heraldry - The Feudal Herald header



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

Vol. 4, No. 5-6, May-June 2002


Copyright (c) 2002 by Pegasus Associates Ltd and The Baronage Press



* A Welcome
* A Search Engine
* The Golden Jubilee
* The Kennedy Clans
* The Earl of Bradford
* JAG ~ Heraldic Cadency
* Classical Heraldry
* Curiosity Corner
* 20th Century Chivalry
* Bookpost
* Lozenges and Trueknots
* Clan Fraser
* A Genealogist Detective
* Estoile’s Scrapbook
* Communications


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, nobility, books, cinema and other entertainment to which heraldry has thematic links.

The pressure of events that recently squeezed our publishing programme and led twice to the combination of two issues of this newsletter has continued, so that now we are joining the May and June issues. We apologise for this, but do hope that soon we shall return to our normal routines.

With the assistance of SITELEVEL we now incorporate on the home page a search engine that will direct readers to all the subjects discussed in both the magazine and the newsletter. Together with the mini-index accessed from the contents page and the home page, readers should now find it easy to locate old articles of continuing interest. SITELEVEL’s reward for the provision of this service is their use of the search results page to feature the names of its sponsors. We hope our readers will not find these names too irritating.

The huge success of this year’s Golden Jubilee has delighted all but the fervent republicans, and the Royal Train that took the Queen to North Wales in style, headed by the Duchess of Sutherland, drew admiring and enthusiastic crowds.
Bearing on its front plate its pre-nationalisation (pre-1948) number, 6233, and newly painted in its old livery of crimson and black, it recaptured the glories of a vanished era. Regrettably, there is now talk in Parliament of retiring the Royal Train, as the Royal Yacht has been retired, without replacement (and as the Royal Flight has become the Prime Minister’s privilege). It will be one more step in the deliberate, politically-motivated diminution of the Queen’s presence.
Photogaphs published with the kind permission of the North Wales Coast Railway website <http://www.page27.co.uk/nwales>
In the magazine we have celebrated the Golden Jubilee with a look backwards to what newspapers and magazines were writing about the Royal Family and the aristocracy fifty years ago.


We wrote a little while ago of the Presidential Kennedy family possibly having Scottish ancestry (More Scots than Irish ?), and somewhat predictably prompted some readers to write in to us with the assurance that this branch of the Kennedies was indeed Irish. Among these was Niall (no surname supplied) whose comments we agreed should be published. He referred to two websites ~

http://www.kennedysociety.net/Irish.htm and

As I understand it the Kennedy surname is an anglicization of a Gaelic name. This name was probably popular in many parts of the Gaelic world, given to a number of unrelated people. Some of these men had descendants who took their ancestor’s name as a surname.

The Kennedys were, as these articles explain, a clan of moderate to large size who had large territories. They branched off from the O’Brien Kings who seize the Kingship of Munster for a time and ruled over a sizeable territory in north Munster. I assume, since I haven’t seen any evidence to the contrary that John Kennedy was most probably of these Kennedys.

Robert Bell in his work on Scots-Irish family names reports that the name of the Irish Kennedies was originally O’Kennedy (Ó Cinnéide) derived from ceann, meaning head, and éidigh, meaning ugly, and that they descend from Cennedig, a grandson of Brian Boru’s father from whom the name was taken. Apparently they were one of the most important Dalcassian septs and from the 11th to the 16th century were Lords of Ormonde. The Kennedies in the north of Ireland tend to be, it is suggested, descended from the MacKennedies of Scotland.

Support for the Baronage attempt to inform the Internet readers about the bogus title merchants has come from a new website launched by Lord Bradford with the name of Fake Titles. This will eventually provide information on all those involved in this fraudulent trade. Details are given in the Bogus Titles Update.


The new chapter on differencing examines the use of the inescutcheon for cadency. Examples are chosen from England and Flanders in the early years of heraldry.


This new page continues Graham Johnston’s collection of the arms of famous knights from the 13th and 14th centuries.


In this issue we touch briefly and very gently on the delicate subject of kelpies, those magical horses with the ability to change themselves into the most beautiful women possible to imagine.

Unfortunately, as is well known in the highland places they inhabit, these beautiful women are the most dangerous that it is possible to imagine. They entrance their victims, bind them with their charms, and then rush with them into river or loch to drown them. Such is the real danger of their beauty that in heraldry they are shown only in their true shape as seahorses.


