by Michael P Bodman [1]


MS “Norfolk 44, 9” was registered c.1968 at the College of Arms, London. The manuscript shows the descent of Nathaniel Littleton of Accomack and Northampton Counties, Virginia (will dated 12 April 1654) from Sir Henry Grey (d.13 Jan 1449/50) and his wife Antigone, illegitimate daughter of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester. Nathaniel Littleton is one of only three known immigrants to British colonial America who have traceable descent from King Henry IV of England. This article gives an armorial for MS “Norfolk 44, 9” along with some additional biographical details.

Foundations (2014) 6: 53-68      © Copyright FMG and the author

PDF version



A remarkable manuscript at the College of Arms, in London, was researched and prepared by a retired US Naval Captain and his wife.[2] MS “Norfolk 44, 9” was registered at the college c.1968 and shows the descent of Nathaniel Littleton of Accomack and Northampton Counties, Virginia (will dated 12 April 1654) from Sir Henry Grey (d.13 Jan 1449/50) and his wife Antigone, illegitimate daughter of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester.[3] The manuscript is of medieval genealogical interest because Nathaniel Littleton is one of only three known immigrants to British colonial America who have traceable descent from the first Lancastrian king of England, Henry IV (1399-1413).[4] Although the Littleton surname survived in America for only four generations, many female line descendants of Nathaniel are alive today. The manuscript gives biographical details - such as place and date of baptism, death, marriage(s), knighthood, IPM, and monumental inscriptions - but has no reference to any heraldic devises being used by the armigers. “Heraldry has been called ‘the shorthand of history’ for it relates in symbolic form the hopes and aspirations, the achievements and failures of our ancestors.”[5] This article gives an armorial for MS “Norfolk 44, 9” along with some additional notes to supplement the pedigree. Figure 1 below shows the contents of the manuscript in full.


Fig 1. Pedigree from “MS Norfolk 44, 9”, College of Arms




In the remainder of this article I give an illustration of arms for nine armigers in the manuscript with the accompanying blazon for each. I also provide additional biographical details for some of these armigers. The additional notes provide an historical framework for the periods in which the armigers lived, as well as arms inherited through marriage, which the armigers chose not to incorporate into their own coats, even though so entitled. Moreover, drawing from a recent article by Francis Woodman, I provide details of Sir Henry Grey’s military career and explain why his body is entombed in the Chapel of Our Lady at Canterbury Cathedral.


Fig 2. Arms of HUMPHREY OF LANCASTER, KG, Duke of Gloucester, etc.


Arms: France & England Quarterly a Border Argent.[6]

Crest: A Lyon passant guardant crowned and accolled.[7]

Supporters: Dexter a Greyhound argent collared and leashed or, Two Heraldic Antelopes argent Ducally gorged and chained or.[8]


Humphrey of Lancaster ‘the Good’, fourth and youngest son of Henry, Earl of Derby (afterwards Henry IV), KG, by his first wife, Mary, daughter and co-heiress of Humphrey de Bohun, Earl of Hereford and Northampton, KG, was born 3 October 1390. He was educated at Balliol College, Oxford, to which he give many books from about 1411 which formed the nucleus of the Bodleian Library.[10] As a soldier during the Hundred Years War, Humphrey was brave and loyal. Henry V gave command of the siege of Harfleur to Humphrey. At Agincourt, 25 October 1415, Humphrey fought gallantly, was wounded in the groin and surrounded by the enemy, his men having fled, but the King rescued him.[11] John Page eulogized, in contemporary verses, Humphrey’s valour at the siege of Rouen, taken 19 January 1418/9, “Gloucester that gracyus home From the sege of Chirborough he come, At the Port Synt Hyllarye Fulle manfully loggyd he. In caste of stone, in schot of quarelle, He dradde hym for noo perelle, But wanne worschyppe with his werre And lay hys enmys fulle nerre Thenne any man that there was Be xl. rode and more in spas. Whenn alle othyr pryncys ben tolde Set hym for one of the bolde.” [12]

On 1 April 1419, he had licence to marry Blanche, Queen of Sicily, and daughter of Charles II, King of Navarre, but the marriage never took place.[13] Four years later Duke Humphrey married, privately, before 7 March 1422/3, as her third husband, Jacqueline, Countess of Holland, Zealand and Hainault, daughter and heiress of William, Duke of Bavaria, by Margaret, daughter of Philip le Hardi, Duke of Burgundy. However, Countess Jacqueline was still legally married to her second husband John, Duke of Brabant, from whom she fled in 1421. In October 1424 Duke Humphrey and his wife, Countess Jacqueline, went to Hainault to recover her lordships but he was soon discouraged. In 1425 he left her at Mons and returned to England with his mistress, Eleanor Cobham, whom he married three years later. Also in 1425, Duke Humphrey wished to fight a duel with the Duke of Burgundy, whom his marriage with Countess Jacqueline had turned from an ally into a bitter personal enemy, but was prevented in doing so by the English parliament and the Pope. In October 1425, Duke Humphrey was in a dispute with his uncle.[14] It seems that Duke Humphrey’s personality was weak in the character traits of thinking things through before taking action, learning from setbacks, and consideration for others. Kenneth Vickers, Duke Humphrey’s biographer, states, “He was by nature a scholar, circumstances had transformed him into a politician, but no circumstances could make him a statesman.” [15] Duke Humphrey and Countess Jacqueline’s marriage was made void two years later on 9 January 1427/8.

