heraldry - The Feudal Herald header



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

Vol. 4, No. 7-8, July-August 2002


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



* A Welcome
* A Reminder ~ The Search Engine
* Curiosity Corner
* The Cross of St George
* Classical Heraldry
* 20th Century Chivalry
* Bookpost
* A Letter to the Earl of Bradford
* The Stevensons
* An Heraldic Backstory
* Two Coats of Arms ???
* Notes from buyers of bogus titles
* 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 squeezed our publishing programme and led three times to the combination of two issues of this newsletter has continued, so that now we are joining the July and August 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.

This issue’s fabulous monster is the wyvern, a malicious beast often confused with the dragon. On the fragment of a fractured seal (right) it can be seen atop the helm of Thomas, Earl of Lancaster circa 1301. (Thomas was the nephew of Edward I, and thus first cousin to Edward II, but neither this nor his wyvern could save him from the axeman on the morning of 22 March 1322.)


We wrote some time ago of our regret that the badge of the Royal Ulster Constabulary was to be discarded because, featuring the crown, it was undeniably a Royal Badge. Now a complaint has been laid against the Metropolitan Police Badge because it features a cross.

The cross to which objection has been made is the tiny one on top of the crown. It is undoubtedly a religious symbol, but the cross, a red one, is also the symbol of England. Must we expect next that the Union Flag, the national flag of the United Kingdom, will be attacked because, bearing three crosses, it will be considered an unsuitable symbol for our “multicultural” society.

In the present case the objection was made by a muslim who sought, he said, to become a traffic warden, and who disappeared as soon as officialdom caved in and decided that the British crown could indeed be offensive to muslims.

In this issue we look at the history of the Red Cross (“St George’s Cross”) during the first few centuries of its rôle as the badge of English soldiers.


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


The 1939-45 war in Europe produced many heroes in the Resistance movements in the occupied countries, but sadly there are few permanent memorials to help the younger generations understand the cause for which they fought. However, one survivor, recognising the need to help the future learn about the past, gave as his dying wish to his son the task of building a museum to commemorate both those who fought for Belgium and the Canadian Army that liberated the area in which he lived, and saved him from the Gestapo. This legacy is well worth a visit.


Ann Lyon, lawyer and novelist, reviews the latest two historical novels of Reay Tannahill, which take as their subjects Richard III and Mary Queen of Scots.

Lord Bradford, whose new website Fake Titles has joined Baronage in the exposure of the bogus titles merchants, is now receiving his share of offensive mail, some directly from the guilty merchants attacking his campaign, others from illiterate cranks. He has granted us permission to print one of the former, and we have annotated it with pertinent comments and relevant details.


A letter from the Chairman of a new Stevenson/Stephenson family association asking for advice on the first coat of arms to be used lawfully by one of the name sparked research into another of Scotland’s clans of indeterminate clansmen. It allowed us to recognise a theme used by Lyon Office in the grant of arms to the Stevensons who have petitioned, and to make an educated guess as to which arms may be considered today to be the arms of Stevenson of that Ilk. More work needs to be done, but this article is perhaps a useful beginning.


Sara Donati, the best-selling author of Dawn on a Distant Shore, has allowed us to see the part played by heraldry in the development of her novels. One of her principal characters, the fourth Earl of Carryck, uses his wealth to manipulate the lives of his relations in order to prevent a family he detests inheriting his lands and riches. Clues as to the source of his prosperity and the critical blood link of his ancestors are incorporated in the arms.


Early pictures of mediaeval knights sometimes show them with one coat of arms on shield and surcoat, but with another on their banner or pennon. This article describes one explanation for this.


We regularly receive e-mail from victims of the bogus titles merchants, people who learned of the Baronage website too late. These letters, as may be imagined, have much in common, and all appear to have one request in common ~ that we should continue and if possible increase the publicity we have given to this vile trade. This is where, you, our readers can help. If you belong to any group that might contain potential buyers, if you go anywhere that the subject of titles is discussed, please circulate our address ~ http://www.baronage.co.uk

Two letters just in have asked us to warn readers specially of two of the most plausible scams ~ one is the knightage operation that is using e-Bay to sell its invented “titles” at prices that victims apparently find irresistible, an operation that we are informed is going from strength to strength; the other is the British Feudal Investments fraud that is expanding with sub-agents such as Sovereign Classics and, using pseudonyms, exploiting also the e-Bay auctions.

It should be unnecessary to list the names of the fraudulent operations. All that it is necessary to remember is that ~

1. If you intend to buy a Scottish baronial title, you must retain the services of a Scottish lawyer experienced in this type of conveyancing.

2. If you wish to buy any other type of title, DON’T.


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