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Title: A Complete Guide to Heraldry

Author: Arthur Charles Fox-Davies

Illustrator: Graham Johnston

Release date: December 13, 2012 [eBook #41617]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Chris Curnow, Keith Edkins and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at (This
file was produced from images generously made available
by The Internet Archive)


Transcriber's note: A few typographical errors have been corrected. They are listed at the end of the text, after the notes.

Plate I.


Printers mark.
T. C. & E. C. JACK


Introduction ix
I. The Origin of Armory 1
II. The Status and the Meaning of a Coat of Arms in Great Britain 19
III. The Heralds and Officers of Arms 27
IV. Heraldic Brasses 49
V. The Component Parts of an Achievement 57
VI. The Shield 60
VII. The Field of a Shield and the Heraldic Tinctures 67
VIII. The Rules of Blazon 99
IX. The so-called Ordinaries and Sub-Ordinaries 106
X. The Human Figure in Heraldry 158
XI. The Heraldic Lion 172
XII. Beasts 191
XIII. Monsters 218
XIV. Birds 233
XV. Fish 253
XVI. Reptiles 257
XVII. Insects 260
XVIII. Trees, Leaves, Fruits, and Flowers 262
XIX. Inanimate Objects 281
XX. The Heraldic Helmet 303
{viii} XXI. The Crest 326
XXII. Crowns and Coronets 350
XXIII. Crest Coronets and Chapeaux 370
XXIV. The Mantling or Lambrequin 383
XXV. The Torse or Wreath 402
XXVI. Supporters 407
XXVII. The Compartment 441
XXVIII. Mottoes 448
XXIX. Badges 453
XXX. Heraldic Flags, Banners, and Standards 471
XXXI. Marks of Cadency 477
XXXII. Marks of Bastardy 508
XXXIII. The Marshalling of Arms 523
XXXIV. The Armorial Insignia of Knighthood 561
XXXV. The Armorial Bearings of a Lady 572
XXXVI. Official Heraldic Insignia 580
XXXVII. Augmentations of Honour 589
XXXVIII. Ecclesiastical Heraldry 600
XXXIX. Arms of Dominion and Sovereignty 607
XL. Hatchments 609
XLI. The Union Jack 611
XLII. "Seize-Quartiers" 618
Index 623




Too frequently it is the custom to regard the study of the science of Armory as that of a subject which has passed beyond the limits of practical politics. Heraldry has been termed "the shorthand of History," but nevertheless the study of that shorthand has been approached too often as if it were but the study of a dead language. The result has been that too much faith has been placed in the works of older writers, whose dicta have been accepted as both unquestionably correct at the date they wrote, and, as a consequence, equally binding at the present day.

Since the "Boke of St. Albans" was written, into the heraldic portion of which the author managed to compress an unconscionable amount of rubbish, books and treatises on the subject of Armory have issued from the press in a constant succession. A few of them stand a head and shoulders above the remainder. The said remainder have already sunk into oblivion. Such a book as "Guillim" must of necessity rank in the forefront of any armorial bibliography; but any one seeking to judge the Armory of the present day by the standards and ethics adopted by that writer, would find himself making mistake after mistake, and led hopelessly astray. There can be very little doubt that the "Display of Heraldry" is an accurate representation of the laws of Armory which governed the use of Arms at the date the book was written; and it correctly puts forward the opinions which were then accepted concerning the past history of the science.

There are two points, however, which must be borne in mind.

The first is that the critical desire for accuracy which fortunately seems to have been the keynote of research during the nineteenth century, has produced students of Armory whose investigations into facts have swept away the fables, the myths, and the falsehood which had collected around the ancient science, and which in their preposterous assertions had earned for Armory a ridicule, a contempt, and a disbelief which the science itself, and moreover the active practice of the science, had never at any time warranted or deserved. The desire to gratify the vanity of illustrious patrons rendered the mythical traditions attached to Armory more difficult to explode than in the cases of those other sciences in which no one has a personal interest in {x}upholding the wrong; but a study of the scientific works of bygone days, and the comparison, for example, of a sixteenth or seventeenth century medical book with a similar work of the present day, will show that all scientific knowledge during past centuries was a curious conglomeration of unquestionable fact, interwoven with and partly obscured by a vast amount of false information, which now can either be dismissed as utter rubbish or controverted and disproved on the score of being plausible untruth. Consequently, Armory, no less than medicine, theology, or jurisprudence, should not be lightly esteemed because our predecessors knew less about the subject than is known at the present day, or because they believed implicitly dogma and tradition which we ourselves know to be and accept as exploded. Research and investigation constantly goes on, and every day adds to our knowledge.

The second point, which perhaps is the most important, is the patent fact that Heraldry and Armory are not a dead science, but are an actual living reality. Armory may be a quaint survival of a time with different manners and customs, and different ideas from our own, but the word "Finis" has not yet been written to the science, which is still slowly developing and altering and changing as it is suited to the altered manners and customs of the present day. I doubt not that this view will be a startling one to many who look upon Armory as indissolubly associated with parchments and writings already musty with age. But so long as the Sovereign has the power to create a new order of Knighthood, and attach thereto Heraldic insignia, so long as the Crown has the power to create a new coronet, or to order a new ceremonial, so long as new coats of arms are being called into being,—for so long is it idle to treat Armory and Heraldry as a science incapable of further development, or as a science which in recent periods has not altered in its laws.

The many mistaken ideas upon Armory, however, are not all due to the two considerations which have been put forward. Many are due to the fact that the hand-books of Armory professing to detail the laws of the science have not always been written by those having complete knowledge of their subject. Some statement appears in a textbook of Armory, it is copied into book after book, and accepted by those who study Armory as being correct; whilst all the time it is absolutely wrong, and has never been accepted or acted upon by the Officers of Arms. One instance will illustrate my meaning. There is scarcely a text-book of Armory which does not lay down the rule, that when a crest issues from a coronet it must not be placed upon a wreath. Now there is no rule whatever upon the subject; and instances are frequent, both in ancient and in modern grants, in which coronets have been granted to be borne upon wreaths; and the wreath should {xi}be inserted or omitted according to the original grant of the crest. Consequently, the so-called rule must be expunged.

Another fruitful source of error is the effort which has frequently been made to assimilate the laws of Armory prevailing in the three different kingdoms into one single series of rules and regulations. Some writers have even gone so far as to attempt to assimilate with our own the rules and regulations which hold upon the Continent. As a matter of fact, many of the laws of Arms in England and Scotland are radically different; and care needs to be taken to point out these differences.

The truest way to ascertain the laws of Armory is by deduction from known facts. Nevertheless, such a practice may lead one astray, for the number of exceptions to any given rule in Armory is always great, and it is sometimes difficult to tell what is the rule, and which are the exceptions. Moreover, the Sovereign, as the fountain of honour, can over-ride any rule or law of Arms; and many exceptional cases which have been governed by specific grants have been accepted in times past as demonstrating the laws of Armory, when they have been no more than instances of exceptional favour on the part of the Crown.

In England no one is compelled to bear Arms unless he wishes; but, should he desire to do so, the Inland Revenue requires a payment of one or two guineas, according to the method of use. From this voluntary taxation the yearly revenue exceeds £70,000. This affords pretty clear evidence that Armory is still decidedly popular, and that its use and display are extensive; but at the same time it would be foolish to suppose that the estimation in which Armory is held, is equal to, or approaches, the romantic value which in former days was attached to the inheritance of Arms. The result of this has been—and it is not to be wondered at—that ancient examples are accepted and extolled beyond what should be the case. It should be borne in mind that the very ancient examples of Armory which have come down to us, may be examples of the handicraft of ignorant individuals; and it is not safe to accept unquestioningly laws of Arms which are deduced from Heraldic handicraft of other days. Most of them are correct, because as a rule such handicraft was done under supervision; but there is always the risk that it has not been; and this risk should be borne in mind when estimating the value of any particular example of Armory as proof or contradiction of any particular Armorial law. There were "heraldic stationers" before the present day.

A somewhat similar consideration must govern the estimate of the Heraldic art of a former day. To every action we are told there is a reaction; and the reaction of the present day, admirable and commendable as it undoubtedly is, which has taken the art of Armory back to the style in vogue in past centuries, needs to be kept within intelligent {xii}bounds. That the freedom of design and draughtsmanship of the old artists should be copied is desirable; but at the same time there is not the slightest necessity to copy, and to deliberately copy, the crudeness of execution which undoubtedly exists in much of the older work. The revulsion from what has been aptly styled "the die-sinker school of heraldry" has caused some artists to produce Heraldic drawings which (though doubtless modelled upon ancient examples) are grotesque to the last degree, and can be described in no other way.

In conclusion, I have to repeat my grateful acknowledgments to the many individuals who assisted me in the preparation of my "Art of Heraldry," upon which this present volume is founded, and whose work I have again made use of.

The very copious index herein is entirely the work of my professional clerk, Mr. H. A. Kenward, for which I offer him my thanks. Only those who have had actual experience know the tedious weariness of compiling such an index.


23 Old Buildings,

Lincoln's Inn, W. C.



Illuminated A

rmory is that science of which the rules and the laws govern the use, display, meaning, and knowledge of the pictured signs and emblems appertaining to shield, helmet, or banner. Heraldry has a wider meaning, for it comprises everything within the duties of a herald; and whilst Armory undoubtedly is Heraldry, the regulation of ceremonials and matters of pedigree, which are really also within the scope of Heraldry, most decidedly are not Armory.

"Armory" relates only to the emblems and devices. "Armoury" relates to the weapons themselves as weapons of warfare, or to the place used for the storing of the weapons. But these distinctions of spelling are modern.

The word "Arms," like many other words in the English language, has several meanings, and at the present day is used in several senses. It may mean the weapons themselves; it may mean the limbs upon the human body. Even from the heraldic point of view it may mean the entire achievement, but usually it is employed in reference to the device upon the shield only.

Of the exact origin of arms and armory nothing whatever is definitely known, and it becomes difficult to point to any particular period as the period covering the origin of armory, for the very simple reason that it is much more difficult to decide what is or is not to be admitted as armorial. {2}

Until comparatively recently heraldic books referred armory indifferently to the tribes of Israel, to the Greeks, to the Romans, to the Assyrians and the Saxons; and we are equally familiar with the "Lion of Judah" and the "Eagle of the Cæsars." In other directions we find the same sort of thing, for it has ever been the practice of semi-civilised nations to bestow or to assume the virtues and the names of animals and of deities as symbols of honour. We scarcely need refer to the totems of the North American Indians for proof of such a practice. They have reduced the subject almost to an exact science; and there cannot be the shadow of a doubt that it is to this semi-savage practice that armory is to be traced if its origin is to be followed out to its logical and most remote beginning. Equally is it certain that many recognised heraldic figures, and more particularly those mythical creatures of which the armorial menagerie alone has now cognisance, are due to the art of civilisations older than our own, and the legends of those civilisations which have called these mythical creatures into being.

The widest definition of armory would have it that any pictorial badge which is used by an individual or a family with the meaning that it is a badge indicative of that person or family, and adopted and repeatedly used in that sense, is heraldic. If such be your definition, you may ransack the Scriptures for the arms of the tribes of Israel, the writings of the Greek and Roman poets for the decorations of the armour and the persons of their heroes, mythical and actual, and you may annex numberless "heraldic" instances from the art of Nineveh, of Babylon, and of Egypt. Your heraldry is of the beginning and from the beginning. It is fact, but is it heraldry? The statement in the "Boke of St. Albans" that Christ was a gentleman of coat armour is a fable, and due distinction must be had between the fact and the fiction in this as in all other similar cases.

Mr. G. W. Eve, in his "Decorative Heraldry," alludes to and illustrates many striking examples of figures of an embryonic type of heraldry, of which the best are one from a Chaldean bas-relief 4000 B. C., the earliest known device that can in any way be called heraldic, and another, a device from a Byzantine silk of the tenth century. Mr. Eve certainly seems inclined to follow the older heraldic writers in giving as wide an interpretation as possible to the word heraldic, but it is significant that none of these early instances which he gives appear to have any relation to a shield, so that, even if it be conceded that the figures are heraldic, they certainly cannot be said to be armorial. But doubtless the inclusion of such instances is due to an attempt, conscious or unconscious, on the part of the writers who have taken their stand on the side of great antiquity to so frame the definition of armory that it shall include everything heraldic, and due perhaps somewhat to the half unconscious {3}reasoning that these mythical animals, and more especially the peculiarly heraldic positions they are depicted in, which nowadays we only know as part of armory, and which exist nowhere else within our knowledge save within the charmed circle of heraldry, must be evidence of the great antiquity of that science or art, call it which you will. But it is a false deduction, due to a confusion of premise and conclusion. We find certain figures at the present day purely heraldic—we find those figures fifty centuries ago. It certainly seems a correct conclusion that, therefore, heraldry must be of that age. But is not the real conclusion, that, our heraldic figures being so old, it is evident that the figures originated long before heraldry was ever thought of, and that instead of these mythical figures having been originated by the necessities of heraldry, and being part, or even the rudimentary origin of heraldry, they had existed for other reasons and purposes—and that when the science of heraldry sprang into being, it found the whole range of its forms and charges already existing, and that none of these figures owe their being to heraldry? The gryphon is supposed to have originated, as is the double-headed eagle, from the dimidiation of two coats of arms resulting from impalement by reason of marriage. Both these figures were known ages earlier. Thus departs yet another of the little fictions which past writers on armory have fostered and perpetuated. Whether the ancient Egyptians and Assyrians knew they were depicting mythical animals, and did it, intending them to be symbolical of attributes of their deities, something beyond what they were familiar with in their ordinary life, we do not know; nor indeed have we any certain knowledge that there have never been animals of which their figures are but imperfect and crude representations.

But it does not necessarily follow that because an Egyptian artist drew a certain figure, which figure is now appropriated to the peculiar use of armory, that he knew anything whatever of the laws of armory. Further, where is this argument to end? There is nothing peculiarly heraldic about the lion passant, statant, dormant, couchant, or salient, and though heraldic artists may for the sake of artistic appearance distort the brute away from his natural figure, the rampant is alone the position which exists not in nature; and if the argument is to be applied to the bitter end, heraldry must be taken back to the very earliest instance which exists of any representation of a lion. The proposition is absurd. The ancient artists drew their lions how they liked, regardless of armory and its laws, which did not then exist; and, from decorative reasons, they evolved a certain number of methods of depicting the positions of e.g. the lion and the eagle to suit their decorative purposes. When heraldry came into existence it came in as an adjunct of decoration, and it necessarily followed that the whole of the positions in which the {4}craftsmen found the eagle or the lion depicted were appropriated with the animals for heraldry. That this appropriation for the exclusive purposes of armory has been silently acquiesced in by the decorative artists of later days is simply proof of the intense power and authority which accrued later to armory, and which was in fact attached to anything relating to privilege and prerogative. To put it baldly, the dominating authority of heraldry and its dogmatic protection by the Powers that were, appropriated certain figures to its use, and then defied any one to use them for more humble decorative purposes not allied with armory. And it is the trail of this autocratic appropriation, and from the decorative point of view this arrogant appropriation, which can be traced in the present idea that a griffin or a spread eagle, for example, must be heraldic. Consequently the argument as to the antiquity of heraldry which is founded upon the discovery of the heraldic creature in the remote ages goes by the board. One practical instance may perhaps more fully demonstrate my meaning. There is one figure, probably the most beautiful of all of those which we owe to Egypt, which is now rapidly being absorbed into heraldry. I refer to the Sphinx. This, whilst strangely in keeping with the remaining mythical heraldic figures, for some reason or other escaped the exclusive appropriation of armorial use until within modern times. One of the earliest instances of its use in recognised armory occurs in the grant to Sir John Moore, K.B., the hero of Corunna, and another will be found in the augmentation granted to Admiral Sir Alexander Cochrane, K.B. Since then it has been used on some number of occasions. It certainly remained, however, for the late Garter King of Arms to evolve from the depths of his imagination a position which no Egyptian sphinx ever occupied, when he granted two of them as supporters to the late Sir Edward Malet, G.C.B. The Sphinx has also been adopted as the badge of one of his Majesty's regiments, and I have very little doubt that now Egypt has come under our control the Sphinx will figure in some number of the grants of the future to commemorate fortunes made in that country, or lifetimes spent in the Egyptian services. If this be so, the dominating influence of armory will doubtless in the course of another century have given to the Sphinx, as it has to many other objects, a distinctly heraldic nature and character in the mind of the "man in the street" to which we nowadays so often refer the arbitrament between conflicting opinions. Perhaps in the even yet more remote future, when the world in general accepts as a fact that armory did not exist at the time of the Norman Conquest, we shall have some interesting and enterprising individual writing a book to demonstrate that because the Sphinx existed in Egypt long before the days of Cleopatra, heraldry must of necessity be equally antique. {5}

I have no wish, however, to dismiss thus lightly the subject of the antiquity of heraldry, because there is one side of the question which I have not yet touched upon, and that is, the symbolism of these ancient and so-called heraldic examples. There is no doubt whatever that symbolism forms an integral part of armory; in fact there is no doubt that armory itself as a whole is nothing more or less than a kind of symbolism. I have no sympathy whatever with many of the ideas concerning this symbolism, which will be found in nearly all heraldic books before the day of the late J. R. Planché, Somerset Herald, who fired the train which exploded then and for ever the absurd ideas of former writers. That an argent field meant purity, that a field of gules meant royal or even martial ancestors, that a saltire meant the capture of a city, or a lion rampant noble and enviable qualities, I utterly deny. But that nearly every coat of arms for any one of the name of Fletcher bears upon it in some form or another an arrow or an arrow-head, because the origin of the name comes from the occupation of the fletcher, who was an arrow-maker, is true enough. Symbolism of that kind will be found constantly in armory, as in the case of the foxes and foxes' heads in the various coats of Fox, the lions in the coats of arms of Lyons, the horse in the arms of Trotter, and the acorns in the arms of Oakes; in fact by far the larger proportion of the older coats of arms, where they can be traced to their real origin, exhibit some such derivation. There is another kind of symbolism which formerly, and still, favours the introduction of swords and spears and bombshells into grants of arms to military men, that gives bezants to bankers and those connected with money, and that assigns woolpacks and cotton-plants to the shields of textile merchants; but that is a sane and reasonable symbolism, which the reputed symbolism of the earlier heraldry books was not.

It has yet to be demonstrated, however, though the belief is very generally credited, that all these very ancient Egyptian and Assyrian figures of a heraldic character had anything of symbolism about them. But even granting the whole symbolism which is claimed for them, we get but little further. There is no doubt that the eagle from untold ages has had an imperial symbolism which it still possesses. But that symbolism is not necessarily heraldic, and it is much more probable that heraldry appropriated both the eagle and its symbolism ready made, and together: consequently, if, as we have shown, the existence of the eagle is not proof of the coeval existence of heraldry, no more is the existence of the symbolical imperial eagle. For if we are to regard all symbolism as heraldic, where are we either to begin or to end? Church vestments and ecclesiastical emblems are symbolism run riot; in fact they are little else: but by no stretch of imagination can these be {6}considered heraldic with the exception of the few (for example the crosier, the mitre, and the pallium) which heraldry has appropriated ready made. Therefore, though heraldry appropriated ready made from other decorative art, and from nature and handicraft, the whole of its charges, and though it is evident heraldry also appropriated ready made a great deal of its symbolism, neither the earlier existence of the forms which it appropriated, nor the earlier existence of their symbolism, can be said to weigh at all as determining factors in the consideration of the age of heraldry. Sloane Evans in his "Grammar of Heraldry" (p. ix.) gives the following instances as evidence of the greater antiquity, and they are worthy at any rate of attention if the matter is to be impartially considered.

"The antiquity of ensigns and symbols may be proved by reference to Holy Writ.

"1. 'Take ye the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel, after their families, by the house of their fathers, with the number of their names.... And they assembled all the congregation together on the first day of the second month; and they declared their pedigrees after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward.... And the children of Israel shall pitch their tents, every man by his own camp, and every man by his own standard, throughout their hosts' (Numbers i. 2, 18, 52).

"2. 'Every man of the children of Israel shall pitch by his own standard, with the ensign of their father's house' (Numbers ii. 2).

"3. 'And the children of Israel did according to all that the Lord commanded Moses: so they pitched by their standards, and so they set forward, every one after their families, according to the house of their fathers' (Numbers ii. 34)."

The Latin and Greek poets and historians afford numerous instances of the use of symbolic ornaments and devices. It will be sufficient in this work to quote from Æschylus and Virgil, as poets; Herodotus and Tacitus, as historians.

(Septem contra Thebas.)

The poet here introduces a dialogue between Eteocles, King of Thebes, the women who composed the chorus, and a herald (κηρυξ), which latter is pointing out the seven captains or chiefs of the army of Adrastus against Thebes; distinguishing one from another by the emblematical devices upon their shields.

1. Tydeus.
("Τοιᾶυν ἀϋτῶν,—νυκτὸς ὀφθαλμὸς πρέπει"—Lines 380-386.)

"... Frowning he speaks, and shakes

The dark crest streaming o'er his shaded helm

In triple wave; whilst dreadful ring around

The brazen bosses of his shield, impress'd


With his proud argument:—'A sable sky

Burning with stars; and in the midst full orb'd

A silver moon;'—the eye of night o'er all,

Awful in beauty, forms her peerless light."

2. Capaneus.
("Ἔχει δὲ σῆμα,—ΠΡΗΣΩ ΠΟΛΙΝ."—Lines 428-430.)

"On his proud shield portray'd: 'A naked man

Waves in his hand a blazing torch;' beneath

In golden letters—'I will fire the city.'"

3. Eteoclus.
("Ἔσχημάτισται,—πυργωμάτων."—Lines 461-465.)

"... No mean device

Is sculptured on his shield: 'A man in arms,

His ladder fix'd against the enemies' walls,

Mounts, resolute, to rend their rampires down;'

And cries aloud (the letters plainly mark'd),

'Not Mars himself shall beat me from the Tow'rs.'"

4. Hippomedon.
("Ὁ σηματουργὸς—φόβον βλέπων·"—Lines 487-494.)

"... On its orb, no vulgar artist

Expressed this image: 'A Typhæus huge,

Disgorging from his foul enfounder'd jaws,

In fierce effusion wreaths of dusky smoke.

Signal of kindling flames; its bending verge

With folds of twisted serpents border'd round.'

With shouts the giant chief provokes the war,

And in the ravings of outrageous valour

Glares terror from his eyes ..."

5. Parthenopæus.
("Ὁν μὴν ἀκόμπαστος—ἵαπτεσθαι Βέλη·"—Lines 534-540.)

"... Upon his clashing shield,

Whose orb sustains the storm of war, he bears

The foul disgrace of Thebes:—'A rav'nous Sphynx

Fixed to the plates: the burnish'd monster round

Pours a portentous gleam: beneath her lies

A Theban mangled by her cruel fangs:'—

'Gainst this let each brave arm direct the spear."

6. Amphiaraus.
("Τοιαῦθ ὁ μάντις,—βλαστάνει βουλευματα."—Lines 587-591.)

"So spoke the prophet; and with awful port

Advanc'd his massy shield, the shining orb

Bearing no impress, for his gen'rous soul

Wishes to be, not to appear, the best;

And from the culture of his modest worth

Bears the rich fruit of great and glorious deeds."


7. Polynices.
("Ἔχει δὲ—τά ξευρηματα."—Lines 639-646.)

"... His well-orb'd shield he holds,

New wrought, and with a double impress charg'd:

A warrior, blazing all in golden arms,

A female form of modest aspect leads,

Expressing justice, as th' inscription speaks,

'Yet once more to his country, and once more

To his Paternal Throne I will restore him'—

Such their devices ..."

(The Æneid.)
1. ("Atque hic exultans—insigne decorum."—Lib. ii. lines 386-392.)

"Choræbus, with youthful hopes beguil'd,

Swol'n with success, and of a daring mind,

This new invention fatally design'd.

'My friends,' said he, 'since fortune shows the way,

'Tis fit we should the auspicious guide obey.

For what has she these Grecian arms bestowed,

But their destruction, and the Trojans' good?

Then change we shields, and their devices bear:

Let fraud supply the want of force in war.

They find us arms.'—This said, himself he dress'd

In dead Androgeos' spoils, his upper vest,

His painted buckler, and his plumy crest."

2. ("Post hos insignem—serpentibus hydram."—Lib. vii. lines 655-658.)

"Next Aventinus drives his chariot round

The Latian plains, with palms and laurels crown'd.

Proud of his steeds, he smokes along the field;

His father's hydra fills his ample shield;

A hundred serpents hiss about the brims;

The son of Hercules he justly seems,

By his broad shoulders and gigantic limbs."

3. ("Sequitur pulcherrimus Astur—insigne paternæ."—Lib. x. lines 180-188.)

"Fair Astur follows in the wat'ry field,

Proud of his manag'd horse, and painted shield.

Thou muse, the name of Cinyras renew,

And brave Cupavo follow'd but by few;

Whose helm confess'd the lineage of the man,

And bore, with wings display'd, a silver swan.

Love was the fault of his fam'd ancestry.

Whose forms and fortunes in his Ensigns fly."


1. Cilo, § 171.
("Καὶ σφι τριξὰ ἐξέυρήματα ἐγένετο—τὰ σημήϊα ποιὲεσθαι.")

"And to them is allowed the invention of three things, which have come into use among the Greeks:—For the Carians seem to be the first who put crests upon their helmets and sculptured devices upon their shields."

2. Calliope, § 74.
("Ὀ δέτερος τῶν λόγων—ἐπίοημον ἄγκυραν.")

"Those who deny this statement assert that he (Sophanes) bare on his shield, as a device, an anchor."

(The Annals.—Lib. 1.)
1. ("Tum redire paulatim—in sedes referunt."—Cap. 28.)

"They relinquished the guard of the gates; and the Eagles and other Ensigns, which in the beginning of the Tumult they had thrown together, were now restored each to its distinct station."

Potter in his "Antiquities of Greece" (Dunbar's edition, Edinburgh, 1824, vol. ii. page 79), thus speaks of the ensigns or flags (σημεῖα) used by the Grecians in their military affairs: "Of these there were different sorts, several of which were adorned with images of animals, or other things bearing peculiar relations to the cities they belong to. The Athenians, for instance, bore an owl in their ensigns (Plutarchus Lysandro), as being sacred to Minerva, the protectress of their city; the Thebans a Sphynx (idem Pelopidas, Cornelius Nepos, Epaminondas), in memory of the famous monster overcome by Œdipus. The Persians paid divine honours to the sun, and therefore represented him in their ensigns" (Curtius, lib. 3). Again (in page 150), speaking of the ornaments and devices on their ships, he says: "Some other things there are in the prow and stern that deserve our notice, as those ornaments wherewith the extremities of the ship were beautified, commonly called ἀκρονεα (or νεῶν κορωνίδες), in Latin, Corymbi. The form of them sometimes represented helmets, sometimes living creatures, but most frequently was winded into a round compass, whence they are so commonly named Corymbi and Coronæ. To the ἀκροστόλια in the prow, answered the ἄφγαστα in the stern, which were often of an orbicular figure, or fashioned like wings, to which a little shield called ἀσπιδεῖον, or ἀσπιδίσκη, was frequently affixed; sometimes a piece of wood was erected, whereon ribbons of divers colours were hung, and served instead of a flag to distinguish the ship. Χηνίσκος was so called from Χὴν, a Goose, whose {10}figure it resembled, because geese were looked on as fortunate omens to mariners, for that they swim on the top of the waters and sink not. Παράσημον was the flag whereby ships were distinguished from one another; it was placed in the prow, just below the στόλος, being sometimes carved, and frequently painted, whence it is in Latin termed pictura, representing the form of a mountain, a tree, a flower, or any other thing, wherein it was distinguished from what was called tutela, or the safeguard of the ship, which always represented some one of the gods, to whose care and protection the ship was recommended; for which reason it was held sacred. Now and then we find the tutela taken for the Παράσημον, and perhaps sometimes the images of gods might be represented on the flags; by some it is placed also in the prow, but by most authors of credit assigned to the stern. Thus Ovid in his Epistle to Paris:—

'Accipit et pictos puppis adunca Deos.'

'The stern with painted deities richly shines.'

"The ship wherein Europa was conveyed from Phœnicia into Crete had a bull for its flag, and Jupiter for its tutelary deity. The Bœotian ships had for their tutelar god Cadmus, represented with a dragon in his hand, because he was the founder of Thebes, the principal city of Bœotia. The name of the ship was usually taken from the flag, as appears in the following passage of Ovid, where he tells us his ship received its name from the helmet painted upon it:—

'Est mihi, sitque, precor, flavæ tutela Minervæ,

Navis et à pictâ casside nomen habit.'

'Minerva is the goddess I adore,

And may she grant the blessings I implore;

The ship its name a painted helmet gives.'

"Hence comes the frequent mention of ships called Pegasi, Scyllæ, Bulls, Rams, Tigers, &c., which the poets took liberty to represent as living creatures that transported their riders from one country to another; nor was there (according to some) any other ground for those known fictions of Pegasus, the winged Bellerophon, or the Ram which is reported to have carried Phryxus to Colchos."

To quote another very learned author: "The system of hieroglyphics, or symbols, was adopted into every mysterious institution, for the purpose of concealing the most sublime secrets of religion from the prying curiosity of the vulgar; to whom nothing was exposed but the beauties of their morality." (See Ramsay's "Travels of Cyrus," lib. 3.) "The old Asiatic style, so highly figurative, seems, by what we find of {11}its remains in the prophetic language of the sacred writers, to have been evidently fashioned to the mode of the ancient hieroglyphics; for as in hieroglyphic writing the sun, moon, and stars were used to represent states and empires, kings, queens, and nobility—their eclipse and extinction, temporary disasters, or entire overthrow—fire and flood, desolation by war and famine; plants or animals, the qualities of particular persons, &c.; so, in like manner, the Holy Prophets call kings and empires by the names of the heavenly luminaries; their misfortunes and overthrow are represented by eclipses and extinction; stars falling from the firmament are employed to denote the destruction of the nobility; thunder and tempestuous winds, hostile invasions; lions, bears, leopards, goats, or high trees, leaders of armies, conquerors, and founders of empires; royal dignity is described by purple, or a crown; iniquity by spotted garments; a warrior by a sword or bow; a powerful man, by a gigantic stature; a judge by balance, weights, and measures—in a word, the prophetic style seems to be a speaking hieroglyphic."

It seems to me, however, that the whole of these are no more than symbolism, though they are undoubtedly symbolism of a high and methodical order, little removed from our own armory. Personally I do not consider them to be armory, but if the word is to be stretched to the utmost latitude to permit of their inclusion, one certain conclusion follows. That if the heraldry of that day had an orderly existence, it most certainly came absolutely to an end and disappeared. Armory as we know it, the armory of to-day, which as a system is traced back to the period of the Crusades, is no mere continuation by adoption. It is a distinct development and a re-development ab initio. Undoubtedly there is a period in the early development of European civilisation which is destitute alike of armory, or of anything of that nature. The civilisation of Europe is not the civilisation of Egypt, of Greece, or of Rome, nor a continuation thereof, but a new development, and though each of these in its turn attained a high degree of civilisation and may have separately developed a heraldic symbolism much akin to armory, as a natural consequence of its own development, as the armory we know is a development of its own consequent upon the rise of our own civilisation, nevertheless it is unjustifiable to attempt to establish continuity between the ordered symbolism of earlier but distinct civilisations, and our own present system of armory. The one and only civilisation which has preserved its continuity is that of the Jewish race. In spite of persecution the Jews have preserved unchanged the minutest details of ritual law and ceremony, the causes of their suffering. Had heraldry, which is and has always been a matter of pride, formed a part of their distinctive life we should find it still existing. Yet the fact remains {12}that no trace of Jewish heraldry can be found until modern times. Consequently I accept unquestioningly the conclusions of the late J. R. Planché, Somerset Herald, who unhesitatingly asserted that armory did not exist at the time of the Conquest, basing his conclusions principally upon the entire absence of armory from the seals of that period, and the Bayeux tapestry.

Fig. 1.

Fig. 1.—Kiku-non-hana-mon. State Mon of Japan.

Fig. 2.

Fig. 2.—Kiri-mon. Mon of the Mikado.

Fig. 3.

Fig. 3.—Awoï-mon. Mon of the House of Minamoto Tokugawa.

Fig. 4.

Fig. 4.Mon of the House of Minamoto Ashikaya.

Fig. 5.

Fig. 5.—Tomoye. Mon of the House of Arina.

The family tokens (mon) of the Japanese, however, fulfil very nearly all of the essentials of armory, although considered heraldically they may appear somewhat peculiar to European eyes. Though perhaps never forming the entire decoration of a shield, they do appear upon weapons and armour, and are used most lavishly in the decoration of clothing, rooms, furniture, and in fact almost every conceivable object, being employed for decorative purposes in precisely the same manners and methods that armorial devices are decoratively made use of in this country. A Japanese of the upper classes always has his mon in three places upon his kimono, usually at the back just below the collar and on either sleeve. The Japanese servants also wear their service badge in much the same manner that in olden days the badge was worn by the servants of a nobleman. The design of the service badge occupies the whole available surface of the back, and is reproduced in a miniature form on each lappel of the kimono. Unfortunately, like armorial bearings in Europe, but to a far greater extent, the Japanese mon has been greatly pirated and abused. {13}

Fig. 1, "Kiku-non-hana-mon," formed from the conventionalised bloom (hana) of the chrysanthemum, is the mon of the State. It is formed of sixteen petals arranged in a circle, and connected on the outer edge by small curves.

Fig. 2, "Kiri-mon," is the personal mon of the Mikado, formed of the leaves and flower of the Paulowna imperialis, conventionally treated.

Fig. 3, "Awoï-mon," is the mon of the House of Minamoto Tokugawa, and is composed of three sea leaves (Asarum). The Tokugawa reigned over the country as Shogune from 1603 until the last revolution in 1867, before which time the Emperor (the Mikado) was only nominally the ruler.

Fig. 4 shows the mon of the House of Minamoto Ashikaya, which from 1336 until 1573 enjoyed the Shogunat.

Fig. 5 shows the second mon of the House of Arina, Toymote, which is used, however, throughout Japan as a sign of luck.

Fig. 6.

Fig. 6.—Double eagle on a coin (drachma) under the Orthogide of Kaifa Naçr Edin Mahmud, 1217.

Fig. 7.

Fig. 7.—Device of the Mameluke Emir Toka Timur, Governor of Rahaba, 1350.

Fig. 8.

Fig. 8.—Lily on the Bab-al-Hadid gate at Damascus.

Fig. 9.

Fig. 9.—Device of the Emir Arkatây (a band between two keys).

Fig. 10.

Fig. 10.—Device of the Mameluke Emir Schaikhu.

Fig. 11.

Fig. 11.—Device of Abu Abdallah, Mohammed ibn Naçr, King of Granada, said to be the builder of the Alhambra (1231-1272).

The Saracens and the Moors, to whom we owe the origin of so many of our recognised heraldic charges and the derivation of some of our terms (e.g. "gules," from the Persian gul, and "azure" from the Persian lazurd) had evidently on their part something more than the rudiments of armory, as Figs. 6 to 11 will indicate. {14}

One of the best definitions of a coat of arms that I know, though this is not perfect, requires the twofold qualification that the design must be hereditary and must be connected with armour. And there can be no doubt that the theory of armory as we now know it is governed by those two ideas. The shields and the crests, if any decoration of a helmet is to be called a crest, of the Greeks and the Romans undoubtedly come within the one requirement. Also were they indicative of and perhaps intended to be symbolical of the owner. They lacked, however, heredity, and we have no proof that the badges we read of, or the decorations of shield and helmet, were continuous even during a single lifetime. Certainly as we now understand the term there must be both continuity of use, if the arms be impersonal, or heredity if the arms be personal. Likewise must there be their use as decorations of the implements of warfare.

If we exact these qualifications as essential, armory as a fact and as a science is a product of later days, and is the evolution from the idea of tribal badges and tribal means and methods of honour applied to the decoration of implements of warfare. It is the conjunction and association of these two distinct ideas to which is added the no less important idea of heredity. The civilisation of England before the Conquest has left us no trace of any sort or kind that the Saxons, the Danes, or the Celts either knew or practised armory. So that if armory as we know it is to be traced to the period of the Norman Conquest, we must look for it as an adjunct of the altered civilisation and the altered law which Duke William brought into this country. Such evidence as exists is to the contrary, and there is nothing that can be truly termed armorial in that marvellous piece of cotemporaneous workmanship known as the Bayeux tapestry.

Concerning the Bayeux tapestry and the evidence it affords, Woodward and Burnett's "Treatise on Heraldry," apparently following Planché's conclusions, remarks: "The evidence afforded by the famous tapestry preserved in the public library of Bayeux, a series of views in sewed work representing the invasion and conquest of England by William the Norman, has been appealed to on both sides of this controversy, and has certainly an important bearing on the question of the antiquity of coat-armour. This panorama of seventy-two scenes is on probable grounds believed to have been the work of the Conqueror's Queen Matilda and her maidens; though the French historian Thierry and others ascribe it to the Empress Maud, daughter of Henry III. The latest authorities suggest the likelihood of its having been wrought as a decoration for the Cathedral of Bayeux, when rebuilt by William's uterine brother Odo, Bishop of that See, in 1077. The exact correspondence which has been discovered between the length of the tapestry {15}and the inner circumference of the nave of the cathedral greatly favours this supposition. This remarkable work of art, as carefully drawn in colour in 1818 by Mr. C. Stothard, is reproduced in the sixth volume of the Vetusta Monumenta; and more recently an excellent copy of it from autotype plates has been published by the Arundel Society. Each of its scenes is accompanied by a Latin description, the whole uniting into a graphic history of the event commemorated. We see Harold taking leave of Edward the Confessor; riding to Bosham with his hawk and hounds; embarking for France; landing there and being captured by the Count of Ponthieu; redeemed by William of Normandy, and in the midst of his Court aiding him against Conan, Count of Bretagne; swearing on the sacred relics to recognise William's claim of succession to the English throne, and then re-embarking for England. On his return, we have him recounting the incidents of his journey to Edward the Confessor, to whose funeral obsequies we are next introduced. Then we have Harold receiving the crown from the English people, and ascending the throne; and William, apprised of what had taken place, consulting with his half-brother Odo about invading England. The war preparations of the Normans, their embarkation, their landing, their march to Hastings, and formation of a camp there, form the subjects of successive scenes; and finally we have the battle of Hastings, with the death of Harold and the flight of the English. In this remarkable piece of work we have figures of more than six hundred persons, and seven hundred animals, besides thirty-seven buildings, and forty-one ships or boats. There are of course also numerous shields of warriors, of which some are round, others kite-shaped, and on some of the latter are rude figures, of dragons or other imaginary animals, as well as crosses of different forms, and spots. On one hand it requires little imagination to find the cross patée and the cross botonnée of heraldry prefigured on two of these shields. But there are several fatal objections to regarding these figures as incipient armory, namely that while the most prominent persons of the time are depicted, most of them repeatedly, none of these is ever represented twice as bearing the same device, nor is there one instance of any resemblance in the rude designs described to the bearings actually used by the descendants of the persons in question. If a personage so important and so often depicted as the Conqueror had borne arms, they could not fail to have had a place in a nearly contemporary work, and more especially if it proceeded from the needle of his wife."

Lower, in his "Curiosities of Heraldry," clinches the argument when he writes: "Nothing but disappointment awaits the curious armorist who seeks in this venerable memorial the pale, the bend, and {16}other early elements of arms. As these would have been much more easily imitated with the needle than the grotesque figures before alluded to, we may safely conclude that personal arms had not yet been introduced." The "Treatise on Heraldry" proceeds: "The Second Crusade took place in 1147; and in Montfaucon's plates of the no longer extant windows of the Abbey of St. Denis, representing that historical episode, there is not a trace of an armorial ensign on any of the shields. That window was probably executed at a date when the memory of that event was fresh; but in Montfaucon's time, the beginning of the eighteenth century, the Science héroïque was matter of such moment in France that it is not to be believed that the armorial figures on the shields, had there been any, would have been left out."

Surely, if anywhere, we might have expected to have found evidence of armory, if it had then existed, in the Bayeux Tapestry. Neither do the seals nor the coins of the period produce a shield of arms. Nor amongst the host of records and documents which have been preserved to us do we find any reference to armorial bearings. The intense value and estimation attached to arms in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, which has steadily though slowly declined since that period, would lead one to suppose that had arms existed as we know them at an earlier period, we should have found some definite record of them in the older chronicles. There are no such references, and no coat of arms in use at a later date can be relegated to the Conquest or any anterior period. Of arms, as we know them, there are isolated examples in the early part of the twelfth century, perhaps also at the end of the eleventh. At the period of the Third Crusade (1189) they were in actual existence as hereditary decorations of weapons of warfare.

Luckily, for the purposes of deductive reasoning, human nature remains much the same throughout the ages, and, dislike it as we may, vanity now and vanity in olden days was a great lever in the determination of human actions. A noticeable result of civilisation is the effort to suppress any sign of natural emotion; and if the human race at the present day is not unmoved by a desire to render its appearance attractive, we may rest very certainly assured that in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries this motive was even more pronounced, and still yet more pronounced at a more remote distance of time. Given an opportunity of ornament, there you will find ornament and decoration. The ancient Britons, like the Maories of to-day, found their opportunities restricted to their skins. The Maories tattoo themselves in intricate patterns, the ancient Britons used woad, though history is silent as to whether they were content with flat colour or gave their preference to patterns. It is unnecessary to trace the art of {17}decoration through embroidery upon clothes, but there is no doubt that as soon as shields came into use they were painted and decorated, though I hesitate to follow practically the whole of heraldic writers in the statement that it was the necessity for distinction in battle which accounted for the decoration of shields. Shields were painted and decorated, and helmets were adorned with all sorts of ornament, long before the closed helmet made it impossible to recognise a man by his facial peculiarities and distinctions. We have then this underlying principle of vanity, with its concomitant result of personal decoration and adornment. We have the relics of savagery which caused a man to be nicknamed from some animal. The conjunction of the two produces the effort to apply the opportunity for decoration and the vanity of the animal nickname to each other.

We are fast approaching armory. In those days every man fought, and his weapons were the most cherished of his personal possessions. The sword his father fought with, the shield his father carried, the banner his father followed would naturally be amongst the articles a son would be most eager to possess. Herein are the rudiments of the idea of heredity in armory; and the science of armory as we know it begins to slowly evolve itself from that point, for the son would naturally take a pride in upholding the fame which had clustered round the pictured signs and emblems under which his father had warred.

Another element then appeared which exercised a vast influence upon armory. Europe rang from end to end with the call to the Crusades. We may or we may not understand the fanaticism which gripped the whole of the Christian world and sent it forth to fight the Saracens. That has little to do with it. The result was the collection together in a comparatively restricted space of all that was best and noblest amongst the human race at that time. And the spirit of emulation caused nation to vie with nation, and individual with individual in the performance of illustrious feats of honour. War was elevated to the dignity of a sacred duty, and the implements of warfare rose in estimation. It is easy to understand the glory therefore that attached to arms, and the slow evolution which I have been endeavouring to indicate became a concrete fact, and it is due to the Crusades that the origin of armory as we now know it was practically coeval throughout Europe, and also that a large proportion of the charges and terms and rules of heraldry are identical in all European countries.

The next dominating influence was the introduction, in the early part of the thirteenth century, of the closed helmet. This hid the face of the wearer from his followers and necessitated some means by which the latter could identify the man under whom they served. What more natural than that they should identify him by the {18}decoration of his shield and the ornaments of his helmet, and by the coat or surcoat which he wore over his coat of mail?

This surcoat had afforded another opportunity of decoration, and it had been decorated with the same signs that the wearer had painted on his shield, hence the term "coat of arms." This textile coat was in itself a product of the Crusades. The Crusaders went in their metal armour from the cooler atmospheres of Europe to the intolerable heat of the East. The surcoat and the lambrequin alike protected the metal armour and the metal helmet from the rays of the sun and the resulting discomfort to the wearer, and were also found very effective as a preventative of the rust resulting from rain and damp upon the metal. By the time that the closed helmet had developed the necessity of distinction and the identification of a man with the pictured signs he wore or carried, the evolution of armory into the science we know was practically complete. {19}



It would be foolish and misleading to assert that the possession of a coat of arms at the present date has anything approaching the dignity which attached to it in the days of long ago; but one must trace this through the centuries which have passed in order to form a true estimate of it, and also to properly appreciate a coat of arms at the present time. It is necessary to go back to the Norman Conquest and the broad dividing lines of social life in order to obtain a correct knowledge. The Saxons had no armory, though they had a very perfect civilisation. This civilisation William the Conqueror upset, introducing in its place the system of feudal tenure with which he had been familiar on the Continent. Briefly, this feudal system may be described as the partition of the land amongst the barons, earls, and others, in return for which, according to the land they held, they accepted a liability of military service for themselves and so many followers. These barons and earls in their turn sublet the land on terms advantageous to themselves, but nevertheless requiring from those to whom they sublet the same military service which the King had exacted from themselves proportionate with the extent of the sublet lands. Other subdivisions took place, but always with the same liability of military service, until we come to those actually holding and using the lands, enjoying them subject to the liability of military service attached to those particular lands. Every man who held land under these conditions—and it was impossible to hold land without them—was of the upper class. He was nobilis or known, and of a rank distinct, apart, and absolutely separate from the remainder of the population, who were at one time actually serfs, and for long enough afterwards, of no higher social position than they had enjoyed in their period of servitude. This wide distinction between the upper and lower classes, which existed from one end of Europe to the other, was the very root and foundation of armory. It cannot be too greatly insisted upon. There were two qualitative terms, "gentle" and "simple," which were applied to the upper and lower classes respectively. Though now becoming archaic and obsolete, the terms "gentle" and "simple" {20}are still occasionally to be met with used in that original sense; and the two adjectives "gentle" and "simple," in the everyday meanings of the words, are derived from, and are a later growth from the original usage with the meaning of the upper and lower classes; because the quality of being gentle was supposed to exist in that class of life referred to as gentle, whilst the quality of simplicity was supposed to be an attribute of the lower class. The word gentle is derived from the Latin word gens (gentilis), meaning a man, because those were men who were not serfs. Serfs and slaves were nothing accounted of. The word "gentleman" is a derivative of the word gentle, and a gentleman was a member of the gentle or upper class, and gentle qualities were so termed because they were the qualities supposed to belong to the gentle class. A man was not a gentleman, even in those days, because he happened to possess personal qualities usually associated with the gentle class; a man was a gentleman if he belonged to the gentle or upper class and not otherwise, so that "gentleman" was an identical term for one to whom the word nobilis was applied, both being names for members of the upper class. To all intents and purposes at that date there was no middle class at all. The kingdom was the land; and the trading community who dwelt in the towns were of little account save as milch kine for the purposes of taxation. The social position conceded to them by the upper class was little, if any, more than was conceded to the lower classes, whose life and liberties were held very cheaply. Briefly to sum up, therefore, there were but the two classes in existence, of which the upper class were those who held the land, who had military obligations, and who were noble, or in other words gentle. Therefore all who held land were gentlemen; because they held land they had to lead their servants and followers into battle, and they themselves were personally responsible for the appearance of so many followers, when the King summoned them to war. Now we have seen in the previous chapter that arms became necessary to the leader that his followers might distinguish him in battle. Consequently all who held land having, because of that land, to be responsible for followers in battle, found it necessary to use arms. The corollary is therefore evident, that all who held lands of the King were gentlemen or noble, and used arms; and as a consequence all who possessed arms were gentlemen, for they would not need or use arms, nor was their armour of a character upon which they could display arms, unless they were leaders. The leaders, we have seen, were the land-owning or upper class; therefore every one who had arms was a gentleman, and every gentleman had arms. But the status of gentlemen existed before there were coats of arms, and the later inseparable connection between the two was an evolution.

The preposterous prostitution of the word gentleman in these latter {21}days is due to the almost universal attribute of human nature which declines to admit itself as of other than gentle rank; and in the eager desire to write itself gentleman, it has deliberately accepted and ordained a meaning to the word which it did not formerly possess, and has attributed to it and allowed it only such a definition as would enable almost anybody to be included within its ranks.

The word gentleman nowadays has become meaningless as a word in an ordinary vocabulary; and to use the word with its original and true meaning, it is necessary to now consider it as purely a technical term. We are so accustomed to employ the word nowadays in its unrestricted usage that we are apt to overlook the fact that such a usage is comparatively modern. The following extract from "The Right to Bear Arms" will prove that its real meaning was understood and was decided by law so late as the seventeenth century to be "a man entitled to bear arms":—

"The following case in the Earl Marshal's Court, which hung upon the definition of the word, conclusively proves my contention:—

"'21st November 1637.—W. Baker, gent., humbly sheweth that having some occasion of conference with Adam Spencer of Broughton under the Bleane, co. Cant., on or about 28th July last, the said Adam did in most base and opprobrious tearmes abuse your petitioner, calling him a base, lying fellow, &c. &c. The defendant pleaded that Baker is noe Gentleman, and soe not capable of redresse in this court. Le Neve, Clarenceux, is directed to examine the point raised, and having done so, declared as touching the gentry of William Baker, that Robert Cooke, Clarenceux King of Arms, did make a declaration 10th May 1573, under his hand and seale of office, that George Baker of London, sonne of J. Baker of the same place, sonne of Simon Baker of Feversham, co. Cant., was a bearer of tokens of honour, and did allow and confirm to the said George Baker and to his posterity, and to the posterity of Christopher Baker, these Arms, &c. &c. And further, Le Neve has received proof that the petitioner, William Baker, is the son of William Baker of Kingsdowne, co. Cant., who was the brother of George Baker, and son of Christopher aforesaid.' The judgment is not stated. (The original Confirmation of Arms by Cooke, 10th May 1573, may now be seen in the British Museum.—Genealogist for 1889, p. 242.)"

It has been shown that originally practically all who held land bore arms. It has also been shown that armory was an evolution, and as a consequence it did not start, in this country at any rate, as a ready-made science with all its rules and laws completely known or promulgated. There is not the slightest doubt that, in the earliest infancy of the science, arms were assumed and chosen without the control of the Crown; and one would not be far wrong in assuming that, so long as the rights accruing from prior appropriation of other people were respected, a landowner finding the necessity of arms in battle, was originally at liberty to assume what arms he liked.

That period, however, was of but brief duration, for we find as early {22}as 1390, from the celebrated Scrope and Grosvenor case, (1) that a man could have obtained at that time a definite right to his arms, (2) that this right could be enforced against another, and we find, what is more important, (3) that the Crown and the Sovereign had supreme control and jurisdiction over arms, and (4) that the Sovereign could and did grant arms. From that date down to the present time the Crown, both by its own direct action and by the action of the Kings of Arms to whom it delegates powers for the purpose, in Letters Patent under the Great Seal, specifically issued to each separate King of Arms upon his appointment, has continued to grant armorial bearings. Some number of early grants of arms direct from the Crown have been printed in the Genealogical Magazine, and some of the earliest distinctly recite that the recipients are made noble and created gentlemen, and that the arms are given them as the sign of their nobility. The class of persons to whom grants of arms were made in the earliest days of such instruments is much the same as the class which obtain grants of arms at the present day, and the successful trader or merchant is now at liberty, as he was in the reign of Henry VIII. and earlier, to raise himself to the rank of a gentleman by obtaining a grant of arms. A family must make its start at some time or other; let this start be made honestly, and not by the appropriation of the arms of some other man.

The illegal assumption of arms began at an early date; and in spite of the efforts of the Crown, which have been more or less continuous and repeated, it has been found that the use of "other people's" arms has continued. In the reign of Henry V. a very stringent proclamation was issued on the subject; and in the reigns of Queen Elizabeth and her successors, the Kings of Arms were commanded to make perambulations throughout the country for the purpose of pulling down and defacing improper arms, of recording arms properly borne by authority, and of compelling those who used arms without authority to obtain authority for them or discontinue their use. These perambulations were termed Visitations. The subject of Visitations, and in fact the whole subject of the right to bear arms, is dealt with at length in the book to which reference has been already made, namely, "The Right to Bear Arms."

The glory of a descent from a long line of armigerous ancestors, the glory and the pride of race inseparably interwoven with the inheritance of a name which has been famous in history, the fact that some arms have been designed to commemorate heroic achievements, the fact that the display of a particular coat of arms has been the method, which society has countenanced, of advertising to the world that one is of the upper class or a descendant of some ancestor who performed some glorious deed to which the arms have reference, the fact that arms themselves are the very sign of a particular descent or of a particular {23}rank, have all tended to cause a false and fictitious value to be placed upon all these pictured emblems which as a whole they have never possessed, and which I believe they were never intended to possess. It is because they were the prerogative and the sign of aristocracy that they have been coveted so greatly, and consequently so often assumed improperly. Now aristocracy and social position are largely a matter of personal assertion. A man assumes and asserts for himself a certain position, which position is gradually and imperceptibly but continuously increased and elevated as its assertion is reiterated. There is no particular moment in a man's life at the present time, the era of the great middle class, at which he visibly steps from a plebeian to a patrician standing. And when he has fought and talked the world into conceding him a recognised position in the upper classes, he naturally tries to obliterate the fact that he or "his people" were ever of any other social position, and he hesitates to perpetually date his elevation to the rank of gentility by obtaining a grant of arms and thereby admitting that before that date he and his people were plebeian. Consequently he waits until some circumstance compels an application for a grant, and the consequence is that he thereby post-dates his actual technical gentility to a period long subsequent to the recognition by Society of his position in the upper classes.

Arms are the sign of the technical rank of gentility. The possession of arms is a matter of hereditary privilege, which privilege the Crown is willing should be obtained upon certain terms by any who care to possess it, who live according to the style and custom which is usual amongst gentle people. And so long as the possession of arms is a matter of privilege, even though this privilege is no greater than is consequent upon payment of certain fees to the Crown and its officers; for so long will that privilege possess a certain prestige and value, though this may not be very great. Arms have never possessed any greater value than attaches to a matter of privilege; and (with singularly few exceptions) in every case, be it of a peer or baronet, of knight or of simple gentleman, this privilege has been obtained or has been regularised by the payment at some time or other of fees to the Crown and its officers. And the only difference between arms granted and paid for yesterday and arms granted and paid for five hundred years ago is the simple moral difference which attaches to the dates at which the payments were made.

Gentility is merely hereditary rank, emanating, with all other rank, from the Crown, the sole fountain of honour. It is idle to make the word carry a host of meanings it was never intended to. Arms being the sign of the technical rank of gentility, the use of arms is the advertisement of one's claim to that gentility. Arms mean nothing more. By {24}coronet, supporters, and helmet can be indicated one's place in the scale of precedence; by adding arms for your wife you assert that she also is of gentle rank; your quarterings show the other gentle families you represent; difference marks will show your position in your own family (not a very important matter); augmentations indicate the deeds of your ancestors which the Sovereign thought worthy of being held in especial remembrance. By the use of a certain coat of arms, you assert your descent from the person to whom those arms were granted, confirmed, or allowed. That is the beginning and end of armory. Why seek to make it mean more?

However heraldry is looked upon, it must be admitted that from its earliest infancy armory possessed two essential qualities. It was the definite sign of hereditary nobility and rank, and it was practically an integral part of warfare; but also from its earliest infancy it formed a means of decoration. It would be a rash statement to assert that armory has lost its actual military character even now, but it certainly possessed it undiminished so long as tournaments took place, for the armory of the tournament was of a much higher standard than the armory of the battlefield. Armory as an actual part of warfare existed as a means of decoration for the implements of warfare, and as such it certainly continues in some slight degree to the present day.

Armory in that bygone age, although it existed as the symbol of the lowest hereditary rank, was worn and used in warfare, for purposes of pageantry, for the indication of ownership, for decorative purposes, for the needs of authenticity in seals, and for the purposes of memorials in records, pedigrees, and monuments. All those uses and purposes of armory can be traced back to a period coeval with that to which our certain knowledge of the existence of armory runs. Of all those usages and purposes, one only, that of the use of armorial bearings in actual battle, can be said to have come to an end, and even that not entirely so; the rest are still with us in actual and extensive existence. I am not versed in the minutiæ of army matters or army history, but I think I am correct in saying that there was no such thing as a regular standing army or a national army until the reign of Henry VIII. Prior to that time the methods of the feudal system supplied the wants of the country. The actual troops were in the employment, not of the Crown, but of the individual leaders. The Sovereign called upon, and had the right to call upon, those leaders to provide troops; but as those troops were not in the direct employment of the Crown, they wore the liveries and heraldic devices of their leaders. The leaders wore their own devices, originally for decorative reasons, and later that they might be distinguished by their particular followers: hence the actual use in battle in former days of private armorial bearings. And even yet the {25}practice is not wholly extinguished, for the tartans of the Gordon and Cameron Highlanders are a relic of the usages of these former days. With the formation of a standing army, and the direct service of the troops to the Crown, the liveries and badges of those who had formerly been responsible for the troops gave way to the liveries and badges of the Crown. The uniform of the Beefeaters is a good example of the method in which in the old days a servant wore the badge and livery of his lord. The Beefeaters wear the scarlet livery of the Sovereign, and wear the badge of the Sovereign still. Many people will tell you, by the way, that the uniform of a Beefeater is identical now with what it was in the days of Henry VIII. It isn't. In accordance with the strictest laws of armory, the badge, embroidered on the front and back of the tunic, has changed, and is now the triple badge—the rose, the thistle, and the shamrock—of the triple kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Every soldier who wears a scarlet coat, the livery of his Sovereign, every regiment that carries its colours, every saddle-cloth with a Royal emblem thereupon, is evidence that the use of armory in battle still exists in a small degree to the present day; but circumstances have altered. The troops no longer attack to the cry of "A Warwick! a Warwick!" they serve His Majesty the King and wear his livery and devices. They no longer carry the banner of their officer, whose servants and tenants they would formerly have been; the regiment cherishes instead the banner of the armorial bearings of His Majesty. Within the last few years, probably within the lifetime of all my readers, there has been striking evidence of the manner in which circumstances alter everything. The Zulu War put an end to the practice of taking the colours of a regiment into battle; the South African War saw khaki substituted universally for the scarlet livery of His Majesty; and to have found upon a South African battlefield the last remnant of the armorial practices of the days of chivalry, one would have needed, I am afraid, to examine the buttons of the troopers. Still the scarlet coat exists in the army on parade: the Life Guards wear the Royal Cross of St. George and the Star of the Garter, the Scots Greys have the Royal Saltire of St. Andrew, and the Gordon Highlanders have the Gordon crest of the Duke of Richmond and Gordon; and there are many other similar instances.

There is yet another point. The band of a regiment is maintained by the officers of the regiment, and at the present day in the Scottish regiments the pipers have attached to their pipes banners bearing the various personal armorial bearings of the officers of the regiment. So that perhaps one is justified in saying that the use of armorial bearings in warfare has not yet come to an end. The other ancient usages of armory exist now as they existed in the earliest times. So that it is {26}foolish to contend that armory has ceased to exist, save as an interesting survival of the past. It is a living reality, more widely in use at the present day than ever before.

Certainly the military side of armory has sunk in importance till it is now utterly overshadowed by the decorative, but the fact that armory still exists as the sign and adjunct of hereditary rank utterly forbids one to assert that armory is dead, and though this side of armory is also now partly overshadowed by its decorative use, armory must be admitted to be still alive whilst its laws can still be altered. When, if ever, rank is finally swept away, and when the Crown ceases to grant arms, and people cease to use them, then armory will be dead, and can be treated as the study of a dead science. {27}



The crown is the Fountain of Honour, having supreme control of coat-armour. This control in all civilised countries is one of the appanages of sovereignty, but from an early period much of the actual control has been delegated to the Heralds and Kings of Arms. The word Herald is derived from the Anglo-Saxon—here, an army, and wald, strength or sway—though it has probably come to us from the German word Herold.

In the last years of the twelfth century there appeared at festal gatherings persons mostly habited in richly coloured clothing, who delivered invitations to the guests, and, side by side with the stewards, superintended the festivities. Many of them were minstrels, who, after tournaments or battle, extolled the deeds of the victors. These individuals were known in Germany as Garzune.

Originally every powerful leader had his own herald, and the dual character of minstrel and messenger led the herald to recount the deeds of his master, and, as a natural consequence, of his master's ancestors. In token of their office they wore the coats of arms of the leaders they served; and the original status of a herald was that of a non-combatant messenger. When tournaments came into vogue it was natural that some one should examine the arms of those taking part, and from this the duties of the herald came to include a knowledge of coat-armour. As the Sovereign assumed or arrogated the control of arms, the right to grant arms, and the right of judgment in disputes concerning arms, it was but the natural result that the personal heralds of the Sovereign should be required to have a knowledge of the arms of his principal subjects, and should obtain something in the nature of a cognisance or control and jurisdiction over those arms; for doubtless the actions of the Sovereign would often depend upon the knowledge of his heralds.

The process of development in this country will be more easily understood when it is remembered that the Marshal or Earl Marshal was in former times, with the Lord High Constable, the first in military rank under the King, who usually led his army in person, and to {28}the Marshal was deputed the ordering and arrangement of the various bodies of troops, regiments, bands of retainers, &c., which ordering was at first facilitated and at length entirely determined by the use of various pictorial ensigns, such as standards, banners, crests, cognisances, and badges. The due arrangement and knowledge of these various ensigns became first the necessary study and then the ordinary duty of these officers of the Marshal, and their possession of such knowledge, which soon in due course had to be written down and tabulated, secured to them an important part in mediæval life. The result was that at an early period we find them employed in semi-diplomatic missions, such as carrying on negotiations between contending armies on the field, bearing declarations of war, challenges from one sovereign to another, besides arranging the ceremonial not only of battles and tournaments, but also of coronations, Royal baptisms, marriages, and funerals.

From the fact that neither King of Arms nor Herald is mentioned as officiating in the celebrated Scrope and Grosvenor case, of which very full particulars have come down to us, it is evident that the control of arms had not passed either in fact or in theory from the Crown to the officers of arms at that date. Konrad Grünenberg, in his Wappencodex ("Roll of Arms"), the date of which is 1483, gives a representation of a helmschau (literally helmet-show), here reproduced (Fig. 12), which includes the figure of a herald. Long before that date, however, the position of a herald in England was well defined, for we find that on January 5, 1420, the King appointed William Bruges to be Garter King of Arms. It is usually considered in England that it would be found that in Germany armory reached its highest point of evolution. Certainly German heraldic art is in advance of our own, and it is curious to read in the latest and one of the best of German heraldic books that "from the very earliest times heraldry was carried to a higher degree of perfection and thoroughness in England than elsewhere, and that it has maintained itself at the same level until the present day. In other countries, for the most part, heralds no longer have any existence but in name." The initial figure which appears at the commencement of Chapter I. represents John Smert, Garter King of Arms, and is taken from the grant of arms issued by him to the Tallow Chandlers' Company of London, which is dated September 24, 1456.

Long before there was any College of Arms, the Marshal, afterwards the Earl Marshal, had been appointed. The Earl Marshal is now head of the College of Arms, and to him has been delegated the whole of the control both of armory and of the College, with the exception of that part which the Crown has retained in its own hands. {29}After the Earl Marshal come the Kings of Arms, the Heralds of Arms, and the Pursuivants of Arms.

Fig. 12.

Fig. 12.Helmschau or Helmet-Show. (From Konrad Grünenberg's Wappencodex zu München.) End of fifteenth century.

The title of King of Arms, or, as it was more anciently written, King of Heralds, was no doubt originally given to the chief or principal officer, who presided over the heralds of a kingdom, or some principal province, which heraldic writers formerly termed marches; or else the title was conferred upon the officer of arms attendant upon some particular order of knighthood. Garter King of Arms, who is immediately attached to that illustrious order, is likewise Principal King of Arms, and these, although separate and distinct offices, are and have been always united in one person. Upon the revival and new modelling of the Order of the Bath, in the reign of George the First, a King of Arms was created and attached to it, by the title of Bath King of Arms; and King George III., upon the institution of the Hanoverian Guelphic Order of Knighthood, annexed to that order a King of Arms, by the appellation of Hanover. At the time of the creation of his office, Bath King of Arms was given Wales as his province, the intention being that he should rank with the others, granting arms in his own province, but he was not, nor was Hanover, nor is the King of Arms of the Order of St. Michael and St. George, a member (as such) of the corporation of the College of Arms. The members of that corporation considered that the gift of the province of Wales, the jurisdiction over which they had previously possessed, to Bath King was an infringement of their chartered privileges. The dispute was referred to the law officers of the Crown, whose opinion was in favour of the corporate body.

Berry in his Encyclopædia Heraldica further remarks: "The Kings of Arms of the provincial territories have the titles of Clarenceux and Norroy, the jurisdiction of the former extending over the south, east, and west parts of England, from the river Trent southwards; and that of the latter, the remaining part of the kingdom northward of that river. Kings of Arms have been likewise assigned other provinces over different kingdoms and dominions, and besides Ulster King of Arms for Ireland, and Lyon King of Arms for Scotland, others were nominated for particular provinces abroad, when united to the Crown of England, such as Aquitaine, Anjou, and Guyenne, who were perhaps at their first creation intended only for the services of the places whose titles they bore, when the same should be entirely subdued to allegiance to the Crown of England, and who, till that time, might have had other provinces allotted to them, either provisionally or temporarily, within the realm of England.

There were also other Kings of Arms, denominated from the dukedoms or earldoms which our princes enjoyed before they came to the throne, as Lancaster, Gloucester, Richmond, and Leicester, the three first {30}having marches, or provinces, and the latter a similar jurisdiction. Windsor, likewise, was a local title, but it is doubtful whether that officer was ever a King of Arms. Marche also assumed that appellation, from his provincial jurisdiction over a territory so called.

But although anciently there were at different periods several Kings of Arms in England, only two provincial Kings of Arms have, for some ages, been continued in office, viz. Clarenceux and Norroy, whose provinces or marches are, as before observed, separated by the river Trent, the ancient limits of the escheaters, when there are only two in the kingdom, and the jurisdiction of the wardens of the forests.

Norroy is considered the most ancient title, being the only one in England taken from the local situation of his province, unless Marche should be derived from the same cause. The title of Norroy was anciently written Norreys and Norreis, King of Arms of the people residing in the north; Garter being styled Roy des Anglois, of the people, and not d'Angleterre, of the kingdom, the inhabitants of the north being called Norreys,[1] as we are informed by ancient historians.

It appears that there was a King of Arms for the parts or people on the north of Trent as early as the reign of Edward I., from which, as Sir Henry Spelman observes, it may be inferred that the southern, eastern, and western parts had principal heralds, or Kings of Arms, although their titles at that early age cannot now be ascertained.

Norroy had not the title of King till after the reign of Edward II. It was appropriated to a King of Heralds, expressly called Rex Norroy, Roy d'Armes del North, Rex Armorum del North, Rex de North, and Rex Norroy du North; and the term Roy Norreys likewise occurs in the Pell Rolls of the 22nd Edward III.; but from that time till the 9th of Richard II. no farther mention is made of any such officer, from which it is probable a different person enjoyed the office by some other title during that interval, particularly as the office was actually executed by other Kings of Arms, immediately after that period. John Otharlake, Marche King of Arms, executed it in the 9th of Richard II., Richard del Brugg, Lancaster King of Arms, 1st Henry IV., and Ashwell, Boys, and Tindal, successively Lancaster Kings of Arms, until the end of that monarch's reign.

Edward IV. replaced this province under a King of Arms, and revived the dormant title of Norroy. But in the Statute of Resumptions, {31}made 1st Henry VII., a clause was inserted that the same should not extend to John Moore, otherwise Norroy, chief Herald King of Arms of the north parts of this realm of England, so appointed by King Edward IV. by his Letters Patent, bearing date 9th July, in the eighteenth year of his reign. It has since continued without interruption.

Falcon King of Arms seems the next who had the title of King conferred upon him, and was so named from one of the Royal badges of King Edward III., and it was afterwards given to a herald and pursuivant, under princes who bore the falcon as a badge or cognisance, and it is difficult to ascertain whether this officer was considered a king, herald, or pursuivant. Froissart in 1395 calls Faucon only a herald, and in 1364 mentions this officer as a King of Arms belonging to the King of England; but it is certain that in the 18th Richard II. there was a King of Arms by that appellation, and so continued until the reign of Richard III., if not later; but at what particular period of time the officer was discontinued cannot be correctly ascertained.

Windsor has been considered by some writers to have been the title of a King of Arms, from an abbreviation in some old records, which might be otherwise translated. There is, however, amongst the Protections in the Tower of London, one granted in the 49th Edward III. to Stephen de Windesore, Heraldo Armorum rege dicto, which seems to favour the conjecture, and other records might be quoted for and against this supposition, which might have arisen through mistake in the entries, as they contradict one another.

Marche seems the next in point of antiquity of creation; but although Sir Henry Spelman says that King Edward IV. descended from the Earls of Marche, promoted Marche Herald to be a King of Arms, giving him, perhaps, the marches for his province, it is pretty clearly ascertained that it was of a more early date, from the express mention of March Rex Heraldorum and March Rex Heraldus in records of the time of Richard II., though it may be possible that it was then only a nominal title, and did not become a real one till the reign of Edward IV., as mentioned by Spelman.

Lancaster King of Arms was, as the same author informs us, so created by Henry IV. in relation to his own descent from the Lancastrian family, and the county of Lancaster assigned to him as his province; but Edmondson contends "that that monarch superadded the title of Lancaster to that of Norroy, or King of the North, having, as it may be reasonably conjectured, given this province north of Trent, within which district Lancaster was situated, to him who had been formerly his officer of arms, by the title of that dukedom, and who might, according to custom, in some instances of former ages, retain his former title and surname of heraldship, styling himself Lancaster Roy d'Armes del North." {32}

Leicester King of Arms was a title similar to that of Lancaster, and likewise a creation to the same Sovereign, Henry IV., who was also Earl of Leicester before he assumed the crown, and was given to a person who was before that time a herald. It appears that Henry Grene was Leicester Herald, 9th King Richard II., and in the 13th of the same reign is called a Herald of the Duke of Guyen and Lancaster, but prior to the coronation of Henry IV. he was certainly a King of Heralds, and so styled in a privy seal dated antecedent to that ceremony. A similar instrument of the tenth year of that monarch's reign also mentions Henry Grene, otherwise Leicester King of Arms.

As it is evident that, during the reign of Henry IV., Lancaster King of Arms has under that title the province of the north, Mr. Edmondson, with good reason, supposes that the southern province, or part of that which is now under Clarenceux, might at that time be under this Leicester, especially as the title of Clarenceux was not in being till after the 3rd of Henry V., when, or soon after, the title of Leicester might have become extinct by the death of that officer; for although Leicester King of Arms went over into France with Henry V. in the third year of his reign, yet he is not mentioned in the constitutions made by the heralds at Roan in the year 1419-20.

Clarenceux, the next King of Arms in point of creation, is a title generally supposed to have been taken from Clare, in Suffolk, the castle at that place being the principal residence of the ancient Earls of Hereford, who were, from thence, though very improperly, called Earls of Clare, in the same manner as the Earls of Pembroke were often named Earls of Strigoil and Chepstow; the Earl of Hampshire, Earl of Winchester; the Earl of Derby, Earl of Tuttebury; the Earl of Sussex, Earl of Chichester, &c. King Edward III. created his third son Lionel Duke of Clarence, instead of the monosyllable Clare (from his marriage with the grand-daughter of the late Earl), but Lionel dying without issue male, Henry IV. created his younger son Thomas Duke of Clarence, who being slain without issue 9th of Henry V., the honour remained in the Crown, until King Edward IV. conferred it upon his own brother. Mr. Sandford tells us that Clarence is the country about the town, castle, and honour of Clare, from which duchy the name of Clarenceux King of Arms is derived. Spelman, however, contends that it is a mistake in attributing the institution of Clarenceux to King Edward IV. after the honour of Clarence devolved as an escheat to the Crown upon the untimely death of his brother George, as he found William Horsely called by this title in the reign of Henry V. and also Roger Lygh, under King Henry VI.; and it is conjectured that the office of Clarenceux King of Arms is not more ancient than the reign of Edward III.

Gloucester Herald, frequently mentioned by historians, was originally {33}the herald of the great Humphry, Duke of Gloucester, of whom mention is made upon record in the 10th of Henry VI.; and Richard, brother to Edward IV., who was created Duke of Gloucester, is said to have had a herald by that title during the reign of his brother, and who was attendant as such at the funeral of that monarch. In a manuscript in the Ashmolean collection, it is stated that Richard Champnay attended as Gloucester King of Arms at the coronation of Richard III. upon the 7th July following his usurpation of the crown; but it appears by more authentic record that this Richard Champnay was, by the style and title of Herald of Arms, on the 18th September, in the first year of his usurpation, by patent created a King of Arms and Principal Herald of the parts of Wales, by the style and title of Gloucester, giving him licence and authority to execute all and singular that by law or custom in former times belonged to the office of King of Arms. It is supposed that the office ceased upon his death, which in all probability took place before that of the usurper.

Richmond King of Arms.—A herald called Richmond is frequently mentioned, as well belonging to the Crown as of the nobility. But the records of the reign of King Henry VII., who had before his elevation to the throne been Earl of Richmond, contain many entries of Richmond King of Arms; but although somewhat vague in the description, sufficiently bear out the conjecture that Henry VII., previous to his coronation, created a new King of Arms by the title of Richmond, although no regular patent of creation has ever been found.

Sir Henry Spelman informs us that, in addition to the two Kings of Arms for the two Heraldic provinces bounded north and south by the river Trent, there were also two provincial kings for the dominions of our Sovereign in France, styled Guyenne and Agincourt (omitting Aquitaine and Anjou, which were certainly in being at the same time), and another for Ireland by that name, altered by King Edward VI. into Ulster.

Ireland King of Arms first occurs upon record 6th Richard II., anno 1482, mentioned by Froissart, where he is called Chandos le Roy d'Ireland. A regular succession of officers, by the title of Ireland King of Arms, continued from that time till the reign of King Edward IV., but from the death of that monarch till the creation of Ulster by Edward VI. it is uncertain whether the title existed, or what became of the office.

Edward VI. altered the title of Ireland King of Arms into that of Ulster, or rather considered it as a new institution, from the words of his journal: "Feb. 2. There was a King of Arms made for Ireland, whose name was Ulster, and his province was all Ireland; and he was the fourth King of Arms, and the first Herald of Ireland." The patent passed under the Great Seal of England.

Guyenne, a part of Aquitaine, in France, a province belonging to {34}the British Crown, gave title not only to a King of Arms, but to a herald likewise, and Sir Henry Spelman dates its creation in the time of Edward I., although it is somewhat doubtful, and thought to be in the reign of Edward III. Guyenne Herald appears upon record during the reign of Henry VI., and though Kings of Arms were frequently styled heralds in old records, it is more than probable both offices were in existence at the same time. From the time of Edward IV. no such officers belonging to the Crown of England seem to have been continued, and it is doubtful whether they ever held in constant succession from their first creation.

Aquitaine, which included what were afterwards called Guyenne, Xantoigne, Gascoigne, and some islands, gave title to a King of Heralds as early as the reign of Edward III., and it is conjectured to have been an officer belonging to the Black Prince, who had the principality of Aquitaine given to him by his father; but although this officer is mentioned in the reign of Richard II. and 3rd of Henry V., no record occurs after the latter period.

Agincourt was also a title conferred upon a herald, in memory of that signal victory; and lands were granted to him for life, 6th Henry V., as mentioned by Sir Henry Spelman; but whether the office was continued, or any particular province assigned to this officer, cannot be ascertained.

Anjou King of Arms was likewise an officer of King Henry VI., and attendant upon John, Duke of Bedford, when Regent of France, who assumed the title of Duke of Anjou. But upon the death of the Duke of Bedford, this officer was promoted to Lancaster King of Arms; and in all probability the title of Anjou, as a King of Heralds, was discontinued.

Volant also occurs upon record in the 28th Edward III., and Vaillant, le Roy Vaillant Heraud, and le Roy Vailland, are likewise mentioned in 1395.

Henry V. instituted the office of Garter King of Arms; but at what particular period is rather uncertain, although Mr. Anstis has clearly proved that it must have taken place after the 22nd May, and before the 3rd September, in the year 1417.

Stephen Martin Leake, Esq., who filled the office, sums up its duties in the following words: "Garter was instituted by King Henry V., A.D. 1417, for the service of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, which was made sovereign within the office of arms over all other officers, subject to the Crown of England, by the name of Garter King of Arms of England. In this patent he is styled Principal King of English Arms, and Principal Officer of Arms of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, and has power to execute the said office by himself or deputy, being an herald. By the constitution of his office, he must be a native of {35}England, and a gentleman bearing arms. To him belongs the correction of arms, and all ensigns of honour, usurped or borne unjustly, and also to grant arms to deserving persons, and supporters to the nobility and Knights of the Bath; to go next before the sword in solemn proceeding, none interposing, except the constable and marshal; to administer the oath to all the officers of arms; to have a habit like the registrar of the order; baron's service in the court; lodgings in Windsor Castle; to bear his white rod with a banner of the ensigns of the order thereon before the Sovereign; also when any lord shall enter the Parliament chamber, to assign him his place, according to his dignity and degree; to carry the ensign of the order to foreign princes, and to do, or procure to be done, what the Sovereign shall enjoin, relating to the order; with other duties incident to his office of principal King of Arms, for the execution whereof he hath a salary of one hundred pounds a year, payable at the Exchequer, and an hundred pounds more out of the revenue of the order, besides fees."

