heraldry - The Feudal Herald header



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

Vol. 4, No. 11-12, November-December 2002


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



* A Welcome
* Ancient Battles Ahead
* Blood Royal
* Thomson Arms
* Differencing With Diagonals
* “Ilk” and Other Misused Words
* Bogus Titles
* A Feudal Earldom For Sale
* A Feudal Barony Unsurpassed in Fame
* Royal Flush
* Are You Being Conned?
* 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.

We wish all our readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Successful New Year.

The last lines of the Chanson de Roland have Charlemagne, asleep after what he believes to have been his final battle, visited by the Archangel Gabriel with a message bidding him to summon his army yet again.
Full loth to go, the Emperor was he:
“God!” he said, “My life is hard indeed!”
Tears filled his eyes; he tore his snowy beard.
And that is the end! The great Christian emperor has won his battles and peace is at last triumphant, but the angel of God calls him once more to the unending task.

It is where we stand today, with two World Wars behind us, and a long “Cold War”, in which so many died forlorn, finally over. For a brief moment we relaxed.

Readers write to ask where we stand as historians, for our views on terrorism and Iraq, and it is here in what the minstrel sings that we see the answer most clearly. His song has an end that is no end.

G.K. Chesterton perceptively commented ~

The poem ends, as it were, with a vision and vista of war against the barbarians; and the vision is true. For that war is never ended which defends the sanity of the world against all the stark anarchies and rending negations which rage against it for ever. That war is never finished in this world .......


As we mentioned in the last newsletter, our copy of Blood Royal arrived too late for a review to be included immediately in the magazine. However, it is now online, in time for it to be read before Christmas. (The book is recommended as an ideal gift.)

The fourth in our series on the arms of currently chiefless clans (previous articles were on Anderson, Paterson and Stevenson) examines those of indeterminate cadets of that Chief designated in the mid-16th century as Thomson of that Ilk. There are, of course, Thomsons all over Scotland (and in large numbers in Eastern England) who are not all related to each other, but the bond of the shared surname allows them the status of “an honourable community”, and if one should prove his descent from that 16th century Thomson of that Ilk, then the Lord Lyon might perhaps recognise that the clan has yet again a Chief.
Despite claims made to the contrary, no one can be Chief of two clans, and the Chief of the Name and Arms of MacTavish is not also Thomson of that Ilk. Nevertheless, there are Thomsons who recognise Dunardry as their Chief, and thus belong to Clan MacTavish, just as there are Thomsons who recognise Fraser of Lovat as theirs. An interesting new page on the Web gives the history of the McCoss Thomsons and the long association they have with Clan Fraser. It is essential reading for all who wish to understand how Highland relationships were formed and Scotch surnames evolved.
A helpful book recommended for those who wish to read more is Collins Scottish Clan & Family Encyclopedia by George Way of Plean.

We continue the series on differencing (or cadency) with a look at examples of arms differenced by a bend or by one of its derivatives, the bendlet and cottise (both known confusingly by such other names as baston, cost, riband, etc).


The explanation of “that Ilk” published in our FAQs attracted the attention of Jenna Glatzer, an author who is compiling a new reference book with the provocative title “Words You Thought You Knew: Commonly Misused and Misunderstood Words” for publication by Adams Media and thought we might contribute other candidates for inclusion. We chose three of those that most irritate us.

