Coat of arms

Lord Norton

I promised, in response to a comment from Stuart in an earlier post (‘What’s in a name?’),  to reproduce my coat of arms.  So here it is. 

As explained in my response to Stuart’s query on the earlier post, the coat incorporates features to reflect my background (primarily Louth and Lincolnshire) and my particular academic interests (University of Hull and scholarship).  The motto was chosen to reflect my aspirations.

There are two dimensions to being a life peer: being a peer and being a member of the House of Lords.  The coat of arms along with the ermine robes are essentially symbolic aspects of the former.  Their practical utility is limited (and neither is inexpensive) and many peers do not bother to have either.  The latter is the ‘working’ aspect of a peerage, where one works in pretty much the same manner as members of other legislative chambers. 

It is important that the two are not confused, though they frequently are – not least by the media reproducing pictures of the State Opening of Parliament, with peers in their robes, to accompany reports of the legislative activities of the House of Lords.  State Opening is the symbolic meeting of the Queen-in-Parliament.  It is not a meeting of the House of Lords.   The pictures I have variously reproduced with my posts have been of the House in session.  They show the House as it is: a working legislative body.

6 comments for “Coat of arms

  1. Bedd Gelert
    28/04/2008 at 8:23 pm

    Excellent colours ! And the bee and owls are a nice touch – I think you probably got your money’s worth there, judging by some of the other coats of arms that I have seen..

  2. ladytizzy
    28/04/2008 at 11:01 pm

    Cute! Is this for your use only, or can it be passed on? How much did it cost?

    Also, is there a pecking order for seats at the State Opening?

    Thanks, Tiz

  3. Senex
    29/04/2008 at 6:07 pm

    I noticed your shield is palewise rather than having a bend and you have chosen to use the fleur-de-lis. What should we read into this?

    Most men have used heraldry in an everyday fashion accessory, the striped necktie. The striping is called a bend and depending where you live it can reveal who you are.

    For instance an American:

    http://www.justice.gov.uk/about/straw.htm

    Will have the bend running from upper left to lower right. That is how they spot themselves in a crowd.

    A European on the other hand:

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/history/presidents/

    Has the bend running from top right to lower left. This bend is also known as the bend sinister.

    Fashion, it could change your life and who you are.

  4. Stuart
    29/04/2008 at 6:37 pm

    Thank you for taking the time to share this with us. I appreciate that.

    It is rather splendid, and I do like the bee!

  5. lordnorton
    29/04/2008 at 11:12 pm

    Thanks for the positive comments which are appreciated. I certainly like it: I think Garter King of Arms did a superb job. I agree that I got value for money. How much did it cost? Rather a lot, but it was something I decided I would like to have. It is something personal to me, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and as I am not one of life’s heavy spenders I decided I would treat myself. I told Garter what I would like to be incorporated and he got to work on the design, with the result that you see. I approved it as soon as I got the first draft.

    Coats of Arms are personal to the holder. (Beware firms that offer to research ‘your’ family coat of arms!) The fleur de lys represents Lincolnshire, the church spire represents Louth. As for a fashion accessory, my friends will tell you that my name and the word fashion are not usually to be found in the same sentence. I have not had the Coat of Arms incorporated into any of my fashion accessories, but I have put it to practical use in having it reproduced as a colour postcard.

    Is there a pecking order for the State Opening of Parliament? Not really. There is one front bench that has reserved seats for party leaders, chief whips, former prime ministers and the like, but otherwise peers can sit where they choose. It is a case of first come first served. I turn up early to get my usual spot. The chamber itself is reconfigured for State Opening: there is a section for the diplomat corps, for peeresses, and for senior judges – who sit at the front in their judicial robes and are not to be confused with the law lords, who sit with other peers and wear their ermine robes.

  6. Colin MacArthur
    09/05/2008 at 1:55 am

    I think you should treat yourself more often, after all the hard work you do….

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