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T. G. & E. G. JAGK 








Introduction . ix 

^I. The Origin of Armory i 

' 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 . . . . , . * 3^3 




CHAP. pj^Gj. 

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 

' .. Of THE 




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 mis- 
take, 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 prepos- 
terous 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 tradi- 
tions attached to Armory more difficult to explode than in the cases 
of those other sciences in which no one has a personal interest in up- 


holding 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 conglomera- 
tion 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, theo- 
logy, or jurisprudence, should not be lightly esteemed because our pre- 
decessors knew less about the subject than is known at the present day, 
or because they believed implicitly dogma and tradition which we our- 
selves 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 com- 
plete knowledge of their subject. Some statement appears in a text- 
book 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 


be inserted or omitted according to the original grant of the crest. Conse- 
quently, 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 commend- 
able 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 


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 w^hose 
work I have again made use of. 

The very copious index herein is entirely the work of my pro- 
fessional clerk, Mr. H. A. Ken ward, 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. 



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 every- 
thing wdthin the duties of a herald ; 
and whilst Armory undoubtedly is 
Heraldry, the regulation of cere- 
monials and matters of pedigree, 
which are really also within the 
scope of Heraldry, most decidedly are not Armory. 

Armory " relates only to the emblem's 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 defi- 
nitely 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. 


Until 'comparatively -recently heraldic books referred armory in- 
diffefeptly lo •the! Jribfes/of Israel, to the Greeks, to the Romans, to the 
Assyrians and the SaxonS V'and we are equally familiar with the ^^ Lion 
of Judah " and the ^' Eagle of the Caesars." 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 civihsa- 
tions 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 re- 
peatedly 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 begin- 
ning. 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 illus- 
trates 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 qertainly 
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 inclu- 
sion 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 


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 originatedy as is 
the double-headed eagle, from the dimidiation of two coats of arms re- 
sulting from imxpalement 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 w^e any certain know- 
ledge 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 


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 any- 
thing 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 ex- 
ample, 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 appro- 
priation 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 cer- 
tainly 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 arbitra- 
ment 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. 


I have no wish, however, to dismiss thus Hghtly 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 symboHsm 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 con- 
cerning this symbolism, which will be found in nearly all heraldic books 
before the day of the late J. R. Planch^, 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 


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 im- 
partially considered. 

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

" I. * 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 sufhcient in 
this work to quote from ^schylus and Virgil, as poets ; Herodotus and 
Tacitus, as historians. 


{Sepfem cofitra Thebas.) 

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

I. Tydeus. 

(" Toiai^v aDrwv, — vvktos o^^aA/xos TrpiTrei." — 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. 

(« "Exet S€ o-^/xa,— nPH2i2 nOAIN."— 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. Eieoclus. 

(" ''Ecr)(r^/xaTtcrTat, — TrvpyoifiaTiDV," — 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. 

("*0 (rr)fjLaTOvpyo<; — (fio/Sov fiXkiroiv" — Lines 487-494.) 

"... On its orb, no vulgar artist 
Expressed this image : ' A Typhseus 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. Parthenopczus. 

(" 'Ov [i.-i]V oLKOfXTracrTOs — tairreixBaL BeA>;-" — 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. Amp hi ar cms. 

(" Toiav^ 6 jxdvTLS, — /SXacrTOLveL fSovXevfiaTa." — 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. 

(""Exci Se — ra ^evprjfxaTa." — I.ines 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 . . ." 


I. (" Atque hie exultans — insigne decorum." — Lib. ii. lines 386-392.) 

" Choraebus, 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-^8.) 

" 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 paternae." — Lib. x. lines 180-188.) • 

" Fair Astur follows in the wat'ry field, 
Proud of his manag'd horse, and painted sjaield. 
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." ^ 



•'^ I. C//^, §171. 

(** Kai (TcfiL Tpi^a e^evp-qfiara tykvero — ra crrjfirji'a iroieea-dai."^ 

" 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. 

(" '0 BeTcpos rcov Xoyiov — €Triorj[iov ayKvpavJ*) 

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


(T/ig Anna/s.—lAh. i.) 

I. ("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, Edin- 
burgh, 1824, vol. ii. page 79), thus speaks of the ensigns or flags 
{(TT]iuL€ia) 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, 
Corneliijs Nepos, Epaminondas), in memory of the famous monster 
overcome by Qi^dipus. 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 aKpovea 
(or vewv KopcomSeg), in Latin, Corymbi, The form of them sometimes 
ifepresented helmets, sometimes living creatures, but most frequently 
was winded into a round compass, whence they are so commonly 
named Corymbi arid Coronce. To the aKpoa-roXia in the prow, answered 
the acpyaa-Ta in the stern, which were often of an orbicular figure, or 
fashioned like wings, to which a little shield called acnriSeiov, or ao-TnSla-Ktjf 
was frequently aifixed ; sometimes a piece of wood was erected, whereon 
rrobons of divers colours were hung, and served instead of a flag to 
cj^stinguish the ship. Xi/wV/cof was so called from X^i/, a Goose, whose 


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. 
Hapacrrjuiov was the flag whereby ships were distinguished from one 
another ; it was placed in the prow, just below the arroXog, being 
sometimes carved, and frequently painted, whence it is in Latin 
termed pictura, representing the form of a mountain, a tree, a JJower, or 
any other thing, wherein it was distinguished from what was called 
hifela, or the safeguard of the ship, which always represented some 
one of the gods, to whose care and protection the ship was recom- 
mended ; for which reason it was held sacred. Now and then we 
find the tutela taken for the Hapaa-rnxov, 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 Decs.' 

* The stern with painted deities richly shines.* 

" The ship wherein Europa was conveyed from Phoenicia into Crete 
had a bull for its flag, and Jupiter for its tutelary deity. The Boeotian 
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 
Boeotia. 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 re- 
ceived its name from the helmet painted upon it : — 

* Est mihi, sitque, precor, flavse tutela Minervae, 
Navis et k picta casside nomen habjt.' 

* 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, ScyllcBy 
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 hiero- 
glyphics, 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 


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 ex- 
tinction, temporary disasters, or entire overthrow — fire and flood, desola- 
tion 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 power- 
ful 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 conclu- 
sion 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 civilisa- 
tion 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 con- 
tinuity 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 


that no trace of Jewish heraldry can be found until modern times. 
Consequently I accept unquestioningly the conclusions of the late 
J. R. Planche, Somerset Herald, who unhesitatingly asserted that armory 
did not exist at the time of the Conquest, basing his conclusions princi- 
pally upon the entire absence of armory from the seals of that period, 
and the Bayeux tapestry. 

The family tokens {man) 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 

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

Fig. 2. — Kiri-nion. 
Mo n of the 

Fig. 3. — Awoi-mon. 
A/on of the House 
of Minamoto To- 

Fig. 4. — Mon of the 
House of Mina- 
moto Ashikava. 

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

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 bear- 
ings in Europe, but to a far greater extent, the Japanese mon has been 
greatly pirated and abused. 


Fig. I, ^* 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 tmperialis, conventionally treated. 

Fig. 3, '' Awoi-mon," is the mon of the House of Minamoto Toku- 
gawa, and is composed of three sea leaves {Asarum). The Tokugawa 

Fig. 6,— Double eagle 
on a coin {drachtna) 
under the Ortho- 
gide of Kaifa Na9r 
Edin Mahmud, 1217. 

Fic. 7. — Device of the 
Mameluke Emir 
Toka Timur, Gover- 
nor of Rahaba, 1350. 

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

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

Fig. 10. — Device of 
the Mameluke Emir 

Fig. II.— Device of Abu 
Abdallah, Mohammed 
ibn Na9r, King of 
Granada, said to be 
the builder of the Al- 
hambra (1231-1272). 

reigned over the country as Shogune from 1603 until the last revolution 
in 1867, before which time the Emperor (the Mikado) was only nomi- 
nally 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. 

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 1 1 will indicate. 


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 undoubt- 
edly 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, Wood- 
ward and Burnett's *' Treatise on Heraldry," apparently following 
Planch^'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 contro- 
versy, 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. 'T^^ exact corre- 
spondence which has been discovered between the length of the tapestry 


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 Momimenta ; 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 Nor- 
mandy, 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 paUe and the cross botonnee 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 bear- 
ings 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 con- 
temporary 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 


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 heroique 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 pre- 
served 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 

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 ap- 
pearance 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 them- 
selves 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 


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 decora- 
tion 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 natu- 
rally 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 light 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 esti- 
mation. It is easy to understand the glory therefore that attached to 
arms, and the slow evolution which I have been endeavouring to in- 
dicate became a concrete fact, and it is due to the Crusades that the 
origin of armory as we now know it was practically coeval through- 
out 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 decora- 



tion 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 in- 
tolerable 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 de- 
veloped 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. 



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 know- 
ledge. 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 liabiHty 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 nohilis or knowfiy 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 " 



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 quaUty 
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 '' gentle- 
man " 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 fbr 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 com- 
munity 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 


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 or- 
dained 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 un- 
restricted 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 : — 

*'*2i5/ 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 defen- 
dant 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 loth May 1573, under his hand 
and scale 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, loth May 1573, may now be seen in the British Museum. — 
Genealogist iov 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 


as 1390, from the celebrated Scrope and Grosvenor case, (i) 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 appoint- 
ment, has continued to grant armorial bearings. Some number of early 
grants of arms direct from the Crown have been printed in the Genea- 
logical Magazine^ and some of the earliest distinctly recite that the reci- 
pients 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 re- 
ference 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 


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 par- 
ticular 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 conced- 
ing 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 posses- 
sion 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 advertise- 
ment of one's claim to that gentility. Arms mean nothing more. By 


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 minutiae of army matters or army history, but I think 
I am correct in saying that there was no such thing as a regular stand- 
ing 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 


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 


foolish to contend that armory has ceased to exist, save as an interest- 
ing 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. 


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 
aimy, 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 know- 
ledge 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 per- 
sonal 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 milt' 
tary rank under the King, who usually led his army in person, and to 



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, cogni- 
sances, 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 mediaeval life. The 
result was that at an early period we find them employed in semi- 
diplomatic missions, such as carrying on negotiations between contend- 
ing 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 con- 
trol of arms had not passed either in fact or in theory from the Crown 
to the officers of arms at that date. Konrad Griinenberg, 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 Eng- 
land 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, after- 
wards 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 ex- 
ception of that part which the Crown has retained in its own hands. 

Fig. 12. — Helmschan or Helmet-Show. (From Konrad Griinenberg's Wappencodex zu Mimchen.) 

End of fifteenth century. 





After the Earl Marshal come the Kings of Arms, the Heralds of Arms, 
and the Pursuivants of Arms. 

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 par- 
ticular 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 char- 
tered privileges. The dispute was referred to the law officers of the 
Crown, whose opinion was in favour of the corporate body. 

Berry in his Encyclopcedia Heraldka further remarks : *< The Kings of 
Arms of the provincial territories have the titles of Clarenceux and 
Norroyy 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 Aquitainey AnjoUj and Guyenne^ who were perhaps at their first 
creation intended only for the services of the places whose titles they 
bore, w^hen 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 duke- 
doms or earldoms which our princes enjoyed before they came to the 
throne, as Lancaster^ Gloucester^ Richmond^ and Leicester^ the thr^ first 


iiaving 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 Norreisy 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^ 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, al- 
though 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 Northy Rex de Northy 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 Oiharlakey 
Marche King of Arms, executed it in the 9th of Richard II., Richard del 
Briiggy Lancaster King of Arms y ist Henry W ,y2i^^ Ashwelly Boys, and 
Tindaly successively Lancaster Kings of Arms, until the end of that 
monarch's reign. 

Edward IV. replaced this province under a King of Arms, and re- 
vived the dormant title of Norroy, But in the Statute of Resumptions, 

^ "Norreys and Surreis, that service aught the kyng, 
With horse and harneis at Carlele, made samning." 

See Langtoft's Chronicle treating of the Wars of Edward I. against the Scots. 

" Bot Sir John de Waleis taken was, in a pleyne, 
Throgh Spring of Norreis men that were certeyn." 

Ibid., Australes se Norensibus opposuerunt. M. Oaris, under the year 1237. 


made ist Henry VII., a clause was inserted that the same should not 
extend io John Moore^ otherwise Norroyy 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 con- 
ferred 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 pursui- 
vant, 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 i8th 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 Pro- 
tections in the Tower of London, one granted in the 49th Edward III. 
to Stephen de IVindesore, Heraldo Armorum rege dido, 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 ascer- 
tained 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." 


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 ofGuyen and Lancaster y 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 Greney 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 m\^i 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. 

Clarenceuxj the next King of Arms in point of creation, is a title 
generally supposed to have been taken from Clarey in Suffolk, the castle 
at that place being the principal residence of the ancient Earls of Here- 
ford, who were, from thence, though very improperly, called Earls of 
Clarey 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 ofTuttebury; the Earl of Sussex, Earl of Chichester y 
&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 ClarencCy 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. Sand- 
ford tells us that Clarence is the country about the town, castle, and 
honour of Clarcy from which duchy the name of Clarenceux King of Arms 
is derived. Spelman, however, contends that it is a mistake in attri- 
buting 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 Heraldy frequently mentioned by historians, was originally 


the herald of the great Humphry, Duke of Gloucester, of whom mention 
is made upon record in the loth 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 i8th 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, suffi- 
ciently bear out the conjecture that Henry VII., previous to his corona- 
tion, 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 



the British Crowii; 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 exist- 
ence 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. 

Aquitainef 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 men- 
tioned 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 

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 dis- 

Volant also occurs upon record in the 28th Edward III., and Vaillanty 
le Roy Vaillant Heraudy and le Roy Vaillandy 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 22 nd May, and before 
the 3rd September, in the year 141 7. 

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. 
141 7, 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 Eng- 
land. 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 Eng- 


land, 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 proceed- 
ing, 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 pro- 
cure 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 nth 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 arntorum 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 com- 
panions 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 


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 ;£ioo ; when the King first displayed his banners, 
ICG marks ; when the King's son was made a knight, 40 marks ; when 
the prince and a duke first display their banners, ;£2 ; 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 £^0 ; when the Queen has a child 


christened, a largess at the Queen's pleasure, or of the lords of the 
council, which was sometimes ;£ioo, and at others loo 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 Heraldy 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 y 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. 


Lancaster Heraldj 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, caUing 
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 pur- 
suivant was always to wear it. This done, an oath of fidelity was ad- 
ministered 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-CroiXf 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 f so called by King Edward III., in honour of the French 
coat which he assumed, being blue. 

Rouge- Dragon y 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 

PortculliSf 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 


F a 

O tJ3 


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c J! 
^ is 


SaiiitS; 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. 

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 L at Edinburgh in 1633, the Lyon carried the vessel 
containing the sacred oil. In addition to his strictly armorial appoint- 
ment, 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 men- 
tioned 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 Both well ; 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 men- 
tioned 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 


century, however, armorial bearings were quite well known in Scotland, 
and there is an entry in the Exchequer Rolls on loth 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)/ 
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 confirma- 
tion under the Great Seal by David II. of a charter by Dugal M^Dowille 
to John Trupour or Trumpour ^^ nunc dido Carrie 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 defundus, 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 

Of the German officers of arms they, like the English, are divided 
into three classes, known as Wappenkonige, Heroldcy 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 

* Robertson's Index to " Missing Charters." 


into the old ways, into which the knightly accoutrements had already 

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 manychanges, 
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 pur- 
suivant is of damask silk ; that of a herald, of 
satin ; and that of a king of arms, of velvet. 

The initial letter on page i 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 be- 
neath 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. Glad- 
stone. In Germany the w^ands of the heralds 
were later painted with the colours of the escut- 
cheons 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 cere- 
monial appearances of the heralds, and the more scrupulous control 

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


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 

Fig. i6.— a Herald. {Temp. Hen. VHI.) 

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 


side with a rose, a thistle, or a harp, respectively for the English, 
Scottish, and Irish officers of arms. 

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 

Fig. 17.— a State Trumpetef. {Temp. Hen. VIII.) 

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 


always accompanied the Heralds to proclaim their presence and call 
attention to their proclamation. 

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. 

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

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 141 3, 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. 


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. 

The English Heralds have no equivalent badge to that which the 

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

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 coro- 
nation. 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, 


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 know- 
ing how strictly all 
official regalia in Eng- 
land is required to have 
the armorial devices 
thereupon changed, as 
the Royal arms and 
badges change, there can 
be very httle 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 
usually placed in saltire 

Fig. 20.- 

-A French Herald of the early part of 
the fifteenth century. 

a new one substituted. Two batons are 
behind the arms of Lyon King of Arms. 

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, 


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 unwind- 
ing 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 

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 be- 
neath, 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 reserve ex- 
hibits 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 sus- 
pended 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. 


Norroy King of Arms. — Argent, a cross gules, on a chief of the second 
a Hon passant guardant crowned of the first, between a fleur-de-Hs 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 

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. 


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 
Gentlemeiis Society; Author of ^^ A Brief History of Gosberton, in the County of 

MONUMENTAL brasses do not merely afford a guide to the 
capricious changes of fashion in armour, in ecclesiastical vest- 
ments (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 (Koln) 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 Beguinage at Bruges, is only about 
I 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 monu- 
mental 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 

49 D 


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). 

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 un- 
touched, 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 re- 
quisite 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 alter- 
nating with a similar row reversed. 

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 : " ^ In the space 

* Here lieth Sir John D'Aubernoun, knight. On his soul may God have mercy. 



between the inscription and the upper portion of the figure were tw^o 
small shields, of which the dexter one alone remains, charged with the 

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 Cum- 
berland, on the sinister 
side those of Percy. 

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

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 maillesy which is joined to the hauberk or mail 


shirt, which extends to the hands, having apparently no divisions for the 

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

fingers, and being tightened by straps at the wrists. The legs, which 
are not crossed, are covered by long chausses, or stockings of mail, pro- 


tected at the knees hy poleyns ov genouilleresoi citir bouilli vlchXy ornamented 

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


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.) 

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 


the knee. This garment is tightly confined (as the creases in the sur- 
coat show) at the waist by a girdle, and over it is passed a gutge whereto 

the long sword is attached. 

" Pryck " spurs are 
instep, and the feet 
lion, whose mouth 
lower portion of a 

fixed to the 

rest upon a 

grasps the 

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 pro- 
minently in our second illustra- 
tion, 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, Cam- 
bridgeshire. It portrays the knight 
in armour closely resembling that 
already described, with these ex- 
ceptions : the head rests upon a 
huge heaumef 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 re- 
places 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 

Fig. 27. — Brass of Elizabeth Knevet. 


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. 

Sir Robert de Setvans (formerly Septvans), whose beautiful brass 
may be seen at Chartham, Kent, is habited in a surcoat whereon, to- 
gether 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. 

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 epaulieresy brassartSy coules, 
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 genouilleresy the lower leg 
by jambesy 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 

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." ^ The block (Fig. 27), which presents a good 
example of the heraldic mantle, has been very kindly placed at my dis- 
posal by Mr. Davis. To confine our description to the heraldic portion 
of the brass, we find the following arms upon the mantle : — 

^'Quarterly, i. 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 bezante ... 6. bendy of six, a canton . . ." ^ 

A coat of arms occurs also at each corner of the slab : '* Nos. i 
and 4 are on ordinary shields, and 2 and 3 on lozenges. Nos. i and 

* *' Monumental Brasses of Gloucestershire," by C. T. Davis. London : PhiIlimore& Co., 1899. 

* The arms are quoted by Mr. Davis from Bigland's ** Gloucestershire," p. 5 39. 


3 are charged with the same bearings as are on her mantle. No. 2, 
on a lozenge, quarterly, i. 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 be- 
tween six lioncels rampant, or (de Bohun). No. 4 similar to No. i, 
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 execu- 
tion 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. 

* -> /^ 



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 em- 
broidery 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 possess- 
ing 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 }iad a 



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 1 806, when Sir Buckworth 
Buckworth-Herne, whose father had assumed the additional name of 
Heme, 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 crt-de-guerre will be found 
instead of or in addition to a motto. The escutcheon may have sup- 
porters, 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 com- 
partment, 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 


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 orna- 
ments. It may be displayed upon a mantle of estate, or it may be 
borne beneath a pavilion. With two more additions the list is com- 
plete, 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. 


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 em- 
blazonments 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, 


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; cumptroUe and refourme all mann' of 
armes, crests, cognizaunces and devices unlawfuU or unlawfully usurped, 
borne or taken by any p'son or p'sons within the same p'vince cont^ry 
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' cont^rie to the autentiq' and auncient lawes, customes, rules, 
privileges and orders of armes." 

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 countrj^, 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 iden- 
tical 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 con- 
sists of shield and mitre only. The laws of the Church of England, 
however, require no vow of celibacy from its ecclesiastics, and con- 
sequently the descendants of a bishop would be placed in the position 
of having no crest to display if the bishop and his requirements were 


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 prono- 
minal 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 re- 
presentation, 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 champlev^ 
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 
1 150. 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 

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


original and contemporary even if only pageant shields. Those which 
now remain are the shields of the Landgrave Konrad {d. 1 241) 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 

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

argent on a field of azure, and betw^een 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. 

The making and decorating of the shields lay mostly in the hands of 
the herald painters, known in Germany as Schiltery 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 


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 

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 Hme) 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 " {Schild- 
gestel[)y 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 '' Buckelris," 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 tourna- 
ment 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 Tarfschen 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 la.ter 

Fig. 30. 


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. 

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 con- 
spicuous, 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 repro- 
duced 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 mediaeval 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. 3 1 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 



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 matricula- 
tion, and also in the Lyon Register, have been examples of everything 
that could be desired. 




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 Con- 
quest, and who have married a long succession of noble w^omen, 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 posi- 
tion 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 



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 quarter- 
ings 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 1 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 pre- 
cedence 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 posi- 
tion 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 attach- 
ing 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. 


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 Bhit Fahne or 
Regalien quarter, and is indicative of Royal pre- 
rogatives. It usually occupies the base of the 
shield, and is often diapered." Fig. 33.— Arms of John 

But in spite of the lengthy list which is quoted (^P Montfort, other- 
in Woodward and Burnett, the fact remains that Duke of Brittany ami 
only one British instance is included. The family ^^^^ °( Richmond. 

; . , •' (From his seal.) 

of Berington of Chester (on the authority of Har- 
leian 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. 


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 emblazon- 
ments 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 em- 
blazonments 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. Pro- 
bably 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 bril- 
liancy, and probably its usage wall 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 ex- 
tended 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 


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 confir- 
mation 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 there- 
upon ? 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 fiat 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 un- 
common, 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 


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 

Fig. 34.— Armorial bear- entry in Ulster's Office. The label is not here 

Ea?l''o"^Unctln^^S ^^rmed white, and it is peculiar that we find it 

1311): Or, a lion ram- of another colour in another coat of Fitz-Simon 

hrseaio'^"'^* ^^'''"' (azure, a lion rampant ermine, a label of four 

point gules). 

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 en- 
grailed 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 tenne. The 
exact tint of murrey is between gules and purpure ; and tenne is an 
orange-tawny colour. Theyare 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 


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, wliich 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 mon- 
strosity). 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 tenne 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. Apropos of this it is interest- 
ing 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 


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 

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 Inver- 
gowrie,! 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 tenn6 has been invented), and the colour of nature, 
ue. '' 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 Cendree^ 
or ash colour, which is borne by (among others) the Bavarian family of 
Ashua, as its amies parlantes : Cendree, a mount of three conpeaiix in base or. 

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

" Bleu-celeste, or bleu du del, 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 a enquerir : Per pale azure and bleu-celeste, an estoile 
counter changed J' 

" 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 170 1." 

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

* The arms of Clayhills of Invergowrie : Parted per bend sanguine and vert, two greyhounds 
courant bendwise argent. Mantling gules doubled argent ; and upon a wreath of the liveries is set 
for crest, an arm holding an Imperial crown proper ; and in an cscroU over the same, this motto, 
" Corde et animo." Matriculated in Lyon Office circa 1672. 


Perhaps mention should here be made of the EngHsh term '' proper." 
Anything, aUve 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 in- 
dicating the real heraldic colours when arms were represented and the 
real colours could not be employed, the earliest being that of Francquart 
in Belgium, area 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 
Tesserce Gentilitid) superseded all the others, and has remained in use up 
to the present time. 

Upon this point Herr Str5hl in his Heraldischer Atlas remarks : 
''The system of hatching used by Marcus Vulson de la Colombiere, 
1639, in the course of time found acceptance everywhere, and has 


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 enrich- 
ing." 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; dy 
iron-grey ; ^, water-colour ; /, flesh-colour ; g, ashen-grey ; h, orange ; 

or. argent gules. 

Fig. 35. 


vert, purpure. 

and /, colour of nature. In English armory '< tenn^ " 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 combina- 
tion of diagonal lines from dexter to sinister (as vert), and from sinister 
to dexter (as purpure). 

The hatchings of the shield and its charges always accommodate 
themselves to the angle at which the shield is placed, those of the 

', 'I'l'i'i 

' ' 'i» ' 
1,1 I I I 

I I I I I 

• ' • V 

I I I I I 







I I liji 

I ' t • I ' I • M 

•I* I* I ' I* I 




Fig. 36. 

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 


it has ever received official sanction, at any rate in Great Britain. It 
certainly has never been made use of in any qfficmi record or document 
in the College of Arms. Most of the records are in colour. The re- 
mainder are all without exception " tricked," that is, drawn in outline, 
the colours being added in writing in the following contracted forms : 
"0,"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 rever- 
sion 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 " meer- 
gries " ; 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 
Modling 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 " — (///. 
*' 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 mediaeval 
heraldic writers, for it really amounted to Uttle 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 disre- 
garded 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 


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 conire-hermtHy the 
German, gegen-hermelin), A gold background with black ermine spots 
is styled erminois, and pean is a black gromid with gold ermine spots. 
Planche 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 Strohl'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 ofhcial 
act which has recognised the existence of erminites. The German term 
for erminois is gold-hermelhiy 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, seme d'hermines de sable ; pean 
would be de sable, seme d'hermines d'or. Though ermine is always 
nowadays represented upon a white background, it was sometimes de- 
picted 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 dancett^ 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 Worces- 
ter, 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. 

Fig. 37.— Arms of Wil- 
liam de Ferrers, Earl 
of Derby {d. 1247) : 
*' Scutum variatum 
auro & gul." (From 
MS. Cott. Nero, D. i.) 


V/hen 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 

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 Planta- 
genet. Count of Anjou, where the lining of vair to 
his cloak is plainly to be seen. 

The word seems to have been used independ- 
ently 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 vaire) were erroneously translated 
^^ glass " slippers. This was, of course, 
an impossible material, but the error has 
always been repeated in the nursery 

In the oldest records vair is repre- 
sented by means of straight horizontal 
lines alternating with horizontal wavy or 
nebuly lines (see Fig. 37), but the cup- 
shaped divisions therefrom resulting hav- 
ing 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 divi- 

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


sion 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 vaire 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 

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

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.) 

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). 


His wife was Sybilla, daughter of William Marshall, Earl of Pembroke. 
His son reverted to the plain shield of vair6, or, and gules. The arms 
of the Ferrers family at a later date are found to be : Gules, seven 
mascles conjoined or, in w^hich 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 vair6, or, and gules, it is difficult to 
say. Personally I rather doubt whether any Ferrers ever used the 
arms : Argent, six horseshoes sable. 

The early manner of depicting vair is still occasionally met with in 
foreign heraldry, where it is blazoned as Vair ond6 or Vair ancien. 
The family of Margens in Spain bears : Vair ond6, on a bend gules 
three griffins or ; and Tarragone of Spain : Vair ond^, 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 : " Vair6 gules 
and ermine." I know of no instance where vair6 is found of either 
two tnetals 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 

The Vair of commerce was formerly of three sizes, and the dis- 
tinction is continued in foreign armory. The middle or ordinary 



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 quartter 
de gueules charge 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, /). Another variation, but an infrequent one, is termed 
Vair in Pale, known in German heraldry as Pfahlfeh {Vair appointe 
or Vair en pal ; but if of other colours than the usual ones, Vaire 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 Sturzpjahlfehy or reversed vair in pale. Vair in Bend (or in 
bend-sinister) is occasionally met with in foreign coats; thus Mignia- 
NELLI in Italy bears : Vaire dor et dazur en bande ; while Vaire en barre 
(that is, in bend-sinister) dor 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 versa, by which method the result- 
ing effect is as shown in Fig. 39, n. The German term for this is 
Wogenfeh, or wave vair. Fig. 39, 0, shows a purely German variety — 
Wechselfeh, or alternate vair; and Fig. 39, />, which is equivalent to the 
English vair6 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 Eisenhut-fehy 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 Eisenhiitlein (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 


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 Vairiere, 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^ 
a lac otice de gueules brochante sur le tout. 

Mr. Woodward, in his <* Treatise on Heraldry," writes : *^ Two 

Fig. 43. — Seal of Chini- 
FiG. 42. ""^^ Pellifex, 1329. 

curious forms of Vair occasionally met with in Italian or French 
coats are known as Plumete and Papelonne. 

In Plumete the field is apparently covered with feathers. Plumete 
dargent et dazur is the coat of Ceba (note that these are the tinctures 
of Vair) ; SOLDONIERI of Udine, Plumete au natural (but the SOLDONIERI 
of Florence bore : Vaire argent and sable with a bordure chequy or and 
azure) ; Tenremonde of Brabant : Plumete 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 plumete is said 
to be charged with an ermine spot sable. 

The bearing of Papelonne is more frequently found ; in it the 
field is covered with what appear to be scales, the heraldic term 
papelonne being derived from a supposed resemblance of these scales 
to the wings of butterflies ; for example the coat of MoNTi : GuleSf 
papelonne argent, DONZEL at Besan^on bears : Papelonne d'or et de 
sable. It is worthy of note that Donze of Lorraine used : Gules, three 
bars wavy or. The Franconis of Lausanne are said to bear : de Gueules 
papelonne d argent y and on a chief of the last a rose of the first y but the coat 
is otherwise blazoned : Vaire gules and or, &c. The coat of Arquin- 
VILLIERS, or Hargenvilliers, in Picardy, of d'Hermine papelonne de 


guetdes (not being understood, this has been blazoned ^* seme of caltraps "). 
So also the coat of Chemille appears in French books of blazon 
indifferently as : dOr papelonne de gueules : and dOr seme de chausse-trapes 
de guQules. GUETTEVILLE DE GUENONVILLE is Said to bear : d Argent 
seme de chausse-trapes de sable^ but it is more probable that this is simply 
d Argent papelonne de sable. The Barisoni of Padua bear : Or, a bend 
of scaleSj bendwise argent, on each scale an ermine spot sable, the bend bordered 
sable. The Alberici of Bologna bear : Papelonne of seven rows, four of 
argenty three of or ; but the Alberghi of the same city : Papelonne of six 
rows, three of argent, as many of gules. The connection with vaire is 
much clearer in the latter than in the former. Cambi (called Figliam- 
BUCHi), at Florence, carried : d Argent, papelonne 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 Papelonnd 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 w^ere composed of bars of potent (Vree, 
Genealogie 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 indi- 
cate 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 Sturzkruckenfeh and gegensturzkruckenfeh. 
German heraldry has evolved yet another variant of Potent, viz. 
Verschobenes Gegensturzkriickenfeh {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 Kurschy otherwise 
" Vair bellies," and is usually shown to be hairy and represented brown. 
Possibly this is the same as the Pliimete 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 /assy for poierU-counter-po/enf, perhaps from the drawings in some 
instances resembling cups; that is a possible meaning of iassa. 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 gene- 
ralisation 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 in- 
fraction 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 armesfausses 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 2l 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 


Cardigan by escalade from the Earl of Clare and the Flemings in 1 1 64. 
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 
sabkf 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 

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 back- 
ground. 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 in- 
stance, 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 1 believe has never yet been quoted in any handbook of heraldry, 
and that is, that this rule must be thrown overboard with regard to 


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 con- 
stantly 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 " land- 
scape." 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 : ^Mn a landscape field, a fountain, therefrom issuing a 
palm-tree all proper." 

But landscape has very extensively been made use of in the aug- 
mentations 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 augmenta- 
tion 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 


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 w^hich 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 con- 
cealment of the date of nobility. 

The ** landscape " variety of heraldry is more common in Germany 
than with us, and Strohl writes : ^' Of very little heraldic worth 
are the old house and home signs as they were used by landed pro- 
prietors, tradesmen, and artisans or workmen, as indicative of their 
possessions, wares, or productions. These signs, originally simply out- 
line 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 repre- 
sentation 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 matricu- 
lated 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 


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." 
P'The arms of Reynell are : ^' Argent, masoned sable, a chief indented 
of the second." 


The use of the term '' seme " 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 seme, care is usually taken that some of the charges (with 
which the field is seme) shall be partly defaced by the edges of the 
shield, or the ordinary upon which they are charged, or by the superior 

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

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

Fig. 46. — Arms of Gil- 
bert Umfraville, Earl 
of Kyme {d. 142 1). 
(From Harl. MS. 6163.) 

charge itself, to indicate that the field is not charged with a specific 
number of objects. 

There are certain special terms which may be noted. A field or 
charge seme of fleurs-de-lis is termed ^^ sem6-de-lis," but if seme of 
bezants it is bezants, and is termed plat(^ if sem6 of plates. 

A field seme of billets is billetty or billette, and when sem6 of cross 
crosslets it is termed crusilly. A field or charge sem6 of drops is 
termed goutt^ or gutty. 

Instances of coats of which the field is sem6 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, seme-de-lis and 
a lion rampant or ; and Umfraville (see Fig. 46) : Gules, sem6 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 


a field seme. British heraldry alone has evolved separate names for 
the different colours, all other nations simply using the term *' goutt6 " 
or '* gutte," and specifying the colour. The terms we have adopted 
are as follows : For drops of gold, '^ gutte-d'or " ; silver, " gutt^-d'eau " ; 
for gules, ^' gutt6-de-sang " ; azure, '* gutt6-de-larmes " ; vert, '^ gutt^- 
d'huile " ; and sable, '^ gutt^-de-poix." 

The term seme must not be confused with diapering, for whilst the 
objects with which a field is seme 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 in- 
stances 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 


diapering is employed, care must always be taken that the decorative 
form employed cannot be mistaken for a field either charged or seme. 


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, 
dancett^, raguly, potent^, 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 con- 
junction of the two arcs being placed outwards. This partition Hne 
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 outwardsy 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 down- 
wards, 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 presum- 
ably 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 


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. 

The term invected or invecked is the precise opposite of engrailed. 






^^ (deep) 




J. r* 'n r" *n r- ^ r* »i i-* ^ r^ "i C POTENTE. 






Fig. 47. — Lines of Partition. 

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. 


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 << crenelle " 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 indenta- 
tions opposite indentations. I am doubtful as to the accuracy of this 
distinction, because the French term bretess^ means only counter- 

The terms indented and dancette 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, dancette 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. Dancette, 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 dancette 
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 dancette, I do not see how it 
would be possible to draw a saltire or a cross dancette. 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 


seem to be the like objection to a pale dancette. An instance of a 
bend dancette is found in the arms of Cuffe (Lord Desart), which are : 
Argent; on a bend dancette sable, plain cotised azure, three fleurs-de- 
lis, and on each cotise as many bezants. 

JVavy or undy, which is supposed to have been taken from water, 
and nebulyf 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 vaire and barry nebuly were 
one and the same thing. It is at any rate difficult in some old repre- 
sentations 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. potent^ 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 mediaeval 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 


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 potente, 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 potent^ is very rare. 

As to the term tirdyj 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 quota- 
tion 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 


Dumas, which are : " Per chevron flory and counter-flory or and azure, 
in chief two Hons' 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-Hs, 
only alternately reversed, are represented on the outer edges of the 

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 origi- 
nated 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 em- 
battlement 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 *^ rayonnej' which is found in both the arms of 
OTiara 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 out- 
line. 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 


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 

1 or •* per cnevn 
Per fess 


CKC. It may be : 

Fig. 48 

Per bend 

„ 49 

Per bend sinister 

„ 50 

Per pale 

. '. ;, 51 

Per chevron i 

,, 52 

Per cross 

n 53 

(though it should be noted that the more usual term em 



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.— Per fess. 

Fig. 49.— Per bend. 

Fig. 50. — Per bend sinister. 

Fig. 51. — Per pale. 

Fig. 52. — Per chevron. 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. 



Another method of partition will be found in the fields " cheeky " 
(or " chequy ") and lozengy ; but these divisions, as also the foregoing, 
will be treated more specifically under the different ordinaries. A field 

Fig. 54. — Per saltire. 

Fig. 55.— Barry. 

Fig. 56. — Barry nebuly. 

Fig. 57 

Fig. 58.— Bendy. 

Fig. 59. — Chevronny. 

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 pre- 
vent different quarters of one coat of arms being ranked as or taken 
to be quarterings representing different families. 


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 import- 
ance 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 ex- 
pedient or permissible, because the ancient practice does not permit 
of extension to the limits within which more modern armory has de- 
veloped, 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 



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 
ist and 4th quarters are given precedence of the tinctures of the 2nd 
and 3rd. The only division upon which there has seemed any un- 
certainty 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 sem6 must next be alluded to, e.g, gules, seme-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 ana 
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 


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 ist 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 i, 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 seme 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, sem6 of cross crosslets, a 
lion rampant argent." As a matter of fact the sem6 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 

Fig. 6o. — Arms of Aymer 
de Valence, Earl of 
Pembroke : ' ' Baruly ar- 
gent and azure, an orle of 
martlets gules." (From 
his seal.) 


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. 

With the exception of the chief, the quarter, 
the canton, the flaunch, and the bordure, an ordi- 
nary or sub-ordinary is always of greater import- 
ance, 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 cres- 
cents 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. 6i 
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) 

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 

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 palevv^se in 
fess ; " but if the spears were placed horizontally, one above the other, 
they would be blazoned : <' Three tilting-spears fesswise in pale," 

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


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 i. 

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 ist, 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 
ill 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. — Arms of John de 

* ' . Beaumont, Lord Beau- 

When a specified number of charges is mont {d. 1369) : Azure, 
immediately followed by the same number of seme-de-iis and a Hon 

J J , rampant or, over all a 

charges elsewhere disposed, the number is not bend gobony argent and 
repeated, the words '' as many " being substituted ^uies. (From his seal.) 
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 " de- 
bruised " 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, 












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 occur- 
rence 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 

In blazoning a coat in which some quarter- 
ings (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 
But in speaking such a method would need to be 
in accordance with the Scottish practice, which 

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


the sub-quarters. 

somewhat modified 

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 blazon- 
ing 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 Jield has been 
divided into pomfs, 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. 

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, 


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 unoffici- 
ally, 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. 



A RMS, 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 pre- 
ceding 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 con- 
tain the third part of the field. Now it is doubtful whether an ordi- 
nary 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 re- 
semblance 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 classi- 
fication and rules which occupy such a large proportion of the space 
in the majority of heraldic text-books are equally unnecessary, con- 



fusing, 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 fore- 
going has largely the nature of a recantation. It is nothing of the 
kind, and I advocate as strenuously as I have ever done, the com- 
pliance 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 re- 
cognition is paid to the fact that in armory there are almost as many 
rules of exception as original rules. There are vastly more plain ex- 
ceptions 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 in- 
stance we have already quoted — the coat of Walpole — has never been 
drawn in such form that either of the chevrons could have been con- 
sidered 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 honour- 
able 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 demon- 
strated. 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. 


