The Arms of Earl Jellicoe

Noel Cox

first published (Autumn 2002) 82 New Zealand Armorist 19-20

Admiral of the Fleet the Right Honourable Sir John Rushworth Jellicoe, GCB OM GCVO PC, was made Viscount Jellicoe of Scapa in 1918, after a distinguished career in the Royal Navy. He was created Earl Jellicoe, and Viscount Brocas of Southampton, in 1925 and died in 1935.

Entering the Royal Navy as a cadet in 1872, he rose to command the Grand Fleet 1914-16. Jellicoe was ppointed First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff in 1917, and after retirement he was Governor-General of New Zealand (1920-24). A keen yachtsman, he donated the Sanders Cup and sailed in the first series of races for the trophy.

The second earl lives in England, as do all the members of his family. The present earl is Patron of the Commonwealth Heraldry Board, and of the New Zealand Company of Armigers, in succession to the late Lord Porritt. Earl Jellicoe, DSO MC PC was a Lieutenant-Colonel in the Special Air Service. After serving in the Foreign Office he became a leading member of the Conservative Party, and was Leader of the House of Lords 1970-73.

The Jellicoe family trace their recent ancestry to Samuel Jellicoe, of Uplands, Fareham, Hampshire, who was born 1788. In 1819 he married Jane, eldest daughter of Sir James Whalley-Smythe-Gardiner, Bt. That family were descended from that of Brocas of Beaurepaire, Hampshire, in turn named for that of Brocas in Normandy. The Whalley family arms feature prominently, and appropriately in view of his own profession, in the arms granted to Earl Jellicoe.

Earl Jellicoe himself married Florence Gwendoline, daughter of Sir Charles Cayzer, Bt, of the shipping line of that name.

The armorial bearings of Earl Jellicoe are Argent, three bars wavy Azure over all a whale hauriant, Sable. The canting nature of the arms are obvious, the Whalley ancestors of the Jellicoe family providing an appropriate charge for a naval armiger. A whale hauriant is one which is depicted palewise with the head upwards.

The supporters are equally marine, on either side a sea griffin Or. The sea griffin, or gryphon-marine, has the fore part of an eagle, and the lower half of a fish, or rather a mermaid. The wings are sometimes omitted, as in the representation of the Jellicoe arms. This omission, had the animal been a land-dwelling griffin, would have suggested that it was male, so perhaps we should speak of the sea-griffin having the lower half of a merman.

It is only with the crest that the otherwise dominant naval theme is minimised. Even here the heralds have made use of a naval crown. The crest is out of a naval crown Or a demi-wolf Azure. The demi-wolf is, in fact, the sole terrestrial element in the whole achievement. The demi-wolf itself is a very frequent crest.

The motto is Sui memores merendo.




Hosted by