Coat of Arms

People frequently ask ‘what is the Allsopp Coat of Arms’? and the answer in short is which Allsopp are you referring to. To date I have stumbled upon 7 Arms for variants of the Allsopp name.

As defined in Wikipedia a Coat of Arms is:

‘In the heraldic traditions of England and Scotland an individual, rather than a family, had a coat of arms. In those traditions coats of arms are legal property transmitted from father to son, and undifferenced arms are used only by one person at any given time. Other descendants of the original bearer could bear the ancestral arms only with some difference: usually a color change or the addition of a distinguishing charge…’.

According to Burkes General Armory, the original description of the ‘Allsopp Coat of Arms’ is:

“SA. Three plovers rising AR. Legged and beaked GU. Quartering AR. Three bears passant PPR” which when translated also describes the original colours, i.e.

“Black: Three silver plovers rising, with red legs and beaks, A silver quarter charged with three naturally coloured bears walking”, with the Crest described as “A gold plover with its wings spread, with red beak and legs, in its beak is a golden ear of wheat”.

Below are some Coats of Arms granted to various Allsop(p)s. Should you come across any other variations I would most appreciate a copy or the location where it was sighted.

Allsopp (original)
Allsopp (origin unknown)
Allsopp (origin unknown)
Alsop – Lord Mayor of London
Alsope of Derbyshire
Allsop of Alsop
Alsoppe of London (1797)

 The following appeared in the journal ‘Allsop Ancestors’ (No. 101) and has been reproduced with the kind permissison of Winifred Waterall (Allsop Family Group)


In 1985, after having queries from members regarding the Alsop Arms and Crest, I wrote to Maxwell Craven who is an authority on armorian history. His reply was printed in the October issue of Allsop Ancestors (no.4). This question has again been raised and I now reprint Maxwell’s letter in order to make the facts clear. You will see that proof of descent is needed before anyone is entitled to use the arms.

“Thank you for your letter enquiring about the arms of the Alsops of Alsop. The armorian history of this numerous family is quite complex, but the most famous arms, as described in Glover II, 20 (History of Derbyshire by Stephen Glover) were those confirmed to George Alsop of Alsop at the visitation on 1569. Sable three doves rising argent, beaked and legged gules. The crest, granted at the same time: a plover or beaked and legged gules in its bill an ear of wheat of the first. The arms (but not the crest) had, however been in use for some 200 years before. An earlier coat-of-arms of c.1189 is said to have been: argent a fesse gules between six falcons head erased  sable,  but the authority for this rests on a rather shaky ground.

John Alsop, fifth son of John Alsop of Alsop, migrated to London and had the 1569 Alsop arms confirmed to him in 1597. In 1738 another collateral descendant in London was granted: azure three doves proper on a canton or a key erect sable; crest: a dove holding in its beak an ear of corn all proper.

In 1752 another London Alsop acquired a grant of arms:  azure three doves or on a canton argent a key erect gules.

The Alsops of Derby, collaterals of those of Alsop and ancestors of Lord Hindlip’s branch, used (I think without authority): per fesse or and ermine a pale counterchanged and three mullets pierced sable; crest: a dove in its beak an olive branch all proper.  The coat was also used (with authority) by Durant Alsop of Durant Hall, Chesterfield, in the 17th century.

Before 1st Lord Hindlip (Allsopp the brewer) was made baronet (1880) he used arms as follows:  Sable three plovers rising agent beaked and legged gules; crest: a plover wings expanded or beaked and legged pules in its beak an ear of wheat of the first; motto: “Festina Lente”.  On his elevation to the peerage in 1886 a new grant was obtained: Sable three pheons chevronwise or between as many doves rising argent each holding in the beak an ear of wheat of the second; crest: on a  pheon point downwards a dove close holding an ear of wheat or; supporters: on  either side a foxhound gorged with a pair o couples all proper; motto “Festina Lente”.

A branch of the Alsops of Alsop settled in Marshfield, Leics. and in the Visitation of 1614 their arms are entered as: sable on a chevron between three rooks or a mullet of the field.

Finally a seal of an Alsop of Alsop (c.1350) is interpreted by the Lysons as: sable on a bend argent between three doves in chief wings expanded of the second  beaked and legged gules, in their beaks an ear of wheat proper and in base three pheons or.

The plaque obtained by your friend is of the version of the arms of Alsop of Alsop, used (without authorization) by Lord Hindlip and his family before the grant of 1886.

To be correct for Alsop of Alsop (all senior male line descendants of George, granted the crest in 1569) all needs altering, is the motto should be deleted. I do not need to tell you of course, that to bear these arms, proof of descent from George is necessary, bearing in mind the London grants of 1597, 1738 and 1752. If she descends from one of these three worthies, then their revised arms would be what she would be entitled to. If descended from the grandfather of 1st Lord Hindlip (Samuel Allsopp of Derby and Worcester) then his arms without the supporters would be correct.

Samuel Allsopp claimed descent from the Alsops of Alsop, but this was never established to the satisfaction of the College of Arms. Nevertheless, Lord Hindlip purchased part of the ancient estate there (including the present Manor House) and in his patent was described as “Lord Hindlip, Baron of Hindlip, Co. Wigorn and of Alsop-en-le-Dale, Co. Derby”.

As regards coloured pictures, I do not know of one, but the full blazons I have provided do furnish all the necessary tinctures. Reference to any simple heraldic book will elucidate the terminology. If I were to translate each blazon for you I fear I would at least double the length of what is already a rather extended missive!”