William Barnston (1592-1665) of Churton, a village some seven miles/twelve kilometres south of Chester, was among the royalist defenders of that city against the attacks of parliamentary forces and the final siege of 1645-1646. He was imprisoned for a time after the Civil War and was obliged to pay a fine to the Interregnum government before he could return to his estates. The area had suffered heavy damage during the war, but soon after the Restoration of King Charles II in 1660 Barnston was able to rebuild his parish church of St Chad at nearby Farndon, and he added a chapel with a memorial panel to his experience of the war and a window commemorating his comrades of Chester.
After general conflict in Cheshire between royalists and parliamentarians, the parliamentarian forces under Sir William Brereton (1604-1661) established supremacy in the county. Chester, held out as a royalist stronghold, however, and was important as an entry-port for troops from Wales and Ireland. After some early attacks in 1643 and 1644, full siege was laid in September 1645. The city held out for several months, repelling many assaults, but as supply lines were cut the people were faced with starvation, and the garrison surrendered in February of the following year.
After three and a half centuries it is not surprising that the Farndon window has suffered damage and decay: one panel at the top is missing and many details are blurred. By good fortune, however, a coloured copy was made in the early nineteenth century and an engraving of it was published in Ormerod’s History of Cheshire:
In the Barnston chancel …[is] a curious historical subject, which was rescued from a state of extreme decay, and repaired at the expence of the late dean of Chester. It is represented in the attached engraving, on a scale reduced about two-thirds from a fac-simile drawing, which was executed under the inspection of the dean, when the glass was in his possession.
The Dean of Chester was Hugh Cholmondeley (1773-1815), who held that office at Chester Cathedral from 1806 until his death, four years before Ormerod published his History. In the engraving, the blank panel at the top is occupied by a title sheet with an attribution to his patronage.
The engraving is presented on a two-page spread-sheet. It is certainly clearer than the photographs, and given that it was prepared under supervision we may accept it as a fair reproduction. A full copy appears at the end; details are used for comparison and clarification in this essay.
The window is divided into four registers, with four larger panels in the centre, four each across the top and bottom, and four each again in column on either side. Since the overall measurement is no more than 28 inches/72 centimetres high and 18 inches/46 centimetres wide, the twenty pictures are all quite small.
The four central panels have a display of arms, armour and other equipment, and the one in the upper left also shows an officer standing outside a tent and carrying a baton of command. From the shield part-hidden behind him: or, three mallets sable [yellow, with three black wooden hammers], he can be identified as Sir Francis Gammul (1606-1654). A former mayor of Chester, when King Charles raised his standard at Nottingham and issued a call to arms in August 1642 he raised troops in the city and brought a contingent to join him. He played a leading role in the defence of the city and was made a baronet in 1644.
Eight small pictures on either side of the window show figures of armoured infantrymen with muskets and pikes, and in four larger pictures across the base there are a pikeman, a junior officer bearing a flag, a flute-player and a drummer. In his discussion of the window, Colonel Field notes that the figures are based upon contemporary drawings published in France by the engraver and water-colourist Abraham Bosse (c.1604-1676): styles were the same on both sides of the Channel.
Like Sir Francis Gamull, the flag-bearer can be identified by the shield in the corner of his picture: the shield is black, with three white greyhounds, surrounded by a white border [sable, three greyhounds courant argent, within a bordure of the last]. This was the insignia of the Berington family of Cheshire, and the top of the shield has a “label of three points” – a bar with three pendants – indicating that he is an eldest son whose father is still living.
The senior lineage of the Berington family had held the estates of Bradwall and Moores-barrow, a short distance southeast of Middlewich in Cheshire, but they passed by marriage to the Oldfield family in the late sixteenth century. A cadet branch, however, still held property at Warmingham, some five kilometres/three miles south of Middlewich, and Hugh Berington was baptised there in 1626. In 1644 Hugh would have been eighteen, and Ensign – equivalent to a second lieutenant at the present day – was an appropriate rank for a young gentleman.
The shield of the Grosvenor family, blue with a yellow sheaf of grain [azure, a garb or] is marked at the top by a label of three points, indicating that – like Ensign Berington above – Richard Grosvenor is the eldest son and his father is living.
A label also appears on the shield of William Mainwaring. In his case, however, his father Edmund was a second son, so the family shield of two red bars on a white ground [argent, two bars gules] is also differenced by a crescent for cadency.
The Barnston shield is complex: blue with an indented bar of speckled with black across the centre, and six complex yellow crosses [azure, a fess dancettée ermine between six cross-crosslets or (ermine is a formulaic rendering of the animal’s fur)]. It does not, however, have any marks of difference, so William Barnston was the head of his family.
The colours in the window have been affected by age and in several places they are uncertain. Where the Cholmondeley copy, for example, has sashes in differing colours and Gamull and Grosvenor with yellow coats, Field argues that all the sashes and the senior officers’ jackets were originally red. With the handsome headgear, this was parade dress; Barnston, however, was wearing the long, close-fitting “buff coat” of heavy leather, often made from buffalo- or ox-hide, which gave basic protection in combat.
As pictured in the side columns of the window, some pikemen bore half-armour of metal plate over the leather. Such corselets, however, were heavy to wear and were going out of use, while musketeers had sufficient problems with their weapons. Two shown in the side panels are holding “matchlocks,” dangerous and erratic and requiring a pole to rest upon, but even the new, lighter “firelocks” shown in the other pictures were awkward to manage. Horsemen, like William Mainwaring’s cousin Philip, carried pistols and swords and were often armoured, but the soldiers in the Farndon window were defending a city and had no use for cavalry.
William Barnston, who had the Farndon window made in the early 1660s, has already been discussed, while nothing more is known of Ensign Berington – even his identification as the Hugh Berington baptised at Warmingham in 1626 is uncertain. We can, however, offer a brief account of the other officers shown in the window:
Following the surrender of Chester in 1646, Sir Francis Gamull was able to compound for his estates, but in 1654 he joined a rising against the newly-established Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell. The rebellion was defeated and Francis Gamull was executed. He left no sons, and the baronetcy was extinguished.
The Grosvenor family of Eaton Hall in Eccleston, just to the south of Chester, were leading gentry of the county. As a member of Parliament in the 1620s, Sir Richard Grosvenor (1585-1645) had been a strong supporter of the royal interest, and he had been made a baronet by King Charles in 1622. His son, also Richard Grosvenor (c.1604-1665) was High Sheriff of Cheshire in 1643 and raised troops in the royal cause.
Richard Grosvenor succeeded to the baronetcy at his father’s death in 1645, and later generations of the family became increasingly successful and prosperous. The present-day Duke of Westminster, Hugh Grosvenor, one of the wealthiest men in England, is a direct descendant, and Eaton Hall in Cheshire is his country house.
William Mainwaring (c.1616-1645) had been a Sergeant-Major of the troop brought by Sir Francis Gamull to join the king’s forces when he raised his standard at Nottingham in 1642. William took part in the campaign which led to the battle of Edgehill on 23 October, first engagement of the civil war, and he was knighted by the king at Oxford in January of the following year.
William’s father Edmund (1579-c.1650) was a younger son of Sir Randle Mainwaring of Over Peover (d.1612), some fifty kilometres/thirty miles east of Chester. While many gentlemen of the time determined their allegiance in the war through family interest and local alliances rather than by any political or religious conviction, the Mainwarings were divided. Philip Mainwaring of Over Peover, whose armour is shown above, was a son of Sir Randle and first cousin of William, but as William defended Chester for the king Philip was commanding a troop of cavalry in the parliamentary army.
Sir William Mainwaring was killed in October 1645, fighting on the walls of Chester. It was reported that he had been wounded by musket-shot under the arm and died on the following day. His widow Hester was left with two daughters and an infant son, who died a few months later. The elder daughter Hester had no children, but Judith married John Busby, who was knighted by Charles II in recognition of the service given by his father-in-law, and their daughter Hester married Thomas Egerton of Tatton Park near Knutsford in Cheshire; her descendants became barons and earls.
 There is a general history of the war in Cheshire in The History of the County Palatine and City of Chester: compiled from original evidences in public offices, the Harleian and Cottonian mss., parochial registers, private muniments, unpublished ms. collections of successive Cheshire antiquaries, and a personal survey of every township in the county; incorporated with a republication of King’s Vale Royal, and Leycester’s Cheshire Antiquities, by George Ormerod (1785-1873), 3 volumes, Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor and Jones, London 1819 [archive.org] Ormerod, History I, xxxv-xxxviii, and a modern account in “Early Modern Chester 1550-1762: the civil war and interregnum, 1642-60,” 115-125; digitised by British History Online [BHO] from A History of the County of Chester, Volume 5 Part 1 “The City of Chester: General History and Topography,” published by Victoria County History, London 2003; online at british-history.ac.uk/vch/ches/vol5/pt1/pp115-125.
 After the victory of Parliament in the civil war, gentlemen who had fought on the royalist side did not suffer a direct confiscation of their estates, but had to pay in order to keep them. The process was known as “compounding.”
 The window is discussed, with photographs, at the following websites:
There is also an article on “Army Uniforms in a Stained Glass Window in Farndon Church, Cheshire – temp Charles I,” by Colonel C Field, in Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research V.22, 174-177 [https://www.jstor.org/stable/44227597].
I also acknowledge the most impressive and helpful site cheshire-heraldry.org.uk, described as “A web site dedicated to the art and science of heraldry in the County Palatine of Chester.” It provides a quantity of information, with excellent sources, and has impressive illustrations.
Ormerod, History II, page 408. This introductory paragraph is followed by another with a description of the contents, which has been drawn upon for some of the discussion which follows.
 His dates of appointment are given by Ormerod, History I, 221. Reproductions from the engraving are referred to below as the Cholmondeley copy.
 Ormerod notes disagreement whether Sir Francis received a baronetcy or only a knighthood, and the shield in the window is unclear, but the Cholmondeley copy shows the red hand, insignia of baronetcy, in the centre of his shield.
 “Army Uniforms,” 175. He suggests that five bars [Gamull and Grosvenor] may have indicated a colonel, four [Mainwaring] a lieutenant-colonel, and three [Barnston]
 “… two men of Captain Mainwaring:” Alice Thornton, quoted in Roger Hudson [editor], The Grand Quarrel: from the Civil War memoirs of Mrs Lucy Hutchison; Mrs Alice Thornton; Ann, Lady Fanshawe; Margaret, Duchess of Newcastle; Anne, Lady Halkett, & the letters of Brilliana, Lady Harley, Folio Society, London 1993, page 92.
 Summary accounts of weapons, armour and tactics at this time appear in Austin Woolrych, Battles of the English Civil War, published first by Batsford, London 1961, then by Pan 1966, at 100-101; and William Seymour, Battles in Britain and their political background, volume 2 (1642-1746), Sidgwick and Jackson, London 1975 and Book Club Associates 1976, at 26-27.
By the western door of Chester Cathedral there is a memorial relating to the Mainwaring family. It is described rather unkindly by Ormerod’s History ofCheshire as “ornamented with twisted pillars, weeping figures, and foliage in bad taste, but much laboured…” but it has a complex and quite touching story to tell of the English Civil War.1 2
The text may be transcribed as follows:
To the Perpetual Memory
of the Eminently Loyal Sir W[illia]m MAINWARING K[nigh]t
Eldest son of EDMUND MAINWARING Esqr
Chancellor of the County Palatine of Chester;
of the Ancient Family of the MAINWARINGS
of Peover in the said County.
He died in the Service of his Prince and Country
in the Defence of the City of Chester,
Wherein he merited singular honour for his
Fidelity, Courage and Conduct.
