Ballard Genealogy and Heraldry


Stowe Manuscript 634, an emblazoned pedigree

of Thomas Ballard of Wadhurst, Sussex dated 1634

Stowe Ms 634 has a pedigree for Thomas Ballard of Wadhurst, Sussex with blazons of arms for each member of his own and his mother's pedigree. The basic substance of the pedigree is identical to the copy taken at the Visitation of Sussex in 1619 and the manuscript is endorsed "Approved and registered in the time of the Visitation of Sussex Anno Dmi 1634 - Jo: Phillipott Somersett"

This manuscript is 5 feet long by 16 inches wide and, as you can see, I have a full size colour photograph of it on my wall at home. It is impractical to copy it to this web site but the following information and reproductions of the arms have been taken from it.  

From the blazons and Burke's General Armoury the following assumptive family connections were made:


Sleford, Lincoln & Scotney Castle, Kent

Or a cross vert


Drystoke, Rutland

Az. a fleur-de-lis ar.


Kent, Surrey and Exall co. Warwick

Paly of six ar. & sa. a fess gu.


Lichfield, co. Stafford

Erm. on a chief az. five bezant or.


Lilleshall, co Salop and Halling, co. Kent

Az. three holly leaves or.

(Could be laurel, there appears to be some confusion over which the Levesons used)



Ar. three Catherine wheels sa. A border engr. gu.


Melton Mowbray & Nottingham

Ar. on a fess between three annulets gu. a mullet of the field betw. two covered cups or.


Northiam & Winchelsea

Paly of six or. and az. on a chief of the second a griffin pass. of the first.


Co. Bedford and London

Quarterly, or. and gu. In the second and third quarters a fret or, on a bend sa. three fleur-de-lis ar.


Co. Leicester, Badby and Everton co. Northampton

Sa. on a fess or, betw. three bezants, as many lions' heads erased of the first


Stowe Manuscript 634

 Letter from British Library re provenance of Stowe Ms 634.

"I have been asked to reply to your enquiry concerning Stowe MS 634. This roll is described in our catalogue as 'Genealogica Descriptio Stemmatis Ballardorum' of the Ballard family, originally of Horton, Kent.  It was drawn up by John Philipott, Rouge-dragon (the visiting herald), in 1619, and was augmented by him, and registered, at the Visitation of Sussex in 1634.      

It entered the collection of Richard Temple-Nugent-Brydges-Chandos-Grenville, 1st Duke of Buckingham and Chandos (died 1839).  His collection was bought by the 4th Earl of Ashburnham in 1849, and was then purchased by parliament from the 5th Earl of Ashburnham in 1883. 

The major part of this collection, including the Ballard genealogical roll, was incorporated into the library of the British Museum, now British Library, as the Stowe collection of manuscripts.

The Heralds Visitations have been published as part of the Harleian Society series, and you may be able to find some additional information there.  However, although the published visitations are based on manuscript sources, the editors do not seem to have made use of Stowe 634.  I hope that this information proves to be of assistance.     

     Yours sincerely,

     Dr Justin Clegg

     (Curator of Manuscripts)"


The painting of the Spencer arms in the 1st and 4th quarters is actually the arms of Spencer of Yarnton not South Mills. The only difference being that the bend is charged with three escallopes argent for Yarnton and three Fleur-de-Lys for South Mills, This could have been an honest error by either Thomas or John Phillipot or the Heraldic artist. What is less open to conjecture is the speculative inclusion of the second Spencer branch of Leicester, Badby and Everton in the 2nd and 3rd quarters. The only known link between these branches was the marriage of Dorothy (3rd daughter of Sir William Spencer who was knighted by Henry VIII in 1529 and died c 1532) with Thomas Spencer esq. of Everton, in Northamptonshire. The South Mills branch of the Spencers is shown going back to 14 Edward IV (1474) and thus precedes the marriage of Dorothy and Thomas and cannot be descendant from them. Was this an allusion by Thomas to something greater or simly Phillipot “egging the pudding”?

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