Log in

No account? Create an account
entries friends calendar profile AT: Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn Previous Previous Next Next
The Potter Armorial, Part 3. - Wemyss's Appalling Hobby:
From the Party Guilty of Committing 'Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn'
The Potter Armorial, Part 3.
3.       Personal Arms Continued: Marriages and Female Armigers; Re-Grants; the Weasleys and Granger-Weasleys; &c
The case, or, rather, the related cases, of the Weasley family arms, will be of considerable interest to the student of heraldry, and, indeed, to the student of recent history.
As matters stood at the end of the first insurrection, some thirty and more years ago, the distinguished Arthur Weasley could have expected to bear and to transmit to his children a now undifferenced version of the Weasley arms, with their canting ermines and their reference to his Black connexions; and Molly Weasley, formerly Prewett, found herself, with the deaths of her brothers Fabian and Gideon, an heraldic heiress of the undifferenced Prewett arms, which would, it was expected, be quartered with her husband’s in the arms of their children. ‘Battle, murder, and sudden death’ had had their consequences even in the heraldry of these isles.
It was the second phase of the struggle against the Dark and against Tom Riddle of execrable memory, that resulted in a new heraldry for the Weasley family. As with Mr Colin Creevey and Mr Dennis Creevey, the younger Weasleys not only distinguished themselves in the war effort, they are expected to found new lineages of great distinction in our world. Only Mr Bill Weasley preserves in his arms the undifferenced quartering of the Weasleys and the Prewetts; his brothers and his sister have all been granted substantially differenced, yet still recognisable, arms that will be the foundation of the arms of new families to come.
Ginevra Weasley as was, now Mrs Colin Creevey of Brewood, is as a result of her war service an armiger in her own right, and her arms, that so well suit those of her husband, reflect her heritage and her honoured service. Similar augmentations and differencings appear in the arms of her brothers Charlie, Fred, and George.
But it is particularly in the arms of the Rt Hon Ronald Bilius Weasley, OM (1st), GGC, MPC, MW, that we see symbolised the great victory. As the prospective founder of a family that is certain to achieve glory upon glory, Mr Weasley has been granted arms that chime well with those of his wife, the Rt Hon Hermione Granger-Weasley, OM (1st), MPC, MW, D.Mag., MMA, and are uncluttered. To the ever-ready Weasley family motto of, Aye, we sall, he has had added a motto that recalls his services; he has been granted a badge that will pass to his heirs; and his crest, a chess-rook, and supporters (particularly the dexter supporter) are classically canting.
Equally instructive is the case of the arms of the former Hermione Jane Granger. A Muggle-born Witch, she inherited Muggle arms from her parents: the ‘garb’, that is, the wheat sheaf, of the Grangers, differenced by a bordure and a water-bouget as brisure (her father’s mother’s surname before her marriage was ‘Bucket’), and the fess embattled, differenced by ‘mullets’ (stars), of the Puckles, who were originally masons of Lewes. The third quarter of her personal arms acknowledges her services in suppressing the Rebellion, and was granted by the Wizarding College of Arms with great pleasure: its maunches represent research, law, and learning, and the tinctures are those of Gryffindor house. Her dexter supporter is likewise a reference to her learning and application, as is her motto; her academic cap in place of a crest, and her badge of an otter, need no explanation, such is her deserved fame. These arms will quarter well with those of her husband, and their descendants will bear them with pride and will, doubtless, reflect yet further honour upon their distinguished forebears. It may be noted that her achievement is the first in this series to depict the chain of office of the Minister for Magic, which office she has regularly adorned by holding it.
Another interesting case of a distinguished Muggle-born Wizard who was an armiger prior to entry into our world and prior to the Rebellion, is that of the Rt Hon Justin Finch-Fletchley. His characteristically East Anglian arms are interesting in themselves, not least as including one of the surprisingly rare instances in English heraldry of the fox as a charge; the Wizarding College is gratified to have been able to augment his arms, in recognition of his service, with the addition, in the fourth quarter, of a chief charged with a lion passant, and with the crossed wands that represent his valour. The compartment of his achievement – always a much more serious matter in Wizarding heraldry than in Muggle – is a nod to his East Anglian home. His arms were also influential, as we shall see, in the re-grant and, as it were, Anglicisation, of the arms of his spouse.
