MENU
The answeres of Garter and Clarencieux Kings of arms, to the scrowle of arms exhibited by Raffe Brookesmouth caled York Herauld.
1602
Contributed by

MS. Ashmole 846, folio 50 recto

View Image Assets
MS. Ashmole 846, folio 50 recto
Click image to enlarge

Institution Rights and Document Citation

Terms of use
The Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford, has graciously contributed images of materials in its collections to Shakespeare Documented under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International licence.  Images used within the scope of these terms should cite the Bodleian Libraries as the source.  For any use outside the scope of these terms, visitors should contact Bodleian Libraries Imaging Services at imaging@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

Document-specific information
Title: "The answeres of Garter and Clarencieux Kings of arms, to the scrowle of arms exhibited by Raffe Brookesmouth caled York Herauld."
Date: 1602
Repository: Bodleian Library, Oxford University, Oxford, UK
Call number and opening: MS. Ashmole 846, fol. 50r

Item Title
"The answeres of Garter and Clarencieux Kings of arms, to the scrowle of arms exhibited by Raffe Brookesmouth caled York Herauld."
Item Date
1602
Repository
Bodleian Library, Oxford University, Oxford, UK
Call Number
MS. Ashmole 846, fol. 50r

MS. Ashmole 846, folio 50 verso

View Image Assets
MS. Ashmole 846, folio 50 verso
Click image to enlarge

Institution Rights and Document Citation

Terms of use
The Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford, has graciously contributed images of materials in its collections to Shakespeare Documented under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International licence.  Images used within the scope of these terms should cite the Bodleian Libraries as the source.  For any use outside the scope of these terms, visitors should contact Bodleian Libraries Imaging Services at imaging@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

Document-specific information
Title: "The answeres of Garter and Clarencieux Kings of arms, to the scrowle of arms exhibited by Raffe Brookesmouth caled York Herauld."
Date: 1602
Repository: Bodleian Library, Oxford University, Oxford, UK
Call number and opening: MS. Ashmole 846, fol. 50r

Item Title
"The answeres of Garter and Clarencieux Kings of arms, to the scrowle of arms exhibited by Raffe Brookesmouth caled York Herauld."
Item Date
1602
Repository
Bodleian Library, Oxford University, Oxford, UK
Call Number
MS. Ashmole 846, fol. 50v

MS. Ashmole 846, folio 51 verso

View Image Assets
MS. Ashmole 846, folio 51 verso
Click image to enlarge

Institution Rights and Document Citation

Terms of use
The Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford, has graciously contributed images of materials in its collections to Shakespeare Documented under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International licence.  Images used within the scope of these terms should cite the Bodleian Libraries as the source.  For any use outside the scope of these terms, visitors should contact Bodleian Libraries Imaging Services at imaging@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

Document-specific information
Title: "The answeres of Garter and Clarencieux Kings of arms, to the scrowle of arms exhibited by Raffe Brookesmouth caled York Herauld."
Date: 1602
Repository: Bodleian Library, Oxford University, Oxford, UK
Call number and opening: MS. Ashmole 846, fol. 50r

Item Title
"The answeres of Garter and Clarencieux Kings of arms, to the scrowle of arms exhibited by Raffe Brookesmouth caled York Herauld."
Item Date
1602
Repository
Bodleian Library, Oxford University, Oxford, UK
Call Number
MS. Ashmole 846, fol. 51v

Institution Rights and Document Citation

Terms of use
The Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford, has graciously contributed images of materials in its collections to Shakespeare Documented under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International licence.  Images used within the scope of these terms should cite the Bodleian Libraries as the source.  For any use outside the scope of these terms, visitors should contact Bodleian Libraries Imaging Services at imaging@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

Document-specific information
Title: "The answeres of Garter and Clarencieux Kings of arms, to the scrowle of arms exhibited by Raffe Brookesmouth caled York Herauld."
Date: 1602
Repository: Bodleian Library, Oxford University, Oxford, UK
Call number and opening: MS. Ashmole 846, fol. 50r