feudal ~ This frequently appears in political writings and is now used increasingly as a synonym for unjust, retarded, tyrannous, or any other pejorative adjective for which the speaker cannot find the exact word he seeks. Correctly used it refers to a system of reciprocal loyalties between, in its original form, a landowner and its tenant, which requires the former to protect the latter, and the latter to aid the former when called upon to do so. The chain of feudal relationships stretched from the prince to the lord to the tenant to the subtenant to the serf, with justice, political direction and protection extending downwards, and counsel, labour and military support extending upwards.
forensic ~ Police forces have medical and scientific departments often described as departments of forensic medicine and forensic science. Policemen tend to refer to the people working in these departments as the “forensic specialists” and then extend this use to the departments themselves, referring to them as “forensics”. Detectives pick up an exhibit, place it in a plastic bag, and then hand it to a subordinate with the order, “Take that to forensics.” As a consequence of reading this in novels and hearing it on television and radio, many of the public (and the police) have come to believe that “forensic” means “scientific” or “medical”. It does not. “Forensic” means “legal”. It has never meant anything other than “legal” or “appropriate or adapted to argument”.
refute ~ This is a word beloved of politicians and used ubiquitously by them instead of the honest word “deny”. Even such authoritative organisations as the BBC abuse its meaning. How many times have you heard that “A spokesman has today refuted the suggestion that ....... ” when all he has done is to declare it untrue, to deny it? When a charge or suggestion is proved to be untrue, then and only then is it refuted.
If Jenna Glatzer’s book prevents pamphleteers from misusing “feudal”, journalists and authors from misusing “forensic”, and politicians from misusing “refute”, it will for these good deeds alone be worth the cover price.
Those of our readers who are already established or are as yet only aspiring writers will find her Absolute Write website an invaluable resource for links to markets and reference material.

Confirmation in the communications media of increased interest in the bogus “titles” market came in October with the publication in The Daily Telegraph, the leading British “quality” newspaper, of the article we reproduce here.

Other news on this subject ~

Gary Martin Beaver, against whom a writ and injunction have been issued, has not so far contacted the court or the plaintiff’s lawyers to provide an address for service. Readers who know his whereabouts are asked to write to the Editor. (Confidences will be respected.)

Edward Stewart Dugald MacTavish of Dunardry (described as “Sir Edward” on his website) is another against whom a writ and injunction have been issued, and the court now awaits the lodging of his defence. It is hoped that this will soon be forthcoming, although those who know him well predict he will stay under cover and ignore the court’s proceedings.

Antonio Adolfo Boada Cartaya (alias Baron Chafford, Marquis d’Alessio, Lord Edward, Prince de Lusignan, et al.) is back in business (while his website remains closed). He is offering a bunch of titles at much reduced prices through Expatriate World, the notorious newsletter. The text of the advertisement is worth reading. It is extremely funny.


As we predicted last year, an important barony has come to market expecting to be sold for between £200,000 and £250,000 ~ around US$400,000. (It was this forecast that prompted charges that Baronage was in the business of selling titles for inflated and ridiculous prices.) The barony is the feudal earldom of Crawfurd-Lindsay, erected in 1648 in favour of the 1st Earl of Lindsay, 10th Lord Lindsay of the Byres, who later succeeded to the older Lindsay Earldom of Crawford and styled himself Earl of Crawford-Lindsay (as did his five immediate successors).

The Lindsays, who trace their ancestry back through the 12th century Earls of Lincoln to Flanders in what is now Belgium, were one of the most powerful families in mediaeval Scotland. The arms on the right are of the 10th Lord Lindsay of the Byres, differencing the fess chequy of the Lindsays with the three silver mullets from Mure of Abercorn.


Baronage has learned that a barony bearing one of the best known Scottish names (perhaps the best known Scottish name) is coming to market. The peer bearing the same name is the Chief of his Clan, and the barony, until it was sold by accident a few years ago, was his seat. The present owner hopes for a million pounds, four times the highest bid known for a barony (the feudal earldom of Arran), but argues that as the fame of the name is unique, it is worth that. It is certainly true that the fame is unique.

Baronage will publish the barony’s name and the details of the offer in the next issue of the magazine ~ due out in January.


William Dennenburg’s highly entertaining parody of Hollywood’s romantic-adventure- comedy genre is on sale as an e-book. Readers are urged to look at the brief details published by Baronage (and to support Baronage by buying Banneret books).


We have in the past asked readers to circulate the Baronage URL to their friends and colleagues, so that the truth about the bogus title scams can be spread around the Internet. We have now taken this a stage further and produced an e-book that we hope all our readers will pass on to their address book with a request that the recipients do the same. This e-book explains the way the scams work and how to recognise the users of bogus titles. If it reaches the size of circulation possible on the Internet, it will do this vile trade some significant damage. All our readers can help in this.


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