In 1428, he married secondly, Eleanor, daughter of Sir Reynold, 3rd Lord Cobham of Sterborough, in Surrey, by Eleanor, daughter of Sir Thomas Colepepper. In October 1441, Eleanor was tried for witchcraft and sorcery, and indicted for treason as aiming at the King’s Life. She was condemned and died a prisoner in 1454, in Peel Castle, Isle of Man. Duke Humphrey could not help her without jeopardizing his own life. Three years after Eleanor’s death, Duke Humphrey was summoned to a parliament at Bury St Edmunds. On 18 February 1447, after eating his dinner, he was arrested on the King’s command. That night he fell into a coma. Three days later he recovered enough to confess his sins and receive the last rites of the church. He died 23 February 1447, sp legit, aged 56. Jane Kelsall comments, “whatever the cause of Humphrey’s death, it is clear that his destruction was planned, even if the Duke did in fact die of natural causes. Suspicion falls heavily upon the Queen, Suffolk and Lord Saye de Sele as they shared in the lands and income which reverted to the King on his uncle’s death. And is it not suspicious that on the very day that Humphrey died, a grant was made of his property to the King’s foundation of King’s College Cambridge, and other similar grants were made the next day?” [16]

Duke Humphrey’s arms are illustrated in his prayerbook c.1440 (Fig 3). However, these illuminated arms omit the blue garter insignia of the Noble Order of the Garter, as shown in Fig 2. Duke Humphrey was Deputy of the Order of the Garter in 1423, and President in 1437.[17]

Fig 3. The Arms of Duke Humfrey, in the Prayerbook of Duke Humfrey of Gloucester; date 1440


Detail from full page image, available online.[18]   Reproduced by permission of the British Library.

Duke Humphrey’s heraldic arms and badge of the Garden of Adonis are carved on his chantry at St Albans where he is buried. Jane Kelsall comments, “Humphrey had several badges, including roses, leopards, ostrich feathers, and Bohun swans, but he chose Gardens of Adonis for his chantry… At the annual feast of Adonis in ancient Athens little decorative gardens of fennel, barley and wheat were planted in small containers which were placed on rooftops. They flourished and died quickly, symbolizing the god’s seasonal movement between the earth and the underworld. In decorative form the Garden of Adonis became a symbol of human achievement and mortality. For a 15th-century Humanist like Humphrey, it is an apt symbol.” [19]

Humphrey was “cultivated, ambitious, emotional, impetuous, inconstant, incontinent, his character arouses interest, but does not command respect.”[20]


Fig 4. Arms of ANTIGONE, wife of Sir Henry Grey, Count of Tancarville and daughter of Humphrey Duke of Gloucester

Fig. 5.  Arms of SIR HENRY GREY, KB, Count of Tancarville



Arms: France & England Quarterly a Border Argent
over all a Baston Azure.[21]

Arms: Quarterly of four - (1) and (4): Gules, a lion rampant within a border engrailed argent [GREY (OF POWYS), COUNT OF TANCARVILLE]; (2) and (3): Or, a lion rampant Gules, armed and langued Azure [CHARLETON ALIAS OWEN AP GRIFFITH, LORD CHERLETON and feudal LORD POWYS];
overall an inescutcheon of pretence: Argent, a border vert
with eight escallops argent

Crest: A ram's head.[23]

Supporters: dexter a dragon wings elevated, to the sinister a hind or fawn.[24]

Antigone of Gloucester was named in accordance with her father’s classical tastes. According to Jane Kelsall, Antigone and her brother [or half-brother?], Arthur, seemed to have had French mothers,[25] however the mothers’ identity is uncertain.[26] Duke Humphrey arranged a marriage between Antigone and Henry Grey, for which Henry Grey paid £800 to the king to release him from wardship. “Antigone survived her husband, and a year after his death we find her the wife of Jean d'Amancier, Esquire of the Horse to Charles VII of France. It is a strange paradox that Humphrey's daughter should marry a man in the service of the King with whom he had advocated an endless war.”[27]

