An Audley Armory
This list brings together arms which have been used by families and organisations connected with Audley. Some are officially recognised by the College of Arms, others have been used or attributed without authority. The list is not exhaustive, but does give a sample of the heraldry which has been used in connection with the parish over the last eight centuries.
ABERNETHY - Or a lion rampant gules overall a bendlet sable. See LINDSAY
ABNET - Gules an eagle displayed between three pheons argent. [SHC V. Also shown on the map in Dr. Plot's Natural History of Stafforshire,1686.]
AUDLEY - Gules fretty or. Gules a fret or. Several variations of these arms occur, e.g. with a label of 3 or 5 points azure, each point with or without a lioncel or; with a bordure argent; with a label gobony argent and azure; fretty argent instead of or, etc. It has been suggested that the arms were adopted with regard to the Verdons of Alton, their feudal overlords, who bore Or fretty gules. [Foster, H-S, SHC IXns, etc.]
BELLOT - Argent on a chief gules three cinquefoils of the field. In 1759, Anne, daughter of Sir William Bowyer of Knypersley and widow of Sir John Bellot Bart., gave £100 to Audley school. [BEB (Bellot and Bowyer), Audley p.101-2].
BEST - Argent a chevron between three sheaves each of as many arrows gules. See TWEMLOW.
BOUGHEY - Argent three bucks' heads erased and affronty ermines. MOTTO : Nec quarere nec spernere honorem - Neither to seek nor despise distinction. This family lived at Aqualate Hall and were leading landowners and lords of Audley Manor in the 19th century. A version of their arms quartered with FLETCHER (2) appears outside the Boughey Arms in Nantwich Road.
BOWYER - Argent a lion rampant between three crosses crosslet fitchy gules. See GRESLEY and BELLOT.
CALDWELL - Per pale sable and vert a stag's head couped argent and in chief three cold wells proper. These arms, quartered with STAMFORD, occur on the 1838 memorial to James Caldwell and family on the south wall of the chancel in Audley church. It illustrates the popular device of canting or punning arms, where the shield or its blazon makes an allusion to the family name.
CAMVILLE - Azure three lions passant argent. Sir William de Camville's heraldic seal is appended to an Audley charter of c.1320. [SHC1941].
CHETILTON - Argent on a chevron within a bordure engrailed gules five bezants. See EGERTON.
CHILD - Gules a chevron nebuly erminois between three eagles close argent at centre chief a mullet of six points or. The family acquired Boyle's Hall and other lands in Audley early in the 17th century. [BP]. A member of the family is named as churchwarden on the 1730 bell in Audley church.
CLAVERING - Quarterly or and gules overall a bend sable. Eve Clavering married into the Audley family and her heraldic seal is appended to an Audley charter of c.1320. [SHC1941].
CRADOCK - Argent on a chevron azure three garbs or. This can be seen on the 1721 table tomb to John Cradock on the north side of the nave in Audley church, where it impales a merchant's mark.
CREWE - Azure a lion rampant argent. CREST : out of a ducal coronet or a lion's gamb erect argent. SUPPORTERS, Dexter : a lion argent collared azure thereon three roses or; Sinister : a griffin sable wings elevated argent beaked and legged gules. MOTTO : Sequor nec inferior - I follow nor am inferior. Rt. Hon. Hungerford, Baron Crewe, was one of the trustees for Audley school when the new scheme was approved in 1852. [Griffiths].
DELVES - Argent a chevron gules fretty or between three delves sable. This occurs on the tomb against the north wall of the sanctuary at Audley church. [NSFC 10ns].
EARDLEY - Argent on a chevron azure three garbs or, on a canton gules a fret of the third. This occurs on the 1676 mural to Anne Eardley in the south aisle of Audley church. [NSFC 10ns]. The family appears as Yardley in SHC III, but no arms are attributed there, though the arms given here and others are discussed.
EDENSOR - Argent a chevron between three horseshoes sable. Formerly to be seen in a window at Apedale Hall, though with a pink field! See HEATHCOTE.
EGERTON - Gules a fess ermine between three pheons argent. This shield, with other quarterings including HAWKESTON, CHETILTON, HILL and HOWNHILL, was formerly to be seen painted on the south wall of Audley church. [SMs.252]. A similar shield can be seen on the 1610 mural to Ralph and Frances Egerton in Betley church. The Egertons were also patrons of Audley church in the 17th century. [Hutchinson]. Sir Ralph Egerton of Balterley was one of the original trustees of Audley school in 1611.
FLEETWOOD - Per pale nebuly azure and argent six martlets two, two and two counterchanged. This family held the lordship of Audley Manor from 1707 to 1742. [SHC 1944, Fortescue].
