston St. 
George in the county of Wilts, and dying left a son, by 
Praxid his wife, called James, baptized October 6, 1605. For 
several reasons this James Harris is rather an important person 
in the family pedigree, since having departed from the paternal 
roof, he migrated to New Sarum (Salisbury) and, marrying the 
daughter of the bishop of that diocese, settled there. And 
there too, for four generations, lived his descendants, without 
apparently any wish ' to leave in life or in death ' that most 
beautiful of cathedral cities : for while they occupied the same 
house in its close during their lives, so also their bodies found 
rest within its great church, when death had come to each in 
his turn. 

Of the above-mentioned James Harris however not much 
more of interest is known, save that he bequeathed a dis- 
tinctive Christian name to his family, which with only two 
exceptions has been successively borne by its heads ever since ; 
and one more fact yet about this old James Harris. His hat, 
a high-crowned headpiece, hardened and stiffened by the 
flight of years, utterly devoid of all colour if any colour it 
ever had hangs in the old hall at Heron Court. This hat he 
wore in the year 1 643, a year gravely important in English 
history ; but whether he actively espoused the cause of King or 
Parliament it is by no means clearly known, though the 
tradition clinging to this hat added to its form leaves little 
room for doubt that he sided with the party opposed to 
Charles I. Moreover, too, the Harrises were always staunchly 
Whig, and it was only when the first Lord Malmesbury 
threw in his lot with the Duke of Portland, Burke and the 
other leaders of 'the old Whig party' in 1794, that their 
loyalty to c Whiggism ' was transferred to the younger Pitt 
and to the great principles of which he was the champion. 

Thomas, son of this James Harris, married for his second 
wife Joan, daughter of Sir Wadham Wyndham of Norrington, 
one of the judges of the King's Bench in the reign of Charles 
II., a scion of the ancient and noble house of Egremont. 

Joan Wyndham, who thus, in 1673, became the wife of 
Thomas Harris of New Sarum, has left behind her, not only a 
portrait of herself, but also a quaint and, from its age, 
curious account-book, an extract or two from which it has been 
thought worth while to give : 


/trtVr *k* Painting by Jostp 


Jeny Fox came to me at Candelmas 1675, her wages is 3'" a yeare. 

John Bennett came to mee at Lady Day 1677, his wages is 4'" a yeare and 

a livery cote. 
Septem ye z8th 1677, pd John 205. for a quarters wages. 

Mary Branton came to mee at Lady Day 1677, her wages is 3!! a yeare. 

Pd John halfe a yeare's wages due at Christ . '77 2 o o 
Pd Mary Branton halfe a yeare's wages due at 

Mickelmas 1677 i io o 

All my expences begininge ye 2 1 th of July 1 674 

a yrd. flancll for Jene o i io 

3 custard dishes 009 

a letter 002 

My brother Wadham o i o 

a dozen of Suger at 6 .Id 066 

A Suger lofe at io p. 1 o 4 7 

pd. for 4 bottles of clarit 040 

a ijrt of Sack 020 

a pnt of whit wine O i o 

cowcomere oio 

stockings for Jane 002 

ye poor 002 

for Anchoves 006 

gave ye mads at Norrington 020 

bread 002 

Feb ye 27th 1679^ 

for 4 bushellcs of oats 024 

July ye loth 

for 4 bushells of oats 076 

A whit Quilt 3ioo 

Aperell ye 22nd 1682 

pd for Meteriall for william Cote .... 0170 
for Making willi- 

-ams Cote 050 

two Muggs oio 

March ye 3Oth 1682 pd. Margaret her 

wages for half a yeare i io o 

ye same time pd. William half a 

year's wages 300 

April ye 22th 

1682 gave to ye servants 

for fairings 060 

ribbin 030 

poor body o o i 

Sweet Meatts 050 

What I disburs in rats (rates) and payments for 

this house 

Since my father died (father-in-law) 
pd Mr Carpenter 

for disbanding ye Army 030 


March ye 29 

pd Mr. Ormong to ye poor ending 
Lady Day 
1680 066 

Lad out & spent in ye year 1685 

as by ye house book apereth to be . . . 104 14.',. 10 
pd. as by ye house book apereth . . . o 86 04 '05 

wood & cole 01012 8 

Malt oo 5 i8 J\ 

in all 207 io 6f 

The prices quoted against the articles therein mentioned, 
especially the amounts relating to the servants' wages, are 
somewhat interesting ; and while it will doubtless be noticed 
that the figures entered against many of the various common- 
place items of every-day expenditure are not in the least 
excessive according to our own modern standard, those which 
stand for wages will strike us as being ridiculously low and 
hardly to be credited when compared with the former. This 
discrepancy however requires but little explanation, when it is 
remembered that money was in those days worth many times 
its present value, and therefore not only do the wage figures, 
upon the basis of this simple calculation, represent a much 
higher sum than that which they actually appear to do, but 
further it is these very items of ordinary and every day 
necessity which, in reality, when estimated upon the same 
scale, cost our ancestors much more than they would have paid 
for them nowadays. 

The married life of Joan Harris (born Wyndham) however 
was destined to be a short one, for the untimely death of her 
husband, Mr. Thomas Harris, at the early age of thirty-five 
very shortly before that of his father left her a lonely widow 
and the mother of two fatherless boys after but five years of 
connubial bliss. Death, too, soon robbed her of the younger 
of these children. Stricken with the weight of her great 
sorrows and in the full measure of her affliction, this good 
lady has duly recorded the same in the Harris family Bible, an 
old volume which has been carefully treasured and religiously 
kept up to date since 1 56 1 (the book itself was printed in 1583). 
She died in 1734 at the advanced age of eighty-four, having 
survived her husband, both her sons and one daughter-in-law. 

James, the elder son and only surviving child of the said 
Thomas Harris by the said Joan, his wife, although he suc- 
ceeded at a tender age to the family fortunes, showed no 


A/ltr t/u Painting if PltUtr Mtrcitr. 


inclination to break away from the sameness of existence 
which had become almost hereditary in his family. Like his 
father, twice he woo'd and twice he wed ; by his first wife, 
Catherine Cocks, niece of the Lord Chancellor Somers and 
sister to the first Countess of Hardwicke, one daughter only 
was born to him, who grew up and became the wife of Sir 
Wyndham Knatchbull-Wyndham, Bart., but her birth was her 
mother's death ; his second wife, the Lady Elizabeth Ashley, 
daughter of Anthony, second Earl of Shaftesbury, to whom 
he was married in 1707, bore to him four children one 
daughter, who died in babyhood, and three sons, all of whom 
have already been mentioned, viz., James, Thomas and 
William Harris. And here we come to that point when the 
family history becomes something more than a mere setting 
down and recording of births, deaths and marriages, all of 
which may be very engrossing to the real student of genealo- 
gical research or to members of the Harris family, but which 
are probably dry and unprofitable to the ordinary and casual 
reader. The Lady Elizabeth Harris was the mother of a dis- 
tinguished scholar and public servant, and the grandmother of 
one of the most distinguished diplomatists of the eighteenth 
century. Whether Lady Elizabeth was herself a woman of 
great ability it is impossible to judge, not only because the 
material is wanting from which any opinion could be formed, 
but because ladies of her generation had so little opportunity 
of doing aught else than to lead a dignified and dependent 
existence before their work-frames, never venturing much 
abroad unless attended by an escort of their nearest male 
relatives. That she came of a talented family however is 
beyond dispute, for her grandfather, the first Earl of Shaftes- 
bury, was one of England's most illustrious Lord Chancellors 
and two of her brothers, the third Earl (the noble author of 
Characteristics) and Mr. Maurice Ashley (the translator of 
Xenophon) were men of no mean parts. 

She appears to have possessed a rather delicate constitution, 
and after her husband's death, which occurred when her eldest 
son was only twenty-two, lived a life of great retirement, 
spending many of her days at Bath, that place where once the 
old and the young, the solemn and the gay, the infirm and 
those in all the full vigour of health loved to congregate. 
Nevertheless, be things what they may, it was Lady Elizabeth's 
eldest son James who brought about a radical change in the 


Harris family life and habits, and it is hoped that the short 
account which is here given of the society in which he him- 
self, his son and his two brothers were prominent figures, 
may enable the reader to carry his imagination back to that 
old-world life which our ancestors lived during the latter halt 
of the eighteenth century, to those picturesque days of wine 
and song, of stately minuet and country dance, of true love- 
making and of much high-playing, of low bows and dainty 
curtseys, of fine dressing and courtly speaking on the part 
both of maid and swain such manners and customs, such 
sayings and doings as are best revived for us in Sheridan's 
immortal plays. 

It is not pretended to claim for each Harris any peculiar 
distinction. The eldest of the brothers, James (born 1709), 
and his son, the first Lord Malmesbury, were undoubtedly 
brilliant men, and from the tastes which they cultivated and 
the friends which they made, the younger brothers, Thomas 
and William, born respectively in 1711 and 1714, are rather 
attractive personalities, but that is all that is put forward on 
their behalf. 

James Harris married in July, 1745, and it is about this 
time that the regular family correspondence begins. This 
year was a critical one for England ; it saw the landing of 
Charles Edward Stuart, the young Pretender, upon British 
soil, and his audacious march into the very heart of George 
II. 's kingdom ; it saw us in open hostility with France, and 
joining in the general warfare then raging upon the continent. 
The Harrises and their relations were all strong supporters 
of the Hanoverian succession, and it is amusing to read their 
comments upon the successes and failures of the rebel arms. 
Lord Shaftesbury writing in September, 1745, to his cousin, 
Mr. James Harris, says : 1 < I find the affair in Scotland grows 
serious ' ; and again further on in the same letter, { it is very 
happy the nation in general is so well affected to the King, 
otherwise there would be the greatest danger.' It is hard at 
this distance to appreciate this great danger, but at the period 
at which these letters were written the Guelphs had not long 
occupied the English throne, and there were many who were 
disgusted with the strong German sympathies of the first two 
Georges and with the flagrant immorality of their courts. 
In the same month, the Rev. William Harris, who was 
1 Letttn of the first Earl of Malmesbury, his family and friend* (Bentley). 


chaplain to the Bishop of Durham, informs his brother, Mr. 
James Harris, 1 c that affairs go very ill in Scotland, where the 
rebels have attacked and defeated the King's troops under 
Sir John Cope.' This defeat is explained in a later paragraph 
of the same letter, for 'it is reported that two regiments of 
dragoons Sir John Cope had with him behaved shamefully, 
were put into confusion upon the enemy coming up, broke 
their ranks and made off as fast as they could.' 
Lord Shaftesbury again writing tells us that 2 

Mr. Pitt moved for an Address, in very respectful terms, to advise the King 
to recall the troops (which, by the way, all are horse, and consequently the 
fittest to be employed in quelling rebellions and repelling descents) all from 
Flanders at this perilous conjuncture, to protect us from immediate danger. 
' This,' he states, however, was eluded ' and he adds with some irony ' not a 
Tory on either side speaking.' 

The reader is already aware that the Harrises were almost 
bigoted partisans of the House of Brunswick, and he will there- 
fore not feel surprised to come across in their letters the fol- 
lowing epithets applied to the followers of the younger Stuart : 3 

It is really a shame upon our whole nation that such a vile crew of 
unheard-of wretches should of a sudden enter the kingdom and penetrate 
into the very heart of it and retire back to their mountains again and there 
bid us defiance. I doubt there has been some mismanagement on our side. 

Such are the invectives which come from the pen of the 
parson of the Harris family, who was then residing in town 
with his episcopal chief, the Bishop of Durham, at that pre- 
late's house in Grosvenor Square, and whence are dated most 
of his letters at this stirring period, showing a wise discretion 
on the part of his right reverend lordship to remain on in 
London, away from all the dangers which were threatening 
his northern diocese ; and these views seem to have been 
thoroughly shared by his chaplain, ' the Rev. William,' who 
was also rector of Egglescliffe, or Excliffe, in that see ; for 
corresponding with his sister-in-law in February, 1746, he 
relates how perfectly he agreed with her, 4 

that there are many circumstances at present extremely dissuasive with regard to 
my journey into the north, and yet now the Duke's arrival there has given a 
most happy turn to our affairs, and we have pretty good reason to think our- 
selves nearly secure as to our Scotch neighbours. I believe I shall at last 
struggle through the hardships of bad roads and bad weather in order to make 
my little flock a visit, this being the only opportunity I can expect this great 
while for the purpose. 

1 Letten of tbefnt Earl of Malmesbury (Bentley). 2 Ibid. 3 Ibid. * Ibid. 


' The Duke ' referred to in this letter was his Royal Highness 
William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, the second son of 
King George II., who two months after this date finally crushed 
the followers of ' bonnie Prince Charlie ' at Culloden. 

Of some of the events which followed, and which were 
closely connected with the defeat of the young Pretender, 
we must leave it to the ' legal member ' of the Harris family 
to give us a description. The letters of Mr. Thomas Harris, 
a master in Chancery, and the second of the three brothers, are 
few and far between. He was a busy man, and presumably 
had much less time to write than his ' gossiping ' clergyman- 
brother, ' the Rev. William,' who appears moreover to have 
been a special favourite with his sister-in-law, ' Mrs. James', 
to whom most of his letters were addressed. 

Thomas Harris, all the same, has left us a business-like con- 
temporary account of the trial of that arch-hypocrite and 
cunning plotter, Simon Fraser, Lord Lovat. It would be 
entirely out of place in these pages to glance even hastily at 
the career of this remarkable personage ; suffice it to say that 
he was one of the most extraordinary characters of his time. 
Shamefully unscrupulous and criminally dishonest, Lord Lovat 
stands out from among the adherents of Charles Edward 
Stuart as one who deserves no pity. If any man ever tried 
to run with the proverbial hare and hunt with the metaphorical 
hounds it was he. Thomas Harris, writing from Lincoln's 
Inn in March, 1747, informs his sister-in-law that every one 
is 1 ' taken up with Lord Lovat's trial.' . . . ' I was there 
yesterday,' he says, ' but cannot pretend to give you a full 
account of the ceremony, which might take up a volume in 
the Heralds' books.' 

Lord Lovat, true to his nature, procrastinated much, raising 
every petty objection he possibly could, one of which at once 
enlisted ' the lawyer's sympathy ' ; for goes on Thomas 
Harris :* 

Lord Lovat spoke a good deal of the harshness of not having counsel to 
help him, being so old and infirm ; but the law being against him (though, I 
think, most unreasonably) it was not allowed. 

Thomas Harris however will doubtless possess a far greater 
attraction for the reader when regarded in the light of his long 
and close intimacy with one of the greatest musicians of the 

1 Letters of the frit Earl of Malmesbury (Bentley). 2 Ibid. 


r th< Paitttitif by Sir Joshua Reynolds. 


eighteenth century. George Frederick Handel was a constant 
guest and welcome visitor to the family mansion of the 
Harrises, and although past the zenith of his great com- 
posing powers at the time when his name so frequently appears 
in the Harris letters as well as burdened with the weight of 
pecuniary failures and physical infirmities he still represented 
in ' the afternoon and evening of his life ' a grand and solitary 
figure, in whom interest is rather increased than lessened, 
because notwithstanding his almost transcendental genius the 
full measure of success had always been denied him. 

Handel's health seems to have been the object of much 
concern and anxiety to all the members of the Harris family, 
as also to their relatives, the Shaftesburys ; but still it was the 
second brother Thomas, the master in Chancery, who more 
especially enjoyed the confidence and friendship of the great 

Thomas Harris is not to be compared with his much more 
gifted elder brother James, who besides being a very learned 
Greek and Latin scholar was also a passionate lover of music, 
and wrote a critical treatise on harmony ; yet, as will be seen 
presently, it was the younger, not the elder, brother who in the 
end was most closely associated with the blind musician. Handel 
was wont sometimes to take part in amateur concerts at the 
house of the elder Harris, and he seems to have regarded it as 
a place where for a while he could rest his wearied brain and 
be at peace. After what has been so far written it may not 
be altogether uninteresting to quote from the family letters 
a few of the references made in these to him and to the 
condition of his mind. Lady Shaftesbury, in March, 1745, 
writing from London to James Harris, tells him that 1 
1 repeated colds ' and her ' natural propensity to stay at 
home ' had kept her much indoors since she came to town ; 
but then there follows an almost affectionate allusion to 
Handel : 

However [so runs her letter], my constancy to poor Handel got the better 
of this and my indolence, and I went last Friday to ' Alexander's Feast ' ; but 
it was such a melancholy pleasure, as drew tears of sorrow to see the great 
though unhappy Handel, dejected, wan and dark, sitting by, not playing on 
the harpsichord, and to think how his life had been spent by being overplied 
in music's cause. I was sorry to find the audience so insipid and tasteless 
(I may add unkind) not to give the poor man the comfort of applause ; but 
affectation and conceit cannot discern or attend to merit. 

1 Letters of the first Earl of Malmesbury (Bentley). 


In August ot the same year the Rev. William Harris, 
writing to his sister-in-law, mentions having 'met Mr. 
Handel a few days since in the street,' and then continues : 1 

[I] put him in mind who I was, upon which I am sure it would hare 
diverted you to have seen his antic motions. He seemed highly pleased, and 
was full of inquiry after you and the Councillor [Mr. Thomas Harris]. I told 
him I was very confident that you expected a visit from him this summer. He 
talked much of his precarious state of health, yet he looks well enough. I 
believe you will have htm with you ere long. 

Subsequently Handel's health improved a little, for we are 
told by Lord Shaftesbury : 2 

Poor Handel looks something better. I hope he will entirely recover in 
due time, though he has been a good deal disordered in his head. 

February 7, 1746, saw the Rev. William Harris at Handel's 
house to hear a rehearsal of a ' new Occasional Oratorio,' of 
which he sends a most favourable notice to his sister-in-law 
and faithful correspondent ; and again four years later Lord 
Shaftesbury acquaints James Harris with the fact that he has 
seen Handel several times in London and ' never saw him so 
cool and well.' 

The famous musician had been purchasing some fine pictures, 
and from Lord Shaftesbury's letter it must be gathered that 
Handel's health and fortunes had taken a decided turn for the 

Among the pictures at Heron Court there is one of the 
great man painted by Philip Mercier, which Handel himself 
gave to his friend Mr. Thomas Harris about the year 1748, 
together with some manuscript-copies of his operas ; these 
MS. scores are now carefully preserved in the library there. 
The name of Thomas Harris, like those of many of Handel's 
admirers, does not appear at all in most of the works which 
have been published on the life and labours of the great com- 
poser, which may possibly help to make these allusions to him 
the more interesting ; but though this be so, Handel himself 
evidently reckoned Harris among those who formed the inner 
circle of his friends. If the reader likes to refer to Handel's 
will and its four codicils, which have more than once been 
printed and a copy of which the writer has 3 now 4 before him, 
he will see there the name of ' the Councillor.' Thomas Harris 

1 Letters of the first Earl of Malmesbury (Bentley). 2 Ibid. 

3 Musical Times, Dec. 14, 1893. 

4 Life of Handel, by Victor Schcelcher (Trubner & Co.). 


was not only the first of two witnesses who attested Handel's 
last will and testament, but he also enjoys the unique distinc- 
tion of having performed this same duty at the signing of three 
of these codicils, the technicalities of law forbidding him to 
take part in the attestation of the fourth and last for under 
this codicil he himself became a beneficiary, and in it Handel 
bequeathed to him a legacy of 300. The following is the 
exact text of this bequest : 

{ I give to Thomas Harris, Esquire, of Lincoln's Inn Fields, 
three hundred pounds ' and by a curious coincidence, Harriot, 
the daughter of George Amyand (afterwards Sir George Amyand, 
Bart.), to whom Handel bequeathed a legacy, and who was also 
one of the executors of his will, became in 1777 the wife of 
Thomas Harris' nephew, the first Lord Malmesbury. It only 
remains to be added that Thomas Harris married Catherine, 
sister to Sir Wyndham Knatchbull-Wyndham, fifth baronet, of 
Mersham Hatch in Kent, thus uniting by ties of marriage, 
for the third time within three generations, the Wyndham and 
Harris families. He predeceased his wife, without issue, in 

Mention has frequently been made in the foregoing pages 
of James Harris, the eldest of the brothers, and it has already 
been stated that besides being a learned scholar and an ardent 
musician he was Member of Parliament for Christchurch in 
Hampshire, a Commissioner of the Admiralty and subsequently 
at the Treasury, as also towards the end of his life Secretary 
and Comptroller to the queen of George III. The life of the 
then head of the Harris family furnishes us with many interest- 
ing opportunities of becoming acquainted with several of the 
leading men of the day, as well as of acquiring some informa- 
tion concerning the opinions then generally held in England 
of events truly important in our national history. As a man 
of literature he mixed much in that talented coterie in 
which Sir Joshua Reynolds, Dr. Johnson, David Garrick, Miss 
Hannah More and others of their sort shone so brilliantly. As 
a Member of Parliament, who enjoyed the private friendship 
and implicit confidence of his political chiefs, and as a holder 
of office, he is often to be found in the society of such eminent 
men as George Grenville and Lord North ; while in later 
days, as a member of Queen Charlotte's household, he was 
privileged to receive many marks of the royal favour from 
her Majesty ; and, in fact, it was at the joint request of both 


king and queen that he was in the first instance appointed to 
this office. But it was almost exclusively as a man of letters 
rather than as c a man of affairs ' or as a courtier that James, 
or ' Hermes ' Harris, was best known to his contemporaries ; 
the nickname of ' Hermes,' by which he was more familiarly 
distinguished, having been given to him to celebrate his author- 
ship of a certain treatise entitled Hermes, or a Philosophical 
Inquiry concerning Universal Grammar. 

James Harris' works were much thought of in their day, 
and Bishop Lowth, speaking of the Hermes, pays it the 
following eulogium : ' The most beautiful example of analysis 
produced since the days of Aristotle.' This same treatise 
obtained such universal reputation that the French Directory 
ordered it to be translated and published in 1796 ; but this 
work, notwithstanding the very exalted position it once held 
among other works of a similar character, is now of no 
scientific value, the system upon which it was based, according 
to the modern theories of language, being quite erroneous, 
and it will probably only be discovered in the dark corners 
of some eighteenth century library, or, at a low price, in the 
shop of a secondhand bookseller. ' Sic transit gloria mundi.' 

Boswell's life of the mighty Johnson contains several refer- 
ences to ' Hermes ' Harris, but it is difficult to make out from 
them what was Johnson's real opinion of him. 

Boswell (in 1773) says : J 

I spoke of Mr. Harris of Salisbury as being a very learned man, and in 
particular an eminent Grecian. 

Johnson : I am not sure of that. His friends give him out as such, but I 
know not who of his friends are able to judge of it. 

Goldsmith : He is what is much better ; he is a worthy, humane man. 

Johnson : Nay, sir, that is not to the purpose of our argument ; that will 
as much prove that he can play upon the fiddle as well as Giardini, as that he 
is an eminent Grecian. 

Again, in 1778, Boswell relates for us, in his clear concise 
manner, the substance of one of his many conversations with 
Johnson, in which Johnson passes the most ambiguously- 
worded judgment on ' Hermes ' Harris. Boswell had been 
talking of an interview with a certain lady friend of his as 
to the merits of certain parts of Mr. Gibbon's history : 2 

1 Boswell's Life oj Dr. Johnion, edited by Augustine Birrell, iii. 80 
(Constable & Co.). 

2 Ibid. iv. 245. 


.-l/Ur the Painting by Sir Jwhitti Reynolds, 


Boswell : Mr. Harris, who was present, agreed with her. 

Johnson : Harris was laughing at her, sir. Harris is a sound, sullen scholar. 
He does not like interlopers. Harris however is a prig, and a bad prig. 1 I 
looked into his book and thought he did not understand his own system. 

Boswell: He says plain things in a formal and abstract way, to be sure ; 
for, etc., etc. 

Boswell himself seems to have joined in the general con- 
census of opinion as to James Harris' abilities, for in referring 
to a dinner and reception at the house of Sir Joshua Reynolds, 
Dr. Johnson's biographer remarks 8 : ' When we went to the 
drawing-room there was a rich assemblage. Besides the com- 
pany who had been at dinner there were Mr. Garrick, Mr. 
Harris of Salisbury, Dr. Percy, Dr. Burney, the Hon. Mrs. 
Cholmondeley, Miss Hannah More, etc., etc.' And the fol- 
lowing conclusion to a conversation between Dr. Johnson and 
Mr. Harris is certainly characteristic : 

Johnson: . . . every substance [smiling to Mr. Harris] has so many accidents. 
To be distinct we must talk analytically. If we analyse language, we must 
speak of it grammatically ; if we analyse argument, we must speak of it logi- 

Johnson survived Harris by four years, they having been 
born the same year, 1709 ; and Boswell did not publish the 
first edition of his life of the former until eleven years after 
Harris' death. The following extract therefore from the 
Harris letters may be somewhat appropriate here, though it 
contains anything but flattering comments on Dr. Johnson or 
Mr. Boswell : 3 

. . . Tuesday, Dr. Johnson, his fellow-traveller through the Scotch Western 
Isles, Mr. Boswell and Sir Joshua Reynolds dined here. I have long wished to 
be in company with this said Johnson ; his conversation is the same as his 
writing, but a dreadful voice and manner. He is certainly amusing as a 
novelty, but seems not possessed of any benevolence, is beyond all description 
awkward, and more beastly in his dress and person than anything I ever beheld. 
He feeds nastily and ferociously, and eats quantities most unthankfully. As to 
Boswell, he appears a low-bred kind of being. 

The above unkind criticism of Johnson and his satellite 
Boswell does not emanate from the brain of ' Hermes ' Harris, 

1 Boswell comments on this remark of Johnson's in a footnote, which 
appears in the first edition of The Life, bearing special reference to this conver- 
sation, as follows : ' What my friend meant by these words concerning the 
amiable philosopher of Salisbury, I am at a loss to understand.' 

* Boswell's Life of Dr. Johnson, ed. Augustine Birrell, iv. 258-9 (Constable 
& Co.). 3 Letters, first Earl of Malmesbury (Bentley). 



who was of far too ' amiable ' a nature to have thought, much 
less to have written, such a philippic upon any man, especially 
upon men of worth, as were Samuel Johnson and his com- 
panion ; it is Mrs. Harris, the wife of ' Hermes,' who sends 
to her only son, then in Berlin, this very unattractive, nay, 
almost repellent, picture of this strange prodigy and his 

Mrs. Harris, wife of James Harris and mother of another 
James Harris, destined to be the first Lord Malmesbury, was 
certainly a woman of great strength of character, and her let- 
ters, which are very numerous, indicate a sequence of thought 
and power of logical expression qualities rather alien to the 
feminine nature. She had been Elizabeth Clarke, only daughter 
and eventually sole heir of John Clarke of Sandford, in the 
county of Somerset, M.P. for Bridgwater. Five children 
were born to her, of whom three alone lived to grow up one 
son, James, Lord Malmesbury, and two daughters, Catherine 
Gertrude, wife of the Honourable Frederick Robinson, a son 
of Thomas, first Lord Grantham, and Louisa Margaret, who 
died unmarried. 

Mrs. Harris threw herself into the social and political life of 
her husband with an energy which well deserves commenda- 
tion, and it is to her that thanks are due for many of by far 
the most amusing stories of people and things as told in the 
Harris Papers. 

These anecdotes are in most instances racy, spirited and full 
of humour ; though at times, be it said, they are unquestion- 
ably ' risky ' in tone a fault always pardonable when accom- 
panied by genuine wit. 

The first Lord Malmesbury was in every respect an affec- 
tionate and dutiful son to both his parents, but to his father he 
was bound by ties of a very special and life-long devotion. 1 
' To my father's precepts and example,' he states in a letter 
written in the year 1 800, ' I owe every good quality I have. 
To bis reputation, to bis character, I attribute my more than 
common success in life. It was these that introduced me with 
peculiar advantage into the world ; it was as bis son that I 
first obtained friends and patrons.' And there is a ring of 
deep mournfulness in the latter part of the same letter when 
he goes on to say 

1 Diaries and Correspondence of James Harris, first Earl of Malmesbury (Bentley), 
vol. i. p. vii. 



Once, indeed, placed in a conspicuous and responsible situation . . . the 
strongest incentive I had to exert myself was in the satisfaction I knew he 
would derive from any credit I might acquire, and the many and distinguished 
honours I have since received have suffered a great diminution in my estima- 
tion from his being no longer a witness to them. 

It may be wondered that no direct mention has been so far 
made as to where the Harrises lived at the moment when 
James Harris and his wife are first introduced to the reader. 
The headquarters of the family were at Salisbury, in the old 
house which they had long ' held under the Church,' but they 
also had a small property and manor house situated on thf 
river Avon, called Great Durnford, about eight miles from the 
cathedral city, a small remnant of which estate still remains in 
the hands of the writer of these pages, as well as owning 
another small house and property in Hampshire, 1 which had 
likewise been theirs for several generations. 

It was not until after he had entered Parliament and when 
their children were growing up that James and Mrs. Harris 
are to be found year after year regularly settled in London ; 
but even then they still spent a good portion of the twelve 
months at their various country residences, more especially at 

It is difficult for us who live in these days thoroughly to 
picture to ourselves the appalling discomforts and endless 
fatigues to which our ancestors were subject each time they 
took a long journey in the ' good old coaching days,' when 
famous country inns with historic signboards drove a brisk 
trade these inns which can now scarce boast a decent coffee- 
room, whose great stables are tenanted by a few lean and 
jaded nags, and where space, empty, yawning, desolate space, 
reigns supreme. Would that such old places as these could 
speak, and many a tale they would tell us of gallant gentleman 
and high-born dame primly paying one another polite compli- 
ments after the fashion of our forefathers, of swaggering 
grooms and buxom lasses taking advantage of the halt to flirt 
together in their own rude way, while c canary-vested,' bare- 
armed ostlers led off the wearied steaming horses to fodder 
and to rest. 

1 Not Heron Court, which came to the first Lord Malmesbury from his 
cousin, Mr. Hooper, M.P. Lord Malmesbury greatly enlarged and almost 
entirely rebuilt it, transforming it from an Elizabethan-shaped manor house 
into a fine country seat. 


The more interesting scenes of the Harris family life, as far 
as the general reader is concerned, are laid in the gay metro- 
polis, but their letters contain many a charming account 
of country festivities, when county neighbours combined for 
the mutual entertainment and happiness of one another. A 
feature too which deserves attention is the very important part 
that places now reckoned among the suburbs of our great 
capital, such as Richmond, Kew and Twickenham, played in 
the social history of London as late as the last fifty years of 
the eighteenth century. 

A letter of Mrs. Harris, written to her son at Oxford in 
June, 1763, tells him of a visit to Court, and at the same time 
serves to remind us of the popularity which these places once 
enjoyed in the eyes of the principal members of the Royal 
Family when George III. was king. It is as follows : l 

I was at St. James' yesterday ; it was not full. Their Majesties were gra- 
cious to me ; the Queen spoke English to Lady Henley, but French to me, 
who came next. . . . This morning we went to Richmond ; found nobody 
at home, but had a pleasant drive. The Duke of York and Princes William 
and Henry were just going from the Princesses as we got back to Kew. I had 
some difficulty to prevail on Thomas not to drive against the Duke of York, 
who was driving himself in a curricle ; his brothers were on horseback. 

It was at Kew moreover that George III. first learnt the 
news of his grandfather's death and of his own succession, 
which event is duly chronicled in the Harris letters, and for 
the account of which Mr. Hooper, M.P., of Heron Court, 
first cousin to James Harris, is responsible. 2 It runs as fol- 

. . . One striking instance of the King's prudence and presence of mind is 
much talked of. He was riding out from Kew when a page delivered him a 
ticket importing that something had happened to the (late) King. He very calmly 
despatched the page and rode on a little way ; then, saying to his attendants 
that he found his horse was either lame or ill-shod, he turned back and con- 
cealed from those about him even the suspicion of what had happened until 
the news of the King's death was brought to him at Kew. 

Other references to George III. in the Harris Papers contain 
eulogies on his conduct in the 'Wilkes' affair,' as also on 
another occasion of popular demonstrations. 

* Almacks ' (afterwards known as Willis's Rooms), Vauxhall 
and Ranelagh were all favourite resorts for the Harris family, 
and many are the descriptions of the fashionable world given 
in their letters after visits to these places of amusement. 
1 Malmesbury Letters (Bentley). z Ibid. 


After the Painting by Gtorgt Romnty. 


' Hermes ' Harris was a devoted and regular attendant at 
the opera, and it is rather astonishing to observe that the opera 
season in his day was always in the winter. ' The opera next 
winter,' l writes the mother of the first Lord Malmesbury in 
April, 1769, ' is to be managed by Mr. G. Pitt and Mr. Hobart ; 
they talk of having the the "Guadagni," and the " Amicci," 
but I have lived long enough to know that spring talk and 
winter performances are not always the same. . . .' An ardent 
lover of the drama too, more than one note addressed to him 
by David Garrick is to be found among his correspondence. 
There is a letter still extant from the great actor, dated at 
Hampton, July 6, 1762, asking Mr. Harris' good offices and 
assistance in a particular matter connected with the stage : 2 

Though I have had the honour [writes Garrick] of paying my respects to 
you at Salisbury, yet I know not how to make my excuses for the liberty I am 
going to take. A friend of mine who warmly recommended the musical 
talents of young Norris to me, and who has brought about an engagement 
with Mr. Stephens and the managers of Drury Lane Theatre, at the same 
time spoke highly of a pastoral, called ' Damon and Amaryllis,' and which he 
told me was in your hands. As I would willingly exhibit the young man to 
the best advantage, and as I am assured that he cannot appear to more in any 
performance than in the pastoral I have mentioned, I have made bold, Sir, 
to request a great favour of you, that you would permit us to perform it at 
Drury Lane the next winter. 

Mr. Harris readily assented to this request, and two months 
later we find the dramatist taking his advice on one or two 
points of detail having reference to the production of this 

While James Harris thus pursued the natural bent of his 
own mind and gave himself up, as far as was separable from his 
public duties, to his own inclinations, his wife and daughters 
appear to have thoroughly participated in all the social gaieties 
and intellectual attractions of a life in London. An extract 
quoted from a letter of Mrs. Harris describes the feelings just 
alluded to : 3 

His Majesty's birthday was very brilliant. Lady Lincoln was fine and ele- 
gant. Mrs. Howard had a point-lace trimming that cost 5<DO/. Gertrude 
got a pretty light brown coat for your father, lined with blue and trimmed 
with a gold net set on blue ribbon. We thought him quite gay till Lord 
Guildford came here to carry him to Court. His lordship was dressed in light 
green, the cuffs turned up with a flowered silk with silver pink and green 

1 Malmctbury Letters (Bentley). * Ibid. 3 Ibid. 


The Harrises entertained much both in town and at Salis- 
bury, and some distinguished statesman or wit was generally 
to be found among their guests. 

Such were the first Lord Malmesbury's earliest surround- 
ings, such were the influences which must have gone far to 
mould his character and to have rendered him capable of win- 
ning his spurs in the lists of diplomacy at the early age of 
twenty-four. His birth, which took place at Salisbury in the 
house of his fathers, is thus entered in the family Bible : 
{ James, the son of James and Elizabeth Harris, was born the 
ninth of April, 1746, at half hour past twelve at noon.' And a 
brass plate affixed to the wall of a room in the old rambling 
house still perpetuates its memory. 

The future Lord Malmesbury commenced his juvenile 
studies at a small school in his native place, whence he was sent 
to Winchester, and in 1763 was entered as a gentleman com- 
moner at Merton College, Oxford. His life at the University 
cannot be more fittingly described than in his own words : l 

The set of men with whom I lived were very pleasant, but very idle fellows. 
Our life was an imitation of High Life in London ; luckily drinking was not 
the fashion, but what we did drink was claret, and we had our regular round 
of evening card parties, to the great annoyance of our finances. It has often 
been a matter of surprise to me how many of us made our way so well in the 
world and so creditably. Charles Fox, Lord Romney, North, Bishop of 
Winchester, Sir J. Stepney, Lord Robert Spencer, William Eden (now Lord 
Auckland), and my good and ever esteemed friend the last Lord Northington 
were amongst the number. 

After leaving Oxford in 1765 James Harris the younger 
was sent to finish his studies at Leyden, where he remained 
for a year, returning home in 1766 ; but in 1767 he again 
left England, this time for a protracted tour on the continent, 
and he passed nearly the whole of the next thirty-five years of 
his life abroad. The experiences which he gained on this tour 
were of incalculable value to him in his after-career ; for not 
only was the knowledge of the general state of politics, which 
he by a lengthened residence at more than one European capi- 
tal acquired first-hand, of the greatest assistance later on, but 
he found the many friendships which he had originally made 
in an unofficial capacity of almost essential service to him when 
he became a responsible servant of the Crown. 

The younger Harris had a personal charm of manner which 

1 Diaries and Correspondence of the first Earl of Malmesbury (Bentley). 

Mk>. JAM I-.-, II\KKI> (\VIKK .>F JAMI.* liAKkls, M.I'.) 

.Illrr Ihr I'aiutin? ty Jatflt Hifhmvrr. 


easily made him a persona gratissima at the various Courts to 
which he was accredited, and, as may be seen from his pictures, 
was also a remarkably handsome man a natural possession 
which certainly has to be reckoned with. It may almost be 
said of the first Lord Malmesbury without any undue laudatory 
extravagance that he represented in his manner and in his 
person the best type of courtier-diplomatist ; and Mr. Thackeray, 
describing the life of a great lady of fashion somewhere in the 
pages of his now famous novel, Vanity Fair, relates how, among 
her many social accomplishments, 

* Malmesbury bad made her bis best bow.' 

But James Harris the younger was more than a mere 
courtier and man of the world, for under the most affable 
demeanour and a truly fascinating appearance he concealed an 
astuteness and fixity of purpose which often baffled the 
diplomatic schemes and political intrigues of his opponents. 
Mirabeau terms him : 

' Cet audacieux et ruse Harris.' 

His first appointment was to the Court of his Catholic 
Majesty, Charles III. of Spain, where he filled the post of 
Secretary of Legation. 

While he held this office, and during a moment when his 
immediate chief, Sir James Gray, had returned to England 
on leave of absence, a difficulty arose, small and of no real 
importance in itself, but which landed Great Britain on the 
verge of a serious war with Spain. The Spaniards had seized 
the Falkland Islands in the Atlantic Ocean, which England 
also claimed, and had dislodged the British garrison. Harris, 
although implicitly obeying the instructions of his own 
Government, took upon himself to remonstrate strongly with 
the Spanish Prime Minister upon this overt act of aggression. 
Matters went so far that young Harris, who was then Charge 
d'affaires, was recalled from Madrid, but before he had 
reached the frontier was informed that the King of Spain had 
abandoned his pretensions ; the fall of the Due de Choiseul, 
and his being in consequence unable to rely on the support 
of France, was the cause of this sudden change of tone. 

Harris had conducted himself so well in a difficult and 
unpleasant situation that as a reward for his services, and to 
the great personal satisfaction of the Spanish monarch, he was 
promoted English Minister to that self-same Court where he 


had just been serving in a subordinate position. Charles III. 
signified his approval of this by giving Mr. Harris an early 
interview, in which he alluded in delicate and gracious terms 
to the young envoy's abilities. 

Very shortly after this James Harris was transferred as 
Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Berlin, 
and on his bidding farewell to the Spanish Court, his Catholic 
Majesty was pleased to give him a handsome snuff-box bearing 
a portrait of himself. 

He remained at the Court of Frederic the Great for four 
years, during which time he saw and learnt much of the 
designs of that most marvellous and eccentric of sovereigns. 

Harris was no stranger to the Prussian king, for the young 
English minister had already had the honour of being pre- 
sented to him on a former occasion when visiting Berlin in 
a private capacity. 

Many are the anecdotes related in the Harris papers of this, 
by far the greatest of modern rulers, the first Napoleon in- 
cluded. An extract from the diary of the first Lord Malmes- 
bury, written at the time when he first visited Berlin in 1 767, 
furnishes us with an example of the superlative genius of this 
King of Prussia, although be it truthfully averred the story 
does not redound to his Majesty's credit : ' 

As proof of his meanness, one might cite the smallness of his pay to all about 
his court and employed by him ; but above all the economy that is attended to 
in all manner of festivities given at his expense. On these occasions he suffers 
no one to interfere, but orders everything, down to the quantity of wax candles 
himself. ... I saw the King myself directing his servants in the lighting up 
the ball-room, and telling them where and how they should place the candles. 
While this operation was performing, the Queen, the Royal Family, and com- 
pany, were waiting, literally in the dark, as his Majesty did not begin this 
ceremony till supper was finished, and no one dared to presume to give orders 
to have it done. 

Lord Malmesbury makes the additional comment that this was 
not an occasion for public entertainment, but one to which only 
people of a certain rank, foreign ministers and strangers, were 
suffered to come. 

The personality of Frederick the Great will always be a 
subject of the deepest interest to students of history, increased 
as it is by the unfathomable and inexplicable contradictions 
which go to form it. Save Voltaire, the Prussian king never 

1 Diaries and Correspondence of James Harris, first Earl of Malmesbury (Bentley). 


A/lir tht Paintias by Sir Joshua Rrynoljs. 


had a friend ; he courted other sovereigns for the advantages 
which their alliance and goodwill might obtain for him ; he 
praised and censured his ministers just according as they 
turned out satisfactory or unsatisfactory instruments of his 
will ; but he ever dwarfed and stunted their best efforts by 
the weight of his own colossal intellect. 

Hostile critics of Frederic II. may be inclined to rejoice 
at these tales of eccentricity and violence, of duplicity and 
cunning, so unfavourable to the reputation of Prussia's 
greatest king, with which the letters and despatches of the 
first Lord Malmesbury are filled at the time of his Berlin 
ministry, as well as in his subsequent mission to the Court of 
the Empress Catharine ; but the reader is asked kindly to re- 
member that the few short references which have been in these 
pages to his Prussian Majesty are only intended to be side- 
lights casual glances at the more peculiar traits of his ver- 
satile genius. For instance, the Harris Papers on the occasion 
of a Court banquet tell us that the king entered into a very 
minute detail of the expenses of a table on such an occasion, 
. . . enumerating the quantity and size of the wax candles, 
and leaving unnoticed no one single article likely to be wanted 
at such entertainments : ' So great is his Prussian Majesty, 
both in small and great affairs.' And again James Harris, 
writing to Lord Suffolk, then Secretary of State for Foreign 
Affairs, in March, 1775, informs his lordship of great ill- 
humour on the part of the Prussian monarch, to which the 
following episode from a despatch of that date adds a some- 
what ludicrous side : 1 

. . . He broke his flute a few days ago on the head of his favourite hussar, 
and is very liberal in kicking and cuffing those employed about his person. 
He is peevish at his meals, says little in his evening conversation, and is affable 
to nobody. 

Frederic the Great however must be excused by reason of 
the fact that he lived in an age when self-control, especially 
among persons of such exalted and royal rank as he, was a 
quality rather despised than otherwise, and when the head of 
a family, whether that family be royal or not, frequently con- 
sidered himself to have grossly neglected one of his first duties 
if he showed too much consideration towards its lesser members. 

Frederic's love for solitude is well known, as the following 

1 Malmesbury Diaries and Corrtspondence (ante). 


letter from James Harris the younger to his mother helps to 
illustrate : x 

The King comes from Silesia the 3rd, when I must return to Berlin 
[from Sans Souci], his Majesty not choosing that any of us accredited foreigners 
should break in upon his solitude. 

The king felt that he might be compelled to receive the 
accredited ministers of foreign powers, whereas, from what is 
known of his domestic habits, no one of his own subjects, not 
even the members of the Royal House itself, would have 
dared to intrude upon his privacy, when privacy was what he 

It is not possible within the limits of this paper, nor would 
it be in keeping with its general scheme, to follow the first 
Lord Malmesbury through all the successive stages of his 
public life ; and the writer of these pages must emphatically 
disclaim any attempt or aspiration on his part to soar into the 
heights of historical disquisition ; but a brief account of the 
events which were connected with his Russian embassy may 
not be without its interest. 

Mr. Harris gave up his mission to Berlin in September, 
1776, and was immediately afterwards appointed to the Court 
of St. Petersburgh. He arrived at the Russian capital at a 
moment when the political horizon was obscured by dark 
storm-clouds of ill omen and of serious trouble for England. 
She stood isolated and cut off from all the great European 
Powers. France and Spain were hostile to her, Prussia hated 
her, the Emperor Joseph II. was too much taken up with his 
own affairs to help her, while the Empress Catharine was far 
too fully occupied in diverting attention from her own projects 
to be of any assistance to Great Britain. 

Sir James Harris by which title he is best known during 
his stay at the Russian Court had there to encounter many 
real difficulties in the shape of underhand dealings and false 
protestations of support while trying to carry out the trust 
reposed in him. He found on his arrival at St. Petersburgh 
two strong parties contending for the guidance of Russian 
foreign policy those who favoured hostility to England, and 
those who were more kindly disposed towards her. Count 
Panin led the former faction, while Prince Potemkin supported 
the latter. Fortunately for Sir James Harris however a cordial 

1 Malmesbury Letters (Bentley). 


friendship soon sprung up between him and Potemkin, and, 
what was even more important, he became a very favoured 
being in the eyes of the Russian empress, who in her later 
conduct, e.g. in the affair of the ' Armed Neutrality,' was less 
actuated by feelings of real enmity against England, as by a 
wish to see that country entirely hampered, in order that, 
having all the great states of Europe fully engaged in their 
own concerns, she might have a wider scope for her ambitious 
schemes of Russian aggrandisement. 

Frederic the Great's influence was strong at the Court of the 
Empress, and it is curious to find that Sir James Harris had 
to guard himself most carefully against the emissaries of that 
sovereign, to whom he had so lately been accredited, although 
of course it must be stated that it was partly owing to his 
knowledge of the King of Prussia's character that he was in 
the first instance selected for this post. 

If Sir James Harris failed to accomplish the first object of 
his mission and was unable to enlist the sympathy and hearty 
co-operation of her Imperial Majesty, he was at all events 
successful, as has already been said, in establishing himself in her 
good graces, and throughout the whole of his residence at the 
Court of Catharine II. he continually received marks of her 
kindness and condescension, as well as proofs of her personal 
appreciation for his services. He was often a guest at her 
various palaces, not only on the more formal occasions of 
state, to which his position would have entitled his nay, 
more, necessitated his appearance, but at her Majesty's private 
suppers and card parties. 

The empress's predilection for handsome men is notorious, 
and doubtless this contributed in no small way to his popu- 
larity with her. 

Among historic relics at Heron Court there is a baby's 
christening frock of white satin and lace sent by the Czarina 
to Sir James Harris on the birth of his elder daughter, named 
Catharine, after this imperial lady. The following is a con- 
temporary description of the christening ceremony : 

From the Register Book belonging to the Chapel of the British Factory at 
St. Petersburg :* 

Catharine, daughter of Sir James Harris, K.B. (His Britannic Majesty's 

1 This factory long represented the centre of English life in Russia, for an 
excellent and short account of which vide Murray's Handbook of Russia, etc., 
pp. 12-5 (1893 ed.). 


Envoy Extraordinary, and Minister Plenipotentiary to the Empress of all the 
Russias) and Harriet his wife, born the i8th of May, was baptized the zoth of 
June, 1780. Her Imperial Majesty, represented by her Lady of the Bed- 
chamber, Alexandra Vassillievna Englehart, and her Grand Master of the Horse, 
M. Leof Alexandritch Narishkin, was sole Sponsor. 

The above extract was taken this 25th day of August, 1780, by me 

W. TOOKE, Minister. 

ST. PETERSBURG, August -2.$, 1780. 

The following addition to the above appears in the family 
Bible : ' Her Imperial Majesty presented her god-daughter 
with a fine diamond necklace.' 

Besides the usual snuff-box, given to him by the empress, 
there is also at Heron Court a wonderful Chinese screen pre- 
sented by Prince Potemkin, and lastly there is the portrait of 
Catharine herself, as well as those or her son and daughter- 
in-law, the Grand-Duke l (afterwards the Emperor) Paul and 
his Grand-Duchess. 

In 1784 Sir James Harris was chosen by Mr. Pitt although 
not then his recognized political leader for the delicate and 
arduous task of opposing French influence at the Hague. Of 
his success in forming the Triple Alliance of 1788, of his 
elevation to the peerage in consequence, of his public life at 
home, of his second ministry at Berlin, of his mission to 
Brunswick, so unhappy in its results, when he brought back 
(against his own private inclinations) the Princess Caroline to 
be the unfortunate and unloved bride of George, Prince of 
Wales, and of his unfruitful attempts to make peace with a 
nation maddened by the sight of blood, space forbids any 
further reference. These are matters of history, and must 
here remain as such. 

Deafness one of the infirmities of old age came upon 
him prematurely and made him decline any further employ- 
ment, although his advice and counsel was still sought by the 
rising generation of statesmen. 

In 1800 he was advanced to an earldom. No more fitting 
conclusion can be found to the life of one of the most cele- 
brated diplomatists of the eighteenth century than his own 
dignified farewell to life, written a few weeks before his death i 1 

1 The writer, when he visited Russia, saw more than one picture of the 
Emperor Paul exactly similar to the one at Heron Court. These were in the 
imperial palaces there, and a ' fac-simile ' of these is to be seen in Morfill's 
History of Russia ('Story of the Nations' series). 



Thou hast completed thy seventy-fourth year, having been permitted to live 
longer than any of thy ancestors as far back as 1606. Thy existence has been 
without any great misfortune and without any acute disease, and has been one 
for which thou ought'st to be extremely grateful. Be so in praise and thanks- 
giving towards the Supreme Being, and by preparing thyself to employ the 
remnant of it ' wisely and discreetly.' Thy next step will probably be the 
last. Strive not to delay the period of its arrival, nor lament at its near 
approach. Thou art too exhausted, both in mind and body, to be of service 
to thy country, thy friends, or family. Thou art fortunate in leaving thy 
children well and happy ; be content to join thy parent earth calmly and with 
becoming resignation. Such is thy imperious duty. Vale. 

Lord Malmesbury died on November 21, 1820, and was 
entombed with his ancestors in the north transept of Salisbury 
cathedral, leaving his wife, two sons and two daughters him 


Malmesbury Diaries and Correspondence (Bentley). 



THE collection of miniatures at Belvoir Castle, though 
not in point of size very large, is a very representative 
one, containing fine examples of the famous English artists 
from Elizabethan times down to the present day ; while the 
foreign schools supply excellent specimens by J. Petitot, C. F. 
Zincke and J. E. Liotard and other less known miniaturists of 
the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The majority of 
the miniatures are family portraits ; but besides these the col- 
lection contains many of very great national and historic 
interest ; the Raleigh miniatures in particular being con- 
sidered unique. 

The greatest care has been bestowed on the 'pictures in 
little,' as they are sometimes described in old manuscripts. 
They have lately been chronologically arranged by Lady 
Granby in sixteen panels round the room, and protected by 
glass and green blinds from their arch enemies damp and 
sunlight. The nucleus of the collection was formed by each 
successive generation having their portraits painted, but the 
miniatures of the Cosway period were collected chiefly by the 
third and fourth Dukes of Rutland. 

The earliest portrait in point of date (1501) is that of 
Elizabeth wife of Sir John Seymour, daughter of Sir Henry 
Wentworth, and mother of Lady Jane Seymour (who married 
Henry VIII.) and of the Protector Somerset. There is no 
inscription on this miniature ; the background is of the blue 
colour beloved by Hilliard and his school, and the treatment 
is flat and hard. 

In the same panel hangs an interesting Elizabethan group : 
Sir Christopher Hatton, Lord Chancellor ; Henry Percy, 
eighth Earl of Northumberland ; Queen Elizabeth ; and 
Robert Dudley Earl of Leicester. Sir Christopher Hatton 
is a most curious full length picture : the great seal is lying 
on a table near him and a small dog is at his side. It is 
not signed, but is most probably by Nicholas Hilliard (an 
almost exact replica of this portrait is now in Mr. Salting's 
fine collection). A tragic interest is attached to the miniature 




of the eighth Earl of Northumberland. He was suspected of 
plotting in favour of Mary Queen of Scots, imprisoned in the 
Tower of London, and found dead in his cell from a pistol 
shot, supposed to have been self-inflicted. The miniature is 
inscribed, ' Vere noblisissimus et magnanimus Henricus Percy, 
Northumbriae Comes,' and on the light-blue background, 
' Ano. D'ni. 1585. ^Etatis Suae 54.' The date 1585 would 
be the year of his death. An interesting family portrait is 
that of Isabella wife of the third Earl of Rutland and daughter 
of Sir Thomas Holcroft ; this is inscribed, 'AnnoDni. 1572. 
.flitatis Suae 20,' and is most likely by Nicholas Hilliard, though 
it is not signed. 

From an historical point of view the Raleigh portraits are 
perhaps the most interesting and curious, so a detailed descrip- 
tion of them here may not be out of place. Sir Walter is 
depicted in armour inlaid with gold, and on the blue back- 
ground is the inscription, c JEt. 68, Anno 1618," the year of 
his execution. On the left side of the vignette, below the 
portrait, is the word ' Calis,' and opposite to it * Fial.' The 
probability is that Calis stands for Cadiz and Fial for Fayal, 
where naval fights took place in which Raleigh much distin- 
guished himself. The vignette represents the attack upon Fayal. 

The following description of the beautiful miniature case 
(which is also intended to contain the portrait of the son) is 
taken from the Catalogue of the Exhibition of European Enamels 
held by the Burlington Fine Arts Club in 1897 : 'Oval minia- 
ture case of gold, about l\ in. by nearly 4 in. English Cloi- 
sonne. End of sixteenth century. The pattern is a floral 
arabesque, worked in gold cloisons, on a black background 
with flowers in translucent green. In the centre is a heart- 
shaped lozenge under a W, while beneath it is the monogram 
E.R. all in green translucent enamel. The shapes and the 
front of the ornaments over the portrait are picked out in 
black.' This case, bearing the entwined initials W. E. R. 
(Walter and Elizabeth Raleigh) and heart, was no doubt pre- 
served and worn by Lady Raleigh as a souvenir of her ill- 
fated husband and son, for the son's portrait originally fitted 
into the back of the case, its present frame being a more 
modern one. The young Walter Raleigh must have been 
extremely handsome, if his portrait is a faithful likeness, with 
black hair, regular features and dark eyes. The blue back- 
ground is inscribed, < JEt. suae 24, Anno Do. 1618.' On the 



left side of the vignette is the word c Guyana ' (Guiana), oppo- 
site it, on the right side, 'St. Thomae.' The vignette evi- 
dently represents the attack on St. Thome, where this gallant 
young man lost his life in his twenty-fourth year. 

Hanging between the Raleigh portraits is a fine miniature 
of Henry Prince of Wales, eldest son of James I., by Peter 
Oliver. The prince is in gilded armour, wearing the blue 
ribbon of the garter and a fine lace ruff. In W. Saunderson's 
Anlicus Coquinarite, a curious pamphlet published in 1650, 
in the account of the prince's last illness, mention is made 
of his visit to Belvoir to meet his father, James I. 'His 
active body used violent exercises ; for at this time, being to 
meet the king at Bever in Nottinghamshire, he rode it in 
two days, neer a hundred miles, in the extremity of heat in 
summer. For he set out early and came to Sir Oliver 
Cromwell's, neer Huntingden, by ten a clock before noon, 
neer sixty miles, and the next day betimes to Bever, forty miles. 
He was comely, tall, five foot eight inches high, strong and 
well made, somewhat broad shoulders, a small waste, amiable 
with majesty. His haire aborn (auburn) colour ; long faced 
and broad for-head ; a pearcing grave eye and gracious smile, 
but with a frowne, dan ting.' The miniature is signed with the 
monogram RD. 

Hanging beneath his brother is a very curious and charm- 
ing miniature of Charles I. when Prince of Wales ; round the 
portrait is a Latin inscription to this effect : ' The most illus- 
trious and serene Charles, Prince of Wales, the greatest hope 
of Great Britain, in the fourteenth year of his age.' On the 
curtain are the plume, crown, crescent and stars (the crescent 
is the heraldic mark showing he was the second son of James I.). 
The prince is in a large ruff and wearing the George. The 
painter is unknown. 

Isaac Oliver is well represented by a fine portrait of William 
Herbert third Earl of Pembroke. An additional interest is 
attached to this miniature when we remember that he and his 
brother Philip, who succeeded him, are the incomparable pair 
of brethren to whom the first folio of Shakespeare's works is 
dedicated (1623), and Lord Pembroke is possibly the W. H. 
(Mr. William Herbert) alluded to as ' the onlie begetter ' of 


The collec- 

the monogram O and dated 1616. 

sonnets. This miniature is signed with 

tion is especially rich in Coopers. Richard 








Wiseman, Sergeant Surgeon to Charles II., is a remarkably 
fine work ; the treatment is broad and fine, the modelling of 
the face extraordinarily clever ; the background is of a rather 
uncommon green colour. The portrait is signed S.C. and 
dated 1660, and engraved on the back of the frame is the 
inscription : ' Richardus Wiseman, Carolo II. Mag. Brit. Regi. 
Archichir'gus.' Grace Lady Manners, wife or Sir George 
Manners and second daughter of Sir Henry Pierpoint, recalls 
some portrait by Franz Hals or the Van Eyks in her austere 
black cap tied under the chin and penetrating expression of 
countenance. The ' Grace Lady Manners ' school at Bake- 
well in Derbyshire, founded by this philanthropic lady, is still 
extant and flourishing. The miniature is dated 1650 and 
signed with the monogram S.C. Another family portrait by 
Cooper is that of John eighth Earl of Rutland, who rebuilt 
the castle in 1668 after it had been destroyed by the Parlia- 
mentarian army. 

An interesting trio of miniatures is William Lord Russell, 
his heroic wife Rachel, both by S. Cooper, and their second 
daughter Katharine, who married John second Duke of Rut- 
land. The following inscription is on the back of the frame 
which contains Lord Russell's portrait : c William, Lord 
Russell, who was unjustly beheaded 1683.' The same panel 
also contains enamels by Zincke of three of the Duchess's 
sons John third Duke, Lord William and Lord Thomas 

Lady Frances Cecil wife of the fifth Earl of Cumberland, 
and John eighth Earl of Rutland are rather uninteresting 
examples by John Hoskins, Samuel Cooper's master. Peter 
Lens, son of the famous Bernard Lens, contributes a rather 
weak portrait of the famous Marquis of Granby and an 
attractive miniature of an unknown lady with pearls in her 

Of the enamels by Jean Petitot, Queen Henrietta Maria 
bears the palm in point of beauty, Louise de la Valliere is 
somewhat disappointing as her features lack refinement and 
delicacy. Charles sixth Duke of Somerset and his second 
wife (the parents of Frances Marchioness of Granby, to whom 
these miniatures were probably given) are both fine specimens 
of the great master. The portraits of Gabrielle d'Estrees and 
Louis XIV. were bought at the Bailli de Breteuil's sale in 
Paris in 1786. The details of their purchase and price are 


most interesting and curious ; the miniatures appear originally 
to have been on snuff boxes, as the following correspondence 
shows (Belvoir Castle MSS. ii. 275) : 


1786, January 10, PARIS. 

I have made enquiries concerning your intended purchase at the Bailli de 
Breteuil's sale. I had seen the pictures several times, but I applied to our two 
best painters and connoisseurs, Le Brun and Robert, whom I met by appoint- 
ment at the late Bailli's house. The miniatures of Petitot are remarkably fine, 
particularly that of a woman, supposed to be Gabrielle D'Estr6es ; the man, 
Louis XIV. The first of these the Bailli bought at the Duchess of Mazarin's 
sale for upwards of 1.300 French livres. 


1786, PARIS. 

I was mistaken in the prices of the pictures. The crowd and squabbles 
were so great that my ears were deceived in the bidding, luckily on the right 
side, as you may see from Le Brun's note. Last night I purchased the two 
snuff boxes, with the miniatures, by Petitot, on them, at the prices in the 
enclosed note. I thought them dear, but was assured by the connoisseurs that 
they were very cheap the one for 4.70 1. remarkably so. 

Queen Anne in enamel by Charles Boit was no doubt pre- 
sented to the family as a ' Memento Mori,' for on the back of 
the miniature case, below the queen's monogram, are a death's 
head and cross bones ! This miniature is signed C. Boit, and 
represents the queen with more character in her face than is 
generally ascribed to her. The portrait of Charles II. is most 
interesting : it represents him as a young and handsome man ; 
the complexion is very dark, and we can understand and sym- 
pathize with Henrietta Maria when she wrote to her friend 
Madame St. George during his infancy : ' I will send you his 
portrait as soon as he is a little fairer ; for at present he is so 
dark that I am ashamed of him.' Unfortunately this miniature 
(in oil on copper) is not signed ; in beauty and freedom of 
treatment it recalls Vandyck. Lady Mary Wortley Montagu 
in a curious Oriental costume is an interesting work by that 
erratic genius, J. E. Liotard (an almost exact replica of this 
miniature is in Lord Wharncliffe's fine collection). Liotard 
also painted several miniatures of the famous Marquis of 
Granby, Commander-in-Chief of the British Forces in 1766. 
A small crayon sketch of him at the age of twenty, when doing 
the grand tour, is signed ' Le Marquis de Granby peint I 



Constantinople, par Liotard 1740 ' ; there are also several very 
fine enamels of him in later life by the same artist. 

We now come to that most delightful period of miniature 
painting the latter half of the eighteenth century. The 
dress and coiffure of that day were particularly picturesque, 
and lent themselves well to the art ; while a host of 
miniature painters inspired by Reynolds and Gainsborough 
were hard at work, delineating for posterity the most dis- 
tinguished men and women of the day. Mary Isabella, 
wire of the fourth Duke of Rutland and daughter of the 
fourth Duke of Beaufort, a miniature of bewitching beauty 
by Andrew Plimer, has the hair arranged in long uncon- 
fined tresses ; through the clustering curls on the fore- 
head is twisted ' Romney-wise ' a white gauze scarf. This 
lady was the friendly rival of Georgina Duchess of Devon- 
shire, and considered the most beautiful woman of her day. 
Her husband, Charles fourth Duke of Rutland and Lord- 
Lieutenant of Ireland, by R. Cosway, is an extremely fine 
work, and disproves the statement that the great master was 
less successful with men than women. But loveliest and most 
attractive of all, and not unworthy to rank as one of his finest 
works, is the portrait of their young son, afterwards John 
Henry fifth Duke of Rutland ; the expression of the face is 
charming, the drawing of the intricate white lace ruffle is 
remarkable for its subtlety and grace, while the technique of 
the hair is marvellous in its freedom and surety of touch. 
Among other family portraits by Cosway are Anne Countess 
of Northampton, a delightful sketch of an unknown lady 
reclining in bed, and a fine miniature of the gallant sailor, 
Lord Robert Manners, killed at the early age of twenty-four 
from wounds received in action when in command of the 
Resolution under Admiral Rodney in 1782. The poet Crabbe 
thus refers to his death in the poem, 'The Village.' 

' Oh ! be like him,' the weeping sire shall say ; 

' Like Manners walk, who walk'd in Honour's way ; 

In danger foremost, yet in death sedate, 

Oh ! be like him in all things, but his fate ! ' 

John Nixon contributes a fine miniature, signed with the 
initial N., of Mary Isabella Duchess of Rutland ; Ozias 
Humphrey, a portrait of the Duchess's sister, Anne Countess 
of Northampton, signed with the monogram (H), exquisite 


in texture and finish ; and Samuel Shelley, two excellent 
portraits of Elizabeth Duchess of Rutland and the fifth 

Edward Duke of Somerset (1560), the Protector, is an 
excellent copy of the original miniature by Nicholas Hilliard, 
now in the possession of the Duke of Buccleuch. On the 
back of the frame is the inscription : ' Painted and presented 
to the Duke of Rutland, in Ireland, by Margaret Lady Lucan.' 
The following interesting correspondence occurs about this 
miniature in the Behoir Castle MSS. vol. ii. : 


1784, September 24, LONDON. 

I dined with Lady Lucan last Sunday, who told me of her intention of 
painting a picture for your Grace, but was undetermined what it should be. I 
shall call on her to-morrow to acquaint her with what your Grace wishes about 
the Duke of Somerset's picture, which I should think would be the best thing 
for her to do. I question her success in an historical picture. 


1785, May 30, LONDON. 

I acquainted Lady Lucan with your Grace's request, in your own words, as 
they were so flattering to her ladyship. She answered that she should set 
about it immediately, as she has now found a picture of the ' Protector,' Duke 
of Somerset, which is in possession of the Marquis of Buckingham, but she 
says it is but an indifferent picture, and she fears her copy will be no great 
ornament to your cabinet. 

Sir Joshua did not possess the same high opinion of Lady 
Lucan's artistic merit as Horace Walpole, who in his Anecdotes 
on Painting thus praises her : ' Who has arrived at copying the 
most exquisite works of Isaac and Peter Oliver, Hoskins, and 
Cooper with a genius that almost depreciates those masters, 
when we consider that they spent their lives in attaining per- 
fection ; and who, soaring above their modest timidity, has 
transferred the vigour of Raphael to her copies in water 
colours ! ' 

A charming Greuze-like work of two young girls, Lady 
Elizabeth and Lady Katharine Manners (afterwards Lady E. 
Norman and Lady Forester), and a fine portrait of Isabella 
Countess of Sefton are by that industrious and clever artist 
Mrs. Mee. 

The ' early Victorian ' miniatures are but few in number. 
Henry Bone contributes a fine enamel of Elizabeth Duchess 






of Rutland ; William Derby, a painstaking copy of Sir Joshua 
Reynold's portrait of the famous Marquis of Granby ; and 
Anthony Stewart (who painted the first miniature of Queen 
Victoria), portraits of John Henry fifth Duke of Rutland, his 
wife and their numerous family, Lord John Manners (seventh 
Duke of Rutland), Lord George Manners, Lady Elizabeth 
Drummond, Lady Adeliza and Lady Katharine Manners. 
There is a great similarity between the children's portraits, 
and alas ! already the flesh tints have slightly faded, although 
the miniatures have been carefully preserved from sunlight 
and damp. The above notes do not attempt to be an 
exhaustive description of the collection. To describe each 
portrait minutely would surpass the limits of this article ; 
but in conclusion we cannot help urging on those who are 
the fortunate possessors of ' pictures in little ' to increase 
their number by having their own portraits painted (with the 
name of the sitter and artist engraved on the frame, saving 
posterity many an anxious hour of doubt and conjecture !) 
By this means they would contribute largely to the Renais- 
sance of this charming art, which of late years has been 
suffered to fall into such ill-deserved neglect and decay. 


Note by Sir H. Maxwell-Lyte. 

In the Belvoir Household Accounts are the following entries which are 
interesting as bearing on some of the miniatures in the Duke's collection : 

1586. The 21 of May, paied to Peter yanlour fir a brooch of her Majesties 
picture in an aggatt sett with 53 dlamondes, 8o/. (He occurs as a jeweller in the 
Calendar of State Papers, Domestic, for 1594.-) 

1603. June or July. To Hyldiard for a picture of the Kiages Majestie, 3/. 

1 599. Paied for two pictures of my Lord to Mr. Peak, the one for my Lady, the 
other for Mrs. Mary Rate/iff, 61. 

1599. For my Ladies picture to Mr. Peake, 5/. 



A WHOLE bay of the library of the Society of Antiquaries 
is given up to the books which treat of heraldry. A bushy 
growth has sprung up round this unhappy subject, a maze or 
Troy Town in which wanderers, studious of the beaten track, 
mark out fresh blind alleys with their stumblings. More than 
a generation ago there came to the gate of this maze one Mr. 
James Robinson Planche. Being no antiquary by training, 
but a writer of burlesques, he took his eyes off the ground 
and looking over the hedges saw the level green in the middle. 
For the first time in the history of heraldic study heraldry 
was, as his tide page boasted, to be ' founded on facts.' Cer- 
tainly he pushed his way forward with little regard for the 
ordered paths of precedent ; but his play writing encroached 
on his hours for original study, and his work, although it saw 
several editions, remains shallow and hastily-conceived, the 
child of a very thin notebook. From a Pursuivant of Arms 
of his own creation he became Rouge Croix Pursuivant of 
Arms and a member of a college of augurs, whose high pon- 
tiff, as we may gather from a preface to one of his later 
editions, had no sympathetic eye for critical thumbing of the 
sacred books of the caste. For one reason or another the task 
which this pioneer set himself remains for us to make an end 
of, an end best achieved by the levelling of the whole maze. 

This beginning of a new century sees the antiquary abroad. 
The antiquary as the early nineteenth century knew him, a 
fusty person enamoured of fustiness, lingers in our dark places, 
but the new school of English archaeology, building fact upon 
the sure foundation of fact and adding daily to the mass of 
our knowledge of the past of our race, is up and doing with a 
more reasonable enthusiasm. Architect antiquaries are telling 
every stone of our ancient houses and churches ; topographer 
antiquaries are writing the history of the land to the twelve- 
inch scale ; folk-lore antiquaries are garnering in what remains 
of old English custom and tradition ; genealogist antiquaries 
are hewing with critical axes amongst the stately family trees, 
under whose shade their forerunners were content to walk 
reverently. It is making no undue claim for heraldry to say 


that a working knowledge of it is needful for each and all of 
these workers, although with none of their grave studies can 
the science of heraldry presume to rank. 

For the art of heraldry is a wide field as wide as a great 
decorative art may be ; but when the science of heraldry has 
suffered the unwinding of its gilded mummy clothes, one must 
acknowledge, calling to mind the extravagant claims of those 
who swaddled it, that, like Sarah's baby, it is ' a very little 

Let us consider the outset difficulty of the antiquary to 

whom the occasion comes for a prentice knowledge of heraldry. 

When an architect or topographer is before a shield in stone 

or glass or laton, or when the genealogist is considering the 

shields of descents and alliances, how shall he describe them ? 

To those loaded bookshelves he comes for guidance. On 
the lower shelves are the ancient folios. These indeed are 
well-springs of limpid and engaging nonsense, but the mind 
capable of absorbing the systems of blazonry formulated by 
Randle Holme and his fellows is only found to-day amongst 
graduates of Peking. And from the works of these fathers 
there is no appeal to the little treatises of our own days, for 
they are but the fathers in miniature, duller it may be, and 
with the fathers' flamboyant English pruned away. Little or 
no critical advance has been made since the time when seven- 
teenth century pens squeaked through reams of disquisition 
concerning things which the passing of but two or three cen- 
turies had made as remote as the economies of Tibet. It 
seems that before our antiquary may describe his shield he 
must sit down to a full meal of folly. 

Yet if we take in hand the ancient rolls of arms, and under 
their guidance approach the contemporary seals and painting 
of arms, we are at once in clearer air. For the blazon of arms 
is no hidden thing to be learned with a great toil ill-spent. 
What is it but the short and meet description of the manner 
in which the cunning artists of the past planned that certain 
simple devices might be painted upon shields in such fashion 
that although men arrayed ten or twenty thousand such shields 
each should have its distinct bearing ? The student finds him- 
self asking what has happened that a shield which its bearer 
in the former days might blazon in a dozen reasonable words 
now demands a mouthful of strange phrases in a long sentence 
framed in the fear of fifty rules and precedents. 


This, in a word, is what has happened. Heraldry, which 
was feeling its way stiffly and uncertainly when Matthew Paris 
first made a pictured list of English arms, came towards the 
end of the thirteenth century into the hands of the artists who 
brought it at once into line with the graceful decoration of the 
day. The work of this school develops, as the years pass, to 
the vigorously drawn shields of the time of the Edwardian 
wars in France, which time saw the increase of the custom of 
quartering arms. But heraldry was child of the whole blood 
of the middle ages, and with the middle ages the art crumbles 
away. Some flamboyant pieces of the fifteenth century take the 
eye, but the end is at hand, and here the monstrous regiment 
of the books written round about heraldry begins to assert 
itself. Master Mumblazon has nibbed his quill, and so have 
John of Guildford, Nicholas Upton and Dame Julian Barnes of 
St. Albans. The Wars of the Roses were making tatters of 
the old coats, a new gentry was arising, and the heralds were up 
and at work. Richard III. made a corporation of these heralds, 
and it is but fair to say that certain of its earlier members 
strove hard to set up again a fallen art, so that a certain re- 
naissance of heraldry may be observed under the seventh and 
eighth Henries. But the arms granted by the heralds were 
overloaded with charges, and cumbered especially by the fancy 
for capping already crowded fields with a crowded chief. 
Decoration lost its balanced ease and became lumpish and 
stodgy. The books about heraldry and the growing mass of 
official precedent were too much for the art, and the little 
science became dropsical with words. The ancient words were 
mistaken and misplaced and hustled by hundreds of newly 
minted absurdities. The end may be said to have come when 
the Elizabethan heralds and their followers, for the magnifying 
of an office already somewhat blown upon, set themselves de- 
liberately to change the customs of blazonry for a code with a 
thousand laws, a species of augurs' slang whose key and con- 
trol should rest with them, although country squires might 
reverently spell out some of its mysteries from the big bibles 
of the faith. 

From that time an antiquary's interest in heraldry may well 
cease, and we need not follow it as it went at a hand gallop to 
the point at which, to use our grandfathers' elegantly turned 
and perfectly truthful phrase, it was < abandoned to the coach- 
painter and the undertaker.' 


For those who would rescue heraldry from the hands of 
these respectable men and from the hands of their brother the 
engraver of book plates there is no help from the compilers of 
the little * handbooks of heraldry.' Mr. BoutelFs work, which 
for want of a better is often recommended to the student 
antiquary, is of the smallest service. It is true that in the 
warm periods of his preface he seeks ' from the authority, the 
practise, and the associations of the early heraldry of the best 
and most artistic eras, to derive a heraldry which we may 
rightly consider to be our own, and which we may transmit 
with honour to our successors.' But in the next sentence 
Mr. Boutell wavers. He does not ' suggest the adoption, for 
present use, of an obsolete system,' so we gather that the 
' early heraldry of the best and most artistic eras ' is not for 
Mr. Boutell's readers after all. Lower down in the page he 
lashes himself again to the repudiation of ' the acceptance 
and maintenance amongst ourselves of a most degenerate sub- 
stitute for a noble science,' and yearns ' to revive the fine old 
heraldry of the past,' yet it seems that on no account we are 
c to adjust ourselves to the circumstances of its first develop- 
ment or to ' reproduce its original expressions.' So long as 
we were * animated by the spirit of the early heralds ' we might 
' lead our heraldry onward with the advance of time,' but 
unhappily for Mr. Boutell he was a child of the spacious days 
of the Great Exhibition, and he is unmistakably of his own 
period when we find him begging his pupils on no account 
to draw their heraldic beasts as freely as they appear on the 
shield of John of Eltham. Mr. Boutell may not have ' led 
his heraldry onward ' in any notable degree, but in this matter 
his exhortations bore fruit. No one of late years has drawn 
shields resembling that flower of fourteenth century art which 
is on the arm of the Lord John of Eltham. 

The real importance of such a work as English Heraldry lies 
in its popularity, a popularity encouraged by the excellent en- 
gravings of ancient seals and the like with which the book is 
illustrated, whereby in spite of its slender scholarship and its 
injudicious commonplaces it is become the manual of most 
people studying heraldry in England. Through it all, and 
through all the dozen little books its fellows, runs with pathetic 
insistence the hope that, by avoiding too close an intimacy with 
the medieval side of a frankly medieval art, heraldry, rising 
from its tomb in some familiar and mid-Victorian shape, may 


be coaxed into remaining with us, to use a phrase dear to the 
Boutells and the Cussanses, as ' a living science.' The courage 
of their opinions however never takes these writers to the 
logical conclusion of exchanging the helms which support their 
crests for the tall silk hats, their legitimate successors, mantled 
with the antimacassars of Mr. Boutell's day, although this 
would have grown reasonably enough out of their suggestions. 
Their feet desired the respectable middle way in all matters, 
and when they speak of heraldic art we know that they yearned 
for a heraldic lion which should be gendered in spousebreach 
by one of John of Eltham's leopards upon a Landseer lioness, 
a respectable beast which might decorate without incongruity a 
hall chair in carved oak of Tottenham Court Road. 

The heraldry manuals of Messrs. Cussans, Jenkins, Elvin 
and their like do not call for remark here, or, for that matter, 
elsewhere, for the better known Boutell may stand for an 
example of all of them ; but the work of Woodward and 
Burnett, lately republished with Mr. Woodward's name alone 
upon the title page, demands some notice by reason of the 
weight and size which give these two volumes a certain dis- 
tinction amongst modern books on the subject. Mr. Wood- 
ward was an excellent scholar, with a really remarkable know- 
ledge of the vagaries of modern European heraldry, of which 
knowledge his pages give voluminous proof. But of the 
main principles of our own English heraldry, and especially of 
its beginnings, he was careless and ill-informed, and for the 
study of these things his book is worse than useless. 

One and all, these modern works on heraldry depend for the 
language of their blazonry upon the folios and quartos from 
which they are the lineal descendants. In the main their 
writers show themselves indifferent to the early art and practice 
which is the only side of heraldry worthy the attention of 
reasonable men, and delight to clothe themselves as with a 
garment with a patchwork of language from those great webs 
of nonsense woven by the dead and gone pedants by whose 
authority their tangled vocabularies exist. 

If we were willing to receive the instruction of these fathers 
it were surely better to seek their lore at first hand. But the 
gap between their day and ours is not to be spanned. Even 
the little handbooks have decided to drop overboard the mass 
of metaphysic and crack-brained symbolism with which they 
freighted their barks. We may listen, but it is with wonder 


and scant reverence, when owlish wisdom lays down that ' he 
that is a coward to his country must bear this argent a gore 
sinister sable, albeit if it be a dexter gore although of staynand 
colour yet it is a good cote for a gentlewoman ' ; or when the 
hidden significance of colour or metal is laid bare, as in the 
case of the colour vert, ' which signifieth Venus, emaragd or 
emerald, loyalty in love, courtesy and affabilitie, Gemini and 
Virgo in planets, May and August, Friday, lusty green youth 
from 20 to 30 years, verdures and green things, water, spring 
time, flegmatique complexion, 6 in number and quicksilver in 
metals.' We admire, but are unable to follow, their evolving 
of the original story of a shield of arms by earnest contempla- 
tion of its charges. Holbeame's shield was for them c a cheveron 
enarched,' and therein Master Gerard Leigh had good assur- 
ance that ' the ancestors of this cote had done some notable 
act in the art of geometry.' One may indeed suggest, with 
Master Leigh safely under turf, that ' the ancestor of this cote ' 
had but cast up his eyes to his own ' hall beam ' and taken its 
arch for his punning arms, but such an explanation in the days 
of the fathers would have been reckoned trivial and unedifying. 

These inward meanings and significations we may leave 
behind us for very jealousy, for we can never approach the 
standard of divination which Sylvanus Morgan could bring to 
bear upon the simplest charge. Hear him on the Inescutcheon. 

The In-Escutcheon is (as it were) the Honour Point of Joseph's Atchieve- 
ment, 'tis (as it were) a single heart deserving respect from all that behold him. 
It denoteth the pulchritude of his inward mind intire, which if you should or 
could behold through his brest, it should discover (as through the Orle) the 
most delightful Images of his natural and supernatural parts, by his wise 
carriage to his brethren, whereby he obtained the Escocheon of pretence by 


putting the Cup in Benjamin's Sack. And here you may see how the variety 
of Arms are incredible, being a fit recreation worthy the speculation of the 
Generous and Noble : while the single Escocheon is an entire Heart, and the 
Orle is perforated and open, that those that saw through the windows of his 
bosom that his heart was open to receive them that sold him. His Escocheon 
of Pretence declared his sound wisdom, though he might bear it also, for that 
he married the Daughter and Heir of Pothipar. 

