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Richard Huish


As I am sure you know, the Richard Huish Coat of Arms is : Quarterly, first and fourth, argent; on a bend sable three fishes of the field; second and third argent a fess lozengy sable. And of course, the crest is an elephant's head argent armed and crowned with a ducal coronet, or. I imagine the chat around the drinking fountain at break was of little else.

Translated into English from heraldic : the coat of arms is quartered into four, the top left and bottom right are silver; a diagonal black line runs from bottom right to top left with three fish in silhouette thereon; the top right and bottom left quarters have a band in the middle with black diamonds across the full length. The crest is an silver elephant's head baring his tusks and with a gold coronet as worn by Dukes.

But why ? Frankly, that's a puzzle. Pupils of the school will know that the portrait of Richard Huish has a similar but different crest - just the diagonal line and the fish.

Many heraldic / pseudo-heraldic sources exist and they vary in explanation. Some regard the quartering as linking the Huish and Avenell families. Several aver the fishes to be the humble Roach, in recognition of a marriage between the Huish and De la Roche families in 1311. Others make no marriage reference at all and say the fish are Barbels. Yer pays yer money..

The Lozenge symbolises noble birth; an elephant strength, wisdom and courage. The crescent moon in the middle is the symbol for the second son.

Several sites suggest that the Huish family forebears were part of the army of William, Duke of Normandy, 1066 and all that. Others don't.

Burke's "A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Commoners of Great Britain and Ireland, Enjoying Territorial Possessions Or High Official Rank", published in 1838 (this website isn't just thrown together you know…) has a remarkable family history and lineage of Richard (born date unknown, died 23rd February 1615, 400 years ago just gone) He hypothesises that our coat of arms is that of the Huish's of Leicester, not Taunton! Whilst "The Gentleman's Magazine, Volume 101, Part 2" is very certain that the quartered arms ARE our boy, by virtue of their presence on the buildings we now call the Huish Alms Houses.

Hoever, enough of my prattling. As regular readers will know, the College hosted a lecture by Tom Mayberry (Chief Executive of the South West Heritage Trust) in November 2015, devoted to richrd huish himelf and his scolastic legacy. Here is a link to the You Tube video of that lecture - do look at it, it is truly deserving of the word FACINATING.

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