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Full text of "Ye comic history of heraldry"

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FTSTRATED BY 



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COMIC HISTORY 




BY 

R. H. EDGAR. 




And then the stately Herald rose. 
And donned his best Heraldic clothes 

Quoth he. il Ope each, each ear; 
Of Heraldry ye shall know now, 
The why, the wherefore, and the how; 

There's no deception here ! " 

Old Ballad (unpublished). 



LONDON : 

WILLIAM TEGG AND CO., PAXCRAS LANE, CIIEAPSIDE. 
[SECOND EDITION.} l8 / S - 



WRIGHT'S COAL TAR SOAP, 

8APO OAR BON 18 DETERGEN8. 

Mr. JAS. STARTIN, M.E.C.8., says : " The only soap for the complexion is 
Wright's Coal Tar Soap,' making the skin clear, smooth, and lustrous." 

Highly and extensively recommended for the Toilet, and in all cases of 
Cutaneous Disease, by Mr. M<CALL ANDERSON, M.D., F.F.P.S., of Woodside 
Crescent, Glasgow ; by the late Mr. JAS. STAKTIN, M.D., P.E.C.S., of Savile Bow ; 
and the other leading members of the Profession. 

LIQUOR CARBONIS DETERGENS. 

" LIQUOR CARBONIS DETEROENS. We are very sceptical of the value of new remedies, and it 
was in a spirit of scepticism that we tried ' Wright's Liquor Carbonis Detergens.' Our 
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In Elegant Toilet Boxes, in Tablets, 6d. and Is., of all Chemists. 



Invented and Introduced by the Sole Proprietors, 

W. V. WRIGHT & Co., LONDON. 



LIST OF CHAPTERS. 



CHAP. PAGE 

I. How HERALDRY AROSE - 17 

II. OF THE HERALDS - - 22 

III. CONCERNING ARMS - 30 

IV. OF THE SHIELD, OR ESCUTCHEON - 35 

V. CONCERNING TINCTURES - 40 

VI. OF FURS, &c. - 45 

VII. OF LINES 50 

VIII. OF DIFFERENCES - 53 

IX. OF CHARGES AND ORDINARIES - 58 

X. OF SUB-ORDINARIES- 63 

XI. OF COMMON CHARGES 70 

XII. OF ARTIFICIAL FIGURES - 77 

XIII. Or CHIMERICAL FIGURES - 81 

XIV. OF HELMETS AND OTHER WONDERFUL THINGS - 89 

XV. OF CRESTS - - - 94 

XVI. OF SUPPORTERS 98 

XVII. OF MOTTOES - - 103 

XVIII. BLAZONRY - - - 112 

XIX. OF BIRDS, BEASTS, AND FISHES IN BLAZONRY - - 116 

XX. MARSHALLING ARMS- - 120 

XXI. ON PRECEDENCE - - 125 

XXII. MODERN HERALDRY, &c. .... - - 133 

XXIII. FINIS CORONAT OPUS - - - - -141 




PREFACE. 



HIS is not a Comic Song," was the saying 1 of the 
late gifted Mr. Robson, in "Vilikins and his 
Dinah;" and the author, tho' scarcely hoping to 
rival that great artist in his mirth exciting quali- 
ties, may also say that this is not altogether a 
Comic Book. Motley is not the Herald's only wear, he has 
under-clothes, modesty forbids their particularisation, of sound 
Heraldic stuff; and the author has tried, not he hopes quite unsuc- 
cessfully, to impart some real information on a comparatively little 
known subject, and to explain, it may be in a not very dignified 
fashion, the meanings and uses of the chief Heraldic badges and 
signs. At the same time he hopes that the actual professors of 
the science will not be offended at the jingle of the cap and bells, 
and the jester's motley in connexion with the stately Tabard. 




INTRODUCTION. * 




OOKS like boots, boilers, banjos and 
binocular glasses are made to sell. 
Sometimes the purchaser is sold as well 
as the book; for instance, anyone buying 
"Ruffs Guide to the Turf" under the 
idea that he was obtaining a useful 
work for a gardener, would probably 
find himself in that predicament. Sometimes the author is sold 



* THE PRINTER TO THE AUTHOR. 
DEAR SIR, 

Yours of the 4th, received ; likewise your Introduction to the " Heraldry," 
but I am without your instructions as to where in the book you wish it to go. Some 
persons in your line of business place introductions, and prefaces, and such like 
fills-up at the commencement of the volume, others again at the end ; but if you take 
my advice, a man who has been since the age of 13 years and 4 months in the printing 
profession, I should say the middle. You see, sir, it's this way. Scarcely anybody 
wants an introduction, and nobody reads it if they can do anything else. If it is at 
the beginning they say, and rightly, " Oh, we'll skip this," and they skip it accordingly 
with a unanimity that would be touching if it wasn't otherwise. If the Introduction 
is at the end, and the readers fancy the book, when they've done with it, they say, "I 



io INTR OD UCTION. 

when the book does not sell but more often the publisher ; and 
contradictorily when the book does sell, nobody is sold. 

This book is therefore no exception to the general rule. It is 
made to sell, and the author sincerely hopes that it will fulfil its 
mission. He can lay his hand upon his heart with the proud 
satisfaction of knowing- that it is NOT written with a moral purpose. 
He does not imagine that it will make anyone wiser or better than 
he or she was before reading it. Such, in fact, is not his intention. 
There are plenty of excellent people in the world far more capable 
of improving mankind than he is. Even if he could improve his 
fellow man, he very much doubts if he would, for fear of his motives 
being misconstrued. People who improve other people are 



wonder what the Introduction is about dry rot as usual, I suppose, " and then perhaps 
they read it, or perhaps they don't, which is the most likely, and you, as the author, 
stand just half a chance of having your Introduction read. Personally, I am quite 
impartial in the matter, as I never read Introductions or books either having in the 
course of my profession known too many of the people who wrote them. Now what 
I propose, sir, is, that you put the Introduction in, say about the 9th Chapter, and 
right in the middle, so that when a reader comes across it, he'll read it and think it's 
part of the text, or that the binders have got drunk, and put a bit of somebody else's 
book into yours by mistake, and then he'll go into fits of laughter on the strength of 
what a sharp party he or she (for it's quite likely to be a woman) is, to find it out 

Consequently, sir, I think the middle is the best place in which to put the Introduc- 
tion; and, if you have no objection, that is where it shall go. 

Yours faithfully, 

THE PRINTER. 



THE AUTHOR TO THE PRINTER. 

SIR, 

I am in the receipt of your letter, and can only say no one but a dunder- 
headed dolt or a drivelling idiot would ever even dream of placing an introduction 



INTRODUCTION. ir 

generally unpleasant themselves, and somebody is sure to want to- 
disestablish them, or go to their funerals, or get rid of them in some 
permanent and satisfactory manner. So improvement is not, by any 
means, the author's object. No his motives are higher, nobler! 
motives which appeal to feelings all possess, from the penniless 
pauper in the workhouse ward, to the diamonded duke in his. 
palatial castle. Need the author further mention that his motives are- 
three in number, and that they are s. D. 

But to the book itself. On that subject the author feels himself 
thoroughly competent to speak. He has written it, and nobody 
knows as much about it as he does. Far be it from him unduly to 
laud a work with which he has, so to say, been intimately connected 



anywhere but at the commencement of a volume. Therefore, if you have no 
objection, that is where I should wish it to go. Uneducated mechanics are 
scarcely the proper persons to judge where introductions, far above their compre- 
hensions, are best fitted to be placed. Please proceed with the business of printing 
the book, and refrain from obtruding your remarks and opinions on subjects upon 
which, from your position, you are utterly unable to form an opinion. 

Yours obediently, 

THE AUTHOR. 



THE PRINTER TO THE AUTHOR. 
DEAR SIR, 

Yours received. If I might suggest to you one thing, it is this Don't 
lose your temper ! Who knows what might happen ? Somebody might find it who 
had one of his own, or who did not want yours, and it might lead to no end of 
confusion, which I am sure you as the father of a family and a ratepayer would regret. 
As regards the dunder-headed dolt or drivelling idiot you mention, I never knew but 
one of that sort, and he was in the same line of business as yourself, a literary person 
who did the fires and fatal accidents for a high-class journal of society, and always 
drew his salary in advance. Likewise he was known and not trusted at all the houses 



12 INTRODUCTION, 

since its commencement ; far be it from him immoderately to lavish 
upon it that praise, which he feels it ought to obtain from a dis- 
criminating" public : his natural modesty revolts from such a course, 
and sooner than be guilty of it, he would prefer the book to be 
given away free, gratis, together with a ticket for admission to the 
stalls of any theatre in London, a 5 note, and a barrel of 
Anglo-Portugo oysters direct from the beds. But the author's 
preference, alas ! goes for nothing. The stony-hearted publisher 
here steps in and declares that such an arrangement would, in the 
first place, be derogatory to his honour as a publisher ; in the second 
place, it would be a bad, not to say immoral, example ; in the third 
place, it would lead people astray, and in the fourth place, it would 



where the flowing bowl circulated, both in Fleet Street and the Strand (N.B. His 
flowing bowl was usually Gin neat) and vwas the only dunder-headed dolt I ever 
knew. 

I think the Introduction had better go in the middle, as I said before. 

Yours truly, 

THE PRINTER 



THE AUTHOR TO THE PRINTER. 
SIR, 

The Introduction hadbetter NOT go in the middle, or if it does I'll know 
the reason why. Place it where Nature intended it to go, at the beginning of the 
work. As regards the literary person you knew, perhaps you are not aware that 
penny-a-liners are scarcely upon an equality with the writers of high-class works of 
science. 

Yours obediently, 

THE AUTHOR. 



THE PRINTER TO THE AUTHOR. 
DEAR SIR, 

" Writers of high class works of science ! " You will excuse my laughing. 
But to our muttons. Gentlemen of my profession know more of the practical 



INTRODUCTION. 13 

not be remunerative to him : and finally, he'll see the author 
privately executed in Newgate, or any where else where a good 
working gallows, to carry one, can be erected first. 

This, of course, at once puts an end to those philanthropic 
intentions for the good of his fellow men which the author had 
originally in view ; and that being the case, there is only one line of 
conduct he can advise the readers of this introduction to pursue. 

It is this. Having obtained possession of the book, whatever you 
do, dorit lend it. Not even to the wife of your bosom, the mother of 
your early years, the father of your riper manhood (or womanhood 
as the case may be,) or the child of your affection. Lend it to none 
of them. Tell them it is a great, grand, and glorious work, which 



working of your line of business than you do who are in it. Depend upon it I know 
best. 1 am advising you for your good, and you'll live to bless me for h some day. 

Yours faithfully, 

THE PRINTER. 



THE AUTHOR TO THE PRINTER. 
SIR, 

Do as I told you, and put the Introduction at the beginning of the book. 

Yours obediently, 

THE AUTHOR. 



THE PRINTER TO THE AUTHOR. 
DEAR SIR, 

Now just look here. As I said before, it's for your good I'm advising 
you. If the Introduction is in the middle it's like the pill we put in jam for children,, 
and it will then run a small chance of being read by accident and is bound to be 
swallowed ; whereas if it is at the beginning it won't be read at all. Not that that 
matters, so far as I can see, but I know that parties who write like to be read. 

Yours truly, 

THE PRINTER. 



14 INTRODUCTION. 

Shakespeare, Byron, Milton, Dickens, Thackeray, Lytton, Gladstone, 
Disraeli, or any one else you may happen to think of at the moment, 
would have been proud to have written, and then urge them, as they 
value their welfare upon earth, to go and BUY it. BUY IT! that 
is the great point. What they do with it after they have bought it, 
is a matter of not the slightest consequence, and one with which you 
have really no concern. So long as they buy it, and recommend 
their friends to do the same, the author will be pleased, the publisher 
satisfied, and general happiness pervade the atmosphere. 

Finally, the author is of opinion, and he enunciates this opinion 
with all possible diffidence, that although bigger, heavier, and, to a 
certain extent, more important books have been written, yet he has 



THE AUTHOR TO THE PRINTER. 
SIR, 

Please annoy me no more with frivolous objections, and ridiculous suggestions. 
Do as you are bid. In conclusion, if you still hold the same absurd ideas about the 
proper place where an introduction ought to go, I can only regard you as an unmiti- 
. gated jackass. 

Yours obediently, 

THE AUTHOR. 



THE PRINTER TO THE AUTHOR. 
DEAR SIR, 

I DO hold the same absurd ideas about where the Introduction ought to go, 
and therefore I am regarded by you as an " unmitigated jackass !" 

Sir, you have insulted me; A legal friend of mine, a lawwriter (when sober) 
has promised to give me an opinion as to whether I can take the law of you. If I 
can, there shall be a slander case that will live for ages. Westminster Hall shall ring 
with my wrongs. Look out ! 



INTRODUCTION. 15 

never, in the whole course of his life, come across one which so 
forcibly appealed to the grander feelings of the human heart ; one 
which was so admirably calculated to strengthen the weak, cheer the 
despondent, cure dyspepsia, calm the troubled mind, produce a fine 
crop of luxuriant hair on the baldest headed, or instil principles of 
true goodness into the most depraved, as 

Y E COMIC HISTORY OF HERALDRY. 



I will put your Introduction, such as it is, at the beginning of your Heraldry, but 
In justice to myself, and a growing family of nine the eldest of which, a boy who 
has not his equal at a joint on Sundays, and the second, a girl who can sit upon her 
own back hair I shall print this correspondence, with your Introduction (!), and then 
your readers, if you have any, can see who is right. 

Yours faithfully, 

THE PRINTER. 




COMIC HISTORY OF HERALDRY. 



CHAPTER I. 

HOW HERALDRY AROSE. 

OME writers on Heraldry, who have plied 
the pickaxe of research in the mouldy 
caverns of antiquity, digging- so deeply 
that they have gone completely through 
the (w)hole and come out on the other 
side, place the origin of the science as far 
back as the flood. They assert that Noah 
was the first possessor of a coat of arms. 
But in these materialistic days, when the 
eye of the sceptic is apt to be drawn 
down with the wink of incredulity, we 
must decline to accept so very far-fetched a statement without some 
stronger proof than bare assertions, which in this case can scarcely 
be regarded as the naked truth. Nevertheless, if we may believe 
the words of Homer, the poet of the siege of Troy a city, which 
like medicine, was considerably shaken before it was taken, the 
heroes engaged in that siege had various devices painted upon their 




iS Y E COMIC HISTOR Y OF HERALDR Y. 

shields. From this we may infer that the armour of the combatants 
like the poet's account of the siege, was very highly coloured; 
moreover, the trick of the Wooden Horse shows us that the 
Greeks, even in that early age, were decidedly clever in devices. 

/Eschylus in his celebrated sensational play of " Septem contra 
Thebas," which sounds in its translation of " Seven against Thebes," 
like part of a bet, describes the armour of the combatants, and from 
his description it is evident that mounting a piece, even in those 
primitive times, must have cost the spirited manager a drachma or 
two. Tydeus according to his account bore on his shield a full 
moon surrounded by stars. Tydeus was a gentleman of sanguinary, 
not to say cannibalistic propensities; for, after he was mortally 
wounded himself, having succeeded in killing his slayer, as a final 
consolation to his dying hours he had the body of his enemy brought 
to him, and commenced to make a nasty, but perhaps to him satis- 
factory, meal of its brains. Minerva, the Goddess of Wisdom, who 
was coming to restore him, displeased at this bad taste and want of 
manners, allowed him to die, as a gentle hint to future warriors not 
to indulge in irregular meals. 

Eteocles, according to the same author, bore "an armed man 
ascending a ladder against a tower." As both he and his brother 
Polynices ultimately settled their little personal differences in a 
manner fatal to both of them, the ladder must evidently have been 
typical of the rounds they were going to have. Polynices, by the 
way, had on his shield "Justice leading an armed man." What this 
device referred to is difficult to say, and the probability is, Polynices 
himself did not know, but thought perhaps it would look neat in a 
family fight, and that the figure of Justice might in some vague way 
be connected with his claim to the throne of Thebes. 

The shields of other champions are also described at some length 
by /Eschylus, but after all enough is as good as a feast, and we will 
pass on at once to a very big hero indeed. 



HO W HERALDR Y AROSE. 19 

Open your eyes, blow your noses, don't breathe on the Heraldic 
g-lasses, and make way for a conqueror ; for here comes Alexander 
the Great, a warrior who fell an early victim to his strict adherence 
to anti-temperance principles and a natural hatred to the Sir 
Wilfrid Lawsons of the period. He granted to his favourite captains 
various badges to be worn on their armour, as rewards for valour. 
These badges were strictly copyright, and any one who was guilty, 
to use the words of a Mosaic celebrity, of " the untradesmanlike 
falsehood" of imitating them, or even stating that "it was the same 
concern " was very liable to be waited on by the party aggrieved 
and to make the discovery that it is not only leather that gets 
tanned. 

To descend, however, from the mountains of tradition to the level 
plains of historical truth ; the earliest proficients in Heraldry were 
the French and Normans, and by the latter it was introduced 
into England amongst other civilizing influences, such as feudalism, 
cookery, and confiscation of Saxon goods and chattels, &c. We find, 
also, that Philip the Falconer, Emperor of Germany, A.D. 920, who, 
if the same person as the one referred to in a song once popular, 
was always " up with the day," giving an idea that he was 
continually engaged in running a race with Time, planted the first 
seeds of the Heraldic tree by the establishment of a law regulating 
tournaments. 

At these knightly games, which were practised daily, each of the 
warriors was cased in iron from head to foot, a very stiff binding, 
and one not unfrequently illustrated with cuts. Not even their faces 
were visible, or as an old writer on the subject aptly describes it, 
" Behinde y c ironne pottes (meaning their helmets) onne colde notte 
" see y mugges." 

Such being the case, or would it be wrong to say, casing, without 
some method of distinguishing a friend from a foe, the most awk- 
ward mistakes must have arisen. For example, fancy the feelings 

B 2 



20 Y E COMIC HIS TOR Y OF HERALDR Y. 

of a young and stalwart knight, having struck down, as he imagined, 
the hereditary foeman of his race, upon discovering that he 
had bestowed what the Irish term "a topper for luck" upon a 
rich and choleric relation of whose domains he looked for a pro- 
spective share. 

It was, therefore, to avoid such dreadful trials to human fortitude, 
that Philip the Falconer ordered that in battle, every knight should 
wear some peculiar cognizance, whereby he might be known, and if 
his credit were good, trusted. 

In the Crusades, the warriors adopted, in many instances, a cross, 
and their actions but too frequently corresponded with their cogni- 
zances, being very often upon the cross and not at all upon the square; 
escallops, which had nothing to do with scalloped oysters, but were 
shells much affected by pilgrims a class of gentry averse to shelling 
out in a general way and martlets, small heraldic birds which differ 
considerably from natural feathered bipeds, and were usually worn 
by younger sons ; besides numerous other badges denoting that the 
knight went forth to fight the Paynim, urged thereto by mixed feelings 
of piety and plunder, the latter predominating. 

Hallam, whose " History of the Constitution " proves his own 
must have been a remarkably tough one to have mastered so dry a 
subject, places the first regular blazoning of arms in the twelfth 
century, but it was not until the Third Crusade (A.D. 1 1 89) that the 
fleur-de-lys first sprouted on the French coat of arms, and the Lions 
jumped upon the English shield. 

Hereditary coats of arms are not found before the beginning of the 
thirteenth century, indeed some writers place them at the beginning 
of the sixteenth, the probability being that the custom was gradually 
obtaining but was not definitively settled until the latter date. Any 
how it is a proof that up to that time every man stood on his own 
footing, and that although he might step into his father's shoes yet he 
had to find his own coat. 



HOW HERALDRY AROSE. 



21 



Heraldry thus arose by slow degrees until a coat of arms became 
one of those articles without which no mediaeval gentleman's ward- 
robe could be said to be complete. 




CHAPTER II. 



OF THE HERALDS. 

AVING seen how Heraldry arose, it 
behoves us, before we consider the He- 
raldic ollapodrida itself, to say a few 
words of the cooks who were the 
chief compounders of the mixture. These 
were the Heralds. 

The word Herald is said to be derived 
from two German words " Herr alt " 
" Aged sir " and originally they were 
veteran soldiers who, pensioners not 
being invented in those days, were 
appointed to carry messages, do odd jobs, and make themselves 
generally useful. In fact, if this explanation be true, they were 
prototypes of our modern commissionaires. 

Amongst the Greeks the Heralds' duties were even less dignified, 
for Homer describes Talthybius as filling up his spare time with a 
little plain cooking. Cooking in those days was exceedingly plain. 
Likewise they prepared the victim, human and otherwise, it was 
all one to those eminent heathens, for the religious sacrifices, doubt- 




OF THE HERALDS. 




less consoling 1 them by comforting observations such as " It's nothing 
when you're used to it" "It won't hurt much" or, "It will be all 

the same a hundred 
years hence," and 
similar verbal pan- 
acea so often applied 
by persons who do 
not suffer to those 
who do. 

Amongst the Ro- 
mans the Heralds 
(Fetiales as they 
were called) had de- 
cidedly a better time 
of it, and had risen 
considerably in the 
world. They had a college, and were evidently as great creatures 
in their way as were their mediaeval successors. Livy mentions 
them as officiating extensively in that celebrated prize-fight 
between the Horatii and Curiatii, B.C. 667 : though whether they held 
the sponges, or the bottles, or kept the crowd in order, seeing that 
the roughs in the back seats did not get into the front ones without 
paying, is not mentioned with that accuracy which the ardent student 
of the science could have desired. 

