The Arms of Goostrey
(of Goostrey, County Chester)
Arms: Argent a Chevron between three Squirrels
Crest: A stag's head erased Or
The Arms: Argent a
between three Squirrels sejant Gules, were attributed
to Goostrey in the book entitled The Vale Royal of England published by
Daniel King in 1656 (1), and more
have again reappeared alongside the name of Goostrey in Burke’s General
and Fairburn’s Book of Crests (3). Yet despite
extensive search on my behalf by Mr. W.G. Hunt, Windsor Herald (4),
it would seem that from the Tudor period to the present day, no family
with the surname Goostrey, Gostre or De Gostre has been recorded as
entitled to bear Arms. Those same Arms appear in Burke’s against
the names of Kinsey(5), Eaton(6)
and (with a slight variation) Twemlow(7), all of
are linked by blood to Goostrey.
Despite having Arms
in The Vale Royal of England, Goostrey
appears to have avoided or ignored the Herald’s Visitations of 1663 - 4
completely. At the visitation of Cheshire, a pedigree of six
was recorded using these Arms. It is headed by Philip Kinsey father of
Edward Kinsey of Blackden, co: Cheshire. It descends to the children of
John Kinsey, who was aged 52 in 1663, and of Anne his wife, daughter of
George Birch of Birch, co: Lancashire. The Arms of Kinsey are given as
Argent a Chevron between three squirrels sejant erect Gules. No mention
is made here of Goostrey or variants. Strangely, of the 520 Cheshire
recorded by King in his book, the only name associated with these arms
is that of Goostrey.
An authoritative source for early heraldic usage is the Dictionary
of British Arms: Medieval Ordinary (Woodcock, Grant and Graham 1996).
is no mention of Goostrey or variants in this works but the following
can be found: The Arms Argent a Chevron between three Squirrels
is ascribed to Kinsey by Creswick’s Roll of circa 1510.
Burke’s General Armoury
ascribes the following to Goosetrey or
Goosetree of co: Bucks:
Argent a Chevron between three Squirrels sejant Gules. The Crest being
On a Wreath of the Colours A Stags head erased Or.
It ascribes the Arms of
(Blackden co: Chester)as being: Quarterly,
Argent and Gules a cross patonce counterchanged in the first quarter a
mullet of the second. Later Arms (after their marriage with the
- Argent a Chevron between three Squirrels sejant Gules.
The Arms of Kinsey are
recorded in Burke’s as: Kinsey (Blackden Hall
co: Chester; allowed at Visit co. Chester) Argent a Chevron
three Squirrels sejant Gules.
And Burke’s records the
of Twemlow as: Twemlow co: Chester : Ancient
Arms - Argent a
Chevron Or between three Squirrels sejant Gules, Modern Arms: Az. two
bars eng. or, charged with three boars heads, two and one, erect couped
sa. Crest - on the stump of a tree erect a parrot all ppr.
Fairburn’s Book of Crests
(1906) agrees that the crest of Goostrey of
Buckinghamshire is On a
Wreath of the Colours A Stags head erased Or.
Authority Verses Use
It is widely accepted that Burke’s and Fairburn’s have no authority
and are useful largely as a guide to usage rather than right. It must
be accepted that the work of Daniel King The Vale Royal of
is likewise more a record of contemporary usage than of right. I must
therefore that although there is no authority, for a long period
of time a family bearing the name of Goostrey has used Arms. Let us
look at some of the genealogy to try to establish if such an armigerous
family existed before the records of the College of Arms and, if it
how the Arms in question come to be recorded as being used by so many
From the genealogist and
historian Ormorod (8),
we learn that Goostrey was known as Gostrel in the Doomsday Book,
comprising the two manors of Bernulfshawe and Gostre, property of the
of the Barony of Monalt – Hugo de Mara also known as Hugh Fitznorman.
gave his share of “Gostrey” along with Lawton to the Abbey of St
Ormorod’s translation of the Doomsday entry records: “The families of
Twemlowe, Gostre, Bonetable, Bernulschaw, and Aston passed the manor
lands of Barnshaw and Goostrey to the Abbey of St Werburgh”.
of the grants are in the charter of the Abbey (9).
A charter was granted to
convent by Michel de Gostre by which the
abbey was empowered to embank a lake for the use of the mill, and also
to serve them as a vivary or fish pond. [There is no date for this, but
it is linked to another reference given a date of 1249-65].
