Thursday, 27 November 2014

Heraldry at Termonfeckin

Originally an article in 2007 Termonfechin Review

Plaque Inscriptions and Heraldry in Termonfeckin Parish


(Seamus Bellew and Declan Quaile)




The present Church of Ireland (St Fechin’s) at Termonfeckin was built in 1792 to the design of Francis Johnston, with a tower and wooden spire. A broach spire of limestone ashlar was designed by another Armagh architect, Samson Jervis. It was erected after 1903, when Elizabeth Jane Brabazon bequeathed £2,000 towards its construction (Casey and Rowan 1993, 498). The inscriptions appearing on the monuments and brasses inside the church now follow.


Brabazon (Wallop & second wife, Margaret Crane)

Sacred to the memory of Wallop Brabazon of Rath Esqr. who departed this life on the 28th day of October 1831 aged 61 years. “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord” His piety was deep and earnest tho unobtrusive while his conduct throughout an active and useful life gave unvarying evidence of the practical Christian. He was an affectionate husband, a tender father, a kind master, a humane and impartial magistrate, a liberal and indulgent landlord, possessing a mind richly informed and variously gifted with an open and generous heart, courteous manners and a cheerful social disposition. He was highly estimable as an acquaintance, invaluable as a friend. This monument erected by his afflicted widow affords a very inadequate testimony of his endearing worth and of her enduring affection.

(Below on a separate plaque)

Also to the memory of Margaret widow of the above Wallop Brabazon Esq. and daughter of William Crane Esq. She was married 17th Nov. 1810 and died 4th Dec. 1864, aged 75. Her remains lie in the catacombs in Kensal Green cemetery. Of her twelve children nine survive who mourn the loss of a most tender and devoted mother.


Brabazon (Elizabeth Jane)

This tablet is erected to the memory of Elizabeth Jane Brabazon of Rath House, who died at Nice 19th March 1903, aged 74. She left liberal offerings for this parish including two thousand pounds for the erection of the present church tower and spire. All her bequests being to the glory of God, and in memory of her father the Rev. William Brabazon, her eldest brother Dupre Alexander Brabazon and herself. “Lord, I have loved the habitation of Thy house.” Ps. xxvi


Brabazon (Revd. William)

In loving memory of Revd. William Brabazon late rector of Sydden, Co. Meath and of Rath House in this parish. Born 6th May 1798. Died 13th Sept. 1882. And of Georgina, his wife. Born 10 August 1800. Died 29th Sept 1884. This tablet is erected in sure & certain hope of a happy reunion by their surviving son and daughter. (Brass)


Brabazon (Jane Du Pre, first wife of Wallop)

In a vault near this church lie the remains of Jane, wife of Wallop Brabazon, of Rath, Esqre. She was daughter of the late Josias Du-Pre, of Wilton-Park, in Buckinghamshire, Esqre. She was born on Saturday the 9th of May, 1769, was married on Saturday the 19th of March, 1796 and departed this life at Hung Road, near Bristol, on Friday the 21st of Novr 1800, aged 31 years & 6 months, leaving two sons and two daughters.   


Brabazon (Anthony & wife Mary Donagh)

Near this lie the remains of Anthony Brabazon of Carstown Esqr. who died the 6th of July 1771 aged 72. He married Mary daughter of Phillip Donagh Esqr. who erected this monument of her love & regard to his memory. Captain James Brabazon father of the sd Anthony married Mary daughter of Henry Colley of Castle Carberry Esqr. He was 6th son of James Brabazon the second son of Sr Anthony Brabazon, brother to the First Earl of Meath. Also in the same tomb lie the remains of Mary relict of the aforesaid Anthony. She departd this life the 15th day of July 1793 aged 84 years.


Plate 1: The monument of Anthony Brabazon and his wife Mary.



To the memory of Thomas Hawkshaw, late of the 5th regt of foot who died 22d Jan 1793 aged 42 years. Also to the memory of his son John William, Lieut in the 90th regt. Born 11th Octr 1785, and died 14th Novr 1812. And of his son Thomas, who was born 9th Decr 1788 and died in 1802. And of his son Wallop Brabazon Hawkshaw, late Lieut of the Vigo man of war, who was born 30th June 1790, and died 30th Septr 1813. Captain Thomas was son to the Revd. John Hawkshaw of the Co. of Monaghan. His widow Vincentia, daughter of Wallop Brabazon Esqr, has erected this monument to the memory of her husband and all her offspring. Also to the memory of Vincentia, widow of the above Captain Hawkshaw. She died 1st Feby 1825, aged 78. 



