Benjamin Francis = Elizabeth (Brind)
b 29/9/1807 b 1/1/1815 bapt 28.1.1816
d. December 24, 1876 d 3/1898
1881 census
Augustus Francis Emma Francis Amelia Francis
b 25/11/1853
d 21/3/1930
Kit Frederick Henry Jotham (9/7/1845- 29/3/1925)
Return to index Skeleton of tree

Noel F Jotham, Esq
1st February 2002

Mrs John Comyn
Assistant to Clarenceaux King of Arms
College of Arms

Dear Mrs Comyn

Brind family

Thank you very much for your informative and interesting letter of December 2001. I shall need to study it even more than I have already done, before finally putting it away. If I need further enlightenment on any points and I write to you, I am sure that you will be prepared to help me.

The news about the Brind Arms, while disappointing, was not unexpected after I had heard previously from Colonel David Brind regarding his family, arms etc. Incidentally, I do not think that anything has yet emerged to show that he and I may be related. This is not surprising, as the number of Brinds (disclosed in the records extracted by the Church of Latter Day Saints), who lived in various villages in Wiltshire, is legion.

I know that there was some past connection with India in my family, through my grandmother, Emma Jotham (neé Francis) and her mother, Elizabeth Francis (neé Brind). Your extract from the 1881 British census sheds light on this, as two of Elizabeth's grandchildren are shown as born in India. Their father may have been in the Army, but more likely in the Civil Service, or Diplomatic Service (family memory again).

One of your other extracts from the 1881 census (and you refer to it in your letter) shows John Brind [probably my great great uncle, especially as living in Michaelston-y-Fedw-- and possibly the eldest child of George Brind (1770-1861)] apparently born in Wanborough c.1807.

Taking this with the Thomas Brind (1773-1845) whom I have previously shown as a brother of George Brind (1770-1861), it seems that we already have Brind connections between Liddington and Wanborough. This is because Thomas's will (dated 12-7-1843, Probate 28-3-1851) says: "I Thomas Brind late of Wanborough in the County of Wilts but now of Liddington in the same county, yeoman..." (See full text of will).

However, this is a far cry from establishing a link between my line and the Wanborough family in the Visitation. Should this ever happen, I think that it would be a good thing to record it all with you.

Yours truly,

Noel F Jotham

Hubert Chesshyre
Clarenceux King of Arms and Secretary of the Order of the Garter

December 2001

Noel F Jotham, Esq

Dear Mr Jotham

Clarenceux King of Arms has passed your papers to me and asked me to look into the Brind family and their possible Arms. It was I who answered Col. Brind's letter in 1997 so I have had his file brought up to compare his information with yours.

Thank you for sending in the photographs of the hatchment which hangs in your house and of the monumental inscription in Liddington Church, all of which were very helpful.

I am not sure how much you know of how the College works and what its functions are so I hope you will not mind if I tell you a little about it before reporting more particularly on your own queries.

Once the use of Arms had become widespread, during the fifteenth century, the misuse of Arms also became fairly common so that, in an attempt to put matters on a proper footing, the Heralds began to conduct Visitations of each county to check up on those claiming Arms, to record the pedigrees of those whose right had been accepted and to begin the process of granting Arms to those thought eligible.

There is some evidence that Visitations of some sort had been initiated as early as the fifteenth century but the rather more systematic ones began about 1530 and continued until about 1680, with most counties being visited about every 30 years (or about once a generation). Before setting out, the Heralds would make lists of all those families already known to them in the county concerned and would also seek information from local sheriffs about those known to use Arms or thought to be suitable to have a grant if they had not already received one. All those on the various lists would then be invited to appear before the Heralds at some nearby town and update their pedigrees or provide evidence that they were the descendants of armigers from other counties. If an applicant could not justify his claim to certain Arms and was ineligible for a new Grant, he was obliged by the Heralds to sign a disclaimer and his name was added to a list which was then published in his area proclaiming him to be "No Gent." as one list succinctly notes.

When the Visitations began, some families who had been using Arms for a considerable time but for whom there was no official record at the College were nevertheless able to convince the Heralds that their claim was genuine and were therefore entered in the Visitation records with a picture or description of the Arms concerned. As the Visitations continued, it became harder to convince the Officers; some families were still able to do so and received confirmations of Arms (i.e. an acknowledgement that their claim was just) while others were obliged to have a new Grant (which may have been of the Arms already in use provided they had not been granted to some other family but may have had to be something quite different).

As I told Col. Brind, there is no record of an ancient Grant of Arms to the family of Brind although there is a sketch of some Arms with the name Bren appended in a notebook compiled by Augustine Vincent who became Windsor Herald in 1624. Unfortunately, there is no indication of which Bren family nor where they were located so it is really not possible to conclude that these are the Arms of the Brind family.