Ormorod suggests that a
mansion house must have existed at an early
period in Goostrey and that Goostry gave name to a family, originally
most probably seized of the
manor. The following brief and interesting pedigree (10)
shows the descent of their estate here from about the reign Edward III
[1327-1377] to the temp. Henry VII [1485-1509] and connects them
with the Kinsey of Blackden of whom little is known.
Michel de Gostre was
grandfather of Thomas de Gostre to whose
name is appended a curious note. He married a daughter of …
of Bancroft ‘against his fader’s will and his own worshippe, and
evil councell he did such things for quiche he was done to death for yt
was shame and greefe to his fader and his frendes’ (10)
1. Michel de Gostre [third
of Lidulph de Twemlow to whom his father
gave the half of Goostrey]
1.1 His son Thomas married Alianore, daughter of William Mainwaringe
They had three children: (11)
1.1.1. Thomas, married Hamond of Bancroft (temp Richard II
had four daughters [not named]
William, married Alice daughter of Richard Hadley.
Roger [for whom no marriage or descendants are shown]
William had 3 children:
184.108.40.206 Thomlyn (Thomas), married the daughter [no first name given]
of Jenken Rowley and had one daughter, Anne (Agnes) who married William
Vernon and had issue which died s.p. (which William was living 7 Hen. 5
a widower) .William “held Goostrey in right of his wife”.
220.127.116.11 Wilkin or William, married [not given], had land in Blackden.
Jenken (John), who had land in Blackden of gift of father.
18.104.22.168 Wilkin had two
22.214.171.124.1Agnes, wife of Robert Kinsey (from whom Kinsey of Blackden),
who had a son William Robertson Kinsey, coheir with his aunt to the
Gostre Estate (1498).
126.96.36.199.2Alice, coheir to Anne Vernon, who married firstly Thomas de
Eaton (from whom Eaton of Blackden) and secondly Jack de Snelsone
in or about 1498.
A survey of Goostrey Church
taken in 1569 (12)
notices the arms of Kinsey, and a tablet “Anne, wife of John
of Blackden died 18 Feb 1665”.
Ormorod then goes on:
There is also reference to the family of Barnshaw – Roger de
a commissioner. The rarity of this name may in some measure be
for by supposing the family borne the alias of Gostre, or of Grene. The
Grenes presumably the ancestors of the Grenes of Congleton.
There is information under
township of Croxton. There is a reference
to Lidulph de Croxton, or Tremlowe, who one genealogist had made the
of Wulfric, but Ormorod thinks it more likely he was the grandson. He
goes by the names of Walthew, Orme, and William.
Ormorod goes on:
If however it can be proved
that Lidulph de Croxton and Tremlowe were
two successive proprietors, and not one generation as the genealogists
have uniformly made them, Wulfric, the grandfather of the first, will
thrown back to the Conquest or to the time of the Confessor, and there
will then be no difficulty in point of time in crediting the
before mentioned which, after calling the second generation Walthew,
Wulfric the grandfather of “Margeria filia Walthei, filia
which Margeria undoubtedly brought Marton in marriage to the
of the Norman Baron of Kinderton. (13)
This last Lidulp,
sheriff of Cheshire in the reigns of Richard
I [1189- 99] and John [1199-1216], the surviving temp. Henry III
lord of Tremlowe, Croxton, Goostrey, Cranage and half of Winnington,
a second brother, Randle, to whom he gave the fourth of Cranage, and
whom the families of Granage, Ermitage, Tremlowe and Le Brun descended.
Lidulph had issue Richard, Robert and Michael. From the last two sons
named descended severally the families of Winnington and Goostrey.
Richard settled his lands in Gorestree on his son Michael.
Richard de Croxton, son and
heir of Lidulph, had a grant from his father
of all his lands in Cheshire, except a moiety of his land in Gorestree
settled on his son Michael.
There is a family tree(14):
The Croxton and Mainwaring
of Croxton, with Arms of Croxton – sable, a lion rampant Argent,
by a bend compare Or and Gules. The tree reads as follows:
Wulfric, lord of Croxton
Ornus de Tuchett, living in the time
of Edward the Confessor and
Two sons are shown:
1. William and sometimes called Orme (called Wultheus filius Wulfrici
in an interpolation in Booth’s pedigree, ibid p156, b, which
is probably correct. Ormus filius Wulfrie (possibly).
