Hatchments came into use in the early 17th century and originated in the Low countries. They started as a replacement for the medieval achievement (the carrying of the shield, helm and other accoutrements) at funerals of knights and other nobles. It was customary in this country for the hatchment to be carried in front of the funeral procession, hung outside the home during mourning and then to be placed in the church. The practice was commonplace into early Victorian times but  now has become almost obselete, the most recent I am aware of in Kent is that of  Sir Arthur Luxmoore in the church at Bilsington dated 1944. Over time memorial placques of similar design were produced and some would say these were not "genuine" hatchments, but it is not always easy to differentiate between those produced for the funeral and those some time later purely as memorials. ken-dealstleonard-16.jpg (35213 bytes)

The collection of sixteen Hatchments in St Leonards (described and illustrated below)is one of the finest in Britain and spans a period between 1673 and 1865. We are lucky they have survived - in many churches they have been removed when repairs to the church were required, never been replaced and have now dissapeared! The likely explanation being the costs of keeping them in good repair or the lack of understanding of their importance. This is a shame as they are not only decorative, but also contain much of interest to local historians, geneaoligists and those interested in heraldry. Further down this page all the hatchments are illustrated, with details of their origins, as far as we are aware. The church is also lucky in having many other wall hangings and panels of note and elsewhere in this website they will eventually be dealt with.

In the panel below is a series of hatchments which illustrate how the background colour to the hatchment is of great significance and enables even a casual observer to tell the marital status of the deceased. single people had only one coat of arms on the hatchment,  where a male death, a helm surmounts the arms, for a female death it is either a ribbon or left unadorned. This is also the case when the wife pre deceases the husband.  Where married both parties arms are shown, male are always on the left, and the surviving partners are on a light background, for the second death the whole background is black. Where more than one marriage has occured previous spouses are shown in  various ways (see1, 2, 3 and 4) I believe the example for a Bishop(showing mitre and stole) below to be incorrect in that the colours of the halves should be reversed if he is pre-deceasing his wife or both parts should be black if his is the second death. The example for the Peer shows the extra adornments by way of supporting animals, that went with rank.

Hatchments_edited-4.jpg (116102 bytes)


The Hatchments of St Leonards Deal

 Research on the identity of the Hatchments (or achievements) has mostly been by reference to a transcript of the burial register by Dr A C Gray, together with the descriptions in “Hatchments in Britain” where information is generally accurate, but the personal details were less complete.  UPDATE: The identification of several of the hatchments has recently been confirmed or updated and we are now as certain as one can be, that we have the correct names and dates attributed to the collection -  Thanks go to Dr Gray for his continued research and also to Sue Buckman, member of the FOSL's committee, whose ongoing research into the lives of the various families commemorated (soon to be published on this website), has enabled the correct identification of the hatchment relating to the wife of Sr Francis Samuel Drake as Sarah Gardner/Gardiner.

It is interesting that many are for sailors or members of maritime families. That the duty of burying seafarers of all ranks, often anonymously, fell to the church during the time that Deal was a major port, is evident from the burial register, and at certain periods a number of them are Dutch, reflecting the amount of trade the port saw at various times.ken-dealstleonard-12.jpg (35364 bytes)

 This accounts for perhaps the most extraordinary one in the collection, hanging over the doorway in the tower. The style of this is entirely Dutch, not English. It has a Latin dated inscription (though sadly no name), a continental-style helm and the clincher is the little eave over the upper edges of the frame.

Detective work reveals the likely person: If  one assumes that the date of death, 20 March 1696, is Gregorian, not Julian, then this is Julian 10 March 1695/6. On 13 March 1695/6 St Leonard's buried Captain Matheus Steyn of the Amsterdam,(now confirmed - see details below) surely a ship of some significance? The hatchment (or Dutch roiiwbord) is a fine piece of work, and would surely have been brought in from Holland, though too late for the funeral. 

The two Baker hatchments present some curiosity. They are so similar and evidently of the same period, yet details of the two coats of arms in them are different in detail. Probably they are intended to represent members of the same couple, and the differences are mistakes. If so, no.2 is for the wife, predeceasing the husband, and no 3 is her widower. We cannot say for certain what the wife's maiden name is, but possible candidates are Hoy or Hoey, Shergold, Skarlet, Pocock and Blackbom. (Dr Grays recent research has been able to clarify the identity of these hatchments - see below)

Below is a series of photographs of the hatchments with details of their origin as know so far....

The pictures below are shown as you might find them as you tour the church: The first two are in the west porch of the tower. As you enter the main body of the church, turn to your left and you will see the 3rd. If you continue down the aisle and round the back of the church and then down the other side you will pass the rest of the hatchments in the order shown here.

