Sunday, March 16, 2008

Post 23. The Ferrers,Templars,Merevale,Staffordshire, Nothamptonshire, Rutland

The Syon Cope.
I have become aware of the existence of this priestly liturgical vestment 10 years ago, when looking into the history of the british/norman Ferrers searching for their armorial distinctions and honours, as I was then collecting all known Arms of all families with a surname rooted in the latin verb: fero-tuli-latum-ferre, in order to prove my thesis of their common origins in the period preceding the Dark Ages, i.e., prior to 1000 A.D.
The Syon Cope was mentioned in C.Wilfrid Scott-Giles, The Romance of Heraldry , J.M.Dent & Sons Ltd., London 1929 and in W.H. ST John Hope, A Grammar of English Heraldry, Cambridge, 1953.
After unsuccessfully attempting to obtain a colour photo, I decided to have a look at it at the Victoria & Albert Museum, in the occasion of my trip to Europe in 2004
Nobody appears to have been for centuries or to be aware to-day of the links between the Syon Cope and the Order of the Knights- Templar, which had originally been known, when founded by Geoffrey de Bouillon, as the Order of Syon. The Cope is semicircular being worn by the Roman Catholic Priest who used it during Masses behind and around his torso, clasped in front on his breast It is embroidered to a higher standard than the Bayeux Tapestry with religious icons from the Gospels the central one of which is about the Crucifixion. It prominently shows St Peter and St. Paul and is very orthodox from a theological point of view. However at the top of the Crucifixion there is an icon showing a Crowned Lady at the left ( of the Priest wearing the Cope with his back to us) and a blessing Glorified Jesus, similarly Crowned on the right, both sitting, looking at one another. The crowned Lady could be either Mary the mother or St. Mary Magdalene, whom some believe married Jesus and shares with him the Lordship given Him by the celestial Father Jehovah. The Lady is holding her left hand up as if preaching. The border along its diameter shows 14 fairly large, easily discernible Coat of Arms a series of smaller ones filling the border of the Cope along the semi-circumference.
The 14 Arms are, beginning from the right of the Cope-: Clifford, Despencer, Order of Knights-Templar, Despencer, Clifford, Geneville, Robert Ferrers the 8th Earl of Derby (1241-1279 ) [ circular pattern of Arms ], Castile & Leon ( this dates the Cope since it commemorates the marriage of King Edward I ( 1272-1307 ) to Eleanor, the sister of Ferdinand III the King of Castile & Leon, when Spain was still not joined to Aragon and Catalonia ), Warwick, (unknown ), William Ferrers, the 5th Earl of Derby who died at Acre in ca, 1194-97 [ lozenge-shaped Arms, perhaps signifying his status a deceased], definitely a crusading Knight-Templar of the Order of Knights-Templar, William Ferrers' lozenge-ashaped Arms again, ( the same unknown Arms previously mentioned). Ferrers' Arms are also discernible among the smaller ones located on the semi-circumference of the Cope.
Dating shows the Cope was in use during the reign of King Edward I and the life of Robert Ferrers the 8th Earl. of Derby. It shows a link between powerful families of the Midlands and between these and the Order of the Knight-Templars. One should also note that at the time of King Edward I, although the Spanish Reconquesta had not yet begun, i.e., that large and determined drive that the united Spain of Elisabeth of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon was to generate during the next century for the liberation of the Spanish territories under Islamic domination, yet Spain already constituted an alternative crusading frontier and the opportunity to acquire honour, wealth and indulgences for past sins if not even eternal life, for Knights from all over Europe. This is how, for example, branches of the spanish Ferrer, Ferrari, Ferrero, Ferrero', Ferrante, etc. originated from migrating british/norman knights from Britain, breton/norman from Brittany ( France ), british/norman from Scotland ( especially after the dissolution of the Order of Knight-Templars in 1300 ), other knights from Languedoc, Provence, etc.
The various families of the Gens Ferreria (Ferraria ) Clan, then existing in most parts of western Europe, collected a total of more than 100 Coat of Arm, which may appear one day in the Book I have been writing about the Clan, a unique occurrence in the Heraldic History of Europe, certainly worthy of the Guinnes Book of Records. The best comic character ( french cartoons ) who would better and more closely portrey in a satirical mode, a typical Ferreri ( Ferrari ) knight whose fighting prowess would have been forged in the days of the gallic struggles against the Romans, would be the french Asterix ( a Breton like most Ferrarii ) with his fat squire Obelisk. The Book's Title sounds funny as it hints at Julius Caesar's imaginary ( probably also historically true as the Bretons from Vannes gave him tremendous problems; finally forcing him to deport the whole tribe to Venetia in Italy [ modern Veneti from Vannes], not to mention the great hero Vercingetorix ) vexation with the continuous harassment received from Asterix and Obelisk -: " Veni, vidi, vici, ...............................who shall rid me from these ubiquitous and pugnatious Ferrarii......?"

