|WEDNESDAY, 12TH FEBRUARY, 1986|
|F4, Clare College|
D. Mark Collins
Once again the committee and speaker dined in Hall at Clare before the talk. Those present were: Dr. Spufford, Dr & Mrs Wright, Nick Cox, Charmian Leaver, Andrew Scott and John Horton.
As a welcome change from having to wrestle with a recalcitrant slide projector, the only visual aid was a superb hatchment (with the arms of the Hodges family) which was carefully propped up on the mantelpiece of F4. Dr Spufford then told us of the elaborate funeral processions of the eighteenth century and earlier in which the armour of the deceased was carried and later left in the church. Originally this was real armour but later boiled leather imitations took its place and, most recently, just the coat of arms would be carried, on a hatchment. The hatchment would then be hung in the church, either over the grave or above the pulpit, or hung in the family's house during the period of mourning. For a single coat of arms the same hatchment might suffice for several generations but when a married couple's arms were impaled the hatchment could obviously only be used twice. In this case one side of the background would be painted black when the first partner died and the second side filled in at the appropriate time. There was some speculation at the end as to various permutations of this which might be used in unusual situations.
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Cambridge University Heraldic and Genealogical Society