Bridges Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History

Bridges Family Coat of Arms

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Bridges Coat of Arms Meaning

Bridges Name Origin & History

Variations of this name are: Brydges, Bruges.

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Bridges Coat of Arms Meaning

The four main devices (symbols) in the Bridges blazon are the water bouget, griffin head, cross and fretty. The three main tinctures (colors) are azure, or and ermine .

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” 1Boutell’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 2The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P150.

The bright yellow colour frequently found in coats of arms is known to heralds as Or, or sometimes simply as Gold.3Boutell’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 4A 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.5Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53.

Ermine is a very ancient pattern, and distinctive to observe. It was borne alone by John de Monfort, the Earl of Richmond and Duke of Brittany in the late 14th century 6A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P69 It has a long association with royalty and the nobility in general and hence represents “Dignity” wherever it is found 7The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P39. The ermine pattern is white with, typically, a three dots and a dart grouping representing the tail of the furred creature.8Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 28. The ermine spot is sometimes found alone as a special charge on the shield.

A wide variety of inanimate objects 9A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P281 appear in coats of arms, so of them still recognisable today, others now rather obscure. The images used are often simplified and stylised, the water bouget is a typical case of the later, such that the casual observer would be hard pressed to discern its function. It represents in fact a yoke with two skins attached to be worn over the shoulder and has been found in coats of arms almost from the beginning of the art. 10A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Water Bouget. Somewhat literally, Wade suggests that their appearance on arms may have been due to a holder who had “brought water to an army or beseiged place”. 11The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P114

In the mediaeval period there was no real percieved difference between real and mythical animals, after all, much of the world remained unknown and who was to say what strange and magical creatures existed in distant lands? As heraldry developed a whole menagerie of imagined creatures 12Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P164 came into being, and their various representations became more or less standardised in form and appearance. The griffin is perhaps the most common of these creatures, being a chimera with the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle. 13A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Griffin. It is most often in the pose known as rampant segreant, on its hind legs with claws and wings extended. Vinycomb has much to say on the subject of the griffin, perhaps summarised in his belief that it represents “strength and vigilance”.]14Fictitious & Symbolic Creatures…in British Heraldry, J. Vinycomb, Chapman & Hall, London, 1906, P150

No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross 15Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47. Mediaeval Europe was a deeply religious and Christian and many of the nobility wanted to show their devotion by adopting the symbol of the cross as part of the arms. In its basic form, the cross is created from two broad bands of colour at right angles covering the whole extent of the shield. It has been subject to all manner of embellishment, and the interested reader is referred to the references, especially Parker’s Heraldic dictionary for many examples of these. 16A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Cross 17A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P106 18A Treatise on Heraldry, J. Woodward, W & A.K Johnston, Edinburgh & London, 1896, P160-173 Suffice it to say that any armiger would be proud to have such an important device as part of their arms.

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Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Bridges Name

Bridges Origin:

England, Belgium

Origins of Name:

The surname of Bridges has two possible origins, and is found as a derivative of the surname of Briggs. The first origin of the surname of Bridges is from the country of England, where it was seen as a topographical surname. Topographical surnames are given to those who live on or near a certain man-made or natural phenomena that was found in the land. In this case, the topographical location was that of a bridge. This was used in the surname of Bridges, as well as the variants of this surname, which are Briggs, or Brydges. This surname of Bridges in the topographical and occupational sense was used for someone who lived near a bridge, or someone who was a bridge keeper. In the Middle Ages, maintaining a bridge was one of the more common feudal occupations. This derives from the Middle English word “brigge” which comes from the Old English Pre 7th Century “Brycg” both of which can be translated to mean the word “bridge.” The second possible derivation for the surname of Bridges is that it is a locational surname from Belgium. This means that the surname of Bridges was often taken by the Lord or owner of the land from which the name derives. Others who may have take a locational surname are people who have migrated out of the area to seek out work. The easiest way to identify someone who was a stranger at that time was by the name of their birthplace. The places where this surname derived from in Belgium are called “Bruges” which means “bridges” and had many trading links with England throughout the Middle Ages, adding another source to why one might bear this surname.

Variations:

More common variations are: Bridgess, Bridge, Beridges, Bridgees, Breidges, Bridgews, Bridgies, Briedges, Briodges, Bridgeos, Bridgeus

History:

England:

The first known recorded spelling of the surname of Bridges was in the country of England in the year of 1205. One person, who was recorded as being named as William de Bruges, was mentioned and recorded in The Oxfordshire Curia Rolls. This document was ordered and decreed and written under the reign of one King John of England, who was known as and commonly referred to throughout history as the “Lackland.” King John ruled from the year 1199 to the year 1216. Those who bear the surname of Bridges can be found in the counties of Yorkshire, Kent, Sussex and Norfolk along with Somerset to the west coast of England.

Scotland:

In Scotland, those who bear the surname of Bridges can be found in Lanarkshire and Midlothian counties.

United States of America:

During the European Migration, which is when English settlers were fed up with their homeland and its poor living conditions, and emigrated out of their home country, many settlers sought out the United States of America, which at that time was referred to as the Colonies, or the New World. The United States promised freedom from religion, a promise of better and more sanitary living conditions, and no overall ruler. The first of these settlers who was recorded to bear the surname of Bridges was one Henry Bridges, who landed in Virginia in 1622. Those who bear this surname live in the states of Georgia, North Carolina, Texas, Mississippi, Missouri and Kentucky.

