A Call to Arms

Green Grille at Intwood

The green grille at Intwood All Saints church: Photo 24 Sept 2018

In Intwood churchyard there lies a grave, fancily enclosed with a wrought iron grille made shades of green by Nature’s hand. Moss obscures whatever inscription once was there yet leaves for us a useful clue. A coat of arms.

Coat of Arms Intwood

Coat of Arms at Intwood: Photo 24 Sept 2018

The Blazon

While it is customary to give the blazon in French, where I can I’ve translated to English, cos that’s what I speak:

Quarterly (the man deceased)

  1.  on silver, an engrailed cross in red
  2.  paly six of gold and blue
  3.  on blue, a silver chevron beneath 3 crosslets-patty of same
  4.  on silver, an engrailed cross in red

Impaled (his wife, an heiress)

  1. on blue, a silver chevron beneath 3 crosslets-patty of same
  2. on silver, a red fess-undy between 3 couped Boars’ heads of silver
  3. on silver, a black chief with 3 silver shells
  4. on gold, silver and blue fess-chequy beneath red chevron; and a double tressure flory of silver (red?)

Without getting too deep into explanations, what does this tell us?

Reading the Arms

The deceased’s armson silver, an engrailed cross in red—belongs to the Gurneys, a Quaker family, prominent as wool merchants and bankers in Norwich. The family, being highly fertile and prolific, had several branches. One branch lived at Earlham Hall, now part of the UEA, another branch lived at nearby Keswick Hall. I guess the deceased belonged to the latter.

The deceased’s arms are quartered with the arms of an heiress (his mother?)—paly six of gold and blue / on blue, a silver chevron beneath 3 crosslets-patty of same. The latter belongs to a family of ancient Scots ancestry, prominent Quakers of their time, with a name, today, synonymous with banking. The Barclays. The blue and gold stripes belong to a Warren family, but I haven’t been able to find them.

The son of a banking fraternity

At first glance it seems not so easy to name him since these two Quaker families have combined several times over the centuries. Yet the gentleman’s mother was a Barclay heiress. That narrows it down.

Around 1774, Richard Gurney married Agatha, daughter and heiress of David Barclay, of Youngsbury, Herts.

Their only son, Hudson Gurney, born in 1775, died without issue, aged 80 or so.

Both Richard and Hudson lived at Keswick Hall. At first sight it would seem either father or son, or even both, could be buried here. Except … the impaled wife’s arms.

The Impaled Wife

Hudson Gurney died without issue. But I suspect that wasn’t for want of trying. In 1809 he married … wait for it … Margaret, daughter of Robert Barclay of Ury, Kincardineshire. And who was Margaret’s mother? Sarah Allardice, daughter of James Allardice, and incidentally heiress of line to the Earls of Airth and Menteith.

All this is shown in the wife’s impaled arms

  1. on blue, a silver chevron beneath 3 crosslets-patty of same (Barclay)
  2. on silver, a red fess-undy between 3 couped Boars’ heads of silver (Allardice)
  3. on silver, a black chief with 3 silver shells (Graham, who married an Allardice)
  4. on gold, silver and blue fess-chequy beneath red chevron; and a double tressure flory of silver (Clan Stuart of Bute, not sure of the additional chevron; in C13th both the Grahams and the Barclays married into the Stewart/Stuart clan)

Hudson Gurney, the man whose bones are behind the green grille

Hudson Gurney died 9 Nov 1864. Unlike his family, he had little interest in banking and never became a Quaker ‘Friend’. As he wrote in 1813:

‘I was in early life determined to write a poem, to go abroad and to sit in Parliament.’

He achieved all three ambitions: a well-travelled versifier, an MP for Shaftesbury 1812, for Newtown, Hants 1816-32, and high sheriff of Norfolk, 1835.

I think I would have much liked Hudson had we met. As he said of himself:

I did nothing, but thought much.

About crispina kemp

Spinner of Asaric and Mythic tales
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52 Responses to A Call to Arms

  1. Love the green on iron work. And how the light is hitting it. Just beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dale says:

    Fascinating. I kind of which the picture were vertical to better understand your explanations…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Joy Pixley says:

    I’m so impressed that you’re able to interpret all those details! It’s amazing to me how the whole system of heraldry built up over time, adding more and more to each person’s coat of arms, and how people of the time were trained to understand and interpret all these obscure (to me) symbols. I can see why heraldry was one of the topics that noblemen were schooled in by their tutors; it must have taken a great deal of study to be able to quickly “read” this complicated language when faced with an unfamiliar crest.

