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Millett Family Coat of Arms

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A History of the Milletts, 1647-1674
de Mellet Family
New Zealand Legislation on Age of Sexual Consent
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Rarere Road, Takapuna: a Brief History

 

The original Millett coat of arms was granted by William Camden, Clarenceux King of Arms, to John Millet of Hayes Court, Hayes, Middlesex in 1616.[1]

 

See fig. 1.

 

 

Blazon

 

Arms:    Argent a fess gules between three dragons’ heads erased vert.

Crest:    Out of a mural coronet an arm in pale, habited or, grasping in a glove argent a dragon’s head erased vert.[2]

 

The mural coronet or crown was often used in the arms of distinguished soldiers, with the wall originally signifying the taking of a walled city.

 

See figs. 2-4.

 

 

Milletts of Perivale, Middlesex [3]

 

The Milletts of Hayes were probably a branch of the Perivale Milletts, descended from one of the sons of Henry Millet or Myllet, who died on 5 February 1500 at Perivale.  Henry Millet was several times constable of Perivale (Greenford Parva), and his brass in Perivale Church shows that he left three sons and six daughters by his first wife Alice, and three sons and three daughters by his second wife Joanna.  According to Brown’s The chronicles of Greenford Parva, the Perivale Millett arms were “a lion passant above a cross like that of St. Andrew, which are the arms of Millet”.[4]  The Milletts of Perivale, descended from Henry Millet, appear to have come to an end with Elizabeth Millett of Perivale, who died on 20 April 1655 at Agmondesham, Buckinghamshire.  She married twice:  first Sir Thomas Knightley, and secondly John Lane of the Inner Temple and of Rosehall, Sarratt, Hertfordshire.

 

 

Milletts of Hayes Court, Middlesex

 

John Millett of Hayes Court, who died before 21 October 1571, married Alice Lyon of Twifford (Twyford), Middlesex, whose will was dated 21 October 1571 and proved on 22 February 1572.  Alice was the daughter of Henry Lyon of Ruislip, Middlesex (born 1495) and Dorothy ?, and sister of Richard Lyon of West Twyford, who was first cousin and heir of Sir John Lyon, Lord Mayor of London in 1554, who died on 8 September 1564;  Richard Lyon’s second wife was Isabel Millett, the sister of his brother-in-law John Millett.  Richard Lyon died on 17 March 1579 at Twyford.

 

John Millett and Alice Lyon has four sons, the eldest of whom was Richard Millett of Hayes Court, whose will was dated 30 December 1594 and proved on 3 February 1595.  Richard Millett married Mary Page, daughter of William Page of Sidbury in the Parish of Harrow-on-the-Hill, Middlesex, who was buried on 29 November 1558 at Harrow, and Isabell Shepherd, daughter of Thomas Shepherd of Kingesbury Hill, Middlesex.[5]

 

Richard Millett and Mary Page had four sons and four daughters.  The eldest, John Millett of Hayes Court, to whom the coat of arms was granted in 1616, was the Lord of the Manor there in 1613.  His will was dated 1628.  He married Thomasin Driwood of Essex, and had two children:  John Millett, who died without issue and whose will was dated 1651;  and Elizabeth Millett, who married George Page, draper of Coleman Street, London who was living in 1634 and was a member of the Worshipful Company of Drapers. 

 

John Millett of Hayes Court was elder brother of Richard Millett of Denham, Buckinghamshire who died in 1638.  Other siblings included Randall Millett of Denham, Buckinghamshire, a skinner of London whose will was dated 1631;  Isabel Millett, whose will was dated 1649;  Anne Millett, whose will was dated 1611 and who married Allan Hendre of Egham, Surrey;  and Mary Millett who married Edward Horde, an ironmonger of London.

 

See fig. 5.

 

 

Early use of arms

 

Elizabeth Millett of Perivale, referred to above, died on 20 April 1655 at Agmondesham, Buckinghamshire.  Her monument at Perivale shows the Millett arms, rather than those of her husbands:  Argent, a fess gules between three dragons’ heads erased vert.[6]

 

The Millett arms are also inscribed on a stone obelisk in St Hilary churchyard, marking the grave of Humphrey Millett of Enys, Cornwall, who was born in 1744/45 and died on 16 November 1774.[7]

 

See fig. 6.

 

 

Quartered arms

 

On 1 September 1798 at St Anne’s, Limehouse, London, Richard Millett (1770-1826), eldest son of John Millett of Bosavern (1724-1793) and Dorcas Trevorian (1724-1799), married Sarah Towers (1774-1810), the only daughter and sole heiress of John Towers (1738-1797) and Ann Turner (1746-1830).  As a consequence of this marriage the original Millett arms of 1616 were quartered with those of Towers.

