Happy International Heraldry Day. This is my fifth Heraldic Alphabet in which I display coats of arms of lgbt armigers (a person who has a coat of arms). As my intention is to stop this blog (in its current format) at the end of the year this may be the last alphabet so I’ve written a brief explanation for each coat of arms as a bonus.
Thanks to the encouragement of people
who read last year’s list I can provide the most complete alphabet since 2015.
I have enjoyed researching and compiling these alphabets.
Again, I’ve tried to produce a varied
mixture of arms. They cover over 700 years and go all around the world, though
I am disappointed that I’ve not been able to include armigers of more varied
In English and Scottish heraldry
unmarried women display their arms on a lozenge. Here
I’ve shown them on shields for aesthetic purposes.
Several terms I use are:
Assumed – arms adopted officially.
arms – arms of the head
of the family. Each family member should add a cadency mark to show
which son or daughter they are (i.e. eldest, second, third, etc.). In England
they don’t need to register their cadenced arms, and women need only show their
father’s cadency. In Scotland each family member must matriculate a new coat of
arms based on their father’s.
Impaled – two coats of arms placed side by side
on one shield. A method of displaying the arms of a married couple or someone’s
arms of office (e.g a bishop or mayor).
Matriculate – to officially register a coat of
arms, principally applicable in Scotland.
(1770-1800); arms inherited from his father, US President John Adams, who
assumed them in 1783. The President believed that English heraldic rules didn’t
apply in the US after independence and, because his father’s family had no coat
of arms, Adams assumed those of his mother’s, to which he added a fleur-de-lys
and lions to the black discs.
Mary Blathwayt (1879-1961),
suffragette; family arms bearing the cadency mark of a third son (star) as
borne by her grandfather. The family arms were first recorded in 1690 for
Mary’s ancestor William Blathwayt, MP.
Olive Custance (1874-1944),
poet; inherited family arms, probably first used by her ancestor Hambleton
Custance (d.1757). After several lesbian affairs Olive married Lord Alfred
Douglas, Oscar Wilde’s old boyfriend, after which she could display her arms on
a small shield in the middle of his (as her father’s only child and heraldic
heir). Their children could, consequently, place the Custance arms as a quarter
on their arms.
Natalie de Clare, Countess of Markland (b.1975); personal arms registered by the South
African Bureau of Heraldry in 2016. The design incorporates the red chevrons of
the medieval de Clare family from whom the countess descends.
Nicholas Eden, 2nd Earl of Avon (1930-1985), government minister; family arms inherited from his
father, former Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden, 1st Earl of Avon. These arms
have been used by the Eden family since the 1600s.
Marsilio Ficino (1433-1499),
philosopher; probably assumed arms. I’ve only recently begun to research these
arms. Ficino drew them on a manuscript dated 1455. The arms of his pupil’s
family, Francesco Cattari da Diaceto, differ only in the substitution of a
white stripe for the sword. It is unclear if Ficino assumed his similar design
as the Cattari family or was influenced by it.
Lady Anne Gordon (b.1988),
daughter of the Marquess of Aberdeen; family arms of her father and direct male
ancestors back to the 17th century. Being Scottish arms Lady Anne would need to
matriculate her own distinctive version.
Jennifer Hilton, Baroness Hilton of Eggardon (b.1936); personal grant. See here.
Sir Charles Irving (1924-1996),
MP; arms of office, being those of the borough of Cheltenham granted by the
College of Arms in 1877. Sir Charles could assume these arms during his two
terms of office as mayor. He was granted personal arms in 1991 which I have not
Greville Janner, Baron Janner of Braunstone (1928-2015), ex-MP; personal arms granted by the
College of Arms in 1997. Green and red represent the Houses of Commons and
Capt. Martin Oranmore Kirwan (1847-1904), 5th Battalion, Royal Dublin Fusiliers; inherited family
arms, Capt. Kirwan was heir to Cregg Castle, Co. Galway.
Most Rev. Roger LaRade,
Primate Archbishop of the Eucharistic Catholic Church (ECC) in Canada; personal
arms of office as authorised by the ECC. The arms of the ECC appear at the top
of the shield. The Archbishop’s personal arms, assumed following his
appointment as archbishop in 2005, are beneath.
Violet Martin (1862-1915),
writer; inherited family arms. The date of origin is uncertain, but Dublin
Castle archives record the family legend of Richard the Lionheart granting
these arms in the 1190s to the Crusader knight Sir Oliver Martin, the supposed
ancestor of the family. The arms were later confirmed to the family by the
Office of Ulster King of Arms.
Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727),
scientist; inherited family arms, originally assumed, with permission given by
the College of Arms in 1634. They were used by various Newton families since
the 15th century.
Charles George Oates (1844-1902),
barrister; personal arms, being the inherited family arms of his father with
Charles’ cadency mark as a third surviving son (a star).
Richard Püller von Hohenburg (d.1482),
knight (to be featured in a future “80 Gays” article); inherited family arms,
used by his paternal ancestors since before 1300.
Lt. Cmdr. Michael J. Quigley (b.1970),
US Navy, Counter-terrorism officer; personal honorary grant from the College of
Arms in 2012. Based on the arms of the Quigleys of County Donegal.
Hon. Nancy Ruth (b.1942),
Canadian Senator 2005-17; inherited family arms, being those granted by the
College of Arms to her father in 1955.
Winnaretta Singer, Princess Edmond de Polignac (1865-1943), marital arms, being those of her
husband Prince Edmond. The quarters represent the families of de Polignac (top
left), Parkyns of Bunny Hall Nottinghamshire (top right, bottom left), and
Middlemore of Lusby (bottom right).
Jaci Taylor (b.1945),
Mayor of Aberystwyth 2000-1; arms of office, being the arms granted to the
borough of Aberystwyth by the College of Arms in 1961 and transferred to the
town council in 1975. Jaci could assume these arms during her term of office.
Ole von Beust (b.1955),
President of the German Bundesrat 2007-8 (to be featured in a future “80 Gays”
article); inherited family arms dating from before 1300.
Horace Walpole (1717-1797),
writer, 4th Earl of Orford; inherited family arms. Until he inherited the title
in 1791 Horace would have used his cadency mark of a third son (a star).
Walpole featured in an “80 Gays” article earlier this year.
Will Young (b.1979),
singer and actor; family arms as suggested by Jeffrey Poole in “An Illustrated
General Armory of South Australia”. Poole lists these arms as those of Sir Henry
Young (1803-1870), Governor of Tasmania, Will’s ancestor. They are also the
arms of the baronets of North Dean, Buckinghamshire, though I have yet to
establish a precise family relationship.
St. Zosima of Siberia (1767-1833),
monk and Russian Orthodox saint; probable inherited family arms, being those of
the family of Verkhovsky of Kostroma in Russia to which the saint belonged.