Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) (co. Suffolk). Gu. a chev. ar. betw. three acorns or.
2) (co. York). Gu. a chev. betw. three buckles, the tongues pendent or.
3) (co. Chester; impaled by Bedell, of Hamerton). Az. a chev. betw. three oak slips acorned or.

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

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Highfield Coat of Arms Meaning

The three main devices (symbols) in the Highfield blazon are the acorn, buckle and chevron. The three main tinctures (colors) are gules, or and argent .

Red in heraldry is given the name Gules, sometimes said to be the “martyr’s colour”1. The colour is also associated with Mars, the red planet, and the zodiacal sign Aries 2. Later heralds of a more poetical nature would sometimes refer to the colour as ruby, after the precious stone.3.

The bright yellow colour frequently found in coats of arms is known to heralds as Or, or sometimes simply as Gold.4. 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 5. The yellow colour is often associated with the Sun, and the zodiacal sign of Leo.6.

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) 7. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 8.

Amongst the natural objects depicted on a coat of arms, trees feature frequently, either in whole or as individual branches and leaves or fruit. 9. The acorn, often represented in its early state as vert (green) 10 can be associated of course with the mighty oak, signifying, according to Wade, “antiquity and strength”, for obvious reasons.

Although we expect to find fierce creatures and fearsome weapons depicted in a coat of arms this is not always the case – sometimes simple household objects are used 11. Sometimes these objects were chosen for the familiarity they would have for the obsever, helping them identify the owner, and sometimes they were used because of some association with the owner, or a similarity to the family name. 12 The buckle may fall into this category, it is present in a surprising number of different forms and has a long heritage in use, 13 being considered honourable bearings and are said to “signify victorious fidelity in authority”. 14

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 15, or additional cross-pieces used to strengthen the shield and painted a different colour.16. It has also acquired the meaning of “Protection… granted… to one who has achieved some notable enterprise” 17, possibly becuase of its resemblance to the roof truss of a house.

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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, P53
  • 3 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P77
  • 4 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27
  • 5 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P85
  • 6 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
  • 7 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
  • 8 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11
  • 9 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P94, 262, 407
  • 10 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Acorn
  • 11 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P281
  • 12 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 100
  • 13 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Buckle
  • 14 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P115
  • 15 A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, (various)
  • 16 The Pursuivant of Arms, J. R. Planche, Hardwicke, London 1859
  • 17 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P45