FLETCHER (1) - Argent a cross engrailed sable between four pellets each charged with a pheon or, on a canton azure a ducal coronet of the third. See TWEMLOW and FLETCHER (2).
FLETCHER (2) - Sable a cross wavy erminois between four plates each charged with an arrow bendwise of the field. See BOUGHEY. The similarity between these two versions of the FLETCHER arms indicates they are probably two branches of the same family.
GERARD - Argent a saltire gules. The family held the lordship of Audley Manor 1579 to 1707. [SHC 1944. See NSFC 59 for other arms connected with the Gerards.].
GRESLEY - Vairy ermine and gules. Formerly to be seen quartered with BOWYER, with the badge of a baronet at the fess point, in glass and stone at Apedale Hall. [NSFC 67]. The family also owned collieries in this area during the 19th century.
HAWKESTON - Ermine a fess gules fretty or. See EGERTON.
HEATHCOTE - Ermine three roundels vert each charged with a cross or. Formerly to be seen quartered with EDENSOR carved in stone over the main entrance and in a window at Apedale Hall. [NSFC 67]. For many years this glass panel from Apedale Hall was installed in a greenhouse at Alsagers Bank, it is now displayed at Heathcote County Primary School, Alsagers Bank. [Thanks to Miss L.M. Warham for this information. She was headteacher at the school and arranged for the panel to be installed there.].
HILL - Argent a chevron between three water bougets sable. See EGERTON.
HOWNHILL - Vert a chevron between three talbots passant argent. See EGERTON.
KINNERSLEY - Azure a lion rampant ermine langued gules holding in its forepaws a cross formy fitchy or within an orle of eight crosses crosslet of the last. CREST : A greyhound sejant ermine holding a cross crosslet or, under a tree proper. MOTTO : Timor omnis abesto - Let all fear be far away. A hatchment to this family can be seen on the south wall of the tower in Audley church. [NSFC 10ns].
LICHFIELD, SEE OF - Per pale gules and argent a cross potent quadrate per pale of the second and or between four crosses paty those on the dexter the second those on the sinister of the third. This shield can be seen in a window in the north aisle of Audley church, where it is associated with St. Chad. The shield appears to break one of the basic rules of heraldry, namely that there should not be a metal on a metal - here gold charges on a silver field. The crusaders' Kingdom of Jerusalem used only gold on silver because of its special status in the medieval world and it is believed that this variation was adopted by an early Bishop of Lichfield after he made a pilgrimage there.
LIMESI - Gules an eagle displayed or. Sir Piers de Limesi's heraldic seal is appended to an Audley charter of c.1320. [SHC1941].
LINDSAY - Gules a fess checky argent and azure. Formerly to be seen quartered with ABERNETHY in glass and stone at Apedale Hall. [NSFC 67].
MEYNELL - Vairy argent and sable. They became Lords of the Manor of Audley in 1742. [SHC 1944].
NORTH STAFFORDSHIRE RAILWAY - Gules a square castle with four domed towers in perspective argent with a pennon on each tower, in chief two Stafford knots and in base a lion passant guardant or, encircled by a green (later blue) garter with the words North Staffordshire Railway Company. The Audley branch was opened for passenger traffic on 28 June 1880. This is not strictly correct heraldically, the arms within the garter are just the arms of the Borough of Stafford, but this device was used by the N.S.R.
PARKER - A chevron between three stags' heads cabossed. [SHC V. The tinctures are not given and it appears that their right to these arms was not established.].
PAYNTER - Azure three billets argent each charged with an annulet sable. See TWEMLOW.
ST. JAMES THE GREAT - Azure three roundels gules each charged with an escallop or. Many Saints had arms attributed to them and these arms for the patron saint of Audley church can be seen in a window in the north aisle. [NSFC 10ns].
SANDFORD (of Shropshire) - Quarterly per fess indented azure and ermine.
SANDFORD (of Westmorland) - Per chevron sable and ermine in chief two boars heads couped or. There formerly existed at Apedale Hall an heraldic glass panel consisting of: Quarterly 1 & 4 HEATHCOTE, 2 EDENSOR, 3 GRESLEY impaling these two SANDFORD shields quartered. [NSFC 67]. For many years it was in a greenhouse at Alsagers Bank and is now in a house there.
SNEYD - Argent a scythe the blade in chief the sned or handle in bend sinister and at the fess point a fleur-de-lis sable. Ralph Sneyd of Keele Hall was one of the trustees for Audley school when the new scheme was approved in 1852. [Griffiths].
STAMFORD - Argent two bars azure on a canton gules a dexter gauntlet grasping a broken sword proper hilt and pomel or. See CALDWELL.