The Fetiales also declared war, which they did in a very fantastic 
manner. They proceeded to the hostile country wearing a wreath 
of wool on their heads, partly, probably, for warmth, as the nights 
might be cold and travelling slow, and partly as one of the insignia 
of their office. Having arrived at the frontier, the Herald cast a 
spear into the enemy's country, or, if he did not happen to have one 
about him, a staff dipped in blood and burnt at one end did just as 
well, and then everybody looked out for squalls, and the assurance 



24 Y E COMIC HISTOR Y OF HERALDR Y. 

offices of the period immediately raised their premiums on military 
lives to the doubly hazardous war risk elevation with a promptitude 
that charmed their most grasping- shareholders. 

To come down, however, to more modern ages : Richard II., who 
came to a mysterious but decidedly bad end in Pomfret Castle some 
time in the year A.D. 1400, first laid the foundation of the Heralds' 
College by giving the Earl Marshal power to preside in the Court of 
Chivalry, and to summon the Heralds to his assistance. Of course 
they came. They saw their opportunity, and jumped at the chance, 
and probably had what the Americans call "a real good time." 
They acted as barristers, though whether they took fees for attending 
cases and then never came near the place, because they had some- 
thing better to do, is not stated. Such advanced manners and 
customs are not unlikely to be the products of our modern 
civilisation. 

The first regular collegiate chapter of the Heralds was held in A.D. 
1420, at Rouen, and after that they became a corporate body. Then 
Heraldry began to look up, and the Heralds finding how good a 
thing it was, made a very close borough of it indeed. They 
thoroughly appreciated the virtue of keeping a good thing in the 
family and did so. 

Many and various were their duties : they had to regulate 
armorial bearings, that is, to see that nobody took anybody else's 
arms which sounds uncomfortable, or as if people, like the late Miss 
Biffin, were born without them to marshal processions a duty now 
relegated to the police; to superintend ceremonies also performed 
now-a-days, more or less efficiently, by Sir Edmund Henderson's 
myrmidons ; to see that trials by battle were conducted with a due 
regard to the comfort and convenience of the combatants ; [N.B. 
In those happy times no one ever gave the " office " to the 
authorities with the view of stopping a " merry mill;"] to arrange 
tournaments, those excessively violent sports where the knights were 



OF THE HERALDS. 



in the habit of killing one another just for the fun of the thing- ; and, 
finally, to bear messages of courtesy and defiance between royal 
personages and knights. 

As this latter duty might under ordinary circumstances have proved 
a most awkward one, especially if the receiver of an unpleasant 
message happened to be of a choleric temperament, by common 
consent the persons of the Heralds were declared inviolable. This 
of course made matters comparatively comfortable for them, and they 
were thus enabled to deliver the rudest, not to say insulting, personal 
messages without any fear of the " Away-with-him-to-the-Iowest 
dungeon-beneath-the-moat " answer being given to them, or even 
of being kicked. 

The Heralds also recorded the valiant acts of those who were 
killed in, and those who survived great battles, and thus proved 
extremely valuable to persons whose trumpets wanted blowing. 

Another duty of the Heralds was to shout 
"Largesse!" whenever they thought there 
was a chance of anybody giving them 
anything, which apparently corresponded 
to the modern custom which prevails 
with the small boys who run by the side 
of omnibuses, turning cart-wheels to 
incite the generosity of city gents to 
"chuck us down a copper." Not that the 
Heralds did either ground or lofty tum- 
bling ; that was always left to the regular 
fool, of which each family then, as now, 
had always one. 

Besides these duties, they had the right 
of picking up the gold and silver chipped 
off the armour of the knights in tournaments, a perquisite of 
sterling value, considering that the combatants were oftentimes 




26 Y E COMIC HISTOR Y OF HERALDR Y. 

got up as regardless of expense as a spectacle piece at Drury 
Lane. 

Also, the Heralds once in every generation, or at intervals of from 
twenty-five to forty years, had to make visitations or progresses 
through the country to see that nobody had been playing tricks with 
anybody's arms ; when woe to the delinquent if discovered, pepper of 
the warmest description being" provided by the Heralds for his 
especial delectation. 

In the provincial towns, the Heralds were ordered by the Earl 
Marshal's warrant to enquire into the pedigrees of all families claim- 
ing the honour of gentry, and to enter their names, titles, and places 
of abode in a book. This custom only commenced regularly in 
1528, when the monks in England who had previously been the chief 
keepers of genealogical facts retired from business generally in conse- 
quence of events not altogether unconnected with Henry VIII., Anna 
Boleyn, Queen Catherine, Cardinal Wolsey, the Pope, Luther, the 
Reformation, and other circumstances of a similar nature. Then, in 
order to prevent genealogies, arms, titles &c., becoming irretrievably 
mixed, these visitations were ordered, and the Heralds were appointed 
the sorters of the period. 

Previously to the Reformation these progresses had now and then 
been made, and they were continued from the date above given until 
the reign of William and Mary. They were relinquished, however, 
in consequence of the large amount of envy, hatred, malice, and all 
uncharitableness they excited in the various counties visited ; arms 
granted on these occasions being frequently found to be blazoned 
with bones of contention, and genealogical trees to produce apples 
of discord. 

And now we come to the Heralds' College, a building situated at 
the present day in Queen Victoria Street, which is (the college not 
the street) the head-quarters of Heraldry, and where the Duke of 
Norfolk, the Earl Marshal of England, is the grand lama of the 



OF THE HERALDS. 27 

science. After him, longo intervallo, come the Heralds, of whose 
manners, customs, rights, privileges and distinctions we will now 
discourse cheerfully but accurately. 

Of Heralds there are three kinds : first, there are the Kings at 
Arms, who may be called the big boys of the school, or Heralds' 
College, and who are very extensive persons indeed. In England 
Garter King of Arms holds the highest rank. He was created to 
attend upon the Knights of the Garter, and originally we may 
suppose he had to provide and see to the fit of the article from which 
he takes his name. The distinguishing colour of Garter is blue, a 
colour he invariably assumed when he caught anyone transgressing 
the rules of the college over which he presided. 

Garter must be an Englishman and a gentleman, words unhappily 
not always synonymous. 

The next king at arms is Clarencieux, who was ordained by King 
Edward IV. upon his succession to the dukedom of Clarence at the 
death of his brother, whose bibulous proclivities caused him to seek 
his bier in a butt of Malmsey. The story goes that Edward, doubtless 
wishing to do the liberal thing by his relation, offered him his choice 
of deaths, and that Clarence elected to be drowned in the above 
liquor, which was privately done in the Tower. To our thinking the 
whole affair has about it considerably more of the public than the 
private. 

Clarencieux's colour is purple, a delicate allusion to the juice of the 
grape, and he is the Heraldic authority on all questions in the 
English counties south of Trent. 

After him comes Norroy, whose colour is also purple, and his 
authority extends over all the counties north of Trent, 

Besides these kings there is also a Bath King of Arms, but 
as he does not belong to the Heraldic College, he may retire to 
the place whence he takes his name. He is quite a modern 
creation, having come into existence only in 1725, for the service 



28 Y* COMIC HISTOR Y OF HERALDR Y. 

of the Knights of the Bath, when his duties probably are to see 
to the temperature of the water, and the presence of the necessary 
towels. 

Next come the Heralds, who are six in number. Their names are 
Somerset, Chester, Windsor, Richmond, Lancaster and York, and 
they are supposed to be officially connected with the districts after 
which they are named. Properly speaking, therefore, whenever a 
fight comes off in any of the above named towns, the Herald of the 
place ought to be present to prevent the police from interfering. But 
now-a-days they neglect their duty sadly in this particular : not that 
we are altogether surprised, considering the exceedingly low ebb to 
which the "noble art" has sunk, and Heralds doubtless have with 
unheraldic persons an equal objection to blackened eyes, bad lan- 
guage and stolen watches. 

Last of all come the Pursuivants or Novitiates, who are the lower 
boys of the science. Their names are fanciful, not to say comic. 
Rouge Dragon, which, translated into English, would seem to smack 
more of the public-house than the college ; Portcullis, who, if his 
nature takes after his denomination, must often have been lowered 
in the eyes of the world ; Blue Mantle, let us hope his mantle wasn't 
used to cover the mistakes he made ; and Rouge Croix, who 
probably was the original bearer of the red cross banner we read of 
in the song of that name. 

Scotland had only one King at Arms, Lyon, but an equal number 
of Heralds with England. Their names were Snowdon, Albany, 
Ross, Rothesay, Marchmont and Islay ; the last-mentioned, among 
his other duties, having probably to provide his brethren with the 
celebrated whisky of that ilk. Scotland had one more Pursuivant 
than her southern neighbour, viz., five. 

These Caledonian Pursuivants rejoice in the appellations of Unicorn, 
(evidently the original animal who contended for the crown un- 
successfully, and after his defeat retired in disgust to a more northern 



OF THE HERALDS. 



29 



country, where, to console him, he was made a Pursuivant), Carrick, 
Kintyre, Ormond and Bute. 

Ireland has only one King- at Arms, Ulster ; and only two Heralds, 
Dublin and Cork; also only two Pursuivants, Athlone and St. Patrick. 
The scantiness of the Hibernian Heraldic supply, is another instance 
of injustice to Ireland. 

" What ho ! " O'Gorman to the rescue I 





CHAPTER III. 

CONCERNING ARMS. 

E will now enter upon the com- 
ponent parts of Heraldry, and 
first of all we must say a few 
words upon Arms generally. As 
we have already explained that 
Coats of Arms were originally 
invented to distinguish individuals 
in battle, or, to use a homely 

phrase, to know t'other from which, it stands to reason that like all 
other coats they are of various kinds, and while some may be 
regarded as a kind of heraldic witney, others are only light 
armorial tweeds. 

The varieties of Arms are ten : there are, it is true, several other 
kinds, such as arms of precision, (vide Snider, Martini-Henry, 
Mauser, &c., passim,} of chairs, of the sea, and of the human 
article; but these are not included in the heraldic list. Their 
names are as follows : Arms of Dominion, Pretension, Concession, 



CONCERNING ARMS. 31 

Community, Patronage, Family, Alliance, Adoption, Succession and 
Assumption. 

Arms of Dominion are those borne by sovereign princes and states, 
and are annexed to the empires and kingdoms they possess. Thus, 
if the proprietor of the Isle of Dogs were to throw off his allegiance 
to the Queen, and to raise the flag of independence in the hope of 
making it a paving stone on the road to freedom, the Arms of the 
new canine kingdom would be a perfect example of Arms of 
Dominion. Apropos of Arms of Dominion, we may mention that the 
Eagles borne in the national arms of Russia, Germany, and formerly 
of Poland, are said to have originated in the standards which the 
Germans took from the Roman General, Varus, A,D. 10. Like some 
other conquering heroes, Varus went forth to shear the Teutons, 
and got his own hair cut remarkably close in the process; so close 
in fact, that he left his Eagles behind him, and the Germans con- 
sidering them far superior as standards to those they had in use, 
which were doubtless a good deal knocked about, adopted them. 
At the same time, the conquerors are said to have given one to each 
of their Sarmatian and Sclavonian allies, and hence the origin of 
the birds of prey in question. 

Arms of Pretension may be regarded as a perfect instance of 
Heraldic impudence, which great kings, and little ones also when 
they get a chance, sometimes have the face to assume. These Arms 
are those of provinces, territories, or kingdoms, to which some claim 
is laid, and which the person so claiming adds to his own. That the 
territory in question may already have a man in possession, in the 
shape of a king or prince of its own, makes no difference, although 
of course he prevents, if he can, an execution for the claim being put 
in. These Arms can therefore only be borne by sovereigns and half- 
sovereigns; subjects, who represent human half-crowns, shillings, 
sixpences, and even smaller coin, are incapable of bearing them. For 
instance, if Bodgers of Brompton, who claims a seat on the half-past 



32 Y K COMIC HISTORY OF HERALDRY. 

nine o'clock omnibus, finds a stranger in his place, his taking- the 
arms of the intruder, except for the purpose of ejecting him, would 
not hold good in Heraldry. 

Arms of Concession are marks of honour for deeds done. They 
are generally small figures added to the sum total of the Coat of Arms. 
To illustrate this we will imagine that a favourite puppy of the Prince 
of Wales were to break his leg, and that the fracture were to be 
instantaneously reduced by a single application of Professor 
Swallerway's world-renowned ointment, it is probable that the same 
eminent mediciner would be allowed to assume a " duck quackant," 
or some other appropriate emblem of the esteem of his Royal 
Highness. 

Arms of Community are those belonging to bishoprics, cities, 
universities, companies, and bodies corporate. Bodies incorporate 
are of course without Arms, so that Polytechnic ghosts, and the 
whole army of spirits called up by mediums, have no right to assume 
them. 

Arms of Patronage are added by governors of provinces, lords of 
manors, patrons of benefices, and others, to their family Arms, as a 
token of their superiority, rights and jurisdiction. But this is not 
always the case. For instance, our own private Buttons, who is lord 
of several manners, that towards ourselves, of whom he stands in 
awe ; and that towards boys of his own size, or smaller, of whom 
he does not stand in fear, would not on that account have the right 
to assume Arms of Patronage. 

Arms of Family, or Paternal Arms, are those which belong to one 
particular family, and are handed down from father to son with the 
hereditary acres and the paternal gout. These serve to distinguish 
the family from any other, and it is criminal for anyone, not 
of the family, to assume them. Thus, if Miss Jones goes out 
walking arm in arm with Mr. Smith, while Mrs. S. is down at 
Margate with the children, this assumption of arms is clearly illegal, 



CONCERNING ARMS. 33 

as she, Miss J., does not, and cannot, while Mrs. S. is alive, belong 
to the family. 

Arms of Alliance are only acquired by marriage, and 
more especially when that interesting event takes place with an 
heiress. But as, now-a-days, girls with money are gradually 
becoming scarcer, and it is much feared by the Zoological 
Society and other learned bodies, will soon be as extinct as the 
Dodo, or the Megatherium, Arms of Alliance are now but seldom 
used. 

Arms of Adoption are those adopted by a stranger in blood, to 
fulfil the will of a testator. As a general rule, an estate accompanies 
this assumption, which may in fact be regarded as a golden lining to 
the coat the legatee is expected to put on. 

Arms of Succession are acquired on succeeding to estates, either 
by will, entail, or donation. The assumption of this kind of Arms 
applies, however, only to estates, and not to gifts generally ; so that if 
Brown bestows a punch on the head upon Robinson, the latter is not 
entitled to take the arms, although he may previously have assumed 
the fist of Brown. 

Last of all come Arms of Assumption, to which the assumers have 
no original title. These may only be assumed with the consent of the 
sovereign. Thus, the arms of a prisoner may be assumed by his 
captor : so that if Bill Sykes is caught making free with the plate 
basket of Joshua Toodles, vestryman and churchwarden, J. T. may, 
with the consent of Queen Victoria, take the jemmy of B. S. and 
transmit it to his heirs as the sign of the prowess he displayed in the 
defence of his spoons. Apropos of Arms of Assumption, assuming 
them in former times was rather a ticklish thing to do. This fact was 
brought home with great clearness to the Duke of Norfolk, and his 
son the Earl of Surrey, in the reign of Henry VIII. They assumed 
his arms, and he their heads. "Exchange is no robbery," said the 
monarch with a cheerful laugh, as he ordered their execution. But, 

c 



34 



Y E COMIC HISTOR Y OF HERALDR Y. 



somehow, the decapitated ones failed to appreciate the dry humour of 
the sovereign. 

So very much depends upon the point of view from which jests are 
regarded, and Henry's jokes were not unfrequently of that exceed- 
ingly cutting nature that the recipients, when, to add to their other 
misfortunes, they happened to be his wives, may be said to have 
quite lost their heads. 

Thus much for ARMS. 




CHAPTER IV. 



OF THE SHIELD, OR ESCUTCHEON, 

AVING detailed the different varieties 
of Arms, and how each may be 
acquired, we next come to consider 
the Shield, or Escutcheon. With it, 
however, we do not intend to cover 
our own deficiencies, but shall boldly 
proceed on our poaching expedition 
on the peculiar field of the Heralds' 
College, though in our own manner. 
The science may be strictly preserved 
by Garter, Ulster and Co.; still in 
these free-trade times, we hope to 
find some game in it. 
Shields are of many kinds, both in and out of Heraldry. First, 
there is the shield proper, used by ancient warriors, and on which 
their Arms were blazoned, and which, while tasting the gaudia certa- 




Y E COMIC HISTORY OF HERALDRY. 



minis, or honey of fighting, they avoided getting too much of the 
whacks. Then there are the shields improper, such as the copy 
books which peccant schoolboys place under their jackets and 
unmentionables, prior to being taught that extremely practical, if 
free translation, of the first line of the yEneid, viz., " Arma virumque 
cano," arms and the man (or boy) I cane. On this improper shield, 

or rather on the skin beneath 
it, the blazon after the visitation 
is principally sable, gules, and 
azure. Again, when a wife sets 
down as "sundries" the sum 
spent out of the house money 
on a new dress, it may also be 
considered as a shield; also, 
perhaps, an improper one ; and 
as we do not intend to have any- 
thing to do with what is im- 
proper, we will return to the 
first mentioned kind, and will no 
longer stand shivering on the edge of the shield, but at once jump 
boldly into its middle. 

In Heraldic language the shield is the ground upon which the Coat 
of Arms is blazoned or painted, and on which the achievements of 
the owner were not only symbolically depicted couleur de rose, but also 
in all the colours of the rainbow as well. 

Originally, the devices were placed upon the buckler, but after a 
time finding that in battle, from the colours not being " warranted 
fast," they were very apt to get chipped off, or otherwise damaged, 
the knights had them painted on their banners instead ; perhaps in 
the belief that a sight of the flag of their masters might have the 
effect of raising the flagging courage of their retainers, who in 
such moments became special retainers in their service. 




OF THE SHIELD, OR ESCUTCHEON. 37 

Shields, like bonnets, were of various shapes; although, unlike 
modern bonnets, there was a good deal of them. In very ancient 
times they were shaped like a horse-shoe, to typify, perhaps, the 
hammering they occasionally received, or triangular. Sometimes, 
also, the shields were heptagonal, or with seven points. This shape 
must have been awkward to carry, as unless the bearer was very 
careful, the sharp points must have either run into his chin or 
penetrated his thigh, scarcely we should say an incentive to prowess 
on general principles. 

Mark Antony, the triumvir, had one of this pattern ; but as at 
the battle of Actium he very decidedly lost the game, to say nothing 
cf such a trifle as his own life, the seven points of his shield were 
certainly not in his favour on that occasion. 

Coming down, however, to more modern times, we find that the 
shields of Knights-bannerets were square, while those of priests 
were oval, but as these soldiers 
of the church militant, with some 
few exceptions, set far too high a 
value on their holy hides to risk 
them in so perilous an amusement 
as fighting, it did not much matter 
what shape were their shields. 

Ladies, again, whose principal 
weapon of defence, and also offence, 
were and are their tongues, and 
who consequently had no real use 
for shields, nevertheless were pro- 
vided by the Heralds with those 
articles in a lozenge shape, recalling to uninitiated minds the jujube 
of domestic life with great reality. 

It now remains to us to describe the Heraldic Shield, or Escutcheon, 
as received at the present day ; and, here, we must apologize to our 




Y E COMIC HIS TOR Y OF HERALDR Y. 



readers if, in order to make our subject intelligible, which is more 
than are all subjects of our gracious sovereign, especially after 
dining out, we sometimes light on ground so dry, that not even the 
most inveterate jester could moisten it with a single joke ; but we 
will promise to go as swiftly over these arid plains as we possibly 
can ; and, who knows, we may find a well of entertainment, out of 
which, however, we promise to throw no cold water over our 
disciples. 

Ladies and gentlemen ! this is the Heraldic Shield. Observe the 

letters, which are literally the ABC 
of the science. Every one has 
its meaning, which is more than 
can be said of the letters of some 
people. ABC are the first we 
will meddle with, and these three 
are called "The Chief," but have 
no connexion either with Indian 
or Scottish chiefs. A is the dexter, 
or right chief; B is the precise 
middle chief, and C the sinister, or 
left chief. The last reminds one 
of an unpleasant Ojibbeway, with a 
taste for getting up in the middle 

of the night and scalping his sleeping friends. Every school-boy 
will tell us that D follows C in the alphabet, and so it does also in 
the shield. It is called the " Honour Point." Next comes E, and 
this is the "Fess Point;" observe, also, it is the exact centre of the 
shield, and therefore, even when nicely pointed, can only be pretty 
middling. Then we have F, which is called the "Nombril," or 
"Navel Point;" and, last of all, there is G H and I, the dexter, 
middle, and sinister base points. 

This concludes our description of the partition of the shield ; and 




OF THE SHIELD, OR ESCUTCHEON. 



39 



we really don't see how we can say any more about it. How- 
ever, having 1 thus divided it, we shall now consider the style of 
articles to be placed upon it ; their manners, customs, habitations, 
general style of appearance, failing's, good qualities, and all the other 
distinct and wonderful peculiarities which characterise the Heraldic 
Escutcheon. 

These are but no for further particulars, see next chapter. 




CHAPTER V. 

CONCERNING TINCTURES. 