In 1602, Ralph Brooke, York Herald, contested 23 coats of arms granted by William Dethick, Garter King of Arms, including the arms originally granted to Shakespeare’s father, John Shakespeare, and now belonging to William Shakespeare. Brooke argued that these coats of arms were granted to unworthy or deceased individuals, or, in the case of Shakespeare, that they too closely resembled the ancient arms of Lord Mauley, a barony that became extinct in the fifteenth century. Dethick defended Shakespeare’s coat of arms by pointing out its unique features and John Shakespeare’s civic career and marriage into the Arden family: although the basic pattern of Shakespeare’s arms resembled others, the use of the spear in the bend sable made it unique; John Shakespeare was of “good substance and ability,” a magistrate and justice of the peace in Stratford-upon-Avon who married a daughter and heir of Arden. The outcome is not recorded, but the dispute appears to have been resolved in favor of Dethick.

This is one of two versions of Dethick’s reply to Brooke’s “scroll of arms,” which are also the only two examples of Shakespeare’s arms in color from his lifetime. This version at the Bodleian is in Dethick's own handwriting, and differs in subtle but substantial ways from the copy in the College of Arms, which also includes a small revision in Dethick's hand. For example, Dethick notes here that Brooke’s complaint “hath so injuriously defamed” the people who hold the coats of arms, a detail omitted in the College of Arms copy. Because Shakespeare’s father died on September 7, 1601, William Shakespeare, who inherited the arms, would have been the target of defamation. Was the dispute between Brooke and Dethick more than just an internal affair? A rich collection of heraldic archival material scattered across the United States and England will surely yield further details.

Modernized/Translated transcriptions

The answers of Garter and Clarenceux Kings of Arms to the scroll of Arms exhibited by Raffe Brokesmouth called York Herald

The exceptions in the scroll of 23 Arms exhibited doth concern either the Arms or the persons that bear the same (whom he hath so injuriously defamed.) In both we hope to satisfy your honorable lordships in particular, if, with your favorable leave we may present unto your grave considerations the ancient and manifold proofs that the Blazon and giving of Arms pertaineth unto our offices, the authority whereof by Custom is confirmed in those ordinary words Juxta antiquam consuetudinem contained in the great Seal of England. Which we can prove have been granted and allowed by the most prudent and famous Princes King Henry 7 and King Henry 8, under both their hands and seals. That Garter also shall have the correction & allowance of all arms through all England and the king's dominions, and to grant Arms & Ensigns and to make his Letters patent thereupon according to the [B..e?] of the Statutes and Ordinances of the most noble Order of the Garter. The decrees of the Constables & England do declare the same, and the custom continued for the time of Sir William Bruges, first Garter, Sir John and Sir Thomas Wriothesley, Sir Christopher Barker, and late Sir Gilbert Dethick, knight, as all such as have been Clarenceux doth manifest the same, as well to persons spiritual, advanced to dignities, as persons temporal for their services in wars or offices and degrees of honor, riches or possessions able to maintain the same, relying upon the promises & the Queen Majesty's great seal of England. We do conceive most inward grief for the exceptions taken herein for 23 Arms more than for twenty-three hundred late given by others. And whereas under her Majesty's most happy government hath bred in lieu of many extinct, many worthy persons qualified to bear Arms, from whom no doubt great persons shall arise that must deduce their original descents from the memories of the places & services which their parents held in time of her Majesty's reign. For it is said Qui nunc Novi videntur erunt Vetustissimi.

[for full transcription expand semi-diplomatic window]

[ends:]

The right honorable late Lord Burghley, the right honorable Earl of Nottingham, and the late Lord Hunsdon, Lord Chamberlain were informed of these & like other causes by that Man. And order was taken now 6 years past, first in the Star Chamber, for all suits in law discharged, and afore heard by their lordships and commandment given that the said York should not molest the said Garter, nor serve with him at the funerals of the Nobility because of his infamy at Newgate and turbulent behavior in that office.

