The study of the Coat of Arms of any family is interesting as there is a growth from a plain design at first to a more elaborate one in later years. This is especially true of the Washburn for you must know they are of the oldest of English families. Facts show that this crest is registered as #311 in England.
William the Conqueror who died in 1087 is said to have knighted the founder of the family on the field of battle and endowed him with certain "lands and manors of Little and Great Washbourne, Co. Of Glochester And Worchester". The original spelling of the family name was Washburne.
The first crest was made of crude designations on an equilateral triangle. The first Escutcheon of a family is usually plain but its design is added to if the family becomes prominent in any way or when marriage takes place. So after many years we see a composite design made up of various parts. In all of the years there has never been anything taken from the original coat-of- arms.
The description of the Escutcheon of the
family as we have it is:
Arms: Argent on a fess between 6 marletts gules, 3 quatrefoils of the field.
Crest: On a wreath a coil of flax argent, surmounted with another wreath argent and gules, thereon flames of fire proper.
Motto: Purificatus non Consumptus (Purified not consumed)
An even simpler explanation of the crest was found in the magazine, Hobbies (September, 1966). This is how it explained the crest: A silver (argent) shield charged with a red band across the middle one third of the shield (fesse). The band is between 6 red (gules) footless swallows (martlets). On the red band are three silver flowers with four petals (quatrefoils).
There are symbolic meanings for the figures on the crest. The footless martlet represented one who had to "subsist by the wings of his virtue and merit, having little land to rest upon." The quatrefoils are emblematical of the peace, hope, and joy that comes to the bearer through his own efforts. Colors are representative of the personal characteristics of the original bearer and are granted only if he be worthy. Silver signifies sincerity and peace and red signifies courage and magnanimity.