IRST and foremost of the Heraldic 
decorations to be considered are 
the Tinctures or colours used in 
the blazon, or, as some frivolous 
writers term it, the blaze on the 
Shield or Escutcheon. Their num- 
ber is nine : so that our readers 
may easily remember them by 
thinking- of the days of the week 
and adding- two to the total 
amount : but persons with strong- 
memories have of course no need 
to resort to this weekly contrivance. 
First comes " Or," or g-old, and 
as gold may be said to hold the 
first place in all human affairs, we 
are not suprised to find it occupying a similar position in Heraldry. 




CONCERNING TINCTURES. 



Next comes " Argent," or silver : this is but natural, as every one 
would of course place silver after gold, and in fact when changing 
the first we generally obtain the second. 

Thirdly we have " Gules," or red. From this tincture originated 
the term "Oh, Gules," or " Goles " afterwards corrupted into the 
phrase " Oh, Golly!" This was first used by a knight of Heraldic 
proclivities on discovering 

that his nose was bleeding 

- .u * * r 
after the visitation of a mace 

upon that expressive feature. 
The terseness and general 
applicability of the phrase 
was at once recognised, and 
it was handed down to pos- 
terity. 

Fourthly comes "Azure," 
or blue; which, though often 
met with on an escutcheon, 
is also sometimes to be found 
on the human countenance; 
as, for instance, when a man 
comes home at 2 a.m. and 
after dismissing his cab 
finds his latch-key lost and the household gone to bed. 

Fifthly, " Sable," or black. This colour is to be recommended for 
the armorial bearings of abolitionists, and all those gentlemen who 
go in for the Am-I-not-a-man-and-a-brother business. Eyes, both 
artificial and natural, of the same colour are also not unfrequent. 
For choice we prefer the latter. 

Sixthly, " Vert," or green. This colour is very prevalent in 
humanity generally, especially when young and inexperienced. 

Seventhly, " Purpur," or purple, which we should say belongs 




42 Y E COMIC HISTOR Y OF PIERALDR Y. 

rather to feline than human heraldry, as cats must naturally be best 
acquainted with purr-purr. 

Eighthly, " Tenne," or orange, a colour reminding us more of 
dessert than of the dry study of Heraldry, though we hope to find 
some juice in it. 

Lastly comes "Sanguine," or murrey, and this naturally brings 
us to ourselves, always sanguine of success and uncommonly murrey. 

These last two colours were generally held to denote dishonour, 
and were therefore never used voluntarily by knights, so that where 
we now should expel a man from his club, or ceremoniously kick 
him downstairs, the mediaeval gentry dabbed a daub of "Tenne" or 
" Sanguine," upon his shield, which answered the purpose equally 
well, and made him socially uncomfortable. 

As, however, the Family Herald (his services as a rule cost the 
employer of them a pretty penny) when called upon suddenly to 
provide or blazon arms did not happen always to have a portable 
paint-box in the pocket of his tabard, it occurred to some original 
mind that it would not be a bad idea to depict the most frequently 
used colours in black and white. 

The idea once started was instantly run to earth, or rather to the 
groundwork of the shield, and resulted in the following ingenious 
devices. 




CONCERNING TINCTURES. 43 

Considering the wild imagining- of our Author in illustrating the 
Heraldic Tinctures, as reproduced in black and white, we think the 
least we can do for the sake of our readers is to explain them in 
verse. Cockneys may say that the lines are verse than useless but 
then, cockneys will say anything. So here goes with 

THE TINCTURES. 

OR, the first of the Tinctures, you'll own has its charms 

None the less that it's used for the Lombardy Arms, 

Where an uncle resides, who will tell you full soon, 

The value in ARGENT of each silver spoon. 

If ' Electro,' your relative won't " see his way " 

To assist impecunious need; and he'll say, 

With looks quite as SABLE, as black as your hat, 

" I'm not to be got at that way, and that's flat ! " 

Then over the way is a hostel whose sign 

Is the Grapes, PURPURE, wreathed with the VERT leaves of vine: 

Will you kindly observe the old gent in the cut, 

His nose blazoned GULES, and his necktie is put 

In a colour called AZURE, the hue of the sky ; 

And his waistcoat is TENNE, his coat is called MURREY, 

Now don't forget notions like these in a hurry. 

Besides these tinctures there are others, including the tinct-opii, or 
mother's blessing, much patronised by the late lamented Mr. Daffy to 
still the voice of childhood, when indulging in the luxury of a nice 
scream : but as we object to kid-napping of all kinds, and this par- 
ticular sort especially, we shall pass it by, merely observing that it 
has no connection with the subject in hand, and we must therefore 
decline to mix it in our Heraldic retort. 



44 



Y COMIC HISTORY OF HERALDRY. 



The metals and colours above mentioned are distinguished by 
some ancient Heralds by the names of the planets and precious 
stones, but modern Heralds plan it differently, and not only is the 
practice exploded, but the originators also have been considerably 
blown up. 




CHAPTER VI. 



OF FURS, &c. 

FTER the Heraldic Tinctures 
come Furs, though 
why, except on the 
principle that tinctures 
are generally taken 
cold without, whereas 
furs, on the other hand, 
are generally warm 
within, we are unable 
to say. Furs are, 
therefore, to be found 
in Heraldry as well 
as Hudson's Bay, 
though it is a mis- 
take to imagine that 
the beaver of the 
ancient knights had 
anything to do with them, as that was a part of the helmet or casque, 




Y E COMIC HISTORY OF HERALDRY. 



so called from the various tappings it received, and to make a very 
obvious, though atrocious, pun, it was fur otherwise. 

Furs may be divided into two kinds, " ermine " and " vair," the 
latter as a Scotch Herald, Sir George Mackenzie pertinently 
observes, " being vairy different from the former." These again, 
probably, on the principle that you cannot have too much of a good 
thing, are further subdivided, reminding us somewhat of an Irish- 
man's farm before the landlord and the other encumbrances have been 
shot off the premises. 

Ermine, heraldically described, is drawn on a "field argent, sable," 
or black on a silver ground, and consists of three black spots and 
tails to match, though who the inventor, or 
we should say author, of these tails may have 
been, is unknown ; but the probability is, he 
was a bit of a wag, as the device bears as 
much resemblance to a real ermine as does 
a pair of boots to a methodist hymn. Each 
row of spots is called a "timber," but our 
readers would be a deal bored ere we should 
succeed in explaining how the name arose. 
The tails are denominated " muschetors," 
although the folly of eating mush, whatever it 
may be and it don't sound nice with a tail, is 
an absurdity that could only exist in Heraldry. 
Ermine is a fur ol great dignity, and only borne in the arms of 
royalty and nobility ; from which we may infer that, should a com- 
moner happen to catch an ermine running loose about Regent's 
Park, he must at once put it in his pocket, as he would not be of 
sufficient rank to bear it in his arms. By some writers the ermine is 
considered to be an emblem of purity, as it is said to prefer death to 
soiling its fur : all we can say on the subject, is, more fool the ermine; 
but the story, like the animal, to use the language of an ancient 




OF FURS, &c. 



47 



writer, "won't wash," and so we will leave this " ridiculus mus 
armenius" beneath the mountains of lies which old chroniclers have 
laid upon it. 

Next comes the Variations, I. "Ermines," which are precisely 
the same as ermine, only different, for the field is sable and the spots 
and tails argent. 2. " Erminois," our old friend spots and tails again; 
but this time they appear in black upon a field or, or a gold field, where, 
however, there are no diggings. 3. " Pean," spots and tails in gold, 
on a sable field. 4. "Ermenites," the same as the original ermine, 
only with one black and two red tails. This ought to be used 
by literary aspirants, who could thus boast of possessing two read 
tales. 

The second kind of fur " Vair," is represented by small skins in 
the shape of cups, and usually in six rows. Placing the cups in 
connexion with rows argues great know- 
ledge of human nature, and shows that the 
Heralds were, after all, not such fools as 
they looked, whatever ribald jesters may 
think of their appearance now-a-days 
when, discarding the coat and waistcoat of 
private life, they burst upon the astonished 
gaze of the public as Y e Herald of Y e 
Olden Times. 

To return, whoever, to our cups. They 
were depicted " on a field argent, azure." 
Some etymologists, from the skin rather 
resembling a wine glass, derive the word 

"vair" from the French "verre," but this glass throws a reflection 
upon our common sense if we place any credence in it ; and we are, 
therefore, obliged to put our foot down on it at once. The word, 
however, is probably derived from the Latin "varius; " nevertheless, 
should any of our readers be discontented with this derivation, as 




48 Y E COMIC HISTOR Y OF HERALDR Y. 

we have no desire to restrict their choice, they can suit themselves 
with any other they like to discover. 

Vair has two variations; i. " Vair en Point," when the cups are 
placed downwards, instead of topsyturvy, as in vair; and 2, 
"Counter Vair," which is not connected with either prize-fighting 
or shopkeeping, but is, when the cups are placed base to base, a 
kind of double base, concerted by the band of Heralds. 

In addition to the foregoing furs, there is another, which, though 
classed among them, has, properly, no right to occupy that position ; 
in fact, it is a species of Heraldic duckling, which has intruded itself 
into the fur chicken's nest. The plan upon which the inventors seem 
to have worked was this : when a new cognizance was discovered 
strikingly different from anything else that had appeared, not know- 
ing where to place it, they put it at once among that class to which 
it bore the least resemblance. On no other principle can we 
account for the " Potent," as this cognizance is called, being among 
the furs. 

In appearance the Potent resembles a gallows to accommodate 
not more than two. Should the professional Jack Ketch apply to 
the Heralds' College for a coat of arms, this would, doubtless, 
occupy a prominent position on his shield. 

Potent is also the name for a crutch, to which this fur has a 
resemblance, on account of the power it bestows on its possessor, 
though whether to help him along, or to knock down enemies on the 
way, we are unable to state with any certainty probably a little of 
each. 

A variety of the Potent is the " Counter- Potence;" but as this 
is merely turning every other row of the gibbets upside down, we 
shall not keep our readers any longer in suspense on this gallows. 
Potents may be depicted of any two colours. 

How furs came to be introduced into Heraldic cognizances, is, like 
many other things, very simple when you know all about it. First 



OF FURS, &c. 



49 



of all, they were used to line mantles, and had inside places ; but 
afterwards, probably in hot weather, they were worn outside, and 
were at once snapped up by the Heralds as the "latest novelty in 
coats;" from which circumstance irreverent mockers of the science 
might be led to infer that, after all, Heralds were only tailors in an 
exclusive way of business, and a gaudy turn of mind, since they were 
always willing to make or find a coat, provided their own pockets 
were first well lined. 




CHAPTER VII. 



OF LINES. 

HE next members of the Heraldic 
family we shall present to our 
readers are Lines. They are not 
many in number ; and as they are 
very easy to remember, we will go 
at them with a will. 

Lines are used to divide the 
shield into two or more parts, and, 
like mothers-in-law in families, 
they bring about their divisions 
in different ways. 

1. First of all there is the " Party per Pale," which has not, as might 
be expected, any connection either with a housemaid, a whitewasher, 
or a milkman, all of whom are necessarily parties with pails, but is 
simply a straight line drawn through the shield from top to bottom. 

2. " Party per Fess," a horizontal line across the shield. 

3. "Parted per Bend," a diagonal line from right to left. This 
naturally reminds us of bowing to a departing acquaintance; while 
the next (4), " Parted per Bend Sinister," a diagonal line from left to 




OF LINES. 51 

right, carries with it the same idea, as performed by a lawyer to a 
client ag-ainst whom he is about to issue an immediate writ of execu- 
tion for costs. 




5. When the field is divided into four equal portions it is said to be 
quartered (traitors in olden times were served in a similar fashion 
and distributed as public ornaments, but we don't do that now, we 
have our public statues), but when by diagonal lines (6) forming a 
kind of St. Andrew's cross, it is said to be " parted by Saltire." 

These divisions were made in order that several people's arms might 
be put in the same coat an uncomfortable, not to say impossible 
arrangement, when applied to the garments of every-day life, but 
which Heralds made nothing of. 

Besides the foregoing lines there are eight other varieties, 
exclusive of clothes lines, railway lines, which latter sometimes prove 
imposition lines when they pay no dividend, lines of argument, lines 
of defence, poetical lines, military lines, and hard lines. 

1. The "invected," which consists of a series of semicircles turned 
downwards, and gives us the idea of a row of college puddings as 
purveyed at eating houses "a la slap dang." 

2. The " engrailed," college puddings turned upside down. 

3. The "wavy." Persons with very fertile imaginations can fancy 
this resembles the waves of the sea we don't. 

4. The "nebuly." As this line derives its name from the Latin 

D 2 



52 Y E COMIC HISTOR Y OF HERALDR Y. 

nebula, a cloud, we suppose it is so called from its fancied resemblance 
to one ; all we can say is, that the likeness is simply missed. 

5. The "embattled," which represents battlements of a castle, and 
was probably borne by knights, who to battle meant to go. 

6. The " raguly." This line is supposed, though we don't know 
who by, to look like the trunk of a tree with the branches cut short 
off an arrangement which would do much towards facilitating an 
ascent ; and this leads us to conclude that it denoted impecuniosity, 
or being up a tree. For our own part, we should rather liken it to 
the " embattled " in liquor. 

7. The " indented." Here we have the teeth of a saw, a cutting 
allusion for which we confess ourselves unable to find a solution. 

8. The " dancetty." The saw teeth again only blunted, and but 
three of them. 

Which brings us to the end of the Lines, or perhaps it would be 
more correct to say to the Terminus ; but they differ from those of a 
railway, inasmuch as there are no accidents upon them. 

To change the subject we will now have a few differences, not of 
opinion, but of Blazonry. 




CHAPTER VIII 




OF DIFFERENCES. 

(IFFERENCES, or Cadency, signify, 
in Heraldry, the distinguishing- 
marks on an escutcheon, whereby 
various members of the same family 
might, by their shields, be known 
one from the other. Thus, in ancient 
times, if a rich uncle had two 
nephews, to one of whom he had 
promised something for himself, or 

a sound thrashing, while to the other, something for his pocket, or 
a gold noble, and they both appeared before him with their beavers 
down, it would only be by the differences of their coat armour 
that he would be able to distinguish them ; though, if the to-be- 
thrashed nephew were wise, the coat he would wear on the occasion 
would be a cut-away. 

Ancient differences consisted of "bordures," which were, as their 
name denotes, borders placed round the interior of the shield, and 



54 



Y E COMIC HISTOR Y OF HERALDR Y. 



were simply used to distinguish the different branches of the same 
family ; or to put it more familiarly, that the various branches of the 
family might be thus twigged. 

Modern differences may be said to go to the root of the tree, and 
distinguish not only the branches, but even the boughs and leaves, 
or rather the various sons of the same father. 

An eldest son bears a "file," or 
" label," for his distinguishing 
badge. Were it the fashion for 
young gentlemen of the present 
time to wear their coats of arms as 
general garments, the "label" 
would be particularly useful to 
mothers of families with marriage- 
able daughters, and prevent any 
nonsensical flirtations with younger 
and lesseligible sons. The "label" 
also might be still further utilized 
by inscribing thereon the exact 
amount of the prospective rent- 
roll, and whether, and how deeply, 
the property had been dipped. 
Used thus, the label would indeed 
be the ticket. 

Son number two bears a " crescent." This seems strange at first, 
and can only be accounted for by supposing that second sons not 
unfrequently turned out regular Turks in their manners and customs : 
hence the emblem. 

The third son takes as his badge a "mullet," on account, perhaps, 
of his prospects being, if anything, more fishy than his next elder 
brother. Not that the cognizance in question had anything to 
do with the sea, but is, as our readers will observe, a five-pointed 




OF DIFFERENCES. 55 

star. In fact, it is more than probable that it was called a mullet 
because that fish was, of all things in the world, what it least 
resembled. 

A fourth son takes a " martlet " for his distinguishing cognizance. 
This is described by Dr. Johnson (vide that instructive if slightly arid 
work, his dictionary,) as a " small bird without legs, used in 
Heraldry." 

An "annulet," or small ring, denotes a fifth son; a clear hint that 
his fortune lies in a ring, or, to reduce it to the roughly modern and 
material ideas, marrying a girl with money. 

For son six a " fleur-de-lys " is provided, though what the sup- 
posed connection between them may consist in, we are unable 
to say. 

The seventh young gentleman of the family is distinguished by 
a "rose." As seven is always supposed to be a lucky number, 
this must mean that his path in life is destined to be a flowery 
one. 

What in Heraldry is called a " cross-moline," decorates the 
escutcheon of number eight. If the cross signifies the bias of 
the temper of the bearer, it argues but badly for domestic 
comfort. 

Last of all comes the " double quatre-foil," for the ninth son. 
And as the Heralds very properly considered that nine sons 
were enough for any man, however fond of children, to go on 
with, they made no provisions for any further additions to the 
family. 

Besides these differences there are also " abatements," and 
"augmentations." They may be compared to the stripes for good 
and bad conduct we bestow upon our soldiers. Augmentations 
signifying the good conduct stripes borne upon the sleeve, and 
abatements the bad ditto, ditto, which are, as a rule, blazoned gules 
upon the back of the warrior. 



Y E COMIC HISTORY OF HERALDRY. 



Augmentations are additional charges borne on an escutcheon as 
marks of honour for services rendered to the sovereign. Thus, Her 
Majesty the Queen might, if she felt so inclined, and the Prime 
Minister didn't object, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer didn't 
think it would cost the country anything, grant to the family 
house-maid at Buckingham Palace the following augmentation in 
lieu of raising her wages "argent, a broom sweepant proper," 
for her services rendered in the domestic department of the 
palace. 

"Abatements" are casual marks attached to coat armour, and 
denote some dishonourable action of the bearer. 
Monarchs in the olden time, like their modern 
successors, had occasionally bad knights, and 
when that was the case the Heralds stepped in and 
did their best to abate them. As a rule, before 
abating a disreputable warrior, sovereigns not 
unfrequently cut off his head, and stuck it up on 
Temple Bar, or some other prominent public edifice, 
thus placing him at the head of the pole in a way 
that was certainly not the result of his own election. 
As a public ornament, these heads were scarcely 
successes but after all we ought not to throw stones at our ancestors 
for their want of taste. Have we not our public statues ? 

Abatements are of two sorts " diminution, or reversing." 
Diminution is the blemishing some particular point of the shield 
by the tinctures, "sanguine," or "tenne," which we have mentioned 
in Chapter V., and which are regarded as stains. Reversing is 
when some cognizance on the shield is turned backward, or upside 
down. So Sneaker, caught in the act of annexing the pocket- 
handkerchief of Pumpkinson, churchwarden, ratepayer, and pork- 
butcher, a big man and strong' in the arms, would, should 
Pumpkinson take the law into his own hands, receive an abatement 




OF DIFFERENCES. 



57 



of his joy at the robbery, in the shape of the following heraldic 
diminution, "on a field (or face) argent, a nose sanguine." 
Or he might be seized by the irate Pumpkinson, and be turned 
backward to the police station which would be reversing S.'s 
intention, which did certainly not tend to such a goal or gaol. 

Now let us have no more differences though we trust nobody has 
lost his temper over them, unless, indeed, the temper was a bad one, 
in which case we hope he has. 




CHAPTER IX. 

OF CHARGES AND ORDINARIES. 

AVING settled our differences, 
let us hope satisfactorily, we 
come next to what in common 
life often leads to them, es- 
pecially when made by trades- 
people, viz.: Charges. These 
charges, however, must not be 
confounded with those made 
before a magistrate, or in a bill, 
nor yet with the prices paid to 
the Heralds for finding an 
Heraldic coat. Sooner than such an imputation should be made 
upon them the English King of Arms would hang himself in 
his own garter; Lyon, the Scotch King, would bite off his own 
'ear; and Ulster, the Irish ditto, would smother himself in his own 
Ulster coat. 

Charges are the figures expressed on a coat of arms, and we will 
now proceed to add them up. 




OF CHARGES AND ORDINARIES. 



59 



We must premise by saying that they consist of everything 
depictable (to coin a word) either in or on the earth, air or sea, 
besides a great many other things which never could, would, ought, 
might, or can be found anywhere but in the brains of the Heralds. 

Having thus eased our minds in regard to them, readers will 
please take note that of charges there are six kinds. 1. Ordinaries, 
which have no connection either with the chaplain of Newgate, who 
is also an ordinary, or with tables-d'hote every day at one and four. 
These ordinaries, the Heraldic ones are entitled " honourable," to 
distinguish them from 2, the " Sub-ordinaries," which anyone 
who was rash in jumping at conclusions would of course say were 
the dishonourable kind. The only objection to this would be that it 
was perfectly wrong, seeing that they are nothing of the sort. 

Next comes number 3, "Common Charges," which might again be 
supposed to include those of wife-beating, adulteration of food, con- 
spiracy of directors of bogus companies, &c., which are very common 
now-a-days only they don't. 

Four Natural Figures. What these are, and are not, we will 
explain when we come to them a promise we will also fulfil in re 5 
and 6, Artificial and Chimerical 
Figures. 

The honourable ordinaries are 
nine in number, in that resembling 
the muses, and if we can only 
make each of them amuse, the 
likeness will be still further carried 
out. 

First of all we have, as might 
be expected, the "Chief." This 
charge consists of a bar occupying 
the upper third of the shield. 

