Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Some random thoughts on blazon, and a new series of Shields

Arms were not always carried down through a family in the same form as they were originally.  If that were the case, the study of heraldry would not be nearly as interesting as it is.  Finding a family name that is carried down to fourth 'Ralph' or the tenth 'William' creates additional complexity, for most armorial rolls span several decades, prompting the question - which arms go with which knight, when they are all named Robert and their lifespans overlapped closely?

This is why in the following series of arms, some are modified with "Might have been" borne by....  Although I make every effort to correctly match the arms to the correct knight, there is room for confusion. Anyone who can offer positive identification with sources is very welcome to comment -- please!

The five knights in this series were connected through common cause against King Henry III and the foreign clerics of the Roman church, who were violating tradition and law and enriching themselves with taxes meant for the benefit of the kingdom and the people.

Leo and April
are both related, though not in direct ascendency, to Sir Simon de Montfort, 2nd Earl of Leicester.  He might have borne these arms at the Battle of Lewes in 1264  --

gules a lion rampant argent
Simon had an older brother who probably bore these arms until he died in 1241, and then his eldest son would have the same arms until his death in 1249. Simon's nephew left no male heir so Simon might have rightfully borne these arms from 1249 until his death 4 Aug 1265 at the Battle of Evesham. The double tail on the lion is an unusual difference on Simon's family shield.

Tomorrow: Sir Hugh le Despenser

Image from Wikipedia at  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_de_Montfort,_6th_Earl_of_Leicester
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License;
Origin of picture
Its description comes from La banque du blason et Armorial de J.B. RIETSTAP
Picture drawn by Odejea on October 2005, the 22nd





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