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Title: The Curiosities of Heraldry
Author: Lower, Mark Antony
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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  Illustrations from Old English Writers.


  From Designs by the Author.





Little need be said to the lover of antiquity in commendation of the
subject of this volume; and I take it for granted that every one who reads
the history of the Middle Ages in a right spirit will readily acknowledge
that Heraldry, as a system, is by no means so contemptible a thing as the
mere utilitarian considers it to be. Yet, notwithstanding, how few are
there who have even a partial acquaintance with its principles. To how
many, even of those who find pleasure in archæological pursuits, does the
charge apply:

  "--_neque enim clypei cælamina norit_."

Two hundred years ago, when the study of armory was much more cultivated
than at present, this general ignorance of our 'noble science' called
forth the censure of its admirers. Master Ri. Brathwait, lamenting it,
says of some of his contemporaries:

  "They weare theire grandsire's signet on their thumb,
  Yet aske them whence their crest is, they are _mum_;"

and adds:

  "Who weare gay _coats_, but can no _coat_ deblaze,
  Display'd for _gulls_, may bear _gules_ in their face!"[1]

This invective is perhaps a little too severe, yet it is mildness itself
when compared with that of Ranulphus Holme, son of the author of the
'Academy of Armory,' who declares that unless the reader assents to what
is contained in his father's book he is

        "neither Art's nor Learning's friend,
  But an ignorant, empty, brainless sot,
  Whose chiefest study is the _can_ and _pot_!"

Now, though I would by no means place the objector to Heraldry upon the
same bench with the devotee of Bacchus, nor even upon the stool of the
dunce, yet I hope to make it appear that the study is worthy of more
attention than is generally conceded to it.[2] At the same time I wish it
to be distinctly understood that I do not over-rate its importance. "The
benefit arising from different pursuits will differ, of course, in
degree, but nothing that exercises the intellect can be useless, and in
this spirit it may be possible to study even conchology without

Many persons regard arms as nothing more than a set of uncouth and
unintelligible emblems by which families are distinguished from one
another; the language by which they are described as an antiquated
"jargon;" and both as little worthy of an hour's examination as astrology,
alchemy or palmistry. This is a mistake; and such individuals are guilty,
however unintentionally, of a great injustice to a lordly, poetical, and
useful science.

That Heraldry is a _lordly_ science none will deny; that it is also a
_poetical_ science I shall shortly attempt to prove; but there are some
sour spirits who know not how to dissever the idea of lordliness from that
of tyranny, and who "thank the gods for not having made them poetical."
These, therefore, will be no recommendations of our subject to _such_
readers; but should I be able to show that it is a _useful_ science, what
objections can those cavillers then raise?

I purpose to give a short dissertation on the utility of Heraldry, but
first let me say a few words on the _poetry_ of the subject. Do not the
'Lion of England,' the 'Red-Cross Banner,' the 'White and Red Roses,' the
'Shamrock of Ireland,' and 'Scotia's barbed Thistle' occupy a place in the
breast of every patriot? and what are they but highly poetical
expressions? Do not the poetry of Chaucer and Spenser and Shakspeare, not
to mention our old heroic ballads and the pleasant legends of a Scott,
abound with heraldrical allusions? Tasso is minute, though inaccurate, in
the description of the banners of his Christian heroes; he was far from
despising blazon as a poetical accessory. And, lastly, see how nobly the
stately Drayton makes the 'jargon' of Heraldry chime in with his glorious

  "Upon his surcoat valiant _Neville_ bore
  A SILVER SALTIRE upon martial red;
  A LADIE'S SLEEVE high-spirited _Hastings_ wore;
  _Ferrers_ his tabard with rich VAIRY spred,
  Well known in many a warlike match before;
  A RAVEN sate on _Corbet's_ armed head;
  And _Culpeper_ in SILVER ARMS enrailed
  Bore thereupon a BLOODIE BEND ENGRAILED;
  The noble _Percie_ in that dreadful day
  With a BRIGHT CRESCENT in his guidhomme came;
  In his WHITE CORNET _Verdon_ doth display
                                  _Barons' War_, B. 1, 22, 23.

I now proceed to show that Heraldry is a _useful_ science. It has already
been said that nothing which calls into exercise the intellectual powers
can be useless. But it may be said that there is an abundance of studies
calculated more profitably to exercise them. Granted: but it should be
remembered that, as there is a great diversity of tastes, so there is a
great disparity in the mental capacities of mankind. Heraldry may
therefore be recommended as a study to those who are not qualified to
grasp more profound subjects, and as a source of amusement to those who
wish to relieve their minds in the intervals of graver and more important
pursuits. To either class a very brief study will give an insight into the
theory of heraldry, and a competent knowledge of the terms it employs.

The nomenclature of Heraldry is somewhat repulsive to those who casually
look into a treatise on the subject, and often deters even the
unprejudiced from entering upon the study; but what science is there that
is not in a greater or less degree liable to the same objection?

A recent writer observes: "The language of Heraldry is occasionally
barbarous in sound and appearance, but it is always peculiarly expressive;
and a practice which involves habitual conciseness and precision in their
utmost attainable degree, and in which tautology is viewed as fatally
detrimental, may insensibly benefit the student on other more important

But Heraldry is useful on higher grounds than these, and particularly as
an aid to the right understanding of that important period of the history
of Christendom, the reign of feudalism. An eminent French writer, Victor
Hugo, declares that "for him who can decipher it, Heraldry is an
_algebra_, _a language_. The whole history of the second half of the
middle ages is written in blazon, as that of the preceding period is in
the symbolism of the Roman church." To the student of history, then,
Heraldry is far from useless.

The sculptured stone or the emblazoned shield often speaks when the
written records of history are silent. A grotesque carving of coat or
badge in the spandrel of some old church-door, or over the portal of a
decayed mansion, often points out the stock of the otherwise forgotten
patron or lord. "A dim-looking pane in an oriel window, or a discoloured
coat in the dexter corner of an old Holbein may give not only the name of
the benefactor or the portrait, but also identify him personally by
showing his relation to the head of the house, his connexions and
alliances."[4] The antiquary and the local historian, then, possess in
Heraldry a valuable key to many a secret of other times.

To the genealogist a knowledge of Heraldry is indispensable. Coats of arms
in church windows, on the walls, upon tombs, and especially on seals, are
documents of great value. Many persons of the same name can now only be
classed with their proper families by an inspection of the arms they bore.
In Wales, where the number of surnames is very limited, families are much
better recognized by their arms than by their names.[5]

The painter, in representing the gaudy scenes of the courts and camps of
other days, can by no means dispense with a knowledge of our science; and
the architect who should attempt to raise some stately Gothic fane,
omitting the well-carved shield, the heraldric corbel, and the blazoned
grandeur of

  "rich windows that exclude the light,"

would inevitably fail to impart to his work one of the greatest charms
possessed by that noblest of all styles of building, and produce a meagre,
soulless, abortion! Heraldry is, then, in the eyes of every man of any
pretensions to taste, a useful, because an indispensable, science.

Now for an argument far stronger than all: Heraldry has been known to
further the ends of _justice_. "I know three families," says Garter
Bigland, "who have acquired estates by virtue of preserving the arms and
escutcheons of their ancestors." I repeat, therefore, without the fear of
contradiction, that Heraldry is a _useful_ science. Q. E. D.

       *       *       *       *       *

With respect to the sheets now submitted to the reader a few observations
may be necessary. In the first place, I wish it to be understood that I
have avoided, as much as possible, the technicalities of blazon: it was
not my wish to supersede (even had I been competent to do so) the various
excellent treatises on the subject already extant. The sole motive I
entertained in writing this volume was a desire to render the science of
Heraldry more intelligible to the general reader, and to present it in
aspects more interesting and attractive than those writers can possibly
do who treat of blazon merely as an art, and to make him acquainted with
its origin and progress by means of brief historical and biographical
sketches, and by inquiries into the derivation and meaning of armorial
figures. In such an antient and well-explored field there has been but
little scope for original discovery; but if I have succeeded in
concentrating, and placing in a somewhat new light, old and well-known
truths, my labour has not been lost, and my wish to render popular a
too-much neglected study has been in some measure realized.

The references at the foot of nearly every page render acknowledgments to
the authors whose works I have consulted almost unnecessary. It is,
however, but justice to confess my obligations to Dallaway and Montagu for
the general subject, to Noble for the notices of the heralds, and to Moule
for the bibliography. For the illustrations and extracts I am principally
indebted to the Boke of St. Albans, Leigh, Bossewell, Ferne, Guillim,
Morgan, Randle Holme, and nearly all the writers of the antient school;
whose works are rarely met with in an ordinary course of reading. From all
these, both antient and modern, it has been my aim to select such points
as appeared likely to interest both those who have some acquaintance with
the subject and those who are confessedly ignorant of it.

Besides the authors of acknowledged reputation named above, I have
consulted many others of comparatively little importance and value,
convinced with Pliny, "nullum esse librum tam malum ut non aliquâ parte
posset prodesse." Should a small proportion only of the reading public
peruse my 'Curiosities of Heraldry' on the same principle, I shall not
want readers!

My thanks are due to William Courthope, Esq. Rouge-Croix pursuivant of
arms, for several obliging communications from the records of the Heralds'
Office, as well as for the great courtesy and promptitude with which he
has invariably attended to every request I have had occasion to make
during the progress of the work.

For the notice of the interesting relic discovered at Lewes (Appendix E),
I am indebted to the kindness of W. H. Blaauw, Esq., M.A., author of the
'Barons' War,' some remarks from whom on the subject were read at the late
meeting of the Archæological Association at Canterbury, where the relic
itself was exhibited.

The reader is requested to view the simple designs which illustrate these
pages with all the candour with which an amateur draughtsman is usually
indulged. Every fault they exhibit belongs only to myself, not to Mr.
Vasey, the engraver, who, unlike Sir John Ferne's artist,[6] must be
acknowledged to have "done _his_ duety" in a very creditable manner.

It is not unlikely that I may be called upon to justify the orthography of
several words of frequent occurrence in this work. I will therefore
anticipate criticism by a remark or two, premising that I am too
thoroughly imbued with the spirit of antiquarianism to make innovations
without good and sufficient reason. The words to which I allude are
_antient_, _lyon_, _escocheon_, and, particularly, _heraldric_. The first
three cannot be regarded as innovations, as they were in use centuries
ago. For 'an_t_ient,' apology is scarcely necessary, as many standard
writers have used it; and it must be admitted to be quite as much like the
low Latin _antianus_ as _ancient_ is. 'Lyon' looks _picturesque_, and
seems to be in better keeping with the form in which the monarch of the
forest is pourtrayed in heraldry than the modern spelling: an antiquarian
predilection is all that I can urge in its defence. I would never employ
it except in heraldry. 'Escocheon' is used by many modern writers on
heraldry in preference to _escutcheon_, not only as a more elegant
orthography, but as a closer approximation to the French _écusson_, from
which it is derived.

For 'HERALDRIC' more lengthened arguments may be deemed necessary, as I am
not aware that it occurs in any English dictionary. This adjective is
_almost_ invariably spelt without the R--heraldic; and that orthography,
though sometimes correct, is still oftener false. I contend that two
spellings are necessary, because _two totally different words_ are
required in different senses,--to wit,

    I. Heraldic, belonging to a herald; and

    II. Heraldric, belonging to heraldry.

I will illustrate the distinction by an example or two.

(I) "The office of Garter is the 'ne plus ultra' of _heraldic_ ambition,"
i. e., it is the height of the herald's ambition ultimately to arrive at
that honour. The word here has no relation whatever to proficiency in the
science of coat-armour or heraldry, since it is possible that a herald or
pursuivant may entertain the desire of gaining the post, _causâ honoris_,
without any particular predilection for the study. Again,

"Queen Elizabeth was a staunch defender of _heraldic_ prerogatives;" in
other words, she defended the rights and privileges of her _officers_ of
arms; not the prerogatives of _coats_ of arms, for to what prerogatives
can painted ensigns lay claim?

(II) "A. B. is engaged in _heraldric_ pursuits;" that is, in the study of
armorial bearings; not in the pursuits of a herald, which consist in the
proclamation of peace or war, the attendance on state ceremonials, the
_granting_ of arms, &c. To say that A. B., who has no official connexion
with the College of Arms, is a herald, would be an obvious misnomer,
although he may be quite equal in _heraldrical_ skill to any gentleman of
the tabard.

"The so-called arms of the town of Guildford have nothing _heraldric_
about them," that is, they are not framed in accordance with the laws of
blazon. To say that they are not _heraldic_, would be to say that they do
not declare war, attend coronations, wear a tabard, or perform any of the
functions of a herald--a gross absurdity.

A literary friend, who objects to my reasoning, thinks that the _one
word_, _heraldic_, answers every purpose for both applications. That it
has done so, heretofore, is not certainly a reason why it should after the
distinction has been pointed out. Besides, my doctrine is not unsupported
by analogy. We have a case precisely parallel in the words _monarchal_ and
_monarchical_; and he who would charge me with innovation must, to be
consistent with himself, expunge _monarchical_ from his dictionary as a
useless word.

LEWES; DEC. 1844.


  CHAP.                                                           PAGE

     I. THE FABULOUS HISTORY OF HERALDRY                             1

    II. THE AUTHENTIC HISTORY OF HERALDRY                           15


    IV. THE CHIMERICAL FIGURES OF HERALDRY                          89

     V. THE LANGUAGE OF ARMS                                       105

    VI. ALLUSIVE ARMS--ARMES PARLANTES                             119

   VII. CRESTS, SUPPORTERS, BADGES, etc.                           133

  VIII. HERALDRIC MOTTOES                                          151

    IX. HISTORICAL ARMS--AUGMENTATIONS                             161

     X. DISTINCTIONS OF RANK AND HONOUR                            197


        WRITERS, WITH QUOTATIONS FROM THEIR WORKS                  245

  XIII. GENEALOGY                                                  281


     SIR EDWARD DERING, BART.                                      297


  C. ABATEMENTS                                                    313

  D. GRANT OF ARMS TEMP. EDW. III.                                 315



  Page 15, line 6, _for_ pays? _read_ pays!

       20, --  15, for _preterea_ read _præterea_.

The distinction between the _supports_ and _tenans_ of French heraldry
made at page 144 is erroneous. The true distinction is that human figures
and angels, when employed to support the shield, are called _tenans_,
while quadrupeds, fishes, or birds engaged in the same duty are styled



Fabulous History of Heraldry.


    "You had a maister that hath fetched the beginning of Gentry from
    Adam, and of Knighthood from Olybion."

        _Ferne's Blazon of Gentrie._

    "Gardons nous de mêler le douteux an certain, et le chimérique avec le

        _Voltaire, Essai sur les Moeurs._

Antiquity has, in a greater or less degree, charms for all; and it is
supposed to stamp such a value on things as nothing else can confer. This
feeling, unexceptionable in itself, is liable to great abuse; especially
in relation to historical matters. In States and in Families, Antiquity
implies greatness, strength, and those other attributes which command
veneration and respect. Hence the first historians of nations have
uniformly endeavoured to carry up their annals to periods far beyond the
limits of probability, thus rendering the earlier portions of their works
a tissue of absurdity deduced from the misty regions of tradition,
conjecture, and song.[7]

This reverence for antiquity has extended itself to genealogists, and to
those who have recorded the history of sciences and inventions. Thus has
it been with the earliest writers on =Heraldry=, a system totally unknown
till within the last thousand years; but which in the fancies of its
zealous admirers has been presumed to have existed, not merely in the
first ages of the world, but at a period

  "Ere Nature was, or Adam's dust
  Was fashioned to a man!"

We are gravely assured by a writer of the fifteenth century that heraldric
ensigns were primarily borne by the 'hierarchy of the skies,' "_At
hevyn_," says the author of the Boke of St. Albans, "_I will begin_; where
were V orderis of aungelis, and now stand but IV, in _cote armoris_ of
knawlege, encrowned ful hye with precious stones, where Lucifer with
mylionys of aungelis, owt of hevyn fell into hell and odyr places, and
ben holdyn ther in bondage; and all [the remaining angels] were erected in
hevyn of gentill nature!"

Thus, in one short sentence, the origin both of nobility and of its
external symbols is summarily disposed of. When _proofs_ are not to be
adduced, how can we regret that it is no longer?

But to descend a little lower, let us quote again the poetical language of
this indisputable authority: "Adam, the begynnyng of mankind, was as a
stocke unsprayed and unfloreshed,"--having neither boughs nor leaves--"and
in the braunches is knowledge wich is rotun and wich is grene;" that is,
if I rightly understand it, (for poetry is not always quite intelligible,)
both the gentle and the ungentle, the earl and the churl, are descended
from one progenitor; _omnes communem parentem habent_; a truth which, it
is presumed, will not be called in question.

The _gentility_ of the great ancestor of our race is stoutly contended
for, and, that his claim to that distinction might not want support,
Morgan, an enthusiastic armorist of the seventeenth century, has assigned
him _two coats of arms_; one as borne in Eden--when he neither used nor
needed either _coat_ for covering or _arms_ for defence--and another
suited to his condition after the fall. The first was a plain red shield,
described in the language of modern heraldry as 'gules,' while the arms of
Eve, a shield of white, or 'argent,' were borne upon it as an 'escocheon
of pretence,' she being _an heiress_! The arms of Abel were, as a matter
of course, those of his father and mother borne 'quarterly,' and ensigned
with a crosier, like that of a bishop, to show that he was a

Sir John Ferne, a man of real erudition, was so far carried away by
extravagant notions of the great antiquity of heraldric insignia, as
seriously to deduce the use of furs in heraldry from the 'coats of skins'
which the Creator made for Adam and Eve after their transgression. This,
independently of its absurdity, is an unfortunate idea; for coats of arms
are as certainly marks of honour as these were badges of disgrace; and as
Morgan says, 'innocens was Adam's best gentility.'[9] The second coat of
Adam, says this writer, was '_paly tranche_, divided every way and
tinctured of every colour.' Cain, also, after _his_ fall, changed his
armorials "by ingrailing and _indented_ lines--to show, as the preacher
saith, There is a generation whose _teeth_ are as swords, and their
jaw-_teeth_ as knives to devour the poor from the earth." He was the
first, it is added, who desired to have his arms changed--'So God set a
mark upon him!'[10]

This ante-diluvian heraldry is expatiated upon by our author in a manner
far too prolix for us to follow him through all his grave statements and
learned proofs. I shall therefore only observe, _en passant_, that arms
are assigned to the following personages, viz.: Jabal, the inventor of
tents, _Vert, a tent argent_, (a white tent in a green field!) Jubal, the
primeval musician, _Azure, a harp, or, on a chief argent three rests
gules_;[11] Tubal-Cain, _Sable, a hammer argent, crowned or_, and Naamah,
his sister, the inventress of weaving, _In a lozenge gules, a carding-comb

Noah, according to the Boke of St. Albans, "came a _gentilman_ by kynde
... and had iij sonnys begetyn by kinde ... yet in theys iij sonnys
gentilness and ungentilnes was fownde." The sin of Ham degraded him to the
condition of a churl; and upon the partition of the world between the
three brethren Noah pronounced a malediction against him. "Wycked
kaytiff," says he, "I give to thee the north parte of the worlde to draw
thyne habitacion, for ther schall it be, where sorow and care, cold and
myschef, as a churle thou shalt live in the thirde parte of the worlde
wich shall be calde Europe, that is to say, _the contre of churlys_!"

"Japeth," he continues, "cum heder my sonne, thou shalt have my blessing
dere.... I make the a gentilman of the west parte of the world and of
Asia, that is to say, _the contre of gentilmen_." He then in like manner
creates Sem a gentleman, and gives him Africa, or "_the contre of

"Of the offspryng of the gentleman Japheth come Habraham, Moyses, Aron,
and the profettys, and also the kyng of the right lyne of Mary, of whom
that gentilman Jhesus ... kyng of the londe of Jude and of Jues, gentilman
by his modre Mary prynce[ss] of cote-armure!"... "Jafet made the first
target and therin he made a ball in token of all the worlde."

Morgan's researches do not seem to have furnished him with the arms of
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but those of the twelve patriarchs are given by
him and others. Joseph's "coat of many colours," Morgan, by a strange
oversight, makes to consist of two tinctures only, viz. black, chequered
with white--in the language of heraldry, _chequy sable and argent_,--to
denote the lights and shadows of his history.

The pathetic predictions and benedictions pronounced by the dying
patriarch Jacob to his sons, furnished our old writers with one of their
best pretences for giving coat-armour to persons in those remote ages. The
standards ordered to be set up around the Israelitish camp in the
desert[13] are likewise adduced in support of the notion that regular
heraldry was then known. The arms of the twelve tribes are given by Morgan
in the following hobbling verses:[14]

  "Judah bare Gules, a lion[15] couchant or;
    Zebulon's black Ship's[16] like to a man of war;
    Issachar's asse[17] between two burthens girt;
  As Dan's[18] sly snake lies in a field of vert;
    Asher with _Azure_ a Cup[19] of gold sustains;
    And Nephtali's Hind[20] trips o'er the flow'ry plains;
  Ephraim's strong Ox lyes with the couchant Hart;
    Manasseh's Tree its branches doth impart;
    Benjamin's Wolfe in the field gules resides;
  Reuben's field argent and blew bars wav'd glides;
    Simeon doth beare his Sword; and in that manner
    Gad, having pitched his Tent, sets up his Banner."

The same authority gives as the arms of Moses a _cross_, because he
preferred "taking up the cross," and suffering the lot of his brethren to
a life of pleasure and dignity in the court of Pharaoh. The 'parfight
armory of Duke Joshua,' given by Leigh, is _Partie bendy sinister, or and
gules, a backe displayed sable_. The arms of Gideon were _Sable, a fleece
argent, a chief azure gutté d'eau_,[21] evidently a 'composition' from the
miracle recorded in the Book of Judges. To Samson is ascribed, _Gules, a
lion couchant or, within an orle argent, semée of bees sable_, an equally
evident allusion to a passage in the bearer's history. David, as a matter
of course, bore _a golden harp in a field azure_.[22]

But it is not alone to the worthies of sacred history that these
honourable insignia are ascribed--the heroes of classical story, too, had
their 'atchievements,' Hector of Troy, for example, bore, _Sable, ij lyons
combatand or_.[23] Here again our great authority, Dame Julyan
Berners,[24] may be cited. "Two thousand yere and xxiiij," says she,
"before thyncarnation of Christe, =Cote-Armure= was made and figurid at
the sege of Troye, where in gestis troianorum it tellith that the first
begynnyng of the lawe of armys was; the which was effygured and begunne
before any lawe in the world bot the lawe of nature, and before the X
commaundementis of God."

I have been favoured with the following curious extract from a MS. at the
College of Arms,[25] which also refers the origin of arms to the siege of
Troy. I believe it has never been printed.

"=What Armes be, and where they were firste invented.= As kinges of Armes
record, the begynynge of armes was fyrste founded at the great sege of
Troye w{th}in the Cytie and w{th}out, for the doughtines of deades don on
bothe partyes and for so mouche as thier were soo many valliaunt knights
on bothe sydes w{ch} did soo great acts of Armes, and none of them myght
be knowen from other, the great Lords on both p'ties by thier dyscreate
advice assembled together and accorded that every man that did a great
acte of armes shoulde bere upon him a marke in token of his doutye deades,
that the pepoell myght have the bet{r} knowledge of him, and if it were
soo that suche a man had any chylderen, it was ordeyned that they should
also bere the same marke that their father did w{th} dyvers differences,
that ys to saye, Theldeste as his father did w{th} a labell, the secounde
w{th} a cressente, the third w{th} a molett, the fourth a marlet, the
v{th} an annellet, the vj{th} a flewer delisse. And if there be anye more
than sixe the rest to bere suche differences as lyketh the herauld to geve
them. And when the said seige was ended y{e} lordes went fourth into
dyvers landes to seke there adventures, and into England came Brute and
[his] knights w{th} there markes and inhabited the land; and after,
because the name of MERKES was rewde, they terned the same into ARMES, for
as mouche _as that name was far fayerer_, and becausse that markes were
gotten through myght of armes of men."

The humour of Alexander the Great must have been somewhat of the
quaintest when he assumed the arms ascribed to him by Master Gerard Leigh,
to wit, _Gules a_ GOLDEN LYON SITTING IN A CHAYER and holding _a
battayle-axe of silver_.[26] The 'atchievement' of Cæsar was, if we may
trust the same learned armorist, _Or, an eagle displayed with two heads

Arms are also assigned to King Arthur, Charlemagne, Sir Guy of Warwick,
and other heroes, who, though belonging to much more recent periods, still
flourished long before the existence of the heraldric system, and never
dreamed of such honours.

That these pretended armorials were the mere figments of the writers who
record them, no one doubts. In these ingenious falsehoods we recognize a
principle similar to that which produced the 'pious frauds' of
enthusiastic churchmen, and to that which led self-duped alchemists to
deceive others. In their zeal for the antiquity of arms--a zeal of so
glowing a character that no one who has not read their works can estimate
it--they imagined that they must have existed from the beginning of the
world. Then, throwing the reins upon the neck of their fancy, they
ascribed to almost every celebrated personage of the earliest ages, the
ensigns they deemed the most appropriate to his character and pursuits.
The feeling inducing such a procedure originated in a mistake as to the
antiquity of chivalry, of which heraldry was part and parcel. Feelings
unknown before the existence of this institution are attributed to the
heroes of antiquity. '_Duke_ Joshua' is presumed to have been only another
Duke William of Normandy, influenced in war by similar motives and
surrounded by the same social circumstances in time of peace. Chaucer
talks of classical heroes as if they were knights of some modern order;
and Lydgate, in his =Troy Boke= invests the heroes of the Iliad with the
costume of his own times, carrying emblazoned shields and fighting under
feudal banners:

    "=And to behold in the knights shields
  The fell beastes.

    "Where that he saw,
  In the shields hanging on the hookes,
  The beasts rage.

    "The which beastes as the storie leres
  Were wrought and bete upon their banners
  Displaied brode, when they schould fight.="[28]

The fabulous history of the science might be fairly deduced to the
eleventh century, as the Saxon monarchs up to that date are all
represented to have borne arms. Yet as there are not wanting, even in our
day, those who admit the authenticity of those bearings, their claims will
be briefly referred to in the next chapter.

In justice to the credulous and inventive armorists of the 'olden tyme,'
the reader should be reminded that warriors did, in very antient times,
bear various figures upon their shields. These seem in general to have
been engraved in, rather than painted upon, the metal of which the shield
was composed. The French word _escu_ and _escussion_, the Italian _scudo_,
and the English _escocheon_, are evident derivations from the Latin
_scutum_, and the equivalent word _clypeus_ is derived from the Greek verb
[Greek: gluphein], TO ENGRAVE. But those sculptured devices were regarded
as the peculiar ensigns of one individual, who could change them at
pleasure, and did not descend hereditarily like the modern coat of arms.

A few references to the shields here alluded to may not be unacceptable.
Homer describes the shield of Agamemnon as being ornamented with the
Gorgon, his peculiar badge; and Virgil says of Aventinus,[29] the son of

  "Post hos insignem palmâ per gramina currum,
  Victoresque ostentat equos, satus Hercule pulchro
  Pulcher Aventinus: clypeoque, _insigne paternum_,
  Centum angues, cinctamq: gerit serpentibus _hydram_."
                                        _Æneid._ vii, 655.

  "Next Aventinus drives his chariot round
  The Latian plains, with palms and laurels crowned;
  Proud of his steeds he smokes along the field,
  His father's _hydra_ fills his ample shield."
                                        _Dryden_, vii, 908.

The Greek dramatists describe the symbols and war-cries placed upon their
shields by the seven chiefs, in their expedition against the city of
Thebes. As an example, Capaneus is represented as bearing the figure of a
giant with a blazing torch, and the motto, "_I will fire the city_!" Such
ensigns seem to have been the peculiar property of the valiant and
well-born, and so far they certainly resembled modern heraldry. Virgil,
speaking of Helenus, whose mother had been a slave, says,

  "Slight were his arms--a sword and silver shield;
  No _marks of honour_ charged its empty field."[30]

Several of our more recent writers, while they disclaim all belief of the
existence of armorial bearings in earlier times, still think they find
traces of these distinctions in the days of the Roman commonwealth. The
family of the Corvini are particularly cited as having hereditarily borne
a raven as their crest; but this device was, as Nisbet has shown,[31]
merely an ornament bearing allusion to the apocryphal story of an early
ancestor of that race having been assisted in combat by a bird of this
species. The _jus imaginum_ of the Romans is also adduced. In every
condition of civilized society distinctions of rank and honour are
recognized. Thus the Romans had their three classes distinguished as
_nobiles_, _novi_, and _ignobiles_. Those whose ancestors had held high
offices in the state, as Censor, Prætor, or Consul, were accounted
nobiles, and were entitled to have statues of their progenitors executed
in wood, metal, stone, or wax, and adorned with the insignia of their
several offices, and the trophies they had earned in war. These they
usually kept in presses or cabinets, and on occasions of ceremony and
solemnity exhibited before the entrances of their houses. He who had a
right to exhibit his own effigy only, was styled _novus_, and occupied the
same position with regard to the many-imaged line as the upstart of our
own times, who bedecks his newly-started equipage with an equally new coat
of arms, does to the head of an antient house with a shield of forty
quarterings. The ignobiles were not permitted to use any image, and
therefore stood upon an equality with modern plebeians, who bear no arms
but the two assigned them by the heraldry of nature.

The patricians of our day to a certain extent carry out the _jus imaginum_
of antiquity, only substituting painted canvas for sculptured marble or
modelled wax; and there is no sight better calculated to inspire respect
for dignity of station than the gallery of some antient hall hung with a
long series of family portraits; in which, as in a kind of physiognomical
pedigree, the speculative mind may also find matter of agreeable
contemplation. The _jus imaginum_ doubtless originated in the same class
of feelings that gave birth to heraldry, but there is no further connexion
or analogy between the two. It is to hereditary shields and hereditary
banners we must limit the true meaning of heraldry, and all attempts to
find these in the classical era will end in a disappointment as inevitable
as that which accompanies the endeavour to gather "grapes of thorns or
figs of thistles."



Authentic History of Heraldry.

[Illustration: (John Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, temp. Hen. VI, in his
surcoat or coat of arms.)[32]]

    "Vetera quæ nunc sunt fuerunt olim _nova_."

    "L'histoire du blazon! mais c'est l'histoire tout entière de notre

        _Jouffroy d'Eschavannes._

Having given some illustrations of the desire of referring the heraldric
system to times of the most remote antiquity, and shown something of the
misapplication of learning to prove what was incapable of proof, let us
now leave the obscure byways of those mystifiers of truth and fabricators
of error, and emerge into the more beaten path presented to us in what may
be called the historical period, which is confined within the last eight
centuries. The history of the sciences, like that of nations, generally
has its fabulous as well as its historical periods, and this is eminently
the case with heraldry; yet in neither instance is there any exact line of
demarcation by which the former are separable from the latter. This
renders it the duty of a discriminating historian to act with the utmost
caution, lest, on the one hand, truths of a remote date should be
sacrificed because surrounded by the circumstances of fiction, and lest,
on the other, error should be too readily admitted as fact, because it
comes to us in a less questionable shape; and I trust I shall not be
deemed guilty of misappropriation if I apply to investigations like the
present, that counsel which primarily refers to things of much greater
import, namely, "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good."

The _germ_ of that flourishing tree which eventually ramified into all the
kingdoms of Christendom, and became one of the most striking and
picturesque features of the feudal ages, and the most gorgeous ornament of
chivalry, and which interweaves its branches into the entire framework of
mediæval history, is doubtless to be found in the banners and ornamented
shields of the warriors of antiquity. Standards, as the necessary
distinctions of contending parties on the battle-field, must be nearly or
quite as antient as war itself; and every such mark of distinction would
readily become a national cognizance both in war and peace.[33] But it was
reserved for later ages to apply similar marks and symbols to the purpose
of distinguishing different commanders on the same side, and even after
this became general it was some time ere the hereditary transmission of
such ensigns was resorted to as a means of distinguishing families, which
in the lapse of ages--the warlike idea in which they had their origin
having vanished--has become almost the only purpose to which they are now

The standards used by the German princes in the centuries immediately
preceding the Norman Conquest, are conjectured to have given rise to
Heraldry, properly so called. Henry l'Oiseleur (the Fowler), who was
raised to the throne of the West in 920, advanced it to its next stage
when, in regulating the tournaments--which from mismanagement had too
often become scenes of blood--he ordered that all combatants should be
distinguished by a kind of mantles or livery composed of lists or narrow
pieces of stuff of opposite colours, whence originated the pale, bend,
&c.--the marks now denominated 'honourable ordinaries.'[34]

If the honour of inventing heraldry be ascribed to the Germans, that of
reducing it to a system must be assigned to France. To the French belong
"the arrangement and combination of tinctures and metals, the variety of
figures effected by the geometrical positions of lines, the attitudes of
animals, and the grotesque delineation of monsters."[35] The art of
describing an heraldric bearing in proper terms is called blasonry, from
the French verb _blasonner_, whence also we derive our word _blaze_ in the
sense of to proclaim or make known.

    "The heavens themselves _blaze_ forth the death of princes." _Shak._

    "But he went out and began to publish it much, and to _blaze_ abroad
    the matter." _St. Mark._

            "'Tis still our greatest pride,
    To _blaze_ those virtues which the good would hide." _Pope._

The verb seems to have come originally from the German =blasen=, to blow a
horn. At the antient tournaments the attendant heralds proclaimed with
sound of trumpet the dignity of the combatants, and the armorial
distinctions assumed by them; and hence the application of the word to the
scientific description of coat armour.[36] The arrangement of the
tinctures and charges of heraldry into a system may be regarded as the
third stage in the history of the science. This, as we have just seen, was
achieved by the French: and hence the large admixture of old French terms
with words of native growth in our heraldric nomenclature.

Speed and other historians give the arms of a long line of the Anglo-Saxon
and Danish monarchs of England up to the period of the Norman Conquest;
but we search in vain for contemporary evidence that armorial distinctions
were then known. The MSS. of those early times which have descended to us
are rich in illustrations of costume, but no representation of these
'ensigns of honour' occurs in any one of them. It seems probable that
Speed was misled by the early chroniclers, who in their illuminated tomes
often represented events of a much earlier date in the costume of their
own times. Thus, in a work by Matthew Paris, who flourished in the
thirteenth century, Offa, a Danish king of the tenth, is represented in
the habits worn at the first-mentioned date, and bearing an armorial
shield according to the then existing fashion.

At what period the colours and charges of the banner began to be copied
upon the shield is uncertain. A proof that regular heraldry was unknown at
the era of the Conquest, is furnished by that valuable monument, the
Bayeux Tapestry, a pictorial representation of the event, ascribed to the
wife of the Conqueror. In these embroidered scenes neither the banner nor
the shield is furnished with proper arms. Some of the shields bear the
rude effigies of a dragon, griffin, serpent or lion, others crosses,
rings, and various fantastic devices;[37] but these, in the opinion of the
most learned antiquaries, are mere ornaments, or, at best, symbols, more
akin to those of classical antiquity than to modern heraldry. Nothing but
disappointment awaits the curious armorist, who seeks in this venerable
memorial the pale, the bend, and other early elements of arms. As these
would have been much more easily imitated with the needle than the
grotesque figures before alluded to, we may safely conclude that personal
arms had not yet been introduced.[38]

Dallaway asserts that, after the Conquest, William "encouraged, but under
great restrictions, the individual bearing of arms;" but, strangely, does
not cite the most slender authority for the assertion. Camden and Spelman
agree that arms were not introduced until towards the close of the
eleventh century, which must have been within a very short time of the
Conqueror's death. Others again, with more probability, speak of the
second Crusade (A.D. 1147) as the date of their introduction into this
country. But even at this period the proofs of family bearings are very
scanty. Traditions, indeed, are preserved in many families, of arms having
been acquired during this campaign, and in a future chapter several
examples will be quoted, rather as a matter of curiosity than as
historical proof; for all tradition, and especially that which tends to
flatter a family by ascribing to it an exaggerated antiquity, will
generally be found to be _vox et præterea nihil_. The arms said to occur
on _seals_ in the seventh and eighth centuries may be dismissed as merely
fanciful devices, having no connexion whatever with the heraldry of the
twelfth and thirteenth.

Towards the close of the twelfth century, and at the beginning of the
thirteenth, A.D. 1189-1230, it was usual for warriors to carry a miniature
escocheon suspended from a belt, and decorated with the arms of the

[Illustration: (Rich. I. from his second Great Seal.)]

It was in the time of Richard I that heraldry assumed more of the fixed
character it now bears. That monarch appears on his great seal of the date
of 1189, with a shield containing two lions combatant; but in his second
great seal (1195) three lions passant occur, as they have ever since been
used by his successors. Before coming to the throne, as Earl of Poitou, he
had borne lions in some attitude; for, in an antient poem, cited by
Dallaway, William de Barr, a French knight, utters an exclamation to this
effect: "Behold the Count of Poitou challenges us to the field; see he
calls us to the combat; I know the grinning lions in his shield;" and in
the romance of 'Cuer de Lyon,' we read the following couplet:

  "=Upon his shoulders a Schelde of stele,
  With the 'lybbardes'[40] painted wele.="

The earliest representation of arms upon a seal is of the date of
1187.[41] The embellishment of seals was one of the first as well as one
of the most interesting and useful applications of Heraldry. Seals, at
first rude and devoid of ornament, became, in course of time, beautiful
pieces of workmanship, elaborately decorated with arms, equestrian
figures, and tabernacle work of gothic architecture.

