Minshaw Coat of Arms

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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

Bendy of eight ar. and gu. Crest—A dexter hand ppr. holding up a cup or.

Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Minshaw Name

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Minshaw Coat of Arms Meaning

The two main devices (symbols) in the Minshaw blazon are the bendy and cup. 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.1The Siege of Carlaverock, N. Harris, Nichols & Son, London, 1828, P180. The word gules is thought to come from the Arabic gule, or “red rose” 2Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 313. Later writers associated it with the precious stone ruby and the metal iron 3Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53, 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) 4Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 5A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11.

Knowing that the bend is a diagonal stripe of colour, we can easily conclude that bendy is the variant whereby the whole of the shield is covered with diagonal stripes of alternating colours, usually around 4 or 5 of each colour. 6A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Bend We should not assign any particular significance to the choice of this pattern, but rather more to the colours they are composed of.

Cups of all kinds have been popular charges on coats of arms since at least the 14th century. 7A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Cup In appearance and description they range from simple drinking pots (GERIARE of Lincoln – Argent three drinking pots sable) to covered cups, more like chalices in appearance. 8A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P288. These were borne by the BUTLER family in reference to their name and Wade suggests that their appearance may also refer to holy communinion within the church. 9The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P117

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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:Bend
7. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Cup
8. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P288
9. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P117