Clegg Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History

Clegg Family Coat of Arms

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Clegg Coat of Arms Meaning

Clegg Name Origin & History

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Clegg Coat of Arms Meaning

The three main devices (symbols) in the Clegg blazon are the lion, mullet and cross crosslet fitchee. 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.

The art of heraldry would be significantly poorer if we were without the lion in all its forms. Most general works on Heraldry devote at least one chapter solely to this magnificent creature and its multifarious depictions 6A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P172 7Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 63 8Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P140. Some of the earliest known examples of heraldry, dating right back to the knighting of Geoffrey of Anjou in 1127, where he is shown with six such beasts upon his shield 9A Treatise on Heraldry, J. Woodward, W & A.K Johnston, Edinburgh & London, 1896, P45 .The great authority on heraldic symbology, Wade, points out the high place that the lion holds in heraldry, “as the emblem of deathless courage” 10The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P60, a sentiment echoed equally today.

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” 11Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 97. 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 12A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P107. 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” 13The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P105.

No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross 14Boutell’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. Since no two arms could be identical there arose many variants of the cross. The cross crosslet is one of these, having an additional cross bar on each arm. 15A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Cross Crosslet Wade suggests that these additional crossing signify “the fourfold mystery of the Cross”. 16The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P103 The final addition fitchee simply means pointed, and indicates that the lower end is pointed, as if it is to be struck into the ground. 17A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Fitché

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Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Clegg Name

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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) (Allerton, co. Lancaster). Sa. on a fesse betw. two lions pass. counterpass. ar. a mullet of the first pierced of the second. Crest—An eagle rising ar.
2) (Little Clegg, co. Lancaster). Motto—Qui potest capere capiat. Sa. a compound cross, the upper and lower arms being cross crosslets fitchee, the side arms being plain crosses, all conjoined in the centre betw. four acorus ar. Crest—A griffin’s head couped.

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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, P172
7. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 63
8. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P140
9. A Treatise on Heraldry, J. Woodward, W & A.K Johnston, Edinburgh & London, 1896, P45
10. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P60
11. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 97
12. A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P107
13. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P105
14. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47
15. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Cross Crosslet
16. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P103
17. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Fitché