Blazons & Genealogy Notes

(William Gladdish, Esq., of Gravesend, J.P. co. Kent). Quarterly, az. and ar. on a fesse cotised erminois betw. three demi lions counterchanged of the field, as many eagles’ heads erased sa. Crest—A mount vert, thereon an eagle rising reguard. or, holding in the mouth and dexter claw a tilting spear in bend sinister sa.

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

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Gladdish Coat of Arms Meaning

The two main devices (symbols) in the Gladdish blazon are the demi lion and eagle. The three main tinctures (colors) are erminois, azure 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 1. 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” 2.

Or is the heraldic metal Gold, often shown as a bold, bright yellow colour. It is said to show “Generosity and elevation of the mind” 3. Later heralds, of a more poetic nature liked to refer to it as Topaz, after the gemstone, and, for obvious reasons associated it with the Sun 4. In drawings without colour it is usually represented by many small dots, or by the letter ‘O’ 5.

The demi-lion is a variant of the typical creature shown only from the waist upward. It can take all same poses and attitudes of its fully represented brethren and often appears to be emerging from some other device such as a fess or chief. 6 No special significance should be given to the demi appearance and it should be taken to have the same meanings and interpretations as the noble king of beasts itself.

Where the lion is undisputed king of the animals, the eagle undoubtedly plays the same role in the realm of the birds, its use in this form dating back to at least the Roman period 7. They tend to be illustrated in quite some detail, especially in continental European arms, and have almost as wide variety of postures and accessories as the lion, well illustrated in the reference 8 as well as being just the eagle’s head or eagle’s leg. The symbology of the eagle is deep and complex, Wade devotes several pages to the subject 9, but suffice it say that it has long been associated with Empire and those held in high honour – any armiger would be pleased to have any form of Eagle upon their arms!

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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 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 Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P76-77
  • 6 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Lion
  • 7 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Eagle
  • 8 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P235-238
  • 9 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P72-74