Hebden & Variants Family Website


















The Ancient Arms

The Ancient Arms (right) were associated with William de Hebden, and granted by Edward ll in 1316. The last William of the family died in 1321 and the estate and titles passed to Sir Richard de Hebden, who died in 1385. After his death the estate was inherited by Sir Nicholas De Hebden, and then via his daughters, title passed to the Tempest and Dymoke families.

The Achievement (the whole ensemble) is made up of a number of separate components. The arms are those depicted on the Escutcheon (The shield) the arms consist of Ermine, (The white background decorated with a representation of ermine tails) Five Fusils (Diamonds) in Fess, (the centre third of the shield, measured vertically) Gules. (red, referring to the colour of the Diamonds). Above the shield is the Helmet, winged, with a flowing piece of cloth behind it, representing some kind of protection for the neck. This is fixed to the helmet by a circlet of twisted cord, known as the Wreath. In later years the helmet and the escutcheon were surrounded by the Mantling, depicting foliage, probably representing oak leaves, with the colouring reversed on opposite sides. On top of the Helmet is the crest, a Triton, standing, holding a trident.  There is no motto.




The arms shown above are displayed in the choir of St.Wilfred's Church, Burnsall, North Yorkshire

The Arms of Sir John Hebdon

The only other arms recognised by The College of Arms are those of Sir John Hebdon (1612-1870) awarded in 1659 and quartered with the ancient arms (see above) on the memorial to Richard, second son of Sir John, in Wells Cathedral. The arms are shown (right) on the Escutcheon. Three gold crescents, chief, (the top third of the shield or quartering) on an indented (saw-toothed) azure background set on ermine. The crest is omitted in this illustration.

Contrary to popular belief, the right to bear arms is granted to a named individual and can only be passed down to his direct heirs. Arms are not (or were not) granted for use by the wider family.



  Ebden Arms

The arms of the Ebden branch of the family, (Right)  probably awarded to Richard Powney Ebden CB, born on the 20th November 1833 in Ipswich, Suffolk. The family had branches in South Africa, Malaya, India and Canada and held high positions in the British Administration of India. The roots of the family were in Suffolk where  the family is traceable back to the 1500s. Richard Powney Ebden died on the 9th February 1896.

The arms comprise five linked fusils in gold (a recurring theme, see above) on a sable fess or black horizontal bar. below it is a gold lion, with a black collar looking upwards over its shoulder to the palm trees at the top of the shield. These signify the family links with Malaya and India and are shown proper (in natural colours) and eradicated (pulled up by the roots)

The motto probably comes from a line in Book XI of Virgil's Aeneid  - "Spem siquam adscitis aeolium habuistis in armis, spes sibi quisque, sed haec quam angusta videtis". The meaning of this Latin phrase is difficult to translate. The colloquial meaning is “Let each man’s hope be in himself”. If "Sibi" is taken to be plural it means "We find our hope in one another"




The "Blue Arms"

This blazon (Right) carries elements of all the previous arms except the fusils (lozenges or diamonds). The gold crescents of Sir John Hebdon's arms are present, but the blue background on ermine, is not indentured (saw-toothed). The crest is a helmet surmounted by a blue leopard, sejant erect (sitting, with the front paws raised) holding a gold crescent. The mantle is composed of reversed thistle branches and flower heads and below is the Latin motto, added by the Appleton-le-Street branch of the family "Re E Merito" which translates as  "This, By Merit"

This coat of arms, as far as I am aware, has no "legal" standing and is assembled from elements found in other legitimate grants of arms to the Hebden family.  Legal or not, the general effect (in my humble opinion!) is rather attractive!




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