The Cambridge University Heraldic & Genealogical Society

The Escutcheon

Volume 3

Number 2 – Lent Term, 1998

Message from the President

Welcome in 1997, welcome back in Cambridge.

Last term was exciting as always in C.U.H.&G.S. At the first meeting Dr Gordon Wright, our Senior Treasurer told us the story of the Cambridge Armorial. Together with Robin Millerchip he is preparing another publication, this time about the non-University heraldry of the town.

Mr Nicholas Norman amazed us with slides about the most splendid arms and armours from over the centuries.

It is difficult to describe the atmosphere at the talk of Miss Bliss. She told us an unbelievable story of a bell that once belonged to Lady Clare, whom Clare College is named after, and after a long and still mysterious journey arrived to Miss Bliss. She is yet to find an appropriate place for this 14th century bell, and some of the audience were rather happy to help her with ideas – the story might continue.

Then at the end of November, we heard a rather amusing talk from Honorary Vice-President Cecil Humphery-Smith. Following our traditions, we closed the term with a very nice dinner.

This coming term should not be less interesting. The key event of the year is of course the Annual Dinner, the details of which should reach you soon. This is a must for present and past members of the society, and I hope that we will celebrate the anniversary in great number. I am looking forward to see you on many of our other meetings, too,

László Á. Kóczy

The Queen’s Beasts

On Tuesday, 24th February, 1998, a set of five 26p postage stamps featuring the Queen’s Beasts was launched by the Post Office. The designer, Jeffrey Matthews, F.C.S.I., was inspired by the wonderful display of Woodford’s sculpture which had been placed outside the entrance to Westminster Abbey when our present Queen was crowned in 1953. The idea of providing this Guard of Honour of beasts, supporting shields with Royal Arms and Badges reflecting the Queen’s descent, was suggested by Sir George Bellew, the then Garter King of Arms.

In 1513, Henry VIII’s pavilion at the Field of the Cloth of Gold had been decorated with a series of beasts and, subsequently, the beasts appeared in profusion at Hampton Court and at Windsor. However only the following ten were selected for the 1953 Coronation and these are the ones which appear in pairs on the new stamps.

  1. The Golden Lion of England bears a shield of the present Royal Arms. It is thought that Henry I used a lion as his personal badge and this probably accounts for the presence of lions in the Arms of Geoffrey Plantaganet.

  2. The Golden Griffin of Edward III bears a shield of the livery colours, red and gold, with the round tower of Windsor Castle ensigned by a Royal Crown and surrounded by oak sprigs, the Badge of the present House of Windsor.

  3. The Silver Falcon of the Plantaganets bears a shield of the York livery colours, blue and mulberry, with the falcon and fetterlock badge used by John of Gaunt.

  4. The Black Bull of Clarence bears a shield of the pre-1603 Royal Arms (of France quartering England). Black bulls were used as supporters by the Duke of Clarence who married Elizabeth de Burgh. In fact the black bull was associated with the Honour (estate) of Clare or Clarence, owned by Elizabeth de Clare (foundress of Clare College), which subsequently passed on to the Burghs.

  5. The White Lion of Mortimer bears a shield of the York livery, blue and mulberry, with a white rose-en-soleil, a favourite badge of Edward IV, who inherited the white lion from his grandmother Anne Mortimer.

  6. The Silver Yale of Beaufort with golden spots bears a shield of the Lancaster livery, white and blue, with a gold portcullis ensigned by a Royal Crown. The Yale, which has the body of an antelope, lion’s tail and a head with unique swivelling horns and boar’s tusks, appears as a supporter in the Beaufort Arms, and the portcullis was the Beaufort badge. Lady Margaret Beaufort, foundress of both Christ’s and St John’s Colleges was the mother of Henry VII. Over the entrance to St John’s, there is an achievement incorporating this mythical beast.

  7. The White Greyhound of Richmond bears a shield of Tudor livery, white and green, with a Tudor Rose ensigned by a Royal Crown. Henry VII sometimes used greyhounds as supporters and on his standards. His father, Edmund Tudor, was created Earl of Richmond and the white greyhound was associated with the Honour of Richmond. The rose in the badge shows the association of the red and the white elements of Lancaster and York respectively, emphasising the union of the rival houses.

  8. The Red Dragon of Wales bears the quarterly shield of _Or and Gules, four lions passant guardant counterchanged_, associated with Llewelyn ap Griffith, the last native Prince of Wales. Henry VII’s grandfather, Owen Tudor, had a dragon as his emblem and, to emphasise the Welsh link, Henry VII instituted the office of Rouge Dragon Pursuivant at the College of Arms.