The Crusades are admitted by all modern writers to have given shape to
heraldry. And although we cannot give credit to many of the traditions
relating to the acquisition of armorial bearings by valorous knights on
the plains of Palestine, yet there is no doubt that many of our commonest
charges, such as the crescent, the escallop-shell, the water-bowget, &c.,
are derived from those chivalric scenes. Salverte observes that "the
ensigns which adorned the banner of a knight had not, in earlier times,
been adopted by his son, jealous of honouring, in its turn, the emblem
which he himself had chosen. But this glorious portion of the heritage of
a father or a brother who had died fighting for the cross was seized with
avidity by his successor on the fields of Palestine; for, in changing the
paternal banner, he would have feared that he should not be recognized by
his own vassals and his rivals in glory. History expressly tells us that,
at this epoch, many of the chiefs of the crusaders rendered the symbols
which they bore peculiar to their own house."[42] Dallaway, with his
accustomed elegance, remarks, "Those chiefs who, during the holy war,
returned to their own country, were industrious to call forth the highest
admiration of their martial exploits in the middle ranks. Ambitious of
displaying the banners they had borne in the sacred field, they procured
every external embellishment that could render them either more beautiful
as to the execution of the armorial designs, or more venerable as objects
of such perilous attainment. The bannerols of this era were usually of
silk stuffs, upon which was embroidered the device; and the shields of
metal, enamelled in colours, and diapered or diversified with flourishes
of gold and silver. Both the arts of encaustic painting and embroidery
were then well known and practised, yet of so great cost as to be procured
only by the most noble and wealthy. Amongst other pageantries was the
dedication of these trophies to some propitiatory Saint, over whose shrine
they were suspended, and which introduced armorial bearings in the
decoration of churches, frequently carved in stone, painted in fresco upon
the walls, or stained in glass in the windows. The avarice of the
ecclesiastics in thus adding to their treasures conduced almost as much as
the military genius of the age to the more general introduction of arms.
So sanctioned, the use of them became indispensable."[43]

By the time of Edward the First we find that all great commanders had
adopted arms, which were at that date really _coats_; the tinctures and
charges of the banner and shield being applied to the surcoat, or mantle,
which was worn over the armour, while the trappings of horses were
decorated in a similar manner.

In the ages immediately subsequent to the Crusades, heraldric ensigns
began to be generally applied as architectural decorations. The shields
upon which they were first represented were in the form of an isosceles
triangle, slightly curved on its two equal sides; but soon afterwards they
began to assume that of the gothic arch reversed, a shape probably adopted
with a view to such decoration, as harmonising better with the great
characteristics of the pointed style. Painted glass, too, in its earliest
application, was employed to represent military portraits, and arms with
scrolls containing short sentences, from which family mottoes may have
originated. Warton[44] places this gorgeous ornament at an era earlier
than the reign of Edward II.

Encaustic tiles, also, which were introduced in the early days of
heraldry, afforded another means of displaying the insignia of warriors.
They are still found in the pavements of many of our cathedrals and old
parish churches.

Rolls of Arms, which afford, after seals, the best possible evidence of
the ancient tinctures and charges, occur so early as the time of Henry
III. A document of this description, belonging to that reign, is preserved
in the College of Arms, and contains upwards of 200 coats emblazoned or
described in terms of heraldry differing very little from the modern
nomenclature. In a subsequent chapter I shall have occasion to refer for
some facts to this curious and valuable manuscript.

In the succeeding reigns the science rapidly increased in importance and
utility. The king and his chief nobility began to have heralds attached to
their establishments. These officials, at a later date, took their names
from some badge or cognizance of the family whom they served, such as
Falcon, Rouge Dragon, or from their master's title, as Hereford,
Huntingdon, &c. They were, in many instances, old servants or retainers,
who had borne the brunt of war,[45] and who, in their official capacity,
attending tournaments and battle-fields, had great opportunities of making
collections of arms, and gathering genealogical particulars. It is to
them, as men devoid of general literature and historical knowledge, Mr.
Montagu ascribes the fabulous and romantic stories connected with antient
heraldry; and certainly they had great temptations to falsify facts, and
give scope to invention when a championship for the dignity and antiquity
of the families upon whom they attended was at once a labour of love and
an essential duty of their office.

The =Roll of Karlaverok=, the name of which must be familiar to every
reader who has paid any attention to heraldry, is a poem in
Norman-French, describing the valorous deeds of Edward I and his knights
at the siege of the castle of Karlaverok, in Dumfriesshire, in the year
1300. This roll, which is curious on historical grounds, and by no means
contemptible as a poem, possesses especial charms for the heraldric
student. It describes with remarkable accuracy the banners of the barons
and knights who served in the expedition against Scotland, and "affords
evidence of the perfect state of the science of heraldry at that early
period." It is believed to have been written by Walter of Exeter, a
Franciscan friar, further known as the author of the romantic history of
Guy, Earl of Warwick. A contemporary copy of this valuable relic exists in
the British Museum, and another copy, transcribed from the original, is in
the Library of the College of Arms. The latter was published in 1828 by
Sir Harris Nicolas, with a translation and memoirs of the personages
commemorated by the poet.

The poem commences by stating that, in the year of Grace one thousand
three hundred, the king held a great court at Carlisle, and commanded his
men to prepare to go together with him against his enemies the Scots. On
the appointed day the whole host was ready. "There were," says the
chivalrous friar, "many rich caparisons embroidered on silks and satins;
many a beautiful penon fixed to a lance, and many a banner displayed.

"And afar off was the noise heard of the neighing of horses; mountains and
valleys were everywhere covered with sumpter horses and waggons with
provisions, and sacks of tents and pavilions.

"And the days were long and fine [it was Midsummer]. They proceeded by
easy journeys arranged in four squadrons; the which I will so describe to
you that not one shall be passed over. But first I will tell you of the
names and arms of the companions, especially of the banners, if you will
listen how."

In truth, by far the greater portion of the composition consists of
descriptions of the heraldric insignia borne upon the banners of the
commanders, upwards of one hundred in number. The following are quoted as


  "=Henri le bon Conte de Nichole
  De prowesse enbrasse & a cole
  E en son coer le a souveraine
  Menans le eschiele primeraine
  Baniere ot de un cendall saffrin
  O un lion rampant porprin.="]

'Henry the good Earl of Lincoln, burning with valour, which is the chief
feeling of his heart, leading the first squadron, had a banner of yellow
silk with a purple lion rampant.'[46]


  "=Prowesse ke avoit fait ami
  De Guilleme de Latimier
  Ke la crois patee de or mier
  Portoit en rouge bien portraite
  Sa baniere ot cele parte traite.="]

'Prowess had made a friend of William le Latimer, who bore on this
occasion a well-proportioned banner, with a gold cross patée, pourtrayed
on red.'[47]

  "=Johans de Beauchamp proprement
  Portoit le baniere de vair
  Au douz tens et au sovest aier.="

  'John de Beauchamp
    Handsomely bore his banner of vair,
    To the gentle weather and south-west air.'[48]

The best authorities are agreed that coat-armour did not become hereditary
until the reign of Henry III and his successor. Before that period
families "kept no constant coat, but gave now this, anon that, sometimes
their paternal, sometimes their maternal or adopted coats, a variation
causing much obfuscation in history."[49] Many of the nobility who had
heretofore borne ensigns consisting of the honorable ordinaries, the
simplest figures of heraldry, now began to charge them with other figures.
Some few families, however, never adopted what are called common charges,
but retained the oldest and simplest forms of bearing, such as bends,
cheverons, fesses, barry, paly, chequy, &c.; and, as a general rule, such
coats may be regarded as the most antient in existence. With respect to
Welsh heraldry, Dallaway thinks that the families of that province did not
adopt the symbols made use of by other nations, until its annexation to
the English Crown by Edward I. Certain it is that many of the oldest
families bear what may be termed legendary pictures, having little or no
analogy to the more systematic armory of England; such, for example, as a
wolf issuing from a cave; a cradle under a tree with a child guarded by a
goat, &c.

The reigns of Edward III and Richard II were the "palmy days" of heraldry.
Then were the banners and escocheons of war refulgent with blazon; the
light of every chancel and hall was stained with the tinctures of
heraldry; the tiled pavement vied with the fretted roof; every corbel,
every vane, spoke proudly of the achievements of the battle-field, and
filled every breast with a lofty emulation of the deeds which earned such
stately rewards. We, the men of this calculating and prosaic nineteenth
century, have, it is probable, but a faint idea of the influence which
heraldry exerted on the minds of our rude forefathers of that chivalrous
age: but we can hardly refuse to admit that, by diffusing more widely the
enthusiasm of martial prowess, it lent a powerful aid to the formation of
our national character, and strongly tended to give to England that proud
military ascendancy she has long enjoyed among the nations of the

[Illustration: (Ordeal Combat.)]

At this period that peculiar species of ordeal, TRIAL BY COMBAT, the
prototype of the modern duel, was licensed by the supreme magistrate. When
a person was accused by another without any further evidence than the mere
_ipse dixit_ of the accuser, the defendant making good his own cause by
strongly denying the fact, the matter was referred to the decision of the
sword,[51] and although the old proverb that "might overcomes right" was
frequently verified in these encounters, the vanquished party was adjudged
guilty of the crime alleged against him, and dealt with according to law.
The charge usually preferred was that of treason, though the dispute
generally originated in private pique between the parties. These combats
brought together immense numbers of people. That between Sir John Annesley
and Katrington, in the reign of Richard II, was fought before the palace
at Westminster, and attracted more spectators than the king's coronation
had done.[52] All such encounters were regulated by laws which it was the
province of the heralds to enforce.[53]

The TOURNAMENT, though proscribed by churchmen (jealous, as Dallaway
observes, of _shows_ in which they could play no part), had nothing in it
of the objectionable character attaching to the judicial combat. Nor will
it suffer, in the judgment of Gibbon, on a comparison with the Olympic
games, "which, however recommended by the idea of classic antiquity, must
yield to a Gothic tournament, as being, in every point of view, to be
preferred by impartial taste."[54] Descriptions of tournaments occur in so
many popular works that it is not here necessary to do more than to refer
to them. The vivid picture of one by Sir Walter Scott in 'Ivanhoe' is
probably fresh in the reader's memory.

As early heraldry consisted of very simple elements, it cannot excite
surprise that the same bearings were frequently adopted by different
families unknown to each other; hence arose very violent disputes and
controversies, as to whom the prior right belonged. The celebrated case of
Scrope against Grosvenor in the reign of Richard II, may be cited as an
example. The arms _Azure, a bend or_, were claimed by no less than three
families, namely, Carminow of Cornwall, Lord Scrope, and Sir Robert
Grosvenor. On the part of Scrope, it was asserted that these arms had been
borne by his family from the Norman conquest. Carminow pleaded a higher
antiquity, and declared they had been used by _his_ ancestors ever since
the days of king Arthur! The trial by combat had been resorted to by these
two claimants without a satisfactory decision, wherefore it was decreed
that both should continue to bear the coat as heretofore. The dispute
between Scrope and Grosvenor was not so summarily disposed of; a trial,
not by the sword, but by legal process, took place before the high
Constables and the Earl Marshal, and lasted five years. The proceedings,
which were printed in 1831 from the records in the Tower, occupy two large
volumes! The depositions of many gentlemen bearing arms, touching this
controversy, are given at full length, and present us with some curious
and characteristic features of the times. Among many others who gave
evidence in support of the claims of Lord Scrope was the famous Chaucer.
His deposition, taken from the above records, and printed in Sir Harris
Nicolas's elegant life of the poet, recently published, is interesting, no
less from its connexion with the witness than for its curiosity in
relation to our subject:

    "Geoffrey Chaucer, Esquire, of the age of forty and upwards, armed for
    twenty-seven years, produced on behalf of Sir Richard Scrope, sworn
    and examined. Asked, whether the arms _Azure, a bend or_, belonged, or
    ought to belong, to the said Sir Richard? Said, Yes, for he saw him so
    armed in France, before the town of Retters,[55] and Sir Henry Scrope
    armed in the same arms with a white label, and with a banner; and the
    said Richard, armed in the entire arms, 'Azure, with a bend or;' and
    so he had seen him armed during the whole expedition, until the said
    Geoffrey was taken [prisoner.] Asked, how he knew that the said arms
    appertained to the said Sir Richard? Said, that he had heard say from
    Old Knights and Esquires, that they had been reputed to be their arms,
    as common fame and the public voice proved; and he also said that they
    had continued their possession of the said arms; and that all his time
    he had seen the said arms _in banners, glass, paintings, and
    vestments_, and commonly called the arms of Scrope. Asked, if he had
    heard any one say who was the first ancestor of the said Sir Richard,
    who first bore the said arms? Said, No, nor had he ever heard
    otherwise than that they were come of antient ancestry and old gentry,
    and used the said arms. Asked, if he had heard any one say how long a
    time the ancestors of the said Sir Richard had used the said arms?
    Said, No, but he had heard say that it passed the memory of man.
    Asked, whether he had ever heard of any interruption or challenge made
    by Sir Robert Grosvenor, or by his ancestors, or by any one in his
    name, to the said Sir Richard, or to any of his ancestors? Said, No,
    but he said that he was once in Friday-street in London, and as he was
    walking in the street he saw hanging a new sign made of the said arms,
    and he asked what Inn that was that had hung out these arms of
    _Scrope_? and one answered him and said, No, Sir, they are not hung
    out for the arms of Scrope, nor painted there for those arms, but they
    are painted and put there by a knight of the county of Chester, whom
    men call Sir Robert Grosvenor; and that was the first time he ever
    heard speak of Sir Robert Grosvenor or of his ancestors, or of any
    other bearing the name of Grosvenor."[56]

At this date the nobility claimed, and to a considerable extent exercised,
the right of conferring arms upon their followers for faithful services in
war. A memorable instance is related by Froissart, in which the Lord
Audley, a famous general at the battle of Poictiers, rewarded four of his
esquires in this manner. When the battle was over, Edward the Black
Prince, calling for this nobleman, embraced him and said, "Sir James, both
I myself and all others acknowledge you, in the business of the day, to
have been the best doer in arms; wherefore, with intent to furnish you the
better to pursue the wars, I retain you for ever my knight, with 500 marks
yearly revenue, which I shall assign you out of my inheritance in
England." This was, at the period, a great estate, and the Lord Audley
duly appreciated the generosity of the donation; yet, calling to mind his
obligations in the conflict to his four squires, Delves, Mackworth,
Hawkeston, and Foulthurst, he immediately divided the Prince's gift among
them, giving them, at the same time, permission to bear his own arms,
altered in detail, for the sake of distinction. When the prince heard of
this noble deed he was determined not to be outdone in generosity, but
insisted upon Audley's accepting a further grant of 600 marks per annum,
arising out of his duchy of Cornwall.

The arms of Lord Audley were GULES, FRETTY OR, and those of the four
valiant esquires, as borne for many generations by their respective
descendants, in the counties of Chester and Rutland, as follows:

    DELVES. Argent, a cheveron _gules, fretty or_, between three delves or
    billets sable.

    MACKWORTH. Party per pale indented, ermine and sable, a cheveron
    _gules, fretty or_.

    HAWKESTONE. Ermine, a fesse, _gules, fretty or_, between three hawks.
    The hawks were in later times omitted.

    FOULTHURST. _Gules, fretty or_, a chief ermine.[57]

Another interesting instance of the granting of arms to faithful
retainers, occurs in a deed from William, Baron of Graystock, to Adam de
Blencowe, of Blencowe, in Cumberland, who had fought under his banners at
Cressy and Poictiers: "To ALL to whom these presents shall come to be seen
or heard, William, Baron of Graystock, Lord of Morpeth, wisheth health in
the Lord. Know ye that I have given and granted to Adam de Blencowe, an
escocheon sable, with a bend closetted, argent and azure, with three
chaplets, gules; and with a crest closetted argent and azure of my arms;
_to have and to hold_ to the said Adam and his heirs for ever; and I, the
said William and my heirs will warrant to the said Adam the arms
aforesaid. In witness whereof, I have to these letters patent set my seal.
Written at the castle of Morpeth, the 26th day of February, in the 30th
year of the reign of King Edward III, after the Conquest."[58]

The practice of devising armorial bearings by will is as antient as the
time of Richard II. In some cases they were also transferred _by deed of
gift_. In the 15th year of the same reign Thomas Grendall, of Fenton,
makes over to Sir William Moigne, to have and to hold to himself, his
heirs and assigns for ever, the arms which had escheated to him (Grendall)
at the death of his cousin, John Beaumeys, of Sawtrey.[59]

Notwithstanding the numerous traditions relative to the granting of arms
by monarchs in very early times, it seems to have been the _general_
practice before the reigns of Richard II and Henry IV for persons of rank
to assume what ensigns they chose.[60] But these monarchs, regarding
themselves as the true "fountains of honour," granted or took them away by
royal edict. The exclusive right of the king to this privilege was long
called in question, and Dame Julyan Berners, so late as 1486, declares
that "armys bi a mannys auctorite taken (if an other man have not borne
theym afore) be of strength enogh." The same gallant lady boldly
challenges the right of heralds: "And it is the opynyon of moni men that
an herod of armis may gyve armys. Bot I say if any sych armys be borne ...
thoos armys be of no more auctorite then thoos armys the wich be taken by
a mannys awne auctorite."

So strictly was the use of coat-armour limited to the military profession,
that a witness in a certain cause in the year 1408, alleged that, although
descended from noble blood, he had no armorial bearings, because neither
himself nor his ancestors had ever been engaged in war.[61]


It was in the reign of the luxurious Richard II that heraldric devices
began to be displayed upon the civil as well as the military costume of
the great; "upon the mantle, the surcoat and the just-au-corps or boddice,
the charge and cognizance of the wearer were profusely scattered, and
shone resplendent in tissue and beaten gold."[62] Hitherto the escocheon
had been charged with the hereditary (paternal) bearing only, but now the
practice of impaling the wife's arms, and quartering those of the mother,
when an heiress, became the fashion. Impalement was sometimes performed by
placing the dexter half of the lord's shield in juxta-position with the
sinister moiety of his consort's;[63] but this mode of marshalling
occasioned great confusion, entirely destroying the character of both
coats,[64] and was soon abandoned in favour of the present mode of placing
the full arms of both parties side by side in the escocheon. Occasionally
the shield was divided horizontally, the husband's coat occupying the
chief or upper compartment, and the wife's the base or lower half; but
this was never a favourite practice, as the side-by-side arrangement was
deemed better fitted to express the equality of the parties in the
marriage relation.

The practice of impaling official with personal arms, for instance, those
of a bishopric with those of the bishop, does not appear to be of great
antiquity. Provosts, mayors, the kings of arms, heads of houses, and
certain professors in the universities, among others, possess this right;
and it is the general practice to cede the dexter, or more honourable half
of the shield to the coat of office.

Nisbet mentions a fashion formerly prevalent in Spain, which certainly
ranks under the category of 'Curiosities,' and therefore demands a place
here. Single women frequently divided their shield per pale, placing their
paternal arms on the sinister side, and leaving the dexter _blank_, for
those of their husbands, as soon as they should be so fortunate as to
obtain them. This, says mine author, "was the custom _for young ladies
that were resolved to marry_!"[65] These were called "Arms of


The gorgeous decoration of the male costume with the ensigns of heraldry
soon attracted the attention and excited the emulation of that sex which
is generally foremost in the adoption of personal ornaments. Yes,
incongruous as the idea appears to modern dames, the ladies too assumed
the embroidered _coat of arms_! On the vest or close-fitting garment they
represented the paternal arms, repeating the same ornament, if _femmes
soles_, or single women, on the more voluminous upper robe; but if married
women, this last was occupied by the arms of the husband, an arrangement
not unaptly expressing their condition as _femmes-covertes_. This mode of
wearing the arms was afterwards laid aside, and the ensigns of husband and
wife were impaled on the outer garment, a fashion which existed up to the
time of Henry VIII, as appears from the annexed engraving of Elizabeth,
wife of John Shelley, Esq.[67] copied from a brass in the parish church
of Clapham, co. Sussex. The arms represented are those of Shelley and
Michelgrove, otherwise Fauconer; both belonging, it will be seen, to the
class called canting or allusive arms; those of Shelley being
welk-_shells_, and those of Fauconer, a _falcon_.

Quartering is a division of the shield into four or more equal parts, by
means of which the arms of other families, whose heiresses the ancestors
of the bearer have married, are combined with his paternal arms; and a
shield thus quartered exhibits at one view the ensigns of all the houses
of which he is the representative. In modern times this _cumulatio
armorum_ is occasionally carried to such an extent that upwards of a
hundred coats centre in one individual, and may be represented upon his
shield.[68] The arms of England and France upon the great seal of Edward
III, and those of Castile and Leon in the royal arms of Spain, are early
examples of quartering. The first English subject who quartered arms was
John Hastings, Earl of Pembroke, in the fourteenth century.

In this century originated the practice of placing the shield between two
animals as supporters, for which see a future chapter.

The application of heraldric ornaments to household furniture and
implements of war is of great antiquity. I have now before me the brass
pommel of a sword on which are three triangular shields, two of them
charged with a lion rampant, the other with an eagle displayed. This
relic, which was dug up near Lewes castle, is conjectured to be of the
reign of Henry III.[69] Arms first occur on coins in one of Edmund, King
of Sicily, in the thirteenth century; but the first English monarch who so
used them was Edward III. The first supporters on coins occur in the reign
of Henry VIII, whose 'sovereign' is thus decorated. Arms upon tombs are
found so early as 1144.[70]

Among the 'curiosities' of heraldry belonging to these early times may be
mentioned _adumbrated_ charges; that is, figures represented in outline
with the colour of the field showing through; because the bearers, having
lost their patrimonies, retained only the _shadow_ of their former state
and dignity.[71]

Monasteries and other religious foundations generally bore arms, which
were almost uniformly those of the founders, or a slight modification of
them.[72] Dallaway traces this usage to the knights-templars and
hospitallers who were both soldiers and ecclesiastics. The arms assigned
to most cities and antient boroughs are borrowed from those of early
feudal lords: thus the arms of the borough of Lewes are the chequers of
the Earls of Warren, to whom the barony long appertained, with a canton of
the lion and cross-crosslets of the Mowbrays, lords of the town in the
fourteenth century. Some of the quaint devices which pass for the arms of
particular towns have nothing heraldric about them, and seem to have
originated in the caprice of the artists who engraved their seals. Such
for example is the design which the good townsmen of Guildford are
pleased to call their arms. This consists of a green mount rising out of
the water, and supporting an odd-looking castle, whose two towers are
ornamented with high steeples, surmounted with balls; from the centre of
the castle springs a lofty tower, with three turrets, and ornamented with
the arms of England and France. Over the door are two roses, and in the
door a key, the said door being guarded by a lion-couchant, while high on
each side the castle is a pack of wool gallantly floating through the air!
What this assemblage of objects may signify I do not pretend to guess.

Persons of the middle class, not entitled to coat-armour, invented certain
arbitrary signs called =Merchants' Marks=, and these often occur in the
stonework and windows of old buildings, and upon tombs. Piers Plowman, who
wrote in the reign of Edward III, speaks of "merchauntes' markes ymedeled"
in glass. Sometimes these marks were impaled with the paternal arms of
aristocratic merchants, as in the case of John Halle, a wealthy
woolstapler of Salisbury, rendered immortal by the Rev. Edward Duke in his
'Prolusiones Historicæ.' The early printers and painters likewise adopted
similar marks, which are to be seen on their respective works.[73] A rude
monogram seems to have been attempted, and it was generally accompanied
with a cross, and, occasionally, a hint at the inventor's peculiar
pursuit, as in the cut here given, where the staple at the bottom refers
to the worthy John Halle's having been a merchant of the staple. The
heralds objected to such marks being placed upon a shield, for, says the
writer of Harl. MS. 2252 (fol. 10), "=Theys be none Armys=, for every man
may take hym a marke, but not armys without a herawde or purcyvaunte;" and
in "The duty and office of an herald," by F. Thynne, Lancaster Herald,
1605, the officer is directed "to prohibit merchants and others to put
their names, marks, or devices, in escutcheons or shields, which belong to
gentlemen bearing arms and none others."


At the commencement of the fifteenth century considerable confusion seems
to have arisen from upstarts having assumed the arms of antient
families--a fact which shows that armorial bearings began to be considered
the indispensable accompaniment of wealth. So great had this abuse become
that, in the year 1419, it was deemed necessary to issue a royal mandate
to the sheriff of every county "to summon all persons bearing arms to
prove their right to them," a task of no small difficulty, it may be
presumed, in many cases. Many of the claims then made were referred to the
heralds as commissioners, "but the first regular chapter held by them in a
collective capacity was at the siege of Rouen, in 1420."[74]

The first _King of Arms_ was William Bruges, created by Henry V. Several
grants of arms made by him from 1439 to 1459 are recorded in the College
of Arms.

During the sanguinary struggle between the Houses of Lancaster and York
"arms were universally used, and most religiously and pertinaciously
maintained." Sometimes, however, when the different branches of a family
espoused opposing interests they varied their arms either in the charges
or colours, or both. The antient family of Lower of Cornwall originally
bore "... a cheveron between three _red_ roses," but espousing, it is
supposed, the Yorkist, or white-rose side of the question, they changed
the tincture of their arms to "sable, a cheveron between three _white_
roses,"[75] the coat borne by their descendants to this day. The interest
taken by the Cornish gentry in these civil dissensions may account for the
frequency of the rose in the arms of Cornwall families. The _red rose_ in
the centre of the arms of Lord Abergavenny was placed there by his
ancestor, Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, "better known as the
king-maker," "to show himself the faithful homager and soldier of the
House of Lancaster."[76]

The non-heraldric reader will require a definition of what, in the
technical phrase of blazon, are called =differences=. These are certain
marks, smaller than ordinary charges, placed upon a conspicuous part of
the shield for the purpose of distinguishing the sons of a common parent
from each other. Thus, the eldest son bears a label; the second a
crescent; the third a mullet; the fourth a martlet; the fifth an annulet;
and the sixth a fleur-de-lis. The arms of the six sons of Thomas
Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, who died 30{o} Edward III, were, in the window
of St. Mary's Church, Warwick, _differenced_ in this manner.[77] These
distinctions are carried still further, for the sons of a second son bear
the label, crescent, mullet, &c. upon a crescent; those of a third son the
same upon a mullet, respectively. In the third generation the mark of
cadency is again superimposed upon the two preceding differences,
producing, at length, unutterable confusion. Dugdale published a work, in
1682, on the differences of arms, in which he condemns this system, and
suggests a return to the antient mode, which consisted in varying the
colours and charges of the field, though preserving the general
characteristics of the hereditary bearing. For example, Beauchamp of
Elmley branched out into four lines; the eldest line bore the paternal
arms, _Gules a fess, or_; the other three superadded to this bearing a
charge _or_, six times repeated, namely,

  II, Beauchamp of Abergavenny, 6 cross-crosslets
  III, Beauchamp of Holt,       6 billets, and
  IV, Beauchamp of Bletshoe,    6 martlets,


and among the further ramifications of the family we find

  V, Beauchamp of Essex        6 trefoils slipped
  VI, Beauchamp of ----        6 mullets
  VII, Beauchamp of ----       6 pears,

and upwards of ten other coats, all preserving the field gules and the
fess or. The Bassets, according to the Ashmolean MSS.[78] varied their
coat 7 times, the Lisles 4, the Nevilles 11, and the Braoses 5.

An interesting example of early differencing is cited by Sir Harris
Nicolas, in his 'Roll of Carlaverok.'[79] In the early part of the
fourteenth century--


             {Alan le Zouche bore Gules, besanté Or
    Barons.  {William le Zouche, of Haryngworth       a quarter ermine

                                    the same with
             {Sir William Zouche                      a label azure
    Knights. {Sir Oliver Zouche                       a cheveron erm.
             {Sir Amory Zouche                        a bend argent
             {Sir Thomas Zouche                       on a quarter
                                                        argent, a mullet

Surnames in these early times were in a very unsettled state, for the
younger branches of a family, acquiring new settlements by marriage and
otherwise, abandoned their patronymics, and adopted new ones derived from
the seignories so acquired.[80] Hence it often happens that arms are
identical or similar, when the relationship is not recognized by identity
of appellation.

Illegitimate children generally bore the paternal ensigns differenced by
certain _brizures_. Thus John de Beaufort, eldest natural son of John of
Gaunt, bore _Per pale argent and azure_ [blue and white being the
_colours_ of the House of Lancaster] _on a bend gules, three lions
passant-guardant or_ [the royal arms of England] _in the upper part of
the bend a label azure, charged with nine fleur-de-lis or_.[81] The arms
borne in the usual manner were often surrounded with a bordure to indicate
bastardy; of this mode of differencing several examples are furnished in
the arms of existing peers descended from royalty. Some of the descendants
of Henry Beaufort, third duke of Somerset, placed the Beaufort arms upon a
fesse, and numerous similar instances might be adduced.

The mode of differencing by alterations, or the addition of new charges,
however commended by Dugdale and other great names, is certainly exposed
to the same objection as the use of the label, crescent, mullet, &c., as
tending equally to confusion; for, with the addition of cross-crosslets,
billets, &c., to the primary charge of the Beauchamps, no herald will dare
assert that the original arms are preserved. It is a canon of heraldry
that "Omnia arma arithmeticis figuris sunt simillima, quibus si quid addas
vel subtrahas non remanet eadem species." Every alteration, however
slight, produces a new coat, and thus the principal advantage of coat
armour--its hereditary character--is sacrificed. In fact, a coat of arms
is the symbol of a generic, or family, name, and it is not within the
compass of the heraldric art to particularize individual branches and
members of a family by any additions or changes whatever, at least to any
great extent.[82]

"The numerous class of men who were termed =Armigeri=, or gentry of
coat-armour," observes Dallaway, "very generally took, with a small
variation, the escocheon of that feudal lord whose property and influence
extended over that province which they inhabited," and Camden, in his
'Remaines,' says, "Whereas the earles of Chester bare garbes or
wheat-sheafes, many gentlemen of that countrey took wheatsheafes. Whereas
the old earles of Warwicke bare chequy or and azure, a cheueron ermin,
many thereabout tooke ermine and chequy. In Leicestershire and the
countrey confining diuers bare cinquefoyles, for that the ancient earles
of Leicester bare geules, a cinquefoyle ermine, &c." This was a fertile
source of new bearings.

Sometimes, in the absence of other evidence of one family's having been
feudally dependent upon another, presumptive proof is furnished by a
similarity between the arms. I subjoin an instance. The coat of the
baronial family of Echingham of Echingham, co. Sussex, was 'AZURE A FRET


The arms of Jefferay, of Chiddingly, in the same county, were '_Azure
fretty or_' (with the addition of a lion passant-guardant, gules, on a
chief argent), and the crest, _A lion's head_ erased _argent_, ducally
crowned azure. The first settlement of the Jefferays was at Betchington,
co. Sussex, an estate which had previously belonged to the lords
Echingham, but there is no proof of the feudal connexion except that which
is furnished by a comparison of the arms.

Richard III greatly promoted the cause of Heraldry in England by the
erection of the heralds into the corporate body which still exists under
the designation of the =College of Arms=. This epoch may be considered the
noonday of the history of armory in England; and as two subsequent
chapters of this volume, devoted respectively to the history of that
institution, and to notices of celebrated writers on heraldry, will bring
down the annals of the science to our own times, "I here make an end" of a
chapter which I trust may not have been found totally devoid of interest
to any reader who loves to trace the records of the past.



Rationale of Heraldic Charges, etc.

[Illustration: (Arms of the See of Chichester)]

    "The Formes of the pure celestiall bodies mixt with grosse
    terrestrials; earthly animals with watery; sauage beasts with tame;
    whole-footed beasts with diuided; reptiles with things gressible;
    fowles of prey with home-bred; these again with riuer fowles; aery
    insecta with earthly; also things naturall with artificiall; arts
    liberall with mechanicall; military with rusticall; and rusticall with
    ciuil. Which confused mixture hath not a little discouraged many
    persons--otherwise well affected to the study of Armory--and impaired
    the estimation of the profession."


Dictionaries of the technical terms employed in heraldry are so common,
and the elements of the science so well explained in various popular
treatises,[83] that it would be impertinent in an essay like the present
to go into all the details usually comprised in those useful books of
reference. Still it may interest the general reader, and will, I trust,
give no offence to adepts in the science, if I offer a few observations on
this subject, with illustrations from our old writers, adding some
etymological conjectures of my own.

The origin of the expression 'a coat of arms' we have already seen, as
also the cause why heraldric ensigns are borne upon a shield. Shields have
been made of every imaginable shape according to the taste of the age or
the fancy of the bearer, with these two restrictions, that the shields of
knights-bannerets must be square, and those of ladies in the form of a
lozenge. The most usual, because the most convenient, shape is that which
is technically called the _heater_-shield--from its resemblance to the
heater of an iron--with some slight variations. Our friend Sylvanus
Morgan, whose ingenuity all must admire, in defiance of the oft-quoted

  "=When Adam digged and Eve span,
  Who was then the Gentleman?="

deduces this shape for men, and that of the lozenge for women, from the
_spade_ of Adam, and the _spindle_ of Eve!


The ground or field of every coat of arms must be either of metal, colour,
or fur. The METALS of heraldry are, Or==gold, and argent==silver, and as
the shield of war was antiently of metal, either embossed or enamelled,
the retention of the two precious metals as the field of an escocheon is
easily accounted for. The COLOURS are gules, azure, vert, purpure, sable,
tenne, and sanguine. While some of these terms are French; others, though
coming to us through that medium, are originally from other languages.
GULES, according to Ducange, is _goulis_, _guelle_, _gula_ sive _guella_,
the red colour of the mouth or throat of an animal. Mackenzie derives it
from the Hebrew _gulude_, a piece of red cloth, or from the Arabic _gule_,
a red rose. _Ghul_ in the Persian signifies rose-coloured, and _Ghulistan_
is 'the country of roses.' It is probably one of those importations from
the East which the Crusades introduced, both into the elements of armory
and the nomenclature of the science. It was sometimes called _vermeil_[84]
(vermilion) and _rouget_. An antient knight is represented as bearing a
plain red banner without any charge:

  "Mais Eurmenions de la Brette
  La baniere eut _toute rougecte_."[85]

The barbarous term _blodius_ was likewise occasionally used to express
this colour.

AZURE==light-blue, is a French corruption of the Arabic word _lazur_ or
_lazuli_. The lapis lazuli is a copper ore, very compact and hard, which
is found in detached lumps, of an elegant blue colour, and to it the
artist is indebted for his beautiful ultra-marine. This colour, still one
of the dearest of pigments, was antiently in great request, and called
'beyond-sea azure.'[86] The lapis lazuli is found in Persia, Bucharia, and

VERT (French) is light green. This word was applied at an early period
"to every thing," says Cowell, "that grows and bears a _green_ leaf within
the forest that may cover and hide a deer." Vert and venison, in the
vocabulary of woodcraft, were as inseparable as shadow and substance. _To
vert_ signified to enter the forest, as in an old song of the thirteenth

  "Sumer is i-cumen in,
  Lhude sing cuccu;
  Groweth sed and bloweth med,
  And springeth the wde nu.
                        =Sing Cuccu, Cuccu!=

  Awe bleteth after lomb,
  Lhouth after calvé cu,
  Bulluc sterteth,
  Bucke VERTETH,
                        =Murie sing Cuccu=," etc.

This colour was antiently called _synople_, and in the Boke of St. Albans
_synobylt_, a word which Colombiere derives from the Latin _sinopis_, a
dyeing mineral,[87] or from Synople, a town in the Levant, whence a green
dye was procured.

Of SABLE the derivation is very uncertain. It seems unlikely to have been
taken from the colour of the diminutive animal now known by this name,
first, because it would then rank under the category of _furs_; and,
secondly, because that animal is far from black. Indeed, the best sable is
of a light brown or sand colour. Dallaway quotes a line, however, which
might be adduced in support of this derivation:

  "Sables, ermines, vair et gris."

Guillim derives it from _sabulum_, gross sand or gravel, but this seems
very improbable, although I have nothing better to substitute. It is
curious that 'sable' and 'azure' should have been selected from the
'jargon' of heraldry for poetical use, to the exclusion of other similar

  "By this the drooping daylight 'gan to fade,
    And yield his room to sad succeeding night,
  Who with her _sable_ mantle 'gan to shade
    The face of earth, and ways of living wight."
                                      _Faerie Queen._

          "Thus replies
  Minerva, graceful, with her _azure_ eyes."

PURPURE (purple) is not common in English armory: still less so are the
_stainant_ or disgraceful colours, TENNY (orange) and MURREY, which Dr.
Johnson defines as "darkly red," deriving it through the French _morée_,
and the Italian _morello_. The fine cherry designated by this last word
is, when ripe, of the exact colour intended by murrey. Bacon says, "Leaves
of some trees turn a little _murrey_, or reddish;" and "a waistcoat of
_murrey_-coloured satin" occurs in the writings of Arbuthnot.

By these terms were the arms of gentlemen described; but for the arms of
nobility they were not sufficiently lofty. These were blazoned by the
precious stones, as _topaz_ for yellow, _ruby_ for red, &c. For the arms
of princes it was necessary to go a step higher, namely, to the heavenly
bodies, _Sol_, _Luna_, _Mars_, &c. Sir John Ferne enumerates several other
sets of terms, in all thirteen, which he classifies thus: 1, planets; 2,
precious stones; 3, vertues; 4, celestiall signes; 5, months; 6, days of
the week; 7, ages of man; 8, flowers; 9, elements; 10, sesons of the yeer;
11, complexions; 12, numbers; 13, mettailes. What would those who are
disgusted with the 'jargon' of our science say to such blazon as the

  He beareth _Sunday_, a lion rampant _Tuesday_.
  He beareth _Faith_, a wolf salient _Loyalty_.
  He beareth _Marigold_, a bear passant, _Blue Lily_, muzzled _White Rose_.
  He beareth, _Infancy_, three grasshoppers _Virility_.
  He beareth, _Melancholy_, three asses' heads, _Flegmatique_!

