An Audley Armory

Randle Knight

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.