Blazon: Argent three bars azure surmounted by a bend gules bezanté
The full name appears to be Richard de Grey; some sources assert he was “Lord of Ore,” but I’m not entirely sure where that is. It’s possible that “Ore” is a corruption of Codnor Castle, the ancient seat of the family. Richard’s son Henry was later recorded as the first Baron Grey of Codnor. At some point, Richard or his son dropped the bend recorded here, and the arms changed to barry of six argent and azure.
Blazon: Per fess gules a castle triple-towered or windowed azure and sable two bars argent and a pale counterchanged within a bordure gules charged with eight saltires couped or
According to legend, the town’s name comes from an incident in the early thirteenth century, where a man accused another of killing his father. When the former came to kill the latter, he saw a cross in the air above his head and dropped the sword.
Blazon: Per quarterly I argent a cross of Calatrava gules, II or an eagle displayed sable armed and langued gules, III argent a point in point terminating in a cross paté sanguine, three molets of six points counterchanged, IV or three bars gules
The Order of Calatrava owned the region between 1180 and 1547, and the first quarter of the arms most likely reflects this fact. In the early 18th century, the area and its corresponding title Marquis of Malagón passed via marriage to the Medinaceli and Córdoba families; the arms in the last quarter are those of Córdoba.
Blazon: Argent on a base wavy azure charged with two bars wavy of the field a lymphad sail furled sable pennon and flags flying gules, on a chief of the second between a pair of fire tongs and a weaver’s shuttle a pale of the first charged with a sprig of mulberry fructed proper
Crest: On a wreath of the colors in front of a representation of the White Tower of the Tower of London proper two anchors in saltire or
Supporters: On the dexter side a sea-horse, on the sinister side a talbot, all proper
Mantling: Azure lined argent
Motto: From great things to greater
Most of the elements in this achievement are drawn from the arms of the borough of Stepney, which was incorporated into Tower Hamlets in 1965. The fire tongs are the symbol of St. Dunstan, who held the Manor of Stepney when he was Bishop of London.
Let me say this, that this coat-armor being Barry, is interpreted by some learned in blazon, to represent to the bearer, force, valour, courage, or wisdom, whereby he hath repelled any peril or danger imminent to his country or sovereign; the Barre… is taken in the like signification.
– From the Blazon of Gentrie by Sir John Ferne (1586) p243
Like most early attempts to assign some kind of symbolism to heraldic charges (especially the ordinaries), this assertion does not seem to be supported by more reliable sources.
Blazon: Or two bars azure within an orle of martlets gules
Thomas was the son of William Paynel and an anonymous daughter of William fitzWimund. The arms use the same charges and positioning, but different tinctures. This is almost certainly an early form of differencing (changing arms to distinguish between members of a family). In England, differencing would later evolve into a codified system, at least according to most heraldic writers (though it is not clear how closely their rules were followed in practice).