Heraldry – Coats of Arms
Coats of Arms and family crests are not uniquely associated with chivalry and knights in armour. Throughout all periods of history symbols have been used to represent affiliation and authority. The Romans made use of the eagle and distinctive markings on their shields to help identify specific legions. Most scholars associate the beginning of medieval heraldry with the Emperor Charlemagne who ruled the Frankish Empire from 768 to 814. There was a rapid expansion of the use of heraldry across Western Europe in the early twelfth century.
As the number of coats of arms increased there was a need to have a system of recording – this became the responsibility of “Heralds”. Initially “Rolls of Arms” were produced which were a collection of coats of arms usually painted, drawn or listed on parchment. Eventually “Ordinary of Arms” were produced which was more of a reference work that listed coats of arms in alphabetical order. This practice of recording a coat of arms or family crest in written, as opposed to pictorial format, is still used today. The control of coats of arms was vested in the High Court of Chivalry during the early 14th century with the college of arms being established by Richard III in 1484. However, by the end of the 15th century the system was very much abused and a number of audits (called visitations) were undertaken during the 16th and 17th centuries.
Throughout the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries family crests and coats of arms have remained popular with some parts of the design growing more complex and ornate. Many people will associate themselves with a coat of arms via their surname. Where no direct male decendancy can be established it is common to use the oldest coat of arms associated with that name.
Savage Coat of Arms
Blazon – There are four main devices (symbols) typically seen in the Savage blazon, they are:
The Lioncel (A small lion, when one of several in a coat of arms), Unicorn, Pheon (a head of an arrow borne as a heraldic charge) and Fleur-de-lis (stylized lily composed of three petals bound together near their bases).
Tinctures – The three main tinctures (colors) are sable, argent and azure.
Sable, A deep black, believed to be named from an animal of the marten family know in the middle ages as a Sabellinœ and noted for its very black fur. It may seem a sombre tone, and does sometimes denote grief, it is more commonly said to represent Constancy.
Argent, A metal Silver and is usually shown as very pure white. It is also known more poetically as pearl, moon (or luna).
Azure, A bright, strong blue color. The use of this colour symbolises Loyalty and Truth.
Motto – We see two motto’s associated repeatedly with the Savage name:
A te, pro te (From thee, for thee)
Fortis atque fidelis (Strong and Faithful)
Blazons & Genealogy Notes
1) (West Bergholt and Copsford, co. Essex, 1611). Chequy or and gu. a lion ramp. erm. a canton az. Crest—Two lions’ gambs erased erm. supporting a pillar gobony or and gu. capital and base of the second.
2) (Baron Abinger). Motto—Suis stat viribus. Chequy or and gu. a lion ramp. erm. on a canton az. a castle triple-towered ar. Crest—A Tuscan column chequy or and gu. supported on either side by a lion’s gamb ermines erased gu. Supporters—Two angels vested ar. tunics az. wings or, in the exterior hand of each a sword in bend ppr. pommel and hilt gold.
1) (Rock Savage and Clifton, co. Chester). Motto—Ware the horn. This was discarded for the ancient bearing temp. Henry VIII. Ar. six lioncels ramp. sa. N.B.—This is the ancient coat of the Savages. Sir John Savage. Knt., having inherited Clifton through his mother, Margaret, dau. and heir of Sir Thomas Daniers, obtained, 3 Henry V., a grant of the arms of that family, viz., Ar. four fusils in pale sa. Crest—A unicorn’s head erased ar.
2) (Earl Rivers, extinct 1728; descended from John Savage, Esq., of Clifton, co. Chester, sprung from Savage, of Steinesbie, co. Derby, m. temp. Edward III., Margaret, dau. and heir of Sir Thomas Daniers, Knt., of Bradley, co. Chester, with whom he obtained the manor of Clifton; eighth in descent from him was Sir John Savage, created a bart. 1611, whose son, Sir Thomas Savage, second bart., was created Viscount Savage 1626. lie m. Elizabeth D’Arcy, dau. of Thomas, third Lord D’Arcy, of Chiche, who was created, 1626, Viscount Colchester and Earl Rivers, with special remainder to his son-in-law, Sir Thomas Savage). Motto—A te pro te. Ar. six lions ramp. three, two, and one sa. Crest—Out of a ducal coronet or, a lion’s gamb erect sa. Supporters—Dexter, a falcon or, belled of the last; sinister, a unicorn ar.
3) (Brodway, co. Worcester, Visit. 1600; and Tidbury co. Gloucester, Visit. 1623). Same Arms. Crest—Out of a ducal coronet or, a lion’s gamb erect sa.
4) (co. Chester, Visit. 1600; co. Gloucester, Visit. 1620; Tidminton and Powick, co. Worcester, Visit. 1634). Same Arms. Crest—A unicorn’s head erased ar.