He left by HESTER his Lady (Daughter and
heiress unto CHRISTOPHER WASE in the County
of Bucks [Buckingham] Esqr) Four Sons and two Daughters.
His eldest daughter Judith married unto Sir JNo [John]
BUSBY of Addington in the County of Bucks K[nigh]t.
His youngest Daughter HESTER unto Sir
THOMAS GROBHAM HOW of Kempley in the
County of Glocester [Gloucestershire] K[nigh]t.
He died honourably but immaturely in the
Twenty-ninth year of his age Octobr 9 1644.
His Lady Relict erected this Monument
of Her everlasting Love and his neverdying
Octr 25th 1671
The shield at the top of the memorial is divided in two, with similar but different designs. The left has a white ground with two red bars; the formal blazon would be argent two bars gules, for cadency a crescent. The right hand side has six bars alternately white and red, blazoned as barry of six, argent and gules.
In heraldry, the left hand side – right from the point of view of the wearer – is referred to as dexter and is the more important. It was standard practice for a married couple to display a shield divided vertically in two [“per pale“], with the husband’s insignia on the left/dexter and his wife’s on the right/sinister. So the arms of white with two red bars are those of the husband, and they are impaled with those of the family of the wife.
In the seventeenth century the manor of Over Peover had been held by the Mainwaring family since the time of the Domesday Book of William the Conqueror in 1087. That male line of descent was extinguished in the early nineteenth century, and the main lineage of the family is now maintained by the Cavenagh-Mainwarings of Whitmore near Newcastle-under-Lyme in Staffordshire. The traditional shield of the family is white with two red bars, so the left hand side of the shield displayed here is that of Mainwaring. The small crescent in the centre is a mark of cadency indicating a second son. Though William was the eldest son of his father Edmund, Edmund was a second son: his elder brother Sir Randle was head of the family and when he died in 1632 the estate at Over Peover passed to his son Philip3
As to the right-hand half of the shield, the comprehensive list of coats of arms provided by The British Herald of Thomas Robson records several families named Wase or similar, and though they are in different counties there is a common base of six white and red bars. In the extract below, the name of the family in Buckinghamshire is given as Wasse or Washe; the link, however, is clear and such variant spelling is quite common at this time – Shakespeare spelt his surname in several different ways. And it is no more than coincidence that the shield of the Wase family has the same colours and a similar design to that of the Mainwarings.
The Mainwarings of Over Peover were among the leading families of Cheshire at this time,4 and though William’s father Edmund inherited no major property, he had matriculated into Brasenose College at Oxford University in 1594, took his Master’s degree through All Souls in 1600 and graduated as Bachelor of Civil Laws in 1605. He held substantial legal office in the archdiocese of York and was Deputy-Secretary to the Council of the North, chief agency of the king for the government of northern England.5 In 1629 he received the degree of Doctor of Civil Laws from Oxford, and in 1634 he was named Chancellor of Chester, head of the Consistory Court of the diocese, with authority over all matters of ecclesiastical law: accusations of heresy and witchcraft; failure to attend church; and the distribution of tithes; while he also held jurisdiction over claims of defamation and civil disputes regarding marriage, wills and inheritance.6
Edmund’s younger brother Philip – uncle to William – had an even more dramatic career. Born in 1589, he took his Bachelor’s degree from Oxford and then became a student at Gray’s Inn, one of the Inns of Court which provided qualification in law. Under the patronage of Sir Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel and a favoured courtier of James I, and of Sir Thomas Wentworth, a leading minister under Charles I, Philip did very well.7 In 1609, at the age of twenty, Philip received a salaried appointment at court; in 1624 he became a Member of Parliament; and in 1634 he was appointed Secretary of State for Ireland, being knighted at Dublin in that same year.
Though his father had taken his degree at Oxford, William went to Cambridge, matriculating as a Fellow-Commoner of King’s College in the Michaelmas term at the end of 1629. He is described in the cathedral memorial as being in his twenty-ninth year when he died, so he was born about 1616 and entered the university when he was thirteen years old; this was not unusual for the time.8 He graduated as Master of Arts in 1632, and in the following year he became a student at Gray’s Inn.9
On 24 September 1639 William Mainwaring married Hester Wase in the church of St Mary at Islington, Middlesex.10 He was in his early twenties, Hester was fifteen.11
Islington, some five kilometres/three miles north of Charing Cross, is now part of inner London but was countryside at the time. Hester’s father Christopher held property there at Upper Holloway and also in Buckinghamshire; his wife Judith was a daughter of Sir John Gore, a member of the Company of Merchant Taylors who had been Sheriff and then Lord Mayor of London; and Hester was named for her maternal grandmother, the mother of Judith: her father was Sir Thomas Cambell, who had been a member of the Company of Ironmongers, a Governor of the East India Company, and likewise Sheriff and Lord Mayor of London.12So the family was well-connected and prosperous, and Christopher Wase gave his new son-in-law a marriage portion of £1,500.13
By the time William married Hester, however, the political situation had become confused and dangerous. King Charles had managed to rule without calling Parliament since 1629, maintaining government finances by levies such as Ship Money. Early in 1639, however, a rebellion in Scotland proved so successful and dangerous that Parliament had to be recalled in hope it would approve the funds required to deal with the war. The “Short Parliament,” however, gave a platform to those who opposed the royal regime. It was swiftly dissolved, but by November 1640 the king was obliged to recall a new assembly, which would be known as the Long Parliament. This proved even more hostile to the king and his officials: Sir Philip Mainwaring’s patron Thomas Wentworth, lately enfeoffed as Earl of Strafford, was charged under a bill of attainder and executed in May 1641.14
Soon after their wedding, however, William and Hester had travelled north to take up residence at Chester, and in March of 1640 William sent a most agreeable letter to his mother-in-law Judith,15 with compliments and suitable courtesies to her husband Christopher; to Hester’s younger sister – also Judith – who had been born in 1635 and was not yet five years old; to Hester’s aunt Abigail, who had married Robert Busby in 1633;16 and to a cousin known here only as Kitt, short for Christopher.
It is clear from the letter that Hester is pregnant, and that there are plans for her to have her first child at her family home in Holloway. Indeed, their first son was baptised at Islington St Mary on 7 July 1640, and named in honour of his grandfather Christopher Wase.17
This letter of March, however, suggests that Hester was suffering from morning sickness, an affliction which normally affects women only in the first three months of pregnancy, so it is possible that the infant was premature, and he may have been sickly. In any event, it appears that he died shortly before his second birthday, and was buried at the Church of St Mary on 10 May 1642. He may well have been considered too frail to travel to his parents’ home in Chester, and stayed in the care of his maternal grandparents.18
After that first pregnancy, however, the following children were born at Chester: the baptism of Edmund the second son was recorded at Holy Trinity Church on 22 May 1641;19 he was followed by his sister Judith, born in 1642, probably in July; and then by William, who was christened in August 1643 but died in November just three months later.20
By the time Judith was born, however, England was on the verge of civil war. After months of uncertainty and negotiations, as Parliament applied increasing pressure to his royal authority and power, King Charles raised his standard at Nottingham on 22 August 1642 and issued a call to arms. The immediate response was not impressive, but Francis Gamull, a former Mayor and Member of Parliament, raised a troop at Chester and brought volunteers to join the assembly. William Mainwaring accompanied him as a Sergeant-Major, and one of his letters, written to Hester at that time, survived to be copied and printed in The Biographical Mirrour:21
Some notes may be offered:
Both from the address and from the enquiry about the journey it is clear that Hester had lately moved with the children from Chester to her father’s property at Islington. Edmund was just over twelve months old – he would die in the following year – and Judith had been born only a couple of months before. It may well have been felt that Hester would be more comfortable with her father and mother than in the north.
In the fourth paragraph, William says that he believes “all will end in a bonfire.” One might assume this anticipates the conflagration of war, but in this context – confirmed by his confidence of peace at the beginning of the final paragraph – he seems to expect that the trouble will blow over and that there will be negotiations and agreement and celebrations. He was, of course, mistaken.22
In similar fashion, despite the threat of war, neither he nor Hester appear to have been particularly concerned about any difficulty or danger of travel for a woman and small children. This is discussed further below.
Samuel Tuke (c.1615-1674), a gentleman from Essex almost the same age as William Mainwaring and also a member of Gray’s Inn, was obviously a personal enemy: they did not exchange a word but glared at one another; and William is pleased at Tuke’s financial embarrassment. There is no way to tell the reason for their hostility.
Samuel Tuke had a moderately successful war in the king’s service and later accompanied the prince, future Charles II, during his exile overseas. Known for his wit, he was a favourite at court after the Restoration and was made a knight and then a baronet. He was a founding member of the Royal Society, and his successful play The Adventures of Five Hours was thought by Samuel Pepys to be better than Shakespeare’s Othello.23
Paul Neile (1613-1686), son of Richard, Archbishop of York, had been at Cambridge with William Mainwaring.24 A courtier of King Charles, he was knighted in 1633 and was a member of the Short Parliament of 1640. He became a distinguished astronomer and was a founding member of the Royal Society.
On 13 September, a few days after William wrote to Hester, the king left Nottingham for Shrewsbury, further to the west, where he received reinforcements, and a few weeks later he began a march towards London. He was opposed by the Earl of Essex with a Parliamentary army and they met at Edgehill, northwest of Banbury in Warwickshire, on 23 October.25 The forces were evenly matched – some fifteen thousand on each side – and the result was effectively a draw, but most of the men and their leaders were unaccustomed to war, discipline was weak, and the deaths and other casualties came as a shock. Though Charles continued his advance, he was faced near Reading by a powerful array from London and was obliged to withdraw. On 23 November the royal court and headquarters were established at Oxford.
The “Memoirs of Sir William Mainwaring” record that he “was knighted at Oxford, Jan 9, 1643, by the description of ‘Sir William Mainwaring, of West Chester.'”26 The accolade was surely granted by King Charles himself, and it was a notable honour for a comparatively junior officer: Francis Gamull, commander of the troop in which William served, was awarded a title only in the following year; so William had distinguished himself in some way, presumably on the campaign or at the battle of Edgehill.
Since Hester and William’s third child, William, was baptised in Holy Trinity Church at Chester on 3 August, Hester and the children must have joined William at Oxford and returned with him there soon afterwards. Civilian travel was possible, though it was neither easy nor secure:
Alice Thornton, whose royalist father Christopher Wandesford had been a close friend and associate of the Earl of Strafford, described how her mother travelled from Chester to the family home in Yorkshire at that time. At an early stage of the journey,
With these and several servants and tenants, though with much difficulty, by reason of the interchange of the king’s armies and the Parliament’s, she was brought into the town of Warrington [in Lancashire]…: she finding more favour by reason of the captain’s civility and by a pass from Colonel Shuttleworth [of Gawthorpe Hall] than usual.27
Gawthorpe Hall near Burnley is now a National Trust property, but it was at that time the seat of the Shuttleworth family, and Colonel Richard Shuttleworth was a member of the Long Parliament which had demanded Strafford’s execution. Though they were on opposite sides in politics and Burnley is sixty kilometres/thirty-five miles from Warrington, Shuttleworth was prepared to assist a gentlewoman and her family and his influence extended far enough to be effective.
With a small escort and some assistance from local gentry, therefore, a lady could make her way; but it was often difficult and certainly risky.
The memorial inscription composed by William’s widow Hester says that they had four sons and two daughters, but names only the daughters Hester and Judith. Familysearch, whose entry for Edmund is cited above, has just three other children,28 and while some family trees on ancestry.com give six names, the information is erratic, few original sources are cited, and some names and dates are clearly mistaken; in most cases, one table does no more than copy another. On the basis of sources currently available, the children of William and Hester can be identified as follows:29
Their first son, Christopher Wase [?] was born at Holloway, Islington, in July 1640, and died there in May 1642.30
Edmund was born in 1641 and baptised in Holy Trinity Church, Chester, on 22 May; he died in 1643 and was buried on 10 August.
