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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

(Bentley and Springrove, co. Worcester). Ar. on a chev. engr. az. betw. three lions’ heads erased gu. an ostrich, wings endorsed of the first, in the beak a key betw. two pheons or. Crest—An eagle, wings expanded ar. charged on the breast with a pheon sa. and supporting with the dexter claw an escutcheon erm. thereon a pale az. charged with three leopards’ faces or.

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

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Hemming Coat of Arms Meaning

The three main devices (symbols) in the Hemming blazon are the lion’s head, pheon and chevron engrailed. The three main tinctures (colors) are gules, azure and argent .

Gules, the heraldic colour red is very popular, sometimes said to represent “Military Fortitude and Magnanimity”1The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36. It is usually abbreviated as gu and in the days before colour printing was shown in a system known as hatching by vertical lines 2Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P52. 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).3A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P154

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 4A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Azure. 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” 5The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36.

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) 6Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 7A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11.

There can be no animal more clearly associated with Heraldry than the lion, majestic King of the Beasts.8Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 64 The head of the lion also appears alone on many coats of arms, but its use in this form is largely to enable a clear difference from similar arms that use the complete animal, and its significance should be taken to be the same as the lion entire, being a symbol of “deathless courage”. 9The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P59

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 10Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 89. The pheon is a specific type of arrow head with barbs and darts and hence quite distinctive in appearance. 11A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Pheon Like the other symbols related to arrows, Wade suggests the symbolism is that of “readiness for military service”. 12The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P111

The chevron is one the major shapes used upon a shield, known as ordinaries, being in the form of an inverted ‘v’ shape 13A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Chevron. It is a popular feature, visually very striking and hence developed to have various decorative edges applied to distinguish otherwise identical coats of arms. The edge 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. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
2. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P52
3. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P154
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. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
7. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11
8. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 64
9. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P59
10. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 89
11. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Pheon
12. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P111
13. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Chevron