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 The Heraldic Tradition

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PostSubject: The Heraldic Tradition   Tue 19 Mar 2013, 14:15

Following up from a mention by Temp and Priscilla on the Romantic Fiction thread, here is a thread about heraldry, past and present.

The first thing you discover is that there are strict rules governing heraldry, which colours should not be seen together etc. This link gives information on these rules; http://www.internationalheraldry.com/
That said, there are literally thousands of designs, for individuals, families, cities, associations, countries and organisations around the world.
As a sample, here is the coat of arms for the City of Bristol;



The description and history of said arms;
http://www.ngw.nl/heraldrywiki/index.php?title=Bristol
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PostSubject: Re: The Heraldic Tradition   Tue 19 Mar 2013, 14:51

Thank you for that link, Trike.

I'm fascinated by heraldry, but find it terribly confusing. I shall read all this with interest.

We ought to devise an impressive coat of arms for the Res Historica forum!
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PostSubject: Re: The Heraldic Tradition   Tue 19 Mar 2013, 14:56

@Temperance wrote:


We ought to devise an impressive coat of arms for the Res Historica forum!

Now that's an idea!!!. In the meantime here is a representation of RIII's white boar design;

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PostSubject: Re: The Heraldic Tradition   Tue 19 Mar 2013, 15:02

Not just in the medieval period,here we have the badge of 617 (The Dambusters) Squadron, RAF;

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PostSubject: Re: The Heraldic Tradition   Wed 20 Mar 2013, 09:30

This gives an idea how coats of arms develop over the generations;

http://www.maxwellsociety.com/history/heraldry.htm

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PostSubject: Re: The Heraldic Tradition   Wed 20 Mar 2013, 09:54

Trike, are those dear little moles I can see in the arms of Lord Herries?

Were members of this family Jacobites, I wonder?
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PostSubject: Re: The Heraldic Tradition   Wed 20 Mar 2013, 09:59

@Temperance wrote:
Trike, are those dear little moles I can see in the arms of Lord Herries?

I'm guessing but I think those 'moles' are actually hedgehogs. It's a play on words: in French (and heraldry) a hedgehog is un hérrison, hence the play on the name Herries.
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PostSubject: Re: The Heraldic Tradition   Wed 20 Mar 2013, 10:26

Oh, dear little hedgehogs then. Where are my specs?
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PostSubject: Re: The Heraldic Tradition   Wed 20 Mar 2013, 11:58

I'm glad Meles answered that one Temp, because I had no idea.

Hedgehogs are included in the coat of arms of (some of) the Harris family as well;

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PostSubject: Re: The Heraldic Tradition   Wed 20 Mar 2013, 12:03

This link traces the development of the Royal coat of arms, note how the fleur de lys wasn't dropped until 1801;

http://www.fleurdelis.com/royal.htm

Not on that link, but he was mentioned on the Princes thread, Stephen of Blois' coat of arms;

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PostSubject: Re: The Heraldic Tradition   Wed 20 Mar 2013, 12:06

And I could not believe this,the crest for the town of Maidstone in Kent the supporters were granted on 30th June 1949, a Lion and an Iguanadon !!!!



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PostSubject: Re: The Heraldic Tradition   Wed 20 Mar 2013, 12:13

LOL.

He's a definite for the Res Historica arms.
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PostSubject: Re: The Heraldic Tradition   Wed 20 Mar 2013, 12:51

Gannets of course ought be included. How is another matter. Not proper 9white) anyway. gannets improper would be sh*t brown, at a guess. And how displayed?
Supporters ought include historiacl figures such as Miss Frobisher and then there was that reprobate uncle - pickled and ossibly eaten when bar fare degenerated.
i am interested in what colours one must not put together in a device? Let's have some of those then.
A draped huff would be nice too.
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PostSubject: Re: The Heraldic Tradition   Wed 20 Mar 2013, 12:53

Something like this (Connecticut) might be suitable. The motto is most apt for His Enormity. The motifs seem appropriate too. Cheers.

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PostSubject: Re: The Heraldic Tradition   Wed 20 Mar 2013, 12:57

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PostSubject: Re: The Heraldic Tradition   Wed 20 Mar 2013, 15:14

@ferval wrote:
Something like this (Connecticut) might be suitable. The motto is most apt for His Enormity. The motifs seem appropriate too. Cheers.


The motifs seem appropriate for his Enormity? What the piles or the droopiness? affraid
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PostSubject: Re: The Heraldic Tradition   Wed 20 Mar 2013, 15:28

@Triceratops wrote:
Hedgehogs are included in the coat of arms of (some of) the Harris family as well.....