Semi-diplomatic transcription

[image 1: fol. 50r]

The answeres of Garter and Clarenceux Kings of Arms to the
Scrowle of Arms exhibited by Raffe Brokesmouth called York Herauld

The exceptions in the Scrowle of xxiij Arms exhibited doth Concerne ether the Arms
or the personns that beare the same. (Whom he hathe so iniuriously defamed.) In bothe wee hope to
satisfie your honorable lordships in particuler. Yf with your favorable leave wee may present vnto your
Grave Considerations the ancyent and manifould proofes that the Blazon and gevinge
of Arms perteinethe vnto our offices. The Authorite wherof by Custome is confirmed
in those Ordinary Wordes Iuxta Antiquam consuetudinem. conteyned in the great Seale
of England. Whiche wee can prove have ben graunted and allowed by the most
prudent and famous Prynces Kinge Henry .7. and Kinge Henry .viijth vnder bothe theyre
handes and Seales. That Garter also shall have the Corection & allowance of All Arms
thoroughe all England and the kinges dominions And to graunt Arms & Enseignes and to
make his Lettres patentes therevppon accordinge to the ^Byle[?] of the Statutes and Ordonances of the most noble Order
of the Garter. The decrees of the Constables & England doe declare the same And the
Custome continewed for the tyme of Sir William Bruges first Garter. Sir Iohn and Sir Thomas
Wrythesley SiChristofer Barker. and late Sir Gilbert Detheck. knight as all suche as have ben
Clarencieux dothe manifest the same. As well to personns Spirituall advaunced to dign[i]tes As
personns Temporall for theyre services in Warrs or offices & degres of honor. Riches or possessions
hable to maynteyne the same. Relienge vppon the promisses & the Queenes Maiesties great
Seale of England. Wee doe conceave most inward grieffe. for the exceptions taken herein
for xxiij Arms more then for xxiij hundred late geven by others. And wheras vnder her
Maiesties most happie governement hathe breed. in lieu of many extincte.) many worthye
personns qualefied to beare Arms. ffrom whom no doubt great personns shall aryse that
must deduce theyre originall descentes from the memories of the places & seruices
whiche theyre Parentes held in tyme of her Maiesties Reigne. For it is said Qui
nunc Novj videntur erunt Vetustissimj

Norton: [Norton coat of arms in left margin]
Co. Marche: [Mortimer coat of arms and another similar coat in right margin]

nota. Segar procurat
This patent Recalled.

This Coate is not deduced from the Arms of Mortimer Earle of March. As
he informethe. But is different bothe in Coullors. nomber of Barrs
and the Cantons Gironnes  And be it remembred that in those tymes when
the Mortimers florished. Sir Symon De Burley and one Edosin and Hagelay
bare theyre Coates of Armes more lyke in shewe. Without contradiction:
Nether was there any Exception taken in those Ages when the honor of
Arms florished most for the resemblances of Arms. But for the Identitite
of Shields of Arms or the selfe same Arms to be borne by the towe of distinct
Names & families As in the memorable Contraversies betwene
Carmow and Grossvenor: Sir Theobald de Gorgs and Warbleton: Sitfilit
and Fakenham. Singleton and Baud. &c. & this maye suffice.

Lound: [coat of arms in left margin]
Echingham: [two coats of arms in right margin]

There is no more offence to be taken by the descendantes of Sir Peter Lound for
this Coate of Lound. Then in former tymes the familie of Sir William
Echingham. a Baron somoned to the Parliament tempore Ed. 2. And
theyre descendantes might have taken agaynst Sir Peter Lownd for bearing
theyre Arms with a playne Bordure Gould.
As for the Canton of Braye. beinge assigend [sic] a part By the consent of his
wyffe the Lady Harte one of the heyrs of the last Lord Bray: Lyke As
the heyre of Antony Lord Lucy. Assigned her Arms to be quartered within
the Arms of her husband. Henry Percy Earle of Northumberland. 