 

See fig. 7.

 

 

Blazon

 

Arms:    Quarterly, 1st and 4th quarters Argent a fess gules between three dragons’ heads erased vert, for Millett;  2nd and 3rd quarters Sable on a chevron argent between three towers of the second as many pellets of the first.[8]

Crest:    Out of a mural coronet an arm in pale, habited or, grasping in a glove argent a dragon’s head erased vert.

Motto:    Manus haec inimica tyrannis = This hand is hostile to tyrants  or (more poetically)   This hand brooks no tyranny

 

It is not known when this motto was added to the Millett arms.  Burke’s General armory [9] and Fairbairn’s  Book of crests [10] attribute the motto to Leigh of Standishgate near Wigan, Lancastershire.

 

According to Boutell’s Heraldry, “the inheritance of arms is restricted to heirs who are lineally descended from the first lawful possessor of those arms”.[11]  Since Richard Millett was not lineally descended from John Millet of Hayes, it is not clear under what authority Richard inherited the 1616 Millett of Hayes Court arms.  However, from the date of his marriage in 1798 the quartered Millett arms were passed on to succeeding descendants of the Millett of Bosavern line.

 

The well-known Penzance genealogist and antiquarian George Bown Millett (1842-1896) used the quartered arms in his book-plate.

 

See fig. 8.



[1]  Foster, Joseph.  Grantees of arms named in docquets and patents between the years 1687 and 1898, preserved in various manuscripts, collected and alphabetically arranged by the late Joseph Foster and contained in the Additional ms. no. 37,149, in the British Museum.  Edited by W. Harry Rylands.  London, Harleian Society, 1915.  (Publications of the Harleian Society, vol. 66)  p. 172.

 

[2]  Burke, Sir Bernard.  The general armory of England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales; comprising a registry of armorial bearings from the earliest to the present time.  London, Heraldry Today, 1984, p. 687.  Burke attributes these arms to Millett of Denham, Buckinghamshire and of Middlesex, not to Millett of Hayes Court, whose arms are given as Azure a fess dancettée (another, a lion passant guardant) between three birds or.

 

[3]  Main sources for this and the following section are:  Evans, Charles.  Millett, of Hayes, Middlesex.  Notes and Queries  n.s. v. 10 no. 11, November 1963, p. 403-405;  Stinchfield, John Clark.  History of the town of Leeds, Androscoggin County, Maine, from its settlement, June 10, 1780.  Lewiston, Me, Press of Lewiston Journal, 1901, p. 41-43;  Brown, John Allen.  The chronicles of Greenford Parva; or, Perivale, past and present.  London, J. S. Virtue, 1890, p. 78;  Mundy, Richard.  Middlesex pedigrees, as collected by Richard Mundy in Harleian ms. no. 1551;  edited by Sir George John Armytage.  London, Harleian Society, 1914.  (Publications of the Harleian Society, vol. 65)  p. 138.

 

[4]  Brown, op. cit. p. 73.

 

[5]  St George, Sir Henry.  The visitation of London, anno domini 1633, 1634, and 1635.  Edited by Joseph Jackson Howard.  Volume 2.  London, Harleian Society, 1883.  (Publications of the Harleian Society, vol. 17)  p. 138.

 

[6]  Evans, op. cit. p. 403.

 

[7]  Polsue, Joseph.  A complete parochial history of the County of Cornwall.  Truro, William Lake, 1867-1872.   4 v.  Vol. 2, p. 189.

 

[8]  Burke, op. cit. p. 1022.

 

[9]  Burke, op. cit. p. 598.

 

[10]  Fairbairn, James.  Fairbairn’s book of crests of the families of Great Britain and Ireland.  4th edition.  London, T. C. & E. C. Jack, 1905.  2 v.  Vol. 1 part 2, p. 34.

 

[11]  Boutell, Charles.  Boutell’s heraldry.  Revised by J. P. Brooke-Little.  Rev. ed.  London, F, Warne, 1978, p. 131.

 

January 2015

Fig. 1.  Original grant, December 1616
Fig. 1. Original grant, December 1616

Fig. 2.  Original arms
Fig. 2. Original arms

Fig 3.  Original arms
Fig. 3. Original arms

Fig 4.  Original arms
Fig. 4. Original arms

Fig. 5.  From Mundy's Middlesex Pedigrees (1914)
Fig. 5. From Mundy's Middlesex Pedigrees (1914)

Fig. 6.  Monument for Humphry Millett (1744/45-177
Fig. 6. Monument for Humphry Millett (1744/45-1774)

Fig. 7.  Quartered arms
Fig. 7. Quartered arms

Book-plate of George Bown Millett (1842-1896)
Book-plate of George Bown Millett (1842-1896)