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Selections The Coats of Arms of the Baskervilles
as assigned to or assumed by various lines:
some blazons and their interpretations.
  • Baskerville Biographies

  • Baskerville Places

  • Baskerville Genealogy

    The heraldic and genealogical information on this page is drawn from a variety of sources, and the text is continually revised as research and new information becomes known.
    Latest Update: 11th July 2006

    'Disclaimer': the Arms depicted here are not being used, and no claim to their use is being made, by the writer. They are displayed for historical, illustrative and interpretive purposes only.

A Blazon

Argent, a chevron gules between three hurts.

This is the blazon, or technical description written in the evocative Anglo-Norman dialect still used for this purpose, of a coat of arms assigned to Sir Walter Baskerville of Eardisley in the time of King Henry III (reigned 1216-1272). All of the Arms borne by Baskerville family members since that time have displayed and used variations on this original design.

The design on a heraldic shield is described in a particular way, and expressed in plain English this blazon reads '[A] Silver [or white, shield with] a red chevron [an inverted V shape across it], between three blue discs'.

Descriptions of various Baskerville Arms
Descriptions from Burke, The General Armory of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, ..., London 1884: 55-56
  • Baskerville (Erdisley Castle. co. Hereford, of Norman origin, settled in Herefordshire soon after the Conquest). Ar. a chev. gu. betw. three hurts. Crest - A wolf's head erased ar. holding in its mouth a broken spear, staff or, head ar, imbrued gu. Motto - Spero ut fidelis.
  • Baskervile (Cheshire) Ar. three hurts.
  • Baskervile (Gloucestershire). Ar. on a chevron az. (another, gu.) betw. three hurts, as many crosses crosslet or.
  • Baskervile (Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Hertfordshire). Ar. a chev. gu. betw. three torteaux.
  • Baskervile (Herefordshire and Warwickshire). Ar. a chev. gu. betw. three hurts. Crest - A wolf's head erased ar. holding in the mouth an arrow, the feathers upwards. Another Crest - A lion's head pierced through the mouth with a spear. Another Crest - a garb of rosemary ppr.
  • Baskervile (confirmed as the Arms of BASKERVILE, of Cudworth, Her. Vis.). Ar. a chev. gu. betw. three hurts.
  • Baskervile Ar. on a chev. gu. betw. three hurts as many mullets or.
  • Baskervile Ar. on a chev. gu. betw. three hurts as many fleur-de-lis.
  • Baskervill Ar. a chev. gu. betw. three trivets or.
  • Baskervill Ar. a chev. az. betw. three torteaux.
  • Baskerville (Goodrest, co. Warwick, Kyre Park, co. Hereford and Aberedow, co. Radnor). Same as BASKERVILLE of Eardisley.
  • Baskerville (MYNORS-BASKERVILLE, of Clyro Court, co. Radnor, descended from BASKERVILLE of Eardisley). Same Arms, Crest and Motto: the Pedigree, Arms, and Quarterings are duly registered in the College of Arms, London.
  • Baskerville (Crowley Park, co. Oxford). Same as Eardisley.
  • Baskerville (Old Withington, co. Chester). Same Arms. Crest - A forester vested vert. edged or, holding over his dexter shoulder a crossbow of the last and with the other hand in a leash a hound pass. ar.
Descriptions from Foster, The Dictionary of Heraldry: Feudal coats of arms and pedigrees, New York 1989 (original ed. 1902): 10-11
  • Baskerville, Andrew de (Henry III Roll) bore, argent, a chevron azure between three torteaux; Arden Roll
  • Baskerville, Sir Richard de, banneret - (E. II Roll) bore, argent, a chevron gules between three hurts; Parliamentary Roll. JOHN and WALTER bore torteaux instead of hurts; Arden and Glovis Rolls, F.
  • *Baskerville, Sir Walter, of co. Glouc. - bore, at the first Dunstable tournament 1308, argent, on a chevron gules between three hurts as many mullets (fleur-de-lys in Cotgrave Roll) or; in the Parly. Roll, crosses crosslet are substituted for mullets, and in another MS 5 instead of 3 crosses crosslet are blased crusily. JOHN took up the cross in the last Crusade 1270.
    * probably ancestor of extant Noble and Gentle Families of the name.
Abbreviations and notes
  • Ar. = argent (silver or white colour).
  • az. = azure (blue colour).
  • betw. = between.
  • chev. = chevron (an inverted V shape).
  • co. = county or shire.
  • cross crosslet = a cross with the arms of equal length, and the end of each arm crossed again.
  • crusily =
  • dexter = right hand side.
  • E II = King Edward II (reigned 1307-1327)
  • erased = head of a animal with a ragged neck, as if torn off.
  • fleur-de-lis = a stylised lily flower.
  • garb = a sheaf or bundle of plant material tied up, such as a wheathsheaf.
  • Glouc. = Gloucester
  • gu. = gules (red colour).
  • Her. Vis. = Herefordshire Visitations, i.e. investigations into the display and use of Arms carried out by officers of the College of Arms c1634.
  • hurts = blue coloured roundels or disks.
  • imbrued = stained with blood.
  • mullet = a five-pointed star.
  • MS = manuscript
  • or = gold or yellow colour.
  • Parly = Parliamentary
  • pass. = passant, i.e. walking, depicted in side-view.
  • ppr. = proper, i.e. depicted in the colours it naturally has.
  • torteaux = red coloured roundels or disks.
  • trivet = an iron tripod.
  • vert. = green colour.
  • vested = dressed in clothes.



