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. : Fairbairn's book of crests of the families of Great Britain and Ireland : James Fairbairn: Books. User Review - Flag as inappropriate. Thanks to this book. I was able to tell my Grandfather, and grandmothers family crest motto's in english.:).


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Royal Book of Crests By James Fairbairn It struck me that these volumes would be a useful resource to have on the site. They contain a lot of illustrations which you may find of interest.

Fairbairn's book of crests of the families of Great Britain and Ireland.

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 HERALDRY was employed in the feudal ages to display the fairbairn book of crests of chivalry, and to reward as well as commemorate its triumphs over oppression and violence.


Amidst the imperfections of uncultivated eloquence and a general ignorance of written language, the ensigns of heraldry were peculiarly significant. They addressed the imagination by a more direct channel and in a more striking manner than words; while at one glance fairbairn book of crests recalled the most important events in the history of persons, families, and nations.

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

Fairbairn book of crests immediate relations to war, and fairbairn book of crests the honourable distinctions arising from it, connected them with the deeds and manners of former times. Exhibited on the shields and vestments of warriors, they also adorned the most splendid apparel of peace; and were often transferred to more durable materials, to perpetuate the memory of those who bore them.

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. Thus, to the utmost extent of their application, did armorial bearings become the symbolical language of Europe.

  • 4th ed., rev. and enl.

In all the countries of Europe, rank, title, and precedence are the grand prizes in the race of life. 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 fairbairn book of crests due to genius, valour, patriotism, and industry have been too much bestowed fairbairn book of crests the spirit of party, will hardly be denied.


The nobles of a land should constitute at once its glory and its strength; fairbairn book of crests should be in some respects its "turrets and foundationstone. A Crest fairbairn book of crests the uppermost part of an Armoury, or that part of the casque, or helmet, next to the mantle.

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.

The Crest was deemed a greater mark fairbairn book of crests Nobility than the Armoury, as it was borne at tournaments, to which none were admitted until they had given strong proofs of their magnanimity.

Hence, the word Crest is figuratively used for spirit or courage.

The original purpose of a Crest, as some Authors affirm, was to make fairbairn book of crests commander known to his men in battle; or, if it represented a monster, or other tremendous object, to render him warlike and terrific.

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.

Some Writers imagine that Crests were originally plumes of feathers; but, in all probability, these were nothing more than a particular fairbairn book of crests of Crest.


The earliest Fairbairn book of crests with which we are acquainted, were animals of different kinds, and their parts, monsters, branches of trees, plumes of hair or feathers, and the like. 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.

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.

We find in the representations of ancient encounters, that the combatants appear with enormous Crests, almost as large as the helmets. Those Knights and Gentlemen, who repaired to tournaments, were distinguished by their Crests. Crests were likewise embroidered on the fairbairn book of crests 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.

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

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. This, however, was not the practice of this kingdom; for it is well known that the Crest of many families, being esteemed as distinctive as the bearings in the shield, has been transmitted from one generation to another for several centuries.

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.

Fairbairn book of crests 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 fairbairn book of crests subjects.

Indeed, it was uniformly esteemed an honourable symbol. 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.

Some were taken to preserve the fame of a fairbairn book of crests, whose name implied something martial or illustrious, and others were allusive to dignified offices.

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