John, the Trussell coats-of-arms have been varied, but none have featured anything that resembles a candle-holder. Several early members (and branches) of the family used a simple cross, red on a silver or white background. The earliest was exactly the same in colour and design as the cross motif later taken by the crusaders as their emblem. Later several other designs of a simple cross were used, by the Trussell family in France and in England in and after 1066. Later, in England the trellis design was also used by members of the family, with a variety of colours and backgrounds.
On the trellis design, (the ‘bosses’ are called ‘bezants’ and are actually meant to represent coins) – the trellis design itself was/is also properly called ‘fretty’ or ‘tressel’ or ‘trussel’. Interestingly, the punch section stamp of the hammer die set used in coin-making is also called a ‘trussell’ – so it seems that early Trussells may have been moneyers or coinmakers, or certainly connected to coin minting. In France, (and according to research I am currently involved in – most probably also in England after 1066) early members of the family seem to have been keepers of the king’s dies, which might also explain the trellis (security?) and the coin bezants (the mint?).
I have not heard the term trussell used for ‘a candle-holder’ other than as promoted by some who hold the idea that the Earl of Oxford was the true author of Shakespeare’s plays – pointing to the fact that the Earl of Oxford’s maternal grandmother was Elizabeth Trussell, and that ‘Shakespeare’ has given clues to this relationship (and his true identity) in one of his plays, by using the term “I am a candle-holder”. It’s all a bit tenuous for me.
What I have found in my research is that place-names, phrases, peoples names and intended meanings are often slightly corrupted or mis-represented. On this note a 'candle-holder' seems a strange way to say candle-stick. It almost seems to refer to a person (who holds a candle)- which puts me in mind of a phrase similar to 'he doesn't hold a candle to his brother'- meaning 'he' is not such a good person as his brother? -
More significantly maybe - something obvious just occurs to me, how about coin-die-holder ??
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