Monday, 7 March 2016

Plume of Feathers ...




I got to wondering about a Plume of Feathers and its history as an item of regalia, which I’d connoted to the Royal Family, from the pub/hotel we’d encountered in Minehead towards the end of my West Country tour.

The Queen wears a Plume of Feathers
on her velvet hat - the standard
heraldic wear for the Order
of the Garter ceremony


How do these things come about … and why?  I am always intrigued ... which ties in nicely to my interview over at Karen Lange’s blog … so please pop by to say hello to Karen … and perhaps to learn a little more about me and my inquiring mind.





Back to feathering our brains … The Prince of Wales’s feathers is the heraldic badge of the Prince … consisting of three white ostrich feathers emerging from a gold coronet.  The ribbon below bears the motto Ich Dien (German for “I serve”) – why?  I ask!


The Prince of Wales's Feathers


This emblem dates back to Edward, the Black Prince (1330 – 1376) … and it is likely that the Black Prince inherited the badge from his mother, Philippa of Hainault … from where the Bohemian (German) Ich Dien would have come from.





Heraldry is quite another matter … and one I don’t think I will ever understand … though I’d love to have a better knowledge about it … learning the colours of heraldry is tricky enough …


Henry of Grosmont, Earl of Lancaster
wearing his Garter robes as depicted
in the Bruges Garter Book: here
you can see some of the early
heraldic coats of arms


But from the Monarchy’s website I glean that the rules of heraldry (told you it wasn’t easy!) allow limited variations in the depiction of the badge …


… the spines or quills of the feathers can be gold, instead of white or silver, and the coronet usually studied with emeralds and rubies, can also feature small sapphires … and so it goes …




The pub sign ...

But the pub I can understand!  The Plume of Feathers at Greenwich has a very interesting historical write up …





The Plume of Feathers pub - with an
interesting history

One pub
13 Monarchs
23 Known Landlords
Built in the year 1691, with a timeline of known landlords …





Now that’s simple … but add in a servant to the landlord in 1911 and we see how the governance of England helps – the Census throws us this gem.




Looking north from
Greenwich Observatory
In 1691 the pub, at that stage an inn – with livestock probably: cows and sheep - sat on the busy Dover Road as travellers left Greenwich – a toll would have been paid at the Gate House of the Queen’s House – now part of historical Greenwich.



Due to an increase in traffic the Park Ranger, Lord Romney, decided this Dover coach road was not big enough and in 1699 built a new one about 100 metres nearer the river.  So today the pub has the advantage to the locals of being nicely tucked away in the park.


Spring Flower borders
From the pub website you can read through the history it has encountered from William III and Mary II being on the throne in 1689 at the time when the pub was first built a couple of years later.




Orchards at Queen Anne's house - heritage site


History always returns … here we have Greenwich, an impoverished fishing village, about to turn itself slowly into the suburb it is today … firstly " with higgledy-piggledy timber-fronted houses tumbling into mean streets and around odd little inlets and courts” …



… to today when the pub sits on the edge of the UNESCO Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site …


Steak at the Plume of Feathers ... that would defeat me!

I now need to sit down … before I venture out to Karen’s blog to reply to your comments there and here … a Sunday Roast sounds good – still it’s six days away …






… perhaps some Cajun Whitebait and with lemon and lime aioli to start with …. then a roasted fillet of Salmon, butterbean mash, French beans and pink pepper corn sauce – they sound good to me …


This looks good enough to eat - the
biscuit Plume of Feathers graces the dessert
 … but there’s plenty of choice on the drop down menu – starters/sharing platters, mains … meat, fish or vegetarian … and no doubt a very good dessert – but I couldn’t find a menu … to tempt you sweet-toothers … I’ve no idea what it is – but the plume biscuit stands out … looks chocolatey and gooey too …


Plume of Feathers Hotel in
Minehead, before demolition in 1965

So that’s my history of the Plume of Feathers … there’s more … and this building is still standing, not like the Minehead ‘Plume of Feathers’ pub … demolished with its history in 1965. 



Daniel Defoe (1659 - 1731)


Daniel Defoe who stayed at this coaching inn in Minehead – looks like he should have had a plume of feathers in his periwig …



A big thank you to Karen at her Write Now blog for having me over and bearing with my interviewing skills … not always easy – I slip out of line too often …


Links:  British Monarchy, the Prince of Wales and his Emblems

The Plume of Feathers in Greenwich - the pub's history

Greenwich - more of its history, and some incredible Olympic food ... one of my 2012 posts ...