I am loking for an expresion of interest from Publishers and for supporters of the Gens Ferreria ( Ferraria) to join as Members.
( send me an e-mail at ).

Coat of Arms of Sir William Ferrers, Lord Tutburie, the 5th Earl of Derby, a crusading Knight-Templar, who died in the operations during the siege of Acre in Palestine, in c. 1194-1197, serving his heavenly Lord Jesus Christ under his earthly liege Lord, King Richard I, the Lion Heart.
His knight-effigy carved in the Templars' manner, correctly identified by me in June 2004, is located in the Church of Our Lady of Merevale, Staffordshire and is similar to the one of Sir Geoffrey de Mandeville, his coeval companion-in-arms, located at the Temple Church in London.
Arms embroidered on the Syon Cope ( produced during the reign of King Edward I: 1272-1307 ) at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

On a blue field, (i) A gold Agnus Dei ( Lamb of God/ Paschal Lamb ), passant, regardant carrying a banner showing a red, square Latin Cross on silver field, (ii) A red Templar Cross at top, (iii) A silver crescent at bottom, representing St. Mary Magdalene, (iv) Rising and lowering golden Suns. All crosses are red on silver. Divided banneret is black at bottom and silver at top, these being the liverie colours of the Priestly House of St. Mary Nagdalene, and incidentally, also of the Ferrarii of Ferrieres-st.Hilaire in Evreux, Normandy, where the norman origins of the Ferrers of Derby are located.

Motto-: " Beau Seant", signifying the Sage of Ages.

The "blogger" has arbitrarily added supporters representing two great Knight-Templars, i.e., The much maligned and sabotaged Earl of Pembroke, Sir William Mareshall, the legendary winner of 500 tourneamonts, and Sir Geoffrey De Mandeville * , the richest man in the England of his age and at some time a Master of the Order, as shown by a device on his shield, the eight- pointed rose of lilies ( I believe it was called "The Carbuncle") referring to the Sumerian links of christianity. Sir De Mandeville was a companion of Sir William Ferrers, both knight effigies being strikingly similar and using the same grey marble, the former located at the Temple-Court-Templar-Church in London, the latter at the Gate Church of Our Lady of Merevale, Staffordshire, vandalised during the destruction of the Abbey-Monastery of Merevale ordered by King Henry VIII, the welsh Boar and royal glutton and fornicator par excellence . All members and the families of those affiliated to the Order of Knight-Templars have been victimised and maliciously sabotaged one way or another by pseudo-christians.

I am rising in their defence! Beware of the wrath of God!

