Vanderpool Coat of Arms

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David J. Vanderpool

Shafter, United States

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Small 7.9" x 12.0"
Medium 11.8" x 18.0"
Large 15.8" x 24.0"
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Artist's Description

Here is an updated version to the Vanderpool Coat of Arms, in America.

Since the feudal days, men’s ideas had undergone a change. Then it was the age of chivalry. No achievements were much esteemed except those of warlike character. War was business of the nobility during the Middle Ages. It was their method of replenishing their coffers, of extending their territories and of increasing their power and influence. But during the fifteenth century a different condition of things became general.

The Holy Roman Empire had gained strength enough to control the isolent and independent princes of the various petty states in their dominion, of which the Netherlands were perhaps the wealthiest portion. The right to carryon private war was wrested from the various dukes, counts, and princes who had so long disturbed the state by their constant broils.

Commerce and mercantile pursuits became more highly esteemed, and even the most patrician began to interest themselves in the peaceful arts of trade.

Men no longer prided themselves solely on deeds of violence and bloodshed. But success in commerce, in manufacture, or in the arts, became their ambition.

With this change came change in the insignia displayed by individuals, by cities, and by states.

It would seem to have been both prudent and politic for Gerrit Van Derpoel to displace the royal arms of Holland with the insignia of the industry in which his capital was engaged.

The emblems of war and of the tourney were no longer the only worthily ornaments of the knightly shield. As triumphs of peace began to outweigh the triumphs of war, it became usual to adopt some design commemorating the bearer’s mercantile or commercial success.

There are many illustrations of such a custom during the time of Gerrit VanDerpoel, and in pursuance of it we find that Gerrit displayed beneath the knight’s crest, indicative of noble birth, the burler’s shears, which were the distinguishing emblem of the manufacturers of cloth. “Burler’s shears were those used in burling woollen cloth, that is, in smoothing the surface, severing the knots and loose threads, and finishing the fabric. They are not often met with, but Rietstap’s Handbook of Heraldry mentions families having them on their escutcheons.”

The manufacture of cloth was a very important industry of Holland in the fourteenth century, and for one or two centuries later, and the people were proud of their success in producing it.

“Before the reign of Edward III, in England, 1327-1377, all the wool in England, except a small quantity wrought into coarse cloth for home consumption, was sold to the Flemings, or Lomards, and manufactured them”. – Prescoot’s Charles v., Vol. I, page 367.

“Louvain alone had (in the fourteenth century) 2,000 cloth manufactures. Here, as in other Flemish towns, the weavers were a very turbulent class, and always manifested great jealousy of the nobles in their civic administration. During an insurrection in 1378, thirteen magistrates of noble families were thrown from the windows of the Hotel de Ville, and received by the points of their spears, but Wencelaus, the Emperor, besieged and took the city and compelled the citizens to crave his pardon with every token of abject humiliation.”

The power of the nobles soon regained ascendancy, and their tyrannical sway caused thousands of industrious citizens to emigrate to Holland and England, where they transplanted their handicraft. From that period may be dated the decay of louvain.

The arms of Lord Daniel Van der Poel, the son of Count William IV, were the arms of Hainault quartered with those of Holland; but between the time of Lord Daniel and that of Gerrit Van Derpoel the family had contracted many noble alliances and many new devices had been quartered upon the Van Derpoel shield; and these would all have a reference and a character more or less warlike.

Such emblems would little befit a peaceful trader, and it was suitable as well as natural to adopt some distinguishing device with the reference to its wearer’s occupation.

The Van Derpoel family of the Hague still use the same coat of arms, theirs being identical with that used by the Vanderpools of the United States. The Van der Poels of Leiden have a different crest. From this family the advocate Peter Vanderpoel emigrated to Cape Town, South Africa, in 1692. The descendants of Peter Vanderpoel are today wealthy and respected residents of Cape Town.

Lee Carpentier speaks of two families of the name, one in Artois, the other at the Court of Lille. The first had for a coat of arms “blue on a fesse of gold, accompanied by three leopards heads”. The other, of Court of lille, had for a coat of arms “silver on a fesse of blue, and in the point a poule de sable.”

Still another authority says the arms of the Van dei Poels are the same of those of “de Merwede” (The wife of William IV, Count of Holland) "au franc quartier d’or ecarte Ie 1 et 4, au lion de gueules (La Holland) 2 et 3 au lion de sable (Ie Hainault).

They are found again at the Castle of Poelwyk in the Isle of Walcher en, with those of Stoop. Also we find in Brabant a family Van der Poelen whose coat of arms was "d’azure au chevrons d’or charged The Vanderpool Chronicle· 11signed A.A. Vosterman, Van Oigen.

The last mention are the arms of Gerrit Van derpoel, and those now in use by the family in America. A connection of the Vanderpoel family who has given the subject much study is of the opinion that the burler’s shears on the coat of arms had no reference whatever to the occupation of bearer. He told that a coat of arms is not a trade mark, nor to be so interpreted. A lion, or a bear and a ragged staff, a boars’ head or a pair of antlers, upon a coat of arms would certainly not be deemed a proof that the bearer was a showman or butcher. Another meaning should be given to these insignia. They are to be interpreted by some higher standard than that of commerce or trade, and are not to be taken in their literal signification. According to this authority, the shears are a symbol intended to stand for certain mental and moral attributes indicated by the root of the word which expresses shears in the Holland tongue. This word root indicates valor, or power.

Taken from: Genealogy of the Vanderpoel family, New York, Charles Francis Press 1912, pp. 36-40

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