Arms of Gironde, France


Designed 1950

Blazon: Gyronny of eight argent and azure, on a chief or a lion passant guardant or, armed and langued of the second

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that we’ve run into Robert Louis again. As with most of his designs, these are not official arms. The chief is taken from the historical arms of Aquitaine (also known as Guyenne), which also contributed to Gironde’s administrative region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine. The main part of the shield is a delightful use of canting arms – gyronny for Gironde.

Arms of Bartholomew de Brianson

de Brianson

From the Dering Roll (c. 1270-1300)

Blazon: Gyronny of eight argent and azure

I do have a few records of Bartholomew de Brianson: he was summoned in 1276 to pay a debt to Edward I, which was later acquitted. There’s another from 1346, when presumably he was already deceased – the monks of Monk Bretton Priory had an endowment to pray for his soul. It seems like he was the son of John de Brianson and his wife Elizabeth, but I can’t find any evidence that Bartholomew married or had further descendents. (Pity, because I’m a sucker for gyronny; more people should have that!)

Arms of Pressigne (a French lord)

From The Blazon of Gentrie by Sir John Ferne (1586), p202

Blazon: Barry of six azure and or counterchanged per pale, a chief paly of six counterchanged per fess between two cantons gyronny of the first and the second, overall an escutcheon argent

This is very, very similar to the Mortimer coat of arms (to such an extent that Torquatus, the knight, refuses to blazon it on those grounds), but the chief in the Mortimer arms is charged with a single pale and not counterchanged, and the cantons are per bend and per bend sinister rather than gyronny.

From The Blazon of Gentrie by Sir John Ferne (1586), p198-199

Blazon: Per saltire or on a bend azure a bendlet gules and of the second three palets argent

“This kind of partition is diversely blazed… the ancients called it Gyronny of four parts. The French blazoners call it, quarterly in bend, of such and such colors.”