A family that traditionally straddles the divide between the Muggle and Wizarding worlds is that of the distinguished Ernie Macmillan, whose quintessentially Scots arms, the result of his having had long generations of armigerous ancestors, are here depicted in brief. They are notable to the student for the use of Stodart cadencing and the Scots employment of grand quarters, for the typically Scots elements (the combination of a saltire with a chief, the Stewart fess chequey, the prevalence of stark sable and argent, the ‘pinwheel’ gyronny associated with the Campbells), and for their quartering the first direct reference in these pages to the arms of the House of Black.
We have discussed the prevalence of heraldic heiresses – that is, of Witches who are the only surviving children of armigerous parents – particularly in the aftermath of war. In the case of Ginny (Mrs Colin) Creevey, as in the case of Dr Hermione Granger-Weasley, the display of their arms upon a lozenge is aesthetically acceptable. We now turn to the arms of the Vice-Chancellor of Domdaniel, Minerva McGonagallHer arms are, like those of Ernie Macmillan, characteristic Scots arms, and in fact quarter a differenced style of the Macmillan arms (see the third quarter), as well as, in the second quarter, a grand quarter that is the arms of a cadet branch of the MacNeils. This example of the referential aspect of arms amongst kinsmen in Scots heraldry, however, is almost unintelligible where the arms are displayed on a lozenge. It is very evident from the rendering of her arms on an oval cartouche that the latter method is superior for the arms of female armigers, and would be so even for such adaptable arms as those of Mrs Creevey and Dr Granger-Weasley; it can but be hoped that the oval cartouche will more frequently be used in place of the lozenge, which is, really, an impossible shape for the rendering of coat-armour.
Simpler arms fare better on lozenges than do complicated ones; an attractive example is that of the former Pansy ParkinsonNow Mrs Theo Nott, she – like her husband – is amongst those who have petitioned for and been granted re-grants of arms to remove allusions and accretions not consonant with such persons’s war service and views, about which subject we shall have more to say hereafter. Her arms are an aesthetically pleasing differencing of the fundamental arms common to various Parkinson families on either side the Pennines, particularly in the counter-charged bordure, and they look well when marshalled with those of her husband.
The same aesthetic judgment may be passed upon the typically Wessex arms of Luna Lovegood (Mrs Neville Longbottom) MW, the noted publisher. These are arms that are admirably suited for quartering and equally attractive when rendered in a lozenge or an oval form; that the tinctures happen to be those of the Hogwarts house colours of the armiger’s husband is purely fortuitous, as these have been the arms of Lovegood of Ottery St Catchpole time out of mind.
As is so for his wife Pansy, Mr Theo Nott, MMA, equally of an old Otter Vale family with the Lovegoods, was granted arms that re-matriculated his primary ancestral arms stripped of unfortunate later accretions and quarterings, and now reflecting his stance as one of those Victors who took a stand for the side of Light in the late Rebellion. It is particularly apt that the tinctures of his shield are complementary to those of his wife’s arms. One component of his arms that Mr Nott was very adamant about changing was his crest, formerly a serpent, nowed. That unfortunate allusion has been replaced with a knot, in his Hogwarts house colours, of which he is justly proud; the allusion of the knot, for this son of Devon, is purely canting upon his surname, and does not imply any connexion with the Staffords or with the County of Staffordshire, or with what is called the Stafford (or, incorrectly, ‘Staffordshire’) Knot.
Luna Lovegood’s distinguished and well-loved husband, the Rt Hon Neville Longbottom, late Minister for Magic, is another Wizard with long-armigerous ancestry, and Mr Longbottom of course had no need or want to change his arms to reform their references to show his allegiances. The Wizarding College, however, wished very much to augment his arms to reflect his considerable services in the war, and this was accomplished through the addition of a chief, Or, charged with three roses – of Lancashire, it need hardly be said – a grant of new supporters, the usual augmentations for a Victor, the grant of a badge (the famous Trevor the Toad), and the grant of a new crest alluding to his service with the Order of the Phoenix.