I must confess that, in the course of my heraldric reading, I have never
met with blazon of this singular description, but Ferne assures his reader
that it may be his fortune "to light upon such phantasticall termes," and
he gives an historical and philosophical account of their origin. So
recently as the last century the planets and gems were used in royal and
noble armory, but of late good taste has limited blazon to the
first-mentioned and most simple set of terms in all cases.


The _furs_ are ermine, ermines, erminois, erminites, pean, vair, and
potent counter-potent. They are all said to be indicative of dignity. In
armorial painting their effect is very rich. ERMINE, which may be taken as
the type of the five first mentioned, is represented by three spots placed
triangularly, and three hairs in black upon a white ground. It is intended
to represent the black tail of a species of weasel fixed upon the white
skin of the animal. Guillim[88] gives a coat, containing six _whole
ermines_, as represented in the margin. Sir G. Mackenzie informs us that
"the first user of this fur in arms was Brutus, the son of Silvius, who
having by accident killed his father, left that unhappie ground, and
travelling in Bretaigne in France, fell asleep, and when he awoke he found
this little beast upon his shield, and from that time wore a shield
ermine!" This fur is said to have been introduced into England by Alan,
Earl of Richmond, so created by William the Conqueror. The ermine
(_mustela erminea_) is found in all the northern regions of the old
continent, and as far southward as Persia and China. It was originally
brought into western Europe from Armenia, then called _Ermonie_, whence
its name. Chaucer employs _ermin_ for the adjective Armenian. VAIRE is
composed of miniature shields of blue and white alternately placed.
According to Mackenzie it represents the skin of a small quadruped called
_varus_, the back of which is of a bluish grey, and the belly white; and
Guillim adds that when the head and feet of the animal are cut off from
the skin, the latter resembles the figure of vaire used in heraldry. The
costly fur so much spoken of by our old poets under the name of _miniver_
is derived by Dallaway from the French _menu vair_, on account of its
smallness and delicacy. The old French _vairon_ signifies anything of two
colours, and may possibly be the etymon of _vaire_.

[Illustration: (Temp Edw. I.) Arms of Sackville.]

POTENT-COUNTER-POTENT, literally "crutch-opposite-crutch," resembles the
tops of crutches counter-placed. What the origin of this figure may have
been does not appear, although the word potent, in the sense of crutch,
was common in the days of Chaucer.

  "When luste of youth wasted be and spent,
  Then in his hand he takyth a _potent_."

And again,

  "So eld she was that she ne went
  A foote, but it were by potent."
                              _Romaunt of the Rose._

[Illustration: ("Gules, a bend argent")]

Having thus taken a glance at the field, or ground of the heraldric
shield, let us next briefly notice what are called the honourable
ordinaries, one or other of which occurs in the great majority of arms,
CHEVERON, and PILE. The =chief= is a fifth part of the shield nearest the
top; _unde nomen_. In the primitive bearings, which were literally coats,
or rather mantles of arms, the chief might be formed by turning the upper
part of the garment back in form of a collar, thus exposing the lining,
which doubtless was often of a different colour from the mantle itself. A
knight who might chance at a tournament to wear a scarlet mantle lined
with white, would in this manner acquire as arms, 'Gules, a chief argent.'
The =bend= is a stripe passing diagonally across the shield from the
dexter corner; (and the =bend-sinister=, the contrary way,) and is,
etymologically, the same word with the French _bande_ and Saxon band.[89]
This ordinary evidently represents a band or scarf worn over one shoulder,
and passing under the opposite arm, and is well exemplified in the white
belt worn by a soldier over his red coat. Of a similar origin is the
=fesse=, a horizontal stripe across the middle of the shield, which
represents a sash or military girdle. The term is evidently derived from
the Latin _fascia_, through the French _fasce_. The =pale= is like the
fesse, except that its direction is perpendicular. From its name it has
been supposed to represent the _pales_, or palisades of a camp, and in
support of this origin it has been remarked that, in antient warfare,
every soldier was obliged to carry a pale, and to fix it as the lines were
drawn for the security of the camp. This hypothesis seems to be one of
those _after-thoughts_ with which heraldric theories abound. There is no
doubt that most armorial _forms_ existed long before the invention of
blazon, and that when it was found necessary to give every figure its
distinctive appellation, the real origin of many bearings had been lost
sight of, and the names assigned them were those of objects they were
_conjectured_ to represent.

It is far more probable that this ordinary originated in the insertion of
a perpendicular stripe of a different colour from the mantle itself, an
idea which is supported by the fact that the pale occupies in breadth a
third of the escocheon. Two breadths of blue cloth divided by one of
yellow, would produce a blazonable coat, '_Azure, a pale or_.' When a
shield is divided into several horizontal stripes of alternate colours it
is called _barry_; when the stripes run perpendicularly it is said to be
_paly_; and when they take a diagonal direction it is styled _bendy_. The
love of a striking contrast of colours in costume is characteristic of a
semi-barbarous state of society, and the shawls and robes of the orientals
of the present day afford a good illustration of the origin of these
striped bearings.[90] Such vestments were not peculiar to the military,
with whom we must always associate the heraldry of the earliest times;
for, so lately as the time of Chaucer, they were the favourite fashion of
civilians. This author, in his 'Parson's Tale,' makes that worthy
ecclesiastic complain of the "sinful costly array of clothing in the
embrouding, the disguising, indenting or _barring_, ounding, _paling_,
winding or _bending_, and semblable waste of cloth in vanity."[91]

Arms divided into two compartments by a horizontal line are said to be
_parted per fesse_; when the line is perpendicular, _parted per pale_; and
so of the others. Ridiculous as it may seem, our ancestors, from the reign
of Edward II to that of Richard II, affected this kind of dress. In a
contemporary illumination, John of Gaunt is represented in a long robe
divided exactly in half, one side being blue, the other white, the colours
of the House of Lancaster. Chaucer's Parson, just now quoted, inveighs
against the "wrappings of their hose which are departed of two colours,
white and red, white and blue, or black and red," making the wearers seem
as though "the fire of St. Anthony or other such mischance had consumed
one half of their bodies." "These party-coloured hose," humorously remarks
Mr. Planché, "render uncertain the fellowship of the legs, and the common
term _a pair_ perfectly inadmissible." But to return to the honourable
ordinaries. The =cross=. It would not be difficult to fill a volume with
disquisitions upon this bearing, forming, as it does, a prominent feature
in the heraldry of all Christendom; but I must content myself with a
general view, without entering much into detail. The cross, as the symbol
of Christianity, naturally engaged the reverent and affectionate regard of
the early Christians, a feeling which lapsed first into superstition, and
eventually into idolatry. In those chivalrous but ill-directed efforts of
the princes and armies of Christian Europe to gain possession of the Holy
Land, the cross was adopted as the sign or mark of the common cause; it
floated upon the standard, was embroidered upon the robes, and depicted on
the shields of the enthusiastic throng whose campaigns hence took the
designation of _Croisades_, or _Crusades_. On subsequent occasions the
cross was employed in this general manner, especially when the interests
of the church were concerned, as, for instance, at the battle of Lewes in
1264, when the soldiers of the baronial army marked themselves with a
white cross for the purpose of distinguishing each other from the king's
forces.[92] The plain cross, or cross of St. George, is the most antient
form of this bearing; it differed, however, from the form now in use in
having the horizontal bar placed higher than the centre of the upright.
The alteration was doubtless a matter of convenience to allow the common
charges of the field, when any occurred, a more equal space. But the cross
has been so modified by the varying tastes of different ages, that Dame
Juliana Berners, at a time when armory was comparatively simple, declares
that "crossis innumerabull are borne dayli." The principal and most usual
varieties of this ordinary are described in the 'Boke of St. Albans.' One
of the most interesting forms is the _cross fitchée_, or 'fixibyll,'
because being sharpened at the lower end it could be fixed into the
ground, like the little crosses in Catholic cemeteries. It probably
originated in the cross antiently carried by pilgrims, which answered the
purpose of a walking-staff, and served, when occasion required, for the
use of devotion. Next to this may be reckoned the _cross patée_, the
_cross-crosslet_, the _cross patonce_, and the _cross moline_, called in
the Boke a "mylneris cros," "for it is made to the similitude of a certain
instrument of yrne in mylnys, the which berith the mylneston."[93] The
plain cross _corded_, or entwined with ropes, was borne, according to the
same authority, in the "armys of a nobull man, the which was some tyme a
crafty man (handicraftsman), a _roper_ as he himself said." These crosses
are fully described in the larger treatises on heraldry, together with
numerous others. Berry's Encyclopædia Heraldica enumerates no less than

[Illustration: Crosslet fitchee patee patonce moline Calvary.]

The =saltire=, popularly called St. Andrew's cross, is formed like two
bends crossing each other in the centre of the escocheon. A great variety
of opinions has existed as to its origin. Some authors take it for an
antient piece of harness attached to the saddle of a horse to enable the
rider, _sauter dessous_, to jump down.[94] Others derive it from an
instrument used _in saltu_, in the forest, for the purpose of taking wild
beasts; but neither of these hypotheses seems very probable. Leigh says,
"This in the old tyme, was of y{e} height of a man, and was borne of such
as used to scale the walls [_saltare in muros_] of towns. For it was
driven full of pinnes necessary to that purpose. And walles of townes were
_then_ but lowe as appeared by the walls of Rome, whiche were suche that
Remus easelye leaped over them. Witnesseth also the same the citie of
Winchester whose walls were overlooked of Colbrande, chieftaine of the
Danes, who were slayne by Guye, Erle of Warwike." The =cheveron=, which
resembles a pair of rafters, is likewise of very uncertain origin. It has
generally been considered as a kind of architectural emblem. Leigh,
speaking of a coat containing three cheveronels, or little cheverons,
says, "The ancestour of this cote hath builded iij greate houses in one
province," and this remark applies with some truth to the Lewkenors of
Sussex, who bore similar arms, though whether assumed from such a
circumstance I cannot ascertain. The =pile= is a wedge-like figure based
upon the edge of the shield, and having its apex inwards. The following
etymons have been suggested: 1, _pilum_, Lat. the head of an arrow; the
Spaniards and Italians call this ordinary _cuspis_. 2, _pile_, French, a
strong pointed timber driven into boggy ground to make a firm foundation.
3, _pied_, French, the foot; in French armory it is called _pieu_. I
cannot admit any of these derivations, though perhaps my own etymon may
not be deemed less irrelevant, viz. _pellis_, the skin of a beast, whence
our English terms pell, pelt, peltry, &c. The skin of a wild beast,
deprived of the head and fore legs, and fastened round the neck by the
hinder ones, would form a rude garment, such as the hunter would consider
an honourable trophy of his skill, and such as the soldier of an
unpolished age would by no means despise; and it would resemble, with
tolerable exactness, the pile of heraldry. The QUARTER is, as the word
implies, a fourth part of the field, differing in tincture from the
remainder; and the CANTON, a smaller quadrangular figure in the dexter, or
sinister, chief of the escocheon, so called from the French _cantoné_,

The following figures rank as sub-ordinaries, viz. _Flasques_, _Flanches_,
the _Fret_, _Border_, _Orle_, _Tressure_, _Gyron_, &c.

FLASQUES, always borne in pairs, are two pieces hollowed out at each side
of the shield: FLANCHES and VOIDERS are modifications of this bearing. The
last, says Leigh,[95] "is the reward of a gentlewoman for service by her
done to the prince or princess." It is not improbable that it was borrowed
from a peculiar fashion in female costume which prevailed temp. Richard
II. Chaucer uses the word _voided_ in the sense of removed, made empty,
and this is probably the origin of the term.


When a shield is divided into eight acute-angled triangles, by lines drawn
perpendicularly, horizontally, and diagonally through the centre, it is
blazoned by the phrase '_gyronny_ of eight,' and so of any other number of
equal partitions of the same form. If one of these triangles occur singly
it is termed a _gyron_. For this term the nomenclature of heraldry is
indebted to the Spanish language, in which it means a gore, gusset, or
triangular piece of cloth. The family of Giron, subsequently ennobled as
Dukes of Ossona, bear three such figures in their arms, from the following
circumstance. Alphonso VI, king of Spain, in a battle with the Moors, had
his horse killed under him, when, being in great personal danger, he was
rescued and remounted by Don Roderico de Cissneres, who, as a memorial of
the event, cut three triangular pieces from his sovereign's mantle, which
being afterwards exhibited to the king, he bestowed on his valiant
follower an adequate reward, and gave him permission to bear three gyrons
as his arms. The English family of Gurr, whose surname was probably
derived from the village of Gueures, near Dieppe, bear 'gyronny ... and
...' as a 'canting' or allusive coat. Some derive this species of bearing
from a kind of patchwork mantle of various colours. Hence, doubtless, also
arose that picturesque species of bearing called _chequy_, consisting of
alternate squares of different tinctures. Chaucer and Spenser use the word
_checkelatoun_; probably in this sense:

  "His robe was _cheque-latoun_."
                                _Knight's Tale._

  "But in a jacket, quilted richly rare
  Upon _checklaton_, was he richly dight."
                                _Faerie Queen._

The chequered dress of the Celtic nations, still retained in the Highland
plaid or tartan, may, in some way, have originated the chequered coat of
heraldry. At all events, this is a more probable source than the
chess-board, from which some writers derive it.

Most of the ordinaries have their diminutives, as the bendlet, the pallet,
the cheveronel, &c. These are usually bounded by straight lines; but the
ordinaries themselves admit of a variety of modifications of outline, as
follows: 1. _Indented_, like the teeth of a saw. According to Upton, this
line represents the teeth of wild beasts, but Dallaway derives it from a
moulding much employed in Saxon architecture. 2. _Crenelle_, or embattled,
like the top of a castle, (Lat. _crena_, a notch.) The 'licentia
crenellare' of the middle ages was the sovereign's permission to his
nobles to embattle or fortify their mansions. 3. _Nebuly_ (nebulosus,)
from its resemblance to clouds. 4. _Wavy_, or undulated. 5. _Dancette_,
like indented, but larger, and consisting of only three pieces. 6.
_Engrailed_, a number of little semi-circles connected in a line, the
points of junction being turned outward. Johnson derives this word from
the French 'grêle,' hail, marked or indented as with hailstones. And 7.
_Invecked_, the same as the last, but reversed.

ROUNDLES are charges, as their name implies, of a circular form. The first
idea of bearing them as charges in heraldry may have been suggested by the
studs or knobs by which the parts of an actual buckler were strengthened
and held together. As soon as blazon was introduced they received
distinctive names, according to their tinctures. The bezant (or) was
supposed to represent a gold coin, in value about a ducat, struck at
Constantinople (Byzantium) in the times of the Crusades. Leigh, however,
assigns it a much greater value, and calls it a talent weighing 104 lbs.
troy, and worth 3750_l._ "Of these beisaunts you shall rede dyversly in
Scripture, as when Salomon had geuen unto Hiram xx cities, he again gave
vnto Salomon 120 _beisaunts_ of gold, whereof these toke their first
name," ('obeisance?') The _plate_ (argent) was probably some kind of
silver coin. The _torteaux_ (red) called in the Boke of S. A. "tortellys,
or litill cakys," are said to be emblematical of plenty, and to represent
a cake of bread. The modern French 'torteau' is applied more exclusively
to a kind of oil-cake of an oblong form used as food for cattle.
'Tortilla,' in Spanish, is a cake compounded of flour and lard. Dame J.
Berners says it should be called _wastel_. 'Wastel-brede' is defined in
the glossary to Chaucer, as bread made of the finest flour, and derived
from the French 'gasteau.' Chaucer represents his Prioresse as keeping
small hounds

                  "that she fedde
  With rosted flesh, and milk and _wastel brede_."
                                        _Prol. Cant. Tales._

_Pommes_ (green), says Dallaway, are berries; but if etymology is worth
anything, they must be apples, and such Leigh calls them. _Hurts_ (blue)
the same authority considers berries, and most heralds have taken them to
be those diminutive things, whortleberries, or as they are called in
Sussex, Cornwall, and Devonshire, 'hurts.' But I am rather inclined with
Leigh to consider them representations of the 'black and _blue_'
contusions resulting from the "clumsy thumps" of war. _Pellets_ or
_Ogresses_ (black) are the 'piletta' or leaden knobs forming the heads of
blunt arrows for killing deer without injuring the skin.[96] _Golpes_
(purple) are wounds, and when they stand five in a shield may have a
religious allusion to the five wounds of Christ. _Oranges_ (tenne) speak
for themselves; and _Guzes_, Leigh says, are eyeballs; but as their colour
is sanguine, or dull red, this seems unlikely.

The _Annulet_ seems to have been taken from the ring armour, much in use
about the period of the Norman Conquest. The _Orle_, or false escocheon,
is merely a band going round the shield at a short distance from the edge:
it was probably borrowed from an antient mode of ornamenting a shield,
serving as a kind of frame to the principal charge. Animals or flowers
disposed round the escocheon in the same form, are also termed an orle.
The _bordure_, or border, explains itself. Like the orle, it was primarily
designed as an ornament. The _lozenge_, derived by Glover from the quarry,
or small pane of glass of this shape, Dallaway thinks originated in the
diamond-shaped cushions which occur on tombs to support the heads of
female effigies, as helmets do those of men. The _mascle_ is taken for the
mesh of a net. When many are united the arms are blazoned _masculy_, and
then represent a rich network thrown over the armour. At the siege of
Carlaverok a certain knight is described as having his armour and
vestments 'masculy or and azure:'

  "Son harnois et son attire
  Avoit masclé de or et de azure."

_Billets_ have been conjectured to be representations of oblong camps, but
from the name they would seem to be _letters_. They may have been
originally assigned to bearers of important despatches. _Guttée_ is the
term applied to a field or charge sprinkled over with drops of gold,
silver, blood, tears, &c. according to the tincture. This kind of bearing
is said to have originated with the Duke of Anjou, King of Sicily, who,
after the loss of that island, appeared at a tournament with a black
shield sprinkled with drops of water, to represent tears, thus indicating
both his grief and his loss.[97] A warrior returning victorious from
battle, with his buckler sprinkled with blood, would, in the early days of
heraldry, readily have adopted the bearing afterwards called 'guttée de
sang.' In those times the besiegers of a fortress were often assailed with
boiling pitch, poured by the besieged through the machicolations of the
wall constructed for such purposes. Splashes of this pitch falling upon
some besieger's shield, in all probability gave the first idea of 'guttée
de poix.' The _fusil_ is like the lozenge, but narrower. Whatever the
charge may mean, the name is evidently a corruption of the Fr. _fuseau_, a
spindle. The _fret_ may have been borrowed from the architectural
ornaments of the interior of a roof, or more probably, from a knotted
cord. It is sometimes called =Harington's Knot=, though it is not
peculiar to the arms of that family, for it was also borne by the baronial
races of Echingham, Audley, and Verdon, and by many other families.[98]

My purpose being not to describe all the charges or figures occurring in
heraldry, but merely to assign a reasonable origin for those which appear
to the uninitiated to have neither propriety nor meaning, I pass by many
others, and come to those to which a symbolical sense is more readily
attachable, as the heavenly bodies, animals, vegetables, weapons of war,
implements of labour, &c. &c. Here I shall merely offer some general
remarks, for it is less my object to gratify curiosity on this subject
than to excite that attention to it which it really deserves, and
therefore I must say, with gentle Dame Julyan, "Bot for to reherce all the
signys that be borne in armys it were too long a tarying, nor I can not do
hit: _ther be so mony_!"

The heavenly bodies occur frequently in heraldry, and include the Sun, 'in
his glory,' or 'eclipsed;' the Moon, 'incressant,' 'in her complement,'
'decressant,' and 'in her detriment,' or eclipse; stars and comets. The
_crescent_ was the standard of the Saracens during the crusades, as it is
of their successors, the Turks, at this day. As one of the antient laws of
chivalry enacted that the vanquisher of a Saracen gentleman should assume
his arms, it is not remarkable that the crescent was, in the latter
Crusades, often transferred to the Christian shield; although we must
reject the notion that the infidels bore regular heraldric devices. It is
probable, however, that their bucklers were ornamented in various ways
with their national symbol. Several authentic instances of arms with
crescents borne by English families from that early date, are to be found.
Most of the families of Ellis, of this country, bear a cross with four or
more crescents, derived from Sir Archibald Ellis, of Yorkshire, who went
to the Holy Land. From a miraculous event said to have happened during the
Crusade under Rich. I. to Sir Robert Sackville, the noble descendants of
that personage still bear an _estoile_, or star, as their crest.

The ELEMENTS also furnish armorial charges, as flames of fire, rocks,
stones, _islands_, thunderbolts, clouds, rainbows, water, and fountains.
These last are represented by azure roundles charged with three bars wavy
argent. In the arms of Sykes, of Yorkshire, they are called _sykes_--that
being a provincialism for little pools or springs. The antient family of
Gorges bore a _gurges_, or whirlpool, an unique instance, I believe, of
that bearing.

If we derive heraldry from the standards of antient nations, then,
undoubtedly, ANIMALS are the very oldest of armorial charges, since those
standards almost invariably exhibited some animal as their device.
Familiar examples present themselves in the Roman _eagle_ and the Saxon
_horse_. Of QUADRUPEDS the lion occupies the first place, and is far more
usual than any other animal whatever. The king of beasts is found in the
heraldric field in almost every variety of posture, and tinctured with
every hue recognized by the laws of blazon. It may be remarked here, that
in the early days of heraldry animals were probably borne of their
'proper' or natural colour, but as, in process of time, the use of arms
became more common, and the generous qualities of the lion rendered him
the object of general regard as an armorial ensign, it became absolutely
necessary to vary his attitudes and colours, for the purposes of
distinction. The same remark applies, in a greater or less degree, to
other animals and objects. As the emblem of courage the lion has been
represented and misrepresented in a thousand forms. A well-drawn heraldric
lion is a complete caricature of the animal; and hence the ire displayed
by the country herald-painter when shown the lions in the Tower is very
excusable: "What!" said the honest man, "tell me that's a lion; why I've
painted lions rampant and lions passant, and all sorts of lions these five
and twenty years, and for sure I ought to know what a lion's like better
than all that!"

The circumstance of the royal arms of England containing three lions and
those of Scotland one, has rendered this animal a special favourite with
British armorists. Leigh and Guillim, particularly, are very minute in
their remarks upon him. The French heralds object to the representation of
the lion _guardant_, that is, with his face turned full upon the
spectator, and declare that this posture is proper to the leopard,
"wherein," says Guillim, "they offer great indignity to that _roiall
beast_, in that they will not admit him, as saith Upton, to show his full
face, the sight whereof doth terrifie and astonish all the beasts of the
field, and wherein consisteth his chiefest majesty, '=quia omnia animalia
debent depingi et designari in suo ferociore actu=.'" The French still
allude derisively to our national charge as only a leopard. That one of
these dissimilar animals could be mistaken for the other affords singular
evidence of the rudeness with which arms in the middle ages were

[Illustration: (Lyon rampant. Guillim.)]

The _leopard_, as an heraldric charge, has been treated with more obloquy
than he deserves, from the erroneous notion that he was a bigenerous
animal, bred between the lion and the female panther. The _bear_ is
generally borne muzzled and 'salient,' leaping, or rather jumping, the
posture of the animal most familiar to our ancestors, who greatly
delighted in his uncouth dancing. The _elephant_, the _wolf_, one of the
most elegant of heraldric devices, the _fox_, the _rabbit_, the
_squirrel_, the _monkey_, the _beaver_, the _porcupine_, the
_cat-a-mountain_, and many other wild animals borne in arms, need no

The _heraldric tiger_ furnishes another proof of the ignorance of our
ancestors in the natural history of foreign animals. It is represented


Among the domestic animals borne in arms are the _horse_, the _ass_, the
_camel_, the _bull_, the _ox_, the _greyhound_, the _talbot_ or mastiff,
the _ram_, the _lamb_, the _hog_, &c.

The horse, from his associations with chivalry and war, has ever been a
favourite charge. The lamb, as commonly represented, with the nimbus round
its head and the banner of the cross, is termed a _holy lamb_. The _alant_
or wolf-dog, an extinct species, is of rare occurrence in arms.

  "Abouten his char ther wenten white _alauns_,
  Twenty and mo as gret as any stere,
  To hunten at the leon or the dere."

The _alant_ was the supporter of Fynes, Lord Dacre.

Most of the above were probably borne emblematically, but the _stag_,
_deer_, _boar_, &c., seem to be trophies of the chase, especially when
their heads only occur. The heads and other parts of animals are
represented either as _couped_, cut off smoothly, or _erased_, torn off as
it were with violence, leaving the place of separation jagged and uneven.
The boar's head may have been derived from the old custom of serving up a
boar's head at the tables of feudal nobles. This practice is still
observed in the hall of Queen's College, Oxford, on Christmas-day, when an
antient song or carol, appropriate enough to the ceremony, though not very
well befitting the time and the place, is sung. It begins thus:

  "The boar's head in hand bear I,
  Bedeck'd with bays and rosemary,
  And I pray you, my masters, be merry,
      Quot estis in convivio.
        =Caput apri defero
        Reddens laudes Domino.="

The presentation of a boar's head forms the condition of several feudal
tenures in various parts of the country. As an heraldric bearing, and as a
sign for inns, it is of very antient date. Of its latter application the
far-famed hostelry in Eastcheap affords one among many examples; while its
use in armory was familiar to the father of English poesy, who, describing
the equipments of Sir Thopas, says,

  "His sheld was all of gold so red
  And therin was a _bore's hed_,
      A charboncle beside."

The annexed singular bearing, 'a cup with a boar's head erect,' evidently
alludes to some obsolete custom or tenure.


It may be remarked here that many of the terms of heraldry, when applied
to the parts and attitudes of 'beastes of venerie and huntyng,' are
identical with the expressions used by learned _chasseurs_ of the 'olden
tyme,' and which are fully elucidated by Dame Julyan, Manwood,
Blundeville, and other writers on woodcraft and the chase; a _science_, by
the way, as systematic in the employment of terms as heraldry itself. This
remark applies equally to the technical words in falconry used in
describing falcons, hawks, &c., when they occur in armory.

When antient armorists had so far departed from the propriety of nature as
to paint swans red and tigers green, it was not difficult to admit still
greater monstrosities. Double-headed and double-tailed lions and eagles
occur at an early date; but these are nothing when compared with the
double and triple-_bodied_ lions figured by Leigh.[99] It would be a mere
waste of time to speculate upon the origin of such bearings, which owe
their birth to "the rich exuberance of a Gothick fancy"--the fertile
source of the chimerical figures noticed in the next chapter.

Among BIRDS, the _eagle_ holds the highest rank. The lyon was the royal
beast--this the imperial bird. He is almost uniformly exhibited in front,
with expanded wings, and blazoned by the term 'displayed.' The _falcon_,
_hawk_, _moor-cock_, _swan_, _cock_, _owl_, _stork_, _raven_, _turkey_,
_peacock_, _swallow_, and many others of the winged nation are well known
to the most careless observer of armorial ensigns. The _Cornish chough_, a
favourite charge, is curiously described by Clarke as "a _fine blue or
purple black-bird_, with red beak and legs," and said to be "a noble
bearing of antiquity, being accounted the _king of crows_!"

The _pelican_ was believed to feed her young with her own blood, and
therefore represented "vulning herself," that is, pecking her breast for a
supply of the vital fluid.[100] The wings are usually indorsed or thrown
upwards; "but this," says Berry, "is unnecessary in the blazon, as that is
the only position in which the pelican is represented in coat-armour."
This may be true of modern heraldry, but antiently this bird was borne
'close,' that is, with the wings down. The pelicans in the arms of the
family of Pelham, resident at Laughton, co. Sussex, temp. Henry IV, were
represented in this manner, as appears from a shield in one of the
spandrels of the western door of Laughton church, and from some painted
glass in the churches of Waldron and Warbleton. In a carving of the
fifteenth century, among the ruins of Robertsbridge Abbey, the pelicans
have their wings slightly raised, and in the modern arms of Pelham they
are indorsed, as shown below.

[Illustration: Laughton Church.]

[Illustration: Robertsbridge Abbey.]

[Illustration: Modern Arms.]

Fishes, as borne in arms, have recently been made the subject of an able,
most interesting, and beautifully illustrated volume.[101] In my _en
passant_ survey of the ensigns of armory it will suffice to remark that
the _dolphin_ takes the same rank among heraldric fishes as the lion
occupies among quadrupeds, and the eagle among birds; after him the
_pike_, _salmon_, _barbel_, and _trout_ hold an honourable place, and even
the _herring_ and _sprat_ are not deemed too mean for armory. Neither have
shell-fish been overlooked: the _escallop_ in particular, from its
religious associations, has always been a special favourite.

AMPHIBIA, REPTILES, and INSECTS sometimes occur, particularly _toads_,
_serpents_, _adders_, _tortoises_, _scorpions_, _snails_, _grasshoppers_,
_spiders_, _ants_, _bees_, and _gad-flies_. It is singular that such
despised and noxious creatures as the scorpion and the toad should have
been adopted as marks of honour; yet such, in former times, was the taste
for _allusive_ arms that the Botreuxes, of Cornwall, relinquished a simple
antient coat in favour of one containing three toads, because the word
'botru' in the Cornish language signified a toad!

The HUMAN FIGURE and its parts are employed in many arms. The arms
pertaining to the bishopric of Salisbury contain a representation of "our
blessed Lady, with her son in her right hand and a sceptre in her left."
The arms of the see of Chichester are the most singular to be found in the
whole circle of church heraldry. They are blazoned thus: 'Azure,
_Prester-John_ hooded, sitting on a tomb-stone; in his sinister hand an
open book; his dexter hand extended, with the two fore-fingers erect, all
or; _in his mouth_ a sword, fessewise, gules, hilt and pommel or, the
point to the sinister.'[102] Prester or Presbyter-John, the person here
represented, was a fabulous person of the middle ages, who was imagined to
sway the sceptre of a powerful empire _somewhere_ in the East, and who
must have been a very long-lived personage, unless he was _reproduced_
from time to time like the phoenix of antiquity. Many writers, during
the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth centuries, make mention of him.
Sir John Maundevile describes his territory, which, however, he did not
visit. That country, according to his statement, contained rocks of
adamant,[103] which attracted all the ships that happened to come near
them, until the congeries appeared like a forest, and became a kind of
floating island. It also abounded in popinjays or parrots as "plentee as
gees," and precious stones large enough to make "plateres, dissches, and
cuppes." "Many other marveylles been there," he adds, "so that it were to
cumbrous and to long to putten it in scripture of bokes." He describes the
Emperor himself as "cristene," and believing "wel in the Fadre, in the
Sone, and in the Holy Gost," yet, in some minor points, not quite sound in
the faith. As to his imperial state, he possessed 72 provinces, over each
of which presided a king; and he had so great an army that he could devote
330,000 men to guard his standards, which were "3 crosses of gold, fyn,
grete and hye, fulle of precious stones." It is related of Columbus that
he saw on one of the islands of the West Indies, which he then apprehended
to be a part of the continent of Asia, a grave and sacred personage whom
he at first believed to be Prester-John. This incident serves to show that
the existence of this chimerical being was credited even so lately as the
close of the fifteenth century, although Roger Bacon, in the thirteenth,
doubted many of the tales related of him--"de quo tanta fama solebat esse,
et multa falsa dicta sunt et scripta."[104] The best account of him is to
be found in the work of Matthew Paris, the monk of St. Albans, who wrote
before the year 1250. Marco Polo also mentions him in his travels.[105]
Porny places him in Abyssinia under the title of _Preter cham_, or 'prince
of the worshippers,' while Heckford[106] considers him a priest and one of
the followers of Nestorius, patriarch of Constantinople in the fifth

_Kings_ and _bishops_ occur as charges; but rarely. The heads of Moors and
Saracens are more common, and belong to the category of trophies, having
originated, for the most part, during the Crusades. The arms of the Welsh
family of Vaughan are 'a cheveron between three children's heads ...
enwrapped about the necks with as many snakes proper.' "It hath beene
reported," saith old Guillim, "that some one of the ancestors of this
family was borne with a snake about his necke: _a matter not impossible_,
but yet very unprobable!" Besides heads, the armorial shield is sometimes
charged with arms and legs, naked, vested, or covered with armour, hands,
feet, eyes, hearts, winged and unwinged, &c. The coat of Tremaine exhibits
three arms (et tres manus!) and that of the Isle of Man, three legs, as
here represented. Of the former, Guillim remarks, "these armes and hands
conjoyned and clenched after this manner may signify a treble offer of
revenge for some notable injurie." If we might be jocular upon so grave a
subject as armory, we should consider the second coat a happy allusion to
the geographical position of the island between the three kingdoms of
England, Ireland, and Scotland, as if it had run away from all three, and
were kicking up its heels in derision of the whole empire![107]


The VEGETABLE KINGDOM has furnished its full quota of charges. We have
whole trees, as the _oak_, _pine_, _pear-tree_, &c.; parts of trees, as
_oak-branches_, and _starved_ (_i.e._ dead) _branches_, trunks of trees,
generally raguly or knobbed; leaves, as _laurel_, _fig_, _elm_,
_woodbine_, _nettle_, and _holly_; fruit, as _pomegranates_, _apples_,
_pears_, _pine-apples_, _grapes_, _acorns_, and _nuts_; flowers, as the
_rose_, _lily_, _columbine_, _gilliflower_, &c.; corn, as stalks of wheat
and rye, and particularly _garbs_ (Fr. gerbes) or wheatsheaves; to which
some add _trefoils_, _quatrefoils_, and _cinquefoils_, and the bearing
familiar to all in the arms of France, and called the _Fleur-de-lis_.

Respecting the _trefoil_, there can be little doubt, as Mr. Dallaway
observes, that it was borrowed from the foliated ornaments of antient
coronets, which again were imitations of the natural wreath. The shamrock,
which is identical with the trefoil, is the national badge of Ireland. Of
the quatre and cinquefoils "almost any conjecture would be weakly
supported. Amongst the very early embellishments of Gothic architecture
are quatrefoils, at first inserted simply in the heads of windows, between
or over the incurvated or elliptical points of the mullions, and
afterwards diversified into various ramifications, which were the florid
additions to that style."[108] These terms are common to both architecture
and heraldry, but from which of the two the other adopted them must remain
in doubt.

The non-heraldric reader will be surprised to learn that the identity of
the _fleur-de-lis_ with the iris or 'royal lily' has ever been called in
question; yet it has been doubted, with much reason, whether an ornamented
spear-head or sceptre be not the thing intended. The Boke of S. A. informs
us that the arms of the king of France were "certainli sende by an awngell
from heuyn, that is to say iij flowris in maner of swerdis in a felde of
asure, the wich certan armys ware geuyn to the forsayd kyng of fraunce in
sygne of euerlasting trowbull, and that he and his successaries all way
with bataill and swereddys (swords) shulde be punyshid!" Those who imagine
the bearing to be a play upon the royal name of Loys or Louis decide in
favour of the flower. Upton calls it '=flos gladioli=.'[109] Perhaps it
was made a flower for the purpose of assimilating it to the English rose;
certainly all our associations, historical and poetical, would tell in
favour of its being such; and such it was undoubtedly understood to be in
the time of Chaucer, who says of Sire Thopas,

  "Upon his crest he bare a tour (tower),
  And therein stiked a _lily flour_."

Leigh seems to entertain no doubt of its belonging to the vegetable
kingdom; for in his notice of this charge he particularly describes the
flower and the root of the iris. Mr. Montagu, in his recent 'Guide to the
Study of Heraldry,' thinks the arguments of M. de Menestrier "in favour of
the iris so strong as _almost_ to set the question at rest."[110]


Those who advocate the spear-head view of the question, bring forward the
common heraldric bearing, _a leopard's head jessant de lis_, i. e. thrust
through the mouth with a fleur-de-lis, which passes through the skull as
represented in the above cut. "There cannot," as Dallaway says, "be a more
absurd combination than that of a leopard's head producing a lily, while
the idea that it was typical of the triumph after the chase, when the
head of the animal was thrust through with a spear and so carried in
procession," seems perfectly consistent. Still the query may arise 'how is
it that the head of no other animal, the wolf or boar for instance, is
found represented in a similar manner?'

The little band surrounding the _pieces_ of which the fleur-de-lis of
heraldry is composed is analogous to nothing whatever in the flower, while
it does strongly resemble the forril of metal which surrounds the
insertion of a spear-head into its staff or pole. After an attentive
consideration of both hypotheses, I have no hesitation in affirming that
the fleur-de-lis is _not_ the lily. This is shown, not from the occurrence
of lilies in their proper shape in some coats, and that of the heraldric
_lis_ in others, (for such a variation might have been accidentally made
by the incorrect representations of unskilful painters,) but from the fact
that both lilies and lis are found in one and the same coat--that of Eton


The Tressure surrounding the lion in the royal arms of Scotland is
blazoned 'fleury and counter-fleury,' that is, having fleurs-de-lis
springing from it, both on the outer and inner sides. The fabulous account
of the tressure is that it was given by Charlemagne to Achaius, king of
Scotland in the year 792, in token of alliance and friendship. Nisbet
says, "The Tressure Flowerie encompasses the Lyon of Scotland, to show
that he should defend the Flower-de-lisses, and _these to continue a
defence to the Lion_."[112]

Now, although we must discard this early existence of the Scottish
ensigns, it is by no means improbable that the addition of the tressure
was made in commemoration of some alliance between the two crowns at a
later date. But the _defence_ which a bulwark of lilies could afford the
king of beasts would be feeble indeed! Yet, upon the supposition that the
fleur-de-lis is intended for a spear-head, such an addition would be
exceedingly appropriate, as forming a kind of chevaux-de-frise[113] around
the animal.