A Short History of the Order of Knights-Templar.
( According to Sir Laurence Gardner's utterances.)
There may have been four branches of the messianic-related Sacred Line of the Holy Grail Kings ( S.L.H.G.K ), merging, evolving and maturing one into the other in the course of time in the history of post-roman Europe. The most ancient is reputed to be the one that resulted from the migrations of Celtic and Gothic tribes from Asia Minor, the Celtic tribes gradually moving toward Europe through the Balkanic regions, following the chain of the Alps into North Italy, Austria, Switzerland the Rhone Valley etc. and eventually reaching Ireland, leaving pockets of their own people in various parts of Europe. One of the leaders of these Celtic tribes had married a Jewish/Egiptian Princess of the line of the biblical Joseph the Vizier of Egypt and the hereditary Chief of the hebrew tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim. In Ireland this celtic leader ( wrongly identified by Gardner as a Scythian ) had become the pre-eminent and predominant force in the Irish Royal Lineage. Moreover, at the same time that St. Mary Magdalene was landing in France, Jesus' brother, James, who had inherited the family traditional title of Arimathea when Jesus had become both the Messiah, the King as well as the Zadok High Priest ( Melchizedek the High Priest mentioned in both Genesis and Hebrews), when his cousin John the Baptist had died without issue, landed in England with his daughter who married into one of the predominant british royal houses. The royal line established by Mary Magdalene would be the most close to Jesus and this is why the Magdalene has had such a hold on the respect and veneration of people who held, believed and hoped in these traditions, in the midst of the chaos and anarchy prevailing in Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire of the West, between 400 and 1000 A.D. ( In my opinion, the West is to-day slowly moving toward a scenario of chaos and calamities similar to the one that engulfed western Europe in the days of the Fall of the Roman Empire of the West and the only available traditions capable to remotivate and determinate the West to avert total disaster are the return to those of the S.L.H.G.K. whether true or false is immaterial as nothing certain can be absolutely proved pro or contra. Their power is symbolic and as Paul Tillich argues in the Dynamics of Faith, let no one underestimate the power of symbols. Unfortunately the symbol of the Cross has been abused and although still the most powerful on earth, ancillary and homely ones are also required, those that made the Templars into the most formidable fighting force of their times ).

St. Mary Magdalene had, according to a strong tradition a daughter and two boys, from her marriage to Jesus of Nazareth, all marrying royal scions of the Merovingian dynasty in Gaul.
The branch that is responsible for the rise and development of the Order of the Knights-Templar, was led by the Prophet Jeremiah, the son of Hilkias, a priest at Anath, who became the high priest of Jerusalem and discovered the Book of the Law ( what had existed so far of the Scriptures or Old Testament, i.e., the Pentateuch ), that had been secreted in the Temple. This migration of exalted Hebrew personalities of Holy-Grail- relevance occurred to Ireland in the days of Zedekiah the King of Judah (598-586 B.C.) who died a captive of the Babylonians, after having been blinded and witnessed all his sons being murdered by order of King Nebuchadnezzar. The history of the Phoenicians, of the Hebrews and later of the Carthaginians shows in fact commercial links between the Middle-East and North Africa to Ireland and Wales for the acquisition of Tin which was essential to the production of Bronze. Since the Age of Bronze is prior to the one of Iron, one can see the antiquity of these links.
The only survivor of the Royal Family had in fact been a daughter of Zedekiah, called Tamar . Jeremiah the Prophet, who was also the captain of Hilkiah's Temple Guards had been able to hide the Sacred Ark of the Covenant, the documents concerning all alchemical knowledge related to the use of the Ark, the Tablets of the Testimony ( I quote from Gardner-: "Inscribed on these [the stone tables received on the Mountain of Sinai by Moses] were the Tables of the Testimony ......... the Cosmic Equation-: The divine law of number, measure and weight. The mystical art of reading the inscriptions was achieved by the cryptic system of the Cabbala ". Unquote) and of all apparatus used in the manipulations of gold in order to produce mono-atomic gold-powder, etc., a great deal of the Royal Treasure ( 140 tons of precious metals ) together with other historical and religious documents under the foundations of the Temple of Solomon. Jeremiah made an accurate record of the location and formed a secret Order of the Temple which held the record in custody for 1700 years until the opportunity to go to Jerusalem and the authority to excavate the site of the Temple and to retrieve the Cache was made available by the Crusade in which took part a highly positioned member of the Order, by then called The Jerusalem Order or Order of Syon, the crusading King Geoffrey ( Godefroi ) de Bouillon, Duke of Lower Lorraine, of Merovigian descent, a fact that qualified him as a member of the S.L.H.G.K. ( His ancestors had survived Charlemagne's jealousie and persecution of all Merovingian princes ).
The reorganisation of the Order of Syon into that of the Knights-Templar had been inspired in 1099 by St. Bernard de Clairvaux, known as the Cluniac ( from Burgundy ) reformer of the Orders of the Benedectines ( founded in 529 by St. Benedict ) and of the Cistercian Monks ( founded in 1098 ). The Order of the Knights-Templar became in fact a de-facto lay-branch of the Cistercian Order, sharing the same Rule of St. Benedict modified to suit soldiers and military-technicians belonging to the Order of Knight-Templars mainly in so far as diet was concerned.
St. Bernard, a noble, belonged to the closed circle of nobles belonging to the Order of Syon and knew about the Temple-secrets/documents/treasures and wished these brought to Europe.
Godefroi died in 1100 and was succeeded as King of Jerusalem by his brother Baudouin II du Bourg, who established The Order of the Templar Grand Knights of St. Andrew in 1118, also called The Guardian Princes of the Royal Secret. Other similar Orders were also founded in order to establish redundancy and survival. This is why Europe may be even to-day in good hands. Tamar married Ard Ri' ( High King of Ireland ) Eochaid, ancestor of Ugaine Mar ( Ugaine the Great ). The Irish Royal Line eventually moved to Scotland with the Sacred Stone of Scone( Jacob's Pillow ) So the irish/scottish/pictish kings considered themselves the descendants of King Zedekiah of Judah.

