It has long been believed that Sir Roger Lewkenor of Tangmere, who died 1509, had been married to a daughter of Reginald West, Lord La Warr. No evidence of such a marriage has ever been found.
Support for this claim has been suggested by one of the shields on the Leuknor (note the alternative spelling) Armorial Table Carpet, now held by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, purchased 1958. Accession No. 59.33. We have the advantage over the 19thC historians: they would have known the carpet before 1959, complete with the grime of 5 centuries:woodsmoke, coalsmoke and suphur damage to the silver thread; we can see it, cleaned, restored and beautifully photographed on the Met’s website.
In his article, published in the Sussex Archaeological Society Collection, Vol. LXX. (1929) pps 1-7, Fane Lambarde, identified the shields, as he understood them.
In describing the shield immediately to the right of the Lewkenor arms on the bottom frieze, which Lambarde numbered “2”, he identified: “Lewknor impaling La Warr; Lewknor – Azure three chevrons argent impaling La Warr – quarterly of four, 1 & 4 Gules crusilly fitchy a lion rampant argent, 2 & 3 Azure three leopards’ heads inverted jessant de lis (Cantilupe). This records the marriage of Sir Roger’s uncle , Sir Roger Lewknorto Mary, daughter of Reginald West, Lord La Warr”the former Sir Roger being the armiger, d 1543, the senior line continuing through descendants of the uncle.
Given the claim that this shield shows a Lewkenor marriage to a daughter of Reginald West, it should be mentioned that West is not included on this shield. The La Warr chantry in Boxgrove Priory shows both La Warr quartering Cantilupe – exactly as on the carpet shield, and also quarterly: 1 West, 2. La Warr quartering Cantilupe, 3.Mortimer and 4. a shield that I do not recognise. Three members of the Tregoz family are recorded as considerable benefactors of Boxgrove Priory (Sussex Archaeological Collection, Vol. XV., p.93) therefore the ancestors of both the Lewkenors and the La Warrs had provided benefit to Boxgrove Priory.
The dexter side is very faint, but if you enlarge it you will see that there are no silver chevrons on this shield;the argent of the chevrons shows up clearly wherever else it appears. This decoration showsas gold. Faint though it is, the gold on blue design resembles to the sinister impalement of the shield to the immediate right of this one – No.3. – which Lambarde identified as Moyne impaling Holland. In proposing Holland he wrote: “This is a very doubtful attribution, nor is there any record of the marriage that it records...It has been usual to record the impaled coat as that of Braose (azure crusilly a lion rampant [crowned] or). But the field is charged with what appears to be fleurs-de-lis rather than crosslets; and the leopard is tricked exactly as a leopard of England up-ended.”
In December 1849, William Durrant Cooper read his paper “The Pedigree of the Lewknor Family”, available on-line through the Sussex Archaeological Society, Vol .III., pp.89-102. He included his depiction of a composite coat of arms, together with a code for understanding the tinctures. I suspect that the basis of his work was the turtle shield of Sir Christopher Lewkenor, a photograph of which appears in “Chawton House and Its Owners” by William Austen Leigh and Montague Knight, 1911, available on-line. Cooper’spaper is most easily accessed through wasfuman-dedishamtimeline.blogspot.com .
The arms of “Tadody” Braose: Azure, crusilly a lion rampant or, appear in the important nombril (base) point of the shield. Cooper failed to identify these arms, probably as he had already allocated Braose to quarter No.9, which does appear to resemble senior Braose.
If Cooper’s drawing of the composite arms is correct, then the each cross resembles 4 conjoined diamonds and it is understandable that they were mistaken for fleurs de lis. As for the “crown”, there is no crown on either the carpet design, nor the composite coat of arms, the various depictions on the internet, nor on the Cooksey monument (Cooksey quartering Braose) in the parish church of St.Mary, Kidderminster.
John Braose, nicknamed “Tadody” (Welsh for “fatherless”) was the youngest son of William de Braose, son in turn of William de Braose, 7th Lord of Abergavenny and 3rd Lord of Bramber and his wife, Matilda de St.Valerie de Haye. This outspoken lady greatly offended King John, who had her and her eldest son immured, their deaths by starvation occurring in 1210. The senior line of the Braose family continued with Reginald de Braose, b c 1178, and his descendants, while the junior line continued with Tadody and his descendants, who took the arms, exactly as shown: Azure, crusilly a lion rampant or, exactly as shown on the composite coat of arms, quarter 13, and the shields no. 2 and 3 on the frieze of the armorial carpet.
The arms of the Lewkenors were entitledto include the arms of Tadody Braose as they were descended from the heraldic heiress, Margaret de Braose wife of Ralph Camoys of Trotton.
I do not understand the impalement of Moyne with Braose in Shield No.3 of the carpet. I know nothing of this marriage. The decoration of the carpet is of impalements, which show marriages, not necessarily descent.
Shield No.2.: Robert Tregoz married Juliana Cantilupe (1241-1285). Their son was John de Tregoz 1250-1300. This line descends to two sisters: Clarice who married Roger Warr and Sibella who married William Grandison. Roger and Sibella’s line descends to Sir Roger Lewkenor.
Shield No. 2 is dexter: Braose; sinister: La Warr quartering Cantilupe.Not Lewkenor.