Arms of Oliver Dinan


From the Dering Roll (c. 1270-1300)

Blazon: Gules a fess indented ermine

I’m assuming, due to the lack of escallops (which could have been an early marker of cadency) and the name, that the Oliver cited here is descended from the Oliver II who lived around 1120. Sadly, though, I don’t have much additional information.

Arms of Robert de Dinan


From the Dering Roll (c. 1270-1300)

Blazon: Gules a fess indented between four* escallops ermine

*This strikes me as kind of a weird number of charges, especially when the positioning (e.g. 3 and 1, 2 and 2, etc.) isn’t specified. Three charges, arranged 2 and 1, would be a more typical number.

Most of the information I can find on the de Dinan family is about a century earlier than the Dering Roll. It seems like the family split into two branches around 1120, between Oliver II and Alan de Dinan, both sons of Geoffrey de Dinan. Two other de Dinans, Rolland and Oliver, rebelled against Henry II in the late 1160s. But by the time the Dering Roll comes around, there’s not much record of any de Dinans anywhere.

Arms of Geoffrey de Geneville


(1225/33 – 1314)

From the Dering Roll (c. 1270-1300)

Blazon: Azure three horse-barnacles expanded or, on a chief ermine a demi-lion rampant issuant from the partition line gules

There is an actual crustacean known as the horse barnacle (Semibalanus cariosus), but 1. the depiction here doesn’t look anything like an actual barnacle and 2. they are native to the northwestern Pacific, so absolutely nowhere near England or France, where they were mostly featured in heraldry. What this charge actually depicts is a slightly more complicated question. It was possibly originally a farrier’s tool to hold horses’ muzzles closed, but it does seem to have been used as a torture method in a few instances. In one of those cases, that of Sir Henry Wyatt, the family allegedly incorporated a horse-barnacle into their arms as a symbol of their loyalty to the Tudors.

The Genevilles, or Joinvilles as they were known in France, don’t seem to have a dramatic origin story for their arms, but there are plenty of other notables in the family to make up for any shortfall. Geoffrey’s older brother Jean de Joinville wrote a very well-known chronicle of the life of Louis IX and the Seventh Crusade, commissioned by Jeanne of Navarre. Geoffrey arrived in England along with Eleanor of Provence when she came to marry Henry III, and was later involved in a number of important negotiations, including with Llewelyn ap Gruffudd. He also traveled widely, going on diplomatic missions to Paris and participating in the Eighth Crusade. (No word on whether Jean warned him that was a terrible idea.) He had an exceptionally long life for the period, so it’s perhaps not surprising that his eldest son predeceased him. Upon his death, most of the Geneville titles and lands (plus the de Lacy properties Geoffrey inherited from his wife Maud) passed to Roger Mortimer via his wife Joan de Geneville, Geoffrey’s eldest granddaughter. She did eventually get her inheritance back after Roger’s execution for treason.

Arms of Ralph Basset

Ralph Basset

From the Dering Roll (c. 1270-1300)

Blazon: Or four palets gules a canton ermine

In a delightfully convenient turn of events, the Ralph Basset featured on the Dering Roll is also fairly well-known, and the timelines line up perfectly. His father, also named Ralph, was also part of the Second Baron’s War on the losing side, and died at Evesham. Simon de Montfort had named the senior Ralph Baron of Drayton, and the title eventually passed, or was regranted, to this Ralph in 1295. This may or may not have had something to do with Ralph Jr.’s service as the governor of Edinburgh Castle under Edward I.

Some depictions of the Basset arms have paly of six or and gules instead, and by the time of this Ralph’s grandson (yet another Ralph, because why mess with a good thing?) towards the end of the fourteenth century, it looks like the arms had morphed into or three piles points meeting in base gules, a quarter ermine – but the visual similarity is still very strong.

Arms of Haute-Vienne, France


Designed before 1965

Blazon: Ermine a bordure gules, overall a fess wavy azure

As another Robert Louis creation, I doubt these arms have been officially adopted. I also don’t have a date for their design, although it obviously has to be before his death. These are essentially the arms of Limousin, Haut-Vienne’s former administrative region, plus a fess wavy azure that presumably represents the Vienne river which gives the region its name. Louis is usually pretty rigorous in his adherence to the laws of tincture; I’m not sure what to make of the azure-on-gules here.

