Thursday, August 6, 2015

Change of Plans

Even after making a long list of ideas for the August Heirlooms and Heritage challenge, I found something pretty cool. I took the Longfellow poem about my family's inn, and how he talk's about the landlord of the inn, who is a distant uncle of some sort.

'But first the Landlord will I trace;
Grave of aspect and attire;
A man of ancient pedigree,
A Justice of the peace was he,
Know in all Sudbuy as "The Squire."

Proud was he of his name and race,
Of old Sir William and Sir Hugh,
And in the parlor, full in view,
His coat of arms, well framed and glazed,
Upoon the wall in colors blazed;
He beareth gules upon his shield,
A chevron argent in the field,
with three wolf's heads, and for the crest
a Wyvern part-per-pale addressed
Upon a helmet barred; below
The scroll reads, 'By the name of Howe."
And over this, no longer bright,
Though glimmering with a latent light,
was hung the sword his grandsire bore
In the rebellious days of yore,
Down there at Concord in the fight.'

I had known nothing of a coat-of-arms, and using what he mentions in the poem, I found it! Just so you know, "gules" is an old English term for red. Chevron argent (a chevron, argent another word for silver); and I had no idea what a wyvern was! Of course, my fantasy-oriented sister knew; it's kind of like a dragon, but with only two legs and a barbed tail.
Just Googling Howe coat-of-arms brings up all kinds of things, but none matched the description. Except for this one:

Notice the Wyvern, with the barbed tail, the red crest, the three wolves, and the silver chevron. Bingo! By the by, the scroll at the bottom says Howe.

Apparently, in 1871, some ancestry geek wanted to have a Howe get-together, celebrating the Howes. There is actually a book available that he wrote about the entire gathering. The only reason I say he was a ancestry geek is because he wrote a song. Come on, no one writes a song unless they're obsessed. The first verse is as follows:

You meet today to celebrate with fillial heart and brow,
as children of one family, the dear old name of Howe.
Brothers and sisters by that name you hold in reverence dear,
how fitting you should set apart, this day for friendly cheer!

No joke.

I got it into my head that I wanted to put this family crest on something, and the only item I could come up with is a pair of 18th century pockets; the type that tie around your waist. Like this:

The main reason being, it's one of the few garments that is basically always embroidered. Flowers seem to be the most common, but I'm okay with taking a few liberties. I already have the pattern from Patterns of Fashion 1, and some heavy mystery cotton that might be canvas, or duck. 

The only problem is: I'm not really into embroidery. My sister is, but I can't make up my mind if I want to push through and do it. I would love to have something with the coat-of-arms, but it's kind of a big undertaking for someone who isn't in love with embroidery. I don't know. I may just skip this challenge, or revisit it for the do-over challenge in December.

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