The Feudal Herald header



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

Vol. 2, No. 7, July 2000

The Baronage Press Website
may be reached directly at


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

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* A Welcome and an Explanation
* Estoile's scrapbook
* The Escallop in Prince William's Arms
* More Clan Badges
* The Stewarts of Ardgowan
* Arms from the Classical Period
* Chivalry in the 20th Century
* Arms of Stewart Cadets
* Russia's Egalitarian Society ~ a sequel
* Lords of the Manor
* Wine in six-packs
* Subscription


The purpose of this newsletter is to link regular BARONAGE readers to those articles in the magazine that might interest them, so in it you should 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.

However, this newsletter has acquired another purpose. As a result of our exposures of those merchants who use the Internet to sell bogus titles, fraudulent family histories and coats of arms, the ISPs we use have been threatened with writs and, although they have informally recognised that these are empty threats, they have asked us to help them avoid the waste of valuable executive time by removing the actual names of the scam merchants from the text of our reports. Until we can find a solution to this censorship, this newsletter in its e-mail version will be our sole resource for the publication of the guilty names.
In response to the many letters we have received asking us to make recommendations on which Internet merchants may be trusted to sell genuine titles, we have decided from September onwards to publish a list of those we can recommend unconditionally. At present there are no names on this list, no names at all.
The September-October issue of Baronage will additionally have a report on another scam merchant not yet featured.
(The vacation period being upon us, the content of this issue of the newsletter is drawn from a miscellany of contributions and has no unifying theme. Next time better!!!)


Readers have asked that this newsletter should become more than a reminder to look at the magazine. (Well, in a way it is, for one of its secondary purposes is to remind readers that if we are to expand as we hope, with the magazine as a monthly publication, we must expand the readership, and to expand the readership we need our readers to recruit others by forwarding THE FEUDAL HERALD to their friends.)

Anyway, to develop the newsletter with its own regular features we are starting with a monthly contribution from Estoile Pursuivant, a herald in the retinue (today, I suppose, we say "in-house") of a practically unknown Scottish nobleman of a very retiring disposition. He has suggested that he write of the romantic souvenirs and strange conceits to be found in some of the more intriguing arms. His text will appear in the e-mailed newsletter, but, of course, readers will have to look at the online version to see the accompanying illustrations.
A first page from Estoile's Scrapbook

( A fanfare of trumpets )

Gentle readers --- Students of classical heraldry shudder away from the excesses and absurdities of the decadent years of Tudor and Jacobean heraldry. One of the more risible manifestations that followed this period was the introduction of landscapes, Cameron of Fassifern, for example, bearing "on a chief embattled a view of a fortified town with the word Acre thereunder", and Lord Nelson being granted "a chief undulated argent, thereon waves of the sea and issuant therefrom a palm-tree between a disabled ship on the dexter and a ruinous battery on the sinister, all proper".
It is difficult to imagine two knights seriously conferring, as they squint at the shield of the unidentified friend or foe galloping towards them ~ "It must be Acre: he's one of ours." and "No, it's the Nile: he's one of theirs." The prime function of heraldry is identification, and any development that reduces accurate identification is unwanted.
It is July and once again midsummer is with us. To the English that immediately calls to mind the celebrations of the solstice at Stonehenge, the prehistoric monument of tall sarsen stones capped with sarsen lintels now annually visited by imitation Druids conducting fantasy rites in honour of the sun. And to heralds it recalls the arms of Sir Cecil Chubb, the baronet who owned Stonehenge and gifted it to the nation.
Landscape heraldry is an abomination, but the College of Arms, seeking to commemorate Chubb's generosity, did devise a picturesque rendition of Stonehenge in classical heraldic tradition. His new arms were blazoned ~ "per fess Azure and Vert two pales surmounted of a chief couped Argent" and caught exactly, against the grass and sky, one of the triliths forming the stone circle.


The British newspapers decided that Prince William's new arms had the makings of a great story, primarily because (it was said) he had insisted on commemorating his mother in them. Lady Diana's arms contained three silver escallops, and one red escallop had been chosen as the distinguishing feature on Prince William's label. The label itself being repeated on his two supporters and his crest meant that the tiny red escallop appeared four times on the complete achievement, a large number that appeared to excite the journalists, most of whom wrongly reported that there were four escallops on his "coat of arms".

Students of heraldry will have smiled at the ironic choice of the escallop, for this is the only charge in the Spencer arms that may be claimed as truly theirs. The story of the origins of the Spencer arms may be read in Mists of Antiquity, to which there is a link from this month's article illustrating the new arms and the red escallop.


To continue our aim of publishing authentic illustrations of all the clan badges, we include another ten in the current issue of the magazine.

