heraldry - The Feudal Herald header



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

Vol. 5, No. 1, January-April 2003


Copyright (c) 2003 by Pegasus Associates Ltd and The Baronage Press



* A Welcome
* Feudal Baronies and Manorial Lordships
* A Million Pound Barony
* A Model Manorial Lordship
* Yet Another Seller of Bogus Titles
* New Arms for MacTavish
* More Baronets ~ a Good Reason
* 20th Century Chivalry ~ British Regiments
* The Bloodline of the Royal House
* Bookpost
* 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.

Pressure of events has continued to squeeze our publishing programme and has again led to the production of a magazine issue covering four months. We apologise for this. Additionally, this newsletter itself has not appeared for four months. We hope to return to normal operations soon.

The continuous stream of letters we receive with questions about the wisdom of buying “titles of nobility” has been increased by the abolition of the feudal system in Scotland, its effect on Scottish baronies, and especially by the effect of the intentions of the Lord Lyon for the treatment of Scottish baronies in the future. We have attempted to answer these questions in an article examining the historical background to baronies and manorial lordships and looking at their future. (It is a PDF file that requires the Adobe Acrobat Reader plug-in to be loaded. This may be obtained free from the Adobe website.)

The additional emphasis on titles and “titles” in this present issue of Baronage has made it something of a special issue. We intend in future to revert to our traditional concentration on heraldry, but while treating this as a special issue we shall look at aspects we have previously ignored. One of these is the nature of specific baronies and manorial lordships.

The most famous Scottish barony at the present time is MacDonald, for it has been offered for sale, with much newspaper publicity, for a million pounds. In this article we look at what the buyer will receive for his money.


When we chose to write about the Manor of Stanbury it was because in many ways it is a model manor ~ complete with its ancient privileges, situated in picturesque countryside, possessing a long and fascinating history, and in more modern times connected to famous personalities, in this case the Brontë sisters, authors of Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre. Since completing the article we have learned that the present Lord of the Manor is considering its sale. We hope it will go to someone suitable, one who will value its history and its rôle in the politics and warfare of mediaeval England.


A new load of poppycock worth a visit is on the website of the bogus “Barony of Jamnia”. This offers the traditional mix of illiterate promotion and nonsense history, but includes the risible statement that “His Royal Highness the Prince of Galilee, on September 24, 2002, conveyed His rights to the Barony of Jamnia to The Most Honourable Jason Lee, Marquis of Delarosa.” It is one level down from British Feudal Investments in its bogus title scam.

The “Prince of Galilee” is of course that notorious fraud known also as “Lord Chafford”, “Marquis d’Alessio”, “Duc de Lusignan”, et al., and the new “Baron Jamnia” and “Marquis of Delarosa” is one of the dupes caught by the promise of being able to sell his own “titles” to other dupes in a multi-level marketing scam. The 150 “noble titles” the new “Baron” has for sale are not even genuinely bogus ~ they are such as Baron Constable and Baron Marshal which are merely appointments, not noble titles.
Anyway, do have a look at ~


If you haven’t already parted with several thousand dollars, you’ll smile.


The Lord Lyon has granted new arms for MacTavish of Dunardry, Chief of the Name and Arms of MacTavish. In this article we look at the reasons for this, and examine the Campbell connection.


Resentment among right-minded Britons continues to linger over the loss of the Royal Yacht. It was due to be refitted or, economically the better option, to be replaced, and then the Prime Minister “Tony” Blair decided that the Queen should no longer sail in Britannia and that at a projected cost of £50 million pounds the nation could not afford a replacement.

Arguments that at £50 million a new Royal Yacht represented splendid value in terms of international promotion (for the shipping industry and at trade fairs, etc) were ignored, and then the Prime Minister went and blew £850 million on “the Dome”, a useless building (i.e. a building without a use) standing empty and motionless on the south bank of the Thames, a project that does nothing for the Queen or for the nation or for anyone or anything else.
We now find a correspondent writing to The Sunday Telegraph to propose that the custom begun by King James I and VI of selling baronetcies to eager social climbers be reintroduced. (No baronets have been created since 1991, and recent creations have not been in return for money.) At a price of £5 million he believes a dozen or so candidates would quickly be found, and we would once again have a Royal Yacht. We give this proposal our full support.


The close cooperation of the US Marines with British soldiers in the war south of Basra led to expressions of American interest in the British regimental system and the “funny hats” that distinguish British regiments. Ann Lyon has described the system and made special mention of her own regiment, the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, to which belonged Fusilier John Turrington, who, just turned 18, was the youngest British soldier to be killed. (It is a PDF file.)


Since we were asked, “What happened to the baby?” we have been conscious of the need to have online a readily accessible and easily understood table of the British Royal House. The question came from a correspondent who had seen that truly dreadful film Br*v*h**rt, had believed its absurd fantasies, and had taken as truth the story of a French princess (in reality a mere child at her father’s court in Paris), married to the English King’s son, walking unescorted some 300 miles to bed a Scottish guerilla commander in a forest hut, and then passing off the unborn child as the future King of England (Edward III).

