Armorial Bearings granted to Robert Lord alias Laward of London in 1510; College of Arms MS L10 folio 105b; copyright of the College of Arms, London. Used by permission.

More Variant Arms

The Lord Arms in E.E. Salisbury, 1892.

Salisbury's engraving of the arms, 1892.

Bishop, who provides us the most elaborate depiction of the arms of the Lord family, cites as authority the three volume work of E. E. Salisbury of Yale College, also published in 1892, and titled Family Histories and Genealogies. Within these pages is one of the earliest and most exhaustive summaries of Lord genealogy, specifically dealing with the line of Thomas Lord of Hartford, and presenting one of the earliest graphic representations of that family's arms.

The arms engraved for this work as those of Thomas Lord [above], and described within, appear structurally identical to the arms described by Bishop. Although rendered only in black, the use of universally accepted engraved patterns to represent colors [confirmed by the text] indicates a red fesse across a silver field. On that fesse we have a golden hind between two golden pheons, and three blue cinquefoils on the field. We may debate the attitude of the hind -"trippant" "statant" "passant" - and will later in this discussion.

While much less elaborately presented than in the Bishop engraving, the horned demi-bird, correctly colored, is clearly in the crest.

Arms: Arg. on a fesse Gu. betw. three cinque-foils Az. a hind passant betw. two pheons Or; Crest: a demi-bird Sa., on the head two small horns Or, the wings expanded, the dexter outside Gu., inside Arg., the sinister outside of the last, inside of the third (Laward alias Lord).

E.E. Salisbury, 1892

Salisbury claims as authorities for his rendering of this display, among others, the works of Berry's Encyclopedia and Burke's Armory. But by 1892 he had been unable to confirm the association of these arms genealogically with any known English family. It is perhaps significant that one hundred years later we have discovered many of the answers which alluded Salisbury.

Both Bishop and Martin and Allardyce make reference to definitive 19th century works on arms as sources for both verbal descriptions and illustrations. The reference made to Burke and Berry prompts us to survey various 19th century authoritative sources on arms, particularly those which concentrate on the arms of early American families.

In Volume II of The Heraldic Journal; Recording the Armorial Bearings and Genealogies of American Families, published in 1866, under the heading of "Connecticut Seals," the arms of Thomas Lord are represented as seen below, and are described with a brief history of the family, the first part of which was later repeated word for word by Bishop (1892).

Lord arms, 1866.

Thomas Lord, with wife Dorothy and seven children, embarked in the Elizabeth and Ann, from London, 29 April, 1635. His eldest son, Richard, had preceded him, and was a proprietor at Newtown (Cambridge, Mass.) in 1632, and admitted freeman of Mass., 4 March, 1635. Both the father and son removed to Hartford, among the earliest settlers, and were proprietors there in 1636.

Richard was a prominent man in the town and colony, a merchant of considerable fortune, and much engaged in commercial enterprise... He died in 1662, and is buried at New London...

Thomas Lord, the father, died probably before 1661. His widow, Dorothy, executed her last will 8 Feb. 1669-70. It was witnessed by (Secretary) John Allyn, and Steven Hopkins, and was sealed with arms nearly as drawn above. The seal was doubtless one which had been her husband's, and the arms correspond exactly with those of Laward, alias Lord, as given in Berry's Encyclopedia and Burke's Armory...

"Laward, alias Lord. Argent on a fess gules between three cinquefoils azure, a hind passant inter two pheons or. Crest, a demi bird sable, on the head two small horns or, the wings expanded, the dexter outside gules, inside or, the sinister outside of the last, inside of the third."

"Laward. Argent, on a fesse gules, between three cinquefoils pierced azure, a hind trippant of the field between two pheons or."

The Heraldic Journal, 1866

Here we see the two versions of the arms [shield] we have seen before. The first is identical to that described by Martin and Allardyce in 1910 and attributed to "Thomas Lord, of London," with authority indicated as Crozier's General Armory. Here, in 1866, this same arms and crest is attributed to "Laward, alias Lord." The second arms, here (1866) attributed to "Laward," does not appear in Bishop (1892) or Martin and Allardyce (1910.) For the moment we will let it stand alone.

Fairbairn's Book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, published in London in 1892, confirms that the proper crest for "Laward" is the demi-bird as described in the Heraldic Journal [1866] as "Laward alias Lord." This work also suggests the appropriate crest for "Lord" is the dexter arm in a maunch which Martin and Allardyce attribute to "Lord of England."

