Arms of Robert le Vel

le Vel

From the Dering Roll (c. 1270-1300)

Blazon: Argent on a bend sable three bulls passant of the field

There is not much information on Robert le Vel, but he seems to have held lands in Sussex, though he was not a resident of that county.

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Arms of Corral de Calatrava, Spain

Corral de Calatrava

Granted 1982

Blazon: Per fess argent a cross of Calatrava gules and vert a bull and cow passant in pale or

The name of the town and the lower half of the arms both trace back to a corral near the castle of Caracuel which held the local cow herds.

Arms of Cesare Borgia

Cesare Borgia

(1475-1507)

Blazon: Per quarterly I and IV or a bull passant gules on a base vert within a bordure of the field charged with eight flames of the last (Borgia), II and III per quarterly i and iv azure three fleurs-de-lis or, ii and iii gules (Albret)

Cesare’s arms show the Borgia’s family arms quartered with those of his wife, Charlotte d’Albret, sister of King John III of Navarre. They married in 1499, and she bore Cesare’s only legitimate child, Louise Borgia.

Arms of Rodrigo Borgia

Rodrigo Borgia

Later Pope Alexander VI (1421-1503)

Blazon: Per pale or a bull passant gules on a base vert within a bordure of the field charged with eight flames of the last and barry of six or and gules*

Rodrigo used these arms at least since his election to the papacy; he may have taken that opportunity to add to his family’s traditional arms. I cannot find any record of the origin of the sinister arms, though several other later Borgias used them as well. They may be a reference to the arms of Aragon, where he was born.

*Also seen as sable

Arms of the House of Borgia

Borgia

In use since 1455?

Blazon: Or a bull passant gules on a base vert within a bordure of the field charged with eight flames of the last

The Borgias are possibly the most famous (or infamous) family of the Italian Renaissance. The family produced two Popes (Callixtus III and Alexander VI) and countless scandalous tales of bribery, murder, poisoning, adultery, and incest. The family’s decline began in earnest after Alexander VI’s death in 1503, helped along by their scurrilous reputation. The line became officially extinct in 1740.