International Heraldry

Famous Coats of Arms

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Harold Wilson

Sir John Churchill

Sir Francis Drake

Sir Francis Drake used these arms (Drake tomb at Musbury)

Argent, a wyvern Gules,

crest A dexter arm Proper grasping a battle axe Sable, headed Argent.

As he was not entitled to them the Queen awarded him new arms see below.

Sir Francis Drake

Drake was awarded these arms by .Queen Elizabeth.

Arms: Sable, a fess wavy between two stars Argent.

Crest: Upon the terrestrial globe a ship under sail drawn round the same with golden hawsers by a hand appearing from clouds Proper, on the mainmast a star Argent, and in the ship a wyvern Gules, its wings spread, looking towards the hand, motto: Auxilio Divino.

Motto: Sic Parvis Magna.

In 1581, in gratitude for his heroic accomplishment of circumnavigating the globe, Queen Elizabeth knighted Sir Francis Drake, and through her heralds, granted him these arms.

According to one story the Queen originally instructed that, the wyvern should be hanging by its heels from the rigging of the ship in the crest - a dig at Sir Bernard Drake, whose arms (above) Sir Francis had been assuming,

Sir Francis did not give up on claim and subsequently quartered the old and new arms.


More here



Sir John Hawkins

After his succesfull capture and sale of three hundred black slaves, Sir John Hawkins was: granted the following Arms: Sable, a lion passant Or, standing on a base barry wavy of four pieces Azure and Argent, in chief three balls Or.
Crest: On a helmet to the dexter, lambrequined sable and Gules, a wreath Sable and Argent, a bound negro issuant proper.

The lion standing on the water refers to Sierra Leone, a centre of the slave trade. The three gold balls (Bezants) refer to the immense wealth generated by the slave trade. The crest represents an African slave.

In 1568, six years after his succesful invention of the Atlantic slave trade, his coat of arms was augmented by Robert Cooke, Clarenceu, King of Arms, with a canton Or, a shell of St. James Azure between two daggers, points downwards Sable. [If you know the significance of this augmentation, please contact the webmaster!]

The arms of Sierra Leone echo those of Hawkins. A coat of arms was granted by Queen Elizabeth II before the country gained its independence on the first of December 1960. The arms are:
Arms: Vert a lion passant Or, langued and clawed Gules, standing on a base Argent, two bars wavy Azure, and a chief indented of four points Argent, three flaming torches Sable, its flames proper.

Captain James Cook

Captain James Cook, FRS, RN (1728 - 1779) was a British explorer, navigator, cartographer, and captain in the Royal Navy.

He left a legacy of scientific and geographical knowledge which was to influence his successors well into the 20th century and numerous memoria worldwide have been dedicated to him.

Cardinal Richelieu

Coat of Arms of Armand-Jean Cardinal du Plessis, Duc de Richelieu et de Fronsac


The Coat of Arms of Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim (1493 – 1541)

Rchard III

The Coat of Arms of Richard as Duke of York

The Duke of Norfolk

Coat of Arms of the Howards, Dukes of Norfolk, Earls of Arundel, of Surrey and of Norfolk, Barons Beaumont, Maltravers, BarFitzAlan, Clun, Oswaldestre and Howard of Glossop and Earl Marshals of England

Earl Spenser


Margaret Thatcher, KG

The coat od arms of Lady Thatcher of Kesteven



Benjamin Franklin, Signatary to the Amerian Declaration of Independence and to the US Constitution

Argent on a bend between two lions' heads erased Gules a dolphin embowed Argent between two martlets Or.


John Hancock, Signatary of the Amerian Declaration of Independence

Gules a hand couped and erect Argent, on a chief of the same three cocks Gules.

A good example of canting arms (Hancock = hand + cock)


The Arms of Theodore Roosevelt (left)

Arms: Argent upon a grassy mound a rose bush proper bearing three roses Gules barbed and seeded proper.
Crest:From a wreath Argent and Gules three ostrich plumes each per pale Gules and Argent.
Motto: Qui plantavit curabit (He who planted will preserve)


The Arms of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (right)

Arms: Argent three roses one in pale and two in saltire Gules barbed, seeded, slipped, and leaved proper.
Crest:From a wreath Argent and Gules three ostrich plumes each per pale Gules and Argent.
Motto: Qui plantavit curabit (He who planted will preserve)





Capt John Smith (1580-1631)

Gules a chevron Vert between three Turks’ heads couped proper turbans Or

Arms granted by Sigismund Bathory, Duke of Transylvania, 1603, for service against the Ottomans, and confirmed by the English College of Arms, 1625.

He was a leader of the Virginia Colony (based at Jamestown) between September 1608 and August 1609. His life was supposedly saved by Pocahontas.


Gen Robert Edward Lee

Gules a fess checky Or and Azure between ten billets, 4 in chief, 3, 2, 1 in base, Argent

Robert E Lee was the Commanding general, of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia.


The (French) arms of la Fayette (Maj Gen Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier Lafayette , Marquis de Chavaniac

Gules a bend Or within a bordure Vair

la Fayette was a Major general in the Continental Army who secured a French commitment of troops to the Rebel cause in the American War of Independence.


Rev. Dr. Cotton Mather, (Boston, 1663-1728)

Ermine on a fess wavy Azure three lions rampant Or

Mather was a Congregationalist (Puritan) Christian minister best known for his unwholesome role in the Salem Witch trials.and his plot to kidnap and enslave William Penn.


The Arms of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 35th President of the United States

Arms: Sable three helmets in profile Or within a bordure per saltire Gules and Ermine.

Crest: Between two olive branches a cubit sinister arm in armor erect, the hand holding a sheaf of four arrows, points upward, all proper.

Irish arms granted on St. Patrick's Day, March 17, 1961 by the heif Herald of Ireland.

The design of the arms was a combination, in altered form, of the emblems associated with the Irish names of Kennedy and Fitzgerald, the President's paternal and maternal lines - a fairly rass example supporting the common error that arms are conneted to family names, rather than desent from an armiger.


The Arms of Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of the United States

Arms: Azure a fret and on a chief Gules three leopards' faces Argent.

Crest: A lion's head erased Or.

Motto: Ab eo libertas a quo spiritus (The one who gives life gives liberty)


The (British) Arms of George Washington,

Commander in Chief of the Continental Army, 1775-83; signatory of the US Constitution and 1st President of the United States

Arms: Argent two bars and in chief three mullets Gules.

Crest: From a crest coronet a raven rising wings elevated and addorsed proper.

Motto: Exitus acta probat (The outcome is the test of the act).

The stars and stripes of the US flag might well have been inspired by these arms.










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