The Development of Heraldry part 2

Templar KnightAnother very interesting early heraldic roll dates from the reign of Edward II (  1284 - 1387  ), and is known as The Great Parliamentary or Bannerets Roll dating from about 1312. It contains the names and arms of 1,120 people. The roll is divided by county. One of the most fascinating of all of the rolls is that of The Siege of Caerlaverock. It is written in Norman French, the language of Heraldry, and relates to the siege and capture within 36 hours of a small castle in Dumfriesshire, Scotland in the year 1300 during the July campaign of that year by King Edward I. The author of the roll describes in great detail the arms of those present at the siege. He describes 87 banners and 106 coats of arms ( usually banner and shields portrayed the same arms). There has been some conjecture that the author was a herald in the service of King Edward. The roll shows that after 150 years of existence a sa science, heraldry was in good shape. It was a useful science because of it’s usefulness in war. The management of the charges borne on the shield was perfectly carried out. It had to be, or heraldic devices would not have fulfilled their function.

The Knights who used these heraldic devices arranged their armorial devices themselves without recourse to kings or heralds. Sometimes disputes arose as to the ownership of early coats of arms, for example Brian FitzAlan bore:  Barry or and gules, which was the  subject of a dispute between him and Hugh Pointz, who bore the same arms at the Siege of Caerlaverock. Ralph de Monthermer married Joan, the daughter of Edward I, in the process acquiring the earldoms of Gloucester and Hereford. At the siege Ralph bore a banner with the arms of Clare ( his wife’s first husband’s arms) or three chevronels gules. He bore on his shield his own arms, or an eagle displayed vert. John de Cromwell used his own arms  azure a lion rampant double queued ( 2 tails ) argent crowned or, but from other manuscripts from the time period we know that on some occasions he used the arms of the house of Vipoint, gules, six annulets or, because his wife was an heiress of that family.

 Eagle vertChevron

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