Arthur Charles Fox-Davies.

Armorial families : a directory of gentlemen of coat-armour online

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" No biles sunt qui Arma gentilitia antecessorum
suorum proferre possunt "





Printed by Ballantyne, Hanson &* Co.
At the Ballantyne Press





J E FORE referring to the most important of the changes in
the present edition, it may be as well to refer to several
minor points as to which I often receive inquiries.

First, as to the "catch-line" names which appear in the
book. In the first edition the Jirsif entry for each surname was
so distinguished for mere purposes of ready reference, or perhaps
even — for it was not my own idea — by the desire of the printers
t make an " artistic " page. Their efforts and labour to that end have been
uceasing, beyond even my own desires. But even before the completion of
te first edition the fatal objection had become apparent that the addition of
a entry for the same surname but with a christian name earlier in the
jphabet involved the displacement of the catch-line from the one paragraph
1 the other, and the resetting of both. The catch-lines were therefore
oandoned ; but I did not consider their importance, in or out, was worth
• e cost of resetting in order to provide for their deletion. Consequently
jiose which were then standing in the type were allowed to remain until
,iich time as other alterations necessitated a disturbance in the type of the
iirticular entries containing them. As such opportunities arise they are
iileted, and each new edition has seen their number largely reduced. They
re thus automatically disappearing, and doubtless ere long will have

In the present edition a new form of entry has been adopted. One
ildom at the very beginning of a project hits off the precise plan which
le experience of years in carrying out that enterprise eventually indicates
5 the most advantageous. There were two considerations always before
le. The chief was the eternal literary difficulty of " space." My book
■as growing, growing, and some drastic change was necessary. My original
lea (based upon the inclusion of impalements) had been a separate entry
)r each separate person. That involved a repetition of parentage (a matter
f four or five lines) in the cases of brothers, and a repetition of the
etails of the arms — sometimes running to a column or more. But this
^petition became practically purposeless, because I found in practice that
nly a very small proportion of the entries carried impalements. Many a
lan is keenly anxious to establish his own right to arms, who feels that it
) not his business, but the business of the male members of his wife's
imily to prove the right to arms on that side. Consequently a new system
as been adopted in the present edition by which all bearing the same
oat of arms are grouped together under that coat, and all brothers are
Touped together under the names of their parents. The a Becket entry is
be earliest one in the book on the new model. I have not thought it worth


u preface to tlje JTiftb OBDition

while to reset the book at a cost of many hundreds of pounds, merely to
obuin a fixed uniformity of arran^jement, where no change is made in the
information afforded between one type of entry comprising several people
and a number of separate entries. On this point in the matter of catch-
lines I have Uken, as I propose to take in the future, every opportunity,
as alterations or changes occur necessitating the disturbance of type in an

Other parts are constantly altering, and by putting the permanent portion
first it becomes less costly to make alterations.

Whilst the new form has been adopted in all new entries which now
appear in the work for the first time, the reverse is not the case. In all
entries in which alterations of any moment occurred the opportunity was
taken to adopt the new form, and the deduction to be drawn from the
appearance of an entry in either form is no greater than from the insertion
or absence of the black-letter catch-lines.

The coloured illustrations speak for themselves, and I can only hope the
insertion of these illustrations will prove the attraction I anticipate.

The dating of the arms has turned out a matter of great difficulty —
much greater than I had anticipated. In the first place, few seem to know
or care about the date of their arms. It is easy enough to check the truth
of a given statement of claim : except in the grant of a modern coat it is
almost impKDSsible to ascertain the date save by research and the expenditure
of time wholly prohibitive to the attempt. Where a reasonable claim has
been made I have attempted to verify it, and with few exceptions all such
coats of arms are dated. But the claims made have been much fewer than
I anticipated. The dates which are inserted are (a) those of the dates
which I have been asked to insert, which I believe to be correct, (d) dates
which have been within my knowledge before they were supplied to me by
the owners of the arms. The date of a grant of arms is public property
to anybody who cares to pay the fees for a search, but where, to assist me
in my editorial work, my correspondents have been good enough to tell me
what the date of the grant is and have expressed a wish that the date
should not be published, I have respected that wish and treated the
information as supplied to me in confidence. But some people object to
the publication of a date a century or more ago, which most would be
proud to acknowledge. The dates — where the arms are dated— are those of
official authorisation. In a few cases where the arms are found on the
early rolls it is possible to take an old coat back approximately to its date
of origin, but in the bulk of ancient English cases one can do no more
than refer to the Visitations, which, though the earliest date of authorisation,
may or may not be the date of origin.

