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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Raven and Lions

The arms and crest for Charles Spencer Denman, 5th Baron & 2nd Baronet of Staffield, county Cumberland; from Debrett's Illustrated Peerage, page 356.

"Arms: Argent, on a chevron between three lions' heads erased gules, as many ermine spots or.

"Crest: A raven rising proper, in the beak an annulet or.

"Supporters: On either side a lion gules, charged on the body with five ermine spots in cross or."

An "annulet" is a "little ring", which ordinarily in English heraldry signifies the fifth son of the patriarch.

This one is a bit different, artistically (although not in its heraldic details), from the one in Harriet Harris' book of Denman history, published in 1913; and I'm not certain, but just assume that her illustration was from one that was carried over with the family (with Judith Stoughton's son, John Denman, b.1621 in Retford, England), to America in 1635.

I'm not sure what the precise connection is from him (and us) to any of the English Denmans.  Took me long enough, just to figure out the American branch of our family tree.
For comparison, above is the illustration from Harriet Harris' book.  I don't know much about heraldry, so can't comment much about the differences in the two; or about the authenticity of Harris' illustration.  All I can say is that hers looks to me like the real thing, just an older version.  I don't know where she got it (maybe a bookplate, or ?).  All of her other illustrations in the book, are bona fide family mementos (from the collection of a member of Christopher Denman's branch),  so I expect that this one was, too.

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