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Dear Charles

I'm glad that this is sorted. I know that my son-in-law, Don Sheard, was worried that he'd made a mistake. He'll be relieved!

Sorry you're having such trouble with the letters you've been chasing. I hope you get lucky - gthat's what it'll take.

best wishes


With regard to the lion on the crest, we have in our possession a plaque of the lion (facing left). It is made from a variety of coloured stones, possibly marbles, as it is very heavy. The lion stands on a blue and white striped pole and the tip of the sword is broken off and can be seen to the right of the lion's head. Underneath the crest are the initials JB in a medieval script, but we do not know to whom they refer.
Any ideas why the tip is broken off, because this also occurs on some of the crested family silver that mum has.

Hi Wendy,

Interesting to hear about this crest.
Perhaps the tip of the sword broken has some heraldic significance but I don't know. The 'J.B.' could be any one of many Bazalgettes.
It would be interesting to see a picture of this item - can you post one perhaps? Any clues as to its age? Was it originally inset into something else, do you think?

Best wishes,

Hello Wendy and Charles

My father had several pieces in his silverware with the sword tip broken off in the crest.

He told me that the story behind this was because Jean Louis came to London fleeing from the French Revolution. Those pieces have the motto 'Fractus non Vinctus', 'Broken but not defeated'. This was because he came from aristocratic stock which he didn't want to forget or have forgotten. In the 1930s his brother Reggie had visited a Chateau Rocheblave (I think), which nad been the family seat.

The Frcatus non vinctus story is nice but sounds to me rather close to the black knight in Monty Python and The Holy Grail. Maybe that's where we originate!

John L Bazalgette

Hmm - Jean Louis arrived in England in 1775, 14 years before the revolution. He wasn't from aristocratic stock, at least not in the three generations that have been traced back. Any connection with the noble Charneve family is not proven and if it exists must be well in the past.

'Fractus non vinctus' is still very interesting though. I presume the crest was otherwise identical to the one we know?

Looks as if it should in fact be 'fractus non victus'.
I didn't find this motto anywhere on the web.

As the crest with the broken sword was not, as far as I know, the one granted to Louis by St.Allais, or the more modern one granted to Sir Joe, I wonder if it is the old Bazalgette de Charneve crest. That would somehow make more sense.

If so, any representation of this crest on a plaque or cutlery would probably be very early, or perhaps from the Charneve family, which of course is now extinct.

I'd still like to see pictures of this crest if anyone would upload one.

Hello Charles and John,

I too have heard the story about aristocrats escaping the French Revolution from my mother who had it from her father, although as Charles says the dates are wrong.

Next time I.m at my mum's I will read her translation of the Coat of Arms document to see if there are any more details.

Charles with regard to a copy of the plaque, my brother is in the process of doing one for you with dimensions, colours of ston e and weight listed. I will forward it to you as soon as he gives it too me.

In answer to your previous comment I think the plaque was free standing and not part of anything else.

Bye for now Wendy

Hi Wendy,

I look forward to seeing your plaque.

Jean Bazal in his fictional book on Louis mentioned that Louis helped French emigres, and this may well be true - maybe this is where the stories come from. Louis was later awarded the Decoration du Lys by the Bourbons, which suggests he supported the royalist cause in some way.

Best wishes,

I had not been following this!
There are two variations of the crest. One has a whole sword & the motto "in deo confido" - your crest is this kind, John. Others have the motto that translates as "broken not defeated" - I think Louis & his family have this version, with a broken sword. I have no idea when the variations slipped in - after all, Louis was quite close to us on the family tree!

By the way, Chaz - JL left Ispagnac in 1775, for America. Do you have documents that indicate that he made his fortune in America and returned to Europe in the same year? I had always heard that he was over there for a number of years, returning around the time that things were becoming unstable in France - which is why he chose to go to England & pass himself off as an aristo!

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