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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) (granted 1588). Erm. on a chief az. two estoiles or. Crest—On a mount vert a leopard pass. or.
2) Erm. on a chief az. three estoiles or. Crest—Two winged hands conjoined all ppr.

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

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Raynor Coat of Arms Meaning

The two main devices (symbols) in the Raynor blazon are the estoile and chief. The three main tinctures (colors) are azure, ermine and or .

The bright, strong blue color in Heraldry is known in English as azure, and similarly in other European languages – azul in Spanish, azurro in Italian and azur in French. The word has its roots in the Arabic word lazura, also the source of the name of the precious stone lapis lazuli 1. Despite this, those heralds who liked to associate colours with jewels chose instead to describe blue as Sapphire. According to Wade, the use of this colour symbolises “Loyalty and Truth” 2.

Ermine is a very ancient pattern, and distinctive to observe. It was borne alone by John de Monfort, the Earl of Richmond and Duke of Brittany in the late 14th century 3 It has a long association with royalty and the nobility in general and hence represents “Dignity” wherever it is found 4. The ermine pattern is white with, typically, a three dots and a dart grouping representing the tail of the furred creature.5. The ermine spot is sometimes found alone as a special charge on the shield.

The bright yellow colour frequently found in coats of arms is known to heralds as Or, or sometimes simply as Gold.6. Along with, argent, or silver it forms the two “metals” of heraldry – one of the guidelines of heraldic design is that silver objects should not be placed upon gold fields and vice versa 7. The yellow colour is often associated with the Sun, and the zodiacal sign of Leo.8.

There were of course many widely recognised symbols that existed long before the advent of heraldry and it should be no surprise that some of these were adopted as charge in coats of arms 9. The estoile is a typical example, reflecting the stars in the sky and represented with six wavy points, often with a little shading to give it some depth. 10. The ancient writer Guillim assigns these symbols as the emblems of God’s goodness”. 11

The chief is an area across the top of the field 12. It appears in many different forms and can itself be charged with other charges and ordinaries, 13, being treated almost as if it were a completely separate area. In its simplest form it can be clearly identified. Early examples include the award by Henry III of England to the knight Robert de MORTEYN BRETON of Ermine, a chief gules.

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References

  • 1 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Azure
  • 2 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
  • 3 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P69
  • 4 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P39
  • 5 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 28
  • 6 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27
  • 7 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P85
  • 8 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
  • 9 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P301
  • 10 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Estoile
  • 11 A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P77
  • 12 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 40
  • 13 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Chief