This doubtful charge may serve as a turning point between 'things
naturall' and 'things artificiall.' Among the latter, crowns, sceptres,
orbs, caps of maintenance, mantles of state, and such-like insignia may be
first named. According to Dame Julyan Berners, _crowns_ formed part of the
arms of King Arthur--"iij dragonys and over that an other sheelde of iij
crownys." Mitres, crosiers, &c. occur principally, though not exclusively,
in church heraldry. From attention in the first instance to the 'arts
liberall' came such charges as books, pens, ink-horns, text-letters, as
=A='s, =T='s and =S='s, organ-pipes, hautboys, harps, viols, bells, &c.
The 'arts mechanicall' furnish us with implements of agriculture, as
ploughs, harrows, scythes, wheels, &c. The _Catherine Wheel_ Dallaway
takes for a cogged, or denticulated mill-wheel, with reference to some
feudal tenure, but it seems rather ungallant to rob the female saint of
the instrument of her passion, while St. Andrew and St. George are allowed
to retain theirs in undisturbed possession. Manufactures afford the
wool-comb, the spindle, the shuttle, the comb, the hemp-break, &c. Among
mechanical implements are included pick-axes, mallets, hammers, plummets,
squares, axes, nails, &c. Architecture furnishes towers, walls, bridges,
pillars, &c. From the marine we have antient ships, boats, rudders, masts,
anchors, and sails. From field-sports come bugle (that is bullock) horns,
bows, arrows, pheons or fish-spears, falcons' bells, and lures,
fish-hooks, eel-spears, nets of various kinds, and bird-bolts. The
bird-bolt was a small blunt arrow, with one, two, or three heads, used
with the crossbow for shooting at birds. Hence the adage of '=The fool's
Bolt is soon shot=,' applied to the hasty expression or retort of an
ignorant babbler. John Heywood versifies the proverb thus:

  "A foole's bolte is soone shot, and fleeth oftymes fer;
  But the foole's bolte and the mark cum few times ner."[114]

From sedentary games are borrowed playing-tables, dice, chess-rooks, &c.


War has naturally supplied heraldry with a numerous list of charges, as
banners, spears, beacons, drums, trumpets, cannons, or chamber-pieces,
'murthering chain-shot,' burning matches (of rope), portcullises,
battering-rams, crossbows, swords, sabres, lances, battle-axes, and
scaling-ladders; also shields, generally borne in threes, helmets,
morions, gauntlets, greaves (leg armour), horse-trappings, bridles,
saddles, spurs, horse-shoes, shackles, _cum multis aliis_. Many of these,
though disused in modern warfare, will require no explanation, but a few
others whose use is less obvious may be added, as _swepes_, _caltraps_,
and _water-bowgets_.

The _swepe_, sometimes called a _mangonel_, and as such borne in the
canting arms of Magnall, was a war-engine, used for the purpose of hurling
stones into a besieged town or fortress; a species of balista.

[Illustration: Murthering chain-shot.]

[Illustration: Caltrap.]

[Illustration: Beacon.]

[Illustration: Swepe.]

In the celebrated lampoon upon Richard, king of the Romans, who was
obliged, at the battle of Lewes, to take refuge in a windmill, the
following lines occur:

  "The Kynge of Alemaigne wende to do full wel,
  He saisede the mulne for a castel;
  With hare sharpe swerdes he ground the stel,
  He wende that the sayles were _mangonel_!"[115]

The _caltrap_ was a cruel contrivance for galling the feet of horses. It
was made of iron, and so constructed that, however it might fall, one of
its four sharp points should be erect. Numbers of them strewed in the
enemy's path served to retard the advance of cavalry, and a retreat was
sometimes secured by dropping them in the flight, and thus cutting off the
pursuit. Its etymology is uncertain, cheval-trap and _gall_-trap have been
suggested with nearly equal claims to probability.

Water-bowgets, or budgets, date from the Crusades, when water had often to
be conveyed across the sandy deserts from a great distance. They are
represented in various grotesque forms as--


so that it is a matter of curiosity to know in what manner they were
carried. Leigh and others call them _gorges_; but the charge properly
known by that name is a whirlpool, as borne in the armes parlantes of the
family of Gorges.

The _mullet_, a star-like figure, has been taken to represent the rowel of
a spur; but a doubt of this derivation of the charge may be suggested, as
the spur of the middle ages had no rowel, but consisted of one sharp
spike. Some of the old heralds considered mullets as representations of
falling stars--"exhalations inflamed in the aire and stricken back with a
cloud"--which, according to Guillim, are sometimes found on the earth like
a certain jelly, and assuming the form of the charge. The substance
alluded to bears the name of star-jelly. In the Gentleman's Magazine for
1797, are several communications on this subject, in which there is a
great contrariety of opinion, some of the writers contending that it is an
animal substance, while others consider it a vegetable. As it is usually
found in boggy grounds, Dr. Darwin deemed it a mucilage voided by herons
after they have eaten frogs, and Pennant attributed it to gulls. The
antient alchemists called it the flower of heaven, and imagined that from
it they could procure the universal menstruum; but all their researches
ended in discovering that by distillation it yielded some phlegm, volatile
salt, and empyreumatic oil.[116]

Personal costume, although mixed up with the very earliest of heraldric
devices, furnishes scarcely any regular charges. Excepting shoes, caps,
and body-armour, the _maunch_ is almost the only one derived from this
source. This charge, a familiar example of which occurs in the arms of the
noble family of Hastings, represents an antient fashion of sleeve worn
soon after the Conquest, but of such an extravagant form that Leigh
blazons it a _maunch-maltalé_, a badly-cut sleeve; and certainly the
example given by him fully justifies the use of that epithet. The taste
for a long pendulous addition to the cuff of the sleeve forms one of the
most curious features of the female costume of the twelfth century.
According to Brydson, the maunch was a distinguished "favour" bestowed on
some knights, being part of the dress of the lady or princess who
presented it.

The woodcut (no inappropriate _tail-piece_ for the present chapter)
delineates several antient forms of this article. Well may Master Leigh
remark, "Of thinges of antiquitee growen out of fashion this is one."

[Illustration: No. 1, Leigh; 3, 4, from Planché's Hist. Brit. Cost.; 2,
Arms of Hastings, from the tomb of W. de Valence, Earl of Pembroke,
Westminster Abbey.

  =Mangys be called in armys a sleue.=
                                    _Boke S. A._]


Chimerical Figures of Heraldry.


  "Manye merveylles there ben in that regioun."
                                    _Sir John Maundevile._

The days of the Crusaders were the days of romance. "From climes so
fertile in monsters as those through which these adventurers passed,"
observes Dallaway, "we cannot wonder that any fiction was readily received
by superstitious admirers, whose credulity nothing could exhaust." The
narrations of those warriors who had the good fortune to revisit their
native lands were eagerly seized upon by that new class of literary
aspirants, the Romance writers, by means of whose wonder-exciting
productions, giants, griffins, dragons, and monsters of every name, became
familiarized to all. For ages the existence of these products of a
"gothick fancy" was never called in question. The early travellers, such
as Marco Polo and our own renowned Sir John Maundevile, pandered to the
popular taste, and what those chroniclers of 'grete merveyles' reported in
the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries was religiously believed in the
sixteenth, and hardly questioned even in the seventeenth. In the early
part of this period, indeed, it can scarcely be expected that the
multitude at least should have been disabused of the delusion, when the
existence of witchcraft was considered an essential part of the common
creed,--when a learned herald, like Guillim, could write a tirade against
"divellish witches that doe worke the destruction of silly infants, and
also of cattel,"--and when the supreme magistrate of these realms could
instigate the burning of deformed old women, and write treatises upon
"Dæmonology," which, among other matters, taught his loyal and undoubting
subjects that these maleficæ were wont to perform their infernal pranks by
means of circles, some of which were _square_, and others _triangular_! It
was reserved for the advancing light of the eighteenth century to break
the spell, and scatter these monsters to the winds. This, however, was not
to be done at once; for our grandfathers, and even our fathers, gathered
their knowledge of popular _natural_ history from a book which contained
minute descriptions of the _dragon_, 'adorned with cuts' of that
remarkable hexapede, for the edification of its admiring readers!

Under the category of Heraldric Monsters the following deserve especial

  The Allerion
      Winged Lyon
      Winged Bull.[117]

The _allerion_ is a fabulous bird without either beak or legs, described
by some writers as very small, like a martlet, while others give him the
size of an eagle. The name is derived from the circumstance of his being
destitute of all his extremities except the wings (ailles). Three such
birds, according to the chroniclers of the middle ages, were shot with an
arrow from a tower, by Godfrey of Boulogne, duke of Lorraine, at the siege
of Jerusalem, during the first crusade; and three allerions upon a bend,
in honour of that event, are borne as the arms of the duchy of Lorraine to
this day.[118]

The _chimera_ is, to use the words of Bossewell, "a beaste or monstre
hauing thre heades, one like a Lyon, an other like a Goate, the third like
a Dragon."[119]

The _cockatrice_[120] is a cock, with the wings and tail of a dragon. The
best account of him is given by Leigh: "Thys though he be but at ye most a
foote of length yet is he kyng of all serpentes[121] of whome they are
most afrayde and flee from. For with his breath and sight he sleath all
thynges that comme within a speare's length of him. He infecteth the water
that he commeth neare. His enemy is the wesell, who when he goeth to fight
with y{e} cockatrice eateth the herbe commonlye called Rewe, and so in
fight byting him he dyeth and the wesell therewith dyeth also. And though
the cockatrice be veneme withoute remedye whilest he liueth, yet when he
is dead and burnt to ashes, he loseth all his malice, and the ashes of him
are good for alkumistes, and namely, in turnyng and chaungeyng of
mettall." To this latter remark he adds, "I have not seene the proofe
thereof, and yet I have been one of Jeber's cokes."

The _dragon_ is usually depicted with a serpentine body, sharp ears, a
barbed tongue and tail, strong leathern wings armed with sharp points, and
four eagles' feet, strongly webbed; but there are many modifications of
this form. "Of fancy monsters, the winged, scaly, fiery dragon is by far
the most poetical fabrication of antiquity. To no word, perhaps, are
attached ideas more extraordinary, and of greater antiquity, than to that
of dragon. We find it consecrated by the religion of the earliest people,
and become the object of their mythology. It got mixed up with fable, and
poetry, and history, till it was universally believed, and was to be found
everywhere but in nature.[122] In our days nothing of the kind is to be
seen, excepting a harmless animal hunting its insects. The light of these
days has driven the fiery dragon to take refuge among nations not yet
visited by the light of civilization. The _draco volans_ is a small
lizard, and the only reptile possessing the capacity of flight. For this
purpose it is provided on each side with a membrane between the feet,
which unfolds like a fan at the will of the animal, enabling it to spring
from one tree to another while pursuing its food. It is a provision
similar to that of the flying squirrel, enabling it to take a longer
leap."[123] The annexed cut represents a _dragon volant_, as borne in the
arms of Raynon of Kent, and the _draco volans_ of the zoologists. A
fossil flying lizard has been found in the lias of Dorsetshire, which, to
employ the words of Professor Buckland, is "a monster resembling nothing
that has ever been seen or heard of upon earth, excepting the dragons of
romance and heraldry."


Considering the hideous form and character of the dragon, it is somewhat
surprising to find him pourtrayed upon the banner and the shield as an
honourable distinction; unless he was employed by way of trophy of a
victory gained over some enemy, who might be symbolically represented in
this manner. The dragon often occurring at the feet of antient monumental
effigies is understood to typify _sin_, over which the deceased has now
triumphed; and the celebrated monster of this tribe slain by our patron
saint, St. George, was doubtless a figurative allusion to a certain
pestilent heresy which he vehemently resisted and rooted out. Favine, on
the Order of Hungary, remarks that the French historians speak of Philip
Augustus 'conquering the dragon' when he overcame Otho IV, who bore a
dragon as the standard of his empire.[124] It has been suggested that the
design of commanders in depicting monsters and wild beasts upon their
standards was to inspire the enemy with terror.[125]


The dragon forms a part of the fictitious arms of King Arthur; and another
early British king bore the surname of =Pen-Dragon=, or the 'dragon's
head.' The standard of the West Saxon monarchs was a golden dragon in a
red banner. In the Bayeux tapestry a dragon on a pole repeatedly occurs
near the person of King Harold; and in the instance which is copied in the
margin, the words 'HIC HAROLD' are placed over it.[126] It was an early
badge of the Princes of Wales, and was also assumed at various periods by
our English monarchs. Henry III used it at the battle of Lewes in 1264.

  "Symoun com to the feld,
  And put up his banere;
  The Kyng schewed forth his scheld,
  His _Dragon_ fulle austere.
  The Kyng said 'On hie,
  Symon jeo vous defie!'"
                                _Robert Brunne._

"The order for the creation of this 'austere' beast," says Mr. Blaauw, "is
still extant. Edward Fitz-Odo, the king's goldsmith, was commanded, in
1244, to make it 'in the manner of a standard or ensign, of red samit,' to
be embroidered with gold, and his tongue to appear as though continually
moving, and his eyes of sapphire, or other stones agreeable to him."[127]

  "Then was ther a Dragon grete and grimme,
  Full of fyre and also venymme,
  With a wide throte and tuskes grete."[128]

The dragon-standard must have been in high favour with commanders, for in
the same war we find it unfurled in the opposite cause by the leader of
the baronial party:

  "When Sir Simoun wist the dome ageyn them gone,
  His felonie forth thrist, somned his men ilkon,
  Displaied his banere, lift up his Dragoun!"
                                    _Robt. Brunne._

"When Sir Simon knew the judgment given against them, his wickedness burst
forth, he gathered all his men, displayed his banner, and lifted up his
Dragon."[129] The expression '_his_ dragon' must not be understood to
imply any peculiar right to the device, for the arms of De Montfort were
widely different, viz. 'Gules, a lion rampant, double queué, argent.' From
the indiscriminate use of the monster by different, and even by contending
parties, I should consider him merely as the emblem of defiance. The
Dragon must not be confounded with the usual pennon, or standard of an
army, as it was employed in addition to it. Matthew of Westminster,
speaking of the early battles of this country, says, "The king's place was
_between_ the Dragon and the standard."[130] Among the ensigns borne at
Cressy was a burning dragon, to show that the French were to receive
little mercy.[131] This dragon was of red silk, adorned and beaten with
very broad and fair lilies of gold, and bordered about with gold and
vermilion. The French frequently carried a red pennon, embroidered with a
dragon of gold. Our Henry VI caused a particular coin to be struck, the
reverse of which exhibited a banner charged with a demi-dragon, and a
black dragon was one of the badges of Edward IV. A red dragon was one of
the supporters of Henry VII, Henry VIII, and Elizabeth, whence the title,
Rouge-dragon, of one of the existing pursuivants in the College of Arms.

The _griffin_, or griphon, scarcely less famous than the dragon, was a
compound animal, having the head, wings, and feet of an eagle, with the
hinder part of a lion. He is thus described by Sir John Maundevile in the
26th chapter of his 'ryght merveylous' Travels:

"In that contree [Bacharie] ben many Griffounes, more plentee than in ony
other contree. Sum men seyn that thei han the body upward as an egle, and
benethe as a lyoun; and treuly thei seyn sothe that thei ben of that
schapp. But 0 Griffoun hathe the body more gret and more strong thane 8
lyouns, of such lyouns as ben o' this half (hemisphere); and more gret and
strongere than an 100 egles, suche as we han amonges us. For 0 Griffoun
there wil bere fleynge to his nest a gret hors, or 2 oxen yoked to gidere
as thei gon at the plowghe. For he hathe his talouns so longe and so large
and grete upon his feet, as thowghe thei weren hornes of grete oxen, or of
bugles or of kygn, so that men maken cuppes of hem to drynke of, and of
hire ribbes and of the pennes of hire wenges men maken bowes fulle stronge
to schote with arwes, and quarell."

Casley says that in the Cottonian Library there was a cup of the
description just referred to, four feet in length, and inscribed--

  "=Griphi unguis divo Cuthberto Dunelmensi sacer=,"

a dedication which, I must confess, puzzles me sorely. A griffin's claw
and the 'saint-bishop' of Durham seem as absurd a combination of ideas as
that presented in the old proverbial phrase of 'Great A and a Bull's
Foot,' or by the tavern sign of 'The Goat and Compasses.' If wisdom,
according to classical authority, lies in a well, so does the wit of this
association. Another griffin's claw, curiously mounted on an eagle's leg
of silver, which came at the Revolution from the Treasury at St. Denis, is
preserved in the cabinet of antiquities in the King's Library at Paris.
Three such talons were formerly kept at Bayeux, and were fastened on high
days to the altar as precious relics! A 'corne de griffoun' is mentioned
in the Kalend. of Excheq. iii, 176. Another, about an ell in length, is
mentioned by Dr. Grew in his 'History of the Rarities of the Royal
Society,' p. 26. The Doctor thinks it the horn of a roebuck, or of the
_Ibex mas_. Leigh says that griffyns "are of a great hugenes, for I have a
clawe of one of their pawes, which should show them to be as bygge as
_two_ lyons." The egg was likewise preserved as a valuable curiosity, and
used as a goblet. "Item, j oef de griffon, garnis d'argent, od pie et
covercle." The griffin was assumed by the family of Le Dispenser, and the
upper part appears as the crest on the helm of Hugh le Dispenser, who was
buried at Tewkesbury in 1349. Another strikingly designed representation
of this curious animal is seen at Warwick, at the feet of Richard
Beauchamp, who died in 1439.[132]

The _harpy_, unusual in English armory, has the head and breasts of a
woman, with the body, legs, and wings of a vulture. This was a classical
monster. Guillim, imitating Virgil,[133] says:

  "Of monsters all, most monstrous this; no greater wrath
    God sends 'mongst men; it comes from depths of pitchy hell;
  And virgin's face, but wombe like gulfe insatiate hath;
    Her hands are griping clawes, her colour pale and fell."

The coat 'Azure, a harpy or,' was 'in Huntingdon church' in Guillim's

The _lyon-dragon_ and the _lyon-poisson_ are compound monsters; the former
of a lion and a dragon, and the latter of a lion and a fish. These are of
very rare occurrence, as is also the _monk-fish_, or Sea Friar, which
Randle Holme tells us 'is a fish in form of a frier.' 'Such a monstrous
and wonderful fish,' he adds, 'was taken in Norway.'

The identity of the popular idea of the _mermaid_ with the classical
notion of the syren is shown in the following passage from Shakspeare:

                  "Thou rememberest
  Since once I sat upon a promontory,
  And heard a Mermaid on a dolphin's back
  Uttering such dulcet and harmonious breath,
  That the rude sea grew civil at her song."

And Brown, in his 'Vulgar Errours,' observes, "few eyes have escaped
[that] the picture of a Mermaid, with woman's head above, and fishy
extremity below, answers the shape of the antient syrens that attempted
upon Ulysses." The heraldric mermaid usually holds a mirror in her right
hand and a comb in her left. The existence of mermaids was religiously
believed not many ages since, and many accounts of their being captured
on the English coast occur in the writings of our old chroniclers, and
other retailers of marvels. The specimens exhibited of late years have
been pronounced ingenious combinations of the upper half of the ape with
the tail of a fish.

The montegre, manticora, or _man-tyger_, had the body of a lion (q.
tiger?), the head of an old man, and the horns of an ox. Some heralds, by
way of finish, give him dragon's feet.

Butler's well-known line,

  "The herald's _martlet_ hath no legs,"

has rendered most readers aware of the singular defect of this otherwise
beautiful charge. Heraldric authors differ as to the identity of this
bird. Its being called in Latin blazon 'merula,' and in French 'merlotte,'
the diminutive of 'merle,' has induced some to consider it a blackbird;
while others, with greater plausibility, decide in favour of the common
house martin, the legs of which are so short and the wings so long that
when it alights upon the ground it cannot rise without great difficulty.
Hence originated the mistake of pourtraying it without legs, "and for this
cause," sagely observes Guillim, "it is also given for a _difference_ of
younger brethren to put them in minde to trust to their wings of vertue
and merit to raise themselves, and not to their legges, having but little
land to put their foot on."

The _opinicus_ differs slightly from the griffin, having four lion's legs
instead of two, and the tail is short like that of a camel. It is used as
the crest of the Barber-Chirurgeons Company. The _pegasus_ or winged-horse
ranks among the chimerical figures of heraldry borrowed from classical
fable, and is more frequently employed as a crest or supporter than as a
charge. The _sphinx_ occurs very rarely. The _satyr_ or satyral exhibits a
human face attached to the body of a lion, and has the horns and tail of
an antelope.

The _sagittary_ is the centaur of antiquity--half man, half horse, and is
said to have been assumed as the arms of king Stephen on account of the
great assistance he had received from the archers, and also because he had
entered the kingdom while the sun was in the sign Sagittarius. Sir John
Maundevile tells us that in Bacharie "ben many Ipotaynes, that dwellen
somtyme in the watre and somtyme on the lond; and thei ben half man and
half hors: and thei eten men _when they may take hem_"--an excellent
_gloss_ upon Mrs. _Glass_, 'First _catch_ your hare,' &c.[134]

The _unicorn_ is the most elegant of all these fanciful figures, and is
too well known as the sinister supporter of the royal arms to need any
description. Mr. Dallaway derives the heraldric unicorn from the spike
antiently fixed to the headpiece of a war-horse, and resembling a horn;
but as this does not account for the cloven hoofs and slender, tufted
tail, I should reverse the inference, and derive that appendage from the
popular notion of the unicorn.

The unicorn of antiquity was regarded as the emblem of strength; and as
the dragon was the guardian of wealth, so was the unicorn of chastity. His
horn was a test of poison, and in virtue of this peculiarity the other
beasts of the forest invested him with the office of water-'conner,' never
daring to taste the contents of any pool or fountain until the unicorn
had stirred the waters with his horn to ascertain if any wily serpent or
dragon had deposited his venom therein. Upton and Leigh detail the
'wonderful art' by which the unicorn is captured. "A mayde is set where he
haunteth, and she openeth her lappe, to whome the Vnicorne, as seeking
rescue from the force of the hunter, yeldeth his head and leaueth all his
fierceness, and resting himself vnder her protection, sleapeth vntyll he
is taken and slayne!"

The Hebrew _reem_ being rendered in our version of the Bible unicorn, has
confirmed the vulgar notion that the animal intended was the cloven-hoofed
and single-horned figure of heraldry; but there is nothing in the word
sanctioning the idea that the animal was single-horned; and on referring
to the passages in which the term is introduced, the only one which is
quite distinct on this point seems clearly to intimate that the animal had
_two_ horns. That passage is Deut. xxxiii, 17. 'His horns are like the
_horns_ of the reem;' the word here is singular, not plural, and should
have been 'unicorn,' not 'unicorns,' in our version.[135] It has lately
been attempted to prove that the reem of Scripture was the animal now
known as the nhyl-gau.[136] Reem is translated in the Septuagint by
'[Greek: monokerôs],' which is exactly equivalent to our unicorn. If a
one-horned animal be contended for, the rhinoceros is the only one now
known that is entitled to the attribute of _unicornity_. Leigh declares
the unicorn of our science to be a mortal foe to elephants, and such,
according to zoologists, is the character of the rhinoceros. These two
are, however, the only points of resemblance; for while the unicorn of
heraldry is of light and elegant symmetry, the rhinoceros of the African
deserts is an animal so clumsy and ponderous that it has been known to
require eight men to lift the head of one into a cart.[137]

The _wyvern_ is one of the most usual of this description of charges. It
is represented as a kind of flying serpent, the upper part resembling a
dragon with two fore legs, and the lower part a snake or adder. The name
is derived from the Anglo-Saxon 'wivere,' a serpent.

The bull and the lion with the wings of an eagle occasionally occur in
continental armory, but I do not recollect an instance of either in
English heraldry. The winged lion is the achievement of the city of

The foregoing enumeration of heraldric monsters includes all that are
generally borne, and even some that scarcely ever occur; but Randle Holme,
in his 'Academy of Armory,' figures and describes a multitude of others,
some of which I strongly suspect to have been the offspring of his own
prolific fancy. The triple-headed Cerberus was borne, this writer tells
us, by the name of _Goaler_, while another family bore 'the scarlet beast
of the bottomless pit:' ensigns of _honour_, truly!

What shall we say of

  The _Nependis_, or ape-hog, half ape, half swine;
  The _Minocane_, or _Homocane_, half child, half spaniel dog;
  The _Lamya_, a compound of a woman, a dragon, a lyon, a goat, a dog, and
      a horse;
  The Dragon-tyger, and Dragon-wolf;
  The Lyon-wyvern;
  The Winged Satyr-fish;
  The Cat-fish and Devil-fish;
  The Ass-bittern (the arms of Mr. Asbitter!)
  The Ram-eagle;
  The Falcon-fish with a hound's ear;
  The 'Wonderfull Pig of the Ocean?'
                                    _From Holme's Academy of Armory._

[Illustration: Ram-eagle.]

[Illustration: Cat-fish.]

[Illustration: Ass-bittern.]


The Language of Arms.

  "Armes do speak."
                _Sylvanus Morgan._

The very earliest of armorial devices are of two classes: the first
comprising those which consist of simple lines and tinctures, so disposed
as to form an agreeable harmony or contrast; and the second embracing
those which convey some sentiment. The first resulted from a study of what
was pleasing to the eye; the other expressed the moral attributes of the
original bearer, by natural or artificial figures employed as symbols. To
illustrate my meaning, let us suppose that two knights, A and B, assume
each a coat of arms. A, regarding nothing more than an agreeable effect,
embroiders his banner with chequers of red and yellow. B, esteeming
himself a valiant soldier, expresses that sentiment by representing upon
his silver buckler a lion in the attitude of combat, which, for the
purpose of inspiring terror, he paints of a colour resembling that of
blood. In the course of a few generations the principles upon which these
devices have been framed are reduced to a science, with a regular
nomenclature and fixed laws. Then A's banner begins to be spoken of as
'Chequy, gules, and or,' while B's escocheon is described as 'Argent, a
lion rampant, gules.' Again, two followers of A, whom we will call C and
D, imitating their chief's example, assume similar devices for their
shields and pennons. C gives the red and yellow chequers of his patron,
adding, for distinction's sake, a white bordure, while D surmounts the
same device with a diagonal stripe of blue. In like manner, two adherents
of B, whom we will style E and F, copy the lion from his shield, but give
him a different colour, E's lion being black and F's blue. Carrying the
principle a stage further, G, a supporter of D, adopts his blue bend, but
omits the chequers of A; and H, a follower of F, retains the colours of
his device, but gives three lions instead of one; while I, also retaining
those colours, gives his lion or lions walking or passant; and so on to
infinity. This I believe will be found the true theory of the
multiplication of armorial bearings.[138]

Thus it will be seen that only a portion of such devices were ever
symbolical, and that those which were, in process of time ceased to be so
in relation to the successors or dependents of the original assumers. When
surnames were first generally adopted, a personage to whom nature had
given a pale visage took the name of White. His sons might be all ruddy
and his grandsons all brown, yet every one of them bore the family name of
White. Again, the original Mr. Wise might have had the misfortune to
become the progenitor of a long line of blockheads, and Mr. Smith's
descendants have all been tailors; yet, regardless of these
circumstances, their posterity are all, respectively, Wises and Smiths
until this day. So it has necessarily occurred with heraldric devices; and
many a gentleman who bears crescents or other celestial insignia, is
chiefly intent upon mundane affairs; while many another, whose shield
displays the rampant lion possesses the peaceful disposition of a lamb.
Strangely at variance with experience is ofttimes found the sentiment of

  "Fortes creantur fortibus et bonis,
  ---- nec imbellem feroces
  Progenerant aquilæ columbam."

The early treatises on heraldry contain little beyond the technicalities
of the science; but in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries a race of
authors arose who bestowed infinite labour upon researches into the origin
of heraldric figures and their symbolical meaning. According to these
writers, every tincture and bearing adumbrated the natural dispositions of
the bearer. The treatises of Leigh and the succeeding heraldrists down to
the time of Morgan abound with speculations, often ingenious but still
oftener absurd, as to the import of armorial ensigns; and a new system
arose sustaining the same relation to heraldry that astrology bears to
astronomy. This was called ARMILOGIA, or the Language of Arms; and the
length to which it was carried tended perhaps more than any other
circumstance to bring the study of legitimate armory into disrepute. In
the present Chapter it is my intention to give a few specimens of these
theories selected here and there, without any attempt at collation; for
their originators are often widely at variance with each other, and, as
in most other matters that are purely speculative, we find "quot homines
tot sententiæ."

One of the foremost absurdities of this system is the respect paid to the
mystic number nine. In whatever point of view we examine the armory of
those days, nine prominent features are made to present themselves; thus
there are 9 tinctures, 9 sorts of shields, 9 furs, 9 honourable
ordinaries, 9 roundles, 9 differences of brethren, 9 worthy partitions, 9
mesles, 9 abatements of honour, 9 virtues of chivalry, 9 worthies, 9
female ditto, 9 sorts of gentry, 9 duties of heralds, ix artycles of
gentilnes, ix vices contrary to gentilmen, ix precious stonys, ix vertues
of precious stonys, 9 especial rejoicings, &c. &c. &c.

"Wherefore," asks old Leigh, "have you used the number of nyne in all your
demonstracions more than any other?" to which Gerard replies, "Not onely
because it is aptest for this science, for that the rules incident thereto
chiefly fall out to that number, but that for that of all simple numbers
it is most of content. The figure whereof holdeth all other vnder it, as
by the Arte of Arithmetique ye may sonest perceve, where ye shall fynde,
that all articles and compoundes, be they never so hudge,[139] are made of
nyne figures. The golden number also of itselfe, is the last, the whiche
ye may equally devyde into three odde partes, which have bin resembled to
the blisse of the iii Ierarchies of holines. In the which every one hath a
likenes of the Trinitie," with much more equally to the purpose.[140]

Nothing can be more tedious than to follow a zealous _armilogist_ through
all the windings and turnings into which his fancy leads him. I quote, by
way of example, Leigh's remarks on the tincture gules or red:

"The first of these seven coloures is called Geules. And is in colour
neither red nor sanguine, but is the verye vermilion itself. For that is
right Geule. It is a royal colour, and hath that proper qualitie in it
selfe that it may not be gased on any while. For then the eye is wekened
therby. The author wherof is profe it selfe. _L._ I thincke you may be to
seke for comendacion of this colour, for I have not harde muche either
spoken or written in prayse of it. Can ye saye any thyng? _G._ Although it
shewe itself to be commendable, yet shall it not wante my prayse. I were
nere dryven to the wall, if I had no more to commende this coloure by but
that where-with the Frenshe herehaughts[141] did sett forthe their
Auriflamb, whiche came frome heaven, as by vaine miracle they fayne. But
they that make suche shifte shulde rather have taken occasion to praise
the same, for that the red rammes skinnes covered the arke. And that is no
fable. Yet for my promise of comendacion, I say to you, it is and longe
hath ben used of emperours and kyngs for an apparell of majestie and of
judges in their judgement seates. Also God the Father, promysinge
redemption to the people, by the passion of Christ, saieth, 'What is he
that cometh from Edom, with redd-coloured clothes of Bosra?' which is so
costly clothe. Besides this, it is often spoken of in the scripture which
I leve of for lengthnynge of time. Nowe wyll I speake of the planett Mars,
which is the planett that this colour appertayneth to and is of all other
the hotest, and most fyrye. Martianus telleth, he is the armipotent god of
battell whose hardy desire is to be avenged with spedy boldenes.
Ptolomeus sayeth, this planett maketh a man apte to all firye workes.
_L._ If this be all the prayse you can gyve him, you will no more offend
me with tediousnes. _G._ What nedeth more than enoughe, can ye not
understand hereby what the nature of Mars is? _L._ Yes, very well. _G._
Why then I will shewe you of the precious stone appertainyng to that
colour and planett, which is called a Rubye. It is a stone of dignitie,
and as Isidore writeth, is of the kynde of carbuncles. This precious stone
neither fier wasteth or changeth his colour. This was one of the precious
stones that was sett in the brest lapp of Aron. Of diuerse authors this is
diversely and wonderfully commended for hys singuler vertues. As who list
to rede may finde plentifully inoughe written thereof. Now to the colour
simple and compounde. Of itselfe

  1, It betokeneth strength, bouldenes with hardenes.
  2, with Or, a desire to conquere.
  3, with Argent, envie revenged.
  4, with Azure, to wynne heaven by good dedes.
  5, with Sable, hateth the worlde, with werynes thereof.
  6, with Verte, bould of corage in youth.
  7, with Purpure, strong in dede, juste in worde, &c."

In like manner our author labours through the remaining colours, ascribing
to each some wonderful virtue. The irrelevant nature of the observations
introduced is occasionally highly diverting. Nature, art, metaphysics,
religion, history, are all in turn made to contribute something towards
the illustration of the armilogist's theories. In his disquisition on
Argent or silver, he remarks, "Being fine it is medicinable." His
imaginary friend says, "You digresse now, and meddell with that that
apperteineth not to this arte." At this Master Gerard waxes wroth and
says, "I marvayle what science arte or misterye it were that an herhaught
sholde have none intelligence thereof? were it never so secret or
profunde. For, if he have not of all thynges some vnderstanding, as well
as of severall languages he is not worthye to be an herhaught. Therefore
necessary it is for him to have an universal knowledge in eche

I can scarcely hope to interest my reader by a display of the symbolical
meaning of the colours of heraldry, yet as perchance some one may feel
gratified in being able to judge of his or her own character and
dispositions by examining the family achievement, I will here, as briefly
as possible, set down the result of Master Leigh's philosophy, divested of
its verbiage.

GOLD, then, betokens wisdom, justice, riches, and elevation of mind.
Compounded with silver, it signifies victory over all infidels, Turks and
Saracens; with gules, a disposition to shed one's blood to acquire riches;
and with azure, a disposition to keep what one gets. Combined with sable
it typifies constancy in all things, particularly in love; with vert, a
joyful possession of riches; and with purpure a friendly feeling even
towards enemies.

SILVER alone signifies chastity, charity, and a clear conscience; but in
company with

  gold--the will 'to reuenge Christ's bluddshed.'
  gules--honest boldness.
  azure--courtesy and discretion.
  vert--virtue (!)
  purpure--the favour of the people.

GULES has already been described. AZURE, simple, shows a godly
disposition, and joined with

  gold--the joyful possession of wealth.
  silver--vigilance in service.
  gules--aptitude to reprove villany.
  sable--sympathy for suffering.
  vert--success in enterprise.
  purpure--wisdom in counsel.

SABLE betokens constancy, divine doctrine, and sorrow for loss of friends.

  gold, it means long life.
  gules, it excites the fear of enemies.
  azure, it shows a desire to appease strife.
  vert--joy after sorrow.
  purpure--a religious disposition till death.

VERT, _per se_, means joy, love, and gladness. In poetry it is usually
associated with these feelings. He who bears it with

  gold, is 'all in pleasure and joy.'
  silver--a sure lieutenant.
  gules--a determined fellow.
  azure--has excess of mirth.
  sable--moderation of ditto.
  purpure--bad luck after good fortune.

PURPURE, alone, betokeneth jurisdiction, and combined with

  or--wisdom and riches.
  silver--a peaceable disposition.
  gules--policy in war.
  azure--just, but unfortunate, service.
  sable--'lamentable as the lapwing.'
  &c. &c. &c.

The ordinaries, the lines of partition, &c., according to this system, are
all significant: thus the bordure signifies a siege; the fesse, command;
the cheveron, great note and estimation; per bend, justice; bendy-undy,
some notable enterprise achieved by water; the pile, immortal virtue;
nebuly, labour and travail. Morgan speaks of the "direct line of
self-love; the flecked and wavy line of pride; the clouded line of
self-conceit; the indented line of envie; the crenelle line of ambition,

Among common charges the rose means mercy and justice; the pomegranate, a
true soldier; the billet, justice; the garb, plenty, &c.

The following queer passage occurs in Morgan:[144]

"Some of the ancients were of opinion that the forbidden fruit was an aple
of green colour, which we term a pomace: but it might aswel been blew,
since we term it a _hurt_: for of that colour is Becanus his Indian
fig-tree, which he affirms to be the tree of the forbidden fruit: if it
had been red it had been a _tortiaux_, which hath tortered her posterity
ever since; if it had been an orange it was the symbole of dissimulation,
by which the woman might easily be deceived: if it had been the golden
aples of the sun, the pomegranates, it had purple berries within it that
left a stain, being a _besant_ of a waighty _guilt_: or it might have been
silver, for it was fair to the eye, and was a _plate_ that served the
worst fruit to mankind."

Almost every heraldric animal is emblematical of the qualities of the
bearer; but as, upon this principle, little honour would redound to the
bearers of some species, Guillim tells us that "all sortes of animals
borne in armes or ensigns must in blazoning be interpreted in the best
sense, that is, according to their most generous and noble qualities, and
so to the greatest honour of their bearers. For example, the fox is full
of wit, and withall given wholly to filching for his prey. If then this be
the charge of an escocheon we must conceive the qualities represented to
be his wit and cunning, but not his pilfering and stealing."

