The Marital Arms of Ramsden and Smyth
The armorial bearings as engraved upon this
George II English Sterling Silver Gadrooned Footed Waiter or Salver by William Peaston
hallmarked London 1752 are those of the family of Ramsden with Smyth in pretence.
These armorial bearings denote the marshalling of a marital coat showing the arms of the
husband over the entire surface of the shield, whilst the arms of the wife (as an heraldic heiress)
are placed on a small shield (known as an escutcheon of pretence) centrally on the husband's arms.
They may be blazoned as follows:
Arms: Argent on a chevron between three fleurs-de-lis sable as many rams' heads erased of
the first (for Ramsden) over all an escutcheon of pretence Argent1
on a bend between two unicorns' heads erased azure three lozenges or (for Smyth)
These armorial bearings undoubtedly commemorate the marriage of Robert Ramsden (baptised
24th June 1708 died 9th February 1769), of Osberton in the County of Nottinghamshire and
Elizabeth Smyth (born 12th November 1727 died 30th April 18172). Robert and Elizabeth were
married on the 13th January 1753 at the Parish Church of St Peter, Warmfield in the County of Yorkshire.
Robert of the fourth son of Sir William Ramsden, the 2nd Baronet of Byrom3 in the County of Yorkshire
and his wife, The Honourable Elizabeth Lowther4, whilst Elizabeth was the eldest surviving daughter and
co-heiress of John Smyth, of Heath Hall, Heath, near Wakefield in the County of Yorkshire and his wife, Catherine Frank.
Robert served as a Captain in the British Army during the War of the Austrian Succession, notably at the
Battle of Dettingen5 on the 27th June 1743 and at the Battle of Fontenoy on the 11th May 1745.
The Funeral Hatchment of an unidentified unmarried gentleman of the Ramsden family
and undoubted descendant of Robert and Elizabeth showing the arms of Ramsden
quartered with Smyth in the Parish Church of St John the Evangelist, Carlton in Lindrick,
Co. Nottinghamshire. The hatchment is unusual in that the painting of the arms is
rendered en grisaille rather in its correct heraldic tinctures.
(Southwell Churches Nottingham, Resource / Monuments)
1 Some authorities state that the arms have a field of 'ermine' rather than 'argent'.
2 Elizabeth's will was dated the 1st September 1812. It was proved at London on the 9th June 1817.
At the time of the writing of her will, Elizabeth was living at Mansfield Woodhouse, Co. Nottinghamshire.
3 This baronetcy was created within the Baronetage of England for Sir William's father, John Ramsden
on the 30th November 1689. This baronetcy is still extant today.
4 Elizabeth was the second daughter of John Lowther, the 1st Viscount Lowther and his wife, Katherine Thynne.
5 The Battle of Dettingen is remembered as the last battle that a reigning British monarch, King George II led his army into battle.
Heraldry Courtery of John Tunesi of Liongam
MSc, FSA Scot, Hon FHS, QG