Sir Henry Grey, KB, was son and heir of Sir John Grey, KG, Count of Tancarville (also spelt Tankerville/Tanquerville), by his wife, Joan, eldest daughter and co-heiress of Sir Edward Charleton (or Cherleton), KG, of Powis, co: Montgomery, (Lord Cherleton) by his 1st wife Eleanor (or Alianore), widow of Sir Roger de Mortimer, 4th Earl of March, slain in Ireland on 20 July 1398, sister and co-heiress of Edmund, Earl of Kent, KG, and eldest daughter of Thomas de Holand, Earl of Kent, KG.[28]

During the Hundred Years War, after the city of Caen fell to the English on 4 September 1417, Henry V visited Abbaye-aux-Hommes which was founded by William the Conqueror. Seeking to resurrect the idea of a Duchy of Normandy, he started to give out lands to his followers, his brothers and his leading commanders.[29] The king appointed Sir John Grey, on 31 October 1417, Captain of the castle and town of Mortagne, during pleasure; on 24 November 1417, granted him the castle and Lordship of Tilly, in Normandy, to hold in tail male; nominated KG about 1418; on 31 January 1418/9, granted him the comté of Tancarville, in tail male, to hold by homage, rendering yearly a basinet at the castle of Rouen. Sir John was slain at the battle of Beaugé in Anjou, 22 March 1420/1, when his son and heir, Henry, was under aged two.[30] Henry Grey then became a ward of the Crown. He was knighted in 1426 aged six in recognition of his father’s war service.[31]

Two excellent examples of medieval armorial seals used by Sir Henry Grey survive today. The first (Fig 6a) has a very compressed legend, reading: “S. henri gray conte de tancaruill' fi [ie sieur] de powys 't de tilly gr'nd cha'b'lain h'editair' de narmad'.” [32]The office of hereditary chamberlain of Normandy had been attached to the lordship of Tancarville from very early times, for Ralph (Fitz-Girold) de Tancarville was chamberlain to William the Conqueror. The second example (Fig 6b) is attached to a 1447 grant of endowment of Kersey Prior, Suffolk, to King’s College, Cambridge. The heraldic arms in the seals are the same as in Fig 5.


Fig 6a. Drawing of heraldic seal used by Sir Henry Grey c.1421-9 [33]

Fig 6b. Armorial Seal used by Sir Henry Grey, Lord Powis, c.1447 [34]



In regards to Duke Humphrey’s suspicious death and the grants of his lands to King’s College Cambridge, as discussed above, one could speculate that his son-in-law, Sir Henry Grey, may have been coerced to make a grant of endowment of Kersey Prior to the college by King Henry VI and Queen Margaret, the ‘She-Wolf of France’, since his wife, Antigone, was the daughter of fallen Duke Humphrey.

Sir Henry Grey was entitled to incorporate several heraldic arms inherited by marriage into his own but, as seen in the seal, did not do so. Some of these quarters are Holand, Woodstock, Zouche and Wake.

The chronicler John Stone, a monk at Christchurch Canterbury, recorded, in Latin, the burial of Sir Henry Grey. Stone says that Lord Henry Grey, Lord of Powys died on 13 January 1449/50 in Guines Castle in Northern France. On 4 February his body was received by the Prior and Convent of Christchurch Canterbury. The following day, in the afternoon, there was a funeral procession from the Prior and Convent to the Choir, and after vespers with the three lessons, he was buried in the new work, near the martyrdom of St Thomas. [35]

Woodman (2013) explains why Grey’s body was entombed in the new work.[36] Edmund Beaufort, Duke of Somerset, was the patron of the new work, which was consecrated in December 1455. Henceforth it was known as the Chapel of Our Lady or Lady Chapel. In 1447, Beaufort was appointed lieutenant of France and governor-general of the duchies of Normandy and Aquitaine, and so was responsible for Lancastrian France. In July 1449, when Charles VII ended the Truce-of-Tours by invading Normandy, the English Parliament appointed Sir Henry Grey to head an army going to the defence of Normandy.[37] However, the English army failed to repulse the attack. Charles VII went on to gain rapid victories over the English at the sieges of Rouen in October 1449, Harfleur, which began on 8 December and lasted until the English capitulated on 1 January 1450, and Honfleur, besieged and taken 17-18 January 1450.[38]It is possible that Grey was wounded during one of these sieges then taken to Guines Castle, where he subsequently died. “His burial was squeezed tight against the north side of the empty double tomb space, and occurred when the new building was hardly off the ground. While a close relative of Beaufort and claimant to the defunct Holland title of Kent through his grandmother Alianore, it is Grey's role as standard-bearer to Beaufort and close fighting companion that probably secured his space in one of the holiest spots in Canterbury cathedral.”[39] Grey’s role in the Hundred Years War, as well as the entombment of his body in the lady chapel, do contradict Vickers’ assertion that he was a peer of no importance.[40]


