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Category Archives: heraldry

Proofs of nobility for British abroad: the Hepburn diploma

At the request of a correspondent on rec.heraldry I am posting something interesting here. It purports to be a copy of charter of King James VI & I, dated 16 July 1616, which attests the noble ancestry and good character of an expatriate Scotsman, Captain Daniel Hepburn, “legitimate son of the late Alexander Hepburn,” resident […]

an early private English grant of arms: Mackworth

I am researching the Mackworth family of Rutland and Shropshire, who descend from Thomas Mackworth of Derby, who with his brother John (a canon of Lincoln cathedral) was granted arms privately by John Touchet, lord Audley, in 1404. I was curious about the phenomenon of early private grants of arms until I found the excellent […]

English ‘title’ offered as TV promo

I haven’t actually seen the cable TV serial “The Tudors” but I can understand heavy marketing for its new season to cash in on the recent theatrical release of the unrelated Boleyn film (which owes much to the work of genealogist Tony Hoskins, a probable Henry VIII descendant via one of Mary Boleyn’s ‘Carey’ children). […]


A query forwarded to me by a friend got me interested in the ‘Quaternionenadler‘: a German imperial eagle with the coats of arms of the estates of the empire superimposed on it, a Hapsburg emblem popularized around 1510. Here it is, in a beautiful painted two-page print by Augsburg artist David de Necker: While it’s […]

The palace of Diego Gómez (1: Tomb of Fernán Gómez)

[Part of a series of posts and pages dedicated to Sancha de Ayala] The palace of Diego Gómez, one of the magnificent Mudejar-Gothic palaces in the old heart of the city of Toledo, long ago became the Franciscan convent of Santa Isabel de los Reyes; but it has only recently (2005) become a “convent-museum” with […]

Sancha de Ayala’s brother

On Tuesday afternoon I had the chance to inspect the tomb of Sancha de Ayala’s brother, now in the Museu Frederic Marès in Barcelona. A very fine alabaster effigy, like that of his uncle Pero Lopes de Ayala and those of his grandparents Fernán Pérez de Ayala and Elvira de Ceballos, at Quejana (Alava). The […]

Count Rumford

Here’s an interesting item: Count Rumford’s grant of arms from the English College of Arms: This is from a fine on-line article on Count Rumford: Allen L. King, “Count Rumford, Sanborn Brown, and the Rumford Mosaic,” Dartmouth College Library Bulletin 35, New Series (1995). I see this is one of those modern grants taking notice […]

Samuel Harmon’s commission

Just yesterday I got back from conservation and framing a commission in a colonial militia given to one of my wife’s ancestors at the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War. The commission is typeset with blanks filled in by hand. I give the whole text here [filled-in portions, as opposed to typeset boilerplate, are in […]