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Armorial shields in Vowchurch parish church

Summary of the article by CJF Comyn published in the Newsletter, September 2012

One is struck immediately on entering St Bartholomew’s church in Vowchurch by the array of small painted shields hung on the wooden posts in the nave and chancel as well as on the rood screen. Several of these appear to be ancient but over the years, they have all suffered from neglect, been repainted and re-hung at intervals so that almost all knowledge of their original appearance and positions has been lost. Beresford Lowther, a nineteenth century vicar of Vowchurch, set about a lengthy process of restoration and improvement of the church. One of his projects was to restore all the shields where possible and when not, to replace them with others he deemed suitable. He appears originally to have planned to show the arms of previous incumbents but this proved challenging.
It is not known whether all the arms displayed are truly those of the people named in the article.  Arms are granted on behalf of the Sovereign by the College of Arms to a named individual and his descendants in the male line and belong exclusively to the grantee and his family; persons of the same surname are not necessarily entitled to use them.  Burke’s General Armory was used to identify the Arms displayed but this does not guarantee complete accuracy. The picture below displays the shields by their current location. Details of their individual attributions may be found either by reference to the original article, or in summary form on the church website.
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