The Kynastons are lineal descendants of the ancient British princes of Powys, sprung from Griffith ap Iorwerth Goch.[41]Sir Roger Kynaston was a veteran soldier of the Wars of the Roses, distinguished in the battles of Bloreheath, Banbury and Barnet.[42]There is an interesting story of how Sir Roger acquired the right to quarter the arms of Audley - Ermine, a chevron gules - with those of his own. Charles Elvin says, “In the year 1459, on the twenty-second of September, a desperate battle was fought at Bloreheath, near Drayton in Shropshire, between the Yorkist supporters of Edward, Earl of March, under the command of Lord Salisbury, and the Lancastrians, under the Lord Audley. At this fight, a valiant squire, Roger Kynaston, was present on the part of the Yorkists, mounted on his charger, and, according to family tradition, had the good fortune to slay the Lancastrian commander during the conflict. Nor is this by any means improbable, for we find that two years after the battle, when the Earl of March ascended the throne under the title of Edward IV., he knighted Roger Kynaston, and moreover assigned him the confiscated arms of Audley as an honourable addition to his own; which latter distinction was usually granted only to one who had actually slain the man whose arms he assumed.”[43]In regards to his crest, Philip Yorke says,“I conjecture his crest, an armed hand, in the act to strike, issuing from a sun in full glory, is derived from Barnet battle, and allusory to the accident, which gave Edward the victory. Sir Roger was Constable of Harlech Castle, thrice Sheriff of Shropshire, and once of Merioneth; an office then of trust and emolument.”

Fig. 7. Arms of SIR ROGER KYNASTON, of Middle & Hordley, co: Salop, Knight


Arms: Quarterly of four - (1) & (4): Ermine, a chevron gules [KYNASTON, the AUDLEY Coat]; (2) & (3), Quarterly, i. & iv. Gules, a lion rampant within a border engrailed argent [GREY (OF POWIS)]; ii. & iii., Or, a lion rampant gules [CHARLETON ALIAS OWEN AP GRIFFITH];
overall an inescutcheon of pretence: Argent, a border vert with eight escallops argent

Crest: A dexter arm embowed in armour proper, holding a sword argent, hilt or, all against a sun of the last.[45]

Sir Roger, a Yorkist, changed his loyalties and fought for the Lancastrian claimant to the throne, Henry, Earl of Richmond (later Henry VII), at the battle of Bosworth, 22 August 1485. Eight days prior to the battle, 14 August, Earl Henry wrote to Sir Roger charging him to muster Lord Powis’ men and then join him for war. He wrote, “The Kinges Commaundement to Sir Roger Kynaston, Knight. Trusty and welbeloved we grete you wele. And forsomuch as we be credebely enformed and acertaynd that our trusty and welbeloved cosin the lord Powys hath in tyme past be of that mynde and disposition that at this our commyng in to thies partes he hade fully concluded and determined to have doo us Suite. And nowe we understood that he ys absent and ye have the Rule of his lands and folkis. We will and pray you and uppon your allegiance straictly charge and command you that in all hast possible ye assemble his said folkes and Servannts and with them so assembled and defensibly arrayd for the werre ye come to us for our Ayde and assistence in this our entreprise for the Recovere of the Coronne of our Royanme of England to us of Right apperteynyng. And that this be not fayled as ye will that we be your good lord in tyme to comme and avoyd our grevest displaysir and answer to us at your perill.” [46]

The date of Sir Roger Kynaston’s death given in MS “Norfolk 44, 9,” (1492) is an error. By a warrant for letters patent given under his signet by Henry VII, in the 11th year of his reign (1495-6), the king granted unto Sir Roger Kynaston property in Stafford and Shrewsbury. George Grazebrook says that he seems to have died in that same year, before August 1496, eleven years after Bosworth Field.[47]

Sir Roger Kynaston was entitled to incorporate three heraldic arms inherited by marriage into that of his own, but did not do so. The visitation of Shropshire, 1623,[48] lists these quarters under Kynaston of Hordley as follows: Vert, two boars passant or [POWYS]; Gules, on a chevron or three mullets sable [FRANKTON]; Argent, on a chief or a raven sable [HOORDE].