5) (Elmley Lovet, co. Worcester, and Highgate, co. Middlesex). Same Arms, a crescent for diff. Crest—Out of a ducal coronet or, a lion’s gamb erect sa. charged with a crescent or.
6) (Bloxworth, co. Dorset). Same Arms, a fleur-de-lis gu. for diff. Crest—A lion’s gamb erect sa. in a ducal coronet or.
7) (Clavering-Savage, Elmley Castle, co. Worcester). Same Arms, on a canton az. a fleur-de-lis of the field. Cresl —A unicorn’s head erased per fess ar. and gu. armed and crined or, in the mouth a fleur-de-lis az.
8) (Midsomer Norton, co. Somerset). Ar. on a pile az. six lions ramp. three, two, and one or. Crest—A unicorn’s head couped at the neck per fess wavy az. and sa. three bendlets ar. armed or, in the mouth a sprig of oak fructed ppr.
9) (Tatchbroke and Barford. co. Warwick; Robert Savage, a.d. 1574, son of Thomas Savage, of Barford, and grandson of William Savage, of Tatchbroke). (Clanfield, co. Oxford; Walter Savage, Visit. Oxon, 1574, second son of Thomas Savage, of Barford, co. Warwick, m. Anne, dau. of Michael Fox, of Chacombe, co. Northants). Ar. on a fess az. betw. three pheons sa. as many roses or.
10) (Castleton, co. Derby). Ar. a pale fusily sa. a crescent for diff. Crest—A unicorn’s head ar. erased gu.
11) (Hart Street, City of London). Ar. on a fess az. betw. two pheons sa. three roses or. Crest—Two arms embowed in armour ppr. issuing out of an Eastern crown or, supporting a pheon sa.
12) (co. Chester, 6 Henry VII.). Ar. two cotises dancettee sa. (another has the tinctures reversed).
13) (cos. Essex and Oxford). Ar. on a fess az. betw. two pheons of the second three roses or.
14) (co. Kent). Erm. on a chief az. three lions ramp. ar.
15) (London). Ar. on a fess az. betw. two pheons sa. three roses or.
16) (co. Sussex). Az. a chev. betw. three leopards’ faces ar.
17) (Portaferry, co. Down; an ancient Norman family established in Ireland under Sir John de Courcy, a.d. 1177. Andrew Savage, Esq., of Portaferry, representative of this family, on inheriting the fortune of his maternal grand-uncle, assumed the surname and arms of Nugent, by royal licence, in 1812). Motto—Fortia atque fidelis. (Knockadoo, co. Sligo; a branch of Savage, of Portaferry; descended from Hugh Savage, Esq., of the city of Dublin, third son of John Savage, Esq., of Ballyvarley, co. Devon, great-grandson of Rowland Savage, Esq., of the Little Ards, who d. at Portaferry in 1552. The Rev. Robert Savage, of Knockadoo, and Lukesland Home, co. Devon, d. 1841, leaving his sisters his co-heirs). (Ballymadun, co. Dublin; descended through the Knockadoo branch from Savage, of Portaferry; Francis Savage, Esq., of Ballymadun, was eldest son of Rev. Chbistopheb Kingsborocgh Savage, who was eldest son of Francis Savage, Esq., of Knockadoo). Motto—Fortis atque fidelis. Ar. six lions ramp. sa. langued gu. Crest—Out of a ducal coronet or, a lion’s gamb erect sa.
18) (Ardquin Castle, co. Down, and Lisanoure Castle, co. Antrim; a family coeval with that of Portaferry; Fun. Ent. Ulster’s Office, 1665; presumed by some authorities to to have branched off at a very early period from that ancient house). Motto—Fortis atque fidelis. Same Arms, an annulet az. for diff. Crest—On waves of the sea a mermaid ppr.
19) (Sir Thomas Savage, knighted 31 Oct. 1601, by Charles, Lord Mountjoy, Lord Deputy of Ireland). Ar. six lions ramp. three, two, and one, a label of three points gu.
20) (Valentine Savage, Esq., of the city of Dublin, Deputy Clerk of the Crown temp. Charles II., m. Mary, dau. of Thomas Houghton, Esq., of Ballyanne, co. Wexford; Fun. Ent. Ulster’s Office, 1670). (Reban, co. Kildare; Sir Arthur Savage, Knt., a Privy Councillor in Ireland temp. James I. and Charles I.; Fun. Ent. Ulster’s Office, 1626, of his dau. Elizabeth, wife of Sir James Carrol, Mayor of Dublin). Ar. six lions ramp. three, two, and one sa.
21) (Kilcreen, co. Kilkenny; exemplified to Clayton Bayly, Esq., of Kilcreen, on his assuming, by royal licence, 1837, the surname and arms of Savage in lieu of Bayly, in compliance with the will of his uncle, Francis Savage, Esq., of Hollymount, co. Down). Motto—Fortia atque fidelis. Ar. six lioncels ramp, three, two, and one sa. Crest—Out of waves a mermaid all ppr.