Sunday, November 29, 2015

HERALDRY: Beer, Branding and Paul Walton (Updated May 17, 2016)

Paul C. Walton, Brand Professional and Amateur
Heraldist. Photo in NYC by JT Marlin.
One of the flurry of messages I have received since the publication of my article (OT, Vol. 28, No. 1, 45-50) on the heraldry of the Oxford colleges was a suggestion that I meet with the correspondent.

I did so recently at the Harvard Club in New York City. My new friend is Paul Walton, who is in the branding business and is an amateur herald.

He gave me the 1953 book, Simple Heraldry, which I have reviewed here. We spoke mostly about heraldry as a medieval form of branding. He has suggested a number of leads for me to pursue and I am grateful.

The Importance of Brand Differentiation

Paul said the reenactments of British Civil War battles in memory of Col. Richard Bagot show how important it is to be able to
  • distinguish friend from foe on the hazy battlefield, and
  • identify leaders from a distance by rank as well as regiment, so that battle groups can form. 
Col. Bagot died of his wounds received at Naseby in 1645, when Oliver Cromwell and Sir Thomas Fairfax won a decisive battle against Charles I. It was a battle with many moments of confusion. Charles might well have won it. A lesson about keeping your head.

Flag of Col. Richard Bagot, fighting
for England (St. George's Cross),
i.e., Charles I. Cromwell won.
He noted that in the Battle of Bull Run – known as Manassas to residents of the South  – the first Confederate flag (the "Stars and Bars") was too like the Yankee Stars and Stripes to allow the troops to distinguish between them, leading to "friendly" fire. (See James M. McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era, in the Oxford History of the United States. New York: Oxford University Press, 1988, p. 342.)

After Manassas, the South adopted the more easily distinguished Southern Cross, the St. Andrew-style saltire. Paul recommended I visit the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond to see how the flags developed.

History of Branding

I said I suspected that men in battle have had to brand themselves as soon as they put on helmets. At an Oxford alumni event in New York City I asked a visiting Greek historian how combatants could distinguish ally from foe when there were so many city states. She said that the animals on Greek pottery represent family images that would have appeared on armor, and that armor was sufficiently distinctive that there were other clues. Paul noted that the Game of Thrones uses animals as avatars.

Once a picture of some sort is used to add value to a product, the chance to be deceptive comes up. Patroclus got into Achilles' armor and died because of it.

From here we got into discussing counterfeiting. He said that the French confiscate anything that is found to be counterfeit. They show no tolerance for it. Yet the extent to which a brand adds value is a way to measure the results of advertising.

Value from Branding

Paul's expertise is in brand finance, which means the accounting for intangible ("goodwill") assets. The market value of a company is higher than its tangible assets. This difference is viewed as something created by branding. It is the goodwill generated by advertising, public relations and marketing.

He formed the Value Engineers in 1986 in Beaconsfield, Bucks. Since 2005 it has become part of the Cello Group. The company focuses on health care and consumer products.

The Golden Fleece used by Brooks Brothers, for example, has brand value. The symbol goes back to Philip III ("the Good"), the 15th-century Duke of Burgundy whose knights were named The Order of the Golden Fleece. Their symbol was a lamb suspended in a ribbon. In the 19th century when Henry S. Brooks saw the sheep hanging from shops on Savile Row, he decided to adopt this brand or logo in 1850, when it was painted above the door in New York.

Shotover Brewing Company

One of Paul's enterprises is the Shotover Brewing Company. He has therefore been looking at the heraldic history of brewing marks. The five-pointed red star on Heineken beer is a brewer's mark common in northern Europe. It signifies the five elements of beer-making:
A kennel manager takes dogs for a walk on Shotover
Hill. The van has four carriers opening to the back,
and more to the side. Photo by JT Marlin.
  1. Hops
  2. Malt
  3. Barley
  4. Water
  5. The Brewer's Art, Alchemy, Magic
Shotover Hill is outside of Oxford on what was once a coach road to London. It was also a royal forest. Charles Wesley was robbed on the hill in 1737.

Now it is an ancient woodland and park. A Queen's College scholar reportedly killed a wild boar on Shotover Hill by feeding his copy of an Aristotle text to him. Pearls before swine.

The Shotover Brewing Company is located on the southern (London) side of Shotover Hill.

The Company has four brands of beer – Prospect, Scholar, Porter and Trinity.  See photo.