The bloodline of the Royal House is here produced in 16 tables. The important lines, those which indicate the descent from the Kings of Wessex, the first of All England, appear in red and their juncture with the line from the earliest Scottish Kings may be traced easily.


There has been much argument down the years about the descendants, if any, of Bonnie Prince Charlie, the Young Pretender, by his mistress Clementina Walkinshaw. Burke’s Guide to the Royal Family mentions a natural daughter, Charlotte Stuart, legitimated by King Louis XIV of France and created by her father Duchess of Albany, having three illegitimate children, but no other details are given.

These three children, a son and two daughters, were fathered by the Archbishop of Cambrai, Prince Ferdinand de Rohan, and of the younger daughter, Marie-Victoire, descendants are still alive today. One of these, Peter Pininski, has written the family’s story, and this is reviewed by Ann Lyon. (It is a PDF file.)

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

( A fanfare of trumpets )

THE TATLER., long one of Britain’s most famous magazines, recently astonished its readers with the news that Claudia Schiffer, the exquisitely beautiful model emblazoned here on the right, could become the next Countess of Oxford. As Oxford is one of England’s most famous earldoms, and is perhaps its most distinguished, even the Baronage staff, although they hear much nonsense as part of their normal work, were shaken.
Claudia Schiffer, Mrs Vaughn
Three different families have held the earldom, but by far the most eminent was the first, that which bore the name de Vere. It was followed, with what was considered by many as unseemly haste, by the Harley family.
Of the de Vere achievements Lord Macaulay wrote ~

The noblest subject in England, and indeed, as Englishmen loved to say, the noblest subject in Europe, was Aubrey de Vere, twentieth and last of the old Earls of Oxford. He derived his title through an uninterrupted male descent, from a time when the families of Howard and Seymour were still obscure, when the Nevills and Percies enjoyed only a provincial celebrity, and when even the great name of Plantagenet had not yet been heard in England. One chief of the house of De Vere had held high command at Hastings; another had marched, with Godfrey and Tancred, over heaps of slaughtered Moslem, to the sepulchre of Christ. The first Earl of Oxford had been minister of Henry Beauclerc. The third Earl had been conspicuous among the Lords who extorted the Great Charter from John. The seventh Earl had fought bravely at Cressy and Poictiers. The thirteenth Earl had, through many vicissitudes of fortune, been the chief of the party of the Red Rose, and had led the van on the decisive day of Bosworth . . . . . . .

The Oxford title ended, together with the de Vere male descent, after an elegant decision from Chief Justice Crew ensured the earldom would not descend to females.

I have laboured to make a covenant with myself that affection may not press upon judgement, for I suppose there is no man that hath any apprehension of gentry or nobleness, but his affections stand to the continuance of so noble a name and house, and would take hold of a twig or a twine thread to uphold it. And yet, Time hath his revolutions; there must be a period and an end to all things temporal ~ finis rerum ~ an end of names and dignities and whatsoever is terrene, and why not of de Vere? For where is Bohun? Where is Mowbray? Where is Mortimer? Nay, which is more and most of all, where is Plantagenet? They are entombed in the urns and sepulchres of mortality!

And yet let the name and dignity of de Vere stand so long as it pleaseth God.

It pleased God for only three more generations, and within eight years the earldom had been granted to Robert Harley, three times Speaker of the House of Commons and, in 1711, Prime Minister, having left, many believed, insufficient time to ensure no de Vere might yet advance a valid claim to succeed. When the Harleys in their turn died out, there was a seventy years gap before the title was granted again, this time to Herbert Asquith who had been Prime Minister 1908-16. This, too, was contentious, the de Vere and Harley relations complaining he was insufficiently distinguished for such a great earldom ~ one memorably saying that it was “like buying a suburban villa and naming it Versailles.”
Robert Vaughn
How, then, might Miss Schiffer become Countess of Oxford? As is well known, in May 2002 she married Mathew Vaughn, the son, it was believed, of Robert Vaughn (see left), the American actor, and his wife the actress Linda Staab. However, it was recently revealed that in fact Mathew Vaughn’s father was not his mother’s husband ~ he was George Albert Harley Drummond, a scion of the Viscounts of Strathallan..
George Drummond’s great-great-great-grandfather had married Martha Harley, the granddaughter of the third of the Harley Earls of Oxford, and this connection was the basis of the story.
However, that one of his 64 great-great-great-great-great-grandfathers was the 3rd Earl of Oxford was no reason at all for his eligibility as a successor. As with the original earldom when it was held by the de Vere family, the title descended through males and to males only. Moreover, in respect of his son, the product of what was once termed “scandalous conversation”, illegitimacy is a further bar.
Arms of Harley
Arms of de Vere Arms of Drummond
de Vere
It is interesting to note that, according to the most recent issue of Burke’s Peerage, George Drummond, father-in-law of Claudia Schiffer, drops Harley from the names he uses and takes de Vere instead, substituting the name of the more distinguished family, with which he has a remoter connection (his great-great-great-great-grandfather having married the senior heiress of the de Vere line), for the slightly less distinguished one to which he is closer. (The Drummond arms added above right are not his; they are those of the Earl of Perth, his clan chief.)


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