The following list of emblematical animals and their parts may amuse some:
those whose taste does not lie this way can easily pass it over.

  The Ass--patience.
      Bull's head--rage.
      Hart--skill in music.
      Horns of stags, &c.--fortitude.
      Lion rampant--courage and generosity.
      Lion passant--majesty, clemency, circumspection.
      Bear--affection for offspring.
      Dog--fidelity, intelligence.
      Hedgehog--provident care.
      Snail--much deliberation (!)
      Stork--filial piety, gratitude.
      Eagle--a lofty spirit.
      Wings--celerity, protection.
      Pelican--love of offspring.

The _wolf_, according to Upton, signifies a _wrangler in parliament_ or

It does not seem to have occurred to these allegorizing worthies that the
tincture of a charge may be diametrically opposed to the signification
assigned to the charge itself. For example, the coat, 'Vert, a bull's head
or,' by the armilogical rules cited above, would signify, as to the
tinctures, pleasure and joy, while as to the charge it would mean rage and
fury. Again, 'Purpure, a wolf argent' would mean "a wrangler with a
peaceable disposition!!"

It was my intention to have examined this Language of Arms with more
minuteness, but after a little research I find the labour ill-bestowed. He
who can relish such far-fetched notions may gratify himself by a perusal
of the somewhat rare folio often before quoted, Sylvanus Morgan's 'Sphere
of Gentry,' London, 1661; and still further by that of his supplementary
'Armilogia,' a small quarto published in 1666. These works, with many
others of this and the preceding centuries, contain much useful scientific
information on Heraldry, and generally evince some scholarship, but they
are most unnecessarily blended with what Mr. Moule justly designates "a
cabalistic jargon,"[145] that renders it a matter of utter impossibility
for any person of ordinary patience to read them through. Guillim, whose
work is on the whole the most readable of the number, is not altogether
free from this laboured absurdity.

One feature in many of the early works on Heraldry occasionally renders
them exceedingly amusing, and may partly countervail the prosy dulness of
armilogy--namely, the fancied attributes of visible objects generally, but
of animals in particular. Absurdities in Natural History at which a child
would now laugh are gravely advanced, and often supported by quotations
from Pliny and other classical authors. A few specimens from Leigh and
Guillim are subjoined.

The =Hart=, saith Avicene, "is never troubled with fevers, because he hath
no gall. He hath a bone in his hert, as precious as yvery. He feareth
muche the voyce of the foxe, and hateth the serpent. He is long lived. For
Aristotle writeth, that Diomedes did consecrate a hart to Diana, with a
coller of golde about his necke, which had these wordes, DIOMEDES DIANÆ.
After whose tyme, almost a thousand yeres, Agathocles the kynge of Sicile
did kill the same harte, and offered him up with his coller to Jupiter, in
hys temple, which was in Calabria."[146]

"The =Bore= is the ryght Esquier, for he beareth both armor and shielde,
and fighteth sternelye. When he determineth to fight, he will frot his
left shield the space of halfe a day, against an oke. Because that when he
is streking thereon with the tuskes of his enemy, he shal feele no griefe
thereof, and when they have fought one day together then they wil depart
of themselves, keping good appointment, to meete in the same place, the
next day after, yea, and the third day, till one of them be victor."[147]

Of the =Wolf= he says. "It is sayde, if a man be seene of hym first, the
man leseth his voyce. But if the wolfe be scene of manne first, then the
wolfe leseth his boldenesse and hardines. Plinie wryteth, he loueth to
playe with a chylde, and that he will not hurt it, tyll he be extreame
houngry, what time he will not spare to devowre it.... Avicene telleth
that he desyreth greatly to eate fishe. And Phisiologus writeth that he
may not bend his necke backewarde, in no moneth of the yere but in May....
He enfecteth the wolle of shepe that he byteth, and is adversarye to them
and theyr lambes.... There is nothynge that he hateth so much as the
knockynge together of two flint stones, the whiche he feareth more then
the hunters. Aristotle sayeth that all kinde of wolves are contrary to all
kynde of sheepe. For profe wherof Cornelius Agrippa also affirmed that if
a man make a string of the wolves guts and put it on the harpe with
stringes made of shepes guttes, it will never bee brought with any consent
of harmony to agree with the other."[148]

Of the =Raven= Guillim says: "It hath bene an ancient received opinion,
and the same also grounded upon the warrant of the sacred scriptures (if I
mistake not) that such is the propertie of the Raven, that from the time
his young ones are hatched or disclosed, untill he seeth what colour they
will be of, he never taketh care of them nor ministreth any food unto
them, therefore it is thought that they are in the meane space nourished
with the heavenly dew. And so much also doth the kingly prophet, David,
affirme, Which giveth fodder unto the cattell, and feedeth the young
Ravens that call upon him. Psal. 147, 9. The Raven is of colour blacke,
and is called in Latine, Corvus, or Corax, and (according to Alexander)
hath but one kind of cry or sound which is _Cras, Cras_. When he
perceiveth his young ones to be pennefeathered and black like himself,
then doth he labour by all meanes to foster and cherish them from thence

"Some report that those who rob the =Tiger= of her yong, use a policy to
detaine their damme from following them by casting sundry looking-glasses
in the way, whereat shee useth long to gaze, whether it be to behold her
owne beauty or because when shee seeth her shape in the glasse, she
thinketh she seeth one of her yong ones, and so they escape the swiftnesse
of her pursuit. And thus," moralizes our author, "are many deceived of the
substance, whiles they are much busied about the shadowes."[150]

The following, however, shows that Master Guillim was growing sceptical of
some of the 'vulgar errours' of his day:

"Pierius, in his Hieroglyphicks saith, that if a man stricken of a
=Scorpion= sit upon an asse, with his face towards the taile of the asse,
his paine shall passe out of him into the asse, which shall be tormented
for him. In my opinion he that will beleeve this, is the creature that
must be ridden in this case!"[151]



Allusive Arms--Armes Parlantes.

[Illustration: (Arms of the Family of Dobell.)]

"Non verbis sed _rebus_ loquimur."

Allusive Arms are of two kinds: first, those which contain charges that
relate to the character, office, or history of the original bearer; and,
secondly, those which convey a direct pun upon his name. Of the former
description are the covered cups in the arms of Butler, and the
bugle-horns in those of Forester.[152] Several examples of this species
of bearings are given in the ninth chapter of this volume under the title
of 'Historical Arms.' At present, I shall confine myself to the second
class, which are called, in Latin blazon, Arma Cantantia, in French, Armes
Parlantes, and in English, =Canting Arms=. Of this kind we have examples
in the arms of Camel, a camel; Colt, 3 colts; Blackmore, 3 Moor's heads,

Dallaway, Porny, and other modern writers condemn this species of
bearings, as of recent origin, and unworthy of a place amongst the
classical devices of antient heraldry. Porny places them in the category
of Assumptive Arms--"such as are taken up by the caprice or fancy of
upstarts, though of never so mean extraction." This notion, with
whomsoever it originated, is decidedly erroneous, for such charges are
found not only in the arms of distinguished nobles and knights in the very
earliest days of hereditary armory, but occur also in those of several of
the sovereign states of Europe. According to some authors the LIS in the
royal arms of France are a play upon the name of Louis, antiently spelt
_Loys_. The arms of Spain exhibit, quarterly, a castle and a lion--a pun
upon the names of the united provinces of Castile and Leon; and after the
conquest of Granada by Ferdinand and Isabella, a _pomegranate_ was added
in the base of the escocheon. As to canting charges in the arms of
subjects, we may observe that, in the earliest Roll of Arms extant, that
of the time of Henry III,[153] at least nine such occur. To prove this
assertion, as well as to give the reader a sample of antient blazon, I
shall quote them:

    Reinold de Moun--de goules ov ung _manche_ d'argent.

    Nicholas de Moeles--d'argent a deux barres de goules, a trois _molets_
    en le cheif goules.

    Geoffrey de Lucy--de goules a trois _lucies_ d'or.

    Roger de Merley--barree d'argent et de goulz, a la bordur d'azure, et
    _merlots_ d'or en le bordur.

    Hugh de Ferrers--_Vairre_, de argent et d'azur.

    Robert Quency--de Goules ung _quintefueil_ de hermyne.

    Thomas Corbett--d'or deux _corbeaux_ noir.

    Adam de Swyneburne--de goules a trois testes de _Senglier_ d'argent.

    Odinel Heron--d'azur a trois _herons_ d'argent.

In another Roll, made temp. Edw. II., armes parlantes are still more

    Sire Peres Corbeht--de or, a ij _corbils_ de sable.

    Sire Robert de Eschales--de goules, a vj _eschalops_ de argent.

_Suthsex and Suthreye_:

    Sire Johan Heringaud--de azure, crusule de or a vj _harengs_
    (herrings) de or.


    Sire Robert de Sevens, de azure, a iij _vans_ de or.

    Sire Aumori de Lucy, de azure, crusule de or, a iij _lucys_ de or.


    Sire Adam Martel, de sable, a iij _martels_ de argent.

    Sire William Videlou, de argent, a iij testes de _lou_, de goules.


    Sire Rauf de Cheyndut, de azure, a un _cheyne_ de or, a un label de

    Sire Johan LE LOU, de argent a ij barres de goules, en le chef iij
    testes de _lou_ de goules.


    Sire Johan Passeleu, bende de or e de azure, a un quarter de argent, e
    un _lu_pard _pass_-aunt de goules.

    Sire Johan Heroun, de azure a iij _herouns_ de argent.


    Sire Guy Ferre, de goules, a un _fer_-de-molin de argent, e un bastoun
    de azure.

    Sire Richarde de Cokfeld, de azure, a une croix e iij _coks_ de or.

    Sire Huge de Morieus, de azure, a iij foiles de _moures_ de or.


    Sire ---- Mounpynzon, de argent, a un lion de sable, a un
    _pinzon_[154] de or en le espandle.


    Sire Giles de Trompintoun, de azure, crusule de or, a ij _trompes_ de

_Derby et Notingham_:

    Sire Johan le Fauconer, de argent a iij _faucouns_ de goules.

    Sire Johan Bordoun, de goules a iij _bordons_ de argent.


    Sire Johan de Swyneford, d'argent a iij testes de _cenglers_ de

_Norehaunton et Rotelonde_:

    Sire Geffrey Rossel, de or, a un cheveron azure, e iij roses de


    Sire William Bernak, de argent, a une fesse and iij _bernaks_ de


    Sire Peres Corbet, de or a un _corbyn_ de sable.

    Sire Thomas Corbet, de or a iij _corbyns_ de sable.


    Sire Walter Hakelut, de goules, a iij _hackes_ daneys de or, et un
    daunce de argent.

_Northumberland and Comberland_:

    Sire Odynel Heron, de argent a iij herons de azure.

    Sire Johan Malebis, de argent, a iij testes de _bis_ de goules.

In addition to these, I may adduce the following very antient families,
whose arms are not traceable to any grant, but have been borne
immemorially as antient arms. The Pelhams bear three _pel_icans, and their
crest is a _pe_acock. The puns in both instances, it must be confessed,
are very poor; still, few will doubt that puns were intended. The Arundels
bear six swallows, in French _hirondelles_. The Barons D'Aquila, temp.
Henry III, bore _eagles_; the Bourgchiers, water-_bowgets_; the
Heringauds, _herrings_; Lupus, Earl of Chester, a _wolf's_ head;
Shouldham, Abbot of St. Saviour's, _shov_ellers; the Bacons, a _boar_; the
Wingfelds, _wings_; the Rokewoods, chess-_rooks_; the Pigots, _pick_-axes;
the Boleynes, _bulls'_ heads; the Shelleys, _shells_; and an infinity of

Dame Julyan Berners was no stranger to such arms, for she distinctly
mentions the coat of Peter de Roches, bishop of Winchester, who "baar iij
rochys (roaches) after his awne naam." The cross-_corded_, borne by the
_roper_ who became a "nobull man," spoken of by that lady, belongs to the
other class of allusive arms, as conveying a hint at his former menial

That this kind of charges became too common in the early part of the
seventeenth century, Dallaway is, perhaps, correct in affirming; but those
were punning days, and quaint conceits often took the place of true wit.
Camden, the correctness of whose heraldric taste none will presume to
question, did not hold _arma cantantia_ in so contemptible a light as some
of his successors in office have done; for among the arms granted by him,
a list of which is given by Morgan,[155] the following, among others,

    DOBELL of Falmer, co. Sussex, Sable, a _doe_ passant between three
    _bells_ argent.[156]

    BULLOCK of London. Bulls' heads.

    FOSTER of London. Bugle-horns.

    HAMPSON of Kent. Hemp-breaks.

    FISHER of Staffordshire. A Kingfisher.

    CONIE of Huntingdonshire. Coneys.

    CROWCH.[157] Crosses formée.

    LANGHORN. Bugle-horns.

    CANNON of Pembrokeshire. Crest. A cannon.

    TREHERNE. Three herns.

    CROSS of Lincolnshire. A cross-crosslet.

    KNIGHTLEY. A lance.[158]

There was a kind of Rebus much in vogue in the fourteenth and following
centuries, which, although not regulated by the laws of blazon, possessed
somewhat of the heraldric character. Many persons, even those of antient
family, who bore regular coats of arms, adopted various figures for the
purpose of expressing their names pictorially; for instance, one John
Eagleshead gave as his seal an _eagle's head_, surrounded by the motto,


The Abbot of Ramsay bore, in the same way, _a ram in the sea_, with an
appropriate legend. One Harebottle expressed his name by a _hare_ upon a
_bottle_; while Islip, abbot of Westminster, represented his by a man
slipping out of a tree, and supposed to exclaim, "I slip!" These "painted
poesies," as Camden styles them, occur chiefly in painted glass windows,
in decorated Gothic architecture, and in the title-pages of early printed

One of the most singular rebuses I have seen occurs in a window in the
chapel at Lullingstone, co. Kent, the seat of Sir P. H. Dyke, Bart. It is
that of Sir John Peché. In this instance the arms of the personage are
surrounded by a wreath, composed of two branches of a peach tree bearing
fruit, every peach being marked with an Old English =e=; Peach-é. It is
curious that this device proves the true pronunciation of the name, which
was formerly supposed to be Peche.

The common rebus, although it did not come into general use until after
the introduction of regular heraldry, may boast of a much higher
antiquity, for such devices occur as the representatives of names of no
less eminence than those of Cicero and Cæsar; not to mention those of
celebrated sculptors and mint-masters, who, in the palmiest days of Rome,
frequently marked the productions of their genius with a rebus. Taking
into consideration the great antiquity of these "name-devices," and their
early introduction into the armorial shield, I cannot see any good reason
for the strong prejudices which have existed against them in modern times.
To me, indeed, they appear not only 'allowable' but 'commendable' armory;
for arms, like names, are signs of personality, and therefore those which
'speak to the eye' most intelligibly are preferable to those charges which
have in themselves no meaning.[160]

There can be no doubt but that, from the mutations our language has
experienced within the last six centuries, many of the allusions contained
in coats of arms are greatly obscured, while others are totally lost. The
arms of the family of Eschales, now written Scales, exhibit eschalops
(escallops), and those of Sykes, fountains--a _syke_, in the northern
dialects, signifying a spring, or rather that kind of well, which was
formerly sunk within the precincts of a camp.

       *       *       *       *       *

In order to show how numerous allusive arms are in English armory, I will
here give a list of those occurring in the Baronetage as it stood in
1836,[161] omitting, for the sake of brevity, the details of the blazon.

    BACON. (Crest.) A boar.

    SHELLEY. Three whelk-_shells_.

    BURDETT of Bramcote. Six birds (martlets).

    FOULIS. Three leaves (feuilles, Fr.)

    PALMER. (Crest.) A demi panther, holding a palm-branch. Motto: "Palma

    RIVERS. Two bars dancetté. Query: if these were not originally _wavy_,
    to represent _rivers_?

    MANSELL. Three maunches.

    HAZLERIGG. Three hazel-leaves.

    GORING. Three annulets (rings!)

    WOLSELEY. (Crest.) A wolf's head.

    BURGOYNE. Three _birds_ (martlets), and three talbots (_canes_).

    HAMPSON. Three hemp-breaks.

    SWINBURNE. (Crest.) A demi boar.

    ASHBURNHAM. (Crest.) An ash tree.

    BROOKE. (Crest.) A _Brock_ (O. E. for badger).

    BURDETT of Burthwaite. Three birds (martlets).

    HEAD. Three unicorns' heads.

    OXENDEN. Three oxen.

    PARKER of London. A stag's head.

    RAMSDEN. Three ram's heads.

    COLT. Three colts.

    WARRENDER. (Crest.) A rabbit.

    FEATHERSTONHAUGH. Three feathers.

    SHEFFIELD. Three garbs (sheaves).

    CUNLIFFE. Three conies.

    WOLFF. (Crest.) A wolf.

    BERNARD-MORLAND. Quarters a bear.

    COOTE. Three cootes.

    HERON. Three herons.

    SYKES. Three fountains (sykes, vide p. 126).

    FLETCHER. Four arrow-heads.

    BEEVOR. (Crest.) A beaver.

    HUNTER-BLAIR. Three hunting horns.

    MILLER. A cross moline.

    CALL. Three trumpets.

    GOULD. _Or_, a griffin segreant.

    BARING. A bear's head.

    LAMB. Three lambs.

    BOUGHEY-FLETCHER. Four arrows.

    TROWBRIDGE. An antient bridge.

    MILNES. Three windmill-sails.

    BALL. A hand-grenade.

    BAYNES. Cross bones.

    METCALFE. Three calves.

    KAY. (Crest.) A griffin's head holding a key.

    LETHBRIDGE. A bridge.

    HARTWELL. A hart.

    SHELLEY. Three whelk shells, as before.

    LOCKHART. A heart within a fetter-lock.

    FRASER. Three cinquefoils, or rather strawberry-leaves (Fr.

    CORBET. A corby or raven.

    WOOD of Gatton. A tree.

    BAIRD. A boar.

    COCKERELL. Two cocks.

    FLETCHER of Carrow. Four arrow-heads.

    SHEAFFE. Three garbs (sheaves).

    ANDERSON. A saltier or St. Andrew's cross.

    BROKE. (Crest.) A brock or badger.

    WYLIE. A [_wily_] fox.

    GRIFFIES-WILLIAMS. Four griffins.

    WALLER. Three walnut leaves. (Crest.) A walnut tree.

    OAKES. Three oak branches.

    TROTTER. (Crest.) A horse!

    BROOKE of Colebrook. A brock again.

    DALRYMPLE-HORN (Elphinstone). Three bugle-horns.

    KEY. Three keys.

    FOSTER (Antiently written Forester). Three bugle-horns.

    HOLYOAKE-GOODRICKE. (Crest.) An oak tree with a scroll containing the
    words "Sacra Quercus."

    PAULETT. Three swords. The sword was the distinctive mark of St. Paul.

    ROE. (Crest.) A roebuck.

A more thorough acquaintance with English archaisms and provincialisms
would probably enable one to detect numerous other bearings corresponding
with the surnames of the bearers; but these seventy examples, cited from
one branch of our lesser nobility only, are fully sufficient to prove that
there is nothing mean or disgraceful in canting or allusive arms.

It would be a matter of little difficulty to fill fifty pages with arms of
this description, but a few more, and those of the most remarkable, may be
given. The family of _Still_ bear guttée d'eau, drops of water; STILLA,
Lat. a drop; _Drope_, Lord Mayor of London, also bore guttée; and
_Harbottle_ bore three drops or. _Vere_, Earl of Oxford, gave a boar, in

_Clear_, _Bright_, _Day_, and _St. Clere_ bear a 'sun in splendour;' the
same luminary is also given by Dy_son_ and Pear_son_; while Dela_luna_
bears a crescent, and _Ster_ling stars.

The crest of _Holden-Rose_, as given in Baker's Northamptonshire, may be
briefly described as a hand HOLDING A ROSE!

Harrison bears a hedgehog, in French _herisson_; Pascall, a paschal-lamb;
and Keats three cats!

_And_ bears gules a Roman =&= argent!

Brand, Lord Dacre, bears two _brands_, or antient swords, in saltire;
Hose, three _legs_ couped at the thigh; and Pickering, a _pike_ between
three _annulets_.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Le même usage (says Salverte) a été alternativement cause et effet." We
have already seen that multitudes of armorial ensigns have been borrowed
from the bearers' names--it is asserted by several authors that, in many
cases, _surnames were borrowed from arms_. Salverte[162] thinks that many
of the chiefs who were engaged in the Crusades assumed and handed down to
their posterity names allusive to the charges of their banners. He also
notices, from the history of Poland, the fact that there were in that
country, in the twelfth century, two families called respectively _Rose_
and _Griffon_, and he thinks "we may with probability suppose, that both
took from their arms those names, which no longer subsist, because
hereditary surnames were not yet established in Poland." In Sweden, again,
according to this learned writer, there is _proof_ that the nobles
followed such a practice. "One who bore in his arms the head of an ox
assumed the name of OXENSTIERN (front de boeuf;) and another took the
name of SPARR, on account of the cheveron which formed the principal
feature of his coat."

"A particular instance of the armorial ensign being metonymically put for
the bearer of it, occurs in the history of the Troubadours, the first of
whom was called the Dauphin, or knight of the Dolphin, because he bore
this figure on his shield. In the person of one of his successors, the
name Dauphin became a title of sovereign dignity. Many other surnames were
in this manner taken from arms, as may be inferred from the ordinary
phraseology of romance, where many of the warriors are styled knights of
the lion, of the eagle, of the rose, &c., according to the armorial
figures they bore on their shields."[163] At tournaments the combatants
usually bore the title of Knights of the Swan, Dragon, Star, or whatever
charge was most conspicuous in their arms.[164]

The arms of Trusbut are three water-bowgets, 'Très boutz.' Mr. Montagu
thinks the name was taken from the bearings.[165]

The royal line of Plantagenet derived their appellation from the _Planta
genesta_, their very antient badge.

There is certainly some probability that a few of our English surnames,
particularly those derived from the animal kingdom, come immediately from
an heraldrical source; though it would be a matter of great difficulty
positively to ascertain whether the names or the arms were adopted first.

Without attempting to decide, therefore, which had the earliest existence,
I shall annex certain surnames of an heraldrical character, which have
found their way into our family nomenclature, and give the more prominent
features of the blazon borne with those names, leaving it to the reader to
form his own conclusions:

    1. CROSS. Many families of this name bear crosses and crosslets.

    2. SALTIRE bears billets and a bordure, but not the ordinary so

    3. CHEVERON bears two cheverons.

    4. CANTON. Several families are so designated, but not one of them
    bears the canton of heraldry.

    5. BILLET. The same remark applies.

    6. GORE. In various coats, crosslets, lions and bars, but not one
    _gore_, the only hint at the name being _bulls' heads_ in two or three

    7. PILE. A cross and four nails.

    8. MASCLE. Some families of _Mascall_ bear barry of eight, others
    fleur-de-lis and a bordure, and the family of _Mascule_, a fesse.

    9. ROUNDLE. _Roundell_ does not bear this charge.

    10. BARRY. Of the many families of this name some bear barry, bars and
    barulets; and BARR bears (int. al.) a _bar_.

    11. PALY. Two families bear bends; but not one _paly_.

    12. DELVES. The family of Delves bear these in several arrangements.

PALE, FESSE, CHIEF, BEND, QUARTER, and an infinity of the names of
charges, do not occur as English surnames.

Of the etymology of the somewhat common name _Crown-in-shield_, I am
entirely ignorant; nor do I find any arms assigned to it.

[Illustration: (Rebus of De Aquila.)]


Crests, Supporters, Badges, etc.

[Illustration: (Gilderedge. Bourchier. Exmew.)]

Hitherto our attention has been principally directed to the escocheon and
its charges. It now remains to treat of those heraldric ornaments which
surround the shield, as crests, helmets, wreaths, mantlings, supporters,
scrolls, mottoes, and badges: and first, of crests, and their

Every one must have remarked that when the heraldric insignia of a family
are represented in full, the shield or escocheon is surmounted with a
helmet, the antient covering for the warrior's head. These helmets are
drawn according to certain fixed rules. Although their general shapes are
as various and fanciful as those of shields, their positions, &c. are
regulated by the rank of the bearers: for instance, the sovereign's
helmet is of gold, full faced, and open, with six bars; that of dukes is
of steel, placed a little in profile, and defended with five gold bars;
that of baronets and knights is of steel, full-faced, the visor up, and
without bars; and that of esquires and gentlemen is also of steel with the
visor down, ornamented with gold, and placed in profile. According to some
authors, the helmets of bastards should be turned to the sinister or left
side, to denote their illegitimacy.[166]

Upon the top of the helmet is the _wreath_, which was originally a kind of
chaplet surrounding the warrior's head. It was composed of two bands, or
skeins of silk twisted together and tinctured of the principal metal and
colour of the arms. The wreath is used in the majority of bearings, but
occasionally a ducal coronet or a chapeau occurs instead.[167] From this
ornament, whether wreath, chapeau, or coronet, rises the CREST.

The word crest appears to be derived from the Latin _crista_, the comb or
tuft which grows upon the heads of many species of birds. The idea, as
well as the name, was doubtless borrowed from this source. The crest was
sometimes called a COGNIZANCE from cognosco, because by its means the
wearer was _known_ or distinguished on the field of battle.

Crests were originally worn by military commanders upon the apices of
their helmets as the proud distinction of their rank; and, by adding to
their apparent stature, served to give them a formidable aspect. They also
enabled their soldiers to rally round their persons, and to follow their
movements in the confusion of the battle. The tall plumes of birds, human
heads, and figures of animals in a rampant posture, seem to have been
among the earliest devices made use of.

The antiquity of crests for the uses above referred to, is far greater
than that of the introduction of heraldry. The helmets of the divinities
and heroes of the classical era are thus decorated. The owl on that of
Minerva may be cited as an example. Jupiter Ammon is represented as having
borne, as a crest, a ram's head, which Alexander the Great adopted in
token of his pretended descent from that deity. The use of crests by
antient warriors is alluded to by Phædrus in his fable of the battle of
the mice and weasels, where the generals of the former party are
represented as wearing horns fastened to their heads:

              "Ut conspicuum in prælio
  Haberent signum quod sequerentur milites."
                                      _Fab. LIII._

In heraldry, the adoption of crests is modern compared with that of
coat-armour,[168] and many families at the present time have no crests.
This is easily accounted for. We have seen that they were at first used
exclusively by commanders. In time, however, the spirit of imitation led
persons of inferior rank to assume those of their feudal superiors; and
hence far less regularity is found in the heraldry of crests than in that
of coat-armour. In many cases crests have been borrowed from one or other
of the charges of the shield: hence if the coat contain a lion rampant,
the crest is frequently a demi, or half lion, or a lion's head; and should
three or six eagles occupy the shield, another eagle often serves as a

With respect to the material of which the actual crests were composed,
some assert that it was leather, or pasteboard stiffened and varnished, to
preserve it from the wet; but the few that I have had an opportunity of
inspecting are composed of more substantial materials. Thus the crest of
one of the Echingham family, 'a demi-lion rampant,' on a helmet preserved
in Echingham church, co. Sussex, is of wood, and that of a knight of the
Pelham family in Laughton church, in the same county, 'a peacock in his
pride,' is of iron.

The crests engraved at the head of this chapter have been selected on
account of their singularity.[169]

The flourished ornament behind the crest, and which is often made to
encompass the entire armorial insignia, was originally either a mantle of
estate, worn when the warrior was not actually engaged in battle, and
tinctured of the metal and colour of his arms,[170] or from the
_lambrequin_, a small piece of cloth or silk employed to protect the
helmet from rain, as well as to prevent the polished steel from dazzling
the eyes of the spectator. The jags and flourishes are conjectured to
represent the cuts which a valiant knight would receive in battle; and
hence the extravagant fashion of painting these mantlings was probably
intended as a compliment to the prowess of the bearer.

SUPPORTERS are those figures which stand on each side of the escocheon,
and appear to support, or hold it up. In Latin blazon they are termed
Talamones and Atlantes, and in French _supports_ or _tenans_. As crests
are more recent than coat-armour, so supporters are of later date than

Menestrier, the great classic of French heraldric literature, deduces the
origin of supporters from the antient tournaments, at which it was
customary for the knights who engaged in those chivalrous exercises to
have shields of their arms adorned with helmets, mantlings, wreaths,
crests, and other ornamental appendages suspended near the lists. These
were guarded by pages and armour-bearers fantastically attired as
Saracens, Moors, Giants, and Mermaids, or disguised with skins to resemble
lions, bears, and other animals. The figures adopted in this kind of
masquerade became afterwards the supporters of the family achievement.

As I have not had the good fortune to read Menestrier's work, and only
know it through quotations, I am unable to ascertain by what arguments and
proofs his hypothesis is strengthened; but I may be allowed to express my
doubts as to this picturesque origin of supporters. The account of it
given by Anstis, in his Aspilogia, appears to me to be far more probable:

"As to supporters, they were (I take it) _the invention of the graver_,
who, in cutting, on seals, shields of arms, which were in a triangular
form and placed on a circle, finding a vacant place at each side and also
at the top of the shield, thought it an ornament to fill up the spaces
with vine branches, garbs, trees, flowers, plants, ears of corn, feathers,
fretwork, lions, wiverns, or some other animals, according to their

"If supporters had been esteemed formerly (as at this time) the marks and
ensigns of nobility, there could be no doubt but there would have been
then, as now, particular supporters appropriated to each nobleman,
exclusive of all others; whereas, in the seals of noblemen affixed to a
paper wrote to the Pope, in the year 1300, the shields of arms of
twenty-seven of them are in the same manner supported (if that term may be
used) on each side by a wivern, and seven of the others by lions; that of
John de Hastings hath the same wivern on each side of his shield of arms,
and also on the space over it; in the manner as is the lion in the seals
of Hache, Beauchamp, and De Malolacu. The seals of Despencer, Basset, and
Baddlesmere, pendent to the same instrument, have each two wiverns, or
dragons, for supporters; and that of Gilbert de Clare, three lions, placed
in the form above mentioned. The promiscuous usage of wiverns to fill the
blank in the seals is obvious to all who are concerned in these matters.

"But what is a stronger argument is, that the same sort of supporters as
those here mentioned is placed in the seals of divers persons whose
families were never advanced to the peerage, and who, not styling
themselves knights, doubtless were not bannerets; persons of which degree
(if I mistake not) now claim supporters during their lives, as well as
knights of the Garter, and some great officers of state. Instances of
this kind are often met with; nay, the engraver hath frequently indulged
his fancy so far as to insert figures which do not seem proper, according
to the present notion of supporters to arms; as two swords on each side
the arms of Sir John de Harcla; and St. George fighting with the Dragon on
one side, and the Virgin with Our Saviour in her arms on the other side,
of a seal affixed to a deed executed by Lord Ferrers, whose arms, on the
impress of a seal pendent to a deed, dated 17th May, 9{o} Henry VI, have
not any supporters. This, as well as many other omissions of supporters,
by many noblemen, in their old seals, seems likely to imply that they were
not the right of the nobility exclusive of others.

"When supporters were first assumed, if there were two on one seal, they
were generally the same; but sometimes there was only one, and sometimes
three, as may be seen on various seals.

"The manner of placing these supporters was also very different; as
sometimes, when the shield lay on the side, the supporters have been
placed so as to seem to be supporting the crest, as appears in the seal of
the Earl of Arundel, in which seal there is not any coronet. Some were
placed all standing one way; and, if but one, it was placed sometimes on
one side of the shield of arms, and sometimes on the other: sometimes,
again, it was placed at the bottom, and the arms set on it; and sometimes
behind, with the arms against it, and the head above the shield, and in a
helmet, as in the seal of William, Lord Fitz-Hugh, 12th Henry VI."

From a MS. of Wingfeld, York Herald, deposited in the College of Arms, it
appears that many families below the rank of nobility antiently used
supporters, and it is asserted that the descendants of persons who used
them have a right to perpetuate them, however they were acquired. Many
examples are cited of commoners having used supporters from an early
period: some in virtue of high offices, as those of Lords Warden of the
Cinque Ports; Comptrollers of the Household, &c.; others without any such
qualification, as, for instance, the Coverts of Sussex, the St. Legers of
Kent, the Carews of Surrey, the Savages of Cheshire, the Pastons of
Norfolk, &c. In the hall at Firle Place, co. Sussex, are the arms of Sir
John Gage, Comptroller of the Household to Queen Mary, supported by two
greyhounds. The descendants of that gentleman, long afterwards elevated to
the peerage by the title of Viscount Gage, continue to use the same
supporters. A few other instances of such resumption occur.

By a singular anomaly the Baronets of Nova Scotia are allowed by their
patents of creation to carry supporters, while the English Baronets, their
superiors both in dignity and antiquity, have not that privilege. Some of
these, however, as well as distinguished naval and military commanders,
have, at various times, received the royal license to use them.

I have attempted, in vain, to collect an authentic list of the supporters
of the royal arms of England from the time of Edward III, when, according
to some authors, they were first assumed. There are discrepances in the
authorities which are not easily accounted for. They are seldom agreed
upon those of any early sovereign. For example, Berry gives Richard II a
lion and a hart; Fosbroke says, _two angels_, and makes him the first king
who adopted supporters. Henry IV, according to Nisbet, had two angels;
Dallaway says, a lion and an antelope; and Sandford, a swan and an
antelope! To Henry V, Nisbet assigns two antelopes, while Willement, out
of Broke, gives him the lion and antelope. The probability is that all
parties are right, each having reference to a particular instance in which
the respective supporters are employed. One thing is certain, that while
the colours and charges of the shield have remained unchanged from a very
early date, the supporters have experienced many vicissitudes. Edward IV
changed his supporters at least three times; and until the reign of James
I, when the lion and unicorn became stationary, the royal supporters do
not seem to have been regarded as part of the _hereditary_ ensigns of the

I shall only add on this subject some extraordinary fashions in the use of
supporters. I am inclined to think that these adjuncts to arms originated,
partly, in the corbels of Gothic architecture, on which shields are
frequently supported in the hands of angels.[173] Numerous instances of
this kind occur in antient churches and halls built in the decorated
style. Sometimes these angels are vested in terrene habiliments, as in the
annexed cut, from a drawing of a sculptured stone among the ruins of
Robertsbridge Abbey.


Shields of arms are sometimes supported by a single animal, as in the case
of the arms of Prussia, where an eagle with two heads performs that duty.
Several instances of arms borne upon the breast of an eagle are found in
English heraldry: the following occur to my recollection, namely, those
of Richard Earl of Cornwall, brother of Henry III,[174] those of the
Lathams of Latham, in the fourteenth century,[175] and those of John le
Bray, on his seal attached to a deed dated 1327.[176] A curious instance
of this kind of supporter occurs in the arms of the lord of the manor of
Stoke-Lyne, co. Oxon. The figure employed in this case is neither angel
nor eagle, but a hawk. When Charles I held his parliament at Oxford, the
then lord of Stoke-Lyne having rendered him an important service, the king
offered him the honour of knighthood, which he gratefully declined, and
merely requested the royal permission to place the arms of his family upon
the breast of a hawk. This being granted, the lords of the manor have ever
since employed a hawk displayed as their supporter.[177]


There is another species of supporter, the use of which seems to have been
almost restricted to the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and which is
seldom noticed in our books of heraldry. The arms are represented upon a
banner, the staff of which is supported by an animal in a rampant, or,
more usually, in a sejant, posture. The arms of Sir Roger Fynes, Treasurer
of the Household to Henry VI, are thus represented over the great gate of
Hurstmonceux castle, built by him. The supporter is the _alaunt_, or
wolf-dog,[178] and the scroll round the pole seems to have contained a
motto, which is now illegible.

Some very singular supporters occur in French heraldry. Under the _ancien
régime_ the arms of most of the great officers of state were supported by
ensigns emblematical of their various duties; for example--

  _Officers._                 _Supporters._

  The Admiral of France bore  Two anchors.

  Vice-Admiral,               One anchor in pale behind the

  Great Huntsman,             Two bugles at the dext. and sin.
                              bases of the shield.

  Grand Master of Artillery,  Two mounted cannons at ditto.

  Grand Marshal,              At the base of the shield a cloud,
                              from the dexter side of which
                              proceeds a hand holding a
                              sword in pale, and from the
                              sinister, another hand holding
                              a baton of office.

  Grand Louvetier,            Two wolves' heads at the base
  (Wolf-hunter,)              corners of the shield.

  Grand Esquire,              Two swords in pale with sashes.

  Grand Butler,               Two bottles ornamented with the
                              royal arms.


The most singular supporters, perhaps, in the whole circle of heraldry are
those of the noble French family of Albret. Two lions couchant, wearing
helmets, support the lower part of the shield, and, above, are two eagles,
each standing with one foot upon the head of the lion, while with the
other he holds the upper part of the escocheon. The French armorists make
a distinction between _supports_ and _tenans_: in this instance the lions
are known by the former term, and the eagles by the latter.

Mottoes will form the subject of a short separate chapter: it therefore
only remains, in this brief view of extra-scutal insignia, to notice

Some families, as has already been observed, have no crests; a still
greater number have no mottoes; and supporters belong to an exclusive few.
Badges are still more unusual, and in modern times it would perhaps be a
matter of difficulty to enumerate twenty families who use them.

_Badge_, in its ordinary acceptation, signifies the mark or token of any
thing; thus we are accustomed to call fetters the _badge_ of slavery, and
a plain gold ring the _badge_ of matrimony; and thus in a figurative, or
moral sense, Shakspeare says,

  "Sweet mercy is nobility's true _badge_."

