17th Century Augmentations of Honour
by C.W.Scott-Giles, O.B.E.
Fitzalan Pursuivant Extraordinary
Coat of Arms No.42, Winter 1960.

By a warrant dated at Oxford May 6th 1645, King Charles I empowered Sir Edward Walker, Garter King of Arms, "for the Incouragement and reward of such as valiantly and faithfully adhered to him during the unnatural Rebellion", to grant such persons "by way of Augmentacion, out of his Royall Badges, such additions unto their Armes as might aptly testify the nature of their worth and meritts", and also to grant appropriate arms to those who had none.

This was recited in a further warrant issued to Sir Edward Walker by King Charles II on September 3rd 1660, in which it was stated that "the King had considered the necessity that such Additions should (in this tyme of generall reward) be afforded to such persons of exemplary meritt as shall desire the same; as also to avoyd the trouble and importunity of passing such under our Great Seale". The King therefore gave Garter "full power and authority to give, grant and assigne, unto any person of eminent quality, fidelity, and extraordinary meritt, that shall desire it, such Augmentacion of any of our Royall Badges to be added unto his Armes, as you shall iudge most proper to testify the same; And if any person of fidelity and desert cannot prove himself a Gentleman of Coat Armour, that in such case you may, and shall grant and assigne him such Armes and Creast as hee may properly beare for his honor, and as you in your discrecion shall iudge fitt and convenient".

In conformity with the terms of the warrants, most of Sir Edward Walker's augmentations consisted of Royal Badges, those most frequently granted being the rose, the portcullis, and the lion of England. However, in some cases he seems to have interpreted his authority somewhat liberally, so as to grant as additions to arms, or as charges in coats and crests of augmentation, the Royal Crown, the Sceptre, and the Orb.

The grants under these warrants fall into three groups, viz. those made in 1645-6 before King Charles I surrendered to the Scottish Army; those made during King Charles II's exile; and those made after his Restoration.

Augmentations granted in 1645-6

Under King Charles I's warrant there were about a dozen grants of augmentations in the years 1645-6. Most of these consisted of a canton charged with a rose or a lion of England. Among the recipients of a canton gold charged with a rose gules were Sir Bernard de Gomme, a Dutchman, Engineer and Quartermaster General in the Royalist Army; Sir Bartholomew de Crequi, Lord de la Roche, a Frenchman, "Captain of the Fire Workes"; and Humphry Painter, Sergeant Chirurgeon.

A canton or with a rose gules charged with another argent was granted to Captain John Aylett and to Captain Henry Yonger, Comptroller General of the Train of Artillery; while in the case of a similar augmentation to Patrick Ruthven, Earl of Brainford (Brentford) and Forth, the rose was placed within the tressure of Scotland.

A canton gules charged with a lion of England was granted to Colonel Sir Richard Page, and to Sir John Walpoole, Cornet of the King's Troop, and a fess gules similarly charged was awarded to Abraham Walker of the Hague, Jeweller to the Princess Royal.

A notable augmentation dated 1645 was "an addition of Armes (by his Maties. especiall Command) granted unto the City of Hereford, for valiantly defending themselves against the Scottish Army". To the ancient arms of the City, Gules three lions passant gardant in pale argent, was added a bordure azure charged with "10 saltiers or Scottish Crosses argent". Walker also granted the City a crest consisting of a lion as in the arms holding in the dexter forepaw a sword erect proper, hilt and pomel or; and as supporters, two lions rampant gardant argent each collared azure and on each collar three buckles or "in reference to ye Armes of ye Rebellious general Leisley Earle of Leven by whom it was besidged".

Other augmentations granted in 1649-50 included a canton gules charged with a leopard's face or to Richard Pyle, Sergeant Chirurgeon to the King, and a chief gules charged with a lion of England to Sir Theodore Graswincle of Delft.

Captain John London, "who principally induced the Navy in the Downes to return to their Obedience anno 1649", was granted at Brussels in 1658 as arms, Azure semé of anchors a naval crown or, and as crest a sea-lion azure supporting an anchor gold.

The well-known grant to Colonel William Carlos was also made in 1658 at Brussels. The document refers to the King's straits after the Battle of Worcester and the assistance given to him by Colonel Carlos,

"qui Fortitudine sua ac Fidelitate singulari adjumentum fuit praecipuum nostrae praeservationis aspirante Dei omnipotentis providentia dum pauperis tugurii hospitio ac quercus umbrosae cacumine nos aliquot Diebus et Noctibus occultaret Rebellibus interim nos furiose inquirentibus ac postea in Locum securitatis perduceret."

The arms and crest assigned to Carlos are described as follows:

"In Campo de auratio Quercum viridem, tresque Coronas Angliae Imperiales super Fasciam sanguineam in medio Scuti et super Galeam pro ista Sceptrum et Gladium Coronam Civicam transeuntem."

Augmentations granted after the Restoration

During the ten years following the Restoration of King Charles II, Sir Edward Walker granted a number of augmentations on the authority of the warrant of September 3rd 1660. Most of these consisted of a canton or escutcheon charged with one of the Royal Badges or a lion of England.

Among those who received a canton charged with a rose were Dr. Bryan Duppa, Bishop of Winchester, the King's former tutor, and Dr. Sheldon, the King's Chaplain, who became Archbishop of Canterbury, and as Chancellor of Oxford built the Sheldonian Theatre. A rose on an escutcheon was granted to Noah Bridges, who had been Clerk of the Parliament at Oxford. The rose was crowned in the augmentation given to John Sayer, His Majesty's Master Cook.

