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The FEUDAL HERALD

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

Vol. 2, No. 10, October 2000

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


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

Information on subscription is given at the foot of this newsletter.
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CONTENTS

* A Welcome and an Explanation
* Gary, "Baron of Richecourt"
* The Oriflamme
* Red Hair and the Scots
* The Crusades
* Tinned Wine ~ a sequel
* Estoile's scrapbook
* Regency ~ available now
* Subscription

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A WELCOME AND AN EXPLANATION

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.

Now why, the question is doubtless asked by many readers, is this October newsletter appearing so late? And what happened to the special issue announced as being replanned for October which has still not appeared? Has Baronage run into yet more censorship? And the answer is that, yes, we did. We were offline again for the better part of a week and, again, we lost some e-mail while the problems persisted. We apologise to correspondents who did not receive the replies they expected.
However, we may now, having reviewed our policies, have arrived at a solution to the problems caused by these interruptions. We shall continue to expose the scam merchants, but in the magazine only in general terms -- which is to say that we shall explain the ways in which the scams are organised and how they may be recognised, but we shall publish their names only in the newsletters. The archived copies of the newsletters that may be read as web pages will have the names replaced by asterisks. This will keep the ISP happy and should assure our non-interrupted service in the future.
As a consequence of the disruption and the redirection of staff to other duties, especially in respect of extended discussions with our legal advisers, in addition to the delay in the preparation of this newsletter and its forthcoming special edition three articles have slipped back on the schedule. One of these is the last of the series on the Bruce family, about which many readers have written to urge completion, but there was an additional delay with this while we tried to elucidate some new clues that might have linked the early generations to Bruges. (The similarity of the name is not relevant.) We hope to complete the article this month.
The special issue of this newsletter intended to inform readers of the expansion plans will be published within a week or so.

GARY, "BARON OF RICHECOURT"

We wrote about the extraordinary case of "The Most Noble Order of the Sword" and its founder, "the Baron of Richecourt", in our last issue. We described how ~

Our censorship problems started in a bizarre way. We received two threatening letters accusing us of planning to publish slanderous material about a website of which we knew practically nothing. The Editor visited the website, found that it had published a grossly inaccurate history of the Lords of the Isle of Wight (containing 17 major errors in its first few lines), and wrote an article that corrected these in detail.

Among the consequences was a long stream of threats that persuaded our ISP to take the magazine offline. Similar threats poured into the office here, to which the Editor responded with firm promises to do everything possible to help the complainant bring the matter to court. Maximum publicity, the Editor suggested, would be in the public interest. A law suit would be welcome. Unfortunately, when the Editor arranged his schedule in London specifically to permit the threatened writ to be served on him at a time and place convenient to "the Baron of Richecourt" (the carpark of the House of Lords at 2.30 p.m. on Monday, 30th October), no one appeared.
What happened instead was the arrival of a continuous stream of e-mails threatening exposure of the Editor as a criminal, heavily in debt, who is banned from being a director of a company for a period of ten years and is thus managing The Baronage Press illegally. He has also, these e-mails alleged, been using false identity papers to evade detection, and has been hiding behind a long list of "dead letter postboxes" and "off-the-shelf" foreign companies.
And now the latest development has been the launch of a website to publicise these fantasies on the Internet.

Here is a quote from an e-mail to illustrate the style ~

You are a liar on the internet and you are a liar in life ..... now I have made it my goal to bring you to justice and do all in my powers to expose you for what you are ..... I will never disappear ..... you have selected the wrong nobleman to take a cheap shot at.

(The spaces indicated by the dots are as in the original.)

There is a delectable irony in the phrase "the wrong nobleman", and additionally so because Gary M. Beaver, the Editor's correspondent, passing himself off variously as "Baron Richecourt", "Lord Newport", "Lord Beaver of Newport", "Lord Beaver, Baron of Richecourt,", "The Most Honourable Lord Chevalier Gary M. Beaver of Richecourt", etc., is none of these. Despite having persuaded the British Computer Society to register his membership as Lord Gary Beaver of Newport, he is untitled. The Richecourt barony was recently on the market, but unless he is willing to pay its price he will not acquire the document he needs to prove it is his. The "Newport" title is based on a bogus manorial lordship (and belongs to a genuine Lord Newport, the eldest son of the Earl of Bradford). The rank of Chevalier is based on his position as a Knight of the Grand Collar in the mickey mouse "order" he created three months ago (and described as "one of the most prestigious orders in the world", seemingly unaware that "prestigious" means "deceitful").
Mr Beaver, still posing as "Baron Richecourt" founded a new company last month - The Supreme Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem Limited. Readers offered a "knighthood" in this are invited to write to the Editor to relate their experiences.

THE ORIFLAMME

A reader wrote to complain that we had allowed Alexander Nisbet's incorrect description of the Oriflamme (quoted in the article on the origins of the fleur-de-lys) to be printed without correction. We apologised. We had allowed a paragraph to disappear during the layout process and and not noticed its absence while proofing. To compensate we have added a page on the Royal Flags of France and linked it to where the original correction ought to have appeared.



RED HAIR AND THE SCOTS

Novelists (although not necessarily the really good ones) passed through a period in which their Scotsmen, if they had any in their stories, tended to be red-haired. (And, because poor novelists tend to write about stereotypes, such red-haired Scotsmen tended to have fiery tempers.) In consequence, for a century or so many English-speaking readers grew up to believe that most Scots had red hair and volatile natures. True? Can genealogy support this?