Judith was born in 1642 and baptised in Holy Trinity Church, Chester, on 23 May; as below, she married John Busby in 1658 and died in 1661.
William was born in 1643 and baptised in Holy Trinity Church, Chester, on 3 August 1643; he died just three months later and was buried on 6 November.
Hester was born in 1644 and baptised in Holy Trinity Church, Chester, on 10 July; as below, she married first Sir Thomas Grobham How and later the Hon Robert Paston; she died about 1688.
William, second of that name, was born in September 1645, just before his father was killed at Chester; he died at London in the following year, and was buried on 29 July at the chapel of St Michael, Highgate, some three miles/five kilometres northwest of Holloway.31
We may note further that
Some sites identify children born in 1634. Since William and Hester married in 1639, however, when Hester was only fifteen, they cannot have had children so early.
Some sites list a child named Horo, but there is no evidence for any person of that name; it may be a corruption of Hester, but the reference cannot be usefully used.
Some sites list a son named Thomas, born in 1634. As above, the date must be mistaken, while there is no record of a son of that name born to William and Hester. There was a Thomas Mainwaring who became a baronet, but he was the son of William’s cousin Philip, son of Sir Randle of Over Peover.32.
So none of William and Hester’s sons survived into manhood; it was no doubt for this reason that the memorial mentions only the number and gives no names.
It is a large number of children born in not many years, but Hester was evidently well able to manage physically, and she and her husband were surely fond of each other.
The two references to William as “Chancellor’s Son” in the death entries of Holy Trinity recognise the position of his father Edmund as Chancellor of the diocese,33 but William himself already held a leading position in the community of Chester. The city was important to King Charles, for it controlled access to north Wales, where much of his support could be found, and it also provided a port through which royalist troops might be brought from Ireland. Late in September 1642 the king visited Chester from his base at Shrewsbury and urged that its fortifications be strengthened.34 William Mainwaring had probably been a member of his escort at that time, but when he returned in the following year his recent award of knighthood gave him a position of authority among the defenders of the city.
Sir William Brereton had been appointed to command the Parliamentary forces in the county, and in March 1643 a substantial victory at Middlewich established his ascendancy over the royalists.35 Establishing his headquarters at Nantwich, some thirty kilometres/twenty miles southeast of Chester, he came to attack the city in July. Alice Thornton has an anecdote:
The wars falling out hot at the time, being we were beleaguered in Chester by Sir William Brereton’s forces for the Parliament, there happened a strange accident which raised that siege, July 19th, 1643. As I was informed, there were three granadoes shot into the town, but, through Providence, hurt nobody. The first, being shot into the sconce [earthwork] of our soldiers within, two men of Captain Mainwaring, having an oxhide ready, clapped it thereon, and it smothering away in [its] shells did not spread but went out.
The second light[ed] short of the city, in ditch within a pasture amongst a company of women milking, but was quenched without doing them harm at all, praised be the Lord our God. The last fell amongst their own horse, short of the town, slaying many of them, and by that means the siege was raised.36
Besides this account of men under William Mainwaring’s command, Ormerod’s History has two further references. In December 1643 he is listed as a member of the council approving the despatch of troops to assist an attack on Hawarden castle in Wales, and in March 1644 he is identified as a senior commissioner, required by the king’s general Prince Maurice of the Rhine to enforce an oath of allegiance to the royal cause from all within the city.37
We may note at this point that members of the Mainwaring family were on opposing sides of the civil war. In many parts of England, the choice of allegiance to the king or to Parliament was determined by family interest and local alliances rather than by any political or religious conviction,38 but in this instance circumstances divided the family. Very likely through the interest of his uncle Sir Philip, former associate of the Earl of Strafford and now in difficulties for his royalist connections, William supported the cause of King Charles. His cousin Philip, however, son of the late Sir Randle and now squire of Over Peover, was firmly for Parliament and commanded a troop of horse in the local army under Sir William Brereton.39
Though the inscription of the memorial in Chester Cathedral states that Sir William Mainwaring died “honourably but immaturely” on 9 October 1644, it gives no detail of the circumstances, and the date is mistaken.
A royal army had come to Cheshire in November 1643 and gained initial success against the Parliamentary forces under Sir William Brereton, but he was soon afterwards reinforced, and he defeated the invaders at Nantwich in January 1644.41 He made another attack on Chester in late October of that year, but the threat from royalist troops in April caused him to withdraw once more and the summer of 1645 was comparatively peaceful.
The full assault on the city of Chester began on 20 September, when a Parliamentarian assault over-ran part of the eastern defences. King Charles himself brought an army to aid the defence, but on 24 September he saw his troops defeated at Rowton Heath, just outside the walls. As the failed relief force withdrew, the city was left to its own resources, and was subjected to a long siege with constant attacks. The final surrender on 3 February 1646 was compelled by starvation.42
Before this, however, during the summer of comparative inactivity in 1645, Hester and the children moved south to Holloway. Her father Christopher had died in October 1643, but her mother had inherited his estates. Though London was firmly in Parliamentary hands it is unlikely that too many questions were asked of women living quietly in the country, and it was certainly more secure than Chester. By 13 September William was writing to Hester at Holloway, and it appears they have been parted for some weeks:43
Much of the letter is self-explanatory, though it may be helpful to say that the “two Judes” are William and Hester’s daughter Judith, three years old, and Hester’s sister Judith Wase, who was now ten; Hester’s mother, of course, was also named Judith. The “old people heare” refers to William’s own parents, Edmund and his wife Jane nee Pickering. Boughton is a neighbourhood just to the east of the city of Chester, but there is no further information about the little girl William mentions.
Two days later, William wrote again, on this occasion from Holt Castle, a stronghold near Wrexham in Wales, some fifteen kilometres/ten miles south of Chester.44
From the reference to “your delivery,” it appears that Hester had just lately given birth to their sixth child William, second of that name: the news must have reached Cheshire between this letter and the preceding one, dated two days before. In both letters, William expresses interest and hope for a position which will allow them to be together, while he appears confident that although Hester is in an area under Parliamentary control and Oxford is held for the king she can nonetheless travel safely there and back.
In his letter of 13 September, William spoke clearly of his wish
that wee may but live together, our being asunder being (next never seeing one another againe whiche God of Heaven forbid) the greatest curse and vexation can happen to mee.
But the worst did happen: William was killed just one month later, fighting on the city wall, and they never saw one another again.
Some three weeks after the event a friend named Thomas Gardener sent an account of the death to Hester’s mother Judith Wase, with a postscript explaining that he had delayed writing until he had confirmation of the “sad sertenty:”45
3 November 1645 was a Friday, so the Friday three weeks before, which Thomas Gardener indicates as the day of William’s death, was 13 October. The memorial in Chester Cathedral has miswritten the year as 1644, and the date as 9 October. Since the text of the inscription was composed in 1671, twenty-five years after the event, Hester’s memory may have been at fault, but is also quite likely that the engraver misread her text and she was not there to check. If the latter is the case, then we may suspect that the day of William’s death was actually Friday 6 October: the single digit 6 is more easily confused with 9 than with the doublet 13; and Gardener perhaps delayed writing a few days longer than he says.
Correspondence was in any case erratic, and Hester and her family may have heard the news before Thomas Gardener’s report reached them. Ten days earlier, on 24 October, William’s parents Edmund and Jane nee Pickering had also written to Judith Wase, enclosing a more detailed report – now lost – with the request that she pass on the news to Hester. Given the “straite” [tight] siege to which Chester was subject and the general confusion and difficulty of the time, it is not possible to judge when the letters arrived or in what order. It is appears, however, that William had been dead some weeks before Hester learned of his fate.46
Hester was in a sad and difficult position: a widow of twenty-one with several small children in a time of war. Three sons, Christopher, Edmund and William, had already died, in 1642 or 1643, so she was accompanied by two daughters and her youngest child, a second William. This William had been born at Holloway just a few days before his father’s death. He died in July of the following year,47 and Hester was left with just her daughters, Judith aged four and Hester two years old.
The will composed by Hester’s father Christopher Wase left his property in first instance to his wife Judith nee Gore, with the estate to be divided between his daughters after her death: Hester should then receive his properties in Buckinghamshire and Judith his holdings in Islington, these last amounting to some fifty acres with a “Mansion House built of brick.” Though he died in 1643, probate was not granted until 5 February 1647.48
We may assume that Hester stayed with her mother and sister at Upper Holloway: it was her original home, and a young widow with small children would be glad of any support they could offer. A little over two years from the death of her husband William, Hester married Sir Henry Blount; the wedding took place in the church of St Michael Paternoster Royal on 23 December 1647.49
Born in 1602, Henry Blount was more than twenty years older than Hester.50 A graduate of Oxford and of Gray’s Inn, he had travelled widely in the eastern Mediterranean and Egypt and his Voyage to the Levant was widely circulated. Knighted by Charles I in 1640, he fought at Edgehill and attended the royal court at Oxford, but was later a commissioner on a number of enquiries during the Interregnum.
… walked into Westminster Hall with his sword by his side; the parliamentarians all stared upon him as a Cavalier, knowing that he had been with the king; was called before the House of Commons, where he remonstrated to them that he only did his duty, and so they acquitted him.51
It is not known when or how Hester met Sir Henry Blount, but after their marriage they evidently lived at Hornsey, just three kilometres/two miles north of Holloway, and Sir Henry may already have established himself as the resident of a neighbouring property.52 When his elder brother died in 1654, he inherited the family estate, including the manor of Tittenhanger or Tyttenhanger at Ridge, south of St Albans in Hertfordshire, and built a large new house there. He was High Sheriff of Hertfordshire in 1661 and later served again as a commissioner for trade.
The first child of Hester and Henry Blount was a daughter, Frances (1648-1699), and she was followed by seven sons, three of whom died in infancy – the youngest, Ulysses (1664-1704), was born when Hester was forty years old.53 The eldest son, baptised Thomas Pope (1649-1697), became a noted scholar and a Member of Parliament, and was made a baronet by Charles II.54
There was still contact with William’s parents in Chester, and one kind and courteous letter survives from Edmund to his former daughter-in-law.55
Born in 1579, Edmund was now over seventy, and it is likely that his wife Jane was already dead: she had signed the letter of October 1645 but not this one, and the privations of the siege would not have been good for her health; so we are not certain who the Jane is mentioned by Edmund in his postscript. Sir Philip Mainwaring, Edmund’s younger brother, was the former assistant to the late Lord Strafford, now in an enforced retirement.56 Lady Brerewood was the wife of Sir Robert Brerewood, member of a leading family of Cheshire; his first wife was Edmund’s sister Anna nee Mainwaring, but she died in 1630 and this was the second Lady Brerewood, Katherine nee Lee.
Despite the good will and good wishes, it is unlikely that Edmund Mainwaring saw his grand-children again.
Hester’s mother Judith Wase nee Gore died in the 1660s. Hester’s sister Judith nee Wase married George Master, a lawyer of Lincoln’s Inn, in 1660 and died after childbirth in 1669. She was buried with her father Christopher in the church of St Mary at Islington, where a memorial set up by her husband recorded that:
… during their ten year intermarriage, she was ever a most affectionate and observant wife, a real and judicious friend, by whom she had many children; but left him with only one son.57
Hester herself died in 1678; she was buried in the Blount family vault of St Margaret’s Church at Ridge in Hertfordshire on 6 November.58
Hester’s eldest daughter, Hester nee Mainwaring, married Sir Thomas Grobham Howe of Kempley in Gloucestershire and later, after his death,59 the Hon Robert Paston, a son of the Earl of Yarmouth who was a Member of Parliament for Norwich.60 She died about 1688, with no children by either husband.