A pale embattled is embattled upon both its edges ; a fess em- 
battled is embattled only upon the upper edge ; a chief is embattled 
necessarily only upon the lower ; and the grave difficulty of distinguish- 
ing "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 ordi- 
naries 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 princi- 
pal charge must be mentioned first, and no charge can take precedence 
of a bend, fess, pale, pile, chevron, cross, or saltire, except one of them- 
selves. 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 ; in- 
escutcheon ; 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 


the ordinaries from the belt, scarf, and other articles of raiment. 
Planche, 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 
Planche'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 Planch^ 
did, that shields were strengthened with cross-pieces in various direc- 
tions, 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 Planche'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 ordi- 
naries 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 com- 
pulsory 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 in- 
clined 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 ordi- 
naries 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 


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 amis, 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 re- 
quire 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 symbol- 
ism 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 selec- 
tion 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. 


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) 

Fig. 66. — Bend engrailed. 

Fig. 68.— Bend embattled 

Fig. 69.— Bend embattled 
counter-embattled . 

Fig. 70. — Bend raguly. 


Bend dovetailed. 

Fig. 72. — Bend indented. 

Fig. ys. — Bend dancette. 

and a bend barry (in which the panes are horizontal, Fig. 77), as in 
the arms of King/ should be noticed. 

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. 

1 Armorial bearings of Sir Henry Seymour King, K.C.I. E. : Quarterly, argent and azure, in 
the second and third quarters a quatrefoil of the first, over all a bend barry of six of the second, 
charged with a quatrefoil also of the first, and gules. 


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. — Bend wavy. Fig. 75. — Bend nebuly, 

Fig. tj. — Bend barry. Fig. 78.— Bend within tressure. 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 vaire 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 

Fig. So.— Bendlets. 


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 accom- 
panying 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. 

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 posi- 
tion 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 presump- 
tion 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. 

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 

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. 

Fig. 81. — Bend cottised. 

Fig. 82. — Bend sinister. 


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. 

A curious instance of the use of the sun's rays 
in bend will be found in the arms of Warde-Aldam.^ 
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 Shiff- 
ner : '* 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 ar- 
gent, between seven mullets, four in chief and three 
in base or, three pairs of wings addorsed purpure." 

No coat with the chief charge a single bendlet occurs in Pap worth. 
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 

Fig. 83.— Baton sinister. 

^ Armorial bearings of William Warde-Aldam, Esq. : Quarterly, I and 4, party per fesse azure 
and ermine, in the sinister chief and dexter base an eagle displayed or, in the dexter canton issuant 
towards the sinister base seven rays, the centre one gold, the others argent (for Aldam) ; 2 and 
3 (for Warde). 


of cadency. In the Gelre Armorml, 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. 

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 

Fig. 84. — Bendlets enhanced. 

Fig. 85.— Pale. 

Fig. 86. — Pale engrailed. 

'< 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 


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.— Pale invecked. Fig. 88.— Pale embattled. Fig. 89.— Pale raguly. 

Fig. 90.— Pale dovetailed. Fig. 91. — Pale indented. -Fig. 92. — Pale wavy. 

Fig. 93. — Pale nebuly. 

Fig. 94. — Pale rayonne. 

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. 


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

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 

Fig. 96.— Pallets. 

Fig. 97. — The arms of 
Amaury de Montfort, 
Earl of Gloucester ; died 
before 1 2 14. (From his 

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

Fig. 99. — Fess. 

Fig. 100. — Fess engrailed. 

Fig. ioi. — Fess invecked. 

*' 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-fourch^e 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. 



A curious variety of the fess dancette is borne by the Shropshire 
family Plowden of Plowden. They bear ; Azure, a fess dancette, the 
upper points terminating in fleurs-de-lis (Fig. no). A fess couped 
(Fig. in) is found in the arms of Lee. 

Fig. I02. — Fess embattled. Fig. 103. — Fess embattled 


Fig. 104. — Fess raguly. 



Fig. 108. 

Fig. 109. — Fess nebuly. 

Fig. iio. — The arms of 

-Fess wavy. 

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 bretesse (which is said to indicate that the battle- 
ments orf the upper edge are opposite the battlements on the lower 
edge, and the indentations likewise corresponding) is a term and a dis- 
tinction neither of which are regarded in British armory. 



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. 

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 


Fig. III. — Fess couped. 

Fig. 112. — Fess wreathed. 

Fig. 113.— Two Bars. 

Fig. 114. — Bars embattled. 

Fig. 115. — Bars engrailed. Fig. 116. — Bars invecked. 

a diminutive of the fess, because if two bare 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. 11 4-1 18). 

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 in" 
variably be found borne in pairSy when such a pair is usually known as a 
<^ bar gemel " and not as two barrulets. Thus a coat with four barrulets 


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 com- 
prising the '^ bar gemel " are only 07te 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. 

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 

Fig. 117. — Bars raguly. 

Fig. 118. — Bars dovetailed. 

Bars gemel. 

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 

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. 


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 exag- 
gerated 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. 

A field which is barry may also be counterchanged, as in the arms 

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. 123. — Barry, per chevron 

Fig. 121. — Arms of Laurence 
de Hastings, Earl of Pem- 
broke {,d. 1348) ; Quarterly, 
I 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. 124. — Barry-bendy. 

( ?()(") 








Fig. 122. — Arms of Edmund 
Grey, Earl of Kent (^. 1489) : 
Quarterly, I 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. 125. — Paly-bendy. 

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). 


The result produced is very similar to ^Mozengy" (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. 

*^ Lozengy " is made by use of lines in bend crossed by lines in 

Fig. 127. — Chevron. 

Fig. 128. — Chevron engrailed. 

vy W 

Fig. 129. — Chevron invecked. Fig. 130. — Chevron em- 

Fig 131. — Chevron embattled 
and counter-embattled. 

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 


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. — Chevron indented. Fig. 133. — Chevron wavy. 

Fig. 135. — Chevron raguly. 

Fig. 136. — Chevron 

Fig. 137. — Chevron doubly 

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. 

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 

Fig. 138. — Chevron 


dividing the chevron into two chevronels, and then by a vertical Hne 

in the centre (Fig. 138). 

A chevron in point embov^^ed 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 en- 
closing 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 chev- 
ron invecked I am uncertain, 
but think the points should be 
upwards for engrailed. 

The field when entirely com- 
posed of an even number of 
chevrons is termed ^' chevronny " 

(Fig- 59)- 

The diminutive of the chev- 
ron is the chevronel (Fig. 140). 

Chevronels ^< interlaced " or 
^'braced" (Fig. 141), will be 
found in the arms of Sirr. The 
chevronel is very seldom rnet 
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. — Armorial bearings of Rodolph Lade- 
veze Adlercron, Esq . : Quarterly, i 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 dis- 
played 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) issu- 
ing from the chief. The pile is 
subject to the usual lines of 

partition (Figs. 1 44-1 51). 
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 


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 intro- 
duced in the field of the escutcheon or upon the pile. 

A single pile may issue from any point of the escutcheon except 

Fig. 141. — Chevronels braced. Fig. 142. — Chevron rompu 

Fig. 143. — Pile. 


Pile engrailed. 

Fig. 145. — Pile invecked. 

Fig. 146. — Pile embattled. 

Fig. 147. — Pile indented. 

Fig. 148. — Pile wavy. 

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 Holies, 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 


at the tips, as in the arms of the Earl of Huntingdon and Chester 
or in the arms of Isham/ 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 pat^e are to be met 
with, and reference may be made to the arms of Poynter and Dickson- 
Foynder. Each of these coats has the field pily counter-pily, the 
points ending in crosses form^e. 

An unusual instance of a pile in which it issues from a chevron 

Fig. 149. — Pile nebuly. Fig. 150. — Pile raguly. Fig. 151. — Pile dovetailed. 

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 thei arms of 
the Archiepiscopal Sees of Canterbury, Armagh, and Dublin. Though 

* Armorial bearin^^s of Ishara : Gules, a fesse wavy, and in chief three piles in point also 
wavy, the points meeting in fesse argent. 


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, in- 
cluding 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." 

The necessity of displaying this device of rank — the pallium — 

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

Fig. 153.— Shakefork. 

Fig. 154. — Ecclesiastical 

<A>.^K^ UkA,>^ 

Fig. 155. — Cross. Fig. 156. — Cross engrailed. Fig. 157. — Cross jnvecked. 

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. 1 56-1 6 1), 


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. 

But the contemporary shortening of the shield, together with the 
introduction of charges in its angles, led naturally to the arms of the 

UL uuau 

Fig. 158.— Cross embattled. Fig. 159. — Cross indented. Fig. 160. — Cross raguly. 

x^ Csn^ 

FiG^-^j^x — Cross dovetailed. 


Fig. 162. — Passion Cross. 

FiG. 163. — Cross Calvary. 

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 through- 
out 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 dis- 
tinguished from the cross fleurette (Fig. 168) ; the cross moline, 

PLATE 111. 




(Fig. 169), the cross potent (Fig. 170), the cross pat^e or formee 
(Fig.^ 171); the cross patonce (Fig. 172), and the cross crosslet 

(Fig.' 173)- 

Of other but much more uncommon varieties examples will be 
found of the cross parted and fretty (Fig. 174), of the cross pat^e 

Fig. 164. — Crucifix. 

Fig. 167. — Cross flory. 

FiG.^ 170. — Cross potent. 

Fig. 165. — Cross couped. 

Fig. 168. — Cross fleurette. 

Fig. 169. — Cross moline. 

Fig. 171. — Cross patee 
(or formee). 

Fig. 172. — Cross patonce. 

quadrate (Fig. 175), of a cross pointed and voided in the arms of 
Dukinfield (quartered by Darbishire), and of a cross clech^ voided 
and pomett6 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. 



Whenever a cross or cross crosslet has the bottom arm elongated 
and pointed it is said to be '' fitched " (Figs. i8o and i8i), but when 
a point is added at the foot e.g. of a cross pat^e, it is then termed 
"fitchee at the foot" (Fig. 182). 

Of the hundreds of other varieties it may confidently be said that a 

Fig. 173. — Cross crosslet. 

Fig. 174. — Cross parted 
and fretty. 

Fig. 175. — Cross patee 

Fig. 176. — Cross quarter- 

Fig. 177. — Cross Tau. 


Fig. 179.— Patriarchal Cross. 

Fig. 180. — Cross crosslet 

Fig. 181. — Cross patee 

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 


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 foolisTi 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 



_rnau rfnm- jTBoi. 
"^ S^ S^ 

Fig. 182. — Cross patee 
fitched at foot. 

Fig. 183.— Crusilly. 

Fig. 184. — Saltire. 

Fig. 185. — Saliire engrailed. Fig. i86. — Saltire invecked. Fig. 187. — Saltire embattled. 

them, for in a lifetime they will mostly be met with but once each or 
thereabouts. A field seme of cross crosslets (Fig. 183) is termed 


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 conform- 
ably therewith. 

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

When one saltire couped is the principal charge it will usually be 


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 
saltire ways, 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 


Fig. 190. — Saltire nebuly. 

Fig. 191. — Saltire raguly. Fig. 192. — Saltire dovetailed. 

Fig. 193. — Saltire parted 
and fretty. 

of the area 6f 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. 

The chief especially lent itself to the purposes of honourable aug- 
mentation, 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 


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 

Fig. 194. — Chief. 

Fig. 195. — Chief engrailed. Fig. 196. — Chief invecked. 


Fig. 197. — Chief embattled. Fig. 198. — Chief indented. 


Fig. 200. — Chief wavy. 

Fig. 201. — Chief nebuly. 

Fig. 202. — Chief raguly. 

dealt with more fully in the chapter relating to the insignia of knight- 

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 


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 earUer 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 augmen- 
tation 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 sur- 
mounts the chief. Such a case is very unusual, as the use of the bend 
for differencing has long been obsolete. 

Fig. 203, 

-Chief dove- 












Fig. 204. — Arms of Peter 
de Dreux, Earl of Rich- 
mond (<r. 1230): Chequy 
or and azure, a quarter 
ermine. (From his seal.) 

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

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 parti- 
tion line is often introduced in a new grant to conjoin quarterings 


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. — 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 prin- 
cipal 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 dis- 
tinction) is superimposed over every other charge 
or ordinary, no matter what this may be. Theo- 
retically 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 

Both a cross and a saltire are sometimes described as " cantonned " 
by such-and-such charges, when Ihey 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. 

Fig. 207.— Chequy. 


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 
Gierke, 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 mar- 
riage. 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, bezant^e, a canton indented at the 
bottom " — and adds that the canton has been sometimes thought to in- 
dicate 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 


such meaning may have been intended, but it can have no such applica- 
tion generally. 

The ^' Canton of Ulster " — i.e, ^' Argent, a sinister hand couped at 
the v^rist 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 inescut- 
cheon, 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 

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. 
Fig. 209.-The arms of Roger ^ know of no Other instance of the use of lines 
Mortimer, Earl of March and of partition ill a gyronny field. The arms of 
a"n'd "'tu^e'f'iSe^ba^'o'r Lanyon afford an example of the gyron as a 
(sometimes but not so cor- charge, as docs also the well-known shield of 

rectly quoted barry of six), on , , .. .y^. v 

a chief of the first two pallets Mortimcr (Fig. 209). 
between two base esquires of 











the second, over all an in- 
escutcheon argent (for Morti- 
mer) ; 2 and 3, or, a cross 
gules (for Ulster). (From his 


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. 


When one inescutcheon appears, it is sometimes difficult to tell 
whether to blazon the arms as charged with a bordnre 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 mar- 
shalling 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 continu- 
ance 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 

Fig. 210. — Bordure. ,. , i • vi - ^ 

ordmary way as a charge, leaving the considera- 
tion 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 


all the lines of partition (Figs. 21 1-2 18). Bordures may also be per 
fesse, per pale (Fig. 219), quarterly (Fig. 220), gyronny (Fig. 221), or 
tierced in pairle (Fig. 222), &c. 

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) 

Fig. 211. — Bordure engrailed. Fig. 212. — Bordure invecked. Fig. 213. — Bordure embattled. 

Fig. 214. — Bordure indented. Fig. 215. — Bordure wavy. Fig. 216. — Bordure nebul) 


Fig. 217. — Bordure dovetailed. Fig. 218. — Bordure potente. Fig. 219. — Bordure per pule. 

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 
ixj^rk of illegitimacy. The Scottish bordure for indicating this fact is 


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 dis- 
cussed 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 

\ 1 / 

.A A i 

vii:^ '<icy 


Fig. 220. — Bordure quarterly. FiG. 221. — Bordure gyronny. FiG. 222. — Bordure tierced 

in pairle. 


• I V. I I I / f 

^^ ^ 

Fig. 223. — Bordure compony. FiG. 224. — Bordure counter Fig. 225. — Bordure chequy. 


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. 

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 impale- 
ment. 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 dimi- 
diated chevron was scarcely distinguishable from a bend), and the 
*' dimidiation " of arms was quickly abandoned in favour of *' impale- 


ment," in which the entire designs of both coats of arms are depicted. 
But in impaUng 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 Hne. The same rule, by the way, appHes 
to the tressure, but not to the orle. The curious 
fact, however, remains that this rule as to the dimi- 
diation of the bordure in cases of impalement is 
often found to have been ignored in ancient seals 
and other examples. The charges upon the bor- 
dure 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 bezantee, &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. 

Fig. 226. — Orle. 


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, show- 
ing 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 inescut- 
cheon 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 

When a series of charges are placed round the edges of the 

Fig. 227. — An inescut 
cheon within a bordure. 


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, ix. an orle divided into two 
narrow ones set closely together, the one inside the other. It is, how- 
ever, 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 con- 
centric 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 pro- 
perly applied to them. 

If these instances be disregarded, and I am 

inclined to doubt them as genuine coats, there 

^^*^and^cmime^rX7y^°'^^ 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. (i 249-1 285). We 
are unable to say what the reason was for the adoption of such a dis- 
tinctive 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 


Scotland since the first founding of the monarchy by King Fergus 1/ 
— 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-lisee 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 Scpttish kings were descended ; and he mentions 
an old roll of arms preserved by Leland,^ which is certainly not later 
than 1272, in which the arms of Scotland are blazoned as: Or, a lion 
gules within a hordure or fleurette 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 in- 
wards, 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 unex- 
plained 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 

^ Collectanea^ ed. 1774, ii. 611, 


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 
GelrCf 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 
Hon and double tressure ; the Hon 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.^ 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 cou6 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 Grunen- 
berg ; 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 crow^ns 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 

* In M. Victor Bouton's edition of the Armorial d^ Celre (Paris 1881) the bonnet is described 
as a mount. 


Sovereign. This, however, does not interfere with the matriculation or 
exempHfication 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 horse- 
back, 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 augmen- 
tation '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 guksy 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 



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 comiter- 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 ihe 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 

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


Why these, which arc 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 marshalHng. The arms 
P ^^ 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 Conti- 
nental 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 


Fig. 229. — Armorial bearings of Sir Archibald Kennedy, Marquess of Ailsa : Argent, a chevron gules 
between three cross crosslets fitchee 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 an^ membered gules. Motto : " Avise la fin." 
(From the painting by Mr. Graham Johnston in the Lyon Register.) 





ordinaries tinctured ^' lozengy of two colours." The arms of Holding 
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 indiffer- 
ently. 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 Northumber- 

FiG. 231. — Fusil. 

Fig. 232. — Mascle. 

Fig. 233. — Rustre. 

land, who bears in the first quarter : Azure, live 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. 

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 : ^' Do 
goules poudr6 afause 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. I, m. 11) a grant of the following arms : ^< Azure, 
dix mascles d'Or, enorm^ d'une canton de nostre propre Armes de 
Angleterre ; cest a savoir de Gules a une Lipard passant d'Or, armc^e 


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 

Fig. 234. — Arms of Roger de Fig. 235. — Arms of Seiher de 

Quincy, Earl of Winchester Quincy, Earl of Winchester 

{d. 1264): Gules, seven {d. 1219): Or, a fess gules, 

mascles conjoined, three, three a label of seven points 

and one or. (From his seal.) azure. (From his seal.) 

Fig. 236. — Arms of Louis 
de Bruges, Earl of Win- 
chester {d. 1492.) 

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 
vere 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. 
The rusfre 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 




The fret (Fig. 238), which is very frequently found occurring in 
British armory, is no doubt derived from earher coats of arms, the 
whole field of which was covered by an interlacing of alternate bendlets 

Fig. 237. — Arms of Hubert de 
Burgh, Earl of Kent {d. 1 243). 
(From his seal.) 

Fig. 238.— The Fret. 

Fig. 239. — Fretty. 

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. 

^' Sable fretty or " was the original form of the 
arms of the ancient and historic family of Mal- 
travers. 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. (i 395-1400), 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 141 8, gules a lion rampant or, quarterly 
with *^ sable a fret or " (for Maltravers). This would seem to indicate 

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


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 Mal- 
travers. 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 throughotii 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. 


The flaunch, which is never borne singly, and for which the ad- 
ditional names of " flasks " and " voiders " are some- 
times found, is the segment of a circle of large 
diameter projecting, jnto 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 ordi- 
naries, is subject to the usual lines of partition, but 
so subject is, however, of rather rare occurrence. " 
Planche, in his '' Pursuivant of Arms," men- 
FiG 2 I — Fi h tions the old idea, which is repeated by Wood- 
ward, "that the base son of a noble woman, if he 
doe gev armes, must give upon the same a surcoat, but unless you do 



well mark such coat you may take it for a coat flanchette." The sur- 
coat 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 cir- 
cumstances, 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 


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 tenne 

an *' orange," when sanguine a " guze." The 

golpes, oranges, and guzes are seldom, if ever, * 242.— ountam. 

met with, but the others are of constant occurrence, and roundles of 

fur are bv no means unknown. A roundle of more than one colour 
is described as a roundle '^ per pale," for ex- 
ample 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 sometijnes found shaded, but is more cor- 
rectly 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 

Fig. 243. — The Arms of 


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 con- 
cerning 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 opinionsj particularly in this 
case, inasmuch as every known record of the Stourton arms intro- 
duces 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 17 14. 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 out- 
side 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 


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 seme of roundles are very usual, these being 
termed bezants or plat^ if sem6 of bezants or plates ; but in the cases 
of roundles of other colours the words << sem^ of " need to be used. 


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-ordi- 
naries, one can see no reason, as the annulet is a 
regularly used heraldic figure, why the lozenge 
should have been included and the annulet ex- 
cluded, 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. 

Fig. 244. — Annulet. 


Care should be taken to distinguish them from gem-rings, which 
are always drawn in a very natural manner with stones, which, how- 
ever, in real life would approach an impossible size. 


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 differ- 
ence. 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 

Fig — Th L b 1 ^^^ 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. HI. 
(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.) 



" 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. 

Its more frequent appearance is as an object with which a field 
or superior charge is seme, in which case these are termed billette 
(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 


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

Fig. 247.— The Billet. 

D D D 

Fig. 248.— Billette. 

William and Mary. The arms of Gasceline afford another example of a 
field billette. These are " or, billette 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 i 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 
billette. 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 sem^, nor as a 
charge, is the billet of sufficiently frequent use to warrant its inclusion 
as one of the ordinaries or sub-ordinaries. 



Why the chaplet was ever included amongst the ordinaries and 
sub-ordinaries passes my comprehension. It is not of frequent occur- 
rence, and I have yet to ascertain in which form it has acquired this 

Fig. 249. — Armorial bearings of R. E. Yerburgh, Fig. 250. — Armorial bearings of Robert Berry, Esq. 
Esq. : Per pale argent and azure, on a chevron Quarterly, i and 4, vert, a cross crosslet argent (fo 
between three chaplets all counterchanged, an Berry) ; 2 and 3, parted per pale argent and sable 
annulet for difference. Mantling azure and on a chaplet four mullets counterchanged (for Nairne) 
argent. Crest : on a wreath of the colours, a in the centre of the quarters a crescent or, for differ 
falcon close or, belled of the last, preying upon ence. Mantling vert, doubled argent. Crest : upoi 
a mallard proper. a wreath of his liveries, a demi-lion rampant gules 

armed and langued, holding in his dexter paw a cros 
crosslet fitch^e azure ; and in an escroll over th( 
same this motto, " In hoc signo vinces," and ii 
another under the shield, " L'esperance me comforte.' 

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 


such as the one which figures m 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 com- 
pletely 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 

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. 



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 disre- 
garded, 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 repre- 
sentation 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 corrup- 
tion, 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 remark- 
able to quote the blazon in full : ^' Chequy or and azure, a man's 

face with long hair and bearded and dropping blood, and surmounted 



by a halo, all proper ; in chief the letters HALEZ, and in base the 
letters fax." 

No other instance is known, but, on the other hand, representa- 



Fig. 251. — Annorial 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.) 

tions 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, 


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 ; ^ 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 "]. 

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 pat6e 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 

* Arms of Rutherglen : Argent, in a sea proper an ancient galley sable, flagged gules, therein 
two men proper, one rowing, the other furling the sail. Above the shield is placed a suitable 
helmet, with a mantling gules, doubled argent ; and on a wreath of the proper liveries is set for 
crest, a demi-figure of the Virgin Mary with the Infant Saviour in her arms proper ; and on a com- 
partment below the shield, on which is an escroll containing this motto, " Ex fumo fama," are 
placed for supporters, two angels proper, winged or. 


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 affronte 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." 



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 Cumbrae ['^ Quarterly, i 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 stafif garnished 
with ivy, in the sinister laid on his breast a book expanded proper "] ; 
St. ^gidius (St. Giles), in the arms of the Royal Burgh of Elgin 
[^' Argent, Sanctus -^gidius 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 
efifigy 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, 


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 

" 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 

" 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 affronts, 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 Lin- 
lithgow : " Azure, the figure of the Archangel Michael, with wings ex- 
panded, 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. 


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 compara- 
tively 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. 


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 

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. 


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 cresfs of Marshall, Morse, Banner- 
man, 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 

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 cadu- 
ceus, both or, on the chief of the last a tree eradicated, thereon hang- 
ing a hunting-horn between a thistle slipped proper on the dexter and 
a fleur-de-lis azure on the sinister. Crest : a cornucopia fesswise, sur- 
mounted 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 i8th 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 eaph 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 
affronts 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 


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 ol 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 counter- 
changed 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 sup- 
posed to be held, namely, that whenever the sovereign sets foot there- 
upon, 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 dif- 
ferent varieties, namely : i. 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 


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 Otter- 
burn 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 

Fig. 253. — A savage's 

Fig. 254. — A blacka- 
moor's head. 

Fig. 255. — A Saracen's 

heads are termed Mauritanian ["Argent, three Mauritanian negroes' 
heads couped and distilling gutt6s-de-sang "]. Alderson of Homerton, 
Middlesex, bears Saracens' heads ["Argent, three Saracens' heads 
affronts, couped at the shoulders proper, wreathed about the temples 
of the first and sable "]. 

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 Thorn- 
hill 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 ode 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 


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 \J^ 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 

Fig. 256. — A woman's 
head and bust. 

Fig. 257. — A dexter 

Fig. 258. — A sinister 

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 ^^ apaum^ " (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 ** apaum^ " is not 
often used in blazon, that position being presumed unless anything 
contrary is stated. 

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 


the elbow, and this is signified by the term " embowed," and an arm 
embovved necessarily includes the whole arm. Fig. 262 shows the 
usual position of an arm embowed, but it is sometimes placed embowed 

Fig. 259. — A hand " in 

Fig. 260. — A cubit arm. 

Fig. 261. — An arm 
couped at the elbow. 

Fig. 262. — An arm em- 

Fig. 263. — An arm em- 
bowed to the dexter. 

Fig. 264. — An arm em- 
bowed fesseways. 

Fig. 265. — An arm em- 
bowed the upper part 
in fesse. 

Fig. 266. — Two arms 

Fig. 267. — Two arms 
counter-embowed and 

to the dexter (Fig. 263); upon the point of the elbow, that is, ^^ em- 
bowed 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. Tw^o arms " counter-embowed " 
occur in many crests (Figs. 266 and 267). 

When the arm is bare it is termed " proper." When clothed it is 
termed either << vested " or << habited " (Fig. 268). The cuff is very 


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 
armoury as in. the crest of Bathurst, or scale armour. Armour is some- 
times 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. — A cubit arm 

Fig. 269. — An arm em- 
bowed in armour. 

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 Graeme ['^ 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. 



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 



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'Angle- 
terre 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 em- 
broidered with golden lions we^e 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 in- 
vented 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 leopard-lionney and our lion rampant 
guardant is their lion-leoparde. 

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 re- 
presented 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 


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). 

Another ancient rule belonging to the same period as the contro- 
versy 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 ap- 
peared 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 kft 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 diagon- 
ally (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. 

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 


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







grows pointed, and in the second half of the period the tongue be- 
comes visible. The tail also shows a knot near its root (Fig. 273). 

In examples taken from the second half of the four- 
teenth 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- 
fourche). 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 
Fig. 274. which was published in colours in the Catalogue 

of the Heraldic Exhibition in London, 1894. 

Fig. 273. 

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

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 


here rendered somewhat more heraldically. The painting (azure, a 
Hon rampant argent) served as an ^' Ex Hbris," 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 re- 
quest as typical of his style, are 
respectively as follows : — 

A winged lion passant coward. 
A lion rampant regardant. A Hon 
rampant queue - fourch^. A lion 
passant crow^ned. 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 Hon 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 

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 

The Hons 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 John- 
ston : — 

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

Fig. 276. 


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

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 rardpant double- queued, — In this case the lion is represented as 


having two tails (Fig. 287). These must both be apparent from 
the base of the tail, otherwise confusion will arise with the next 

Lion rampant qiieue-fourchL — In this case one tail springs from the 
base, which is divided or ^< forked " in the centre (Fig. 288). There is 

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

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

Fig. 280. — Lion rampant and lion statant Fig. 281. — Lion statant, lion passant guardant, 
guardant, by Mr. G. W. Eve. (From and lion passant regardant, by Mr. G. W. 

*' Decorative Heraldry.") Eve. (From " Decorative Heraldry.") 

no doubt that whilst in modern times and with regard to modern 
arms this distinction must be adhered to, anciently queue-fourch6 and 
double-queued were interchangeable terms. 

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 



of Buxton, the one being obviously a modern grant founded upon 
the other. 

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

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

Fig. 284. — Lion rampant. FiG. 285. — Lion rampant 


Fig. 286. — Lion rampant 

Fig. 287. — Lion rampant 
double queued. 

Fig. 288.— Lion rampant 

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 


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 

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

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

Fig. 292. — Tricorporate 

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. 

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 neces- 
sarily having interfered with the arms by so doing. 

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. 

Fig. 293. — Lion coward. 



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 spec- 
tator. The lions in the quarter- 
ing 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 appli- 
cant except under a specific 
Royal Warrant to that effect. It 
occurs in many augmentations, 

Fig. 294. — Armorial bearings of Alexander 
Charles Richards Maiiland, Esq. : Or, a lien 
rampant gules, couped in all his joints of the 
field, within a double tressure floryand countcr- 
flory azure, a bordure engrailed ermine. Mant- 
li'ig gules and or. Crest : upon a wreath of his 
liveries, a lion sejant erect and affronte 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." 

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 


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 dimi- 
diated 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 ^ 
uses the two separate coats simply dimidiated upon one shield, the 
arms of Hastings ^ vary slightly, being : " Party per pale gules and 

Fig. 295. — Two lions rampant 

Fig. 296. — Lion passant. 

Fig. 297. — Lion passant 

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 ^ a figure of this kind was granted 
as a simple charge. 

The arras of Yarmouth * 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 

^ Arms of Sandwich : Party per pale gules and azure, three demi-lions passant guardant or, 
conjoined to the hulks of as many ships argent. 

^ Arms of Hastings : Party per pale gules and azure, a lion passant guardant or, between in 
chief and in base a lion passant guardant or, dimidiated with the hulk of a ship argent. 

^ Arms of Ramsgate : Quarterly gules and azure, a cross parted and fretty argent between a 
horse rampant of the last in the first quarter, a demi-lion passant guardant of the third conjoined 
to the hulk of a ship or in the second, a dolphin naiant proper in the third, and a lymphad also or 
in the fourth. Crest : a naval crown or, a pier-head, thereon a lighthouse, both proper. Motto : 
*' Salus naufragis salus segris." 

* Arms of Yarmouth : Party per pale gules and azure, three demi-lions passant guardant or, 
conjoined to the bodies of as many herrings argent. Motto : ** Rex et nostra jura." 


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 i-t cannot be overlooked, be- 

FiG. 298. — Lion passant re- 

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

Fig. 300. — Lion statant. 

Fig. 301. — Lion statant tail 

Fig. 302. — Lion statant 

Fig. 303. — Lion salient. 

cause 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. 

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, repre- 
sents it in the act of springing, the two hind legs being on the ground, 
the others in the air (Fig. 303). 


Lion salient guardanU — 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. — Lion sejant. 

Fig. 305. — Lion sejant 

Fig. 306. — Lion sejant 

Fig. 307. — Lion sejant erect. 

Fig. 308. — Lion sejant 
guardant erect. 

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 affronte', — In this case the lion is seated on its haunches, 


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 affronfe' {¥ig, 294). — This position is by no means 
unusual in Scotland. A lion sejant erect and affronte, &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 affronts 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 Schartlin (Schertel) von Burtenbach ["Gules, a lion sejant 
affronts 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 

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

Fig. 311. — Lion couchant. 

Fig. 312. — Lion dormant. 

1527, and his striking successes against France in 1532, are strikingly 
typified in these arms, which were granted in 1534. 

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 

Lion morne, — ^This is a lion without teeth and claws, but no instance 
of the use of the term would appear to exist in British armory. Wood- 
ward mentions amongst other Continental examples the arms of the 
old French family of De Mornay ['^ Fasce d'argent et de gueules au 
lion morne de sable, couronne 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 


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, fore- 
paws, 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 horizon- 
tally 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 

Fig. 313. — Winged lion. 

Fig. 314. — Sea lion. 

Fig. 315. — Man-Lion. 

lower half is the body and tail of a wyvern. I know of no actual 
arms or crest in which it figures. 

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 contournSy applied to a lion passant or rampant to the 
sinister. It would, however, be found blazoned in these words and 
not as contourne. "Dismembered," '^ Demembre," ^^ Dechaussee," 
and <* Trononn^e " are all " heraldry-book " terms specified to mean 
the same as " couped in all its joints," but the uselessness and un- 
certainty concerning these terms is exemplified by the fact that the 


same books state '^ dismembered " or <^ demembr^ " 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 lionne 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." 


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, a une lionne arret^e 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 : — 
• • • • • • 

*' 5 1 : 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, queu6 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 : Band6 d'or et d'azur, a I'ombre du lion brochant sur le tout, a la 
bordure engrel^e 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, sem6 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 augmenta- 
tion, 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 

Fig. 317.- 

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






as many torteaux, on a bordure of the same twelve lions rampant 
pm-pure (Fig. 316). 

Before leaving the lion, the hint may perhaps be usefully con- 
veyed 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 cen- 
tury, 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-Hon 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- 

FiG. 316. — Arms of Richard of 
Conisburgh, Earl of Cam- 
bridge. (From MS. Cott., 
Julius C. vii.) 

Fig. 318. — A demi-lion 

Fig. 319. — A demi-lion 

Fig. 320. — A lion's head 

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 

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

Fig. 321. — A lion's face. 


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

Demi-lion issuanL — This term is applied to a demi-lion when it 
issues from an ordinary, e.g, from the base Hne 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' headSf both couped (Fig. 320) and erased, 
are very frequently met with both as charges on 
the shield and as crests. 

Lions 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 paiVj 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 fitchee 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 lions 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 affronts 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. 



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, w^hich was the only 

Fig. 322. — Heraldic 
tyger rampant. 

Fig. 323. — Heraldic 

tyger passant. 

Fig. 324.— Bengal tiger 

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 un- 
known 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 inten- 
tion 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 taii 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, how- 
ever, will be again dealt with in the chapter on 
fictitious animals, and is here only introduced to 
demonstrate the difference which heraldry makes ^^* ^^rampan"tf^ ^'^^"^ 
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. 



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 some- 
what 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 

Fig. 326. — Leopard 

Fig. 327. — Leopard 
passant guardant. 

Fig. 328. — Leopard 

a charge upon a shield will be found in the arms granted to the 
University of Madras. 

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 1 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, 


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. 

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 affronte (Fig. 330) are often to 
be met with. In both cases it should be noticed that the neck is visibky 
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 

Fig. 329. — Leopard's 
head erased. 

Fig. 330. — Leopard's 
head erased and 

Fig. 331. — Leopard's 

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 affronte. 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. 

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 cer- 
tainly not the actual animal, inasmuch as it is invariably found 
flammant, ue, with flames issuing from the mouth and ears. In this 
character it will be found as a supporter of the Duke of Beaufort, 


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


and derived therefrom as a supporter of Lord Raglan. Foreign 
heraldry carries the panther to a most curious result. It is fre- 
quently 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 


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

vomiting flames, but the usual method of depicting it on the Con- 
tinent is greatly at variance with our own. Fig. 333 represents the 
samft 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 Physiologtts, a Greek writing 


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 Lechsgemiind, 11 97); 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 1 603-1 663, 
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. Strohl terms the badge of the Earls of Ormonde, 
which from his description are plainly male griffins, keythongSy 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. 


The wolf (Figs. 337-341) is a very frequent charge in EngHsh 
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 how. 

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 

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

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

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

Fig. 337. — Wolf rampant. 

Fig. 338. — Wolf salient. 

Fig. 339.— Wolf courant. 

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 IL, 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 


*' 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 ravissani, t.e, carrying the body of a lamb in its mouth or across its 

Much akin to the wolf is the Lynx ; in fact the heraldic representa- 
tion of the two animals is not greatly different. The lynx • does not 

Fig. 340. — Wolf passant. 

Fig. 341. — Wolf statant. 

Fig. 342. — A lynx 

Fig. 343.— Fox passant. Fig, 344. — Fox sejant. Fig. 345. — A fox's mask 

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," ue. with its tail between its legs (Fig. 342). 
Another instance of this particular animal is found in the crest of 

A Fox (Figs. 343 and 344) which from the similarity of its repre- 
sentation 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 


or crests, for example, of Fox, Colfox, and Ashvvorlh. 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 sur- 
mounted 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." 

The bear is generally muzzled, but this must not be presumed 
unless mentioned in the blazon. Bears' paws are often found both 

Fig. 346. — Bear rampant. Fig. 347. — Bear passant. Fig. 348.— Bear statant. 

in crests and as charges upon shields, but as they ditfer Httle 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 affronts. 

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 what- 



ever 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 

Fig. 349. — Bear sejant 

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

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

Fig. 352. — Bear's head 
erased and muzzled 

Fig. 354.— Boar 

Fig. 355. — Boar statant. 

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

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

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 


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 boar's 
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 Scot- 
tish, or that the crest of any other family must be 
^'erVsifw^). *''''' 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 dis- 
tinction — 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, i, 2." 
The Verhammes also bear : " Or, three hams sable." These common- 
place charges assume almost a poetical savour when placed beside the 
matter-of-fact coat of the family of Bacquere : " d'Azur, a un ecusson 
d'or en abime, accompagn^ de trois groins de pore d'argent," and that 
of the Wursters of Switzerland : " Or, two sausages gules on a gridiron 
sable, the handle in chief." 


Tt 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. 

BEASTS 20 1 

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

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 West- 
phalia, is popularly known in this country as the 
coat of Hanover, inasmuch as it was the most 
prominent charge upon the inescutcheon or quarter- 
ing 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, 

Fig. 359. — A chevalier 
on horseback. 

Fig. 360. — Horse rampant. Fig. 361. — Horse courant. 

Fig. 362. — Horse passant. 

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 IL). 

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 


the comprehension of most people ; at any rate heraldry knows 
of none. 

The crest of the family of Buncombe 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 

Fig. 363. — Horse-shoe. 

Fig. 364 — Sea-horse. 

Fig. 365. — Pegasus rampant. 

through its Hmits. The collection of these, which are usually of silver, 
and are carefully preserved, is one of the features of the town. 

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." 



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 Griinenberg's Wappenbtcch (i^S^\ attributed to '' Herr von 

Fig. 366. — Pegasus 

Fig. 367. — Anns of Ilerr von 

Fig. 368.— Talbot passant. 

Fig. 369.— Talbot statant. 

Fig. 370. — Talbot 

Fig. 371. — Talbot sejant. 

Frouberg from the Forest in Bavaria/' and are : Gules, a mare rampant 
argent, bridled sable. 

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 sup- 

Fig. 372 




porters 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. 

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 Ofhce, 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 EchHn) 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 

Fig. 373. — Greyhound 


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 

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 

Fig. 374.— a sea-dog. Fig. 375.--BUII rampant. Fig. 376.— Bull passant. 

seizing a hare. The crest of Anderson, until recently borne by the 
Earl of Yarborough, is a water spaniel. 

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 sup- 
porter 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 ^ (Plate VI.). 


The bull (Figs. 375 and 376), and also the calf, and very occa- 
sionally the cow and the buffalo, have their allotted place in heraldry. 

1 Armorial bearings of Dodge : 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. . 


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 quarter- 
ing 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 


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. 

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 ^'^- ^^/ab^shed.'' ^'^^ 

equally rare, but occur in the arms of Cowell 

['' Ermine, a cow statant gules, within a bordure sable, bezantee "] and 

in the modern grants to the towns of Rawtenstall and Cowbridge. 