The four brands of Shotover Brewing Company.
One (Trinity) is named after an Oxford college.
Only one is named after an Oxford College, and it is not his own – he went to Brasenose. (Not the easiest brand to market. Brasenose Beer might work.)

More about Paul Walton

Having done some due diligence for this article I have looked up Paul's website and I would like to share a peek into his interesting life:
Originally an advertising planner who preferred making brands to making ads, he wrote Bluff Your Way in Marketing with business partner Graham Harding to bring a little wit and sizzle to the solidly worthy protein offered by the likes of Philip Kotler. 
As the driving force of brand consultancy, The Value Engineers, he brought an energetic blend of structure and creativity to global branding projects for clients such as BA, BP and Unilever. When TVE joined Cello Group in 2005, Paul was appointed to the main board as Director of Strategy. In 2012, he swapped PLC board meetings for the equally challenging seminars of an MA in Creative Writing and started work on his first novel, Historyland, a dark comedy set in a near-future England, which has become a giant theme park. Now combining an advisory role at TVE with his writing, Paul enjoys exploring how inspiration from the arts can stimulate new thinking for people, organizations and brands to deploy against today's big issues: positioning, connection, coherence and growth. In this role, he has been known to wear many hats, but these days there is no hiding the colour of his hair.
Keeping Up

I expect to have more to say about branding and heraldry:
  • Who keeps track of brands the way that the College of Arms keeps track of English heraldic designs?
  • What other heraldic charges have become consumer brands or trademarks?
You could follow this blog or Paul Walton's. He has also recently written a book, Marians on the Mawddach, about his time at St Mary's School.

Monday, November 23, 2015

HERALDRY: Simple and Fun

The Earl Marshal (Duke of Norfolk) is the English
authority on arms, and his Court at the College
of Arms decides disputes. In Scotland, it is Lord
Lyon King of Arms. [All illustrations from the
1953 book, Simple Heraldry].
As a relative newcomer to the heraldry field, bitten by the bug less than ten years ago, earlier this year (in February and September) I was haunting heraldry collections in Oxford and London, such as:
  • the Bodleian's newly reopened Weston Library with small open-stack collection of useful books, 
  • the British Library's huge collection, easily accessible, 
  • the College of Arms library, which sadly in February I could not consult because it was being renovated, and 
  • the Society of Genealogists, which I have joined; it has a decent collection and is well-staffed with paid and unpaid experts on hand.
The genealogy and local history room at the New York Public Library is disappointing because the stacks that are open are strong on local history but not on heraldry.

The book that best fits my attitude toward heraldry – that it is loads of fun, Tolkien on steroids – is Simple Heraldry Cheerfully Illustrated, by Iain Moncreiffe (Falkland Poursuivant) and Don Pottinger (Herald Painter Extraordinary to the Court of Lord Lyon). My first copy was given to me by Paul Walton (Brasenose College, Oxford). I have since acquired a second copy online.

The book takes a light-hearted approach to its subject while it gets everything, so far as my amateur scan can determine, right. In other words, the style is like 1066 and All That, but the content is non-fiction.

Simple Heraldry is not a book of recent vintage. In fact it is 62 years old – if it were an American citizen, the book could get in line for a national pension, although the penalties for early withdrawal suggest that the book should wait a little longer before applying for its monthly direct deposit.

The publisher is Edinburgh-based Thomas Nelson and Sons, founded 1798 and now a subsidiary of HarperCollins. The last edition on record is 1955, being a reprint of the original edition.
Note the Moray or Murray arms – three stars argent on
a field azure. The main difference with the Douglas
arms is that for Douglas the azure is in chief only
and the stars are three in a row.
Its age shows up on p. 62, where it reports that
you may apply to the Earl Marshal through the College of Arms for Letters Patent granting you special arms of your own. This costs £105...
In February, Windsor Herald told me that the cost for an individual was now £5,500. The cost is higher for institutions like nonprofits and local governments. It is highest for large businesses.

What Blazon are You? What a
blazon is, from Simple Heraldry.
Two copies of the book were available second hand online via Amazon for $35 each – a bargain.

I purchased one of them instantly. So there is one left. The book is underpriced.


This is just the kind of self-mocking book to rekindle more interest in heraldry. It should be updated and reissued. If someone knows what the status of the rights is, please contact me at john[at]

Sunday, November 22, 2015

HERALDRY: Superlink

Coats of Arms of the Oxford Colleges and Permanent Private Halls
(from postcard on sale in Oxford).

