The Feudal Herald header

 

The FEUDAL HERALD

An Online Newsletter from The Baronage Press
featuring Heraldry and related subjects

Vol. 1, Nos. 11 and 12, December 1999

The Baronage Press Website
may be reached directly at
http://www.baronage.co.uk


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Copyright (c) 1999 by Pegasus Associates Ltd and The Baronage Press

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CONTENTS

* A Welcome and a Note on changes to the magazine
* The name is Bond, James Bond
* Abeyance
* A Claim from Portugal
* Buying titles? -- Another scam
* Buying titles? -- Try the Prime Minister
* A ghost story for Christmas
* Classical heraldry -- shaping the shield to the quarters
* Christmas with Dickens
* Looking Around: The Burlington Arcade
* Heirloom & Howard
* Pegasus Armorie
* Our Sponsors and Advertisers


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WELCOME

The primary purpose of this newsletter is to link regular Baronage readers to those articles in the magazine that might interest them, so in it you may find mention of the art, symbolism and meaning of heraldry, and, from time to time, of the history, politics, warfare, chivalry, books, cinema and other entertainment to which heraldry has thematic links.

The restructuring of the Baronage magazine's operation has again allowed the work on this newsletter to slip behind and we have once more, for the last time we hope, combined two issues into one. The next issue of the magazine, at the start of its fifth year of publication, will begin 2000 as a bimonthly (which our dictionary insists is once every two months, not twice a month). We shall continue with the procedure of uploading more material after one month has passed, and almost all the content of every issue will remain accessible in the archives. In 2001 we plan to increase the frequency of publication to become a monthly.
This last year has thrown constitutional issues into prominence, especially the political future of the British Parliament's upper chamber, the House of Lords, and the Australian referendum on the future of the monarchy. We shall examine the consequences of both in coming months, and shall confine our comments here only to noting the mean-spirited manner in which this major constitutional change in the United Kingdom was pushed through (and the nauseous gloating of its principal architect, Baroness Jay) and, in Australia, the disgraceful whingeing of the losers as they saw Aussie common sense shatter their republic dreams.

THE NAME IS BOND, JAMES BOND

Britain's most famous secret (really?) agent, as Ian Fleming's fans know well, is the son of an arms dealer, Andrew Bond, and his Swiss wife, Monique. Andrew came from the Highlands, near Glencoe, and his family motto was "The world is not enough" ~ which, curiously, is the title of the latest film about his son.

But who was Andrew's father? The existence of a motto in a Scots family argues the existence of a coat of arms, and arms, "ensigns of nobility", argue that the family is known ~ that it is, or has been, of some substance. But was the family originally Scots, or English, or Irish?

Martin Bond, representer of the Bonds of Creech Grange noticed the publicity on the new film and, equating its title to his own family motto ~ Non sufficit orbis ~ wrote to The Daily Telegraph to claim James Bond as a previously unregistered cadet. This then prompted the erudite editor of the NEW Burke's Peerage to answer with a counter proposal linking James Bond's probable ancestry to the Bonds of Peckham, a family believed now to have died out, and whose head was a baronet. He proposed that as the Peckham Bonds were Catholic and Jacobites, James Bond, the grandson of the 1st Baronet's second son, James, who is known to have married and to have left issue, could have fought for Prince Charles in the Rising of 1745, stayed in Scotland and left descendants there. (The use of an anglicised version of the Creech Grange Bonds' motto cannot ever be in itself conclusive, for many unrelated families share the same motto.)
However, this is not a new discussion. The Editor's distinguished predecessor, Harry Pirie-Gordon of Buthlaw, was a friend and colleague of James Bond's chronicler when they were in Naval Intelligence together 1939-45, and from some pencilled and near illegible notes he left it appears that Andrew Bond's arms, which his only son James inherited, were Argent on a chevron Sable three bezants and in dexter chief a crescent Gules all within a bordure compony Or and Azure (as illustrated on the right). Apart from the bordure, these are the arms of the Peckham Bonds.
arms of 007
Commander James Bond, RN
But the bordure signifies bastardy. We know that Miss Moneypenny was once overheard saying, "You are a real bastard, James" ~ with more than usual intensity, but Commander Bond's parents were married, and even if their marriage postdated his birth, in Scots law he is most certainly legitimate. We deduce therefore that the bastardy came in at some time between the Jacobite James's sons and the time of Andrew's parents. (That Miss Moneypenny was making a veiled hint at the bordure compony appears without doubt, for she is related, albeit distantly, to Monypenny of Pitmilly, and she would certainly be very knowledgeable in this subject.)
Monypenny of Pitmilly
Monypenny of Pitmilly
So where does that leave us and Martin Bond of Creech Grange?
The Creech Grange Bonds bear Argent on a chevron Sable three bezants, and the Peckham Bonds bore Argent on a chevron Sable three bezants and in dexter chief a crescent Gules. That red crescent, although definitely a charge and not a brisure for cadency, suggests the line of a second son that branched off from the main stem a long time ago. (If the branch-off had been in a more recent century, the crescent would have been much smaller and blazoned as being "for difference".)
Bond of Creech Grange
Bond of Creech Grange
Accordingly, on balance we believe that Martin Bond is justified in claiming kin with the celebrated secret agent, but we suspect that the link he seeks is at a time before the present history of his family begins, perhaps while it was still based in the West of England, in Cornwall.

