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Here's the crest and the arms

sm_coa_arms.jpg - 8Kb

Click on the arms for a larger image

These images are taken from the original exemplification of 1907. Or you can see a computer cleaned-up version of the same.

These arms arose from the marriage in 1730 of Philip Powys to Isabella Lybbe, the last surviving Lybbe for all times and the only child of Richard Lybbe. This meant that their children could quarter the Lybbe arms with the Powys ones, as both families had arms and both were recorded in the Herald's visitations in the sixteenth (Lybbe) and seventeenth (Powys) centuries. The arms used were always Powys in quarters 1 and 4 with Lybbe in quarters 2 and 3.

In 1863 my great-great-grandfather decided he would add Lybbe to his Powys surname. I have elsewhere documented what little I know and have surmised about this change.

These days such licences are obtained through the College of Arms and they normally do a posh quartering of the arms of the two names as well, certainly this seems to have happened with another great-great-grandfather when he changed his name from Brown to Trotter, not to mention also a great-grandfather when he changed his name from Busfeild to Ferrand. Anyhow in 1907 my grandfather must have thought that a proper job had not been done so he applied to make his arms into an impartible quartering of Powys and Lybbe. For reasons that I still do not fully understand, it was seen to be necessary to have this change made by Royal Licence, meaning that Edward VII signed it. They included in these instructions that he signed one that the College was to exemplify the arms, in other words draw up a posh statement on vellum with a beautifully painted coat of arms at the top. This looks like what the Heralds issue when they Grant some arms but in this case they did not make the grant, the King did, they merely exemplified it. At enormous expense of course. We still have the instruction from Edward VII and the Exemplification.

Interestingly the arms changed from Powys quartered by Lybbe to Lybbe quartered by Powys. The reason for this was that the earlier Royal Licence to change the name had instructed that Lybbe was to added to and after Powys. The last part of a name is regarded by the heralds as the most important, so this is what goes in quarters 1 and 4; thus Powys ended up as subordinate arms in quarters 2 and 3.

Perhaps this justifies that my gt-gt-grandfather then called himself Mr Lybbe (and Fanny Worth was Mrs Lybbe). Further it explains that my father always would refer to himself on the phone as 'Lybbe speaking' and encouraged acquaintances to write to him as 'Dear Lybbe'.

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