In this humour Torquatus the knight sits at the feet of 
Paradinus the herald, hearing the sage boast his knowledge 
of the ' coatarmours of the feminine sex, more auncient than 
Rome, yea, before the foundations of Old Troy ' ; and hungry 
for such learning Torquatus says that if they be not shown 
him ' then farewell all friendship.' His zeal, needless to say, 
is rewarded on the spot, but the ' coatarmours ' are but interest- 
ing as examples of the euphuistic gabble of the Elizabethan 
day, of which our degenerate stomachs, as we sit at those over- 
loaded tables, grow easily wearied. The writing of such a 
book, as its author confesses, was ' an intermissive delectation ' 
to the writer, but the reading of it has become, if a delectation 
to a few curious, a very intermissive one indeed. 

It is not to be wondered at that under this midden of 
Latinisms the art of heraldry was smothered. The mere 
artist who, with a simple tradition in his mind, had been 
wont to paint shields of arms guided by a native sense of 
balance and proportion which books could not teach him, did 
not wait to hear the last lesson of Honour Dative which may 
be derived from Joseph's Coat. His place is taken by the 
ancestor of the respectable mechanic who fills it to-day, one 
whose subordinate brush could construct uninspired diagrams 
from standard patterns, which, although commonplace and 
spiritless, should be in strict accordance with the Book of 
the Thousand Rules. Until this book flare in the fiery 
dustbin, which, as we may piously hope, awaits all bad 
books, the artist and craftsman will do well to leave heraldry 
out of their day's work. But with the Book of the Thousand 
Rules once rejected their way will be cleared of the oppressive 
lumber which hindered them in the use of a beautiful art, and 
the most interesting motive of decoration will be given back 
to the cabinet-makers and the weavers, to the engravers, the 
enamellers and the jewellers. 

Overboard then must go the ' sealed pattern ' of the achieve- 
ment of arms, the supporters, it may be of elephants or prancing 
hussars, treading delicately upon ribbon edges, the mantles 


' tinctured of the principal colour and metal of the arms,' and 
the little ' crest-wreath ' of the same, balanced like a Frankfort 
sausage on a helmet's cockscomb, having long since forgotten 
that it once turbaned round about the great helm. Round 
this same crest-wreath and its helm the rules buzz like flies. 
It seems that the wreath must have but six twists and no more 
of the metal and colour alternately, the laws of heraldry for- 
bidding five twists or seven, and the helm must be ' a helmet of 
degree.' Truly the herald who devised the thrice ridiculous 
' helmet of degree ' struck a shrewder blow at common sense 
than any one of his fellow augurs, for his ingenious conceit has 
made foolscaps of all our crests. We may draw the helms of 
the Peer and the Squire sidelong, a convenient position for the 
display of most English crests, but it is doomed that the helms 
of the King and the Knight must ever be painted as full front 
to the artist. And now for the application of this rule to the 
depicting of the crest, which, built up in painted leather, wood 
or parchment, sat aloft upon the helm in old days. The Book 
of the Rules teaches us that, with the exception of some dozen 
crests set apart to be blazoned as ' affrontee,' the crest, whether 
it be beast or bird, or Saracen's head, must always be drawn 
sidelong. In this the Peer and the Squire may find no cause 
for complaint, but the King and the Knight, whose helms must 
be thus topped with a sidelong crest, are in pitiful case. A 
familiar example of this is always before us. Our sovereign 
lord the King is provided by the Book of the Rules with a 
full-faced helm, and on this the crest of England, the crowned 
leopard, ill balanced on the arch ridge of a closed crown, must 
range from left to right, a position which gives the royal beast 
the air of one uneasily determined to jump off over the right 
ear of the helm. It may be added that a rule thus laying down 
that one side only of the crest may be shown has ended in our 
crests being treated as though they were plane surfaces or 
silhouettes having but one presentable side. This curious mis- 
conception of the meaning of the crest is especially to be noted 
in the modern grants of arms from the College of Heralds. 
The absurdity is sometimes too much even for the ' heraldic 
stationer,' and the crest see-sawing on the little striped baton 
of ' wreath ' is often drawn as clear altogether of the helm. 

Having parted with so much that was thrust upon us by 
the old heraldic writers, having rejected their art as a debased 
making of diagrams, their archaeology as childish speculations, 


their philosophy as a crack-brained pedantry, what remains of 
their authority as it comes down to us filtered through the 
handbooks of heraldry ? When we find them, and them 
alone, responsible for the whole ragbag of jargonings which, 
as Sir Peter le Neve said in his wrath, cumber the memory 
without adding to the understanding, we shall surely hasten to 
reject the laws and rules with which they stuffed the little 
science of blazonry until it swelled into a sort of mad Euclid. 
Then it will be that the medieval blazonry, unmuddied by those 
middens of paper and ink, will assert its reasonable claims to 
the attention of antiquaries. First of these claims is its sim- 
plicity in the space of an hour or two any man with his wits 
about him can learn all that he needs of it. It sets the great 
period of heraldry before us as our standard, and the heraldry 
that showed itself in the jousting yard and the fields of France 
is gloriously different from the heraldry of the study. 

Above all things, it enables us to deal in reasonable fashion 
with the monuments, the seals, the carvings and the illumi- 
nations which we are at last beginning to study as something 
more to us than a peepshow for Dryasdust. 

Examples of the need for a wider knowledge of old heraldry 
are not far to seek. It is not long since the Dean of York put 
forth a great sumptuous book on the important subject of the 
heraldry of York Minster, illustrated with the most beautiful 
pictures we have yet seen of ancient armorial glass. But being 
ignorant of our old English heraldry with a curiously compre- 
hensive ignorance, the Dean, handbook to aid, not only essays 
the description of the medieval arms in glass and stone which 
so enrich the minster, but, heartened by his success, pads his 
folio with an ample treatise on armory, of which it may 
be said that Sir John Feme or Sylvanus Morgan might have 
fathered it pridefully. In another field, and that a far more 
important one, I cannot but cite the six heavy volumes which 
the British Museum has issued as a catalogue of the seals 
deposited there. These laboriously wrought books, which must 
represent years of work, are a sad monument of the unwisdom 
of putting old wine into new bottles and attempting to decipher 
the seals of the men of the middle ages by the light of the 
farthing candles of the 'handbooks of heraldry.' 

At the outset of our study of medieval armory we meet a 
difficulty in the fact that our earliest examples of blazonry are 
written as a rule in the French speech, which was so long in 


use amongst the great folk and the lawyers. Something might 
be said for keeping blazon in this tongue, but the objections 
rise up at once. The French in which these blazons were 
written is a dead language on both sides the channel, and its 
literature is, to all but a few, a dead literature. The French of 
Froissart has been woefully academized, and if we blazoned in 
the new tongue we should be seeking new words for old ones 
with indifferent success. And moreover the most part of the 
English bring from the schoolroom but little French speech 
that will serve them outside the doors of a restaurant. We 
know too that the French blazon in French, the Italians blazon 
in Italian, the Spaniards in Spanish, and the Germans, although 
they have fallen into the modern error of over-description of 
details, yet describe arms in unmingled German. Few people, 
however, are aware of the strong precedent which exists for 
the blazoning of English arms after a more English fashion 
than that which obtains to-day. From the fifteenth and sixteenth 
centuries we have wealth of examples to show that those who 
blazoned arms in French could also blazon them in stark, 
straightforward English. For the mass of words in dog- 
latinized English and misspelt and misunderstood French 
which clot in the pages of the heraldry books there is neither 
early authority nor present need, being, as they are, nothing 
but the maggots of the armorists. There is no excuse for our 
use of adjectives in French of Stratford atte Bowe under a 
mysterious rule which decrees that those ending in -ant should 
keep the masculine form, whilst those ending in -e keep as 
invariably the feminine. 

The new broom may surely swish about most of these 
epithets. There is no reasonable excuse for an English 
herald's description of the smoking chimney as fumant, the 
bloody hand as embrued with some one else's blood or as dis- 
tilling its own. A bent bow explains itself without need of 
the word flexed. She whose golden hair is hanging down her 
back need not be labelled crined or, and it were better to call 
a round object round rather than arrondie. When we meet 
a man walking in our shield Mr. Boutell offers us the alterna- 
tive of describing him as ambulant or gradiant, neither of which 
words seems to throw any new light on the attitude. In a 
vast number of cases the real meaning of these words has been 
obscured by the practise of ignorant heralds. Thus a bar with 
its ends cut off is said to be bumettee. But burnettee, if it have 


any meaning, signifies moistened or wetted, and we discover at 
the last that humettee when applied to a bar is nothing but a 
misspelt misapprehension of the old French word hamede 
the barrier which such a trunked bar represented. Once 
hamede has become humettte its sphere of usefulness enlarges 
beyond the qualifying of bars or barrier. Thus nothing lets 
but our good Mr. Boutell shall apply it even to crosses. ' A 
Cross having its four extremities cut off square, so that it does 
not extend in any direction to the border-lines of the shield, 
is couped or humettee' And in his glossary of heraldic terms 
the same author translates humettee as ' cut short at the 

This is but one of the score of instances of misapplied 
verbiage which meet us at an opening of the handbook. 
Everywhere we see that the deliberate exchange of good 
English for obscurity was effected as much at the cost of 
philology as of common sense by enthusiasts who believed 
that the science of armory, like a child's kite, mounted the 
better for the long string of wastepaper tags which they 
fastened to its tail. 

How many of these may be cast into the wastepaper basket 
which yawns for them will be seen as we take the handbook 
again and turn its leaves. 

The figure of the shield meets us. To the basket at once 
with the points honour point, nombril point, dexter chief 
point and their fellows. Honour point and nombril point are 
imaginings of the pedant's day. A charge in the first quarter 
of the shield was in old time said to be ' in the quarter ' or 
* in the cantel,' so the clumsy phrase of dexter chief point may 
take its dismissal. 

The colours come next. Sable, azure, vert and purpure, 
although like many other words we shall keep in use, re- 
minding us of the French root of much of the language of 
our armory, may serve our turn, having become a part of our 
own tongue ; and gules must stay, if only for its ancient 
standing and curious descent. But or and argent may surely 
be jettisoned as base currency because they are strangers in 
English blazon until the Elizabethan heralds deliberately cast 
off gold and silver as clownish Anglicisms and unmeet in- 
gredients in their new euphuistic patter. Here let us note 
that the handbooks warn us that once a colour, be it azure 
or gules, has been said in a blazon it must be azure or gules 


no longer to us for the occasion, but may be darkly hinted at 
as ' the first,' ' the second,' or ' the third,' as the case may be. 
No ancient rule or modern reason exists for this bemusing of 
our sentence, and therefore if we have need to say ' gules ' a 
twenty times in describing some new devised shield's tangled 
patchwork let us say ' gules ' boldly for the twentieth time 
without stopping to track back with the thumbnail to recall 
whether gules was introduced as our first or fourth colour. 

Of the long list of furs remain but vair, and ermine with its 
black tails upon white, and its reverse with white tails upon 
black, which is however so rare a device in ancient heraldry 
that some doubt exists as to what it should be styled. ' Er- 
mines ' as the handbooks have it, is an impossible description, 
not only because the word is too near to ' ermine ' in sound, 
but because it was actually the form used for ' ermine ' in 
nearly all the earlier English blazons, ' erminees ' being the 
word then used for the white upon black. Erminois and pean, 
counter-vair, potent and counter-potent, are words which we 
shall not encounter in our heraldry book of the future. 

The cheeky or checkered field remains, and gobony must 
still be the word when a bend baston or fesse is measured into 
lengths of two alternating colours, but we may rid ourselves 
of counter-company, for to the old painters a chief was a 
checkered chief, whether the checks ran in a pattern of two 
rows of checkers or three or four. 

When we come to part our shield in colours the ancient 
armory will save us from some latinisms. Waldegrave's shield, 
parted down the midst in two colours, was blazoned as ' party 
silver and gules,' and party per pale is a redundancy of the later 
time. How then, it will be asked, was party per pale dis- 
tinguished from party per fesse ? It may be answered that 
party per fesse had no existence. A chief is the upper part of 
the shield and not necessarily the c third part ' of the hand- 
books. It may be narrow when the field below is filled with 
charges, it may be wide when it bears charges itself, and 
when (as in the arms of Fenwick) field and chief are both 
filled with charges it is wider still and assumes the appear- 
ance which the later writers, eager for a new entry in their 
dictionaries, styled ' party per fesse.' In this case, as in the 
case of all of the * ordinaries,' the size or breadth, whether 
of chief, bend, cheveron or border, depends not upon the 
measuring tapes of the rules but upon the eye of the artist 


seeing where balance and proportion lie in the single case 
before him. 

Of the lines which divide the shield or vary the edgings of 
charges it may be noted that the conventional cloud edging 
called nebuly is very rare in the middle ages and not to be 
found at all in the early rolls. The word's appearance in 
modern blazoning (as in the arms of Blount and Lovell) is due 
to the fact that the later heralds, depicting a wavy line as they 
did with a feeble ripple, were convinced that the bold waving 
in the old examples must bear some different name. In con- 
sidering the ancient heraldry, nebuly, or as Mr. Boutell would 
have it, nebulee, may be packed away with dovetailed lines, and 
with the invected line which in a Victorian grant of arms speaks 
to the antiquary as plainly as ever a neglected shop ticket upon 
our other modern purchases. Crenellee finds a better word in 
the old English battled, and raguly may make way for ragged. 
We do not speak of the famous ragged staff of Beauchamp as 
a staff ragulee. 

When the shield is divided with stripes paly, bendy or 
barry, verbiage will be saved if we follow the old blazonry by 
recognizing that six divisions make the normal number of such 
stripes. Barry silver and gules therefore connotes to every one 
understanding heraldry barry of six pieces, and the like rule 
applies to the paly and bendy shields. When however a chief 
is imposed upon a barry coat the normal divisions will natur- 
ally be reduced to four. Barry wavy was commonly dis- 
tinguished by the word wavy alone. Wavy gold and gules is 
therefore as ample a description of the arms of Lovell as is 
the handbook blazon of Barry undee of six or ana gules. Bar- 
rulee is a mock-French abomination which may be pilloried 
with humettle. A barred coat of many bars, like the well 
known coat of Valence of Pembroke, was anciently described 
in the French as burele. The Boutells and Cussanses have 
jumped to the conclusion that this word is a diminutive of the 
word barry, and, its u being ignored, burele becomes barrulee 
for the handbooks, and barmlet, which is ' the diminutive 
of a bar,' follows in the same coinage. Here let us purge the 
heraldry books of the obsession of the ' diminutives of the 
ordinary.' A glance at the list of these must have driven 
many a student with but reasonable powers of memory from 
the study of heraldry. When we have allowed that there is 
a species of narrow bend called a baston, and that the little 


bends which in some coats lie beside the bend are called cotises, 
what remains of the tribe of illegitimate descendants credited 
by the handbooks to the * ordinaries ' ? Pallets and endorses, 
bendlets and ribands, barrulets, closets, escarpes, and the like 
should be brought to the bar of modern archaeology charged 
with loitering in print without visible means of, or necessity 
for, existence. The flasques and widen which are reckoned 
diminutives of the Haunch owe their origin to the practice of 
those armorists who, finding a second word or even a second 
spelling for the name of a charge, hastened to construct a new 
charge out of their trouvaille. Of the quarter Mr. Cussans, 
a typical armorist, tells us that * examples of this charge are 
very rarely to be met with.' They are rare indeed in such 
books as that of Mr. Cussans, but in ancient heraldry this is 
invariably the word for the frequently occurring charge lately 
called the canton, and the word will serve us well enough for 
this charge, whilst the pedant's word canton for c the diminutive 
of the quarter ' will be dispensed with when we consider that, 
as has been said before, the size of c ordinaries ' varies freely 
with the nature of the composition, and the word quarter 
commits us to no rule for filling a fourth part of the shield's 
surface with the charge. 

The lozenge is set down for us as a diminutive of the fusil, 
the fusil being described as an elongated lozenge. This again 
being one of those rules which would cramp the artist's free- 
dom in drawing his charges, we may regard it with a natural 
suspicion. A fusil, we find, is a term for which we have no 
need unless it serves us as a word for those shuttle shaped 
divisions into which the ancient ' engrailing ' divided bends 
and fesses. Its cousin the rustre, being only encountered in 
dictionaries of heraldry, need not trouble us. 

A fret in its modern sense of a heraldic device formed of 
two bastons laced through a mascle is another * ordinary ' to 
be rejected of the antiquary and the artist. The ancient figure 
the fret, or fretty as it was more frequently termed, formed by 
the interlacing of some six crossing bastons, is the sole figure 
of the kind discoverable before the making of the dictionaries 
of arms. Planche himself is entrapped by the assumption of 
the armorist that the modern figure followed the use of the 
middle ages, and blunders sadly when he lays down that 
Harington's fret may be the descendant of an earlier ' fretty ' 


The common charge of a mullet may surely for philology's 
sake be allowed to drop its modern spelling for its ancient and 
less fishlike spelling of molet, and the pierced molet seems to 
have a single and suggestive word awaiting it in the ' rowel ' 
of the old rolls of arms. The estoile also has every authority 
for dropping its foreign dress and shining as a plain English 
' star.' Whether our labels have three, four or five pendants 
is a matter which may concern the painter of arms, but the 
armorist should take no verbal heed of their variety, save 
perhaps in such a case as the curious label of many points 
which was borne by Sayer de Quinci. 

No charge has been the victim of the armorists in such 
degree as the cross. They have vied with one another 
through the ages in wringing from their imaginations new 
shapes into which the emblem of our salvation might be 
chipped or writhen. Here alone may the modern writers take 
credit to themselves beyond the measure which may be allowed 
to their fathers. At a comparatively early date Gerard Leigh 
had produced forty-six different crosses for his delighted 
readers, but even the wisdom of the seventeenth century is 
surpassed by Robson's British Herald with its two hundred and 
twenty-two, whilst I hesitate to say how many figure in Mr. 
Elvin's modern dictionary of heraldry, a work of which I can 
only say with a certain admiration that the very funeral rites 
of our ancient national heraldry might be read from its inspired 

If we set aside from these crosses those which were mani- 
festly evolved by the armorists as so much padding for the 
dictionaries there remain still a number to be resolved into 
their originals. The rule of the armorist was here, as else- 
where, to make on the one hand a fresh word of every antick 
spelling or variant of a recognized word, and on the other 
hand a new word was to be found for every pictured cross 
which the old artists, in their search for the beautiful line, had 
varied from the pattern which the laws of the later armorists 
were to declare unchangeable. Thus flowery, flory, flurty and 
floretty all these words signify a cross whose form in actual 
use varied with the fashion of the time, but whose distinguishing 
note was to be found in the fleurs-de-lys sprouting from its ends, 
the ' crois od les bouts flurtees ' of the old rolls. Yet they are 
now reckoned four crosses, although no two armorists can be 
found to agree upon their exact differences. In the work of 


Woodward and Burnet, Burnet is found differing from Wood- 
ward on the grave point of the distinction between fiory and 
flurty^ and Burnett dead, Woodward points his case in notes 
to a new edition of their book. For an example of the second 
custom of constructing separate words for artistic variants of 
the same form-the cross paty is a case in point. The unvary- 
ing use of the middle ages points us to a certain type of cross 
as found in the arms of Latimer for a cross paty. But not 
one of our modern armorists is content with this description. 
The three centuries of the heraldic age he tacitly sets down as 
mistaken. Paty as an epithet he applies only to that variety 
of flat-ended cross which the man in the street calls Maltese, 
and which, although very early armory might sometimes place 
it amongst crosses paty, the later middle ages found an adjec- 
tive for in the word formy. The true cross paty, when 
encountered by the armorist in its plump shape (fashion of 1 300), 
is ticketted cross patoncee ; but when the fashion of 1450 thins 
its arms it straightway becomes a cross flory. For those who 
affect to regard heraldry as an unreformable science because 
of the wide acceptance of an iron tradition which makes the 
last development of its rules as fixed as the definitions of 
Euclid, we may recommend the comparison of the last half- 
dozen handbooks of heraldry, of which no two agree in their 
efforts to reconcile the old crosses with their modern tickets. 

The antiquary will concern him very little with this tangle 
of crosses. ' You bring me so many crosses that I am in a 
manner weary of them,' he will say, as even a character in one 
of the heraldic dialogues is made to say in a curiously con- 
vincing phrase. With ancient examples before him he will 
recognize some half-dozen crosses in frequent use, with two 
or three more variants of rare occurrence. Elvin's and 
Edmondson's lists will trouble him not at all, and unless for 
enlargement of the understanding he will never win to a know- 
ledge of shy varieties such as the cross nowy-degraded-conjoined. 
In one of those interminable lists a certain cross is found whose 
expressive name may answer for the most of its fellows. 
Therefore we draw it from obscurity. It is the cross anserated 
or cross issuing out of gooses heads ! 

And now to speak of the beasts and fowls and other living 
things to whose shapes the art of armory owes its most fan- 
tastic beauty. For their conduct in their shield prison the 
armorist has exhausted ingenuity in the devising of rules upon 


rules. No paw is lifted without a word-shackle snapped upon 
it. Yet with a few words on the conventional positions of the 
lion, the beast most often found upon the shield, whose very 
antiquity as the earliest of charges has caused conventions to 
arise round about him, the natural history book of the heralds 
may be left to the philologist, to whom a strange word is a 
truffle to be joyfully rooted up. 

The lion on the shield is the whelp of convention a 
monster like his bastard kinsman the griffon. No attempt is 
ever made to paint this royal beast in colours which hint at the 
colour of a mortal hide. Like the eagle he is at ease in blue, 
gold or checkers. His natural position is held to be when he 
stands ramping at the world, claws to the fore and lashing with 
his tail. Therefore the lion rampant in old blazon as in modern 
French may be ' a lion ' needing no further epithet until he 
drops to his paws and becomes passant. It will be found that 
we follow the habit of the ages of heraldry and save ourselves 
needless words if we recognize that the lion looking sidelong 
towards the spectator may be styled a leopard. Even the 
modern armorists recognize this when they come to describe 
the lion's face used as a charge by itself, in which case it has 
always been blazoned as a leopard's head. Now as the custom- 
ary position of the leopard is passant so the word leopard used 
alone serves for what the handbooks would describe as a lion 
passant gardant. A ramping lion with the full face seen, as in 
the arms of Brocas, was emblazoned as a leopard rampant. 
Early heraldry knows nothing of lions reguardant as the 
modern word is, signifying looking backwards with turned 
heads. A sole exception may be the well known Welsh coat 
of three skulking lions with tails between their legs. But if it 
be needful to describe such a lion in modern heraldry it may 
be as well to note that regardant and gardant are in effect the 
same word, having the same meaning, and were used indif- 
ferently in old blazons the splitting of them into two mean- 
ings being a piece of the usual heraldic illiteracy. A lion looking 
back-ward is better English and better sense than the lion 
rampant regardant of the dictionaries. 

Let us say again that for the blazoning of beasts and the like 
some knowledge of the customary conventions of armorial 
art is very needful if we would save ourselves a mouthful of 
foolish words. Keeping before us the flat-iron shaped shield- 
form we shall see that three ramping lions are commonly set 



upon it, two above one, and that for the artist's reasons as they 
fill the shield space best in that position. This is so commonly 
recognized that only those enamoured of words follow j the 
modern French custom of adding the caution ' two and one ' 
to the blazon. But the same principle can be carried further, 
as the early folk did carry it to the great simplifying of heraldic 

speech. A modern herald blazons the arms of the King of 
England much as Mr. Boutell would do with ' gules, three 
lions passant guardant, in pale, or, the lavish and meaningless 
commas will be noted. But the long passant stripe of the 
leopard's body could never be accommodated by an artist to 
the * two and one.' The three leopards are therefore by a 
natural movement of the artist placed barwise one under the 
other, and gules three leopards gold is all the blazon needed if we 
would follow the example of the ancients. Three running grey- 
hounds would by the same rule naturally place themselves bar- 
wise and rearrange themselves as ' two and one ' if we drove a 
chevron between them. Three lions passant will be set bar- 
wise, but three owls or three eagles ' two and one.' Three 
swimming salmon will lie barwise also, but three dolphins, a 
fish which we draw bowed in its leap, cramp themselves unless 
placed two and one. In pale therefore is another phrase to be 
rid of. 

Of the eagle we may say that as he is always borne displayed 
until we come to some late coats in which he perches with 


closed wing, the word displayed is redundant. De or a un egle 
de vert, said the ancient armorist, and the blazon was enough. 
The griffin follows the lion in his natural position which is 
rampant, in which case rampant is unnecessary, and we may 
disregard the armorists who have invented the word segreant 
for the ramping griffon. 

The enthusiasm of word-making rose to strange heights 
when the later armorists approached the brute creation like 
spectacled Adams to find dog-latinisms for their every part and 
attribute. Birds of prey were to be armed and the other birds 
beaked and membered. Their wings were to be described as 
overt, inverted or disclosed. The common heraldic placing of 
fish as upright makes them hauriant, the swimming fish is 
naiant and the diving fish urinant, though our Mr. Boutell, 
dreading ambiguities, spells it uriant. The dolphin must be 
qualified as embowed, although the arm painters never figured 
him otherwise. Griffons are segreant, horses are forcenee, 
grazing oxen are pascuant, and the wood wild boar is armed and 

All such charges are peppered freely with the word ' proper,' 
a word of little or no value. Sable three swans is a complete 
blazon for a coat, it being to be guessed that the swans are in 
their usual colours, that is white, with red beaks and legs. 
Silver three corbies leaves no room for daubing the corbie with 
blue or red, and gold three Cornish choughs demands black birds 
with beaks and legs of red. The popinjay is green, and we 
are free to touch his poll and legs with red if we will. Trees 
and flowers, with the exception of roses, are of custom in the 
colours nature gave them, and nowhere arises the necessity for 
clapping ' proper ' to a blazon. If something of the sort were 
necessary our own neglected language gives us a better phrase 
in ' after his kind ' or ' of his kind.' Couped is another word 
of which we may be sparing when we deal with the heads 
of beasts or birds, as the fact of cutting squarely off is inferred 
whenever the word ' rased ' is not employed. In all things the 
law cares nothing for little matters of detail. A man blazoning 
at his leisure may specify that his lion should be said to be 
langued and armed gules, but the artist may paint these orna- 
ments gold or azure or leave them out altogether and yet not 
err, and the barbs and seeds of roses likewise follow the rules 
of the colour scheme and no others. 

' No care for little matters ' must be set before us as a clear 


rule. A man's hand is drawn cut off at the wrist and palm 
forward, but couped at the wrist and appaumee are needless, nor 
need it be noted whether the hand be dexter or sinister save in 
a case where the punning blazon of such a name as Poingdestre 
must be brought in. Malmaynes should surely have left 
hands, but they are not found so in old figures. 

We recognize that our heraldry rose in the French tongue, 
and many of its words must always savour of it, but let us 
strive to use our own broad speech wherever it may displace a 
pedantry of the decadence. When words of French root must 
serve us, let us follow old authority in Englishing their form 
as far as may be. The old French pate soon became paty in 
English, so let us avoid making it modernized French as patee 
and fly the meaningless illiteracy ot pattee. Let noute be 
English knotted, and volant flying. Garbs and annulets are 
English sheaves and rings. Clad is a better word than vested^ 
and burning explains itself more clearly than incensed. If we 
have a tooth for strange words let them remind us of old 
English pedantries of the chase and the wold, and of the 
furniture of the foray or hawking party. An antiquary may 
well defend the ancient word from the latinism or modernism 
which would devour it. Our parrot may rest as a popinjay, 
the fir-cone may remain an English ' pineapple ' and the 
mole a moldiwarp, and the panache of Mr. Boutell's chapter 
on crests may be again the * bush of feathers ' of the old 
knights. Above all let us cherish the punning word, Latin, 
French or English, which explains so many strange charges in 
the shield. Harts must be harts for us in a shield of 
Hartwell, but bucks and deer in shields of Buxton and 
Dereham. The birding bolt of Boson is a boson, and the staff 
in Palmer's arms a palmer's staff, although the same staff in 
Burden's arms is a punning bordoun. The cats in Pusey's 
arms and the cat in Pudsey's crest should all be pussycats to 
the English blazoner, and Dymoke the Champion has certainly 
a moke's ears for his crest although the family now make the 
ears of the more genteel fur of the hare. Almost every 
out of the way charge conceals your pun. Wunhale's three 
pillows hint at some ancient English word for a pillow allied to 
wonne a pleasure and bals the neck ; Vane's three gauntlets 
are the old gauns or wauns, whilst Wilkinson's unicorn or lycorne 
certainly shows forth that Wilkinson, for the better playing 
upon his name, split it into Wil-lycorne-son. 


The tangled skein of the story of heraldry can only be fol- 
lowed in a rambling essay. Let us sum up the position in 
which the antiquary finds himself to-day. 

His handbooks and guides show themselves as the compila- 
tions for the most part of men whose enthusiam was supported 
by slender scholarship without judgement or breadth of view, 
who decanted their new wine into old bottles without a gleam 
of humourous mistrust. 

The handbooks differ amongst themselves, and offer no 
standard, however mistaken, of authority in heraldry. 

The handbooks are, despite their flavouring of second-hand 
research, the thin extract of the old heraldry books. 

The old heraldry books jargoned for sweet jargoning's sake 
witless symbolism and metaphysic of Bedlam to the delecta- 
tion of Tom Fool and his brethren who, in the sixteenth and 
seventeenth centuries, were great readers and loved a tall folio. 
The break between these books and the medieval practice of 
heraldry is complete, and their childish archaeology made no 
attempt to close it. Their systems were too deliberately set up 
to be regarded as in any sense developments of the past, and 
their speech was darkened of set purpose with absurdities. 

Beyond handbook and folio lies the field of medieval 
heraldry. Its records are too ample to allow us any mis- 
understanding of their nature, and an important class of them 
will soon be open to public study in the shape of the rolls of 
arms. The study of these and their comparison with the an- 
cient personal seals and the evidences of the monuments will 
then be the task before the armorist-antiquary, and this enquiry 
can have but one result. 

But although the result be assured there are already indica- 
tions that those who would bring common-sense to sweeten 
this dingy corner of archaeology will do so at the wonted peril 
of the image-breaker. Especially from two quarters criticism 
and opposition may be expected. 

It will be urged that the early days of heraldry used up all 
the simple devices, and that, when new arms are to be devised, 
barbarous new methods and an elaborated jargon must be 
employed for the mere ensuring of novelty. Such a criticism 
will however be impossible if the art of heraldry could regain 
its place and set the pseudo-science of heraldry under its feet. 
The old methods and practice in the hands of a competent 
designer would be as fruitful as ever in new combinations and 


simple and vigorous results. To deny this is to confess either 
to an ignorance of the practice of heraldry or to a mind barren 
of original effort. 

Criticism such as this may be easily met The simplifying 
and making reasonable of English heraldry has a more serious 
enemy in the path. The antiquary who is content to live and 
learn, the architect and the artist will welcome a new move- 
ment towards sanity and comprehension, but there remains the 
personage whom Mr. St. John Hope has christened for more 
distinction * the Antiquarian.' That the past century has scantly 
left one stone upon another of dead antiquarian creeds affects 
him not a whit. He declares himself in this as in like matters 
' in favour of established formula.' In the old days he said this 
as doggedly when innovators robbed Captain Clutterbuck of 
the established formula that a round arch was a Saxon arch and 
a pointed one a Norman. The private expression of some of 
the opinions of this present essay brought against the writer an 
antiquarian with furious quill, who maintained in black print 
that not only was the whole system of the handbooks an ark 
to be kept secure from enquiring hand, but as the antiquarian's 
favourite handbook shortened gules into gu. and azure into az. 
even so the abbreviations themselves became inspired, and the 
amplifying them back into gules and azure was ' ugly and 
ridiculous ' as well as wicked. How the chopped fragments 
were to be pronounced by the pious was left uncertain. 

Archaeology is perhaps the only science in which such con- 
troversy as dais would be possible in serious newspapers or 
reviews, and towards the unhappy subject of armory the duller 
minds amongst archaeologists inevitably tend. No other subject, 
perhaps, offers at the cost of an uncritical browsing along a 
shelf of books the opportunity for a barndoor-fowl's flight into 
scientific literature. A dozen handbooks are probably a-making 
to-day, and the familiar tags will appear with new surnames on 
their bindings. 

But the day is certainly at hand when the committal to paper 
of long and misunderstood lists of words will fail to equip 
the antiquarian for an honoured place on the bookshelves. 

Dryasdust has been unhorsed, and we shall see whether 
Master Mumblazon, the least of his squires, has a surer seat. 





NOT even our mobile columns in South Africa are quite 
so heavily equipped as the modern historian. He is 
expected to possess an impartial judgment, a sound knowledge 
of the classics, a style which will carry him through deep 
places and along paths which shine only with reflected light, 
an understanding of most European languages, a power of 
marshalling statistics, and some acquaintance with the geology 
and natural features of the country he proposes to traverse. 
Of late years it has been thought that if he chooses also to 
study the people who live in that country ; if he masters their 
speech and handwriting ; if he makes himself familiar with 
their beliefs and superstitions, with their popular poems and 
romances, with their arts and architecture, with their manners 
and customs, with their mode of dress and style of living ; if, 
in short, no longer satisfied with impressions derived at second 
hand from others, he turns the light of his own lantern upon 
the past, he cannot fairly be charged with mere frivolousness, 
or with a disregard for the dignity of his office. It would, 
perhaps, be pushing these new and dangerous ideas too far to 
suggest that the historian might also pay a little attention to 
the different classes and orders of society in the age of which 
he is treating ; and indeed, as the intelligent British public is 
well aware, such studies are of purely antiquarian or archaeo- 
logical interest. Yet history would be better written if medieval 
society were better understood. It may fairly be maintained 
that the growth and development of a nation depend not so 
much upon its geographical position and natural resources, not 
so much upon the military strength or weakness of its neigh- 
bours, as upon the division of classes and their relation to each 
other and to the soil. This in a degree is true of the world 
in general, but in how much higher a degree of the island in 

1 This article is part of a study of medieval classes, dealing also with the 
franklin, husbandman, yeoman and villein, which the writer hopes some day 
to publish in book form. 


which we live ? In England, classes at first were nations super- 
imposed one upon another. The serf was a Briton, 1 the villein 
a Saxon, the socager in many instances a Dane, the freeholder 
almost invariably a Norman. Here, for some reason never 
yet fully explained, social evolution ran a different course from 
that which it followed upon the continent. Here there was 
never the same gulf between the noble and the roturier ; here 
peasants and nobles stood together in resisting the encroach- 
ments of the Crown, and a sturdy race of yeomen-freeholders 
came into being, who proved their worth in the French 
wars of Edward III. and Henry V., and the campaigns of 
Cromwell and Marlborough. This bond of sympathy and 
mutual respect between the nobility and gentry on one hand 
and the poor freeholder on the other, founded, as Bishop Stubbs 
suggests, upon the possession of the parliamentary franchise, 
seems to me the most remarkable fact in English history, the 
national characteristic which differentiates political and social 
development in England from that which obtained in France 
or Germany, Italy or Spain. 

I imagine that few, even among students of history, have 
formed a clear idea of the stratification of medieval society. 
To deal first with the class of gentlemen, every one of course 
has heard of the rhyme which John Ball circulated in the 
peasant revolt of 1381 : 

When Adam delved and Eve span, 
Who was then the gentleman f 

Every one is acquainted with Tennyson's defence of the 
'grand old name of gentleman,' and with the antique song 
which sings the praises of the good old English gentleman, 
all of the olden time.' Some have dipped into Shirley's Noble 
and Gentle Men of England, wherein the author traces the 
history of three hundred families still existing and holding 
landed property, whose ancestors were of knightly or gentle 
rank before the commencement of the sixteenth century. A 
few perhaps have studied in Strutt's Dress and Habits of the 
People of England the illustrations, reproduced from illuminated 
manuscripts, which represent in their actual costume and sur- 
roundings < gentlemen of the fourteenth century.' As to the 
origin of the class, Freeman traces it back at a very remote 
period into Normandy. 'Early in the eleventh century,' he 

1 I am aware that this view is not generally accepted. 


writes, c the order of " gentlemen " as a separate class seems 
to be forming as something new. By the time of the conquest 
of England the distinction seems to have been fully established.' 1 
Both Macaulay and Hume speak of the Norman gentleman, 
and Green points out that in the reign of Edward I. ' the 
number of the country gentry and of the more substantial 
yeomanry was increasing with the increase of the national 
wealth.' a Gardiner dwells upon the general feeling against 
gentlemen in 1381, and their duties as justices of the peace. 
Stubbs describes in picturesque detail the domestic economy of 
the country gentleman's household at the close of the Middle 
Ages, and defines the class of gentry, ' men of family, of 
worship and coat armour,' as including knights and esquires 
and occupying a position intermediate between the barons and 
the yeomen. 3 Hallam speaks of the ' simplicity with which 
the gentry lived under Edward I.,' * and tells us that in the 
days of the Plantagenets we find in the gradation of ranks the 
peers, the gentry or principal landowners, many of them dis- 
tinguished by knighthood and all by bearing coat armour, the 
yeomanry, the burgesses, and lastly the peasantry and labourers. 6 
If we turn to original documents we shall find the word 
' gentilman ' and its Norman-French equivalents, Gentil and 
Gentil-homme, in common use at an early date. * Gentilman,' 
as a surname, is met with in the first half of the fourteenth 
century. Langmead, in his Constitutional History, refers to a 
suit of 1353-4, in which the addition of gentilis homo after a 
man's name was held to be a sufficient description. 6 Froissart, 
in the seventeenth chapter of his first book, speaks of an enter- 
tainment given at Warwick by le gentil d ' Angleterre. In the 
parliamentary rolls and statutes such expressions are often met 
with. In 1305-6, the armour, riding horses, jewels, clothes 
and plate of cbivalers et gentih hommes are excepted out of 
the assessment of the 3Oth granted to the king. 7 In 1360-1, 
we find mention of gentil bomme d\stat d* avoir faucoun? In 
1363, a sumptuary law regulates the costume of esquiers et toutes 

1 Enc. Brit. xvii. 540-1. This passage is quoted in the New English 

2 History of the English People (1878), i. 336. 

3 Constit. Hist. (1878), iii. 544, 548. 

4 Middle Ages (1878), iii. 370. 5 Chap. I. 

6 Cowell's Interpreter (1701), in verbo Langmead's History (1896), 287. 

7 Rot. i. 270. 8 Stat. i. 369. 


manieres de gentih gentz desoutb I'estat de cbivaler. 1 In 1376, a 
method is laid down for dealing with the tattered hordes of 
beggars, who infested the highways and pretended to be Gentih 
el Hommes d'armes ou Archery fallen to decay in the wars. 1 In 
1381, a pardon is granted to the Seigneurs, Gentih et autres, who 
had compromised themselves during the insurrection of villeins, 
and had slain divers persons without process of law. 3 In 1405-6 
and again in 1429, we meet with the phrase les gentih et autres 
gents du roiaume* 

Nothing then would appear to be more clearly established 
than the existence, from the twelfth century onwards, of a class 
of country gentlemen which included knights and esquires, 
and held an intermediate position between the barons and the 
yeomanry. This is the accepted theory of medieval classes, 
stated for us in the first instance by the great writers whom I 
have already named, and received without question by the new 
school of historians as well as by the old ; for Denton explains 
the word ' gentleman ' as indicating in the fourteenth century 
' one who lived on the rental of his lands,' ' and Trevelyan 
in his Age of Wycliffe 6 deals at some length with the ' social 
position and political policy of the gentry,' and with the 
' relation of the country gentlemen to the nobles.' It is a theory 
which has always held the field in English literature. Shake- 
speare in one of his plays ' introduces a c gentleman ' of the 
reign of King John ; Scott has much to say in Ivanboe con- 
cerning the yeomanry of the twelfth century ; and indeed there 
is hardly a modern poem or romance dealing with Plantagenet 
or Norman times in which country gentlemen or yeomen do not 
play a prominent part. 

How presumptuous therefore must the reader think me, 
when, in view of the facts and authorities already cited, I ask 
him to consider the possibility that our poets, our novelists, 
and our historians one and all have been at fault ! I can only 
protest that I yield to no man in respect and admiration for 
Stubbs and Freeman, Hallam and Macaulay, but even Homer 
sometimes nods. How often in the light of modern research 
have the most familiar facts of history proved to be fictions ; 
how largely error still lingers in pages which aim at nothing but 

1 Stat. i. 380. * Rat. ii. 332. 3 Ibid. iii. IO3A. * Stat. ii. 157, 243. 

6 England in the Fifteenth Century, p. no, note. 8 p. 66. 

7 King "John, Act i, Scene I : ' Your faithful servant I, a gentleman born 
in Northamptonshire, and eldest son, as I suppose, to Robert Fakonbridge.' 


the truth ! The structure of medieval society is still a dark and 
mysterious subject. Stubbs, our greatest writer on constitu- 
tional history, often deplores the doubt and uncertainty in 
which it is involved. He considers the evolution of the villein 
class extremely obscure, and can only hazard one or two con- 
jectures upon it ; he finds it ' impossible to enquire with com- 
plete certainty ' into the status of the smaller freeholders ; he 
cannot explain what men are intended by the term vadletti. 
Other historians have felt the same difficulty but have been less 
honest in acknowledging it. Thus, to give an example, we 
should all like to cultivate a closer acquaintance with Chaucer's 
franklin and with that important political personage the forty- 
shilling freeholder. Why do our histories with one consent 
dismiss these interesting characters in a few guarded words, 
carefully avoiding any discussion upon their status and sur- 
roundings ? If the writers had been sure of their ground, 
would they not have treated these as types of medieval 
society, would they not have pictured for us the franklin's hall 
and chamber, his household arrangements and mode of life, 
and have traced how the poorer freeholder laid out every 
penny of those forty shillings ? Until such points have been 
elucidated the history of the English people can never be 
rightly understood. But my argument goes further than this. 
I would urge that, until the position and relations of the vari- 
ous classes in medieval times have been defined and determined, 
our historians are building upon a foundation of sand. To 
illustrate the extreme importance of such studies, and the 
danger that they may upset the conclusions with which we are 
all familiar, let us assume for the sake of argument that 
medieval society was not subdivided, as has been generally 
supposed, into nobles, knights, gentlemen and yeomen. Let us 
assume that in the twelfth, thirteenth and fourteenth centuries 
there were, broadly speaking, but two classes, 1 the nobiles or 
tenants in chivalry, comprising earls, barons, knights, esquires 

1 Before the Conquest we have eorls, ceorls and theows ; after the Conquest 
but two classes, for the ceorl has become a villein. In the twelfth and 
thirteenth centuries there was a great gulf between the freeholder and the 
villein or burgess. The son of even the meanest freeholder was in wardship 
to his lord (Maitland's Court Baron, p. 103), and it was disparagement to marry 
him to the daughter of a villein or burgess (Du Cange, under Disfaragare, 
Obnoxatio ; Hallam's Middle Ages ; Coke's Institutes, 1628, i. 80). In Scotland 
also it was unlawful to marry the daughter of a freeholder ' with ane burgesse 
man, or with ane villaine' (Skene, De Verborum Sign). The ordeal for the 


and franklins, and the ignobites, consisting of villeins, citizens 
and burgesses ; that a great order of franklins or free-tenants 
was forming in the latter half of the twelfth century, owing to 
the pressure of military service upon the lords of manors and 
the desire of the latter to surround themselves with tenants 
who could be depended upon to fight under their banners and 
to do suit at their courts ; that this order, or subdivision of 
the nobiles, bound together without distinction of rank or birth 
poor freeholders and persons whom we should now describe as 
wealthy and distinguished country gentlemen, and that it long 
held the balance of political power, supporting the barons 
against the usurpations of the Crown and the Crown against the 
ambition of the greater feudatories. Let us assume that the 
yeomanry, 1 or order of tenant-farmers, sprang into existence after 

freeman was by hot iron, for the burgess or villein by water (Bigelow's Plaeita, 
p. 231 ; Glanvill, xiv. i). Any freeman who took to public trading was held 
to 'degenerate from the dignity of his rank' (Dialogue of the Excheyuer,\\.\n\.). 
In the fourteenth century the position of the burgess was anomalous, but he was 
still theoretically a villein, or at best a freedman as opposed to a freeman. 
The ruling citizens of corporate towns are sometimes spoken of as nobiles, 
perhaps in the sense that they were free tenants. 

1 Our historians have misunderstood the meaning of the terms ' yeoman ' 
and ' husbandman.' The Petition against Livery of 1400-1 and the Com- 
mission of 1433 describe all who are not knights and esquires as 'yeomen,' 
and it is clear that a great many lords of manors and representatives of ancient 
houses must have been included in this class (Rot. Part. iii. 478 ; iv. 456). 
' Yeoman ' was a designation which at first expressed military rank, and in a 
fifteenth century vocabulary I find scutiger rendered as ' geman.' Professor 
Skeat in his Etymological Dictionary derives yeoman from ga, a district or village. 
This is impossible. The word ' yeoman ' cannot be traced before the four- 
teenth century, and in the word-books of the fifteenth it is translated 'as 
effebus, valectus. It is an English rendering of the older Norman-French valet, 
a young man or page. In 1279-80 Roger de Wanstede held land in 
sergeanty in that place by the service of finding one vakt for eight days at 
his own charges, armed with pourpoint, iron cap and lance, to guard the castle 
of Portsmut in time of war. Hewitt, Ancient Arms, \. 239 ; see also 
Arcbifologia, xxvi. 328-9. In the ordinances made by the Earl of Shrewsbury 
at his sieges in Mayne the archers are described as ' yeomen,' while the men- 
at-arms are apparently spoken of as ' gentellmen ' (Nicholas, Agincourt, app. 
42-3). In these ordinances the form 'yogmen' occurs, and in the statute of 
33 Henry VIII. cap. 10 we have the word at full length as 'yongemen.' 
I have met in the reign of Elizabeth with yeomen who were lords of manors 
and with others whose incomes were equal to four or five thousand a year of 
modern money. ' Husbandman ' in the first half of the fifteenth century 
means simply ' householder,' or head of a family, and has nothing to do with 
husbandry. Mr. Barren has pointed out to me a document in which the 
eldest son of an esquire is described as a husbandman. 


the great pestilence of 1349, which by increasing the price of 
labour compelled the abandonment of landlord cultivation and 
led to the practice of letting lands on lease ; that the ' order of 
gentleman as a separate class was forming as something new,' 
not, as Freeman imagined, in the twelfth century, but in the 
fifteenth ; that, deserted by the wealthier families, the franklin 
class fell into decay, lost its political importance and sank into 
the yeomanry ; that its members, as not being of ' gentill 
berthe,' were excluded by law from Parliament and by preju- 
dice from the shrievalty, and that the poorer free-tenants, as 
c persons of small substance and no value,' were deprived of 
the franchise and rendered incapable of serving upon juries. 
Let us assume that as time went on and the heralds preached 
their evil gospel of gentility, the gulf widened between rich and 
poor ; that the gentry ceased to intermarry with the yeomanry, 
to visit them at their houses, to attend their weddings and stand 
as sponsors at the christening of their children ; that a bitter 
and jealous feeling grew up which made itself felt at last in 
the wars of the Cavaliers and Roundheads. If this were a 
true theory of classes, should we not be obliged to reconsider 
our whole view of English history ? Would not such dis- 
coveries throw a new light upon the stability of our institu- 
tions, the military strength of the nation, the absence of aristo- 
cratic feeling, the friendliness and want of ceremony which 
marked the relations between barons, knights and free- 
holders ? 

We are dealing then with something more than a mere 
verbal distinction between esquires and gentlemen, yeomen 
and franklins. I hope to show that in the struggle for English 
liberty the poorer freeholders were drawn to the side of the 
barons and knights not, as Stubbs has suggested, 1 by the acci- 
dent of the parliamentary franchise, but by the fellow-feeling 
which naturally exists amongst members of the same class. A 
wide gulf, as regards both birth and tenure, was stretched 
between freeholder and villein, but from the earls and barons 
down to the richer franklin who served as sheriff for his county 
or represented it in Parliament, and the poorest freeholder who 
drew a bow at Poitiers or Agincourt, we have to do with but a 
single class, differenced only by undetermined gradations of 
wealth and position and power. 

It may sound a sweeping statement, but there were no 
1 Constit. Hist. (1878) iii. 554. 


gentlemen in the middle ages. There were knights, esquires 1 
and va/etti, all military titles as colonel and captain and sergeant 
are with us, but not gentlemen or yeomen. No one ever 
described himself, or was described by others, as a gentleman 
before the year 1413 to be precise before September 29 in 
that year and no class of gentlemen can be traced before the 
third decade of the fifteenth century. This is a rule so exact 
that it may be used as a test of the date and authenticity of 
documents. It may safely be laid down that any charter earlier 
than 1413 which so describes a principal or witness is an 
impudent forgery ; that any glossary or nominate which renders 
generosus as ' gentylman ' 2 was drawn up in the fifteenth cen- 
tury ; that any romance, ballad, or cycle of ballads, in which 
gentlemen are introduced amongst the characters portrayed 
cannot have been written before the time of Henry V. Thus, 
to give one or two instances, Polwhele in his History of Corn- 
wall (i. 25), speaking of the English army before Calais in 
1 346, remarks that the pay was at the rate of two shillings for 
a knight, eighteen pence for an esquire, two shillings for a 
gentleman and his servant, and threepence for an archer. We 
know at once, without glancing at the manuscript from which 
he professes to be quoting that it makes no such statement. 
Again, when Rogers tells us 9 that at the determination feast of 
Richard Holand in 1395 cloth of two qualities, 'for the suit 
of gentlefolk(j?my/) and servants,' was provided, we conclude 
that he has not verified his quotation, and on turning to the 
document referred to we find that it speaks not of gentlefolks 
but of esquires. The material was not for generosi but armigeri, 
and the phrase secta generosorum, though commonly used at a 
later period, is never met with before the year 1424. 

In the reign of Elizabeth we meet with many lists of 
the ' knights, esquires, gentlemen and freeholders ' of the 
various counties, but in earlier times, whenever the different 
classes or distinctions of rank are enumerated, gentlemen are 
strangely absent. The poll-tax of 1512 gives us after knights 

Titles change their meaning. We should not nowadays speak of a baron 
as ' John Audeley, esquire,' of an earl as ' Humphrey de Bohun, esquire, Earl 
of Hereford and Essex,' or of a king as 'Willelmus Armiger' (see Coke's 
Institutes, 1642, ii. 167 ; Spelman's Glossary, under 'Armiger'' ; and Selden's 
Titles of Honour, p. 442). 

2 See Wright's O. E. rocab. 

* Hist. Agric. i. 121 ; ii. 643 ; iii. 495. 


and esquires, not gentlemen, but ' persons having lands and 
rents to the value of 40 per annum or above.' 1 In Sir John 
Fortescue's treatise on the laws of England, written about the 
year 1470, he dwells upon the wealth of the rural districts and 
the wide distribution of landed property. No hamlet, he tells 
us, was so small that there was not to be found in it a knight, 
an esquire or a franklin, and also other free tenants and many 
yeomen. In a poem on England's commercial policy com- 
posed in the latter half of the fifteenth century, ' alle maner of 
men ' are explained as consisting of ' knyghtis, squyers and 
alle the comynalte.' 2 The Cheshire Petition of 1450 was pre- 
sented in the name of the 'Abbotes, Priours and all the 
Clergy, Barons, Knyghtis, Squiers and all the comminaltee ' of 
the county palatine. 3 In a curious certificate of non-villeinage, 
granted in 1446 by John, Lord Darcy, to a certain John of the 
Hall of Temple Newsome in Yorkshire, the recipient is made 
to protest against certain reports which had been spread abroad 
to his disadvantage. It has been commonly said, he complains, 
that he is Lord Darcy's villein and bondman regardant, 
'amongez estate, knyghtes, squyers and comyners.' 4 The 
London and Middlesex subsidy rolls of 1435-6 and 1412 show 
that there were in those years many knights and esquires resi- 
dent in the city and county, but not a single gentleman. 8 In 
Higden's Polychronicon (before 1363), and in the two English 
translations made in 1387 and 143250, it is stated as charac- 
teristic of our fellow countrymen that every class aped the 
manners and costume of that immediately above it, ' wherefore 
hit is seen oftetymes that a yoman 6 dothe represente as the 
state of a esqwier, an esqwier of a knyghte, a knyghte of a 
lorde, a lorde of a duke, a duke off" a kynge.' 7 In the Com- 
mission of May i, I434, 8 and the Petition against Livery of 
1400,* a scale is laid down whereby offenders are to be fined 
according to their status. It is proposed that a knight shall 
forfeit 40 for offending against the statute ; an esquire, ,20 ; 
a yoman ou vadlet, 10. In the poll-tax of 1379, and in the 
statute which lays down the method of assessment, the different 
ranks in life are carefully distinguished from each other. 

1 Statute 4 Hen. VIII. c. 19. 2 Wright, ii. 287. 

3 Archtsologia, Ivii. 75. 4 Turks Arcbceol. iv. 158. 

5 Archttol. Journal, xliv. 56, and Subsidy Roll a ^ s 

6 Vernaeulus, more properly a countryman. 

8 Rot. Par!, iv. 456. 9 Ibid. iii. 478. 


Every baron, banneret or knight was to pay forty shillings ; 
every bachelor and every esquire who ought by statute to be 
a knight, twenty shillings ; every esquire of less estate and 
every substantial merchant, half a mark ; every esquire who 
had neither lands, rent nor chattels, but was in service or had 
been armed, a quarter of a mark. Then, after the assessment 
of ecclesiastics, lawyers, mayors, aldermen and merchants, we 
return to landowners. Every sergeant and franklin, according 
to his estate, was to pay half or a quarter of a mark. Farmers 
of manors, parsonages and granges, cattle dealers and all other 
merchants of mean merchandise were, according to their income, 
to pay half a mark, a quarter of a mark, two shillings or twelve 
pence. The indentures fastened to the returns show that these 
were made ' according to the estate and degree of the persons 
contained in them, but the commissioners returned no one as a 
gentleman. In Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, in Piers Plowman 
and in the Lytel Jeste of Robyn Hode, medieval society is 
drawn for us to the life ; we meet in all three with knights, 
esquires, merchants, franklins and yeomen, but not with gentle- 
men. One feels inclined to ask with John Ball, 'Who was 
then the gentleman ? ' 

But I shall be referred no doubt to the ' List of gentry 
of the land,' 1 which Fuller in his Worthies of England tells us 
was 'solemnly returned' in 1433 'by select commissioners 
into the chancery.' Here at last we seem to have something 
definite and authentic. Our ' county historians ' have never 
troubled themselves to search for the original of this document, 
but I have succeeded in tracing it to the Patent Roll of 12 
Henry VI. 2 It turns out to be a catalogue made, not in 1433, 
but in the following year, of certain knights, esquires and men 
of influence and substance (ceteros regni potentes et -ualentes\ to 
whom it was thought expedient to tender an oath that they 
would not 'wetyngly receyve, cherishe, hold in houshold ne 
maynteyne, Pilours, Robbours, Oppressours of the poeple, 
Mansleers, Felons, Outlawes, Ravyshers of women ayenst the 

1 Fuller speaks also of a list of the English gentry made towards the end of 
the reign of King Henry VIII. ; and the later editors of his book tell us in 
a footnote that, if this could be found, it would be ' a valuable continuation 
of the Worthies of England' I have no doubt the author is referring to the 
lists of those who lent money to the king in 1 542-4, which are amongst the 
subsidy rolls in the Record Office. 

* No. 437, dorso. 


lawe, unlawefull Hunters of Forestes, Parkes or Warennes, or 
eny other open mysdoers.' These persons are generally 
thought to have been supporters of the Yorkist cause, and 
though the statute proposes that the oath shall be tendered 
to all men of substance in the various counties, the commis- 
sioners were instructed to call before them only those to 
whom it seemed expedient to offer it. 1 The statute speaks 
of them not as gentlemen, but as men of substance ; and the 
Patent Roll classes them not as knights, esquires, gentlemen 
and yeomen, but as ' knights, esquires and valetti.' In the 
commission itself, as in the Petition against Livery of I4OO-I, 2 
va/ettus is translated as ' yoman ' ; ' yomen ' in the translation 
(1387) of the Polycbronicon follow next after esquires ; and 
it is impossible to resist the conclusion that all persons of 
lower military rank than esquires, even if they were lords 
of manors and the representatives of ancient houses, might be 
so described. From the point of view of tenure they were 
free tenants, from the point of view of military service ' valets ' 
or yeomen. In France young men of noble birth were spoken 
of as ' valets,' until they were eighteen years old ; 3 in England 
the wards of the Crown were so named in the twelfth century, 
as were also, in the fourteenth, certain Members of Parliament, 
who we know were descended from knightly houses. 4 More- 
over the same classification of society into knights, esquires 
and valetti will be found in the royal letters to the sheriffs of 
various counties in 1403 ; B in the statute of 1444 5, which 
ordains that in future valetti are not to serve as knights of the 
shire ; and in the many Acts passed between 1389 and 1400 in 
restraint of livery, maintenance and apparel. This phrase, 
cbiva/er, esquier, ne vallet, qualified sometimes by the addition 
' and all of lower estate than a knight,' or of * nor none other 
of lower estate than an esquire,' represents the ordinary divi- 
sion of society in the latter half of the fourteenth century. 

But if no reference can be found in early times to the exis- 
tence of a class of gentlemen, how are we to explain the 
occurrence of the words gentils and gentils-bommes in the 
extracts which I have given from Froissart and the Parlia- 
mentary rolls and statutes. The difficulty is easily resolved, 
if it can be shown that gentil-homme does not mean a gentle- 

1 Patent Roll, 12 Henry VI. 437. 

2 Rot. Pad. iii. 478 ; iv. 456. 3 Du Cange. 

* Langmead's Constit. Hist. \. 288, note. 6 Rymer's Facdera, yiii. 313. 


man. In 1399, the Earl of Salisbury, having been charged 
with treason by the Duke of Norfolk, replied that he was 
ready to defend himself comme un gentil-bomme, as the king 
might direct. 2 In 1387-8, John Beauchamp of Holt, con- 
demned to be hanged as a traitor, by favour, because he was 
de gentil sank, was ordered to be beheaded. 3 This John, 
though described as cbivaler, was a baron himself, being the 
first so created by patent, and the descendant of a baronial 
house. Again, in 1377, the Sire de Gomenys was found 
guilty of a like offence, and in his case once more the sentence 
was reduced to decapitation on the ground that he was Gentil 
bomme et Banneret* In Minot's Songs of the French Wars, 
written before 1352, the king himself is referred to as 'Gentill 
Sir Edward,' * while in charters of the same period it is not 
unusual to find the phrase nobilis vit applied to a simple 

At the present day no one would speak of a knight as a 
nobleman, or of an earl or baron as a gentleman ; but in early 
times there was no clear dividing line, no distinction in blood 
between the nobility and gentry. In legal documents, in 
charters, court rolls, and even in writs of summons to Parlia- 
ment, barons are described simply as knights or chivalers. 
The statute of 140x3-1 so considers them, for it speaks of a 
'chivaler of lower estate than a Duke, Earl or Baron.' 
Higden, who wrote his Polycbronicon before 1363, knew of no 
class intermediate between knights and dukes. 7 The parlia- 
mentary nobles were not at this time described as barons or 
seigneurs, for every lord of a manor was a seigneur, and every 
tenant-in-chief a baron ; 8 but when it was necessary to dis- 
tinguish them from the rest are referred to as grands seigneurs, 
ks grands de la terre, optimates, majores, magnates, or primates. 
Thus Magna Carta speaks of majores barones (the minor barons 
being the smaller tenants-in-chief), and the Statute of Arms 
of Edward III.'s time refers to ' the son of a great lord, 

1 Freemen accused of sedition were usually tried by the ordeal of battle. 
Glanvill, De Legibw, liber 14, close of cap. I. 

2 Rot. Par!, iii. 45 la. 3 Ibid. iii. 243^. 

* Ibid. iii. \za. 5 Wright's PoRtual Poems, i. 67. 

6 Vincent's MSS. at the College of Arms, xliv. 136*. Addit. MS. (B.M.) 
29,442, p. 24. 7 ii. 171. 

8 See Scrope and Grosvenor, i. 113, where a lord of a manor is termed a 


that is to say, of an Earl or Baron.' 1 But even this distinc- 
tion is not always maintained, for 'others,' namely some of 
the more influential bannerets and knights, were occasionally 
included, together with prelates, earls and barons, under the 
title of les grants? Evidently the earls and barons differed 
from the chivalers in degree only, and not in kind. Privileged 
tenure or special summons to Parliament had made them more 
notable, but could not make them more noble than the rest. 

This want of discrimination between what we should now 
call noblemen and gentlemen is reflected in the use of the 
words themselves, for in Edward III.'s time every noble- 
man was a gentilhomme and every gentilhomme a noble. If a 
distinction is ever drawn, as between two classes, we shall find 
that it is due to error or misunderstanding. In the English 
version of the Scrope and Grosvenor depositions, two of the 
deponents are made to speak of ' nobles and valiant knights 
and esquires,' and again of { nobles and valiant persons.' In 
both cases the translation is at fault. 3 Another witness does 
actually refer to ' noble lords, valiant knights and good 
esquires,' 4 and the phrase would have considerable weight did 
we not meet later on with a variant of it, in which the knights 
and esquires are noble and the lords are valiant. 6 Though 
Sir Richard Scrope's ancestors were not of baronial rank, quite 
a number of witnesses deposed that he was sprung from nobles 
et gentils bommes y dez aundens gentils bommez 5? de noble sane ; 
and one went so far as to say that his ancestors ' had always 
remained noblez & gentils.' 6 Such phrases as gentils & noblezj 
gentils bommes cbivalers & esquiers? noble et generalise sane dez 
gentils hommes? noblez & gentilx generousez bommes noblez vail- 
lantz chmalers & esguiers, 11 are frequently met with. In Chaucer 
and other writers of this period c gentil ' 12 means neither more 

1 Stat. \. 231. 

* Rymer's Faedera, ii. 274 ; Scrope and Grosvenor, i. 181 ; Gneist's Hist. 
Eng. Com tit. 379 note. 

3 Scrope and Grosvenor, ii. 221, 245. * i. 68. 5 i. 70. 6 i. 185. 

' i. 156. 8 i. 187. 9 i. 164. i. 190. u i. 185, 195. 

3 Derived from the secondary meaning of ' gentil ' as graceful and well 
mannered is its use in the Canterbury Tales to denote all the better-bred persons 
in the company of pilgrims : 

' And right anon the gentils ganne to crye 

Nay lat hym telle us of no ribavdye' (Pardoner's Prologue, 37). 
Here the word includes, I suppose, the knight, esquire, prioress, nun, monk, 
friar, merchant, clerk, man-of-law, franklin, and possibly the doctor and parson. 


nor less than noble. Thus in Trevisa's translation (1387) of 
the Polycbronicon, the episcopi, abbates^ et terr<e proceres, who 
accepted Canute as king, figure as the ' bisshoppes, abbotes 
and gentiles of the lond.' If any doubt still remains in the 
reader's mind as to the identity in meaning of gentilis and 
nobilis, I will refer him to the royal letter of 1363, which states 
that in former ages the people of England, tarn nobiles quam 
ignobiles, had practised the art of archery ; 1 to the letters of 
nobility granted by Henry VI. in 14489 to Nicholas Cloos 
and Roger Keys, who had been engaged in the works at 
King's College and Eton ; * and to the passages in which 
Matthew Paris speaks of the * archbishops, bishops, barons, 
knights and other nobles' who were summoned to the Parlia- 
ment of 1225, and of the infinita nobilium multitudo which came 
together at Westminster on another occasion. 8 Can it be 
seriously maintained that here nobiles denotes only peers of the 
realm ? If these instances do not carry conviction, we may 
turn to the lines in which Boethius and his translator speak of 
nobilitas as founded upon claritudo, that is to say upon ' renoun 
and cleernesse of linage.' How does the reader think that 
Chaucer translates nobiles and nobilitas ? Not as nobles and 
nobility, but as ' gentilmen ' and ' gentilesse.' * In other pas- 
sages 6 the poet renders the latter word as ' noblesse,' for 
' gentilesse ' and ' noblesse ' conveyed the same meaning to 

The word ' gentleman ' possessed then at this time precisely 
the same significance which to this day it conveys in France ; 
and indeed how could it be otherwise, for England was still a 
great continental power, and English kings were making grants 
of arms and nobility to their foreign as well as to their native 
subjects. The explanation of gentilis as equivalent to nobilis is 
after all only what Selden, Camden, Du Cange and Spelman 
have long since laid down. I do not claim that it is a new 
discovery ; the truth has always been plain enough, but our 
historians have been blind. 

Chaucer uses ' gentilman ' also to denote that class of servants whom we still 
refer to as ' gentlemen's gentlemen.' 

1 Rymer's Fatten, iii. 704. See also the statute of 1336, which is made by 
the common consent of the Prelates, Earls, Barons and other nobles of the 
Realm (Stat. i. 279). 

* Herald and Genealogist, i. 145. 3 Nichols' Leicester, i. 214. 

4 Boethius iii. Prose vi. 26. 6 Ibid. ii. Prose iv. : iii. Prose ii. 


It should be possible, I think, to trace in the rolls, statutes 
and public records the exact process by which the word 
' gentleman ' was reduced to its present more limited signi- 
ficance. Just as African lakes in winter swell into inland seas, 
so many of the old class-names had a wider as well as a 
narrower meaning. The churchmen are sometimes included 
among the nobiles? the free tenants among the milites^ the 
knights among the libere tenentes 3 and even among the liberi 
homines. In the twelfth and thirteenth centuries it was more 
usual for the ' knights and free tenants ' to be separately men- 
tioned, but even this classification groups together under one 
heading lords of manors, esquires, the sons or descendants of 
barons and knights, and humble freeholders who owned but a 
few acres of land. The inconvenience of this want of dis- 
tinction must have been strongly felt, especially in the latter 
half of the fourteenth century, when a great deal of nonsense 
was being talked about ' gentle blood,' * and cumbrous phrases, 
such as nul yoman ne null autere de meindre estat que Esquier 
(13923 and I397)j 6 and toutes manieres de gentih gents desoutb 
festal de chmaler (1363),* were invented to meet the difficulty. 
From these or from the hypothetical form, seigneurs et autres 
gentils, it is but a single step to describe untitled noblemen 
simply as gentih. But even as late as the year 1400, it was 
impossible to use ' gentleman ' as a personal description ex- 
pressing rank or quality, or as the title of a class. The Earl 
of Salisbury, as I have already pointed out, claimed in 1399 
to be a gentleman. The statute of 1400-1 in restraint of 
livery still divides mankind into ' knights, esquires and valetti,' 
and this is the more remarkable because the word ' gentleman ' 
occurs in the same paragraph only a few lines later. There is 
a proviso that the king's eldest son may give livery ' to the 
said lords and to his menial gentlemen (meignalx gentilx}.' 
When we come to enquire who these menials could be we 
understand why the word valetti comes next after esquire in 
the classification of ranks. The prince's household was a copy 
in miniature of his father's, and the king had retained power 
to confer livery upon the lords temporal, whomsoever he 
pleased, and upon his 'menial knights and esquires.' The 
prince's menial gentlemen therefore included knights and 

1 Nichols' Leicester, i. 145, note. 2 Leg. Mai. Mab. cap. z. 

3 Nichols, i. 170, note. 4 Wright's Domestic Manners, pp. 416-8. 

6 Rot. Par/, iii. 307, 345. a Stat. i. 380. 


esquires, and gentil could not be used to distinguish untitled 
gentlemen from knights and esquires. Even as late as 1421 
we find * Edward Lord Hastynges ' complaining that he is 
penned in prison ' liker a thef or a traitour than lik a Gentilman 
of berthe.' ' 

It is seldom that we can trace the actual year in which a new 
word, or an old word in a new meaning, was added to the 
language, but this may undoubtedly be done with our ' grand 
old name of gentleman.' 2 As a description of rank and status, 
or a class-name, 'gentleman ' is never found before 1413, and 
its sudden appearance must be attributed to the statute of 
I Henry V. cap. v., which laid down that in all original writs 
of action personal, appeals and indictments, in which process 
of outlawry lies, the ' estate degree or mystery ' of the defend- 
ant must be stated, and the town, hamlet, place or country in 
which he then was or had formerly been. From this time we 
begin to meet in the public records with husbandmen, yeomen, 
and occasionally with a franklin or gentleman, but it was long 
before the new fashion of calling oneself a gentleman came 
into general use. In the Record Office there are twelve sub- 
sidy rolls for Kent, Sussex, and the Cinque Ports between 1414 
and 1421, and in these, though many thousands of names are 
entered upon them, not a single person is so described. The 
list of landowners in 1428 printed in Feudal Aids contains no 

1 C. G. Young's Grey and Hastings (1841), xiv. 

! The first instance I have met with of the use of genensus as a description 
of dignity or degree is in the previous year. On April 24, 1412, fifty-eight 
generosi et fide digul of Cheshire were present in the chapel of Macclesfield to 
witness the ceremony by which Robert Legh relinquished his claim to the 
castle of Pulford (Harl. A/S. 2099, folio 1 8). It will be noticed however that 
five of the number were knights, and that the remainder have no addition after 
their names in the list of witnesses. I think that generosi here should be 
translated as ' gentlemen.' John of Fordun, who wrote his chronicle before 
1384* divides the possessors and occupiers of the Crown lands in Scotland into 
three classes first, the mifites, thani et principes ; secondly, the Rberi et generosi 
(who had estates for a term of years or for life, with remainder in some cases 
to one or two heirs) ; and, thirdly, the agricolte or yearly tenants (Fordun, iv. 43). 
Skene, observing that the tenants named in the second class were usually nearly 
related to the lords of the land, translates fiberi et generosi as ' free and kindly 
tenants.' No doubt the author meant to suggest relationship, but I think he 
had not lost sight of the other meaning of genensus as expressing nobility of 
birth. Neckam, in the twelfth century, applies the word genensus to knights, 
and speaks of nobility of blood as sanguinis genensitas (Neckam, Chronicle* and 
Memorials, 212-3). I Q the Saxon vocabularies 'aethelboren' is given as the 
meaning both of 'genensus' and of'no&ifa.' 



gentlemen, but a fair number figure in that drawn up in 1431. 
In Fuller's so-called 'List of Gentry in 1433,' which, as 1 have 
already shown, was not a list of gentry and was made in 1434, 
only forty-two persons in the twenty-eight counties referred to 
are returned as gentlemen ; that is to say, fifteen in Derbyshire, 
two in Lincolnshire, twelve in Rutland, as many in Stafford- 
shire, and one in Yorkshire. Amongst the wills in the York 
Registry, I noticed only one before 1430 and nine between 
1430 and I45O, 1 in which the testator or the testator's husband 
is described as ' gentilman.' 2 Of the persons referred to six 
resided at York, for the custom seems to have been first intro- 
duced in the towns and to have made its way but slowly into 
the country districts. The register of York freemen, published 
by the Surtees Society, is particularly valuable for our purpose, 
for it commences in 1272 and gives the rank or profession of 
almost every person admitted to the freedom of the city. 
From 1394 onwards one or two esquires are usually found in 
the list. In 1416 we first meet with husbandmen and yeo- 
men, and in 1417-8 with ' Willelmus Holthorp, gentilman.' A 
second ' gentilman ' is entered in 1426, and after 1433 there 
is hardly a year in which two or three do not occur. A few 
years later gentlemen have become so common that they are 
beginning to be recognized as a separate class of the community. 
In Peacock's 'Represser,' 3 written in 1449, we find the phrase 
' whether he be knyght, squyer, gentilman, yoman or lougher,' 
and in the statute of 1463,* ' no esquire, nor gentleman, nor 
none other under the degree of a knight.' But even in the 
latter half of the fifteenth century the order of gentlemen was 

1 Thomas Duffeld of York, Jan. 7, 1427-8. 
John Tonge of York, Nov. 1430. 
Agnes Kenlay of York, June 26, 1433. 
John At Well of Beverley, Oct. 3, 1434. 
John Stirtaunt of York, April 22, 1434. 
Henry Meleton of York, Jan. 10, 1436. 
John Kirkby of York, Nov. 2, 1436. 
Joan Cotyngham of Howme, 1437. 
John Tymworth of Acome, Oct. 22, 1438. 
Thomas Water of Sywardby, April 20, 1449. 

There must be one or two others. Thomas Lyndley of Lyndley, who 
died in 1439, is described as 'gentilman' in his will and as Armiger in the 
margin of the Register, but neither description is appended to his name in the 
index published by the Yorkshire Archaeological Society. 

3 Chronicles, etc. ii. 371. 4 II. 399. 


not firmly established. The Cheshire Petition of 1450, and a 
poem upon England's Commercial Policy l written a few years 
after, revert to the older classification of ' knyghtis, squyers, 
and alle the corny nalte.' Even as late as 1470 there are many 
royal commissions in which no one is described as a gentle- 
man. 2 The practice of addressing an audience as ' gentlemen ' 
will hardly, I think, be traced before the middle or end of the 
seventeenth century. King Henry V., speaking to his army 
before the battle of Agincourt, opened with the words, ' Syres 
and ffelowes.' 

The first gentleman to whom a monument was erected was 
John Daundelyon of Margate, who died about 1445, the 
first who entered Parliament, * William Weston, gentylman,' 
who was elected in January, 14467. Before that time the 
House of Commons was principally composed of valets. I 
have taken a good deal of trouble to find out who was the 
earliest gentleman of all, the ' firste fader of gentilesse,' as we 
may call him in the words of Chaucer's ballad ; but the docu- 
ments to which I am about to refer would require months 
rather than days for a careful and exhaustive examination, and 

1 cannot pretend that my search has been complete. In the 
De Banco rolls, husbandmen, yeomen and franklins are first 
met with at Easter, 1414, and exactly a year later Henry Gate 
of Whityngton, co. Derby, ' Gentilman,' occurs. Before this 
time no addition except ' knight ' and ' esquire ' is to be found, 
and persons of good position are set down without any descrip- 
tion of rank after their names, the title armiger being added in 
some cases by the clerk if he found later on that the party in 
question was an esquire. In the Patent and Close Rolls for 

2 & 3 Henry V. a partial search failed to discover a gentleman. 
The first gentleman we meet with in the early chancery pro- 
ceedings are William Yevenet of Birchholt in Kent, and John 
and William de Killom of Killom in Nottinghamshire, all in 
141 6-7 . s Agnes Killom, who was a party to the same suit, is 
probably the first lady ever described as a ' gentlewoman.' 
From the Coroners' Rolls I obtained no result, but was more 
fortunate with the Staffordshire Indictments, attributed to the 
year 1413-4. The cases which arose out of these present- 
ments by the Hundred Courts are said to have been tried 

1 Wright, ii. 287. 

' Spelman's Glossary, under ' Generosus.' 

3 Bundle 4, No. 4-7:5, No. 40 ; 6, No. 14*. 


before the king in person in May or June, 1414,* but the pre- 
sentments themselves are undated, and as several included in 
the same bundle refer to acts committed in 14145, I hesitate 
to accept the date suggested. It is one of those cases where 
local knowledge is required, and if the learned editor has used 
his to good purpose the premier gentleman of England, as 
the matter now stands, is ' Robert Erdeswyke of Stafford, 
gentilman.' z Fortunately for the gentle reader will no doubt 
be anxious to follow in his footsteps some particulars of his 
life may be gleaned from the public records. He was charged 
at the Staffordshire Assizes with house-breaking, wounding 
with intent to kill, and procuring the murder of one Thomas 
Page, who was cut to pieces while on his knees begging for his 
life. ' Robert Erdeswyke of Sondon, gentilman,' who I sup- 
pose was a near relation, was indicted at the same time for a 
number of similar offences, including attempted murder and 
the torture, in a manner too revolting to be described, of a 
young man named John Bykley, in order to compel the latter 
to disclose the place in which his brother was concealed. 

If any earlier claimant to the 'grand old name of gentle- 
man ' be discovered, I venture to predict that it will be within 
the same year and in connection with some disreputable pro- 
ceeding assault, murder, robbery, or housebreaking of a 
kind which would not now be accepted as an introduction to 
polite society. It was a way the earliest gentlemen had, as far 
as my experience of them goes, and I only mention it because 
it shows who these earliest gentlemen were. This is just the 
moment when the problem of the younger son was first mak- 
ing itself disagreeably prominent. In the thirteenth century, 
when every landlord, great and small, was an agriculturist, 
younger sons at the death of their father had a share of his 
farming stock, which was often worth three times the fee simple 
of the land. They were thus never left entirely unprovided 
for. In those earlier days, as Feme tells us, 3 one would be 
' bestowed in a college, another in the church, another to the 
fielde, another to the kinge's house,' while the law and the 
collegiate churches and chapters furnished a worthy mainten- 
ance for many. But undoubtedly, in the greater number of 

1 Will. Salt. Arch*. Soc. xvii. 5. 

2 Robert Erdeswyke served among the 'lances/ or men-at-arms, in the 
retinue of Lord Talbot at Agincourt (Nicolas, Agmcourt, p. 345). 

3 Blazon ofGentrie (1586), p. 93. 


instances, a younger son took his share of the stock, bought 
or hired land from his elder brother, and settled down quietly 
to an agricultural life in his native village. 1 The Great Plague 
of 1349 put an end to this state of things. Owing to the 
increased cost of labour landlord cultivation became impossible, 
and the ' stock and land lease ' was introduced, which always 
ran the same course and ended in the landlord being left with 
the experience, the tenant with the stock. The later practice 
of leasing to a capitalist farmer, and the invention of trusts 
and uses, turned the younger son into a pauper, and he became 
a soldier of fortune, not a bad profession while the French 
wars lasted. From France he returned, when peace was con- 
cluded, to stir up strife at home, to idle about his brother's 
hall, or to be a hanger-on at the castle of some great peer, 
where he learnt to prosecute with zeal and acrimony the feuds 
and quarrels in which his patron was involved. Such men were 
placed in an invidious position by the statute of 1413, which 
compelled them for the first time to declare their profession, 
dignity or degree. It was an insult to suggest that they were 
franklins or husbandmen or yeomen ; they were not earls or 
barons, or even like their elder brothers, knights or esquires, 
but they too were of noble blood ; they too were ' gentille- 
men of auncestrey,' and as ' gentillemen ' they chose to be 

In the fifteenth century it was considered to be bad manners 
to argue about a man's position, and I suspect that the young 
man Page, with whose unhappy end the reader is already ac- 
quainted, may have offended against this rule of etiquette. If 
Robert Erdeswyke had asked to be put down as a duke, no 
sensible clerk or collector or man of law would have said him 



Our enquiry, so far, has dealt only with medieval classes. 
We have seen that the tide of genti/bomme, or gentleman, was 
applicable to earls and barons as well as to commoners of good 
birth, and that the change of meaning which restricted it to the 
latter did not begin until the fifteenth century had opened. 
I propose to deal now with the more interesting and delicate 

1 Rogers, Six Centuries, pp. 52, 293 ; Economic Interpretation ofHitt. p. 264. 


questions what, having regard to the derivation and historical 
meaning of the word, a gentleman really is, and who amongst 
us are gentlemen and who are not. Out of the multitude of 
definitions, which may we accept as true ? Are we to conclude 
with Chaucer that ' gentilesse ' is ' annexed to possessioun ' and 
' descended out of old richesse ' ; with Sir Thomas Smith that 
any one is a gentleman who can live idly and without manual 
labour ; or with Shakespeare and the heralds that a ' household 
coat ' is the only patent of gentility ? Can a breath unmake 
gentlemen as a breath has made, or is the grand old name 
founded upon something better and more honourable than 
wealth and idleness, parchment and ink, the favour of Princes 
or the patronage of kings of arms ? To many people such 
an enquiry will appear to be of some picturesque interest, but 
of little or no practical utility. I am not of that opinion. I 
believe that a real understanding of the word ' gentleman ' will 
clear the air of a great deal of vulgar pretentiousness, and will 
tend to promote a better and more friendly feeling between all 
classes in the community. I know that at one period of our 
history infinite harm was done by the doctrine of 'gentill 
berthe,' and am altogether out of sympathy with those who 
wish to see that doctrine revived. 