Bath King of Arms was created 11th George I., in conformity with the statutes established by His Majesty for the government of the Order of the Bath, and in obedience to those statutes was nominated and created by the Great Master of the Order denominated Bath, and in Latin, Rex armorum Honoratissimi Ordinis Militaris de Balneo. These statutes direct that this officer shall, in all the ceremonies of the order, be habited in a white mantle lined with red, having on the right shoulder the badge of the order, and under it a surcoat of white silk, lined and edged with red; that he shall wear on his breast, hanging to a golden chain about his neck, an escocheon of gold, enamelled with the arms of the order, impaling the arms of the Sovereign, crowned with the Imperial crown. That at all coronations he shall precede the companions of the order, and shall carry and wear his crown as other Kings of Arms are obliged to do. That the chain, escocheon, rod, and crown, shall be of the like materials, value, and weight, with those borne and used by Garter Principal King of Arms, and of the like fashion, the before specified variations only excepted: and that besides the duties required of him in the several other articles of the statutes, he shall diligently perform whatever the Sovereign or Great Master shall further command. On the 14th January 1725, His Majesty was further pleased by his Royal sign-manual, to erect, make, constitute, and ordain the then Bath King of Arms, Gloucester King of Arms, and principal Herald of the parts of Wales, and to direct letters patent to be made out and pass the Great Seal, empowering him to grant arms and crests to persons residing within the dominions of Wales, either jointly with Garter, or singly by himself, with the consent and at the pleasure of the Earl Marshal, or his deputy for the time being, and for {36}the future that the office of Gloucester should be inseparably annexed, united, and perpetually consolidated with the office of Bath King of Arms, of the Most Honourable Military Order of the Bath, and Gloucester King of Arms, and principal Herald of the parts of Wales. And also that he, for the dignity of the order, should in all assemblies and at all times have and take place and precedency above and before all other provincial Kings of Arms whatsoever."

This armorial jurisdiction, however, was subsequently, as has been previously explained, annulled.

Concerning the heralds Berry remarks: "In former ages, when honour and chivalry were at their height, these officers were held in great estimation, as appears by the ceremonies which attended their creations, which was by the Sovereign himself or by special commission from him, and, according to Gerard Leigh, was after the following manner: The King asked the person to be so created whether he were a gentleman of blood or of second coat-armour; if he was not, the King gave him lands and fees, and assigned him and his heirs proper arms. Then, as the messenger was brought in by the herald of the province, so the pursuivant was brought in by the eldest herald, who, at the prince's command, performed all the ceremonies, as turning the coat of arms, setting the manacles thereof on the arms of the pursuivant, and putting about his neck the collar of SS, and when he was named, the prince himself took the cup from the herald, which was gilt, and poured the water and wine upon the head of the pursuivant, creating him by the name of our herald, and the King, when the oath was administered, gave the same cup to the new herald.

Upton sums up the business of a herald thus: That it was their office to create under officers, to number the people, to commence treaties of matrimony and of peace between princes, to visit kingdoms and regions, and to be present at martial exploits, &c., and they were to wear a coat of their master's arms, wearing the same in conflicts and tournaments, in riding through foreign countries, and at all great entertainments, coronations of kings and queens, and the solemnities of princes, dukes, and other great lords.

In the time of King Richard II. there belonged to the King of Arms and heralds the following fees, viz.: at the coronation of the King, a bounty of £100; when the King first displayed his banners, 100 marks; when the King's son was made a knight, 40 marks; when the prince and a duke first display their banners, £20; if it be a marquis, 20 marks; if an earl, £10; if a baron, 5 marks of silver crowns, of 15 nobles; and if a knight bachelor, newly made a banneret, 3 marks, or 10 nobles; when the King is married, the said Kings of Arms and heralds to have £50; when the Queen has a child {37}christened, a largess at the Queen's pleasure, or of the lords of the council, which was sometimes £100, and at others 100 marks, more or less; and when she is churched, such another largess; when princesses, duchesses, marchionesses, countesses, and baronesses have a child christened, and when they are churched, a largess suitable to their quality and pleasure; as often as the King wears his crown, or holds Royal state, especially at the four great festivals of Christmas, Easter, Whitsuntide, and All Saints, to every one of the three Kings of Arms present when the King goes to the chapel to mass, a largess at the King's pleasure; when a maiden princess, or daughter of a duke, marquis, earl, or baron is married, there belongs to the said Kings of Arms, if present, the upper garment she is married in; if there be a combat within lists, there belong to the Kings of Arms, if present, and if not to the other heralds present, their pavilions; and if one of the combatants is vanquished, the Kings of Arms and heralds who are present shall have all the accoutrements of the person so vanquished, and all other armour that falls to the ground; when subjects rebel, and fortify any camp or place, and afterwards quit the same, and fly, without a battle, there appertain to the said Kings of Arms and heralds who are present all the carts, carriages, and tools left behind; and, at New Year's Tide, all the noblemen and knights of the court used to give the heralds New Year's gifts. Besides the King's heralds, in former times, divers noblemen had heralds and pursuivants, who went with their lords, with the King's heralds, when attending the King.

The fees of the King's heralds and pursuivants of arms have since varied, and, besides fees upon creations of peers, baronets, and knights, they have still donations for attendance at court upon the festivals of Christmas, Easter, Whitsuntide, All Saints, and St. George's Day; fees upon installation of Knights of the Garter and Bath, Royal marriages, funerals, public solemnities, &c., with small salaries paid from the Exchequer; but their ancient fees from the nobility, upon certain occasions, have been long discontinued, and their principal emolument arises from grants of arms, the tracing of genealogies, and recording the same in the Registers of the College of Arms."

The present heralds are six in number, viz.:—

Windsor Herald, which title was instituted 38th of Edward III., when that monarch was in France.

Chester Herald, instituted in the same reign.

Richmond Herald, instituted by King Edward IV.

Somerset Herald, instituted by King Henry VIII. about the time when that monarch created his son Henry Fitzroy Duke of Somerset.

York Herald, instituted by King Edward III. in honour of his son, whom he created Duke of York. {38}

Lancaster Herald, also instituted by Edward III. when he created his son Duke of Lancaster.

The heralds were first incorporated as a college by Richard III. They were styled the Corporation of Kings, Heralds, and Pursuivants of Arms.

Concerning Pursuivants of Arms, Berry remarks that these officers, who are the lowest in degree amongst officers of arms, "were, as the name implies, followers, marshals, or messengers attendant upon the heralds. Pursuivants were formerly created by the nobility (who had, likewise, heralds of arms) with great ceremony in the following manner. One of the heralds, wearing his master's coat, leading the person to be created pursuivant by the left hand, and holding a cup full of wine and water in his right, came into the presence of the lord and master of him who was to be created, and of whom the herald asked by what name he would have his pursuivant called, which the lord having mentioned, the herald then poured part of the wine and water upon his head, calling him by the name so assigned to him. The herald then took the coat of his lord, and put it over his head athwart, so that part of the coat made for the arms before and behind, and the longer part of it on both sides of the arms of the person created, and in which way the pursuivant was always to wear it. This done, an oath of fidelity was administered to the new-made pursuivant, and the ceremony concluded."

This curious method of the wearing of the tabard by a pursuivant has long since been discontinued, if indeed it was ever generally adopted, a point on which I have by no means been able to satisfy myself.

The appointment of heralds and pursuivants of arms by the nobility has long been discontinued, and there are now only four pursuivants belonging to the College of Arms, viz.:—

Rouge-Croix, the first in point of antiquity of creation, is so styled from the red cross of St. George, the Patron Saint of England.

Blue-Mantle, so called by King Edward III., in honour of the French coat which he assumed, being blue.

Rouge-Dragon, so styled from the red dragon, one of the supporters of the Royal arms of King Henry VII. (who created this pursuivant), and also the badge of Wales, and

Portcullis, also instituted by Henry VII., and so named from that badge, or cognisance, used by him.

The duties of a pursuivant are similar to those of a herald; he assists in all public processions, or ceremonies, such as Royal marriages, funerals, installations, &c., and has certain fees for attendance upon such occasions. Pursuivants likewise receive fees upon creations of peers, baronets, and knights, and also donations for attending court upon the principal festivals of Christmas, Easter, Whit-Sunday, All {39}Saints, and St. George's Day, and a small salary payable out of the Exchequer. They wear a tabard of damask silk, embroidered with the Royal arms, like the heralds, but no collar of SS.

Fig. 13.

Fig. 13.—Officers of Arms as represented in the famous Tournament Roll of Henry VIII., now preserved in the College of Arms.

Of the Heraldic Executive in Scotland, Lyon King of Arms (Sir James Balfour Paul), in his book "Heraldry in relation to Scottish History and Art," writes: "At one period the Lyon was solemnly crowned at his inauguration, and vested with his tabard and baton of office." The ceremony was a very elaborate one, and is fully described by Sir James Balfour in a MS., now in the Advocates' Library. There is also an account of the coronation of Sir Alexander Durham, when Laurie, the minister of the Tron Kirk, preached from the text, "What shall be done to the man whom the king delighteth to honour?" The crown was of gold, and exactly similar to the Imperial crown of Scotland, save that it had no jewels. Now the Lyon's crown is the same as the English King of Arms. The crown is only worn at Royal coronations. At that of Charles I. at Edinburgh in 1633, the Lyon carried the vessel containing the sacred oil. In addition to his strictly armorial appointment, the Lyon is also a King of Arms of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle.

Heralds and pursuivants formed an important part from very early times not only of the Royal Household, but also of those of the higher nobility, many of whom had private heralds. Of these officers there is a very full list given by Dr. Dickson in the preface to the Lord Treasurer's Accounts. Of heralds who were or ultimately became part of the King's Household we meet with Rothesay, Marchmont, Snowdon, Albany, Ross, and Islay; Ireland, Orkney, and Carrick are also mentioned as heralds, but it is doubtful whether the first and last were ever more than pursuivants. Of the latter class of officers the following were in the Royal establishment: Carrick, Bute, Dingwall, Kintyre, Ormonde, Unicorn; but we also find Aliszai or Alishay, Dragance, Diligens, Montrose, Falkland, Ireland, Darnaway, Garioch, Ettrick, Hales, Lindsay, Endure, Douglas, and Angus. Of the latter Garioch was created by James IV. for his brother John, Earl of Mar; Hailes in 1488, when Lord Hailes was made Earl of Bothwell; while Lindsay and Endure were both evidently attached to the Lindsay family, as were Douglas and Angus to the noblemen whose titles they bore. In 1403 Henry IV. of England granted a pursuivant under the title of Shrewsbury to George, Earl of March, for services rendered at the battle of that name, but we do not find that the office was continued.

In Scotland heralds appear at an early date, though none are mentioned as attending the coronation of Alexander III. in 1249; nor is there any account of any such officers accompanying that sovereign when he did homage to Edward I. at Westminster in 1278. In the next {40}century, however, armorial bearings were quite well known in Scotland, and there is an entry in the Exchequer Rolls on 10th October 1337 of a payment of £32, 6s. Scots for the making of seventeen armorial banners, and in 1364 there is another to the heralds for services at the tournaments; while William Petilloch, herald, has a grant from David II. of three husbandlands in Bonjedward, and Allan Fawside gets a gift of the forfeited estate of one Coupland, a herald (temp. Edward Baliol).[2] The first mention of a herald, under his official designation, which I have met with in our records occurs in 1365, when there is a confirmation under the Great Seal by David II. of a charter by Dugal M‘Dowille to John Trupour or Trumpour "nunc dicto Carric heraldo." Sir James Balfour tells us that the Lyon and his heralds attended the coronation of Robert II. at Holyrood on 23rd May 1371, but whether or not this is true—and I have not been able to verify it—it is certain that a Lyon Herald existed very shortly after that date, as in the Exchequer Rolls mention is made of the payment of a certain sum to such an officer in 1377; in 1379 Froissart says that a herald was sent by Robert II. to London to explain that the truce had been infringed without his will and against his knowledge, and on 8th April 1381 a warrant was issued in London for a licence to "Lion Heraud" of the King of Scots, authorising him to take away a complete suit of armour which he had bought in that city. It is not, however, till 1388 that we find Lyon accorded the Royal style. In that year a payment is made "Leoni regi heraldorum," but at the audit following the battle of Otterburn he is called defunctus, which suggests that he had been slain on that well-fought field. The Lyon appears in several embassies about this period both to England and France, and one Henry Greve, designed in the English Issue Rolls as "King of Scottish Heralds," was at the Tower of London in 1399, either at or immediately after the coronation of Henry IV. From 1391 onwards there is frequent mention of one Douglas, "Herald of the King," and in 1421 he is styled "Lyon Herald."

Of the German officers of arms they, like the English, are divided into three classes, known as Wappenkönige, Herolde, and Persevanten. These, like our own officers, had peculiar titles; for example Suchenwirt (an Austrian ducal herald), Lub-den Frumen (a Lichtenstein pursuivant), Jerusalem (a herald of the Limmer Palatinate), Romreich (an Imperial herald). About the middle of the sixteenth century, the official names of the heralds fell into disuse; they began to make use of their ancestral names with the title of Edel and Ehrenvest (noble and honourable), but this did not last long, and the heralds found themselves thrown back {41}into the old ways, into which the knightly accoutrements had already wandered.

Fig. 14.

Fig. 14.—The velvet tabard of Sir William Dugdale, Garter King of Arms from 26th April 1677 to 10th February 1686.

Fig. 15.

Fig. 15.—William Bruges, the first Garter King of Arms, appointed 5th January 1420. (From an illuminated MS. in the Museum at Oxford.)

The official dress of an officer of arms as such in Great Britain is merely his tabard (Figs. 13, 14, 15). This garment in style and shape has remained unchanged in this country from the earliest known period of which representations of officers of arms exist; but whilst the tabard itself has remained unaltered in its style, the arms thereupon have constantly changed, these always being the arms of the Sovereign for the time being. The costume worn with the tabard has naturally been subject to many changes, but it is doubtful if any attempt to regulate such costume was ever officially made prior to the reign of Queen Victoria. The tabard of a pursuivant is of damask silk; that of a herald, of satin; and that of a king of arms, of velvet.

The initial letter on page 1 is a portrait of John Smert, Garter King of Arms, and is taken from the grant of arms to the Tallow Chandlers' Company, dated 24th September 1456. He is there represented as wearing beneath his tabard black breeches and coat, and a golden crown. But Fig. 15 is actually a representation of the first Garter King of Arms, William Bruges, appointed 5th January 1420. He is represented as carrying a white staff, a practice which has been recently revived, white wands being carried by all the heralds at the public funeral of the Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone. In Germany the wands of the heralds were later painted with the colours of the escutcheons of the Sovereign to whom they were attached. There was until recently no official hat for an officer of arms in England, and confirmation of this is to be found in the fact that Dallaway mentions a special licence to Wriothesley Garter giving him permission to wear a cap on account of his great age. Obviously, however, a tabard requires other clothing to be worn with it. The heralds in Scotland, until quite recently, when making public proclamations were content to appear in the ordinary elastic-side boots and cloth trousers of everyday life. This gave way for a brief period, in which Court dress was worn below the tabard, but now, as in England, the recognised uniform of a member of the Royal Household is worn. In England, owing to the less frequent ceremonial appearances of the heralds, and the more scrupulous control {42}which has been exercised, no such anachronisms as were perpetuated in Scotland have been tolerated, and it has been customary for the officers of arms to wear their uniform as members of the Sovereign's Household (in which uniform they attend the levees) beneath the tabard when making proclamations at the opening of Parliament or on similar occasions. At a coronation and at some other full State ceremonies they wear knee-breeches. At the late ceremony of the coronation of King Edward VII., a head-dress was designed for the officers of arms. These caps are of black velvet embroidered at the {43}side with a rose, a thistle, or a harp, respectively for the English, Scottish, and Irish officers of arms.

Fig. 16.

Fig. 16.—A Herald. (Temp. Hen. VIII.)

Fig. 17.

Fig. 17.—A State Trumpeter. (Temp. Hen. VIII.)

A great deal of confusion has arisen between the costume and the functions of a Herald and a Trumpeter, though the confusion has been confined to the minds of the uninitiated and the theatrical stage. The whole subject was very amusingly dealt with in the Genealogical Magazine in an article by Mr. G. Ambrose Lee, Bluemantle, and the illustrations which he gives of the relative dresses of the Heralds and the Trumpeters at different periods (see Figs. 16-19) are interesting. Briefly, the matter can be summed up in the statement that there never was a Trumpeter who made a proclamation, or wore a tabard, and there never was a Herald who blew a trumpet. The Trumpeters nearly {44}always accompanied the Heralds to proclaim their presence and call attention to their proclamation.

Fig. 18.

Fig. 18.—A State Trumpeter and a Herald at the coronation of James I.

In France the Heralds were formed into an incorporation by Charles VI. in 1406, their head being Mountjoye, King of Arms, with ten heralds and pursuivants under him. It will be noticed that this incorporation is earlier than that of the College of Arms in England. The Revolution played havoc with the French Records, and no College of Arms now exists in France. But it is doubtful whether at any time it reached the dignity or authority which its English counterpart has enjoyed in former times.

Fig. 20 represents a French Herald of the early part of the fifteenth century. It is taken from a representation of the Rally of the Parisians against King Charles VI. in 1413, to be found in a MS. edition of Froissart, formerly in the Royal Library at Paris.

All the heralds and Kings of Arms (but not the pursuivants) wear the curious collar of SS about which there has been so much discussion. {45}The form has remained unchanged, save that the badge is the badge for the time being of the Sovereign. The heralds have their collars of SS of silver, whilst those of a King of Arms are of silver gilt, and the latter have the further distinction that a portcullis is introduced on each shoulder. The heralds and Kings of Arms usually place these collars round their shields in representations of their arms. Collars of SS are also worn by Serjeants-at-Arms, and by the Lord Chief Justice.

Fig. 19.

Fig. 19.—Peace proclaimed at the Royal Exchange after the Crimean War.

The English Heralds have no equivalent badge to that which the Scottish Heralds wear suspended from their necks by a ribbon. In Ireland both Heralds and Pursuivants wear a badge.

In addition each King of Arms has his crown; the only occasion, however, upon which this is worn being at the ceremony of a coronation. The crown is of silver gilt, formed of a circle upon which is inscribed part of the first verse of the 51st Psalm, viz. "Miserere mei Deus secundum magnam misericordiam tuam": the rim is surmounted of sixteen leaves, in shape resembling the oak-leaf, every alternate one being somewhat higher than the remainder. Nine of these leaves are shown in a representation of it. The cap is of crimson satin, closed at the top by a gold tassel, and turned up with ermine.

Garter King of Arms has a baton or "sceptre" of silver gilt, about two feet in length, the top being of gold, of four sides of equal height, {46}but of unequal breadth. On the two larger sides are the arms of St. George impaling the Sovereign's, and on the two lesser sides the arms of St. George surrounded by the Garter and motto, the whole ensigned with an Imperial crown. This "sceptre" has sometimes been placed in bend behind the arms of Garter King. Lyon King of Arms has a baton of blue enamel with gold extremities, the baton being powdered with roses, thistles, and fleurs-de-lis. Lyon (Sir James Balfour Paul) in his "Heraldry in relation to Scottish History and Art," remarks that this is one of the few pieces of British official regalia which is still adorned with the ancient ensigns of France. But knowing how strictly all official regalia in England is required to have the armorial devices thereupon changed, as the Royal arms and badges change, there can be very little doubt that the appearance of the fleur-de-lis in this case is due to an oversight. The baton happens to be that of a former Lyon King of Arms, which really should long since have been discarded and a new one substituted. Two batons are usually placed in saltire behind the arms of Lyon King of Arms.

Fig. 20.

Fig. 20.—A French Herald of the early part of the fifteenth century.

Ulster King of Arms has a staff of office which, however, really belongs to his office as Knight Attendant on the Most Illustrious Order of St. Patrick.

The Scottish Heralds each have a rod of ebony tipped with ivory, {47}which has been sometimes stated to be a rod of office. This, however, is not the case, and the explanation of their possession of it is very simple. They are constantly called upon by virtue of their office to make from the Market Cross in Edinburgh the Royal Proclamations. Now these Proclamations are read from printed copies which in size of type and paper are always of the nature of a poster. The Herald would naturally find some difficulty in holding up a large piece of paper of this size on a windy day, in such a manner that it was easy to read from; consequently he winds it round his ebony staff, slowly unwinding it all the time as he reads.

Garter King of Arms, Lyon King of Arms, and Ulster King of Arms all possess badges of their offices which they wear about their necks.

The badge of Garter is of gold, having on both sides the arms of St. George, impaled with those of the Sovereign, within the Garter and motto, enamelled in their proper colours, and ensigned with the Royal crown.

The badge of Lyon King of Arms is oval, and is worn suspended by a broad green ribbon. The badge proper consists on the obverse of the effigy of St. Andrew bearing his cross before him, with a thistle beneath, all enamelled in the proper colours on an azure ground. The reverse contains the arms of Scotland, having in the lower parts of the badge a thistle, as on the other side; the whole surmounted with the Imperial crown.

The badge of "Ulster" is of gold, containing on one side the cross of St. Patrick, or, as it is described in the statutes, "The cross gules of the Order upon a field argent, impaled with the arms of the Realm of Ireland," and both encircled with the motto, "Quis Separabit," and the date of the institution of the Order, MDCCLXXXIII. The reverse exhibits the arms of the office of Ulster, viz.: "Or, a cross gules, on a chief of the last a lion of England between a harp and portcullis, all of the first," placed on a ground of green enamel, surrounded by a gold border with shamrocks, surmounted by an Imperial crown, and suspended by a sky-blue riband from the neck.

The arms of the Corporation of the College of Arms are: Argent, a cross gules between four doves, the dexter wing of each expanded and inverted azure. Crest: on a ducal coronet or, a dove rising azure. Supporters: two lions rampant guardant argent, ducally gorged or.

The official arms of the English Kings of Arms are:—

Garter King of Arms.—Argent, a cross gules, on a chief azure, a ducal coronet encircled with a garter, between a lion passant guardant on the dexter and a fleur-de-lis on the sinister all or.

Clarenceux King of Arms.—Argent, a cross gules, on a chief of the second a lion passant guardant or, crowned of the last. {48}

Norroy King of Arms.—Argent, a cross gules, on a chief of the second a lion passant guardant crowned of the first, between a fleur-de-lis on the dexter and a key on the sinister of the last.

Badges have never been officially assigned to the various Heralds by any specific instruments of grant or record; but from a remote period certain of the Royal badges relating to their titles have been used by various Heralds, viz.:—

Lancaster.—The red rose of Lancaster ensigned by the Royal crown.

York.—The white rose of York en soleil ensigned by the Royal crown.

Richmond.—The red rose of Lancaster impaled with the white rose en soleil of York, the whole ensigned with the Royal crown.

Windsor.—Rays of the sun issuing from clouds.

The four Pursuivants make use of the badges from which they derive their titles.

The official arms of Lyon King of Arms and of Lyon Office are the same, namely: Argent, a lion sejant full-faced gules, holding in the dexter paw a thistle slipped vert and in the sinister a shield of the second; on a chief azure, a St. Andrew's cross of the field.

There are no official arms for Ulster's Office, that office, unlike the College of Arms, not being a corporate body, but the official arms of Ulster King of Arms are: Or, a cross gules, on a chief of the last a lion passant guardant between a harp and a portcullis all of the field. {49}


By Rev. WALTER J. KAYE, Junr., B.A., F.S.A., F.S.A. Scot.
Member of the Monumental Brass Society, London; Honorary Member of the Spalding Gentlemen's Society; Author of "A Brief History of Gosberton, in the County of Lincoln."

Monumental brasses do not merely afford a guide to the capricious changes of fashion in armour, in ecclesiastical vestments (which have altered but little), and in legal, civilian, and feminine costume, but they provide us also with a vast number of admirable specimens of heraldic art. The vandal and the fanatic have robbed us of many of these beautiful memorials, but of those which survive to our own day the earliest on the continent of Europe marks the last resting-place of Abbot Ysowilpe, 1231, at Verden, in Hanover. In England there was once a brass, which unfortunately disappeared long ago, to an Earl of Bedford, in St. Paul's Church, Bedford, of the year 1208, leaving 1277 as the date of the earliest one.

Latten (Fr. laiton), the material of which brasses were made, was at an early date manufactured in large quantities at Cologne, whence plates of this metal came to be known as cullen (Köln) plates; these were largely exported to other countries, and the Flemish workmen soon attained the greatest proficiency in their engraving. Flemish brasses are usually large and rectangular, having the space between the figure and the marginal inscription filled either by diaper work or by small figures in niches. Brasses vary considerably in size: the matrix of Bishop Beaumont's brass in Durham Cathedral measures about 16 feet by 8 feet, and the memorial to Griel van Ruwescuere, in the chapel of the Lady Superior of the Béguinage at Bruges, is only about 1 foot square. Brazen effigies are more numerous in England in the eastern and southern counties, than in parts more remote from the continent of Europe.

Armorial bearings are displayed in a great variety of ways on monumental brasses, some of which are exhibited in the rubbings selected for illustration. In most cases separate shields are placed above and below the figures. They occur also in the spandrils of canopies and {50}in the shafts and finials of the same, as well as in the centre and at the angles of border-fillets. They naturally predominate in the memorials of warriors, where we find them emblazoned not only on shield and pennon but on the scabbard and ailettes, and on the jupon, tabard, and cuirass also, while crests frequently occur on the tilting-helm. In one case (the brass of Sir Peter Legh, 1527, at Winwick, co. Lancaster) they figure upon the priestly chasuble. Walter Pescod, the merchant of Boston, Lincolnshire, 1398, wears a gown adorned with peascods—a play upon his name; and many a merchant's brass bears his coat of arms and merchant's mark beside, pointing a moral to not a few at the present day. The fifteenth and sixteenth centuries witnessed the greatest profusion in heraldic decoration in brasses, when the tabard and the heraldic mantle were evolved. A good example of the former remains in the parish church of Ormskirk, Lancashire, in the brass commemorating a member of the Scarisbrick family, c. 1500 (Fig. 21). Ladies were accustomed at this time to wear their husband's arms upon the mantle or outer garment and their own upon the kirtle, but the fashion which obtained at a subsequent period was to emblazon the husband's arms on the dexter and their own on the sinister side of the mantle (Fig. 22).

Fig. 21.

Fig. 21.—Brass in the Scarisbrick Chapel of Ormskirk Church, co. Lancs., to a member of the Scarisbrick family of that name. Arms: Gules, three mullets in bend between two bendlets engrailed argent. (From a rubbing by Walter J. Kaye.)

Fig. 22.

Fig. 22.—Brass of Margaret (daughter of Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland), second wife of Henry, 1st Earl of Cumberland, in Skipton Parish Church. Arms: On the dexter side those of the Earl of Cumberland, on the sinister side those of Percy.

The majority of such monuments, as we behold them now, are destitute of any indications of metals or tinctures, largely owing to the action of the varying degrees of temperature in causing contraction and expansion. Here and there, however, we may still detect traces of their pristine glory. But these matters received due attention from the engraver. To represent or, he left the surface of the brass untouched, except for gilding or perhaps polishing; this universal method has solved many heraldic problems. Lead or some other white metal was inlaid to indicate argent, and the various tinctures were supplied by the excision of a portion of the plate, thereby forming a depression, which was filled up by pouring in some resinous substance of the requisite colour. The various kinds of fur used in armory may be readily distinguished, with the sole exception of vair (argent and azure), which presents the appearance of a row of small upright shields alternating with a similar row reversed.

Fig. 23.

Fig. 23.—Brass of Sir John D'Aubernoun at Stoke D'Abernon. Arms: Azure, a chevron or. (From a rubbing by Walter J. Kaye.)

Fig. 24.

Fig. 24.—Brass of Sir Roger de Trumpington at Trumpington. Arms: Azure, crusilly and two trumpets palewise or. (From a rubbing by Walter J. Kaye.)

The earliest brass extant in England is that to Sir John D'Aubernoun, the elder (Fig. 23), at Stoke D'Abernon, in Surrey, which carries us back to the year 1277. The simple marginal inscription in Norman-French, surrounding the figure, and each Lombardic capital of which is set in its own matrix, reads: "Sire: John: Daubernoun: Chivaler: Gist: Icy: Deu: De: Sa: Alme: Eyt: Mercy:"[3] In the space {51}between the inscription and the upper portion of the figure were two small shields, of which the dexter one alone remains, charged with the arms of the knight: "Azure, a chevron, or." Sir John D'Aubernoun is represented in a complete panoply of chain mail—his head being protected by a coif de mailles, which is joined to the hauberk or mail {52}shirt, which extends to the hands, having apparently no divisions for the fingers, and being tightened by straps at the wrists. The legs, which are not crossed, are covered by long chausses, or stockings of mail, {53}protected at the knees by poleyns or genouillères of cuir bouilli richly ornamented by elaborate designs. A surcoat, probably of linen, depends from the shoulders to a little below the knees, and is cut away to a point above {54}the knee. This garment is tightly confined (as the creases in the surcoat show) at the waist by a girdle, and over it is passed a guige whereto the long sword is attached. "Pryck" spurs are fixed to the instep, and the feet rest upon a lion, whose mouth grasps the lower portion of a lance. The lance bears a pennon charged with a chevron, as also is the small heater-shaped shield borne on the knight's left arm. The whole composition measures about eight feet by three.

Heraldry figures more prominently in our second illustration, the brass to Sir Roger de Trumpington, 1289 (Fig. 24). This fine effigy lies under the canopy of an altar-tomb, so called, in the Church of St. Michael and All Angels, Trumpington, Cambridgeshire. It portrays the knight in armour closely resembling that already described, with these exceptions: the head rests upon a huge heaume, or tilting-helm, attached by a chain to the girdle, and the neck is here protected from side-thrusts by ailettes or oblong plates fastened behind the shoulders, and bearing the arms of Sir Roger. A dog here replaces the lion at the feet, the lance and pennon are absent, and the shield is rounded to the body. On this brass the arms not only occur upon the shield, but also upon the ailettes, and are four times repeated on the scabbard. They afford a good example of "canting" arms: "Azure, crusilly and two trumpets palewise or, with a label of five points in chief, for difference." It is interesting also to notice that the engraver had not {55}completed his task, for the short horizontal lines across the dexter side of the shield indicate his intention of cutting away the surface of the field.

Fig. 25.

Fig. 25.—Brass of Sir Robert de Septvans in Chartham Church.

Fig. 26.

Fig. 26.—Brass of Sir William de Aldeburgh at Aldborough, Yorks. Arms: Azure, a fesse argent between three cross crosslets or. (From a rubbing by Walter J. Kaye.)

Sir Robert de Setvans (formerly Septvans), whose beautiful brass may be seen at Chartham, Kent, is habited in a surcoat whereon, together with the shield and ailettes, are seven winnowing fans—another instance of canting arms (Fig. 25). This one belongs to a somewhat later date, 1307.

Fig. 27.

Fig. 27.—Brass of Elizabeth Knevet.

Our next example is a mural effigy to Sir William de Aldeburgh, c. 1360, from the north aisle of Aldborough Church, near Boroughbridge, Yorkshire (Fig. 26). He is attired like the "veray parfite gentil knight" of Chaucer, in a bascinet or steel cap, to which is laced the camail or tippet of chain mail, and a hauberk almost concealed by a jupon, whereon are emblazoned his arms: "Azure, a fess indented argent, between three crosslets botony, or." The first crosslet is charged with an annulet, probably as a mark of cadency. The engraver has omitted the indenture upon the fess, which, however, appears upon the shield. The knight's arms are protected by epaulières, brassarts, coutes, and vambraces; his hands, holding a heart, by gauntlets of steel. An elaborate baldric passes round his waist, from which are suspended, on the left, a cross-hilted sword, in a slightly ornamented scabbard; on the right, a misericorde, or dagger of mercy. The thighs are covered by cuisses—steel plates, here deftly concealed probably by satin or velvet secured by metal studs—the knees by genouillères, the lower leg by jambes, which reveal chausses of mail at the interstices. Sollerets, or long, pointed shoes, whereto are attached rowel spurs, complete his outfit. The figure stands upon a bracket bearing the name "Will's de Aldeburgh."

The parish church of Eastington, Gloucestershire, contains a brass to Elizabeth Knevet, which is illustrated and described by Mr. Cecil T. Davis at p. 117 of his excellent work on the "Monumental Brasses of Gloucestershire."[4] The block (Fig. 27), which presents a good example of the heraldic mantle, has been very kindly placed at my disposal by Mr. Davis. To confine our description to the heraldic portion of the brass, we find the following arms upon the mantle:—

"Quarterly, 1. argent, a bend sable, within a bordure engrailed azure (Knevet); 2. argent, a bend azure, and chief, gules (Cromwell); 3. chequy or and gules, a chief ermine (Tatshall); 4. chequy or and gules, a bend ermine (De Cailly or Clifton); 5. paly of six within a bordure bezanté.... 6. bendy of six, a canton...."[5]

A coat of arms occurs also at each corner of the slab: "Nos. 1 and 4 are on ordinary shields, and 2 and 3 on lozenges. Nos. 1 and {56}3 are charged with the same bearings as are on her mantle. No. 2, on a lozenge, quarterly, 1. Knevet; 2. Cromwell; 3. Tatshall; 4. Cailli; 5. De Woodstock; 6. paly of six within a bordure; 7. bendy of six, a canton; 8. or, a chevron gules (Stafford); 9. azure, a bend cottised between six lioncels rampant, or (de Bohun). No. 4 similar to No. 1, with the omission of 2 and 3."

In later times thinner plates of metal were employed, a fact which largely contributed to preclude much of the boldness in execution hitherto displayed. A prodigality in shading, either by means of parallel lines or by cross-hatching, also tended to mar the beauty of later work of this kind. Nevertheless there are some good brasses of the Stuart period. These sometimes consist of a single quadrangular plate, with the upper portion occupied by armorial bearings and emblematical figures, the centre by an inscription, and the lower portion by a representation of the deceased, as at Forcett, in the North Riding of Yorkshire. Frequently, however, as at Rotherham and Rawmarsh, in the West Riding of the same county, the inscription is surmounted by a view of the whole family, the father kneeling on a cushion at a fald-stool, with his sons in a similar attitude behind him, and the mother likewise engaged with her daughters on the opposite side, while the armorial insignia find a place on separate shields above. {57}



We now come to the science of armory and the rules governing the display of these marks of honour. The term "coat of arms," as we have seen, is derived from the textile garment or "surcoat" which was worn over the armour, and which bore in embroidery a duplication of the design upon the shield. There can be very little doubt that arms themselves are older than the fact of the surcoat or the term "coat of arms." The entire heraldic or armorial decoration which any one is entitled to bear may consist of many things. It must as a minimum consist of a shield of arms, for whilst there are many coats of arms in existence, and many still rightly in use at the present day, to which no crest belongs, a crest in this country cannot lawfully exist without its complementary coat of arms. For the last two certainly, and probably nearly three centuries, no original grant of personal arms has ever been issued without it containing the grant of a crest except in the case of a grant to a woman, who of course cannot bear or transmit a crest; or else in the case of arms borne in right of women or descent from women, through whom naturally no right to a crest could have been transmitted. The grants which I refer to as exceptions are those of quarterings and impalements to be borne with other arms, or else exemplifications following upon the assumption of name and arms which in fact and theory are regrants of previously existing arms, in which cases the regrant is of the original coat with or without a crest, as the case may be, and as the arms theretofor existed. Grants of impersonal arms also need not include a crest. As it has been impossible for the last two centuries to obtain a grant of arms without its necessarily accompanying grant of crest, a decided distinction attaches to the lawful possession of arms which have no crest belonging to them, for of necessity the arms must be at least two hundred years old. Bearing this in mind, one cannot but wonder at the actions of some ancient families like those of Astley and Pole, who, lawfully possessing arms concerning which there is and can be no doubt or question, yet nevertheless invent and use crests which have no authority.

One instance and one only do I know where a crest has had a {58}legitimate existence without any coat of arms. This case is that of the family of Buckworth, who at the time of the Visitations exhibited arms and crest. The arms infringed upon those of another family, and no sufficient proof could be produced to compel their admission as borne of right. The arms were respited for further proof, while the crest was allowed, presumably tentatively, and whilst awaiting the further proof for the arms; no proof, however, was made. The arms and crest remained in this position until the year 1806, when Sir Buckworth Buckworth-Herne, whose father had assumed the additional name of Herne, obtained a Royal Licence to bear the name of Soame in addition to and after those of Buckworth-Herne, with the arms of Soame quarterly with the arms of Buckworth. It then became necessary to prove the right to these arms of Buckworth, and they were accordingly regranted with the trifling addition of an ermine spot upon the chevron; consequently this solitary instance has now been rectified, and I cannot learn of any other instance where these exceptional circumstances have similarly occurred; and there never has been a grant of a crest alone unless arms have been in existence previously.

Whilst arms may exist alone, and the decoration of a shield form the only armorial ensign of a person, such need not be the case; and it will usually be found that the armorial bearings of an ordinary commoner consist of shield, crest, and motto. To these must naturally be added the helmet and mantling, which become an essential to other than an abbreviated achievement when a crest has to be displayed. It should be remembered, however, that the helmet is not specifically granted, and apparently is a matter of inherent right, so that a person would not be in the wrong in placing a helmet and mantling above a shield even when no crest exists to surmount the helmet. The motto is usually to be found but is not a necessity, and there are many more coats of arms which have never been used with a motto than shields which exist without a crest. Sometimes a cri-de-guerre will be found instead of or in addition to a motto. The escutcheon may have supporters, or it may be displayed upon an eagle or a lymphad, &c., for which particular additions no other generic term has yet been coined save the very inclusive one of "exterior ornaments." A coronet of rank may form a part of the achievement, and the shield may be encircled by the "ribbons" or the "circles" or by the Garter, of the various Orders of Knighthood, and by their collars. Below it may depend the badge of a Baronet of Nova Scotia, or of an Order of Knighthood, and added to it may possibly be what is termed a compartment, though this is a feature almost entirely peculiar to Scottish armory. There is also the crowning distinction of a badge; and of all armorial insignia this is the most cherished, for the existing badges {59}are but few in number. The escutcheon may be placed in front of the crosiers of a bishop, the batons of the Earl Marshal, or similar ornaments. It may be displayed upon a mantle of estate, or it may be borne beneath a pavilion. With two more additions the list is complete, and these are the banner and the standard. For these several features of armory reference must be made to the various chapters in which they are treated.

Suffice it here to remark that whilst the term "coat of arms" has through the slipshod habits of English philology come to be used to signify a representation of any heraldic bearing, the correct term for the whole emblazonment is an "achievement," a term most frequently employed to signify the whole, but which can correctly be used to signify anything which a man is entitled to represent of an armorial character. Had not the recent revival of interest in armory taken place, we should have found a firmly rooted and even yet more slipshod declension, for a few years ago the habit of the uneducated in styling anything stamped upon a sheet of note-paper "a crest," was fast becoming stereotyped into current acceptance. {60}



The shield is the most important part of the achievement, for on it are depicted the signs and emblems of the house to which it appertains; the difference marks expressive of the cadency of the members within that house; the augmentations of honour which the Sovereign has conferred; the quarterings inherited from families which are represented, and the impalements of marriage; and it is with the shield principally that the laws of armory are concerned, for everything else is dependent upon the shield, and falls into comparative insignificance alongside of it.

Let us first consider the shield itself, without reference to the charges it carries. A shield may be depicted in any fashion and after any shape that the imagination can suggest, which shape and fashion have been accepted at any time as the shape and fashion of a shield. There is no law upon the subject. The various shapes adopted in emblazonments in past ages, and used at the present time in imitation of past usage—for luckily the present period has evolved no special shield of its own—are purely the result of artistic design, and have been determined at the periods they have been used in heraldic art by no other consideration than the particular theory of design that has happened to dominate the decoration, and the means and ends of such decoration of that period. The lozenge certainly is reserved for and indicative of the achievements of the female sex, but, save for this one exception, the matter may be carried further, and arms be depicted upon a banner, a parallelogram, a square, a circle, or an oval; and even then one would be correct, for the purposes of armory, in describing such figures as shields on all occasions on which they are made the vehicles for the emblazonment of a design which properly and originally should be borne upon a shield. Let no one think that a design ceases to be a coat of arms if it is not displayed upon a shield. Many people have thought to evade the authority of the Crown as the arbiter of coat-armour, and the penalties of taxation imposed by the Revenue by using designs without depicting them upon a shield. This little deception has always been borne in mind, {61}for we find in the Royal Warrants of Queen Elizabeth commanding the Visitations that the King of Arms to whom the warrant was addressed was to "correcte, cumptrolle and refourme all mann' of armes, crests, cognizaunces and devices unlawfull or unlawfully usurped, borne or taken by any p'son or p'sons within the same p'vince contary to the due order of the laws of armes, and the same to rev'se, put downe or otherwise deface at his discrecon as well in coote armors, helmes, standerd, pennons and hatchmets of tents and pavilions, as also in plate jewells, pap', parchement, wyndowes, gravestones and monuments, or elsewhere wheresoev' they be sett or placed, whether they be in shelde, schoocheon, lozenge, square, rundell or otherwise howsoev' contarie to the autentiq' and auncient lawes, customes, rules, privileges and orders of armes."

Fig. 28.

Fig. 28.—Taken from the tomb of Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count of Anjou.

The Act 32 & 33 Victoria, section 19, defines (for the purpose of the taxation it enforced) armorial bearings to mean and include "any armorial bearing, crest, or ensign, by whatever name the same shall be called, and whether such armorial bearing, crest, or ensign shall be registered in the College of Arms or not."

The shape of the shield throughout the rest of Europe has also varied between wide extremes, and at no time has any one particular shape been assigned to or peculiar to any country, rank, or condition, save possibly with one exception, namely, that the use of the cartouche or oval seems to have been very nearly universal with ecclesiastics in France, Spain, and Italy, though never reserved exclusively for their use. Probably this was an attempt on the part of the Church to get away from the military character of the shield. It is in keeping with the rule by which, even at the present day, a bishop or a cardinal bears neither helmet nor crest, using in place thereof his ecclesiastical mitre or tasselled hat, and by which the clergy, both abroad and in this country, seldom made use of a crest in depicting their arms. A clergyman in this country, however, has never been denied the right of using a crest (if he possesses one and chooses to display it) until he reaches episcopal rank. A grant of arms to a clergyman at the present day depicts his achievement with helmet, mantling, and crest in identical form with those adopted for any one else. But the laws of armory, official and amateur, have always denied the right to make use of a crest to bishop, archbishop, and cardinal.

At the present day, if a grant of arms is made to a bishop of the Established Church, the emblazonment at the head of his patent consists of shield and mitre only. The laws of the Church of England, however, require no vow of celibacy from its ecclesiastics, and consequently the descendants of a bishop would be placed in the position of having no crest to display if the bishop and his requirements were {62}alone considered. So that in the case of a grant to a bishop the crest is granted for his descendants in a separate clause, being depicted by itself in the body of the patent apart from the emblazonment "in the margin hereof," which in an ordinary patent is an emblazonment of the whole achievement. A similar method is usually adopted in cases in which the actual patentee is a woman, and where, by the limitations attached to the patent being extended beyond herself, males are brought in who will bear the arms granted to the patentee as their pronominal arms. In these cases the arms of the patentee are depicted upon a lozenge at the head of the patent, the crest being depicted separately elsewhere.

Whilst shields were actually used in warfare the utilitarian article largely governed the shape of the artistic representation, but after the fifteenth century the latter gradually left the beaten track of utility and passed wholly into the cognisance of art and design. The earliest shape of all is the long, narrow shape, which is now but seldom seen. This was curved to protect the body, which it nearly covered, and an interesting example of this is to be found in the monumental slab of champlevé enamel, part of the tomb of Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count of Anjou (Fig. 28), the ancestor of our own Royal dynasty of Plantagenet, who died in the year 1150. This tomb was formerly in the cathedral of Le Mans, and is now in the museum there. I shall have occasion again to refer to it. The shield is blue; the lions are gold.

Other forms of the same period are found with curved tops, in the shape of an inverted pear, but the form known as the heater-shaped shield is to all intents and purposes the earliest shape which was used for armorial purposes.

The church of St. Elizabeth at Marburg, in Hesse, affords examples of shields which are exceedingly interesting, inasmuch as they are {63}original and contemporary even if only pageant shields. Those which now remain are the shields of the Landgrave Konrad (d. 1241) of Thuringia and of Henry of Thuringia (d. 1298). The shield of the former (see Fig. 29) is 90 centimetres high and 74 wide. Konrad was Landgrave of Thuringia and Grand Master of the Teutonic Order of Knighthood. His arms show the lion of Thuringia barry of gules and argent on a field of azure, and between the hind feet a small shield, with the arms of the Teutonic Order of Knights. The only remains of the lion's mane are traces of the nails. The body of the lion is made of pressed leather, and the yellow claws have been supplied with a paint-brush. A precious stone probably represented the eye.

Fig. 29.

Fig. 29.—Shield of the Landgrave Konrad of Thuringia (died 1241).

The making and decorating of the shields lay mostly in the hands of the herald painters, known in Germany as Schilter, who, in addition to attending to the shield and crest, also had charge of all the riding paraphernalia, because most of the articles comprised therein were {64}heraldically decorated. Many of these shield-workers' fraternities won widespread fame for themselves, and enjoyed great consideration at that time.

Thus the "History of a Celebrated Painters' Guild on the Lower Rhine" tells us of costly shields which the shield-workers of Paris had supplied, 1260, &c. Vienna, too, was the home of a not unimportant shield-workers' guild, and the town archives of Vienna contain writings of the fifteenth century treating of this subject. For instance, we learn that in an order of St. Luke's parish, June 28, 1446, with regard to the masterpiece of a member of the guild—

"Item, a shield-worker shall make four new pieces of work with his own hand, a jousting saddle, a leather apron, a horse's head-piece, and a jousting shield, that shall he do in eight weeks, and must be able to paint it with his own hand, as Knight and man-at-arms shall direct."

The shield was of wood, covered with linen or leather, the charges in relief and painted. Leather plastic was very much esteemed in the early Middle Ages. The leather was soaked in oil, and pressed or beaten into shape. Besides piecing and leather plastic, pressed linen (linen dipped in chalk and lime) was also used, and a kind of tempera painting on a chalk background. After the shield was decorated with the charges, it was frequently strengthened with metal clasps, or studs, particularly those parts which were more especially exposed to blows and pressure. These clasps and nails originally had no other object than to make the shield stronger and more durable, but later on their nature was misunderstood; they were treated and used as genuine heraldic charges, and stereotyped into hereditary designs. The long strips with which the edge was bound were called the "frame" (Schildgestell), the clasps introduced in the middle of the shield the "buckle" or "umbo" (see on Fig. 28), from which frequently circularly arranged metal snaps reached the edge of the shield. This latter method of strengthening the shield was called the "Buckelrîs," a figure which was afterwards frequently employed as a heraldic charge, and is known in Germany by the name of Lilienhaspel (Lily-staple) or Glevenrad, or, as we term it in England, the escarbuncle.

In the second half of the fourteenth century, when the tournament provided the chief occasion for the shield, the jousting-shield, called in Germany the Tartsche or Tartscher, came into use, and from this class of shield the most varied shapes were gradually developed. These Tartschen were decidedly smaller than the earlier Gothic shields, being only about one-fifth of a man's height. They were concave, and had on the side of the knight's right hand a circular indentation. This was the spear-rest, in which to place the tilting-spear. The later {65}art of heraldic decoration symmetrically repeated the spear-rest on the sinister side of the shield, and, by so doing, transformed a useful fact into a matter of mere artistic design. Doubtless it was argued that if indentations were correct at one point in the outline they were correct at another, and when once the actual fact was departed from the imagination of designers knew no limits. But if the spear-rest as such is introduced into the outline of a shield it should be on the dexter side.

Fig. 30.

Fig. 30.

Fig. 31.

Fig. 31.

Fig. 32.

Fig. 32.

Reverting to the various shapes of shield, however, the degeneration is explained by a remark of Mr. G. W. Eve in the able book which he has recently published under the title of "Decorative Heraldry," in which, alluding to heraldic art in general, he says (p. 235):—

"With the Restoration heraldry naturally became again conspicuous, with the worst form of the Renaissance character in full sway, the last vestiges of the Gothic having disappeared. Indeed, the contempt with which the superseded style was regarded amounted to fanaticism, and explains, in a measure, how so much of good could be relinquished in favour of so weak a successor."

Later came the era of gilded embellishments, of flowing palms, of borders decorated with grinning heads, festoons of ribbon, and fruit and flowers in abundance. The accompanying examples are reproduced from a book, Knight and Rumley's "Heraldry." The book is not particularly well known to the public, inasmuch as its circulation was entirely confined to heraldic artists, coach-painters, engravers, and die-sinkers. Amongst these handicraftsmen its reputation was and is great. With the school of design it adopted, little or no sympathy now exists, but a short time ago (how short many of those who are now vigorous advocates of the Gothic and mediæval styles would be startled to realise were they to recognise actual facts) no other style was known or considered by the public. As examples of that style the plates of Knight and Rumley were admittedly far in advance of any other book, and as specimens of copperplate engraving they are superb. Figs. 30, 31, and 32 show typical examples of escutcheons from Knight and Rumley; and as the volume was in the hands of most of the heraldic handicraftsmen, it will be found that this type of design was constantly to be met with. The external decoration of the shield was carried to great lengths, and Fig. 31 found many admirers and users amongst the gallant "sea-dogs" of the kingdom. In fact, so far was the idea carried that a trophy of military weapons was actually granted by patent as part of the supporters of the Earl of Bantry. Fig. 30, from the same source, is the military equivalent. These plates are interesting as being some of the examples from which most of the heraldic handicraft of a recent period was adapted. The {66}official shield eventually stereotyped itself into a shape akin to that shown in Fig. 32, though nowadays considerable latitude is permitted. For paintings which are not upon patents the design of the shield rests with the individual taste of the different officers of arms, and recently some of the work for which they have been responsible has reached a high standard judged even by the strictest canons of art. In Scotland, until very recently, the actual workmanship of the emblazonments which were issued from Lyon Office was so wretchedly poor that one is hardly justified in taking them into consideration as a type. With the advent into office of the present Lyon King of Arms (Sir James Balfour Paul), a complete change has been made, and both the workmanship and design of the paintings upon the patents of grant and matriculation, and also in the Lyon Register, have been examples of everything that could be desired. {67}



The shield itself and its importance in armory is due to its being the vehicle whereon are elaborated the pictured emblems and designs which constitute coat-armour. It should be borne in mind that theoretically all shields are of equal value, saving that a shield of more ancient date is more estimable than one of recent origin, and the shield of the head of the house takes precedence of the same arms when differenced for a younger member of the family. A shield crowded with quarterings is interesting inasmuch as each quartering in the ordinary event means the representation through a female of some other family or branch thereof. But the real value of such a shield should be judged rather by the age of the single quartering which represents the strict male descent male upon male, and a simple coat of arms without quarterings may be a great deal more ancient and illustrious than a shield crowded with coat upon coat. A fictitious and far too great estimation is placed upon the right to display a long string of quarterings. In reality quarterings are no more than accidents, because they are only inherited when the wife happens to be an heiress in blood. It is quite conceivable that there may be families, in fact there are such families, who are able to begin their pedigrees at the time of the Conquest, and who have married a long succession of noble women, all of the highest birth, but yet none of whom have happened to be heiresses. Consequently the arms, though dating from the earliest period at which arms are known, would remain in their simple form without the addition of a solitary quartering. On the other hand, I have a case in mind of a marriage which took place some years ago. The husband is the son of an alien whose original position, if report speaks truly, was that of a pauper immigrant. His wealth and other attributes have placed him in a good social position; but he has no arms, and, as far as the world is aware, no ancestry whatever. Let us now consider his wife's family. Starting soon after the Conquest, its descendants obtained high position and married heiress after heiress, and before the commencement of this century had amassed a shield of quarterings which can readily be proved to be little short of a hundred in number. Probably the number {68}is really much greater. A large family followed in one generation, and one of the younger sons is the ancestor of the aforesaid wife. But the father of this lady never had any sons, and though there are many males of the name to carry on the family in the senior line and also in several younger branches, the wife, by the absence of brothers, happens to be a coheir; and as such she transmits to her issue the right to all the quarterings she has inherited. If the husband ever obtains a grant of arms, the date of them will be subsequent to the present time; but supposing such a grant to be obtained, the children will inevitably inherit the scores of quarterings which belong to their mother. Now it would be ridiculous to suppose that such a shield is better or such a descent more enviable than the shield of a family such as I first described. Quarterings are all very well in their way, but their glorification has been carried too far.

A shield which displays an augmentation is of necessity more honourable than one without. At the same time no scale of precedence has ever been laid down below the rank of esquires; and if such precedence does really exist at all, it can only be according to the date of the grant. Here in England the possession of arms carries with it no style or title, and nothing in his designation can differentiate the position of Mr. Scrope of Danby, the male descendant of one of the oldest families in this country, whose arms were upheld in the Scrope and Grosvenor controversy in 1390, or Mr. Daubeney of Cote, from a Mr. Smith, whose known history may have commenced at the Foundling Hospital twenty years ago. In this respect English usage stands apart, for whilst a German is "Von" and a Frenchman was "De," if of noble birth, there is no such apparent distinction in England, and never has been. The result has been that the technical nobility attaching to the possession of arms is overlooked in this country. On the Continent it is usual for a patent creating a title to contain a grant of the arms, because it is recognised that the two are inseparable. This is not now the case in England, where the grant of arms is one thing and the grant of the title another, and where it is possible, as in the case of Lord St. Leonards, to possess a peerage without ever having obtained the first step in rank, which is nobility or gentility.

The foregoing is in explanation of the fact that except in the matter of date all shields are equal in value.

So much being understood, it is possible to put that consideration on one side, and speaking from the artistically technical point of view, the remark one often hears becomes correct, that the simpler a coat of arms the better. The remark has added truth from the fact that most ancient coats of arms were simple, and many modern coats are far from being worthy of such a description. {69}

A coat of arms must consist of at least one thing, to wit, the "field." This is equivalent in ordinary words to the colour of the ground of the shield. A great many writers have asserted that every coat of arms must consist of at least the field, and a charge, though most have mentioned as a solitary exception the arms of Brittany, which were simply "ermine." A plain shield of ermine (Fig. 33) was borne by John of Brittany, Earl of Richmond (d. 1399), though some of his predecessors had relegated the arms of Brittany to a "quarter ermine" upon more elaborate escutcheons (Fig. 61). This idea as to arms of one tincture was, however, exploded in Woodward and Burnett's "Treatise on Heraldry," where no less than forty different examples are quoted. The above-mentioned writer continues: "There is another use of a plain red shield which must not be omitted. In the full quartered coat of some high sovereign princes of Germany—Saxony (duchies), Brandenburg (Prussia), Bavaria, Anhalt—appears a plain red quartering; this is known as the Blut Fahne or Regalien quarter, and is indicative of Royal prerogatives. It usually occupies the base of the shield, and is often diapered."

Fig. 33.

Fig. 33.—Arms of John (de Montfort, otherwise de Bretagne), Duke of Brittany and Earl of Richmond. (From his seal.)

But in spite of the lengthy list which is quoted in Woodward and Burnett, the fact remains that only one British instance is included. The family of Berington of Chester (on the authority of Harleian manuscript No. 1535) is said to bear a plain shield of azure. Personally I doubt this coat of arms for the Berington family of Chester, which is probably connected with the neighbouring family in Shropshire, who in later times certainly used very different arms. The plain shield of ermine is sometimes to be found as a quartering for Brittany in the achievement of those English families who have the right to quarter the Royal arms; but I know of no other British case in which, either as a quartering or as a pronominal coat, arms of one tincture exist.

But there are many coats which have no charge, the distinctive device consisting of the partition of the shield in some recognised heraldic method into two or more divisions of different tinctures. Amongst such coats may be mentioned the arms of Waldegrave, which are simply: Party per pale argent and gules; Drummond of Megginch, whose arms are simply: Party per fess wavy or and gules; and the arms of Boyle, which are: Per bend embattled argent and gules. The arms of Berners—which are: Quarterly or and vert—are another example, as are the arms of Campbell (the first quarter in the Duke of Argyll's achievement), which are: Gyronny or and sable. {70}

The coat bendy argent and gules, the ancient arms of Talbot, which are still borne as a quartering by the Earl of Shrewsbury, Waterford, and Talbot; and the coat chequy or and azure, a quartering for Warren, which is still borne by the House of Howard, all come within the same category. There are many other coats of this character which have no actual charge upon them.

The colour of the shield is termed the field when it consists of only one colour, and when it consists of more than one colour the two together compose the field. The field is usually of one or more of the recognised metals, colours, or furs.

The metals are gold and silver, these being termed "or" and "argent." The colours, which are really the "tinctures," if this word is to be used correctly, are: gules (red), azure (blue), vert (green), purpure (purple), and (in spite of the fact that it is not really a colour) black, which is known as sable.

The metal gold, otherwise "or," is often represented in emblazonments by yellow: as a matter of fact yellow has always been used for gold in the Register Books of the College of Arms, and Lyon Office has recently reverted to this practice. In ancient paintings and emblazonments the use of yellow was rather more frequent than the use of gold, but gold at all times had its use, and was never discarded. Gold seems to have been usually used upon ancient patents, whilst yellow was used in the registrations of them retained in the Offices of Arms, but I know of no instance in British armory in which the word yellow has been used in a blazon to represent any tint distinct from gold. With regard to the other metal, silver, or, as it is always termed, "argent," the same variation is found in the usage of silver and white in representing argent that we find in yellow and gold, though we find that the use of the actual metal (silver) in emblazonment does not occur to anything like the same extent as does the use of gold. Probably this is due to the practical difficulty that no one has yet discovered a silver medium which does not lose its colour. The use of aluminium was thought to have solved the difficulty, but even this loses its brilliancy, and probably its usage will never be universally adopted. This is a pity, for the use of gold in emblazonments gives a brilliancy in effect to a collection of coat-armour which it is a pity cannot be extended by an equivalent usage of silver. The use of silver upon the patents at the College of Arms has been discontinued some centuries, though aluminium is still in use in Lyon Office. Argent is therefore usually represented either by leaving the surface untouched, or by the use of Chinese white.

I believe I am the first heraldic writer to assert the existence of the heraldic colour of white in addition to the heraldic argent. Years ago {71}I came across the statement that a white label belonged only to the Royal Family, and could be used by no one else. I am sorry to say that though I have searched high and low I cannot find the authority for the statement, nor can I learn from any officer of arms that the existence of such a rule is asserted; but there is this curious confirmation that in the warrants by which the various labels are assigned to the different members of the Royal Family, the labels are called white labels. Now the label of the Prince of Wales is of three points and is plain. Heraldry knows nothing of the black lines which in drawing a coat of arms usually appear for the outline of a charge. In older work such lines are absent. In any case they are only mere accidents of draughtsmanship. Bearing this in mind, and bearing in mind that the sinister supporter of the Prince of Wales is a unicorn argent, how on earth is a plain label of argent to be depicted thereupon? Now it is necessary also that the label shall be placed upon the crest, which is a lion statant guardant or, crowned with the coronet of the Prince, and upon the dexter supporter which is another golden lion; to place an argent label upon either is a flat violation of the rule which requires that metal shall not be placed upon metal, nor colour upon colour; but if the unicorn is considered argent, which it is, it would if really depicted in silver be quite possible to paint a white label upon it, for the distinction between white and silver is marked, and a white label upon a gold lion is not metal upon metal. Quite recently a still further and startling confirmation has come under my notice. In the grant of a crest to Thomas Mowbray, Earl of Nottingham, the coronet which is to encircle the neck of the leopard is distinctly blazoned argent, the label to which he is previously said to have had a just hereditary right is as distinctly blazoned white, and the whole grant is so short that inadvertence could hardly be pleaded as an explanation for the distinction in blazon. Instances of an official exemplification of coats of arms with labels are not uncommon, because the label in some number of families, for example Courtenay and Prideaux-Brune and Barrington, has become stereotyped into a charge. In none of these cases, however, is it either argent or white, but instances of the exemplification of a coat of arms bearing a label as a mark of cadency are, outside the members of the Royal Family, distinctly rare; they are necessarily so, because outside the Royal Family the label is merely the temporary mark of the eldest son or grandson during the lifetime of the head of the house, and the necessity for the exemplification of the arms of an eldest son can seldom occur. The one circumstance which might provide us with the opportunity is the exemplification consequent upon a change of name and arms by an eldest son during the lifetime of his father; but {72}this very circumstance fails to provide it, because the exemplification only follows a change of arms, and the arms being changed, there no longer exists the necessity for a mark of cadency; so that instances of the official use of a label for cadency are rare, but of such as occur I can learn of none which has received official sanction which blazons the label white. There is, however, one coat which is said to have a label argent as a charge, this is the coat of Fitz-Simon, which is quoted in Papworth, upon the authority of one of the Harleian Manuscripts, as follows: Sable, three crescents, in chief a label of two drops and in fess another of one drop argent; and the same coat of arms is recorded in a funeral entry in Ulster's Office. The label is not here termed white, and it is peculiar that we find it of another colour in another coat of Fitz-Simon (azure, a lion rampant ermine, a label of four point gules).

Fig. 34.

Fig. 34.—Armorial bearings of Henry de Lacy, Earl of Lincoln (d. 1311): Or, a lion rampant purpure. (From his seal.)

Of other colours may be mentioned purpure (purple). This in English heraldry is a perfectly well recognised colour, and though its use is extremely rare in comparison with the others, it will be found too frequently for it to be classed as an exception. The earliest instance of this tincture which I have met with is in the coat of De Lacy (Fig. 34). The Roll of Caerlaverock speaks of his

"Baniere ot de un cendall saffrin,

O un lion rampant porprin,"

whilst MS. Cott. Calig. A. xviii. quotes the arms: "De or, a un lion rampaund de pourpre." The Burton coat of the well-known Shropshire family of Lingen-Burton is: Quarterly purpure and azure, a cross engrailed or between four roses argent. The Irish baronets of the name of Burton, who claimed descent from this family, bore a very similar coat, namely: Per pale azure and purpure, a cross engrailed or between four roses argent.

Two other colours will be found in nearly all text-books of English armory. These are murrey or sanguine, and orange or tenné. The exact tint of murrey is between gules and purpure; and tenné is an orange-tawny colour. They are both "stains," and were perhaps invented by the old heralds for the perpetration of their preposterous system of abatements, which will be found set out in full in the old heraldry books, but which have yet to be found occurring in fact. The subject of abatements is one of those pleasant little insanities which have done so much to the detriment of heraldry. One, and one only, can be said {73}to have had the slightest foundation in fact; that was the entire reversal of the escutcheon in the ceremony of degradation following upon attainder for high treason. Even this, however, was but temporary, for a man forfeited his arms entirely by attainder. They were torn down from his banner of knighthood; they were erased in the records of the College of Arms; but on that one single occasion when he was drawn upon a hurdle to the place of his execution, they are said to have been painted reversed upon paper, which paper was fastened to his breast. But the arms then came to an end, and his descendants possessed none at all. They certainly had not the right to depict their shield upside down (even if they had cared to display such a monstrosity). Unless and until the attainder was reversed, arms (like a title) were void; and the proof of this is to be found in the many regrants of arms made in cases where the attainder has remained, as in the instances of the Earl of Stafford and the ancestor of the present Lord Barnard. But that any person should have been supposed to have been willing to make use of arms carrying an abatement is preposterous, and no instance of such usage is known. Rather would a man decline to bear arms at all; and that any one should have imagined the existence of a person willing to advertise himself as a drunkard or an adulterer, with variations in the latter case according to the personality of his partner in guilt, is idiotic in the extreme. Consequently, as no example of an abatement has ever been found, one might almost discard the "stains" of murrey and tenné were it not that they were largely made use of for the purposes of liveries, in which usage they had no such objectionable meaning. At the present day scarlet or gules being appropriated to the Royal Family for livery purposes, other people possessing a shield of gules are required to make use of a different red, and though it is now termed chocolate or claret colour by the utilitarian language of the day, it is in reality nothing more than the old sanguine or murrey. Of orange-tawny I can learn of but one livery at the present day. I refer to the orange-tawny coats used by the hunt servants of Lord Fitzhardinge, and now worn by the hunt servants of the Old Berkeley country, near London. A propos of this it is interesting to note the curious legend that the "pink" of the hunting field is not due to any reasons of optical advantage, but to an entirely different reason. Formerly no man might hunt even on his own estate until he had had licence of free warren from the Crown. Consequently he merely hunted by the pleasure of the Crown, taking part in what was exclusively a Royal sport by Royal permission, and for this Royal sport he wore the King's livery of scarlet. This being the case, it is a curious anomaly that although the livery of the only Royal pack recently in existence, the Royal Buck Hounds, was scarlet and gold, the Master {74}wore a green coat. The legend may be a fallacy, inasmuch as scarlet did not become the Royal livery until the accession of the Stuarts; but it is by no means clear to what date the scarlet hunting coat can be traced.

There is, however, one undoubted instance of the use of sanguine for the field of a coat of arms, namely, the arms of Clayhills of Invergowrie,[6] which are properly matriculated in Lyon Register.

To these colours German heraldry has added brown, blood-red (this apparently is different from the English sanguine, as a different hatching has been invented for it), earth-colour, iron-grey, water-colour, flesh-colour, ashen-grey, orange (here also a separate hatching from the one to represent tenné has been invented), and the colour of nature, i.e. "proper." These doubtless are not intended to be added to the list of heraldic tinctures, but are noted because various hatchings have been invented in modern times to represent them.

Mr. Woodward, in Woodward and Burnett's "Treatise on Heraldry," alludes to various tinctures amongst Continental arms which he has come across.

"Besides the metals, tinctures, and furs which have been already described, other tinctures are occasionally found in the Heraldry of Continental nations; but are comparatively of such rarity as that they may be counted among the curiosities of blazon, which would require a separate volume. That of which I have collected instances is Cendrée, or ash colour, which is borne by (among others) the Bavarian family of Ashua, as its armes parlantes: Cendrée, a mount of three coupeaux in base or.

"Brunâtre, a brown colour, is even more rare as a tincture of the field; the Mieroszewsky in Silesia bear, 'de Brunâtre, A cross patée argent supporting a raven rising sable, and holding in its beak a horseshoe proper, its points towards the chief."

"Bleu-céleste, or bleu du ciel, appears occasionally, apart from what we may term 'landscape coats.' That it differs from, and is a much lighter colour than, azure is shown by the following example. The Florentine Cinti (now Cini) bear a coat which would be numbered among the armes fausses, or à enquérir: Per pale azure and bleu-céleste, an estoile counterchanged."

"Amaranth or columbine is the field of a coat (of which the blazon is too lengthy for insertion in this place) which was granted to a Bohemian knight in 1701."

Carnation is the French term for the colour of naked flesh, and is often employed in the blazonry of that country. {75}

Perhaps mention should here be made of the English term "proper." Anything, alive or otherwise, which is depicted in its natural colours is termed "proper," and it should be depicted in its really correct tones or tints, without any attempt to assimilate these with any heraldic tincture. It will not be found in the very ancient coats of arms, and its use is not to be encouraged. When a natural animal is found existing in various colours it is usual to so describe it, for the term "proper" alone would leave uncertainty. For instance, the crest of the Lane family, which was granted to commemorate the ride of King Charles II. behind Mistress Jane Lane as her servant, in his perilous escape to the coast after the disastrous Battle of Worcester, is blazoned "a strawberry roan horse, couped at the flanks proper, bridled sable, and holding between the feet an Imperial crown also proper." Lord Cowper's supporters were, on either side of the escutcheon, "a light dun horse proper, with a large blaze down the face, the mane close shorn except a tuft on the withers, a black list down the back, a bob tail, and the near fore-foot and both hind feet white." Another instance that might be quoted are the supporters of Lord Newlands, which are: "On either side a dapple-grey horse proper, gorged with a riband and suspended therefrom an escutcheon gules, charged with three bezants in chevron." The crest of the family of Bewes, of St. Neots, Cornwall, is: "On a chapeau gules, turned up ermine, a pegasus rearing on his hind legs of a bay colour, the mane and tail sable, winged or, and holding in the mouth a sprig of laurel proper."

There are and were always many occasions in which it was desired to represent armorial bearings in black and white, or where from the nature of the handicraft it was impossible to make use of actual colour. But it should always be pointedly remembered that unless the right colours of the arms could be used the tinctures were entirely ignored in all matters of handicraft until the seventeenth century. Various schemes of hatchings, however, were adopted for the purpose of indicating the real heraldic colours when arms were represented and the real colours could not be employed, the earliest being that of Francquart in Belgium, circa 1623. Woodward says this was succeeded by the systems of Butkens, 1626; Petra Sancta, 1638; Lobkowitz, 1639; Gelenius; and De Rouck, 1645; but all these systems differed from each other, and were for a time the cause of confusion and not of order. Eventually, however, the system of Petra Sancta (the author of Tesseræ Gentilitia) superseded all the others, and has remained in use up to the present time.

Fig. 35.

Fig. 35.

Upon this point Herr Ströhl in his Heraldischer Atlas remarks: "The system of hatching used by Marcus Vulson de la Colombière, 1639, in the course of time found acceptance everywhere, and has {76}maintained itself in use unaltered until the present day, and these are shown in Fig. 35, only that later, hatchings have been invented for brown, grey, &c.; which, however, seems rather a superfluous enriching." None of these later creations, by the way, have ever been used in this country. For the sake of completeness, however, let them be mentioned (see Fig. 36): a, brown; b, blood-red; c, earth-colour; d, iron-grey; e, water-colour; f, flesh-colour; g, ashen-grey; h, orange; and i, colour of nature. In English armory "tenné" is represented by a combination of horizontal (as azure) lines with diagonal lines from sinister to dexter (as purpure), and sanguine or murrey by a combination of diagonal lines from dexter to sinister (as vert), and from sinister to dexter (as purpure).

Fig. 36.

Fig. 36.

The hatchings of the shield and its charges always accommodate themselves to the angle at which the shield is placed, those of the crest to the angle of the helmet. A curious difficulty, however, occurs when a shield, as is so often the case in this country, forms a part of the crest. Such a shield is seldom depicted quite upright upon the wreath. Are the tincture lines to follow the angle of the smaller shield in the crest or the angle of the helmet? Opinion is by no means agreed upon the point.

But though this system of representing colours by "hatching" has been adopted and extensively made use of, it is questionable whether {77}it has ever received official sanction, at any rate in Great Britain. It certainly has never been made use of in any official record or document in the College of Arms. Most of the records are in colour. The remainder are all without exception "tricked," that is, drawn in outline, the colours being added in writing in the following contracted forms: "O," or "or," for or; "A," "ar," or "arg," for argent; "G," or "gu," for gules; "Az," or "B" (for blue, owing to the likelihood of confusion between "ar" and "az," "B" being almost universally used in old trickings), for azure; "S," or "sa," for sable; "Vt" for vert, and "Purp" for purpure. It is unlikely that any change will be made in the future, for the use of tincture lines is now very rapidly being discarded by all good heraldic artists in this country. With the reversion to older and better forms and methods these hatchings become an anachronism, and save that sable is represented by solid black they will probably be unused and forgotten before very long.

The plain, simple names of colours, such as red and green, seemed so unpoetical and unostentatious to the heralds and poets of the Middle Ages, that they substituted for gold, topaz; for silver, pearl or "meergries"; for red, ruby; for blue, sapphire; for green, emerald; and for black, diamond or "zobel" (sable, the animal, whence the word "sable"). Let the following blazonment from the grant of arms to Mödling bei Wien in 1458 serve as example of the same: "Mit namen ain Schilt gleich getailt in fasse, des ober und maister tail von Rubin auch mit ainer fasse von Berlein, der under thail von grunt des Schilts von Schmaragaden, darinneain Pantel von Silber in Rampannt"—(lit. "Namely, a shield equally divided in fess, the upper and greater part of ruby, also with a fess of pearl, the under part of the field of the shield of emerald, therein a panther of silver, rampant"); that is, "Per fess gules and vert, in chief a fess argent, in base a panther rampant of the last."

Even the planets, and, as abbreviations, their astronomical signs, are occasionally employed: thus, the sun for gold, the moon for silver, Mars for red, Jupiter for blue, Venus for green, Saturn for black, and Mercury for purple. This aberration of intellect on the part of mediæval heraldic writers, for it really amounted to little more, had very little, if indeed it had any, English official recognition. No one dreams of using such blazon at the present time, and it might have been entirely disregarded were it not that Guillim sanctions its use; and he being the high priest of English armory to so many, his example has given the system a certain currency. I am not myself aware of any instance of the use of these terms in an English patent of arms.

The furs known to heraldry are now many, but originally they were only two, "ermine" and "vair." Ermine, as every one knows, is of {78}white covered with black spots, intended to represent the tails of the animal. From ermine has been evolved the following variations, viz. ermines, erminois, pean, and erminites. "Ermines" is a black field with white ermine spots (the French term for this is contre-hermin, the German, gegen-hermelin). A gold background with black ermine spots is styled erminois, and pean is a black ground with gold ermine spots. Planché mentions still another, as does Parker in his "Glossary of Heraldry," namely, "erminites," which is supposed to be white, with black ermine spots and a red hair on each side of the spot. I believe there is no instance known of any such fur in British armory. It is not mentioned in Ströhl's "Heraldic Atlas," nor can I find any foreign instance, so that who invented it, or for what purpose it was invented, I cannot say; and I think it should be relegated, with abatements and the seize quartiers of Jesus Christ, to the category of the silly inventions of former heraldic writers, not of former heralds, for I know of no official act which has recognised the existence of erminites. The German term for erminois is gold-hermelin, but there are no distinctive terms either in French or German heraldry for the other varieties. Thus, erminois would be in French blazon: d'or, semé d'hermines de sable; pean would be de sable, semé d'hermines d'or. Though ermine is always nowadays represented upon a white background, it was sometimes depicted with black ermine spots upon a field of silver, as in the case of some of the stall plates of the Knights of the Garter in St. George's Chapel at Windsor. Ermine spots are frequently to be found as charges. For instance, in the well-known coat of Kay, which is: "Argent, three ermine spots in bend between two bendlets sable, the whole between as many crescents azure." As charges two ermine spots figure upon the arms recently granted to Sir Francis Laking, Bart., G.C.V.O. The ermine spot has also sometimes been used in British armory as the difference mark granted under a Royal Licence to assume name and arms when it is necessary to indicate the absence of blood relationship. Other instances of the use of an ermine spot as a charge are:—

Or, on two bars azure, as many barrulets dancetté argent, a chief indented of the second charged with an ermine spot or (Sawbridge).

Argent, a chevron between three crows sable, in each beak an ermine spot (Lloyd, Bishop of St. Asaph, 1680; Lichfield, 1692; and Worcester, 1700-17).

Argent, a fess gules between three ermine spots sable (Kilvington).

Argent, two bars sable, spotted ermine, in chief a lion passant gules (Hill, co. Wexford).

The earliest form in which ermine was depicted shows a nearer approach to the reality of the black tail, inasmuch as the spots above the tail to which we are now accustomed are a modern variant. {79}

When a bend is ermine, the spots (like all other charges placed upon a bend) must be bendwise; but on a chevron, saltire, &c., they are drawn upright.

The other variety of fur is "vair." This originated from the fur of a kind of squirrel (the ver or vair, differently spelt; Latin varus), which was much used for the lining of cloaks. The animal was bluey-grey upon the back and white underneath, and the whole skin was used. It will be readily seen that by sewing a number of these skins together a result is obtained of a series of cup-shaped figures, alternating bluey-grey and white, and this is well shown in Fig. 28, which shows the effigy upon the tomb of Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count of Anjou, where the lining of vair to his cloak is plainly to be seen.

Fig. 37.

Fig. 37.—Arms of William de Ferrers, Earl of Derby (d. 1247): "Scutum variatum auro & gul." (From MS. Cott. Nero, D. 1.)

The word seems to have been used independently of heraldry for fur, and the following curious error, which is pointed out in Parker's "Glossary of the Terms used in Heraldry," may be noted in passing. The familiar fairy tale of Cinderella was brought to us from the French, and the slippers made of this costly fur, written, probably, verre for vairé, were erroneously translated "glass" slippers. This was, of course, an impossible material, but the error has always been repeated in the nursery tale-books.

Fig. 38.

Fig. 38.—Arms of Robert de Ferrers, Earl of Derby (1254-1265). (From stained glass in Dorchester Church.)

In the oldest records vair is represented by means of straight horizontal lines alternating with horizontal wavy or nebuly lines (see Fig. 37), but the cup-shaped divisions therefrom resulting having passed through various intermediate forms (see Fig. 38), have now been stereotyped into a fixed geometrical pattern, formed of rows of ear-shaped shields of alternate colours and alternately reversed, so depicted that each reversed shield fits into the space left by those on either side which are not reversed (see Fig. 39, k). The accompanying illustration will show plainly what is intended. In some of the older designs it was similar to that shown in the arms of the Earl Ferrers, Earl of Derby, 1254-65, the sketch (Fig. 38) being taken from almost contemporary stained glass in Dorchester Church, Oxon.; whilst sometimes the {80}division lines are drawn, after the same manner, as nebuly. There does not seem to have been any fixed proportion for the number of rows of vair, as Fig. 40 shows the arms of the same Earl as represented upon his seal. The palpable pun upon the name which a shield vairé supplied no doubt affords the origin of the arms of Ferrers. Some families of the name at a later date adopted the horseshoes, which are to be found upon many Farrer and Ferrers shields, the popular assumption being that they are a reference to the "farrier" from whom some would derive the surname. Woodward, however, states that a horseshoe being the badge of the Marshalls, horseshoes were assumed as armes parlantes by their descendants the Ferrers, who appear to have borne: Sable, six horseshoes argent. As a matter of fact the only one of that family who bore the horseshoes seems to have been William de Ferrers, Earl of Derby (d. 1254), as will be seen from the arms as on his seal (Fig. 41). {81}His wife was Sybilla, daughter of William Marshall, Earl of Pembroke. His son reverted to the plain shield of vairé, or, and gules. The arms of the Ferrers family at a later date are found to be: Gules, seven mascles conjoined or, in which form they are still borne by Ferrers of Baddesley Clinton; but whether the mascles are corruptions of the horseshoes, or whether (as seems infinitely more probable) they are merely a corrupted form of the vairé, or, and gules, it is difficult to say. Personally I rather doubt whether any Ferrers ever used the arms: Argent, six horseshoes sable.

