Last month's feature presented
information about Margaret Fiennes and her husband, Sam(p)son Lennard.
They are the parents of Thomas Leonard (1577-1638) who married Lydia
White. Lady Margaret descends from the Neville family through her
Sam(p)son Lennard served as High Sheriff of Kent and
was a Member of Parliament for several constituencies. "Sampson
Lennard, a prominent gentleman of Kent and Sussex, claimant to the
barony of Dacres in right of his wife, and a person with friends at
Court, sat for Newport (Cornwall) in 1571, Bramber (Sussex) in 1584, St.
Mawes (Cornwall) in 1586, Christchurch (Hampshire) in 1589, St. Germains
(Cornwall) in 1583, Rye (the Cinque Port) in 1597, Liskeard (Cornwall)
in 1601, and Sussex in 1614." (Source: The Elizabethan House of
Commons by J. E. Neale, Yale University Press, 1950). He
seems to have been a learned man as he translated Pierre Charron's Of
Wisdome, published about 1612, with a dedication to Prince Henry.
(Source: Middle-Class Culture in Elizabethan England by Louis B.
Wright, The University of North Carolina Press.) In addition, Sampson
Lennard was Bluemantle Pursuivant, responsible for conducting some
of the Visitations described below. (See Dorset,
A great-granddaughter of this union, Mary Leonard, married Samuel Bliss
of Springfield. This month's feature continues information about the
Fiennes-Lennard and Mary Leonard-Samuel Bliss families.
The Fynes and Lennard pages contain
information from the Visitations made by the College of Arms between
1529-1686, many of which have been published by the Harleian
Society. The Visitations were conducted for the following reasons:
"By the 14th century the
number of families entitled to bear arms had grown to the extent that
the heralds, who supervised tournaments, etc, were given the
responsibility for regulating the design and the wearing of armorial
bearings. This duty was consolidated in 1485 in the College of
Heralds. By then bearings had become hereditary.
College of Arms. The
College, alternatively called the College of Heralds, was established
1485; it is responsible for the granting, control and confirmation of
coats-of-arms in England. At its head is the Earl Marshal, an
hereditary title held by the Duke of Norfolk. He has thirteen
principal officers: three Kings of Arms - Garter, Clarenceux and Norroy,
six heralds - Chester, Lancaster, Somerset, Richmond, Windsor and York,
and four pursuivants - Rouge Croix, Rouge Dragon, Portcullis and
1529/30 the College of Arms made visitations to parts of the country to
establish if coats-of-arms were being used correctly, and also to
investigate new applications. The last visitation was in 1686.
Many of the visitation records have been printed by the Harleian
Society." [Source: Pg. 213, The Local Historian's Encyclopedia,
John Richardson, 1974,Historical Publications, ISBN 0 9503656 7]