Monday, 10 June 2019

Heraldic Alphabet 2019

Happy International Heraldry Day. Here is the latest selection of members of the lgbt community who are entitled, in reality or theory, to bear a coat of arms. There are 24 of them this year.

The format is as before. The people are listed in alphabetical order by the surname or name commonly used or known (e.g. Pope Julius III is listed under J, and not under D for his family name of Del Monte). The arms may be inherited, granted by a heraldic authority, assumed (not officially registered but accepted under continuance of use through several generations), marital, or arms of office.

There is only one transgender armiger (a person who has a coat of arms) this year, Jenny Bailey. The arms shown are those she was entitled to use in her official capacity as Mayor of Cambridge. Several others were eligible to bear various arms of office (e.g. Sir Arthur Vicars).

In English and Scottish heraldry unmarried and widowed women are not entitled to put their coat of arms on a shield but on a diamond shaped lozenge. This is the case with several women below. Women who bear arms of office can use a shield. To produce a more uniform look I’ve shown all arms on shields. I mention below which arms would be officially displayed on a lozenge.

Not all of them people listed actually used a coat of arms. Some are theoretical and could be used according to current heraldic regulations.
A) Waheed Alli, Baron Alli (b.1964) – media entrepreneur. Arms granted with a crest and supporters by the College of Arms in 1998 after he was created a life peer.

B) Jenny Bailey (b.1962) – local politician. Arms of office as Mayor of Cambridge 2007-8. These arms were granted to the borough of Cambridge way back in 1575 and illustrate the origin of the town’s name – the bridge over the River Cam.

C) Peter Coke (1913-2008) – actor. Inherited arms. Peter is known mainly for his 14 year career as BBC’s radio detective Paul Temple. Family tradition says that the crescents were adopted as the family emblem by an ancestor who fought in the Crusades with Richard the Lionheart.

D) Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) – artist and inventor. I wrote an article here on Leonardo’s coat of arms to commemorate the 500th anniversary of his death.

E) Martha May Eliot (1891-1978) – paediatrician and Assistant Director of the World Health Organisation. Inherited arms from her direct ancestor Samuel Eliot (1748-1788) of Boston, Massachusetts. Samuel owned a framed watercolour given to him by Sir Isaac Heard, Garter King of Arms, depicting his coat of arms.

F) Sir John Finch (1626-1682) – British Ambassador to Constantinople. Inherited arms. These are carved on his gravestone with those of his partner Sir Thomas Baines. The 3 lions are the arms of the Fitzherberts from whom the Finch family descend.
G) Eileen Gray (1878-1976) – architect and interior designer. Maternal arms (theoretically on a lozenge). Eileen’s original name was Hon. Kathleen Eileen Smith, and was a daughter of Baroness Gray, a Scottish peer. In 1897 Eileen’s father changed his children’s name to Gray (as their mother’s coheirs). Eileen’s sister inherited the title and registered this ancient Gray coat of arms for herself. As a Scot Eileen would have had to register her own version of these arms. There’s no record of her doing so.

H) Penelope Hoare (1940-2017) – editorial director of several publishers. Inherited arms (on a lozenge). The arms descend from her ancestor, Sir Richard Hoare, Lord Mayor of London in 1713.

I) Jaroslav Iwaszkiewicz (1894-1980) – writer and poet. The Iwaszkiewicz family belonged to the Polish-Ukrainian clan of Gozdawa. Polish heraldry is unique in having clan arms (called a herb) which can be used by many families. Legend says these were conferred upon a Gozdawa ancestor in 1090 by the Duke of Poland.

J) Pope Julius III (1481-1555) – Pope. Inherited arms. Pope Julius was baptised Giovanni Maria de’ Ciocchi Del Monte. Those funny lumpy shapes on the diagonal stripe are heraldic representations of mountains – Del Monte means “of the mountain”.

K) Robert Ketton-Cremer (1906-1969) – owner of Fellbrigg Hall, Norfolk. Inherited arms. Controversy erupted in 2017 when Robert’s family criticised the National Trust, who now own Fellbrigg, for “outing” him during LGBT History Month. These are the arms of the Cremer family.