Professor Jonathon Rees has just published his research in this subject. To have a child with red hair, he says, both parents must carry the redheaded gene whatever the colour of their own hair, and although only around ten per cent of the Scottish population have red hair, an additional forty percent do carry the gene and are thus capable of sustaining it as a national characteristic. (Red hair among the English is less than five per cent -- and is owed in many cases to one or more lines of forgotten Scottish ancestry.)
What will interest most genealogists are the Professor's views on what has perpetuated the survival of red hair. Throughout history, he says, red hair has been a beauty trait. This may be seen in the disproportionate numbers of red-haired models painted by artists of the Renaissance and pre-Raphaelite periods, and by the high prices charged for redheaded slaves in Norman times. Both sexes, he says, find red-haired partners more attractive, and perhaps especially the pale skin they tend to have, so natural selection has worked in favour of the continuation of the redheaded gene despite it being in a minority in the British Isles as a whole.

(We asked our grey-haired Editor for his views on this, but he declined to answer.)


THE CRUSADES

"Sir Steven Runciman," said The Daily Telegraph, "has died aged 97. He was the pre-eminent historian of the Byzantine Empire and of the Crusades; he was also a celebrated aesthete, gentleman scholar and repository of the civilised values of Edwardian times."

His magnum opus, the three-volume "A History of the Crusades", was written as much for the general reader as for his fellow academics. He had a lucid style that made his work extremely popular with his wider public, and that popularity opened a wider understanding both of a period badly taught in British schools, and of political problems whose parallels torment the Middle East today.
He came of a political family. His father was created a Viscount and was a member of Asquith's cabinet. His mother was the first woman to win a History degree with First Class honours at Cambridge, and was the first woman to become a Member of Parliament while her husband was also a Member. He was a precocious learner, reading both Latin and Greek at the age of six, went to Eton as a King's Scholar, and went on up to Cambridge with a History scholarship.
Throughout his life he was fascinated by the supernatural. When in Instanbul in 1924 he was advised by a gypsy (as are so many) that although he would survive to a great age he would suffer several serious illnesses. In his case this was accurate. Later he read the tarot for King Fuad of Egypt, and he became the court fortune teller to King George II of the Hellenes. He saw a lot of ghosts.
The Editor met him only once. They had both been invited for the weekend at a house whose origins in Tudor England cast a spell no historian could ignore. Part of it was rebuilt in Jacobean days, but the remnants of the original parts retained the eerie charm so many modern visitors feel when they wander the corridors once trod by the famous feet of times long past. During the late afternoon of the Saturday they talked earnestly of the Flemish contribution to the First Crusade (led by Godfrey de Bouillon and the Boulogne family), and then after dinner on that dark autumnal evening they went with a few of the other guests to visit the oldest section, a hall now adapted for the "Tudor Banquets" that were then popular with tourists. While in the gloomy gallery, looking down onto the diners, the Editor became detached, the scene oscillated out of perspective, and he felt an icy chill, not a breeze, just a damp, inexplicable clamminess. He said nothing and returned silently with the other guests to the drawing room. In the light, Runciman stared intently into his face, paused, and then observed, "Ah, so you saw him too."
Anyone who desires to understand the Crusades and has not read the brilliant exposition Runciman created is invited to click on one of the following links to Amazon ~
In the British Isles
Elsewhere

TINNED WINE ~ A SEQUEL

Readers may remember the tinned wine offered to us with the label "French Wine" featuring a bogus coat of arms. We have now received a faxed offer to supply us with Scotch Whisky "Made in France". It is possible, the Editor believes, that membership of the European Union may bring some advantages, but this certainly is not one.


Estoile on shield
A page from Estoile's Scrapbook

( A fanfare of trumpets )

Visitors to heraldic boutiques in shopping malls, when offered "your coat of arms", often receive a demonstration of how "experts" "read" arms. "Now this diagonal bar," they are told," shows that your ancestor was famous for his nobility, and the black background shows that he had royal blood, and this ring here means that when in battle he was exceptionally brave and magnanimous (sic -- I really was told this once), and this lily means that he fought against the French ......."
The storms that have been ravaging the British Isles these last few weeks reminded me of these tales when they damaged one of our most famous trees, the Boscobel oak. It was in this that Prince Charles (later King Charles II) hid with Colonel Careless after the battle of Worcester, gritting his teeth while the Roundheads rode their horses beneath its branches, and it was this tree that subsequently was granted as the principal charge in the gallant Colonel's arms. (The King decided also that the Colonel's surname was inappropriate to one of his proven abilities and ordered that Careless be changed to Carlos, in those days a most regal-sounding name.)
Colonel Carlos
So the arms of Carlos were granted as ~ Or an oak tree proper, on a fess Gules three royal crowns.
These are not the only arms commemorating Charles's escape. His dash through the gates of Worcester was enabled by Colonel Newman whose arms - quarterly 1 and 4 Sable three mullets Argent, 2 and 3 Argent - were subsequently augmented with a red escutcheon charged with a golden portcullis and crown. Additionally, the brothers Penderel of Boscobel, on whose land the famous oak stood, received similar arms to Colonel Carlos but with the field silver and the fess black. (They had given Charles their hospitality, fed and reclothed him.)
Penderel of Boscobel

REGENCY ~ AVAILABLE NOW

The Regency boardgame, devised by the BARONAGE Editor as a family pastime that teaches history as it reproduces the clan warfare of earlier centuries, has had its production licensed to an American company, Humix Inc., and is now on sale.

It is a truly fascinating exercise in tactical manoeuvre in which children can meet adults on equal terms. Moreover, parents will learn that their youngsters can develop an intuitive appreciation of mathematical odds superior to their own educated reasoning.

Will you be smart enough to win against the children you know?

Details are on the Regency website at http://www.regencygame.com

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