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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) (Mitford, co. Northumberland; an old baronial family, settled at Mitford, temp. William I.). (Mary Russell Mitford, the author of “Our Village,” only surviving child of the Rev. George Mitford a descendant of Mitford, of Mitford Castle). (Pits Hill, co. Sussex; descended from Mitford, of Mitford Castle, co. Northumberland) Ar. a fesse betw. three moles sa. Crest—A dexter and sinister hand couped ppr. supporting a sword in pale ar. pommelled or, pierced through a boar’s head sa. tusked gold, couped gu.
2) (Freeman-Mitford, Earl of Redesdale). Quarterly, 1st and 4th, ar. a fesse betw. three moledewarps sa., for Mitford; 2nd and 3rd, az. three fusils in fesse or, for distinction a canton erm., for Freeman. Crests— 1st, Mitford: Two hands couped at the wrist ppr. grasping a sword erect ar. the point and hilt or, the blade enfiled with aboar’s head erased sa.; 2nd, Freeman: A demi wolf ar. supporting betw. the paws a fusil or, for distinction gorged with a collar dancettee gu. Supporters—Two eagles rising sa. each gorged with a wreath of shamrock ppr. and each beaked, membered, and charged on the breast with a fusil or. Motto—Aequabiliter et diligenter.

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

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Mitford Coat of Arms Meaning

The main device (symbol) in the Mitford blazon is the mole. The two main tinctures (colors) are argent and sable.

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) 1. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 2.

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 3. 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 4. Although it may seem a sombre tone, and does indeed sometimes denote grief, it is more commonly said to represent Constancy 5.

In the mediaeval period there was no real percieved difference between real and mythical animals, after all, much of the world remained unknown and who was to say what strange and magical creatures existed in distant lands? Nevertheless, real animals 6 are perhaps one of the most common sights on coats of arms, especially animals of European origin. The mole Is a typical example of these.

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  • 1 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
  • 2 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11
  • 3 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Sable
  • 4 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26
  • 5 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35
  • 6 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P191