Thursday, 8 March 2018

International Women's Day 2018

On this, International Women's Day, we salute two ladies from Volume One of the Lyon Register (1672-1677).

The first is Grizel Durham, sister of Sir Alexander Durham of Largo, Lord Lyon 1660-1663.  She married the Earl of Middleton: their daughter, Helen, married the 3rd Earl of Kinghorne making Lady Middleton an ancestress (by my calculations the 8x-great-grandmother) of HM the Queen.

The blazon is: Or a fess Azure between three mullets in chief and as many crescents in base Gules.

Another lady from Volume 1 is Grace Graden Heiress of Earnshaw. 

The blazon is: Argent on a chevron Azure between three otters Sable each devouring a salmon of the second, as many pheons Or.

Friday, 2 March 2018

Vernon Rolls RIP

Your charitable prayers are requested for the repose of the soul of our long-standing member, Vernon Rolls, who died last night. R.I.P.

Here is his entry from the HSS Gallery:

Vernon Christopher Rolls

Arms: Azure on a fess dancetty Argent between three Lymphads Or three Anchors Sable

Crest: upon a Helm with a Wreath Argent and Azure Within a Circlet of Roses alternating Gules and Argent barbed and seeded proper a Dexter Cubit Arm vested Azure the Cuff dancetty Argent charged with three Anchors (two manifest) Sable the hand proper holding a Roll of Vellum bendwise sinister Argent


Granted: College of Arms, 1st June 2001.

My arms are based around the relatively rare fess dancetty used in the arms of other Rolls families. The other charges are symbolic of maritime service and shipping in which I have worked for over 40 years and in which my mother's family has been closely involved since the Napoleonic wars.

The obvious choice of lymphads had already been used in the arms of other shipping families with which I was familiar, for example; the Ben Line, Thomson baronets of Glendarrocb, the Mackay, Earls of Inchcape (British India Steam Navigation and Peninsular and Oriental) and various branches of the Cayzers with the Union Castle line. Anchors were used by the Cunard baronets.

The punning crest is reminiscent of other Rolls crests which feature the vested forearm holding a roll of vellum. Mine is individualised with the anchor strewn dancetty cuff.. Given the need for diligence and confidentiality in my work in the shipping industry, I found my old Royal Masonic School motto entirely appropriate, 'Audi Vide Tace' -'Hear, See, Silence' 

The above rendition is taken from a library painting by the heraldic artist, Marie Lynskey.

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Major Alan Edmonstoune Greenshields Leadbetter

The Lyon Office tweeted today the centenary of a matriculation of arms for Major Alan Edmonstoune Greenshields Leadbetter, younger son of the architect Thomas Greenshields Leadbetter. Alan was decorated for gallantry at Gallipoli but was then killed near Ypres in August 1917, aged 20.

His grieving father petitioned for differenced arms for Alan the following year as well as having a memorial window installed in Bedrule Parish Church, Roxburgh.

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Booboo in Washington

A member in Guernsey has sent me the following tidbit from the Daily Mail - it is fairly astonishing, even if it does confuse crests with coats of arms:

Yvonne on Compartments

Yvonne Holton, Dingwall Pursuivant and Herald Painter, gave a talk last week to the Heraldry Society on COMPARTMENTS. She used the magnificent arms of Robertson of Struan as an example:

The poor savage, who it must be said looks quit happy languidly supporting the shield, is apparently a reference to the fact that a Robertson captured the murderer of King James I. The two murderers were executed with unusual cruelty on the orders of Queen Joan Beaufort, she who brought the gloruoius Unicorn to Scotland.

Yvonne herself is a Paganini of compartments, using them to convey all sorts of extra messages: here is the lovely painting she did of the arms of the Incorporation of Candlemakers of Edinburgh, replete with thistles, beehive and bees, as well as the jar of precious oil belonging to Mary Magdalene:

and the following brilliant compartment she painted for Very Rev. Professor Iain Torrance Kt. where she places a bone by the dominant dog!

International Polar Bear Day

Today, 27th February is, apparently, International Polar Bear Day so Lyon Clerk very kindly dug out a very fine crest of one:

As the naval crown shows, the armiger is a naval man - a commander in the Royal Australian Navy.

Mercat Cross Update Updated

This Unicorn is in the huff!

Snawdoun Herald, the heraldic advisor to the project, has now sent me the snap she took of the restored Unicorn on the Mercat Cross in Edinburgh. Hello, Historic Environment Scotland!!! Can the Unicorn see the sanguinary Unicorn while the scaffolding is up???