Fig. 39.

Fig. 39.

Fig. 40.

Fig. 40.—Arms of Robert de Ferrers, Earl of Derby (1254-1265). (From his seal.)

Fig. 41.

Fig. 41.—Arms of William de Ferrers, Earl of Derby: Vaire, or, and gules, a bordure argent, charged with eight horseshoes sable. (From a drawing of his seal, MS. Cott. Julius, C vii.)

Plate II.

The early manner of depicting vair is still occasionally met with in foreign heraldry, where it is blazoned as Vair ondé or Vair ancien. The family of Margens in Spain bears: Vair ondé, on a bend gules three griffins or; and Tarragone of Spain: Vair ondé, or and gules. German heraldry seems to distinguish between wolkenfeh (cloud vair) and wogenfeh (wave vair; see Fig. 39, n). The former is equivalent to vair ancient, the latter to vair en point.

The verbal blazon of vair nearly always commences with the metal, but in the arrangement of the panes there is a difference between French and English usage. In the former the white panes are generally (and one thinks more correctly) represented as forming the first, or upper, line; in British heraldry the reverse is more usually the case. It is usual to depict the white panes of ordinary vair with white rather than silver, though the use of the latter cannot be said to be incorrect, there being precedents in favour of that form. When an ordinary is of vair or vairy, the rows of vair may be depicted either horizontally or following the direction of the ordinary. There are accepted precedents for both methods.

Vair is always blue and white, but the same subdivision of the field is frequently found in other colours; and when this is the case, it is termed vairy of such and such colours. When it is vairy, it is usually of a colour and metal, as in the case of Ferrers, Earls of Derby, above referred to; though a fur is sometimes found to take the place of one or other, as in the arms of Gresley, which are: "Vairé gules and ermine." I know of no instance where vairé is found of either two metals or of two colours, nor at the same time do I know of any rule against such a combination. Probably it will be time enough to discuss the contingency when an instance comes to light. Gerard Leigh mentions vair of three or more tinctures, but instances are very rare. Parker, in his "Glossary," refers to the coat of Roger Holthouse, which he blazons: "Vairy argent, azure, gules, and or, en point."

The Vair of commerce was formerly of three sizes, and the distinction is continued in foreign armory. The middle or ordinary {82}size is known as Vair; a smaller size as Menu-vair (whence our word "miniver"); the largest as Beffroi or Gros vair, a term which is used in armory when there are less than four rows. The word Beffroi is evidently derived from the bell-like shape of the vair, the word Beffroi being anciently used in the sense of the alarm-bell of a town. In French armory, Beffroi should consist of three horizontal rows; Vair, of four; Menu-vair, of six. This rule is not strictly observed, but in French blazon if the rows are more than four it is usual to specify the number; thus Varroux bears: de Vair de cinq traits. Menu-vair is still the blazon of some families; Banville de Trutemne bears: de Menu-vair de six tires; the Barons van Houthem bore: de Menu-vair, au franc quartier de gueules chargé de trois maillets d'or. In British armory the foregoing distinctions are unknown, and Vair is only of one size, that being at the discretion of the artist.

When the Vair is so arranged that in two horizontal rows taken together, either the points or the bases of two panes of the same tincture are in apposition, the fur is known as Counter Vair (Contre Vair) (see Fig. 39, l). Another variation, but an infrequent one, is termed Vair in Pale, known in German heraldry as Pfahlfeh (Vair appointé or Vair en pal; but if of other colours than the usual ones, Vairé en pal). In this all panes of the same colour are arranged in vertical, or palar, rows (Fig. 39, m). German heraldry apparently distinguishes between this and Stürzpfahlfeh, or reversed vair in pale. Vair in Bend (or in bend-sinister) is occasionally met with in foreign coats; thus Mignianelli in Italy bears: Vairé d'or et d'azur en bande; while Vairé en barre (that is, in bend-sinister) d'or et de sable is the coat of Pichon of Geneva.

"Vair en pointe" is a term applied by Nisbet to an arrangement by which the azure shield pointing downwards has beneath it an argent shield pointing downwards, and vice versâ, by which method the resulting effect is as shown in Fig. 39, n. The German term for this is Wogenfeh, or wave vair. Fig. 39, o, shows a purely German variety—Wechselfeh, or alternate vair; and Fig. 39, p, which is equivalent to the English vairé of four colours, is known in German armory as Buntfeh, i.e. gay-coloured or checked vair.

Ordinary vair in German heraldry is known as Eisenhüt-feh, or iron hat vair. On account of its similarity, when drawn, to the old iron hat of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries (see Fig. 42), this skin has received the name of Eisenhutlein (little iron hat) from German heraldic students, a name which later gave rise to many incorrect interpretations. An old charter in the archives of the chapter-house of Lilienfield, in Lower Austria, under the seal (Fig. 43) of one Chimrad Pellifex, 1329, proves that at that time vair was so styled. The name of Pellifex (in {83}German Wildwerker, a worker in skins, or furrier) is expressed in a punning or canting form on the dexter side of the shield. This Conrad the Furrier was Burgomaster of Vienna 1340-43.

A considerable number of British and foreign families bear Vair only; such are Ferrers and Gresley, above mentioned; Varano, Dukes de Camerino; Vaire and Vairière, in France; Veret, in Switzerland; Gouvis, Fresnay (Brittany); De Vera in Spain; Loheac (Brittany); Varenchon (Savoy); Soldanieri (Florence). Counter vair is borne by Loffredo of Naples; by Bouchage, Du Plessis Angers, and Brotin, of France. Hellemmes of Tournay uses: de Contre vair, à lac otice de gueules brochante sur le tout.

Fig. 42.

Fig. 42.

Fig. 43.

Fig. 43.—Seal of Chimrad Pellifex, 1329.

Mr. Woodward, in his "Treatise on Heraldry," writes: "Two curious forms of Vair occasionally met with in Italian or French coats are known as Plumeté and Papelonné.

In Plumeté the field is apparently covered with feathers. Plumeté d'argent et d'azur is the coat of Ceba (note that these are the tinctures of Vair); Soldonieri of Udine, Plumeté au natural (but the Soldonieri of Florence bore: Vairé argent and sable with a bordure chequy or and azure); Tenremonde of Brabant: Plumeté or and sable. In the arms of the Scaltenighi of Padua, the Benzoni of Milan, the Giolfini, Catanei, and Nuvoloni of Verona, each feather of the plumeté is said to be charged with an ermine spot sable.

The bearing of Papelonné is more frequently found; in it the field is covered with what appear to be scales, the heraldic term papelonné being derived from a supposed resemblance of these scales to the wings of butterflies; for example the coat of Monti: Gules, papelonné argent. Donzel at Besançon bears: Papelonné d'or et de sable. It is worthy of note that Donzé of Lorraine used: Gules, three bars wavy or. The Franconis of Lausanne are said to bear: de Gueules papelonné d'argent, and on a chief of the last a rose of the first, but the coat is otherwise blazoned: Vaire gules and or, &c. The coat of Arquinvilliers, or Hargenvilliers, in Picardy, of d'Hermine papelonné de {84}gueules (not being understood, this has been blazoned "semé of caltraps"). So also the coat of Chemillé appears in French books of blazon indifferently as: d'Or papelonné de gueules: and d'Or semé de chausse-trapes de gueules. Guétteville de Guénonville is said to bear: d'Argent semé de chausse-trapes de sable, but it is more probable that this is simply d'Argent papelonné de sable. The Barisoni of Padua bear: Or, a bend of scales, bendwise argent, on each scale an ermine spot sable, the bend bordered sable. The Alberici of Bologna bear: Papelonné of seven rows, four of argent, three of or; but the Alberghi of the same city: Papelonné of six rows, three of argent, as many of gules. The connection with vairé is much clearer in the latter than in the former. Cambi (called Figliambuchi), at Florence, carried: d'Argent, papelonné de gueules; Monti of Florence and Sicily, and Ronquerolles of France the reverse.

No one who is familiar with the licence given to themselves by armorial painters and sculptors in Italy, who were often quite ignorant of the meaning of the blazons they depicted, will doubt for a moment the statement that Papelonné was originally a corruption from or perhaps is simply ill-drawn Vair."

Potent, and its less common variant Counter Potent, are usually ranked in British heraldic works as separate furs. This has arisen from the writers being ignorant that in early times Vair was frequently depicted in the form now known as Potent (see Fig. 39, q). (By many heraldic writers the ordinary Potent is styled Potent-counter-potent. When drawn in the ordinary way, Potent alone suffices.) An example of Vair in the form now known as Potent is afforded by the seal of Jeanne de Flandre, wife of Enguerrand IV. (De Courcy); here the well-known arms of Courcy, Barry of six vair and gules, are depicted as if the bars of vair were composed of bars of potent (Vrée, Généalogie des Comtes de Flandre). In a Roll of Arms of the time of Edward I. the Vair resembles Potent (-counter-potent), which Dr. Perceval erroneously terms an "invention of later date." The name and the differentiation may be, but not the fact. In the First Nobility Roll of the year 1297, the arms of No. 8, Robert de Bruis, Baron of Brecknock, are: Barry of six, Vaire ermine and gules, and azure. Here the vair is potent; so is it also in No. 19, where the coat of Ingelram de Ghisnes, or Gynes, is: Gules, a chief vair. The same coat is thus drawn in the Second Nobility Roll, 1299, No. 57. Potent, like its original Vair, is always of argent and azure, unless other tinctures are specified in the blazon. The name Potent is the old English word for a crutch or walking-staff. Chaucer, in his description of "Elde" (i.e. old age) writes:

"So olde she was, that she ne went

A fote, but it were by potent."


And though a potent is a heraldic charge, and a cross potent a well-known variety of that ordinary, "potent" is usually intended to indicate the fur of blue and white as in Fig. 39, q. It is not of frequent usage, but it undoubtedly has an accepted place in British armory, as also has "counter-potent," which, following the same rules as counter-vair, results in a field as Fig. 39, r. The German terms for Potent and counter-potent are respectively Sturzkrückenfeh and gegensturzkrückenfeh German heraldry has evolved yet another variant of Potent, viz. Verschobenes Gegensturzkrückenfeh (i.e. displaced potent-counter-potent), as in Fig. 39, s. There is still yet another German heraldic fur which is quite unknown in British armory. This is called Kursch, otherwise "Vair bellies," and is usually shown to be hairy and represented brown. Possibly this is the same as the Plumeté to which Mr. Woodward refers.

Some heraldic writers also speak of varry as meaning the pieces of which the vair is composed; they also use the terms vairy cuppy and vairy tassy for potent-counter-potent, perhaps from the drawings in some instances resembling cups; that is a possible meaning of tassa. It may be said that all these variations of the ancient vair arise from mere accident (generally bad drawing), supplemented by over refinement on the part of the heraldic writers who have described them. This generalisation may be extended in its application from vair to many other heraldic matters. To all intents and purposes British heraldry now or hitherto has only known vair and potent.

One of the earliest rules one learns in the study of armory is that colour cannot be placed upon colour, nor metal upon metal. Now this is a definite rule which must practically always be rigidly observed. Many writers have gone so far as to say that the only case of an infraction of this rule will be found in the arms of Jerusalem: Argent, a cross potent between four crosslets or. This was a favourite windmill at which the late Dr. Woodward tilted vigorously, and in the appendix to his "Treatise on Heraldry" he enumerates some twenty-six instances of the violation of the rule. The whole of the instances he quoted, however, are taken from Continental armory, in which these exceptions—for even on the Continent such armes fausses are noticeable exceptions—occur much more frequently than in this country. Nevertheless such exceptions do occur in British armory, and the following instances of well-known coats which break the rule may be quoted.

The arms of Lloyd of Ffos-y-Bleiddied, co. Cardigan, and Danyrallt, co. Carmarthen, are: "Sable, a spearhead imbrued proper between three scaling-ladders argent, on a chief gules a castle of the second." Burke, in his "General Armory," says this coat of arms was granted to Cadifor ap Dyfnwal, ninth in descent from Roderick the Great, Prince of Wales, by his cousin the great Lord Rhys, for taking the castle of {86}Cardigan by escalade from the Earl of Clare and the Flemings in 1164. Another instance is a coat of Meredith recorded in Ulster's Office and now inherited by the Hon. Richard Edmund Meredith, a judge of the Supreme Court of Judicature of Ireland and a Judicial Commissioner of the Irish Land Commission. These arms are: "Gules, on a chevron sable, between three goats' heads erased, as many trefoils or." An instance of comparatively recent date will be found in the grant of the arms of Thackeray. A little careful research, no doubt, would produce a large number of English instances, but one is bound to admit the possibility that the great bulk of these cases may really be instances of augmentation.

Furs may be placed upon either metal or colour, as may also any charge which is termed proper. German heralds describe furs and natural colours as amphibious. It is perfectly legitimate to place fur upon fur, and though not often found, numbers of examples can be quoted; probably one will suffice. The arms of Richardson are: Sable, two hawks belled or, on a chief indented ermine, a pale ermines, and three lions' heads counterchanged. It is also correct to place ermine upon argent. But such coats are not very frequently found, and it is usual in designing a coat to endeavour to arrange that the fur shall be treated as metal or colour according to what may be its background. The reason for this is obvious. It is correct, though unusual, for a charge which is blazoned proper, and yet depicted in a recognised heraldic colour, to be placed upon colour; and where such cases occur, care should be taken that the charges are blazoned proper. A charge composed of more than one tincture, that is, of a metal and colour, may be placed upon a field of either; for example the well-known coat of Stewart, which is: Or, a fess chequy azure and argent; other examples being: Per pale ermine and azure, a fess wavy gules (Broadbent); and: Azure, a lion rampant argent, debruised by a fess per pale of the second and gules (Walsh); but in such coats it will usually be found that the first tincture of the composite charge should be in opposition to the field upon which it is superimposed. For instance, the arms of Stewart are: Or, a fess chequy azure and argent, and to blazon or depict them with a fess chequy argent and azure would be incorrect. When an ordinary is charged upon both metal and colour, it would be quite correct for it to be of either metal, colour, or fur, and in such cases it has never been considered either exceptional or an infraction of the rule that colour must not be placed upon colour, nor metal upon metal. There is one point, however, which is one of these little points one has to learn from actual experience, and which I believe has never yet been quoted in any handbook of heraldry, and that is, that this rule must be thrown overboard with regard to {87}crests and supporters. I cannot call to mind an instance of colour upon colour, but a gold collar around the neck of an argent crest will constantly be met with. The sinister supporter of the Royal achievement is a case in point, and this rule, which forbids colour upon colour, and metal upon metal, only holds with regard to supporters and crests when the crest or supporter itself is treated as a field and charged with one or more objects. The Royal labels, as already stated, appear to be a standing infraction of the rule if white and argent are to be heraldically treated as identical. The rule is also disregarded entirely as regards augmentations and Scottish cadency bordures.

So long as the field is party, that is, divided into an equal number of pieces (for example, paly, barruly, or bendy, or party per bend or per chevron), it may be composed of two metals or two colours, because the pieces all being equal, and of equal number, they all are parts of the field lying in the same plane, none being charges.

Before leaving the subject of the field, one must not omit to mention certain exceptions which hardly fall within any of the before-mentioned categories. One of these can only be described by the word "landscape." It is not uncommon in British armory, though I know of but one instance where the actual field itself needs to be so described. This is the coat of the family of Franco, the paternal ancestors of Sir Massey Lopes, Bart., and Lord Ludlow. The name was changed from Franco to Lopes by Royal Licence dated the 4th of May 1831. Whether this coat of arms originated in an English grant, or whether the English grant of it amounts to no more than an attempt at the registration of a previously existing or greatly similar foreign coat of arms for the name of Franco, I am unaware, but the coat certainly is blazoned: "In a landscape field, a fountain, therefrom issuing a palm-tree all proper."

But landscape has very extensively been made use of in the augmentations which were granted at the end of the eighteenth and beginning of the nineteenth centuries. In these cases the augmentation very generally consisted of a chief and thereon a representation either of some fort or ship or action, and though the field of the augmentation is officially blazoned argent in nearly every case, there is no doubt the artist was permitted, and perhaps intended, to depict clouds and other "atmosphere" to add to the verisimilitude of the picture. These augmentations will be more especially considered in a later chapter, but here one may perhaps be permitted to remark, that execrable as we now consider such landscape heraldry, it ought not to be condemned in the wholesale manner in which it has been, because it was typical of the over elaboration to be found in all art and all artistic ideas of the period in which we find it originating. Heraldry and heraldic art have {88}always been a mirror of the artistic ideas prevalent at equivalent periods, and unless heraldry is to be wholly relegated to consideration as a dead subject, it is an anachronism to depict an action the date of which is well known (and which date it is desired to advertise and not conceal) in a method of art belonging to a different period. In family arms the case is different, as with those the idea apparently is always the concealment of the date of nobility.

The "landscape" variety of heraldry is more common in Germany than with us, and Ströhl writes: "Of very little heraldic worth are the old house and home signs as they were used by landed proprietors, tradesmen, and artisans or workmen, as indicative of their possessions, wares, or productions. These signs, originally simply outline pictures, were later introduced into heraldic soil, inasmuch as bourgeois families raised to the nobility adopted their house signs as heraldic charges upon their shields."

There are also many coats of arms which run: "In base, a representation of water proper," and one of the best instances of this will be found in the arms of Oxford, though for the sake of preserving the pun the coat in this case is blazoned: "Argent, an ox gules passing over a ford proper." Similar instances occur in the arms of Renfrew, Queensferry, Leith, Ryde, and scores of other towns. It has always been considered permissible to represent these either by an attempt to depict natural water, or else in the ancient heraldic way of representing water, namely "barry wavy argent and azure." There are many other coats of arms which are of a similar character though specifically blazoned "barry wavy argent and azure." Now this representation of water in base can hardly be properly said to be a charge, but perhaps it might be dismissed as such were it not that one coat of arms exists in Scotland, the whole of the field of which is simply a representation of water. Unfortunately this coat of arms has never been matriculated in Lyon Register or received official sanction; but there is no doubt of its ancient usage, and were it to be now matriculated in conformity with the Act of 1672, there is very little doubt that the ancient characteristic would be retained. The arms are those of the town of Inveraray in Argyllshire, and the blazon of the coat, according to the form it is depicted upon the Corporate seal, would be for the field: "The sea proper, therein a net suspended from the dexter chief and the sinister fess points to the base; and entangled in its meshes five herrings," which is about the most remarkable coat of arms I have ever come across.

Occasionally a "field," or portion of a field, will be found to be a representation of masonry. This may be either proper or of some metal or colour. The arms of the city of Bath are: "Party per fesse {89}embattled azure and argent, the base masonry, in chief two bars wavy of the second; over all, a sword in pale gules, hilt and pommel or." The arms of Reynell are: "Argent, masoned sable, a chief indented of the second."


The use of the term "semé" must be considered before we leave the subject of the field. It simply means "powdered with" or "strewed with" any objects, the number of the latter being unlimited, the purpose being to evenly distribute them over the shield. In depicting anything semé, care is usually taken that some of the charges (with which the field is semé) shall be partly defaced by the edges of the shield, or the ordinary upon which they are charged, or by the superior charge itself, to indicate that the field is not charged with a specific number of objects.

Fig. 44.

Fig. 44.—Arms of John, Lord De la Warr (d. 1398). (From MS. Ashm. 804, iv.)

Fig. 45.

Fig. 45.—Arms of John, Lord Beaumont, K.G. (d. 1396). From his Garter Plate: 1 and 4, Beaumont; 2 and 3, azure, three garbs or (for Comyn).

Fig. 46.

Fig. 46.—Arms of Gilbert Umfraville, Earl of Kyme (d. 1421). (From Harl. MS. 6163.)

There are certain special terms which may be noted. A field or charge semé of fleurs-de-lis is termed "semé-de-lis," but if semé of bezants it is bezanté, and is termed platé if semé of plates.

A field semé of billets is billetty or billetté, and when semé of cross crosslets it is termed crusilly. A field or charge semé of drops is termed goutté or gutty.

Instances of coats of which the field is semé will be found in the arms of De la Warr (see Fig. 44), which are: Gules, crusilly, and a lion rampant argent; Beaumont (see Fig. 45): Azure, semé-de-lis and a lion rampant or; and Umfraville (see Fig. 46): Gules, semé of crosses flory, and a cinquefoil or.

The goutte or drop occasionally figures (in a specified number) as a charge; but such cases are rare, its more frequent use being to show {90}a field semé. British heraldry alone has evolved separate names for the different colours, all other nations simply using the term "goutté" or "gutté," and specifying the colour. The terms we have adopted are as follows: For drops of gold, "gutté-d'or"; silver, "gutté-d'eau"; for gules, "gutté-de-sang"; azure, "gutté-de-larmes"; vert, "gutté-d'huile"; and sable, "gutté-de-poix."

The term semé must not be confused with diapering, for whilst the objects with which a field is semé are an integral part of the arms, diapering is a purely artistic and optional matter.


The diapering of armorial emblazonments is a matter with which the Science of armory has no concern. Diaper never forms any part of the blazon, and is never officially noticed, being considered, and very properly allowed to remain, a purely artistic detail. From the artistic point of view it has some importance, as in many of the earliest instances of handicraft in which armorial decoration appears, very elaborate diapering is introduced. The frequency with which diapering is met with in armorial handicraft is strangely at variance with its absence in heraldic paintings of the same periods, a point which may perhaps be urged upon the attention of some of the heraldic artists of the present day, who would rather seem to have failed to grasp the true purpose and origin and perhaps also the use of diaper. In stained glass and enamel work, where the use of diaper is most frequently met with, it was introduced for the express purpose of catching and breaking up the light, the result of which was to give an enormously increased effect of brilliance to the large and otherwise flat surfaces. These tricks of their art and craft the old handicraftsmen were past masters in the use of. But no such purpose could be served in a small painting upon vellum. For this reason early heraldic emblazonments are seldom if ever found to have been diapered. With the rise of heraldic engraving amongst the "little masters" of German art, the opportunity left to their hands by the absence of colour naturally led to the renewed use of diaper to avoid the appearance of blanks in their work. The use of diaper at the present day needs to be the result of careful study and thought, and its haphazard employment is not recommended.

If, as Woodward states (an assertion one is rather inclined to doubt), there are some cases abroad in which the constant use of diapering has been stereotyped into an integral part of the arms, these cases must be exceedingly few in number, and they certainly have no counterpart in the armory of this country. Where for artistic reasons {91}diapering is employed, care must always be taken that the decorative form employed cannot be mistaken for a field either charged or semé.


If there is one subject which the ordinary text-books of armory treat in the manner of classification adapted to an essay on natural history or grammar, with its attendant rigidity of rule, it is the subject of partition lines; and yet the whole subject is more in the nature of a set of explanations which must each be learned on its own merits. The usual lines of partition are themselves well enough known; and it is hardly necessary to elaborate the different variations at any great length. They may, however, be enumerated as follows: Engrailed, embattled, indented, invecked or invected, wavy or undy, nebuly, dancetté, raguly, potenté, dovetailed, and urdy. These are the lines which are recognised by most modern heraldic text-books and generally recapitulated; but we shall have occasion later to refer to others which are very well known, though apparently they have never been included in the classification of partition lines (Fig. 47). Engrailed, as every one knows, is formed by a continuous and concurrent series of small semicircles conjoined each to each, the sharp points formed by the conjunction of the two arcs being placed outwards. This partition line may be employed for the rectilinear charges known as "ordinaries" or "sub-ordinaries." In the bend, pale, pile, cross, chief, and fess, when these are described as engrailed the enclosing lines of the ordinary, other than the edges of the shield, are all composed of these small semicircles with the points turned outwards, and the word "outwards" must be construed as pointing away from the centre of the ordinary when it is depicted. In the case of a chief the points are turned downwards, but it is rather difficult to describe the use of the term when used as a partition line of the field. The only instance I can call to mind where it is so employed is the case of Baird of Ury, the arms of this family being: Per pale engrailed gules and or, a boar passant counterchanged. In this instance the points are turned towards the sinister side of the shield, which would seem to be correct, as, there being no ordinary, they must be outwards from the most important position affected, which in this case undoubtedly is the dexter side of the shield. In the same way "per fess engrailed" would be presumably depicted with the points outwards from the chief line of the shield, that is, they would point downwards; and I should imagine that in "per bend engrailed" the points of the semicircles would again be placed inclined towards the dexter base of the shield, but I may be wrong in these two latter cases, for they are only supposition. This {92}point, however, which puzzled me much in depicting the arms of Baird of Ury, I could find explained in no text-book upon the subject.

Fig. 47.

Fig. 47.—Lines of Partition.

The term invected or invecked is the precise opposite of engrailed. It is similarly composed of small semicircles, but the points are turned inwards instead of outwards, so that it is no more than the exact reverse of engrailed, and all the regulations concerning the one need to be observed concerning the other, with the proviso that they are reversed. {93}

The partition line embattled has certain peculiarities of its own. When dividing the field there can be no difficulty about it, inasmuch as the crenellations are equally inwards and outwards from any point, and it should be noted that the term "crenellé" is almost as often used as "embattled." When, however, the term describes an ordinary, certain points have to be borne in mind. The fess or the bar embattled is drawn with the crenellations on the upper side only, the under edge being plain unless the ordinary is described both as "embattled and counter-embattled." Similarly a chevron is only crenellated on the upper edge unless it is described as both embattled and counter-embattled, but a pale embattled is crenellated on both edges as is the cross or saltire. Strictly speaking, a bend embattled is crenellated upon the upper edge only, though with regard to this ordinary there is much laxity of practice. I have never come across a pile embattled; but it would naturally be embattled on both edges. Some writers make a distinction between embattled and bretessed, giving to the former term the meaning that the embattlements on the one side are opposed to the indentations on the other, and using the term bretessed to signify that embattlements are opposite embattlements and indentations opposite indentations. I am doubtful as to the accuracy of this distinction, because the French term bretessé means only counter-embattled.

The terms indented and dancetté need to be considered together, because they differ very little, and only in the fact that whilst indented may be drawn with any number of teeth, dancetté is drawn with a limited number, which is usually three complete teeth in the width of the field. But it should be observed that this rule is not so hard and fast that the necessity of artistic depicting may not modify it slightly. An ordinary which is indented would follow much the same rules as an ordinary which was engrailed, except that the teeth are made by small straight lines for the indentations instead of by small semicircles, and instances can doubtless be found of all the ordinaries qualified by the term indented. Dancetté, however, does not lend itself so readily to general application, and is usually to be found applied to either a fess or chief, or occasionally a bend. In the case of a fess dancetté the indentations on the top and bottom lines are made to fit into each other, so that instead of having a straight band with the edge merely toothed, one gets an up and down zig-zag band with three complete teeth at the top and three complete teeth at the bottom. Whilst a fess, a bar, a bend, and a chief can be found dancetté, I do not see how it would be possible to draw a saltire or a cross dancetté. At any rate the resulting figure would be most ugly, and would appear ill-balanced. A pile and a chevron seem equally impossible, though there does not {94}seem to be the like objection to a pale dancetté. An instance of a bend dancetté is found in the arms of Cuffe (Lord Desart), which are: Argent, on a bend dancetté sable, plain cotised azure, three fleurs-de-lis, and on each cotise as many bezants.

Wavy or undy, which is supposed to have been taken from water, and nebuly, which is supposed to be derived from clouds, are of course lines which are well known. They are equally applicable to any ordinary and to any partition of the field; but in both cases it should be noticed by artists that there is no one definite or accepted method of depicting these lines, and one is quite at liberty, and might be recommended, to widen out the indentations, or to increase them in height, as the artistic requirements of the work in hand may seem to render advisable. It is only by bearing this in mind and treating these lines with freedom that really artistic work can sometimes be produced where they occur. There is no fixed rule either as to the width which these lines may occupy or as to the number of indentations as compared with the width of the shield, and it is a pity to introduce or recognise any regulations of this character where none exist. There are writers who think it not unlikely that vairé and barry nebuly were one and the same thing. It is at any rate difficult in some old representations to draw any noticeable distinctions between the methods of depicting barry nebuly and vair.

The line raguly has been the subject of much discussion. It, and the two which follow, viz. potenté and dovetailed, are all comparatively modern introductions. It would be interesting if some enthusiast would go carefully through the ancient Rolls of Arms and find the earliest occurrences of these terms. My own impression is that they would all be found to be inventions of the mediæval writers on heraldry. Raguly is the same as embattled, with the crenellations put upon the slant. Some writers say they should slant one way, others give them slanting the reverse. In a pale or a bend the teeth must point upwards; but in a fess I should hesitate to say whether it were more correct for them to point to the dexter or to the sinister, and I am inclined to consider that either is perfectly correct. At any rate, whilst they are usually drawn inclined to the dexter, in Woodward and Burnett they are to the sinister, and Guillim gives them turned to the dexter, saying, "This form of line I never yet met with in use as a partition, though frequently in composing of ordinaries referring them like to the trunks of trees with the branches lopped off, and that (as I take it) it was intended to represent." Modern heraldry supplies an instance which in the days of Mr. Guillim, of course, did not exist to refer to. This instance occurs in the arms of the late Lord Leighton, which were: "Quarterly per fesse raguly or and gules, in the second and {95}third quarters a wyvern of the first." It is curious that Guillim, even in the edition of 1724, does not mention any of the remaining terms. Dovetailed in modern armory is even yet but seldom made use of, though I can quote two instances of coats of arms in which it is to be found, namely, the arms of Kirk, which are: "Gules, a chevron dovetailed ermine, on a chief argent, three dragons' heads couped of the field;" and Ambrose: "Azure, two lions passant in pale argent, on a chief dovetailed of the last, a fleur-de-lis between two annulets of the first." Other instances of dovetailed used as a line of partition will be found in the case of the arms of Farmer, which are: "Per chevron dovetailed gules and argent, in chief two lions' heads erased of the last, and in base a salamander in flames proper;" and in the arms of Fenton namely: "Per pale argent and sable, a cross dovetailed, in the first and fourth quarters a fleur-de-lis, and in the second and third a trefoil slipped all countercharged." There are, of course, many others. The term potenté, as will be seen from a reference to Fig. 47, is used to indicate a line which follows the form of the division lines in the fur potent. As one of the partition lines potenté is very rare.

As to the term urdy, which is given in Woodward and Burnett and also in Berry, I can only say I personally have never come across an instance of its use as a partition line. A cross or a billet urdy one knows, but urdy as a partition line I have yet to find. It is significant that it is omitted in Parker except as a term applicable to a cross, and the instances and variations given by Berry, "urdy in point paleways" and "contrary urdy," I should be much more inclined to consider as variations of vair; and, though it is always well to settle points which can be settled, I think urdy and its use as a partition line may be well left for further consideration when examples of it come to hand.

There is one term, however, which is to be met with at the present time, but which I have never seen quoted in any text-book under the heading of a partition line; that is, "flory counter-flory," which is of course formed by a succession of fleurs-de-lis alternately reversed and counterchanged. They might of course be blazoned after the quotation of the field as "per bend" or "per chevron" as the case might be, simply as so many fleurs-de-lis counterchanged, and alternately reversed in a specified position; but this never appears to be the case, and consequently the fleurs-de-lis would appear to be essentially parts of the field and not charges. I have sometimes thought whether it would not be more correct to depict "per something" flory and counter-flory without completing the fleurs-de-lis, simply leaving the alternate tops of the fleurs-de-lis to show. In the cases of the illustrations which have come under my notice, however, the whole fleur-de-lis is depicted, and as an instance of the use of the term may be mentioned the arms of {96}Dumas, which are: "Per chevron flory and counter-flory or and azure, in chief two lions' gambs erased, and in base a garb counterchanged." But when the term flory and counter-flory is used in conjunction with an ordinary, e.g. a fess flory and counter-flory, the half fleurs-de-lis, only alternately reversed, are represented on the outer edges of the ordinary.

I think also that the word "arched" should now be included as a partition line. I confess that the only form in which I know of it is that it is frequently used by the present Garter King of Arms in designing coats of arms with chiefs arched. Recently Garter has granted a coat with a chief double arched. But if a chief can be arched I see no reason why a fesse or a bar cannot equally be so altered, and in that case it undoubtedly becomes a recognised line of partition. Perhaps it should be stated that a chief arched is a chief with its base line one arc of a large circle. The diameter of the circle and the consequent acuteness of the arch do not appear to be fixed by any definite rule, and here again artistic requirements must be the controlling factor in any decision. Elvin in his "Dictionary of Heraldic Terms" gives a curious assortment of lines, the most curious of all, perhaps, being indented embowed, or hacked and hewed. Where such a term originated or in what coat of arms it is to be found I am ignorant, but the appearance is exactly what would be presented by a piece of wood hacked with an axe at regular intervals. Elvin again makes a difference between bretessed and embattled-counter-embattled, making the embattlement on either side of an ordinary identical in the former and alternated in the latter. He also makes a difference between raguly, which is the conventional form universally adopted, and raguled and trunked, where the ordinary takes the representation of the trunk of a tree with the branches lopped; but these and many others that he gives are refinements of idea which personally I should never expect to find in actual use, and of the instances of which I am unaware. I think, however, the term "rayonné," which is found in both the arms of O'Hara and the arms of Colman, and which is formed by the addition of rays to the ordinary, should take a place amongst lines of partition, though I admit I know of no instance in which it is employed to divide the field.


The field of any coat of arms is the surface colour of the shield, and is supposed to include the area within the limits formed by its outline. There are, as has been already stated, but few coats of a single colour minus a charge to be found in British heraldry. But there {97}are many which consist of a field divided by partition lines only, of which some instances were given on page 69.

A shield may be divided by partition lines running in the direction of almost any "ordinary," in which case the field will be described as "per bend" or "per chevron," &c. It may be:

Per fess Fig. 48
Per bend " 49
Per bend sinister " 50
Per pale " 51
Per chevron " 52
Per cross " 53
(though it should be noted that the more usual term
employed for this is "quarterly")
Per saltire Fig. 54

But a field cannot be "per pile" or "per chief," because there is no other way of representing these ordinaries.

Fig. 48.

Fig. 48.—Per fess.

Fig. 49.

Fig. 49.—Per bend.

Fig. 50.

Fig. 50.—Per bend sinister.

Fig. 51.

Fig. 51.—Per pale.

Fig. 52.

Fig. 52.—Per chevron.

Fig. 53.

Fig. 53.—Per cross or quarterly.

A field can be composed of any number of pieces in the form of the ordinaries filling the area of the shield, in which case the field is said to be "barry" (Figs. 55 and 56), "paly" (Fig. 57), "bendy" (Fig. 58), "chevronny" (Fig. 59), &c., but the number of pieces must be specified. {98}

Fig. 54.

Fig. 54.—Per saltire.

Fig. 55.

Fig. 55.—Barry.

Fig. 56.

Fig. 56.—Barry nebuly.

Fig. 57.

Fig. 57.—Paly.

Fig. 58.

Fig. 58.—Bendy.

Fig. 59.

Fig. 59.—Chevronny.

Another method of partition will be found in the fields "checky" (or "chequy") and lozengy; but these divisions, as also the foregoing, will be treated more specifically under the different ordinaries. A field which is party need not necessarily have all its lines of partition the same. This peculiarity, however, seldom occurs except in the case of a field quarterly, the object in coats of this character being to prevent different quarters of one coat of arms being ranked as or taken to be quarterings representing different families. {99}



The word "Blazon" is used with some number of meanings, but practically it may be confined to the verb "to blazon," which is to describe in words a given coat of arms, and the noun "blazon," which is such a description.

Care should be taken to differentiate between the employment of the term "blazon" and the verb "to emblazon," which latter means to depict in colour.

It may here be remarked, however, that to illustrate by the use of outline with written indications of colour is termed "to trick," and a picture of arms of this character is termed "a trick."

The term trick has of late been extended (though one almost thinks improperly) to include representations of arms in which the colours are indicated by the specified tincture lines which have been already referred to.

The subject of blazon has of late acquired rather more importance than has hitherto been conceded to it, owing to an unofficial attempt to introduce a new system of blazoning under the guise of a supposed reversion to earlier forms of description. This it is not, but even if it were what it claims to be, merely the revival of ancient forms and methods, its reintroduction cannot be said to be either expedient or permissible, because the ancient practice does not permit of extension to the limits within which more modern armory has developed, and modern armory, though less ancient, is armory equally with the more ancient and simpler examples to be found in earlier times. To ignore modern armory is simply futile and absurd.

The rules to be employed in blazon are simple, and comparatively few in number.

The commencement of any blazon is of necessity a description of the field, the one word signifying its colour being employed if it be a simple field; or, if it be composite, such terms as are necessary. Thus, a coat divided "per pale" or "per chevron" is so described, and whilst the Scottish field of this character is officially termed "Parted" [per pale, or per chevron], the English equivalent is "Party," though this {100}word in English usage is more often omitted than not in the blazon which commences "per pale," or "per chevron," as the case may be.

The description of the different colours and different divisions of the field have all been detailed in earlier chapters, but it may be added that in a "party" coloured field, that colour or tincture is mentioned first which occupies the more important part of the escutcheon. Thus, in a field "per bend," "per chevron," or "per fess," the upper portion of the field is first referred to; in a coat "per pale," the dexter side is the more important; and in a coat "quarterly," the tinctures of the 1st and 4th quarters are given precedence of the tinctures of the 2nd and 3rd. The only division upon which there has seemed any uncertainty is the curious one "gyronny," but the correct method to be employed in this case can very easily be recognised by taking the first quarter of the field, and therein considering the field as if it were simply "per bend."

After the field has been described, anything of which the field is semé must next be alluded to, e.g. gules, semé-de-lis or, &c.

The second thing to be mentioned in the blazon is the principal charge. We will consider first those cases in which it is an ordinary. Thus, one would speak of "Or, a chevron gules," or, if there be other charges as well as the ordinary, "Azure, a bend between two horses' heads or," or "Gules, a chevron between three roses argent."

The colour of the ordinary is not mentioned until after the charge, if it be the same as the latter, but if it be otherwise it must of course be specified, as in the coat: "Or, a fess gules between three crescents sable." If the ordinary is charged, the charges thereupon, being less important than the charges in the field, are mentioned subsequently, as in the coat: "Gules, on a bend argent between two fountains proper, a rose gules between two mullets sable."

The position of the charges need not be specified when they would naturally fall into a certain position with regard to the ordinaries. Thus, a chevron between three figures of necessity has two in chief and one in base. A bend between two figures of necessity has one above and one below. A fess has two above and one below. A cross between four has one in each angle. In none of these cases is it necessary to state the position. If, however, those positions or numbers do not come within the category mentioned, care must be taken to specify what the coat exactly is.

If a bend is accompanied only by one charge, the position of this charge must be stated. For example: "Gules, a bend or, in chief a crescent argent." A chevron with four figures would be described: "Argent, a chevron between three escallops in chief and one in base sable," though it would be equally correct to say: "Argent, a chevron {101}between four escallops, three in chief and one in base sable." In the same way we should get: "Vert, on a cross or, and in the 1st quarter a bezant, an estoile sable;" though, to avoid confusion, this coat would more probably be blazoned: "Vert, a cross or, charged with an estoile sable, and in the first quarter a bezant." This example will indicate the latitude which is permissible if, for the sake of avoiding confusion and making a blazon more readily understandable, some deviation from the strict formulas would appear to be desirable.

If there be no ordinary on a shield, the charge which occupies the chief position is mentioned first. For example: "Or, a lion rampant sable between three boars' heads erased gules, two in chief and one in base." Many people, however, would omit any reference to the position of the boars' heads, taking it for granted that, as there were only three, they would be 2 and 1, which is the normal position of three charges in any coat of arms. If, however, the coat of arms had the three boars' heads all above the lion, it would then be necessary to blazon it: "Or, a lion rampant sable, in chief three boars' heads erased gules."

When a field is semé of anything, this is taken to be a part of the field, and not a representation of a number of charges. Consequently the arms of Long are blazoned: "Sable, semé of cross crosslets, a lion rampant argent." As a matter of fact the semé of cross crosslets is always termed crusilly, as has been already explained.

When charges are placed around the shield in the position they would occupy if placed upon a bordure, these charges are said to be "in orle," as in the arms of Hutchinson: "Quarterly, azure and gules, a lion rampant erminois, within four cross crosslets argent, and as many bezants alternately in orle;" though it is equally permissible to term charges in such a position "an orle of [e.g. cross crosslets argent and bezants alternately]," or so many charges "in orle" (see Fig. 60).

If an ordinary be engrailed, or invected, this fact is at once stated, the term occurring before the colour of the ordinary. Thus: "Argent, on a chevron nebuly between three crescents gules, as many roses of the field." When a charge upon an ordinary is the same colour as the field, the name of the colour is not repeated, but those charges are said to be "of the field."

It is the constant endeavour, under the recognised system, to avoid the use of the name of the same colour a second time in the blazon. Thus: "Quarterly, gules and or, a cross counterchanged between in the first quarter a sword erect proper, pommel and hilt of the second; in the second quarter a rose of the first, barbed and seeded of the third; in the third quarter a fleur-de-lis azure; and {102}in the fourth quarter a mullet gold"—the use of the term "gold" being alone permissible in such a case.

Any animal which needs to be described, also needs its position to be specified. It may be rampant, segreant, passant, statant, or trippant, as the case may be. It may also sometimes be necessary to specify its position upon the shield, but the terms peculiarly appropriated to specific animals will be given in the chapters in which these animals are dealt with.

Fig. 60.

Fig. 60.—Arms of Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke: "Baruly argent and azure, an orle of martlets gules." (From his seal.)

With the exception of the chief, the quarter, the canton, the flaunch, and the bordure, an ordinary or sub-ordinary is always of greater importance, and therefore should be mentioned before any other charge, but in the cases alluded to the remainder of the shield is first blazoned, before attention is paid to these figures. Thus we should get: "Argent, a chevron between three mullets gules, on a chief of the last three crescents of the second;" or "Sable, a lion rampant between three fleurs-de-lis or, on a canton argent a mascle of the field;" or "Gules, two chevronels between three mullets pierced or, within a bordure engrailed argent charged with eight roses of the field." The arms in Fig. 61 are an interesting example of this point. They are those of John de Bretagne, Earl of Richmond (d. 1334), and would properly be blazoned: "Chequy or and azure, a bordure gules, charged with lions passant guardant or ('a bordure of England'), over all a canton (sometimes a quarter) ermine."

Fig. 61.

Fig. 61.—The arms of John de Bretagne, Earl of Richmond.

If two ordinaries or sub-ordinaries appear in the same field, certain discretion needs to be exercised, but the arms of Fitzwalter, for example, are as follows: "Or, a fess between two chevrons gules."

When charges are placed in a series following the direction of any ordinary they are said to be "in bend," "in chevron," or "in pale," as the case may be, and not only must their position on the shield as regards each other be specified, but their individual direction must also be noted.

A coat of arms in which three spears were placed side by side, but each erect, would be blazoned: "Gules, three tilting-spears palewise in fess;" but if the spears were placed horizontally, one above the other, they would be blazoned: "Three tilting-spears fesswise in pale," {103}because in the latter case each spear is placed fesswise, but the three occupy in relation to each other the position of a pale. Three tilting-spears fesswise which were not in pale would be depicted 2 and 1.

When one charge surmounts another, the undermost one is mentioned first, as in the arms of Beaumont (see Fig. 62). Here the lion rampant is the principal charge, and the bend which debruises it is consequently mentioned afterwards.

In the cases of a cross and of a saltire, the charges when all are alike would simply be described as between four objects, though the term "cantonned by" four objects is sometimes met with. If the objects are not the same, they must be specified as being in the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd quarters, if the ordinary be a cross. If it be a saltire, it will be found that in Scotland the charges are mentioned as being in chief and base, and in the "flanks." In England they would be described as being in pale and in fess if the alternative charges are the same; if not, they would be described as in chief, on the dexter side, on the sinister side, and in base.

Fig. 62.

Fig. 62.—Arms of John de Beaumont, Lord Beaumont (d. 1369): Azure, semé-de-lis and a lion rampant or, over all a bend gobony argent and gules. (From his seal.)

When a specified number of charges is immediately followed by the same number of charges elsewhere disposed, the number is not repeated, the words "as many" being substituted instead. Thus: "Argent, on a chevron between three roses gules, as many crescents of the field." When any charge, ordinary, or mark of cadency surmounts a single object, that object is termed "debruised" by that ordinary. If it surmounts everything, as, for instance, "a bendlet sinister," this would be termed "over all." When a coat of arms is "party" coloured in its field and the charges are alternately of the same colours transposed, the term counterchanged is used. For example, "Party per pale argent and sable, three chevronels between as many mullets pierced all counterchanged." In that case the coat is divided down the middle, the dexter field being argent, and the sinister sable; the charges on the sable being argent, whilst the charges on the argent are sable. A mark of cadency is mentioned last, and is termed "for difference"; a mark of bastardy, or a mark denoting lack of blood descent, is termed "for distinction."

Certain practical hints, which, however, can hardly be termed rules, were suggested by the late Mr. J. Gough Nicholls in 1863, when writing in the Herald and Genealogist, and subsequent practice has since conformed therewith, though it may be pointed out with advantage that these suggestions are practically, and to all intents and purposes, {104}the same rules which have been observed officially over a long period. Amongst these suggestions he advises that the blazoning of every coat or quarter should begin with a capital letter, and that, save on the occurrence of proper names, no other capitals should be employed. He also suggests that punctuation marks should be avoided as much as possible, his own practice being to limit the use of the comma to its occurrence after each tincture. He suggests also that figures should be omitted in all cases except in the numbering of quarterings.

When one or more quarterings occur, each is treated separately on its own merits and blazoned entirely without reference to any other quartering.

Fig. 63.

Fig. 63.—A to B, the chief; C to D, the base; A to C, dexter side; B to D, sinister side. A, dexter chief; B, sinister chief; C, dexter base; D, sinister base. 1, 2, 3, chief; 7, 8, 9, base; 2, 5, 8, pale; 4, 5, 6, fess; 5, fess point.

In blazoning a coat in which some quarterings (grand quarterings) are composed of several coats placed sub-quarterly, sufficient distinction is afforded for English purposes of writing or printing if Roman numerals are employed to indicate the grand quarters, and Arabic figures the sub-quarters. But in speaking such a method would need to be somewhat modified in accordance with the Scottish practice, which describes grand quarterings as such, and so alludes to them.

The extensive use of bordures, charged and uncharged, in Scotland, which figure sometimes round the sub-quarters, sometimes round the grand quarters, and sometimes round the entire escutcheon, causes so much confusion that for the purposes of blazoning it is essential that the difference between quarters and grand quarters should be clearly defined.

In order to simplify the blazoning of a shield, and so express the position of the charges, the field has been divided into points, of which those placed near the top, and to the dexter, are always considered the more important. In heraldry, dexter and sinister are determined, not from the point of view of the onlooker, but from that of the bearer of the shield. The diagram (Fig. 63) will serve to explain the plan of a shield's surface.

Fig. 64.

Fig. 64.

If a second shield be placed upon the fess point, this is called an inescutcheon (in German, the "heart-shield"). The enriching of the shield with an inescutcheon came into lively use in Germany in the course of the latter half of the fifteenth century. Later on, further points of honour were added, as the honour point (a, Fig. 64), and the nombril point (b, Fig. 64). These extra shields laid upon the others should correspond as much as possible in shape to the chief shield. If between the inescutcheon and the chief shield still another be inserted, {105}it is called the "middle shield," from its position, but except in Anglicised versions of Continental arms, these distinctions are quite foreign to British armory.

In conclusion, it may be stated that although the foregoing are the rules which are usually observed, and that every effort should be made to avoid unnecessary tautology, and to make the blazon as brief as possible, it is by no manner of means considered officially, or unofficially, that any one of these rules is so unchangeable that in actual practice it cannot be modified if it should seem advisable so to do. For the essential necessity of accuracy is of far greater importance than any desire to be brief, or to avoid tautology. This should be borne in mind, and also the fact that in official practice no such hide-bound character is given to these rules, as one is led to believe is the case when perusing some of the ordinary text-books of armory. They certainly are not laws, they are hardly "rules," perhaps being better described as accepted methods of blazoning. {106}



Arms, and the charges upon arms, have been divided into many fantastical divisions. There is a type of the precise mind much evident in the scientific writing of the last and the preceding centuries which is for ever unhappy unless it can be dividing the object of its consideration into classes and divisions, into sub-classes and sub-divisions. Heraldry has suffered in this way; for, oblivious of the fact that the rules enunciated are impossible as rigid guides for general observance, and that they never have been complied with, and that they never will be, a "tabular" system has been evolved for heraldry as for most other sciences. The "precise" mind has applied a system obviously derived from natural history classification to the principles of armory. It has selected a certain number of charges, and has been pleased to term them ordinaries. It has selected others which it has been pleased to term sub-ordinaries. The selection has been purely arbitrary, at the pleasure of the writer, and few writers have agreed in their classifications. One of the foremost rules which former heraldic writers have laid down is that an ordinary must contain the third part of the field. Now it is doubtful whether an ordinary has ever been drawn containing the third part of the field by rigid measurement, except in the solitary instance of the pale, when it is drawn "per fess counterchanged," for the obvious purpose of dividing the shield into six equal portions, a practice which has been lately pursued very extensively owing to the ease with which, by its adoption, a new coat of arms can be designed bearing a distinct resemblance to one formerly in use without infringing the rights of the latter. Certainly, if the ordinary is the solitary charge upon the shield, it will be drawn about that specified proportion. But when an attempt is made to draw the Walpole coat (which cannot be said to be a modern one) so that it shall exhibit three ordinaries, to wit, one fess and two chevrons (which being interpreted as three-thirds of the shield, would fill it entirely), and yet leave a goodly proportion of the field still visible, the absurdity is apparent. And a very large proportion of the classification and rules which occupy such a large proportion of the space in the majority of heraldic text-books are equally unnecessary, {107}confusing, and incorrect, and what is very much more important, such rules have never been recognised by the powers that have had the control of armory from the beginning of that control down to the present day. I shall not be surprised to find that many of my critics, bearing in mind how strenuously I have pleaded elsewhere for a right and proper observance of the laws of armory, may think that the foregoing has largely the nature of a recantation. It is nothing of the kind, and I advocate as strenuously as I have ever done, the compliance with and the observance of every rule which can be shown to exist. But this is no argument whatever for the idle invention of rules which never have existed; or for the recognition of rules which have no other origin than the imagination of heraldic writers. Nor is it an argument for the deduction of unnecessary regulations from cases which can be shown to have been exceptions. Too little recognition is paid to the fact that in armory there are almost as many rules of exception as original rules. There are vastly more plain exceptions to the rules which should govern them.

On the subject of ordinaries, I cannot see wherein lies the difference between a bend and a lion rampant, save their difference in form, yet the one is said to be an ordinary, the other is merely a charge. Each has its special rules to be observed, and whilst a bend can be engrailed or invected, a lion can be guardant or regardant; and whilst the one can be placed between two objects, which objects will occupy a specified position, so can the other. Each can be charged, and each furnishes an excellent example of the futility of some of the ancient rules which have been coined concerning them. The ancient rules allow of but one lion and one bend upon a shield, requiring that two bends shall become bendlets, and two lions lioncels, whereas the instance we have already quoted—the coat of Walpole—has never been drawn in such form that either of the chevrons could have been considered chevronels, and it is rather late in the day to degrade the lions of England into unblooded whelps. To my mind the ordinaries and sub-ordinaries are no more than first charges, and though the bend, the fess, the pale, the pile, the chevron, the cross, and the saltire will always be found described as honourable ordinaries, whilst the chief seems also to be pretty universally considered as one of the honourable ordinaries, such hopeless confusion remains as to the others (scarcely any two writers giving similar classifications), that the utter absurdity of the necessity for any classification at all is amply demonstrated. Classification is only necessary or desirable when a certain set of rules can be applied identically to all the set of figures in that particular class. Even this will not hold with the ordinaries which have been quoted. {108}

A pale embattled is embattled upon both its edges; a fess embattled is embattled only upon the upper edge; a chief is embattled necessarily only upon the lower; and the grave difficulty of distinguishing "per pale engrailed" from "per pale invected" shows that no rigid rules can be laid down. When we come to sub-ordinaries, the confusion is still more apparent, for as far as I can see the only reason for the classification is the tabulating of rules concerning the lines of partition. The bordure and the orle can be, and often are, engrailed or embattled; the fret, the lozenge, the fusil, the mascle, the rustre, the flanche, the roundel, the billet, the label, the pairle, it would be practically impossible to meddle with; and all these figures have at some time or another, and by some writer or other, been included amongst either the ordinaries or the sub-ordinaries. In fact there is no one quality which these charges possess in common which is not equally possessed by scores of other well-known charges, and there is no particular reason why a certain set should be selected and dignified by the name of ordinaries; nor are there any rules relating to ordinaries which require the selection of a certain number of figures, or of any figures to be controlled by those rules, with one exception. The exception is to be found not in the rules governing the ordinaries, but in the rules of blazon. After the field has been specified, the principal charge must be mentioned first, and no charge can take precedence of a bend, fess, pale, pile, chevron, cross, or saltire, except one of themselves. If there be any reason for a subdivision those charges must stand by themselves, and might be termed the honourable ordinaries, but I can see no reason for treating the chief, the quarter, the canton, gyron, flanche, label, orle, tressure, fret, inescutcheon, chaplet, bordure, lozenge, fusil, mascle, rustre, roundel, billet, label, shakefork, and pairle, as other than ordinary charges. They certainly are purely heraldic, and each has its own special rules, but so in heraldry have the lion, griffin, and deer. Here is the complete list of the so-called ordinaries and sub-ordinaries: The bend; fess; bar; chief; pale; chevron; cross; saltire; pile; pairle, shakefork or pall; quarter; canton; gyron; bordure; orle; tressure; flanche; label, fret; inescutcheon; chaplet; lozenge; fusil; mascle; rustre; roundel; billet, together with the diminutives of such of these as are in use.

With reference to the origin of these ordinaries, by the use of which term is meant for the moment the rectilinear figures peculiar to armory, it may be worth the passing mention that the said origin is a matter of some mystery. Guillim and the old writers almost universally take them to be derived from the actual military scarf or a representation of it placed across the shield in various forms. Other writers, taking the surcoat and its decoration as the real origin of coats of arms, derive {109}the ordinaries from the belt, scarf, and other articles of raiment. Planché, on the other hand, scouted such a derivation, putting forward upon very good and plausible grounds the simple argument that the origin of the ordinaries is to be found in the cross-pieces of wood placed across a shield for strengthening purposes. He instances cases in which shields, apparently charged with ordinaries but really strengthened with cross-pieces, can be taken back to a period long anterior to the existence of regularised armory. But then, on the other hand, shields can be found decorated with animals at an equally early or even an earlier period, and I am inclined myself to push Planché's own argument even farther than he himself took it, and assert unequivocally that the ordinaries had in themselves no particular symbolism and no definable origin whatever beyond that easy method of making some pattern upon a shield which was to be gained by using straight lines. That they ever had any military meaning, I cannot see the slightest foundation to believe; their suggested and asserted symbolism I totally deny. But when we can find, as Planché did, that shields were strengthened with cross-pieces in various directions, it is quite natural to suppose that these cross-pieces afforded a ready means of decoration in colour, and this would lead a good deal of other decoration to follow similar forms, even in the absence of cross-pieces upon the definite shield itself. The one curious point which rather seems to tell against Planché's theory is that in the earliest "rolls" of arms but a comparatively small proportion of the arms are found to consist of these rectilinear figures, and if the ordinaries really originated in strengthening cross-pieces one would have expected a larger number of such coats of arms to be found; but at the same time such arms would, in many cases, in themselves be so palpably mere meaningless decoration of cross-pieces upon plain shields, that the resulting design would not carry with it such a compulsory remembrance as would a design, for example, derived from lines which had plainly had no connection with the construction of the shield. Nor could it have any such basis of continuity. Whilst a son would naturally paint a lion upon his shield if his father had done the same, there certainly would not be a similar inducement for a son to follow his father's example where the design upon a shield were no more than different-coloured strengthening pieces, because if these were gilt, for example, the son would naturally be no more inclined to perpetuate a particular form of strengthening for his shield, which might not need it, than any particular artistic division with which it was involved, so that the absence of arms composed of ordinaries from the early rolls of arms may not amount to so very much. Still further, it may well be concluded that the compilers of early rolls {110}of arms, or the collectors of the details from which early rolls were made at a later date, may have been tempted to ignore, and may have been justified in discarding from their lists of arms, those patterns and designs which palpably were then no more than a meaningless colouring of the strengthening pieces, but which patterns and designs by subsequent continuous usage and perpetuation became accepted later by certain families as the "arms" their ancestors had worn. It is easy to see that such meaningless patterns would have less chance of survival by continuity of usage, and at the same time would require a longer continuity of usage, before attaining to fixity as a definite design.

The undoubted symbolism of the cross in so many early coats of arms has been urged strongly by those who argue either for a symbolism for all these rectilinear figures or for an origin in articles of dress. But the figure of the cross preceded Christianity and organised armory, and it had an obvious decorative value which existed before, and which exists now outside any attribute it may have of a symbolical nature. That it is an utterly fallacious argument must be admitted when it is remembered that two lines at right angles make a cross—probably the earliest of all forms of decoration—and that the cross existed before its symbolism. Herein it differs from other forms of decoration (e.g. the Masonic emblems) which cannot be traced beyond their symbolical existence. The cross, like the other heraldic rectilinear figures, came into existence, meaningless as a decoration for a shield, before armory as such existed, and probably before Christianity began. Then being in existence the Crusading instinct doubtless caused its frequent selection with an added symbolical meaning. But the argument can truthfully be pushed no farther.


The bend is a broad band going from the dexter chief corner to the sinister base (Fig. 65). According to the old theorists this should contain the third part of the field. As a matter of fact it hardly ever does, and seldom did even in the oldest examples. Great latitude is allowed to the artist on this point, in accordance with whether the bend be plain or charged, and more particularly according to the charges which accompany it in the shield and their disposition thereupon.

"Azure, a bend or," is the well-known coat concerning which the historic controversy was waged between Scrope and Grosvenor. As every one knows, it was finally adjudged to belong to the former, and a right to it has also been proved by the Cornish family of Carminow. {111}

A bend is, of course, subject to the usual variations of the lines of partition (Figs. 66-75).

A bend compony (Fig. 76), will be found in the arms of Beaumont, and the difference between this (in which the panes run with the bend) and a bend barry (in which the panes are horizontal, Fig. 77), as in the arms of King,[7] should be noticed.

Fig. 65.

Fig. 65.—Bend.

Fig. 66.

Fig. 66.—Bend engrailed.

Fig. 67.

Fig. 67.—Bend invecked.

Fig. 68.

Fig. 68.—Bend embattled.

Fig. 69.

Fig. 69.—Bend embattled counter-embattled.

Fig. 70.

Fig. 70.—Bend raguly.

Fig. 71.

Fig. 71.—Bend dovetailed.

Fig. 72.

Fig. 72.—Bend indented.

Fig. 73.

Fig. 73.—Bend dancetté.

A bend wavy is not very usual, but will be found in the arms of Wallop, De Burton, and Conder. A bend raguly appears in the arms of Strangman. {112}

When a bend and a bordure appear upon the same arms, the bend is not continued over the bordure, and similarly it does not surmount a tressure (Fig. 78), but stops within it.

A bend upon a bend is by no means unusual. An example of this will be found in a coat of Waller. Cases where this happens need to be carefully scrutinised to avoid error in blazoning.

Fig. 74.

Fig. 74.—Bend wavy.

Fig. 75.

Fig. 75.—Bend nebuly.

Fig. 76.

Fig. 76.—Bend compony.

Fig. 77.

Fig. 77.—Bend barry.

Fig. 78.

Fig. 78.—Bend within tressure.

Fig. 79.

Fig. 79.—Bend lozengy.

A bend lozengy, or of lozenges (Fig. 79), will be found in the arms of Bolding.

A bend flory and counterflory will be found in the arms of Fellows, a quartering of Tweedy.

A bend chequy will be found in the arms of Menteith, and it should be noticed that the checks run the way of the bend.

Ermine spots upon a bend are represented the way of the bend.

Occasionally two bends will be found, as in the arms of Lever: Argent, two bends sable, the upper one engrailed (vide Lyon Register—escutcheon of pretence on the arms of Goldie-Scot of Craigmore, 1868); or as in the arms of James Ford, of Montrose, 1804: Gules, two bends vairé argent and sable, on a chief or, a greyhound courant sable between two towers gules. A different form appears in the arms of Zorke or Yorke (see Papworth), which are blazoned: Azure, a bend argent, impaling argent, a bend azure. A solitary instance of three bends (which, however, effectually proves that a bend cannot {113}occupy the third part of the field) occurs in the arms of Penrose, matriculated in Lyon Register in 1795 as a quartering of Cumming-Gordon of Altyre. These arms of Penrose are: Argent, three bends sable, each charged with as many roses of the field.

A charge half the width of a bend is a bendlet (Fig. 80), and one half the width of a bendlet is a cottise (Fig. 81), but a cottise cannot exist alone, inasmuch as it has of itself neither direction nor position, but is only found accompanying one of the ordinaries. The arms of Harley are an example of a bend cottised.

Bendlets will very seldom be found either in addition to a bend, or charged, but the arms of Vaile show both these peculiarities.

Fig. 80.

Fig. 80.—Bendlets.

A bend will usually be found between two charges. Occasionally it will be found between four, but more frequently between six. In none of these cases is it necessary to specify the position of the subsidiary charges. It is presumed that the bend separates them into even numbers, but their exact position (beyond this) upon the shield is left to the judgment of the artist, and their disposition is governed by the space left available by the shape of the shield. A further presumption is permitted in the case of a bend between three objects, which are presumed to be two in chief and one in base. But even in the case of three the position will be usually found to be specifically stated, as would be the case with any other uneven number.

Fig. 81.

Fig. 81.—Bend cottised.

Charges on a bend are placed in the direction of the bend. In such cases it is not necessary to specify that the charges are bendwise. When a charge or charges occupy the position which a bend would, they are said to be placed "in bend." This is not the same thing as a charge placed "bendwise" (or bendways). In this case the charge itself is slanted into the angle at which the bend crosses the shield, but the position of the charge upon the shield is not governed thereby.

When a bend and chief occur together in the same arms, the chief will usually surmount the bend, the latter issuing from the angle between the base of the chief and the side of the shield. An instance to the contrary, however, will be found in the arms of Fitz-Herbert of Swynnerton, in which the bend is continued over the chief. This instance, however (as doubtless all others of the kind), is due to the {114}use of the bend in early times as a mark of difference. The coat of arms, therefore, had an earlier and separate existence without the bend, which has been superimposed as a difference upon a previously existing coat. The use of the bend as a difference will be again referred to when considering more fully the marks and methods of indicating cadency.

Fig. 82.

Fig. 82.—Bend sinister.

A curious instance of the use of the sun's rays in bend will be found in the arms of Warde-Aldam.[8]

The bend sinister (Fig. 82), is very frequently stated to be the mark of illegitimacy. It certainly has been so used upon some occasions, but these occasions are very few and far between, the charge more frequently made use of being the bendlet or its derivative the baton (Fig. 83). These will be treated more fully in the chapter on the marks of illegitimacy. The bend sinister, which is a band running from the sinister chief corner through the centre of the escutcheon to the dexter base, need not necessarily indicate bastardy. Naturally the popular idea which has originated and become stereotyped concerning it renders its appearance extremely rare, but in at least two cases it occurs without, as far as I am aware, carrying any such meaning. At any rate, in neither case are the coats "bastardised" versions of older arms. These cases are the arms of Shiffner: "Azure, a bend sinister, in chief two estoiles, in like bend or; in base the end and stock of an anchor gold, issuing from waves of the sea proper;" and Burne-Jones: "Azure, on a bend sinister argent, between seven mullets, four in chief and three in base or, three pairs of wings addorsed purpure."

Fig. 83.

Fig. 83.—Baton sinister.

No coat with the chief charge a single bendlet occurs in Papworth. A single case, however, is to be found in the Lyon Register in the duly matriculated arms of Porterfield of that Ilk: "Or, a bendlet between a stag's head erased in chief and a hunting-horn in base sable, garnished gules." Single bendlets, however, both dexter and sinister, occur as ancient difference marks, and are then sometimes known as ribands. So described, it occurs in blazon of the arms of Abernethy: "Or, a lion rampant gules, debruised of a ribbon sable," quartered by Lindsay, Earl of Crawford and Balcarres; but here again the bendlet is a mark {115}of cadency. In the Gelre Armorial, in this particular coat the ribbon is made "engrailed," which is most unusual, and which does not appear to be the accepted form. In many of the Scottish matriculations of this Abernethy coat in which this riband occurs it is termed a "cost," doubtless another form of the word cottise.

When a bend or bendlets (or, in fact, any other charge) are raised above their natural position in the shield they are termed "enhanced" (Fig. 84). An instance of this occurs in the well-known coat of Byron, viz.: "Argent, three bendlets enhanced gules," and in the arms of Manchester, which were based upon this coat.

Fig. 84.

Fig. 84.—Bendlets enhanced.

Fig. 85.

Fig. 85.—Pale.

Fig. 86.

Fig. 86.—Pale engrailed.

When the field is composed of an even number of equal pieces divided by lines following the angle of a bend the field is blazoned "bendy" of so many (Fig. 58). In most cases it will be composed of six or eight pieces, but as there is no diminutive of "bendy," the number must always be stated.


The pale is a broad perpendicular band passing from the top of the escutcheon to the bottom (Fig. 85). Like all the other ordinaries, it is stated to contain the third part of the area of the field, and it is the only one which is at all frequently drawn in that proportion. But even with the pale, the most frequent occasion upon which this proportion is definitely given, this exaggerated width will be presently explained. The artistic latitude, however, permits the pale to be drawn of this proportion if this be convenient to the charges upon it.

Like the other ordinaries, the pale will be found varied by the different lines of partition (Figs. 86-94).

The single circumstance in which the pale is regularly drawn to contain a full third of the field by measurement is when the coat is "per fess and a pale counterchanged." This, it will be noticed, divides the shield into six equal portions (Fig. 95). The ease with which, by {116}the employment of these conditions, a new coat can be based upon an old one which shall leave three original charges in the same position, and upon a field of the original tincture, and yet shall produce an entirely different and distinct coat of arms, has led to this particular form being constantly repeated in modern grants.

Fig. 87.

Fig. 87.—Pale invecked.

Fig. 88.

Fig. 88.—Pale embattled.

Fig. 89.

Fig. 89.—Pale raguly.

Fig. 90.

Fig. 90.—Pale dovetailed.

Fig. 91.

Fig. 91.—Pale indented.

Fig. 92.

Fig. 92.—Pale wavy.

Fig. 93.

Fig. 93.—Pale nebuly.

Fig. 94.

Fig. 94.—Pale rayonné.

Fig. 95.

Fig. 95.—Pale per fesse counter changed.

The diminutive of the pale is the pallet (Fig. 96), and the pale cottised is sometimes termed "endorsed."

Except when it is used as a mark of difference or distinction (then usually wavy), the pallet is not found singly; but two pallets, or three, are not exceptional. Charged upon other ordinaries, particularly on the chief and the chevron, pallets are of constant occurrence. {117}

When the field is striped vertically it is said to be "paly" of so many (Fig. 57).

Fig. 96.

Fig. 96.—Pallets.

Fig. 97.

Fig. 97.—The arms of Amaury de Montfort, Earl of Gloucester; died before 1214. (From his seal.)

Fig. 98.

Fig. 98.—Arms of Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester; died 1265. (From MS. Cott., Nero, D. 1.)

Fig. 99.

Fig. 99.—Fess.

Fig. 100.

Fig. 100.—Fess engrailed.

Fig. 101.

Fig. 101.—Fess invecked.

The arms shown in Fig. 97 are interesting inasmuch as they are doubtless an early form of the coat per pale indented argent and gules, which is generally described as a banner borne for the honour of Hinckley, by the Simons de Montfort, Earls of Leicester, father and son. In a Roll temp. Henry III., to Simon the younger is ascribed "Le Banner party endentee dargent & de goules," although the arms of both father and son are known to have been as Fig. 98: "Gules, a lion rampant queue-fourchée argent." More probably the indented coat gives the original Montfort arms.


The fess is a broad horizontal band crossing the escutcheon in the centre (Fig. 99). It is seldom drawn to contain a full third of the area of the shield. It is subject to the lines of partition (Figs. 100-109). {118}

A curious variety of the fess dancetté is borne by the Shropshire family Plowden of Plowden. They bear: Azure, a fess dancetté, the upper points terminating in fleurs-de-lis (Fig. 110). A fess couped (Fig. 111) is found in the arms of Lee.

Fig. 102.

Fig. 102.—Fess embattled.

Fig. 103.

Fig. 103.—Fess embattled counter-embattled.

Fig. 104.

Fig. 104.—Fess raguly.

Fig. 105.

Fig. 105.—Fess dovetailed.

Fig. 106.

Fig. 106.—Fess indented.

Fig. 107.

Fig. 107.—Fess dancetté.

Fig. 108.

Fig. 108.—Fess wavy.

Fig. 109.

Fig. 109.—Fess nebuly.

Fig. 110.

Fig. 110.—The arms of Plowden.

The "fess embattled" is only crenellated upon the upper edge; but when both edges are embattled it is a fess embattled and counter-embattled. The term bretessé (which is said to indicate that the battlements on the upper edge are opposite the battlements on the lower edge, and the indentations likewise corresponding) is a term and a distinction neither of which are regarded in British armory. {119}

A fess wreathed (Fig. 112) is a bearing which seems to be almost peculiar to the Carmichael family, but the arms of Waye of Devon are an additional example, being: Sable, two bars wreathed argent and gules. I know of no other ordinary borne in a wreathed form, but there seems no reason why this peculiarity should be confined to the fess.

Fig. 111.

Fig. 111.—Fess couped.

Fig. 112.

Fig. 112.—Fess wreathed.

Fig. 113.

Fig. 113.—Two Bars.

Fig. 114.

Fig. 114.—Bars embattled.

Fig. 115.

Fig. 115.—Bars engrailed.

Fig. 116.

Fig. 116.—Bars invecked.

It is a fixed rule of British armory that there can be only one fess upon a shield. If two figures of this character are found they are termed bars (Fig. 113). But it is hardly correct to speak of the bar as a diminutive of the fess, because if two bars only appear on the shield there would be little, if any, diminution made from the width of the fess when depicting the bars. As is the case with other ordinaries, there is much latitude allowed to the artist in deciding the dimensions, it being usually permitted for these to be governed by the charges upon the fess or bars, and the charges between which these are placed.

Bars, like the fess, are of course equally subject to all the varying lines of partition (Figs. 114-118).

The diminutive of the bar is the barrulet, which is half its width and double the width of the cottise. But the barrulet will almost invariably be found borne in pairs, when such a pair is usually known as a "bar gemel" and not as two barrulets. Thus a coat with four barrulets {120}would have these placed at equal distances from each other; but a coat with two bars gemel would be depicted with two of its barrulets placed closely together in chief and two placed closely together in base, the disposition being governed by the fact that the two barrulets comprising the "bar gemel" are only one charge. Fig. 119 shows three bars gemel. There is theoretically no limit to the number of bars or bars gemel which can be placed upon the shield. In practical use, however, four will be found the maximum.

Fig. 117.

Fig. 117.—Bars raguly.

Fig. 118.

Fig. 118.—Bars dovetailed.

Fig. 119.

Fig. 119.—Bars gemel.

A field composed of four, six, eight, or ten horizontal pieces of equal width is "barry of such and such a number of pieces," the number being always specified (Figs. 55 and 56). A field composed of an equal number of horizontally shaped pieces, when these exceed ten in number, is termed "barruly" of such and such a number. The term barruly is also sometimes used for ten pieces. If the number is omitted "barry" will usually be of six pieces, though sometimes of eight. On the other hand a field composed of five, seven, or nine pieces is not barry, but (e.g.) two bars, three bars, and four bars respectively. This distinction in modern coats needs to be carefully noted, but in ancient coats it is not of equal importance. Anciently also a shield "barry" was drawn of a greater number of pieces (see Figs. 120, 121 and 122) than would nowadays be employed. In modern armory a field so depicted would more correctly be termed "barruly."

Whilst a field can be and often is barry of two colours or two metals, an uneven number of pieces must of necessity be of metal and colour or fur. Consequently in a shield e.g. divided into seven equal horizontal divisions, alternately gules and sable, there must be a mistake somewhere.

Although these distinctions require to be carefully noted as regards modern arms, it should be remembered that they are distinctions evolved by the intricacies and requirements of modern armory, and ancient arms were not so trammelled. {121}

A field divided horizontally into three equal divisions of e.g. gules, sable, and argent is theoretically blazoned by British rules "party per fess gules and argent, a fess sable." This, however, gives an exaggerated width to the fess which it does not really possess with us, and the German rules, which would blazon it "tierced per fess gules, sable, and argent," would seem preferable.

Fig. 120.

Fig. 120.—Arms of William de Valence, Earl of Pembroke (d. 1296); Barruly azure and argent, a label of five points gules, the files depending from the chief line of the shield, and each file charged with three lions passant guardant or. (From MS. Reg. 14, C. vii.)

Fig. 121.

Fig. 121.—Arms of Laurence de Hastings, Earl of Pembroke (d. 1348); Quarterly, 1 and 4, or, a maunch gules (for Hastings); 2 and 3, barruly argent and azure, an orle of martlets (for Valence). (From his seal.)

Fig. 122.

Fig. 122.—Arms of Edmund Grey, Earl of Kent (d. 1489): Quarterly, 1 and 4, barry of six, argent and azure, in chief three torteaux (for Grey); 2 and 3, Hastings and Valence sub-quarterly. (From his seal, 1442.)

Fig. 123.

Fig. 123.—Barry, per chevron counter-changed.

Fig. 124.

Fig. 124.—Barry-bendy.

Fig. 125.

Fig. 125.—Paly-bendy.

A field which is barry may also be counterchanged, as in the arms of Ballingall, where it is counterchanged per pale; but it can also be counterchanged per chevron (Fig. 123), or per bend dexter or sinister. Such counterchanging should be carefully distinguished from fields which are "barry-bendy" (Fig. 124), or "paly-bendy" (Fig. 125). In these latter cases the field is divided first by lines horizontal (for barry) or perpendicular (for paly), and subsequently by lines bendy (dexter or sinister). {122}

The result produced is very similar to "lozengy" (Fig. 126), and care should be taken to distinguish the two.

Barry-bendy is sometimes blazoned "fusilly in bend," whilst paly-bendy is sometimes blazoned "fusilly in bend sinister," but the other terms are the more accurate and acceptable.

Fig. 126.

Fig. 126.—Lozengy.

Fig. 127.

Fig. 127.—Chevron.

Fig. 128.

Fig. 128.—Chevron engrailed.

Fig. 129.

Fig. 129.—Chevron invecked.

Fig. 130.

Fig. 130.—Chevron embattled.

Fig. 131.

Fig. 131.—Chevron embattled and counter-embattled.

"Lozengy" is made by use of lines in bend crossed by lines in bend sinister (Fig. 126), and "fusilly" the same, only drawn at a more acute angle.


Probably the ordinary of most frequent occurrence in British, as also in French armory, is the chevron (Fig. 127). It is comparatively rare in German heraldry. The term is derived from the French word chevron, meaning a rafter, and the heraldic chevron is the same shape as a gable rafter. In early examples of heraldic art the chevron will be found depicted reaching very nearly to the top of the shield, the angle contained within the chevron being necessarily more acute. The chevron then attained very much more nearly to its full area of one-third of the field than is now given to it. As the chevron became accompanied by charges, it was naturally drawn so that it would allow of these charges being more easily represented, and its height became {123}less whilst the angle it enclosed was increased. But now, as then, it is perfectly at the pleasure of the artist to design his chevron at the height and angle which will best allow the proper representation of the charges which accompany it.

Fig. 132.

Fig. 132.—Chevron indented.

Fig. 133.

Fig. 133.—Chevron wavy.

Fig. 134.

Fig. 134.—Chevron nebuly.

Fig. 135.

Fig. 135.—Chevron raguly.

Fig. 136.

Fig. 136.—Chevron dovetailed.

Fig. 137.

Fig. 137.—Chevron doubly cottised.

The chevron, of course, is subject to the usual lines of partition (Figs. 128-136), and can be cottised and doubly cottised (Fig. 137).

It is usually found between three charges, but the necessity of modern differentiation has recently introduced the disposition of four charges, three in chief and one in base, which is by no means a happy invention. An even worse disposition occurs in the arms of a certain family of Mitchell, where the four escallops which are the principal charges are arranged two in chief and two in base.