Fig. 8. Arms of JOHN THORNES, of Shelvock, co: Salop

Fig 9. Arms of ELIZABETH, wife of John Thornes, of Shelvock, co: Salop, & daughter of Richard Astley, of Patshull, co: Stafford



Arms: Quarterly of four - (1) & (4) Sable, a lion rampant-guardant argent [THORNES]; (2) & (3) Argent, on a bend sable three gryphons’ heads erased or [YONG].[49]

Crest: Out of a ducal coronet or a demi-mermaid proper crined of the first, a dolphin of the same devouring her sinister arm.[50]

Arms: Quarterly of four - (1) and (4), Azure, a cinquefoil ermine [ASTLEY]; (2), Gules, two bars or [HARCOURT]; (3) Argent, a fess wavy gules within border engrailed sable bezantée [WOLVEY?]; Over all quarters a crescent for difference.[51]


Fig 10. Arms of COL. NATHANIEL LITTLETON of Northampton and Accomack Counties Virginia


Arms: Argent, a chevron between three escallop shells sable, charged for difference a fleur-de-lis on a mullet with a crescent [LITTLETON].[52]

Crest: A stag’s head cabossed sable attired or, between the antlers a bugle horn argent stringed of the last, charged for difference same as in arms.[53]


MS “Norfolk 44, 9” shows the descent of Col. Nathaniel Littleton from his great-grandfather Sir Thomas Littleton, KB, (died 1481) Justice of the Common Pleas and celebrated author of Littleton’s Tenures. Sir Thomas was the son and heir of Thomas Westcote, Esq. of Devonshire, by his wife Elizabeth, daughter and sole heiress of Thomas Littleton, Esq. of Frankley in Worcestershire, at whose request he took the name and arms of that family.[54] Sir Thomas was buried in Worcester Cathedral, where a fine tomb chest commemorates his memory.[55] On contrasting the two eras of Sir Thomas Littleton and of Sir Edward Coke, Thomas Garden Barnes says, “the real contrast between the two judges is that between the motto of Littleton, ‘Ung Dieu et Ung Roy,’ [One God and one King], with the motto chosen by Coke at his call as serjeant-at-law, ‘Lex Tutissima Cassis,’ [Law is the safest helmet]. Littleton’s motto reflected the conventional Catholic piety of the twilight of the Middle Ages and asserted a fervent, even prayerful, monarchism that had marked relevance in the England of the Wars of the Roses. In 1606, Coke’s England was no longer Catholic, and a century of strong Tudor monarchy had banished the spectre of civil war between rival royal houses; and indeed, instead had raised the ogre of a monarch so strong as to be fearsome unless restrained by the law.” [56]

Nathaniel’s family had acquired several heraldic arms by marriage. In 1641/2, Nathaniel’s eldest brother, Sir Edward Littleton, then Keeper of the Great Seal, was created Baron Littleton of Mounslow, co: Salop. In his letters patent, Sir Edward was assigned no less than nine quarterings of arms, a crest of a Moor’s head proper wreathed about the temples argent and sable, which crest had apparently originated from the family of Wescote of Devon, and the family motto Ung Dieu et Ung Roy.[57] Fig 11 shows the nine quarterings on Sir Edward’s letters patent.

Fig 11. Heraldic shield with Nine quarterings on the Letters Patent creating Sir Edward, Baron Littleton of Mounslow, co: Salop


Arms: Quarterly of nine - (1) Argent, a chevron between three escallops sable, a mullet charged with a crescent for difference [LITTLETON]; (2) Argent, a bend cotised sable, a bordure engrailed gules besantée [WESTCOTE]; (3) Or, two lions passant azure, a crescent for difference [SOMERY]; (4) Gules, a fess azure between four open hands or [QUATREMAINS]; (5) Argent, two talbots passant gules [BRETON]; (6) Barry of six sable and or, a chief of the last charged with two pallets of the first, on an escutcheon ermine three bars gules [BURLEY]; (7) Argent, a lion rampant sable and armed gules, debruised by a fess checquy or and azure [MYLDE alias BURLEY]; (8) Argent, three toads sable, a crescent for difference [BOTREAUX]; (9) Argent, a griffin segreant gules, a crescent or for difference [?].[58]

Crest: On a baron’s coronet, a helm with a torse argent and sable, wreathed sable and argent, a negro's head proper, wreathed argent and sable, a mullet charged with a crescent for difference.

Supporters: Two mermen proper, each holding a trident.


Fig 12.  Arms of MARY, wife of Sir Edward Littleton of Henley, co: Salop, Knight, & daughter of Edmund Walter of Ludlow, co: Salop


Arms: Azure, a fess dancettée between three eagles displayed argent.[59]

The arms of Mary’s father, Edmund Walter, of Ludlow, Shropshire, impaling those of his wife, Mary, daughter of Thomas Hackluit, of Eyton, Herefordshire, are displayed on their magnificent tomb in Ludlow, Shropshire.

Fig 13.    Impaled arms of Edmund and Mary (Hackluit) Walter of Ludlow, from their tomb in the church of St Lawrence, Ludlow, Shropshire  [60]



Barber, Richard. The Knight and Chivalry, 2nd edn. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell, 1995.

Bodman, Michael P. "William Tazewell, Immigrant to the Eastern Shore of Virginia in 1715: His ancestry and descent from Edward III." Foundations 5: 65-76, 2013.

