Heraldic Art is the science of arms or coats of arms. It was born during the Middle Ages during the age of chivalry in order to permit persons to recognize their friends or enemies under their armors. The first armorials were painted on shields. Nobility marked their possessions with their arms as a method of identification. They would also have seals made in order to be affixed to their opinions, judgments, decisions, and their charters. Their arms would often be engraved on their chairs, their church pews, painted on the walls of their castles, worked in stain glass, sculpted on their tomb, etc. This coat of arms is found in "Promptuarium Armorum", and is there recorded as the arms of William Mather of Salop, 1602. Motto, "Sunt Fortia Pectora Nobis." This motto is also used, "Virtus Vera Nobilitas Est." The following is the description of the arms that was in the family of the early Mathers of Boston as described by Horace Mather: "Ermine on a fesse wavy Azure, three lions rampant Or Crest, a lion sedant Or." Ermine (the black figures like those seen on ermine robes of Judges in England) indicates that the head of the family at some time held the office of a Judge. The Lion is used in arms to denote courage, strength, and magnanimity. The Fesse indicates the belt of a Knight. In heraldic language, Or means gold and is an emblem of great worth. Azure means blue."
"Lineage of Rev. Richard Mather" by Horace E. Mather, p. 27.