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Part of Jacob Kip's estate became a neighborhood in present-day Manhattan.
What is that neighborhood called?
Heraldic arms came into use in the Middle Ages, to distinguish fighters covered in armor. Arms have three main elements. The central and most important element is the coat of arms, so called because it originally took the form of a sleeveless cloth tunic, or surcoat, worn over body armor. It was decorated with specific colors, geometric shapes, and figures that identified the wearer and his family. The same identifying decoration was applied to the wearer’s shield, so the coat of arms is customarily represented as a shield, or escutcheon.
Above the coat of arms is the crest, which was originally a distinctive decorative object attached to the top of a helmet. Like the coat of arms, the crest helped identify the wearer, especially when the helmet visor concealed his face. In some heraldic arms, the helmet itself is included, but it is not essential.
Below the coat of arms is the third main element, the motto, usually inscribed on a scroll or plaque. The motto is a phrase, often in Latin, that expresses the principal aspiration or ideal of the family. Here, the motto “Vestigia nullas retrorsum” can be translated, “No steps backward,” or “No retreat.”
The colors, geometric forms, and figures used in crests and coats of arms are often symbolic. In the Kip coat of arms, the azure of the field, or background, symbolizes truth and fidelity, while the gold of the chevron symbolizes generosity and an enlightened mind. The griffins of the crest and “in chief” (across the top) on the shield are fantastic animals known for their bravery and vigilance. The griffin of the crest holds a cross, representing piety. The gauntlet at the base of the shield expresses a readiness to fight whenever challenged.
In the Middle Ages and Renaissance, heraldic arms were generally awarded only to the aristocracy, and became hereditary. In more recent times, they have often been assumed, or even invented, by families wishing to assert a high social status.
According to family tradition, the ancestors of the Kips belonged to a noble French lineage surnamed De Kype, centered around Alencon in Normandy. During the religious wars of the 16th century, Ruloff De Kype was a follower of the Catholic Duke of Guise. Early in the conflict, about 1562, Ruloff’s chateau was captured and burned, and he fled with his three sons to Holland, where he lived for several years before returning to France.
The third son, also named Ruloff De Kype (1544-1596), remained in Holland and converted to Protestantism. His son Hendrick Kype (born 1576) was a member of the “Company of Foreign Countries” sponsoring the explorations of Henry Hudson, who sailed up the Hudson River in 1609 and claimed New Netherland for the Dutch. Hendrick Kype himself may have lived briefly in the province’s capital, New Amsterdam, about 1635. His son Hendrick Hendricksen Kip (born 1600 – died after 1665) definitely settled there with his family in 1637.
Hendrick Hendricksen Kip was by profession a “snyder,” or tailor, but he served in several government offices, and became a prosperous and highly respected citizen of New Amsterdam under the Dutch, and of New York under the English. His sons, too, became leaders in the province, particularly Jacobus, or Jacob, Kip (1631-1690), who, like his father, held a number of important public offices and became quite rich.
About 1655 Jacob Kip acquired a large rural property in Manhattan, located on the shore of the East River. There he built a substantial house, and over the front door he mounted a stone plaque on which was carved these heraldic arms, to signify his claim to noble descent. You will learn more about Jacob Kip and his home at the next stage of the hunt.
General Note: At most stages, you will decipher a code (or find an answer or a clue) which you will need to enter in a box like the one above. This will allow you to proceed in the game. You may want to print an answer sheetto record your answers as you unfortunately will not be able to save your game.
Hint (AND THIS IS IMPORTANT!): Throughout the game, all code words, phrases, and answers will be in lowercase letters. All numbers smaller than 10 should be spelled out (ie: ten); numbers bigger than ten should be entered as numerals (ie: 11).
These are the heraldic arms of the Kip or Kipp family.
(Here in New Castle, the name has always been spelled “Kipp.”).