In Scottish cases, with rare exceptions, the earliest quotable date of
authorisation is 1672, the date of the commencement of the present Lyon

So that, except where a definite date of ^-ran^ is quoted, the date of
authorisation is not necessarily the date of origin. In the case of arms
authorised but not specifically granted anterior to 1700 the dates are of but


preface to tfje jFiftfi €DitiDn in

little value for comparative purposes. But these coats form but a small pro-
portion of the arms in use.

The omission of the italic entries which have appeared in former
editions may or may not be an improvement. Many correspondents have
written to me on the point, some advocating insertion, some omission, but
I the imperative necessity of reducing the space was the factor which finally
decided the point. At first I could not claim for " Armorial Families " any
approach to completeness, but as each successive edition has brought more
and more families under review the approximation to completeness has
lessened the necessity for the retention of the italicised part, and lessened it
to an increasing extent. But even yet I do not claim to have reached the
end, though I think I am now justified in thinking my book is approxi-
mately a complete directory of those who are proved to be officially en-
titled to bear arms. I have sent out right and left for the last twelve
years, hundreds of thousands of information forms asking that they should
be filled up and returned to me. Whenever a form has been returned to
me from which on the face of it it seemed possible that the arms claimed
were born by right, I have taken steps to ascertain if the claim were good,
and whenever this has been the case such arms have been inserted without
charge or stipulation. I have gradually worked through such books as
Burke's " Landed Gentry," and each edition has left a diminishing remnant.
Shortly before I closed up the present edition for the press I wrote to the
head of every remaining family in the "Landed Gentry" pointing out what
I was doing, saying I was aware of no modern proof of the right to the
arms which were attributed to him in that work, and asking that I might
be advised if I were wrong. The result of my letters astonished me. A
very large number at once informed me of their right under a compara-
tively modern grant or record, not to the ancient arms attributed to them,
but to some entirely distinct coat !

But to conclude my remarks on this point, I do say that there are few
families entitled to arms, whose right has been proved in sufficiently modern
times to place it beyond reasonable doubt, that are now omitted. That
there must be some I am of course aware, some even whose right is duly
registered up to themselves in the College of Arms. The College of Arms
will not permit any one access to their records nor give the slightest clue
as to the pedigrees which are recorded from time to time or the grants
which are made. One can, however, inquire whether a pedigree has been
recorded to a given coat of arms, or whether a specified person has recorded
a right to arms by grant or proof of pedigree, and by paying the ordinary
search fees can receive the desired information. This I do in all cases coming
under my notice.

Obviously I cannot work through the London or any other Directory
at the price of the Heralds' College search fees for each inquiry : but,
given a coat of arms which looks genuine, I can find and do find out to
KB whorn it belongs. I have many friends and correspondents for whose help
WM ^" ^^^^ ^^y ^ ^"^ under deep obligations, and sooner or later most genuine
coats of arms eventually come into my hands — my difficulty being that I
am held up to criticism for the omission of arms recently proved or lately
granted before they have filtered through into my knowledge.

iv |f>reface to tbe jfiftf) aBDition

Subject to this qualification, and with the exception of the an
l*ccrs and Baronets, I believe the present edition of "Armorial Families'
may be fairly described as approximately complete.