Sacred to the memory of Alexander McClintock of Newtown House Esq. who died Dec. 14th 1796 aged 50 years. And Mary his wife, daughter of Samuel Perry of Perrymount, Co. of Tyrone Esq., who died Feby 9th 1817 aged 55 years. In the same vault in the adjoining churchyard are also deposited the remains of Jane their eldest daughter, relict of Henry Bird Esq. Major of the 18th or RI regt of infantry, who died April 22nd 1811 aged 28 years. And of her infant son Henry who died Octbr 7th 1810 aged 9 months. Also the remains of Maria Catherine their second daughter who died Augt 20th 1837 aged 46 years. Also the remains of Jane, wife of Samuel McClintock Esq. their second son. She was the third daughter of Col. L. Lane of the Honble E.I. Compys Service and died Novbr 21st 1837 aged 36 years. Her son Alexander who died August 15th 1822 aged 5 months rests beside her.   


Pentland (George)

To the memory of George Pentland Esqr of Black Hall in this parish who died on the 17th of August 1834 aged 64 years. And to Mary his wife who died on the 24th of September 1832 aged 55 years. Also to Robert their eldest son who died on the 5th of September 1832 aged 36 years.


Plate 2: The Pentland monument.


Pentland (George Henry)

To the memory of George Henry Pentland of Black Hall who died 20th June 1882 aged 82 years. He married firstly Rebecca, eldest daughter of Wallop Brabazon of Rath House who died 22nd Oct 1844, leaving one daughter. And secondly Sophia Mabella, second daughter of the Revd. Alexander Johnstone Montgomery of Beaulieu who died 17th August 1897, leaving four sons and two daughters by whom this tablet is erected in loving memory of their parents. (Brass)


Pentland (Augustus)

In memory of our beloved brother Augustus Tichborne Pentland died 5th June 1900, aged 43 years. (Brass)




As a system, heraldry arose in the early twelfth century in response to the need for a means of identifying knights in the battlefield; they were clad in mail (body armour) from head to toe. The term coat of arms usually refers to the device on the shield but also recalls the practice of repeating this on the surcoat worn over the armour (Crotty 1997, 6).


After medieval times heraldry lost its practical use, nevertheless families illustrated their importance and kinship with influential families through heraldry. Termonfeckin parish is endowed with heraldry mainly in St Fechin’s church and in the adjoining graveyard

. There are also coats of arms of interest in Carstown House.


Heraldry in the church:

Four of the monuments in the church bear coats of arms. The first to Alexander McClintock (of Newtown House) bears the McClintock crest (a lion) above the inscription. The McClintock and Perry impaled coat of arms and the McClintock motto are beneath the inscription. An impaled coat of arms has the husbands arms appearing on the dexter side (left to the viewer), while the arms on the sinister side (right to the viewer) are for the wife. In this case the dexter side has the McClintock arms (containing three escallops) and the sinister side has the Perry arms (containing three crowns) as shown in plate 3 for Alexander McClintock and his wife Mary Perry. The McClintock motto is Virtute et labore (By valour and exertion).


Plate 3: The McClintock and Perry coat of arms.


The Perry estates of Seskinore and Moyloughmore (Perrymount) Co Tyrone on the death of George Perry devolved to Samuel McClintock (his nephew), through his sister, Mary Perry, wife of Alexander McClintock. The Perry arms are not exactly those given by Burke (1871, 840) where a rose at Termonfeckin replaces the fleur-de-lis. The Perry arms are described as ‘azure, a fleur-de-lis argent, between three crowns, or’ (Burke 1871, 840). The correct arms can be seen on the village hall at Seskinore in the form of the quartered arms of McClintock and Perry as shown in plate 4. The McClintock heraldry at Drumcar and Castlebellingham churches is discussed in detail in Bellew (2005, 134-9). Alexander McClintock was uncle of John McClintock (1769-1855) of Drumcar who in turn was father of John, first Lord Rathdonnell.


Plate 4: The McClintock and Perry coat of arms at Seskinore.


