Every now and then something extremely cool walks in the door. Something with history and genealogical intrigue…something with a tantalizing story that it wants to tell, but stays stubbornly silent and mysterious. Sometimes it’s the things that are small and boring at first glance…until you research them. That’s exactly what I thought when I pulled this small frame off the wall and was ready to list it. It has taken a ton of research and digging to trace all the information and put the pieces of the puzzle together and this particular task was certainly no easy feat! A team effort of literally sifting through boxes of notes, antique ledgers and of course a little luck! And even after all of that, it is still a tantalizing mystery! Read on…
Ogden Coat of Arms
It starts with a tale…..
“There is a legend that has wide circulation, that, when King Charles I fled toward Scotland, pursued by Cromwell’s soldiers, he found temporary refuge at the home of an Ogden. “Being hard pressed, Charles I and Lord Wilmot were secreted in an oak tree and thus escaped. It is added that the King asked Ogden’s wife to name her soon expected next child, if a boy, Wilmot, and if a girl, Wilmuth, in honor of his friend, and these names have been conspicuous in Ogden family ever since. When Charles II came to the throne, he heard the story and granted the ‘Ogden family coat of arms.’” (From Rev. Charles Burr Ogden’s book, “The Quaker Ogdens.”)
“The first trace we have of the coat of arms being used by the Ogdens in Pennsylvania is the positive knowledge that John Ogden, son of David, had a painting of a coat of arms described as blazon Gyronny of eight Argent (white) and Gules (red), in the dexter chief gyron (Top left) an oak branch fructed (with acorns) Proper. On top of the shield is a tall oak tree with the crest showing a mature oak tree proper with a lion standing rampart against it. The Motto: “Et Si Ostendo Non Jacto” is along the bottom in a banner; than translated up top as “And if I make a Show I do not Boast”. Along the border in feather quilled script is written “Granted to John Ogden Esq. by King Charles the Second for his Faithfull Service to this Unfortunate Father Charles the First”. This was before 1742, and the painting continued in the family until the middle of the present century, when it was lost by Robert Wharton Ogden, of Camden, New Jersey. A description, however, was preserved. This painting set forth that it was the coat granted by Charles II to John Ogden, Esq., for services to Charles I.” (Source: The Literary Era: A Monthly Repository of Literary and Miscellaneous Information Vol 4, Pages 307 – 308)
“Parthenia Ogden, wife of Jesse Conde. She died December 2, 1817, aged 73 years, 1 month, 17 days.” Also, “Jesse Conde died July 28, 1818, aged 75 years, 4 months, 19 days.” Some months after the visit to Charlton it was our privilege to meet in Poughkeepsie Miss Smith, a descendant of the Paddocks, of Westchester County, an old lady who had lived in Charlton in her youth, whose father’s friend had been Jesse Conde, son of Jesse Conde and Parthenia Ogden. She said the Condes were very proud of their Huguenot stock and of their Ogden blood, and highly prized the coat of arms which came to them through Parthenia Ogden, “granted to John Ogden by King Charles II, for faithful services rendered his unfortunate father. King Charles I.” It is the same as that found among Albert Ogden’s papers, and that the family of Benjamin Ogden have in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, except that in one copy John Ogden is called “Yeoman,” and in another is entitled, “Sir John.” Hugh Clark, English author of “Introduction to Heraldry,” says :
“The Yeomen, of England, were famous in our forefathers’ days for archery and manhood. Our infantry, which so often conquered the French and repulsed the Scots, was composed of them, as are our militia at present.” Among his other activities, Jesse Conde kept a store in Charlton. From his old account book, dating back to 1762, in years. Brown’s possession, we found the following transactions:
A receipt to John Ogden for £8 15s. gold. May 20, 1792.
Sales to Jonathan Ogden of wheat and corn on May 2, 1799, and January 3, 1799.”
This Ledger referred to above is Lot #31 in Pot Of Gold Auction’s July 1, 2014 Catalog.
From the Estate of Jesse C. “Jay” Conde; Hawaiian Rail Historian and Ferroequinologist, Museum Curator and Author of such titles which include “Sugar Trains; Narrow Gauge Rails of Hawaii” and “Fowler Locomotives in the Kingdom of Hawaii (Narrow Gauge)”.
See Coat Of Arms listing at Lot # 218 in Pot Of Gold Auction’s July 1, 2014 Catalog
So the question still exists….. Has the commissioned painting been forever lost to time, or have we discovered and recovered the original Painting of the Coat of Arms???
~Elspeth K. (Antiques & Collectibles Research and Evaluation Specialist, Pot Of Gold Auctions)