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The FEUDAL HERALD

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

Vol. 3, No. 1, July 2001

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


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Copyright (c) 2001 by Pegasus Associates Ltd and The Baronage Press


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CONTENTS

* A Welcome and an Explanation
* New Readers Begin Here
* The Ancestry of Robert the Bruce
* Early Days
* News from the Royal Courts
* Tribute to an Unknown Artist
* FAQs
* Clan Badges
* The Abuse of Heraldry
* Barons, 1066 and other matters
* A Flag for Northumbria
* Gary, Baron of Richecourt and Lord Newport
* Estoile's Scrapbook
* Postscript

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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.

As many readers will have suspected, the time elapsed since the last appearance of this newsletter is owed to the continuation of our problems with those hostile forces who feel threatened by exposure of the Internet's bogus title and arms scams. We hope now to be able to continue publication of the magazine every second month, to increase this to a monthly frequency from next January, and to keep the production of this newsletter at one per month at least.

NEW READERS BEGIN HERE

A browse through the archived pages of the magazine will provide details of those scam merchants whose activities we have discussed. There are many others still to be exposed, and some already examined will be revisited in the coming months. Their response has been -

1. The creation of a website libelling Baronage and all who have contributed to its editorial. This appeared on the UK2.net server, a British operation, but was taken down when our lawyers explained to UK2 the extent of its responsibilities in respect of libel.
2. A virus attack that infiltrated our defences and wiped out the work of many months (we were backing up at the time and it invaded both the secondary disks and the Pegasus computers networked with us). Recovering from this has taken seven months.
3. The bombardment of the Baronage mailboxes with hundreds of e- mails arriving hourly. This closed down our communication systems and left us out of contact with our readers.
4. The creation of a second website to continue and expand on the original libels, this time on an American server beyond our reach. The Editor of Baronage, its readers are told, is a John Hogarth living under a false name, who is banned from holding company directorships following a conviction for fraud (as is his wife Pamela, similarly convicted), has massive debts, is not the father of his children, is caught up in a network of tax-evasion schemes, and is currently attempting to sell an unnamed feudal barony for US$250,000.
Surprisingly, this nonsense was picked up by a well-known genealogical newsletter that decided to take a pompous "above-it-all" stance and, in addition to giving the anonymous authors of these libels the publicity they crave, advised that the editorial content of both the libellous website and the Baronage website should be taken with "a pinch of salt".
(Those of our readers whose first language is not English, and who may not have to hand Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, should note that this phrase alleges that Baronage was disseminating untruths. When asked for examples, the well-known genealogical newsletter's editor declined to provide any, but, as he has not yet withdrawn the slur, he illustrates the truth of the old adage that if enough mud is thrown, some of it will stick.)
Incidentally, if there is a married couple somewhere outside cyberspace named John and Pamela Hogarth, we are sorry if this causes them distress, and we shall be most willing to provide a notarised statement certifying that they have no responsibility for what appears in the Baronage magazine or in our newsletter.
Anyway, after a break of eight months Baronage is operating again, and readers who wish to write to us may do so through one of the pages ~

http://www.baronage.net/baronnet/letterxx.html

For readers who wish to express their views publicly, there is a Visitors' Book at

http://www.baronage.net/baronnet/visitors.html .

(The names of visitors will appear in the book, but their e-mail addresses will be suppressed to prevent them being bombarded with nuisance e-mail.)


THE ANCESTRY OF ROBERT THE BRUCE

The July-August 2001 issue of the magazine publishes the fourth and final part of the review of the origins of the Bruce family. The first of these articles dealt with the Carrick connection, the next with the mythical Viking descent, the third with the Normandy and Yorkshire ancestry, and the last with the Flemish connection. This is, of course, the most interesting and the most contentious, for it breaks new ground in so far as most historians are concerned, but although the heraldic evidence is persuasive, the genealogical link that could solve so much of the mystery is speculative and unproven.

Readers should note that this final part concludes with a summary on a separate page. Don't miss it.


EARLY DAYS

With a hundred or so books readily available in shops and libraries to inform the heraldic student of the laws of heraldry and the exact principles of blazon, it is sometimes difficult to appreciate that in the early years, the 11th and 12th centuries, as a disciplined heraldry and an internationally recognised code developed from what began as a free-for-all among the higher nobility, there were few verities. A blue lion might have blue claws and tongue, or red, or green, or black, as its bearer or his artist might decide on any one particular day. Such comparatively small details, which today would distinguish one charge from another, altered with the whim of the bearer or artist and could respond to a new whim a week later. Early blazon mirrors this looseness and can confuse modern students. In the first of two articles we examine the consequences of this.


