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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

(co. Gloucester). Argent three piles engrailed gules all meeting in the base point. Crest—On a mount vert a cockatrice argent combed and wattled gules ducally gorged and chained or.

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

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Kadye Coat of Arms Meaning

The two main devices (symbols) in the Kadye blazon are the pile and cockatrice . The two main tinctures (colors) are gules and argent.

The bold red colour on a heraldic shield is known as gules. It has a long history within heraldry, it is known that one of those who besieged the scottish castle of Carlaverock in 1300 was the French knight Euremions de la Brette who had as his arms a simple red shield.1. The word gules is thought to come from the Arabic gule, or “red rose” 2. Later writers associated it with the precious stone ruby and the metal iron 3, perhaps because of the red glow of iron in the heat of the blacksmith’s forge.

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 pile was originally quite a simple shape, being a triangle reaching from the top of the shield down to a point near the lower centre 6. A clear example being that of CHANDOS awarded in 1337, Or a pile gules. There is some argument as to the origin, Wade suggests some similarity with the meaning of “pile” in construction (a foundation) and hence that the shape could be adopted by those who have demonstrated some ability in the building trade 7. An earlier writer, Guillim, perhaps more plausibly suggested that the shape echoes those of a pennant or triangular flag 8 The shape is quite distinctive however and became popular, leading to many embellishments to distinguish it from its close fellows, with multiple piles meeting at various points, starting from various edges and with additional decoration, leading to potentially quite complex descriptions!

Nowadays we might conflate many mythical creatures under the heading of dragon but to the heraldic artists there was a whole menagerie of quite distinct beasts, the cockatrice or basilisk being one of them. 9 Whilst both the dragon and cocaktrice are winged and scaled, the cocaktrice stands on two legs rather than four. Given the reputation of the basilisk we should not be surprised to find its meaning ascribed as representing “terror to all beholders”. 10

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References

  • 1 The Siege of Carlaverock, N. Harris, Nichols & Son, London, 1828, P180
  • 2 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 313
  • 3 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
  • 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 Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Pile
  • 7 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P48
  • 8 A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P52
  • 9 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Cockatrice
  • 10 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P86