L) Ned Lathom (1895-1930) – aristocrat and amateur playwright. Inherited arms. Ned Lathom is the popular name for Edward Bootle-Wilbraham, 3rd and last Earl of Lathom. Peers often use their title as their surname. The blue and white quarters are the arms of the Wilbraham family, and the red and white are those of the Bootles.
M) Dr. Heather Morris-Eyton (b.1967) – lecturer in Sport and Movement, Johannesburg University; Gay Games multi-medal-winning swimmer. Inherited arms (on a lozenge in England, on a shield in South Africa). The red quarters are the arms of the Eyton family, and the black quarters those of the Morris family. The arms were united in 1905 by the marriage of Heather’s great-grandfather to the Eyton heiress.

N) Isabella Norcliffe (d.1846) – partner of landowner Anne Lister. Inherited arms (on a lozenge). Born Isabella Dalton her father changed the family name and arms in 1807 when he inherited the Norcliffe family estates from his mother’s brother.

O) Lt. Myles O’Donovan (1896-1918) – World War I casualty. Inherited arms. As mentioned in my article for the centenary of the Armistice of 1918 Myles was a son of the O’Donovan clan chief. He belongs to same family as Connell Hill O’Donovan in my Heraldic Alphabet of 2017. The crescent indicates that Myles was a second son.

P) Isabella Pell (1900-1951) – socialite and member of the French Resistance during World War II. Inherited arms. Isabella was of the same family as Julia Pell, whose arms I described in more detail here.

Q) Dr. Alexandre Quintanilha (b.1945) – molecular biologist and member of the Portuguese parliament. Possible inherited arms. The rules of Portuguese heraldry can cause confusion. Anyone can assume the surname and arms of any ancestor, and they don’t have to match. Various small emblems showing which side of the family the arms come from are placed on the shield. Alexandre’s father (whose birth surname was da Silva) adopted the name of Quintanilha from his grandfather’s grandmother. These are the arms of her family. I don’t know if these arms are used by Alexandre Quintanilha but he is entitled to adopt them to go with the name.

R) Anna Rochester (1880-1966) – labour reformer and journalist. Assumed inherited arms. Anna descends from Nicholas Rochester of Kent who migrated to Virginia in 1689. Even though these arms belong to the Rochesters of Essex there’s no proof that Nicholas was related to them. However, because he were used by him and his descendants they have become the de facto arms of the American Rochester family for use in the USA, since there is no US government heraldic authority to say otherwise.
S) Baroness Ebba Sparre (1626-1662) – lady-in-waiting and possible lover of Queen Kristina of Sweden. Arms granted in 1647 to her uncle, his brothers (Ebba’s father was dead by then) and their families when Queen Kristina created them barons and baronesses. The Sparre family arms are contained on the smaller central shield. The palm trees and antelopes are symbolic elements probably representing righteousness and harmony respectively.

T) Aubrey William Trask (b.1989) – computer technologist. Granted by the Canadian Heraldic Authority in September 2018, making them the newest lgbt coat of arms I know of. Red and white represents Canada in a pattern symbolising electronic circuits. The octopus represents flexibility. Aubrey was administrator of the lgbt student organisation when he was studying at McGill University.

V) Sir Arthur Vicars (1862-1927) – herald. Inherited arms. Sir Arthur could impale (place on the right half of a shield) these family arms next to the arms of office of Ulster King of Arms. He was implicated in the theft of the crown jewels of Ireland.

W) Dorothy Wellesley, Duchess of Wellington (1889-1956) – author, poet and socialite. Marital arms. Dorothy was born Dorothy Ashton and married Sir Gerald Wellesley, 7th Duke of Wellington. As husband and wife they displayed their family arms together. The Ashton arms on our right are impaled with the Wellesley arms on our left.

Y) Prince Felix Yusupov (1887-1967) – Russian prince, known primarily for his role in the murder of the monk Rasputin. Inherited arms. Prince Felix’s father, Count Sumarokov-Elston, married the Yusupov heiress and adopted her name. The Sumarakov-Elston arms were added to hers and they are the two at the bottom of the shield.

Z) Nikolai Zverev (1832-1893) – pianist, tutor to Sergie Rachmaninoff. Inherited arms. Nikolai belonged to an old Russian aristocratic family.

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