We do have a reference to the Brind family in the Visitation of Wiltshire of 1623 which contains a five generation pedigree but no Arms; there is also a printed version of this Visitation (possibly taken from a copy in the British Library) which is annotated to the effect that a coat of arms was produced by the applicant but that insufficient evidence of its provenance was provided. [This was published in 1882. ] What usually happened in such cases where the Arms were not accepted was that the applicant was given some respite in which to look out the proofs and return to the Visitation party (or even attend at the College) for verification; in this case, it appears that nothing further was done and although the pedigree was recorded, the claim to Arms could not be established. What these Arms were supposed to be is not divulged in our volume. A second printed version (of 1954) claims that the Arms produced were: Argent a chevron between 3 sinister hands Sable, a crescent for difference but I do not know whether this note was made at the time of the Visitation or much later.

I enclose photocopies of the Preface to the 1954 edition edited by George Squibb which explains the differences and the sources of the various editions as well as the entries referring to Brind in both printed versions of the 1623 Visitation.

The pedigree registered at the College in our volume C.22.94 was headed by a Thomas Brind of Wanborough co Wiltshire who was married ( but no name given) and had a son Anthony Brind of the same place. Anthony married Sibell Blount and had a son John Brind, also of Wanborough. John married twice - firstly to Emme (or Emma) daughter of Nicholas Drewry of Cholsey (by whom he had issue) and secondly to Jane, daughter of Sir Edward Clarke of Ardington both places in co Berkshire.

John Brind's children by Emme were Elizabeth (who married John Stichall of Swindon and then John Low or Law), Nicholas (for whom below) and Thomas Brind of London, a Merchant.

The line is continued through Nicholas Brind who is described as the son and heir and aged 28 in 1623. He married Margaret daughter of John Olive of Gritnam co Wiltshire and they had two sons (John aged 4 and William aged 2) as well as three daughters (whose ages are not given but were named Martha, Jane and Mary). We have no further record of the family.

Augustine Vincent's sketch of the Bren family may be blazoned Argent between three hand Sable, a chevron of the second i.e. a black chevron on a silver background between three black hands (usually arranged two above and one below the chevron).

The Arms depicted on your hatchment are very similar but the tinctures seem to have been reversed (and altered) - your hands and chevron are gold on a black background.

As you will have noticed in my letter to Colonel Brind in 1997, similar Arms are recorded in our volumes of Miscellaneous Grants to a family named Brand who also appear in the Visitation of Surrey of 1662. The Arms attributed to them were Or a chevron between 3 dexter hands Sable.

There is also a reference in the Visitation of Lincolnshire of 1592 to the family of Thomas Brend or Brand of Ledersham co. Lincoln whose pedigree of four generations was entered in the Records as were his Arms which may be blazoned: Or, on a Chevron Sable between 3 dexter hands of the second as many spear heads of the first. While there is no record of a Grant of these Arms, they were accepted at an early Visitation so presumably sufficient proof was provided for the Heralds to regard them as ancient Arms.

When Arms are granted to an individual, there are rather strict rules on what can be granted. Every Grant must differ in at least two visible ways from those already in existence and before a proposed blason is approved, searches are conducted in the Ordinaries, volumes containing sketches of all the Arms known to have been officially granted and recorded, to ensure that no duplication occurs. It is most unlikely that what amounts to a 'negative' image of the Brand Arms would have been granted to the Brind family as this could have caused confusion.

What I fear is more likely is that after the Visitations ceased at the end of the seventeenth century and there was no longer much likelihood of being publicly disclaimed, many families who had risen in the world assumed the Arms of families of the same or similar names and amongst these may well have been the family at Liddington.

I have looked at the Hatchment and at the photograph of the memorial in Liddington Church (though it is not possible to know from a stone monument what colours the charges were meant to be, unless it had been painted at some stage) and all we can really say is that the Arms were being used possibly as early as 1767 (if the Hatchment was actually made then) and probably by the time the monument was erected (which may not have been until some time after 1783). It is possible that the stone was begun at the time of George Brind's death in 1722 but it is quite likely that the tablet was only made after both Walter and Benjamin were dead. I do not know whether it was customary to make a Hatchment to commemorate a marriage - most seem to have been associated with the deaths and funerals of armigers. What we can say with some certainty is that these Arms were not those of Brind and had not been granted officially to that family.

I am sorry to say that I cannot tell you anything about the crest shewn on the Hatchment except that it is, as you say, a fish. Nowadays, when the Heralds are designing Arms, they do try to make some references in the blason to the applicants achievements, interests or background so the selection of a fish may have alluded to an interest in the sea but might equally have indicated that he originated from a town or city whose Arms included a fish or even that he liked fishing.

Finally, I was very interested in your pedigree and decided to have a look in the 1881 Census to see if I could find some of the people mentioned. I have not made an exhaustive search but I did locate your great-great-aunt Emma Brind (the widow of Joseph Brind) who was living aged 57 at Mount Pleasant in Llangattock near Monmouth with her daughters Florence (aged 21) and Anne (aged 16) as well as a son George (aged 16). Also in the household were Emma's grandson Harold S Burnell Brind aged 6 and her nephew John Roberts aged 32. All of them had been born in Monmouthshire.

Your great-great-uncle John Brind was living at Woodval House, Michaelstone Y Vedw in Monmouthshire in the household of his daughter Mary Jane, the wife of William Rowlands who was a farmer.