The uses and functions of the Coat of Arms

To distinguish one from others
A Welsh-language book on heraldry published in 1410, the Llyfr Dysgread Arfau (Book of the Description of Arms) began with the translators opening remarks:
Arms were ordained and assigned to warriors and gentle folk to be borne by them according to their natures and customs, so that they and their heirs might be distinguished from others by these charges; ... for by coats of arms can each gentleman be recognised and his family distinguished, and the reason for the elevation of his ancestor to allow him to bear arms [be known]...(in Dennys: 70-71)
The Llyfr was a translation of a popular English-language heraldic treatise published in 1395, the Tractatus de Armis, which was widely read in court and gentle circles because of several heraldic controversies at the time. Two uses of coats of arms that would have been familiar to the Marcher Baskervilles are identified in the Llyfr: to allow others to distinguish between gentle families, and to show how a family came to be enobled.

As a rallying point in battle
There were two famous knights of the Baskervilles in the Eardisley line: Sir John, who fought with Henry V in a great victory over the French at Agincourt in 1415 and Sir James, who fought for the Plantagenet king Edward IV at the 1st Battle of St Albans in the Wars of the Roses in 1455 (Erwin, 1990). They were each made a Knight Banneret on the battle field by the king in the manner illustrated above ('Creation of a Knight in the 15th century', by Robert Glover; in Dennys: 35). The essential elements are shown: the king dubs the kneeling knight on the shoulder with his sword while spurs are fitted to his heels and his square banner is raised. A Knight Banneret was usually responsible for 100 fighting men that he had raised through feudal obligations. The banneret was square shaped, and showed the charges (or design) on the shield, and served as a rallying and focal point for the knight's men on the battlefield.

Others
A coat of arms and other heraldic devices had several other, more prosaic uses that long outlasted battlefield origins. They could be used as a corporate seal applied to legal papers, letters and other documents as a form of signature. They were also used to mark ownership of property, from the displaying of banners and carved arms on buildings to engravings upon furnishings and other chattels, and being printed on bookplates and stationery.

