On Monday 6 November 2017 a number of members of the White Lion Society including Adrian Barham, Roger Whitworth, Roland Symons, Patric Dickinson, Clarenceux King of Arms, Timothy Duke, Norroy and Ulster King of Arms, and Peter O’Donoghue, York Herald, attended the Society of Antiquaries’ public symposium entitled Visible Identities: Symbolic Codes from Personal Heraldry to Corporate Logos. The day considered ways in which identity since c. 1100 has been, and continues to be, expressed in outward visible formats principally heraldry.

The symposium was organised by members, Dr Adrian Ailes of Bristol University and Dr Clive Cheesman, Richmond Herald, along with Professor Fiona Robertson and Marcus Meer from the Centre for Visual Arts and Culture at the University of Durham. The Heraldry Society kindly contributed towards the cost of the conference.

Speakers included Dr Claire Boudreau, Chief Herald of Canada, Elizabeth Roads, Snawdoun Herald and Lyon Clerk at the Court of the Lord Lyon, and Timothy Noad Herald Painter at the College of Arms. Amongst the audience of over 70 delegates were Ronny Anderson, Herald Painter to the Danish Royal Court, and Prof. Dr George Vilinbakhov, State Herald of the Russian Federation. The day ended with a round table discussion on the future of heraldry in a world dominated by branding and logos.


A number of heralds, in particular Oswald Barron, Maltravers Herald Extraordinary (1937-39), and H. Stanford London, Norfolk Herald Extraordinary (1953-59), have left substantial heraldic and genealogical works and artefacts to the Society of Antiquaries some of which were included in a marvellous exhibition.


On display were original letters patent in French granting a crest to Thomas Dacus by Thomas Wriothesley, Garter (1505-34), and Thomas Benolt, Clarenceux (1511-34), dated 8 February 1514 with Garter’s wax seal still in its wooden skippet,


(Left to right) Patric Dickinson, Clarenceux, Ronny Anderson, Herald Painter to the Royal Court of Denmark, Dr Torsten Hiltman, Assistant Professor at the University of Münster, and Heather Rowland, Head of Library and Collections at the Society of Antiquaries, examining some of the exhibits. The grant of arms on the table is from the Emperor Charles V to Caspar Sengel dated at Worms on 20 May 1545. Another original 16th-century grant of arms exhibited was that by Robert Cooke, Clarenceux, granting a crest to John Nott of Shellesley Beauchamp, dated 19 November 1575.  

All the lectures can be seen and heard on www.sal.org.uk/events/ including slides of some of Tim Noad’s splendid coin designs. (Pictures in this article reproduced by kind permission of the Society of Antiquaries of London.)

(c) The White Lion Society 2018