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Ancestral Arms of The Family of Proctor
Article Credit: Carolyn Hall Proctor, Winthrop, MA ~ Courtesy of The Howie Proctor Family Records
Coat of Arms Icons Gleaned From The Internet
Transcription Courtesy of House Of Proctor Genealogy
ANCESTRAL ARMS OF THE FAMILY OF PROCTOR
In that ancient feudal castle, where the first heraldic honor was
conferred by the reigning monarch upon his noted countryman, there began the
custom upon which the lore of heraldry is based. Through the centuries, when a
man was to be rewarded he was granted the privilege of bearing Coat Amour to
display his coveted position. This privilege is inherited by his descendants. A
Coat-of-arms has become an object of pride and display, used to preserve for
posterity the record of ancestry and as a testimonial of authentic descent.
Authentic reproduction of the coat-of-Arms
of the family of Proctor, anciently seated in Downton, County of Wiltz, England.
These arms may be found blazoned in Bolton's American Armory, 1927;
Zieber's Heraldry in America, page 38, 1895, on which there is a cut of the arms
as shown on the tombstone of captain Richard Proctor, son of Joseph, died 1753,
buried in Christ church graveyard, Philadelphia, Pa;,; Pioneers of Mass., by
Pope, 1900 on George Dorchester Proctor 1634; Founders of the Massachusetts Bay
Colonies by Sarah Saunders Smith, page 177, 1897; Burke's General Armory 1878,
page 826; Heraldry illustrated by Wm. H. Abbott, page 92 & plate 15, figure
12, 1897 and the book of Proctor Genealogy by William Lawrence Proctor and Mrs.
W.L. Proctor, 1898 in which the front piece of the book contains a black and
white cut of the Arms.
Following is a heraldic description of the Arms as indicated
in the above references:- ARMS - Argent a chevron sable, between three martlets
gules. CREST - On a mounted vert, a greyhound sejant argent, spotted brown,
collared or. MOTTO _ TOUJOURS FIDELLE (Ever Faithful) Definitions of heraldic
terms:- Argent - Silver Sable - Black Gules - Red Vert - Green Or - Gold or
Yellow Martlets - An imaginary bird said to be without legs, it is used both as
a charge and a difference for a fourth son. Sejant - French word for sitting
Chevron - This ordinary is supposed to represent the rafters of the gable of a
Heraldry = Coats-of-Arms
Possession of a record of heraldic honors, especially in the form of a
painting of the family arms, indicates pride in our family name and
achievements. The display of the Coat-of-Arms is a high inherited privilege as
well as a beautiful object of art for the home.
Coats-of-Arms originate from the middle
ages when the brunt of fighting in battle was borne by armed and mounted knights
and esquires who were actually student knights. These fighting men were incased
in armour, first metal-reinforced leather; then all metal. Over the head at
first was worn a heavy leather or metal cap with a nose piece, then a casque or
helmet was later adopted, which completely hid the face of the wearer.
In as much as most of the fighting was done on horseback and hand to
hand it became necessary for each man to identify himself so that friend might
be distinguished from foe in the heat and excitement of battle.
prominent part of a warrior's ensemble was the shield which he held before him.
This shield was at first made of leather, then of light metal. It was braced,
front or back, with strips of light wood. Naturally, as the most visible piece
of armour, the shield was chosen for identification and so marked.
Usually the knight, esquire or pikeman wore over his
armour a short coat or baldric. This was marked with the same identification as
the shield. It is from this jacked or coat that the "Coat" in Coat-of-Arms takes
The shields were first marked in about every possible way. At
first the braces upon the front of the shield were painted in different colors
or metals from the shield itself or where there were no front braces, the shield
was divided by directional lines and painted in alternate colors and metals.
When all possible colors, metals and furs were used in different manners, then
animals, inanimate objects, birds, trees, and flowers, fruits, mythical
creatures and parts of the human figure were used. At first markings were
selected and adopted by the individual himself; later they were granted by the
emperor, king, prince, duke or other overlord.
Unrelated warriors rarely ever used the
same markings in their shields. After heraldry or the marking of shields became
an almost universal custom in Europe and British Isles, heralds (hence the name) were appointed by the rulers to
seek out and register the name and arms used by each warrior in his respective
country, and later the arms of each family. This pretty well kept down
duplications which as then and now makes it easy to distinguish a family name by
the design and color of the arms. Arms were taken up by sons exactly similar to
the late fathers. It is in this manner that the "inherited arms" were initiated.
The bible first speaks of marked shields; so do Homer and Virgil. The
Normas used marked shields in the Invasion of England in1066 and found the
native English warriors doing likewise. However, it was not until about 1099 in
connection with the First Crusade that warriors began employing one consistent
marking of their shields and so to copy the shield of the father.
Of what does a display of arms consist? First there is the shield.
This is really the arms, upon which all else is but an appendage. It is
individual and unique to the family. It is perfectly proper, though not
artistically so pleasing, to display the shield alone. The crest was a figure of
light wood or leather covered wood which was worn upon the helmet as a further
means of identification. It was not unique to the family. The motto was a war
cry, slogan or assembling cry usually employed in battle. It was not individual
to the family. Sometimes whole armies would use the same war cry. Some families
varied their mottoes with each war in which they participated; some never
employed a motto. Thus it is proper, if desired, to use whatever motto seems
consistent or true to desirable, if one must have a motto in his or her display
The helmet in Continental arms is shown affronte or in part of
whole profile. In Great Britain, helmets in certain positions and of certain
metals and with or without bars are used to show the rank or the actual bearer.
This went only where there was a title itself. As the United States does not
recognize title or rank in its citizens, it is proper for those of British origin to display only the esquire's helmet; i.e., the
steel helmet in the semi-profile or profile position.
The mantling or
lambrequin, the scrollwork around the helmet and shield, is purely decorative
and has not real significance, although a graceful mantling adds greatly to a
well executed painting of the family arms. The mantling represents a cloak worn
by the warrior, while in full armour. Its purpose was purely utilitarian.
Encased in armour, as he was, the warrior would have been fairly cooked b the
hot sun in summer without this protection. In winter the mantle protected the
wearer from rain, sleet and cold.in battle these cloaks were often cut and
slashed and the warrior was very proud of these marks of combat. This is purely
discretionary with the artist. The principal color and metal or fur (the first
two mentioned in the blazon of an arms) should be sued for the colors of the
mantling. An exception to this is the Saxons where regardless of the colors of
the shield the mantling is always purple.
blazon is a description of the arms in heraldic terms, the essential features
being in the old Norman-French tongue. In heraldry there are only five basic
colors and two metal colors used, which in heraldic terms are call ARGENT (metal
silver), OR (metal gold), SABLE (black), GULES (red), AZURE (blue), PURPURE
(purple) and VERT (green). It is perfectly proper to display the arms of any
lineal ancestral branch of the family, either the paternal or maternal side, no
matter how far removed. Article Credit: Carolyn Hall
Proctor, Winthrop, MA ~ Courtesy of The Howie Proctor Family Records
Arms Icons Gleaned From The Internet
Transcription Courtesy of House Of
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