Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) (co. Salop). Az. three bucks’ heads cabossed or.
2) (co. Worcester). Vert on a chev. betw. three bucks’ heads or, as many mullets sa.
3) (Twining, co. Gloucester). Vert on a chev. betw. three bucks’ heads cabossed or, as many mullets gu.

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

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Higford Coat of Arms Meaning

The three main devices (symbols) in the Higford blazon are the buck’s head, chevron and mullet. The two main tinctures (colors) are or and vert.

The bright yellow colour frequently found in coats of arms is known to heralds as Or, or sometimes simply as Gold.1. Along with, argent, or silver it forms the two “metals” of heraldry – one of the guidelines of heraldic design is that silver objects should not be placed upon gold fields and vice versa 2. The yellow colour is often associated with the Sun, and the zodiacal sign of Leo.3.

The deep green colour that is so often observed in heraldry is more properly known as vert. According to Wade, the use of this colour signifies “Hope and Joy”, but may also represent, rather delightfully, “Loyalty in Love” 4. It has other names also, the French call it sinople, perhaps after a town in Asia Minor from where the best green die materials could be found 5. More fanciful heralds liked to associate it with the planet venus and the precious stone emerald 6. More strangely, there is some evidence that the term prasin was anciently used, being the Greek for the vegetable we call the Leek!

The chief is an area across the top of the field 7. It appears in many different forms and can itself be charged with other charges and ordinaries, 8, being treated almost as if it were a completely separate area. In its simplest form it can be clearly identified. Early examples include the award by Henry III of England to the knight Robert de MORTEYN BRETON of Ermine, a chief gules.

The chevron is one the major shapes used upon a shield, known as ordinaries. The inverted ‘V’ of the chevron is perhaps thought to have originated to represent a military scarf folded on the shield 9, or additional cross-pieces used to strengthen the shield and painted a different colour.10. It has also acquired the meaning of “Protection… granted… to one who has achieved some notable enterprise” 11, possibly becuase of its resemblance to the roof truss of a house.

The heraldic mullet, not to be confused with the fish of that name, is shown as a regular, five pointed star. This was originally, not an astronomical object, but represented the spur on a horseman’s boot, especially when peirced, with a small circular hole in the centre it represents a type of spur known as a “rowel” 12. A clear example can be found in the arms of Harpendene, argent, a mullet pierced gules. The ancient writer Guillim associated such spurs in gold as belonging to the Knight, and the silver to their esquires 13. In later years, Wade linked this five pointed star with the true celestial object, the estoile and termed it a “falling star”, symbolising a “divine quality bestowed from above” 14.

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References

  • 1 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27
  • 2 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P85
  • 3 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
  • 4 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
  • 5 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Vert
  • 6 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27
  • 7 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 40
  • 8 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Chief
  • 9 A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, (various)
  • 10 The Pursuivant of Arms, J. R. Planche, Hardwicke, London 1859
  • 11 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P45
  • 12 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 97
  • 13 A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P107
  • 14 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P105