Christophe Butkens

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Hatching table of Christophe Butkens (1626)
Enlarged hatching table of Butkens

Christophe Butkens (1590–1650) was a Cistercian abbot from Antwerp, historian and genealogist.

Butkens developed his own hatching system but it was used by him in an inconsequent way which led to the misunderstandings and the resultant sudden disappearance of this method. His hatching method is published in the book Annales genealogiques de la maison de Lynden (Antwerp, 1626), which was seen flagrant as it falsified the House of Lynden genealogy that was revealed already by Baron van Linden in 1891. However, his later work is seen as authentic. Spener maintained that the first heraldic hatching system was invented by Butkens. He was one of the censors of the 1636 book of Juan Caramuel Lobkowitz titled Declaración Mystica de las Armas de España which contains another hatching system.


  • Annales genealogiques de la maison de Lynden. Antwerp, 1626
  • Christophe Buthkens, Trophées tant sacrés que prophanes de la duché de Brabant. Tome I. Contenant l'origine, succession et descendance des ducs et princes de ceste maison avec leurs actions plus signalées, ensemble des genealogies de plusieurs ducs, princes, comtes, barons, seigneurs et nobles, leur vassals et subiects avec les preuves servantes à entiere verification...' Antwerp, 1641. Frontispiece engraved by Mathieu Borrekens after the drawing of Abraham van Diepenbeke. Another edition: F. C. Butkens, Trophées tant sacrés et profanes du Duché de Brabant. 1724-1726

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