Preamble: The origins of heraldry lie in the need to distinguish participants in combat when their faces were hidden by iron and steel helmets. A knight's shield was painted so he could be identified on the field. Depictions of knights from the time of the Norman Conquest of England show no sign of a inheritable emblem. The first description of a personal identification in armorial bearings comes from 1127 upon Henry I of England's knighting of his son-in-law Geoffrey V, Count of Anjou, "He placed to hang around his neck a shield painted with golden lions." and at his funeral in 1151, Geoffrey is "dressed in blue and gold and bearing his blue shield emblazoned with gold lions."
By the middle of the 12th century coats of arms were being passed down to the owner's children across Europe. In England, the practice of using marks of cadency arose to distinguish one son from another. An originally granted coat of arms, called the plain coat, would have a mark added to it to distinguish the son's emblem from that of his father's. A woman and non-combatant clergy might display their emblem on a lozenge, an oval or a cartouche, but today, in some places, a shield is acceptable. If you would like more information please visit the College of Arms.
Below are descriptions of some Blackmore family arms and a some images I've found.
The British Herald or Cabinet of Armorial Bearings of the Nobility & Gentry of Great Britain & Ireland, 1830.
From the Earliest to the present time; with a complete glossary of heraldic terms, to which is prefixed a history of heraldry.
Collected and arranged in three volumes by Thomas Robson.
Blackamoor. See Blackmore, Devons.
- Blackmore, [Devons.] or, on a fesse betw. three moors' heads side-faced, couped sa. as many crescents ar. Crest, a moor's head side-faced, erased at the neck sa. round the neck a chaplet of roses or, leaved vert.
- Blackmore, [London. Granted 1700] or, a chev. embattled betw. three moors' heads couped sa. -- Crest, out of a mural coronet or, a dexter arm in armour ppr. purfled or.
- Blackmore, [Granted, 18 Nov. 1651] or, a fesse sa. betw, three moors' heads erased ppr. -- Crest, an arm embowed in armour ppr. garnished or, supporting a standard banner of the last, staff of the first, point ar.
- Blackmore, ar. a fesse dancettee, betw. three moors' heads side-faced, and couped sa. -- Crest, out of a mural coronet, an arm embowed in armour ppr. garnished or.
- Blackmore, or, a fesse sa. betw. three moors' heads erased ppr. -- Crest, a demi griffin segreant erm.
- Blackmore: or, on a fesse betw. three moors' heads erased sa. as many crescents ar.
Encyclopaedia of Heraldry: The Armorie of England, Scotland and Ireland, 1851.
Comprising a registry of all armorial bearings from the earliest to the present time, including the late grants by the College of Arms.
by John Burke, Bernard Burke, printed by Henry G. Bohn, York Street, Covent Garden.
Page ?? (The page numbers are not printed on the pages of the copy I viewed.)
Holway (Watton in Stoke Gabriel, co. Devon; the co-heirs m. Blackmore and Windsor). Sa. two swords in saltire, hilts and pomels in chief, all ar.; the dexter surmounted by the sinister.
- Blackmore (Devonshire). Or, on a fesse betw. three Moors' heads sidefaced, couped sa. as many crescents ar. Crest--A Moor's head sidefaced, erased at the neck sa. round the neck a chaplet of roses or, leaved vert.
- Blackmore (as borne by the Rev. Richard Blackmore, Rector of Donhead St. Mary, near Shaftesbury). Same as preceding.
- Blackmore (Milton Bank, Laugharne, co. Carmarthen). Same as the preceding; Dr. Blackmore of Milton Bank being son of the Rev. Richard Blackmore.
- Blackmore (granted 18 November 1651). Or, a fesse sa. betw. three Moors' heads erased ppr. Crest--An arm embowed in armour ppr. garnished or, supporting a standard banner of the last, staff of the first, point ar.
- Blackmore (London, granted 1706). Or, a chev. embattled betw. three Moors' heads couped sa. Crest--Out of a mural coronet or, a dexter arm in armour ppr. purfled or.
- Blackmore. Ar. a fesse dancettée, betw. three Moors' heads sidefaced, and couped sa. Crest-- Out of a mural coronet an arm embowed in armour ppr. garnished or.
- Blackmore. Or, a fesse sa. betw. three Moors' heads erased ppr. Crest-- A demi griffin segreant erm.
- Blackmore. Or, on a fesse betw. three Moors' heads erased sa. as many crescents ar.
