Arms of Philip Marmion


(c. 1220? – 1291)

From the Dering Roll (c. 1270-1300)

Blazon: Argent a sword palewise point in chief sable

Several other blazons for the Marmion family conflict with this depiction, showing vair a fess gules (sometimes fretty or otherwise ornamented or). It’s possible these are family arms – it would be odd for a baron not to have his own arms, and it does look like Philip had that title. However, the arms on the Dering Roll are probably the arms of his first wife, Joan, heiress to the Kilpeck family (so Philip would have had the right to bear them, albeit in pretense). The exact tinctures of the Kilpeck arms and the positioning of the sword seem to be flexible, but they’re close enough that I’m fairly confident in this assumption. I did manage to find a lovely photograph of the tombs of Sir Philip and his second wife, Mary, but there’s not enough detail on his shield to confirm which arms he was using at the time of his death.

Arms of Gard, France


Designed circa 1950

Blazon: Gules a cross of Toulouse or, a chief invecked argent

The cross of Toulouse is most likely a reference both to the regional arms of Occitanie, and the Gard’s century-long sojourn under the protection of the counts of Toulouse. I’m not sure about the chief, but if we want to get geographically symbolic (which we already know is kind of a fallback for Louis), it could either represent the coast of the Mediterranean, or the foothills of the Cévennes mountain range. Personally, I’d favor the latter. Either way, points for making me go look up the distinction between engrailed and invecked again. (If you’re wondering, engrailed means the half-circles point outward from the charge – in this case, the chief – and invecked means the charge has the half-circles “cut out” of it.)

Arms of Cilmin Croed-Du


From Encyclopedia of Heraldry by John Burke and John Bernard Burke (1844)

Arms of Cilmin Croed-Du

“Quarterly, first and fourth, ar. an eagle displ. with two heads sa.; second and third, ar. three fiery ragged streaks* gu.; over all, upon an escutcheon of pretence, ar. a man’s leg, couped a-la-cuise, sa.”

Once again, I can’t find any solid evidence that this was a real actual human being, and not a legendary figure, and the stories that feature both Cilmin and elves/wizards/giants don’t really contradict that. In fact, the escutcheon probably derives from one of those legends, where Cilmin stole a book of secret magic from some wizards. They gave chase, but could not hurt him unless he touched running water – which he did, of course. He skimmed the surface of a brook with his right foot, which immediately turned black. Based on what I could find, “troed-du” means “black foot” in Welsh. I might give the Burkes half credit on this for at least referencing a consistent legend. The arms themselves appear to be those of John Glynne, whose family did claim descent from Cilmin – although that doesn’t make it true.

*Could be thunderbolts; could be billets raguly; there’s really not enough detail here to be sure, but I’m not especially fond of how the Burkes worded this. It doesn’t sound like blazon to my ears.

Arms of Arcos de la Sierra, Spain

Arcos de la Sierra

Granted 2005

Blazon: Or on a mount in base vert a two-tiered tower gules

This one is kind of frustrating, because it looks like the town has a fairly robust historical archive, and there are some fairly good photos of the town and its architecture, and this is exactly the kind of weirdly specific architectural charge that I would expect to be patterned after a real-life structure, and… I can’t find anything that would credibly give rise to a charge like what we see in the arms. It could be an attempt to create a canting charge out of arches or “arcos”? “Sierra” is Spanish for “mountain range,” so it’s possible the mount is also canting, but that’s about all I’ve got.

Arms of Eberstalzell, Austria


Granted 1977

Blazon: Argent a bridge of three arches in base gules, issuant therefrom a demi-boar rampant sable

The boar (Eber) does double duty here as both a canting element and a symbol of the town’s connection with Kremsmünster Abbey. The abbey was founded in 777 by Tassilo III, Duke of Bavaria, on the site where his son Gunther had been killed by a wild boar. (The last part is legend, but does help explain the abbey’s use of a boar as a heraldic symbol). Eberstalzell was one of a few towns the duke donated to the new abbey. The bridge doesn’t have quite the same long pedigree; it’s a representation of the local autobahn bridge, which is built of stone.

Arms of Taranto, Italy


Granted 1920

Blazon: Argent a scorpion sable charged with three fleurs-de-lis in chevron or; in chief a crown proper

The scorpion is apparently one of the ancient symbols of the city of Taranto; the shape of the city allegedly looked like a scorpion to the king of Epirus. (In my opinion, it doesn’t especially look like a scorpion today, and this is also a 2300-year-old anecdote.) In the 17th century, they changed to using a different mythologically derived charge – a man riding a dolphin, which we discussed last week. The city still uses those arms, but after the province was established in 1923, the scorpion was selected as a nod to historical continuity.

Arms of Öschingen, Germany


In use since at least 2010

Blazon: Per pale gules a chevron argent and of the last a lion rampant sable, armed and langued of the first

The dexter half of the arms seems to come from the von Fürst family, who were prominent local citizens from the late thirteenth century through at least the mid-sixteenth century. I’m tempted to speculate that this might be the source of some similar arms in the region (so far, Nehren and Nellingsheim seem like viable candidates), but admittedly, I don’t have any solid proof of this. I am, however, pretty confident in saying that the sinister half are the arms of the von Stöffeln family, who were the first recorded owners of the land. Argent a lion rampant sable is attested for them in several sources; the gules detailing may be unique to the town.

Arms of William de Audley


(1253? – 1282?)

From the Dering Roll (c. 1270-1300)

Blazon: Gules fretty or

I have found one potential William (de) Audley where the birth and death dates line up nicely with the period of the Dering Roll, but I can’t quite connect him to Nicholas, 1st Baron Audley. He could’ve been a brother, or maybe an uncle, but it doesn’t seem like William had any children. I think it’s likely that the fretty pattern in the arms of his family is the ultimate source of the fret in the arms of the Tuchet family, who held the Baron Audley title from the beginning of the 14th century through 1997.

Arms of Aveyron, France


Designed circa 1950

Blazon: Gules a lion rampant guardant or

These are cited as a Robert Louis design, but I think it’s probably more accurate to say that he made the decision to use the arms of Rouergue for Aveyron. Rouergue was formerly its own county from about the mid-800s until 1271, when it returned to the crown. However, some of its territory had been incorporated into the county of Rodez, providing a modicum of continuity. In 1790, Rouergue was resurrected as the department of Aveyron. Both Rouergue and Rodez used the same blazon, so carrying it over to Aveyron is, I think, a reasonable choice.

Arms of Gweirydd ap Rhys Goch

Rhys Goch

From Encyclopedia of Heraldry by John Burke and John Bernard Burke (1844)

“Lord of Tal Ebolion, in Angelsey. Arg. on a bend sa. three lions’ heads cabossed of the first.”

There isn’t any record of someone named Gweyrydd ab Rhys Goch until – surprise, surprise – the late eighteenth century. He also tends to pop up only in relation to lists of the fifteen tribes, so that’s obviously problematic. Another red flag: most of the sites that include his name and arms would like you to please pay for a Complete Record of Your Own Family History! (I have longstanding beef with these sites, which I will not go into right now. There’s an argument to be made that they are doing basically the same thing as the bards and genealogists of the seventeenth through nineteenth centuries – give us money, and we’ll explain how your family is super noble and ancient and respectable! Which is fine, I guess, but don’t confuse vanity with truth.) I think I have to chalk this one up as another post hoc genealogical invention.