Hugh Oldham and a mystery shield: Help please!

Hugh O 1Today a group of school boys from Manchester Grammar School visited Church with their teachers and had a good look around and asked lots of questions.

Of particular interest to them is the Hugh Oldham stained glass window. Hugh Oldham was a 16th century Bishop of Exeter, whose family, it is believed came from Ancoats, not far from St Chrysostom’s. He was anxious that people, especially clergy, be educated and his patronage of education included the founding of Manchester Grammar School, and Corpus Christi College, Oxford.

His symbol is an owl, a sign of wisdom, and the schoolboys, today, all wore blazers with the owl symbol.

In the stained glass window Hugh Oldham has an owl above his head, and he carries a model of Manchester Grammar School

Hugh O 2Below Hugh in the stained glass window is an interesting heraldic shield, unconnected with him. It is found in the neighbouring window of Edward Pusey, also.

Whose is this shield or what is it representing?

Any ideas? We’d be interested to know.

Some answers are below in the comments…


About stchrysostoms

St Chrysostom’s is an Anglican (Church of England) parish church in Manchester. We’re an inclusive, diverse and welcoming faith community where people of differing backgrounds make friends. Find our Facebook group at
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5 Responses to Hugh Oldham and a mystery shield: Help please!

  1. Trevor says:

    Given the elements on the shield (lion rampant; tressure of fleur de lys) I would suspect a Scottish family connection somewhere, maybe involving the STEWART name.

  2. Derek Palmer says:

    Not on the specific question but ….the owl figures in the Arms of the Oldham family, and subsequently in the Arms of the town and borough of Oldham.
    (Writes the Vicar of Oldham)

  3. David Dobinson informs us that the correct blazon (description) of the arms is:

    Azure, a lion rampant argent, within a bordure of 8 fleur de lys of the second.

    (Thank you to David).

  4. And we are close to a solution!

    Blair Southerden has kindly investigated and comments:
    Have a look at
    Its not the most reliable source as the owner markets heraldic devices by name, which is completely inappropriate. But it does show a similar set of arms attributed to the Lodge family, but without the Fleur de Lys. These are likely to have been added later to the original arms as a ‘difference’ by someone who was not entitled to inherit the originals. Hopefully this should help you to pin down the original owner.

  5. And getting closer still. (A brass plaque at the foot of the window mentions that the window was given in memory of Ralph Nesbit Lodge)

    Our dear friend Dr Timothy Stibbs contributes:
    When I did some research on the windows I suggested that the shield might be connected with the window’s dedication to Ralph Nesbit Lodge. I also looked up Ralph Lodge and there is an interesting connection with WWI as there are some playing card sketches by him as well as a photograph of him on the web at

    He was the son of a Professor Sir Oliver Joseph Lodge, so it is likely that there was a family shield, but I haven’t yet found it.

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