Print this page

September 2014 Newsletter (No. 40) Featured

Warburton John portrait compressedThe College of Arms has purchased a portrait of John Warburton (1682-1759), Somerset Herald. It was acquired from Sir John Elphinstone Bt, a descendant of Warburton's daughter Amelia (1735-1786) who married Captain John Elphinstone RN, an Admiral in the service of Catherine the Great.

Warburton was something of a notorious figure. Born at Bury in Lancashire, the son of a tenant of Lord Derby, he worked as a customs officer in Cumberland, Northumberland and Yorkshire and acted as a government informer during the Jacobite rising of 1715. Soon after being demoted for drunkenness in 1718 he left the revenue service and was appointed Somerset Herald, supposedly in reward for his service to the government in convicting some of the rebels. Admitted a fellow of the Royal Society and the Society of Antiquaries, he was eventually ejected from both bodies. A noted collector of manuscripts and antiquities, he also published county maps for which he sought subscribers in return for including their arms in the margins, but without establishing their entitlement to arms. This caused bad relations with his fellow heralds. His collection of Elizabethan and Jacobean plays was destroyed by his cook, by whom they were burnt or 'put under pye bottoms'. After his death his books and manuscripts were sold at auction, the Duke of Norfolk buying sixty-three lots which he gave to the College.


A Dictionary of Mottoes in England and Wales: A significant new work on mottoes before 1700 by Dr Michael Siddons, formerly Wales Herald Extraordinary, has been published by the Harleian Society. Over many years this renowned heraldic scholar has transcribed mottoes from a wide variety of sources including heraldic manuscripts, seals, portraits, monuments and inscriptions. Sources are given for each motto thus remedying a deficiency in nearly all standard works on the subject. The book can be obtained from the Harleian Society here or by emailing Timothy Duke, Norroy and Ulster King of Arms and Honorary Secretary of the society, using the College of Arms contact form.

Recent Grants of Arms

A very small selection of those recently receiving grants or exemplifications from the English Kings of Arms:

BARKER, Pamela Gay of Holme, Cumbria, DL, wife of Paul Frederick Barker. Arms. Garter and Norroy and Ulster Kings of Arms. 6/3/2014. College reference: Grants 177/349.

CARRINGTON OF FULHAM, Matthew Hadrian (Carrington), Baron, of Fulham in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. Arms, Crest, Badge and Supporters. Garter King of Arms. 20/11/2013. College reference: Grants 178/16.

DUNMAN, Elisabeth Stella, of the London Borough of Merton, daughter of Edward Harold Knill late of Merton deceased and wife of Maurice William Dunman. Arms. Garter and Clarenceux Kings of Arms. 14/1/2014. College reference: Grants 177/298.

FORD, Christopher Ashley, of Washington DC, USA. Honorary Arms, Crest and Badge. Garter, Clarenceux and Norroy and Ulster Kings of Arms. 25/2/2014. College reference: Grants 177/338.

FROST, Angela Jane, of the London Borough of Wandsworth, CBE. Arms and Badge. Garter and Clarenceux Kings of Arms. 3/3/2014. College reference: Grants 177/336.

HEALTH AND CARE PROFESSIONS COUNCIL. Arms, Crest, Supporters and Badge. Garter, Clarenceux and Norroy and Ulster Kings of Arms. 1/8/2014. College reference: Grants 177/346.

HOLYPORT COLLEGE. Arms and Crest. Garter, Clarenceux and Norroy and Ulster Kings of Arms. 8/10/2013. College reference: Grants 177/326.

HUSAIN, Khalid Muneer, of Kent, Maine, USA. Honorary Arms, Crest and Badge. Garter, Clarenceux and Norroy and Ulster Kings of Arms. 5/3/2014. College reference: Grants 177/344.

JOHNS, Sir Richard Edward, of Chitterne, Wiltshire, GCB, KCVO, CBE, Air Chief Marshal in the RAF. Arms, Crest and Supporters. Garter and Clarenceux Kings of Arms. 7/3/2014. College reference: Grants 177/342.

LLOYD, Michael Peter, of Cullompton, Devon. Arms, Crest and Badge. Garter and Clarenceux Kings of Arms. 23/4/2013. College reference: Grants 177/275.

MAGAN OF CASTLETOWN,George Morgan (Magan), Baron, of the RoyalBorough of Kensington and Chelsea. Supporters. Garter King of Arms. 11/9/2013. College reference: Grants 177/322.

MILLER, Ronald Richard, of Rouse Hill, New South Wales, Australia, JP. Arms and Crest. Garter, Clarenceux and Norroy and Ulster Kings of Arms. 27/1/2014. College reference: Grants 177/310.

PAGE-RATCLIFF, Ivan, of Pewsey, Wiltshire. Arms and Crest. Garter and Clarenceux Kings of Arms. 10/12/2013. College reference: Grants 177/281.

