British Ancestry

When I was a boy, with a passion for heraldry, spending summer holidays recording coats of arms in Sussex churches, I would often cycle over to stay with my Godfather, The Ven. Julian Bickersteth who was Archdeacon of Maidstone and Canon Treasurer of the Cathedral. He introduced me to the formidable but kindly Miss Margaret Babington who was Sterward of the Friends of Canterbury Cathedral. Margaret encouraged me to continue the work on a new survey of the heraldry in the Cathedral pioneered by Scarlett in the sixteenth century, Willement in the nineteenth, and Messenger in the twentieth. Hugh Stanford London had been my mentor and guide through my early years, persuading me not to accept office in The College of Arms.

Unfortunately, there were insufficient funds available to publish my survey in the same format as was intended but I have given hundreds of lectures and tours concentrating on the heraldry. Now crippled and at 80, the pleasure of meeting enthusiastic visitors from all over the world is diminished. Those visiting alone or in groups may find this Index useful. It is arranged alphabetically but I must stress that to claim any right to a coat of arms associated with you own name is a matter for strict genealogical research. I shall be happy to help:

Cecil R. Humphery-Smith, OBE, FSA, FHS
10 April 2008

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