Cows' heads appear on the arms of Veitch ["Argent, three cowls' 

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 illustra- 
tion, 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 some- 
times the case, a ring passes through the 

Fig. 378. -Armorial bearings nostdls. A bull's head is somctimes found 
ofjohn Henry Metcalfe, Esq.: caboshed (Fig. 377), as in the crcst of 
stLU"a ctonguS """"' 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 




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. 

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 dis- 

FiG. 379. — Stag lodged. Fig. 380. — Stag trippant. Fig. 381. — Stag courant. 

Fig. 382. — Stag springing. Fig. 383. — Stag at gaze. 

Fig. 384. — Stag statant. 

tinction 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. 


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 

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 

Fig. 385. — Stag's head 

Fig. 386. — Stag's head 

Fig. 387.— Buck's head 

Fig. 388.— Hind. 

Fig. 389. — Reindeer. 

Fig. 390. — Winged stag 

the head is represented affronte 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. 

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 



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 repre- 
sented in the natural form of the animal, and subject to the foregoing 

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 her- 
aldic 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 

Fig. 391. — Heraldic 
antelope statant. 

Fig. 392. — The heraldic 
antelope rampant. 

Fig. 393. — Heraldic 
antelope passant. 

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 

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 

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. 


21 I 

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 ob- 
served, is really of German or perhaps of Swiss origin. 


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 ^^ un- 
guled," 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 repre- 
sented 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 

Fig. 394. — Armorial bearings of Marindin. 


rams passant or "] and the arms of Harman [^' Sable, a chevron 
between six rams counter-passant two and two argent, armed and 

Fig. 395. — Ram statant. 

Fig. 397. — Sheep passant. 

unguled or "] are other instances in which rams occur. A sheep 
occurs in the arms of Sheepshanks ['^ Azure, a chevron erminois 

Fig. 399. — Fleece. 

between in chief three roses and in base a sheep passant argent. 
Crest : on a mount vert, a sheep passant argent "]. 

Fig. 401. — Goat passant. 

Fig. 402. — Goat rampant. 

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" 
(^^g- 398)> or some variation evidently founded thereupon. 

, The fleece — of course originally of great repute as the badge of 


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 181 2 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 ignor- 
ance, 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 decora- 

FiG. 404. — Elephant 
and castle. 


tion 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 

Fig. 405. — Hare salient. 

Fig. 406. — Coney. 

Fig. 407. — Squirrel. 

now always so represented in this country. A case in point is the 
crest of Verelst, and another is the crest of Allhusen. 

Elephants' tusks have also been introduced into grants, as in the 
arms of Liebreich (borne in pretence by Cock) and Randies [" 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 heraldic- 
ally, the Coneyy 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. 

BEASTS 21 s 

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 

Fig. 408. — Ape collared 
and chained. 

Fig. 409. — Brock. 

Fig. 410. — Otter. 

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 

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 Ermincy the Stoaty and the Weasely &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. 

Fig. 411. — Urcheon. 


The Hedgehogy 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 

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., i8th July 1848, 
were : " Azure, a beaver or." 

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 de- 
scription of heraldic charges the attempt were 
made to deal with all the various animals 
which have by now been brought to the ar- 
morial 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 dis- 


Fig. 412. — Arms of the 
town of Biberach. 
(From Ulrich Reichen- 
thal's Concilium von 
Constanzy Augsburg, 


cussed. 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 Camely 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 un- 
recorded 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. ^°* ^^■^'~ 

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 m the crests of Deane and Hayne. 

The Springboky which is one of the supporters of Cape Colony, 
and two of which are the supporters of Viscount Milner, is also the 
crest of Randies [" 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 Crocodiky 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 Alpacay and also two Angora Goats' heads figure in the arms of 

The Rat occurs in the arms of Ratton,^ which is a peculiarly good 
example of a canting coat. 

The Moky sometimes termed a moldiwarp, occurs in the arms of 
Mitford [" Argent, a fess sable between three moles displayed sable "]. 

^ Armorial bearings of James Joseph Louis Ratton, Esq. : Azure, in base the sea argent, and 
thereon a tunny sable, on a chief of the second a rat passant of the third. Upon the escutcheon 
is placed a helmet befitting his degree, with a mantling azure and argent ; and for his crest, 
upon a wreath of the colours, an ibex statant guardant proper, charged on the body with two 
fleurs-de-lis fesswise azure, and resting the dexter foreleg on a shield argent charged with a passion 
cross sable. Motto: *'In Deo spero." 



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 assump- 
tion 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 Camelo- 
pard, 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 



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 repre- 
sentations of those winged antediluvian animals, the fossilised remains 
of which are now available. Wings, however, need never be con- 
sidered 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 Unicornj 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 CasseU'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 trans- 
lators 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 


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 
mediaeval 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 
home. 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.' 


'* Spenser, in the ' Faerie Queen/ thus describes a contest between 
the unicorn and the Hon : — 

* 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 home, sought of his enimyes, 
Strikes in the stroke, ne thence can be released, 
But to the victor yields a bounteous feast.' 

'* ' It hath,' remarked GuilHm, 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 

Fig. 414. — Unicorn rampant. FiG. 415. — Unicorn passant. Fig. 416. — Unicom statant 

great esteem of his horn in many places to be seen may take away that 
needless scruple.' 

" Another old writer, Topsell, says : — 

*< ' 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 Abb6 Hue, 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 


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 ar- 
gent, 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. 

The Grijfm or Gryphon, — Though in 
the popular mind any heraldic monster 
is generically termed a grifBn, 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 

Fig. 417. — Unicorn rampant. 

Fig. 418. — Gryphon segreant. Fig. 419. — Gryphon passant. Fig. 420. — Gryphon statant. 

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, 

Fig. 422. — Seal of the Town of Schweidnitz. 

Fig. 421. — Gryphon's 
head erased. 


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 there- 
abouts, the griffin can be found as a distinct creation, not necessarily 
heraldic, at a very much earlier date. An exceed- 
ingly 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 
13 1 5. 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 

The griffin will be found in all sorts- of posi- 
tions, 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 <' seg- 
reant " (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. 

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 reason- 
ing has no wings, but is adorned with spikes show- 
ing 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 be- 
lieved 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 

Fig. 423 



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 loo 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, Wappenbuchy 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 simi- 
larity 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 croco- 
dile 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, 


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 " 

Fig. 424. — Dragon rampant. Fig. 425. — Dragon passant. 

include the wyvern, basilisk, cockatrice, and other similar creatures, 
but the distinct name in German heraldry for our four-footed dragon 
is the Lindwurniy 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. 

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 


Fig. 427. — A German dragon. 


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 couehant. 

A sea-dragon, whatever that creature may be, occurs in one of the 
crests of Mr. Mainwaring-EUerker-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 

Fig. 428. — Wyvern. 

Fig. 429. — Wyvern with 
wings displayed. 

Fig. 430. — Wyvern erect. 

is also the dexter supporter of Sir Robert Hart, Bart., follows closely 
the Chinese model, and is without wings. 

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 



Fig. 431. — Cockatrice 

tail nowed. Both tJlese 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. 

The cockatrice is sometimes termed a basilisky 

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 Hydray or Seven-headed DragoHy as the crest, 
is ascribed to the families of Barret, Crespine, and 

The Cameiopard (Fig. 432), which is nothing 
more or less than an ordinary giraffe, must be 
properly included amongst mythical animals, be- 
cause 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 cameiopard, 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 incon- 
siderable 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 

Fig. 432. — Cameiopard. 


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 inclu- 
sion in the arms of the University of Birmingham. 
It will also be found as the crest of Rutherford 
and many other families. 

The Melusinej Le, a mermaid with two tails dis- 
posed on either side, though not unknown in 
British heraldry, is more frequent in German. 

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 

Fig. 433. — Merman. 

Fig. 434. — Mermaid. 

Fig. 435. — Sphinx. 

Fig. 436. — Centaur. 

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 {¥\g, 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 


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-Wolfy 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 


forehead, with bat's wings to the head sable, expanded on each 

Many mythical animals can be more conveniently considered under 
their natural counterparts. Of these the notes upon the heraldic ante- 
lope 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 re- 
ferred to under the sub-heading of stags. The 
two-headed lion, the double-queued lion, the lion 
queue-fourche, the sea-lion (which is sometimes 
found winged) are all included in the chapter 
upon lions, as are also the winged lion and the 
Fig 4^7 ^^lamander ^^^^-^^^^^^' 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. 

The arms of Challoner afford an instance of the Sea-Wolf, the crest 
of that family being ; '< A demi-sea-wolf rampant or." Guillim, how- 
ever (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 Phoenix and the Double-headed Eagle will naturally be more con- 
veniently 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 dis- 
cover an instance of their use, and one is almost inclined to believe 
that they were invented by those mediaeval writers of prolific imagina- 
tion 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 

Fig. 438.— Enfield. 


to the body of a camel, I cannot call to mind any British instance 

of its use. 

The Amphiptere 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 amphipteres or," 

while they figure as supporters also in that family, 

and in those of the Dues de Tresmes and De 


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. 

The Amphisboena 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 amphisboenae 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, 

The Enfield (Fig. 438) is a purely fanciful 
animal, having the head of a fox, chest of a grey- 
hound, 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 Opiniciis (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 

Fig. 439. — Opinicus. 


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 

The Manticoray 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 Chailoup 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 objec- 
tion 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. 


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 appro- 
priated 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 Caesars, 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 require- 
ments, 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 (com- 
pared 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. 




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. Com- 
pare 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 
^ /• 1 \ X \ *' h.o?>Q " covering the upper 

/[K 1^^ C^^ P^^^ o^ ^^^ ^^§- 'The 

^ _ feathers of the tail spread 

Fig. 440. Fig. 441. Fig. 442. ^ • 1 1 • /t- \ 

out sicklewise (Fig. 441). 

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 Grunenberg's Wappenhnch (Constance, 1483) is 
reproduced the shield (Fig. 443) with the boldly sketched Adlerflugel 
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. Str5hl 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 

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 sporadi- 
cally 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. 

It may perhaps be as well to point out, with the exception of the two 

BIRDS 235 

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 em- 
ployed without any additional 
distinctive terms of variation in 
official blazons and emblazon- 
ments. Nor can one obtain 
any certain information from 
a reference to the real eagle, 
for the result of careful observa- 
tion would seem to show that 
in the first stroke of the wings, 
when rising from the ground, the 
wings pass through every posi- ^ 

,. ^r XI -J X X X 1- J Fig. 443.— Arms of Duke of Calabria. 

tion 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 unsatis- 
factory, because in these 
days of necessary differenti- 
ation no heraldic artistof any 
appreciable knowledge or 
abilityhas claimedtheliberty 
(which certainly hasnot been 
officially conceded)to depict 
an eagle rising with wings 
elevated and displayed, 
when it has been granted 
^ , ^^ , with the wings in the posi- 

•Eagle of Tyrol. ^ ^ 

tion addorsed and mverted. 
Such a liberty when the wings happen to be charged, as they so fre- 
quently are in m.odern English crests, must clearly be an impossibility. 

Fig. 444. 


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/' fol- 
lowed by -the necessary de- 
scription 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 elabora- 
tion in the last four hundred 
years have made this impos- 
sible. It is foolish to over- 
look 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. 445. — Arms of the Prussian Province of Branden- 
burg. (From Strohl's Deutsche Wappenrolle.) 

Fig. 446.— Eagle close. 

Fig. 447. — Eagle rising, wings Fig. 448. — Eagle rising, wings 
elevated and addorsed. addorsed and inverted. 

(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. 

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, bezante "] displayed upon p^^ o-^aienin 

the breast of an eagle ; but no properly authenti- wings displayed and 

cated contemporary instance of the use of this averted. 

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 

Fig. 450.— Eagle rising, wings 
elevated and displayed. 

Fig. 452. — Eagle displayed 
with wings inverted. 

Fig. 453. — Arms of Ralph de 
Monthermer, Earl of Glou- 
cester and Hereford : Or, an 
eagle vert. (From his seal, 

Fig. 454. — Arms of Piers de 
Gaveston, Earl of Cornwall 
{d. 131 2); Vert, six eagles 

Fig. 455. — Double- 
headed eagle dis- 

controversy, the tale one is usually taught to believe being that it 
originated in the dimidiation upon one shield of two separate coats 

Fig. 456. — Napoleonic 


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. 

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 Caesars 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." 

Fig. 457. — Eagle's head 

BIRDS 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 ' "1 
Parts of an eagle are almost as frequently met with as the entire 
bird. Eagles' heads (Fig. 457) abound as crests (they can be distin- 
guished from the head of a griffin by the fact 
that the latter has always upstanding ears). 

Unless otherwise specified [e,g, the crest of 
the lat€ 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. 

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 wall be found in saltire, but such a disposition is most unusual. 
Single wMngs, 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 

Fig. 458. — A pair of 
wings conjoined in 

Fig. 459. — An eagle's 
leg erased a la quise. 


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, 

Eagles' legs are by no means an infrequentjk' 
charge. They will usually be found erased at the 
thigh, for which there is a recognised term '^ erased 
a 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. 

A curious form of the eagle is found in the 
alerioHy 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 
Planche has pointed out, this is as perfect an example of a ganting 
anagram as can be met with in armory. 

The Phoenix (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. With- 
out its fiery surroundings it would cease to be 
a phoenix. On the other hand, though it is always depicted as a 
demi'MwA (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 phoenix issuant from flames of 
fire "]. 

The Osprey may perhaps be here mentioned, because its heraldic 

Fig. 460. — Phoenix. 

BIRDS 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 heraldic- 
ally 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. 

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 p^^ ztei^F I 
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 



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 
\J* 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. 
The Pelican, with its curious heraldic repre- 
sentation and its strange terms, may almost be 
considered an instance of the application of the 
existing name of a bird to an entirely fanciful 
^'''- '^herVirty!'^'' '" 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 

In heraldic and ecclesiastical symbolism the pelican has acquired 
a somewhat sacred character as typical of maternal solicitude. It 

BIRDS 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 
f" Per fess sable and ars^ent, an ostrich counter- ^ ^ ^ . , 

1 J t- ij- • -x u 1 t. i_ MT Fig. 463.— Ostrich. 

changed, holdmg m its beak a horse-shoe or J. 

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 per- 
petuated 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 

Fig. 464. — Dove. 


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 con- 
tinually 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." 

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 Httle 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 live 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 "]. 

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 repre- 
sented 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 

Fig. 465. — Martlet. 

Fig. 466. — Martlet 

BIRDS 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, per- 
force, 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. 

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. 

i It is very seldom that the martlet occurs except close, and conse- 
quently 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 SwalloWf as distinct from the martlet, is 
sometimes met with. 

A swallow 'Wolant" appears upon the arms 
usually ascribed to the town of Arundel. These, 
however, are not recorded as arms in the Visita- 
tion 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 
" I'hirondelle " was too good for ancient heralds to pass by. 

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 

Fig. 467. — Swan. 

Fig. 468.— Cock. 


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. 

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 

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 affronte, 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 

Fig. 469. — Peacock in 
his pride. 

Fig. 470. — Crane in its 

BIRDS 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. 

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 1 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 deriva- 
tion of the word " pedigree " is from pied de grue^ 

Fig. 47 1 -—Stork holding ^j^g appearance of a crane's foot and the branching 

in Its beak a snake. . \^ ... . . 

lines indicative of issue being similar in shape. 

Heraldic representation makes little if any difference when depict- 
ing 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 heraldic- 
ally, the Heme (Fig. 472) — will naturally be found in the arms of 
Hearne and some number of other coats and crests. 

Fig. 472. — Heron. 

Fig. 473. — Raven. 

dm}ft\ UtrtU 


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 ad- 
ditional 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 

'Fig. 474 is a striking example of the 
virility which can be imparted to the raven. 
It is reproduced from Griinenberg's <^ Book 
of Arms" (1483). Strohl 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. 

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 creykesy 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 repre- 
sentations 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. 

Fig. 474. 

BIRDS 249 

775^ Owl (Fig. 475), too, is a very favourite bird. It is always 
depicted with the face affronte, 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 

77i^ Lark will be found in many cases of arms or crests for families 
of the name of Clarke. 

The Parroty or, as it is more frequently termed heraldically, the 
Popinjay (Fig. 476), will be found in the arms of Lumley and other 

Fig. 47$. — Owl. 

Fig. 476. — Popinjay. 

Fig. 477. — Moorcock. 

families. It also occurs in the arms of Curzon : *^ Argent, on a bend 
sable three popinjays or, collared gules." 

There is nothing about the bird, or its representations, which needs 
special remark, and its usual heraldic form follows nature pretty 

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 inter- 
changeable from the heraldic point of view. The bird is always 
represented with the head and body of an ordinary cock, but some- 
times 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 

The Lapwtngj under its alternative names of Peewhtty Plover, and 
Tyrwhitty will be found in the arms of Downes, Tyrwhitt, and Tweedy. 

The Pheasant will be found in the crest of Scott-Gatty , and the King- 
fisher in many cases of arms of the name of Fisher. 


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. 

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- 

^"fo-r''/fa«"'of e!S feather badges of the English Royal Family, and 

the Black Prince {d. will be more conveniently dealt with later when 

c^/rkh feather with considering the subject of badges. The single 

scrolls argent. (From feather cnfiled by the circlet of crosses patee and 

buVcathedrai.) ^" ^^' fleurs-de-Hs, 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 [^^ i. 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 

BIRDS 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 Barne- 
wall ^ 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 

* Upon a wreath of the colours, from a plume of five ostrich feathers or, gules, azure, vert, and 
argent, a falcon rising of the last ; with the motto, " Malo mori quam foedari." 


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." 



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 dis- 
tinctive 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, an'd 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 FvdincQ purchasedihQ 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 terri- 
torial 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 


Fig. 479. — Dolphin 

Fig. 480. — Dolphin 


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 DalfEn (Fig. 481). 

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 de- 
picted straight, it is always understood to be and usually is termed 
** embowed," though it will generally be 
'^ naiant embowed " (Fig. 479), or '* hau- 
riant 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 

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 Fig. 481.— Arms of the Grauff 
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. 
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," 

von Dalffin lett och in Dalffinat 
(Count von Dalffin), which also 
lies in Dauphine (from Grunen- 
berg's "Book of Arms"): 
Argent, a dolphin azure within 
a bordure compony of the first 
and second. 

FISH 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 un- 
matriculated, 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,^ 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 en- 
grailed 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 tete 
a 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 

^ Armorial bearings of Peebles (official blazon) : Gules, three salmon naiant in pale, the centre 
towards the dexter, the others towards the sinister. Motto : " Contra nando incrementum." 


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 
o "T!rt^ „ ,. „ or hakes hauriant argent " is the coat of arms 

Fig. 482. — Whelk shell. , ., , ^ r -i r -r^ -r^ , ^ 

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. 



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 ex- 
ception of serpents (of various kinds), the remainder must have no 
more than a passing mention. 

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 ^sculapius, 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, how- 
ever, 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 

257 R 

Fig. 483. — Serpent 


quarter of their shield : ^' Vert, three lizards in pale or." The family 
of Cole bear : " Argent, a chevron gules between three scorpions re- 
versed sable/' a coat of arms which is sometimes quoted with the 
chevron and the scorpions both gules or both sable. The family of 
Freed 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 steUion serpent proper," though what the creature may be it is im- 
possible to imagine. Unfortunately, when one comes to examine so 
many of these curious coats of arms, one finds no evidence that such 
famines existed, or that there is no official authority or record of the 
arms to w'hich 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, clou^ 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 charm- 
ing 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. 

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 

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.) 


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 
McCarthy, 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 tlieir 
arms from some such source. 



THE insect which is most usually met with in heraldry is un- 
doubtedly 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 arriere" (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 

Fig. 485. — Bee volant. 

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 seme 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, seme of bees or, was added as 
indicative of their rank to the arms of '^ Princes-Grand-Dignitarics 
of the Empire." A bee-hive occurs as the crest of a family named 
Gvvatkin, and also upon the arms of the family of Kettle of Wolver- 



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 Wood- 
ward 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 Pap worth 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 counter- 
changed "], 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 arriere 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 arriere, 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 scarabaeus proper." 

Woodward, in concluding his chapter upon insects, quotes the arms 
of the family of Pullici of Verona, viz. : '' Or, sem6 of fleas sable, two 
bends gules, surmounted by two bends sinister of the same." 




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." 
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, there- 
from 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 w^ith three imperial crowns of the - third " 
(Plate II.). 

Fir-Trees will be found in the arms of Greg, Melles, De la Ferte, 
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 


486. — An oak-tree 


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 Grimke-Drayton affords an instance 
of the use of palmetto-trees. An Olive-Trce 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, pro- 
bably 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 i8o8, 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 Arkwrighf 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 
1 591 to Dr. Lopus, a physician to Queen Elizabeth, were : '' Or, a 


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 

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 Houlds worth 
(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 sprout- 
ing 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 unsuita- 
bility, 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 uncom- 
mon. They figure in the arms of the Borough of WoodvStock : ^' 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 over- 
spreading 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 


are also met with, as in the crests of Daiibeney 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 wdth 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.^ 

Oak-SlipSj 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- 

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 

^ Arms of Accrington : Gules, on a fess argent, a shuttle fesswise proper, in base two printing 
cylinders, issuant therefrom a piece of calico (parsley pattern) also proper, on a chief per pale or 
and vert, a lion rampant purpure and a stag current or ; and for the crest, an oak-branch bent 
chevronwise, sprouting and leaved proper, fructed or. Motto : " Industry and prudence conquer." 


holding a sprig of the tea-plant erect, and the other a hke sprig of 
the cotfee-plant both sUpped 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 Walsing- 
ham, 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 


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 de- 
scribed 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, 

Fig. 487.— Trefoil. 

Fig. 488.— Quatrefoil. 

Fig. 489. — Cinquefoil. 

Dobree, MacDermott, and Gilmour. The crowned trefoil is one of 
the national badges of Ireland. 

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 ex- 
ceedingly 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 attri- 
buted 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 


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 Bello- 
mont or De Beaumont than of Montfort. From the similarity of 
the charge to the better-known Beaumont arms, I am inclined to 
think the Hon 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 Petron- 
illa, the heiress of Grantmesnil. The cinque- 
FiG. 490.— From the seal of foil was not the coat of Grantmcsnil but a 
^i^c^llt^tllt'^"'^''^ 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 Eng- 
land 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. 

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, gutte- 
de-poix "]. 

Fig. 491. — Rose. 


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. , I 

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 ^'conven- 
tional" 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 accus- 
tomed 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. 

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 con- 
ventionality of earlier heraldic art was slowly begin- 
^'''' ^andTe^ved.'^'^^'"^ ^^i"g ^^ givc 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 else- 
where) 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 


have a leaf on either side. A rose ^' stalked and leaved " is not so 
hmited, 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-Thom- 
son. A curious instance of the use of the rose will 
be found in the crest of Bewley, and the ^' culti- 
vated" rose was depicted in the emblazonment 
of the crest of Inverarity, which is a rose-bush 

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 bare- 
footed 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 

Fig. 493.— Thistle. 


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 martjrdom 
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 xvith 
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 Chadvvick. 
It also occurs in the arms of the College of St. Mary the Virgin, at 
Eton [" Sable, three lifies 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 eradi- 
cated 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 Gillyfloivers in 
the arms of Livingstone. Fraises — really the flowers of the strawberry- 
plant — occur, as has been already mentioned, in the arms of Eraser, 
and Narcissus Flowers in the arms of Lambeth. '^ Gules, three poppy 
bolles on their stalks in fess or " are the arms of Boiler. 

The Lotus-Flower^ which is now very generally becoming the recog- 
nised emblem of India, is constantly met with in the arms granted to 


in that country. In- 
Sir Roper Lethbridge, 
and the University of 

of General Sir Henry 


those who have won fortune or reputation 
stances in which it occurs are the arms of 
K.C.I.E., Sir Thomas Seccombe, G.C.I.E., 

The Sylphium-Plant occurs in the arms 
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 
I. (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 

proper. Crests 

Motto : 

" Vin- 

FiG. 494. — Fleur-de-lis. 

arms of 

fesswise sable, thereon an ostrich 
ing in the beak a horse-shoe or. 
cere 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 wdth daisies proper. 

Primroses occur (as was only 
the Earl of Rosebery [^^ Vert, 

to be expected) 
three primroses 

in the 

within a double tressure flory counterflory or "]. 

The Sunflower or Marigold occurs in the crest of Buchan [<' A sun- 
flower in full bloom towards the sun in the dexter chief "], and also 
in the arms granted in 16 14 to Florio. Here, however, the flower is 
termed a heUotrope. 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 Bluehoitle 
in the arms of Chorley of Chorley, Lanes. [" Argent, a chevron gules 
between three bluebottles slipped proper"], and also in the more 
modern arms of that town. 

Safl'ron- 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 
exploded legend that the fleurs-de-lis 

ridiculousness the long since 
in the arms of France were a 


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 decora- 
tion. 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 coin- 
cidence — 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 
,Galliae." 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-Hs 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 tradi- 
tion 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 " w^as 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 Hkely to be a corruption of ^' fleur-de-lois " as flower of the 
lily. The chief point is that the desire was to represent a /lower 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 



of Louis VII. bears a single fleur-de-lis " florenc^e " (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 appel^es sandales ou bottines de soye, 
couleur bleu azur^ s^m^e en moult endroits de fleurs-de-lys or, puis 
aussi sa dalmatique de meme couleur et ceuvre." 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 con- 
junction 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 seme of fleurs-de-lis of the conventional heraldic pattern. By 
then, of course, '^ Azure, seme-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, 
I and 4, azure, sem6-de-lis or (for France) ; 2 and 3, gules, three lions 
passant guardant in pale or (for England)." The Royal Arms thus 
remained until 141 1, 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 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 VIL in 
December 1429 to the brothers of Joan of Arc, and the following 
arms were then assigned to them : *^ Azure, a swt)rd 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 " florencee," or the '* fleur-de-lis flowered," as it is 
termed in England, is ofiicially 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 ** florencee," 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. 
Planch^ 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 decorafed with, the leopard's face. 
One can follow Planch^ a bit further by imagining that this face need 
not necessarily be that of a leopard, for at a certain period all deco- 
rative 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 


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 ot 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 " Hons' " faces {i.e, head de leo) may have been suggested by the 
name ? Possibly, however, wolf-heads may have been meant, suggested 
by lupusy or by the same analogy which gives us 
wolf-heads or wolves upon the arms of Low and 

Fruit — ^the remaining division of those charges 
which can be classed as belonging to the vege- 
table 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 f'^ Argent, 

Fig. 495. — Pomegranate. , ,ii ^i i ir 

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 ist 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 w^ith 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 


proper "], and also in the arms of Pyne ['' Gules, a chevron ermine 
between three pineapples or "] and Parkin-Moore, the fruit is the lir 
or pine cone. Latterly the Hkelihood 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. 
m 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, sup- 
porting 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 ' "]. 

Bean-Pods occur in the arms of Rise of Tre- 
wardreva, co. Cornwall ["Argent, a chevron gules 
between three bean-pods vert"], and Papworth ^uppedtritTed. 
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. 


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 cramponn^ 
sable "]. 

Garbsy 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 terri- 
torial or possibly the sovereign coat of that earl- 
dom. 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 garK vert "] 
and Kevilioc ['^ Azure, six garbs, three, two, and 
^ ^ one or "]. Grosvenor ['^ Azure, a garb or "1 is 

Fig. 497.— Garb. n x j j.t it -i i 

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 
w^hen he overthrew Harold at Hastings. It seems, therefore, rather im- 
probable 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 cele- 
brated 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 


* Gros ' means fat. Gilbert's nncle, 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 Gros- 
venor took for his arms one of the garbs of his kinsman, the Earl of 

" 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, more- 
over, 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 gms mean fat, and we have both forms 
in Grosvenor and Grasvenor. 

" A chief huntsman to Royalty wOuld have been Grandvenor, not 
Grosvenor or Grasvenor. 

<*A11 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 


the Tanners and the Grosvenors with our brand-new grant is Hke 
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, billett^ or "]. 

6*^55 is naturally presumed on the mounts vert which are so con- 
stantly met with, but more definite instances can be found in the arms 
of Sykes, HuUey, and Hill. 



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 intro- 
duced into a coat of arms or crest. One cannot usefully make a book 
on armory assume the character of a general encyclopaedia 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 % ; in the third and fourth a crescent all 
argent." Corporate arms (in England) afford an instance of alpha- 
betical letters in the case of the B's on the shield of Bermondsey. 

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. 


Fig. 498.— Anchor. 


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 

^,n m 

\^\ 'i=y 

1—1= T l-i 

P:| 1 =rt 


^ S=l^ 



\ 3^^S^ 


\ ^1mRT= 


\ rl^^^r^ 


Fig. 499. — Castle. 

Fig. 500. — Tower. 

Fig. 501. — Tower triple- 

now always adhered to. When either castle or tower is surmounted 
by smaller towers (as Fig. 501) it is termed "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 w^ith earth, and were used in the con- 
struction 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 Leth- 
bridge bear a bridge, and this charge figures in a number of other 

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 monas- 
tery argent "]. A somewhat isolated instance of a Temple occurs in 
the shield of Templer. 1 

A curious canting grant of arms may be seen in that to the town 
of Eccles, in w^hich the charge is an Ecclesiastical Btiilditjg, and similar 


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 patee 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 

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 

Fig. 502.— Pheon. 

Fig. 503.— Broad arrow. Fig. 504.— Battle-axe. Fig. 505.— Caltrap, 

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. 50 5)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 


the case of the family of Guetteville de Guenonville, who bore for 
arms : ^' D'argent, sem^e 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 

Fig. ;o6. — Portcullis. 

Fig. 507. — Beacon. 

Fig. 508.— Grenade. 

first "]. The disposition of the chains is a matter always left to the 
discretion of the artist. 

Examples of Beacons (Fig. 507) are furnished by the achievements 
of the family of Compton and of the town of Wolverhampton, k 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, 
I 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 


Among the more recent grants Cannon have figured, as in the case 
of the Filter 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." 

The Column appears as a crest in the achievement of Coles. Be- 
tween two cross crosslets it occurs in the arms of Adam of Maryburgh 
['^Vert, a Corinthian column with capital and base in pale proper, 

Fig. 509. — Scaling ladder. FiG. 510. — Lance or javelin. 

Fig. 511. — Tilting-spear. 

between two cross crosslets fitchee 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. 

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 Fig. 512. 
ordinary ladder ; '' Gules, a ladder of four steps in William Shake- 

J ' . * speare the poet (<•/. 

pale argent." A further instance of this form of 1616): Or, on a 
the charge occurs in the Swiss shield of Laiterberg : sp\"aV'onhe''fieir 
^' Argent, two ladders in saltire gules." 

Spears and Spear-Heads are to be found in the arms of niany 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 w^ith 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 


at its point by an annulet argent " represents the French family of 

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." 

Stones are even more rare, though a solitary example may be 
quoted in the arms of Staniland : Per pale or and vert, a pale counter- 
changed, three eagles displayed two and one, and as many flint-stones 
one and two all proper. The "vigilance" of the crane has been 

Fig. 513.— Spur. 

Fig. 5 14. — Winged spur. 

Fig. 515. — Sword. 

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 balistce, 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." 

Swordsy 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 Haddocks and Lewis. Swords frequently figure, too, 
in the hands or paws of supporters, accordingly as the latter are 
human figures or animals, w^hilst 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 


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 utili- 
tarian 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 "]. 

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 

Fig. 516. — Scymitar. 

Fig. 517.— Seax. 

Fig. 518.— Church-bell. 

Fig. 519.— Hawk's bell. 

tincture to that of the bell, as, for instance, ^' D' Azure, a la cloche 
d'argent, butaille [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 


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 some- 
what 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. 

Clips (covered) appear in the Butler arms, and 
derived therefrom in the arms of the town of War- 
rington. 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 

Fig. 520. — Oval buckle. 


. n 




Fig. 521. — Circular 

Fig. 522. — Square 

Fig. 523. — Lozenge- 
shaped buckle. 

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." 

The arms of both the city of Dundee and the University of 
Aberdeen afford instances of a Pot of LilieSy and Bowls occur in the arms 
of Bolding. 










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 bezants ; " 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. 


I ill illllil j 

Fig. 524. — Chess-rook. 

Fig. 525. — Crescent. 

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 ^Mecrescent " (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) 



Archbishops and MetropoUtans. 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 Palmers 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. 

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 

Fig. 527.— Decrescent. 

Fig. 528. — Crosier, or 
pastoral staff. 

Fig. 529. — Palmer's 


Fig. 530.— Shuttle. 

Fig. 531. — Woolpack. 

Fig. 532. — Escarbuncle. 

are frequently to be met with. The Earls of Moray bore : '* Argent, 
three cushions lozengewise within a double tressure flory-counterfiory 
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 


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 2^ 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. 

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 

Fig. 533. — Fasces. 

Fig. 534. — Fetterlock. 

Fig. 535. — Fleam. 

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. 

KeySf 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 achieve- 
ments of Graham- Wigan, and also in conjunction with keys in that of 
Flavel. In connection with certain other objects flames are common 
enough. The phoenix 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 187 1. A flaming mountain occurs as the crest of 
several families of the name of Grant. 


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. 

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) 


11 III 



Fig. 536. — Clarion. 

Fig. 537. — Bugle-horn. 

Fig. 538. — Bugle-horn 

also occurs <' stringed " (Fig. 538), and when the bands round it are 
of a different colour it is termed *' veruled " or ^^ virolled " of that 

The Human Hearty which should perhaps have been more correctly 
referred to in an earher 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 

Ingots of silver occur in the shield of the borough of St. Helens, 
whilst the family of WooUan 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 


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 

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). 

Fig. 539. — Maunch. 

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." 

Symbols connected with the Sacred Passion — other than the cross 
itself — are not of very general use in armory, though there are instances 

Fig. 540.— Gauntlet. 

Fig. 541. — Morion. 

Fig. 542. — Mill-rind. 

of the Passion-Nails being used, as, for example, in the shield of Procter 
viz. : " Or, three passion-nails sable." 

PeltSy 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. 

Fig. 543. — Lymphad, 
sail furled. 


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 de- 
picting 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 Lochj 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." 

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, 

A modern form of ship in the shape of a Yacht may be seen in the 
arms of Ryde ; while two Scottish famihes 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, w^e may note the 
appropriate use of a Steamer in the arms of Barrow- 
in-Furness. The curious figure of the lion dimi- 
diated 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 

Fig. 544. — Rainbow. 


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. 

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 

Fig. 545.— Estoile. 

Fig. 546.— Mullet (Scottish 

Fig. 547. — Mullet pierced 
(Scottish spur-revel). 

been followed officially. In England stars under that name are practi- 
cally unknown. When the rays are w^avy 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 


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 

Fig. 548. — Mullet of six 

Fig. 549.— Mullet of eight 

Fig. 550. — Sua in 

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. 

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. 


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, travel- 
ling 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 minutiae of detail. 

The Archbishopric of York has the well-known coat: ** Gules, two 
keys in saltire argent, in chief a regal crown proper." 


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 lin 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 Eraser 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 sued 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-patee, 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 : 


'< 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, sur- 
mounted 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. 

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." 

^00^5 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 

■ ^ {-M^i pTn-l occur in the arms of the Universities of both 

S) cSS_^Q_S_3 ^x^o^<^ ^"<^ Cambridge, and in many other uni- 
versity and collegiate achieve- 

Buckets and Water-bougets 
(Fig. 551) can claim a wide 
use. In English armory Pem- 
berton has three buckets, and 
water-bougets appear in the 
Fig. S52^-Arms of Henry well-known arms of Bourchier 

Bourchier, barl or bssex, 

Water - bougets, 

Fig. 551. — Water- 

m^ \0k DP DP- 

K.G. : Quarterly, i and (Fig. 552). 

4, argent, a cross en- 
grailed gules, between 
four water-bougets sable 
(for Bourchier) ; 2 and 3, 
gules, billette or, a fess 
argent (for Lou vain). 
(From his seal.) 

Fig. 553. — Escallop. 

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. 
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," w^hile 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 


be seen on the shields of many famihes at the period of the Crusades. 
Many other families have adopted them, in the hope of a similar inter- 
pretation being applied to the appearance of them in their own arms. 

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 horse- 
shoes 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." 

^i<^- 555-— Arms of the Great Central Rail- 
way : 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, be- 
tween 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, 1 898. ] 

Indeed, so numerous are the cases in which they occur that a few 
representative ones must suffice. 

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 


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 in- 
stance 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 

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. 

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 : 

Fig. 556. — Catherine 

Fig. 557. — Staple. 

Fig. 558. — Hawk's Lure. 

Fig. 559.— Fylfot. 

" 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 Scisso7^s : "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, gutte-de-sang, a 


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. 



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 affronts ; 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 affronte. Until recent 
years certain stereotyped forms of the helmet for these varying cir- 
cumstances 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 com- 
paratively 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 circum- 
stances 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 mediaeval 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. 

To the modern mind, which grumbles at the weight of present-day 



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 hehnet, 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 J 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 elBgy, 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, 

Fig. 560. 

Fig. 562. 

Fig. 561. 


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 

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 

Fig. 563. 

Fig. 564. 

Fig. 565. 

Fig. 566. 

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 ^^ 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 

Fig. 567. 

Fig. 568 

Fig. 569.— Painted " Pot- 
Helmet," c. 1241. 

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, how- 
ever, 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, 
^';?'^vVm^°^"^^'"'^v^'^T^^^ and Fig. 569 represents an instance which 

iLtieit of Hemrich von Veldeke. c> o y r 

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 


are the helmets which we find on early seals and effigies, as will be 
seen from Figs. 571-574. 

The cylindrical or '< pot-shaped " helmet of the Plantagenets, how- 
ever, disappears in the latter part of the thirteenth century, when we 
first find mention of the *^ bascinet " (from Old French for a basin), Figs. 

Fig. 571. — Helmet of Hamelin, Earl of 
Surrey and Warenne {d. 1202). (From 
MS. Cott., Julius, C. vii.) 

Fig. 572.— From the seal of Richard de 
Clare, Earl of Gloucester and Hertford 
{d. 1262). 

Fig. 573, — From the seal of John de War- 
enne, Earl of Surrey {d. 1305). 

Fig. 574.— From the seal (1315) of John 
de Bretagne, Earl of Richmond. 

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 


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 through- 
out 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. 

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 141 7, 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 Francisco- 

FiG. 577. 

Fig. 578. 

Fig. 579. 


Carolinum Museum at Linz, was dredged out of the Traun, and is un- 
fortunately 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. 

The so-called " Pranker-Helm " (Fig. 586), from the chapter of 
Seckau, now in the collection of armour in the Historical Court Museum 

Fig. 580. 

Fig. 581. 

Fig. 582. 

Fig. 583. 

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 



Figs. 584 and 585.— The " Linz" Pot-Helmet. 


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 
iront of the bascinet. 
This fashion, however, 
does not appear to have 
been adopted in Eng- 
land, but was peculiar 
to Germany, Austria, &c. 
None of these contriv- 
ances 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 rela- 
tion was probably never used in actual war- 
fare. 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 direc- 
tion. 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 

Fig. 587. 

Fig. 586.— Pranker-Helm. 

Fig. 591. — German Tiliin^ Armour, 1480, from the 
Collection in the Museum at Vienna. 

