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Colours and coats of arms

Posted: Sat Jan 14, 2006 7:10 pm
by Tod
Does any know where I might find the correct coat of arms for the Stuarts from the mid 18th century.
So far I mailed Lord Lyons office and got no reply, and the only one I've found is in an Osprey book and based on the modern coat of arms for Scotland, which I'm not sure is correct for 1745.
This is for my Regts new colour so any help would be appreciated.

Posted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 9:52 pm
by Foxe
At the risk of sounding fascetious, which Stewarts are you looking for?

Posted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 11:56 pm
by Tod
King James' family coat of arms.

Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 2:44 pm
by Foxe
Technically the Stuarts were not entitled to fly the Royal flag in 1745, but that probably wouldn't have bothered those toerags. In Scotland they'd probably have flown a flag with the Scottish arms (yellow with a big red pussy cat) in the first and fourth quarters, the arms of England and France quartered in the second quarter and the arms of Ireland in the third quarter. The Scottish arms may or may not have included a tresure flerury couter-fleury (the double thin border with squiggly bits).

However, if you're looking to make a regimental flag rather than a personal flag for the old wossname then you'd probably be better off with the arms of Clan Stuart (of which the pretenders were still head IIRC) and which would be far more likely to be in use than the Royal arms.

It was Or, a fesse checky argent and azure. In layman's terms, yellow with a broad checkered horizontal bar in blue and white.

Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 5:09 pm
by Tod
I'll ignore the first comment.
This is for my Jacobite Regt - John Roy Stewarts.
Col Stewart was proud of his link to the Royal Stuart (Stewart) family and used the family coat of arms as his colour on a white background. He also used the Kincardine arms on a green background, but that is really complicated as it dates back 200 years prior to the '45 and there is no real record of what would be correct.

Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 6:11 pm
by Foxe
Ah, well you asked for "King James' Family..." the Pretenders would probably have flown the Royal arms, despite not having proper entitlement to it which i Scotland would usually have been as I described, while in England it would have had the English and French arms quartered in the first and fourth quarters and the Scottish in the second.

But probably what you're looking for is the Stewart CofA which is the second I described. Are you sure it was on a white field though? Gold on white is a heraldic fashion crime.

Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 4:28 pm
by Tod
Every reference I can find says a white background. I also spoke to a guy who has written a book on JRS (which will be in print this year he hopes) he also thinks it was white. Many C18 regt colours used yellow for gold and grey for silver (so I'm told) maybe that explains it.

What I'm after is an accurate picture for the maker of our colour to copy.

Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 10:09 pm
by Mark P.
If i remember correctly you should not have metal on metal or colour on colour in heraldry.
The metals are gold = yellow and silver = white.
The only exception is I think the pope who gets a yellow and white flag.


Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 10:40 pm
by Foxe
white and silver are considered the same thing heraldically, are are yellow and gold. You're quite right about not putting metal on metal (silver and gold), or colour on colour. The simple and sensible reason is that from any kind of distance it'll all merge into one nondescript blob.

Of course, regimental colours are not heraldry so the rules (which are more...guidelines anyway) don't necessarily apply. Also, if you wanted to put a yellow shield on a white banner you could simply edge the shield with a colour (blue would match the blue checky fesse) which would define the shield.

With such a simple coat of arms as the Stewarts there's no such thing as a wrong way of doing it, provided the essential elements are all there: the yellow field, and a broad horizontal bar in blue and white check. Even if you found a 1745 picture of the Stewart arms that wouldn't necessarily exclude the possibility of variants, though the only variant I can think of as possible would be the width of the fesse and the precise arrangement of the checks.

Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 11:57 pm
by Tod
So this should be correct? taken from a heraldry book.

Posted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 12:19 am
by Foxe
I would be very surprised if your man had that on his flag. The Royal arms were only flown by well, Royalty, or those acting specifically on behalf of the monarch (Lord Admirals spring to mind). Even princes and other Royal relatives would not have been allowed to use that coat of arms.

Although that coat of arms was first used by the Stuarts (being the first kings of England and Scotland) it is in fact the coat of arms of the monarch, not the Stuart family per se, if you see the distinction. So long as the Stuarts were ruling they could use those arms, but not their hangers on. Once the Hanoverians got the throne even the Stuarts weren't entitled to them any more, though as I said earlier, they might have flown them anyway.

If the information you have describes the regimental flag as bearing the "Stuart" arms rather than the "Royal" arms then you're almost certainly talking about the "Or, fesse checky azure and argent", not the flag depicted.

Posted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 12:35 am
by Mark P.
"Or, fesse checky azure and argent"

This also appears on the arms of John Stuart Earl of Bute.


Posted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 8:59 am
by Tod
The info I've research says the Stuart coat of arms as he was proud that he was related to that family. So if the one above is wrong do you know where the there is a picture of the other?

Posted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 1:39 pm
by Foxe
Something like this


As I said before, you could have differences in the exact width of the fesse and the pattern of the checks (you could have 3 or 4 rows for example), and they would still be right.

Posted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 5:40 pm
by Grymm
Hi Tod, have you tried the Scottish Heraldic Society
Aren't the arms above the ancient arms of the Stewarts whilst they were still stewards?
Somewhere I've a picture of another version, Or a fess checky azure and argent within a double tressure flory counter flory gules. (basically the same but with the fess contained within the fancy red border round the lion in the arms of Scotland) Also are you sure it's the 'arms' on the flag and not a 'standard' which will tend to use personal badges and mottoes e.g.(and these examples are medieval) Staffords used red over black dotted with knots with the Bohun swan as the main device, Stanleys gold/yellow over green, dotted with claws with the eagle and child device.

Posted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 6:44 pm
by Tod
This is the only reference I can find, researched by Stuart Reid. I think this must be close although I don't know where he got the picture from - it's in all his books as being JRS's colour.

Posted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 6:51 pm
by RTB
Isn't that (red rampant lion on gold field, with tressure flurey counter flurey ie, the red border bit,) the colours of The Kings of Fife.

Also, is it true that Scotland flies both flags as the saltire of St. Andrew is for Scotland and the Kings of Fife is flown for Fife, it still being an independent kingdom?
Or is it a myth, like Berwick still at war with Germany,


Posted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 7:50 pm
by Mark P.
In Stuart Reid's two part article on The Jacobites at Culloden (Military Illustrated No 36 & 38 1991) the colour shown above by Tod is loosely identified as belonging to Lord Kilmarnocks Foot Guards. By the time we get to Osprey Warrior Highland Clansman (1997) the attribution is changed to 'probably John Roy Stuart's Regiment'.


Posted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 8:07 pm
by RTB
The above arms (red lion rampant on field of gold within the red border),where first recorded as being used on the Great Seal of Alexander III in 1251. From that I would say that they were the arms of the monarch of Scotland, rather than the Stewarts.
I don't have any info on the Stewart coat of arms, sorry,


Posted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 8:35 pm
by Mark P.
The source for this colour is a written list describing the jacobite colours taken at Culloden.
viz 'On a staff a white silk colours with the Stewarts Arms God Save King'

The attribution to a particular Jacobite Regiment appears to be modern educated interpretation. I'm not sure a definative answer would be possible, its probably best just to go with the info that is currently available and not make any extravagent claims for 100% accuracy (maybe 50% would be OK).


Posted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 9:13 pm
by Foxe
Hmmm, would still say that if the source says "On a staff a white silk colours with the Stewarts Arms God Save King" then you're talking about the Stewart family arms, not the arms of the monarch of Britain or of Scotland (which is what the arms Or, a lion rampant gules, tressure fleury counter fleury are). Which brings us back to the Or fesse checky azure and argent, or possibly a variant with the tressure fleury counter fleury, but I think that's a variant used by some branch or other; I think that the head of the clan used the simpler version, I may be wrong.

I'm 99% certain though that using either of the monarchical arms would be dead wrong, they're not Stewart arms, they're other arms that the Stewarts happened to use for a time. An English government source (like a list of colours captured at Culloden for example) would almost certainly not list Royal arms as "Stewart" because by that time the Stewarts had no legitimate right to them.

(Incidentally, it was Russia that Berwick was at war with, and the peace ceremony carried out in the 70s is documented)

Posted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 11:27 pm
by Tod
As suggested I have mailed I also mailed Lord Lyons office but am yet to recieve a reply.
Mark P is correct as the colour above points to more than one Regt.
I'm also have trouble gfetting to grips with all the description as I'm not familier with all the terminolgy used in heraldry.
I've been racking my brains as I remember seeing a coat of arms in a house or castle some where in Scotland that was said to have been put up during the '45, ideas any one? Maybe it was at one of the places Charles Edward Stuart stayed. Not that that helps much.
Any more assistance is more than welcome.

Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 12:52 am
by Foxe
I was a little concerned about posting heraldic descriptions in proper terms because it's not something everyone knows. I wasn't doing it to try to show off, but for the sake of simplicity. If I'd said that the Stewart arms were yellow with a wide horizontal bar in a blue and white checkered pattern that would have been fine, but you try explaining the Royal arms in layman's terms!

