Westminster Abbey, London

On my last day in England, a Saturday, I had scheduled my flight home for early evening and planned to spend the day in London doing several different things. Follow me through the day to find what I discovered that surprised me beyond my greatest expectations.

First, I wanted to visit the College of Arms whom I'd commissioned to prepare a report on the Drewry Coat of Arms some years earlier. I hoped to meet the gentleman who prepared the report. Being a Saturday I knew it would be hit or miss as to whether they were even open. I was fortunate as they had scheduled an open house for the day and were conducting tours of the building. While I did not get to meet Mr. Noel, I did get to tour the building including several rooms which are not generally open to the public.

With several hours remaining before my flight home, but not enough time to go to the British Museum, I decided I would take some time off from my Drewry family history pursuits and just do some sightseeing. So, with that in mind I headed off to Westminster Abbey.

Westminster Abbey is a magnificent example of England's past history. It's walls and floors are lined with memorials, sarcophagus and tombs of the Kings and Queens and nobles of England. Buried within are Elizabeth I, Mary I and Mary, Queen of Scots, Edward I, Henry III, Henry VII, James I, Edward III, Richard II, the kings and queens of England. To be buried in Westminster Abbey is indeed a high honor reserved for the few.

On entering Westminster Abbey I proceeded to follow the normal tourist route visiting the burial sites of the famous kings and queens and exploring the smaller alcoves containing the tombs of the nobles and other famous people. As was the custom of the times many of the tombs from the medieval period were decorated with the family's entitled Coat of Arms. Being interested in these I viewed them with much interest and imagined how I might feel if I found the Drewry Coat of Arms within the walls of Westminster Abbey.

Having visited the tombs of the kings and queens I entered one of the smaller chapels across from the shrine of Saint Edward I (King Edward, the Confessor 1002 -1066). As I walked around looking at all the magnificent tombs and studying the many different Coat of Arms emblazoned on them, I was shocked when I discovered the Drewry Coat of Arms (under the pillow and knight's head above) on the tomb of Sir Bernard Brocas, knight, who was beheaded in January, 1400 (above). I have no knowledge of Sir Bernard and how he is related to the Drewry family and hope to discover this link later, but there is no doubt that the Drewry Coat of Arms are clearly represented on his very elaborate tomb.

If you could only imagine the excitement and pleasure discovering our Coat of Arms in Westminster Abbey brought me. It certainly made the long flight home from Heathrow much more pleasant and enjoyable.

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Last updated: November, 1999