Item 001/77 - The Majesty Scutcheon

Original Digital object not accessible

Identity area

Reference code

GB 2014 WS-03-PIC-001/77


The Majesty Scutcheon


  • 1658 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

1 item, Painted silk on hessian backing

Context area

Name of creator

Archival history

Robert Uvedale wrote in 1792 that his grandfather of the same name had witnessed the state burial of Oliver Cromwell and removed this skutcheon. The Westminster boys had been forced to watch the funeral and Uvedale jumped forward and snatched the satin banner known as the 'Majesty Skutcheon'. It was returned to the school by his descendent Mary West in 1963.

Extract from The Elizabethan (1966):
"Painted on satin and surmounted by the crown which had been appropriated for him is Cromwell's Coat of arms. The Skutcheon was originally attached to the Protector's bier, but was removed during the funeral procession by an enterprising, Royalist Westminster, Robert Uvedale, who, the theft accomplished, darted back into a crowd of his schoolfellows and thus escaped detection. The Skutcheon remained with in the possession of his family until it was presented through the Head Master by Miss Mary West in 1963."

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Dyed, painted silk, on a hessian backing. On the left the arms of the Commonwealth: the crosses of St. George and St. Andrew and the Irish harp and in escutcheon a lion rampant guardant for Cromwell. On the right are the quarterings of his wife. Inscribed verso with: 'this ensign was snatched from the bier of the tyrant Oliver Cromwell, when his waxen effigy, adorned with royal state, was being magnificently displayed in the Church of St. Peter, Westminster'.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Access to collection items is granted to bona-fide researchers, by prior appointment, subject to the overriding provisions of relevant legislation, including Data Protection.

Conditions governing reproduction

A reprographics service is available to researchers subject to the access restrictions outlined above. Copying will not be undertaken if there is any risk of damage to the item. Copies are supplied in accordance with Westminster School

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

18.5" x 23"

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Description identifier


Institution identifier

Westminster School Archive

Rules and/or conventions used



Level of detail



  • English


  • Latin


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