After a hiatus here’s Blog 11, and for my next group of blogs,
Let’s start with the Arms of Whelok is known to be ancient, however the question of when they were granted hasn’t been found and only references that were granted to the family.
The image that you see is what people traditional get to see in tourist hops:
This commercial display is incorrect but that hasn’t stopped the tat sellers and websites to a display romanticised versions of the Arms. this blog is to debunk this picture.
Following correspondence with the College of Arms they did some research in their visitation records and found as follows:
These records cover the period between 1530 and 1689 and were compiled by the Heralds as they visited each county, checking that the Armorial Bearings being used by the gentry were correct and recording their pedigrees. They also investigated the unlawful assumption and display of Armorial Bearings as well as the unlawful use of the titles of “Esquire” and “Gentleman”. There were the following references to Wheelock (spelled variously):
A Visitation of Cheshire made in 1580 by Robert Glover (Somerset Herald) records several references, as follows:-
Page 55: In a Latin document listing landholders in the Malbon/Nantwich Hundred of Cheshire is listed Alienora, wife of “Ricardi Whelock”. A further reference to her is found at Page 279.
Page 183: in an extract from a Roll of Stanley, made in 1580, is mentioned the name of “Willms de Weloc” who was one of the testators to a narrative record of the land tenure of Adam de Aldelegh- circa 13th Century.
Page 194: In a Latin document is announced the deaths of various local notables, recorded at the Feast of St Michael in 1285 and including that of “Thoma de Welock”, amongst others.
Page 228: A pedigree of Whelock and Lyversege headed by,“THOMAS WHELOCK”. The pedigree records the marriage of his daughter, Elizabetha to Thomas Worthe. Their daughter, Agnes, married Ricardus Lyvesege and the rest of the pedigree follows this line.
However, Thomas Whelock’s only recorded son,“Johannes Wheloke” is recorded as having a son of his own, “Ricardus Wheloke obyt annoy 17.H.6 [c. 1439]” and his wife, “Aleonora vernon … obyt 1400”. Their only recorded son, Thomas Whelock died without issue in 1580. There is a tricked depiction (i.e., a pen and ink drawing of Arms and/or Crest indicating the colours, or tinctures, by initial letters) of the quartered Arms and Crest of William Lyversege,. This records the Arms of Whelock [Wheloke] as the second and third quarterings and would read the blazon of these Arms as follows:-
Arms: (Quarterly 2nd and 33rd) Argent a Chevron between three Catherine Wheels Sable.
A note beside this records that the Arms of Lyversege/Leversege were confirmed, and a Crest granted by William Flower (Norroy Kings of Arms) on 24th September 1580. The Leverseges styled themselves as being” of Whelo(c)k” from the fourth generation after the marriage between Agnes Whelock and Richard Leversege.
Arms: Lyversage or Leversage, ( Cheshire) ar, a chev. Betw. Three lavers-cutters (or ploughshare) sa. (confirmed to William Lyversage, of Whelock, Cheshire, 24th September 1580)
The college then made a thorough search of the indexes of Grants made and found the following references to Whelock, as follows:-
Old Grants 1/20: A copy of the original Grant of a Crest and confirmation of the quartered Arms to Leversege which had been, by 1580, borne by the family since ‘ancient times’. This would mean that the Arms had probably been borne for at least 80 years by the family at this period.
Grants 103/187: A Grant of Armorial Bearings, dated 26 January 1937 and made to Harry Wheelock of Yatton Court in the Parish of Aymestrey in the County of Hereford, Gentleman, son of RICHARD WHEELOCK, late of Aberglaslyn in the Parish of Hall Green in the County of Warwick, Gentleman, deceased. The Arms granted were to be borne by the Grantee and his descendants and by the descendants of his father, Mr. Richard Wheelock. There is an exemplification of the Arms, Crest and motto, the blazons of which read as follows:
Arms: “Argent on a Chevron between in chief two Catherine Wheels and in base a Padlock Sable two Keys wards downwards Or”
Crest: On a wreath (Argent and Sable) “A demi Stag Or charged on the shoulder with a Catherine Wheel Gules and resting the sinister hoof on a Padlock Sable”
Motto: AD UNUM SEMPER STAMUS (one out of many. always united)
The Harleian Society volumes include information from many sources; some are held by the College of Arms, some taken from documents held at the British Library (among others) and other information extracted from Wills, etc. The Society takes information from both the original Visitation records and also from copies of these records, which may have been embellished at a later date with additional information from both reliable, and unreliable, sources.
The problem with such later copies is that, until they have been compared with the originals, their character and authenticity are quite uncertain but, according to Sir Anthony Wagner (late Garter King of Arms) in his “The Records and Collections of the College of Arms” (published by Burke’s Peerage Ltd.) it is from such copies that the editions printed by the Society, and others, are for the most part taken. The additional matter may often, of course, be both valuable and accurate but it is important to ascertain the authenticity of the source.
A pedigree of Brindley is included in Harleian Volume No. XVIII, a compilation of the Visitation of Cheshire, 1580, and it records a marriage between Alice Bressy and ”Wheelock of Carew[Crew]”. Three children are recorded (JENKIN WHEELOCK, FFOULK WHEELOCK and IDCHlN WHEELOCK). Jenkin Wheelock had a daughter, Alice who seems to have married into the Leversege family.
From the college of Arms there were also a number of disclaimers made during the Visitations of Cheshire, including one during the 1613 Visitation. This was made of the Arms of John Whellock of Beechton” in the Nantwich Hundred and means that his claim to Arms was discounted for an unknown reason.
Another piece of research from the college of Arms; The E.D.N. Alphabet:
This 17th Century Armory contains may blazons of Arms which have never been granted but which were ‘adopted’ or ‘assumed’ by the time the Alphabet was compiled during the first part of the 17th Century. There is one entry as follows: “Chech: Whellocke – A a V betw: 3 Catherine Wheels S of Whelloche.
Finally in Lyson’s “Magna Britannia” (published in London in 1808, Volume 2 page 768-9) mentions the ‘Township of Wheelock,’ nearly two miles south-south-west of Sandbach and which took its name from a family possessing the Manor in the reign of King Henry II. The heiress of the family married Thomas Worth who acquired the Manor on the death of Richard Wheelock in 1439, when he died without issue.
To conclude the Arms shown at the beginning in the depiction labelled “Whelok 1285” appear to be those of Thomas Wheelock of Wheelock although, of course, the Chevron should be shown as Sable. There is no record of their ever having been a Crest for Wheelock until that granted in 1937; that shown in the depiction is probably just symbolic rather than being an authentic Crest granted by proper authority.
The Arms in 1937 were granted to them because no connection could be made with the Armigerous family of the 15th Century.
- The College of Arms correspondence: https://www.college-of-arms.gov.uk/
- The Harleian Society Volume XVIII : THE VISITATION OF CHESHIRE IN THE YEAR 1580
- Lyson’s Magna Britannia: a Concise Topographical Account of the Several Counties of Great Britain. Containing Cambridgeshire, and the County Palatine of Chester, Volume 2