PEACE, Sir John Wilfred, of Caunton, Nottinghamshire, Knight. Arms, Crest and Badge. Garter and Norroy and Ulster Kings of Arms. 8/1/2014. College reference: Grants 177/300.

Petre-Firth J patentA grant of Arms and Crest (illustrated left) was made to Justin Lee PETRE-FIRTH of the City of Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, by Letters Patent of Garter and Clarenceux Kings of Arms dated 21 March 2014. College reference: Grants 178/1. The blazon is: 

Arms: Azure two bars wavy Argent between three sprays of Golden Wattle each bearing three Flowers two and one slipped Or.

Crest: Upon a Helm with a Wreath Argent and Azure Upon a Woolpack Azure a Wedge-tailed Eagle close Or holding in the beak a Rose Argent barbed and seeded proper slipped Vert. Mantled Azure doubled Argent.


The Hague Warning: a BBC Radio 4 programme was broadcast on 11 August regarding former Somerset Herald, Rodney Dennys: it can be listened to here. The programme relates how Dennys, whilst serving as an intelligence officer in the Hague during 1939, received a warning that Germany was planning to invade Poland in some weeks' time. The warning, relayed to London by Dennys, was not acted upon; it proved to be accurate to within a few days.

Who Do You Think You Are? USA: Peter O'Donoghue, York Herald, appeared as an expert on an episode of this genealogical television series devoted to the ancestry of actress Valerie Bertinelli. The episode, first broadcast on network TLC on 13 August 2014, showed how she was descended from the Claypole and the Wingfield families. Peter O'Donoghue then showed how the ancestry could be extended further backwards in time, reaching as far as English Kings.


The National Society Colonial Dames XVII Century: Patric Dickinson, Clarenceux King of Arms, spoke to a group from this Society on 3 September 2014 during their Centenary Tour of England on the subject of 'Heraldry and Heralds'. The group then visited the College of Arms, where they were given an introduction to the records and collections by Peter O'Donoghue, York Herald.

Banbury Historical Society: David White, Somerset Herald spoke to a meeting of this society on 11 September 2014 on the subject of 'The Development of English Heraldry'.

Folger Shakespeare Library: in connection with the exhibition Symbols of Honor: Heraldry and Family History in Shakespeare's England, see here for details, Peter O'Donoghue, York Herald, will lecture on 'Heraldry and the College of Arms' on 1 October 2014. Details may be had from the Folger website here.

Recently Recorded Pedigrees

OWLES: a pedigree of three generations shows a descent from Hugh Trafford Owles of the District of Nakuru, Kenya (born 1930). He was married to Margaret Celia daughter of Frederick Phillips Booth of Lolldaiga Hills, Kenya. College reference: Surrey 32/145.

PHIPPS: an extensive pedigree records a descent to the present day from George Augustus Constantine (Phipps), Marquess of Normanby, GCB, GCMG, PC, who was married in 1844 to Laura daughter of Robert Russell. In addition to the Phipps descent, the entry records a descent of four generations from James Fitzgibbon HUNTER of Queensland, Australia, who married in 1943 Maurine Elaine Phipps. Also shown is a descent of four generations from Barry Eric Antti VÄLTILLA of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, married in 1948 to Daphne Margaret Phipps. Connections to the families of LEWIS, HARCOURT, WASHINGTON, SCHNASE, BANNISTER, GOODWIN and COLEMAN are shown. Cross-referenced to existing College register entry Norfolk 47/69. College reference: Surrey 32/161.

Elsewhere in the Records

I. 27 p 44 compressedAugust 2014 saw the 300th anniversary of the accession of King George I to the throne of Great Britain, marking the start of the rule of the Hanoverian dynasty. The heralds, under the jurisdiction of the Earl Marshal or his deputy, had an important rôle to play in arranging and carrying out the ceremonial associated with the accession. This included the Proclamation of King George's succession, and of course the Coronation itself.

The design and registration of Royal and national symbols was also undertaken at the College of Arms, as it is to this day. A draft design of the Royal Arms is illustrated left.

In the course of George I's reign, the Most Honourable Order of the Bath was established. This was the fourth most senior British Order of Chivalry (after the Orders of the Garter, the Thistle, and St Patrick): its chief architect was John Anstis, Garter King of Arms, who was appointed by the King to draw up Statutes for the Order, design its motto, badge, and elements of the robes, and the ceremony for creating a Knight. A temporary exhibition at the College of Arms, also presented on the website, presents a selection of facsimiles of documents held by the College relating to King George I's accession and Coronation and to the Order of the Bath.

We use session cookies to improve your experience with our website. If you continue using our website without changing your settings, or accept, we'll assume you are happy to receive the cookies set. To find out more about how we use cookies, please read our privacy policy.
To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

I accept cookies from this site.