St Alfege Church, Greenwich ... I explain here how the manor of Greenwich changed from being ruled from Flanders, to being handed to Edward III (1312 - 1377), the Black Prince's father, ... on persuasion by the people.


Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

56 comments:

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

So amazing that it's still standing! And it's in such a lovely location.

I've always wondered about the Queen's garb in the Order of the Garter. Thanks for filling me in on the plume!

T. Powell Coltrin said...

This is sooo interesting. And to think a pub is that old is exciting.

Teresa

Karen Lange said...

It's a pleasure to have you visit, Hilary! Your skills at the interview are just perfect. So glad you could stop by. :)

Thanks so much for this interesting history on feathers. I had no idea! And suddenly I am hungry...

Jo said...

But the feathers worn by the queen on her hat doesn't seem the same as the Prince of Wales feathers.

The Black Prince has always been a historical figure which "stuck" in my mind.

Out on the prairie said...

So much history all around. I used to have a turkey feather in my cowboy hat, but not sure how it got added. Flamboyant youth I guess.

Susan said...

Hello Hillary. Meeting you through Karen's interview. I'm your newest follower. Hope you'll consider following my blog, too! Love meeting fellow writers. Susan

Rhodesia said...

Interesting post off of which I did not know. I have learnt so much from your blog Hilary, thanks so much for sharing. Diane

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Just came from Karen's site!
Imagine what the walls of that pub would say if they could talk...

Joanne said...

who knew there could be rules and so much information about plume of feathers? Very interesting, though I think I like the chocolate plume dessert the best.

Bish Denham said...

History in all its varied flavors is always interesting. It seems ostriches have been around a long time!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

And I thought the plumes were just decoration. I would love to have a meal in that pub.

Christine Rains said...

I had no idea there was such history in the plumes. And I like the word "higgledly-piggledly." Have a lovely week, Hilary!

cleemckenzie said...

I love the history behind things we see and accept as "just the way it is." Knowing how that became "just the way it is" adds so much for me. Glad you have an inquiring mind and put it to such good use.

Off to see Karen's blog and say hi there.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Elizabeth – there are plenty of older buildings – but anything that old garners much history and the remnants of the building can be seen within the pub, even today. Yes – the location is a good one – nothing like Greenwich as a good place to visit.

The ‘feathers’ are so intrinsic to the Royal Family now-a-days … though earlier they were important as badges of rank – heraldic rank. The British Monarchy link explains more …

@ Teresa – I was fascinated to understand the meaning of the Plume of Feathers .. and when I found the pub connection – well that makes for blogging doesn’t it!

@ Karen – thanks so much for having me over ... it’s a pleasure being with you and having your readers there commenting.

Glad you enjoyed the Feathers history – while the pub can offer us sustenance …

@ Jo – no the Feathers on the Queen’s hat are different … see the links. Feathers are a badge of heraldry, which have adapted over time. The Black Prince does stick in the mind of one’s school history days ..

@ Steve – we have lots of history. I’m sure there are many in this country who support your idea of a turkey feather in their cap … especially when young. But feathers now-a-days are used in so many craft ways …

@ Susan – how lovely to meet you and have you here. Delighted you joined as a follower – thanks … I’ll be over soon.

@ Diane – delighted you enjoy reading the posts and learning something … that gives me pleasure – thanks!

@ Alex – thanks for popping over to Karen .. and if the walls of the pub could talk – they’d keep the Talking Circuit well stocked up for years to come! Fun thought though …

@ Joanne – heraldry is very interesting ... and I really should take a course sometime. I’m glad you enjoyed that part – while the chocolate plume dessert definitely entices … I need supper soon.

@ Bish – I agree history can lead us in all directions … and they may well have got ostrich feathers from North Africa – I see they did … as they were used in Mesopotamia and Egypt … as too in Roman times. Thanks for asking that question … so yes ostrich feathers have been around for millennia …

@ Susan – no – they mean something in heraldry – it’s interesting isn’t it. I too would love a meal in that pub! One day I shall get there …

@ Christine – nor did I know about the history of plumes or Feathers. Higgledy-piggledy is a great word isn’t it .. so evocative of its meaning ..

