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Armorial pedigree of the Cornwallis family
Estate and Family records
AUDLEY END ESTATE, SAFFRON WALDEN
Aldworth Neville Family
Scope and Content:
Shows descents from (1) Richard Earl of Arundel, and Philippa, daughter of Hugh Lord Spencer; (2) Robert Tye; (3) William Hansard esquire; and (4) John Mepersall, esquire. Thomas Cornwallis (died 1384) married Joan Hansard, and their son John (died 1446) married Philippa, one of the heiresses of the Bucton, Braham and Tye families. Their son was Thomas Cornwallis (died 1447) who married Philippa, a daughter and heir of Edward Tirrell; their son William (died 1519) married Elizabeth, one of the heirs of John Stamford. John Cornwallis (died 1544) married Mary, daughter of Edward Sulyard, and had a son Thomas (died 1604) whose wife was Anne Jerningham. That the document was compiled for Thomas and Anne is shown by the inclusion towards the end of their miniature portraits, and by the slight change in the style of the armorials painted for their issue on an extension of the pedigree. The pedigree ends with the marriage, in 1595, of Sir Edmund Withypoll of Ipswich (died 1619) to Frances, eldest daughter of Sir William Cornwallis and coheir to her mother Dorothy, daughter of Thomas Lord Wentworth of Nettlested.
At the head of the pedigree are four armed figures bearing shields charged with the heraldic devices of Tyrell, Tye, Braham and Buckton. In the centre, an achievement of arms, set against a mosaic recess under a Romanesque arch decorated with military trophies, quarterly of six:
1. Cornwallis, Sable guttée d'eau on a fess argent three Cornish choughs proper. 2. Bucton, Sable three bars gemelles argent, on a canton of the last a crescent of the field. 3. Braham, Sable a cross fleury or. 4. Tye, Argent a bend between six crosses crosslet fitchée sable. 5. Tirrell, Argent two chevrons azure within a bordure engrailed gules, a crescent for difference. 6. Stamford, Azure a chevron between three storks argent membered gules. Crest. On a mount vert a stag lodged reguardant argent attired or gorged with a chaplet of laurel vert and vulned on the shoulder gules.
Beneath the achievement is the monogram I.M. [probably the artist's initials] enclosed in an elaborate design of foliage and monsters, and flanked by two frogs. The name of each person mentioned in the pedigree is encircled by an elaborate strap-work pattern from which the appropriate coat of arms is pendant. There are 62 painted coats of arms, among them Sergeaux, Vere, Marney, Butler (John Butler married Joan Mepersall, one of whose descendants married John Stamford), Leventhorpe, Sheldon, Aucher, Kellaway, Jerningham, Blennerhassett and Neville. The main lines of the descents are shown by trailing branches of vine, oak, honeysuckle and rose. When two families are united, the appropriate floral emblems become intertwined to produce the phenomenon of acorns or honeysuckle growing on a vine. There are several large cartouches with strap-work ornament, flowers, fruit, human figures and animal masks, apparently intended for remarks about persons named in the pedigree.
Dates of Creation:
1560 ('Anno MDLX' at head)
The pedigree came into the possession of the Braybrooke family through the marriage of the 3rd Baron Braybrooke (1783-1858) with Jane, eldest daughter and co-heir of Charles, 2nd and last Marquess Cornwallis.
Parchment; entirely in colour.
96 x 30 inches.
This description is based on that published in 'Heraldry in Essex. A selective catalogue of armorial pedigrees and objects in public and private custody exhibited in honour of the coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second' (Essex County Council, Chelmsford 1953).