A Coat of Arms for the Suffolk Lindfields

A Coat of Arms for the Suffolk Lin(d)fields

Joan Corder’s ‘Dictionary of Suffolk Arms’ (Suffolk Records Soc. Vol. VII, 1965) makes reference to three Lin(d)field Arms:

  1. Lingfeld of Ipswich: William Blois (of Grundisburgh, Suffolk, died 1673) M.S. ‘The Arms of All the Antient Families in Suffolk’, ed. Rev. Edmund Farrer: “Or, two eagles displ. In pale betw. Two palets embattled counterembattled Sa.”
  2. Lindfield of Ipswich: East Anglian Miscellany 1918, p.51: “Two eagles disp. betw. two palets raguly.”
  3. Lindfield, Lindfild of Ipswich: Nath. Fairfax (of Woodbridge, Suffolk) M.S. ‘Catalogue of Arms of Many Authors’ c.1689 and David Elisha Davy, 1796-1851, compiler of vast M.S. collections on the history of Suffolk: “Or, two eagles disp. Sa. armed Gu. betw. two palets raguly Sa.”
A Coat of Arms for the Suffolk Lindfields

A Coat of Arms for the Suffolk Lindfields

I have attempted to draw the Arms from my own investigations of heraldry, although I am no expert. The one I drew (shown on the front cover) was the first one above, the embattled counterembattled, although the battlements should have been offset from each side. I am not sure of the relevant proportions between the ordinaries so I drew what looked right – my engineer’s thinking, “what looks right, is right”. Suffolk Record Office in fact have ‘The Arms of All the Ancient Families of Suffolk’ Blois M.S., as in (i) above, and page 17 has an outline sketch of Arms for ‘Lingfeld of Ipswich’ showing an arrangement of the pallets as I have drawn them. See below for raguly, which seems to be mentioned more often.

Since then I have visited the British Library, firstly on 27th March 2001 and again on 15th March and 17th April 2002. On the first occasion I used Gatfield’s Index to Davy Pedigrees Suffolk, M.S. Add. 19114 to 19156, (or a copy made by Rev. Edwd. Cookson, whose name I come across frequently as a transcriber of Suffolk Parish Registers). Each volume is about two inches thick and comprises a bound set of hand written jottings of every aspect of each family investigated. M.S. Add. 19140, LET to LYT, had on page 52:

Linfield, Lindfield
Arms, Or, 2 eagles displayed, sa, armed ‘flangued’ (?), gu. between 2 pallets ragule’ of the 2d.
Crest (none shown)
of Ipswich
See Reg m. Whatfield
Gentry of Suffolk
Capt. Gilbert Lingfield, of Ipswich”

I had a look through other names in other volumes e.g Brownrigg, Gosnold (too much to copy), Leake & Lukin, but did not have time to look up Whatfield in the time available.

On the next occasion, 15th March last, I went intending to look at Whatfield first. This is covered as one of the parishes in Cosford Hundred, all Suffolk parishes being covered by Hundreds. Each Hundred is in one or more Volumes, between Volume I & XXXVII, M.S. Add. 19077 to 19113, Cosford being in Volume XII. As there was no numerical cross-reference I guessed at 19087 and the British Library helper guessed at 19089; it was 19088! Eventually it came and lo & behold the only mention of Lindfield was on page 305:

“Gilbert Lindfield Gent burd. 4 Dec. 1692
Genty of Suffolk 1671
Capt. Gilbert Lingfield of Ipswich”

I then looked up David Elisha Davy M.S. Add.19158 ‘Armoury of Suffolk’, 1848. Lindfield of Ipswich was described as:

“Or, 2 eagles displayed, sa, armed & ‘langued’(?), gu, betw. 2 pallets raguled, of the 2nd.”

I moved on to Lucy Elizabeth Davy: ‘Arms of Suffolk Families’, undated except to say purchased from L/E.Davy 13 Nov.1852, M.S. Add. 19159. This had 1,859 described/hand painted illustrations of Arms of families including Lindfield of Ipswich, No. 211 on page 24. Described as: “Or, 2 eagles displayed, in pale, sa., armed ‘langued/harguld’ (?), gu, between 2 pales ragulie, of the(?) 2nd”. The illustration was much as my interpretation except the ragulied edges of the two ordinaries were inclined-edged embattlements, e.g. like a series of arrow feathers, four on each side of each ordinary, but offset from each other. For drawings of raguley I looked on the web, via Yahoo, searching on “heraldry embattled pallet” and at least 2 sites showed raguley as I have tried to describe above, e.g. http:// freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~jkmacmul/heraldry.

On my last visit, on my way somewhere else, I took the opportunity to look at Lucy Eliz. Davy’s work again more closely. The palets are full height. On one other Arms, Staverton of Rendlesham, that had a bend ragulie, it was described as “a bend humette, & ragulie” and it was stopped short of the corners, so I assume that my descriptions would have said “humette” if it was intended to stop short of the top & bottom. Incidentally, of the 1,859 Arms, only two others had two pales and neither were raguly. On proportion, I would say from studying her and other Arms, that if the shield is say 36 units wide the pales are 6 units wide, the space between the pales and the edges is 6 units, leaving the central width as 12 units; so the pales effectively trisect the shield. The width of either the embattlements or of the ragulys, dependent on whose description is used, is a third of the total palet width. When I originally sketched the Arms I did not draw any detail on the eagles, so I particularly wanted to look at this again. There was no detail visible on the eagles, which would be more visible if they were some other colour. Only the tongue and feet were red, not the beak or legs. I looked through the rest of the book and all black creatures similarly showed no detail, compared to their coloured counterparts, which did. The eagles are quite large, the wings nearly touching the palets.


To complete the picture on Arms etc., Joan Corder has also completed ‘A Dictionary of Suffolk Crests’, Suffolk Records Soc. Vol. XL (1998). For Lindfield she quotes from MS Fairfax (as above): “Out of a crown Sable a demi-eagle displayed Or”, which is probably a lot easier to interpret.

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