Next we have the " Pale." This charge takes up the third of the 




6o 



Y E COMIC HISTORY OF HERALDRY. 



shield perpendicularly, and would seem to be better adapted for the 
arms of a sickly girl than a stalwart knight. It has two diminutives 
the "Pallet," half the size of the pale, which is clearly intended for the 
cognizance of a painter, who would of course put his own colours on 
it; and the "Endorse," half the size of the pallet, the bill broker's own 
charge. One might naturally expect the renewal and the protest to 
follow ; only, by some unaccountable omission, they are not included 
in Heraldry. 

Thirdly comes the " Bend," which consists of two diagonal lines 
from right to left. It has four diminutives the " Bendlet," the 
" Garter," the " Cost," and the " Ribbon." By the association of 
the last two we might almost fancy that the Heralds, under the guise 
of their, science, were slily poking fun at the ladies. 

Fourthly, the Bend Sinister. This is 
the same as the beud, only from left to 
right. It is usually, but not always, the 
Heraldic sign of illegitimacy, and has 
two diminutives, the "Scarp," and the 
" Baton," which latter smacks more 
of the Orchestra than Heraldry, and 
also strikingly suggests the policeman 
on duty. 

Fifthly, the " Fess." A bar occupying 
the middle third of the shield, over which 
we shall bolt to the Bar itself, which is 
the fifth ordinary, and only takes up a 
fifth of the escutcheon. This is never 
borne singly, and when there are five bars, the shield is said to be 
"blazoned barry," which naturally calls to mind the Revalenta 
Arabica food, and perhaps the name was invented by some grateful 
Herald restored to health after years of " indescribable agony," by 
the use of that much- vaunted condiment. The bar has two 




OF CHARGES AND ORDINARIES. 



6r 




diminutives, the "Barrulet," and the "Closet," which we shall now 
shut up, and proceed to. 

The " Chevron," the seventh ordinary. This is in shape like a 
rafter used to sup- 
port a roof, and 
hence is sometimes 
called the "Spar." 
For a fighting man 
in training this would 
be eminently adap- 
ted. The eighth 
ordinary is the 
"Cross." In Herald- 
ry, as in life, there 
are various crosses : 
but as advertising tradesmen say, none others are genuine but the 
plain cross, consisting of two bars, one horizontal and the other 
perpendicular. We therefore beg our readers 
to beware of all spurious imitations calling 
themselves ordinaries. 

Last of all comes the "Saltier," which 
is neither more or less than a St. Andrew's 
cross, and is so called by both German 
and Scotch Heralds. The last-named gentle- 
men would, of course, lose no opportunity 
of glorifying the " Land of Cakes and of 
immortal Burns," and their proverbially 
canny character is shown by their seeking 
to obtain a larger measure of honour from 
the ordinary by bestowing it upon their own 
private and particular saint, thus making 
it, in fact, an extraordinary. 




62 



Y E COMIC HISTQR Y OF HERALDR Y. 



This ends the list of honourable ordinaries. In our next chapter 
we shall attack the Subordinaries, which may be reg-arded as a sort 
of Heraldic cuisine a la cookshop, in contradistinction to the more 
aristocratic food of the honourable ordinaries. 




CHAPTER X. 

OF SUB-ORDINARIES. 

HE Sub-Ordinaries now claim our atten- 
tion. These number in all fourteen, and, 
as they will form our present course, we 
will proceed to serve them up for the 
palates of our readers, making up by the 
sauce for the heaviness of the food. 
Heraldry is known to be a dry subject ; 
so, on the homoeopathic principle that 
"like cures like," we will add a little 
chaff. 

The first sub-ordinary we shall draw out and wave on our Heraldic 
banner is the "Gyron." This is formed by two lines, one drawn 
diagonally from one of the angles to the centre of the shield, meeting 
another straight line drawn from the same side : the whole giving us 
the idea that at first the inventor had intended to put a triangle into 
the escutcheon and had then thought better of it, and had only inserted 
half a one. When there are six, eight, or ten Gyrons in the field, 
the blazoning is said to be " gyronny," just on the principle that 




Y E COMIC HISTORY OF HERALDRY. 



boys term a pudding with more than the usual amount of plums a 
"plummy pudding." 

Next comes the " Quarter," which, as its name denotes, occupies a 
fourth of the shield, and always in the " dexter chief," or, to reduce 
the Heraldic jargon to the language of common life, in the right-hand 
upper corner. 

It is a plain square, as once was that of Leicester, but which now, 

thanks to a Baronial Grant, though not in China, is quite a flowery land. 

And on we go again to the "Canton," which has nothing to do 

with Switzerland ; so our readers 
need not fancy that any " Merry 
Swiss boy" business is here go- 
ing to be transacted. It exactly 
resembles the Quarter, of which it 
may be said to be a little brother, 
as it only takes up one-fifth of 
the shield instead of one-fourth. 
It is supposed to represent the 
flag borne by knights bannerets, 
which was of small size, as those 
knights were created on the field 
of battle, where it was but natural 
the supply of bunting would run 
short, it being scarcely likely that a man would take some with him 
on the speculation that the cutting off the heads of his enemies would 
prove for him a short cut to glory. 

Our next sub-ordinary is the " Fret," not that we intend to do so- 
quite the contrary. It is formed by two narrow bendlets, interlaced 
by a small square. Sometimes it is called the " Herald's true lover's 
knot," and we need scarcely mention the appropriateness of the con- 
nection between love and frets, which must, of course, be apparent to 
the meanest amorous capacity. 




OF SUB-ORDINARIES. 




When the escutcheon is covered with these true 
lovers' knots, it is termed " fretty," and who would 
not be fretty at finding a number of such tokens 
in the possession of one party, especially if the 
belief had been cherished that only the knot of one 
beau, and that one yourself, had been preserved. 

Fifthly comes the "Pile," which is in shape like 
a long narrow wedge, and must have been invented 
by a Herald of destructive proclivities trying to 
split a shield by driving a wedge therein, but fail- 
ing and leaving the wedge in disgust, christened 
it an ordinary. It exactly represents a pile upon ^ 
which bridges are built; nor can we be surprised at this, for 
Heralds invariably had an arch way with them. 

To proceed, we have the " Orle," which may, of course, be all our 
fancy painted it, and a lot more besides, but is a kind of inner border 
within the shield. A good notion of this 
ordinary may be obtained by taking two 
hats, one a large size and the other con- 
siderably smaller, cutting off the brims and 
placing one within the other; flatten both to 
the required shape, and there you have the 
Orle. We should advise the experimentalist 
not, for obvious reasons, to use his own 
property for the trial. 

After the Orle comes the " Tressure," a 
neat article of the same kind, but only half 
the width of that charge. When we have 
said that we have not, however, said everything thereanent. It is 
generally borne double, or one within the other; so that when a 
Herald had more than one, he was able to act on the advice given 
to unskilful horsemen, and make the Tressure get inside. The 




66 Y E COMIC HISTORY OF HERALDRY. 

Tressure is ornamented with fleur de lys, that is to say those flowers 
are placed on the sides, reminding- us somewhat of the sprigs of 
holly stuck about a Christmas pudding. 

This bearing- forms a part of the arms of Scotland ; the legs of 
Scotland, especially the Highland legs, having a baring of a different 
kind, and as a rule gravitating towards England. It was granted by 
Charlemagne to Achaius, the then king of the country, as a present of 
honour. For our own part, we should prefer a present of game to 
any such unsubstantial gift, but in those times the smallest honorial 
donation was thankfully received and gratefully acknowledged. 
The " Flanches " come next. They are formed by two curved 
lines nearly meeting in the centre of the 
escutcheon. To give a receipt for making 
them in the style of that mirror of cookery, 
Mrs. Glasse, we should say : first catch 
your shield a plain one is best on which 
no Heraldic cookery has been performed. 
Draw two circles, cut a slice off each and 
place at opposite sides within the shield. 
Serve up as wanted. Of this sub-ordinary 
there are two diminutives, " Flasques " and 
" Voiders." The former of these would seem to have some 
connection with drinking, and doubtless Heralds, like other men, 
had no objection to moisten their Heraldic clays. Voiders, again, 
clearly relate to the same subject ; being smaller than flasques, may 
be taken to typify glasses when voider or emptier than they were 
when filled. 

We now come to the " Lozenge," a sub-ordinary exactly repre- 
sented by a jujube. Visions of anti-pertussents rise before us as we 
take this charge out of the Heraldic coffer. The Lozenge may be of 
any size, either filling up the whole of the shield, like two fat women 
in a small Hansom, or only just appearing at the corner of the shield, 




OF ORDINARIES. 




like one small passenger in a three-horse omnibus. When the shield 
is crossed by diagonal lines, it is called " lozengy," a good idea of 
which may be formed by thinking of the 
open-work jam tarts of childhood. 

The " Fusil " is narrower and longer 
than the "Lozenge," and gives us the notion 
of a partially-sucked and pulled-out-length- 
ways lozenge. It is also called the "Spindle," 
from its supposed resemblance to that 
ancient housewifely instrument. Anyone 
who can see the resemblance is perfectly 
welcome to do so, though for our own 
part we shall not spin a yarn upon the subject, as we consider it 
needle-less. A fusil is also a light kind of gun, but we should not hit 
the mark if we imagined there was any connection between that 
weapon and the sub-ordinary in question. 

In the " Rustre," our friend the jujube appears once more. Again 
referring to the Heraldic cookery book, we find the following direc- 
tions: take a lozenge, punch a hole in the middle, place in centre of 
the shield, garnish with what you please, or serve up plain or according 
to taste. At least, if you don't, we have given you the means of 
making a very good substitute. 

The " Mascle " derives its name from macula, the mesh of a net. 
Though the derivation is somewhat fishy, yet we hope our readers 
will not carp at our description. Still, if we should flounder at this 
place, our sole desire is to give a friendly lift or hoister to every man 
jack into the science of Heraldry. Not yet are we free of the Lozenge, 
for the Mascle is another connection of this cough-no-more ordinary. 
It is, however, a mere frame lozenge-shaped, or, as the Heralds 
would express it, a " lozenge voided." Our own ideas on the subject 
correspond exactly with the scientific description, for we have held, 
ever since the days of infancy, when peppermint specimens of the 

2 



Y E COMIC HIST OR Y OF HERALDR Y. 



article invariably followed senna tea, that lozenges of all sorts are 
things specially to be avoided. 

Next comes the " Inescutcheon." This 
is merely, as the name denotes, a small 
shield inside a larger one, and, like the 
result of many races, is a case of an out- 
sider coming in. 

We come now to the last sub-ordinary, 
the " Guttes," a name vulgarly and un- 
pleasantly suggestive of the internal eco- 
nomy of the human and other bodies. 
Some Heralds do not class this charge 
among the sub-ordinaries at all, but we 
intend to be more liberal. The word is 
derived from " goutte," a drop, and we 
may at once state that it has no connec- 
tion either with capital punishment, the Old 
Bailey, or Mr. Marwood. 

Guttes are small round spots borne on the shield, and when they 
are placed at equal distances over the whole of the shield, giving it 
somewhat the appearance of having been suddenly taken ill with some 
cutaneous disorder, the cognizance is called "gutty." 

As in common life there are drops of different kinds, for instance, 
drops of comfort, drops of brandy, and drops in life, so also in 
Heraldry Guttes or drops differ. When the Guttes are gold colour, 
the shield is said to be " gutty d'or." We should prefer, however, a 
bucketfull, or, why not say a hogshead while we are about it, instead 
of a few drops of gold. When white it is called " gutty d'eau," or 
water colour. This has a very washy sound, and calls to mind Sir 
Wilfrid Lawson and teetotallers, a class of people who ought to be 
the happiest in the world, since, according to their own accounts, they 
are never given to whine, which perhaps accounts for the unsteady 




OF ORDINARIES. 



69 



gait of the sons of temperance after their annual festivals at the 
Crystal Palace and elsewhere. 

When the drops are red, they are said to be de sang, or of blood, 
which suggests cut fingers, and sticking plaister that never sticks. 
When blue they are said to be de larmes, or of tears. This notion is 
too ridiculous. Who, beside a Herald, ever heard of blue tears ? 
That people may look blue is possible : we ourselves have done so at 
times, notably when expecting a remittance from our country estate 
and receiving a County Court summons from our discontented tailor 
instead. But blue tears. Never ! 

When the "Guttes" are black, they are called de poix, or pea colour. 
Again we demur to this description. Mellow pears are all very well; 
green peas when young are like young ladies, nice; peas-pudding 
not perhaps tempting, but decidedly cheap, and oh ! so filling all 
these we have heard of and even know ; but black peas argue a degree 
of nastiness, not to say putridity, that would turn the stomach of a 
rhinoceros. We are really surprised at meeting with such unplea- 
santness among the Heralds. 

Finally, when green, the " Guttes " are d'huile, or olive-oil colour. 
This definition clearly originated with some King-at-arms, who had 
a predominant taste for salad. Still, as we are strong, so will we be 
merciful, and he shall receive no dressing on that account. And this 
concludes the Sub-Ordinaries. 




CHAPTER XL 

OF COMMON CHARGES. 

AVING had our fill of Heraldic 
food at the Ordinaries and 
Sub-Ordinaries, we shall, so to 
say, take our dessert off the 
"Common Charges." Amongst 
these we might class, the six- 
pences or shillings, over and 
above their fares, demanded 
by, and frequently paid to 
cabmen ; the six-and-eight- 
pence to a lawyer, for informing 
you that curling your hair with a boiled carrot is not a criminal offence ; 
the shilling demanded of hurried travellers at Mugby Junction for a 
ptiree of horsebeans, called euphemistically soup : all these are very 
common charges, but unfortunately are not included in Heraldry. 

Common Charges are of three kinds : Natural, Artificial, and 
Chimerical Figures. Thus, we should call a figure representing a 
donkey as strictly natural, considering the number of those animals 
(both biped and quadruped) to be found in the world; one repre- 




OF COMMON CHARGES, 71 

senting- a wig" as decidedly artificial, since we are not aware that any 
man, woman, or child in a state of nature has yet been discovered 
with a foreign hair-apparent to his crown; and one representing 
a lawyer's conscience could such a charge be invented as very 
chimerical, since we never heard of such a thing existing in real life ? 

To commence, however, with the Natural Figures. They consist 
of everything in general and most things in particular, and comprise 
birds, beasts, men (which of course includes women), fishes, insects, 
infusoria, and other rudimentary animalculae. Anything, in fact, that 
might or could have life. 

The objects and when we see the unpleasant not to say absurd 
positions in which some of them are placed by the Heralds we may 
indeed call them so which constitute the terrestrial figures are re- 
presented either whole or like serial publications, in parts. When in 
the latter, they appear cut up, and seem acutely to feel the joint-stock 
element and unnatural combination introduced into their pourtrayal. 

There are also a variety of Heraldic phrases descriptive of the 
different positions assumed, which we shall enumerate and explain, 
in order that readers may not break their mental shins over them in 
future researches into the science. 

Heraldry has a language some call it jargon, but they are ill- 
natured of its own, and anyone guilty of using an incorrect phrase 
in describing the cognizances or blazon of a shield, is regarded by 
Garter and Co, as an utter barbarian, with whom no Herald of any 
self-respect can have dealings. In fact, as a rule, Heraldic mis- 
descriptions grate to such an extent upon the ear of the Tabard 
wearers that they long for, and would have were it not that the act 
might lead them to visit the stately halls of the Ancient Bailey, and 
subsequent introduction to Marwood the blood of the offender. 
Under the circumstances, therefore, they don't get the liquid in ques- 
tion. And now to arm our readers against any possibility of incur- 
ring the Heraldic vengeance. 




Y E COMIC HISTOR Y OF HERALDR Y. 

The colour of the hair in men, including 
women, is described by the word " crined." 
Thus a lady with hair of a carrotty or 
fashionable colour would be Heraldically 
termed "crined gules." If a cockney, how- 
ever, were to ask if his sheets were "crined," 
instead of haired, the phrase would be in- 
correct. As a rule, it may be taken that 
Heraldic expressions fit badly in domestic 
life, and are liable to cause him or her using- them to be looked upon 
as a dangerous lunatic. Still our readers may try for themselves ; 
but if ill consequences follow, we accept no blame for the results. 

"Couchant" denotes lying 
iown, though you could hardly 
say a false witness was couchant 
because he was, when giving 
evidence, lying downily. 

When an animal is couchant 
the head is raised, and an art- 
fully expectant look may generally be observed in his or her eye, also 
an expression, which says, as plainly as possible, " If you come within 
reach of my paws or teeth, your family will go into mourning, but 

they needn't worry about 
the corpse." 

" Dormant " sleeping. 
This description applies to 
men (again including wo- 
men), and beasts, as they 
are frequently to be seen on the Heraldic shield with a nod appearance. 
The "dormant" animal is distinguished from the couchant by 
having his head resting on his paws, and his tail coiled up along side 
him, so as to prevent people treading on it. A peaceful calm 





OF COMMON CHARGES. 




pervades his countenance, and thoughts of that last Hindoo au 
naturel which formed his sup- 
per, evidently give a gentle 
zest to his well-earned slumbers. 

"Regardant" a man or beast 
steadily looking at nothing. 
This description of figure is 
frequently found in connection 
with lions, bears, stags, bulls 
[N.B. No connection with Capel Court], and other animals not 
possessed of human impudence 
enough to take a sight at anything. 

"Statant," standing upright. Per- ^~^f/ 
sons fond of seeking eleemosynary 
drinks can vary their usual invoca- 
tion of "What are you going to 
stand?" with "Will you be stat- gJ-%^- 
ant? " The British Lion often has 
to stand a good deal. Instance, the 
Alabama award. Still, " We don't want to fight, but by jingo," &c. 

"Rampant" rearing. Lions are 
often seen indulging in this un- 
seemly pastime on the Heraldic 
field, and, like a bad tenant with 
his landlord, are frequently in ar- 
rear. Under these circumstances, 
it is the landlord who becomes ram- 
pant, and makes things lively for 
the tenant, by sending him a 
visitor in the shape of a man in 
possession, who is not usually a wel- 
come guest. 





74 



Y E COMIC HIS TOR Y OF HERALDR Y. 




" Sejant " sitting. This position would most probably be used 
to describe a Member of Parliament, or a hen both do a quantity 

of cackling or any other 
abnormal animal whose 
principal employment is to sit. 
It is an eminently peaceful 
position, and one much used 
by humanity generally when 
not walking, standing, or lying. 
Not but what we have known 
people who could lie sitting just 
as well as standing, if not better, 
but then they had talents for 

mendacity, which we are certain are wanting to all readers of 
this work. At least we hope so, although sometimes in the still- 
ness of the night doubts will arise even on that point. 

" Current," which has no connection with tarts, but means run- 
ning, is generally found 
associated with stags 
and dogs in Heraldry; out 
of it, bills have also that 
peculiarity. 

Fraudulent bankrupts 
have also been known to 
be current, especially if 
their creditors were after 
them. As a rule, how- 
ever, the criminal law has a tendency to disapprove of their funny 
way of running on. 

Money also, both good and bad, is current. We prefer the for- 
mer, and as much of it as possible. No reduction made on taking 
a quantity. 




OF COMMON CHARGES. 



75 




"Nascent" 



Salient" leaping" applied to lions and tigers, who, like flowers, 

often appear in the spring 1 . Not 
that the time of year makes the 
slightest difference to them. As a 
rule, a lion or a tiger is a creature 
quite devoid of prejudice, and is 
as ready to eat you in the summer, 
autumn, or winter, as in the spring. 
The high jump at an athletic 
meeting is also a salient subject 
for the persons who compete. 

rising out of the midst of an ordinary ; thus a 
grog-blossom rising out of the 
midst of a nose would be so 
described, though we are not 
aware of any family which 
bears that peculiar flower as 
a portion of its cognizance, 
though what says the Bard of 
Erin, 

" It's a nose tree in full bearing." 
But no Moore upon that 
head. 

Counter current ; two ani- 
mals, human or otherwise, run- 
ning in opposite directions. In common life we often see this 
peculiarity; for instance, one man will run into 10,000 a year, and 
another into the workhouse : one man on to the bench, and another 
into the dock. But there, we might continue our illustrations from 
here to the middle of next year, were it convenient; but as it is 
not, we shall, like the old preachers, proceed to our 

Lastly, we have "Issuant," which denotes anything coming out of 




76 Y E COMIC HISTOR Y OF HERALDR Y. 

the top or bottom of an ordinary. As an example, we might take 
the speeches of many public characters which frequently issue from 
the mouths of very ordinary men indeed. 

There are many other descriptive terms, but the above are the 
chief ones. Anyone can manufacture them to order by simply adding 
the syllable " ant" to the descriptive word, thus : 

"Smokant," "kickant," "hookant," "smilant," " drunkant," &c., 
&c. ; and so, as the showman says, "on we go again, my little dears, 
up and down, in and out, and all round the show/'' to the next 
chapter. 




CHAPTER XII. 

OF ARTIFICIAL FIGURES. 

HE next selection of Heraldic articles 
we shall present to our readers are 
the Artificial Figures, and though, as a 
rule, we object to artifices of all kinds, 
yet in Heraldry we have to do violence 
to our feelings and deal with them. 

Artificial figures are of various 
kinds. There is our maiden aunt, 
whose money we hope to inherit some 
day, and who, under the circumstances, 
displays a tenacity of life which is positively dishonest; we reckon 
her as an absolutely artificial figure when we contemplate her false 
teeth, hair, eyebrows, and padding in proportion. Modesty, of which 
we have an overwhelming quantity, forbids us even to guess to what 
extent the latter adjunct to beauty obtains with her, though we have 
a suspicion, we might almost say a certainty, that were that aged 
damsel to appear as nature made her, she would not only be un- 
recognizable, but also in danger of being disposed of on the spot for 
old bones. 