The word is of uncertain etymology. Junius derives it from 'bode,' or
'bade,' a messenger, and supposes it to be a _contractio per crasin_ from
'badage,' the credential of a messenger. Skinner and Minsheu, again,
deduce it from 'bagghe,' Dutch, a jewel, or from 'bague,' French, a ring.
But Johnson, with more reason, considers it a derivative of the Latin
'_bajulo_,' to carry.

  "But on his breast a bloody cross he bore,
  The dear resemblance of his dying lord;
  For whose sweet sake that glorious _badge_ he wore."

In heraldry, _badges_ are a kind of subsidiary arms used to commemorate
family alliances, or some territorial rights or pretensions.[179]
Sometimes, also, and perhaps more generally, they serve as trophies of
some remarkable exploit achieved by an ancestor of the bearer. In the
feudal ages most baronial families had their peculiar badges, and their
dependents were recognized by having them embroidered upon their sleeves
or breasts. They were generally placed upon a ground tinctured of the
livery colours of the family.[180] Something analogous to this fashion is
retained in the crest which adorns the buttons of our domestic servants,
and still more so in the badges by which the firemen and watermen of
London are distinguished. Badges were also employed in various other ways,
as, for example, on the furniture of houses, on robes of state, on the
caparisons of horses, on seals, and in the details of gothic edifices. An
instance of the various applications of the badge of one noble family has
been familiar to me from childhood--the Buckle, the badge assumed by Sir
John de Pelham in commemoration of his having been principally concerned
in the capture of John, king of France, at the battle of Poictiers.[181]
This trophy occurs, as an appendage to the family _arms_, into which it is
also introduced as a quartering; on the _ecclesiastical buildings_ of
which the family were founders, or to which they were benefactors;[182] on
the architectural ornaments of their _mansions_ at Laughton, Halland, &c.;
on antient _seals_; as the _sign of an inn_ near their estate at
Bishopstone, &c.; and among the humbler uses to which the BUCKLE has been
applied may be mentioned the decoration of the cast-iron chimney-backs in
the farmhouses on the estate, the embellishment of milestones, and even
the marking of sheep. Throughout the whole of that part of eastern Sussex
over which the Pelham influence extends there is no 'household word' more
familiar than the =Pelham Buckle=.[183]

The following are the badges of a few other antient families:

The Lords Hungerford used a golden garb, which seems to have been taken
from the arms of the Peverells, whose co-heiress married William Lord
Hungerford, temp. Henry V. They were 'Azure, three garbs or.'

Edward Lord Hastings, who married the grand-daughter and heiress of the
peer just named, bore on his standard the garb with a sickle--another
badge of the Hungerfords--united by a golden cord.

John de Willoughby de Eresby, temp. Edward III, used two buckles, which he
probably borrowed from the arms of his wife, the heiress of Roceline:
'Gules, crusily and three buckles argent.'

One of the Nevilles, Lords Bergavenny, bore two badges: first, two staples
interlaced, one gold, the other silver; and second, a fret gold: these
occur on a tomb at Mereworth, co. Kent.[184]


The badge of the Lords Dacre was an escallop united to a ragged staff, as
in the margin.

The family of Parr used a tuft of daisies; and the Percies a silver

  "The minstrels of thy noble house,
    All clad in robes of blue,
  With silver crescents on their arms,
    Attend in order due."
                          _Hermit of Warkworth._

In the 'Rising of the North Countrie' this badge and the _dun bull_ of the
Nevilles are mentioned. Of the latter we are told:

  "Lord Westmoreland his ancyent raysde,
    The _dun bull_ he rays'd on hye,
  And three dogs with golden collars,
    Were there set out most royallye."[185]


Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, used the punning device of lions and
_mulberry_-trees; and Vere, Earl of Oxford, a long-necked silver bottle,
with a blue cord, allusive to his hereditary post of lord high

Sometimes these insignia answered the double purpose of the crest and the
badge. Some badges, however, as Mr. M. remarks, are not at all suitable
for crests. This applies particularly to _Knots_, which were composed
either of silk, or of gold and silver lace, and were antiently a favourite
species of badge. The families of Harrington, Wake, Bouchier, Stafford,
Heneage, and others, each bore a peculiar knot.

The regal heraldry of this country is peculiarly rich in badges. Mr.
Montagu has, with great research, compiled a nearly perfect list of them
from William Rufus to James I, to which the reader who desires further
information on this subject is referred.[186] Meantime I shall notice a
few of the most celebrated.

The broom-plant, or _planta-genesta_, was introduced by Henry II. From
this badge the illustrious line of Plantagenet derived their surname. The
story of its origin, be it true or false, is well known.

The first monarch who assumed the rose was Edward I, who bore the flower
or, the stalk green. From this, in some way as yet unexplained, probably
originated the white and red roses of his descendants, the rival houses of
York and Lancaster. Richard II adopted the white hart and white falcon,
both of which afterwards became the titles of pursuivants. The white swan
of Henry IV is said to have been derived from the Bohuns, Earls of
Hereford, the family of his first wife. The double S,[187] concerning
which so much conjecture has been wasted, was another badge of this

"The device of Margaret of Anjou, Queen of Henry VI, was a daisy, in
allusion to her name:

  'The daise a floure white and rede,
  In French called la belle Margarete.'

The extensive use of badges by the retainers of princes is shown by the
order of Richard III for the making of thirteen thousand _boars_ "wrought
upon fustian," to be used at his coronation.

The rose and portcullis are amongst the most familiar of royal badges.
These were used by the Tudors. The Tudor rose was a blending of the white
and red roses of the two factions, united in this line of sovereigns. The
portcullis came originally from the family of Beaufort. James I combined
the dexter half of the Tudor rose with the sinister moiety of the Scottish
thistle, ensigned with a crown. At present, when the badges of the three
kingdoms are represented with the royal arms, little attention is paid to
heraldric propriety. The rose, shamrock, and thistle are figured, not
_secundum artem_, but according to the fancy of the painter.

Henry VIIIth's regard to heraldric matters is shown by his giving to
pieces of ordnance names corresponding with the titles borne by the
officers of arms.[188] This is further exemplified by the names he gave
the ships composing his fleet, as Hart, Antelope, Tegar, and Dragon. The
smaller vessels were mostly distinguished by the names of the royal
badges, such as the Fawcon and Fetterlock, Portquilice, Hynde,
Double-Rose, Hawthorn,[189] &c.[190] Some of these badges are still
retained as signs of inns, particularly the Swan and White-Hart, both of
which should be ducally gorged and chained, though these appendages, from
the ignorance of sign-painters, are frequently omitted.

[Illustration: (Abbot Islip's Rebus, vide p. 125)]


Heraldric Mottoes.


    "We ought to be meek-spirited till we are assured of the honesty of
    our ancestors; for covetousness and circumvention make no good _motto_
    for a coat."


A motto is a word, or short sentence, inserted in a scroll placed
generally under a coat of arms, and occasionally over the crest. The word
is Italian, and equivalent to _verbum_. As usual with things of long
standing, a variety of opinions exists as to the origin of these pithy and
interesting appendages to family ensigns. It would be erroneous to
suppose that mottoes belong exclusively to Heraldry, for they are of much
more antient date than the first outline of that system. Both sacred and
profane history furnish us with proofs of their very early use. The
declaration of the Almighty to Moses,[191] "I am that I am," may be
regarded as a motto expressive of the immutability of the Divine
perfections. Among mankind, mottoes must have been chosen to express the
predominant feelings of piety, love, moral virtue, military courage, and
family pride, as soon as those feelings manifested themselves, that is to
say, in the earliest stages of social existence. Without tarrying to enter
into the philosophy of this subject, it will be sufficient for us here to
inquire in what way these brief expressions of sentiment became the almost
indispensable adjunct to the armorial honours of individuals and of

The origin of heraldric mottoes might probably be traced to two sources,
in themselves diametrically opposed to each other; I mean Religion and
War. "Extremes," we are told, "sometimes meet," and certainly these two
feelings did coalesce in the institutions of chivalry, if we may be
allowed to prostitute the holy name of religion by identifying it with the
frenzy which possessed the human mind in such enterprises as the Crusades.
It is uncertain whether we ought to deduce the origin of mottoes from
those devout ejaculations, such as ='Drede God!'--'Jesu mercy--Lady
helpe,'= which occur on antient tombs, or from the _word of onset_,
employed by generals on the battle-field to stimulate their soldiers to
great feats of prowess. The preponderance in point of number of religious
mottoes would incline us to the former supposition; but the general
opinion of our best authors favours a military origin. The war-cry, known
in Latin as the _Clamor militaris_, in French as the _Cri de guerre_, and
in the Scottish language as the _Slughorn_, or _Slogan_, is of very remote
antiquity. In early scripture history we have an example in "The sword of
the Lord and of Gideon," the word of onset employed by the Hebrews against
the Midianites in the valley of Jezreel.[192] Among barbarous nations at
the present day it has its representative in the war-whoop, or yell,
employed as well to animate the courage of their own party as to inspire
terror in the hearts of their enemies. From an early period the phrase '=a
boo!=' was employed by the Irish for these purposes. This expression, in
course of time, became the motto of many of the great families of that
island, with the adjunct of their surname or the name of their chief
fortress. Hence the '_Crom a boo_' of the Earls of Leinster; the '_Shanet
a boo_' of the Earls of Desmond; the '_Butler a boo_' of the Butlers; the
'_Galriagh a boo_' of the Bourkes, Lords Clanricarde, &c. &c. In England,
France, and other countries, an invocation of the patron saints, St.
George, St. Denis, &c. constituted the war-cry of the common cause; but in
intestine wars each party had their separate cry, and every commander
urged on his forces by the well-recognized shout of his own house. That
this practice prevailed in England so recently as the close of the
fifteenth century appears from an Act of Parliament, passed in the tenth
year of Henry VII, to abolish these cries as productive of rancour among
the nobles, who, with their retainers, were thenceforth enjoined to call
only upon St. George and the king.

The following are some of the antient _cris-de-guerre_:

    The kings of France, 'Montjoye[193] St. Denis!'

    The kings of England, 'Montjoye Notre Dame, St. George!'

    Edward III (in a skirmish near Calais) 'Ha! St. Edward! Ha! St.

    The dukes of Burgundy, 'Montjoye St. Andrew!'

    The kings of Scotland, 'St. Andrew!'

    The dukes of Normandy, 'Dieu aye!' (aide.)

    The emperors of Germany, 'A dextre et a sinistre!'

    The counts of Milan, 'Milan the Valiant!'

    The counts of Hainault, 'Hainault the Noble!'

The use of mottoes became very fashionable in England from the example of
Edward III. The motto of the Garter, '=Honi soit qui mal y pense=,' with
the order itself, dates from this reign.[194] Edward made use of various
mottoes suited to different occasions and circumstances. Many of these are
now obscure, and appear destitute of point, such as 'It is as it is,'
embroidered upon a white linen doublet made for this king. Others are more
easily understood, as the daring and profane couplet wrought upon his
surcoat and shield, provided to be used at a tournament:

  "=Hay, hay, the wythe Swan;
  By Gode's soul I am thy man!="

Mottoes upon antient seals are extremely rare. Mr. Montagu says, "I have
examined many hundred early seals and engravings and drawings of seals
preserved in the British Museum, and I know but of about half a dozen....
One is of the year 1418, inscribed 'SIGILLUM JEAN DE JUCH,' and contains
the motto =Bien Sur=. Perhaps the very earliest instance of a motto
anywhere is afforded by the seal of Sir John de Byron, appended to a deed
dated 21{o} Edward I."[195] The motto here is CREDE BERONTI, surrounding
the arms.[196]

Many mottoes retain their original orthography, and stand in Old English
or Old French. The greater number are Latin or French, though we
occasionally see mottoes in Welsh, Irish, Cornish, Scottish, and Italian;
and I have even met with two or three in Greek.

Mottoes have been divided into three sorts: the enigmatical, the
sentimental, and the emblematical. A better classification might probably
suggest itself; but, in the absence of one, I shall make use of this in
the examples which follow.

The ENIGMATICAL are those whose origin is involved in mystery, as that of
the Duke of Bedford, "Che sara, sara," _What will be, will be_; and that
of the Duke of Bridgewater, "Sic donec," _Thus until----!_ A late
barrister used "Non Bos in Lingua," _I have no Bull upon my Tongue!_
alluding to the Grecian didrachm, a coin impressed with that animal, and
expressive, probably, of the bearer's determination not to accept a
bribe.[197] The motto of the Lords Gray was "_Anchor, fast anchor_," and
that of the Dakynses, of Derbyshire, "=Strike Dakyns; the Devil's in the
Hempe="--enigmatical enough, certainly!

SENTIMENTAL mottoes are very numerous. A multitude of them are of a
religious character, as "Spes mea in Deo," My hope is in God; "In Deo
salutem," In God I have salvation; "Sola virtus invicta," Virtue alone is
invincible; "Non mihi, sed Christo," Not to myself, but to Christ; "Sub
Cruce," Under the Cross. Many are loyal and patriotic, as "Vincit amor
patriæ," Love of country conquers; "Non sibi sed patriæ," Not for himself,
but for his country; "Patria cara, carior Libertas," My country is dear,
but my liberty is dearer. Others are philanthropic, as "Homo sum," I am a
man; "Non sibi solum," Not for himself alone. Treffry of Cornwall used
'=Whyle God wylle=,' and Cornwall of the same county, '=Whyle lyff

But the most curious class of mottoes are the EMBLEMATICAL, some of which
allude to the charges in the arms, and others to the surname, involving a
pun. Of those allusive to the arms or crest, the following are examples:
That of the Earl of Cholmondeley is "Cassis tutissima virtus," Virtue the
safest helmet; alluding to the helmets in his arms: and that of the
Egertons, "Leoni, non sagittis fido," I trust to the lion, not to my
arrows; the arms being a lion between three pheons or arrow-heads. The
crest of the Martins of Dorsetshire was an ape, and their motto, HE . WHO

Much wit, and, occasionally, much absurdity are found in punning mottoes.
That the soundness of a sentiment is not necessarily injured, however, by
the introduction of a pun, is proved by such mottoes as these:--

    ADDERLEY of Staffordshire. _Addere Le_-gi Justitiam Decus. 'Tis a
    support to the Law to add Justice to it.

    FORTESCUE (E.) _Forte Scu_-tum salus ducum. A strong shield is the
    safety of commanders.

    PETYT. Qui s'estime _petyt_ deviendra grand. He who esteems himself
    little shall become great.

    JEFFERAY of Sussex. _Je feray_ ce que je diray. I shall keep my word.

Some mottoes are intentionally ambiguous, as--

    HONE of Ireland. _Hone_sta Libertate, OR, _Hone_, sta Libertate. With
    a just Liberty, or, Hone, support liberty!

    VERNON. _Vernon_ semper viret, OR, _Ver non_ semper viret; Vernon ever
    flourishes, OR, Spring does not always bloom.

By far the greater number, however, exhibit punning for its own sake; for

    BELLASISE. Bonne et _belle assez_. Good and handsome enough.

    CAVE of Northamptonshire. _Cave!_ Beware!

    D'OYLEY of Norfolk. ='Do' no 'yll,' quoth Doyle!=

    DIXIE of Leicestershire. Quod _dixi dixi_. What I've said I have said.

    ESTWICK. _Est hic._ Here he is.

    FAIRFAX. Fare, fac! Speak, do! (A word and a blow!)

    HART of Berks. Un coeur fidelle. A faithful _heart_.

    ONSLOW. Festina lentè. _On slow!_ OR, Hasten cautiously.

    PIEREPONTE. _Pie repone te._ Repose piously.

    SCUDAMORE. _Scutum amor_is divini. The shield of Divine Love.

    COURTHOPE. _Court hope!_

Here is a _truism_:

    VERE Earl of Oxford. _Vero_ nil _verius_. Nothing truer than truth.

And here a _Cockneyism_:

    WRAY of Lincolnshire. Et juste et _vray_. Both just and true.

    "_Set on!_" says SETON, Earl of Wintoun; "_Boutez en avant!_" Lead
    forward! says Viscount Buttevant;

        ='Fight on,' quoth Fitton!
        'Smite,' quoth Smith!=

Pugnacious fellows!

Many a gibe has found vent in a motto. A London tobacconist who had set up
his carriage, requiring a motto for his arms, was furnished with "QUID
_rides_?" Why do you laugh? and a great hop-planter found the following
chalked beneath the arms upon his chariot:

  "Who'd 'a thought it,
  _Hops_ had bought it?"

Dr. _Cox Macro_, the learned Cambridge divine, consulting a friend on the
choice of a motto, was pithily answered with "_Cocks may crow_!"

There are some 'lippes,' as Camden says, which like 'this kind of
lettuce.' For the behoof of such the following list is set down, without
regard to any classification:

    CAVENDISH. _Cavendo_ tutus. Safe by caution.

    CHARTERIS, Earl. (Crest, an arm brandishing a sword; over it) This
    _is_ our _Charter_!

    FANE, Earl of Westmoreland. _Ne vile_ FANO. Dishonour not the temple.
    The first and second words allude to his descent from the family of

    GRAVES of Gloucestershire. _Graves_ disce mores. Learn serious

    COLE. Deum _cole_, Regem serva. Fear God, serve the King.

    JAMES. _J'aime jamais._ I love ever.

    COLLINS. _Colens_ Deum et Regem. Reverencing God and the King.

    MAJOR of Suffolk. (Arms, three Corinthian columns.) Deus _major_
    columnâ. God is a greater support than pillars.

    WAKE of Somersetshire. _Vigila_ et ora. _Watch_ and pray.

    PUREFOY of Leicestershire. _Pure foy_ ma joye. Sincerity is my

    RIVERS of Kent. Secus rivos aquarum. By the rivers of waters.

    POLE of Devon. _Pollet_ virtus. Virtue bears sway.

    TEY of Essex. _Tais_ en temps. Be silent in time.

    WISEMAN of Essex. Sapit qui Deum sapit. He is _wise_ who is wise
    towards God.

    PAGITT of Surrey. _Pagit_ Deo. He covenants with God.

    MAYNARD, Viscount. _Ma_nus justa _nard_us. A just hand is a precious

    MOSLEY of Northumberland. _Mos le_gem Regis. Agreeable to the King's

    ROCHE, Viscount de Rupe, &c. Mon Dieu est ma _Roche_. My God is my

    VINCENT. _Vincenti_ dabitur. It shall be given to the conqueror.

    VYVYAN. Dum _vivimus viva_mus. While we live, let us live.

    TEMPLE, Viscount Cobham. _Templa_ quam dilecta. How beloved are thy

    ALGOOD. Age omne bonum. Do _all good_.

Having _drawn_ thus largely upon the humour of motto-coiners, and,
perchance, upon the patience of those readers who can _draw_ no amusement
from such conceits, I now _draw_ this chapter to a close, by quoting the
motto of the antient company of the _wire-drawers_ of the city of London,
which is, Latinè, "Amicitiam _trahit_ amor," and Anglicè, Love _draws_

[Illustration: (Conjectural origin of the Pile, p. 63)]


Historical Arms--Augmentations.

[Illustration: (Badge of Pelham.)]

  "In perpetuum per gloriam vivere intelliguntur."

By Historical Arms I mean those coats which, upon the testimony either of
record or tradition, have been acquired by an act of the original bearer,
and which exhibit some trophy or circumstance connected therewith to the
eye of the spectator. AUGMENTATIONS are marks of honour, granted by the
sovereign, and _superadded_ to the paternal arms; and borne, for the most
part, upon a canton or inescocheon, sometimes upon a chief, fesse, or
quarter. This class of arms, the most interesting in the whole range of
heraldry, has been subdivided into eight kinds; viz. 1, Those derived from
acts of valour; 2, From acts of loyalty; 3, From royal and other
advantageous alliances; 4, From favour and services; 5, From situation; 6,
From profession, &c.; 7, From tenure and office; and 8, From memorable
circumstances and events.[198]

It may be almost unnecessary to observe, that many of the anecdotes about
to be related are of a very apocryphal description, referring to periods
antecedent to the introduction of armorial bearings. Some of these,
however, may be correct in the incidents though incorrect in point of
time; and doubtless, in many cases, the arms have been assumed in rather
modern times, to commemorate the exploits of ancestors of a much earlier
period; the highly-prized family tradition having been confided to the
safer custody of the emblazoned shield. At all events, I deliver them to
the reader as I find them set down in 'myne authoures,' and leave the
_onus probandi_ to the families whose honour is concerned in their

First among these pictorial mementoes should be noticed the well-known
cognizance of the Prince of Wales, the Ostrich Feathers, the popular
origin of which is known to every schoolboy. Whether the King of Bohemia
fell by the trenchant blade of the Black Prince himself, or by that of
some knight or 'squier of lowe degree,' it would now be useless to
inquire; and whether the feathers and the mottoes, =Ich Dien= and
=Houmout=, signifying respectively in old German, 'I serve,' and 'A
haughty spirit,' had any relation to that event is altogether a matter of
dubiety. It has been shown by Mr. J. G. Nichols[199] that the King of
Bohemia used (not ostrich feathers, but) a pair of vulture's wings as a
crest. It further appears that the _badge_ of the Black Prince was _a
single feather_, while, on his tomb at Canterbury, the _three_ feathers
are represented singly upon a shield, the quill of each being attached to
a scroll, with the motto ICH . DIENE. The popular version of the story,
however, is somewhat supported by the fact that an ostrich, collared and
chained, with a nail in his beak, was a badge of the Bohemian monarchs;
and Mr. Nichols suggests that the feathers may probably have been adopted
by Edward as a trophy of his victory. Randle Holme deduces the three
ostrich feathers from a totally different source, and asserts that they
were the ensign of the princes of Wales during the independence of that
country, prior to the invasion of the English. After this event, (he adds)
the eldest sons of the kings of England, as princes of Wales, continued
the badge ensigned with a coronet, with the motto, 'Ich Dien,' I serve; to
express the sentiment that, although of paramount dignity in that country,
they still owed allegiance to the crown of England.[200] It is asserted by
other authorities that a single ostrich feather was borne as a badge by
Edward III, by all the brothers and descendants of the Black Prince, and
by Thomas Mowbray, duke of Norfolk, who was descended by the female line
from Thomas de Brotherton, fifth son of Edward I. In the Harl. MS. 304, we
are told that,

  "=The ostrich fether, sylver, and pen gold, is the King's.
  The ostrich fether, pen and all sylver, is the Prince's.
  The ostrich fether, gold, y{e} pen ermyne, is the Duk of Lancaster's.
  The ostrich fether, sylver, and pen gobone, is the Duk of Somersett's.="

Who has not heard of the '=Bear and ragged staff=' of the earls of
Warwick? This is a combination of two badges of that antient line, which
sprang, according to the family tradition, from Arthgal, one of the
knights of King Arthur's 'Round Table.' _Arth_ or _Narth_, in the British
language, is said to signify a bear; hence this ensign was adopted as a
rebus or play upon his name. Morvidus, another earl of the same family, a
man of wonderful valour, slew a giant with a young tree torn up by the
roots and hastily trimmed of its boughs. In memory of this exploit his
successors bore as their cognizance a silver staff in a shield of

The supporters of the Scottish family of Hay, earls of Errol, are two
husbandmen, each carrying an ox-yoke. In the year 980, when the Danes
invaded this island, an engagement took place at Longcarty, near Perth, in
which Kenneth III was routed. An honest yeoman, yclept John de Luz, and
his two sons, were ploughing in a field hard by the scene of action.
Seeing their countrymen fly before the victorious enemy, these stalwart
ploughmen stopped them in a narrow pass with the gear of their ploughs,
and upbraiding them with cowardice induced them to stand the brunt of a
new attack. The Danes, astonished at this unexpected turn of affairs,
which they attributed to the arrival of fresh succours, wheeled about and
made a hasty retreat, and the Scots obtained a signal victory. Kenneth, to
reward the valour of his faithful subject, gave him as much land in the
district of Gowrie, as a falcon, flying from his fist, should measure out
before he perched. Hence the supporters and the crest (a falcon rising) of
this family. The earls of Kinnoul, a younger branch of the family, further
allude to the circumstance first mentioned in their motto, RENOVATE
ANIMOS, 'Rouse your courage,' or 'Rally.'

There are still existing indubitable evidences of a great conflict on the
spot referred to in this legend; and it may be admitted that the ancestors
of the family were concerned in it; but the above heraldric ensigns must
be considered to have been adopted as remembrances of long past events,
albeit their assumption may have taken place at a very early period.


The family of Keith, earls Marischal, bear _Argent, on a chief or, three
pallets gules_, OR _gules, three pallets or_. These ensigns likewise
originated in an engagement between the Scots and the Danes. An ancestor
of the Keiths having greatly distinguished himself in a battle near
Dundee, in which Camus, the Danish general, was killed, the Scottish
monarch, Kenneth III, charmed with his valour, dipped his royal fingers in
the blood of the Dane and drew three stripes or pallets on the top of his
chieftain's shield. Hence the arms of Keith. As in the former instance,
this anecdote assumes the existence of armorial bearings, at too remote a
date, though, as in that case, there are evident vestigia of a great
battle at the place referred to. A stone called 'Camus's Cross' was
standing a few years since; and in the last century a large tomb, inclosed
with four huge stones, containing bones, conjectured to have been those of
the Northman, was discovered near the spot.[202]

_Bulstrode_, of Bulstrode, co. Bucks, bore, as a crest, _A bull's head,
erased gules, attired argent, between two wings of the same_. When William
the Conqueror subdued this kingdom he gave the estate of this family to
one of his own followers, and lent him a thousand men for the purpose of
taking possession, _vi et armis_. The rightful owner calling in the aid of
some neighbouring gentlemen, (among others, the ancestors of the Penns and
the Hampdens,) gallantly resisted the invader, intrenching himself with an
earthwork, which is still pointed out as evidence of the truth of the
story. It seems that the besieged party, wanting horses, mounted
themselves upon _bulls_, and, sallying out of their camp, so affrighted
the Normans that many of the latter were slain and the rest put to flight.
The king hearing of this strange affair, and not wishing to push matters
to an imprudent extent, sent for the valiant Saxon, with a promise of safe
conduct to and from his court. The Saxon paid the Conqueror a visit,
riding upon a _bull_, accompanied by his seven sons similarly mounted. The
result of the interview was that he was allowed to retain his estate. In
commemoration of these events, he assumed the crest above described,
together with the name of _Bullstrode_!! The whole narration exhibits
strong characteristics of that peculiar genus of history, known as 'Cock
and _Bull_ stories,' although it is probably quite as true as a distich
preserved in the family, that

  "=When William conquered English ground,
  Bulstrode had per annum, Three Hundred Pound.="[203]

Among those Welsh chieftains who gallantly defended their country from the
aggressions of the English, in the reign of Henry II, was Kadivor ap
Dynawal, who recaptured the castle of Cardigan, by scalade, from the Earl
of Clare. For this action he was enriched by Rhys, prince of South Wales,
with several estates, and permitted to bear, as coat armour, a castle,
three scaling-ladders, and a bloody spear. These arms were borne by
Kadivor's descendants, the Lloyds of Milfield, co. Cardigan, baronets,
till the extinction of the family in the last century.

Williams, of Penrhyn, co. Caernarvon, Bart., bore, among other charges,
_three human heads_, in commemoration of the exploit of Edwyfed Vychan,
the great ancestor of his house, who in an engagement with the followers
of Ranulph, earl of Chester, came off victorious, having killed three of
their chief commanders. This happened in the thirteenth century.[204]

The Vescis, Chetwodes, Knowleses, Tyntes, Villierses, and various other
families, bear crosses in their arms, traditionally derived from the
period of the Crusades.

Sir Ancel Gornay attended Richard I on his crusade, and was present at the
capture of Ascalon, where he took a Moorish king prisoner. From this
circumstance he adopted as his crest, 'A king of the Moors habited in a
robe, and crowned, kneeling, and surrendering with his dexter hand, his
sword, all proper.' This crest was continued by the Newtons, of Barr's
Court, co. Gloucester, one of whom married the heiress of the Gornays.
Among several other armorial ensigns dated from this same battle of
Ascalon is the crest of Darrell, which may be briefly described as, 'Out
of a ducal coronet a Saracen's head appropriately vested,' and which was
assumed by Sir Marmaduke Darrell, in commemoration of his having killed
the infidel King of Cyprus; also the arms and crest of Minshull, of
Cheshire, 'Azure, an estoile issuant out of a crescent, in base argent.'
_Crest_, 'An Eastern warrior, kneeling on one knee, habited gules, legs
and arms in mail proper; at his side a scymitar sable, hilted or; on his
head a turban with a crescent and feather argent, presenting, with his
sinister hand, a crescent of the last.' These bearings were assigned to
Michael de Minshull for his valour on that occasion, but the particular
nature of his exploits is not recorded.

The Bouchiers, earls of Essex, bore 'Argent, a cross engrailed gules,
between four water-bowgets sable. _Crest._ The bust of a Saracen king,
with a long cap and coronet, all proper.' All these bearings are
emblematical of the crusades; and the water-bowgets are a play upon the
name. "In the hall of the manor-house of Newton, in the parish of Little
Dunmowe, in Essex," says Weever,[205] "remaineth, in old painting, two
postures (figures;) the one for an ancestor of the Bouchiers, combatant
with another, being a Pagan king, for the truth of Christ, whom the said
Englishman overcame; and in memory thereof his descendants have ever since
borne the head of the said infidel, as also used the _surname of
Bouchier_," in conformity with an antient practice, by which, as
Saintfoix informs us, great heroes were honoured with the "_glorious
surname_" of BUTCHER![206]

The arms of Willoughby, Lords Willoughby of Eresby, were 'Sable, a cross
engrailed or,' and their _Crest_, 'A Saracen's head crowned frontè, all
proper.' The only account I have seen of the origin of these ensigns is
contained in the following lines, occurring in Dugdale's Baronage. A
Willoughby _loquitur_.

  "Of myne old ancestors, by help of Goddes might,
  (By reason of marriage and lineal descent,)
  A Sarasyn king discomfit was in fighte,
  Whose head my creste, shall ever be presénte."

Sir Christopher Seton, ancestor of the Earls of Wintoun, at the battle of
Methven, in 1306, rescued King Robert Bruce from the English. For this
service Robert gave him his sister, the lady Christian, in marriage, and
the following augmentation to his paternal arms: 'Surtout, an inescocheon
per pale gules and azure; the first charged with a sword in pale proper,
hilted and pommelled, and _supporting a falling crown_ within a double
tressure all or; the second azure a star of twelve points argent, for

Robert Bruce desired that his heart might be carried to Jerusalem, and
there interred in holy ground. The office of conveying it thither devolved
upon his faithful and now sorrowing knight, Sir James Douglas, who was
unfortunately slain on his return by the infidels, in the year 1331. To
commemorate this service his descendants have ever since borne 'Argent, a
human heart royally crowned proper; on a chief azure, three mullets of the
first.' This stalwart soldier is said to have been engaged in fifty-seven
battles and rencontres with the English, and thirteen with the Saracens,
all in the space of twenty-four years. Certes, he must have been one of
the noblest 'butchers' of his time!

The family of Pelham (now represented by the Earl of Chichester) bear, as
a quartering, 'Gules, two demi-belts, paleways, the _buckles_ in chief
argent.' This augmentation was allowed to the family in the early part of
the seventeenth century; but they had previously, for many generations,
borne the Buckle as a badge. They also occasionally gave it as a crest,
together with a cage--both in commemoration of the capture of John, king
of France, at Poictiers, by Sir John de Pelham. The story is thus briefly
told by Collins:[207]

"Froysart gives an account, that with the king were taken beside his son
Philip, the Earl of Tankerville, Sir Jaques of Bourbon, the Earls of
Ponthieu and Eue, with divers other noblemen, who being chased to
Poictiers, the town shut their gates against them, not suffering any to
enter; so that divers were slain, and every Englishman had four, five, or
six prisoners; and the press being great to take the King, such as knew
him, cry'd, _Sir, yield, or you are dead_: Whereupon, as the chronicle
relates, he yielded himself to Sir Dennis Morbeck, a Knight of Artois, in
the English service, and being afterwards forc'd from him, more than ten
Knights and Esquires challeng'd the taking of the King. Among these Sir
Roger la Warr, and the before-mentioned John de Pelham, were most
concerned; and in memory of so signal an action, and the King surrendering
his sword to them, Sir Roger la Warr, Lord la Warr, had the crampet, or
chape of his sword, for a badge of that honour; and John de Pelham
(afterwards knighted) had the buckle of a belt as a mark of the same
honour, which was sometimes used by his descendants as a seal-manual, and
at others, the said buckles on each side a cage; being an emblem of the
captivity of the said King of France, and was therefore borne for a crest,
as in those times was customary. The buckles, &c. were likewise used by
his descendants, in their great seals, as is evident from several of them
appendant to old deeds."

It is somewhat remarkable that Froissart, Walsingham, Knyghton, and the
other early chroniclers, are silent as to the names of the King's captors;
and were the story unsupported by strong indirect evidence, their silence
would be almost fatal to its authenticity; but the occurrence of the
Buckle upon the stonework of many ecclesiastical buildings founded by Sir
John de Pelham himself and his immediate successors,[208] sufficiently
corroborates the undisputed family tradition.[209]

The chape or crampet of a sword (the ornament at the end of the scabbard
which prevents the point from protruding) is still borne as a badge by the
Earl de la Warr, a lineal descendant of the Sir Roger la Warr referred to
in the above extract.

The crest of the ancient family of De la Bere is 'a ducal coronet or,
therefrom issuant a plume of five ostrich feathers per pale argent and
azure.' This was conferred upon Sir Richard de la Bere, knight-banneret,
by Edward the Black Prince, in reward for his having rescued him from
imminent danger on the memorable field of Cressy. The ducal coronet is
emblematical of military command, and the feathers are an evident
derivation from the Prince's own badge. There is (or was at the beginning
of the present century) in an old house at Cheltenham, the property of his
lineal descendants, a painting supposed to be nearly contemporary with the
occurrence, which represents the Prince in the act of conferring this mark
of honour upon his faithful follower.[210]


The crest of Dudley of Northamptonshire, Bart. was 'Out of a ducal coronet
or, a woman's bust: her hair dishevelled, bosom bare, a helmet on her head
with the stay or throat-latch down proper.' From a MS. in the possession
of this family, written by a monk about the close of the fourteenth
century, it appeared that the father of Agnes Hotot (who, in the year
1395, married an ancestor of the Dudleys,) having a quarrel with one
Ringsdale concerning the proprietorship of some land, they agreed to meet
on the 'debateable ground,' and decide their right by combat.
Unfortunately for Hotot, on the day appointed he was seriously ill; "but
his daughter Agnes, unwilling that he should lose his claim, or suffer in
his honour, armed herself cap-a-pie, and, mounting her father's steed,
repaired to the place of decision, where, after a stubborn encounter, she
dismounted Ringsdale, and when he was on the ground, she loosened the stay
of her helmet, let down her hair about her shoulders, and, disclosing her
bosom, discovered to him that he had been conquered by a woman." This
valiant lady became the heiress of her family, and married a Dudley,
whence the latter family derived their right to this crest.

Sir Richard Waller was at the battle of Agincourt, where he took prisoner
Charles, duke of Orleans, father of Charles XII (afterwards King of
France). This personage was brought to England by his captor, who held him
in 'honourable restraint' at his own mansion, at Groombridge, co. Kent,
during the long period of twenty-four years, at the termination of which
he paid 400,000 crowns for his ransom. In accordance with the chivalrous
spirit of that age, the captor and captive lived together on terms of the
strictest friendship. This appears from the fact that the Duke, at his own
expense, rebuilt for Sir Richard the family house at Groombridge. He was
also a benefactor "to his parish church of Speldhurst, where his arms
remain in stonework over the porch."[211] Previously to this event the
family arms had been the punning device of 'Sable, on a bend voided
argent, three _walnut_ leaves or,' and the crest, 'A _walnut_ tree fructed
proper.' To one of the lower boughs of this tree was now appended a
shield, charged with the arms of France--'Azure, three fleurs-de-lis or,
differenced with a label of three points;' an augmentation which continues
to be borne by the descendants of Sir Richard Waller to this day.

Burton of Salop, and Rivers of Kent, bear[212] white roses, commemorative
of the services rendered by their ancestors to the faction distinguished
by this badge, while the Lutterells of Somerset, bear, as a crest, the
white boar of Richard III, ensigned on the shoulder with the Lancastrian
red rose! The white and red roses in the arms of families, as partisans of
the two rival houses, would furnish matter for a whole chapter; but I must
pass on.

Augmentations have sometimes been made to the arms of English families by
foreign monarchs. Thus Sir Henry Guldeforde, knight, having rendered
assistance to Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, in the reduction of
Granada, received from them the honour of knighthood, with permission to
add to his ancestral arms, 'On a canton Argent, the arms of Granada, viz.
a pomegranate, the shell open, grained gules, stalked and leaved proper.'
John Callard, esq. a retainer of the said Sir Henry, for his valour on the
same occasion, acquired the following coat: 'Gyronny of six pieces, or and
sable; on each division or, a Moor's head couped sable.' William Browne,
esq. called by Holinshed "a young and lusty gentleman," another follower
of Guldeforde, was honoured with an augmentation, viz. 'On a chief argent,
an eagle displayed sable,'--the arms of Sicily, which was then an adjunct
to the Spanish crown.