Sept 15 | Planned Talk to Alumni Reunion on Coats of Arms, Oxford.
Sept 5 | Planned Talk to the Philadelphia Oxford & Cambridge Club.
May 12 | Mansfield College
April 16, 17 | Talks, Oxford&Cambridge Club, London on Oxbridge Arms
Mar 24 | Lincoln College, Oxford (Update)
Mar 17 | April Oxford Birthdays
Jan 21 | U.S. COATS OF ARMS | The American College of Heraldry

Oct. 27St Peter's College

Dec. 29 | Oriel College
Dec. 16 | St. Catherine's College (St Catz) 
Dec. 15 | Oxford's Rapid Expansion
Dec. 8 | Regent's Park College, PPH
Dec. 7 | Trinity College
Dec. 5 | St Benet's Hall
Dec. 3 | St Cross College
Dec. 2 | St. Edmund Hall, a College
Nov. 29 | Beer, Branding and Paul Walton
Nov. 23 | "Simple Heraldry" Makes It Fun, gifted by Paul Walton (BNC)
Nov. 22 | Sinister Questions, reply to Hugo Saurny (Harvard '69)
Nov. 6 | O.U. Heraldry Society likes Oxford Today article.
Nov. 5 | Linacre College
Nov. 2 | Harris Manchester College
Oct. 25 | Coat of Arms v. Crest, reply to Robert Parker (Trinity 1967)
Oct. 15 | What's Your Blazon?, article in Oxford Today,  45-50

November 23 | The Arms of Douglas, Moray and de Vere, update
November 21 | Stars in the Oxford College Arms

July 4 | More on George Washington and the Stars and Stripes, from the Sulgrave Manor

September 25 | George Washington's Arms and the Stars and Stripes, Huffington Post

Link to Alphabetical list of colleges and PPHs.

HERALDRY: Sinister Questions

I brought a copy of the Michaelmas Oxford Today with my article on the Oxford colleges' arms to the Harvard Club of New York library and to the November meeting of the Poets and Writers group (led by Paula Brancato), where it was passed around. I received an email afterwards with a few heraldic questions from Hugo Saurny (Harvard '69), which I answer below.

Saurny: I read your article on the coats of arms of Oxford's new colleges, and would like to ask: Why are the designations for left and right sides seemingly reversed? Things on the right side are sinister, the left side dexter. Why is this?

Marlin: The directions are like those for actors on a stage – from the point of view of the poor guy inside the coat of arms or behind the shield, who is doing all the work. Think of poor young Patroclus in Achilles' armor. He fooled Apollo, who stunned him; then Euphorbos, who wounded him; and finally Hector, who killed him. How were they to know? From this story, by the way, we know that armor back when the Greeks were fighting the Trojans had distinctive marks of differentiation so that one knew whose armor it was. Personal and family marks such as animals are found preserved on ancient  pottery.
From Iain Moncrieffe and Don Pottinger, Simple Heraldry, Nelson, 1953, p. 51.
Saurny: What is the origin of the old-French sounding color terms (or, argent, vert, sable, azure, gules, etc)?

Coat of arms of Pope Francis. Below the IHS
(first three Greek capitals for Jesus) on a sun,
representing the Jesuit order, are symbols
for Mary (should be an eight-point star) and
Joseph (spikenard).
Marlin. Or and argent are metals, gold and silver, shown in print as yellow and white. They are fused to the armor. The others are called tinctures – i.e., colors of paints. Rarely do you have metal-on-metal or tincture-on-tincture. One exception is the papal coat of arms, which has gold on silver in the miter and elsewhere.  

Saurny: What is the origin of 'gules'? I imagine 'rouge' is from 'ruber' (Latin), but is gules from Frankish or Gaullish? 

Marlin: It's a second-millennium word that is derived from the Latin gula meaning throat. It continues in English as "gullet" and in French as gueule (as in Fermes ta gueule, meaning "Shut your trap."). Throats are commonly red but some marine animals have blue, clear and green blood so they wouldn't probably have red throats. The word "gargoyle" comes from the verb gar, to swallow, plus gueule.

Check out other heraldry posts.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

OBIT: Christopher Hitchens (Balliol) 1949-2011

Christopher Hitchens (Balliol), 1949-2011.
This is one of a collection of Oxford obits.

Was Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011) as clever as Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter et al. said at Hitchens' Memorial at Cooper Union, NYC April 20, 2012?