I'm glad you said "some of" the family because of course grants of arms are always to a person and NEVER to a family. And in view of the above "faux arms", I'll bet there are actually quite a few different coats of arms "associated" with people who have had the name Harris. But there are still plenty of companies out there prepared to sell anyone a "fully researched" coat of arms for "your family name", although such a thing does not exist.

Indeed, since the right to inherit arms passes exculsively through the male line, I note that Kate Middleton, whose family had no coat of arms when she got engaged to Wills, obtained her arms (prior to marriage) by the College of Arms granting arms to her father, so that she could bear his arms suitably modified according to the rules as the eldest daughter. Thus when she married her personal arms (obtained, rather rapidly, through her father) could be "impaled" (I think that is the correct term) with William's - who as a direct-line male descendent of the Queen bears a suitably modified version of the royal arms as his personal arms.

EDIT : Et voila, Kate's current personal arms, which combine her father's arms (sinister ie leftside, but to the right as you view it) with those of her husband, William's (dexter ie rightside) whose own arms are the Royal arms modified at the top to denote that he is the first son of the first son of the Queen:



EDIT 2 : Just for info the official explanation of the Middleton arms is:

The dividing line (between two colours) down the centre is a canting of the name 'Middle-ton'. The acorns are a traditional symbol of England and a feature of west Berkshire, where the family have lived for 30 years. The three acorns also denote the family's three children. The gold chevron in the centre of the arms is an allusion to Carole Middleton's maiden name of Goldsmith. The two white chevronels (narrow chevrons above and below the gold chevron) symbolise peaks and mountains, and the family's love of the Lake District and skiing.

.... so thanfully they didn't usually go on Club Med holidays getting plastered in Lanzerote or playing bingo in Majorca! .... or if they did they didn't divulge that to Thomas Woodcock CVO, Garter Principal King of Arms, and current head of the College of Arms.


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PostSubject: Re: The Heraldic Tradition   Wed 20 Mar 2013, 16:47

Quote :
The motifs seem appropriate for his Enormity? What the piles or the droopiness

Er, do you know something the rest of don't?

Bad phraseology, I meant little old port drinkers us.
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PostSubject: Re: The Heraldic Tradition   Wed 20 Mar 2013, 17:04

@ferval wrote:
Er, do you know something the rest of don't?

Not at all, I thought you meant the droopy clusters in the motif were appropriate for Himself.

I'm rather relieved it was a misunderstanding I must say. We would have had to start supplying special ring cushions for comfort in the bar!
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PostSubject: Re: The Heraldic Tradition   Wed 20 Mar 2013, 19:25

Moving away from piles and back on topic, here is a fascinating site on the history of the family crests of Japan. The oldest being that of the Emporer, and after, other families who took up the custom.

http://www.geocities.ws/kazenaga23/crests.htm

Later the Shogunate introduced fixed rules on where, when and how family crests were to be fixed on clothing. And a circular pattern was deemed preferable and more pleasing right up until today, where there are over 6,000 family crests still in use.
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PostSubject: Re: The Heraldic Tradition   Thu 21 Mar 2013, 08:38

Shakespeare's coat of arms, actually awarded to his father in 1596.




Shakespeare came in for some ribbing from his friends for the rather pretentious emblem and motto which he had bought. In Every Man Out of His Humour Ben Jonson introduces a vainglorious rustic, Sogliardo, who acquires a splendid coat of arms. "I can write myself a gentleman now," he says, "here's my patent; it cost me thirty pounds, by this breath." Sogliardo's arms include a boar's head to which the appropriate motto is suggested, "Not without mustard." This has generally been taken as a sly dig at Shakespeare's "Not without right."

The granting of the Shakespeare arms was later disputed by the College of Arms. They claimed a mistake had been made and that twenty-three "base" persons, including our Will, should never have been honoured.

http://theshakespeareblog.com/2011/11/the-facts-about-shakespeares-coat-of-arms/

The story takes another twist when in 1602, after John Shakespeare had died and William was the head of the family, one of the Heralds checked the grants of arms that had been made in the previous few years and claimed that twenty-three had been made to “base persons”, accusing his fellow Herald of corruption. Shakespeare was one of these singled out, as “Shakespeare ye player”. Acting was not a suitable occupation for a gentleman.
The Herald who had made the original grant, backed up by William Camden, the most senior of the Heralds, upheld the Shakespeare claim citing John Shakespeare’s experience as Bailiff of Stratford-upon-Avon and the military service said to have been done by Shakespeare’s great-grandfather in the days of Henry VII.
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PostSubject: Re: The Heraldic Tradition   Thu 21 Mar 2013, 09:34

@Islanddawn wrote:
Moving away from piles and back on topic, here is a fascinating site on the history of the family crests of Japan. The oldest being that of the Emporer, and after, other families who took up the custom.

http://www.geocities.ws/kazenaga23/crests.htm

Later the Shogunate introduced fixed rules on where, when and how family crests were to be fixed on clothing. And a circular pattern was deemed preferable and more pleasing right up until today, where there are over 6,000 family crests still in use.

