Saturday, 13 June 2009

Stephen Martin Leake, (1702-1773)

Stephen Martin Leake, (1702-1773)
Garter Principal King of Arms, numismatist and author

He was the son of Captain Stephen Martin (1656-1725), a naval officer, and his wife, Elizabeth Hill, dau of Captain Richard Hill, of Yarmouth, Norfolk. Elizabeth’s sister Christian married rear-admiral Sir John Leake, commander-in-chief of the Fleet and Lord Commissioner of the Admiralty in the reign of Queen Anne. The Admiral being a widow and having no surviving issue adopted his brother-in-law Captain Martin as his heir. The latter was then authorized to add the surname Leake to his own.
Stephen Martin Leake married, in 1735, Anne, daughter of Fletcher Powell, a brewer.
Elected FSA March 1726 and in the same year was created Lancaster Herald of Arms in Ordinary at the College of Arms. Promoted to Norroy King of Arms in December of 1729, Clarenceux King of Arms in 1741 and appointed Garter Principal King of Arms in 1754. He also compiled a collection of drawings of knights' stall plates from St George's Chapel, and travelled abroad to invest foreign princes with the Garter.
Published Nummi Britannici Historia, London, 1726; The life of Sir John Leake, Knt., Admiral of the Fleet, London, 1750 He also left manuscript Life of Captain Stephen Martin, 1666-1740, edited by Clements Robert Markham, for the Navy Records Society, in 1895 and several valuable works upon heraldry.

Arms: 1st and 3rd., or., on a saltire engr. az. nine annulets ar, on a canton gules a castle triple-towered of the third (Leake); 2nd and 4th, paly of six or and az. on a chief gules three merlins of the first (Martin).
Crest: A ship gun carriage, on it a piece of ordnance mounted all proper
Motto: Pari Animo
Probably Franks # 17837

Sources: Pratt Libraries Ex Libris Collection
Mark Noble. A history of the College of Arms: and the lives of all the Kings, Heralds, and Pursuivants from the reign of Richard III, founder of the College, until the present time : London, J. Debrett and T. Egerton, 1804
Sir Bernard Burke. The General Armory of England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales, Comprising a Registry of Armorial Bearings from the Earliest to the Present Time, Volume 2, London 1878; reprint, Heritage Books, 2007
E. R. J. Gambier Howe (ed.). Franks bequest. Catalogue of British and American book plates bequeathed to the trustees of the British Museum by Sir Augustus Wollaston Franks, vol. 2, London, British Museum, 1904

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