Fitzpatrick Coat of Arms / Fitzpatrick Family Crest
FITZPATRICK, although composed with the Norman prefix 'Fitz' is not of Anglo-Norman origin. The surname was adopted by descendants of the Ossory sept MacGiolla Padgraig in lieu of the usual translation (Mc) Gilpatrick or Kilpatrick. The name ranks amongst the hundred most common names in Ireland. The name is Irish is Mac Giolla Phadraig meaning 'devotee of St. Patrick'. This was the name of a 5th century Romano-Britain who became the apostle of Ireland, and it was largely as a result of his fame that the given name was so popular in the Middle Ages. The name was originally introduced in the Latin form of PATRICIUS, which meant 'the son of a noble father', a member of the patrician class, and a member of the Roman hereditary-aristocracy. When the sparse Irish population began to increase it became necessary to broaden the base of personal identification by moving from single names to a more definite nomenclature. The prefix MAC was given to the father's christian name, or O to that of a grandfather or even earlier ancestor. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. A certain Sir Jerome FITZPATRICK, a frequent agitator for reform on the hulks and in the transports from Ireland to Botany Bay, was able to get the rigid slave leg-bolts struck off prisoners on two vessels waiting to sail from Cork in 1801, the 'Hercules' and her sister ship 'Atlas'; they were replaced by lighter chain-fetters. He was appalled by the treatment meted out to convicts waiting for transportation in the hulks both in England and Ireland. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Granted 1541.
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