The younger daughter, Judith nee Mainwaring, born in 1642, married John Busby of Addington in Buckinghamshire; the wedding was held in St Margaret’s church at Ridge on 15 February 1658. Born in 1635, John was the son of Robert Busby and Abigail nee Gore the sister of Judith Wase nee Gore, so husband and wife were first cousins once removed. On 5 June 1661 John Busby was knighted by King Charles II, and the Biographical Mirrour quotes from Kennett’s Register:61
This morning his Majesty was graciously pleased in his bed-chamber to confer the honour of knighthood on John Busby, of Addington, in the county of Bucks, Esq, which gracious favour had an honourable reflection upon the memory of that valiant knight Sir William Mainwaring, slain in the defence of Chester, whose daughter Sir John married.
So William Mainwaring was still remembered, and his service was recognised in the honour granted to his posthumous son-in-law.
Six months later, on 7 December, Judith gave birth to a daughter, Hester, but she herself died just three weeks later, no doubt from the after-effects of the birth. Birth and death took place at Tittenhanger House at Ridge in Hertfordshire, now the home of her mother Hester, Lady Blount, and Judith was buried at St Margaret’s Church in Ridge.62 She had previously borne a son, most likely in 1659, but it appears that he died young, and there is no further information about him, not even his name.63
In 1705, more than forty years after the death of Judith Busby nee Mainwaring, the Reverend Thomas Busby, son of Sir John by his second wife Mary nee Dormer, had a memorial set up to his father’s memory in the church of St Mary at Addington:
Near this place resteth in Hope to Rise
in the glory the body of the learned SIR JOHN
BUSBY Kt, late Deputy Lieut[enant] and Colonel
of the Militia of the County, deceased
the 7th January 1700 Age 65.
He had by his first lady JUDITH daughter of Sir
Wm MAINWARING Kt, Governor of West
Chester, a son and a daughter.
By his second lady MARY eldest daughter of
JOHN DORMER of Lee Grange Esq five sons
and nine daughters whereof most are
gone before. May the rest prepare to follow him.
To whose pious memory THOMAS BUSBY
D[octor] of Laws his son and heir consecrates
this Monument Anno 1705.63
So an enquiry which began with a memorial to Sir William’s death concludes with another which remembers his daughter.
1The History of the County Palatine and City of Chester: compiled from original evidences in public offices, the Harleian and Cottonian mss., parochial registers, private muniments, unpublished ms. collections of successive Cheshire antiquaries, and a personal survey of every township in the county; incorporated with a republication of King’s Vale Royal, and Leycester’s Cheshire Antiquities, by George Ormerod (1785-1873), Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor and Jones, London 1819 [archive.org], at 245.
The two works incorporated are The Vale Royal of England: or, the county palatine of Chester illustrated, by Thomas Hughes (1822-1896) and Daniel King (d. 1664?), J G Bell, London 1852 [online at archive.org]; and Historical antiquities in two books; the first treating in general of Great Britain and Ireland; the second containing particular remarks concerning Cheshire, and chiefly of the Bucklow hundred. Whereunto is annexed a transcript of Domesday-Book, so far as it concerneth Cheshire, by Sir Peter Leycester (1614-1678); first published in 1673, it is often cited as Historical antiquities or, as above by Ormerod, extracted as Cheshire Antiquities.
2 Major sources on the general political and military history of the period discussed in this essay, leading up to and including the civil war, are C V Wedgewood, The King’s Peace 1637-1641 and The King’s War 1641-1647, both published first by Collins, London 1958, then by Penguin 1983; also Austin Woolrych, Battles of the English Civil War, published first by Batsford, London 1961, then by Pan 1966; and William Seymour, Battles in Britain and their political background, volume 2 (1642-1746), Sidgwick and Jackson, London 1975 and Book Club Associates 1976
3The Biographical Mirrour: comprising a series of ancient and modern English portraits, of eminent and Ddstinguished persons, from original pictures and drawings, compiled by Francis Godolphin Waldron and Sylvester Harding, published at London by S[ylvester] and E[dward] Harding 1795-98 [archive.org: Google], Volume 1 at 19-22, has “Memoirs of Sir William Mainwaring, of West-Chester, Knt, Ob Oct 1645,” followed immediately by an account of his widow Hester. [TheDictionary of National Biography states that Francis Waldron was the author of all the biographies: wikisource.org/wiki/Waldron,_Francis_Godolphin_(DNB00)]
The “Memoirs” include a brief account of the Mainwaring family, including William’s father Edmund. The Christian name of his grandfather and his uncle, both styled Sir Randle, may also appear as Randolf and other variants. The uncertainty on the date of William’s death is discussed below.
On Philip Mainwaring of Over Peover, see further below at note 39.
Edmund’s appointment to the Council of the North is discussed by Ronald A Marchant, The Church under the Law: justice administration and discipline in the diocese of York 1560-1640, Cambridge UP 1969 [Google], 47 and 250..
6 Marchant, The Church under the Law, 47, says that Edmund Mainwaring was appointed Chancellor of the diocese in 1634, but that he appointed deputies to act for him in that office until 1638. The List of Chancellors in Ormerod, History, 87 at item 6, says that Edmund Mainwaring LlD is described by the antiquarian Sir Peter Leycester [in his Cheshire Antiquities (see note 1 above)] as being chancellor of Chester 1642, but “his patent is not in the office.” It is probable that he was appointed in 1634 but then took up full responsibility in 1638: the certificate of his appointment was evidently missing from the archives.
In 1635 Edmund heard a case concerning the distribution of tithes and other revenues from the parish of Whalley in Lancashire. In 1644, when William Laud the Archbishop of Canterbury was point of trial by Parliament, it was at one point claimed that he had interfered in Edmund’s decision: british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/domestic/chas1/1641-3/pp517-553 at 50. [The trial ended without a verdict, but – like the Earl of Strafford as below – Laud was later impeached and executed.]
The memorial to his son William Mainwaring describes Edmund as Chancellor of the County Palatine of Chester, but this is incorrect: his office was in the diocese of Chester, not in the county of Cheshire. England had three county palatinates, so-called because they occupied marcher territories close to the borders of Wales and Scotland. The county palatinates of Lancaster and Durham were administered by chancellors – and the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is still maintained as a cabinet minister in the present-day United Kingdom. Cheshire was also a palatinate county, but the administration was headed by a Chamberlain: see, for example, “The rights and jurisdiction of the county palatine of Chester, the earls palatine, the chamberlain, and other officers; and disputes concerning the jurisdiction of the Court of exchequer with the city of Chester, &c., now first printed from the original manuscript in the possession of the editor,” by Joseph Brooks Yates [editor], in Remains, historical & literary, connected with the palatine counties of Lancaster and Chester, XXXVII; The Chetham Society, Manchester 1856 [archive.org; Google]. Edmund Mainwaring’s legal offices and membership of the Council of the North were important, but he was not the Chamberlain of the County Palatine of Cheshire.
On William’s age at admission, compare notes 8 above and 24 below.
10London, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812 for Islington St Mary, Islington 1557-1649; Hester’s name appears to be either wrongly or badly written as “Hoster.”
As in the discussion of the shield at the top of the memorial, her maiden surname is found in many different forms: Wace, Wasse, Waste etc. The will of her father Christopher, however, has the form Wase, and this seems preferable.
11 findagrave.com/memorial/185934914 notes that Hester’s gravestone of 1678 states that she was born in 1620; other sources suggest 1617.
London, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, however, records the wedding of Christopher Wase and Judith nee Goare at Holy Trinity the Less in the City of London on 10 February 1623/4 [modern 1624: see immediately below in this note]. Since there is no account of any previous marriage of Christopher Wase and it is most unlikely that Hester was born out of wedlock, while Judith nee Gore is regularly referred to as her mother in family correspondence below, Hester can have been born no earlier than 1624.
The official year in England at this time began on 25 March – it was not recognised as 1 January until 1752. The date of the marriage of Christopher Wase and Judith nee Gore is therefore recorded as 10 February 1624; here and in other such cases, however, we adjust to the modern form.
12 Sir John Gore and Sir Thomas Cambell have entries in Wikipedia and citations elsewhere.
The surname Gore appears also as Goare, and the surname Cambell, though well attested, is obviously a variant of the more common Campbell.
13 In his will of 18 October 1643, Christopher Wase mentions the marriage portion, then divides his estate between Hester and her younger sister Judith. Hester received his property in Buckinghamshire and Judith his holdings in Islington. His wife Judith nee Gore was named as executor. On the division of property, however, see further below.
Christopher died a few days after signing the will, and he was buried at St Mary, Islington, on 25 October: London, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812.
The National Archives; Kew, England; Prerogative Court of Canterbury and Related Probate Jurisdictions: Will Registers; Class: PROB 11; Piece: 199retrieved from ancestry.com . On its probate, see below at note 48.
14 The process is described by Wedgewood, Strafford, 277-341.
William Laud the Archbishop of Canterbury suffered the same fate early in the following year, with some implication for William’s father Edmund Mainwaring: note 6 above.
The date is given as 20 March 1639. As in note 11 above, however, the official new year did not begin until 15 March, so the year was 1640 by modern reckoning.
16 The wedding is recorded at the church of Holy Trinity the Less in the City of London on 12 April 1633. The church was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666. On a later connection to the Busby/Busbye family, see below.
17 On the possible confusion of names, see note 18 immediately below.
18 The record of baptism at Islington St Mary gives the Christian name of the child as Wase, which is most unusual. A record of burial in the same church almost two years later has the name as Christopher and the surname is transcribed as “Mankinge.” Both records very likely relate to the same person: the baptismal name was miswritten as Wase rather than as Christopher, while the surname Mainwaring appears in several different guises and is often scrawled.
The original Church of the Holy Trinity may have dated from the fourteenth century, but it was substantially altered in the latter part of the seventeenth century and the eighteenth century and was rebuilt in the nineteenth century. It was decommissioned in 1960 and is now – known as the Guildhall – used for secular functions.
20 There is confusion about the identities and the dates of birth of the children of William and Hester; the question is discussed below.
21 Bibliographical details of the “Memoirs” are in note 3 above. The transcript of the letter is on pages 20-21.
22 There is no reference to the phrase “end in a bonfire” in either TheOxford Dictionary of English Proverbs [compiled by William George Smith with an introduction by Janet E Heseltine; second edition 1948 revised by Sir Paul Harvey], or in TheOxford Dictionary of Quotations [third impression 1956].
A bonfire, however, can be both destructive – as a conflagration or a funerary pyre – or, alternatively, a sign of celebration. Both meanings were well attested in William’s time, and he is clearly using the second and more favourable one.
23 Pepys saw the play at its first night on 8 January 1663 and was greatly impressed with it then. His favourable comparison to Othello appears in his Diary entry for 20 August 1666.
24 Alumni cantabrigienses I.3, 236, records his admission in 1627, noting that he was fourteen years old at the time. As above at note 9, William Mainwaring was about thirteen when he was admitted in 1629.
25 The campaign and the battle are described in detail by Seymour, Battles in Britain, 37-51, also by Wedgewood, King’s War, 134-139.
26Biographical Mirrour, 23. The date would therefore have been recorded as 9 January 1642, but the Mirrour has made the adjustment.