To add to the confusion, Thomas Lord, to whom the arms and crest as presented in Bishop (1892), and as displayed by my family, are attributed, was not from London after all. The possibility arises that there is no direct attribution of these arms to anyone identifiable with the Lord line transmitted by Thomas Lord!

The earliest source cited by these later 19th century researchers as authority for their armorial descriptions is Berry's Encyclopedia Heraldica, published in London in the first half of the 19th century. Here we find again three "Lord" descriptions, but not the same three as previously seen. (The drawings here are my own, abstracted from the descriptions.)

Lorde, [London] ar. on a fesse gu betw. three cinquefoils az. as many pheons or.

Lord [London] ar. on a fesse, betw. three cinquefoils az. two pheons of the field.

Laward, ar. on a fesse gu. betw. three cinquefoils, pierced, az, a hind, trippant, of the field betw. two pheons or.

Encyclopedia Heraldica, 1828

Lorde of London.

The first - "Lorde, [London]"- is one not yet seen in print, and has on the red fesse three golden pheons. Whether the golden hind noted in other sources replaced the central pheon, or vice versa, remains uncertain.

Lord of London.

The second - "Lord [London]" - mimics the arms described by Martin and Allardyce [1910, attributed to Burke 1883] as "Lord of London," and carries just two silver pheons on a blue fesse.


The third - "Laward" - is almost identical to "Laward" as described in the Heraldic Journal [1866]. It identifies the cinquefoils as "pierced" but places a silver hind, not a golden one, between two gold pheons on a red fesse.

In 1912, two "escutcheons" [another term for an armorial shield] were reported in the possession of Lords in New England. The first, owned by Calvin Lord, of Salem, Massachusetts, was associated with "the original family of Nathan Lord (1652) of ancient Kittery, Me., as well as that of William Lord, of Salem, Mass., Robert Lord, of Ipswich, Mass., and Thomas Lord of Hartford, Ct. The following is the description of this escutcheon: Crest. - Demi bird, wing expanded sable: on its head two small horns or; dexter wing gules: sinister wing argent, lined gules. Arms. - Argent on a fesse gules, between three cinquefoils azure; a hind passant between two pheons or. (Escutcheons bearing pheons are said to be of very ancient origin. Ed.)"

Although the description is not precise, this coat of arms appears to be identical to "Laward" as given in the Heraldic Journal (1866) and almost identical to "Laward" in Berry's Encyclopedia (1828), differing only in the metal of the hind.

Another escutcheon owned by Ellen Lord Burditt of Dorchester, Massachusetts, exhibited a "Crest. - A dexter arm, hand clenched, proper in a mound azure. Arms - Argent on a fesse, between three cinquefoils; two pheons of the field." Again. though the colors are incompletely described, these arms appear identical to "Lord [London]" or "Lord of London." The crest - a maunch - would make this coat of arms exactly as illustrated in the back of Bishop. The motto in this, however - "Invia virtuti nulla est via" - is at variance.

The association of the maunch crest with "Lord of London" and the demi-bird crest with "Laward" is given also in Fairbairn's Book of Crests, published 20 years earlier (1892) and also in Burke's General Armory (1884). These "escutcheons" held by Lords and described in 1912 would appear to confirm Fairbairn's association, except we have no way of knowing when these came into the Lord family possession.

More recently, the problem of multiple "Lord" arms presented itself in a letter (1963) to my father, Philip Lord, Sr., from Robert Lord of Fort Plain, New York. He provided a sketch of a "coat of arms of the Lords I sent for from York, England." The arms on the armorial plaque sent to him, as revealed in the sketch, are exactly those described above as "Lord [London]" or "Lord of London." In the same letter he cites a "coat of arms" owned by Fred L. Lord of Rochester, New York. It has "three roundals and two lance points with a stag between the two lance points." While colors are not indicated, it would be surprising if this were not the arms described as "Laward" above.

We have now seen that the framed coat of arms first illustrated by Bishop and supplied to our family decades ago as the "correct" Lord arms, is but one of several coats of arms recorded in the literature as pertaining to "Lord" and provided to Lord family members in response to their various requests for the "Lord" arms. Such arms, often quite carefully prepared, are usually taken by the recipient to be their own; that is, the arms they would rightfully have had passed down their line of the family. Yet all the provider of these arms can guarantee is that they were once borne by a man with the same surname, e.g., "Lord," as the applicant.

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