Shakespeare Coat-of-Arms

An approximation of the
William Shakespeare family Coat-of-Arms

The Biography of William Shakespeare

  • What did the William Shakespeare family Coat of Arms look like? The Rules of Heraldry
  • When was the Coat-of-Arms authorised and by whom?
  • What did the Coat-of-Arms mean to the family?
  • Interesting information about the family, life and times of William Shakespeare


  • The Shakespeare family made an application for the right to bear a Coat of Arms
  • The application cost 30 guineas
  • On October 20, 1596 permission from the Garter King of Arms was granted
  • John Shakespeare, and his children, had permission to display a coat-of-arms
  • The Shakespeare's were entitled to put "gentleman" after their name and the coat-of-arms could be displayed on their door and all their personal items
Shakespeare Coat-of-Arms


  • The description of the Coat of Arms grant to the Shakespeare family was as follows:
    • 'Gold, on a bend (diagonal bar) sable (black), a spear of the first (i.e. gold), steeled argent (with a silver tip); and for his crest... a falcon his wings displayed argent (silver), standing on a wreath of his colours supporting a spear gold, steeled as aforesaid, (i.e. silver) set upon a helmet with mantles and tassles'
  • The motto was "Non sanz droict" or "Not without right"
  • The actual design of the crest design would have not formed part of the Heraldic Documentation
  • The Shakespeare family would have given the description and Heraldic Documentation to a designer
  • The designer would have then made an interpretation of the description and drawn a crest
  • The original crest design is not in existence so there are various interpretations of the Shakespeare Coat of Arms
  • The image shown on this page is an interpretation of the description of the Coat of Arms designed by - it should not be viewed as a factual representation

William Shakespeare Index

Privacy Statement

Cookie Policy

2015 Siteseen Ltd