Some interpretations of the design or 'achievement'

I have found two explanations of the charges on the shield ('the hammers' and 'the whortleberries'): argent, a chevron gules between three hurts. I have also developed three of my own explanations of the charges on the shield. Fox-Davies warns the aspiring student of heraldry:
It may be well to point out that in the few cases in which an ancient coat of arms carried with it an explanation, such explanation is usually to be found either in some [prosaic matter], or else in some palpable pun, and not in the mythical accounts and legends of supernatural occurrences which have been handed down, and seldom indeed in any explanation of personal nobility.(1909: 153)

The hammers
An explanation of the mythical type is this:

Nicholas de Baskerville's son, William Martel or Geoffrey Martel de Baskerville, is supposed to have received the name martel, meaning "hammer," as an award for bravery. The Baskerville shield, which is the same for the Erdisley Baskervilles and Cheshire Baskervyles (the crests are different), shows "the head" of three "hammers."
RootsWeb.com discussion, 20/8/1990
The origin of this explanation is not known to me at this time, but it seems to represent the romantic attribution of noble qualities to a quasi-mythical ancestor likely to have been developed in recent times rather then antiquity.

The whortleberries
Brian Erwin provides a gentler explanation, taken from a family history written by Madeline Hopton in The Herefordshire Magazine in 1907:

There are many Baskerville arms but those given to the Hereford line are appropriate to a family who have lived so much on the border of Wales and are now residing in the Principality. The arms are 'Argent', a chevron gullies between three heurts'. These heurts are taken from a small round berry called the 'Whortle or Whin berry' of deep blue color, which grows upon the Welsh mountains. The heraldic expression 'hurt' denotes color and shape of the charge on the shield.
Erwin, 1990
Fox-Davies states that the origin of the chevron is from the French word for rafter, and the chevron shape reflects the shape of the rafters forming the gable of a roof (1909: 122). Pevsner identifies Eardisley and nearby Weobley as important for their medieval 'black & white' timber frame buildings in which rafters, beams and gables form a characteristic visual feature (1963: 122, 313). Page states that whortleberries are found throughout the mountains on the border of Herefordshire and Wales (1908 I: 52). An explanation can be inferred from this, but 'a home among the whortles' seems a little too rustic for a knight assigned arms by his sovereign at a time of great threat and civil war.

Neither of these explanations is very convincing, and I have developed several of my own interpretations: the map, the fusion, and the face.

The map
By the mid-13th century the Baskervilles had been in charge of at least three strategic positions in the Marches: Eardisley Castle, Pencelli Castle, and Aberedw Castle. Eardisley was in English Herefordshire, while Pencelli and Aberedw were deep in Wales: Pencelli to the southwest in Brecknockshire and Aberedw to the northwest in Radnorshire. Although now called 'castles', they were more than military garrisons. Each had to be reasonably self-sufficient and contained small communities of people with different types and degrees of feudal relationships binding them. As such the 'castles', especially Eardisley, are better understood as manors with a military role.

The boundary between England and Wales was not at that time neatly delineated, but was a broad transitional zone of the fusing Celtic, Anglo Saxon and Norman cultures. Generally, the undulating plains were 'English' and the high mountains 'Welsh'. On a map the change in the topography forms a rough 'V' shape, with the pointed end being the narrow valley of the Wye River as it leaves the mountains and enters the undulating plains of Hereford as the strokes of the 'V' widen. Eardisley fell within the Hundred of Huntingdon, where the mountains met the dales, which was considered a part of Wales until Henry VIII moved the English border to the River Arrow on the western side of the Hundred in 1537 (Watkins: 2).

Fox-Davies gives as an example of the charges on a shield depicting a map, that of the Stourtons.

The arms of Stourton are one of the few really ancient coats concerning which a genuine explanation exists. The blazon if them is: Sable a bend or, between six fountains proper [a fountain is a roundel with wavy blue and white lines representing water]. The Lords Stourton derived their name from the river Stour, which rises within the manor [from] six wells or springs. Three of the springs were inside the [Stourton's] park, and three without, and three in Wiltshire and three in Somersetshire. Here then is to be found the division upon the coat of arms of the six fountains in the two sets of three each, and it is by no means an improbable suggestion that the bend which separates the three from the three is typical of, or was suggested by, either the park wall or pale, or by the line of division between two counties. The coat of arms is just a map of the property. (Fox Davies 1909: 152-153)

Based upon this understanding of the Stourton Arms (illustrated above), it is possible to put forward the hypothesis that the Baskerville shield is really a map. Eardisley Castle is marked by the lower or 'base' hurt, inside the border marked by the red chevron, with the two forward positions of Pencelli and Aberedw on the outer of 'chief' side of the border/chevron. The strategic position of the family would be clear for all to see. The charges on the shield reflected the military role of an important supporter of Royal authority in the Marches.

