We have a wonderful team of very keen and knowledgeable volunteers. In this post Frank, a room guide who works on Tuesdays, is looking into the Lucy family pedigree and a rather interesting letter!
There is in the Warwickshire Record Office, a letter to George Lucy from Francis Martin dated August 24th 1933. Who was Francis Martin and what was it about?
The clue is in the library!
Under the top of the small square table in the north side of the room is the Morocco-bound pedigree on vellum of the Lucys prepared by the College of Arms. The College of Arms was founded in 1484 and is the official heraldic authority for England, Wales, N. Ireland and much of the commonwealth. You can find out more about them on their website which will help in understanding the context.
Francis Martin was the Windsor Herald from 1819-39 and George Harrison Rogers-Harrison was Bluemantle Pursuivant from 1831 to 1849 when he also became Windsor Herald. Pursuivants are junior Officers of Arms.
Francis Martin’s letter to George Lucy was in reply to George’s enquiry to the College of Arms for producing the Lucy pedigree. After apologising for the delayed reply due to illness, Martin gives a detailed response and salient points from the letter hereunder in a script approximating the original handwriting.
“I have transcribed a faithful copy of the Black Book in regard to the Lucy Pedigree. It is by no means a book of authority although reasonably useful when it corroborates with other evidences. There are many erasures and corrections in this book and particularly in the Lucy Pedigree which shows that points were doubted by the compiler.
On the whole, I would rather abide by Dugdale’s Warwickshire. The compiling of genealogies was his profession. He was the principal officer of this corporation and although there may be some discrepancies in his numerous printed and manuscript works, I have no doubt he did his utmost to obtain the correct authorities for all his compilations…..I shall be happy to forward your wishes in regard to an emblazoned Vellum Book of your family down to the present time…….. Will you send me any rough draft of the Pedigree with your own corrections and additions that I may get an estimate of the probable expense of the work in the engraving and painting? I presume you would wish to have a large shield with all the quartering which you are entitled to bear, on one leaf of the book, an emblazoned title page and the arms of each family with those of their wives where they can be obtained and small shields under each marriage.
There then follows proposals for contacting and meeting and is signed:-
Yours very sincerely respectfully, Fra’s Martin Windsor.
Obviously an estimate was prepared and accepted by George Lucy and the book completed in 1836.
From information there was subsequent correspondence from George Harrison Rogers-Harrison including an invoice for £200.
The book has several pages of blank vellum at the back and a study of the entries would be interesting. The shields would have been the source for some of the painted shields in the Great Hall painted by the Lucy girls, Ada, Constance and Joyce. The College of Arms would also have provided Thomas Willement with copies of the artwork to help in making the stained glass windows in the Dining Room and Library.
In his letter, Francis Martin mentioned an emblazoned title page, and a transcript of this page is shown below together with the text in various fonts and a mixture of upper and lower case.
“The genealogy George Lucy of Charlecote (sic) in the County of Warwick Esquire, sometime representative in Parliament for the Borough of Fowey in the County of Cornwall. Lineally documented from and representative of the Ancient and Knightly Family of Lucy, seated at Charlecote in the time of King Henry the Third, shewing also his descent from Edmund Ironsides and William the Conqueror, Kings of England. Compiled from the records of the College of Arms, London, Parish Registers, Family Deeds and other Authentic Evidence by Francis Martin Windsor Herald MDCCCXXXVI (1836) and George Harrison Rogers-Harrison Bluemantle.
Our Library is full of delights! You can find out more by joining a talk on the library at Charlecote later in the year.
We are currently planning talks where we can show you some of the books from the library. We are anticipating a one hour talk followed by a break for drinks and cake followed by a further talk. The dates have not been set yet but they will be most likely by in November/December 2015. Keep and eye on our website and twitter for further details nearer the time.