Fig. 138.

Fig. 138.—Chevron quarterly.

Ermine spots upon a chevron do not follow the direction of it, but in the cases of chevrons vair, and chevrons chequy, authoritative examples can be found in which the chequers and rows of vair both do, and do not, conform to the direction of the chevron. My own preference is to make the rows horizontal.

A chevron quarterly is divided by a line chevronwise, apparently {124}dividing the chevron into two chevronels, and then by a vertical line in the centre (Fig. 138).

A chevron in point embowed will be found in the arms of Trapaud quartered by Adlercron (Fig. 139).

A field per chevron (Fig. 52) is often met with, and the division line in this case (like the enclosing lines of a real chevron) is subject to the usual partition lines, but how one is to determine the differentiation between per chevron engrailed and per chevron invecked I am uncertain, but think the points should be upwards for engrailed.

The field when entirely composed of an even number of chevrons is termed "chevronny" (Fig. 59).

The diminutive of the chevron is the chevronel (Fig. 140).

Chevronels "interlaced" or "braced" (Fig. 141), will be found in the arms of Sirr. The chevronel is very seldom met with singly, but a case of this will be found in the arms of Spry.

A chevron "rompu" or broken is depicted as in Fig. 142.

Fig. 139.

Fig. 139.—Armorial bearings of Rodolph Ladeveze Adlercron, Esq.: Quarterly, 1 and 4, argent, an eagle displayed, wings inverted sable, langued gules, membered and ducally crowned or (for Adlercron): 2 and 3, argent, a chevron in point embowed between in chief two mullets and in base a lion rampant all gules (for Trapaud). Mantling sable and argent. Crest: on a wreath of the colours, a demi-eagle displayed sable, langued gules, ducally crowned or, the dexter wing per fess argent and azure, the sinister per fess of the last and or. Motto: "Quo fata vocant."


The pile (Fig. 143) is a triangular wedge usually (and unless otherwise specified) issuing from the chief. The pile is subject to the usual lines of partition (Figs. 144-151).

The early representation of the pile (when coats of arms had no secondary charges and were nice and simple) made the point nearly reach to the base of the escutcheon, and as a consequence it naturally was not so wide. It is now usually drawn so that its upper edge occupies very nearly the whole of the top line of the escutcheon; but {125}the angles and proportions of the pile are very much at the discretion of the artist, and governed by the charges which need to be introduced in the field of the escutcheon or upon the pile.

Fig. 140.

Fig. 140.—Chevronels.

Fig. 141.

Fig. 141.—Chevronels braced.

Fig. 142.

Fig. 142.—Chevron rompu.

Fig. 143.

Fig. 143.—Pile.

Fig. 144.

Fig. 144.—Pile engrailed.

Fig. 145.

Fig. 145.—Pile invecked.

Fig. 146.

Fig. 146.—Pile embattled.

Fig. 147.

Fig. 147.—Pile indented.

Fig. 148.

Fig. 148.—Pile wavy.

A single pile may issue from any point of the escutcheon except the base; the arms of Darbishire showing a pile issuing from the dexter chief point.

A single pile cannot issue in base if it be unaccompanied by other piles, as the field would then be blazoned per chevron.

Two piles issuing in chief will be found in the arms of Holles, Earl of Clare.

When three piles, instead of pointing directly at right angles to the line of the chief, all point to the same point, touching or nearly touching {126}at the tips, as in the arms of the Earl of Huntingdon and Chester or in the arms of Isham,[9] they are described as three piles in point. This term and its differentiation probably are modern refinements, as with the early long-pointed shield any other position was impossible. The arms of Henderson show three piles issuing from the sinister side of the escutcheon.

A disposition of three piles which will very frequently be found in modern British heraldry is two issuing in chief and one in base (Fig. 152).

Piles terminating in fleurs-de-lis or crosses patée are to be met with, and reference may be made to the arms of Poynter and Dickson-Poynder. Each of these coats has the field pily counter-pily, the points ending in crosses formée.

Fig. 149.

Fig. 149.—Pile nebuly.

Fig. 150.

Fig. 150.—Pile raguly.

Fig. 151.

Fig. 151.—Pile dovetailed.

An unusual instance of a pile in which it issues from a chevron will be found in the arms of Wright, which are: "Sable, on a chevron argent, three spear-heads gules, in chief two unicorns' heads erased argent, armed and maned or, in base on a pile of the last, issuant from the chevron, a unicorn's head erased of the field."


The pall, pairle, or shakefork (Fig. 153), is almost unknown in English heraldry, but in Scotland its constant occurrence in the arms of the Cunninghame and allied families has given it a recognised position among the ordinaries.

As usually borne by the Cunninghame family the ends are couped and pointed, but in some cases it is borne throughout.

The pall in its proper ecclesiastical form appears in the arms of the Archiepiscopal Sees of Canterbury, Armagh, and Dublin. Though {127}in these cases the pall or pallium (Fig. 154), is now considered to have no other heraldic status than that of an appropriately ecclesiastical charge upon an official coat of arms, there can be very little doubt that originally the pall of itself was the heraldic symbol in this country of an archbishop, and borne for that reason by all archbishops, including the Archbishop of York, although his official archiepiscopal coat is now changed to: "Gules, two keys in saltire argent, in chief a royal crown or."

Fig. 152.

Fig. 152.—Three piles, two in chief and one in base.

Fig. 153.

Fig. 153.—Shakefork.

Fig. 154.

Fig. 154.—Ecclesiastical pallium.

Fig. 155.

Fig. 155.—Cross.

Fig. 156.

Fig. 156.—Cross engrailed.

Fig. 157.

Fig. 157.—Cross invecked.

The necessity of displaying this device of rank—the pallium—upon a field of some tincture has led to its corruption into a usual and stereotyped "charge."


The heraldic cross (Fig. 155), the huge preponderance of which in armory we of course owe to the Crusades, like all other armorial charges, has strangely developed. There are nearly four hundred varieties known to armory, or rather to heraldic text-books, and doubtless authenticated examples could be found of most if not of them all. But some dozen or twenty forms are about as many as will be found regularly or constantly occurring. Some but not all of the varieties of the cross are subject to the lines of partition (Figs. 156-161). {128}

When the heraldic cross was first assumed with any reason beyond geometrical convenience, there can be no doubt that it was intended to represent the Sacred Cross itself. The symbolism of the cross is older than our present system of armory, but the cross itself is more ancient than its symbolism. A cross depicted upon the long, pointed shields of those who fought for the Cross would be of that shape, with the elongated arm in base.

Fig. 158.

Fig. 158.—Cross embattled.

Fig. 159.

Fig. 159.—Cross indented.

Fig. 160.

Fig. 160.—Cross raguly.

Fig. 161.

Fig. 161.—Cross dovetailed.

Fig. 162.

Fig. 162.—Passion Cross.

Fig. 163.

Fig. 163.—Cross Calvary.

But the contemporary shortening of the shield, together with the introduction of charges in its angles, led naturally to the arms of the cross being so disposed that the parts of the field left visible were as nearly as possible equal. The Sacred Cross, therefore, in heraldry is now known as a "Passion Cross" (Fig. 162) (or sometimes as a "long cross"), or, if upon steps or "grieces," the number of which needs to be specified, as a "Cross Calvary" (Fig. 163). The crucifix (Fig. 164), under that description is sometimes met with as a charge.

The ordinary heraldic cross (Fig. 155) is always continued throughout the shield unless stated to be couped (Fig. 165).

Of the crosses more regularly in use may be mentioned the cross botonny (Fig. 166), the cross flory (Fig. 167), which must be distinguished from the cross fleuretté (Fig. 168); the cross moline, {129}(Fig. 169), the cross potent (Fig. 170), the cross patée or formée (Fig. 171), the cross patonce (Fig. 172), and the cross crosslet (Fig. 173).

Plate III.
Fig. 164.

Fig. 164.—Crucifix.

Fig. 165.

Fig. 165.—Cross couped.

Fig. 166.

Fig. 166.—Cross botonny.

Fig. 167.

Fig. 167.—Cross flory.

Fig. 168.

Fig. 168.—Cross fleuretté.

Fig. 169.

Fig. 169.—Cross moline.

Fig. 170.

Fig. 170.—Cross potent.

Fig. 171.

Fig. 171.—Cross patée (or formée).

Fig. 172.

Fig. 172.—Cross patonce.

Of other but much more uncommon varieties examples will be found of the cross parted and fretty (Fig. 174), of the cross patée quadrate (Fig. 175), of a cross pointed and voided in the arms of Dukinfield (quartered by Darbishire), and of a cross cleché voided and pometté as in the arms of Cawston. A cross quarter-pierced (Fig. 176) has the field visible at the centre. A cross tau or St. Anthony's Cross is shown in Fig. 177, the real Maltese Cross in Fig. 178, and the Patriarchal Cross in Fig. 179. {130}

Whenever a cross or cross crosslet has the bottom arm elongated and pointed it is said to be "fitched" (Figs. 180 and 181), but when a point is added at the foot e.g. of a cross patée, it is then termed "fitchée at the foot" (Fig. 182).

Fig. 173.

Fig. 173.—Cross crosslet.

Fig. 174.

Fig. 174.—Cross parted and fretty.

Fig. 175.

Fig. 175.—Cross patée quadrate.

Fig. 176.

Fig. 176.—Cross quarter-pierced.

Fig. 177.

Fig. 177.—Cross Tau.

Fig. 178.

Fig. 178.—Maltese Cross.

Fig. 179.

Fig. 179.—Patriarchal Cross.

Fig. 180.

Fig. 180.—Cross crosslet fitched.

Fig. 181.

Fig. 181.—Cross patée fitched.

Of the hundreds of other varieties it may confidently be said that a large proportion originated in misunderstandings of the crude drawings of early armorists, added to the varying and alternating descriptions applied at a more pliable and fluent period of heraldic blazon. A striking illustration of this will be found in the cross botonny, which is now, and has been for a long time past, regularised with us as a distinct variety of {131}constant occurrence. From early illustrations there is now no doubt that this was the original form, or one of the earliest forms, of the cross crosslet. It is foolish to ignore these varieties, reducing all crosses to a few original forms, for they are now mostly stereotyped and accepted; but at the same time it is useless to attempt to learn them, for in a lifetime they will mostly be met with but once each or thereabouts. A field semé of cross crosslets (Fig. 183) is termed crusilly.

Fig. 182.

Fig. 182.—Cross patée fitched at foot.

Fig. 183.

Fig. 183.—Crusilly.

Fig. 184.

Fig. 184.—Saltire.

Fig. 185.

Fig. 185.—Saltire engrailed.

Fig. 186.

Fig. 186.—Saltire invecked.

Fig. 187.

Fig. 187.—Saltire embattled.


The saltire or saltier (Fig. 184) is more frequently to be met with in Scottish than in English heraldry. This is not surprising, inasmuch as the saltire is known as the Cross of St. Andrew, the Patron Saint of Scotland. Its form is too well known to need description. It is of course subject to the usual partition lines (Figs. 185-192).

When a saltire is charged the charges are usually placed conformably therewith.

The field of a coat of arms is often per saltire.

When one saltire couped is the principal charge it will usually be {132}found that it is couped conformably to the outline of the shield; but if the couped saltire be one of a number or a subsidiary charge it will be found couped by horizontal lines, or by lines at right angles. The saltire has not developed into so many varieties of form as the cross, and (e.g.) a saltire botonny is assumed to be a cross botonny placed saltireways, but a saltire parted and fretty is to be met with (Fig. 193).


The chief (Fig. 194), which is a broad band across the top of the shield containing (theoretically, but not in fact) the uppermost third of the area of the field, is a very favourite ordinary. It is of course subject to the variations of the usual partition lines (Figs. 195-203). It is usually drawn to contain about one-fifth of the area of the field, though in cases where it is used for a landscape augmentation it will usually be found of a rather greater area.

Fig. 188.

Fig. 188.—Saltire indented.

Fig. 189.

Fig. 189.—Saltire wavy.

Fig. 190.

Fig. 190.—Saltire nebuly.

Fig. 191.

Fig. 191.—Saltire raguly.

Fig. 192.

Fig. 192.—Saltire dovetailed.

Fig. 193.

Fig. 193.—Saltire parted and fretty.

The chief especially lent itself to the purposes of honourable augmentation, and is constantly found so employed. As such it will be referred to in the chapter upon augmentations, but a chief of this character may perhaps be here referred to with advantage, as this will {133}indicate the greater area often given to it under these conditions, as in the arms of Ross-of-Bladensburg (Plate II.).

Knights of the old Order of St. John of Jerusalem and also of the modern Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem in England display above their personal arms a chief of the order, but this will be dealt with more fully in the chapter relating to the insignia of knighthood.

Fig. 194.

Fig. 194.—Chief.

Fig. 195.

Fig. 195.—Chief engrailed.

Fig. 196.

Fig. 196.—Chief invecked.

Fig. 197.

Fig. 197.—Chief embattled.

Fig. 198.

Fig. 198.—Chief indented.

Fig. 199.

Fig. 199.—Chief dancetté.

Fig. 200.

Fig. 200.—Chief wavy.

Fig. 201.

Fig. 201.—Chief nebuly.

Fig. 202.

Fig. 202.—Chief raguly.

Save in exceptional circumstances, the chief is never debruised or surmounted by any ordinary.

The chief is ordinarily superimposed over the tressure and over the bordure, partly defacing them by the elimination of the upper {134}part thereof. This happens with the bordure when it is a part of the original coat of arms. If, however, the chief were in existence at an earlier period and the bordure is added later as a mark of difference, the bordure surrounds the chief. On the other hand, if a bordure exists, even as a mark of difference, and a chief of augmentation is subsequently added, or a canton for distinction, the chief or the canton in these cases would surmount the bordure.

Similarly a bend when added later as a mark of difference surmounts the chief. Such a case is very unusual, as the use of the bend for differencing has long been obsolete.

Fig. 203.

Fig. 203.—Chief dovetailed.

Fig. 204.

Fig. 204.—Arms of Peter de Dreux, Earl of Richmond (c. 1230): Chequy or and azure, a quarter ermine. (From his seal.)

Fig. 205.

Fig. 205.—Arms of De Vere, Earls of Oxford: Quarterly gules and or, in the first quarter a mullet argent.

A chief is never couped or cottised, and it has no diminutive in British armory.


The quarter is not often met with in English armory, the best-known instance being the well-known coat of Shirley, Earl Ferrers, viz: Paly of six or and azure, a quarter ermine. The arms of the Earls of Richmond (Fig. 204) supply another instance. Of course as a division of the field under the blazon of "quarterly" (e.g. or and azure) it is constantly to be met with, but a single quarter is rare.

Originally a single quarter was drawn to contain the full fourth part of the shield, but with the more modern tendency to reduce the size of all charges, its area has been somewhat diminished. Whilst a quarter will only be found within a plain partition line, a field divided quarterly (occasionally, but I think hardly so correctly, termed "per cross") is not so limited. Examples of quarterly fields will be found in the historic shield of De Vere (Fig. 205) and De Mandeville. An irregular partition line is often introduced in a new grant to conjoin quarterings {135}borne without authority into one single coat. The diminutive of the quarter is the canton (Fig. 206), and the diminutive of that the chequer of a chequy field (Fig. 207).

Fig. 206.

Fig. 206.—Canton.

The canton is supposed to occupy one-third of the chief, and that being supposed to occupy one-third of the field, a simple arithmetical sum gives us one-ninth of the field as the theoretical area of the canton. Curiously enough, the canton to a certain extent gives us a confirmation of these ancient proportions, inasmuch as all ancient drawings containing both a fess and a canton depict these conjoined. This will be seen in the Garter plate of Earl Rivers. In modern days, however, it is very seldom that the canton will be depicted of such a size, though in cases where, as in the arms of Boothby, it forms the only charge, it is even nowadays drawn to closely approximate to its theoretical area of one-ninth of the field. It may be remarked here perhaps that, owing to the fact that there are but few instances in which the quarter or the canton have been used as the sole or principal charge, a coat of arms in which these are employed would be granted with fewer of the modern bedevilments than would a coat with a chevron for example. I know of no instance in modern times in which a quarter, when figuring as a charge, or a canton have been subject to the usual lines of partition.

The canton (with the single exception of the bordure, when used as a mark of cadency or distinction) is superimposed over every other charge or ordinary, no matter what this may be. Theoretically the canton is supposed to be always a later addition to the coat, and even though a charge may be altogether hidden or "absconded" by the canton, the charge is always presumed to be there, and is mentioned in the blazon.

Fig. 207.

Fig. 207.—Chequy.

Both a cross and a saltire are sometimes described as "cantonned" by such-and-such charges, when they are placed in the blank spaces left by these ordinaries. In addition, the spaces left by a cross (but not by a saltire) are frequently spoken of e.g. as the dexter chief canton or the sinister base canton. {136}

The canton is frequently used to carry an augmentation, and these cantons of augmentation will be referred to under that heading, though it may be here stated that a "canton of England" is a canton gules, charged with three lions passant guardant or, as in the arms of Lane (Plate II.).

The canton, unless it is an original charge, need not conform to the rule forbidding colour on colour, or metal on metal; otherwise the canton of Ulster would often be an impossibility.

The canton, with rare exceptions, is always placed in the dexter chief corner. The canton of augmentation in the arms of Clerke, Bart.—"Argent, on a bend gules, between three pellets as many swans of the field; on a sinister canton azure, a demi-ram salient of the first, and in chief two fleurs-de-lis or, debruised by a baton"—is, however, a sinister one, as is the canton upon the arms of Charlton. In this latter case the sinister canton is used to signify illegitimacy. This will be more fully dealt with in the chapter upon marks of illegitimacy.

A curious use of the canton for the purposes of marshalling occurs in the case of a woman who, being an heiress herself, has a daughter or daughters only, whilst her husband has sons and heirs by another marriage. In such an event, the daughter being heir (or in the case of daughters these being coheirs) of the mother, but not heir of the father, cannot transmit as quarterings the arms of the father whom she does not represent, whilst she ought to transmit the arms of the mother whom she does represent. The husband of the daughter, therefore, places upon an escutcheon of pretence the arms of her mother, with those of her father on a canton thereupon. The children of the marriage quarter this combined coat, the arms of the father always remaining upon a canton. This will be more fully dealt with under the subject of marshalling.

The canton has yet another use as a "mark of distinction." When, under a Royal Licence, the name and arms of a family are assumed where there is no blood descent from the family, the arms have some mark of distinction added. This is usually a plain canton. This point will be treated more fully under "Marks of Cadency."

Woodward mentions three instances in which the lower edge of the canton is "indented," one taken from the Calais Roll, viz. the arms of Sir William de la Zouche—"Gules, bezantée, a canton indented at the bottom"—and adds that the canton has been sometimes thought to indicate the square banner of a knight-baronet, and he suggests that the lower edge being indented may give some weight to the idea. As the canton does not appear to have either previously or subsequently formed any part of the arms of Zouche, it is possible that in this instance some {137}such meaning may have been intended, but it can have no such application generally.

The "Canton of Ulster"—i.e. "Argent, a sinister hand couped at the wrist gules"—is the badge of a baronet of England, Ireland, Great Britain, or the United Kingdom. This badge may be borne upon a canton, dexter or sinister, or upon an inescutcheon, at the pleasure of the wearer. There is some little authority and more precedent for similarly treating the badge of a Nova Scotian Baronet, but as such Baronets wear their badges it is more usually depicted below the shield, depending by the orange tawny ribbon of their order.

Fig. 208.

Fig. 208.—Gyronny.

As a charge, the gyron (sometimes termed an esquire) is very seldom found, but as a subdivision of the field, a coat "gyronny" (Fig. 208) is constantly met with, all arms for the name of Campbell being gyronny. Save in rare cases, a field gyronny is divided quarterly and then per saltire, making eight divisions, but it may be gyronny of six, ten, twelve, or more pieces, though such cases are seldom met with and always need to be specified. The arms of Campbell of Succoth are gyronny of eight engrailed, a most unusual circumstance. I know of no other instance of the use of lines of partition in a gyronny field. The arms of Lanyon afford an example of the gyron as a charge, as does also the well-known shield of Mortimer (Fig. 209).

Fig. 209.

Fig. 209.—The arms of Roger Mortimer, Earl of March and Ulster (d. 1398): Quarterly, 1 and 4, azure, three bars or (sometimes but not so correctly quoted barry of six), on a chief of the first two pallets between two base esquires of the second, over all an inescutcheon argent (for Mortimer); 2 and 3, or, a cross gules (for Ulster). (From his seal.)


The inescutcheon is a shield appearing as a charge upon the coat of arms. Certain writers state that it is termed an inescutcheon if only one appears as the charge, but that when more than one is present they are merely termed escutcheons. This is an unnecessary refinement not officially recognised or adhered to, though unconsciously one often is led to make this distinction, which seems to spring naturally to one's mind. {138}

When one inescutcheon appears, it is sometimes difficult to tell whether to blazon the arms as charged with a bordure or an inescutcheon. Some coats of arms, for example the arms of Molesworth, will always remain more or less a matter of uncertainty.

But as a matter of fact a bordure should not be wide enough to fill up the field left by an inescutcheon, nor an inescutcheon large enough to occupy the field left by a bordure.

The inescutcheon in German armory (or, as they term it, the heart escutcheon), when superimposed upon other quarterings, is usually the paternal or most important coat of arms. The same method of marshalling has sometimes been adopted in Scotland, and the arms of Hay are an instance. It usually in British heraldry is used to carry the arms of an heiress wife, but both these points will be dealt with later under the subject of marshalling. The inescutcheon, no matter what its position, should never be termed an escutcheon of pretence if it forms a charge upon the original arms. A curious instance of the use of an inescutcheon will be found in the arms of Gordon-Cumming (Plate III.).

When an inescutcheon appears on a shield it should conform in its outline to the shape of the shield upon which it is placed.


The bordure (Fig. 210) occurs both as a charge and as a mark of difference. As may be presumed from its likeness to our word border, the bordure is simply a border round the shield. Except in modern grants in which the bordure forms a part of the original design of the arms, there can be very little doubt that the bordure has always been a mark of difference to indicate either cadency or bastardy, but its stereotyped continuance without further alteration in so many coats of arms in which it originally was introduced as a difference, and also its appearance in new grants, leave one no alternative but to treat of it in the ordinary way as a charge, leaving the consideration of it as a mark of difference to a future chapter.

There is no stereotyped or official size for the bordure, the width of which has at all times varied, though it will almost invariably be found that a Scottish bordure is depicted rather wider than is an English one; and naturally a bordure which is charged is a little wider than an entirely plain one. The bordure of course is subject to {139}all the lines of partition (Figs. 211-218). Bordures may also be per fesse, per pale (Fig. 219), quarterly (Fig. 220), gyronny (Fig. 221), or tierced in pairle (Fig. 222), &c.

Fig. 210.

Fig. 210.—Bordure.

Fig. 211.

Fig. 211.—Bordure engrailed.

Fig. 212.

Fig. 212.—Bordure invecked.

Fig. 213.

Fig. 213.—Bordure embattled.

Fig. 214.

Fig. 214.—Bordure indented.

Fig. 215.

Fig. 215.—Bordure wavy.

Fig. 216.

Fig. 216.—Bordure nebuly.

Fig. 217.

Fig. 217.—Bordure dovetailed.

Fig. 218.

Fig. 218.—Bordure potenté.

Fig. 219.

Fig. 219.—Bordure per pale.

The bordure has long since ceased to be a mark of cadency in England, but as a mark of distinction the bordure wavy (Fig. 215) is still used to indicate bastardy. A bordure of England was granted by Royal warrant as an augmentation to H.M. Queen Victoria Eugenie of Spain, on the occasion of her marriage. The use of the bordure is, however, the recognised method of differencing in Scotland, but it is curious that with the Scots the bordure wavy is in no way a mark of illegitimacy. The Scottish bordure for indicating this fact is {140}the bordure compony (Fig. 223), which has been used occasionally for the same purpose in England, but the bordures added to indicate cadency and the various marks to indicate illegitimacy will be discussed in later chapters. The difference should here be observed between the bordure compony (Fig. 223), which means illegitimacy; the bordure counter compony (Fig. 224), which may or may not have that meaning; and the bordure chequy (Fig. 225), which certainly has no relation to bastardy. In the two former the panes run with the shield, in the latter the chequers do not. Whilst the bordure as a mark of cadency or illegitimacy surrounds the whole shield, being superimposed upon even the chief and canton, a bordure when merely a charge gives way to both.

Fig. 220.

Fig. 220.—Bordure quarterly.

Fig. 221.

Fig. 221.—Bordure gyronny.

Fig. 222.

Fig. 222.—Bordure tierced in pairle.

Fig. 223.

Fig. 223.—Bordure compony.

Fig. 224.

Fig. 224.—Bordure counter compony.

Fig. 225.

Fig. 225.—Bordure chequy.

A certain rule regarding the bordure is the sole remaining instance in modern heraldry of the formerly recognised practice of conjoining two coats of arms (which it might be necessary to marshal together) by "dimidiation" instead of using our present-day method of impalement. To dimidiate two coats of arms, the dexter half of one shield was conjoined to the sinister half of the other. The objections to such a practice, however, soon made themselves apparent (e.g. a dimidiated chevron was scarcely distinguishable from a bend), and the "dimidiation" of arms was quickly abandoned in favour of {141}"impalement," in which the entire designs of both coats of arms are depicted. But in impaling a coat of arms which is surrounded by a bordure, the bordure is not continued down the centre between the two coats, but stops short top and bottom at the palar line. The same rule, by the way, applies to the tressure, but not to the orle. The curious fact, however, remains that this rule as to the dimidiation of the bordure in cases of impalement is often found to have been ignored in ancient seals and other examples. The charges upon the bordure are often three, but more usually eight in number, in the latter case being arranged three along the top of the shield, one at the base point, and two on either side. The number should, however, always be specified, unless (as in a bordure bezantée, &c.) it is immaterial; in which case the number eight must be exceeded in emblazoning the shield. The rule as to colour upon colour does not hold and seems often to be ignored in the cases of bordures, noticeably when these occur as marks of Scottish cadency.


The orle (Fig. 226), or, as it was originally termed in ancient British rolls of arms, "un faux ecusson," is a narrow bordure following the exact outline of the shield, but within it, showing the field (for at least the width usually occupied by a bordure) between the outer edge of the orle and the edge of the escutcheon. An orle is about half the width of a bordure, rather less than more, but the proportion is never very exactly maintained. The difference may be noted between this figure and the next (Fig. 227), which shows an inescutcheon within a bordure.

Fig. 226.

Fig. 226.—Orle.

Fig. 227.

Fig. 227.—An inescutcheon within a bordure.

Though both forms are very seldom so met with, an orle may be subject to the usual lines of partition, and may also be charged. Examples of both these variations are met with in the arms of Yeatman-Biggs, and the arms of Gladstone afford an instance of an orle "flory." The arms of Knox, Earl of Ranfurly, are: Gules, a falcon volant or, within an orle wavy on the outer and engrailed on the inner edge argent.

When a series of charges are placed round the edges of the {142}escutcheon (theoretically in the position occupied by the orle, but as a matter of actual fact usually more in the position occupied by the bordure), they are said to be "in orle," which is the correct term, but they will often be found blazoned "an orle of (e.g.) martlets or mounds."


The tressure is really an orle gemel, i.e. an orle divided into two narrow ones set closely together, the one inside the other. It is, however, usually depicted a trifle nearer the edge of the escutcheon than the orle is generally placed.

The tressure cannot be borne singly, as it would then be an orle, but plain tressures under the name of "concentric orles" will be found mentioned in Papworth. In that Ordinary eight instances are given of arms containing more than a single orle, though the eight instances are plainly varieties of only four coats. Two concentric orles would certainly be a tressure, save that perhaps they would be drawn of rather too great a width for the term "tressure" to be properly applied to them.

Fig. 228.

Fig. 228.—Tressure flory and counter-flory.

If these instances be disregarded, and I am inclined to doubt them as genuine coats, there certainly is no example of a plain tressure in British heraldry, and one's attention must be directed to the tressure flory and counterflory (Fig. 228), so general in Scottish heraldry.

Originating entirely in the Royal escutcheon, one cannot do better than reproduce the remarks of Lyon King of Arms upon the subject from his work "Heraldry in relation to Scottish History and Art":—

"William the Lion has popularly got the credit of being the first to introduce heraldic bearings into Scotland, and to have assumed the lion as his personal cognisance. The latter statement may or may not be true, but we have no trace of hereditary arms in Scotland so early as his reign (1165-1214). Certainly the lion does not appear on his seal, but it does on that of his son and successor Alexander II., with apparent remains of the double tressure flory counterflory, a device which is clearly seen on the seals of Alexander III. (1249-1285). We are unable to say what the reason was for the adoption of such a distinctive coat; of course, if you turn to the older writers you will find all sorts of fables on the subject. Even the sober and sensible Nisbet states that 'the lion has been carried on the armorial ensign of {143}Scotland since the first founding of the monarchy by King Fergus I.'—a very mythical personage, who is said to have flourished about 300 B.C., though he is careful to say that he does not believe arms are as old as that period. He says, however, that it is 'without doubt' that Charlemagne entered into an alliance with Achaius, King of Scotland, and for the services of the Scots the French king added to the Scottish lion the double tressure fleur-de-lisée to show that the former had defended the French lilies, and that therefore the latter would surround the lion and be a defence to him."

All this is very pretty, but it is not history. Chalmers remarks in his "Caledonia" that the lion may possibly have been derived from the arms of the old Earls of Northumberland and Huntingdon, from whom some of the Scottish kings were descended; and he mentions an old roll of arms preserved by Leland,[10] which is certainly not later than 1272, in which the arms of Scotland are blazoned as: Or, a lion gules within a bordure or fleuretté gules, which we may reasonably interpret as an early indication of what may be considered as a foreign rendering of the double tressure. Sylvanus Morgan, one of the very maddest of the seventeenth-century heraldic writers, says that the tressure was added to the shield of Scotland, in testimony of a league between Scotland and France, by Charles V.; but that king did not ascend the throne of France till 1364, at which time we have clear proof that the tressure was a firmly established part of the Scottish arms. One of the earliest instances of anything approaching the tressure in the Scottish arms which I have met with is in an armorial of Matthew Paris, which is now in the Cottonian MSS. in the British Museum, and at one time belonged to St. Alban's Monastery. Here the arms of the King of Scotland are given as: "Or, a lion rampant flory gules in a bordure of the same." The drawing represents a lion within a bordure, the latter being pierced by ten fleurs-de-lis, their heads all looking inwards, the other end not being free, but attached to the inner margin of the shield. This, you will observe, is very like the arms I mentioned as described by Chalmers, and it may possibly be the same volume which may have been acquired by Sir Robert Cotton. In 1471 there was a curious attempt of the Scottish Parliament to displace the tressure. An Act was passed in that year, for some hitherto unexplained reason, by which it was ordained "that in tyme to cum thar suld be na double tresor about his (the king's) armys, but that he suld ber hale armys of the lyoun without ony mair." Seeing that at the time of this enactment the Scottish kings had borne the tressure for upwards of 220 years, it is difficult to understand the cause of this procedure. Like many other Acts, however, it never seems to have {144}been carried into effect; at least I am not aware of even a solitary instance of the Scottish arms without the tressure either at or after this period.

There are other two representations of the Scottish arms in foreign armorials, to which I may briefly allude. One is in the Armorial de Gelre, a beautiful MS. in the Royal Library at Brussels, the Scottish shields in which have been figured by Mr. Stodart in his book on Scottish arms, and, more accurately, by Sir Archibald Dunbar in a paper read to the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland in 1890. The armorial is believed to be the work of Claes Heynen, Gelre Herald to the Duke of Gueldres between 1334 and 1372, with later additions by another hand. The coat assigned in it to the King of Scotland is the lion and double tressure; the lion is uncrowned, and is armed and langued azure; above the shield is a helmet argent adorned behind with a short capelin or plain mantling, on which is emblazoned the saltire and chief of the Bruces, from which we may gather that the arms of David II. are here represented; the lining is blue, which is unusual, as mantlings are usually lined or doubled with a metal, if not with ermine. The helmet is surmounted by an Imperial crown, with a dark green bonnet spotted with red.[11] On the crown there is the crest of a lion sejant guardant gules, imperially crowned or, holding in his paw a sword upright; the tail is coué or placed between the hind-legs of the lion, but it then rises up and flourishes high above his back in a sufficiently defiant fashion. This shows that the Scottish arms were well known on the Continent of Europe nearly a hundred years before the date of the Grunenberg MS., while Virgil de Solis (c. 1555) gives a sufficiently accurate representation of the Royal shield, though the fleur-de-lis all project outwards as in the case of Grunenberg; he gives the crest as a lion rampant holding a sword in bend over his shoulder. Another ancient representation of the Scottish arms occurs in a MS. treatise on heraldry of the sixteenth century, containing the coats of some foreign sovereigns and other personages, bound up with a Scottish armorial, probably by David Lindsay, Lyon in 1568.

The tressure, like the bordure, in the case of an impalement stops at the line of impalement, as will be seen by a reference to the arms of Queen Anne after the union of the crowns of England and Scotland.

It is now held, both in England and Scotland, that the tressure flory and counterflory is, as a part of the Royal Arms, protected, and cannot be granted to any person without the express licence of the {145}Sovereign. This, however, does not interfere with the matriculation or exemplification of it in the case of existing arms in which it occurs.

Many Scottish families bear or claim to bear the Royal tressure by reason of female descent from the Royal House, but it would seem much more probable that in most if not in all cases where it is so borne by right its origin is due rather to a gift by way of augmentation than to any supposed right of inheritance. The apparently conflicting statements of origin are not really antagonistic, inasmuch as it will be seen from many analogous English instances (e.g. Mowbray, Manners, and Seymour) that near relationship is often the only reason to account for the grant of a Royal augmentation. As an ordinary augmentation of honour it has been frequently granted.

The towns of Aberdeen and Perth obtained early the right of honouring their arms with the addition of the Royal tressure. It appears on the still existing matrix of the burgh seal of Aberdeen, which was engraved in 1430.

James V. in 1542 granted a warrant to Lyon to surround the arms of John Scot, of Thirlestane, with the Royal tressure, in respect of his ready services at Soutra Edge with three score and ten lances on horseback, when other nobles refused to follow their Sovereign. The grant was put on record by the grantee's descendant, Patrick, Lord Napier, and is the tressured coat borne in the second and third quarters of the Napier arms.

When the Royal tressure is granted to the bearer of a quartered coat it is usually placed upon a bordure surrounding the quartered shield, as in the case of the arms of the Marquess of Queensberry, to whom, in 1682, the Royal tressure was granted upon a bordure or. A like arrangement is borne by the Earls of Eglinton, occurring as far back as a seal of Earl Hugh, appended to a charter of 1598.

The Royal tressure had at least twice been granted as an augmentation to the arms of foreigners. James V. granted it to Nicolas Canivet of Dieppe, secretary to John, Duke of Albany (Reg. Mag. Sig., xxiv. 263, Oct. 24, 1529). James VI. gave it to Sir Jacob Van Eiden, a Dutchman on whom he conferred the honour of knighthood.

On 12th March 1762, a Royal Warrant was granted directing Lyon to add a "double tressure counterflowered as in the Royal arms of Scotland" to the arms of Archibald, Viscount Primrose. Here the tressure was gules, as in the Royal arms, although the field on which it was placed was vert. In a later record of the arms of Archibald, Earl of Rosebery, in 1823, this heraldic anomaly was brought to an end, and the blazon of the arms of Primrose is now: "Vert, three primroses within a double tressure flory counterflory or." (See Stodart, "Scottish Arms," vol. i. pp. 262, 263, where mention is also made of an older {146}use of the Royal tressure or, by "Archbald Primrose of Dalmenie, Knight and baronet, be his majesty Charles ii. create, Vert, three primroses within a double tressure flowered counter-flowered or.") Another well-known Scottish instance in which the tressure occurs will be found in the arms of the Marquess of Ailsa (Fig. 229).

Two instances are known in which the decoration of the tressure has differed from the usual conventional fleurs-de-lis. The tressure granted to Charles, Earl of Aboyne, has crescents without and demi-fleurs-de-lis within, and the tressure round the Gordon arms in the case of the Earls of Aberdeen is of thistles, roses, and fleurs-de-lis alternately.

The tressure gives way to the chief and canton, but all other ordinaries are enclosed by the tressure, as will be seen from the arms of Lord Ailsa.

Fig. 229.

Fig. 229.—Armorial bearings of Sir Archibald Kennedy, Marquess of Ailsa: Argent, a chevron gules between three cross crosslets fitchée sable, all within a double tressure flory and counter-flory of the second. Mantling gules, doubled ermine. Crest: upon a wreath of his liveries, a dolphin naiant proper. Supporters: two swans proper, beaked and membered gules. Motto: "Avise la fin." (From the painting by Mr. Graham Johnston in the Lyon Register.)


Why these, which are simply varying forms of one charge, should ever have been included amongst the list of ordinaries is difficult to understand, as they do not seem to be "ordinaries" any more than say the mullet or the crescent. My own opinion is that they are no more than distinctively heraldic charges. The lozenge (Fig. 230), which is the original form, is the same shape as the "diamond" in a pack of cards, and will constantly be found as a charge. In addition to this, the arms of a lady as maid, or as widow, are always displayed upon a lozenge. Upon this point reference should be made to the chapters upon marshalling. The arms of Kyrke show a single lozenge as the charge, but a single lozenge is very rarely met with. The arms of Guise show seven lozenges conjoined. The arms of Barnes show four lozenges conjoined in cross, and the arms of Bartlett show five lozenges conjoined in fess. Although the lozenge is very seldom found in English armory as a single charge, nevertheless as a lozenge throughout (that is, with its four points touching the borders of the escutcheon) it will be found in some number of instances in Continental heraldry, for instance in the family of Eubing of Bavaria. An indefinite number of lozenges conjoined as a bend or a pale are known as a bend lozengy, or a pale lozengy, but care should be taken in using this term, as it is possible for these ordinaries to be plain {147}ordinaries tinctured "lozengy of two colours." The arms of Bolding are an example of a bend lozengy.

The fusil is supposed to be, and is generally depicted, of a greater height and less width than a lozenge, being an altogether narrower figure (Fig. 231). Though this distinction is generally observed, it is not always easy to decide which figure any emblazonment is intended to represent, unless the blazon of the arms in question is known. In many cases the variations of different coats of arms, to suit or to fit the varying shapes of shields, have resulted in the use of lozenges and fusils indifferently. Fusils occur in the historic arms of Daubeney, from which family Daubeney of Cote, near Bristol, is descended, being one of the few families who have an undoubted male descent from a companion of William the Conqueror. In the ordinary way five or more lozenges in fess would be fusils, as in the arms of Percy, Duke of Northumberland, who bears in the first quarter: Azure, five fusils conjoined in fess or. The charges in the arms of Montagu, though only three in number, are always termed fusils. But obviously in early times there could have been no distinction between the lozenge and the fusil.

Fig. 230.

Fig. 230.—Lozenge.

Fig. 231.

Fig. 231.—Fusil.

Fig. 232.

Fig. 232.—Mascle.

Fig. 233.

Fig. 233.—Rustre.

The mascle is a lozenge voided, i.e. only the outer framework is left, the inner portion being removed (Fig. 232). Mascles have no particular or special meaning, but are frequently to be met with.

The blazon of the arms of De Quincy in Charles's Roll is: "De goules poudré a fause losengez dor," and in another Roll (MS. Brit. Mus. 29,796) the arms are described: "De gules a set fauses lozenges de or" (Fig. 234). The great Seiher de Quincy, Earl of Winchester, father of Roger, bore quite different arms (Fig. 235). In 1472 Louis de Bruges, Lord of Gruthuyse, was created Earl of Winchester, having no relation to the De Quincy line. The arms of De Bruges, or rather of Gruthuyse, were very different, yet nevertheless, we find upon the Patent Roll (12 Edward IV. pt. 1, m. 11) a grant of the following arms: "Azure, dix mascles d'Or, enormé d'une canton de nostre propre Armes de Angleterre; cest a savoir de Gules a une Lipard passant d'Or, armée {148}d'Azure," to Louis, Earl of Winchester (Fig. 236). The recurrence of the mascles in the arms of the successive Earls of Winchester, whilst each had other family arms, and in the arms of Ferrers, whilst not being the original Ferrers coat, suggests the thought that there may be hidden some reference to a common saintly patronage which all enjoyed, or some territorial honour common to the three of which the knowledge no longer remains with us.

There are some number of coats which are said to have had a field masculy. Of course this is quite possible, and the difference between a field masculy and a field fretty is that in the latter the separate pieces of which it is composed interlace each other; but when the field is masculy it is all one fretwork surface, the field being visible through the voided apertures. Nevertheless it seems by no means certain that in every case in which the field masculy occurs it may not be found in other, and possibly earlier, examples as fretty. At any rate, very few such coats of arms are even supposed to exist. The arms of De Burgh (Fig. 237) are blazoned in the Grimaldi Roll: "Masclee de vêre and de goules," but whether the inference is that this blazon is wrong or that lozenge and mascle were identical terms I am not aware.

Fig. 234.

Fig. 234.—Arms of Roger de Quincy, Earl of Winchester (d. 1264): Gules, seven mascles conjoined, three, three and one or. (From his seal.)

Fig. 235.

Fig. 235.—Arms of Seiher de Quincy, Earl of Winchester (d. 1219): Or, a fess gules, a label of seven points azure. (From his seal.)

Fig. 236.

Fig. 236.—Arms of Louis de Bruges, Earl of Winchester (d. 1492.)

The rustre is comparatively rare (Fig. 233). It is a lozenge pierced in the centre with a circular hole. It occurs in the arms of J. D. G. Dalrymple, Esq., F.S.A. Some few coats of arms are mentioned in Papworth in which the rustre appears; for example the arms of Pery, which are: "Or, three rustres sable;" and Goodchief, which are: "Per fess or and sable, three rustres counterchanged;" but so seldom is the figure met with that it may be almost dropped out of consideration. How it ever reached the position of being considered one of the ordinaries has always been to me a profound mystery. {149}


The fret (Fig. 238), which is very frequently found occurring in British armory, is no doubt derived from earlier coats of arms, the whole field of which was covered by an interlacing of alternate bendlets and bendlets sinister, because many of the families who now bear a simple fret are found in earlier representations and in the early rolls of arms bearing coats which were fretty (Fig. 239). Instances of this kind will be found in the arms of Maltravers, Verdon, Tollemache, and other families.

Fig. 237.

Fig. 237.—Arms of Hubert de Burgh, Earl of Kent (d. 1243). (From his seal.)

Fig. 238.

Fig. 238.—The Fret.

Fig. 239.

Fig. 239.—Fretty.

Fig. 240.

Fig. 240.—Arms of John Fitz Alan, Earl of Arundel (d. 1435): Quarterly, 1 and 4, gules, a lion rampant or (for Fitz Alan); 2 and 3, sable, fretty or (for Maltravers). (From his seal, c. 1432.)

"Sable fretty or" was the original form of the arms of the ancient and historic family of Maltravers. At a later date the arms of Maltravers are found simply "sable, a fret or," but, like the arms of so many other families which we now find blazoned simply as charged with a fret, their original form was undoubtedly "fretty." They appear fretty as late as in the year 1421, which is the date at which the Garter plate of Sir William Arundel, K.G. (1395-1400), was set up in St. George's Chapel at Windsor. His arms as there displayed are in the first and fourth quarters, "gules, a lion rampant or," and in the second and third, "purpure fretty or" for Maltravers. Probably the seal of John Fitz Alan, Earl of Arundel (d. 1435), roughly marks the period, and shows the source of the confusion (Fig. 240). But it should be noted that Sir Richard Arundel, Lord Maltravers, bore at the siege of Rouen, in the year 1418, gules a lion rampant or, quarterly with "sable a fret or" (for Maltravers). This would seem to indicate {150}that those who treat the fret and fretty as interchangeable have good grounds for so doing. A Sir John Maltravers bore "sable fretty or" at the siege of Calais, and another Sir John Maltravers, a knight banneret, bore at the first Dunstable tournament "sable fretty or, a label of three points argent." As he is there described as Le Fitz, the label was probably a purely temporary mark of difference. In a roll of arms which is believed to belong to the latter part of the reign of Henry III., a Sir William Maltravers is credited with "sable fretty or, on a quarter argent, three lions passant in pale gules." The palpable origin of the fret or fretty in the case of the arms of Maltravers is simply the canting similarity between a traverse and the name Maltravers. Another case, which starting fretty has ended in a fret, occurs in the arms of the family of Harington. Sir John de Haverington, or Sir John de Harington, is found at the first Dunstable tournament in 1308 bearing "sable fretty argent," and this coat of arms variously differenced appears in some number of the other early rolls of arms. The Harington family, as may be seen from the current baronetages, now bear "sable a fret argent," but there can be little doubt that in this case the origin of the fretty is to be found in a representation of a herring-net.

The fret is usually depicted throughout when borne singly, and is then composed of a bendlet dexter and a bendlet sinister, interlaced in the centre by a mascle. Occasionally it will be found couped, but it is then, as a rule, only occupying the position of a subsidiary charge. A coat which is fretty is entirely covered by the interlacing bendlets and bendlets sinister, no mascles being introduced.

Fig. 241.

Fig. 241.—Flaunches.

The flaunch, which is never borne singly, and for which the additional names of "flasks" and "voiders" are sometimes found, is the segment of a circle of large diameter projecting into the field from either side of the escutcheon, of a different colour from the field. It is by no means an unusual charge to be met with, and, like the majority of other ordinaries, is subject to the usual lines of partition, but so subject is, however, of rather rare occurrence.

Planché, in his "Pursuivant of Arms," mentions the old idea, which is repeated by Woodward, "that the base son of a noble woman, if he doe gev armes, must give upon the same a surcoat, but unless you do {151}well mark such coat you may take it for a coat flanchette." The surcoat is much the same figure that would remain after flaunches had been taken from the field of a shield, with this exception, that the flaunches would be wider and the intervening space necessarily much narrower. In spite of the fact that this is supposed to be one of the recognised rules of armory, one instance only appears to be known of its employment, which, however, considering the circumstances, is not very much to be wondered at. One exceptional case surely cannot make a rule. I know of no modern case of a mother's coat bastardised—but I assume it would fall under the ordinary practice of the bordure wavy.


The roundle is a generic name which comprises all charges which are plain circular figures of colour or metal. Foreign heraldry merely terms them roundles of such and such a colour, but in England we have special terms for each tincture.

Fig. 242.

Fig. 242.—Fountain.

Fig. 243.

Fig. 243.—The Arms of Stourton.

When the roundle is gold it is termed a "bezant," when silver a "plate," when gules a "torteau," when azure a "hurt," when sable an "ogress," "pellet," or "gunstone," when vert a "pomeis," when purpure a "golpe," when tenné an "orange," when sanguine a "guze." The golpes, oranges, and guzes are seldom, if ever, met with, but the others are of constant occurrence, and roundles of fur are by no means unknown. A roundle of more than one colour is described as a roundle "per pale," for example of gules and azure, or whatever it may be. The plates and bezants are naturally flat, and must be so represented. They should never be shaded up into a globular form. The torteau is sometimes found shaded, but is more correctly flat, but probably the pellet or ogress and the pomeis are intended to be globular. Roundles of fur are always flat. One curious roundle is a very common charge in British armory, that is, the "fountain," which is a roundle barry wavy argent and azure (Fig. 242). This is the conventional heraldic representation of water, of course. A fountain will be found termed a "syke" when occurring in the arms of any family of the name of Sykes. It {152}typifies naturally anything in the nature of a well, in which meaning it occurs on the arms of Stourton (Fig. 243).

The arms of Stourton are one of the few really ancient coats concerning which a genuine explanation exists. The blazon of them is: Sable a bend or, between six fountains proper. Concerning this coat of arms Aubrey says: "I believe anciently 'twas only Sable a bend or." With all deference to Aubrey, I personally neither think he was right, nor do I pay much attention to his opinions, particularly in this case, inasmuch as every known record of the Stourton arms introduces the six fountains. The name Stourton, originally "de Stourton," is emphatically a territorial name, and there is little opportunity for this being gainsaid, inasmuch as the lordship and manor of Stourton, in the counties of Wilts and Somerset, remained in the possession of the Lords Stourton until the year 1714. The present Lord Mowbray and Stourton still owns land within the parish. Consequently there is no doubt whatever that the Lords Stourton derived their surname from this manor of Stourton. Equally is it certain that the manor of Stourton obtained its name from the river Stour, which rises within the manor. The sources of the river Stour are six wells, which exist in a tiny valley in Stourton Park, which to this day is known by the name of "The Six Wells Bottom." In the present year of grace only one of the six wells remains visible. When Sir Richard Colt Hoare wrote, there were four visible. Of these four, three were outside and one inside the park wall. The other two within the park had been then closed up. When Leland wrote in 1540 to 1542, the six wells were in existence and visible; for he wrote: "The ryver of Stoure risith ther of six fountaynes or springes, whereof 3 be on the northe side of the Parke, harde withyn the Pale, the other 3 be north also, but withoute the Parke. The Lorde Stourton giveth these 6 fountaynes yn his Armes." Guillim says the same thing: "These six Fountains are borne in signification of six Springs, whereof the River of Sture in Wiltshire hath his beginning, and passeth along to Sturton, the seat of that Barony." Here, then, is the origin of the six fountains upon the coat of arms; but Aubrey remarks that three of the six springs in the park are in the county of Wilts, whereas Mr. Camden has put them all in Somersetshire. However, the fact is that three of the springs were inside the park and three outside, and that three were in Wiltshire and three in Somersetshire. Here, then, is to be found the division upon the coat of arms of the six fountains in the two sets of three each, and it is by no means an improbable suggestion that the bend which separates the three from the three is typical of, or was suggested by, either the park wall or pale, or by the line of division between the two counties, and the more probable of the two seems to {153}be the park wall. The coat of arms is just a map of the property. Now, with regard to the arms, as far as is known there has not been at any time the slightest deviation by the family of the Lords Stourton from the coat quoted and illustrated. But before leaving the subject it may be well to point out that in the few cases in which an ancient coat of arms carries with it an explanation, such explanation is usually to be found either in some such manner as that in which these arms of Stourton have been explained, or else in some palpable pun, and not in the mythical accounts and legends of supernatural occurrences which have been handed down, and seldom indeed in any explanation of personal nobility which the tinctures or charges are sometimes said to represent.

What is now considered quite a different charge from the fountain is the whirlpool or gurges, which is likewise intended to represent water, and is borne by a family of the name of Gorges, the design occupying the whole of the field. This is represented by a spiral line of azure commencing in the centre of an argent field, continuing round and round until the edges of the shield are reached; but there can be very little doubt that this was an early form of representing the watery roundle which happens to have been perpetuated in the instance of that one coat. The fountains upon the seal of the first Lord Stourton are represented in this manner.

Examples of a field semé of roundles are very usual, these being termed bezanté or platé if semé of bezants or plates; but in the cases of roundles of other colours the words "semé of" need to be used.

Fig. 244.

Fig. 244.—Annulet.

Closely akin to the roundel is the annulet (Fig. 244) and though, as far as I am aware, no text-book has as yet included this in its list of ordinaries and sub-ordinaries, one can see no reason, as the annulet is a regularly used heraldic figure, why the lozenge should have been included and the annulet excluded, when the annulet is of quite as frequent occurrence. It is, as its name implies, simply a plain ring of metal or colour, as will be found in the arms of Lowther, Hutton, and many other families. Annulets appear anciently to have been termed false roundles.

Annulets will frequently be found interlaced. {154}Care should be taken to distinguish them from gem-rings, which are always drawn in a very natural manner with stones, which, however, in real life would approach an impossible size.

Fig. 245.

Fig. 245.—The Label.

The label (Fig. 245) as a charge must be distinguished from the label as a mark of difference for the eldest son, though there is no doubt that in those cases in which it now exists as a charge, the origin must be traced to its earlier use as a difference. Concerning its use as a mark of difference it will be treated of further in the chapter upon marks of difference and cadency, but as a charge it will seldom be found in any position except in chief, and not often of other than three points, and it will always be found drawn throughout, that is, with the upper line extended to the size of the field. It consists of a narrow band straight across the shield, from which depend at right angles three short bands. These shorter arms have each of late years been drawn more in the shape of a dovetail, but this was not the case until a comparatively recent period, and now-a-days we are quite as inclined to revert to the old forms as to perpetuate this modern variety. Other names for the label are the "lambel" and the "file." The label is the only mark of difference now borne by the Royal Family. Every member of the Royal Family has the Royal arms assigned to him for use presumably during life, and in these warrants, which are separate and personal for each individual, both the coronet and the difference marks which are to be borne upon the label are quoted and assigned. This use of the label, however, will be subsequently fully dealt with. As a charge, the label occurs in the arms of Barrington: "Argent, three chevronels gules, a label azure;" and Babington: "Argent, ten torteaux, four, three, two, and one, in chief a label of three points azure;" also in the earlier form of the arms of De Quincy (Fig. 235) and Courtenay (Fig. 246). Various curious coats of arms in which the label appears are given in Papworth as follows:—

"... a label of four points in bend sinister ... Wm. de Curli, 20th Hen. III. (Cotton, Julius F., vii. 175.)

"Argent, a label of five points azure. Henlington, co. Gloucester. (Harl. MS. 1404, fo. 109.)

"Or, a file gules, with three bells pendent azure, clappers sable. (Belfile.) {155}

"Sable, three crescents, in chief a label of two drops and in fess another of one drop argent. Fitz-Simons. (Harl. MS. 1441 and 5866.)

"Or, three files borne barways gules, the first having five points, the second four, and the last three. Liskirke, Holland. (Gwillim.)"

A curious label will have been noticed in the arms of De Valence (Fig. 120).


The billet (Fig. 247), though not often met with as a charge, does sometimes occur, as for example, in the arms of Alington.

Fig. 246.

Fig. 246.—Arms of Hugh Courtenay, Earl of Devon (d. 1422): Or, three torteaux, a label azure. (From his seal.)

Fig. 247.

Fig. 247.—The Billet.

Fig. 248.

Fig. 248.—Billetté.

Its more frequent appearance is as an object with which a field or superior charge is semé, in which case these are termed billetté (Fig. 248). The best known instance of this is probably the coat borne on an inescutcheon over the arms of England during the joint reign of William and Mary. The arms of Gasceline afford another example of a field billetté. These are "or, billetté azure, and a label gules." Though not many instances are given under each subdivision, Papworth affords examples of coats with every number of billets from 1 to 20, but many of them, particularly some of those from 10 to 20 in number, are merely mistaken renderings of fields which should have been termed billetté. The billet, slightly widened, is sometimes known as a block, and as such will be found in the arms of Paynter. Other instances are to be found where the billets are termed delves or gads. The billet will sometimes be found pointed at the bottom, in which case it is termed "urdy at the foot." But neither as a form of semé, nor as a charge, is the billet of sufficiently frequent use to warrant its inclusion as one of the ordinaries or sub-ordinaries. {156}

Fig. 249.

Fig. 249.—Armorial bearings of R. E. Yerburgh, Esq.: Per pale argent and azure, on a chevron between three chaplets all counterchanged, an annulet for difference. Mantling azure and argent. Crest: on a wreath of the colours, a falcon close or, belled of the last, preying upon a mallard proper.

Fig. 250.

Fig. 250.—Armorial bearings of Robert Berry, Esq.: Quarterly, 1 and 4, vert, a cross crosslet argent (for Berry); 2 and 3, parted per pale argent and sable, on a chaplet four mullets counterchanged (for Nairne), in the centre of the quarters a crescent or, for difference. Mantling vert, doubled argent. Crest: upon a wreath of his liveries, a demi-lion rampant gules, armed and langued, holding in his dexter paw a cross crosslet fitchée azure; and in an escroll over the same this motto, "In hoc signo vinces," and in another under the shield, "L'espérance me comforte."


Why the chaplet was ever included amongst the ordinaries and sub-ordinaries passes my comprehension. It is not of frequent occurrence, and I have yet to ascertain in which form it has acquired this status. The chaplet which is usually meant when the term is employed is the garland of oak, laurel, or other leaves or flowers (Fig. 249), which is found more frequently as part of a crest. There is also the chaplet, which it is difficult to describe, save as a large broad annulet {157}such as the one which figures in the arms of Nairne (Fig. 250), and which is charged at four regular intervals with roses, mullets, or some other objects.

The chaplet of oak and acorns is sometimes known as a civic crown, but the term chaplet will more frequently be found giving place to the use of the word wreath, and a chaplet of laurel or roses, unless completely conjoined and figuring as a charge upon the shield, will be far more likely to be termed a wreath or garland of laurel or roses than a chaplet.

There are many other charges which have no great distinction from some of these which have been enumerated, but as nobody hitherto has classed them as ordinaries I suppose there could be no excuse for so introducing them, but the division of any heraldic charges into ordinaries and sub-ordinaries, and their separation from other figures, seems to a certain extent incomprehensible and very unnecessary. {158}



If we include the many instances of the human head and the human figure which exist as crests, and also the human figure as a supporter, probably it or its parts will be nearly as frequently met with in armory as the lion; but if crests and supporters be disregarded, and the human figure be simply considered as a charge upon the shield, it is by no means often to be met with.

English (but not Scottish) official heraldry now and for a long time past has set its face against the representation of any specific saint or other person in armorial bearings. In many cases, however, particularly in the arms of ecclesiastical sees and towns, the armorial bearings registered are simply the conventionalised heraldic representation of seal designs dating from a very much earlier period.

Seal engravers laboured under no such limitations, and their representations were usually of some specific saint or person readily recognisable from accompanying objects. Consequently, if it be desirable, the identity of a figure in a coat of arms can often be traced in such cases by reference to a seal of early date, whilst all the time the official coat of arms goes no further than to term the figure that of a saint.

The only representation which will be found in British heraldry of the Deity is in the arms of the See of Chichester, which certainly originally represented our Lord seated in glory. Whether by intention or carelessness, this, however, is now represented and blazoned as: "Azure, a Prester [Presbyter] John sitting on a tombstone, in his left hand a mound, his right hand extended all or, with a linen mitre on his head, and in his mouth a sword proper." Possibly it is a corruption, but I am rather inclined to think it is an intentional alteration to avoid the necessity of any attempt to pictorially represent the Deity.

Christ upon the Cross, however, will be found represented in the arms of Inverness (Fig. 251). The shield used by the town of Halifax has the canting "Holy Face" upon a chequy field. This coat, however, is without authority, though it is sufficiently remarkable to quote the blazon in full: "Chequy or and azure, a man's face with long hair and bearded and dropping blood, and surmounted {159}by a halo, all proper; in chief the letters HALEZ, and in base the letters FAX."

Fig. 251.

Fig. 251.—Armorial bearings of the Royal Burgh of Inverness: Gules, our Lord upon the Cross proper. Mantling gules, doubled or. Crest: upon a wreath of the proper liveries a cornucopia proper. Supporters: dexter, a dromedary; sinister, an elephant, both proper. (From a painting by Mr. Graham Johnston in Lyon Register.)

No other instance is known, but, on the other hand, representations of the Virgin Mary with her babe are not uncommon. She will be found so described in the arms of the Royal Burgh of Banff. The Virgin Mary and Child appear also in the arms of the town of Leith, {160}viz.: "Argent, in a sea proper, an ancient galley with two masts, sails furled sable, flagged gules, seated therein the Virgin Mary with the Infant Saviour in her arms, and a cloud resting over their heads, all also proper."

The Virgin and Child appear in the crest of Marylebone (Fig. 252), but in this case, in accordance with the modern English practice, the identity is not alluded to. The true derivation of the name from "St. Mary le Bourne" (and not "le bon") is perpetuated in the design of the arms.

A demi-figure of the Virgin is the crest of Rutherglen;[12] and the Virgin and Child figure, amongst other ecclesiastical arms, on the shields of the Sees of Lincoln ["Gules, two lions passant-guardant or; on a chief azure, the Holy Virgin and Child, sitting crowned, and bearing a sceptre of the second"], Salisbury ["Azure, the Holy Virgin and Child, with sceptre in her left hand all or"], Sodor and Man ["Argent, upon three ascents the Holy Virgin standing with her arms extended between two pillars, on the dexter whereof is a church; in base the ancient arms of Man upon an inescutcheon"], Southwell ["Sable, three fountains proper, a chief paly of three, on the first or, a stag couchant proper, on the second gules, the Virgin holding in her arms the infant Jesus, on the third also or, two staves raguly couped in cross vert"], and Tuam ["Azure, three figures erect under as many canopies or stalls of Gothic work or, their faces, hands, and legs proper; the first representing an archbishop in his pontificals; the second the Holy Virgin Mary, a circle of glory over her head, holding in her left arm the infant Jesus; and the third an angel having his dexter arm elevated, and under the sinister arm a lamb, all of the second"]. {161}

Fig. 252.

Fig. 252.—Arms of Marylebone: Per chevron sable and barry wavy of six, argent and azure in chief, in the dexter a fleur-de-lis, and in the sinister a rose, both or. Crest: on a wreath of the colours, upon two bars wavy argent and azure, between as many lilies of the first, stalked and leaved vert, a female figure affronté proper, vested of the first, mantled of the second, on the left arm a child also proper, vested or, around the head of each a halo of the last. Motto: "Fiat secundum verbum tuum."


Various saints figure in different Scottish coats of arms, and amongst them will be found the following:—

St. Andrew, in the arms of the National Bank of Scotland, granted in 1826 ["Or, the image of St. Andrew with vesture vert and surcoat purpure bearing before him the cross of his martyrdom argent, all resting on a base of the second, in the dexter flank a garb gules, in the sinister a ship in full sail sable, the shield surrounded with two thistles proper, disposed in orle"]; St. Britius, in the arms of the Royal Burgh of Kirkcaldy ["Azur, ane abbay of three pyramids argent, each ensigned with a cross patée or. And on the reverse of the seal is insculped in a field azure the figure of St. Bryse with long garments, on his head a mytre, in the dexter a fleur-de-lis, the sinister laid upon his breast all proper. Standing in ye porch of the church or abbay. Ensigned on the top as before all betwixt a decrescent and a star in fess or. The motto is 'Vigilando Munio.' And round the escutcheon of both sydes these words—'Sigillum civitatus Kirkaldie'"]; St. Columba, in the arms of the College of the Holy Spirit at Cumbræ ["Quarterly, 1 and 4 grand quarters, azure, St. Columba in a boat at sea, in his sinister hand a dove, and in the dexter chief a blazing star all proper; 2 and 3 grand quarters, quarterly, i. and iv., argent, an eagle displayed with two heads gules; ii. and iii., parted per bend embattled gules and argent; over the second and third grand quarters an escutcheon of the arms of Boyle of Kelburne, viz. or, three stags' horns gules"]; St. Duthacus, in the arms of the Royal Burgh of Tain ["Gules, St. Duthacus in long garments argent, holding in his dexter hand a staff garnished with ivy, in the sinister laid on his breast a book expanded proper"]; St. Ægidius (St. Giles), in the arms of the Royal Burgh of Elgin ["Argent, Sanctus Ægidius habited in his robes and mitred, holding in his dexter hand a pastoral staff, and in his left hand a clasped book, all proper. Supporters; two angels proper, winged or volant upwards. Motto: 'Sic itur ad astra,' upon ane compartment suitabil to a Burgh Royal, and for their colours red and white"]; St. Ninian, in the arms of the Episcopal See of Galloway ["Argent, St. Ninian standing and full-faced proper, clothed with a pontifical robe purple, on his head a mitre, and in his dexter hand a crosier or"]; and St. Adrian, in the arms of the town of Pittenweem ["Azur, in the sea a gallie with her oars in action argent, and therein standing the figure of St. Adrian, with long garments close girt, and a mytre on his head proper, holding in his sinister hand a crosier or. On the stern a flag developed argent, charged with the Royall Armes of Scotland, with this word, 'Deo Duce'"].

Biblical characters of the Old Testament have found favour upon the Continent, and the instances quoted by Woodward are too amusing to omit:—

"The families who bear the names of saints, such as St. Andrew, St. George, St. Michael, have (perhaps not unnaturally) included in their arms representation of their family patrons.

"The Bavarian family of Reider include in their shield the mounted effigy of the good knight St. Martin dividing his cloak with a beggar (date of diploma 1760). The figure of the great Apostle of the Gentiles appears in the arms of Von Pauli Joerg, and Jorger, of Austria, similarly make use of St. George.

"Continental Heraldry affords not a few examples of the use of the personages of Holy Writ. The Adamoli of Lombardy bear: 'Azure, {163}the Tree of Life entwined with the Serpent, and accosted with our first parents, all proper' (i.e. in a state of nature). The addition of a chief of the Empire to this coat makes it somewhat incongruous.

"The family of Adam in Bavaria improve on Sacred History by eliminating Eve, and by representing Adam as holding the apple in one hand, and the serpent wriggling in the other. On the other hand, the Spanish family of Eva apparently consider there is a sufficiently transparent allusion to their own name, and to the mother of mankind, in the simple bearings: 'Or, on a mount in base an apple-tree vert, fructed of the field, and encircled by a serpent of the second.'

"The family of Abel in Bavaria make the patriarch in the attitude of prayer to serve as their crest; while the coat itself is: 'Sable, on a square altar argent, a lamb lying surrounded by fire and smoke proper.'

"Samson slaying the lion is the subject of the arms of the Vesentina family of Verona. The field is gules, and on a terrace in base vert the strong man naked bestrides a golden lion and forces its jaws apart. The Polish family of Samson naturally use the same device, but the field is azure and the patriarch is decently habited. The Starckens of the Island of Oesel also use the like as armes parlantes; the field in this case is or. After these we are hardly surprised to find that Daniel in the lions' den is the subject of the arms of the Rhenish family of Daniels, granted late in the eighteenth century; the field is azure. The Bolognese Daniels are content to make a less evident allusion to the prophet; their arms are: "per fess azure and vert, in chief 'the lion of the tribe of Judah' naissant or, holding an open book with the words 'Libri Aperti Sunt' (Daniel vii. 10).

"The Archangel St. Michael in full armour, as conventionally represented, treading beneath his feet the great adversary, sable, is the charge on an azure field of the Van Schorel of Antwerp."

Other instances will be found, as St. Kentigern (who is sometimes said to be the same as St. Mungo), and who occurs as the crest of Glasgow: "The half-length figure of St. Kentigern affronté, vested and mitred, his right hand raised in the act of benediction, and having in his left hand a crosier, all proper;" St. Michael, in the arms of Linlithgow: "Azure, the figure of the Archangel Michael, with wings expanded, treading on the belly of a serpent lying with its tail nowed fesswise in base, all argent, the head of which he is piercing through with a spear in his dexter hand, and grasping with his sinister an escutcheon charged with the Royal Arms of Scotland." The same saint also figures in the arms of the city of Brussels; while the family of Mitchell-Carruthers bears as a crest: "St. Michael in armour, {164}holding a spear in his dexter hand, the face, neck, arms and legs bare, all proper, the wings argent, and hair auburn."

St. Martin occurs in the arms of Dover, and he also figures, as has been already stated, on the shield of the Bavarian family of Reider, whilst St. Paul occurs as a charge in the arms of the Dutch family of Von Pauli.

The arms of the See of Clogher are: "A Bishop in pontifical robes seated on his chair of state, and leaning towards the sinister, his left hand supporting a crosier, his right pointing to the dexter chief, all or, the feet upon a cushion gules, tasselled or."

A curious crest will be found belonging to the arms of a family of Stewart, which is: "A king in his robes, crowned." The arms of the Episcopal See of Ross afford another instance of a bishop, together with St. Boniface.

The arms of the town of Queensferry, in Scotland, show an instance of a queen. "A king in his robes, and crowned," will be found in the arms of Dartmouth ["Gules, the base barry wavy, argent and azure, thereon the hulk of a ship, in the centre of which is a king robed and crowned, and holding in his sinister hand a sceptre, at each end of the ship a lion sejant guardant all or]."

Allegorical figures, though numerous as supporters, are comparatively rare as charges upon a shield; but the arms of the University of Melbourne show a representation of the figure of Victory ["Azure, a figure intended to represent Victory, robed and attired proper, the dexter hand extended holding a wreath of laurel or, between four stars of eight points, two in pale and two in fess argent"], which also appears in other coats of arms.

The figure of Truth will be found in the coats of arms for various members of the family of Sandeman.

The bust of Queen Elizabeth was granted by that Queen, as a special mark of her Royal favour, to Sir Anthony Weldon, her Clerk of the Spicery.

Apollo is represented in the arms of the Apothecaries' Company: "Azure, Apollo, the inventor of physic, proper, with his head radiant, holding in his left hand a bow and in his right hand an arrow or, supplanting a serpent argent."

The figure of Justice appears in the arms of Wiergman [or Wergman].

Neptune appears in the arms granted to Sir Isaac Heard, Lancaster Herald, afterwards Garter King of Arms, and is again to be found in the crest of the arms of Monneypenny ["On a dolphin embowed, a bridled Neptune astride, holding with his sinister hand a trident over his shoulder"].

The figure of Temperance occurs in the crest of Goodfellow. {165}

The head of St. John the Baptist in a charger figures in the crest of the Tallow Chandlers' Livery Company and in the arms of Ayr, whilst the head of St. Denis is the charge upon the arms of a family of that name.

Angels, though very frequently met with as supporters, are far from being usual, either as a charge upon a shield or as a crest. The crest of Leslie, however, is an angel.

The crest of Lord Kintore is an angel in a praying posture or, within an orle of laurel proper.

Cherubs are far more frequently to be met with. They are represented in various forms, and will be found in the arms of Chaloner, Thackeray, Maddocks, and in the crest of Carruthers.

The nude figure is perhaps the most usual form in which the human being is made use of as a charge, and examples will be found in the arms of Wood (Lord Halifax), and in the arms of Oswald.

The arms of Dalziell show an example—practically unique in British heraldry—of a naked man, the earliest entry (1685) of the arms of Dalziell of Binns (a cadet of the family) in the Lyon Register, having them then blazoned: "Sable, a naked man with his arms extended au naturel, on a canton argent, a sword and pistol disposed in saltire proper."

This curious coat of arms has been the subject of much speculation. The fact that in some early examples the body is swinging from a gibbet has led some to suppose the arms to be an allusion to the fact, or legend, that one of the family recovered the body of Kenneth III., who had suffered death by hanging at the hands of the Picts. But it seems more likely that if the gibbet is found in any authoritative versions of the arms possibly the coat may owe its origin to a similar reason to that which is said, and probably correctly, to account for the curious crest of the Davenport family, viz.: "A man's head in profile couped at the shoulders proper, about the neck a rope or," or as it is sometimes termed, "a felon's head proper, about the neck a halter or." There is now in the possession of the Capesthorne branch of the Davenport family a long and very ancient roll, containing the names of the master robbers captured and beheaded in the times of Koran, Roger, and Thomas de Davenport, and probably the Davenport family held some office or Royal Commission which empowered them to deal in a summary way with the outlaws which infested the Peak country. It is more than probable that the crest of Davenport should be traced to some such source as this, and I suggest the possibility of a similar origin for the arms of Dalziel.

As a crest the savage and demi-savage are constantly occurring. {166}They are in heraldry distinguished by the garlands of leaves about either or both loins and temples.

Men in armour are sometimes met with. The arms of O'Loghlen are an instance in point, as are the crests of Marshall, Morse, Bannerman, and Seton of Mounie.

Figures of all nationalities and in all costumes will be found in the form of supporters, and occasionally as crests, but it is difficult to classify them, and it must suffice to mention a few curious examples. The human figure as a supporter is fully dealt with in the chapter devoted to that subject.

The arms of Jedburgh have a mounted warrior, and the same device occurs in the crest of the Duke of Fife, and in the arms of Lanigan-O'Keefe.

The arms of Londonderry afford an instance of a skeleton.

The emblematical figure of Fortune is a very favourite charge in foreign heraldry.

A family of the name of Rodd use the Colossus of Rhodes as a crest: and the arms of Sir William Dunn, Bart., are worth the passing mention ["Azure, on a mount in base a bale of wool proper, thereon seated a female figure representing Commerce, vested argent, resting the dexter hand on a stock of an anchor, and in the sinister a caduceus, both or, on the chief of the last a tree eradicated, thereon hanging a hunting-horn between a thistle slipped proper on the dexter and a fleur-de-lis azure on the sinister. Crest: a cornucopia fesswise, surmounted by a dexter hand couped proper, holding a key in bend sinister or. Motto: 'Vigilans et audax.'"].

The crests of Vivian ["A demi-hussar of the 18th Regiment, holding in his right hand a sabre, and in his left a pennon flying to the sinister gules, and inscribed in gold letters, 'Croix d'Orade,' issuant from a bridge of one arch, embattled, and at each end a tower"], and Macgregor ["two brass guns in saltire in front of a demi-Highlander armed with his broadsword, pistols, and with a target, thereon the family arms of Macgregor," viz.: "Argent: a sword in bend dexter azure, and an oak-tree eradicated in bend sinister proper, in the dexter chief an antique crown gules, and upon an escroll surmounting the crest the motto, 'E'en do and spare not'"] are typical of many crests of augmentation and quasi-augmentation granted in the early part of the nineteenth century.

The crest of the Devonshire family of Arscot ["A demi-man affronté in a Turkish habit, brandishing in his dexter hand a scimitar, and his sinister hand resting on a tiger's head issuing from the wreath"] is curious, as is the crest granted by Sir William Le Neve in 1642 to Sir Robert Minshull, viz.: "A Turk kneeling on one knee, habited {167}gules, legs and arms in mail proper, at the side a scymitar sable, hilted or, on the head a turban with a crescent and feather argent, holding in the dexter hand a crescent of the last."

The crest of Pilkington ["a mower with his scythe in front habited as follows: a high-crowned hat with flap, the crown party per pale, flap the same, counterchanged; coat buttoned to the middle, with his scythe in bend proper, habited through quarterly and counterchanged argent and gules"], and the very similar crest of De Trafford, in which the man holds a flail, are curious, and are the subjects of appropriate legends.

The crest of Clerk of Pennycuick (a demi-man winding a horn) refers to the curious tenure by which the Pennycuick estate is supposed to be held, namely, that whenever the sovereign sets foot thereupon, the proprietor must blow a horn from a certain rocky point. The motto, "Free for a blast," has reference to the same.

The arms of the College of Surgeons in Edinburgh, I fancy, afford the only instance of what is presumably a corpse, the blazon being: "Azure, a man (human body) fesswise between a dexter hand having an eye on the palm issuing out of a cloud downward and a castle situate on a rock proper, within a bordure or charged with several instruments peculiar to the art (sic); on a canton of the first a saltire argent surmounted of a thistle vert, crowned of the third."

When we come to parts of the human body instances of heads, arms, and legs are legion.

There are certain well-known heraldic heads, and though many instances occur where the blazon is simply a "man's head," it will be most frequently found that it is more specifically described.

Sloane Evans in his "Grammar of Heraldry" specifies eight different varieties, namely: 1. The wild man's; 2. The Moor's; 3. The Saracen's; 4. The Saxon's; 5. The Englishman's; 6. The old man's; 7. The woman's; 8. The child's.

The wild man's or savage's head is usually represented with a wreath of leaves about the temples, but not necessarily so (Fig. 253).

The head of the Moor, or "blackamoor," as it is more usually described, is almost always in profile, and very frequently adorned with a twisted wreath (torse) about the temples (Fig. 254).

The head of the Saracen is also usually found with wreaths about the temples (Fig. 255).

The head of the Saxon is borne by several Welsh families, and is supposed to be known by the absence of a beard.

The Englishman's head, which is borne by the Welsh family of Lloyd of Plymog, has no very distinctive features, except that whilst the hair and beard of the savage are generally represented brown, they {168}are black in the case of the Moor and Saracen, and fair for the Saxon and Englishman.

The old man's head, which, like that of the Saxon and Englishman, is seldom met with, is bald and grey-haired and bearded.

But for all practical purposes these varieties may be all disregarded except the savage's (Fig. 253), the blackamoor's (Fig. 254), and the Saracen's (Fig. 255). Examples of the savage's head will be found in the arms of Eddington of Balbartan ["Azure, three savages' heads couped argent"], in the arms of Gladstone, and in the canting coat of Rochead of Whitsonhill ["Argent, a savage's head erased, distilling drops of blood proper, between three combs azure"]. Moir of Otterburn bears the Moors' heads ["Argent, three negroes' heads couped proper within a bordure counter-indented sable and or"], and Moir of Stonniwood matriculated a somewhat similar coat in which the heads are termed Mauritanian ["Argent, three Mauritanian negroes' heads couped and distilling guttés-de-sang"]. Alderson of Homerton, Middlesex, bears Saracens' heads ["Argent, three Saracens' heads affronté, couped at the shoulders proper, wreathed about the temples of the first and sable"].

Fig. 253.

Fig. 253.—A savage's head.

Fig. 254.

Fig. 254.—A blackamoor's head.

Fig. 255.

Fig. 255.—A Saracen's head.

The woman's head (Fig. 256) in heraldry is always represented young and beautiful (that is, if the artist is capable of so drawing it), and it is almost invariably found with golden hair. The colour, however, should be blazoned, the term "crined" being used. Five maidens' heads appear upon the arms of the town of Reading, and the crest of Thornhill shows the same figure. The arms of the Mercers' Livery Company ["Gules, a demi-virgin couped below the shoulders, issuing from clouds all proper, vested or, crowned with an Eastern crown of the last, her hair dishevelled, and wreathed round the temples with roses of the second, all within an orle of clouds proper"] and of the Master of the Revels in Scotland ["Argent, a lady rising out of a cloud in the nombril point, richly apparelled, on her head a garland of ivy, holding in her right hand a poinziard crowned, in her left a vizard all proper, standing {169}under a veil or canopy azure, garnished or, in base a thistle vert"] are worthy of quotation.

