Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) (Armathwaite, co. Cumberland, temp. Henry IV.). Erm. a crossbow bent, point downwards, betw. three moorcocks sa. Crest—A moorcock ppr.
2) (Harby-brow, co. Cumberland, temp. Edward IV., and Strickland, co. Dorset; a branch probably of the Highmores, of Armathwaite). Ar. a crossbow pointed upwards betw. four moorcocks sa. beaked and membered gu. Crest (granted in 1683)—An arm in armour ppr. brandishing a falchion ar. hilt and pommel or, betw. two pike staves gu. headed gold.
3) (Sherborne). Same Arms. Crest—A talbot’s head couped at the neck.

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

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Highmore Coat of Arms Meaning

The two main devices (symbols) in the Highmore blazon are the moorcock and cross bow. The two main tinctures (colors) are argent and sable.

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) 1. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 2.

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 3. 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 4. Although it may seem a sombre tone, and does indeed sometimes denote grief, it is more commonly said to represent Constancy 5.

The Moor cock occurs in a number of coats of arms but always seems to be reference to the family name (e.g. MOORE) rather than having any special significance as a type of bird. 6

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 7. The cross bow is illustrated in its conventional form that we would still recognise today. In common with the simple bow, it can be taken as a symbol of “martial readiness”. 8

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References

  • 1 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
  • 2 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11
  • 3 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Sable
  • 4 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26
  • 5 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35
  • 6 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Moor-cock
  • 7 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 89
  • 8 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P111