Abingdon Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History

Abingdon Family Coat of Arms

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Abingdon Coat of Arms Meaning

Abingdon Name Origin & History

Variations of this name are: Abington.

We have several coat of arms design(s) for the name Abingdon. Click on the thumbnails to view each design.

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abingdon coat of arms

Abingdon Coat of Arms Meaning

The three main devices (symbols) in the Abingdon blazon are the bend, eagle and martlet. The three main tinctures (colors) are gules, or and argent .

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.

The bright yellow colour frequently found in coats of arms is known to heralds as Or, or sometimes simply as Gold.4Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27. Along with, argent, or silver it forms the two “metals” of heraldry – one of the guidelines of heraldic design is that silver objects should not be placed upon gold fields and vice versa 5A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P85. The yellow colour is often associated with the Sun, and the zodiacal sign of Leo.6Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53.

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) 7Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 8A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11.

The bend is a distinctive part of the shield, frequently occuring and clearly visible from a distance – it is a broad band running from top left to bottom right 9Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 39-40. Indeed, so important is the bend that it was the subject of one of the earliest cases before the English Court of Chivalry; the famous case of 1390, Scrope vs Grosvenor had to decide which family were the rightful owners of Azure, a bend or (A blue shield, with yellow bend). 10A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P22. The bend is held in high honour and may signify “defence or protection” and often borne by those of high military rank 11The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P49.

Where the lion is undisputed king of the animals, the eagle undoubtedly plays the same role in the realm of the birds, its use in this form dating back to at least the Roman period 12A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Eagle. They tend to be illustrated in quite some detail, especially in continental European arms, and have almost as wide variety of postures and accessories as the lion, well illustrated in the reference 13A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P235-238 as well as being just the eagle’s head or eagle’s leg. The symbology of the eagle is deep and complex, Wade devotes several pages to the subject 14The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P72-74, but suffice it say that it has long been associated with Empire and those held in high honour – any armiger would be pleased to have any form of Eagle upon their arms!

The martlett is by far the most common bird to appear in British Heraldry, perhaps only equalled by the eagle, however it is not a species ever to be found in an ornithologists handbook! The word itself is though to have come from the French word merlette, the female blackbird and itself a similar type of charge used in French Heraldry. 15A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Martlet. Over time the image has become quite stylised, without visible legs or distinctive feathers. Wade suggests that this representation arises from “the appearance of the bird of paradise to ancient travellers” 16The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P79. Other bird species may be named in coats of arms (cornish chough is a frequent example) but in actual execution their appearance is often indistinguishable from the martlet.

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Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Abingdon Name

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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) (Abingdon, co. Cambridge, Whichenford, Brokhampton, and Hindlip, co. Worcester: the heiresses were Mary, wife of Walter Compton, of Hartpury; Francis, wife of John Branthwaite; and Elizabeth, m. to Francis Fountain, Esq.). Ar. on a bend gu. three eagles displ. or, beaked and legged az. Crest—An eagle close or.
2) (Dowdeswell, co. Gloucester, granted 1595, to Anthony Abinton, gentleman-usher to Queen Elizabeth, Ad. MS. B. M., 14,295).
3) Ar. on a bend gu. three eagles displ. or, an annulet of the second. Crest—A hand and arm, couped at the shoulder, in armour, garnished or, embowed fesseways, holding in the hand an ancient mace, handled sa. headed and studded gold, girt round the arm near the shoulder with a sash tied in a bow ar. fringed of the first.
4) Ar. a cross patonce betw. five martlets sa.
5) (Dowdeswell, co. Gloucester, granted 1595, to Anthony Abinton, gentleman-usher to Queen Elizabeth, Ad. MS. B. M., 14,295). 6) Ar. on a bend gu. three eagles displ. or, an annulet of the second. Crest—A hand and arm, couped at the shoulder, in armour, garnished or, embowed fesseways, holding in the hand an ancient mace, handled sa. headed and studded gold, girt round the arm near the shoulder with a sash tied in a bow ar. fringed of the first.
7) (Dorsetshire). Ar. on a bend cottised sa. three eagles displ. of the field in the sinister chief point an escallop sa.

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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. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27
5. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P85
6. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
7. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
8. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11
9. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 39-40
10. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P22
11. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P49
12. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Eagle
13. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P235-238
14. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P72-74
15. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Martlet
16. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P79