Borthwick Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History

Borthwick Family Coat of Arms

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Borthwick Coat of Arms Meaning

Borthwick Name Origin & History

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Borthwick Coat of Arms Meaning

The four main devices (symbols) in the Borthwick blazon are the cinquefoil, eagle, fleur-de-lis and crescent. The two main tinctures (colors) are sable and argent.

Sable, the deep black so often found in Heraldry is believed to named from an animal of the marten family know in the middle ages as a Sabellinœ and noted for its very black fur 1A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Sable. In engravings, when colors cannot be shown it is represented as closely spaced horizontal and vertical lines, and appropriately is thus the darkest form of hatching, as this method is known 2Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26. Although it may seem a sombre tone, and does indeed sometimes denote grief, it is more commonly said to represent Constancy 3The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35.

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.

Natural objects abound in heraldry, and one category that gives especial delight are the many flowers and flowering plants that frequently occur 6A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P262. The cinquefoil is also of this type, being drawn, at least a little, realistically and often to very pleasing effect. It is shown as five-petalled flower, each petal quite rounded but with a distinct tip. It is sometimes pierced with a hole in the centre and usually appears on its own, without any leaves. 7A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Cinquefoil It has no fixed colour but can appear in any of the available heraldic tinctures.

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 8A 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 9A 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 10The 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 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

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Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Borthwick Name

<h3>Borthwick Origin:</h3>
<p>England, Scotland</p>
<h3>Origins of Borthwick:</h3>
<p>It is a famous Scottish surname.  It is geographical from the old barony of Borthwick, by Borthwick Water, in the old district of Roxburghshire. It said that the first recording of the surname is in the year 1368 when one Thomas de Borthwic and his son William de Borthwic show as joint signatories to a record of transfer for lands at Middleton in the district of Midlothian.  It would show that the name ancestors had left Roxburgh, and as was typical of those days, took or were given, as their surname, the name of their old mother town.  Spelling being at best unusual and local languages very thick, often lead to the advancement of alternative spellings.  Surely, the Borthwicks as they now show in the records soon raised in their new division, and the name listed on a regular basis in the remaining records.  So much so that only ten years after in 1378, William de Borthwick renamed his estate of Catcune as ‘Borthwick,’ and it would seem that the control of these lands resided in the original family for at least two hundred years.  From about the year 1500 the surname developed to the north, with William Borth being an administrator for Parliament in Aberdeen in 1505.  There has been a claim that the family of Borthwick descended from a Hungarian knight called Andreas Burtick, who was the ambassador to Scotland in the 14th century.  However, this is unknown and would not seem to associate with the early known recordings.</p>
<h3>Variations:</h3>
<p>More common variations are: Borthwicke, Borthick, Borthwic, Borthwick, Berthwick, Barthwick, Brothwick, Brethwick, Brathwick, Burthwick, Borthwica</p>
<h3>Scotland:</h3>
<p>The surname Borthwick first appeared in Roxburghshire where this family gained through an unknown time of raiding, fighting and battling in Southern Scotland. By 1400, the Border fights had acquired shape into a Code, which although to us at this time may seem like straight outlawry, was a severe set of rules governing the possible random burning of homes and theft of Ani, horses, and even women.</p>
<h3>Ireland:</h3>
<p>Many of the people with surname Borthwick had moved to Ireland during the 17th century.  </p>
<h3>United States of America:</h3>
<p>Individuals with the surname Borthwick landed in the United States in three different centuries respectively in the 17th, 18th, and 19th.    Some of the people with the name Borthwick who arrived in the United States in the 18th century included James Borthwick who settled in Virginia in 1732 James Borthwick who settled in Virginia in 1732.  George Borthwick, who landed in New York in 1773.</p>
<p>The following century saw much more Borthwick surnames arrive.  Some of the people with the surname Borthwick who arrived in the United States in the 19th century included John Borthwick arrived in New York in 1812.  John, Borthwick Jr., landed in New York in 1812.  William Borthwick landed in New York in 1812.  Robert Borthwick arrived in Philadelphia in 1822.  John David Borthwick, who came to California in 1854.</p>
<h3>Australia:</h3>
<p>Some of the individuals with the surname Borthwick who landed in Australia in the 19th century included William Borthwick arrived in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832.  Adam Borthwick arrived in Port Misery aboard the ship “Duchess of N Northumberland” in 1839.  Isabella Borthwick arrived in Port Misery aboard the ship “Duchess of Northumberland” in 1839.  Helen Borthwick and  Thomas Borthwick, both arrived in Port Misery aboard the ship “Duchess of Northumberland” in the same year 1839.  </p>
<h3>New-Zealand:</h3>
<p>Some of the population with the surname Borthwick who arrived in New Zealand in the 19th century included Colin Borthwick, Thomas Borthwick, Susan Borthwick, Charles Borthwick and Thomas Borthwick, all arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship “Resolute” in the same year 1865.  Margaret Borthwick, aged 6, also arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship “Resolute” in 1865.</p>
<p>Here is the population distribution of the last name Borthwick: England 1,963; Scotland 1,208; United States 1,105; Australia 800; Canada 592; South Africa 475; New Zealand 218; Argentina 179; Wales 68; Spain 41</p>
<h3>Notable People:</h3>
<p>David Borthwick, Australian public servant</p>
<p>Jack Borthwick (1884–1948), Australian footballer</p>

Borthwick Family Gift Ideas

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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) (Lord Borthwick). Motto—Qui conducit. Ar. three cinquefoils sa. Supporters—Two angels ppr. winged or. Crest—A Moor’s head couped ppr.
2) (Gordonshall, Scotland). Motto—Virtus post fata. Ar. an eagle’s head erased betw. three cinquefoils sa. Crest—A withered rose­bush sprouting out anew from the root.
3) (Hope Park, Mid Lothian). Motto: Delectat et ornat. Borthwick-Browne. Az. a chev. ar. betw. two fleurs-de-lis in chief and a cinquefoil in base or. Crest—A cubit arm ppr. grasping a fleur-de-lis or.
4) (Hartside, Scotland). Motto—Coelitus datum. Ar. three cinquefoils sa. with a crescent of the second, surmounted of another or, in the centre. Crest—A hart's head erased gu. attired or, devouring a serpent.
5) (Mayshiels, Scotland). Motto—Nec decrit opera dextra. Ar. a hart gu. betw. three cinquefoils sa. Crest—An eagle rising ppr.
6) (Muirhouse, Scotland). Motto—Ex yulnera salus. Ar. three cinquefoils sa. in the centre a crescent of the second, surmounted by another of the first. Crest—A pelican with the wings expanded or, vulning herself ppr.
7) (Stow, Scotland). Motto—Mente manuque. Ar. a crescent betw. three cinquefoils sa. within a bordure erm. Crest—A dexter hand couped apaumee, with an eye in the middle ppr.
8) (Crookston, co. Edinburgh). Motto—Fide et spe. Ar. a crescent betw. three cinquefoils sa. Crest—An eagle displ. sa. with a saltire ar. on his breast.
9) (Jas. Borthwick, Marshal of Court of Vice Admiralty, Bombay, 1808). Motto—Qui conducit. Ar. three cinquefoils sa. a bordure engr. of the last. Crest—A savage's head couped ppr.

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References   [ + ]

1. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Sable
2. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26
3. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35
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. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P262
7. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Cinquefoil
8. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Eagle
9. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P235-238
10. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P72-74
11. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 3
12. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P134
13. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P489