The fusion
The blue hurts could also reflect the 'localness' of the family by their resemblance to whortleberries; while the red chevron could suggest blood, either of knights spilt in the frequent fighting along the border, or of the mixed race Norman-Welsh Baskervilles. The blueness of the hurts could also suggest the blue body paint of Celtic warriors being penetrated with the redness of the Norman chevron in another allusion to the family's bi-cultural origins (the Normans chief banner depicted their emblem of gold lions on a red field). These interpretations are plausible as reflections upon the fusion of cultures that was occurring in the Marches and exemplified in the Baskervilles.

The face
Another, perhaps more acceptable, explanation is that the dramatic colours and arrangement of the charges are designed to resemble a face, a frightening illusion that could intimidate foes in the fog of battle, and remind restless enemies and feudal subordinates alike that they could be being watched at all times. The faces carved on the Eardisley font date from about the same period, and carry countenances reminiscent of the shield, with their chevron or V shaped beards and helmets and their large round eyes.

However, until such time as an authentic original text is revealed that provides some contemporary explanation for the design of the Baskerville arms, the readings of the map, the fusion, and the face; even of a whortle home or possibly of a hammer, must remain as hypotheses. While none are definitive they can stimulate our thinking about the role of the Baskervilles as medieval Marcher Lords in a region of cultural fusion.

Differencing the Arms: charges, crests, motto

Charges
'Charges' are the marks, symbols, pictures and other visual elements placed or charged upon the field of a shield. The geometric charges, such as a chevron or a cross, are often called ordinaries. 'Marks of cadency' are a system of distinctions placed on arms for distinguishing (called 'differencing') between the Arms of cadet branches (i.e. of younger sons) of a family, and are usually of more organic shapes than the rigid geometry of the ordinaries.

  1. Chevron - the constant charge
    The chevron occurres frequently in English and French heraldry. The term comes from the French word chevron, meaning a rafter or gable beam. It is a very early charge, and in its earliest forms when used alone was usually shown reaching nearly to the top of the shield with a more acute angle. Once it began to be accompanied by other charges its height was lowered and the angle increased. It is usually shown between three charges, although more can occasionally be found (Fox-Davies: 123-124).

  2. hurts and torteaux - the other original charges
    Any plain, circular chanrge can be called by its generic names of a roundle, but in English heraldry there are special names for each tinted roundle. A blue roundle is a hurt and a red roundle is a torteau, plural torteaux (Fox-Davies: 151-153).

  3. inverted tints - perhaps the oldest form of differencing
    A very old form of differencing and mark of cadency, although it is not always correct to assume that changes of tint are always the mark of cadets. Visitation heralds sometimes deliberately changed the tints when confirming arms of otherwise the same design (Fox-Davies: 483)

  4. crosses crosslet - an early form of differencing
    There are nearly 400 forms of cross used in heraldry, probably due to the influence of the crusades. A standard Christian cross is known in heraldry as a Passion Cross. The Cross Crosslet is one of several variations on the St George's or heraldic cross of equal-length arms, with each arm of the cross itself a cross. A Cross Crosslet can be used as a mark of cadency on a crest to signify a lack of blood relationship, and is an early mark of difference as a charge on the shield (Fox-Davies: 127-131, 344).

  5. mullets - mark of cadency for the 3rd son
    Stars are a common charge on shields. A star with straight rays is called a mullet, which always has five points unless some other number is stated in the blazon. There are several other names for various types of stars. An older name is spor-rowel or spur-revel, indicating the origin of the design in the rowel or a spur (Fox-Davies: 295-296).

