MARPLES COATS OF ARMS
isn't the place to describe in detail the history and functions of heraldry. A
trip to a good reference library will reveal a vast literature on the subject,
to which the interested reader is directed. Having said that,
the history of heraldry in
In the entire history of all the Marples families there have only been 3 coats of arms granted to them (although there is a coat of arms which has had a wide circulation, but has no legal standing, which I discuss at the end of this article). The first, and also the most desirable, was confirmed to Richard Marple of Edensor (the next parish going south from Baslow, containing Chatsworth, the ancestral seat of the Dukes of Devonshire) in 1574.
term "confirmed" comes from the time when the Heralds of the
The coat of arms of Richard Marple of Edensor
second coat of arms was granted in the nineteenth century to George Jobson
Marples, an eminent QC of his day. George was born in 1845 in Sheffield and is
descended from a medium sized Marples stemming from Barlborough & Staveley
arms of George Jobson Marples are still being borne today. George died a
bachelor aged 84 in 1929 but in his will left a considerable sum of money
(£49,000 in fact, a sizeable sum in those days) to his fiancée, Dorothy Ethel
Green, in his will. It was a condition of his will that to inherit the money
she and any subsequent beneficiaries must first change their name to Marples.
This was done in 1931 when Dorothy Green changed her name to Marples and again
in 1962 when her nephew, Alexander Newton Gardner, of
The coat of arms of George Jobson Marples of Great Longstone
third coat of arms was granted to me in 1984. Like others before me, I cannot
prove descent from Richard Marple either. Originally I thought that my branch
of the family might be the closest, but as my research continues I have little
hope of establishing a connection, as I now believe the Edensor family moved
away to Bonsall near Matlock. My design is heraldically very similar to the
1574 coat. Note that both George Jobson Marples' and my coat of arms contain
features to be found on the 1574 coat of Richard Marple.
The coat of arms of Rodney Brian Marples of
The world of heraldry is full of marvellous archaic words and expressions and I thought it would be fun to set out the blazons of Richard Marple's arms and my own.
is : "Sable semy of
Cross Crosslets fitchy a Gryphon segreant
Or and for the Crest upon a Helm on a wreath Or and sable a Pegasus' Head couped with two wings argent maned
Or Mantled Gules doubled Argent".
blazon is : "Azure crusilly
fitchy or 3 Pegasus' Heads couped
each winged argent and maned gold and for the Crest
upon a Helm with a wreath argent and azure A Gryphon sejant
erect Azure supporting a Cross Crosslet fitchy in
pale or Mantled Azure doubled argent"
An instant herald's vocabulary :
- black; Or - gold; Argent - silver; Gules
- red; Azure - blue
Semy - sprinkled with
- the north, east and west arms of a cross are themselves a small cross
Fitchy - the downward arm of the cross
extended in a dagger shape
- heraldic beast with the head of an eagle on the body of a lion
Segreant - posture of the gryphon and
difficult to describe in words.
- band of material between the helmet and the crest, with the two principal
tinctures (colours) alternating
- flying horse of Greek mythology
Couped - cut at the neck with a
- flowing material which appears on either side of the shield and crest and
represents the linen surcoat worn over the armour
- used with the colours to describe the colour of each side of the mantling
Crusilly Fitchy - alternate
expression to semy of cross crosslets fitchy
Sejant - sitting
always start with a colour and this is the background
colour of the shield.
There is one
coat of arms which seems to have a wide circulation in the family of David Marple (born 1796 in Baslow, died
This is an example of a coat of arms which has no legal standing. What that means is that anyone can use it for whatever purpose they like, unlike the 3 legitimate coats arms shown at the beginning of this article.
The blazon comes from Burke’s General Armory where it is described as being that of Richard Marple of Edenstour & Bonsall. (Edenstour is Edensor, but I have found no connection between Richard and Bonsall, but see the article on Marples Origins for a further discussion on Bonsall). The General Armory is known to be inaccurate and this is a good example. Comparison between this coat and that of Richard Marple shows that the shield design and the mantling are correct, but the crest is quite wrong. The colours of the shield are peculiar, and in their present condition are wrong. However as the original from which this photo comes is quite old it’s possible that the colours have changed over time from what they were originally.