heraldry - The Feudal Herald header



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

Vol. 3, No. 3, September 2001


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



* A Welcome
* In Memoriam
* Regular Features
* FAQs
* The Abuse of Heraldry
* Using Your Title
* Burke's Landed Gentry
* A Page from Estoile's Scrapbook


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.


We had intended to publish another article in our series on contemporary chivalry, but the events of September 11th made this seem inappropriate. We have instead published a composite photograph (which, although a montage, does encapsulate our despair) together with Rudyard Kipling's famous prayer, one relevant to both our despair and our hope.


We have included a bunch of the more or less regular features.

Early Days takes a second look at the development of blazon.

Classical Heraldry continues Graham Johnstone's illustrations of the arms of famous mediaeval knights.

Clan Badges brings to forty the number of Scottish Clansmen's strap-and-buckle badges produced by the Pegasus artists and available from Humix.com

Curiosity Corner features another fabulous beast ~ this time the elegant Pegasus.

Heraldic Cadency discusses differencing by the addition of an ordinary.


A second page of answers to frequently asked questions has been added, these again being more concerned with buying "titles" than with any other topic.

The most commonly asked question has recently become one concerning British Feudal Investments. Many readers have commented on their "impressive" website, and have asked whether we recommend them. We do not. Explicit reasons are given in the directly transmitted edition of this newsletter.
British Feudal Investments is currently reorganising its website and offering its titles at substantial discounts in an "Immediate Liquidation Sale". The reasons for the substantial discounts are explained by "Lord Chafford" who, readers will be unsurprised to learn, features in neither Debrett's Peerage nor Burke's Peerage & Baronetage, the two foremost directories of the British aristocracy.
Among the "titles" for sale is that of the "Dukedom of Ventadour (France)" now reduced from US $50,000 to US $22,000 owing to, "Lord Chafford" states, its owner needing new funds to pay his share of the insurance losses incurred by the attack on the World Trade Center. Visitors are told ~
"British Feudal wishes its customers to know that the suspension of its website is only TEMPORARY. We are absolutely NOT out of business and it is not due to the catastrophic events in New York and Washington."
Nauseating! (Incidentally, British Feudal Investments is not British.)

We have had our attention drawn to an interesting variation on the usual sales spiel. Bogus "titles" are normally offered with the inducement that they can be inherited by the purchaser's heirs or sold on, at a profit, to someone else. Now we hear of a "title" that is for life only, with the added prestige that it belongs to the Hohenstauffen family which insists on its return when the life tenant dies.
That is really neat! It certainly tends to add to the credibility.

Well, it probably adds to the credibility until it is realised that the very famous Hohenstauffen family owes its fame in part to it providing some early emperors (of the Holy Roman Empire), and that the line died out in 1268 (its one illegitimate branch continuing for only a few years longer).

A few readers commented on the appearance of the Editor's picture inside the FAQs' heading graphic. One, of what the Editor still designates in his un-PC way as "the fair sex", kindly thought that the picture made him look younger than his true age. This appeared to cheer him immensely.


This is a second article based on readers' submissions. More examples of the modern abuse of heraldry by corporate businesses are sought. Shopping mall heraldry is almost all bad and without hope of improvement, and perhaps ought to be ignored, but we should still like to be briefed on especially bad examples.


"I would like to know about the laws regarding using a title and how to incorporate a title on bank accounts, passports and other legal documents,"

wrote one of our readers. We have responded with our usual warnings and have offered Gary Martin Beaver as an example of the absurdities into which the use of bogus titles can lead their buyers.
We ought to take this opportunity to thank those of our readers who have written to us about Beaver's antics and especially about his libellous website. A writ has been issued by the High Court, but as he appears to have fled England the bailiff has had difficulty serving it. Every address he has given has been found false.
We learn from members of the modern Templar Order in America (of which he now appears to have appointed himself Commander and Webmaster of an unofficial website) that his American wife has divorced him and that he now lives in France with a Muslim. If this is untrue he should contact Baronage, let us know, and give us an address in England at which the writ can be served.


The last edition of Burke's Landed Gentry was published in three volumes between 1965 and 1972. The first volume of a new seven-volume edition has just been published. It deals exclusively with Scotland. The next one will treat the families of Ireland, both north and south.

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

( A fanfare of trumpets )

On both sides of the Atlantic a debate on the meaning of courage has suddenly erupted, with harsh words embittering the sadness that gripped us all after the terrorists struck. What is it, and who should define it? For over twelve hundred years it has been considered a knightly virtue, and Winston Churchill called it the first of human qualities because it is "the quality that guarantees the rest."
When the President described the dead terrorists as cowardly he followed the custom of British politicians who, after every IRA massacre, complained of "a cowardly attack" even in the early days when amateurish bombs were as likely to kill their carriers as to kill soldiers and policemen or mothers shopping with their children. Depraved and inhumane, yes! But cowardly? Not really.
We gain nothing by slinging such insults around, and we lose by appearing impotent, as if words are all we dare throw. We may be vulnerable, at present, to the threats suicidal volunteers offer in asymmetric warfare, but our response need not be verbal. This is especially true of the world's most powerful nation when it is fully capable of eliminating these threats permanently.
The courage of the September 11th terrorists has no equivalence in the West, and thus those comparative assessments of the type that initiated the debate are flawed. A terrorist who goes joyfully to his death, believing that he is passing through a portal on whose far side he will be welcomed by seventy sloe-eyed virgins, differs substantially from the atheist who accepts his death believing it is annihilation, and from the Christian who believes he faces God's judgement.
Courage is beyond comparison, beyond debate. We shall soon be praising that of our soldiers and airmen, but for the present let us reflect on the courage of the September 11th widows, and especially of those with little children to whom they have been forced to explain that Daddy has gone to heaven, children who will grow up half-remembering a comforting voice at bedtime and missing something they do not quite understand, wondering why their mothers weep. The courage of the lonely, in the stillness of the night, is a courage beyond all others, one we must learn to comprehend and support without debate.

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