Blazons & Genealogy Notes

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

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

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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.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.

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. 6 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. 7 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. 8. 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. 9

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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