The Underhill Society of America
The Underhill Society of America

Coat of Arms

 

The coat of arms of the Underhills of Staffordshire and Warwickshire, England, used by Capt. John Underhill of New York and now registered with his lineage at the College of Arms, London.

Described in the language of heraldry as "Argent a chevron sable between three trefoils slipped vert. Cres: a buck trippant or" (A silver shield with a black chevron between three green trefoils [similar to three-leafed clover], the crest a gold buck [male deer], standing). The decorative helmet and mantling use the colors of the shield.

Following is a description of the various elements of the Underhill Coat of Arms.  As noted afterward, this material was researched by Mrs. C. A. Underhill, from Heraldic Design by Hubert Allcock.

 
 

Description

(A) The Shield, Heart of the Arms; design is exclusive, may not ethically be imitated. Ours, A silver (Argent) Shield.

(B) The Chevron, charged with black (sable) is one of the so-called honorable ordinaries. Straight sided figures one-third the width of the shield, first symbols used to identify men encased in armour. The Chevron "likened unto the roof of a house" is emblematic of protecting the defenseless. It is also granted to one who builds churches and fortresses for his country.

(C) The Trefoils with stems (slipped) is referred to as Device (see note below) - The Trefoil, when green on the shield, is the Irish Shamrock, and is symbolical of perpetuity - that the just man shall never wither.

(D) The Crest is a stag of natural color (proper) with one foot raised as in a trot (trippant). The stag is symbolical either-of one skillful in music and a lover of harmony or one is politic and well foresees his times and opportunities; or one who is unwilling to assail the enemy rashly, but rather desirous to stand his own ground honestly than to annoy another wrongfully, summarized: Policy, Peace and Harmony.

(E) The Helm - authentic helmet style, size reasonably scaled to shield - helmet follows position of crest - frontal or profile in our case - each in sensible relationship - natural colored steel helmets considered proper.

(F) Torso Wreath: two skeins of twisted silk, one tinctured as principal metal, other as principal color of arms; used to anchor mantling to helmet.

(G) Mantle. Cloth worn over helmet to protect against sun. Repeats principal colors of the arms; lining repeats principal metal.

(H) Supporters (not shown here). Originally decorative; now emblems through usage and associations; reserved for those in authority, titled families and governments.

(I) Compartment or Ground (not shown here). 'Legitimate when there are supporters to stand upon it. May represent turf or other decorative "Gas-Brackets".

NOTE - (H) and (I) can be noted on cover of bulletin - issued 1969-70 - used through courtesy of Dudley & Kirk Underhill who hold the copyright.

(J) The Motto (not shown here) not considered exclusive, usually Latin, expressing ideal, goal or admonition. Ours - "Vivite et Amate Semper Suspicientos", which translates "Live and Love Always, Look Upward".

NOTE-Device (C) heraldic plants rarely appear complete on shield. The representation stresses some significant part: The leaf or flower shown from above reveals its components, the Trefoil on the Underhill shield is "staked and slipped" -- possibly clover, of Gothic origin.

NOTE-Colors represented the personal character of the original bearer. Argent (silver) signifies sincerity and peace; Sable (black), the fur lining of the royal robes, nobility, and constancy; Vert. (green), sturdiness and strength.

The above was researched by Mrs. C. A. Underhill,
from Heraldic Design by Hubert Allcock