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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) (Dean, Mid-Lothian, bart.). Motto—Non obest virtute sors. Ar. a chev. gu. betw. three boars’ heads erased sa. Crest—An eagle, displ. ppr. Supporters—Dexter, a savage holding a club over his shoulder and wreathed about the loins and head ppr.; sinister, a greyhound ppr.
2) (that Ilk, co. Berwick). Motto—I byde it. Ar. three boars’ heads erased sa. Crest—A boar pass. sa.
3) (Craigentinny, co. Edinburgh). Motto—I byde it. Ar. on a chev. gu. betw. three boars' heads erased sa. as many cinquefoils of the first. Crest—A boar pass. sa.
4) (Dirleton, co. Haddington). Motto—Discite justitiam. Same Arms as the last, the chev. ensigned on the top with a thistle ppr. Crest—A dexter hand issuant out of a cloud, and holding a balance and scales all ppr.
5) (Hamilton-Nisbet, of Dirleton and Belhaven, 1801). Additional Motto—Ride through. See also under Hamilton. Quarterly, 1st and 4th, as the last; 2nd and 3rd, gu. a sword paleways ar hilted and pommelled or, betw. three cinquefoils of the second, for Hamilton. Crest and Motto as above. Supporters—Two horses ar. bridled gu.
6) (Greenholm, co. Ayr, and Carphin). Motto—His fortibus arms. Ar. three boars’ heads erased, withip a bordure sa. Crest—A boar's head as in the arms.
7) (Southbroome House, co. Wilts). Motto—Vis fortibus arma. Ar. three boars’ heads erased sa. a border invected gu. Crest—A boar's head, as in the arms.
8) (Bordeaux, 1681). Motto—Hinc ducitur honos. Ar. on a chev. indented gu. betw. three goats’ heads erased ea. as many cinquefoils of the first. Crest: A castle sa, and growing beside it a thistle ppr.

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

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Nisbet Coat of Arms Meaning

The three main devices (symbols) in the Nisbet blazon are the chevron, boar’s head and cinquefoil. The three main tinctures (colors) are sable, gules and argent .

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

Red in heraldry is given the name Gules, sometimes said to be the “martyr’s colour”4. The colour is also associated with Mars, the red planet, and the zodiacal sign Aries 5. Later heralds of a more poetical nature would sometimes refer to the colour as ruby, after the precious stone.6.

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) 7. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 8.

The chevron is one the major shapes used upon a shield, known as ordinaries. The inverted ‘V’ of the chevron is perhaps thought to have originated to represent a military scarf folded on the shield 9, or additional cross-pieces used to strengthen the shield and painted a different colour.10. It has also acquired the meaning of “Protection… granted… to one who has achieved some notable enterprise” 11, possibly becuase of its resemblance to the roof truss of a house.

In the middle ages, the wild boar, a far more fearsome creature than its domesticated relative, the pig was a much more commonly seen animal than today. It was also known as a sanglier. 12 It can appear in many of the same poses that we see for the lion, but has its own (easily imagined!) position known as enraged! 13 We should not be surprised then that this “fierce combatant” is said to be associated with the warrior. 14

Natural objects abound in heraldry, and one category that gives especial delight are the many flowers and flowering plants that frequently occur 15. The cinquefoil is also of this type, being drawn, at least a little, realistically and often to very pleasing effect. It is shown as five-petalled flower, each petal quite rounded but with a distinct tip. It is sometimes pierced with a hole in the centre and usually appears on its own, without any leaves. 16 It has no fixed colour but can appear in any of the available heraldic tinctures.

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References

  • 1 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Sable
  • 2 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26
  • 3 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35
  • 4 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
  • 5 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
  • 6 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P77
  • 7 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
  • 8 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11
  • 9 A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, (various)
  • 10 The Pursuivant of Arms, J. R. Planche, Hardwicke, London 1859
  • 11 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P45
  • 12 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 72
  • 13 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Boar
  • 14 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P67
  • 15 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P262
  • 16 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Cinquefoil