Thomas Arundell of Wardour was born circa 1560 into an ancient Anglo-Norman family.
He was a Catholic who, at a young age, with the consent of Queen Elizabeth and with her letters of recommendation to the Emperor went as a volunteer in the Imperial army to fight the Turks.
For his conspicuous gallantry in those wars he earned the soubriquet The Valiant. At the battle of Gran in Hungary (1595) he captured a standard from the Turks with his own hands. During the battle the standard was flown from a high water tower where it could be seen by the entire Turkish army. Arundell fought his way through a storm of arrows to the tower, climbed the ladder, defeated the guards and cast down the standard - whereupon the Turkish army turned and fled.
The Emperor Rudolph II created him, by unique and remarkable Imperial Decree, Count of The Holy Roman Empire.
Under the terms of this unique document, anyone legally descended from Thomas Arundell is therefore a Count or Countess of the Holy Roman Empire and is entitled to a family Coat of Arms.
The original document is held by the College of Arms, Queen Victoria Street in London.
The terms of the Decree were recognised by James 1st on May 4th 1605 on the creation of the Barony of Arundell of Wardour.
Existing families are recognised as Counts and Countesses of The Holy Roman Empire by virtue of their female descent from Thomas Arundell of Wardour.
Appearing in the descendant lists are (amongst many others) the following families:
ANSTRUTHER Genealogy - see SLADE
The CUSACK-SMITH Genealogy - Sir Thomas Berry Cusack-Smith 5 Bt. m. 27/4/1886 Winifred Maitland. Their issue are heirs of Thomas Arundell of Wardour.
The HANBURY-TRACY Genealogy - of ARUNDELL PEDIGREE 20th Century
Gerald Arthur Arundell, 15th Baron, b. 1861, married (9 January 1906) Ivy Florence Mary Segrave d.o. Capt. W. E. Segrave of the 71st Highlanders.
Their eldest child and only son, John Francis Arundell (b. 1907) - 16th., and allegedly the last, Baron - Lieutenant, 4th Btn. Wilts. Regiment, was killed 25th September in action at Normandy in 1944. The eldest daughter, Blanche Mary Arundell (b. 1908) married 1935, M. J. F. Hanbury-Tracy. The youngest daughter, Mary Isabella Arundell (b. 1913) married 1935 A/Cdre T. P. F. Fagan and had issue.
The Neville connection ... click on the lineage below.
LORT-PHILLIPS Genealogy - Nicholas Gyllat will
dated 22/7/1567. His direct male descendant Maj.
Frederick William Alfred Lort-Phillips m. 14/9/1897
Cecily Mary Wickham. Their issue are heirs of Thomas
Arundell of Wardour.
The MAITLAND Genealogy - John Maitland of Loughton Hall MP for Chippenham d. 22/3/1831. His grandson Rev. John Whitaker Maitland m. 5/1/1860 Venetia Neave. Their issue are heirs of Thomas Arundell of Wardour.
The SLADE Genealogy - (Bt.) John Slade of Maunsell House Somerset m. 16/8/1775 Charlotte dau of Henry Portal of Freefolk. His direct male descendant Wyndham Slade of Montys Court Somerset m.10/2/1863 Cicely Neave. All their descendants are heirs of Thomas Arundell of Wardour.
The SMYTH-PIGOTT Genealogy - Richard Pigott Justiar of Chester 1431. His direct male descendant, John Hugh Wadham Smith-Pigott m. 13/8/1857 Blanche Mary Aundell. Their issue are heirs of Thomas Arundell of Wardour.
The SMYTHE Genealogy - (BART) see STONOR
The STONOR Genealogy - Robert de Stonore of Stonor, County Oxford occurs in Pipe Rolls 1177, 1185. Sir Richard de Stonore of Stonor, County Oxford m. Margaret heiress of Sir John Harnhull of Harnhull, Glos.
His direct male descendant Thomas Stonor of Stonor b. 18/4/1710 m. 19/4/1732 Mary Biddulph. All their descendants are heirs of Thomas Arundell of Wardour.