Peers and Baronets were included in the first and second editions of
"Armorial Families." They were then omitted solely for the reasons of
space. But I published a list of those whose right to arms was faulty.
This list has since been published in every edition. Corrected and reduced
to date, it will be found herein on pp. 1523-4. A few Peers and Baronets,
however, appear in the body of the book. Some remain under the under-
taking I gave in my first prospectus to retain in perpetuity the arms of
every subscriber. The rest have been inserted from time to time for
various reasons, chiefly technical, which it is not necessary to explain.
Suffice it to say that every Peer and every Baronet has genuine arms (b
not always those which figure under his name in the printed Peera"
Books), except those to be found in the list I refer to.

In both Lyon Court and Ulster's Office I have been greatly helped _
the compilation of my book, and my sincerest thanks are due to Sir James
Balfour Paul, Lyon King of Arms, and Mr. F. J. Grant, Lyon Clerk, and
to Sir Arthur Vicars, K.C.V.O., Ulster King of Arms, and Mr. G. D.
Burtchaell, his secretiiry, for all the encouragement and assistance I have
constantly received at their hands.




34 Henrietta Street,
ix>ndon, w.c.,
October 1905.


URELY even those who affect the greatest contempt for Heraldry will admit
that if Arms are to be borne at all, it should be according to the laws of Arms •
and that, if the display of them be an empty vanity, it is a less creditable vanity
to parade as our own those which belong of right to others.

Heraldry has been contemptuously termed " the science of fools with long
memories." There is more wit than wisdom in the remark, and with the many
a smart saying has unfortunately a great advantage over a just one.

It is impossible to say that there is any direct testimony to the existence
of Armorial bearings in the now accepted sense of the word earlier than the twelfth century, when
they seem to have been adopted with one accord throughout Europe. Previous to that period
we read of "white shields" and "red shields" and "gilded shields." In Salmund's Edda mention
is made of a red shield with a golden border. The Encomiast of Emma speaks merely of the
glittering effulgence of the shields suspended on the sides of the vessels of Canute. In the Anglo-
Saxon illuminations we perceive the shields of warriors generally painted white, with red and blue
borders and circles : on those of our Norman invaders as represented in the Bayeux Tapestry, a
work at the earliest of the close of the eleventh century, we find crosses, rings, grotesque monsters,
and fanciful devices of various descriptions, but nothing approaching a regular heraldic figure or
disposition of figures. Some of the standards are striped and spotted in a fashion which may have
originated the pales, bars, and roundels of the succeeding century, but as these devices are not
repeated on any of the bearers' shields they cannot be considered as personal insignia.

Thus we see that Heraldry as we know it, Heraldry even as it was understood in its earliest
stages, had no existence at the time of the Norman Conquest, nor can any authenticated example
be discovered of a proper Armorial shield prior to the first Crusade. Ere the second had reached
its termination its usage was extensive and assured. That is all that is known of its origin, but
undoubtedly — for it is a matter no one has as yet dreamed of disputing — the Crusades have exer-
cised an influence difficult to truly estimate. Not only are a vast proportion of heraldic "charges"
easily traceable to the Holy Land, but the assemblage of the flower of European chivalry in all its
nationalities, all claiming nobility of birth, must have given a great impetus to the progress of a
science devoted and confined to themselves, apart from the encouragement afforded to it by the
requirement of some method of distinction amongst themselves.

A writer of a bygone age has said that " Coates of Armes were inuented by our wise ancestors
to these 3 ends : The first was to honour and adorn the family of him that had well deserued
towardes his countrye. The seconde to him more worthy and famous above the rest which had not
done merit, and thereby they might be prouoked to doe the like. The third was to differ out the
severall lignes and issues from the noble ancestor descending ; so that the eldest borne might be
known from the second, and he from the thirde."

" Heraldry was not originated in England, but England was not long in following the lead placed
before her, and though at no period perhaps within the British Isles has the love and reverence of
Armory reached such a high degree of enthusiasm as has been sometimes accorded to Armorial
Insignia elsewhere : still since the old Crusading days have our ancestors of each succeeding genera-
tion handed down a respect and admiration for these marks of lineage, rank, and high degree that
Socialism and Anarchy, with all their changeability of visage, have failed to suppress in spite of the
manifold and multifarious methods and manners in which these ideas have passed through the land,
in the Wars of the Roses, in the Reformation, the Commonwealth, the Revolution, and " the Hyde
Park tub-thumper."