Arms of Brittany, France


In use since at least 1316

Blazon: Ermine

Oh, Bretagne. Never change. (I mean, you haven’t since around the fourteenth century, and even then, not by much.) The first arms I can find belonging to Brittany are those of Peter I, Duke of Brittany, also known as Peter de Dreux or Peter Mauclerc (i.e. “bad cleric”; he dropped out of his clerical career.) His arms were chequy of or and azure within a bordure gules, a canton ermine. The canton was added as a difference, possibly as a reference to his brief stint as a man of the cloth. Allegedly, the pure white of ermine was supposed to be a reference to the moral purity of the Church, though I’m skeptical of this attribution. Peter’s great-great-grandson, Jean III, dropped the chequy-and-bordure of Dreux in favor of the ermine canton in 1316, but no one seems to know why. Given that the decision has persisted for literally more than 700 years, I’m inclined to say it was a good one.

Arms of the Earl and Countess of Lincoln

Arms of John de Lacy, Earl of Lincoln 1232-1240 (c. 1192-1240) and Margaret de Quincy, Countess of Lincoln 1232-1266, suo jure 1240-1266 (c. 1206-1266)

From p114 of Lacies Nobilitie by Sir John Ferne (1586)

Blazon: Per pale baron and femme I per quarterly i and iv per quarterly or and gules a bend sable and a label of three points argent (Lacy), ii and iii or a lion rampant purpre (Nigold/Neale), II per quarterly i gules seven mascles conjoined or 3, 3, and 1 (Quincy), ii per pale azure three garbs or (Chester) and azure a wolf’s head erased argent (d’Avranches), iii gules a cinquefoil ermine (Beaumont), iv gules a pale or (Grandmesnil)

You may recognize the baron’s arms as those of Roger de Lacy, Baron of Halton and Pontefract; John was his eldest son. They were jointly created Countess and Earl of Lincoln in 1232. The grant was mostly due to Margaret, as the title had previously been held by her mother Hawise of Chester. Thus, John was only Earl of Lincoln by right of his wife, and when he died in 1240, she retained her title in her own right.

Arms of Birmingham, England


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.

Arms of la Zouche and de Quincy

Zouche and Quincy

Arms of Alan la Zouche (1205-1270) and Ellen de Quincy (?-1296)

From p81 of Lacies Nobilitie by Sir John Ferne (1586)

Blazon: Per pale baron and femme gules thirteen bezants 4, 3, 3, 2, and 1 and a canton ermine and gules seven mascles conjoined or 3, 3, and 1

The la Zouche arms have virtually always involved some number of bezants, but how many depends greatly on the source. The most common is probably ten in pile or 4, 3, 2, and 1, but thirteen or fourteen also occur, and some authorities simply describe them as bezanté, or deliberately unspecified.

Arms of the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames

Kingston upon Thames

London, England

Granted 1966

Blazon: Azure three salmon naiant in pale argent finned and tailed gules

Crest: On a wreath of the colors issuant from a wreath of bay leaves vert banded or a demi-stag proper gorged with a crown of or pendant therefrom an escutcheon ermine on a chevron vert between two chevronels the chief per pale azure and gules, the base per pale gules and azure, a cross paté or, holding between the forelegs a fountain

Supporters: Two stags proper gorged with a ribbon argent pendant therefrom an escutcheon azure issuant from the base an elm tree proper in front of a sun rising or and resting the interior hind hoof on a charred woodstock proper

Compartment*: A grassy mount proper supported by a fillet wavy pre fess wavy argent and azure

Mantling: Azure lined argent

The arms are derived from the historical arms of the borough, recorded as far back as 1572; the three salmon refer to three fisheries mentioned in the Domesday Book. The escutcheon on the crest bears the arms of the Borough of Malden and Coombe, and the supporters’ escutcheons show the arms of the Borough of Surbiton.

*Compartments are usually left to the discretion of the artist, not specified in the blazon.