Willam had a son and a
1.1 Ledulf de Crocstun, witness to a deed of William Fitz-Nigell, temp
Henry I (15)
Margery filia Walthei filii Wulfrici, wife of Gilbert Venables, Baron
Ledulph is shown with two
and a daughter:
Lidulph de Tremlow (and de Croxton), Lord of Tremlow, Croxton, Cranage,
half of Winnington,
Goosetrey. Sheriff of Cheshire temp Richard I and John and living temp
Henry III. Confounded in the Cheshire pedigrees with the preceding
of whom he was a son or grandson.
Randle, ancestor of Cranach of Cranach
1.1.1 Lidulph is shown to
Richard, son an heir.
Robert, lord of a moiety of Winnington, married (1)Margery, daughter
of Robert de Wynynton, from whom Winnington of Winnington; (2)Mathilda,
daughter of Richard de Wilbraham (from whom Leftwich of Leftwich).
Michael, lord of a moiety of Goosetrey (from whom Goosetrey of
There is a separate reference, not part of the family tree, to Gilbert,
who had issue Warin de Clyve (16).
There is a later reference:
Cicely, daughter of William de Goostree married 1339 Roger de
Said to have will dated 1366, and to be living in 1382.
Relationship of Arms
From the information gathered by Ormorod and the contemporary records
of King and Burke we can begin to see the relationships between those
use the Arms. It is my view that the Arms were first used by early
possibly even Michael De Gostre, and were seen as being important,
and territorial. This could explain why upon the marriage of Alice De
daughter and co-heir of William, Thomas de Eaton (according to Burke)
to have abandoned earlier Arms in favour of those of Goostrey. Strictly
speaking, if Alice was an heraldic heiress, the Arms should have been
with those of Eaton but if they were seen as being of territorial
they may have been used in preference. Similarly, we know that the
of Robert Kinsey the husband of Agnes, the other co-heir of William,
the same Arms. A second indication of the status of the Goostrey
is that of the territorial appellation “of Blackden” which the families
of both Eaton and Kinsey began to use after their marriages to Goostrey
heiresses. History appears to be silent as to the fecundity of Roger de
Gostre (Living 1313) and his nephew John who had lands in Blackden of
gift of his father. The family tree seems to indicate that the females
were heirs and co-heirs so it is assumed that Roger and John died
offspring. There is a further strong indication that the Arms originate
from the family of Goostrey, pre-dating their adoption or inheritance
the Kinseys who today are seen to hold them with the authority of the
of Arms, that of the similarity with the “Ancient” Arms of Twemelow,
only difference being the colour of the chevron. Michael de Gostre you
will remember is the third son of Lidulph de Twemlow.
One explanation as to why
recorded the Arms as those of Goostrey
when they were in fact borne by Kinsey (as recorded but a few years
by the Heralds) could be that they were well recognised locally as
the important “territorial” and feudal Arms of Goostrey, so much so
no matter who bore them, they were known as Goostrey. The Heralds of
were more thorough in their examination of who actually used them and
recorded them as the Arms of Kinsey. It is my view that the Kinsey’s of
Blackden held the Arms in right of their Goostrey ancestors.
All of the above is based
the Arms passing through heraldic heiresses
which relies on an
assumption that the Goostrey male line died out in the 14th or 15th
century. How then can we explain the continued appearance of the Arms
Goostrey or Goosetree co: Bucks as recorded by Burke ?
There is reference to a
Goostrey of Westminster gent. in Buckinghamshire
at around 1749/50 (17). Was this the gentleman
the Arms of Goostrey as recorded by Burke ? I have been unable to
find out, but there can be little doubt that someone named Goostrey
have continued to use the Arms in Buckinghamshire if we are to believe
that the General Armoury was a contemporary record (especially as by
the Arms had gained a crest). If however we maintain our belief that
original male line died out and the Arms descended through female
then whoever was using the Arms in more recent times was perhaps
who had a fondness of history and “adopted” and continued to use those
Arms which were historically associated with the surname. I have found
no proof that a male line of the descendants of Michael De Gostre,
son of Liddulph de Twemlow, continued and the fact that all the lands
associated with the name devolved through female co-heirs strongly
that the true Goostrey of Goostrey line died out long ago.
We know that extensive searches in the records and collections of the
College of Arms have revealed no reference to the surname of Goostrey,
or its variants. It would seem that from the Tudor period to the
day, no family with the surname, Goostrey, Gostre or De Gostre has been
recorded as being entitled to bear Arms. I have attempted to show
such an armigerous family did in fact exist before the records of the
of Arms, and that their estates and Arms were of such importance that
passed from Goostrey to Kinsey. A descent of Arms which, although on
face of it would be a breach of the law of Arms as we know it today, in
fact pre-dates such conventions. There seems little doubt that these
have long been associated with the name of Goostrey.
