Arms of Anne of Bohemia

Anne of Bohemia
Queen of England 1382-1394 (1366-1394)

From p104 of Lacies Nobilitie by Sir John Ferne (1586)

Blazon: Per quarterly I and IV per quarterly i and iv azure three fleurs-de-lis or (France), ii and iii gules three lions passant guardant or armed and langued azure (England); II and III per quarterly i and iv or a double-headed eagle displayed sable armed and langued gules (Holy Roman Empire), ii and iii gules a lion rampant argent*

*Ferne describes this last coat as “the coate belonging to her family and house,” which does seem to be accurate. However, these arms seem to have originated with Anne’s grandfather, John the Blind, who quartered them with the more customary arms of Luxembourg (barry argent and azure a lion rampant double-queued gules armed, langued, and crowned or). He may have chosen to invert the tinctures of the ancient arms of the Dukes of Limburg, his ancestral line.

Torquatus points out, correctly, that this arrangement of the arms implies that Anne was an heiress, which she was not. Paradius (Ferne’s mouthpiece character) concedes the point, admitting that this arrangement is rare, but goes on to argue that this is a legitimate configuration of arms, since it is essentially the customary impalement of the arms of a married couple counterchanged by fess.This claim is dubious at best.

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Arms of Birmingham, England

Birmingham

Granted 1977

Blazon: Per quarterly I and IV azure a bend of five lozenges conjoined or, II and III per pale indented or and gules, overall on a cross ermine a mitre proper

Crest: On a wreath or and azure issuant from a mural crown or charged with a Tudor rose a dexter arm embowed holding a hammer all proper

Supporters: On the dexter a figure representing Art proper vested argent wreathed with laurel vert tied by a riband gules, holding in the sinister hand resting on the shield a book bound of the last and in the dexter a palette with two brushes proper; on the sinister a figure representing Industry habited as a smith, holding in the dexter hand resting on the shield a cupel and in the sinister a hammer resting on an anvil all proper

Mantling: Azure lined or

Motto: Forward

Both coats quartered here were used by the de Bermingham family at various points in time. The family also quartered the coats, but in opposite quarters; the city changed the order for difference. The city was previously granted arms in 1889, which used a fess ermine instead of a cross, and a mural crown instead of a mitre. The supporters in the previous arms were also reversed, with Industry on the dexter and Art on the sinister.

For the Duke of Normandy did bear in his targe of Mars 2 Lions passant guardant of the Sun… and then, by the marriage of Eleanor, daughter and heir to William Duke of Aquitaine (that bare in a Shield gules, a Lion passant, guardant Or) the third Lion was also added to the coat of Normandy.

– From Lacies Nobilitie by Sir John Ferne (1586), p105-6

This is one of my favorite heraldic origin stories, not least because it’s very likely to be true. The blazons for Normandy and Aquitaine are easily verifiable, and the combination of those two arms into England’s iconic coat is elegant and satisfying.

Arms of the borough of Amber Valley

Amber Valley

Derbyshire, England

Granted 1989

Blazon: Vert a pale wavy or within a bordure argent charged with five horseshoes sable, on a chief of the second between two lozenges a cresset sable fired proper

Crest: On a wreath of the colors the battlements of a tower proper issuant therefrom between two croizers or an oak tree also proper fructed and ensigned by a crown of fleurs-de-lis of the first

Supporters: On the dexter a unicorn argent armed and crined or gorged with a collar pendant therefrom a cross flory gules; on the sinister a leopard proper gorged with a collar gules pendant therefrom a fleur-de-lis or

Mantling: Vert lined or

Motto: Per laborem progredimur (By hard work we progress)

The pale wavy evidently represents the river Amber, while the lozenges and cresset symbolize the coal and iron industries. The horseshoes on the bordure are taken from (one of the versions of) the arms of the Ferrers family.

Arms of Warwickshire County, England

Warwickshire

Granted 1931

Blazon: Gules a bear erect argent muzzled of the field collared and chained or supporting a staff raguly of the second, the chain reflexed over the back and encircling the staff; on a chief of the third three cross crosslets of the first; the shield ensigned with a mural crown or

Motto: Non sanz droict (Not without right)

The bear and staff have been used as symbols of the Earls of Warwick since at least 1268. One source gives their origin in medieval legend; the name of one Earl of Warwick, Arthgallus, was supposedly derived from “arthos,” or “bear”, and another was said to have used a broken tree branch to kill a giant. (There is no solid proof for either of these assertions.)

Arms of Staffordshire County, England

Staffordshire

Granted 1931

Blazon: Or on a chevron gules a Stafford knot of the first, on a chief azure a lion passant guardant of the field

Crest: Issuant from a mural crown proper a Stafford knot or

Supporters: On the dexter a lion reguardant gules ducally crowned or and on the sinister a griffin reguardant of the second

Mantling: Gules lined or

Motto: The knot unites

While the knot is the most common symbol of the Stafford family (who bear or a chevron gules), the lion and griffin are also Stafford badges.

Arms of Derbyshire County, England

Derbyshire

Granted 1937

Blazon: Or a rose gules surmounted by another argent, both barbed and seeded proper, on a chief sable three stags’ heads caboshed of the third

Crest: Issuant from a mural crown or a dragon wings elevated and addorsed sable holding in the dexter claw a pick of the first and collared argent

Supporters: On the dexter a stag and on the sinister a ram, both proper and gorged with a chain or pendant therefrom a rose gules surmounted by another argent, barbed and seeded also proper

Mantling: Gules lined or

Motto: Bene consulendo (By good counsel)

The double rose is referred to as the Tudor rose; Henry VII adopted it as a badge to symbolize the union of the houses of Lancaster (whose symbol was a red rose) and York (the white rose). The county previously used the Tudor rose as an unofficial device. The stag refers to the first local fort built by Danish invaders, which was named Derby after the number of deer in the region, and eventually gave its name to the county.