The Feudal Herald header



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

Vol. II, No. 1, January 2000

The Baronage Press Website
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Copyright (c) 2000 by Pegasus Associates Ltd and The Baronage Press

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* A Welcome and a Note on History and Charlemagne
* Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
* A Royal Wedding
* Mohamed Fayed, owner of Harrods
* More Fake Arms for Sale
* Stewart of Horn Head
* Arms of the Andersons
* A Splendid Monograph
* William Hogarth
* The Wages of Sin
* Curiosity Corner
* Robert Burns
* March
* Burlington Arcade
* Heirloom & Howard
* Pegasus Armorie
* Our Sponsors and Advertisers


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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. As explained in our previous issue, this newsletter will remain a monthly publication, but the Baronage magazine will in future be published six times annually instead of four times.

Most of our readers, even if not working on their own family histories, are certainly taking pleasure in what they unearth about the past, and enjoying quiet satisfaction in what from this they can deduce about the present. One of the greatest of their 20th century colleagues, George Macaulay Trevelyan, the eminent British historian, described his own feelings thus ~
I take delight in history, even its most prosaic details, because they become poetical as they recede into the past. The poetry of history lies in the quasi-miraculous fact that once, on this earth, once, on this familiar spot of ground, walked other men and women, as actual as we are today, thinking their own thoughts, swayed by their own passions, but now all gone, one generation vanishing after another, gone as utterly as we ourselves shall shortly be gone, like a ghost at cockcrow. This is the most familiar and certain fact about life, but it is also the most poetical, and the knowledge of it has never ceased to entrance me, and to throw a halo of poetry around the dustiest record .......
"....... the dustiest record ....... !" There is a statistical probability that anyone of European descent has Charlemagne among his ancestors of 1200 years ago, and although for most it is not possible to prove, the interest in him remains strong. This year is the one thousandth anniversary of the opening of his tomb at Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle) by the Emperor Otto I, and the account of this, as related by Count Otto of Lomello, is one of those dusty records Trevelyan saw as haloed with poetry.
We entered in unto Charles. He was not lying down, as is the manner with the bodies of other dead men, but was sitting as though he were alive, on a chair. He was crowned wth a golden crown and held a sceptre in his hands, the same being covered with gloves, through which the nails had grown. And above and around him was a tabernacle of brass and marble. Now when we were come into the tomb, we broke this down to make an opening in it. And when we entered in, we were assailed by a pungent smell. And so we sank upon our bended knees, before him; and straightway Otto the emperor clad him in white raiment, and cut his nails, and made good all that was lacking about him. But no part of his body had corrupted or fallen away, except a little piece of the end of his nose, which the Emperor caused at once to be restored with gold; and he took from his mouth one tooth, and built up the tabernacle again, and departed.

One thousand years ago !


Five hundred years ago was born in Ghent (in what is now Belgium), on 24 February, a descendant of Charlemagne, Charles, who became Prince of the Netherlands in 1515, King of Spain in 1516, Archduke of Austria in 1519, and then Holy Roman Emperor later that same year. He was the most powerful man in Europe and before he abdicated in 1555 he ruled also over American territories stretching from California in the north to Chile in the south, an empire that included all Central America and most of the Caribbean islands plus Venezuela, Columbia, Equador, Peru, Bolivia and Northern Argentina.
The European empire of Charles V, 1555
At the end of this month, in his birthplace, there will end a memorable exhibition of his life and times to which many of Europe's foremost museums have contributed treasures never before seen together. (Artists include Dürer, Holbein and Titian; the sculptures are magnificent; heraldry gleams from ancient parchment.) But the exhibition leaves Ghent to go to Bonn (25 February to 21 May), to Vienna (16 June to 10 September), and to Toledo (1 October to 7 January).

Anyone planning to visit continental Europe this year should place those dates in a diary now.


Belgium has been in the news also for another royal event, the wedding of the next king, Philip, to Mathilde d'Udekem d'Acoz, a long-legged, graceful girl with a charming smile. It is worth noting that the courtship lasted almost three years, that the villagers around her father's chateau knew of the romance, and that if any of them reported it to the press (which we are told no one did), the news editors chose not to reveal it.

In the Baronage magazine this month we produce the recent generations of her family tree and a picture of her father's arms ~ Sable three mallets Or.


One look at Princess Mathilde, blonde and slim, tall and athletic, inevitably reminds the viewer of the princess who died so tragically two and a half years ago. She has been in the news again, this time because the owner of the car in which she died, the employer of its irresponsible driver, and the father of the man who died with her, Mohamed Fayed, has accused HRH Prince Philip of her murder. As he did so from the privileged protection of the witness box in a libel action (wholly unrelated to the accident), he escapes the consequences he deserves, but in the magazine we report another dispute, over his use of arms to which he is not entitled, from whose resolution he could not escape.