Fig. 592. — Tihini;;- Helmet of 
Sir John Gostwick, 1541. 

Fig. 588. 


1 430- 1 45 o ; the chin-piece retaining the name of '< barbute," after 

the bascinet had gone out of fashion. 

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 


The manner in which the helmet was con- 
nected 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 Porifolioy No. 33. The visor opening 
on the right side of the helmet is evidently 
taken from an Italian model. 

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 pro- 
tected by a sort of wire-work, like a fencing- 
mask. It was only used for the tourney or 
melee, when the weapons were the sword and 

The '^ chapelle-de-fer," which was in use 
in the , thirteenth, fourteehth, and fifteenth 

centuries, ' was a light iron head-piece, with a broad, flat brim, 

somewhat turned down. Fig. 593 represents one belonging to the 

Fig. 589. 

Fig. 590. 

Fig. 593. 


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 ^'schal- 
lern," the form of which was probably sug- 
gested by the chapelle-de-fer. Both of these 
were called by the French 
"salade," whence our Eng- 
lish ^^ 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. 

The " schallern " (from shakf 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. '^ bea- 
ver"), 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 exist- 
ing sallads, though often seen in sculpture. 

The schale, schallern (schekrn), or sallad, either with or without a 

Fig. 594. 

Fig. 595. 

Fig. 596. 

Fig. 597. 


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 draw- 
ing in the Fest- 
Buck of Paulus 
Kel, a MS. now in 
the Royal Library 
at Munich. This 
shows the schal- 
lern with the slit 
for seeing through, 
and the fixed neck- 

guafd. The " bart," '^ baviere," 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-crow^ned 

golden lion of the Palatinate 

within the wings of the curi- 
ously disposed Bavarian tinc- 
tures. 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 

Deufscher Heroldf 1892, No. 2. 
Until almost the middle of 

the fifteenth century all hel- 
mets fitted on the top of the 

head, or were put right over ; 

but about 1440 the Itahans 

made a great improvement by 

inventing the ^' armet," the 

lower part of which opened 

out w^ith 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 

Fig. 598. — Schallern, with Crest of Bavaria (Duke 
Ludwig of Bavaria, 1449). 


cheek-pieces. The earher armets, Hke 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 reinforc- 
ing-piece on the forehead, and a removable visor. Date 1 450-1 480. 
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 
1 480-1 500. 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 mentonniere, 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 15 10-1525. 
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 en- 
graved 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 1 550-1 570. 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 


called by that name in Italy, It was completed by a << buffe/' or chin- 
piece, similar to the bavier. 

During this century the '^ morion/' really an improved " chapelle- 

FiG. 603. 

Fig. 604. 

Fig. 605. 

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 

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, de- 
veloping shortly afterwards into the form of Fig. 607, which has a 
lattice-work visor. The former figure, the *' grid-iron " helmet, is a 

Fig. 606.— " Grid-iron " Helmet 
(fifteenth century). 


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 Niirnberg. 
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 decora- 
tive 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. 

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 heraldic- 
ally 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 

Fig. 599. — Schallern (end of fifteenth century). 

Fig. 607. — Helmet, with Latticed Visor (end of 
fifteenth century). 






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 

Fig. 608. — Pageant Helmet, with the Crest of Burgau. 

Fig. 609. — Pageant Helmet, with the Crest 
of Austria (ancient) or Tyrol. 

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. 

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 



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 Ex- 
posure of Arms and Crest, drawn up by Rene, Duke of Anjou, King 
of Sicily and Jerusalem," from Menetrier's VOrigin des Armoiries. The 
rules to be complied with are there set out. Fig. 12 herein is a repre- 
sentation 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 con- 
tinued 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 gentil- 
hommes. 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 timbrees to any who 
were not noble by birth." The grilles of the helmet produced with 
the old French heralds the opportunity of a minutiae 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 


country shall be of gold, placed in an affronts 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 Hmits considerable latitude 
is allowed, and even in official grants of arms, which, as far as em- 
blazonment goes, are very much of a stereotyped style, actual un- 
varying 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 16 15. In the Visitations but few instances can be 
found in which the arms of peers are included. Peers were not com- 
pelled 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, how- 
ever, 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 distin- 
guishing mark of a peer in this country between the years 1587 and 
16 15. The introduction of the open full-faced helmet as indicative 
of knight or baronet is known to date from about the period of the 

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 affronts, 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 


affronts 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 de- 
picting 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, w^hich 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 affronte 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 ever3'where 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 


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 affronts 
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 affronts 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 affronts ; 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 ridi- 
culous anomalies. And whilst one generation of a family has an 
affronte 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 affronts 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 affronts 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 stand- 



point ; 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 augmenta- 
tions 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 unalter- 
able 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 recog- 
nised 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 


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 con- 
sideration 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 affronte, 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 
affronte ; 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 VIL'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 im 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 
confrere 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 


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 ecclesi- 
astics, 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 mihtary tenure, naturally retained the full 
knightly insignia." 

In official English heraldry, there is a certain amount of confirma- 
tion 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 emblazon- 
ment 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 ecclesi- 
astic 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 


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 emblazon- 
ment 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. 


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 con- 
jecture 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 import- 
ance, 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 gei]^ral principles which no 
authentic instance known can be said to reTute. 

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. 



The helmet of PhiUppe 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 develop- 
ment 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 kepis of commis- 
sionaires, and the smasher hats of Colonial irregulars wdth cocks' feathers, 
the hat of the poacher and gamekeeper with a pheasant's feather, led 
unquestionably to the ^Mecoration " 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 than 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 crowMi-^lates 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 


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 unhesitat- 
ingly 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 

Fig. 6io. — From the seal 
(1301) of Richard Fitz- 
Alan, Earl of Arundel. 

Fig. 611. — From the seal (1301) 
of Humphrey de Bohm, Earl 
of Hereford. 

Fig. 612. — From the seal 
(1305) of Edward of Car- 
narvon, Prince of Wales. 

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. 

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. 6.1 0-6 1 2 are instances of helmets having these fans, All are 


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 

Fig. 613. — Arms cf the family of 

Schaler (Basle) : Gules, a bend of 

lozenges argent. (From the Zurich 
Roll of Arms.) 

Fig. 614. — Modern reverse of the Common 
Seal of the City of London (1539). 

(c. 1340), which shows a fan of this character upon which the entire 
Luttrell arms are depicted. 

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 


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 culmina- 
tion 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 objection- 
able 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 resusci- 
tation 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. 


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 other- 
wise 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 indeter- 
minate 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 vary- 
ing 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 affronts 
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 pur- 
poses that weight could be endured. Half-a-dozen courses down the 
barriere 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 



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 outhne 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 compara- 
tively 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 
a Voutrance seldom occurred, and though trial by combat remained 
upon the statute-book until the 59 Geo. III., it was seldom invoked. 
Tournaments w^ere 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 cere- 
monial, and in all its details was ordered by such strict regulations, 
rules, and supervision that its importance and its position in the public 
and ofticial estimate was far in advance of its present-day equivalents. 


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. 

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 repre- 
sentations 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 per- 
formance 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 


the helmet which the fan of earher 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 efBgy 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 

Fig. 615. — Crest of Roger de 
Quincey, Earl of Winchester 
(d. 1264). (From his seal.) 

Fig. 616.— Crest of Thomas, Earl 
of Lancaster. (From his seal, 

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. Tourna- 
ments 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. 


Crests appear to have come into wider and more general use in Ger- 
many 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. 

The actual tournament crests were made of light material, paste- 
board, 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 

Fig. 617.— Crest of William de Fig. 618. — Crest of Thomas de Mowbray, 

Montagu, Earl of Salisbury Earl of Nottingham, and Earl Marshal. 

{d. I344). (From his seal.) (From a drawing of his seal, 1389 : MS 

Cott., Julius, C. vii.) 

this, there can be little doubt, was never carried in battle or tourna- 
ment, and is no more than a ceremonial crest made for the funeral 

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 


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, how^ever, 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 w^hilst 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 confirma- 
tions 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-con- 
victed 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 Visita- 
tions 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. 

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 usC; 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 elabo- 
rated, 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 stereo- 
typed 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 dis- 
cussion 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 


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 regime 
result in the grant of at any rate a quite unobjectionable crest, never- 
theless 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 ademi-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 entiled 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 familiae." 

Crest of Glasford, Scotland : " Issuing from clouds two hands conjoined grasp- 
ing a caducous ensigned with a cap of liberty, all between two cornucopias all 
proper. Motto : " Prisca fides." 

We now come to the subject of the inheritance of crests, concern- 
ing which there has been much difference of opinion. 

It is very usually asserted that until a comparatively recent date 
crests were not hereditary, but were assumed, discarded, and changed 
at pleasure. Like many other incorrect statements, there is a certain 
modicum of truth in the statement, for no doubt whilst arms themselves 


had a more or less shifting character, crests were certainly not " fixed " 
to any greater extent. 

But I think no one has as yet discovered, or at any rate brought into 
notice, the true facts of the case, or the real position of the matter, 
and I think I am the first to put into print what actually were the 
rules which governed the matter. The rules, I believe, were un- 
doubtedly these : — 

Crests were, save in the remote beginning of things heraldic, 
definitely hereditary. They were hereditary even to the extent (and 
herein lies the point which has not hitherto been observed) that they 
were transmitted by an heiress. Perhaps this heritabihty was limited 
to those cases in which the heiress transmitted the de facto headship of 
her house. We, judging by present laws, look upon the crest as a part 
of the one heraldic achievement inseparable from the shield. What 
proof have we that in early times any necessary connection between arms 
and crest existed ? We have none. The shield of arms was one inherit- 
ance, descending by known rules. The crest was another, but a separate 
inheritance, descending equally through an heir or coheir-general. 
The crest was, as an inheritance, as separate from the shield as were the 
estates then. The social conditions of life prevented the possibility of 
the existence or inheritance of a crest where arms did not exist. But 
a man inheriting several coats of arms from different heiress ancestresses 
could marshal them all upon one shield, and though we find the heir 
often made selection at his pleasure, and marshalled the arms in various 
methods, the determination of which was a mere matter of arbitrary 
choice, he could, if he wished, use them all upon one shield. But he 
had but one helmet, and could use and display but one crest. So that, 
if he had inherited two, he was forced to choose which he would 
use, though he sometimes tried to combine two into one device. It is 
questionable if an instance can be found in England of the regular 
display of two helmets and crests together, surmounting one shield, 
before the eighteenth century, but there are countless instances of the 
contemporary but separate display of two different crests, and the 
Visitation Records afford us some number of instances of this tacit 
acknowledgment of the inheritance of more than one crest. 

The patent altering or granting the Mowbray crest seems to me 
clear recognition of the right of inheritance of a crest passing through 
an heir female. This, however, it must be admitted, may be really no 
more than a grant, and is not in itself actual evidence that any crest 
had been previously borne. My own opinion, however, is that it is 
fair presumptive evidence upon the point, and conveys an alteration 
and not a grant. 

The translation of this Patent (Patent Roll 339, 17 Ric. II. pt. i, 


memb. 2) is as follows : '' The King to all to whom; &c.; Greeting, 
Know that whereas our well-beloved and faithful kinsman, Thomas, 
Earl-Marshal and Earl of Nottingham, has a just hereditary title to 
bear for his crest a leopard or with a white label; which should be of 
right the crest of our eldest son if we had begotten a son. We, for 
this consideration, have granted for us and our heirs to the said Thomas 
and his heirs that for a difference in this crest they shall and may bear 
a leopard, and in place of a label a crown argent, without hindrance 
from us or our heirs aforesaid. — In witness, &c. Witness the King at 
Westminster, the 12th day of January [17 Ric. II.]. By writ of Privy 

Cases will constantly be found in which the crests have been 
changed. I necessarily totally exclude from consideration crests which 
have been changed owing to specific grants, and also changes due to 
the discarding of crests which can be shown to have been borne with- 
out right. Changes in crests must also be disregarded where the 
differences in emblazonment are merely differences in varying designs 
of the same crest. Necessarily from none of these instances can a law 
of inheritance be deduced. But if other changes in the crests of im- 
portant families be considered, I think it will be very evident that 
practically the whole of these are due to the inheritance through 
heiresses or ancestresses of an alternative crest. It can be readily 
shown that selection played an important part in the marshalling of 
quarterings upon an escutcheon, and where important quarterings 
were inherited they are as often as not found depicted in the first 
quarter. Thus the Howards have borne at different periods the 
wings of Howard ; the horse of Fitzalan ; and the Royal crest 
granted to the Mowbrays with remainder to the heir general ; and 
these crests have been borne, as will be seen from the Garter plates, 
quite irrespective of what the surname in use may have been. Conse- 
quently it is very evident the crests were considered to be inherited 
with the representation of the different families. The Stourton crest 
was originally a stag's head, and is to be seen recorded in one of the 
Visitations, and upon the earliest seal in existence of any member of 
the family. But after the inheritance through the heiress of Le Moyne, 
the Le Moyne crest of the demi-monk was adopted. The Stanleys, 
Earls of Derby, whatever their original crest may have been, inherited 
the well-known bird and bantling of the family of Lathom. The Talbot 
crest was originally a talbot, and this is still so borne by Lord Talbot 
of Malahide : it was recorded at the Visitation of Dublin ; but the crest 
at present borne by the Earls of Shrewsbury is derived from the arms 
inherited by descent from Gwendolin, daughter of Rhys ap Griffith. 
The Nevill crest was a bull's head as it is now borne by the Marquess 


of Abergavenny, and as it will be seen on the Garter plate of William 
Nevill, Lord Fauconberg. An elder brother of Lord Fauconberg had 
married the heiress of the Earl of Salisbury, and was summoned to 
Parliament in her earldom. He quartered her arms, which appear 
upon his Garter plate and seal, in the first and fourth quarters of his 
shield, and adopted her crest. A younger son of Sir Richard Nevill, 
Earl of Salisbury, bore the same crest differenced by two annulets 
conjoined, which was the difference mark added to the shield. The 
crest of Bourchier was a soldan's head crowned, and with a pointed 
cap issuing from the crown, but when the barony of Bourchier passed 
to the family of Robsart, as will be seen from the Garter plate of Sir 
Lewis Robsart, Lord Bourchier, the crest of Bourchier was adopted 
with the inheritance of the arms and Barony of Bourchier. 

I am aware of no important case in English heraldry where the 
change has been due to mere caprice, and it would seem therefore 
an almost incontrovertible assertion that changes were due to inherit- 
ance, and if that can be established it follows even more strongly 
that until the days when armory was brought under rigid and official 
control, and even until a much later date, say up to the beginning 
of the Stuart period, crests were heritable through heiresses equally 
with quarterings. The fact that we find comparatively few changes 
considering the number of crests in existence is by no means a 
refutation of this theory, because a man had but one helmet, and was 
forced therefore to make a selection. Unless, therefore, he had a 
very strong inclination it would be more likely that he would select 
the crest he was used to than a fresh one. I am by no means certain 
that to a limited extent the German idea did not hold in England. 
This was, and is, that the crest had not the same personal character 
that was the case with the arms, but was rather attached to or an 
appanage of the territorial fief or lordship. By the time of the 
Restoration any idea of the transmission of crests through heiresses 
had been abandoned. We then find a Royal License necessary for the 
assumption of arms and crests. Since that date it has been and at the 
present time it is stringently held, and is the official rule, that no woman 
can bear or inherit a crest, and that no woman can transmit a right to 
one. Whilst that is the official and accepted interpretation of heraldic 
law upon the point, and whilst it cannot now be gainsaid, it cannot, 
however, be stated that the one assertion is the logical deduction of 
the other, for whilst a woman cannot inherit a lordship of Parliament, 
she undoubtedly can transmit one, together with the titular honours, 
the enjoyment of which is not denied to her. 

In Scotland crests have always had a very much less important 
position than in England. There has been little if any continuity 


with regard to them, and instances of changes for which caprice would 
appear to be the only reason are met with in the cases of a large 
proportion of the chief families in that kingdom. To such a wide- 
spread extent has the permissive character been allowed to the crest, 
that many cases will be found in which each successive matriculation 
for the head of the house, or for a cadet, has produced a change in 
the crest, and instances are to be found where the different crests 
are the only existing differences in the achievements of a number of 
cadets of the same family. At the present time, little if any objection 
is ever made to an entire and radical change in the crest — if this is 
wished at the time of a rematriculation — and as far as I can gather 
such changes appear to have always been permitted. Perhaps it may 
be well here to point out that this is not equivalent to permission to 
change the crest at pleasure, because the patent of matriculation until 
it is superseded by another is the authority, and the compulsory 
authority, for the crest which is to be borne. In Germany the crest 
has an infinitely greater importance than is the case with ourselves, 
but it is there considered in a large degree a territorial appanage, and 
it is by no means unusual in a German achievement to see several 
crests surmounting a single coat of arms. In England the Royal 
coat of arms has really three crests, although the crests of Scotland 
and Ireland are seldom used, which, it may be noted, are all in a 
manner territorial ; but the difference of idea with which crests are 
regarded in Germany may be gathered from the fact that the King 
of Saxony has five, the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin five, 
the Grand Duke of Saxe-Meiningen six, the Grand Duke of Saxe- 
Altenburg seven, the Duke of Anhalt seven, the Duke of Saxe-Coburg 
and Gotha six, the Prince of Schwartzburg-Sondershausen six, the 
Prince of Schwartzburg-Rudolstadt six, the Prince of Waldeck-Pyrmont 
five, the Prince of Lippe five, the Duke of Brunswick five, and instances 
can be quoted of sixteen and seventeen. Probably Woodward is 
correct when he says that each crest formerly denoted a noble fief, 
for which the proprietor had a right to vote in the '^ circles " of the 
Empire, and he instances the Margraves of Brandenburg-Anspach, 
who were entitled to no less than thirteen crests. In France the use 
of crests is not nearly so general as in England or Germany. In 
Spain and Portugal it is less frequent still, and in Italy the use of 
a crest is the exception. 

The German practice of using horns on either side of the crest, 
which the ignorance of English heralds has transformed into the 
proboscides of elephants, is dealt with at some length on page 214. 
The horns, which are termed buffalo's or bull's horns until the middle 
of the thirteenth century, were short and thick-set. It is difficult to 


say at what date these figures came to be considered as heraldic crests^ 
for as mere helmet ornaments they probably can be traced back very 
far beyond any proof of the existence of armory. In the fourteenth 
century we find the horns curved inwards like a sickle, but later the 
horns are found more erect, the points turning outwards, slimmer 
in shape, and finally they exhibit a decidedly marked double curve. 
Then the ends of the horns are met with open, like a trumpet, the fact 
which gave rise to the erroneous idea that they represented elephants' 
trunks. The horns became ornamented with feathers, banners, branches 
of leaves, balls, &c., and the orifices garnished with similar adornments. 

In England, crests are theoretically subject to marks of cadency 
and difference. This is not the case, however, in any other country. 
In Germany, in cases where the crests reproduce the arms, any mark 
of cadency with which the arms are distinguished will of course be 
repeated ; but in German heraldry, doubtless owing to the territorial 
nature of the crest, a change in the crest itself is often the only mark 
of distinction between different branches of the same family, and in 
Siebmacher's Wappenbuch thirty-one different branches of the Zorn 
family have different crests, which are the sole marks of difference 
in the achievements. 

But though British crests are presumed to be subject to the re- 
cognised marks of cadency, as a matter of fact it is very seldom indeed 
that they are ever so marked, with the exception that the mark used 
(usually a cross crosslet) to signify the lack of blood relationship when 
arms are assumed under a Royal License, is compulsory. Marks of 
distinction added to signify illegitimacy are also compulsory and per- 
petual. What these marks are will be dealt with in a subsequent 
chapter upon the subject. How very seldom a mark of difference is 
added to a crest may be gathered from the fact that with the exception 
of labels, chiefly upon the Royal crest, one crest only amongst the 
Plantagenet Garter plates is differenced, that one being the crest of 
John Neville, Lord Montague. Several crests, however, which are 
not Royal, are differenced by similar labels to those which appear upon 
the shields ; but when we find that the difference marks have very 
much of a permissive character, even upon the shield, it is not likely 
that they are perpetuated upon the crest, where they are even less 
desirable. The arms of Cokayne, as given in the funeral certificate of 
Sir William Cokayne, Lord Mayor of London, show upon the shield 
three crescents, sable, or, and gules, charged one upon the other, the 
Lord Mayor being the second son of a second son of Cokayne of 
Sturston, descending from William, second son of Sir John Cokayne of 
Ashborne. But, in spite of the fact that three difference marks are 
charged upon the shield (one of the quarterings of which, by the way, 


has an additional mark), the crest itself is only differenced by one 
crescent. These difference marks, as applied to arms, are in England 
(the rules in Scotland are utterly distinct) practically permissive, and 
are never enforced against the wish of the bearer except in one 
circumstance. If, owing to the grant of a crest or supporters, or a 
Royal License, or any similar opportunity, a formal exemplification of 
the arms is entered on the books of the College of Arms, the opportunity 
is generally taken to add such mark of cadency as may be necessary ; 
and no certificate would be officially issued to any one claiming arms 
through that exemplification except subject to the mark of cadency 
therein depicted. In such cases as these the crest is usually differenced, 
because the necessity for an exemplification does not often occur, except 
owing to the establishment of an important branch of the family, which is 
likely to continue as a separate house in the future, and possibly to\ 
rival the importance of the chief of the name. Two examples will \ 
show my meaning. The crest of t he Duke of Bedford is a goat statant I 
argent, armed or. When h Jarl Kussell, the third son of the sixth Duke [ 
of Bedford, was so created, tne arms, crest, and supporters were charged I 
with a mullet argent. When the first Lord Ampthill, who was the \ 
third son of the father of the ninth Duke of Bedford, was so created, 
the arms of Russell, with the crest and supporters, were also charged 
with mullets, these being of different tinctures from those granted to 
Earl Russell. The crest of the Duke of Westminster is a talbot statant 
or. The first Lord Stalbridge was the second son of the Marquess of 
Westminster. His arms, crest, and supporters were charged with a 
crescent. Lord Ebury was the third son of the first Marquess of 
Westminster. His arms, crest, and supporters were charged with a 
mullet. In cases of this kind the mark of difference upon the crest 
would be considered permanent ; but for ordinary purposes, and in 
ordinary circumstances, the rule may be taken to be that it is not 
necessary to add the mark of cadency to a crest, even when it is added 
to the shield, but that, at the same time, it is not incorrect to do so. 

Crests must nowadays always be depicted upon either a wreath, 
coronet, or chapeau ; but these, and the rules concerning them, will 
be considered in a more definite and detailed manner in the separate 
chapters in which those objects are discussed. 

Crests are nowadays very frequently used upon livery buttons. 
Such a usage is discussed at some length in the chapter on badges. 

When two or more crests are depicted together, and when, as is 
often the case in England, the wreaths are depicted in space, and 
without the intervening helmets, the crests always all face to the 
dexter side, and the stereotyped character of English crests perhaps 
more than any other reason, has led of late to the depicting of English 



helmets all placed to face in the same direction to the dexter side. 
But if, as will often be found, the two helmets are turned to face each 
other, the crests also must be turned. 

Where there are two crests, the one on the dexter side is the first 
and the one on the sinister side is the second. When there are three, 
the centre one comes first, then the one on the dexter side, then the 
one on the sinister. When there are four crests, the first one is the 
dexter of the two inner ones ; the second is the sinister inner one ; 
the third is the dexter outer, and the fourth the sinister outer. When 
there are five (and I know of no greater number in this country), they 
run as follows : (i) centre, (2) dexter inner, (3) sinister inner, (4) 
dexter outer, (5) sinister outer. 

A very usual practice in official emblazonments in cases of three 
crests is to paint the centre one of a larger size, and at a slightly lower 
level, than the others. In the case of four, Nos. i and 2 would be of 
the same size, Nos. 3 and 4 slightly smaller, and slightly raised. 

It is a very usual circumstance to see two or more crests displayed 
in England, but this practice is of comparatively recent date. How 
recent may be gathered from the fact that in Scotland no single 
instance can be found before the year 1809 in which two crests are 
placed above the same shield. Scottish heraldry, however, has always 
been purer than English, and the practice in England is much more 
ancient, though I question if in England any authentic official ex- 
emplification can be found before 1700. There are, however, many 
cases in the Visitation Books in which two crests are allowed to the 
same family, but this fact does not prove the point, because a Visita- 
tion record is merely an official record of inheritance and possession, 
and not necessarily evidence of a regulation permitting the simultaneous 
display of more than one. It is of course impossible to use two sets of 
supporters with a single shield, but there are many peers who are 
entitled to two sets ; Lord Ancaster, I believe, is entitled to three sets. 
But an official record in such a case would probably emblazon both 
sets as evidence of right, by painting the shield twice over. 

During the eighteenth century we find many instances of the grant 
of additional crests of augmentation, and many exemplifications under 
Royal License for the use of two and three crests. Since that day 
the correctness of duplicate crests has never been questioned, where 
the right of inheritance to them has been established. The right of 
inheritance to two or more crests at the present time is only officially 
allowed in the following cases. 

If a family at the time of the Visitations had two crests recorded 
to them, these would be now allowed. If descent can be proved from 
a family to whom a certain crest was allowed, and also from ancestors 


at an earlier date who are recorded as entitled to bear a different crest, 
the two would be allowed unless it was evident that the later crest 
had been granted, assigned, or exemplified in lien of the earlier one. 
Two crests are allowed in the few cases which exist where a family 
has obtained a grant of arms in ignorance of the fact that they were 
then entitled to bear arms and crest of an earlier date to which the 
right has been subsequently proved, but on this point it should be 
remarked that if a right to arms is known to exist a second grant in 
England is point-blank refused unless the petition asks for it to be 
borne instead of, and in lieu of, the earlier one : it is then granted in 
those terms. 

To those who think that the Heralds' College is a mere fee-grabbing 
institution, the following experience of an intimate friend of mine may 
be of interest. In placing his pedigree upon record it became evident 
that his descent was not legitimate, and he therefore petitioned for and 
obtained a Royal License to bear the name and arms of the family 
from which he had sprung. But the illegitimacy was not modern, and 
no one would have questioned his right to the name which all the other 
members of the family bear, if he had not himself raised the point in 
order to obtain the ancient arms in the necessarily differenced form. 
The arms had always been borne with some four or five quarterings 
and with two crests, and he was rather annoyed that he had to go 
back to a simple coat of arms and single crest. He obtained a grant 
for his wife, who was an heiress, and then, with the idea of obtaining 
an additional quartering and a second crest, he conceived the brilliant 
idea — for money was of no object to him — of putting his brother 
forward as a petitioner for arms to be granted to him and his descen- 
dants and to the other descendants of his father, a grant which would 
of course have brought in my friend. He moved heaven and earth 
to bring this about, but he was met with the direct statement that 
two grants of arms could not be made to the same man to be borne 
simultaneously, and that if he persisted in the grant of arms to his 
brother, his own name, as being then entitled to bear arms, would be 
specifically exempted from the later grant, and the result was that this 
second grant was never made. 

In Scotland, where re-matriculation is constantly going on, two 
separate matriculations to the same line would not confer the right to 
two crests, inasmuch as the last matriculation supersedes everything 
which has preceded it. But if a cadet matriculates a different crest, 
and subsequently succeeds to the representation under an earlier matri- 
culation, he legally succeeds to both crests, and incidentally to both 
coats of arms. As a matter of ordinary practice, the cadet matricula- 
tion is discarded. A curious case, however, occurs when after 


matriculation by a cadet there is a later matriculation behind it, by 
some one nearer the head of the house to which the first-mentioned 
cadet succeeds ; in which event selection must be brought into play, 
when succession to both occurs. But the selection lies only between 
the two patents, and not from varied constituent parts. 

Where as an augmentation an additional crest is granted, as has 
been the case in many instances, of course a right to the double crest 
is thereby conferred, and a crest of augmentation is not granted in 
lieu, but in addition. 

A large number of these additional crests have been granted under 
specific warrants from the Crown, and in the case of Lord Gough, two 
additional crests were granted as separate augmentations and under 
separate patents. Lord Kitchener recently received a grant of an 
additional crest of augmentation. There are also a number of grants 
on record, not officially ranking as augmentations, in which a second 
crest has been granted as a memorial of descent or office, &c. 

The other cases in which double and treble crests occur are the 
results of exemplifications following upon Royal Licenses to assume 
name and arms. As a rule, when an additional surname is adopted by 
Royal License, the rule is that the arms adopted are to be borne in ad- 
dition to those previously in existence ; and where one name is adopted 
instead of another the warrant very frequently permits this, and at the 
same time permits or requires the new arms to be borne quarterly with 
those previously possessed, and gives the right to two crests. But in 
cases where names and arms are assumed by Royal License the arms 
and crest or crests are in accoi dance with the patent of exemplifica- 
tion, which, no matter what its terms (for some do not expressly exclude 
any prior rights), is always presumed to supersede everything which 
has gone before, and to be the authority by which the subsequent bear- 
ing of arms is regularised and controlled. Roughly speaking, under a 
Royal License one generally gets the right to one crest for every sur- 
name, and if the original surname be discarded, in addition a crest for 
every previous surname. Thus Mainwaring-EUerker-Onslow has three 
crests, Wyndham-Campbell-PleydelUBouverie has four, and the last 
Duke of Buckingham and Chandos, who held the record, had one for 
each of his surnames, namely, Temple-Nugent-Brydges-Chandos- 
Grenville. In addition to the foregoing, there are one or two excep- 
tions which it is difficult to explain. The Marquess of Bute for some 
reason or other obtained a grant, in the year 1822, of the crest of 
Herbert. The original Lord Liverpool obtained a grant of an additional 
crest, possibly an augmentation, and his representative. Lord Hawkes- 
bury, afterwards created Earl of Liverpool, for some reason or other 
which I am quite at a loss to understand, obtained a grant of a crest 


very similar to that of Lord Liverpool to commemorate the representa- 
tion which had devolved upon him. He subsequently obtained a grant 
of a third crest, this last being of augmentation. Sir Charles Young, 
Garter King of Arms, obtained the grant of a second crest, and a 
former Marquess of Camden did the same thing ; Lord Swansea is 
another recent case, and though the right of any person to obtain the 
grant of a second crest is not officially admitted, and is in fact strenuously 
denied, I cannot for the life of me see how in the face of the foregoing 
precedents any such privilege can be denied. Sir William Woods also 
obtained the grant of a second crest when he was Garter, oblivious of 
the fact that he had not really established a right to arms. Those he 
used were certainly granted in Lyon Office to a relative, but no matricu- 
lation of them in his own name was ever registered. 



THE origin of the crown or coronet is, of course, to be met with 
in the diadem and fillet. In one of the Cantor Lectures de- 
livered by Mr. Cyril Davenport, F.S.A., in February 1902, on 
*'The History of Personal Jewellery from Prehistoric Times," he 
devoted considerable attention to the development of the diadem, and 
the following extracts are from the printed report of his lecture : — 

^' The bandeau or fillet tied round the head was probably first used 
to keep long hair from getting into the eyes of primitive man. 
Presently it became specialised, priests wearing one pattern and 
fighting men another. 

*' The soft band which can be seen figured on the heads of kings 
in early coins, is no doubt a mark of chieftainship. This use of a band, 
of special colour, to indicate authority, probably originated in the East. 
It was adopted by Alexander the Great, who also used the diadem of 
the King of Persia. Justinian says that Alexander's predecessors did 
not wear any diadem. Justinian also tells us that the diadems then 
worn were of some soft material, as in describing the accidental 
wounding of Lysimachus by Alexander, he says that the hurt was 
bound up by Alexander with his own diadem. This was considered a 
lucky omen for Lysimachus, who actually did shortly afterwards 
become King of Thrace. 

'' In Egypt diadems of particular shape are of very ancient use. 
There were crowns for Upper and Lower Egypt, and a combination of 
both for the whole country. They were also distinguished by colour. 
The Uraeus or snake worn in the crowns and head-dresses of the 
Pharaohs was a symbol of royalty. Representations of the Egyptian 
gods always show them as wearing crowns. 

*' In Assyrian sculptures deities and kings are shown wearing 
diadems, apparently bands of stuff or leather studded with discs of 
repousse work. Some of these discs, detached, have actually been 
found. Similar discs were plentifully found at Mycenae, which were 
very likely used in a similar way. Some of the larger ornamental 
head-dresses worn by Assyrian kings appear to have been conical- 
shaped helmets, or perhaps crowns ; it is now difficult to say which, 



because the material of which they were made cannot be ascertained. 
If they were of gold, they were probably crowns, like the wonderful 
openwork golden Scythian head-dress found at Kertch, but if of an 
inferior metal they may have been only helmets. 

"At St. Petersburg there is a beautiful ancient Greek diadem 
representing a crown of olive. An Etruscan ivy wreath of thin gold, 
still encircling a bronze helmet, is in the British Museum. 

" Justinian says that Morimus tried to hang himself with the diadem, 
evidently a ribbon-like bandeau, sent to him by Mithridates. The 
Roman royal diadem was originally a white ribbon, a wreath of laurel 
was the reward of distinguished citizens, while a circlet of golden 
leaves was given to successful generals. ^ 

" Caesar consistently refused the royal white diadem which Antony 
offered him, preferring to remain perpetual dictator. One of his 
partisans ventured to crown Caesar's bust with a coronet of laurel tied 
with royal white ribbon, but the tribunes quickly removed it and 
heavily punished the perpetrator of the offence. 

" During the Roman Empire the prejudice against the white 
bandeau remained strong. The emperors dared not wear it. Caligula 
wished to do so, but was dissuaded on being told that such a proceeding 
might cost his life. Eliogabalus used to wear a diadem studded with 
precious stones, but it is not supposed to have indicated rank, but only 
to have been a rich lady's parure, this emperor being fond of dressing 
himself up as a woman. Caracalla, who took Alexander the Great as 
his model as far as possible, is shown on some of his coins wearing a 
diadem of a double row of. pearls, a similar design to which was used 
by the kings of Parthia. On coins of Diocletian, there shows a double 
row of pearls, sewn on a double band and tied in a knot at the back. 

" Diadems gradually closed in and became crowns, and on Byzan- 
tine coins highly ornate diadems can be recognised, and there are 
many beautiful representations of them in enamels and mosaics, as 
well as a few actual specimens. At Ravenna, in mosaic work in the 
church of San Vitale, are crowned portraits of Justinian and his 
Empress Theodosia ; in the enamel portrait of the Empress Irene in 
the Pal d'Oro at Venice, can be seen a beautiful jewelled crown with 
hinged plaques, and the same construction is used on the iron crown 
of Lombardy, the sacred crown of Hungary, and the crown of Charle- 
magne, all most beautiful specimens of jewellers' work. 

" On the plaques of the crown of Constantine Monomachos are 
also fine enamel portraits of himself and his queen Zoe, wearing 
similar crowns. The cataseistas, or jewelled chains, one over each 
ear and one at the back, which occur on all these crowns, may be the 
survival of the loose ends of the tie of the original fillet. 


'< In later times of Greece and Rome, owing to the growth of 
republican feeling the diadem lost its political significance, and was 
relegated to the ladies. 

<< In the Middle Ages the diadem regained much of its earlier 
significance, and ceased to be only the simple head ornament it had 
become. Now it became specialised in form, reserved as an emblem 
of rank. The forms of royal crowns and diadems is a large and 
fascinating study, and where original examples do not now exist, the 
development can often be followed in sculpture, coins, or seals. 
Heraldry now plays an important part. Diadems or circlets gradually 
give way to closed crowns, in the case of sovereigns possessing inde- 
pendent authority." 

But to pass to the crown proper, there is no doubt that from the 
earliest times of recorded history crowns have been a sign and emblem 
of sovereignty. It equally admits of no doubt that the use of a crown 
or coronet was by no means exclusive to a sovereign, but whilst our 
knowledge is somewhat curtailed as to the exact relation in which 
great overlords and nobles stood to their sovereign, it is difficult to 
draw with any certainty or exactitude definitive conclusions of the 
symbolism a crown or coronet conveyed. Throughout Europe in the 
eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth, and well into the fourteenth centuries, 
the great territorial lords enjoyed and exercised many — in fact most — 
of the attributes of sovereignty, and in England especially, where the 
king was no more than the first amongst his peers, the territorial earls 
were in much the position of petty sovereigns. It is only natural, 
therefore, that we should find them using this emblem of sovereignty. 
But what we do find in England is that a coronet or fillet was 
used, apparently without let or hindrance, by even knights. It is, 
however, a matter for thought as to whether many of these fillets 
were not simply the turban or '< puggaree " folded into the shape of 
a fillet, but capable of being unrolled if desired. What the object 
of the wholesale wearing of crowns and coronets was, it is difficult 
to conjecture. 

The development of the crown of the English sovereigns has been 
best told by Mr. Cyril Davenport in his valuable work on ^^ The English 
Regalia" (Kegan Paul, Trench, Triibner & Co.). Mr. Davenport, 
whose knowledge on these matters is probably unequalled, may best 
be allowed to tell the story in his own words, he and his publishers 
having very kindly permitted this course to be taken : — 




By Cyril Davenport, F.S.A. 

*' Crowns appear to have been at an early period worn by kings in 
battle, in order that they might be easily recognised ; and although it 
is quite possible that this outward sign of sovereignty may have marked 
the wearer as being entitled to special protection by his own men, it is 
also likely that it was often a dangerous sign of importance. Upon 
the authority of their coins, the heads of the early British kings were 
adorned with variously formed fillets and ornamental wreaths. Helmets 
are also evidently intended to be shown, and on some of the coins of 
Athelstan the helmet bears upon it a crown of three raised points, 
with a single pearl at the top of each (Fig. 619). Other coins bear 
the crown with the three raised points without the helmet (Fig. 620). 
This crown of three points, bearing sometimes one and sometimes three 
pearls at the top of each, continued to 
be used by all the sole monarchs until 
Canute, on whose head a crown is 
shown in which the three points de- 
velop into three clearly-marked trefoils 
(Fig. 621). On the great seal of 
Edward the Confessor the king is 
wearing an ornamental cap, which is 
described by Mr. Wyon in his book 
about the Great Seals as bearing a 
crown with three points trefoiled ; but the impressions of this Great 
Seal that I have been able to see are so indistinct in this particular 
that I do not feel justified in corroborating his opinion. On some of 
the coins, however, of Edward the Confessor, an arched crown is very 
clearly shown, and this crown has depending from it, on each side, 
tassels with ornamental ends (Fig. 622). 

'^ In the list of the English regalia which were destroyed under the 
Commonwealth in 1649 i^ found an item of great interest, viz. 'a gold 
wyer work crown with little bells,' which is there stated to have belonged 
to King Alfred, who appears to have been the first English king for 
whom the ceremony of coronation was used ; and it is remarkable that 
on several of the crowns on coins and seals, from the time of Edward 
the Confessor until Henry I., little tassels or tags are shown which 
may indeed represent little bells suspended by a ribbon. 

*' On King Alfred's own coins there is unfortunately nothing which 
can be recognised as a crown. 

Fig. 621. 

Fig. 622. 







"On the coins of Henry II. a crown is shown with arches, appar- 
ently intended to be jewelled, as is also the rim. There are also 
tassels with ornamental ends at the back of the crown (Fig. 623). 

