Moorhouse Coat of Arms

According to the “the General Armory of England , Scotland, Ireland and Wales” by Sir Bernard Burke a Coat of Arms was issued to Moorhouse (of Co. York) of a Saltire gobomy sa and ar and a crest of pelican vulning herself ppr.

A saltire gobomy sa and ar means a “x” cross with alternating black (sable) and white (argent) squares.

ppr is an abbreviation of the word “proper”.


The cross is symbolic of some Christian experience or sentiment, or the crusades and gobomy means consistency. The colours argent (silver/white) is for peace and sincerity and sable (black) for consistency, sometime grief.

According to “A Grammar of British Heraldry” by Sloane-Evans the pelican vulning herself is a sacred emblem of great and striking import. The representation of this bird occurs frequently among the ornaments of churches.

The bird is always borne with the wings over the back (a position technically called endorsed). The Egyptians priests used the pelican for hieroglyphics, to denote the duties of a father towards his children. It also well befits the man who has the welfare of his country at heart.



The motto “Mors Potius Quam Macula” translates as death before dishonour.

This motto appears on some of the Coats of Arms but I have been unable to find any official mention of it






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