THE BARRINGTON FAMILY ARMS
The quartered arms on the coffers are those of:
(2) The Royal Arms differenced for Prince George, Duke of Clarence brother of King Edward IV and King Richard III)
These arms could be borne by any descendant in the male line of the marriage of Sir Thomas Barrington of Barrington Hall and Hatfield Broad Oak, Essex (1530-1581) and his second wife Winifred whom he married in circa 1559. She was a daughter and coheir of Sir Henry Pole, Lord Montagu (beheaded 1538). The eldest surviving son of the marriage was Sir Francis Barrington (c.1565-1628) of Hatfield Broad Oak, who was created a Baronet in 1611.
Sir Henry Pole's mother, Margaret Plantagenet (beheaded 1541), was sister and sole heir of her brother Edward Plantagenet, Earl of Warwick and Salisbury (beheaded 1499) and thus on his death of their father George Plantagenet, Duke of Clarence (murdered in the Tower of London 1477 by drowning in a butt of Malmsey wine). George, Duke of Clarence married Isabel elder daughter and coheir of Richard Nevill, Earl of Warwick (killed at the Battle of Barnet 1472 commonly known as Warwick the Kingmaker) who married Anne Beauchamp sister and heir (on the death of her niece Anne in 1449) of her brother Henry Beauchamp, 6th Earl and 1st Duke of Warwick (died 1445 aged 22). Richard Nevill (killed 1472) was the son of Richard Nevill jure uxoris Earl of Salisbury (beheaded 1469) and his wife Alice sole daughter and heir of Thomas de Montacute, Earl of Salisbury.
The quarterings as they appear have been shifted to promote the Royal Arms. The quarterings are fascinating in that they represent families of great power and influence in the 15th and 16th centuries, many of whose representatives were beheaded for being too closely related to the Sovereign.
As noted above, the ancient arms as they appear on the coffers open up a wide range of possibilities for ownership among the extended Barrington family. The execution of the armorials appears to be early 19th century in date and these were apparently associated with the coffers which were made at around the same time. The coffers may have been commissioned by Sir FitzWilliam Barrington, 10th Bt. He had succeeded to the title of 10th Baronet Barrington of Barrington Hall in 1818 but lived on the Isle of Wight. The baronetcy became extinct upon his death in 1832 and it is likely that the family seat of Barrington Hall passed out of the family at this time.
It is interesting to note that the same Barrington arms feature on the crest of a superb pair of mid-18th century library chairs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art that are attributed to John Linnell (illustrated in H. Hayward,'The Shoppee Album', Furniture History, 1990, fig. 20). The chairs would have been commissioned by Sir John-Shales Barrington who succeeded to the estates of the Barrington family in 1734 and commissioned Joseph Saunderson to build Barrington Hall (whose elevation is reproduced here). John-Shales Barrington did not live in his house due to matrimonial problems and instead chose to live in his houses at Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire and London.