Y E COMIC HISTORY OF HERALDRY. 



Another class of artificial figures we frequently read of are 
those used by accountants of public companies to delude the un- 
fortunate shareholders into a belief of prosperity, whereas the 
winding-up process is what they properly require. And here 
we would make a digression in reference to public companies. 
And at the same time we would just throw out a conundrum for the 
benefit of those of our readers who may be desirous of reproducing 
it in select society, or in quires and places where they sing, 
or anywhere else where they think it would fit in well. It is this: 
What is the difference between a public company and a watch ? 

Do you give it up Gentle Reader? * You do ! We see it in your 
expressive eye your mind's eye. Mark ye ! List, list oh, list ! 
The company stops by winding up the watch goes on. 
Go on ahead. 

Neither of these kinds of artificial figures, however prevalent in real 

life, are found in Heraldry, but 
instead of them we have, as might 
be expected, swords, which are 
said sometimes to be "erect" or 
"pommelled:" the non-Heraldic 
mind would naturally suppose that 
when it came to a rough-and- 
tumble fight the men and not the 
swords were pommelled. Oc- 
casionally, also, they are "hilted," 
the hilt thus forming a handle, 
enabling us to grasp the fact. 
Sometimes arrows appeared as 
charges, which of course afforded 
shafts for ridicule and rudimen- 




* This phrase is copyright ; anyone using it without permission of the publisher 
will be prosecuted according to law. 



OF ARTIFICIAL FIGURES. 



79 



tary jokes about an arrow mind. They were said to be "armed" 
or "feathered," according- as they appeared pointed or otherwise. 

Gauntlets, battle-axes, spears, battering-- rams, and pole-axes we 
simply mention, declining to be struck by them. 

Next we come to the Ornamental Figures in contradistinction to the 
useful, which latter are but seldom to be found in Heraldry. Among- the 
Ornamental Figures are Crowns and Coronets, which belong to the 
arms, though we might more properly say to the heads, of kings and 
lords. 

Bishops, again, display the might of the Church by bearing a 
mitre; nor have we any right to throw 
doubt on the validity of the episcopal 
appointment by saying of one of those 
clerical peers that he is a bishop with a 
hook, because in his arms appears a 
pastoral crook. 

In addition to these artificial flowers of 
Heraldry, we must also take down a few 
bricks from architecture to serve as com- 
mon charges, such as towers, castles, 
arches, battlements, churches, portcul- 
lises, &c., &c. These last were a species of addition to castle gates, 
which kept out invaders in tolo, by being- dropped upon their toes. 

Navigation also furnishes a few charges to Heralds as well as to 
underwriters of the present day. Thus sailors who have to see fair 
and also foul weather on the briny deep, had ships assigned to them, 
and anchors. These last are also emblems of hope ; though why, 
except it be to denote that what we hope for is often obtained by 
a fluke, we are unable to state with any certainty. 

To recount, however, all the artificial figures which are or may be 
used in Heraldry would be a perfectly endless task, seeing that the 
list may be made to comprise vegetables, snuff-boxes, flowers, jam- 




8o 



Y E COMIC HISTORY OF HERALDRY. 



pots, boot-jacks, compound rhubarb pills, steam-engines, pickled 
walnuts, garden-rollers, patent knife-cleaning- machines, violins, 
batter puddings, balloons, tinder boxes, stewed oysters, baby 
jumpers, dress improvers, hot sausages, 8i-tcn guns, Revalenta 
Arabica, opera boxes, eye-openers, post-cards from Mr. Gladstone, 
blacking bottles, and in fact anything which the hand of man is able 
to fabricate or his head to imagine. 




.<. 



CHAPTER XIII. 



OF CHIMERICAL FIGURES. 

HIMERICAL Figures are 
the last and most ancient 
kind of charge to be 
found in Heraldry, and 
represent a variety of 
figures which never did, 
can, will, shall, might, 
could, or should exist in 
any zoological collection 
in the whole world. 

Chimerical animals are 
a sort of Heraldic half-and-half, being generally compounded of half 
of one animal and the rest from another quite different, with very often 
a dash of a third, just to make the mixture more mixed, and con- 
fusion worse confounded. In fact, when in a Chimerical frame of 
mind, the Heralds as often as they got hold of an animal or two 
to serve up in their Heraldic dishes, invariably made a hash of 
them. 
With the exception of Griffons, Martlets and Unicorns, these figures 




82 



Y E COMIC HISTORY OF HERALDRY. 



are of foreign origin, a great number coming over with the conquer- 
ing hero William the First; that French "Bill," which our Saxon 
forefathers were compelled to accept at sight, and on his own demand. 
The bland way in which the conquering hero walked first into 
England, and then into the English, including most of their pos- 
sessions, was a thing to be remembered by the sufferers. In fact 
they did remember it those who were left especially when they 
saw the Norman intruders taking possession of their Saxon estates 
with an open handed freedom that, however enjoyable to the 
takers, was less so to the takees. Still, let byegones be byegones; 
and far be it from us to rake up old grievances, especially since, 
so far as he knows, the author did not suffer by them to any great 
extent. Perhaps his not having been born at that time had some- 
thing to do with this fact. 

Anyhow, to return to our Chimerical Figures 
First of all we will commence with the Unicorn, which represents 

a"horse with the tail of a lion, and 
a single horn in the middle of his 
forehead. He is of course familiar 
to all our readers, not only as one 
of the Supporters of the Arms of 
England, but also as an early, 
though unsuccessful competitor for 
the crown of this country. What 
he would have done with it had he 
obtained it, history does not say ; 
in fact, with all due deference to 
the legend in question, we fear we 
must relegate it to the category 

of things which never happened. Anyway, looking at the present 
shape of the head-piece in question it would have had to be con- 
siderably altered before it would have fitted his peculiar con- 




OF CHIMERICAL FIGURES. 




formation of head; but as he did not get it, but only a thrashing 
instead, it is perhaps useless to speculate upon the contingency. 
Speculation so often leads to trouble : ah ! woe is me why did I 
buy those Spanish bonds ? 

" Martlets," which, as we have already observed in a former 
chapter, were small legless birds, 
formed part of the arms of 
Edward the Confessor, and were 
probably borne by him to denote 
that, by never confessing anything, 
he was determined never to put 
his foot into any trouble. Sharp 

fellow, Ned, though it is probable that the clerical gentlemen 
of his time had something to say to him on the subject if he 
carried his principles out in their entirety when dealing with 
them. Probably they talked to him like Dutch uncles ; or, perhaps 
to speak more correctly holy fathers. 

"Griffons" remind us of the celebrated American warrior, who 
was half horse, half alligator, and 
the rest snapping turtle. They 
are composed of the head, wings, 
and talons of an eagle, with the 
hinder part of a lion; thus pre- 
senting an appearance which would 
lead irreverent thinkers to remark 
that, did such an animal exist, the 

fore part of his body would be a bird-un indeed. As a mixture 
to be taken at bedtime they must, we should say, be slightly 
conducive to nightmare ; but still, compared with some of the 
Heraldic animals which were of the most dreadful, not to say 
ferocious description, they must have been rather soothing than 
otherwise. 

F 2 




8 4 



Y R COMIC HISTOR Y OF HERALDR Y. 




A " Sagittary " is the same 
as the zoological figure of that 
name, and represents a being 
half human and half horse, and 
armed with an arrow and a 
bended bow. He would be a 
useful sort of creature at an 
archery meeting, but anywhere 
else we do not see that much 
could be done with him. As 
our proclivities are not toxo- 
philite we don't seem to hanker 
much after a Sagittary, at 
least not for private consump- 
tion. 

A "Pegasus" is a horse again; this time, however, with wings. 
This Charge forms the arms of the Society of the Middle Temple. 

Belonging, as it thus 
does, to lawyers, it is 
most apposite, and 
signifies that whoever 
has anything to do 
with the law, will find 
his money not only 
disappear as fast as 
a horse can gallop, 
but like a horse and 
fly too. 

A "Dragon" is a serpent with wings. Dragons form the sup- 
porters of the arms of the City of London ; but this we regard 
as a mistake, since it is perfectly certain that the chief supporters 
of the civic powers are venison and clear turtle. Students of 




OF CHIMERICAL FIGURES. 




fabulous history may 
also remember that it 
was with an animal 
of this class that St. 
George of England 
had an unsatisfactory 
interview ; unsatisfac- 
tory, that is, from the 
dragon's point of view. 

A " Salamander " is a beast somewhat resembling- a lizard, and is 
always represented in flames, so that, when wanted, he had always to 
be called over the coals. 

In that respect he was like the "Phoenix," which is an eagle with 
gaudy plumage, sitting on a blazing nest. The vulgar saying of 
"going to blazes," probably originated with the last-named bird, 
which tradition asserts was in the habit of burning itself periodically, 
whereby it regained its youth coming out of the operation like an 
old coat under the skilful hands of a Jew trader, as good as new and 
a great deal better. 

A "Cannet" was a duck without beak or feet. The name arose 
from the astonishment of those persons who first saw it, and who 
naturally asked "what can it mean?" 
The answer given is not known, but 
let us hope the enquirer had his 
head punched. 

Next we come to the "Harpy." 
This creature is half a woman and 
half a bird, the upper part thus re- 
sembling one of the fair and the 
lower part one of the fowl. 

The " Cockatrice " has the head 
and feet of a cock, with the wings 




86 Y E COMIC HISTORY OF HERALDRY. 

and tail of a drag-on. This is the Heraldic description of the animal ; 
but in common life, although we never had the pleasure of meeting- a 
Cockatrice, we should imagine it was something quite different. This 
opinion we ground upon the fact that, when a young man living in 
lodgings, we frequently heard our landlady (for whom we had the 
greatest respect personally, despite occasional differences on the 
subject of rent,) describe a rival lady of the same persuasion, as 
"a stuck-up Cockatrice." Now, putting aside the epithet " stuck-up," 
which may be regarded as irrelevant to the question before us, the 
person thus described was a little woman of the meekest nature, with 
a constant determination of water to the eyes, whereby the hearts of 
the most obdurate non-paying lodgers were softened. Moreover, she 
had nothing of the dragon about her except the long tale, to which she 
treated the inmates of her house, when on rent-collecting thoughts 
intent. Therefore, we have since come to the conclusion that 
the epithet " Cockatrice," domestically, means somebody more suc- 
cessful than the person using the term. Any of our readers who 
may be able to elucidate this abstruse point, are requested to send 
(under cover to our publisher) their notions on the subject, accom- 
panied by a dozen of champagne (Cliquot or Mumm's preferred) to 
moisten the dryness of the subject. On second thoughts our readers 
need only send the " fiz," and can keep their notions until we ask for 
them. 

The " Mantiger " is a creature of a more than usually composite 
order, since it has the face of a man, the mane of a lion, the body of 
a tiger, and two straight horns; an amalgamation, the peculiar 
ugliness of which would entitle the creature to be distinguished 
as what garrotters call the " nasty man " of the Heraldic party. 

Then we have the "Triton," a mixture of man and fish, the 
upper part being human, while instead of understandings to match, 
it is forced to be contented with the continuation of a tail a 
decidedly scaly ending. 



OF CHIMERICAL FIGURES. 




The " Mermaid " is a " triton" of the feminine gender, and is gene- 
rally represented with a 
mirror and a comb. These 
adjuncts are of course in- 
tended as gentle allusions 
to the natural vanity of the 
sex; whereby they were 
always able to see a good 
looking lass whenever they 
felt inclined. 



The " Wyvern " is a dragon 
with two legs, the common 
dragon not possessing those useful articles of locomotion. It might, 
therefore, be described as of the species "Walker," not that we wish 
to throw any doubt upon the reality of the Heraldic existence of 
this most delightful animal. 

The " Sphinx " is an animal of Egyptian origin, with the head and 
upper portion of a woman ; the lower part consisting of a lion, 
with two broad plumed wings. In ancient times it was celebrated as 
the propounder of a mild riddle ; which, naturally, being immediately 
guessed by a person of quite average abilities, named GEdipus, so 
disgusted the Sphinx, that she destroyed herself on the spot; an 
allegory pointing out how intuitively the female mind objects to 
being found out. 

Last of all we shall mention the "Opimicus," a very neat thing in 
Heraldic curiosities. This wonderful mixture has the head and wings 
of an eagle, the body of a lion, and the tail of a camel ; a combination 
which, were it possible to be realized, would beat the celebrated 
woolly horse of Phineas T. Barnum into fits. 

With this creature we shall conclude our notice of the Chimerical 
Charges. There are many more, but those we have described will 
show the style of article used. Anyone, however, who may be 



88 



Y E COMIC HISTOR Y OF HERALDR Y. 



desirous of making one for himself, can, as we have already observed, 
easily do so by sticking- the head of one animal on to the body of 
another, and adding a tail from a third. 

The amusement can be continued ad infinitum the mixture, as 
before, being the sole rule of action under the circumstances. 




CHAPTER XIV. 

OF HELMETS AND OTHER WONDERFUL THINGS. 



r\L H E Heraldic Shield, like the 
House of Commons, has 
two sides an inside and 
an outside. Having- now 
exhausted the list of the 
principal articles to be 
found inside the shield, we 
will proceed to treat of 
those external articles, 
which, like other mys- 
terious puzzles, are to be 
found out. 

Of these external orna- 
ments, the principal are 
helmets, crowns, half- 
crowns or coronets, wreaths, crests, mitres, scrolls, supporters and 
mottoes, 





90 Y F - COMIC HISTORY OF HERALDRY. 

First of all, we have the Helmet ; which, appertaining literally to 

the head of the family, was naturally 
a most important item in the Heraldic 
system. The helmet was always 
placed on the top of the shield, and 
varied according to the rank of the 
owner. That belonging to the king 
is of gold, which is naturally the 
correct material for a sovereign. It 
is full-faced and open, with six bars. 
Considering the very few bars formerly 
placed upon the actions of kings, and great men generally, those on 
the helmet clearly derived their origin from the lucus a non lucendo 
principle. A ducal helmet is of steel, and defended with five gold 
bars : from which we may note that, like publicans, both kings and 
dukes were always to be found behind their bars. 

The helmet of a baronet or knight is also of steel, full-faced, the 
visor up, and without bars; their countenances being thus totally un- 
covered it may naturally be inferred that this class of warriors were 
a decidedly barefaced lot. Esquires and gentlemen have also steel 
helmets with the visor down, ornamented with gold, and placed in 
profile, the faces in this instance being concealed : this class was pro- 
bably more modest than the former, apt to turn aside, and easily shut 
up, if, at any rate, they followed the examples of their visors. 

On a well-regulated coat of arms, a crown, coronet, or wreath 
invariably surmounted the helmet. Crowns, of course, belong to 
kings though sometimes we have had them, or their equivalent in 
shillings, in our possession ; but unluckily they never stay long. 

The first crowns were simply bands or fillets, which latter word 
reminds us naturally of butchers' meat ; and considering they were 
not unfrequently bestowed upon those who had benefited the 
common weal or veal, the connection is not so remote as at first 



OF HELMETS, &c. 



sight might appear. Afterwards, they were composed of branches 
of various trees, which shows that ideas about that time began to 
sprout, though, to modern minds, the notion of a wooden crown would 
only be suitable to persons possessing a head of a similar 
texture. Next, flowers were added to the crown, so that a conquering 
hero in the middle ages must have presented an absurd mixture of 
the warrior and the nursery gardener combined. 

To pass, however, to more known times. Constantine the Great 
first used a diadem of pearls and precious stones over a gold helm, 
somewhat like the close crowns of later times, which seems to have 
set the example the sovereigns afterwards followed. 

Crowns, as a rule, are composed of a circle of gold round a velvet 
cap, therein differing from coronets, which are not covered at the top. 
Hence the expression "to close the crown," used to be synonymous with 
the assumption of royal prerogatives, just as now-a-days, in a humbler 
grade of life, the expression to " shut up shop," is equivalent to the as- 
sumption of private life after the fatigue of selling small coal and mealy 
potatoes. This action of closing the 
crown was thus one performed by 
those princes who felt themselves 
strong enough to set up in business 
as kings on their own account. 

The royal crown of England 
consists of a circlet of gold enriched 
with jewels and heightened by four 
crosses, and four fleur-de-lis alter- 
nately. It is really a neat thing in 
crowns, and in cases of emergency, 
as King John, found in impecunious 
days, a deal can be made of it. He 
made a deal with it, and raised 
some money on it. 




92 Y E COMIC HISTORY OF HERALDRY. 

The Prince of Wales has only a coronet, consisting- of a circle of 
gold, set with crosses and fleur-de-lis. As, however, it is not covered 
in, it must on the whole be a drafty kind of head-piece; which, perhaps, 
accounts for His Royal Highness usually preferring a modern hat, 
or at any rate a wide-a-wake, when out of doors. Not having 
ever worn a coronet, we cannot, however, speak with certainty on 
this point. Ascending from the coronet are three ostrich feathers, 
which, perhaps, denote that the Prince is always in good feather. 

The younger sons and brothers of sovereigns have coronets diver- 
sified with crosses and strawberry leaves. A duke has merely eight 
strawberry leaves. And here we shall inform those of our readers 
who may not happen to be acquainted with the manners and customs 
of the " upper ten," upon a point of breeding most requisite to be 
observed should they be summoned, as most probably some of them 
will be, to the House of Lords. [No extra charge is made for the in- 
formation ; it is included in the price of the present volume.] In 
consequence of the strawberry leaves adorning a ducal coronet, it is 
regarded as a delicate attention, when addressing anyone of the rank, 
to mention him as " Leaves," or, in case you should desire to be very 
ceremonious, to address him as "Pottle," at once. This will invariably 
ensure favourable notice from the party (and a duke is a very large 
party indeed) spoken to. 

We shall rapidly dismiss the other decorations, by stating that 
a marquis's coronet has two balls and two strawberry leaves ; that 
of an earl, five balls only ; a viscount, any quantity of balls you like 
to stick on ; but, as a rule, either seven or nine balls ; and a baron, 
who is the smallest kind of peer a sort of stepping-stone, in fact, 
only rejoices in four balls to his coronet. A pawnbroker has three 
balls; but as, for reasons of state, he does not usually wear a coronet, 
he places them, for convenience, outside his dwelling. As a rule, 
he is not a peer. 

Besides crowns and coronets, we have also " Mitres," and 



OF HELMETS, &c. 



93 



" Chapeaux." The former of these belong- exclusively to bishops, 
who, as pillars of the Church, also do their best, as clerical peers, to 
support the Establishment. 

The " chapeau," or " cap of maintenance," was orignally borne by 
dukes only, and was placed beneath the crest, serving sometimes in 
place of a wreath, of which more in our next. Afterwards the 
chapeau, like patents that have run out, became common property, 
and appeared in all sorts of unexpected shields. It is generally of 
velvet, scarlet in colour, turned up with ermine, and when not in use 
Heraldically, will serve as a smoking-cap. 




CHAPTER XV, 



OF CRESTS. 

ESIDES the coronets, crowns, and 
chapeaux, there are other external 
ornaments used in Heraldry, and 
the most important of these is the 
Crest. Let us, however, commence 
in the orthodox manner, and in the 
regular didactic fashion. 

The word " crest " is derived from 
the Latin word crista, a comb, and 
was worn by warriors on the tops 
of their helmets. As the fighting- 
men who appeared in helmets, 
and they all did it, naturally not 
being desirous of having their nuts 
too easily cracked, strove to be 
cocks of the walk, it was to be ex- 
pected that they would assume a comb : besides, its connection with 
a brush with the enemy must of course be obvious, to say nothing of 
the way in which they used to show their teeth to one another. 




OF CRESTS. 95 

Originally, Crests were only carried by commanders, who were thus 
distinguished in battle, in order to prevent their being extinguished, 
just on the same principle as the cognizances on the shield. 

The first Crest extant, is found on the great seal of Richard Cceur de 
Lion, and as both his friends and foes often found him a man much 
given to whacks, it is to be presumed that the seal made a great 
impression upon them. 

Crests came into general use about the time of Henry III., in whose 
reign that now popular entertainment, the House of Commons, may be 
said to have originated. 

In the present day, everybody who is somebody, and a great many 
who are nobodies, sport Crests,, and very often with about as much 
right to them as a dromedary has to a frock coat. 

The coats of arms of ladies are not surmounted by Crests, although 
in private life combs are often to be met with above their coats, or, we 
should say, dresses. Perhaps the nearest approach to a Crest in 
feminine adornments, is the chignon, though we doubt much if Sir 
Albert Woods would be inclined to admit that as a true Crest. 

Crests are composed of all kinds of articles arms, legs, heads, 
tails, and bodies of men and animals, to say nothing of such trifles as 
hatchets, towers, gates, or in fact any other thing or person that the 
exuberant taste or fancy of the wearer might suggest. When dis- 
cussing the Heraldic Charges, we endeavoured to show to what extra- 
ordinary lengths heraldic imagination would travel, and the same 
remarks apply equally to Crests, so that it is impossible to classify 
them with any degree of accuracy, and, as it is impossible, we are not 
going to try. Nevertheless, we will just give our readers five heads, 
under which, as a rule, they may place the origin of most Crests. 
This will be a contradictory process to a certain extent, as in general 
the comb or crest is placed upon the head, but we shall place the comb 
or crest under it. 