@ Lee – I’m delighted you enjoy my inquiring mind … I rather like it too … and yes putting it to good use here was a good choice for a blog …

Thanks so much to you all for being here and for those of you who’ve been over to say ‘hello’ to Karen .. cheers Hilary

Karen Jones Gowen said...

My sister is visiting England right now and posting pictures on her Facebook page that make me think of you, dear Hillary. The plume of feathers is interesting but the question I really have is something I've wondered about for a very long time...How is it that Queen Elizabeth looks so amazingly dignified and lovely in a hat? NO matter her age, no matter the occasion or style of it, she always looks incredible in whatever hat she is photographed in. Do you suppose there is an editor that doesn't allow pictures of her in hats that don't look good to go public? Or is it just a talent she has for attractive hat-wearing?

rosaria williams said...

I had never thought about all that plumage, and what it meant or could mean. Most interesting.

Elephant's Child said...

Fascinating. And amazing not only that it has been there all that time, but that it has been a pub all that time.
Heraldry is complicated and intriguing. I suspect it is something you could devote a lifetime to, and still be learning.
Off to visit your interview now.

Suzanne Furness said...

Interesting to read about the significance of the Plume of Feathers. I have seen pubs with the name but hadn't really thought about where it came from.
I could eat that chocolate pudding now, it looks delicious!

Paula Kaye said...

I very much enjoyed the facts about the plume of feathers. And the Queen looks so dashing in the hat!

Inger said...

What is so lovely here is how much you love to research stuff and how very good you are at it.

Betsy Brock said...

Well, I had no idea the history or meaning of the plume! How very
interesting! I love the photo of Queen Elizabeth in her plumed hat!
And that dessert with the plume cookie is beautiful!

Kenda Turner said...

Such interesting reading, Hilary! I would love to visit England one day. My son promises me a trip there, but we'll see if or when! So glad to meet you... :-)

Janie Junebug said...

Why was giving a white feather to a man during The Great War a method of calling him a coward? I know everyone was supposed to join up to support King and country, but not everyone can do that. Do you know what the white feather signifies?

Love,
Janie

DMS said...

I had no idea about this information. I love learning new things and I think I will have to visit again in order to fully process everything (I had a long day). Thanks for sharing!
~Jess

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Karen – I hope your sister is enjoying her visit – FB is great for that kind of connection isn’t it … glad you can ‘join’ her as she travels.

I wrote about the Queen’s Dresser in my post in June 2013 – found here … find the corgi … the details are there! http://positiveletters.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/coronation-other-aspects-and-future.html However she does have the most amazing genes (and skin) … the Queen Mother also looked amazing and she lived to over a 100 …

@ Rosaria – I’m happy you enjoyed the information …

@ EC – yes and the pub can be found in the archives as two cottages … it’s fascinating what can be found with research.

Heraldry is another matter … and one I keep fighting shy of … and yes – I think my lifetime of research has probably gone out of the window! Also I’d rather like to find out about other subjects –not just heraldry.

@ Suzanne – you’re like me .. I’d seen the name of pubs – but finding out the significance was so interesting …

As it’s breakfast … I’ll wait for that chocolate pudding till this evening – it did look good didn’t it ..

@ Paula – good to see you and the Queen always looks calm and healthy …

@ Inger – thanks so much … I enjoy finding out things – it’s not very academic … but at least it gives some basic information.

@ Betsy – how lovely to see you … and nor did I know about the Plume of Feathers, or the Feathers’ badge of acknowledgement. I thought the Queen looked good in her hat too …

That dessert does look good doesn’t it …

@ Kenda – how nice to meet you – thank you for comment. I sincerely hope your dream comes true … and you enjoy your visit …

@ Janie – yes – I wrote a blog post about White Feathers and WW1 last year ... the post is here: http://positiveletters.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/white-feathers-first-world-war.html I hope that satisfies your query …

@ Jess – thank you … sometimes absorbing blog posts in a quick scan is impossible isn’t it – I often leave posts a day or two to read with time in my schedule … makes it easier.

Thanks so much for your comments and interest .. cheers Hilary

Shannon Lawrence said...

You always manage to make me hungry. I should not stop by in the middle of the night anymore! Interesting history. I love to learn the stories of old buildings. The things they've seen.

Gattina said...

This inscription in German is strange because Hainault is in Belgium and French speaking and Bohemian is not German neither. In any case I learned something new !