" William I. on his Great Seal wears a crown with three points, at 

the top of each of which are three 
pearls (Fig. 624), and on some of 
his coins a more ornamental form 
of crown occurs having a broad 
Fig. 624. jewelled rim and two arches, also 

apparently jewelled, and at each 
side are two pendants with pearl 
ends (Fig. 625). William II. on 
his Great Seal has a crown with 
Fig. 626. ^^^ points (Fig. 626), the centre 

one being slightly bigger than the 
single pearl. At each side of the 



Fig. 623. 

4 h 

Fig. 625. 

others, and at the top of each a 

crown are pendants having three pearls at the ends. 

^* On some of the coins of Stephen a pretty form of crown is seen. 
It has three fleurs-de-lis and two jewelled arches (Fig. 627). The 
arches disappear from this time 
until the reign of Edward IV. On 
the Great Seal of Henry I. the king 
wears a simple crown with three 



Fig. 627. 

Fig. 628. 

fleurs-de-lis points, and two pen- 
dants each with three pearls at 
the ends (Fig. 628), and after this the pendants seem to have been 

"On the first Great Seal of Henry III. a crown with three fleurs- 
de-lis is shown surmounting a barred helmet (Fig. 629), and Edward I. 
wore a similar crown with three fleurs-de-lis, but 
having supplementary pearls between each (Fig. 
630), and this form lasted for a long time, as modi- 
fications of it are found on the coins of all the kings 
till Henry VII. On the third Great Seal of Edward 
IV. the king wears a crown with five fleurs-de-lis, 
the centre one being larger than the others, and 
the crown is arched and has at the top an orb and 
cross (Fig. 631). Henry VI. on his first seal for 
foreign affairs, on which occurs the English shield, 
uses above it a crown with three crosses-patee and 
between each a pearl (Fig. 632), this being the first 
distinct use of the cross-patee on the English crown ; and it probably 
was used here in place of the fleurs-de-lis hitherto worn in order to 

Fig. 629. 

Fig. 630. 


make a clear distinction between it and the French crown, which has 
the fleurs-de-lis only and surmounts the coat of arms of that country. 
The king himself wears an arched crown, but the impressions are so 
bad that the details of it cannot be followed. 

'^ Henry VII. on his Great Seal uses as ornaments for the crown, 
crosses-pat^e alternately with fleurs-de-lis, and also arches with an orb 
and cross at the top (Fig. 633) and, on some of his 
coins, he reverts to the three fleurs-de-lis with points 
between them, arches being still used, with the orb and 
cross at the top (Fig. 634). An ornamental form of 
crown bearing five ornamental leaves alternately large 
and small, with arches, orb, and cross at the top ^^* ^^' 

(Fig. 635), occurs on the shillings of Henry VII. On ^ ^ 
the crowns of Henry VIII., as well as upon his Great ci— — i:^ 
Seals, the alternate crosses-pat6e and fleurs-de-lis are p 

found on the rim of the crown, which is arched, and 
has an orb and cross at the top, and this is the form that has remained 
ever since (Fig. 636). So we may consider that the growth of the 
ornament on the rim of the crown has followed a regular sequence 
from the points with one pearl at the top, of -^thelstan, to the trefoil 
of Canute ; the arches began with Edward the Confessor, and the 
centre trefoil turned into the cross-pat^e of Henry VI. The fact that 

Fig. 633. Fig. 634. Fig. 635. Fig. 636. 

the remaining trefoils turned eventually into fleurs-de-lis is only, I 
think, a natural expansion of form, and does not appear to have had 
anything to do with the French fleur-de-lis, which was adopted as an 
heraldic bearing for an entirely different reason. The Royal coat of 
arms of England did bear for a long time in one of its quarterings 
the actual fleurs-de-lis of France, and this, no doubt, has given some 
reason to the idea that the fleurs-de-lis on the crown had also some- 
thing to do with France ; but as a matter of fact they had existed on 
the crown of England long anterior to our use of them on the coat of 
arms, as well as remaining there subsequently to their discontinuance 
on our Royal escutcheon. 

'^ The cross-pat^e itself may possibly have been evolved in a some- 
what similar way from the three pearls of William I., as we often find the 
centre trefoil, into which, as we have seen, these three points eventually 


turned, has a tendency to become larger than the others, and this 
difference has been easily made more apparent by squaring the ends 
of the triple leaf. At the same time it must not be forgotten that the 
cross-pat^e was actually used on the sceptre of Edward the Confessor, so 
it is just possible it may have had some specially English significance. 

" I have already mentioned that as well as the official crown of 
England, which alone I have just been describing, there has often been 
a second or State crown, and this, although it has in general design 
followed the pattern of the official crown, has been much more elabo- 
rately ornamented, and in it has been set and reset the few historic 
gems possessed by our nation. The fact that these State crowns have 
in turn been denuded of their jewels accounts for the fact that the old 
settings of some of them still exist. 

" Charles II. 's State Crown is figured in Sir Edward Walker's 
account of his coronation, but the illustration of it is of such an 

Fig. 637. 

Fig. 639. 

Fig. 640. 

elementary character that little reliance can be placed on it ; the actual 
setting of this crown, however — which was the one stolen by Colonel 
Blood on May 13, 1671 — is now the property of Lord Amherst of 
Hackney, and the spaces from which the great ruby and the large 
sapphire — both of which are now in King Edward's State crown — have 
been taken are clearly seen ( Fig. 637). James II.'s State Crown, which 
is very accurately figured in Sandford's account of his coronation, and 
pieces of which are still in the Tower, also had this great ruby as its 
centre ornament (Fig. 638). In Sir George Nayler's account of the 
coronation of George IV. there is a figure of his so-called ' new crown,' 
the arches of which are composed of oak-leaf sprays with acorns, and 
the rim adorned with laurel sprays (Fig. 639). The setting of this 
crown also belongs to Lord Amherst of Hackney, and so does another 
setting of a small State queen's crown, the ownership of which is 
doubtful. William IV. appears to have had a very beautiful State 
crown, with arches of laurel sprays and a cross at the top with large 
diamonds. It is figured in Robson's ' British Herald,' published in 1830 
(Fig. 640). 

"There is one other crown of great interest, which, since the time 


of James Sixth of Scotland and First of England, forms part of our 
regalia. This is the crown of Scotland, and is the most ancient piece 
of State jewellery of which we can boast. 

<< Edward I., after his defeat of John BaHol in 1296, carried off the 
crown of Scotland to England, and Robert Bruce had another made 
for himself. This in its turn, after Bruce's defeat at Methven, fell into 
Edward's hands. Another crown seems to have been made for Bruce 
in 1 3 14, when he was established in the sovereignty of Scotland after 
Bannockburn, and the present crown probably consists largely of the 
material of the old one, and most likely follows its general design. It 
has, however, much French work about it, as well as the rougher gold 
work made by Scottish jewellers, and it seems probable that the crown, 
as it now is, is a reconstruction by French workmen, made under the 
care and by order of James V. about 1540. It was with this crown 
that Queen Mary was crowned when she was nine months old. 

" In 1 66 1 the Scottish regalia were considered to be in danger from 
the English, and were sent to Dunnottar Castle for safety. From 1707 
until 18 1 8 they were locked up in a strong chest in the 
Crown-Room of Edinburgh Castle, and Sir Walter Scott, 
in whose presence the box was opened, wrote an account 
of them in 18 10. The crown consists of a fillet of gold 
bordered with flat wire. Upon it are twenty-two large 
stones set at equal distances, i,e, nine carbuncles, four fig. 641. 
jacinths, four amethysts, two white topazes, two crystals 
with green foil behind them, and one topaz with yellow foil. Behind 
each of these gems is a gold plate, with bands above and below of 
white enamel with black spots, and between each stone is a pearl. 
Above the band are ten jewelled rosettes and ten fleurs-de-lis alter- 
nately, and between each a pearl. Under the rosettes and fleurs-de- 
lis are jewels of blue enamel and pearls alternately. The arches have 
enamelled leaves of French work in red and gold upon them, and the 
mount at the top is of blue enamel studded with gold stars. The cross 
at the top is black enamel with gold arabesque patterns ; in the centre 
is an amethyst, and in this cross and in the corners are Oriental pearls 
set in gold. At the back of the cross are the letters I. R. V. in enamel- 
work. On the velvet cap are four large pearls in settings of gold and 
enamel (Fig. 641). 

^^ Generally, the Scottish work in gold is cast solid and chased, the 
foreign work being thinner and repousse. Several of the diamonds are 
undoubtedly old, and are cut in the ancient Oriental fashion ; and 
many of the pearls are Scottish. It is kept in Edinburgh Castle with 
the rest of the Scottish* regalia. None of the other pieces at all equal 
it in interest, as with the exception of the coronation ring of Charles I. 


they are of foreign workmanship, or, at all events, have been so 
altered that there is little or no original work left upon them." 

Very few people are aware, when they speak of the crown of 
England, that there are two crowns. The one is the official crown, 
the sign and symbol of the sovereigns of England. This is known by 
the name of St. Edward's Crown, and is never altered or changed. As 
to this Mr. Cyril Davenport writes : — 

<* St. Edward's crown was made for the coronation of Charles II. in 
1662, by Sir Robert Vyner. It was ordered to be made as nearly as 
possible after the old pattern, and the designs of it that have been already 
mentioned as existing in the works of Sir Edward Walker and Francis 
Sandford show that in a sensual form it was the same as now ; indeed, 
the existing crown is in all probability mainly composed of the same 
materials as that made by Sir Robert. The crown consists of a rim 
or circlet of gold, adorned with rosettes of precious stones surrounded 
with diamonds, and set upon enamel arabesques of white and red. 
The centre gems of these rosettes are rubies, emeralds, and sapphires. 
Rows of large pearls mark the upper and lower edges of the rim, from 
which rise the four crosses-pat^e and four fleurs-de-lis alternately, 
adorned with diamonds and other gems. The gem clusters upon the 
crosses are set upon enamel arabesques in white and red, of similar 
workmanship to that upon the rim. From the tops of the crosses rise two 
complete arches of gold crossing each other, and curving deeply down- 
wards at the point of intersection. The arches are considered to be 
the mark of independent sovereignty. They are edged with rows of 
large pearls, and have gems and clusters of gems upon them set in 
arabesques of red and white, like those upon the crosses. From the 
intersection of the arches springs a mound of gold, encircled by a fillet 
from which rises a single arch, both of which are ornamented with 
pearls and gems. On the top of the arch is a cross-pat^e of gold, set 
in which are coloured gems and diamonds. At the top of the cross is 
a large spheroidal pearl, and from each of the side arms, depending 
from a little gold bracelet, is a beautifully formed pear-shaped pearl. 
The crown is shown in the Tower with the crimson velvet cap, turned 
up with miniver, which would be worn with it. 

" This crown is very large, but whether it is actually worn or not 
it would always be present at the coronation, as it is the ^ official ' 
crown of England." 

St. Edward's crown is the crown supposed to be heraldically re- 
presented when for State or official purposes the crown is represented 
over the Royal Arms or other insignia. In this the fleurs-de-lis upon 
the rim are only half fleurs-de-lis. This detail is scrupulously adhered 
to, but during the reign of Queen Victoria many of the other details 


were very much '' at the mercy " of the artist. Soon after the accession 
of King Edward VII. the matter was brought under consideration, and 
the opportunity afforded by the issue of a War Office Sealed Pattern 
of the Royal Crown and Cypher for use in the army was taken 
advantage of to notify his Majesty's pleasure, that for official purposes 
the Royal Crown should be as shown in Fig. 642, which is a repro- 
duction of the War Office Sealed Pattern already mentioned. It should 
be noted that whilst the cap of the real crown is of purple velvet, the cap 
of the heraldic crown is always represented as of crimson. 

The second crown is what is known as the ^' Imperial State Crown." 
This is the one which is actually worn, and which the Sovereign after 
the ceremony of his coronation wears in the procession from the Abbey. 
It is also carried before the Sovereign at the opening of Parliament. 
Whilst the gems which are set in it are national property, the crown 
is usually remade for each successive 
sovereign. The following is Mr. Daven- 
port's description of Queen Victoria's 
State Crown : — 

'* This beautiful piece of jewellery was 
made by Roundell & Bridge in 1838. 
Many of the gems in it are old ones 
reset, and many of them are new. The 
entire weight of the crown is 39 ozs. 
5 dwts. It consists of a circlet of open 
work in silver, bearing in the front 
the great sapphire from the crown of ^ , ^ , ^ 

^, ? T r 1 • 1 L .11^ Fi<^- 642.— Royal Crown. 

Charles II. which was bequeathed to 

George III. by Cardinal York, with other Stuart treasure. At one 
end this gem is partly pierced. It is not a thick stone, but it is a fine 
colour. Opposite to the large sapphire is one of smaller size. The 
remainder of the rim is filled in with rich jewel clusters having alter- 
nately sapphires and emeralds in their centres, enclosed in ornamental 
borders thickly set with diamonds. These clusters are separated from 
each other by trefoil designs also thickly set with diamonds. The rim 
is bordered above and below with bands of large pearls, 129 in the 
lower row, and 1 1 2 in the upper. [The crown as remade for King 
Edward VII. now has 139 pearls in the lower row, and 122 in the 
upper.] Above the rim are shallow festoons of diamonds caught up 
between the larger ornaments by points of emeralds encircled with 
diamonds, and a large pearl above each. On these festoons are set 
alternately eight crosses-patee, and eight fleurs-de-lis of silver set with 
gems. The crosses-pat^e are thickly set with brilliants, and have each 
an emerald in the centre, except that in front of the crown, which 


contains the most remarkable jewel belonging to the regalia. This is 
a large spinal ruby of irregular drop-like form, measuring about 2 ins. 
in length, and is highly polished on what is probably its natural sur- 
face, or nearly so. Its irregular outline makes it possible to recognise 
the place that it has formerly occupied in the older State crowns, and 
it seems always to have been given the place of honour. It is pierced 
after an Oriental fashion, and the top of the piercing is filled with a 
supplementary ruby set in gold. Don Pedro, King of Castille in 1367, 
murdered the King of Granada for the sake of his jewels, one of which 
was this stone, and Don Pedro is said to have given it to Edward the 
Black Prince after the battle of Najera, near Vittoria, in the same year. 
After this, it is said to have been worn by Henry V. in his crown 
at Agincourt in 14 15, when it is recorded that the King's life was saved 
from the attack of the Due D'Alengon, because of the protection 
afforded him by his crown, a portion of which, however, was broken 
off. It may be confidently predicted that such a risk of destruction 
is not very likely to happen again to the great ruby. 

^^-In the centre of each of the very ornamental fleurs-de-lis is a 
ruby, and all the rest of the ornamentation on them is composed of 
rose diamonds, large and small. From each of the crosses-pat^e, the 
upper corners of which have each a large pearl upon them, rises an 
arch of silver worked into a design of oak-leaves and acorn-cups. 
These leaves and cups are all closely encrusted with a mass of large 
and small diamonds, rose brilliant, and table-cut ; the acorns them- 
selves formed of beautiful drop-shaped pearls of large size. From the 
four points of intersection of the arches at the top of the crown depend 
large egg-shaped pearls. From the centre of the arches, which slope 
slightly downwards, springs a mound with a cross-pat^e above it. The 
mound is ornamented all over with close lines of brilliant diamonds, 
and the fillet which encircles it, and the arch which crosses over it, 
are both ornamented with one line of large rose-cut diamonds set 
closely together. The cross-pat^e at the top has in the centre a large 
sapphire of magnificent colour set openly. The outer lines of the arms 
of the cross are marked by a row of small diamonds close together 
and in the centre of each arm is a large diamond, the remaining spaces 
being filled with more small diamonds. The large sapphire in the 
centre of this cross is said to have come out of the ring of Edward 
the Confessor, which was buried with him in his shrine at Westminster, 
and the possession of it is supposed to give to the owner the power of 
curing the cramp. If this be indeed the stone which belonged to 
St. Edward, it was probably recut in its present form of a ^ rose ' for 
Charles II., even if not since his time. 

" Not counting the large ruby or the large sapphire, this crown 

Fig. 643. — Queen Alexandra's Coronation Crown. 


contains : Four rubies, eleven emeralds, sixteen sapphires, 277 pearls, 
2783 diamonds. [As remade for King Edward VII. the crown now 
has 297 pearls and 2818 diamonds.] 

^'The large ruby has been valued at ^110,000. 

" When this crown has to take a journey it is provided with a 
little casket, lined with white velvet, and having a sliding drawer at the 
bottom, with a boss on which the crown fits closely, so that it is safe 
from slipping. The velvet cap turned up with miniver, with which it 
is worn, is kept with it." 

This crown has been recently remade for King Edward VII., but 
has not been altered in any essential details. The cap of the real 
crown is of purple velvet. 

Fig. 643 represents the crown of the Queen Consort with which 
Queen Alexandra was crowned on August 9, 1902. It will be noticed 
that, unlike the King's crowns, this has eight arches. The circlet 
which forms the base is i| inches in height. The crown is entirely 
composed of diamonds, of which there are 3972, and these are placed 
so closely together that no metal remains visible. The large diamond 
visible in the illustration is the famous Koh-i-noor. Resting upon the 
rim are four crosses-pat^e, and as many fleurs-de-hs, from each of 
which springs an arch. As a matter of actual fact the crown was 
made for use on this one occasion and has since been broken up. 

There is yet another crown, probably the one with which we are 
most familiar. This is a small crown entirely composed of diamonds : 
and the earliest heraldic use which can be found of it is in the design 
by Sir Edgar Boehm for the 1887 Jubilee coinage. Though effective 
enough when worn, it does not, from its small size, lend itself effec- 
tively to pictorial representation, and as will be remembered, the 
design of the 1887 coinage was soon abandoned. This crown was 
made at the personal expense of Queen Victoria, and under her in- 
structions, owing to the fact that her late Majesty found her ** State " 
crown uncomfortable to wear, and too heavy for prolonged or general 
use. It is understood, also, that the Queen found the regulations con- 
cerning its custody both inconvenient and irritating. During the later 
part of her reign this smaller crown was the only one Queen Victoria 
ever wore. By her will the crown was settled as an heirloom upon 
Queen Alexandra, to devolve upon future Queens Consort for the time 
being. This being the case, it is not unlikely that in the future this 
crown may come to be regarded as a part of the national regalia, and 
it is as well, therefore, to reiterate the remark, that it was made at the 
personal expense of her late Majesty, and is to no extent and in no 
way the property of the nation. 



Fig. 644. — Coronet of Thomas 
FitzAlan, Earl of Arundel. 
(From his monument in 
Arundel Church, 141 5.) 

In Spite of various Continental edicts, the heraldic use of coronets 
of rank, as also their actual use, seems elsewhere than in Great 

Britain to be governed by no such strict 
regulations as are laid down and conformed 
to in this country. For this reason, no less 
than for the greater interest these must 
necessarily possess for readers in this coun- 
try, English coronets will first claim our 
attention. It has been already observed that 
coronets or jewelled fillets are to be found 
upon the helmets even of simple knights from 
the earliest periods. They probably served 
no more than decorative purposes, unless 
these fillets be merely turbans, or suggestions 
thereof. As late as the fifteenth century there 
appears to have been no regularised form, as will be seen from 
Fig. 644, which represents the coronet as shown upon the effigy of 
Thomas FitzAlan, Earl of Arundel, in Arundel Church (141 5). A 
very similar coronet surmounts the head-dress 
of the effigy of Beatrice, Countess of Arundel, 
at the same period. In his will, Lionel, Duke 
of Clarence (1368), bequeaths <'two golden 
circles," with one of which he was created 
Duke. It is of interest to compare this with 
Fig. 645, which represents the crown of ^^^^^^^^^^^ F 
King Henry IV. as represented on his effigy. 
Richard, Earl of Arundel, in his will (Decem- 
ber 5, 1375), leaves his "melieure coronne " 
to his eldest son Richard, his ^' second 
melieure coronne " to his daughter Joan, and 
his "tierce coronne" to his daughter Alice. 
Though not definite proof of the point, the fact 
that the earl distributes his coronets amongst pi^.g^^^crownofKingiienry 
his family irrespective of the fact that the I v. (i399-.i4i3)-. (From his 
earldom (of which one would presume the St"eTburVcatIedmL)^^^^^^' 
coronets to be a sign) would pass to his son, 

would seem to show that the wearing of a coronet even at that date 
was merely indicative of high nobility of birth, and not of the posses- 
sion of a substantive Parliamentary peerage. In spite of the variations 

Fig. 646. — Coronet of the 
Prince of Wales. 


in form, coronets were, however, a necessity. When both dukes and 
earls were created they were invested with a coronet in open ParHa- 
ment. As time went on the coronet, however, gradually came to be 
considered the sign of the possession of a peerage, and was so borne ; 
but it was not until the reign of Charles II. that coronets were 
definitely assigned by Royal Warrant (February 19, 1660) to peers 
not of the Blood Royal. Before this date a coronet had not (as has 
been already stated) been used heraldically 
or in fact by barons, who, both in armorial 
paintings and in Parliament, had used a plain 
crimson cap turned up with white fur. 

The coronet of the Prince of Wales is 
exactly like the official (St, Edward's) crown, 
except that instead of two intersecting arches 
it has only one. An illustration of this is 
given in Fig. 646 (this being the usual form 
in which it is heraldically depicted). It 
should be noticed, however, that this coronet 
belongs to the prince as eldest son of the 
Sovereign and heir-apparent to the Throne, and not as Prince of 
Wales. It was assigned by Royal Warrant 9th February, 13 Charles II. 
The coronet of the Princess of Wales, as such, is heraldically, the 
same as that of her husband. 

The coronets of the sons and daughters or brothers and sisters of 
a sovereign of Great Britain (other than a Prince of Wales) is as in 
Fig. 647, that is, the circlet being identical with that of the Royal 
Crown, and of the Prince of Wales' coronet, but 
without the arch. This was also assigned in the 
warrant of 9th February, 13 Charles II. Offici- 
ally this coronet is described as being composed 
of crosses-pat^e and fleurs-de-lis alternately. 

The grandchildren of a sovereign being sons 
and daughters of the Prince of Wales, or of 
other sons of the sovereign, have a coronet in 
which strawberry leaves are substituted for the 
two outer crosses-patee appearing at the edges 
of the coronet, which is officially described as composed of crosses- 
patee, fleurs-de-lis, and strawberry leaves. 

Princes of the English Royal Family, being sons of younger sons 
of a sovereign, or else nephews of a sovereign being sons of brothers 
of a sovereign, and having the rank and title of a duke of the United 
Kingdom, have a coronet composed alternately of crosses-pat^e and 
strawberry leaves, the latter taking the place of the fleurs-de-lis upon 

Fig. 647. — Coronet of the 
younger children of the 


the circlet of the Royal Crown. This coronet was also assigned in the 
warrant of 9th February, 13 Charles II. 

It will be observed by those who compare one heraldic book with 
another that I have quoted these rules differently from any other work 
upon the subject. A moment's thought, however, must convince any 
one of the accuracy of my version. It is a cardinal rule of armory 
that save for the single circumstance of attainder no man's armorial 
insignia shall be degraded. Whilst any man's status may be increased, 
it cannot be lessened. Most heraldic books quote the coronet of 
crosses-pat^e, fleurs-de-lis, and strawberry leaves as the coronet of the 
^' grandsons " of the sovereign, whilst the coronet of crosses-pat^e and 
strawberry leaves is stated to be the coronet of '* nephews " or cousins 
of the sovereign. Such a state of affairs would be intolerable, because 
it would mean the liability at any moment to be degraded to the use 
of a less honourable coronet. Take, for example, the case of Prince 
Arthur of Connaught. During the lifetime of Queen Victoria, as a 
grandson of the sovereign he would be entitled to the former, whereas 
as soon as King Edward ascended the throne he would have been 
forced to relinquish it in favour of the more remote form. 

The real truth is that the members of the Royal Family do not 
inherit these coronets as a matter of course. They technically and 
in fact have no coronets until these have been assigned by Royal 
Warrant with the arms. When such warrants are issued, the coronets 
assigned have up to the present time conformed to the above rules. 
I am not sure that the " rules " now exist in any more potent form 
than that up to the present time those particular patterns happen to 
have been assigned in the circumstances stated. But the warrants 
(though they contain no hereditary limitation) certainly contain no 
clause limiting their operation to the lifetime of the then sovereign, 
which they certainly would do if the coronet only existed whilst the 
particular relationship continued. 

The terms " grandson of the sovereign " and " nephew of the 
sovereign," which are usually employed, are not correct. The coronets 
only apply to the children of princes. The children of princesses, who 
are undoubtedly included in the terms ^* grandson " and ^^ nephew," 
are not technically members of the Royal Family, nor do they inherit 
either rank or coronet from their mothers. 

By a curious fatality there has never, since these Royal coronets 
were differentiated, been any male descendant of an English sovereign 
more remotely related than a nephew, with the exception of the 
Dukes of Cumberland. Their succession to the throne of Hanover 
renders them useless as a precedent, inasmuch as their right to arms 
and coronet must be derived from Hanover and its laws, and not 


from this country. The Princess Frederica of Hanover, however, 
uses an English coronet and the Royal Arms of England, presumably 
preferring her status as a princess of this country to whatever de jure 
Hanoverian status might be claimed. It is much to be wished that 
a Royal Warrant should be issued to her which would decide the 
point — at present in doubt — as to what degree of relationship the 
coronet of the crosses-pat^e and strawberry leaves is available for, 
or failing that coronet what the coronet of prince or princess of this 
country might be, he or she not being child, grandchild, or nephew 
or niece of a sovereign. 

The unique use of actual coronets in England at the occasion of 
each coronation ceremony has prevented them becoming (as in so 
many other countries) mere pictured heraldic details. Consequently 
the instructions concerning them which are issued prior to each 
coronation will be of interest. The following is from the London 
Gazette of October i, 1901 : — 

"Earl Marshal's Office, 
Norfolk House, St. James's Square, S.W., 
October i, 1901. 

"The Earl Marshal's Order concerning the Robes, Coronets, &c., 
which are to be worn by the Peers at the Coronation of Their Most 
Sacred Majesties King Edward the Seventh and Queen Alexandra. 

" These are to give notice to all Peers who attend at the Corona- 
tion of Their Majesties, that the robe or mantle of the Peers be of 
crimson velvet, edged with miniver, the cape furred with miniver pure, 
and powdered with bars or rows of ermine (/>. narrow pieces of black 
fur), according to their degree, viz. r 

*' Barons, two rows. 

" Viscounts, two rows and a half. 

" Earls, three rows. 

" Marquesses, three rows and a half. 

" Dukes, four rows. 

*' The said mantles or robes to be worn over full Court dress, 
uniform, or regimentals. 

" The coronets to be of silver-gilt ; the caps of crimson velvet 
turned up with ermine, with a gold tassel on the top ; and no jewels 
or precious stones are to be set or used in the coronets, or counterfeit 
pearls instead of silver balls. 

" The coronet of a Baron to have, on the circle or rim, six silver 
balls at equal distances. 

" The coronet of a Viscount to have, on the circle, sixteen silver 


'*The coronet of an Earl to have, on the circle, eight silver balls, 
raised upon points, with gold strawberry leaves between the points. 

•^<The coronet of a Marquess to have, on the circle, four gold 
strawberry leaves and four silver balls alternately, the latter a little 
raised on points above the rim. 

" The coronet of a Duke to have, on the circle, eight gold straw- 
berry leaves. 

" By His Majesty's Command, 

" Norfolk, Earl Marshal,'* 

"Earl Marshal's Office, 
Norfolk House, St. James's Square, S.W., 
October i, 1901. 

"The Earl Marshal's Order concerning the Robes, Coronets, &c., 
which are to be worn by the Peeresses at the Coronation of Their 
Most Sacred Majesties King Edward the Seventh and Queen Alexandra. 

"These are to give notice to all Peeresses who attend at the 
Coronation of Their Majesties, that the robes or mantles appertaining 
to their respective ranks are to be worn over the usual full Court 

"That the robe or mantle of a Baroness be of crimson velvet, the 
cape whereof to be furred with miniver pure, and powdered with two 
bars or rows of ermine {ue, narrow pieces of black fur) ; the said 
mantle to be edged round with miniver pure 2 inches in breadth, and 
the train to be 3 feet on the ground ; the coronet to be according to 
her degree — viz. a rim or circle with six pearls (represented by silver 
balls) upon the same, not raised upon points. 

"That the robe or mantle of a Viscountess be like that of a 
Baroness, only the cape powdered with two rows and a half of ermine, 
the edging of the mantle 2 inches as before, and the train ij yards ; 
the coronet to be according to her degree — viz. a rim or circle with 
pearls (represented by silver balls) thereon, sixteen in number, and 
not raised upon points. 

"That the robe or mantle of a Countess be as before, only the 
cape powdered with three rows of ermine, the edging 3 inches in 
breadth, and the train ij yards ; the coronet to be composed of eight 
pearls (represented by silver balls) raised upon points or rays, with 
small strawberry leaves between, above the rim. 

" That the robe or mantle of a Marchioness be as before, only the 
cape powdered with three rows and a half of ermine, the edging 
4 inches in breadth, the train ij yards ; the coronet to be composed 
of four strawberry leaves and four pearls (represented by silver balls) 


raised upon points of the same height as the leaves, alternately, above 
the rim. 

"That the robe or mantle of a Duchess be as before, only the 
cape powdered with four rows of ermine, the edging 5 inches broad, 
the train 2 yards ; the coronet to be composed of eight strawberry 
leaves, all of equal height, above the rim. 

'< And that the caps of all the said coronets be of crimson velvet, 
turned up with ermine, with a tassel of gold on the top. 

" By His Majesty's Command, 

" Norfolk, Earl Marshall 

Fig. 648. 

The Coronation Robe of a peer is not identical with his Parliamen- 
tary Robe of Estate. This latter is of fine scarlet cloth, lined with 
taffeta. The distinction between the degrees of 
rank is effected by the guards or bands of fur. 
The robe of a duke has four guards of ermine 
at equal distances, with gold lace above each 
guard and tied up to the left shoulder by a 
white riband. The robe of a marquess has 
four guards of ermine on the right side, and 
three on the left, with gold lace above each 
guard and tied up to the left shoulder by a 
white riband. An earl's robe has three guards 
of ermine and gold lace. The robes of a viscount 
and baron are identical, each having two guards 
of plain white fur. 

By virtue of various warrants of Earls Mar- 
shal, duly recorded in the College of Arms, the 
use or display of a coronet of rank by any 
person other than a peer is stringently for- 
bidden. This rule, unfortunately, is too often 
ignored by many eldest sons of peers, who use peerage titles by 

The heraldic representations of these coronets of rank are as 
follows : — 

The coronet of a duke shows five strawberry leaves (Fig. 648). This 
coronet should not be confused with the ducal crest coronet. 

The coronet of a marquess shows two balls of silver technically 
known as " pearls," and three strawberry leaves (Fig. 649). 

The coronet of an earl shows five '' pearls " raised on tall spikes, 
alternating with four strawberry leaves (Fig. 650), 

Fig. 649. 


The coronet of a viscount shows nine ^'pearls," all set closely 
together, directly upon the circlet (Fig. 651). 

The coronet of a baron shows four " pearls " upon the circlet 
(Fig. 652). This coronet was assigned by Royal Warrant, dated 
7th August, 12 Charles II., to Barons of England, and to Barons of 
Ireland by warrant 16th May, 5 James II. 

All coronets of degree actually, and are usually represented to, 
enclose a cap of crimson velvet, turned up with ermine. None of 

Fig. 650. 

Fig. 651. 

Fig. 652. 

them are permitted to be jewelled, but the coronet of a duke, marquess, 
earl, or viscount is chased in the form of jewels. In recent times, 
however, it has become very usual for peers to use, heraldically, for 
more informal purposes a representation of the circlet only, omitting 
the cap and the ermine edging. 

The crown or coronet of a king of arms (Fig. 653) is of silver-gilt 
formed of a circlet, upon which is inscribed part of the first verse of 
the 51st Psalm, viz. ; "Miserere mei Deus secundum magnam miseri- 
cordiam tuam." The rim is surmounted with sixteen 
leaves, in shape resembling the oak-leaf, every alter- 
nate one being somewhat higher than the rest, nine 
of which appear in the profile view of it or in 
heraldic representations. The cap is of crimson 
Fig-. 653.— The Crown satin, closed at the top by a gold tassel and turned 

of a King of Arms. -,, . r j o 

up With ermine. 

Anciently, the crown of Lyon King of Arms was, in shape, an 
exact replica of the crown of the King of Scotland, the only difference 
being that it was not jewelled. 

Coronets of rank are used very indiscriminately on the Continent, 
particularly in France and the Low Countries. Their use by no 
means implies the same as with us, and frequently indicates little if 
anything beyond mere ^^ noble " birth. 

The Mauerkrone [mural crown] (Fig. 654) is used in Germany 
principally as an adornment to the arms of towns. It is borne with 
three, four, or five battlemented towers. The tincture, likewise, is not 


always the same : gold, silver, red, or the natural colour of a wall 
being variously employed. Residential [ue. having a royal residence] 
and capital towns usually bear a Mauerkrone with five towers, large 
towns one with four towers, smaller towns one with three. Strict 
regulations in the matter do not yet exist. It should be carefully 
noted that this practice 
is peculiar to Germany 
and is quite incorrect in 
Great Britain. 

The Naval Crown 
[Schiffskrone] (Fig. 655), 
on the circlet of which 
sails and sterns of ships are alternately introduced, is very rarely used 
on the Continent. With us it appears as a charge in the arms of the 
towns of Chatham, Ramsgate, Devonport, &c. The Naval Coronet, 
however, is more properly a crest coronet, and as such will be more 
fully considered in the next chapter. It had, however, a limited use 
as a coronet of rank at one time, inasmuch as the admirals of the 
United Provinces of the Netherlands placed a crown composed of 
prows of ships above their escutcheons, as may be seen from various 

Fig. 654. — Mauerkrone. 

Fig. 655.— Naval 

2 A 


THE present official rules are that crests must be upon, or must 
issue from, a wreath (or torse), a coronet, or a chapeau. It is 
not at the pleasure of the wearer to choose which he will, 
one or other being specified and included in the terms of the grant. 
If the crest have a lawful existence, one or other of them will un- 
changeably belong to the crest, of which it now is considered to be 
an integral part. 

In Scotland and Ireland, Lyon King of Arms and Ulster King of 
Arms have always been considered to have, and still retain, the right 
to grant crests upon a chapeau or issuing from a crest. But the 
power is (very properly) exceedingly sparingly used ; and, except in 
the cases of arms and crests matriculated in Lyon Register as of 
ancient origin and in use before 1672, or ^'confirmed" on the strength 
of user by Ulster King of Arms, the ordinary ducal crest coronet and 
the chapeau are not now considered proper to be granted in ordinary 

Since about the beginning of the nineteenth century the rules 
which follow have been very definite, and have been very rigidly 
adhered to in the English College of Arms. 

Crests issuing from the ordinary "ducal crest coronet" are not 
now granted under any circumstances. The chapeau is only granted 
in the case of a grant of arms to a peer, a mural coronet is only 
granted to officers in the army of the rank of general or above, and 
the naval coronet is only granted to officers in his Majesty's Royal 
Navy of the rank of admiral and above. An Eastern coronet is now 
only granted in the case of those of high position in one or other of 
the Imperial Services, who have served in India and the East. 

The granting of crests issuing from the other forms of crest 

coronets, the " crown-vallary " and the " crown palisado," is always 

discouraged, but no rule exists denying them to applicants, and they 

are to be obtained if the expectant grantee is sufficiently patient, 

importunate, and pertinacious. Neither form is, however, particularly 

ornamental, and both are of modern origin. 




There is still yet another coronet; the *' celestial coronet." This 
is not unusual as a charge, but as a coronet from which a crest 
issues I know of no instance, nor am I aware of what rules, if any, 
govern the granting of it. 

Definite rank coronets have been in times past granted for use as 
crest coronets, but this practice, the propriety of which cannot be 
considered as other than highly questionable, has only been pursued, 
even in the more lax days which are past, on rare and very exceptional 
occasions, and has long since been definitely abandoned as improper. 

In considering the question of crest coronets, the presumption that 
they originated from coronets of rank at once jumps to the mind. 
This is by no means a foregone conclusion. It is difficult to say what 
is the earliest instance of the use of a coronet in this country as a 
coronet of rank. When it is remembered that the coronet of a baron 
had no existence whatever until it was called into being by a warrant 
of Charles II. after the Restoration, and that differentiated coronets 
for the several ranks in the Peerage are not greatly anterior in date, 
the question becomes distinctly complicated. From certainly the reign 
of Edward the Confessor the kings of England had worn crowns, and 
the great territorial earls, who it must be remembered occupied a 
position akin to that of a petty sovereign (far beyond the mere high 
dignity of a great noble at the present day), from an early period 
wore crowns or coronets not greatly differing in appearance from the 
crown of the king. But the Peerage as such certainly neither had 
nor claimed the technical right to a coronet as a mark of their rank, 
in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. But coronets of a kind 
were used, as can be seen from early effigies, long before the use of 
crests became general. But these coronets were merely in the nature 
of a species of decoration for the helmet, many of them far more 
closely resembling a jewelled torse than a coronet. Parker in his 
"Glossary of Terms used in Heraldry" probably correctly represents 
the case when he states: "From the reign of Edward III. coronets 
of various forms were w^orn (as it seems indiscriminately) by princes, 
dukes, earls, and even knights, but apparently rather by way of 
ornament than distinction, or if for distinction, only (like the collar 
of SS) as a mark of gentiHty. The helmet of Edward the Black 
Prince, upon his effigy at Canterbury, is surrounded with a coronet 
totally different from that subsequently assigned to his rank." 

The instance quoted by Parker might be amplified by countless 
others, but it may here with advantage be pointed out that the great 
helmet (or, as this probably is, the ceremonial representation of it) 
suspended above the Prince's tomb (Fig. 271) has no coronet, and 
the crest is upon a chapeau. Of the fourteen instances in the Plan- 


tagenet Garter plates in which the torse appears, twelve were peers of 
England, one was a foreign count, and one only a commoner. On 
the other hand, of twenty-nine whose Garter plates show crests issuing 
from coronets, four are foreigners, seven are commoners, and eighteen 
were peers. The coronets show very great variations in form and 
design, but such variations appear quite capricious, and to carry no 
meaning, nor does it seem probable that a coronet of gules or of 
azure, of which there are ten, could represent a coronet of rank. 
The Garter plate of Sir William De la Pole, Earl of (afterwards Duke 
of) Suffolk, shows his crest upon a narrow black fillet. Consequently, 
whatever may be the conclusion as to the wearing of coronets alone, 
it would seem to be a very certain conclusion that the heraldic crest 
coronet bore no relation to any coronet of rank or to the right to 
wear one. Its adoption must have been in the original instance, and 
probably even in subsequent generations, a matter of pure fancy and 
inclination. This is borne out by the fact that whilst the Garter plate 
of Sir Henry Bourchier, Earl of Essex, shows his crest upon a torse, 
his effigy represents it issuing from a coronet. 

