Author Topic: Thomson Crest - "Branch of Palm"  (Read 3894 times)

Allan Thomson

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Thomson Crest - "Branch of Palm"
« on: January 07, 2010, 12:19:47 PM »
I have been looking through some of the earlier Thomson arms and I notice that a number have a similar crest showing a "branch of palm".

“A branch of palme proper” - George Thomson of Maynes, 1672
“A crane holding in its beak a twig of palm proper” - Andrew Thomson, Advocate, (Aberdeen), 1680
“A crane holding in its beak a twig of palm proper” - Andrew Thomson, Merchant, Portlithen, Kincardine, 1735
“A crane holding in its beak a twig of palm proper” – Thompson of Banchory, 1756
“A branch of palm proper” James Thomson of Wester-Bogie, 1811
 
Sadly I have not yet uncovered any reason why these Thom(p)son's decided to have a palm branch for their crest.  I think all of these armigers lived in the East Coast of Scotland (Aberdeen area) and I doubt there are many palm trees to be found there...!

I presume there is a symbolic reason for the palm branch and certainly Palm branches seem to be associated with victory in ancient Rome and also in various religions including Christianity, Judaism and Islam.  The significance of the Crane is lost on me altogether and perhaps someone else will put this together..?

I wonder if these families are related as some share not only a similar crest but also similar mottos..?  I am continuing to explore this idea.
 
Allan Thomson

Ernest Thompson

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Re: Thomson Crest - "Branch of Palm"
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2010, 04:19:54 PM »
G'day All,
From one of my sources, namely the web, I discovered that in Scottish Heraldry a Palm Branch stands for  = Victory, Justice and Royal Honour.
The Crane means = Close Parental Bond or if the Crane is holding a rock = Vigilance.
Hope this is of assistance.
Ern

Mary

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Re: Thomson Crest - "Branch of Palm"
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2010, 08:45:42 PM »
Absolutely!  ...........................you 'done good.'

Hope you are enjoying the hot weather....we had snow today and at 9:45 PM out temps are down to 20 degrees F. and heading lower.......

I sure wish there was a listing of contemporary (ie. live) armigers somewhere. It would make this search a lot easier......

Allan Thomson

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Re: Thomson Crest - "Branch of Palm"
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2010, 10:51:50 AM »
Mary,

If only.... if only....and it gets worse.... the search for existing Thom(p)son armigers may be never ending.  Until today I had thought that the list was limited to those Thom(p)son's registered since 1672.... (about 50 or so armigers)

I discovered today that the list of possible Thomson armigers is not confined to those Thom(p)son's listed in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings from 1672.  Any Thom(p)son who can prove their descent from a Thomson with 'coat of arms' prior to the start of the Register in 1672 could in theory matriculate those arms in the Register.

I queried this after looking up Thomas Thomson of Duddingston (circa 1620).  I thought it odd that his arms were not in the Public Register despite the register being created during his son Patrick's lifetime.  In 1672 all Scottish armigers were allowed to register their arms in the new Public Register for free (as long as the arms were registered in the first year).  On reflection I suspect that Patrick may have been a bit long in the tooth by this stage and having no heir simply opted not to register and his younger brother (also without an heir) was probably just as pragmatic.  After all everyone they knew would have been acquainted with their well established family arms.

On a related note I asked some heraldry experts their opinion on the fact that all the arms registered between 1672 and 1700 (seven grants) were from the North East of Scotland.  this seems odd because no doubt there were other Thomson armigers in Scotland (quite likely in the borders) who are clearly not represented.... why did they not register..?  I have no answer and doubt we ever will...

Allan Thomson


Stirling Thompson

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Re: Thomson Crest - "Branch of Palm"
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2010, 07:02:49 PM »
In the borders you might have to cross into England to find Thomson armigers during that period. I know a Rowland Thompson of Thorpe Market, a decendant of the ancient family associated with Tinmouth castle had his arms confirmed in 1601. The blazon is azure a lion or in a bordure argent.

Oddly enough these Thompsons get their surname from the village of Thompson in Norfolk rather than from anyone named Thomas. So, at least in this case, the name is territorial instead of being a patronymic. The Thompsons in Tinmouth were related to the William de Thomeson family but emigrated from Norfolk to Northumberland sometime between 1186 and 1289. The de Thomeson family ended in the male line with the death of William's son Robert, sometime before 1289, who was survived only by his three daughters.

Source is "Some materials for a history of the parish of Thompson, in the county of Norfolk" (1892) by Crabbe, George, 1819-1884; Jessopp, Augustus, 1823-1914 pages 9 - 10.

My admittedly limited knowledge of British heraldry leads me to believe that bordure in the arms confirmed in 1601 represents the differencing for a second son which would make the base arms azure a lion passant guardant or.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2010, 07:15:49 PM by Stirling Thompson »
Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!
Stu