Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) (co. York). Erm. a cross pattee gu.
2) Erm. a cross engr. gu.

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

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Grandall Coat of Arms Meaning

The two main devices (symbols) in the Grandall blazon are the cross pattee and cross engrailed. The two main tinctures (colors) are ermine 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.

Gules, the heraldic colour red is very popular, sometimes said to represent “Military Fortitude and Magnanimity”4. It is usually abbreviated as gu and in the days before colour printing was shown in a system known as hatching by vertical lines 5. Although it may look like a French word it is normally pronounced with a hard “g” and may be derived either from the Latin gula (throat) or Arabic gule (rose).6

No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross 7. 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, typically involving patterning along the edges 8, or fanciful, decorative endings to the arms of the cross 9. The cross pattee is typical of these, pattee meaning “spreading”, and so the ends of the arms of the cross curve gently outwards to rather pleasing effect. 10

No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross 11. 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, typically involving patterning along the edges 12. The pattern engrailed is a series of scalloped indentations with the points facing outwards – and should not be confused with invected, which has the points facing inwards! Wade believes that both of these indented forms represent “earth or land”, and one perhaps can indeed see the furrowed earth embodied in them.

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References

  • 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 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
  • 5 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P52
  • 6 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P154
  • 7 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47
  • 8 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P67
  • 9 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P128
  • 10 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Cross Pattée
  • 11 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47
  • 12 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P67