Arms of ‘Randolph Fitzwright’ and ‘Maud de Gant’

Fitzwright Gant

From p30 of Lacies Nobilitie by Sir John Ferne (1586)

Blazon: Per pale, baron and femme; the first gules two bendlets engrailed vert, the second or three barrulets azure surmounted by a bend gules

Ferne presents the coat without any special commentary, besides noting that Gilbert de Gant had chosen to bestow the earldom on his daughter rather than on his son Walter – an unusual choice for the time, and evidently intended to make her more marriageable. Unfortunately, I cannot find any evidence that either of the individuals to whom these arms are attributed existed. It does not seem that, as Ferne asserts, Gilbert de Gant had a daughter named Maud, and even Ferne seems to gloss over the Fitzwright family; it takes less than a full sentence for the earldom of Kyme to pass through the Fitzwrights and to the Umfravilles, whose male line would eventually die out. It might be feasible that Ferne mixed up the names, and meant to write that Lucy, William de Gant’s sister, brought her titles into the Umfraville family; however, the text refers to Fitzwright and Robert Umfravill, Earl of Angus as distinct individuals.

Arms of William de Roumare

de Roumare

Earl of Lincoln 1143-1153? (1096-1153?)

From p30 of Lacies Nobilitie by Sir John Ferne (1586)

Blazon: Gules seven mascles 3, 3, and 1 between ten cross crosslets or 3, 4, 2, and 1

Ferne’s herald character Paradius claims that the mascle is supposed to represent the holes of a net and marks the bearer as “most prudent and politic in the warres… had with some notable stratageme or acte circumvented the enemy.” The color and number of the mascles is also supposed to hold meaning; or means that he was rewarded with material goods, and seven (the Biblical number of perfection) means that his honor was “most perfect, and without reproach.” The cross crosslets or allegedly represented someone devoted to Christ’s sacrifice and who “esteemed of it as most great riches.” (33-4) More probably, the cross crosslets in de Roumare’s arms are a representation of his service against “the Sarazens and Infidels.” (35)