In the sixteenth century, the title of gentleman was allowed 
by courtesy to masters in universities, doctors in the church, 
governors of cities, and students of the common law ; but was 
held not to appertain of right to any, unless they were men of 
coat-armour or had been addressed as gentlemen in royal 
letters. 1 This theory that the Crown is the sole fountain 
of honour, and that nothing can make a man a gentleman 
except a grant of arms to himself or to an ancestor is still 
maintained by the officers of arms, and has been stated again 
by a modern writer 3 with so much earnestness and appearance 
of knowledge, that it is finding its way into our literature and 
even into our dictionaries. The New English Dictionary on 
Historical Principles gives as the primary meaning of gentleman, 
' a man of gentle birth, or having the same heraldic status 
as those of gentle birth ; properly, one who is entitled to bear 

arms.' 8 

1 Feme's Blazon oj Gentrie (1586), p. 91. 

2 ' X,' The Right to Bear Arms. 

3 The older dictionaries explain ' gentleman ' as indicating ' a man of good 


Now this is altogether a mistake. Heraldic bearings were 
originally invented for the purpose of distinguishing one war- 
rior from another in campaign or tournament, but in the early 
days of chivalry no one placed such ensigns upon his shield 
until he had first proved himself worthy of being ' known by 
arms." When a knight or esquire retired from service, he 
hung up his hauberk, helm, and shield, as a trophy in his 
ancestral hall, and it is to that custom, rather than to the 
continued use of the same weapons, that the hereditary nature 
of armorial coats and crests must be attributed. We know 
that the weapons of a famous ancestor sometimes remained as 
heirlooms in his family for many hundreds of years. It would 
thus appear that arms are, rightly considered, not an ' assertion 
of gentle birth,' but rather a memorial of achievement, that is 
to say, of service rendered in war, or of public office held in 
time of peace. 1 A man may be ennobled by his own virtues, or 
(conceivably) by a desire to emulate those of his ancestors ; but 
a coat which commemorates nothing, and has no historical 
associations attached to it, cannot justify him in thinking him- 
self better born that his neighbours, and indeed is rather a 
disgrace than an honour to the bearer. Even in the days of 
Elizabeth the connection between heraldry and public service 
was not wholly forgotten, for Feme lays down in his Blazon of 
Gentrie that the bearing of office merits coat armour, and that 
a herald may not refuse a grant of arms to any one so distin- 
guished, even if the position he holds be no higher than that 
of mayor, provost or bailiff of a corporate town. Arms cannot 
therefore be a proof of gentle birth, and we have abundant 
evidence that while heraldry was still a living art, they were 
not so considered. Many individuals, who were certainly not 
armigerous, are described as 'gentlemen' in the public records 
between 1414 and 1450. The class of franklins at that time 
included many men who would now be spoken of as yeomen 
or labourers, yet not a few landowners who had inherited 
armorial ensigns from a long line of ancestors returned them- 
selves as 'franklins' to the poll-tax of 1379. I can point to 
one franklin who used an heraldic seal and bequeathed in his 
Will a piece of silver pictured with his arms. And if there were 
franklins who bore coat-armour, so there were many repre- 
sentatives of ancient houses, many esquires and even some 

1 The statements contained in this paragraph are open to question, but I 
am prepared to defend them, if they are challenged. 



knights who did not. Camden quotes a grant made in 1391 
to Sir William Moigne, who was a cbivaler, but innocent of 
heraldic achievements. In 1407, there was a trial in the Court 
of Chivalry between Lord Grey of Ruthyn and Sir Edward 
Hastings, 1 and on both sides witnesses were sworn who were 
noble or gentle by descent, but did not claim to be armigerous. 
Amongst these Roger Tunstale, Mayor of Bedford, John 
Boteler, Esquire, of the same county, John Lee, Esquire, of 
Buckinghamshire, William Parker and Thomas Lound, of 
Bedfordshire, were all gentlemen of ancestry. 2 Another depo- 
nent, descended e stirpe nobili, explained that no such ensigns 
had come to him, because neither he nor his ancestors had ever 
gone to the wars. 3 Sir Henry Spelman, whose Aspilogia was 
written about the year 1595, observes that, until the age of 
Henry VI., many not ignoble families in our own country were 
without coat-armour, and that in Ireland, which was the image 
of England in earlier days, some great houses were still, as he 
puts it, asymboli* At the heralds' visitations in the sixteenth 
century the Mildmays of Essex, descended from a knightly 
race which could be traced 6 back to the time of Richard Cceur 
de Lion, the St. Pauls of Campsall in Yorkshire, and the 
Flemings of Wakefield, with pedigrees ranging back to the 
reign of Edward III., could offer no proof of arms. Their 
families, at least for some generations, had not found it neces- 
sary to use them. 

Turning to the early grants of arms, we shall find further 
proof that gentility and heraldry were not necessarily connected 
with each other. The letters of nobility which were openly sold 
by the French monarchs, as early as 1340, to any who were 
willing to pay the stipulated price, did not usually contain 
amongst their provisions an assignment of heraldic bearings. 
Some of the recipients already possessed arms, some chose 
them for themselves, and others did not trouble to bear them 
at all. 8 The earliest English grants 7 are in their essence letters 

1 Young mentions a MS. in the possession of Henry le Strange of Hun- 
stanton, which contains further particulars of the evidence and interrogatories. 
It is very desirable that this should be published. 

2 C. F. Young, Grey and Hastings (1841), p. 29 ; Selden's Titles of Honour, 
p. 875. 3 Bysshe, Spelman (1654), p. 40. * Ibid. 

5 By the heralds. I take no responsibility. 

6 Rymer's Fccdera (new ed.), iii. pt. I, p. 550 ; Bysshe's Upton (1654), p. 58. 

7 Rymer's Faedera, see the index to the syllabus, under ' Arms.' 


of ennoblement, and a distinction is always drawn in them 
between the principal object, which, following the French 
form, is usually nobilitare nobilemque facere, and the addition 
of arms in signo bujus nobilitatis. Thus in 1389 the king 
receives John de Kyngeston, who has accepted the challenge of 
a French knight, en t'estat de Gentile Homme, and desires that 
he shall be known by arms, which accordingly are assigned to 
him. In the grant of 1439 and the two grants of 1445 we 
have the same phrase, nobilitamus nobilesque facimus et creamus, 
and the coats are bestowed in signum bujusmodi nobilitatis. 
These are grants to foreign subjects, but the wording is pre- 
cisely the same in the letters of nobility and arms which 
Henry VI., in 1448-9, granted to two Englishmen, Nicholas 
Cloos and Roger Keys, who seem to have acted as clerks of 
the works at King's College and Eton. 1 In two later instru- 
ments by King James, made in 1610 and 1614, the fact that 
arms are not a necessary accompaniment of nobility is still more 
strongly pressed upon our notice, for the sentence insignia 
gentilitia nobili famili<e illius adjunximus is an acknowledgment 
by the Crown that a man may be noble and the descendant 
of a noble house, though his ancestors were not distinguished 
by coat armour. Another proof of this is the charter made 
by Humphrey Earl of Stafford in 1442, which speaks of the 
recipient as noble bomme Robert Wbitgreve^ and declares its object 
by the words augmenter en bonneur et noblesse. But indeed the 
point is one which hardly requires demonstration, for the 
heralds, who were never authorized by the Crown to make a 
gentleman, in their latest as well as in their earliest grants, 
assume that the applicant is a gentleman already. 8 

Mr. Fox Davies in his Armorial Families, takes up the same 
ground as c X,' and in order to prove that arms and gentility 
cannot exist except by concession from the Crown, refers the 
reader to a statement of Fuller, namely that ' in the reign of 
Henry V. (1417) a Royal Proclamation was made that no man 
in future be allowed to bear Arms without authority.' I must 
beg leave to point out that the proclamation lays down no 
such rule. Even the incomplete and incorrect copy of it, 

1 Herald and Genealogist, i. 135. 

1 The fact that the heralds were making grants of arms in the fourteenth 
century seems to have escaped notice (Bysshe, Johannes de Bado Aureo, 1654, 
pp. 27, 44), owing to the fact that none of these grants have been preserved. 
It was generally thought that arms so granted were of no authority. 


which will be found in the Worthies of England, should have 
been enough to convince Mr. Fox Davies that it will not bear 
such an interpretation. The original order will be found on 
the back of the Close Roll, 5 Henry V., membrane 15. It is 
made in view of a particular event, namely the expedition 
which was then being prepared. It is not general, but applies 
only to four counties, that is to say Hampshire, Wiltshire, 
Sussex and Dorset. The penalties laid down are exclusion 
from the voyage, loss of wages, and the ' rasure and rupture ' 
of the ' Coat Armours ' in question. There is a curious 
exception exceptis illis qui nobiscum apud helium de Agencourt 
arma portabant which seems to be a license to all who took 
part in that battle, not only to continue the use of arms borne 
without authority, but even to devise new coats for themselves. 
The proclamation admits that in former expeditions many 
persons had assumed armorial bearings at their pleasure, and 
had displayed them openly without interference on the part of 
the royal officers, and that old usage, or the grant from some 
person (not necessarily a herald 1 ) having power to make such 
a grant, gave a sufficient title. The Crown evidently began in 
the fifteenth century to regulate more strictly the display of 
arms at musters and arrays ; but there was as yet no claim to 
govern the use of them in private houses, in churches, or on 
seals. It is a matter of common knowledge among antiquaries 
that at this period armorial seals were used by many husband- 
men or yeomen, and in some cases by persons who did not 
even pretend to have a right to the achievements represented 
upon them. 

I believe that such a claim was never heard of before the 
reign of Henry VIII. In the age when heraldry was first 
introduced, * men took what arms they pleased, directed by 
their own fancy.' 2 The Assize of Arms in 1181 directed that 
every free layman having sixteen marks in rent or chattels 
should provide himself with a hauberk, a helm, a lance and a 
shield ; and if he chose to decorate the latter with an escar- 
buncle or a fleur-de-lis, with bends or chevrons or crosses, 
no law or custom stood in his way. In the thirteenth century, 
as Camden and Spelman frankly acknowledge, knights and 

1 Upton, and the author of the treatise upon heraldry contained in the 
Book of St. Albans, assert that arms may lawfully be granted by a ' Prince or 
other lord.' * Gwillim. 


lords of manors invented arms for themselves, and gave or 
allowed them to the free tenants who fought under their 
banners. As time went on, long usage was held to confer a 
proprietory right ; a coat of arms became by law an estate of 
inheritance ; assignments or alienations of arms by subjects were 
acknowledged in the Chancery ; and the Court or Chivalry gave 
redress to those whose family bearings had been usurped by 
others. Yet even as late as the fifteenth century the Crown 
was not the sole fount of honour. Some of the greater nobles 
still maintained their own heralds and bestowed arms upon 
their feudal followers. Camden gives the text of a grant by 
Humphrey Earl of Stafford, dated August 13, 1442, and in 
the previous reign John Edom, esquire, of Hertfordshire, had 
an escutcheon of arms conferred upon him { in the presence of 
the Earl of Pembroke,' who was probably the donor. 1 Other 
persons, as the proclamation of 1413 clearly shows, did not 
feel the need of any authority, but in accordance with the older 
custom ' took what arms they pleased.' Feme, in his Blazon 
of Gentrie? speaks of a calendar of one of the Inns of Court in 
1422, which gave i^ the margin the arms of all the members. 
He offers this as proof of his statement that none but ' gentle- 
men of blood ' were then admitted ; but of course it is only 
another indication of what we had already reason to suspect, 
namely that lawyers at that period considered that every man 
had a legal right to devise arms for himself. 

Heraldic custom in other countries seems to have been very 
much the same as in England. It appears by the Act of 1430 
that in Scotland every freeholder was expected to possess a 
' sele of his armys.' 3 In the fourteenth century the free 
peasantry of Switzerland furnished some of the best fighting 
men in the world, and these little landowners, when they 
contracted to serve as men-at-arms in Italy or France, usually 
placed some armorial bearing upon their shields. In Germany 
the mayor of every little city such as Rothenburg, invented a 
coat of arms for himself, and had it painted upon the walls of 
the Rathhaus. In Holland, in Castile, and amongst the Basques, 
every one seems to have adopted arms by his own authority 
and at his own pleasure. French and German books upon 
heraldry published in the sixteenth century complain of the 

1 Young's Grey and Hastings (1841), p. 30. * (1586), 24. 

3 Acts Parl. Scot. ii. 19. 


multitude of such assumptions, treat them as 'ridiculous, but 
do not dare to condemn them as unlawful. 1 

Up to this point, I have been merely playing with the argu- 
ments of 'X,' but I will now bring down the fanciful edifice he 
has erected in ruins about his ears. I have shown that 
unbroken custom justified the assumption of arms without 
authority, but I have not dealt with law. How did the great 
lawyers of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries regard such 
assumptions, and more important still for our purpose, how did 
the earliest writers upon heraldry regard them ? These ques- 
tions, which go to the root of the whole matter, have never yet 
been put or answered. It is another instance of our English 
want of thoroughness that, though books by the dozen have 
been written about the history, the antiquities and the curiosi- 
ties of heraldry, no one has yet read the earliest authors who 
deal with that subject, or has even taken the trouble to find out 
who they are. I have therefore the greater pleasure in fur- 
nishing ' X ' with some fresh information which has an important 
bearing upon the subject of his book. The lawyers and 
heralds of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries with one 
accord, Englishmen and foreigners alike, declare that every 
man is justified in devising a coat of arms for himself. The 
first writer upon heraldry, Bartolo di Sasso Ferrato, whose 
treatise 'On Ensigns and Arms' was composed in I356, 3 
states that any one may assume arms, and may lawfully bear 

1 Feschius ; Sicily Herald (B. M. Grenville, 746). 

2 It was issued in the January following upon his death, which took place 
in 1356 or 1359. See the edition of Feschius. Bartholus de Sasso Ferrato 
acknowledges no obligation to any earlier author, and is himself the great 
authority of later writers, such as John of Guildford and Upton. His De 
Insigniis et Armis had a wide popularity in the fourteenth and fifteenth cen- 
turies, and in style and elegance was supposed to be not unworthy of Cicero. This 
may be gathered from the amusing but vituperative pamphlet issued in about 
14.31 by the purist Laurence Valla, who, by the way, admits that both the 
matter and the title of the work he is criticising were new. Valla had been 
moved to wrath by the utterance of some indiscreet friend, who happened to 
observe that none of the works of M. Tullius could be compared with this 
little treatise of Bartholus, and he spent the whole night in composing a violent 
diatribe, in which he compares Bartholus and his contemporaries to asses and 
geese. None of his remarks however are quite so cruel as that of John of 
Guildford, who falls foul of the coat which Bartholus had received from the 
Emperor, on the ground that it broke the rules of art which the author 
himself had laid down, juia contra naturam est, ut unum animal habtret dual 


them and exhibit them upon his belongings. 1 This author 
was the most celebrated Jurist of his time, and gives references 
to the various statutes and leading cases upon which his 
opinion is based. Arms, he informs us, were invented, like 
surnames, for the purpose of distinguishing one individual 
from another, and as a man may take upon himself a surname, 
so also he may take arms at his pleasure. See /. ad cognoscen- 
dum C. de ingenuis manumissis. By use such arms become the 
bearer's property, and another may not adopt them if the first 
be injured thereby. In illustration of this point he tells an 
interesting story, which it will be better to give in his own 
words. ' For example, a certain German in time of indulgence 
(no doubt the jubilee year, 1300) went to Rome, where he 
found some Italian bearing the arms and ensigns of his 
ancestors, and he wishes to make plaint of this. Truly, he 
was not able, for such is the distance between either place or 
domicile, that for this reason the first could not suffer hurt.' 
Priority of use, according to our author, furnished the only 
good tide to a coat of arms, but in case of dispute, if this 
could not be clearly demonstrated by either party, he who 
could show a grant from the prince of the country was to be 
preferred. Bartholus had himself received a grant from the 
Emperor Charles IV., to whom he was a councillor, and the 
view he expresses must have been that held at the Imperial 
Court, as well as in Italy, where he was born. The earliest 
English writer upon these subjects, John of Guildford, whose 
little book was commenced before 1394 at the instance of 
Anne, the queen of Richard II., limits the power of assump- 
tion in the same way, asserting that no one can take the arms 
of another person resident within the same kingdom. 2 His 
master in the art of heraldry, Francis de Foveis, or Foea, in a 
* Treatise concerning Arms ' had expressed the same opinion. 
Another Englishman, Nicholas Upton, who issued his De 
Militari Officio before 1446, deals more carefully with the 'oft 
mooted question ' whether arms given by princes are ' of 
greater or less dignity than arms assumed on a man's own 
authority.' His remarks like those of Bartholus and John of 

1 Quilibet potest sibi assumere arma, et insignia ilia portare, et in rebus 
suis impingere. Bysshe, Notes on Upton (1654), pp. 4, 6-8. Later commenta- 
tors considered this statement to be too wide, and that villeins or rustics should 
have been excluded from it. 

* Bysshe, Johannes de Dado Aureo (1654), p. 44. 


Guildford have escaped notice, and they are so much to the 
point that I cannot resist the temptation to quote them in 
full r 1 

In the fourth place we have those Arms which we bear assumed upon our 
own authority, as in these days we openly see how many poor men, labouring 
in the French wars, are become noble ; one by prudence, another by valour, 
a third by endurance, a fourth by other virtues which, as we have already said, 
ennoble mankind ; of whom many of their own authority have assumed Arms 
to be borne by themselves and their heirs, whose names it is not necessary here 
to recall. I say, however, that Arms so assumed, though they are borne freely 
and lawfully, yet cannot be of such dignity or authority as those which are 
daily bestowed by the authority of Princes or lords. Yet Arms taken by a man's 
own authority, if another have not borne them before, are valid enough. . . . 
Nor dare I approve of the opinion of certain men who say that Heralds can 
give Arms ; but I say, if such Arms are borne by any Herald given, that 
these Arms are not of greater authority than those which are taken by a man's 
own authority. 

Upton's book is dedicated to Humphrey Duke of Gloucester, 
the king's uncle, and gives us therefore the opinions upon this 
point generally entertained at the Court of Henry VI. In 
referring to the ' many poor men ' who assumed arms on their 
own authority in the French wars, he is speaking of what he 
had actually seen, for he served in France for some years and 
was present at the siege of Orleans in I428. 2 The unfortunate 
' X ' tells us in his book that he ' takes his stand ' upon the 
proclamation of 1417, and that since that time 'the sole power 
and authority concerning arms has remained with, and has been 
asserted by, the Crown.' But here we have the evidence of 
an eye-witness proving that ten years after the date of that 
proclamation unauthorized arms were still displayed without 
question in the English armies which fought at Verneuil or 

The four authors whom I have quoted Upton, John of 
Guildford, Francis de Foveis, and Bartolus are agreed that 
any man may lawfully devise a coat for himself, and it would 
be difficult to find a single writer of the fourteenth or fifteenth 
century who expresses a different view. ' Sicily Herald,' who 
wrote his Blason des Couleun about or before 1450, does 
indeed speak of the arms of persons of low estate and not 
noble, who ' without discretion take or make shields and 

1 Bysshe, Upton (1654), pp. 58, 257. 

2 His book is supposed to have been written while he was serving in France. 
He may have entered the army in 1421 or 1422. 


arms at their pleasure ' 1 ; but he calls such escutcheons 
'false,' only in the sense that they exhibited metal charged 
upon metal and colour upon colour, and not because it was 
unlawful to bear them. In Harleian MS. 6064, there are 
some rules of armory compiled by an anonymous writer of the 
fifteenth century. He again lays down that arms may be 
assumed on a man's mere motion, and quotes an earlier author 
whom I am unable to identify ut probat Fretolphus in tractatu 
suo de armis. Our first printed treatise upon heraldry, con- 
tained in the Book of St. Albam and published in 1486, takes 
up precisely the same ground. The author speaks of arms 
granted by a prince or lord, but declares that ' armys bi a 
mannys propur auctorite take, if an other man have not borne 
theym afore, be of strength enogh.' ' It is the opynyon,' he 
goes on to say, ' of moni men that an herrod of armis may 
gyve armys. Bot I say if any sych armys be borne by any 
herrod gyven, that thoos armys be of no more auctorite then 
thoos armys the wich be take by a mannys awne auctorite.' 

Such were the rules of heraldry at the time the College of 
Arms was founded, and such is the law of England at the 
present hour. Any subject may lawfully assume arms of his 
own mere motion, and any one who has done service worthy to 
be remembered any officer who has fought for his country, 
or any citizen who has served as mayor of his native town 
is justified in making use of his legal right. In saying this, it 
will not I hope be supposed that I am actuated by any feeling 
of hostility to the College of Arms, an institution for which I 
personally have much respect. The College has a great his- 
toric position, has done good work in the past, and if Parlia- 
ment would treat it with less negligence and meanness, may 
do good work again. With the efforts of the heralds to check 
the illegal usurpation of coats belonging to other families, I 
am in entire sympathy, and I have seen so much of the evils 
and inconvenience which result from the practice, that I must 
join with { X ' in advising those guilty of it to go to the 
College, and find out what their position is. I know an old 
hall in Yorkshire, of which the owner in Charles II. 's time 
' annexed ' somebody else's coat of arms. These arms were 
placed upon the tapestry in the parlour, upon the plate, the 
china, the monuments and hatchments in the parish church. 
Within the last ten years the present representative of that 

1 B. M. Grenville, 746. 


family has been obliged to accept a new grant from the heralds, 
and thus to falsify the whole history of the house. 

But such considerations must not divert me from the object 
of my enquiry. My answer to * X ' is that the letters patent 
of Henry VIII., instructing the heralds to deface false and un- 
authorized arms, were an unlawful encroachment upon the 
rights of his subjects. England is not an absolute monarchy. 
The Crown, it is true, has always had control over musters 
and arrays, and could therefore govern the use of armorial 
ensigns there displayed, but without Act of Parliament that 
power could not be extended so as to affect the rights of pri- 
vate citizens. The very fact that an Act was obtained in 
Scotland is an acknowledgment that such authority is not 
vested in the Crown. The early writers upon heraldry were 
without exception of the opinion that any man may lawfully 
bear arms chosen by himself. That opinion is supported by 
the unbroken custom of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. 
The royal proclamation of 1417 admits unreservedly that long 
usage gives a good title to arms assumed without authority, 
and after the date of that proclamation many persons so 
assumed arms and exhibited them openly before the royal 
officers under whom they were serving in France. Both the 
Crown and the College have, over and over again, allowed the 
tide of ' gentleman ' to persons who did not even pretend to 
be armigerous, and have described as noble or gentle the 
families from which they sprang. Gentility does not depend 
upon the possession of a coat of arms. 



Side by side with this absurd theory that arms make the 
gentleman, we find in the writings of * X ' another which 
strangely contradicts it, namely that in the Middle Ages the 
' landowner was the nobleman or gentleman, and the smallest 
tenant of land held by military service participated in the 
privileges of nobility.' l This suggestion has even now its 
supporters in the College of Arms, and it may be traced back 
to a respectable antiquity. The great lawyer, Sir Edward 
Coke, lays down in his Institutes 2 that * of ancient times those 

1 The Right to Bear Arms, p. 29. 2 (1642), ii. 595. 


that held by knight's service [that is to say military service, or 
tenure infeodo] were regularly Gentile,' and again that it was 
' a badge of Gentry to hold by knight's service.' Spelman 
and Sir Henry Chauncy ' adopt the same view, and it is up- 
held also by Nichols * and by Strutt. Gentlemen, writes the 
latter, * a title borrowed from the French to distinguish the 
free men from the vulgar and common people. They (the 
gentlemen) held of the mesne lords small parcels of land by 
military service.' 3 This is a theory which deserves respectful 
consideration, for we know that in France ' every possessor 
of a fief was a gentleman, though he owned but a few acres of 
land and furnished his slender contribution towards the equip- 
ment of a knight.' * The simple gentilhommey mentioned in 
Philip de Valois' ordinance of 1338, who was to be ' arme de 
(unique, de gambiere, et de bassinet,' must often have been a very 
poor gentleman indeed. 6 

On the continent, military fief or franc fief, so called be- 
cause it was free from tribute, tallage and all rustic services, 
suggested from the earliest times some idea of nobility. We 
meet in early charters with such phrases as feudum nobile et 
gentile (1242), feudum francum et bonoratum (1189 and 1274), 
feudum liberum et bonoratum (1242), feudum francum et gentile 
(127 4), feudum nobile (i^^), feudum gentile (1370), or fief ge ntil 
(1309)." Feudum nobile has been supposed by some foreign 
writers to denote estates which are held in chief and carry with 
them jurisdiction over tenants, such as * those which among 
the English are commonly called manors ' ; 7 and undoubtedly 
some forms of tenure, as for instance, by castle-guard or grand 
sergeanty, were more honourable than the rest. But Spelman 
is undoubtedly right in comprising all franc fief under the tide 
of feudum nobile. 9 The phrases which I have just quoted made 
no alteration in the tenure, but were merely verbal additions 
which expressed its inherent nobility. Some form of socage 
holding may also have been included in franc tenure on the 
continent as well as in England, 9 for we have a charter of 

1 Hertfordshire (1700), pp. 10, u. * Leicestershire, i. 170 note, 213. 

3 Manners and Customs, iii. 15. * Hallam (1837), iii. 204. 

8 Hewitt, Ancint Arms, ii. 27. 6 Du Cange under * feudum! 

7 Ibid. Feudum nobile. 

8 See Pasquier, Let Recherches de la France (1607), p. 213. 

9 In England, free socage lands were included in frank tenure. Du Cange 
divides sxagium into two kinds, ' Rberum, quod " Socage en Franc tenure " AngH 


1292 to the inhabitants of the town of c Montisfalc,' permitting 
them to hold feudum nobile, excepto feudo militari. Another 
charter of 1245, quoted by Du Cange, speaks of two kinds of 
lands, that is to say, gentilis et seruilis terra, an exact prece- 
dent for the fief noble and fief roturier of later times. In Eng- 
land also, as Spelman and Nichols 2 have laid down, all franc 
fief was equally honourable and had the same privileges 
attached to it, whether held by archbishops, earls, barons, 
knights, or free-tenants, and it was for this reason, and not 
because of any superiority of birth, that ecclesiastical persons 
are sometimes classed among the nobiks. These things were 
not done without system, for bishops and abbots are never 
placed amongst the milites, except when holding lay fiefs. In 
England also the same broad distinction may be traced between 
free land and bondage land. A villein or burgess in France 
was incapable of inheriting or acquiring lands held in feodo ; in 
the English possessions on the continent, franc fief could not 
be sold or alienated without the licence of the English king, 3 
and in our own country it was held that no one born in a 
villein nest could inherit such land, and that, if he bought it, 
his lord might at any moment enter upon it and possess it. 

It would thus appear that frank tenure was originally not a 
cause, but, in the words of Coke, a ' badge ' of gentility. 
Lands so held were free and honourable, because the persons 
to whom they had been granted were members of a military 
and privileged caste. On the continent nobility was con- 
nected with the profession of arms, and the fact that a man had 
no weapons in his house, and no horses in his stable, was in the 
fourteenth century held to be prima facie proof that he could 
not be noble. 4 Another indication of the original nobility of 
all tenants in feodo is that all were eligible for knighthood. In 
Germany, France, Aragon, Sicily, and, as I suppose, in Europe 
generally, none but villeins and burgesses were by birth incap- 

vocant,' and ' Villanum? The statute of uncertain date for respiting of knight- 
hood directs that as regards those persons who held land in socage, owing no 
foreign service, the rolls of the chancery should be searched, and ' it shall be 
done as it used to be done.' It is probable that even after this statute was 
passed, all who held land in socage to the value of 20 a year were liable to be 
compelled to take up knighthood. 

1 Du Cange, under ' Gentilis.' 8 Leicester, i. 170 note, 214. 

* Du Cange, ' Feudum Francutn.' 

* See the instance of this given by Du Cange (Nobilitatio). 


able of receiving that honour. 1 A constitution of the Emperor 
Frederick II., which is also attributed to Conrad IV., directs 
that no one is to be dubbed a knight unless descended from 
a family of milites.* Selden makes a gallant attempt to show 
that here miles denotes a gentleman, but has to admit that 
it includes also ' the great Free-holders of the Countrie,' and 
undoubtedly the word in Germany, as in England and Scotland, 
is used of all free-tenants in feodo, small as well as great. 3 In 
Scotland every free-holder was the peer of a knight.* In 
England also, there was the same theoretic equality between all 
tenants in chivalry. Every one was on the same footing as 
regards disparagement in marriage, the duel, the ordeal, and 
trial by his peers. Every one, if his income were sufficient, 
might be compelled to take up knighthood. Every one who 
was not a knight, or esquire, was a ' free-tenant ' or a * valet.' 6 
I think I have furnished evidence strong enough to prove 
that, in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, there was only 
a distinction of rank and not a difference of class between 
barons, knights and free-tenants, and that the terms nobilis and 
gentilis were, at least in theory, applicable to all who held their 
lands in franc tenure. I may now advance a step further, and 
leaving tenure altogether out of account, point out that in 
early times there was some strange connection between free- 
dom and gentility. In France, francus, which is said to be 
derived from fry, or free, and anck a young man, 8 conveyed 
from the eighth century the idea not only of freedom but of 
nobility. Thus in 1151 we met with the sentence supervenit 
Francus vere re et nomine nobilis.'' We have already noticed that 
the phrases francum et honoratum and francum et gentile were 
applicable to franc fief, and the same words, * franc et gentil ' 
are often linked together in the old French romances. In 
the Roman de Garin, we have the line 

Garin mes peres fu Frans horn et gentis ; 

1 Du Cange, under ' Miles ' ; Selden's Titles of Honour, p. 549. 

* Selden, p. 436. 

s Skene, De Verb Sign, under ' Miles ' ; Skene's Scotland, iii. 242 note. 

* Acts Scot. i. 318, 400, 403 ; Skene's Scotland, iii. 241. 

8 Fctdera, viii. 313; Skene's Celtic Scotland, i. 240 ; Langmead's Constit. 
Hist. (1896), p. 288. In the fourteenth century a knight in England could 
claim to be tried by a jury of knights, but I do not believe that this was so in 
earlier times. A freeholder was certainly the peer of the lord of a manor. See 
the Tear-book of 30-1 Edward I. p. 531. 

6 Du Cange, under ' Franci.' 7 Ibid. 


in another early romance 

L'Enfant de Champagne avoec, 
Et maint franc baceler illuec, 
Feist cevalier avec son fil, 
Qui furent franc ome et Gentil. 

And again 

Par le pere sont serf li fil 

Qui or fussent franc et Gentil. 1 

In Germany also the nobles did not disdain the title of liber 
homo, or c Freyherr,' and we find such expressions as liberos 
homines vet nobiles. In one of the early chronicles, a count 
named Herimann is placed among the liberi homines ; a charter 
of 1134 is witnessed ex liberis hominibus by Arnold Count of 
Cleve and William son of Count William; and in 1168 a 
certain liber Bideluphus is created by the Emperor Duke of 
Spoletum in Italy. 2 Some counts in Germany were apparently 
known as ' Freygrafs.' 3 The German barons are divided by 
some authors into several ranks, amongst which were the 
4 Freyen ' or liberty the ' Freyherren ' or liberi domini, and the 
c Semper Freyen ' or semper liberi* gradations of liberty which 
bring to one's mind the liber homo, the liberalis homo and the 
homo liberalior of Domesday and the Norman law books. But 
the better opinion seems to be that in Germany the first two 
titles and that of ' Edlen ' were applicable to all barons, and 
were not intended to make a distinction between them. In 
the High German translation of the laws of the Alamanni, 
called the Speculi Suevici, free men are divided into three classes, 
the * Semperfrien,' or lords with vassals under them, the 
' mittlerfrien,' or vassals, and the c geburen,' ' fri-lantsaezzen,' 
or ordinary freemen. 5 In Holland also the same connection of 
ideas may be traced. Selden quotes an old glossary wherein 
Baro, as denoting freedom, is rendered as Dominus vel Princeps, 
and states that in order { to fit the name of Baron with their 
Fryen and Fryberren, some learned men tell us that in old Dutch 
Bar y which signifies a man or man child, is justly also inter- 
preted by Frye or Free.' 6 

1 Du Cange, under ' Francus ', GentiSt. 2 Ibid, under ' Libert.' 

3 Selden's Titles of Honour, p. 376. 4 Ibid. p. 426. 

6 Seebohm's Early Village Comm. p. 394 ; see also an old note in Harleian 
MS. 6064. 

6 Selden, p. 429. 


It is a strange and unexplained fact that in France and 
Germany nobility was somehow connected with freedom, that 
counts and barons and dukes were content to be classed among 
the liberi homines, and thztfrancus or ' free ' conveyed the same 
meaning as nobilis or gentilis ; and the fact seems stranger still 
when we discover that these ideas were not confined to the 
continent, but can be traced in England also. Spelman asserts 
that the title of liber homo was once applied to nobles, for scarce 
any one beside was entirely free, and Maitland that ' in the 
Norman age we see traces of a usage which will not allow any 
one is " free," if he is not " noble." ' 1 We know that several 
of the liberi homines mentioned in the Domesday Survey were 
lords of manors and men of high position. Even as late as 
the fourteenth century ' free ' was used both in England and 
Scotland in the sense of ' noble, honourable, of gentle birth 
and breeding.' * Thus in Chaucer's House of Fame we 
have 3 

His fader Anchises the free ; 

in Richard of Gloucester (1297) 

Of fayrost fourme and maners, 
And mest gentyl and fre ; * 

in the Legend of the Life of St. Alexius B 

A yong man gent and fre ; 
and in Sit Ferumbras (c. 1380) 8 

As thou are gent and free. 7 

In the old English romances knights are usually either 'gen til' 
or ' free.' Chaucer writes in The Monkes Tale 
He was of knyghthod and of fredam flour. 
Minot, in his Songs of King Edward's Wars* has the lines 

The right aire* of that cuntre 

Es cumen with all his knightes fre 

To schac him by the berd ; 

and in Caxton's Four Sons of Aymon 9 the word occurs again 
in the same sense, 

They met wyth damp Rambault, the free knyght. 

1 Domesday Book and Beyond, p. 106. * New EngRsb Dictionary. 

1 ' 44*- * 1724. 420. E.E.T.S. (1878), p. 20. 

Ibid. p. 27, line 646. "> See also Weber's Metr. Rom. ii. 290. 

8 Wright's PoRtical Songt, \. 67. 9 u. 199. 


The adjective ' free ' might be applied to higher personages 
than knights. In the romance of Richard Ccsur de Lion 
(before I3OO) 1 we hear of 'barouns free,' in Sir Gawayne 2 
(132030) of a 'free lorde,' in William of Palerne (c. 1340) 
of a ' fre quene,' and in Sir Ferumbras 3 of a ' kyng y-crouned 
free.' In the Legends of the Holy Rood the Virgin Mary is 
spoken of as c Oure ladi freo,' and in the Touneley play of 
Noah and his Ark, God is referred to as ' that fre.' ' Free ' is 
also used as a substantive to denote a ' person of noble birth 
or breeding, a knight or lady.'* Chaucer in his Compleint to 
his Lady 5 speaks of a ' goodly free,' and in the English ver- 
sion of the Song of Roland* (13501400), there is the line 

Though every fre wer aferid, fie will we never. 

In the phrase { gent and fre,' or c gentyl and fre,' of the use 
of which I might have quoted a score of other instances, we 
have a curious parallel to the franc et gentil of the French 
romances and the liber vel nobilis of the German chronicle. 
According to Selden, the ' Freye vom Adel 7 ' was free from 
taxes and subject to no court but the emperor's, and it might 
have been supposed that the French nobles were franci in the 
sense that they were free from taxes and tallages, and that the 
Saxon thanes were ' freo ' in the sense that no one but the king 
had jurisdiction over them. 8 But this theory cannot be 
maintained. In Germany, as I understand, many who did not 
hold immediately of the emperor were known as ' freyen ' and 
' freyherren,' and throughout Europe all tenants in feodo, small 
as well as great, were free from tribute and taxes. The English 
phrase ' gentyl and free ' cannot be merely an adaptation from 
the French, for in the old English tongue ' free ' was used 
hundreds of years before the Norman conquest to express 
nobility and even dominion over others. In the supplement 
to Alfric's vocabulary, liberi is translated as ' freobearn, vel 
aethelborene cild.' 9 In the rules of St. Benedict, ' freoh ' is 
used for ingenuus, qui sui juris est, and in the Lambeth Psalter 
' frearecceras ' for domini principes. In the poetic paraphrase of 
the Doxology, made, it is supposed, in the eighth century, 

1 Weber, ii. 50. 2 E.E.T.S. 3 p. iS, line 466. 

4 Neat English Dictionary. 5 103. 6 E.E.T.S. (1880), p. 124. 

7 Titles of Honour, p. 855, 425. 

8 Heywood, On Distinctions in Society (1818), p. 162. 

9 Wrigkfs Vocab. 173, 23. lu Lye's Saxon Diet. (1772). 


' Lord of mankind ' is rendered as ' frea mancynnes,' l Caed- 
mon, in the seventh century, has ' freo ' and ' frea ' for 
dominus and ' freolic ' for liberalis, ingenuus? and in the Old 
English version of the De Die Judicii, God the Father is 
alluded to as the ' mightig frea,' c rican frean,' * lifes frean,' or 
more simply as ' frean,' the Lord. 3 

This early use of the word ' free ' to denote a noble or lord 
has escaped the notice of historians, and, if I mistake not, 
may throw a new light upon the development of early German 
institutions and the origin of the village community and the 
manor. We have seen that freedom and nobility were linked 
together in England France and Germany as early as the 
eighth century, and may reasonably infer that this connection 
or ideas, or at least the causes which led up to it, must date 
back to a period before the Saxon settlement in England. 
Could this double meaning of 'frea' and 'fryen* and 'franc' 
spring up in a free community ? Does it draw a distinction 
between the free tribesman and the serf, or between the noble 
and the depressed freeman ? Does it lead us back to the mark 
system or to the Roman villa, to the wild forest life when the 
little tribal chieftains were judges and governors over their kin, 
or to the mouldering ruins of a degenerate empire where every 
man was either a noble or a slave ? So much may depend 
upon the answer which will eventually be given to these ques- 
tions that I dare not undertake to deal with them ; but to give 
my opinion for what it may be worth, I think this other sense 
or the word ' free ' disposes once for all of the theory that any- 
thing resembling the mark system was ever introduced into 
England. I think that the long descent towards villeinage 
must have begun at a much earlier date than has hitherto been 
supposed. We know that before the Roman conquest the free 
tribesmen of Gaul had been forced to surrender their liberty 
and had become little more than serui of the chiefs.* The 
same evil influences may have been at work elsewhere. I sus- 
pect that the seeds of decay were already present in the German 
institutions described by Caesar and Tacitus, that the government 
was practically in the hands of the ealdormen and adalings, and 

1 E.E.T.S. (1876), p. 52. 

Ibid. 'The Oldest English Texts,' p. 149 ; and Lye's Diet. 

3 See E.E.T.S. ' De Domes Daege ; also the 42nd law of King Ina ; and 
Heywood, On Distinctions in Society (1818), p. 274. 

* Seebohm's Early fill. Cootm. p. 305. 


that the ordinary freeman had no real share of political power. 
Under Charlemagne the freeman had fallen so low as to be 
excluded by law from the national assemblies, and in the vast 
majority of cases had already commended himself to a lord. 
Amongst the Franks the state of the case was even worse, for 
before the year 900 the free tribesmen had sunk until they 
were little above the level of slaves, and were ever slipping 
down into the servile class. 1 In England the ceorl, when we 
first meet with him, is seldom entirely free ; he owes rent in 
labour or kind or money for his lands ; he rides and carries 
and goes on errands at his lord's command ; at the freest, with 
but few exceptions, he has commended himself to some thane 
from whom he may not depart. 2 I do not deny that in the ninth 
and tenth centuries the ceorl is following the downward path to- 
wards serfdom, being depressed by the institution of kingship, 
the rise of the thanes and the influence of the Church ; so much 
is clearly proved by the wergild set upon his head which, as 
time goes on, becomes actually or relatively smaller. 3 But I 
say that he had entered upon that path before the sixth cen- 
tury. In the seventh century commendation was a common 
if not a usual practice both in England and Germany, 4 and 
amongst the Saxons on the continent the ealdormen seem to 
have been arbitrary rulers who did not hesitate to wipe out 
with fire and sword a township which had offended them. 6 Let 
us apply to these facts our new discovery that in the seventh 
century, and probably much earlier, the ceorl, like the villanus 
of Domesday, was in a sense unfree, and it will open to our 
view, as by a flash of lightning, a later stage in the develop- 
ment of German institutions than that which Tacitus described. 
The ealdorman has made good the claims of hereditary descent, 
and the eorls in his comitatus are already in a sense servants or 
thanes. The ordinary freeman is oppressed with food rents 
and labour dues, and in many cases has commended himself to 
a lord. None but the ealdormen and older eorls are entirely 
free. Such, I imagine, was the state of society amongst the 
Saxons and Angles before they left the continent, for military 
expeditions across the sea require a capitalist, and it was not 

1 Enc. Brit. ix. 533. 

2 Maitland's Domesday and Beyond, pp. 327-32. 

3 Stubbs, Cons tit. Hist. i. 175. 

4 See the Laws of Ina ; and Seebohm, Early Vill. Comm. p. 317. 
* Bede, Book. v. chap. x. 


to the council or to the tribesmen that the Britons appealed in 
their distress, but to the aethelings or ealdormen. Even in the 
time of Caesar the land was allotted to every man by the alder- 
men and magistrates, not by the council, and it is probable that 
the conquered territories in England were parted by the ealdor- 
men amongst their personal followers, and that our ' hams ' 
and ' tons ' take their names not from free tribal communities 
but from the eorls to whom they were assigned. 

But to take up again the main thread of my argument, 
which is the medieval conception of nobility 1 and especially or 
gentility as allied to freedom, I would point out that the same 
idea is conveyed by the classical gens and gentilis. Horace has 
sine gente for one that bears a servile name and is descended 
from servile ancestors. In the earliest days of Rome, when 
every free-born man was a patrician, the gens was a military 
and political union of families and so of patres, descended from 
a common ancestor and bearing the same name. The gentiles, 
or members of these clans, were alone eligible for public office. 
We hear of gentile statutes and decrees and even of war waged 
by a gens, and it would therefore appear that each of these 
clans or kindreds must have originally possessed a common 
council or assembly, with the power of exacting military service 
from all its members. Every pater, or head of a family, had 
patria potestas, that is to say absolute power extending even to 
punishment by death, over all his descendants in the male line 
born in juste nupti<e. Under the same private law of patria 
potestas, the landed property of the clan (bereditates gentilici<e) 
was divided amongst the patres, and it is in this connection 
that we find what is probably the first occurrence of the word 
gentilis. The Twelve Tables, published in B.C. 449, enact that 
si agnatus nee escit, gentiles familiam babento. The circle of the 
gens was drawn closer by the sacra gentilicia, or common wor- 
ship and sacrifice peculiar to its members, such as the cult of 
Apollo by the Julian. The tumulus gentilicius was at first com- 
mon to all the gentiles, as in the case of the Claudii, and the 

1 It appears by a passage in Theganus that nobility was impossible after 
enfranchisement. Neckam (Chronicles and Memorials, pp. 243-4) speaks of 
nobility adorning liberty. Upton lays down that a man may be noble in one 
place and ignoble in another, as is apparent in the case of the English nobles 
captured in the realm of France, because as long as they are in the hands of 
their enemies they are serfs and captives of the latter, and yet in England they 
remain free and noble as before (Bysshe, Upton, p. 3). 


gentilicia funera were followed by the smoke-begrimed effigies of 
the deceased person's ancestors. In some of the gentes ancient 
tribal customs were also observed, for Pliny quotes from Varro 
a statement that in the family of the Serani (Attilian gens) 
gentilicium est feminas tinea veste non uti (Pliny, 19, i, 2). 

The Comitia Curtate, of which all the constituents were 
originally patres, had from the earliest times the power of co- 
opting an alien gens or a plebeian stirps into the patrician order 
on the proposal of a magistrate (apparently the praetor), and this 
might also be done by the king, though probably not without 
the consent of the patres. The Octavii were so ennobled by 
Servius Tullius in the sixth century B.C. Under the republic 
the creation of fresh patrician gentes is said to have ceased, 
because there was no political assembly composed exclusively 
of members who fulfilled all the conditions of gentiles ; but it 
appears that the senatus and populus sometimes conferred the 
rank of patrician, as in the case of Appius Claudius and his 
gens and of Domitius Ahenobarbus. Such admissions must 
have been very rare, for towards the end of the republic the 
patrician order was rapidly becoming extinct, and not more 
than fifty families were still existing. Just as in England the 
older class of ' eorls ' was merged in a new nobility of office, so 
at Rome the place of the patricians is taken by the nobiles, or 
families whose ancestors have held Curule magistracies. The 
conferring of the patriciate was revived by Caesar in his dicta- 
torship, the power being obtained by a vote of the populace. 
In later times the elevation of gentes and the grant of the per- 
sonal title of patricius became a privilege of the emperors, and 
Pliny in the sixth book of his letters speaks of the upstarts, 
who by imperial favour or influence at Court have been raised 
in rank, and have laid the foundations ingentium splendidarumque 

Livy * describes how in B.C. 445 the Bill de Conubio, which 
repealed the denial in the eleventh table of intermarriage be- 
tween patricians and plebeians, was opposed by the former, on 
the ground that their blood would be contaminated and their 
jura gentium confounded. Even before the passing of this 
Act, some patrician gentes contained plebeian families or stirpes, 
descended it is supposed from gentiles who had married outside 
the limits of their order. We find that gentile inheritances 
were shared by the plebeian Minucii and gentile sepulchres by 


the plebeian Popilii. 1 In later times the confusion became 
worse confounded. The Claudii had attached to them several 
dependent stirpes of servile origin, amongst which was that of 
the Claudii Marcelli, and Cicero 2 refers to a dispute which 
sprang up over the property of the intestate son of a libertus 
or freedman of the Marcelli, which the Claudii claimed as 
belonging to them by the gentile rights. Besides the plebeian 
families contained in patrician gentes, and the families of clients 
and freedmen linked to the latter and bearing their name, there 
were undoubtedly also plebeian gentes, having like the patricians 
sacra and patria potestas. These were of free origin, being 
descended from the Latins removed from Alba and other con- 
quered towns in the seventh century before Christ. 

The law of inheritance, as laid down in the Twelve Tables, 
must have made it necessary at an early period to obtain a 
legal definition of the term gentilis. Quintus Mucius Scaevola, 
known as Pontifex, who died in B.C. 82, was the earliest Roman 
jurist who attempted to systematize the jus civile, which he 
did in a work of eighteen books. He defines gentiles as ' free- 
men sprung from freemen, of whose ancestors no one served 
in bondage.' 3 Cicero in his Topics* gives a fuller explanation 
of the word. ' Those are gentiles, he writes, ' who have the 
same name in common. That is not enough. Who are born 
of free parents. Not even that is enough. Of whose ances- 
tors no one has served in bondage. There remains to be said, 
that they have not been deprived of the citizenship. This per- 
haps is sufficient ; for I do not see that Scaevola Pontifex 
added anything to this definition.' 8 

Some writers have doubted whether the medieval * gentil ' 
comes from the classical gentilis, and have suggested that it may 
more probably be derived from a barbarous use of the word in 
later times ; for after the introduction of Christianity gentilis 
came to mean a gentile or foreigner, and was applied by the 
Romans to the uncivilized tribes which threatened to over- 
whelm the empire. There is a law of Valentinian and Valens, 

1 Cicero in Verr. 45, 1 15 ; de Leg. ii. 25, 55. * de Orat. i. 39, 176. 

3 Ingenues ab ingenuis oriundos, quorum majorum nemo servitutem serviit. 

* vi. 29. 

5 Itemque, ut illud ; Gentiles sunt, qui inter se eodem nomine sunt. Non 
est satis. Qui ab ingenuis oriundi sunt. Ne id quidem satis est. Quorum 
majorum nemo servitutem servivit. Abest etiam nunc, qui capite non sunt 
diminuti. Hoc fertasse satis est. Nihil enim video Scsevolam Pontificem ad 
hanc dcfinitionem addidisse. 


entitled De Nuptiis Geti/ium, which forbids any Roman or 
provincial woman to marry a gentilis^ and any provincial to 
take a wife of that kind, that is to say uxor barbara. The 
word is used in the same sense in the code of Theodosius, and 
in the later codes generally it denotes, when religion is con- 
cerned, a pagan, and in laws relating to civil government all 
who are not Roman citizens. Isidore and S. Augustine use it 
in the former sense, and, in curious contradiction to the modern 
idea of a Christian gentleman, explain that gentilis ilk est qui in 
Christum non credit. Selden imagines 1 that the name of gentiles, 
applied by the degenerate Romans to their conquerors, was 
afterwards adopted by the latter as a title of honour, to dis- 
tinguish the free tribesman from the serfs who paid him tribute 
and tallage. The French writer, Pasquier, to whom he refers 
the reader for evidence, puts forward a still more ingenious 
hypothesis. He quotes (Les Recbercbes de la France^ 1607, 
200) the passage in Ammianus Marcellinus, describing how 
after the capture of Cologne the Emperor Julian wintered at 
Sens, where in the absence of his scutarii and gentiles he was 
almost overwhelmed by a horde of enemies. What could 
scutarii and gentiles mean ? Obviously there was only one 
explanation. They were esquires and gentlemen ; and Pas- 
quier goes on to surmise that they may have received grants of 
land in Gaul as a reward for their services and have founded 
the order of gentilbommes. To the modern mind this is not 
convincing. In the Saxon vocabularies gentilis is simply a 
Gentile, and the word in its other meaning may well have been 
introduced into France, England and Spain in the twelfth cen- 
tury from Italy, where it had apparently continued to be used, 
though very rarely, in its Ciceronian sense. Its first appearance 
in medieval literature, as expressing a man of good birth, is, I 
believe, in Wace's estimate of the character of Richard the 
Good, who succeeded to the dukedom of Normandy in 996. 
The duke, he tells us, surprised his people by the magnificence 
of his court, and would have none, even in the smallest offices 
of his household, butgentih, to whom there was livery of rations 
every day and of cloth at the four great feasts of the year : 

Tant i mist e tant i duna, 
Tuit li pople s' esmerveilla. 
Ne volt mestier de sa meisun 
Duner se i gentiz hons nun. 

1 This was M. Velser's theorjr. See RerumAug. Vindel. (i 593), p. 163, liber viii. 


Gentil furent li capelatn, 
Gentil furent li escrivain, 
Gentil furent li cunestable 
E bien pocssanz e bien aidable ; 
Gentil furent li Senescal, 
Gentil furent li Marescal, 
Gentil furent li Buteillier, 
Gentil furent li Despensier ; 
Li Chamberlenc e li Uissier 
Furent tuit noble Chevalier. 1 

These lines occur in the second part of the Roman de Rou, 
which is supposed to have been finished in its present form in 
1 1 70. Wace does not here rely on his usual authorities, Dudo 
of St. Quentin and William or Jumieges, and he seems to be 
applying a new-fashioned word to an older state of things. I 
have not found gentil in any earlier writer, and suspect that its 
sudden appearance must be connected with the great revival of 
learning in the first half of the twelfth century, and that the 
classical use of it may have been revived by Saxo Grammaticus 
or by one of the group of scholars who studied under Abelard 
at the University of Paris. But indeed it is doubtful whether 
genti/is, in the sense of a man of family, was ever completely 
lost. Selden seems to admit this by his statement that in the 
dark ages it is ' not a very usual word.' 8 Boetius in the sixth 
century wrote a commentary upon Cicero's Topics, in which 
he enlarges upon the latter's definition of genti/is* and both 

1 Roman de Rou, 5955. According to Du Cange, who had missed these lines, 
the word occurs elsewhere in the poem : 

4 Moult fu beaus, moult fu Gens, 

Gentis horns rassembla.' 
And again : 

4 Elle fu de Chartres Comtesse 

Espouse'e au Comte Estevenon 

Gentilhomme, noble Baron.' 

The word is also used by Radulfus de Diceto, who is supposed to have died in 
1 202. 

3 I can find no instance. St. Athanasius employs it in the sense of kinship, 
to denote a man belonging to the same gens. 

s Gentiles " are those who have the same name in common, as the Scipios, 
the Brutuses and the rest. What if they are slaves ? Can there be any 
Gentilitas of slaves ? By no means. We must add then, Who are born of 
free parents. But if the descendants of Freedmen who are Roman Citizens are 
proclaimed by the same name ? Is there any Gentilitas ? Not even so. Since 
Gentilitas is derived from the antiquity of the free : let it be added then, Whose 
ancestors have none of them served in bondage. What if by adoption he pass 
into the family of another J Then, even if he be proclaimed by the name of 


Cicero and Boetius had their admirers even in the blackest 
days of ignorance and superstition. In later times the classical 
distinction between nobilis and gentilis must have been remem- 
bered, for though letters of nobility are common, no king ever 
attempted to make a gentleman. 1 

For these and other reasons I incline towards the classical 
derivation of genii/, but though the point is an exceedingly 
interesting one, its determination in either direction will not 
affect my argument. In either case, gentil originally conveyed 
the idea of freedom, as opposed to serfdom. Throughout the 
middle ages some trace of the old meaning remains and is con- 
stantly pressing itself upon our notice. It is suggested by the 
phrases ' gent and free,' ' franc et gentil,' and by the description 
of franc tenure as gentile et nobile. It is flashed upon us with 
startling directness in the opening lines of the Lytel Jeste of 
Robyn Hode ? 

Lithe and lysten, gentylmen, 
That be of free bore bbde ; 

and again in Piers the Plowman, where the whole Jewish nation 
are said to have been originally ' gentel-men,' but since the 
death of Christ ' lowe cheorles,' ' under tribut and taillage ' : 

The luwes that weren gentel-men, lesu thei dispiseden, 

Bothe hus lore and hus lawe, now aren thei lowe cheorles. 

As wide as the worlde is, wonyeth ther none 

Bote under tribut and taillage, as tikes and cheorles. 

And tho that by-comen Christine, by consail of the baptist, 

Aren frankelayns and freo, thorgh fullyng that thei toke, 

And gentel-men with lesu. 

that clan into which he has passed, though he be born of free parents, and of 
such parents as have never served in bondage, yet since he does not remain in 
the family of his clan, he cannot remain even in its Gentilitas : so we must 
add : And not deprived of the citizenship. This perhaps, says he, is sufficient 
according to the definition of Scaevola the Pontifex : he added nothing further, 
so that this is the definition of Gentiles, Gentiles are those who have the same 
name in common, born of free parents, whose ancestors have none of them 
served in bondage, and where no disfranchisement (cafitis diminutio) has 
destroyed the Gentilitas' (Boetius in Top. Cif. ed. 1497, p. 157). 

1 There is perhaps an approach to this in 1389, when Richard II. stated 
that he had ' received ' John de Kyngeston en I'estat de Gentile Homme. I take 
it that this is an acknowledgment of gentle birth and not a grant of gentility, 
but however that may be, the phrase is ambiguous and evasive when compared 
with the nobilitamus, nobilemque facimus et creamus of other charters. 

2 Printed in 1495, but written, according to Hunter and other good judges, 
in the fourteenth century. 

8 C. Passus, xxii. 34. 


Professor Skeat in his glossarial index to the poem renders 
' gentel-men ' as ' free-men,' but this interpretation hardly goes 
far enough. Gentility here, as in the definitions of Scasvola 
and Cicero and Boetius, is ancient freedom of race. 

A gentleman then is not, as the New English Dictionary 
lays down, a person of * heraldic status ' who is ' entitled to 
bear arms,' but a freeman whose ancestors have always been 
free. In blood he represents the unconquered tribesman of 
Germany or Britain, and in name the ancient liberty of Rome. 
To my mind this is not only a true but also a comfortable 
doctrine, for even the most earnest Radical will hardly repress 
some feeling of respect for the families which clung to freedom, 
or fought for it, when most of the world was enslaved, 
nor ever * bowed their heads for meat in the evil days.' It is 
a doctrine which will of course involve us in some difficulties. 
In the fourteenth century villein tenure had not yet developed 
into copyhold, and no one whose forefathers at that period held 
' in bondage ' can possibly come under the terms of our defi- 
nition. We are thus driven to the painful but irresistible 
conclusion that quite twenty-five per cent of our peers are not 
gentlemen. On the other hand, many persons whom we have 
not been accustomed to regard in that light may have a good 
claim to the title ; it may be urged that for four centuries, 
a period as long as most patrician stemmata could show, our 
English ancestors have been a free nation ; and perhaps, after 
all, we shall do better to drop the use of ' gentleman ' as a 
description of rank or status, and to conclude with Chaucer's 
elf-queen that it is not ' renomee of auncestres,' but ' gentil 
dedes ' which make the ' gentil man.' 




THE shields of arms, of which illustrations are given here- 
with, were, for more than two centuries, in windows of 
the old manor house of Lytes Gary, co. Somerset. They were 
made for John Lyte, who considerably altered the house be- 
tween the years 1523 and 1566. His arms and those of his 
wife, Edith Horsey, are still to be seen there in several places, 
on the gable of the oriel of the east front, on the ceiling of 
the 'great chamber,' and on the large bay window of the 
south front, which also bears their initials and the date 1533.* 
Inasmuch as some of the shields are known to have been in 
the lower part of that window, in the ' parlour ' under the 
' great chamber,' we may reasonably suppose these to have 
been made in or about that year. The remainder, showing 
the handiwork of several artists, cannot in any case be very 
much later in date, for the marriage of John Lyte's eldest son 
Henry, in 1565, is commemorated by glass of a totally differ- 
ent character. 

Nearly all the shields executed in glass for John Lyte have 
the Lyte arms on the dexter side, his object having been to 
show the marriages of different male members of his family. 
It is, however, very remarkable that his own grandson, Thomas 
Lyte, a keen genealogist, who had inherited a large collection 
of old deeds and evidences, failed to locate some of these alli- 
ances in his elaborate pedigree of the Lytes of Lytes Gary. 

' Ten foote and halfe of glasse,' recorded to have been ' sett 
upp in the chappie windoe at Lytes Gary by Henry Lyte, 
Esquire, Anno Domini 1567,' presumably consisted of plain 
quarrels. A further series of shields was certainly made for 
Thomas Lyte, who * newely repayred' the chapel in 1631, 
and adorned its walls with the arms of various relations. 

When the Lytes sold their ancestral home in 1755, they 
appear to have removed the heraldic glass, but as late as 1810 
there were persons living who remembered the time when the 

1 Detailed information with regard to Lytes Gary and its owners will be 
found in the Proceedings of the Somersetshire Archaeological Society, xxxviii. i-i 10. 

No. 2. 

No. 3. 

No. 4. 

No. 5. 


window of the dining-room, or ' great parlour,' ' was enriched 
with painted glass, containing the arms of many persons con- 
nected with the family.' Upwards of twenty shields more or 
less perfect, and a number of fragments, somehow found their 
way into the church of Angersleigh near Taunton, a place 
with which the Lytes never had any connexion, and were 
recovered thence more than thirty years ago. They are now in 
my possession. Considering their history, they may be said 
to be in good preservation. The original number must, how- 
ever, have been considerably larger. 

Of the shields now reproduced, five are in roundels and 
twelve in rectangular panels. The former may be thus de- 
scribed : 

1. A roundel 9^ inches in diameter, exclusive of an outer 
border of conventional foliage. Gules a chevron between three 
swans argent, impaling azure three horses' heads or, with bridles. 
The shield is that of John Lyte, who married Edith daughter 
of John Horsey of Martin, co. Wilts, in 1521. It is now 
reproduced in colour. 

2. A similar roundel. Azure three horses' heads or, with 
bridles, impaling gules three bars ermine. The shield is that 
of John Horsey of Martin (the father of Edith Lyte), who 
married, as his first wife, Isabel daughter of Thomas Hussey 
of Shapwick, co. Dorset. 

3. A roundel 9^ inches in diameter. Gules a chevron be- 
tween three swans argent, impaling gules three infants' heads. 
The shield is that of a Lyte who married a Fauntleroy. Ac- 
cording to the pedigree by Thomas Lyte mentioned above, 
John Lyte who lived in the later part of the fifteenth century 
married a Fauntleroy of Marsh, but no authority is given. It 
is certain that, in or before 1474, he married Joan daughter 
and heiress of John Ilberd. 

4. A roundel of like size. Gules a chevron between three 
swans argent, impaling azure a dolphin argent between three 
mullets gules. The shield is that of a Lyte who married a 
Fitzjames. According to the pedigree, Thomas Lyte who 
lived in the middle of the fifteenth century married a Fitzjames 
of Redlinch, but no authority is given. His wife's Christian 
name is known to have been Joan. The dexter half of this 
shield differs from most of those representing the Lyte arms, 
in that the leads do not follow the lower edges of the swans' 
necks. Nobody conversant with the rules of modern heraldry 


will fail to observe that the sinister half of this shield shows 
colour upon colour. 

5. A roundel of like size. Argent a chevron erminees be- 
tween three birds sable, impaling gules a chevron between three 
swans argent. This is in some respects the most interesting 
piece of the Lytes Gary glass, though by no means the most 
ornamental. The actual shield is smaller than the others and 
different in form. The chevrons are unusually broad. Further- 
more, the swans have been rendered by scraping away the ruby 
glass flashed on to white, whereas in all the glass executed for 
John Lyte the swans are on separate pieces of glass surrounded 
by lead. It may be added that the back is much corroded by 
exposure to the weather. Altogether the facts seem to indicate 
that this shield dates from the fifteenth century, and that, for 
the sake of uniformity, it was enlarged in the sixteenth century, 
by the addition of white glass on two sides. The families of 
Wyke of Bindon, Owen, Wells, and Bayley are credited with 
arms somewhat similar to those on the dexter half of this 
shield. On the other hand, a shield exactly corresponding with 
this seems to have been painted on the south wall of the chapel 
at Lytes Gary by order of Thomas Lyte in 1631, with the 
inscription beneath : ' Luce, Lady Morgan.' According to 
the pedigree, a certain Sir Philip Morgan married a daughter 
of John Lyte soon after the middle of the fifteenth century, 
but her name is given as Agnes. 

It is quite possible that the roundels numbered above 3, 4 
and 5 were formerly surrounded with conventional foliage, for 
there exist various fragments of borders exactly similar to those 
which surround numbers I and 2. 

The rectangular panels measure about 13 by 12 inches. 
The shields in them are on party-coloured grounds of ruby, 
blue, green, or purple. Ruby glass is used for the fields of the 
Lyte arms, but in the sinister halves of some of the shields 
gules is rendered by a tawny colour applied. The jewelled 
borders are mainly in gold stain on white glass. Careful 
examination shows that six of the panels, numbers 6 to II, 
constitute one series, and five others, numbers 12 to 16, an- 
other series. The former have boys' heads in the upper cor- 
ners, and heads of men in armour in the lower corners ; the 
latter have no heads in the borders. Then again, the white 
chevrons are shaded in the former series, as in the roundel num- 
bered 4 above, but diapered in the latter, as in the roundels 

No. 6. 

No. 7. 

No. 8. 

No. 9. 


numbered r and 3 above. These minute variations do not 
necessarily prove any great difference in date between the 
two series. Perhaps they only indicate that two artists were 
employed upon the work. The panels may be described as 
follows : 

6. Gules a chevron between three swans argent, impaling 
argent a cross engrailed sable, with an eagle gules in the quarter. 
Inscribed : ' Lyte and Drecote.' The shield is that of Robert le 
Lyt, who married Isabel daughter and heiress of Peter of 
Draycot, in or about 1273. It is definitely stated to have been 
' in the great bay windoe in the parler ' at Lytes Gary. 

7. Gules a chevron between three swans argent, impaling 
sable a goat in his kind standing on a mount vert. Inscribed : 
' Lyte and Gotebursts ' (sic). The shield is that of a second 
Robert le Lyt, who married Margaret daughter of Roger of 
Goathurst, towards the end of the reign of Edward I. 

8. Gules a chevron between three swans argent, impaling 
argent three roundels azure, each charged with as many chevrons 
gules. Inscribed : 'Lyte and Carent.' The shield is that of 
Edmund Lyte who married Thomasia sister of William Carent 
of Toomer in or about the year 1378. This is also known to 
have been ' in the parler windoe at Lytescarye ' in the time of 
Charles I. The Carent arms show colour upon colour. 

9. Gules a chevron between three swans argent, impaling 
argent an ash tree on a mound. Inscribed : ' Lyte and Ash.' 
The shield is that of John Lyte who married Agnes daughter 
and heiress of John Ash of co. Devon, in or before the year 

10. Gules a chevron between three swans argent, impaling 
azure a dolphin argent between three mullets gules. Inscribed : 
'Lyte and Fitzjamys.' This shield is historically a duplicate 
of that numbered 4, but different in execution. 

n. Gules a chevron between three swans argent, impaling 
argent two glazier's irons in saltire between four pears gules. 
Inscribed : ' Lyte and Kelloway.' The second of these names 
has been supplied in modern glass. Thomas Lyte, the gene- 
alogist, seems to have thought that this shield must necessarily 
have been that one of his direct ancestors, and tried to locate 
the match between Lyte and Kelloway in the fifteenth century. 
There were, however, two such matches in the first half of the 
sixteenth century, as he was aware. The shield may possibly 
be that of his own father Henry Lyte, who married Agnes 


daughter and co-heiress of John Kelloway of Collumpton, in 
1 546. It is more probably that of William Lyte of Lillesdon, 
who married Dorothy daughter of Sir John Kelloway of Rock- 
bourne, and relict of John Buller of Wode, in or before 1537. 
The pears in the sinister half of the shield were obviously of 
the kind known as ' Kelways.' The meaning of the glazier's 
irons is not so obvious. 

Proceeding with the second series of panels, the shields are 
as follows : 

12. Gules a chevron between three swans argent, impaling 
argent a chevron between three moorcocks. Inscribed : ' Lyte 
and Drue.' The shield is that of Thomas Lyte, who married 
Margaret, daughter and heiress of John Drew of Bridgwater, 
in or before 1498. 

13. Gules a chevron between three swans argent, impaling 
azure three horses' heads or, with bridles. Inscribed : ' Lyte 
and Horsse.' This shield is historically a duplicate of that 
numbered i . The chevron is of modern glass. 

14. Gules a chevron between three swans argent, impaling 
argent a chevron between three chess-rooks sable. Inscribed : 
' Lyte and Fitzwucke.' The sinister half of the shield bears 
some resemblance to the arms of the family of Wyke of Nyne- 
head. The charges may, however, be mill-rinds, salt-cellars, 
or even dice-boxes. 

15. Gules a chevron between three swans argent, impaling 
or three piles azure. Inscribed : ' Lyte and Brune.' The 
sinister half of this shield shows the arms of the family of 
Bryan of co. Dorset. 

1 6. Gules a chevron between three swans argent, impaling 
argent a chevron sable between three hammers, the heads sable, 
the handles gules. Inscribed: 'Lyte . . .' The arms on the 
sinister half of this shield are unknown. 

The last of the rectangular panels now reproduced differs 
from the others in that the shield alone dates from the six- 
teenth century, the diapered ground and the border having 
alike been added in the reign of James I. or Charles I. 

1 7. Gules a chevron between three roses argent, impaling gules 
a chevron between three swans argent. The shield is that of 
Sir Nicholas Wadham of Merrifield, who married, as his fourth 
wife, Joan daughter of Richard Lyte, relict of William Walton 
of Barton. She died in 1557. Part only of her monumental 
brass remains in Ilton church. The pedigree by Thomas Lyte 

No. 10. 

No. n. 

No. 12. 

No. 13. 


shows the whole of it. Within the last few years, tour heraldic 
tiles have been discovered close to her tomb, two bearing the 
arms of Wadham, and two the arms of Lyte, the chevron 
charged with a crescent, to indicate that Richard Lyte, her 
father, was the second son of John Lyte of Lytes Gary. 

Four panels, uniform in size with the preceding, were 
executed for Thomas Lyte in or soon after 1621. They have 
not been photographed. Their borders are obviously copied 
from those of the sixteenth century, but no ruby, blue or other 
coloured glass was used, the heraldic charges being rendered 
by paint or stain on the surface of the white glass. The differ- 
ence between gules and or is almost imperceptible. These four 
shields may be described as follows : 

1 8. Gules a chevron between three swans argent, their bills 
or, impaling argent a saltire engrailed gules, charged with a fleur 
de lys or, for difference. Inscribed : ' Lyte and Tiptoft." The 
shield is that of Henry Lyte, who married, as his second wife, 
Frances daughter of JohnTiptoft of London, in 1565. 

19. Gules a chevron between three swans argent, their bills 
or, impaling argent a two-headed eagle sable, the beaks and legs 
gules. Inscribed: 'Lyte and Worth.' 'Anno Dom. 1592.' 
The shield is that of Thomas Lyte, who married Frances 
daughter of Henry Worth of Worth, co. Devon. 

20. Gules a chevron between three swans argent, their bills 
or, impaling argent a chevron gules between three roundels 
azure. Inscribed : ' Lyte and Baskervile.' ' Anno Dom. 
1621.' The shield is that of Henry Lyte, who married Con- 
stance daughter of Captain Nicholas Baskerville of Sunning- 
well, co. Berks. 

21. Quarterly of six. i and 6, Gules a chevron between 
three swans argent, their bills or ; 2, Argent a cross engrailed 
sable with an eagle gules in the quarter ; 3, Argent on a fesse 
between three ducks sable three bezants ; 4, Argent an ash 
tree erased ; 5, Argent a chevron sable between three moor- 
cocks. The first and sixth quarters are Lyte ; the second 
quarter is Draycot ; the third quarter, in modern glass, may 
possibly be Blomvill ; the fourth quarter is Ash ; the fifth 
quarter is Drew. 

Of the fragments not made up into roundels or rectangular 
panels, the following date from the sixteenth century : 

(a} A shield uniform in size and shape with those described 
above. Gules a chevron between three swans argent, impaling 


azure three horses' heads or, with bridles. This shield is 
historically identical with numbers i and 13 described above, 
but the treatment is different. 

() Part of the sinister half of a shield, azure y cut to receive 
horses' heads as above. 

(c) The dexter half of a shield. Gules a chevron between 
three swans argent. The treatment is similar to that of number 
4 described above. 

(a 1 } The dexter half of a shield. Sable a bend or between 
six fountains. Supporters, two antelopes azure. Inscribed : 
' Lorde Sturton and My Ladys.' 1 This shield is presumably 
that of Edward, Lord Stourton, who married Agnes daughter 
of John Fauntleroy of Marsh. The sinister half would show 
gules three infants' heads. The badges of Stourton and 
Fauntleroy are to be seen on the great bay window of the 
south front of Lytes Gary. 

(e) Two fragments of the dexter half of a shield. Sable a 
bend or between six fountains. These are the arms of Stour- 
ton, as above. 

(/") Part of a shield. Gules a chevron between three swans 
argent, their bills or, impaling argent a cross engrailed sable, 
with an eagle gules in the quarter, and a mullet sable for 
difference. This shield is historically identical with number 6 
described above, but the treatment is different. The addition 
of the mullet is also remarkable. 

The following fragments date from the early part of the 
seventeenth century : 

(g) The dexter half of a shield about 5^ inches by 4^. 
Quarterly i, Gules a bend between six crosslets fitchy argent, a 
crescent sable for difference ; 2, Gules three lions passant or, a 
label argent ; 3, Chequy or and azure ; 4, Gules a lion argent. 
A sinister supporter, a lion argent charged with a crescent. 
This shield is that of Thomas, Viscount Howard of Bindon, 
who married Gertrude daughter of William Lyte of Lillesdon. 
The arms given quarterly are I Howard, 2 Brotherton, 3 
Warenne, and 4 FitzAlan. The sinister half of the shield 
would show gules a chevron between three swans argent. 

() The dexter half of a similar shield : Azure three gaunt- 
lets or. Crest, a bull's head argent charged with a rose gules. 
This shield is that of Mildmay, Earl of Westmorland, who 

1 A copy of this glass is given in The Noble House of Stourton, opposite to page 
546. See also page 1064 of that work. 

No. 14. 

No. 15. 

No. 1 6. 

N'o. 17. 


married Grace, daughter of Sir William Thornhurst. The 
gauntlets have been rendered by scraping away the blue glass 
flashed on to white, and applying gold stain. The sinister 
half would show ermine on a chief gules two leopards' heads or. 

(/') A very small fragment of a shield similar to the sinister 
half of number 1 6 above. 

() A fragment of a shield. Argent on a chevron between 
three harts' heads erased sable as many hunting horns stringed 
argent. These were the paternal arms of the second wife of 
Thomas Lyte, Constance daughter of Matthew Huntley of 
Boxwell, relict successively of Captain Nicholas Baskerville 
and of Sir John Sidney. 

(/) A crest. A hart's head erased argent, horned, crined, 
and collared or. This appears to be the crest of Wadham. 





THE development of the British Constitution has long 
been the most fascinating subject for students of British 
history. The evolution of constitutional monarchy from the 
antagonism of arbitrary power in the monarch to the assertion 
of rights in the subject, is the theme which underlies all serious 
history and attests the value of diplomatic research. 

The first stages of the combat between sovereign and sub- 
ject were fought by kings and nobles, and for this reason the 
origin and development of the law of peerage must always 
be an important factor in the study of history as distinguished 
from mere chronicle. 

It is now the general opinion that the commencement of our 
Parliamentary system cannot be placed earlier than the twenty- 
third year of King Edward I. after the Conquest, and that 
the definite form of Parliament, viz. an assembly consisting 
of lords spiritual and temporal, knights of the shire, and 
citizens of boroughs, was finally established in 6-8 Edward II. 

There is no branch of law which has contributed more to 
the formation of this opinion than the law of peerage. It 
may therefore be not without interest to those concerned 
with the subjects to be considered in The Ancestor if I offer a 
few observations on the materials for studying peerage law, and 
on the points of law decided in some of the more conspicuous 

Before the Parliament was finally constituted the legislation 
for England was settled by the king, advised by the nobles who 
constituted the Curia Regis. These nobles were prelates, earls 
and barons, with whom were occasionally associated high 
officials who did not hold hereditary dignities. Although 
there can be little doubt that earldoms were in England always 
personal dignities, except perhaps one or two palatinates, 
there is no evidence to prove that baronies were personal 
dignities. It is indeed not by any means clear what was 
meant by the word baron. Accordingly when claims to sit in 
Parliament began there was much speculation and argument 
on the nature of a barony. It was asserted that a baron was a 


tenant in chief holding his lands by the tenure called ' per 
baroniam,' and it was argued that such a tenure involved the 
service of attending the Curia Regis or Parliament when sum- 
moned, in addition to the military attendance due from all 
those holding by knight service in chief of the Crown. The 
theory that barons who received writs of summons when the 
Parliamentary system was settled were usually those previously 
summoned to the Curia Regis, and as supposed bound to 
attend, resulted in claims to the dignity of baron founded on 
tenure and subject to the law of descent incident to land. 
This theory suffered considerably by the decisions of the 
House of Lords in the seventeenth century. In the Grey 
de Ruthyn case, 1 640, and in the FitzWalter case, 1 670, it was 
decided that the law of descent applicable to dignities differed 
from that applicable to land. In the Fitzwalter case it was 
thought that peerage by tenure was obsolete, and in the Pur- 
beck case, 1678, it was decided that no peer could surrender 
his dignity to the king. But during the same period and 
down to the union of the kingdoms in 1 707 dignities could 
be and often were surrendered in Scotland, and such surrenders 
were undoubtedly lawful in England down to the reign of 
Richard II. 

In the commencement of the nineteenth century a claim to 
peerage was made that of Marmion on the ground of 
tenure only, and in consequence a committee was appointed 
by the House of Lords to report on the nature of the dignity 
of a peer of the realm. 

The reports of this committee and its successors were 
strongly antagonistic to any claim to peerage by tenure. 
These reports, of which there were six, 1819-25, are written 
in stately language, and are splendid examples of scientific 
argument. Their perusal is the first step necessary to the 
diligent student of peerage law and of the constitutional 
history of England. In some minor points the conclusions 
of the committees have been overruled, but the main argument 
is unanswerable. 

Nevertheless the question of tenure was again raised by the 
owner (by devise) of Berkeley Castle, who had failed to estab- 
lish his right to the earldom of Berkeley as lawful heir to his 
father, and who now claimed to be baron by tenure of the 
castle. All the arguments and illustrations from history 
which the reports had been intended to meet were revived, 


and a vast number of important charters were printed as 
evidence, the dignities of Arundel, Abergavenny and De Lisle 
being urged as precedents. But in the result the House of 
Lords established by its resolution rejecting the claim, February, 
1 86 1, that claims to peerage by tenure are hopeless. On one 
or two subsequent occasions attempts have been made to 
found precedence among barons by writ upon previous tenure, 
but without success. Finally, in the de Wahul case, it was pro- 
posed that previous tenure constituted a presumption that one 
summoned by writ had sat upon his writ. This proposition 
was also rejected, and it must now be regarded as settled law 
that no connection whatever exists between the barons of the 
Curia Regis not even between the parties to Magna Charta 
and the existing dignity of a peer of the realm. It is not a 
little curious that the lords who thus denned the law should 
nevertheless when free from judicial restraint, and speaking at 
banquets, continue to describe the House of Lords as more 
ancient than the House of Commons. 

The decisions of the seventeenth century, largely developed 
in the nineteenth, have established the fundamental principle 
that a dignity giving hereditary right to sit in Parliament can 
be constituted only by charter, or letters patent, or by writ of 
summons followed by sitting, that such dignity is inherent in 
the blood of the grantee and his heirs, and that if the right to 
such a dignity is successfully proved the claim to sit in Parlia- 
ment is good against the Crown. 

A peerage dignity, once validly created, can never be extin- 
guished so long as there exist heirs of the grantee within the 
limitation of the dignity. 

The enjoyment of the dignity may be in abeyance if being 
limited to heirs there be more heirs than one equally entitled. 
This doctrine has been gradually evolved by the House of 
Lords, as applicable to baronies created by writs of summons, 
but it has not yet been judicially decided that it applies to 
dignities otherwise created. The doctrine of abeyance is un- 
known to the peerage law of Scotland, the difference being 
that if an inheritance is indivisible no one of co-heirs can by 
English law inherit it, while the Scottish law gives it to the 
eldest co-heir. 

The enjoyment of a dignity may be forfeited through 
corruption of blood by attainder, but even so the dignity 
exists in the Crown, and if the attainder is reversed the heir 


of the grantee is revested in the dignity. The law of for- 
feiture as applicable to peerage succession was not fully 
decided until the hearing of the claim to the earldom of Airlie 
in 1812-19, when the judges of England, being summoned 
by the House of Lords, held unanimously that if an attainted 
person lived to succeed to a dignity, he took it for the Crown, 
and no remoter heir had right even though he proved that he 
had in his own line of descent no corruption of blood. This 
law (described by the Earl of Aberdeen, in a letter I possess, as 
most cruel and one which ought to be repealed) is founded in 
the law of England, and only became applicable to Scottish 
dignities by the statute enacting that the law of forfeiture in 
Scotland should follow the law of England. 

In the course of the eighteenth century there were several 
peerage claims, but it was not until the close of the century 
that the evidence was printed. Consequently the nature of 
the claims and decisions can only be inferred from rare printed 
cases and the Lords' journals. The extraordinary proposition 
that whenever the instrument creating a dignity is lost it must 
be presumed to have contained a limitation to heirs male of 
the body (unless such presumption is contradicted by the facts 
of descent) was, it is supposed, first enunciated in the Cassilis 
case, 1762. I call the proposition extraordinary, because of 
all the dignities created before (approximately) the reign of 
Richard II. in England and of Robert Bruce in Scotland I 
know of none created otherwise than in fee. The presumption 
so established nearly resulted in gross injustice when the 
Sutherland case arose, 1769-71. A young lady was heir to 
her father, the last Earl of Sutherland of the Gordon line, 
whose vast estates were settled on the heir to the dignity. A 
remote heir male, relying on the presumption, contested the 
succession, and thus elicited the celebrated Additional Case 
for the Countess of Sutherland, attributed to Dalrymple, 
afterwards Lord Hailes. This masterpiece, which traced the 
law and succession of all the original earldoms of Scotland, 
convinced the House of Lords of their danger, and judg- 
ment was given for the countess, notwithstanding that no 
evidence could possibly be tendered to rebut the presumption. 
There exist unfortunately no minutes of the evidence proved 
in this case. The printing of evidence began with a series of 
claims to Scottish peerages made in response to orders of the 
House of Lords rather than voluntarily in consequence of a 


disputed election of representative peers for Scotland in 1790. 
Most of the claims, which were in respect of dignities not 
upon the then existing Roll of Peers, were rejected. The 
evidence is extremely rare, and the late well known peerage 
counsel, Mr. Fleming, reprinted a few copies. 

The study of peerage law from the printed evidence there- 
fore begins with the last century, during the first half of which 
there were heard a great number of claims. The claim to the 
dukedom of Roxburgh, decided in 1812, turned upon a diffi- 
cult settlement of lands and dignity. The Airlie, Marmion 
and Berkeley claims have already been mentioned. Previously 
in the period 1805-15 two very remarkable claims of the 
' romantic ' kind arose, one to the earldom of Berkeley, 1 8 1 1 , 
which turned on the date of a marriage, when the original 
parish register was proved to have been falsified, resulting in 
several hundred folio pages of printed evidence ; the other to 
the earldom of Banbury, 1 808-13, when a claim which had been 
in existence since the reign of Charles II. was again put forward. 
It is not possible within the limits of a single article to state 
the exact nature of each claim. Suffice it to say that in the 
Banbury case the ancestor actually sat in the House of Lords, 
received no writ to the next Parliament, was held by the Lord 
Chief Justice of England to have been wrongly indicted because 
not described as Earl of Banbury, and yet neither he nor any 
of his descendants ever succeeded in obtaining a writ, because 
the House of Lords is not bound by the maxim, Pater est quern 
nuptite demostrant. This was further exemplified in the Gardner 
case, 1825-8, on which occasion many of the leading accoucheurs 
of Europe gave evidence on the length of time which can 
elapse between conception and birth. 

During the period 1830-50 arose a number of claims to 
baronies created by writs of summons, and many dignities 
were called out of the abeyances of centuries. The successful 
result of these claims fortunately restored many old Roman 
Catholic families to the House of Lords ; but it may reason- 
ably be suspected that if the peers of the seventeenth century 
had foreseen that the evolution of their doctrine of abeyance 
would be the revival of dignities not heard of for centuries, 
placing an ordinary gentleman per saltum over the heads of all 
intervening barons, they would have been somewhat astonished. 
Equally may it be suspected that when King Edward I. sent a 
summons to one of his knights to confer with him and his 


nobles, etc., on public affairs, it did not occur to his mind that 
if the knight obeyed he transmitted a right of peerage to his 
heirs for ever, not to be defeated by any subsequent omission 
of a king to summon him or his heirs on later occasions ! 

The Crawford case, 1845-8, was a remarkable example of 
pedigree proof, and was followed by a claim to the dukedom 
of Montrose, created in 1488, which resulted in the House of 
Lords declining to receive evidence of pedigree, and resolving 
that the dignity had been destroyed by an Act of Parliament 
in which it was not mentioned. 

The Devon case, 1831, appeared to recognize the validity 
of a limitation to heirs male general which is unknown to the 
law of England. It was decided in favour of the claimant by 
Lord Brougham, whose judgments in peerage claims are not 
thought valuable. The decision prompted Mr. Scrope to 
claim, 1859-69, an earldom of Wiltes, created by Richard II., 
and entered in the Roll of Parliament 21 Ric. II. (perhaps in 
error) as limited to the grantee and his heirs male, among 
several other creations, all to heirs male of the body. The 
claim was rejected, and the lords took occasion to state that 
when sitting in Committee for Privilege they were not bound 
by the decisions of previous committees. 

Other cases more interesting to novel writers are Strathmore, 
1821, and Lauderdale, 1885, where legitimacy depended on 
domicil ; Breadalbane, 1864, Dundonald, 1863, and Dysart, 
1878, depending on the validity of irregular marriages ; the 
Wicklow case, 1870, in which the widow of an heir presump- 
tive failed to prove the birth of a son ; and the Aberdeen 
case, 1871, is a fine example of the evidence to prove 

There are indeed few vicissitudes of human life and charac- 
ter not illustrated in a complete collection of peerage evidence, 
and nowhere can the distinction between the admissibility of 
evidence and its value, if admissible, be better ascertained. 
There is perhaps no question more difficult to the layman or 
more puzzling to the lawyer than this. How often do 
genealogists, for example, urge the value of a copy of a lost 
original deed without being prepared to show that the original 
itself would be evidence if it existed ! How far hearsay 
evidence, and hearsay upon hearsay, is admissible ; whether 
evidence, verbal or documentary, is excluded by Us mota ; the 
value of coincidence ; how far tradition is affected by the 


social status of deponents are all questions respecting which 
opinions of the highest value may be found in Minutes of 
Evidence. The cases or pleadings are of course not evidence, 
but in them may be found valuable expositions of law, subtle 
distinctions, and arguments of great advocates, afterwards 
celebrated judges. 

It has not appeared possible or desirable to state the subject 
in fuller detail. I have not noticed such cases as Annandale 
and Mar, the former beginning in 1796 and still pending, the 
latter not yet emancipated from the domain of personal 
quarrel. But I think I have written enough to indicate that 
there exists in peerage cases and evidence a mine of informa- 
tion, historical and personal, well worthy of being examined by 
all students of antiquity, law and romance. 




N the land of Hetruria there flourished once a mighty 
ine thither translated from the desolated plains of Troy. 
Florence claimed this beauteous plant her own ; and well might 
she glory in it, for " its branches stretched forth unto the sea, 
and its boughs unto the river." From the banks of the Arno 
and the shores of the blue Tyrrhene Sea the branches of that 
great tree extended themselves to the far off land of Erin. 
That tree was the noble race of the Geraldines, who, under the 
shadow of Tuscan banners, penetrated regions whither Roman 
legions never dared to venture. . . . The history of this 
Florentine family has been my special study ; for it is inti- 
mately associated with that of my religion and country; and 
fondly does she cherish the memory of the Geraldines.' So 
wrote Father Dominic o'Daly to their eminences Antony and 
Francis Barberini, cardinals of the Holy Roman Church. To 
them he dedicated his history of the Geraldines, Earls of Des- 
mond, written about the year 1655.* 

With rapid hand the learned Dominican sketched in a few 
sentences the early history of the house : 

Ten years' siege had destroyed the glorious city of Ilium, and cut off all its 
leaders, with the single exception of ./Eneas, who, being compelled to fly, 
assembled about him a trusty band of youths, who had outlived their country's 
overthrow, foremost of whom in dignity and bravery was the founder of our 
Geraldines.* . . . ./Eneas soon afterwards divided the land of Italy amongst 
his followers, assigning to each his portion ; and in the distribution he bestowed 
on the great ancestor of our Geraldines that region of Hetruria where Florence 
now stands. 

When did the Geraldines come to England ? When did 
they settle in Ireland ? Father o'Daly was perfectly clear in his 
answers to both questions ; they came to England with William 
at the Conquest ; and they went to Ireland under Henry II. 
He had moreover a dim conception of the true facts of the case. 
He said that William gave them ' the castle and lordship of 

1 Translated and edited by C. P. Meehan (1878 ?). 

3 The writer omitted to mention that ./Eneas only fled when the house of 
his Irish neighbour O'Callaghan (Virgil, in his southern tongue, made it 
4 Ucalegon ') was already in flames. 


Windsor, of which they held possession till the days of Walter 
son of Ether (sic"). This William had three children ; from 
the first of these, William, sprung the Earls of Windsor ; from 
the second, Robert, the Earls of Essex ; but the third, Gerald 
of Windsor," was the ancestor of the Geraldines. Walter 
FitzOther (not Ether) was, as we shall see, a real man, but 
the connection of the family with Windsor began instead of 
ending with this Walter. 

Let us now turn to what may be termed the authorized 
version of the origin, that which was given in The Earls of 
Kildare 1 and steadily repeated in Burke s Peerage. LordKildare 
gave it thus : 

The FitzGeralds, or Geraldines, are descended from ' Dominus Otho,' or 
Other, who, in 1057 (16 Edward the Confessor), was an honorary baron of 
England.* He is said to have been one of the family of Gherardini of Florence, 
and to have passed into Normandy, and thence into England. 3 He was so 
powerful at that period that it is probable that he was one of the foreigners 
who came to England with King Edward, and whom he favoured so much as 
to excite the jealousy of the native nobles. It is also remarkable that Otho's 
son Walter was treated as a fellow-countryman by the Normans after the 
Conquest. The Latin form of the name of his descendants, 'Geraldini,' being 
the same as that of Gherardini, also indicates that he was of that family. 

I cannot undertake to say at what period or how the story of 
Other coming to England under Edward the Confessor arose ; 
nor can I explain how ' Otho ' replaced the well authenticated 
' Other,' probably to give the name a more Italian appearance. 
But as to the Latin form ' Geraldini,' I can state that the name 
given by Geraldus Cambrensis to his own family was, on the 
contrary, ' Giraldidae.' 

Lord Kildare referred, we have seen, to the ' Gherardini 
MS.' without giving their contents ; but to Mr. Meehan we 
are indebted for printing in an appendix to Father o' Daly's 
work the contents of these papers, ' to which,' as he observes, 
' the general reader would find it difficult to get access.' It 
must be remembered that, according to the versions given 
above, the ' Geraldines ' came to England at, if not before, the 
Conquest. In the ' Gherardini MS.' we have a very different 

1 By the Marquis of Kildare (afterwards fourth Duke of Leinster). I cite 
the fourth edition (1864). Compare the version in Burke 1 s Peerage (1902). 

2 The authority given for this statement is ' Sir William Dugdale,' but 
Dugdale's Baronage is silent on the subject. With scrupulous accuracy he began 
the pedigree with 'Walter FitzOther' in Domesday Book (1086). 

3 The reference for this is ' Gherardini Papers, MS.' 


story. Three brothers of that family, Thomas, Gerald and 
Maurice Gherardini, ' having left Florence on account of the 
civil dissensions there, accompanied the King of England to 
the Conquest of Ireland." This, it will be seen, is wholly 
discrepant from the version now adopted by the family itself, 
and is indeed wholly incompatible with the known facts as to 
its origin. Moreover the ' Gherardini ' story originated in 
Ireland, not in Florence. The story given above is traced to 
an Irish priest * called Maurice, who was of the family of the 
Gherardini settled in that island,' and who, passing through 
Florence in 1413, claimed the local Gherardini as his kinsmen. 1 
Those Florentine magnates appear to have been unaware of 
the connection ; indeed even so late as 1440 the Republic's 
secretary, writing to James Earl of Desmond, used the expres- 
sion ' if it be true ' (si vera est assertio). But the fame of the 
great Hibernian house reached and flattered the Gherardini, 
and in answer to a letter of ' fraternal love,' Gerald, l Chief in 
Ireland of the family of the Gherardini ; Earl of Kildare ; Vice- 
roy of the most serene King of England,' wrote in 1 507 ' to 
all the family of the Gherardini, noble in fame and virtue, 
dwelling in Florence, our beloved brethren in Florence.' The 
earl informed them that his ' ancestors, after passing from 
France to England, and having remained there some time, 
arrived in'this island of Ireland in 1 140' (!).* He was anxious 
to know the deeds of their common ancestors, ' the origin of 
our house, and the names of your forefathers,' and he offered 
them 'hawks, falcons, horses, or dogs for the chase.' 3 

And now from Irish earls panting for Trojan ancestry we 
will turn to the sober history of a house both ancient and 
illustrious, a house which not only traces its descent from a 
Domesday tenant-in-chief, but can make the probably unique 
boast that, from that day to this, descendants of his have been 
always numbered among the barons of the realm. 

In The Earls of Kildare we read that 'In 1078 Walter 
FitzOtho is mentioned in Domesday Book as being in possession 
of his father's estates.' To this statement, which is obstinately 
repeated in the pages of Burke s Peerage, I reply, as in Peerage 

1 In the same way, at a later time, did the Warwickshire Feildings dis- 
cover that their name was derived from Rheinfelden, and that they were an 
exiled branch of the house of Hapsburg. 

8 This date, of course, is wholly erroneous. 

:1 All these extracts are taken from Mr. Meehan's appendix. 


Studies (p. 69), that the date of Domesday Book was 1086, not 
1078; that Walter was the son of Other, not of Otho ; and 
that Domesday does not state that his lands had been held by 
his father, but, on the contrary, proves them to have belonged 
to forfeited Englishmen. Before dealing with Walter however 
we will glance at a Domesday mystery. 

Domesday affords us a tantalizing glimpse of a personage who 
has hitherto escaped notice, and whose name is more suggestive 
of those borne by the early FitzGeralds than any other in the 
Survey. Under Essex we read that Reimund' Girald' annexed 
some land held by a tenant on the great royal manor of Stan- 
way (fo. 5) and did the same at Wormingford (fo. 66), his 
successor, Roger of Poitou, retaining both in his hands at the 
time of the Survey. This points to Reimund having held the 
manors of Bergholt by Stanway and Mount Bures by Worm- 
ingford, both of which are found in the hands of Roger of 
Poitou in 1086. Following up this clue we find that'Raimunt 
Giralt ' had preceded Roger of Poitou in possession at Stonham, 
Thorney and Coddenham, in the heart of Suffolk (fos. 350^, 
351, 352) ; while under Norfolk a remarkable entry (fo. 139^) 
proves that Reimund' Girald' had preceded Roger in at least 
one of his manors (fo. 244^), Roger being styled his ' successor.' 
From this entry we learn that Reimund' departed (discessif), a 
vague term which leaves us in doubt as to the cause of his 
departure. He is the only Raymond in Domesday, and almost 
the only bearer of the name Girald, or Gerald, though Girard, 
Gerard, Girold, Gerold are not uncommon. But the special 
interest of his name lies in its form, for the peculiar combina- 
tion of two Christian names, unconnected by ' filius,' distinctly 
points to the south of what is now France, where ' Raimundus 
Geraldi ' and similar forms are commonly found soon after- 
wards in the districts towards the Mediterranean. I cannot 
however connect Gerald with the origin of the FitzGeralds. 

In Domesday Walter FitzOther appears as a tenant-in-chief 
in a compact block of counties, Berkshire, Bucks, Middlesex, 
Surrey and Hants. He also held Winchfield in Hampshire 
under Chertsey Abbey. At first sight there is not much to 
connect him with Windsor or its forest, but investigation re- 
veals the facts that at Windsor itself he held on the royal 
manor i^ hides and some woodland ; that at Kintbury, another 
Berkshire manor, he held half a hide ' which King Edward had 
given to his predecessor ' out of the royal demesne for the 


custody of the forest (frapter forestam custodiendam) ; that of 
the great royal manor of Woking in Surrey Walter held three- 
quarters of a hide, which King Edward had similarly given 
' but of the manor to a certain forester,' and that in or near 
Kingston-on-Thames he had given land to a man to whom he 
had ' entrusted the keeping of the king's brood mares ' (equas 
silvaticas). These hints prepare us for the evidence to which 
we are about to come that he held ' a wood called Bagshot ' at 
the time of the Survey (though Domesday does not say so), 
and that he and his heirs had the keeping of the great forest 
of Windsor. He was also, we shall find, castellan of Windsor, 
while in his private capacity as a tenant-in-chief he held a barony 
reckoned at fifteen or twenty knights' fees and owing fifteen 
knights as castle guard to Windsor. 

Our next glimpse of him, after Domesday, is afforded by 
the Abingdon Cartulary, which records in a most interesting 
entry that Walter FitzOter, castellan of Windsor, restored to 
Abbot Faricius the woods of ' Virdele ' and Bagshot, which he 
had held by consent of the abbot's predecessors, ^thelelm 
and Rainald. It adds that he made this restoration in the first 
place at Windsor Castle, and that he afterwards sent his wife 
Beatrice with his son William to Abingdon that they might 
confirm what he himself had done ' at home.' * 

From this entry we learn that Walter was living after 1 100, 
for Abbot Faritius ruled the house noo 16. We also learn 
that his wife's name, which has never, I believe, been rightly 
given, 2 was given as Beatrice, and that his ' home ' was at 
Windsor Castle. Lastly, we may see, I think, an allusion to 
the loss, for the time, of these woods in the Domesday entry 
of the abbey's manor of Winkfield (' Wenesfelle '), which 
mentions that * 4 hides are in the king's forest ' (fo. 59). In 
other words, Walter, I suspect, had added them to Windsor 
Forest as its custodian ; and if he did this, as alleged, in the 
time of Abbot vEthelelm (who died in 1084), they would be 

1 Walterus filius Oteri, castellanus de Wildesore, reddidit abbati Faritio duas 
silvas, vocatas Virdelz et Bacsceat, apud Winckefeld, nostram villain, quae perti- 
nuerant ecclesiae Abbendoniae ; sed eas per przdecessores hujus abbatis, videlicet 
Adeldelmum et Rainaldum hucusque tenuerat. Hanc redditionem primo apud 
castellum Wildesores abbati eidem reddidit ; et deinde ad nativitatem Sancte 
Marie [8 Sept.] uxorem suam Beatricem, cum filio suo Willelmo, Abbendoniam 
transmisit, ut quod ipse domi fecerat ipsi Abbendoniae confirmarent (ii. 132). 

8 In The Earls of Kildare (p. 2) and in Burke 1 ! Peerage it is given as 
' Gladys, daughter of Rhiwallon ap Cjmfyn, Prince of North Wales.' 


included in the king's forest at the time of the Domesday 
Survey (1086). 

Walter was succeeded by his son William, of whom we have 
already heard as accompanying his mother to Abingdon. A 
very interesting writ, which seems to have been overlooked, 
shows him in charge of Windsor Forest at a date not later 
than 1 1 1 6. 1 This writ notifies to William Fitz Walter, Croc 
the huntsman, Richard the Serjeant, and all the officers of the 
forest of Windsor, that the king has granted to Abingdon 
Abbey the tithe of all venison. 2 This tithe must be care- 
fully distinguished from that of the ordinary issues of the 
forest ; both these tithes were at this period commonly granted 
to religious houses, and, in the case of Windsor, the latter was 
given to the canons of Salisbury. 3 ' Croc the huntsman,' who 
in this writ is associated with William FitzWalter, was a per- 
sonage of some note. He was a tenant-in-chief in Hampshire, 
where Crux (i.e. Croc's) Easton is named from him or his 
descendants, 4 and was also a holder of land in Wilts ; and he 
witnessed a charter of William Rufus in favour of the abbey 
of Malmesbury and the foundation charter of Salisbury cathe- 
dral at Hastings in IO9I. 5 The invaluable Pipe Roll of 1130 
shows us William FitzWalter in charge of Windsor Forest in 
that and the preceding year. He farmed its profits from the 
Crown for a ' census ' of 13 a year (the same figure is found 
under Henry II.), out of which ' the parker ' was paid a penny 

1 For King Henry left England in 1 1 1 6, and Eudo Dapifer was dead before 
his return. 

2 ' Henricus rex Anglic Willelmo filio Walter! et Croco venatori et Ricardo 
servienti et omnibus ministris de foresta Windesores salutem. Sciatis me conces- 
sisse Deo et Sanctse Mariae de Abbendona totam decimam de venatione qua; 
capta fuerit in foresta de Windesora. Testibus Roberto episcopo Lincolniae et 
Eudone dapifero apud Bruhellam ' (ibid. ii. 94). ' Bruhella ' was Brill (Bucks). 

3 It is worth noting that the Bull of Pope Eugenius III. (1146) in favour 
of Salisbury confirms to the church of Salisbury 'decimas omnes de venatione 
regis in episcopatu Sarisberiensi, excepta venatione ilia quae capta erit cum 
stabilia in foresta de Windresores' (Sarum Documents, p. 12), this having been 
granted to Abingdon, as shown in the text. Compare Monasticon Anglicanum 
vi. 1295. 

* See The Victoria History of Hampshire. 

B See Ellis's Introduction to Domesday, i. 403, and Monasticon Anglicanum, vi. 
1295. The names of Bishop Osmund and Walter ' Hosatus,' with that of 
Croc himself, show that both charters are of the same date. Ellis wrongly 
assigns the Malmesbury one to the Conqueror. Croc himself gave ten pounds 
a year in rents and tithes to the church of Salisbury (ibid. p. 1296). 


a day, while ji 6s. od. went in tithes as I have explained 
above. 1 We again meet with William FitzWalter in that 
charter of the Empress Maud to Geoffrey de Mandeville 
which I assign to 1 142.* She grants therein to Geoffrey that 
William may have his hereditary constableship of Windsor 
Castle and lands. 3 

William was succeeded by a son of the same name, to whom 
King Henry II., by a charter granted at Windsor 1154-64 
confirmed the lands of his father. This charter, which proves 
the pedigree, is known to me only from Harleian Roll, P. 8, a 
pedigree of the Windsor family and of their Irish kinsmen, 
the FitzGeralds, which although compiled at a bad time 
(1582) is of quite exceptional value. The charter of which I 
speak confirms to William of Windsor all the land of his 
father, William Fitz Walter, and of his grandfather, Walter 
FitzOther.* This William is constantly mentioned in the 
Pipe Rolls of Henry II. as among those who supervised build- 
ing operations at Windsor Castle. I believe that I have dis- 
covered his wife, of whom the name has not been known, in 
that Christina de Wiham who was a tenant by knight-service on 
the Montfichet fief in 1 1 66. 6 The argument is this. The 
domesday lord of the fief, Robert Gernon, had an under- 
tenant, Ilger, who held of him two manors in Essex, Wor- 
mingford and Maplestead. Walter de Windsor is subsequently 
found giving, in conjunction with his mother Christina, the 
church of Wormingford to Wix Priory 8 and bestowing on St. 
Paul's three of his neifs at (evidently) Maplestead. 7 Moreover, 
in 1187 he is found holding a fee and a half of Richard de 

1 Great Roll of the Pipe, 31 Hen. I. p. 127. 

8 Geoffrey de Mandeville, p. 163. 

3 ' quod Willelmus filius Walter! et hzredes sui habeant custodiam castelli de 
Windesh[ores] et omnia sua tenementa sicut ipse Willelmus et antecessores sui 
earn habuerunt de rege Henrico patre meo et antecessoribus ipsius ' (ibid. p. 1 69). 
' Sciatis me reddidisse et concessisse Willelmo de Windesoriis totam terrain 
que fuit Willelmi filii Walter! patris sui et Walter! filii Other! avi sui. . . . 
Testibus Willelmo fratre meo et comite Reginaldo et Jocelino de Baillil apud 
Windesorias.' As the pedigree gives with this charter transcripts of the 
extracts from the Empress Maud's charter, of the charter of Henry II. in 
favour of his cousin William FitzRobert FitzWalter, and of the fine of 9 Ric. I., 
all of which are quite accurate, its authority is excellent. 

6 Red Book of the Exchequer, p. 350. 

6 See Morant's History of Essex, ii. 232, 233, and the MonasAcon (under 
Wix), where the charter is printed. 

7 t)th Report Historical MSS. App. i. p. 34. 


Montfichet. 1 The descent of these manors would thus be 
accounted for, Walter being the eldest son of William de 
Windsor by, as I suggest, Christina de Wiham. 

Walter and his younger brother William divided the Wind- 
sor barony into two moieties in ii()8. 2 Walter was the an- 
cestor, through a daughter, of the Hodengs ; from William, in 
whose share Stanwell was included, descended Andrew Windsor, 
created Lord Windsor of Stanwell by Henry VIII., from whom 
descends in the female line the present Lord Windsor. 

In the second portion of this paper I propose to deal with 
the younger sons of Walter FitzOther, from one of whom, 
Gerald de Windsor, all the FitzGeralds trace their descent. 
It will be convenient however to dispose in the present portion 
of one whose existence, I believe, is known to us only from a 
writ in the Abingdon Cartulary. In this writ Henry I. ad- 
dresses Walter son of Walter de Windsor and informs him 
that he has granted to Far ice Abbot of Abingdon (1100-16) 
the land and house at Windsor which had been held by Albert. 3 
It is in the name of Albert that is found the interest of this 
writ. For one cannot doubt that this was the ' Albert the 
clerk ' who is mentioned in Domesday, in conjunction with 
Walter FitzOther, as holding land at Windsor under the 
Crown (fo. f6b) and the ' Albert ' who is entered as holding in 
chief land at Dedworth (fo. 63) adjacent to Clewer and Wind- 
sor. I have dealt elsewhere with the holdings of this Albert 
of Lotharingia, a ' clerk,' ' priest ' or ' chaplain ' in favour with 
Edward and with William. 4 As to ' Walter the son of Walter,' 
I cannot account for his being found apparently in charge of 
Windsor, as he was a younger son. It is of course just pos- 
sible that he represents an error of the scribe for ' William the 
son of Walter,' the heir of the house. 

1 ' de feodo quod tenet de Ricardo de Monte Fichet ' (Red Book of the Ex- 
chequer, p. 66). 

2 See the fine in Feet of Fines 9 Ric. I. (Pipe Roll Society), p. no. It is 
of much importance for topographical history and corrects the account given in 

3 ' Henricus rex Angliae Waltero filio Walter! de Windresore salutem. Sciatis 
quod concede Faritio abbati et ecclesias Abbendonias terram illam et domum 
de Windresores, quae fuit Albert!, sicut Rainerius earn sibi concessit. Teste 
Rogero Bigod apud Londoniam ' (ii. 1 3 2). 

4 The Commune of London and other studies, pp. 368. 

(To be continued'] 




THE Coronation Service of the Kings of England has 
from the first consisted of two essential ceremonies : the 
anointing or unction, and the delivery of the regalia or royal 
ornaments. Owing to the conservatism which is so strikingly 
exemplified in the coronation ceremonies these two essentials 
have always been maintained, and after a continuous use of at 
least a thousand years the King of England is to this day duly 
consecrated to his high office by his solemn anointing, and 
invested with the crown, the sceptre of kingly power, and the 
rod of virtue and equity. 

The ornaments which are put upon the king at his corona- 
tion have likewise from a very early date been of a peculiar 
character, closely resembling those anciently put upon a bishop 
at the time of his consecration. Thus the bishop was vested 
in an amice, albe, girdle, stole, tunic, dalmatic, fanon and 
chasuble ; a mitre was put on his head, gloves on his hands, 
and buskins and sandals upon his feet ; a ring was placed upon 
his finger, and a crosier put into his hands. Upon the king at 
his consecration were put the coif, which some think may cor- 
respond to the bishop's amice, the buskins and sandals, the 
colobium sindonis or albe, the tunic and dalmatic, a belt or girdle, 
and in later days a stole, and lastly the cope or mantle called 
the pallium regale ; he was also crowned, a ring put upon his 
finger, and a sceptre and rod delivered into his hands. The 
coronation order has also a striking resemblance to the order 
for the consecration of a bishop. 1 The reason for all this is 
that, as the learned canonist William Lyndwode 1 says in his 
Provinciate, completed in 1433, an anointed king is no mere 
lay person, but a clerk as well according to some, 3 and it was 
held as part of the common law of England in the time of 

1 See Leopold G. Wickham Legg, English Coronation Records (Westminster, 
1901), xvii. 

8 Bishop of St. David's, 1442-46. 

8 'Quod rex unctusnon sit mere persona laicased mixta secundum quosdun.' 
W. Lyndwode, Provinciate, lib. iii. Ut clericalis, etc. (London, 1 505), f. lxxij. 



Edward III. that the king who had been anointed with holy 
oil was indued with spiritual jurisdiction. 1 

So much has been written from time to time on the corona- 
tion office, and everything directly and indirectly connected 
with it, that it is hard to find any new point for investigation 
or discussion. One such seems however to be the history of 
the royal ornaments put upon the king at his coronation, and 
it is the object of the present paper to trace this as far as pos- 
sible, with special reference to the Norman and Plantagenet 

The oldest of the coronation orders, 2 contained in a pontifical 
of the ninth or tenth century, probably of northern English 
use, now preserved at Rouen, makes no mention of the robes 
worn by or put upon the king, and passes directly from the 
anointing to the delivery of the sceptre (sceptrum\ staff (bacu- 
lum\ and crown (gakuni). 

We learn however from a much later source, an inventory 
of the regalia compiled by Sporley, 3 a monk of Westminster 
Abbey, in the middle of the fifteenth century, what the royal 
robes may have been, for Sporley records that St. Edward the 
King and Confessor, for the memory of posterity and for the 
dignity of the royal coronation, had caused to be preserved in 
the abbey church all the royal ornaments wherewith he himself 
was crowned. Besides the sceptre, rod, and crown, these in- 
cluded a tunic (tunica], a supertunic (supertunica), armil (armilla), 
girdle (zona), and embroidered mantle (paleum brudatum), to- 
gether with a pair of buskins (j>ar caligarurn) and a pair of 
gloves (par cerotecarum). 

The second of the English orders, one of the eleventh cen- 
tury, which may have been used at the coronations of Harold 
and William the Conqueror, like the oldest order is silent as 
to the vestments, though the regalia are augmented by the 
ring and sword. 

The representation of the crowning of Harold in the 
Bayeux Tapestry * shows him as wearing a yellow tunic, a green 

1 For this and fuller information on the point see J. Wickham Legg, The 
Coronation of the Queen (Church Historical Society, xlii.), 6. 

2 For much valuable information on these and other matters connected 
with the subject the student is referred to Mr. Leopold Legg's English Corona- 
tion Records. 

3 L. G. W. Legg, of. cit. 191. 

* See Vetusta Monuments, vol. vi. pi. vii. 



dalmatic and a purple-red mantle, with the crown on his head 
and in his hands the rod and the sceptre with the cross. 1 An- 



1 From quite early times the sceptre with the cross has often taken the 
form, as in this case, of a globe or orb with the cross issuing from it. 

8 This illustration and those forming figs. 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 1 1, 12 
have been kindly lent by Messrs. Longmans, Green & Co., from Dr. S. R. 
Gardiner's Student's History of England. 



other picture, nearly contemporary with the Bayeux Tapestry, 
of the crowning of St. Edmund, in a MS. belonging to Captain 
Holford, C.V.O., C.I.E., shows the king similarly vested in an 
embroidered dalmatic with tight sleeves and narrow girdle and 
over it a mantle ; on his feet are the buskins (fig. i). 

The first of the coronation orders to mention any vestments is 
that contained in a twelfth century English pontifical now in the 
British Museum. 1 In this, after the anointing and the girding 
with the sword, the king is invested with (a) the armill<e or 
bracelets and () the pallium or mantle, before the imposition 
of the crown and delivery of the ring, sceptre, and rod. The 
bracelets are described as typical of sincerity and wisdom, and 
a token of God's embracing ; and the mantle or pall as formed 
with four corners to let the king understand that the four 
corners of the world are subject to the power of God, and 
that no man can reign happily on earth except he has received 
his authority from heaven. 

For pictorial representations of the royal vestures at this 
period there can be no better authority, except as to minute 
details, than the great seals of the kings themselves. 

Both the seals of the Conqueror show him seated, vested in 
a long tunic or dalmatic reaching nearly to the ankles and 
with tight sleeves, and over it a mantle fastened on the right 
shoulder. He of course is crowned and carries the sword and 
the sceptre with the cross. The seal of William Rufus shows 
him as wearing two vestments, one with long and tight sleeves, 
the other with shorter and wider sleeves, and the mantle, but 
this is fastened in front instead of on the shoulder. Henry I. 
in his first seal is robed like his brother, but in his other seals 
the mantle is again fastened on the shoulder. In his third and 
fourth seals and in the seals of Stephen and Henry II. the 
under vestment is plain with long tight sleeves, but the dalmatic 
is striped or banded transversely, and is slit up the front and 
thrown back on either side on the seat upon which the king 
sits. In all these examples the mantle continues to be worn 
fastened on the shoulder. 

The evidence of the seals is borne out in an interesting 
way by the life-sized monumental effigy of Henry II. at 
Fontevraud * (fig. 2). This represents him in (i.) a long vest- 

1 See L. G. W. Legg, op. at. 30. 

2 C. Stothard, The Monumental Effigies of Great Britain (London, 1817). The 
colours are given on Stothard's authority. 


ment reaching to the feet with tight sleeves, 1 perhaps the colobium 

sindonis of later times ; (ii.) a similar vestment, the tunic, slightly 

shorter than the first, also with tight 

sleeves ; and (iii.) the dalmatic. This 

again is shorter than the tunic and has 

wider sleeves, and is coloured crimson 

and powdered with gold flowers ; it 

has also a brooch at the neck. Over 

all is an ample purple mantle fastened 

with a brooch on the right shoulder. 

The king has green buskins with 

golden spurs on his feet, jewelled 

gloves on his hands and his crown 

on his head. In the right hand was 

once a short sceptre and by his left 

side lies his sword. 

Henry died at Chinon on 6th July, 
1 1 89, and Matthew Paris describes 
how on the morrow, while he was 
being carried to burial, he lay with 
his face uncovered, clothed in royal 
apparel, having a golden crown on his 
head and gloves on his hands, foot- 
gear woven with gold and spurs on 
his feet, a great ring on his finger, 
and in his hand the sceptre, and 
girded with a sword ; and in this array 
he was buried. 2 

The royal vestments of Richard I. 
are amply illustrated, first by an ex- 
ceptionally full account of his crown- 
ing, secondly by his great seals, and 
thirdly by his monumental effigy at 
Fontevraud (fig. 4). 

Of the account of the crowning of 
Richard in 1 189 several versions exist, 
the fullest being probably that of 
Roger of Howden. 8 In the proces- 

1 The sleeves may belong to the king's shirt, and not to the cokbium 
sindonis, which was more likely without sleeves, as its name implies. 
* Matthew Paris, Hiitoria jinghrum (Roll-Series, 44), i. 465. 
3 Chnmica Rogers de Hweden (Roll Series,*5i), iii. 9-1 1. 




I 3 2 


sion to the church the king's coif (pilleum regium) was carried 
by Godfrey de Lucy, and six earls and barons bore on their 
shoulders a very large board upon which were put the royal 
ensigns and vestments. For the anointing the king was 
stripped to his shirt and breeches, the former being torn apart 
at the shoulders for the purpose, and the buskins were put on 
his feet. After the anointing a linen cloth and the coif were 
put upon his head. Then they clothed him with the royal 
vestments : first, the tunic ; then the dalmatic ; and after the 
delivery of the sword and spurs, with the mantle (niantea). 
Lastly the king was crowned and the sceptre and rod were 
put in his hands. The colobium sindonis is not mentioned. 

The king's great seals show him enthroned, wearing his 
crown and holding the sword and sceptre. He is clad in (i.) 
a long vestment, probably the tunic, reaching to the feet and 
with tight sleeves to the wrists, over which is (ii.) the dalmatic, 
which has wide sleeves to the middle of the forearm. Upon 
his shoulders is (iii.) the mantle ; this is secured by a band 
across the chest and brought round to the front and thrown 
over the knees (fig. 3). 

The king's effigy at Fontevraud, like that of Henry II., 
represents him as wearing three vestments under the mantle ; 
the lowest is probably the colobium sindonis, but the others are 
clearly from their decoration the tunic and dalmatic, the former 
being white, the latter red with wide sleeves and girded, and 
with a brooch at the neck. The mantle is blue with a gold 
border, and fastened by a brooch in front ; it was evidently 
four square, as described in the coronation order. The king 
also wears his crown, together with the gloves, buskins, and 
spurs, and in his right hand was a sceptre * (fig. 4). 

The effigy which was placed over the king's heart at Rouen 
is of different character, and shows him crowned and wearing 
a long girded tunic or dalmatic with a brooch at the throat and 
over all a mantle. 2 

The difference may be accounted for by the fact that the 
Fontevraud effigy covered the king's body, concerning which 
the Annals of Winchester say : 

Scitu quidem dignum est quod dictus rex sepultus est cum eadem corona et 
ceteris insignibus regalibus quibus precedent! quinto anno coronatus et 
infulatus fuerat apud Wintoniam. 3 

1 See the engraving in Stothard's Monumental Effigies of Great Britain. 2 See 
4rcf>teo/ogia,xxix.p\.xxl.ip. 208. 3 Annals of Winchester (Rolls Series, 36), ii. 71. 




The ceremony at Winchester in H94 1 varied somewhat 
from the crowning at Westminster in 1189 so graphically 
described by Roger of Howden, 2 but the 
royal vestments worn by the king were 
probably the same or new ones of the 
same pattern and character. 

With the reign of John begins the 
first of a series of official documents 
containing lists and descriptions of the 
regalia, and these are particularly full as 
to the vestments, etc. worn by John him- 
self. In the fifth year of his reign the 
king, by letters patent dated 1 1 th October, 

1203, acknowledges to have received at 
Caen, from John bishop of Norwich, 

regalia nostra . scilicet . magnam coronam nostram . 
gladium deauratum . tunicam . pallium . dalmaticam . 
baudream . sandalia . cirotecas . frettas et calcaria. 3 

The baldness of this list, which is 
otherwise complete enough, is amply 
atoned for by another receipt issued at 
Reading, also by letters patent, the fol- 
lowing year, under date i8th December, 

1204. In this the ornaments are not 
only described in some detail, but they 
display a most astonishing richness of 

The list is headed by the gold crown 
made at London. Then follow the 
mantle, of red samite fretted or bor- 
dered with sapphires, cameos and pearls, 
with a brooch sewn on in front ; a dal- 
matic of the same stuff, bordered with 
orfreys and jewels ; a tunic of white 
diaper ;* a silken cloth, four-square, for 
the king's seat ; sandals and buskins of 
the same red samite ; bands of orfrey 
work ; a belt of the same samite studded 

1 Chnnlca Rogeri de Hoveden (Rolls Series, 51), 111.247. Ibid. iii. o-i 1. 
3 Patent Roll, 5 John, m. 6 (ed. Hardy, 1835, i. pt. i. 35). 
1 The red dalmatic and white tunic correspond in colour with those shown 
on the effigy of Henry II. 




with cameos and other precious stones ; white gloves jewelled 
with a sapphire and an amethyst ; and the sword which was 
made for the king's coronation with a scabbard of orfrey work. 
The text is sufficiently interesting to quote in full : 

Rex, etc. omnibus, etc. Sciatis quod die Lune proxima ante Natale Domini 
anno regni nostri sexto apud Rading. per manum fratris Alani preceptoris Novi 
Templi London et fratris Rogeri elemosinarii recepimus coronam nostram 
auream factam apud London. Mantellum de samitto vermeilleo frettatum cum 
saphiris et kathmathis et perulis cum uno firmaculo ante insuto. Dalmaticam 
de eodem samitto urlatam de orfreis et cum lapidibus. Tunicam de diaspro 
albo. Unum pannum serricum quadratum ad sedem regiam. Sandalia et 
sotulares de predicto samitto. Bondatos de orfreis. Baldredum de eodem 
samitto cum kathmathis et aliis lapidibus. et cyrotecas albas cum uno saphiro et 
una amatista. et gladium qui factus fuit ad coronationem nostram cum 
scabberga de orfreis, etc. etc. [The remaining items, consisting of jewelled belts, 
brooches and staves, did not firm part of the regalia.'] Et imo volumus quod 
Magister Templi et fratres Templi de omnibus suprascriptis quieti sint. et in 
hujus rei testimonium, etc. Teste G. filio Petri Comite Essexise apud Rading. 
xviij die Decembris. 1 

Three years later another receipt for the regalia is entered on 
the patent roll, dated at Clarendon on gth December, 1207. It is 
both interesting and curious as furnishing us with the descrip- 
tion of a totally different set of ornaments, headed by a great 
crown which came from Germany. The mantle, which appears 
under its future name of pallium regale, was of purple, with a 
gold clasp and brooch ; and the tunic and sandals were of the 
same colour. The dalmatic was of a deeper hue, black-purple. 
The belt is described as of orfrey work with stones, and the 
buskins andfrette were of the like stuff. The gloves are only 
mentioned by name, and the silk cloth borne over the king at 
his coronation is included instead of the cloth for his seat. 
Two swords are specified : one called Tristram's, the other 
belonging to the regalia ; and besides the crown, the king 
received his great sceptre, the golden rod with the dove, and 
the golden spurs. The gold cup and cross mentioned did not 
belong to the regalia. For comparison with the previous list 
the full text is appended : 

Rex omnibus, etc. Sciatis quod recepimus Sabbato proximo post festum 
Sancti Nicolai apud Clarendon, anno regni nostri nono per manus Hugonis 
de Ropell. et Radulfi de Riparia et Johannis Ruffi hominum Robert! de 
Ropell. magnam coronam que venit de Alemannia et j. tunicam de pur- 
pura et sandalia de eodem panno et balteum de orfrasio cum lapidibus. unum 
par sotularium et frettas de orfrasio. et j. par cirothecarum. et dalmaticum 

1 Patent Roll 6 John, m. 6 in dorso (ed. Hardy, 1835, i. pt. i. 54). 

Km. 3. 


de nigra purpura. et pallium regale de purpura cum morsu et brocha auri et 
pannum sericum ad ferendum supra Regem in coronacione sua. et magnum 
ceptrum ejusdem regalis. virgam auream cum columba in summo. et ij. 
enses. scilicet ensem Tristrami. et alium ensem de eodem regali et calcaria 
aurea de eodem regali. Cupam auri ponderis viij 1 ". marcarum et duarum 
unciarum. et unam crucem auri ponderis trium marcarum et vij. unciarum 
et dimid. Et ut predict! Robertas de Ropcll. et homines sui inde sint quieti 
has litteras nostras patentes eis fecimus. Teste domino P. Wintoniensis Epis- 
copo apud Clarendon. ix. die Decembris per eundem. 1 

From the evidence of a further list which has been pre- 
served it is clear that John had two sets of regalia : a simpler 
one apparently for use on ordinary days of state ; the other 
and richer being that provided for his coronation, and worn 
only on special occasions. 

This further list is dated atCanfield on 29th March, 1215-6, 
and includes most of the richer ornaments enumerated in 1204, 
but with a few additional details. Thus we learn that the 
crown was jewelled and surmounted by a cross and seven 
flowers or fleurons. The dalmatic is by mistake called tunica, 
while the tunic proper, of white diaper as before, is now said 
to be banded with orfreys. 2 The red samite mantle (pallium 
regale] was bordered and crossed with orfrey work set with 
great stones both divers and precious, and had two brooches 
to fasten it with. The text of the patent is as follows : 

De regaR recefto. Rex omnibus, etc. Sciatis quod recepimus per manum 
Walerandi Teutonic! et Hugonis de Bathonia clerici nostri apud Berchamstede 
die Annunciacionis Beate Marie anno, etc. de fratre Henrico de Arundell. 
tune temporis preceptore fratrum hospitalis Jerusalem Anglic unam virgam de 
auro cum cruce scilicet ceptrum. unam zonam rubeam cum petris preciosis 
quam pertinet ad regale. . . . Item unam coronam cum petris preciosis cum 
una cruce et vij. floribus. Tunicam [i.e. dalmaticam] regalem de rubeo samito 
cum orfrasiis cum petris preciosis in urluris. Unum par cirotecarum cum petris 
et aliud par cum floribus de auro. Unam tunicam albam de diaspro bendatam 
de orfrasiis. Unum [pallium] regale de rubeo samito urlatum et cruce signatum 
undique de orfrasiis cum magnis petris et diversis et preciosis cum duobus 
brochis ad atachiandum ipsum pallium. Unum par caligarum de samito cum 
orfrasiis et duo paria sotularium de samito. et undecim paria bacinorum pon- 
dere sexaginta duarum marcarum et decem et septem unciarum. Et in hujus 
etc. ei inde fieri fecimus. Teste me ipso apud Caneveles. xxix. die Marcii 
anno eodem. 3 

1 Patent Roll 9 John, m. 4. (ed. Hardy, 1835, i. pt. i. 77). 

2 Cf. the banded dalmatic on the seals of Henry I., Stephen, and Henry II. 

3 Patent Roll 17 John, m. 5 (ed. Hardy, 1835, i. pt. i. 173). On m. 4 of 
the same roll is entered another patent acknowledging receipt of the same 
ornaments at Berkhamstead on Palm Sunday, Anno 1 7. 


John's great seal shows him crowned and seated on a throne, 
holding the sword and the sceptre with the cross. The vest- 
ments are not clearly shown, but the girded dalmatic and the 

long and tight sleeves of an 
under vestment are plain 
enough, and the mantle is 
worn in the same way as by 
his brother Richard, hanging 
from the shoulders and 
brought round over the 

The monumental effigy of 
John in the cathedral church 
of Worcester (fig. 5), although 
of Purbeck marble, was ori- 
ginally richly painted and 
gilded. 1 It represented the 
king in a golden tunic, a 
girded red dalmatic slit up the 
sides, and a golden mantle 
lined with green hanging from 
his shoulders and thrown 
over his right arm. He has 
his crown of fleurons on his 
head, and gloves on his 
hands, of which the right 
held a sceptre and in the left 
is a naked sword. The feet 
were covered with red bus- 
kins and black sandals, over 
which were the golden spurs. 
The neck-band and cuffs of 
the dalmatic, together with 
the crown, gloves, belt, and 
sword, and the mitres and 
vestments of the censing 

bishops who support the 
F.c. 5. EFF.GV OF K,NG JOHN k[ , ^^ h ^ sQckets for 

AT WORCESTER. . . . . . 

imitations in paste or glass 

of the cameos and jewels with which the originals were 

1 See the engraving and description in Stothard's Monumental Effigies of Great 


decorated. All traces of die old colouring were concealed in 
1873 beneadi a thick coat of gold leaf applied to die effigy by 
H.M. Office of Works to try and make it resemble die gilt 
bronze of some of the Westminster monuments ; die bruised 
remains of die king's crown were at die same time covered 
widi a brass ring. 

In Jury, 1797, during preparations (or a proposed removal 
of John's tomb, die king's remains were disclosed. The 
appearance of die vestments is thus described in an account 
published at die time : l 

The dsa 

wfckfc the body of the tug was 

; fated the head way do-dj, aid had beea bed or 
the oua of i4jy^ puts of WBILA VEwniwcd. The body was 
cmuul by a robe " Mffc 'TE froen the week wadjr to the feet ; it had tone of 

the right fcaee. It w 

Kkkk bad bee. bid a. 

MI : : ;_ I. "^i 

The legs had OB a ion of 

~i ~'t. . 

As wfll be seen below, die royal "*""f enumerated in 
die fists of 1204 and 1215-6 were in crhtcuce in 1220, four 
years after John's death, but those in which die king was 
buried may wefl have formed part of die plainer set of die 
1207 fit, and die description of die i*imii frpnd is quite 
comprtihic with such a suggestion. Ibe contents of die coffin 
seem to have been only superficially <-nniimd 1 owing to die 


crowds of people who flocked in to see it, and it is possible 
that several things were overlooked. 

The regalia of Henry III. are known to us from an inventory 
or list of those which were provided for his second coronation 
at Westminster on Whitsunday (i6th June), 1220. They are 
apparently the same as those referred to in a royal mandate, 
dated 7th May previously, bidding Peter de Mauley without let 
or hindrance to come to London, ' so that he may be there 
this instant vigil of Pentecost, and that he take with him 
Richard the king's brother, 1 and bring with him the king's 
regalia (regale domini Regis) which are in his custody at 
Corfe.' 2 They include the golden crown, spurs, and sceptre, 
a silver-gilt rod, 3 and a golden ring with a ruby. The vest- 
ments are a tunic and dalmatic of red samite with a brooch 
(monile) and stones in the orfrey ; a belt harnessed with gold 
and jewelled ; a mantle of red samite jewelled ; a pair of new 
sandals and buskins of red samite with an orfrey, and two 
borders of orfrey work to bind (?) the king's sandals. There 
are also two golden brooches for the mantle and dalmatic, 4 one 
set with a sapphire, the other with a pearl. The list also 
includes a pair of old sandals of red samite with an orfrey, and 
a pair of old buskins embroidered with gold, ' which were 
King John's ' ; also a tunic of white diaper, a dalmatic of red 
samite, an old pall of red samite and two pairs of gloves, which 
are no doubt those enumerated in the earliest and latest lists 
of John's regalia. 

Two swords covered with red samite and bordered with 
orfrey work may also be those mentioned in John's letters 
patent of 1207. 

Three other swords ' which were at Corfe, covered with 
leather,' were probably brought up by mistake. They can 
hardly be the swords borne at the coronation. 

In the original list the golden spurs are struck out and inter- 
lined 'because they are in issue by writ.' The text of the 
writ, which is dated igth November, 1220, follows the inven- 
tory, and empowers the treasurer to hand over to the Prior 

1 Then a boy of eleven. He was afterwards created Earl of Cornwall and 
elected King of the Romans. 

3 Close Roll 4 Henry III. m. 1 1 (ed. T. D. Hardy, 1833, i. 417). 

3 King John's is described in 1207 as being of gold. 

* The effigies of Henry II. and Richard I., as well as that of the latter placed 
over his heart at Rouen, have the dalmatic fastened with a brooch at the neck. 


of Westminster c our golden spurs that were made for our use 
at our first coronation at Westminster which we have given 
for the new work of the chapel of the Blessed Mary at West- 
minster.' l 

The list of the regalia is as follows : 

Hec sunt Regalia que Eustachius de Faucunberg Thesaurarius et Camerarius 
receperit per Episcopum Winton. apud Westmonasterium Die Jovis proxima 
post festum Sancti Dunstani. 

Corona aurea Integra diversis lapidibus ornata. [Calcaria aurea struck out 
and ' quia in exitu per Breve ' written in] Virga argentea et deaurata. Ceptrum 
aureum. Tunica cum dalmatica de Rubeo Samit. cum uno monili et 
lapidibus in aurifrigio. Baltheus cum apparatu aureo. cum lapidibus. Pallium 
de Rubeo Samit. cum lapidibus. Anulus aureus cum rubeyo. Due Broche 
auree ad pallium, et Dalmaticam. quarum in una est Saphira et in alia Perla. 
Unum par sandalium novorum et Sotularium de Rubeo Samit cum aurifragiis. 
Duo Freselli de aurifragio ad fratandam sandalia Regis. 

Item unum par veterum Sandalium de Rubeo Samit. Cum aurifragio cum 
uno par! veterum sotularium Brodatorum auro que fuerunt Regis Johannis. 
Tunica de Diaspre blance. Cum dalmatica de Rubeo Samit. vetus pallium 
de Rubio Samit. Tres gladii qui fuerunt apud Corfe cooperti coreo. Duo 
gladii cooperti de Rubeo Samit. frettati aurifragio. Duo paria cirotecarum. 

Henricus dei gracia, etc. Liberate de Thesauro nostro Priori Westmonasterii 
calcarea nostra aurea que facta fuerunt 2 ad opus nostrum ad primam Coron- 
acionem nostram apud Westmonasterium que dedimus ad opus novum Capelle 
Beate Marie de Westmonasterio. Teste H. de Burgo Justiciario nostro apud 
Westmonasterium xix die Novembris anno regni nostri v. s 

The list just quoted is dated on Thursday after the feast 
of St. Dunstan, which in 1220 fell on a Sunday. The actual 
date must therefore be 22nd May, which fits in well between the 
writ of 7th May to Peter de Mauley to bring the regalia from 
Corfe and the king's coronation on 1 6th June following. During 
the interval some of the ornaments were evidently set in order, 
for a writ dated 5th October directs the treasurer to pay to 
'William our tailor' 31,1. 8</. * quos posuit in reparacione 
corone nostre et regalis nostri contra coronacionem nostram 

1 The foundation of the new Lady Chapel was laid on the vigil of Pentecost, 
the day before the king's coronation. 

* By writ dated 2nd July, 1220, 10 marks were directed to be paid to Otho 
fitzWilliam 'pro calcaribus nostris que habuimus ad coronacionem nostram 
apud Westmonasterium.' Close Roll 4 Henry III. m. 8 (ed. Hardy, 1833, 
i. 422). 

3 Public Record Office, Exchequer of Receipt, Pells Receipt Roll No. 2 A , m. I . 
The writ is also entered on the Close Roll 5 Henry III. m. 20 (ed. Hardy, 
1833,1. 440). 



apud Westmonasterium in festo Pentecostes proximo preterite 

anno regni nostri quarto." 1 

The three seals of Henry III. all show him crowned and 

seated on a throne. In the first seal, 
in use from 121959, tne king 
wears a tunic with long tight sleeves, 
a girded dalmatic with shorter and 
wider sleeves, and the mantle, which 
is held by a cord or band across the 
chest and suspended from his shoul- 
ders, whence it is brought forward 
from the right side over his knees. 
In his hands the king holds a drawn 
sword and the sceptre with the 
cross. In the second seal, as used 
from 1259-72, the throne is more 
ornate, and the king holds the rod 
with the dove instead of the sword 
in his right hand. He is robed as 
before, but the mantle is fastened 
upon the right shoulder by a clasp and 
thrown to one side. On the small 
third seal, which was used by the 
king himself circa 1263-4, the 
mantle is secured in front of the 
breast by a large quatrefoil brooch, 
and covers the arms down to the 
elbows ; it is then brought round 
across the knees. The cuff of the dal- 
matic is distinctly shown as jewelled. 
Owing to the small scale of the seals 
it is difficult to make out the colobium 
sindonis, if indeed it is shown at all. 

The dignified bronze effigy of 
Henry at Westminster (fig. 6) repre- 
sents him in a dalmatic reaching to 
the feet so as to completely hide the 
tunic beneath, which is shown only 
by its cuffs at the wrists. The 

mantle is fastened on the right shoulder, as in the second 


1 Close Roll 4 Henry III. m. 2 (ed. Hardy, i. 431). 


seal, and is disposed over the body. The buskins are 
covered with a fretty pattern with leopards between. The 
sceptres are lost, as are all the applied ornaments on the crown, 
cuffs and edges of the vestments. As the effigy was not made 
until 1289 it may be taken to represent also the royal orna- 
ments then in use. 

Of the coronation robes of Edward I. I have not yet found 
any official record, but a description of some of the actual 
ornaments is contained in Sir Joseph Ayloffe's account of the 
opening of the king's tomb at Westminster on 2nd May, 1774, 
by the Society of Antiquaries : 1 

On lifting up the lid [of the marble coffin], the royal corpse was found 
wrapped up within a large square mantle, of strong, coarse, and thick linen 
cloth, diaper'd, of a dull, pale, yellowish brown colour, and waxed on its under 
side. The head and face were entirely covered with a sudarium, or face-cloth, 
of crimson sarcenet, the substance whereof was so much perished, as to have a 
cobweb-like feel, and the appearance of fine lint. . . . When the folds of the 
external wrapper were thrown back, and the sudarium removed, the corpse was 
discovered richly habited, adorned with ensigns of royalty, and almost intire, 
notwithstanding the length of time that it had been entombed. Its innermost 
covering seemed to have been a very fine linen cerecloth, dressed close to every 
part of the body, and superinduced with such accuracy and exactness, that the 
fingers and thumbs of both the hands had each of them a separate and distinct 
envelope of that material. The face, which had a similar covering closely 
fitted thereto, retained its exact form, although part of the flesh appeared to 
be somewhat wasted .......... 

Next above the before-mentioned cerecloth was a dalmatic, or tunic, of red 
silk damask ; upon which lay a stole of thick white tissue, about three inches 
in breadth, crossed over the breast, and extending on each side downwards, 
nearly as low as the wrist, where both ends were brought to cross each other. 
On this stole were placed, at about the distance of six inches from each other, 
quatrefoils, of philligree-work, in metal gilt with gold, elegantly chased in 
figure, and ornamented with five pieces of beautiful transparent glass, or paste, 
some cut, and others rough, set in raised sockets. The largest of these pieces 
is in the centre of each quatrefoil ; and each of the other four is fixed near to 
the angle : so that all of them together form the figure of a quincunx. These 
false stones differ in colour. Some are ruby ; others a deep -amethyst : some 
again are sapphire ; others white ; and some a sky-blue. 

The intervals between the quatrefoils on the stole are powdered with an 
immense quantity of very small white beads, resembling pearls, drilled, and 
tacked down very near each other, so as to compose an embroidery of most 
elegant form, and not much unlike that which is commonly called, The True- 
lover's Knot. These beads, or pearls, are all of the same size, and equal to 
that of the largest pin's head. They are of a shining, silver-white hue ; but 
not so pellucid as necklace-beads and mock-pearls usually are. 

Over these habits is the royal mantle, or pall, of rich crimson sattin, fastened 

1 Archeeologia, iii. 376-413. 


on the left shoulder with a magnificent fibula of metal gilt with gold, and com- 
posed of two joints pinned together by a moveable acus, and resembling a cross 
garnet hinge. This fibula is four inches in length, richly chased, and orna- 
mented with four pieces of red, and four of blue transparent paste, similar to 
those on the quatrefoils, and twenty-two beads or mock-pearls. Each of these 
pastes and mock-pearls is set in a raised and chased socket. The head of the 
acui is formed by a long piece of uncut transparent blue paste, shaped like an 
acorn, and fixed in a chased socket. The lower joint of this fibula appears to 
be connected with the stole, as well as with the chlamys ; so that the upper 
part of each of the lappets or straps of the stole, being thereby brought nearly 
into contact with the edge of the royal mantle, those straps form, in appearance, 
a guard or border thereto. 

The corpse, from the waist downward, is covered with a large piece of rich 
figured cloth of gold, which lies loose over the lower part of the tunic, thighs, 
legs, and feet, and is tucked down behind the soles of the latter. There did not 
remain any appearance of gloves : but on the back of each hand, and just below 
the knuckle of the middle finger, lies a quatrefoil, of the same metal as those on 
the stole, and like them ornamented with five pieces of transparent paste ; with 
this difference, however, that the centre-piece in each quatrefoil is larger, and 
seemingly of a more beautiful blue, than those on any of the quatrefoils on the stole. 

Between the two fore-fingers and the thumb of the right hand, the king holds 
a scepter with the cross made of copper gilt. This scepter is two feet six inches 
in length, and of most excellent workmanship. Its upper part extends unto, 
and rests on, the king's right shoulder. 

Between the two forefingers and the thumb of his left hand, he holds the 
rod or scepter with the dove, which, passing over his left shoulder, reaches up 
as high as his ear. This rod is five feet and half an inch in length. The stalk 
is divided into two equal parts, by a knob or fillet, and at its bottom is a flat 
ferule. The top of the stalk terminates in three bouquets, or tiers of oak leaves, 
of green enamel, in alto refievo, each bouquet diminishing in breadth as they 
approach towards the summit of the scepter, whereon stands a ball, or mound, sur- 
mounted by the figure of a dove, with its wings closed, and made of white enamel. 

On the head of the corpse ... is an open crown or fillet of tin, or latton, 
charged on its upper edge with trefoils * and gilt with gold, but evidently of 
inferior workmanship, in all respects, to that of the scepters and quatrefoils. 

The shape and form of the crown, scepters, and fibula, and the manner in 
which the latter is fixed to the mantle, or chlamys, exactly correspond with the 
representation of those on the broad-seal of this king (fig. 7). 

On a careful inspection of the fingers of both hands, no ring could be dis- 
covered. However, as it cannot be supposed that the corpse was deposited 
without that usual attendant ensign of royalty, we may with great probability 
conjecture, that, on the shrinking of the fingers . . . the royal ring had slipped 
off from the finger, and buried itself in some part of the robes, none of which 
were disturbed in order to search for it. 

The feet, with their toes, soles, and heels, seemed to be perfectly entire ; but 
whether they have sandals on them or not is uncertain, as the cloth tucked over 
them was not removed. 

1 Cf. the crown in the effigy of Henry III., made in Edward's time. 



I have already mentioned, that, previous to the removal of the top stone of 
king Edward's tomb, the dean of Westminster, who was present from the 
opening to the shutting it up, had taken every possible precaution that no 
damage might be done either to the royal body, or its sarcophagus. The like 
vigilance was observed by him during the time the coffin continued open : so 
that the corpse did not receive the least violation or injury ; neither was it 
despoiled of any of its vestments, regalia, or ornaments. On the contrary, all 
things were suffered to remain in the same condition, situation, and place, 
wherein they were found. After the spectators had taken a sufficient view, 
the top of the coffin, and the covering-stone of the tomb, were restored to their 
proper places, and fastened down by a strong cement of terrice before the dean 
retired from the chapel. 


From this description of so many of the king's robes as 
were examined, it will be seen that they agree with the lists 
and effigies already noted. One ornament however now 
appears Tor the first time, namely the stole. The history of 
this will be discussed below. 

Of the crowns belonging to the regalia in the reign of 
Edward I. some interesting particulars have been preserved. 

In the wardrobe account of his twenty-eighth year (1299- 


I3OO), 1 in a list of jewels remaining at the end of his twenty- 
seventh year from those 'which were the Lady Blanche of 
Spain's,' four gold crowns are enumerated : one with rubies 
and emeralds and great pearls valued at ^600, another upon 
blue pearls (super perils indeis] worth 310, a third of one 
piece with rubies and emeralds worth ^320, and a fourth 
described as 

una corona magna auri cum baleis quarratis ameraudis saphiris orientalibus 
rubeis et perils orientalibus grossis precij m'm'viijli. touronum nigrorum. Que 
assignatur ad portandum super capita Regum Anglic in exitu ecclesie ad pran- 
dium die coronacionis eorundem. 

In another list, made in June, 1303, on the discovery of the 
burglary and robbery of the royal treasury at Westminster by 
Richard de Podlicote, among the jewels left behind in the 
treasury, ' in one of the long coffers from the Tower of 
London,' were : 

Magna corona auri qua Rex usus fuit die coronacionis sue cum preciosa pretraria 
magnorum balesiorum rubettorum et ameraldarum cujus precium prius estimatur. 

Corona auri cum consimilibus lapidibus ponderis xxxvi. s. et ii. den. precii 
c. marcarum. 

Corona auri ponderis ciii. s. et xi. den. precii ccl. li. 

Corona auri cum rubettis ameraldis et grossis perils precii vi**- li. z 

Of the coronation of Edward II. in 1308 the full order is 
preserved in the Public Record Office. 3 It differs but little 
from the later order known as Liber Regalis, but the rubrics 
are very short and the ornaments are only mentioned by 
name. The king was stripped for the anointing to his shirt 
(vestis\ which was then torn apart down to the girdle for the 
unction. After the anointing the order directs 'induatur 
sindonis collobio, capite amictu operto propter unctionem,' 
and the buskins, sandals, and spurs were put on the king's 
feet. No mention is made, perhaps through carelessness of 
the scribe, of the investiture with either the tunic or the dal- 
matic ; and the rite proceeds with the girding of the sword 
and the reception of the armill<e. After the giving of the 
pallium^ the king was crowned and the ring put on his finger. 
He was next divested of the sword, which was offered at 

1 Soc. Antiq. Lond. MS. 119, f. 285. 

2 H. Cole, Documents Illustrative of English History of the \yb and i^th 
Centuries (London, 1844), 277. 

3 It is printed in full in Rymer's Facdera (ed. 1 8 1 8), ii. pt. i. 3 3-6. 



the altar and redeemed, and lastly the sceptre and rod were 
put in his hands. 

Edward's alabaster effigy on his 
tomb at Gloucester apparently re- 
presents him in (i.) a tunic reaching 
to the feet, with tight sleeves ; (ii.) 
the dalmatic, which is as long as 
the tunic, but slit up the front and 
provided with close sleeves extend- 
ing to the elbow only, whence they 
are continued as short liripips ; and 
(iii.) the pallium or mantle, which is 
hung over the shoulders. The king 
wears a jewelled crown, and in his 
ungloved hands he holds the rod, 
from which the dove has been 
broken off, and the orb, which was 
once surmounted by the cross (fig. 

The well known picture of a 
coronation in a MS. at Corpus 
Christi College, Cambridge (M. 
20), which has several times been 
reproduced, 1 possibly gives us an 
ideal representation of the crowning 
of Edward II. (fig. 9). The central 
figure of the king shows him en- 
throned, vested in (i.) the white 
colobium sindonis ; (ii.) a red tunic, 
slit up the sides so as to show the 
green lining ; (iii.) an embroidered 
dalmatic barred with blue and 
yellow, 2 and girded ; and over all 
(iv.) the pallium regale, of a pinkish 
brown lined with minever and fas- 
tened in front by a large gilt and Fic ' 8 " EF " GY OF EDWARD IL 

,11 r -i u i T-U i AT GLOUCESTER. 

jewelled sexrou brooch. The king 

has a jewelled crown on his head and yellow buskins on his 

1 The latest and best version is that forming the frontispiece to Mr. Leopold 
G. Wickham Legg's English Coronation Records. 

8 This barring of the dalmatic may be traditional (see the description of the 
seals of Henry I. and Stephen and Henry II. ante). 


feet, but no gloves nor ring on his hands. In the right hand 
he holds the rod and in the left the sceptre. From the neck 
to the waist extends a vertical red stripe, the meaning or use of 
which is doubtful, unless it be to attach the mantle brooch to. 1 

Edward II. used his father's seal, with a small addition for 
difference, so it cannot be cited as an authority for his robes. 

A list of no fewer than ten crowns is included in a long in- 
denture of the jewels and vessels of gold and silver delivered 
to the chamberlains of the exchequer by Thomas de Useflete, 
clerk, on 4th May, I324. 2 Nine of them were of gold, richly 
jewelled, and ranged in value from IOQJ. to 200 ; the tenth 
was of silver of Paris work. There is nothing however to 
show that any of them belonged to the regalia. 

For a detailed account of the coronation ornaments of 
Edward III. we are indebted to an inventory of divers records, 
jewels, etc., handed over by William bishop of Winchester, late 
treasurer, to his successor John bishop of Rochester on 28th 
November, 1356. Among those in the treasury of the High 
Tower of London were : 

Premierement les vestementz de Samyt rouge pour la coronement du Roi. 
cest assavoir 

deux tunicles . une mantell ove orfraitz dor pouderez des eymeraudes et alts 

Item une Stole de Samyt rouge garnyz des eymeraudes et perles ove deux 
pendantz dor garnez de perr' 

Item deux chaunceons de samyt rouge garniz dor 

Item une Cappe de samyt rouge overte dor ove quatre plates dor 

Item deux rochettes de soye blanque et alts petites remembrances touchanz 
la coronment 

Item deux pairs desporons pour lencoronment du Roi 

Item deux ceptres endorrez ove les sommetes de merlotz 

Item un ceptre court dor ove la summet de merlott 

Item deux Ceptres courtes dor ove deux croisez en les summetz 

Item un Espe appelle courtane 

Item deux alts espiez lun ove lescauberk dargent eymell et lautre ove les- 
cauberk de samyt rouge frette dor 3 

The inventory also includes among the contents of the 
treasury in the cloister of Westminster four crowns : 

1 Cf. the description above of the fastening of the brooch in Edward I.'s 

2 F. Palgrave, Anfient Kalendars and Inventories of the 'Treasury of His Majesty's 
Exchequer (London, 1836), iii. 123. 

3 Ibid. iii. 225. The text is more correctly printed from the original among 
the Exchequer Accounts (333/28) in Mr. Legg's English Coronation Records, 
from which the above version is taken. 


Item la graunte Courone le Roi questoit nadgaires engage es parties de 
Flaundres nient priese 

Item une autre Corone nient priese [deinz quele corone sont . iiii. manicles 
dor garniz des eymeraudes et alts pcrles apalle la second corone inter- 

Item la tierz Corone nient preise 

Item la quarte Corone nient preise 

As all four crowns are described as ' nothing praised,' * they 
are probably the crowns referred to in 1303. Whether the 
king had any other crowns is uncertain. In 1335 Edward III 
issued a mandate to Paul de Monte Florum to return two gold 
crowns that had been pledged to him for 8,000 marks, which 
sum had now been repaid. 2 In 1340 the king again pledged 
his own crown for 25,000 florins, the queen's crown for 5,500 
florins and a certain small crown for 4,256 florins. 3 

The vestments enumerated above, which were all of costly 
red samite, include two ' tunicles,' that is the tunic and dal- 
matic; the mantle with its jewelled orfreys; the stole,* which 
was garnished with emeralds and pearls, with two gold and 
jewelled pendants ; the buskins ; a cope with four gold plates ; 
two white silk rochets, probably two colobia sindonis ; two pairs 
of spurs ; two gilt sceptres with * merlots ' on top ; a short gold 
sceptre with a ' merlot ' on top ; two short sceptres with crosses 
on top ; and three swords, the one called Curtana, another 
with an enamelled silver scabbard, and the third with the scab- 
bard covered with red samite fretted with gold. 

It is uncertain whether any of the seals of Edward III. repre- 
sent him in his coronation robes. The first that was made for 
him 5 shows him crowned and enthroned, wearing a tunic or 
surcoat and a mantle fastened in front by a brooch, but the 
mantle has a hood and is so disposed over the knees as to 
more or less hide the under vestments. The hands are cer- 
tainly gloved ; in the right is a short rod surmounted by 
leafwork, or a bird with spread wings, and in the left is the 
orb with a very short cross. 

The second seal 9 also shows the king in a girded tunic or 

1 Mr. Legg translated men t preise as ' worth nothing,' but a crown upon which 
money could be raised by pawning it must surely have been of value. 

* T. Rymer, Faedera (ed. 1821), ii. pt. ii. 909. 

3 Ibid. ii. pt. ii. 1 1 24. 

4 This is the first mention of the stole in a document. 

6 That known as 'Willis, B.' ; it was in use from 1327-40. 

* 'Willis, C.', in use 1338-40 as a seal of absence. 


dalmatic and a mantle, which is fastened by a brooch upon 
the right shoulder and brought over the knees. In the right 
hand is the rod with the dove, and in the left a short sceptre 
with the cross. 

The last and finest of Edward's seals, that made in 1360 
after the peace of Bretigny, shows him in apparently the robes 
of estate and not in his coronation vestments. He has on a 
tightly fitting surcoat fastened up the front with a jewelled 
band, and a mantle with a rich border held in front by a 
brooch. The mantle is so disposed over the legs as to render 
it uncertain how they were covered. The king is crowned and 
holds in his right hand the rod, which ends in a rich pinnacle, 
and in his left the sceptre with the cross. 

The gilt bronze monumental effigy of the king at Westmin- 
ster (fig. 10) represents him in the pair of tunicles and the 
mantle. The tunic reaches to the feet and has long tight sleeves 
buttoned underneath. The dalmatic is the same length as the 
tunic and is slit up the front to show it, but the sleeves are 
not quite so long. The ornamented cuffs of both vestments 
are clearly shown. The mantle hangs straight from the 
shoulders to the feet, and is kept in place by a band across the 
chest. The hands are bare, but the feet are shod with orna- 
mented sandals. The effigy has been despoiled of the crown, 
the brooches of the mantle, and the two sceptres, but the ends 
of the shafts of these remain in the hands and show that they 
were different in length. 

No later monument nor great seal of an English king repre- 
sents him in his coronation ornaments. 

The three coronation swords mentioned in the list last 
quoted are described by Roger of Howden as being carried 
in the procession at the coronation of Richard I. at Westmin- 
ster in 1189, in scabbards covered throughout with gold ; but 
as he says they were taken from the king's treasury, it is 
clear that they had been so used before. They were certainly 
used in 1170 at the coronation of the younger King Henry, 
son of Henry II., for on the Pipe Roll for 1 1 69-70 is the 
entry : 

Et pro auro ad deaurandam vaissellam Regis filii Regis et ad reparandos 
enses ad Coronamentum Regis, xxxiiii. s. & ix. d. per Ottonem filium Willelmi 
et Willelmum filium Ailwardi. 1 

1 Pipe Roll Society, xv. (1892), 16. 



A further charge for the swords occurs in the Pipe Roll for 

1171-2 : 

Et pro gladiis Regis furbandis et pro auro 
ad eosdem adornandos. xxvi. s. & ii. d. per 
breve Regis. Et ad Puntos et Heltos eor- 
undem Gladiorum. xl. 3. in argento bianco 
per breve Regis. 1 

The swords are again recorded 
to have been borne at the corona- 
tion of Queen Eleanor in January, 
1235-6, when for the first time 
the name Curtana is applied to that 
sword which had been shortened 
by cutting off its point. This 
sword is still called by its old name. 

With the accession of Richard II. 
in 1377 is associated the fourth of 
the coronation orders, that con- 
tained in Liber Regalis? The 
actual book is still in the custody 
of the Dean of Westminster and 
may have been used at Richard's 
coronation. It is however practi- 
cally identical with the form used 
at the coronation of Edward II. 
and (probably) Edward III., but has 
fuller rubrics. From these some 
interesting details may be learned 
about the royal ornaments. 

The array worn by the king on 
the morning of his coronation both 
in 1308 and in 1377 is only indi- 
cated by the general direction : 
induto mundissimis vestibus et caligis 
tantummodo cakiato. This would 
seem at one time to have meant 
fine linen only, for Matthew Paris says that on the death of 
the younger King Henry in June, 1183 : 

Corpus autem in lineis pannis, id est, vestibus candidis, quas habuit in 

1 Pipe Roll Society, xviii. (1894), 144. 

* This has been printed several times. The latest version is that in Mr. 
L. G. W. Legg's English Coronation Records, pp. 81-130. 



consecratione, sacrato crismate delibatas, regaliter involutum, Rothomagum 
delatum est, et in ecclesia cathedral! prope majus altare cum honore tanto 
congruo principi turaulatur. 1 

Whatever these garments were, the rubric in Liber Regalis 
before the anointing shows that they included a silk tunic and 
a shirt (tunica serica et camisia), which were provided with 
openings on the breast, shoulders, back, and elbows, closed 
with silver loops (connexh ansulis argenteis). For the actual 
anointing all the vestments save this tunic and the shirt were 
laid aside. After the anointing there were put upon the king : 

1 . A coif (amictus) ' on account of the anointing,' which continued to be 
worn until the eighth day after ; 

2. The sleeveless tunic of sindon, 2 shaped like a dalmatic (colobium sindonis ad 
modum dalmatice formatum) ; 

3. A long tunic reaching down to the ankles, woven with great golden 
images before and behind (tunica longa et talaris intexta magnis ymaginibus aureis 
ante at retro) ; 

4. The buskins (caligie), sandals (sandaria), and spurs (calcaria) ; 

5. The sword and its girdle; 

6. The armils (armillte) ; 

7. The royal man tie, four square, and woven throughout with golden eagles (pal- 
lium regale : quod quidem pallium quadrum est : et aquilis aureis per totum contextum) ; 3 

After these the king received : 

(i.) the crown ; (ii.) the ring ; (iii.) the gloves ; (iv.) the golden sceptre with 
the cross, quod quidem sceptrum aureum est in cujus summitate crux parva ; and (v.) 
the golden rod with the dove, que quidem virga aurea est habens in summitate 
columbam auream. 

Such are the ornaments and the order of their assumption 
directed by Liber Regalis. It will be seen that they differ in 
one point only from what has been before said, that instead of 
the tunic and dalmatic only the tunic is mentioned. 

Of the actual coronation of Richard II. a full account has 
been preserved in the English History of Thomas Walsingham,* 

1 Matthew Paris, Historia Angkrum (Rolls Series 44), i. 426. 

* A silken stuff known by various names, such as cendal, sandal, syndon, etc. 
The fact of the colobium being of silk in no way militates against its correspon- 
dence with the albe, which in rich churches was sometimes entirely of silk 
instead of linen. 

3 The decoration of the royal robes with golden eagles is very ancient. 
The inventory of Westminster Abbey made in 1388 enumerates ' tres cape 
sancti Edwardi in quibus fuerat sepultus . unde prima glaucei coloris cum 
talentis. Secunda rubea cum lunis. Tercia cum aquilis de quibus due sunt 
cum aurifragiis novis ex dono fratris Johannis Somerton' (Arch<eologia,Y\\. 257). 

4 Thomas Walsingham, Historia Anglicana(eA. Riley, Rolls Series 28), i. 332-7. 


Yi^tf toi (^ fli wfloA^ W tom Jk 
fliniuthftiKirtctutiKft&Qtor. - 

FIG. 9. 

[From Corpus ChriXi Cdllfi ( Catnbridst ) MS. SI } 


a monk of St. Albans, which gives several additional interesting 
details concerning the royal ornaments. 

When the* moment for the anointing came the archbishop 
approached the king, and rending asunder his vestments with 
his hands from top to bottom, 1 put them all off him except 
his shirt. Then while the Wardens of the Cinque Ports con- 
tinued to hold over the king the great sky-blue silk canopy, a 
golden cloth was brought by earls, under which he was hidden 
while the archbishop anointed him. He was next vested, first 
with the tunic of St. Edward and after with St. Edward's 
dalmatic, 2 and the stole was put about his neck. After the 
delivery and girding of the sword the armils were put upon 
him, and last of all the royal mantle. 

After the crowning and the investment with the ring, the Lord 
Furnival offered to the king a red glove, which the archbishop 
blessed and put on his hand, and then delivered to him first 
the sceptre and lastly the rod. Walsingham describes the 
rod as having a dove on top, but the sceptre he says ' consur- 
rexit de rotundo globo aureo, quem tenebat in manu chirothe- 
cato, et habebat in summitate signum crucis.' 

It will be seen that Walsingham does not mention the 
sleeveless tunic of sindon, but he describes the putting on of 
St. Edward's dalmatic as well as that king's tunic, both of 
which, as we have seen above, are included in Sporley's list of 
a later date than this. Walsingham also describes the putting 
on of the stole as well as the armils. 

It has been shown above that the first of the coronation 
orders to name any vestments directs the investiture of the 
king with the armillx and pallium after the anointing, and 
before the imposition of the crown and delivery of the ring, 
sceptre, and rod. That armill<e here mean bracelets there can 
be little doubt, such ornaments being regarded from very early 
times as distinctly kingly. But none of the royal efHgies nor 
any contemporary pictures represent the king as wearing them, 
and they are not included in any of the documents already 
quoted. Yet a pair of enamelled gold bracelets are found 
among the regalia to-day, which were made for the coronation 
of Charles II. to replace a pair destroyed in 1649. These 

1 If these were of simple linen, as suggested above, the rending of them 
would be an easy matter. The order of Edward II.'s coronation directs that 
the vest which the king is wearing is to be rent to the girdle for the anointing. 