Murees Dupé said...

Oh, that steak does look good. Thank you for this great info. Heading over to read your interview now.

beste barki said...

Hilary, I visited Karen's blog and enjoyed the 'interview' immensely.

Lynn said...

This is all so interesting - I've always been interested in the royal family, so love reading about the origin of their plumes!

I know what Cajun is, but wonder what whitebait is?

Off to Karen's blog!

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

What a fascinating post! It's totally cool that the pub has been in existence for so long. (Betcha you can get a reeeeeeally well-aged bourbon in there!)

Interesting about the plumes, too. Life is much more interesting when we stop and wonder about something, and then find out the background story. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but I've heard that satisfaction brought him back!

Vallypee said...

Centuries of history in one pub. How fascinating, Hilary! I usually go to the big houses for my wealth of history, but you've shown me here and in your West Country Tour posts that the local inns are worth of complete history books in themselves....and they are still functioning as pubs. Remarkable!

Chrys Fey said...

I've also wondered about those feather plumes. Very fascinating stuff.

Mark Noce said...

Now I know more about plumes for the prince of Wales and a pub I've definitely got to hit up:) Thanks for sharing!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Shannon – sorry about the hunger pangs. The story of the pub is interesting isn’t it … there’s a lot of history in Greenwich.

@ Gattina – your comment is interesting and reminding me Germany as a country has only really existed for under 140 years … so how the inscription came about I now don’t know either … but, I’ll leave it as it is!

@ Murees – glad you enjoyed it … I have to say I prefer a steak still on the bone .. but appreciate good meat and good food! Thanks for popping over to Karen’s …

@ Beste – am happy you enjoyed the ‘interview’ …

@ Lynn – it is interesting how traditions get included in our history … am happy you enjoyed reading about the plumes.

Whitebait are tiny fish … spry – and here for years we’ve had them deep fried … plain or Cajun style …

@ Susan – you might well be able to get a well-aged bourbon in there – not my favourite … but I know people love it.

Yes isn’t it fascinating when we stop and have a closer look around and wonder … my curiosity cat is definitely still alive! I was so pleased I found this information …

@ Val – oh yes .. the same would apply in the Netherlands too – I’m sure. We have some wonderful amateur historians writing up and recording as much local history as possible – logically it’s on the web or will get put there. If we take the context of the village and the building/s – there’s always more there if we look. It was an interesting journey from that point of view – and then the Plume starts a story about Greenwich ... a very important place in our history …

@ Chrys – glad I’ve satisfied that query for you …

@ Mark – yes – certainly a pub to find and enjoy ..

Thanks so much – local history is fascinating and now we have lots to draw on that we can more easily find … cheers to you all - Hilary

Patsy said...

Some traditional clothing and regalia seems quite mad, doesn't it? But then do some modern trends such as jeans hanging so low the wearer has to hold them on if they want to walk more than two steps.

baili said...

wonderful blog and such a interesting writing really enjoyed visiting here dear

Nick Wilford said...

The plumes were to make military commanders look grander and taller I guess. Interesting to think about the changes the pub has seen in its lifetime, but shame about the one that was demolished.

H.R. Sinclair, Southpaw said...

Cool stuff. The plume on the hat looks so pretty but I wonder if it tickles the face.

Victoria Marie Lees said...

Hi, Hilary! I'm just over from Karen's blog and your interesting interview. I've joined your blog and enjoyed this post about the plumes of royalty. I'll be back to read and learn more.

Margaret Adamson said...

I see that you just like words on EC's blog so here are words for those photographs this week. (1sy photograph)Curved, high, fright, coloured, deep and first . (2nd photograph) Black, white, wide, narrow, beginning, verge.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Patsy - yes some of the heraldic garb does seem a little odd - but I wouldn't be without it as part of our British way of life. Oh those jeans are just the pits! Must be so uncomfortable walking around hanging on to one's trews!

@ Baili - thanks for visiting and I'm happy you enjoyed the read.

@ Nick - good to see you. I think they were also to give them kudos - and authority ... but height/tallness would make sense.

That pub must have seen so much during its standing time: over 300 years ... definitely tales to tell ...

@ Holly - certainly feathers would irritate my face ... but they seem to cope so well and everything is set to stay put.

