Reprinted from Newsletter 129, dated 2009 August

1940s boy in Glastonbury; getting our Edwards right

David Orchard

I was interested in the letter from Roger Lord of Leeds in Newsletter 128. My recollection of Mr Cullen’s daughters is the same! (But I was only 12.)

He mentions his “Uncle Lou”, Walter Louis Day, as a bellringer at St John’s, and asks for information. The Glastonbury Antiquarian Society has a record of the St John’s ringers, which I will consult, and if Walter Day is listed I will photocopy the entries and send them to Mr Lord.

Thanks for the summary of my heraldry talk (in the same issue). It was a good precis, considering the length of my talk. I should have made two sessions of it!

There is one major error, however, about the royal arms as displayed on the Pilgrims Inn. These are the arms of Edward the Fourth, not Edward III. I should hate to think anyone thought I attributed Edward III’s reign to the “15th or early 16th century” as quoted. He died in 1377, and the murder of his grandson Richard II in 1400 led to the outbreak of the Wars of the Roses. Edward IV was the Yorkist king (you can see the white roses on the Pilgrims Inn) who died in 1483, and his brother Richard III, who assumed the throne from Edward’s son Edward V (elder of the two “princes in the Tower”) was killed by Henry, Earl of Richmond, at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, establishing the Tudor dynasty.

Thus, to say that these arms date from “the late 15th or early 16th century” is incorrect. Edward IV had been dead for 17 years at the start of the 16th century, and the Tudors had been on the throne for 15. The Tudors were not in the business of advertising the House of York (though Henry VII did marry Elizabeth of York to unite the houses).

David Orchard
Glastonbury Antiquarian Society librarian
20 Norbins Road, BA6 9JF