  6. fleur de lis - mark of cadency for the 6th son
    Long associated with France as a heraldic emblem, the fleur-de-lis was first used on the English royal arms in 1340 by Edward III when he laid claim to the French throne. The fleur-de-lius had been used earlier in English heraldry, notably in 1275 when Thomas de Cantelupe became Bishop of Hereford and the Arms he was assigned have ever since been used as the Arms of the Diocese. The name 'Cantelupe' may be derived from the Latin cant de lupes, meaning 'wolfs head', perhaps alluding to the wolf's land of the Marches already evident in the crest (Fox-Davies: 272-276).

  7. trivets - an informal mark of cadency?

Crests
Although entire coats of arms are commonly referred to as a 'crest', the crest is actually only one element of a coat of arms. It is essentially a device that sits upon the helm (or other headcovering such as a cap) which in turn sits above the shield. At the base of a crest is usually a wreath (also called a torse) that resembles pieces of cloth wound or plaited together, each strand one of the colours of the shield. In the case of the Baskerville Arms, no helm is used and the crest is usually shown just above the shield without a wreath or torse. Fox-Davies states that it is a rule of English heraldry that crests of different families must be differentiated. Crests can also be changed between family lines through inheritance from an heiress (1909: 338). Devices used as crests on the various Baskerville Arms have been a wolf's head, a lion's head, a garb of rosemary, and a forester with crossbow and hunting dog. These last-two are so different to the others that they may be derived from Marcher heiresses in Cheshire on the northern Marches.

  1. a wolf's head, erased, holding a broken spear (Herefordshire)
    The crest is a wolf's head erased holding in its mouth a broken spear with five drops of blood. In 'olden times' wolves were hunted in Wales to exterminate them and no doubt some brave act of saving life from a wolf's clutches may have given rise to this heraldic cognizance (Erwin, 1990).

    A 'wolf's head erased' is illustrated above, with the curling neck fur representing a head torn or hacked from the body, rather than cleanly cut. Presumably this indicates a violent death for the wolf, as would be expected when hunting and killing a feared and ferocious wild animal. I have not seen another reference to the 'five drops of blood' described by Erwin, but presumably they have some significance, such as the number of strikes taken with a spear to kill the wolf. The fact that the spear is broken, probably in the hunt, again emphasizes the violent, perhaps heroic, struggle that was undertaken to overcome the beast.

  2. a wolf's head, erased, holding an arrow (Herefordshire)
    On one level the difference between this crest and the one above is minor: an arrow has replaced the broken spear in the wolf's mouth. Perhaps it simply recalls another hunt in with a wolf was killed with a single arrow?

    However, the crest may relate to the idea that the charges on the shield formed a map of the Baskerville Lordships or Manors. Watkins states that the place name 'Eardisley' refers to a wolf's home or lair, as does nearby Eardisland (1897: 34). A few miles westwards of Eardisley is the Arrow River, which now marks the border between Herefordshire and Wales. This crest may be reinforcing this idea: the wolf's lair of Eardisley has been torn from its Anglo-Saxon occupiers, and from there the land as far as the Arrow is now held. Watkin's history clearly shows that the Baskervilles did hold this land between the 11th and 13th centuries as the Manor of Brunley (now Brilley) when it formed part of the Welsh Marches (1897: 3).

    Watkin also provides a clue to a dynastic explanation for this crest when he states (1897: 42-43) that the Baskerville's

    ...held the hamlet of Hanton by the service of giving the King one barbed arrow as often as he came into those parts to hunt in Cornedon Chase. Owing to Sir James Baskerville's marriage to Sybella, daughter of Sir Walter Devereaux, Lord Ferrers of Chartley, who fell at Bosworth, the family is in direct descent from Edward I.

    This hints at the crest coming into use to difference the Arms of a son of Sir James and Lady Sybella in the late 15th or early 16th centuries. If this is the case, the arrow would clearly indicate the Baskerville's original ritual obligation to the King and, now through Sybella, to their Royal kin.

