Origin, Meaning, Family History and Anson Coat of Arms and Family Crest
Anson Name Meaning: English (found mainly in Yorkshire): patronymic from one of several Middle English personal names. Reaney and Wilson have it as ‘son of Hann’ or ‘son of Hand’ also perhaps, is ‘son of Agnes’ (see Annis), or even ‘son of Anselm’ The Anson Family is a British aristocratic family. Over time, several members of the Anson family were made knights, baronets and peers. Hereditary titles held by the Anson family include the earldom of Lichfield (since 1831) and the Anson baronetcy (also since 1831). It should be noted the titles of Earl and Baron are split between two sides of the family. Both titles are still active and current within the British Peerage. Over time, several members of the family have risen to prominence, including Admiral of the Fleet George Anson, 1st Baron Anson, PC, FRS (1697–1762)
The 1st Earl was the eldest son of Thomas Anson, 1st Viscount Anson, who on 17 February 1806 had been created Baron Soberton, of Soberton in the County of Southampton, and Viscount Anson, of Shugborough and Orgreave in the County of Stafford, both in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. Also in 1831, the 1st Earl’s cousin William Anson was made a baronet.
The earldom of Lichfield continued to descend within the Anson family from father to son until the death of the 4th Earl, in 1960. He was succeeded by his grandson, the 5th Earl, the only son of Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas William Arnold Anson, Viscount Anson (1913–1958), eldest son of the 4th Earl.
Thomas Patrick John Anson was born 25 April 1939. He was the only son of Lieutenant Colonel Thomas William Arnold Anson, Viscount Anson (1913–1958), the eldest son and heir apparent of Thomas Edward Anson, 4th Earl of Lichfield (1883–1960). His mother was born Anne Bowes-Lyon (1917–1980), who subsequently became Princess Anne of Denmark after divorce and remarriage), a niece of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. Which makes the Earls of Lichfield cousins to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Known professionally as Patrick Lichfield, he was a successful photographer. He was selected to take the official photographs of the wedding of the Prince and Princess of Wales in 1981, and subsequently became one of the UK’s best-known photographers. He was also chosen by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh to take official pictures of her Golden Jubilee in 2002.
As of 2010 the titles are held by the 6th Earl, only son of the 5th Earl and Lady Leonora Grosvenor, daughter of the 5th Duke of Westminster. He succeeded as the 6th Earl of Lichfield upon his father’s death on 11 November 2005 (Thomas Patrick Anson). The 6th Earl -Thomas Anson married in December 2009 Lady Henrietta Conyngham, daughter of Henry Conyngham, 8th Marquess Conyngham. They have one son, Thomas Ossian Patrick Wolfe Anson, Viscount Anson (b. 20 May 2011) The courtesy title of the eldest son and heir apparent of the Earl is Viscount Anson.
The Anson Baronetcy, of Birch Hall in the County of Lancaster, is a title in the Baronetage of the United Kingdom held by a branch of the Anson family. It was created on 30 September 1831 for William Anson. He was the third son of George Anson; his elder brothers were Thomas Anson, 1st Viscount Anson and General Sir George Anson. As of 2007 the title is held by the seventh Baronet, who succeeded in 1951, Rear-Admiral Sir Peter Anson CB. ( born 1924) The heir apparent is the present holder’s eldest son Philipp Roland Anson (born 1957)
Names associated with the Earldom of Lichfield:
Anson, Adams, Bowes-Lyon, Carrier, Conyngham, Grosvenor, and Westminster.
Place names associated with both the Baronetage of Anson and the Earldom of Lichfield:
Birch Hall, Shugborough, Shugborough Hall, Soberton, Palatine County of Lancaster, Orgreave, County Southampton, County Staffordshire, County Yorkshire.
Anson Coat of Arms Meaning
The three main devices (symbols) in the Anson blazon are the crescent, bendlets and engrailed. The two main tinctures (colors) are gules and argent.
Red in heraldry is given the name Gules, sometimes said to be the “martyr’s colour”1The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36. The colour is also associated with Mars, the red planet, and the zodiacal sign Aries 2Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. Later heralds of a more poetical nature would sometimes refer to the colour as ruby, after the precious stone.3A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P77.
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.
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 6A 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 7A 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” 8The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P106.
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.The Bendlet is quite simply a narrower version of the bend, and there may be a small number of these present.
The pattern engrailed is a series of scalloped indentations with the points facing outwards – and should not be confused with invected, which has the points facing inwards! Wade believes that both of these indented forms represent “earth or land”, and one perhaps can indeed see the furrowed earth embodied in them.