Letters and notes about the HUBBARD RING and COAT of ARMS by George HUBBARD 1859 - 1936
While documents are still in existence and certain facts are still in my memory, I am anxious to leave on record an account of the Hubbard Ring and the Grant of Arms to the descendants of my Father, John Waddington Hubbard. GH
THE HUBBARD RING
It was in the summer of 1915
that my friend, the Rev. D.H.S. Cranage of Cambridge, wrote and told me that a
friend of his, a Mr. A. E. Clarke, had had in his possession, at one time, a
heavy gold ring bearing the Arms of the Hubbard family. Dr. Cranage urged me to
buy the ring: but at first I was not disposed to do so, feeling as I did, that
my particular branch of the Hubbard race could not prove any title to them.
Subsequently I considered that the ring might be worth buying and I therefore wrote to Dr. Cranage to that effect and he kindly forwarded my letter to Mr. Clarke.
As will appear from the correspondence, a miller and a small farmer at West Walton, Norfolk, after harrowing a field found the ring on one of the tines of his harrow.
Mr. Clarke bought the ring from the miller and sold it, together with a letter from Sir John Evans, to a Mr. Welldon of Wellingbourgh.
At Mr. Welldon's death it was again sold with two other rings by Frank Knight & Rutley, Auctioneers, on July 24th 1914.
A certain Mr. Joseph Brooks bought the three rings in one lot at the Auction, and I subsequently bought the same three rings from Mr. Brookes.
After this short account the correspondence will be more clearly understood.
The first letter I have from Mr. Clarke to myself is as follows:
Dear Mr Hubbard,
Our friend Dr.
Cranage has shown me your letter.
G Hubbard Esq.
The “sort of letter” referred to by Mr. Clarke was a letter from Mr. Brooke to Mr. Clarke. It is a quaintly worded letter and as it is referred to in the correspondence, I give a literal transcript:
10 Cambridge Rod.
They are the same rings I bought at Knight, Frank & Rutely on July 24 1914 Lot 31. They have not been out of my possession since I cleared them. I cannot sent you a wax impression of them.
You are a stranger to me, and if you mean business, you can send me the cash for them and I will send them to you by Register Post or I will deliverer them to your London Agent on Payment of Cash.
If these terms do not suit you, please do not write again about them.
I am, Sir,
From the tone of Mr. Brook’s
letter to Mr. Clarke, I did not feel that this document was likely to be of much
service to me. Money was what Mr. Brooks wanted and so long as he secured that,
I felt certain that he would he disposed to dispense with introductory
I took an early opportunity of motoring over from Eltham to Bromley and after some little difficulty I found 10 Cambridge Road. It was a very humble dwelling and though I knocked and rang there was a suspicious stillness in the house. Obviously no one was at home.
A second visit on October 3rd 1915 was more successful. A gaunt slatternly woman opened the door. Mr Brooks was at home and the woman showed me into a tiny sitting room where I was left to await the arrival of Mr. Joseph Brooks.
When he appeared I told him I had heard from Mr. Clarke and that I had come over to see the rings, about which Mr. Clarke had written to him.
I soon concluded my bargain and bought the three rings for £18. Two I sent to Mr. Clarke, the receipt of which he acknowledged in the following letter:
Dear Mr. Hubbard,
G. Hubbard Esq.
In another letter I had further information from Mr. Clarke. I am therefore quoting this also:
Dear Mr. Hubbard,
It was your ring.
I offered him £5.
for it but he said he had already been offered £10. for it and so
ultimately I bought it for £10. 10. 0. or perhaps £11.
Yours very truly
sgd. A.E. Clarke
Mr. Clarke kindly sent to me the two letters from Sir John Evans to which he made reference:
Yours very faithfully"
sgd. JOHN EVANS.
W, Clarke Esq.
The ring weighs just over 1
oz. and I think it is 22 caret gold.
The late Gothic design of the cusping of the shield is undoubtedly indicative of the end of the 15th Century.
The other letter is written two days later.
If you care for a fuller opinion upon it please send it for my inspection at your convenience.
In Mr Clarke's letter to me of October 6th 1915, he refers to another letter from Sir John Evans; but unfortunately this letter appears to have been given by Mr. Clarke to Mr. Welldon when he sold the ring to him, and it is, I presume, no longer in existence.
THE GRANT OF ARMS
My friend Mr George H. Viner
took much interest in the ring and gave me much assistance when I went to
Herald's College with the object of adopting, if possible, the Coat of Arms on
the ring. In a letter of October 4th 1915, he says it transpires from Papworth
that "the Arms on the ring are those of Hobart as well as Hubbard."
Thus Hobart (Baronetcy 1611 Barony 1728) Earl of Buckingham 1746 had "Sa an eight-pointed estoile or between two flauches erm" as did the Hobarts of Suffolk and of Dromon Co. Waterford.
The estoile of the Hibbards was six pointed, but otherwise the coat was the same.
Although the Arms depicted upon the ring differ from my own when the tinctures and divisions of the shield are taken into consideration,
The general effect of the two shields, when uncoloured is approximately the same.
The small difference between the Arms of Norfolk, the Hubbards of Co. Durham and my own may be seen from the following comparison:
Hobart of Norfolk
Sable, an estoile of eight points between two flaunches ermine.
Hubbard of Co. Durham.
Sable, in chief a crescent argent and in base an estoile of eight points or between two flaunches ermine.
Per saltire azure and ermine over all an estoille of eight points charged with a crescent Gules.
If the crescent for the
difference is added to the Arms of the Hobarts of Norfolk then, apart from the
colour, the Arms are almost identical with the Hubbards of Co. Durham.
The Chief difference between mine and those of the Hubbards of Co. Durham, apart from colour, is in the position of the crescent.
The wax impression in the cover is of the old late 15th Century Hubbard ring, and the Arms of the Hobarts of Norfolk, and the Arms of the Hubbards of Co. Durham and my own are given for the purpose of comparison.
In my composition of the design for my Book Plate, I have embodied the Coat of Arms as granted at Herald's College, and for the rest of the design introduced a direct Grinling Gibbons character.
In another volume I have written a full account of the history of the Gibbons Carving and Panelling which was so wrongly discarded from the Chapel of Winchester College, but as it was this carving which has played such an important part in my life and fortune, I am glad that it should be introduced into my book plate.
Compare with the Durham Crest - 1,000 years of Hubbard History