NEWS FROM THE ROYAL COURTS

These last few months have seen some interesting developments in the lifestyle of European royalty. Prince Harald, heir to the throne of Norway, is to marry in August an unwed mother. An internal audit of the private-public lives of the British Royal Family has introduced new guidelines for their conduct when engaged in professional work. A resurgence of interest in and nostalgia for monarchy in Eastern Europe has promoted King Simeon II to a powerful political position in Bulgaria. The Crown Prince of the Netherlands is to marry next year the daughter of an Argentine politician tainted with his past as a government minister in the bad years of the junta. This article comments on news from Sofia, The Hague and Brussels.


TRIBUTE TO AN UNKNOWN ARTIST

We have tried out best to overcome the limitations of the resolution of computer screens to feature an heraldic illustration that should inspire all aspirant armorial artists.


FAQs

The questions most frequently asked of the Editor during the first five years of the Baronage online magazine concerned not heraldry (apart from the regular query ~ "What is my coat of arms?") but the purchase of feudal titles. The standard answers to these, and others, are now published for the first time in the form of an FAQs column.


CLAN BADGES

A third page of the crestbadges of Scottish clans is added this month. These badges, designed by Pegasus artists, may be bought on various items, ranging from personal stationery to clothing, at the Humix website in the United States.


THE ABUSE OF HERALDRY

"Has any noble science been abused as much as heraldry?"

We were asked the question by a correspondent who sent us a cutting from an issue of Newsweek showing the "coat of arms" granted to President Clinton by a commercial enterprise using the once hallowed name of "Burke's Peerage".


BARONS, 1066 AND OTHER MATTERS

Another correspondent, commenting on our recent observations about fake barons and our earlier explanation of feudal titles, insisted that everything worth saying on this subject appears in that famous history book "1066 And All That". For any reader to whom this may be unfamiliar we perhaps should explain that it is a masterful compilation of "all the history you can remember" inspired by the howlers committed to paper in school examinations.

We reproduce the relevant section on barons. (Some readers may note its similarity to the information given by "heraldic experts" in shopping malls and on the Internet.).

A FLAG FOR NORTHUMBRIA

The BBC recently publicised the search, by one of England's regional authorities, for a flag that would promote its individual identity and the opportunities it offers for new industrial investment. This article features a suggestion based on the region's history.


GARY, BARON OF RICHECOURT AND LORD NEWPORT

The appropriation of one of his titles, as might have been expected, offended the real Lord Newport, the Earl of Bradford, and The Daily Mail (one of Britain's best-selling national newspapers) reported his displeasure in a column we reproduce here.


heraldry - Estoile on shield heraldry - Estoile on shield
A page from Estoile's Scrapbook

( A fanfare of trumpets )

The almost unanimous condemnation of the new "Pearl Harbour" film by the critics was not unexpected by those who recognised the name of its scriptwriter, Malcolm Wallace, as the man responsible for rewriting Scotland's early history for the egregious "Braveheart".
Another film offering opportunities to rewrite Scottish history, either through error or in pursuit of a private political agenda, has for its hero Robert Burns and is currently in production. What it will make of Rabbie's heraldry gives cause to wonder, for it is almost certain he will be portrayed as a socialist nationalist with a profound contempt for the traditions of the upper classes. In reality he had a fondness for arms.
Robert Burns
In a letter to Alexander Cunningham in 1793 he wrote -
"I lately lost a valuable seal, a present from a departed friend, which vexes me much. I have gotten one of your highland pebbles, which I fancy would make a very decent one, and I want to cut my armorial bearing on it: will you be so obliging as inquire what will be the expense of such a business? I do not know that my name is matriculated, as the Heralds call it, at all, but I have invented arms for myself; so, you know, I shall be chief of the name, and, by courtesy of Scotland, will likewise be entitled to supporters. These, however, I do not intend having on my seal.
"I am a bit of a herald, and shall give you, secundum artem, my arms. On a field azure, a holly bush seeded proper, in base; a shepherd's pipe and crook saltirewise, also proper, in chief. On a wreath of the colours, a woodlark perching on a sprig of bay-tree, proper, for crest. Two mottoes: round the top of the crest. 'Wood-notes wild'; at the bottom of the shield, in the usual place, 'Better a wee bush than nae bield.'" (A bield is a shelter ~ Ed.)
heraldry - Burns - assumed arms

POSTSCRIPT

During our long silence many of our newsletter's readers have changed their e-mail addresses and, owing to our postboxes having been bombed out of action, they have been unable to notify us of their new addresses. We hope that readers who receive this newsletter will pass on to all those friends who share their interests in heraldry, genealogy and history the news that the Baronage magazine and this newsletter are now back in operation.

Changes of address should be recorded on the page at -

http://www.baronage.net/baronnet/subscr-1.html

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