Until the reign of Henry VIII., the Royal crest, both in the case 
of the sovereign and all the other members of the Royal Family, is 
always represented upon a chapeau or cap of dignity. The Great 
Seal of Edward VI. shows the crest upon a coronet, though the 
present form of crown and crest were originated by Queen Elizabeth. 
In depicting the Royal Arms, it is usual to omit one of the crowns, 
and this is always done in the official warrants controlling the arms. 
One crown is placed upon the helmet, and upon this crown is placed 
the crest, but theoretically the Royal achievement has two crowns, 
inasmuch as one of the crowns is an inseparable part of the crest. 
Probably the finest representation of the Royal crest which has ever 
been done is the design for one of the smaller bookplates for the 
Windsor Castle Library. This was executed by Mr. Eve, and it would 
be impossible to imagine anything finer. Like the rest of the Royal 
achievement, the Royal crest is of course not hereditary, and conse- 
quently it is assigned by a separate Royal Warrant to each male 
member of the Royal Family, and the opportunity is then taken to 
substitute for the Royal crown, which is a part of the sovereign's crest, 
a coronet identical with whatever may be assigned in that particular 
instance as the coronet of rank. In the case of Royal bastards the 
crest has always been assigned upon a chapeau. 

The only case which comes to one's mind in which the Royal 
crown has (outside the sovereign) been allowed as a crest coronet is 
the case of the town of Eye. 

The Royal crown of Scotland is the crest coronet of the sovereign's 


crest for the kingdom of Scotland. This crest, together with the crest 
of Ireland, is never assigned to any member of the Royal Family 
except the sovereign. The crest of Ireland (which is on a wreath or 
and azure) is by the way confirmatory evidence that the crowns in the 
crests of Scotland and England have a duplicate and separate existence 
apart from the crown denoting the sovereignty of the realm. 

The ordinary crest coronet or, as it is usually termed in British 
heraldry, the ^^ ducal coronet " (Ulster, however, describes it officially 
as " a ducal crest coronet "), is quite a separate matter from a duke's 
coronet of rank. Whilst the coronet of a duke has upon the rim five 
strawberry leaves visible when depicted, a ducal coronet has only three. 
The "ducal coronet" (Fig. 656) is the conventional '^regularised" 
development of the crest coronets employed in early times. 

Unfortunately it has in many instances been depicted of a much 
greater and very unnecessary width, the result being inartistic and 
allowing unnecessary space between the leaves, and at the same time 
leaving the crest and coronet with little circum- 
ferential relation. It should be noted that it is 
quite incorrect for the rim of the coronet to be 
jewelled in colour though the outline of jewelling 

is indicated. Fig. 656.-Ducal coronet. 

Though ducal crest coronets are no longer 
granted (of course they are still exemplified and their use permitted 
where they have been previously granted), they are of very frequent 
occurrence in older grants and confirmations. 

It is quite incorrect to depict a cap (as in a coronet of rank) in a 
crest coronet, which is never more than the metal circlet, and conse- 
quently it is equally incorrect to add the band of ermine below it 
which will sometimes be seen. 

The Coronet of a duke has in one or two isolated cases been granted 
as a crest coronet. In such a case it is not described as a duke's 
coronet, but as a *' ducal coronet of five leaves." It so occurs in the 
case of Ormsby-Hamilton. 

The colour of the crest coronet must be stated in the blazon. 
Crest coronets are of all colours, and will be sometimes found bearing 
charges upon the rim (particularly in the cases of mural and naval 
coronets). An instance of this will be seen in the case of Sir John W. 
Moore, and of Mansergh, the label in this latter case being an unalter- 
able charge and not the difference mark of an eldest son. Though 
the tincture of the coronet ought to appear in the blazon, nevertheless it 
is always a fair presumption (when it is not specified) that it is of gold, 
coronets of colours being very much less frequently met with. On 
this point it is interesting to note that in some of the cases where 


the crest coronet is figured upon an early Garter plate as of colour, 
it is now borne gold by the present descendants of the family. For 
example on the Garter plate of Sir Walter Hungerford, Lord Hunger- 
ford, the crest [*^ A garb or, between two silver sickles "] issues from 
a coronet azure. The various Hungerford families now bear it "or." 
The crest upon the Garter plate of Sir Humphrey Stafford, Duke 
of Buckingham ['* A demi-swan argent, beaked gules "], issues from 
a coronet gules. This crest as it is now borne by the present Lord 
Stafford is : " Out of a ducal coronet per pale gules and sable," &c. 

Another instance of coloured coronets will be found in the crest 
of Nicholson, now borne by Shaw.^ 

Probably, however, the most curious instance of all will be found 
in the case of a crest coronet of ermine, of which an example occurs 
in the Gelre "Armorial." 

A very general misconception — which will be found stated in 
practically every text-book of armory — is that when a crest issues 
from a coronet the wreath must be omitted. There is not and never 
has been any such rule. The rule is rather to the contrary. Instances 
where both occur are certainly now uncommon, and the presence of a 
wreath is not in present-day practice considered to be essential if a 
coronet occurs, but the use or absence of a wreath when the crest 
issues from a coronet really depends entirely upon the original grant. 
If no wreath is specified with the coronet, none will be used or needed, 
but if both are granted both should be used. An instance of the use 
of both will be found on the Garter Stall plate of Sir Walter Devereux, 
Lord Ferrers. The crest (a talbot's head silver) issues from a coronet 
or, which is placed upon a torse argent and sable. Another instance 
will be found in the case of the grant of the crest of Hanbury. 

A quite recent case was the grant by Sir Bernard Burke, Ulster 
King of Arms, of a crest to Sir Richard Quain, Bart., the blazon of 
which was: "On a wreath argent and azure, and out of a mural 
coronet proper a demi-lion rampant or, charged on the shoulder with 
a trefoil slipped vert, and holding between the paws a battle-axe also 
proper, the blade gold." 

Other instances are the crests of Hamilton of Sunningdale and 

Another instance will be found in the grant to Ross-of-Bladensburg. 
Possibly this blazon may be a clerical error in the engrossment, because 
it will be noticed that the wreath does not appear in the emblazonment 
(Plate II.). 

I wonder how many of the officers of arms are aware of the exist- 

* Out of a ducal coronet gules, a lion's head ermine (Nicholson). 


ence of a warrant, dated in 1682, issued by the Deputy Earl-Marshal 
to the Companies of Painters, Stainers, and Coachmakers, forbidding 
them to paint crests which issue out of ducal coronets without putting 
them upon " wreaths of their colours." The wording of the warrant 
very plainly shows that at that date a wreath was always painted below^ 
a crest coronet. The warrant, however, is not so worded that it can 
be accepted as determining the point for the future, or that it would 
override a subsequent grant of a crest in contrary form. But it is 
evidence of what the law then was. 

No crest is now granted without either wreath, coronet, or chapeau. 

An instance of the use of the coronet of a marquess as a crest 
coronet will be found in the case of the Bentinck crest.^ 

There are some number of instances of the use of an earl's coronet 
as a crest coronet. Amongst these may be mentioned the crests of 
Sir Alan Seton Steuart, Bart. [^' Out of an earl's coronet a dexter hand 
grasping a thistle all proper "], that granted to Cassan of Sheffield 
House, Ireland [^' Issuant from an earl's coronet proper, a boar's head 
and neck erased or, langued gules "], James Christopher Fitzgerald 
Kenney, Esq., Dublin ['^ Out of an earl's coronet or, the pearls argent, 
a cubit arm erect vested gules, cuffed also argent, the hand grasping a 
roll of parchment proper "], and Davidson ['' Out of an earl's coronet 
or, a dove rising argent, holding in the beak a wheat-stalk bladed and 
eared all proper "]. 

I know of no crest which issues from the coronet of a viscount, but 
a baron's coronet occurs in the case of Forbes of Pitsligo and the 
cadets of that branch of the family : ** Issuing out of a baron's coronet 
a dexter hand holding a scimitar all proper." 

Foreign coronets of rank have sometimes been granted as crest 
coronets in this country, as in the cases of the crests of Sir Francis 
George Manningham Boileau, Bart., Norfolk ['' In a nest or, a pelican 
in her piety proper, charged on the breast with a saltire couped gules, 
the nest resting in a foreign coronet "], Henry Chamier, Esq., Dublin 
['' Out of a French noble coronet proper, a cubit arm in bend vested 
azure, charged with five fleurs-de-lis in saltire or, cuffed ermine, holding 
in the hand a scroll, and thereon an open book proper, garnished 
gold "], John Francis Charles Fane De Salis, Count of the Holy 
Roman Empire ['^ i. Out of a marquis' coronet or, a demi-woman 
proper, crowned or, hair flowing down the back, winged in place of 
arms and from the armpits azure ; 2. out of a ducal coronet or, an 
eagle displayed sable, ducally crowned also or ; 3. out of a ducal 
coronet a demi-lion rampant double-queued and crowned with a like 

^ Crest of Bentinck : Out of a marquess's coronet proper, two arms counter-embowed, vested 
gules, on the hands gloves or, and in each hand an ostrich feather argent. 


coronet all or, brandishing a sword proper, hilt and pommel of the 
first, the lion cottised by two tilting-spears of the same, from each a 
banner paly of six argent and gules, fringed also or "], and Mahony, 
Ireland ['* Out of the coronet of a Count of France a dexter arm in 
armour embowed grasping in the hand a sword all proper, hilt and 
pommel or, the blade piercing a fleur-de-lis of the last "]. 

A curious crest coronet will be found with the Sackville crest. 
This is composed of fleurs-de-lis only, the blazon of the crest being : 
*' Out of a coronet composed of eight fleurs-de-lis or, an estoile of 
eight points argent." 

A curious use of coronets in a crest will be found in the crest of 
Sir Archibald Dunbar, Bart. [" A dexter hand apaum^e reaching at an 
astral crown proper "] and Sir Alexander James Dun- 
bar, Bart. ['^ A dexter hand apaumee proper reaching 
to two earls' coronets tied together "]. 

Next after the ordinary 'Mucal coronet" the 

one most usually employed is the mural coronet 

Fig. 657.— Mural (Fig. 657), which is composed of masonry. Though 

it may be and often is of an ordinary heraldic 

tincture, it will usually be found '^proper." An exception occurs in 

the case of the crest of Every-Halstead [*' Out of a mural coronet 

chequy or and azure, a demi-eagle ermine beaked or."] 

Care should be taken to distinguish the mural crown from the 
*' battlements of a tower." This originated as a modern ^' fakement " 
and is often granted to those who have been using a mural coronet, 
and desire to continue within its halo, but are not qualified to obtain in 
their own persons a grant of it. It should be noticed that the battle- 
ments of a tower must always be represented upon a wreath. Its 
facility for adding a noticeable distinction to a crest has, however, in 
these days, when it is becoming somewhat difficult to introduce differ- 
ences in a stock pattern kind of crest, led to its very frequent use in 
grants during the last hundred years. 

Care should also be taken to distinguish between the " battlements 
of a tower " and a crest issuing from ** a castle," as in the case of 
Harley ; <^ a tower," as in that of Boyce ; and upon the " capital of a 
column," as in the crests of Cowper-Essex and Pease. 

Abroad, e,g, in the arms of Paris, it is very usual to place a mural 
crown over the shield of a town, and some remarks upon the point 
will be found on page 368. This at first sight may seem an appropriate 
practice to pursue, and several heraldic artists have followed it and advo- 
cate it in this country. But the correctness of such a practice is, for 
British purposes, strongly and emphatically denied officially, and whilst 
we reserve this privilege for grants to certain army officers of high 


rank, it does not seem proper that it should be available for casual 
and haphazard assumption by a town or city. That being the case, it 
should be borne in mind that the practice is not permissible in British 

The naval coronet (Fig. 658), though but seldom granted now, 
was very popular at one time. In the latter part of the eighteenth 
and the early part of the nineteenth centuries, naval actions were con- 
stantly being fought, and in a large number of cases where the action 
of the officer in command was worthy of high praise and reward, 
part of such reward was usually an augmentation of arms. Very 
frequently it is found that the crest of augmentation issued from a 
naval coronet. This is, as will be seen, a curious 
figure composed of the sail and stern of a ship 
repeated and alternating on the rim of a circlet. 
Sometimes it is entirely gold, but usually the sails 
are argent. An instance of such a grant of aug- p^^. 6^8.— Naval 
mentation will be found in the crest of augmenta- crown, 

tion for Brisbane and in a crest of augmentation 
granted to Sir Philip Bowes Broke to commemorate 
his glorious victory in the Shannon over the Ameri- 
can ship Chesapeake, 

Any future naval grant of a crest of augmenta- 
tion would probably mean, that it would be granted ^' cnjwn. 
issuing out of a naval coronet, but otherwise the 
privilege is now confined to those grants of arms in which the 
patentee is of the rank of admiral. Instances of its use will be found 
in the crests of Schomberg and Farquhar, and in the crest of Dakyns 
of Derbyshire : <^ Out of a naval coronet or, a dexter arm embowed 
proper, holding in the hand a battle-axe argent, round the wrist a 
ribbon azure." The crest of Dakyns is chiefly memorable for the 
curious motto which accompanies it ; ^^ Strike, Dakyns, the devil's in 
the hempe," of which no one knows the explanation. 

Why a naval crown was recently granted as a badge to a family 
named Vickers (Plate VIII.) I am still wondering. 

The crest of Lord St. Vincent [^^ Out of a naval coronet or, 
encircled by a wreath of oak proper, a demi-pegasus argent, maned 
and hoofed of the first, winged azure, charged on the wing with a 
fleur-de-lis gold "] is worthy of notice owing to the encircling of the 
coronet, and in some number of cases the circlet of the coronet has 
been made use of to carry the name of a captured ship or of a naval 

The Eastern Coronet (Fig. 659) is a plain rim heightened with 
spikes. Formerly it was granted without restriction, but now, as has 


been already stated, it is reserved for those of high rank who have served 
in India or the East. An instance occurs, for example, in the crest of 
Rawlinson, Bart. [^* Sable, three swords in pale proper, pommels and 
hilts or, two erect, points upwards, between them one, point down- 
wards, on a chief embattled of the third an antique crown gules. 
Crest : out of an Eastern crown or, a cubit arm erect in armour, the 
hand grasping a sword in bend sinister, and the wrist encircled by a 
laurel wreath proper "]. 

Of identically the same shape is what is known as the '^Antique 

Coronet." It has no particular meaning, and though no objection is 

made to granting it in Scotland and Ireland, it is not granted in 

England. Instances in which it occurs under such 

a description will be found in the cases of Lanigan 

O'Keefe and Matheson. 

The Crown Vallary or Vallary Coronet (Fig. 

660) and the Palisado Coronet (Fig. 661) were 

Fig. 66a— Crown undoubtedly originally the same, but now the two 

ary. forms in which it has been depicted are considered 

to be different coronets. Each has the rim, but 

the vallary coronet is now heightened only by pieces 

of the shape of vair, whilst the palisado coronet 

is formed by high " palisadoes " affixed to the rim. 

These two are the only forms of coronet granted 

Fig. 661.— Palisado j-q ordinary and undistinguished applicants in 

crown. •' ° ^^ 


The circlet from the crown of a king of arms has once at least 
been granted as a crest coronet, this being in the case of Rogers 

In a recent grant of arms to Gee, the crest has no wreath, but 
issues from ^^ a circlet or, charged with a fleur-de-lis gules." The 
circlet is emblazoned as a plain gold band. 


Some number of crests will be found to have been granted to be 
borne upon a *^ chapeau " in lieu of wreath or coronet. Other names 
for the chapeau, under which it is equally well known, are the ^* cap of 
maintenance " or " cap of dignity." 

There can be very little doubt that the heraldic chapeau combines 
two distinct origins or earlier prototypes. The one is the real cap of 
dignity, and the other is the hat or " capelot " which covered the top 
of the helm before the mantling was introduced, but from which the 


lambrequin developed. The curious evolution of the chapeau from 
the *^ capelot," which is so marked and usual in Germany, is the tall 
conical hat, often surmounted by a tuft or larger plume of feathers, 
and usually employed in German heraldry as an opportunity for the 
repetition of the livery colours, or a part of, and often the whole 
design of, the arms. But it should at the same time be noticed that 
this tall, conical hat is much more closely allied to the real cap of 
maintenance than our present crest " chapeau." 

Exactly what purpose the real cap of maintenance served, or of 
what it was a symbol, remains to a certain extent a matter of mystery. 
The " Cap of Maintenance " — a part of the regalia borne before the sove- 
reign at the State opening of Parliament (but not at a coronation) by 
the Marquesses of Winchester, the hereditary bearers of the cap of 
maintenance — bears, in its shape, no relation to the heraldic chapeau. 
The only similarity is its crimson 
colour and its lining of ermine. It 
is a tall, conical cap, and is carried 
on a short staff. 

Whilst crest coronets in early 
days appear to have had little or no 
relation to titular rank, there is no 
doubt whatever that caps of dignity 
had. Long before, a coronet was 
assigned to the rank of baron in the 
reign of Charles II. ; all barons had 
their caps of dignity, of scarlet lined 
with white fur ; and in the old pedi- 
grees a scarlet cap with a gold tuft 
or tassel on top and a lining of fur 
will be found painted above the arms 
of a baron. This fact, the fact that 
until after Stuart days the chapeau does not appear to have been 
allowed or granted to others than peers, the fact that it is now 
reserved for the crests granted to peers, the fact that the velvet 
cap is a later addition both to the sovereign's crown and to the 
coronet of a peer, and finally the fact that the. cap of maintenance is 
borne before the sovereign only in the precincts of Parliament, would 
seem to indubitably indicate that the cap of maintenance was insepar- 
ably connected with the lordship and overlordship of Parliament vested 
in peers and in the sovereign. In the crumpled and tasselled top of 
the velvet cap, and in the ermine border visible below the rim, the 
high conical form of the cap of maintenance proper can be still traced 
in the cap of a peer's coronet, and that the velvet cap contained in 

Fig. 662.— The Crown of King Charles IT. 


the crown of the sovereign and in the coronet of a peer is the survival 
of the old cap of dignity there can be no doubt. This is perhaps 
even more apparent in Fig. 662, which shows the crown of King 
Charles II., than in the representations of the Royal crown which we 
are more accustomed to see. The present form of a peer's coronet is 
undoubtedly the conjoining of two separate emblems of his rank. 
The cap of maintenance or dignity, however, as represented above the 
arms of a baron, as above referred to, was not of this high, conical 
shape. It was much flatter. 

The high, conical, original shape is, however, preserved in many 
of the early heraldic representations of the chapeau, as will be noticed 
from an examination of the ancient Garter plates or from a reference 
to Fig. 271, which shows the helmet with its chapeau-borne crest of 
Edward the Black Prince. 

Of the chapeaux upon which crests are represented in the early 
Garter plates the following facts may be observed. They are twenty 
in number of the eighty-six plates reproduced in Mr. St. John Hope's 
book. It should be noticed that until the end of the reign of Henry 
VIII. the Royal crest of the sovereign was always depicted upon a 
chapeau gules, lined with ermine. Of the twenty instances in which 

the chapeau appears, no less than twelve are 
representations of the Royal crest, borne by 
closely allied relatives of the sovereign, so 
^^^^^? that we have only eight examples from which 
to draw deductions. But of the twenty it 
apeau, should be pointed out that nineteen are peers, 
and the only remaining instance (Sir John Grey, K.G.) is that of the 
eldest son and heir apparent of a peer, both shield and crest being in 
this case boldly marked with the '^ label " of an eldest son. Conse- 
quently it is a safe deduction that whatever may have been the regula- 
tions and customs concerning the use of coronets, there can be no doubt 
that down to the end of the fifteenth century the use of a chapeau 
marked a crest as that of a peer. Of the eight non-Royal examples 
one has been repainted, and is valueless as a contemporary record. Of 
the remaining seven, four are of the conventional gules and ermine. 
One only has not the ermine lining, that being the crest of Lord Fanhope. 
It is plainly the Royal crest ^differenced " (he being of Royal but 
illegitimate descent), and probably the argent in lieu of ermine lining 
is one of the intentional marks of distinction. The chapeau of Lord 
Beaumont is azure, sem6-de-lis, lined ermine, and that of the Earl of 
Douglas is azure lined ermine, this being in each case in conformity 
With the mantling. Whilst the Beaumont family still use this curiously 
coloured chapeau with their crest, the Douglas crest is now borne (by 


the Duke of Hamilton) upon one of ordinary tinctures. Chapeaux, 
other than of gules lined ermine, are but rarely met with, and unless 
specifically blazoned to the contrary a cap of maintenance is always 
presumed to be gules and ermine. 

About the Stuart period the granting of crests upon chapeaux to 
others than peers became far from unusual, and the practice appears to 
have been frequently adopted prior to the beginning of the nineteenth 
century. Some of these crest chapeaux, however, were not of gules. An 
instance of this kind will be found in the grant in 1667 to Sir Thomas 
Davies, then one of the sheriffs of the City of London, but afterwards 
(in 1677) Lord Mayor. The crest granted was : *' On a chapeau sable, 
turned up or, a demi-lion rampant of the last." The reason for the 
grant at that date of such a simple crest and the even more astonishingly 
simple coat of arms [" Or, a chevron between three mullets pierced 
sable "] has always been a mystery to me. 

The arms of Lord Lurgan (granted or confirmed 1840) afford 
another instance of a chapeau of unusual colour, his crest being : 
" Upon a chapeau azure turned up ermine, a greyhound statant gules, 
collared or." 

There are some number of cases in which peers whose ancestors 
originally bore their crests upon a wreath have subsequently placed 
them upon a chapeau. The Stanleys, Earls of Derby, are a case in 
point, as are also the Marquesses of Exeter. The latter case is curious, 
because although they have for long enough so depicted their crest, 
they only comparatively recently (within the last few years) obtained 
the necessary authorisation by the Crown. 

At the present time the official form of the chapeau is as in Fig. 
663, with the turn up split at the back into two tails. No such form 
can be found in any early representation, and most heraldic artists 
have now reverted to an earlier type. 

Before leaving the subject of the cap of maintenance, reference 
should be made to another instance of a curious heraldic headgear 
often, but quite incorrectly^ styled a " cap of maintenance." This is the 
fur cap invariably used over the shields of the cities of London, 
Dublin, and Norwich. There is no English official authority whatever 
for such an addition to the arms, but there does appear to be some 
little official recognition of it in Ulster's Office in the case of the city 
of Dublin. The late Ulster King of Arms, however, informed me 
that he would, in the case of Dublin, have no hesitation what- 
ever in certifying the right of the city arms to be so displayed 
(Plate VII.). 

In the utter absence of anything in the nature of a precedent, it is 
quite unlikely that the practice will be sanctioned in England. The 


hat used is a flat-topped; brown fur hat of the shape depicted with the 
arms of the City of Dublin. It is merely (in London) a part of the 
official uniform or livery of the City sword-bearer. It does not even 
appear to have been a part of the costume of the Lord Mayor, and it 
must always remain a mystery why it was ever adopted for heraldic 
use. But then the chain of the Lord Mayor of London is generally 
called a Collar of SS. Besides this the City of London uses a Peer's 
helmet, a bogus modern crest, and even more modern bogus sup- 
porters, so a few other eccentricities need not in that particular instance 
cause surprise. 


THE mantling is the ornamental design which in a representa- 
tion of an armorial achievement depends from the helmet, 
falling away on either side of the escutcheon. Many authori- 
ties have considered it to have been no more than a fantastic series of 
flourishes, devised by artistic minds for the purpose of assisting orna- 
mentation and affording an artistic opportunity of filling up unoccupied 
spaces in a heraldic design. There is no doubt that its readily apparent 
advantages in that character have greatly led to the importance now 
attached to the mantling in heraldic art. But equally is it certain that 
its real origin is to be traced elsewhere. 

The development of the heraldry of to-day was in the East during 
the period of the Crusades, and the burning heat of the Eastern sun 
upon the metal helmet led to the introduction and adoption of a textile 
covering, which would act in some way as a barrier between the two. 
It was simply in fact and effect a primeval prototype of the ^^ puggaree " 
of Margate and Hindustan. It is plain from all early representations 
that originally it was short, simply hanging from the apex of the 
helmet to the level of the shoulders, overlapping the textile tunic or 
" coat of arms," but probably enveloping a greater part of the helmet, 
neck, and shoulders than we are at present (judging from pictorial 
representations) inclined to believe. 

Adopted first as a protection against the heat, and perhaps also the 

rust which would follow damp, the lambrequin soon made evident 

another of its advantages, an advantage to which we doubtless owe its 

perpetuation outside Eastern warfare in the more temperate climates 

of Northern Europe and England. Textile fabrics are peculiarly and 

remarkably deadening to a sword-cut, to which fact must be added the 

facility with which such a weapon would become entangled in the 

hanging folds of cloth. The hacking and hewing of battle would show 

itself plainly upon the lambrequin of one accustomed to a prominent 

position in the forefront of a fight, and the honourable record implied 

by a ragged and slashed lambrequin accounts for the fact that we find 

at an early period after their introduction into heraldic art, that mantlings 



are depicted cut and " torn to ribbons." This opportunity was quickly 
seized by the heraldic artist, who has always, from those very earliest 
times of absolute armorial freedom down to the point of greatest and 
most regularised control, been allowed an entire and absolute discretion 
in the design to be adopted for the mantling. Hence it is that we 
find so much importance is given to it by heraldic artists, for it is in 
the design of the mantling, and almost entirely in that opportunity, 
that the personal character and abilities of the artist have their greatest 
scope. Some authorities have, however, derived the mantling from the 
robe of estate, and there certainly has been a period in British armory 
when most lambrequins found in heraldic art are represented by an 
unmutilated cloth, suspended from and displayed behind the armorial 
bearings and tied at the upper corners. In all probability the robes of 
estate of the higher nobility, no less than the then existing and peremp- 
torily enforced sumptuary laws, may have led to the desire and to the 
attempt, at a period when the actual lambrequin was fast disappearing 
from general knowledge, to display arms upon something which should 
represent either the parliamentary robes of estate of a peer, or the 
garments of rich fabric which the sumptuary laws forbade to those 
of humble degree. To this period undoubtedly belongs the term 
'< mantling," which is so much more frequently employed than the 
word lambrequin, which is really — from the armorial point of view — 
the older term. 

The heraldic mantling was, of course, originally the representation 
of the actual ** capeline ". or textile covering worn upon the helmet, 
but many early heraldic representations are of mantlings which are of 
skin, fur, or feathers, being in such cases invariably a continuation of 
the crest drawn out and represented as the lambrequin. When the 
crest was a part of the human figure, the habit in which that figure 
was arrayed is almost invariably found to have been so employed. 
The Garter plate of Sir Ralph Bassett, one of the Founder Knights, 
shows the crest as a black boar's head, the skin being continued as 
the sable mantling. 

Some Sclavonic families have mantlings of fur only, that of the 
Hungarian family of Chorinski is a bear skin, and countless other in- 
stances can be found of the use by German families of a continuation 
of the crest for a mantling. This practice affords instances of many 
curious mantlings, this in one case in the Zurich Wappenrolle being 
the scaly skin of a salmon. The mane of the lion, the crest of Mertz, 
and the hair and beard of the crests of Bohn and Landschaden, are 
similarly continued to do duty for the mantling. This practice has 
never found great favour in England, the cases amongst the early 
Garter plates where it has been followed standing almost alone. In a 





manuscript (M. 3, 676) of the reign of Henry VII., now in the College 
of Arms, probably dating from about 1506, an instance of this character 
can be found, however. It is a representation of the crest of Stourton 
(Fig. 664) as it was borne at that date, and was a black Benedictine 
demi-monk proper holding erect in his dexter hand a scourge. Here 
the proper black Benedictine habit (it has of later years been corrupted 
into the russet habit of a friar) is continued to form the mantling. 

By what rules the colours of the mantlings were decided in early 
times it is impossible to say. No rules have been handed down to us 
— the old heraldic 
books are silent on 
the point — and it 
seems equally hope- 
less to attempt to 
deduce any from 
ancient armorial ex- 
amples. The one 
fact that can be stated 
with certainty is that 
the rules of early days, 
if there were any, 
are not the rules 
presently observed. 
Some hold that the 
colours of the mant- 
ling were decided by 
the colours of the 
actual livery in use 
as distinct from the 

"livery colours" of the arms. It is difficult to check this rule, 
because our knowledge of the liveries in use in early days is so 
meagre and limited ; but in the few instances of which we now have 
knowledge we look in vain for a repetition of the colours worn by the 
retainers as liveries in the mantlings used. The fact that the livery 
colours are represented in the background of some of the early 
Garter plates, and that in such instances in no single case do they 
agree with the colours of the mantling, must certainly dissipate once 
and for all any such supposition as far as it relates to that period. 

A careful study and analysis of early heraldic emblazonment, how- 
ever, reveals one point as a dominating characteristic. That is, that 
where the crest, by its nature, lent itself to a continuation into the 
mantling it generally was so continued. This practice, which was 
almost universal upon the Continent, and is particularly to be met with 

2 B 

Fig. 664.— The Crest of Stourton. 


in German heraldry, though seldom adopted in England, certainly had 
some weight in English heraldry. In the recently published repro- 
ductions of the Plantagenet Garter plates eighty-seven armorial achieve- 
ments are included. Of these, in ten instances the mantlings are plainly 
continuations of the crests, being '' feathered " or in unison. Fifteen 
of the mantlings have both the outside and the inside of the principal 
colour and of the principal metal of the arms they accompany, though 
in a few cases, contrary to the present practice, the metal is outside, 
the lining being of the colour. Nineteen more of the mantlings are 
of the principal colour of the arms, the majority (eighteen) of these 
being lined with ermine. No less than forty-nine are of some colour 
lined with ermine, but thirty-four of these are of gules lined ermine, 
and in the large majority of cases in these thirty-four instances neither 
the gules nor the ermine are in conformity with the principal colour 
and metal (what we now term the ^Mivery colours") of the arms. In 
some cases the colours of the mantling agree with the colours of the 
crest, a rule which will usually be found to hold good in German 
heraldry. The constant occurrence of gules and ermine incline one 
much to believe that the colours of the mantling were not decided by 
haphazard fancy, but that there was some law — possibly in some way 
connected with the sumptuary laws of the period — which governed the 
matter, or, at any rate, which greatly limited the range of selection. 
Of the eighty-seven mantlings, excluding those which are gules lined 
ermine, there are four only the colours of which apparently bear no 
relation whatever to the colours of the arms or the crests appearing 
upon the same Stall plate. In some number of the plates the colours 
certainly are taken from a quartering other than the first one, and in 
one at least of the four exceptions the mantling (one of the most curious 
examples) is plainly derived from a quartering inherited by the knight 
in question though not shown upon the Stall plate. Probably a closer 
examination of the remaining three instances would reveal a similar 
reason in each case. That any law concerning the colours of their 
mantlings was enforced upon those concerned would be an unwarrant- 
able deduction not justified by the instances under examination, but 
one is clearly justified in drawing from these cases some deductions as 
to the practice pursued. It is evident that unless one was authorised 
by the rule or reason governing the matter — whatever such rule or reason 
may have been — in using a mantling of gules and ermine, the dominat- 
ing colour (not as a rule the metal) of the coat of arms (or of one of 
the quarterings), or sometimes of the crest if the tinctures of arms and 
crest were not in unison, decided the colour of the mantling. That 
there was some meaning behind the mantlings of gules lined with 
ermine there can be little doubt, for it is noticeable that in a case in 


which the colours of the arms themselves are gules and ermine, the 
mantling is of gules and argent, as by the way in this particular case 
is the chapeau upon which the crest is placed. But probably the 
reason which governed these mantlings of gules lined with ermine, as 
also the ermine linings of other mantlings, must be sought outside the 
strict limits of armory. That the colours of mantlings are repeated in 
different generations, and in the plates of members of the same family, 
clearly demonstrates that selection was not haphazard. 

Certain of these early Garter plates exhibit interesting curiosities in 
the mantlings : — 

1. Sir William Latimer, Lord Latimer, K.G., c. 1361-1381. Arms: 
gules a cross patonce or. Crest : a plume of feathers sable, the tips 
or. Mantling gules with silver vertical stripes, lined with ermine. 

2. Sir Bermond Arnaud de Presac, Soudan de la Tran, K.G., 
1380-/05^ 1384. Arms; or, a lion rampant double-queued gules. 
Crest: a Midas' head argent. Mantling sable, lined gules, the latter 
veined or. 

3. Sir Simon Felbrigge, K.G., 1 397-1 442. Arms: or, a lion 
rampant gules. Crest: out of a coronet gules, a plume of feathers 
ermine. Mantling ermine, lined gules (evidently a continuation of the 

4. Sir Reginald Cobham, Lord Cobham, K.G., 1352-1361. Arms: 
gules, on a chevron or, three estoiles sable. Crest : a soldan's head 
sable, the brow encircled by a torse or. Mantling sable (evidently a 
continuation of the crest), lined gules. 

5. Sir Edward Cherleton, Lord Cherleton of Powis, K.G., 1406-7 
to 1420-1. Arms: or, a lion rampant gules. Crest: on a wreath 
gules and sable, two lions' gambs also gules, each adorned on the 
exterior side with three demi-fleurs-de-lis issuing argent, the centres 
thereof or. Mantling : on the dexter side, sable ; on the sinister side, 
gules ; both lined ermine. 

6. Sir Hertong von Clux, K.G., 1421-1445 or 6. Arms: argent, 
a vine branch couped at either end in bend sable. Crest : out of a 
coronet or, a plume of feathers sable and argent. Mantling : on the 
dexter side, azure ; on the sinister, gules ; both lined ermine. 

7. Sir Miles Stapleton, K.G. (Founder Knight, died 1364). Arms: 
argent, a lion rampant sable. Crest : a soldan's head sable, around 
the temples a torse azure, tied in a knot, the ends flowing. Mantling 
sable (probably a continuation of the crest), lined gules. 

8. Sir Walter Hungerford, Lord Hungerford and Heytesbury, 
K.G., 1421-1449. Arms: sable, two bars argent, and in chief three 
plates. Crest : out of a coronet azure a garb or, enclosed by two 
sickles argent. Mantling (within and without) : dexter, barry of six 


ermine and gules ; sinister, barry of six gules and ermine. (The 
reason of this is plain. The mother of Lord Hungerford was a 
daughter and coheir of Hussey. The arms of Hussey are variously 
given : " Barry of six ermine and gules," or ^^ Ermine, three bars 

9. Sir Humphrey Stafford, Earl of Stafford, 1429-1460. Arms: 
or, a chevron gules. Crest : out of a coronet gules, a swan's head 
and neck proper, beaked gules, between two wings also proper. 
Mantling : the dexter side, sable ; the sinister side, gules ; both lined 
ermine. Black and gules, it may be noted, were the livery colours of 
Buckingham, an earldom which had devolved upon the Earls of 

10. Sir John Grey of Ruthin, K.G., 1 436-1 439. Arms : quarterly, 
I and 4, barry of six argent and azure, in chief three torteaux ; 2 and 

3, quarterly i. and iiii., or, a maunch gules ; ii. and iii., barry of eight 
argent and azure, an orle of ten martlets gules ; over all a label of 
three points argent. Crest : on a chapeau gules, turned up ermine, 
a wyvern or, gorged with a label argent. Mantling or, lined 

11. Sir Richard Nevill, Earl of Salisbury, K.G., 1436-1460. 
Arms : quarterly, i and 4, quarterly i. and iiii., argent, three lozenges 
conjoined in fess gules ; ii. and iii., or, an eagle displayed vert ; 2 and 3, 
gules, a saltire argent, a label of three points compony argent and azure. 
Crest : on a coronet, a griffin sejant, with wings displayed or. Mant- 
ling : dexter side, gules ; the sinister, sable ; both lined ermine. 

12. Sir Gaston de Foix, Count de Longueville, &c., K.G., 1438- 
1458. Arms: quarterly, i and 4, or, three pallets gules; 2 and 3, 
or, two cows passant in pale gules, over all a label of three points, 
each point or, on a cross sable five escallops argent. Crest : on a 
wreath or and gules, a blackamoor's bust with ass's ears sable, vested 
paly or and gules, all between two wings, each of the arms as in the 
first quarter. Mantling paly of or and gules, lined vert. 

13. Sir Walter Blount, Lord Mountjoye, K.G., 147 2-1 474. Arms : 
quarterly, i. argent, two wolves passant in pale sable, on a bordure 
also argent eight saltires couped gules (for Ayala) ; 2. or, a tower 
(? gules) (for Mountjoy) ; 3. barry nebuly or and sable (for Blount) ; 

4. vair6 argent and gules (for Gresley). Crest : out of a coronet two 
ibex horns or. Mantling sable, lined on the dexter side with argent, 
and on the sinister with or. 

14. Frederick, Duke of Urbino. Mantling or, lined ermine. 

In Continental heraldry it is by no means uncommon to find the 
device of the arms repeated either wholly or in part upon the mantling. 
In reference to this the ^'Tournament Rules" of Ren6, Duke of Anjou, 


throw some light on the point. These it may be of interest to 
quote : — 

" Vous tous Princes, Seigneurs, Barons, Cheualiers, et Escuyers, qui auez intention 
de tournoyer, vous estes tenus vous rendre es heberges le quartrieme jour 
deuan le jour du Tournoy, pour faire de vos Blasons fenestres, sur payne de 
non estre receus audit Tournoy. Les armes seront celles-cy. Le tymbre doit 
estre sur vne piece de cuir boiiilly, la quelle doit estre bien faultree d'vn doigt 
d'espez, ou plus, par le dedans : et doit contenir la dite piece de cuir tout le 
sommet du heaulme, et sera couuerte la dite piece du lambrequin armoye des 
armes de celuy qui le portera, et sur le dit lambrequin au plus haut du 
sommet, sera assis le dit Tymbre, et autour d'iceluy aura vn tortil des couleurs 
que voudra le Tournoyeur. 

" Item, et quand tous les heaulmes seront ainsi mis et ordonnez pour les departir, 
viendront toutes Dames et Damoiselles et tout Seigneurs, Cheualiers, et 
Escuyers, en les visitant d'vn bout a autre, la present les Juges, qui meneront 
trois ou quatre tours les Dames pour bien voir et visiter les Tymbres, et y 
aura vu Heraut ou poursuivant, qui dira aux Dames selon Tendroit ou elles 
seront, le nom de ceux k qui sont les Tymbres, afin que s'il en a qui ait des 
Dames medit, et elles touchent son Tymbre, qu'il soit le lendemain pour 
recommande." (Menetrier, BOrigine des Armoiries^ pp. 79-81.) 

Whilst one can call to mind no instance of importance of ancient 
date where this practice has been followed in this country, there are 
one or two instances in the Garter plates which approximate closely 
to it. The mantling of John, Lord Beaumont, is azure, sem6-de-lis 
(as the field of his arms), lined ermine. Those of Sir John Bourchier, 
Lord Berners, and of Sir Henry Bourchier, Earl of Essex, are of 
gules, billette or, evidently derived from the quartering for Louvaine 
upon the arms, this quartering being : ^^ Gules, billette and a fess or." 

According to a MS. of Vincent, in the College of Arms, the 
Warrens used a mantling chequy of azure and or with their arms. 

A somewhat similar result is obtained by the mantling, ^' Gules, 
sem6 of lozenges or," upon the small plate of Sir Sanchet Dabriche- 
court. The mantling of Sir Lewis Robessart, Lord Bourchier, is ; 
'< Azure, bezante, lined argent." 