The Duke of Norfolk bears on his 'bend argent' 'an escocheon or, charged
with a demi-lion rampant within a double tressure, flory and
counter-flory; an arrow pierced through the lion's mouth all gules.' This
is an augmentation nearly resembling the arms of Scotland, and was granted
to the Earl of Surrey, afterwards Duke of Norfolk, for his services
against the Scots at Flodden Field, in 1513. It will be recollected that
when the body of James IV was found after the battle, it was pierced with
several arrows, the cause of his death.

As a further memorial of this victory the Earl gave, as the badge of his
retainers, a white lion, one of the supporters of his house, trampling
upon the red lion of Scotland, and tearing it with his claws.

Several English families bear their arms upon the breast of an eagle with
two heads. This is the standard of the German empire, and it has been
granted to such families for military and other services. The Lord Arundel
of Wardour, in the reign of Elizabeth, received this distinguished mark of
honour by patent from the Emperor Rodolph II, for valorous conduct against
the Turks, whom, as the avowed enemies of Christianity, he opposed with
all the enthusiasm of a crusader of more antient times. He was at the same
time created a Count of the Empire, and, on returning to England, was
desirous of taking precedence according to his German title. But this step
was violently opposed by the peers, and the Queen, being asked her opinion
of his claim, answered, "that faithful subjects should keep their eyes at
home, and not gaze upon foreign crowns, and that she, for her part, did
not care her sheep should wear a stranger's mark, nor dance after the
whistle of every foreigner!"[213]

The Bowleses of Wiltshire, and the Smiths of Lincolnshire, received
appropriate arms about the same time for their services against the Turks,
under the same Emperor.[214]

The assumption of the arms of an enemy slain or captured in war, though
permitted by the heraldric canon of early times, seems not to have been
very usual in this country; yet instances are not wanting of arms so
acquired. In 1628, Sir David Kirke, knight, reduced Canada, then in the
power of the French, and took the admiral De la Roche prisoner. For this
service he received as an augmentation, 'A canton azure charged with a
talbot sejant, collared and leash reflexed argent, sustaining a faulchion
proper,' this being the coat of his captive.

Charles I rewarded many of his adherents with augmentations of arms--the
only recompense some of them ever received. The favourite marks of honour
were the crown, rose, and lion of England.

Sir Palmes Fairborne, knighted by Charles II for his defence of Tangier
against the Moors, had permission to bear as his crest, 'An arm in armour
couped at the elbow, lying on a wreath sustaining a sword; on the point
thereof a Turk's head, turbaned all proper.' The epitaph on this
commander, on his tomb in Westminster Abbey, was written by Dryden; and
had nothing more sublime proceeded from his pen, his name would be as
little known to posterity as that of the hero he celebrates.

  "Alive and dead _these_ walls he will defend,
  Great actions great examples must attend;
  The Candian siege his early valour knew,
  Where Turkish blood did his young hands imbrew;
  From thence returning with deserved applause,
  Against the Moors his _well-fleshed_ sword he draws," &c. &c.

Sir Cloudesley Shovel, the celebrated admiral, received, by the express
command of William III, a grant of arms blazoned thus: 'Gules a cheveron
ermine between two crescents in chief argent, and a fleur-de-lis in base
or,' to commemorate two great victories over the Turks and one over the
French. This is one of the most appropriate coats I remember to have seen.

It would be impossible (even were it desirable) within the limits I have
assigned myself, to notice all the arms and augmentations which have been
granted to heroes, naval and military, for services performed during the
last, and at the commencement of the present, century. A superabundance of
them will be found in the plates attached to the ordinary peerages, &c.
Suffice it to say, that in general they exhibit a most wretched taste in
the heralds who designed them, or rather, perhaps I should say, in the
personages who dictated to the heralds what ensigns would be most
agreeable to themselves. Figures never dreamed of in classical armory have
found their way into these bearings: landscapes and _words_ in great
staring letters across the shield, bombshells and bayonets, East Indians
and American Indians, sailors and soldiers, medals and outlandish banners,
_figures of Peace, and grenadiers of the 79th regiment_![215] Could
absurdity go farther?


But, lest I should be thought unnecessarily severe upon the armorists of
the past age, I annex the arms of Sir Sidney Smith, a veteran who
certainly deserved _better things_ of his country. I shall not attempt to
blazon them, as I am sure my reader would not thank me for occupying a
page and a half of a chapter--already perhaps too long--with what would in
this case be _jargon_ indeed. Shades of Brooke, and Camden, and Guillim,
and Dugdale! what think ye of this?

II. The second class of Historical Arms is composed of those derived from
ACTS OF LOYALTY. The earliest coat of this kind mentioned by the author of
the volume before quoted, is that of Sir John Philpot, viz. 'Sable a bend
ermine,'--his paternal arms--impaling, 'Gules a cross between four swords
argent, hilts or'--an augmentation granted to Philpot for killing Wat
Tyler with his sword after Walworth, the mayor, had knocked him down with
his mace, in the presence of Richard II, in 1378.

Ramsay, earl of Holderness, temp. James VI, bore as an augmentation
impaling his paternal arms, 'Azure, a dexter hand holding a sword in pale,
argent, hilted or, piercing a human heart proper, and supporting on the
point an imperial crown of the last.' This was granted to Sir John Ramsay,
who was also rewarded with the title just mentioned, for having saved the
young monarch's life from assassination by Ruthven, earl of Gowrie, by
piercing the assassin to the heart. The story of this attempt upon the
'British Solomon' is too well known to the reader of Scottish history to
need copying in these pages. The whole narration, enshrouded in mystery,
is now almost universally discredited, and the affair regarded as a
pretended plot, to answer a political purpose. It is sufficient to say
that Gowrie and his father, Alexander Ruthven, fell victims to it, while
Ramsay was rewarded for his share in the transaction as above
stated.[216] Erskine, earl of Kelly, and Sir Hugh Harris, two other
individuals concerned in this plot, also received augmentations.[217]

The notorious Colonel Titus, temp. Charles II, was rewarded for his
services in the restoration of the king, with an augmentation, viz.
'quarterly with his paternal arms, Or, on a chief gules, a lion of
England.' 'Lions of England' were likewise assigned to the following
families for their loyalty to the Stuarts: Robinson of Cranford, Moore,
Lord Mayor of London, Lane of Staffordshire, &c. The crest of the
last-mentioned family is 'A demi-horse salient argent, spotted dark grey,
bridled proper, sustaining with his fore feet a regal crown or;' in
allusion to the circumstance of Charles's having been assisted in his
escape, after his defeat at Worcester, by a lady of this family, whose
servant the king personated by riding before her on horseback. In this
guise Charles arrived safely at Bristol, and at length, after many
hair-breadth escapes and a circuitous tour of the southern counties,
reached Brighthelmstone, whence he set sail for the continent.

The arms granted to the family of Penderell for concealing Charles II in
the oak at Boscobel, and otherwise assisting his escape, and those
assigned on the same occasion to Colonel Careless (or CARLOS, as it was
the king's humour afterwards to name him) were exactly _alike_ in charges,
though different in tincture.

CARLOS. 'Or, on a mount an oak-tree proper; over all a fesse gules,
charged with three regal crowns proper.'

PENDERELL. 'Argent, on a mount an oak-tree proper; over all a fesse sable,
charged with three regal crowns proper.'[218]

III. The third class of Historical Arms are those of ALLIANCE. I shall
content myself with an example or two. The arms[219] and dexter
supporter[220] of the Lyons, earls of Strathmore, evidently allude to a
connexion with the royal line of Scotland, and the crest of the family is,
'On a wreath vert and or, a _lady_ couped below the girdle, inclosed
within an arch of laurel, and holding in her right hand the royal thistle,
all proper.' Sir John Lyon, an ancestor of this house, having gained the
favour of King Robert II, that monarch gave him in marriage his daughter,
the lady Jane. To perpetuate so splendid and beneficial an alliance, his
descendants have ever since continued to represent this princess as their

The Seymours, dukes of Somerset, bore quarterly with their paternal arms,
the following: 'Or, on a pile gules, between six fleurs-de-lis azure,
three lions of England,' an augmentation originally granted by Henry VIII
to Jane Seymour, his third wife. These ensigns, it will be seen, are a
composition from the royal arms.

IV. The fourth are derived from FAVOUR and SERVICES. The antient arms of
Compton, subsequently created earls of Northampton, were 'Sable, three
helmets argent.' For services rendered to Henry VIII, William Compton,
esq. received permission to place 'a lion of England' between the helmets.

Thomas Villiers, first Earl of Clarendon, bore, 'Argent, on a cross
gules, five escallops or [originally derived from the Crusade under Edward
I] a crescent for difference; and on an inescocheon argent, the eagle of
Prussia, viz. displayed sable, &c. &c., charged on the breast with F. B.
R. for Fredericus, Borussorum Rex.' This was an augmentation granted to
that nobleman by Frederick, king of Prussia, as a mark of the high value
he set upon certain diplomatic services in which he had been engaged. The
augmentation was ratified at the Heralds' office by the command of George

The Earl of Liverpool, in addition to his paternal arms, bears 'on a chief
wavy argent, a cormorant sable, holding in his beak a branch of laver or
sea-weed vert.' This augmentation (being the arms of the town of
Liverpool) was made to the arms of Charles Jenkinson, first Earl of
Liverpool, at the unanimous request of the mayor and municipality of that
town, signified by their recorder.

V. A very interesting class of Allusive Arms is composed of those derived
from the SITUATION of the original residences of the respective families.
The following are instances:

Wallop, earl of Portsmouth, 'Argent, a bend wavy sable.' The name of
Wallop is local, and it was antiently written Welhop. Wallop, or Welhope,
is the name of two parishes in Hampshire, so denominated from a fountain
or _well_, springing from a _hope_ or hill in the vicinity, and giving
birth to a small river, which becomes tributary to the Tese. Here, in very
antient times, this family resided, and from the little river referred to
the surname was adopted, while the bend wavy in the arms alludes both to
the river and the name.

Stourton, Lord Stourton, 'Sable, a bend or, between six fountains proper.'
The river Stour rises at Stourton, co. Wilts, from six fountains or
springs. The family name is derived from the place, and the arms from this
circumstance. The bend may be regarded as the pale of Stourton park, as
three of the sources of the river are within that inclosure and three
beyond it.

Shuckburgh, a parish in Warwickshire, is remarkable for that kind of
fossil termed _astroit_, which resembles the mullet of heraldry. The
family who, in very antient times, derived their surname from the
locality, bear three mullets in their arms.[221]

The Swales of Swale-hall, co. York, bear 'Azure, a bend undé argent.' Some
consider this a representation of the river Swale, though Peter Le Neve
thinks it a rebus for the name of _Nunda_, whose heiress married a

Highmore of High-moor, co. Cumberland: 'Argent, a crossbow erect between
_four_ moor-cocks sable; their legs, beaks, and combs, gules.' This family
originated in the moors of that county, _unde nomen et arma_. The author
of 'Historical and Allusive Arms' says that they branched out into three
lines, called from the situation of their respective places of abode,
HIGHMORE, MIDDLEMORE, and LOWMORE. It is curious that the Middlemore
branch gave as arms the crossbow and _three_ moor-cocks; while the
Lowmores bore the crossbow and _two_ moor-cocks only. Had the family
ramified still further into '_Lowermore_,' it is probable that branch must
have rested content with a _single_ moor-cock, while the '_Lowestmores_,'
carrying out the same principle of gradation, could not have claimed even
a solitary bird, but must have made shift with their untrophied crossbow.
On the other hand, '_Highermore_' would have been entitled to _five_, and
'_Highestmore_' to _six_, head of game, in addition to the family weapon!

Hume, of Nine Wells, the family of the great historian, bore 'Vert, a lion
rampant argent within a bordure or, charged with _nine wells_ or springs
barry-wavy azure and argent,' "The estate of Nine Wells is so named from a
cluster of springs of that number. Their situation is picturesque; they
burst forth from a gentle declivity in front of the mansion, which has on
each side a semicircular rising bank, covered with fine timber, and fall,
after a short course, into the bed of the river Whitewater, which forms a
boundary in the front. These springs, as descriptive of their property,
were assigned to the Humes of this place as a difference in arms from the
chief of their house."[223]

VI. Of arms alluding to the PROFESSION or pursuits of the original bearer,
I shall adduce but few instances, as they generally exhibit bad taste, and
a departure from heraldric purity; _e. g._ Hooper, Bishop of Gloucester
and Worcester, the champion and martyr of the Protestant cause, bore '...
a lamb in a burning bush; the rays of the sun descending thereon proper.'

Michael Drayton bore 'Azure gutté d'eau [the drops of Helicon!] a Pegasus
current in bend argent.' _Crest_, 'Mercury's winged cap amidst sunbeams
proper.' These classical emblems appear foreign to the spirit of heraldry,
which originated in an unclassical age. Still it might have been difficult
to assign to this stately and majestic poet more appropriate armorials.

The supporters chosen by Sir George Gordon, first Lord Aberdeen, a
celebrated jurist, were _two lawyers_; while (every man to his taste) Sir
William Morgan, K.B., a keen sportsman, adopted _two huntsmen_ equipped
for the chase, and the motto 'Saltando cave,' _Look before you leap_.
Could anything be more pitiful?

VII. Arms derived from TENURE and OFFICE are a much more interesting,
though less numerous, class than the preceding.

"The tenure of the lands of Pennycuik, in Midlothian, obliges the
possessor to attend once a year in the forest of Drumsleich (near
Edinburgh) ... to give a blast of a horn at the king's hunting; and
therefore Clerk of Pennycuik, baronet, the proprietor of these lands, uses
the following crest:"[224] 'A demi-forester, habited vert, sounding a
hunting-horn proper;' and motto, 'FREE FOR A BLAST.' Most of the English
families of Forester, Forster, and Foster have bugle-horns in their arms,
supporting the idea that the founders of those families derived their
surnames from the office of Forester, held by them in times when the
country abounded in woody districts. This office was one of considerable
honour and emolument.

The crest of Grosvenor is 'a hound or talbot statant or;' and the
supporters 'two talbots reguardant or,' &c. Both these ensigns and the
name allude to the antient office of the chiefs of this family, which was
that of =Le Gros Veneur=, great huntsman, to the Dukes of Normandy.

Rawdon, earl of Moira, ancestor of the Marquis of Hastings; 'Argent, a
fesse between three pheons or arrow-heads sable.' _Crest_, in a mural
coronet argent, a pheon sable, with a sprig of laurel issuing therefrom
proper. _Supporters_, two huntsmen with bows, quivers, &c. &c. This
family were denominated from their estate, Rawdon, near Leeds, co. York,
which they originally held under William the Conqueror. A rhyming
title-deed, purporting to have been granted by him, but evidently of much
later date, was formerly in the possession of the family:

  "=I William King=, the thurd yere of my reigne,
  Give to thee, Paulyn Roydon, Hope and Hopetowne,
  Wyth all the bounds, both up and downe,
  From Heaven to yerthe, from yerthe to hel;
  For the and thyn ther to dwell,
  As truly as this Kyng-right is myn;
  =For a cross-bowe and an arrow,
  When I sal come to hunt on Yarrow;=
  And in token that this thing is sooth,
  I bit the whyt wax with my tooth."

The family of Pitt, earl of Chatham, bore 'Sable, a fesse _chequy_ argent
and azure, between three bezants or pieces of _money_,' in allusion to the
office the original grantee held in the EXCHEQUER. The Fanshawes also bore
chequy, &c., for the same reason.

The Woods of Largo, co. Fife, bear ships, in allusion to the office of
Admiral of Scotland, antiently hereditary in that family.

The antient Earls of Warren and Surrey bore 'chequy, or and azure.' There
is a tradition that the heads of this family were invested with the
exclusive prerogative of granting licenses for the sale of malt liquors,
and that it was enjoined on all alehouse-keepers to paint the Warren arms
on their door-posts. Hence the chequers, still seen at the entrances of
many taverns, were supposed to have originated, until the discovery of
that ornament on an inn-door among the ruins of Pompeii proved the fashion
to have existed in classical times. Its origin is involved in obscurity;
it may have been placed upon houses of entertainment to show that some
game analogous to the modern chess and backgammon might be played within.

Here we may be allowed to digress, to say a few words on the origin of
_inn signs_, which are generally of an heraldric character. In early times
the town residences of the nobility and great ecclesiastics were called
Inns; and in front of them the family arms were displayed. In many cases
these Inns were afterwards appropriated to the purposes of the modern
hotel, affording temporary accommodation to all comers.[225] The armorial
decorations were retained, and under the name of signs directed the public
to these places of rest and refreshment. On calling to mind the signs by
which the inns of any particular town are designated, a very great
majority of them will be recognized as regular heraldric charges. In
addition to the full armorials of great families, as the Gordon Arms, the
Pelham Arms, the Dorset Arms, we find such signs as the Golden Lion, Red
Lion, White Lion, Black Lion, White Hart, Blue Boar, Golden Cross, Dragon,
Swan, Spread Eagle, Dolphin, Rose and Crown, Catherine-Wheel, Cross-Keys,
_cum multis aliis_, abundant everywhere. These were originally, in most
cases, the properly emblazoned armories of families possessing influence
in the locality; and frequently the inns themselves were established by
old domestics of such families. But owing to the negligence of mine host,
or the unskilfulness of the common painter, who from time to time
renovated his sign, the latter often lost much of its heraldric character;
the shield and its tinctures were dropped, and the charges only remained;
while by a still further departure from the original intention, three
black lions, or five spread eagles, were reduced to one. A house in the
town of Lewes was formerly known as the "Three Pelicans," the fact of
those charges constituting the arms of Pelham having been lost sight of.
Another is still called "The Cats," and few are aware that the arms of the
Dorset family are intended.[226] In villages, innumerable instances occur
of signs taken from the arms or crests of existing families, and very
commonly the sign is changed as some neighbouring domain passes into other
hands. There is a kind of patron and client feeling about this--feudality
some may be disposed to call it--which a lover of Old England is pleased
to contemplate.

VIII. The last species of Historical Arms are those which relate to
Memorable Circumstances and Events which have occurred to the Ancestors of
the families who bear them.

Stanley, earl of Derby. _Crest._ 'On a chapeau gules, turned up ermine, an
Eagle with wings expanded or, feeding an Infant in a kind of cradle; at
its head a sprig of oak all proper.' This is the blazon given in
"Historical and Allusive Arms;"[227] but Collins[228] blazons the Eagle as
'_preying upon_' the Infant. This crest belonged originally to the family
of Lathom or Latham, whose heiress, Isabella, married Sir John Stanley,
afterwards Lieutenant of Ireland, Lord of the Isle of Man, and K. G. in
the fourteenth century. According to tradition it originated in the
following manner: One of the Lathams of Latham, co. Lancaster, having
abandoned and exposed an illegitimate son in the nest of an eagle in a
wood called Terlestowe Wood, near his castle, afterwards discovered, to
his great astonishment, that the 'king of birds,' instead of devouring the
helpless infant, had conceived a great liking for him, supplying him with
food, and thus preserving his life. Upon witnessing this miraculous
circumstance the cruel parent relented, and, taking home the infant, made
him his heir. A 'various reading' of the tale states that Sir Thomas
Latham, being destitute of legal issue, and wishing to adopt an
illegitimate son, a proceeding to which his wife would not be likely to
become a party, resorted to the _ruse_ of having the infant placed in the
eyrie of an eagle, and then, taking his lady into the park, coming, as if
by accident, to the place, at the moment when the eagle was hovering over
the nest. Help--of course _accidental_--being at hand, the little fellow
was rescued from his perilous couch, and presented to the lady, who
pressed him to her bosom, and, ignorant of his consanguinity to her lord,
joyfully acquiesced in his proposal to make the foundling heir to their

According to Bishop Stanley's 'Historicall Poem touching ye Family of
Stanley,' and Vincent's MS. Collection in the College of Arms, the Lord of
Latham was "fowerscore" at the time he adopted this infant,

  "Swaddled and clad
  In a mantle of redd:"

--a statement which discredits both versions of the story as given above.
These authorities further inform us that the foundling received the
baptismal name of Oskell, and became father of the Isabella Latham who
married Sir John Stanley.

In Seacome's 'History of the House of Stanley' there is an account,
derived from another branch of the family, which coincides with the
second-mentioned, with the important addition that the adopted child was
discarded before the death of Sir Thomas Latham. It is further said, that
on the adoption Sir Thomas had assumed for his crest "an Eagle upon wing,
turning her head back and looking in a sprightly manner as for something
she had lost," and that on the disowning, the Stanleys (one of whom had
married the legal heiress to the estate) "either to distinguish or
aggrandize themselves, or in contempt and derision, took upon them the
Eagle and Child," thus manifesting the variation and the reason of it.

It is scarcely necessary to state, that the Sir Oskell of the legend has
no existence in the veritable records of history; and Mr. Ormerod, the
learned historian of Cheshire, who is connected by marriage with the
family of Latham, thinks the whole story may be "more safely referred to
ancestral Northmen, with its scene in the pine-forests of

The subjoined engraving relates to this legend. It is copied from a
cast[230] taken from an oak carving attached to the stall of James
Stanley, bishop of Ely, in the collegiate church (now cathedral) of
Manchester, of which he was warden. The figures below the trees are a
REBUS[231] of masons or stone-cutters, termed, in mediæval Latin,
_Lathomi_; and the castellated gateway they are approaching is that of
Latham Hall, the scene of the tradition.


Trevelyan of Somersetshire, Bart. 'Gules, a horse argent armed or, issuant
from the sea in base, party per fesse wavy, azure and of the second.'
This family primarily bore a very different coat: their present armorials
were assumed "on occasion of one of their ancestors swimming on horseback
from the rocks called Seven Stones to the Land's End in Cornwall, at the
time of an inundation, which is said to have overwhelmed a large tract of
land, and severed thereby those rocks from the continent of
Cornwall."[232] This story may appear rather improbable, but it should be
remembered that some similar disruptions of land from the coast, such as
the Goodwin Sands, Selsey Rocks, &c. are authentic matters of history.
Whether the most powerful of the equine race, which are, even under far
more favourable circumstances, "vain things for safety," would be able to
outbrave the violence of the sea necessary to produce such a phenomenon, I
leave to better horsemen than myself to decide.

The arms of Aubrey de Vere, the great ancestor of the earls of
Oxford,[233] in the 12th century, were 'Quarterly, gules and or; in the
first quarter a star or mullet of five points or.' "In the year of our
Lord 1098," saith Leland,[234] "Corborant, Admiral to Soudan of Perce [so
our antiquary was pleased to spell Persia,] was fought with at Antioche,
and discomfited by the Christians. The night cumming on yn the chace of
this bataile, and waxing dark, the Christianes being four miles from
Antioche, God, willing the saufté [safety] of the Christianes, shewed a
white star or molette of five pointes on the Christen host; which to every
mannes sighte did lighte and arrest upon the standard of Albry de Vere,
there shyning excessively!" The mullet was subsequently used as a badge
by his descendants. "The Erle of Oxford's men had a starre with streames
booth before and behind on their lyverys."[235]

Thomas Fitz-Gerald, father of John, first earl of Kildare, bore the
sobriquet of Nappagh, Simiacus, or the Ape, from the following ludicrous
circumstance. When he was an infant of nine months old, his grandfather
and father were both killed in the war waged by them against M'Carthy, an
opposing chief. He was then being nursed at Tralee, and his attendants, in
the first consternation caused by the news of the disaster, ran out of the
house, leaving the child alone in his cradle. A large ape or baboon, kept
on the premises, with the natural love of mischief inherent in that mimic
tribe, taking advantage of the circumstance, took him from his
resting-place and clambered with him to the roof of the neighbouring
abbey, and thence to the top of the steeple. After having carried his
noble charge round the battlements, exhibiting the while various monkey
tricks heretofore unknown to nursery-maids, to the no small consternation
and amazement of the spectators, he descended with careful foot, _ad
terram firmam_, and replaced the child in the cradle. In consequence of
this event the earls of Kildare and other noble branches of this antient
line assumed as a crest, 'An ape proper, girt about the middle and chained
or,' and for supporters, two apes. The addition of the _chain_ is

Stuart, of Hartley-Mauduit, co. Hants. 'Argent, a lion rampant gules,
debruised by a bend raguly [popularly termed a _ragged staff_] or.' Sir
Alexander Stuart, or Steward, knight, an ancestor of this family, in the
presence of Charles VI of France, encountered a lion with a sword, which
breaking he seized a part of a tree, and with it killed the animal. This
so much pleased the king, that he gave him the above as an augmentation to
his paternal arms.[236]

Maclellan Lord Kirkcudbright bore as a crest, 'A dexter arm erect, the
hand grasping a dagger, with a human head on the point thereof, couped
proper,' In the reign of James II, of Scotland, a predatory horde of
foreigners, who entered that kingdom from Ireland, committed great ravages
in the shire of Galloway; whereupon a royal proclamation was issued
ordering their dispersion, and offering, as a reward to the captor or
killer of their chieftain, the barony of Bombie. Now it happened that one
Maclellan, whose father had been laird of Bombie, (and had been
dispossessed of it for some aggressions on a neighbouring nobleman,) was
the fortunate person who killed the chieftain; thus singularly regaining
his ancestral property. The crest originated in the circumstance of his
having presented to the king the marauder's head fixed upon the point of a

The head is variously blazoned as that of a _Saracen_, _Moor_, or
_Gipsey_, and the question might here be started, 'Who were the lawless
band that made the inroad referred to?' The terms Moor and Saracen were in
early times applied indiscriminately to Mahometans of every nation, but it
cannot be supposed that these intruders were followers of the False
Prophet, for we have no record of any such having found their way into
regions so remote. Neither is it probable that they were the wild or
uncivilized Irish, whose manners and language would have been recognized
in the south-western angle of Scotland, which is only separated from
Ireland by a narrow channel that could be crossed in a few hours. The
most probable opinion is that they belonged to that singular race, the
_Gipseys_, who first made their appearance in Germany, Italy, Switzerland,
and France, between the years 1409 and 1427. Admitting that a tribe of
them found their way soon after from the continent into Ireland, it seems
exceedingly likely that a detachment of that tribe should have crossed
over to Scotland in the reign of James, between 1438 and 1460. As the
Gipseys on their first settlement were black, and could be traced to an
oriental source, and as they disavowed Christianity, they were very
naturally considered as Saracens, by a rule analogous to that which makes
all the inhabitants of Christendom Franks in the eyes of a Turk. I have
made this little digression because this instance of a Gipsey's head is
probably unique in British Heraldry, and because the tradition perfectly
coincides in point of time with the actual ingress of the Gipseys into
this part of Europe.

The crest of the Davenports of Cheshire, a family as numerous, according
to the proverb, as 'dogs' tails,' is 'a man's head couped below the
shoulders in profile, hair brown, a halter about his neck proper.'
According to the tradition of the family, it originated after a battle
between the Yorkists and Lancastrians, in which one of the Davenports,
being of the vanquished party, was spared execution by the commander on
the opposite side, on the humiliating condition that he and all his
posterity should bear this crest.

When Queen Elizabeth made Sir John Hawkins paymaster of the navy in 1590,
she gave him a coat of arms appropriate to his profession, and as a crest,
in allusion to his _laudable_ concern in the slave trade, 'A demi-negro
proper, manacled with a rope,' the very symbol which, more than two
hundred years afterwards, was used to stamp infamy on those concerned in
it, as well as abhorrence and detestation of the slave trade itself.[237]

It would be a matter of little difficulty to produce a great number of
additional instances of armorials allusive to the personal history or
office of the original grantee; but let it be mine rather than that of the
fatigued reader to cry

  ='Ohe, jam satis!'=



Distinctions of Rank and Honour.

Any treatise on Heraldry, whatever its scope or its design, would
certainly be deemed defective if it did not embrace this subject. Heraldry
consists of two distinct parts, namely, _first_, the knowledge of titles
and dignities, the proper sphere of each, and the ceremonials connected
with them; and, _secondly_, the science of blazon, or the rules by which
armorial insignia are composed and borne. One treats of honours; the other
of the symbols of those honours. The first, though some will refuse to
concede it that distinction, is a science; the second partakes the nature
of both a science and an _art_. The immediate object of this humble volume
is armory or blazon, its history and its philosophy; yet I should scarcely
feel justified in passing over, in silence, the other branch of heraldry,
abounding as it does with 'Curiosities.' It is not, however, my intention
to write a dissertation on the orders of nobility, their origin, their
privileges, or their dignity; for the general reader, who happens to be
uninformed on these points, can readily consult numerous authorities
respecting them, while more profound students, should any such deign to
read my lucubrations, would scarcely deem what could be said in the
course of a short chapter sufficient. I must therefore refer the former
class to their peerages, or books of elementary heraldry, while the latter
will not require that I should point out the learned tomes of Segar,
Selden, Markham, and the various other 'workes of honour,' of which our
literature has been so remarkably prolific. To relieve the tedium
occasioned by the constant reference to or, and gules, and ermine; and
bend, and fesse, and cheveron; and lions rampant and eagles displayed,
which must necessarily occur in a book of heraldry, even in one which
professes to treat of its 'Curiosities,' I intend here, _currente calamo_,
to lay before the reader a few jottings which have occurred to me in the
course of my heraldric and antiquarian researches.

It has been observed that "among barbarous nations there are no family
names. Men are known by _titles_ of honour, by _titles_ of disgrace, or by
_titles_ given to them on account of some individual quality. A brave man
will be called the lion, a ferocious one the tiger. Others are named after
a signal act of their lives, or from some peculiarity of personal
appearance; such as the slayer-of-three-bears, the
taker-of-so-many-scalps, or straight-limbs, long-nose, and so on. Some of
these, especially such as express approbation or esteem, are worn as
proudly by their savage owners as that of duke or marquis is by European
nobles.[238] They confer a distinction which begets respect and deference
amongst the tribes, and individuals so distinguished obtain the places of
honour at feasts, and they are the leaders in battle. It is nearly the
same in modern civilized life; titled personages are much sought after and
fêted by the tribes of untitled; and are, moreover, the leaders of
fashion. The only difference between the savage and civilized titles of
honour is, that in the former case they can only be obtained by deeds;
they must be earned; which is not always the case with modern

All titles of honour indubitably originated in official employments,
though, in the lapse of ages, they have become, as to the majority,
entirely honorary. This will appear on an etymological inquiry into the
meaning of the titles still enjoyed in our social system. Thus, DUKE is
equivalent with _dux_, a leader or commander, and such, in a military
sense, were those personages who primarily bore this distinction. MARQUIS,
according to the best authorities, signifies a military officer to whom
the sovereign intrusted the guardianship of the marches or borders of a
territory. An EARL or count was the lieutenant or viceroy of a county, and
the geographical term owes its origin to the office. A vicecomes, or
VISCOUNT, again, was the deputy of a count. The derivation of BARON is
more obscure; still there was a period when official duties were required
of the holders of the title. To descend to the lesser nobility, KNIGHT is
synonymous with servant, a servant in a threefold sense, first to
religion, next to his sovereign, and thirdly to his 'ladye;' while an
ESQUIRE was in antient times _ecuyer_ or _scutifer_, the knight's
shield-bearer. Among the Orientals official duties are still attached to
every title of honour; and it is worthy of remark that the highest of all
titles, that of king, has never, in any country, been merely honorary; the
responsible duties of government having always been connected with it.

In sovereigns, whom our old writers quaintly term 'fountains of honour,'
is vested the right of conferring dignities, and it is by a judicious use
of this prerogative that the balance of a limited monarchy is properly
preserved. Were there no difference of grade amongst the subjects of a
state, the monarch would be too far removed from his people, and mutual
disgust or indifference would be the consequence. A well-constituted
peerage serves as a connecting link between the sovereign and the great
body of his subjects, and may therefore be regarded, next to the loyal
affections of the people, the firmest prop of the throne.

I know that, in these utilitarian days, this position is frequently and
fiercely controverted, and that probably by many who have never read the
following eloquent passage of Burke--a passage which though _decies
repetita placebit_, and which I therefore introduce without apology:

"To be honoured and even privileged by the laws, opinions, and inveterate
usages of our country, growing out of the prejudice of ages, has nothing
to provoke horror and indignation in any man. Even to be too tenacious of
those privileges is not absolutely a crime. The strong struggle in every
individual to preserve possession of what he has found to belong to him,
and to distinguish him, is one of the securities against injustice and
despotism implanted in our nature. It operates as an instinct to secure
property, and to preserve communities in a settled state. What is there to
shock in this? Nobility is a graceful ornament to the civil order. It is
the Corinthian capital of polished society. _Omnes boni nobilitati semper
favemus_ was the saying of a wise and good man. It is, indeed, one sign of
a liberal and benevolent mind to incline to it with some sort of partial
propensity. He feels no ennobling principle in his own heart who wishes to
level all the artificial institutions which have been adopted for giving a
body to opinion and permanence to fugitive esteem. _It is a sour,
malignant, and envious disposition, without taste for the reality, or for
any image or representation of virtue, that sees with joy the unmerited
fall of what had long flourished in splendour and in honour._ I do not
like to see anything destroyed, any void produced in society, any ruin on
the face of the land."[239]

It is a fact not perhaps generally known that poverty formerly
disqualified a peer from holding his dignity. In the reign of Edward IV,
George Neville, duke of Bedford, was degraded on this account by Act of
Parliament. The reason for this measure is given in the preamble of the
Act: "Because it [poverty] causeth great extortion, &c. to the great
trouble of all such countries where the estate [of the impoverished lord]
happens to be."[240]

Happily for some of its members, no such prerogative is now exercised by

Dignities and titles, like other things, are of course estimated by their
rarity. "If all men were noble, where would be the noblesse of nobility?"
In no country has so much prudence been displayed in regard to the
multiplication of titles as in England. On the continent, as every one is
aware, there is such a profusion of titled persons that, excepting those
of the highest orders, they are very little respected on the score of
honour. Titles are so cheap that persons of very indifferent reputation
not unfrequently obtain them; and hence the Spanish proverb: "Formerly
rogues were hung on crosses, but now crosses are hung upon rogues!" A
German potentate once requested to be informed what station an English
esquire occupied in the ladder of precedence, and was answered, that he
stood somewhat higher than a French count, and somewhat lower than a
German prince! There was certainly more truth than courtesy in the reply.

Much has been written on the orders of precedence. I am neither disposed
nor qualified to handle so delicate a subject; but the following table,
showing how the various grades were formerly recognized by their _hawks_,
is so curious that I do not hesitate to introduce it:

    "An _eagle_, a _bawter_ (vulture), a _melown_; these belong unto an

    A _gerfalcon_, a _tercell_ of gerfalcon are due to a _king_.

    There is a _falcon_ gentle and a _tercell_ gentle; and these be for a

    There is a _falcon_ of the _rock_; and that is for a _duke_.

    There is a _falcon_ peregrine; and that is for an _earl_.

    Also there is a _bastard_; and that hawk is for a _baron_.

    There is a _sacre_ and a _sacret_; and these ben for a _knight_.

    There is a _lanare_ and a _laurell_; and these belong to a _squire_.

    There is a _merlyon_; and that hawk is for a _lady_.

    There is an _hoby_; and that is for a _young man_.

    There is a _goshawk_; and that hawk is for a _yeoman_.

    There is a _tercell_; and that is for a _poor man_.

    There is a _spave-hawk_; she is an hawk for a _priest_.

    There is a _muskyte_; and he is for an _holy-water clerk_."

To this list the 'Jewel for Gentre' adds,

    "A _kesterel_ for a _knave_ or _servant_."[241]

Occupying a kind of intermediate rank between the peerage and the commons
stands the order of Baronets. These, though really commoners, participate
with peers the honour of transmitting their title to their male
descendants. James I, the founder of this order, pledged himself to limit
its number to two hundred, but successive sovereigns, possessing the same
right to enlarge as he had to establish it, have more than quadrupled the
holders of this dignity.

Baronets are in reality nothing more than hereditary knights, and some
families who have been invested with the honour have gained little by it,
seeing that their ancestors regularly, in earlier times, acquired that of
knighthood. It is no unusual thing in tracing the annals of an antient
house, to find six or seven knights in the direct line, besides those in
the collateral branches. In the family of Calverley, there was, if I
mistake not, a _succession_ of SIXTEEN knights. This was a 'knightly race'

Of knighthood Nares remarks, "Since it was superseded by the order of
Baronets, it has incurred a kind of contumely that is certainly injurious
to its proper character. It has been held cheaper by the public at large,
and I fear also by the sovereign himself. How often do we hear the remark
when a _Sir_ or _Lady_ is mentioned, 'He is _only_ a Knight,' or 'She is
_only_ a Knight's lady.'"

We have seen that knight is synonymous with servant. So also is theign or
thane, one of the oldest titles of Northern nobility. Bede translates it
by Minister Regis. Sometimes these thanes were servientes regis more
literally than would suit the ambition of modern courtiers, for in
Doomsday Book we find them holding such offices as Latinarius, Aurifaber,
Coquus, interpreter, goldsmith, cook. Lord Ponsonby bears three combs in
his arms, to commemorate his descent from the Conqueror's barber!

Sir John Ferne traces the origin of knighthood to Olybion, the grandson of
Noah; and Lydgate and Chaucer speak of the knights of Troy and Thebes. But
the honour is not older than the introduction of the feudal system. When
the whole country was parcelled out under that system, the possessor of
each _feu_ or _fee_ (a certain value in land) held it by knight's service,
that is, by attending the summons of the king, whenever he engaged in war,
properly equipped for the campaign, and leading on his vassals. Knighthood
was obligatory, as the possessor of every fee was bound to receive the
honour at the will of his sovereign or other feudal superior. Such knights
were, in reference to their dependants, styled lords. Greater estates,
consisting of several knights' fees, were denominated Baronies, and the
possessor of such an estate was called a Baron, or Banneret, on account of
his right to display a square banner in the field--an honour to which no
one of inferior rank could pretend.