Firstly : sometimes a ferocious animal, such as a lion, a tiger, or a 



96 Y E COMIC HIST OR Y OF HERALDR Y. 

bear, was used as a Crest, and these were assumed to denote the 
peculiarly unpleasant or savage qualities of the original bearer 
such as a propensity catawampously to chaw up his enemies on the 
smallest or no provocation. 

Secondly: Devices also were adopted to perpetuate feats of chivalry. 
Thus, if a knight had vowed to fight three other knights with his left 
foot tied under his right ear, (they did such foolish things in those 
times that nothing was too absurd for them to attempt,) and success- 
fully performed his vow, he would probably ever after have worn a 
foot with a rope round it as his Crest, to perpetuate how extensive an 
idiot he had been on that occasion. On the same principle in the 
present day, when an inebriated draper's assistant, coming from the 
Pig and Whistle, successfully smashes a gas lamp without being taken 
up by the police, he might, should his selection be sanctioned by the 
Herald's College, adopt a "gas lamp frangant proper" as his Crest. 

Thirdly : Occasionally the most prominent charge in the shield was 
used as a Crest as when three potatoes baked, or three herrings 
pickled, are the chief cognizance of a shield, one of them would, in 
default of any other Crest, be adopted as such. 

Fourthly : In commemoration of religious, which are often quite as 
stupid as chivalric, vows, Crests were assumed. Thus, a pilgrim 
to the Holy Land would wear a scollop shell in his helmet, which, 
to modern ideas, engenders thoughts of oysters; and as pilgrims 
were frequently what we should call a fishy lot, this device was not 
altogether inappropriate. 

Fifthly : In sheer whims originated many Crests ; and when we 
reflect upon the exceeding varieties of whimsicality existing in this 
world, the extent to which this source must have given rise to Crests is 
positively appalling in the wideness of the field it opens to our view. 
So that all those Crests which cannot be traced to any exact origin 
must come under this head, and it may serve us instead of the well- 
used but slightly vague expression, et calera, el catera. 



OF CRESTS. 



97 



Before saying good-bye to the Crest, it will not be out of place to 
mention the wreath upon which it stands. This wreath is composed 
of different colours, generally those chiefly predominating in the 
shield. It is also sometimes called the "Torce," which name may, 
we do not speak with any certainty, have arisen from the fact 
that it was a toss up whether the wearer carried his head and Crest 
out of battle or not. 




CHAPTER XVI. 



OF SUPPORTERS. 

HE word "Supporter" 
opens a wide field for 
consideration in a gene- 
ral way, and when we 
contemplate how many 
and various are the per- 
sons and things which 
come under this head, 
we are tempted to lay 
down our pen, cut loose 
the painter of imagina- 
tion, and drift off into 
an ocean of speculation 
too vast to be contem- 
plated, even, by any single-action brain as at present constructed. 

The human legs are supporters to most people, and as a rule, 
except in cases where the natural ones have from some unexplained 
causes retired from business and been replaced by artificial, very 
good supporters to get along with. Sometimes, however, they carry 




OF SUPPORTERS. 



99 



us too far ; as when, for instance, they take us into somebody else's 
house to search for his spoons and other unconsidered trifles, and 
the police step in and interfere with our acquisitive propensities. 

Our fathers and mothers in early youth are not unfrequently also 
our supporters in fact, we may say almost the best we can have at 
that early stage of our existence. Failing these, do not the genial 
authorities of the parish step in ? though we fancy but few would for 
choice accept these last. 

Again, some have found a good dinner a capital supporter, espe- 
cially when hungry ; and even a glass of beer has been found not bad 
upon occasion ; nevertheless, too many glasses are apt to prove less a 
support than a cause of stumbling, and finally to reduce the human 
form divine from the perpendicular to the horizontal. 

A rich and childless uncle, or aunt, who gives us an allowance, can 
also be used as a supporter; and if to his or her other good qualities 
he or she should add the peculiarity of dying and leaving all his or 
her money to you, they prove most efficient. 

Other supporters by dozens might be mentioned ; but for the present, 
content with those we have in- 
stanced, we will merely say they 
are none of them the kind we have 
to deal with in Heraldry. 

" Supporters," in Heraldry, are 
the two figures placed at the sides 
of shields, and may consist of 
either man, bird, beast, or fish, or 
a mixture of all four. They may 
be borne by Peers of the Realm, 
Knights of the Garter, Knights 
of the Grand Cross of the Bath, 
Nova Scotia baronets, and chiefs of Scottish clans, and are conceded 
to those sons of peers who bear honorary titles. Bishops, probably 

G 2 




ioo Y E COMIC HISTOR Y OF HERALDR Y. 

in consideration that after all they ought to be able to support them- 
selves on their ecclesiastical revenues, have no Supporters, just as in 
armorial bearing ladies have no crests. 

In England Supporters cannot be borne without the express leave 
of the sovereign, and in Scotland the same permission must be 
obtained of Lord Lyon, King-of-Arms. Like gloves, love-making, 
human ears, and other duplex arrangements, they are generally 
found in pairs ; though a few single Supporters remain in English 
coats of arms, and in goods of the same description manufactured 
abroad, they are not uncommon. 

Originally the nale was that both Supporters should be alike, but 
in modern English Heraldry they are frequently different. To quote 
only one instance, which must be patent to the most unobserving, we 
may mention the Lion and the Unicorn on the royal banner. Perhaps 
it was discontent with this arrangement that, among other reasons, 
caused the celebrated quarrel. 

Supporters are usually represented as the figure of a man or an 
animal, where there is a man or an animal either composite or 
natural in the shield ; but this is not an arbitrary rule, and it 
frequently varied according to the taste, or want of it, of the 
Heralds. 

In foreign Heraldry, where the Supporters are represented by 
human beings, they are called " Tenants," in allusion evidently to 
the rent paid by those individuals so useful in supporting landlords, 
and it was only when animals performed the duties that they were 
called Supporters. 

Supporters were introduced by Edward III., but were not in general 
use until the reign of Henry VI.; so that we may conclude that they 
were Heraldic articles de luxe introduced with the advance of civiliza- 
tion, like Australian beef, Dr. Kenealy, the School Board, and other 
luxuries. 

It has been supposed that Supporters originally represented the 



OF SUPPORTERS. 101 

servants by whom, at tournaments, the shields of the knights were 
supported or guarded until such times as they might be wanted. 
Thus in modern life John Thomas supports or guards the cloaks and 
great coats at a pic-nic, albeit he would not therefore be considered 
as a Heraldic Supporter. 

The Mantling is an embellishment of scroll-work flowing down on 
both sides of the shield, and originated in the "Contoise," or scarf, 
which the knights wrapped round their bodies in the days of coat- 
armour. Whether this scarf was worn for ornament or warmth, 
or both, is not clear, though on a cold knight a wrap of silk 
round the body would be preferable to a rap of a mace on the head. 
An interesting question here arises which has often troubled our 
minds when contemplating effigies and figures in armour and it is 
this. What exceedingly draughty wear armour must have been ! Of 
course, we do not for a moment fancy that the Knights of old had 
nothing underneath their defensive apparatus that is of course 
absurd. Propriety, and we suppose mediaeval persons had as 
keen a sense of it as we at the present day, would alone have 
demanded it; but, on the other hand, there could not have been 
much clothing. And yet we never hear of a gallant warrior 
catching cold. We cannot fancy him tallowing his nose, or 
sitting with his feet in mustard and water, or taking sweet spirits 
of nitre before he picked out a soft plank well bestrewn with rushes 
on which to repose. But they must have had colds sometimes. 
Catarrh is not a modern invention. Coughs very likely came over 
with the Conqueror but we are prepared to bet something 
handsome that the Saxons, and for the matter of that the Ancient 
Britons themselves, could have given an exceedingly good account 
of them. 

But yet there it is Chivalry and coughing don't seem to go 
well together. Nevertheless, if the wearer of chain armour on a 
chilly night, did not catch as good or bad a bold as he could 



102 Y E COMIC HISTOR Y OF HERALDR Y. 

desire, or not desire, all we can say is, that the Knights must have 
been Arctic ones, and used to it. 

But we are digressing from our digression. What did they 
wear ? Well, after all it does not much matter. Still, let us try 
and evolve their garments. 

Of course they had something in the jerkin line that sounds 
useful when throwing themselves upon the enemy and was 
usually a garment fitting close to the upper portion of the body ; 
then they had trunk hose at least we hope so and this corre- 
sponded somewhat to our modern breech (again we had nearly 
written an unmentionable word, but our readers will know what 
we mean without forcing us to enter into minute particulars); 
likewise, they finished off their legs with hose, which were as nearly 
as possible the stockings of to-day. 

Therefore, however good for defensive purposes, it seems to us 
that armour must have been objectionable wear ; heavy and hot in 
summer, and heavy and cold in winter. Q. E. D. 

So, doubtless, the " Contoise," or scarf, came in as a useful vest- 
ment to Knights when on the tented field and in gratitude they 
hung it on to their shields, and called it a Mantling. 



CHAPTER XVII. 

OF MOTTOES. 

WHEN we mention the word mottoes, we wish it most distinctly to 
be understood that Heraldic mottoes, though oftentimes quite as silly, 
have no connection whatever with those poetical effusions in which 
the crackers and kisses of festive life are so often enfolded 

Ay de mi. Our readers must pardon us if we here pause awhile to 
resuscitate from the dead past our first love, and tell how it was 
born, lived, throve, and died on mottoes and the sugarplums they 
were wrapped in. 

We were young very young : in fact we had, both of us, 
commenced our existence in that condition, and we were cousins. 
Another and a yet stronger tie bound us to each other and it was 
that we had each two parents a male and a female. Need we say 
that the former were our fathers the latter our mothers. 

The present author started in his troubled course of life just one 
year and two months in advance of the object of his affection. 

How we loved ! Well do we remember the day when our mutual 
passion, which had hitherto been too deep for words, broke through 
the bonds of silent adoration, and took form and shape in action 

The author was five, She was four. A fond relation had the 



104 Y E COMIC HISTOR Y OF HERALDR Y. 

previous day presented Her with a painted wooden doll and true 
to the natural instructs of childhood, and her sex, the paint adorn- 
ing- its lig-neous head had been promptly and partially sucked off. 

The author was sleeping- in his cot the mid-day sleep of childhood 
when She came to share his rest. The author, as he lay wrapped in 
deep slumber, and doubtless communing- with unseen angels, thoug-h 
he is not quite clear upon that point not being- able at this distance 
of time to speak with absolute certainty had his mouth wide open, 
and She had the well-sucked doll in her small but puddy hand. 

The truth of the eternal axiom that "Nature abhors a vacuum " 
must have dawned upon her infant mind, and with that rapid de- 
cisiveness of character which marks all great intelligences She at 
once determined to put it to the test. Where could a fitter subject 
for experiment be found than her sleeping love. 

" Fiat experimentum in corpore amato " was her unspoken motto, 
and instantly the head of the doll was rammed, with all the force of 
which that tiny hand was capable, into the open mouth of her un- 
expecting lover. How, unused to such scientific demonstrations of 
love, he awoke ; how he tried to scream, but could not ; how, after 
severe wrestling with the offending foreign body, premature choking 
was that time, at any rate, avoided; how, when restored to his 
normal condition and comparative comfort, the author recognized 
the depth of affection which had prompted this somewhat unusual 
action, are matters too sacred to be spoken of even in a deep work 
of science such as is the present. 

Suffice it " that day they read no more." They had not been 
reading previously, perhaps for the reason that neither of them knew 
their letters perfectly. But the love thus auspiciously inaugurated 
was henceforward nurtured on sugarplums and mottoes. 

To enumerate the hundreds of sugarplums we sucked on the joint- 
stock partnership principle, and the numberless mottoes we spelled 
out together, would be a task compared to which the labours of 



OF MOTTOES, 105 

Hercules were but a light and facile recreation. Yet truth bids the 
author state that, as a rule, She sucked more than her share ; more- 
over, She had what now seems to him an unjustifiable trick of biting 
them in two and retaining- the larger half as her own portion, so 
that, on the whole, he did not altogether get the best of it but what 
of that when " Love is lord of all ! " 

And the mottoes ! How well does the author remember them. 
The simple 

" When this you see 
Remember me," 

or the more ambitious 

' ' To travel with you through this life, 
Both hand-in-hand, and free from strife." 

which had the advantage of being adapted to either sex, and was 
always applicable to loving souls. 

But our love ! How shall we recount its sad ending ? The author 
has not the heart to do so. He has been young himself, and knows 
how susceptible are youthful minds ; still he feels that he has a duty 
to perform to his readers which mere personal considerations do not 
permit him to evade. 

She returned to Her parental home, and (the salt tears are 
trickling adown the authorial nose as he pens these lines) faithless 
as are Her sex, she fell in love with a boy of ten, with red hair, 
goggle eyes, and general repulsiveness alone to recommend him. 
And he who had first taught Her infant lips to lisp love's language 
found, when next he met Her, that he was forgotten, and that that 
other and repulsive boy was reaping the ripe crop of affection the 
author had sown. 

It was hard very hard so was the other boy's hand when he 
smacked the Author's head for daring to look at Her he had fondly 
regarded as his own property. The spell was broken ; the Author 



106 Y E COMIC HIS TOR Y OF HERALDR Y. 

went to school, and when next they met She had daughters as tall as 
herself, and the long dead past was relegated to the limbo of oblivion. 

To return, however, to our Heraldic mottoes. Their origin is 
enveloped in mystery. The generally received opinion is, however, 
that the first idea of the motto was obtained from the war-cries of the 
different nations. For instance, that of the Irish was "A boo," 
which, as an old chronicler whose name, however, the pickle jar of 
history has not preserved to us, says was "a bootiful one to listen to." 
Like the bagpipes, distance lent enchantment to the sound. 

Edward III. was the first person who introduced a motto into 
his coat of arms, and the fashion once set, every one followed the 
royal example, and selected a motto for himself. 

Heraldic mottoes are of three kinds the enigmatical, or foggy, 
of which you have to discover the meaning, if any ; the sentimental, 
or clap-trap, which are comprehensible even by an inhabitant of 
Earlswood ; and the emblematical, or utterly boshy, which in nineteen 
cases out of twenty have no meaning at all, and finally the punning 
mottoes, which would bring down the house in a modern burlesque 
from their exceeding badness. 

And here it may not be out of place to put in our protest against 
the extraordinary amount of inconclusiveness which generally pervades 
mottoes. No matter what language they may be in, and they are to 
be found in several, the fact remains the same, they very seldom finish. 
For instance let us take the motto of the Marquis of Aylesbury 
"Fuimus," "We have been" Well! what if they have been somebody 
of the family is surely going on with the business, whatever it was 
and so "he is," and the motto, like most mottoes, doesn't in the least 
apply, and wants something else at the end of it. Either " we have 
been" rich, or poor, or hanged or blessed, or boiled, or skinned 
alive, or made chairman of a joint stock company ; but we must have 
been something. 

But to resume, we will just cull a few examples from the enigmatical, 



OF MOTTOES. 107 

or foggy. Suppose we take "Che sara, sara," "What will be, will 
be," the motto of the house of Bedford. This is a self-evident pro- 
position, which nobody for a moment doubts; but what does it mean ? 
We knew it all before. The only possible explanation of it we can give 
is that the inventor of the motto was just going to be hung and had 
learnt that the Home Secretary of the period declined to interfere. 

Or take "Moveo et propitior," "I make an impression on him 
and am appeased," borne by the Earl of Ranfurly. Now, will any 
one explain the signification of this Heraldic gem ? Don't all speak 
at once, but step up one at a time. To us it seems to be the 
observation of a knight, who, having found a soft joint in his 
antagonist's armour, had inserted his dagger into the place to the 
discomfort of his adversary. Naturally such an action would make 
an impression upon the patient, and the agent would of course feel 
appeased if he knew there was no chance of the compliment being 
returned. 

One more jewel from the Scottish Heraldic Crown. The Earl of 
Kintore proclaims on his coat of arms, "Quae amissa salva," 
"What has been lost is safe." Yes, not to be found again. Just for 
all the world like the captain's celebrated kettle, that was safe at 
the bottom of the sea. 

And again another, " Vix ea nostra voco," "I scarcely call these 
things our own," which, if it means anything, must certainly be a rather 
unkind allusion to the probable way in which the remote ancestors of 
the Duke of Argyll, to whom the motto belongs, probably gathered 
together their possessions. Scottish chieftains of the early pattern 
had remarkably loose notions on the subject of meum and tuum, and 
the motto would seem to have been adopted either by a repentant 
MacCallum More, after a successful raid, or else one in doubt whether 
he should be able to get his plunder safely within the walls of 
Inverary. 

We now come to the enigmatical, or clap-trap. To illustrate this 



io8 Y E COMIC HISTOR Y OF HERALDR Y. 

style the Earl of Radnor comes to our aid with " Patria cara, carior 
libertas," " My country is dear, but my liberty is dearer/' which 
sounds very beautiful, but at the same time gives us the idea of a 
regretful pickpocket leaving England to avoid Cold Bath Fields. 

Again, we have "Murus aeneus conscientia sana." "A sound 
conscience is a wall of brass." This is contributed by the Earl of 
Scarborough. People who have not got sound consciences not 
unfrequently have faces of brass, and brass in connexion with the 
human subject is generally found in that portion of the body. Not 
that it has more of the clap-trap element about it than the motto 
of Lord Sandy's, who declares on his coat of arms that "Probum non 
pcenitet," "The honest man does not repent," which, like a glass of 
blue vitriol, is very pretty to look at, but when reduced to common 
sense implies that so long as we only do not pick pockets we may 
commit any other trifles in the way of sins it may seem good unto 
us, and not care anything about it; which we cannot but fancy 
would be uncomfortable if carried into practical working. 

Just another plum from the sentimental Heraldic pudding, viz : the 
motto of the Marquis of Ely, " Prend moi tel que je suis," "Take me 
just as I am." This is from the Sister Isle, and evidently is a pretty 
way of putting the old chorus of 

" Tow row row, 
Paddy, will you now 
Take me while I'm in the humour." 

which, unaccountable as it may appear, is not an Heraldic motto. 

It is astonishing, considering how very unsentimental were the 
Heralds in the discharge of their duties, what an amount of 
unmeaning mottoes, which will not for a moment bear reading by 
the light of common sense, we find in the coats of arms of the 
governing families of Great Britain. 

We now come to another branch of the motto system. 
The emblematical, or utterly boshy. Of this kind, " Cassis tutissima 



OF MOTTOES. 109 

virtus," " Virtue is the safest helmet," is a good example. The 
Marquis of Cholmondeley is the fortunate possessor of this 
Heraldic jewel. The perfect idiocy of this motto must at once strike 
our readers. The notion of any one in the days of battle-axes and 
five-foot swords putting" his virtue on his head, even supposing he 
possessed a more than usual amount of that desirable quality, by 
way of a helmet, is too absurd to need one word of observation. 

Another neat example of this class is that borne by the Duke of 
Athol "Furth fortune, and fill the fetters." This is not a co- 
nundrum, or an acrostic, or an anagram, or any other of those verbal 
gymnastics the answer of which is to be found in our next. It is a 
simple motto. If any of our readers can explain it our publisher 
has strict orders not to charge him anything extra for this 
present volume, on account of his extraordinary acumen. 

When we come to " Crom a boo," " I burn," the motto of the Duke 
of Leinster, we think we have achieved a depth of enigma (or 
boshiness) which is positively unequalled. What does he burn 
whom does he burn and when does he burn ? Doubtless some of 
the Leinster race have at various periods of the family existence 
burnt their fingers metaphorically and actually in various ways, but 
why commemorate the painful facts on the ancestral escutcheon. We 
have at times had our misfortunes, but as a rule we don't care to talk 
about them, perhaps because we remember that pity, tho' akin to love, 
is also a very near relation to contempt. Another thought strikes us, 
perhaps the originator of the motto was a. victim to spontaneous 
combustion, and the singularity of the circumstance caused it to be 
commemorated as above; or, stay, can it be that not having led a 
particularly good life here on earth, " Crom a boo " represents the 
post mortem anticipations of the chieftain. 

Before we say adieu to the utterly boshy one sweet and lovely 
specimen must not be omitted. It is " Agitatione purgatur." This 
Burke translates as "He or it is purified by motion," or, to put it 



i io Y E COMIC HISTOR Y OF HERALDR Y. 

vulgarly, by being shaken up. Sir William Russell, Bart., is the 
happy owner of this delectable legend. Burke owns "but what the 
sense can be it is difficult to determine." We quite agree with 
Burke. But, stay ! we have found the solution ! The first possessor 
of the title was a doctor, and, doubtless, when he was made a baronet 
in 1832, the Heralds, in order to keep in his mind a recollection of 
the profession to which he belonged, gave him the motto which, they 
naturally thought, was a pleasant allusion to the practical directions 
we so often see on dispensed medicine "When taken to be well 
shaken." On no other ground can we or anybody else account for 
this exceedingly forcible example of the utterly boshy. 

We now come to the punning mottoes, which, as we have already 
observed, are frequently bad enough to figure in a modern burlesque. 

Very often these belong either to the emblematical or the senti- 
mental, but, as a rule, to the boshy. Of the first, " Festina lente," 
"Hasten slowly," the war cry of the Onslow family, may be taken 
as a fitting example; and of the second, "Court hope," the legend of 
the Courthope race. 

Amongst the punning boshy order we may class that of the 
Fortescue family, and it is " Forte scutum saius ducum," " A strong 
buckler is the safeguard of the leaders," which is perfectly true if 
they only get behind it; but as a motto the F.S.S.D. is beneath con- 
tempt, and would seem to imply that the original owner was in the 
habit of getting out of harm's way whenever there was a row on, and 
he had a chance of being in it. 