The well-known augmentation to Sir Winston Churchill, consisting of a canton argent charged with the cross of St. George gules, together with the crest which is still borne by the Churchill family, was granted in 1661; and in the same year the red cross on an escutcheon was awarded to John Knight, one of the King's Sergeant Chirurgeons.

A canton charged with a crowned harp was granted to Sir George Lane, one of the Clerks of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Marquess of Ormonde, Lord Steward of the Household; with a portcullis to John Brydall, Secretary to the Master of the Rolls; with a fleur-de-lis to Sir Edmund Pierce, Doctor of Law; and with a crowned lion of England to Sir Philip Meadowe.

A lion of England on an escutcheon was granted to Francis Wolfe of Madeley, Salop, "by his Maties. special Warrant and Command, for enterteyning his Matie. after the Battell at Worcester". Sir Samuel Morland, a diplomatist who had promoted the Restoration, was also granted a lion of England to be borne in the dexter chief of his arms.

Captain John London, "who principally induced the Navy in the Downes to return to their Obedience anno 1649", was granted at Brussels in 1658 as arms, Azure semé of anchors a naval crown or, and as crest a sea-lion azure supporting an anchor gold.

Colonel Richard Newman, of Fifehead Magdalen, Dorset, whose conduct at the Battle of Worcester had enabled the King to escape through the City gate, was granted as an augmentation an escutcheon gules charged with a crowned portcullis or.

A coat of augmentation commemorating the return of the Tower of London to the King's custody was granted to Sir John Robinson Bt., Lord Mayor of London 1662-3 and first Lieutenant of the Tower after the Restoration. This was, Quarterly embattled gules and or, in the first quarter a tower argent and on the battlements thereof a lion statant gardant gold. (The tower was probably tinctured argent as a reference to the White Tower.) This coat was quartered with his paternal arms, Vert semé of trefoils a buck trippant or.

Sir Henry Bennet, a principal Secretary of State, later Earl of Arlington, received as an augmentation the Royal Orb, which was borne in the centre of his paternal arms, Gules three demi-lions rampant argent.

Francis Mansell of Guildford, Surrey, merchant, "who provided the Shipp, and with great Loyalty and fidelity assisted in the exportacion of his Matie. after the unfortunate Battell at Worcester", was granted as arms, Or three maunches sable on a chief gules a lion of England gold; and for crest, a ship with one mast sable under sail argent, flying the flag of St. George at the masthead, bow and poop, and charged on the stern with three Royal Crowns proper.

The grant to Sir Robert Holmes in 1668 sets out in some detail his services as a naval commander and mentions in particular that in 1666, as Rear Admiral of the Red Squadron, he entered the harbour of Vlie in Holland where he burnt 180 Dutch ships, and landed on the Island of Schelling with 1,200 men and fired its chief town. To be quartered with his paternal arms, Or three weasels sable, was granted as a coat of augmentation, Barry wavy of six or and azure, on a canton gules a lion of England gold. With this was granted a crest, out of a naval crown or an armed arm holding a trident azure headed gold (cf. the crest of the Royal Fishing of Great Britain and Ireland, granted by Walker in 1664, (see p. 59 of this number).

The famous augmentation granted to the family of Lane of Bentley, for the part played by John Lane and his daughter Jane in assisting King Charles's escape after the Battle of Worcester, is not among Sir Edward Walker's grants. The addition to their arms of a canton of the Royal Arms of England was granted by Royal Warrant in 1677. It is curious that the warrant, while giving full credit to John Lane, makes no direct mention of his daughter, who accompanied the King (disguised as her manservant) on the hazardous journey from Staffordshire to the Dorset border. The warrant set out:

"Ye Great and Signal Service performed to Us by John Lane of Bentley in com. Stafford Esqr. deceased, in his ready concurring to ye Preservation of Our Royal Person after the Battel of Worcester at which time contemning the threatnings published by the Murtherers of Our Royal Father, against any who should conceal or assist Us, and disclaiming the Rewards proposed to such as should be instrumental in the discovery and destruction of Our Person, and not valuing any hazard his Family might run with the duty of an unspotted Allegiance, did by his great prudence and Fidelity conduct Us, as that we were able at length to retire to places of safety beyond the Seas.

In 1678 John Lane's son, Thomas, was granted by Sir William Dugdale, Garter, a crest of augmentation: "Out of a Wreath Or and Azure, a Demy-Horse Strawberrie Colour, bridled Sable, bitted and garnished Or, supporting an Imperiall Crown Gold".

Thomas Whitgreave of Moseley Hall, where the King found shelter for two nights before he reached Bentley, received no heraldic recognition in his lifetime, but a commemorative augmentation was granted to his great-great-grandson. This consisted of a chief argent and thereon a rose gules irradiated gold within a wreath of oak proper; together with a crest: out of a ducal coronet a sceptre in pale or surmounted by a branch of oak proper and a rose gules slipped in saltire also proper.

Reviewing the recipients of these augmentations, together with others there is not the space to deal with, one finds that, loyal and worthy men though they were, few of them were of great eminence. It will, perhaps, put the augmentations granted during this period into perspective if we reflect that in similar circumstances today many of these men, instead of receiving an heraldic distinction, would be appointed to the third, fourth or fifth class of one of the Orders of Chivalry.

I should like to acknowledge with gratitude the assistance afforded me by Mr. A. C. Cole, Portcullis Pursuivant, and Mr. J. P. Brooke-Little, Bluemantle Pursuivant, in making available to me certain books in the College of Arms.