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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) (Tournay, France). Gu. a chev. vair betw. three crescents or.
2) (Norfolk). Sa. a chev. ar. betw. three dolphins or.
3) Ar. a lion ramp. az. betw. three crescents gu. Crest—On a chapeau a demi lion ppr. holding betw. the paws an increscent ar.
4) (Hall-Dare, Newtownbarry, co. Wexford, and Theydon Bois, co. Essex). Motto—Loyaute sans tache. Quarterly, 1st and 4th, az. a lion ramp. ar. betw. three lozenges or, each charged with an increscent gu. in chief a cross crosslet gold, for Dare; 2nd and 3rd, sa. on a chev. engr. betw. three battle-axes erect or, as many eagles displ. of the field, for Hall. Crests—For Dare: A demi lion ramp. az. bezantee, charged on the shoulder with a cross crosslet or, and holding betw. the paws a lozenge charged with an increscent as in the arms; for Hall: A horse’s head couped sa. semee of mullets or, armed ppr. bridled ar. on the head two ostrich feathers of the first and third, and holding in the mouth a battle-axe or.

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

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Dare Coat of Arms Meaning

The four main devices (symbols) in the Dare blazon are the crescent, chevron, dolphin and lio. The three main tinctures (colors) are gules, or and vair .

Gules, the heraldic colour red is very popular, sometimes said to represent “Military Fortitude and Magnanimity”1The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36. It is usually abbreviated as gu and in the days before colour printing was shown in a system known as hatching by vertical lines 2Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P52. Although it may look like a French word it is normally pronounced with a hard “g” and may be derived either from the Latin gula (throat) or Arabic gule (rose).3A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P154

Or is the heraldic metal Gold, often shown as a bold, bright yellow colour. It is said to show “Generosity and elevation of the mind” 4The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35. Later heralds, of a more poetic nature liked to refer to it as Topaz, after the gemstone, and, for obvious reasons associated it with the Sun 5Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. In drawings without colour it is usually represented by many small dots, or by the letter ‘O’ 6A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P76-77.

Special patterns, of a distinctive shape are frequently used in heraldry and are know as furs, representing the cured skins of animals 7Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 28. Although they were originally derived from real creatures the actual patterns have become highly stylised into simple geometric shapes, bell-like in the case of vair. 8Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P46-49. vair is a particularly interesting example that resonates today – the “glass” slippers worn by Cinderella are actually a mis-translation of “vair” (i.e. fur) slippers, the very same vair that appears in heraldry! 9A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Vair

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 10A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P146xz`, and the crescent Is a typical example of this, and can appear in any of the main heraldic tinctures. Some common is this device that there are special names for its appearance in various orientations – whilst it lies normally with points upward, the decrescent points to the sinister side, and the increscent to the dexter 11A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Moon. The allusion, obviously is to the shape of the moon in the sky (indeed, the French have a version “figuré” which includes a face!) and has been said to signify both “honour by the sovereign” and “hope of greater glory” 12The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P106.

The chevron is one the major shapes used upon a shield, known as ordinaries. The inverted ‘V’ of the chevron is perhaps thought to have originated to represent a military scarf folded on the shield 13A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, (various), or additional cross-pieces used to strengthen the shield and painted a different colour.14The Pursuivant of Arms, J. R. Planche, Hardwicke, London 1859. It has also acquired the meaning of “Protection… granted… to one who has achieved some notable enterprise” 15The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P45, possibly becuase of its resemblance to the roof truss of a house.

In the days before television and the internet it was a rare heraldic artist that had ever seen a dolphin for real, so we should not be surprised that the heraldic representation is not instantly recognisable. Despite this, we should not forget that these artists considered the dolphin to be the king of fish, playing the same role as the lion in the animal kingdom. 16A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Dolphin For reasons not immediately clear, Wade suggests that the dolphin was regarded as an “affectionate fish, fond of music”. 17The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P83

1 Comment

  • Dare says:

    Dare surname known to come from sidmouth in Devon that’s all we k ow as my
    Husbands father was Wilfred
    Dare know. As Peter dare

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References   [ + ]

1. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
2. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P52
3. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P154
4. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35
5. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
6. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P76-77
7. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 28
8. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P46-49
9. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Vair
10. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P146
11. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Moon
12. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P106
13. A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, (various)
14. The Pursuivant of Arms, J. R. Planche, Hardwicke, London 1859
15. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P45
16. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Dolphin
17. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P83