Saturday, 7 June 2014

Unidentified Hurault? Arms in a French Book of Hours

I am currently trying to identify some arms that appear twice in a Book of Hours, made in Paris(?) in the first half of the 16th century. They appear filling a half-page space at the end of the Extracts from the Four Gospels:
and again, rather cropped, in the lower border at the beginning of the Hours of the Virgin:

They appear to be the dimidiated arms of a husband and wife; the dexter side being: or, a cross azure, four suns gules; these arms were borne by the Hurault family:
The sinister side is divided fess-wise, with the same Hurault(?) arms below, and above them or, a chevon gules, three scallops sable. These arms are associated with the Pierins family:

and the Girard des Orres family (as Bernard Gineste kindly informs me):

I have not been able to find any marriages between the Hurault and Pierins or Girard des Orres families.

The matter is somewhat complicated by the fact that, although probably 16th-century, the arms may have been added to the manuscript, and back-lighting suggests that the arms either replace different arms, or else cover-up the same arms, wrongly disposed:

I would be very grateful for any suggestions that readers may be able to offer.

[EDIT 8 June 2014]
This puzzle has been very quickly solved by Jean-Luc Deuffic in the comments below. Thank you and congratulations, Jean-Luc!

His suggestion of Jacques Hurault and Marguerite Poncher fits the evidence perfectly:
  • the Hurault arms are on the dexter side, indicating a Hurault husband and a Poncher wife (thus excluding Catherine Hurault and Jean Poncher)
  • the wife must have been a daughter of a Poncher father and a Hurault mother
  • the marriage of Jacques and Marguerite took place in 1539, supporting my suspicion that the arms were an addition to the manuscript (which is itself perhaps to be dated to c.1520)


  1. Merci Peter pour cet intéressant post.
    "D'or, au chevron de gueules, accompagné de trois coquilles de sable" sont les armes de la famille PONCHER alliée aux HURAULT. Ainsi :
    Jean Hurault, seigneur de Marais, seigneur de Veuil, épouse Jeanne PONCHER, fille de Louis Poncher, seigneur de Mancy
    De même : Catherine Hurault épouse le 08/02/1507 Jean Poncher,
    Jacques Hurault épouse le 5 juillet 1539 Marguerite Poncher ... etc

  2. Logiquement ces Heures doivent avoir été possédées par Jacques Hurault, seigneur de Vibraye, né en 1514, décédé en mai 1588, qui épouse Marguerite Poncher, fille de Jean Poncher et de Catherine Hurault ...



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