Coat of Arms Augmentation part 1

Charles II at Bascobel
CHARLES II AT BASCOBEL                  
Rewarding their followers for service to the Crown and State has been the prerogative of rulers since time immemorial. In addition to the award of orders and decorations from medieval times rulers have used the “augmentation” of Coats of Arms to recognize or reward deeds or service by nobles. Augmentations are additions or changes to existing Coats of Arms and they is some way display the gratitude of the donor, usually a monarch. They are added either by “honor” when the grantee has performed deeds of merit, or by “grace” when the sovereign grants part of his or her Coat of Arms to a relative. Frequently the augmentation is a charge form the donor’s owns Arms, or a new Coat of Arms in the form of a quartering. In the case of quartering in British Heraldry the new quarter of augmentation takes first position, with the old Arms moving into the second quarter. Crests and Supporters may also be given as augmentation. In Britain, an augmentation takes the form a new grant from either the College of Arms (England and Wales), Lord Lyon King of Arms (Scotland), or the Norroy and Ulster King of Arms (Northern Ireland), which includes a special citation mentioning the reason for the augmentation.

A fine example of the reasons behind the granting of augmentations in medieval England  is recorded in the words of King Charles II who, after the Civil War, issued a warrant to the Garter King of Arms at the time, Sir Edward Walker to grant “ unto any person of eminent quality, fidelity, and extraordinary merit that shall desire it, such augmentations of any of our Royal Badges to be added unto his Armes, as you shall judge most proper to testify the same”. Several of the augmentations granted by Sir Edward Walker referred to King Charles II’s escape, helped by loyal friends, after the defeat of the Royalist forces at Worcester in 1651. During the escape the King and his companion Colonel Careless hid out from their pursuers in an oak tree at Boscobel House. The episode was remembered in augmentations to Colonel William Carlos (as his name was now recorded) and the Penderel brothers who were the tenants of Bascobel. Both families received a full grant of Arms which included an oak tree surmounted by a fess charged with three crowns.

Massey coat of arms augmentationAnother episode in the same flight of King Charles II concerned the King riding pillion on the bay horse of Mistress Jane Lane, disguised as a tenants son. The Lanes were not only granted a canton of the Royal Arms of England but they were also later granted a crest of augmentation:
Out of a wreath Or and Azure a demi horse Strawberrie colour, bridled Sable, bitted and garnished Or, supporting the imperial crown gold. During the English Civil War (  1642-1651) an augmentation was granted to Dr. Edward Lake for his valor at the battle of Edgehill in 1642 when he was wounded 16 times. One of the wounds left his left arm paralyzed. He was then said to have taken his horse’s reins between his teeth, this is recorded in his crest of augmentation. All 16 wounds are also remembered in the Coat of augmentation which took the first quarter of his Coat of Arms. This shows a right arm in armor holding a sword, from which flies a flag with the Cross of St. George. The cross is charged with a lion from the Royal Arms and in each quarter of the flag are four red escutcheons ( small shields), one for each wound. Below is an additional example from Canada for the Right Honorable Charles Vincent Massey, image above, the canton in the top left hand corner contains the crest of Canada as on honorable augmentation.

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