MATTERS HERALDIC

(a) RUXTON COATS OF ARMS, CRESTS AND MOTTOS

Above is an Irish Ruxton & Fitzherbert combined family coat of arms kindly sent to me by Steve "Ratt" Ruxton who lives in Canada. The Ruxton part of this shield is the three bulls in the top left and bottom right quarters. The other two quarters contain the Fitzherbert crest. Richard Ruxton (b. 3 August, 1775) assumed the name Fitz-Herbert of Black Castle, Co. Meath in Ireland in the 18th-19th century to prevent that name dying out. See here.

Also I would especially like an explanation of the Irish (?) family motto "jam jam" (Latin: Now Now) to put here. Does anyone know why this is (one of) the Ruxton motto(s) ? (Anyway my wife says it suits me as I'm the impatient type... Ed. :-)


Below is a Scottish Ruxton crest which my uncle Ken Ruxton (transglobeexports@ukbusiness.com) uses for his company logo, and which was on a signet ring owned by my grandfather, Charles Ruxton, born at Foveran, Aberdeenshire in 1892. (There is a similar Irish crest noted in "Fairburns Crests", but the arm is in armour, not bare.)

My uncle Ken writes in a fax dated 31 October 1997 as follows:
"Re the crest: This was indeed given to my father in the form of a stamp which was in reverse profile, and used to be hung from breast pocket watch chains as a fashion accessory. Its prime use however was to 'imprint' the sealing wax on a letter, parcel or legal document, hence the reason why it was in reverse profile. My father told me that it used to belong to his grandfather. You will perhaps understand my sentiments as a consequence."

The motto "Paratus Sum" (I am ready) resembles that of the Clan Johnston ("Nunquam non paratus" - never unprepared) and the design recalls that of the Clan Brodie (A dexter hand holding a sheaf of three arrows, all proper). Other clans include arrows in their crest badges (Fletcher, Cameron, Cameron of Lochiel). (Source: The Clans and Tartans of Scotland by Robert Bains. Collins, 1968)

(b) BLAZON OF ARMS : Quarterly first and fourth argent three bulls' heads erased sable armed or; second and third gules on a chevron between three ostrich feathers argent (Similar, but not identical to what Steve sent. Ed.).

Translation: The bull denotes valour and magnanimity. In many societies also it was regarded as an object of worship. The chevron, or inverted V-shaped band, denoted protection and was often granted as a reward for a deed of faithful service. Ostrich feathers are a sign of noble birth.

(c) CREST: A bull's head erased sable armed or. (Note: "or" means "gold" here, as I found out when I asked "or what ?" Ed. ;-)

The following further information, written in Ireland c.1975, was supplied by David Ruxton in Australia :

"Explanation of the arms: In heraldry, the colour White, when borne as a field colour, denotes Peace and Sincerity. It is pointed out by Guillim, considered the most authoritative of the ancient heraldic writers, however, that Peace must not be taken to portray a person 'Prepared to accept peace at Any Price', but denotes a 'bearer of arms' ready to devote all his effort to bringing about a just and equitable peace, a peace which would endure because it would be such a peace.

Sable (black) : Is the emblem of Constancy. The martial colour is Gules (red); but according to Guillim, the colour sable is almost invariably associated with military enterprise and must be considered as a martial 'charge of arms'.

The Bull: Is a hardy, valiant and powerful warrior who gives up fighting only with his life, and is therefore considered as a suitable emblem for a warrior whose abilities and courage has been tried and proven on the field of combat. The emblem of the 'Bull' is an ancient symbol and was borne by the soldiers of Babylon who considered it a most noble bearing.

The Crescent Moon: In the arms of Ruxton, denotes that the bearer actually participated in the Holy Crusades. This was held by some writers to be the most noble of all heraldic charges because it denoted one who was prepared to enterprise a bloody and cruel war in defence of his faith."


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