Rowley Coat-of-Arms (Caithness Heraldry)

Rowley Coat-of-Arms 'Ventis Secundis'

Rowley Coat-of-Arms (Caithness Heraldry)


2 Responses to “Rowley Coat-of-Arms (Caithness Heraldry)”

  1. AndrewM Bridgeford says:

    These are the arms of Rowley of Priory Park, St Neotts as they appear in Burke’s Landed Gentry. It is with this family that our Rowleys are, I suggest, quite probably, though distantly, related.

    As for the motto, I have photocopies of two editions of BLG (no date unfortunately). One edition has no motto; the other gives Deus Providebit; neither says Ventis Secundis!

    My guess is the device (known as the crest) above the shield is spur. The closed helmet indicates landed gentry rather than nobility. The birds are ravens heraldically known as “cornish choughs”. The scallop shells may perhaps indicate that an ancestor went on the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella – the scallop shell being the symbol of St James and that pilgrimage.

    Having stuck my neck out about all that I should at once say that I am no expert on heraldry and it is years since I read anything on the subject. So if anyone can correct me please do so!

    The Rowleys of Priory Park, St Neots, Cambridgeshire (they also had Morecot Hall, Huntingdonshire) originated from Worfield near Bridgnorth in Shropshire. They moved from Shropshire in the eighteenth century, In Shropshire their line has been traced back to 1252.

    The hypothesis that our Shropshire Rowleys are another branch of this family is based on proximity and land. The emigrants to NZ John Cotton Rowley and Thomas Rowley (the latter returned to the British Isles and lived in Guernsey for many years) were sons of the Rev Dr Thomas Rowley (1797 – 1877), headmaster of Bridgnorth School and (until he sold it) Lord of the Manor of Middleton Scriven, another parish in the neighbourhood of Bridgnorth. His father was the Rev Richard Rowley of Middleton Scriven (1767 -1812), author amongst other things of two books and I believe chaplain to an army regiment though I forget which. According to my information Richard’s father was Dr Thomas Rowley (b. 1729), a surgeon of Barratts Hill, Broseley and Lord of the Manor of Middleton Scriven. This Thomas’s father in turn was a Richard Rowley (d. 1729) of Middleton Scriven. But here my trail goes cold. Has anyone got any further?

    The Rowleys of Worfield are from a neighbouring parish, where there is I believe also a hamlet called Rowley, and it would be nice to connect our branch with this geographically very close line. The Worfield line is taken by Burke’s Landed Gentry as far back as 1252 – to a merchant called William de Roulowe. It may be that if one ever really wants to find the connection between the two lines the services of a professional genealogist will need to be engaged.

    A descendant today of the Worfield/St Neots family is Peter Rowley of New York who has written an account of his own family (Chronicles of the Rowleys, 1995) and who recently generously gave £1million to the town of St Neots so that they could establish a cinema!

  2. Steve Rowley says:

    Some Rowley clans are Irish from Connacht and it is an anglicization of the ancient Milesian clan O’Rothlain, or decendants of Rothlan. These families can be found still in Ireland unde the named Roland, Roles, Rowley. The same crow and shells are part of the Irish heraldry…ventis secundis originally in the gaeilge meaning with fair winds…a reference to the coming to the island from Galicia by ship and being from this line.

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