In 1765 Thomas Magnall of St Peter Cornhill in the City of London, merchant, son of James Magnall (“which James writes his surname Mangnall”) of Prestwich, near Manchester, Lancashire, by his first wife Esther, daughter of Peter Briscoe of Little Lever, Bolton, Lancashire, petitioned for a grant of arms, his ancestors having borne Arms and Crest without authority. The following Armorial Bearings were granted to him on 19th February, 1765, to be borne by him and his descendants and “by such of the descendants of James his said father who shall write their name Magnall”:

  • Arms – Argent on a mount Vert a balista Azure charged with a stone proper a chief per fess embattled Or and Gules.
  • Crest – On a wreath Argent and Azure On a mount Vert an eagle rising proper crowned with an Eastern coronet Or Mantled Gules, doubled Argent.

No pedigree of the family appears ever to have been registered at the College of Arms. The terms of the grant are unusual, as is the appearance of a balista in a coat of arms. A balista is similar to a catapult or “mangonel” and so the use of it on the coat of arms may be a play on words or it may be that the Magnalls were involved in building or operating these engines of war at some time in the past.

For further information on Heraldry visit A GLOSSARY OF TERMS USED IN HERALDRY by JAMES PARKER first published in 1894 but now available on the Internet. To see specific reference to the Magnall coat of arms visit section S on slings but be warned it may take a little while to load!

If any one has any information on what the crest would look like could they please contact me.