  3. a lion's head, erased, pierced by a spear (Warwickshire)
    The lion is perhaps the most important and extensively used animal in heraldry. It is usually shown with tongue and claws in a different colour to the body (Fox-Davies, Ch. XI). In medieval art and symbolism the lion could represent evil, as verified by the Bible: your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion walketh about, seeking whom he may devour [Peter 5:8]. The Eardisley Font (c1160) depicts a roaring lion with upraised paw about to strike at a sinner, countered by the figure of God the Father on the other side. To triumph over the devil was to triumph over evil (Gorvett, 1994). The Plantagenet dynasty witnessed the rise of the ceremonial and heraldic crest with the popularity of knightly tournaments, and animals such as lions were common. During the later Tudor and Stewart dynasties the granting of crests to ancient Arms became widespread, mainly as Visitation Heralds sought to distinguish between existing Arms as they confirmed them (Fox-Davies: 336-337).

  4. a garb of rosemary (a garb is characteristic of Cheshire heraldry: Fox-Davies)
    A garb is a sheaf of leaves or stems tied together. Its earliest use in English heraldry is on the seal of the Earl of Chester in 1232. Garbs subsequently became associated with Cheshire, and with families that originally held land by feudal tenure under the Earls of Chester. A garb that is banded a different colour has the string or binding a different colour. A garb of holly leaves are frequently found on the Arms of families names Irwin and, as shown above, on the crest of Irvine of Drum in Scotland from 1457 (Innes: plate V).

  5. a forester with crossbow and hound (Cheshire)
    The original dog shown in English heraldic art was the hound, also known as a talbot. A hound passant is shown walking, as illustrated above.
Motto
The motto only appears in Burke's General Armory with the original Arms assigned in the time of Henry III and with those registered by Mynors-Baskerville. In English heraldic practise a motto is not heritable, and does not form part of the 'estate' created by the assigning of arms. They came into general use in the 18th century, and are rarely found earlier. There are no heraldic rules about the colour and shape of a motto ribbon, but heraldic artists have usually depicted black lettering upon a white scroll, tinted and shaded pink (Fox-Davies: 448, 452). Spero ut Fidelis can be translated as 'Hope through faith' or 'I hope as faithful' (Erwin, 1990).

If the motto had dated from the time of Henry III, it may have referred to some incident in which faith, either in God or the King, inspired a sense of hope that eventually brought about a desirable outcome. The wolf's head crest suggests that a hunting spectacle may have been involved: the frequent border skirmishes with Welsh raiders, and the Marcher Lords change of support from the barons to Henry III in the short War of the Barons of 1264-65 suggest other possibilities.

However use in the Arms of Mynors-Baskerville suggests that the motto is of more recent origin. The Mynors-Baskerville line was established in 1768 at Aberedw by the marriage of Meliora, the only surviving direct heiress of the Aberedw line, and a Peter Mynors, Esquire (Watkins: 41). In this context the motto may refer to religious belief, or perhaps hope in the future of the new line (which was still extant in the early 20th century), but at this stage I have yet to find any particular explanations as to its origins, modern or ancient.

Other examples

  1. Michael de Baskervile, Last Preceptor of the London Temple, 1310s
    Michael de Baskervile was recorded as the Preceptor (something like a chief administrator and estate manager) of the New Temple of the Order of the Knights Templar in Fleet Street, London in 1303 and again at the suppression of the Order in 1308. At the time of the Suppression, ordered by Pope Clement V and enforced in England and Wales by a reluctant King Edward II, a seal of the Preceptor was described as "dark green, a crescent inclosing a cross formy fitchy; below, a lion passant of England, and between two stars; legend S' Preceptor' Mili--- T---." (Page, London: 488-491).

    Read, in his study of the Knights Templar, notes that the knights were not allowed to use their family arms, and the design certainly bears no resemblance to any of the variations of the Baskerville arms. It is likely to be a corporate seal of office, with the charges on the seal suggesting the Order's role in providing military support for the recovery of Jerusalem and the Holy Land from Muslim control - a role that officially ended with the suppression of the Order across Europe on the (never proven) grounds of heresy, sodomy, sorcery and avarice between 1307 and 1314.

