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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) Quarterly, per fess indented ar. and sa. in the second quarter a swan ppr.
2) Quarterly, per fesse indented sa. and ar.
3) Gu. a fesse in chief, two mullets pierced ar.
4) Gu. a fesse ar. in chief, two mullets with six point or.
5) Ar. on a chief gu. three mullets of the first.

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

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Bracy Coat of Arms Meaning

The two main devices (symbols) in the Bracy blazon are the swan and mullet. The two main tinctures (colors) are gules and sable.

The bold red colour on a heraldic shield is known as gules. It has a long history within heraldry, it is known that one of those who besieged the scottish castle of Carlaverock in 1300 was the French knight Euremions de la Brette who had as his arms a simple red shield.1The Siege of Carlaverock, N. Harris, Nichols & Son, London, 1828, P180. The word gules is thought to come from the Arabic gule, or “red rose” 2Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 313. Later writers associated it with the precious stone ruby and the metal iron 3Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53, perhaps because of the red glow of iron in the heat of the blacksmith’s forge.

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 4A 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 5Boutell’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 6The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35.

Wade suggests that the appearance of a swan in a coat of arms is perhaps an indication of a musical person, or a “ lover of poetry and harmony”. 7The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P78 It is generally shown in a lifelike aspect and colouring, although it may be leaked and legged with other colours. 8A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Swan. It is a popular charge, both on the shield itself and impress, sometimes sitting and sometimes rising as if about to take off in flight. 9A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P245

The heraldic mullet, not to be confused with the fish of that name, is shown as a regular, five pointed star. This was originally, not an astronomical object, but represented the spur on a horseman’s boot, especially when peirced, with a small circular hole in the centre it represents a type of spur known as a “rowel” 10Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 97. A clear example can be found in the arms of Harpendene, argent, a mullet pierced gules. The ancient writer Guillim associated such spurs in gold as belonging to the Knight, and the silver to their esquires 11A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P107. In later years, Wade linked this five pointed star with the true celestial object, the estoile and termed it a “falling star”, symbolising a “divine quality bestowed from above” 12The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P105.

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References   [ + ]

1. The Siege of Carlaverock, N. Harris, Nichols & Son, London, 1828, P180
2. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 313
3. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
4. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Sable
5. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26
6. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35
7. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P78
8. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Swan
9. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P245
10. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 97
11. A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P107
12. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P105