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The lion is derived from the arms of the old van Bronckhorst family.
Source: the Bronckhorst website, and reports by Stefan Lambrechts on the Benevex-list in 2005.
The city of Bronkhorst (c. 220 inh.) was incorporated in 1811 in the
municipality of Steenderen. Its claim to fame was that it was the smallest
city in the Netherlands - other claimants are Staverden (Gld, municipality
Ermelo), just a manorhouse (and a lot of peacocks) and Sint Anna ter Muiden
(Zeeland) with c. 200 inh.
Bronkhorst was the seat of the notorious van Bronkhorst family (1100-1553), who were "bannerheren", feuding with the van Heeckerens since 1350. In 1482 Bronkhorst received city rights. The van Hekerens had its powerbase in Emmerich (now Germany), but originated in the village of Almen, the Ehze-manor, in the municipality of Gorssel, Gld.
A "bannerheer" was a knight who had to field 50 knights and 200
archers at his own expense under his own banner ("banier"). There
were 4 "bannerheren" in Gelderland in the Middle Ages entitled to
carry "banieren", instead of just "vaandels" (standards).
There was a rhyme in 1400:
Boer de oudste (Boer the oldest)
Wisch de stoutste (Wisch the boldest)
Bergh de rixte (Bergh the richest)
Bronkhorst de adellyxte (Bronkhorst the noblest)
Source: Prisma-toeristengids Overijssel-Gelderland-Utrecht, by P.G.
Jarig Bakker, 16 Dec 2006