Cromwell Coat of Arms

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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) (Lord Cromwell, of Tatshall, co. Lincoln. Sir John de Cromwell was summoned to Parliament 1308; in abeyance since 1471). Or, a chief gu. over all a bend az.
2) (Earl of Essex. Thomas Cromwell, son of Walter Cromwell, a Blacksmith at Putney, was so created 1536, attainted 1539). Az. on a fesse betw. three lions ramp. or, a rose gu. betw. two Cornish choughs ppr. Crest—On a chapeau gu. turned up erm. a pelican or, guttee az. vulning herself ppr.
3) (Lord Cromwell and Earl of Ardglass. Gregory Cromwell, son of Thomas, Earl of Essex (attainted 1539) was created a peer of England 1540. The 4th Lord Cromwell became Earl of Ardgloss in Ireland 1645: earldom extinct 1687.) Quarterly, per fess indented or and az. four lions pass. counterchanged. Crest— On a chapeau gu. turned up erm. a pelican or, guttee az. vulning herself ppr. Supporters —Two bulls gu. winged ar. crined and hoofed or.
4) (Hinchinbrooke, co. Huntingdon. Morgan Williams. of Welsh descent, had a son Sir Richard Williams, Knt., who at the desire of Henry VIII. and in consequence of some family connection with Cromwell, Earl of Essex, assumed the name of Cromwell. Sir Richard Williams, alias Cromwell, was great grandfather of Oliver Cromwell the Protector, whose last male descendant, Oliver Cromwell, Esq., of Cheshunt Park, d. 1821, leaving an only dau. Elizabeth Oliveria, m. 1831, Thomas Artemidorus Russell, Esq.). Mottoes—Mors meta laborum; also, Pax quaeritur bello. [Vincent, in his Collections for Huntingdonshire, College of Arms, London, appends this note: "Sir Richard Cromwell (great grandfather of Oliver Cromwell) in the pedigree of Oliver Cromwell, of ever damned memory, is said to be sonne of Morgan Williams, son of Wm. Morgan, of Newchurche, in the countie of Glamorgan (one of the Privy Chamber to H. 7) son of Howell, son of Madock, son of Alan, son of Owen, Lord of Kibyor, son of Cadogan, son of Blethyn, of Kinwyn, Prince of Powys.] Sa. a lion ramp. ar., being the coat of Williams. Crest—A demi lion ramp. ar. holding in the dexter paw a gem ring or.
5) (alias Williams) Gu. three chevronels ar. betw. as many lions ramp. or.
6) (co. Huntington). Ar. three chevronels gu. over all as many lions ramp. or.
7) (West Hallam and South Wingfield, co. Derby). Ar. a chief gu. over all a bend az.
8) Ar. a griffin segreant gu. over all a bend az.
9) Gu. six annulets or, within a bordure engr. ar.
10) Ar. a chief gu. and bend gobonated or and az.
11) Ar. a chev. gu. betw. three torteaux.
12) Sa. a bend engr. or, fimbriated ar.

Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Cromwell Name

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Cromwell Coat of Arms Meaning

The two main devices (symbols) in the Cromwell blazon are the lion rampant and bend. The three main tinctures (colors) are azure, gules and or .

The bright, strong blue color in Heraldry is known in English as azure, and similarly in other European languages – azul in Spanish, azurro in Italian and azur in French. The word has its roots in the Arabic word lazura, also the source of the name of the precious stone lapis lazuli 1A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Azure. Despite this, those heralds who liked to associate colours with jewels chose instead to describe blue as Sapphire. According to Wade, the use of this colour symbolises “Loyalty and Truth” 2The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36.

The bold red colour on a heraldic shield is known as gules. It has a long history within heraldry, it is known that one of those who besieged the scottish castle of Carlaverock in 1300 was the French knight Euremions de la Brette who had as his arms a simple red shield.3The Siege of Carlaverock, N. Harris, Nichols & Son, London, 1828, P180. The word gules is thought to come from the Arabic gule, or “red rose” 4Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 313. Later writers associated it with the precious stone ruby and the metal iron 5Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53, perhaps because of the red glow of iron in the heat of the blacksmith’s forge.

The bright yellow colour frequently found in coats of arms is known to heralds as Or, or sometimes simply as Gold.6Boutell’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 7A 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.8Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53.

There can be no animal more clearly associated with Heraldry than the lion, majestic King of the Beasts. Originally it appeared only in one pose, erect, on one paw, with the others raised 9Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 64 but such was the popularity of this figure, and the need to distinguish arms from each other, that it soon came to be shown in an enormous range of forms 10Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P136-141. The lion rampant is an example of these modified form, and any family would be proud to have such a noble creature displayed on their arms. Rampant is the default attitude of the lion, raised on its hind legs, facing to the dexter and with front paws extended in a fearsome and powerful pose.

The bend is a distinctive part of the shield, frequently occuring and clearly visible from a distance – it is a broad band running from top left to bottom right 11Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 39-40. Indeed, so important is the bend that it was the subject of one of the earliest cases before the English Court of Chivalry; the famous case of 1390, Scrope vs Grosvenor had to decide which family were the rightful owners of Azure, a bend or (A blue shield, with yellow bend). 12A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P22. The bend is held in high honour and may signify “defence or protection” and often borne by those of high military rank 13The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P49.

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References   [ + ]

1. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Azure
2. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
3. The Siege of Carlaverock, N. Harris, Nichols & Son, London, 1828, P180
4. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 313
5. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
6. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27
7. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P85
8. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
9. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 64
10. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P136-141
11. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 39-40
12. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P22
13. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P49