27 Roger Hudson [editor], The Grand Quarrel: from the Civil War memoirs of Mrs Lucy Hutchison; Mrs Alice Thornton; Ann, Lady Fanshawe; Margaret, Duchess of Newcastle; Anne, Lady Halkett, & the letters of Brilliana, Lady Harley, Folio Society, London 1993, 93.
31 In his letter from Holt Castle near Chester, written on 15 September and reprinted below at note 44, William speaks to Hester of “your delivery,” most likely referring to her giving birth. It would appear that the news had only just reached him, for there is no mention of the event in his letter written from Chester on 13 September. Given the military activity at the time, it is not possible to judge how long a letter would have taken, but the child had probably been born a week or two before.
St Mary, Islington, appears to have been the parish of the Wase family: Christopher Wase had been buried there, his daughter Hester had married William Mainwaring there, and up to this time those of their children recorded in London had been baptised or buried there. It is therefore is a little surprising to find William buried at Highgate, but the entry clearly names the parents of the infant as William and Hester Mainwaring. As below, two sons of Hester by Sir William Blount would also be buried there, but that was a few years later: note 52.
32 Philip Mainwaring of Over Peover (c.1600-1647), son of Sir Randle (d.1632), is discussed below; he must be distinguished from Sir Philip (1589-1661), who was his father’s younger brother and uncle to both him and to William: see at note 7 above.
34 Ormerod, History, 203-204, has an account of the king’s visit and the development of the fortifications.
35 Ormerod, History, xxxv-xxxviii, has a general history of the war in Cheshire, and there is a modern account, with a detailed plan of the city’s fortifications, in “Early Modern Chester 1550-1762: the civil war and interregnum, 1642-60,” 115-125; digitised by British History Online [BHO] from A History of the County of Chester, Volume 5 Part 1 “The City of Chester: General History and Topography,” published by Victoria County History, London 2003; online at british-history.ac.uk/vch/ches/vol5/pt1/pp115-125.
“Granado” is an archaic form of the modern “grenade,” in this case describing a small explosive shell which had been shot – somewhat erratically – against the city defences. Unlike a modern hand-grenade which disintegrates as it explodes, or shrapnel which throws out pieces of metal, early grenades relied upon their explosive force for effect – which could be considerable.
37 Ornerod, History, 205.Prince Maurice was the younger brother to the more celebrated Prince Rupert; they were sons of Princess Elizabeth, elder sister of King Charles and Electress of the Palatinate in the Holy Roman Empire, Germany.
38 See, for example, Alan Everitt, “The Local Community and the Great Rebellion,” in The Historical Association Book of The Stuarts, edited by K H D Haley, Sidgwick and Jackson, London 1973, 74-101 [first published as a Historical Association pamphlet in 1969].
39 A cadet branch of the family had acquired the property of Whitmore Hall in Staffordshire by marriage in the late sixteenth century. There, however, both Edward Mainwaring (1577-1647) and his son, also Edward (1603-1675), supported Parliament, and the Hall was fortified against royalist troops. See J G Cavenagh-Mainwaring, The Mainwarings of Whitmore and Biddulph in the County of Stafford; an account of the family,, and its connections by marriage and descent, with special reference to the manor of Whitmore, with appendices, pedigrees and illustrations, 1934, available through archive.org., at 65-67; also historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1660-1690/member/mainwaring-edward-i-1603-75.
40 Photograph by David Schenk at findagrave.com/memorial/81535564; information from AHistory and Guide to the Church of St Lawrence at Over Peover, kindly provided by Ms Vicki Irlam.
Though the guide refers to Sir Philip and to Dame Ellen, there is no evidence that Philip received a knighthood. As in note 32 above, however, Philip and Ellen’s third and eldest surviving son Thomas was made a baronet by King Charles II.
41 Ormerod, History, xxxvii-xxxviii; Wedgewood, King’s War, 493; and Wikipedia entries for the second battle of Middlewich and the battle of Nantwich.
42 Ormerod, History, 206-206; Wedgewood, King’s War, 493-495, 529 and 538; and Wikipedia entries for the Siege of Chester and the battle of Rowton Heath.
Holt castle was held by royalist troops for most of the civil war until it was compelled to surrender in 1647; its fortifications were then destroyed and only the foundations now remain.
As background to the items of news that he mentions, we may note that the citizens of Chester resented the Welsh troops who had been brought in to boost the garrison, while Sir Francis Gamull was personally unpopular and William clearly disapproves of his conduct. The Savage family were leading gentry based on Frodsham, some fifteen kilometres/ten miles northeast of Chester.
The writer of the letter may have been Sir Thomas Gardiner, a leading royalist who has an entry in the Dictionary of National Biography. There is no recognised place-name Darleston in England; the closest is Darlaston in the south of Staffordshire, now part of the borough of Walsall.
48 Note 3 above gives the site of the will at ancestry.com (The National Archives; Kew, England; Prerogative Court of Canterbury and Related Probate Jurisdictions: Will Registers; Class: PROB 11; Piece: 199). The will is in English, while the record of probate – in Latin – is attached at the end. Judith as executor is identified as Christopher’s widow [relicta]. The date is given as 1646, but February is a month before the formal New Year of that time, so it was 1647 on a modern calendar.
Ten years later Hester and her sister Judith – now twenty-one – agreed to a different and apparently more equal division, so that each held property at Holloway and in Buckingham. No doubt with their mother’s approval, the document was endorsed at a “Court Baron” or manorial court in December 1656; it contains a description of the property at Islington, including the “Mansion house:” London Metropolitan Archives, Halliday Collection 169, quoted by WHPRA [The Whitehall Park Area Residents Association] at whpara.org.uk/history/.
49 The church is just north of Southwark Bridge. The building of that time dated from the thirteenth century, but was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666. The present-day church was designed by Wren; damaged in the Second World War, it has since been restored. Though the surname in the marriage entry appears as Blunt, but it is generally written as Blount.
51 Richard Barber [editor], Brief Lives by John Aubrey: a selection based upon existing contemporary portraits, Folio Society, London 1975, 48-50 at 48-49. Also online at Google Books.
52English Baronetage at 669-670 says that the couple’s second son, named Henry (1650-1651) and their third, also Henry (1653-1653) were both buried at St Michael’s Chapel, Highgate, in the parish of Hornsey.
53 As in note 52 immediately above, the first two children were baptised Henry, and a third Henry was born and died in 1657 – it was not a fortunate name.
57The History, Topography, and Antiquities of the Parish of St. Mary Islington in the County of Middlesex, including biographical sketches of the most eminent and remarkable persons who have been born, or have resided there, by John Nelson, Islington 1811 [Google Books], 298-299 and also at 62.
58 The precise date is given by English Baronetage, 669.
59 The memorial to her father Sir William Mainwaring spells the surname as How, but it appears more commonly as Howe. Grobham was a supplementary personal name held by several members of the family at this time.
Since the memorial to Hester’s father Sir William, composed in 1671, mentions only her marriage to Sir Thomas, we must assume that he died after that time.
Biographical Mirrour, 21, says that her picture was painted by Sir Peter Lely, a Dutchman [Pieter van der Faes] who was most fashionable at the time, and that she appears to have been “most handsome.” The portrait, however, has either not survived or can no longer be identified as hers.
61Biographical Mirrour, 21.
White Kennett (1660-1728), Bishop of Peterborough, wrote several political and historical works, including his Register and Chronicle, Ecclesiastical and Civil: containing Matters of Fact delivered in the words of the most Authentick Books, Papers, and Records; digested in exact order of time; with papers, notes, and references towards discovering and connecting the true History of England from the Restauration of King Charles II. Only the first volume was actually published, at London in 1728, but it dealt with the period up to the end of 1662; the Mirrour cites page 482.
63 The only reference to a son of John and Judith Busby is in the text of the memorial, as immediately follows.
Sir John’s son Thomas, who arranged the memorial and composed the inscription, describes himself as the heir to his father. We must therefore assume that his elder half-brother, the son born to Judith nee Mainwaring in 1659, was already dead; otherwise he would have been the heir.
From the portrait with his mother – in which we believe he has been wrongly identified as his sister Hester – it is probable that the boy was born in 1659, the year after his parents’ marriage. His name was likely William or Roger for one of his grandfathers, or John for his father.
When we stop over in Singapore on our way to London one of the places we will be visiting is the Cavenagh Bridge, named in honour of my 3rd great uncle Orfeur Cavenagh (1820 – 1891), Governor of the Straits Settlements from 1859 to 1867.
Orfeur Cavenagh was the fourth of eight children of James Cavenagh (1766 – 1844) and Ann Cavenagh nee Coates (1788 – 1846). James Cavenagh was a Royal Staff Corps surgeon. He was at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.
“When I assumed charge of the Government, the Settlement contained but few public buildings, lines of communication were in many parts much needed, many of its official establishments were weak, and its financial position was unsatisfactory. During my tenure of office, extensive public works of every description were carried out, every Department of the Public Service was placed on an efficient basis, and I left the Straits a most flourishing colony with a revenue amply sufficient to meet all legitimate expenditure.”
Between 1850 and 1860 Singapore’s population grew from 60,000 to 90,000. The first thorough census of Singapore was taken in 1871 and the population was 97,111. Singapore had grown rapidly in the decade before Orfeur Cavenagh’s arrival but the population increase was more restrained in the period of his governorship. In June 2017 Singapore’s population was 5.4 million, sixty times the population of 150 years earlier. Singapore has continued to prosper in the last 150 years: Singapore’s economy is very strong and Singapore is ranked third in the world by gross domestic product (at purchasing power parity) per capita.
Cavenagh is remembered as a hardworking Governor and apparently, in general, the verdict of modern historians on Cavenagh’s performance is favourable. However, in 1862 he embarrassed Anglo-Siamese relations with an un-authorised bombardment of Kuala Trengganu. It was possibly this incident which meant his career languished after the Governorship.
On 3 July 1891 he died in Surrey, England, aged 70.
Cavenagh Bridge is one of Singapore’s oldest and its only suspension bridge. It was built in 1868 to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the Crown Colony of the Straits Settlements held in 1869. It is named after Colonel Cavenagh, the last
Governor of the Straits Settlements (1859 – 1867) under the Government of British India.
A plaque at each end of the bridge includes the Cavenagh coat of arms and the inscription honouring Orfeur Cavenagh.
The wheatsheaf [heraldic garb] is the standard crest of the Cavenaghs.
The left hand side of the shield is the generic Cavenagh arms, probably in red [gules] on white/silver [argent].
My grandmother Kathleen brought a small dish back from Ireland with the Cavenagh arms on it. This shows two crescents but our family uses three; for example, the arms used by Matthew Cavenagh (1740 – 1819) were “Azure, a lion passant argent, armed and langued gules, between three crescents of the second.” Matthew Cavenagh was the grandfather of Orfeur (and my fourth great grandfather).
A souvenir from Ireland
The left hand side of a shield is the more important/honoured/valuable – because it is the right hand side of the person wearing/carrying it. That the Cavenagh arms appear on that side makes sense.
The right hand side of this shield is a chevron with three “covered cups” (goblets with lids).
I was puzzled by how this connected to Orfeur Cavenagh.
With the help of some cousins I have learned that these arms are associated with the Odiarne family. Orfeur Cavenagh’s mother, Anne Cavenagh nee Coates, was the great great grand daughter of Thomas Odiarne (1639 – 1704). Both her father and grandfather were named Odiarne Coates. The Odiarne arms appeared as one of the 856 shields on the ceiling of the cloisters of Canterbury Cathedral, but it appears they may not have survived to be among the shields there today.
Orfeur Cavenagh’s father, James Gordon Cavenagh, used these arms for his bookplate, and Orfeur Cavenagh seems to have adopted his father’s design. Neither of them registered the arms with the College of Arms.