The Dugdale, although having the right as the owners of the Farms, and the re-builders of the Gate-House to display their Coat of Arms on it, have arrogantly and insultingly neglected, thus severely lacking in courtesy and scholarship, to commemorate the Ferrers who have always been their superiors in rank and social status and who donated the original lands of the Abbey-Monastery, then known as the Forest of Arden, also causing the great Abbey to be built and endowed. Ignorance cannot be their excuse since their anscestor Sir William Dugdale the author of Antiquities of Warwichshire reports this historical fact.
In my opinion, the Dugdale are feloniously neglecting to replace all heraldic commemorations of the Ferrers inside the Church as these wear out with the passing of time. Since they have made enormous gains by selling all the stones left on the lands as the result of the destruction of the Abbey, not even leaving the foundations, a crime against history and culture, they should at least have the courtesy and good-will to maintain some vestiges of heraldic recognition.
Commemorative, heraldic tiles and glass-windows are abandoned without a minimum of maintenance or replacement. The foul-attitude of King Henry VIII, the great boar of Wales, great royal glutton and fornicator, appears to foul all Staffordshire.
Tutburie Castle and Tutburie Church ( built by the Ferrers and supposed to hold the mortal remains of the first Ferrers, a companion of William the Conqueror) central places in Ferrers' history, lack commemoration of their existence and historical contributions. Yet the Ferrers were affiliated to the order of Knigh-Templars from its very foundation until beyond its disbandment, since Ferrers Knight-Templars seeked protection in Scotland with King Bruce differentiating their surname to Farrar, Farrars, Ferrars, Ferrier, etc.
The town of Duffield on the border between Staffordshire and Derbyshire is an example of good-willed people since the ruins of Duffield-Castle still show at least their foundations, the stones of which have not been pilfered by King Henry VIII's sycophants & crawlers and the hill is still commemorated by a sign by the National Trust which does justice to the Ferrers.
A difference can also be felt in neighbouring Northamptonshire, where historical monuments were under current repair in 2004, see Post on Pendragon ad Higham-Ferrers.
Rutland ( a small shire of people with small minds ad hearts) should be called perhaps Ratland. The people of Rutland recently decided to remove from the name of the city, called since ca. 1200 A.D. Oackam-Ferrers, the Ferrers-distinction. Being ignorant clowns, they however neglected to remove from the Shire Arms the obvious Ferrers' horse shoe and oack symbols. Also they are still getting tourists' money by showing the horse-shoe-tithes paid to their Ferrers' overlords by passers by, in a variety of sizes and metals, all held in an ancient granary, built by the Ferrers.
I shake the dust of their Shire from my sandals lest it pollutes me!

