In the England of the Tudor monarchs in the fifteenth century and after; blacks were very much in evidence in a particular show, London's colourful, and Lord Mayor's show.
One black known as "King of the Moors," mounted on a "lion" and preceded by other Africans bearing bars of gold, would lead the show. In 1680 a historian wrote:
"On the Lion is mounted a young African Prince attired in a very right habit, with a gold hilt in scarf of gold by his side. With one hand he holds a golden Bridle, in the other St. George's Banner and representh power."
Such were the scenes in various cities during the twilight of the power of the Moors in Europe. Another kind of African was making entry into Europe, this time not as conqueror, but as captive. But that is another story with tragic dimensions. McRitchie gives the names of many of these families (Moorish) whose are quite celebrated in English history. Top left, Douglas family crest/coat-of-arms
One of these is the aristocratic Douglas family, said to be one of the ancestors of the present royal family of Britain. Top left family crest from Britain showing a Moorish woman, McRitchie, shows that some of these noble families were descendants of the Moors. Middle and bottom left, Moors on coats of arms of English families.
A British authority, J.A. Ringrose, explains about the founder of this family: About the year 770 in the reign of Salvathius, King of the Scots, Donald Bane of the Western Isles having invaded Scotland and routed the royal army, a man of rank and figure came seasonably with his followers to the King's assistance.
He renewed the battle and obtained a complete victory over the invader. The king being anxious to see the man who had done him such signal service, he was pointed out to him by his colour, or complexion in Gaelic language -sholto-du-glash-" behold the black or swarthy coloured man" from which he obtained the name Sholto the Douglas.
McRitchie further states that the most revealing evidence of the Moorish origin of these noble families are "the thick-lipped Moors" on their coat-of arms. Many of these families still carry the name Moore. Barry's Encyclopedia Heraldica notes on its pages that "Moor's head is the heraldic term for the heads of a black or negro man."
McRitchie contends that the racial origin of these notable families stems from the fact that there were black peoples (Moors or Silure) domiciled in Scotland as early as the ninth and tenth centuries. Added to that, some of the bearers of the insignia of the Moor's heads are named Moore. Among the latter are the Rt. Hon. William Ponsonby Moore, Earl of Drogheda; Moore of Hancot; Moore of Moore Lodge; the Earl of Annesly; and Morrison-Bell of Otterburn.
Then, according to "Burke's the bible of British aristocracy, the coat-of-arms of the Marquess of Londonderry consists of "a Moor wreathed about the temples, arg. and az., holding in his hand a shield of the last, garnished or charged with the sun in splendor, gold." Bottom right, family crest from Britain showing a Moorish woman, McRitchie, shows that some of these noble families were descendants of the Moors. Bearers of similar coats-of-arms are the Earl Newburgh; Viscount Valentia, whose family is related to Annesly and whose arms bear a Moorish prince in armour; and, Baron Whitburgh. McRitchie maintains that these noble families were descendant of the Moors of the very earlier centuries who had been bred out until the black man finally disappeared by mating with whites only. He wrote:
No ethnologist could detect the presence of other blood, and yet in both cases, the male descendant would bear the surname signifying the "black man." You may see faces of a distinctly Mongolian and even Negroid cast in families whose pedigree may be traced for many generations without disclosing the slightest hint of extra-British blood;
so far as complexion goes there can be no doubt as to the presence of a vast infusion of "coloured" blood.
There are of course, no living Briton who are as black as negroes but some are as dark as mulattoes and many darker than Chinese.
To regard ourselves in the mass as a "white people except in a comparative degree, is quite a mistake.
The families with the name of Moor, Moore, Morris, Morrison too, and other derivatives of Moor, had Moors as their ancestors, stated David McRitchie.
Families with Moors in the coats-of-arms ranged from Sicily to Finland, and included Britain, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Switzerland, Poland, Denmark and Sweden.
McRitchie was convinced that some African blood was also mixed with Norman blood, which is the last word in British "blue blood."
Listed among those were the Morrices, Fitz-Morices, Mountmorrices, Maurices and Mauritzses, European variations, (all variations of Moor).
A noted writer on heraldry, Lower says of these August families:
"They are supposed to be of Moorish blood their progenitors having come from Africa by way of Spain into various countries of Western Europe."
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