An American company has been licensed to manufacture the badges on tartan scarves and on other items of clothing. Details of their availability will be published next month.


Although BookPost praised the new Burke's Peerage & Baronetage, we had to recognise that it really is quite impossible to publish such a huge accumulation of genealogical and heraldic data without errors and omissions. Accordingly we undertook to include on these pages, from time to time, amendments that could be incorporated in future editions.

The spread of Stewart blood into almost every Scottish family has made the early years of the Stewarts of interest to almost every family historian. We are thus grateful to accept from Jared Olar, a Stewart on his mother's side, a substantial contribution on the missing generations in the Burke's account of the Stewarts of Ardgowan, Blackhall and Auchingoun.


To illustrate the elegance of classical heraldry we have cbosen to reproduce a series of illustrations prepared by Graham Johnston at the Court of the Lord Lyon a hundred years ago. They are the arms of knights from the 13th and 14th centuries, and they will act as a reference for readers seeking authentic representations of the armorial ensigns of the principal English and Scottish knights of that period.


The publication of the fighter pilot's report earlier this year produced approving letters and prompted us to publish another rare account (very rare, a genuine scoop) of modern combat. This is the story of a freelance (an appropriately ancient term !) cameraman who wandered the Gulf War battlefield in disguise and captured unrivalled footage of what Saddam Hussein called "the Mother of all Battles".


No two men in the same nation should bear the same arms. If that is permitted, then heraldry as a system of identification fails. Accordingly, from the earliest days differencing existed to ensure that while similarity of arms could signify family membership and marital alliances, regulated dissimilarities would ensure that all arms were unique.

To accompany forthcoming articles in the Journalists' and Authors' Guide to Heraldry and Titles on this subject, we have published this month a collection of the arms of twenty Stewart cadets to illustrate various methods of differencing.


Last month we reported that Anna Provorova, a schoolgirl 17 years old, had been punished for writing to President Putin a letter in which the greeting "Esteemed Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin!" had omitted the exclamation mark, and in which she had failed to use a capital letter to begin the word "you". Her punishment was to have her examination results downgraded to prevent her winning her place at medical school.

However, the Moscow State University of Economics, Statistics and Information Science has now offered to enroll her and to waive all its fees, and, better .......
The four-page diktat of the local education authorities that revised her results downwards has itself been subjected to a detailed analysis. In it the chief sub-editor of a local newspaper discovered 33 spelling mistakes, 97 punctuation errors and two stylistic solecisms.


We continue to receive complaints about the activities of ***** ****** Ltd and its various agents. The latest tells us of the offer of one of the registered trademark "titles", supposedly of a "Lord of the Manor", for a price of £6,000.

(New readers should note that as "titles of nobility", which is how they are described, these "titles" are worthless. Moreover, even if they were genuine manorial titles, they would not confer nobility, nor would they, as advertised, qualify their owners to style themselves "Lord" and "Lady".)
The name of Noble Titles (apparently unlimited), which is used by one of the agents, appears to have been taken by another operation, one that advertises from a different URL the Scottish title of Laird. In common with the other Noble Titles operation it is written in illiterate style with poor punctuation and appalling grammar (sufficient, one would suppose, to ensure that any intending purchaser would keep well away).
And the content .......! Look at this ~

An English Manorial title may only be held by one person, but the Scottish title can be shared by all the landowners of the relevant titled piece of land. We can therefore sell you a piece of the land, either one square foot or one square inch in size, and you will become part of the Scottish Landed Gentry.

That needs no comment. However, look at this ~

If your name is John Smith, your full title would be "John Smith, Laird of Camster". This is generally shortened to "Smith of Camster" or simply "Laird of Camster". You can also elect to call yourself "John Smith of that Ilk".

"Ilk" means "same". A Chief of the Name, for example Menzies of Menzies, could choose to be known as Menzies of that Ilk. In the example this ignorant merchant offers, "John Smith of that Ilk", that John Smith would have had to be recognised by the Lord Lyon as Chief of the Name of Smith. Only he would then have borne the undifferenced arms of Smith, and no one else would be known as Smith of that Ilk.

We shall take a closer look at this website in a future issue of the magazine.


A French correspondent has forwarded to us a photograph of a can of "French Red Wine" (no other reference to its origin) labelled with an unidentifiable armorial achievement. Naturally, it is not produced by a French company. Our correspondent unkindly thought it might be American, but it is in fact English.

We cannot believe that any French nobleman would allow his arms to embellish a can of wine, but then neither can we believe that there are people who would drink canned wine, or who would drink wine labelled with nothing more specific than the loose adjective "French".


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The Feudal Herald Vol. 2, No. 6
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