The Drama at the Abbey of Merevale.
The knight-effigy of Sir William Ferrers, Lord Tutbury, the 5th Earl of Derby ( died at Acre in 1194-97 A.D.) is located inside the Gate-Church of Our Lady of Merevale, which is the only original structure left from the destruction of the imposing Abbey/Monastery ordered by King Henry VIII ( the welsh boar ), the Gate House having been rebuilt later-on by the Dugdale family ( who probably courted favour with Henry VIII for personal gain and aggrandisement, acquiring lands at Merevale ) in order to enclose the rich farming grounds developed on the ancient Abbey-grounds ( originally known in their wild undeveloped state as the Forest of Arden ) donated to the Cistercians by the third generation of british/morman Ferrers in Britain, later-on grabbed by King Henry VIII. Incidentally, the Ferrers remained faithful to their ancient and original Faith of Roman Catholicism, without subscribing to its southern excesses, aberrations and distortions. To them this was also a matter of ancestral loyalty and continuity that alone can ensure a healthy and civilized state of being. One should in fact not betray one's native Faith but try to reform it from the inside, if not happy with it, leaving the final move to God. What the Protestants have really achieved is the weakening through its fragmentation, of Christianity and consequently of the western civilization, a fact for which we are probably all be going to suffer in the end, if further breackdown in our civilization shall occur, God perhaps willing it to be so in order to rebuild it. In fact, it is highly probable that one of Henry VIII's motivations, in destroying these Cistercian-Abbeys, linked as these were to the knights-Templar's Order, was the search for hidden treasures and scriptural documents of the type Sir Laurence Gardner refers to in his books on the Sacred Line of the Holy-Grail-Kings to which Henry VIII also belonged, however in a madly, undeserving and treacherous liaison ( He was a highly bastardized, defective-mix of saxon and other barbaric strains ). His main motivation in attacking the uncompromising ( in his case ) Roman Catholic Church centered on his desperate desire to procreate a male heir [ he placed the blame for failure on his wives whom he had judicially murdered], hopelessly so, since his reproductive system had been damaged from syphilis and debauchery, and only female-children could survive, however condemned to infertility. The church ( actually a chapel ) is now inside the Gate-House but had originally been outside it, to be used by common visitors of the Abbey/Monastery.
The effigy has been incorrectly identified in the past, and I suspect the possibility of malice in this failure as I intend to explain, resulting from surviving anti-Ferrers feelings elicited by the events at Merevale, in the times of Henry VIII. First of all, the effigy has been mutilated, its head and legs having been broken off The description of its identity contained in the small white rectangle of cardboard visible in the photo shown below, reads -:
"The 13th Century knight is presumed to be William, Earl Ferrers of Chartley, who died in St. Neots after a fall from his bier in 1254".
My identification is-:
"The 12th Century knight is presumed to be William Ferrers, the 5th Earl of Derby, a crusading knight-Templar who died at the siege of Acre in ca. 1194-97, in the service of his liege King Richard I (The Lion Heart )".
My identification centers on the striking similarity between William, the 5th Earl of Derby's effigy and the one of Geoffrey de Mandeville. The two effigies must have been made by the same artist, since William and Geoffrey lived at the same time prior to the struggles for Magna Carta. It is almost certain ( as shown by the Templar symbolic language used in the carving of his effigy, which is the same as that visible in William's effigy ) that Mandeville also participated in the same Crusade held by Richard I, in which William had participated, Mandeville returning however to Britain to lead the Barons' struggles against King John for Magna Carta.
The lack of a reference to the fact the effigy is of a crusading knight Templar, is clearly an injustice ( not to be imputed to the present Rector ) owing to the failure to make explicit the symbolic message which is the fundamental goal of the effigy and the desire, expectation and last will of the dead knight, either through ignorance ( I cannot believe it could be ignorance as this would reflect poorly on English scholarship and archeological circles which are supposed to be outstanding when it suits them and their hostorical distortions and misrepresentations ) or malice ( as the result of the Drama at Merevale and the lingering-on tradition of slight, insult and general ill-will generated in the past against this noble family I intend to defend, so help me God Almighty! I have also witnessed expressions of good-will and