(1) In 1455, James Douglas ninth Earl of Douglas, Scotland's greatest feudal magnate, fled to England after his defeat by King James II of Scots. The English court made use of him to foment trouble in Scotland. He had been followed to England by at least one clerical adherent, Patrick Holyborton, whom he was able to advance to benefices in the Diocese of Exeter and to an archdeaconry.
Holyborton belonged to a family of minor nobility in South East Scotland. The arms of this family were or on a bend azure three mascles of the first.
But in his own arms, Holyborton boasted of his connection with the great Earl and his family. He inserted three fleurs de lys each side of the bend; and included a chief with three stars on it. The chief and the stars are from the Arms of Douglas; the fleurs de lys allude, I think, to the Dukedom of Touraine held by the fourth Earl.
This is but one example of how alliances of family or of very close friendship were demonstrated heraldically.
I hope you're still reading. Unglaze your eyes, refocus them, and continue.
(2) On the internet I read an account, apparently by Cardinal Farrell, interpreting his own Coat of Arms. Here are some illuminating extracts:
"The lion rampant honours Theodore Cardinal MacCarrick, Archbishop emeritus of Washington ... gold and red are derived from the Arms of Cardinal McCarrick, whom Bishop Farrell assisted as Auxiliary Bishop of Washington ... a blue field has been substituted ... to honour Our Lady of Lourdes, upon whose feast day Bishop Farrell received ordination to the episcopate at the hands of the Cardinal Archbishop of ... " ... er ... I'll leave the final word for readers to fill in for themselves. This is nothing if not a modern interactive blog. It's an American nameplace beginning with W. With an N at the end.
(3) And ... whoopee!! ... this selfsame Cardinal Farrell has just been appointed Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church (on almost the same day as Uncle Ted's own promotion to the lay state was gazetted). That means that during the next Interregnum, Farrell (if he lives long enough) will be in charge of the day-to-day administration of the Roman Church, and of the preparations for the next Conclave.
So his Arms, with Uncle Ted written large all over them, will be on prominent display everywhere! And everywhere else, too!!
You just can't keep a really good man down, can you?!!!
More about cronyism in Bergoglian Rome tomorrow.