Beresford Quarterings

Under the entry for All Saints, Hoby Church in Volume 1, page 29 of Drusilla Armitage’s monumental, “Heraldry in Leicestershire Churches” is the entry for Beresford relating to a stone plaque and a shield in the chancel window in Hoby church.

Shield in South Chancel Window

Shield in South Chancel Window

Beresford Quarterings:

Quarterly 1&4 Argent crusilly fitchy three fleurs de lys within a bordure engrailed Sable (Beresford), 2 Argent a bear rampant Sable armed Gules collared and chained Or (Beresford), 3 Per chevron Argent and Or three pheons Sable (Hassel).

Crests: 5 A dragon’s head Azure pierced through the neck with a broken spear Or the broken point Argent thrust through the open jaw. 6 A bear rampant as in the Arms.
Note: the dragon’sbroken spear tip through the open jaw should be Argent, not Or. The artist has erroneously shown 2 and 6 on a torse.

Stone wall plaque

Stone wall plaque

They are repeated on a stone wall plaque.




Picture24 Picture23Carved in the chancel screen the two verions of Beresford





The Chancel, when it was restored, was renamed the Beresford Memorial Chapel, (Beresfords and the Brownes who were related to each other by marriage having held the living and Patronage continually from the early 1700’s to 1949 as Rectors and to 1984 as Patrons when the family finally became extinct). The daughter of Henry Browne had married the first Gilbert Beresford in 1814 and the last of four generations of Beresford Rectors died in 1949.

Burke’s 1884 “The General Armoury” gives 2 for Beresford co Stafford,  Bentley, Newton Grange and Alsop co. Derby, Otford and Squerres, Kent albeit with the bear salient and also muzzled Or. The Crest is as above.

There are various other Beresfords quoted, all of whom use 1: The Marquess of Waterford, of Learmount co. Londonderry and Baron Decies quartering, Argent a chief indented Sable (La Poer) See also Marcus Gervais Beresford, Archbishop of Armagh, Primate of All Ireland and Prelate of the Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick (1862-1886) C.o;A. New Series Vol.II No. 98 pp 30 et seq. (Massy-Beresford “exemplified to Rev. John Mauncell Massy, of Barna co. Limerick, and St Hubert’s, Lisnaskea, co. Cavan, Rector of Kinowley, and Emily Sarah, his wife, elder daughter and senior co-heiress of the late Rev. John Isaac Beresford, on their assuming by royal licence the additional surname and arms of Beresford) quartering, Argent on a chevron between three lozenges Sable a lion passant, Or a martlet for difference (Massy). The dragon crest has a crescent Or for difference.

Viscount Beresford, extinct 1854 (granted to Sir William Carr Beresford K.B., 1st July 1811) described as semée of crosses crosslet fitchée and the border wavy Pean.

Beresford-Peirse, Bart, Bagnall co. Waterford, as above but with the bordure wavy Ermines and Pace-Beresford, Finagh Lodge, co. Carlow, exemplified to Dennis William Pace, Esq. on his assuming by royal licence the additional name of Beresford 1854.

These were those of the Viscount, quartering Quarterly Sable and Ermine in the first quarter a sword in bend sinister Argent encircled by a wreath of the last; in the fourth a cinquefoil of the third pendant from a crimson ribbon bordered blue, in the centre chief a representation of the golden cross and clasps presented to Major-General Pace, by His Majesty George III, in testimony of his royal, approbation of the signal valour displayed by the said Major-General Pace in divers actions with the enemy in the Peninsular of Spain.

Lieut. Francis C. Beresford-Drummond, 7th Dragoon Guards, 1875. The Beresford bordure is here wavy Ermine while those of Drummond are given as those of Viscount Strathallen, Quarterly 1st & 4th Or three bars wavyGules, 2nd & 3rd.; Or a lion’s head erased within a double tressure flory counter flory Gules.





Two version of Beresford in the ornamental frieze in Hoby Church Leicestershire. See Hoby Church Heraldry

The question is, why did the Rev. Beresford use two versions of the Arms of Beresford as quarterings? Were there an Ancient and Modern version (as can be seen with Villiers at 2 and 1 respectfully on my small shield), was there an earlier genealogical connection or did one of his ancestors marry an armigerous wife and just assume them?

Footnote: The earliest heraldic monument listed by the Rev. Daniel Lysons in 1795 was that of Mary Beresford who died on the 21st August 1588. She was the wife of John Beresford, a Barrister of Gray’s Inn and shows the quartered arms were confirmed in 1563 by William Hervey, Clarenceux King of Arms, to George Beresford of London, a leatherseller.

The quartering appears to be of Hassell of Hankelow and Nantwich in Cheshire and overall bear a cadency mark of a crescent which would indicate that John was a second son. Descendents of George Beresford’s son Rowland and his wife Sarah, daughter of Ralph Woodcock, an Alderman of London who came from Holmes Chapel in Cheshire recorded pedigrees with these quartered arms at the 1634 Heralds’ Visitation of London.

The question still remains – was the Rev. Beresford a direct lineal descendant of Rowland?