memories towards the Ferrers in other Counties such as for example at Higham-Ferrers in Nottinghamshire and at Tutburie on the border with Derbyshire where Ferrers-schools are still being funded through ancient Ferrers's grants. One criterion to judge the quality of the ancient administration of a County is by looking at the quality of housing built in those ancient times and the Ferrers' places are outstanding in this respect. So, lay-off will you? By rights William's effigy should be located among those of his piers and Templar-brethren at the London Temple Court Church, however the scenario at Merevale is so beautiful and magic that I might agree it should remain there. However heraldic recognition and commemoration should be displayed inside the church, which I suggested to authorities but was discouraged through a total lack of response. Arrogant parvenus!
The identification on the effigy is also wrongly worded, as Chartley has never been linked to the Eardom of Derby which was lost to the Crown, through the rebellion of the 8th and last Earl, Robert in the struggle for the Dispensations of Westminster and Oxford which paved the way later-on to the institution of Parliament. Chartley and Groby were subsequently linked to newly acquired Baronies which allowed the Ferrers to continue as active members of the English nobility, until to-day. The fall at St.Neots' bridge occurred when William the 7th Earl of Derby, who suffered from gouts, had in his old age to be carried around on a chair. Mentioning such a trivial matter is ridiculous, malicious, and belittling ( a tabloid hit ) since it shows a desire to draw attention to the genetic ailment that afflicted the 6th, the 7th and the 8th Earls in their old age. Gout is just a form of arthritis and yes, diet influences these ailments. So what? Why not rather mention the fact that he had married in St.Thomas' in Canterbury or that he had gone to the Holy Land in pilgrimage with the Earl of Chester in 1218?
I found another similar slur on the Ferrers on a walking guide for the Midlands, sold at the Bookshop at Coventry Cathedral. In relation to the Manor at Baddesley-Clinton in Warwickshire, acquired by the Ferrers through a marriage to the heiress of the Broome family, it so happened that the Broome father-in-law killed a Priest he had judged to have found in a compromising scene with his wife. The book misreported the event stating the Ferrers-son-in-law had done so. Another such instance of malice is the famous trial by his piers and punishment by public hanging of a Ferrers in the eighteenth century, known in Law as the Ferrers-case, guilty of having shot one of his stewards. By then, the Ferrers' surname and titles had been passed on to and through several houses by Ferrers-female heiresses. The murderer had in fact been principally a Shirley, secondarily a Ferrers, yet his secondary surname became sacrificially linked with the case in preference to the principal one ( the Shirley had originally been a skilled and gifted saxon family of millers, employed by the Ferrers, called Siwalis who began their social climb from the times of William the Conqueror on the Ferrers' back, gradually becoming squires, knight, etc., one of their branches to-day sitting in the House of Lords with the title of Earl Ferrers, newly created in 1711 as a recognition of the wisdom and justice in the commemoration of this legendarily great historical surname ). These apparently trivial issues are indicative of some malice directed to this great and noble family, a malice which is unworthy of the british character and tradition, which is gradually disappearing from the fabric of our democratic societies, including our Australian one.
I have mentioned my findings to several authorities in the U.K.( I even wrote to the BBC ) and have been totally ignored, without even the benefit of the courtesy of an acknowledgment of the receival of my message. I also wrote to the Department of Medieval History at the Melbourne University without any answer at all. What sort of persons are we dealing with to-day? These persons should be handed a pick and shovel and sent to work the fields where they belong. Apparently this is what most English archeologists love to do. Leave the fine intellectual work and judgment to inspired amateurs like me! After all the discoverer of the ruins of Troy and of the jewels of the Court of Priamus was a german amateur called Shliemann!
The fact that such an outstanding and noble monument such as William's effigy is, could be so easily neglected and misrepresented makes one wonder how many times this must have happened in history to documents, scriptural documents, the characters of persons with a high value and worth as referential witnesses, historical facts, events and scenarios, etc. This lends strength to our dear Sir Laurence Gardner's utterings, disclosures and warnings about the human person who was Jesus of Nazareth.

