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Gladwin Coat of Arms Meaning

The two main devices (symbols) in the Gladwin blazon are the sword and bend. The three main tinctures (colors) are ermine, azure and gules .

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 1 It has a long association with royalty and the nobility in general and hence represents “Dignity” wherever it is found 2. The ermine pattern is white with, typically, a three dots and a dart grouping representing the tail of the furred creature.3. The ermine spot is sometimes found alone as a special charge on the shield.

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 4. 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” 5.

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.6. The word gules is thought to come from the Arabic gule, or “red rose” 7. Later writers associated it with the precious stone ruby and the metal iron 8, perhaps because of the red glow of iron in the heat of the blacksmith’s forge.

Given the martial nature of the origins of Heraldry, in the identification of knights and men-at-arms it can come as no surprise that mediaeval weaponry of all types are frequently to be found in a coat of arms 9. Indeed, the sheer variety of different swords 10 can be bewildering and expaining the difference between a scimitar and a falchion is perhaps best left to the expert! If a charge is described just as a simple sword then it will have a straight blade and cross handle, that may be of a different colour, and, unless specified, points upwards. Wade, quoting the earlier writer Guillim, signifies the use of the sword as representing “Government and Justice”.

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 11. 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). 12. The bend is held in high honour and may signify “defence or protection” and often borne by those of high military rank 13.

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

Gladwin Origin:


Origins of Gladwin:

It is an old English surname. Listed with the spellings of Gladwin, Gladding, and Gladdin, it acquires from a truly old specific name which was considered to be pre 7th century, and from the phrase "glaed-wine." It loosely converts as "Good friend." The name was noted in the famous Domesday Book of the year 1086 when landholders in both Lincolnshire and Staffordshire were shown as Gladuin and Gladuine. As a surname, the first recording may be that of Henry Gladewine in the Winton Rolls of the division of Hampshire in 1148, and after that in 1317, Robert Gledewyne shows in the Assize Record for the division of Kent. What is surprising about this surname is that it has survived at all. After the Norman-French Conquest of England in 1066, it became political self-destruction for those who wished to advance themselves to continue to use "Saxon" names. Also, and as more of a blow to true English names, the Crusades which started at the start of the 12th century, lead to the wide selection of biblical names as a public relations exercise in support of the twelve failed efforts to free the Holy Land. Nevertheless, this name grew in reputation and by the beginning of the surname, a period was well placed all over the society. Later records contain a Katherine Gladwin, the daughter of William Gladwin, named at St Mary Aldermary, in the city of London, while Thomas Gladin or Gladwin, the spelling is unclear, was an early landholder in Jamaica in 1679.


More common variations are: Gladwini, Gladwine, Gladin, Gladwyn, Goldwin, Gladdin, Gladina, Glaudin, Galadin, Guladin.


The surname Gladwin first appeared in Staffordshire where they held a family seat. The Saxon command of English history declined after the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The language of the courts was French for the next three centuries, and the Norman atmosphere overcame. But Saxon surnames remained, and the family name was noted at the taking of the Domesday Book (1086) as holding the estates since 1066 in that shire. They again were noted in 1113 in that same county. The origin of surnames during this period became a necessity with the introduction of personal taxation. It came to be known as Poll Tax in England.


Many of the people with surname Gladwin had moved to Ireland during the 17th century.

United States of America:

Some of the people with the surname Gladwin who arrived in the United States in the 19th century included W. Gladwin landed in San Francisco in the year 1850 with his brother. W Gladwin, who arrived in San Francisco, California in the year 1851.


Some of the individuals with the surname Gladwin who landed in Australia in the 19th century included Charles Gladwin at the age of 12, Elizabeth Gladwin at the age of 15, Charles D Gladwin, aged 37, a blacksmith, Jane Gladwin at the age of 38, and Charles Gladwin at the age of 37, all arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Sea Queen." in the same year 1850.

Here is the population distribution of the last name Gladwin: England 2,103; South Africa 1,278; United States 734; India 342; Australia 340; Sri Lanka 326; Canada 226; United Arab Emirates 161; Oman 124; Wales 102.

Notable People:

Chris Gladwin (born 1962), is an English cricket player.

Cliff Gladwin (1916-1988), was an English cricket player.

Derek Oliver Gladwin, Baron Gladwin of Clee (1930-2003), was a British trade unionist.

Harold S. Gladwin was an American archaeologist, anthropologist, and stockbroker.

Henry Gladwin (1729 or 1730–1791), was a British commander at Fort Detroit when it was attacked during Pontiac's Rebellion.

Joe Gladwin (1906-1987), was a British actor.

John Gladwin (born 1942), is a priest of Chelmsford in the parish of England.

Phil Gladwin is a television author and script editor.

Thomas Gladwin (musician) (1710–1799), was an English writer and singer.

Thomas Gladwin (sheriff) (1629/30–1697), was a Reeve of Derbyshire.

Blazons & Genealogy Notes

(Coldaston, temp. James I., afterwards of Edelston, Tupton, and Stubbing, co. Derby; granted 1686). Erm. a chief az. over all on a bend gu. a sword ar. hilt and pommel or. Crest—On a mount ppr. a lion sejant ar. guttee de sang, holding in the dexter paw a sword erect or.

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  • 1 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P69
  • 2 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P39
  • 3 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 28
  • 4 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Azure
  • 5 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
  • 6 The Siege of Carlaverock, N. Harris, Nichols & Son, London, 1828, P180
  • 7 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 313
  • 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 89
  • 10 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P302
  • 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