Boxwell Coat of Arms
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Origin, Meaning, Family History and Boxwell Coat of Arms and Family Crest
Boxwell is a name of old Anglo-Saxon origin and comes from the family once having resided in Boxhulle, in Sussex, or in BoxweII, in Gloucester. The Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person’s name often noted under many variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most educate people. Known variations of the Boxwell family name include Boxall, Buckshell, Boockshell, Boxull, Boxell, Boxhulle, Boxhall, Baxhall, Boxnell, Baxull, Boxsell, Bochshall and much more. More common variations are: Boxell, Boxwel, Bexwell, Boxwill, Boxcell, Buxwell, Baxwell, Hboxell, Boxel, Boxwall. The surname Boxwell first found in Sussex at Boxhulle, “an old estate in Salehurst, among whose lords was Alan de Boxall, one of the earliest Knights of the Garter. ” Early travelers bearing the Boxwell surname or a spelling variation of the name include as James Boxall who arrived in Philadelphia in 1838. Another James arrived 5 years later.
Boxwell Coat of Arms Meaning
The two main devices (symbols) in the Boxwell blazon are the annulet and bordure engrailed. The three main tinctures (colors) are gules, argent and sable .
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
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.
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 6A 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 7Boutell’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 8The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35.
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 9A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P146xz`, and the annulet is a good example, being a circular ring of any colour. They also appear interlaced or one within the other, both of which are very pleasing additions. Wade believes that these were one of the symbols of ancient pilgrims. 10The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P19
The border, (sometimes bordure) is a band running around the edge of the shield, following the edge contours and being differently coloured, possibly holding a series of small charges placed on top of it 11A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Bordure. To distinguish it from similar arms, heraldic artists developed a series of decorative edges (obviously these are applied only to the inner edge). A common form of this patterning, 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.