The name of Bond, incidentally, is derived from both Old Norse and Old Danish, but in Cornwall the link is with the Norsemen, the Vikings, whose violence was not entirely dissimilar to that of Commander Bond.

Bond of Peckham
Bond of Peckham


ABEYANCE

As regular readers are aware, we receive many letters asking for advice on the acquisition of titles by purchase or inheritance. It sometimes seems that everyone wants a title (but that is a gross exaggeration, of course). We do our best, yet almost always we find that we dissuade the former and disappoint the latter, and in respect of the latter we feel it could be useful to make a few comments on the subject of abeyance (and thus perhaps to reduce the number of unhappy enquirers).

What follows concerns the Peerage of England. Scotland has different laws.

Peerage titles could be created by tenure (in very early days), by Writ of Summons (from early days until Tudor times), and finally by Letters Patent. Much of the law governing the titles created by Writ of Summons did not exist at the time those Writs were issued, and came into existence a few centuries later when it was deemed to have existed from the early days. (To be blunt about this, and to help newcomers understand, we can say that Edward I certainly did not believe he was creating a peer every time he summoned a man to Parliament for the first time. He would have been most surprised to learn that hundreds of years later this would be the decision, and doubtless he would have been most disappointed that he would not be around to lop off a few heads.)
When a peer was created by Letters Patent, the "destination" or "remainder" was set down. Usually this was to heirs male of the body of the Grantee, but there were many exceptions. However, peerage titles said to have been created by Writ of Summons had a remainder to heirs general, which means that in the absence of a son a daughter could inherit. In Scotland it is the eldest daughter who, in the absence of a brother, inherits a peerage title remaindered to heirs general, but in England the inheritance was divided equally between daughters and the title held in abeyance until the Monarch should decide which of the coheirs' descendants should inherit it.
The procedure worked reasonably well at first, but later it was abused with petitions for baronies to be called out of abeyance after they had been ignored for many centuries. Eventually, some were called out of abeyance that most probably had never existed. To end the abuse it was decided this century that no barony could be called out of abeyance that had been in abeyance for more than a century before the date of the petition.

That is the point we wish to emphasise. If a barony has been in abeyance for more than a century it is now effectively extinct. So please do not write to us to ask our help with the petition.

Is this really important? Well, here is a case that might answer that question.

Jason Simmons <republican21@yahoo.com> wrote us 15 letters about his claims to the baronies of Bohun, Boteler, Bourchier, Butler, Caher, and Ferrers (and to the earldom of Ormonde), and told us we were wrong to advise him of the 100-year limitation. He asked what our fees were for peerage actions and, while trying to persuade him that he was almost certainly wasting his money (among other items he claimed direct descent from Elizabeth I, "the Virgin Queen"), we told him. This was our eleventh letter to him, and we hoped that the hourly fee of 95 pounds sterling would quickly end the correspondence.

Here is his reply (his 16th letter) ~

Dear Mrs. Forbes:

I am sorry to disappoint you, but I will not be paying you for FREE services rendered. I am not legally obligated to pay you nor the "Baronage" for services rendered as you willingly gave me the information. It is unfortunate that some British people do not have the class nor the sophistication that we, Americans, maintain and uphold. Personally, I am well-bred with (1) proper etiquette, (2) sophistication, and (3) class. Your lack of maturity and sophistication is shocking to say the very least and I emphasize the VERY LEAST. Your parents must be awfully ashamed of having raised a daughter, who shall I say, was more or less, raised in a barn? I pity people of your low caliber as you have no proper etiquette nor do you have class.

