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tester 100 Years ——♦



NOTES ON HERALDRY. The variations of ancient crests (as dis- tinguished from arms), are illustrated in a unique manner, by the 13th, 14th, and 18th century crests of one of the Palatine families of those dates, of and in the county of Chester. The second of the three successive crests of the family referred to, seems to have evolved out of a very early and simple first crest which was, perhaps, adopted during one of the later crusades, or at the very least about A.D. 1250. The only relic of this particular ensign now in existence lies in the matrix of the silver seal (penes Shirley, of Ettington, 1882), of 'Simon de Helton' (Elton) temp. Henry III.— Edward I. It is the crest that surmounts the heaume over the coat of Elton of Elton, near Helsby which coat, if I recollect aright, is blazoned paly of six Or and Gules, over all a bend sable charged with three mullets. See Elton, second edition (1882) of the History of Cheshire. The tincture of this bend, and its charges, appear to form a slight blending of the coat armour of til 9 parent house, and of the several kindred male lines of Acton of Acton, in Delamere, and the line of Alderley. For, the Eltons of Elton, like the Actons, were a male branch of the 12th century house, of whose principal, and adjoining manor, Elton, was a dependency. The crest on the seal referred to, is simply a short forked pennon; which, as usual, was probably emblazoned with the distinct coat of Elton- as in those very early heraldic times it was customary for cadet branches to bear entirely distinct coats, but often differenced by some sort of recognition of the Elder House out of which the family had branched, and whose head was regarded as their Chief. The Elton Crest was also, probably, a bearing of what, in arms, is known as 'affection.' The pennon appears attached to a short cross-headed 8taff, raised perpendicularly over the helmet by the hilt being thrust into a socket. And either this simple Crest was borne by the Parent House, or it formed part only of one more elaborate. Secondly. At a later date-about the reign of Edward III.—when the eldest surviving male line of the Elder or Parent House (the latter now represented in female lines, by a multitude of families), had been in existence for a generation or two, they either acquired, or took by descent, as shewn by early seals, the crest of a demi-lion with double queue, bearing in the sinister paw a saltier sable, and in the dexter, a cross gules simply. From the consanguinity of this sur. viving house with that of Elton (particularly from the male descent of each) the suggestion naturally arises that the pennon was discarded for the pennon staff-cross only by this elder surviving male line of the Paternal House, perhaps during the wars in France, especially when Poictiers was fought, and the first representative of that elder-surviving line, —whose alias came of his manorial share of Acton, and who therefore occasionally appears as Adam de Acton—received from the Black Prince, then Palatine Earl of Chester, the Baili wick of the rich Hundred of Bucklowe (whose protitsjwould then equal about 40 marks p. a.) as a fee for the great place (grande lieu) he held at the battle of Poictiers.' But, it should be noticed, as to his identity, that there were three Adam de Actons about this time-all kinsmen. It is, however, apprehended that mutual light is now thrown upon the question of identity by the question of change of crest; and the pre- sumption arises that formerly the Stock of the twelfth century (from which all these minor branches had descended, with many more branches, and among all of whom large estates had—as was the custom of the Normans—been Hovelled), bore originally the pennon with its cross simply as did Elton, or bore it in the dexter paw of a lion ? Their earliest neigh- bour, too, and kinsman, of Thornton, near Helsby, Sir Piers Ie Roter, alias de Thorneton en Ie Mores (Edw. III.), the last Lord of Thornton, bore a pennon, with a red cross emblazoned in its chief corner; which not im- probably was adopted by him after his marriage with the first dau. and heir of Sir Wm. de Hellesby, the last Knt., a Crusader. But it would be interesting to learn what crest the Fitz-Alans, earls of Arundell, and Lords of the paramount Fee, or Honour, of Dunham, bore at this period—as a cluster of manors around Elton were feudally held of that Fee probably by some of the kinsmen of its paramount lord. Here, however, we conclude this part of our subject by a note on the verbal blazon of a heraldic animal with two distinct queux. The latter have long been confusingly described by the old Norman-French term, a queue fvurchie! This is. very indefinite, as it clearly implies a tail forked at the end, about the middle, or anywhere else you may imagine; whereas the rarer tails we refer to should properly, and, if you like, barbarously (as suiting the brute above) be described as as double-queued,' or twin-tailed,' since there is no ordinary fourchGe, but two distinct and separate tails, springing from one root, or joined in old-fashioned parlance, near the rump. Thirdly, at a much later date (early in the reign of Queen Anne) both the crest crosses (saltire and cross-proper), together with the lower quarters of the lion of this elder-surviving house, which was then very greatly decayed, were, for certain amatory and other reasons, discarded, through a marriage with a very handsome lady and small heiress who had become a Quakeress-the first heiress of the elder line of the Torbocks of Torbock (Tarbuck), co. Lancaster, an entail taking away to her uncle, or his son, estates in Torbock, Cronton, and Sutton. This decollation of the lion resulted in a lion's head and neck couped,' and was coupled with a new motto, Omnia vincit amor, in lieu of the old Norman-French motto, En Dieu est mon esperaunce Although probably some such differences in ancient crests are also to be found elsewhere, as well as some more absolute changes, and other variations, in the great field of Heraldry, yet the two or three-fold changes here attempted to be described are unique enough in the history of that science to form an apology for a subject not too widely understood. And, while we are about it, we may lengthen this paper with a reference to another and very cognate subject, of, perhaps, more general interest still, and still less understood-still less understood for, perhaps, nigh three cen- turies, if not quite four ?