Prompted by a recent book of Prisoner of War recollections we were asked to review, we have looked at Bushido, the Japanese code of chivalry, as it was practised in the middle of the 20th century. The book, BEYOND THE BAMBOO SCREEN, is an anthology of pieces taken largely from non-professional writers inspired by their terrible experiences. From it we have reproduced an analysis of what could have happened if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, and a poem, Remembering Hiroshima, which recalls in just a few words the horror and inhumanity of the Japanese war.


Owing something perhaps to the huge success of THE NAME OF THE ROSE, there has been in recent years a notable surge in the publication of mediaeval mystery stories, and the public has bought them greedily. Among the more successful are those of Bernard Knight, a Professor of Forensic Pathology in real life who was responsible for the investigation of some of England’s most gruesome crimes ~ these are here reviewed by Ann Lyon, herself a lawyer and novelist.


An overdue look at the presentation of a maiden’s arms.


We draw the attention of our readers to the Clan Fraser website, a model of balance, clarity and authentic heraldry.


The established novelist, Fiona Mountain, wrote to us ~

My novel, PALE AS THE DEAD, is published by Orion on July 18th. As it features a genealogist, and in fact the whole story is based around a genealogical investigation, I think it should greatly appeal to readers of your publications. (As far as I am aware this is the first ever series of novels with a genealogist in the leading role!)

Watch out for it. We shall review it in a future issue of Baronage.

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

( A fanfare of trumpets )

The recent article on differencing with cantons and quarters, which illustrated the use of the quarter with the arms of Robert Stewart, Lord of Lorn, prompted two readers to ask if there were other examples of the use of a quarter as a charge. A quarter is, of course, an honorable ordinary, and there are arms where it appeared as a charge in the early years, but later it became comparatively rare.
Here is a more modern example, in the arms of Baron Stouge of Denmark. The official blazon is Party per fess and in chief party per pale, dexter Argent, sinister Or, and in base Azure. This blazon effectively states that the arms have a field with no charges (which is not impossible ~ Brittany, for example, has a field of Ermine and no charges).

Preferrable, however, is Azure a quarter Argent and another sinister Or ~ the two quarters being charges.

The Thomson quarter
Errors in the arms of MacTavish of Dunardry, as displayed on his website, were recently discussed in Baronage, and one of the errors then described (the engrailed chief being painted undy) has been corrected. However, the page title still styles Dunardry as a knight (which he is not), and the diagram still notes that the helm is that of a knight (which it is not), and the principal charge is still a stag (it is blazoned as a buck), and the charges on the chief still have the wrong tincture, Argent.
Now if Dunardry could correct the undy chief, why could he not correct the other errors? Presumably he refuses to admit that his claim to knighthood is false, and presumably he cannot distinguish between an heraldic stag and an heraldic buck, but surely he cannot make a mistake between silver and gold. Or can he? Perhaps the numbering is too difficult for him.
The blazon he publishes is Quarterly, 1st and 4th Gyronny of eight Sable and Or; 2nd and 3rd, Argent, a buck’s head cabossed Gules attired Or, on a Chief engrailed Azure a cross crosslet fitchée between two mullets of the Third. Now this is where he appears to be making his mistake. The cross crosslet fitchée between two mullets of the Third obviously means they are of gold (see arms above right), Or being the third tincture mentioned for the 2nd and 3rd quarters, but as Dunardry insists on keeping them silver, then it appears that he may be counting from the beginning of the 1st quarter ~ “Sable is one, Or is two, and then Argent (in the 2nd quarter) is three.”
It looks as though no one has ever told him, and that he has not been able to deduce for himself, that the numbering begins afresh with each new quarter.


If readers who have one of our older e-mail addresses find their mail to us bouncing back to them, it will be because that address has become the target of bombing and has been taken out of service. Communication can be restored by writing to the Editor through the letters page, after which another confidential mail address will be supplied.

Readers who wish to cancel their subscription to The Feudal Herald should do so by informing us, not by blocking our address on their own computer. When we receive e-mails from readers who have previously blocked our addresses, and have forgotten they have done so, they never receive our answers for they bounce back to us, and we cannot notify them of what is wrong.

CompuServe members who first subscribed with a number address and later changed to a name address will find it impossible to unsubscribe with the name address. They can do so only by quoting the original number address.

Changes of e-mail addresses may be recorded on the page at -


This same page may be used to subscribe or to unsubscribe.


Return to the Newsletter Index Page
Return to the current magazine Contents Page

The Editor's
Return to the Home Page