"There is no subject more difficult to be dwelt on than that of honourable descent; none on

which the world are greater sceptics, none more offensive to them ; and yet there is no quality to

which every one in his heart pays so great a respect." — (Sir Egerton Brydges' Autobiography^ p. 153).

And by reason of this very reverence and respect, Armorial Bearings are one of the earliest

outward and visible signs which make their appearance when a family commences its rise in the

le of social eminence.

At first, ere their full lustre and significance had been realised, those who bore Arms selected
lem as pleased their fancy, but as a name became glorious so did the pictorial sign upon the shield



Cbe Sbuse of arm0


Mtoctated with th»t name become renowned, and a son inherited his father's Arms with his father's
■void : and Armorial Bearings almost from the very birth of the science have been hereditary.

Let a privilege or a usage be created, and its abuse rapidly follows. Merchants placed their
•• nochant-marks " upon escutcheons, and called them coats-of-arms when as yet their rank did not
warrant the assumption. New men called themselves by old names and claimed the ancient Arms.
The monks of Battle Abbey are known to have tampered with their roll, and centuries ago the
heralds deplored and Uied to keep in check the vagaries and usurpations of these " painter-fellows,"
as they then described them, referring thus contemptuously to those handicraftsmen who undertook
the actual labour of cutting seals and emblazoning Arms. Had these handicraftsmen stopped their
hands at these l^itimate hmits, little abuse, comparatively speaking, could have crept in, but they
did noti they hankered after the fees— in their eyes veritable flesh pots of Egypt— of the official
hermlds. Then, as now, the true position and authority of the Officers of Arms was not properly
known or understood. Then, as now, these " painter-fellows " encroached, and then, as now, they
profited by the lack of heraldic knowledge current among the general public, and they purposed
to find, grant, confirm, and assign Arms. The Arms these outsiders dealt in were likewise of
but two kinds— firstly. Arms which emanated solely from their own imagination, and which were
bogus from beginning to end, and secondly, Arms which were perfectly legitimate, and which
belonged to ancient families, which legitimate coats-of-arms these "painter-fellows" assigned to
other families bearing the same or similar names, without the ghost of a pretence, and without
the shadow of a possibility of establishing a descent from the bona-fiiie holders. That was how
the abuse bqpin centuries ago. At the present time this same abuse runs riot, and now, as
then, it is in the forefront, and the most prominent of all heraldic follies. Though beside
this particular illegality all others seem but as mere peccadilloes, there are many other matters
which can but come under the same heading and description. To a long-standing abuse, when
the legal penalties therefor seem almost to have lapsed into desuetude, there is but one remedy,
namely, publicity. It enlightens those who are sinning through ignorance, it may prevent others
falling into the same errors ; and as to those who are of knowledge and aforethought wilfully disre-
garding the laws of Arms and the laws of the Realm — well, it advertises their little weaknesses. This
remedy I propose to try. One of my critics has asked what business it is of mine to criticise Arms
when the College of Arms remains silent. It is every man's duty, when he sees a wrong, to try
to put that wrong right Moreover I stand in a widely different position from the Officers of
Anns. I much question if they are brought into contact with one tithe of the heraldic abuses
that 1 am, for people hardly of their own free-will exhibit to an accredited Officer of Arms preten-
sions which they know can be at once detected as bogus or illegal. On the other hand, the indivi-
duals comprising the world at large seem to fancy that the said world at large, outside themselves, is
unable to discover the real character of the Arms they lay claim to. Consequently, as I am simply
but another unit in this aforesaid world, the Arms and garbled pedigrees have been sent up to me
apparently with guileless simplicity, either for insertion in this book, " Armorial Families," or in
" The Book of Public Arms," or for the crests to be included in my edition of " Fairbairn." I had
no reason when I commenced heraldic writing to have looked with suspicion upon the informa-
tion which was afforded me, but as each successive case I investigated turned out to be a perver-
sion of the truth, my standpoint had to change. I found, first of all, that the fact ot living in the
same county, or in the adjoining one for the matter of that, or even in the county adjoining that,
was^to the ordinary mind ^ite sufficient evidence for descent to be claimed ("in an unbroken
line," my correspondents usually state) from any armigerous person or any celebrity* who at
any time since the Norman Conquest (and many don't even stick at the Conquest) have had a resi-
dence in tliai county. At first I was always inclined to tliink that a person to make such a statement
must at least have some evidence to support him, even though it might not be sufficiently stable
and consecutive to pass muster as a pedigree before the Chapter of the College of Arms. I
couldn't have made a greater mistake. I then found that people really entitled to a pedigree of
perhajw five or sue generations, and to a modern grant of Arms, were seldom content with it, and
It usua ly came to me as a genealogical tree of fifteen or sixteen generations, and the Arms had
generally been granted by Edward III., or at the latest by Queen Elizabeth. And here is a pretty
t^^"^ ^° ••'^^* * pedigree if the time cannot be spared to investigate it thoroughly. Whenever
• pedigree m the male line runs back far up into antiquity— or I will say even this, whenever a
pedigree commences pnor to the beginning of the eighteenth century, just look at it closely. If in
the c*rly part of it there figure celebrities, with full dates of marriages and deaths, and details of all
the children, and there follow later the words, "from whom descends," or the words, "whose