  9. The White Unicorn of Scotland bears a shield with the Arms of Scotland. In the early 15th century the unicorn was a Royal Beast in Scotland and Unicorn Pursuivant was already an Officer of Arms. However it did not become a supporter of the Scottish Royal Arms until the late 16th century. When James VI of Scotland came to the English throne the unicorn became the sinister supporter of his Royal Arms.

  10. The White Horse of Hanover bears a shield of the Royal Arms of the United Kingdom borne from 1714 to 1800. The Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg and Elector of Hanover was father of George I, so these links were reflected in the fourth quarter of the Royal Arms which was divided into three to incorporate the two golden leopards of Brunswick, the blue lion of Lüneburg and the running white horse of Hanover. Although this Hanoverian emblem has never become a Royal Supporter or Badge, George I appointed two heralds to the newly-founded Order of the Bath, naming one of them Blanc Coursier (white steed). The emblem also features in several military badges including the King’s Regiment of Foot, the West Yorkshire and 3rd The King’s Own Hussars.

These commemorative stamps are very attractive not only to the dedicated philatelist but also to everyone with an interest in heraldry. First day covers were available from the British Philatelic Bureau which applied a rampant unicorn cancellation mark whilst the City of Westminster Post Office postmark was a Royal Shield.

Derek A. Palgrave

Notice of A.G.M.

Notice of the ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING of the CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY HERALDIC AND GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY to be held on SATURDAY, 2 MAY, 1998 at 3-00 p m in the Kennedy Room of the Union Society Building, Cambridge


  1. Apologies for absence
  2. Approval of minutes of A.G.M. held 3rd May, 1997
  3. Matters arising from previous minutes
  4. President’s report
  5. Secretary’s report
  6. Matters arising from the reports of the President and Secretary
  7. Junior Treasurer’s report and presentation of accounts for the period 1 Oct 1996 - 30 Sep 1997
  8. Matters arising from the accounts and their formal adoption
  9. Election and re-election of officers
  10. Motions proposed by members
  11. Any other business
  12. Date and place of next Annual General Meeting

MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING held Saturday, 3rd May, 1997, at Union Society Building, Cambridge

Present: László Kóczy (President), Gordon Wright (Senior Treasurer), Nicolas Bell (Junior Treasurer), Richard Marquis-Hirsch (Archivist), Robin Millerchip (Committee), Evelyn Logan (Committee), Sarah King-Lewis, Bari Logan, Tim Cockerill, Julian Cable, John Horton and Maria Klepacka. The meeting began at 3-12 p.m.

  1. Apologies for absence were received from William Sanders, Chloë Cockerill, Hugh and Hermione Montgomery.

  2. The approval of the Minutes of the A.G.M. of 1996 was postponed in their and the Secretary’s absence. (The minutes are appended to these and will be submitted for approval at the A.G.M. of 1998)

  3. Any matters arising from the absent minutes were redesignated as Any Other Business.

  4. The accounts for the academic year were presented. The Junior Treasurer made the following remarks:

    1. His work was greatly simplified by there being only one Junior Treasurer, and by the new system of the financial and academic years being the same.
    2. The Society is in a financially very favourable position. The bank balance increased significantly over the year, and there were no debtors or creditors.
    3. This increase is largely accountable to several donations, some of them extremely generous. In addition some speakers waived their expenses and the Senior treasurer claimed but a nominal amount for the year’s supply of port. The Society should be warned that it would be dangerous to assume that such generosity will be repeated in perpetuity.
    4. The number of new members is depressingly small.
    5. Social events again paid for themselves, but only by the fortuity that one dinner gained £150 and the next lost it. Future Secretaries should take note and price dinners with more caution.
  5. The President reported on the year’s events, in the Secretary’s absence. He expressed concern that he might have concentrated on too much on the fortieth anniversary celebrations and insufficiently on resolving various problems. The primary problem, the dearth of undergraduates at meetings can only be ascribed to disinterest and heavy work-loads on their parts. To show that the Society has serious purposes, some of our more knowledgeable (and older) members should help man the stall at the Societies Fair. This would be one demonstration of the general principle that ideas are more productive than mere criticism. The return of the Library to the Society is much more pleasing and Robin Millerchip, Richard Marquis-Hirsch and Gordon Wright must be thanked for their persistence in this regard. Likewise, The Eschutcheon has come on apace, largely thanks to Derek Palgrave, who has been a vital contact with the F.F.H.S. and the outside world. Despite various problems, it has been a successful year: speakers gave good talks and left with good feelings about the Society, and the dinners were attended above expectation Nicolas Bell pointed out that another aspect in which the Society had excelled was in its Internet pages, for which the President was entirely reponsible.

