short article does not attempt to explain the rules governing heraldry
and the granting of coats of arms. This is covered elswhere on the
Internet. Both the College of Arms and the Heraldry Society offer brief introductions to the subject on their websites. |
are a number of different coats of arms associated with the surnames
Mead, Meade and Mede listed in Burke’s Encyclopędia of Heraldry. Three
of these are associated with the families from Somerset, Essex and
Cambridgeshire. The blazons (written descriptions) for these arms are
set out below.
- Mead. Gules a chevron ermine between three trefoils slipped argent. Crest—A reindeer trippant vert. (Figure1).
- Mead. Sable a chevron erminois between three pelicans or, vulning themselves proper. (Figure 5).
- Meade (counties of Cambridgeshire and Somerset). Gules a chevron ermine between three trefoils slipped argent. (Figure 3).
- Meade (county of Essex). Sable a chevron between three pelicans or, vulned gules. Crest—An eagle displayed, or. (Figure 2).
- Mede, or Meade (counties of
Cambridgeshire and Cornwall) Gules a chevron ermine between three
trefoils (another, cinquefoils) argent. (Figure 3).
The earliest of these arms
appeared in the 14th century when the family lived in and around Bristol. These
arms (figure 3) are particularly associated with Phillip Mede (1415-75) who was
Mayor of Bristol, three times between 1458 and 1469.
The Meade family of
Leicestershire have arms very similar to those of the Meade family of Essex.
- Meade (County
of Leicestershire). Sable a chevron between three pelicans, wings endorsed or,
vulning themselves proper (Figure 4).
Ireland the Meade family is
descended from the Earls of Clanwilliam and have arms very similar to
the family of the same name in Somerset and Cambridgeshire, the only
being the tincture of the field (colour of the shield) which is azure
(blue) rather than gules (red).
- Meade (Earl of Clanwilliam). Azure a chevron ermine between three trefoils
slipped argent. (Figure 6). Crest—An eagle displayed with two heads sable armed
or. Supporters—Dexter, an eagle close sable; sinister, a falcon close proper
beaked and legged or, each collared and chained or. Motto—Toujours pret.