" The azure mantling on the Garter Plate of Henry V., as Prince 
of Wales, is < sem6 of the French golden fleurs-de-lis/ . . . The 
Daubeny mantling is *sem6 of mullets.' On the brass of Sir John 
Wylcote, at Tew, the lambrequins are chequy. . . . On the seals of 
Sir John Bussy, in 1391 and 1407, the manthngs are barry, the coat 
being ^ argent, three bars sable.' " 

There are a few cases amongst the Garter plates in which badges 
are plainly and unmistakably depicted upon the mantlings. Thus, on 
the lining of the mantling on the plate of Sir Henry Bourchier (elected 
1452) will be found water-bougets, which are repeated on a fillet round 
the head of the crest. The Stall plate of Sir John Bourchier, Lord 


Berners, above referred to (elected 1459), is lined with silver on the 
dexter side, sem6 in the upper part with water-bougets, and in the 
lower part with Bourchier knots. On the opposite side of the mant- 
ling the knots are in the upper part, and the water-bougets below. 
That these badges upon the mantling are not haphazard artistic decora- 
tion is proved by a reference to the monumental effigy of the Earl of 
Essex, in Little Easton Church, Essex. The differing shapes of the 
helmet, and of the coronet and the mantling, and the different repre- 
sentation of the crest, show that, although depicted in his Garter robes, 
upon his effigy the helmet, crest, and mantling upon which the earl's 
head there rests, and the representations of the same upon the Garter 
plate, are not slavish copies of the same original model. Nevertheless 
upon the effigy, as on the Garter plate, we find the outside of the 
mantling '^ seme of billets," and the inside *^ seme of water-bougets." 
Another instance amongst the Garter plates will be found in the case 
of Viscount Lovell, whose mantling is strewn with gold padlocks. 

Nearly all the mantlings on the Garter Stall plates are more or less 
heavily " veined " with gold, and many are heavily diapered and 
decorated with floral devices. So prominent is some of this floral 
diapering that one is inclined to think that in a few cases it may possibly 
be a diapering with floral badges. In other cases it is equally evidently 
no more than a mere accessory of design, though between these two 
classes of diapering it would be by no means easy to draw a line of 
distinction. The veining and ^^ heightening " of a mantling with gold 
is at the present day nearly always to be seen in elaborate heraldic 

From the Garter plates of the fourteenth century it has been shown 
that the colours of a large proportion of the mantlings approximated 
in early days to the colours of the arms. The popularity of gules, 
however, was then fast encroaching upon the frequency of appearance 
which other colours should have enjoyed ; and in the sixteenth century, 
in grants and other paintings of arms, the use of a mantling of gules 
had become practically universal. In most cases the mantling of 
" gules, doubled argent " forms an integral part of the terms of the 
grant itself, as sometimes do the '^ gold tassels " which are so frequently 
found terminating the mantHngs of that and an earlier period. This 
custom continued through the Stuart period, and though dropped 
officially in England during the eighteenth century (when the mantling 
reverted to the livery colours of the arms, and became in this form a 
matter of course and so understood, not being expressed in the wording 
of the patent), it continued in force in Lyon Office in Scotland until 
the year 1890, when the present Lyon King of Arms (Sir James Balfour 
Paul) altered the practice, and, as had earlier been done in England, 


ordered that all future Scottish mantlings should be depicted in the 
livery colours of the arms, but in Scotland the mantlings, though now 
following the livery colours, are still included in the terms of the grant, 
and thereby stereotyped. In England, in an official ^^ exemplification " 
at the present day of an ancient coat of arms {e.g. in an exemplification 
following the assumption of name and arms by Royal License), the 
mantling is painted in the livery colours, irrespective of any ancient 
patent in which ^' gules and argent " may have been granted as the 
colour of the mantling. Though probably most people will agree as 
to the expediency of such a practice, it is at any rate open to criticism 
on the score of propriety, unless the new mantling is expressed in terms 
in the new patent. This would of course amount to a grant overriding 
the earlier one, and w^ould do all that was necessary ; but failing this, 
there appears to be a distinct hiatus in the continuity of authority. 

Ermine linings to the mantling were soon denied to the undis- 
tinguished commoner, and with the exception of the early Garter 
plates, it would be difficult to point to an instance of their use. The 
mantlings of peers, however, continued to be lined with ermine, and 
English instances under official sanction can be found in the Visitation 
Books and in the Garter plates until a comparatively recent period. 
In fact the relegation of peers to the ordinary livery colours for their 
mantlings is, in England, quite a modern practice. In Scotland, how- 
ever, the mantlings of peers have always been lined with ermine, and 
the present Lyon continues this whilst usually making the colours of 
the outside of the mantlings agree with the principal colour of the 
arms. This, as regards the outer colour of the mantling, is not a fixed 
or stereotyped rule, and in some cases Lyon has preferred to adopt a 
mantling of gules lined with ermine as more comformable to a peer's 
Parliamentary Robe of Estate. 

In the Deputy Earl-Marshal's warrant referred to on page 375 are 
some interesting points as to the mantling. It is recited that ^* some 
pecsons under y^ degree of y*" Nobilitie of this Realme doe cause 
Ermins to be Depicted upon ye Lineings of those Mantles which are 
used with their Armes, and also that there are some that have lately 
caused the Mantles of their Armes to be painted like Ostrich feathers 
as tho' they were of some peculiar and superior degree of Honor," 
and the warrant commands that these points are to be rectified. 

The Royal mantling is of cloth of gold. In the case of the sovereign 
and the Prince of Wales it is lined with ermine, and for other members 
of the Royal Family it is lined with argent. Queen Elizabeth was the 
first sovereign to adopt the golden mantling, the Royal tinctures before 
that date (for the mantling) being gules lined ermine. The mantling 
of or and ermine has, of course, since that date been rigidly denied to 


all outside the Royal Family. Two instances, however, occur amongst 
the early Garter plates, viz. Sir John Grey de Ruthyn and Frederick, 
Duke of Urbino. It is sometimes stated that a mantling of or and 
ermine is a sign of sovereignty, but the mantling of our own sovereign 
is really the only case in which it is presently so used. 

In Sweden, as in Scotland, the colours of the mantling are specified 
in the patent, and, unlike our own, are often curiously varied. 

The present rules for the colour of a mantling are as follows in 
England and Ireland : — 

1. That with ancient arms of which the grant specified the colour, 

where this has not been altered by a subsequent exemplifica- 
tion, the colours must be as stated in the grant, i.e, usually 
gules, lined argent. 

2. That the mantling of the sovereign and Prince of Wales is of 

cloth of gold, lined with ermine. 

3. That the mantling of other members of the Royal Family is of 

cloth of gold lined with argent. 

4. That the mantlings of all other people shall be of the livery 

The rules in Scotland are now as follows : 

1. That in the cases of peers whose arms were matriculated before 

1890 the mantling is of gules lined with ermine (the Scottish 
term for " lined " is *' doubled "). 

2. That the mantlings of all other arms matriculated before 1890 

shall be of gules and argent. 

3. That the mantlings of peers whose arms have been matriculated 

since 1890 shall be either of the principal colour of the arms, 
lined with ermine, or of gules lined ermine (conformably to 
the Parliamentary Robe of Estate of a peer) as may happen 
to have been matriculated. 

4. That the mantlings of all other persons whose arms have been 

matriculated since 1890 shall be of the livery colours, unless 
other colours are, as is occasionally the case, specified in the 
patent of matriculation. 
Whether in Scotland a person is entitled to assume of his own 
motion an ermine lining to his mantling upon his elevation to the 
peerage, without a rematriculation in cases where the arms and mant- 
ling have been otherwise matriculated at an earlier date, or whether in 
England any peer may still line his mantling with ermine, are. points on 
which one hesitates to express an opinion. 

When the mantling is of the livery colours the following rules 
must be observed. The outside must be of some colour and the lining 
of some metal. The colour must be the principal colour of the arms. 


i.e. the colour of the field if it be of colour, or if it is of metal, then the 
colour of the principal ordinary or charge upon the shield. The 
metal will be as the field, if the field is of metal, or if not, it will be 
as the metal of the principal ordinary or charge. In other words, it 
should be the same tinctures as the wreath. 

If the field is party of colour and metal {i.e, per pale barry, 
quarterly, &c.), then that colour and that metal are *^ the livery colours." 
If the field is party of two colours the principal colour {i.e, the one first 
mentioned in the blazon) is taken as the colour and the other is ignored. 
The mantling is not made party to agree with the field in British 
heraldry, as would be the case in Germany. If the field is of a fur, 
then the dominant metal or colour of the fur is taken as one component 
part of the *< livery colours," the other metal or colour required being 
taken from the next most important tincture of the field. For ex- 
ample, " ermine, a fess gules " has a mantling of gules and argent, 
whilst ** or, a chevron ermines " would need a mantling of sable and 
or. The mantling for ** azure, a lion rampant erminois " would be 
azure and or. But in a coat showing fur, metal, and colour, some- 
times the fur is ignored. A field of vair has a mantling argent and 
azure, but if the charge be vair the field will supply the one, i.e, either 
colour or metal, whilst the vair supplies whichever is lacking. Except 
in the cases of Scotsmen who are peers and of the Sovereign and Prince 
of Wales, no fur is ever used nowadays in Great Britain for a mantling. 

In cases where the principal charge is "proper," a certain discretion 
must be used. Usually the heraldic colour to which the charge 
approximates is used. For example, " argent, issuing from a mount 
in base a tree proper," &c., would have a mantling vert and argent. 
The arms " or, three Cornish choughs proper," or " argent, three negroes' 
heads couped proper," would have mantlings respectively sable and or 
and sable and argent. Occasionally one comes across a coat which 
supplies an '^ impossible" mantling, or which does not supply one at all. 
Such a coat would be " per bend sinister ermine and erminois, a lion 
rampant counterchanged." Here there is no colour at all, so the 
mantling would be gules and argent. "Argent, three stags trippant 
proper " would have a mantling gules and argent. A coat of arms with 
a landscape field would also probably be supplied (in default of a 
chief, e.g. supplying other colours and tinctures) with a mantling gules 
and argent. It is quite permissible to " vein " a mantling with gold 
lines, this being always done in official paintings. 

In English official heraldry, where, no matter how great the 
number of crests, one helmet only is painted, it naturally follows that 
one mantling only can be depicted. This is always taken from the 
livery colours of the chief {i.e, the first) quartering or sub-quartering. 


In Scottish patents at the present day in which a helmet is painted 
for each crest the manthngs frequently vary, being in each case in accord- 
ance with the livery colours of the quartering to which the crest 
belongs. Consequently this must be accepted as the rule in cases where 
more than one helmet is shown. 

In considering the fashionings of mantlings it must be remembered 
that styles and fashions much overlap, and there has always been the 
tendency in armory to repeat earlier styles. Whilst one willingly 
concedes the immense gain in beauty by the present reversion in 
heraldic art to older and better, and certainly more artistic types, 
there is distinctly another side to the question which is strangely over- 
looked by those who would have the present-day heraldic art slavishly 
copied in all minutiae of detail, and even (according to some) in all 
the crudity of draughtmanship from examples of the earliest periods. 

Hitherto each period of heraldic art has had its own peculiar style 
and type, each within limits readily recognisable. Whether that style 
and type can be considered when judged by the canons of art to be 
good or bad, there can be no doubt that each style in its turn has 
approximated to, and has been in keeping with, the concurrent decora- 
tive art outside and beyond heraldry, though it has always exhibited 
a tendency to rather lag behind. When all has been said and done 
that can be, heraldry, in spite of its symbolism and its many other 
meanings, remains but a form of decorative art ; and therefore it is 
natural that it should be influenced by other artistic ideas and other 
manifestations of art and accepted forms of design current at the 
period to which it belongs. For, from the artistic point of view, the 
part played in art by heraldry is so limited in extent compared with 
the part occupied by other forms of decoration, that one would natur- 
ally expect heraldry to show the influence of outside decorative art to 
a greater extent than decorative art as a whole would be likely to 
show the influence of heraldry. In our present revulsion of mind in 
favour of older heraldic types, we are apt to speak of " good " or 
^^bad" heraldic art. But art itself cannot so be divided, for after all 
allowances have been made for crude workmanship, and when bad or 
imperfect examples have been eliminated from consideration (and given 
always necessarily the essential basis of the relation of line to curve 
and such technical details of art), who on earth is to judge, or who is 
competent to say, whether any particular style of art is good or bad ? 
No one from preference executes speculative art which he knows whilst 
executing it to be bad. Most manifestations of art, and peculiarly of 
decorative art, are commercial matters executed with the frank idea of 
subsequent sale, and consequently with the subconscious idea, true 
though but seldom acknowledged, of pleasing that public which will 


have to buy. Consequently the ultimate appeal is to the taste of the 
public, for art, if it be not the desire to give pleasure by the represen- 
tation of beauty, is nothing. Beauty, of course, must not necessarily 
be confounded with prettiness ; it may be beauty of character. The 
result is, therefore, that the decorative art of any period is an indication 
of that which gives pleasure at the moment, and an absolute reflex of 
the artistic wishes, desires, and tastes of the cultivated classes to whom 
executive art must appeal. At every period it has been found that 
this taste is constantly changing, and as a consequence the examples 
of decorative art of any period are a reflex only of the artistic ideas 
current at the time the work was done. 

At all periods, therefore, even during the early Victorian period, 
which we are now taught and believe to be the most ghastly period 
through which English art has passed, the art in vogue has been what 
the public have admired, and have been ready to pay for, and most 
emphatically what they have been taught and brought up to consider 
good art. In early Victorian days there was no lack of educated 
people, and because they liked the particular form of decoration 
associated with their period, who is justified in saying that, because 
that peculiar style of decoration is not acceptable now to ourselves, 
their art was bad, and worse than our own ? If throughout the ages 
there had been one dominating style of decoration equally accepted 
at all periods and by all authorities as the highest type of decorative 
art, then we should have some standard to judge by. Such is not 
the case, and we have no such standard, and any attempt to arbitrarily 
create and control ideas between given parallel lines of arbitrary thought, 
when the ideas are constantly changing, is impossible and undesirable. 
Who dreams of questioning the art of Benvenuto Cellini, or of describ- 
ing his craftsmanship as other than one of the most vivid examples of 
his period, and yet what had it in keeping with the art of the Louis 
XVI. period, or the later art of William Morris and his followers? 
Widely divergent as are these types, they are nevertheless all accepted 
as the highest expressions of three separate types of decorative art. 
Any one attempting to compare them, or to rank these schools of 
artistic thought in order of superiority, would simply be laying them- 
selves open to ridicule unspeakable, for they would be ranked by the 
highest authorities of different periods in different orders, and it is as 
impossible to create a permanent standard of art as it is impossible to 
ensure a permanence of any particular public taste. The fact that 
taste changes, and as a consequence that artistic styles and types vary, 
is simply due to the everlasting desire on the part of the public for 
some new thing, and their equally permanent appreciation of novelty 
of idea or sensation. That master-minds have arisen to teach, and 

that they have taught with some success their own particular brand 
of art to the pubHc, would seem rather to argue against the foregoing 
ideas were it not that, when the master-mind and the dominating 
influence are gone, the public, desiring as always change and novelty, 
are ready to fly to any new teacher and master who can again afford 
them artistic pleasure. The influence of William Morris in household 
decoration is possibly the most far-reaching modern example of the 
influence of a single man upon the art of his period ; but master-mind 
as was his, and master-craftsman as he was, it has needed but a few 
years since his death to start the undoing of much that he taught. 
After the movement initiated by Morris and carried further by the 
Arts and Crafts Society, which made for simplicity in structural design 
as well as in the decoration of furniture, we have now fallen back 
upon the flowery patterns of the early Victorian period, and there is 
hardly a drawing-room in fashionable London where the chairs and 
settees are not covered with early Victorian chintzes. 

Artistic authorities may shout themselves hoarse, but the fashion 
having been set in Mayfair will be inevitably followed in Suburbia, and 
we are doubtless again at the beginning of the cycle of that curious 
manifestation of domestic decorative art which was current in the early 
part of the nineteenth century. It is, therefore, evident that it is futile 
to describe varying types of art of varying periods as good or bad, or 
to differentiate between them, unless some such permanent basis of 
comparison or standard of excellence be conceded. The differing 
types must be accepted as no more than the expression of the artistic 
period to which they belong. That being so, one cannot help thinking 
that the abuse which has been heaped of late (by unthinking votaries 
of Plantagenet and Tudor heraldry) upon heraldic art in the seven- 
teenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries has very greatly over- 
stepped the true proportion of the matter. Much that has been said 
is true, but what has been said too often lacks proportion. There is 
consequently much to be said in favour of allowing each period to 
create its own style and type of heraldic design, in conformity with the 
ideas concerning decorative art which are current outside heraldic 
thought. This is precisely what is not happening at the present time, even 
with all our boasted revival of armory and armorial art. The tendency 
at the present time is to slavishly copy examples of other periods. There 
is another point which is usually overlooked by the most blatant 
followers of this school of thought. What are the ancient models 
which remain to us ? The early Rolls of Arms of which we hear so 
much are not, and were never intended to be, examples of artistic 
execution. They are merely memoranda of fact. It is absurd to 
suppose that an actual shield was painted with the crudity to be met 


with in the Rolls of Arms. It is equally absurd to accept as unim- 
peachable models. Garter plates, seals, or architectural examples unless 
the purpose and medium — wax, enamel, or stone — in which they are 
executed is borne in mind, and the knowledge used with due discrimi- 
nation. Mr. Eve, without slavishly copying, originally appears to have 
modelled his work upon the admirable designs and ideas of the ^^ little 
masters " of German art in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. He 
has since progressed therefrom to a distinctive and very excellent style 
of his own, Mr. Graham Johnson models his work upon Plantagenet 
and Tudor examples. The work of Pere Anselm, and of Pugin, the first 
start towards the present ideas of heraldic art, embodying as it did so 
much of the beauty of the older work whilst possessing a character of 
its own, and developing ancient ideals by increased beauty of execution, 
has placed their reputation far above that of others, who, following in 
their footsteps, have not possessed their abilities. But with regard to 
most of the heraldic design of the present day as a whole it is very 
evident that we are simply picking and choosing tit-bits from the work of 
bygone craftsmen, and copying, more or less slavishly, examples of other 
periods. This makes for no advance in design either in its character 
or execution, nor will it result in any peculiarity of style which it will 
be possible in the future to identify with the present period. Our 
heraldry, like our architecture, though it may be dated in the twentieth 
century, will be a heterogeneous collection of isolated specimens of 
Gothic, Tudor, or Queen Anne style and type, which surely is as 
anachronistic as we consider to be those Dutch paintings which re- 
present Christ and the Apostles in modern clothes. 

Roughly the periods into which the types of mantlings can be 
divided, when considered from the standpoint of their fashioning, are 
somewhat as follows. There is the earliest period of all, when the 
mantling depicted approximated closely if it was not an actual repre- 
sentation of the capelote really worn in battle. Examples of this will 
be found in the Armorial de Gelre and the Zurich Wappenrolle, As the 
mantling worn lengthened and evolved itself into the lambrequin, the 
mantling depicted in heraldic art was similarly increased in size, 
terminating in the long mantle drawn in profile but tasselled and with 
the scalloped edges, a type which is found surviving in some of the 
early Garter plates. This is the transition stage. The next definite 
period is when we find the mantling depicted on both sides of the 
helmet and the scalloped edges developed, in accordance with the 
romantic ideas of the period, into the slashes and cuts of the bold and 
artistic mantlings of Plantagenet armorial art. 

Slowly decreasing in strength, but at the same' time increasing in 
elaboration, this mantling and type continued until it had reached its 


highest pitch of exuberant elaboration in Stuart and early Georgian 
times. Side by side with this over-elaboration came the revulsion to a 
Puritan simplicity of taste which is to be found in other manifestations 
of art at the same time, and which made itself evident in heraldic 
decoration by the use as mantling of the plain uncut cloth suspended 
behind the shield. Originating in Elizabethan days, this plain cloth 
was much made use of, but towards the end of the Stuart period came 
that curious evolution of British heraldry which is peculiar to these 
countries alone. That is the entire omission of both helmet and 
mantling. How it originated it is difficult to understand, unless it be 
due to the fact that a large number, in fact a large proportion, of 
English families possessed a shield only and neither claimed nor used 
a crest, and that consequently a large number of heraldic represen- 
tations give the shield only. It is rare indeed to find a shield sur- 
mounted by helmet and mantling when the former is not required to 
support a grest. At the same time we find, among the official records 
of the period, that the documents of chief importance were the Visita- 
tion Books. In these, probably from motives of economy or to save 
needless draughtsmanship, the trouble of depicting the helmet and 
mantling was dispensed with, and the crest is almost universally found 
depicted on the wreath, which is made to rest upon the shield, the 
helmet being omitted. That being an accepted, official way of repre- 
senting an achievement, small wonder that the public followed, and 
we find as a consequence that a large proportion of the bookplates 
during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries had no helmet or 
mantling at all, the elaboration of the edges of the shield, together with 
the addition of decorative and needless accessories bearing no relation 
to the arms, fulfilling all purposes of decorative design. It should also 
be remembered that from towards the close of the Stuart period onward, 
England was taking her art and decoration almost entirely from Con- 
tinental sources, chiefly French and Italian. In both the countries 
the use of crests was very limited indeed in extent, and the elimination 
of the helmet and mantling, and the elaboration in their stead of the 
edges of the shield, we probably owe to the effort to assimilate French 
and Italian forms of decoration to English arms. So obsolete had 
become the use of helmet and mantling that it is difficult to come across 
examples that one can put forward as mantlings typical of the period. 

Helmets and mantlings were of course painted upon grants and 
upon the Stall plates of the knights of the various orders, but whilst 
the helmets became weak, of a pattern impossible to wear, and small 
in size, the mantling became of a stereotyped pattern, and of a design 
poor and wooden according to our present ideas. 

Unofficial heraldry had sunk to an even lower style of art, and 

Fig. 665. — Carriage Panel of Georgiana, Marchioness 
of Cholmondeley. 

or THE 




the regulation heraldic stationer's types of shield, mantling, and helmet 
are awe-inspiring in their ugliness. 

The term '^mantle" is sometimes employed, but it would seem 
hardly quite correctly, to the parliamentary robe of estate upon which 
the arms of a peer of the realm were so frequently depicted at the 
end of the eighteenth and in the early part of the nineteenth centuries. 
Its popularity is an indication of the ever-constant predilection for 
something which is denied to others and the possession of which is a 
matter of privilege. Woodward, in his ^'Treatise on Heraldry," treats 
of and dismisses the matter in one short sentence : *' In England the 
suggestion that the arms of peers should be mantled with their Parlia- 
ment robes was never generally adopted." In this statement he is 
quite incorrect, for as the accepted type in one particular opportunity 
of armorial display its use was absolutely universal. The opportunity 
in question was the emblazonment of arms upon carriage panels. In 
the early part of the nineteenth and at the end of the eighteenth 
centuries armorial bearings were painted of some size upon carriages, 
and there were few such paintings executed for the carriages, chariots, 
and state coaches of peers that did not appear upon a background of 
the robe of estate. With the modern craze for ostentatious unosten- 
tation (the result, there can be little doubt, in this respect of the 
wholesale appropriation of arms by those without a right to bear these 
ornaments), the decoration of a peer's carriage nowadays seldom 
shows more than a simple coronet, or a coroneted crest, initial, or 
monogram ; but the State chariots of those who still possess them 
almost all, without exception, show the arms emblazoned upon the 
robe of estate. The Royal and many other State chariots made or 
refurbished for the recent coronation ceremonies show that, when an 
opportunity of the fullest display properly arises, the robe of estate is 
not yet a thing of the past. Fig. 665 is from a photograph of a 
carriage panel, and shows the arms of a former Marchioness of Chol- 
mondeley displayed in this manner. Incidentally it also shows a 
practice frequently resorted to, but quite unauthorised, of taking one 
supporter from the husband's shield and the other (when the wife was 
an heiress) from the arms of her family. The arms are those of 
Georgiana Charlotte, widow of George James, first Marquess of Chol- 
mondeley, and younger daughter and coheir of Peregrine, third Duke 
of Ancaster. She became a widow in 1827 and died in 1838, so the 
panel must have been painted between those dates. The arms shown 
are : *' Quarterly, i and 4, gules, in chief two esquires' helmets proper, 
and in base a garb or (for Cholmondeley) ; 2. gules, a chevron between 
three eagles' heads erased argent ; 3. or, on a fesse between two 
chevrons sable, three cross crosslets or (for Walpole), and on an 


escutcheon of pretence the arms of Bertie, namely : argent, three 
battering-rams fesswise in pale proper, headed and garnished azure." 
The supporters shown are : *^ Dexter, a griffin sable, armed, winged, 
and membered or (from the Cholmondeley achievement) ; sinister, a 
friar vested in russet with staff and rosary or " (one of the supporters 
belonging to the Barony of Willoughby D'Eresby, to which the 
Marchioness of Cholmondeley in her own right was a coheir until 
the abeyance in the Barony was determined in favour of her elder 

^^ In later times the arms of sovereigns — the German Electors, &c. 
— were mantled, usually with crimson velvet fringed with gold, lined 
with ermine, and crowned ; but the mantling armoy6 was one of the 
marks of dignity used by the Pairs de France, and by Cardinals resident 
in France ; it was also employed by some great nobles in other 
countries. The mantling of the Princes and Dukes of Mirandola was 
chequy argent and azure, lined with ermine. In France the mantling 
of the Chancelier was of cloth of gold ; that of Presidents, of scarlet, 
lined with alternate strips of ermine and petit gris. In France, 
Napoleon I., who used a mantling of purple seme of golden bees, 
decreed that the princes and grand dignitaries should use an azure 
mantling thus sem6 ; those of Dukes were to be plain, and lined with 
vair instead of ermine. In 1817 a mantling of azure, fringed with 
gold and lined with ermine, was appropriated to the dignity of Pair de 

The pavilion is a feature of heraldic art which is quite unknown 
to British heraldry, and one can call to mind no single instance of its 
use in this country ; but as its use is very prominent in Germany and 
other countries, it cannot be overlooked. It is confined to the arms 
of sovereigns, and the pavilion is the tent-like erection within which 
the heraldic achievement is displayed. The pavilion seems to have 
originated in France, where it can be traced back upon the Great 
Seals of the kings to its earliest form and appearance upon the seal of 
Louis XI. In the case of the Kings of France, it was of azure sem^- 
de-lis or. The pavilion used with the arms of the German Emperor 
is of gold seme alternately of Imperial crowns and eagles displayed 
sable, and is lined with ermine. The motto is carried on a crimson 
band, and it is surmounted by the Imperial crown, and a banner of 
the German colours gules, argent, and sable. The pavilion used by 
the German Emperor as King of Prussia is of crimson, sem^ of black 
eagles and gold crowns, and the band which carries the motto is blue. 
The pavilions of the King of Bavaria and the Duke of Baden, the 
King of Saxony, the Duke of Hesse, the Duke of Mecklenburg- 
Schwerin, the Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, the Duke of Saxe- 


Meiningen-Hildburghausen, the Duke of Saxe-Altenburg, and the 
Duke of Anhalt are all of crimson. 

In German heraldry a rather more noticeable distinction is drawn 
than with ourselves between the lambrequin (Helmdecke) and the mantle 
(Helmmarttef), This more closely approximates to the robe of estate, 
though the helmmantel has not in Germany the rigid significance of 
peerage degree that the robe of estate has in this country. The 
German helmmantel with few exceptions is always of purple lined with 
ermine, and whilst the mantel always falls directly from the coronet 
or cap, the pavilion is arranged in a dome-like form which bears the 
crown upon its summit. The pavilion is supposed to be the invention 
of the Frenchman Philip Moreau (1680), and found its way from 
France to Germany, where both in the Greater and Lesser Courts it 
was enthusiastically adopted. Great Britain, Austria-Hungary, Spain, 
Portugal, and Wiirtemberg are the only Royal Arms in which the 
pavilion does not figure. 

2 C 



THE actual helmet, from the very earliest heraldic representations 
which have come down to us, would sometimes appear not to 
have had any mantling, the crest being affixed direct to the (then) 
flat top of the helmet in use. But occasional crests appear very early in 
the existence of "ordered" armory, and at much about the same time we 
find the *^ textile " covering of the helmet coming into heraldic use. In 
the earliest times we find that frequently the crest itself was continued 
into the mantling. But where this was not possible, the attaching of 
the crest to the helmet when the mantling intervened left an unsightly 
joining. The unsightliness very soon called forth a remedy. At first 
this remedy took the form of a coronet or a plain fillet or ribbon 
round the point of juncture, sometimes with and sometimes without 
the ends being visible. If the ends were shown they were represented 
as floating behind, sometimes with and sometimes without a represen- 
tation of the bow or knot in which they were tied. The plain fillet 
still continued to be used long after the torse had come into recog- 
nised use. The consideration of crest coronets has been already 
included, but with regard to the wreath an analysis of the Plantagenet 
Garter plates will afford some definite basis from which to start 

Of the eighty-six achievements reproduced in Mr. St. John Hope's 
book, five have no crest. Consequently we have eighty-one examples 
to analyse. Of these there are ten in which the crest is not attached 
to the lambrequin and helmet by anything ^perceptible, eight are 
attached with fillets of varying widths, twenty-one crests are upon 
chapeaux, and twenty-nine issue from coronets. But at no period 
governed by the series is it possible that either fillet, torse, chapeau, 
or coronet was in use to the exclusion of another form. This remark 
applies more particularly to the fillet and torse (the latter of which 
undoubtedly at a later date superseded the former), for both at the 
beginning and at the end of the series referred to we find the fillet 
and the wreath or torse, and at both periods we find crests without 
either coronet, torse, chapeau, or fillet. The fillet must soon after- 
wards (in the fifteenth century) have completely fallen into desuetude. 



The torse was so small and unimportant a matter that upon seals it 
would probably equally escape the attention of the engraver and the 
observer, and probably there would be little to be gained by a syste- 
matic hunt through early seals to discover the date of its introduction, 
but it will be noticed that no wreaths appear in some of the early 
Rolls. General Leigh says, "In the time of Henry the Fifth, and 
long after, no man had his badge set on a wreath under the degree 
of a knight. But that order is worn away." It probably belongs to 
the end of the fourteenth century. There can be little doubt that its 
twisted shape was an evolution from the plain fillet suggested by the 
turban of the East. We read in the old romances, in Mallory's 
" Morte d' Arthur " and elsewhere, of valiant knights who in battle or 
tournament wore the favour of some lady, or even the lady's sleeve, 
upon their helmets. It always used to be a puzzle to me how the 
sleeve could have been worn upon the helmet, and I wonder how 
many of the present-day novelists, who so glibly make their knightly 
heroes of olden time wear the " favours " of their lady-lovers, know 
how it was done ? The favour did not take the place of the crest. 
A knight did not lightly discard an honoured, inherited, and known 
crest for the sake of wearing a favour only too frequently the mere 
result of a temporary flirtation ; nor to wear her colours could he 
at short notice discard or renew his lambrequin, surcoat, or the 
housings and trappings of his horse. He simply took the favour — 
the colours, a ribbon, or a handkerchief of the lady, as the case 
might be — and twisted it in and out or over and over the fillet 
which surrounded the joining-place of crest and helmet. To put 
her favour on his helmet was the work of a moment. The wearing 
of a lady's sleeve, which must have been an honour greatly prized, 
is of course the origin of the well-known " maunch," the solitary 
charge in the arms of Conyers, Hastings, and Wharton. Doubtless the 
sleeve twined with the fillet would be made to encircle the base of 
the crest, and it is not unlikely that the wide hanging mouth of the 
sleeve might have been used for the lambrequin. The dresses of 
ladies at that period were decorated with the arms of their families, 
so in each case would be of the " colours " of the lady, so that the 
sleeve and its colours would be quickly identified, as it was no doubt 
usually intended they should be. The accidental result of twining a 
favour in the fillet, in conjunction with the pattern obviously sug- 
gested by the turban of the East, produced the conventional torse or 
wreath. As the conventional slashings of the lambrequin hinted at 
past hard fighting in battle, so did the conventional torse hint at past 
service to and favour of ladies, love and war being the occupations of 
the perfect knight of romance. How far short of the ideal knight of 


romance the knight of fact fell, perhaps the frequent bordures and 
batons of heraldry are the best indication. At first, as is evident from 
the Garter plates, the colours of the torse seem to have had little or 
no compulsory relation to the " livery colours " of the arms. The 
instances to be gleaned from the Plantagenet Garter plates which 
have been reproduced are as follows : — . 

Sir John Bourchier, Lord Bourchier. Torse : sable and vert. 
Arms : argent and gules. 

Sir John Grey, Earl of Tankerville. Torse : vert, gules, and argent. 
Arms : gules and argent. 

Sir Lewis Robsart, Lord Bourchier. Torse : azure, or, and sable. 
Arms : vert and or. [The crest, derived from his wife (who was a 
daughter of Lord Bourchier) is practically the same as the one first 
quoted. It will be noticed that the torse differs.] 

Sir Edward Cherleton, Lord Cherleton of Powis. Torse : gules 
and sable. Arms : or and gules. 

Sir Gaston de Foix, Count de Longueville. Torse : or and gules. 
Arms : or and gules. 

Sir William Nevill, Lord Fauconberg. Torse : argent and gules. 
Arms : gules and argent. 

Sir Richard Wydville, Lord Rivers. Torse : vert. Arms : argent 
and gules. 

Sir Henry Bourchier, Earl of Essex. Torse ; sable and vert. Arms : 
argent and gules. [This is the same crest above alluded to.] 

Sir Thomas Stanley, Lord Stanley. Torse : or and azure. Arms : 
or and azure. 

Sir John Bourchier, Lord Berners. Torse : gules and argent. Arms: 
argent and gules. [This is the same crest above alluded to.] 

Sir Walter Devereux, Lord Ferrers. Torse : argent and sable. 
Arms : argent and gules. [The crest really issues from a coronet upon 
a torse in a previous case, this crest issues from a torse only.] 

Sir Francis Lovel, Viscount Lovel. Torse : azure and or. Arms ; 
or and gules. 

Sir Thomas Burgh, Lord Burgh. Torse : azure and sable. Arms : 
azure and ermine. 

Sir Richard Tunstall, K.G. Torse : argent and sable. Arms : 
sable and argent. 

I can suggest no explanation of these differences unless it be, which 
is not unlikely, that they perpetuate *' favours " worn ; or perhaps a 
more likely supposition is that the wreath or torse was of the ^^ family 
colours," as these were actually worn by the servants or retainers of 
each person. If this be not the case, why are the colours of the wreath 
termed the livery colours ? At the present time in an English or Irish 


grant of arms the colours are not specified, but the crest is stated to 
be <' on a wreath of the colours." In Scotland, however, the crest 
is granted in the following words : " and upon a wreath of his liveries 
is set for crest." Consequently, I have very little doubt, the true state 
of the case is that originally the wreath was depicted of the colours of 
the livery which was worn. Then new families came into prominence 
and eminence, and had no liveries to inherit. They were granted arms 
and chose the tinctures of their arms as their ** colours," and used 
these colours for their personal liveries. The natural consequence 
would be in such a case that the torse, being in unison with the livery, 
was also in unison with the arms. The consequence is that it has 
become a fixed, unalterable rule in British heraldry that the torse shall 
be of the principal metal and of the principal colour of the arms. I 
know of no recent exception to this rule, the latest, as far as I am 
aware, being a grant in the early years of the eighteenth century. 
This, it is stated in the patent, was the regranting of a coat of foreign 
origin. Doubtless the formality of a grant was substituted for the 
usual registration in this case, owing to a lack of formal proof of 
a right to the arms, but there is no doubt that the peculiarities of 
the foreign arms, as they had been previously borne, were preserved in 
the grant. The peculiarity in this case consisted of a torse of three 
tinctures. The late Lyon Clerk once pointed out to me, in Lyon 
Register, an instance of a coat there matriculated with a torse of three 
colours, but I unfortunately made no note of it at the time. Wood- 
ward alludes to the curious chequy wreath on the seals of Robert 
Stewart, Duke of Albany, in 1389. This appears to have been repeated 
in the seals of his son Murdoch. 

The wreath of Patrick Hepburn appears to be of roses in the 
Gelre ** Armorial," and a careful examination of the plates in this 
volume will show many curious Continental instances of substitutes 
for the conventional torse. Though by no means peculiar to British 
heraldry, there can be no manner of doubt that the wreath in the 
United Kingdom has obtained a position of legalised necessity and 
constant usage and importance which exists in no other country. 

As has been already explained, the torse should fit closely to the 
crest, its object and purpose being merely to hide the joining of crest 
and helmet. Unfortunately in British heraldry this purpose has been 
ignored. Doubtless resulting first from the common practice of de- 
picting a crest upon a wreath and without a helmet, and secondly 
from the fact that many English crests are quite unsuitable to place 
on a helmet, in fact impossible to affix by the aid of a wreath to a 
helmet, and thirdly from our ridiculous rules of position for a helmet, 
which result in the crest being depicted (in conjunction with the 


representation of the helmet) in a position many such crests never 
could have occupied on any helmet, the effect has been to cause the 
wreath to lose its real form, which encircled the helmet, and to become 
considered as no more than a straight support for and relating only 
to the crest. When, therefore, the crest and its supporting basis is 
transferred from indefinite space to the helmet, the support, which 
is the torse, is still represented as a flat resting-place for the crest, and 
it is consequently depicted as a straight and rigid bar, balanced upon 
the apex of the helmet. This is now and for long has been the only 
accepted official way of depicting a wreath in England. Certainly 
this is an ungraceful and inartistic rendering, and a rendering far 
removed from any actual helmet wreath that can ever have been 
actually borne. Whilst one has no wish to defend the *^ rigid bar," 
which has nothing to recommend it, it is at the same time worth while 
to point out that the heraldic day of actual helmets and actual usage 
is long since over, never to be revived, and that our heraldry of to-day 
is merely decorative and pictorial. The rigid bar is none other than 
a conventionalised form of the actual torse, and is perhaps little more 
at variance with the reality than is our conventionalised method of 
depicting a lambrequin. Whilst this conventional torse remains the 
official pattern, it is hopeless to attempt to banish such a method of 
representation : but Lyon King of Arms, happily, will have none of it 
in his official register or on his patents, and few heraldic artists of any 
repute now care to so design or represent it. As always officially 
painted it must consist of six links alternately of metal and colour 
(the " livery colours " of the arms), of which the metal must be the 
first to be shown to the dexter side. The torse is now supposed to be 
and represented as a skein of coloured silk intertwined with a gold or 
silver cord. 


IN this country a somewhat fictitious importance has become 
attached to supporters, owing to their almost exclusive reservation 
to the highest rank. The rules which hold at the moment will 
be recited presently, but there can be no doubt that originally they 
were in this country little more than mere decorative and artistic 
appendages, being devised and altered from time to time by different 
artists according as the artistic necessities of the moment demanded. 
The subject of the origin of supporters has been very ably dealt with 
in " A Treatise on Heraldry " by Woodward and Burnett, and with all 
due acknowledgment I take from that work the subjoined extract : — 

<^ Supporters are figures of living creatures placed at the side or 
sides of an armorial shield, and appearing to support it. French 
writers make a distinction, giving the name of Supports to animals, real 
or imaginary, thus employed ; while human figures or angels similarly 
used are called Tenants, Trees, and other inanimate objects which 
are sometimes used, are called Souttens. 

^' Menetrier and other old writers trace the origin of supporters 
to the usages of the tournaments, where the shields of the combatants 
were exposed for inspection, and guarded by their servants or pages 
disguised in fanciful attire : ' C'est des Tournois qu'est venu cet usage 
parce que les chevaliers y faisoient porter leurs lances, et leurs ^cus, 
par des pages, et des valets de pied, deguisez en ours, en lions, en mores, 
et en sauvages' {Usage des Armoiriesy p. 1 19). 

