Ridgely Family Coat of Arms

The Ridgely coat of arms can be seen throughout the Mansion. Although such heraldic devices are more common among European aristocracy, they are found among some prominent American families. A coat of arms symbolizes social stature as well as family alliances. This symbol of status and family distinction became an essential part of the Ridgely family's environment.

Charles Ridgely Carnan was named as Captain Charles Ridgely's principal heir under the condition he change his surname to Ridgely. This was accomplished by an act of the Maryland Legislature in 1790. Ridgely and his descendants were also granted the right "to use and bear the coat of arms and armorial bearings of the family of Ridgely," described as "argent on a chevron sable three mullets pierced of the first." The earliest extant example of the Ridgely arms at Hampton is the heraldic shield on several pieces of silver ordered by Charles Carnan Ridgely in the early 1790s. More...

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