Henry Whipple of Dickleborough

Henry Whipple of Dickleborough

Recipient of the Whipple Coat of Arms

Henry Whipple of Dickleborough (today's Dickleburgh), Norfolk county, U.K., was born about 1510. He was awarded the Whipple coat of arms in 1563, then again in 1576. (It was unusual to be awarded a coat of arms twice.)

Henry's awards are recorded on folio 169r of the Harley Manuscript 1552 in London's British Library (formerly a part of the British Museum). A PDF copy of that leaf (© The British Library Board, Harley 1552, f.169r) appears on the Whipple One-Name Study. A transcription of the handwriting on the original leaf is helpfully provided by William Hervey in his book entitled The Visitacions of Norfolk, 1563, 1589, and 1613. (You can view the entire book on the Whipple One-Name Study.)

Henry and his descendants appear in the Database of the Whipple One-Name Study. His posterity died out after four generations, leaving no descendants legally authorized to claim the Whipple Coat of Arms. (Note: Much of what we know of Henry's descendants appears on the Harley manuscript leaf.)

The Two Whipple Coats of Arms

As noted in Harley Manuscript 1552 (above) there are actually two coats of arms. The version granted in 1563 appears on the manuscript as follows:

Sable, on a chevron between three swans' heads erased argent as many crescents of the field.

It corresponds to the modern interpretation of the coat of arms that appears on this site.

The version granted thirteen years later, in 1576, was much simpler:

Azure, a fesse ermine between two chevronels argent.

At the top of the manuscript we find a crest to accompany the coats of arms:

Elephant ermine.

Understanding the Coat of Arms Descriptions

The following descriptions appear in Bernard Burke's General Armory of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales (London: Harrison, 1884) and other sources.

Black—depicted by cross lines, horizontal and perpendicular.
(Supposed by some writers to have been adopted from the bow of a war saddle, which rose high in front.) Formed by two parallel lines drawn from the dexter [right] base, meeting pyramidically, about the fess point [horizontal line in the middle of the shield], two other parallel lines drawn from the sinister [left] base.
Signifies "A lover of poetry and harmony." (Source: W. Cecil Wade, The Symbolisms of Heraldry or A Treatise on the Meanings and Derivations of Armorial Bearings (London, 1898).
Forcibly torn from the body; a head, limb, or other object erased, has its severed parts jagged. [In our case, "erased" refers to the jagged lines at the swans' necks.]
Silver or white.
A half-moon. [Guy Cadogan Rothery's Concise Encyclopedia of Heraldry (London: Senate, 1994) states that "The crescent is the mark of difference used by the second son and his house."]
The whole surface of the escutcheon, or shield, upon which the charges, or bearings, are depicted.
A band carried horizontally across the shield, occupying one-third of the space. One of the ordinaries.
A fur, argent with sable spots.
A diminutive of the chevron, occupying one-half its width

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