I must admit I had never considered Heraldry outside a European context. This link is a brief look at the Ayyubid and Mameluk heraldry of the Middle East; http://www.appletonstudios.com/MamlukHeraldry2001.pdf
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PostSubject: Re: The Heraldic Tradition   Thu 21 Mar 2013, 09:37

The rules of Tincture; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rule_of_tincture

and the coat of arms of Minette's favourite person;

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PostSubject: Re: The Heraldic Tradition   Thu 21 Mar 2013, 10:54

@Triceratops wrote:
I must admit I had never considered Heraldry outside a European context. This link is a brief look at the Ayyubid and Mameluk heraldry of the Middle East; http://www.appletonstudios.com/MamlukHeraldry2001.pdf

Interestingly the Middle Eastern Heraldry are circular in design, quite similar to that of the Japanese Trike. I wonder if there is Far Eastern influence, vise versa or the styles developed independently of each other? And both quite unlike the European, where a shield shape was more traditionally used.
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PostSubject: Re: The Heraldic Tradition   Thu 21 Mar 2013, 11:06

Perhaps round was the normal shape for shields in those places, where does our shield shape come from? Were battle shields ever really that shape?
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PostSubject: Re: The Heraldic Tradition   Thu 21 Mar 2013, 11:29

By "our" I assume you mean the heather shield shape? This was a refinement of the kite shield shape adopted by cavalry soldiers and which "shrank" over time. The shrinkage was only possible due to corresponding improvement in body armour so it actually wasn't used for its intended purpose for very long when compared to its predecessors. It happened to be the shape of choice when the practical requirement of a shield was eliminated altogether, which probably explains its adoption around the same time as a symbolic motif.
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PostSubject: Re: The Heraldic Tradition   Thu 21 Mar 2013, 11:45

Thanks. Now, why do you describe it as 'heather'? Is that because it's an inverted bell shape?
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PostSubject: Re: The Heraldic Tradition   Thu 21 Mar 2013, 12:36

Heater shield - sorry
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PostSubject: Re: The Heraldic Tradition   Fri 22 Mar 2013, 12:23

Crested Helmets

Among the various articles of heraldic apparel were crested helms. Designs of various configurations on top of an individuals helmet, which made him easily recognisable.

Drawn in 1924, this is the crest on the helmet of Edward, the Black Prince, in Canterbury Cathedral;


and from a book of 1418-1420, this link is to the illustration of a duel between two knights by the names of Sigstaff and Reinholt, both men wear distinctive crests;
http://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/cpg359/0068
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PostSubject: Re: The Heraldic Tradition   Fri 22 Mar 2013, 13:22

Many moons ago I was drinking in Grogan's Pub in Dublin and got chatting to a lad who was even more of a regular than I was - he traditionally held up the bar at the same spot for as long as the licencing laws allowed at the time. To my utter amazement (we were into about our third year of casual conversations), while discussing what we each did to earn a crust in this world, he announced himself as Ireland's Chief Herald. His job, once under British rule a highly sought after position of power - the man responsible for allowing or denying granting of coats of arms and making sure they adhered to the rules - was now the preserve of a lowly civil servant whose office was the area just by the Guinness pumps in - admittedly - one of the city's finest hostelries.

He could also tell me what happened to the three bloodied heads impaled on a sword which once had been the proud emblem of my own family. Some time during the Catholic Junta years (de Valera / Archbishop McQuaid) in Ireland our gloriously bloodthirsty coat of arms and shield were substituted with a banal picture of foliage - allegedly to less offend potential yankee tourists. As a special favour my drinking companion reinstituted our traditional arms for me and my descendants. I still have the writ he signed to prove it.
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PostSubject: Re: The Heraldic Tradition   Fri 22 Mar 2013, 13:54

Deleted.


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PostSubject: Re: The Heraldic Tradition   Fri 22 Mar 2013, 14:23

There are very few Irish families that do not have armorial bearings - and by that I mean a properly attested coat of arms dating back to the stablishment of the Herald's Office in 1552. This is a legacy of two English kings (both called Henry) who ennobled anything that moved in that land in the hope that gratitude would do the trick regarding their respective claims on the country's revenues.

Both made the same mistake, in other words.

But yes, if one places any importance on that kind of thing, then my family (a particular family within a particular branch of one of the leading clans) has produced two separate baronetcies with inherited titles which each lasted over five centuries (one of the first clans to sell out to the sassenachs), as well as the title of High King under Irish sovereignty and Stewart under English. At the foundation of the Irish Free State five of them were sitting Lords, and two of these opted to stay put. The others (one of which was my lot) opted to renounce their peerage and serve the Irish state as senators.