r.^,1^.'' '''^^Z '^* ^^^^ °^ '^^ ^'■'■''^ relationships, the odds that that particular pedigree
IS "taked are 999 to i. i- r &

JiWon"®'*" w ""''' ^^"? that was quickly made apparent to me is this. When a family have been
Illegally making use of Arms for some time, and are then, for some reason or other, induced or

• One family to my knowledge claim descent from Cardinal Wolsey, and have assumed his Arms.

C6e ^tmt of Hrm0 vH

required to place their Armorial matters upon a legal footing, and a Patent of Arms is obtained under
the hands and seals of the Kings of Arms, the coat-of-arms which has previously been in use is never
granted to the person intact. If a desire for a coat similar to the one in use be preferred, some
alterations and additions to it are introduced, varying according to the discretion of the Officers of
Arms and the circumstances of the case, in order to render it a different and ne7v coat-of-arms, and to
satisfy the requirements of one of the rules of the College, that no two coats-of-arms which may be
granted by its officers shall be alike. * The usual tale I am told — if the fact of the grant being modern
by any chance transpires — is, if you please, that the alterations and additions are "augmentations"
granted for some special service. Some of the older grants simply made additions to the coats which
had been previously used, and this, to an ordinary individual, might lend some semblance to the
idea. To the propagators of such fables I would add this fact to their knowledge. An " augmen-
tation " proper requires a special warrant from the Sovereign. The " augmentations " legitimately
existing are comparatively very few in number, and are all very well known. And another foible is
this. Very few people care to admit that they have had a "grant" of Arms. The usual tale'is,
" My people had been using these Arms for a very long time, but documentary evidence, so very hard
to get, &c., &c., couldn't strictly prove a legal title to them, &c., so the College of Arms 'confirmed'
them to me with a very slight difference." The fads generally turn out to be that the Arms were
" found " for 3s. 6d. at an heraldic stationer's, perhaps ten or perhaps twenty years ago, or perhaps
supplied gratis with a "guinea box of stationery." It was then afterwards ascertained that they were
quoted in Burke's " General Armory " as belonging to a family of the same name, which family were
promptly claimed as ancestors. " The Arms are the same, you know, we must be descended from
them." There are few people who could summon up sufficient audacity to offer to the critics such
another pedigree as the notorious Coultart genealogy ; but there is still a good deal of unblushing

Online LibraryArthur Charles Fox-DaviesArmorial families : a directory of gentlemen of coat-armour → online text (page 1 of 354)