Boyer, Allen D, ed. Shaping the Common Law: From Glanvill to Hale, 1188-1688: Essays by Thomas Garden Barnes. Redwood City: Stanford University Press, 2008.

British Archæological Association. "Proceedings of the Association." The Journal of the British Archæological Association 17: 54-83, 1861.

Burke, John. A General and Heraldic Dictionary of the Peerages of England, Ireland Scotland, Extinct, Dormant and in Abeyance. London: Henry Colburn and Richard Bentley, 1831.

Burson, W. “The Kynaston Family.” Transactions of the Shropshire Archæological and Natural History Society 2nd series, 6: 209-222, 1894.

Cockayne, G E et al. The Complete Peerage [CP], 2nd Edn. London: St. Catherine Press, 1920-1998.

Cross, Peter R & Maurice H Keen. Heraldry, Pageantry and Social Display in Medieval England. Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2002.

Elvin, Charles Norton. Anecdotes of Heraldry. London: Bell and Daldy, 1864.

Friar, Stephan & John Ferguson. Basic Heraldry. New York: W W Norton & Co., 1993.

Given-Wilson, Chris, ed. The Parliament Rolls of Medieval England 1275-1504, Vol 12. Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2005.

Grazebrook, George & John Paul Rylands, eds. "The Visitation of Shropshire, Taken in the Year 1623 by Robert Tresswell, Somerset Herald, and Augustine Vincent, Rouge Croix Pursuivant of Arms." Harleian Society Publications, 28 & 29, 1889.

Grazebrook, George. "An Unpublished Letter by Henry, Earl of Richmond, written while on the way to Bosworth Field on 14 August 1485." Miscellanea Genealogica et Heraldica 4th Series, 5: 30, 1914.

Hope, William St John. The Stall Plates of the Knights of the Order of the Garter 1348-1485. Westminster: Archibald Constable and Company, 1901.

Isaac, Jules. Everyone's History of France, Transl. J N Dixon. Paris: Librarie Hatchette et Cie, 1919.

Kelsall, Jane. “Humphrey Duke of Gloucester, 1391-1447.” The Alban Link Occasional papers No 6 (New Series). The Fraternity of the Friends of Saint Alban’s Abbey, 2000.

Kinard, Jeff. Artillery: An Illustrated History of Its Impact. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2007.

Millar, James, ed. Encyclopædia Britannica: or, A dictionary of arts, sciences, and miscellaneous literature, 20 vols. Edinburgh: Andrew Bell, 1810.

Morris, George. “Armorial Bearings of Shropshire Families.” Transactions of the Shropshire Archæological and Natural History Society 6 (1): 393-500, 1883.

Noake, J. "Worcestershire Manuscripts at Hagley," The Gentleman's Magazine and Historical Review (NS) 1: 716-724, 1856.

Nicholle, David. The Fall of English France 1449-1453. Oxford: Osprey Publishing, 2012.

Nichols, John Gough, "The Barony of Powys." Collections Historical and Archæological relating to Montgomeryshire, 2 (appendix): i-xxviii. London: Powys-Land Club, 1869.

Nichols, John Gough, ed. "The Quarterings of Littleton." The Herald and Genealogist, 1: 435-438, 1863.

Sandford, Francis. Genealogical History of The Kings and Queens of England, 2nd edn. London: J Nicholson, 1707.

Searle, William George, ed. Christ Church, Canterbury: I. The Chronicle of John Stone, Monk of Christ Church 1415-1471; II. Lists of the Deans, Priors, and Monks of Christ Church Monastery. Cambridge: Cambridge Antiquarian Society, 1902.

Siddons, Michael Powell, ed. “Visitations by the Heralds in Wales,” Harleian Society Publications New Series 14, 1996.

Turnbull, Stephen. The Book of the Medieval Knight. London: Cassell, 1985.

Vickers, Kenneth Hotham. Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester: A Biography. London: Archibald Constable & Co, 1907.

Wagner, John A. Encyclopedia of the Hundred Years War. Westport: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2006.

Watts, John. Henry VI and the Politics of Kingship. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999.

Wise, Matthew M. The Littleton heritage: Some American descendants of Col. Nathaniel Littleton (1605-1654) of Northampton Co., Virginia and his royal forebears. Columbia: Wentworth Printing Corp., 1997.

Woodman, Francis. "Kinship and Architectural Patronage in Late Medieval Canterbury: The Holands, The Lady Chapel and the Empty Tomb." British Archæological Association Conference Transactions 35: 245‑60, 2013.

Yorke, Philip. The Royal Tribes of Wales. Wrexham: John Painter, 1799.



[1]     Contact email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Although the author is American, he has been fascinated with heraldry since 1981. He petitioned the Earl Marshal of England for his own honorary grant of arms and received Letters Patent granting him ‘honorary arms’ c.1990.