    Are the colors still there, though? It’s hard to tell in the photo — all I can see for certain is the green from nature, that you mention. I would have thought that paint would not have survived that long in that situation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • crimsonprose says:

      The coat of arms was carved in stone, so no colour. However, there are conventions for when producing monochrome, i.e. engravings,, The all-over dots, the horizontal and vertical lines all have meaning. While I have like a handbook of these, and all the French terms, I had still to locate the relevnt arms, which wasn’t so easy, and then ply through genealogies to see where they meet.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Joy Pixley says:

        So the dots and lines are supposed to indicate color? Interesting, I never realized that, but now that you say it, it makes perfect sense. I applaud your diligence with the research — you have so much more patience with those genealogies than I’d have. I think that’s the real reason I enjoy writing fiction in my own secondary world: nobody can say that I didn’t do the research properly. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      • crimsonprose says:

        Big like.
        You might note that the first story I posted to blog was the time-slip Neve which, while contemporary set. featured scenes in 1087 and 875 (I think that date is right, it’s top of the head).

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joy Pixley says:

        I love it when you can use writing fiction as an excuse for researching something you’re already interested in researching. I feel that way about just about everything in my world-building. “Oh, but what kind of burial rituals does this religion have? I suppose I have to go research ALL the possibilities now!”

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        When writing is passion, that passion should encompass all aspects of it. Though, of course, I have set the Asaric Series (the sequels to Asaric Tales) in the Neolithic, the Bronze Age, the opening of the Iron Age, and amongst the Vikings and the Normans because. as history periods. I was already fairly well founded in these.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Joy Pixley says:

        You’re so much better founded in all those periods than I am, and I can see how helpful that must be in writing. One of the reasons I’m putting my revised novel from last NaNo aside is that I realized I had placed it about 800-1000 years before my other novel, far off on the other side of the country, and yet somehow I hadn’t gotten myself into the mindset of having much lower technology and earlier versions of the culture. More world-building!

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        It’s okay being grounded in an historic period, except then you know if you’ve included something anachronistic, and I hate to see anachronisms, though it’s more acceptible in fantasy. When I first started Asaric Tales I thought I was pushing it having Kerrid weave, and I did so need her to spin and weave. Then over the years archeaologies have pushed back the origins of weaving. The earliest evidence of woven textiles (to my knowledge) now stands at 35,000 BCE. Kerrid is well within that time frame.
        In regards world-builing, and espeically technology, Brandon Sanderon did some really useful videos recarded during his claases. He says to concentrate on one thing, the thing you know most about. If you come across as accurate on that, the tiny slips on other things will pass unnoticed. Check him out on YouTube.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joy Pixley says:

        Oh yes, I love the videos of Sanderson’s classes! I have been watching and taking notes on them, although I’m not quite halfway through yet and haven’t “been to class” in a while. He does have some good advice on writing and worldbuilding, and now I’m reading the Mistborn series, so I can see him in action (although these were pretty early in his writing career).

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        Despite I found his lectures informative, useful, loved his style etc, I can’t get on with his writing. I even abandoned the final book of Wheel of Time cos I found his word choices jarred after reading Robert Jordan. I put it down to different generations, and that Sanderson is more focused on the YA market. Though I do read the occasional YA, I don’t often go there. Having said all that, I am aware Sanderson writes books other than YA, but he brings the same vocabulary with him. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joy Pixley says:

        His vocabulary does come across as simplistic, I agree. His characters, too. He falls prey in the Mistborn series to the trope of having only one female character in a huge cast of men, and guess what, she’s better at *everything* than literally everyone else in the world (despite her humble origins), and of course, also beautiful. ((sigh)) But he balances this with a lot of interesting plot twists, some decent discussion of how governing and wars actually work, and a cool setting and mystery, so I’m hooked into finishing this first trilogy, at least.

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        Well, I regret that I was unable to finish the Wheel of Time. By a third of the way through the last volume, his writing so grated on me, I slapped shut the book. It didn’t help that he seemed obsessed with the wolves. No doubt he was laying in something for the climax, but it wore on and on, a drone almost (and I smile cos I know exactly what you are thinking; I can see the similarity of situation).

