Hey Stuart - if you look at the centre of the coat of arms in the images above, you will see a very small shield. This was the arms of the European royal House of Hanover. Here it is enlarged from Wikipedia:


In 1714, British Queen Anne of the house of Stuart died leaving no children of her own. Under the terms of the "Act of Settlement of 1701" the British Crown passed to George Louis (Georg Ludwig) who was at that time ruler of Hanover, a province of the Holy Roman Empire.

So when Georg Ludwig became King George the First of Great Britain, he was also at the same time ruler of Hanover. As such the coat of arms of Hanover were added to the coat of arms of Great Britain.

In 1837 when King William the Fourth died and Queen Victoria came to the throne, under the law of Hanover a woman could not rule Hanover so the new ruler of Hanover was the Queen's uncle Ernest. As such the shield with the arms of the House of Hanover was in 1837 removed from the coat of arms of the United Kingdom as Queen Victoria was no longer ruler of both the UK and Hanover.

Expand full comment

I apologize, but I cannot see the differences in the coat of arms in the above? Would you be able to show detail pictures and perhaps highlight the differences?

Expand full comment

Another great piece! I had no idea about the history of the 'other' broadsides. These articles are adding to so much to my appreciation of Master & Commander and your edition - and I don't even have my hands on it yet!

Expand full comment