^' The old romances give us evidence that this custom prevailed ; 
but I think only after the use of supporters had already arisen from 
another source. 

'^ There is really little doubt now that Anstis was quite correct 
when, in his Aspilogiay he attributed the origin of supporters to the 
invention of the engraver, who filled up the spaces at the top and sides 
of the triangular shield upon a circular seal with foliage, or with 
fanciful animals. Any good collection of mediaeval seals will strengthen 
this conviction. For instance, the two volumes of Laing's * Scottish 
Seals ' afford numerous examples in which the shields used in the 

thirteenth and fourteenth centuries were placed between two creatures 



resembling lizards or dragons. (See the seal of Alexander de Balliol, 
1295. — Laing, ii. 74.) 

** The seal of John, Duke of Normandy, eldest son of the King of 
France, before 13 16 bears his arms (France-Ancient, a bordtire gules) 
between two lions rampant away from the shield, and an eagle with 
expanded wings standing above it. The secretum of Isabelle de Flandres 
{c, 1308) has her shield placed between three lions, each charged with 
a bend (Vree, Gen, Com, Flanr,, Plates XLIIL, XLIV., XCIl). In 1332 
Aymon of Savoy places his arms (Savoy, with a label) between a winged 
lion in chief and a lion without wings at either side. Later, on the seal 
of Amadeus VI., a lion's head between wings became the crest of Savoy. 
In 1332 Amadeus bears Savoy on a lozenge between in chief two 
eagles, in base two lions. (CiBRARiO, Nos. 61, 64 ; and GuiCHENON, 
tome i. No. 130.) In Scotland the shield of Reginald Crav^ford in 
1 292 is placed between two dogs, and surmounted by a fox; in the same 
year the paly shield of Reginald, Earl of Athole, appears between two 
lions in chief and as many griffins in flanks. — Laing, i. 210, 761. 

*^The seal of Humbert II., Dauphin de Viennois in 1349, is an 
excellent example of the fashion. The shield of Dauphiny is in the 
centre of a quatrefoil. Two savages mounted on griffins support its 
flanks ; on the upper edge an armed knight sits on a couchant lion, 
and the space in base is filled by a human face between two wingless 
dragons. The spaces are sometimes filled with the Evangelistic sym- 
bols, as on the seal of Yolante de Flandres, Countess of Bar 
(c, 1340). The seal of Jeanne, Dame de Plasnes, in 1376 bears 
her arms en banniere a quatrefoil supported by two kneeling angels, a 
demi-angel in chief, and a lion couchant guardant in base." 

Corporate and other seals afford countless examples of the inter- 
stices in the design being filled with the figures similar to those from 
which in later days the supporters of a family have been deduced. 
But I am myself convinced that the argument can be carried 
further. Fanciful ornamentation or meaningless devices may have 
first been made use of by seal engravers, but it is very soon found 
that the badge is in regular use for this purpose, and we find both 
animate and inanimate badges employed. Then where this is possible 
the badge, if animate, is made to support the helmet and crest, and, later 
on, the shield, and there can be no doubt the badge was in fact acting 
as a supporter long before the science of armory recognised that 
existence of supporters. 

Before passing to supporters proper, it may be well to briefly allude 
to various figures which are to be found in a position analogous to 
that of supporters. The single human figure entire, or in the form 


of a demi-figure appearing- above the shield, is very frequently to be 
met with, but the addition of such figures was and remains purely artisiic, 
and I know of no single instance in British armory where one figure, 
animate or inanimate, has ever existed alone in the character of a single 
supporter, and as an integral part of the heritable armorial achieve- 
ment. Of course I except those figures upon which the arms of 
certain families are properly displayed. These will be presently 
alluded to, but though they are certainly exterior ornaments, I do not 
think they can be properly classed as supporters unless to this term is 
given some elasticity, or unless the term has some qualifying remarks of 
reservation added to it. There are, however, many instances of armorial 
ensigns depicted, and presumably correctly, in the form of banners 
supported by a single animal, but it will always be found that the 
single animal is but one of the pair of duly allocated supporters. Many 
instances of arms depicted in this manner will be found in " Prince 
Arthur's Book." The same method of display was adopted in some 
number of cases, and with some measure of success, in Foster's 
" Peerage." Single figures are very frequently to be met with in 
German and Continental heraldry, but on these occasions, as with 
ourselves, the position they occupy is merely that of an artistic accessory, 
and bears no inseparable relation to the heraldic achievement. The 
single exception to the foregoing statement of which I am aware is 
to be found in the arms of the Swiss Cantons. These thirteen coats 
are sometimes quartered upon one shield, but when displayed separately 
each is accompanied by a single supporter. Zurich, Lucerne, Uri, 
Unter-Walden, Glarus, and Basle all bear the supporter on the dexter 
side ; Bern, Schweig, Zug, Freiburg, and Soluthurn on the sinister. 
Schafhausen (a ram) and Appenzell (a bear) place their supporters in 
full aspect behind the shield. 

On the corbels of Gothic architecture, shields of arms are frequently 
supported by Angels, which, however, cannot generally be regarded as 
heraldic appendages — being merely supposed to indicate that the 
owners have contributed to the erection of the fabric. Examples of 
this practice will be found on various ecclesiastical edifices in, Scotland, 
and among others at Melrose Abbey, St. Giles', Edinburgh, and the 
church of Seton in East Lothian. An interesting instance of an 
angel supporting a shield occurs on the beautiful seal of Mary of 
Gueldres, Queen of James IL (1459); ^"^ ^^e Privy Seal of David IL, 
a hundred years earlier, exhibits a pretty design of an escutcheon 
charged with the ensigns of Scotland, and borne by two arms issuing 
from clouds above, indicative of Divine support.^ 

^ Plate XI. Fig. lo, Laing's " Catalogue," No. 29. At each side of the King's seated figure on 
the counter-seal of Robert II. (1386) the arms of Scotland are supported from behind ])y a skeleton 
within an embattled buttress ("Catalogue," No. 34). 


Of instances of single objects from which shields are found de- 
pending or supported the *' Treatise on Heraldry " states : — 

^^ Allusion has been made to the usage by which on vesica-shaped 
shields ladies of high rank are represented as supporting with either 
hand shields of arms. From this probably arose the use of a single 
supporter. Marguerite de Courcelles in 1284, and Alix de 
Verdun in 131 1, bear in one hand a shield of the husband's arms, in 
the other one of their own. The curious seal of Muriel, Countess of 
Stratherne, in 1284, may be considered akin to these. In it the 
shield is supported partly by a falcon, and partly by a human arm 
issuing from the sinister side of the vesica^ and holding the falcon by 
the jesses (Laing, i. 764). The early seal of Boleslas III., King of 
Poland, in 1255, bears a knight holding a shield charged with the 
Polish eagle (Vossberg, Die Siegel des Mittelalters), In 1283 the seal of 
Florent of Hainault bears a warrior in chain mail supporting a 
shield charged with a lion impaling an eagle dimidiated. 

• •.••••• 

^' On the seal of Humphrey de Bohun in 1322 the guige is held 
by a swan, the badge of the Earls of Hereford ; and in 1356 the 
shield of the first Earl of Douglas is supported by a lion whose head 
is covered by the crested helm, a fashion of which there are many 
examples. A helmed lion holds the shield of Magnus I., Duke of 
Brunswick, in 1326. 

*•••••• . 

"On the seal of Jean, Due de Berri, in 1393 the supporter is a 
helmed swan (compare the armorial slab of Henry of Lancaster, in 
BouTELL, Plate LXXIX.). Jean IV., Comte d'ALENgoN (1408), has a 
helmed lion sejant as supporter. In 1359 a signet of Louis van Male, 
Count of Flanders, bears a lion sejant, helmed and crested, and 
mantled with the arms of Flanders between two small escutcheons of 
Nevers, or the county of Burgundy [<< Azure, billetty, a lion rampant 
or "], and Rethel [" Gules, two heads of rakes fesswise in pale or "]. 

• .. . • • • . 

^< A single lion sejant, helmed and crested, bearing on its breast the 
quartered arms of Burgundy between two or three other escutcheons, 
was used by the Dukes up to the death of Charles the Bold in 1475. 
In LiTTA's splendid work, Famtglie celebri ItalianejihQ BuONAROTTi arms 
are supported by a brown dog sejant, helmed, and crested with a pair 
of dragon's wings issuing from a crest-coronet. On the seal of 
Thomas Holland, Earl of Kent, in 1380 the shield is buckled round 
the neck of the white hind lodged, the badge of his half-brother, 
Richard II. Single supporters were very much in favour in the 
thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, and the examples are numerous. 


Charles, Dauphin de Viennois (c, 1355), has his shield held by a 
single dolphin. In 1294 the seal of the Dauphin jEAN, son of Hum- 
bert I., bears the arms of Dauphine pendent from the neck of a griffon. 
The shields of arms of Bertrand de BricquebeC; in 1325 ; Pierre 
DE TouRNEBU; in 1339 ; of Charles, Count of Alen^on, in 1356 ; 
and of Oliver de Clisson in 1397, are all supported by a warrior 
who stands behind the shield. In England the seal of Henry Percy, 
first Earl, in 1346, and another in 1345, have similar representations. 

'^ On several of our more ancient seals only one supporter is repre- 
sented, and probably the earliest example of this arrangement occurs 
on the curious seal of William, first Earl of Douglas (c. 1356), where 
the shield is supported from behind 
by a lion ' sejant,' with Ins head in the 
hehnety which is surmounted by the 

" On the seal of Archibald, fourth 
Earl of Douglas {c, 141 8), the shield 
is held, along with a club, in the right 
hand of a savage ered^ who bears a 
helmet in his left ; while on that of 
William, eighth Earl (1446), a kneeling 
savage holds a club in his right hand, 
and supports a couch<§ shield on his 
left arm." 

An example reproduced from Jost 
Amman's Wappen und Statnmhiichy pub- 
lished at Frankfurt, 1589, will be found 
in Fig. 666. In this the figure partakes more of the character of 
a shield guardian than a shield supporter. The arms are those ot 
<^ Sigmund Hagelshaimer," otherwise " Helt," living at Niirnberg. The 
arms are " Sable, on a bend argent, an arrow gules." The crest is 
the head and neck of a hound sable, continued into a mantling sable, 
lined argent. The crest is charged with a pale argent, and thereupon 
an arrow as in the arms, the arrow-head piercing the ear of the hound. 

Seated figures as supporters are rare, but one occurs in Fig. 667, 
which shows the arms of the Vohlin family. They bear : '< Argent, on 
a fesse sable, three ' P's ' argent." The wings which form the crest are 
charged with the same device. This curious charge of the three letters 
is explained in the following saying : — 

" Piper Peperit Pecuniam, 
Pecunia Peperit Pompam, 
Pompa Peperit Pauperiem, 
Pauperics Peperit Pietatem." 

Fig. 6(y6. — Arms of Sigmund 


There are, however, certain exceptions to the British rule that there 
can be no single supporters, if the objects upon which shields of arms 
are displayed are accepted as supporters. It was always customary to 
display the arms of the Lord High Admiral on the sail of the ship. 
In the person of King William IV., before he succeeded to the throne, 
the office of Lord High Admiral was vested for a short time, but it had 
really fallen into desuetude at an earlier date and has not been revived 
again, so that to all intents and purposes it is now extinct, and this 
recognised method of depicting arms is consequently also extinct. 
But there is one other case which forms a unique instance which can 
be classified with no others. The arms of Campbell of Craignish are 
always represented in a curious manner, the gyronny coat of Campbell 
appearing on a shield displayed in front of a lymphad (Plate II.). 
What the origin of this practice is it would be difficult to say ; probably 
it merely originated in the imaginative ideas of an artist when making a 
seal for that family, artistic reasons suggesting the display of the gyronny 
arms of Campbell in front of the lymphad of Lome. The family, 
however, seem to have universally adopted this method of using their 
arms, and in the year 1875, when Campbell of Inverneil matriculated 
in Lyon Register, the arms were matriculated in that form. I know of 
no other instance of any such coat of arms, and this branch of the 
Ducal House of Campbell possesses armorial bearings which, from the 
official standpoint, are absolutely unique from one end of Europe to 
the other. 

In Germany the use of arms depicted in front of the eagle displayed, 
either single-headed or double-headed, is very far from being unusual. 
Whatever may have been its meaning originally in that country, there 
is no doubt that now and for some centuries past it has been accepted 
as meaning, or as indicative of, princely rank or other honours of the 
Holy Roman Empire. But I do not think it can always have had 
that meaning. About the same date the Earl of Menteith placed his 
shield on the breast of an eagle, as did Alexander, Earl of Ross, in 
1338; and in 1394 w^e find the same ornamentation in the seal of 
Euphemia, Countess of Ross. The shield of Ross is borne in her case 
on the breast of an eagle, while the arms of Leslie and Comyn appear 
on its displayed wings. On several other Scottish seals of the same 
era, the shield is placed on the breast of a displayed eagle, as on those 
of Alexander Abernethy and Alexander Cumin of Buchan (1292), and 
Sir David Lindsay, Lord of Crawford. English heraldry supplies several 
similar examples, of which we may mention the armorial insignia of 
Richard, Earl of Cornwall, brother of Henry III., and of the ancient 
family of Latham, in the fourteenth century. A curious instance of a 
shield placed on the breast of a hawk is noticed by Hone in his " Table 

Fig. ^^J. — Arms of Vohlin of Augsberg. 


Book," viz. the arms of the Lord of the Manor of Stoke-Lyne, in the 
county of Oxford. It appears therefrom that when Charles I. held 
his Parliament at Oxford, the offer of knighthood was gratefully 
declined by the then Lord of Stoke-Lyne, who merely requested, and 
obtained, the Royal permission to place the arms of his family upon 
the breast of a hawk, which has ever since been employed in the 
capacity of single supporter. What authority exists for this statement 
it is impossible to ascertain, and one must doubt its accuracy, because 
in England at any rate no arms, allocated to any particular territorial 
estate, have ever received official recognition. 

In later years, as indicative of rank in the Holy Roman Empire, 
the eagle has been rightly borne by the first Duke of Marlborough and 
by Henrietta his daughter, Duchess of Marlborough, but the use of 
the eagle by the later Dukes of Marlborough would appear to be 
entirely without authority, inasmuch as the princedom, created in the 
person of the first duke, became extinct on his death. - His daughters, 
though entitled of right to the courtesy rank of princess and its 
accompanying privilege of the right to use the eagle displayed behind 
their arms, could not transmit it to their descendants upon whom the 
title of Duke of Marlborough was specially entailed by English Act of 

The Earl of Denbigh and several members of the Fielding family 
have often made use of it with their arms, in token of their supposed 
descent from the Counts of Hapsburg, which, if correct, would ap- 
parently confer the right upon them. This descent, however, has been 
much questioned, and in late years the claim thereto would seem to have 
been practically dropped. The late Earl Cowper, the last remaining 
Prince of the Holy Roman Empire in the British Peerage, was entitled 
to use the double eagle behind his shield, being the descendant and 
representative of George Nassau Clavering Cowper, third Earl Cowper, 
created a Prince of the Holy Roman Empire by the Emperor Joseph II., 
the patent being dated at Vienna, 31st January 1778, and this being 
followed by a Royal Licence from King George III. to accept and bear 
the title in this country. 

There are some others who have the right by reason of honours of 
lesser rank of the Holy Roman Empire, and amongst these may be 
mentioned Lord Methuen, who bears the eagle by Royal Warrant 
dated 4th April 1775. Sir Thomas Arundel, who served in the 
Imperial army of Hungary, having in an engagement with the Turks 
near Strignum taken their standard with his own hands, was by 
Rodolph II. created Count of the Empire to hold for him and the 
heirs of his body for ever, dated at Prague 14th December 1595. This 
patent, of course, means that every one of his descendants in the male 


line has the rank of a Count of the Empire, and that every daughter 
of any such male descendant is a Countess, but this does not confer 
the rank of count or countess upon descendants of the daughters. It 
was this particular patent of creation that called forth the remark from 
Queen Elizabeth that she would not have her sheep branded by any 
foreign shepherd, and we believe that this patent was the origin of the 
rule translated in later times {temp, George IV.) into a definite Royal 
Warrant, requiring that no English subject shall, without the express 
Royal Licence of the Sovereign conveyed in writing, accept or wear 
any foreign title or decoration. No Royal Licence was subsequently 
obtained by the Arundel family, who therefore, according to British 
law, are denied the use of the privileged Imperial eagle. Outside 
those cases in which the double eagle is used in this country to 
denote rank of the Holy Roman Empire, the usage of the eagle 
displayed behind the arms or any analogous figure is in British heraldry 
most limited. 

One solitary authoritative instance of the use of the displayed eagle 
is found in the coat of arms of the city of Perth. These arms are 
recorded in Lyon Register, having been matriculated for that Royal 
Burgh about the year 1672. The official blazon of the arms is as 
follows : ^^ Gules ane holy lambe passant regardant staff and cross 
argent, with the banner of St. Andrew proper, all within a double 
tressure counter-flowered of the second, the escutcheon being sur- 
mounted on the breast of ane eagle with two necks displayed or. The 
motto in ane Escroll, ' Pro Rege Lege et Grege.' " 

Another instance of usage, though purely devoid of authority, 
occurs in the case of a coat of arms set up on one of the panels in 
the Hall of Lincoln's Inn. In this case the achievement is displayed 
on the breast of a single-headed eagle. What reason led to its usage 
in this manner I am quite unaware, and I have not the slightest reason 
for supposing it to be authentic. The family of Stuart-Menteith also 
place their arms upon a single-headed eagle displayed gules, as was 
formerly to be seen in Debrett's Peerage, but though arms are matri- 
culated to them in Lyon Register, this particular adornment forms no 
part thereof, and it has now disappeared from the printed Peerage 
books. The family of Britton have, however, recently recorded as a 
badge a double-headed eagle displayed ermine, holding in its claws 
an escutcheon of their arms (Plate VIII.). 

Occasionally batons or wands or other insignia of office are to 
be found in conjunction with armorial bearings, but these will be 
more fully dealt with under the heading of Insignia of Office. Before 
dealing with the usual supporters, one perhaps may briefly allude to 
*' inanimate " supporters. 


Probably the most curious instance of all will be found in the 
achievement of the Earls of Errol as it appears in the MS. of Sir 
David Lindsay. In this two ox-yokes take the place of the supporters. 
The curious tradition which has been attached to the Hay arms is 
quoted as follows by Sir James Balfour Paul, Lyon King of Arms, 
in his " Heraldry in relation to Scottish History and Art," who 
writes : ^' Take the case of the well-known coat of the Hays, and hear 
the description of its origin as given by Nisbet : < In the reign of 
Kenneth III., about the year 980, when the Danes invaded Scotland, 
and prevailing in the battle of Luncarty, a country Scotsman with his 
two sons, of great strength and courage, having rural weapons, as the 
yokes of their plough, and such plough furniture, stopped the Scots 
in their flight in a certain defile, and upbraiding them with cowardice, 
obliged them to rally, who with them renewed the battle, and gave a 
total overthrow to the victorious Danes ; and it is said by some, after 
the victory was obtained, the old man lying on the ground, wounded 
and fatigued, cried, '^ Hay, Hay," which word became a surname to 
his posterity. He and his sons being nobilitate, the King gave him 
the aforesaid arms (argent, three escutcheons gules) to intimate that the 
father and the two sons had been luckily the three shields of Scotland, 
and gave them as much land in the Carse of Gowrie as a falcon did 
fly over without lighting, which having flown a great way, she lighted 
on a stone there called the Falcon Stone to this day. The circum- 
stances of which story is not only perpetuated by the three escutcheons, 
but by the exterior ornaments of the achievement of the family of 
Errol ; having for crest, on a wreath, a falcon proper ; for supporters 
two men in country habits, holding the oxen-yokes of a plough over 
their shoulders ; and for motto, " Serva jugum." ' 

" Unfortunately for the truth of this picturesque tale there are 
several reasons which render it utterly incredible, not the least being 
that at the period of the supposed battle armorial bearings were quite 
unknown, and could not have formed the subject of a royal gift. Hill 
Burton, indeed, strongly doubts the occurrence of the battle itself, and 
says that Hector Boece, who relates the occurrence, must be under 
strong suspicion of having entirely invented it. As for the origin of 
the name itself, it is, as Mr. Cosmo Innes points out in his work on 
^ Scottish Surnames,' derived from a place in Normandy, and neither it 
nor any other surname occurred in Scotland till long after the battle 
of Luncarty. I have mentioned this story in some detail, as it is a 
very typical specimen of its class ; but there are others like unto it, 
often traceable to the same incorrigible old liar, Hector Boece." 

It is not unlikely that the ox-yoke was a badge of the Hays, Earls 
of Errol, and a reference to the variations of the original arms, crest, 


and supporters of Hay will show how the changes have been rung on 
the shields, falcon, ox-yokes, and countrymen of the legend. 

Another instance is to be found in the arms of the Mowbray family 
as they were at one time depicted with an ostrich feather on either 
side of the shield (Fig. 675, p. 465), and at first one might be inclined 
to class these amongst the inanimate supporters. The Garter plate, 
however, of John Beaufort, Duke of Somerset, probably supplies the 
key to the whole matter, for this shows not only the ostrich feathers 
but also supporters of the ordinary character in their usual position. 
From the last-mentioned instance, it is evident the ostrich feathers can 
be only representations of the badge, their character doubtless being 
peculiarly adaptable to the curious position they occupy. They are of 
course the same in the case of the Mowbray arms, and doubtless the 
ox-yoke of the Earl of Errol is similarly no more than a badge. 

A most curious instance of supporters is to be found in the case of 
the arms of Viscount Montgomery. This occurs in a record of them 
in Ulster's Office, where the arms appear without the usual kind of 
supporters, but represented with an arm in armour, on either side 
issuing from clouds in base, the hands supporting the shield. 

When supporters are inanimate objects, the escutcheon is said to 
be cottised^ — a term derived from the French word cote (a side) — in 
contradistinction to supported. An old Scottish term for supporters 
was ^* bearers." 

Amongst other cases where the shield is cottised by inanimate 
objects may be mentioned the following. The Breton family of 
** Bastard " depict their shield cottised by two swords, with the points 
in base. The Marquises Alberti similarly use two lighted flambeaux, 
and the Dalzells (of Binns) the extraordinary device of a pair of tent- 
poles. Whether this last has been officially sanctioned I am unaware. 
The " Pillars of Hercules " used by Charles V. are, perhaps, the best 
known of this group of supporters. In many cases (notably foreign) 
the supporters appear to have gradually receded to the back of the 
shield, as in the case of the Comte d'Erps, Chancellor of Brabant, 
where two maces (or) are represented saltirewise behind the shield. 
Generally, however, this variation is found in conjunction with purely 
official or corporate achievements. 

A curious example of inanimate supporters occurs on the English 
seal of William, Lord Botreaux (1426), where, on each side of a couche 
shield exhibiting a griffin ^^ segreant " and surmounted by a helmet and 
crest, a buttress is quaintly introduced, in evident allusion to the owner's 
name. A somewhat similar arrangement appears on the Scottish seal 
of William Ruthven (1396), where a tree growing from a mount is 
placed on each side of the escutcheon. Another instance is to be 


found in the seal of John de Segrave, where a garb is placed on either 
side of the shield. Perhaps mention should here be made of the arms 
(granted in 1826) of the National Bank of Scotland, the shield of which 
is " surrounded with two thistles proper disposed in orle." 

Heraldic supporters as such, or badges occupying the position and 
answering the purpose of supporters, and not merely as artistic acces- 
sories, in England date from the early part of the fourteenth century. 
Very restricted in use at first, they later rapidly became popular, and 
there were few peers who did not display them upon their seals. For 
some reason, however, very few indeed appear on the early Garter 
plates. It is a striking fact that by far the larger number of the ancient 
standards display as the chief device not the arms but one of the sup- 
porters, and I am inclined to think that in this fact we have further 
confirmation of my belief that the origin of supporters is found in 
the badge. 

Even after the use of two supporters had become general, a third 
figure is often found placed behind the shield, and forms a connecting 
link with the old practice of filling the void spaces on seals, to which 
we have already referred. On the seal of William Sterling, in 1292, 
two lions rampant support the shield in front of a tree. The shield on 
the seal of Oliver Rouillon, in 1376, is supported by an angel, and 
by two demi-lions couchant-guardant in base. That of Pierre Avoir, 
in 1378, is held by a demi-eagle above the shield, and by two mermaids. 
On many ancient seals the supporters are disposed so that they hold 
the crested helm above a couche shield. 

The counter-seals of Rudolf IV., Archduke of Austria, in 1359 and 
1362, afford instances in which a second set of supporters is used to 
hold up the crested helm. The shield of Austria is supported by two 
lions, on whose volets are the arms of Hapsburg and Pfirt ; the 
crested helm (coroneted, and having a panache of ostrich feathers) is 
also held by two lions, whose volets are charged with the arms of 
Stiria, and of Carinthia (Hueber, Austria Illustratay tab. xviii.). 

In 1372 the seal of Edmund Mortimer represents his shield hang- 
ing from a rose-tree, and supported by two lions couchant (of March), 
whose heads are covered by coroneted helmets with a panache (azure) 
as crest. 

Boutell directs attention to the fact that the shield of Edmund 
DE Arundel (i 301-13 26) is placed between similar helms and 
panaches, without the supporting beasts (^< Heraldry : Historical and 
Popular," pp. 271-418). 

Crested supporters have sometimes been misunderstood, and 
quoted as instances of double supporters — for instance, by Lower, 
''Curiosities of Heraldry," who gives (p. 144) a cut from the achieve- 

2 D 


ment of the French D'Albrets as ^^ the most singular supporters, 
perhaps, in the whole circle of heraldry." These supporters are two 
lions couchant (or), each helmed, and crested with an eagle au vol 
leve. These eagles certainly assist in holding the shield, but the lions 
are its true supporters ; nor is this arrangement by any means unique. 
The swans which were used as supporters by Jean, Due de Berri, in 
1386, are each mounted upon a bear. Two wild men, each a cheval 
on a lion, support the escutcheons of Gerard D'Harchies (1476) and 
of Nicole de Giresme (1464). Two lions sejant, helmed and crested 
(the crest is a human head with the ears of an ass) were the supporters 
of Arnaud D'Albrey in 1368. 

Scotland, which is the home of curiosities of heraldry, gives us at 
least two instances of the use of supporters which must be absolutely 
unique — that is, the surcharging of an escutcheon with an inescutcheon, 
to the latter of which supporters are attached. The first instance 
occurs in the cases of Baronets of Nova Scotia, a clause appearing in 
all the earlier patents which ordained " that the Baronets, and their 
heirs-male, should, as an additament of honour to their armorial ensigns, 
bear, either on a canton or inescutcheon, in their option, the ensign 
of Nova Scotia, being argenty a cross of St. Andrew azure (the badge 
of Scotland counterchanged), charged with an inescutcheon of the 
Royal Arms of Scotland, supported on the dexter by the Royal unicorn, 
and on the sinister by a savage, or wild man, proper ; and for crest, 
a branch of laurel and a thistle issuing from two hands conjoined, the 
one being armed, the other naked ; with the motto, '^ Munit haec et 
altera vincit." The incongruity of these exterior ornaments within 
a shield of arms is noticed by Nisbet, who informs us, however, that 
they are very soon removed. In the year 1629, after Nova Scotia 
was sold to the French, the Baronets of Scotland, and their heirs- 
male, were authorised by Charles I. "to wear and carry about their 
necks, in all time coming, an orange-tawny silk ribbon, whereon 
shall be pendent, in a scutcheon argenty a saltire azurey thereon 
an inescutcheon, of the arms of Scotland, with an Imperial crown 
above the sci^tcheon and encircled with this motto : * Fax mentis 
honestae gloria.' " According to the same authority, this badge 
was never much used " about their necks," but was carried, by way 
of canton or inescutcheon, on their armorial bearings, without the 
motto, and, of course, since then the superimposed supporters have 
been dropped. 

The same peculiarity of supporters being surcharged upon a shield 
will be found, however, in the matriculation (1795) to Cumming-Gordon 
of Altyre. These arms are depicted on Plate III. In this the entire 
achievement (arms, crest, motto, and supporters) of Gordon of Gordon 


is placed upon an inescutcheon superimposed over the arms of 

In Scotland the arms, and the arms only, constitute the mark of 
a given family, and whilst due difference is made in the respective 
shields, no attempt is made as regards crest or supporters to impose 
any distinction between the figures granted to different families even 
where no blood relationship exists. The result is that whilst the same 
crests and supporters are duplicated over and over again, they at any 
rate remain in Scotland simple, graceful, and truly heraldic, even when 
judged by the most rigid mediaeval standard. They are, of course, neces- 
sarily of no value whatever for identification. In England the simpHcity 
is relinquished for the sake of distinction, and it is held that equivalent 
differentiation must be made, both in regard to the crests and the 
supporters, as is made between the shields of different families. The 
result as to modern crests is truly appalling, and with supporters it is 
almost equally so, for by their very nature it is impossible to design 
adequate differences for crests and supporters, as can readily be done in 
the charges upon a shield, without creating monstrosities. With regret 
one has to admit that the dangling shields, the diapered chintz-like 
bodies, and the fasces and other footstools so frequently provided for 
modern supporters in England would seem to be pedantic, unnecessary, 
and inartistic strivings after a useless ideal. 

f In England the right to bear supporters is confined to those to 
whom they have been granted or recorded, but such grant or record 
is very rigidly confined to peers, to Knights of the Garter, Thistle, and 
St. Patrick, and to Knights Grand Cross, or Knights Grand Com- 
manders (as the case may be) of other Orders. Before the Order of 
the Bath was divided into classes. Knights of the Bath had supporters. 
As by an unwritten but nowadays invariably accepted law, the Orders 
of the Garter, Thistle, and St. Patrick are confined to members of the 
peerage, those entitled to claim (upon their petitioning) a grant of sup- 
porters in England are in practice limited to peers and Knights Grand 
Cross or Knights Grand Commanders. In the cases of peers, the grant 
is always attached to a particular peerage, the " remainder " in the 
limitations of the grant being to '^ those of his descendants upon whom 
the peerage may devolve," or some other words to this effect. In the 
cases of life peers and Knights Grand Cross the grant has no hereditary 
limitation, and the right to the supporters is personal to the grantee. 
There is nothing to distinguish the supporters of a peer from those of 
a Knight Grand Cross. Baronets of England, Ireland, Great Britain, 
and the United Kingdom as such are not entitled to claim grants of 
supporters, but there are some number of cases in which, by special 
favour of the sovereign, specific Royal Warrants have been issued — 


either as marks of favour or as augmentations of honour — conveying 
the pleasure of the sovereign to the kings of arms, and directing the 
latter to grant supporters — to descend with the baronetcy. Of the 
cases of this nature the following may be quoted : Guise (Royal War- 
rant, dated July 12, 1863), Prevost (Royal Warrant, October 1816), 
Guinness, now Lord Ardilaun (Royal Warrant, dated April 15, 1867), 
Halford (Royal Warrant, May i9,i827),Otway (Royal Warrant, June 10, 
1845), and Laking. These, of course, are exceptional marks of favour 
from the sovereign, and this favour in at least two instances has been 
extended to untitled families. In 18 15 Mr. George Watson-Taylor, 
an especial intimate of the then Prince Regent, by Royal Warrant 
dated September 28, 18 15, was granted the following supporters : ^' On 
either side a leopard proper, armed and langued gules, collared and 
chained or." A more recent instance, and, with the exception of an 
Irish case presently to be referred to, the only other one within 
the knowledge of the writer, is the case of the Speke ^ arms. It is 
recited in the Royal Warrant, dated July 26, 1867, that Captain John 
Hanning Speke " was by a deplorable accident suddenly deprived of 
his life before he had received any mark of our Royal favour " in con- 
nection with the discovery of the sources of the Nile. The Warrant 
goes on to recite the grant to his father, William Speke, of Jordans, 
CO. Somerset, of the following augmentations to his original arms 
(argent, two bars azure) namely : on a chief a representation of flow- 
ing water superinscribed with the word ^< Nile," and for a crest of 
honourable augmentation a ^' crocodile," also the supporters following 
— that is to say, on the dexter side a crocodile, and on the sinister side 
a hippopotamus. Some number of English baronets have gone to the 
trouble and expense of obtaining grants of supporters in Lyon Office ; 
for example Sir Christopher Baynes, by grant dated June 10, 1805, 
obtained two savages, wreathed about the temples and loins, each hold- 
ing a club over the exterior shoulder. It is very doubtful to what 
extent such grants in Scotland to domiciled Englishmen can be upheld. 
Many other baronets have at one time or another assumed supporters 
without any official warrant or authority in consequence of certain 
action taken by an earlier committee of the baronetage, but cases of 
this kind are slowly dropping out of the Peerage books, and this, com- 

^ Armorial bearings of William Speke, Esq. : Argent, two bars azure, overall an eagle displayed 
with two heads gules, and as an honourable augmentation (granted by Royal Licence, dated July 
26, 1867, to commemorate the discoveries of the said John Hanning Speke), a chief azure, thereon 
a representation of flowing water proper, superinscribed with the word "Nile "in letters gold. 
Upon the escutcheon is placed a helmet befitting his degree, with a mantling azure and argent ; 
and for his crests : i. (of honourable augmentation) upon a wreath of the colours, a crocodile proper ; 
2. upon a wreath of the colours, a porcupine proper ; and as a further augmentation for supporters 
(granted by Royal Licence as above to the said William Speke, Esq., for and during his life) — on 
the dexter side, a crocodile ; and on the sinister side, a hippopotamus, both proper ; with the 
motto, " Super sethera virtus." 


billed with the less ostentatious taste of the present day in the depicting 
of armorial bearings upon carriages and elsewhere, is slowly but steadily 
reducing the use of supporters to those who possess official authority 
for their display. 

Another fruitful origin of the use of unauthorised supporters at 
the present day lies in the fact that grants of supporters personal to 
the grantee for his life only have been made to Knights Grand Cross 
or to life peers in cases where a hereditary title has been subsequently 
conferred. The limitations of the grant of supporters having never 
been extended, the grant has naturally expired with the death of the 
life honour to which the supporters were attached. 

In addition to these cases there is a very Hmited number of families 
which have always claimed supporters by prescriptive right, amongst 
whom may be mentioned Tichborne of Tichborne (two lions guardant 
gules), De Hoghton of Hoghton (two bulls argent), Scroope of Danby 
(tw^o choughs), and Stapylton. Concerning such cases it can only 
be said that in England no official sanction has ever been given to 
such use, and no case exists of any official recognition of the right 
of an untitled family to bear supporters to their arms save those few 
exceptional cases governed by specific Royal Warrants. In many 
cases, notably Scroope, Luttrel, Hilton, and Stapylton, the supporters 
have probably originated in their legitimate adoption at an early 
period in connection with peerage or other titular distinction, and have 
continued inadvertently in use when the titular distinctions to which 
they belonged have ceased to exist or have devolved upon other families. 
Possibly their use in some cases has been the result of a claim to de 
jure honours. The cases where supporters are claimed " by prescriptive 
right " are few indeed in England, and need not be further considered. 

Whilst the official laws in Ireland are, and have apparently always 
been, the same as in England, there is no doubt that the heads of the 
different septs assert a claim to the right to use supporters. On 
this point Sir Bernard Burke, Ulster King of Arms, wrote : *' No 
registry of supporters to an Irish chieftain appears in Ulster's Office, 
in right of his chieftaincy only, and without the honour of peerage, 
nor does any authority to bear them exist." But nevertheless ^^The 
O'Donovan " uses, dexter, a lion guardant, and sinister, a griffin ; '^The 
O'Gorman " uses, dexter, a lion, and sinister, a horse ; "The O'Reilly " 
uses two lions or.' "The O'Connor Don," however, is in the unique 
position of bearing supporters by unquestionable right, inasmuch as the 
late Queen Victoria, on the occasion of her last visit to Dublin, issued 
her Royal Warrant conferring the right upon him. The supporters 
granted to him were " two lions rampant gules, each gorged with an 
antique crown, and charged on the shoulder with an Irish harp or." 


The right to bear supporters in Scotland is on a widely different 
basis from that in any other country. As in England and Ireland, 
peers and Knights Grand Cross are permitted to obtain grants of these 
distinctions. But outside and beyond these there are many other 
families who bear them by right. At the official inquiry concerning 
the Lyon Office, the Lyon-Depute, Mr. George Tait, put in a Note 
of Persons whom he considered might lawfully bear supporters 
under Scottish Heraldic Law. The following is the text of the note 
in question : — 

" Note of Persons who are considered by George Tait, Esq., Lyon- 
Depute, to be entitled to supporters, furnished to the Com- 
missioners of Inquiry by their desire, intimated to him at his 
examination this day, June 27, 1821. 

** I. Peers, — By immemorial usage, Peers have right to supporters, 
and supporters are commonly inserted in modern patents of Peerage. 
This includes Peeresses in their own right. 

^' 2. Ancient Usage, — Those private gentlemen, and the lawful heirs- 
male of their bodies, who can prove immemorial usage of carrying 
supporters, or a usage very ancient, and long prior to the Act 1672, 
are entitled to have their supporters recognised, it being presumed 
that they received them from lawful authority, on account of feats 
of valour in battle or in tournament, or as marks of the Royal favour 
(see Murray of Touchadanis Casey June 24, 1778). 

" 3. Barons. — Lawful heirs-male of the bodies of the smaller Barons, 
who had the full right of free barony (not mere freeholders) prior to 
1587, when representation of the minor Barons was fully established, 
upon the ground that those persons were Barons, and sat in Parliament 
as such, and were of the same as the titled Barons. Their right is 
recognised by the writers on heraldry and antiquities. Persons having 
right on this ground, will almost always have established it by ancient 
usage, and the want of usage is a strong presumption against the right. 

^' 4. Chiefs, — Lawful heirs-male of Chiefs of tribes or clans which 
had attained power, and extensive territories and numerous members 
at a distant period, or at least of tribes consisting of numerous families 
of some degree of rank and consideration. Such persons will in 
general have right to supporters, either as Barons (great or small) or 
by ancient usage. When any new claim is set up on such a ground, 
it may be viewed with suspicion, and it will be extremely difficult to 
establish it, chiefly from the present state of society, by which the traces 
of clanship, or the patriarchal state, are in most parts of the country 
almost obliterated ; and indeed it is very difficult to conceive a case 


in which a new claim of that kind could be admitted. Mr. Tait has 
had some such claims, and has rejected them. 

*^ 5. Royal Commissions, — Knights of the Garter and Bath, and any 
others to whom the King may think proper to concede the honour of 

^^ These are the only descriptions of persons who appear to Mr. 
Tait to be entitled to supporters. 

'<An idea has gone abroad, that Scots Baronets are entitled to 
supporters ; but there is no authority for this in their patents, or any 
good authority for it elsewhere. And for many years subsequent to 
1672, a very small portion indeed of their arms which are matriculated 
in the Lyon Register, are matriculated with supporters ; so small as 
necessarily to lead to this inference, that those whose arms are entered 
with supporters had right to them on other grounds, e.g. ancient usage, 
chieftainship, or being heirs of Barons. The arms of few Scots 
Baronets are matriculated during the last fifty or sixty years ; but the 
practice of assigning supporters gradually gained ground during that 
time, or rather the practice of assigning supporters to them, merely as 
such, seems to have arisen during that period ; and