So I'm afraid that snide references to eminence / enormity etc cannot strictly include lordship anymore.
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PostSubject: Re: The Heraldic Tradition   Fri 22 Mar 2013, 14:32

I have absolutely no wish to offend, and no hint of unpleasant "snideness" was intended.

But deletion seems appropriate.
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PostSubject: Re: The Heraldic Tradition   Fri 22 Mar 2013, 14:36

Sounds like you've sent a hit-man after me!

wabbit
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PostSubject: Re: The Heraldic Tradition   Fri 22 Mar 2013, 14:47

Crested helms as they appear in heraldry do not always match anything ever worn in battle - at least I hope not in the case of my own family's emblem:



I believe the anchor shows that they once had admiralty over the Royal Navy vessels stationed in Ireland. Or else that someone back in the day was very good at balancing things on his noddle while on horseback.
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PostSubject: Re: The Heraldic Tradition   Fri 22 Mar 2013, 16:36

Another facet of heraldry was the use of standards and banners;



correct identification was essential, not the case here where the Marquis of Montagu's soldiers mistook the Earl of Oxford's battalion for hostile Yorkist forces at Barnet;

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PostSubject: Re: The Heraldic Tradition   Fri 22 Mar 2013, 21:26

Quote :
The Herald who had made the original grant, backed up by William Camden, the most senior of the Heralds, upheld the Shakespeare claim citing John Shakespeare’s experience as Bailiff of Stratford-upon-Avon and the military service said to have been done by Shakespeare’s great-grandfather in the days of Henry VII.

Interestingly Shakespeare makes quite a deal of the herald's role in Henry V. He actually overdose it a bit and even forgets himself. For example in Act IV, Scene III the French herald Montjoy takes his leave of King Harry (and the audience) with a rather melodramatic:

"And so fare thee well:
Thou never shalt hear herald any more."

And yet later on in Scene VII, Montjoy is back again with even more lines to say.

P.S. I've never worked out if Montjoy (the French herald) has any connection to the Irish baronetcy Mountjoy which was created only a generation after Agincourt. Does anyone know?
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PostSubject: Re: The Heraldic Tradition   Sun 24 Mar 2013, 17:55

Vizz, there is an entry in the payment books of Henry VIII for March 1514 of a payment of 200 shillings to "Woodehouse,coming from and going to Calais with Mountjoy, herald of France" It may well be the case that "Montjoy" is a generic name for French Heralds [ believed to be based on the French battlecry "Montjoie, St Denis"]
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PostSubject: Re: The Heraldic Tradition   Fri 05 Apr 2013, 12:34

An essay about the Teutonic Knights;



http://history-world.org/teutonic_knights.htm


PS the main world history site has a large number of essays and articles on a variety of subjects;

http://history-world.org/
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PostSubject: Re: The Heraldic Tradition   Fri 10 May 2013, 11:36

St George's Hall at Windsor Castle is a good place to go to see Arms - all the Knights of the Garter since the foundation of the Order in 1348/9 have their Arms displayed their - well over 1000 shields in all (though some are repeats/near repeats, due to some descendants of previous Garter Knights also being appointed). Several Emperors of Japan, as 'Stranger Knights' (honorary foreign members) are included. The link between heraldry and honour is nicely illustrated by the fact that 'degraded' members - those expelled from the Order, usually for treason - have had their Arms blanked out. Oddly, Margaret Thatcher's Arms are displayed in a lozenge rather than a shield, even though that design is usually reserved for spinsters and widows, and she was neither when appointed. Apparently she specifically requested it, for reasons best known to herself.

St George's Chapel, also at the Castle, displays the banners, crests and helms of current Garter Knights, and since each Knight has their own stall, the stall plates - bearing their Arms - of all previous Knights are still in place.

It's notable, I think, that although heraldry (I believe) tends to be associated with the past, and the aristocracy and gentry, it's very much alive and flourishing, and rather more democratic. I get a regular newsletter from the College of Arms, which always includes a selection of recent Grants of Arms - fifteen in the last issue, ranging from Baron Elstree to a Mr Patel!
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PostSubject: Re: The Heraldic Tradition   Wed 15 May 2013, 13:28

These people take it really seriously. The Russians won for the fourth championship in a row;

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PostSubject: Re: The Heraldic Tradition   Mon 13 Feb 2017, 12:54

The Challenge of Barletta. A tournament which took place on the 13th February 1503, between 13 French Knights and 13 Italian Knights after a French nobleman impugned the fighting qualities of Italians:

Challenge of Barletta

Poster for the 400th anniversary, the heraldic shields of the victorious Italians around the border;

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