Brownlow Coat of Arms...


Presented by: John Brownlow

In the 15th century a new set of changes relating to personal, or family Coats of Arms began. King Henry V of England passed laws prohibiting the Knights and others from freely designing & bearing of personal Coats of Arms (or "ARMORIAL BEARINGS"). In 1483, The Heralds College of England was established by King Edward IV of England to oversee and regulate the granting og Coats of Amrs to all who wished them. With this new "FORMAL" system of regulation, also came laws associated with it - some of which were developed relating to the fact that Coats of Arms were not only for individual identificationfor battle purposes, but now involved inherited family idenitfication and social status as well.

As far as inheriting goes, the first born male of a family may inherit his father's Coat of Arms unchanged, but any subsequent sons must make some form of change to them or adopt an entirely new Coat of Arms. The daughters on the other hand usually incorported their family's Coat of Arms in with their husband's. This incorporating of COats of Amrs is seen in many partitioned, or quatered Coats of Arms, and as seen among most of the European Royal Armorials.

The evolution of the Brownlow Coat of Arms changes each successive generation or son of a generation and with the splitting of the English and Irish arms of the family.

The coat of arms above the pediment on Belton House is a quartering of the Brownlow & Cust arms. Cust - top left & bottom right, Brownlow - top right & bottom left.

According to that Ipswich Society Belton House has been the home of the Brownlow family for over 300 years. It was designed by the gentleman architect William Winde and built between 1685 and 1688 for "Young" Sir John Brownlow(3rd Baronet, 1659 1697). Built on an H-plan it has a hipped roof with dormer windows and an elegant cupola. Between projecting wings a broad flight of steps leads up to the main doorway, above which is a pediment with the Brownlow coat of arms. It can be assumed the arms belonged to the original builder of the house and it may have been changed. Looking at Mike Brownlow's "window" picture, the coat of arms in not like that on the house so ownership can not be determined.

(This is most likely shown in Mike Brownlow's photo.)

in addition the Saloon, a formal reception room, contains a beautiful Aubusson carpet commissioned by the 1st Earl and the Tyrconnel Room has a painted floor incorporating the Brownlow greyhound crest and coat of arms.

In 1593 Richard Brownlow evidently thouglht the time had come to establish his right to bear arms, and he obtained from Robert Cook, Clarelicieux, a confirmation of the arms borne by his family, or an escutcheon within an orle of martlets sable, and received the grant of a greyhound for his crest.



Not content with this, Richard Brownlow in 1602 obtained from William Segar, Norroy King of Arms, the grant described at the end of Chapter I., the chief object of which appears to have been to establish his right to quarter the arms of Panelly, a right never exercised by his descendants.

Another branch of the Brownlows of Nottinghamshire settled in Ireland early in the seventeenth century, which is now represented by Lord Lurgan. The Brownlows of Lurgan always believed themselves to be related to the Brownlows of Belton near Grantham, and for many years carried the same arms and crest. In 1839, when a peerage was granted to Mr. Charles Brownlow of Lurgan, it being found impossible to prove his right to bear these arms, the Heralds only granted him the old Brownlow coat with a difference in the field, Per pale Or and Argent, an escutcheon within an orle of martlets sable.

Per Pale Or and Argent refers to the split shield represented on this site as the 'Irish' coat of arms. Half the shield is gold (Or) and half silver (argent). In heraldry, PER PALE is divided vertically across the middle of the shield. One way of remembering the difference is to consider the word impale, or to think of a fence with wooden palings, both of which words come from the same source. fotw.net and heraldica.org topics for more info on heraldry.

The greyhound was part of the arms granted to Richard Brownlow around 1593. This would appear to clearly predate the picture of greyhound "Master McGrath" shown as 1869. It could be that the Irish branch gravitated to this animal for sport because of the association with it on the coat of arms.It would therefore appear that the 'real' (English) Brownlow coat-of-arms is Or an escutcheon within an orle of martlets sable, and a greyhound crest.

If you take a close look at the photo on Mike's site of Sir John Brownlow's memorial plaque, it matches the heraldic decription above. You should also note the peculiar shape of the shield and the number of birds (martletts) on it. Some versions of the coat of arms show more than 8 martletts.

Mike Brownlow's example of the crest and the one you show as the "English" coat of arms is probably something other than the Brownlow crest, perhaps the Cust(?) family. Another you have on your site - second from bottom - is described as an IRISH version but is actually very close to the English version.Note the Irish version has the split shield (Gold & Silver halves). Only the English version should show the Greyhound crest.

Expanding the picture of the crest from Sir John's wall to recreate it as close to original - including the shape of the shields etc.




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