White Hat

The White Hart (“hart” being an archaic word for a mature stag) was the personal badge of Richard II, who probably derived it from the arms of his mother, Joan “The Fair Maid of Kent”, heiress of Edmund of Woodstock. It may also have been a pun on his name, as in “Rich-hart”. In the Wilton Diptych (National Gallery, London), which is the earliest authentic contemporary portrait of an English king, Richard II wears a gold and enamelled white hart jewel, and even the angels surrounding the Virgin Mary all wear white hart badges. In English Folklore, the white hart is associated with Herne the Hunter.

There are still many inns and pubs in England that sport a sign of the white hart, the fifth most popular name for a pub.Arthur C. Clarke wrote a collection of science fictional tall tales under the title of Tales from the White Hart, which used as a framing device the conceit that the tales were told during drinking sessions in a pub named the White Hart that existed somewhere between Fleet Street and the Embankment. This pub was fictional, but was based on a real pub named the White Horse where the science fiction community of London met in the 1940s and 1950s.

The White Hart (‘hart’ being an archaic word for a mature stag) was the personal badge of Richard II, who probably derived it from the arms of his mother, Joan ‘The Fair Maid of Kent’, heiress of Edmund of Woodstock. It may also have been a pun on…

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