Arms of Richard de Cornwall


From the Dering Roll (c. 1270-1300)

Blazon: Argent on a fess sable three bezants

I’m about 90% sure that this doesn’t refer to Richard of Cornwall, son of King John, partly because the timeline doesn’t quite line up (he died in 1272, so that would put the Dering Roll on the very earliest edge of the estimated composition), but mostly because we have contemporary evidence that he bore argent a lion rampant gules crowned or within a bordure sable bezanté. I find it hard to imagine that the author of the Dering Roll would’ve fumbled the arms of a member of the royal family that badly. (They’re not the Burkes, after all.)

However, Richard did have an illegitimate son (also named Richard). He definitely wouldn’t have inherited his father’s arms, due to the illegitimacy, but… if he just so happened to be granted arms that had some visual overlap with his father’s, then what could anybody do about it? It’s also worth noting that Sir Richard’s daughter married into the Howard family, and her descendents became the Dukes of Norfolk.

Arms of Oliver Dinan


From the Dering Roll (c. 1270-1300)

Blazon: Gules a fess indented ermine

I’m assuming, due to the lack of escallops (which could have been an early marker of cadency) and the name, that the Oliver cited here is descended from the Oliver II who lived around 1120. Sadly, though, I don’t have much additional information.

Arms of William la Zouche


(1276/86 – 1352)

From the Dering Roll (c. 1270-1300)

Blazon: Azure ten bezants

It seems that William had a decent, if not especially distinguished military career, including service in Scotland and France. He was implicated in the death of Piers Gaveston, but ultimately pardoned. He had at least ten children with his wife Maud Lovel, possibly more. His descendents, the junior line, were called the la Zouches of Harringworth, after the manor William inherited upon his mother’s death in 1299. Alan’s descendents were referred to as “of Ashby.”

Personally, I think this artist’s placement of the bezants is correct, or at least the most intuitive. Specifying the position of the charges wasn’t standard in English blazon at the time the Dering Roll was composed.

Arms of Robert de Dinan


From the Dering Roll (c. 1270-1300)

Blazon: Gules a fess indented between four* escallops ermine

*This strikes me as kind of a weird number of charges, especially when the positioning (e.g. 3 and 1, 2 and 2, etc.) isn’t specified. Three charges, arranged 2 and 1, would be a more typical number.

Most of the information I can find on the de Dinan family is about a century earlier than the Dering Roll. It seems like the family split into two branches around 1120, between Oliver II and Alan de Dinan, both sons of Geoffrey de Dinan. Two other de Dinans, Rolland and Oliver, rebelled against Henry II in the late 1160s. But by the time the Dering Roll comes around, there’s not much record of any de Dinans anywhere.

Arms of William Daubeney


From the Dering Roll (c. 1270-1300)

Blazon: Gules five fusils conjoined in fess, in chief three martlets argent

Our third and final Daubeney! I would surmise that William is probably a younger brother of Ralph – potentially the fourth, if these arms are consistent with the later system of cadency. However, I’m not sure they are. I believe that the Daubeney family claims the most family members (who share a surname) on the Dering Roll.

Arms of Philip Daubeney


From the Dering Roll (c. 1270-1300)

Blazon: Gules five fusils conjoined in fess argent, in chief three molets of five points or

The Daubeney/d’Aubigny/de Aubeney/etc. family strikes again! It’s fairly clear to me that this is a differenced version of the family arms – but given that Ralph had both a younger brother and a son named Philip, it’s not obvious which of them bore these arms, as both would be entitled to bear Ralph’s arms with a difference. The timelines make me think it’s slightly more likely to have been his brother; it’s less likely, though not at all impossible, that his son would have been old enough for military service at the time the Dering Roll was being drawn up. Another (though less definite) point in favor of the brother is the English system of cadency; first sons would use a label as their marker of cadency, while the molet allegedly belongs to a third son. However, this wasn’t really systematized until the mid-fourteenth century, at the earliest, so I don’t want to put too much weight on this point.

Arms of Ralph Daubeney


(c. 1214 – before 1292)

From the Dering Roll (c. 1270-1300)

Blazon: Gules five fusils conjoined in fess argent

The Daubeney family would be much easier to research if they could settle on one way of spelling their surname, but that’s an occupational hazard of genealogical research in the Middle Ages. The Ralph featured here is likely the nephew who inherited the lands of Philip d’Aubigny, who went on crusade and died in Jerusalem in 1236. This means there is a beautiful contemporary example of the de Aubeney arms in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Philip was, at that time, the head of the family, so when he died, the undifferenced arms passed to Ralph as well.

(And yes – I found all of those spellings and more. Standardization of orthography is a great gift that we should all be thankful for, at least when trying to figure out who lived when.)

Arms of Alan de la Zouche

de la Zouche

(1267 – 1314)

From the Dering Roll (c. 1270-1300)

Blazon: Gules bezanté

The de la Zouche arms are also sometimes described and depicted as gules ten bezants in pile or 4, 3, 2, 1, including on the Baron’s Letter. This is likely just a fairly typical variation before the practice and language of heraldry became more standardized.

De la Zouche himself inherited his father’s lands in 1289, close to the beginning of his military career. He served for quite some time in France and Scotland (including a moderately disgraceful episode in 1296, when his standard bearer was captured near Bordeaux). He shows up in several early rolls of arms, including the Caerlaverock Poem, which I really should cover someday. He was made a baron in 1299, but as he died fifteen years later with no male heirs, the barony quickly went into abeyance.

Arms of Robert de Clifford



From the Dering Roll (c. 1270-1300)

Blazon: Chequy or and azure a fess gules

Robert de Clifford, first Baron Clifford, had a long and illustrious military career, beginning with fighting the Scots in 1296 and concluding only with his death in the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. The barony which is now called Clifford was originally Appleby, and Robert inherited it through his mother’s family, the Viponts. He got most of it on his mother’s death in 1291, and his aunt’s death in 1308 completed his inheritance. His heirs held the barony for the next three hundred years until it went dormant in 1605 (though it was resurrected in 1678). His arms are well and credibly documented by contemporary sources, and they still show up in armorials of English nobility in the present day.

Arms of Theobald de Verdun


(1278 – 1316)

From the Dering Roll (c. 1270-1300)

Blazon: Or fretty gules

Theobald was the second Lord Verdun after his father (also named Theobald, because of course he was). He seems to have had a respectable career, fighting at Falkirk and serving as Justiciar of Ireland. His first wife, Maud Mortimer, died in 1312 after giving birth to their fourth daughter, Katherine, who probably did not survive to adulthood. Sometime in the two years after Maud’s death, he and Elizabeth de Clare became engaged. This arrangement was somewhat thwarted by Edward II, who commanded Elizabeth to return to England in 1314. Theobald, however, followed her down and abducted her from Bristol Castle in 1316. They were only married for six months before he died of typhoid, but that was long enough to conceive Theobald’s fourth surviving child, Isabel de Verdun. Isabel later married into the Ferrers family.