Hall [coat of arms in left margin]
Hall. [coat of arms in right margin]

Whereas Mr Hall by relation ^&landes of his parentes. proveth himselfe descended
of that name & Arms of Hall of Bradford in Wiltshire but beinge not
certeyne with what coullors or difference he might beare the same This
Shield in different Coullors wee assigned vnto him. And herein as
in many suche cases for Armes Wee do after our predecessors in theyre Actes &
Visitacions) Are to relye vppon the credit & relation of suche persons
being. worthy of Credit.

Clerk [coat of arms in left margin]

Mr Clerke. of Ardington. A man brought vp in the Studies of the Lawes.
hathe fayer landes and inheritances &c. He produced these Arms engraved
in an aunncyent SEale of Sylver from his Antecessors. And not knowing in
what coullors to vse & beare them. required of vs to have the Coullors and
A Cognizance assigned for him. Making good proofe that his Grandfather
maryed the daughter & heyre of Thomas Champeney. Wee did confirme
and exemplefie the same, as is lawfull for vs. to doe./

Shakespere [coat of arms in left margin]
Lo: Mauley
Harley
Ferers
[three coats of arms in right margin]

It maye as well be said That Harley who bearethe Gould a bend 2 Cotizes
sable. Or ferrers .&c. or any other that beare silver. or Gould a bend charged
in like manner. Vsurpe the Coate of the Lo. Mauley. As for the
Speare on the Bend. is a patible difference. And the man was
a Magestrat in Stratford vpon Avon. A Iustice of Peace he maryed
theA daughter and heyre of Ardern. and was of good substance and
habelite/

Peake: [coat of arms in left margin]

Mr Peake is no Grasier but he is a Gentleman of Grays=In well
qualefied in all good Studies and Learning. of A Competent lyving
He made good proofe That this shield of Armes was borne and
vsed by his Grandfather. Iohn Peake of Thurlangton in the
Comte of Leycestershire. Wee bothe allowed & did testefie the same but
without Patent. Whereof by his Ignorance & malice he hathe made
a contrary report.

[image 2: fol. 50v]

Couley [coat of arms in left margin]

Walter Cowley of whom it cannot be denyed that he is descended of that
Name & dwellethe in the Comte of Staffs. and no Ironmonger of London
He beinge vnwillinge to preiudize the heyres of that howse accepted
the Mollettes to be Blazoned vppon the Bordure of his Coate of
Arms. by our consentes.

Murgetrod [coat of arms in left margin]

The late Earle of Essex, whileste he was Earle Marshall did recommend
vnto me and Mr Clarentieux. for to devise a Blazon and to exemplefie
these Arms vnto Mr. Murgetrod. late Secretarie after Steward to
the most reverend Lord Arche Bushop his grace of Canterbury who
for his learninge offices of dignite And A Iustice of peace. his
Lordship expressed with these wordes A Secretary to a Councellor of Estate
& therefore qualefied to beare Arms. Whiche we did bothe grant
and exemplefie for him vnder our handes and Seales of offices.
And nowe that his Lordship did so wryte in this behalfe Mr Temple
can testefie.

Whitmore [coat of arms in left margin]
Whitmore
Auncyent Coate [coat of arms in right margin]

Mr Whitmore. a Riche & one of the Royall Marchantes of London.
Borne in the Comte of Salop. Where he possessed fayre Landes. And where
also and in Cheshere that Name & familie is farre & plentifully
dispersed. Whiche all doe beare this other Shield of Arms Auncyently
He maryed A daughter of Alderman Bond of London. And he beinge
worshipfully enterred At his ffuneralles this Canton & this Canquefoile
was ^within agmented with a Creast or Cognizance appropriate to the same
Nether dothe trades of Marchandize derogate from Gentrie more
in England. Then it dothe in Venice, Genoua Florence. &c.