The Vernons take, " Ver non semper viret," "The spring is not 
always green," and this applied to the inclemency of our English 
springs has a ring of truth about it not often found in Heraldic 
mottoes. Evidently, the inventor of this one was an acute observer 
of meteorology, if not first cousin to the clerk of the weather, 
himself. 

Before we conclude this interesting subject it may not be out of 



OF MOTTOES. in 

place here to mention that Bishops and Peeresses have no mottoes 
on their coats of arms. This at first sight seems rather hard upon 
them, but really they get along exceedingly well without them and 
we believe we may state on reliable authority, that the want of a 
motto has never had any deleterious effect upon their healths. This 
we are sure is gratifying to our readers. 

And with these specimens of the motto we shall conclude. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 



BLAZONRY. 

HE word Blazonry comes from the 
German word blasen, to blow, and 
originated in the custom of each 
knight blowing a trumpet on his 
arrival at a tournament. (The 
custom of blowing one's own 
trumpet is still maintained, but as 
tournaments have been abolished, 
and no corresponding games are 
extant, though football, according 
to the Rubly rules, is equally 
dangerous, it is now done at all 
times and seasons.) This blast 
was answered by the Heralds, who 

decribed aloud and proclaimed the arms and titles borne by the 

knights. Hence the term "Blazonry." 

Heraldry is a science which, like old maids, is both arbitrary and 

exact, and therefore the rules of blazonry are always observed with 

the most rigid precision, no variations being permitted. In fact, any 




BLAZONRY. 113 

Herald attempting 1 to stray from the beaten track would be liable to 
find himself castigated instead of the track on the ground of having- 
been guilty of " false heraldry." 

The first rule in Blazonry is to express the Heraldic distinctions in 
the proper terms, omitting- nothing and avoiding- tautology. This 
rule might, with great advantage, be applied to other than Heraldic 
descriptions. We have received letters which but we will not par- 
ticularise, still, oh departed Aunt Jemima! if in another, and let us 
hope, a better world, spirits are allowed, as the mediums tell us they 
are, to revisit these glimpses of the moon, and you come across these 
lines, will not your conscience prick you ? but a truce to vain regrets, 
and we dash aside the manly tear, and proceed at once to 

Secondly : In blazoning a coat, commence with the field, stating its 
colour or tincture. Then the lines must be mentioned by which it is 
divided, as per Pale, per Fess, or per Chevron, such lines belonging 
to the Honourable Ordinaries, and assuming the first place in the de- 
scription, just as in a penny-a-liner's report of a public dinner the name 
of Sir Thomas Spriggles, Knight, precedes that of Common-Councillor 
Snooks. 

Also, if such lines are indented, engrailed, or invected, the fact must 
not be omitted, otherwise it is taken for granted they are straight. 
Finally, their metal or colour must be given, or the description will 
come under the head of a shady one. Then follow the Sub-ordinaries 
or Common Charges. 

Thirdly : As we have already observed, there must be no unneces- 
sary repetition in blazoning- ; thus, where the field is white and the 
charges black, we should say " argent, a nose between two eyes 
sable," thereby intimating that both the nose and the eyes were 
black, a charge that would argue the proprietorship of somebody who 
had been in a fight, and one not unlikely to lead to an interview with 
a magistrate. 

Fourthly : It would be wrong to say two eyes with a nose between 

H 



114 



Y E COMIC HISTORY OF HERALDRY. 



them, because we must always begin with the charge that lies nearest 
the centre of the shield, and of course the nose, in one sense at least, 
must be the scenter. It may also have been on the principle of media 
iuiissimus ibis, which is an excellent rule when walking in a tunnel 
with two trains, each coming a different way. 

Fifthly: Where a colour has been already mentioned, and it is 
necessary to avoid ambiguity to repeat it in describing a subsequent 
charge, we say, "of the first," "of the second," &c., as the case may 
be. Thus we should say, "Vert a head or charged with a bonnet of 
the first," which would denote that on a green field a head with 
golden or fashionable hair and a green bonnet on the head. 

Sixthly : When no position is mentioned for an ordinary, it is 
understood to be in the middle of the shield that being the most 

honourable place just as the 
middle stump is the best to bowl 
over at cricket if you can. 

Seventhly : Where the charges 
are ot the natural colour of the 
objects described, the word 
"proper" is used after them, 
thereby signifying that when 
otherwise they are improper, 
not that any of our readers 

need fear being shocked, seeing that Heraldry is one of the most 
decorous of sciences. 

Eighthly : Where a sun-ray is borne otherwise than in the centre 
of the shield, the issuant point must be mentioned. Thus we should 
say : " From a pie proper in chief four-and-twenty blackbirds 
issuant." 

Ninthly . The number of points in a star or Mullet must be 
mentioned when more than five. If this rule were adhered to by 
dramatic critics it would be great gain, as we should then know 







BLAZONRY. 115 

whether a star was worth going- to see, by the number of points he or 
she was able to make in his or her performance. 

Tenthly : When three figures are upon the shield whose position is 
unmentioned, it is always understood that two are placed above and 
one below, thus carrying out the well-known betting cry of two 
to one on the field. 

Eleventhly : When there are many figures of the same kind, their 
numbers and position in the field must be distinctly expressed, just as 
in the police courts the number and position in the force of the 
policemen giving evidence are always stated in the papers. 

Finally, and Twelfthly : A metal must not be placed upon a metal, or 
a colour upon a colour, on pain of any quantity of penalties, too 
numerous to mention and too dreadful to contemplate. The only 
exception to this being that when a charge lies over upon a field 
partly of metal and partly of colour, and at this half-and-half 
arrangement the Heralds would wink. Marks of Cadency, chiefs 
cautons and bordures are also exempted from the general rule, some 
Heralds averring that they are not laid on the shield, but " cousu," or 
sewn upon it, a very sow-sow plan at the best. 



H 2 



CHAPTER XIX. 



OF BIRDS, BEASTS, AND FISHES IN BLAZONRY. 

APART from the Charges, Ordi- 
naries, Sub-Ordinaries, Common 
Charges, Artificial and Chimerical 
Figures, birds, beasts, and fishes 
occur as frequently in blazoning 
arms as in a Guildhall Banquet. 
And in the Heraldic, as in the 
culinary menu, they have their vari- 
ous values, and have to be described 
secundum art em. 

Beasts and birds come first, and 
in blazoning savage beasts they 
should always for choice be repre- 
sented at their fiercest. A lion or 
tiger, for instance, should be " rampant." Not that in real life they 
are pleasant to meet when in that condition, as they then have, 
according to the Heralds, their tails erected, their mouths open, and 
their claws, which are not by any means to be considered as the 




OF BIRDS, BE A S TS, & FISHES IN BLAZONR Y. 117 

saving- clause, out. [N.B. Advice gratis. When thus met with, sharp's 
the word and run's the action.] Otherwise they are " salient," 
leaping-. In India, tigers may often be found a-bounding. Leopards 
and wolves are generally described as "passant," walking along- 
would be a colloquial interpretation of the phrase, and if they were 
walking a long way off from us so much the better, and Griffins as 
"segreant." 

This rule of ferocious description is, however, not always followed, 
as wild beasts are frequently blazoned "couchant" or " dormant." 
Some people say that this latter attitude is too frequently that of the 
British Lion ; but as he usually sleeps with one eye open and the other 
not shut, he is apt, should anyone tread on his tail or toes, to become 
rampant, and then things are exceedingly lively for any who get in 
his way. 

The milder animals are represented in Blazonry as nature 
made them, or as the Heralds imagined them, which is not quite the 
same thing. As a rule they are supposed, though, in many cases it is 
only a supposition, to have some connection with the cause for which 
they were granted. Thus the armorial cognizance of the Temple in 
London no connection with Dr. Parker where lawyers most do con- 
gregate, is a lamb, and the connection between a lawyer and fleece, to 
say nothing of the woolsack, is too obvious to need any further remark. 

Ever) 7 animal should, as a rule, be looking to the right side of the 
shield, and have its right leg forward. This peculiarity of putting the 
right or best leg foremost is advisable also in private life, should a 
mad dog or bull be behind you, wanting in the one instance a sample 
of your person, or an unfriendly toss in the second. 

Another rule as regards the blazoning of beasts is that when the 
animal is coloured azure the tongue and claws should be gules and vice 
versa, unless the description is otherwise expressed in the grant of 
arms. The chief animals that appear in blue are lions and boars, and 
perhaps, if we go into the human species, policemen and blue-coat 



Y E COMIC HISTORY OF HERALDRY. 



boys. The tongue and claw rule, however, applies to them as well 
as to the Heraldic sorts. 

Now for the birds,as the Alderman said when he helped himself to 
a brace of plovers, leaving- only the dish and the smell to the rest of 
his family. Birds of prey, like beasts of similar proclivities, are the 
most sought after instance falcons and eagles. Both the Russian 
and Prussian varieties of the latter are given to preying 1 , firstly with 
an e upon their neighbours (vide France and Turkey passim) and 
afterwards with an a in their churches. 

When birds have their wings on each side of the head, they are 
said to be " elevated " or "displayed." Bipeds without wings also 

may sometimes be described as 
"elevated," and occasionally it 
ends by their being "displayed" 
as well upon a stretcher, with 
four policemen " portant," en 
route for the Station. 

When, however, the wings of 
the Heraldic bird are behind its 
head, or back to back, they are 
"expanded" or "adossed;" a 
fanciful arrangement looked at 
from a practical point of view, 
but doubtless, armorially, very 
nice as far as it went. 

When the wings are not dis- 
played at all, they are said to be 
'borne close." Shut up would 
be the colloquialism for this style, and some interpreters of the science 
have supposed that this denoted that the bearers of such charges 
were originally impecunious, and that the non-volant attitude de- 
noted that they had, vulgarly speaking, not a feather to fly with. 




OF BIRDS, BE A STS, & FISHES IN BLAZONR Y. 119 

If a bird be placed on a shield in an unnatural position, such pecu- 
liarity must always be mentioned ; thus " Argent, a pheasant proper 
making- bread sauce to be eaten with itself," would be a case in point 
requiring decided mention. 

Fishes are of less esteem as common charges than birds or beasts. 
Some Heralds declare the cause of this to be that they came after 
the latter in the order of creation. Hence the term " fishy," as 
applied to any dubious transaction. They are borne either " upright," 
" embowed," " extended," or, like a bill of exchange or a cheque, 
"endorsed." Sometimes, also, they are "fretted" (lobsters boiled 
alive come very much under that description) or "triangled." 
Spitchcocked, devilled, or crimped, are not Heraldic terms applied to 
fishes. If a fish is placed horizontally is it "naiant," and then may be 
said to be going along swimmingly; it perpendicularly, it is 
"hauriant." 

And that is about all, for the money, that we have to say about 
birds, beasts, and fishes. Anyone wanting to know more, had 
better apply to Mr. Frank Buckland, or the Curator of the Zoo- 
logical Gardens. 




CHAPTER XX. 



MARSHALLING ARMS. 

Y Marshalling Arms 5s meant 
the art of putting- two or 
more sets of these useful 
appendages to a gen- 
tleman's Heraldic ward- 
robe into one escutcheon, 
which might lead people 
to imagine that Heraldic 
coats were made of some 
elastic material, with a 
capacity for stretching 
unequalled in any other 
known fabric. 

Such, however, was not the case. The coats were not stretched, 
but the arms were diminished and made to fit, making the pattern on 
the shield, where the operation was performed by " dimidiation " (a 
kind of Heraldic half-and-half) distinct from the entire of a coat, and 
displaying only one set of cognizances. 

"Dimidiation" was the most ancient style of marshalling, and 




MARSHALLING ARMS. 121 

possessed the extraordinary merit of simplicity. It was effected by 
chopping- both coats in two, and sticking- half one on to the half of 
the other, and vice versa. What was done with the bits over we are 
not told ; probably the Heralds regarded them in the light of legiti- 
mate "cabbage" and took them home to their wives, and mended their 
own tabards with them when those official garments required repair. 

Of course, as might be expected, the dimidiated halves never 
matched, and presented to the spectator an incongruous, not to say 
ridiculous, appearance. Thus, supposing the cognizance on the first 
coat to have been " Arg., a good templar proper " (or sober), and 
on the second " Or, a licensed victualler inebriant, beaked gules," 
half the cognizance would appear to be sober and the other half in a 
state of inebriety, which would naturally offend the susceptibilities of 
both families. 

This plan was therefore not found to work well in practice ; the 
Heralds, who were nothing if not inventive, determined to discard it 
in favour of " impalement." 

The first idea as regards "impalement" is that it has some con- 
nection with a stake and the early Turkish prescription for the cure 
of Mohammedan perverts when caught, and that the Heralds, with 
that dry humour for which they were so famous, stuck at the perpe- 
tration of no monstrosity for the advancement of their doctrines. But 
this idea, like a good many others in connection with Heraldry, would 
be utterly wrong. 

Impalement, in Heraldry, is performed by compressing two coats of 
arms and placing them side by side in one escutcheon, a fine line 
dividing them per pale. Thus, for instance, would be blazoned the 
arms of a husband and wife, just as in common life you may see 
woman and her victim, or "Baron " and "femme," as those funny 
wags Garter & Co. would persist in calling them, coming home from 
the family pew every Sunday morning. 

As in the Latin grammar, so here, the masculine is, erroneously, 



122 Y E COMIC HISTOR Y OF HERALDR Y. 

say the shrieking- sisterhood, more worthy than the feminine, and 
consequently the arms of the husband occupy the dexter half of the 
shield, those of the wife taking the sinister side, or what is left. 

Should, however, the lady be an heiress an excellent quality in 
woman her legal proprietor and worse half would not impale her 
arms, but would impose her armorial bearings upon his own coat, 
charged upon an escutcheon or " shield of pretence," thereby deli- 
cately intimating- to the general public that she, having given him 
her hand, he pretends to or wants to get hold of the rest of her g'oods 
and chattels. Where the marriage settlements are not tight, and 
the husband is loose, this pretence becomes a reality. 

The children of an heiress take the hereditary coats of arms of 
their father and mother quarterly, just as landlords do their rents ; 
which implies a fixed inheritance, a capital institution, and one 
specially to be recommended to all young persons starting in life. 
In these coats the first and fourth quarters contain the arms of the 
father, and the second and third those of the mother another 
instance of man's injustice to woman, the first-named quarters being 
the most honourable. 

To return, however, to the general run of wives who are not 
heiresses, except to the natural estate of sin and wickedness which 
we all inherit, and upon which, as a rule, no money is to be raised. 
If from railway accidents, doctors, or other misfortunes, the lady 
should retire from this life, and the disconsolate widower takes 
another dip in the matrimonial lucky-bag, the first wife's arms will 
stand on the chief (which suggests to the pensive student something- 
of an acrobatic performance with the Bounding Brothers of the 
Desert), and those of the second on the base. Or the shield may be 
divided in tierce, that is, in three equal divisions in pale (this has a 
domestic smack about it, as the little boy said when his mother 
spanked him), the first wife's coat, or should we say petticoat ? next 
to the husband's, and those of the second outermost. 



MARSHALLING ARMS. 123 

Supposing, however, we have to deal with a man of such reckless 
hardihood and love of adventure, one who has the extraordinary 
boldness to plunge for a third time into matrimony, the arms of his 
two first speculations shall stand on the chief (acrobatic performances 
again, only more so), and the third on the base. Nay, Heralds even 
provided (Heraldically) for the positively awful contingency of a fourth 
wife, and ordained that her arms must participate in one-half of the 
base with defunct number three ; and thus the armorial bearings of 
the various spouses will appear on the escutcheon of the husband as 
so many coats quartered, for it stands to reason that a man who thus 
often indulges in so many better-halves connubially must be content 
with quarters Heraldically. 

Further than that Garter and his friends declined to go. Four 
wives in a lifetime they considered enough for any man, and the 
domestic relations of a Bluebeard [N.B. A much misunderstood 
victim of marital love of perfection] were not recognized by the 
College. 

Should a man, like the illustrious Mr. Weller, sen., marry a widow, 
he is not allowed, while adopting the rib of the deceased's husband, to 
take his arms with the other baggage, but only those borne by the 
wife as a single woman. 

If a maiden or dowager lady of rank marry a commoner person 
than herself, their coats of arms are not impaled, but are placed 
side by side in two separate escutcheons upon one mantle or drapery, 
the lady's arms ornamented according to her title. As usual, lovely 
woman gets the worst of it, and goes to the left. 

Kings-at-Arms and bishops impale their private with their official 
arms, the latter occupying the dexter side. Thus, in a prelate it would 
seem to intimate that though as a man he may be a success, yet as a 
bishop he is a successor, as he undoubtedly is to the former occupant 
of the See. 

The arms of a bachelor, with the exception of the before-mentioned 



124 



Y E COMIC HISTOR Y OF HERALDR V. 



officials, consist of a single Heraldic coat, never of two coats impaled. 
Bachelors, however, may have any quantity of other coats, waist- 
coats, trou , sundry habiliments, provided they have money to pay 
for them, or can find a confiding tailor to trust them. Equally is this 
the case with unmarried ladies, both armorially and sartorially, 
substituting milliners for tailors. 

[N.B. The Heralds never gave trust.] 




CHAPTER XXI. 




ON PRECEDENCE. 

S we have already observed in an earlier portion of this 
great work, one of the duties of the Heralds in ancient 
limes was that of marshalling- processions and in the 
performance of this duty they had to see that nobody 
got in front of anybody behind whose boots etiquette 
ordained that he or she should walk. According 1 to 
the dictum laid down by the American Constitution " All men are 
born free and equal," (niggers of course excepted they take a 
back seat though not so far back now as formerly,) but the 
Heralds do not by any means accept this constitutional arrangement 
they place men, and women too for the matter of that, on a line, 
at the head of which stands the sovereign of the country, and 
subjects follow in regular rotation, according to that station of life 
in which they may have started, and to which they may have 
attained. 

We will, just in order to prevent any of our royal, ducal, or lordly 
readers getting out of place, run over the various ranks of which 
humanity in general is composed. 

Before starting we may premise that holding a high position on a 
cab rank does not necessarily involve a peerage, or, ex officio, 



126 Y E COMIC HISTOR Y OF HERALDR Y. 

entitle the holder to take his seat in the House of Lords. This 
point being settled, we come first of all to the Sovereign, who, as 
the fountain of honour, dispenses titles and other luxuries to those 
who please him or her, or still better, please his or her ministers. 
The sovereign is therefore, ex officio, the first gentleman or lady in 
the kingdom and is literally at the top of the Heraldic tree. The 
subjects of the sovereign are also not unfrequently to be found up a 
tree worse luck. Monarchs now-a-days do not have altogether a bad 
time of it, especially in constitutional countries, where the first axiom 
of Government is that the King can do no wrong. When things do 
not work easily, the prime minister of the period has his head 
metaphorically smacked, and is kicked out of office, and the 
sovereign rubs his hands contentedly, and thinks how pleasant it is 
that there is not the slightest chance of his being served in the same 
way. And thus matters work pleasantly for all parties and 
frequent changes of government give every one a chance of 
having a finger in the national pudding. 

After the Queen in the scale of precedence comes the Prince ot 
Wales. As a loyal subject, the author hopes it will be a long time 
before his Royal Highness does come after our present gracious 
sovereign. And after our future king come the other sons of the 
Queen, her grandsons, brothers, uncles, and nephews all gradually 
shelving down to the common rank and file. 

Then, having finished up our stock of royalty, the Church comes 
in for our attention, and the Archbishop of Canterbury makes his 
appearance. He, as the Lord Primate of All England, takes the 
first place among the Peers spiritual and temporal. Apropos of 
All England, it is a popular delusion to imagine that he is captain of 
the All England Eleven, although we believe it would be quite 
possible to pitch a good wicket in the gardens of Lambeth Palace, if 
one or two good ground men were engaged to look after the turf, 
and have it carefully rolled. 



ON PRECEDENCE. 127 

But we digress the Lord High Chancellor follows the Primate, 
and is followed by the Archbishop of York. The trio, in fact, 
forming- a human sandwich in which the Chancellor plays the meat. 
Then come various great officers of State, such as the Lord High 
Treasurer, the Lord President of the Privy Council, the Lord Privy 
Seal, and the Lord Great Chamberlain, if these are of hereditary 
baronial rank ; while the Lord High Constable, Earl Marshal, 
Lord High Admiral, Lord Steward of the Queen's Household, and 
the Lord Chamberlain take rank above all peers of their own degree, 
and enjoy themselves accordingly. 

After these Royal and Official personages follow Dukes Royal 
specimens of the order coming naturally first. 

The title Duke, as our readers are aware, comes from the Latin 
word " Dux," a leader, (no connection with green peas, though, if 
very rich, they sometimes shell out liberally, and instances have been 
known of even these exalted personages being done particularly 
brown at times). History says that Moses was the first Duke; at any 
rate he led the Jews a pretty dance through the wilderness. Be that 
as it may, Dukes were originally only of Royal blood, and the first 
English creation was Edward Plantagenet, the son of Edward III. 
who was raised to that rank by his father, as Duke of Cornwall 
but Henry VI. broke through this royal rule. 