The boy's head will seldom be found except in Welsh coats, of which the arms of Vaughan and Price are examples.

Another case in which the heads of children appear are the arms of Fauntleroy ["Gules, three infants' heads couped at the shoulders proper, crined or"], which are a very telling instance of a canting device upon the original form of the name, which was "Enfantleroy."

Children, it may be here noted, are seldom met with in armory, but instances will be found in the arms of Davies, of Marsh, co. Salop ["Sable, a goat argent, attired or, standing on a child proper swaddled gules, and feeding on a tree vert"], of the Foundling Hospital ["Per fesse azure and vert, in chief a crescent argent, between two mullets of six points or, in base an infant exposed, stretching out its arms for help proper"], and in the familiar "bird and bantling" crest of Stanley, Earls of Derby. Arms and hands are constantly met with, and have certain terms of their own. A hand should be stated to be either dexter (Fig. 257), or sinister (Fig. 258), and is usually blazoned and always understood to be couped at the wrist. If the hand is open and the palm visible it is "apaumé" (Figs. 257 and 258), but this being by far the most usual position in which the hand is met with, unless represented to be holding anything, the term "apaumé" is not often used in blazon, that position being presumed unless anything contrary is stated.

Fig. 256.

Fig. 256.—A woman's head and bust.

Fig. 257.

Fig. 257.—A dexter hand.

Fig. 258.

Fig. 258.—A sinister hand.

The hand is occasionally represented "clenched," as in the arms and crest of Fraser-Mackintosh. When the thumb and first two fingers are raised, they are said to be "raised in benediction" (Fig. 259).

The cubit arm (Fig. 260), should be carefully distinguished from the arm couped at the elbow (Fig. 261). The former includes only about two-thirds of the entire arm from the elbow. The form "couped at the elbow" is not frequently met with.

When the whole arm from the shoulder is used, it is always bent at {170}the elbow, and this is signified by the term "embowed," and an arm embowed necessarily includes the whole arm. Fig. 262 shows the usual position of an arm embowed, but it is sometimes placed embowed to the dexter (Fig. 263), upon the point of the elbow, that is, "embowed fesseways" (Fig. 264), and also, but still more infrequently, resting on the upper arm (Fig. 265). Either of the latter positions must be specified in the blazon. Two arms "counter-embowed" occur in many crests (Figs. 266 and 267).

Fig. 259.

Fig. 259.—A hand "in benediction."

Fig. 260.

Fig. 260.—A cubit arm.

Fig. 261.

Fig. 261.—An arm couped at the elbow.

Fig. 262.

Fig. 262.—An arm embowed.

Fig. 263.

Fig. 263.—An arm embowed to the dexter.

Fig. 264.

Fig. 264.—An arm embowed fesseways.

Fig. 265.

Fig. 265.—An arm embowed the upper part in fesse.

Fig. 266.

Fig. 266.—Two arms counter-embowed.

Fig. 267.

Fig. 267.—Two arms counter-embowed and interlaced.

When the arm is bare it is termed "proper." When clothed it is termed either "vested" or "habited" (Fig. 268). The cuff is very {171}frequently of a different colour, and the crest is then also termed "cuffed." The hand is nearly always bare, but if not represented of flesh colour it will be presumed and termed to be "gloved" of such and such a tincture. When it is represented in armour it is termed "in armour" or "vambraced" (Fig. 269). Even when in armour the hand is usually bare, but if in a gauntlet this must be specifically so stated (Fig. 270). The armour is always represented as riveted plate armour unless it is specifically stated to be chain armour, as in the crest of Bathurst, or scale armour. Armour is sometimes decorated with gold, when the usual term employed will be "garnished or," though occasionally the word "purfled" is used.

Gloves are occasionally met with as charges, e.g. in the arms of Barttelot. Gauntlets will be found in the arms of Vane.

Fig. 268.

Fig. 268.—A cubit arm habited.

Fig. 269.

Fig. 269.—An arm embowed in armour.

Fig. 270.

Fig. 270.—A cubit arm in armour, the hand in a gauntlet.

Legs are not so frequently met with as arms. They will be found, however, in the arms of the Isle of Man and the families Gillman, Bower, Legg, and as the crest of Eyre. Boots will be found in the crests of various families of the name of Hussey.

Bones occur in the arms of Scott-Gatty and Baines.

A skull occurs in the crest of Græme ["Two arms issuing from a cloud erected and lighting up a man's skull encircled with two branches of palm, over the head a marquess's coronet, all proper"].

A woman's breast occurs in the canting arms of Dodge (Plate VI.) ["Barry of six or and sable, on a pale gules, a woman's breast distilling drops of milk proper. Crest: upon a wreath of the colours, a demi sea-dog azure, collared, maned, and finned or"].

An eye occurs in the crest of Blount of Maple-Durham ["On a wreath of the colours, the sun in splendour charged in the centre with an eye all proper"].

The man-lion, the merman, mermaid, melusine, satyr, satyral, harpy, sphinx, centaur, sagitarius, and weirwolf are included in the chapter upon mythical animals. {172}



Heraldic art without the lion would not amount to very much, for no figure plays such an important or such an extensive part in armory as the lion, in one or other of its various positions. These present-day positions are the results of modern differentiation, arising from the necessity of a larger number of varying coats of arms; but there can be little doubt that in early times the majority of these positions did not exist, having been gradually evolved, and that originally the heraldic animal was just "a lion." The shape of the shield was largely a governing factor in the manner in which we find it depicted; the old artists, with a keener artistic sense than is evidenced in so many later examples of heraldic design, endeavoured to fill up as large a proportion of the space available as was possible, and consequently when only one lion was to be depicted upon the shield they very naturally drew the animal in an upright position, this being the one most convenient and adaptable for their purpose. Probably their knowledge of natural history was very limited, and this upright position would seem to them the most natural, and probably was the only one they knew; at any rate, at first it is almost the only position to be found. A curious commentary upon this may be deduced from the head-covering of Geoffrey of Anjou (Fig. 28), which shows a lion. This lion is identically of the form and shape of the lions rampant upon the shield, but from the nature of the space it occupies, is what would now be termed statant; but there is at the same time no such alteration in the relative position of the limbs as would now be required. This would seem to indicate very clearly that there was but the one stereotyped pattern of a lion, which answered all their purposes, and that our fore-runners applied that one pattern to the spaces they desired to decorate.

Early heraldry, however, when the various positions came into recognised use, soon sought to impose this definite distinction, that the lion could only be depicted erect in the rampant position, and that an animal represented to be walking must therefore be a leopard from the very position which it occupied. This, however, was a distinction known only to the more pedantic heralds, and found greatest favour {173}amongst the French; but we find in Glover's Roll, which is a copy of a roll originally drawn up about the year 1250, that whilst he gives lions to six of the English earls, he commences with "le Roy d'Angleterre porte, Gules, trois lupards d'or." On the other hand, the monkish chronicler John of Harmoustier in Touraine (a contemporary writer) relates that when Henry I. chose Geoffrey, son of Foulk, Earl of Anjou, Touraine, and Main, to be his son-in-law, by marrying him to his only daughter and heir, Maud the Empress, and made him knight; after the bathing and other solemnities (pedes ejus solutaribus in superficie Leonculos aureos habentibus muniuntur), boots embroidered with golden lions were drawn on his legs, and also that (Clypeus Leonculos aureos imaginarios habens collo ejus suspenditur) a shield with lions of gold therein was hung about his neck.

It is, therefore, evident that the refinement of distinction between a lion and a leopard was not of the beginning; it is a later addition to the earlier simple term of lion. This distinction having been invented by French heralds, and we taking so much of our heraldry, our language, and our customs from France, adopted, and to a certain extent used, this description of lions passant as "leopards." There can be no doubt, however, that the lions passant guardant upon the English shield have always been represented as lions, no matter what they may have been called, and the use of the term leopard in heraldry to signify a certain position for the lion never received any extensive sanction, and has long since become obsolete in British armory. In French blazon, however, the old distinction is still observed, and it is curious to observe that on the coins of the Channel Islands the shield of arms distinctly shows three leopards. The French lion is our lion rampant, the French leopard is our lion passant guardant, whilst they term our lion passant a léopard-lionné, and our lion rampant guardant is their lion-léopardé.

A lion rampant and any other beast of prey is usually represented in heraldry with the tongue and claws of a different colour from the animal. If it is not itself gules, its tongue and claws are usually represented as of that colour, unless the lion be on a field of gules. They are then represented azure, the term being "armed and langued" of such and such a colour. It is not necessary to mention that a lion is "armed and langued" in the blazon when tongue and claws are emblazoned in gules, but whenever any other colour is introduced for the purpose it is better that it should be specified. Outside British heraldry a lion is always supposed to be rampant unless otherwise specifically described. The earliest appearance of the lions in the arms of any member of the Royal Family in England would appear to be the seal of King John when he was Prince and before he {174}ascended the throne. This seal shows his arms to be two lions passant. The English Royal crest, which originated with Richard I., is now always depicted as a lion statant guardant. There can be no doubt, however, that this guardant attitude is a subsequent derivation from the position of the lions on the shield, when heraldry was ceasing to be actual and becoming solely pictorial. We find in the case of the crest of Edward the Black Prince, now suspended over his tomb in Canterbury Cathedral, that the lion upon the chapeau looks straight forward over the front of the helm (see Fig. 271).

Fig. 272.

Fig. 272.

Another ancient rule belonging to the same period as the controversy between leopards and lions was that there cannot be more than one lion upon a shield, and this was one of the great arguments used to determine that the charges on the Royal Arms of England must be leopards and not lions. It was admitted as a rule of British armory to a limited extent, viz., that when two or more lions rampant appeared upon the same shield, unless combatant, they were always formerly described as lioncels. Thus the arms of Bohun are: "Azure, a bend argent, cottised between six lioncels rampant or." British heraldry has, however, long since disregarded any such rule (if any definite rule ever really existed upon the point), though curiously enough in the recent grant of arms to the town of Warrington the animals are there blazoned six "lioncels."

The artistic evolution of the lion rampant can be readily traced in the examples and explanations which follow, but, as will be understood, the employment in the case of some of these models cannot strictly be said to be confined within a certain number of years, though the details and periods given are roughly accurate, and sufficiently so to typify the changes which have occurred.

Until perhaps the second half of the thirteenth century the body of the lion appears straight upright, so that the head, the trunk, and the left hind-paw fall into the angle of the shield. The left fore-paw is horizontal, the right fore- and the right hind-paw are placed diagonally (or obliquely) upwards (Fig. 272). The paws each end in three knobs, similar to a clover-leaf, out of which the claws come forth. The fourth or inferior toes appeared in heraldry somewhat later. The jaws are closed or only very slightly opened, without the tongue being visible. The tail is thickened in the middle with a bunch of longer hair and is turned down towards the body.

Fig. 271.

Fig. 271.—Shield, helmet, and crest of Edward the Black Prince, suspended over his tomb in Canterbury Cathedral.

Fig. 273.

Fig. 273.

In the course of the period lasting from the second half of the thirteenth to the second half of the fourteenth centuries, the right hind-paw sinks lower until it forms a right angle with the left. The mouth {175}grows pointed, and in the second half of the period the tongue becomes visible. The tail also shows a knot near its root (Fig. 273).

Fig. 274.

Fig. 274.

In examples taken from the second half of the fourteenth century and the fifteenth century the lion's body is no longer placed like a pillar, but lays its head back to the left so that the right fore-paw falls into an oblique upward line with the trunk. The toes are lengthened, appearing almost as fingers, and spread out from one another; the tail, adorned with flame-like bunches of hair, strikes outwards and loses the before-mentioned knot, which only remains visible in a forked tail (queue-fourché). The jaws grow deep and are widely opened, and the breast rises and expands under the lower jaw (Fig. 274).

Lions of peculiar virility and beauty appear upon a fourteenth-century banner which shows the arms of the family of Talbot, Earls of Shrewsbury: Gules, a lion rampant within a bordure engrailed or, quartered with the arms of Strange: Argent, two lions passant in pale gules, armed and langued azure. Fig. 275 gives the lower half of the banner which was published in colours in the Catalogue of the Heraldic Exhibition in London, 1894.

Fig. 275.

Fig. 275.—Arms of Strange and Talbot. (From a design for a banner.)

Fig. 276.

Fig. 276.

Fig. 276 is an Italian coat of arms of the fourteenth century, and shows a lion of almost exactly the same design, except the paws are {176}here rendered somewhat more heraldically. The painting (azure, a lion rampant argent) served as an "Ex libris," and bears the inscription "Libe accusacionum mey p. he ..." (The remainder has been cut away. It is reproduced from Warnecke's "German Bookplates," 1890.)

When we come to modern examples of lions, it is evident that the artists of the present day very largely copy lions which are really the creations of, or adaptations from, the work of their predecessors. The lions of the late Mr. Forbes Nixon, as shown in Fig. 277, which were specially drawn by him at my request as typical of his style, are respectively as follows:—

A winged lion passant coward. A lion rampant regardant. A lion rampant queue-fourché. A lion passant crowned. A lion passant. A lion rampant. A lion rampant to the sinister. A lion passant guardant, ducally gorged. A lion statant guardant, ducally crowned. A lion rampant. A lion statant guardant. A lion sejant guardant erect. Lions drawn by Mr. Scruby will be found in Figs. 278 and 279, which are respectively: "Argent, a lion rampant sable," "Sable, a lion passant guardant argent," and "Sable, a lion rampant argent." These again were specially drawn by Mr. Scruby as typical of his style.

The lions of Mr. Eve would seem to be entirely original. Their singularly graceful form and proportions are perhaps best shown by Figs. 280 and 281, which are taken from his book "Decorative Heraldry."

The lions of Mr. Graham Johnston can be appreciated from the examples in Figs. 284-9.

Examples of lions drawn by Miss Helard will be found in Figs. 282, 283.

The various positions which modern heraldry has evolved for the lions, together with the terms of blazon used to describe these positions, are as follows, and the differences can best be appreciated from a series drawn by the same artist, in this case Mr. Graham Johnston:—

Lion rampant.—The animal is here depicted in profile, and erect, resting upon its sinister hind-paw (see Fig. 284). {177}

Lion rampant guardant.—In this case the head of the lion is turned to face the spectator (Fig. 285).

Fig. 277.

Fig. 277.—Lions. (Drawn by Mr. J. Forbes Nixon.)

Lion rampant regardant.—In this case the head is turned completely round, looking backwards (Fig. 286).

Lion rampant, double-queued.—In this case the lion is represented as {178}having two tails (Fig. 287). These must both be apparent from the base of the tail, otherwise confusion will arise with the next example.

Lion rampant queue-fourché.—In this case one tail springs from the base, which is divided or "forked" in the centre (Fig. 288). There is no doubt that whilst in modern times and with regard to modern arms this distinction must be adhered to, anciently queue-fourché and double-queued were interchangeable terms.

Fig. 278.

Fig. 278.—Lion passant guardant. (By Mr. G. Scruby.)

Fig. 279.

Fig. 279.—Lion rampant. (By Mr. G. Scruby.)

Fig. 280.

Fig. 280.—Lion rampant and lion statant guardant, by Mr. G. W. Eve. (From "Decorative Heraldry.")

Fig. 281.

Fig. 281.—Lion statant, lion passant guardant, and lion passant regardant, by Mr. G. W. Eve. (From "Decorative Heraldry.")

Lion rampant tail nowed.—The tail is here tied in a knot (Fig. 289). It is not a term very frequently met with.

Lion rampant tail elevated and turned over its head.—The only instances of the existence of this curious variation (Fig. 290) which have come under my own notice occur in the coats of two families of the name {179}of Buxton, the one being obviously a modern grant founded upon the other.

Fig. 282.

Fig. 282.—A lion rampant. (By Miss Helard.)

Fig. 283.

Fig. 283.—A lion rampant. (By Miss Helard.)

Fig. 284.

Fig. 284.—Lion rampant.

Fig. 285.

Fig. 285.—Lion rampant guardant.

Fig. 286.

Fig. 286.—Lion rampant regardant.

Fig. 287.

Fig. 287.—Lion rampant double queued.

Fig. 288.

Fig. 288.—Lion rampant queue-fourché.

Fig. 289.

Fig. 289.—Lion rampant, tail nowed.

Lion rampant with two heads.—This occurs (Fig. 291) in the coat of arms, probably founded on an earlier instance, granted in 1739 to {180}Mason of Greenwich, the arms being: "Per fess ermine and azure, a lion rampant with two heads counterchanged." This curious charge had been adopted by Mason's College in Birmingham, and on the foundation of Birmingham University it was incorporated in its arms.

Lion rampant guardant bicorporated.—In this case the lion has one head and two bodies. An instance of this curious creature occurs in the arms of Attewater, but I am not aware of any modern instance of its use.

Fig. 290.

Fig. 290.—Lion rampant, tail elevated and turned over its head.

Fig. 291.

Fig. 291.—Lion rampant, with two heads.

Fig. 292.

Fig. 292.—Tricorporate lion.

Fig. 293.

Fig. 293.—Lion coward.

Lion Rampant Tricorporate.—In this case three bodies are united in one head (Fig. 292). Both this and the preceding variety are most unusual, but the tricorporate lion occurs in a coat of arms (temp. Car. II.) registered in Ulster's Office: "Or, a tricorporate lion rampant, the bodies disposed in the dexter and sinister chief points and in base, all meeting in one head guardant in the fess point sable."

Lion coward.—In this case the tail of the lion is depressed, passing between its hind legs (Fig. 293). The exactitude of this term is to some extent modern. Though a lion cowarded was known in ancient days, there can be no doubt that formerly an artist felt himself quite at liberty to put the tail between the legs if this seemed artistically desirable, without necessarily having interfered with the arms by so doing.

Fig. 294.

Fig. 294.—Armorial bearings of Alexander Charles Richards Maitland, Esq.: Or, a lion rampant gules, couped in all his joints of the field, within a double tressure flory and counterflory azure, a bordure engrailed ermine. Mantling gules and or. Crest: upon a wreath of his liveries, a lion sejant erect and affronté gules, holding in his dexter paw a sword proper, hilted and pommelled gold, and in his sinister a fleur-de-lis argent. Motto: "Consilio et animis."

Lion couped in all its joints is a charge which seems peculiar to the family of Maitland, and it would be interesting to learn to what source its origin can be traced. It is represented with each of its four paws, its head and its tail severed from the body, and removed slightly away therefrom. A Maitland coat of arms exhibiting this peculiarity will be found in Fig. 294. {181}

Lions rampant combatant are so termed when two are depicted in one shield facing each other in the attitude of fighting (Fig. 295).

A very curious and unique instance of a lion rampant occurs in the arms of Williams (matriculated in Lyon Register in 1862, as the second and third quarterings of the arms of Sir James Williams Drummond of Hawthornden, Bt.), the coat in question being: Argent, a lion rampant, the body sable, the head, paws, and tuft of the tail of the field.

Lion passant.—A lion in this position (Fig. 296) is represented in the act of walking, the dexter forepaw being raised, but all three others being upon the ground.

Lion passant guardant.—This (Fig. 297) is the same as the previous position, except that the head is turned to face the spectator. The lions in the quartering for England in the Royal coat of arms are "three lions passant guardant in pale."

Lion of England.—This is "a lion passant guardant or," and the term is only employed for a lion of this description when it occurs as or in an honourable augmentation, then being usually represented on a field of gules. A lion passant guardant or, is now never granted to any applicant except under a specific Royal Warrant to that effect. It occurs in many augmentations, e.g. Wolfe, Camperdown, and many others; and when three lions passant guardant in pale or upon a canton gules are granted, as in the arms of Lane (Plate II.), the augmentation is termed a "canton of England."

Lion passant regardant is as the lion passant, but with the head turned right round looking behind (Fig. 298). A lion is not often met with in this position.

Lions passant dimidiated.—A curious survival of the ancient but now {182}obsolete practice of dimidiation is found in the arms of several English seaport towns. Doubtless all can be traced to the "so-called" arms of the "Cinque Ports," which show three lions passant guardant dimidiated with the hulks of three ships. There can be no doubt whatever that this originally came from the dimidiation of two separate coats, viz. the Royal Arms of England (the three lions passant guardant), and the other "azure, three ships argent," typical of the Cinque Ports, referring perhaps to the protection of the coasts for which they were liable, or possibly merely to their seaboard position. Whilst Sandwich[13] uses the two separate coats simply dimidiated upon one shield, the arms of Hastings[14] vary slightly, being: "Party per pale gules and azure, a lion passant guardant or, between in chief and in base a lion passant guardant of the last dimidiated with the hulk of a ship argent." From long usage we have grown accustomed to consider these two conjoined and dimidiated figures as one figure (Fig. 299), and in the recent grant of arms to Ramsgate[15] a figure of this kind was granted as a simple charge.

Fig. 295.

Fig. 295.—Two lions rampant combatant.

Fig. 296.

Fig. 296.—Lion passant.

Fig. 297.

Fig. 297.—Lion passant guardant.

The arms of Yarmouth[16] afford another instance of a resulting figure of this class, the three lions passant guardant of England being here dimidiated with as many herrings naiant.

Lion statant.—The distinction between a lion passant and a lion statant is that the lion statant has all four paws resting upon the {183}ground. The two forepaws are usually placed together (Fig. 300). Whilst but seldom met with as a charge upon a shield, the lion statant is by no means rare as a crest.

Lion statant tail extended.—This term is a curious and, seemingly, a purposeless refinement, resulting from the perpetuation in certain cases of one particular method of depicting the crest—originally when a crest a lion was always so drawn—but it cannot be overlooked, because in the crests of both Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, and Percy, Duke of Northumberland, the crest is now stereotyped as a lion in this form (Fig. 301) upon a chapeau.

Fig. 298.

Fig. 298.—Lion passant regardant.

Fig. 299.

Fig. 299.—Lion passant guard. dimidiated with the hulk of a ship.

Fig. 300.

Fig. 300.—Lion statant.

Fig. 301.

Fig. 301.—Lion statant tail extended.

Fig. 302.

Fig. 302.—Lion statant guardant.

Fig. 303.

Fig. 303.—Lion salient.

Lion statant guardant (Fig. 302).—This (crowned) is of course the Royal crest of England, and examples of it will be found in the arms of the Sovereign and other descendants, legitimate and illegitimate, of Sovereigns of this country. An exceptionally fine rendering of it occurs in the Windsor Castle Bookplates executed by Mr. G. W. Eve.

Lion salient.—This, which is a very rare position for a lion, represents it in the act of springing, the two hind legs being on the ground, the others in the air (Fig. 303). {184}

Lion salient guardant.—There is no reason why the lion salient may not be guardant or regardant, though an instance of the use of either does not come readily to mind.

Lion sejant.—Very great laxity is found in the terms applied to lions sejant, consequently care is necessary to distinguish the various forms. The true lion sejant is represented in profile, seated on its haunches, with the forepaws resting on the ground (Fig. 304).

Fig. 304.

Fig. 304.—Lion sejant.

Fig. 305.

Fig. 305.—Lion sejant guardant.

Fig. 306.

Fig. 306.—Lion sejant regardant.

Fig. 307.

Fig. 307.—Lion sejant erect.

Fig. 308.

Fig. 308.—Lion sejant guardant erect.

Fig. 309.

Fig. 309.—Lion sejant regardant erect.

Lion sejant guardant.—This is as the foregoing, but with the face (only) turned to the spectator (Fig. 305).

Lion sejant regardant.—In this the head is turned right back to gaze behind (Fig. 306).

Lion sejant erect (or, as it is sometimes not very happily termed, sejant-rampant).—In this position the lion is sitting upon its haunches, but the body is erect, and it has its forepaws raised in the air (Fig. 307).

Lion sejant guardant erect is as the last figure, but the head faces the spectator (Fig. 308).

Lion sejant regardant erect is as the foregoing, but with the head turned right round to look backwards (Fig. 309).

Lion sejant affronté.—In this case the lion is seated on its haunches, {185}but the whole body is turned to face the spectator, the forepaws resting upon the ground in front of its body. Ugly as this position is, and impossible as it might seem, it certainly is to be found in some of the early rolls.

Lion sejant erect affronté (Fig. 294).—This position is by no means unusual in Scotland. A lion sejant erect and affronté, &c., is the Royal crest of Scotland, and it will also be found in the arms of Lyon Office.

A good representation of the lion sejant affronté and erect is shown in Fig. 310, which is taken from Jost Amman's Wappen und Stammbuch (1589). It represents the arms of the celebrated Lansquenet Captain Sebastian Schärtlin (Schertel) von Burtenbach ["Gules, a lion sejant affronté erect, double-queued, holding in its dexter paw a key argent and in its sinister a fleur-de-lis"]. His victorious assault on Rome in 1527, and his striking successes against France in 1532, are strikingly typified in these arms, which were granted in 1534.

Fig. 310.

Fig. 310.—Arms of Sebastian Schärtlin von Burtenbach.

Fig. 311.

Fig. 311.—Lion couchant.

Fig. 312.

Fig. 312.—Lion dormant.

Lion Couchant.—In this position the lion is represented lying down, but the head is erect and alert (Fig. 311).

Lion dormant.—A lion dormant is in much the same position as a lion couchant, except that the eyes are closed, and the head rests upon the extended forepaws (Fig. 312). Lions dormant are seldom met with, but they occur in the arms of Lloyd, of Stockton Hall, near York.

Lion morné.—This is a lion without teeth and claws, but no instance of the use of the term would appear to exist in British armory. Woodward mentions amongst other Continental examples the arms of the old French family of De Mornay ["Fascé d'argent et de gueules au lion morné de sable, couronné d'or brochant sur le tout"].

Lions as supporters.—Refer to the chapter on Supporters.

Winged lion.—The winged lion—usually known as the lion of St. Mark—is not infrequently met with. It will be found both passant {186}and sejant, but more frequently the latter (Fig. 313). The true lion of St. Mark (that is, when used as a badge for sacred purposes to typify St. Mark) has a halo. Winged lions are the supporters of Lord Braye.

Sea lion (or, to use another name for it, a morse) is the head, forepaws, and upper part of a lion conjoined to the tail of a fish. The most frequent form in which sea lions appear are as supporters, but they are also met with as crests and charges. When placed horizontally they are termed naiant. Sea lions, however, will also be found "sejant" and "sejant-erect" (Fig. 314). When issuing from waves of the sea they are termed "assurgeant."

Lion-dragon.—One hesitates to believe that this creature has any existence outside heraldry books, where it is stated to be of similar form and construction to the sea lion, the difference being that the lower half is the body and tail of a wyvern. I know of no actual arms or crest in which it figures.

Fig. 313.

Fig. 313.—Winged lion.

Fig. 314.

Fig. 314.—Sea lion.

Fig. 315.

Fig. 315.—Man-Lion.

Man-lion or man-tiger.—This is as a lion but with a human face. Two of these are the supporters of Lord Huntingdon, and one was granted to the late Lord Donington as a supporter, whilst as charges they also occur in the arms of Radford. This semi-human animal is sometimes termed a "lympago" (Fig. 315).

Other terms relating to lions occur in many heraldic works—both old and new—but their use is very limited, if indeed of some, any example at all could be found in British armory. In addition to this, whilst the fact may sometimes exist, the term has never been adopted or officially recognised. Personally I believe most of the terms which follow may for all practical purposes be entirely disregarded. Amongst such terms are contourné, applied to a lion passant or rampant to the sinister. It would, however, be found blazoned in these words and not as contourné. "Dismembered," "Demembré," "Dechaussée," and "Trononnée" are all "heraldry-book" terms specified to mean the same as "couped in all its joints," but the uselessness and uncertainty concerning these terms is exemplified by the fact that the {187}same books state "dismembered" or "demembré" to mean (when applied to a lion) that the animal is shown without legs or tail. The term "embrued" is sometimes applied to a lion to signify that its mouth is bloody and dropping blood; and "vulned" signifies wounded, heraldically represented by a blotch of gules, from which drops of blood are falling. A lion "disarmed" is without teeth, tongue, or claws.

A term often found in relation to lions rampant, but by no means peculiar thereto, is "debruised." This is used when it is partly defaced by another charge (usually an ordinary) being placed over it.

Another of these guide-book terms is "decollated," which is said to be employed in the case of a lion which has its head cut off. A lion "defamed" or "diffamed" is supposed to be rampant to the sinister but looking backwards, the supposition being that the animal is being (against his will) chased off the field with infamy. A lion "evire" is supposed to be emasculated and without signs of sex. In this respect it is interesting to note that in earlier days, before mock modesty and prudery had become such prominent features of our national life, the genital organ was always represented of a pronounced size in a prominent position, and it was as much a matter of course to paint it gules as it now is to depict the tongue of that colour. To prevent error I had better add that this is not now the usual practice.

Lions placed back to back are termed "endorsed" or "addorsed," but when two lions passant in pale are represented, one passing to the dexter and one to the sinister, they are termed "counter-passant." This term is, however, also used sometimes when they are merely passant towards each other. A more correct description in such cases would be passant "respecting" or "regarding" each other.

The term lionné is one stated to be used with animals other than lions when placed in a rampant position. Whilst doubtless of regular acceptation in French heraldry as applied to a leopard, it is unknown in English, and the term rampant is indifferently applied; e.g. in the case of a leopard, wolf, or tiger when in the rampant position.

Lionced is a term seldom met with, but it is said to be applied (for example to a cross) when the arms end in lions' heads. I have yet to find an authentic example of the use of such a cross.

When a bend or other ordinary issues from the mouths of lions (or other animals), the heads issuing from the edges or angles of the escutcheon, the ordinary is said to be "engouled."

A curious term, of the use of which I know only one example, is "fleshed" or "flayed." This, as doubtless will be readily surmised, means that the skin is removed, leaving the flesh gules. This was the method by which the supporters of Wurtemburg were "differenced" for the Duke of Teck, the forepaws being "fleshed." {188}

Woodward gives the following very curious instances of the lion in heraldry:—

"Only a single example of the use of the lioness as a heraldic charge is known to me. The family of Coing, in Lorraine, bears: d'Azure, à une lionne arrêtée d'or.

"The following fourteenth-century examples of the use of the lion as a heraldic charge are taken from the oft-quoted Wappenrolle von Zurich, and should be of interest to the student of early armory:—

"51: End: Azure, a lion rampant-guardant argent, its feet or.

"305. Wildenvels: Per pale argent and sable, in the first a demi-lion statant-guardant issuant from the dividing line.

"408. Tannenvels: Azure, a lion rampant or, queué argent.

"489. Rinach: Or, a lion rampant gules, headed azure.

"A curious use of the lion as a charge occurs in several ancient coats of the Low Countries, e.g. in that of Trasegnies, whose arms are: Bandé d'or et d'azur, à l'ombre du lion brochant sur le tout, à la bordure engrêlée d'or. Here the ombre du lion is properly represented by a darker shade of the tincture (either of or or of azure), but often the artist contents himself with simply drawing the outline of the animal in a neutral tint.

"Among other curiosities of the use of the lion are the following foreign coats:—

"Boissiau, in France, bears: De gueules, semé de lions d'argent.

"Minutoli, of Naples: Gules, a lion rampant vair, the head and feet or.

"Loen, of Holland: Azure, a decapitated lion rampant argent, three jets of blood spurting from the neck proper.

"Papacoda, of Naples: Sable, a lion rampant or, its tail turned over its head and held by its teeth.

"The Counts Reinach, of Franconia: Or, a lion rampant gules, hooded and masked azure (see above)."

To these instances the arms of Westbury may well be added, these being: Quarterly, or and azure, a cross patonce, on a bordure twenty lions rampant all counter-changed. No doubt the origin of such a curious bordure is to be found in the "bordure of England," which, either as a mark of cadency or as an indication of affinity or augmentation, can be found in some number of instances. Probably one will suffice as an example. This is forthcoming in Fig. 61, which shows the arms of John de Bretagne, Earl of Richmond. Of a similar nature is the bordure of Spain (indicative of his maternal descent) borne by Richard of Conisburgh, Earl of Cambridge, who bore: Quarterly France and England, a label of three points argent, each charged with {189}as many torteaux, on a bordure of the same twelve lions rampant purpure (Fig. 316).

Fig. 317.

Fig. 317.—Arms of Bohemia, from the "Pulver Turme" at Prague. (Latter half of the fifteenth century.)

Fig. 316.

Fig. 316.—Arms of Richard of Conisburgh, Earl of Cambridge. (From MS. Cott., Julius C. vii.)

Before leaving the lion, the hint may perhaps be usefully conveyed that the temptation to over-elaborate the lion when depicting it heraldically should be carefully avoided. The only result is confusion—the very contrary of the essence of heraldic emblazonment, which was, is, and should be, the method of clear advertisement of identity. Examples of over-elaboration can, however, be found in the past, as will be seen from Fig. 317. This example belongs to the latter half of the fifteenth century, and represents the arms of Bohemia. It is taken from a shield on the "Pulver Turme" at Prague.

Parts of lions are very frequently to be met with, particularly as crests. In fact the most common crest in existence is the demi-lion rampant (Fig. 318). This is the upper half of a lion rampant. It is comparatively seldom found other than rampant and couped, so that the term "a demi-lion," unless otherwise qualified, may always be assumed to be a demi-lion rampant couped. As charges upon the shield three will be found in the arms of Bennet, Earl of Tankerville: "Gules, a bezant between three demi-lions rampant argent."

The demi-lion may be both guardant and regardant.

Demi-lions rampant and erased are more common as charges than as crests. They are to be found in several Harrison coats of arms.

Fig. 318.

Fig. 318.—A demi-lion rampant.

Fig. 319.

Fig. 319.—A demi-lion passant.

Fig. 320.

Fig. 320.—A lion's head couped.

Demi-lions passant (Fig. 319) are rather unusual, but in addition to the seeming cases in which they occur by dimidiation they are sometimes found, as in the case of the arms of Newman. {190}

Demi-lion affronté.—The only case which has come under notice would appear to be the crest of Campbell of Aberuchill.

Demi-lion issuant.—This term is applied to a demi-lion when it issues from an ordinary, e.g. from the base line of the chief, as in the arms of Dormer, Markham, and Abney; or from behind a fesse, as in the arms of Chalmers.

Demi-lion naissant issues from the centre of an ordinary, and not from behind it.

Lions' heads, both couped (Fig. 320) and erased, are very frequently met with both as charges on the shield and as crests.

Fig. 321.

Fig. 321.—A lion's face.

Lion's gamb.—Many writers make a distinction between the gamb (which is stated to be the lower part only, couped or erased half-way up the leg) and the paw, but this distinction cannot be said to be always rigidly observed. In fact some authorities quote the exact reverse as the definition of the terms. As charges the gamb or paw will be found to occur in the arms of Lord Lilford ["Or, a lion's gamb erased in bend dexter between two crosslets fitchée in bend sinister gules"], and in the arms of Newdigate. This last is a curious example, inasmuch as, without being so specified in the blazon, the gambs are represented in the position occupied by the sinister foreleg of a lion passant.

The crest upon the Garter Plate of Edward Cherleton, Lord Cherleton of Powis, must surely be unique. It consists of two lions' paws embowed, the outer edge of each being adorned with fleurs-de-lis issuant therefrom.

A lion's tail will sometimes be found as a crest, and it also occurs as a charge in the arms of Corke, viz.: "Sable, three lions' tails erect and erased argent."

A lion's face (Fig. 321) should be carefully distinguished from a lion's head. In the latter case the neck, either couped or erased, must be shown; but a lion's face is affronté and cut off closely behind the ears. The distinction between the head and the face can be more appropriately considered in the case of the leopard. {191}



Next after the lion should be considered the tiger, but it must be distinctly borne in mind that heraldry knows two kinds of tigers—the heraldic tiger (Figs. 322 and 323) and the Bengal tiger (Figs. 324 and 325). Doubtless the heraldic tiger, which was the only one found in British armory until a comparatively recent date, is the attempt of artists to depict their idea of a tiger. The animal was unknown to them, except by repute, and consequently the creature they depicted bears little relation to the animal of real life; but there can be no doubt that their intention was to depict an animal which they knew to exist. The heraldic tiger had a body much like the natural tiger, it had a lion's tufted tail and mane, and the curious head which it is so difficult to describe, but which appears to be more like the wolf than any other animal we know. This, however, will be again dealt with in the chapter on fictitious animals, and is here only introduced to demonstrate the difference which heraldry makes between the heraldic tiger and the real animal. A curious conceit is that the heraldic tiger will anciently be often found spelt "tyger," but this peculiar spelling does not seem ever to have been applied to the tiger of nature.

Fig. 322.

Fig. 322.—Heraldic tyger rampant.

Fig. 323.

Fig. 323.—Heraldic tyger passant.

Fig. 324.

Fig. 324.—Bengal tiger passant.

Fig. 325.

Fig. 325.—Bengal tiger rampant.


When it became desirable to introduce the real tiger into British armory as typical of India and our Eastern Empire, something of course was necessary to distinguish it from the tyger which had previously usurped the name in armory, and for this reason the natural tiger is always heraldically known as the Bengal tiger. This armorial variety appears towards the end of the eighteenth century in this country, though in foreign heraldry it appears to have been recognised somewhat earlier. There are, however, but few cases in which the Bengal tiger has appeared in armory, and in the majority of these cases as a supporter, as in the supporters of Outram, which are two tigers rampant guardant gorged with wreaths of laurel and crowned with Eastern crowns all proper. Another instance of the tiger as a supporter will be found in the arms of Bombay. An instance in which it appears as a charge upon a shield will be found in the arms granted to the University of Madras.

Fig. 326.

Fig. 326.—Leopard passant.

Fig. 327.

Fig. 327.—Leopard passant guardant.

Fig. 328.

Fig. 328.—Leopard rampant.

Another coat is that granted in 1874 to Augustus Beaty Bradbury of Edinburgh, which was: "Argent, on a mount in base vert, a Bengal tiger passant proper, on a chief of the second two other tigers dormant also proper." A tigress is said to be occasionally met with, and when so, is sometimes represented with a mirror, in relation to the legend that ascribes to her such personal vanity that her young ones might be taken from under her charge if she had the counter attraction of a hand-glass! At least so say the heraldry books, but I have not yet come across such a case.

The leopard (Figs. 326, 327, and 328) has to a certain extent been referred to already. Doubtless it is the peculiar cat-like and stealthy walk which is so characteristic of the leopard which led to any animal in that position being considered a leopard; but the leopard in its natural state was of course known to Europeans in the early days of heraldry, and appears amongst the lists of heraldic animals apart from its existence as "a lion passant." The animal, {193}however, except as a supporter or crest, is by no means common in English heraldry. It will be found, however, in the crests of some number of families; for example, Taylor and Potts.

Fig. 329.

Fig. 329.—Leopard's head erased.

Fig. 330.

Fig. 330.—Leopard's head erased and affronté.

Fig. 331.

Fig. 331.—Leopard's face.

Fig. 332.

Fig. 332.—Leopard's face jessant-de-lis.

A very similar animal is the ounce, which for heraldic purposes is in no way altered from the leopard. Parts of the latter will be found in use as in the case of the lion. As a crest the demi-leopard, the leopard's head (Fig. 329), and the leopard's head affronté (Fig. 330) are often to be met with. In both cases it should be noticed that the neck is visible, and this should be borne in mind, because this constitutes the difference between the leopard's head and the leopard's face (Fig. 331). The leopard's face is by far the most usual form in which the leopard will be found in armory, and can be traced back to quite an early period in heraldry. The leopard's face shows no neck at all, the head being removed close behind the ears. It is then represented affronté. For some unfathomable reason these charges when they occur in the arms of Shrewsbury are usually referred to locally as "loggerheads." They were perpetuated in the arms of the county in its recent grant. A curious development or use of the leopard's face occurs when it is jessant-de-lis (Fig. 332). This will be found referred to at greater length under the heading of the Fleur-de-lis.


Fig. 333.

Fig. 333.—Arms of Styria. (Drawn by Hans Burgkmair, 1523.)

The panther is an animal which in its relation to heraldry it is difficult to know whether to place amongst the mythical or actual animals. No instance occurs to me in which the panther figures as a charge in British heraldry, and the panther as a supporter, in the few cases in which it is met with, is certainly not the actual animal, inasmuch as it is invariably found flammant, i.e. with flames issuing from the mouth and ears. In this character it will be found as a supporter of the Duke of Beaufort, and derived therefrom as a supporter of Lord Raglan. Foreign heraldry carries the panther to a most curious result. It is frequently represented with the tail of a lion, horns, and for its fore-legs the claws of an eagle. Even in England it is usually represented vomiting flames, but the usual method of depicting it on the Continent is greatly at variance with our own. Fig. 333 represents the same arms of Styria—Vert, a panther argent, armed close, vomiting flames of fire—from the title-page of the Land-bond of Styria in the year 1523, drawn by Hans Burgkmair. In Physiologus, a Greek writing {195}of early Christian times of about the date 140, which in the course of time has been translated into every tongue, mention is made of the panther, to which is there ascribed the gaily spotted coat and the pleasant, sweet-smelling breath which induces all other animals to approach it; the dragon alone retreats into its hole from the smell, and consequently the panther appears to have sometimes been used as a symbol of Christ. The earliest armorial representations of this animal show the form not greatly dissimilar to nature; but very soon the similarity disappears in Continental representations, and the fancy of the artist transferred the animal into the fabulous creature which is now represented. The sweet-smelling breath, suozzon-stanch as it is called in the early German translation of the Physiologus, was expressed by the flames issuing from the mouth, but later in the sixteenth century flames issued from every opening in the head. The head was in old times similar to that of a horse, occasionally horned (as in the seal of Count Heinrich von Lechsgemünd, 1197); the fore-feet were well developed. In the second half of the fourteenth century the fore-feet assume the character of eagles' claws, and the horns of the animal were a settled matter. In the neighbourhood of Lake Constance we find the panther with divided hoofs on his hind-feet; perhaps with a reference to the panther's "cleanness." According to the Mosaic law, of course, a four-footed animal, to be considered clean, must not have paws, and a ruminant must not have an undivided hoof. Italian heraldry is likewise acquainted with the panther, but under another name (La Dolce, the sweet one) and another form. The dolce has a head like a hare, and is unhorned. (See A. Anthony v. Siegenfeld, "The Territorial Arms of Styria," Graz, 1898.)

The panther is given by Segar, Garter King of Arms 1603-1663, as one of the badges of King Henry VI., where it is silver, spotted of various colours, and with flames issuing from its mouth and ears. No doubt this Royal badge is the origin of the supporter of the Duke of Beaufort.

English armory knows an animal which it terms the male griffin, which has no wings, but which has gold rays issuing from its body in all directions. Ströhl terms the badge of the Earls of Ormonde, which from his description are plainly male griffins, keythongs, which he classes with the panther; and probably he is correct in looking upon our male griffin as merely one form of the heraldic panther.

The cat, under the name of the cat, the wild cat, the cat-a-mountain, or the cat-a-mount (Figs. 334, 335, and 336), is by no means infrequent in British armory, though it will usually be found in Scottish or Irish examples. The arms of Keates and Scott-Gatty in which it figures are English examples, however. {196}

The wolf (Figs. 337-341) is a very frequent charge in English armory. Apart from its use as a supporter, in which position it is found in conjunction with the shields of Lord Welby, Lord Rendell, and Viscount Wolseley, it will be found in the arms of Lovett and in by far the larger proportion of the coats for the name of Wilson and in the arms of Low.

Fig. 334.

Fig. 334.—Cat-a-mountain sejant guardant.

Fig. 335.

Fig. 335.—Cat-a-mountain sejant guardant erect.

Fig. 336.

Fig. 336.—Cat-a-mountain passant guardant.

Fig. 337.

Fig. 337.—Wolf rampant.

Fig. 338.

Fig. 338.—Wolf salient.

Fig. 339.

Fig. 339.—Wolf courant.

The wolf, however, in earlier representations has a less distinctly wolf-like character, it being sometimes difficult to distinguish the wolf from some other heraldic animals. This is one of these cases in which, owing to insufficient knowledge and crude draughtsmanship, ancient heraldry is not to be preferred to more realistic treatment. The demi-wolf is a very frequent crest, occurring not only in the arms and crests of members of the Wilson and many other families, but also as the crest of Wolfe. The latter crest is worthy of remark, inasmuch as the Royal crown which is held within its paws typifies the assistance given to King Charles II., after the battle of Worcester, by Mr. Francis Wolfe of Madeley, to whom the crest was granted. King Charles, it may be noted, also gave to Mr. Wolfe a silver tankard, upon the lid of which was a representation of this crest. Wolves' heads are particularly common, especially in Scottish heraldry. An example of them will be found in the arms of {197}"Struan" Robertson, and in the coats used by all other members of the Robertson Clan having or claiming descent from, or relationship with, the house of Struan. The wolf's head also appears in the arms of Skeen. Woodward states that the wolf is the most common of all heraldic animals in Spanish heraldry, where it is frequently represented as ravissant, i.e. carrying the body of a lamb in its mouth or across its back.

Fig. 340.

Fig. 340.—Wolf passant.

Fig. 341.

Fig. 341.—Wolf statant.

Fig. 342.

Fig. 342.—A lynx coward.

Fig. 343.

Fig. 343.—Fox passant.

Fig. 344.

Fig. 344.—Fox sejant.

Fig. 345.

Fig. 345.—A fox's mask.

Much akin to the wolf is the Lynx; in fact the heraldic representation of the two animals is not greatly different. The lynx does not often occur in heraldry except as a supporter, but it will be found as the crest of the family of Lynch. The lynx is nearly always depicted and blazoned "coward," i.e. with its tail between its legs (Fig. 342). Another instance of this particular animal is found in the crest of Comber.

A Fox (Figs. 343 and 344) which from the similarity of its representation is often confused with a wolf, is said by Woodward to be very seldom met with in British heraldry. This is hardly a correct statement, inasmuch as countless instances can be produced in which a fox figures as a charge, a crest, or a supporter. The fox is found on the arms and as the crest, and two are the supporters of Lord Ilchester, and instances of its appearance will be found amongst others in the arms {198}or crests, for example, of Fox, Colfox, and Ashworth. Probably the most curious example of the heraldic fox will be found in the arms of Sir Watkin Williams Wynn, who for the arms of Williams quarters: "Argent, two foxes counter-salient gules, the dexter surmounted of the sinister." The face of a fox is termed its mask (Fig. 345).

The Bear (Figs. 346-349) is frequently found figuring largely in coats of arms for the names of Barnard, Baring, Barnes, and Bearsley, and for other names which can be considered to bear canting relation to the charge. In fact the arms, crest, and motto of Barnard together form such an excellent example of the little jokes which characterise heraldry that I quote the blazon in full. The coat is "argent, a bear rampant sable," the crest is "a demi-bear sable," and the motto "Bear and forbear."

Fig. 346.

Fig. 346.—Bear rampant.

Fig. 347.

Fig. 347.—Bear passant.

Fig. 348.

Fig. 348.—Bear statant.

The bear is generally muzzled, but this must not be presumed unless mentioned in the blazon. Bears' paws are often found both in crests and as charges upon shields, but as they differ little if anything in appearance from the lion's gamb, they need not be further particularised. To the bear's head, however, considerable attention should be paid, inasmuch as the manner of depicting it in England and Scotland differs. The bear's head, according to English ideas of heraldry, would be depicted down to the shoulders, and would show the neck couped or erased (Fig. 350). In Scottish heraldry, bears' heads are almost invariably found couped or erased close behind the ears without any of the neck being visible (Figs. 351 and 352); they are not, however, represented as caboshed or affronté.


Fig. 349.

Fig. 349.—Bear sejant erect.

Fig. 350.

Fig. 350.—Bear's head couped (English).

Fig. 351.

Fig. 351.—Bear's head couped (Scottish).

Fig. 352.

Fig. 352.—Bear's head erased and muzzled (Scottish).

Fig. 353.

Fig. 353.—Boar rampant.

Fig. 354.

Fig. 354.—Boar passant.

Fig. 355.

Fig. 355.—Boar statant.

Fig. 356.

Fig. 356.—Boar's head erased (English).

Fig. 357.

Fig. 357.—Boar's head couped (Scottish).

Fig. 358.

Fig. 358.—Boar's head erased (Scottish).

The Boar is an animal which, with its parts, will constantly be met with in British armory (Figs. 353-355). Theoretically there is a difference between the boar, which is the male of the domestic animal, and the wild boar, which is the untamed creature of the woods. Whilst the latter is usually blazoned as a wild boar or sanglier, the latter is just a boar; but for all practical purposes no difference whatever is made in heraldic representations of these varieties, though it may be noted that the crest of Swinton is often described as a sanglier, as invariably is also the crest of Douglas, Earl of Morton ["A sanglier sticking between the cleft of an oak-tree fructed, with a lock holding the clefts together all proper"]. The boar, like the lion, is usually described as armed and langued, but this is not necessary when the tusks are represented in their own colour and when the tongue is gules. It will, however, be very frequently found that the tusks are or. The "armed," however, does not include the hoofs, and if these are to {200}be of any colour different from that of the animal, it must be blazoned "unguled" of such and such a tincture. Precisely the same distinction occurs in the heads of boars (Figs. 356-358) that was referred to in bears. The real difference is this, that whilst the English boar's head has the neck attached to the head and is couped or erased at the shoulders, the Scottish boar's head is separated close behind the ears. No one ever troubled to draw any distinction between the two for the purposes of blazon, because the English boars' heads were more usually drawn with the neck, and the boars' heads in Scotland were drawn couped or erased close. But the boars head in Welsh heraldry followed the Scottish and not the English type. Matters armorial, however, are now cosmopolitan, and one can no longer ascertain that the crest of Campbell must be Scottish, or that the crest of any other family must be English; and consequently, though the terms will not be found employed officially, it is just as well to distinguish them, because armory can provide means of such distinction—the true description of an English boar's head being couped or erased "at the neck," the Scottish term being a boar's head couped or erased "close."

Occasionally a boar's head will be stated to be borne erect; this is then shown with the mouth pointing upwards. A curious example of this is found in the crest of Tyrrell: "A boar's head erect argent, in the mouth a peacock's tail proper."

Woodward mentions three very strange coats of arms in which the charge, whilst not being a boar, bears very close connection with it. He states that among the curiosities of heraldry we may place the canting arms of Ham, of Holland: "Gules, five hams proper, 2, 1, 2." The Verhammes also bear: "Or, three hams sable." These commonplace charges assume almost a poetical savour when placed beside the matter-of-fact coat of the family of Bacquere: "d'Azur, à un ecusson d'or en abîme, accompagné de trois groins de porc d'argent," and that of the Wursters of Switzerland: "Or, two sausages gules on a gridiron sable, the handle in chief."


It is not a matter of surprise that the horse is frequently met with in armory. It will be found, as in the arms of Jedburgh, carrying a mounted warrior (Fig. 359), and the same combination appears as the crest of the Duke of Fife. {201}

The horse will be found rampant (or forcene, or salient) (Fig. 360), and will be found courant (Fig. 361), passant (Fig. 362), and trotting.

Fig. 359.

Fig. 359.—A chevalier on horseback.

Fig. 360.

Fig. 360.—Horse rampant.

Fig. 361.

Fig. 361.—Horse courant.

Fig. 362.

Fig. 362.—Horse passant.

When it is "comparisoned" or "furnished" it is shown with saddle and bridle and all appurtenances; but if the saddle is not present it would only be blazoned "bridled."

"Gules, a horse argent," really the arms of Westphalia, is popularly known in this country as the coat of Hanover, inasmuch as it was the most prominent charge upon the inescutcheon or quartering of Hanover formerly borne with the Royal Arms. Every one in this country is familiar with the expression, "the white horse of Hanover."

Horses will also be found in many cases as supporters, and these will be referred to in the chapter upon that subject, but reference should be particularly made here to the crest of the family of Lane, of King's Bromley, which is a strawberry roan horse, couped at the flanks, bridled, saddled, and holding in its feet the Imperial crown proper. This commemorates the heroic action of Mistress Jane Lane, afterwards Lady Fisher, and the sister of Sir Thomas Lane, of King's Bromley, who, after the battle of Worcester and when King Charles was in hiding, rode from Staffordshire to the south coast upon a strawberry roan horse, with King Charles as her serving-man. For this the Lane family were first of all granted the canton of England as an augmentation to their arms, and shortly afterwards this crest of the demi-horse (Plate II.).

The arms of Trevelyan afford an interesting example of a horse, being: "Gules, issuant out of water in base proper, a demi-horse argent, hoofed and maned or."

The heads of horses are either so described or (and more usually) termed "nags' heads," though what the difference may be is beyond {202}the comprehension of most people; at any rate heraldry knows of none.

The crest of the family of Duncombe is curious, and is as follows: "Out of a ducal coronet or, a horse's hind-leg sable, the shoe argent."

Though they can hardly be termed animate charges, perhaps one may be justified in here mentioning the horse-shoe (Fig. 363), which is far from being an uncommon charge. It will be found in various arms for the name of Ferrar, Ferrers, Farrer, and Marshall; and, in the arms of one Scottish family of Smith, three horse-shoes interlaced together form an unusual and rather a curious charge.

Other instances in which it occurs will be found in the arms of Burlton, and in the arms used by the town of Oakham. In the latter case it doubtless has reference to the toll of a horse-shoe, which the town collects from every peer or member of the Royal Family who passes through its limits. The collection of these, which are usually of silver, and are carefully preserved, is one of the features of the town.

Fig. 363.

Fig. 363.—Horse-shoe.

Fig. 364.

Fig. 364.—Sea-horse.

Fig. 365.

Fig. 365.—Pegasus rampant.

The sea-horse, the unicorn, and the pegasus may perhaps be more properly considered as mythical animals, and the unicorn will, of course, be treated under that heading; but the sea-horse and the pegasus are so closely allied in form to the natural animal that perhaps it will be simpler to treat of them in this chapter. The sea-horse (Fig. 364) is composed of the head and neck of a horse and the tail of a fish, but in place of the fore-feet, webbed paws are usually substituted. Two sea-horses respecting each other will be found in the coat of arms of Pirrie, and sea-horses naiant will be found in the arms of M‘Cammond. It is a matter largely left to the discretion of the artist, but the sea-horse will be found as often as not depicted with a fin at the back of its neck in place of a mane. A sea-horse as a crest will be found in the case of Belfast and in the crests of Clippingdale and Jenkinson. The sea-horse is sometimes represented winged, but I know of no officially sanctioned example. When represented rising from the sea the animal is said to be "assurgeant." {203}

The pegasus (Figs. 365 and 366), though often met with as a crest or found in use as a supporter, is very unusual as a charge upon an escutcheon. It will be found, however, in the arms of the Society of the Inner Temple and in the arms of Richardson, which afford an example of a pegasus rampant and also an example in the crest of a pegasus sejant, which at present is the only one which exists in British heraldry.

Fig. 367 gives a solitary instance of a mare. The arms, which are from Grünenberg's Wappenbuch (1483), are attributed to "Herr von Frouberg from the Forest in Bavaria," and are: Gules, a mare rampant argent, bridled sable.

Fig. 366.

Fig. 366.—Pegasus passant.

Fig. 367.

Fig. 367.—Arms of Herr von Frouberg.

Fig. 368.

Fig. 368.—Talbot passant.

Fig. 369.

Fig. 369.—Talbot statant.

Fig. 370.

Fig. 370.—Talbot rampant.

Fig. 371.

Fig. 371.—Talbot sejant.

The ass is not a popular charge, but the family of Mainwaring have an ass's head for a crest.


Dogs will be found of various kinds in many English and Scottish coats of arms, though more frequently in the former than in the latter. The original English dog, the hound of early days, is, of course, the talbot (Figs. 368, 369, 370, and 371). Under the heading of {204}supporters certain instances will be quoted in which dogs of various kinds and breeds figure in heraldry, but the talbot as a charge will be found in the arms of the old Staffordshire family, Wolseley of Wolseley, a cadet of which house is the present Field-Marshal Viscount Wolseley. The Wolseley arms are: "Argent, a talbot passant gules." Other instances of the talbot will be found in the arms or crests of the families of Grosvenor, Talbot, and Gooch. The arms "Azure, three talbots statant or," were granted by Cooke to Edward Peke of Heldchurchgate, Kent. A sleuth-hound treading gingerly upon the points of a coronet ["On a ducal coronet, a sleuth-hound proper, collared and leashed gules"] was the crest of the Earl of Perth and Melfort, and one wonders whether the motto, "Gang warily," may not really have as much relation to the perambulations of the crest as to the dangerous foothold amongst the galtraps which is provided for the supporters.

Fig. 372.

Fig. 372.—Greyhound passant.

Fig. 373.

Fig. 373.—Greyhound courant.

Greyhounds (Figs. 372 and 373) are, of course, very frequently met with, and amongst the instances which can be mentioned are the arms of Clayhills, Hughes-Hunter of Plas Coch, and Hunter of Hunterston. A curious coat of arms will be found under the name of Udney of that Ilk, registered in the Lyon Office, namely: "Gules, two greyhounds counter-salient argent, collared of the field, in the inner point a stag's head couped and attired with ten tynes, all between the three fleurs-de-lis, two in chief and one in base, or." Another very curious coat of arms is registered as the design of the reverse of the seal of the Royal Burgh of Linlithgow, and is: "Or, a greyhound bitch sable, chained to an oak-tree within a loch proper." This curious coat of arms, however, being the reverse of the seal, is seldom if ever made use of.

Two bloodhounds are the supporters to the arms of Campbell of Aberuchill.

The dog may be salient, that is, springing, its hind-feet on the ground; passant, when it is sometimes known as trippant, otherwise walking; and courant when it is at full speed. It will be found occasionally couchant or lying down, but if depicted chasing another animal (as in the arms of Echlin) it is described as "in full chase," or "in full course."

A mastiff will be found in the crest of Crawshay, and there is a {205}well-known crest of a family named Phillips which is "a dog sejant regardant surmounted by a bezant charged with a representation of a dog saving a man from drowning." Whether this crest has any official authority or not I do not know, but I should imagine it is highly doubtful.

Foxhounds appear as the supporters of Lord Hindlip; and when depicted with its nose to the ground a dog is termed "a hound on scent."

A winged greyhound is stated to be the crest of a family of Benwell. A greyhound "courant" will be found in the crests of Daly and Watney; and a curious crest is that of Biscoe, which is a greyhound seizing a hare. The crest of Anderson, until recently borne by the Earl of Yarborough, is a water spaniel.

Fig. 374.

Fig. 374.—A sea-dog.

Fig. 375.

Fig. 375.—Bull rampant.

Fig. 376.

Fig. 376.—Bull passant.

The sea-dog (Fig. 374) is a most curious animal. It is represented much as the talbot, but with scales, webbed feet, and a broad scaly tail like a beaver. In my mind there is very little doubt that the sea-dog is really the early heraldic attempt to represent a beaver, and I am confirmed in that opinion by the arms of the city of Oxford. There has been considerable uncertainty as to what the sinister supporter was intended to represent. A reference to the original record shows that a beaver is the real supporter, but the representation of the animal, which in form has varied little, is very similar to that of a sea-dog. The only instances I am aware of in British heraldry in which it occurs under the name of a sea-dog are the supporters of the Barony of Stourton and the crest of Dodge[17] (Plate VI.).


The bull (Figs. 375 and 376), and also the calf, and very occasionally the cow and the buffalo, have their allotted place in heraldry. {206}They are amongst the few animals which can never be represented proper, inasmuch as in its natural state the bull is of very various colours. And yet there is an exception to even this apparently obvious fact, for the bulls connected with or used either as crests, badges, or supporters by the various branches of the Nevill family are all pied bulls ["Arms of the Marquis of Abergavenny: Gules, on a saltire argent, a rose of the field, barbed and seeded proper. Crest: a bull statant argent, pied sable, collared and chain reflexed over the back or. Supporters; two bulls argent, pied sable, armed, unguled, collared and chained, and at the end of the chain two staples or. Badges: on the dexter a rose gules, seeded or, barbed vert; on the sinister a portcullis or. Motto: 'Ne vile velis.'"] The bull in the arms of the town of Abergavenny, which are obviously based upon the arms and crest of the Marquess of Abergavenny, is the same.

Examples of the bull will be found in the arms of Verelst, Blyth, and Ffinden. A bull salient occurs in the arms of De Hasting ["Per pale vert and or, a bull salient counterchanged"]. The arms of the Earl of Shaftesbury show three bulls, which happen to be the quartering for Ashley. This coat of arms affords an instance, and a striking one, of the manner in which arms have been improperly assumed in England. The surname of the Earl of Shaftesbury is Ashley-Cooper. It may be mentioned here in passing, through the subject is properly dealt with elsewhere in the volume, that in an English sub-quarterly coat for a double name the arms for the last and most important name are the first and fourth quarterings. But Lord Shaftesbury himself is the only person who bears the name of Cooper, all other members of the family except his lordship being known by the name of Ashley only. Possibly this may be the reason which accounts for the fact that by a rare exception Lord Shaftesbury bears the arms of Ashley in the first and fourth quarters, and Cooper in the second and third. But by a very general mistake these arms of Ashley ["Argent, three bulls passant sable, armed and unguled or"] were until recently almost invariably described as the arms of Cooper. The result has been that during the last century they were "jumped" right and left by people of the name of Cooper, entirely in ignorance of the fact that the arms of Cooper (if it were, as one can only presume, the popular desire to indicate a false relationship to his lordship) are: "Gules, a bend engrailed between six lions rampant or." The ludicrous result has been that to those who know, the arms have stood self-condemned, and in the course of time, as it has become necessary for these Messrs. Cooper to legalise these usurped insignia, the new grants, differentiated versions of arms previously in use, have nearly all been founded upon this Ashley coat. At any rate there must be a score or more Cooper {207}grants with bulls as the principal charges, and innumerable people of the name of Cooper are still using without authority the old Ashley coat pure and simple.

The bull as a crest is not uncommon, belonging amongst other families to Ridley, Sykes, and De Hoghton; and the demi-bull, and more frequently the bull's head, are often met with. A bull's leg is the crest of De la Vache, and as such appears upon two of the early Garter plates. Winged bulls are the supporters of the Butchers' Livery Company. A bull's scalp occurs upon a canton over the arms of Cheney, a coat quartered by Johnston and Cure.

Fig. 377.

Fig. 377.—Bull's head caboshed.

Fig. 378.

Fig. 378.—Armorial bearings of John Henry Metcalfe, Esq.: Argent, three calves passant sable, a canton gules.

The ox seldom occurs, except that, in order sometimes to preserve a pun, a bovine animal is sometimes so blazoned, as in the case of the arms of the City of Oxford. Cows also are equally rare, but occur in the arms of Cowell ["Ermine, a cow statant gules, within a bordure sable, bezantée"] and in the modern grants to the towns of Rawtenstall and Cowbridge. Cows' heads appear on the arms of Veitch ["Argent, three cows' heads erased sable"], and these were transferred to the cadency bordure of the Haig arms when these were rematriculated for Mr. H. Veitch Haig.

Calves are of much more frequent occurrence than cows, appearing in many coats of arms in which they are a pun upon the name. They will be found in the arms of Vaile and Metcalfe (Fig. 378). Special attention may well be drawn to the last-mentioned illustration, inasmuch as it is by Mr. J. H. Metcalfe, whose heraldic work has obtained a well-deserved reputation. A bull or cow is termed "armed" if the horns are of a different tincture from the head. The term "unguled" applies to the hoofs, and "ringed" is used when, as is sometimes the case, a ring passes through the nostrils. A bull's head is sometimes found caboshed (Fig. 377), as in the crest of Macleod, or as in the arms of Walrond. The position of the tail is one of those matters which are left to the artist, and unless the blazon contains any statement to the contrary, it may be placed in any convenient position.



The stag, using the term in its generic sense, under the various names of stag, deer, buck, roebuck, hart, doe, hind, reindeer, springbok, and other varieties, is constantly met with in British armory, as well as in that of other countries.

Fig. 379.

Fig. 379.—Stag lodged.

Fig. 380.

Fig. 380.—Stag trippant.

Fig. 381.

Fig. 381.—Stag courant.

Fig. 382.

Fig. 382.—Stag springing.

Fig. 383.

Fig. 383.—Stag at gaze.

Fig. 384.

Fig. 384.—Stag statant.

In the specialised varieties, such as the springbok and the reindeer, naturally an attempt is made to follow the natural animal in its salient peculiarities, but as to the remainder, heraldry knows little if any distinction after the following has been properly observed. The stag, which is really the male red deer, has horns which are branched with pointed branches from the bottom to the top; but a buck, which is the fallow deer, has broad and flat palmated horns. Anything in the nature of a stag must be subject to the following terms. If lying down it is termed "lodged" (Fig. 379), if walking it is termed "trippant" (Fig. 380), if running it is termed "courant" (Fig. 381), or "at speed" or "in full chase." It is termed "salient" when springing (Fig. 382), though the term "springing" is sometimes employed, and it is said to be "at gaze" when statant with the head turned to face the spectator (Fig. 383); but it should be noted that a stag may also be "statant" (Fig. 384); and it is not "at gaze" unless the head is turned round. {209}When it is necessary owing to a difference of tincture or for other reasons to refer to the horns, a stag or buck is described as "attired" of such and such a colour, whereas bulls, rams, and goats are said to be "armed."

When the stag is said to be attired of ten or any other number of tynes, it means that there are so many points to its horns. Like other cloven-footed animals, the stag can be unguled of a different colour.

The stag's head is very frequently met with, but it will be almost more frequently found as a stag's head caboshed (Fig. 385). In these cases the head is represented affronté and removed close behind the ears, so that no part of the neck is visible. The stag's head caboshed occurs in the arms of Cavendish and Stanley, and also in the arms of Legge, Earl of Dartmouth. Figs. 386 and 387 are examples of other heads.

Fig. 385.

Fig. 385.—Stag's head caboshed.

Fig. 386.

Fig. 386.—Stag's head erased.

Fig. 387.

Fig. 387.—Buck's head couped.

Fig. 388.

Fig. 388.—Hind.

Fig. 389.

Fig. 389.—Reindeer.

Fig. 390.

Fig. 390.—Winged stag rampant.

The attires of a stag are to be found either singly (as in the arms of Boyle) or in the form of a pair attached to the scalp. The crest of Jeune affords an instance of a scalp. The hind or doe (Fig. 388) is sometimes met with, as in the crest of Hatton, whilst a hind's head is the crest of Conran.

The reindeer (Fig. 389) is less usual, but reindeer heads will be found in the arms of Fellows. It, however, appears as a supporter for {210}several English peers. Winged stags (Fig. 390) were the supporters of De Carteret, Earls of Granville, and "a demi-winged stag gules, collared argent," is the crest of Fox of Coalbrookdale, co. Salop.

Much akin to the stag is the antelope, which, unless specified to be an heraldic antelope, or found in a very old coat, is usually represented in the natural form of the animal, and subject to the foregoing rules.

Heraldic Antelope.—This animal (Figs. 391, 392, and 393) is found in English heraldry more frequently as a supporter than as a charge. As an instance, however, of the latter form may be mentioned the family of Dighton (Lincolnshire): "Per pale argent and gules, an heraldic antelope passant counterchanged." It bears little if any relation to the real animal, though there can be but small doubt that the earliest forms originated in an attempt to represent an antelope or an ibex. Since, however, heraldry has found a use for the real antelope, it has been necessary to distinguish it from the creations of the early armorists, which are now known as heraldic antelopes. Examples will be found in the supporters of Lord Carew, in the crest of Moresby, and of Bagnall.

Fig. 391.

Fig. 391.—Heraldic antelope statant.

Fig. 392.

Fig. 392.—The heraldic antelope rampant.

Fig. 393.

Fig. 393.—Heraldic antelope passant.

The difference chiefly consists in the curious head and horns and in the tail, the heraldic antelope being an heraldic tiger, with the feet and legs similar to those of a deer, and with two straight serrated horns.

Ibex.—This is another form of the natural antelope, but with two saw-edged horns projecting from the forehead.

A curious animal, namely, the sea-stag, is often met with in German heraldry. This is the head, antlers, fore-legs, and the upper part of the body of a stag conjoined to the fish-tail end of a mermaid. {211}The only instance I am aware of in which it occurs in British armory is the case of the arms of Marindin, which were recently matriculated in Lyon Register (Fig. 394). This coat, however, it should be observed, is really of German or perhaps of Swiss origin.

Fig. 394.

Fig. 394.—Armorial bearings of Marindin.


The ram (Figs. 395 and 396), the consideration of which must of necessity include the sheep (Fig. 397), the Paschal lamb (Fig. 398), and the fleece (Fig. 399), plays no unimportant part in armory. The chief heraldic difference between the ram and the sheep, to some extent, in opposition to the agricultural distinctions, lies in the fact that the ram is always represented with horns and the sheep without. The lamb and the ram are always represented with the natural tail, but the sheep is deprived of it. A ram can of course be "armed" (i.e. with the horns of a different colour) and "unguled," but the latter will seldom be found to be the case. The ram, the sheep, and the lamb will nearly always be found either passant or statant, but a demi-ram is naturally represented in a rampant posture, though in such a case the word "rampant" is not necessary in the blazon.

Occasionally, as in the crest of Marwood, the ram will be found couchant. As a charge upon a shield the ram will be found in the arms of Sydenham ["Argent, three rams passant sable"], and a ram couchant occurs in the arms of Pujolas (granted 1762) ["Per fess wavy azure and argent, in base on a mount vert, a ram couchant sable, armed and unguled or, in chief three doves proper"]. The arms of Ramsey ["Azure, a chevron between three {212}rams passant or"] and the arms of Harman ["Sable, a chevron between six rams counter-passant two and two argent, armed and unguled or"] are other instances in which rams occur. A sheep occurs in the arms of Sheepshanks ["Azure, a chevron erminois between in chief three roses and in base a sheep passant argent. Crest: on a mount vert, a sheep passant argent"].

Fig. 395.

Fig. 395.—Ram statant.

Fig. 396.

Fig. 396.—Ram rampant.

Fig. 397.

Fig. 397.—Sheep passant.

Fig. 398.

Fig. 398.—Paschal lamb.

Fig. 399.

Fig. 399.—Fleece.

Fig. 400.

Fig. 400.—Ram's head caboshed.

Fig. 401.

Fig. 401.—Goat passant.

Fig. 402.

Fig. 402.—Goat rampant.

Fig. 403.

Fig. 403.—Goat salient.

The lamb, which is by no means an unusual charge in Welsh coats of arms, is most usually found in the form of a "paschal lamb" (Fig. 398), or some variation evidently founded thereupon.

The fleece—of course originally of great repute as the badge of {213}the Order of the Golden Fleece—has in recent years been frequently employed in the grants of arms to towns or individuals connected with the woollen industry.

The demi-ram and the demi-lamb are to be found as crests, but far more usual are rams' heads, which figure, for example, in the arms of Ramsden, and in the arms of the towns of Huddersfield, and Barrow-in-Furness. The ram's head will sometimes be found caboshed, as in the arms of Ritchie and Roberts.

Perhaps here reference may fittingly be made to the arms granted by Lyon Office in 1812 to Thomas Bonar, co. Kent ["Argent, a saltire and chief azure, the last charged with a dexter hand proper, vested with a shirt-sleeve argent, issuing from the dexter chief point, holding a shoulder of mutton proper to a lion passant or, all within a bordure gules"].

The Goat (Figs. 401-403) is very frequently met with in armory. Its positions are passant, statant, rampant, and salient. When the horns are of a different colour it is said to be "armed."


The Elephant is by no means unusual in heraldry, appearing as a crest, as a charge, and also as a supporter. Nor, strange to say, is its appearance exclusively modern. The elephant's head, however, is much more frequently met with than the entire animal. Heraldry generally finds some way of stereotyping one of its creations as peculiarly its own, and in regard to the elephant, the curious "elephant and castle" (Fig. 404) is an example, this latter object being, of course, simply a derivative of the howdah of Indian life. Few early examples of the elephant omit the castle. The elephant and castle is seen in the arms of Dumbarton and in the crest of Corbet.

A curious practice, the result of pure ignorance, has manifested itself in British armory. As will be explained in the chapter upon crests, a large proportion of German crests are derivatives of the stock basis of two bull's horns, which formed a recognised ornament for a helmet in Viking and other pre-heraldic days. As heraldry found its footing it did not in Germany displace those horns, which in many cases continued alone as the crest or remained as a part of it in the form of additions to other objects. The craze for decoration at an early period seized upon the horns, which carried repetitions of the arms or their tinctures. As time went on the {214}decoration was carried further, and the horns were made with bell-shaped open ends to receive other objects, usually bunches of feathers or flowers. So universal did this custom become that even when nothing was inserted the horns came to be always depicted with these open mouths at their points. But German heraldry now, as has always been the case, simply terms the figures "horns." In course of time German immigrants made application for grants of arms in this country, which, doubtless, were based upon other German arms previously in use, but which, evidence of right not being forthcoming, could not be recorded as borne of right, and needed to be granted with alteration as a new coat. The curious result has been that these horns have been incorporated in some number of English grants, but they have universally been described as elephants' proboscides, and are now always so represented in this country. A case in point is the crest of Verelst, and another is the crest of Allhusen.

Fig. 404.

Fig. 404.—Elephant and castle.

Fig. 405.

Fig. 405.—Hare salient.

Fig. 406.

Fig. 406.—Coney.

Fig. 407.

Fig. 407.—Squirrel.

Elephants' tusks have also been introduced into grants, as in the arms of Liebreich (borne in pretence by Cock) and Randles ["Or, a chevron wavy azure between three pairs of elephants' tusks in saltire proper"].

The Hare (Fig. 405) is but rarely met with in British armory. It appears in the arms of Cleland, and also in the crest of Shakerley, Bart. ["A hare proper resting her forefeet on a grab or"]. A very curious coat ["Argent, three hares playing bagpipes gules"] belongs to an ancient Derbyshire family FitzErcald, now represented (through the Sacheverell family) by Coke of Trussley, who quarter the FitzErcald shield.

The Rabbit (Fig. 406), or, as it is more frequently termed heraldically, the Coney, appears more frequently in heraldry than the hare, being the canting charge on the arms of Coningsby, Cunliffe ["Sable, three conies courant argent"], and figuring also as the supporters of Montgomery Cunningham ["Two conies proper"].

The Squirrel (Fig. 407) occurs in many English coats of arms. It is always sejant, and very frequently cracking a nut. {215}

The Ape is not often met with, except in the cases of the different families of the great Fitz Gerald clan. It is usually the crest, though the Duke of Leinster also has apes as supporters. One family of Fitzgerald, however, bear it as a charge upon the shield ["Gules, a saltire invected per pale argent and or, between four monkeys statant of the second, environed with a plain collar and chained of the second. Mantling gules and argent. Crest: on a wreath of the colours, a monkey as in the arms, charged on the body with two roses, and resting the dexter fore-leg on a saltire gules. Motto: 'Crom-a-boo'"], and the family of Yorke bear an ape's head for a crest.

The ape is usually met with "collared and chained" (Fig. 408), though, unlike any other animal, the collar of an ape environs its loins and not its neck. A winged ape is included in Elvin's "Dictionary of Heraldry" as a heraldic animal, but I am not aware to whom it is assigned.

Fig. 408.

Fig. 408.—Ape collared and chained.

Fig. 409.

Fig. 409.—Brock.

Fig. 410.

Fig. 410.—Otter.

The Brock or Badger (Fig. 409) figures in some number of English arms. It is most frequently met with as the crest of Brooke, but will be also found in the arms or crests of Brocklebank and Motion.

The Otter (Fig. 410) is not often met with except in Scottish coats, but an English example is that of Sir George Newnes, and a demi-otter issuant from a fess wavy will be found quartered by Seton of Mounie.

An otter's head, sometimes called a seal's head, for it is impossible to distinguish the heraldic representations of the one or the other, appears in many coats of arms of different families of the name of Balfour, and two otters are the supporters belonging to the head of the Scottish house of Balfour.

The Ermine, the Stoat, and the Weasel, &c., are not very often met with, but the ermine appears as the crest of Crawford and the marten as the crest of a family of that name. {216}

Fig. 411.

Fig. 411.—Urcheon.

The Hedgehog, or, as it is usually heraldically termed, the Urcheon (Fig. 411), occurs in some number of coats. For example, in the arms of Maxwell ["Argent, an eagle with two heads displayed sable, beaked and membered gules, on the breast an escutcheon of the first, charged with a saltire of the second, surcharged in the centre with a hurcheon (hedgehog) or, all within a bordure gules"], Harris, and as the crest of Money-Kyrle.

The Beaver has been introduced into many coats of late years for those connected in any way with Canada. It figures in the arms of Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal, and in the arms of Christopher.

The beaver is one of the supporters of the city of Oxford, and is the sole charge in the arms of the town of Biberach (Fig. 412). Originally the arms were: "Argent, a beaver azure, crowned and armed gules," but the arms authorised by the Emperor Frederick IV., 18th July 1848, were: "Azure, a beaver or."

Fig. 412.

Fig. 412.—Arms of the town of Biberach. (From Ulrich Reichenthal's Concilium von Constanz, Augsburg, 1483.)

It is quite impossible, or at any rate very unnecessary, to turn a work on armory into an Illustrated Guide to Natural History, which would be the result if under the description of heraldic charges the attempt were made to deal with all the various animals which have by now been brought to the armorial fold, owing to the inclusion of each for special and sufficient reasons in one or two isolated grants.