@ Victoria - wonderful to see you here .. thanks for the visit. That's great you'll be visiting ... there's a lot here I'm afraid - with more to follow ...

@ Margaret - I was surprised by the pictures - next time they crop up .. I'll be ready for them (I hope). Thanks for dropping the words off though ..

Cheers to you all - so appreciate you coming by ... Hilary

Diana Wilder said...

I am very late to this party, but how can I resist the sort of feast you dish up, dear ma'am? Mr. Defoe would definitely look interesting with ostrich feathers. Actually, the parameters within which the emblem of the Prince of Wales can be shown (small sapphires along wit the rubies and emeralds...gold spines to the feathers as compared to silver) are fascinating to me. Most heraldry is, especially the origins of the various depictions. But Greenwich, now, is associated in my mind with the Rev. W. A. Spooner, who brought us 'Spoonerisms' such as 'Kinkering Kongs Their Titles Take' (rather than 'Conquering Kings Their Titles Take'). It appears that he told a friend that he was supposed to meet someone at the inn called 'The Dull Man' in Greenwich (instead of 'The Green Man' in Dulwich.) Always to end with a chuckle!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Hilary -

I popped over here from Karen's blog. It's been a while since I visited.

That dessert looks yummy! Heraldry may be complicated, but you have more of a handle on it than I do. :)

Have a great week,
Susan

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Diana - no worries .. the party will always be here and I'm always happy to welcome all comers. That periwig of Defoe's is pretty amazing isn't it. Mentioning the choices re the Prince of Wales and their Feathers does open doors doesn't it ... and I too would love to know more about the depictions - I did write a post a long time ago .. actually I see four!

Here's the first: http://positiveletters.blogspot.co.uk/2009/04/heraldry-shorthand-of-history-part-1.html

How interesting ... I knew Spooner was associated with Oxford - but not Greenwich .. yet his phrase is completely consistent with his Spoonerisms .. what fun ... a chuckle as you say ...

@ Susan - thanks for popping over - it is good to see you here ... and that dessert does look good doesn't it ... while Heraldry is an art unto itself.

Cheers to you both .. and yes - here's to a good weekend - Hilary

jh said...

Thanks, Hilary. I always feel like I've been on a lovely day out with a friend after a visit here! Enjoyed your interview at Karen's, too.

mail4rosey said...

That's a good bit of history to learn today. I knew next to none of it too, so you've blessed me with a bit of knowledge. Now I'm excited to go see your interview, how fun!

Misha Gericke said...

I've also wondered why feathers were used as the emblem...

TexWisGirl said...

the plumes used on hats always remind me how egrets were almost driven to extinction by haberdasheries, back in the day.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ JH - lovely to see you here and am glad you were happy to read both posts and comment here .. .

@ Rosey - well that's good ... a fountain of knowledge beneath the plume in this case! Thanks for popping over to Karen's ...

@ Misha - well I hope I've explained 'the feathers' sufficiently ...

@ Theresa - I think most birds were almost lost to bird catchers for the creatures' feathers ... and I can quite understand that for egrets ...

Cheers to you all and thanks so much for commenting .. Hilary

Mike @ A Bit About Britain said...

Fascinating bits of history, as ever, Hilary. Heraldry is intriguing - but sometimes confusing. The history of pubs is a favourite topic..and you've also reminded me that it's my turn to cook - now, what did I do with that recipe for beans on toast?

Lowcarb team member said...

Wow 1691 ...
Some amazing history and facts here, thank you.

Hope you have a lovely weekend

All the best Jan

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Mike - good to see you .. and yes Heraldry is a bit of a mystery isn't it -it all works out .. but the trails are bound to fascinate us - or confuse as you suggest! Now pubs is an easy topic ... that I can agree on ... but enjoy your beans on toast - not often pub fare me thinks!

@ Jan - yes 1691 .. but there are older around the country. But having the history on the site helped me!

Have good weekends to you both ... cheers Hilary

Jeffrey Scott said...

Nice background into the plume of feathers. Very interesting.
Glad you found a dessert of sorts to share with us. LOL

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Jeffrey - good to see you .. the Plume of Feathers was a fascinating find - that I just had to write about. In fact I think that dessert - albeit it's got a plume of feathers biscuit ... came from a Sussex pub - so there must a Plume of Feathers pub somewhere locally .. I haven't been to look for it or found it!

Cheers Hilary

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