Notes and References
1. Daniel King the author of The Vale Royal of England was born
in Chester and in 1630 was
apprenticed as a heraldic painter to Randle Holmes sometime
deputy to a King of Arms.
Thanks to the generosity of his patron Peter Venables, King was
able to include the armorial
bearings of some 520 Cheshire Gentlemen in his Vale Royal of
2. Burke’s General Armoury
(1884) ascribes the following to Goosetrey
or Goosetree of co:
Bucks: Argent a Chevron between three Squirrels sejant Gules.
The Crest being On a
Wreath of the Colours A Stags head erased Or.
3. Fairburn’s Book of
(1906) agrees that the crest of Goostrey
of Buckinghamshire is On
a Wreath of the Colours A Stags head erased Or.
4. Mr. Hunt, Windsor Herald
searched the following on my behalf: The
Other recorded pedigrees, Founder’s Kin, Benefactors’ Pedigrees,
Bath Books, Funeral
Certificates, Grants of Arms, Royal Licences, Irish Records,
College Collections, Scottish
Records and Printed Works.
5. The Arms of Kinsey are
recorded in Burke’s as: Kinsey (Blackden Hall
co: Chester; allowed
at Visit co. Chester) Argent a Chevron between three
6. Burke’s ascribes the
of Eaton (Blackden co: Chester)as being:
Quarterly, Argent and
Gules a cross patonce counterchanged in the first quarter a
of the second. Later Arms
(after their marriage with the GOOSETREYS) - Argent a
Squirrels sejant Gules.
7. Burke’s records the Arms
Twemlow as: Twemlow co: Chester : Ancient
Argent a Chevron Or between three Squirrels sejant Gules, Modern
Arms: Az. two bars
eng. or, charged with three boars heads, two and one, erect
sa. Crest - on the stump of
a tree erect a parrot all ppr.
8. Ormorod’s “The History
the County Palatine and City of Cheshire,
evidence in public
offices, the Harleian and Cottonian MSS, Parochial Register,
and various private collections”
9. Harl MSS 1965.35 and
10. Harl.MSS.2059.245 and
11. [Note that some
these names appear in the IGI: Thomas Goostrey
and Alinora (formerly
Manwaring) had a son Thomas born about 1307; William born about
1310; Roger about
1313 (all recorded at Sandbach)]
12. Harl MSS 2151.66
13. [A footnote says
that the male ancestor of the Croxtons was
undoubtedly one of the “five
brethren” who came in at the Conquest. These can be assumed to
be brothers of the first
Baron of Halton. There is then a reference to Ledolf de Crocstun,
sheriff to the end of the
reign of King John, who witnesses the assignment of the 2nd Baron
of Halton. Ormorod
concludes that there must have been two or three Lidulfs
in the period previously
thought to have been one.]
14. Harl MSS 2119.143
15. There is a reference to
“see Val 1 page 690” ?
16. Ormorod says: About the
time of King John and Henry III, Warin de
Clive said to be a
younger son of Lidulph de Tremlow, assumed his local appellation
from the township. From
him the noble and distinguished family of Clive traces its
17. Helmdon History
(Astwell with Falcutt Records 1601 - 1800
821 22 Jan. 1749/50
Attested copy of lease for a year from Laurence Earl Ferrers
to Thomas Goostrey of
Westminster, gent., in consideration of 5s, of the manors of
Astwell and Falcutt with all
messuages, lands, etc., in Astwell, Falcutt, Wappenham and
822 23 Jan. 1749/50
Attested copy of a deed to lead the uses of a recovery whereby
Laurence Earl Ferrers grants to
Thomas Goostrey of Westminster, gent., the manors of Astwell
and Falcutt, with all lands,
messuages, etc., to the intent that they may be recovered to
Richard Balshaw of Westminster
to the use of the said Earl.
823 12 Feb. 1749/50
Attested copy of an exemplification of a common recovery by which
the manors of Astwell
and Falcutt with 30 messuages, 10 tofts, 2 mills, 60 gardens,
850 acres of land, 200 acres of
meadow, 850 acres of pasture, 200 acres of wood and 100 acres
of heath, and common of
pasture in Astwell, Falcutt, Wappenham and Syresham were conveyed
Goostrey to Richard Balshaw.
My thanks are due to Mr.
Hunt, Windsor Herald, for his extensive
searches of the College of Arms archives on my behalf and Joan Bell for
allowing me to use her extracts from Ormorod’s works.
When quoting the contents of documents, contemporary spellings have