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Ashbury Coat of Arms Meaning

The four main devices (symbols) in the Ashbury blazon are the mullet, fesse, martlet and ash tree. The two main tinctures (colors) are gules 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.1. The word gules is thought to come from the Arabic gule, or “red rose” 2. Later writers associated it with the precious stone ruby and the metal iron 3, perhaps because of the red glow of iron in the heat of the blacksmith’s forge.

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) 4. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 5.

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” 6. 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 7. 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” 8.

The fesse (also found as fess) is one of the major ordinaries to found in heraldry, being a bold, broad, horizontal band across the centre of the shield. It may originally have arisen from the planks of which a wooden shield can be constructed, the centremost plank being painted a different colour 9. It is instantly recognisable as a symbol, for example the arms of COLEVILLE granted during the reign of Hery III are simply or, a fesse gules. With this clear association with the construction of the shield itself, Wade believes that the fesse can be taken to be associated with the military, as a “girdle of honour”.

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. 10. 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” 11. 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.

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

Ashbury Origin:


Origins of Ashbury:

The founders of the Ashbury surname exist in the old Anglo-Saxon culture. The name acquires from when they resided in Ashbourne, Derbyshire; in Ashburnham, Sussex; or in Ashburton, Devon. Before English spelling regulated a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common experience. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became organized into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the educated. The variations of the surname Ashbury contain as Ashburnham, Asbury, Astbury, Ashburner, Ashbourn, Ashburn, Ashburnam, Ashburham, Ashbourne and much more.


More common variations are: Ashburey, Ashburry, Asheburry, Ashbry, Aeschbury, Ashbery, Ashbr, Ashberry, Ashbary, Ashabur.


The surname Ashbury first appeared in Derbyshire, at Ashbourne, a market town in the Derbyshire Dales now famous for its historical annual Shrovetide football match. The first record appeared in the Domesday Book where it noted as Esseburne, having acquired from the Old English aesc and burna, which means "stream where the ash-trees grow." "There can be little no doubt, however, that the Ashburnhams have been seated at Ashburnham from the period of Henry II, and perhaps from a much earlier period, and declined from Bertram, Constable of Dover in the period or William the Invader." "The estate [of Ashburnham in Sussex], with the difference only of a few years, has been from a time anterior to the Invasion in the continued ownership of the noble family of Ashburnham, whose mansion-house here is beautifully located, and covered by a fine park. The parish, located behind Ashburnham House, is a neat cruciform edifice in the decorated English style, with a tower like the south transept contains a gallery for the family, and in the north are handsome monuments to William and John Ashburnham and their wives." The origin of surnames during this period became a necessity with the introduction of personal taxation. It came to be known as Poll Tax in England.


Many of the people with surname Ashbury had moved to Ireland during the 17th century.

United States of America:

Individuals with the surname Ashbury landed in the United States in three different centuries respectively in the 17th, and 18th. Some of the people with the name Ashbury who arrived in the United States in the 17th century included Robert Ashbury, who came to Virginia in 1637. Francis Ashbury, who landed in Maryland in 1665. Thomas Ashbury, who arrived in Maryland in 1676.

The following century saw more Ashbury surnames arrive. Some of the people with the surname Ashbury who arrived in the United States in the 19th century included John Ashbury, who landed in Virginia in 1705.

Here is the population distribution of the last name Ashbury: South Africa 201; United States 171; England 97; Canada 91; Australia 9; New Zealand 7; Norway 1; Zimbabwe 1; Rusia 1; Malawi 1.

Notable People:

James Lloyd Ashbury (1834 –September 1895) was a British yachtsman and Party leader. The son of John Ashbury, founder of the Ashbury Railway Carriage and Iron Company Ltd of Manchester, James qualified as an engineer and worked the family company. When his father passed away in 1866, he received the business and a considerable fortune. Influenced by the polluted atmosphere of Manchester and Ashbury he shifted to the coast, where he took up sailing. As he tried to advance in society, he took up competitive yachting.

Joseph Ashbury (1638–1720), was an English actor and theater manager. He was born in London in 1638, into a famous family, was educated at Eton College, and entered the army. Quartered in Ireland, when the guidance of Richard Cromwell came to an end, he was one of the officers who replaced under the regime of the revived Rump Parliament, and he was also one of those who, in the royalist interest, seized Dublin Castle in December 1659.

Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) (Worcester). Gu. a fesse betw. three mullets ar.
2) Motto—Aequitate ac diligentia. Per. chev. gu. and ar. in chief three martlets of the last and in base on a mound vert an ash tree ppr. fructed of the first. Crest—A lion's gamb. erased or, holding a spear pendant therefrom a flag ar. thereon a martlet gu.

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  • 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 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 97
  • 7 A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P107
  • 8 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P105
  • 9 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Fesse
  • 10 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Martlet
  • 11 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P79