In essence, please have a wonderful weekend and I hope the doctor will be able to remove that stick from your behind.

Sincerely,
Jason Simmons, Esquire

We suspect his claim to be a sophisticated, well-bred American has as much justification as his claim to a descent from England's Virgin Queen.



A CLAIM FROM PORTUGAL

An interesting variation of the search for distinguished ancestry has emerged from Portugal in the shape of a claim by Francisco Manoel, a 43-year-old antique furniture restorer in Lisbon, that he is the great-grandson of Princess Alexandrina Victoria's illegitimate son (born when the future Queen Victoria was 15 and the alleged father, the Duke of Wellington, was 64).

The full story is told in "The British Crown's Great Secret", a 400-page book written in Portuguese and fractured English and published in Lisbon.

The author has used circumstantial evidence to advance a case which does persuade an open mind to accept that something bizarre might be hidden in Victoria's early life, but that oddity, if it did exist, would not necessarily involve Wellington directly. He had been Prime Minister recently and was soon to be Prime Minister again, so, if the story is true, his alleged assistance in the smuggling of the little boy to Portugal would not necessarily be owed to his fatherhood of the child.
The author is attempting to arrange DNA tests on the bodies of Victoria's known descendants, and has on his website published photographs that, we must admit, do hint at the possibility of an unknown blood connection (not necessarily the one claimed) between Victoria's family and his. The photograph of the author's mother, Olga Maria, claimed as second cousin to H.M. Queen Elizabeth II, has been found persuasive by some. Royal smile ?
Have you seen this smile before?

BUYING TITLES ~ ANOTHER SCAM

We have been invited to make ourselves rich by selling "English Feudal Titles" to "ordinary people across the globe" so that they may "join that privileged elite - those with a title".

This is the pitch ~

If you were Joe Field, through our legal Land Transfer system we can make you Lord Joe Field of Westminster ... or any other title you may desire such as Baron, Count, Sir, Tsar, Prince or any other title from any other country. It's a legal process based here in the UK and operated through HER MAJESTY'S LAND REGISTRY OFFICE which is the legal office to process all land transactions through.

The documents issued by this office enable you to get your passport, driving licence, bank books and credit cards changed LEGALLY in any country in the world as they are OFFICIAL BRITISH GOVERNMENT DOCUMENTS ISSUED BY HER MAJESTY'S GOVERNMENT.

We do have some international resellers at present and we make no rules about how much you sell the product for - 1 guy in the USA Sells at over $2,000 a time and is doing 3 - 5 a week!

The pitch is signed by "Rt Hon Lord St.Clair of Huntingdon" ~ who, of course, is not a Lord, nor a Rt Hon, nor "St Clair of Huntingdon" (He claims to be selling English feudal titles, but the prefix "Rt Hon" belongs only to peerage titles and to members of the Privy Council.)

"Lord Joe Field", his example, has neither a feudal title nor a peerage title. If he existed he would be the younger son of a duke or marquess. He would not be a peer (and if he did have a feudal title also, he would not use it for anything other than the administration of the land on which it was based).

The scam is based on the sale of a small piece of land for which the documentation records the name of the buyer as it is agreed by the buyer and seller. The land registry office records the transaction and then the certificate is sold to the punter with the assurance that its issue has made him a lord or a prince or whatever title he has requested.

Obviously, it has made him nothing other than a dupe.


BUYING TITLES? ~ TRY THE PRIME MINISTER

Any reader who is really serious about acquiring a genuine title should look to the British Prime Minister, Mr Blair. During her term of office, Mrs Thatcher created 200 peers in eleven years. Mr Blair, in only two and a half years, has already created 170 and intends to create another 50 soon. (Now that he has banned almost all the hereditary peers from the House of Lords, he has plenty of room for their replacements.) Mrs Thatcher's life peers were created for political reasons, but Mr Blair's ........?

