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Isaac newton, the former Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge and author of the Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, was granted the right to bear a coat of arms by the College of Heralds in 1705, at around the time that Queen Anne made him a Knight Bachelor.

Newton was the first scientist to be knighted, but this was not a recognition of his contributions to knowledge. Rather, it appears to have been a royal favor to Newton's political patron, Lord Halifax. Halifax had previously obtained for Newton the appointment as Warden of the Royal Mint --a lucrative position which Newton occupied from 1696 until his death-- and had also promoted Newton's election as Member of Parliament for the University of Cambridge (1689-90 and 1701-02).

Newton submitted a genealogy to the College of Heralds, in which he claimed a common, male line descent with Sir John Newton, a baronet (i.e., hereditary knight) of Barrs Court in the County of Gloucester. The coat of arms granted to him by the College of Heralds is therefore also that of the Newton baronets.

The coat of arms is simple and striking: two white crossbones on a black background, like a pirate flag without the skull (technically, this is blazoned as "sable, two shin-bones in saltire argent, the dexter surmounted of the sinister").

A pair of crossed human bones appear in the armorial bearings of several different English families of the surname Newton. This usage is very ancient and its origin or intended meaning are unknown.

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โˆ™ 2010-11-24 16:40:58
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Q: What is the meaning behind Sir Isaac Newton's coat of arms?
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