Personal Heraldry in the Teutonic Order

Author: Clemmensen, Steen

Cover Type: Journal issue
Year published: 2018

Description / Notes: The knight brothers of the Teutonic Order, were strongly discouraged from the usage of personal family arms. Personal arms were only used by top ranking knights, land masters and land commanders, and were avoided in Prussia. The surviving records of personal arms of officers and knights of the Teutonic Order, may be grouped into five types: lists of Hochmeisters (Grand Masters), funeral memorials, plaques and frescoes on and in buildings, local member lists (some of them armorial), and a list of people gathered in Prussia in 1430. No tombs of high ranking officers have survived in Prussia, but half a dozen exist in Germany. They are usually carved with twin shields, one for the Order and one for the family. Whenever a new building was completed or renewed, the senior officer would, like his lay peers, place their arms on it, at least from the middle of the fifteenth-century. There are two churches and two castles in Prussia where painted murals survived which include heraldry. All the arms on the murals in Königsberg cathedral appear to refer to visiting crusaders, while in the Königsberg Juditten' Church two of the arms can be assigned to senior officers of the Order. From seal evidence, personal or family arms were used by higher officers, together with their emblems of office, from a relatively early date in Germany and in Livonia. The arms of 42 Teutonic Knights based in Prussia c 1430 found their way into Burgundian armorials, and include those of minor officials and ordinary knight brothers in the Konigsberg area. These were perhaps collected by a herald who made enquiries as to the ancestral arms of the knights. The first Hochmeister to integrate his personal arms with those of the office was Friedrich, duke of Saxony, who was elected in 1498  
Series/Journal/Book Title: The Coat of Arms
Language: English

Edition / Issue No.: 235

Accession No./FMG ID S- : 4526
Volume: 4th ser. 1
Number of Pages / Range: 195-217
ISSN: 0010-003X

Located in: Journal Article
Powered by SobiPro

Back to Top