JC Halbrooks 1940-1999

G. HOLBROOK COAT OF ARMS.

Two designs are known to be "official" for Holbrook. The first was that of Sir Richard de Holbrook whose design was simply a chevron of red on a gold field.

His son, Sir John de Holbrook, had the same design with the addition of 10 crosses crosslet, gold. Both men are shown in the Suffolk line chart.

The original purpose of a Coat of Arms and Crest was identification of the person who was enclosed in armor. It was common at this time for each person to have their own design, and the design variation between Richard and John above is typical.

It was not until later that the idea of a single design, which was to travel down the generations, came into being. This caused the creation of a College of Arms, whose job it was to register designs to ensure that they had not been previously issued to others, and to prevent unauthorized people from claiming arms. The King would send Harolds on Visitations (as late as the 1600's) to inquire in local areas as to who claimed the right to arms and their descent. Many of these Visitations exist today.

Two other designs are stated to be for Holbrook. One is a chevron with three martlets (birds); the second is a chevron with a single large cross over it. No legitimate bearer of these designs has been found, but they are reported in a few books which keeps the error going. The last one of a chevron with a cross is the partial description of the Holbrook Crest! A Crest was worn on their helmets while a Coat of Arms was worn on their shield.

Later grants of Holbrook Arms have been made, including one American, which is done and is legal, but they are in recent centuries and of different designs.

The arms illustrated are those of Sir John de Holbrook. They are identical with the arms of George Holbrook, which are recorded in a 1619 Visitation to Kent. Though the genealogy of George is unknown, I have no doubt he is a Suffolk line descendant due to the seriousness which which coats of arms were treated in this era.

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