THICKNESSE - Argent a chevron sable fretty or in chief a scythe blade gules. This family inherited the Barony of Audley in 1777. [GA]. There are some heraldic memorials to the family in Betley church.
TOLLET - Checky argent and azure on a chevron engrailed or three anchors sable on a chief gules a lion passant of the first. Members of this family were patrons of Audley church in the 18th and early 19th centuries. [Hutchinson]. Heraldic memorials to them can be seen in Betley church.
TOUCHET - Ermine a chevron gules. They inherited the Barony of Audley in 1392. [BEP]. The manorial rights were sold by George Touchet, Lord Audley in 1579. [SHC 1944].
TWEMLOW - Azure two bars engrailed or charged with three boars' heads couped erect two and one sable. This shield quartered with FLETCHER (1) and impaling PAYNTER quartering BEST occurs on the 1894 brass to Thomas Fletcher-Twemlow on the north side of the chancel arch in the nave of Audley church. [NSFC 10ns]. There are more family memorials in Betley church.
VERNON (1) - Argent on a fess azure three garbs or. George Vernon of Haslington was one of the original trustees of Audley school in 1611.
VERNON (2) - Or on a fess azure betwen three pairs of swords in saltire sable as many garbs of the field. This variation was borne by a branch of the family living at Audley, possibly by Rev. Edward Vernon, who founded Audley school in 1611, but no arms appear on his monument in Audley church. [Sms. 384].
WEDGWOOD - Gules four mullets in cross and a canton argent. The 1839 mural to John Wedgwood in Audley church, which bears this shield, but with a yellow canton, was moved c.1984 from the south arcade of the nave to the north aisle. [NSFC 10ns].
WICKSTED - Argent on a bend azure between three crows sable beaked and legged gules as many garbs or. Charles Wicksted of Shakenhurst, Worcestershire, was one of the trustees for Audley school when the new scheme was approved in 1852. [Griffiths].
WILBRAHAM - Argent three bends wavy azure. Rev. Charles Philip Wilbraham was Vicar of Audley 1844-74, and patron when his successor was appointed. [Hutchinson. See also Ormerod's History of Cheshire, vol 3, pp.54-5].
Audley, Ed. R.Speake, 1972.
BEB : J.B.Burke, Extinct and Dormant Baronetcies, 1841.
BEP : J.Burke, Extinct Peerage, 1831.
BP : B.Burke, Peerage and Baronetage, 1888.
Fortescue : M.T.Fortescue, The History of Calwich Abbey.
Foster : J.Foster, Some Feudal Coats of Arms, 1902, reprinted as The Dictionary of Heraldry in 1989.
GA : B.Burke, The General Armory, 1884.
Griffiths : G.Griffiths, The Free Schools and Endowments of Staffordshire, 1860.
H-S : C.R.Humphrey-Smith, Anglo-Norman Armory Two, 1984, pp.454-460.
Ormerod : G.Ormerod, History of Cheshire, T.Helsby's edition, 1882.
Hutchinson : Rev.S.W.Hutchinson, The Archdeaconry of Stoke-on-Trent, 1893, pp.43-45.
NSFC 59 : Transactions of the North Staffs Field Club, vol 59, 1924-25, pp.94-103, The Gerard Coat of Arms.
NSFC 67 : Transactions of the North Staffs Field Club, vol 67, 1932-33, pp.122-4, Heraldic Glass at Apedale. [The Hall was built by Richard Edensor Heathcote in 1826. The article describes the heraldry to seen there and gives the various family connections which explain it.] The Hall was demolished on 23 Oct 1934 and the heraldic glass was sold for less than £10.[NSFC vol 69 p.79]
NSFC 10ns : Transactions of the North Staffs Field Club, vol 10 new series, 1984-85, pp.36-7, Heraldry in Audley Church.
SHC III : Staffordshire Historical Collections, vol III, Visitation of Staffordshire 1583.
SHC V : Staffordshire Historical Collections, vol V part 2, Visitation of Staffordshire 1614 and 1663-4.
SHC IXns : Staffordshire Historical Collections, vol IX new series, pp.245-268, The Parentage of James de Audley K.G., esp. pp.266-8.
SHC 1941 : Staffordshire Historical Collections, 1941, pp.171-181.
SHC 1944 : Staffordshire Historical Collections, 1944, Survey of Audley by Richard Parrott, 1733, with an introduction.
SMs.252 : William Salt Library, Stafford. Church notes copied from a document at the Bodleian Library, Oxford. Audley is on pp.59-63.
SMs.384 : William Salt Library, Stafford. pp. 245, 266 and 283.