The Labour Party, in common with all political parties, needs money. The chairman of Northern Foods, now Lord Haskins, provided 49,000 pounds. A film producer, now Lord Puttnam, gave 25.000 pounds. A writer of detective stories, now Baroness Rendell, gave 10,000 pounds, and a book publisher, now Lord Evans, claims he gave only 5,000 pounds It is not always so cheap. A music publisher, now Lord Levy, arranged for friends to donate around 7 million pounds for Mr Blair's private office fund. A supermarket chief, now Lord Sainsbury of Turville, gave around 3 million pounds. (The list goes on and on and on and on .......)
A fast route to the peerage thus seems to be an application to join the Labour Party, accession to the 1000 Club (the association of regular cash donors whose membership appears to cynics to be the waiting list for future peers), and then a substantial donation to achieve prominence.

Of course, anyone who calls attention to the 1925 Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act is obviously a troublemaker who should be ignored. (Under this Act, any person who offers to procure an honour for money paid or for some other valuable consideration is guilty of a misdemeanour. So also is anyone who, yielding to the temptation, gives money for the honour. Anyone found guilty under this Act is liable to imprisonment.)


A GHOST STORY FOR CHRISTMAS

Christmas entertainment in the 19th century was homegrown, and all the family were expected to contribute. At the gathering at Aboyne Castle in 1893 the Marquess of Huntly's younger brother recited the poem he had just written about the Legend of Birse. We felt it worth preservation and a wider audience, not because of any great literary merit, but because the author well caught the flavour of Highland folklore, and because some of its lines are truly memorable. We have illustrated the poem with the arms of some of the principal characters associated with it.


CLASSICAL HERALDRY

The fourth article in this series continues an examination of the shape of the shield and considers the requirements of increasing numbers of quarters. Illustrations of a lady's lozenge and of a cartouche are included also.


CHRISTMAS WITH DICKENS

"I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year," said the man usually credited with its invention ~ Charles Dickens. The Culinary Arts column has chosen to stay with him for a second article, this time with the menu for his Christmas Party at the end of 1843, the year in which he wrote A CHRISTMAS CAROL.



LOOKING AROUND: The Burlington Arcade

From time to time the magazine features articles on shopping areas of genuine historical interest to ancestor hunting tourists in the British Isles. One such is the famous Burlington Arcade.

New readers may wish to know that the St Petersburg Collection, featuring the elegant artistry of Theo Fabergé, grandson of the eminent Carl Fabergé, the Court Jeweller to the last Tsar, may be seen at no. 42.


HEIRLOOM & HOWARD

A few of those who respond to our invitation to read the Heirloom & Howard catalogues forget to add their postal address, thinking perhaps that these are online catalogues, but they are printed catalogues with illustrations of armorial porcelain and heraldic antiques shown in full colour in the traditional way.

In addition to their stock of porcelain and antiques, identified and connected to the families that once owned these rare items, Heirloom & Howard have a fine collection of prints featuring old houses and castles and the ancestors (your ancestors ?) who once lived in them. Enquiries are welcomed.


PEGASUS ARMORIE

We continue to receive a large number of letters beginning "Please send me a picture of my coat of arms." These show the widespread influence of the bucketshop heralds who have seemingly persuaded thousands of punters that coats of arms belong to family names.

Pegasus will supply pictures of arms we are willing to certify as having been borne by named individuals (and those individuals are named on the picture), but Pegasus Armorie is not in the fraudulent business of supplying "arms for names" with the implication that the arms supplied may be lawfully used by the buyer as his or her own arms.

However, there is undoubtedly a market demand for armorial display. The colours and shapes of heraldry have been so long in our history that they are sunk deeply into our subconscious minds. We respond accordingly to their beauty.

And so Pegasus has begun to produce a series of illustrations that will be suitable for framing and hanging on the walls of bedrooms, halls, studies, libraries, etc. Initially these will be appropriate for Scottish names, and in each case they will feature the badge of the clansmen of that name surrounded by the arms of the families whose daughters have been the ancestors of the present chief of the name.

Additionally, Pegasus Armorie is to work with the Baronage Press to establish an online Register of Scottish Clans. Members of Clans who request that their name be recorded and pay the artists' fees will receive a high resolution printed certificate embossed with the seal of The British Baronage. An example of one of these has been uploaded (but it is a large picture and may need a minute to download). It illustrates the crest badge of Clan Stewart set against the scenery near the old Stewart Castle of Gloume. The cloth inside the strap and buckle and behind the crest is an old Stewart tartan. (The picture downloaded will be, of course, at low resolution, and unsuitable for printing.)


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