Of greater interest is your great-grandmother Elizabeth (Brind) Francis who was living at 37 Wyndham Crescent, Llandaff co Glamorgan as a 66 year old widow with her sons Augustus (29) and William (21) and three grandchildren - Francis L G Baden (aged 17, born Wiltshire), Annie Ellis (11) and Francis U Ellis (10) both born in India. While John Brind said he was born in Wanborough, Elizabeth said she was born in Michaelston (which I presume was Michaelstone Y Vedw). I enclose copies of some pages from the Census for your notes, I am sorry that I can not give you more cheerful news about the Brind Arms. It is very disappointing when you think you have discovered that your family was armigerous and then find out that they were not. However, it is not alas all that uncommon which shews that the Visitations had perhaps served a useful purpose in their day.

My husband's family had a similar discovery in the early 19th Century, as I told Col. Brind, and were dismayed to find that the Arms rather prominently displayed on their spoons and forks had been stolen from a West Country family named Barney to whom they were totally unrelated. Luckily for us, the Barneys were known to be extinct and so rather similar Arms could be granted officially to the somewhat chastened Burney family. However, it looks as though they too will soon become extinct --the head of the family has adopted children only while some of the other male members are still unmarried at nearly 50 years of age.

I hope your pedigree research continues to go well. Should you ever manage to establish the link between the Wanbrough family in the Visitation and your own line and wish to record it all here, we should be happy to advise you.

Yours truly

Mrs John Comyn Assistant to Clarenceux King of Arms

College of Arms, Queen Victoria Street, London EC4V 4BT

Tel & fax: 020 -7248 1137

Noel F Jotham, Esq

4th February 2002

Dear David

Thank you for your letter of 30th January 02, with enclosures, and for previous letter. YOu have set out well the pedigree of Brind of Wanborough & Stanton Fitz-Herbert, which may well repay studying. I think it is rather unlikely that I shall make the effort required to view the Court Rolls and Books.

I don't know whether I told you that I paid a visit to Liddington (while staying at Trowbridge) not so long ago. I had not intended to call at the Manor House, but as things turned out, I did a nd was invited in by the owner/ occupier, Lord Joel Joffe, who was very helpful. He rang a Mr Archer and arranged with him to meet me at the church and let me go into the church building, where I saw the Brind memorials. Before I left the Manor House, Lord Joffe and myself had a short conversation. He did not know much about the history of the house or that any Brinds had lived there (I don't think that he has lived there very long). He agreed with me that there did not seem to be any evidence on the house frontage of there having been any Arms there, nor evidence of any Portico that might have been pulled down (the house has no Portico now).

He was able to show me some photographs (framed) of the building. I don't know how old these were. I have since written to him sending him a photograph of the hatchment in my possession and giving him other information, including a copy of the family tree. He has since replied, saying that if he ever finds the (or a) coat of arms he will let me know. I had suggested to him that these coats of arms are often seen in or above fireplaces ( and I could see that there was an old fireplace up on the next floors), so I think we can take it that the arms are not a feature there.

I have also since written to Mr Archer giving him a lot of information, as he is a member of a local history society.

You may certainly pass a copy of my family tree to Mr Jonathan Brind. As a result of information from Mrs John Comyn, assistant to Clarenceux King of Arms, the tree needs redrafting to include further descendants and to show John Brind married to Gwenny, with a daughter Mary Jane Baptised 5.1.1845 as possibly the second child of George (1770-1861) and Ann. Unfortunately I do not seem to be able to find time (!) to do this at present. I have pleasure in sending you copies of letters recently received from Clarenceux King of Arms and his Assistant, and copies of my replies thereto. The College of Arms conclusions are really as expected by make interesting reading.

Best wishes for 2002



Liddington Manor (postmark date 13th November 1908) Thanks to Eric Bizley. From, where I live in Wiltshire.

A portico is a porch leading to the entrance of a building, or extended as a colonnade, with a roof structure over a walkway, supported by columns or enclosed by walls. This idea first appeared in ancient Greece and has influenced many cultures. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia

Strangely gravestones at All Saints, Liddington, dating back to the 18th century, show a different view of the Brind crest from Vincent's Ordinary.

Joel Goodman Joffe, Baron Joffe CBE is a crossbench peer in the House of Lords. Born in South Africa in 1932, he was educated at the University of Witwatersrand (BCom, LLB 1955), and worked as a human rights lawyer 1958-65, including, at the infamous 1963-4 Rivonia Trial, representing Nelson Mandela. Later he moved to the United Kingdom, and worked in the financial services industry, as well as the voluntary sector. He was associated with Oxfam in various roles between 1982 and 2001, including being its Chair 1995-2001. He was awarded the CBE in 1999, and made a Life peer on 16 February 2000, being raised to the peerage as Baron Joffe, of Liddington in the County of Wiltshire. In February 2003 [1] he proposed as a Private Member's Bill the "Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill" [2], which would legalise physician-assisted dying. After deliberation by a Lords committee, the bill was put forward again in November 2005.

On 12 May 2006 the Bill was debated once again in the House of Lords and an amendment to delay its introduction by six months was carried by a margin of 148-100.From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia