The Blackett armorial bearings were first registered by Thomas Blackett (c.1525-1603) of Woodcroft in 1575, when he recorded the arms with the Norroy Herald at a Visitation1 at Auckland. Both of the two separate Blackett Baronetcies, including the one still in existence, adopted the arms, and the versions used by the various branches of the family differ only in minor details.
Burke’s Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage describes them as “Arg., on a chevron, between three mullets, pierced, sa., as many escallops in the field.” The crest is: “A hawk’s head erased, proper”. The motto, “nous travaillerons en esperance” (“we will labour in hope”2), was added later. In his book “My Name is Blacket” the late Nick Vine Hall states that the “three shells” on the coat of arms “are claimed by some members of the family to indicate that the Blackets fought in the Crusades, but no documentary evidence has been found of this. The escallop was supposed to be the badge of St. James, the patron saint of pilgrims, who was revered by the crusaders.”
These Blackett arms are quite different from those of Sir John Blaket of Icomb, Gloucestershire (see Agincourt and All That).
1 Effectively a tour of inspection by the herald to confirm pre-existing rights to bear arms or to grant new arms.
2 An appropriate motto when researching the Blackett family tree.