  6. The President proposed the motion, arising from the Junior Treasurer’s report, that given the favourable financial situation and unfavourable membership situation, membership fees should be reduced, adding that they were presently more than most University societies' fees.

  7. The following officers were elected (all nem. con.)

  • President: Nicolas Bell (proposed László Kóczy; seconded Richard Marquis-Hirsch)
  • Secretary: Richard Marquis-Hirsch as acting Secretary until 1st October, 1997, the position to be reconsidered shortly thereafter (proposed Tim Cockerill; seconded Robin Millerchip)
  • Junior Treasurer: Nicolas Bell re-elected (proposed Eve Logan; seconded László Kóczy)
  • Committee (University): Maria Klepacka (proposed László Kóczy: seconded Richard Marquis-Hirsch): second post to be considered in Michaelmas Term 1997 (sed. vac.)
  • Committee (Town): Evelyn Logan re-elected; Tim Cockerill (proposed Robin Millerchip; seconded Richard Marquis-Hirsch).

The Vice-Presidents and Senior Treasurer were re-elected.

  1. Motions proposed by any other members and any other business
  • Nicolas Bell pointed out that Cecil Humphery-Smith had expressed concern about a new postcard of the arms of Cambridge Colleges which blatantly copied the artwork of The Cambridge Armorial whilst claiming that its design was copyright by a certain Tim Rawle and that “the illustrations on this card were commissioned by, and specially prepared for, the Cambridge Portfolio ©.” To add insult to injury, it describes the shields as “armorial crests”. Robin Millerchip pointed out that legal action would most likely be foolish; Gordon Wright added furthermore that the copyright rests not with the Society, but with Cecil Humphery-Smith, himself, and the extant co-authors of The Cambridge Armorial. Nicolas Bell stressed that legal action was not on his mind, and received the Society’s approval for his intention, clarified by Maria Klepacka and John Horton, to write to the publishers of the postcard pointing out politely that their copyrght ascription was incorrect, that the designation of a shield as “crest” perpetuates an heraldic bête noir, and that it would be polite to mention either the Society or The Cambridge Armorial on the back.

  • Robin Millerchip bemoaned the paucity of committee meetings and pointed out that he had not been asked to do anything all year, even though it was clear that much needed to be done that had not been done.

  • Richard Marquis-Hirsch reported discreetly on the return of the library after its five-year period of absence. He thanked Robin Millerchip, Gordon Wright and the Senior Bursar and Head Porter of the offending former President’s college for their assistance and again raised the question of its future location. Gordon Wright promised to ask the Librarian of Clare if there would be room for a lockable cupboard in the Memorial Library, and Maria Klepacka said she would pursue the matter with an acquaintance at St John’s Library.

There being no further business, the meeting closed at four o’clock and was followed by tea and sandwiches.

MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING held Saturday, 27th April, 1996 at Union Society Building, Cambridge

Present: Paul Mitcham, Isabelle Dubois, László Kóczy, Gordon Wright, Derek Palgrave, Robin Millerchip, Sarah King-Lewis, Eve Logan, Nicolas Bell, Tony Finch, Tim Cockerill, Chris West-Sadler, Yumiko Seno, Richard Marquis-Hirsch, John Horton and Katharine Clare.

  1. An apology for absence was received from Daphne Rosalinde Wyke and Richard Marquis-Hirsch; John Horton and Tony Finch offered advance apologies for their being late.

  2. The Minutes of the A.G.M. of 1995 were approved as seen.

  3. The matter of the recovery of the library arose from the previous minutes, and it was decided to take further, more forceful action.

  4. The joint Junior Treasurers presented the accounts for the 17-month financial period 1 May, 1994 to 30 September, 1995, and the Senior Treasurer reported on them. The financial position remained unclear and very complicated, but the bank balance, disregarding debts, had risen from £32-24 at the start of the period to £190-18 at the end. Social functions were self-supporting. Donations amounted to £682-69, including a generous donation from our Patron. The Senior Treasurer added that the preparation of the accounts would have been greatly simplified had the cheques been entered into the bank book one by one; moreover that individual cheques be requested for each occasion. He also suggested that it would be easier to have one Junior Treasurer in charge rather than the present “Cox and Box” situation in which neither could explain all the accounts without the other’s help. It was suggested in subsequent discussion that the Junior Treasurer be a University member.

  5. The Secretary reported on what, in his mind, had been a most successful year, which had quickly and easily accommodated the changes to the constitution, the new positioning of the financial year, and the new concept of “Friend of the Society”, the new Journal and the new affiliation to the F.F.H.S. Recruitment was slighter than hoped for: people should be encouraged to join on the spot at the Societies Fair.