If there is any question, I offer in evidence his 2006 appearance at a bookstore in Annapolis, the home of the U.S. Naval Academy (talking about his book on Jefferson). His appearance was part of the Annapolis Book Festival.

I was ready to go to sleep when I started watching this one-hour C-Span2 BookTV YouTube tape, and was wide awake when it ended. Click on it at your own risk.

For those who would like to take Hitchens down a peg, the Annapolis appearance can be compared with his La Jolla appearance. The two talks were certainly similarly structured. But a comparison will show how different they were.

Hitchens is classified as an eloquent left-wing radical whose anti-theist views led him to support military action against Islamic rogue states. He left the Nation after 9/11. He supported George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq, for which some have never forgiven him, although the Nation was out in force for his memorial.

No one's perfect. When Hitchens was diagnosed with esophageal cancer, he did not hesitate to concede that the cancer may have been in part a consequence of his heavy consumption of cigarettes and alcohol.

Ample details on Hitchens' life are here. He was named by the Guardian as one of Britain's top 300 intellectuals. He became a U.S. resident and then in 2007 a U.S. citizen, but retained his British citizenship.

Now that he has passed to his eternal reward, I am sure that the Almighty God I believe in forgives him for not wanting to believe in Him; there are surely worse sins.

(Thanks to Tim Sullivan for sending me the Annapolis and Memorial YouTube tapes.)

Sunday, November 8, 2015

WW2: Nov. 8, 1939 - Elser's Bomb Goes Off Too Late (Updated Nov. 27, 2015)

Johann Georg Elser
Did very well, sir.
His bomb for Hitler, November the 8,
Went off, alas, 13 minutes too late.
(Clerihew by JT Marlin.)
(The stamp above was issued by post-
war East Germany.)

On the 16th anniversary of Hitler’s 1923 Beer Hall Putsch, a bomb exploded soon after Hitler finished giving a speech in Munich.

Hitler was – unfortunately for the world – not hurt.

(This event was four and a half years before the also-unsuccessful July 20, 1944 attempt on Hitler's life by senior officers in the German military. Altogether, Wikipedia lists 14 documented attempts to kill Hitler. Do bad people have powerful guardian devils?)

The November 8, 1939 bomb exploded 13 minutes after  Hitler had left the hall with his key Nazi leaders. Seven people were killed and 63 were wounded.

Gestapo boss Heinrich Himmler ingeniously fabricated a story to make himself appear vigilant:
  • Via the Nazi Voelkischer Beobachter, he blamed British secret agents and Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, thereby  stirring up war fever against the British.
  • He sent Walter Schellenberg, posing as "Major Schaemmel", to Holland to make contact with British intelligence agents, on the pretext was that the anti-Nazi group wanted assurances from the British that in the event a future anti-Nazi coup succeeded, the British would support a new regime.
  • He had his SS police – guided by Schellenberg – take two British agents, Payne Best and R.H. Stevens by car to Germany. 
  • Then he announced that he had captured the British conspirators as well as the man who planted the bomb, Georg Elser, a 36-year-old German communist and carpenter. 
Elser does seem to have been the one who hid the bomb. However, the instigators are still not known – they could have been inside the German military as they were in 1944, or they could have been British agents. The three people arrested and convicted on the word of Himmler spent the war in Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Elser was killed by the Gestapo in Dachau on April 16, 1945 so that the world would never hear his story. One is curious about what Best and Stevens, who apparently survived the war, had to say.

Friday, November 6, 2015

WW2: Nov. 6–Wehrmacht Frozen by a Forgetful Fuehrer

Within a year, the Wehrmacht
was decimated at Stalingrad.
This day in 1941, frostbite began to make its appearance among German troops fighting in the Soviet Union. The troops were not dressed for the Russian winter.

The next day, Joseph Stalin made a speech during the October Revolution anniversary celebration (it was still October under the old calendar) predicting correctly that German troops, 100 miles from Moscow, were facing disaster.

The advance on Moscow was worse a worse call for German soldiers than the Charge of the Light Brigade in Balaclava. In Berlin, under orders from Hitler, the German Army High Command ordered the  continued advance despite up to 80 Soviet Army divisions in front of them.

Bernard Shaw said that the lesson of history is that people forget the lessons of history. Hitler could have:
  • Remembered the decision of Alexander the Great, who resisted invading India, because he feared that his troops were not familiar with the Indian climate. 
  • Remembered that Napoleon's dream of worldwide domination by France ended in Russia. The Romans and Brits learned a lot from Alexander the Great.
Hitler didn't get the message from either. Lucky for England and the rest of the world that he didn't.

