Carew and Pole Letters

Devon & Cornwall Notes and Queries vol. VI, (January 1910 to October 1911), pp. 173-4.


E. Haviland Hillman

Prepared by Michael Steer

The Note’s author seeks to link his Hillman family with that of the armigerous Devonshire Helman of Furlong family, related by marriage to Carew of Anthony. His research revealed differences in the official heraldic record by Colonel Vivian in the Visitation of 1620, and arms appearing on Hillman memorials in Berkshire and Salisbury. The article, from a copy of a rare and much sought-after journal can be downloaded from the Internet Archive. Google has sponsored the digitisation of books from several libraries. These books, on which copyright has expired, are available for free educational and research use, both as individual books and as full collections to aid researchers.

Note 162. CAREW AND POLE LETTERS (II., par. 12. p. 12). - I am anxious to get some light on the mystery of the arms ascribed to the family of Helman of Furlong, mentioned in the very interesting article of Mr. Jewers, where he says: "The result of this letter is shown by a pedigree of seven generations in the male line, and the arms Vert, on a chev. betw. three pheons or, five guttee de sang, being inserted in the official copy of the Visitation" (italics are mine). These arms are described, with some difference, in Col. Vivian's Visitations of Devon, viz., Vert, a chevron arg. guttee de sang, between three pheons or.

In order to verify the correctness of the arms attributed to this family by Col. Vivian, I wrote to the College of Arms, and received the following reply from Somerset Herald: - "A search has been made here, and the result shows that the arms allowed to the family of Hilman of Atterhill and Furland, co. Devon, at the Visitation of 1620 were as follows: Argent three bendlets azure within a bordure engrailed gules. The entry in the printed book you refer to (Col. Vivian's Visitations of Devon) is therefore incorrect."

These arms, as given by Somerset Herald, I have found engraved, impaling wife's arms, on a monument in Chieveley Church, Chieveley, Berks, to Robert Hillman*, who died in 1749; also on a gravestone to Rawlins Hillman (d. 1741) in the Morning Chapel at Salisbury Cathedral.

The question is, were the above Robert and Rawlins Hillman descendants of John Helman (or Hilman) of Furlong ? If they were, it would go to prove that the arms of this family are incorrectly given by Col. Vivian. But then, what are we to say to the "official copy of the Visitation" mentioned by Mr. Jewers, and which Somerset Herald ignores or does not consider an authority?

In Burke's General Armoury of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, ed. 1878, p. 491, he attributes the following arms to Hillman, viz. : Gu. on a bend cotized or, three roses of the field, seeded of the second, barbed vert. Crest : A demi eagle, wings displ. or, holding in the beak a rose gules, stalked and leaved vert. This coat, with different tinctures, is that of Aundy or Dawney, and I wonder why Burke ever attributed it to Hillman ?

I should be greatly obliged for any record of the use of any of the above arms, on tombstones, etc., as also any additions or corrections to the pedigree of Helman of Furlong as given in Col. Vivian's Visitation of Devon

                        E. Haviland Hillman. 

* He was undoubtedly the son of Robert Hillman, of Ramsbury Park, Wilts, vide will P.C.C., dated Dec. 10, 1692.