* The dalmatic, as noted above, is not mentioned in Liber Regafts. 


again, from the identity of their weights, seem to be those 
included among the regalia of Henry VIII. which were 
received by Edward VI. and are described in the* inventory as 

Item one paier of Bracellettes of golde garnished with six ballaces nott fyne 
six course bigg perles muche of one sorte and v lesser perles of one sortc 
weying togethers with blacke lace poyntes vij ounces di. 1 

On the other hand a stole of considerable splendour still 
lies over the dalmatic upon the body of Edward I., and that 
described above in the list of the regalia of Edward III. must 
have been equally rich. 

The question is further complicated by a note which follows 
in Liber Regalis the receiving of the armill<e : 

Iste quidem armille in modum stole circa collum et ab utraque scapula usque 
ad compages brachiorum erunt dependentes . in ipsis brachiorum compagibus 
laqueis sericis connexe prout plenius per ipsarumpoteritdiscernicomposicionem. 

That is, the armils shall hang about the neck after the 
manner of a stole from the shoulders to the elbows, and be 
bound to the elbows by silken laces, as may more fully be seen 
by the form of the armils themselves. 

If we again turn to the description of Edward III.'s stole it 
may be possible to clear up the difficulty : 

Item une Stole de Samyt rouge garnyz des eymeraudes et perles ove deux 
pendantz dor garnez de perr'. 

From a comparison of these entries it would seem that the 
' two pendants ' of the stole are actually the armils, and that 
by some process not now to be traced they have become 
attached to and part of the stole, which henceforth has borne 
their name. 

Walsingham's mention of both stole and armils may be 
explained on the supposition that the stole and its pendants 
were put round the king's neck after the dalmatic, and the 
pendants, i.e. the armils, not tied to the elbows until the ap- 
pointed place after the girding of the sword. 

The order in Liber Regalis is the earliest that directs the 
king at the end of the service to go devoutly to the shrine of 
St. Edward, and there take off the crown and all the other 
ornaments that have just been put upon him. He is then 
revested with other vestments and crowned with another 
crown, and resuming the sceptres only of the regalia, takes 

1 Soc. Antiq. Lond. MS. cxxix. f. "]b. 



his formal departure from the church. This was no doubt the 
usual practice from a much earlier time, and Roger of Howden 
is careful to note that after the coronation of Richard I. 
the king was conducted to his chamber, there being then no 
chapel or shrine of St. Edward in the abbey church, and his 
royal crown and vestments exchanged for other and higher 
ones (leviores coronam et vestes). 

The mutilated gilt bronze effigy of Richard II. at West- 
minster (fig. 1 i), 
made in 1395, repre- 
sents the king in a 
long gown or tunic, 
a tippet with ample 
hood, and a mantle. 
These are apparently 
the king's robes of 
estate and not his 
coronation orna- 
ments. The effigy 
has unfortunately 
lost the crown, the 
brooch of the mantle, 
and the hands. The 
king's bushy hair 
was evidently en- 
circled by a fillet, 
over which was worn 
the crown. 

Of the coronation 
of Henry IV. an ac- 
count has been pre- 
served to us by 
Froissart, whose nar- 
rative is also appro- 
priated by John de 
Waurin. 1 

On the day of his crowning the king is described as having 
been robed in royal state (en estat royal\ save that he had no 
crown nor cap on his head. For the anointing he is said to 

1 Jehan de Waurin, Recueil des Chrmtiques et Anciennes I stories tie la Grant 
Bretaigne, 1399-1422 (ed. W. J. Hardy, London, 1868), Rolls Series 39, 
pp. 5, etc. 



have been stripped of the royal state quite naked to the skin 
(di vesta de Festal Royal, tout nudjusques al a conroye). Then a 
cap was put on his head. He was next vested in the robes of 
the church as a deacon, and then they shod him with shoes of 
red velvet like those of a prelate, and afterwards they put on 
him spurs without points : 

Et la le Roy fut vestu des draps de 1'Eglise, comme un Diacre : et luy 
chaussa on un veloux de vermeil, en guise de Prelat, et puis uns esporons, a une 
pointe sans molette. 1 

Nothing is said about the remaining ornaments save that 
the ' sword of justice,' which appears to have been Curtana, 
since it was that borne by the Prince of Wales, was delivered 
drawn to the king, who put it back in its sheath, and then he 
was crowned with the crown of St. Edward, ' laquelle couronne 
estoit archee en croix.' * 

The mention here of the king being vested ' as a deacon ' is 
significant of the sacred character supposed to be conferred by 

The information that the crown wherewith Henry IV. was 
crowned was that known as St. Edward's, and that it was 
arched over instead of being open as heretofore, is interesting. 
Whether this crown actually was St. Edward's is doubtful. It 
is true that Sporley includes the best gold crown (coronam 
auream optimam) among the regalia of St. Edward which were 
preserved as relics in the abbey church of Westminster, but it 
is more likely that * the great crown,' though usually known 
as the Confessor's, from being kept with his regalia, was one 
which was remade from time to time as fashion varied. Since 
Henry IV.'s the royal crown has generally been arched. It 
is so shown in the sculpture of the coronation of Henry V. on 
the arch of his chantry chapel at Westminster, and on the 
great seals since the third one used by Edward IV. from 1471 
to 1480. 

At the coronation of Henry IV. the principal sword called 
Curtana was borne by Henry prince of Wales, 3 and besides 
the other two, and in addition to the fourth sword or sword 
of estate, there was carried a fifth by Henry earl of North- 
umberland as lord of the Isle of Man, described as 

ilium Gladium nudum quo cinctus erat praefatus Rex quando ipse, ante 

1 Histoire et Chroniques Memorable de Messire lehan Fnlssart (Paris, 1574), 
vol. iv. ch. cxiiii. p. 312. 2 T. Rymer, Facdera (ed. 1727), viii. 90. 


Coronationem suam, ut Dux Lancastrian, in partibus de Holderness applicuit, 

The monumental effigy of Henry IV. at Canterbury (fig. 
12) and his great seal represent him 
in robes of estate, similar to those 
on the effigy of Richard II. (fig. 1 1), 
namely a long gown or tunic, a tip- 
pet and hood, and a mantle. On the 
head is a very rich open crown. The 
hands are unfortunately broken. 

The coronations of Henry V., 
Henry VI.* and Edward IV., so far 
as we have any proper records of 
them, do not furnish us with any new 
facts, and it is not improbable that 
the fulness of the rubrics in Liter 
Regain had now begun to produce a 
state, as it were, of crystallization. 

The interesting memoranda known 
as Forma et Modus, of which several 
copies exist both in Latin and 
English, show clearly that the ordi- 
nary fifteenth century form was that 
of Liber Regalis. 3 

Of the coronation of Richard III. 
several detailed accounts have been 
preserved, as well as a semi-official 
order called the Little Device, and a 
wardrobe account of all the neces- 
saries and ornaments provided for 
the ceremony. 

1 Ibid. viii. 91. See also on page 95 the 
letters patent of October 19, 1399, conferring 
upon the earl this privilege. 

8 An account of the coronation of Henry 
VI. tells how at the end of the service the 
king went to St. Edward's shrine ' and there 
was he dyspoyled of all hit byssboppi gere, and 
arayed as a Kynge in riche cloth of gold, 
with a crowne on his hede.' Quoted from 
Cott. MS. Nero C. is. in Arthur Taylor's The Glory of Regaftty (Londo n > 
1820), 264. 

* L. G. W. Legg, EngTisb Coronation Records, p. 172. 



The Little Device tells how the king is to be arrayed by 
the chamberlain on the day of his coronation, 

First w* two shirtes on of Lawne, thother of Crymsen Tartayne both 
Largely opened before and behinde, and in the shulders. Laced w' Amblettes 
of silver and gilt, A great large breche to the middell thigh pynched togeidr 
befor and behynd, a breche belte of velvet to gather the same togither. A paire 
of hosen of Crymsen Sarsenet vampeys and all. A cote of Crymsen Satten largely 
openid as the shirtes be to the which cote his hosen shal be Laced w* ryband of 
silke A Sircote close furred w' menyver pur, whereof the collo r handes, and the 
Speres shalbe garnished with Ryband of golde. A hoode of estate furred 
w* Mynever pur and purfelled w* Ermyns. A great mantell of Crymsen 
Satten furred also w' mynever pur w* a great Lace of silke, w* two tassells also 
in colo r crymsen, A Litle Cappe of estate of Crymsen Satten ermyned and 
garnisshed w* ryband of golde. 1 

For the anointing the king is ordered to be unarrayed and 
unclothed by his chamberlain as far as his coat of crimson 
satten, which, together with the crimson and lawn shirts under 
it, is to be unlaced at the openings. After the anointing the 
three vestments are to be laced up again, and a pair of linen 
gloves put on the king's hands. He is then to be invested 
with the colobium sindonis, described as ' a Tabarde of Tartaryn 
white shapen in maner of a dalmatike ' and a coif to be put 
on his head. The remaining ornaments and regalia are to 
be put upon or delivered to the king in the same order and 
form as prescribed in Libet Regalis, and call for no further 

The accounts of the coronation of Richard have been printed 
by (a) Grafton in his Chronicle, () in Bentley's Excerpta 
Historica, and (c) by Mr. L. G. W. Legg. 2 Each differs some- 
what from the other, but all agree in stating that the robes of 
estate worn by the king in procession to the church were of 
purple velvet, and not crimson, as directed in the Little Device. 
Both Grafton and the Oxford text printed by Mr. Legg tell 
us that in the procession, after the spurs, was the Earl of 
Bedford, 'bearyng Saint Edwardes staffe for a Relique.' No 
mention has hitherto been made of this ornament, and it 
is not included in Sporley's list of the regalia of the 

L. G. W. Legg, EngKsh Coronation Records, 225. The document printed 
by Mr. Legg is actually the Little Device for the coronation of Henry VII., 
collated with other copies, one of which, that in Add. MS. 18669, ^ as ev '^" 
ently been copied from an order for Richard III.'s coronation. I have followed 
Mr. Legg's version. 
2 Op. cit. 193-7. 


Confessor. It was probably, if we may Judge from its 
existing successor, an ordinary walking staff for the king's 
use, with which St. Edward's name became associated in the 
same way as with the great gold crown. Grafton also gives 
the meanings now assigned to the three swords l : the point- 
less Curtana is the sword of mercy ; and the other two the 
swords of justice to the spirituality and temporality respectively. 
The fourth sword, which was borne sheathed in the procession, 
was the usual sword of estate. 

The wardrobe account mentioned above is dated 28th June, 
1483, or within two days of the accession of Richard, who was 
crowned on 4th July. The full text is printed in the 
Antiquarian Repertory, from whence I have extracted the items 
that refer, (i) to the robes provided for the king on the 
day of his coronation, (2) to the vestments put upon him at 
his crowning, and (3) to other ornaments provided for the 
accession. The items are sufficiently interesting to be given 
in full : 

To oure said Souverain Lorde the Kyng for to have unto his mooste honour- 
able use the day of his mooste noble coronation, agenst the grete solempnitee 
thereof maade and doon the vj day of Juyll, the yere of our Lord God 

two sherts, oon made of ij els dl of reyns and the other large made of ij 
yerds dl of sarsynet crymysyn, boothe open afore and behinde, under the breste 
deppest bitwene the shulders, and in the shulders and bitwene the binding of 
the armes for his inunction 

a large breche myd thigh depe, losen afore and behinde, maade of half a 
yard of sarsynette bounde with a breche belt, made of a yard dl of crymysyn 

a pair of hosen maade of a yerde and a quarter of crymysyn satyn, lyncd 
with a quarter of a yerde of white sarsynett 

a payre of sabatons covered in a quarter of a yerde of crymysyn tisshue 
cloth of gold, lyned with a quarter of a yerde of crymysyn satyn, garnyssht 
with oon unce of ryban of golde, 

a roobe of crymysyn satyn to be anoynted in, conteigning a coote, a surcoote 
cloos, a long mantel and a hoode, all iiij garments maade of xxxviij yerdes of 
rede satyn, the saide coote lyned with ij elles dl of Holand clothe, and open 
afore and behynd under the breste, deppest bitwene the shulders, and in the 
shulders and bitwene the bynding of the armes. The openyng of this coote 
fastened togider with Ixxiij amuletts of sylver and gylte, and laced with ij laces 
of ryban and laces of sylk, and with iiij ageletts of sylver ; and above that coote 
a taberde lyke unto a dalmatyke, made of iiij yerdes dl of white sarsynett, put 

1 They are first so named in the account of the coronation of Henry VI. in 
Harl. MS. 4.97 (see Legg, p. xxv. note 2). Froissart says that the sword of 
justice and the sword of the church were carried at the coronation of Henry IV. 

i 5 8 


uppon the saide coote of crymyson satyn and the said mantel furred with Ix 
timbr wombes of menyvere pure, and garnyssht with oon unce of ryban of gold 
of venys by the coler, and laced afore the breste with a long lace of rede sylk, 
with knopp and tassells of rede sylk and gold. The said surcote cloose gar- 
nyssht with oon unce of ryband of gold of venys, & furred with xxxi timbres 
wombes of menyver pure, the color and sieves purfiled with ij ermyn bakks ; 
the saide hoode furred with ij timbr of ermyn bakks, and ij timbr dl and viii 
ermyn wombes 

and a coyfe made of a plyte of lawne to be put on the Kyngs heede 
after his inunction, and soo to be kept on by viii dayes after the Kyngs 

A roobe of purpul velvet, conteignyng vj garnets, that is to wit, a kyrtel 
maade of vj yerdes dl of purpul velvet, furred with xx tymbr dl of wombes 
of menyver pure. A taberd maade of iij yerds dl of purpul velvet, furred 
with xxiij tymber wombes of menyver purr, and the labels of the same taber 
purfyled with xviij new ermyn bakks, A surcote overt maade of vj yerds dl 
of purpull velvette, furred with xx tymbre dl oon of ermyne wombes. A 
mantle with a traague, made of xv yerds of purpul velvett, furred with xxvj 
tymbr xviij nette ermyne bakks, and powdered with vj m viij" dl of powderings 
maade of bogy shanks ; a hoode maade of ij yerds of purpull velvett furred 
with iij tymbr and xij ermyn bakks, and a cappe of astate maade of half a yerde 
of purpull velvet and furred by the roll thereof with xvj of newe ermyne bakks, 
and powdered with c dl of powderings made of bogy shanks, and the sieves 
of the saide surcote overt furred with ij tymbr dl of wombes of menyuer 
pure, and powdered with MMM.DCCC. and oon powderings maade of bogy 
shanks, and the said roobe of purpull velvet enlarged and purfeurmed with 
ij yerds and iii quarters of velvet purpul, and the furre of the saide roobe 
purfeurmed with a tymbre of ermyn bakks, and ij tymbr of ermyn wombes, 
with a mantel lace with knoppes and tassels for the same roobe. A bonnet 
made of iij quarters of a yerde of purpull velvet, and delivered for the said 
grete solempnitee of both the Kings and also the Quenes mooste noble corona- 
tion . . . and for the garnysshing of the said roobe of purpull velvett xxvij 
yerds of ryban of damask golde, weying vij unces, and a grete boton of plate of 
gold, and a greete tassel of venys gold, weying iij unces ; and for to make 
with the said roobes oon unce dl of silk and ix Ib and ij unces threde of divers 
colours : and for the cappe of said roobe a roll of pytthes of risshes. 1 

iij swerdes, whereof oon with a flat poynte called curtana, and ij other 
swords, all iij swords covered in a yerde dl of crymysyn tisshue cloth of gold, 
and for the tisshues and gyrdles of the same iij swerds, ij yerds of corse wroght 
with golde, 

ij paire of longe spurrs all gilt, and for the tisshues of the same a yerde and 
iij quarters of blue corse with gold, and iij quarters dl of a yerde of crymysyn 
corse with gold . . . 

and for the covering and bynding of a sworde in the handell a quarter 
of a yerde of velvet . . . 

and for the garnysshing of iiij swerdes iiij chapes of sylvyr and gilt, and 
xliiij bolyons of silver and gilt weying and the garnysshing of a swerde 
of silver and gilt weying ij unces dr a penny weight. 8 

1 Antiquarian Repertory (ed. 1807), i. 37-9. 2 Ibid. \. 40. 


It will be seen that these accounts confirm the statement of 
Grafton and others that the king's robes of estate were of 
purple velvet. 

It is also interesting to note the changes in the names of 
the vestments put upon the king after his anointing. Over 
the white and the crimson shirts, with which crimson breeches 
and hosen were also worn, was put on a ' coote ' of crimson 
satin, as in the Little Device. The colobium sindonis is ' a 
taberde lyke unto a dalmatyke ' made of white sarsenet. 
The tunic is called the ' surcoote cloos,' and the pallium regale 
' a long mantel and a hoode.' Both the surcoat and the 
mantle with its hood were lined with minever. 

The armils are not mentioned. This points to their having 
formed part of the regalia, which with they were probably kept, 
and is further evidence that the armill<e were bracelets attached 
to a band worn stolewise and not merely a stole. It should be 
noted that the Little Device goes further than Liber Regalis, 
which says only that the armils shall be bound to the elbows, 
and directs that ' thei shalbe fastenid . . . w' Lace of silke 
to every side the elbowe in two places, y' is to say above 
thelbowes, and beneth.' 

The Coronation Ornaments of the Tudor and later sove- 
reigns must be reserved for another paper. 


POSTSCRIPT. From the rubric or heading in the Chronica Majora of Matthew 
Paris of the account of the coronation of Henry III. at Gloucester in 1216, 

De prima regis Henrici Tertii coronatione, quae per quendam 
circulum aureum facta fuit, etc. 

it appears that Henry was crowned with a golden circlet only. John's crown 
or crowns, if they had not been lost in the Wellstream disaster, would have 
been too large for the boy king, and there probably was not time to make him 
a proper crown for the occasion. 

It has been noted above that on the great seals, down to and including the 
first seal of Henry III., the King of England is shown sitting and holding a 
sword and sceptre. In the second seal of Henry III., made in 1259, after the 
Treaty of Abbeville and the renunciation of the tide ' Dux Normannie et 
Comes Andegavie,' the king holds the rod with the dove instead of the 
sword. It is therefore possible that the sword was borne by the king as Duke 
of Normandy. 



No. i 
EDWARD BAILDON of London to ROBERT BAILDON of Baildon, 1589 

RIGHT deare & well beloued in y e Lord, 
In moste humble wise I Commende me vnto yow & to 
my Cozen y r wife, Trusting in god y' yow & all y re be in good 
health, as I & all mine was att y e writeing heereof. Very glad 
was I to vnderstand of my Cozen Perslow his comming downe 
to yow. Now for Certaine I perswade my selfe to know Justly 
how y w doe, for I thinke my selfe y e better when I doe heare 
of yow. My earnest requeste & suite vnto y w is y' yow would 
be soe freindly vnto me as to send by my Cozen Perslow y r 
Petigree & ours, & how they haue beene & arr matched, soe 
farre as yow may, vntill this time. I haue veiwed the Harrolds' 
booke Concerning this matter, & as yett I cannott finde itt to 
be any further than from Walter Baildon. If I Could I would 
haue itt frome y e first of y e name vntill this day. I will doe 
what I Can to bring this to passe. The Harrold of armes will 
doe whatt he can or may for me, I hope, theirefore I pray 
yow now putt to y* helping hand as mutch as in yow lieth ; 
then I doubt not but to bring itt to good passe. I hould my 
selfe to be y* nearest kinsman, &, although poore, yett I hope 
to giue honnor & creditt to my house & kindred, rather then 
otherwise. I speake in the praise of god, & not in pride of 
my owne flesh. Thus haisted, in y e Lord I bidd yow farewell, 
from my poore house in Thold Jury in London, this 26 : of 
August, 1589. 

Y r poor Louing Cozen 

euer to Command, 


My harty Commendations to my Cozen Willi : Baildon & 
his wife, & to all my young Cozens wheresoeuer. & if my 
purse were vnto my hart, yow should all know y 1 yow had a 
loveing Cozen southwards ; but y c will of god must be done. 
I pray yow to send me word in what Parish y e house of Baildon 
is of & in what hundred. 


The Answer 

Willi : Baildon was y e first, & dwelled att Baildon in y* 
second of Henery [IV]. 

Nicholas Baildon, his sone, maried one of y* S" William's 
daughters in Henry y sixt dayes. 

Walter Baildon maried one of Caluerleye's in Henry y e 
seventh's dayes. 

John Baildon maried one ofy 1 Haldenbye's daughters in 
Holder nesse in Henry y" seuenth dayes. 

Robert Baildbn maried Merfeild's daughter in Henry y e 
eight dayes. 

Nicolas Baildon, my father, maried one of the Waterhouse's 
daughters in King Henr : the eight's dayes. 

& I maried one of Maude's daughters in this queen's dayes. 

I pray yow to take paines to make me a letter according to 
this instructions & letter sent to me of the other side, & I 
shall pay yow for y* paines. 

Y r freind to Command, 

The letter of Edward Baildon and Robert's answer are both 
written on one sheet of paper and in the same hand. 2 

The recipient of the above letter was Robert Baildon of 
Baildon, in the county of York, eldest son and heir of Nicholas 
Baildon by his wife Sibil, daughter of Robert Waterhouse of 
Halifax. Robert was baptized at Halifax July 19, 1541, in 
accordance, no doubt, with the well known custom for a bride 
to go to her parents' house for her first confinement. In 1585 
he entered his pedigree at the Visitation of Yorkshire by 
Robert Glover, Somerset Herald, but does not go beyond his 
great-great-grandfather, Walter. He records his wife, Isabel, 
daughter of Thomas Maude of West Riddlesden, and his three 
children, William, son and heir, then aged twenty-two, and two 
daughters, Anne and Bridget. He died intestate in 1599. 

1 The facsimile is taken from a better signature, dated 1585 ; Exchequer 
Depositions, Michaelmas Term, 27 & 28 Elizabeth, No. 7. 

2 The volume containing it (Stowe MS. 713, fo. 175^) is a collection of 
coats of arms, of the seventeenth century, which belonged to William Brack of 
York in 1735, and to 'Thomas Beckwith of York, painter and F.A.S.,' in 
1783. At the end are bound up a number of pages which have nothing to 
do with the subject matter of the volume, and amongst these is the sheet above 


It is perhaps a matter of speculation whether one's friends 
or one's enemies may be trusted to give the fairest account of 
one's character : Robert Baildon's enemies had decidedly un- 
favourable views of him. In 1591, one Edward Cage, citizen 
and grocer of London, brought his bill in the Star Chamber, 
complaining of certain high-handed proceedings by Baildon 
and others. Among other allegations he says that they did 
' in the tyme of Lente nowe last past, at Shiplaie aforesaide, 
take uppon them to be Justices of Peace, and repaired in the 
daie tyme unto the house of one Alice Kirbie, widdowe, and 
entered in under pretence to searche for fleashe, and there in 
violent manner did breake open her cheste and ransacked 
dyvers places of her house,' hoping to find some good store of 
the plaintiff's money. Baildon is also said to have brought 
actions against ' dyvers pore men ' in the names of other 
persons, ' pretendinge matter of trespasse ' against them ; 
and 'causeth himself to be made an umpire or arbitrato r ,' 
'w ch practize and meanes he purposelie useth covenouslie to 
take and receyve bribes and rewards from the said pore men, 
w th out respect of honestie or good conscience ' ; 'and the said 
Robert Baildon, beinge a man of more abilitie than the rest, 
threteneth to raise up in armes the strength and power of a 
whole Lordship to w th stand yo r said subject [the complainant] 
in his lawful proceadinge, if so be that he the said Robert 
Baildon be not bribed or rewarded.' 1 

A certain Robert Swaine of Idle, yeoman, another of the 
defendants, may be called as a witness on the other side. In 
his deposition he says that, { abowt Lamas was xij monthes, he 
dyd franckly gyve and bestowe uppon Rob tc Bayldon the roote 
ende of a greate tree, for the good will and love w ch he dyd 
beare to y e s d M r Bayldon ' ; and he denies ' that y e s d M r 
Bayldon is a comon Juryo r and a man that wilbe sone wonne 
w th a reward, nor that it is the comon practize of the said 
Baildon to deale betwene man and man in cawses of controversie, 
therebie to procure somme gayne to himself, or such a one as 
many people in Yorkeshire have complayned of.' 2 

In 1592 one Robert Murrowes of Baildon, collier, complains 
that Robert Baildon, ' secreatlie confederatinge w th one William 
Williamson alias Longe of Baildon aforesaid, a man of very 
evill and leud conversacion, everie waie fittinge the malicious 

1 Star Chamber Proceedings, Elizabeth, bundle C, xiv. No. 5. 
* Ibid, bundle C, xxxvi, No. 1 6. 


qualitie and wicked disposicion of the said Rob" Baildon, had 
dyvers and sundri tymes in moste grevous manner thretened 
yo r pore subiect, Rob" Murrowes, to hange him, and that he 
would hange him, and that he would make him run his 
countrie w th in few daies ensewinge ' which seems a little out 
of the natural sequence of events. 

The cousin William mentioned in Edward's postscript was 
the eldest son of Robert, as already mentioned. His wife was 
Margaret, daughter of Arthur Maude of West Riddlesden, 
his mother's brother. The young cousins referred to were 
probably Robert's daughters and William's two sons, William 
and John. 

1 know very little of the elder William. He was visited by 
Roger Dodsworth in 1619, and gave him some items of local 
information. Dodsworth records in his notebook ' to Bail- 
don, where Mr. Baildon liveth, as his ancestors of long time 
have done, in good repute.' Somewhere about this time he 
became blind. In 1625, he complained that one William 
Cowper of High Bentley, in the county of York, was ' takeing 
advantage of yo r Orator's age and infirmity and disability to 
follow and prosecute sutes or lawe, yo r Orator being very aged, 
and having bene blynde by the space of seaven yeares now last 
past or thereaboutes.' 1 He died on December 20, 1628. 

The pedigree given by Robert Baildon in his reply to 
Edward's letter contains two errors ; he has left out a genera- 
tion and married a mother to her son. The name of the wife 
of the first Nicholas should, of course, be Fitz William, not 
Saint William. She was in all probability a daughter of Sir 
John Fitz William of Sprotborough, who had property at 
Baildon. Their son was Robert Baildon, who, in 1447, mar- 
ried Amice, daughter of Walter Calverley of Calverley. The 
marriage settlement provides that Nicholas ' shall hold and 
fynd y c said Rob' at Courte at London two yere, at y costages 
of y e same Nicholas . . . excepte two marcs whiche y e said 
Wauter [Calverley] shall pay to y* expenses of fyndynge of 
y c same Rob' duryng y" said two yere.' 2 

Walter was Robert's son ; he married a daughter of Thomas 
Gargrave. The remainder of the pedigree is correct. 

Turning now to Edward Baildon, the writer of the letter, 
although he calls himself Robert's nearest kinsman, I have not 

1 ' Chancery Proceedings,' Mitford, liv. No. 66. 
8 British Museum, Additional Charters, No. 16939. 


been able to discover the exact relationship between them. 
Edward had a brother Roger, of Barn Elms, Surrey, who by 
his will dated September 14, 1592, left his residuary estate to 
'John Bayldon, Josua, Elisha, and Sara, the children of Edward 
Bayldon, his brother, dwellinge in the Ould Jurye in London.' 1 
John and Elisha died young ; administration to their share of 
their uncle's legacy was granted to Edward Baildon and Ursula 
his wife, their parents, during the minority of Joshua and Sarah, 
their brother and sister, January 19, 1593 4- 2 

On October 17, 1600, Joshua was entered at Merchant 
Taylors' School, his father being apparently then alive. 

Nothing further is known of Edward Baildon or his family 
until 1651, when Joshua published a book with the following 
quaint title : 

' The Rarities of the World ; containing Rules and Observa- 
tions touching the Beginning of Kingdoms and Common- 
Wealths, the Division of the Ages, and the memorable things 
that happened in them : why men lived longer in those days 
than in these present times. Also The opinion of the great 
Emperours, and Egyptians, touching the life of Man ; and the 
strange things that have befallen Kings and Princes. With 
excellent discourses of Creatures bred in the Sea, to the like- 
nesse of Man ; and others on Earth. Very Pleasant and Profit- 
able. First written in Spanish by Don Petrus Messie, afterward 
translated into French, and now into English. By J. B. Gent. 
London, Printed by B. A. 1651. ' 3 

The dedication is 

' To my honoured friend an kinsman, 4 Paul Holdenby, 


' When you arrived at Dover from your travels, near upon 
twenty years since, it was my happiness to meet you there, 
where I received a token of your love, out of the store you 
brought with you, a book, Petrus Messia, translated into French, 
which hath lien by me ever since, till now, not at all perused ; 
for which I blame my own negligence. But being once entred 
into it, I found great delight in the varieties of the histories, 
and withall, that there might be much profit gathered therein, 

1 P. C. C., Harrington, fo. 69. 2 London Commissary Court. 

3 ' London, Printed by Bernard Ahop, dwelling near the upper Pump in Grub 
street, 1650.' Colophon. 

4 I cannot explain this relationship. 


which encouraged me as I read, to translate it into English, 
the better to confirm them in memory, drawn still on with 
delight, till I had finished some of the choicest Lectures, to a 
good number of sheets, which I intended onely for mine own 
private use : but being viewed by some friends, they much 
perswaded me to make them publick (though unwilling), yet 
well weighing the gravity of the matter, and the great learning 
of the Author, adding thereto the benefit that the younger sort 
might gain thereby, in making them speak as maturely and 
gravely as the gray-headed, to many things done and past, long 
before themselves had any being, I thought I should gain no 
reproach to publish what I had done in English ; which I dedi- 
cate to you, as too small a recompence for the many ancient 
favours I have received from you, desiring you to accept of 
this, as a pledge and testimony, both of my unfeigned love, 
and respectful thankfulnesse, for the many kindnesses I have 
received from you, evidenced in many particulars, for which I 
must yet, and will ever remain 

' Your affectionate and thankfull friend 


One other production of Joshua's is known, a MS. in the 
Harleian collection. It bears this title : 

1 Historic of the Create Kingdome of China, in the East 
Indies : Containeing the Scituation, Antiquities, Fertilitie, 
Religion, Ceremonies, Sacrifices, Kings, Magistrals, Manners, 
Customes, Lawes, and other memorable things of that King- 
dome : Together with three voyages made thither in the years 
1577, 1579, and 1581, with the most remarkable singularities 
there scene and taken notice of. Allsoe an Itinerarie of the 
New World, and the discovery of New Mexico in the yeare 
1538. Translated by Jos. Baildon, of the Society of that most 
magnificent Hospitall founded by Thomas Sutton, Esquire, in 
Charterhouse, 1663.' 

I know nothing further of Joshua or his family, and I shall 
be most grateful if any reader of The Ancestor can give me any 
additional information. 


Note. Since the above was set up I have seen another MS. of Joshua 
Baildon's, namely, a translation of Tabouret's Les Bigarrures et Touches du 
Seigneur des Accords, avec les Apophthegms du Sieur Gaulard et les Ecraignes 
Dijononnoises. This MS. is written from the Charterhouse, but it is not dated. 
It belongs to Mr. E. H. Bayldon of Dawlish. 



A SINGULAR glamour of romance has long surrounded 
the early history of the Grosvenors. Even the sober his- 
torian of Cheshire, though with misgiving, puts off for once 
his attitude of criticism to introduce, with a profound rever- 
ence, a family veritably dating from the Conquest. 1 Peerage 
writers such as Lodge and Burke are here in their element. 
Foster errs in the opposite direction, ignoring the earlier 
descent. Collins, improving upon the narrative in Wotton's 
Baronetage, writes 2 : 

This noble family is descended from a long train, in the male line, of illus- 
trious ancestors, who flourished in Normandy, with great dignity and grandeur, 
from the time of its first erection into a sovereign dukedom, A.D. 912, to the 
Conquest of England, in the year 1066 ; having been always ranked among 
the foremost there, either for nobleness of blood or power ; and having had 
the government of many castles and strong holds in that duchy, and likewise 
the possession of the honourable and powerful office of Le Grovenour ; it is 
certain, that from that place of high trust they took their surname . . . The 
patriarch of this ancient house was an uncle of Rollo, the famous Dane . . . 

with more to the same purpose. 

Now the family is of undoubted antiquity and distinction. 
By a long series of fortunate marriages, from the heiress of 
Pulford to the famous ' milkmaid ' of Ebury, 3 it has risen in 
wealth and consequence, and has attained in recent times the 
highest rank in the peerage. The late Duke of Westminster 
held a position in society and at court such as no mere wealth 
or peerage dignity could command. But it is a far cry from 
Queen Victoria to Rollo the famous Dane. If marriages 
brought the Grosvenors wealth, a divorce seems to have served 
as their stepping stone to honours. They have at any rate no 
claim to be reckoned, like Nevill or Howard, among our 
ancient nobility. The last head of the family was the first 

1 Ormerod, ed. Helsby, Allostock, iii. 143. 

2 Collins, ed. Bridges (1812), v. 239 ; Wotton (ed. 1741), i. 497. 'Ex 
infor. Dom. Rob. Grosvenor, Bar." One regrets especially to see old fables 
dished up once more in the Dictionary of National Biography. 

3 This is of course but a nickname. For the pedigree of Miss Davies see 
Middlesex and Herts Notes and Queries (1896), ii. 189. 


duke and third marquis ; the earldom dates only from 1784, 
and the barony from 1761. His ancestors, the Grosvenors of 
Eaton, upon whom a baronetcy was conferred in 1622, were 
cadets of a knightly house in the palatinate of Chester. The 
chief facts concerning them have long been common property ; 
but though different writers have shaken their heads over this 
or that detail, none has seriously faced the task of separating 
truth from fiction. 

The received account of their origin is in the main derived 
from the celebrated controversy between Sir Richard Scrope 
and Sir Robert Grosvenor in 138590. For example, Collins 
and Ormerod alike profess to rely upon this for their informa- 
tion. Happily a contemporary record of the suit remains, 
though no longer in a perfect state, and was printed by 
Sir Harris Nicolas. 1 The story has been told before ; but it 
is one that will bear repetition. 

In the year 1385 an English army, under the king in 
person, invaded Scotland. Among the banners displayed on 
this occasion was that of Sir Richard Scrope, first Lord Scrope 
of Bolton, a distinguished soldier and statesman, who, besides 
being present at several of the greatest battles of his time, 2 had 
held the offices of treasurer, steward of the king's household, 
and twice chancellor of England. His arms were, in the 
blazon of that day, dazure ove une bende dore. To his high 
indignation he found in the camp a knight of the palatinate, 
Sir Robert Grosvenor, bearing the same coat. A dispute 
followed, when Grosvenor maintained his right ; and the 
matter was referred to a court of chivalry, composed of the 
constable and marshal of England (or their lieutenants), with 
other nobles, knights and learned clerks, the Duke of York 
and the Earl of Salisbury among them. Many sittings were 
held ; much evidence collected and heard on either side. 
Scrope, as might be expected, brought forward the more 
numerous and more distinguished array, leading off with John 

1 Chancery, Misc. Rolls, B. 10, Nos. 2, 3. The Scrope and Grosvenor Con- 
troversy, by Sir Nicholas Harris Nicolas, privately printed, 1832. See also 
Herald and Genealogist, i. For the purposes of Burkis Peerage these far off 
events are covered by Sir Bernard Burke' s Reminiscences. 

* According to some accounts, both at Crecy and Nevill's Cross (G.E.C. 
Complete Peerage). The depositions mention that William, his elder brother, 
was at Crecy, also Henry and Stephen Scrope, but not Sir Richard. Com- 
pare General Wrottesley's monograph, Crecy and Calais. 


of Gaunt, Roy du Chastell & de Lyon, due de Lancastre. Other 
deponents on his part were Le Counte de Derby, afterwards 
Henry IV. ; the Duke of York ; Sir John Holand, styled the 
king's brother ; the Earl of Northumberland (aged 45), and a 
Sir Henry de Percy (aged 20, armez prinfment quant le Chastell 
de Berwyk estoit pris par les Escoces &? q"nt le rescous fuisf fait), in 
whom we recognise the Harry Hotspur of history and ballad ; 
and if not most noble, most famous perhaps of all, Geffray 
Cbaucere esquier, del age de xl ans & plus. Grosvenor's witnesses 
were drawn chiefly from the two counties palatine ; but among 
them were several men of mark, such as Oweyn Sire de 
Glendore, a name familiar to us all. At length in 1389 the 
Duke of Gloucester, as constable, gave sentence in favour of 
Scrope, granting the defendant permission to bear lex ditz 
armes ove un playn bordure dargent. 

Among the depositions we find mention of a third claimant 
of these arms, Thomas Carminowe, an esquire of Cornwall. He 
carried back his claim far beyond the conquest, or even Rollo, 
to King Arthur's round table. Meeting Scrope in the French 
wars he challenged his right to them, when six knights found 
that each party had made good his claim. 2 On another occa- 
sion Carminowe had been challenged in his turn by Sir John 
Daniell (or Danyers) on behalf of Sir Robert Grosvenor, his 
son-in-law, then a minor ; but I can find no mention of the 
result. 3 

1 ' Pur taunt q' de la p'tie du dit Rob't avoms trouez g'ndes euidences & 
p'sumsions semblables en sa defense des dites armes.' 

2 Depositions of John of Gaunt, Sir Thomas Fychet, etc. John Topclyffe 
adds : ' Pur ceo q' Cornwale estoit vn grosse t r re & iadys portant le noun dune 

3 At the last expedition of Edward III. to France. Depositions of Sir 
Lawrence de Dutton, William and Robert Danyell, and others. There seems 
no foundation for the statement that a duel took place, unless some writer has 
misunderstood the French ' chalangea . . . joust le Riuer de Marne ' in Clyf's 
deposition. In modern times a fourth claim has been put forward on behalf of 
the D'Oyly family. 'The original arms of the family were probably "Azure, 
a bend or" ; and though it is admitted that dignities were not generally heredi- 
tary inNormandy till the time of Hugh Capet (A.D. 987), yet this did not preclude 
the descent of armorial property, more than lands or jewels ; and presuming 
Count Robert to have borne the coat, and to have possessed Ouilly le Vicomte 
near Lisieux, it is certain that his issue soon divided into 2 branches . . . I. The 
D'Oylys, or D'Ouillys, of Ouilly le Vicomte, who bore " Azure, a bend or," and 
remained in Normandy till the period of the English Conquest ... II. The 
D'Oylys or D'Ouillys, Lords of the neighbouring vill of Ouilly la Ribaude, 


From the constable's award Grosvenor at once appealed to 
the king, who with extraordinary promptitude appointed com- 
missioners to rehear the case, and pronounced sentence upon it 
in person barely a year later. By this second sentence, not 
merely did he confirm Scrope's tide to the bende dore, with 
costs against the defendant, but quashed and annulled the 
constable's grant of the differenced coat to Grosvenor, on the 
ground that a playn bordure was no sufficient difference for a 
stranger in blood, but only for a kinsman. 1 

From the king there could be no appeal. Not many years 
later Sir Edward Hastings, for defying a similar sentence, was 
laid by the heels, and languished to the end of his days in 
the Marshalsea prison. Grosvenor had the good sense to 
give way, and, crushed under the burden of heavy costs, even 
made humble submission to his opponent. 2 Thenceforward he 
assumed new arms, azure with a sheaf of gold, which his 
descendants have borne unchallenged to this day. 

The new coat is commonly said to be a diminution of the 
three sheaves of the Earls of Chester, whom Grosvenor claimed 
as his kin. But his alleged kinship was with Hugh Lupus, 
the Domesday earl, who is said to have borne on his shield 
a wolf's head erased. He however lived before the age of 
hereditary coat armour ; and even for his son the colours are 
changed, and the field crusilly. The third earl, a nephew of 
the first, dropped the wolf's head altogether. Sheaves were 
introduced by Hugh Kevelioc ; and the three are attributed 
only to Earl Randle, third of that name, styled de Blundeville, 
with whom, on his own showing, Grosvenor's connection would 
be somewhat remote. Further, as a general rule, heralds are 
accustomed to regard the simpler coat as anterior in time to 
the more complex, and in so far more honourable. We should 
expect therefore to find, besides some change of colour, a single 

who reversed tinctures, and bore " Or, a bend azure." ' In England, D'Oyly 
bore 'Azure, z bendlets or' ; but more anciently, it is said, 'Azure, a bend 
or, a label gules.' (Account of the House of D'Oyly, by William D'Oyly Bayley, 
1845, i, 2). See also the case of Philip de la Moustre, a French knight of 
the Genevile garrison, who was taken prisoner, and nearly killed by William 
Scrope (Deposition of John Charnels). There are other foreign examples. 

1 ' Nous considerantz . . . q' tiel bordere nest difference sufficeant en armes 
entre deux estraunges & dun roialme, mes taunt soulement entre Cousyn & 
Cousyn priuez de sane,' etc. 

2 MS. Harl. 293, f. 200. This MS. to some small extent supplements the 
deficiencies of the record. 


charge increased to three, rather than three charges reduced to 
one, in order to denote a younger line of inferior rank, though 
it is not easy to point to another clear instance of either pro- 
cess. In short, three wolves' heads would seem more appro- 
priate than a single sheaf to mark the genealogical pretensions 
of the Grosvenors. 

One word of warning here to the author of Armorial 
Families. Strange to say, in his immaculate pages the betide 
dore still figures without protest as a paternal coat of 
Grosvenor ; it is quartered also by descendants of a doubt- 
ful line, who differenced their sheaf with bezants. 1 Is this 
wilful contempt, or can it be ignorance ? Mr. Fox-Davies 
is, we know, a stickler for authority. Probably therefore 
it merely shows that he cannot boast the marvellous memory 
of Sir Bernard Burke, and is not aware of the two judgments 
I have mentioned. The Marshalsea has no more terrors ; 
but I tremble to think of the vials of wrath ' X ' may open 
upon his devoted head, should he become aware of the offence 
in all its enormity. 

To return to the court of chivalry, Grosvenor's case, as 
succinctly stated, was that Sir Gilbert Grosvenor came with the 
Conqueror to England, bearing the arms in question ; and that 
from Sir Gilbert they descended in a direct line to himself. 2 
The depositions however develop it in greater detail. His 
most important witnesses are three : the Abbot of Vale Royal, 
his overlord in Allostock ; William de Praers ; and John de 
Holford, his overlord in Hulme. The abbot makes Sir 
Gilbert a nephew of Hugh Lupus the earl, who was himself 
nephew of William ; and proceeds to trace the pedigree from 
him to the defendant. Praers produces a document with the 
same pedigree, differing only in twice substituting Randulf for 
Rauf ; but this document is no older than his grandfather's 
time ; indeed the words suggest that he may have written it 

1 There is a place called Gravenor in Shropshire, and a family, taking 
from it their name, claimed to be Grosvenors, and even to be male heirs of 
Grosvenor of Hulme. The heralds allowed them the sheaf, with bezants for 
difference. But it seems, by a further confusion, some genuine Grosvenors 
were made to difference their arms also with bezants (see Herald and 
Genealogist, v.). Two of the Gravenors served in the campaign of Crecy 
(Gen. Wrottesley, Crecy and Calais). 

8 ' Alleggea q' mons' Gilb't Grosveno' venoit cue le Conquerer en Englet're 
arme en lez ditz armes et depuis en droit lynee sont descenduz au dit mons' 


himself. 1 Holford adds that the first Robert, son of Gilbert, 
and Hugh Rowenchaump, his own ancestor, had grants 
respectively from Hugh Lupus of Over and Nether Lostock, 
the lordship of a man 2 slain at the battle of Nantwich ; and 
that Over Lostock (Allostock, that is) had descended in a direct 
line to Sir Robert, the defendant. 

The evidence of the other witnesses, more than two hundred 
in number, must be very summarily treated. 3 They agree 
that the Grosvenors had borne the same arms since the Con- 
quest, a few mentioning Gilbert by name ; they had heard so 
from great and ancient men to whom they gave credence ; 
it was matter of common talk and belief in the county of 
Chester, and so forth. Many testify that they have seen 
ancient charters and muniments sealed with these arms ; they 
have seen them in church windows, on tombstones and else- 
where. Among a vast mass of repetitions the following points 
really bear upon the pedigree. 

Sir Rauf de Vernon mentions a Grosvenor (not named) 
buried at Norton Priory, and a tombstone there. Adam 
Neusom, one of Scrope's witnesses, speaks vaguely of others 
buried at St. Werburgh's in Chester, where their arms were to 
be seen in the refectory, among other places, as Thomas le 
Vernoun, John de Camphurst and Rauf de Egerton say. The 
first definite fact we get is the burial of Robert, the defendant's 
great-grandfather, a century earlier, in the church of the Friars 
Minors of Chester, commemorated by an altar-piece with his 
arms.* Of Robert, his son, we learn more. He served in 
Scotland under Edward II. as the companion in arms of 
William de Modburlegh, whose daughter he married ; and 
his arms were put up in a window of Mobberley Church some 
sixty years before. 6 He rebuilt the chapel at his own seat of 
Hulme, with armorial windows. 6 Sir Lawrence de Button 

1 ' Exhibest vn muniment sicome il auoit de la relacion de William de Praes 
sire de Bradley [teg. Baddiley] son aiel & des aut's g'ntz & aunciens gentz 
del teno' q' lensuyt.' 

2 ' un home,' which gets transformed to one ' Hame,' as if it were a proper 
name (Ormerod, iii. 163). 

3 Of sixty the evidence is wanting ; only their names are preserved in Harl. 
MS. 293. 

4 ' un table desuz un auter ' (Depositions of Lawrence de Button, Geoffrey 
Boidell, William Danyell). 

6 Dep. John and Rauf Leycestre. 

6 Dep. Massie of Podington, Lawrence de Dutton. 


fixes his death as happening ' before the great pestilence ' of 
1349. He was buried at Budworth church, with arms upon 
his tombstone, his shield and cotearmure hanging close by 
upon the wall, where many of the deponents saw them. 
Emma, his wife, was living some twenty years before, as 
John de Holcroft and Sir Richard de Bold relate. 

He, if any direct ancestor of the defendant (supposing this 
part of the pedigree to be correct), would be the Robert son of 
Robert le Grosvenor who granted lands in Coton near Chester, 
and in Owescroft (Oscroft, in Tarvin), as Hugh de Cotoun 
the younger adds, to William de Coton, or Cotton, by a 
charter, then in possession of John de Etoun, one of the 
deponents ; granting him also the Grosvenor arms, to bear 
with due difference, as might be seen on his shield hanging in 
Cristleton Church. 1 This then is the history of the arms of 
Cotton, silver with a bend between three roundels sable. The 
evidence is specially worth noting, not merely as giving us 
the origin of a well known coat, but as an instance of four- 
teenth century differencing. It also throws light upon the 
meaning of ' arms of affection,' and the manner in which they 
were conferred. According to Ormerod, Cotton's mother was 
a Grosvenor. 2 

Rauf, the defendant's father, died when on the point of 
starting for Picardy, and was buried at the chapel of Nether 
Peover, where his arms were engraved on a cross in the 
churchyard, besides being painted in the chapel. 3 We learn 
that the arms were to be seen also in the abbeys of Vale Royal 
and Combermere, in the parish churches of Lymm, Stockport, 
Wharton, Middlewich, Davenham, Tarvin and Aldford ; the 
chapels of Witton, Hulme in Sandbach, 4 Nantwich, Goostrey 
and Bouthes, and in the manor houses or chapels of Over 
Peover (steynes sur le docer en la sale), Shipbrook, Button, 
Utkington, Baddiley, and Bold in Lancashire, as well as upon 

1 Dep. Massie of Podington, Sir Hugh de Browe, John Mainwaring. 

8 Ormerod, iii. 145. Compare Meoles of Meoles, who held under 
Grosvenor : arms, silver with a bend between two lions' heads erased sable 
(Ibid. ii. 494, 498). 

3 Dep. Sir Richard de Bold, Robert de Toft, etc. Randle Mainwaring 
speaks of a churchyard cross at Over Peover too, but this looks like a clerk's 

4 Perhaps a mistake for the other Hulme. Dep. Randle Mainwaring, John 
Mainwaring, Piers de Wetenhall. 


Braddelegh Cross on the road from Knutsford to Warrington. 
We hear also of an akedon des dilz armies, which the grandfather 
wore in Scotland ; of a cotearmure formerly preserved by Sir 
John de Davenport ; and of charters in the possession of St. 
Werburgh's at Chester, of John de Holford, John de Domvile, 
John de Etoun, and John de Frodesham, but their contents 
we are not always told. 

Lastly, coming to the defendant himself, we find that 
previous to the invasion of Scotland he had seen consider- 
able service in the French wars. While still a lad, he accom- 
panied his father in law en le darrain viage du roi Edward tierce 
en france^ that is to say, in the campaign of 135960, which 
ended with the treaty of Bretigny. Thus he was no doubt 
present when Sir John Daniers challenged Carminowe, 
though by reason of youth not qualified to take up his own 
quarrel. War broke out afresh in 1369, when Froissart tells 
us a force of English and Gascons took Vire in Normandy. 
The army, under the Earls of Cambridge and Pembroke, then 
marched southward, crossing the Loire at Nantes, and the 
usual desultory fighting followed. The stronghold of Brux in 
Poitou was attacked, and carried on a second assault. Three 
esquires seized the castle of Belle Perche in the Bourbonnais, 
and there captured the due de Bourbon's mother. La Roche 
sur Yon, a fortified town of some strength, surrendered to Sir 
James Audley after a formal siege. Various deponents men- 
tion Grosvenor's presence on all these occasions, under Sir 
James de Audelegh, lieutenant of the Black Prince, al saut de 
Piers, a Nauntes en Brilaigne, al gayne del Tour de Srose, or Bruse, 
as siege de Relperge (sic), and al siege de Rocbesirion. At this 
point Froissart breaks off, but the depositions add that he was 
at Limoges, taken and retaken in 1370, al rescus de Blank en 
Berri (Le Blanc, on the river Creuse), at the winning of Beau- 
lieu in Guyenne, at Mauleverer in Anjou, and at Issoudun in 
Poitou. Again he was with the late king at Sandwich, and en 
le darrein viage du roi Edward sur le meer ; that is, in the abor- 
tive expedition, intended for the relief of Thouars, which set 
sail in August, 1372, but returned a month or two later with- 
out having effected a landing. Of his second marriage with 
the lady of Pulford we hear from one of Scrope's witnesses, 
Sir Maheu Redeman. The evidence I have thus epitomized 
supplies us with the following 


Supposed Pedigree 

Gilbert le Grosvenor, came at the Conquest, nephew of Hugh Lupus= .... 
Sir Robert le Grosvenor, son and heir, grantee of Over Lostock from Hugh Lupus= .... 
Henry [son and heir] = . . . . 

Rauf, or Randle [son and heir] = . . . . 

Richard [son and heir] = . . , 

Robert le Grosvenor [son and heir] died circ. 1286 
bur. at the Friars Minors, Chester 

Robert le Grosvenor [son and heir], rebuilt Hulme chapel=Emma dau. of William 
served in Scotland temp. Ed. II., died before the great de Modburlegh, living 
pestilence of 1349, bur. at Great Budworth circa 1366 

Rauf le Grosvenor [son and heir], bur. at Nether Peover= . . . . 

(i) = Sir Robert le Grosvenor 

. . . dau. of Sir John Danyell (i) = Sir Robert le Grosvenor [son and=(i) the lady of 
married in his youth heir], the defendant Pulford 

Now there are evident difficulties in accepting this story 
as it stands ; but the first question is, what evidence did 
Grosvenor produce in its favour. The answer is simple. For 
the tradition there is evidence enough and to spare ; for the 
truth of it, none. To support such a case we might expect 
to find an enormous mass of documents charters, pleas, fines, 
registers, chronicles and what not. The Abbot of Vale Royal 
refers to a chronicle, but it was not put in ; not only is the 
fact categorically asserted by the other side, but when, on the 
appeal, special requisition is made to the constable of England 


for this authority, he denies all knowledge of it. All he has to 
transmit is a chest containing nine charters, and these, to judge 
by the expressions used about them, were intended to prove the 
arms and not the pedigree. Eight, we are told, were sealed 
with the bend ; and none of these is likely to have been older 
than the thirteenth century. 

When therefore the other side reply that the abbot ad forge 
un discent encountre verite . . . saunz monstrer ascuns cronicles ou 
autres munimentz ou evidences autentikes par qeux il purroit proever 
le discent suisdit & est impossible &? increable q bomme de tiel 
age ou de tiel estat duist proever ceo qil ad depose . . . par soun 
bouche y there is but one word to which we can take exception. 
In the mouth of an advocate the word forge was not without 
justification under the circumstances ; but the impartial his- 
torian must hesitate to use so strong an expression, for reasons 
which will presently appear. Not that a Vale Royal chronicle 
would in any case be of much authority ; for the abbey was 
not founded until about 1270. Praers' 'muniment ' has already 
been described. Holford is usually put forward as heir general 
of the Lostocks ; but from the extinction of the male line their 
pedigree and the devolution of their estate are alike involved 
in obscurity. Though mesne lords of Hulme, the Holfords 
sprang from the second marriage of the heiress ; and she seems 
to have had male issue by her former husband. At all events 
the manor of Lostock Gralam has not been traced to them ; so 
that the deponent was not likely to be in possession of evidences 
relating to the progenitor of whom he speaks. 1 Thus the earlier 
i part of the pedigree rests upon nothing but tradition confused, 
but not baseless tradition, as I hope to show. 

Not a word, be it observed, of the ' honourable and power- 
ful office of Le Grovenour,' or Grand Huntsman to the Dukes 
of Normandy, as others have called it. The court of France 
boasted its Grand Veneur ; but the office, as Anselme says, nest 
pas fort ancien, dating from the fifteenth century. Before that 
time there had been a mattre Veneur, or maitre de la Vennerie, 
as early as 1231.* There seems to be no evidence that such 
an official existed in Normandy, or in England, at the conquest. 
In Cheshire there were several forest serjeanties held by Kings- 
ley, Silvester, Davenport and others one actually by a Gros- 
venor; but these were purely local, not court appointments. 

1 Ormerod, i. 670 ; iii. 164. * Anselme, viii. 683, 694. 



Several writers again have commented on the form of the name; 
the difficulty of rendering le Gros, or Grossus, in the sense 
required. Whoever heard of the office of Grossocamerarius, or 
Grossocancellarius ; of Grosmareschal, or Grosbotiller ? * Not a 
word either of the Grosvenor at the battle of Lincoln, the 
Grosvenor who went on crusade with King Richard, or the 
Grosvenor who fought at Crecy and Poitiers. 2 The last at all 
events could not have been forgotten. A number of Scrope's 
witnesses were at Crecy themselves ; but they all declare they 
had never heard the name. 

However, it is time to examine more closely the tradition 
which was actually current at the time of the trial. And first, 
as to the arms, Grosvenor clearly affects to prove too much. The 
same must be said of Scrope's case also ; but that is another 
story. The system of heraldry, as we know it, was no doubt 
of gradual growth ; but it is generally agreed that hereditary 
arms cannot be traced in this country much further back than 
the end of the twelfth century. Even for the leopards of 
England no higher antiquity is claimed. The Earls of Chester, 
as we have seen, furnish another example. Yet here is a family 
of comparatively obscure position pretending that their arms 
date from before the conquest. 

Indeed, if coming with the Conqueror mean that they were 
among the invaders of 1066, there is reason to doubt whether 
Grosvenor or any of the Cheshire families can claim as much. 
Beyond, perhaps, a nominal submission, the palatinate probably 
remained unconquered until the expedition of 1069. Hugh 
de Avranches was only made earl a year or more later, and with 
all England at his disposal, there must have been some reason 
why William should leave so near a kinsman to wait four or 
five years. According to some authorities, Hugh was a mere 
boy at the first invasion, and joined his uncle in England at a 
later time, 3 and this reckoning the date of his earldom would 
certainly support. What then of Gilbert Grosvenor ? It does 

1 It should be mentioned that Grauntvenor is twice reported once in Randle 
Holmes' copy of the Vale Royal Ledger Book, MS. Harl. 2064, 276 ; once 
in an Arley Charter, as printed by Mr. Beamont. But the other form is 
practically universal. 

2 Ormerod, iii. 146, apparently from Sir P. Leycestre's MSS. Collins gives 
no authority. When Najara in Spain is mentioned, the nature of the error 
cannot be in much doubt, for several deponents say Scrope was there. 

3 Planche, The Conqueror and his Companions. Recherches sur Domesday. 


sometimes happen that a nephew is older than his uncle ; but 
the story is that they came together. 

Hugh, at any rate, with his palatine earldom, and estates in 
many counties besides, was now handsomely provided for, and 
had broad lands to bestow. Yet, if the tale be true, how 
shabbily he used this nephew of his. Strange also that Gilbert 
should receive nothing whatever from the king, with whom, as 
the earl's nephew, he would be not distantly connected, though 
we may ignore the theory of an office at court. Contrast his 
position with that of another Gilbert, also called a nephew of 
Earl Hugh de Aquila, the baron of Pevensey. Compare his 
miserable moiety of Lostock with the estates which the barons 
of the palatinate received, or even with those granted in more 
settled times by later earls as a reward for good service, to le 
Roter, for instance, or to Fitton. But indeed Gilbert is made 
altogether a landless man, for even the moiety in question was 
only granted if we are to believe Holford to Robert his son. 
We shall find that not without a certain significance. 

By reference to Domesday, we can surely settle whether the 
story is true or false. Now Domesday knows nothing either 
of Grosvenor or of de Ronchamp, the alleged tenants of the 
two Lostocks. Indeed it has no mention of Lostock at all. 
At a later time both Lostocks are found to be members of 
Weaverham, the capital manor with which King Edward en- 
dowed his abbey of Vale Royal. Grosvenor, for his moiety, 
paid the abbey a rent of ijs. a year and 2 pigs, with suit of 
court at Weaverham, finding 4 men to serve in the Welsh 
wars, when Weaverham found 8, and when 6 or 4 in the 
same proportion. He also found a doomsman for the court 
of Weaverham on behalf of the town of Lostock, viz. his own 
moiety and the other. 1 In Domesday Weaverham is rated at 
13 hides, Lostock no doubt being included, just as subordinate 
manors were included in the 7 hides which Mascy held in 
Eastham, these expanding afterwards into Bromborough, Bid- 
ston, Saughall Massey, Morton and Claghton. In other words, 
Lostock was still in the earl's hands, and had never been 
granted out. There remains a possibility that Hugh Lupus 
might have made the alleged grant later than Domesday ; but 
clearly it was not made at or soon after the conquest. As a 
matter of fact, we find evidence that Grosvenor's estate there 
was acquired several generations later. 

1 Ledger Book. MS. Harl. 2064, ff. 258, 273 seq. 275, 281. 


One word more and I leave the abbot's pedigree for the 
present. We have seen that it rested simply on tradition : 
we have found that all the evidence is against it. Probably 
enough has been said to destroy our faith ; we shall be no 
more ready to accept it as history than was the court of 
chivalry. An assertion, I know, has been made that at the 
trial Grosvenor's descent was handsomely acknowledged, 
though Scrope was found to have a better right to the disputed 
arms. There is however nothing in either judgment to justify 
such a statement. The only words which seem to tell at all in 
the defendant's favour are those I have quoted from the con- 
stable's sentence, awarding to him the differenced coat. These 
speak for themselves : it is clear to me that no such interpre- 
tation can be put upon them. 

Now for the facts, so far as they are known to us. The 
earliest Grosvenor in history lived about a century later than 
the Conquest. His name was Robert, and he received a grant 
of land from Earl Hugh. But the earl was not Hugh Lupus; 
nor was the property Allostock. In 1 806, when Dr. Ormerod 
copied it, the original charter was in the Earl of Shrewsbury's 
collection. 1 Hugh Kevelioc was Earl of Chester from 1 1 53 to 
1181. Ormerod originally fixed the date as before 1160, in 
the belief that the first witness died that year ; but finding that 
he had misread Brooke, withdrew that date in a subsequent 
note. By this charter Hugh Earl of Chester grants to Robert 
Grosvenor the whole town of Buddeworth, a moiety of his vert 
and venison in the forest of Mara, and a moiety of the custody 
of his dogs. The witnesses are Richard son of the Earl of 
Gloucester, William Patric, Ralph son of Warner, Randle the 
priest of Bunbury, Gamel Peverel and William Malbanc. 
This was Budworth in the Frith, or Little Budworth, on the 
border of the forest, in which, to judge by his name, the grantee 
was previously acting as an officer of the earl. 

From Robert descend the Grosvenors of Budworth, and I 
have no doubt the Grosvenors of Hulme and Eaton as well. 
The pedigree of the former line is anything but clear ; however 
there is no occasion to follow them very far. Ormerod next 
cites a precept of Randle (de Blundeville) Earl of Chester 
(i 1811232), summoning Alice, 'widow of the first mentioned 
Robert,' and William de Stretton, her husband, to answer 
Robert Grosvenor, grandson of the first Robert, concerning 

1 Ormerod, ii. 211. 


his (sic) claim to dower on Budworth, said to be made con- 
trary to an agreement between Randle Grosvenor of Budworth, 
his father, and Robert son of Robert le Grosvenor, brother of 
Randle. This statement is reported to be taken from that 
mysterious source, the Cheshire Domesday, and appears in a 
very unsatisfactory form. Unfortunately it cannot be verified, 
being earlier than any of the existing Plea Rolls, and we must 
make the best of it. Probably it will be safe to accept as a fact 
that Robert Grosvenor (that is to say, either the grantee of 
Budworth, as Ormerod assumes, or possibly a successor of his) 
had issue two sons, Randle and Robert, and that Randle died 
before 1232, leaving Robert his son. This last Robert was 
recently dead in May 1241, when Margery, his widow, had 
dower assigned to her, and a grant of the custody of the heir. 1 

According to the pedigree given by Ormerod (or Mr. 
Helsby), Robert was succeeded by a son named Richard. 
But in 1270 Warin le Grosvenor was the forester ; * no doubt 
the same Warin who made purprestures in the forest to the 
extent of fourscore acres ' after the death of the earls ' (i.e. later 
than 1237), and was bailiff of Darnhall 'before the abbey came 
there' (before 1270 or 12 73).* Richard le Grosvenor, it is 
said, in 1295 held a knight's fee (elsewhere it is half a knight's 
fee) in Budworth en le Frith. Ormerod (quoting Collins) 
refers for this statement to the Red Book of the Exchequer, 
but I have failed to trace his reference, there or elsewhere. 
However it is supported by the further statement that, in 23 
Edward I., Richard, son and heir of Richard le Grosvenor, 
was suing Richard Done for his share of the forestership.* 

Meanwhile a Richard Grosvenor, son of Randle, had ac- 
quired an estate at Hulme in Allostock. The authority for 
this is a deed quoted by Ormerod from Sir Peter Leycester's 
MS. collections the first of a series which enabled him to set 
out in considerable detail the pedigree of the Grosvenors of 
Hulme. 8 By this deed Gralam de Lostock grants, for his 
homage and service, Ricbardo fillo Ranulpbi Grossovenatoris the 
whole of the land in Hulme within the hedges which Richard 

1 Roberts, Excerpta e Rot. Fin. i. 343, 351. 

2 Pleas of the Forest, in Ormerod, ii. 1 08. 

3 Vale Royal Ledger Book, MS. Harl. 2064, ff. 254, 276. 

4 A somewhat suspicious circumstance is that an inquisition was taken upon 
a Richard Grosvenor in 23 Edward III., and Richard was his son and heir. 

6 Tabley MSS. book C. ff. 1 20 seqq. 


son of Maurice and David son of Adam held, with common of 
pasture, etc., to hold of the grantor and his heirs ; the witnesses 
being Richard de Sonbach, Richard de Wibbenbury (then 
sheriff), Roberto Grossovenatore, Randle clerk of Ruston, Randle 
de Horton, Roger de Kegworth, Adam parson of Limme and 
Hugh de Bostoc. ' This purchase,' our author na'fvely re- 
marks, ' has been often mistaken for the first settlement of the 
Grosvenors in Allostock.' We will venture at all events to 
assume that it represents the ' manor of Hulme ' held of John 
de Holford long afterwards by Sir Robert Grosvenor at the 
time of his death, and valued at 10 marks per annum. 

Ormerod (following Sir Peter Leycester) dates the above 
deed I234. 1 Gralam de Lostock occurs elsewhere in 1241.* 
There need therefore be no difficulty, so far as dates go, in 
supposing the grantee to be a son of Randle Grosvenor of 
Budworth, of whom we can only say that he died before 1232, 
and younger brother of Robert Grosvenor, the witness. Put- 
ting aside all preconceptions based upon the received tradition, 
this would seem to be the natural conclusion. In 1247 Richard 
has a release from Richard de Chornoc of two bovates of land 
in Hulme ; and in 1269 (the dates are still Sir Peter Leycester's) 
makes an agreement with the prior of Norton concerning the 
service of the chapel at Nether Peover. 

Not long afterwards he died, and was succeeded by a son 
Robert (styled in several deeds Robert son of Richard le 
Grosvenor), 3 about the time that the abbey of Vale Royal was 
founded and endowed with the capital manor of Weaverham. 
Robert it was who acquired the estate in Allostock, described 
later as the manor of Lostock or Allostock, and thus became 
a tenant of the abbey. Three deeds are quoted : one from 
Richard son of Richard de Lostok, a second from John son of 
Alan de Lostock granting all his lands in Allostocke, and a 
third from Adam de Merton granting all his lands in Allostock 
in exchange for other lands; Margery wife of Robert Grosvenor 
being named in the last. These three deeds are not dated, 
but one of them is reported to have been enrolled in 1284. 
Robert appears in Ormerod's list as sheriff of Chester, 1216 

1 See also his list of sheriff. The official list, recently printed, gives none 
for Cheshire at so early a date. a Excerpta e Rot. Fin. 

3 Mr. Helsby finds in a copy of the Cheshire Domesday a grant to him from 
Richard le Vernun and Mabel his wife, of all their land in Bexton, and dates 
the deed 1270-4. 


Edward I. (1284-7) i an d we found in the depositions that he 
died a hundred years before the controversy with Scrope (circa 
1286), and was buried at the Friars Minors in Chester. 

His son, also named Robert, was a minor in 1293, when 
there was a dispute about his wardship between Richard de 
Lostok and the abbot, settled by a concord in the abbot's 
favour, Henry de Lascy Earl of Lincoln (as chief lord of the 
other party) apposing his claim. At the same time Margery, 
the widow, was suing the abbot for her dower. 1 In March, 
1305, being then of age, he did homage to the abbot for his 
manor of ' Lostoke,' on Saturday after the feast of St. Edward 
king and confessor, 33 Edward I. 8 A year later he joined 
with his wife, another Margery, in executing two trust deeds 
of his estates. As sheriff of Chester he witnesses two deeds 
(dated 1-5 Edward II., between 1307 and 1312) now in the 
Record Office, 3 but has not been included either in the official 
list of sheriffs or in Ormerod's. 

At this point a serious difficulty arises. According to all the 
pedigrees, and the deponents' statements, the last Robert was 
great-grandfather of Sir Robert Grosvenor, the defendant in 
1386, and this was his grandfather, who married Emma Modbur- 
legh, and lived until about 1340. But there is an entry in the 
Ledger Book of Vale Royal that in 1328, on Saturday after the 
feast of St. Richard bishop and confessor, Robert le Grovenour 
of Ruddheth did homage for the manor of Lostok. 4 If we are 
to accept this statement and it cannot be lightly ignored it 
means that the depositions as well as the pedigrees are wrong ; 
that one generation has somehow been left out ; and that there 
were three Roberts in succession instead of two. Further, the 
dates involve a certain awkwardness. Assuming the second 
Robert to be no older than twenty-one when he did homage 
in 1305, and that Sir Robert stated his age accurately at fifty 
in 1391, the great-grandson would be only fifty-seven years 
younger than his great-grandfather ; or in other words, sons 
were born in three successive generations when the fathers 
were under twenty years of age. Even that, improbable as it 
may seem, is not altogether beyond the bounds of possibility. 

1 Chester Plea Roll, No. 7, mm. I, 6. 

8 Ledger Book, MS. Harl. 2064, ff. 275, 281. 

3 Ancient Deeds, B. 1843, 1845. 

4 MS. Harl. 2064, f. 258. The date 1328 is inserted in the text ; or one 
might conjecture that 2 Edward III. was an error for 2 Edward I. 


But if Sir Robert was really born in 1341, it follows that he 
was over thirty years of age when he did homage to the abbot 
for his lands in 1373 ;* and no doubt some deduction is to be 
made from the round number fifty which he gave as his age ; 
whilst it is likely enough that the homage of 1 305 was simi- 
larly deferred, at any rate for a year or two. What we know 
for certain is that the second Robert was born between 1271 
and 1284, Robert of Rudheath earlier than 1307, his son (as it 
will appear) before 1322, and his grandson before (no doubt 
several years before) 1352. For my own part, I am inclined 
to stand by the Ledger Book and insert an extra generation 
in the pedigree. 

Robert Grosvenor of 1305, then, I put down as dead in 1328. 
This was the companion in arms of William de Modburlegh 
in the Scotch war under Edward II. ; but it was his son who 
married William's daughter. The marriage had taken place 
before 1323 (16 Edward II.), when she is named as his wife ; 
and the fact that he is described as of Rudheath may be taken 
to imply that he had a home of his own during his father's 
lifetime. With Emma de Modburlegh as coheir of her 
mother Maud, daughter and heiress of Robert Downes of 
Chorlegh came a share of lands in Chorlegh and Werford. 
Her father's estate, on the death of her half-brother without 
issue, passed to a sister of the whole blood. She survived her 
husband, and in 16 Edward III. (1342) made a grant of land 
to Ralph her son and Joan his wife, and another to Robert her 
younger son. In 20 Edward III. (1346) she was named in a 
conveyance of lands in Lostock Gralam and elsewhere made 
by John de Ruddeheath to Ralph Grosvenor ; and, according 
to the depositions, was still living about 1366. Ralph died in 
or before 30 Edward III. (1356, the year of Poitiers), when 
(as we have seen) on the point of starting for Picardy. 

Sir Robert, we already know, while still a minor, married a 
daughter of Sir John Danyell, or Danyers, and accompanied 
his father-in-law to France in 1359-60. His subsequent 
services, under the Black Prince and Sir James Audley, come 
just ten years later ; but he may have spent much or all of 
the intervening period in Guienne, as he did not pay homage 
to the abbot for his lands in Lostock until 1373. He was 
then a widower, his wife Margaret having died in June 1370, 
as he himself states in 1391, when called to prove the age of 
1 MS. Harl. 2064, ff. 260, 281. 


John son of Sir Thomas Ardern, the occasion on which he 
gave his age as fifty. 1 By a second marriage with Joan, the 
heiress of Pulford, he considerably improved the position of 
the family, securing with her a tide to the manor of Pulford, 
an estate in Dunham Massey, and other lands besides ; but, in 
consequence of subsisting life interests, the bulk of this pro- 
perty was first enjoyed by their son Sir Thomas Grosvenor, 
who was born in 1377.* Joan had previously been married 
to Thomas Belgrave, and had children by him, whose fate is 
somewhat of a mystery. 3 Sir Robert was sheriff in 1389 and 
again in 1394-5, and died April 22, 1396.* Upon his grand- 
son's death, the estate was divided among coheirs ; but through 
Ralph Grosvenor of Eaton, a younger brother of the last 
Grosvenor of Hulme, the male line has since been continued. 
It will be convenient here to tabulate the probable pedigree, 
which is therefore set out on the next page. 

Here then are the two versions of the story : one based upon 
documentary evidence, such as we have, the other pure tradi- 
tion. Placing them side by side, it is not hard, I think, to 
trace the genesis of the fable. A grant by Earl Hugh to 
Robert Grosvenor admittedly laid the foundation of the 
family fortunes. The fact lived in their memory ; and in the 
course of time the beginning of their own history became 
associated with the beginning of all local history the epoch of 
the Conquest, the creation of the palatinate ; and their recollec- 
tion of Hugh Kevelioc was lost in the overshadowing personality 
of Hugh Lupus. What could be more natural ? But further, 
the great earl himself is depicted, in history and legend, as a 
gros veneur at once a mighty hunter and a man of huge bulk, 
Hugh Vras, as the Welshmen called him. The conclusion is 
inevitable : he and no other was the original Grossovenator ; 
and the man who took that surname, since he could not well 
have been a son, must have been at least a nephew. 5 True, 

1 Ches. Inq. 1 5 Ric. II. No. 7. It would appear that he was in England 
in the spring of 1370. a Ibid. 22 Ric. II. No. 14, 8 Hen. VI. No. 5. 

3 I have discussed this subject in a paper on the ' Representation of the 
Barons of Dunham ' in the Genealogist, n.s. xvi. 1 6. Joan Pulford's grand- 
mother, Katherine Dutton, was a granddaughter and one of the coheirs of the 
last Sir Hamon de Mascy. 

* Ches. Inq. 19 Ric. II. No. 9. 

6 Where so much is obscure, there is always a possibility of some actual 
affinity between Robert Grosvenor, or his unknown wife, and Hugh Kevelioc. 
The same earl very likely was grantor of Lostock as well as of Budworth. 



Probable Pedigree 

Robert U Grotvenor of Budviortb=Alice={z) William dt Stretttn 
(f grantee of Hugb Kevelioc) 

Randle le Grosvenor 
(t of Budwortb, died 
befort 1232, v.m.) 


Robert le Groivenor of 
Budwortb, dead 1241 

Richard le ( 

: Grosvenor of Hulme 
occurs 1234, 1269 

Robert le Grosvenor of Hulme= Margery 
died before 1293 : bur. at the I 1293 
Friars Minors, Chester 

Robert le Grosvenor of Hulme, a minor=Margery 
1293, did homage 1305, dead 1328 | 1305-6 

Robert le Grosvenor of Rudheath, aft. of=Emma dau. and coh. of William de 

Hulme, did homage 1328, died before 
1342, bur. at Great Budworth 

Modburlegh by Maud dau. and h. of 
Robert Downes, m. before 1323, 
occurs 1346, living circa 1366 

Ralph le Grosvenor of Hulme=Joan 
occurs 1342, 1346, died be- 1342 
fore 1356. Bur. at Nether 


Margaret dau. of Sir John (i) = Sir Robert le Grosvenor of Hulme = (2) Joan dau. of Robert de 
Danyers, died in June 1370 did homage 1373, the defendant I Pulford, heir to John her 
1385-90 (aged 50 in 1391) died I brother : widow of Tho- 
22 April 1396 I mas de Belgrave 



when it comes to a detailed pedigree, the difference of a cen- 
tury or so should involve chronological difficulties. But reck- 
lessness in regard to dates has been the besetting sin of 
genealogists. The abbot evades this question altogether ; and 
the rough test of reckoning the average number of years to a 
generation would be as foreign to his methods as the attempt 
to fix accurately the birth and death of the persons he named 
would be hopeless. 

At the time of the trial, the Grosvenors had already been 
seated at Hulme a century and a half, and lords of Allostock 
for three or four generations. That was long enough to obscure 
the memories they brought with them from Budworth, and 
transfer the tradition to their own manor. Budworth, it 
should not be forgotten, was granted to Robert Grosvenor, 
and it was a Robert also who acquired Allostock. In the 
interval they had increased their estate until they were of more 
consequence than the original stock, and, with a confused 
tradition of their origin, believed themselves, and were believed 
to be, the elder line. Recently the representation of the family 
at Budworth had passed to a female, so that they were the less 
likely to be contradicted. Not that there is any occasion to 
suggest imposture. Even in these critical days, with a 
Registrar General and books of reference without end, who 
has not met with honest people cherishing some fond delusion 
about their origin and connections ? 

After all, the curious thing is that the abbot's pedigree was 
so nearly right. Later attempts have not always improved 
upon it. Eliminate Gilbert and Henry, provide Richard with 
an elder brother, and clear up the question about the three 
successive Roberts, and nothing remains to correct. But what 
of Gilbert, who came with the Conqueror ? He may be ac- 
counted for in this way. In early Cheshire documents we 
frequently meet with men called Venator^ as if it were a sur- 
name. There was however no family of any position in the 
county, so far as we know, who adopted it permanently, either 
in the Latin form, as le Veneur, or as Hunter. 1 The abbot, 
therefore, or others examining deeds and ancient records, if 
aware of the Grosvenor tradition, might easily be led to suppose 
that in these names they found confirmation of it, and that 
Venator meant Grosvenor. The Gilbertm Venator of Domesday, 

1 See however W. Beamont, Arlej Charters, xxxvi. 


since no Robert appears there, was thus impressed to do duty 
as founder of the family. 

Put baldly thus, after what has gone before, the assumption 
may not sound very convincing. But it is one that modern 
writers have evidently made ; for instance, the anonymous 
author of the Norman People in England, and the Duchess of 
Cleveland in her Roll of Battle Abbey. Collins, not content 
with embracing also Radulphus Venator of Domesday and the 
foundation charter of St. Werburgh's (known to be the brother 
of Hugh son of Norman, and ancestor of the barons of 
Mohaut) and Ranulphus Senator of Earl Richard's charter, 
invades a neighbouring county to lay violent hands on Ulger 
le Grosvenor, as he calls him, who was in command at Bridg- 
north Castle in 1102. This turns out to be Ulger Senator of 
Bolas, of whose family an account may be found in Eyton's 
History of Shropshire. But Collins followed Wotton ; Wotton 
relied upon information supplied by the Sir Robert Grosvenor 
of his time ; and Grosvenor, in all probability, upon the work 
of the earlier Cheshire collectors and genealogists, one of 
whom, Sir Peter Leycester, we know, had access to the Hulme 
muniments, and largely availed himself of them. 1 The as- 
sumption, it would thus seem, is one of respectable antiquity 
and some persistence. 

Nor would it necessarily be always wrong. If not a family 
surname, Venator must designate an office, and one which some 
of the Grosvenors held. A Stepbanus Venator^ said to be also 
called le Grosvenor, occurs in the Arley Charters and elsewhere, 
and seems to be the same person as Stephen de Merton. Now 
the Mertons too appear as foresters (or perhaps deputies) in 
Mara ; they had interests, as we have seen, in Lostock ; and 
their arms were azure with three bends silver highly sugges- 
tive of Grosvenors' coat, differenced for a cadet.* A wholesale 

1 Comparing the account in Wotton with that in Ormerod, there can be 
little doubt that Sir Peter's collections are the source of both narratives. Which 
of them is to blame for so embroidering the abbot's plain tale, I am not in a 
position to say : for the present the burden of suspicion must be shared be- 
tween Wotton, his informant, and Sir Peter. 

2 Their history begins with a deed of Earl Randle (de Blundeville), inaccur- 
ately copied in MS. Harl. 2074, f. 170. By this the earl grants (or confirms) 
Merton and the office of usher in his household (hostiarius in domo meo) to 
Ran' de Mereton filio ~Ra.n\i\' , fostiario fideli meo. Ormerod printed this word 

forestario ; but the context suggests that hostiario is the correct reading. Merton 
was subsequently given up to Vale Royal, in exchange for Gayton in Wirral 


application however of this interpretation would not do. For 
example, a Ranulpbus Senator, who gave Cattenhall to pious 
uses, 1 is called in later inquisitions the lord of Kingsley ; that 
is to say he was Randle Kingsley, the other forester of Mara. 

And so with Gilbert. He held none of the lands found 
soon after in possession of the Grosvenors ; but it is needless 
to labour the point, for there can be no question who he was. 
Newbold, Brereton, Kinderton, Davenport, Witton, Blaken- 
hall, with a share in Sinderland and Baguley these are all 
among the Venables lordships, Kinderton indeed the caput 
baroni<e, and at once prove his identity with Gilbert de 
Venables, named in the same survey as lord of Eccleston, 
Alpraham, Tarporley, Wettenhall, Hartford, Lymm, High 
Leigh, Winsham, Mere, Peover, Rostherne and Hope. Not 
a landless man exactly, this Gilbert : a baron and founder of a 
baronial house ; a substantial person enough, albeit himself, as 
slayer of dragons and a reputed scion of the house of Blois, on 
the borderland between history and legend. The obscure 
owner of Budworth, or of a moiety of Lostock, was clearly no 
heir of his. 

