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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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. It is affirmed that, before the yearthe Crest, accompanied by the mantlings and wreath, was known in England. On the reverse is a swan above the shield, just where a Crest should be, on the one, and on the other a lion ; but whether they were designed for Crests, or for figures on which the shield was hung, as was then usual, cannot be positively said, for it was sometimes suspended from an eagle’s back around the neck, or hung on a tree.

The visor of David, the successor of Robert, is in front, but no Crest on the helmet, nor have the two succeeding Kings any. The Crest was an honourable emblem of distinction, which frequently characterised the bearer as much as his arms, and was sometimes constituted by Royal Grant.

This is an example page to show you the format used. The great seal of Richard L, who died A. We find in the representations of ancient encounters, that the combatants appear with enormous Crests, almost as large as the helmets. Some Writers imagine that Crests were originally plumes of feathers; but, in all probability, these were nothing more than a particular kind of Crest.

Several have been granted for certain services. We find in a drawing of the thirteenth century, relative to a military encounter of Ofia, there is a figure with a kind of Crest on the helmet; and the same figure occurs again in another transaction of that time.

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

Indeed, it was uniformly esteemed an honourable symbol. Women, it is cresys asserted, may not bear Crests, because in ancient times they could not wear a helmet. In there is a seal of Hugh le Despencer, with a warlike figure on the helmet and horse’s head. Drests Knights and Gentlemen, who repaired to tournaments, were distinguished by their Crests. Some declare a Crest is a mere ornament, but it has been so much considered a mark of distinction that different Sovereigns have made additions to the Crests of their subjects.

Royal Book of Crests By James Fairbairn It struck me that these volumes would be a useful resource to have on the site.

The same may be said of Scottish Crests; though none are on the great seal they are frequent on those of subjects. Search just our sites by using our customised search engine. On that of Richard II.


The helmet of Robert I. The nobles of a land should constitute at once its fairairn and its strength; they should be in some respects its “turrets and foundationstone. Hence, the word Crest is figuratively used for spirit or courage. All comments are moderated so they won’t display until the moderator has approved your comment. HERALDRY was employed in the feudal ages to display the exploits of chivalry, and to reward as well as commemorate its fairbairm over oppression and violence.

The Crest was deemed a greater mark of Nobility than the Armoury, as it was borne at tournaments, to which none were admitted until they had given strong proofs of their magnanimity. Rairbairn a seal of the Earl of Strathern, attached to a writing,is a crezts placed between eagles, so that the head of the bird appears above, like a Crest.

The immense variety of Crests has probably arisen from the younger branches of a family retaining the paternal coat, and assuming a different Crest ; and this may be the cause for supposing that the Crest may be changed though the arms may not.

Every day we may behold the most uncommon, complicated, and unintelligible Crests, chosen without design or reason. Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus. Their immediate relations to war, and to the honourable distinctions arising from it, connected them with the deeds and manners of former fairbzirn. This, however, was not the practice of dairbairn kingdom; for it is well known that the Crest of cresta families, being esteemed as distinctive as the bearings in the shield, has been transmitted from one generation to another for several centuries.

Crests are said to have been of particular use in tilts and joustings, where no shield was borne, for the bearer was thus distinguished who would otherwise have been known by his armorial bearings.

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

It struck me that these volumes would be a useful resource to have on the site. But so great has been the deviation from this practice, that it is impossible to assign any rule for the subsequent assumption of Crests. They addressed the imagination by a more direct channel and in a more striking manner than words; lf at one glance they recalled the most important events in the history of persons, families, and nations.

These figures are frequently to be met with in the thirteenth century, but what they represented, or what their utility was, is doubtful. In all the countries of Europe, rank, title, and precedence are the grand prizes in the race of life. The period when Crests were first introduced into Fairbaurn cannot be ascertained.

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. On the helmet of Henry IV. There is a writing of great importance, datedbokk which many seals are affixed, and most of them have a Crest. We have, however, innumerable instances of women bearing coats armorial ; a fact particularly illustrated by their seals, which are still preserved: Some were taken to preserve the fame of a progenitor, whose name implied something martial or illustrious, and others were allusive to dignified offices.


There is a dragon on the helmet of Thomas Earl of Lancaster, who was beheaded A. The earliest Crests with which we are acquainted, were animals of different kinds, and their parts, monsters, branches of trees, plumes of hair or feathers, and or like. Many persons of different names bear similar Crests, and as many of the same name bear different ones. Return to our Heraldry Index Page. It appears from ancient monuments, that the Crest consisted of some plain and simple device, or what was.

Exhibited on the shields and oof of warriors, they also adorned the most splendid apparel of peace; and were often transferred to more durable materials, boik perpetuate the memory of those who bore crsets. 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 fairbairrn too jealously guarded, and farbairn the honours due to genius, valour, patriotism, and industry have been too much bestowed in rairbairn spirit of party, will hardly be denied.

According to the general opinion, the Crest was not hereditable like the arms of a family, and, consequently, every successor might assume a new one. Set 1 Preface HERALDRY was employed in drests feudal ages to display the exploits of chivalry, and to reward as well as commemorate its triumphs over oppression and violence.

Thus, to the utmost extent of their application, did armorial bearings become the symbolical language of Europe. Crests were likewise embroidered on the vestments of the attendants at the processions of Parliament, Coronations, and public solemnities; they were also engraven, carved, or printed on property in the same manner as coats of arms.

To a volume like the present, further preliminary observations would be superfluous; we shall therefore close this brief introduction with informing the cgests that the objects of this work are to encourage the study of this important branch of the Heraldic science; to present as full a collection of Crests as the limits of the work will admit; fwirbairn to exhibit a large number of subjects, which for drawing and engraving have never been equalled, and which will serve as a standard of excellence for all future time.

After this reign most of the English Kings had crowns on their helmets.