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Davys Coat of Arms Meaning

The three main devices (symbols) in the Davys blazon are the cinquefoil, fesse and stag. The two main tinctures (colors) are sable and gules.

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 1. 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 2. Although it may seem a sombre tone, and does indeed sometimes denote grief, it is more commonly said to represent Constancy 3.

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.4. The word gules is thought to come from the Arabic gule, or “red rose” 5. Later writers associated it with the precious stone ruby and the metal iron 6, perhaps because of the red glow of iron in the heat of the blacksmith’s forge.

Natural objects abound in heraldry, and one category that gives especial delight are the many flowers and flowering plants that frequently occur 7. 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. 8 It has no fixed colour but can appear in any of the available heraldic tinctures.

The fesse (also found as fess) is one of the major ordinaries to found in heraldry, being a bold, broad, horizontal band across the centre of the shield. It may originally have arisen from the planks of which a wooden shield can be constructed, the centremost plank being painted a different colour 9. It is instantly recognisable as a symbol, for example the arms of COLEVILLE granted during the reign of Hery III are simply or, a fesse gules. With this clear association with the construction of the shield itself, Wade believes that the fesse can be taken to be associated with the military, as a “girdle of honour”.

We should be surprised to find the stag or buck, noble quarry of many a mediaeval hunt, being illustrated in many a coat of arms. 10. It shares many of the poses to be found with the lion, but also one almost unique to the deer, grazing, as if the animal is still unaware of the hunter’s approach. 11. In common with all symbols related to the hunt we probably need look further for their intended meaning than the pleasure taken by the holder in such pursuits! 12

Origin, Meaning, Family History and Davys Coat of Arms and Family Crest

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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) Sa. a fesse betw. three cinquefoils erm. Crest—An ostrich, holding in the beak a horse-shoe ppr.
2) Gu. a stag trippant ar.
3) (Right Rev. George Davys, D.D., Bishop of Peterborough, 1839). Sa. a fesse erm. betw. three cinquefoils ar. Crest—A Cornish chough ppr.
4) (Campbell-Davys, Neuaddfawr, co. Carmarthen. William Davys Harris, Esq., succeeded his maternal uncle, Captain Richard Davys, in 1832, when he assumed the name of Davys, and married in 1847 Elizabeth Jane, only dau. of Peter Campbell, Esq., of Askomel, co. Argyle, when he assumed the additional surname of Campbell). Motto—Forget not. Quarterly, 1st and 4th, sa. a chev. betw. three swans’ necks ar. ducally gorged or, on a chief of the third a fleur-de-lis of the first, for Davys; 2nd and 3rd, gyronny of eight or and sa., for Campbell. An escutcheon of pretence, quarterly, 1st and 4th, gyronny of eight or and aa.; 2nd, gu. an eagle displayed or; 3rd, az. a branch betw. three fleurs-de-lis or. Crests—1st: A demi lion ramp. ppr. ducally collared or, for Davys; 2nd: A dexter hand ppr. holding a spur or, for Campbell.

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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 The Siege of Carlaverock, N. Harris, Nichols & Son, London, 1828, P180
  • 5 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 313
  • 6 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
  • 7 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P262
  • 8 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Cinquefoil
  • 9 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Fesse
  • 10 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 69
  • 11 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Deer
  • 12 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P30