Here is the population distribution of the last name Bridges:

United States 60,841, England 8,815, Australia 2,380, Canada 1,700, Germany 941, South Africa 712, Wales 564, Scotland 525, Mexico 314, New Zealand 289

Notable People:

Jerry Bridges (1929-2016) who was an evangelical Christian author from America, and was also a speaker and staff member of The Navigators

Roy Dubard Bridges Jr. (born in 1943) who was a former NASA Astronaut with over 7 days in space

Llyod Bridges (1913-1998) who was an actor from America who starred in many different television serious and appeared in over 150 films

Jeffrey Leon “Jeff” Bridges (born in 1949) who was a four time Academy Award nominated actor from America, who was also a musician, and the recipient of a Golden Globe Award

Everett Lamar “Rocky” Bridges (born in 1927) who was a former American baseball player

Michael Bridges (born in 1978) who was a footballer from England

Thomas Edward Bridges (born in 1927) who was a diplomat from England, and the 2nd Baron Bridges, as well as the British Ambassador to Italy from 1983 to the year 1987

Edward Ettingdene Bridges (1892-1969) who was an English civil servant who created the 1st Baron Bridges in the year 1957

Bridges Family Gift Ideas

Browse Bridges family gift ideas and products below. If there are multiple coats of arms for this surname, you will see them at the top of this page and can click on the various coat of arms designs to apply them to the gift ideas below.

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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) (Baron Fitzwalter, extinct). Motto—Je garderay.(Goodnestone, co. Kent, bart.). Az. three water-bougets or, within a bordure erm. Crest—Out of a ducal coronet or, a Moor’s head in profile ppr., wreathed about the temples ar. and gold, gorged with a collar of the first, pendent therefrom a cross-pattee of the third. Supporters—On the dexter side a bull sa. horned, hoofed, maned, ducally gorged, and lino reflexed over the back ar. on the sinister side a like bull semee of plates.
2) Gu. a chev. betw. three griffins’ heads erased ar. Crest—On a tower ppr. a hawk’s wings displ. of the last.
3) (Chillingford and Badow, co. Essex, granted 1562). Ar. three escutcheons gu. each charged with a bend vaire of the first and sa. betw. two roses or. Crest—A boar pass, ar. pierced through the neck with a broken spear, headed of the first, and embrued gu.
4) (Gloucester). Ar. on a cross sa. a leopard’s head or. Crest—A man’s head ppr. sidefaced, couped below the shoulder, vested paly of six, ar. and gu. semee of roundles counterchanged wreathed round the temples of the last and az.
5) (Edinburgh). Motto—Maintien le droit. Ar. on a cross sa. a leopard’s face of the first on a canton or, a lion ramp. gu. Crest—A demi lion gu.
6) (Lord Mayor of London, 1520). Ar. on a cross sa. a leopard's head or, a mullet for diff.
7) (Norfolk). Or, three bars gu. a canton sa.
8) Gu. three bars gemelles or, a canton ar.
9) Az. fretty ar. a chief or.
10) Erm. a cross pean.
11) (Cobberley and Sndeley, co. Gloucester). Ar. on a cross sa. a leopard's face or. Crest—The bust of an old man side-faced ppr. wreathed about the temples ar. and az. vested paly of the second and gu. and semee of roundles counterchanged, on his head a cap or, lined with white fur.
12) (Duke of Chandos). Motto—Maintien le droit. Same Arms, quartering ar. a pile issuing from the chief gu., for Chandos. Crest—The same as the last. Supporters—Two otters ar.
13) (Denton Court, co. Kent, bart.). Motto—Maintien le droit. Ar. a cross ea. charged in the centre with a leopard's face betw. two pheons in pale the points towards each other and piercing the face or, in the first quarter a lion ramp. gu. holding in the paws a pheon the point downwards of the second. Crest—The bust of a man the head ppr. hair and beard sa. vest ar. collar gu., cap or, band and tassel of the third the cap and vest charged each with a pheon point downwards of the first.
14) (Bosbury, co. Hereford). Ar. a cross sa. charged with a leopard’s face or, a martlet for diff.; these arms are in the cloisters of Westminster Abbey and Wella Cathedral. At the College of Arms, however, is an ancient and different bearing assigned to Brigge, or Bridge, of Bosbury, viz., Ar. a bend engr. sa. charged at the dexter point with a chaplet or; not adopted by the family generally.
15) (a monk of the Abbey of Gloucester). Ar. on a cross az. a lion's head of the field, in the dexter chief point a fir apple gu.
16) (Jones-Brydges). (Boultibrook, co. Radnor, bart.). Motto—Deus pascit corvos. Ar. a chief gu. over all a bend engr. sa. charged on the chief point with a chaplet or. Crest—Two wings addorsed ar. each charged with a bend engr. sa. on the exterior bend in the chief point a chaplet or. Crest of Augmentation— On a cushion gu., garnished and tasselled or, a representation of the royal crown of Persia ppr. Supporters—Dexter, a lion ppr. gorged with an Eastern crown vert.; sinister, a wyvern ppr., gorged with an Eastern crown or. These supporters were granted by royal warrant in 1810.
17) (Cobberley and Sndeley, co. Gloucester). Ar. on a cross sa. a leopard's face or. Crest—The bust of an old man side-faced ppr. wreathed about the temples ar. and az. vested paly of the second and gu. and semee of roundles counterchanged, on his head a cap or, lined with white fur.

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References   [ + ]

1. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26
2. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P150
3. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27
4. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P85
5. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
6. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P69
7. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P39
8. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 28
9. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P281
10. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Water Bouget
11. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P114
12. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P164
13. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Griffin
14. Fictitious & Symbolic Creatures…in British Heraldry, J. Vinycomb, Chapman & Hall, London, 1906, P150
15. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47
16. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Cross
17. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P106
18. A Treatise on Heraldry, J. Woodward, W & A.K Johnston, Edinburgh & London, 1896, P160-173