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have of Roman Virtue, and the Amor Patrice, so much boasted of among the Ancients.
Lloyd, in his Worthies, among his observations on the Life of James Hay, Earl of Carlisle, tells us a chimerical story, but on what authority I do not discover; after having mentioned slightly the above fact, that James Hay, 600 years afterwards, "saved the King of that Country from the Gowries at their House with a Cultre (or Plough-share) in his hand;" and that he had as much Land assigned him as he could ride round in two days. It does not appear from the accounts we have of the Gowry conspiracy, that any person of the name of Hay was concerned; but rather that this story has been confounded with the other, because, according to Dr. Abercrombie's account, the Land over which the Falcon flew in the first case, was in a part of Scotland known by the name of Gowry.
Conyngham, Earlof Glencaibn, hasthis very singular Motto, "Over Fork Over,"
alluding to the principal Charge upon the Shield, which is the rude and ancient HayFork, called in Scotland a Shake-Fork, and is in shape not unlike the Roman letter Y.
This Bearing, some of their Heralds tell us, was official, because, they say, the Family had been Hereditary Masters of the King's Horses and Stables, of which employment this instrument was indicative. Such official Charges and Sur-charges were common in Scotland: thus, Carnegie, Earls of Southesk, charge the Breast of their Blue Eagle with a Cup of Gold, being Hereditary Cup-Bearers to the Kings of Scotland. But this will not hold good as to the Conynghams; though their Sur-charge of a Man on Horseback upon the Shake-Fork may perhaps be such an official Bearing. Different conjectures have been brought forward; and Mr. Camden and some others have interpreted the Fork to have been an Archiepiscopal Pall; for which surmise a very vague reason is given, viz. that an Ancestor of the Family was concerned in the Murder of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury. Which Bearing, Mr. Nisbet observes, would in such case operate rather as an abatement than a badge of honour*. This conjecture, however, will not hold good on heraldic principles; for a Pall, when used as a Charge, is very differently represented, the three ends of it being square, and even touching the borders of the Escocheon; whereas the device before us is pointed at the ends, and does not come in contact with the edges of the Shield. But what has the Pall to do with the Motto? We must therefore advert to other circumstances for an interpretation of both the reason of the Armorial Bearing and the Motto, which generally assist to explain each other. The account which comes nearest the point in the present question is given by Mr. Nisbet from Frederick Van Bassen, a Norwegian, who, he says, was a good Genealogist, and left in MS. an account of the rise of some Scottish Families, and among the rest of this of Conyngham; from which MS. Mr. Nisbet gives this account—" that Malcome, the Son of Friskine, assisting Prince Malcom (afterwards surnamed Can more) to escape from Macbeth's tyranny, and being hotly pursued by the Usurper's Men, was forced at a place to hide his Master by forking Straw or Hay above him. And after, upon that Prince's happy accession to the Crown, he, the King, rewarded his Preserver Malcome with the Thanedom of Cunnigham, from which he and hia Posterity have their Surname, and took this Figure to represent the Shake-Fork with which he, Malcome, forked Hay or Straw above the Prince, to perpetuate the happy deliverance their Progenitor, had the good fortune to give to their Prince." Admitting this to be a fact, or even a legendary tale, credited by the Family when this Bearing was granted or assumed, there is an affinity between the Device and the Motto not to be found among the other conjectures. There is another Family where the true Armorial Ensigns are illustrated by the Motto; viz. the Arms of Bailie of Lanington, which have often been blazoned as Nine Mullets or Spurrials (or 3, 3, 2, and 1)^ whereas it is evident they were Stars from the Motto, which is, e( Quid clarius Astris?"
* Becket's Murderers were Four Barons, and Knights, no doubt, of course; viz. Reginald Fitz-Urse, William de Tracy, Hugh de Morville, and Richard Breto. [Consult Lord Lyttelton and his Authorities.]
I make no doubt there are many others of a like kind to be found, arising from inattention or ignorance. It has been observed, that the Shake-Fork is now much obscured by an Armed Man on Horseback within an Inescocheon, which is supposed to allude to the Hereditary Office of Master of the Horse; though whether this was the case, or whether that Bearing came by alliance, may be doubtful; for Mr. Crawfurd, in his Peerage, does not give it as a part of the Family Coat of Conyngham in 1^16; though the more modern Peerages have it. The shape of the Fork is more discernible in the Arms of Conyngham, Peers of Ireland, where it is not covered by a Sur-charge. The meaning of the name is local, Konyng-Ham; i. e. The King's Village or Habitation; which Etymon has been so long obscured by age, that the Lion Office, on granting Supporters to the Family, have given Two Rab-r