Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 9.djvu/299

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9" S. IX. AFRIT. 12, 1902.) NOTES AND QUERIES.


contend that before the time of Richard I. arms were borne anyhow at the choice and option of the bearer and that there was no ecognized title or property in such posses- sions. That is the opinion in some parts of America at the present moment, so it is possible that several persons might have acted upon it in the eleventh century. But if armorials in the eleventh century were wild and disorderly, they seem to have been tolerably well regulated in the tenth, which is a little argument in favour of their existence previous to 1066. We need not worry about the true date of early armorial seals, many of which can be duly and regularly proved from pedigrees, such, for example, as that of Waleran, Earl of Mellent. But what is the meaning of the following document of the year 938 if it does not refer to hereditary heraldic bearings in the same sense as employed in " regular heraldry"?

" Henrici I. Aucupis Imperatoris Augusti Leges Hastiludiales sive de Torneamentis Latse Getting in Saxonia anno Domini DCCCCXXXVIII. cap. xii.

" [De hominibus novis.] Quisquis recentioris et notae nobilis et non talis ut a stirpe nobilitatem suam et origine quatuor saltern generis auctorum proximorum gentilitibus insignibus probare possib, is quoque ludis his exesto.

The Hastihulial Laws or Laws for the Regula- tion of the Tournaments held at Gottingen, in Saxony, in the year 938, under the Emperor Henry I., called the Fowler.

" Chapter xii. [concerning new men.] Whatever noble is of recent and known family, yet not such as can prove his nobility from stem and origin of at least four generations of a race of immediate ancestors with family insignia (or armorial bear- ings), he also must be excluded from these games."

It is only an extract, but it will serve as a sample of the whole. What can the upholders of the bald statement have to say after this dated document?

To argue on the general question of sym- bolism, &c., which is as old as the hills, is to miss the point. I do not intend to waste time and space by dealing with it. I want to show by dates that heraldry did exist as clearly heraldry as it is at the pre- sent moment before 1066, without reference to any prolepsis or ignorant assumption. If what I have given is not evidence I do not understand the meaning of the term. I should like the opinion of other reasonable readers of ' N. <fe Q.' CHEVRON.

The fact that the nations of classic anti- quity were accustomed to use pictorial sym- bols for denoting a family or gens no more proves that the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans were familiar with heraldry than the designs painted on their shields prove that the Norman warriors of the eleventh

and twelfth centuries possessed hereditary coats of arms and practised heraldry in the full sense of the word. Dr. Woodward, in his ' Heraldry, British and Foreign,' clearly shows the later rise of coat-armour as we understand it. True, the subject is com- plicated by the late mediaeval practice of attributing to such personages as King Arthur and King Edward the Confessor arras which those monarchs never used ; but this need not confuse us when we remember that even Adam, Noah, and the Virgin Mary were similarly distinguished by the same heralds. The Welsh heralds also attributed fixed and hereditary coats to British princes who died long before heraldry was practised even in France ; and it is really wonderful with what consistency and unanimity the old Welsh genealogical MSS. assign a par- ticular coat to each such chieftain. But this only shows the ingenuity and care of the inventors of those armorial bearings. No one really believes that Jestyn ab Gwrgan in the eleventh century went to battle with a shield bearing Argent, three chevronels gules. Yet all the heralds agree in assigning those and no other arms to the last de facto Prince of Glamorgan, and many native families bear the same as his actual or pre- sumptive descendants. For my own part I never could understand by the designation "science" should be refused to heraldry. Perhaps it is because quacks and faddists have done so much to oring it into contempt, and genuine heralds so little to advance its prestige. Until Dr. Woodward's book appeared one had to go to French works to learn much about the art, craft, or mystery of blazonry. Is it that its title to be called a science is withheld by those whose perseverance has been unequal to a mastery of its details ?


THE WEST BOURNE (9 th S. viii. 517 ; ix. 51, 92, 190, 269). There can be no doubt that the river was once so called right down to its mouth, where it formed, till Sir Hugh Owen's changes, the west boundary of Westminster (St. George's, Hanover Square, parish). The name was preserved by the terrace at the Chelsea boundary at Bloody Bridge. But in my childhood it was called "the Ranelagh River" from Sloane Square to its mouth. CHARLES W. DILKE.

THE FIRST BRITISH SUBJECT BORN IN NEW SOUTH WALES (9 th S. ix. 206, 272). MR. CUR- WEN should read more accurately. The note