Arms of ‘Randolph Fitzwright’ and ‘Maud de Gant’

Fitzwright Gant

From p30 of Lacies Nobilitie by Sir John Ferne (1586)

Blazon: Per pale, baron and femme; the first gules two bendlets engrailed vert, the second or three barrulets azure surmounted by a bend gules

Ferne presents the coat without any special commentary, besides noting that Gilbert de Gant had chosen to bestow the earldom on his daughter rather than on his son Walter – an unusual choice for the time, and evidently intended to make her more marriageable. Unfortunately, I cannot find any evidence that either of the individuals to whom these arms are attributed existed. It does not seem that, as Ferne asserts, Gilbert de Gant had a daughter named Maud, and even Ferne seems to gloss over the Fitzwright family; it takes less than a full sentence for the earldom of Kyme to pass through the Fitzwrights and to the Umfravilles, whose male line would eventually die out. It might be feasible that Ferne mixed up the names, and meant to write that Lucy, William de Gant’s sister, brought her titles into the Umfraville family; however, the text refers to Fitzwright and Robert Umfravill, Earl of Angus as distinct individuals.

Arms of Gilbert de Gant

de Gant

Earl of Kyme and Baron of Lindsey (1040-1095)

From p30 of Lacies Nobilitie by Sir John Ferne (1586)

Blazon: Or three barrulets azure surmounted by a bend gules

According to Ferne’s mouthpiece Paradius, de Gant was ennobled by William the Conqueror. (No exact date is given, but it seems likely this occurred before the compiliation of the Domesday Book in 1086.) Ferne does not mention that Gant was related to William the Conqueror, but his displeasure towards the newly created Norman nobles is palpable.

Paradius asserts a few interesting things about this coat. First, he claims that the bend was added for differencing, saying that “those which we now call the ordinary charges were in olde time used commonly for differences of familyes and brethren.” (29) He devotes two and a half pages to the alleged symbolism of the arms, giving the origin of the barrulets (then called bars) as “great peeces of tymber… [used] to stop and debarre the enemye from his entraunce…”, which “may be well applyed unto him, whose invention, industrye, or labour, hath so secured and fortified the Campe,” or to others who have, through might or strategy, prevented an enemy from gaining
a foothold in their country. The fact that the bars are azure, the color of the sky, apparently indicates that “the force of wisdom prevaileth in times of peace, to
stop the enterprises of enemies.” The bend, on the other hand, is supposed to designate that the bearer was one of the first to overcome the enemy’s wall; its color shows that he “did not win the wal from the enemy, but by great bloudshed, stout and couragious fight.” (29-31)

Arms of Woodbridge Town Council, England

Woodbridge

Granted 1975

Blazon: Per bend argent and barry wavy of the last and azure on a bend gules three escallops of the first in sinister chief a rose flowered, slipped, and leaved proper

Crest: On a wreath argent and gules on the stump of an oak tree sprouting proper a cock head to the dexter vert in front of a cock head to the sinister or, both beaked, legged, combed, and wattled gules

Mantling: Gules lined argent

Motto: Preservation and progress