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joy Pixley says:

        This is not making me eager to pick up the Wheel of Time series and finally finish it, especially as I’ll have to start at the beginning, having forgotten so much of it by this point. My best friend is rereading them now, and he liked the Sanderson books just fine, so I’m hoping that since his reading tastes are generally close to mine that I’ll be able to enjoy them, too. Even so, wow, SO many books. I’ll need to set aside a whole year!

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        You might get on with Sanderrson better that I did. I remember seeing an interview with him where he said he put on a different head when writing WOT, not his usual writing style, but neither in mimiv of Jordan. Maybe my problem was that I liked Jordan’s writing. Except the way his women all gripped their skirts when stressed (they were wearing long skirted dresses). After several books, that became wearying.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joy Pixley says:

        It’s been so long since I’ve read WoT, and it was before I started writing, so I wonder what I’ll think on second read. I imagine I’ll notice many more annoying things this time around!

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        I admit, I was resistent at first; I was still using the local libriary, and the local library is crap, so the thought of entering into such a long series din’t exactly thrill. Most of the series I bought as secondhand, some as cheap as a penny! And I very quickly got into the story. But then, towards the end, it wears on.
        Jordan died with what he intended as one more book left to complete. Much of this he had already written, you know, the odd scene or part-scene. Yet Sanderson turned that into three more books.
        I’ve met younger people who respond positively to his writing. In fact, WOT was recommended to me by a young man, about 25 yrs old.
        Please, don’t let me put you off. Everyone has different tastes, and what annoys me may not annoy you, and vice versa. I say go for it, and see what you think.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joy Pixley says:

        I didn’t realize it was a series when I read the first book, and then I thought it was a trilogy. Then, for many years, every time a new book came out, I’d read all the previous ones again first. Had to stop that!

        I’m not at all surprised that what Jordan thought would be one book turned out to be three — that’s how he ended up with so many books in the first place.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Judy says:

    I like Hudson as well I do think! His simple goals seem almost a luxury in today’s stressful existence. I enjoyed the explanations of the Arms. I love that sort of thing and with my foreign coins find Spanish, British, German coats of arms on the reverse …well quite a few very interesting. I am sure those are straightforward to interpret and I need to look those up. I find I like shilling coins and am attracted to the ones with the crown and the lion on top.

    One of these days when I get a tad more information, I’ll ask you if there is a Howard coat of arms that could apply to my British heritage. We were apparently dissenters who left Britain for Holland then the New World. British on Dad’s side and from Spain on my mother’s.

    Oh, I did want to say how lovely the light is on that grill work. I love the greens and how the light picks up the blues in the shaded areas….beautiful effect all in all. Good place to rest.

    Liked by 2 people

    • crimsonprose says:

      I was enchanted by that churchyard. I took a longer veiw of it. A yew tree overshadows the railings to the right, and the church itself stands quite high above the road.
      It was my first visit there (to the church and village), though I have often walked through the adjoining villages.
      When I get five minutes, I’ll see what I can find for Howard. The name, to me, says Dukes of Norfolk, so you can best I’m interested.

      Like

      • Judy says:

        I have photographed a few cemeteries and find churchyards and cemeteries quite evocative and loaded with history. In fact, Halloween several years ago we went to the oldest cemetery in Miami for a tour of all the graves of folks streets are named after now. It was lead by a historian of course and we certainly got all the low down on the good, the bad and the ugly of early Miami. It was terribly fun and a cemetery tour is one great way to get to know the history of a city fast. Didn’t hurt it was Halloween for little extra mindfulness of what might be lurking in the shadows.

        I mean to organize my father’s family history stuff which is around in bits and pieces and see what Howard names I have which originated in the UK. I do know 3 brothers crossed the pond a few generations ago.

        Liked by 2 people

      • crimsonprose says:

        Gosh, what a wonderful way to explore. On entering a graveyard I usually check out the names. Many of the places I visit lie within the family’s former bounds. Always a kick to see a family name. Though it doesn’t come often.

        Like

      • Judy says:

        The Atlanta Cemetery is wonderful and has lots of Civil War Soldiers buried there. I guess seeing those early names and dates is like the coin histories too. I suppose I am looking at coins that were in the pockets of the those who were living in the 1860s when I work with those dates. Kind of weird thinking that a soldier who died in the civil war long ago as that is, died before the first Morgan Dollar was minted in 1878 which seems ancient enough.

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        I can understand why to Americans, who have not the depth of history, that does seem old. Yet sat upon my sheld is a flint core-stone used by a Mesolithic hunter-gatherer to knap blades for his arrows sometime between 8.000 BCE and 4000 BCE. I picked it up when I visited West Kennet Long Barrow, a neolithic burial shrine.
        The difference in the American and European time scales really fascinate me. 🙂

        Like

      • Judy says:

        That is very very true. And where I am in Florida seems particularly NEW in comparison to other parts of the states like New York or Pennsylvania which has much older and more ornate architecture and roads cut through ominous mountains and ancient stone. But, yes in UK and Europe, the time scale puts you further back in time and tale. Absolutely! We are new!! You are old!! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        And yet every day archeaologists reveal more about the indigenious population. Florida was quite heavily settled (before we Europeans came)

        Like

      • Judy says:

        It is true but not in the way of vase structures that you associate with the past. We have shell mounds, maybe burial mounts left. Nothing really with the kind of permanence as stone circles. But, I may be showing my ignorance. Florida was not too hospitable in earlier times and unfortunately the later arrivals didn’t get Florida and wanted to drain, drain, drain the swamps.

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        I don’t remember the exact details, except it had been assumed these particular people had been transients, and what was discovered (post holes mostly) revealed an amazingly large settlement, with occupation numbering far more than anyone had expected.

        Like

      • Judy says:

        Oh I forgot….great artifact you have. I love artifacts. Archaeology was my second love after geology.

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        I hadn’t realised how rare it was until a week or so back and I was watching a YouTube video about a Mesolithic camp in the area. The narrator remarked that, despite finding hundreds or microliths, to find a core stone is rare.

        Like

      • Judy says:

        Perhaps you should have it evaluated in some way.

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        Oh no. It might be whipped into some museum.

        Like

      • Judy says:

        LOL, too true. Maybe ultimately if there is no one to pass it down to. I think I may have a problem that you wont’ have to worry about with a Communist Cloth
        Bill I have. Just in that I am a reluctant custodian at the moment since cloth won’t last and how to conserve it. So choice is to give it to a museum or sell to a collector specializing in that kind of item. Not saying it is super high value at all, just is enough of a rarity to feel the need to keep it safe.

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        In my case, said object has survived over 6,000 years. I reckon it might survive a while longer. 🙂

        Like

      • Judy says:

        Right, I would feel very comfortable with that rock more than my cloth…and its only been around since 1933. Is it big? What kind rock is it?

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        It’s a flint. About 2″ high, the diameter maybe of a banana. Not big at all. But they never are.

        Like

      • Judy says:

        Very cool very cool…probably you ought to find a protective display box or mount for it maybe…something scientific and cool looking. I love artifacts of all kinds which is why I collect the things I do. Generally I used the excuse that the item would make a good photo object. LOL!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        It resides in a soft leather pouch and too seldom sees the light of day.

        Like

      • Brian Bixby says:

        If you’ve not already, you need to take a gander at Alan Garner’s 1973 sci-fi/fantasy novel “Red Shift,” in which an artifact drives plots over two millennia.

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        That sounds a potentially interesting plot. Alan Garner, I’ll check it out.
        BTW, I found the Lovectaft book. Itr’s currently queued on the kindle awaiting its turn.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Beautiful photos and so much research, Crispina. Heraldry is fascinating, but I only have a very very basic understanding of it. It’s so interesting to read your explanations. I love the top photo and how the light plays on the grille. And that is a great line from Hudson. “I did nothing, but thought much.” Very good 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • crimsonprose says:

      I took the photo, cos I’m always snapping. Then I processed it and included it in the constant slidehow I use as my desktop/screenscaver. And it kept cycling round. And I thought, I really like that. But I couldn’t post it without also I said whose grave it was. And so began the research.
      I won’t say I’m deep ly knowledgeable about heraldry, though it does fascinate me. I had researched it for the first story I blogged to crimsonprose in 2012 (Neve, part of the Asaric Series), so I had all the formation needed to hand. Then I had to scrumble through genealogy sites to find the details. I was delighted to discover it belonged to a Gurney, a name familiar as I grew up close to Norwich.
      And it just had to finished on that quote. My kind of person.
      Glad you liked. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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