HERALDRY "A Collection of Armes in Blazon/ Taken from an antient Booke of Ordinaries/ Tricked and extracted, from Visitations & Pedigrees in the Heralds Office/ Note, that the figures in this Margent refer to the pages of that booke from whence these Armes where taken, haveing This Title/ Liber Of Ordinaries" [c.1585-90]
Lot 41
HERALDRY
"A Collection of Armes in Blazon/ Taken from an antient Booke of Ordinaries/ Tricked and extracted, from Visitations & Pedigrees in the Heralds Office... Liber Of Ordinaries", written throughout in an attractive Elizabethan Secretary hand, displaying fine penmanship and with many decorative flourishes [c.1585-90]
Sold for £6,000 (US$ 9,797) inc. premium

Lot Details
HERALDRY "A Collection of Armes in Blazon/ Taken from an antient Booke of Ordinaries/ Tricked and extracted, from Visitations & Pedigrees in the Heralds Office/ Note, that the figures in this Margent refer to the pages of that booke from whence these Armes where taken, haveing This Title/ Liber Of Ordinaries" [c.1585-90]
HERALDRY
"A Collection of Armes in Blazon/ Taken from an antient Booke of Ordinaries/ Tricked and extracted, from Visitations & Pedigrees in the Heralds Office/ Note, that the figures in this Margent refer to the pages of that booke from whence these Armes where taken, haveing This Title/ Liber Of Ordinaries" (later cover title), written throughout in an attractive Elizabethan Secretary hand, displaying fine penmanship and with many decorative flourishes, the first page headed as taken "Out of my lady Darrelles roule of Armes", beginning with "fortescue empaled w.t Bulleyn" and comprising among other entries: "A Pedigree of Hailesford and Basset"; "A pedigree of hougat of Yorkshire"; "This is the very true pedegre and Lyniall discent of Hamond Amcottes of London Esquire the third sonne of Wm Amcottes of Astrop in the countie of Lincolne"; "Cronologia Johis Middilton"; five pages devoted to "A pedigree de nobilittate Lacyorum" [the de Lacy family]; "Stafford and ther marrages" [cousins of Mary Boleyn's second husband and of her descendants and Queen Elizabeth's cousins the Lords Hunsdon]; pedigree of George Earl of Talbot dated 1590 [the year of his death]; Lord Dacre's descent; descent of Gabriel Poyntz dated 1591; a coloured "Pedigree of Renolde Gray Lorde Gray of Ruthin"; descent of the Scrivener family; epitaphs ("Heere under sleeps blew john that gives/ foode to feede wormes, yet he not lyves/ you that passé by looke at his grave/ & say your selves, that like must give/ Wise men & fooles, all one end makes/ Godes wilbe done, who gives & takes"; on the final page the herald responsible has carefully copied in facsimile the signatures of Robert Cooke, Clarenceux King of Arms [served 1567-92/3] and of Roger Glover, Somerset King of Arms [served 1571-1588], nearly 50 pages taken from a larger volume, paginated at top right from 47-62 and 135-168, rebound in paper covers in the eighteenth century with title (quoted above), some dust-staining and wear at the corners, etc., but nevertheless still in sound and attractive condition, in a modern morocco-backed buckram case, folio, [c.1585-90]

Footnotes

  • WORKING NOTES OF AN ELIZABETHAN HERALD, containing an attractive coloured tree of Queen Elizabeth (shown holding her sceptre) marked "Vera coniunctio duarum domorum lancastriensis ac Eboracensis... A pedigree descendinge from o.r Dread sovraign Lady quen Elizabeth to Kinge Edwarde the thirde..." with verses below: "These ii Roses are Joyned here in one state/ the man giving the red rose the woman the whit/ Henry the seventh & Elizabeth his mate/ by ringe of marriage, as man & wife unite// Both heires to both their bloudes, to Lancaster the Kinge/ the queen to yorke, in one the two houses did knit/ of whome as heire to both, henry the eight did spring/ in whose seat his true heire thou quen Elizabeth doth fit".

    Several pages are also devoted to the Morgan pedigree of Anne Morgan, who was married to the Queen's cousin, Henry Carey, first Baron Hunsdon: this names their eldest son as Sir George Carey, which implies that it was prepared before the first Baron's death on 23 July 1596. Hunsdon, the Lord Chamberlain, is of course famous as being the patron of Shakespeare's company, the Lord Chamberlain's Men, which after his death was to be taken over his son, George, the second Baron, and which was to become, on the accession of James I, the King's Men. Soon after the entries for Lady Hunsdon, we find five pages devoted to Edward De Vere, Earl of Oxford, to whom J. Thomas Looney, S. Freud and others, ascribe the poems and plays of Shakespeare. Following on from the De Vere pedigrees, we have one for the Earl of Derby (who is another, albeit slightly less popular, candidate, and has also been proposed as the Fair Youth of the Sonnets).

    The volume ends with two pages devoted to "The ancient ffamilie of the Sherleis of Sherlie in the countie of Darbie" showing the descent of Sir Thomas Shirley who is described as "nowe lyvinge in Anno 1585". At a later date the names of his children have been added, including the brothers Anthony, Robert and "Sr Thomas" (the latter knighted in 1589). This is the famous trio who were the subject of the play by Day, Rowley and Wilkins, The Travailes of the Three English Brothers (1607); with Anthony, in his turn, having the plays written by Shakespeare ascribed to him (Scott Surtees, William Shakespeare of Stratford-on-Avon: His Epitaph Unearthed and the Author of the Plays Run to Ground, 1888). On the final originally blank leaf facing, the Shirley tree has been extended into the seventeenth century, the handwriting of this addition identified in a third hand (possibly also responsible for the cover) as that of the arms painter Sylvanus Morgan (1620-1693), author of The Sphere of Gentry, Deduced from the Principles of Nature: an Historical and Genealogical Work of Arms and Blazon, in Four Books (1661–3). He was presumably responsible for removing these two gatherings from their original volume and for binding them in wrappers, with the cover-title being added at a later date.
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