A question for you

This is an excursion from the West Country, to Cheshire via Hampshire.

In the church of St Mary, Buriton, Hampshire, there is a memorial to Thomas Hanbury, who died, according to the inscription, in 1617.  The memorial was set up by his second wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Grigge of Bradley in Appleton, Cheshire.

Hanbury Grigge 1617.png

The monument has a brass plaque with inscription, a picture of Thomas and Elizabeth and their children, and three coats of arms.

The first shield has the arms of Hanbury, “Or, a bend engrailed vert plain cotised  sable” with, in sinister chief, a crescent for difference.


As one would expect, the centre shield impales Hanbury with Grigge of Bradley – “Or, three trefoils slipped between two chevrons sable.”



So far, simple enough, and the guides and other references are happy to identify these shields.  As far as I can find, however, they all maintain a discreet silence about the third coat of arms.

It could be described as “Quarterly – 1st & 4th Or, three trefoils slipped between two chevronels, for Grigge – 2nd, a wolf passant charged on the shoulder with a crescent – 3rd, a heron or stork – over all a mullet”

No colours can be inferred for the 2nd and 3rd quarters, only, given the gilding remaining on the other coats, it may be less likely that the fields or main charges are meant to be gold.  The “wolf” might conceivably be some other dog or carnivore, but not a lion.


The second and third quarters should be the paternal coats of heiresses married to Elizabeth Grigge’s ancestors ‘in the male line,” so the Grigge pedigree might reveal possible candidates.

Gregg from history

This snippet of the pedigree from “History of County Palatine and City of Chester” shows Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas, and some ancestors.  Her grandmother was daughter of Richard Starkey.  His coat of arms was “Argent, a stork sable membered gules.”  That, almost certainly, is the coat of arms shown in the third quarter.


The position of the Starkey quarter implies that this coat of arms was first used (with suitable differences) by the children of Ralph Grigge and Anne Starkey.  The mullet in the centre of the shield probably indicates that Elizabeth’s father was Ralph’s third son.

Elizabeth’s other two ancestresses listed in the pedigree did not have a wolf for their paternal arms.  Brock of Upton bore “Gules, on a chief argent a lion passant gules.”  Greene of Poulton Lancelyn bore “Azure, three stags trippant; a chief or.”

Brock               Coat of Arms of Greene of Poulton Lancelyn, sixteenth century


Neither the 1613 Heralds’ Visitation of Cheshire nor any other source that I have yet found offers a name for the wife of Elizabeth’s great-great-grandfather, Richard Grigge,  or any information about preceding generations.  For all I can tell, the line of Grigge might have sprung out of the earth about 1500.

Land ownership may provide a clue where genealogy fails, partly because land may be transferred from one family to another by inheritance, and partly because a coat of arms may remain associated with an estate after the original family has come to an end.

Bradley appears to have been in the hands of the Grigge family by 1522.  In the 14th & 15th centuries it was owned by Danyell and inherited by Savage.  Unfortunately, I have not found the bridge between Savage and Grigge, or anything to show how the Grigge family came to own Bradley.

The arms of Savage in the 16th century were “Argent, six lioncels rampant sable.”  Prior to that, they used the arms inherited from the Danyell heiress, “Argent, a pale lozengy sable.”

Danyell         Savage


It is shown in the visitations of Cheshire that the Danyell family quartered a coat described as “Argent, a wolf passant sable,” or “panther” or “tiger.”  This coat of arms is named for ?Tabley and ?Daresbury – in other words, the heralds (or the editors) themselves did not know where it came from.  This quartering may be the original of the second quarter in Thomas Grigge’s coat of arms, but the connection is very tenuous.  Danyell owned the Bradley estate that a century later became the home of Grigge, but the heralds associated the arms with two different manors.  In the interim, the owners of Bradley manor were not recorded as having used that particular quarter.

Papworth’s Ordinary lists a few other families that bore a wolf passant – Trembleth of Cornwall, Wolseley, Rhydd, Loe, Surgun and French, for example, with a host of variant names.  And if the beast should be intended for a tiger, a panther or a talbot then the list of possible owners tends to large, as the mathematicians say.

None of those alternatives offers a connection as good even as Danyell’s quarter, so I will follow the heralds’ example and attribute this passing wolf to “?Daresbury.”  Unless, dear Reader, you have a better solution.





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s