  2. John Baskerville, Printer and inventor of 'Baskerville' font or type-face, 1750s-1775
    There are three carriages in the Wollaton Park Museum at Nottingham (in 1989) with Baskerville connections. They came to Nottingham castle in the 1920's from Fuller's Coachbuilders Bath, where they had been displayed for some time. Previously they had bean stored at Manton in Wiltshire. Two carriages have connections with John Baskerville of Birmingham. The third is of a later date. All have Baskerville Arms on their bodywork. John Baskerville of Birmingham had no known links with the titled Baskervilles. How he acquired the carriages and how they came to be at Manton in Wiltshire is a mystery. A date of 1698 is associated with them in connection with one of the titled Baskervilles who was High Sheriff of Wiltshire at the time, although no documentary proof of this has been cited. Nor has there been any of the link between the vehicles and John Baskerville has been cited, though the heraldic devices are completely spurious - except for the Baskerville element. The elaborate decoration was said to have been applied by Baskerville's japanning workers, who worked with lacquer decoration on paper-mache boxes and trays.

    Erwin, after considering various evidence, writes that "...some historians believe John Baskerville [The Printer] was a social upstart. They have described his 'Baskerville cresting' of his coaches, now in the Nottingham Museum, as something to which he had no right, as he was in no way connected to the main Eardisley branch of the Baskervilles.

    Although I agree John Baskerville's [The Printer] claim to a Baskerville crest on his coaches may be a little tenuous. But there again they are not exact copies of the true Baskerville crest, so he may have altered them enough to prevent any legal backlash from those of his relations entitled to the original Baskerville crest. After all it is generally acknowledged by all his historians that he was a smooth operator commercially and what better than an ancient family crest to attract customers in the eighteenth century?" (Erwin, 1990).

    I have not yet located an image of the Baskerville coaches showing the Arms, although reference to them in the museum's collections can be found here; and an image of one of the coaches, Arms not visible, can be seen here.

Some reflections

Simple design and lack of ornamentation indicate very old design.

References and reading

The image above comes from the title page of Watkin's history of the Hundred of Huntington (1897) and shows Arthur's Stone, a neolithic tomb on the summit of Bredwardine Hill, about five kilometres south of Eardisley.
  • Burke, Sir Bernard, Ulster King of Arms, The General Armory of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales; comprising a Registry of Armorial Bearings from the Earliest to the Present Time, with A Supplement, Harrison 59 Pall Mall, London 1884.
  • Dennys, R., Somerset Herald of Arms,The Heraldic Imagination, Barrie & Jenkins Ltd., London 1975.
  • Fox-Davies, A.C., A Complete Guide to Heraldry, Dodge Pub. Co., New York 1909; facsimile Bonanza Books, New York 1978.
  • Govett, D., St. Mary Magdalene, Eardisley, The Font, Hereford 1994.
  • Innes of Learney, Thomas, Carrick Pursuivant of Arms, Scots Heraldry: a practical handbook: the historical principles and modern application of the art and science, Oliver and Boyd, Edinburgh and London 1934.
  • Marwick, A. (Ed), The Illustrated Dictionary of British History, Thames & Hudson, London 1980.
  • Muir, R., & Philip, G., (Eds), Philips' Atlas of Ancient and Classical History, George Philip & Son Ltd., London 1938.
  • Page, W. (Ed), The Victoria History of the Counties of England: A History of Herefordshire, Archibald Constable & Co Ltd., London 1908; Vol. 1
  • Page, W. (Ed), The Victoria History of London, including London Within the Bars, Westminster & Southwark, Volume 1, University of London, Institute for Historical Research, London 1909/1974: 488-491.
  • Pevsner, Sir Nikolaus, The Buildings of England: Herefordshire, Penguin Books Ltd., Harmondsworth 1963/1977.
  • Read, Piers Paul, The Templars: the dramatic history of the Knights Templar, the most powerful military order of the crusades, Phoenix Press, London 1999/2004.
  • Watkins, Rev Morgan G., Collections Towards The History and Antiquities of the County of Hereford, in Continuation of Duncumb's History: Hundred of Huntington, Jakeman & Carver, High Town Hereford 1897.