The ‘Stars and Stripes’

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The ‘Stars and Stripes’

Left of the east window, the capital at the east end of the arch has a shield of the arms of Lancaster (argent, two bars gules, with a mullet representing the rowel of a spur). These arms were adapted by George Washington’s forebear, William de Wessyngton, whose shield featured three mullets ‘in chief’, i.e placed above the second bar, as in the arms of Washington D.C. and what are improperly called the ‘stars and stripes’ (in heraldry they are dubbed ‘mullets and bars’).

Next to the shield are two heads, defaced. They have the appearance of tonsured monks,
possibly a reference to the Augustinian order whose masons remodelled the chancel and the tower. Always blamed on Cromwell by Royalist historians such defacement is as likely to have occurred when church images and liturgy were purged when Henry VIII broke with Rome.