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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

(Scotland). Motto—Tu ne cede malis. Or, a pelican in her nest gu. in chief two mullets az. Crest—A hind's head erased.

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

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Riddock Coat of Arms Meaning

The two main devices (symbols) in the Riddock blazon are the pelican vulning herself and mullet. The two main tinctures (colors) are or and gules.

Or is the heraldic metal Gold, often shown as a bold, bright yellow colour. It is said to show “Generosity and elevation of the mind” 1. Later heralds, of a more poetic nature liked to refer to it as Topaz, after the gemstone, and, for obvious reasons associated it with the Sun 2. In drawings without colour it is usually represented by many small dots, or by the letter ‘O’ 3.

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.4. The word gules is thought to come from the Arabic gule, or “red rose” 5. Later writers associated it with the precious stone ruby and the metal iron 6, perhaps because of the red glow of iron in the heat of the blacksmith’s forge.

The pelican is often associated with parenthood and “devoted and self sacrificing charity”. 7 It is almost always shown with its young in their nest (in its piety) or pricking its breast in readiness to feed its young with its own blood (vulning herself. 8

The heraldic mullet, not to be confused with the fish of that name, is shown as a regular, five pointed star. This was originally, not an astronomical object, but represented the spur on a horseman’s boot, especially when peirced, with a small circular hole in the centre it represents a type of spur known as a “rowel” 9. A clear example can be found in the arms of Harpendene, argent, a mullet pierced gules. The ancient writer Guillim associated such spurs in gold as belonging to the Knight, and the silver to their esquires 10. In later years, Wade linked this five pointed star with the true celestial object, the estoile and termed it a “falling star”, symbolising a “divine quality bestowed from above” 11.

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References

  • 1 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35
  • 2 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
  • 3 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P76-77
  • 4 The Siege of Carlaverock, N. Harris, Nichols & Son, London, 1828, P180
  • 5 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 313
  • 6 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
  • 7 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P77-78
  • 8 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Pelican
  • 9 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 97
  • 10 A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P107
  • 11 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P105
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