RELIGION: Nov. 6–The 1st U.S. Catholic Bishop (Baltimore)

Bishop Carroll by Pennsylvania-born Rembrandt 
Peale, painter acclaimed for portraits of George 
Washington and Thomas Jefferson.
This day in 1789, Pope Pius VI appointed John Carroll bishop of Baltimore as the first Catholic bishop in the United States. I am writing this in the Lord Baltimore Hotel in downtown Baltimore and have reason to note the date.

There is a strong Oxford connection with the American colonies. I have been researching this connection and am visiting the Maryland Historical Society today to consult the Calvert Papers.

Maryland was a proprietary colony (one of only two of the thirteen when the United States became independent) owned by the Calvert family. The first Lord Baltimore, George Calvert, created the colony and was an alumnus of Trinity College, Oxford. He had three sons:
  • Cecil Calvert, the second Lord Baltimore, a Trinity College, Oxford alumnus who handled the British side of the colonial property.
  • Leonard Calvert, the first Governor of Maryland (1633-1643), another Trinity Oxford alumnus.
  • Philip Calvert, Principal Secretary of Maryland and later Governor of Maryland (1660-1661).
The colony and then State of Maryland was created as a haven for Roman Catholics. It was carved out of Virginia to the south and Pennsylvania to the north, resulting in border disputes on both sides. The northern side of Maryland gave rise to the Mason-Dixon line. Alas, Maryland was on the wrong side of this line. Several black people from Maryland went north to become well-known opponents of slavery – such as Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman.

Carroll was born in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, in 1735. His mother,  from a wealthy family, was educated in France. At age 13, Carroll sailed for France in order to complete his own education at St. Omer’s College in French Flanders. At age 18, he joined the Society of Jesus, and after a further 14 years of study in Liege, he received ordination as a priest at 34.

However, Pope Clement XIV’s decision in 1773 to dissolve the Jesuit order ended Carroll’s European career. Three years after Carroll’s return to Maryland, the need to make allies of French Catholics in Canada created an opportunity for him to join a Congressional delegation dispatched to negotiate with the Canadians.

Benjamin Franklin served on the same delegation, and although the mission failed, Franklin proved an excellent ally to Carroll. In 1784, Franklin recommended to the papal nuncio in Paris that Carroll assume the position of Superior of Missions in the United States of North America, which removed American Catholics from the authority of the British Catholic hierarchy.

As bishop and later in 1808 as the first U.S. archbishop, Carroll oversaw the creation of leading Catholic institutions in the new nation, including the first Catholic university (Georgetown University, 1789) and cathedral (Baltimore Basilica, 1806).

As a legacy from this era and the strong Maryland Catholic tradition, the Catholic Relief Services is located in Baltimore.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

HERALDRY: Linacre (Updated May 13, 2018)

Linacre College
Blazon: Sable an open Book proper edged Or bound Gules the dexter page charged with the Greek Letter Alpha the sinister page charged with the Greek Letter Omega both Sable the whole between three Escallops Argent.

Authority: Granted 8 Dec 1988.

Meaning: The arms reference Thomas Linacre, the founder. The book implies learning, and the Greek letters suggest that the book is the Bible (the Book of Revelation references Christ as the alpha and omega). The scallops traditionally reference St James and in particular the Camino de Santiago (the Way of St James).  Scallops on a coat of arms often imply that the bearer or an ancestor has completed the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.

Dr Thomas Linacre
Nominee: The Founder, Dr Thomas Linacre left his fortune to the college to endow professorships in Greek medicine at Oxford and Cambridge. Pia Vogler Jolliffe, D.Phil. (Linacre College, 2006-2011) wrote to stress that Linacre was a Catholic priest, which she says was not clear in the article (45-50) on the Oxford colleges' arms in Oxford Today. Her comment was published online, as a Letter to the Editor, and then in the Trinity issue of Oxford Today. She is Research Fellow at Oxford University's Institute of Population Ageing, Department of Sociology, and is a member of Blackfriars Hall. She wrote (in part):
Marlin rightly mentions Linacre’s service as physician to the King and founder of the Royal College of Physicians. ... I was surprised Linacre’s Catholic faith was omitted. In fact, he resigned his position as King’s physician in 1520 to become a priest.
Calling Linacre a "Catholic" priest, as does the Catholic Encyclopedia in its entry on Linacre, is misleading. It implies that Linacre's taking on Holy Orders after leaving Henry VIII's service was a protest on behalf of Rome against his King. Linacre was loyal to the King, dedicating two pieces of writing to Henry VIII in 1517 and 1519, and he was Cardinal Wolsey's physician as well as the King's. Henry VIII in turn was loyal enough (Defender of the Faith) to Rome during Linacre's lifetime. It was not until 1534 when the Pope refused to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon. Linacre never had to chose between Rome and his King because he died in 1524, a decade before Henry's split with Aragon and Rome. So Linacre's resignation as a physician was more retirement than protest.