"Well... it's got four quarters and the upper left quarter is divided into quarters. The upper left quarter of the upper left quarter is blue with three fleur de lys in yellow, as is the lower right quarter of the upper left quarter. The upper right and lower left quarters of the upper left quarter are red with three lions sort of horizontally, but not lying down with one paw raised. The top right quarter is..."

I figured it was best to be precise from the start and explain later if need be.

Or = yellow (gold)
Azure = blue
Argent = white (silver)
Gules = red
fesse = wide horizontal bar
checky = chequered
Tressure = the double thin line going round the outside
Fleury = fleur de lys pointing outwards
couter fleury = fleur de lys pointing inwards.

Thus, the basic Stewart arms shown in the above picture are "Or (yellow), a fesse checky (broad horizontal checkered bar) azure and argent (in blue and white)". Some branches of the family added "tressure fleury counter fleury gules (a thin line with twiddly bits pointing in and out in red)"

I'd be really interested in what the Scottish Heraldry people say, please post their response!

Posted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 10:56 pm
by Mark P.
I cobbled this together which I think also fits the description of stuart arms on a white backgruond though obviuosly it is purely speculative.


Posted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 12:23 am
by Tod
That'll go down well with the lads.
"This is the new colour, the Redcoats designed it" :?
You trying to get me hung. :wink:

Posted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 11:32 am
by Nigel
sounds like a seeky price like plan to me

Posted: Mon Jan 30, 2006 10:38 am
by Tod
Latest info. I struck a black with the Scottish heraldic society. But I did find out that the arms quoted by Stuart Reid are wrong.
The more likely ones are the big colourful ones at the start of the thread. But I'm not giving up!

Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 6:16 pm
by Foxe
Out of interest, what reason did the Scottish heraldry people give for supposing that it was the Royal arms rather than the Stewart arms which were being described?

IMHO, if there's only one source, and it specifically describes the arms as "Stewart", then the likelihood is that it is describing the actual Stewart arms, not the Royal arms (which are not "Stewart"). That the source was a Hanoverian government one makes it almost certain that it's not describing the Royal arms. By 1745 no pro-Hanover government source is going to describe King George's Royal arms as "Stewart"!

If it were a pro-Jacobite source then it might be different (but equally might not), or if there were more than one source the other might give a clue. But with only one source, and that a pro-Hanover one, I can't help wondering if the Scottish Heraldry people know something we don't.

Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 10:09 pm
by Tod
This is part of the answer "As for Stewart, what Stuart Reid shows is the Royal achievement, as used in Scotland without the other quarterings. That is not a Stewart coat: it was used by the Kings of Scots long before and indeed after they were Stewarts".
There is a guy (who as I don't want to misquote I wont name) who is the expert on JRS. Every one I have spoken to with any knowledge has recommned me to him.
His thoughts are that the big colourfull arms are most likely to be the ones used. Evindence is damned near impossible to find of the colour. Unusually for me I will have to speculate a bit.
The whether they would or wouldn't idea has to be forgotten as the Stuarts thought themselves the Royal family. The colour was allowed by BPC which makes me think it was the royal colour. It does make me wonder what his lifeguard carried though.

Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 10:46 pm
by Foxe
There is a guy (who as I don't want to misquote I wont name) who is the expert on JRS. Every one I have spoken to with any knowledge has recommned me to him.
His thoughts are that the big colourfull arms are most likely to be the ones used.

Based on what though? Without good reason the word of anyone, even an expert, must be in doubt. I think there are very good reasons for supposing that the arms in question are not the Royal arms shown at the beginning of the thread, I would be interested to hear any decent reasoning to the contrary. Given that we're working from only one source the nature and wording of that source are of key importance.

The whether they would or wouldn't idea has to be forgotten as the Stuarts thought themselves the Royal family.

It seems to me that the question of whether BPC would or wouldn't have flown the Royal arms is irrelevant. The question should be "would a Government source have described the Royal arms as 'Stewart'?" Clearly they wouldn't.

BPC might well have allowed the Stewart regiment to use his arms. BPC might well have used the Royal arms himself. But a pro-Hanover Government observer would NOT have described the Royal arms as 'Stewart'. Maybe "the King's arms", or "the armes of Brittaine", or "His royal Maiesties arms", but never in a million years "Stewart".

Seriously, if that one quotation is the only source then I think you'd be making a BIG mistake to interpret that as the Royal arms.

(If I'm mistaken and the written source you're using is not a Government source then please correct me, but that was the impression I got).