Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) (co. Gloucester). Gu. on a fess betw. three billets ar. as many lions pass. guard, of the first. Crest—A lion sejant gu. resting the forepaw on a carved shield or.
2) (Poulton, co. Gloucester). Gu. on a fess betw. three fleurs-de-lis ar. as many lions pass. guard. of the first.
3) (Wotton, co. Gloucester). Gu. on a fess betw. three billets ar. as many lions pass of the first. Crest—Out of a ducal coronet a plume of ostrich feathers ppr.

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

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Ouldsworth Coat of Arms Meaning

The four main devices (symbols) in the Ouldsworth blazon are the billet, lion passant, fleur-de-lis and fesse. The two main tinctures (colors) are argent and gules.

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.

Gules, the heraldic colour red is very popular, sometimes said to represent “Military Fortitude and Magnanimity”3. It is usually abbreviated as gu and in the days before colour printing was shown in a system known as hatching by vertical lines 4. 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).5

For easy recognition of the items on a coat of arms, and hence the quick identification of the owner, bold simple shapes are best. Hence, simple geometric shapes are often used for this purpose 6xz`, and the billet is a typical example of this, and can appear in any of the main heraldic tinctures. In form it is a simple rectangle though sometimes has a slightly rounded or ragged appearance to reflect one possible origin as a block of wood cut by an axe. 7. Wade groups the billet with the other square charges as symbols of “honesty and constancy”. 8

There can be no animal more clearly associated with Heraldry than the lion, majestic King of the Beasts. Originally it appeared only in one pose, erect, on one paw, with the others raised 9 but such was the popularity of this figure, and the need to distinguish arms from each other, that it soon came to be shown in an enormous range of forms 10. The lion passant is an example of these modified form, showing the creature on all fours, as if walking proudly. In common with all reprensentations of the lion it can be taken to be an “emblem of deathless courage”. 11

The fleur-de-lys (“flower of the lily”) has a long and noble history and was a symbol associated with the royalty of France even before heraldry became widespread. 12. The Lily flower is said to represent “Purity, or whiteness of soul”13 and sometimes associated with the Virgin Mary. The fleur-de-lys is also used as a small “badge”, known as a mark of cadency to show that the holder is the sixth son of the present holder of the arms 14

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References

  • 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 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
  • 4 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P52
  • 5 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P154
  • 6 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P146
  • 7 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Billet
  • 8 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P95
  • 9 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 64
  • 10 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P136-141
  • 11 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P61
  • 12 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 3
  • 13 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P134
  • 14 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P489