Blazons & Genealogy Notes

Argent two lions passant guardant sable.

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

Listed as Hardwell, the more popular Harwell and Horwell, and this is an English locational surname.  It starts from either the hamlet of Hardwell in the division of Royal Berkshire or the better-known town of Harwell, in the same division.  The first village has the meaning of the treasure spring and relates to a pagan place of worship where people came to throw coins in for good luck.  Presumably, it was somebody else good luck to fish them out again! The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th-century 'horde waella,' with waella meaning a spring, and only later in old times, a well in the conventional sense.  Harwell has a rather different interpretation being the spring on the grey hill, from the early recording in 936 a.d of 'Haranwhylle'.  'Grey' is probably not the real translation, and it may be that the reference is to the grey/white chalk hills in the vicinity. More common variations are: Harewell, Haerwell, Harrwell, Harowell, Harwelle, Hearwell, Harell, Harwel, Harrowell, Harrewell.

The surname Harwell first appeared in Worcestershire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor.  The Saxon force 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 ambience predominated.

Some of the people with the name Harwell who arrived in the United States in the 17th century included John Harwell, who arrived in Virginia in 1635.  John Harwell, who landed in Virginia in 1635.  Robert Harwell, who landed in Virginia in 1658.  Samuel Harwell, who settled in Barbados in 1679.

Harwell Coat of Arms Meaning

The main device (symbol) in the Harwell blazon is the lion. The two main tinctures (colors) are sable and argent.

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.

Argent is the heraldic metal Silver and is usually shown as very pure white. It is also known more poetically as pearl, moon (or luna) 4. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 5.

The art of heraldry would be significantly poorer if we were without the lion in all its forms. Most general works on Heraldry devote at least one chapter solely to this magnificent creature and its multifarious depictions 6 7 8. Some of the earliest known examples of heraldry, dating right back to the knighting of Geoffrey of Anjou in 1127, where he is shown with six such beasts upon his shield 9 .The great authority on heraldic symbology, Wade, points out the high place that the lion holds in heraldry, “as the emblem of deathless courage” 10, a sentiment echoed equally today.

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Mark commented on 06-Aug-2018
Will be back patch on motorcycle vest

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 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
  • 5 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11
  • 6 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P172
  • 7 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 63
  • 8 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P140
  • 9 A Treatise on Heraldry, J. Woodward, W & A.K Johnston, Edinburgh & London, 1896, P45
  • 10 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P60