Sir Geoffrey de Mandeville, the Earl of Essex.
(drawing by Stothard of de Mandeville's knight-effigy located at the London Temple- Court Church ).
He was a Knight-Templar who led, together with the Saire de Quincy the struggle of the british/norman Barons for Magna Carta against King John. He lived at the same time as Sir William Ferrers, Lord Tutbury, the 5th Earl of Derby, whose knight-effigy, strikingly similar to Mandeville's, probably made by the same artist, is located at the Gate-Church of Our Lady of Merevale. Sir William died between 1194 and 1197 in the operations around Acre, in the Holy Land, serving under King Richard the Lion Heart.
De Mandeville was confused by Stothard and is being confused by many present historians with his ancestor Sir Geoffrey de Magnaville who lived in the times of William the Conqueror ( Mentioned in a document reported by Sir William Dugdale).

Please Note-: The blogger claims the distinction to have discovered in May 2004 the true identity as a crusading Knight-Templar of the Ferrers-knight, a companion of Sir Geoffrey de Mandeville and the Sair De Quincy, represented in the knight-effigy at Merevale, Staffordshire, Britain.
Knight-Effigy of Sir William Ferrers, Lord Tutburie, the 5th Earl of Derby, crusading Knight-Templar, who died at Acre, Palestine in ca. 1197 A.D. fighting for his heavenly master Jesus under his earthly liege Lord King Richard I the Lion-Heart.
The effigy is located inside the Gate-Church of Our Lady of Merevale, the only original building surviving from the barbaric destruction of the Cistercian Abbey-Monastery of Merevale.
The destruction has been so felonious that even the foundation stones have disappeared and sold. Until 1800 a gothic arch remained but even that was disposed-off by the owners.
The general conspiracy by the petty, local, usurping, grasping and buccaneering nobility of this area is still proceeding with the erasure of the memory of this historical and cultural site as well as of the Ferrers, in general. The Ferrers were experienced administrators and managers who built this area up from its wild origins and civilised the anscestors of these bibulous, undisciplined, oath-breaking saxon/gothic parvenues. This conspiracy is going so far that even the location and reference to the ancient Abbey-Monastery is being withheld from the latest Road-Maps! How low can one go?
A typical and classical example of what I am complaining about is the present Earl Ferrers ( actually a branch of the Shirley, ancient saxon name being Siwalis, whose saxon anscestors crawled-up the social ladder on the back of the Ferrers, at one stage in 1700 actually blackening their name, whose millers they had been, tempore William the Conqueror ) sitting in the House of Lords is doing nothing about Ferrers' monuments and heraldic and historical recognition.
Predictable, is it dear Watson! What? Quite so, old chap! Barbarians!
The Anglican Church, in spite of a few exceptions among its lower ranks ( i.e., the lady-rector of the Church at Merevale who keeps the Church immaculately and loves her effigies ) is useless and historically biased.
I have written to the Bishop of Leicester offering financial and pratical help but the arrogant fellow did not even bother to acknowledge my letter.
On the other hand, I am happy to be able to say, confirming the truth that " noblesse oblige ", His Royal Highness Prince Charles, did acknowledge and share my concerns
thrice-: Good on you Charles!
Noble England, Noble England, how lowly Thou art being dragged down by the usurpers from the steppe!
The copy of a letter directed to whomever may be concerned with my identification of the identity of the knight-effigy at Merevale.
4th March 2007
To Whomever may be concerned.
Reference-: Identity of stone effigy of Ferrers-Knight in the Gate-Church of Our Lady of Merevale Abbey.
Dear Madam/Sir or as applicable in the case Titles are concerned,
I visited the Church in June 2004 admitted by the most genteel Rector, the lady Reverend .........., when on a pilgrimage and modest historical research for a book I am writing about the Clan of the de Ferrariis to which the Ferrers belong. While leafing through The Monumental Effigies of Great Britain compiled by C. A. Stothard, I have become certain that the effigy under discussion represents a Member of the Order of the Knights Templars who had taken vows ( a Crusading Knight ) to fight Infidels in the Holy Land, owing to characteristic symbolic features of the carving of this effigy which were at the times this was made, within the Order of the Templars, the distinction accorded to its crusading members -:
1. The crossed legs.
2. The fact that these are represented in a walking stance.
3. The sword carried on the right hand side.
4. The right-hand-side hand over the heart.
5. When laid in their original position the effigies would be gazing and with their walking-stance oriented toward the East.
Examples of these are shown by five effigies shown at page 1 of the section of the mentioned book devoted to the Knights Templars.Allow me to quote from page 2 of the same section-:
Stow speaks of " eleven monuments of noblemen in the round of the Church [ in Fleet street, London , built in 1240 A.D. upon the foundations of a pre-existing Church dedicated to the Virgin Mary by Patriarch Eraclius]; eight of them, images of armed knights, five being cross-legged as men vowed to the Holy Land against the infidels and unbelieving Jews; the other three straight-legged; the rest are coaped stones, all of grey marble................
Further on, the carrying of the sword preferentially if unusually on the right- hand side by men destined for service in the Middle East is also related. This practice may have been adopted in order to facilitate the riding of the same horseby two kights in crisis ( Templars always fought as a pair ), to balance the weight of the shields, to remove the long scabbard from the blind side and to place it on the sword-side in order to negate the possibility to an opponent grabbing it, usually from behind, in a melee.
I have found evidence that Geoffrey de Magnaville and Geoffrey de Mandeville are two different characters (see Costain and Dugdale ), the former living in the days of W. Conqueror, and dying of wounds in the days of king Stephen, while the latter died after William Ferrers and king Richard I, as De Mandeville fully participated in the struggles for Magna Carta in the times of King John. The two effigies are strikingly similar, the one of Mandeville being a later copy made of the Ferrers' one, the latter's being however superior in the carving of the mantling and exhuding a more stately personality, even in its present vandalised condition. The information leaflet issued at the Gate-Church, states that the effigy came from Merevale-Abbey's Church, gives the name of an art-critic of the past called Pevsner who praised the sculpture's quality, and mentions the possibility it may be of a William, the fourth Earl of Derby, however, according to my knowledge, the fourth Earl was called Robert, the rebel who joined the wife and four sons of King Henry II ( i.e. Henry, Geoffrey, Richard and John ) in a rebellion against the King that lasted sixteen years. However, Robert's son, called William, the fifth Earl of Derby, joined Richard Lion-Heart in his crusade in the Middle East and died at the siege of Acre in 8 Richard I, ca. 1197 A.D. It appears therefore that if this effigy is of a Ferrers' knight, as it must be since it was originally located in Merevale- Abbey's Church, it must represent with the greatest probability the crusading William Lord Ferrers, the fifth Earl of Derby. [ Henry II ( reigned ca. 1154-1189 ); Richard I ( reigned ca. 1189-1199 ). ]I believe that, in spite of all possible uncertainties, my identification is more constructive than the one used at present and should in all justice be adopted, granting me recognition of my discovery.
Further evidence that the Ferrers had ties with the Templars at the time this effigy was carved is evidenced by the Syon Cope ( in the V. & A. Museum ) commemorating the times of Richard I (i.e., Spanish royal Coat of Arms in relation to his wife ) in which the Templars' Arms (i.e. A Paschal Lamb..........) are enbroidered together with those of Sir William (died ca.1197 ) and Lord Robert Ferrers ( 1241-1279), the eighth and last Earl of Derby, the second great rebel in this family, and of other influential families of the Midlands.
Would you care to give me some feedback in relation to these observations? Who in Great Britain would be directly interested in this discovery and what should be done about it? How important is it in view of the fact that no one among the archeologists and artists interested in monuments and effigies ( i.e., Stothard ) have mentioned the existence or realised the identity of this Knight Templar? I have written to the Rector of the Gate Church of Our Lady at Merevale, but received no answer. She should at least correct the label she places at the side of the effigy. Could not missing parts be replaced by plastic components, while at the same time notifying the visitors of the restoration occurred ? I would also like to receive recognition of my discovery.
I remain, Yours faithfully