We have been notified of another Web merchant selling "Coats of Arms" and "Distinguished Histories of Your Names", Swyrich. In the magazine we take a quick look at its artwork.


We received an interesting query from a reader who has pursued one ancestral line back to Charles Stewart, a supporter of William III (King Billy) in the Irish wars who subsequently bought the estate of Horn Head and became High Sheriff of Donegal. Captain Stewart's arms featured a mullet (presumably "for difference" although not so described in the blazon) and the enquirer hoped that this would be a clue to Captain Stewart's place within the d'Aubigny family to which the arms proclaimed he belonged. It ought to be a clue, but as, unfortunately, there is some doubt as to the correct position of the mullet, its interpretation is also in doubt. In the magazine we present the facts in case any readers can help with suggestions.


Another reader asked ~

I am curious to know if a Scottish coat of arms or family crest for Anderson exists, and, if so, which branch of the Andersons possesses it.

In the 1861 census, Anderson was the ninth most commonly used surname in Scotland, so this seemed worth answering in detail, especially as arms have been granted to Anderson of that Ilk even though no chief of this large clan has ever been identified.


The Fitch family of Essex (various spellings including Fecche and Fytche) held at different times several estates in that county, among them Little Canfield, Wicken Bonhunt, Woodham Walter, Hudsell, Ramsden and Danbury, and today its descendants flourish in North America. Among these is John T. Fitch who has kindly sent us a copy of his monograph on William Fytche of Little Canfield and his Descendants, a publication worth examination for two reasons. First, it is a splendid demonstration of the use of heraldic enquiry to pursue genealogical data. Second, it is a praiseworthy example of the careful listing and cross-referencing of supporting data.

To illustrate the second of these two reasons we have published the text of the opening pages in the magazine.


Another fine example of modern research method is the new Hogarth website created first by Catharina Hogarth in Canada and then developed and now managed by Roderick Hogarth in England. This works on the principle that family history is a jigsaw puzzle of which everyone has a few pieces that, if assembled in one place together with all others, would present a complete genealogical picture. This idea should work rather better with the Hogarths, who may have a common root, than with other names which combine a variety of beginnings, so we shall look forward to watching its progress.
One immediate task, in which the Baronage researchers hope to assist, is the identification of the ancestry of William Hogarth, the eminent artist. He has long been held to be English, on the basis that his father, Richard, is believed to have come to London from Troutbeck in Cumberland, but there are letters extant that refer to his cousins in Berwickshire. Certainly, London in the mid-eighteenth century, fearful of the Jacobites, was no place to advertise one's Scottish roots, and many Scots living in the south at that time passed themselves off as English. Perhaps William Hogarth was one of these. The lineage of the Berwickshire Hogarths is published in the magazine.


The past has many scandalous secrets of which historians know, and sometimes savour, but which they keep to themselves, almost as if they were guarding the mysteries of a freemasonry. A name will emerge in general conversation, perhaps two or three historians present will exchange a smile, but nothing is said and the gossip then moves onto other matters. In the magazine, BookPost reviews a new book on the Castlehaven orgies, only the second ever written on a scandal for which the Earl lost his head to the axe and the State archives won a graphic and unhaloed account for its dustiest bookshelves.
Also reviewed is the latest account of the Spencer family, written by Charles, the 9th Earl, brother of Diana, Princess of Wales. Regrettably, his book seeks to perpetuate the legend whose false origins were described on the Baronage website three years ago, and thus, even more regrettably, invites its readers to suspect the author's integrity in other matters.


The Baronage site's bestiary this month discusses the Raven (which heraldry does not distinguish from the Rook and Crow) and looks also at that rarer member of the crow family, the Cornish Chough, which for the heralds is a raven with red legs and beak.


A website to be launched on Jan 25 - Burns Night - will help poetry lovers worldwide understand the works of Robert Burns. The site ~ ~

will include a glossary of 2,000 Scots words translated into English, French, German and Spanish, plus 560 of his songs and poems.

Dr Nick Fiddes, director of Scotweb, which created the site, said: "Translating key Scots words enhances the understanding and therefore the enjoyment of Burns. Using the Internet ensures Robert Burns accompanies us well into the 21st century."

New readers may wish to know that a few months ago we quoted Rab's views on the value of the Union of Scotland and England.


Articles scheduled for the March-April issue of Baronage include the final instalment of the series on the Blue Lion of the Bruce family, the latest information on the "English Feudal Titles" scam, a new and surprising perspective on modern chivalry, an insight into the rewriting of history to make it Politically Correct, and a Classical Art article that returns to the theme of black and white heraldry with a first look at the art of engraved bookplates. It is possible that one or two of these may be brought forward to be published in February, added as a supplement to the current issue in the hope that some readers may be encouraged to return and to browse among old articles they missed when first published (for which the mini-index is a guide). Baronage is now to be published six times a year with supplementary articles occasionally added during the intervening months.

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.


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.


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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The Feudal Herald Vol. 1, No.12
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