Special Features: Linacre admits only graduate students. It was the first coeducational college at Oxford.

History:  Linacre's path to full College status should be of interest to other Permanent Private Halls, such as St. Benet's and Blackfriars. Pia Jolliffe notes that James J. Walsh, in his introduction to Catholic Churchmen in Science (1906 edition) describes all of the men in his book as "Catholic clergymen of high standing, and none of them suffered anything like persecution for his opinions." Walsh suggests that Linacre's call to the priesthood as a rejection of hierarchy in favor of the simplicity of parochial service:
Dr. Linacre, who besides being the best known physician of his time in England, was the greatest scholar of the English Renaissance period, yet had all his life been on very intimate terms with the ecclesiastical authorities and eventually gave up his honors, his fortune, and his profession to become a simple priest of the old English Church. (Walsh, 80.)
Link to This PostLinacre
Link to Other Posts on Heraldry: Coat of Arms vs. Crest  Harris Manchester

HERALDRY: Harvard Shield Shamed (Postscript March 6, 2016)

Harvard Law School Shield,
Now But Not Forevermore
November 4, 2015–The following story is excerpted from a story in the Harvard Crimson on November 1, 2015. (There is also a story in the Harvard Alumni Magazine.) By "seal" (which is in the realm of numismatics, not heraldry) the author, Andrew M. Duehren, means "shield".
At Harvard Law School, Students Call for Change of Seal
A new student movement at Harvard Law School is organizing to change the seal at the school, which the students argue represents and endorses a slaveholding legacy.
The seal is the coat of arms of the family of Isaac Royall Jr., a slaveholder who endowed the first professorship of law at Harvard. Dubbed “Royall Must Fall,” the movement styles itself after a student activist movement in South Africa that lobbied [successfully] to remove imagery of Cecil Rhodes, a British imperialist, from the University of Cape Town’s campus.
Banner of the Anti-Shield Lobby
At Harvard, activists formally began their effort for change with a rally of about 25 people on the Law School campus on Oct. 23. [...]
Students involved in the effort argued that imagery from a slaveholding era has no place at today’s Harvard Law School. [... They] pointed to the research and scholarship of visiting Law School professor Daniel R. Coquillette, who recently published a book about the first century of Harvard Law School, as inspiration for the movement.
In the book, Coquillette details the relationship between the Royall family’s slaveholding and the endowment of the Law School. While Coquillette said he was sympathetic to their aims, calling Royall “a coward, and a brutal slaveholder,” he said he does not think the Law School should change its seal. [...]
The article piques my attention as an example of the importance that some students attach to the coats of arms under which they compete and study. This was the subject of my recent article (pp.  45-50) in Oxford Today on the coats of arms of the Oxford colleges.

Crimson staff writer Andrew M. Duehren can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @aduehren.

Postscript (March 6, 2016)

A committee of the Harvard Law School charged with responding to a student request to remove the wheat sheaf charge from the Law School shield has decided to drop the wheat sheaf, because it is associated with Isaac Royall Jr., who endowed the first law professorship at Harvard, and his father, who was a prominent user of slaves on plantations that he owned.  Harvard's corporation is described by the New York Times (which continues to misuse the word "crest" in its reporting on the shield) as likely to approve the proposed change.

