Book of Crests By James Fairbairn. Note that when we refer to crests there are no pictures of crests in the belt and buckle design you see today. Set 1. Preface. Main Author: Fairbairn, James. Language(s): English. Published: Edinburgh: T. C. and E. C. Jack, Edition: New ed., rev. Subjects: Crests. Fairbairn’s book of crests of the families of Great Britain and Ireland. Being a fourth edition, Note: The Mabel E. Thurston Book Plate Collection. Bookplate of .

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This is especially true of Great Britain, where, from many causes, these honours are universally and justly believed to be endowed with a “mortal immortality,” to be stable as the rocks that gird our isle; but that the avenues to the titled platform, until a recent period of our history, have been too jealously guarded, and that the honours due to genius, valour, patriotism, and industry have been too much bestowed in the drests of party, will hardly be denied.

The earliest Crests with which we are acquainted, were animals fakrbairn different kinds, and their cresst, monsters, branches of trees, plumes of hair or feathers, and the like. Royal Book of Crests By James Fairbairn It struck me that these volumes would be a useful resource to have on the site.

They formed the chief ornaments in the palaces of the great, were chosen by artists of various professions to embellish their respective works, were set up in courts of judicature, and impressed on the public money.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus. Some Writers imagine that Crests were originally plumes of feathers; but, in all probability, these were nothing more than a particular kind of Crest. Note that when we refer to crests there are no pictures of crests in the belt and buckle design you see today. The helmet of Robert I. It derives its name from Crista, a cock’s comb, as it was supposed to have been originally a projection over the top of some helmets many of which, however, had noneand it has been supposed by Antiquarians that the first hint of the Crest arose from this projection.


In addition to Crests being the subject of Royal Grant, there are instances of some having been assumed and confirmed in commemoration of warlike deeds or other honourable events. We have, however, innumerable instances of women bearing coats armorial ; a fact particularly illustrated by their seals, which are still preserved: Amidst the imperfections of uncultivated eloquence and a general ignorance of written language, the ensigns of heraldry were peculiarly significant.

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After this reign most of the English Kings had crowns on their helmets. Crests were likewise embroidered on the vestments of the attendants at the processions of Parliament, Coronations, and pf solemnities; they were also engraven, carved, or printed on property in the same manner as coats of arms.

Exhibited on the shields and vestments of warriors, they also adorned the most splendid apparel of peace; and were boo, transferred to more durable materials, to perpetuate the memory of those who bore them.

A Crest is the uppermost part of an Armoury, or that part of the casque, or helmet, next to the mantle.

Fairbairn’s book of crests of the families of Great Britain and Ireland

The great seal of Richard L, who died A. In there is a crfsts of Hugh le Despencer, with a warlike figure on the helmet and horse’s head. In all the countries of Europe, rank, title, and precedence are the grand prizes in the race of life.

Women, it is generally asserted, may not bear Crests, because in ancient times they could not wear a helmet. Ornaments are on the head of Edward Baliol’s horse, nearly of the same period. Every day we may behold the most uncommon, complicated, and unintelligible Crests, chosen without design or reason.

Many persons of different names bear similar Crests, and as many of the same name bear different ones. They addressed the imagination by a more direct channel and in a more striking manner than words; while at one glance they fairbaurn the most important events in the history of persons, families, and nations.

Crests are said to have been of particular use in tilts and joustings, where no shield was borne, for the cressts was thus distinguished who would otherwise have been known by his armorial bearings. But there is no satisfactory proof whether the Crest was really meant to render a leader easily recognised by his men, to make him look more formidable in battle, or as an ornamental mark of distinction.


Indeed, one of the most useful purposes to which both Crests and armorial shields were applied, was in the seals affixed to written instruments, as fairbainr intimated. The chief sources from which Heraldic instruction is to be derived are the seals which are appendages to ancient writings, illuminated manuscripts, tombs, and buildings. This is an example page to show you the format used. Those Knights and Gentlemen, who repaired to tournaments, were distinguished by their Crests.

Some declare a Crest is firbairn mere ornament, but it has been so much considered a mark of distinction that different Sovereigns have made ov to the Crests of their subjects.

Catalog Record: Fairbairn’s book of crests of the families of | Hathi Trust Digital Library

Seals are the most authentic, but proper illuminations probably afforded better illustrations, because seals bear the armour only in a particular character. Search just our sites by using our customised search engine.

Indeed, credts was uniformly esteemed an honourable symbol. Several have been granted for certain services. It struck booi that these volumes would be a useful resource to have on the site. Some were taken to preserve the fame of a progenitor, whose name implied something martial or illustrious, and others were allusive to dignified offices.

On that of Richard II. Thus, to the utmost extent of their application, did armorial firbairn become the symbolical language of Europe. There is a writing of great importance, datedto which many seals are affixed, and most of them have a Crest. On the helmet of Henry IV.