Far be it from me, however, to make any remark which should seem to indicate the raising of any objection to such use. In my opinion it is highly admirable, providing there is some definite reason in each case for the introduction of these strange animals other than mere caprice. They add to the interest of heraldry, and they give to modern arms and armory a definite status and meaning, which is a relief from the endless monotony of meaningless lions, bends, chevrons, mullets, and martlets.

But at the same time the isolated use in a modern grant of such an animal as the kangaroo does not make it one of the peculiarly heraldic menagerie, and consequently such instances must be dismissed herein with brief mention, particularly as many of these creatures heraldically exist only as supporters, in which chapter some are more fully {217}discussed. Save as a supporter, the only instances I know of the Kangaroo are in the coat of Moore and in the arms of Arthur, Bart.

The Zebra will be found as the crest of Kemsley.

The Camel, which will be dealt with later as a supporter, in which form it appears in the arms of Viscount Kitchener, the town of Inverness (Fig. 251), and some of the Livery Companies, also figures in the reputed but unrecorded arms of Camelford, and in the arms of Cammell of Sheffield and various other families of a similar name.

The fretful Porcupine was borne ["Gules, a porcupine erect argent, tusked, collared, and chained or"] by Simon Eyre, Lord Mayor of London in 1445: and the creature also figures as one of the supporters and the crest of Sidney, Lord De Lisle and Dudley.

Fig. 413.

Fig. 413.—Bat.

The Bat (Fig. 413) will be found in the arms of Heyworth and as the crest of a Dublin family named Wakefield.

The Tortoise occurs in the arms of a Norfolk family named Gandy, and is also stated by Papworth to occur in the arms of a Scottish family named Goldie. This coat, however, is not matriculated. It also occurs in the crests of Deane and Hayne.

The Springbok, which is one of the supporters of Cape Colony, and two of which are the supporters of Viscount Milner, is also the crest of Randles ["On a wreath of the colours, a springbok or South African antelope statant in front of an assegai erect all proper"].

The Rhinoceros occurs as one of the supporters of Viscount Colville of Culross, and also of the crest of Wade, and the Hippopotamus is one of the supporters of Speke.

The Crocodile, which is the crest and one of the supporters of Speke, is also the crest of Westcar ["A crocodile proper, collared and chained or"].

The Alpaca, and also two Angora Goats' heads figure in the arms of Benn.

The Rat occurs in the arms of Ratton,[18] which is a peculiarly good example of a canting coat.

The Mole, sometimes termed a moldiwarp, occurs in the arms of Mitford ["Argent, a fess sable between three moles displayed sable"]. {218}



The heraldic catalogue of beasts runs riot when we reach those mythical or legendary creatures which can only be summarised under the generic term of monsters. Most mythical animals, however, can be traced back to some comparable counterpart in natural history.

The fauna of the New World was of course unknown to those early heraldic artists in whose knowledge and imagination, no less than in their skill (or lack of it) in draughtsmanship, lay the nativity of so much of our heraldry. They certainly thought they were representing animals in existence in most if not in all cases, though one gathers that they considered many of the animals they used to be misbegotten hybrids. Doubtless, working on the assumption of the mule as the hybrid of the horse and the ass, they jumped to the conclusion that animals which contained salient characteristics of two other animals which they knew were likewise hybrids. A striking example of their theories is to be found in the heraldic Camelopard, which was anciently devoutly believed to be begotten by the leopard upon the camel. A leopard they would be familiar with, also the camel, for both belong to that corner of the world where the north-east of the African Continent, the south-east of Europe, and the west of Asia join, where were fought out the wars of the Cross, and where heraldry took on itself a definite being. There the known civilisations of the world met, taking one from the other knowledge, more or less distorted, ideas and wild imaginings. A stray giraffe was probably seen by some journeyer up the Nile, who, unable to otherwise account for it, considered and stated the animal to be the hybrid offspring of the leopard and camel. Another point needs to be borne in mind. Earlier artists were in no way fettered by any supposed necessity for making their pictures realistic representations. Realism is a modernity. Their pictures were decoration, and they thought far more of making their subject fit the space to be decorated than of making it a "speaking likeness."

Nevertheless, their work was not all imagination. In the Crocodile {219}we get the basis of the dragon, if indeed the heraldic dragon be not a perpetuation of ancient legends, or even perhaps of then existing representations of those winged antediluvian animals, the fossilised remains of which are now available. Wings, however, need never be considered a difficulty. It has ever been the custom (from the angels of Christianity to the personalities of Mercury and Pegasus) to add wings to any figure held in veneration. Why, it would be difficult to say, but nevertheless the fact remains.

The Unicorn, however, it is not easy to resolve into an original basis, because until the seventeenth century every one fondly believed in the existence of the animal. Mr. Beckles Wilson appears to have paid considerable attention to the subject, and was responsible for the article "The Rise of the Unicorn" which recently appeared in Cassel's Magazine. That writer traces the matter to a certain extent from non-heraldic sources, and the following remarks, which are taken from the above article, are of considerable interest:—

"The real genesis of the unicorn was probably this: at a time when armorial bearings were becoming an indispensable part of a noble's equipment, the attention of those knights who were fighting under the banner of the Cross was attracted to the wild antelopes of Syria and Palestine. These animals are armed with long, straight, spiral horns set close together, so that at a side view they appeared to be but a single horn. To confirm this, there are some old illuminations and drawings extant which endow the early unicorn with many of the attributes of the deer and goat kind. The sort of horn supposed to be carried by these Eastern antelopes had long been a curiosity, and was occasionally brought back as a trophy by travellers from the remote parts of the earth. There is a fine one to be seen to-day at the abbey of St. Denis, and others in various collections in Europe. We now know these so-called unicorn's horns, usually carved, to belong to that marine monster the narwhal, or sea-unicorn. But the fable of a breed of horned horses is at least as old as Pliny" [Had the "gnu" anything to do with this?], "and centuries later the Crusaders, or the monkish artists who accompanied them, attempted to delineate the marvel. From their first rude sketches other artists copied; and so each presentment was passed along, until at length the present form of the unicorn was attained. There was a time—not so long ago—when the existence of the unicorn was as implicitly believed in as the camel or any other animal not seen in these latitudes; and the translators of the Bible set their seal upon the legend by translating the Hebrew word reem (which probably meant a rhinoceros) as 'unicorn.' Thus the worthy Thomas Fuller came to consider the existence of the unicorn clearly proved by the mention of it in Scripture! Describing {220}the horn of the animal, he writes, 'Some are plain, as that of St. Mark's in Venice; others wreathed about it, which probably is the effect of age, those wreaths being but the wrinkles of most vivacious unicorns. The same may be said of the colour: white when newly taken from the head; yellow, like that lately in the Tower, of some hundred years' seniority; but whether or no it will soon turn black, as that of Plinie's description, let others decide.'

"All the books on natural history so late as the seventeenth century describe at length the unicorn; several of them carefully depict him as though the artist had drawn straight from the life.

"If art had stopped here, the wonder of the unicorn would have remained but a paltry thing after all. His finer qualities would have been unrecorded, and all his virtues hidden. But, happily, instead of this, about the animal first conceived in the brain of a Greek (as Pegasus also was), and embodied through the fertile fancy of the Crusader, the monks and heraldists of the Middle Ages devised a host of spiritual legends. They told of his pride, his purity, his endurance, his matchless spirit.

"'The greatnesse of his mynde is such that he chooseth rather to dye than be taken alive.' Indeed, he was only conquerable by a beautiful maiden. One fifteenth-century writer gives a recipe for catching a unicorn. 'A maid is set where he hunteth and she openeth her lap, to whom the unicorn, as seeking rescue from the force of the hunter, yieldeth his head and leaveth all his fierceness, and resteth himself under her protection, sleepeth until he is taken and slain.' But although many were reported to be thus enticed to their destruction, only their horns, strange to say, ever reached Europe. There is one in King Edward's collection at Buckingham Palace.

"Naturally, the horn of such an animal was held a sovereign specific against poison, and 'ground unicorn's horn' often figures in mediæval books of medicine.

"There was in Shakespeare's time at Windsor Castle the 'horn of a unicorn of above eight spans and a half in length, valued at above £10,000.' This may have been the one now at Buckingham Palace. One writer, describing it, says:—

"'I doe also know that horn the King of England possesseth to be wreathed in spires, even as that is accounted in the Church of St. Dennis, than which they suppose none greater in the world, and I never saw anything in any creature more worthy praise than this horne. It is of soe great a length that the tallest man can scarcely touch the top thereof, for it doth fully equal seven great feet. It weigheth thirteen pounds, with their assize, being only weighed by the gesse of the hands it seemeth much heavier.' {221}

"Spenser, in the 'Faerie Queen,' thus describes a contest between the unicorn and the lion:—

'Like as the lyon, whose imperial powre

A proud rebellious unicorn defyes,

T'avoide the rash assault and wrathful stowre

Of his fiers foe, him to a tree applies.

And when him running in full course he spyes

He slips aside; the whiles that furious beast

His precious horne, sought of his enimyes,

Strikes in the stroke, ne thence can be released,

But to the victor yields a bounteous feast.'

"'It hath,' remarked Guillim, in 1600, 'been much questioned among naturalists which it is that is properly called the unicorn; and some have made doubt whether there be such a beast or no. But the great esteem of his horn in many places to be seen may take away that needless scruple.'

Fig. 414.

Fig. 414.—Unicorn rampant.

Fig. 415.

Fig. 415.—Unicorn passant.

Fig. 416.

Fig. 416.—Unicorn statant.

"Another old writer, Topsell, says:—

Fig. 417.

Fig. 417.—Unicorn rampant.

"'These beasts are very swift, and their legs have not articles. They keep for the most part in the deserts, and live solitary in the tops of the mountaines. There was nothing more horrible than the voice or braying of it, for the voice is strained above measure. It fighteth both with the mouth and with the heeles, with the mouth biting like a lyon, and with the heeles kicking like a horse.'

"Nor is belief in the unicorn confined to Europe. By Chinese writers it is characterised as a 'spiritual beast.' The existence of the unicorn is firmly credited by the most intelligent natives and by not a few Europeans. A very trustworthy observer, the Abbé Huc, speaks very positively on the subject: 'The unicorn really exists in Tibet.... We had for a long time a small Mongol treatise on Natural History, for the use of children, in which a unicorn formed one of the pictorial illustrations.'"

The unicorn, however, as it has heraldically developed, is drawn {222}with the body of a horse, the tail of the heraldic lion, the legs and feet of the deer, the head and mane of a horse, to which is added the long twisted horn from which the animal is named, and a beard (Figs. 414, 415, and 416). A good representation of the unicorn will be found in the figure of the Royal Arms herein, and in Fig. 417, which is as fine a piece of heraldic design as could be wished.

The crest of Yonge of Colbrooke, Devonshire, is "a demi-sea-unicorn argent, armed gules, finned or," and the crest of Tynte (Kemeys-Tynte of Cefn Mably and Halswell) is "on a mount vert, a unicorn sejant argent, armed and crined or."

The unicorn will be found in the arms of Styleman, quartered by Le Strange, and Swanzy.

Fig. 418.

Fig. 418.—Gryphon segreant.

Fig. 419.

Fig. 419.—Gryphon passant.

Fig. 420.

Fig. 420.—Gryphon Statant.

The Griffin or Gryphon.—Though in the popular mind any heraldic monster is generically termed a griffin, the griffin has, nevertheless, very marked and distinct peculiarities. It is one of the hybrid monstrosities which heraldry is so fond of, and is formed by the body, hind-legs, and tail of a lion conjoined to the head and claws of an eagle, the latter acting as its forepaws (Figs. 418-420). It has the wings of the eagle, which are never represented close, but it also has ears, and this, by the way, should be noted, because herein is the only distinction between a griffin's head and an eagle's head when the rest of the body is not represented (Fig. 421). Though but very seldom so met with, it is occasionally found proper, by which description is meant that the plumage is of the brown colour of the eagle, the rest of the body being the natural colour of the lion. The griffin is frequently found with its beak and fore-legs of a different colour from its body, {223}and is then termed "armed," though another term, "beaked and fore-legged," is almost as frequently used. A very popular idea is that the origin of the griffin was the dimidiation of two coats of arms, one having an eagle and the other a lion as charges, but taking the origin of armory to belong to about the end of the eleventh century, or thereabouts, the griffin can be found as a distinct creation, not necessarily heraldic, at a very much earlier date. An exceedingly good and an early representation of the griffin will be found in Fig. 422. It is a representation of the great seal of the town of Schweidnitz in the jurisdiction of Breslau, and belongs to the year 1315. The inscription is "+ S universitatis civium de Swidnitz." In the grant of arms to the town in the year 1452, the griffin is gules on a field of argent.

Fig. 422.

Fig. 422.—Seal of the Town of Schweidnitz.

The griffin will be found in all sorts of positions, and the terms applied to it are the same as would be applied to a lion, except in the single instance of the rampant position. A griffin is then termed "segreant" (Fig. 418). The wings are usually represented as endorsed and erect, but this is not compulsory, as will be noticed by reference to the supporters of the Earl of Mar and Kellie, in which the wings are inverted.

Fig. 421.

Fig. 421.—Gryphon's head erased.

Fig. 423.

Fig. 423.—Male gryphon.

There is a certain curiosity in English heraldry, wholly peculiar to it, which may be here referred to. A griffin in the ordinary way is merely so termed, but a male griffin by some curious reasoning has no wings, but is adorned with spikes showing at some number of points on its body (Fig. 423). I have, under my remarks upon the panther, hazarded the supposition that the male griffin of English heraldry is nothing more than a British development and form of the Continental heraldic panther which is unknown to us. The origin of the clusters and spikes, unless they are to be found in the flames of fire associated with the panther, must remain a mystery. The male griffin is very seldom met with, but two of these creatures are the supporters of Sir George John Egerton Dashwood, Bart. Whilst we consider the griffin a purely mythical animal, there is no doubt whatever that earlier writers devoutly believed that such animals existed. Sir John Maundeville tells us in his "Travels" that they abound in Bacharia. "Sum men seyn that thei han the body upward as an egle, and benethe as a lyoun; and treuly thei seyn sothe that thei ben of that schapp. But a Griffoun {224}hathe the body more gret and more strong than eight lyouns of such lyouns as ben o' this half (of the world), and more gret and stronger than an 100 egles such as we han amonges us ...," and other writers, whilst not considering them an original type of animal, undoubtedly believed in their existence as hybrid of the eagle and the lion. It is of course a well-known fact that the mule, the most popular hybrid, does not breed. This fact would be accepted as accounting for the rarity of animals which were considered to be hybrids.

Though there are examples of griffins in some of the earliest rolls of arms, the animal cannot be said to have come into general use until a somewhat later period. Nowadays, however, it is probably next in popularity to the lion.

The demi-griffin is very frequently found as a crest.

A griffin's head (Fig. 421) is still yet more frequently met with, and as a charge upon the shields it will be found in the arms of Raikes, Kay, and many other families.

A variety of the griffin is found in the gryphon-marine, or sea-griffin. In it the fore part of the creature is that of the eagle, but the wings are sometimes omitted; and the lower half of the animal is that of a fish, or rather of a mermaid. Such a creature is the charge in the arms of the Silesian family of Mestich: "Argent, a sea-griffin proper" (Siebmacher, Wappenbuch, i. 69). "Azure, a (winged) sea-griffin per fesse gules and argent crowned or," is the coat of the Barons von Puttkammer. One or two other Pomeranian families have the like charge without wings.

The Dragon.—Much akin to the griffin is the dragon, but the similarity of appearance is more superficial than real, inasmuch as in all details it differs, except in the broad similarity that it has four legs, a pair of wings, and is a terrible creature. The much referred to "griffin" opposite the Law Courts in the Strand is really a dragon. The head of a dragon is like nothing else in heraldry, and from what source it originated or what basis existed for ancient heraldic artists to imagine it from must remain a mystery, unless it has developed from the crocodile or some antediluvian animal much akin. It is like nothing else in heaven or on earth. Its neck is covered with scales not unlike those of a fish. All four legs are scaled and have claws, the back is scaled, the tongue is barbed, and the under part of the body is likewise scaled, but here, in rolls of a much larger size. Great differences will be found in the shape of the ears, but the wings of the dragon are always represented as the wings of a bat, with the long ribs or bones carried to the base (Figs. 424-426). The dragon is one of the most artistic of heraldic creations, and lends itself very readily to the genius of any artist. In nearly all modern representations the tail, like the tongue, {225}will be found ending in a barb, but it should be observed that this is a comparatively recent addition. All dragons of the Tudor period were invariably represented without any such additions to their tails. The tail was long and smooth, ending in a blunt point.

Whilst we have separate and distinct names for many varieties of dragon-like creatures, other countries in their use of the word "dragon" include the wyvern, basilisk, cockatrice, and other similar creatures, but the distinct name in German heraldry for our four-footed dragon is the Lindwurm, and Fig. 427 is a representation of the dragon according to German ideas, which nevertheless might form an example for English artists to copy, except that we very seldom represent ours as coward.

Fig. 424.

Fig. 424.—Dragon rampant.

Fig. 425.

Fig. 425.—Dragon passant.

Fig. 426.

Fig. 426.—Dragon statant.

Fig. 427.

Fig. 427.—A German dragon.

The red dragon upon a mount vert, which forms a part of the Royal achievement as the badge of Wales, is known as the red dragon of Cadwallader, and in deference to a loudly expressed sentiment on the subject, His Majesty the King has recently added the Welsh dragon differenced by a label of three points argent as an additional badge to the achievement of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. The red dragon was one of the supporters of the Tudor kings, being used by Henry VII., Henry VIII., and Edward VI. Queen Elizabeth, however, whose liking for gold is evidenced by her changing the Royal mantle from gules and ermine to gold and ermine, also changed the colour of the dragon as her supporter to gold, and many Welsh scholars hold that the ruddy dragon of Wales was and should be of ruddy gold and not of gules. There is some room for doubt whether the dragon in the Royal Arms was really of Welsh origin. The point was discussed at some length by the present writer {226}in the Genealogical Magazine (October 1902). It was certainly in use by King Henry III.

A dragon may be statant (Fig. 426), rampant (Fig. 424), or passant (Fig. 425), and the crests of Bicknell and of the late Sir Charles Young, Garter King of Arms, are examples of dragons couchant.

A sea-dragon, whatever that creature may be, occurs in one of the crests of Mr. Mainwaring-Ellerker-Onslow.

Variations such as that attributed to the family of Raynor ["Argent, a dragon volant in bend sable"], the dragon overthrown on the arms of Langridge as quartered by Lowdell, and the sinister supporter of the arms of Viscount Gough ["The dragon of China or gorged with a mural crown and chained sable"] may be noted. The Chinese dragon, which is also the dexter supporter of Sir Robert Hart, Bart., follows closely the Chinese model, and is without wings.

Fig. 428.

Fig. 428.—Wyvern.

Fig. 429.

Fig. 429.—Wyvern with wings displayed.

Fig. 430.

Fig. 430.—Wyvern erect.

The Wyvern.—There is no difference whatever between a wyvern's head and a dragon's, but there is considerable difference between a wyvern and a dragon, at any rate in English heraldry, though the wyvern appears to be the form more frequently met with under the name of a dragon in other countries. The wyvern has only two legs, the body curling away into the tail, and it is usually represented as resting upon its legs and tail (Figs. 428 and 429). On the other hand, it will occasionally be found sitting erect upon its tail with its claws in the air (Fig. 430), and the supporters of the Duke of Marlborough are generally so represented. As a charge or crest, however, probably the only instance of a wyvern sejant erect is the crest of Mansergh. A curious crest also is that of Langton, namely: "On a wreath of the colours, an eagle or and a wyvern vert, interwoven and erect on their tails," and an equally curious one is the crest of Maule, i.e. "A wyvern vert, with two heads vomiting fire at both ends proper, charged with a crescent argent."

Occasionally the wyvern is represented without wings and with the {227}tail nowed. Both these peculiarities occur in the case of the crest of a Lancashire family named Ffarington.

The Cockatrice.—The next variety is the cockatrice (Fig. 431), which is, however, comparatively rare. Two cockatrices are the supporters to the arms of the Earl of Westmeath, and also to the arms of Sir Edmund Charles Nugent, Bart. But the animal is not common as a charge. The difference between a wyvern and a cockatrice is that the latter has the head of a cock substituted for the dragon's head with which the wyvern is decorated. Like the cock, the beak, comb, and wattles are often of another tincture, and the animal is then termed armed, combed, and wattled.

Fig. 431.

Fig. 431.—Cockatrice.

The cockatrice is sometimes termed a basilisk, and according to ancient writers the basilisk is produced from an egg laid by a nine-year-old cock and hatched by a toad on a dunghill. Probably this is merely the expression of the intensified loathing which it was desired to typify. But the heraldic basilisk is stated to have its tail terminating in a dragon's head. In English heraldry, at any rate, I know of no such example.

The Hydra, or Seven-headed Dragon, as the crest, is ascribed to the families of Barret, Crespine, and Lownes.

Fig. 432.

Fig. 432.—Camelopard.

The Camelopard (Fig. 432), which is nothing more or less than an ordinary giraffe, must be properly included amongst mythical animals, because the form and semblance of the giraffe was used to represent a mythical hybrid creation which the ancients believed to be begotten between a leopard and a camel. Possibly they represented the real giraffe (which they may have known), taking that to be a hybrid between the two animals stated. It occurs as the crest of several coats of arms for the name of Crisp.

The Camelopardel, which is another mythical animal fathered upon armory, is stated to be the same as the camelopard, but with the addition of two long horns curved backwards. I know of no instance in which it occurs.

The human face or figure conjoined to some other animal's body gives us a number of heraldic creatures, some of which play no inconsiderable part in armory.

The human figure (male) conjoined to the tail of a fish is known as the Triton or Merman (Fig. 433). Though there are some number of instances in which it occurs as a supporter, it is seldom met with as {228}a charge upon a shield. It is, however, to be found in the arms of Otway, and is assigned as a crest to the family of Tregent, and a family of Robertson, of London.

The Mermaid (Fig. 434), is much more frequently met with. It is generally represented with the traditional mirror and comb in the hands. It will be found appearing, for example, in the arms of Ellis, of Glasfryn, co. Monmouth. The crest of Mason, used without authority by the founder of Mason's College, led to its inclusion in the arms of the University of Birmingham. It will also be found as the crest of Rutherford and many other families.

The Melusine, i.e. a mermaid with two tails disposed on either side, though not unknown in British heraldry, is more frequent in German.

Fig. 433.

Fig. 433.—Merman.

Fig. 434.

Fig. 434.—Mermaid.

Fig. 435.

Fig. 435.—Sphinx.

Fig. 436.

Fig. 436.—Centaur.

The Sphinx, of course originally derived from the Egyptian figure, has the body, legs, and tail of a lion conjoined to the breasts, head, and face of a woman (Fig. 435). As a charge it occurs in the arms of Cochrane and Cameron of Fassiefern. This last-mentioned coat affords a striking example of the over-elaboration to be found in so many of the grants which owe their origin to the Peninsular War and the other "fightings" in which England was engaged at the period. A winged sphinx is the crest of a family of the name of Asgile. Two sphinxes were granted as supporters to the late Sir Edward Malet, G.C.B.

The Centaur (Fig. 436)—the familiar fabulous animal, half man, half horse—is sometimes represented carrying a bow and arrow, when it is called a "sagittarius." It is not infrequently met with in heraldry, though it is to be found more often in Continental than in English blazonry. In its "sagittarius" form it is sculptured on a column in the Romanesque cloister of St. Aubin at Angers. It will be found as the crest of most families named Lambert, and it was one of the supporters of {229}Lord Hood of Avelon. It is also the crest of a family of Fletcher. A very curious crest was borne by a family of Lambert, and is to be seen on their monuments. They could establish no official authority for their arms as used, and consequently obtained official authorisation in the early part of the eighteenth century, when the crest then granted was a regulation sagittarius, but up to that time, however, they had always used a "female centaur" holding a rose in its dexter hand.

Chimera.—This legendary animal happily does not figure in English heraldry, and but rarely abroad. It is described as having the head and breast of a woman, the forepaws of a lion, the body of a goat, the hind-legs of a griffin, and the tail of a dragon, and would be about as ugly and misbegotten a creature as can readily be imagined.

The Man-Lion will be found referred to under the heading of lions, and Elvin mentions in addition the Weir-Wolf, i.e. the wolf with a human face and horns. Probably this creature has strayed into heraldic company by mistake. I know of no armorial use of it.

The Satyr, which has a well-established existence in other than heraldic sources of imagination, is composed of a demi-savage united to the hind-legs of a goat.

The Satyral is a hybrid animal having the body of a lion and the face of an old man, with the horns of an antelope. I know of no instance of its use.

The Harpy—which is a curious creature consisting of the head, neck, and breasts of a woman conjoined to the wings and body of a vulture—is peculiarly German, though it does exist in the heraldry of this country. The German name for it is the Jungfraunadler. The shield of the Rietbergs, Princes of Ost-Friesland, is: "Sable, a harpy crowned, and with wings displayed all proper, between four stars, two in chief and as many in base or." The harpy will be found as a crest in this country.

The Devil is not, as may be imagined, a favourite heraldic charge. The arms of Sissinks of Groningen, however, are: "Or, a horned devil having six paws, the body terminating in the tail of a fish all gules." The family of Bawde have for a crest: "A satyr's head in profile sable, with wings to the side of the head or, the tongue hanging out of his mouth gules." Though so blazoned, I feel sure it is really intended to represent a fiend. On the Garter Hall-plate of John de Grailly, Captal de Buch, the crest is a man's head with ass's ears. This is, however, usually termed a Midas' head. A certain coat of arms which is given in the "General Armory" under the name of Dannecourt, and also under the name of Morfyn or Murfyn, has for a crest: "A blackamoor's head couped at the shoulders, habited paly of six ermine and ermines, pendents in his ears or, wreathed about the {230}forehead, with bat's wings to the head sable, expanded on each side."

Many mythical animals can be more conveniently considered under their natural counterparts. Of these the notes upon the heraldic antelope and the heraldic ibex accompany those upon the natural antelope, and the heraldic panther is included with the real animal. The heraldic tiger, likewise, is referred to concurrently with the Bengal or natural tiger. The pegasus, the sea-horse, and the winged sea-horse are mentioned with other examples of the horse, and the sea-dog is included with other breeds and varieties of that useful animal. The winged bull, of which only one instance is known to me, occurs as the supporters of the Butchers' Livery Company, and has been already alluded to, as also the winged stag. The sea-stag is referred to under the sub-heading of stags. The two-headed lion, the double-queued lion, the lion queue-fourché, the sea-lion (which is sometimes found winged) are all included in the chapter upon lions, as are also the winged lion and the lion-dragon. The winged ape was mentioned when considering the natural animal, and perhaps it may be as well to allude to the asserted heraldic existence of the sea-monkey, though I am not aware of any instance in which it is borne.

Fig. 437.

Fig. 437.—Salamander.

The arms of Challoner afford an instance of the Sea-Wolf, the crest of that family being: "A demi-sea-wolf rampant or." Guillim, however (p. 271), in quoting the arms of Fennor, would seem to assert the sea-wolf and sea-dog to be one and the same. They certainly look rather like each other.

The Phœnix and the Double-headed Eagle will naturally be more conveniently dealt with in the chapter upon the eagle.

The Salamander has been represented in various ways, and is usually described as a dragon in flames of fire. It is sometimes so represented but without wings, though it more usually follows the shape of a lizard.

The salamander is, however, best known as the personal device of Francis I., King of France. It is to this origin that the arms of the city of Paris can be traced.

The remainder of the list of heraldic monsters can be very briefly dismissed. In many cases a good deal of research has failed to discover an instance of their use, and one is almost inclined to believe that they were invented by those mediæval writers of prolific imagination for their treatises, without ever having been borne or emblazoned upon helmet or shield.

The Allocamelus is supposed to have the head of an ass conjoined {231}to the body of a camel. I cannot call to mind any British instance of its use.

The Amphiptère is the term applied to a "winged serpent," a charge of but rare occurrence in either English or foreign heraldry. It is found in the arms of the French family of Potier, viz.: "Azure, a bendlet purpure between two amphiptères or," while they figure as supporters also in that family, and in those of the Ducs de Tresmes and De Gevres.

The Apres is an animal with the body similar to that of a bull, but with a bear's tail. It is seldom met with outside heraldic text-books.

Fig. 438.

Fig. 438.—Enfield.

The Amphisbœna is usually described as a winged serpent (with two legs) having a head at each end of its body, but in the crest of Gwilt ["On a saltire or, interlaced by two amphisbœnæ azure, langued gules, a rose of the last, barbed and seeded proper"] the creatures certainly do not answer to the foregoing description. They must be seen to be duly appreciated.

The Cockfish is a very unusual charge, but it is to be met with in the arms of the family of Geyss, in Bavaria, i.e.: "Or, a cock sable, beaked of the first, crested and armed gules, its body ending in that of a fish curved upwards, proper."

Fig. 439.

Fig. 439.—Opinicus.

The Enfield (Fig. 438) is a purely fanciful animal, having the head of a fox, chest of a greyhound, talons of an eagle, body of a lion, and hind legs and tail of a wolf. It occurs as the crest of most Irish families of the name of Kelly.

The Bagwyn is an imaginary animal with the head of and much like the heraldic antelope, but with the body and tail of a horse, and the horns long and curved backwards. It is difficult to say what it is intended to represent, and I can give no instance in which it occurs.

The Musimon is a fabulous animal with the body and feet of a goat and the head of a ram, with four horns. It is supposed to be the hybrid between the ram and the goat, the four horns being the two straight ones of the goat and the two curled ones of the ram. Though no heraldic instance is known to me, one cannot definitely say such an animal never existed. Another name for it is the tityron.

The Opinicus (Fig. 439) is another monster seldom met with in armory. When it does occur it is represented as a winged gryphon, with a lion's legs and short tail. Another description of it gives it the {232}body and forelegs of a lion, the head, neck, and wings of an eagle, and the tail of a camel. It is the crest of the Livery Company of Barbers in London, which doubtless gives us the origin of it in the recent grant of arms to Sir Frederick Treves, Bart. Sometimes the wings are omitted.

The Manticora, Mantegre, or Man-Tiger is the same as the man-lion, but has horns attached to its forehead.

The Hippogriff has the head, wings and foreclaws of the griffin united to the hinder part of the body of a horse.

The Calopus or Chatloup is a curious horned animal difficult to describe, but which appears to have been at one time the badge of the Foljambe family. No doubt, as the name would seem to indicate, it is a variant of the wolf.

Many of the foregoing animals, particularly those which are or are supposed to be hybrids, are, however well they may be depicted, ugly, inartistic, and unnecessary. Their representation leaves one with a disappointed feeling of crudity of draughtmanship. No such objection applies to the pegasus, the griffin, the sea-horse, the dragon, or the unicorn, and in these modern days, when the differentiation of well-worn animals is producing singularly inept results, one would urge that the sea-griffin, the sea-stag, the winged bull, the winged stag, the winged lion, and winged heraldic antelope might produce (if the necessity of differentiation continue) very much happier results. {233}



Birds of course play a large and prominent part in heraldry. Those which have been impressed into the service of heraldic emblazonment comprise almost every species known to the zoological world.

Though the earliest rolls of arms give us instances of various other birds, the bird which makes the most prominent appearance is the Eagle, and in all early representations this will invariably be found "displayed." A double-headed eagle displayed, from a Byzantine silk of the tenth century, is illustrated by Mr. Eve in his "Decorative Heraldry," so that it is evident that neither the eagle displayed nor the double-headed eagle originated with the science of armory, which appropriated them ready-made, together with their symbolism. An eagle displayed as a symbolical device was certainly in use by Charlemagne.

It may perhaps here be advantageous to treat of the artistic development of the eagle displayed. Of this, of course, the earliest prototype is the Roman eagle of the Cæsars, and it will be to English eyes, accustomed to our conventional spread-eagle, doubtless rather startling to observe that the German type of the eagle, which follows the Roman disposition of the wings (which so many of our heraldic artists at the present day appear inclined to adopt either in the accepted German or in a slightly modified form as an eagle displayed) is certainly not a true displayed eagle according to our English ideas and requirements, inasmuch as the wings are inverted. It should be observed that in German heraldry it is simply termed an eagle, and not an eagle displayed. Considering, however, its very close resemblance to our eagle displayed, and also its very artistic appearance, there is every excuse for its employment in this country, and I for one should be sorry to observe its slowly increasing favour checked in this country. It is quite possible, however, to transfer the salient and striking points of beauty to the more orthodox position of the wings. The eagle (compared with the lion and the ordinaries) had no such predominance in early British heraldry that it enjoyed in Continental armory, and therefore it may be better to trace the artistic development of the German eagle. {234}

In the twelfth and thirteenth centuries the eagle appears with the head raised and the beak closed. The sachsen (bones of the wings) are rolled up at the ends like a snail, and the pinions (like the talons) take a vertical downward direction. The tail, composed of a number of stiff feathers, frequently issues from a knob or ball. Compare Fig. 440 herewith.

With the end of the fourteenth century the head straightens itself, the beak opens and the tongue becomes visible. The rolling up of the wing-bones gradually disappears, and the claws form an acute angle with the direction of the body; and at this period the claws occasionally receive the "hose" covering the upper part of the leg. The feathers of the tail spread out sicklewise (Fig. 441).

Fig. 442.

Fig. 442.

Fig. 441.

Fig. 441.

Fig. 440.

Fig. 440.

The fifteenth century shows the eagle with sachsen forming a half circle, the pinions spread out and radiating therefrom, and the claws more at a right angle (Fig. 442). The sixteenth century draws the eagle in a more ferocious aspect, and depicts it in as ornamental and ornate a manner as possible.

From Konrad Grünenberg's Wappenbuch (Constance, 1483) is reproduced the shield (Fig. 443) with the boldly sketched Adlerflügel mit Schwerthand (eagle's wing with the sword hand), the supposed arms of the Duke of Calabria.

Quite in the same style is the eagle of Tyrol on a corporate flag of the Society of the Schwazer Bergbute (Fig. 444), which belongs to the last quarter of the fifteenth century. This is reproduced from the impression in the Bavarian National Museum given in Hefner-Alteneck's "Book of Costumes."

A modern German eagle drawn by H. G. Ströhl is shown in Fig. 445. The illustration is of the arms of the Prussian province of Brandenburg.

The double eagle has, of course, undergone a somewhat similar development.

The double eagle occurs in the East as well as in the West in very early times. Since about 1335 the double eagle has appeared sporadically as a symbol of the Roman-German Empire, and under the Emperor Sigismund (d. 1447) became the settled armorial device of the Roman Empire. King Sigismund, before his coronation as Emperor, bore the single-headed eagle.


Fig. 443.

Fig. 443.—Arms of Duke of Calabria.

Fig. 444.

Fig. 444.—Eagle of Tyrol.

It may perhaps be as well to point out, with the exception of the two positions "displayed" (Fig. 451) and "close" (Fig. 446), very little if any agreement at all exists amongst authorities either as to the terms to be employed or as to the position intended for the wings when a given term is used in a blazon. Practically every other single position is simply blazoned "rising," this term being employed without any additional distinctive terms of variation in official blazons and emblazonments. Nor can one obtain any certain information from a reference to the real eagle, for the result of careful observation would seem to show that in the first stroke of the wings, when rising from the ground, the wings pass through every position from the wide outstretched form, which I term "rising with wings elevated and displayed" (Fig. 450), to a position practically "close." As a consequence, therefore, no one form can be said to be more correct than any other, either from the point of view of nature or from the point of view of ancient precedent. This state of affairs is eminently unsatisfactory, because in these days of necessary differentiation no heraldic artist of any appreciable knowledge or ability has claimed the liberty (which certainly has not been officially conceded) to depict an eagle rising with wings elevated and displayed, when it has been granted with the wings in the position addorsed and inverted. Such a liberty when the wings happen to be charged, as they so frequently are in modern English crests, must clearly be an impossibility. {236}

Fig. 445.

Fig. 445.—Arms of the Prussian Province of Brandenburg. (From Ströhl's Deutsche Wappenrolle.)

Until some agreement has been arrived at, I can only recommend my readers to follow the same plan which I have long adopted in blazoning arms of which the official blazon has not been available to me. That is, to use the term "rising," followed by the necessary description of the position of the wings (Figs. 447-450). This obviates both mistake and uncertainty. Originally with us, as still in Germany, an eagle was always displayed, and in the days when coats of arms were few in number and simple in character the artist may well have been permitted to draw an eagle as he chose, providing it was an eagle. But arms and their elaboration in the last four hundred years have made this impossible. It is foolish to overlook this, and idle in the face of existing facts to attempt to revert to former ways. Although now the English eagle displayed has the tip of its wings pointed upwards (Fig. 451), and the contrary needs now to be mentioned in the blazon (Fig. 452), this even with us was not so in the beginning. A reference to Figs. 453 and 454 will show how the eagle was formerly depicted.

Fig. 446.

Fig. 446.—Eagle close.

Fig. 447.

Fig. 447.—Eagle rising, wings elevated and addorsed.

Fig. 448.

Fig. 448.—Eagle rising, wings addorsed and inverted.

Fig. 449.

Fig. 449.—Eagle rising, wings displayed and inverted.


Fig. 450.

Fig. 450.—Eagle rising, wings elevated and displayed.

Fig. 451.

Fig. 451.—Eagle displayed.

Fig. 452.

Fig. 452.—Eagle displayed with wings inverted.

Fig. 453.

Fig. 453.—Arms of Ralph de Monthermer, Earl of Gloucester and Hereford: Or, an eagle vert. (From his seal, 1301.)

Fig. 454.

Fig. 454.—Arms of Piers de Gaveston, Earl of Cornwall (d. 1312): Vert, six eagles or.

Fig. 455.

Fig. 455.—Double-headed eagle displayed.

The earliest instance of the eagle as a definitely heraldic charge upon a shield would appear to be its appearance upon the Great Seal of the Markgrave Leopold of Austria in 1136, where the equestrian figure of the Markgrave carries a shield so charged. More or less regularly, subsequently to the reign of Frederick Barbarossa, elected King of the Romans in 1152, and crowned as Emperor in 1155, the eagle with one or two heads (there seems originally to have been little unanimity upon the point) seems to have become the recognised heraldic symbol of the Holy Roman Empire; and the seal of Richard, Earl of Cornwall, elected King of the Romans in 1257, shows his arms ["Argent, a lion rampant gules, within a bordure sable, bezanté"] displayed upon the breast of an eagle; but no properly authenticated contemporary instance of the use of this eagle by the Earl of Cornwall is found in this country. The origin of the double-headed eagle (Fig. 455) has been the subject of endless controversy, the tale one is usually taught to believe being that it originated in the dimidiation upon one shield of two separate coats {238}of arms. Nisbet states that the Imperial eagle was "not one eagle with two heads, but two eagles, the one laid upon the other, and their heads separate, looking different ways, which represent the two heads of the Empire after it was divided into East and West." The whole discussion is an apt example of the habit of earlier writers to find or provide hidden meanings and symbolisms when no such meanings existed. The real truth undoubtedly is that the double-headed eagle was an accepted figure long before heraldry came into existence, and that when the displayed eagle was usurped by armory as one of its peculiarly heraldic figures, the single-headed and double-headed varieties were used indifferently, until the double-headed eagle became stereotyped as the Imperial emblem. Napoleon, however, reverted to the single-headed eagle, and the present German Imperial eagle has likewise only one head.

Fig. 456.

Fig. 456.—Napoleonic Eagle.

The Imperial eagle of Napoleon had little in keeping with then existing armorial types of the bird. There can be little doubt that the model upon which it was based was the Roman Eagle of the Cæsars as it figured upon the head of the Roman standards. In English terms of blazon the Napoleonic eagle would be: "An eagle displayed with wings inverted, the head to the sinister, standing upon a thunderbolt or" (Fig. 456).

The then existing double-headed eagles of Austria and Russia probably supply the reason why, when the German Empire was created, the Prussian eagle in a modified form was preferred to the resuscitation of the older double-headed eagle, which had theretofore been more usually accepted as the symbol of Empire.

By the same curious idea which was noticed in the earlier chapter upon lions, and which ruled that the mere fact of the appearance of two or more lions rampant in the same coat of arms made them into lioncels, so more than one eagle upon a shield resulted sometimes in the birds becoming eaglets. Such a rule has never had official recognition, and no artistic difference is made between the eagle and the eaglet. The charges on the arms of Piers Gaveston, Earl of Cornwall, are blazoned as eagles (Fig. 454). In the blazon of a few coats of arms, the term eaglet, however, still survives, e.g. in the arms of Child ["Gules a chevron ermine, between three eaglets close argent"], and in the arms of Smitheman ["Vert, three eaglets statant with wings displayed argent, collared or"].

When an eagle has its beak of another colour, it is termed "armed" of that colour, and when the legs differ it is termed "membered." {239}

An eagle volant occurs in the crest of Jessel ["On a wreath of the colours, a torch fesswise, fired proper, surmounted by an eagle volant argent, holding in the beak a pearl also argent. Motto: 'Persevere'"].

Parts of an eagle are almost as frequently met with as the entire bird. Eagles' heads (Fig. 457) abound as crests (they can be distinguished from the head of a griffin by the fact that the latter has always upstanding ears).

Fig. 457.

Fig. 457.—Eagle's head couped.

Unless otherwise specified (e.g. the crest of the late Sir Noel Paton was between the two wings of a dove), wings occurring in armory are always presumed to be the wings of an eagle. This, however, in English heraldry has little effect upon their design, for probably any well-conducted eagle (as any other bird) would disown the English heraldic wing, as it certainly would never recognise the German heraldic variety. A pair of wings when displayed and conjoined at the base is termed "conjoined in leure" (Fig. 458), from the palpable similarity of the figure in its appearance to the lure with which, thrown into the air, the falconer brought back his hawk to hand. The best known, and most frequently quoted instance, is the well-known coat of Seymour or St. Maur ["Gules, two wings conjoined in leure the tips downwards or"]. It should always be stated if the wings (as in the arms of Seymour) are inverted. Otherwise the tips are naturally presumed to be in chief.

Fig. 458.

Fig. 458.—A pair of wings conjoined in leure.

Pairs of wings not conjoined can be met with in the arms and crest of Burne-Jones ["Azure, on a bend sinister argent between seven mullets, four in chief and three in base or, three pairs of wings addorsed purpure, charged with a mullet or. Crest: in front of fire proper two wings elevated and addorsed purpure, charged with a mullet or"]; but two wings, unless conjoined or addorsed, will not usually be described as a pair. Occasionally, however, a pair of wings will be found in saltire, but such a disposition is most unusual. Single wings, unless specified to be the contrary, are presumed to be dexter wings.

Care needs to be exercised in some crests to observe the difference between (a) a bird's head between two wings, (b) a bird's head winged (a form not often met with, but in which rather more of the neck is shown, and the wings are conjoined thereto), and (c) a bird's head between two wings addorsed. The latter form, which of course is really {240}no more than a representation of a crest between two wings turned to be represented upon a profile helmet, is one of the painful results of our absurd position rules for the helmet.

A pair of wings conjoined is sometimes termed a vol, and one wing a demi-vol. Though doubtless it is desirable to know these terms, they are but seldom found in use, and are really entirely French.

Fig. 459.

Fig. 459.—An eagle's leg erased à la quise.

Eagles' legs are by no means an infrequent charge. They will usually be found erased at the thigh, for which there is a recognised term "erased à la quise" (Fig. 459), which, however, is by no means a compulsory one. An eagle's leg so erased was a badge of the house of Stanley. The eagle's leg will sometimes be met with couped below the feathers, but would then be more properly described as a claw.

Fig. 460.

Fig. 460.—Phœnix.

A curious form of the eagle is found in the alerion, which is represented without beak or legs. It is difficult to conjecture what may have been the origin of the bird in this debased form, unless its first beginnings may be taken as a result of the unthinking perpetuation of some crudely drawn example. Its best-known appearance is, of course, in the arms of Loraine; and as Planché has pointed out, this is as perfect an example of a canting anagram as can be met with in armory.

The Phœnix (Fig. 460), one of the few mythical birds which heraldry has familiarised us with, is another, and perhaps the most patent example of all, of the appropriation by heraldic art of an ancient symbol, with its symbolism ready made. It belongs to the period of Grecian mythology. As a charge upon a shield it is comparatively rare, though it so occurs in the arms of Samuelson. On the other hand, it is frequently to be found as a crest. It is always represented as a demi-eagle issuing from flames of fire, and though the flames of fire will generally be found mentioned in the verbal blazon, this is not essential. Without its fiery surroundings it would cease to be a phœnix. On the other hand, though it is always depicted as a demi-bird (no instance to the contrary exists), it is never considered necessary to so specify it. It occurs as the crest of the Seymour family ["Out of a ducal coronet a phœnix issuant from flames of fire"].

Plate IV.

The Osprey may perhaps be here mentioned, because its heraldic {241}representation always shows it as a white eagle. It is however seldom met with, though it figures in the crests of Roche (Lord Fermoy) and Trist. The osprey is sometimes known as the sea-eagle, and heraldically so termed.

The Vulture (probably from its repulsive appearance in nature and its equally repulsive habits) is not a heraldic favourite. Two of these birds occur, however, as the supporters of Lord Graves.

Fig. 461.

Fig. 461.—Falcon.

The Falcon (Fig. 461) naturally falls next to the eagle for consideration. Considering the very important part this bird played in the social life of earlier centuries, this cannot be a matter of any surprise. Heraldry, in its emblazonment, makes no distinction between the appearance of the hawk and the falcon, but for canting and other reasons the bird will be found described by all its different names, e.g. in the arms of Hobson, to preserve the obvious pun, the two birds are blazoned as hobbies.

The falcon is frequently (more often than not) found belled. With the slovenliness (or some may exalt it into the virtue of freedom from irritating restriction) characteristic of many matters in heraldic blazon, the simple term "belled" is found used indiscriminately to signify that the falcon is belled on one leg or belled on both, and if it is belled the bell must of necessity be on a jess. Others state that every falcon must of necessity (whether so blazoned or not) be belled upon at least one leg, and that when the term "belled" is used it signifies that it is belled upon both legs. There is still yet another alternative, viz. that when "belled" it has the bell on only one leg, but that when "jessed and belled" it is belled on both legs. The jess is the leather thong with which the bells are attached to the leg, and it is generally considered, and this may be accepted, that when the term "jessed" is included in the wording of the blazon the jesses are represented with the ends flying loose, unless the use of the term is necessitated by the jesses being of a different colour. When the term "vervelled" is also employed it signifies that the jesses have small rings attached to the floating ends. In actual practice, however, it should be remembered that if the bells and jesses are of a different colour, the use of the terms "jessed" and "belled" is essential. A falcon is seldom drawn without at least one bell, and when it is found described as "belled," in most cases it will be found that the intention is that it shall have two bells.

Like all other birds of prey the falcon may be "armed," a technical term which theoretically should include the beak and legs, but in actual {242}practice a falcon will be far more usually found described as "beaked and legged" when these differ in tincture from its plumage.

When a falcon is blindfolded it is termed "hooded." It was always so carried on the wrist until it was flown.

The position of the wings and the confusion in the terms applied thereto is even more marked in the case of the falcon than the eagle.

Demi-falcons are not very frequently met with, but an example occurs in the crest of Jerningham.

A falcon's head is constantly met with as a crest.

When a falcon is represented preying upon anything it is termed "trussing" its prey, though sometimes the description "preying upon" is (perhaps less accurately) employed. Examples of this will be found in the arms of Madden ["Sable, a hawk or, trussing a mallard proper, on a chief of the second a cross botonny gules"], and in the crests of Graham, Cawston, and Yerburgh.

A falcon's leg appears in the crest of Joscelin.

Fig. 462.

Fig. 462.—Pelican in her piety.

The Pelican, with its curious heraldic representation and its strange terms, may almost be considered an instance of the application of the existing name of a bird to an entirely fanciful creation. Mr. G. W. Eve, in his "Decorative Heraldry," states that in early representations of the bird it was depicted in a more naturalistic form, but I confess I have not myself met with such an ancient representation.

Heraldically, it has been practically always depicted with the head and body of an eagle, with wings elevated and with the neck embowed, pecking with its beak at its breast. The term for this is "vulning itself," and although it appears to be necessary always to describe it in the blazon as "vulning itself," it will never be met with save in this position; a pelican's head even, when erased at the neck, being always so represented. It is supposed to be pecking at its breast to provide drops of blood as nourishment for its young, and it is termed "in its piety" when depicted standing in its nest and with its brood of young (Fig. 462). It is difficult to imagine how the pelican came to be considered as always existing in this position, because there is nothing in the nature of a natural habit from which this could be derived. There are, however, other birds which, during the brooding season, lose their feathers upon the breast, and some which grow red feathers there, and it is doubtless from this that the idea originated.

In heraldic and ecclesiastical symbolism the pelican has acquired a somewhat sacred character as typical of maternal solicitude. It {243}will never be found "close," or in any other positions than with the wings endorsed and either elevated or inverted.

When blazoned "proper," it is always given the colour and plumage of the eagle, and not its natural colour of white. In recent years, however, a tendency has rather made itself manifest to give the pelican its natural and more ungainly appearance, and its curious pouched beak.

The Ostrich (Fig. 463) is doubtless the bird which is most frequently met with as a crest after the falcon, unless it be the dove or martlet. The ostrich is heraldically emblazoned in a very natural manner, and it is difficult to understand why in the case of such a bird heraldic artists of earlier days should have remained so true to the natural form of the bird, whilst in other cases, in which they could have had no less intimate acquaintance with the bird, greater variation is to be found.

As a charge upon a shield it is not very common, although instances are to be found in the arms of MacMahon ["Argent, an ostrich sable, in its beak a horse-shoe or"], and in the arms of Mahon ["Per fess sable and argent, an ostrich counterchanged, holding in its beak a horse-shoe or"].

Fig. 463.

Fig. 463.—Ostrich.

It is curious that, until quite recent times, the ostrich is never met with heraldically, unless holding a horse-shoe, a key, or some other piece of old iron in its beak. The digestive capacity of the ostrich, though somewhat exaggerated, is by no means fabulous, and in the earliest forms of its representation in all the old natural history books it is depicted feeding upon this unnatural food. If this were the popular idea of the bird, small wonder is it that heraldic artists perpetuated the idea, and even now the heraldic ostrich is seldom seen without a key or a horse-shoe in its beak.

The ostrich's head alone is sometimes met with, as in the crest of the Earl of Carysfort.

The wing of an ostrich charged with a bend sable is the crest of a family of Gulston, but an ostrich wing is by no means a usual heraldic charge.

Ostrich feathers, of course, play a large part in armory, but the consideration of these may be postponed for the moment until the feathers of cocks and peacocks can be added thereto.

The Dove—at least the heraldic bird—has one curious peculiarity. It is always represented with a slight tuft on its head. Mr. Eve considers this to be merely the perpetuation of some case in which the crude draughtsman has added a tuft to its head. Possibly he is {244}correct, but I think it may be an attempt to distinguish between the domestic dove and the wood-pigeon—both of which varieties would be known to the early heraldic artists.

The dove with an olive branch in its beak is constantly and continually met with. When blazoned "proper" it is quite correct to make the legs and feet of the natural pinky colour, but it will be more usually found that a dove is specifically described as "legged gules."

The ordinary heraldic dove will be found most frequently represented with its wings close and holding a branch of laurel in its beak, but it also occurs volant and with outstretched wings. It is then frequently termed a "dove rising."

Fig. 464.

Fig. 464.—Dove.

The doves in the arms of the College of Arms are always represented with the sinister wing close, and the dexter wing extended and inverted. This has given rise to much curious speculation; but whatever may be the reason of the curious position of the wings, there can be very little doubt that the coat of arms itself is based upon the coat of St. Edward the Confessor. The so-called coat of St. Edward the Confessor is a cross patonce between five martlets, but it is pretty generally agreed that these martlets are a corruption of the doves which figure upon his coins, and one of which surmounts the sceptre which is known as St. Edward's staff, or "the sceptre with the dove."

The Wood-Pigeon is not often met with, but it does occur, as in the crest of the arms of Bradbury ["On a wreath of the colours, in front of a demi-wood-pigeon, wings displayed and elevated argent, each wing charged with a round buckle tongue pendent sable, and holding in the beak a sprig of barberry, the trunk of a tree fesswise eradicated, and sprouting to the dexter, both proper "].

Fig. 465.

Fig. 465.—Martlet.

The Martlet is another example of the curious perpetuation in heraldry of the popular errors of natural history. Even at the present day, in many parts of the country, it is popularly believed that a swallow has no feet, or, at any rate, cannot perch upon the ground, or raise itself therefrom. The fact that one never does see a swallow upon the ground supports the foundation of the idea. At any rate the heraldic swallow, which is known as the martlet, is never represented with feet, the legs terminating in the feathers which cover the upper parts of the leg (Fig. 465). It is curious that the same idea is perpetuated in the little legend of the explanation, which may or may {245}not be wholly untrue, that the reason the martlet has been adopted as the mark of cadency for the fourth son is to typify the fact that whilst the eldest son succeeds to his father's lands, and whilst the second son may succeed, perhaps, to the mother's, there can be very little doubt that by the time the fourth son is reached, there is no land remaining upon which he can settle, and that he must, perforce, fly away from the homestead to gather him means elsewhere. At any rate, whether this be true or false, the martlet certainly is never represented in heraldry with feet. If the feet are shown, the bird becomes a swallow.

Most heraldry books state also that the martlet has no beak. How such an idea originated I am at a loss to understand, because I have never yet come across an official instance in which the martlet is so depicted.

Fig. 466.

Fig. 466.—Martlet volant.

Perhaps the confusion between the foreign merlette—which is drawn like a duck without wings, feet, or forked tail—and the martlet may account for the idea that the martlet should be depicted without a beak.

It is very seldom that the martlet occurs except close, and consequently it is never so specified in blazon. An instance, however, in which it occurs "rising" will be found in the crest of a family of Smith, and there are a number of instances in which it is volant (Fig. 466).

The Swallow, as distinct from the martlet, is sometimes met with.

A swallow "volant" appears upon the arms usually ascribed to the town of Arundel. These, however, are not recorded as arms in the Visitation books, the design being merely noted as a seal device, and one hesitates to assert definitely what the status of the design in question may be. The pun upon "l'hirondelle" was too good for ancient heralds to pass by.

Fig. 467.

Fig. 467.—Swan.

The Swan (Fig. 467) is a very favourite charge, and will be found both as a crest and as a charge upon a shield, and in all varieties of position. It is usually, however, when appearing as a charge, to be found "close." A swan couchant appears as the crest of Barttelot, a swan regardant as the crest of Swaby, and a swan "rising" will be found as a crest of Guise and as a charge upon the arms of Muntz. Swimming in water it occurs in the crest of Stilwell, and a swan to which the unusual term of "rousant" is sometimes applied figures as {246}the crest of Stafford: "Out of a ducal coronet per pale gules and sable, a demi-swan rousant, wings elevated and displayed argent, beaked gules." It is, however, more usually blazoned as: "A demi-swan issuant (from the coronet, per pale gules and sable").

Swans' heads and necks are not often met with as a charge, though they occur in the arms of Baker. As a crest they are very common, and will be found in the cases of Lindsay and Bates.

The Duck—with its varieties of the moorhen and eider-duck—is sometimes met with, and appears in the arms of Duckworth and Billiat. Few better canting examples can be found than the latter coat, in which the duck is holding the billet in its bill.

Fig. 468.

Fig. 468.—Cock.

The other domestic bird—the Cock—is often met with, though it more often figures as a crest than upon a shield. A cock "proper" is generally represented of the kind which in farmyard phraseology is known as a gamecock (Fig. 468). Nevertheless the gamecock—as such—does occur; though in these cases, when so blazoned, it is usually depicted in the artificial form—deprived of its comb and wattles, as was the case when it was prepared for cock-fighting. Birds of this class are usually met with, with a comb and wattles, &c., of a different colour, and are then termed "combed (or crested), wattled, and jelopped"—if it is desired to be strictly accurate—though it will be generally found that the term is dropped to "combed and jelopped." If the bird is termed "armed," the beak and spurs are thereby referred to. It occurs in the arms of Handcock (Lord Castlemaine) ["Ermine, on a chief sable, a dexter hand between two cocks argent"] and in the arms of Cokayne ["Argent, three cocks gules, armed, crested, and jelopped sable"], and also in that of Law. It likewise occurs in the arms of Aitken.

The Sheldrake appears occasionally under another name, i.e. that of the Shoveller, and as such will be found in the arms of Jackson, of Doncaster.

Fig. 469.

Fig. 469.—Peacock in his pride.

The gorgeous plumage of the Peacock has of course resulted in its frequent employment. It has a special term of its own, being stated to be "in his pride" when shown affronté, and with the tail displayed (Fig. 469). It is seldom met with except in this position, though the well-known crest of Harcourt is an example to the contrary, as is the crest of Sir Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy, Bart., viz. "A mount vert, thereon {247}a peacock amidst wheat, and in the beak an ear of wheat all proper." With the tail closed it also figures as one of the supporters of Sir Robert Hart, Bart. ["Sinister, a peacock close proper"]: its only appearance in such a position that I am aware of.

A peacock's tail is not a familiar figure in British armory, though the exact contrary is the case in German practices. "Issuant from the mouth of a boar's head erect" it occurs as the crest of Tyrell, and "A plume of peacock's feathers"—which perhaps is the same thing—"issuant from the side of a chapeau" is the crest of Lord Sefton.

Fig. 470.

Fig. 470.—Crane in its vigilance.

Another bird for which heraldry has created a term of its own is the Crane. It is seldom met with except holding a stone in its claw, the term for which stone is its "vigilance," a curious old fable, which explains the whole matter, being that the crane held the stone in its foot so that if by any chance it fell asleep, the stone, by dropping, would awaken it, and thus act as its "vigilance" (Fig. 470). It is a pity that the truth of such a charming example of the old world should be dissipated by the fact that the crest of Cranstoun is the crane asleep—or rather dormant—with its head under its wing, and nevertheless holding its "vigilance" in its foot! The crane is not often met with, but it occurs in the arms of Cranstoun, with the curious and rather perplexing motto, "Thou shalt want ere I want." Before leaving the crane, it may be of interest to observe that the derivation of the word "pedigree" is from pied de grue, the appearance of a crane's foot and the branching lines indicative of issue being similar in shape.

Fig. 471.

Fig. 471.—Stork holding in its beak a snake.

Heraldic representation makes little if any difference when depicting a crane, a stork, or a heron, except that the tuft on the head of the latter is never omitted when a heron is intended.

Instances of the Stork are of fairly frequent occurrence, the usual heraldic method of depicting the bird being with the wings close.

More often than not the stork is met with a snake in its beak (Fig. 471); and the fact that a heron is also generally provided with an eel to play with adds to the confusion.

The Heron—or, as it was anciently more frequently termed heraldically, the Herne (Fig. 472)—will naturally be found in the arms of Hearne and some number of other coats and crests. {248}

The Raven (Fig. 473) occurs almost as early as any other heraldic bird. It is said to have been a Danish device. The powerful Norman family of Corbet, one of the few remaining families which can show an unbroken male descent from the time of the Conquest to the present day, have always remained faithful to the raven, though they have added to it sometimes a bordure or additional numbers of its kind. "Or, a raven sable," the well-known Corbet coat, is, of course, a canting allusion to their Norman name, or nickname, "Le Corbeau." Their name, like their pedigree, is unique, inasmuch as it is one of the few names of undoubted Norman origin which are not territorial, and possibly the fact that their lands of Moreton Corbett, one of their chief seats, were known by their name has assisted in the perpetuation of what was, originally, undoubtedly a personal nickname.

Fig. 472.

Fig. 472.—Heron.

Fig. 473.

Fig. 473.—Raven.

Fig. 474 is a striking example of the virility which can be imparted to the raven. It is reproduced from Grünenberg's "Book of Arms" (1483). Ströhl suggests it may be of "Corbie" in Picardy, but the identity of the arms leads one to fancy the name attached may be a misdescription of the English family of Corbet.

Fig. 474.

Fig. 474.

Heraldically, no difference is made in depicting the raven, the rook, and the crow; and examples of the Crow will be found in the arms of Crawhall, and of the Rook in the crest of Abraham. The arms of the Yorkshire family of Creyke are always blazoned as rooks, but I am inclined to think they may possibly have been originally creykes, or corn-crakes.

The Cornish Chough is very much more frequently met with than either the crow, rook, or raven, and it occurs in the arms of Bewley, the town of Canterbury, and (as a crest) of Cornwall.

It can only be distinguished from the raven in heraldic representations by the fact that the Cornish chough is always depicted and frequently blazoned as "beaked and legged gules," as it is found in its natural state. {249}

The Owl (Fig. 475), too, is a very favourite bird. It is always depicted with the face affronté, though the body is not usually so placed. It occurs in the arms of Leeds—which, by the way, are an example of colour upon colour—Oldham, and Dewsbury. In the crest of Brimacombe the wings are open, a most unusual position.

The Lark will be found in many cases of arms or crests for families of the name of Clarke.

The Parrot, or, as it is more frequently termed heraldically, the Popinjay (Fig. 476), will be found in the arms of Lumley and other families. It also occurs in the arms of Curzon: "Argent, on a bend sable three popinjays or, collared gules."

Fig. 475.

Fig. 475.—Owl.

Fig. 476.

Fig. 476.—Popinjay.

Fig. 477.

Fig. 477.—Moorcock.

There is nothing about the bird, or its representations, which needs special remark, and its usual heraldic form follows nature pretty closely.

The Moorcock or Heathcock is curious, inasmuch as there are two distinct forms in which it is depicted. Neither of them are correct from the natural point of view, and they seem to be pretty well interchangeable from the heraldic point of view. The bird is always represented with the head and body of an ordinary cock, but sometimes it is given the wide flat tail of black game, and sometimes a curious tail of two or more erect feathers at right angles to its body (Fig. 477).

Though usually represented close, it occurs sometimes with open wings, as in the crest of a certain family of Moore.

Many other birds are to be met with in heraldry, but they have nothing at all especial in their bearing, and no special rules govern them.

The Lapwing, under its alternative names of Peewhit, Plover, and Tyrwhitt, will be found in the arms of Downes, Tyrwhitt, and Tweedy.

The Pheasant will be found in the crest of Scott-Gatty, and the Kingfisher in many cases of arms of the name of Fisher. {250}

The Magpie occurs in the arms of Dusgate, and in those of Finch.

Woodward mentions an instance in which the Bird of Paradise occurs (p. 267); "Argent, on a terrace vert, a cannon mounted or, supporting a Bird of Paradise proper" [Rjevski and Yeropkin]; and the arms of Thornton show upon a canton the Swedish bird tjader: "Ermine, a chevron sable between three hawthorn trees eradicated proper, a canton or, thereon the Swedish bird tjader, or cock of the wood, also proper." Two similar birds were granted to the first Sir Edward Thornton, G.C.B., as supporters, he being a Knight Grand Cross.

Fig. 478.

Fig. 478.—The "Shield for Peace" of Edward the Black Prince (d. 1376): Sable, three ostrich feathers with scrolls argent. (From his tomb in Canterbury Cathedral.)

Single feathers as charges upon a shield are sometimes met with, as in the "shield for peace" of Edward the Black Prince (Fig. 478) and in the arms of Clarendon. These two examples are, however, derivatives from the historic ostrich-feather badges of the English Royal Family, and will be more conveniently dealt with later when considering the subject of badges. The single feather enfiled by the circlet of crosses patée and fleurs-de-lis, which is borne upon a canton of augmentation upon the arms of Gull, Bart., is likewise a derivative, but feathers as a charge occur in the arms of Jervis: "Argent, six ostrich feathers, three, two, and one sable." A modern coat founded upon this, in which the ostrich feathers are placed upon a pile, between two bombshells fracted in base, belongs to a family of a very similar name, and the crest granted therewith is a single ostrich feather between two bombs fired. Cock's feathers occur as charges in the arms of Galpin.

In relation to the crest, feathers are constantly to be found, which is not to be wondered at, inasmuch as fighting and tournament helmets, when actually in use, frequently did not carry the actual crests of the owners, but were simply adorned with the plume of ostrich feathers. A curious instance of this will be found in the case of the family of Dymoke of Scrivelsby, the Honourable the King's Champions. The crest is really: "Upon a wreath of the colours, the two ears of an ass sable," though other crests ["1. a sword erect proper; 2. a lion as in the arms"] are sometimes made use of. When the Champion performs his service at a Coronation the shield which is carried by his esquire is not that of his sovereign, but is emblazoned with his personal arms of Dymoke: "Sable, two lions passant in pale argent, ducally crowned or." The helmet of the Champion is decorated with a triple plume of ostrich feathers and not with the Dymoke crest. In {251}old representations of tournaments and warfare the helmet will far oftener be found simply adorned with a plume of ostrich feathers than with a heritable crest, and consequently such a plume has remained in use as the crest of a very large number of families. This point is, however, more fully dealt with in the chapter upon crests.

The plume of ostrich feathers is, moreover, attributed as a crest to a far greater number of families than it really belongs to, because if a family possessed no crest the helmet was generally ornamented with a plume of ostrich feathers, which later generations have accepted and adopted as their heritable crest, when it never possessed such a character. A notable instance of this will be found in the crest of Astley, as given in the Peerage Books.

The number of feathers in a plume requires to be stated; it will usually be found to be three, five, or seven, though sometimes a larger number are met with. When it is termed a double plume they are arranged in two rows, the one issuing above the other, and a triple plume is arranged in three rows; and though it is correct to speak of any number of feathers as a plume, it will usually be found that the word is reserved for five or more, whilst a plume of three feathers would more frequently be termed three ostrich feathers. Whilst they are usually white, they are also found of varied colours, and there is even an instance to be met with of ostrich feathers of ermine. When the feathers are of different colours they need to be carefully blazoned; if alternately, it is enough to use the word "alternately," the feather at the extreme dexter side being depicted of the colour first mentioned. In a plume which is of three colours, care must be used in noting the arrangement of the colours, the colours first mentioned being that of the dexter feather; the others then follow from dexter to sinister, the fourth feather commencing the series of colours again. If any other arrangement of the colours occurs it must be specifically detailed. The rainbow-hued plume from which the crest of Sir Reginald Barnewall[19] issues is the most variegated instance I have met with.

Two peacock's feathers in saltire will be found in the crest of a family of Gatehouse, and also occur in the crest of Crisp-Molineux-Montgomerie. The pen in heraldry is always of course of the quill variety, and consequently should not be mistaken for a single feather. The term "penned" is used when the quill of a feather is of a different colour from the remainder of it. Ostrich and other feathers are very frequently found on either side of a crest, both in British and Continental armory; but though often met with in this position, there is nothing peculiar about this use in such character. German heraldry {252}has evolved one use of the peacock's feather, or rather for the eye from the peacock's feather, which happily has not yet reached this country. It will be found adorning the outer edges of every kind of object, and it even occurs on occasion as a kind of dorsal fin down the back of animals. Bunches of cock's feathers are also frequently made use of for the same purpose. There has been considerable diversity in the method of depicting the ostrich feather. In its earliest form it was stiff and erect as if cut from a piece of board (Fig. 478), but gradually, as the realistic type of heraldic art came into vogue, it was represented more naturally and with flowing and drooping curves. Of later years, however, we have followed the example of His Majesty when Prince of Wales and reverted to the earlier form, and it is now very general to give to the ostrich feather the stiff and straight appearance which it originally possessed when heraldically depicted. Occasionally a plume of ostrich feathers is found enclosed in a "case," that is, wrapped about the lower part as if it were a bouquet, and this form is the more usual in Germany. In German heraldry these plumes are constantly met with in the colours of the arms, or charged with the whole or a part of the device upon the shield. It is not a common practice in this country, but an instance of it will be found in the arms of Lord Waldegrave: "Per pale argent and gules. Crest: out of a ducal coronet or a plume of five ostrich feathers, the first two argent, the third per pale argent and gules, and the last two gules." {253}



Heraldry has a system of "natural" history all its very own, and included in the comprehensive heraldic term of fish are dolphins, whales, and other creatures. There are certain terms which apply to heraldic fish which should be noted. A fish in a horizontal position is termed "naiant," whether it is in or upon water or merely depicted as a charge upon a shield. A fish is termed "hauriant" if it is in a perpendicular position, but though it will usually be represented with the head upwards in default of any specific direction to the contrary, it by no means follows that this is always the case, and it is more correct to state whether the head is upwards or downwards, a practice which it is usually found will be conformed to. When the charges upon a shield are simply blazoned as "fish," no particular care need be taken to represent any particular variety, but on the other hand it is not in such cases usual to add any distinctive signs by which a charge which is merely a fish might become identified as any particular kind of fish.

The heraldic representations of the Dolphin are strangely dissimilar from the real creature, and also show amongst themselves a wide variety and latitude. It is early found in heraldry, and no doubt its great importance in that science is derived from its usage by the Dauphins of France. Concerning its use by these Princes there are all sorts of curious legends told, the most usual being that recited by Berry.

Woodward refers to this legend, but states that "in 1343 King Philip of France purchased the domains of Humbert III., Dauphin de Viennois," and further remarks that the legend in question "seems to be without solid foundation." But neither Woodward nor any other writer seems to have previously suggested what is doubtless the true explanation, that the title of Dauphin and the province of Viennois were a separate dignity of a sovereign character, to which were attached certain territorial and sovereign arms ["Or, a dolphin embowed azure, finned and langued gules"]. The assumption of these sovereign arms with the sovereignty and territory to which they belonged, was as much a matter of course as the use of separate arms for the Duchy of Lancaster {254}by his present Majesty King Edward VII., or the use of separate arms for his Duchy of Cornwall by H.R.H. the Prince of Wales.

Berry is wrong in asserting that no other family were permitted to display the dolphin in France, because a very similar coat (but with the dolphin lifeless) to that of the Dauphin was quartered by the family of La Tour du Pin, who claimed descent from the Dauphins d'Auvergne, another ancient House which originally bore the sovereign title of Dauphin. A dolphin was the charge upon the arms of the Grauff von Dälffin (Fig. 481).

Fig. 479.

Fig. 479.—Dolphin naiant.

Fig. 480.

Fig. 480.—Dolphin hauriant.

The dolphin upon this shield, as also that in the coat of the Dauphin of France, is neither naiant nor hauriant, but is "embowed," that is, with the tail curved towards the head. But the term "embowed" really signifies nothing further than "bent" in some way, and as a dolphin is never heraldically depicted straight, it is always understood to be and usually is termed "embowed," though it will generally be "naiant embowed" (Fig. 479), or "hauriant embowed" (Fig. 480). The dolphin occurs in the arms of many British families, e.g. in the arms of Ellis, Monypenny, Loder-Symonds, Symonds-Taylor, Fletcher, and Stuart-French.

Woodward states that the dolphin is used as a supporter by the Trevelyans, Burnabys, &c. In this statement he is clearly incorrect, for neither of those families are entitled to or use supporters. But his statement probably originates in the practice which in accordance with the debased ideas of artistic decoration at one period added all sorts of fantastic objects to the edges of a shield for purely decorative (!) purposes. The only instance within my knowledge in which a dolphin figures as a heraldic supporter will be found in the case of the arms of Waterford.

Fig. 481.

Fig. 481.—Arms of the Grauff von Dälffin lett och in Dalffinat (Count von Dälffin), which also lies in Dauphiné (from Grünenberg's "Book of Arms"): Argent, a dolphin azure within a bordure compony of the first and second.

The Whale is seldom met with in British armory, one of its few appearances being in the arms of Whalley, viz.: "Argent, three whales' heads erased sable." {255}

The crest of an Irish family named Yeates is said to be: "A shark issuant regardant swallowing a man all proper," and the same device is also attributed to some number of other families.

Another curious piscine coat of arms is that borne, but still unmatriculated, by the burgh of Inveraray, namely: "The field is the sea proper, a net argent suspended to the base from the dexter chief and the sinister fess points, and in chief two and in base three herrings entangled in the net."

Salmon are not infrequently met with, but they need no specific description. They occur in the arms of Peebles,[20] a coat of arms which in an alternative blazon introduces to one's notice the term "contra-naiant." The explanation of the quaint and happy conceit of these arms and motto is that for every fish which goes up the river to spawn two return to the sea. A salmon on its back figures in the arms of the city of Glasgow, and also in the arms of Lumsden and Finlay, whilst other instances of salmon occur in the arms of Blackett-Ord, Sprot, and Winlaw.

The Herring occurs in the arms of Maconochie, the Roach in the arms of Roche ["Gules, three roaches naiant within a bordure engrailed argent. Crest: a rock, thereon a stork close, charged on the breast with a torteau, and holding in his dexter claw a roach proper"], and Trout in the arms of Troutbeck ["Azure, three trout fretted tête à la queue argent"]. The same arrangement of three fish occurs upon the seal of Anstruther Wester, but this design unfortunately has never been matriculated as a coat of arms.

The arms of Iceland present a curious charge, which is included upon the Royal shield of Denmark. The coat in question is: "Gules, a stockfish argent, crowned with an open crown or." The stockfish is a dried and cured cod, split open and with the head removed.

A Pike or Jack is more often termed a "lucy" in English heraldry and a "ged" in Scottish. Under its various names it occurs in the arms of Lucy, Lucas, Geddes, and Pyke.

The Eel is sometimes met with, as in the arms of Ellis, and though, as Woodward states, it is always given a wavy form, the term "ondoyant," which he uses to express this, has, I believe, no place in an English armorist's dictionary.

The Lobster and Crab are not unknown to English armory, being respectively the crests of the families of Dykes and Bridger. The arms of Bridger are: "Argent, a chevron engrailed sable, between three crabs gules." Lobster claws are a charge upon the arms of Platt-Higgins. {256}

Fig. 482.

Fig. 482.—Whelk shell.

The arms of Birt are given in Papworth as: "Azure, a birthfish proper," and of Bersich as: "Argent, a perch azure." The arms of Cobbe (Bart., extinct) are: "Per chevron gules and sable, in chief two swans respecting and in base a herring cob naiant proper." The arms of Bishop Robinson of Carlisle were: "Azure, a flying fish in bend argent, on a chief of the second, a rose gules between two torteaux," and the crest of Sir Philip Oakley Fysh is: "On a wreath of the colours, issuant from a wreath of red coral, a cubit arm vested azure, cuffed argent, holding in the hand a flying fish proper." The coat of arms of Colston of Essex is: "Azure, two barbels hauriant respecting each other argent," and a barbel occurs in the crest of Binney. "Vert, three sea-breams or hakes hauriant argent" is the coat of arms attributed to a family of Dox or Doxey, and "Or, three chabots gules" is that of a French family of the name of Chabot. "Barry wavy of six argent and gules, three crevices (crayfish) two and one or" is the coat of Atwater. Codfish occur in the arms of Beck, dogfish in the arms of Dodds (which may, however, be merely the sea-dog of the Dodge achievement), flounders or flukes in the arms of Arbutt, garvinfishes in the arms of Garvey, and gudgeon in the arms of Gobion. Papworth also includes instances of mackerel, prawns, shrimps, soles, sparlings, sturgeon, sea-urchins, turbots, whales, and whelks. The whelk shell (Fig. 482) appears in the arms of Storey and Wilkinson. {257}



If armorial zoology is "shaky" in its classification of and dealings with fish, it is most wonderful when its laws and selections are considered under the heading of reptiles. But with the exception of serpents (of various kinds), the remainder must have no more than a passing mention.

Fig. 483.

Fig. 483.—Serpent nowed.

The usual heraldic Serpent is most frequently found "nowed," that is, interlaced in a knot (Fig. 483). There is a certain well-understood form for the interlacing which is always officially adhered to, but of late there has manifested itself amongst heraldic artists a desire to break loose to a certain extent from the stereotyped form. A serpent will sometimes be found "erect" and occasionally gliding or "glissant," and sometimes it will be met with in a circle with its tail in its mouth—the ancient symbol of eternity. Its constant appearance in British armory is due to the fact that it is symbolically accepted as the sign of medicine, and many grants of arms made to doctors and physicians introduce in some way either the serpent or the rod of Æsculapius, or a serpent entwined round a staff. A serpent embowed biting its tail occurs in the arms of Falconer, and a serpent on its back in the crest of Backhouse. Save for the matter of position, the serpent of British armory is always drawn in a very naturalistic manner. It is otherwise, however, in Continental armory, where the serpent takes up a position closely allied to that of our dragon. It is even sometimes found winged, and the arms of the family of Visconti, which subsequently came into use as the arms of the Duchy of Milan (Fig. 484), have familiarised us as far as Continental armory is concerned with a form of serpent which is very different from the real animal or from our own heraldic variety. Another instance of a serpent will be found in the arms of the Irish family of Cotter, which are: "Argent, a chevron gules between three serpents proper," and the family of Lanigan O'Keefe bear in one {258}quarter of their shield: "Vert, three lizards in pale or." The family of Cole bear: "Argent, a chevron gules between three scorpions reversed sable," a coat of arms which is sometimes quoted with the chevron and the scorpions both gules or both sable. The family of Preed of Shropshire bear: "Azure, three horse-leeches;" and the family of Whitby bear: "Gules, three snakes coiled or; on a chief of the second, as many pheons sable." A family of Sutton bears: "Or, a newt vert, in chief a lion rampant gules all within a bordure of the last," and Papworth mentions a coat of arms for the name of Ory: "Azure, a chameleon on a shady ground proper, in chief a sun or." Another coat mentioned by Papworth is the arms of Bume: "Gules, a stellion serpent proper," though what the creature may be it is impossible to imagine. Unfortunately, when one comes to examine so many of these curious coats of arms, one finds no evidence that such families existed, or that there is no official authority or record of the arms to which reference can be made. There can be no doubt that they largely consist of misreadings or misinterpretations of both names and charges, and I am sorely afraid this remark is the true explanation of what otherwise would be most strange and interesting curiosities of arms. Sir Walter Scott's little story in "Quentin Durward" of Toison d'Or, who depicted the "cat looking through the dairy window" as the arms of Childebert, and blazoned it "sable a musion passant or, oppressed with a trellis gules, cloué of the second," gives in very truth the real origin of many quaint coats of arms and heraldic terms. Ancient heraldic writers seem to have amused themselves by inventing "appropriate" arms for mythological or historical personages, and I verily believe that when so doing they never intended these arms to stand for more than examples of their own wit. Their credulous successors incorporated these little witticisms in the rolls of arms they collected, and one can only hope that in the distant future the charming drawings of Mr. E. T. Reed which in recent years have appeared in Punch may not be used in like manner.

