Menteath Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History

Menteath Family Coat of Arms

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Menteath Coat of Arms Meaning

Menteath Name Origin & History

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Menteath Coat of Arms Meaning

The four main devices (symbols) in the Menteath blazon are the bend, chequy, buckle and lion’s head. The three main tinctures (colors) are or, sable and azure .

Or is the heraldic metal Gold, often shown as a bold, bright yellow colour. It is said to show “Generosity and elevation of the mind” 1The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35. Later heralds, of a more poetic nature liked to refer to it as Topaz, after the gemstone, and, for obvious reasons associated it with the Sun 2Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. In drawings without colour it is usually represented by many small dots, or by the letter ‘O’ 3A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P76-77.

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 4A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Sable. 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 5Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26. Although it may seem a sombre tone, and does indeed sometimes denote grief, it is more commonly said to represent Constancy 6The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35.

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 7A 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” 8The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36.

The bend is a distinctive part of the shield, frequently occuring and clearly visible from a distance – it is a broad band running from top left to bottom right 9Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 39-40. Indeed, so important is the bend that it was the subject of one of the earliest cases before the English Court of Chivalry; the famous case of 1390, Scrope vs Grosvenor had to decide which family were the rightful owners of Azure, a bend or (A blue shield, with yellow bend). 10A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P22. The bend is held in high honour and may signify “defence or protection” and often borne by those of high military rank 11The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P49.

Chequy (a word with a surprising number of different spellings!) is what is known as a treatment, a repeating pattern usually used to fill the whole background of the shield with a series of alternately coloured squares 12A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Chequy. These squares are usually quite small (there should be at least 20 in total), giving the appearance of a chess board, but any combination of colours may be used. It can also be used as a patterning on some of the larger ordinaries, such as the pale and fess, in which case there are three rows of squares. Wade, an authority on heraldic meaning groups chequy with all those heraldic features that are composed of squares and believes that they represent “Constancy”, but also quotes another author Morgan, who says that they can also be associated with “wisdom…verity, probity…and equity”, and offers in evidence the existence of the common English saying that an honest man is a ”Square Dealer” 13The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P100.

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 14A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P281. 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. 15Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 100 The buckle may fall into this category, it is present in a surprising number of different forms and has a long heritage in use, 16A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Buckle being considered honourable bearings and are said to “signify victorious fidelity in authority”. 17The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P115

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Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Menteath Name

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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) (Earl of Menteath). Or, a bend chequy az. and sa.
2) (Kerse, co. Stirling). Quarterly, 1st and 4th, as the last; 2nd and 3rd, az. three buckles or, for Stiriling.
3) (Closeburn, co. Dumfries, bart.). Motto—Dum vivo spero. Quarterly, as the last, all within a bordure gu. Crest—A lymphad ppr. with flags gu. thereon a canton ar. with the cross of St. Andrew az.
4) (Auldeathie, co. Linlithgow, 1672). Motto—Sub sole nihil. Or, a bend chequy sa. and ar. on a canton of the second a lion's head erased of the first. Crest—An eagle rising ppr. looking up to the sun in his glory.

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References   [ + ]

1. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35
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, P76-77
4. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Sable
5. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26
6. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35
7. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Azure
8. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
9. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 39-40
10. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P22
11. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P49
12. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Chequy
13. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P100
14. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P281
15. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 100
16. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Buckle
17. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P115