The same assumption may possibly have led the Grosvenors, 
in the first instance, to adopt the bende dore. The name 
le Veneur was not uncommon in Normandy, and French 
writers tell us that a bend azure was borne with that surname 
by Norman families. 2 We may easily suppose that one of the 
Grosvenors, or kinsfolk and neighbours of theirs from Cheshire, 
passing over to Normandy on some occasion, happened to meet 
with le Veneurs there, and claimed relationship, as an American 
travelling in this country might do. We are not always logical 
even in these days. The reversal of colours would be quite in 
accordance with precedent ; and a vague knowledge that 
similar arms were borne by presumed kinsfolk across the 
Channel was pretty certain to give rise to the idea that they 
were originally brought over from Normandy with the Con- 
queror of course. If my conjecture be wrong, the similarity of 
the Norman coat and name is certainly acurious coincidence. 

and Lache upon Rudheath ; the king adding the bailiwick of his hundred of 
Caldey ; and there again, as at Hilbre and Meoles, the Grosvenors had some 
interest, hitherto unexplained (Ormerod, ii. 1 76-80, 498, 516; iii. 145 and note). 

1 Ormerod, ii. 98. 

* LzRoque,Maison<t'Harcourt,ii. 1180, seq. See also Anselme,viii. 256,509. ; 
and compare 31 1, 683, 685 ; also vi. 661. 


Who, then, was Robert Grosvenor ? Was he a descendant, 
though not heir, of Gilbert Venables ? If so, we might expect 
to find him holding land under that baron by sub-infeudation. 
Was he a corpulent le Veneur fresh from Normandy ? Of 
that there is no indication. He need not have been Norman 
at all. The Domesday tenant of Kingsley, the lordship 
which gave his colleague in the forest a surname, was one 
Dunning, who, before the Conquest, held also Oulton Lowe, 
Greasby and Storeton. The foresters, his successors, were 
not improbably his heirs ; they are found to be mesne lords of 
Oulton Lowe as well, attributed in Domesday to Nigellus 
(de Burceio), as were Greasby and Storeton. Storeton after- 
wards belonged to the forester of Wirral. The Davenports 
again, in Macclesfield forest, trace back their pedigree to an 
early Orm, whose name was not unknown in that part of 
England before the invasion. Mr. Round, in his Introduction 
to the Hampshire Domesday, has pointed out that, in that 
county, 'of the huntsmen most were English.' 1 A poacher, it 
is said, makes the best gamekeeper. To appoint men of native 
origin to these offices, and make them responsible for enforcing 
the forest law, may have been found convenient, or even a 
matter of settled policy. To base a theory upon these 
suggestions would be rash, but hardly more rash than to infer 
Norman blood from a French surname. 

Whatever their origin, the vitality of the legend is remark- 
able. Not merely has belief in it been kept green at Eaton, 
as the great equestrian statue before the house and the baptis- 
mal names of the late duke testify, but perhaps no other story 
of the kind is as widely known and credited. The court of 
chivalry, with its suggestions of romance and pageantry, aided 
no doubt by the ever growing wealth and importance of the 
family, has made a deep impression upon the public mind. 
The Scropes are almost forgotten. Cheshire can boast several 
families, Venables and Vernon, Massey and Mainwaring, which 
undoubtedly spring from Norman invaders, and bear names 
brought with them from lordships beyond the sea. Yet for 
one person to-day to whom these names have any meaning, 
twenty would be ready to say that the Grosvenors came over 
with the Conqueror. 

W. H. B. BIRD. 

1 Victoria History of Hampshire, i. 425. 



IN my Studies on Peerage and Family History (p. 68) I ven- 
tured to ask the question : ' What authority can there be 
for "Sir Geoffrey de Estmonte, Knight, of Huntington in 
county Lincoln " being one of " the thirty knights who landed 
at Bannow in 1172," as alleged in Burke 's Peerage? As a 
matter of fact there is, and could be, none whatever. The 
statement, however, is repeated and even defiantly amplified 
in the 1 902 edition of Burke" s Peerage. Its respective versions 
are as follows : 

1901 1902 

of Huntington co. Lincoln, accom- ESMONDEYS) Knt. of Huntington co. 
panied Strongbow in the invasion of Lincoln, now called Honington 
Ireland A.D. 1 172, and was one of the (which he gave in 1216 to the 
thirty knights who landed at Bannow Priory of Stixwold), accompanied 
co. Wexford. 1 Strongbow to the Conquest of Ire- 

land A.D. 1172, and was one of the 
thirty knights who landed at Bannow 
co. Wexford. 

To those who may take the editor at his word and accept 
these statements as 'authoritative' I may explain (i) that this 
landing took place in 1168 or 1169, not in 1172 ; (2) that its 
leader was not Strongbow (who had not then set foot in Ire- 
land) but a man called Robert FitzStephen ; (3) that there is 
no list of the names of those who followed him. 2 These are 
not matters of opinion ; they are matters of historic fact. It 
was recently announced that Sir Thomas Esmonde, at the 
head of whose pedigree in Burke the above statements are 
found, ' will endeavour to secure ' from the Government ' pro- 
mise of a special department for prosecuting research into 

1 The above statement was introduced into the work between 1885 and 
1889, and therefore in the lifetime of Sir Bernard Burke. 

2 The authority for this landing is Geraldus Cambrensis, who in his 
chapter headed Adventus Stephanidz ' writes as follows : ' Robertus Stephani 
filius . . . cum triginta militibus de proximis et alumnis suis . . . circa 
kalendas Maii in tribus navibus apud Banuam applicuit ' (Ed. Rolls Series, v. 


Irish history.' l There is a touch, surely, of Hibernian 
humour in suggesting that any such research is needed, when 
an Irish herald is able to state that the ancestor of an Irish 
baronet landed at Bannow with Strongbow, though history 
has forgotten to record the fact, and has further shown that, 
if the ancestor was there, Strongbow himself was not. 

But I have now to deal with the developed story in Burke 
for 1902. Attempting to ignore my book and the demonstra- 
tions it contained of the true character of his production, the 
editor assures his readers, more loudly, if possible, than ever, 
that they may take its statements as * authoritative.' I am 
obliged to quote his very words : 

It is gratifying to the Editor to know ... by the flattering comments of 
the Press, and the host of letters from critics well versed in genealogy and 
heraldry, that Bur&e's Peerage not merely maintains its high position of so 
many years' standing, but is gaining in reputation from year to year, and is 
considered authoritative on the subjects with which it deals . . . 

To keep this huge mass of information abreast of the times and to make it 
complete and accurate in every particular has been my endeavour, and no 
trouble or labour has been spared to accomplish this aim . . . 

My especial care has been to achieve accuracy and completeness, and the 
testing of all facts by research and investigation has been an undertaking of 
much labour difficult to realise. 

We are now going to test by research the authority at last 
vouchsafed for the fact that Sir ' Geoffrey de Estmonte ' ever 
existed. One has only to refer to the ' Monasticon ' under 
Stixwold (v. 275) to find that a document professedly printed 
from a Hundred Roll of 3 Edward I. (1274-5) states that 
land at Honington had been given, sixty years before, to 
Stixwold by Geoffrey ' de Ezmondeys ' ; but as this document 
is immediately followed by another version in which the name 
is given as ' Ermondeys ' and as, moreover, there is no trace 
of any Esmonde having ever had anything to do with Honing- 
ton, we are led to investigate the matter. So we turn to the 
' authoritative ' Hundred Rolls published by the Record Com- 
mission. We there at once discover that the name is ' Ermon- 
deys.' 2 Having thus obtained the correct reading we examine 
the ' Monasticon ' narrative and find that it makes Honington 
consist of twelve carucates, of which seven and a half had been 

1 Leading article in Morning Post, Jan. 23, 1902. 

2 ' Magister et moniales de Stikeswold tenent duas carucatas terre in 
Huntingdon, que valent per annum quatuor libras, de Galfrido de Ermandeys' 
(Rot. Hund. i. 393). 


given to Stixwold a hundred years before, by Lucy mother of 
Ranulf Earl of Chester, while the other four and a half were 
held of Gilbert de Gaunt, and had been given to Stixwold by 
his under tenants Alexander de Crevequer and Geoffrey de 
' Ermondeys,' the latter's holding being the smaller of the 
two. The narrative is obviously loose in details, for Lucy 
had lived and made her gift considerably more than a century 
before ; but the division of Honington into three parts is 
right and is essential to remember. 

Honington, which lies a few miles north-east of Grantham, is 
a place ofwhich the early history presents no difficulty. Its 
whole assessment was twelve carucates, when we meet with it 
in Domesday Book, this being in the Danish district the 
typical assessment of a vill. We find it, in 1086, divided 
into two unequal portions, of which the larger was held by 
Ivo Taillebois, and the smaller by Gilbert de Gand. At the 
time of the great Inquest of I2I2 1 these two portions were 
respectively held by their successors, the Earl of Chester and 
Gilbert de ' Gaunt.' The former's fee is returned as seven 
and a half carucates and the latter's as four and a half, thus 
accounting between them (as in the ' Monasticon ' narrative) 
for the whole twelve carucates. 8 But Gilbert had divided his 
own share between two under-tenants, namely, Henry de 
' Armenters,' who held of him twelve bovates (one and a half 
carucates) as a quarter of a knight's fee, and Alexander de 
Crevequer, who held of him twice that amount (three caru- 
cates), as half a knight's free. A generation later, in the 
survey assigned to 1243, we find Honington divided into 
exactly the same portions, which are now entered as having all 
passed to the ' Master of Stixwold.' He held there half a fee 
of Simon de Crevequer who held under Gaunt, and a quarter 
fee of Geoffrey de c Armeters ' who held under Gaunt, to- 
gether with ' all the rest of Hundington,' 8 which had been 
given to his house by the Earl of Chester's predecessors. 

1 See, for this, my paper on 'The Great Inquest of Service (1212) ' in The 
Commune of London and other Studies, pp. 261-77. 

2 ' In Hundington de feodo com' Cestr' VII carnc' terre et IIII bovate 
quas illi de Stikeswald habent de dono antecessorum comitis. 

In eadem villa sunt IIII carucate et IIII bovate de feodo Gilberti de 
Gaunt unde Henricus de Armenters tenet XII bovatas pro IHIta parte 
feodi unius militis, et Alexander de Crevequer tres carucatas pro servicio 
dimidii militis ' (Testa de Nevill, p. 348). Eight bovates went to the carucate. 

3 ' totum residuum illius ville de Hundington ' (Testa de Nevill, p. 323). 



This brings us to the Hundred Rolls, some thirty years 
later, and to the ' Monasticon ' document. Here again we 
have Honington divided into three portions, and only three, 
of which one was held of the Earls of Chester and the other 
two of the ' Gaunt ' fief. Of these two one was held by the 
Crevequer family throughout, as half a knight's fee, 1 and 
their name is correctly given in the ' Monasticon ' and the 
Hundred Rolls. The other (which is the portion of Honing- 
ton with which alone we are concerned) was similarly held 
throughout, as a quarter of a knight's fee, by the family of 
Armenters or Ermenters. 2 It is this last name which has been 
corrupted into * Ermondeys ' and which the daring of a pedi- 
gree-maker has eventually converted into * Estmonte.' a 

We have, happily, the highest evidence of all for the true 
name of the house which gave its land at Honington to Stix- 
wold. The original charter of donation is preserved at the 
British Museum (Eg. Ch. 427), and by it the twelve bovates, 
which, the Testa de Nevill has shown us, 4 were the holding 
of the Armenters family, are given by David ' de Arment(er)iis ' 
to Stixwold. In the legend on the fine seal attached to this 
charter the name is given in bold letters as ARMENTIRS. 
The Museum authorities assign this Charter to about 1150, 
so that the donor may well be identical with that David who 
held no fewer than ten knights' fees on the ' Gaunt ' fief (then 

1 This enables us to localize the half knight's fee held by Reginald (de) 
Crevequer on this fief in 1 166 (Red Book of the Exchequer, p. 383). 

2 These two forms of the name were used indifferently at the time. Thus, 
at Cranwell (a few miles north-east of Honington) which the family held also 
of the Gaunts, the same man is described as Geoffrey ' de Ermet's ' and ' de 
Armet's ' in two consecutive entries (Testa de Nevill, p. 3 1 9), so also we have 
'Ermenteres' and 'Armet's' in Rotulus de oblafis etfinibus. The same alternative 
forms are found on the other side of the Channel. 

3 Although the corruption of the name on the Hundred Roll has been 
demonstrated by record evidence, it may be as well to mention that an equally 
wild corruption of it appears on the corresponding Hundred Roll for another 
Wapentake (3 Ed. I.) where we read of the family's holding at Cranwell, not 
far from Honington, that the Templars of Temple Bruern held 

' unum feodum militis in Cranewell ... ex dono Gerardi (tic) de Ermycen 
qui tenuit illud feodum de Gysilbrycht (sic) de Gaunt. 

. . . et elemosinatur ex dono Gerardi (sic) de Ermycen elapsis C annis, qui 
quidem Gerardus tenuit de Gysilbricht de Gaunt ' (Rot. Hund. I. 278). 

Here we have the same loose reckoning of 'a hundred years back' as on 
p. 1 9 1 above. The Testa (p. 3 1 9) gives us the right version, by which the 
Templars hold 'de dono Galfridi de Arme(n)t(er)s.' 

4 See p. 191 note z above. 


in the hands of Earl Simon) in H66. 1 These fees were 
widely scattered, for four of them were in Northamptonshire, 
where Kislingbury and Stowe were held by this family under 
Gaunt, as was also a manor at Ewelme in Oxfordshire. It 
can be proved from Domesday (56b) that the 'Robert' who 
held of Gilbert de ' Gand ' at Ewelme and at Handborough 
in the same county in 1086, was Robert ' Armenteres,' so that 
the family must have come to England with this powerful 
Fleming at the Conquest. It is probable therefore that they 
derived their name from the Armentieres in Flanders which is 
now a place of some importance in the * Nord.' 

I have set forth in this detail the true descent of Honington 
in order to establish beyond dispute the grotesque falsehood 
of the statement set forth in Burke's Peerage. The author- 
itative founder of the Irish Esmondes, ' Sir Geoffrey de 
Estmonte ' of Honington, proves to have been a Geoffrey de 
Armenters (Armentieres), who had no more to do with the 
Esmondes than I have. And this is proved by the very 
evidence which is produced by the editor himself to establish 
Geoffrey's existence ! 

It is sometimes urged against me that one ought not to 
treat seriously statements which would only be found within 
the covers of ' a Peerage book.' But no impartial reader can, 
I think, deny that so long as Burkis Peerage is published 
with the insignia of an Ulster King of Arms upon its tide 
page, the uninstructed public will treat it as quasi-official, or 
that as long as its editor assures them, on the strength of 
letters from highly qualified (though unnamed) correspondents, 
that the statements it contains are ' authoritative,' that assur- 
ance will be widely accepted. Indeed, I need only cite at 
random a notice of the current issue from the St. James' 
Gazette, where we read that, in the hands of the present 
editor, ' it has increased its reputation for accuracy, notably 
in the genealogical department.' This, it will be seen, simply 
echoes the editor's own assertion, but will doubtless be in- 
cluded in turn among ' the flattering comments of the Press.' 

1 He is oddly disguised as ' David de Armere ' (tie) in Mr. Hall's official 
edition of The Red Book of the Exchequer (p. 383), though Hearne, the 
eighteenth century editor of the same ' carta ' had acutely pointed out that 
the name (which is 'Arm' in the 'Liber Niger') should be extended as 
' Armenters vel Armentiers sive Armenteres.' We can hardly, therefore, con- 
gratulate ourselves on the prospects of 'Advanced Historical Teaching (London).' 


It is more than a quarter of a century since the late Pro- 
fessor Freeman insisted in strenuous language that he was 
fighting, not the families who believed in fables about their 
own origin, but the editors who published these fables and 
assured their readers that they were true. And he selected 
Burke s Peerage as the worst case of all, on account of the 
official status of Ulster King of Arms. In some respects that 
work to-day is even more open to severe criticism than it was 
then. For it is not now sinning in ignorance ; it is sinning 
against the light. There is, for instance, perhaps no grosser 
fiction in the field of English genealogy than the descent of 
the Ely Stewards from ' the Royal Stuarts ' of Scotland, to- 
gether with the appurtenant bogus grant from a French king. 
This was exposed long ago by Mr. Walter Rye from the 
English, and Mr. Bain from the Scottish side. Yet, it was 
actually added, in the 1900 edition, to the other 'authori- 
tative ' statements contained in Burke' s Peerage. The introduc- 
tion of this known imposture was pointed out and denounced 
by me more than a year ago in Studies on Peerage and Family 
History ; yet this and other fables there exposed are deliberately 
repeated by the Editor as ' authoritative ' in the current issue. 
I venture to think that a comparison of this plain fact with the 
statements quoted above from its preface will prove to the 
readers of The Ancestor not a little instructive and will render 
any further comment superfluous. 




A LTHOUGH it is now some time since this important 
y~\/amily history made its appearance, 1 there are more reasons 
than one for reviewing it in the opening number of The Ancestor. 
In the first place, it was issued so privately that copies were only 
obtainable by subscription, and consequently no review of it 
has hitherto appeared. Secondly, it deals with a house of quite 
exceptional antiquity, whose tenure of their ancestral lands is, 
in some respects, unique. Thirdly, as a genealogical under- 
taking, it deserves a leading place among the works that have 
appeared of recent years in this department of research. 

The most notable features in the Gresley descent are the 
origin of the family as a branch, it is believed, of the Norman 
Toenis ; their tenure in the Conqueror's days, as barons or 
tenants-in-chief, of Drakelowe, which is still their seat ; and 
their possession of one of the surviving baronetcies of the first 
creation (1611). As to the last, one may fairly say that their 
inclusion in the ranks of the baronetage reflects distinction on 
that degree, and is an interesting testimony to the character of 
the class from which it was originally recruited. And although, 
as compared with their Norman descent, a title which is not 
yet three centuries old may appear but modern, it must be 
remembered that even in the peerage the number of tides 
which have now been held so long in the male line is by no 
means large. 

The two first of the interesting features we have mentioned 
above are precisely those, unfortunately, which occasion the 
two difficulties in the history of this family. It was asserted 
in the Duchess of Cleveland's Battle Abbey Roll that 'One 
branch of the royal Toenis still flourishes in the male line ; 
Nigel de Toeni, or de Stafford, a younger brother of the 
standard bearer's, held Drakelowe ... at the date of Domes- 
day.' And even Mr. Eyton, who mentioned this belief, did 
not reject it. Mr. Madan, we think, is the first to admit 
and the admission is a proof in itself of his praiseworthy 

1 The Gretleys of Drakelotve, by Falconer Madan (prirateljr printed.) 


caution that actual proof is wanting for the relationship of 
1 Nigel de Stafford ' to his alleged brother Robert de Stafford, 
who was an undoubted Toeni. Indeed, he holds that 'there is 
no evidence whatever of this (fraternity), and chronological 
probabilities are against it.' Falling back on * more or less 
probable conjecture,' he suggests as a likely solution that 
Nigel ' the great crux,' as he terms him, c of the Gresley pedi- 
gree,' was a son, rather than a brother, of Robert de Stafford. 
The problem must, we fear, be left in this condition, nor is it 
likely that evidence enabling us to solve it will yet come to 
light. As to the chronology, however, one may offer a small 
criticism, because the point is one which others may be glad 
to note. Mr. Madan argues from the fact that two of Nigel's 
sons, 'William and Nicholas, are alive in 1165.' The ex- 
perienced student of genealogy will hesitate to reject an asser- 
tion as impossible on the ground of chronology alone ; but it 
is, on the face of it, suspicious that William and Nicholas 
should be living some eighty years after their father's appear- 
ance as lord of Drakelowe, nor can we find any evidence in 
Mr. Madan's pages that they were. 

This correction removes a difficulty in the way of accepting 
the early pedigree. Mr. Madan reminds us that ' the century 
and a half after the Domesday Survey of 1086 is the darkest 
of all the byways which the genealogist has to tread,' and this 
is more especially true of the first half of that period. It is 
therefore peculiarly satisfactory to have such excellent evidence 
for the first few generations, though the fact that the great- 
grandson of the Domesday lord was living 130 years or more 
after the Survey reminds us that there is always the possibility, 
where Christian names recur, of a generation having been 
omitted, as indeed is sometimes the case in pedigrees at a 
much later date. 

A far more difficult question is that of the descent of 
Drakelowe, of which no really satisfactory explanation has 
yet been given. In Domesday it is held immediately of 
the king, but we find it subsequently held of the mighty 
house of Ferrers with which the Gresleys appear to have 
been associated from the first by virtue of a special grant 
from King John. Sentiment would make one desire to prove 
that the tenure of Drakelowe by the Gresleys had been con- 
tinuous from the Conquest ; and Mr. Madan does his best to 
prove that this was so ; but it is frankly admitted even by him 

D. 1633. 


that ' the actual history of Drakelowe between Nigel's time and 
1 200 is matter of conjecture.' We venture therefore, after 
carefully considering all the available evidence, to question the 
solution Mr. Madan suggests, even though it seems to have 
the support of so well qualified an authority as General 
Wrottesley. The evidence afforded by the Pipe Rolls appears 
to us inexorable. In the roll of 1171 (17 Hen. II.) we find 
that certain lands belonging to the Honour of Lancaster had 
been granted out to ' Willelmus films Walkelini ' and ' Nigel- 
lus de Gresel[ega] ' ; it is certain that these lands were at 
Stainsby and Drakelowe respectively ; and it is no less cer- 
tain, ii we may venture to say so, from the rolls of the 
preceding and earlier years, that these lands had not been 
granted out before 1170-71 (17 Hen. II.). Both estates, we 
may add, are afterwards found as serjeanties, held by similar 
tenures, and it can hardly be doubted that these tenures origin- 
ated both at the same time, namely in 117071. We are quite 
unable to admit that the Nigel who obtained Drakelowe at that 
date was the Domesday lord thereof, his name being retained 
in error ; nor, one must add, is that Domesday lord ever styled 
Nigel ' de Gresley.' There was admittedly a Nigel de Gresley 
living under Henry II., and one is forced to conclude that it 
was he who obtained this grant of Drakelowe. It is a singular 
fact that, at some period not long subsequent to Domesday, 
the family lost several of its manors and gained others instead. 
General Wrottesley suggests that this was the result of an 
exchange, and to those who know how frequent was exchange 
even in the Conqueror's reign the suggestion must appear 
highly probable. He holds, it is true, that they retained 
Drakelowe ; but as it is admitted that they migrated to Gres- 
ley, which was among the new manors they obtained, and that 
the son of the Domesday lord derived thence the surname 
which his house has borne ever since, it is obviously probable 
that Drakelowe was included in the manors they exchanged 
for others ; and indeed the legend of * the devil of Drakelowe ' 
points, as Mr. Madan sees, to the manor having come into the 
hands of Roger of Poitou (lord of the Honour of Lancaster) 
not long after Domesday. The curious ' service ' of rendering 
arrows and a quiver, by which it was held in the thirteenth 
century, was transferred, under John's charter spoken of above, 
to Ferrers Earl of Derby as overlord. It is noteworthy that 
among the tenants of that same mighty house we find also the 


ancestors of two of our oldest families, those of Shirley and of 

Apart from their exceptional antiquity the Gresleys are of 
much interest as a typical English knightly family taking part 
in local affairs and, when occasion came, in national warfare, 
generation after generation. Geoffrey de Gresley appears to 
have fought in an Irish expedition under King John, and to 
have acted for a time as constable of the famous castle of the 
Peak. Another Geoffrey { took a full share in the Barons' 
war of 1261-5, and shared in the disasters which befell them 
after the battle of Evesham, Aug. 4, 1265.' Service abroad 
and service in Scotland fell later to the share of this ' Sir 
Geoffrey ' (as he became), whose seal shows him { on horse- 
back, facing the dexter side, bearing a shield vaire in his left 
hand and in his right an uplifted sword,' the trappers of his 
horse also displaying the arms of his race. Yet he found time, 
in two Parliaments, to serve as knight of the shire for his 
county, though we can well believe that he 'seems to have 
found difficulty in settling down as a country squire.' Of his 
son Sir Peter we read that ' there is hardly a record of himself 
or his family which is not concerned either with hard fighting 
or other equally violent but less legitimate conduct.' We are 
tempted to quote this amazing record of the performances of 
Sir Robert Gresley, one of his younger sons ; and incidentally 
we may observe that it illustrates the extraordinary care with 
which Mr. Madan has traced throughout the careers of the 
younger sons and of the daughters of the lords of Drakelowe. 

The assizes record ten charges against him between 1320 and 1348 : one of 
trespass, two of riot, three of robbery, and no less than four of murder. . . . 
His methods of evading the consequences of these misdeeds do honour to his 
ingenuity. In July, 1333, for his services with the king's army in Scotland, 
he obtained a general pardon for all felonies, and . . . flourished this useful 
document in the face of the judge and jury when accused of having six years 
earlier robbed the parson of Walton. On another occasion he remembered 
that he was a ' Clerk,' and said that he could not answer the charge without 
his Ordinary ! 

Turning from this catalogue of misdemeanours, we find Sir Robert repre- 
senting Derbyshire in the Parliament of 1340 ; fighting in Scotland both in 
1333 and 1335; summoned to Ipswich with his brothers Edmund and Roger 
for foreign service in November, 1338 ; and serving in Aquitaine under the 
Earl of Lancaster in 1346, when he probably took part in the siege of Calais 
(i34 6 -7)- 

The wild old Norman blood seems to have had much to 



answer for ; but how vividly such a life as this brings the age 
before us, how it clothes with flesh and blood the dry evidence 
of records which the patient industry of General Wrottesley 
has placed at the student's service ! It is thus that the history 
of a family may minister to that of the nation, may teach us, 
as nothing else could teach us, the stirring stormy character of 
the Middle Ages in England. 

* In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries,' we read, ' the 
Gresleys were wealthy landowners with influence and position 
in all the three counties which converge near Drakelowe' ; and 
indeed, about the end of the fourteenth, we find Sir John 
Gresley granting to his grandson all his manors in six coun- 
ties. This grandson, Sir Thomas, was seven times returned 
as knight of the shire, and was ' almost certainly ' present with 
his brother Sir John at Agincourt, and one of his daughters 
had the curious distinction of being nurse to King Henry VI. 
Lancastrian at this period, the Gresleys appear to have gone 
over to the White Rose in 1452, when Sir John took up arms 
for the Duke of York ; but he did not become a decided 
Yorkist till after the accession of Edward IV. Like his son 
Sir Thomas after him, he skilfully contrived to retain his 
estates and position through all the troubles of the time ; and 
William, the latter's son and successor, who signed himself 
'Wyllyam Greysseley squyer,' was knighted at Lille by 
Henry VIII. in 1513, in reward doubtless for gallantry in the 
French campaign of that year. 

When we come to Leland's day (circ. 1 540) we find him 
writing of Sir George Gresley 's * very fayre manner place and 
parke at Draykelo.' Sir George's son William was knighted 
at Queen Mary's coronation, and his grandson Thomas at 
the accession of James I. This brings us to Sir George, the 
first baronet. It is a striking fact that every one of his direct 
ancestors for twelve generations had received the honour of 
knighthood, a * record ' which, one would imagine, could not 
well be exceeded, if indeed it was equalled, by any others of 
those who received the new dignity. It was not unnatural 
therefore that he should have been one of those baronets of 
the first creation who protested on behalf of their degree 
against the king's decision on their precedence. If the por- 
trait here reproduced, which has hitherto been assigned to the 
Sir George who died in 1548, is really that of the first 
baronet at the age of thirty, it must have been painted, we 


may note, about the time of his creation (I6H). 1 But it 
might be that of his father. A hint as to its date is afforded 
by the rings in his ears two, it will be seen, in each the 
more elaborate earrings worn by his younger brother Walsing- 
ham being possibly due to his residence in Spain, where he 
was attached to the British Embassy from 1619 to 1624.* 
Sir George, who sat in the Parliament of 1628-9, was ' tne 
only gentleman of qualety ' in Derbyshire who sided strongly 
against the king. He joined Sir John Cell's regiment, and 
the Royalists plundered his estates. These estates had been 
grievously diminished in the days of James I., the family having 
suffered doubtless, like others, from Elizabethan extravagance. 

Of his great grandson the third baronet, whose portrait we 
give, we read in a letter written in 1696 that 'Esquire Bill 
of Drakelowe went a wooing into a far country, but his 
mistress was not much smitten with either his phiz or beau 
meene ; however he made shift to captivate the heart of a 
widow ; . . . the knighterrant is resolved, and says, " Zuns 
will have her and that quickly too, for hunting is coming 
in and cannot awhile." It is from a brother of this baronet, 
who received his mother's manor of Seile in Leicestershire, 
that is descended the present line, who only succeeded to the 
title in 1837, but had intermarried with the elder line a genera- 
tion previously. For the last two centuries the history of this 
ancient house has been mainly of private or local interest, 
its chief incidents being found in spirited but unsuccessful 
attempts to promote the industries of the district, with the 
result of further diminishing their once wide estates. 

Nearly half of this elaborate work consists of Appendixes 
and Index. The first Appendix deals with the castle, church 
and priory of Gresley, of which the last was a house of 
Augustinian canons founded by the family, while residing at 
Gresley, not later than the middle of the twelfth century. A 
ground-plan of the priory is given, and Mr. Madan's un- 
tiring industry has enabled him to work out the succession of 

1 A high authority has attributed the two portraits named 'Sir George 
Gresley ' to the latter end of the Elizabethan period. Federigo Zuccaro, to 
whom the portrait of 'Sir George Gresley, K.B.' (d. 1548) is assigned, was a 
child at the date of his supposed sitter's death. ED. 

8 Students of costume will observe the same fashion in the portraits of 
Prince Henry and Prince Charles (1614 ?) among the Belvoir miniatures illus- 
trated in this number. 



priors (not, as he says by a slip, ' of abbots '), and to describe 
its seal and arms. The next Appendix is devoted to the 
manors and possessions of the family, an alphabetical list of 
which covers several pages. This is a most careful piece of 
work, and of course a valuable contribution to county history. 
So extensive were the lands of the Gresleys that some might 
easily be overlooked, and we observe that there is no mention 
of Eastwell, where ' Gresley's fee ' consisted of 2 hides and 

3 bovates, held under Ferrers, as is proved by the Croxton 
Abbey evidences printed in Nichols' Leicestershire. On the 
other hand, we have our doubts about Thorpe Constantine. The 
fact that Nigel, its Domesday holder, occurs as Nigel <de Torp' 
suggests that he was not identical with Nigel ' de Stafford.' 

Appendix C brings us to the arms, seals, crest and motto of 
the family. The arms are a most interesting example of a 
derived coat, the Vaire ermine and gules of Gresley being clearly, 
as Mr. Madan says, a variation of the Ferrers coat, Vaire or 
and gules. These arms first occur on a Gresley seal of 1240, 
though the series of family seals of Drakelowe actually begins 
in the early years of the thirteenth century. The snares that 
beset the path of the unwary genealogist are admirably illus- 
trated by the next Appendix, which introduces us to two 
families who seems to have existed for the express purpose of 
being confused with the Gresleys. One of these is Greasley of 
Greasley, whose stammhaus was little more than twenty miles 
from Gresley ; the other was a great feudal house, Grelly, 
baron of Manchester. The second of these names often 
occurs as Gresle or Greslet, but can, we think, be distinguished 
from Gresley by the ' de ' which precedes the latter. Mr. Madan, 
it is true, states that Domesday mentions c Albert de Grelly,' 
but the actual form is 'Albertus Greslet.' A century later 
(i 185) the Rotulus de Dominabus, which he appears not to have 
consulted, contains frequent mention of Albert ' Gresle,' 

4 Greslei,' or ' Gresley,' and Robert his son, the evidence 
proving that they were both born at earlier dates than 
Mr. Madan imagines. It was Robert, we may add, whose 
officer at Swineshead (Lincolnshire) was thrown by him into 
prison and bound in chains, till, calling on the names of 
St. Edmund and St. Audrey, he was miraculously delivered 
by the royal martyr like St. Peter before him. In the last 
Appendix Mr. Madan deals in true scholarly fashion with the 
materials employed by him in writing this notable book. Those 


who devote weary years to the pursuit of the elusive ancestor 
will envy the lords of Drakelowe their singular good fortune 
in possessing such materials for their pedigree as few families 
can show. We may specially mention the original muniments, 
500 in number, 'ranging from about 1150 to 1676,' a family 
Bible containing contemporary entries from 1649 to 1886, 
an old notebook rich in genealogical matter, and the ' Gresley 
Chartulary,' which preserves the contents of 331 ancient deeds. 
As Mr. Madan truly says, ' A family chartulary is not a 
common thing,' and taking the documents at Drakelowe as a 
whole, they are possibly unsurpassed as a collection for the 
history of a family. Mr. Madan explains that they found an 
indefatigable student in the Rev. J. M. Gresley, whose collec- 
tions from these and other sources have formed the basis of 
his own undertaking. 

We have yet to speak of the tabular pedigrees appended at 
the end of the volume. These are no fewer than seventy- 
three in number, including as they do many families with 
which the Gresleys intermarried. They appear to be taken 
in the main from printed sources, but manuscripts in cer- 
tain libraries and family papers and information have also 
been employed. Drakelowe, as is observed in the preface, is 
near the borders of Derbyshire, Staffordshire and Leicester- 
shire, and the Gresleys * have formed connexions by marriage 
with the leading families ' in each. Sir Robert Gresley con- 
tributes, on Drakelowe itself, a chapter of great charm and 
interest. Although the park extends to nearly 600 acres, the 
chief attraction of the place, we learn, is found in the gardens, 
' many of the hollies and yews lining the walks being well 
over 30 feet in height,' while the rose garden has an eigh- 
teenth century air. The house itself is full of heirlooms, 
among which are the family portraits, from which we are 
enabled, by special permission, to reproduce a selection. For 
this courteous permission we desire to express our thanks. 
Such is the home of this ancient stock, scions of which are 
now to be found in the new Englands beyond the seas. Sir 
Robert Gresley, in his closing words, alludes to * that patriotic 
spirit in which, in times of stress and danger, the gentlemen of 
England have never been found wanting." These words 
were written on the eve of a war which has tested and proved 
their truth ; and ancient names answered to the call from the 
ranks of regiments of horse. 





These handsomely-equipped volumes 1 form the first instal- 
ment of what promises to be an interesting and valuable 
series of ' histories of those families which have more especially 
contributed to the development of Great Britain and Ireland.' 
In the course of a brief introduction Windsor Herald, the 
editor of this series, claims that hitherto no complete or 
satisfactory history of the Douglas family has been produced. 
And it is true that the delightful work of Hume of Gods- 
croft is not only fragmentary but essentially uncritical in 
method ; whilst the four goodly volumes of the late Sir 
William Eraser's ' Douglas Book,' besides being printed for 
private circulation only, were conceived (like most of the 
work of that late eminent genealogist) too much in the 
spirit of the courtier. We should be loth to tax Fraser with 
errors for which he cannot justly be accounted responsible, 
and in the present volumes, in dealing with the question of 
the first Earl of Douglas's complicity in a secret treaty with 
England the first hint of opposition by a Douglas to his 
sovereign Sir Herbert acquits Sir William of ' an unsuccess- 
ful attempt at special pleading,' on the ground that the Issue 
Roll for the year 1363 was not before him when he wrote. 
But should any one wish for a specimen of Fraser's courtly 
extenuations, let him compare the account of the battle of Mel- 
rose (1526), as given in the 'Douglas Book,' with an account 
of the same battle in The Scons of Buccleucb. In the existing 
circumstances, the qualities specially to be desired in the present 
history were, on the one hand, impartiality, on the other, 
accuracy ; and in respect of these qualities, so far as we have 
tested it, Sir Herbert's work leaves nothing, or little, to be 
desired. Moreover the author writes a terse and perspicuous 
style, and deals with his documents and authorities in the 
manner of an expert. 

Of comparatively little that is positively new in his volumes, 
his theory regarding the first known ancestor of the Douglases 
is perhaps the most striking item. Instead of rejecting Gods- 

1 A History of the House of Doughs, by Sir Herbert Maxwell, Bart. 
(London : Freemantle & Co., 1902). 


croft's tradition of yeoman's service rendered in battle by the 
first Douglas to an obscure king, he shifts the date some four 
centuries down the ages, substitutes William the Lion for 
Solvathius, and shows reason for regarding the incident as 
plausible. Interesting, also, is the evidence he brings forward 
as to the origin of the family. It was not to be expected that 
a difficulty which had so far baffled the genealogists would now 
be resolved ; but Sir Herbert narrows the issue as to reduce it 
to an alternative that of derivation from a Flemish colonist, 
an ancestor held in common with the house of Moray ; or 
from a native chief of Clydesdale who had received a charter 
of his hereditary lands. The balance of probability, based 
upon a passage in Wyntoun's Chronicle (B. viii. c. 7), and upon 
community of nomenclature and heraldic insignia, inclines to 
the former alternative. 

For the author's treatment of the history of the earlier 
Douglases we can find nothing but praise. Coming down, 
however, to the classic period of the Black Douglas the Cid 
of Scottish history it seems to us that he has missed a literary 
opportunity. We have spoken of his style as admirably clear; 
it is also lighted up by no infrequent gleams of humour as, 
for instance, when he tells us that Sir James Douglas died, in 
1420, 'of influenza,' an epidemic whose nature was not under- 
stood by the faculty, and which was vulgarly spoken of as ' the 
Quhew,' 'just as at the present time we may hear it spoken of 
as " the flue." ' But the story of the ' Good Sir James ' en- 
deared as it has become to every Scottish schoolboy through 
Scott's Tales of a Grandfather called for other literary quali- 
ties than those of the mere expositor. And, truth to tell, at 
this point Sir Herbert's narrative strikes us as bald and matter- 
of-fact. This is the more surprising as the author has obviously 
a special interest in feats of martial prowess, in the treatment 
of which he often shows peculiar skill. Also, later on, when 
he comes to treat of George and Willie Douglas, and of Queen 
Mary's escape from Lochleven Castle, he shows somewhat of 
that picturesqueness, imaginative insight and literary grace 
which he so entirely misses in what ought to be a Romancero 
at once delightful and veracious. 

Again, in his narrative of Otterburn, his scientific scepticism 
strikes us as excessive and uncalled for. The dying words of 
Douglas have been accepted, in slightly varying forms, by 
every authority from Froissart to Fraser ; was it reserved for 


Maxwell to throw doubt on them ? Admitting Wyntoun's 
assertion that the earl's death was not known to his army until 
the next morning, is not the inference plain that, for obvious 
reasons, it was kept a secret by those who had witnessed it ? 
Had it become known, its effect on the morale of the troops 
might easily have been disastrous. Once more, as regards the 
Cavers House relics most treasured possessions of the house 
of Douglas Sir Herbert's treatment of these is positively 
cavalier, for he dismisses them in a note. As to the pearl- 
embroidered gauntlets, the late Mr. James Watson, author of 
the History of Jedburgh Abbey r , a pains-taking local antiquary who 
had approached the question with an open mind, had arrived 
at the conclusion of their almost certain authenticity, pronounc- 
ing them to be a love-gage captured from Hotspur at the lists 
or Newcastle. The pennon, or pencil, associated with the 
gloves, presents a more difficult problem. This has been dealt 
with by the Earl of Southesk, in a paper read before the Scot- 
tish Society of Antiquaries, since or just before the publication 
of Sir Herbert's volumes. Lord Southesk's conclusions are 
to the effect that the flag is a standard, and that it must have 
belonged originally to a Douglas, though more probably to one 
of the Angus branch than to a member of the original family. 
Hence it is argued that it may have come to the Douglases of 
Cavers in 1452, when the head of that house was appointed 
keeper of Hermitage Castle. In assigning the kirk of Yetholm 
as the place of tryst prior to Otterburn, Sir Herbert contra- 
venes all geographical probability. The place is called by 
Froissart ' Zedon,' but it is long since Robert White identified 
this with Southdean (locally Souden), eight miles south of 
Jedburgh. On the next page (i. 107) Sir Herbert has Port- 
land for Ponteland, whilst on page 52 of the same volume he 
speaks of the barony of Bedrule in Roxburghshire as 'in 
Berwickshire.' We also suspect that he is in error when he 
follows Bain in identifying ' Lyliot Cross ' with Lilliard's Edge, 
between Melrose and Jedburgh. Even at a time when the 
Border Line fixed in 1222 had been blurred by English aggres- 
sion, Lilliard's Edge was not a likely place for the holding of 
March meetings. More probable is it that the identity of 
Lyliot Cross (like that of Campespeth, so prominent in the 
Leges Marcbiarum) became forgotten when the place ceased to 
be specially resorted to. 

I have preferred in this brief review to deal exclusively 


with the most glorious period of the Douglas history, for 
after Otterburn the Douglases lost a rose from their chaplet 
(that of loyalty), as after Arkinholm they may be said to have 
lost the chaplet itself. But Sir Herbert brings his history 
avowedly down to the Legislative Union, and actually down 
to the death of * Old Q,' at the age of eighty-six, in the year 
1810. That the author shows no lack of sympathy with his 
subject may be judged from his concluding paragraph, which 
we transcribe : 

1 What's in a name ? Much, it seems ; for it has come to 
pass that we are inclined to expect more of one bearing that 
of Douglas than of people bearing less historic surnames. In 
these pages the virtues of individuals have not been inflated, 
neither have their foibles been screened nor their evil doings 
glozed. The record stands as the various actors have left it. 
They suffered, and they made to suffer ; they served, and they 
made others to serve. Now they rose to the highest levels of 
patriotism and loyalty, and anon sank to the dark and crooked 
ways of treason and dishonour. A masterly purposeful ambi- 
tious breed, their influence cannot have been for ill on the 
destiny of their country, seeing what a large share of power 
lay ever in their hands ; and no family has furnished more 
material towards the ideal of a Scottish gentleman.' 

The illustrations are well chosen and excellently reproduced, 
the tinted drawing of the Regent Morton and the photo- 
gravure of ' Old Q ' a lean, nervous Black Douglas of the 
decadence being especially noteworthy ; but the gaily-coloured 
heraldic plates seem to hide a feebleness of design under their 
bold black outlines. A tabular genealogy, even if but a skele- 
ton f pee de grue,' is a crying need in these volumes ; without it 
one wanders without a clue down this gallery of Douglases. 
The points to which we have taken exception are small ; 
whilst in conclusion we take pleasure in acknowledging that by 
his admirable, conscientious and sympathetic work Sir Herbert 
Maxwell has earned the gratitude of all bearers of the name 
which it illustrates. 




The name of Mr. Joseph Foster is well known to all 
antiquaries as that of a painstaking compiler of books of 
reference. One of these, the Alumni Oxonienses, a record of 
the admissions to Oxford colleges, is a monument of indus- 
try, and for the English genealogist is almost without doubt 
the most useful book of reference which has yet come to the 
bookshelves. His less fortunate Peerage and Baronetage will 
be remembered for the honest mistrust with which many of 
the legendary beginnings of our great houses were regarded in 
their pages. With such a record behind him, it is the more 
pity that Mr. Foster should have permitted himself to embark 
upon another great scheme to which beside his unfailing in- 
dustry he has no quality to bring. The making of such a 
book as Some Feudal Coats of Arms * demanded a measure of 
modest scholarship with which Mr. Foster has not equipped 
himself, a certain patience of research he seems unable to con- 
descend to, and an appreciation of that colour of the middle 
ages of which Mr. Foster throughout his pages shows himself 
incapable. In this case the compiler has set himself the work 
of an antiquary whilst disdaining an antiquary's training. Mr. 
Foster's preface and introduction show him jubilant, and even 
though he were in mood to learn, the applause with which this 
work has been received by a press singularly ill informed in 
archaeological questions will convince him that there is at least 
no commercial reason for the antiquarian book compiler to 
do so. It is this very applause which moves us to review 
in some detail a book which, otherwise an unimportant one, 
will by reason of its impressive size and weight inevitably 
thrust itself amongst English archaeological books of refer- 

Passing the frontispiece of a bronze shield found in the 
Witham bearing the outline of a boar, which seems, according 
to Mr. Foster, to be our c national symbol,' and one of those 
decorated title pages which, in our country at least, seem 
foredoomed to artistic mishap, we come to the preface and 

1 Some Feudal Coats of Arms, by Joseph Foster, Hon. M.A. Oxon (James 
Parker & Co., Oxford and London, 1902). 



Mr. Foster's reasons for this book. These would seem to be 
an honourable rivalry with another popular heraldry book com- 
piler, the editor of Armorial Families, and a desire to save the 
postulant of arms from the necessity of consulting the heralds, 
who, ' having sold practically all their ancient manuscripts or 
copies of them,' can hardly hope that their effete institution 
will keep pace with Mr. Foster. For Mr. Foster has access 
to the public libraries, and is prepared to publish beautiful 
pictures of the arms of those ' Men of Family ' whose modest 
claim to arms is bounded by 'a user of three generations,' 
which is comforting reading for the fortunate ' Man of 
Family' whose grandfather used a crest upon his teaspoons. 

It is before this Man of Family and before the Student that 
this large book described as the first instalment of its author's 
* labours in the domain of heraldry ' is placed. The Man of 
Family, elate at the near prospect of publishing to the world 
the proud blazon which has descended to him in a right line 
from his grandfather, will be uninfluenced by such criticism as 
we have to offer, but to the Student who might be tempted to 
rank Some Feudal Coats of Arms with Mr. Foster's earlier works 
of reference some words of caution may not come amiss. 

After the preface Mr. Foster's ' Heraldic Introduction,' 
ushered in with flowery periods concerning the nature- 
worshipper and the vases of the Greeks. ' Surely in the 
nature-worshipper we detect the heraldic protoplasm. . . . 
Further down the ages it may well have been the bards of 
every clime who handed down in turn these mystic emblems 
in their own weird way, inventing as they went the almost 
forgotten chimera and other monstrosities which were to strike 
terror into the hearts of the adversary.' Passing the Greek 
vases, five illustrations of which are allowed to assist us in our 
study of feudal coats of arms, and ' the totems and other per- 
sonal distinctions so commonly employed amongst nations of 
imperfect civilization,' Mr. Foster is soon quoting Mr. Fowke 
on the Bayeux Tapestry, illustrations of which run in instalments 
along the tops of the pages. 

Heraldry proper is at length introduced : 

With the spread of feudalism, then, came the introduction of the linear or 
geometrical, and from the imaginary per pale, per fess, per chevron, per saltire, 
etc., would naturally be evolved, the pale, the fess, the chevron, the saltire. 
Out of this fortuitous combination of some of the elements of Euclid with the objects of 
the nature-worshipper sprang that system we call heraldry. 


Here in a few terse and highly enigmatic lines we have the 
beginnings of our heraldry set before the Student, and that by 
Mr. Foster speaking not of his own authority alone but, as 
the footnote assures us, with the grave authority of 'Jane 
MacNeal's ' article on ' Heraldry, its Laws and its Humours,' 
in Munseys Magazine. Mr. Foster's next paragraph deserves 
quotation at length. 

Although there is evidence that heraldic bearings were assuming a definite 
form in the reign of Stephen (1135-54) it ' s not a little remarkable that 
Richard I. is the first English king who is known to have adopted an heraldic 
bearing. On his great seal (1189) he bore the two lyons for the Duchies of 
Normandy and of Poictou or Maine. In his second great seal (1198) he 
added a third lyon for the Duchy of Aquitaine, or, as some say, for Anjou ; 
this has since been our national arms of dominion ; according to Sir Henry 
Spelman (Aspikpa, p. 67), the earlier kings of England had marks or tokens 
painted on their shields, which they altered at pleasure. In this connection 
it would be interesting to know on what authority, if any, Brooke, York Herald 
described the Dering Roll as the names of those Knightcs as weare w' Kinge 
Richard the firste at the assigge of Aeon or Acres ' 1191. 

Now Brooke, York Herald, is dead long syne, and in the 
appointed place for tabarded penitents he has doubtless purged 
his error concerning the Acre Roll, so unkindly brought neck 
and heels into Mr. Foster's interesting disquisition on royal 
heraldry. But Brooke, York Herald, was a wrangler in grain, 
and in his own day set many of his adversaries in awkward 
corners. Could his enlightened shade return we may imagine 
him countering the story of the Dering Roll by asking Mr. Fos- 
ter why, in days when information on such matters is poured 
even from such humble vessels as the little manuals of popular 
heraldry, he should be content to hand down a story long since 
nailed to the counter and already doubted by some of Brooke's 
contemporaries. Mr. Foster, in effect, proclaims his belief in 
the legend that the ancient Dukes of Normandy bore one 
c lyon ' and * the Dukes of Poictou or Maine ' another ' lyon,' 
which with one more ' lyon ' for ' Aquitaine or Anjou ' makes 
three, and our royal arms are accounted for in a fashion which 
satisfied our ancestors before archaeology began amongst us. 
But one is inclined to doubt whether Mr. Foster has ever seen 
the seals which he explains so glibly, for if he has he should 
surely know that upon the first seal of Richard I. appears a 
single lion rampant crowded into the visible half of his shield 
by the primitive convention by which the lion of Flanders is 
thus represented upon some of the seals of the counts. 


The difficulties which the study of early heraldry presents 
to the student whose knowledge or it is bounded by the covers 
of one of the aforesaid popular manuals are allowed to occupy 
two paragraphs and no more, the author being content to 
record his opinion that the early arms painters were careless 
fellows, who in their wanton ignorance of the rules of heraldry 
which were to be laid down after they had passed away have 
puzzled and worried Mr. Foster. 

Nor must we omit to mention the cross moline, patonce, patee and flory, 
which are often confused, or imperfectly drawn, by the herald-painter. So 
with the cross moline, cercel!6 and recercelle, which are equally confounded 
in blason and in trick ; even crosses crosslet are often drawn as crosses botonne 
in early tricks, probably because it was easier to do so. In a less degree the 
bend, bendlet or baston, the quarter and the canton, fret and fretty, flory and 
florette, often represent the caprice or indifference of the herald or the herald- 
painter of each particular roll. 

The complaint that in ancient rolls the crosses are 'often 
confused or imperfectly drawn ' translates itself into the fact 
that Mr. Foster has never grasped the early system of armory, 
and has therefore been * often confused ' by artistic conventions 
to which he has been unable to fit the vocabulary of his hand- 
book. We deny that original evidences will be found for this 
confusion and indifference. In setting about this work Mr. 
Foster must have handled enough material to have learnt, had 
he been teachable, such elementary facts as that the crosslet 
which he is pleased to call a cross botonnee is not a form which 
carelessness sometimes substituted for the cross crosslet, but is 
the all but invariable convention in medieval art for the cross 
crosslet itself, and this not because it was ' easier to do so,' but 
because it was the more beautiful form. That a man should 
have examined a single roll of arms without learning that a 
quarter is the more ancient name, and the better name to boot, 
for what was in late heraldry called a canton is nothing short 
of amazing. What Mr. Foster understands by a fret is a late 
and debased form of the old fretty shape, which does not 
occur in early rolls, although it is to be found freely enough 
in the drawings which in the body of this book represent for 
Mr. Foster's subscribers the conventions of early heraldry. 
Flory and florettee have also no separate meaning outside the 
pages of the heraldry book makers. 

In the one paragraph which is all that Mr. Foster, for patent 
reasons, is willing to spare for the discussion of the c quaint 


Norman-French ' in which the rolls are written, most of the 
space is given up to the expression, in somewhat shambling 
English, of Mr. Foster's contempt for that newer school of 
antiquaries which is endeavouring to clear the difficulties 
heaped about the language of blazon. But that the work of 
such a school is needed is shown by our author having little 
or nothing to record of the c quaint Norman-French ' blazon 
beyond the fact that he ' gives up ' each of the riddles it 
presents to him. To the vexed question of a reformed 
blazon Mr. Foster's contribution is found in his spelling of 
lion with a ' y ' and achievement with a second ' t.' 

A notice follows of the seals of the barons who ' signed [sic] 
and sealed the famous letter to the Pope (Feb. 12, 1300-1) 
on his pretensions to the crown of Scotland,' a candidature 
which has escaped the historians. The seals are described as 
' the earliest and most important evidence of the armorials used 
by the barons of England in the fourteenth century, or 
perhaps in the thirteenth century,' although as the letter was 
dated February 12, 1300-1 the ' perhaps ' shows undue caution. 
From plaster casts of the seals our author is able to assure us 
that not only does it seem that many of the seals were engraved 
by the same hand, but also that they were engraved ' for the 
very purpose of this sealing,' which goes to show that the 
engraver was a rapid worker, and that the barons were a patient 
folk who wrote their letters to the Pope, even those on urgent 
public affairs, with quiet deliberation. Three only of the 
barons who are represented on horseback wear crests upon 
their helms, which persuades Mr. Foster that the wearing of 
a crest on a helm ' was originally limited to those connected 
with the blood royal, or of the highest military renown, and 
was in effect the precursor of a much greater honour, event- 
uating in the order of the Garter itself a sentence to take away 
the breath of less imaginative antiquaries or of those pedants 
who look for some consecutiveness in an argument In the 
margin beside this very sentence is the seal of Walter de 
Mouncy, who, unnoticed by Mr. Foster, bears a crest on his 
helm, although probably without Mr. Foster's approval. 

With a last incoherent jeer at the College of Arms, which 
by this time may be considered as cowering in its chartered 
burrow, we approach the body of the book and the dictionary 
of the rolls of arms. 

Let it be said that although an index to the ancient rolls of 


arms is certainly needed by the Student, Some Feudal Coats of 
Arms will not serve his turn, for it is very far from complete. 
It includes the contents of certain documents to which the 
compiler adjudges the title of 'Heraldic Rolls," and of 
others which Mr. Foster can only rank as 'so-called Heraldic 
Rolls or Lists.' There is possibly some hidden meaning 
in this adjective ' so-called,' which guilty heralds will recog- 
nize and tremble at, but as both ' rolls ' and ' so-called 
rolls ' are equally lists of names and arms the distinction 
will be lost upon the public. It includes also the arms of 
those families which were included in Mr. Shirley's book of 
Noble and Gentle Families, and Mr. Foster seems prepared on 
the authority of their inclusion therein to credit the remote 
ancestors of these families with any arms which their descend- 
ants happened to be bearing in the reign of Victoria. Thus 
it would be difficult to find any ground other than the entry 
in Mr. Shirley's little book for the statement that ' Roger 
Oglander, temp. H. III., bore azure, a stork between three 
crosses crosslet fitchee or.' But many rolls of arms are miss- 
ing from Mr. Foster's list, and some of these are of the first 
consequence as being contemporary records. One can under- 
stand that Mr. Foster would disdain to apply for permission 
to copy an ancient document which absurd chance has left in 
the custody of the College of Arms, but this excuse does not 
serve in the case of a famous roll at Oxford, nor in the case of 
other original rolls whose places of deposit are well known. 

There are many instances of carelessness in this dictionary 
of arms, but criticism of such details in the case of a book 
upon which much work has been misspent would be a distaste- 
ful task. The lexicographical side is imperfect. For no reason 
we find Lisles indexed under De Insula, De L'Isle, De Lisle, 
Idle, Illey, Isle, Lisle and Lisley, and some of these entries refer 
to the same knight. Sir Reynaud de Boterels is treated as a 
stranger when he appears again as Renaud Botreaux, and 
Fouke Payfote is kept separate from himself in the guise of 
Fouke Peyferer. The compiler has never made up his mind 
whether the names should keep the original form or take that 
of modern English. Thus the knights are Sire or Sir followed 
by Christian names in Latin, French or English. 

But it is not with such matters as this that we can occupy 
ourselves. Our complaint is that the whole dictionary is a 
work confessing in its every line that Mr. Foster is unequal to 


the task he had set himself. A certain suspicion is aroused in 
turning over these pages that the author is not at his ease 
with the language or writing of an ancient manuscript, and is 
happier with a version in print or at least in the plainer hand 
of the sixteenth or seventeenth centuries. Mr. Foster has 
evidently had the Boroughbridge Roll itself in his hands, and 
the present writer can testify that its handwriting, although 
somewhat faded, presents no difficulty to an expert ; yet for a 
transcript of a portion of this roll Mr. Foster has to make use 
of the version printed by Palgrave. The Camden Roll is a 
unique instance of an original roll existing both in blazon and 
in colours, and this lies at the British Museum, and a facsimile 
is given of a piece of it. But for entries from this roll Mr. 
Foster is forced to make use of a seventeenth century copy, as 
is clearly shown by the fact that he gives the arms of Betune 
and Fenes with lions looking backward, an error which occurs 
only in the copyist's work. This is an error which no one 
conversant with early heraldry could have passed without 
comment, considering that in early English heraldry, lions are 
never found with their heads in this position, the earliest 
instance being probably in the well known Welsh coat of the 
' three skulking lions.' After this it is possible to surmise 
that Mr. Foster's reason for omitting a certain famous roll of 
arms at Oxford from his collection was not unconnected with 
the fact that the roll is only accessible in its original form. 

On the evidence of this book it might be questioned 
whether Mr. Foster had ever examined an ancient record. 
We are amazed to find him quoting an entry from a close roll 
of Henry V. beginning ' all such who had taken y e liberty of 
wearing cotes or armes.' The reference is thrust forward as 
' Close Roll 5 H. V. (1417) in dorso, m. 15 ' to give a flavour 
of original research to the quotation, but when Mr. Foster sees 
a close roll of that period he will credit our statement that 
enrolments were not made at that date in Elizabethan Eng- 
lish. After this we are not surprised to find Roger of Hove- 
den quoted as using the same ' quaint ' language more than 
two centuries earlier still. 

The rolls when in blazon being written in old French, it 
might be imagined that some knowledge of that language 
would need to be acquired for the purposes of such a book as 
this. Yet at the outset Mr. Foster shakes our confidence in 
his old French learning by indicating the word voyfet as an 


unsolvable puzzle, and when such a word as parmy, used in no 
obscure context, is passed up as a discovered ' curiosity 
worth consideration,' we begin to doubt whether he can have 
any French ' but of the furthest end of Norfolk,' and to glance 
through the book for examples of the errors which guesswork 
will produce. These are not far to seek. ' Foilles de gletuers ' 
should be 'foilles de gletners* = burdock leaves, and the entry 
puzzles Mr. Foster under both of the surnames into which he 
splits the same family of Lisle. But a deeper pitfall has been 
stumbled into in dealing with the ' cheyne ' or oak tree which 
is the punning coat of the well known house of Cheyndutt or 
Chenduyt. Two pictured versions are given of this shield. 
In the one the links of a stout chain hang from top to bottom 
of the shield. In the other something more medieval is 
attempted, and we have in place of the chain a narrow pale 
marked out with a pattern which suggests an ancient conven- 
tion for a chain where it does not suggest a cribbage board. 
Another version of this unfortunate word turns up to worry 
Mr. Foster under the heading Okstede or Oakstead, a name 
which should have afforded a clue. 

Mr. Foster's own view of blazon and his slight acquaintance 
with its earlier practice produce something short of chaos. His 
belief that ' fret ' and ' fretty ' indicated two separate chargings 
even in the middle ages makes him detect continual discre- 
pancies between the pictured coats and the blazoned coats. 
For Robert Dene's slanting quarter, or quarter embelif, he 
invents a cumbrous blazon of per bend sinister enhanced \ 
Checkered chiefs which are pictured with two rows only of 
checkers he calls counter-company and essays to distinguish them 
from checkered chiefs. It troubles him to find that bends 
engrailed are found in pictures to be what he feels bound to 
call bends fusilly or lozenges in bend. Burele in the old French 
becomes the curious French-English burulee, and in such 
burek coats the author counts what he styles the barrulets 
with his pencil point and announces the result of his sum as 
though the number possessed some armorial significance. 
The fact that the family of Wodeburgh alone offers a differ- 
ing total for each example found of their shield conveys no 
lesson to Mr. Foster. In the presence of an odd-looking 
charge even handbook heraldry sometimes fails him, and 
finding a blunt looking pile in a certain coat of a Kentish 
man he is driven to find words for it as ' a chief pily.' The 


arms of the merchants of the Staple should be well known to 
an amateur of heraldry. We find them here as a shield borne 

by a knight called Le Staple at the siege of Rouen ! 

Benstede at Falkirk bore the curious cross of the lords of 
Toulouse, but Mr. Foster's picture is purely imaginary and an 
impossible interpretation of the blazon. 

The eight or nine chart pedigrees which go to the making 
up of this book do not call for comment, as they are for the 
most part only skeleton pedigrees. The pedigree of Hunter- 
Weston has for a suggested ancestor at the top of its page 
Norman the Hunter, circa 1080-1165, an ancestor who should 
in this case have been omitted by a sworn foe of * unscrupu- 
lous genealogy,' for a claim to descend from Nimrod would 
have been equally convincing and more difficult to challenge. 
Norman is followed by two other ' suggested ' ancestors, the 
third being William Hunter of Ardneil who died 'about 
1436." Sixty-two years before he is recorded as obtaining by 
charter from the Crown the land ' which had been held by 
"Andre Cambell militis"! ' a phrase which argues small 
Latinity in either the Crown or Mr. Foster. 

There remains of this big book the side which doubtless . 
has secured popularity for it. The public loves a big picture- 
book and here we have a very big one. Our Student how- 
ever may be warned of the illustrations as of the text. The 
series of seals from the baron's letter, although the originals 
are open to the public, are reproduced from the vile and inade- 
quate eighteenth century engravings of them, which convey 
no idea of their beauty nor any picture of their details, the 
very forms of the charges being of the period of the en- 

The little shields which surround the page are referred to 
in the text by the letter c F.' for ' facsimile.' What sense Mr. 
Foster prefers to attach to this word is doubtful, but if it can 
mean that they are in the bulk facsimiles of ancient drawings 
or paintings of arms the term is highly misleading. Some may 
have been drawn from ancient sources, many more from the 
heralds' tricks in post-medieval MSS. such as the well known 
Harleian MS. 6137, but many others have as little authority as 
the Wardour Street handwriting, in which the bearer's name is 
written under each shield. This last class show great miscon- 
ception of the medieval art which they essay to counterfeit, and 
should prove pitfalls for the unwary artist or antiquary who 


may put his trust in them. The recurrent appearance of the 
modern ' fret ' is evidence enough of the little knowledge that 
went to their making. 

A number of effigies and brasses redrawn in outline from 
well known book illustrations are inserted in the text, and in 
better company they would have helped to make a useful 
heraldic scrapbook, although Robert, Earl of Gloucester, and 
his fellows from Tewkesbury Abbey are put out of counten- 
ance by the curious taste which has printed under the feet of 
each the IN MEMORIAM of the suburban undertaker. At the 
end, in a reserved compartment, we find five samples of 
what Mr. Foster styles ' spurious and doubtful effigies,' which 
show in the main that Mr. Foster is blind to the points of 
difference between the work of the fourteenth century and that 
of the nineteenth. The splendid effigy in Westminster Abbey 
of Sir Bernard Brocas (In Memoriam ! ejaculates Mr. Foster) is 
to our amazement set down for modern work, on the strength 
of a clumsily restored shield which once hung upon the arm, 
but which, we believe, is there no longer. 

Throughout the book are modern illustrations of arms and 
c atchievements,' presumably those of subscribers. Mr. Foster 
would have one believe that these illustrations possess a 
considerable artistic value which we have found impossible 
to discover in them. One of the charges brought by Mr. 
Foster, and by others with more reason, against the College of 
Arms is that of depraving heraldic art with official conventions. 
But no single perversion of the forms of heraldry is lacking 
to these plates, which include the work of the artist of whom 
Mr. Foster is content to say that he admires his heraldry 
' above all others.' 

Do we charge the modern heralds with making quartered 
shields ridiculous by a rule which allows scores of meaning- 
less quarterings to invade the shield ? Here we have several 
specimens of this patchwork quilt heraldry, including scores 
upon scores of quarterings for the Duke of Norfolk, degraded 
heraldry testifying to doubtful genealogy. As a reformer, Mr. 
Foster must move with some caution. He has evidently been 
warned that Leofric, Earl of Mercia, did not bear sable an eagle 
displayed or, or any other blazon for that matter. So whilst 
the quarter wedges itself with the rest into the shield the 
accompanying blazon is in italics, which may indicate Mr. 
Foster's suspicions. But Uchtred, Lord of Raby, bears his 


elaborate shield unchallenged, as do other patriarchs of like 

Even the heralds are abandoning that nineteenth century 
abomination of the shield with the top corners jutting into 
little angles. Here they appear in nearly every case. The 
heralds are learning that crests should only be borne on 
helmets. Here the crests balance themselves on straight length 
of twisted cords to whose ends draggled snippets of mantle 
have been attached as by an afterthought. The tiny crest bears 
no relation to the size of the shield, which by comparison has 
generally the air of an armorial hoarding. The marshalling of 
these quarterings follows no known custom, quarterings being 
regarded as single quarterings or portions of wandering * grand- 
quarters ' at the taste of the spectator, although in the shield 
of Lord Winchelsea the ' grand-quarters ' take to themselves 
unauthorized white borders in order to stem the confusion 
created by their higgledy piggledy occurrence. Lord Win- 
chelsea's two crests, a doe and a griffon, meet each other in 
surprise in their walk along a wreath which resembles a 
' cat's-cradle ' of string ending in holly-leaves. 

Not one of these illustrations compares with the stock 
engravings of the familiar Burke s Peerage type, which were 
at least produced by artists, although of a humble sort 
and following the stiff convention of the decadence. Quality 
of line and form may be sought in vain amongst these 
disappointing ' achievements.' Not one of them shows the 
legitimate influence of that medieval art in which Mr. Foster 
would have us believe that he has steeped himself for many 
years. He has probably seen all that he claims to have seen, 
but it has left no mark and he has learned no lesson. That 
one whose earlier work was enriched by the cunning hand of 
Mr. Forbes-Nixon, the most distinguished of English heraldic 
artists, should declare his preference for these bungling en- 
deavours at line and ornament, argues that he remains un- 

As a last word at the launching of this book, Mr. Foster 
has the assurance to tell us that unless it be another volume 
of pictures no further work upon the subject will be needed ; 
and, evidently in view of the fact that a corpus of the rolls 
of arms has for some time been in preparation for the press, 
he adds a warning to the public that the rolls of arms have 
' all been edited and printed.' The first statement is in ques- 


tionable taste ; the second, although it may be classed with 
the many other slipshod statements of his prefaces, is so far 
from being a fact that it is difficult to save it from a more 
severe qualification. OSWALD BARRON. 


The formation of Scottish clan societies is a pleasing 
feature of the times, and is likely to lead, as in the case of 
family societies in America, to an increase in the study of 
genealogy and in the production of works dealing with family 
history. The work before us, 1 of which the author does not 
reveal his name, has its origin, he frankly confesses, in ' the 
pride of name and race,' and, as he tells us with equal candour, 
makes t no pretence either to literary merit or original research.' 
This story of the Stewarts from the origin of the race to the 
time when one of its sons mounted the Scottish throne is in 
fact a compilation from printed books familiar enough to the 
antiquary. It is calculated however to serve its purpose in 
fostering what we may term esprit de famille, and the author's 
exhortations in the preface are conceived in the right spirit, 
though the Stewarts, one imagines, would hardly be ' content 
to rest on the laurels of our ancestors ' if a more convenient 
seat than a laurel wreath were at hand. 

To the old problem of the origin of the Stewarts the author 
devotes much attention, but it is disappointing to find him, 
even at the present day, hesitating between their Breton descent 
and their legendary derivation from ' Banquo, thane of Locha- 
ber.' The reader is left, we read, to ' form his own conclusion ' 
as to 'the rival theories and documents.' Yet the author himself 
sees clearly that ' there is sufficient indication in the history of 
Alan's descendants to prove his and their Breton origin and 
descent,' which makes his hesitation to reject the old ' Banquo ' 
legend the more regrettable. Moreover he has fallen a victim, 
as others also have done, to that most dangerous book 'fbe 
Norman People, which by reckless admixture of guesses with 
facts endeavours to trace the Stewarts' ancestors to the time of 
Julius Caesar. We observe also some strange errors such as 
ought not to find a place in the work of a modern genealogist. 

1 The Story of the Stewarts. Printed for the Stewart Society (Edinburgh : 
Stewart & Co.), 1901. 


The Fitzalans Earls of Arundel, for instance, are not *now 
represented by the Duke of Norfolk,' but by Lord Mowbray, 
Segrave, and Stourton, and Lord Petre ; Simon c brother of 
Walter Fitz Alan ' was not of necessity son of Walter's father, 
and his name was certainly not 'a corruption, accidental or 
phonetic,' of the Breton ' Salomon.' The wife of Walter the 
Stewart who died in 1246 was not 'daughter of Gilchrist Earl 
of Mar and of his wife Marjorie daughter of Henry Prince of 
Scotland, brother of Ktngs Malcolm IV. and William IV.' ; 
she was daughter of Gilchrist Earl of Angus, the name and 
parentage of whose wife are by no means free from doubt ; 
and Henry was father, not brother ' of Kings Malcolm and 
William. In the next generation Walter the Stewart's son and 
namesake did not marry ' Mary Comyn, younger daughter of 
Walter Comyn Earl or Menteith ' ; Walter Comyn was not 
her father, but the husband of her elder sister, which husband, 
by the way, is transformed by the author into ' Sir William 
Comyn,' who was his father ! Lastly, even though ' the 
English antiquarians ' may have been ' greatly puzzled ' by the 
styles of Edmund Hastings, they would really not believe with 
the author, who is good enough to enlighten them on the 
subject, that the Menteith estates and title were claimed by 
John de Hastings in right of his mother Isabella Comyn.' 
For she was not his mother, but the wife of his younger 
brother Edmund ; nor was she the mother, by Edmund, of 
two sons as he states. ' The late Mr. John Riddell,' to whom 
he refers for the facts, set them forth in great detail and with 
complete accuracy, so that his errors are inexcusable. As for 
his statement that ' the Earldom of Mar passed into the family 
of the Erskines, the present (sic) possessors, in right of descent 
from Elene de Mar and Sir John Menteith,' we may leave it 
to some of his * perfervid ' compatriots, observing only that his 
anonymity may have been a prudent precaution. The character 
of this family history has now been sufficiently shown, but one 
may express mild surprise that Fordun should have spoken, as 
alleged, of three of the Stewarts as ' tres fratres indites ' (sic). 
At the end of the book are some chart pedigrees of the 
Stewarts and their royal descendants ; but we do not find that 
the great pedigree of the house prepared by Mr. W. A. 
Lindsay for the Stuart exhibition has been consulted. The 
volume is well got up and has an attractive frontispiece. 




The three handbooks 1 on the coronation that have recently 
appeared deal in the main with the coronation service itself. 
And seeing that any historical interest which the ceremony 
next June may have will be confined to the service in the 
Abbey, the authors of these books may be congratulated on 
choosing this side of the coronation ceremonies as their sub- 
ject. For it is to be feared that any hope of seeing the 
coming coronation arranged on historical or even sensible lines 
is to be abandoned. The most unfortunate announcement, 
and that which dislocated the rest, was the proclamation in 
June that the ceremonies in Westminster Hall and the proces- 
sions would be discontinued. This abolished the enthronement 
of the king amongst his peers ; the relic of the old Teutonic 
election of the king by the second estate. It is not too much 
to say that without this particular ceremony in Westminster 
Hall, previous to the service in the Abbey, no English corona- 
tion can be considered complete. Had the authorities realized 
that the king is, in form, elected, first by the second estate in 
Westminster Hall, and secondly by the first and third estates 
at the ' Recognition ' in the Abbey, they would not, we think, 
have destroyed so vital a part of the ceremonies ; and they 
would also have perceived that the great procession through 
the streets was an antecedent to this election, and not a conse- 
quent of the coronation. Further, it is surely obvious that 
Westminster Hall and the Houses of Parliament are far more 
convenient places for the assembly and separation of such a 
large number of people as the peers and peeresses, than will be 
the west door of Westminster Abbey ; and as to the king and 
queen themselves, it seems to the ordinary individual that a 

1 i. The Coronation Service according to the Use of the Church of England : with 
notes and introduction, by the Rev. Joseph H. Pemberton (Skeffingtons, 1901). 
2. The Coronation Service: its teaching and history; being a lecture delivered 
before the Aberdeen Diocesan Association, December 9, 1901, by F. C. 
Eeles (Mowbray, 1902). 3. The Great Solemnity of the Coronation of the King 
and Queen of England, by Douglas Macleane, M.A., sometime Fellow of 
Pembroke College, Oxford : with a note on the binding by Cyril Davenport, 
F.S.A. (Robinson, 1092). 


procession from Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey 
would be far less fatiguing than a long perambulation through 
the streets previous to what must at best be a very tiring 
ceremony. Surely it is not disrespectful or unreasonable to 
suggest that the arrangements should be made so that not only 
will the king and queen be saved much unnecessary fatigue, 
but also that the ceremonies should be such that they should 
have some symbolism and illustration of the history of the 
English Monarchy. 

Mr. Pemberton's book is described in the preface as 
' intended for readers requiring the Coronation Service with 
the briefest possible notes.' The aim of the book, therefore, 
was excellent ; and it is a pity that the execution should be 
marred by certain inaccuracies. But this is scarcely sur- 
prising, for with the possible exception of one book, whence 
has been derived the description of the frontispiece (the 
picture of a coronation at Corpus Christi, Cambridge), Mr. 
Pemberton does not seem to have read any of the volumes 
of the Henry Bradshaw Society, which has dealt largely with 
the coronation services. With the exception of this, and of 
Mr. Maskell's work, it is not clear that Mr. Pemberton has 
consulted any recent work on the subject. The following is a 
fair example of the errors into which Mr. Pemberton has 
fallen. On page 20 it is stated that c with the exception of a 
few minor details this form of service [King James I.'s] has 
remained practically unchanged down to the present time.' 
This shows that Mr. Pemberton can hardly have heard of the 
very important changes, affecting not only the wording, but 
also the arrangement of the service, that were carried out in 
1685 and 1689, and which were considerably more than changes 
' of a few minor details.' In the account of the vestments, 
Mr. Pemberton has been misled by the use of the term 
' dalmatic robe ' for pallium regale into describing it as a dal- 
matic c peculiar to the office of Deacon.' Had he but looked 
carefully at the frontispiece of his book, he would have noticed 
that the pallium regale is shaped like a cope. Mr. Pemberton 
evidently shakes his head seriously over the term ' Protestant ' 
in the coronation oath, forgetting that it was put there with a 
definite purpose after the events of James II. 's reign ; and we 
are in no way satisfied that Mr. Pemberton's definition of a 
Sacrament (p. 8) as a c godly state of life ' is compatible with 
that found in the catechism of the Church of which he appears 


to be a minister. There are rumours of a second edition of 
Mr. Pemberton's work : let us express the hope that in it 
these and other like slips may be corrected. 

Mr. Eeles' book however is of a very different stamp from 
Mr. Pemberton's. It deals, as its title announces, with the 
teaching of the service. Mr. Eeles begins by a very excellent 
account of the relations between the king and the Church. 
He points out that the king is appointed as a special minister 
for the government of the Church, a duty which has not only 
been taught in the coronation service itself, but which has been 
exercised by kings from very early times. Mr. Eeles shows that 
such duty has been performed by Saul and the kings of Judah 
as well by the Christian emperors, Constantine and Charles 
the Great, and he also might have added the Anglo-Saxon and 
Norman kings. From that time until Henry VIII. the kings 
have still exercised that right, although the Papacy did all in 
her power to deprive them of that right. Under Henry VIII. 
indeed the royal prerogative was exaggerated, but this abnor- 
mal position was deliberately given up by Queen Elizabeth, 
who returned to the old position which had been held by the 
kings of England previous to the exposition of Hildebrand's 
theories. So too with the doctrine that the king is both lay- 
man and cleric, Mr. Eeles, shows that it is of ancient origin. 
This doctrine, startling though it may seem to those who have 
only heard the doctrines of Roman curia in the middle ages 
with regard to the royal and imperial power, is of very ancient 
origin. Something very like it may be found at the outset of 
Bible history in the person of Melchizedek. The opinion may 
be said to have been held in the Church almost since the 
conversion of the Empire to Christianity : and it continued 
to be very widely spread in the Church during the middle 
ages in spite of the policy of the popes. At the same time 
it is not to be held, as some persons seem to think, a matter 
de fide, binding on all faithful Christians. It is possible that 
it is an opinion of little importance : the point is that it has 
been very generally held in the Christian Church both in the 
east and west. 

Besides this interesting account of the theory of the royal 
estate, Mr. Eeles describes the service in detail and gives as an 
appendix the coronation orders of Charles I., of Queen Victoria 
and Queen Adelaide, so that a comparison may be made of the 
service under the Liber regain, and that of to-day ; or we must 


rather say of 1838, for one cannot venture to guess at the 
condition in which the service will emerge, after being ground 
in the episcopal mill through which it is said to be passing. 
With all due respect be it said, recent efforts of Convocation 
in liturgical work are not such as to give us any confidence 
that the service will be improved. Mr. Eeles has produced 
an excellent and accurate handbook, which all should study who 
desire to know something about the coronation service. 

The first thing that strikes the future reader about Mr. 
Macleane's book is the beauty of the binding. Mr. Daven- 
port, in his note on the binding, says it is an accurate repro- 
duction of the original cover of George IV.'s letter in which 
he * presented ' his father's library to the nation. The royal 
arms however have been altered and the royal initials have not 
been reproduced. But the gold border and the blue morocco 
make the volume look very handsome. Mr. Macleane has 
reprinted Queen Victoria's coronation and Queen Adelaide's, 
with notes ; and he has brought together in a very pleasant way 
much information on picturesque details at the different coro- 
nations, especially those of the eighteenth and nineteeth cen- 
turies. As to his account of the regalia we notice in one case 
that Mr. Macleane has been misled, probably by the tickets 
attached to the regalia at the Tower. On page 150 Mr. 
Macleane says that the ' ivory rod with the dove ' of the queen 
consort 'was lost for generations, but discovered in 1814.' 
Now Taylor in his Glory of Regality (p. 67) and Mr. Daven- 
port in his English Regalia (s.v. the queen's sceptre with the 
dove) both say that it was not the ivory rod but the gold rod 
with the dove made for Queen Mary II. that was discovered 
in 1814. This new rod had to be made because Queen 
Mary II. was not a queen-consort but a queen-regnant, and 
consequently the ivory rod of the queen-consort was not suit- 
able for her. As the queen-consort is a subject, and therefore 
in a position of inferiority to the sovereign, she has not hitherto 
sat on the same level or received the same ornaments as the 
king. To mark this difference the queen-consort, though she 
receives a crown and sceptre, is invested with no special robes, 
and has an ivory, not a gold, rod with a dove. The ivory rod, 
which is labelled at the Tower ' Queen Mary of Modena's,' as 
if it had only been used at her coronation in 1685, has, in fact, 
been used at the coronations not only of Queen Mary of 
Modena, but of Queens Caroline, Charlotte, and Adelaide. 



The gold rod was put away after 1689 and only brought to 
light in 1814. The title of 'Queen's Sceptre with the Dove ' 
misleads the public, as it gives the impression that it is one ot 
the queen-consort's regalia, whereas it is really that used by a 
queen-regnant when crowned with a king-regnant. This is a 
contingency that is not likely to arise again, and it would be 
less confusing if this gold rod were put in a less prominent 
position among the regalia at the Tower. 

