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Mark D Dennis, BA, LLB, JD, FSA Scot, Advocate - Ormond Pursuivant

Arms: Per fess Gules and Ermine a pale invected counterchanged, three Danish battle axes Or.

Crest: An Opinicus sejeant Gules powdered with ermine spots, feathered and beaked Or, langued and armed Azure.


Matriculated: The Court of the Lord Lyon 30th November 2000. Lyon Register, volume 82, folio 70.

The invected pale differences these arms as the third son's off the main line. Dennises originating from the South West of England have borne some combination of the three axes for centuries. Nisbet quotes the Pont MSS for a Dennis branch - argent three battle axes sable within a border gules. The surname appears to originate from le Danais, the Dane, and the axes may be thought a rather remote pun. The shield per fess Gules and Ermine a pale counterchanged three Danish axes Or is recorded for the descendants of Arthur William Dennis, the armiger's grandfather.

The heraldic Opinicus is rarely met with. It is the gryphon of the Classical age. It is often seen in Greek and Roman decoration. It is distinguished from the heraldic griffon in having a lion's instead of an eagle's fore legs. The ermine spots were added by our erstwhile Lyon, Sir Malcolm Innes, possibly as a decorous and certainly decorative difference.

The motto answers that of my father, ESSE QUAM VIDERI, (be as you seem), while posing a pun on the axes of the arms.
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