KENT ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY  -- RESEARCH   Studying and sharing Kent's past      Homepage

     Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 26  1906  page 81

Little Mote, Eynsford, with a pedigree of the Sybill Family. By R. H. Ernest Hill, A.R.I.B.A.  continued

the heraldic fire-place stood, but I am of opinion that it belonged to the "Parlour," in whose windows the Sybill alliances were displayed, and where the family coat would most naturally be carved. That the arms in the spandrils of the fire-place were painted as well as sculptured is evident from traces of "gules," which are still visible on the bodies of the tigers.
   The Sybill coat is so curious and unusual that it is worthy of special mention. The full blazon is "Argent, a tiger statant reguardant coward gules at a mirror on the ground azure, handled or." The crest is a mirror as in the arms, and it is always shewn with the reflection of the tiger’s face upon it, the frame being "or" as well as the handle. The reflection is quite distinct in the carved examples, and in drawings also. Tigers are rarely borne in English heraldry. Papworth’s Ordinary mentions only ten families in whose arms they occur, viz., Bold, Daniels, Dyot, Ewer, Loane or Lone, Love, Lutwyche, Mabb, O’Halie, and Stack-poole, in addition to Sybill. Guillim gives another instance almost identical with that of Sybill, as follows: "He beareth Argent, 

a Tiger passant liegardent, gazing in a mirrour or Looking-glasse, all Proper. This Coate-armour standeth in the Chancell of the Church of Thame in Oxfordshire, Impaled on the sinister side with the Coate-armour properly pertaining to the Family of de Bardis. Neere to this Escocheon is placed this inscription: Hadrianus de Bardis Prebendarius istius Ecclesiae." What the peculiar significance of this coat may be I cannot undertake to determine, though Guillim is quite equal to the occasion when he proceeds to tell us: "Some report that those who rob this beast of her yong use a policy to detaine their Damme from following them, by casting sundry Looking-glasses in the way, whereat shee useth long to gaze, whether it be to behold her owne beauty, or because when she seeth her shape in the Glasse shee thinketh shee seeth one of her yonge ones, and so they escape the swiftnesse of her pursute. And thus are many deceived of the substance while they are much busied about the shadowes." An engraving of the arms occurs in Vol. III. of Archaeologia Cantiana., facing 

Page 81

Previous page       Back to Page listings       Next page

Back the Contents page   To Arch. Cant. List  To Research Page    To Homepage

Kent Archaeological Society is a registered charity number 223382
© Kent Archaeological Society 2003

This website is constructed by enthusiastic amateurs. Any errors noticed by other researchers will be to gratefully received
so that we can amend our pages to give as accurate a record as possible. Please send details too