- Phelips (Montacute, co. Somerset, settled there for many centuries; descended from Sir Edward Phelips, knt. Master of the Rolls, and Speaker of the House of Commons, temp. Queen Elizabeth, fourth son of Thomas Phelips, of Barrington esq. who built the present mansion at Montacute, and d. 1588; Sir Edward's son and heir, by Margaret Newdigate his wife, Robert Phelips, was M.P. for Somersetshire in many Parliaments, temp. James I. and Charles I. and a distinguished and active member of the popular party. the present male representative of the family is William Phelips, of Montacute, esq eldest son and heir of the late Rev. William Phelips of the same place, by Mary his wife, dau. of the Rev. John Messiter, and nephew of the late John Phelips, of Montacute, esq. who died in 1834, leaving an only dau. and heir, Mary, m. to James Farquaharson, esq.) Ar. a chev. gu. betw. three roses of the last, seeded and leaved ppr. Crest--A square beacon, or chest, on two wheels, or, filled with fire ppr. Supporters-- Two lions ramp. guard. gu. Motto--Pro aris et focis.
- Phelips (Briggins Park, co. Hertford; the Rev. Charles Phelips, fourth son of Edward Phelips, of Montacute, esq. descended from Sir Edward Phelips, of Montacute, esq. descended from Sir Edward Phelips, knt. Master of the Rolls, temp. Elizabeth, m. in 1792, Mary, dau. of Thomas Blackmore, of Briggins Park, esq. by Mary his wife, sister of John Old Goodford, esq. and dying in 1831, left an only surviving son, the present Charles Phelips, of Briggins Park, esq.) Arms, &c. as the preceding.
An Alphabetical Dictionary of Coats of Arms belonging to Families in Great Britain and Ireland, 1874
By the late John W. Papworth, F.R.I.B.A., Edited from page 696 by Alfred W. Morant, F.S.A., F.G.S.
Printed by T. Richards, 37, Great Queen Street, London
(Alphabetical by description.)
- Or a chev. embattled betw. three Moor`s heads couped sa. Blackmore, London; granted 1706.
- Erm. on a chev. az. three 5-foils or. Moore, Collumpton, co. Devon, W; the heiress m. Blackmore.
- Or a fess sa. betw. three Moor`s heads erased ppr. Blackmore; granted 18 November 1651.
- Or on a fess betw. three Moor`s heads sidefaced couped sa. as many crescents arg. Blackmore, co. Devon. Blackmore, Milton Bank, Laugharne, co. Carmarthen. Blackmore, The Leys, co. Monmouth.
- Or on a fess betw. three Moor`s heads erased sa. as many crescents arg. Blackmore.
- Or, on a fess sa. betw. three negro`s heads erased ppr. as many crescents of the field. Sir Richard Blackmore.
- Sa. two swords in saltire hilts and pomels in chief all arg. the dexter surmounted by the sinister. Holway, Watton in Stoke Gabriel, co. Devon; the co-heirs m. Blackmore and Windsor.
Below are two emblems that were sent to me. The first appears to be the "Devonshire" emblem borne by Rev. Richard Blackmore and later his son Dr. Blackmore. Or, on a fesse betw. three Moors' heads sidefaced, couped sa. as many crescents ar. describes a gold shield with a horizontal bar, with three Moors' heads cleanly cut. (The sa. means black colour but its position in the description suggests the Moors` heads would be black rather than the horizontal bar. The picture below has proper colouring of the Moors` heads but that isn`t in the description.) There are three white or silver crescents. The crest above the emblem is a Moor`s head with a torn neck, and a gold neck band, (the neck band should be black according to the description) it is hard to make out in the image, but, there is a garland of red roses and green leaves on the head.
The second appears to be the Blackmore arms granted 18 November 1651 -- Or, a fesse sa. between three Moor's heads erased ppr. That describes A gold shield with a black horizontal bar, three Moors' heads with torn necks and proper colouring. The crest shown above also matches -- An arm embowed in armour ppr. garnished or, supporting a standard banner of the last, staff of the first, point ar. Which describes an bent arm wearing armour, the colour of the armour is proper which would be silver or white and gold trim, a gold banner, the staff is the same colour as the armour and the point is white or silver.
Sir Richard Blackmore appears to have borne the second shield with the addition of three crescents.
Some examples of moor's heads:
Some examples of crescents: