Shedden Coat of Arms

Shedden Coat of Arms

Sir George Shedden of Paulespury Park, etc. (see Notable Sheddens) petitioned the Lord Lyon in Edinburgh for a grant of arms. His of application would involve submitting his family history (see Beith families). Sir George was descended from the Sheddens of Roughwood (see Shedden families of Beith) and based his arms on those of the senior branch of that family.

These arms are described thus: Az. On a chev, betw. three griffins’ heads erased ar. as many crosses cross-let (Robertson says cross crosslets) fitchee gu. on a chief of the second an escallop of the first betw. two cinquefoils of the third. A hermit ppr. couped below the shoulder vested russet, his hood pendant at the back. (Robertson says couped below the breast, proper, vested-a wallet on his back, on his head a close cowl.)

When translated the Arms description is: Blue: on a silver chevron between three griffins’ heads jagged, three red crosses crosslet pointed at the foot; on a silver upper third a blue shell between two red cinquefoils.

When translated the crest description is: A natural colored hermit severed below the shoulders, colored russet,his hood hanging at the back.

When translated the motto is: I will keep my plighted word.

Robertson, in his book on Ayrshire families (held in the Scottish room in the George IV library in Edinburgh) shows two Shedden coats of arms (in black and white), one of which is the arms described above for the junior branch of the Roughwood Sheddens. The other, for the senior branch, is identical except for the crest, which is a lion rampant. The junior Roughwood branch never actually held Roughwood, which passed from the senior branch to the Patrick family via Marion, daughter of John Shedden (m. Jean Ralston 1727). Arms are personal to the person to whom they have been granted and are passed to male descendants. I do not know how many subsequent descendants of Sir George bore the junior Roughwood arms but in any case they would have eventually passed to the Bishop of Nassau, who had no children, and the arms would therefore fall into disuse.

Under certain circumstances a clan chieftain’s crest may be borne by those persons bearing the chieftains’ name, but this concession does not extend to the use of a person’s arms. There is therefore no such thing as a Shedden coat of arms to which any Shedden may lay claim. (A fact that is ignored by many commercial purveyors of arms).

Another coat of arms apparently existed at one time in Auchterarder, Perthshire (see Sheddans of Lochie), however its description is not known. There is also a reference in Burke’s General Armory 1878 as follows: Shaddon or Shadden (Scotland). Arms-Per pale ar. and az. six fleurs-de-lis in orle counter charged. This might be a 16tthor early 17th century West of Scotland reference or perhaps I is the arms of the ancestors of the Sheddans of Lochie referred to in the biography of John of Lochie.

There are also two further references to crests. In Fairbairn’s “Crests of the families of GB and Ireland”: Sheddan sco. A dove, Volant, or, in mouth an olive branch, vert. Also, in “An ordinary of Scottish Arms”, by James Balfour Paul: DOVE Gu. a dove arg., holding in her beak an olive branch vert between 3 antique crowns or (Grant of CAR RON).