[2]     Matthew M Wise, The Littleton heritage: Some American descendants of Col. Nathaniel Littleton (1605-1654) of Northampton Co., Virginia and his royal forebears (1997), 390, 458. Capt. John Brewer Brown, US Navy (ret.) and his wife Mary researched and submitted the pedigree to the College of Arms, in London.

[3]     Nine-generation pedigree headed by Sir Henry Grey (died 13 January 1449/50) and his wife Antigone, illegitimate daughter of Humphrey Duke of Gloucester. College of Arms, in London, MS “Norfolk 44, 9”. Kindly communicated by Timothy Duke, Chester Herald, 15 April 2008.

[4]     Wise, op.cit. (1997), preface vii, 454-58; Timothy Duke, op. cit. (2008). Nathaniel Littleton’s great-granddaughter Sophia Harmanson married William Tazewell of Northampton Virginia. See Michael P Bodman “William Tazewell, Immigrant to the Eastern Shore of Virginia in 1715: His Ancestry and descent from Edward III” Foundations 5 (2013): 65-76.

[5]     Stephan Friar and John Ferguson, Basic Heraldry (1993), 7; Stephen Turnbull, The Book of the Medieval Knight (1985), 128-9; See also Richard Barber’s The Knight and Chivalry (1995), an excellent source on knightly culture in the Age of Chivalry.

[6]     Kenneth Hotham Vickers, Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester: A Biography (1907), 452;
CP 5: footnote c, 737.

[7]     Vickers, op.cit. (1907).

[8]     Vickers, op.cit. (1907).

[9]     Vickers, op.cit. (1907).

[10]   CP 5: 730.

[11]   CP 5: 731.

[12]   CP 5: 732 (note a).

[13]   CP 5: 735 (note g).

[14]   CP 5: 733, 735-6 & 736 (note a).

[15]   Vickers, op.cit. (1907), 156.

[16]   Jane Kelsall, “Humphrey Duke of Gloucester, 1391-1447”, Occasional Paper No 6, St Albans Abbey. Fraternity of Friends, New Series, (2000), 10-13. This publication has excellent black & white photos of Humphrey’s Chantry at St. Alban’s Cathedral.

[17]   CP 5: 733.

[18]   British Library, [accessed February 2014]

[19]   Kelsall, op. cit. (2000), 19.

[20]   CP 5: 737 (note c).

[21]   Thomas Woodcock, Norroy & Ulster King of Arms [now Garter King of Arms], personal communication, 1 May 2001, in which he stated, “an illegitimate child is not automatically entitled to his or her father’s arms differenced by a baston Sable unless they are specifically assigned to that child and the forms of difference for illegitimate children are varied. According to Francis Sandford’s Genealogical History of The Kings and Queens of England (2nd edition, 1707, p.319) Antigone bore ‘France & England quarterly a Border Argent overall a Baston Azure’ and this coat could be therefore quartered by her descendants.“

[22]   The blazon of the quarterly arms of 'Gray, Lord Powys' given by M P Siddons, ed., “Visitations by the Heralds in Wales,” Harleian Society Publications NS 14 (1996), 8, is taken from the arms painted on folio 17 of the Welsh section of Ballard's Book, a manuscript compiled between 1465 and the early 16th Century (College of Arms MS M.3) [Timothy Duke (Chester Herald), personal communication].

[23]   William Henry St John Hope, The Stall Plates of the Knights of the Order of the Garter 1348-1485 (1901), pl. 28. Sir Henry Grey’s crest as shown in figure 2 is based on his father’s Garter Stall Plate Mantling, partly white and partly red with gold sprigs and margins and ermine lining, and crest, on a torse vert, gules, and silver a ram's head silver the horns gold.

[24]   George Grazebrook & John P Rylands (eds.), “The Visitation of Shropshire, taken in the Year 1623,” Harleian Society Publications 28/29 (1889), 102.

[25]   Kelsall, op.cit. ( 2000), 8.

[26]   Timothy Duke (Chester Herald) (personal communication, 2012) stated that Antigone was an illegitimate daughter of Humphrey Duke of Gloucester. The name of her mother is uncertain, although there is speculation about her identity in various sources.

[27]   Vickers, op.cit. (1907), 335-6.

[28]   Grazebrook & Rylands, op.cit. (1889) 105; CP 3: 161-2, 162 footnote b; CP 6: 137; CP 7: 154-163, 156 footnote e; CP 8: 448-450.

[29]   Anne Curry, interviewed in Chivalry and Betrayal: The Hundred Years' War, Episode 3: Agents of God, by Janina Ramirez (BBC, 2013), at 7 mins. The programme can be viewed at: All_History_Buff on YouTube [accessed March 2014]

[30]   CP 6: 136-139, sub Grey (of Powis); CP 12, 632, sub Tankerville or Tanquerville.