Hykman [coat of arms in left margin]
Bremigham [coat of arms in right margin]

This Coate is not the Bremighams Arms. But that is per pale
Indented Argent and Sables. vt patet
The person  to whom it was allowed & that vppon proofe by him produced
He is A doctor in the Ciuil Lawes. and dignefied And they
by rescripts of Emperours are reputed to be Clarissima dignitate
constituti: And they hould for a principle. That Meritum Scientiae
Iuris Ciuilis, ipso Iuro, facit eius peritum Nobilem:

Elkin. Alderman Lee Alde[r]man [their two coats of arms in left margin]
Lee of Staffs [coat of arms in right margin]

ffor Mr Elkin and Mr Lee. Who are by that Herauld (contrary
to his othe. and the Trewth depraved as basse trades men). It is
well knowen that they were bothe Sheriffes and Alde[r]men of London
And Mr Lee is shortly to bee Maior in that Cittie: And it cannot
be denied for men of that place in Ciuile governement that all
wayes suche tokens of honor of Arms hathe ben graunted and
allowed for them by vs vs in former Ages. is manifest.

Thwaites [coat of arms in left margin]

It is certeyne likewise that Mr Thwaytes was ellect an Alderman of
London And he had this Coat asigned to him by an Herauld who
hathe never had suche authorite & that without the difference of :[depiction of fleur de luce]: 
The whiche yf it had passed by his warrant: without further inspect
and allowance from vs the kinges of Arms. happely it had neuer
ben called in question. ffor suche are dayely geven & passed by
them without our knowledges bothe Arms & Pedegres for Noble & Gent.

And for the other ix Coates: ffirst Withins was no vintenor but
A Riche & worshipfull Citizen of good reputacons. The Arms
were allowed for his ffunerall at the instance of the herauldes for theyre
proffites: Mr Gibson is A comly & worthy Man of honest parentes. A
Iustice of peace being Alderman & Sheriffe of Norwich. hathe Children
landes & wealthe of good habilite. And ther is sufficient difference
for his Name added to that Arms: Pettous was likewise an 
Alderman & Shereffe of Norwich. ffor Sanderson. and Parr.
order was taken therin with ^all other by the Right honorable late lord Burgley and
therle of Nottingham nowe vj yeres past: Mr. Lawrence of
Chelsey had that Crosse. with the and crest of A chefe. and Leopardes
hedes. by motion of the Herauldes for thyre turnes at ffuneralles:
Mr Yonge being Master of his Company died xxv years past &
before I was Garter:  Thes Arms were found in his Evidences
by Glover. Somerset and sett vp ^by him in ffishe morgers [sic] hall before they died.
And To Smyth. or Mouldesworth. Garter never gave them any
such patentes of Arms. 

These Arms are falsely &
Maliciously surmized or
fforged.

[two coat of arms in center for Howard (above) and Hayward (below)]

The trewe and only Blazon of the
Arms graunted by Garter: 1592.
for Mr Hayward of Tandrig in
Surrey. late chosen Alderman of London
and no kanellraker ^nor [ric?]

The right Honorable late Lord Burghley, The Right honorable Earle of Nottingham and the late Lord Hunsdon
Lord Chamberlen were informed of these & like other causes by that Man. And
Order was ^taken nowe vj yeeres past first in the Star Chamber. for all suites in lawe discharged
And afor hard by ther lordships and comaundementt geven that the said York
should not molest the said Garter, nor serve with him at the ffuneralls of the
Nobilite bycause of his infamie at Newgate and Turbulent behaviour in
that office.

[image 3: fol. 51v]
xxjmo: Mar: 1601
The aunsweare of Mr Garter
and Mr Clarencieulx to the
informacion preferred by the rest
of the Herrawldes against them
for giving Armes

Last updated April 24, 2017