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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) (the Arms of Edmund de Bereford, d. 28 Edward I., 1299, third in descent from Gault de Bereford, temp. Henry III., Dugdale). (Rutlandshire and Leicestershire). Ar. crusilly fitchee three fleurs-de-lis sa.
2) (Staffordshire). Or, three fleurs-de-lis sa. Crest—An ostrich’s head betw. two palm branches.
3) Ar. three fleurs-de-lis betw. seven crosslets fitchee sa. within a bordure engr. gu.
4) Ar. a chev. gu. betw. three ogresses.
5) Ar. semee of fleurs-de-lis sa.
6) Sa. five fusils in bend ar.
7) (Visit. Rutland, 1618). Ar. on a chev. az. three crosses pattee or.
8) Ar. a chev. gu. betw. three ogresses. Ar. a chev. gu. betw. three ogresses.

Origin, Meaning, Family History and Bereford Coat of Arms and Family Crest

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Bereford Coat of Arms Meaning

The three main devices (symbols) in the Bereford blazon are the fleur-de-lis, fusil and ogress. The two main tinctures (colors) are sable and argent.

Sable, the deep black so often found in Heraldry is believed to named from an animal of the marten family know in the middle ages as a Sabellinœ and noted for its very black fur 1A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Sable. In engravings, when colors cannot be shown it is represented as closely spaced horizontal and vertical lines, and appropriately is thus the darkest form of hatching, as this method is known 2Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26. Although it may seem a sombre tone, and does indeed sometimes denote grief, it is more commonly said to represent Constancy 3The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35.

Argent is the heraldic metal Silver and is usually shown as very pure white. It is also known more poetically as pearl, moon (or luna) 4Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 5A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11.

The fleur-de-lys (“flower of the lily”) has a long and noble history and was a symbol associated with the royalty of France even before heraldry became widespread. 6Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 3. The Lily flower is said to represent “Purity, or whiteness of soul”7The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P134 and sometimes associated with the Virgin Mary. The fleur-de-lys is also used as a small “badge”, known as a mark of cadency to show that the holder is the sixth son of the present holder of the arms 8A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P489

The fusil is a shape rather like a lozenge but taller and narrower, hence fusily refers to a field of similar shapes arranged in a regulat pattern. 9A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Fusil It is though that the shape originally derived from that of a spindle of yarn. Wade believes that the symbol is of very great age and quotes an earlier writer, Morgan who ascribes it the meaning of “Negotiation”. 10The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P117

For easy recognition of the items on a coat of arms, and hence the quick identification of the owner, bold simple shapes are best. Hence, simple geometric shapes are often used for this purpose 11A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P146 One of the simplest such shapes is the plain circle, known to heralds as the roundle. 12A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Roundle So popular is this charge that a shorthand has arisen for roundles of a particular colour and pellet is a roundle sable, or black. It is also known as an ogress or gunstone. Most authorities agree that the English usage signifies the “Manchet cake” or communion wafer and thus is a symbol of religious allegiance.

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References   [ + ]

1. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Sable
2. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26
3. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35
4. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
5. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11
6. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 3
7. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P134
8. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P489
9. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Fusil
10. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P117
11. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P146
12. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Roundle