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The Raymond Family Coat of Arms

by Robert Raymond-1959
3 May 2000

It is well established that John and William Rayment were sons of George Rayment of Glastonbury, Somerset, England. It has not yet been established what the coat of arms for this family was. However, there are strong clues.

About 10 miles south of Glastonbury lies Ilchester, the ancient capital of Somerset. Of seven medieval churches in Ilchester, St. Mary Major is the sole survivor. It has been in use, unbroken, for 800 years. The octagonal tower was added in the 13th Century and contains a ring of five bells, the heaviest weighing over half a ton. The original building was larger, but in the 15th Century the side-aisles were walled up to make the church smaller. While sermons used to be preached outside the church or in front of the Altar, in 1603 it was ordered that every church should have a pulpit. The pulpit in use today was added in this period. Its dark oak is richly carved, representing the Savior's declaration, "I am the true vine. Ye are the branches."

Of particular interest for the subject at hand, on the wall behind the pulpit is a memorial to one, William Raymond, who died 22 years after the addition of the pulpit. It reads,

Above the inscription, appears in color the shields for William Raymond (on the right), and his wife, Mary Every (on the left). The Every shield is gold, with four red chevrons.

William Raymond's shield corresponds with the coat of arms described by Burke in his book entitled The General Armory as "argent three bars sable," meaning silver (or white) with three black bars, of equal size, crossing the shield horizontally. Burke describes the crest as a "dexter arm embowed in armor, grasping a battle axe, all proper," or in other words, all in natural color. Perhaps not coincidentally, a tradition among early descendents of John and William Rayment spoke of a battle axe crest. This crest surmounts many different English coats of arms and may have been given by William the Conqueror to his knights. If that is true, the crest connects the family to Giraldus Raimundus, a knight whose name is inscribed at Battle Abbey among those Normans who fought at the battle of Hastings in 1066.

John Marshall Raymond, published the illustration to the left in his book Notes on Raymond, Abbot, Jackson and allied families.... While it is highly probably that George Rayment, father to William and John, bore this coat of arms, no one knows for sure. John Marshall Raymond tried for many years to find a relationship between George Rayment of Glastonbury and William Raymond of Ilchester. In 1982 he presented another publication, The Ancestry of George Raymond of Glastonbury, County Somerset, England to the LDS Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. In a cover letter he wrote, "This copy is donated in the hope that some interested researcher may be able to establish exactly how Robert Raymond of Charlton Mackrell is related to the family of the Ilchester brothers, William and George Raymond. Proof of a close family relationship of the Ilchester brothers and Robert of Charlton Mackrell may well be enough to permit the Heraldry Board in Boston to register the coat-of-arms and thus permit its authentic use by all Raymonds who are descended from either John or William Raymond who came to America about 1651." It is unknown if he ever succeeded in this endeavor.

I produced the "full-color" illustration to the right. The "blazoning" or description of the Raymond coat of arms describes just the shield and the crest. The drawing of the helm (helmet), wreath, and mantling (fancy scroll-like stuff) are up to the artist, but certain rules apply. The type of helm reflects the rank of the current bearer. I used the helm of a gentleman, polished steel in profile, with the "beaver" (face-shield) shut. When not specified, the wreath should be depicted with six segments of alternating color. The left most color is that of the blazon's first mentioned metal (silver, in this case) and the other color is the first mentioned tincture (black). The mantling should also be drawn in these two colors. While I would have enjoyed some bright colors, restricting the colors to silver and black makes this rendition authentic.


Thursday, 10-Apr-2003 21:16:26 MDT