The Powys Pedigree in the 1663 Shropshire Visitation
Needless to say I have been delighted to acquire this pedigree from the College of Arms.
The pedigree was taken in the 1663 visitation which followed the grant of arms to Thomas Powys by Bysshe the herald; the grant was made around 1660 but the note of this in Bysshe's manuscript does not say when this happened. A modern herald has given me these details:
"An entry in a manuscript recording grants of Arms by Bysshe includes a briefWhatever the date, this grant then required a pedigree to be taken in the next visitation.
The trouble with the Powys ancestry before William of Ludlow (1495-1577) is that we not only have no surviving contemporary evidence for any of them, but the pedigrees that have been produced have a null provenance. However this pedigree has an excellent provenance: it comes from the surviving original of the 1663 Visitation of Shropshire, it was certified by Thomas Powys of Henley who was then aged 43 and with his profession of lawyer, would have been more able than most to verify any of it from documents then in his or his family's possession.
Having said all that, the usual arguments also apply. Normally pedigrees cannot be relied on for people before the grandparents of the person interviewed. In this case, his grandfather, William Powys of Ludlow, died in 1577 some 40 years before the interviewee, Thomas Powys of Henley, was born in 1617 so he could not have known him at all. So we should take the generations before William with a pinch of salt.
Even more interesting is that this earliest (I believe it is the earliest one) pedigree is clearly different to anything else that has been produced in the last two hundred years. One wonders then where these more recent pedigrees got their "facts" from?
The Powys arms have a little significanceNormally I refer to coats of arms as unique graphical person and their male line family identifiers. Of course there are many examples of different families, sometimes those with the same name, being given the same arms, but these are accidents of history mainly dating from before the heralds were told to get a grip on things. But there have always been families of arms where people connected by blood, name or allegiance have acquired similar coats of arms. Round commented on this in his "Geoffrey de Mandeville", pub 1892, pp. 392-396.
And, in a similar, but lesser, manner it is obvious that the Powys of Henley coat must be related to the arms of OWEN, POWES and POWYS which are all, "Dictionary of British Arms: Medieval Ordinary", Vol 4, pub 2014, p. 194:
Or lion's gamb erased bendwise Gulesby the simple stratagem of adding a pair of Cross crosslets fitchy Gules for difference.
The references for these parent arms are:
Of course, the relationship of the arms does not imply any relationship between the armigers.