Another misconception, for which Mr. Macleane is not re- 
sponsible in the first place, is the remark on p. 44 that the 
ampulla and spoon escaped destruction in 1649. Among the 
regalia destroyed in 1 649 were those at Westminster, and these 
include * a dove of gold set with stones and pearl ' and ' one 
silver spoon gilt.' These with the other ornaments were 
' totally broken and defaced.' Among the jewels ordered to be 
provided in 1661 was 'an ampull for the oil and a spoon.' 
The ampulla then provided is that now at the Tower, and 
which cannot be the old ampulla, for it scarcely corresponds 
to the description of being ' set with stones and pearl ' and does 
not bear any trace of this ornamentation. The spoon however 
is old : but it is not the spoon used for the anointing before 
1649. It is an old spoon which, since 1661, has been used 
for the unction of the kings and queens of England. The 
other regalia date, without exception, the king's from 1661, 
and the queen-consort's from 1685. 

Mr. Macleane has very wisely put the coronation processions 
into appendices ; for, as we have hinted, the only part of the 
coronation in June which may possibly be historical, is the cere- 
mony in the Abbey. He says, with great truth, that ' corona- 
tions seem to have fallen upon evil days.' It is interesting to 
read of the outcry in 1838 against the 'Penny Crowning,' as 
it was then called, which was raised by the decision not to 
revive the ceremonies in Westminster Hall and the procession. 
We hear (p. 239) of a meeting of citizens which offered 
100,000 towards the cost of reviving the abandoned pageants 
and banquet. The precedent continued in 1838 has been fol- 
lowed now ; but there is this difference, that whereas in 1838 
there was a strong agitation in favour of retaining our national 
customs, which are of great antiquity, in this age of revived 
archaeological interest nobody seems to care anything about 
them. If national customs are to be considered ' out of date ' 
and are to be mauled at the will of Philistine officials, then this 


coronation is being excellently arranged, for it is quite certain 
from what has been already announced that no such coronation 
will have ever been seen in these islands. On the other hand, 
if ceremonies are worth retaining which are quite peculiar to 
England, which distinguish her from other countries, and 
which also can be shown to be very significant from beginning 
to end, it is time that something should be said about the 
arrangements that have been made. The coronation cere- 
monies used to illustrate in a remarkable way the constitution 
of this realm : the coming coronation will rather give the 
impression of a breach with traditions, and will therefore 
become all but meaningless save that it will expose to all men 
how commonplace are the ideas of officials. It will show to 
the world the spectacle of a great nation with an unbroken 
record such as has no other country, but which, like the French 
in 1789, seems to take no interest in its history. These are 
not pleasant thoughts for those amongst us who are proud of 
our country's past, but they have been aroused by the ignorance, 
if it is not merely contempt, shown by the authorities in ar- 
ranging what might have been a most significant and glorious 




Under this beading The Ancestor will call the attention of press 
and public to much curious lore concerning genealogy, heraldry 
and the like with which our magazines, our reviews and news- 
papers from time to time delight us. It is a sign of awakening 
interest in such matters that the subjects with which The 
Ancestor sets itself to deal are becoming less and less the sealea 
garden of a few workers. But upon what strange food the 
growing appetite for popular archeology must feed will be 
shown in the columns before us. Our press, the best-informed 
and the most widely sympathetic in the world, which watches 
its record of science, art and literature with a jealous eye, still 
permits itself, in this little corner of things, to be victimized by 
the most recklessly furnished information, and it would seem 
that no story is too wildly improbable to find the widest cur- 
rency. It is no criticism for attacking 's sake that we shall 
offer, and we have but to beg the distinguished journals from 
which we shall draw our texts for comment to take in good 
part what is offered in good faith and good humour. 

ONE can always turn to those of the ' Peerages ' which 
supply historical information with the certainty of finding 
within their covers quaint and wild beliefs. Forlorn ghosts of 
fables long since deceased haunt their truthful pages and 
arouse memories of the past. And it is when they are most 
serious that these works are most delightful. Take, for in- 
stance the introductory chapter on c Tides, Orders and Degrees 
of Precedence and Nobility ' in which Debretfs Peerage en- 
lightens our ignorance on these subjects. Some may prefer 
the sober observations prefixed to Courthope's edition of 
Nicolas' Historic Peerage ; others may content themselves with 
Whitakers Peerage ; but for boldness and originality of con- 
ception Debrett is hard to beat. We read for instance under 
Baron that : 

When the title was introduced into England is uncertain, but it is probable 
that its original name in England was Pavatsour, which the Danes changed 
into Thane, and the Normans into Baron ... It is certain, however, that as 
a title of dignity it is of very ancient date in some parts of the Continent. 


Gregory Taronensis writes of ' the Barons of Burgundie, as well Bishops as 
other Leudes,' and other writers mention it in equally good company. 

That such statements as these should appear at the present 
day is almost incredible. So essentially Norman was the word 
Vavassour which meant, by the way, not a baron, but a 
baron's under-tenant that, even after the Norman Conquest, 
it never succeeded, as Baron did, in making good its position 
here. Can it really be necessary, in these days, to explain 
that Thane or (Thegn) was the true Anglo-Saxon word and 
had nothing in the world to do with the Danes ? 

* * * 

The modern Baron may be gratified to learn that his official 
predecessor found himself at one time in such excellent com- 
pany as that of ' Leudes '; but why is Gregory ' Taronensis ' 
beneath which grotesque disguise, we may explain, there 
masquerades Gregory of Tours who wrote in the sixth century 
made to write of ' Burgundie * in Elizabethan English ? 
And why, for the matter or that, is even the Empress Maud 
made to use the cryptic tongue of ' Ye Olde Englyshe Fancye 
Fayre ' ? We read that 'the Empress Maud, daughter and heir 
to King Henry I., created an earl in the following words : 

I, Maud, daughter of King Henry and ladee (lie) of the Englishmen, doe 
give and grant unto Geoffrey de Margravill (sie) ... to be Earle of Essex 
... as an Earle should have thorow his countrie in all things.' 

That the name of the grantee was Mandeville (Magna Villa) 
not ' Margravill,' need scarcely be pointed out. It is but 
right to add that the Editor has again to acknowledge * the 
continued valuable assistance afforded by Charles H. Athill, 
Esq., Richmond Herald,' who has, we presume, approved of the 
statement, in the same instructive Introduction, that ' It should 
always be borne in mind that, strictly speaking, every one 
bearing duly authorized arms is equally entitled to be styled 
" noble," be he Peer, Baronet, Knight, or Gentleman." 

* * * 

One of the leading illustrated weekly papers last January 
devoted a whole page to an illustrated article on the Talbots 
of Malahide, from which we extract the following : 

In the year 1172, Richard Talbot, son of Lord Talbot of Eccleswell and 
Linton, crossed the Irish Channel in the suite of Henry II. ... This 
Richard, who is mentioned in Doomsday Book, obtained from Plantagenet 
(sic) for the services of his sword, the Lordship of Malahide as a fief of the 
Crown, and from Edward IV. the Admiralship of the adjoining seas . . . 


Richard's only brother Gilbert inherited Eccleswell in Herefordshire and is 
the ancestor of the first Earl of Shrewsbury, created in 1442. Thus the 
cradle of the Irish Talbots is three hundred years older than that of their 
cousins of Alton Towers, and I have little hesitation in saying that the Talbots 
of Malahide are the only family in the United Kingdom or for the matter of 
that, in the Continent of Europe who have retained their ancestral estates 
for seven hundred years, preserving the same blood and lineage in the direct 
male issue . . . 

The hall of the castle is one of the purest specimens of Norman architecture 
in the Kingdom, but it is not known whether it dates from the reign of 
Henry II. or from that of Edward IV. 

How a castle hall in * the purest ' Norman style could date 
from the reign of Edward IV. (1461-83) it is not for us to 
say. We can only imagine that the writer supposed Henry II. 
(i 15489) to have lived about the same time as Edward IV. ; 
indeed, it is obvious that he must have done so, for he makes 
this Richard Talbot who accompanied Henry II. receive c from 
Edward IV. the Admiralship of the adjoining seas.' Nor was 
even this the limit of the family patriarch's achievements. 
He had figured, we learn, in Domesday Book (1086) nearly 
ninety years before he accompanied Henry to Ireland and 
won Malahide ' by the services of his sword.' Our thoughts 
turn to The Memorie of the Somervills y of which the artless 
author, writing of his ancestor, who was * then near the 
nyntieth and fourth year of his age,' frankly confessed that 
' What could have induced him ... to join himself with the 
rebellious barons at such an age, when he could not act any in 
all human probabilitie, and was as unfit for counsel, is a thing 
to be admired, but not understood or knowne.' 

We further learn from this wondrous article that 'Lord 
Talbot of Eccleswell and Linton ' possessed that title at least 
as early as the time of Domesday Book, for that record men- 
tions his son. But Linton, as a matter of fact, was not 
granted to the Talbots till 1156; and as for Eccleswell, it 
was in Linton. The descent from Richard the grantee to the 
first Earl of Shrewsbury seems to be perfectly clear ; but we 
doubt if the Talbots of Malahide can be traced to this Richard, 
or their origin absolutely proved. There seems, strangely 
enough, to be no better history of this ancient house than is 
found in the Genealogical Memoir of the antient and noble 
family of Talbot of Malahide (1829), which appears to be the 
work of Betham (Ulster). When we mention that it makes 


Richard Talbot c who obtained a confirmation (by charter) 
from King John (1199-1216) of the lands of Malahide,' to be 
'witness to a deed dated at Clontarf on the Morrow of All 
Souls', 1284', it will be obvious that there is need of a really 
trustworthy pedigree, supported by the charter spoken of 
and by other proofs. The Talbots deserve a better fate than 
to have their history made absurd by such statements as those 
we have quoted. 

* * * 

It is the object of The Ancestor, while exposing on the one 
hand the wild beliefs and absurd fables which pass current for 
family history, to construct on the other trustworthy pedigrees, 
and to render the genuine descent of our really ancient families 
even more distinguished than it is by enabling its splendour to 
shine undimmed by the baseless pretensions of others. It is, 
for instance, an injustice to such a house as that of the 
St. Lawrences of Howth to assert, as above, that their Talbot 
neighbours ' are the only family in the United Kingdom ' of 
such antiquity on the soil, while in England itself there are 
several houses the Gresleys for instance, the Shirleys, the 
Wrottesleys who have held their lands in the male line as 
long as the Talbots of Malahide or even for longer. So we 
need not travel so far afield as * the continent of Europe ' to 
disprove the assertion made by the writer. 

It is always interesting to trace these wild stories to their 
source. In this case that source would seem to have been 
an article which made its appearance some twenty years ago 
in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. 1 It was there similarly stated 
that ' Henry the Second created Richard de (sic) Talbott who 
is mentioned in the Domesday Book, Lord of Malahide,' and 
we recognize the origin of an amazing sentence among the 
extracts above in that which follows : 

There is no other family in the three kingdoms, nor for that matter in the 
whole of Europe, that has preserved the same blood and lineage in a direct 
male issue. 

But even the Brooklyn Daily Eagle did not start the story, 
for its statement that Richard de (sic) Talbott (sic) figures in 
Domesday is duly found, under Talbot de Malahide, in 

1 See Antiquarian Magazine and Bibfiographtr (i 883), iv. 251-4. 


Burke s Peerage to this day. Moreover, as Henry II. died 
713 years ago (1189), one wonders why the same work only 
claims for the Talbots that the Malahide estate has ' continued 
for upwards of 650 years in the male heirs of him on whom 
it had been originally conferred by Henry II.' 

* * * 

While we are on the subject of the Talbots we may notice 
an extraordinary assertion which is also found in Burke, namely, 
that ' it is remarkable too that of the ancient seignorial estates 
in Ireland whose lords were vested with the dignity of parlia- 
mentary barons not one can be traced to have been held 
directly and immediately of the Crown but the lordship of 
Malahide.' In spite of the use of italic type, one has no 
occasion to go further than a few miles from Malahide to find 
in the Hill of Howth a case at least as striking and really 
more in point. For Lynch has given a charter of John, in 
the lifetime of Henry II., confirming to Amauri de 
St. Lawrence that historic estate as his father had held it 
before him. And the Lords of Howth have held it from 
that day to this, and have been from an early time parlia- 
mentary barons of Ireland, which the Talbots of Malahide 
have not. It seems strange that all these facts should have 
been unknown, as they must have been, to an Ulster King-of- 


* * * 

It appears to be a common belief with Anglo-Irish families 
that their ancestors whose names they always know all 
landed in Ireland in 1172. They might do well to remember 
that the founder of the ancient and historic house of Butler 
belonged to the next generation, and that the Anglo-Norman 
settlement in Ireland, of which the history has yet to be 
written, extended over many years. The delusion to which 
we refer is found in a peculiarly acute form in the case of the 
Esmondes, with the history of whose alleged ancestor we deal 


* * * 

In one of the most widely read of recent biographies, The 
Life of Lord Russell of Killowen (1901), the same delusion 
recurs. But it is only fair to add that the Norman origin of 
'the chief appears to have been forced upon him by his 
determined biographer. ' What am I ? ' he meekly enquires. 


'You are a Norman," was the firm reply. The 'chief had 
imagined himself, he explained, to be of Irish descent, but ' I 
said,' his biographer informs us : 

The Russells were Normans. They settled at Lecale in the twelfth century. 
... In the reign of Henry II. Robert de Russell or De Rosel (a cadet of the 
house of Kingston-Russell, whence the ducal house of Bedford) accompanied 
Strongbow to Ireland. On the death of Strongbow he went with De Courcy 
to Ulster, and, as a reward for his services in that province, was granted lands 
in the barony of Lecale in the county Down. Passing over his immediate 
descendants, we come in 1316 to Thomas Russell, who was created Baron of 
Killough, a little seaport in the east of the county. From Thomas Russell 
the first to James Russell the eighth Baron of Killough the line of succession 
was unbroken. 

Of this barony, 'created' in 1316, we confess to knowing 
nothing. The author tells us that ' Henry Russell, who ranks 
in the French nobility as Count Russell, is the present repre- 
sentative of the Russells of Killough ' ; but, unless we are 
mistaken, the count's tide is not French but Papal, and was 
bestowed on one of his brothers. As for the late eminent 
lawyer, his father we learn was a brewer at Newry, and his 
grandfather a corn merchant at Killough. Whether the pedi- 
gree can be traced, as alleged in this book, to a cadet of the 
old Ulster Russells we do not know. Lord Russell himself 
was modestly content to begin it, in Burkes Peerage^ with the 

corn merchant's father. 

The grant of arms to Lord Russell of Killowen affords a 
notable example of the official laxity in such matters. The 
Lord Chief Justice's own belief that he came of native Irish 
stock seems at least a reasonable one in default of evidence to 
the contrary, the more especially as the Irish had English sur- 
names forced upon them by law, even as on the continent of 
Europe Moses and Abraham became perforce Lilienthal and 
Oppenheim. Yet it was assumed as beyond doubt that he 
came from a conquistador knight, who in his turn was, on the 
evidence of a clumsily forged pedigree, made a collateral 
ancestor of the Duke of Bedford. The official mind recorded 
its opinion of the force of this reasoning by allowing to Lord 
Russell of Killowen the whole arms of the Duke of Bedford 
with the trivial 'difference' of an engrailed border. The highest 
authority in the land, in the great day of heraldry, pronounced 
the border too slight a difference to be borne by any one not a 
near kinsman of the bearer of the original coat. 


The source of the wonderful story told by the chiefs 
biographer is Mr. Wiffen's marvellous and romantic Memoirs 
of the House of Russell, where we read how Richard de Russell 
accompanied Strongbow to Ireland, bringing to his help * the 
swords of his three sons, Richard, William and Thomas.' 
The dignity of the family however required that Robert, ' with 
his company of knights,' should cross separately in his own 
ship on a kind of private invasion. When he afterwards 
joined John de Courcy in his raid on Ulster, Mr. Wiffen's 
retrospective vision enabled him to describe how ' Courcy and 
De Russell plied their swords and polished lances.' Henry II., 
in admiration of the valour displayed by the latter, ' settled on 
De Russell a great part of Galway ; but the period when the 
grant was made is involved in obscurity.' So we should 
imagine. Yet, according to Mr. Wiffen, the Irish lands that 
he obtained in other quarters were sufficiently extensive to 
provide estates for his three gallant sons. On the whole 
' De ' Russell story, English and Irish, we may refer the 
readers of The Ancestor to Mr. Round's paper on ' The Origin 
of the Russells ' in his Studies on Peerage and Family History. 
By the way, we observe that the whole pedigree, which he 
there completely overthrew, renews its appearance unabashed 
in the current issue of Burke 's Peerage. 

* * * 

A fashionable weekly paper, in its series of c Celebrities at 
Home,' began its article on the Earl of Orford with the 
amazing statement that ' Of the Norfolk families which can 
trace their ancestry back to those remote ages which preceded 
the Norman Conquest, there is none which has occupied a 
larger place in history or done better service to the State than 
the Walpoles.' One wonders which are the Norfolk families 
that can claim this distinction, and whether the writer was 
thinking of the Hevinghams, who, as Mr. Walter Rye re- 
minds us, ' were gravely said to be descended from Arphaxad, 
one of the knights who watched Christ's sepulchre.' Of 
Lord Orford's family the same authority, to whom one would 
naturally turn for the truth about a Norfolk pedigree, has 
written thus : c Another good later family, whose earlier pedi- 
gree is all moonshine, is that of the Walpoles ; Collins and 
Burke gave them an ante-Norman descent, but their pedigree 
is not provable, at Hough ton at all events, before 1286, the 
fact that there were people living earlier who took their name 


from the place of Walpole being of no value as evidence, 
though in all probability they came from Henry de Walpole 
of Walpole, temp. Henry II. 

Mr. Rye's name reminds us of his merciless exposure of 
that gorgeous concoction, the descent of the obscure Norfolk 
Stewards from the ' Royal Stuarts ' of Scotland. In spite of 
the prominence given to this imposture by Mr. Round's 
further criticisms in the course of last year, we were startled 
to find an article in the Christmas number of another leading 
weekly on ' the origin of some peculiar coats of arms,' by no 
less exalted an authority than Ulster King-of-arms, in which 
the coat of this family was depicted and the well-known 
forged grant by Charles VI. of France accepted as genuine 1 
' These arms, it appears, were granted,' Ulster writes, ' by 
Charles VI. King of France, in 1385, to Alexander Stewart 
especially for the good deeds of his father Andrew Stewart, 
who, " by main force of club and sword in the field of battle, 
drove out of the double tressure of Scotland the false and vile 
usurper and coward lion of Balliol, and brought back the 
Crown of Scotland to its true and right royal head." ' It is of 
this grant by the French king that M. Michel, the French 
historian cited by Mr. Rye, wrote : ' it is enough to cast the 
eye on these pretended letters of concession to recognize the 
patois of an Englishman little familiar with the language 
spoken at Paris at the end of the fourteenth century.' And 
yet this * honourable augmentation ' to the family arms is duly 
spoken of as genuine in the current issues both of Burke and 

of Debrett. 


Such alleged ' augmentations ' as this, we may observe, are 
often associated with false tradition and tend to perpetuate 
error. A paper which professes to chronicle Court news 
informed its readers last February that Sir Trevor Chichele 
Plowden ' traces his descent from the ancient family of Plow- 
dens of Plowden in Shropshire, where they were seated 
evidently some time before the earliest record. A Plowden 
fought at the siege of Acre in 1 1 94, and there received the 
augmentation of the fleurs-de-lys borne ever since by his 
descendants.' For the truth about the early history of an 
old Shropshire family we should turn, of course, to Mr. 
Eyton, who, in his Shropshire (xi. 219) mentions c a tradition 


which, in its simplest form, seems to say that Roger de Plow- 
den was at the siege of Acre ; that his arms (being a fess 
dancetty) were, for some act of gallantry, augmented by two 
fleurs-de-lys (Dansey's English Crusaders)? 'Another version 
of the story,' he writes, c ascribes such augmentation of 
Plowden's Arms to the favour of Philip of France.' His 
own suggestion was that the lilies of Plowden of Plowden, 
Walcot of Walcot, and Oakley of Oakley might all be derived 
from those in the arms of the bishops of Hereford, 'the 
Suzerains of all three families,' a suggestion in full accord 
with what we know of the practice of heraldry. Of the 
origin of this family he wrote : * The first Plowden whom I 
can speak of on authentic testimony was William,' who occurs 
at Plowden on an Assize Roll of October, 1203. The pedi- 
gree is extremely obscure before the fourteenth century, and 
dismissing the absurd anachronism of the augmentation, it is 
to say the least highly unprovable that any arms at all could 
be traced in the use of the Plowdens to such a date as 1 194. 

* * * 

In the same number of the same paper was an article on the 
claim to the earldom of Llandaff in which we read that the 
Mathew family 'traces its descent from the celebrated and 
powerful King Cunedda, called " the Illustrious," first native 
ruler of the Cymry after the retirement of the Romans in A.D. 
410,' and that after the battle of Towton, Edward created Sir 
David Mathew ' Grand Standard Bearer of All England, an 
office regarded as hereditary in his family, and granted to him 
and his heirs for ever the use of the word " Towton " as an 
augmentation over the crest.' 

* * * 

As a ticket or scroll with the word 'Towton' is an un- 
thinkable topping to the crest of a fifteenth century knight's 
helmet, we are driven to the conclusion that the augmentation 
was intended by King Edward for use upon Sir David's book- 
plate, and even here we seem to detect some flavour of ana- 

* * * 

On the occasion of the late visit of the Prince of Wales to 
Germany, his Imperial Majesty the German Emperor, in one 
of those speeches which so charm his island admirers, was 
pleased to speak of English heraldic matters. His words (as 
reported in a London daily paper) were these : ' On the 


helmet which adorns the escutcheon of the Prince of Wales 
there float from days of yore three feathers, and below them 
runs the device " Ich Dien." Here we have the vigorous 
sketch of a crest which might compare with, and lend colour 
to, '-the traditional 'augmented' crest which the Mathews 
won at Towton. We are not skilled in modern official 
heraldry and will not hazard an opinion as to what may or 
may not float from our native Prince's helmet, but if the 'days 
of yore ' were the days of the Black Prince, imperial omni- 
science must have suffered in the reporting. The famous 
feathers, the ' plumes dostruce,' were borne by the Black 
Prince as a badge upon his ' shield of peace.' As a badge they 
have remained with his successors, and badges are not borne 
floating from helmets, with or without devices running below 


* * 

Mrs. Bagot's charming book entitled Links with the Past, 
which has doubtless delighted many of our readers with its 
pictures of a vanishing society, contains a passage in which are 
two errors which we may venture to correct. We read that : 

Bagot's Park is four miles from Blithfield. The Bagots held the land un- 
disturbed at the coming of William the Conqueror and the family has held 
them ever since. The residence of the family was at Bagot's Bromley before 
they migrated to Blithfield, which latter estate came to them by the marriage, 
in Henry II.'s reign, of the then head of the house with the heiress of the 
Blithfields. The great feature of Bagot's Park are the oaks and a herd of wild 
goats. The Beggar's ' oak mentioned in Domesday Book is still a mighty 
tree ; the girth of its trunk so large that a carriage and four horses are almost 
concealed from view when drawn up behind it. 

We have met in other places with the curious belief that 
this or that oak is ' mentioned in Domesday Book.' It may 
therefore be well to state that there is not in the whole of 
Domesday a single instance of any particular tree being men- 
tioned. As to the Bagots holding ' the land undisturbed at 
the coming of William,' it is odd that a family possessing a 
name so purely Norman should desire, as the words seem to 
imply, to claim that they possessed their lands under the Eng- 
lish kings. The received and persistent story is that they are 
entered as holders of (Bagot's) Bromley in Domesday Book ; 
but Mr. Eyton has shown that what ' Bagod ' held, as an 
under tenent, was not Bromley, but Bramshall, the ' Branselle ' 
of the great record. 


The persistence of error is well illustrated in the interesting 
monograph on ' Medieval London ' by two Fellows of the 
Society of Antiquaries, Canon Benham and Mr. Charles 
Welch, lately issued in the Portfolio Series. We there read 
of 'the charter of Henry I. dated 1101 ' and are told that 
'in the year noo Henry I. gave the city a fresh charter.' 
This great charter of liberties, a landmark in the history of 
medieval London, has no date at all ; and the guess, which 
developed into a belief that its date was 1 101, was successfully 
assailed years ago by Mr. Round in his Geoffrey de Mande- 
ville, where he showed that it belonged to the close rather 
than the opening of the reign. That this conclusion is 
accepted by historians is seen in the recent number of the 
English Historical Review, where it is pointed out that Professor 
Liebermann pronounces the charter to be a later interpolation 
in the Laws of Henry I., as its date may be taken as 1131-3. 
It is singular that Mr. Round's discovery which is thus 
familiar in Berlin, should be unknown, it seems, to the 
Guildhall Librarian. Again, in a paper read before the 
Society of Antiquaries and published subsequently in Arch<eo- 
logia the same scholar was able to show that the time-honoured 
date of 1 1 oo for the foundation of the Hospitallers' Priory at 
Clerkenwell was absolutely erroneous, and that the House 
cannot have been founded till some half a century later. This 
correction is of some importance, as St. John's, from its sup- 
posed early date, was considered the oldest House of all. 
Yet in ' Medieval London ' we still read that the Priory ot 

'St. John of Jerusalem, at Clerkenwell, was founded in noo.' 

* * * 

But a more typical example of ' what is believed ' is afforded 
by the same monograph in its statement that King Athelstan 
(925-40) ' gave an impulse to the commerce of the city by 
promising patents of gentility l to every merchant who should 
make three voyages to the Mediterranean in his own ship." 
This interesting allusion to the ' Mediterranean ' is unknown, 
we believe, to historians ; and as for the ' patents of gentility ' 
they are really worthy of a place beside the Anglo-Saxon 
Favassour of Debrett. But perhaps the authors were think- 
ing of the patents of gentility which, as the same authority 
reminds us, confer the true nobility, and which are only genuine 
when supplied by a well known establishment in the City. 
1 The italics are our own. 


The death of Lord Fitzwilliam removes a great noble from 
the ranks of the English peerage. Head of the house of 
Wentworth-Fitzwilliam he inherited in Yorkshire the seat and 
extensive estates of the Wentworths, though not the repre- 
sentative of that historic house. His Irish barony of 1620 
and earldom of 1716 were modern as compared with the 
antiquity of his own Fitzwilliam stock. But its origin became 
unluckily the sport of pedigree-makers, and a weekly paper in 
its obituary notice took occasion to resuscitate these fables, 
heading its information c Special ' : 

The founder of the family was Sir William Fitz Godric, a Saxon, cousin to 
King Edward the Confessor. His son, Sir William Fitzwilliam, an ambassador 
to the Court of William Duke of Normandy, would seem to have joined the 
Conqueror against Harold, as for his bravery at the battle of Hastings the 
Norman leader gave him 'a scarf from his own arm,' which now forms the 
christening robe of every heir to the earldom. The nobleman who accom- 
panied William held estates in Yorkshire, but it was not until 1781 that 
Wentworth Woodhouse came into the family . . . Tradition has it that he 
erected the stone cross in the main street of Sprotborough, upon which the 
well-known words were inscribed : 

Whoso is hungry and listes to eate, 
Let him come to Sprotburgh for his meate, 
And for ane night and for ane daye 
His horse shall have baith corne and haye, 
And no man shall aske when he goeth awaye. 
* * * 

On this story we need only quote Professor Freeman's 
comments : * 

It is perhaps needless to say that all this is a pure fable ; but one really 
stands aghast at the utterly shameless nature of the fable. Sir William Fitz- 
william is supposed to be an English ambassador at the Court of Normandy. 
The inventor of the fable had so little knowledge as not to see that the Sir, 
the first William, the Fitz, and the second William was, each of them by itself, 
as much proof as could be needed that a man of whose name they formed 
any part could not have been an Englishman of the days of Edward the Con- 
fessor. Furthermore it would seem that the inventor thought it honourable 
for an ambassador sent to a foreign prince to join that prince in an invasion of 
his own country, and to bear arms in battle against his own sovereign. As for 
the scarf from William's own arm, we need hardly look in the Bayeux Tapestry 
to prove that the Duke who knew so well how to wield his mace of iron did 
not cumber his arm with any frippery of scarves on the day of the great battle. 

It is worth while to mark that this imaginary traitor is described as the 
grandson of Godric. The choice of the name is lucky ; there was a traitor 
Godric in the fight at Maldon, and . . . those who like traitors for their 
forefathers may, if they think good, make choice of him. 

1 Contemporary Review (1877), xxx. 29. 


The real Godric, we may add, from whom the family descends 

was living about a century after the Norman Conquest. 

* * * 

One of the objects which The Ancestor will keep specially in 
view will be the raising of the standard of genealogical and 
heraldic criticism. It is at present a rare exception for books 
dealing with family history or with armorial subjects to be 
discussed by reviewers who possess any real knowledge of 
these matters. As a natural consequence of this, worthless or 
misleading books receive at times laudatory notices, while 
others of real value are dismissed with slight notice. Nor is 
even ignorance alone to blame. The ' little knowledge ' of the 
proverb is here specially dangerous. For instance, in some 
critical observations on The St. George s Kalendar, the >ueen 
complained of its editor's ignorance of the fact that the earldom 
of Arundel passed ' from the FitzAlans to the Howards by 
the same Margaret Mowbray who is only credited with being 
co-heir of Mowbray, Segrave and Brotherton.' Unhappily for 
the writer, the earldom passed from the FitzAlans to the 
Howards neither in the way nor at the time that he imagines. 
It descended to Philip Howard at a much later period (1580) 

as the maternal grandson of the last FitzAlan earl. 

* * * 

One of the illustrated papers previously referred to con- 
tained a portrait of Captain Swiney, who c claims,' it explained, 
4 to act as Lord Great Chamberlain.' The public were in- 
formed that ' Captain Swiney's claim goes back further than 
the eighteenth Earl of Oxford, for he is said to be descended 
from Robert de Vere, who went to Ireland and whose estates 
are now owned by the Duke of Abercorn; " Verres " is the 
Latin for " boar pig." Robert de Vere, Marquis of Dublin 
and Duke of Ireland, is a well known character in English 
history, but he is also well known to have died without issue. 
A boar (verres") was no doubt the ' canting ' (or punning) device 
of his house, but has nothing, we need scarcely say, to do 
with Captain Swiney's name, which is of Celtic derivation. 
The name of Vere is responsible not only for the ' claim ' of 
this alleged descendant, but for a curious ancestor as well. 
For Leland's pedigree derived them through Miles de Vere, 
Duke of Angers and Metz, in 778, descended, in common 
with the Emperor Marcus Antonius Verus, from Verus (so 
named from his true dealing), who was baptized by Marcellus 


in the year 41 and could trace his ancestry through Diomedes, 
who was present at the siege of Troy, to ' Meleager who slew 
the Caledonian boar.' Probably the boar had a rival claim to 
be Lord Great Chamberlain. 

* * 

From a single number of an illustrated weekly we glean 
the interesting information that ' the name of Lytton is indeed 
a proud one, going back to the Conquest,' but that ' Mr. 
Townley can trace his descent back to a remote past compared 
with which the Norman Conquest is but an event of yester- 
day.' This latter statement appears to be based on the 
authority of Burke s Landed Gentry, according to which ' the 
great and ancient family of Towneley,' of which Mr. Townley 
claims to be a cadet, 'as deduced by ancient charters and 
other authenticated documentary evidence, derives from Spart- 
lingus, first Dean of Whalley, living about the year 896, when 
Alfred reigned over England.' Can such a pedigree as this 
be surpassed ? Surpassed ! Why the same organ reminds us 
that the Burrells are ' of Gothic antiquity,' and that ' they 
claim kindred with one Borrell, a Goth, who figured at Barce- 
lona in the first century.' Here surely we have reached the 
limits of genealogy. But no. On the opposite page, in a 
paragraph headed ' A pedigree of 4,000 years,' we learn that 
' not many people ' (we can well believe it) ' are aware ' that 
the Chichesters, lords O'Neill, 'can boast of perhaps' (observe 
that cautious word) 'the oldest descent in the United King- 
dom,' as their pedigree is traced back ' to Niul son of the 
King of Scythia (circa 1890 B.C.).' We must certainly agree 
that ' such a pedigree as this is indeed rare, and rivals that of 
the noblest Rajput if not those of the " Son of Heaven " and 
the Emperor of Japan.' But as this pedigree, though ' rare,' 
is not described as unique, we are encouraged by the word 
' perhaps ' to hope that the heir-male of Prester John may yet 
be found in Ireland, and even the descendants of another 
distinguished alien immigrant, the Prophet Jeremiah, who 
arrived there, we believe, in the company of an Egyptian 
princess and in charge of the Ark of the Covenant. 

* * * 

The following appeared in a fashionable London morning 
paper shortly before the opening of the present Exhibition 
at the New Gallery : 


Among the many articles of historic interest that will figure in the forth- 
coming exhibition of ' The Monarchs of England ' at the New Gallery few 
are likely to attract more attention than the hat of Henry VIII. and the shoes 
of Anne Boleyn, which have been lent by Mrs. Ames of Ayot St. Lawrence, 
Herts. The hat and shoes are in themselves notable relics, but their chief 
interest lies in the fact that they are the title deeds of the estate of Ayot St. 
Lawrence. They were given by Henry VIII. to an ancestor (tic) of the late 
Colonel Ames in singular circumstances. The story goes that when the king 
was riding through Hertfordshire with Anne Boleyn and a company of atten- 
dants, he passed by Ayot St. Lawrence and inquired to whom the place 
belonged. It was in reality a royal possession, and this was explained to 
Henry by one of his courtiers (the ancestor [sic] mentioned), who added that 
he wished it belonged -to himself instead. ' And so it shall,' said the king ; 
and the estate was then and there handed over to the courtier, who however 
craved some token of its surrender. The king gave his hat and made Anne 
Boleyn part with her shoes, and the three articles have remained ever since in 
the possession of the family. 

A charming story, which illustrates at once the manners of 
the time and the well-known amiability that was characteristic 
of Henry VIII. That he should continue his ride in a hatless 
and his wife in a shoeless condition is what one would naturally 
expect of the king and queen. 

* * * 

And now for ' the ancestor ' from whom ' the family ' inherits 
these relics. We have only to turn to Cussans' Hertfordshire, 
a modern and familiar work, to learn that ' in 1873 the manor 
and estate came to Captain Lionel Neville Ames, grandson of 
Levi Ames the third son in succession of Levi Ames and Anna 
Maria Poole.' The said Levi was an alderman of Bristol and 
his wife was granddaughter of a mayor of Bristol, whose 
brother acquired the said manor by purchase in 171 8. 1 Exit 
therefore ' the ancestor ' who acquired it as a favourite courtier 

of the eighth Harry. 

* * * 

But the exits are only beginning. In the official catalogue 
of the ' Monarchs' ' exhibition ' the ancestor ' has disappeared, 
but the ' relics ' were entered with their story now altered as 
follows : 

Nicholas Bristowe, a favourite courtier of Henry VIII., was riding with the 
king and Queen Anne Boleyn in Hertfordshire. Passing Ayot St. Lawrence 
he greatly admired the place, wondering whose it was. The king said ' It is 
mine, but now shall be yours.' Bristowe asking what evidence he was to 
produce of the gift, the king gave him the hat he was wearing and asked the 

1 Hundred of Bnadwater, pp. 234, 236. 


queen for her slippers, saying, ' Bring me these in London and I will give you 
the title deeds.' The hat and slippers have since always gone with the estate. 

Here again we have only to turn to Cussans' Hertfordshire 
to learn that the estate was not ' granted ' by the Crown till 
35 Hen. VIII. (1543-4) and had not even come into the 
hands of the Crown till 1 54O. 1 As Anne Boleyn was put to 
death in May, 1536, the inconvenience of parting with her 
shoes must have been greatly tempered by the fact that she 
had already parted with her head several years before. 

* * * 

And now for Nicholas Bristowe, the ' favourite courtier.* 
The first thing we learn from Cussans is that ' this manor was 
granted to John Brockett, John Allwey and Nicholas Bristow, 
Esquires,' which at once puts on the matter a very different 
complexion. But even Cussans does not supply the final and 
crushing blow. On turning to the real title-deed, the patent 
of July 25, 1543,* we discover at last the truth, namely that 
the manor was acquired in the ordinary way, by purchase, by 
John Brockett, Esq., John Alwey and Nicholas Bristow, gent. 
(generosum), the first of whom, we may add, was of the 
Hertfordshire family which gave name to the neighbouring 
seat of Brocket Hall in Hatfield, while the last was clerk of 
the jewel-house. The patent is a long and instructive one, 
reciting that Ayot St. Lawrence had fallen to the Crown by 
the attainder of Gertrude Marchioness of Exeter, 3 and that 
the advowson and an annual fair (nundine) on the eve and feast 
of St. Lawrence were comprised in the sale. 

* * 

The price given was twenty years' purchase not a bad 
one considering the unsettled times and the fact that a subse- 
quent quit-claim seems to have been necessary to perfect the 
title. With this manor the three purchasers bought also the 
manor of Holmes or Canons in Shenley, which had come to 
the Crown on the surrender of St. Bartholomew's Priory, 
Smithfield (25 Oct., 1540) at the Dissolution, and which 
Brockett and Bristow subsequently conveyed to Alwey. A 
third estate comprised in the sale was Robynstowe in Sand- 
ridge, which could doubtless be identified, though Cussans does 

1 Hundred of Bnadtoater, pp. 232-3. 

* Enrolled on Patent Roll 35 Hen. VIII. p. 9, m. 20. 

* Cussans dates this event I 540, but its true date appears to be I 539. 



not mention it under that parish. The total price of these 
estates at twenty years' purchase was 728 14.?. 7^. and this 
was actually paid to the Crown in 1543. The whole was to be 
held of the Crown as a twentieth of a knight's fee. Thus is 
the story finally demolished. The royal ride, the light-hearted 
gift, the alleged ancestor, the favourite courtier, the hatless 

king and the shoeless queen, exeunt omnes. 

* * * 

Yet the London paper was perfectly right in its prophecy that 
much attention would be attracted by the interesting 'relics,' 
as the catalogue styles them, at the New Gallery. Whether 
even the absolute disproof of the whole story that we have 
given will put a stop to it may be doubted. For it is now 
some twenty years since Mr. J. A. C. Vincent demolished, in 
his Queen Elizabeth at Helmingbam, the very precise story that 
the queen had stayed there with the Tollemaches in 1561, 
stood sponsor to one of their sons, and presented them with 
her lute which is still preserved as a great treasure at Helming- 
ham. He was able to show that it was not Helmingham but 
Castle Hedingham in Essex that the queen had visited in 1561, 
and that the date on the lute itself did not confirm the tradition. 
Even Sir Bernard Burke admitted that the argument was 
' overwhelming,' and that the visit, ' the royal christening and 
the memorial lute have no reality.' And yet an evening paper 
recently mentioned, in speaking of Lord Tollemache, that 
' Queen Elizabeth once visited Helmingham and presented a 

lute to the then Lady Tollemache.' 

* * * 

How do these stories arise ? We cannot here raise the 
somewhat thorny and delicate subject of ' relics ' in general, 
although it is one with which the student of the Middle Ages 
is called upon at times to deal. We will only invite the readers 
of The Ancestor to observe that a family tradition can assume, 
as we have seen, definite form and can even succeed in obtain- 
ing currency and receiving a certain sanction through a London 
exhibition organized by a committee of experts, although the 
entire story can be shown to have no foundation. Surely, 
fa donne a penser. The moral is one, we think, that hardly 
needs pointing, and if our readers should hesitate at times to 
accept the critical conclusions of the new scientific genealogy, 
we hope they will remember the value of tradition as exempli- 
fied by the hat of Henry VIII. and the shoes of Anne Boleyn. 



A VETERAN worker in the cause ot genealogy, Major- 
General Wrottesley, has dwelt in the preface to his Crecy 
and Calais (1898) on the wealth of material for history 
contained in our public records. He cites, at the outset, the 
words of Ashmole : ' in our public Records lye matter of Fact, 
in Full Truth, and therewith the Chronological part, carried 
on, even to days of the month ; so that an industrious Searcher 
may thence collect considerable matter for new History, rectifie 
many mistakes in our old, and in both gratifie the world with 
unshadowed verity.' The writer himself was able from one 
class of records alone, a class which had not been previously 
utilized, to recover ' the names of upwards of 800 Knights 
and Esquires who served with the King in France in 1346 
and 1347,' and to compile a work as interesting as it is 
valuable to the student of family history. 

But although the classification of our records in that great 
repository to which they were transferred in the course of the 
late reign would, in any case, have greatly facilitated the ardu- 
ous work of research, it was reserved for the present Deputy 
Keeper, Sir Henry Maxwell Lyte, to initiate a scheme for 
which his name deserves to be kept in grateful remembrance 
by the student of genealogy and topography. The noble 
series of 'Calendars' begun in 1892, and already extending 
to more than thirty massive volumes, is gradually placing at 
the disposal of all who possess or can consult them the contents 
of the Patent and Close Rolls, of the Inquisitions and Assess- 
ments relating to Feudal Aids, of the miscellaneous collection 
of documents known as * Ancent Deeds,' and of other sources 
of information which were all virtually inaccessible to the 
members of ' the general public.' 

For the present I will speak only of the Close Rolls, with 


a calendar of which for the years 1307-13 this great series 
opened. It was the wise determination of the Deputy Keeper 
that the abstracts, in the Calendar, of the documents on the 
Rolls should be ' made so full that in ordinary cases no further 
information can be obtained from the Rolls themselves.' More- 
over it was resolved to provide each volume with an index in 
which all the place-names on the Rolls should be identified 
and their modern equivalents supplied. It is obvious that 
this luxurious method of consulting our national records will 
impart, when it is better known, an immense impetus to their 
study, especially among those who are not able to consult the 
originals for themselves. It is not too much to say that the 
study of local and family history will be almost revolutionized 
by these invaluable volumes. As is well observed by the 
Deputy Keeper in his Preface to the opening volume, these 
Rolls, in addition to the light they throw on public adminis- 
tration, ' contain copies of a vast number of deeds, agreements 
and awards concerning private persons, which were exhibited 
in chancery for enrolment ; the biographer, the genealogist, 
the topographer, the philologist and the student of the 
manners, arts and commerce of the Middle Ages may alike 
obtain from them information of great interest which is not 
to be found elsewhere.' 

The expert in genealogical or topographical study may be 
well aware of the value and importance of these Calendars 
for his purpose, but I am writing for the members of that 
wider public who have hardly realized as yet the boon which 
has been thus conferred on those who are seeking to learn 
something of the history of a family or a parish. It is hoped 
that The Ancestor may be able to render assistance to these, 
especially to those engaged on working out a pedigree, by 
collecting the genealogical information scattered up and down 
throughout these volumes and by explaining entries which 
the official editors are compelled, of course, by the nature 
of the scheme to leave in a somewhat arid and unattractive 

Restricting ourselves to this first volume, we find, for 
example, the final disposition of the manors of Nuneham 
Courtney and Heyford Warren (Upper Heyford), Oxon, 
Pishiobury, Herts, and Harewood and Kirby Overblow, 
Yorks (pp. 273-4). They had had a curious history. Warine 
Fitz Gerold, chamberlain to John from whom Heyford 


Warin (corruptly ' Warren ') derived its name had married 
Alice the heiress of the Courcis, who brought him the Oxford- 
shire manor of Nuneham, the Domesday seat of her ancestor 
Richard de Courci. Margaret, daughter aud heiress of 
Warine and Alice, brought the whole group of manors to 
her husband, Baldwin de Reviers (' Redvers '), and it became 
part of the vast inheritance of their granddaughter Isabel, 
Countess of Devon and Lady of the Isle. On her death, in 
1293, such portions of her estates as she had not surrendered 
into the grasping hands of Edward I. were claimed by her 
heirs collateral, the representatives of the families from whom 
her various possessions had been derived. This gave rise, 
as might be expected, to a very pretty tangle, but genealogy 
makes it clear that her kinsman, Warine de 1'Isle, the heir of 
a younger son of Warine Fitz Gerold, became entitled, on her 
death, to such of her manors as had belonged to Warine. 
Nevertheless, when he claimed them, a counter claim was 
made on behalf of another collateral heir, Hugh de Courteney, 
who had no descent from Warine Fitz Gerold. As Hugh 
was a minor, the Crown replied that it must keep the lands 
in its own hands till he came of age ; and when he had done 
so, Warine de 1'Isle was dead, and the minority of his heir 
gave the Crown a fresh excuse for postponement. Thus it 
was not till July, 1310, as we learn from this Calendar, that 
the Crown at length parted with these valuable lands, of which 
it had retained possession for seventeen years. And even 
then their rightful heir, Robert de 1'Isle, we find, did not 
obtain the whole. The manor of Nuneham, together with 
some lands in Heyford Warin and in Harewood, was secured 
by Hugh de Courteney, perhaps by way of compromise, and 
the descent of Nuneham Courtney, otherwise incomprehen- 
sible, is thus explained. It would seem that Wootton 
Courteney, Somerset, was diverted in like manner from the 
heirs of its original possessors, for I have found evidence in 
a private collection that it was held by Warine Fitz Gerold 
and Alice de Curci his wife, it having descended to the Curcis 
through an heiress from William de Falaise, its Domesday 

Another instance of collateral succession is found in the 
heirship to Juliane Aguillon, who died a minor in ward, hold- 
ing the manor of Nutbourne by knight-service. A single 
document (p. 499) supplies the following pedigree : 



William Aguillon Agatha Aguillon Matilda Aguillon Mabel Aguillon 


mas Aguillon 

Richard de 
Weston co- 

in w 

me d. a minor 
r ard 

heir to Ju- 
liane, 1312 

Richard Jeudewyn 
co-heir to Juliane, 

Gregory de Cheyny 

Matilda mar. Isabella 
Henry de Buk- I 

kestrode co-heir 

to Juliane,, 3. 2 W 'lham de 
Chedny a 
minor in 

The Aguillons were of old standing in Sussex as knightly 
tenants of the Honour of Arundel, holding Nutbourne, in 
the twelfth century under the Aubigny earls, 1 and afterwards 
of their Tateshall co-heirs who obtained the Aguillon fees in 
their ' purparty.' 

The mention of * purparty ' reminds one that for purposes 
of county history no document could be more valuable than 
the great awards of partition between the co-heiresses of a fief 
which are entered in full detail on these rolls. For between 
them were divided not only the manors which the baron had 
kept in his own hands, but the subinfeudated portions of the 
fief, that is to say, those knight's fees which were held of him 
by under-tenants. It is from the descent of these knight's fees 
that the history of our oldest families must be traced ; and it is 
precisely this descent that is so difficult to prove owing to the 
absence of inquests after death in the case of under-tenants. 

In the present volume we obtain such evidence for the great 
fief of which the head was the moated mound of ' Richard's 
Castle ' on the border of Herefordshire and Shropshire. This 
fief was divided in 1309 between Joan and Margaret, daugh- 
ters and co-heirs of Hugh de Mortimer, descended through an 
heiress from Osbern Fitz Richard, lord of the fief in Domes- 
day Book, from whose father, a Norman favourite of Edward 
the Confessor, the castle had derived its name. Joan, at the 
time of the partition, was wife of Thomas de Bicknor ; but 
the father of her heir was her later husband, Richard Talbot, 
from whom descended a short line of Talbots of Richard's 

1 Compare Testa de Nevill, p. 222. 


Castle. From the younger sister Margaret, by her husband, 
Geoffrey de Cornwall, descended the Cornwalls, c Barons of 
Burford,' a curious titular distinction which they owed to their 
share (in which Burford was included) of the Richard's Castle 

The deeds relating to this partition will be found on pp. 36, 
97-8, 177-9 f tm s volume, which was prepared by an 
eminent scholar, Mr. W. H. Stevenson, a special authority 
on place-names, their identity and derivation. Of the demesne 
manors here dealt with little need be said. They are Burford 
in Shropshire, Cotheridge and Wychbold in Worcestershire, 
Blethvaugh in Radnor, Nympton in Devon, Amberden (in 
Depden 1 ) and Hobrige (in Witham 2 ) in Essex, and Norton 
near Daventry, Northants. None, I may say, of these names 
presents the slightest difficulty ; Mr. Stevenson however could 
not identify Blethvaugh (' Blethevagh ') or Norton, and 
although he successfully identified Margaret's moiety of 
Nympton (' Nymeton '), Joan's moiety (' Nymynton ') baffled 
him (p. 672) ; Hobrige, an important manor, he mistook for 
Heybridge, explaining that the Hobrugg ' of the text was 
intended for ' Hebrugg ' (p. 645), which it is not. The so- 
called laws of ' phonology ' (or whatever the thing calls itself) 
were incompatible, no doubt, with the simple facts. 

When we pass from the demesne manors to the knight's 
fees of the under-tenants, we realize at once the value of a 
document which records the names of those under-tenants in 
a given year (1309), the number of knight's fees they held, 
and the manors in which they held them. I have here ar- 
ranged the details in tabular form for convenience, giving the 
modern equivalent of the place-names in the text. We have 
first the knight's fees assigned to the elder sister Joan. The 
reader should observe the interesting cases in which parishes 
have derived their present distinctive name from the families 
which then held them. 


f I fee Jordan de Say 

Farnborough \ i Heirs of William de Halughton 

I T L Heirs of Walter le Norable 

Mollington T Eleanor de Clare 

Dunchurch i Eustachia widow of John Dunheved 

1 This was an escheated manor of the Honour of ' Peverel of London.' 
8 This was held of the Montfichet fief. 



Puddlestone and Brampton 


Richard's Castle . 

Littleton . . . . 
Ullington in Pebworth 
Naunton . 

. I A fee Richard de Curson 
. A Walter Hakelutel 
A Roger Eilrich 

. A fee Abbot of Abingdon 
A John de Ollynton 
A n Prior of Little Malvern 


Neen Sollars 

Tetneshull and Merebrook 1 


Ashford Bowdler . . . 


Wooferton 2 

I fee Roger de Mortimer of Wigmore 
i Peter Corbet 
i Adam de Elmerugge 
John de Boudlers 
i John de Overton 
William Carbonel 

Carton in Mamble % 

Impney I 

Eastwood -J 

' Kynges Lond ' \ 

Elmbridge I A 

Pershull \ 

Elmbridge ^ 

Cotheridge -jL 

Shelsley Walsh i 

Sapey (Pitchard) A 

Edwin Loach J 

Crowle I 

Witton $ 

Rock and Hollin 

. A f ee Hugh de Mortimer 

I Peter Corbet 
. -f- Thomas de Arderne 

John de Kynges Lond 
Adam de Elmerugge 
Henry de Peremort 
William de Hanewode 
Adam le Joevene 
William le Waleys 
Roger Pitchard 
Heirs of William de Longe 
Guy de Beauchamp 
Grumbald Pauncefot 
Henry de Ribbesford 

The other co-heiress, Margaret wife of Geoffrey de 
Cornwall, had for her purparty a moiety of each of the above 
demesne manors and the following knight's fees in the counties 
of Warwick and Hereford. 


. i fee Prior of Kenilworth 

Abbot of Combe 


(The) Whyle 3 i fee Richard de la Launde 

Byton Thomas de Brampton 

Staunton (on Arrow) and Mowley i Walter de Hopton 

1 See Eyton's Shropshire, iv. 348. 

2 Near Ashford Carbonel and Ashford Bowdler at the southern extremity ot 
the county. 

3 Near Puddleston. 


Combe ^ fee Bcrard le Bret 

Nash 1 | Ralf de St. Oucn 

Knill i John de Lyngayne 

Berrington * (?) Thomas de Lyngayne 

Nether Kiddington } fee Henry de Willamescote 

Litchborough -J fee William Poer 


Marsh Huntley (in Yeovil) . . % fee John de Huntcleye 
Kingstone by Yeovil 8 . . . . $ Robert Fitz Payne 


Milson { fee Hugh Godard 

Weston * Earl of Lincoln 

Romsley and Badger .... I 

Greet 8 i 

Stoke 8 j 

Court of Hill 8 (' la Hull ') . . -jV 
Ashford Carbonel and Overton 8 -J- 

Leo de Rommeslcigh 
Philip de Crete 

Henry le Moncour, Margery la Blak 
William de la Hull 
Hugh Carbonel 
Edmund de Cornwall 
4 Kyngeshemed ' and Nash 8 . . -J Robert Sturmy 


Clifton-on-Teme -J- fee Roger de Mortimer 

Kyre Wyard | John Wyard 

Sutton Sturmy (in) Tenbury and 

'Overe' I| Robert Sturmy 

Tenbury 2 Henry de Lacy 

In this list, it will be seen, the old Herefordshire families 
of Hopton, Lingen and Hill (of Court of Hill) have already 
emerged as tenants by knight service. A century earlier, 
under John, none of their names are found in a list of tenants 
of the Honour, arranged under counties, in The Red Book of 
the Exchequer (pp. 603-5) which is of interest for comparison 
with the abstract I have given above. Such lists as these, 
where they exist, are the backbone of county history. 

1 On the Herefordshire border between Combe and Knill. 

s Given as ' Heriton.' Domesday enters ' Beritune ' in Worcestershire as 
held by Osbern Fitz Richard, so that it ought to occur among these fees. It 
is in the north-west corner of the county on the Herefordshire border. 
Habington speaks of it as ' aunciently Beriton.' 

3 Alias Kingston Pitney. 

4 A member of Burford. 
8 Members of Burford. 


But to make these lists really useful, to save them from 
being actually misleading, the manors to which they relate 
must be correctly identified. The labour involved at times in 
accomplishing this is greater than would be imagined by any 
one who has not approached the task ; but this indispensable 
work is now being admirably performed by the staff of the 
Public Record Office. It is only fair to remember that the 
volume with which we are dealing was the first of these 
calendars to appear, and that Mr. Stevenson, who prepared it, 
is unfortunately more concerned with the supposed ' sound- 
laws ' governing the changes in place-names than with their 
actual changes as proved by records. For the readers of The 
Ancestor however the latter are of most importance. I have 
therefore provided them with the right equivalent of several 
names which Mr. Stevenson was not able to identify. Taking 
these in order we find that in Gloucestershire he was baffled 
by ' Lutlynton ' (Littleton) and Newynton (which he identified 
as ' Newington '). The latter is a peculiarly instructive 
example, because Naunton, its right equivalent, is represented 
in Domesday by * Niwetone ' (as was shown long ago by Mr. 
A. S. Ellis), a form which is also found employed for such 
names as Newington, Niton, Newtown and Newton. We 
thus learn the futility of endeavouring to apply the laws of 
sound to the changes in our English place-names. 

Mr. Stevenson further failed to identify Wooferton ( { Wol- 
ferton ') of which the name is prominent in the neighbouring 
Wooferton Junction, Carton, (' Carkedon ') and Hollin 
(< Holm ') 

When we turn to the fees of the younger sister the failures 
increase in number : the calendar does not identify Byton 
(' Buton ') ; Mowley (' Moldelsleye ') ; Nash (' Asshe ') county 
Hereford, or Nash (' Asshe ') county Salop ; Marsh in Yeovil 
(' Merssh ') ; Milson (' Mulston ') ; Weston, county Salop ; 
Stoke, county Salop ; Clifton-on-Teme (' Clyfton ') ; Kyre Wyard 
(' Cuyre '), or Sutton Sturmy. Worse than this it converts an 
Oxfordshire manor of Kiddington into Codington, county 
Hereford ; the Herefordshire manor of The Whyle into Willey, 
county Warwick ; and the Shropshire seat of Court of Hill 
into Hill, county Warwick. When these corrections have 
been made, there is not, as may be supposed, very much that 
is left. 

Four years later, in another official publication, there 


appeared the interesting return for the same great fief of 
which I have already spoken. 1 It is assigned to the reign of 
John, but Mr. Eyton, rightly or wrongly, believed that its real 
date was about 1230. In this return the manors are arranged 
under their counties more carefully than in the documents of 
1 309. Under Herefordshire we note ' Pullesdone ' and 
'Wile.' In the Testa de Nevill (p. 66) these places appear 
next one another, under the Hundred of Wolphy, as held of 
this fief. Therefore they are quite certainly Puddlestone and 
its neighbour The Whyle. And yet the official editor 
definitely identifies 'Wile' as Willey. In Shropshire he 
identifies Wooferton (' Wolferton ') as Wollerton, but there is 
worse to come. Of the three Gloucestershire manors spoken 
of above, ' Neutone ' (Naunton) is asserted to be Newington, 
' Luctone ' (Littleton) to be Lucton, and ' Olintone ' omitted 
altogether from the index where it ought to be identified. 
The Oxfordshire manor of the fief is ' Codintone ' (Nether 
Kiddington), which is carefully identified by the editor as 
Cuddington, although the places of that name are all in other 
counties. Finally there is the Somerset holding, which, as we 
have seen, was in Yeovil. The Red Book enters it as one 
knight's fee in ' Siville ', held by Richard de ' Sey ' ; and its 
editor confidently pronounces this place to be Swell. Now, 
Swell was a manor held by the L'Ortis, with which the Says 
had nothing to do, while at Yeovil the Says are proved by the 
Close Rolls to have held lands in the time of John, and the 
fact of their tenure bears on the date of this return. ' Siville ' 
therefore was simply Yeovil the Ifle, Ivle, or Givele of 
Domesday and indeed the Red Book itself shows us on 
another page (p. 545) Gilbert de Say holding there this 
knight's fee. 

It is needful, unfortunately, to warn the reader, especially if 
he is working for the great Victoria History, against this un- 
fortunate edition of the Red Book of the Exchequer. And the 
reason is this : its editor has gone out of his way to give the 
student confidence in the identifications he propounds by 
dwelling on the care with which they have been made, and 
insisting that ' the place-names in this index have in fact been 
subjected in turn to a threefold scrutiny ' (p. ccclxxix.). The 
' genealogical test,' we read, ' proved to be unspeakably 
laborious, but its results were highly important and instruc- 
1 Red Book of the Exchequtr (i 896), pp. 603-5. 


tive ' (p. ccclxxx.). They certainly are so in the case of 
' Swell.' For the present, however, I will say no more on the 
tests which the editor alleges he applied to identifications 
which would plunge at times the history of our counties into 
absolutely hopeless confusion. 1 

We have been dealing above with the partition of a great 
fief; but the Close Rolls record with equal care the partition 
of the small possessions of a tenant by serjeanty. It had 
been found by inquisition that a certain John Goce held lands 
at Gillingham, county Dorset, ' in chief by the serjeanty of fee 
of being forester of Gillingham Forest and keeper of the park 
of the manor of Gillingham, and that Amice wife of William 
de Bogelegh, Elizabeth wife of John Cley, Alice wife of 
William Chonnesone, and Michaela wife of John de Rondes, 
daughters of the said John Goce, were his nearest heirs and of 
full age.' 

On July 20, 1311, the king intimated that he had deferred 
to c the next Parliament ' deciding the dispute between these 
co-heirs, who claimed to hold by grand serjeanty, and his step- 
mother Queen Margaret who alleged that the tenements were 
of ancient demesne and should be held of her as of the manor 
of Gillingham. At last, but not till the close of 1312, the 
king lost patience with his stepmother, and ordered his 
escheator to divide the inheritance into four equal parts for 
the daughters and their husbands. This was done March 1 6, 
1313, and a lengthy document records every detail of the 
partition. It is important to note that the actual office went to 
the eldest daughter alone, while the house, land, etc., was 
equally divided between the other three. For this bears on 
the question that is being raised as I write whether the Lord 
Great Chamberlainship of England should have descended in 
its entirety to Lord Ancaster instead of being held jointly by 
the heirs of two sisters. It is, in fact, the question of that 
' impartible inheritance ' on which some learning has been ex- 
pended. ' It is Bracton's opinion,' write the authors of the 
History of English Law, 'that a tenement held by serjeanty ought 
not to be divided.' But 'in 1221,' they add, 'Henry III. 
permits co-heiresses to hold a serjeanty' (vol. ii. ed. i, p. 273). 

On the other hand they cite a case in which ' the eldest of 

1 I desire to observe that I only detected the above errors in identification 
on examining this return (January, 1902) for the purposes of the present 


several sisters claims the whole of her dead brother's land, 
" quia ilia est de sergenteria." ' * 

In the case before us, it is quite clear, a third alternative was 
adopted. The actual serjeanty or office was assigned to the 
eldest sister alone, while the whole of the land held by its 
discharge was divided in equal shares between the three 
younger sisters. It is somewhat difficult to understand the 
principle on which this was done, unless it was parallel, in 
some degree, to the practice by which, according to Bracton, 
the eldest sister, when taking a castle or 'caput' of a barony, 
'accounted for its value in the division of the rest of the 
inheritance.' a 

For the readers of The Ancestor, however, it will be more 
interesting to learn how the ' Partition of the lands ' of this 
'tenant of the King by serjeanty' was effected (March 16, 
1313). The eldest daughter Amice, with her husband 
William de Bogeleigh, received, as I have said, her father's 
office, which we find thus described. 

The custody and bailiwick of the forest of Gillyngham and the demesne, 
wood and park as the forester's fee, as their freehold, to be held in chief by 
serjeanty, by homage to be made therefor, and William is to have in the 
forest, wood, and park, the croppings and bark of all wood given by the 
King, Queen, and justices, and of all wood felled for the King's or Queen's 
use, except what is felled for the Court or barton of Gillingham, and to have 
all trees and branches blown down by the wind unless they are blown down 
with the roots, and to have his swine therein without stint in pannage time 
quit of pannage, and to have eight oxen and eight cows and eight bullocks 
and two horses in the park and forest and wood. He is also to have the right 
shoulder of every beast taken in the forest. 

This office, at a later time, was held by the Lords Stourton 
till the eighth lord was hanged for murder in 1557, when it 
passed into the hands of the Crown, being then valued as 
worth ^40 a year. 

The eldest sister's share was worth 40 per cent more than 
that of each of the younger ones whose ' purparties ' were 
carefully made equal to a penny. If there was but one house 
in the inheritance, ' the house itself was physically divided,' s 
and this was the case here. The lands, rents, and services 
were all separately divided, but the house was partitioned 
thus : to John de Rondes and Michaela his wife were ' as- 
signed a third of the chief messuage, to wit all the hall from 
the hall-door with the chambers adjoining the hall on the 

1 History of Engfish Law, i. 270. * Ibid. ii. 273. 8 Ibid. ii. 273. 


east, together with the adjoining plot of land as bounded by 
the ditch and two chambers extending towards the hall called 
" Brittoneschamber " with the little plot adjoining as far as the 
stable.' John Cley and Elizabeth his wife received { all the 
kitchen with annexed chambers with the chambers from the 
hall-door extending to the kitchen on the west, with the plot 
round it as bounded by a ditch ' ; and the share of William 
Chonesone and Alice his wife was 'all the grange with the 
little plot adjoining towards the hall on the south with the 
barton adjoining the grange on the north.' Such deeds as 
this, it will be observed, throw no little light on the domestic 
arrangements of the time. 

Glancing at a few miscellaneous entries, we find the value of 
a nun's life as a provision for the superfluous daughter illus- 
trated (1308) by a royal order to the abbess and nuns of 
Winchester ' to receive into their house and to veil Matilda 
daughter of John le Mareschal, of Aulton, who wishes to re- 
ceive the habit of their order, they being bound to admit a 
maiden of the King's nomination upon his accession.' The 
King's nominee, who was thus admitted ' on the cheap,' can 
hardly, one fears, have been made welcome. Another entry 
(September 7, 1311) proves that Matilda wife of Richard de la 
Ryvere was sister and heir of John son of John son of John 
le Bretun, knight, who held of Richard Basset at Blatherwyk 
and Laxton. From others we learn that John de Hodebovill, 
a tenant-in-chief, left at his death a widow Hilaria and a son 
heir Walter ; that this Walter, dying very shortly afterwards, 
left a sister Alice as his heir, and a widow Margery, who 
received as her dower a third part of his messuage, in which 
was a room called ' Knyghtchaumbre,' together with rents 
from free tenants, among whom were James, son, and Agatha, 
daughter, of James de Hodebovyle, who were doubtless cadets 
of the house. 

There are some entries which put us on the track of curious 
little discoveries. For instance, on April 8, 1312, the king's 
escheator was ordered to give seisin to Hugh de Hornle and 
Alice his wife of a tenement in Winchester ' which William de 
Dunstaple held in chief by the service of rending a pilch of 
greywork (fellicium grisonis) yearly,' as Alice had been found 
by Inquisition to be next heir of William. The escheator 
certified that he had been unable to carry out the king's order 
' on account of the resistance of William Fraunceys and others 


unknown,' and that William had claimed the tenement under 
the will of William of Dunstaple, the testator, ' according to 
the custom of the city,' having power to bequeath it. As 
William could not produce the will, the escheator was ordered 
anew to give seisin to Hugh and his wife ' taking with him, 
if necessary, the posse comitatus of Hampshire ' to suppress 
resistance. The venerable institution of the posse still sur- 
vives in the United States, although it has long been obsolete, 
because needless, here. In this second document the tene- 
ment is described as held by the annual render of a l pe llicium 
grisorum.' Now the Edward I. survey of the city, some 
thirty years before, speaks of ' a certain large house in which 
are sold linen cloths in Winchester,' and which ' King John 
gave to William his tailor (cissori suo) ' for an annual render 
of a grey pellicium? Following up this clue we discover on 
the charter rolls of John an enrolment of the actual charter by 
which the gift was made. The official calendar of these rolls 
compiled by the Record Commission describes the house as 
styled ' lanea selda,' as if the cloths sold there were of wool ; 
but on reference to the rolls themselves, that reading is found 
to be wrong. The charter was granted July 16, 1215, when 
King John was staying at Fremantle (Frigid' Mantell'), then a 
royal residence in Hampshire, smarting under the humiliation 
he had suffered at the hands of his barons, and painfully short 
of money. It was perhaps this last consideration that led him 
to settle his tailor's claims by the grant of this house at Win- 
chester for an annual render so small as a c pilch ' (a sort of 
cassock) lined with grey fur. 1 

John was not the only one of our kings who made such a 
grant to a royal tailor. The Essex manor of Wallbury in 
Great Hallingbury, which passed into the hands of the Crown 
' when the Normans lost their lands ' (owing to the separation 
of England and Normandy), was in the hands of Roger de 
Ross 'tailor (scissor) of our lord the King' in 1244-5 ( 2 9 
Hen. III.), being then held by him in chief for the annual 

1 See the Piftoria History of Hampshire, i. 531. 

8 The actual charter runs thus : ' Sciatis nos dedisse . . . Willelmo Cisori 
nostro et heredibus suis domum illam cum pertinenciis in civitate nostra 
Winton' que vocatur linea selda habcndam et tenendam . . . reddendo inde 
annuatim nobis et heredibus nostris singulis annis pclicium grisium ' (Charter 
Roll, 17 John, pars, i, m. 8, No. 46). Henry Archbishop of Dublin is the 
first witness. 



render of a silver needle at the Exchequer ' on the morrow of 
Michaelmas.' By a charter granted at Winchester, November 
6, 1267, King Henry bestowed on his 'dear brother' they 
were sons of the same mother William de Valence, this 
estate, among others, as that which had belonged to Roger 
* le Taylur ' deceased. 1 On the death of William's son and 
heir, Aymer Earl of Pembroke, in 1324, it was duly found 
that this great personage held the manor of ' Walbery ' by the 
service of tendering one silver needle ; 2 the tailor's service 
remaining unchanged, even when the land was held by these 
illustrious earls. 

It is hoped in future numbers of The Ancestor to illustrate 
further the interest and the value of these splendid calendars. 
The corrections I have had to make in the course of this 
paper will show, I hope, that it is not the language of the 
uninstructed reviewer when I say that the care bestowed on 
them is altogether admirable and the success attained in 
identifying names, as the work proceeded and developed, little 
short of marvellous. The Public Record Office has been 
good enough to supply a list of these calendars posted up to 
the end of February last, from which it will be seen what 
substantial progress has already been achieved in the work. 
To make that work more widely known is the chief object of 
the present paper. 



(All being Calendars unless otherwise noted) 


Henry III. (Latin text) Vol. 1 1216-1225 

( ) Vol. II In the press 

Edward I. Vols. I.-IV 1272-1307 

Edward II. Vols. I.-II 1300-1317 

Vols. III.-IV In the press 

Edward III. Vols. I.-VI 1327-1343 

Vols. VII In the press 

Richard II. Vols. I.-III 1377-1389 

Vol. IV In the press 

1 ' Sciatis nos concessisse . . . dilecto fratri et fideli nostro Willelmo de 
Valencia totam terram cum pertinenciis in La Walle que fuit Rogeri le Taylur 
defuncti in Comitatu Essex' (Charter Roll, 52 Henry III. m. 12). 

2 Chancery Inq. p.m. 17 Ed. II. 75. 


PATENT ROLLS (continued) 

Henry IV. Vol. I In the press 

Henry VI. Vol. 1 1422-1429 

Vol. II In the press 

Edward IV. & V., Richard III. Vols. I.-III. 1461-1485 


Henry III. (Latin text) Vol. I In the press 

Edward I. Vol. 1 1272-1279 

Vols. II.-III In the press 

Edward II. Vols. I.-IV 1307-1327 

Edward III. Vols. I.-V 1327-1341 

Vol. VI In the press 


Henry III. Vol. I In the press 


Henry III In the press 

Henry VII. Vol. I 

FEUDAL AIDS, ETC., 1284-1431 

(Latin text) Vols. I. & II. . . Bedford to Huntingdon 
Vol. Ill In the press 


Vols. I.-III 

Vol. IV In the press 


Vol.1 918-1206 


Vols. I.-III 1198-1362 

Vols. IV.-VI In the press 


Vol. 1 1342-1419 



Vol. I Ric. II. and 

Edw. IV. 
Vol. II In the press 



UNDER this tide we propose to place at the disposition 
of our readers some of the valuable and interesting 
material for the history of families and of family seats which 
exists in a scattered form in the Appendices to the Reports of 
the Historial Manuscripts Commission. Only those who have 
had the leisure to read steadily through the vast mass of 
these ' Parliamentary Papers ' can have formed any conception 
of the mine of wealth they constitute for those who are inter- 
ested in the doings of our ancestors, their births, marriages 
and deaths, the homes in which they lived, their court and 
private gossip, their manners, customs and travels. We give 
below some extracts from one of the smallest of these volumes 
(Report xv. Appendix x.) which will illustrate at least the 
diversified character of the information they contain. 

J. H. R. 

1581, 26 Aug. 5/. to be given to Sir George Bromley, 
lent., and to Edward Leighton, esq., in respect of a marriage now 
solemnized between their children, in such things as they shall best 
like of. (' Shrewsbury Corporation Records,' p. 22) 

Temp. Hen. III. Grant from Roger de Langleberge to Hugh de 
Croft in marriage dowry with Hysobella his eldest daughter of his land 
in Bradefeld which he held of Ralph de Sudintone and John de Crede- 
welle. Witn., Will, fitz Warin, Brian de Brauntone, Gwarin de 
Grenedene, Rob. de Ely, Walter fitz Peter, Roger fitz Adam. (' Sir 
Walter Corbet's MSS.' p. 70) 

1316, 4 Apr., 9 Edw. II. Grant from John Burnel and Matilda 
his wife, daughter of John le Mynsmyth, to William le Rous, 
son of Sir Philip le Rous, knt., of a messuage in le Berewardstrete, 1 
(Northampton). Witn., Henry le Garlecmongere, mayor, Henry de 
Westone and Barthol. de Reyni, bailiffs, etc. (Ibid. p. 74) 

1326, 28 Feb., 19 Edw. II. Release from William son of Will, 
le Rous to Firmyn le Rous of all his right in the lands, etc., which the 

1 The names of the street called after the ' Bearward ' and of the garlic- 
selling mayor should be observed. 


latter had by the gift of Sir Philip le Rous * and Lecia his wife in 
Northampton, Wodeford near Hinton, and Fardingston. Witn., 
Walter de Tekne, mayor, Adam de Cotesbrok and John de Hoche- 
cote, bailiffs, etc. Seal, a fleur-de-lis; 'Si' Will' le Rous.' (Ibid. 
P- 74) 

Provision is made by Richard de la Clyve in 1356 for the saying 
of mass by his brother Nicholas before the altar of the Holy Cross 
in the church of St. Mary Shrewsbury, for the souls of their father, 
Thomas de la Clyve, their mother and brothers and sisters. (Ibid. 
P- 74) 

' One of his ancestors, Ralph Carr, established a large connection 
with Scotland, Holland, Norway, and North America as a merchant 
and general shipping agent, to which he subsequently added the busi- 
ness of a banker. All the copy-books of his own business letters (but 
not the letters of his correspondents) have been preserved, amounting 
to some sixty or seventy volumes, and from these, which extend from 
1737 to about 1783, much may be learned with reference to the com- 
mercial and banking transactions of the time. He mentions in one 
letter the fact that the shipping trade of Newcastle exceeded that of 
any other provincial port in England. The chief exports to America 
were coals, crown glass, bottles, lead, iron, and woollen goods ; and the 
chief import appears to have been tar. The American correspondence 
of 1748-75 is contained in two separate volumes; earlier letters are 
scattered through the preceding general volumes, but from the former 
year the colonial trade began to assume special importance. The 
letters cease at the beginning of the War of Independence. In one of 
the earlier letters Carr says to a correspondent, with reference to a 
young man whom at the latter's request he had sent out to him as a 
clerk, ' There are few in England who have tolerable bread who would 
hire themselves to go to America.' Many of the names of the persons 
with whom he corresponded may doubtless have interest for families in 
America at the present day. Some few of these it may therefore be 
worth while to mention. At Boston, in 1748 and onwards, Messrs. 
Wendell, Ralph Inman (who continued a friend and correspondent up 
to his death), Edmund, Henry, and Josiah Quincy, Thomas Hutchin- 
son (afterwards governor of Massachusetts), William Bowdoin (who 
arrived at Boston in 1748), Samuel Wentworth, Samuel Douglas, with 
many others ; in 1764 some of the additional names are John Gould, 
Nath. and George Bethune, Samuel Scollay, hon. Andrew Oliver, 
James Griffin. At New York, 1 749, Robert Commelin, John Bard, 
Joris BrinkerhofF, Adoniah Schuyler and Henry Cuyler, John Watts, 
Henry Lane, Philip Livingston ; in 1 764, Walter and Samuel Franklin, 
Lodowick Bomper, Thomas Vardill, Jacob Sarly. Mr. Carr naturally 

1 He is described as Philip le Rous, burgess of Northampton, in an earlier 


in the course of so long and large intercourse met with some dishonest 
traders ; of one house at New York he says, ' I have had too many 
bad chaps [i.e., buyers, chapmen ; a term very frequently wed by him in 
this sense] in America, but they are the very worst ' ; in another, ' In 
truth most of the Americans are too cunning for me.' One Mr. 
William Fletcher, who left Boston for the safer Danish island of St. 
Eustathia, leaving his debts unpaid, excited special indignation ; but in 
1763 his character was re-established, a composition was paid, and 
correspondence resumed.' (' Mr. Carr-Ellison's MSS.' p. 92) 

1764, Oct. 26. In a letter to Sam. Wentworth, esq., at Boston 
(who died in Sept. 1766), mention is made of the return of one son, 
H. Wentworth, who had been with Messrs. Carr, and given them 
great satisfaction, and of another son at Eton, who appears to have re- 
turned home in May, 1765. (Ibid. p. 94) 

1765, July 23. Mr. William Dunbar, of Thurso in Caithness, 
' the son of a very reputable clergyman,' is strongly recommended for 
employment on going out to New York. (Ibid. p. 95). 

