The Preston Family Armorial Coat of Arms & Crest

The Viscount Gormanston family motto is "Sans Tache", (Without Stain)

Viscount Gormanston's Armorial Coat of Arms & Crest (no coloring is present)

The Preston Family, Viscount Gormanston in Co's Dublin and Meath, Baron Birmingham of Kells in Ossory, Baron Laundres of the Naas, Co Kildare, Baron Gormanston in Ireland, Baron Gormanston of Whitewood, Co Meath in the United Kingdom, premier viscount of Ireland (oldest viscountcy in Ireland). Armorial Coat of Arms & Crest.

The Barony of Drumagheire and other Irish lands were granted by Charles I in 1636 to Nicholas Preston, 6th Viscount Gormanston making him the 1st Baron of Drumahaire when the Barony of Drumahaire with other Irish lands passed into the hands of the Crown in 1536 after the Act of Resumption, essentially an Act stripping absentee Irish landowners of their lands and titles. The Barony of Drumahaire's old name was Drumagheire.

The Blazon of Arms: Or on a chief, sable, three crescents, gold of the first


Crest: On a chapeau, gules, turned up, ermin, a fox pasant, proper


Supporters: Dexter, a fox, proper: sinister, a lion rampart, proper, or, armed and langued gules

Seat: Gormanston Castle, Balbriggan: and Whitewood, Nobber, Co Meath, Ireland; 34 Lord Latie, Dublin 2, Ireland

Clubs: Army & Navy, Carlton, Kildare Street, Dublin


The following is taken from the book p. 90, "Tribute to an Armorist", Essays for John Brooke-Little, 2000, edited by John Campbell-Kease.

The crest and supporter of the Viscounts Gormanston are a fox proper. Now it is an extraordinary thing but it is reputed that whenever a Lord Gormanston was about to die foxes in considerable numbers congregated at Gormanston Castle in Meath. As foxes are solitary by nature for them to congregate in any number is most unusual. Howver, there are a number of accounts of this seeming to happen on the occasion of a Lord Gormanston's death. For example, when the 12th viscount was dying in the winter of 1860, Lord Fingall, related that a villager said to him, "My Lord, you will not find today, all the foxes have gone to Gormanston to see the old lord die", which he did that very day. When the 13th viscount died in 1876 a pack of foxes is said to have trooped across the fields in a line parallel to the cortege bearing his body to the churchyard. An old friend of mine, the late Fr. John Ramsey, was a grandson of the 14th Viscount and a collector of these tales of the Gormanston foxes. Apparently, prior to his grandfather's burial in 1927 foxes surrounded the chapel where his body was lying and dispite all efforts by Lord Gormanston's brother, Colonel Richard Preston DSO, to remove them they would not budge until daylight.

A distinguished Irish lady, who was living near Gormanston at the time, told me that one of the villagers came into her parent's house one morning in June 1940 and said "something has happened to Lord Gormanston, the foxes were barking all night long". The news that the 16th Viscount had been killed in action in France came through shortly after. Now that Gormanston Castle has been sold these occurrences may cease.

Last updated December 2000

Return to the beginning