GULLICK, JOHN. “THE CAVENAGH PAPERS.” Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, vol. 75, no. 2 (283), 2002, pp. 51–64. JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/41493473.
Cavenagh-Mainwaring, J.G.. The Mainwarings of Whitmore and Biddulph in the County of Stafford. An account of the family, and its connections by marriage and descent; with special reference to the Manor of Whitmore. published about 1935
One of my 12th-great-grandmothers was Anne Bray nee Vaux (1550 – 1619), daughter of Thomas Vaux (1509–1556) and Elizabeth Vaux nee Cheney (1505 – 1556).
In 1556, when she was about six, Anne’s parents died: Thomas in October and Elizabeth in the following month, possibly from the plague. Her brother William was then 21, and sister Maud about 17.
The Vaux enjoyed considerable wealth. Their estate, Harrowden Hall in Northamptonshire, was
… a household of almost fifty people that included grooms, laundresses, the cook, the baker, an embroiderer, the chaplain and the steward. An account book survives for the year of [the birth of Anne’s brother William in 1535 showing] payments for a birdcage, soap, swaddling and, on 14 August, five shillings to buy ale for the nurse.
After her parents died Anne would have been placed in another household.
About 1568 Anne Vaux married Reginald (or Reynold) Bray (1539 – 1583), the fifth and youngest son of Reginald Bray and Anne, daughter and heiress of Richard Monington of Barrington in Gloucester. Three of Reginald’s older brothers died without issue. His brother Edmund inherited the estate of Barrington; the estate at Steyne (Stean) and Hinton in Northamptonshire was settled on Reginald.
Reginald, aged about 44, died in October 1583 and was buried at Hinton in the Hedges.
Anne and Reginald had one son, William, who died in his father’s lifetime aged about 7. They had five daughters, all Reginald’s coheirs:
Mary, born about 1569. On 16 August 1586 at Eaton Bray, Bedfordshire, she married Sir William Sandys (c 1562 – 1641) of Fladbury, Worcestershire. She appears to have died by 1597 about the time of his second marriage, to Margaret Culpepper. She appears not to have had children.
Anne, born about 1573; she was later the wife of John Sotherton (1562 – 1631), a judge and later a Baron of the Exchequer. John Sotherton married two more times and had two sons and a number of daughters. Anne was possibly the mother of one or more of these children. Anne had died by 1602..
Alice, born about 1577. In 1592 she married Nicholas Eveleigh, a lawyer. Nicholas Eveleigh died aged 56 in 1618 when the Chagford Stannary Courthouse collapsed killing him, two of his clerks and seven others, also leaving a further 17 injured. She secondly married Elize (Ellis) Hele, a lawyer and philanthropist who died in 1635. The trust from his will was used to found a number of schools including Pympton Grammar School. Alice died on 20 June 1635, probably childless. She and her second husband are buried at Exeter Cathedral. There is a monument to both of her husbands at Bovey Tracey Church.
Anne and her sister Maud however appear to have married Protestants.
Maud (abt 1539 – abt 1581) married Anthony Burgh / Burroughs / Burrows of Burrow on the Hill, Leicestershire. Following Maud’s death, her daughter Frances (abt 1576 – 1637) went to live with her cousin, Eleanor Brooksby nee Vaux, the widowed daughter of Maud’s brother William. Eleanor raised Frances as a Catholic. In about 1595 Frances joined the Canonesses Regular of the Lateran at Louvain in Belgium. According to one history of these Lateran Canonesses, as a child Frances was taken to with her family to attend ‘heretical’ (Protestant) services on Sundays and holy days, but during them regularly fell asleep, a sure sign of her firm commitment to Catholic orthodoxy.
That Anne Bray nee Vaux named one of her daughters Temperance is clearly a mark of her Protestant Puritan leanings. Thomas Crew, Temperance’s husband, was noted for his strong Puritan convictions.
Anne Bray died on 7 May 1619 at the age of 69. She was buried on 12 May at Hinton in the Hedges, Northamptonshire. A plaque in the chancel features the arms of Bray (Ar. a chevron between three eagle’s legs erased a la cuisse S. armed G.) and the arms of Vaux (impaling chequy Ar. & G. on a chevron Az. three roses O.) and the following text:
HERE LYES BURIED REYNOLD BRAY LATE OF STEANE IN THE COUNTY OF NORTH. ESQ. AND ANNE HIS WYFE, THE ONE, A YONGER SON OF REYNOLD BRAYE THAT WAS BROTHER TO EDMOND LORD BRAY AND THE OTHER A DAUGHTER OF THOMAS LORD VAUX OF HARROWDON: THEY HAD ISSUE ONE SON NAMED WILL’M THAT DIED OF THE AGE OF 7 YEARS, AND 5 DAUGHTERS. VIZ. MARY MARRYED TO WILL’m SAND ESQUIER, ANNE MARRYED TO JOHN SOTHERTON ESQUIER ALICE MARRYED FIRST TO NICHOLAS EVELEGH ESQUIER AND AFTER HIS DEATH TO ELLIS HELE ESQUIER, TEMPERANCE MARRIED TO THOMAS CREWE ESQUIER, & MARGERY MARRIED TO FRANCIS IN’COLDSBY ESQUIER. THE SAID REYNOLD DIED Ye 28th OF OCTOBER THE 25th OF ELIZABETH ABOUT THE AGE OF 44 YEARES. AND THE SAID ANNE DIED 7th OF MAY 17 JAC: ABOUT THE AGE OF 77 YEARES : AND THEY BOTH ARE NOW AT REST IN THE LORD.
The arms of Bray (Ar. a chevron between three eagle’s legs erased a la cuisse S. armed G.) and the arms of Vaux (impaling chequy Ar. & G. on a chevron Az. three roses O.) Bray arms by Wikimedia commons user Lobsterthermidor [CC BY-SA 3.0], retrieved from Wikimedia Commons. Vaux arms generated using Drawshield https://drawshield.net/create/index.html
The Dana family is noted in American history, and has members and kinfolk around the world. The coat of arms, however, potentially an insignia of identity and relationship, has been a source of confusion; enhanced by contradictory and essentially spurious accounts of the family origin.
Burke’s Encyclopaedia of Heraldry lists the armigerous families of Britain in alphabetical order, but this comprehensive work contains no mention of any family of the Dana surname.1
Bolton’s American Armory, however, offers four different forms of arms:2
One, ascribed to Richard Dana (1700-1772) and based on the frame of his portrait, has a silver shield with a blue chevron engrailed [see below] between three “stags:” these last, however, will be discussed further. The crest is a fox and the motto Cavendo tutus.
The second, based on the bookplate of Richard’s son Francis Dana (1743-1811), is described with a red chevron rather than a blue one, again with the crest of a fox and the motto Cavendo tutus.3 A note adds that Francis’ son Richard Henry Dana Senior (1787-1879) had a gold shield, and unicorns instead of stags.
A third, based on the bookplate of Charles L Dana, has “On a bend [see below] three chevrons [or chevronels];” no colours are specified. The crest is described as an ox’s head cabossed (facing the viewer); no motto is given. There were several men named Charles Dana with the middle initial L, but this one is probably Charles Loomis Dana (1852-1935), a noted physician.
And the fourth, from the bookplate of Charles A Dana, has a shield divided horizontally into six bars, with three lions rampant [see below] wearing crowns; again, no colours are specified. Here too the crest is an ox’s head, and there is no motto. Again, there have been many Charles Danas with the middle initial A, but this one is probably Charles Anderson Dana (1881-1975), lawyer, businessman and philanthropist; another Charles Anderson Dana (1819-1897) was a well-known journalist associated with General Ulysses S Grant during the American Civil War, but the lawyer appears more likely to have used a coat of arms.
All these variants are discussed further below, and I argue that Bolton’s is incorrect in a number of details, but the two used by Richard and his son Francis are the earliest recorded and appear the most significant.
A number of different designs, each purporting to be the arms of the Dana family, may also be found on internet websites:
“Arms and Badges” at http://www.armsandbadges.com/browse.aspx?List=3f80a37c-4a73-4b95-bd3c-e7a36871d7a4; accessed May 2014. This shows a white/silver shield with a red chevron and three stags, similar to Bolton’s description of that used by Francis Dana above. There is an eagle’s head above the shield, looking like a crest, but Arms and Badges applies the eagle’s head to all its presentations; it is not specific to any family.
“Heraldry WS” at http://www.heraldry.ws/html/dana.html; accessed May 2014. This is the shield which Bolton’s ascribes to Charles L Dana above, with the colours shown as a black shield, a white bend and green chevrons.
An “English” version has a gold shield, with a red-and-white checked chevron between three silver trefoils – similar to shamrocks, as below; this is heraldically incorrect, for silver should not be placed upon gold.
An “Italian” version has vertical bars of gold and blue.
Outline sketches of the various charges mentioned above are provided here:
Just as the heraldry is confused, so too accounts of the origins of the surname on the websites are varied, vague and unreliable. There are prosaic explanations, including the obvious one that it referred to a Dane or – in contrast – from House of Names, that it is an Anglo-Saxon name, taken from the word dann, meaning “valley,” an early site of settlement. House of Names also finds an Italian origin in Piedmont, implying some connection to the royal house of Savoy, future kings of Italy. Another suggestion cites the personal name Daniel while, still further afield, The Red Thread offers a theory that the Danas may be connected to Dan, one of the Lost Tribes of Israel. 4crests even refers to the mythical princess Danae, who was imprisoned in a tower by her father but was seduced by the Greek god Zeus, manifested as a shower of gold, and gave birth to the hero Perseus. It’s good fun, but it’s not useful.4
In fact, the origins of the Dana family are quite obscure, and their heraldry is erratic. By the use of library resources, however, including material which has been placed on the internet, and various items of physical evidence, it is possible to trace some history and to recreate the earliest coat of arms.
The family in Massachusetts:
There are two very useful books on the history of the family: The Dana Saga: three centuries of the Dana family, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Dana (1881-1950), published by The Cambridge Historical Society in 1941,5 and The Dana Family in America, by Elizabeth Ellery Dana (1846-1939), published at Cambridge in 1956.6The Dana Family is a work of almost seven hundred pages; it was begun by Elizabeth Ellery, continued after her death by her nephew Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Dana, and was finally edited and published by members of the family forming the Dana Genealogical Committee; it contains a most detailed genealogy up to the middle of the twentieth century. In contrast, The Dana Saga has fewer than seventy pages, and was evidently prepared as a preliminary pamphlet while Henry Dana was working on the materials left by his aunt. Besides these, a Memoranda of Some of the Descendants of Richard Dana, compiled by John Jay Dana (1811-1899), was published at Boston in 1865;7 and the Personal Papers of Elizabeth Dana have been published by the National Parks Service in 2001.8
In her Introduction to The Dana Family, Elizabeth Ellery Dana discusses the possible origins of the family, and concludes that the only likely connection is with Manchester in England, where a Richard Dana was baptised on 31 October 1617. His name is not mentioned again in English records, and it is probable this is the same person as first appears at Cambridge, Massachusetts, in the early 1640s. Elizabeth Ellery notes that she has explored the possibility of a French origin, including any connection to the Huguenot exile community in England, but can find no references; and she dismisses the theory of migration from Italy. Amongst other arguments against a non-English origin, Richard Dana held substantial official positions in Massachusetts, and it is most unlikely that a foreigner would have received such appointments in a British colony. The Dana Family notes also that Richard Dana was the only person of that surname to come to America for the next two hundred years, and he is the sole ancestor of the main family.
About 1647 Richard Dana was awarded a land grant on the southern bank of the Charles River. He continued to acquire property, he was an early donor to Harvard College, and he held several important local offices. He died of a fall in 1690.