At July 18, 2009 at 4:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thank for you work. I am a direct descendant of the Ferrers/Ferrieres through my mother. She is a Ferris (same family that invented the Ferris wheel) which is one of the break off names of the family. I have done much research on the family and have found many of the same things but not everything that you have found. I am grateful for what you have found and I know the rest of my family will be interested to know also. I have read most of Laurence Gardners books and think that he has alot of correct information but not 100%. I don't think anyone should let someone with title persuade their belief or theology based on their own opinions. In the end there is no reason why Jesus couldn't have been married and be the Son of God! The first commandment was to multiply, and in the gospels he says himself that man and woman are not whole without eachother. I think he would marry for the same reason he was baptised, "To fulfill all rightousness." Thank you and I hope you continue your work. The Ferrer/Ferris family here in the USA is doing well.


At July 18, 2009 at 7:16 PM , Blogger Templar said...

Thank you oh anonymous cousin!
You are welcome. Being an American, you should be interested to communicate with Tim Farr, e-mail-: as he is the co-ordinator of severall projects involving Americans and others, including myself, in research that includes Y-DNA haplogroup testing, about the surnames being part of the European Clan of "gensferreria/ferraria".
Please contact him if you have never met him and tell him to include you in our sorority/brotherhood. You can be assured that FERRIS are there already in his group (over 300).
Threre are no fees.
My e-mail is
Why remain anonymous?
Communicate boldly cousin, like a Templar! Hang Al Qaeda!

At March 15, 2016 at 10:42 PM , Anonymous Lady Ferrers said...

Love this post! I have emailed you.


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