Planché (1874) The Conqueror and his Companions – William Armorial Binding Two Volumes Complete


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Planché, J. R. The Conqueror and his Companions. (London: Tinsley Brothers, 1874), a study of the companions of William the Conqueror at the time of the Battle of Hastings.

Octavo. Two volumes, I (xx, 268 pages) and II (vi, 304). Hardcover. Three-quarter bound in maroon cloth and black leather. Untrimmed, top edge gilt. Cover stamped in gilt with armorial device. Spine stamped in gilt with five raised bands.

Condition: VG. Cover solid, binding tight (hinges have been repaired). Marginalia in pencil and fountain pen throughout both volumes.  Wear through on top corners, corners bumped,

Provenance: Armorial binding of a lion rampant crest with shield containing three lions rampant and the motto: “Dum Clavum Rectum Teneam” or “If only I go steady“, an invocation to do your duty, whatever the cost. A variation of the motto was used by William Penn “Dum Clavum Teneam“, though I do not represent this in any way to be a Penn family crest.

Inside is the bookplate of M. Jackson Crispin (1875-1953), author of The Crispins of Kingston-on-Hull (the History of Kingston-Upon-Hull is also in inventory) and other genealogical and historical books.

James Robinson Planché (27 February 1796 – 30 May 1880) was a British dramatist, antiquary and officer of arms. Over a period of approximately 60 years he wrote, adapted, or collaborated on 176 plays in a wide range of genres including extravaganza, farce, comedy, burletta, melodrama and opera. Planché was responsible for introducing historically accurate costume into nineteenth century British theatre, and subsequently became an acknowledged expert on historical costume, publishing a number of works on the topic.

Planché’s interest in historical costume led to other antiquarian research, including heraldry and genealogy. He was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 1829, and was influential in the foundation of the British Archaeological Association in 1843. Appointed Rouge Croix Pursuivant in 1854 and promoted to Somerset Herald in 1866, Planché undertook heraldic and ceremonial duties as a member of the College of Arms. These included proclaiming peace at the end of the Crimean War and investing foreign monarchs with the Order of the Garter.