Richard Dana’s youngest son Daniel (1664-1749) had a successful life without great distinction, but his son Richard (1700-1772), first of the family to attend Harvard, became a magistrate and a leading figure in agitation against the British imperial government. Dressed in full legal regalia, his portrait was painted in 1765 by the celebrated artist John Singleton Copley.9
Richard’s son Francis (1743-1811) had a still more impressive career, on a national scale. A leading lawyer and a close associate of George Washington, he was a member of the Constitutional Congresses of 1777, signed the Articles of Confederation in 1778, and was sent as Ambassador to Russia in 1780; the future President John Adams served as his secretary. Again a member of Congress in 1784 and a leader of the Federalist Party, he later joined the Supreme Court of Massachusetts, and was Chief Justice from 1791 to 1806. His son and grandson, Richard Henry Sr and Jr, were both lawyers; Richard Henry Sr (1787- 1879) being also a well-known poet and literary critic, while Richard Henry Jr (1815-1882) was the author of Two Years Before the Mast.
The English coat of arms:
Francis Dana was the third son of Richard: the eldest, Edmund, was born in 1739; a second son, Henry, was born in 1741 but died in 1761. Edmund had graduated from Harvard in 1759, and he left America for England about 1760; it does not appear that he ever returned.
Edmund took holy orders in the Church of England, spent time in London, and then held a series of livings, ending as Vicar of Wroxeter in Shropshire. It was not a notable career, in no way comparable to that of his brother Francis, but he did become well connected: in 1765 he married Helen, daughter of Charles the sixth Baron Kinnaird; her mother Barbara was a daughter of the baronet Sir James Johnstone.10 It was probably through Edmund’s agency that the Dana family first acquired a coat of arms, though it came by a most roundabout route and is of very uncertain authority.
In 1569, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, the Alderman William Dane of London became Sheriff of that city and was granted a coat of arms by the English College of Heralds. Originally from Stortford in Hertfordshire, he became a member of the Worshipful Company of Ironmongers and was Master of the Company in 1570 and in 1573, in which year he died.
A monument set up by his fellow guildsmen describes the shield: ” Or, a chevron engrailed azure, between three hinds gules;” in modern English, that is a golden/yellow shield, with a blue chevron with scalloped edges, surrounded by three female deer coloured red.11 The effect is gaudy, but Tudor heraldry could look like that:
There is some resemblance to the shield of the Ironmongers Company, which I show alongside. It has a silver shield with a chevron surrounded by three objects, in that case they are described as “gads” (wedge-shaped bars) of steel; the chevron, moreover, has three golden swivels, ironwork designed to assist a chain to flow freely; the supporters are lizards but surely represent salamanders, which operate in extreme heat.12
So William Dane adapted the shield of his Company but created several points of difference, reversing the colours and even varying the edge of the chevron. It is important to note, however, that the animals on his shield were hinds – female deer – and not stags. The badge of Sir Christopher Hatton (1540-1591), future Lord Chancellor and already a favourite of Queen Elizabeth, was a hind, and it is probable that William Dane was showing respect to a current or potential patron. In similar fashion, when Sir Francis Drake sailed around the world from 1577 to 1580 he named his ship Golden Hind.
William Dane was survived by his wife Margaret nee Kempe, but the couple had only one son, who died young, probably before his father, so there was no-one to inherit the coat of arms.
There is no reason to believe there was any family connection between William Dane of Hertfordshire and London and the Dana family, probably from Manchester, two hundred years later; not even the name is the same, and it is unlikely that the final e was ever sounded. For some reason or other, however, members of the Dana family in the latter eighteenth century persuaded themselves that the shield of William Dane could reasonably be used for their own insignia.13
The person responsible for the appropriation was most probably the Reverend Edmund Dana. There is no way to tell how he found out about the grant of arms in 1569, but after his arrival in England in the early 1760s he would have had opportunity to make enquiries, and he may have simply asked at the College of Heralds when he was in London.
One particular reason for Edmund Dana to seek a form of arms would be his marriage to Helen Kinnaird in 1765. Regardless of personal affection, as the daughter of a lord she and her family could expect her to marry a gentleman of coat armour, and Edmund might well have found it desirable to acquire such insignia; since we are told that the couple were wed at Leith in Scotland, where heraldry is governed by Lord Lyon King at Arms independent of the English establishment, there were probably no questions asked.
This being done – and we know that Edmund Dana’s family in England used a version of the shield of William Dane14 – it is not difficult to accept that he advised his father and his brother Francis of the newly-claimed arms. Their use was never registered by the English College of Heralds and so was formally unlawful in that country, and few American colonists had been granted arms. Edmund Dana was evidently not concerned, however, and his father Richard and brother Francis were certainly not deterred; they appear to have been making use of the insignia by the mid-1760s.
The arms in America: Richard Dana’s portrait frame and Francis Dana’s bookplate:
We have noted that Richard Dana had his portrait painted by John Singleton Copley in 1765. The portrait survives and is presented within a gilded frame, probably of the same date or very close to it, which has at the top a shield and a crest. The picture and frame are privately owned by a member of the family, but it was lent for an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York during 1992, and a descriptive catalogue was published as American Rococo, 1750-1775: Elegance in Ornament.15 Unfortunately, though there is a large photograph of the portrait and its ornate frame, the design at the top does not come out well and cannot be reproduced here. The charges can nonetheless be identified as a blue chevron and three animals, and the crest is a walking fox. In contradiction to the entry in Bolton’s Armory, however, it is clear that the background of the shield is gold. It is not possible to ascertain whether there is a motto.
About the same time Richard Dana’s son Francis had a bookplate prepared, also showing a coat of arms. The work was engraved by the distinguished silversmith Nathaniel Hurd, and a copy appears facing page 30 of The Dana Saga. This contains the full achievement, and the illustration has a commentary by the author Henry Dana, including a blazon [description] of the whole achievement: “Argent, a chevron engrailed azure, between three stags trippant gules.” The crest is a fox, and the motto is Cavendo tutus: Safe [tutus] by being cautious [cavendo].
Henry Dana adds that “This was the Coat-of-Arms granted in 1569 to John Dana [sic, not William Dane], from whom Francis Dana at one time imagined he was descended.”
In fact, despite Henry Dana’s kindly note, there is no reason to believe that Francis Dana was under any illusions about the descent, and there are a number of problems and doubts about the description of the shield:
Firstly, though engraved metal can have no direct colouring, colour can be indicated by a system of “hatching:” whereas argent or silver is plain, dots are used to show or, the heraldic term for gold, Downward lines indicate gules red, sideways show azure blue, and the lines for vert green are diagonal from top left to bottom right. In the illustration, therefore, dots are discernable on the background of the shield, and so it should in fact be described as or gold, not as argent silver; that is the way William Dana had it in 1569.
Second, while the chevron is indeed engrailed, the hatching is unclear. It is possible that the chevron is red rather than blue, a variation from William Dana’s, but more probable that Francis followed the some blue colour scheme as on the frame of his father’s portraits.
Thirdly, however, though the blazon given by Henry Dana describes the animals as stags, they do not appear to have horns, and are more likely to be the original hinds of William Dana. In that regard, the design proposed by Arms and Badges above, with deer surrounding a red chevron, is comparatively close, but the animals are female without horns, not stags with antlers, and the background of the shield is gold and not silver.
Bolton’s American Armory, as discussed in the Introduction, says that Francis Dana’s son Richard Henry Sr had a bookplate with a gold shield but with unicorns instead of deer. I suspect this is a misreading of the design, and that in fact the animals were correctly hinds.
We may note also that, writing in the 1860s, J J Dana states at page 6 of his Memoranda that “The first known proofs of [the shield’s use are soon after the Revolutionary War.” The evidence of Richard Dana’s portrait frame and the bookplate of Francis Dana would indicate that he is mistaken.
In general, while shields are supposed to be more or less permanently attached to a particular family, subject to slight variations to identify individuals or cadet branches, crests can be changed more readily and mottos can be adopted almost at will. Most families, however, maintain the same tradition from one generation to the next.
The motto adopted by Richard and Francis is shared with other families, sometimes accompanied by the crest or charge of a snake, though it is also used by the Dukes of Devonshire, whose surname is Cavendish which goes quite well with cavendo. For the Danas, though the crest of the fox has no earlier authority, it makes a nice combination with the motto: female deer should be careful when there are foxes about.
The Dana arms in England and Australia: Charlotte Frances Dana’s box:
When I was in Cambridge, Massachusetts, during September 1999, my aunt Nancy Movius nee Champion de Crespigny showed me a small camphorwood box with a silver plaque engraved with a shield and a motto. The box is a family heirloom which has since been passed to Nancy Movius’ grand-daughter, but at that time its provenance was not known, and she asked me to try to find out what the shield related to and where the box might have come from. I was able to offer her some conclusions, which I have now been able to confirm.
The shield and motto on the plaque are accompanied by neither crest nor supporters, while the smaller figures on the shield are difficult to make out and their colours cannot be identified. In heraldic terms, however, the shield would be blazoned:
Per pale: dexter: quarterly, 1 and 4, vert an eagle displayed; 2 and 3, argent a lion rampant; sinister: or, a chevron engrailed gules between three hinds.
Translated from the formal language, we have a shield divided in two down the middle. The left-hand part of the shield is again divided into four parts, of which both the top left and bottom right have a green background with a spread-winged eagle; while the top right and bottom left have a white or silver background with a lion rampant.
The motto below the shield is in English: “In God Alone I Trust.”
From the discussion above, we know that the right-hand half is a version of the Dana shield, based upon that of William Dane, but with one significant difference both from William Dane’s shield and from that used by Richard and Francis Dana in America: whereas the background is or gold, and the three animals are female deer, the chevron is engraved with vertical hatching, indicating gules red. It appears that Edmund Dana in England varied William Dane’s shield, but his father and his brother preferred to keep the original colours.
The left-hand half of the shield is not difficult to identify. There are several books which index the charges on shields and the family or organisation which holds them, and one of the most comprehensive is Papworth’s Ordinary of British Armorials, compiled in the nineteenth century and revised in the mid-twentieth.16 This work ascribes the arms of an eagle on a green ground quartered with a lion rampant on a silver ground to Sherborne “of the Tower of London.” Papworth, moreover, describes the lions as vert green and the eagles as argent white/silver, so each quarter reverses the colours of its neighbour.17
The reference to the Tower is unusual: most families are described as coming from a particular county and not from a building, even a royal one. Shaw’s Knights of England, however, records that Edward Sherburne, clerk of Ordnance at the Tower, was created a knight bachelor in January 1682 (the beginning of 1683 by modern calculation – New Year at that time was in March).18 These are presumably the arms that he bore and that his descendants continued to hold, though they may have had no further connection to the Tower.
This shield, moreover, is close to that recorded for the Sherborne family of Lancashire, the main difference being that the (original?) Lancashire branch has the quarters in opposite order, so the lion is in the first and fourth, and the eagle in the second and third. Burke’s Encyclopedia of Heraldry also lists the two families, but adds that the crest of the Lancashire family is a unicorn head, silver, with a horn of gold, while Sherborne of the Tower of London has a green lion rampant guardant [i.e. looking towards the viewer].19
A shield divided into two relates to a married man whose wife has brothers. When a woman marries, her husband is entitled to “impale” the arms of his father-in-law. If, however, the wife has no brothers, she is a “heraldic heiress:” her husband places her family arms on a small shield in the middle of his own, and their descendants can show the combined arms as “quarterings” thereafter.
