Coat Of Arms

The Alliston Coat Of Arms

In the Collins Roll I ‘Erdeswickes version’ (lost original from circa 1295) the Arms of Mane de Eglestone are given as Per pale Gules and Vert an Eagle displayed Argent

In Collins Roll II ‘Dethick’s version’ ( lost original, 15th century additions to above only), the Arms of Malg’ de Eyleston are again given as Per Pale Gules and vert an Eagle displayed Argent.

It was then recorded in the Essex visitation of 1634

Arms-Per pale gules and vert an eagle displayed argent,membered or.
Crest-Out of a ducal coronet an eagles head gules, beaked or.

Mathew Elliston of Castell Hedingham in com. Essex ==
Mathew Elliston of castell==Anne d. Will’m Harrington of maplestead
Joseph Elliston 2 sonn of Tillingham==Mary d. Geffrey Binks of Tillingham==
Joesph Elliston 4 years old

Again in the Visitation 1664-1668
Arms – Per pale gules and vert, an eagle displayed argent charged on breast with a crescent for difference.
Crest – An eagles head argent, erased gules, murally gorged azure.

John Elliston of Black Notley==Alice Pilgrim
Mathew eldest sonn mar. Mary Champion ———— Isaac Elliston Of little Coxall alias Cogeshall
Mathew Mary

Further details can be found here page 401

Other references can be found in St Mary’s church at Gestingthorpe where John Elliston of Gestingthorpe has his memorial.

John Elliston Gestingthorpe

John Alliston Gestingthorpe

The arms were also in use by James Elliston of Clare on Merchant Tokens he issued.
quarterly, 1-4 eagle displayed, 2-3 fess between two helmets “James Elliston 1659” Clare, Suffolk (Corder col. 119, 324)

James Elliston of Clare Suffolk Farthing
Farthing of James Elliston

John of Gestingthorpe and Jospeh Elliston of Tillingham and Issac Elliston of Little Cogeshall are distant cousins. The common ancestor seems to be William Alliston of Castle Hedingham c1480 to 1556 or his Father John. The college of arms was formally incorporated in 1484 so the Alliston coat of arms probably pre-dates the formation.

The coat of arms came into use by the Ellistons shortly after the battle of Bosworth about 13 miles from Ayleston in Leicestershire. William Elliston was left 40s by John De Vere the 13th Earl of Oxford who was commander at the Battle. He was called a Yeoman and as such was probably one of De Veres Guards. His father may have fought at the battle.

Another reference to the seal of the Allistons can be found at

These arms are suspected to have been acquired post Tudor and not the original arms of the Allistons.

Lawrence Alliston is also referred to as Lawrence Alston the Manor documents of Castle Hedingham.

The earlier Liston coat of arms can be seen on the seal of Eleanor De Lyston 1335 at

Alston Coat Of Arms
Alston Coat Of Arms

The original Alston coat of arms can be found at

Original blazon: Az. ten estoiles or, four, three, two, and one.
Crest: Out of a crescent ar. an etoile or.
Supporters: –
Motto: Immotus.
(Saxham Hall, Suffolk, and Odell, co. Beds, Extinct Baronet).

Source: Burke’s General Armory (1884)

A similar coat of arms can be found on the Drewry arms quartered with the Listons The difference being that the stars are actually flowers. The church at Liston from whence the Alliston surname originates contains on the North Wall Lintel flowers of a similar style to the ones shown here.

The family history book by McCall shows their arms quartered with those of the  Scottish Liston family as his mother was a Liston.  Note the Crescent and Star.   The church door in the village of Liston, Essex  is very similar if you take the arch to be the crescent, two stars appear underneath and the chevrons are on the Lintel.

There is another coat of arms described by Revd. Edmund Farrer F.S.A in his work Early Suffolk Heraldry by The Suffolk Institute of Archeology and Natural History, this was used by Johannes De Lyston in 1334 as a seal on some land transactions.  It is likely that it is not his.  The closest match I can find is the Lisle family  at Wooten on the Isle of Wight.


A John De Insular Knight of Essex in the time of Edward II is mentioned here ….

Also Calendar of Close Rolls, Edward III: Volume 2, 1330-1333. pages 37-43
To the sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk. Order to deliver to William de Claydon, knight, his lands, goods and chattels, which were taken into the king’s hands by reason of his indictment for adhering to Edmund, late earl of Kent, the king’s enemy, before John de Loudham, Thomas de Hindringham, and Robert Houel, whom the king appointed to enquire the names of those who adhered to the earl and to take and imprison them, as William has rendered himself to prison in co. Essex prepared to stand to right concerning the premises at the king’s will, and he has found mainpernors before the king in chancery to answer for his lands, goods and chattels, to wit John de Insula, knight, of co. Northampton, John de Liston, knight, Henry Gernet, Robert son of William de Roukeswell, William le Yonge of Wenyngton, and Richard de Norton of co. Essex.

In Westminster Abbey we have the Lyston arms showing on the Tomb of Lewis Robessart who was standard bearer to Henry V.

Lewis Robessart Tomb
Lewis Robessart Tomb Westminster Abbey ( hosted on the Westminster Abbey site )

A description of the arms including Listons are given here courtesy of Foundation of Medieval Genealogy 

The arms of Liston on this tomb are a recent restoration and although similar do not quite match.  I suspect they may have had a crescent on top like the Alston arms rather than the extra bezants.

Another version can be seen on the arms of the Drewry family

The stars are replaced by cinquefoils. 3,2,1 instead of 4,3,2,1 much like the Frasers.  From  The History of the Family Drury in the Counties of Suffolk and Norfolk from the Conquest as commissioned by F. S. E. Drury and published by Arthur Campling in England, 1937

The seal Bishop William Fraser of St Andrews shows very similar symbolism combining the cinquefoils with th3 crescent and star.

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Origins of the surname Liston and Alliston