Two armigers who have resisted all suggestions to change the allusions of their arms, quite properly holding that they have added sufficient lustre to those arms by their deeds regardless of the connotations of their blazons, are the famous Auror and statesman, Kingsley Shacklebolt, whose canting arms remain those of his long-established Bristol family for all that Bristol was the chief port of the infamous African slave trade, and the Rt Hon Remus John Lupin, statesman and educator. The only augmentations and alterations to his achievement that Mr Lupin has accepted, are the Order of Merlin; the crossed wands of a Victor; a change in tincture of his sinister supporter to reflect his Headship of Gryffindor House at Hogwarts; and a change of his dexter supporter to a Black talbot to commemorate his long association with members of that ancient and noble family. For the rest, he has insisted on preserving his canting ancestral arms despite their personal irony, and indeed has insisted that his crest remain so large ‘that he who runs may read’: a principle that heralds everywhere would do well to engrave upon their inkstands.
For her part, Nymphadora Tonks bears arms that proudly marshal the Tonks arms with a derivative of the Black arms, and that amply demonstrate the superiority of the oval to the lozenge in rendering the arms of Witches.
A further class of armigers whose arms have of late been modified are those whose extraction, however lengthy their families’s residence in these islands, was foreign, and whose arms reflected that fact only too clearly. The recurrent political upheavals of the past half-century, going back to the threat of Grindelwald’s original ‘Knights of Walpurgis’, prevented the Wizarding College’s acting upon the repeated requests of the father and grandfather of Mr Blaise Zabini to Anglicise their arms; the problem became acute with the marriage of Mr Zabini and Mr Finch-Fletchley. The ancestral arms of the Zabinis are highly typical of Alto-Adige or South Tyrolean heraldry. The characteristic Italian elements of the tripartite mount in base, the tree eradicated, often with a bird perched in its dexter foliage, and the fantastic profusion of quarterings so common in Continental arms, and which demand the almost square Italian escutcheon, are notably present, as, too, are the Germanic and Alpine elements, antlers, lynxes, and the like. Fascinatingly, the politically significant augmentations of the opposing Ghibelline and Guelph parties, the ‘Capo dell’Imperio’ and the ‘Capo d’Angio’, that is, the chief, Or, charged with an imperial eagle and the chief of France Ancient charged with the Gules Angevin label, appear side by side. In devising new and British arms for Mr Zabini, and ones that would look well marshalled with those of Mr Finch-Fletchley, the principle of the grand quarter was observed, and the most significant elements of the ancestral Zabini arms were preserved in an aesthetically pleasing fashion. As part of this new grant, it pleased Mr Zabini to disembarrass himself of certain elements in his father’s arms that had become personally obnoxious to him, including the serpents that were charges upon a pale in one quartering and the unfortunate legacy, now highly inappropriate to Mr Zabini’s arms, of a Moor’s or ‘blackamoor’s’ head.
Coincidentally, a new grant of arms was also recently made in favour of Mr Anthony Goldstein, the other heir to the merchant banking house of Goldstein & Zabini, Purse Lane, London. His new arms are much less Germanic in style than those previously borne in his family, and elegantly commemorate his heritage whilst incorporating an attractive canting element.

Tags: , , , ,

2 comments or Leave a comment
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: March 14th, 2006 11:47 pm (UTC) (Link)

Rt Hon Remus John Lupin

In reference to his ancestral arms, and the fact that the werewolves we've met so far have suspiciously apt names and no relatives that anyone knows about, and given Mr. Greyback's practice of getting them young, and raising them away from their parents...

Given also that it would break my heart if JKR weren't cleverer than a teenager who gives himself a screen name based on a faulty anagram (see, the I am part should have been in the name itself), could it be possible that people who become werewolves are required/forced to separate from their families and take a nom de loup, so to speak?

So maybe his real name is something like, oh, say... John Evans-Prince? Okay, that's too Mary Sue. I'll go take my meds now.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: March 15th, 2006 03:36 pm (UTC) (Link)


If I recall, we've met but three werewolves. Greyback may have taken an assumed name. The young chap in Mungo's with whom Remus condoled whilst bring grapes to Arthur in hospital, did not to my recollection have a notably lupine name. If I'm not mistaken, Remus's parents were still vy much in the picture as regards such things as sending him to Hogwarts when Albus allowed it, and so on.

I think you're being cleverer than Jo is.

Not that that's always - or at all - difficult.
2 comments or Leave a comment