On such a shield, the arms on the left hand side are those of the husband’s family and those on the right the wife’s. [Left and right in this case are described as from the observer’s point of view, but in heraldry they are considered from that of the wearer: hence dexter [Latin: right] is on the observer’s left, but is a position of greater honour than sinister [left] which is on the observer’s right.]
So the small shield engraved on the box relates to a married couple, the husband being a man of the Sherborne surname and the wife being born Dana. Fortunately it is comparatively easy to identify them.
The genealogy in The Dana Family lists the children of the Reverend Edmund Dana.20 The first three were daughters: Frances Johnstone, who was born on 8 May 1766 and died on 7 May 1767; Elizabeth Caroline (1767-1844) who had many children; and Frances Johnstone, born on 3 September 1768 and named after her dead sister – a common custom of the time.21 In 1793 this second Frances Johnstone Dana married Joseph Sherburne [or Sherborne], and the union was symbolised by the shield which combined their families’ arms.
I have in my possession a family Bible, which came to me from my grandfather Constantine Trent Champion de Crespigny. An inscription in the front describes how it was passed to him by the will of his grandmother Charlotte Frances Champion Crespigny nee Dana (1820- 1904). The inscription before that reads:
The Gift of Mrs Frances Johnstone Sherborne to her niece and God daughter Charlotte Frances Dana by her will –
Charlotte Frances Champion Crespigny nee Dana was eighth child of William Pulteney Dana (1776-1861), who was born at Wroxeter as the seventh child and second son of the Reverend Edmund Dana. Frances Johnstone Sherborne nee Dana, William Pulteney’s elder sister, was the aunt of Charlotte Frances and also her godmother.
In order for the box to come into the possession of my aunt Nancy Movius, daughter of Constantine Trent Champion de Crespigny, it must have been owned by her great- grandmother Charlotte Frances nee Dana, who came to Australia with her husband Philip Robert Champion Crespigny in 1852. Like the Bible, it was presumably a gift, and the date when it was given may be indicated by the motto on the plaque: “In God Alone I Trust.” The motto is not associated with either the Sherborne or the Dana families,22 but it would be most suitable for a present from a godmother, and I believe the box may have been given to the infant Charlotte Frances at the time of her christening in 1820.
In any event, the box and its plaque demonstrate that the Dana family in England used the shield with a red chevron between three hinds on a gold background. Two of Charlotte Frances’ brothers, Henry Edmund Pulteney Dana (1817-1852) and William Augustus Dana (1826-1866), also came to Australia: Henry became the founder and head of the Native Police Corps – armed Aborigines mounted on horses – and William was second in command; there are still members of the family in Australia.23
So the shield of the Dana family in England and Australia, descended from the Reverend Edmund, was gold with a red chevron and three red hinds, while the family in America, descended from Edmund’s father Richard and his younger brother Francis, followed the original sixteenth-century pattern borne by William Dane, with a blue chevron. It is probable that both sides of the family used the crest of a fox and the motto Cavendo tutus.
In footnote 57 on page 29 of The Dana Saga, Henry Dana remarks that Elizabeth Ellery Dana disapproved of any claim to heraldic honours: “the Dana family, with their humble origin, had no right to bear this Coat-of-Arms.” Henry supports her opinion, and particularly objects to the fox crest and to the motto: “The Danas were rarely safe and never cautious.” Richard, Francis and their kinfolk, however, were and are entitled to disagree.
The other Dana arms:
We have noted in the Introduction above that Bolton’s American Armory lists two other sets of arms used by members of the Dana family, both based on bookplates: Charles L[oomis] Dana had a shield with a bend bearing three chevrons; no colours are given, but the footnote to page 29 of The Dana Saga describes the shield as black, with a white bend and three green chevrons: this is the same as that presented by the website of Heraldry WS.
Charles A[nderson] Dana had a shield divided horizontally with six bars, with three lions rampant wearing crowns, but there is no source for any of the colours; presumably the bookplate did not provide any hatchings. I have provided random colouring in order to show the nature of the background and the charges.
Bolton’s American Armory has the crest as an ox’s head cabossed (facing the viewer); it is described by Washbourne as a bull’s head affrontée, which is the same design. Again, no colour is given, and there is no reference to a motto.24
In his footnote to page 29 of The Dana Saga, following his unfavourable view of the arms claimed by Richard and Francis Dana, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Dana remarks that the black shield with a white bend and three green chevrons, accompanied by the crest of a bull’s head crest “is, if possible, even more spurious.” He makes no comment about the shield with bars and three crowned lions rampant, but would no doubt have been even more scathing.
His strictures, however, are not entirely justified. It is clear from Bolton’s American Armory that the two achievements were used, and by different branches of the family:
While Richard Dana (1700-1772) and Francis were the son and grandson of Daniel (1664-1749), who was the seventh and youngest son of Richard (1617-1690), founder of the family in America;
Charles Loomis Dana was descended from Caleb (1697-1769), also a son of Daniel but elder brother of the second Richard;
and Charles Anderson Dana was descended from Benjamin (1659/60-1738), sixth son of the first Richard.
By the early twentieth century, therefore, when Charles Loomis Dana (1852-1935) and Charles Anderson Dana (1881-1975) were making use of their bookplates, the connection was very distant. Strictly speaking, they should perhaps have used some variant of the earlier coat of arms, but given the distance of the relationship and the lapse of time it was reasonable for them to have chosen insignia of their own, and their descendants are free to follow their models.
Finally, we may note once more that while Bolton’s American Armory lists shields and arms for the Dana family, neither Papworth’s Ordinary nor Burke’s Encyclopaedia record any of the forms. Those latter compilations deal only with the heraldry of Britain, where the lineage of William Dane was long extinct; though members of the Dana family made use of his chevron and hinds in England and elsewhere, they never sought to register them.
There are three sets of arms which can be ascribed to one branch or another of the Dana family. Those connected to Charles Anderson Dana, in the line of Benjamin the sixth son of the found Richard Dana, may like to use the shield with six bars and three crowned lions – and may presumably choose whichever combination of colours seems appropriate.
For those related to Charles Loomis Dana, descended from Caleb son of Daniel and grandson of the first Richard, there is his black shield with a white bend and three green chevrons.
And those of the second Richard’s lineage can claim the tradition of a chevron on a gold shield, with three red hinds or does; the colour of the chevron may vary between blue, for members of the family in the United States, to red for those of English or Australian background.
So there is a broad choice, and individuals may vary colours and shapes to distinguish themselves from their cousins. One notable point, however, is that of the designs found on internet websites, only that shown by Heraldry WS has actually been used by a noted member of the family. The version provided by Arms and Badges has some relation to the initial accession by Richard, Edmund and Francis Dana, taken from the shield of William Dane, but is mistaken as to colour and has stags rather than hinds. All others must be regarded as fictitious and without authority.
Notes: 1. John Burke and John Bernard Burke, Encyclopaedia of Heraldry or General Armory of England, Scotland and Ireland, comprising a registry of all armorial bearings from the earliest to the present time, including the late grants by the College of Arms, London 1844. ↩ 2. Charles Knowles Bolton, Bolton’s American Armory: a record of coats of arms which have been of use within the present bounds of the United States, first published Boston 1927 with later editions; most recently revised by Jina Bolton, The Genealogical Publishing Company, 2009, and available on the internet at http://books.google.com.au/books?id=YH5LJSlAsoUC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q= Dana &f=false; accessed May 2014. The Dana arms are described on page 45. ↩ 3. The colours of the shield and of the chevron are discussed further below. ↩ 4. The suggested origins are discussed in similar terms in a footnote at page 2 of The Dana Saga as below. ↩ 5. At http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=wu.89062874821;view=1up;seq=11; accessed May 2014. Both The Dana Saga and The Dana Family in America, below, have been scanned from a copy held by the University of Wisconsin. ↩ 6. http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=wu.89062875265;view=1up;seq=7; accessed May 2014. ↩ 7. E.g. https://archive.org/stream/memorandaofsomeo1865dana/memorandaofsomeo1865dana_djvu.txt; accessed May 2014. ↩ 8. http://www.nps.gov/long/historyculture/upload/EED%20Finding%20Aid.pdf; accessed May 2014. ↩ 9. The picture – and notably its frame – are discussed further below. ↩ 10. Details of the marriage and immediate descent of Edmund Dana appear as Genealogy item 581 at pages 484 to 486 of The Dana Family in America. Edmund and Helen’s first three children, all daughters, were born in London between 1766 and 1768: see below. Page 20 of The Dana Saga tells how in April 1775, just before the outbreak of fighting at Concord and Lexington, Francis Dana was sent as an envoy to England with letters to Benjamin Franklin. In fact Franklin returned to America early in May of that year; their ships probably passed one another in mid-Atlantic. It is also said that while he was in England, Francis sought to persuade his brother’s connections to sympathy with the colonists’ cause; we are not told whether he had any notable effect. ↩ 11. See http://www.forgottenbooks.org/readbook_text/Some_ Account_ of_ the_ Worshipful_ Company_ of_ Ironmongers_1000832814/561; accessed May 2014. ↩ 12. John Bromley and Heather Child, The Armorial Bearings of the Guilds of London, London 1960, 148-151, with plate facing 134. ↩ 13. At pages 6 and 7 of his Memoranda, J J Dana expresses his doubts on the connection to William Dane, and confirms that there is no evidence the name Dana has any connection that that of Dane, and that it has always been a word of two syllables. ↩ 14. On the use of arms by Edmund Dana’s family, see the account of the camphorwood box below. ↩ 15. Morrison H. Heckscher, American Rococo, 1750-1775: Elegance in Ornament, New York 1992; accessed May 2014 at http://books.google.com.au/books?id=0Iqxqguoy BkC&print sec = frontcover&redir_esc= y#v =onepage&q&f=false. The portrait and its frame are illustrated at page 141, with discussion at 142. ↩ 16. John Woody Papworth, An Alphabetical Dictionary of Coats of Arms belonging to Families in Great Britain and Ireland: forming an extensive ordinary of British armorials; edited from page 696 by Alfred W. Morant; reprinted from the original 1874 edition with introductions by G D Squibb and A R Wagner, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore 1965. ↩ 17. Papworth, page 304. The surname appears in different texts as Sherborne, Sherburne and Sherbourne. There is no doubt, however, that it is the same family. ↩ 18. William A Shaw, The Knights of England: a complete record from the earliest time to the present day of the knights of all the orders of chivalry in England, Scotland, and Ireland, and of knights bachelors; incorporating a complete list of knights bachelors dubbed in Ireland, compiled by G. D. Burtchaell, London 1906, volume II, page 258. ↩ 19. John Burke and John Bernard Burke, Encyclopaedia of Heraldry, London 1844. ↩ 20. The Dana Family, page 485. ↩ 21. Johnstone was the maiden name of Helen nee Kinnaird’s mother, the child’s grandmother. ↩ 22. See, for example, Henry Washbourne, The Book of Family Crests, London 1882, which includes “A Dictionary of Mottos.” ↩ 23. There is an entry for Henry Edward Pulteney Dana compiled by Marilynn I. Norman in The Australian Dictionary of Biography, Canberra 1966: http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/dana-henry-edward-pulteney-1952/text2327; accessed May 2014. The year of his birth is given as 1820, but The Dana Family has 1817, which would be correct: Charlotte Frances was born in March 1820, and she was not Henry’s twin. Further details are provided by Marie Hansen Fels, Good Men and True: the Aboriginal police of the Port Phillip district 1837-1853, Melbourne University Press 1988; pages 44-49 discuss the family background. ↩ 24. Washbourne, Family Crests, volume I, page 131. ↩ 25. This is the shield presented by Heraldry WS; the present design is taken from that website at http://www.heraldry.ws/html/dana.html; accessed May 2014. ↩