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CHAPTER ONE

Discovery

In March 1979 Mrs. Edward Breakey of Sumner, Washington sent me six of her husband’s manuscripts, one of which was The Arms of Breakey (deBrequet).  This was not the first I had heard of the Breakey Arms, but it was the first I had seen a detailed description and history.  Shortly thereafter a small photograph arrived depicting the Breakey Arms in color (Figure1).

I next heard of the Arms during the summer of 1979.  Mr. Bert I. F. Breakey of Thornhill, Ontario, Canada  wrote of his visit to a Paris library:

            “I wish you could have seen the Heraldry Room.  Stacks and stacks of tomes two feet height, eighteen inches wide, three inches thick and pages and pages of hand drawn and colored coats of arms for centuries back.

            "Found many ‘deBrequets’ but as I recall only one was ‘divided’ similar to the one we have-but there was not much else.  I presume the Breakeys of Ireland may have modified this.  Only a presumption on my part and ‘No’ I did not make a sketch of it.  Sorry!  But the name was deBrequet.

               "…Incidentally, I had a very snippy letter from a firm in Toronto when I submitted this to be made in metal.  They said, for instance, ‘the scroll under the crest (lion’s head) had too many (?) or too few (?) divisions to be authentic” (Figures 2, 3, & 4).

            In March 1980 Mrs. Ivy Yeomans of Letton, Hereford, England replied to my letter of inquiry.  With her correspondence she posted several engraved bookplates found amongst her father’s memorabilia after his death.  The bookplates belonged to her grandfather, Dr. John Breakey, Inspector General of Hospitals and Fleets of the Royal Navy (Figure 5).  She went on to report that the same crest of arms could be found on some silver in her possession.  She also utilized the arms seal (in wax on the reverse of several of her mailing envelopes to the author), “which is of gold with the arms on a topaz (Figure 6).  There is a great deal of wear on the ring by which it was obviously carried on a watch chain.  All men wore gold watch chains then of course.  My grandfather was so correct I feel sure he would not have worn the seal unless he had thought it correct but  of course it would have been someone before him who had used it.”

            And so the search began.

 

Figure 1.  Breakey Arms in Color

Courtesy of Dr. & Mrs. Edward P. Breakey

Sumner, Washington

 

Figure 2.  Authenticity of Arms Questioned

Courtesy of Mr. Bert Isaiah Foster Breakey

Thornhill, Ontario, Canada

 

Figure 3. Imprint Copy of Large Breakey Arms

 

Courtesy of Mr. Bert Isaiah Foster Breakey

Thornhill, Ontario, Canada

 

Figure 4.  Imprint Copy of Small Breakey Arms

 

Courtesy of Mr. Bert Isaiah Foster Breakey

Thornhill, Ontario, Canada

 

Figure 5.  Engraved Bookplate of Dr. John Breakey,

Inspector General of Hospitals and Fleets of the Royal Navy

 

Courtesy of  Mrs. Ivy Yeomans, The Brobury Stud

Letton, Hereford, England

 

Figure 6.  Breakey Arms Shown in Sealing Wax

 

Courtesy Of  Mrs. Ivy Yeomans, The Brobury Stud

Letton, Hereford, England