The other three monuments in the church of heraldic interest are connected through the Brabazon family. The monument to Wallop Brabazon and his wife Margaret Crane, has the impaled arms of Brabazon (containing three martlets) and the arms of Crane (containing three crosses). The Brabazon crest (a falcon) is above the coat of arms, while the family motto Vota vita mea (Prayers are my life) is beneath the coat of arms. The coat of arms also has a crescent, a mark of cadence indicating a second son. This impaled shield is shown in plate 5. The monument in the porch, to Elizabeth Brabazon has the family coat of arms, crest and motto. The final monument of heraldic interest in the church is to Captain Thomas Hawkshaw husband of Vincentia Brabazon. Beneath the inscription lies the Hawkshaw crest and coat of arms (shown in plate 6). Thomas was the son of John Hawkshaw who was Rector of Monaghan (1740-59).


Plate 5: The Brabazon and Crane coat of arms.


Plate 6: The Hawkshaw coat of arms.


Heraldry in the Churchyard:

There are two stones of heraldic interest in the graveyard. The first is the Dillon headstone for Michael Eric, 20th Viscount Dillon, who died in 1979. The photograph of the headstone was shown in this review (Quaile 2003, 11). The arms on the headstone are those of Dillon quartered with those of Lee as shown in plate 7, also included are the Viscount’s coronet and the Dillon crest and motto ‘Dum spiro spero’ (‘While I live, I shall hope’). Charles 12th Viscount of Costello, Gallen, Co Mayo joined the State Church in 1767 and assumed the name and arms of Lee (Cox 2000, 85). He was the son of Henry Dillon, 11th Viscount and of Lady Charlotte Lee, eldest daughter and heiress of George 2nd Earl of Lichfield. The 20th Viscount, bought Rath House in the 1950s and he changed the family name back to Dillon. The family sold Rath House in 1981.


Plate 7: The Dillon and Lee coat of arms.


The second stone of interest, near the east window of the church is that belonging to Edward Kerr of Termonfeckin. Edwards wife, Mary died in 1799 and their daughter, Sarah died in 1816 (Quaile 2003, 17). Above the inscription is a coat of arms and crest. On either side of the shield are the words Anno Domini and the date 1793. The coat of arms is now very worn but it appears to be divided into four quarters and it is reasonably clear in the first and fourth quarters (top left-hand and bottom right-hand quarters) that we have three mascles (diamond shapes with a hole in their centre). The second and third quarters are unclear.


The Termonfeckin Kerr arms resemble those of Ker of Sesfuirde, Scotland, at least in the first and fourth quarters. These arms (shown in plate 8) are anciently recorded in Scotland given in Sir David Lindsays Armorial in 1542 cited in the website given below. The quarters with the mascles are for the Weapont family, obviously an ancient family that the Ker (Scottish spelling) family married into. As the second and third quarters at Termonfeckin are worn, we are not sure if they match the corresponding quarters of Ker of Sesfuirde. These quarters each contain a chevron with three mullets, this is one of the Kerr coat of arms. Whether Edward Kerr of Termonfeckin was entitled to carry these or similar arms is unclear. The crest at Termonfeckin appears to be the head of an animal possibly a unicorns head matching a commonly used Kerr crest.


Plate 8: The coat of arms of Ker of Sesfuirde.

 By kind permission of Stephen Plowman for the use of the Kerr photograph from his website (,

Heraldry in Carstown:

The house at Carstown dates from the seventeenth century. Casey and Rowan (1993, 182-4) note that the building is a rare survival of an Irish manor house, which followed the late medieval tower houses of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. They also note the presence of two coats of arms, one above the entrance (this is internal as there is no coat of arms on the outside of the house) and the other above the principle chimneypiece, both of which bear the date 1612 and the initials O.P. and K.H., which are identified as Oliver Plunkett and his wife Katherine Hussey, daughter of James Hussey of Galtrim. Oliver Plunketts father, Alexander was the sixth son of Oliver, first Lord Louth. The house is not accessible at the moment but the coats of arms were previously recorded by Fitzgerald (1906, 586-7) and by Tempest (1943, 219-21).


In 1899 Revd John Segrave, Parish Priest of Termonfeckin, took a rubbing from a sculptured stone in a very massive limestone chimney-piece in the dining room of Carstown House (Fitzgerald 1906, 586). The rubbing has the inscription IHS and the initials O.P. and K.H appearing above the coat of arms, a photograph of Segrave’s rubbing from Fitzgerald’s article is shown in plate 9. There is also a decorative feature between both initials. The impaled coat of arms of Plunkett and Hussey is within a decorative wreath. Fitzgerald also notes the legend in two lines under the arms as follows:





Plate 9: The Plunkett and Hussey coat of arms on the chimneypiece at Carstown.