The committee decision (which won 10-2) came with a "passionate" dissent from Prof. Annette Gordon-Reed, who has conducted scholarly research on the intimacy of Thomas Jefferson with his slave Sally Hemings. Jefferson's paternity via Hemings has been supported by DNA research. Gordon-Reed argues that the wheat-sheaf charges should be retained but the narrative should be changed to include the slaves who worked for Mr. Royall:
People should have to think about slavery when they think of the Harvard shield; but from now on, with a narrative that emphasizes the enslaved, not the Royall family.
On the other hand, no one has yet noted anywhere a huge advantage created by the removal of the wheat sheaf. It creates a fantastic opportunity for the Harvard Law School to reward a new donor by inserting a new charge on the shield that relates to a new gift. After all, what has Isaac Royall Jr. done for Harvard lately? If I were a billionaire with loose millions in change ready to invest in my immortality, I would see a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to plant my flag, or at least a charge associated with my name, on a platinum-quality institution. I am available for consultation on the specifics. I plan to post the following on Craig's List:
UNIQUE DONOR OPPORTUNITY. With the pending removal of a shamed symbol from the shield of a world-famous academic institution, a vacancy in the space has been created for a limited time only. Act now before a person less worthy of immortality sweeps this prize from the table! If you are a billionaire seeking immortality, please contact the undersigned ASAP for suggestions on Next Steps. Contact: YourFameMyJob.
Or am I being too cynical?

Here Are Links to Some of My Posts on the Arms of Oxford Colleges and PPHs: Original Article in Oxford Today . Heraldry as Branding . Heraldry as Fun .  Coat of Arms vs. Crest . Sinister Questions . Visit to the College of Arms . Windsor Herald Talks to New Yorkers . Shaming of Harvard Law Shield :: Rapid Expansion of Oxford's Colleges and Halls . Oxford Stars . Links to Heraldry, Oxford, GW . Harris Manchester College . Linacre College . St Catherine's . St Cross College . St Edmund Hall . Trinity College :: Regent's Park College . St Benet's Hall . 

Monday, November 2, 2015

HERALDRY: Harris Manchester College (Updated May 12, 2018)

Torches with
Two-Tone Flames.
Cuff Links. Photos of Arms
on Display by JT Marlin.
Blazon Gules two torches inflamed in saltire proper on a chief argent between two roses of a field barbed and seeded an open book also proper.

Authority Granted May 14, 1934.

Meaning The red roses in chief represent Lancashire, where the original academy was located. The two torches in base represent enlightenment and the book represents learning. The torches are interpreted with wide latitude, but this does not rise to the level of an issue. If a blazon is granted, it is fixed. But heraldic artists are allowed some free rein.

Founded 1786 as Manchester Academy. Moved to Oxford 1889. Became an Oxford College in 1996.

Torches in
History  Manchester Academy succeeded the Warrington Academy, called "the cradle of Unitarianism," which in turn originated in Richard Frankland's Rathmell Academy, founded in Yorkshire in 1670. A young Queen Victoria signed a Royal Warrant giving the Academy the status of a College of London University almost fifty years before it moved to Oxford. The first Oxford premises were at 90 High Street and the Mansfield Road premises were then occupied in 1893. For a hundred years, in Oxford, the institution was Manchester College, although not formally an Oxford University College. It became a Permanent Private Hall and then an Oxford college based on a gift from Lord Harris, whose name was added to Manchester.

English Presbyterians helped found, through legacies, the Warrington Academy (1757-1786), which became a Unitarian foundation. But by 1786, the influences were powerfully Unitarian. David Harrison sent me the correction to my article.

He wrote:
In Metal.
Two of the Founders are to be seen in the College’s Warrington Window – Thomas Barnes and Thomas Percival – while the third, my first cousin Ralph Harrison, has a beautiful window dedicated to him in the College Chapel. All three Founders were graduates of the Unitarian Warrington Academy and two, Harrison and Barnes, were ministers at Manchester’s Unitarian Cross Street Chapel.
Full Achievement,
Dark Torches.
Special Features: Harris Manchester is the only college at Oxford restricting its student body to "mature" students – 21 years old or over.

Sources and Thanks

Full Achievement,
Dark Torches.
David Harrison (Univ. 1960) wrote to Oxford Today that my article in the Michaelmas issue on the Oxford college coats of arms (pp. 45-50) was "full of interest but included one lapse in the commentary on Harris Manchester College," relating to its religious origins.
Coat of arms on a college gate

Chapel, Harris Manchester College, Oxford.
David has written a 506-page book The Harrisons of Bankfield 1500-2006 (2006), which can be purchased new for £70 or read in the libraries of Harris Manchester, Univ or  the Bodleian, or in London at the National Portrait Gallery or the British Library. His book has an Appendix on the origins of Manchester College, starting from the original foundation in Yorkshire in 1670..

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