-at all events, since the days of the Commonwealth. Look through all the many emblazoned grants of arms' to the new professional, mercantile, and commercial men, progenitors of half the better half' of the now extinct, as well as the now living, peers, and other gentry, of Elizabethan and later coat-armour —those days of commercial coat armour —and we shall see something to illus- trate very forcibly this brief branch an interesting theme. I allude to the • Livery Colours' not only of these, but of those who were long anterior to that age, the glass of fashion and the mould of form '—the beimi- tated of the former-those whose nobility bad no beginning, but is now slowly ending, as though the new cloth had burst the old coats.' New men, new fashions. But old fashions did not die yesterday. They have been dying ever since the last battle of the Wars of the Roses —and of course always the more rapidly as one century came to an end after another. What, however, is to be particularly noticed, is that these old and new have died pretty closely to- gether-as though the new patch, having lost its grip on the old garment, perished for want of appreciation. One ruined the other and the whole field of cloth of gold,' by unseasonable, rowdy lives, in seasons' that effect no season- ing in politico-social London. The best, and at once the happiest, and gayest within a healthy gaiety, of all seasons' used to be in the country. But to our ancient mutton. For many generations, heralds and families alike seem, for reasons comprehensible enough, to have perfectly lost sight of the utter incongruity of most liveries with armorial bearings. Who, for example, in ancient times not the mere old times of Elizabeth-would ever have heard of a blue livery borne with a gold shield, with even azure charges; or a black livery with a silver shield; or, to outrage heraldry still more, a salmon livery with a green shield-to say nothing of mauve and magenta, and all the secondary and complimentary hues under the sun? The proper colours may now be guessed at by almost any one more than superficially conversant with heraldry and armour. And some years ago, when at Dublin Castle one day, on receiving the gift of a very interesting volume from the late Sir Bernard Burke, the writer took exception to some statement or other touching livery colours, and had occasion to direct Ulster's attention to the question; also to others which I have now forgotten, but laws equally unobserved since Grants of Arms' to the great new succession of commercial men that then-perhaps, fortunately for ancient wealth-began to arise from the genera- tions of the slums of London and large provincial towns in the reign of Elizabeth —through the abolition, an age or two before, of the ancient and once very necessary restric- tions of the guilds-mercatory, which insisted on certain proofs of descent as, till last century, in the case of the manufacture of baronets. Sir Bernard, with some surprise, however, at the novelty of the question, instantly gave to the views of the writer his very cordial concurrence. The indisputable proof in the present case is this, that no man-to be plain no military knight, baron or squire-would ever have thought of drawing over his armour a surcoat that was not the colour of his shield. Closely connected with this, moreover, comes the question of the ancient colours of the uniform of the military and civil retainers of the kings of England, who bore coat armour. At a date when a penny, from various market points, some five centuries since, was worth on an average, say 30 pence modern, we find in sundry Court Rolls of the kingdom, and of the Palatinates of Chester and Lancaster, regularly enrolled grants of the Kings and Palatines, chiefly to the younger issue (' issue,' in its less restricted, wider, and less popular sense) of the nobles and lesser gentry, of the Livery of the Crown, with 6d. a day for life,' as an 'Archer of the Crown,' or infantry soldier. The colour of that livery was clearly the livery colour of the 'Crown,' and that colour was always Red-a colour ever since armorials were known, borne by the Infantry soldier and the domestic servants high and low, of the Sovereign. Nor does it appear, so far as I happen to remember, ever to have been decreed a privileged colour of the Crown- though one can quite understand, with so many Roth Schilds, the necessity of a fast colour,' at the very least, for the Sovereign and all his liverymen and that an action should lie against everyone usurping this trade mark.' It is, however, I should suppose, no colour exclusively Royal' now, but equally the right of every family, at all events, bearing by long descent a shield gules. I may here add that the fee of the Archer in the days referred to would reach the value per day of about 15s. modern—a valuable consideration' which, at that time (and, inferentially, long before and after), shews the social, as well as the professional estate of the Archer-whom we are pleased to call yeoman' (implying the modern quality of the word)—though it should be noted that other Archers, who, as small, ordinary freeholders, and others copyhold tenants in fee, &c., of the lord, might even then, perhaps, well be termed Yeomen—whether gentlemen or those of still lesser rank, although even knights, though very rarely, are found to have been so written, as in the case, for instance, of Sir John (?) de la Bothe, Knt., lord of Barton-upon-Irwell. T. H. August 20,1897.


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