Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) (Norcote, co. Middlesex, and London; Christopher Merrick, gent., of Norcote, and John and Robert Merrick, of London, sons of Christopher Merrick, Esq., of Norcote, tbe son of Richard Merrick, co. Gloucester. Visit. Middlesex, 1663). Az. a fess wavy or, in chief two mullets of the last, quartering, 1st, erm. on a chev. az. three lions ramp. ar.; 2nd, per bend az. and sa. three bezants. Crest—A sea lion couchant or, betw. the fins a mullet az.
2) (Bollitree, co. Hereford). Gu. a fesse wavy or, in chief two mullets ar.
3) (Sir Francis Merrick, knighted at Dublin by Robert, Earl of Essex, Lord Lieutenant, 5 Aug. 1599). Per fess or and sa. two palets counterchanged, on a fess gu. three mullets of the first.
4) (Bodorgan, co. Anglesey; descended from the marriage of Einiawn Sais AP David, Usher of the Palace at Sheen, temp, Henry V. and Henry VI., with Eva, dau. and heiress of Meredydd AP Cadwgan, of Bôdorgan; Einiawn Sais, who derived his descent from Cadaval Ynad, Judge of the Court of Powis, temp. King John, obtained an augmentation to his arms for his services in France; represented by Hetrick, of Bodorgan). Sa. on a chev. ar. betw. three staves raguly or, inflamed ppr. a fleur-de-lis az. betw two Cornish choughs ppr. Creat—On a tower or, a Cornish chough ppr. holding in the dexter claw a fleur-de-lis az.
5) (Prince of Cardigan). Sa. a lion ramp. ar.

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

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Merrick Coat of Arms Meaning

The three main devices (symbols) in the Merrick blazon are the fesse wavy, mullet and palet. The three main tinctures (colors) are azure, or and gules .

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 1. 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” 2.

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” 3. 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 4. In drawings without colour it is usually represented by many small dots, or by the letter ‘O’ 5.

Gules, the heraldic colour red is very popular, sometimes said to represent “Military Fortitude and Magnanimity”6. It is usually abbreviated as gu and in the days before colour printing was shown in a system known as hatching by vertical lines 7. Although it may look like a French word it is normally pronounced with a hard “g” and may be derived either from the Latin gula (throat) or Arabic gule (rose).8

The fesse is a broad horizontal band across the centre of the shield, in very ancient times it was said to occupy one third of the area height of the shield 9, however it soon became somewhat narrower. This created an opportunity to add decorative edging to the band, of many forms, and to very pleasing artisitic effect, at least close up – it must be admitted that at distance some of the forms are hard to distinguish! The decorative edge pattern Wavy, sometimes written as undy is, for obvious reasons, associated with both water and the sea 10. Indeed, a roundel with alternating bars of azure and argent (blue and white) is known by the shorthand term fountain, representing water at the bottom of a well 11. Other colours have also been used and the result can be very pleasing to the eye.

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.

The palet is a smaller version of the pale, being and narrow vertical stripe extending the full height of the shield. 15 There can be several of these side-by-side, that they would show their significance with their larger relative sign of “ military strength and fortitude”. 16

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References

  • 1 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Azure
  • 2 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
  • 3 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35
  • 4 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
  • 5 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P76-77
  • 6 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
  • 7 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P52
  • 8 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P154
  • 9 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P117
  • 10 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P40
  • 11 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Water
  • 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
  • 15 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Pale
  • 16 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P47