TWEEDSMUIR PARISH HISTORY.

Tweedie Heraldry.   

Heraldry of the Tweedie Family on left.

 

The Frasers and Tweedies are recorded as both owning lands in Drumelzier at the same time in the 14th century and  intermarried at least twice.  However, I think that the marriage of Katherine Fraser and James Tweedie in 1525 was a formal connection between the two families that  justified the customary joint armorial - below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One would have thought that the above George Tweedie with the Essex Armorial dated 1558 was perhaps a son of Katherine Fraser and James Tweedie.   Although Katherine and James had four sons none was a George.  It is said that the Essex branch of the Tweedie family came "owt of Scotland frome a howse called Dromelzane."  His arms were quarterly 1st & 4th Argent a saltire engrailed Gules a Chief Azure (for Twedye); 2nd & 3rd Azure a Cross pattee ermine between three cinquefoiks Or, (for Fraser).  (Having gold cinquefoils is very unusual)

I had thought that this was a one off but it cropped up again on brasses in the Church of Stock Harvard-cum-Ramsden Bellhouse Essex(1).  It can be seen that the first quadrant is for Tweedie and the second for Fraser. 

The three cinquefoils are immediately recognisable as Fraser.  The Cross Pattee is the emblem of the Knights of St John.  This presumably is a reference to the fact that the superiority of the Fraser - subsequently Tweedie -  lands in Tweedsmuir were held by the Templars then the Knights of St John when that organisation was suppressed in 1312.  The significance of the Ermine on the cross is unclear - Ermine  does, however, have a very strong connection with Brittany.   Emblem of Knights of St John and armorial of Brittany below.

 

 

 


 Below is the armorial of Michael Forbes Tweedie, author of the "Tweedie Book(1)", from Sir James Balfour Paul's Scottish Ordinary of 1899. 

He is of the Rawlinson line of the Tweedies of Essex indicated in quadrants 1 and 4.  These show the Tweedy Arms with the Fraser silver cinquefoil (Fraise) on the Chief - centre top.     The description of the blazon below does not mention the word Fraser but the Fraise is surely a reference to the Frasers?    I think that the Rawlinson armorial is the only instance of the Tweedy and Fraser arms being combined into one family armorial ie Tweedy.   Possibly not allowed in Scottish heraldry - hence the omission of the word Fraser?

 References,

1)   Tweedie, Forbes, Michael;  The History of the Tweedie, or Tweedy, Family; A record of Scottish Lowland Life & Character,W. P. Griffiths, London, 1902.  p129 for Rawlinson Armorial. p136 for Brass Rubbing.

 

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