  6. The President had no motions to propose.

  7. The following Officers were elected:
    • _President_: László Kóczy (proposed Paul Mitcham; seconded Chris West-Sadler)
    • _Secretary_: Tony Finch (proposed László Kóczy; seconded Paul Mitcham)
    • _Junior Treasurer_: Nicolas Bell (proposed Paul Mitcham; seconded Isabelle Dubois)
    • _Committee (University)_: with the consent of the President, Robin Millerchip (seconded Richard Marquis-Hirsch. [N.B. Ian Jenkins was later added.]
    • _Committee (Town)_: Robin Millerchip (re-elected); Evelyn Logan (proposed Paul Mitcham; seconded Robion Millerchip)
    Holders of senior posts were re-elected with no changes.

  8. _Any Other Business_
    • Paul Mitcham pointed out that the Society’s computer had become useless and unsellable. It was agreed to write it off.
    • Gordon Wright proposed that the title “Michaelmas Feast” was inappropriate to one held in December. “Martinmas”, “Advent” and “St Nicholas” were suggested, and the last was accepted. [The following Feast took place on St Andrew’s Day!]
    • Our Patron’s noble benefaction of his _Liber Amicorum_ must be kept very safe, Dr Wright added; to make it available to members, permission will be requested for a colour photographic copy to be made.
    • Richard Marquis-Hirsch offered to make a calendar of the archives in the University Library. He also urged members to make contributions to _The Escutcheon_.
    • Attention was drawn to the third of the Society’s fortieth anniversaries which was approaching and this called for (another) grander than usual Annual Dinner, as well as posssibly other events. Concern was nevertheless expressed that dinners should not be universally expensive, and it was suggested that student prices should not exceed £25-00, perhaps with the exception of the Annual Dinner.

  9. The dates of the next A.G.M. and Committee meetings were left to the President’s discretion.

Book Review

Tracing Your Family History, Stella Colwell, Hodder and Stoughton, London, 1997. 296pp 128 x 198 mm, paperback. ISBN 0 340 59825-5, £7-99.

This book is one of the Teach Yourself series: this is, of course, singularly appropriate because family history is very much an activity in which you actually do teach yourself. One always learns from practical experience and, as the process of collecting the necessary evidence is essentially a solitary pursuit, the outcome is normally the achievement of a level of comptence through personal effort and not as the result of conventional teaching.

Of course no research can proceed without a plan and, in the 18 chapters and two appendices of this book, there are many extremely useful pointers. The basic requirement, to investigate all the source material in the hands of the family, is emphasised at the outset. Particular stress is placed on the value of reminiscences, family documents and heirlooms. The importance of data from birth, marriage and death certificates is given due prominence and the author takes the trouble to describe civil registration not only within the UK but also abroad.

The use of census returns, transcripts and indexes, which are such powerful aids to research, is explained in detail. Other official listings including those for electors, ratepayers, householders (in local directories) are noted, as are maps and local newspapers. In fact, on pages 108 and 109 a very comprehensive diagram reveals a very wide range of State, Church and private archives, their categories, whereabouts and accessibilities. Three chapters are devoted to parish registers including Nonconformists records and the International Genealogical Index (I.G.I.). The author also deals with marriage licences, banns, poor law documentation, probate and estate records.

The penultimate chapter, Fred Karnot’s Army, explores the family history of this famous entertainer and some of his contemporaries including Stan Laurel and Charlie Chaplain with his specifically Suffolk connections. By presenting their biographical and other details in the form of an attractive narrative, the author is able to lead the reader on to the final chapter which discusses ways of recording the results of research and preparing a suitable text for publication.

Because there are so many facets to the study of family history, the options on how to proceed are considerable. In consequence there are several textbooks to choose from. All offer valid advice but none can claim to cover every aspect of this field of study. Stella Colwell has had many years of practical experience so her methodology is well-tried. Although her approach is largely traditional, her book is packed with information that at a price of £7-99 it is is definitely a very good buy indeed.

Members' Interests

Surname Place Period Occupation/trade Contact Address

Hancock Devon late 17 c Merchant/sailor R.W. Millerchip Clare Hancock S. Yorkshire 1870-1920 Steel/cutlery R.W. Millerchip Clare Hancock Overseas 1870-1918 Diplomatic service R.W. Millerchip Clare She(a)rtston(e) S. Yorkshire 1870-1920 Steel/cutlery R.W. Millerchip Clare

Other members of the Society are invited to submit details of any surnames they are researching so that others, with similar interests, can make contact.