Arms of Ralph de Tosny

de Tosny

From the Dering Roll (c. 1270-1300)

Blazon: Argent a maunch gules

I didn’t know anything about the de Tosnys before I started looking into this, but they seem to have been extremely prominent in the eleventh through thirteenth centuries. Roger I, the first well-documented family member, was exiled from Normandy and spent his time away killing Muslims in the Reconquista. He eventually came back, although the peace didn’t last for long. In 1035, some new duke came to power in Normandy – Bill? Willy? Whatever – and Roger refused to serve him due to the fact the new duke was, literally, a bastard. Instead, Roger took the opportunity to raid the holdings of nearby nobles, which got him killed in 1040. Twenty-six years later, of course, that bastard duke would invade and conquer England, earning himself a more famous sobriquet… accompanied by Roger’s grandson, Raoul II. Raoul also had the good fortune to marry Isabel de Montfort, daughter of Simon de Montfort (no, not the Simon de Montfort who basically exterminated the Cathars). There are reports of Isabel riding out in full armor and participating in at least one local conflict during the late eleventh century. No word on whether she bore arms, sadly.

The fact that literally everyone in the male de Tosny line is named either Ralph, Raoul, or Roger (and some of these might be misspellings of each other) complicates things, but I’d speculate that the Ralph featured here is the seventh Ralph, lord of Flamstead in Hertfordshire, born in 1253 and died in 1295. I can’t quite get the dates to line up for other Rs de Tosny. If I’m right, he broke the centuries-long name chain by naming his only son… Robert. Maybe he shouldn’t have; it seems like Robert died before 1309, passing the English property of the de Tosnys to Alice, Countess of Warwick.

Arms of Jon de la Mare

de la Mare

From the Dering Roll (c. 1270-1300)

Blazon: Gules a maunch argent

Either this Jo[h]n de la Mare or his son of the same name was responsible for building Nunney Castle in Somerset. Eventually, Nunney Castle and the other lordships held by the de la Mares passed to William Paulet, Marquess of Winchester.

Arms of Braunstone Town Council, England


Granted 1976

Blazon: Gules on a fess wavy azure fimbriated or between in chief a maunch argent between two bezants and in base a cross paté argent, two shovellers close of the last

Crest: On a wreath argent and gules a stag statant resting its dexter leg on a mound of stones, all proper

Mantling: Gules lined argent

Motto: Spectemur agendo (Let us be judged by our actions)

Miscellaneous heraldic charges

From Inquiries into the Origin and Process of the Science of Heraldry in England by James Dallaway, p454

Left to right, top to bottom (click on the name for more examples of each):

The maunch, an often-stylized representation of a lady’s sleeve, which were often given as favors at tournaments.

The fer-de-moline, or mill-rind, a small piece of iron which supported the millstone.

The goblet. Those shown here are covered, though that is not always the case.

The clarion, or rest. It is not at all clear what this figure is supposed to represent. The older heraldic writers, beginning with Guillim, called it a clarion, or part of a pipe organ. However, it is more commonly called a rest, though whether it is a spear-rest or an organ-rest is not clear.