The second impaled coat of arms recorded by Tempest is also that of Plunkett and Hussey. The letters IHS and the date 1612 are above the arms while the initials O.P. and K. H. are on either side. As in the previous case, the arms are within a decorative wreath. Tempest’s (1943, 220) drawing is similar to the image on one of the photographs from his collection. The photograph (shown in plate 10) now with Noel Ross shows a rubbing of the impaled coat of arms and the other features just described.


For whatever reason Tempest appears to confuse the two coats of arms. He states that his drawing was from the room to the left of the hall, on the massive stone mantle over the fireplace, but his drawing and photograph are different from Segrave’s rubbing. However he goes onto note that the same arms are carved over the Hall door. Casey and Rowan (1993, 183) note the massive limestone chimneypiece that is 9 feet wide and 5 feet high. They also point out that the chimneypiece lintel has five joggled joints and that the sculpted plaque of 1612 is on the central keystone. Tempests drawing appears to be that of the coat of arms over the hall door.


Plate 10: The Plunkett and Hussey coat of arms over the Hall door at Carstown.




County Louth Archaeological and Historical Journal abbreviated to C.L.A.H.J.

Journal of the Association for the Preservation of the Memorials of the Dead, Ireland

abbreviated to JAPMDI.


Bellew, S.         2005    ‘McClintock Inscriptions and Heraldry at Drumcar, C.L.A.H.J.,

xxvi, 1, 134-39.

Burke, B.         1871    A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry of

Great Britian and Ireland, London.

Burke, B.         1884    General Armory of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales,   


Casey, C. and  1993    North Leinster, London.

    Rowan, A.

Crotty, G.         1997    Heraldry in Ireland, Part One, Irish Roots, Issue No. 21, 6-7.

Cox, L.            2000    ‘The Dillons, Lords of Kilkenny West: Part One’, Ríocht na 

Mídhe, xiv, 71-87.

Fitzgerald, W.   1906    ‘Carstown House, Parish of Termonfeckin’, JAPMDI, vi, 3, 586-7.

Quaile, D.         2003    ‘Termonfeckin Graveyard Inscriptions’, Termonfeckin Historical

Society Review, iii, 5-36.

Tempest, H.G.  1943    ‘Two Fireplace Inscriptions 1584 and 1612’, C.L.A.J., x, 3, 216-21.






The reader is referred to the General Armory for more technical definitions.


Tinctures: gules = red, or = gold, sable = black, vert = green, argent = silver, azure = blue,

a bend is a diagonal bar,

a chevron is a rafter shape,

a cross fitchée is a particular type of cross as shown on the Crane coat of arms (plate 5), 

an escallop is a shell,

an estoile is a star shape

a fess is a horizontal bar,

a lion rampant is a lion standing on his back paws

per pale means the coat of arms is split in half with one colouring on the left and another on the right.




All the coats of arms are taken from the General Armory (Burke 1884). The page numbers are not given as the names are listed in alphabetic order in the General Armory.


Brabazon:        Gules on a bend or, three martlets sable. Crest: On a mount vert a falcon rising or, belled gold.

Crane:             Argent a fesse between three crosses crosslet fitchée gules.

Dillon:             Argent a lion rampant between three crescents gules overall a fess azure. Crest: A demi lion rampant gules holding in the paws an estoile wavy or.

Lee:                 Argent a fess between three crescents sable.

McClintock:    Per pale gules and azure a chevron ermine between three escallops argent. Crest: A lion passant argent.

Hawkshaw:     Argent a chevron gules between three hawks heads erased proper each gorged with a ducal coronet or. Crest A hawks head erased and gorged as in the arms.

Hussey:           Barry of six ermine and gules, on a canton gules, a cross or.

Plunkett:         Sable, a bend argent in sinister chief a tower triple-towered argent.




Thanks to Mrs Juliet Lush for access to the church to carry out the transcriptions, to Stephen Plowman for the use of the Kerr photograph from his website (, to Gerard Crotty for his help with some of the heraldic detail and finally to Noel Ross for access to Walter Fitzgerald’s article and for permission to reproduce H.G. Tempest’s photograph.


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