Sinister background black
Sable a fess wavy between two estoiles of six points argent a molet or for difference, the Badge of
Ulster (Drake), impaling, Vert a chevron ermine between three griffins’ heads erased or (Berindon)
Motto: Sic parvis magna
Two cherubs’ heads above shield
Now identified as Sarah Gardner, who married as his 1st wife, Sir Francis
Samuel Drake, 1st and last Bt., and died 3 Feb 1786 aged 57; buried as "Lady Sara Drake" 12 Feb
(B.E.B.; Drake biography; P.R.; M.I. in churchyard; Bank of England Will Extract Bk 6 No.2984)
(This hatchment, when recorded in 1955, was in poor condition; when checked in 1975 and 2003 it
was almost indecipherable)
ken-dealstleonard-15.jpg (437280 bytes)
All brown background
Or a chevron sable between three ducks sable, beaked and legged gules (Steyn of Harlem)
Crest (on a barred affronté helm): A duck as in the arms rising
(D'or au chevron de sable accompagné de trois canettes du même becquées et membrées de gules.
Cimier: Une canette de l'écu essorante)
Mantling: Sable and or
A small hatchment in Dutch style, with a wide frame inscribed Obit XX Martii at top and Anno
MDCLXXXXVI at base, and a narrow eave on the upper edges of the frame.
For Matheus Steijn of Haarlem, Navy of the United Netherlands, who commanded the Damiaten at
Brest in 1694, was Captain of the (64-gun) Amsterdam in 1696, died 10 Mar 1695/6 (Gregorian 20
Mar 1696) and was buried at Deal 13 Mar 1695/6.
(P.R., Rietstap; de Jonge)
ken-dealstleonard-12.jpg (377320 bytes)
All black background
Azure a chevron ermine between three griffins’ heads erased argent langued gules (Gardner)
Crest: A griffin sejant argent langued gules, resting its dexter claw on a book sable garnished or
Mantling: Gules and argent
Winged skull in base
A small hatchment, c. 2 ft. x 2 ft. excluding the wide gold and black frame

For Captain Thomas Gardner, buried 2 Jul 1699;
ken-dealstleonard-01.jpg (446599 bytes)
Sinister background black
Sable ermined or a griffin segreant argent, legged, armed and langued or (Baker) In pretence: Azure
latticed argent a lion rampant or (for Bromshall)
Crest: From a naval coronet or a cubit mailed arm or holding a trident fessways sable headed argent
Mantling: Gules and argent
Motto: Manet post funera virtus

For Elizabeth Bromshall of St Mary Dover, who married 1767 John Baker of Deal, and was buried 5 Jan
(P.R., Canterbury Mar. Lics.)
ken-dealstleonard-02.jpg (385641 bytes)
All black background
Azure a chevron argent between three standing bowls or, issuing therefrom three boars’ heads
palewise argent tusked or langued gules (Bowles)
To dexter of main shield, Sable three pheons argent (Nicholls), impaling, Bowles Dexter background
To sinister of main shield, Argent a lion rampant within a bordure azure (Renton), impaling, Bowles
Dexter background black
No crest
Mantling: Gules and argent
On motto scroll: In Memory of Mrs. Thomasin Renton
Frame decorated with skulls and crossbones
For Thomasin Bowles, who married 1st, George Nichols of Deal, and 2nd, 1710, Alexander Renton
(died 1720), and died 1730
Thomasine Rentone bur 1 May 1730
(Mar. Lic., P.R.; PCC Will)
ken-dealstleonard-05.jpg (392342 bytes)
All brown background
Sable three chevronels ermine (Wise)
Crest: A demi-lion argent holding in the dexter paw a mace erect or
Mantling: Gules and argent
On motto scroll: In Memory of Mr. Sampson Wise
A small hatchment, c. 2 ft. x 2 ft., including frame

For Sampson Wise, who died 1673/4
Mr Samson Wise gent. bur 26 Jan 1673/4
ken-dealstleonard-04.jpg (420120 bytes)
All black background
Argent a saltire gules a label sable for difference (Gerard)
Crest: A monkey passant sable langued gules, collared and chained at the waist or
Mantling: Gules and argent
On motto scroll: In memory of Mr. Henry Gerard who departed this life the 27th of September A° Dom.
1698 In ye 24th Yeare of his age’
Wide black frame decorated with skulls, crossbones and monogram of HG

Hy. Gerard bur 1 Oct 1698
ken-dealstleonard-09.jpg (321420 bytes)
All black background
Sable ermined argent a griffin segreant or (Baker) In pretence: Chequy azure and or a lion rampant
argent armed and langued gules (for Bromshall )
Crest: As 2, but arm sable and trident gules headed or
Mantling: Gules and argent
Motto: In coelo quies

For John Baker of Deal, esq., who was buried 22 Jul 1802
(P.R.; PCC Wills)
John Baker's daughter Sophia's hatchment is at Narborough, Norfolk; that of the husband of his
daughter Elizabeth Honora is at Walmer
ken-dealstleonard-03.jpg (394989 bytes)
All brown background
Gules a chevron between three molets or (Poulton)
Crest: A lion’s head erased affronté sable ducally gorged or
Mantling: Gules and argent
Frame decorated with skull and crossbones, and inscribed ‘In Memory of Capt. Tho: Poulton’ and at top
and base 16 and 99
For Capt. Thomas Poulton, who died 1699.

