• Free FedEx Shipping

  • Lifetime Warranty

  • Exceptional Customer Service

  • Interest Free Payments

Guaranteed Holiday Delivery, Order By December 8th

Heraldic Times RSS

The Beginning of Heraldry

Heraldry finds its origins in pictorial devices which were used as individual or tribal marks of identification by ancient civilizations. These family devices were more like badges than coats of arms and their assumption at a certain stage of civilization became necessary because people were very much alike, and without some well-known mark tattooed on their skin or carried on the person in some prominent way, friends and foes in large groups were indistinguishable. Early tribal or totem devices were almost always the figure of some living creature, and they were placed wherever was practical, marked on the skin, worked into clothing, painted on tents, shields and other belongings. Whenever an animal was chosen as a tribal mark, the animal...

Continue reading →

The Lions of England, part 2

What is the origin of the second lion in the Royal Arms of England? Some historians suggest that it came into the Arms through Henry I’s marriage to Adeliza, daughter of Godfrey of Louvain, image above, who bore a lion in allusion to his name (Leuwon : Leones). But there is no proof that the second lion was intended to commemorate this union, it may indeed have been added purely for artistic effect. From his grandfather Henry II is supposed to have inherited two gold lions on red, but they first appear as an undoubted shield of arms in the seal of his son John. But Prince John’s lions looked not out of the shield but over their shoulders (reguardant)....

Continue reading →

The Lions of England, part 1

The Lion is a lively image of a good soldier, who must be valiant of  courage., strong of body, politicke in counsell, and a foe to feare.”  -- Guillim, Display of HeraldryThe Armorial Roll of Caerlaverock from 1300 describes the Arms of the King of England as “ Three leopards of fine gold set on red; courant, fierce, haughty and cruel; to signify that like them the King is dreadful to his enemies, for his bite is slight to none who brave his anger, and yet towards such as seek his friendship or submit to his power his kindness is soon rekindled.” In heraldry a leopard represents a lion staring you in the face, the three lions have stood in the Royal Arms...

Continue reading →

The Battle of Hastings and The Norman Conquest, part 5

The badge of Sagittary or Sagittarius, the centaur armed with a bow and arrow is attributed to Stephen of Blois and it is thought that this emblem commemorated a victory won by his archers. An alternative theory is that he took his badge from the sign of the zodiac under which his reign began. Another badge said to be used by Stephen was a plume of three ostrich feathers, with the motto, Vi nulla invertitur ordo, “ By no force is their form altered.” This is not to be confused with the ostrich plumes on the Coat of Arms of the Prince of Wales, which are of different origin. The family of Dering from Kent regard the three red roundels (rings) above...

Continue reading →

The Battle of Hastings and The Norman Conquest, part 4

                             CITY OF LONDON COAT OF ARMS Historically, the dragon is more properly regarded as William of Normandy’s emblem than the two lions posthumously conferred on him by the heralds. There is evidence that the Dragon standard was used by four of William’s successors, namely, Richard I, Henry III, Edward I and Henry V. In his account of Richard’s crusade, Richard of Devizes wrote: “ The terrible standard of the dragon is  borne in front unfurled.” Henry III is recorded as having issued a mandate “ to cause a dragon to be made in fashion of a standard of red silk sparkling all over with gold, the tongue of which...

Continue reading →