Bice Coat of Arms
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Which coat of arms or "family crest" is mine?
Choose the design you like best, just your ancestors did when they painted these symbols on the shields they carried into battle and displayed in their homes. These coats of arms are real, historical works of art/culture dating back as far as 1100AD. Most of these designs were compiled and documented by genealogists and heraldists in large books published in the nineteenth century. These arms were owned by individuals who bore your surname, and were passed down through the generations from father to son, earning the monicker "family crest".
Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Bice Name
This interesting and unusual name is a variant of the surname Byas, which is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a geographical name for a ‘dweller at the house in the bend’. The surname acquired from the Old English pre 7th Century ‘byge’, a bend, and ‘hus’, a house. Geographical surnames among the earliest formed, since both natural and human-made characteristics in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names. The new surname can found as Byas(s), Bice and Byce. The arms given to one Robert Bice, who was Sheriff of Dublin in 1569, consisted of a shield, quartered diagonally gold and blue, with a red rose, with the stalk torn from the original stem, in the first and fourth quarters, and a gold fleur-de-lis in the second and third quarters. More common variations are: Buice, Byice, Boice, Baice, Bioce, Bicey, Bbice, Biceh, Biece, Beice.
The surname Bice first found in Surrey, where they had given lands by King William, their true Lord, after the Norman Invasion in 1066 AD. The very first recording spelling of the family was shown to be that of Adam de Byus, dated 1275, in the Hundred Rolls of Lincolnshire. It was during the reign of King Edward 1st, who was known as “The Hammer of the Scots” dated 1272-1307. Surname all over the country became a necessity with the introduction of personal taxation. It came to be known as Poll Tax in England. Surnames all over the country began to develop with unique and shocking spelling varieties of the original one.
Some of the people with the surname Bice who arrived in the Canada in the 18th century included Mr John Bice U.E. who settled in Canada c. 178. Some of the individuals with the surname Bice who landed in Australia in the 19th century included William Henry Bice, aged 21, who arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship “Confiance”.
Bice Coat of Arms Meaning
The three main devices (symbols) in the Bice blazon are the rose, fleur-de-lis and falcon. The three main tinctures (colors) are gules, or and azure .
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
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.
Azure is the heraldic colour blue, usually quite a deep, dark shade of the colour (there is a lighter blue that sometimes occurs, known as celestial azure). If colour printing is not available then it can be represented by closely spaced horizontal lines in a scheme known as “hatching” 7Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26. The word is thought to originate from the Arabic lazura and it represents the colour of the eastern sky. It is also said to be the colour associated by the Catholic Church with the Virgin Mary and hence of particular significance 8The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P150.
Natural objects abound in heraldry, and one category that gives especial delight are the many flowers and flowering plants that frequently occur 9A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P262. The rose is also of this type, being drawn, at least a little, realistically and often to very pleasing effect. It has long been present in English heraldry, and as a badge and symbol played an enormous in English history throughout the conflict between rival dynasties known as the War of the Roses. In addition to these familial uses, Wade suggests that red roses signify “beauty and grace” and the white represents “love and faith”. 10The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P132-133
The fleur-de-lys (“flower of the lily”) has a long and noble history and was a symbol associated with the royalty of France even before heraldry became widespread. 11Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 3. The Lily flower is said to represent “Purity, or whiteness of soul”12The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P134 and sometimes associated with the Virgin Mary. The fleur-de-lys is also used as a small “badge”, known as a mark of cadency to show that the holder is the sixth son of the present holder of the arms 13A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P489
Birds of great variety occur throughout heraldry, at least in name 14A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P233. The falcon is a bird long associated with hunting and we need look no further than a liking for this pursuit for its presence on many early coats of arms. 15A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Falcon We also find many of the accessories used in falconry depicted on arms, and a surprising number of terms from the art of falconry have found use in modern English idioms and the interested reader is recommended to search out the origins of the phrases hoodwinked and “cadging” a lift.