1768, Apr. 29. Mr. Ralph Inman is requested to make quest for 
'a very unfortunate poor lady at Roxbury,' Lady Hesilrige, wife of the 
son [Robert] of Sir Arthur Hesilrige, who is enquired for by Mr. 
Jonathan Ormston, Sir Arthur's trustee, and who must make proof of 
her marriage. Also to interest himself on behalf of a poor woman of 
Newcastle, Hannah Nicholson, who has never received a legacy of 
j2oo left her in 1763 by her son Edward Nicholson in Virginia and 
retained by one James Hunter there ; ' we are determined to be at any 
expense or trouble in order to procure her justice.' (Ibid. p. 95) 

1768, Nov. 1 8. Letter to Lady Hesilrige at Boston : I2O/. to be 
paid to her as the interest due on the 5oo/. legacy from the death of 
her father[-in-law], Sir Arthur Hesilrige, and 2O/. annually. 'I most 
sincerely lament that your unhappy situation and worth were not known 
before the death of Sir Arthur ; sure I am you and yours would have 
been provided for, but it is the hand of Providence, which is still able 
to conduct and assist you. No doubt you heard that Sir Arthur left 
his estate to the youngest of five sons, and even thought him very un- 
worthy of it, and [I] doubt he has not been mistaken by the accounts I 
have of him. He is not yet of age ; when he is I pray God he may 
have an inclination equal to his ability to assist you. For your son, as 
he will have the title, ought to have the estate likewise. I had much 
talk with Mr. Ormston as to paying you in the 5OO/., but this he 
apprehends cannot be done till your children are of age, but when they 
get an estate in this neighbourhood sold for the payment of legacies 
and the other sons' fortunes, he will consult the nobleman [lord May- 
nard] who was left joint trustee with him. (Ibid. p. 95) 


1770, July 2. Letter to James Hunter, Fredericksburgh, Virginia, 
demanding in the strongest terms payment of the legacy (mentioned 
under 1 768) of which he has defrauded Hannah Nicholson. [Other 
letters follow on the subject ; Hunter remitted money by instalments.] 
(Ibid. p. 95) 

Same date. Letter to Lady Hesilrige, urging her to send her eldest 
son over to England ; he hopes the sight of him would warm lord 
Maynard (who is 80 years old) into compassion for the unmerited loss 
of his birthright. (Ibid. p. 95) 

1771, Apr. 4. Letter to Lady Hesilrige, congratulating her on the 
reception her son has met with from lord Maynard, who in letters to 
Mr. Ormston ' expresses more of a parental fondness for him than my 
most sanguine wishes could even hope for.' Enclosing a copy of a 
letter of thanks to lord Maynard, dated 30 March. [It is subsequently 
mentioned that the latter sent his young relation to school at Chiswick, 
and in April 1773 sent him to Calcutta. He died in the East Indies 
in 1805. Several original letters from Lady Hesilrige are preserved.] 
(Ibid. p. 95) 

A letter from A[nne] Widdrington to Mrs. Carr at Bath, without 
date of year, is from the wife of the eldest son of the lord Widdrington 
who was attainted for his share in the same rising. The letter shows 
that in spite of forfeiture the son used his father's title ; the writer 
(who dates from Bond Street, Saturday, 7 Jan., possibly 1 749) sends 
an invitation to a concert which ' my lord ' has fixed for Monday, 
' 23rd of thiss inst.' ; he ' hass invited all the company, and engagd 
the musical people ; it will begin at twelve a clock .... It is to 
be at Turnham Green, 1 having no convinence for any sutch thing in 
Bond Street.' (Ibid. p. 96) 

1763. A letter from a lady at Bath named A. Hollier to Mrs. Carr, 
dated 31 Jan. 1763, 'gives an account of a scene in an assembly room 
there which, although little creditable to those concerned, would seem 
of a kind which at that time was not infrequent. ' They say Bath hath 
been very full this winter, but we have kept snug to our private parties, 
and gone very little to the rooms. Indeed, my sister went to the 
Queen's birthday ball at Wiltshire's rooms, which was in general 
esteemed a very good one ; but at the close of it they cooked up a 
little sort of a riot : for the candles went out before twelve o'clock, the 
music went off in the middle of a dance, and left the company in the 
dark, who could by no means get the music again or a replenish of 
candles, or even a little negus to drink, tho' they could prove the rooms 
cleared five and forty guineas by the subscription. Upon which one of 
the gentlemen said, he remembered upon such affronts as these it used 
to be custom to break the lustres and glasses ; upon which hint there 

1 He died there, leaving no issue, in 1774. 


was negus produced in plenty, and the gentlemen threw it all over the 
room, broke eight bowls, and went off in a rage, swearing there should 
never be another ball at those rooms ; but Wiltshire having made proper 
submissions they have passed it by, and the balls go on there as usual. 
Collet had carried himself off before upon some affront he had received, 
of which he has had plenty this winter, and since that night hath re- 
signed his office to one Derrick, a little Irishman, to whom they say the 
rooms are to allow fifty pounds a year. If that is the case, it is no 
hard matter to prognosticate what authority he will gain, and how far 
it will be attended to.' (Ibid. p. 97) 

6 Edward III. [1332]. Agreement whereby Henry Le Spicer and 
his wife Mary grant to Richard Le Spicer, father of the said Henry, 
a yearly rent of fifty shillings issuing from a tenement in Smytheford 
Street in Coventre, and further grant to the same Richard for his life a 
sufficiency of meat and drink at his own table like that provided for 
the grantors, and a fit place for his bed in the same grantors' own 
tenement, and fit clothes for the same bed, and a robe of fit cloth to be 
received by him yearly at St. Andrew's Feast with fit fur for an over- 
tunic, and in every second year a winter coat with a cap and suitable 
fur at the Feast of St. Michael, and a summer over-tunic at the Feast 
of the Invention of the Holy Cross, and also a yearly livery of two 
pairs of linen clothes and four pairs of list shoes, and six pairs of shoes. 
('Coventry Corporation Records,' p. 137) 



1335. Agreement between Henry the Prior and the Convent of 
the cathedral church of Coventre of the one part, and Thomas de 
Radewey of Keresleye and his wife Alice, formerly the wife of Roger 
Locard, of the other part : whereby the said Thomas and Alice give to 
the said Prior and Convent certain lands etc., in the towns of Coventre, 
Coundeline and Radeford, and the said Prior and Convent grant in 
return to the said Alice for her life a corrody in their priory, viz., to 
receive daily ' unum panem album qui vocatur Michs et unam lagenam 
cerevisie conventualis,' etc., and also grant to her a place of abode in a 
cottage with a curtilage in St. Nicholas Street. (Ibid. p. 137) 



12 Henry VIIL, October 6th [1520]. Indenture of an agreement 
between Thomas White, Master of the Guild of Corpus Christi and 
St. Nicholas and the brethren and sisters of the same Guild of the first 
part, and Letyse the widow and executrix of the testament of John 
Saunders late of Coventre, capper and alderman, and John Clerk, 


grocer, and Nicholas Heynes, capper, overseers of the same testament, 
of the second part, and John Bonde, mayor, and the community of the 
City of Coventre of the third part, and Thomas Waren the Master and 
the brethren and sisters of the Guild of the Holy Trinity, etc., of the 
fourth part : Whereby the said Master brethren and sisters of the 
aforesaid Guild of Corpus Christi covenant that they will * yerely for 
ever on the second day of the moneth of August cause an Obite to be 
kept in the parishe churche of St. Mighell in the said Cite for the 
soules of the said John Saunders and Letyse, Agnes and Alice his 
wiffes, as is comenly usid for men of worshipe in the seid Cite, with 
dirige over nyghte and masse of the morowe with x preistes iii clerks 
and ii children, every prieste to have iiia., every clerke \\d. and every 
child a peny.' (Ibid. p. 147) 

1527, March 22. Agreement between Sir William Sandys, knight, 
Lord Sandys, Lord Chamberlain, and Walter Hungerford esquire, son 
and heir of Edward Hungerford knight, late deceased, for a marriage 
between the latter and Alice, one of the daughters of the former, before 
the feast of the Ascension. Walter Hungerford undertakes to settle 
manors and lands to the yearly value of i oo/. Lord Sandys undertakes 
to pay 600 marks, 1 viz. 400 at the day of marriage, and 200 at Michael- 
mas following. He also undertakes to find meat and drink for such as 
shall happen to be at the marriage. He further undertakes to ' gyve to 
the saide Water for the daye of the saide maryage one gowne of crymson 
velwet and one other gowne of blacke velwet, one jacket of blacke 
velwet and one other jacket of blacke satten, one dublet of crymson 
satten and one other dublet of blacke satten,' and to give to his 
daughter for the day of the said marriage 'one gowne of crymson 
velwet and one other gowne of blacke velwet, one kirtyll of crymson 
sattyn and one other of blacke satten, and all other ornaments as to 
the hed of the said Alice for the said daye of mariage shall appertayne.' 
('Earl of Radnor's MSS.' p. 162) 

' For all this it fared with poor Longford * no otherwise then with that 
Da;moniack, who after it had been exorcised was quickly repossessed 
by viler devils then formerly haunted it, for instead of soldiers of for- 
tune, and some honest cavaliers, there were put in by order of Parlia- 
ment a knavish committee of clowns of neither fortune nor under- 
standing, who first pillaged the house of whatsoever the former guests 
had left, or could be torn from doors, or walls, or windows, and then 
moved the Parliament that the house should be slighted for being a 
dangerous place. 

As the storms of civil dissension broke away, and our days cleared up 
by degrees, my Lord Coleraine, having weathered so many difficult 
points both as to law and conscience as had greatly impoverished his 

1 i.e. 400. * Longford Castle, Salisbury. 


estate (not only by the loss of great sums of money and chargeable law 
suits, but by his absence from his chief rents, his actual delinquency and 
sequestration, his being plundered both at Longford and Totteridge, and 
afterwards highly taxed and decimated for not taking covenants and 
engagements. After this, I say, his Lordship's desire and delight 
returned again for Longford, which for some years before he looked not 
to see again, but in rubbish, and then, like Nehemiah, he was impatient 
till he had begun a repair. 

Revisiting this house (circa anno 1650) to see what his egregious 
tenants on both sides (agreed to prejudice him) had left behind, his 
Lordship was saluted with nothing but filthiness and desolation, except 
it were an infinite swarm of fleas, that pitched upon his white boot- 
hose, there was no other living creature left for him, who was forced to 
leave behind him (when he went out of the house) a gallant dairy of 
Dutch cows, a great flock of wethers, yards full of poultry, and barns 
stored with provisions, yet was he nobly satisfied, that (being his master 
and all true subjects had suffered so deeply) his condition was no worse, 
though I have often heard him say that he had lost 4O,ooo/. sterling by 
the troublesome times, and had all his delights impared not less then 
his estate.' (Ibid. p. 172) 

Litckfield, co. Hants. Among the persons named are Richard 
Kyngesmyll and John his son, 21 Hen. VII. 

Wkitchurck) co. Hants. Among the persons named are John 
Kyngesmyll, sergeant-at-law, and Joan his wife, 13 Hen. VII. 

Hurst, co. Berks. Among the persons named are Adam, son of 
John de Kingesmille, 20 Edw. III. ; Adam Kyngesmulle of Bercham 
and Elizabeth his wife and William their son, 23 Edw. III. ; John 
Kyngesmell and William his son and Joan his wife, daughter of John 
Dyk, 1 5 Ric. II. ; William Kyngesmyll, son and heir of John Kyn- 
gesmyll of Berkham, deceased, 7 Hen. V. ; Richard Kyngesmyll, 
gentleman, 21 Hen. VII. 

Barkham, co. Berks. Among the persons named are William de 
Nevile, lord of Bercham, John Kyngesmull of Bercham ; Adam his son 
and Elizabeth his wife, 1 1 Edw. III. ; Richard Bernard of Erburgh- 
feld, Christina his wife and Joan his daughter, A.D. 1384 ; Xhomas 
Kyngesmyll, gentleman, son and heir of William Kyngesmyll of 
Bercham, deceased, and Richard Kyngesmyll, gentleman, his brother, 
1 6 Edw. IV. 

Settlement in prospect of a marriage between John Kyngesmyll, son 
and heir of Richard Kyngesmyll of Basingstoke, gentleman, and Joan 
daughter of John Gyffard of Ichyll co. Hants, 5 Hen. VII. 

Licence from Richard, bishop of Winchester, to John Kyn- 
gesmyll and Joan his wife, of Frefolk, to have mass and other divine 
offices celebrated in a suitable place in their house or elsewhere in the 
diocese, n December 1501. (' Mr. Kingsmill's MSS.' p. 173) 

Pedigree Supplement 


THITHER from family tradition or from the natural bent 
-L' of the race many English families have taken to them- 
selves a calling which they have handed down as though the 
following of it were an hereditary obligation upon their de- 
scendants. We have families of the robe and the surplice, 
families of the gun and the saddle, families of sailors, soldiers, 
and parliamentarians. Indeed, there have been occasions when 
the administration of government in this country has been 
in the hands of a band of kinsmen. 

Some illustrations of these hereditary callings or pursuits 
will be given from time to time in The Ancestor, and it may be 
hoped that they will represent an interesting side of popular 

Here we offer a chart pedigree of the soldiers of the family 
of Battye, a family sprung from Yorkshire yeomen, which in 
some three generations has bred a very Round Table of 
famous fighting men. 



George Wynyard Battye-Cumming 

Captain Edward Montagu 
Batty e. Born 1817. 23rd 
Royal Welsh Fusiliers 

Major Montagu J< 
1823-1894. 27th Re 
Army. Afghan Campt 


Clinton Wynyard Bat 
Born 1874. Lieut. K. 
shire Light Infantry 

M a j o r-G e n e r a 1 
George Money Bat- 
tye. Born 1829. 
Burmese War 1852- 
4. Taking of Pegu. 
Repulsed Rebels at 
Murree 1857 

Quentin Henry Bat- 
ty e 1832 - 1857. 
Lieut, and Adjutant 
of the Guides. 
Killed at the Siege 
of Delhi 

M a j o r-G e n e r a 1 
Henry D o v e t o n 
Battye born 1833. 
Bengal Staff Corps. 
Indian Mutiny and 
operations in Robil- 
kund and Oude 

Major Wynyard Bat- 
tye 1835 - 1882. 
6;th Bengal Native 
Infantry. Indian 
Mutiny and Afghan 

Lieut-Col. Mor 
McPherson B 
born 1836. 

Lincolnshire '. 
A military k 
of Windsor. / 
Mutiny and Sii 


rge Battye of Campden Hill,=Georgina Charlotte Wynyard, 

Vliddlx., died 1849. A Cap- 
in the Loyal Britons Volun- 

dau. of Lieut. -General William 
Wynyard 1786-1860 


Major-General Arthur Frederick 
Battye born 1826. In Bombay 
Staff Corps. Indian Mutiny, 1 857-9 

XS.O. Major Montagu William Battye 
Shrop- 1853-1897. East Lancashire 
Regt. Afghan War 1878-80 

Arthur Henry Battye born 1863. Capt. 
Indian Staff Corps. Burmese War 
1885-7. Cbin-Luibai Expedition 1870. 
Manipur 1891. Ctitral 1895 

Captain Charles Major- General 
Forbes Battye born Arthur Battye, C.B. 
1838. 33rd Bengal born 1839. Oude 
Native Infantry 1858. Lucknnu, 
North-Welt Frontier 
1864. Hazara 1868. 
Luttai Expedition 
1871-72. Afghan 
War 1678 - 80. 
Wounded at Canda- 

Major William Bat- 
tye 1842 - 1879. 
Corps of Guides. 
Ajungurb, China 
1858. Vmbeyla 
1863. Lundkbor 
Valley 1866. Afridi 
Campaign etc. Killed 
at bead of tbe Guides 
Cavalry near yellala- 
bad in Afghan War 
of 1879 

Major Legh Rich- Lieut.-Col. Freder- 
mond Battye 1845- ick Drummond Bat- 
1888. 3rd Ghurkas tye 1847-1895. 
Afridi Campaign Corps of Guides. 
1877-8. Killed on Afridi Expedition 
Black Mountain in 1177-78. Afghan 
tbe Haxara Expedi- War 1878-80. Cap- 
tion 1888 ture of AH Muijid. 
= Haxara Expedition 
1891. Killed in ac- 
tion at Ctitral 1895 

Richmond Moffat Arthur Baldwyn Ivan 
Battye 1869-1897. Battye born 1872. tye 
Lieut. loth Lincoln- Capt. Indian Staff Lieut, 
shire Regt. after- Corps. Ctitral Ex- Corps 
wards of 6th Bengal pedition 1895 
Cavalry. Killed in 
action on North- 
West Frontier 

Urmston Bat- Hedley Morton Bat- 
born 1875. tye born 1876. 
Indian Staff Lieut. Indian Staff 





NO records are more fruitful in information for the geneal- 
ogist than the records of proceedings in the Court of 
Chancery. Their great bulk makes it plain that a suit in 
Chancery was indulged in by almost every family of our law- 
loving people ; and it is making hardly too great a claim for 
these bills and answers and their accompanying depositions to 
assert that everybody's pedigree lies somewhere in these great 
deeps of parchment. From the bills and answers of the time 
of Charles I. a series of notes will appear in The Ancestor. 
These notes, although the nature of the suit will be mentioned 
in each case, will be selected for their genealogical value. From 
a branching pedigree of eight or ten generations to some hint 
of a hitherto unknown marriage or kinship any good fortune 
is possible to the pedigree maker who will dip in this abound- 
ing lucky-bag of genealogy. 

Aj- Bill (14 May 1647) of William Atlee the elder of Acton, co. Middle- 
sex, yeoman, complainant. 

Answer (20 May 1 647) of George Lamploe of Little Yeelinge [Baling], yeo- 
man, and Susan Watts, widow, defendant. 

Concerning the estate of Roger Watts of Little Baling, deceased, who 
died in October 1645, indebted to the complainant. He was husband 
of the defendant Susan, who is mother to the defendant George. 

Ai Bill (i i Feb. 1640) l of Gilbert Armstronge of Rerapston, co. Notts, 
esquire, complainant. 

Answer (...) of Hugh Armstronge, clerk, defendant, parson of Thorpe 
in the Clotts, co. Notts. 

Concerning the rectory of Thorpe to which the defendant was pre- 
sented by (his father ?) the father of the complainant. The com- 
plainant is his father's heir and cxor. The defendant names his wife 

1 Throughout these extracts the dates remain in the old style, the year 
being reckoned as beginning upon the 25th March. 


Ai Bill (2 Feb. 1645) of Hugh Allabye of Lymehouse in Stepney, co. 
Middlesex, gentleman. 

Answer (16 Feb. 1645) of Thomas Whitbye, Thomas Hooper and Edward 

Concerning a lease in Wapping, co. Middlesex. Thomas Whitbye is 
son and exor. of Elizabeth Whitbye of Wapping, widow. Thomas 
Hooper's wife Frances was party to a lease with him. 

Ai Bill (8 Dec. 1645) of David Austyn of Framfeild, co. Sussex, gent. 

Answer (7 Feb. 1645) of John Everest of Framfeild, yeoman. 

Concerning a messuage called Stonebridge with its lands in Framfeild, 
which Richard Isted of Lewes, gent., and Anne his wife conveyed to 
the compt. by indenture dated 5 May 1 8 Car. I. 

AA Bill (3 Sep. 1645) of Sir William Acton of London, knight and baronet. 

Answer (6 Sep. 1645) of Edward Greene (of Samford, co. Essex), esquire. 
Concerning the manor of Waferers alias Staynes in Ashwell and 
Hinxworth in Herts and Bedfordshire, which were purchased by the 
defendant's grandfather about 23 years since, whose heir the defendant 
was. The defendant's daughter was married to Thomas Gerrard, son 
and heir apparent of Thomas Gerrard of Ince, co. Lane., esquire. 

Ai Bill (17 Nov. 1645) of John Adcoke of Kellishull [Kelshall], co. 

Herts, yeoman. 

Answers (24 Nov. 1645) of Robert Frost, and (25 Nov. 1645) of James 

Willymott, gent., the elder, and James Willymott, gent., the younger, and 

(29 Nov. 1645) of Thomas Palmer and John Gladwin. 

Concerning the estate of Robert Frost of Gilden Morden, co. Cam- 
bridge, yeoman, deceased, who made a will dated 4 Dec. 1626, leaving 
certain freeholds to his youngest son, the deft. Robert Frost, who 
was then under the age of 1 8 years. John Adcoke the compt. and 
John Adcoke his late father (brother-in-law to testator) and Henry 
Wood were the exors. He died shortly after, leaving Elizabeth his 
widow, who married within the year the defendant Thomas Palmer, 
and brought up her son Robert, who had his elder brother Matthew 
Frost for guardian. 

A-f Bill (15 Nov. 1645) of Michaell Askwith of Clifford's Inn, London, 

Answer (20 Jan. 1645) of Jane Bell and Joseph Bell. 

Concerning the debts of William Bell late of Thirske, co. York, mercer, 
deceased. Jane Bell is his relict and Joseph Bell his son and adminis- 

A Bill (20 Nov. 1645) of Thomas August of Huckinge, co. Kent, and 
Jane his wife. 


Answer (21 Nov. 1645) of William Somers of Staplehurst. 

Concerning the goods of Jane Somers, widow (late wife of Edward 
Somers of Staplehurst, co. Kent, and aunt of the complainant Jane 
August), who died about July last, having been married to the de- 
fendant after May 1642. In the body of the bill the complainant 
Jane is styled ' only daughter ' of the said Jane Somers, but at the head 
of the bill the word is altered to ' niece.' 

A Answer (25 Jan. 1645) of Peter Apsley, one of the defendants to a 
Bill of Mary Apsley, widow and extrix. of Arthur Apsley, deceased. 

Concerning alleged loans by the said Arthur Apsley. The other de- 
fendants are Edward Apsley and Joan his wife. This defendant denies 
that the said Arthur, having received of Edward Chittenden, John 
Chittenden and Thomas Chittenden, or of Edward and Elizabeth 
Chittenden, their father and mother, 5<3/. or thereabouts, did entrust 
the same to this defendant. 

Bill (27 Jan. 1644) of John Awstin of Cranebrooke, co. Kent, yeoman. 
Answer (29 April 1645) of Thomas Quilter. 

Concerning the will of John Quilter, deceased, father of the defendant. 
The complainant alleges that the defendant, whom he accused of 
having wasted a great part of his estate, should be forced to give some 
security for the performance of the said will. 

L U. 

William Awstin, who died = K.atharine,= John Quilter of Adiam, co, 

in Feb. 1612, leaving his 
lands in Rolvenden to his 
ion and heir, by a will dated 

living 1645 Kent, yeoman. Will dated 
Aug. 1621 

John Awstin of Cranbrook, Thomas Quilter, son and 

yeoman, son and heir. In heir, the defendant 

1620 he sold the iandl in 
Rolvenden to John Quilter 

Bill (19 May 1645) of John Armstrong of Bethersden, co. Kent, 

Answer (5 June 1645) of John Dyne of Biddenden, gent., and James Bate- 
man of Bethersden, clothier. 

Concerning a purchase of timber trees by the complainant. 

A^V Bill (10 Feb. 1643) of Richard Annyon, citizen and cordwaincr of 

Demurrer (20 Feb. 1643) of John Sames, William Blythman and John 
Winch, churchwardens and sidesman of the parish of St. Brides. 

Concerning disbursements by the complainant, a former churchwarden 
of St. Brides. 


A^g Bill (9 May 1632) of John Apsey of East Coker, co. Somerset, yeoman, 

and Isatt his wife. 

Answer (i June 1632) of John Taylor and Thomas Taylor (father of the 

said John). 

The complainant, about the year 2 Jac. I., was seised in fee of three 
messuages and certain lands at Eastfield in Chesselborough, co. Somerset, 
and was about to marry Isatt the other complainant, daughter of 
Thomas Hart of Ilminster, co. Somerset, clothier, with whom he was 
to have a portion of zoo/, or upwards. By his deed of feoffinent 
dated 29 Sept. 2 Jac. I. he enfeoffed William Hall of Ilminster, gent., 
and Thomas Taylor of West Coker, yeoman, of the said messuages and 
lands as a provision for the said Isatt and her issue by him. The suit 
is concerning a mortgage of the said jointure lands. 

Bill (13 Feb. 1631) of John Atwill of Weare Gifford, co. Devon, 
clerk, Thomas Atwill of Woodeburie, clerk, Nathaniel Atwill of Weare Gifford, 
yeoman, George Beckett of Barnstaple, apothecary, John Beckett of St. Clement 
Danes, co. Middlesex, tailor, Michael Robbinges of Hanshew, co. Devon, and 
Grace his wife, William Perry and Elizabeth his wife, John Hooper and 
Debora his wife, and Margaret Beckett. 

Answer (21 Feb. 1631) of Simon Howe of London, merchant (a defendant 
with Gilbert Howe). 

Concerning the estate of William Howe of London, merchant, de- 
ceased, of whose will the said Simon Howe, who was his apprentice, 
is exor. It is alleged that alterations were made in the will by the 
said Simon. The will was dated 31 Aug. 1625. 

Atwill = 

Thomas Atwill= 

= Joane William Atwill of London Nicholas Beckett= 
merchant. Died in the time 
of the last great plague. A 
widower, and without issue 

= Anne 

John Thomas Nathaniel George 

John Grace wife Elizabeth wife Debora wife Margaret 

Atwill Atwill Atwill Beckett Beckett of Michael of William of John Beckett 

Robbinges Perry Hooper 



Bill (23 June 1631) of John Atwood, son of John Atwood late of 
Stanford Rivers, co. Essex, esquire, deceased, and exor. of Dorothy Atwood, 
one of the daughters of the said John Atwood and sister to the complainant. 



Answer (25 Nov. 1631) of Thomas Latham and Dorothy his wife, two of 
the defendants (the other being William Atwood). 

Concerning the estates of John Atwood, deceased, and of Dorothy his 
daughter. An interesting inventory of the goods of John Atwood is 
filed with this suit. 


Riven, co. Essex, esq. Will 

a defendant a defendant, married 

dated 19 

Apr. 1623. Dead 

about October 1629 

before 6 

May 1623. He 

had a chamber in the Middle 


liam Atwood =. . . 

John Walter Atwood 

Dorothy . . . Eliz 



and heir, and 

Atwood an exhibitioner 

Atwood came wife of 


:xor. with hit 

compt. at Cambridge 

to age of 22 ... Lake 

her of hit 

yean on i 


er's will. A 

Richard At- 

NOT. 1626. 

wife of ... 


wood now dead 

Will dated 29 


Dec. 1627 

Francis Atwood 

John William 
Lake Lake 

(Catherine Dorothr Elizabeth 

Bill (i I June 163 1) of Richard Aylewaie of Taynton, co. Gloucester, 
gent., and Athanasius Elly of Redbrooke in Newland, co. Glouc., gent. 
Answer (22 Oct. 1631) of Eleanor Bond, widow. 

Concerning a loan to the complainant Richard made in Nov. 21 
Jac. I. by Sylvanus Bond of Clowerwall in Newland, whose relict and 
extrix. the defendant is. 

Answer (19 Oct. 1631) of John Pickman and Margaret his wife, two 
of the defendants to the bill of Robert Arnold afuu Cowper (and others), 

Concerning the estate of Robert Elliot, deceased, who purchased a 
wharf called Freshwharffe in St. Botolph's, Billingsgate, of Robert 
Honywood of Charing, co. Kent, esquire, by indenture dat. I Dec. 4 
Jac. I. 

= Robert Elliott, citizen and=Joane 
= fishmonger of London. He I relict and extrix. 
had issue by several wives I now dead 


John Hall died a=Margaret = John Pickman 
captive in the married about 

dominions of the five years since 

Turks or Moors 



John B 





AJj Bill (23 July 163 I ) of Robert Audley of Great Graunsden, co. Hunts, 

Answer (2 Aug. 1631) of Thomas Hasslefoote of London, vintner. 

Concerning a mortgage made by complainant to defendant of part of 
the lands belonging to his manor of Great Graunsden. 

A-Jj. Bill (16 June 1631) of William Avery of Byshopps Itchingeton, co. 
Warwick, gent. 

Answers (22 June 1631) of John Tolson, D.D., provost of Oriel College, 
Oxford, and Robert Forward, a fellow of the same College, and of Edward 
Ashworth, gent., William Clarke, gent., and William Busby, yeoman. 

Concerning the customs of the manor o'f Shennyngeton, co. Glouc. 
The compt. declares that the provost of Oriel refused to admit him to 
a copyhold because his mother married one Palmer instead of John 
Webster, a servant of the College. 

Richard Compton, who on 3 June 9 Eliz. had a 
lease for three lives of a messuage and lands in the 

I. I U. 

Elizabeth Compton Thomas Avery = A one Compto n= William Palmer 
deceased married to Avery before 

deaths of her father and 

sister. Died 4 March 


William Avery gent. 
s. and h., compt. 

Bill (21 Nov. 1646) of Ralph Ashe of Chesterfield, co. Derby, mercer, 
and George Ashe of the same town, butcher, exors. of the will of Godfrey Ashe 
of Chesterfield, shoemaker, their late brother, on behalf of themselves and of 
Ellen and Elizabeth and other children, sons and daughters of the testator. 

Answer (18 Jan. 1646) of Frances Ashe, widow, Anthony Senyor and 
Francis Alsopp. 

Alleged concealment by the defendants of the estate of Godfrey Ashe, 
deceased. The said Godfrey being a widower with the aforesaid 
children married the said Frances the defendant, who was then Frances 
Yeald, a widow with children of her own. 

AJ T Bill (16 March 1646) of John Atkins of St. Giles in the Fields, co. 
Middlesex, an infant, by Robert lies of the same parish, mealman, his father- 
in-law and guardian. 

A fragment only concerning the estate of John Banfield of St. Martin's 
in the Fields, citizen and draper of London, who made a will 22 March 
1635, an d died within a week of that date, leaving Anne Banfield his 



A T ',- Bill (30 Jan. 1632) of Richard Awstyn of Cookham, co. Berks, yeoman. 

Answer (2 Feb. 1632) of Rowland Hynde, esq., a defendant. 

Answer (5 Feb. 1632) of John Austen and Rowland Hcdger, two of the 

Concerning the lands called Somes, which Robert Prentall of Bisham, 
yeoman, deceased, held as copyhold of the manor of Cookham. Claim 
of the complainant as heir of the said Robert Prentall. 



n Prentall= 

Thomas Prentall only 
ton, attainted and 
executed for felony 
during the life of hii 
uncle Robert 

Thomai Prentll = 



fin Prentall = 
ton and heir 

Henry Prentall heir 
of his great-uncle 
Robert. Died .p. 

Robert Prentall of Bit- 
ham, yeoman. Diedt.p. 

John Awstyn Joan 

lichard Awi 

Richard Awttyn 
the compt. ton 
and heir 

Bill (12 May 1632) of John Ambrose of Lowickc, co. Lane., esquire, 
and Anne his wife. 

Answer (6 Oct. 1632) of George Browne of Trowtbeck, co. Lane., yeoman. 
Claim to a share of the personal estate of Elizabeth Rawlinson, widow, 
deceased, of which the defendant was administrator. 

Robert Rawlinson = Elizabcth relict 

who made a will 

vrai of Grys- 
dale, co. Lane. 
Died 1627 

John Rawlinson Robe 

i. . 

Robert Rawlinson = Anne = John Ambrose 
admor.of hisgoodt the etquire 
granted to his relict compt. 


Susan wife 
of George 
Browne the 


Bill (28 June 1641) of Grace Abbot, widow, late the wife of Abraham 
Abbot of Hawkeden, co. Suffolk, gent., deceased, and William Everard of 
Hawkeden, yeoman, her servant. 

Answer (20 Oct. 1641) of John Halls, Robert Halls and John Halls. 

Concerning a claim to the rents of a messuage and lands called Lynnes 
in Poslingford, co. Suffolk, during the minority of Robert Halls, the 
devisee under the will of Thomas Goulding, deceased. 




Thomas Goulding Abraham = Grace the J o h n = Katner- Margery Margaret Susan 


of Denston, co. Abbot of I compt. a 

Suffolk, yeoman. Hawkeden, I co-heir of 

Will dated 3 July gent. deed. her brother 
1637 /\ 

wife of wife of wife of 
Randall Thomas Richard 
Boutall Talworth Turner 

John Halles, exor. of= 
Thomas Goulding, a deft. 

John Halles of Rob'ert Halles 

Poslingford, a youngest son, 

deft. a deft. 

A^ T Bill (2 July 1641) of Thomas Alport of Great Wirley, co. Stafford, 

Answer (13 Oct. 1641) of John Cole of Walsall, co. Stafford, one of the 

Concerning money matters. The complainant names William Alport 
his father, deceased. His mother Dorothy Alport and his brother 
Edmond Alport are defendants with the said John Cole. 

AJ T Bill (8 Nov. 1631) of John Attwood the younger of Brockenhurst, 
co. Southampton, salt-carrier. 

Answer (10 Nov. 1631) of Francis Guidott of Lymington, gent, (a de- 
fendant with Anthony Stubbs of London, gent.). 
Concerning contracts for the supply of salt. 

A-Jy Bill (7 July 1641) of Hester Androwes of Bulford, co. Wilts, widow, 
for herself and on behalf of William Androwes her son, an infant of the age of 
nine years or thereabouts, son and heir of Walter Androwes of Bulford, yeoman, 

Answer (8 Sep. 1641) of Philip Dawes of New Sarum, gent. 

Concerning a conveyance by Philip Dawes of a messuage and lands in 
South Bruham, co. Somerset, to William Androwes of Bulford, yeoman, 
now deceased, grandfather to the compt. William, who is his heir, the 
said compts. father having died in the lifetime of the said William the 
elder. The compt. Hester is daughter of Anthony Trotman, gent. 

A- Bill (8 June, 1641) of Thomas Aynscombe and Edward Aynscombe, 
sons of Abraham Aynscombe of Retherfeild, co. Sussex, yeoman. 


Answer (28 June 1641) of John Aynscombc (a defendant with Abraham 
Aynscombe his father). 

Concerning a messuage and lands in Retherfeild, which John Ayns- 
combc, lather of the said Abraham, is said to have granted, by deed 
dated I Feb. 43 Eliza., to remain to the said Abraham for his life, 
with remainder to the defendant John, eldest son of the said Abraham. 

Bill (31 May 1641) of George Abbott of Caldecot, co. Warw., gent. 
Answer (21 Oct. 17 Car. I.) of Thomas Levinge, gent., and Ralph Farmer. 
Concerning leases made by Edward Cokayne late of Pooley, co. Warw., 
esquire, of messuages and lands in his lordship of Baddesley Ensor and 
the commons of the said manors. The defendant Thomas is son of 
Francis Levinge, gent. 

Bill (19 June 1632) of William Arundell of Helaugh in Swaildale, 
co. York. 

Answer (22 Sep. 1632) of John Lonsdaile and George Lonsdaile. 
Answer (27 April 1633) of Jeffrey Lonsdaile, father of the said John and 
George, an old and decrepit man. 

Concerning a messuage and lands in Helaugh, which the compt. alleges 
to have been settled by his great-grandfather Anthony Arundell, by 
deed of feoffment dated 1 2 Eliza., upon James Arundell, the compts. 

Bill (5 May 1630) of William Alabaster, esquire, D.D. 
Demurrer (18 May 1630) of Arthur Knight of London (defendant with 
Barnard Hide of London, merchant). 

Concerning a debt of one Thomas Warwick, esquire, for which the 
compt. became a surety in the year 1618. 

Bill (9 Nov. 1629) of John Anderton the elder of Bucldand Mona- 

chorum, co. Devon, yeoman. 

Answers (8 Jan. 1629) of Joan Lawrye, Thomas Corter, Elizabeth Anderton, 

widow, and Richard Ludbrooke alias Douriche, and (11 Jan. 1629) of Thomas 

Fownes, merchant, and Lawrence Andrewe. 

Concerning a lease of a tenement called Yeland by William Crymes, 
esq., late of Buckland Monachorum, made (40 Eliza.) to the com- 
plainant, Richoard or Richaurd, his wife and William his brother. The 
defendant Elizabeth is relict of William Anderton the brother. John 
Anderton and William Anderton are named as father and uncle to the 

A/, Bill (15 Nov. 1631) of Simon Adam of Hadstock, co. Essex, son 
and heir of Simon Adam the elder, late of Horseath, co. Cambridge, yeoman, 


Answer (23 Nov. 1631) of Thomas Wakefield of Horseath, co. Cambridge, 

Concerning loans of money made by Thomas Wakefield of Horseheath, 
clerk, father of defendant, to the two Simon Adams. Simon the elder died 
within seven years past and his widow was his extrix. The defendant 
is his father's heir and exor. John and Robert Adam are brothers of 
the compt. 

A^ Bill (i 6 Feb. 1630) of Richard Attwell of Walkhampton, co. 

Devon, gentleman. 

Answer (29 Sep. 1631) of Thomas Attwell and John Attwell (defendants 

with Richard Bruen of Tavistock, gent.). 

Concerning a reversion in fee simple which the said Bruen had in a 
tenement in Walkhampton, now in possession of the defendant Thomas 
Attwell, brother of compt., and whereof Joan Atwell, widow, mother 
of the compt. and of the defendants Thomas and John, had a lease on 
27 Sep. 1 1 Jac. I., for the lives of the said Thomas and John and of 
Grace Attwell, dau. of the compt., which lease was granted by the 
father of the other defendant Bruen. 

Bil1 (' 5 A P"1 l6 3) f William Abell, citizen and vintner of London. 
Answer (26 April 1630) of Joane Averill and Par Bettye and Eleanor his 

Concerning a lease of a windmill in Whitechapel. Joane Averill 
names her late husband Owen Hore who died intestate about ten 
years since, whereupon she took out letters of administration of his 
goods. In 1625 she granted the residue of the lease to the other 

A-jL Bill (24 Oct. 1631) of Sir Thomas Awbrey of Lantrithed, co. Gal- 
morgan, knight. 

Answer (2 Nov. 1631) of Richard Seys, esquire, son and heir of Roger Seys, 

Concerning a messuage and land in Pendoylon, co. Glamorgan, of 
which John Thomas Bassett, esquire, about sixty years since, made a 
lease to Rowland Richard of Pendoylon, yeoman, Mallte his wife and 
John their son, for the term of their lives. John Thomas Bassett 
conveyed the reversion to Elizabeth Bassett his daughter and to her 
heirs, which Elizabeth married Anthony Maunsell, esq., and with 
him conveyed the same amongst other manors and lands to the use of 
themselves for life, with remainder to complainant for life, with 
remainder to their daughter Mary the complainant's wife and the heirs 
of her body by the complainant. Rowland Richard and his son dying, 
the said Mallte married John Phillippe, clerk. John Phillippe, after 
the death of Mallte, took a new lease, 10 Dec. 16 Jac. I. from the 
compt. and his wife Mary, to himself and to William John his son and 
Didvill his wife. 


Bill (6 June 1646) of Edward Apsley of Worminghurst, co. Sussex, 

Demurrer (17 June 1646) of Hugh Over of Grays Inn, gent., defendant. 
Concerning a writ upon a statute merchant of 6oo/. acknowledged 
by Richard Higgons of Berry, co. Sussex, esquire, deed., and Edward 
Higgons of Grays Inn, esquire, his son, to the defendant, upon which 
writ the compt. as sheriff of Sussex in 164.0 seized the body of the 
said Edward Higgons, from whom the compt. received 33O/. which he 
paid to the defendant. 

A^g Replication ( ) of William Anger, John Hand, Thomas 

Fowler and Thomas Rayner, complainants, to the answer of Edward Heward, 
William Humphrey, Robert Langford, George Hoplcings, Francis Langford, 
John Chevell, Thomas Ashton, Richard Bent, Thomas Gotobed and William 
Ingrey, defendants. 

Replication ( ) of Sir Robert Anstrudder, Sir William 

Anstrudder, Sir Thomas Dashinton, Doctor Chambers, Doctor Ramsey, Patrick 
Ramsey, George Graden and Margaret his wife, David Forrett, David Ramsey, 
Andrew Heatley, Robert Leshley, Alexander Dixon, Robert More and Duncan 
Mantoe, replicants to the answer of George Kirke and Roger Ramsey, defendants. 

A T \j Answers (13 May 1645) of Roger Kirkham, esquire, and William 
Collins, gent., two of the defendants to the bill of William Adames, complainant. 
Concerning a lease of messuages and a wharf near Rotherhithe, in St. 
Mary Magdalen's parish. 

Bill (8 June 1 646) of John Allen of Gosport, co. Southampton, gent. 
Answer (20 June 1 646) of Edward Capell aSai Capewell (a defendant with 
his wife). 

Concerning malt which the defendant and his wife, maltsters in Gosport, 
supplied to complainant, who three years since bought a brewhouse in 
Gosport, ' being a young beginner in that trade.' Which malt the 
complainant urges was ' eaten up with wibbs and very full with wibbs 
and full of hallow huskes and dust.' 

Bill (9 May 1 646) of Henry Allen of Northampton, mercer. 
Answer (29 May 1646) of Thomas Purcell of London, draper. 
Concerning money matters. 

AJj Bill (6 May 1630) of John Astell of Warmeington, co. Warwick, 

Answer (24 May 1630) of Richard Rose and Jane his wife and Simon 
Davyes and Anne his wife. 

Concerning two messuages and lands in Warmington. 



A T \ Bill (l June 1646) of Thomas Aylett the elder of Hovells in Great 
Coggeshall, co. Essex, gent. 

Answers (5 June 1646) of Richard Gray and Randolphe Willey. 

Concerning the deeds of certain leasehold lands in Coggeshall belonging 
to complainant, which he alleges to have been left in the hands of 
Thomas Gray of Coggeshall, clothier, who died ten years since. The 
defendant Gray is his son and admor. 

John Astell who died seised of the 
messuages and lands in Warming- 
ton. By inquisition 33 Elizab. it 
was found that his co-heirs were 
the three daughters of his eldest 
son William = 


i. . 

William Astell 

=John Astell= Elizabeth 

son and 


died v.p.= 

1 I 


1 . 


oan Mary Margaret Edward Astell William Aitell 

Jane wife of 

Anne wife of 

d s.p. died s.p. 

Richard Rose 

Simon Davyes 

living in 1630 

Bill (l June 1646) of George Arnold alias Cooper of Cranfeild, co. 

Bedford, and Henry Arnold alias Cooper of the same, yeomen. 

Answers (8 Oct. 1646) of Richard Jones, gent., William Furr, and Thomas 

Butler (son and heir of Henry Butler, deed.). 

Concerning money matters and certain copyhold lands which the 
compt. George surrendered to use of Henry Butler of Islington, co. 
Bedford, yeoman. The compts. allege a nuncupative will of the said 
Henry, made 10 Aug. 1643, by which he made his wife Anne his 
extrix., and gave legacies to complainants. Anne Butler is another 
defendant to this suit. 

A~ Bill (9 Feb. 1646) of Thomas Atkins of Hanbeck, co. Lincoln, gent., 
Thomas Yonge of Sturton in Stowe and Anne his wife, late wife and adminis- 
tratrix of William Atkins of Sturton, deceased. 

Answer (30 Apr. 1647) of Edward Eastland, William Johnson and Jonathan 
Ash ton. 

Concerning a loan to the said William Atkins in June 1641, and a 
mortgage of the manor of Sturton. The said Thomas Atkins and 
Anne Yonge were his exors. 

A^,- Bill (3 July 1644) of Robert Austin of London, merchant. 

Answer (n July 1644) of Dorothy Osborne, widow (a defendant with 


William Osborne her son and co-exor. with him of the will of John 

Osborne of London, merchant, her late husband). 

Concerning alleged dealings in Colchester says and serges. William 
Osborne is a minor, an apprentice to a merchant, a Mr. Ent. 

A,V Bill (11 Feb. 1646) of James Apsley, esquire, a son of Sir Allen 
Apsley, knight, deceased, by Dame Lucy his late wife, and George Hutchinson, 
esquire, and Barbara his wife, one of the daughters of the said Allen and Lncy. 
Answers (25 Feb. 1646) of Sir Job Harby, knight, and (l March 1646) of 
Sir John Jacob, knight, and (6 Mar. 1646) of Sir John Nulls, knight, (defen- 
dants with Sir Nicholas Crispe, knight). 

Concerning the office of Custos Brevium of the Common Pleas, the 
reversion of which was designed by the king to the said Sir Allen, and 
he dying, the king directed that the reversion should be granted to 
William Apsley, esquire, for the benefit of the children of the said Allen 
and Lucy namely of Allen, William, Lucy, James and Barbara. Sir 
John St. John and Sir Edward Hungerford are named as ' brothers ' of 
the said Dame Lucy. The complainants claim their portion of the 

Further answers (z 1 May 1 646) of Thomas Falthropp and Elizabeth 
Falthropp, defendants to the bill of Phinees Andrew, Thomas Andrew and 
Jonathan Andrew, complainants. 

Concerning a lease of lands in [ ] made to the said Elizabeth. 

Bill (21 Nov. 1646) of George Apsley of Benenden, co. Kent, yeoman. 
Answer (2 April, 1647) of Richard Crier of Benenden, miller (defendant 
with John Robins). 

Concerning a mortgage of lands in Benenden. 



THE modern revival of interest in genealogy, heraldry and 
antiquities must be the excuse, if any be needed, for intro- 
ducing to the public a review in which these subjects are to be 
dealt with in the spirit of the new criticism. The want of a 
recognized guide in these fields of study has been felt for a 
long time, and it is hoped that The Ancestor may prove its 
claim to be regarded as the central authority on all the sub- 
jects that come within its scope. 

* * * 

In order to justify its claim to be the guide on matters 
genealogical and heraldic The Ancestor will afford space for 
correspondence, and will, as far as possible, answer questions 
and give advice upon subjects with which this review is con- 

* * * 

There are very few subjects, if any, on which wilder state- 
ments are made and accepted than that of family antiquity, as 
indeed is seen in our pages devoted to ' What is Believed.' 
But it must be admitted that there is some excuse for this 
condition of things in the absence of any authoritative guide 
to the names of our oldest families. We propose therefore, in 
a series of articles entitled ' Our Oldest Families,' to deal in a 
systematic manner with those of which the pedigree can be 
traced so far back as the twelfth century. Our readers, meet- 
ing constantly in the press with families which ' came over 
with the Conqueror,' may wonder why we select a date so late 
as the close of the twelfth century. But those acquainted with 
Mr. Round's article on ' The Companions of the Conqueror ' 
(Monthly Review, June, 1901) will have learnt how infinitesi- 
mally small is the number of those who can find their ancestor 
even in Domesday Book (1086). Among them are the houses 
of Gresley and FitzGerald, of which we speak in the present 
number. In our next issue we hope to begin the regular 
series we have in view with the Tichbornes of Tichborne and 
the family of Wake. 


The study of local history is likely to receive a great impe- 
tus from the publication of the Victoria History of the Counties 
of England. Up to the present time there has been, it is true, 
no lack of activity among local students in many of the coun- 
ties ; but unfortunately much of the energy shown has been 
misdirected owing to the want of organized effort. Individual 
workers have time after time traversed the same ground, and 
not infrequently has an enthusiastic but misguided student 
laboured for months or even years on documents which are 
already in print. Local archaeological and record societies 
rarely receive the support they are entitled to, and conse- 
quently anything like a serious attempt to deal with those 
classes of records which must be the foundation of local history 
has been made exceedingly difficult. It is all the more credi- 
table to some of the county societies, that in the face of popular 
indifference, they have published many of their local records in 
a manner rivalling in excellence the work of the Public Record 


* * * 

Organization, and especially well organized co-operation 
among local students and experts, must be made the founda- 
tion of topographical undertakings in the future. It will be 
interesting to note how far the organization of the Victoria 
History will meet the hopes and expectations of the editors. 
Judging by the reviews in the press the scheme of co-operation 
has been successful in the volumes issued up to the present. 
These only touch the fringe of history, and therefore barely 
come within our scope. But in the volumes yet to follow for 
each of the histories which have been begun Hampshire, Nor- 
folk, Worcester, Cumberland, Hertford, Surrey, and Northampton 
there will be much matter of interest to the readers of Tbe 
Ancestor. The scheme for dealing with genealogy will be 
particularly worthy of attention, and we shall hope to give 
some details of it in a future number. 


We hope to deal at some length, as soon as it has been 
decided, with the Lord Great Chamberlain case which is now 
before the Committee for Privileges of the House of Lords. 
We understand that in preparing the case for the Crown the 
Treasury has been greatly assisted by the very exceptional and 
extensive knowledge which Mr. J. Horace Round has placed 
at its disposal. 


The trustees of the late Sir William Fraser have decided 
to devote a portion of the funds at their disposal to the pre- 
paration of a revised edition of Douglas' Peerage of Scotland. 
Lyon King of Arms is taking an active interest in the scheme, 
and it is proposed to entrust the account of each family 
to a specially qualified writer. 

* * * 

The approaching coronation will have an effect that has not 
been generally realized on the peerage of Ireland. In accord- 
ance with precedent it has been announced that only those who 
have proved their right to vote at elections for representative 
peers for Ireland can attend the coronation as peers. As there 
are cases in which this right has never yet been proved atten- 
tion will now be called to them. 

* * * 

In spite of the prominence given beforehand, both officially 
and in the press, to the Court of Claims, the proceedings 
before that august body did not possess much interest for the 
genealogist or the antiquary. This was largely due to the 
fact that all claims to do service at the coronation banquet, or 
to walk in the procession, were excluded, owing to the abandon- 
ment of both these portions of the ceremony. The ' services ' 
in the Abbey itself are but few, the most important being that 
of supporting the king's right arm at the time of his corona- 
tion, and of presenting him with a glove, embroidered with 
arms, to be worn on his right hand at the same time. This 
represents a very ancient tenure ' by grand serjeanty ' of the 
manor of Farnham Royal, which was first held by the Verdons 
and afterwards by the Furnivals. The latter family exchanged 
it with Henry VIII. for lands at Worksop, stipulating that this 
honourable service should be transferred to their new estate. 
From them it descended through heiresses to the Talbots and 
the Howards, with the result that at recent coronations the 
right to perform the service has been vested in the Dukes of 


* * * 

In the course however of the late reign, the Worksop pro- 
perty, for the first time, changed hands by purchase, being 
sold by the Duke of Norfolk to the Duke of Newcastle. The 
present Duke of Newcastle therefore claimed to perform the 
service, but his claim was somewhat unexpectedly opposed by 


the Earl of Shrewsbury, mainly on the ground that the lands 
in right of which the service is performed had been parted 
with in morsels. Mr. Lindsay, K.C., who appeared for the 
duke, was able to show that the duke was in possession of the 
lands named in the charter of Henry VIII., and his Grace's 
claim was successful. The interesting point about it is that 
the service is now ascertained to be appurtenant to Worksop 
Priory lands, and not, as had always been supposed, to the 
lordship of the manor of Worksop. 

* * 

More complicated were the claims to carry the great gilt 
spurs at the crowning. c The battle of the spurs ' is an old 
dispute, and led to a keen contest before the Court at the 
coronation of James II. (1685). On the present occasion the 
claims were those of the Earl of Loudoun and Lord Grey de 
Ruthyn as respectively the eldest and a younger co-heir of the 
Lords Grey de Ruthyn, in whose favour the Court had decided 
in 1685, and whose ancestor, Lord Grey de Ruthyn, had 
carried the spurs at the coronation of Henry IV., so far back 
as 1399. A third claimant was Lord Hastings, in favour of 
whose family the barony had been called out of abeyance in 
1841, although none of their ancestors had borne the tide for 
some 450 years ! It was boldly argued for Lord Hastings by 
Mr. Lindsay that the carrying of the spurs was ' a privilege 
attending on a dignity,' the dignity being that of Lord 
Hastings, which had been wrongfully assumed by the Lords 
Grey de Ruthyn, and in virtue of which they had carried the 
spurs. The court was so far influenced by this argument that, 
in spite of the long discharge of the service by the Lords 
Grey de Ruthyn, they refused to decide in favour of any of 
the claimants, and referred the matter to the king's pleasure. 
All the claimants traced their right to John Hastings Earl of 
Pembroke, whose right to carry the spurs was recognized in 
1377 ; but it can hardly be doubted that he really derived it, 
not from his paternal ancestors, but through the family of 
Valence, from the Marshals Earls of Pembroke, John (the) 
Marshal having carried the spurs as far back as 1189, 
doubtless as Master Marshal and therefore Master of the 


* * 

In the next issue of The Ancestor certain swords from the 
celebrated collection of Mr. Morgan Williams will be pictured 


and described with the help of Mr. Guy Laking. An article 
upon the armorial insignia of English corporations will appear 
at the same time ; but from the point of view of the student 
of English heraldry the most important subject which future 
numbers of The Ancestor will deal with will be the ancient 
heraldry, monumental and decorative, preserved in the Abbey 
of Westminster, of which a series of notable illustrations will 
be afforded. 

Butler & Tanner, The Selwood Printing Works, Frome, and London. 








President of the Zoological Society 


Chancellor of tlu University of Cambridge 



Chaitctlior of Ike University ofOxfora 

K.G., K.T. 

President of tlu Royal Agricultural Society 


President of the Society of Antiquaries 
Regius Professor of Modern History, Cambridge 

President of tlu Royal Society 


Lord Chief Justice 

F.S.A., ETC. 

Corf us Professor of "Jurisprudence, Ox/ord 
D.C.L., LL.D., F.S.A., ETC. 
Director of tlu British Museum 

General Editor H. 


F.R.S., F.S.A. 

President of the Royal Geographical Society 

M.A., F.S.A., ETC. 

Keeper of the Public Records 
SIR Jos. HOOKER, G.C.S.I., M.D., D.C.L., 

F.R.S., ETC. 


LIONEL Cnsr, ESQ., M.A., F.S.A., ETC. 

Director of the National Portrait Gallery 
M.D., Ph.D. 

President of the Linnian Society 

Director General of the Ordnance Survey 


Director of the Natural History Museum, 

South Kensington 

University Lecturer in Diplomatic, Oxford 
Regius Professor of Modern History, Oxford 

A ssistant Secretary of the Society o/A ntifuaries 




The VICTORIA HISTORY is a National Historic Survey compiled 
under the direction of a large staff comprising the foremost students in science, 
history and archaeology, and is designed to record the history of every county 
of England in detail. 

This work was approved by our late Sovereign Lady Queen Victoria, who 
graciously gave it her own name. 

It is the endeavour of those who are associated in compiling the 
VICTORIA HISTORY to treat it as a scientific undertaking and to embody 
in it all that modern scholarship can contribute. And it is believed that the 
system of co-operation between experts and local students, which is the funda- 
mental principle of the whole work, will give to the History a completeness 
and definite authority hitherto lacking in similar undertakings. His Majesty's 
Government, in recognition of the educational and statistical value of the 
History, has placed all the Government publications freely at the disposal of 
the editorial staff. 

The VICTORIA HISTORY as projected comprises 160 large volumes, 
and already numbers many hundreds of selected contributors to its pages in 
all parts of the country. The price of the complete set of 1 60 Volumes is 
252 net. There are also forty supplementary Volumes of Genealogy one 
for each county containing the pedigrees of all families that have been pos- 
sessed of a seat and an estate in the male line since the first year of George III. 
These Volumes are issued at 5 5*. net each. 

The History of each county is obtainable separately, and the number of 
volumes and the prices for each county are here appended. 




No. of Vols. 
not exceeding 

Price in 



No. of Vols. 
not exceeding 

Price in 







Berks ... 






Bucks ... 









i Norfolk 
















Derby ... 






Devon ... 






Dorset ... 



Salop ... 









Essex ... 












Hants ... 


Surrey ... 






Sussex ... 









Kent ... 




Wilts ... 












York ... 




Payment may be made on receipt of each Volume as delivered, or in 
instalments by annual banker's order (in which case the price for a complete 
set is ^240) as preferred. Orders will be entered by any bookseller in town 
or country. The Volumes are bound in stout cloth gilt. They may however 
be obtained very handsomely bound in half morocco by Zaehnsdorf, price 
i us. 6d. extra per volume. 



WHEN this great scries of the County Histories was first planned 
the approval of our late Sovereign Lady was sought and gained, 
the Queen became patroness of the work, watching its growth with 
interest and giving it her own name as the Victoria History of the 
Counties of England. By her orders a set of the whole series was to 
be reserved for the royal library at Windsor, and to her memory the 
work is inscribed in the hope that it may prove a worthy memorial of 
her illustrious reign. 

That reign saw the beginning of many great literary enterprises 
whose monumental scale sets them amongst national achievements. 
The Dictionary of National Biography, whose additional volumes arc 
closing with the biography of the great Queen, is a work of which no 
nation has seen the fellow ; and the English Dictionary, now midway in 
its labours, stands a tall head and shoulders above the nearest of its 
foreign rivals. 

But vast as these undertakings may be the Victoria History competes 
with them in friendly rivalry. Its bulk is the least of its claims, but 
the fires of Peking, which burned the sole perfect copy of the half- 
mythical Chinese Encyclopaedia, have made an end of the one book 
which could compare with it in size. The complete History itself 
marshals a hundred and sixty volumes, and to these are added the 
supplementary volumes containing the pedigrees of the county families, 
so that it will be seen that it is almost a library in itself for those who 
desire the complete series, rather than a book which is in the course of 

Such a neglected study has been the history of our own towns and 
fields that it may be well that the public should learn what county his- 
tory should be. And yet from the seventeenth century to the earlier 
years of the century now gone by many score tall folios and fat quartos 
of county history came through the press, among the most noteworthy 
being those of Surrey by Manning and Bray, Eyton's Shropshire, 
Nichols' Leicestershire, Hutchins' Dorsetshire, and Blomfield's Norfolk. 
As a rule however, for all but the determined antiquary or grubber of 
pedigrees, the county history of the past has been for the most part too 
dull for general perusal. Still, old and new, county histories have one 

quality in common, that their buyer acquires a sound property upon a 
rising market. In the words of The Times describing the Victoria 

' Everybody knows what sort of a book was the normal old- 
fashioned county history. It was commonly the work of one man, 
laborious in the extreme, praiseworthy, decorous and dull. It ran to 
three or four immense volumes, with steel plates of churches and 
gentlemen's seats, good maps according to the lights of those days, and 
a good index. Sometimes, as in a few of the Yorkshire histories, a 
factitious value was lent to the books by the drawings specially made 
by Turner, which soared as high above reality as the prose of the 
author sank below it. But the real fault of the county history of this 
type was that the local aspect of things was not presented in its proper 
relation to the history of the country as a whole. The spirit in which 
the book was written was too commonly the spirit of the topographer. 
Every local unit remained a unit ; the writer, as a rule, had his 
county or his township so much before his eyes that he paid no atten- 
tion to the wider aspects of the national life. Nor was it possible that 
the idea of development, which is the root idea of the modern historian, 
could take any great place in the older local histories. Probably many 
excellent local historians of to-day would be guilty of the same faults if 
they were left to do their work alone ; but the organization of the 
Victoria History is such as to prevent this. 

What County History may be, in the hands of no one man, but 
in the hands of a national company of scholars, the Victoria County 
History sets forth to prove. That the story it has to tell should be 
dull is heresy for an Englishman to believe ; that it is, as a fact, far 
from being dull, a glance at the volumes of the Victoria History already 
published will convince the greatest sceptic.' 

Nowadays we are a restless people, ever on the move, for the most 
part regarding a seven years' lease as chaining us unduly to a house. 
Many a man does not know the very name of his great-grandfather, 
and whence that remote ancestor may have come is as obscure as the 
origin of the Aryans. Having no tie of place or blood such a man 
may reasonably contend that the discovery of his own pedigree, though 
it were for thirty generations back, would move him no more than any 
other string of names. Yet could we present before him that pedigree 
in flesh and blood could he see his grandfather in high stock and 
hessians, his great-grandfather in powdered hair and top-boots, his 
great-great-grandfather in ruffled cuffs, bob-wig and three-cornered hat, 
and even the first of his name franklin, yeoman, or Piers the Plow- 

man, surely the liveliest interest and the most human would be 
awakened as he saw pass before him these forefathers in their habit as 
they lived, as when the spark of his own life was in their breasts. 

So then with our histories. A man's interest in his land, in his 
native county, in the corner of England which chance has brought him 
to dwell in may be all too sound asleep to be awakened by a pedant's 
string of names and dates, but it is there to awaken when the past story 
of town and field is brought to him as a living thing coloured in all its 
strange and many hues. 

To know how and in what manner his crowded city grew up from 
a line of straggling cottages round some industry reckoned a little thing 
in its beginning, how his county town, dozing through a week broken 
only by the rustic chatter of market day, was once a point towards 
which the merchants from far countries came with bales of outlandish 
merchandise along the packhorse roads this where a half-dozen 
formers' traps come in our day this is surely knowledge which is 
good company for a man to carry with him in his daily round. 

This land, now sheep pasture, was open sea in days ot which 
County History will tell us, and on the hillside far inland are stones 
which were a quay to which Roman galleys were moored. This high 
country dotted with villas was the great forest in whose secret places 
the strange rites of wood-devils were celebrated. This cornland was 
marsh and mere, the home of pike and waterfowl, and where the 
mound is at the village end was a castle with inner and outer bailey, 
keep and drawbridge, the nest of an evil man of foreign speech who 
oppressed the stubborn English until in full stream of fortune he broke 
himself against the king's power, a clay pot against a brass pot. 
Where the duke's towers are to-day there was once a charcoal burner's 
hut, and where Hodge has his thatched cottage on the down a great 
Roman proconsul had his villa with its libraries, its baths and hypo- 
causts, its hall with seagods in tesserae colouring the floor and the loves 
of Apollo upon the painted walls. 

Such a story as this might be dull in the telling, but the Victoria 
County History relies upon no one man's pen, and it is not too much to 
say that no such body of scholars and specialists has ever been mustered 
before for a national work. 

After what fashion the Victoria History will follow its task may be 
estimated when we consider the roll of distinguished men who are at 
work for it. 

The history of each county begins with its geology. The story of 
the formations which have become England are told by the members 
of His Majesty's Geological Survey. 

The description of English flora and fauna are exhaustive and accu- 
rate. From the forests of the coal period to the weeds last arrived in 
our hedgerows, from the mammoth to the brown rat which lately drove 
out our native black rat, our birds, beasts, fishes and insects, herbs and 
forest trees find describers amongst a group of editors including every 
name of the first rank amongst students of Natural History. 

Coming at last to man and his work, Mr. Boyd Dawkins, the well 
known author of Early Man in Britain, is the general editor of those 
chapters of the history which deal with the history of man in our 
island in the remote days before the coming of Romans or Anglo- 

England can never forget that she was once a province under the 
Roman power, for over the country still runs the network of roads 
which grew up in the wake of the Roman eagles, the Roman tile is in 
most of our ancient walls, and some fragment of toy or tool from 
Roman hands is turned wherever the ploughshare runs. Great care 
therefore has been spent upon the section of the history relating to 
Roman England, which is directed and edited by Mr. Haverfield, 
whose name stands for the archaeology of Roman England amongst 
antiquaries all over the world. 

Anglo-Saxon remains are dealt with by Mr. C. Hercules Read, ot 
the department of Antiquities at the British Museum, and by his 
assistant, Mr. Reginald Smith. 

Ethnography is in the hands of Mr. G. Laurence Gomme, well 
known by his work for the Folk-lore Society ; and the dialects, so fast 
disappearing before the face of the School Board, are treated of by Mr. 
Joseph Wright, the Editor of the Great Dictionary of the English 

There are those for whom English history begins with King 
William the Conqueror and Domesday Book. The smatterer in 
antiquities is wont to nourish a belief that Domesday Book is a record 
easily to be construed although a trifle dull withal ; the more advanced 
antiquary or historian knows Domesday Book for a maze of puzzles 
and pitfalls, but a record which has not its fellow in the deep interest 
it holds for English people. Amongst the names of the skilled inter- 
preters of Domesday Book that of Mr. Horace Round stands eminent, 
and from his hand come the articles upon Domesday Book and its 
kindred records which will appear in each of the Histories. 

In no point will the Victoria Histories contrast more notably with 
the histories that came before them than in the care with which the 
story of our national buildings is set forth. The history and description 
of castles and houses, walled towns, cathedrals, abbeys and churches is 

Under the supervision of a large committee of students of architectural 
history from Mr. George Fox, who speaks with authority of the Roman 
work, to Mr. Gotch, whose name is so familiar by reason of his brilliant 
studies upon the English Renaissance in architecture. 

Mr. St. John Hope, whose researches into ancient architecture 
have left little untouched from the beehive hut to Sir Christopher's 
dome, edits the section dealing with the cathedrals and monastic 
remains, and directs the making of the coloured ground plans which 
show the growth and architectural history of the greater buildings. 

Mr. A. F. Leach edits the history of the English public schools 
and grammar schools. Where counties have a seaboard Professor J. K. 
Laughton edits their history so far as it relates to the story of our fleets. 

The history of the feudal baronage, of the Nevills, Mortimers, 
fitzAlans, Bohuns, and their fellows, is in the hands of Mr. Horace 
Round and Mr. Oswald Barren. 

His Grace the Duke of Beaufort is editor-in-chief of the articles on 

Sir Ernest Clarke, Secretary to the Royal Agricultural Society, 
directs the section on Agriculture. 

The greater part of the volumes of each county will contain the 
history of the English parishes, the sum of which is the history of the 
county. The parish and its beginnings, its church and its memorials, 
the story of its manors and of their lords, of its ancient and interesting 
buildings, the story of that change in the face of things which once so 
slow seems in our day to be hurrying the land towards a time when 
England will be an island town inlaid with market gardens. For this, 
the most important share of our work, the Victoria History has the help 
of nearly every English historian or antiquary, and in its pages will be 
found the results of many men's lifework of scholarly labour and re- 
search. Yet it is not upon such collections alone that the parish his- 
tories are based. The vast records of the nation records which for 
bulk and interest excel those of all other peoples are being system- 
atically searched by a staff of skilled workers, assisted by a Records 
Committee headed by the Deputy-keeper of the Public Records and the 
Director of the British Museum. 

Illustrations are bestowed plentifully upon the history : illustrations 
of Roman and Anglo-Saxon remains, of castles and manor houses, of 
cathedrals and churches, and of the fast-perishing beauties of English 
house and cottage architecture. Illustrations of famous monuments, 
Roman pavements, brasses and coloured glass have their place, and 
ancient pictures of the towns and countryside stand in contrast with 
photogravures and mezzotints from the hundred and sixty paintings of 

modern English scenery which are being specially made for the His- 

There is an abundance of good maps, from the geological and 
botanical maps and the maps which illustrate Domesday Book, to 
Speed's wonderful maps published in 1610 and the maps of the modern 

In an additional volume are added to each county history elaborately 
drawn pedigrees with many portraits of those county families, titled and 
untitled, who have held a seat and landed estate in their male line since 
1760, the first year of the reign of George III., the reign which saw 
the beginning of the modern period of change. 

At a price and under conditions of purchase which allow the 
history of his own county to find a place on the bookshelf of every 
Englishman who buys books, and to set the whole work within reach 
of the least endowed of provincial public libraries, the Victoria History 
cannot fail, owing to its wide interests and deep educational value, to 
take its place amongst the greatest of the familiar and trusted books ot 

Such a work as the Victoria History may be amplified in detail ; 
indeed it is hoped that the great work will be the fruitful mother of 
much local archaeological study. But the vastness of its conception 
and the accuracy of its detail will make it stand whilst black ink and 
sound rag-paper endure, a national record and a landmark in our history. 

Full detailed prospectuses of each county as issued may be had on applica- 
tion to booksellers or to the Publishers, Messrs. Archibald Constable & Co. 
Ltd., 2 Whitehall Gardens, Westminster, Specimen volumes will be sent 
on approval to be viewed at any bookseller's in town or country. 

The Stall Plates of the Knights of 
the Order of the Garter i 348-1485 

Consisting of a Series of 9 1 Full-sized Coloured Facsimiles 
with . Descriptive Notes and Historical Introductions by 

W. H. ST. JOHN HOPE, M.A., F.S.A. 

Dedicated by gracious privilege during her lifetime to HER 

The edition is strictly limited and only 500 copies of the work 
have been printed. 

The object of the work is to illustrate the whole of the 
earlier Stall Plates, being the remaining memorials of the four- 
teenth and fifteenth century of Knights elected under the 
Plantagenet Sovereigns from Edward the Third, Founder of 
the Order, to Richard the Third, inclusive, together with three 
palimpsest plates and one of later date. 

The Stall Plates are represented full-size and in colours on 
Japan vellum, in exact facsimile of the originals, in the highest 
style of chromolithography, from photographs of the plates 

Each plate is accompanied by descriptive and explanatory 
notes, and the original and general characteristics of the Stall 
Plates are fully dealt with in an historical introduction. 

There are also included numerous seals of the Knights, repro- 
duced by photography from casts specially taken for this work. 

The work may be obtained bound in half leather, gilt, 
price 6 net ; or the plates and sheets loose in a portfolio, 
5 105. net ; or without binding or portfolio, 5 net. 

JTHEN&UM : ' It is pleasant to welcome the first part of a long 
promised and most important heraldic work, and to find nothing to say of it 
which is not commendatory. The present part contains ten coloured facsimiles 
out of the ninety plates which the work will include when completed. They 
reflect the greatest credit on all concerned in their production.' 

MORNING POST : ' There is a fine field for antiquarian research in the 
splendid collection of heraldic plates attached to the stalls in the choir of St. 
George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, and it will be a matter of satisfaction to all 
who are interested in old memorials that Mr. W. H. St. John Hope has given 
close examination to these ancient insignia and now presents the results of hu 
investigations, with many reproductions.' 





Edited by 


Imperial 8vo. Edition limited to 500 copies. 

Price 3 is. 6d. net. 

This work is an attempt to illustrate the history of the 
coronation of the Sovereigns of England from the earliest 
times to the present. Twenty-nine documents have been 
collected ; and, so far as possible, the transcripts have been 
made from contemporary manuscripts. 

A translation has been added to the Latin and Anglo- 
French documents. 

Mr. W. H. St. John Hope has written a note on the 
' Cap of Maintenance,' in which he has described the history 
and manner of the investiture of peers. 

The whole work constitutes a full collection of coronation 

The illustrations include a reproduction in colours of the 
picture of an English coronation at Corpus Christi College, 
Cambridge, and a photogravure of the coronation of St. 
Edmund in a manuscript belonging to Captain Holford ; and 
also reproductions in collotype from the manuscript life of 
St. Edward in the University Library at Cambridge. The 
Crown of Queen Edith, which is represented from a portrait 
of Queen Henrietta Maria in the National Portrait Gallery, 
has not, it is thought, been noticed before. A feature of the 
illustrations will be the coronation chair which has been taken 
from the block cut for the late Sir Gilbert Scott's Gleanings 
from Westminster Abbey ; and there are also three plates show- 
ing the coronation robes of Queen Victoria. 

ATHEN&UM : ' Among the minor compensations for the prolonged delay incident to 
a modern act of crowning is the time that it affords for the production of such an important 
historical treatise as that which has just been produced by Mr. Wickham Legg. In this hand- 
some volume we find brought together every historical document of importance that bears on 
the question of English coronations from that of Aidan in the sixth century to that of Victoria 
thirteen centuries later.' 




Illustrated with Twelve Coloured Plates 
of the Arms of families of distinction, 
drawn in the Mediaeval Style, de- 
signed and arranged by 


His Majesty the King has signified his 
interest in this attempt at the popularization 
of Heraldry by ordering a supply of the Sf. 
Georges Kalendar for his personal use. 

Price is. net. 

M.A.P. : The brightest bit of colour printing I have seen 
for some time are the admirably executed heraldic blazons 
which illustrate the St. George's Kalendar. 

ARMT AND NAVY GAZETTE: An attractive pro- 
duction which will please those interested in heraldry. 

WESTMINSTER GAZETTE : A delightful little St. 
George's Kalendar for 1902. The dates noted are those of 
historical events, of saints, religious festivals and battles, but 
the principal feature is the introduction of a dozen heraldic 
emblems pertaining to historical English houses, boldly drawn 
and coloured. 

MANCHESTER COURIER : Useful and artistic, in addi- 
tion to a well arranged Kalendar it gives the arms printed in 
colours of some of the most ancient houses of the nobility. 





Of the Public Record Office 

4 Voh.) 2 is. net. 


Price i os. 6d. net. 

These Letters are the genuine correspondence of a family in 
Norfolk during the Wars of the Roses. As such they are altogether 
unique in character ; yet the language is not so antiquated as to present 
any serious difficulty to the modern reader. The topics of the letters 
relate partly to the private affairs of the family, and partly to the 
stirring events of the time ; and the correspondence includes State 
papers, love-letters, bailiffs' accounts, sentimental poems, jocular epistles, 

Besides the public news of the day, such as the loss of Normandy 
by the English ; the indictment and subsequent murder at sea of the 
Duke of Suffolk ; and all the fluctuations of the great struggle of York 
and Lancaster ; we have the story of John Paston's first introduction 
to his wife ; incidental notices of severe domestic discipline, in which 
his sister frequently had her head broken ; letters from Dame Elizabeth 
Brews, a match-making mamma, who reminds the youngest John 
Paston that Friday is ' St. Valentine's Day,' and invites him to come 
and visit her family from the Thursday evening till the Monday, etc., 

Every letter has been exhaustively annotated ; and a Chronological 
Table, with most copious Indices, conclude the Work. 

HENRY HALLAM, Introduction to the Literature of Europe, i. 228. Ed. 1837 : ' The 
Paston Letters are an important testimony to the progressive condition of Society, and come in 
as a precious link in the chain of moral history of England which they alone in this period 
supply. They stand, indeed, singly, as far as I know, in Europe ; for though it is highly 
probable that in the archives of Italian families, if not in France or Germany, a series of 
merely private letters equally ancient may be concealed ; I do not recollect that any have 
been published. They are all written in the reigns of Henry VI. and Edward IV., except a 
few that extend as far as Henry VII., by different members of a wealthy and respectable, but 
not noble, family ; and are, therefore, pictures of the life of the English gentry of that age.* 

THE MORNING POST : ' A reprint of Mr. James Gairdner's edition of The Paston 
Letters with some fresh matter, including a new introduction. Originally published in 
1872-75, it was reprinted in 1895, and is now again reproduced. The introductions have 
been reset in larger type, and joined together in one, conveniently broken here and there by 
fresh headings. The preface is practically a new one. ... It is highly satisfactory for 
readers who care about history, social or political, to have this well-printed and admirably 
introduced and annotated edition of these famous letters.' 

MANCHESTER GUARDIAN : ' One of the monuments of English historical scholar- 
ship that needs no commendation.' 



Time Table of Modern 
History A.D. 400-1870 

Compiled and arranged by M. MORISON. 160 pp., 
about 1 5 in. x 1 2 in. i zs. 6d. net. 

CONTENTS: Parallel Vertical Tables Genealogical Tables Ruling 
Monarchs General Chart of Ancient and Modern History Index 
Maps Europe showing the Barbarian Invasions: Europe, A.D. 451 ; 
Europe, A.D. 476; Europe, A.D. 500; Europe, A.D. 768-814; Europe, 
A.D. 962 ; Europe showing the spread of Christianity, etna 1000 ; 
Europe, A.D. 1360; Europe, A.D. 1648; Europe, A.D. 1740; Central 
and Eastern Europe, 1814-1863. 

The work is an epitome of Modern History, 400-1870, 
and constitutes a book of reference invaluable to historical 
students. Facts and dates in the history, not of Europe 
alone, but also of Asia and America, are dealt with. 

The tables consist of parallel vertical columns, each column 
containing a history of one of the important nations of the 
world during the period covered. 

The work also contains a series of the more important 
European Genealogical Tables, complete list of ruling 
Monarchs and Popes, a chart showing a bird's-eye view of 
ancient and modern history, and a full index. Added to these 
are a series of Maps showing the barbarian migrations over 
Europe, the spread of Christianity and the various important 
territorial changes which have taken place in Europe since the 
year 400 A.D. 

THE SCHOOLMASTER : ' This ii a most valuable book of reference for teachers and 
students of history. . . . We can heartily recommend it at a work of real uiel'ulneu.' 
THE ACADEMT : 'A mot valuable book, and almost deserves th adjective "monumen- 
tal." It it a compendium of historical dates viewed from almost every possible aspect. No 
student should think his shelves complete without this uniquely valuable book.' THE 
DAILY NEfPS : 'To the professional historian this volume will prove a convenient "ready 
reckoner " ; to the amateur it will come as a boon and a blessing.' WESTMINSTER 
GAZETTE : ' The information is given in the clearest type, with ample margins, and at a 
book of reference it is one of the easiest to consult with the assurance of satisfactory result! ' 
THE GUARDIAN : ' Remarkably accurate. . . . We can conscientiously recommend the 
book as a companion to the histories of Europe.' 




Illustrated Edition of 

The Works of William 

In 20 Imperial i6mo Volumes with coloured Title Page and 
end papers designed by Lewis F. Day, and a specially 
designed Coloured Illustration to each Play, the artists 
being: L. Leslie Brooke, Byam Shaw, Henry J. Ford, 
G. P. Jacomb Hood, W. D. Eden, Estelle Nathan, 
Eleanor F. Brickdale, Patten Wilson, Robert Sauber, 
John D. Batten, Gerald Moira, and Frank C. Cowper. 
The Title Page and Illustrations printed on Japanese vellum. 
Cloth gilt extra, gilt top, gilt back with headband and book- 
marker, is. 6d. net each volume. Each volume 

sold separately 
Price per set of 20 volumes, 2 los. net. 

ATHENMUM. : ' Well produced, the convenience and comfort of the reader having been 
fully considered.' 

PALL MALL GAZETTE : ' Beautifully printed in bold sizeable type upon good paper, 
and bound in handsome dark red cloth.' 



Edited by AUGUSTINE BIRRELL and Illustrated with 100 
Portraits selected by Ernest Radford. 6 Vols. Red 
buckram, label, gilt top, 365. net. Sold in Sets only. 
This Edition is limited to 700 copies for sale in this 

77Af~S : ' The distinctive feature is the series of portraits of the actors on Boswell's 
stage. Of these there are 100, carefully selected by Mr. Ernest Radford, who writes an excel- 
lent introduction to explain his method of selection. The portraits have been well reproduced, 
and their tone is generally soft and pleasing.' 

DAILY CHRONICLE : ' The whole of his (Mr. Birrell's) appreciation of the book's 
value and its causes the size (" it is a big book "), Boswell's perfection of method, his genius 
for portraiture, his immense pains, his freedom and glorious intrepidity all this is excellently 
done, with due brevity and orderliness. . . . The Edition is supplied with a series of portraits, 
about sixteen to each volume. They have been carefully selected by Mr. Ernest Radford, 
Mr. Birrell's colleague, we believe, in the first volume of Obiter Dicta, He writes a Preface 
giving an account of his selection, and a history of many of the portraits. The volume is light, 
well bound, and altogether satisfactory." 



A Volume of Hitherto Unpublished Autograph 
Works by 



HER LATE MAJESTY QUEEN VICTORIA graciously accepted the 
Dedication of the Volume scarcely a month before her lamented death. 

The title-page is an exact collotype reproduction, mutatis mutandis, 
of the beautiful title-page specially designed and engraved for the folio 
edition of the king's works, published under his own supervision in 
1616. The text is accompanied by several Collotype Reproductions 
of the pages of the book, and by the courteous permission of Sir Robert 
Gresley, Baronet, the frontispiece is a fine portrait of King James, 
which has never hitherto been published. 

Of this unique and highly interesting work 275 copies only have 
been printed, of which 250 numbered copies only are for sale. 13x9^ 
inches. Price 42*. net. 

ATHENMUM : ' These are for literary history nothing ihort of treasure trove. . . . The 
poems interest chiefly because they are history. A very pleasant reflection of the man and 
his time. Mr. Rait is to be complimented.' 

DAILY NEWS : ' Messrs. Archibald Constable & Co. have produced Mr. Rail's edition of 
I.usai Regiui in a most sumptuous form. It contains a portrait of the Royal author, James I., 
which has only been privately reproduced before ; the original design executed for the title- 
page of 1616 ; and several MSS., now published for the first time from a copy found in the 
Bodleian Library, and evidently written by the dreamy son of Mary Stuart and Lord Darnley 
in his earlier years. They all show traces of the influence of his tutors, George Buchanan 
and Sir Peter Scaton, in an artificial atmosphere of their humanistic pedantry ; but they place 
the character of the king in a somewhat novel and certainly attractive light, and the verses 
" On Women " are a graceful proof of his sportsmanlike knowledge of Scotch natural history. 
... In binding, type, and paper the volume leaves nothing to be desired.' 

LITERATURE : 'A sumptuous and beautiful book is Luna Regiu. . . . The volume 
is an interesting one, and our best thanks are due to the editor. Perhaps the last instance of 
her late Majesty's sentiment towards the Stewarts was her consent to accept the dedication of 
this book, which is now inscribed to her memory.' 

SCOTSMAN : ' It is a rare, if not unexampled, thing that meritorious specimen! of 
poetic art from a kingly hand should have to wait for some three centuries before being given 
to the world ; and one thinks none the worse of James for having withheld some of the fruits 
of his " ingyne " from a public that in his day was ready to applaud anything that he wrote. 
... Great interest attaches to the unpublished MSS. that alone are printed and provided 
with introductions by the editor of the beautiful work, which Mr. Rait has inscribed to the 
memory of Queen Victoria, who before her death accepted the dedication of these poems by 
her " direct lineal ancestor." ' 



Women and Men of the French 

By EDITH SICHEL, Author of The Household of the Lafayettes. 
Fully Illustrated. Demy 8vo. Second Impression. Price i6s. net. 

TIMES : ' Miss Sichel has read much, approaches her subject without prejudice, and 
writes intelligently and well. Her book is as good a compendium of the period of Francis I. as 
any that we can name.' 

M. E. COLERIDGE in THE GUARDIAN : ' Kings and queens, philosophers and poets, 
painters, printers, architects, come alive, and there is glowing colour, speech, movement every- 

English Schools at the Reformation 

i 54648 

By A. F. LEACH, M.A., F.S.A. 
Demy 8vo. 12s. net. 

THE TIMES : ' A very remarkable contribution to the history of secondary education in 
England, not less novel in its conclusions than important in the documentary evidence adduced 
to sustain them.' 

Spenser's Faerie Queene 

Complete in Six Volumes. 

Edited by KATE M. WARREN. 

Foolscap 8vo. is. 6d. net per Volume. 

Also Art Canvas gilt extra, with Photogravure Frontispiece, 2s. 6d. net 
per Volume ; complete in case, 1 5;. net. Each Volume sold separately. 

SPECTATOR : 'The text of the present issue, which has been prepared with great care, 
is based on that of the editions of 1590 and 1596. Each volume is provided with an admirable 
glossary, and with notes, containing all that is necessary for an understanding of the text. The 
ntroductions are ably written, and show much critical power.' 


Reprint of The Waverley Novels 

The Favourite Edition of SIR WALTER SCOTT. 

With all the original Plates and Vignettes (re-engraved). In 48 vols. 

Foolscap 8vo. Cloth, paper label title, i s. >d. net per Volume ; 

cloth gilt, gilt top, 2s. net per Volume ; and half leather 

gilt, 2s. 6d. net per Volume. 

THE TIMES : 'The excellence of the print and the convenient size of the volumes and 
the association of this edition with Sir Walter Scott himself, should combine with so moderate 
a price to secure for this reprint a popularity as great as that which the original edition long 
and justly enjoyed.' 


cs The Ancestor