There are but few instances in English armory in which the Toad or Frog is met with. In fact, the only instance which one can recollect is the coat of arms attributed to a family of Botreaux, who are said to have borne: "Argent, three toads erect sable." I am confident, however, that this coat of arms, if it ever existed, and if it could be traced to its earliest sources, would be found to be really three buckets of water, a canting allusion to the name. Toads of course are the charges on the mythical arms of Pharamond.

Fig. 484.

Fig. 484.—Arms of the Visconti, Dukes of Milan: Argent, a serpent azure, devouring a child gules. (A wood-carving from the castle of Passau at the turn of the fifteenth century.)

Amongst the few instances I have come across of a snail in British armory are the crest of Slack of Derwent Hill ("in front of a crescent or, a snail proper") and the coat attributed by Papworth to the family of {259}Bartan or Bertane, who are mentioned as bearing, "Gules, three snails argent in their shells or." This coat, however, is not matriculated in Scotland, so that one cannot be certain that it was ever borne. The snail occurs, however, as the crest of a family named Billers, and is also attributed to several other families as a crest.

Lizards appear occasionally in heraldry, though more frequently in Irish than English or Scottish coats of arms. A lizard forms part of the crest of Sillifant, and a hand grasping a lizard is the crest of M‘Carthy, and "Azure, three lizards or" the first quarter of the arms of an Irish family of the name of Cotter, who, however, blazon these charges upon their shield as evetts. The family of Enys, who bear: "Argent, three wyverns volant in pale vert," probably derive their arms from some such source. {260}



The insect which is most usually met with in heraldry is undoubtedly the Bee. Being considered, as it is, the symbol of industry, small wonder that it has been so frequently adopted. It is usually represented as if displayed upon the shield, and it is then termed volant, though of course the real term which will sometimes be found used is "volant en arrière" (Fig. 485). It occurs in the arms of Dore, Beatson, Abercromby, Samuel, and Sewell, either as a charge or as a crest. Its use, however, as a crest is slightly more varied, inasmuch as it is found walking in profile, and with its wings elevated, and also perched upon a thistle as in the arms of Ferguson. A bee-hive "with bees diversely volant" occurs in the arms of Rowe, and the popularity of the bee in British armory is doubtless due to the frequent desire to perpetuate the fact that the foundation of a house has been laid by business industry. The fact that the bee was adopted as a badge by the Emperor Napoleon gave it considerable importance in French armory, inasmuch as he assumed it for his own badge, and the mantle and pavilion around the armorial bearings of the Empire were semé of these insects. They also appeared upon his own coronation mantle. He adopted them under the impression, which may or may not be correct, that they had at one time been the badge of Childeric, father of Clovis. The whole story connected with their assumption by Napoleon has been a matter of much controversy, and little purpose would be served by going into the matter here, but it may be added that Napoleon changed the fleur-de-lis upon the chief in the arms of Paris to golden bees upon a chief of gules, and a chief azure, semé of bees or, was added as indicative of their rank to the arms of "Princes-Grand-Dignitaries of the Empire." A bee-hive occurs as the crest of a family named Gwatkin, and also upon the arms of the family of Kettle of Wolverhampton.

Fig. 485.

Fig. 485.—Bee volant.


The Grasshopper is most familiar as the crest of the family of Gresham, and this is the origin of the golden grasshoppers which are so constantly met with in the city of London. "Argent, a chevron sable between three grasshoppers vert" is the coat of arms of Woodward of Kent. Two of them figure in the arms of Treacher, which arms are now quartered by Bowles.

Ants are but seldom met with. "Argent, six ants, three, two, and one sable," is a coat given by Papworth to a family of the name of Tregent; "Vert, an ant argent," to Kendiffe; and "Argent, a chevron vert between three beetles proper" are the arms attributed by the same authority to a family named Muschamp. There can be little doubt, however, that these "beetles" should be described as flies.

Butterflies figure in the arms of Papillon ["Azure, a chevron between three butterflies volant argent"] and in the arms of Penhellicke ["Sable, three butterflies volant argent"].

Gadflies are to be found in a coat of arms for the name of Adams ["Per pale argent and gules, a chevron between three gadflies counterchanged"], and also in the arms of Somerscales, quartered by Skeet of Bishop Stortford. "Sable, a hornet argent" is one blazon for the arms of Bollord or Bolloure, but elsewhere the same coat is blazoned: "Sable, a harvest-fly in pale volant en arrière argent." Harvest flies were the charges on the arms of the late Sir Edward Watkin, Bart.

Crickets appear in the arms ["azure, a fire chest argent, flames proper, between three crickets or"] recently granted to Sir George Anderson Critchett, Bart.

The arms of Bassano (really of foreign origin and not an English coat) are: "Per chevron vert and argent, in chief three silkworm flies palewise en arrière, and in base a mulberry branch all counterchanged." "Per pale gules and azure, three stag-beetles, wings extended or," is assigned by Papworth to the Cornish family of Dore, but elsewhere these charges (under the same family name) are quoted as bees, gadflies, and flies. "Or, three spiders azure" is quoted as a coat for Chettle. A spider also figures as a charge on the arms of Macara. The crest of Thorndyke of Great Carleton, Lincolnshire, is: "On a wreath of the colours a damask rose proper, leaves and thorns vert, at the bottom of the shield a beetle or scarabæus proper."

Woodward, in concluding his chapter upon insects, quotes the arms of the family of Pullici of Verona, viz.: "Or, semé of fleas sable, two bends gules, surmounted by two bends sinister of the same." {262}



The vegetable kingdom plays an important part in heraldry. Trees will be found of all varieties and in all numbers, and though little difference is made in the appearance of many varieties when they are heraldically depicted, for canting purposes the various names are carefully preserved. When, however, no name is specified, they are generally drawn after the fashion of oak-trees.

When a tree issues from the ground it will usually be blazoned "issuant from a mount vert," but when the roots are shown it is termed "eradicated."

Fig. 486.

Fig. 486.—An oak-tree eradicated.

A Hurst of Trees figures both on the shield and in the crest of France-Hayhurst, and in the arms of Lord Lismore ["Argent, in base a mount vert, on the dexter side a hurst of oak-trees, therefrom issuing a wolf passant towards the sinister, all proper"]. A hurst of elm-trees very properly is the crest of the family of Elmhurst. Under the description of a forest, a number of trees figure in the arms of Forrest.

The arms of Walkinshaw of that Ilk are: "Argent, a grove of fir-trees proper," and Walkinshaw of Barrowfield and Walkinshaw of London have matriculated more or less similar arms.

The Oak-Tree (Fig. 486) is of course the tree most frequently met with. Perhaps the most famous coat in which it occurs will be found in the arms granted to Colonel Carlos, to commemorate his risky sojourn with King Charles in the oak-tree at Boscobel, after the King's flight subsequent to the ill-fated battle of Worcester. The coat was: "Or, on a mount in base vert, an oak-tree proper, fructed or, surmounted by a fess gules, charged with three imperial crowns of the third" (Plate II.).

Fir-Trees will be found in the arms of Greg, Melles, De la Ferté, and Farquharson.

A Cedar-Tree occurs in the arms of Montefiore ["Argent, a cedar-tree, between two mounts of flowers proper, on a chief azure, a dagger {263}erect proper, pommel and hilt or, between two mullets of six points gold"], and a hawthorn-tree in the arms of MacMurrogh-Murphy, Thornton, and in the crest of Kynnersley.

A Maple-Tree figures in the arms of Lord Mount-Stephen ["Or, on a mount vert, a maple-tree proper, in chief two fleurs-de-lis azure"], and in the crest of Lord Strathcona ["On a mount vert, a maple-tree, at the base thereof a beaver gnawing the trunk all proper"].

A Cocoanut-Tree is the principal charge in the arms of Glasgow (now Robertson-Glasgow) of Montgrennan, matriculated in 1807 ["Argent, a cocoanut-tree fructed proper, growing out of a mount in base vert, on a chief azure, a shakefork between a martlet on the dexter and a salmon on the sinister argent, the last holding in the mouth a ring or"].

The arms of Clifford afford an instance of a Coffee-Tree, and the coat of Chambers has a negro cutting down a Sugar-Cane.

A Palm-Tree occurs in the arms of Besant and in the armorials of many other families. The crest of Grimké-Drayton affords an instance of the use of palmetto-trees. An Olive-Tree is the crest of Tancred, and a Laurel-Tree occurs in the crest of Somers.

Cypress-Trees are quoted by Papworth in the arms of Birkin, probably an error for birch-trees, but the cypress does occur in the arms of Tardy, Comte de Montravel ["Argent, three cypress-trees eradicated vert, on a chief gules, as many bezants"], and "Or, a willow (salix) proper" is the coat of the Counts de Salis (now Fane-de-Salis).

The arms of Sweetland, granted in 1808, are: "Argent, on a mount vert, an orange-tree fructed proper, on a chief embattled gules, three roses of the field, barbed and seeded also proper."

A Mountain-Ash figures in the shield and crest of Wigan, and a Walnut-Tree is the crest of Waller, of Groombridge ["On a mount vert, a walnut-tree proper, on the sinister side an escutcheon pendent, charged with the arms of France, and thereupon a label of three points argent."]

The arms of Arkwright afford an example of a Cotton-Tree.

The curious crest of Sir John Leman, Lord Mayor of London, affords an instance of a Lemon-Tree ["In a lemon-tree proper, a pelican in her piety proper"].

The arms of a family whose name appears to have been variously spelled Estwere, Estwrey, Estewer, Estower, and Esture, have: "Upon an argent field a tree proper," variously described as an apple-tree, an ash-tree, and a cherry-tree. The probabilities largely point to its being an ash-tree. "Or, on a mount in base vert, a pear-tree fructed proper" is the coat of arms of Pyrton or Peryton, and the arms granted in 1591 to Dr. Lopus, a physician to Queen Elizabeth, were: "Or, a {264}pomegranate-tree eradicated vert, fructed gold, supported by a hart rampant proper, crowned and attired of the first."

A Poplar Tree occurs in the arms of Gandolfi, but probably the prime curiosity must be the coat of Abank, which Papworth gives as: "Argent, a China-cokar tree vert." Its botanical identity remains a mystery.

Trunks of Trees for some curious reason play a prominent part in heraldry. The arms of Borough, of Chetwynd Park, granted in 1702, are: "Argent, on a mount in base, in base the trunk of an oak-tree sprouting out two branches proper, with the shield of Pallas hanging thereon or, fastened by a belt gules," and the arms of Houldsworth (1868) of Gonaldston, co. Notts, are: "Ermine, the trunk of a tree in bend raguly eradicated at the base proper, between three foxes' heads, two in chief and one in base erased gules."

But it is as a crest that this figure of the withered trunk sprouting again is most often met with, it being assigned to no less than forty-three families.

In England again, by one of those curious fads by which certain objects were repeated over and over again in the wretched designs granted by the late Sir Albert Woods, Garter, in spite of their unsuitability, tree-trunks fesswise eradicated and sprouting are constantly met with either as the basis of the crest or placed "in front of it" to help in providing the differences and distinctions which he insisted upon in a new grant. An example of such use of it will be found in the arms of the town of Abergavenny.

Stocks of Trees "couped and eradicated" are by no means uncommon. They figure in the arms of the Borough of Woodstock: "Gules, the stump of a tree couped and eradicated argent, and in chief three stags' heads caboshed of the same, all within a bordure of the last charged with eight oak-leaves vert." They also occur in the arms of Grove, of Shenston Park, co. Stafford, and in the arms of Stubbs.

The arms matriculated in Lyon Register by Capt. Peter Winchester (c. 1672-7) are: "Argent, a vine growing out of the base, leaved and fructed, between two papingoes endorsed feeding upon the clusters all proper." The vine also appears in the arms of Ruspoli, and the family of Archer-Houblon bear for the latter name: "Argent, on a mount in base, three hop-poles erect with hop-vines all proper."

The town of St. Ives (Cornwall) has no authorised arms, but those usually attributed to the town are: "Argent, an ivy branch overspreading the whole field vert."

"Gules, a flaming bush on the top of a mount proper, between three lions rampant argent, in the flanks two roses of the last" is the coat of Brander (now Dunbar-Brander) of Pitgavenny. Holly-bushes {265}are also met with, as in the crests of Daubeney and Crackanthorpe, and a rose-bush as in the crest of Inverarity.

The arms of Owen, co. Pembroke, are: "Gules, a boar argent, armed, bristled, collared, and chained or to a holly-bush on a mount in base both proper."

A Fern-Brake is another stock object used in designing modern crests, and will be found in the cases of Harter, Scott-Gatty, and Lloyd.

Branches are constantly occurring, but they are usually oak, laurel, palm, or holly. They need to be distinguished from "slips," which are much smaller and with fewer leaves. Definite rules of distinction between e.g. an acorn "slipped," a slip of oak, and an oak-branch have been laid down by purists, but no such minute detail is officially observed, and it seems better to leave the point to general artistic discretion; the colloquial difference between a slip and a branch being quite a sufficient guide upon the point.

An example of an Oak-Branch occurs in the arms of Aikman, and another, which is rather curious, is the crest of Accrington.[21]

Oak-Slips, on the other hand, occur in the arms of Baldwin.

A Palm-Branch occurs in the crests of Innes, Chafy, and Corfield.

Laurel-Branches occur in the arms of Cooper, and sprigs of laurel in the arms of Meeking.

Holly-Branches are chiefly found in the arms of families named Irvine or Irwin, but they are invariably blazoned as "sheaves" of holly or as holly-branches of three leaves. To a certain extent this is a misnomer, because the so-called "branch" is merely three holly-leaves tied together.

"Argent, an almond-slip proper" is the coat of arms attributed to a family of Almond, and Papworth assigns "Argent, a barberry-branch fructed proper" to Berry.

"Argent, three sprigs of balm flowered proper" is stated to be the coat of a family named Balme, and "Argent, three teasels slipped proper" the coat of Bowden, whilst Boden of the Friary bears, "Argent, a chevron sable between three teasels proper, a bordure of the second." A teasle on a canton figures in the arms of Chichester-Constable.

The Company of Tobacco-Pipe Makers in London, incorporated in the year 1663, bore: "Argent, on a mount in base vert, three plants of tobacco growing and flowering all proper." The crest recently granted to Sir Thomas Lipton, Bart. ["On a wreath of the colours, two arms in saltire, the dexter surmounted by the sinister {266}holding a sprig of the tea-plant erect, and the other a like sprig of the coffee-plant both slipped and leaved proper, vested above the elbow argent"], affords an example of both the coffee-plant and the tea-plant, which have both assisted him so materially in piling up his immense fortune. "Or, three birch-twigs sable" is the coat of Birches, and "Or, a bunch of nettles vert" is the coat of Mallerby of Devonshire. The pun in the last case is apparent.

The Cotton-Plant figures in the arms of the towns of Darwen, Rochdale, and Nelson, and two culms of the papyrus plant occur in the arms of the town of Bury.

The Coffee-Plant also figures in the arms of Yockney: "Azure, a chevron or, between a ship under sail in chief proper, and a sprig of the coffee-plant slipped in base of the second."

A branch, slip, bush, or tree is termed "fructed" when the fruit is shown, though the term is usually disregarded unless "fructed" of a different colour. When represented as "fructed," the fruit is usually drawn out of all proportion to its relative size.

Leaves are not infrequent in their appearance. Holly-leaves occur in the various coats for most people of the name of Irwin and Irvine, as already mentioned. Laurel-leaves occur in the arms of Leveson-Gower, Foulis, and Foulds.

Oak-Leaves occur in the arms of Trelawney ["Argent, a chevron sable, between three oak-leaves slipped proper"]; and hazel-leaves in the arms of Hesilrige or Hazlerigg ["Argent, a chevron sable, between three hazel-leaves vert].

"Argent, three edock (dock or burdock) leaves vert" is the coat of Hepburn. Papworth assigns "Argent, an aspen leaf proper" to Aspinal, and "Or, a betony-leaf proper" to Betty. "Argent, three aspen-leaves" is an unauthorised coat used by Espin, and the same coat with varying tinctures is assigned to Cogan. Killach is stated to bear: "Azure, three bay-leaves argent," and to Woodward, of Little Walsingham, Norfolk, was granted in 1806: "Vert, three mulberry-leaves or."

The Maple-Leaf has been generally adopted as a Canadian emblem, and consequently figures upon the arms of that Dominion, and in the arms of many families which have or have had Canadian associations.

"Vert, three vine-leaves or" is assigned by Papworth to Wortford, and the same authority mentions coats in which woodbine-leaves occur for Browne, Theme, and Gamboa. Rose-leaves occur in the arms of Utermarck, and walnut-leaves figure in the arms of Waller.

A curious leaf—usually called the "sea-leaf," which is properly the "nenuphar-leaf," is often met with in German heraldry, as are Linden leaves.

Although theoretically leaves, the trefoil, quatrefoil, and cinquefoil {267}are a class by themselves, having a recognised heraldic status as exclusively heraldic charges, and the quatrefoil and cinquefoil, in spite of the derivation of their names, are as likely to have been originally flowers as leaves.

The heraldic Trefoil (Fig. 487), though frequently specifically described as "slipped," is nevertheless always so depicted, and it is not necessary to so describe it. Of late a tendency has been noticeable in paintings from Ulster's Office to represent the trefoil in a way more nearly approaching the Irish shamrock, from which it has undoubtedly been derived. Instances of the trefoil occur in the arms of Rodd, Dobrée, MacDermott, and Gilmour. The crowned trefoil is one of the national badges of Ireland.

Fig. 487.

Fig. 487.—Trefoil.

Fig. 488.

Fig. 488.—Quatrefoil.

Fig. 489.

Fig. 489.—Cinquefoil.

A four-leaved "lucky" shamrock has been introduced into the arms of Sir Robert Hart, Bart.

The Quatrefoil (Fig. 488) is not often met with, but it occurs in the arms of Eyre, King, and Dreyer.

The Cinquefoil (Fig. 489) is of frequent appearance, but, save in exceedingly rare instances, neither the quatrefoil nor the cinquefoil will be met with "slipped." The constant occurrence of the cinquefoil in early rolls of arms is out of all proportion to its distinctiveness or artistic beauty, and the frequency with which it is met with in conjunction with the cross crosslet points clearly to the fact that there is some allusion behind, if this could only be fathomed. Many a man might adopt a lion through independent choice, but one would not expect independent choice to lead so many to pitch upon a combination of cross crosslets and cinquefoils. The cross crosslets, I am confident, are a later addition in many cases, for the original arms of D'Arcy, for example, were simply: "Argent, three cinquefoils gules." The arms of the town of Leicester are: "Gules, a cinquefoil ermine," and this is the coat attributed to the family of the De Beaumonts or De Bellomonts, Earls of Leicester. Simon de Montfort, the great Earl of Leicester, was the son or grandson of Amicia, a coheir of the former Earls, and as such {268}entitled to quarter the arms of the De Bellomonts. As stated on page 117 (vide Figs. 97 and 98), there are two coats attributed to De Montfort. His only status in this country depended solely upon the De Bellomont inheritance, and, conformably with the custom of the period, we are far more likely to find him using arms of De Bellomont or De Beaumont than of Montfort. From the similarity of the charge to the better-known Beaumont arms, I am inclined to think the lion rampant to be the real De Bellomont coat. The origin of the cinquefoil has yet to be accounted for. The earliest De Bellomont for whom I can find proof of user thereof is Robert "Fitz-Pernell," otherwise De Bellomont, who died in 1206, and whose seal (Fig. 490) shows it. Be it noted it is not on a shield, and though of course this is not proof in any way, it is in accord with my suggestion that it is nothing more than a pimpernel flower adopted as a device or badge to typify his own name and his mother's name, she being Pernelle or Petronilla, the heiress of Grantmesnil. The cinquefoil was not the coat of Grantmesnil but a quaint little conceit, and is not therefore likely to have been used as a coat of arms by the De Bellomonts, though no doubt they used it as a badge and device, as no doubt did Simon de Montfort. Simon de Montfort split England into two parties. Men were for Montfort or the king, and those that were for De Montfort very probably took and used his badge of a cinquefoil as a party badge.

Fig. 490.

Fig. 490.—From the seal of Robert Fitz-Pernell, Earl of Leicester, d. 1206.

The cinquefoil in its ordinary heraldic form also occurs in the arms of Umfraville, Bardolph, Hamilton, and D'Arcy, and sprigs of cinquefoil will be found in the arms of Hill, and in the crest of Kersey. The cinquefoil is sometimes found pierced. The five-foiled flower being the blossom of so many plants, what are to all intents and purposes cinquefoils occur in the arms of Fraser, where they are termed "fraises," of Primrose, where they are blazoned "primroses," and of Lambert, where they are called "narcissus flowers."

The double Quatrefoil is cited as the English difference mark for the ninth son, but as these difference marks are but seldom used, and as ninth sons are somewhat of a rarity, it is seldom indeed that this particular mark is seen in use. Personally I have never seen it.

The Turnip makes an early appearance in armory, and occurs in the coat of Dammant ["Sable, a turnip leaved proper, a chief or, gutté-de-poix"]. {269}

The curious crest of Lingen, which is "Seven leeks root upwards issuing from a ducal coronet all proper," is worthy of especial mention.

In considering flowers as a charge, a start must naturally be made with the rose, which figures so prominently in the heraldry of England.

The heraldic Rose until a much later date than its first appearance in armory—it occurs, however, at the earliest period—was always represented in what we now term the "conventional" form, with five displayed petals (Fig. 491). Accustomed as we are to the more ornate form of the cultivated rose of the garden, those who speak of the "conventional" heraldic rose rather seem to overlook that it is an exact reproduction of the wild rose of the hedgerow, which, morever, has a tendency to show itself "displayed" and not in the more profile attitude we are perhaps accustomed to. It should also be observed that the earliest representations of the heraldic rose depict the intervening spaces between the petals which are noticeable in the wild rose. Under the Tudor sovereigns, the heraldic rose often shows a double row of petals, a fact which is doubtless accounted for by the then increasing familiarity with the cultivated variety, and also by the attempt to conjoin the rival emblems of the warring factions of York and Lancaster.

Fig. 491.

Fig. 491.—Rose.

Fig. 492.

Fig. 492.—Rose slipped and leaved.

Though the heraldic rose is seldom, if ever, otherwise depicted, it should be described as "barbed vert" and "seeded or" (or "barbed and seeded proper") when the centre seeds and the small intervening green leaves (the calyx) between the petals are represented in their natural colours. In the reign of the later Tudor sovereigns the conventionality of earlier heraldic art was slowly beginning to give way to the pure naturalism towards which heraldic art thereafter steadily degenerated, and we find that the rose then begins (both as a Royal badge and elsewhere) to be met with "slipped and leaved" (Fig. 492). The Royal fleurs-de-lis are turned into natural lilies in the grant of arms to Eton College, and in the grant to William Cope, Cofferer to Henry VII., the roses are slipped ["Argent, on a chevron azure, between three roses gules, slipped and leaved vert, as many fleurs-de-lis or. Crest: out of a fleur-de-lis or, a dragon's head gules"]. A rose when "slipped" theoretically has only a stalk added, but in practice it will always have at least one leaf added to the slip, and a rose "slipped and leaved" would {270}have a leaf on either side. A rose "stalked and leaved" is not so limited, and will usually be found with a slightly longer stalk and several leaves; but these technical refinements of blazon, which are really unnecessary, are not greatly observed or taken into account. The arms of the Burgh of Montrose afford an example of a single rose as the only charge, although other instances will be met with in the arms of Boscawen, Viscount Falmouth ["Ermine, a rose gules, barbed and seeded proper"], and of Nightingale, Bart. ["Per pale ermine and gules, a rose counterchanged"].

Amongst the scores of English arms in which the rose figures, it will be found in the original heraldic form in the case of the arms of Southampton (Plate VII.); and either stalked or slipped in the arms of Brodribb and White-Thomson. A curious instance of the use of the rose will be found in the crest of Bewley, and the "cultivated" rose was depicted in the emblazonment of the crest of Inverarity, which is a rose-bush proper.

Fig. 493.

Fig. 493.—Thistle.

Heraldry, with its roses, has accomplished what horticulture has not. There is an old legend that when Henry VII. succeeded to the English throne some enterprising individual produced a natural parti-coloured rose which answered to the conjoined heraldic rose of gules and argent. Our roses "or" may really find their natural counterpart in the primrose, but the arms of Rochefort ["Quarterly or and azure, four roses counterchanged"] give us the blue rose, the arms of Berendon ["Argent, three roses sable"] give us the black rose, and the coat of Smallshaw ["Argent, a rose vert, between three shakeforks sable"] is the long-desired green rose.

The Thistle (Fig. 493) ranks next to the rose in British heraldic importance. Like the rose, the reason of its assumption as a national badge remains largely a matter of mystery, though it is of nothing like so ancient an origin. Of course one knows the time-honoured and wholly impossible legend that its adoption as a national symbol dates from the battle of Largs, when one of the Danish invaders gave away an attempted surprise by his cry of agony caused by stepping barefooted upon a thistle.

The fact, however, remains that its earliest appearance is on the silver coinage of 1474, in the reign of James III., but during that reign there can be no doubt that it was accepted either as a national badge or else as the personal badge of the sovereign. The period in question was that in which badges were so largely used, and it is not unlikely that, desiring to vie with his brother of England, and fired by the {271}example of the broom badge and the rose badge, the Scottish king, remembering the ancient legend, chose the thistle as his own badge. In 1540, when the thistle had become recognised as one of the national emblems of the kingdom, the foundation of the Order of the Thistle stereotyped the fact for all future time. The conventional heraldic representation of the thistle is as it appears upon the star of that Order, that is, the flowered head upon a short stalk with a leaf on either side. Though sometimes represented of gold, it is nearly always proper. It has frequently been granted as an augmentation, though in such a meaning it will usually be found crowned. The coat of augmentation carried in the first quarter of his arms by Lord Torphichen is: "Argent, a thistle vert, flowered gules (really a thistle proper), on a chief azure an imperial crown or." "Sable, a thistle (possibly really a teasel) or, between three pheons argent" is the coat of Teesdale, and "Gules, three thistles or" is attributed in Papworth to Hawkey. A curious use of the thistle occurs in the arms of the National Bank of Scotland (granted 1826), which are: "Or, the image of St. Andrew with vesture vert, and surcoat purpure, bearing before him the cross of his martyrdom argent, all resting on a base of the second, in the dexter flank a garb gules, in the sinister a ship in full sail sable, the shield surrounded with two thistles proper disposed in orle."

The Lily in its natural form sometimes occurs, though of course it generally figures as the fleur-de-lis, which will presently be considered. The natural lily will be found in the arms of Aberdeen University, of Dundee, and in the crests of various families of the name of Chadwick. It also occurs in the arms of the College of St. Mary the Virgin, at Eton ["Sable, three lilies argent, on a chief per pale azure and gules a fleur-de-lis on the dexter side, and a lion passant guardant or on the sinister"]. Here they doubtless typify the Virgin, to whom they have reference; as also in the case of Marylebone (Fig. 252).

The arms of Lilly, of Stoke Prior, are: "Gules, three lilies slipped argent;" and the arms of J. E. Lilley, Esq., of Harrow, are: "Azure, on a pile between two fleurs-de-lis argent, a lily of the valley eradicated proper. Crest: on a wreath of the colours, a cubit arm erect proper, charged with a fleur-de-lis argent and holding in the hand two lilies of the valley, leaved and slipped in saltire, also proper."

Columbine Flowers occur in the arms of Cadman, and Gillyflowers in the arms of Livingstone. Fraises—really the flowers of the strawberry-plant—occur, as has been already mentioned, in the arms of Fraser, and Narcissus Flowers in the arms of Lambeth. "Gules, three poppy bolles on their stalks in fess or" are the arms of Boller.

The Lotus-Flower, which is now very generally becoming the recognised emblem of India, is constantly met with in the arms granted to {272}those who have won fortune or reputation in that country. Instances in which it occurs are the arms of Sir Roper Lethbridge, K.C.I.E., Sir Thomas Seccombe, G.C.I.E., and the University of Madras.

The Sylphium-Plant occurs in the arms of General Sir Henry Augustus Smyth, K.C.M.G., which are: Vert, a chevron erminois, charged with a chevron gules, between three Saracens' heads habited in profile couped at the neck proper, and for augmentation a chief argent, thereon a mount vert inscribed with the Greek letters K Y P A gold and issuant therefrom a representation of the plant Silphium proper. Crests: 1. (of augmentation) on a wreath of the colours, a mount vert inscribed with the aforesaid Greek letters and issuant therefrom the Silphium as in the arms; 2. on a wreath of the colours, an anchor fesswise sable, thereon an ostrich erminois holding in the beak a horse-shoe or. Motto: "Vincere est vivere."

The arms granted to Sir Richard Quain were: "Argent, a chevron engrailed azure, in chief two fers-de-moline gules, and issuant from the base a rock covered with daisies proper."

Fig. 494.

Fig. 494.—Fleur-de-lis.

Primroses occur (as was only to be expected) in the arms of the Earl of Rosebery ["Vert, three primroses within a double tressure flory counterflory or"].

The Sunflower or Marigold occurs in the crest of Buchan ["A sunflower in full bloom towards the sun in the dexter chief"], and also in the arms granted in 1614 to Florio. Here, however, the flower is termed a heliotrope. The arms in question are: "Azure, a heliotrope or, issuing from a stalk sprouting from two leaves vert, in chief the sun in splendour proper."

Tulips occur in the arms of Raphael, and the Cornflower or Bluebottle in the arms of Chorley of Chorley, Lancs. ["Argent, a chevron gules between three bluebottles slipped proper"], and also in the more modern arms of that town.

Saffron-Flowers are a charge upon the arms of Player of Nottingham. The arms granted to Sir Edgar Boehm, Bart., were: "Azure, in the sinister canton a sun issuant therefrom eleven rays, over all a clover-plant eradicated proper."

The Fleur-de-Lis.—Few figures have puzzled the antiquary so much as the fleur-de-lis. Countless origins have been suggested for it; we have even lately had the height of absurdity urged in a suggested phallic origin, which only rivals in ridiculousness the long since exploded legend that the fleurs-de-lis in the arms of France were a {273}corrupted form of an earlier coat, "Azure, three toads or," the reputed coat of arms of Pharamond!

To France and the arms of France one must turn for the origin of the heraldic use of the fleur-de-lis. To begin with, the form of the fleur-de-lis as a mere presumably meaningless form of decoration is found long before the days of armory, in fact from the earliest period of decoration. It is such an essentially natural development of decoration that it may be accepted as such without any attempt to give it a meaning or any symbolism. Its earliest heraldic appearances as the finial of a sceptre or the decoration of a coronet need not have had any symbolical character.

We then find the "lily" accepted as having some symbolical reference to France, and it should be remembered that the iris was known by the name of a lily until comparatively modern times.

It is curious—though possibly in this case it may be only a coincidence—that, on a coin of the Emperor Hadrian, Gaul is typified by a female figure holding in the hand a lily, the legend being, "Restutori Galliæ." The fleur-de-lis as the finial of a sceptre and as an ornament of a crown can be taken back to the fifth century. Fleurs-de-lis upon crowns and coronets in France are at least as old as the reign of King Robert (son of Hugh Capet) whose seal represents him crowned in this manner.

We have, moreover, the ancient legendary tradition that at the baptism of Clovis, King of the Franks, the Virgin (whose emblem the lily has always been) sent a lily by an angel as a mark of her special favour. It is difficult to determine the exact date at which this tradition was invented, but its accepted character may be judged from the fact that it was solemnly advanced by the French bishops at the Council of Trent in a dispute as to the precedence of their sovereign. The old legend as to Clovis would naturally identify the flower with him, and it should be noted that the names Clovis, Lois, Loys, and Louis are identical. "Loys" was the signature of the kings of France until the time of Louis XIII. It is worth the passing conjecture that what are sometimes termed "Cleves lilies" may be a corrupted form of Clovis lilies. There can be little doubt that the term "fleur-de-lis" is quite as likely to be a corruption of "fleur-de-lois" as flower of the lily. The chief point is that the desire was to represent a flower in allusion to the old legend, without perhaps any very definite certainty of the flower intended to be represented. Philip I. on his seal (A.D. 1060) holds a short staff terminating in a fleur-de-lis. The same object occurs in the great seal of Louis VII. In the seal of his wife, Queen Constance, we find her represented as holding in either hand a similar object, though in these last cases it is by no means certain that the objects are not attempts to represent the natural flower. A signet {274}of Louis VII. bears a single fleur-de-lis "florencée" (or flowered), and in his reign the heraldic fleur-de-lis undoubtedly became stereotyped as a symbolical device, for we find that when in the lifetime of Louis VII. his son Philip was crowned, the king prescribed that the prince should wear "ses chausses appelées sandales ou bottines de soye, couleur bleu azuré sémée en moult endroits de fleurs-de-lys or, puis aussi sa dalmatique de même couleur et œuvre." On the oval counter-seal of Philip II. (d. 1223) appears a heraldic fleur-de-lis. His great seal, as also that of Louis VIII., shows a seated figure crowned with an open crown of "fleurons," and holding in his right hand a flower, and in his left a sceptre surmounted by a heraldic fleur-de-lis enclosed within a lozenge-shaped frame. On the seal of Louis VIII. the conjunction of the essentially heraldic fleur-de-lis (within the lozenge-shaped head of the sceptre), and the more natural flower held in the hand, should leave little if any doubt of the intention to represent flowers in the French fleurs-de-lis. The figure held in the hand represents a flower of five petals. The upper pair turned inwards to touch the centre one, and the lower pair curved downwards, leave the figure with a marked resemblance both to the iris and to the conventional fleur-de-lis. The counter-seal of Louis VIII. shows a Norman-shaped shield semé of fleurs-de-lis of the conventional heraldic pattern. By then, of course, "Azure, semé-de-lis or" had become the fixed and determined arms of France. By an edict dated 1376, Charles V. reduced the number of fleurs-de-lis in his shield to three: "Pour symboliser la Sainte-Trinite."

The claim of Edward III. to the throne of France was made on the death of Charles IV. of France in 1328, but the decision being against him, he apparently acquiesced, and did homage to Philip of Valois (Philip VI.) for Guienne. Philip, however, lent assistance to David II. of Scotland against King Edward, who immediately renewed his claim to France, assumed the arms and the title of king of that country, and prepared for war. He commenced hostilities in 1339, and upon his new Great Seal (made in the early part of 1340) we find his arms represented upon shield, surcoat, and housings as: "Quarterly, 1 and 4, azure, semé-de-lis or (for France); 2 and 3, gules, three lions passant guardant in pale or (for England)." The Royal Arms thus remained until 1411, when upon the second Great Seal of Henry IV. the fleurs-de-lis in England (as in France) were reduced to three in number, and so remained as part of the Royal Arms of this country until the latter part of the reign of George III.

Fleurs-de-lis (probably intended as badges only) had figured upon all the Great Seals of Edward III. On the first seal (which with slight alterations had also served for both Edward I. and II.), a small {275}fleur-de-lis appears over each of the castles which had previously figured on either side of the throne. In the second Great Seal, fleurs-de-lis took the places of the castles.

The similarity of the Montgomery arms to the Royal Arms of France has led to all kinds of wild genealogical conjectures, but at a time when the arms of France were hardly determinate, the seal of John de Mundegumbri is met with, bearing a single fleur-de-lis, the original from which the arms of Montgomery were developed. Letters of nobility and the name of Du Lis were granted by Charles VII. in December 1429 to the brothers of Joan of Arc, and the following arms were then assigned to them: "Azure, a sword in pale proper, hilted and supporting on its point an open crown or, between two fleurs-de-lis of the last."

The fleur-de-lis "florencée," or the "fleur-de-lis flowered," as it is termed in England, is officially considered a distinct charge from the simple fleur-de-lis. Eve employs the term "seeded," and remarks of it: "This being one of the numerous instances of pedantic, because unnecessary distinction, which showed marks of decadence; for both forms occur at the same period, and adorn the same object, evidently with the same intention." The difference between these forms really is that the fleur-de-lis is "seeded" when a stalk having seeds at the end issues in the upper interstices. In a fleur-de-lis "florencée," the natural flower of a lily issues instead of the seeded stalk. This figure formed the arms of the city of Florence.

Fleurs-de-lis, like all other Royal emblems, are frequently to be met with in the arms of towns, e.g. in the arms of Lancaster, Maryborough, Wakefield, and Great Torrington. The arms of Wareham afford an instance of fleurs-de-lis reversed, and the Corporate Seals of Liskeard and Tamworth merit reproduction, did space permit, from the designs of the fleurs-de-lis which there appear. One cannot leave the fleur-de-lis without referring to one curious development of it, viz. the leopard's face jessant-de-lis (Fig. 332), a curious charge which undoubtedly originated in the arms of the family of Cantelupe. This charge is not uncommon, though by no means so usual as the leopard's face. Planché considers that it was originally derived from the fleur-de-lis, the circular boss which in early representations so often figures as the centre of the fleur-de-lis, being merely decorated with the leopard's face. One can follow Planché a bit further by imagining that this face need not necessarily be that of a leopard, for at a certain period all decorative art was crowded with grotesque masks whenever opportunity offered. The leopard's face jessant-de-lis is now represented as a leopard's face with the lower part of a fleur-de-lis issuing from the mouth, and the upper part rising from behind the head. Instances of {276}this charge occur as early as the thirteenth century as the arms of the Cantelupe family, and Thomas de Cantelupe having been Bishop of Hereford 1275 to 1282, the arms of that See have since been three leopards' faces jessant-de-lis, the distinction being that in the arms of the See of Hereford the leopards' faces are reversed.

The origin may perhaps make itself apparent when we remember that the earliest form of the name was Cantelowe. Is it not probable that "lions'" faces (i.e. head de leo) may have been suggested by the name? Possibly, however, wolf-heads may have been meant, suggested by lupus, or by the same analogy which gives us wolf-heads or wolves upon the arms of Low and Lowe.

Fig. 495.

Fig. 495.—Pomegranate.

Fruit—the remaining division of those charges which can be classed as belonging to the vegetable kingdom—must of necessity be but briefly dealt with.

Grapes perhaps cannot be easily distinguished from vines (to which refer, page 264), but the arms of Bradway of Potscliff, co. Gloucester ["Argent, a chevron gules between three bunches of grapes proper"] and of Viscountess Beaconsfield, the daughter of Captain John Viney Evans ["Argent, a bunch of grapes stalked and leaved proper, between two flaunches sable, each charged with a boar's head argent"] are instances in point.

Apples occur in the arms of Robert Applegarth (Edward III. Roll) ["Argent, three apples slipped gules"] and "Or, a chevron between three apples gules" is the coat of a family named Southbey.

Pears occur in the arms of Allcroft, of Stokesay Castle, Perrins, Perry, Perryman, and Pirie.

Oranges are but seldom met with in British heraldry, but an instance occurs in the arms of Lord Polwarth, who bears over the Hepburn quarterings an inescutcheon azure, an orange slipped and surmounted by an imperial crown all proper. This was an augmentation conferred by King William III., and a very similar augmentation (in the 1st and 4th quarters, azure, three oranges slipped proper within an orle of thistles or) was granted to Livingstone, Viscount Teviot.

The Pomegranate (Fig. 495), which dimidiated with a rose was one of the badges of Queen Mary, is not infrequently met with.

The Pineapple in heraldry is nearly always the fir-cone. In the arms of Perring, Bart. ["Argent, on a chevron engrailed sable between three pineapples (fir-cones) pendent vert, as many leopards' faces of the first. Crest: on a mount a pineapple (fir-cone) vert"], and in the crest of Parkyns, Bart. ["Out of a ducal coronet or, a pineapple {277}proper"], and also in the arms of Pyne ["Gules, a chevron ermine between three pineapples or"] and Parkin-Moore, the fruit is the fir or pine cone. Latterly the likelihood of confusion has led to the general use of the term "pine-cone" in such cases, but the ancient description was certainly "pineapple." The arms of John Apperley, as given in the Edward III. Roll, are: "Argent, a chevron gules between three pineapples (fir-cones) vert, slipped or."

The real pineapple of the present day does, however, occur, e.g. in the arms of Benson, of Lutwyche, Shropshire ["Argent, on waves of the sea, an old English galley all proper, on a chief wavy azure a hand couped at the wrist, supporting on a dagger the scales of Justice between two pineapples erect or, leaved vert. Mantling azure and argent. Crest: upon a wreath of the colours, a horse caparisoned, passant, proper, on the breast a shield argent, charged with a pineapple proper. Motto: 'Leges arma tenent sanctas'"].

Fig. 496.

Fig. 496.—Acorn slipped and leaved.

Bean-Pods occur in the arms of Rise of Trewardreva, co. Cornwall ["Argent, a chevron gules between three bean-pods vert"], and Papworth mentions in the arms of Messarney an instance of cherries ["Or, a chevron per pale gules and vert between three cherries of the second slipped of the third"]. Elsewhere, however, the charges on the shield of this family are termed apples. Strawberries occur in the arms and crest of Hollist, and the arms of Duffield are: "Sable, a chevron between three cloves or." The arms of the Grocers' Livery Company, granted in 1531-1532, are: "Argent, a chevron gules between nine cloves, three, three and three." The arms of Garwynton are stated to be: "Sable, a chevron between three heads of garlick pendent argent," but another version gives the charges as pomegranates. "Azure, a chevron between three gourds pendent, slipped or" is a coat attributed to Stukele, but here again there is uncertainty, as the charges are sometimes quoted as pears. The arms of Bonefeld are: "Azure, a chevron between three quinces or." The arms of Alderberry are naturally: "Argent, three branches of alder-berries proper." The arms of Haseley of Suffolk are: "Argent, a fess gules, between three hazel-nuts or, stalks and leaves vert." Papworth also mentions the arms of Tarsell, viz.: "Or, a chevron sable, between three hazel-nuts erect, slipped gules." It would, however, seem more probable that these charges are really teazles.

The fruit of the oak—the Acorn (Fig. 496)—has already been incidentally referred to, but other instances occur in the arms of Baldwin, Stable, and Huth. {278}

Wheat and other grain is constantly met with in British armory. The arms of Bigland ["Azure, two ears of big wheat erect in fess and bladed or"] and of Cheape are examples, and others occur in the arms of Layland-Barratt, Cross, and Rye ["Gules, on a bend argent, between two ears of rye, stalked, leaved, and slipped or, three crosses cramponné sable"].

Fig. 497.

Fig. 497.—Garb.

Garbs, as they are invariably termed heraldically, are sheaves, and are of very frequent occurrence. The earliest appearance of the garb (Fig. 497) in English heraldry is on the seal of Ranulph, Earl of Chester, who died in 1232. Garbs therefrom became identified with the Earldom of Chester, and subsequently "Azure, three garbs or" became and still remain the territorial or possibly the sovereign coat of that earldom. Garbs naturally figure, therefore, in the arms of many families who originally held land by feudal tenure under the Earls of Chester, e.g. the families of Cholmondeley ["Gules, in chief two helmets in profile argent, and in base a garb vert"] and Kevilioc ["Azure, six garbs, three, two, and one or"]. Grosvenor ["Azure, a garb or"] is usually quoted as another example, and possibly correctly, but a very interesting origin has been suggested by Mr. W. G. Taunton in his work "The Tauntons of Oxford, by One of Them":—

"I merely wish to make a few remarks of my own that seem to have escaped other writers on genealogical matters.

"In the first place, Sir Gilbert le Grosvenor, who is stated to have come over with William of Normandy at the Conquest, is described as nephew to Hugh Lupus, Earl of Chester; but Hugh Lupus was himself nephew to King William. Now, William could not have been very old when he overthrew Harold at Hastings. It seems, therefore, rather improbable that Sir Gilbert le Grosvenor, who was his nephew's nephew, could actually have fought with him at Hastings, especially when William lived to reign for twenty-one years after, and was not very old when he died.

"The name Grosvenor does not occur in any of the versions of the Roll of Battle Abbey. Not that any of these versions of this celebrated Roll are considered authentic by modern critics, who say that many names were subsequently added by the monks to please ambitious parvenus. The name Venour is on the Roll, however, and it is just possible that this Venour was the Grosvenor of our quest. The addition of 'Gros' would then be subsequent to his fattening on the spoils of the Saxon and cultivating a corporation. 'Venour' means hunter, and {279}'Gros' means fat. Gilbert's uncle, Hugh Lupus, was, we know, a fat man; in fact, he was nicknamed 'Hugh the Fat.' The Grosvenors of that period probably inherited obesity from their relative, Hugh Lupus, therefore, and the fable that they were called Grosvenor on account of their office of 'Great Huntsman' to the Dukes of Normandy is not to be relied on.

"We are further on told by the old family historians that when Sir Robert Grosvenor lost the day in that ever-memorable controversy with Sir Richard le Scrope, Baron of Bolton, concerning the coat of arms—'Azure, a bend or'—borne by both families, Sir Robert Grosvenor took for his arms one of the garbs of his kinsman, the Earl of Chester.

"It did not seem to occur to these worthies that the Earl of Chester, who was their ancestor's uncle, never bore the garbs in his arms, but a wolf's head.

"It is true that one or two subsequent Earls of Chester bore garbs, but these Earls were far too distantly connected with the Grosvenors to render it likely that the latter would borrow their new arms from this source.

"It is curious that there should have been in this same county of Chester a family of almost identical name also bearing a garb in their arms, though their garb was surrounded by three bezants.

"The name of this family was Grasvenor, or Gravenor, and, moreover, the tinctures of their arms were identical with those of Grosvenor. It is far more likely, therefore, that the coat assumed by Sir Robert after the adverse decision of the Court of Chivalry was taken from that of Grasvenor, or Gravenor, and that the two families were known at that time to be of common origin, although their connection with each other has subsequently been lost.

"In French both gros and gras mean fat, and we have both forms in Grosvenor and Grasvenor.

"A chief huntsman to Royalty would have been Grandvenor, not Grosvenor or Grasvenor.

"All these criticisms of mine, however, only affect the origin of the arms, and not the ancient and almost Royal descent of this illustrious race. Hugh Lupus, Earl of Chester, was a son of the Duke of Brittany, as is plainly stated in his epitaph.

"This connection of uncle and nephew, then, between 'Hugh the Fat' and Gilbert Grosvenor implies a maternal descent from the Dukes of Brittany for the first ancestor of the Grosvenor family.

"In virtue of their descent from an heiress of the house of Grosvenor, it is only necessary to add the Tauntons of Oxford are Grosvenors, heraldically speaking, and that quartering so many ancient coats through {280}the Tanners and the Grosvenors with our brand-new grant is like putting old wine into new bottles.

"Hugh Lupus left no son to succeed him, and the subsequent descent of the Earldom of Chester was somewhat erratic. So I think there is some point in my arguments regarding the coat assumed by Sir Robert Grosvenor of Hulme."

Though a garb, unless quoted otherwise, is presumed to be a sheaf of wheat, the term is not so confined. The garbs in the arms of Comyn, which figure as a quartering in so many Scottish coats, are really of cummin, as presumably are the garbs in the arms of Cummins. When a garb is "banded" of a different colour this should be stated, and Elvin states that it may be "eared" of a different colour, though I confess I am aware of no such instance.

"Argent, two bundles of reeds in fess vert," is the coat of Janssen of Wimbledon, Surrey (Bart., extinct), and a bundle of rods occurs in the arms of Evans, and the crest of Harris, though in this latter case it is termed a faggot.

Reeds also occur in the crest of Reade, and the crest of Middlemore ["On a wreath of colours, a moorcock amidst grass and reeds proper"] furnishes another example.

Bulrushes occur in the crest of Billiat, and in the arms of Scott ["Argent, on a mount of bulrushes in base proper, a bull passant sable, a chief pean, billetté or"].

Grass is naturally presumed on the mounts vert which are so constantly met with, but more definite instances can be found in the arms of Sykes, Hulley, and Hill. {281}



In dealing with those charges which may be classed under the above description one can safely say that there is scarcely an object under the sun which has not at some time or other been introduced into a coat of arms or crest. One cannot usefully make a book on armory assume the character of a general encyclopædia of useful knowledge, and reference will only be made in this chapter to a limited number, including those which from frequent usage have obtained a recognised heraldic character. Mention may, at the outset, be made of certain letters of the alphabet. Instances of these are scarcely common, but the family of Kekitmore may be adduced as bearing "Gules, three S's or," while Bridlington Priory had for arms: "Per pale, sable and argent, three B's counterchanged." The arms of Rashleigh are: "Sable, a cross or, between in the first quarter a Cornish chough argent, beaked and legged gules; in the second a text T; in the third and fourth a crescent all argent." Corporate arms (in England) afford an instance of alphabetical letters in the case of the B's on the shield of Bermondsey.

Fig. 498.

Fig. 498.—Anchor.

The Anchor (Fig. 498).—This charge figures very largely in English armory, as may, perhaps, be looked for when it is remembered that maritime devices occur more frequently in sea-board lands than in continents. The arms of the town of Musselburgh are: "Azure, three anchors in pale, one in the chief and two in the flanks or, accompanied with as many mussels, one in the dexter and one in the sinister chief points, and the third in base proper." The Comtes de St. Cricq, with "Argent, two anchors in saltire sable, on a chief three mullets or," will be an instance in point as to France.

Anvils.—These are occasionally met with, as in the case of the arms of a family of the name of Walker, who bear: "Argent, on a chevron gules, between two anvils in chief and an anchor in base sable, a bee between two crescents or. Mantling gules and argent. {282}Crest: upon a wreath of the colours, on a mount within a wreathed serpent a dove all statant proper."

Arches, castles, towers, and turrets may be exemplified, amongst others, by the following.

Instances of Castles and Towers will be found in the arms of Carlyon and Kelly, and of the former fractured castles will be found in the shield of Willoughby quartered by Bertie; while an example of a quadrangular castle may be seen in the arms of Rawson. The difference between a Castle (Fig. 499) and a Tower (Fig. 500) should be carefully noticed, and though it is a distinction but little observed in ancient days it is now always adhered to. When either castle or tower is surmounted by smaller towers (as Fig. 501) it is termed "triple-towered."

Fig. 499.

Fig. 499.—Castle.

Fig. 500.

Fig. 500.—Tower.

Fig. 501.

Fig. 501.—Tower triple-towered.

An instance of a Fortification as a charge occurs in the shield of Sconce: "Azure, a fortification (sconce) argent, masoned sable, in the dexter chief point a mullet of six points of the second."

Gabions were hampers filled with earth, and were used in the construction of fortifications and earthworks. They are of occasional occurrence in English armory at any rate, and may be seen in the shields of Christie and of Goodfellow.

The arms of Banks supply an instance of Arches. Mention may here perhaps be made of William Arches, who bore at the siege of Rouen: "Gules, three double arches argent." The family of Lethbridge bear a bridge, and this charge figures in a number of other coats.

An Abbey occurs in the arms of Maitland of Dundrennan ["Argent, the ruins of an old abbey on a piece of ground all proper"], and a monastery in that of McLarty ["Azure, the front of an ancient monastery argent"]. A somewhat isolated instance of a Temple occurs in the shield of Templer.

A curious canting grant of arms may be seen in that to the town of Eccles, in which the charge is an Ecclesiastical Building, and similar {283}though somewhat unusual charges figure also in the quartering for Chappel ["Per chevron or and azure, in chief a mullet of six points between two crosses patée of the last, and in base the front elevation of a chapel argent"], borne by Brown-Westhead.

Arrows are very frequently found, and the arms of Hales supply one of the many examples of this charge, while a bow—without the arrows—may be instanced in the shield of Bowes: "Ermine, three bows bent and stringed palewise in fess proper."

Arrow-Heads and Pheons are of common usage, and occur in the arms of Foster and many other families. Pheons, it may be noticed in passing, are arrow-heads with an inner engrailed edge (Fig. 502), while when depicted without this peculiarity they are termed "broad arrows" (Fig. 503). This is not a distinction very stringently adhered to.

Charges associated with warfare and military defences are frequently to be found both in English and foreign heraldry.

Fig. 502.

Fig. 502.—Pheon.

Fig. 503.

Fig. 503.—Broad arrow.

Fig. 504.

Fig. 504.—Battle-axe.

Fig. 505.

Fig. 505.—Caltrap.

Battle-Axes (Fig. 504), for example, may be seen in the shield of Firth and in that of Renty in Artois, which has: "Argent, three doloires, or broad-axes, gules, those in chief addorsed." In blazoning a battle-axe care should be taken to specify the fact if the head is of a different colour, as is frequently the case.

The somewhat infrequent device of a Battering-Ram is seen in the arms of Bertie, who bore: "Argent, three battering-rams fesswise in pale proper, armed and garnished azure."

An instrument of military defence consisting of an iron frame of four points, and called a Caltrap (Fig. 505) or Galtrap (and sometimes a Cheval trap, from its use of impeding the approach of cavalry), is found in the arms of Trappe ["Argent, three caltraps sable"], Gilstrap and other families; while French armory supplies us with another example in {284}the case of the family of Guetteville de Guénonville, who bore for arms: "D'argent, semée de chausse-trapes de sable." Caltraps are also strewn upon the compartment upon which the supporters to the arms of the Earl of Perth are placed.

As the well-known badge of the Royal House of Tudor, the Portcullis (Fig. 506) is familiar to any one conversant with Henry VII.'s Chapel at Westminster Abbey, but it also appears as a charge in the arms of the family of Wingate ["Gules, a portcullis and a chief embattled or"], where it forms an obvious pun on the earliest form of the name, viz. Windygate, whilst it figures also as the crest of the Dukes of Beaufort ["A portcullis or, nailed azure, chained of the first"]. The disposition of the chains is a matter always left to the discretion of the artist.

Fig. 506.

Fig. 506.—Portcullis.

Fig. 507.

Fig. 507.—Beacon.

Fig. 508.

Fig. 508.—Grenade.

Examples of Beacons (Fig. 507) are furnished by the achievements of the family of Compton and of the town of Wolverhampton. A fire chest occurs in the arms of Critchett (vide p. 261).

Chains are singularly scarce in armory, and indeed nearly wholly absent as charges, usually occurring where they do as part of the crest. The English shield of Anderton, it is true, bears: "Sable, three chains argent;" while another one (Duppa de Uphaugh) has: "Quarterly, 1 and 4, a lion's paw couped in fess between two chains or, a chief nebuly of the last, thereon two roses of the first, barbed and seeded proper (for Duppa); 2 and 3, party fess azure and sable, a trident fesswise or, between three turbots argent (for Turbutt)." In Continental heraldry, however, chains are more frequently met with. Principal amongst these cases maybe cited the arms of Navarre ("Gules, a cross saltire and double orle of chains, linked together or"), while many other instances are found in the armories of Southern France and of Spain.

Bombs or Grenades (Fig. 508), for Heraldry does not distinguish, figure in the shields of Vavasseur, Jervoise, Boycott, and many other families. {285}

Among the more recent grants Cannon have figured, as in the case of the Pilter arms and in those of the burgh of Portobello; while an earlier counterpart, in the form of a culverin, forms the charge of the Leigh family: "Argent, a culverin in fess sable."

Fig. 509.

Fig. 509.—Scaling ladder.

Fig. 510.

Fig. 510.—Lance or javelin.

Fig. 511.

Fig. 511.—Tilting-spear.

The Column appears as a crest in the achievement of Coles. Between two cross crosslets it occurs in the arms of Adam of Maryburgh ["Vert, a Corinthian column with capital and base in pale proper, between two cross crosslets fitchée in fess or"], while the arms of the See of Sodor and Man are blazoned: "Argent, upon a pedestal the Virgin Mary with her arms extended between two pillars, in the dexter hand a church proper, in base the arms of Man in an escutcheon." Major, of Suffolk, bears: "Azure, three Corinthian columns, each surmounted by a ball, two and one argent." It is necessary to specify the kind of column in the blazon.

Fig. 512.

Fig. 512.—Arms of William Shakespeare the poet (d. 1616): Or, on a bend sable, a tilting-spear of the field.

Scaling-Ladders (Fig. 509) (viz. ordinary-shaped ladders with grapnels affixed to the tops) are to be seen in the English coats of D'Urban and Lloyd, while the Veronese Princes della Scala bore the ordinary ladder: "Gules, a ladder of four steps in pale argent." A further instance of this form of the charge occurs in the Swiss shield of Laiterberg: "Argent, two ladders in saltire gules."

Spears and Spear-Heads are to be found in the arms of many families both in England, Wales, and abroad; for example, in the arms of Amherst and Edwards. Distinction must be drawn between the lance or javelin (Fig. 510) and the heraldic tilting-spear (Fig. 511), particularly as the latter is always depicted with the sharp point for warfare instead of the blunted point which was actually used in the tournament. The Shakespeare arms (Fig. 512) are: "Or, on a bend sable a tilting-spear of the field," while "Azure, a lance or enfiled {286}at its point by an annulet argent" represents the French family of Danby.

Spurs (Fig. 513) occur in coat armour as such in the arms of Knight and Harben, and also occasionally "winged" (Fig. 514), as in the crest of Johnston.

Spur-Rowels, or Spur-Revels, are to be met with under that name, but they are, and are more often termed, "mullets of five points pierced."

Examples of Stirrups are but infrequent, and the best-known one (as regards English armory) is that of Scudamore, while the Polish Counts Brzostowski bore: "Gules, a stirrup argent, within a bordure or."

Fig. 513.

Fig. 513.—Spur.

Fig. 514.

Fig. 514.—Winged spur.

Fig. 515.

Fig. 515.—Sword.

Stones are even more rare, though a solitary example may be quoted in the arms of Staniland: Per pale or and vert, a pale counterchanged, three eagles displayed two and one, and as many flint-stones one and two all proper. The "vigilance" of the crane has been already alluded to on page 247. The mention of stones brings one to the kindred subject of Catapults. These engines of war, needless to say on a very much larger scale than the object which is nowadays associated with the term, were also known by the name balistæ, and also by that of swepe. Their occurrence is very infrequent, but for that very reason one may, perhaps, draw attention to the arms of the (English) family of Magnall: "Argent, a swepe azure, charged with a stone or."

Swords, differing in number, position, and kind are, perhaps, of this class of charge the most numerous. A single sword as a charge may be seen in the shield of Dick of Wicklow, and Macfie, and a sword entwined by a serpent in that of Mackesy. A flaming sword occurs in the arms of Maddocks and Lewis. Swords frequently figure, too, in the hands or paws of supporters, accordingly as the latter are human figures or animals, whilst they figure as the "supporters" themselves in the unique case of the French family of Bastard, whose shield is cottised by "two swords, point in base." The heraldic sword is represented as Fig. 515, the blade of the dagger {287}being shorter and more pointed. The scymitar follows the form depicted in Fig. 516.

A Seax is the term employed to denote a curved scimitar, or falchion, having a notch at the back of the blade (Fig. 517). In heraldry the use of this last is fairly frequent, though generally, it must be added, in shields of arms of doubtful authority. As such they are to be seen, amongst others, in the reputed arms of Middlesex, and owing to this origin they were included in the grant of arms to the town of Ealing. The sabre and the cutlass when so blazoned follow their utilitarian patterns.

Torches or Firebrands are depicted in the arms and crest of Gillman and Tyson.

Barnacles (or Breys)—horse curbs—occur in some of the earlier coats, as in the arms of Wyatt ["Gules, a barnacle argent"], while another family of the same name (or, possibly, Wyot) bore: "Per fess gules and azure (one or) three barnacles argent".

Fig. 516.

Fig. 516.—Scymitar.

Fig. 517.

Fig. 517.—Seax.

Fig. 518.

Fig. 518.—Church-bell.

Fig. 519.

Fig. 519.—Hawk's bell.

Bells are well instanced in the shield of Porter, and the poet Wordsworth bore: "Argent, three bells azure." It may be noted in passing that in Continental armory the clapper is frequently of a different tincture to that of the bell, as, for instance, "D'Azure, à la cloche d'argent, butaillé [viz. with the clapper] de sable"—the arms of the Comtes de Bellegarse. A bell is assumed to be a church-bell (Fig. 518) unless blazoned as a hawk's bell (Fig. 519).

Bridle-Bits are of very infrequent use, though they may be seen in the achievement of the family of Milner.

The Torse (or wreath surmounting the helm) occasionally figures as a charge, for example, in the arms of Jocelyn and Joslin.

The Buckle is a charge which is of much more general use than some of the foregoing. It appears very frequently both in English {288}and foreign heraldry—sometimes oval-shaped (Fig. 520), circular (Fig. 521), or square (Fig. 522), but more generally lozenge-shaped (Fig. 523), especially in the case of Continental arms. A somewhat curious variation occurs in the arms of the Prussian Counts Wallenrodt, which are: "Gules, a lozenge-shaped buckle argent, the tongue broken in the middle." It is, of course, purely an artistic detail in all these buckles whether the tongue is attached to a crossbar, as in Figs. 520 and 521, or not, as in Figs. 522 and 523. As a badge the buckle is used by the Pelhams, Earls of Chichester and Earls of Yarborough, and a lozenge-shaped arming buckle is the badge of Jerningham.

Cups (covered) appear in the Butler arms, and derived therefrom in the arms of the town of Warrington. Laurie, of Maxwelltown, bear: "Sable, a cup argent, issuing therefrom a garland between two laurel-branches all proper," and similar arms are registered in Ireland for Lowry. The Veronese family of Bicchieri bear: "Argent, a fess gules between three drinking-glasses half-filled with red wine proper." An uncovered cup occurs in the arms of Fox, derived by them from the crest of Croker, and another instance occurs in the arms of a family of Smith. In this connection we may note in passing the rare use of the device of a Vase, which forms a charge in the coat of the town of Burslem, whilst it is also to be met with in the crest of the family of Doulton: "On a wreath of the colours, a demi-lion sable, holding in the dexter paw a cross crosslet or, and resting the sinister upon an escutcheon charged with a vase proper." The motto is perhaps well worth recording; "Le beau est la splendeur de vrai."

Fig. 520.

Fig. 520.—Oval buckle.

Fig. 521.

Fig. 521.—Circular buckle.

Fig. 522.

Fig. 522.—Square buckle.

Fig. 523.

Fig. 523.—Lozenge-shaped buckle.

The arms of both the city of Dundee and the University of Aberdeen afford instances of a Pot of Lilies, and Bowls occur in the arms of Bolding.

Plate V.


Though blazoned as a Cauldron, the device occurring in the crest of De la Rue may be perhaps as fittingly described as an open bowl, and as such may find a place in this classification: "Between two olive-branches vert a cauldron gules, fired and issuant therefrom a snake nowed proper." The use of a Pitcher occurs in the arms of Bertrand de Monbocher, who bore at the siege of Carlaverock: "Argent, three pitchers sable (sometimes found gules) within a bordure sable bezanté;" and the arms of Standish are: "Sable, three standing dishes argent."

The somewhat singular charge of a Chart appears in the arms of Christopher, and also as the crest of a Scottish family of Cook.

Fig. 524.

Fig. 524.—Chess-rook.

Fig. 525.

Fig. 525.—Crescent.

Fig. 526.

Fig. 526.—Increscent.

Chess-Rooks (Fig. 524) are somewhat favourite heraldic devices, and are to be met with in a shield of Smith and the arms of Rocke of Clungunford.

The Crescent (Fig. 525) figures largely in all armories, both as a charge and (in English heraldry) as a difference.

Variations, too, of the form of the crescent occur, such as when the horns are turned to the dexter (Fig. 526), when it is termed "a crescent increscent," or simply "an increscent," or when they are turned to the sinister—when it is styled "decrescent" (Fig. 527). An instance of the crescent "reversed" may be seen in the shield of the Austrian family of Puckberg, whose blazon was: "Azure, three crescents, those in chief addorsed, that in base reversed." In English "difference marks" the crescent is used to denote the second son, but under this character it will be discussed later.

Independently of its use in conjunction with ecclesiastical armory, the Crosier (Fig. 528) is not widely used in ordinary achievements. It does occur, however, as a principal charge, as in the arms of the Irish family of Crozier and in the arms of Benoit (in Dauphiny) ["Gules, a pastoral staff argent"], while it forms part of the crest of Alford. The term "crosier" is synonymous with the pastoral or episcopal staff, and is independent of the cross which is borne before (and not by) {290}Archbishops and Metropolitans. The use of pastoral staves as charges is also to be seen in the shield of Were, while MacLaurin of Dreghorn bears: "Argent, a shepherd's crook sable." The Palmer's Staff (Fig. 529) has been introduced into many coats of arms for families having the surname of Palmer, as has also the palmer's wallet.

Fig. 527.

Fig. 527.—Decrescent.

Fig. 528.

Fig. 528.—Crosier, or pastoral staff.

Fig. 529.

Fig. 529.—Palmer's staff.

Fig. 530.

Fig. 530.—Shuttle.

Fig. 531.

Fig. 531.—Woolpack.

Fig. 532.

Fig. 532.—Escarbuncle.

Cushions, somewhat strangely, form the charges in a number of British shields, occurring, for example, in the arms of Brisbane, and on the shield of the Johnstone family. In Scottish heraldry, indeed, cushions appear to have been of very ancient (and general) use, and are frequently to be met with. The Earls of Moray bore: "Argent, three cushions lozengewise within a double tressure flory-counterflory gules," but an English example occurs in the arms of Hutton.

The Distaff, which is supposed to be the origin of the lozenge upon which a lady bears her arms, is seldom seen in heraldry, but the family of Body, for instance, bear one in chief, and three occur in the arms of a family of Lees.

The Shuttle (Fig. 530) occurs in the arms of Shuttleworth, and in those of the town of Leigh, while the shield of the borough of Pudsey affords an illustration of shuttles in conjunction with a woolpack (Fig. 531).

The Escarbuncle (Fig. 532) is an instance of a charge having so developed by the evolution of an integral part of the shield itself. In {291}ancient warfare shields were sometimes strengthened by being bound with iron bands radiating from the centre, and these bands, from the shape they assumed, became in course of time a charge in themselves under the term escarbuncle.

The crest of the Fanmakers' Company is: "A hand couped proper holding a fan displayed," while the chief charge in the arms is "... a fan displayed ... the sticks gules." This, however, is the only case I can cite of this object.

The Fasces (Fig. 533), emblematic of the Roman magisterial office, is very frequently introduced in grants of arms to Mayors and Lord Mayors, which no doubt accounts for its appearance in the arms of Durning-Lawrence, Knill, Evans, and Spokes.

Fig. 533.

Fig. 533.—Fasces.

Fig. 534.

Fig. 534.—Fetterlock.

Fig. 535.

Fig. 535.—Fleam.

An instance of Fetterlocks (Fig. 534) occurs in the arms of Kirkwood, and also in the coat of Lockhart and the crest of Wyndham. A chain is often substituted for the bow of the lock. The modern padlock has been introduced into the grant of arms to the town of Wolverhampton.

Keys, the emblem of St. Peter, and, as such, part of the insignia of His Holiness the Pope, occur in many ecclesiastical coats, the arms of the Fishmongers' Livery Company, and many families.

Flames of Fire are not frequently met with, but they are to be found in the arms of Baikie, and as crests they figure in the achievements of Graham-Wigan, and also in conjunction with keys in that of Flavel. In connection with certain other objects flames are common enough. The phœnix always issues from flames, and a salamander is always in the midst of flames (Fig. 437). The flaming sword, a device, by the way, included in the recent grant to Sir George Lewis, Bart., has been already alluded to, as has also the flaming brand. A notable example of the torch occurs in the crest of Sir William Gull, Bart., no doubt an allusion (as is his augmentation) to the skill by which he kept the torch of life burning in the then Prince of Wales during his serious illness in 1871. A flaming mountain occurs as the crest of several families of the name of Grant. {292}

A curious instrument now known nearly exclusively in connection with its use by farriers, and termed a Fleam (Fig. 535), occurs on the chief of the shield of Moore. A fleam, however, is the ancient form and name of a surgeon's lancet, and some connection with surgery may be presumed when it occurs. It is one of the charges in the arms recently granted to Sir Frederick Treves, Bart.

Furison.—This singular charge occurs in the shield of Black, and also in that of Steel. Furisons were apparently the instruments by which fire was struck from flint stones.

Fig. 536.

Fig. 536.—Clarion.

Fig. 537.

Fig. 537.—Bugle-horn.

Fig. 538.

Fig. 538.—Bugle-horn stringed.

Charges in connection with music and musical instruments do not occur very frequently, though the heraldic use of the Clarion (Fig. 536) and the Harp may perhaps be mentioned. The bugle-horn (Fig. 537) also occurs "stringed" (Fig. 538), and when the bands round it are of a different colour it is termed "veruled" or "virolled" of that colour.

The Human Heart, which should perhaps have been more correctly referred to in an earlier chapter, is a charge which is well known in heraldry, both English and foreign. Perhaps the best known examples of the heart ensigned with a crown is seen in the shields of Douglas and Johnstone. The legend which accounts for the appearance of this charge in the arms of Douglas is too well known to need repetition.

Ingots of silver occur in the shield of the borough of St. Helens, whilst the family of Woollan go one better by bearing ingots of gold.

A Maunch (Fig. 539), which is a well-known heraldic term for the sleeve, is, as it is drawn, scarcely recognisable as such. Nevertheless its evolution can be clearly traced. The maunch—which, of course, as a heraldic charge, originated in the knightly "favour" of a lady's sleeve—was borne from the earliest periods in different tinctures by the three historic families of Conyers, Hastings, and Wharton. Other garments have been used as heraldic charges; gloves in the arms of {293}Fletcher and Barttelot; stockings in the arms of Hose; a boot in the crest of Hussy, and a hat in the arms of Huth. Armour is frequently met with, a cuirass appearing in the crest of Somers, helmets in the arms of Salvesen, Trayner, Roberton, and many other families, gauntlets (Fig. 540), which need to be specified as dexter or sinister, in the arms of Vane and the crest of Burton, and a morion (Fig. 541) in the crest of Pixley. The Garter is, of course, due to that Order of knighthood; and the Blue Mantle of the same Order, besides giving his title to one of the Pursuivants of Arms, who uses it as his badge, has also been used as a charge.

The Mill-rind or Fer-de-moline is, of course, as its name implies, the iron from the centre of a grindstone. It is depicted in varying forms, more or less recognisable as the real thing (Fig. 542).

Mirrors occur almost exclusively in crests and in connection with mermaids, who, as a general rule, are represented as holding one in the dexter hand with a comb in the sinister. Very occasionally, however, mirrors appear as charges, an example being that of the Counts Spiegel zum Desenberg, who bore: "Gules, three round mirrors argent in square frames or."

Fig. 539.

Fig. 539.—Maunch.

Fig. 540.

Fig. 540.—Gauntlet.

Fig. 541.

Fig. 541.—Morion.

Fig. 542.

Fig. 542.—Mill-rind.

Symbols connected with the Sacred Passion—other than the cross itself—are not of very general use in armory, though there are instances of the Passion-Nails being used, as, for example, in the shield of Procter viz.: "Or, three passion-nails sable."

Pelts, or Hides, occur in the shield of Pilter, and the Fleece has been mentioned under the division of Rams and Sheep.

Plummets (or Sinkers used by masons) form the charges in the arms of Jennings.

An instance of a Pyramid is met with in the crest of Malcolm, Bart., and an Obelisk in that of the town of Todmorden. {294}

The shield of Crookes affords an example of two devices of very rare occurrence, viz. a Prism and a Radiometer.

Water, lakes, ships, &c., are constantly met with in armory, but a few instances must suffice. The various methods of heraldically depicting water have been already referred to (pages 88 and 151).

Three Wells figure in the arms of Hodsoll, and a masoned well in that of Camberwell. The shields of Stourton and Mansergh supply instances of heraldic Fountains, whilst the arms of Brunner and of Franco contain Fountains of the ordinary kind. A Tarn, or Loch, occurs in the shield of the family of Tarn, while Lord Loch bears: "Or, a saltire engrailed sable, between in fess two swans in water proper, all within a bordure vert."

Fig. 543.

Fig. 543.—Lymphad, sail furled.

The use of Ships may be instanced by the arms of many families, while a Galley or Lymphad (Fig. 543) occurs in the arms of Campbell, Macdonald, Galbraith, Macfie, and numerous other families, and also in the arms of the town of Oban. Another instance of a coat of arms in which a galley appears will be found in the arms recently granted to the burgh of Alloa, while the towns of Wandsworth and Lerwick each afford instances of a Dragon Ship. The Prow of a Galley appears in the arms of Pitcher.

Fig. 544.

Fig. 544.—Rainbow.

A modern form of ship in the shape of a Yacht may be seen in the arms of Ryde; while two Scottish families afford instances of the use of the Ark. "Argent, an ark on the waters proper, surmounted of a dove azure, bearing in her beak an olive-branch vert," are the arms borne by Gellie of Blackford; and "Argent, an ark in the sea proper, in chief a dove azure, in her beak a branch of olive of the second, within a bordure of the third" are quoted as the arms of Primrose Gailliez of Chorleywood. Lastly, we may note the appropriate use of a Steamer in the arms of Barrow-in-Furness. The curious figure of the lion dimidiated with the hulk of a ship which is met with in the arms of several of the towns of the Cinque Ports has been referred to on page 182.

Clouds form part of the arms of Leeson, which are: "Gules, a chief nebuly argent, the rays of the sun issuing therefrom or."

The Rainbow (Fig. 544), though not in itself a distinctly modern charge, for it occurs in the crest of Hope, has been of late very frequently granted as part of a crest. Instances occur in the crest of {295}the family of Pontifex, and again in that of Thurston, and of Wigan. Its use as a part of a crest is to be deprecated, but in these days of complicated armory it might very advantageously be introduced as a charge upon a shield.

An unusual device, the Thunderbolt, is the crest of Carnegy. The arms of the German family of Donnersperg very appropriately are: "Sable, three thunderbolts or issuing from a chief nebuly argent, in base a mount of three coupeaux of the second." The arms of the town of Blackpool furnish an instance of a thunderbolt in dangerous conjunction with windmill sails.

Fig. 545.

Fig. 545.—Estoile.

Fig. 546.

Fig. 546.—Mullet (Scottish star).

Fig. 547.

Fig. 547.—Mullet pierced (Scottish spur-revel).

Stars, a very common charge, may be instanced as borne under that name by the Scottish shield of Alston. There has, owing to their similarity, been much confusion between stars, estoiles, and mullets. The difficulty is increased by the fact that no very definite lines have ever been followed officially. In England stars under that name are practically unknown. When the rays are wavy the charge is termed an estoile, but when they are straight the term mullet is used. That being so, these rules follow: that the estoile is never pierced (and from the accepted method of depicting the estoile this would hardly seem very feasible), and that unless the number of points is specified there will be six (see Fig. 545). Other numbers are quite permissible, but the number of points (more usually in an estoile termed "rays") must be stated. The arm of Hobart, for example, are: "Sable, an estoile of eight rays or, between two flaunches ermine." An estoile of sixteen rays is used by the town of Ilchester, but the arms are not of any authority. Everything with straight points being in England a mullet, it naturally follows that the English practice permits a mullet to be plain (Fig. 546) or pierced (Fig. 547). Mullets are occasionally met with pierced of a colour other than the field they are charged upon. According to the English practice, therefore, the mullet is not represented as pierced unless it is expressly stated to be so. The mullet both in England and {296}Scotland is of five points unless a greater number are specified. But mullets pierced and unpierced of six (Fig. 548) or eight points (Fig. 549) are frequent enough in English armory.

The Scottish practice differs, and it must be admitted that it is more correct than the English, though, strange to say, more complicated. In Scottish armory they have the estoile, the star, and the mullet or the spur-revel. As to the estoile, of course, their practice is similar to the English. But in Scotland a straight-pointed charge is a mullet if it be pierced, and a star if it be not. As a mullet is really the "molette" or rowel of a spur, it certainly could not exist as a fact unpierced. Nevertheless it is by no means stringently adhered to in that country, and they make confusion worse confounded by the frequent use of the additional name of "spur-rowel," or "spur-revel" for the pierced mullet. The mullet occurs in the arms of Vere, and was also the badge of that family. The part this badge once played in history is well known. Had the De Veres worn another badge on that fatal day the course of English history might have been changed.

Fig. 548.

Fig. 548.—Mullet of six points.

Fig. 549.

Fig. 549.—Mullet of eight points.

Fig. 550.

Fig. 550.—Sun in splendour.

The six-pointed mullet pierced occurs in the arms of De Clinton.

The Sun in Splendour—(Fig. 550) always so blazoned—is never represented without the surrounding rays, but the human face is not essential though usual to its heraldic use. The rays are alternately straight and wavy, indicative of the light and heat we derive therefrom, a typical piece of genuine symbolism. It is a charge in the arms of Hurst, Pearson, and many other families; and a demi-sun issuing in base occurs in the arms of Davies (Plate VI.) and of Westworth. The coat of Warde-Aldam affords an example of the Rays of the sun alone.

