The HATCHMENT at Bradford-on Avon Trinity Church

 

 

 

This is a rare view of the hatchment in the Church at Bradford-on-Avon. Very few people have seen it in this light and clarity in the 100 or so years that it has hung above the north aisle.

It cannot be seen in any detail from the ground as it is high up in a gloomy position awkwardly angled so that only a slight view can be achieved by standing on the pews against the walls (sacrosanct!).

As a reminder of the relevance of this to us I repeat in part some of the text that appeared in an earlier newsletter (Number 8).

 

A hatchment is an heraldic device on a diamond shape board which is often hung on the gates of the premises of an important person after his death. This was probably the case after the death of 'The General'. Although he died at Peartree House, Southampton, the family home was still Midway Manor at Wingfield where the hatchment was probably hung in his memory. When the house was sold and the family dispersed no doubt it was given to the Church at Bradford-on-Avon for safekeeping. It has possibly been there since the 1880s, certainly it was there in 1900.

 

Regrettably it is fairly clear that this hatchment never was an official Coat of Arms and no Grant of Arms appears to have been made to Henry. It would seem that when Henry was in line for a knighthood and based on his expectations he had several Coats of Arms, crests and the like prepared for him. Unfortunately King William who favoured Henry died before he could bestow the honour. Henry lost any influence with Parliament mostly for political reasons and the matter was dropped.

However, the assumed crests and devices became part of the heritage of the family and they were used in part by the 'son of the first', etc with several slight modifications.

 

 

N.B. I am grateful to our Australian cousins who commissioned this photograph and allowed me to use it.