The Halswell Armorial

2. 1689 quartered Arms and date stone

Above the main door on the Baroque Wing at Halswell House is an elaborately quartered coat of arms which no visitor can fail to miss.

Carved and painted at the completion of this part of the house in 1689, a date stone sits just above the pediment, it commemorates not only the building of this grand part of the house but also the owners who made it possible; Sir Halswell Tynte (1649-1702) and Grace Fortescue (c. 1622-1694) who married in 1671.

The left side of the quartering records the Tynte (Halswell) family and the right side records the Fortescue’s and their forebears.

3. 1689 quartered Arms and date stone (1)


Tynte, Halswell, Fortescue, Densell

Gatcombe, Tremayle, Trivett, de Waere (Trewin), de Filleigh,

Farway, Speke, Unknown, Unknown

One of the legends that surround the family who lived at Halswell is that of the first Tynte who, as a young knight of the Arundel Family, is said to have gone on the Third Crusade with King Richard the Lionheart. He was singled out for his bravery at the 1192 battle of Ascalon. The King observing him is supposed to have said:

 .. the maiden knight had borne himself like a lion, and had done work enough for six crusaders

For which service to the Christian cause the King is said to have conferred on the young Knight his armorial bearings (Heraldic device), a lion argent on a field of gold between six crosslets of the first and the motto Tynctus Cruore Saraceno (“tinged with Saracen blood”).

The red hand of a small white shield in the upper right corner of the Tynte arm is the heraldic emblem of a baronet, the Tynte baronetcy, which existed from 1674-1785.

The heraldic descriptions of the arms of each family

Tynte: Gules, a lion couchant between six cross crosslets argent

Halswell: azure, three bars wavy argent over all a bend gules

Fortescue: Azure, a bend engrailed argent cottised or

Densell: Sable, a mullet in chief and a crescent in base argent

Gatcombe: Gules, three goats’ heads erased argent

Tremayle: A fess between three brogues

Trivett: Argent, a round trivet sable within a bordure sable

de Waere (Trewin): Argent, on a bend vert between six crosses crosslet fitchee gules three crozierheads or

De Filleigh: Gules, a fess vairee between 6 crosses formee or

Farway of Penhallam: Sable, a chevron between three escallops argent

Speke: Argent, two bars azure over all an eagle with two heads displayed gules.



At the time of writing we are yet to discover the identities of the last two coats of arms from the Fortescue side of these quartered arms. If there are any Fortescue family history specialists who might know the answer do please get in touch!


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