A Scottish coat, that of Baillie of Walstoun, has "Azure, the moon in her complement, between nine mullets argent, three, two, three and one." The term "in her complement" signifies that the moon is full, but with the moon no rays are shown, in this of course differing from the sun in splendour. The face is usually represented in the full moon, {297}and sometimes in the crescent moon, but the crescent moon must not be confused with the ordinary heraldic crescent.

In concluding this class of charges, we may fitly do so by an allusion to the shield of Sir William Herschel, with its appropriate though clumsy device of a Telescope.

As may be naturally expected, the insignia of sovereignty are of very frequent occurrence in all armories, both English and foreign. Long before the days of heraldry, some form of decoration for the head to indicate rank and power had been in vogue amongst, it is hardly too much to say, all nations on the earth. As in most things, Western nations have borrowed both ideas, and added developments of those ideas, from the East, and in traversing the range of armory, where crowns and coronets appear in modern Western heraldry, we find a large proportion of these devices are studiously and of purpose delineated as being Eastern.

With crowns and coronets as symbols of rank I am not now, of course, concerned, but only with those cases which may be cited as supplying examples where the different kinds of crowns appear either as charges on shields, or as forming parts of crests.

Crowns, in heraldry, may be differentiated under the Royal or the Imperial, the Eastern or antique, the Naval, and the Mural, which with the Crowns Celestial, Vallery and Palisado are all known as charges. Modern grants of crowns of Eastern character in connection with valuable service performed in the East by the recipient may be instanced; e.g. by the Eastern Crown in the grant to Sir Abraham Roberts, G.C.B., the father of Field-Marshal Earl Roberts, K.G.

In order of antiquity one may best perhaps at the outset allude to the arms borne by the seaport towns of Boston, and of Kingston-on-Hull (or Hull, as the town is usually called), inasmuch as a tradition has it that the three crowns which figure on the shield of each of these towns originate from a recognised device of merchantmen, who, travelling in and trading with the East and likening themselves to the Magi, in their Bethlehem visit, adopted these crowns as the device or badge of their business. The same remarks may apply to the arms of Cologne: "Argent, on a chief gules, three crowns or."

From this fact (if the tradition be one) to the adoption of the same device by the towns to which these merchants traded is not a far step.

One may notice in passing that, unlike what from the legend one would expect, these crowns are not of Eastern design, but of a class wholly connected with heraldry itself. The legend and device, however, are both much older than these modern minutiæ of detail.

The Archbishopric of York has the well-known coat: "Gules, two keys in saltire argent, in chief a regal crown proper." {298}

The reputed arms of St. Etheldreda, who was both Queen, and also Abbess of Ely, find their perpetuation in the arms of that See, which are: "Gules, three ducal (an early form of the Royal) crowns or;" while the recently-created See of St. Alban's affords an example of a celestial crown: "Azure, a saltire or, a sword in pale proper; in chief a celestial crown of the second." The Celestial Crown is to be observed in the arms of the borough of Kensington and as a part of the crest of Dunbar. The See of Bristol bears: "Sable, three open crowns in pale or." The Royal or Imperial Crown occurs in the crest of Eye, while an Imperial Crown occurs in the crests of Robertson, Wolfe, and Lane.

The family of Douglas affords an instance of a crown ensigning a human heart. The arms of Toledo afford another case in point, being: "Azure, a Royal crown or" (the cap being gules).

Antique Crowns—as such—appear in the arms of Fraser and also in the arms of Grant.

The crest of the Marquess of Ripon supplies an unusual variation, inasmuch as it issues from a coronet composed of fleurs-de-lis.

The other chief emblem of sovereignty—the Sceptre—is occasionally met with, as in the Whitgreave crest of augmentation.

The Marquises of Mun bear the Imperial orb: "Azure, an orb argent, banded, and surmounted by the cross or." The reason for the selection of this particular charge in the grant of arms [Azure, on a fess or, a horse courant gules, between three orbs gold, banded of the third] to Sir H. E. Moss, of the Empire Theatre in Edinburgh and the London Hippodrome, will be readily guessed.

Under the classification of tools and implements the Pick may be noted, this being depicted in the arms of Mawdsley, Moseley, and Pigott, and a pick and shovel in the arms of Hales.

The arms of Crawshay supply an instance of a Plough—a charge which also occurs in the arms of Waterlow and the crest of Provand, but is otherwise of very infrequent occurrence.

In English armory the use of Scythes, or, as they are sometimes termed, Sneds, is but occasional, though, as was only to be expected, this device appears in the Sneyd coat, as follows: "Argent, a scythe, the blade in chief, the sned in bend sinister sable, in the fess point a fleur-de-lis of the second." In Poland the Counts Jezierski bore: "Gules, two scythe-blades in oval, the points crossing each other argent, and the ends in base tied together or, the whole surmounted in chief by a cross-patriarchal-patée, of which the lower arm on the sinister side is wanting."

Two sickles appear in the arms of Shearer, while the Hungerford crest in the case of the Holdich-Hungerford family is blazoned: {299}"Out of a ducal coronet or, a pepper garb of the first between two sickles erect proper." The sickle was the badge of the Hungerfords.

A Balance forms one of the charges of the Scottish Corporation of the Dean and Faculty of Advocates: "Gules, a balance or, and a sword argent in saltire, surmounted of an escutcheon of the second, charged with a lion rampant within a double tressure flory counterflory of the first," but it is a charge of infrequent appearance. It also figures in the arms of the Institute of Chartered Accountants.

Fig. 551.

Fig. 551.—Water-bouget.

Bannerman of Elsick bears a Banner for arms: "Gules, a banner displayed argent and thereon on a canton azure a saltire argent as the badge of Scotland."

Fig. 552.

Fig. 552.—Arms of Henry Bourchier, Earl of Essex, K.G.: Quarterly, 1 and 4, argent, a cross engrailed gules, between four water-bougets sable (for Bourchier); 2 and 3, gules, billetté or, a fess argent (for Louvain). (From his seal.)

Books are frequently made use of. The arms of Rylands, the family to whose generosity Manchester owes the Rylands Library, afford a case in point, and such charges occur in the arms of the Universities of both Oxford and Cambridge, and in many other university and collegiate achievements.

Buckets and Water-bougets (Fig. 551) can claim a wide use. In English armory Pemberton has three buckets, and water-bougets appear in the well-known arms of Bourchier (Fig. 552). Water-bougets, which are really the old form of water-bucket, were leather bags or bottles, two of which were carried on a stick over the shoulder. The heraldic water-bouget represents the pair.

Fig. 553.

Fig. 553.—Escallop.

For an instance of the heraldic usage of the Comb the case of the arms of Ponsonby, Earls of Bessborough, may be cited. Combs also figure in the delightfully punning Scottish coat for Rocheid.

Generally, however, when they do occur in heraldry they represent combs for carding wool, as in the shield of Tunstall: "Sable, three wool-combs argent," while the Russian Counts Anrep-Elmpt use: "Or, a comb in bend azure, the teeth downwards."

Escallops (Fig. 553) rank as one of the most widely used heraldic charges in all countries. They figured in early days outside the limits of heraldry as the badge of pilgrims going to the Holy Land, and may {300}be seen on the shields of many families at the period of the Crusades. Many other families have adopted them, in the hope of a similar interpretation being applied to the appearance of them in their own arms. Indeed, so numerous are the cases in which they occur that a few representative ones must suffice.

Fig. 554.

Fig. 554.—Arms of Hammersmith: Party per pale azure and gules, on a chevron between two cross crosslets in chief and an escallop in base argent, three horseshoes of the first. Crest: on a wreath of the colours, upon the battlements of a tower, two hammers in saltire all proper. Motto: "Spectemur agendo."

Fig. 555.

Fig. 555.—Arms of the Great Central Railway: Argent, on a cross gules, voided of the field, between two wings in chief sable and as many daggers erect in base of the second, in the fess point a morion winged of the third, on a chief also of the second a pale of the first, thereon eight arrows saltirewise banded also of the third, between on the dexter side three bendlets enhanced and on the sinister a fleur-de-lis or. Crest: on a wreath of the colours, a representation of the front of a locomotive engine proper, between two wings or. [The grant is dated February 25, 1898.]

They will be found in the arms of the Lords Dacre, who bore: "Gules, three escallops argent;" and an escallop argent was used by the same family as a badge. The Scottish family of Pringle, of Greenknowe, supplies an instance in: "Azure, three escallops or within a bordure engrailed of the last;" while the Irish Earls of Bandon bore: "Argent, on a bend azure three escallops of the field." {301}

Hammers figure in the crests of Hammersmith (Fig. 554) and of Swindon (Plate VI.), and a hammer is held in the claw of the demi-dragon which is the crest of Fox-Davies of Coalbrookdale, co. Salop (Plate VI.).

A Lantern is a charge on the shield of Cowper, and the arms of the town of Hove afford an absolutely unique instance of the use of Leg-Irons.

Three towns—Eccles, Bootle, and Ramsgate—supply cases in their arms in which a Lighthouse is depicted, and this charge would appear, so far as can be ascertained, not only to be restricted to English armory, but to the three towns now named.

Locomotives appear in the arms of Swindon (Plate VI.) and the Great Central Railway (Fig. 555).

Of a similar industrial character is the curious coat of arms granted at his express wish to the late Mr. Samson Fox of Leeds and Harrogate, which contains a representation of the Corrugated Boiler-Flue which formed the basis of his fortune.

Fig. 556.

Fig. 556.—Catherine wheel.

Fig. 557.

Fig. 557.—Staple.

Fig. 558.

Fig. 558.—Hawk's Lure.

Fig. 559.

Fig. 559.—Fylfot.

An instance of the use of a Sand-Glass occurs in the arms of the Scottish family of Joass of Collinwort, which are thus blazoned: "Vert, a sand-glass running argent, and in chief the Holy Bible expanded proper."

A Scottish corporation, too, supplies a somewhat unusual charge, that of Scissors: "Azure, a pair of scissors or" (Incorporation of Tailors of Aberdeen); though a Swabian family (by name Jungingen) has for its arms: "Azure, a pair of scissors open, blades upwards argent."

Barrels and Casks, which in heraldry are always known as tuns, naturally figure in many shields where the name lends itself to a pun, as in the arms of Bolton.

Wheels occur in the shields of Turner ["Argent, gutté-de-sang, a {302}wheel of eight spokes sable, on a chief wavy azure, a dolphin naiant of the first"] and Carter, and also in the arms of Gooch. The Catherine Wheel (Fig. 556), however, is the most usual heraldic form. The Staple (Fig. 557) and the Hawk's Lure (Fig. 558) deserve mention, and I will wind up the list of examples with the Fylfot (Fig. 559), which no one knows the meaning or origin of.

The list of heraldic charges is very far, indeed, from being exhausted. The foregoing must, however, suffice; but those who are curious to pursue this branch of the subject further should examine the arms, both ancient and modern, of towns and trade corporations. {303}



Since one's earliest lessons in the rules of heraldry, we have been taught, as one of the fundamental laws of the achievement, that the helmet by its shape and position is indicative of rank; and we early learnt by rote that the esquire's helmet was of steel, and was placed in profile, with the visor closed: the helmet of the knight and baronet was to be open and affronté; that the helmet of the peer must be of silver, guarded by grilles and placed in profile; and that the royal helmet was of gold, with grilles, and affronté. Until recent years certain stereotyped forms of the helmet for these varying circumstances were in use, hideous alike both in the regularity of their usage and the atrocious shapes into which they had been evolved. These regulations, like some other adjuncts of heraldic art, are comparatively speaking of modern origin. Heraldry in its earlier and better days knew them not, and they came into vogue about the Stuart times, when heraldic art was distinctly on the wane. It is puzzling to conceive a desire to stereotype these particular forms, and we take it that the fact, which is undoubted, arose from the lack of heraldic knowledge on the part of the artists, who, having one form before them, which they were assured was correct, under the circumstances simply reproduced this particular form in facsimile time after time, not knowing how far they might deviate and still remain correct. The knowledge of heraldry by the heraldic artist was the real point underlying the excellence of mediæval heraldic art, and underlying the excellence of much of the heraldic art in the revival of the last few years. As it has been often pointed out, in olden times they "played" with heraldry, and therein lay the excellence of that period. The old men knew the lines within which they could "play," and knew the laws which they could not transgress. Their successors, ignorant of the laws of arms, and afraid of the hidden meanings of armory, had none but the stereotyped lines to follow. The result was bad. Let us first consider the development of the actual helmet, and then its application to heraldic purposes will be more readily followed.

Fig. 560.

Fig. 560.

Fig. 561.

Fig. 561.

Fig. 562.

Fig. 562.

Fig. 563.

Fig. 563.

To the modern mind, which grumbles at the weight of present-day {304}head coverings, it is often a matter of great wonder how the knights of ancient days managed to put up with the heavy weight of the great iron helmet, with its wooden or leather crest. A careful study of ancient descriptions of tournaments and warfare will supply the clue to the explanation, which is simply that the helmet was very seldom worn. For ceremonial purposes and occasions it was carried by a page, and in actual use it was carried slung at the saddle-bow, until the last moment, when it was donned for action as blows and close contact became imminent. Then, by the nature of its construction, the weight was carried by the shoulders, the head and neck moving freely within necessary limits inside. All this will be more readily apparent, when the helmet itself is considered. Our present-day ideas of helmets—their shape, their size, and their proportions—are largely taken from the specimens manufactured (not necessarily in modern times) for ceremonial purposes; e.g. for exhibition as insignia of knighthood. By far the larger proportion of the genuine helmets now to be seen were purposely made (certainly at remote dates) not for actual use in battle or tournament, but for ceremonial use, chiefly at funerals. Few, indeed, are the examples still existing of helmets which have been actually used in battle or tournament. Why there are so few remaining to us, when every person of position must necessarily have possessed one throughout the Plantagenet period, and probably at any rate to the end of the reign of Henry VII., is a mystery which has puzzled many people—for helmets are not, like glass and china, subject to the vicissitudes of breakage. The reason is doubtless to be found in the fact that at that period they were so general, and so little out of the common, that they possessed no greater value than any other article of clothing; and whilst the real helmet, lacking a ceremonial value, was not preserved, the sham ceremonial helmet of a later period, possessing none but a ceremonial value, was preserved from ceremonial to ceremonial, and has been passed on to the present day. But a glance at so many of these helmets which exist will plainly show that it was quite impossible for any man's head to have gone inside them, and the sculptured helmets of what may seem to us uncouth shape and exaggerated size, which are occasionally to be found as part of a monumental effigy, are the size and shape of the helmets that were worn in battle. This accounts for the much larger-sized helmets in proportion to the size of shield which will be found in heraldic emblazonments of the Plantagenet and Tudor periods. The artists of those periods were accustomed to the sight of real helmets, and knew and drew the real proportion which existed between the fighting helmet and the fighting shield. Artists of Stuart and Georgian days knew only the ceremonial helmet, and consequently adopted and stereotyped its impossible shape, {305}and equally impossible size. Victorian heraldic artists, ignorant alike of the actual and the ceremonial, reduced the size even further, and until the recent revulsion in heraldic art, with its reversion to older types, and its copying of older examples, the helmets of heraldry had reached the uttermost limits of absurdity.

The recent revival of heraldry is due to men with accurate and extensive knowledge, and many recent examples of heraldic art well compare with ancient types. One happy result of this revival is a return to older and better types of the helmet. But it is little use discarding the "heraldic" helmet of the stationer's shop unless a better and more accurate result can be shown, so that it will be well to trace in detail the progress of the real helmet from earliest times.

Fig. 564.

Fig. 564.

Fig. 565.

Fig. 565.

Fig. 566.

Fig. 566.

Fig. 567.

Fig. 567.

Fig. 568.

Fig. 568.

Fig. 569.

Fig. 569.—Painted "Pot-Helmet," c. 1241.

Fig. 570.

Fig. 570.—"Pot-Helmet," from the Eneit of Heinrich von Veldeke.

In the Anglo-Saxon period the common helmet was merely a cap of leather, often four-cornered, and with a serrated comb (Figs. 560 and 561), but men of rank had a conical one of metal (Fig. 562), which was frequently richly gilt. About the time of Edward the Confessor a small piece, of varying breadth, called a "nasal," was added (Fig. 563), which, with a quilted or gamboised hood, or one of mail, well protected the face, leaving little more than the eyes exposed; and in this form the helmet continued in general use until towards the end of the twelfth century, when we find it merged into or supplanted by the {306}"chapelle-de-fer," which is first mentioned in documents at this period, and was shaped like a flat-topped, cylindrical cap. This, however, was soon enlarged so as to cover the whole head (Fig. 564), an opening being left for the features, which were sometimes protected by a movable "ventaille," or a visor, instead of the "nasal." This helmet (which was adopted by Richard I., who is also sometimes represented with a conical one) was the earliest form of the large war and tilting "heaume" (or helm), which was of great weight and strength, and often had only small openings or slits for the eyes (Figs. 565 and 566). These eyepieces were either one wide slit or two, one on either side. The former was, however, sometimes divided into two by an ornamental bar or buckle placed across. It was afterwards pointed at the top, and otherwise slightly varied in shape, but its general form appears to have been the same until the end of the fourteenth century (Figs. 567, 568). This type of helmet is usually known as the "pot-shaped." The helmets themselves were sometimes painted, and Fig. 569 represents an instance which is painted in green and white diagonal stripes. The illustration is from a parchment MS. of about 1241 now in the Town Library of Leipzic. Fig. 570 shows another German example of this type, being taken from the Eneit of Heinrich von Veldeke, a MS. now in the Royal Library in Berlin, belonging to the end of the twelfth century. The crest depicted in this case, a red lion, must be one of the earliest instances of a crest. These {307}are the helmets which we find on early seals and effigies, as will be seen from Figs. 571-574.

Fig. 571.

Fig. 571.—Helmet of Hamelin, Earl of Surrey and Warenne (d. 1202). (From MS. Cott., Julius, C. vii.)

Fig. 572.

Fig. 572.—From the seal of Richard de Clare, Earl of Gloucester and Hertford (d. 1262).

Fig. 573.

Fig. 573.—From the seal of John de Warenne, Earl of Surrey (d. 1305).

Fig. 574.

Fig. 574.—From the seal (1315) of John de Bretagne, Earl of Richmond.

The cylindrical or "pot-shaped" helmet of the Plantagenets, however, disappears in the latter part of the thirteenth century, when we first find mention of the "bascinet" (from Old French for a basin), Figs. 575-579. This was at first merely a hemispherical steel cap, put over the coif of mail to protect the top of the head, when the knight wished to be relieved from the weight of his large helm (which he then slung at his back or carried on his saddlebow), but still did not consider the mail coif sufficient protection. It soon became pointed at the top, and gradually lower at the back, though not so much as to protect the neck. In the fourteenth century the mail, instead of being carried over the top of the head, was hung to the bottom rim of the helmet, and {308}spread out over the shoulders, overlapping the cuirass. This was called the "camail," or "curtain of mail." It is shown in Figs. 576 and 577 fastened to the bascinet by a lace or thong passing through staples.

The large helm, which throughout the fourteenth century was still worn over the bascinet, did not fit down closely to the cuirass (though it may have been fastened to it with a leather strap), its bottom curve not being sufficiently arched for that purpose; nor did it wholly rest on the shoulders, but was probably wadded inside so as to fit closely to the bascinet.

Fig. 575.

Fig. 575.

Fig. 576.

Fig. 576.

Fig. 577.

Fig. 577.

Fig. 578.

Fig. 578.

Fig. 579.

Fig. 579.

It is doubtful if any actual helm previous to the fourteenth century exists, and there are very few of that period remaining. In that of the Black Prince at Canterbury (Fig. 271) the lower, or cylindrical, portion is composed of a front and back piece, riveted together at the sides, and this was most likely the usual form of construction; but in the helm of Sir Richard Pembridge (Figs. 580 and 581) the three pieces (cylinder, conical piece, and top piece) of which it is formed are fixed with nails, and are so welded together that no trace of a join is visible. The edges of the metal, turned outwards round the ocularium, are very thick, and the bottom edge is rolled inwards over a thick wire, so as not to cut the surcoat. There are many twin holes in the helmet for the aiglets, by which the crest and lambrequin were attached, and in front, near the bottom, are two + shaped holes for the T bolt, which was fixed by a chain to the cuirass.

The helm of Sir Richard Hawberk (Figs. 582 and 583), who died in 1417, is made of five pieces, and is very thick and heavy. It is much more like the later form adapted for jousting, and was probably only for use in the tilt-yard; but, although more firmly fixed to the cuirass than the earlier helm, it did not fit closely down to it, as all later helms did.

Singularly few examples of the pot-helmet actually exist. The "Linz" example (Figs. 584 and 585), which is now in the {309}Francisco-Carolinum Museum at Linz, was dredged out of the Traun, and is unfortunately very much corroded by rust. The fastening-place for the crest, however, is well preserved. The example belongs to the first half of the fourteenth century.

Fig. 580.

Fig. 580.

Fig. 581.

Fig. 581.

Fig. 582.

Fig. 582.

Fig. 583.

Fig. 583.

The so-called "Pranker-Helm" (Fig. 586), from the chapter of Seckau, now in the collection of armour in the Historical Court Museum at Vienna, and belonging to the middle of the fourteenth century, could only have been used for tournaments. It is made of four strong hammered sheets of iron 1-2 millimetres thick, with other strengthening plates laid on. The helmet by itself weighs 5 kilogrammes 357 grammes. {310}

Fig. 584.

Figs. 584 and 585.—The "Linz" Pot-Helmet.

Fig. 587.

Fig. 587.

The custom of wearing the large helm over the bascinet being clumsy and troublesome, many kinds of visor were invented, so as to dispense with the large helm, except for jousting, two of which are represented in Figs. 575 and 579. In the first a plate shaped somewhat to the nose was attached to the part of the camail which covered the mouth. This plate, and the mail mouth-guard, when not in use, hung downwards towards the breast; but when in use it was drawn up and attached to a staple or locket on the front of the bascinet. This fashion, however, does not appear to have been adopted in England, but was peculiar to Germany, Austria, &c. None of these contrivances seem to have been very satisfactory, but towards the end of the fourteenth century the large and salient beaked visor was invented (Fig. 587). It was fixed to hinges at the sides of the bascinet with pins, and was removable at will. A high collar of steel was next added as a substitute for the camail. This form of helmet remained in use during the first half of the fifteenth century, and the large helm, which was only used for jousting, took a different form, or rather several different forms, which may be divided into three kinds. In this connection it should be remembered that the heavy jousting helmet to which the crest had relation was probably never used in actual warfare. The first was called a bascinet, and was used for combats on foot. It had an almost spherical crown-piece, and came right down to the cuirass, to which it was firmly fixed, and was, like all large helms of the fifteenth century, large enough for the wearer to move his head about freely inside. The helm of Sir Giles Capel (Fig. 588) is a good specimen of this class; it has a visor of great thickness, in which are a great number of holes, thus enabling the wearer to see in every direction. The "barbute," or ovoid bascinet, with a chin-piece riveted to it, was somewhat like this helm, and is often seen on the brasses of {311}1430-1450; the chin-piece retaining the name of "barbute," after the bascinet had gone out of fashion.

Fig. 586.

Fig. 586.—Pranker-Helm.

Fig. 591.

Fig. 591.—German Tilting Armour, 1480, from the Collection in the Museum at Vienna.

Fig. 592.

Fig. 592.—Tilting-Helmet of Sir John Gostwick, 1541.

Fig. 588.

Fig. 588.

The second kind of large helm used in the fifteenth century was the "jousting-helm," which was of great strength, and firmly fixed to the cuirass. One from the Brocas Collection (Figs. 589 and 590, date about 1500) is perhaps the grandest helm in existence. It is formed of three pieces of different thicknesses (the front piece being the thickest), which are fixed together with strong iron rivets with salient heads and thin brass caps soldered to them. The arrangements for fixing it in front and behind are very complete and curious.

The manner in which the helmet was connected with the rest of the armour is shown in Fig. 591, which is a representation of a German suit of tilting armour of the period about 1480, now in the collection of armour at the Royal Museum in Vienna.

Of the same character, but of a somewhat different shape, is the helmet (Fig. 592) of Sir John Gostwick, who died in 1541, which is now in Willington Church, Bedfordshire. The illustration here given is taken from the Portfolio, No. 33. The visor opening on the right side of the helmet is evidently taken from an Italian model.

Fig. 589.

Fig. 589.

The third and last kind of helm was the "tournament helm," and was similar to the first kind, and also called a "bascinet"; but the visor was generally barred, or, instead of a movable visor, the bars were riveted on the helm, and sometimes the face was only protected by a sort of wire-work, like a fencing-mask. It was only used for the tourney or mêlée, when the weapons were the sword and mace.

Fig. 590.

Fig. 590.

The "chapelle-de-fer," which was in use in the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth centuries, was a light iron head-piece, with a broad, flat brim, somewhat turned down. Fig. 593 represents one belonging to the {312}end of the fifteenth century, which is one of the few remaining, and is delicately forged in one piece of thin, hard steel.

During the fourteenth century a new kind of helmet arose, called in England the "sallad," or "sallet." The word appears to have two derivations, each of which was applied to a different form of head-piece. First, the Italian "celata" (Fig. 594), which seems originally to have been a modification of the bascinet. Second, the German "schallern," the form of which was probably suggested by the chapelle-de-fer. Both of these were called by the French "salade," whence our English "sallad." The celata came lower down than the bascinet, protected the back and sides of the neck, and, closing round the cheeks, often left only the eyes, nose, and mouth exposed. A standard of mail protected the neck if required. In the fifteenth century the celata ceased to be pointed at the summit, and was curved outwards at the nape of the neck, as in Fig. 595.

Fig. 593.

Fig. 593.

The "schallern" (from shale, a shell, or bowl), was really a helmet and visor in one piece; it had a slit for the eyes, a projecting brim, and a long tail, and was completed by a chin-piece, or "bavier" (Eng. "beaver"), which was strapped round the neck. Fig. 596 shows a German sallad and a Spanish beaver. The sallad was much used in the fifteenth century, during the latter half of which it often had a visor, as in one from Rhodes (Fig. 597), which has a spring catch on the right side to hold the visor in place when down. The rivets for its lining-cap have large, hollow, twisted heads, which are seldom found on existing sallads, though often seen in sculpture.

Fig. 594.

Fig. 594.

Fig. 595.

Fig. 595.

Fig. 596.

Fig. 596.

Fig. 597.

Fig. 597.

The schale, schallern (schêlern), or sallad, either with or without a {313}visor, is very seldom seen in heraldic use. An instance, however, in which it has been made use of heraldically will be found in Fig. 598, which is from a pen and ink drawing in the Fest-Buch of Paulus Kel, a MS. now in the Royal Library at Munich. This shows the schallern with the slit for seeing through, and the fixed neck-guard. The "bart," "bavière," or beaver, for the protection of the under part of the face, is also visible. It is not joined to the helmet. The helmet bears the crest of Bavaria, the red-crowned golden lion of the Palatinate within the wings of the curiously disposed Bavarian tinctures. Fig. 599 (p. 316) is a very good representation of a schallern dating from the latter part of the fifteenth century, with a sliding neck-guard. It is reproduced from the Deutscher Herold, 1892, No. 2.

Fig. 598.

Fig. 598.—Schallern, with Crest of Bavaria (Duke Ludwig of Bavaria, 1449).

Until almost the middle of the fifteenth century all helmets fitted on the top of the head, or were put right over; but about 1440 the Italians made a great improvement by inventing the "armet," the lower part of which opened out with hinges, so that when put on it enclosed the head, fitting closely round the lower part of it, while its weight was borne by the steel collar, or "gorget." The Italian armet had a roundel or disc to protect the opening at the back of the neck, and a bavier strapped on in front to cover the joining of the two {314}cheek-pieces. The earlier armets, like the beaked bascinet, had a camail attached by a row of staples (Fig. 600), which was continued later, but then fixed either to a metal band or leather strap and riveted to the base of the armet. This form of helmet was not in common use in England until about 1500.

Fig. 600 shows the earliest form of Italian armet, with a reinforcing-piece on the forehead, and a removable visor. Date 1450-1480. Fig. 601 represents an armet of very fine form (probably Italian), which is a nearer approach to the close-helmet of the sixteenth century, as the visor cannot be removed, and the eye-slit is in the visor, instead of being formed by the space between it and the crown-piece, and there is also no reinforcing-piece in the crown. Date 1480-1500. Fig. 602 is still more like the sixteenth-century helmet, for it opens down the sides instead of down the chin and back, and the same pivot which secures the visor also serves as a hinge for the crown and chin-piece. The small mentonnière, or bavier, is equal on both sides, but it was often of less extent on the right. Date about 1500.

Fig. 603 shows a German fluted helmet, of magnificent form and workmanship, which is partly engraved and gilded. Date 1510-1525. It opens down the chin, like the early armets, but the tail-piece of the crown is much broader. The skill shown in the forging of the crown and the fluting of the twisted comb is most remarkable, and each rivet for the lining-strap of the cheek-pieces forms the centre of an engraved six-leaved rose. A grooved rim round the bottom of the helmet fitted closely on a salient rim at the top of the steel gorget or hause col, so that when placed on its gorget and closed, it could not be wrenched off, but could yet be moved round freely in a horizontal direction. The gorget being articulated, the head could also be raised or lowered a little, but not enough to make this form of joint very desirable, and a looser kind was soon substituted.

Fig. 604 shows what is perhaps the most perfect type of close helmet. The comb is much larger than was the custom at an earlier date, and much resembles those of the morions of this period. The visor is formed of two separate parts; the upper fits inside the lower, and could be raised to facilitate seeing without unfixing the lower portion. It is engraved with arabesques, and is probably Italian. Date 1550-1570. Fig. 605 is an English helmet, half-way between a close helmet and a "burgonet." It is really a "casque," with cheek-pieces to meet in front. The crown-piece is joined down the middle of the comb. This helmet was probably made for the Earl of Leicester. Date about 1590.

The word "burgonet" first appeared about the beginning of the fifteenth century, and described a form of helmet like the "celata," and {315}called by that name in Italy. It was completed by a "buffe," or chin-piece, similar to the bavier.

Fig. 600.

Fig. 600.

Fig. 601.

Fig. 601.

Fig. 602.

Fig. 602.

Fig. 603.

Fig. 603.

Fig. 604.

Fig. 604.

Fig. 605.

Fig. 605.

During this century the "morion," really an improved "chapelle-de-fer," was much in use. It had a curved top, surmounted by a comb, and a broad, turned-up brim, and was often elaborately engraved and gilt. The "cabasset" was a similar head-piece, but had a peaked top, surmounted by a small spike turned backwards, and generally a flatter, narrower brim than the morion. These three forms of helmet were all called casques.

Fig. 606.

Fig. 606.—"Grid-iron" Helmet (fifteenth century).

The barred or grilled helmet owed its introduction to tournaments with swords and clubs, which necessitated better opportunities of vision than the earlier tilting-helm afforded, sufficient though that was for encounters with the tilting-spear. The earliest form of this type of helmet will be seen in Fig. 606, which is termed a "grid-iron" helmet, developing shortly afterwards into the form of Fig. 607, which has a lattice-work visor. The former figure, the "grid-iron" helmet, is a {316}representation taken from an original now in the possession of Count Hans Wilczek, of Vienna. Fig. 607, the helmet with the latticed visor, is from an example in the German National Museum at Nürnberg. Neither of these types of helmet appears to have been regularly adopted into heraldic art. Indeed they are seldom, if ever, to be found in heraldic emblazonment. For pictorial and artistic purposes they seem to be entirely supplanted in paintings, in seals, and in sculpture by the "grilled" helmet or "buckler." Whether this helmet, as we find it depicted in paintings or on seals, was ever really worn in battle or tournament seems very doubtful, and no actual instance appears to have been preserved. On the other hand, the so-called "Prankhelme" (pageant helmet) bucklers, frequently made of gilded leather and other materials, are extant in some number. It is evident from their nature, however, that they can only have been used for ceremonial or decorative purposes.

Fig. 608 shows one of these buckled "pageant" helmets surmounted by the crest of the Margraviate of Burgau. Fig. 609 shows another of these pageant helmets, with the crest of Austria (ancient) or of Tyrol. These were borne, with many others of the same character, in the pageant of the funeral procession of the Emperor Frederick III. (IV.) in 1493. The helmets were made of leather, and gilded, the two crests being carved out of boards and painted. The Burgau wings, which are inclined very far forward, are: "Bendy of six argent and gules, charged with a pale or." In their normal position the wings are borne upright. The second crest, which is 86 cm. in height, is black, and adorned on the outside with eared pegs 4 cm. long, from which gold linden-leaves hang. These helmets and crests, which were formerly in St. Stephen's Cathedral, are now in the Vienna Historical Museum.

At the beginning of the seventeenth century the workmanship became inferior, and beauty of line was no longer sought after. Shortly afterwards helmets ceased to be worn outside the regular army, and with the subsequent evolution of military head coverings heraldry has no concern.

As a part of a heraldic achievement the helmet is not so old as the shield. It was not until the introduction of the crest that any one thought of depicting a helmet with a shield.

Fig. 599.

Fig. 599.—Schallern (end of fifteenth century).

Fig. 607.

Fig. 607.—Helmet, with Latticed Visor (end of fifteenth century).

A careful and attentive examination of the early "Rolls of Arms," and of seals and other ancient examples of heraldic art and handicraft, will at once make it plainly apparent that the helmets then heraldically depicted were in close keeping and of the style actually in use for warfare, joust, or tournament at the period. This is particularly noticeable in the helmets on the stall plates of the Knights of the Garter in St. George's Chapel at Windsor. The helms on the early {317}stall plates, though far from being identical in shape, all appear to be of the same class or type of tilting-helm drawn in profile. Amongst the early plates only one instance (Richard, Duke of Gloucester, elected 1475) can be found of the barred helmet. This is the period when helmets actually existed in fact, and were actually used, but at the end of the sixteenth and the beginning of the seventeenth centuries, when the helmet was being fast relegated to ceremonial usage and pictorial emblazonment, ingenious heralds began to evolve the system by which rank and degree were indicated by the helmet.

Fig. 608.

Fig. 608.—Pageant Helmet, with the Crest of Burgau.

Fig. 609.

Fig. 609.—Pageant Helmet, with the Crest of Austria (ancient) or Tyrol.

Before proceeding to consider British rules concerning the heraldic helmet, it may be well to note those which have been accepted abroad. In Germany heraldry has known but two classes of helmet, the open helmet guarded by bars (otherwise buckles or grilles), and the closed {318}or "visored" helmet. The latter was the helmet used by the newly ennobled, the former by the older families of higher position, it being originally held that only those families whose birth qualified them to tilt were permitted to use this buckled helmet. Tournaments were of course always conducted on very strict lines. Woodward reprints in his "Treatise on Heraldry" the "Tourney Regulations for the Exposure of Arms and Crest, drawn up by René, Duke of Anjou, King of Sicily and Jerusalem," from Menêtrier's L'Origin des Armoiries. The rules to be complied with are there set out. Fig. 12 herein is a representation of a "Helmschau," where the examination of the crests is being carried on. It is interesting to notice therein that the whole of the helmets without exception have the grilles. Germany was perhaps the earliest country to fall from grace in the matter, for towards the end of the fifteenth century the buckled helmet is found with the arms of the lower Briefadels (those ennobled by patent), and the practice continued despite the violent protests of the tournament families, who considered their prerogative had been infringed. The closed helmet consequently sank gradually in Germany to the grade of a mere burgess's helmet, and as such became of little account, although in former times it had been borne by the proudest houses.

Similarly in France the "buckled" helmet was considered to be reserved for the military noblesse, and newly ennobled families were denied its use until the third generation, when they became bons gentilhommes. Woodward states that when "in 1372 Charles V. conferred on the bourgeoisie of Paris the right to use armorial bearings, it was strenuously denied that they could use the timbred helm. In 1568 an edict of Charles IX. prohibited the use of armoiries timbrées to any who were not noble by birth." The grilles of the helmet produced with the old French heralds the opportunity of a minutiæ of rule which, considering the multitude of rules fathered, rightly or wrongly, upon British heraldry, we may be devoutly happy never reached our shores. They assigned different numbers of grilles to different ranks, but as the writers differ as to the varying numbers, it is probable that such rules were never officially accepted even in that country. In France the rule was much as in this country, a gold helmet for the Sovereign, silver for princes and great nobles, steel for the remainder. It is curious that though the timbred helm was of course known in England whilst the controversy as to its heraldic use was raging in France and Germany, no heraldic use of it whatever occurs till the beginning of the seventeenth century. From Royalty to the humblest gentleman, all used for heraldic purposes the closed or visored helms.

The present rules concerning helmets which hold in Great Britain are that the helmet of the Sovereign and the Royal princes of this {319}country shall be of gold, placed in an affronté position, and shall have grilles. The helmet of a peer shall be of silver, shall be placed in profile, and shall have golden grilles, frequently stated to be five in number, a detail not stringently adhered to. The helmet of a knight or baronet shall be of steel, placed full-faced, and shall be open; whilst the helmet of an esquire or gentleman shall be of steel and in profile, with the visor closed. Within these limits considerable latitude is allowed, and even in official grants of arms, which, as far as emblazonment goes, are very much of a stereotyped style, actual unvarying adherence to a particular pattern is not insisted upon.

The earliest instance amongst the Garter plates in which a helmet with grilles is used to denote the rank of a peer is the stall plate of Lord Knollys in 1615. In the Visitations but few instances can be found in which the arms of peers are included. Peers were not compelled to attend and enter their arms and pedigrees at Visitations, doubtless owing to the fact that no Garter King of Arms ever made a Visitation, whilst it has been the long-asserted prerogative of Garter to deal with peers and their arms by himself. At the same time, however, there are some number of instances of peers' arms and pedigrees in the Visitation Books, several occurring in the 1587 Visitation of Yorkshire. In these cases the arms of peers are set out with supporters and mottoes, but there is no difference between their helmets and what we should now term the helmet of an esquire or gentleman. This is all the more curious because neither helmet nor motto is found in the tricks given of the arms of commoners. Consequently one may with certainty date the introduction of the helmet with grilles as the distinguishing mark of a peer in this country between the years 1587 and 1615. The introduction of the open full-faced helmet as indicative of knight or baronet is known to date from about the period of the Restoration.

Whilst these fixed rules as to helmets are still scrupulously adhered to by English heralds, Lyon King of Arms would seem to be inclined to let them quietly lapse into desuetude, and the emblazonment of the arms of Sir George Duff-Sutherland-Dunbar, Bart., in the Lyon Register at the recent rematriculation of his arms, affords an instance in which the rules have been ignored.

Some of the objections one hears raised to official heraldry will not hold water when all facts are known; but one certainly thinks that those who object to the present helmet and its methods of usage have ample reason for such remarks as one frequently sees in print upon the subject. To put it mildly, it is absolutely ridiculous to see a helmet placed affronté, and a lion passant looking out over the side of it; or to see a helmet in profile with the crest of a man's head {320}affronté placed above it, and as a consequence also peeping over the side. The necessity for providing a resting-place for the crest other than unoccupied space has also led to the ridiculous practice of depicting the wreath or torse in the form of a straight bar balanced upon the apex of the helmet. The rule itself as to the positions of helmets for the varying ranks is officially recognised, and the elaboration of the rule with regard to the differing metals of the Royal helmet and the helmets of peers and knights and baronets is officially followed; though the supposed regulation, which requires that the helmet of an esquire or gentleman shall be of steel alone is not, inasmuch as the helmet painted upon a grant is always ornamented with gold.

These rules in England only date from the times of the Stuarts, and they cannot be said to be advantageous from any point of view; they are certainly distinctly harmful from the artistic standpoint. It is plainly utterly impossible to depict some crests upon a profile helmet, and equally impossible to display others upon an affronté helmet. In Scotland the crests do not afford quite such a regular succession of glaring examples for ridicule as is the case in England. No need is recognised in Scotland for necessarily distinguishing the crest of one family from that of another, though proper differences are rigidly adhered to with regard to the coats of arms. Nevertheless, Scotland provides us with many crests which it is utterly impossible to actually carry on an actual helmet, and examples of this kind can be found in the rainbow which floats above the broken globe of the Hopes, and the coronets in space to which the hand points in the crest of the family of Dunbar of Boath, with many other similar absurdities.

In England an equal necessity for difference is insisted upon in the crest as is everywhere insisted upon with regard to the coat of arms; and in the time of the late Garter King of Arms, it was rapidly becoming almost impossible to obtain a new crest which has not got a row of small objects in front of it, or else two somethings, one on either side. (Things, however, have now considerably improved.) If a crest is to be depicted between two ostrich feathers, for example, it stands to reason that the central object should be placed upon the centre of the helmet, whilst the ostrich feathers would be one on either side—that is, placed in a position slightly above the ears. Yet, if a helmet is to be rigidly depicted in profile, with such a crest, it is by no means inconceivable that the one ostrich feather at the one side would hide both the other ostrich feather and the central object, leaving the crest to appear when properly depicted (for example, if photographed from a profile view of an actual helmet) as a single ostrich feather. Take, for instance, the Sievier crest, which is an estoile between two ostrich feathers. If that crest were properly depicted upon a profile helmet, the one ostrich feather {321}would undoubtedly hide everything else, for it is hardly likely that the estoile would be placed edge-forwards upon an actual helmet; and to properly display it, it ought to take its place upon an affronté helmet. Under the present rules it would be officially depicted with the estoile facing the side, one ostrich feather in front over the nose, and the other at the back of the head, which of course reduces it to an absurdity. To take another example, one might instance the crest of Sir William Crookes. It is hardly to be supposed that a helmet would ever have been borne into a tournament surmounted by an elephant looking out over the side; it would most certainly have had its head placed to the front; and yet, because Sir William Crookes is a knight, he is required to use an affronté helmet, with a crest which most palpably was designed for use in profile. The absurd position which has resulted is chiefly due to the position rules and largely a consequence of the hideous British practice (for no other nation has ever adopted it) of depicting, as is so often done, a coat of arms and crest without the intervening helmet and mantling; though perhaps another cause may have had its influence. I allude to the fact that an animal's head, for example, in profile, is considered quite a different crest to the same animal's head when placed affronté; and so long as this idea holds, and so long as the rules concerning the position of the helmet exist, for so long shall we have these glaring and ridiculous anomalies. And whilst one generation of a family has an affronté helmet and another using the same crest may have a profile one, it is useless to design crests specifically to fit the one or the other.

Mr. G. W. Eve, who is certainly one of the most accomplished heraldic artists of the present time, has adopted a plan in his work which, whilst conforming with the rules to which I have referred, has reduced the peculiarities resulting from their observance to a minimum. His plan is simple, inasmuch as, with a crest which is plainly affronté and has to be depicted upon a profile helmet, he slightly alters the perspective of each, twisting round the helmet, which, whilst remaining slightly in profile, more nearly approaches the affronté position, and bringing the crest slightly round to meet it. In this way he has obtained some very good results from awkward predicaments. Mr. Joseph Foster, in his "Peerage and Baronetage," absolutely discarded all rules affecting the position of the helmet; and though the artistic results may be excellent, his plan cannot be commended, because whilst rules exist they ought to be adhered to. At the same time, it must be frankly admitted that the laws of position seem utterly unnecessary. No other country has them—they are, as has been shown, impracticable from the artistic {322}standpoint; and there can be very little doubt that it is highly desirable that they should be wholly abolished.

It is quite proper that there should be some means of distinction, and it would seem well that the helmet with grilles should be reserved for peers. In this we should be following or closely approximating to the rules observed formerly upon the Continent, and if all questions of position are waived the only difficulty which remains is the helmet of baronets and knights. The full-faced open helmet is ugly in the extreme—anything would be preferable (except an open helmet in profile), and probably it would be better to wipe out the rule on this point as well. Knights of any Order have the circle of that order within which to place their shields, and baronets have the augmentations of their rank and degree. The knight bachelor would be the only one to suffer. The gift of a plain circlet around the shield or (following the precedent of a baronet), a spur upon a canton or inescutcheon, could easily remove any cause of complaint.

But whilst one may think it well to urge strongly the alteration of existing rules, it should not be considered permissible to ignore rules which undoubtedly do exist whilst those rules remain in force.

The helmets of knights and baronets and of esquires and gentlemen, in accordance with present official practice, are usually ornamented with gold, though this would not appear to be a fixed and unalterable rule.

When two or more crests need to be depicted, various expedients are adopted. The English official practice is to paint one helmet only, and both the crests are detached from it. The same plan was formerly adopted in Scotland. The dexter crest is naturally the more important and the principal one in each case. By using one helmet only the necessity of turning the dexter crest to face the sinister is obviated.

The present official method adopted in England of depicting three crests is to use one helmet only, and all three crests face to the dexter. The centre one, which is placed on the helmet, is the principal or first crest, that on the dexter side the second, and the one on the sinister the third.

In Germany, the land of many crests (no less than thirteen were borne above the shield of the Margraves of Brandenburg-Anspach), there has from the earliest times been a fixed invariable practice of never dissociating a crest from the helmet which supported it, and consequently one helmet to every crest has long been the only recognised procedure. In the United Kingdom duplication of crests is quite a modern practice. Amongst the Plantagenet Garter plates there is not a single example to be found of a coat of arms with more than a single crest, and there is no ancient British example of more {323}than one helmet which can be referred to for guidance. The custom originated in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in Germany. This point is more fully dealt with in the chapter devoted to the consideration of crests, but it may be here noted that in Austria a knight may place two and a baron three helmets over his shield. The Continental practice is as follows: When the number of the helms is even, they are arranged so that all look inwards towards the centre line of the escutcheon, half being turned to the dexter, half to the sinister. If the number be uneven, the principal helm is placed in the centre affronté, the others with their crests being turned towards it; thus, some face to the dexter, some to the sinister. The crests are always turned with the helmets. In Scandinavia the centre helm is affronté; the others, with their crests, are often turned outwards.

English officialism, whilst confining its own emblazonments to one helmet only, has never sought to assert that the use of two or more was either incorrect or faulty heraldry, and particularly in these later days of the revival of heraldic art in this country, all heraldic artists, following the German example, are inclined to give each crest its own helmet. This practice has been adopted during the last few years by Lyon King of Arms, and now all paintings of arms in Lyon Register which have two crests have the same number of helmets. Some of the Bath stall plates in Henry VII.'s chapel in Westminster Abbey also display two helmets.

When two helmets are used, it has been customary, still following the German model, to turn them to face each other, except in the cases of the full-faced helmets of a knight or baronet, and (with the same exception) when three helmets have been employed the outer ones have been placed to face the centre, whilst the centre one has been placed in profile, as would be the case were it standing alone. But the multiplication of English crests in number, all of which as granted are required to differ, has naturally resulted in the stereotyping of points of difference in attitude, &c., and the inevitable consequence is unfortunately that without sacrificing this character of differentiation it is impossible to allow the English heraldic artist the same latitude and freedom of disposition with regard to crests that his German confrère enjoys. These remarks apply solely to English and Irish crests, for Scottish practices, requiring no differentiation in the crests, have left Scottish crests simple and unspoiled. In England the result is that to "play" with the position of a crest frequently results in an entire alteration of its character, and consequently, as there is nothing whatever in the nature of a law or of a rule to the contrary, it is quite as usual to now find that two profile helmets are both placed to face the dexter, as placed to face each other. Another point seems also in {324}England to have been lost sight of in borrowing our methods from Germany. They hold themselves at liberty to, and usually do, make all their charges on the shield face to the centre. This is never done in England, where all face to the dexter. It seems therefore to me an anomaly to apply one rule to the shield and another to the helmet, and personally I prefer that both helmets and all charges should face the dexter.

In British heraldry (and in fact the rule is universal) no woman other than a reigning Sovereign is permitted to surmount her arms by a helmet. Woodward states that "Many writers have denied the right of ecclesiastics (and, of course, of women) to the use of helmet and crest. Spener, the great German herald, defends their use by ecclesiastics, and says that, in Germany at any rate, universal custom is opposed to the restriction. There the prelates, abbots, and abbesses, who held princely fiefs by military tenure, naturally retained the full knightly insignia."

In official English heraldry, there is a certain amount of confirmation and a certain amount of contradiction of this supposed rule which denies a helmet to an ecclesiastic. A grant of arms to a clergyman at the present day, and at all times previously, after the granting of crests had become usual, contains the grant of the crest and the emblazonment shows the helmet. But the grant of arms to a bishop is different. The emblazonment of the arms is surmounted by a mitre, and the crest is depicted in the body of the patent away from and distinct from the emblazonment proper in the margin. But the fact that a crest is granted proves that there is not any disability inherent in the ecclesiastic which debars him from the possession of the helmet and crest, and the rule which must be deduced, and which really is the definite and accepted rule, is that a mitre cannot be displayed together with a helmet or crest. It must be one or other, and as the mitre is indicative of the higher rank, it is the crest and helmet which are discarded.

There are few rules in heraldry to which exceptions cannot be found, and there is a painting now preserved in the College of Arms, which depicts the arms of the Bishop of Durham surmounted by a helmet, that in its turn being surmounted by the mitre of episcopal rank. But the Bishopric of Durham was, in addition to its episcopal character, a temporal Palatinate, and the arms of the Bishops of that See therefore logically present many differences and exceptions from established heraldic rules.

The rules with regard to the use of helmets for the coats of arms of corporate bodies are somewhat vague and vary considerably. All counties, cities, and towns, and all corporate bodies to whom crests have been granted in England, have the ordinary closed profile helmet {325}of an esquire or gentleman. No grant of a crest has as yet been made to an English university, so that it is impossible to say that no helmet would be allowed, or if it were allowed what it would be.

For some reason the arms of the City of London are always depicted with the helmet of a peer, but as the crest is not officially recorded, the privilege necessarily has no official sanction or authority.

In Scotland the helmet painted upon a grant of arms to town or city is always the open full-faced helmet of a knight or baronet. But in the grant of arms to a county, where it includes a crest, the helmet is that of an esquire, which is certainly curious.

In Ireland no helmet at all was painted upon the patent granting arms to the city of Belfast, in spite of the fact that a crest was included in the grant, and the late Ulster King of Arms informed me he would not allow a helmet to any impersonal arms.

Care should be taken to avoid errors of anachronism when depicting helmet and shield. The shapes of these should bear some approximate relation to each other in point of date. It is preferable that the helmet should be so placed that its lower extremity reaches somewhat over the edge of the shield. The inclined position of the shield in emblazonment is borrowed from the natural order of things, because the shield hanging by its chain or shield-strap (the guige), which was so balanced that the shield should most readily fall into a convenient position when slung on the rider's shoulders, would naturally retain its equilibrium only in a slanting direction. {326}



If uncertainty exists as to the origin of arms, it is as nothing to the huge uncertainty that exists concerning the beginnings of the crest. Most wonderful stories are told concerning it; that it meant this and meant the other, that the right to bear a crest was confined to this person or the other person. But practically the whole of the stories of this kind are either wild imagination or conjecture founded upon insufficient facts.

The real facts—which one may as well state first as a basis to work upon—are very few and singularly unconvincing, and are useless as original data from which to draw conclusions.

First of all we have the definite, assured, and certain fact that the earliest known instance of a crest is in 1198, and we find evidence of the use of arms before that date.

The next fact is that we find infinitely more variation in the crests used by given families than in the arms, and that whilst the variations in the arms are as a rule trivial, and not affecting the general design of the shield, the changes in the crest are frequently radical, the crest borne by a family at one period having no earthly relation to that borne by the same family at another.

Again, we find that though the occasional use of a crest can (by isolated instances) be taken back, as already stated, to a fairly early period, the use of crests did not become general until very much later.

Another fact is that, except perhaps in the persons of sovereigns, there is no official instance, nor any other authentic instance of importance, in which a crest appears ever to have been used by a woman until these recent and unfortunate days when unofficial examples can be found of the wildest ignorance of all armorial rules.

The foregoing may be taken as general principles which no authentic instance known can be said to refute.

Bearing these in mind, let us now see what other results can be obtained by deduction from specific instances.

The earliest form in which anything can be found in the nature of a crest is the lion upon the head-dress of Geoffrey, Count of Anjou (Fig. 28). This has been already referred to. {327}

The helmet of Philippe D'Alsace, Count of Flanders (c. 1181), has painted upon the side the same figure of a lion which appears upon his shield.

What is usually accepted as the earliest authenticated instance of a regular crest is that afforded by the Great Seal of King Richard I. of England, which shows over the helmet a lion passant painted upon the fan-shaped ornament which surmounts the helmet.

If one accepts—as most people nowadays are inclined to do—the Darwinian theory of evolution, the presumption is that the development of the human being, through various intermediate links including the ape, can be traced back to those cell-like formations which are the most "original" types of life which are known to us. At the same time one is hardly disposed to assert that some antediluvian jellyfish away back in past ages was the first human being. By a similar, but naturally more restricted argument, one cannot accept these paintings upon helmets, nor possibly can one accept paintings upon the fan-like ornaments which surmounted the helmet, as examples of crests. The rudiments and origin of crests doubtless they were. Crests they were not.

We must go back, once again, to the bed-rock of the peacock-popinjay vanity ingrained in human nature. The same impulse which nowadays leads to the decoration of the helmets of the Life Guards with horsehair plumes and regimental badges, the cocked hats of field-marshals and other officers with waving plumes, the képis of commissionaires, and the smasher hats of Colonial irregulars with cocks' feathers, the hat of the poacher and gamekeeper with a pheasant's feather, led unquestionably to the "decoration" of the helmets of the armoured knights of old. The matter was just a combination of decoration and vanity. At first (Fig. 569) they frequently painted their helmets, and as with the gradual evolution and crystallisation of armory a certain form of decoration (the device upon his shield) became identified with a certain person, that particular device was used for the decoration of the helmet and painted thereupon.

Then it was found that a fan-shaped erection upon the helmet improved its appearance, and, without adding greatly to its weight, advantaged it as a head protection by attracting the blow of an opponent's sword, and lessening or nullifying its force ere the blow reached the actual crown-plates of the helmet. Possibly in this we see the true origin (as in the case of the scalloped edges of the mantling) of the serrated border which appears upon these fan-shaped erections. But this last suggestion is no more than a conjecture of my own, and may not be correct, for human nature has always had a weakness for decoration, and ever has been agreeable to pay the extra {328}penny in the "tuppence" for the coloured or decorated variety. The many instances which can be found of these fan-shaped ornaments upon helmets in a perfectly undecorated form leads me to unhesitatingly assert that they originated not as crests, nor as a vehicle for the display of crests, but as an integral and protective part of the helmet itself. The origin of the crest is due to the decoration of the fan. The derivation of the word "crest," from the Latin crista, a cock's comb, should put the supposition beyond any doubt.

Disregarding crests of later grant or assumption, one can assert with confidence that a large proportion of those—particularly in German armory, where they are so frequent—which we now find blazoned or depicted as wings or plumes, carrying a device, are nothing more than developments of or derivatives from these fan-shaped ornaments.

Fig. 610.

Fig. 610.—From the seal (1301) of Richard FitzAlan, Earl of Arundel.

Fig. 611.

Fig. 611.—From the seal (1301) of Humphrey de Bohm, Earl of Hereford.

Fig. 612.

Fig. 612.—From the seal (1305) of Edward of Carnarvon, Prince of Wales.

These fans being (from other reasons) in existence, of course, and very naturally, were painted and decorated, and equally of course such decoration took the form of the particular decoration associated with the owner, namely, the device upon the shield. It seems to me, and for long has so seemed, essentially strange that no specialist authority, writing upon armory, has noticed that these "fans" (as I will call them) are really a part, though possibly only a decorative part, of the helmet itself. There has always in these matters been far too great a tendency on the part of writers to accept conclusions of earlier authorities ready made, and to simply treat these fans as selected and chosen crests. Figs. 610-612 are instances of helmets having these fans. All are {329}taken from seals, and it is quite possible that the actual fans upon the seal helmets had some device painted upon them which it was impossible by reason of the size to represent upon the seal. As has been already stated, the great seal of Richard I. does show a lion painted on the fan.

There are many examples of the heraldic development of these fans,—for their use obtained even in this country long after the real heraldic crest had an assured footing—and a typical example occurs in Fig. 613, but probably the best-known instance, one which has been often illustrated, is that from the effigy of Sir Geoffrey de Luttrell (c. 1340), which shows a fan of this character upon which the entire Luttrell arms are depicted.

Fig. 613.

Fig. 613.—Arms of the family of Schaler (Basle): Gules, a bend of lozenges argent. (From the Zürich Roll of Arms.)

Fig. 614.

Fig. 614.—Modern reverse of the Common Seal of the City of London (1539).

A much later instance in this country will be found in the seal (dated 1539) of the City of London, which shows upon the helmet one of these fan-shaped ornaments, charged with the cross of the City arms (Fig. 614).

The arms of the City of London are recorded in the College of Arms (Vincent) without a crest (and by the way without supporters) and this seal affords a curious but a very striking and authentic instance of the extreme accuracy of the records of the College of Arms. There being no crest for the City of London at the time of the preparation of this seal, recourse was had to the ancient practice of depicting the whole or a part (in this case a part) of the device of the shield upon a fan surmounting the helmet. In course of time this fan, in the case of London, as in so many other cases, has through ignorance been {330}converted or developed into a wing, but the "rays" of the fan in this instance are preserved in the "rays" of the dragon's wing (charged with a cross) which the crest is now supposed to be.

Whilst dealing with the arms of London, one of the favourite "flaring" examples of ancient but unrecorded arms often mentioned as an instance in which the Records of the College of Arms are at fault, perhaps I may be pardoned for adding that the shield is recorded. The crest and supporters are not. The seeming omission as to the crest is explained above. The real supporters of the City of London, to which a claim by user could (even now) be established (they are two lions, not dragons), had, with the single exception of their use upon the Mayor's seal, which use is continued to the present day, been practically discarded. Consequently the lions as supporters remained unclaimed, and therefore are not recorded.

The supporters now used (two dragons) are raw new adornments, of which no example can be found before the seventeenth century. Those naturally, being "assumed" without authority at so recent a date, are not recorded, which is yet another testimony to the impartial accuracy of the Heralds' College Records.

The use of the fan-crest has long been obsolete in British armory, in which it can hardly ever be said to have had a very great footing, unless such use was prevalent in the thirteenth century; but it still survives in Germany at the present day, where, in spite of the fact that many of these fans have now degenerated into reduplications of the arms upon wings or plumes of feathers, other crests to a considerable number are still displayed upon "fans."

Many of the current practices in British armory are the culmination of long-continued ignorance. Some, mayhap, can be allowed to pass without comment, but others deserve at any rate their share of criticism and remark. Amongst such may be included the objectionable practice, in the grants of so many modern crests, of making the crest itself a shield carrying a repetition of the arms or some other device, or of introducing in the crest an escutcheon. To the resuscitation of these "fan" repetitions of the shield device there is not, and cannot be, any objection. One would even, in these days of the multiplication of differentiated crests, recommend this as a relief from the abominable rows of assorted objects nowadays placed (for the purposes of differentiation) in front of so many modern crests. One would gladly see a reversion to the German development (from this source) of wings charged with the arms or a part of the armorial device; but one of the things a new grantee should pray to be delivered from is an escutcheon of any sort, shape, or form in the crest assigned to him. {331}

To return, however, to the "fans" upon the early helmets. Many of the examples which have come down to us show the fan of a rather diminutive height, but (in the form of an arc of a much enlarged circle) projected far forward beyond the front of the helmet, and carried far back, apparently as a safeguard from blows which would otherwise descend upon the neck. (A survival of the fan, by the way, may perhaps be found in the dragoon helmets of the time of the Peninsular War, in the firemen's helmets of to-day, and in the helmets now worn by different regiments in the Italian army.) The very shape of these fans should prove they were originally a protective part of the helmet. The long low shape, however, did not, as a general circumstance, lend itself to its decoration by a duplication thereupon of the whole of the arms. Consequently these fans will nearly always be found simply adorned with one figure from the shield. It should not be forgotten that we are now dealing with a period in armory when the charges upon the shield itself were very much, as far as number and position are concerned, of an indeterminate character. If they were indeterminate for the shield, it evidences that there cannot have been any idea of a necessity to repeat the whole of the device upon the fan. As there was seldom room or opportunity for the display of the whole device, we invariably find that these fan decorations were a duplication of a distinctive part, but not necessarily the whole of the device; and this device was disposed in the most suitable position which the shape of the fan would accommodate. Herein is the explanation of the fact that whilst the arms of Percy, Talbot, and Mowbray were all, in varying tinctures, a lion rampant, the crest in each case was a lion passant or statant. In short, the fan did not lend itself to the representation of a lion rampant, and consequently there is no early instance of such a crest. Perhaps the insecurity of a large and heavy crest balanced upon one leg may be an added reason.

The next step in the evolution of the crest, there can be little doubt, was the cutting of the fan into the outline of the crest, and though I know of no instance of such a crest on any effigy, there can be no reasonable doubt on the point, if a little thought is given to the matter. Until a very much later period, we never find in any heraldic representation that the helmet or crest are represented in an affronté position. Why? Simply because crests at that period were merely profile representations.

In later days, when tournament crests were made of leather, the weight even of these was very considerable, but for tournament purposes that weight could be endured. Half-a-dozen courses down the barrière would be a vastly different matter to a whole day under arms in actual battle. Now a crest cut out from a thin plate of metal set {332}on edge would weigh but little. But perhaps the strongest proof of all is to be found in the construction of so many German crests, which are adorned down the back with a fan.

Now it is hardly likely, if the demi-lion in relief had been the earliest form, that the fan would have been subsequently added to it. The fan is nothing more than the remains of the original fan-shaped ornament left when the crest, or most likely only the front outline of it, had been cut out in profile from the fan. We have no instance until a very much later period of a crest which could not be depicted in profile, and in the representations of crests upon seals we have no means of forming a certain judgment that these representations are not of profile crests, for the very nature of the craft of seal-engraving would lead the engraver to add a certain amount of relief, even if this did not actually exist. It is out of the question to suppose, by reason of their weight, that crests were made in metal. But if made of leather, as were the tournament crests, what protection did the crest add to the helmet? The fact that wreaths and coronets did not come into use at the earliest advent of crests is confirmatory evidence of the fact that modelled crests did not exist, inasmuch as the fan prolonged in front and prolonged behind was narrowed at its point of contact with the helmet into such a diminished length that it was comparatively easy to slip the mantling by means of a slit over the fan, or even drape it round it.

Many of the old illustrations of tournaments and battles which have come down to us show no crests on the helmets, but merely plumes of feathers or some fan-shaped erection. Consequently it is a fairly safe conclusion that for the actual purposes of warfare modelled crests never had any real existence, or, if they had any such existence, that it was most limited. Modelled crests were tournament crests. The crests that were used in battle must have been merely cut out in profile from the fan. Then came the era, in Plantagenet times, of the tournament. We talk glibly about tournaments, but few indeed really know much about them. Trial by combat and the real tournament à l'outrance seldom occurred, and though trial by combat remained upon the statute-book until the 59 Geo. III., it was seldom invoked. Tournaments were chiefly in the nature of athletic displays, taking the place of our games and sports, and inasmuch as they contributed to the training of the soldier, were held in the high repute that polo, for example, now enjoys amongst the upper and military classes. Added to this, the tournament was the essential climax of ceremony and ceremonial, and in all its details was ordered by such strict regulations, rules, and supervision that its importance and its position in the public and official estimate was far in advance of its present-day equivalents. {333}

The joust was fought with tilting-spears, the "tourney" with swords. The rules and regulations for jousts and tournaments drawn up by the High Constable of England in the reign of Edward IV. show clearly that in neither was contemplated any risk of life.

In the tourney the swords were blunted and without points, but the principal item was always the joust, which was fought with tilting-spears and shields. Many representations of the tourney show the participants without shields. The general ignorance as to the manner in which the tilt was run is very widespread. A strong barrier was erected straight down the centre of the lists, and the knights were placed one on either side, so that by no possible chance could the two horses come into contact. Those who will read Mallory's "Morte d'Arthur" carefully—bearing in mind that Mallory described legendary events of an earlier period clothed in the manners and customs of his own day (time of Edward IV.), and made no attempt to reproduce the manners and customs and real atmosphere of the Arthurian times, which could have had no relation to the manners and proceedings which Sir Thomas Mallory employs in telling his legends—will notice that, when it came to jousting, some half-dozen courses would be all that were run between contending knights. In fact the tournament rules above referred to say, for the tourney, that two blows at passage and ten at the joining ought to suffice. The time which this would occupy would not exceed the period for which any man could easily sustain the weight of a modelled crest.

Fig. 615.

Fig. 615.—Crest of Roger de Quincey, Earl of Winchester (d. 1264). (From his seal.)

Fig. 616.

Fig. 616.—Crest of Thomas, Earl of Lancaster. (From his seal, 1301.)

Another point needs to be borne in mind. The result of a joust depended upon the points scored, the highest number being gained for the absolute unhorsing of an opponent. This, however, happened comparatively seldom, and points or "spears" were scored for the lances broken upon an opponent's helmet, shield, or body, and the points so scored were subject to deduction if the opponent's horse were touched, and under other circumstances. The head of the tilting-spear which was used was a kind of rosette, and heraldic representations are really incorrect in adding a point when the weapon is described as a tilting-spear. Whilst a fine point meeting a wooden shield or metal armour would stick in the one or glance off the other, and neither result in the breaking of the lance nor in the unhorsing of the opponent, a broad rosette would convey a heavy shock. But to effect the desired object the tilting-spear would need to meet resistance, and little would be gained by knocking off an opponent's ornamental crest. Certainly no prize appears to have been allotted for the performance of this feat (which always attracts the imagination of the novelist), whilst there was for striking the "sight" of the helmet. Consequently there was nothing to be gained from the protection to {334}the helmet which the fan of earlier date afforded, and the tendency of ceremonial led to the use in tournaments of helmets and elaborate crests which were not those used in battle. The result is that we find these tournament or ceremonial crests were of large and prominent size, and were carved in wood, or built up of leather. But I firmly believe that these crests were used only for ceremonial and tournament purposes, and were never actually worn in battle. That these modelled crests in relief are the ones that we find upon effigies is only natural, and what one would expect, inasmuch as a man's effigy displayed his garments and accoutrements in the most ornate and honourable form. The same idea exists at the present day. The subjects of modern effigies and modern portraits are represented in robes, and with insignia which are seldom if ever worn, and which sometimes even have no existence in fact. In the same way the ancient effigies are the representations of the ceremonial dress and not the everyday garb of those for whom they stand. But even allowing all the foregoing, it must be admitted that it is from these ceremonial or tournament helmets and crests that the heraldic crest has obtained its importance, and herein lies the reason of the exaggerated size of early heraldic crests, and also the unsuitability of some few for actual use. Tournaments were flourishing in the Plantagenet, Yorkist, and Lancastrian periods, and ended with the days of the Tudor dynasty; and the Plantagenet period witnessed the rise of the ceremonial and heraldic crest. But in the days when crests had any actual existence they were made to fit the helmet, and the crests in Figs. 615-618 show crests very much more naturally disposed than those of later periods. {335}Crests appear to have come into wider and more general use in Germany at an earlier period than is the case in this country, for in the early part of the thirteenth century seals are there to be met with having only the device of helmet and crest thereupon, a proof that the "oberwappen" (helmet and crest) was then considered of equal or greater value than the shield.

Fig. 617.

Fig. 617.—Crest of William de Montagu, Earl of Salisbury (d. 1344). (From his seal.)

Fig. 618.

Fig. 618.—Crest of Thomas de Mowbray, Earl of Nottingham, and Earl Marshal. (From a drawing of his seal, 1389: MS Cott., Julius, C. vii.)

The actual tournament crests were made of light material, pasteboard, cloth, or a leather shell over a wood or wire framework filled with tow, sponge, or sawdust. Fig. 271, which shows the shield, helmet, and crest of the Black Prince undoubtedly contemporary, dating from 1376, and now remaining in Canterbury Cathedral, is made of leather and is a good example of an actual crest, but even this, there can be little doubt, was never carried in battle or tournament, and is no more than a ceremonial crest made for the funeral pageant.

The heraldic wings which are so frequently met with in crests are not the natural wings of a bird, but are a development from the fan, and in actual crests were made of wooden or basket-work strips, and probably at an earlier date were not intended to represent wings, but were mere pieces of wood painted and existing for the display of a certain device. Their shape and position led to their transition into "wings," and then they were covered with dyed or natural-coloured feathers. It was the art of heraldic emblazonment which ignored the practical details, that first copied the wing from nature.

Actual crests were fastened to the helmets they surmounted by {336}means of ribbons, straps, laces (which developed later into the fillet and torse), or rivets, and in Germany they were ornamented with hanging and tinkling metal leaves, tiny bells, buffalo horns, feathers, and projecting pieces of wood, which formed vehicles for still further decorative appendages.

Then comes the question, what did the crest signify? Many have asserted that no one below the rank of a knight had the right to use a crest; in fact some writers have asserted, and doubtless correctly as regards a certain period, that only those who were of tournament rank might assume the distinction, and herein lies another confirmation of the supposition that crests had a closer relation to the tournament than to the battlefield.

Doubts as to a man's social position might disqualify him from participation in a tournament—hence the "helme-schau" previously referred to—but they certainly never relieved him from the obligations of warfare imposed by the tenure under which he held his lands. There is no doubt, however, that whatever the regulation may have been—and there seems little chance of our ever obtaining any real knowledge upon the point—the right to display a crest was an additional privilege and honour, something extra and beyond the right to a shield of arms. For how long any such supposition held good it is difficult to say, for whilst we find in the latter part of the fourteenth century that all the great nobles had assumed and were using crests, and whilst there is but one amongst the Plantagenet Garter plates without a crest where a helmet has been represented above the shield, we also find that the great bulk of the lesser landed gentry bore arms, but made no pretension to a crest. The lesser gentry were bound to fight in war, but not necessarily in the tournament. Arms were a necessity of warfare, crests were not. This continued to be the case till the end of the sixteenth century, for we find that at one of the Visitations no crests whatever are inserted with the arms and pedigrees of the families set out in the Visitation Book, and one is probably justified in assuming that whilst this state of feeling and this idea existed, the crest was highly thought of, and valued possibly beyond the shield of arms, for with those of that rank of life which aspired to the display of a crest the right to arms would be a matter of course. In the latter part of the reign of Queen Elizabeth and in Stuart days the granting of crests to ancient arms became a widespread practice. Scores upon scores of such grants can be referred to, and I have myself been led to the irresistible conclusion that the opportunity afforded by the grant of a crest was urged by the heralds and officers of arms, in order to give them the opportunity of confirming and recording arms which they knew needed such confirmation to be


rendered legal, without giving offence to those who had borne these arms merely by strength of user for some prolonged but at the same time insufficient period to confer an unquestioned right. That has always seemed to me the obvious reason which accounts for these numberless grants of crests to apparently existing arms, which arms are recited and emblazoned in the patents, because there are other grants of crests which can be referred to, though these are singularly few in number, in which the arms are entirely ignored. But as none of these grants, which are of a crest only, appear to have been made to families whose right to arms was not absolutely beyond question or dispute, the conclusion above recited appears to be irresistible. The result of these numerous grants of crests, which I look upon as carrying greater importance in the sense that they were also confirmations of the arms, resulted in the fact that the value and dignity of the crest slowly but steadily declined, and the cessation of tournaments and, shortly afterwards, the marked decline in funereal pageantry no doubt contributed largely to the same result. Throughout the Stuart period instances can be found, though not very frequently, of grants of arms without the grant of a crest being included in the patent; but the practice was soon to entirely cease, and roughly speaking one may assert that since the beginning of the Hanoverian dynasty no person has ever been granted arms without the corresponding grant of a crest, if a crest could be properly borne with the arms. Now no crest has ever been granted where the right to arms has not existed or been simultaneously conferred, and therefore, whilst there are still many coats of arms legally in existence without a crest, a crest cannot exist without a coat of arms, so that those people, and they are many, who vehemently assert a right to the "crest of their family," whilst admitting they have no right to arms, stand self-convicted heraldically both of having spoken unutterable rubbish, and of using a crest to which they can have no possible right. One exception, and one only, have I ever come across to the contrary, and very careful inquiry can bring me knowledge of no other. That crest is the crest of a family of Buckworth, now represented by Sir Charles Buckworth-Herne-Soame, Bart. This family at the time of the Visitations exhibited a certain coat of arms and crest. The coat of arms, which doubtless interfered with the rights of some other family, was respited for further proof; but the crest, which did not, appears to have been allowed, and as nothing further was done with regard to the arms, the crest stood, whilst the arms were bad. But even this one exception has long since been rectified, for when the additional name and arms of Soame were assumed by Royal License, the arms which had been exhibited and respited were (with the addition of an ermine spot as a charge upon the chevron) granted as the arms of Buckworth to be borne quarterly with the arms of Soame.

Plate VI.


With the cessation of tournaments, we get to the period which some writers have stigmatised as that of "paper" heraldry. That is a reference to the fact that arms and crests ceased to be painted upon shields or erected upon helmets that enjoyed actual use in battle and tournament. Those who are so ready to decry modern heraldry forget that from its very earliest existence heraldry has always had the same significance as a symbol of rank and social position which it now enjoys and which remains undiminished in extent, though doubtless less potent in effect. They forget also that from the very earliest period armory had three uses—viz. its martial use, its decorative use, and its use as a symbol of ownership. The two latter uses still remain in their entirety, and whilst that is the case, armory cannot be treated as a dead science.

But with the cessation of tournaments the decorative became the chief use of arms, and the crest soon ceased to have that distinctive adaptability to the purpose of a helmet ornament. Up to the end of the Tudor period crests had retained their original simplicity. Animals' heads and animals passant, human heads and demi-animals, comprised the large majority of the early crests. Scottish heraldry in a marked degree has retained the early simplicity of crests, though at the expense of lack of distinction between the crests of different families. German heraldry has to a large extent retained the same character as has Scottish armory, and though many of the crests are decidedly elaborated, it is noticeable that this elaboration is never such as to render the crest unsuitable for its true position upon a helmet.

In England this aspect of the crest has been almost entirely lost sight of, and a large proportion of the crests in modern English grants are utterly unsuitable for use in relief upon an actual helmet. Our present rules of position for a helmet, and our unfortunate stereotyped form of wreath, are largely to blame, but the chief reason is the definite English rule that the crests of separate English families must be differentiated as are the arms. No such rule holds good in Scotland, hence their simple crests.

Whether the rule is good or bad it is difficult to say. When all the pros and cons have been taken into consideration, the whole discussion remains a matter of opinion, and whilst one dislikes the Scottish idea under which the same identical crest can be and regularly is granted to half-a-dozen people of as many different surnames, one objects very considerably to the typical present-day crest of an English grant of arms. Whilst a collar can be put round an animal's neck, and whilst it can hold objects in its mouth or paws, it does seem {339}ridiculous to put a string of varied and selected objects "in front" of it, when these plainly would only be visible from one side, or to put a crest "between" objects if these are to be represented "fore and aft," one toppling over the brow of the wearer of the helmet and the other hanging down behind.

The crests granted by the late Sir Albert Woods, Garter, are the crying grievance of modern English heraldry, and though a large proportion are far greater abortions than they need be, and though careful thought and research even yet will under the present régime result in the grant of at any rate a quite unobjectionable crest, nevertheless we shall not obtain a real reform, or attain to any appreciable improvement, until the "position" rule as to helmets is abolished. Some of the crests mentioned hereunder are typical and awful examples of modern crests.

Crest of Bellasis of Marton, Westmoreland: A mount vert, thereon a lion couchant guardant azure, in front of a tent proper, lined gules.

Crest of Hermon of Preston, Lancashire, and Wyfold Court, Checkendon, Oxon.: In front of two palm-trees proper, a lion couchant guardant erminois, resting the dexter claw upon a bale of cotton proper. Motto: "Fido non timeo."

Crest of James Harrison, Esq., M.A., Barrister-at-Law: In front of a demi-lion rampant erased or, gorged with a collar gemelle azure, and holding between the paws a wreath of oak proper, three mascles interlaced also azure. Motto: "Pro rege et patria."

Crest of Colonel John Davis, F.S.A., of Bifrons, Hants: A lion's head erased sable, charged with a caltrap or, upon two swords in saltire proper, hilted and pommelled also or. Motto: "Ne tentes, aut perfice."

Crest of the late Sir Saul Samuel, Bart., K.C.M.G.: Upon a rock in front of three spears, one in pale and two in saltire, a wolf current sable, pierced in the breast by an arrow argent, flighted or. Motto: "A pledge of better times."

Crest of Jonson of Kennal Manor, Chislehurst, Kent: In front of a dexter arm embowed in armour proper, the hand also proper, grasping a javelin in bend sinister, pheoned or, and enfiled with a chaplet of roses gules, two branches of oak in saltire vert.

Crest of C. E. Lamplugh, Esq.: In front of a cubit arm erect proper, encircled about the wrist with a wreath of oak and holding in the hand a sword also proper, pommel and hilt or, an escutcheon argent, charged with a goat's head couped sable. Mottoes: "Through," and "Providentia Dei stabiliuntur familiæ."

Crest of Glasford, Scotland: "Issuing from clouds two hands conjoined grasping a caduceus ensigned with a cap of liberty, all between two cornucopiæ all proper. Motto: "Prisca fides."

We now come to the subject of the inheritance of crests, concerning which there has been much difference of opinion.

It is very usually asserted that until a comparatively recent date crests were not hereditary, but w