Blencowe Families' Association Newsletter Vol. 20 No. 4 December 2005

The Manor of Lowick and Lowick Church windows.

Connections with the Everard and Blencowe families.

My great-grandfather John William Everard was born in Brandon, Suffolk and settled in Ulverston in the 1870's. The Everard name appears on a grave, on a memorial, and on an heraldic window in Lowick Church. The bearers also came from Suffolk - Brome and Lowestoft - but some pre-date John William by at least a generation. I wanted to find out whether the ‘Ulverston’ Everards and the ‘Lowick’ Everards were linked.

In 1736, William Blencowe, of the Cumbrian family, married Elizabeth Latus of Millom, who had inherited the Manor of Lowick. William duly became Lord of the Manor and lived at Lowick Hall. Their second son, William Ferdinando (1742-1803), inherited the Manor of Lowick on the death of his father in 1769; William F. died in 1803 and having no children, he left the Manor to Elizabeth, the daughter of his cousin Henry Prescott Blencowe of Thoby Priory, Essex. (William F.'s uncle Henry had married Mary Prescott, a granddaughter of Sir John Blencowe of Marston St Lawrence thus re-uniting the northern and southern branches of the family).

In 1794 Elizabeth had married James Everard in 1794 at Lowestoft. Thus, James and Elizabeth became Lords of the Manor of Lowick in 1803 and remained so until their own deaths in 1846. I can find no Lowick gravestone for them, suggesting that they are buried in Suffolk.

Their daughter Mary Everard succeeded to the title, sharing the ownership of the Manor and its living with her sister Caroline and a Mrs Montagu.

The Heraldic Windows in Lowick Church.

The Church contains three windows concerning the Everard and Blencowe families. The East and West windows are in memory of Mary (Everard) Gaskarth (1798-1885) and of her husband, Rev Isaac Gaskarth (1810-1877).

Blencowe arms windowThe North window displays the heraldic and religious emblems of the Everard and Blencowe families. The window carries the Arms of two families, separately and intertwined.

The crests of the Arms identify them as belonging in principle to the Blencowe and Everard families. Both sets of Arms are in shield form, signifying that they are of male members of each family.

The Blencowe Arms are depicted with a crest comprising a pierced heart between two wings and is widely recorded as the crest of the Blencowe family. It sits on top of a helmet, the style of which signifies that the holder had the rank of esquire or gentleman (i.e. was the descendant of a knight).

The shield is divided into four quarters. The original Arms: ‘Gules, a quarter argent’, i.e. a red shield, one quarter silver. Later, for services rendered, Adam de Blencow was given the right to quarter the Arms with those of Baron Greystoke, so that by 1666 the shield is recorded as having two quarters as the original Arms and two quarters blue with a white diagonal stripe in which are three chaplets of roses (“Azure, on a bend argent three chaplets gules”).

This is how the upper two quarters of the shield are shown in the window. One of these also contains a crescent. This is ‘cadence’ mark, signifying that the Arms are those of a second son.

In summary, the Blencowe shield depicts the Arms of the second son of an aristocratic family of long standing. The Everard Arms tell a rather different story. The crest of the Arms comprises a bearded man's head in profile on a striped cushion and wearing a red cap. There is no helmet, meaning that the holder was not of a knightly or higher family.

The shield is divided vertically in two halves. This signifies that a man entitled to Arms has married a Lady entitled to Arms in her own right (i.e. an aristocratic woman).

The Arms on the left of the shield are three five-pointed stars on silver background, divided by a red band (“Argent, a fesse between three mullets gules”). These are Arms ascribed in references to ‘Everards of Kent and Suffolk’. In other words, for use by those of that name but not of noble birth. That this lefthand emblem is not subdivided (‘quartered’) suggests either that the bearer was the first generation to have them or that his male predecessors had wives who were commoners. The absence of a helmet shows that the bearer and his predecessors were also commoners.

The righthand half shows the Arms of the woman who married into the Everard family. The two variations with the above Blencowe Arms are the absence of the crescent (to be expected because Elizabeth was female, and also because her father was the eldest, not second, son) and in the lower righthand quarter the change of three sheaves of corn to three owls. This is recorded as a device used by a branch of the Blencowe family (of Thornaby Park, Herts).

These Arms are therefore almost certainly those of Elizabeth's father - Henry Prescott Blencowe, first son of the above Henry Blencowe.

Everard Ulverston-Lowick links

I still do not know whether the two Everard groups were linked but I now have a much better knowledge of James, his brothers and sisters and parents and the Lowick connection. The answer almost certainly lies in Suffolk, not Lowick.

Brian Everard
Barrow in Furness, October 2005

The article above is part of a much longer piece Brian has written on the Lowick Everards and their descendants. I am sure he is right in ending that the Everard links lie in Suffolk rather than Cumbria and the Blencowe-Everard links lie there or in Norfolk. Blencowes and Everards were important citizens of Kings Lynn. Brian has also found some heraldic references that are new to us and may throw light on the origins of the earliest Blencowe arms. We'll aim to give you more in the next Newsletter.

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Blencowe Families' Association   Vol. 20 No. 4 December 2005
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updated: 25 March 2006