[31]   Peter R Cross & Maurice H Keen, Heraldry, Pageantry and Social Display in Medieval England (2002), 212.

[32]  John Gough Nichols, “The Barony of Powys”, Collections Historical & Archaeological Relating to Montgomeryshire, 2: (1869), xxvii; British Archæological Association, "Proceedings of the Association," The Journal of the British Archæological Association 17 (1861): 54-83, 77-79.

[33]   British Archæological Association, op. cit. (1861), facing p.62, plate 8, fig 1.

[34]   Heritage Lottery Fund Estates Records Project, Grant of Kersey Priory, King’s College Library, Cambridge <KCAR/6/2/95/8/1 KER/644>, reproduced with permission. [accessed Jan. 2014].

[35]   William George Searle, ed., Christ Church, Canterbury: I. The Chronicle of John Stone, Monk of Christ Church 1415-1471. II. Lists of the Deans, Priors, and Monks of Christ Church Monastery (1902), 48.

[36]   Francis Woodman, "Kinship and Architectural Patronage in Late Medieval Canterbury: The Holands, The Lady Chapel and the Empty Tomb," British Archæological Association Conference Transactions, 35 (2013): 245-260, at 247-56.

[37]   Chris Given-Wilson, ed., The Parliament Rolls of Medieval England 1275-1504, 12 (2005), 73;
David Nicholle, The Fall of English France 1449-1453 (2012), 8 and 23; John Watts, Henry VI and the Politics of Kingship (1999), 245 note 176.

[38]   Nicholle, op. cit. (2012), 22-41; Jules Isaac, Everyone's History of France, J N Dixon, transl. (1919), 61; Jeff Kinard, Artillery: An Illustrated History of Its Impact (2007), 47; John A Wagner, Encyclopedia of the Hundred Years War (2006), 46-7.

[39]      Woodman, op.cit. (2013).

[40]   Vickers, op.cit. (1907), 335.

[41]   W Burson, “The Kynaston Family,” Transactions of the Shropshire Archæological and Natural History Society, 2nd series, 6(1) (1894), 209-222, at 209.

[42]   Philip Yorke, The Royal Tribes of Wales (1799), 95.

[43]   Charles Norton Elvin, Anecdotes of Heraldry (1864), 147.

[44]   Elvin, op.cit. (1864); Nichols, op.cit. (1869); Siddons, op.cit. (1996). The arms of Kynaston with quarterings for grey are found in the church of St Mary at Shrewsbury; Grazebrook & Rylands, op.cit. (1889), 292. See Arms of Kynaston of Hordley.

[45]   Grazebrook & Rylands, op.cit. (1889).

[46]   George Grazebrook, “An unpublished letter by Henry, Earl of Richmond, written while on the way to Bosworth Field on 14 August 1485”, Miscellanea Genalogica et Heraldica, 5 (1914), 30-32, at 30.

[47]   Grazebrook, op.cit. (1914), 31.

[48]   Grazebrook & Rylands, op.cit. (1889).

[49]   Grazebrook & Rylands, op.cit. (1889), pt. II, 458. See arms of Thornes of Selvolk and Melverley.

[50]   Grazebrook & Rylands, op.cit. (1889).

[51]   Grazebrook & Rylands, op.cit. (1889), pt. I, 18. See arms of Astley of Pateshull and Aston.

[52]   George Morris, “Armorial Bearings of Shropshire Families”, Transactions of the Shropshire Archæological and Natural History Society, 6 (1) (1883); 393-500, at 498. Nathaniel Littleton was 6th son of a son of the 2nd House, who was a son of the 3rd House.

[53]   Morris, op.cit. (1883). A second crest is also assigned to the family of Littleton of Henley and Munslow, which is a “Wyvern’s head . . .” There is no surviving use of heraldic devices by Nathaniel, the immigrant to Virginia.

[54]   James Millar, ed, Encyclopædia Britannica 12 (1810), 50; J Noake, “Worcestershire Manuscripts at Hagley,” The Gentleman’s Magazine and Historical Review 1(NS) (1856), 716-724, at 716.

[55]   A photograph of his tomb can be found online in the Worcester Cathedral Library and Archive, at [accessed February 2014].

[56]   Allen D Boyer, ed., Shaping the Common Law: From Glanvill to Hale, 1188-1688. Essays by Thomas Garden Barnes (2008), 114.

[57]   John Gough Nichols (ed.), “The Quarterings of Littleton,” The Herald and Genealogist 1 (1863): 435-438, at 436; Noake, op. cit. (1856) at 717.

[58]   Nichols, op. cit. (1863).

[59]   Grazebrook & Rylands, op.cit. (1889), pt. II, 483. See Walter of Ludlow.

[60]   Reproduced by permission of “jmc4 – Church Explorer”. A photograph of the complete tomb can be found at //">> [accessed February 2014].


Back to Top