Ct. Thos. Poulton bur 22 Jun 1699, Str[anger]
ken-dealstleonard-06.jpg (526006 bytes)
All brown background
Per chevron argent and sable in chief two fleurs-de-lys and in base a tower or (Serocold)
Crest: A tower or surmounted by a fleur-de-lys argent
Mantling: Gules and argent
Frame decorated with skulls and crossbones and date 1705
Probably for George Serocold, buried at Deal, 23 Jan. 1705/6.

Geo Sarocold Gent., bur 23 Jan 1705/6
(Archaeologia Cantiana, P.R.)
ken-dealstleonard-11.jpg (382844 bytes)
All black background
Argent a saltire gules a crescent sable for difference (Gerard)
Crest: A monkey passant sable collared at the waist and chained or
Mantling: Gules and argent
On motto scroll: ‘In memory of Mr. Henry Gerard late Rector of this Parish who departed this life the
2nd day of January in the 65th year of his age, Anno Dom. 1710’.
Frame decorated with skulls, crossbones and hourglasses
ken-dealstleonard-10.jpg (415137 bytes)
All black background
Argent gutty gules a lion rampant sable crowned or (Scriven)
Helm, but no crest
Mantling: Gules and argent
On scroll in position of crest: ‘In Memory of Mris Mary Screven who died ye 18th of lune 1687 in ye
18th year of her age’
Frame decorated with skulls and crossbones A small hatchment c. 2 ft. 6 ins. x 2 ft. 6 ins.

Mrs. My. Screven bur 20 Jun 1687
ken-dealstleonard-07.jpg (424005 bytes)
Dexter background black (not All black background)
Drake, as 15, impaling, Argent a fess gules between six choughs sable (Onslow)
Crest: A sailing ship or, on a terrestrial globe, drawn by golden hawsers, from a hand proper the arm
habited gules cuffed argent issuing from clouds proper
Mottoes: (above crest) Auxilio divino (below shield) Sic parvis magna
Mantling: Gules and argent
For Sir Francis Samuel Drake, 1st and last Bt., who married 2nd, 23 Jan 1788, Pooley Onslow, daughter of George Onslow, M.P. for Guildford, and died s.p. 18 Nov 1789 aged 61; she married 2nd,
13 May 1801, Arthur Onslow, serjeant-at-law, and died 10 Dec 1810. Her hatchment may be Send SRY
(B.E.B.; B.P. 1911 ed.; M.I. in churchyard)
ken-dealstleonard-16.jpg (35213 bytes)
All black background
Two oval shields
Dexter, within the Order of the Bath and with star pendent below, Harvey, with a molet argent on a
molet sable for difference
Sinister, within an ornamental wreath, as dexter, impaling, a blank
Crest, mantling and motto: As 13.
Supporters: Two sailors proper in their exterior hands a staff with a flag argent charged with a cross
gules, in the dexter canton an anchor azure
For Admiral Sir Edward Harvey, G.C.B., who married Eliza Ann (died 23 Aug. 1857), only daughter of
John Cannon, and died 4 May 1865.
ken-dealstleonard-14.jpg (340713 bytes)
All black background
Or a lion rampant gules within a bordure engrailed sable (Pomeroy), impaling, Argent three roundels
and a chief gules (Beesley)
Crest: A demi-lion gules in its dexter paw a bezant
Mantling: Gules and argent
On broad scroll below shield: ‘Here lieth the body of Capt. George Pomeroy, son of Capt. Wm Pomeroy
of the West late Commander of their Majesties Ship the Rupert who received his mortal wound against
the French off Beachy and departed this life the 25th day of July 1690 in ye 39th year of his age
leaveing his wife and 3 children behind him.’
Frame decorated with skull and crossbones
ken-dealstleonard-08.jpg (422176 bytes)
Dexter background black
Two oval shields
Dexter, within the Order of the Bath, Argent on a chevron embattled gules between three bears’
gambs erect erased sable ermined argent three crescents or ermined sable (Harvey)
Sinister, Harvey, impaling, Gules a chevron between three boars’ heads couped or (Bradley)
Crest: Two bears’ gambs erect erased sable ermined argent holding a crescent or ermined sable
Mantling: Gules and argent
Motto: Servate fidem cineri
For Admiral Sir John Harvey, K.C.B., Admiral of the Blue, who married 1797, Elizabeth, daughter of
William Wyborn Bradley, of Sandwich, and died 17 Feb. 1837.
(This hatchment, when recorded in 1955, was in poor condition; when checked in 1975 and 2003 it
was almost indecipherable)
ken-dealstleonard-13.jpg (419639 bytes)