During the Wars ot the Roses Dukes had a lively time of it, as 
also did the nobility of England generally, each party as it got the 
upper hand having an awkward trick of celebrating its victories by 
decapitating, or otherwise extinguishing the leaders on the vanquished 
side and the consequence was that the peerage was a good deal 
thinned out and Dukes, like strawberries at Christmas, became 
excessively scarce. So much so, in fact, was this the case, that at 
the accession of Elizabeth there was only one to be found in 
England, the Duke of Norfolk. He, unfortunately for himself, got 
mixed up with Mary Queen of Scots, and Elizabeth, who had a 



128 Y E COMIC HISTORY OF HERALDRY. 

forcible way with her at times, had his head carefully removed from 
his shoulders in 1572, as a gentle hint that she disapproved of his 
associations. After that the ducal title was extinct until 1623, when 
James I. created George Villiers Duke of Buckingham. 

Charles II. created several young- people in whom he was 
interested Dukes, and those of Grafton, St. Albans, and Richmond 
owe the origin of their titles to that exceedingly Merry Monarch. 

Dukes take precedence of each other, as in fact do all peers of 
equal rank, according to the dates of their patents. 

After dukes proper, come the eldest sons of Royal Dukes, and 
then follow the Marquesses. 

The first Marquess was invented in 1386, by Richard II. who 
created Robert de Vere, Marquess of Dublin. Two } r ears afterwards 
that nobleman got into trouble, and was attainted of treason and 
banished and we have no doubt considered himself particularly 
lucky at being able to take his head with him into his banishment as 
part of his personal luggage. 

After the Marquesses come the eldest sons of Dukes Dukelets 
we might call them and then follow the Earls. 

The title of Earl is the most ancient of all barring of course, 
the Apocryphal Duke Moses and dates its origin from the Saxon 
kings. 

Alfred the Great used the title as a substitute for King, and up 
to the time when Dukes were created, it was the highest dignity 
short of actual sovereignty extant. 

Earl is the same as " Comes," or Count. In the early periods 
possessors of this title never used any other addition to their Christian 
names but in process of time, by way to distinguish one from 
another, and preventing the various Earls Robert or Earls William 
getting badly mixed, they began to add to their names those of their 
shires. As at that time there were not so many of them, this method 
was sufficient. To avoid mistakes, we beg to inform those of our 



ON PRECEDENCE. 129 

readers that the wife of an Earl is not an Earless she is best 
known as a Countess. 

After the Earls come the eldest sons of Marquesses, and 
they are followed in due course by the next highest grade of 
nobility, viz: 

Viscounts, who were originally a species of deputies to the Earls, 
or Counts as their Latin name "Vice-comes," would seem to imply. 
What their duties were is not mentioned but probably at the first 
starting of their business they had to do all the odd jobs which the 
Earls themselves either did not care about or think worth while 
doing. 

Originally Viscounts were not an order of the Peerage, but only 
an official title; but in 1440 Henry VI. conferred the title by patent 
on John Baron Beaumont, and, 

Then we come again to the younger generation, and up crop the 
eldest sons of Earls and the younger sons of Marquesses, who walk 
very much in front of the Bishops of London, Durham, and 
Winchester, who take top seats on the episcopal bench, and are 
followed by the other lawn-sleeved gentlemen, according to the 
seniority of consecration. 

And apropos of bishops, the last-made bishop has no seat in the 
House of Peers, he has to wait outside the door and content himself 
by looking at the proceedings through the keyhole, until one of his 
senior brethren thinks proper to retire to another and a better 
world, or from his See. Not that bishops often do the latter until 
they are obliged. 

The Bishop of Sodor and Man is just a shade better off than the 
last bishop. He may take a seat in the peers, but is not allowed to 
vote; which seems to us something like being asked to dinner but 
not allowed to eat. 

After the English Bishops (oh, Hibernia weep !) follow the Irish 
varieties of the dignity and then we come to the Barons, which is 

X 



130 Y E COMIC HISTORY OF HERALDRY. 

the lowest order of the peerage the first rung of the lordly ladder 

on the top of which sits the Sovereign. 

Who has not heard of the Barons of old? how they made war 

upon one another, hurled 
their enemies to the low- 
est pit beneath the moat, 
how they performed feats 
of dentistry on the guile- 
less children of Israel, and 
how they had a habit of 
striding 

About their halls, among 
their dogs alone, 

Their beards a foot before 
them, and their hair 

A foot behind. 

In fact Barons of the 
early pattern were about 
as uncomfortable and unpleasant a race of people as it is well 
possible to imagine. Well, we have them among us now, only 
modified and civilised, and really, if it were not for the look of the 
thing, the author would not at all mind being a Baron himself, with 
50,000 a year, and a seat in the House of Lords. But this is idle. 

Barons are a very old institution, and have existed in England for 
any quantity of centuries the reader may like to imagine. Before 
the Normans came over the Saxons called them Thanes, but the 
conquerors altered the name to Baron, and it has stuck to them ever 
since. Up to the time of Charles II. Barons had no coronets, but 
that sovereign on his Restoration, perhaps to show his gratitude at 
once more finding himself in a royal berth again, where the wages 
were high and the work light, granted them the privilege of wear- 
ing coronets, which they have done ever since excepting, of course, 
at bed time. 




ON PRECEDENCE. 131 

Then follow Viscounts' eldest sons, Earls' younger sons, Barons' 
eldest sons, Knights of the Garter, Privy Counsellors, Judges, and 
such like, small deer, Viscounts' younger sons, Barons' younger 
sons, and we come at last to Baronets, for whose existence James I. 
is answerable. He, with an eye to the main chance so natural 
among his canny countrymen, made every one a baronet who had an 
estate of 1,000 a year, and could undertake to maintain thirty 
soldiers for three years in the province of Ulster, and remit the first 
year's pay to the royal treasury. Artful Jimmy ! Cash down was 
his motto, and not a bad one either on general principles ; moreover 
he ordained that in order to distinguish their arms from those of 
other people who had not 1,000 a year, they were to bear on the 
paternal coat of arms a red hand, the badge of Ulster. We have 
seen two red hands coming out of the arms of an Ulster on a cold 
day; but away with frivolity. James made rather a good thing 
of the baronet business, and we are only surprised that no 
impecunious monarch has followed his example with a similar titular 
trick. We are certain there's a great deal of loose cash to be 
picked up now-a-days, among the nouveaux riches. 

But to our precedence. Following the Baronets come Knights of 
the various orders this, however, does not include the summer nights, 
which the lover, invoking his pretty Jane, said were "coming, love; " 
after them the eldest sons of the younger sons of Peers, the eldest 
sons of Baronets and Knights, and then, we have nearly got to the 
end of the story, Esquires. 

Esquires were formerly apprentices to the Profession of arms 
hoping to become, and very often becoming, full-blown Knights 
that is to say if nobody knocked them on the head beforehand. Pre- 
viously to being an esquire the noble youth commenced as a page 
and, although of a higher rank in life, we have not the slightest 
doubt he was just as troublesome as are our modern and domestic 
pages the only difference being that he had a soul above buttons. 

12 



132 



Y E COMIC HIS TOR Y OF HERALDR Y. 



Esquires had to make themselves generally useful to their lords, 
and they seem to have combined in their pursuits the duties of stud 
grooms (esquires of the stable), of housemaids (esquires of the 
chamber), of footmen (carving- esquires), and of outdoor attendants 
(esquires for the body). 

Now-a-days, anybody who likes may call himself esquire whether 
he has any right to do so or not. As a rule those who do 
have not. 

Lastly we have " Gentlemen," which embraces every one who has 
a right to write himself " Armiger," and wear a coat-of-arms. 

As anybody can, now-a-days, wear any sort of coat he likes, 
provided he can pay or get credit for it, this term " Gentleman " 
would seem to embrace all the rest of the world not previously 
enumerated. 

Having thus laid down the law of precedence, there will be no 
excuse for any of our readers going to the rear when they ought to 
go to the front, or, what we think is far more likely, reversing that 
process. 




CHAPTER XXII. 

MODERN HERALDRY, ETC. 

ODERN HERALDRY differs from ancient in 
about the same degree that electro-plated 
spoons of the present day differ from those 
found in old family plate-baskets. Both are 
of white metal, and serve the same purpose 
but there the resemblance ends. Not but 
what g-enuine Coats of Arms are as procurable 
in this Year of Grace as they were five centu- 
ries ago, only as a rule the persons putting 
on such garments for the first time do not 
g-o for their outfit to the regular Heraldic tailors at the College, 
but prefer the slop work of Heraldic engravers, who "find arms." 
Where on earth these latter do find some of the specimens they 
present to their customers would, as a prize conundrum, puzzle 
nobody more than the finders. 

As a rule, the process employed by these artists is somewhat as 
follows : 

Jones has made money in the tallow trade, and retires from the 
warehouse and shop. Jones is not ambitious, but Mrs. J. is, and 




134 Y E COMIC HIS TOR Y OF HERALDR Y. 

thinks that a Coat of Arms with a Crest to match would be an 
acquisition to flaunt before the eyes of less fortunately endowed 
neighbours. So she makes enquiries on the subject of procuring- the 
object of her ambition, and finds out how it is done. This informa- 
tion she communicates to Jones, who at first does not see it in the 
same light that she does. But when woman proposes she generally 
disposes as well; and the wretched Jones, finding his uncoated and 
uncrested life a burden to him, gradually comes round to her view> 
and in a rash moment consents, and starts for the Heralds' College. 
On his way he meets Smith, also retired, and confides his troubles to 
him, who sympathetically responds " Lor' bless you, my dear boy, 
don't go to that there College. It'll cost you no end of money. Just 
you go to a Heraldic engraver, he'll do the job for you for half the 
price ; and if you don't like the pattern when you've got it, you can 
just make him alter it to suit your taste." Jones has a frugal mind 
and follows his friend's advice, and in process of time a gorgeous 
Coat of Arms, Crest, and Motto complete, is sent home with a bill 
this is paid, and the Joneses are happy. 

The way the engraver has gone to work is very simple. He has 
looked up in a Heraldic encyclopaedia the arms of some family of a 
similar name, and slightly altering some point of the blazonry, has 
served it up all hot to the innocent Jones, who, naturally not knowing 
any better, is perfectly content, and stamps it all over his belongings 
in a reckless and fanciful manner regretting, perhaps, that he can- 
not tattoo it on his own person so that the whole world may see he 
calls himself " Armiger," which he has about as much right to do as 
a bird of paradise has to wear a pea-jacket. 

Not but what real Heraldry exists in the present day, and Grants 
of Arms made by the sovereign are enrolled at the College 
as strictly as in former times. In fact none are genuine that 
emanate from any other establishment; so that those of our 
readers who desire to start a real Coat of their own had better 



MODERN HERALDRY, ETC. 135 

apply to that old established concern, and see what Sir Albert 
Woods has to say to them.* 

Jones having" got his Coat of Arms, naturally longs for liveried 
menials, and hires them accordingly and puts them into gorgeous 
attire, with tags, aiguillettes, facings, and all the luxuries of the 
season, complete. Whether he does it in strict accordance with the 
rules of Heraldry is more than doubtful, dazzling splendour being 
more the object he and Mrs. J. have in view, than armorial 
correctness. 

The liveries of servants are governed by Heraldry, and rightly, for 
originally they were the clothes, as the name denotes, " livree," or 
delivered to the retainers by their feudal lords. In fact, the 
mediaeval liveries were exactly the same as the uniforms of modern 
times the said "Baron's retainers so blithe and gay " cutting the 
throats of, robbing, or otherwise ill-treating, those persons who were 
obnoxious to the great man. 

It did not always follow that those persons who wore a lord's 
livery were his domestic servants ; a duke's son might wear the livery 
of a prince, if it fitted him nicely and suited his complexion, and it 
merely meant that he followed that particular chief, and went on the 
war-path with him, until he was old enough to have a war-path of 
his own. But when the feudal system was getting- to be played out, 
our king's came to the conclusion that the festive retainers were 
becoming rather a bore than otherwise, to quiet order-loving folks, 
including the monarch himself, for the latter did not always care 
about having a free fight going on among the Upper Ten of the 
period, and thought it was high time to put a stop to the retainer 

* For this advertisement we shall expect the College to find us not only a Coat of 
Arms, but a whole suit of Armorial Bearings, gratis. We are not at all particular as 
to the pattern, but require something neat and durable, adapted for the road, the 
river, and indoor wear. Supporters we shall not require, but a Motto illustrating our 
good qualities is absolutely indispensable. 



136 Y E COMIC HISTOR V OF HERALDR Y. 

nuisance. So Richard II. passed a law that no one but those standing 
in menial relation to a lord, should wear that lord's livery thereby 
hoping- to put a stop to the army-on-a-small-scale business which 
those noble Christians were in the habit of accumulating-. But, 
despite the law, during- the Wars of the Roses the retainers 
flourished more than ever, and it was not until the accession of 
Henry VII. that they were fairly knocked on the head for that 
particularly 'cute sovereign put the law in force, as the Earl of 
Oxford found to his cost. Henry, happening- one day to visit the 
Earl, he, in order to do honour to his king-, g-athered around him, 
and clothed in his livery, a large number of nice young- men, who 
doubtless looked very pretty, and all that sort of thing. But the 
monarch upon leaving, sent the Earl in a little bill to the melody of 
about 15,000 marks fine, for breaking the law, which that nobleman 
had to pay and look pleasant over, and this rather put a stop to the 
accumulation of retainers, since it made them expensive luxuries, 
which not even the Rothschilds of the time could afford. 

But to return to our Modern Liveries. Heraldically, the livery of a 
domestic servant should be of the two colours most prominent on the 
Shield ; thus the colour of the coat should be the same as the field of 
the Escutcheon, while the facings should be that of the principal 
Charge. 

But in practice this rule has to be considerably modified, and a 
dark drab would represent gold, and a lighter hue of the same 
colour, silver and so on, and so on. 

The Heralds, too, were nothing if not thorough, and they had not 
always souls above buttons for they ordained that on these useful 
and ornamental appurtenances the badge of the lord should be worn 
not his Crest, which was as personal to the great man as his nose, 
and could not be passed on, but his badge, which formed usually the 
chief charge on the shield, and was, so to say, the emblem of his 
family. 



MODERN HERALDR Y, ETC. 137 

Before we conclude our opusculum we must just make a few re- 
marks on Allusive Heraldry and Armes Parlantes, or Canting- 
Heraldry not that there will be any cant about our readers ; we are 
quite sure that if they have accompanied us so far over the armorial 
fields they will have far too much sense in their compositions to leave 
any room for cant. 

Allusive Arms are of two kinds, just for all the world like the 
sexes ; firstly, those which contain Charges relating to the character 
office, or power of the original bearer ; and, secondly, those which 
convey a direct pun upon the name. As an instance of the former 
we may mention the three cups to be found in the Ormond Arms, 
(N.B., that sounds rather like a public house, but it would not be 
one doing much of a trade if it only required three cups) whose 
family name is Butler. Moreover, this is the more applicable, since 
the Ormond family is said to have originated with one Theobald 
Walter, who in 1177 had the chief butlerage of Ireland conferred 
on him by Henry II. Of course, holding the key of the Hibernian 
whiskey cellar, the Butler celebrated the cups he drank of that potent 
beverage by recording them on his shield, though we should much 
doubt if he always restricted himself to a humble three. Another 
instance is that of Lord Forester, who bears a bugle horn on his coat, 
as a forester naturally should do. Whether the original Forester 
had an unpleasant habit of blowing- his horn at unseemly times, to the 
annoyance of quiet- loving people, and so had to put it on his coat 
in order to stop the row, we are not told, but probably that had 
something to do with the charge. 

The second kind of Allusive Arms are those called Armes Parlantes, 
or Canting Arms. On these a neat pun upon either the title or 
family name of the owner is embroidered. Lord Roseberry, who 
rejoices in the name of Primrose no relation to the late 
Vicar of Wakefield has three primroses in his escutcheon, and 
numerous other similar cases could be cited; but any of our readers 



138 Y E COMIC HISTOR Y OF HERALDR Y. 

by taking- up a peerage can find them out for themselves, whereby 
they will acquire knowledge and keep themselves out of mischief 
at the same time. 

Some Heraldic purists consider that Canting Arms are unworthy 
of the science, but those people are like the wounded sailor who 
objected to be thrown overboard before he was dead, viz : " too jolly 
particular/' inasmuch as in the earliest Roll of Arms, that of Henry 
III., no less than nine examples of this particular kind of blazonry 
are found. N.B., that roll we should say must be fairly brown by this 
time, not to say musty. 

In the earlier examples of so-called Canting Arms, however, the 
process was frequently reversed, and so far from the Arms originating 
from the name, the name originated from the Arms; and it happened 
thus Surnames were not, and, as we have already mentioned, earls 
added the names of their shires to distinguish the various Toms, 
Dicks, and Harrys. So the knights, who frequently had no other pos- 
sessions than light hearts and a thin pair of chain mail greaves to 
bless themselves with, were not unfrequently known as the Knight of 
the Tooth-brush, the Blacking Bottle, or the Sack Posset, according 
as they bore those imposing charges on their shields. 

Finally, one of the most unfortunate arrangements in connection with 
our present state of existence is that we must all die, but even after we 
are dead and buried we cannot get rid of the Heralds. They have 
several remarks to make even then, and their observations take the 
form of Hatchments. And when we come to Hatchments, any of 
our readers who are inclined that way may with perfect safety lay 
long odds that the Armiger to whose memory the Hatchment is 
erected, is as dead as a boiled cod. 

The next thing the very uninitiated may ask is, "What is a Hatch- 
ment?" but here we draw the line this book is not an "Answers 
to Correspondents" in a penny dreadful, nor yet an encyclopaedia of 
useful knowledge, and if any of our readers does not know what is a 



MODERN HERALDR Y, ETC. 139 

Hatchment let him or her lay down this work and go and find out 
and if he or she does know, he or she will not want to be told. 

Hatchments, as our readers are aware, are always lozenge-shaped, 
and vary in colour between white and black Place aux Demoiselles. 
The Hatchment of an unmarried lady is black, and the full Coat of 
Arms is displayed upon it in its proper colours and tin % tures. As 
ladies have no Crests, a knot of ribbons takes its *-" .oe ; this last 
tribute to female vanity is very touching-, and shows that our Heralds, 
however stern and exacting 1 in the execution of their duty, had yet a 
soft spot in their composition for the natural weaknesses of the sex. 
Ladies! think of this, and cherish a Herald, if you should ever have 
the good fortune to catch one alive. The Heraldic motto of the 
escutcheon is always omitted on the Hatchment, and in its stead 
some religious sentence is placed. 

A bachelor has his Hatchment arranged precisely as an unmar- 
ried lady, with the exception of the ribbons. Not wearing them in 
his life-time, he does not require those adornments for his escutcheon 
when "life's fitful fever is over." 

Again, Place aux Dames. A widow impales her arms with those of 
her husband, who survives, the Hatchment in this case being half 
black and half white the arms of the defunct resting on the black, 
those of the survivor on the white portion. 

The same rule is also observed by a widower. No difference is 
made for the disconsolateness or otherwise of the relict. In Heraldry 
there is no mitigated grief department. All are tarred with precisely 
the same armorial brushes. 

When we come to the Church, we find that a bishop impales his 
paternal Arms with those of his See on his Hatchment. The black 
and white arrangement also prevails with him as with widows and 
widowers his private arms taking the dark side, while those of his 
See are on the white. This is to signify that although he himself 
has gone over to the majority, yet his See remains behind to be 



140 



Y E COMIC HISTORY OF HERALDRY. 



enjoyed by his successor, who naturally feels piously pleased at his 
predecessor having" thus vacated it, and made room for him, which is, 
we think, all we have to say about Hatchments. One disadvantage 
of them is, however, that nobody, however heraldically inclined, can 
see his own put up ; at least not on general principles. 

Hatchments in Heraldry are like the cup of cafe noir at the close 
of a well-api_ : nted dinner. The Heraldic feast is done, and the 
properly constituted Armiger to whom the Hatchment refers is care- 
fully, comfortably, and securely deposited in his grave ; his heir has 
endued the family Armorial Coat, to be worn until Death, the 
Eraser, makes him too a candidate for a Hatchment. 




CHAPTER XXIII. AND LAST. 



FINIS CORONAT OPUS. 

AST scene of all which ends this 
strange, eventful history," says 
the melancholy Jaques and we 
shall make bold to borrow the 
line of him for this occasion only 
not that we hope our readers 
have been melancholy while 
reading- our Heraldic lucubra- 
tions, or that our attempt to raise 
a laugh on the arid soil of the 
College of Heralds has proved 
an ignominious failure. We have 

also the less reluctance to "conveying," as the wise do call it, from 
Shakespeare, seeing that the divine "Williams" must have known 
all about the science, from the frequent allusions he makes to it in 
his plays. 

We have now come to the end of our Heraldic journey; the terminus 
is in sight, the passengers are collecting their rugs, coats, and un^brellas, 




142 



Y E COMIC HISTORY OF HERALDRY. 



previous to getting- out of our antiquarian train of thought, and we hope 
they are satisfied with the trip they have made with us. 

Readers! we must part! It is hard, very hard, as the monkey 
remarked when they gave him a marble instead of a nut; but the best 
of friends have to do it, and why should not we ? Still, if you have 
travelled thus far over a rather obscure domain of science, we hope 
you will have learned a little and have laughed a great deal more, in 
which case we shall have achieved the aim we had in view in narrating 
to you "YE COMIC HISTORY OF HERALDRY." 




LONDON: M'CORQUODALE AND CO., 
55, CARDINGTON STREET; AND AT NEWTON, LEEDS, AND GLASGOW, 



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