Military aid was commonly all the rent which was required of a vassal.
Sometimes, however, sums of money which now appear ludicrously small, or
provisions for the lord's household, were also demanded; and not unusually
these payments were commuted for a broad arrow, a falcon, or a red rose.
From such rents numerous coats of arms doubtless originated.

Knights are addressed as _Sir_, derived from the French Sire or Sieur,
which was primarily applied to lords of a certain territory, as Le Sieur
de Bollebec. This title was not limited to knighthood, for the great
barons also used it. So also did ecclesiastics, even those holding very
small benefices. I have found no instances of priests being called Sir,
since the Reformation, except Shakspeare's Sir Hugh Evans, in the Merry
Wives of Windsor, and there the dramatist evidently alludes to the
practice of earlier times than his own. Two other applications of the
expression may be noticed--_Sire_ is a very respectful mode of address to
a king; but what shall we say of the Scots, who apply it in the plural to
women, and even to an individual of that sex--_Eh Sirs?_

To distinguish this, the most antient order of knights, from those of the
Garter, Bath, and others, they are called Knights-Bachelors. ("What," asks
Nares, "are the wives and children of a _bachelor_?") The etymology of
this word in all its senses, is extremely obscure; so much so that
scarcely any two authorities are agreed upon it. Menage, according to
Johnson, derives it from _bas chevalier_; an unfortunate hypothesis,
certainly, for it would make the compound word mean 'knight low-knight.'

Knighthood at the present day, so far from being restricted to the
profession of war, is often given, says Clark,[242] "to gownsmen,
physicians, burghers, and artists." Nares adds, "brewers, silversmiths,
attorneys, apothecaries, upholsterers, hosiers, and tailors;" and
continues, "I do by no means wish to see such persons placed out of the
reach of honours, or deprived of the smiles and favours even of royalty.
King Alfred undoubtedly showed his wisdom in honouring merchants." He
regards knighthood _inappropriate_, however, to the avocations named; but
surely he could not have reflected that the successive changes which have
come over the face of society have altered the import of nearly every
title amongst us. The title of duke (_dux, general_) is as inappropriate
when bestowed upon a civilian as that of knight--nay, more so; for in
knighthood the erroneous application dies with the person honoured, while
the dukedom (generalship) is hereditary.

The lowest titles borne in England are those of _Esquire_ and
_Gentleman_--titles which Coke (as Blackstone observes) has confounded
together. Nor is it easy to discriminate between them, as every esquire is
a gentleman, although every gentleman may not be an esquire. In the reign
of Henry VI this difference is observable, namely, that the heads of
families were commonly accounted esquires, while younger sons were styled

Esquireship, like knighthood, is a military dignity; and its origin is
perfectly clear. In the earliest times, possibly in the days of Olybion
himself, every warrior of distinction was attended by his armour-bearer.
Hence in the romances of the middle ages we find the knight almost
invariably attended by a subordinate personage, half-friend, half-servant,
who carried his shield and other armour, and who thence acquired the
designation of ecuyer, esquire, or (Anglicè) shield-bearer. In later
periods, knights selected one, or more frequently, several, of their
principal or most valiant retainers, to officiate as esquires during a
campaign. These, in the event of a successful issue of the war, they often
enriched with lands and goods, giving them, at the same time, the
privilege of bearing armorial ensigns, copied in part from their own, or
otherwise, according to circumstances.[243] After such a grant the person
honoured became an esquire in another sense, as the bearer of _his own
shield_; and in this sense all persons at the present day whose claim to
bear arms would be admitted by the proper functionaries, are virtually,
_scutifers_, _armigers_, or _esquiers_. But there is a more restricted use
of the term, bearing relation to the honour in a civil rather than a
military aspect, as we shall shortly see.

By the courtesies of common life, now-a-days, every person a little
removed from the _ignobile vulgus_ claims to be an esquire; and
comparatively few, even among the better informed classes, know in what
esquireship really consists. For the behoof of such as are confessedly
ignorant of this branch of heraldry, and are not too proud to learn, I
subjoin the following particulars, gathered from various respectable
authorities. REAL esquires, then, are of seven sorts:

1. Esquires of the king's body, whose number is limited to four.

2. The eldest sons of knights, and _their_ eldest sons born during their
lifetime. It would seem that, in the days of antient warfare, the knight
often took his eldest son into the wars for the purpose of giving him a
practical military education, employing him meanwhile as his esquire. Such
certainly was Chaucer's _squier_. With the knight

      "ther was his son, a young SQUIER,
  A lover, and a lusty bachelor...
  And he hadde be somtime in chevachie,[244]
  In Flaunders, in Artois, and Picardie."

3. The eldest sons of the younger sons of peers of the realm.

4. Such as the king invests with the collar of SS, including the kings of
arms, heralds, &c. The dignity of esquire was conferred by Henry IV and
his successors, by the investiture of the collar and the gift of a pair of
silver spurs. Gower the poet was such an esquire by creation. In the
ballad of the King (Edward IV) and the Tanner of Tamworth we find the
frolicsome monarch creating a dealer in cowhides a squire in this manner:

  "A coller, a coller here, sayd the king,
    A coller he loud gan crye;
  Then would he[245] lever than twentye pound,
    He had not beene so nighe.

  A coller, a coller, the tanner he sayd,
    I trowe it will breed sorrowe;
  After a _coller_ commeth a _halter_,
    I trow I shall be hang'd to-morrowe."

5. Esquires to the knights of the Bath, _for life_, and their eldest sons.

6. Sheriffs of counties _for life_, coroners and justices of the peace,
and gentlemen of the royal household, while they continue in their
respective offices.

7. Barristers-at-law, doctors of divinity, law, and medicine, mayors of
towns, and some others, are said to be of scutarial dignity, but not
actual esquires.

Supposing this enumeration to comprise all who are entitled to
esquireship, it will be evident that thousands of persons styled esquires
are not so in reality. It is a prevailing error that persons possessed of
£300 a year in land are esquires, but an estate of £50,000 would not
confer the dignity. Nothing but one or other of the conditions above
mentioned is sufficient; yet there are some who contend that the
representatives of families whose gentry is antient and unimpeachable, and
who possess large territorial estates, are genuine esquires. This,
however, does not seem to have been the opinion of such persons themselves
two or three centuries ago, for we find many gentlemen possessing both
these qualifications who, in documents of importance, such as wills and
transfers of property, content themselves with the modest and simple style
of _Yeoman_.

The mention of the word yeoman reminds us of the misappropriation of this
expression in modern times. The true definition of it, according to
Blackstone, is, one "that hath free land of forty shillings by the year;
who is thereby qualified to serve on juries, vote for knights of the
shire, and do any other act where the law requires one that is _probus et
legalis homo_." Now, however, it is applied almost exclusively to farmers
of the richer sort,[246] even though they do not possess a single foot of
land. The yeomen of the feudal ages were as much renowned for their
valorous deeds on the battle-field, as those of a later period were for
their wealth. In the sixteenth century it was said--

  "=A knight of Cales, a squire of Wales,
    And a laird of the North Countree,
  A Yeoman of Kent, with his yearly rent,
    Would buy them out all three.="

It is much to be regretted that this substantial class of men is almost
extinct. To how few are the words of Horace now applicable--

  "Beatus ille, qui procul negotiis,
    Ut prisca gens mortalium,
  _Paterna rura_ bobus exercet suis."

  "Happy the man whose wish and care
  A few paternal acres bound;
  Content to breathe his native air
                      _On his own ground_."

But I am violating the laws of precedence in noticing yeomen before
gentlemen. The term _gentleman_ is, perhaps, one of the most indefinite in
the English language. George IV prided himself in being the finest
gentleman in Europe; every peer of the realm is a _gentleman_; every
judge, member of parliament, and magistrate is a _gentleman_; every
clergyman, lawyer, and doctor is a _gentleman_; every merchant and
tradesman is a _gentleman_; every farmer and mechanic is a _gentleman_;
every draper's errand-boy and tailor's apprentice is a _gentleman_; and
every ostler who, "in the worst inn's worst room," treats the stable-boy
with a pot of ale is thereupon declared to be a _gentleman_. So say the
courtesies of society; but there is the legal and heraldric, as well as
the social, gentleman.

"As for GENTLEMEN (says Sir Thomas Smith[247]) they be made good cheape in
this kingdom: for whosoever studieth the laws of the realm, who studieth
in the universities, who professeth liberal sciences, and (to be short)
who can live idly and without manual labour, and will bear the port,
charge, and countenance of a gentleman, he shall be called master, and
taken for a gentleman." This is the legal definition; but the heralds of
former days recognized several different classes of gentlemen; Sir John
Ferne, in his 'Blazon of Gentry,'[248] enumerates the following:

1. Gentlemen of ancestry, with blood and coat-armour perfect; namely,
those whose ancestors, on both sides, have, for five generations at least,
borne coat-armour.

2. Gentlemen of blood and coat-armour perfect, but not of ancestry; being
those descended in the fifth degree from him 'that slewe a Saracen or
Heathen Gentle-man;' from him that won the standard, guidon, or
coat-armour of a Christian gentleman, and so bare his arms; from him that
obtained arms by gift from his sovereign; or from him that purchased an
estate to which arms appertained. To this order likewise belong a yeoman
who has worthily obtained arms and knighthood; and a yeoman who has been
made a doctor of laws and has obtained a coat of arms.

3. Gentlemen of blood perfect, and coat armour imperfect; the 'yonger
blouds' of a house, of which the elder line has failed after a lineal
succession of five generations.

4. Gentlemen of blood and coat-armour imperfect; the _third_ in lineal
descent from him who slew a Saracen gentleman, &c. &c. &c., as under the
third description; also the natural son of a gentleman of blood and
coat-armour perfect, and the legitimate son of a yeoman, by a gentlewoman
of blood, &c., being an inheritrix.

5. Gentlemen of coat-armour imperfect: those who have slain an infidel
gentleman, &c., _ut supra_; also gentlemen of _paper and wax_.

6. Gentlemen, neither of blood nor coat-armour, are of three orders;
namely, 1, _Apocrafat_--Students of common law and grooms of the
sovereign's palace, having no coat-armour; 2, _Spiritual_--A churl's son
made a priest, canon, &c.; and 3, _Untriall_--He who being brought up in
the service of a bishop, abbot, or baron, enjoys the bare title of
gentleman; and he that having received any degree of the schools, or borne
any office in a city so as to be saluted _Master_.

As Saracen-killing has long ceased to be a favourite amusement,--as the
winning of standards is an undertaking as rare as it is perilous,--as few
in protestant England have the good fortune to serve abbots and
bishops,--and, as a grant of arms by the heralds is a somewhat expensive
affair,--how very few have now the chance of becoming _gentlemen_ in the
heraldrical sense of the term. Widely at variance with the courtesies of
every-day life are these antiquated laws of chivalry!

We have seen that nearly every man, from the throne to the stable, each in
his own sphere, is recognized as a gentleman; yet how few,
notwithstanding, like to be so described in a legal, formal manner.
Formerly, it was customary to add GENT., as an honourable distinction to
one's name, in the address of his letters, in his will, or upon his
tombstone; but in these days nothing short of ESQ. is deemed respectful.
This foible, however, is not a thing of yesterday; for so long ago as
1709, Mr. Isaac Bickerstaff, of the Tatler, says: "I have myself a couple
of clerks; one directs to Degory Goosequill, _Esquire_, to which the other
replies by a note to Nehemiah Dashwell, _Esquire_, with respect."

What courtesy at first concedes, the party honoured soon learns to exact.
The tenacity with which many persons of some pretensions to family, but
with very few of the other qualifications which are supposed to belong to
the character of a gentleman, adhere to the courtesy title of _Esq._ must
have been observed by every one. I have heard of persons of this
description, who, from the pressure of circumstances, have entered into
trade, being mortified by its omission; though their own good sense must
have suggested to them the absurdity of such an address as "Nicholas
Smith, Esq. Tailor," or "Geoffry Brownman, Esq. Butcher." Not long since a
_squireen_ of this order (in a southern county), who eked out the little
residuum of his patrimony by the occupation of a farm comprising a few
acres of hops, on receiving a letter from the local excise-officer
respecting the hop-duty with which he was charged, felt his dignity much
insulted at being styled in the address plain _Mr._ Full of rage at the
insolence of the official, he appealed to the collector, expecting,
probably, that he would reprimand the offender with great severity. The
collector, however, treated the matter as a joke, but ordered his clerk to
strike out _Mr._ from the beginning of the name, and to add ESQ. at the
end. This was not satisfactory to the insulted party, who determined to
appeal to a higher court. He accordingly paid a visit to the magistrates
in petty sessions assembled at H----, and a dialogue somewhat like the
following took place.

_Chairman._ What is your application?

_Squireen_ (with a low salaam). Sir, I come here to have my title

_Chairman_ (in surprise). To what title do you allude, Sir?

_Sq._ I have the honour to be an Esquire; and I have here a document to
show that I have not been treated with the respect due to my rank. I
demand a summons for the writer of this letter.

The letter was handed to the bench, and the chairman, looking doubtfully
at his colleagues, requested our squireen to withdraw while his
application was considered. He withdrew accordingly, and the magistrates
were not a little amused with the case. Fortunately, a gentleman who had
witnessed the scene before the collector happened to be present, and he
having related the particulars, the bench ordered the applicant to be
recalled. The cry of "N. M. _Esquire_! N. M. _Esquire_!" resounded along
the room and down the staircase. That gentleman responded to the call with
great alacrity, and approached the bench with another profound obeisance;
while the chairman, assuming all the gravity he could command, said--

Sir; the magistrates have considered your application, and although they
would not feel justified in issuing a summons against the offending party,
yet they have come to an unanimous decision that your claim to be
considered an Esquire is well founded. Sir, I have the satisfaction to
inform you that YOUR TITLE IS CONFIRMED!

A third inclination followed this highly satisfactory sentence, and our
Esquire left the court with as much dignity as if he had just been created
an earl, or rather with as much as Don Quixote exhibited in the
stable-yard, after the innkeeper had conferred upon him the honour of

The _Country Squires_ may be regarded as an extinct race; and though in
the present advanced state of society we can scarcely wish to see that
rude and stalwart order revived, yet there are many parts of their
character which certainly deserve the imitation of their more polished
descendants. The subjoined description of an antient worthy of this class,
Mr. Hastings, of Dorsetshire,[249] though familiar to many readers, I
venture to introduce.

"Mr. Hastings was low of stature, but strong and active, of a ruddy
complexion, with flaxen hair. His clothes were always of green cloth, his
house was of the old fashion, in the midst of a large park, well stocked
with deer, rabbits, and fishponds. He had a long narrow bowling-green in
it, and used to play with round sand bowls. Here, too, he had a
banquetting room built, like a stand, in a large tree! He kept all sorts
of hounds, that ran buck, fox, hare, otter, and badger; and had hawks of
all kinds, both long and short winged. His great hall was commonly strewed
with marrow-bones, and full of hawk-perches, hounds, spaniels, and
terriers. The upper end of it was hung with fox-skins of this and the last
year's killing. Here and there a polecat was intermixed, and hunters'
poles in great abundance. The parlour was a large room, completely
furnished in the same style. On a broad hearth, paved with brick, lay some
of the choicest terriers, hounds, and spaniels. One or two of the great
chairs had litters of cats in them, which were not to be disturbed. Of
these, three or four always attended him at dinner, and a little white
wand lay by his trencher to defend it, if they were too troublesome. In
the windows, which were very large, lay his arrows, crossbows, and other
accoutrements. The corners of the room were filled with his best hunting
and hawking poles. His oyster table stood at the lower end of the room,
which was in constant use twice a day, all the year round, for he never
failed to eat oysters both at dinner and supper, with which the
neighbouring town of Pool supplied him. At the upper end of the room stood
a small table with a double desk, one side of which held a Church Bible,
the other the Book of Martyrs. On different tables in the room lay
hawks-hoods, bells, old hats, with their crowns thrust in, full of
pheasants' eggs; tables, dice, cards, and store of tobacco-pipes. At one
end of this room was a door, which opened into a closet, where stood
bottles of strong beer, and wine, which never came out but in single
glasses, which was the rule of the house; for he never exceeded himself,
nor permitted others to exceed. Answering to this closet, was a door into
an old chapel, which had been long disused for devotion; but in the
pulpit, as the safest place, was always to be found a cold chine of beef,
a venison pasty, a gammon of bacon, or a great apple-pie, with thick
crust, well baked. His table cost him not much, though it was good to eat
at. His sports supplied all, but beef and mutton, except on Fridays, when
he had the best of fish. He never wanted a London pudding, and he always
sang it in with "My part lies therein-a." He drank a glass or two of wine
at meals; put syrup of gillyflowers into his sack; and had always a tun
glass of small beer standing by him, which he often stirred about with
rosemary. He lived to be an hundred, and never lost his eyesight, nor used
spectacles. He got on horseback without help, and rode to the death of
the stag at fourscore."[250]

In consequence of the cheapness of titles in foreign countries, our
esquires and gentry are frequently undervalued by strangers, who can form
no idea of an untitled aristocracy. We are accustomed to consider no
families noble except those possessing the degree of baron, or some
superior title; and the branches, even of a ducal house, after a certain
number of removes from the titled representative cease to be noble. On the
continent it is otherwise: all the descendants of a peer are noble. Our
antient gentry, possessed of the broad lands which have descended to them
through a long line of ancestors, are virtually more noble, in the
heraldric sense of the term, than dukes and marquises who are but of
yesterday. New nobility cannot compensate for the want of antient gentry.

The caviller will perhaps ask, concerning some of the rambling
observations contained in this chapter, and the subject which has called
them forth, _Cui bono?_ He may also mutter something about the nobility of
virtue, as the only one worth possessing. Well, well, let him enjoy his
opinion, and maintain it if he can; but until he has convinced me that
true integrity and exalted benevolence cannot reside beneath a coronet,
and that the nobility of station obliterates or neutralizes that of
virtue, I shall beg leave also to enjoy mine; admitting, meanwhile, the
correctness of a sentiment quaintly, though wisely, advanced by Sir John
Ferne: "That kind of gentry which is but a bare noblenes of bloud, not
clothed with vertues (the right colours of a gentleman's coat-armour) is
the _meanest_, yea, and the _most base_ of all the rest: for it respecteth
but onely the body, being derived from the loynes of the auncestors, not
from the minde, which is the habitation of vertue, the inne of reason, and
the resemblaunce of God; and, in true speach, this gentry of stock _only_
shal be said but a shadow, or rather a painture of nobility."[251]

  "=Manners makyth man,
  Quoth William of Wykeham.="



Historical Notices of the College of Arms.

[Illustration: (Arms of the College.)[252]]

    "Their consequence was great in the court, in the camp, and, still
    more than either, in the council; as negociators they had great
    influence; they were conspicuous for judgment, experience, learning,
    and elegance; they gained honour whenever they were

We have seen, in a former chapter, that at an early period the sovereign
and his greater nobles retained in their respective establishments certain
officers called heralds, whose duties have been slightly alluded to. In
the present chapter the reader will find a hasty sketch of the history of
these functionaries in their incorporated capacity as a =College of Arms=.

The College of Arms, or, as it is often called, the "Heralds' College,"
owes its origin as a corporation to a monarch who has the misfortune to
occupy a very unenviable place in the scroll of fame; to a man whose
abilities and judgment would have received all due honour from posterity
had they been coupled with the attributes of justice and benevolence, and
attended with a better claim to the sceptre of these realms. But, whatever
may be said of Richard III as an usurper, a murderer, and a tyrant,
impartial justice awards to him the credit of a wise and masterly
execution of the duties of the regal office. Many of the regulations in
the state adopted by him and continued by his successors bear the impress
of a mind of no despicable order. One of his earliest acts was the
foundation of this college. "Personally brave, and nurtured from his
infancy in the use of the sword, he was more especially ambitious of
preserving the hereditary dignity and superior claims of the =White Rose=.
He supported, at his own charge, Richard Champneys, Falcon herald, whom
upon his accession he created Gloucester king of arms, and at whose
instance he was further induced to grant to the body of heralds immunities
of great importance."[253] His letters patent for this purpose bear date
March 2d, 1483, the first year of his reign. The heraldic body, as
originally constituted, consisted of twelve of the most approved heralds,
for whose habitation he assigned a messuage in the parish of All Saints in
London, called Pulteney's Inn, or Cold Harbore.[254] As usual with every
fraternity of those times, the newly-constituted college had a chaplain,
whose stipend was fixed at £20 per annum. The 'right fair and stately
house,' as it is termed by Stowe, was first presided over by Sir John
Wriothesley, or Wrythe, whose arms were assumed by the body, and are still
perpetuated on their corporate seal. For the better performance of the
duties of the heralds, the kingdom was divided into two provinces, over
each of which presided a king of arms. The title of the officer who
regulated all heraldric affairs south of the river Trent was _Clarenceux_,
and that of him who exercised jurisdiction northward of it, _Norroy_. From
this statement it must not be inferred that kings of arms had not
previously existed, for there were a _Norroy_ and a _Surroy_[255] (q. d.
'northern king' and 'southern king,') as early as the reign of Edward III;
although their duties were not so well defined nor their authority so
great as both became after the incorporation of the college. Over both
these, as principal of the establishment, was appointed _Garter_, king of
arms, an office instituted by King Henry V, and so called from his
official connexion with the order of knighthood bearing that designation.
Next in point of dignity to the provincial kings, stood several _heralds_
bearing peculiar titles, and the third rank was composed of pursuivants,
or students, who could not be admitted into the superior offices until
they had passed some years of probationary study and practice in the
duties of their vocation. These three degrees, it is scarcely necessary to
state, still exist in the corporation. From a very early period Garter
exercised, and still continues to exercise, a concurrent jurisdiction with
the two Provincial Kings of Arms in the grant of Armorial Ensigns, but he
had many exclusive privileges; as the right of ordering all funerals of
peers of the realm, the two archbishops, the bishop of Winchester, and
knights of the Garter; he only could grant arms to these individuals; he
was consequently a person of no inconsiderable importance.

The duties of the officers of arms at this period consisted in attending
all ceremonials incident to the king and the nobility, such as
coronations, creations, the displaying of banners on the field of battle
or in the lists, public festivities and processions, the solemnization of
baptisms, marriages, and funerals, the enthronization of prelates,
proclamations, and royal journeys or progresses. The importance of the
presence of heralds at royal funerals of a somewhat later date, is shown
in the two following extracts:[256]

"And incontinent all the heraudes did off their cote-armour, and did hange
them upon the rayles of the herse, _cryinge lamentably_ in French, 'The
noble king Henry the seaveneth is dead;' and as soon as they had so done,
everie heraude putt on his cote-armure againe, and cried with a loude
voyce, 'Vive le noble Henry le viijth.'"

At the interment of Prince Arthur, 1502:

"At every Kurie elyeson an officer of arms with a high voyce said for
Prince Arthure's soule and all Christian soules, Pater-noster.... His
officer of arms, _sore weeping_, toke off his coate of armes, and cast it
along over the cheaste right lamentablie."[257]

The fees demanded on the occasions before recited were considerable, but
the officers of arms had another source of revenue, namely, the largesses
or rewards for proclaiming the styles and titles of the nobility. These
were optional, and generally corresponded to the rank and opulence of the
donors. "On Newe-yeares-day," [1486], says Leland, "the king, being in a
riche gowne, dynede in his chamber, and gave to his officers of armes
vi_l._ of his Largesse, wher he was cryed in his style accustomede. Also
the quene gave to the same officers XL_s._ and she was cried in her style.
At the same time my lady the kyngs moder gave XX_s._ and she was cried
Largesse iij tymes. De hault, puissaunt, et excellent Princesse, la mer du
Roy notre souveraigne, countesse de Richemonde et de Derbye, Largesse.
Item, the Duc of Bedeforde gave XL_s._ and he was cried, Largesse de hault
et puissaunt prince, frere et uncle des Roys, duc de Bedeforde, et counte
de Penbroke, Largesse. Item, my lady his wiff gave xiij_s._ iiij_d._ and
she was cried, Largesse de hault et puissaunt princesse, duchesse de
Bedeforde et de Bokingham, countesse de Penbrok, Stafford, Harford, et de
Northampton, et dame de Breknok, Largesse. Item, the Reverende Fader in
God the Lorde John Fox, Bishop of Excester, privy seale, gave XX_s._ Item,
th' Erle of Aroundell gave X_s._, and he was cried, Largesse de noble et
puissaunt seigneur le counte d'Aroundell, et seigneur de Maltravers. Item,
th' Erle of Oxinforde gave xx_s._ and he was cryede, Largesse de noble et
puissaunt le Counte d'Oxinforde, Marquis de Develyn, Vicount de Bulbik,
et Seigneur de Scales, Graunde Chamberlayn, et Admirall d'Angleter,
Largesse. Item, my lady his wiff XX_s._ and she was cried, Largesse de
noble et puissaunt Dame la Countesse d'Oxinford, Marquise de Develyn,
Vicountesse de Bulbik, et Dame de Scales, &c. &c."

Another perquisite of the heraldic corps were great quantities of the rich
stuffs, such as velvet, tissue, and cloth of gold, used as the furniture
of great public ceremonials. The following are some of the fees claimed by
the officers on state occasions, as recorded in one of the Ashmolean MSS.

    "At the coronacion of the Kinge of England c{_l._}[258], appareled in

    "At the displaying of the King's banner in any campe ... c markes.

    "At the displaying of a Duke's banner, £20.

    "At a Marquis's, 20 markes.

    "At an Earle's, x{_l._}, &c. &c.

    "The Kinge marrying a wife £50, _with the giftes of the King's and
    Queen's uppermost garments_!

    "At the birth of the King's eldest son, 100 markes; at the birth of
    other younger children, £20.

    "The King being at any syge (siege) with the crowne on his head, £5.

    "The wages due to the officers of armes when they go owt of the land:

    "Garter 8_s._ a day: every of the other kings 7_s._: every herald
    4_s._: every pursuivant 2_s._: and theyr ordinary expences."

To return to the thread of our history: at the death of Richard III,[259]
all his public acts were declared null and void, as those of an usurper,
and the heraldic body, in common with others, fell under the censure of
Henry. Driven from their stately mansion of Cold-Harbour, they betook
themselves to the conventual house of Rounceval, near Charing Cross, which
had been a cell to the priory of Rouncevaulx, in Navarre, and suppressed
with the rest of the alien priories by the jealous policy of Henry V. Here
they remained for many years, though only by sufferance, for Edward VI
granted the site to Sir Thomas Cawarden.

It must not be imagined that the heralds were created merely for the
purpose of acting as puppets in the pageantry of the court and the camp:
they had other and more useful functions to perform. The genealogies of
noble and gentle families were intrusted to their keeping, and thus
titular honours and territorial possessions were safely conveyed to lawful
heirs, when, in the absence of proper officers, and a recognized
depository for documents, much confusion might have been produced by
disputed claims. The ecclesiastics had formerly been the chief
conservators of genealogical facts, but at the dissolution of the
monasteries by Henry VIII, the documents containing them were scattered to
the winds. Hence it became necessary to adopt some more general and better
regulated means of collecting and transmitting to posterity the materials
of genealogy, and out of this necessity sprang those 'progresses' of the
kings of arms and heralds through the various counties, called
VISITATIONS. Some faint traces of these visitations occur, it is true,
before the Reformation, and even before the incorporation of the heralds,
namely, as early as 1412; but it was not until 1528 that they were
systematically attended to.[260] After the latter date they were continued
about once in every generation, or at intervals varying between
twenty-five and forty years. The officers, under the warrant of the
earl-marshal, were bound to make inquisitions respecting the pedigree of
every family claiming the honour of gentry, and to enter the names,
titles, places of abode, &c. in a book. Many such books, between the date
just referred to and the year 1687, are now existing in the College of
Arms, while many copies of them, and a few of the originals, are in the
British Museum and in private collections. To most of the pedigrees thus
entered were attached the family arms, which received the confirmation of
the 'kings' when satisfactory evidence of the bearer's right to them could
be adduced.[261] When a family from any circumstance did not bear arms, a
coat was readily granted by the kings, who received fees proportioned to
the rank of the parties; for example:

A bishop paid £10.

A dean £6 13_s._ 4_d._

A gentleman of 100 marks per annum, in land, £6 13_s._ 4_d._

A gentleman of inferior revenue £6.

The passion for emblazoning the arms of the nobility and gentry upon
glass, in the windows of churches and halls, imposed considerable
employment, and brought no small emolument, to the officers of arms, who
undertook to marshal and arrange them, as well as often to draw up short
pedigrees of such families, which were set forth in the gloomy chancel or
the sombre hall of the long-descended patron or lord of the mansion,
exemplified with the shield rich in quarterings.[262]

Henry VIII was a great admirer of the "pomp and circumstance" of chivalry.
During his reign the College was in high estimation and full employment.
At home and abroad he was constantly attended by his heralds, some of whom
were often despatched to foreign courts, to assist in negociations, to
declare war, to accompany armies, to summon garrisons, to deliver the
ensign of the order of St. George (the Garter) to foreign potentates, to
attend banquets, jousts, and tournaments, and to serve upon every great
occasion of state. "There was nothing performed," says Noble,[263] "of a
public nature, but what the heralds were employed in."

The history of this reign teems with curious anecdotes touching the
dignity and prerogatives of the heralds. So great was the regard
entertained by the 'bluff' monarch for the officers of arms, that he
treated even those of foreign sovereigns, who came to his court to deliver
hostile messages, with all the courtesy inculcated by the laws of
chivalry, and even gave them bountiful largesses. For example, when in
1513 'Lord Lyon, King at Arms,' came to him at Tours upon an errand of a
very disagreeable character from the Scottish court, his majesty sent
Garter with him to his tent, commanding him to give him 'good cheer;' and
when his reply to the message was framed he dismissed him courteously,
with a gift of one hundred angels.[264] Although the persons of the
heralds, in their ambassadorial capacity, were generally regarded as
sacred, they sometimes received very rough treatment from desperate
enemies. On one occasion, Ponde, Somerset herald, going to Scotland with a
message to James V, was slain in his tabard--a violation of the laws of
honour which was only compensated by the death of the bailiff of Lowth and
two others, who were publicly executed at Tyburn in the summer of 1543.

"It is singular," says Noble, "that in this reign it was usual to give to
pieces of ordnance the same names as those appropriated to the members of
the college; names, we must presume, dear to the sovereign and cherished
by the people."[265]

At the Field of the Cloth of Gold, in 1520, the heraldic corporation
attended in magnificent array. It then consisted of the following members:

    KINGS. Garter, Clarenceux, Norroy.

    HERALDS. Windsor, Richmond, York, Lancaster, Carlisle, Montorgueil,

    PURSUIVANTS IN ORDINARY. Rouge-Cross, Blue-Mantle, Portcullis, and

    PURSUIVANTS EXTRAORDINARY. Calais, Risebank, Guisnes; and Hampnes.
    These four took their titles from places in France within the English

The armorial bearings devised in this reign had little of the chaste
simplicity of those of an earlier date. Those coats which contain a great
variety of charges may be generally referred to this period, and they are
familiarly styled '_Henry-the-Eighth_ coats.' Such arms have been
humorously compared to "garrisons, _well stocked_ with fish, flesh, and

Edward VI bestowed upon the heralds many additional immunities and
privileges; and Mary, his successor, by charter dated 1554, granted them
Derby House for the purpose of depositing their rolls and other records.

Elizabeth inherited from her father the spirit of chivalry, and its
concomitant fondness for pageantry. Hence she necessarily patronized the
officers of arms. In this reign the quarrels which for some time
previously had been hatching between various members of the body touching
their individual rights, broke out with great virulence. "Their
accusations against each other," Noble remarks, "would fill a volume."
Broke, or Brokesmouth, York Herald, whose animosities against the great
and justly venerated Camden have given to his name a celebrity which it
does not deserve, was foremost amongst the litigants.[267]

A new order of gentry had sprung up in the two or three preceding reigns,
some of whom had enriched themselves by commercial enterprise, while
others had acquired broad lands at the dissolution of the monasteries.
These _novi homines_ were very ambitious of heraldric honours, and
accordingly made numerous applications for grants of arms. Cooke,
Clarenceux, granted upwards of five hundred coats, and the two Dethicks
twice that number in this reign. Great pains were taken by the sovereign
to preserve inviolate the rights of the college; yet notwithstanding there
were some adventurers who, for the sake of lucre, devised arms and forged
pedigrees for persons of mean family, to the no small umbrage of the
antient gentry, and the pecuniary loss of the corporation. One W. Dawkeyns
compiled nearly a hundred of these spurious genealogies for families in
Essex, Herts, and Cambridgeshire, an offence for which he was visited with
the pillory; but though he stood "earless on high," he seems to have been
"unabashed;" for after an interval of twenty years he was found 'at his
olde trickes againe,' and again fell under the lash of the earl-marshal.
The warrant for his second apprehension is dated Dec. 31st, 1597.

James I advanced the regular salaries of the heralds, and indirectly
promoted their interests, further, by a lavish distribution of new titular
honours. In this reign occurs an instance of the antient custom of
degrading a knight. Sir Frances Michel having been convicted of grievous
exactions was sentenced, in 1621, to a 'degradation of honour.' Being
brought by the sheriff of London to Westminster-Hall, in the presence of
the commissioners who then executed the office of earl-marshal and the
kings of arms, the sentence of parliament was openly read by Philipot, a
pursuivant, when the servants of the marshall hacked off his spurs, broke
his sword over his head, and threw away the pieces, and the first
commissioner proclaimed with uplifted voice, that he was "=no longer
knight, but a scoundrel-knave=!"

The disputes in the College concerning the duties and prerogatives of its
members, and their jealousies respecting preferments continued unabated.
Broke (or Brokesmouth), York, and Treswell, Somerset, carried their
effrontery so far as to defy the authority of their superiors in office,
for which offence, added to contempt of the earl-marshal, they were
committed to prison. The house was 'divided against itself,' and
consequently could not 'stand,' at least in the respect and estimation of
the public. Francis Thynne, a herald of the period, speaks of the poverty
of the College as compared with its antient condition; complains that 'the
heralds are not esteemed,' and that 'every one withdraweth his favour from
them;' and prays the superior powers to repair their 'ruined state.'

Of Charles I it has been truly said, that he was not more arbitrary in
his government than several of his predecessors had been. His mistake was,
that he did not march with the times, but wished, amid the increased
enlightenment of the 17th century, to exercise the monarchical
prerogatives of the middle ages. Most of the acts which led to his
downfall were not greater violations of the fundamental principles of the
constitution than had been committed by earlier monarchs; but the time was
now come when they could no longer be tolerated by a free and generous
nation. In relation to heraldic usages Charles only copied the acts of
former sovereigns; yet they added not a little to his unpopularity. One of
his commissions directed to the provincial kings of arms, authorized them
to visit all churches, mansions, public halls, and other places, to
inspect any arms, cognizances, or crests, set up therein; and, if found
faulty in regard of proof, to pull down and deface the same. It further
empowered them to reprove, control, and _make infamous, by proclamation at
courts of assize_, all persons who had without sufficient warrant assumed
the title of esquire or gentleman; to forbid the use of velvet palls at
the funerals of persons of insufficient rank; and to prevent any painter,
glazier, engraver, or mason, from representing any armorial ensigns,
except under their sanction and direction. All delinquents were to be
cited into the earl-marshal's Court of Chivalry, an institution almost as
arbitrary and unconstitutional as the court of Star-Chamber itself.
Nothing perhaps, as Noble observes, injured the Heralds' College more than
this shameful tribunal, which proceeded to fine and imprisonment for mere
words spoken against the gentility of the plaintiff. "Had it only decided
upon what usually ends in duels it would have been a most praiseworthy
institution." But it went further, and its severity became deservedly
odious to the nation. Mr. Hyde (afterwards Lord Clarendon) deprecated its
insolence and said, "the youngest man remembered the beginning of it, and
he hoped the oldest might see the end of it."--"A citizen of good
quality," said he, "a merchant, was by that court ruined in his estate and
his body imprisoned, _for calling a swan a goose_!"

It is needless to say that the Court of Chivalry was swept away along with
other grievances of a like nature in the revolution which succeeded. It
was revived, however, at the restoration of Charles II, and continued,
though rather feebly, to execute its functions until the year 1732. Some
of its proceedings, as recited by Dallaway, are very curious. I give an
abstract of a case or two.

29th May, 1598. The earl-marshal, assisted by several peers and knights,
held a court of chivalry to decide on a quarrel between Anthony Felton,
Esq., and Edmund Withepool, Esq. It appears that a dispute had occurred
between these two gentlemen at the town of Ipswich, when Withepool so far
forgot himself as to bastinado the other, for which the latter summoned
him into this court. The decree of the earl-marshal was that Withepool
should confess to his prosecutor "that he knew him to be a gentleman
unfitt to be stroken," and promise that he would hereafter maintain Mr.
Felton's reputation against all slanderous persons. The delinquent
submitted to this judgment, and the proceedings were at an end. Pity it is
that a similar court of honour, voluntarily supported, should not now
exist for the purpose of settling those quarrels among the aristocracy,
which are generally adjudicated by the stupid, illegal, and wicked ordeal
of the bullet.[268] Let it form part of every gentleman's code of honour
to bow to the decision of a tribunal so constituted, and duelling--that
purest relic of mediæval barbarism, which has descended to our time--would
be numbered among the absurdities of the past.

1638. Fowke contra Barnfield. Walter Fowke of Ganston, co. Stafford,
prosecuted Richard Barnfield of Wolverhampton for a libel, for that he had
said 'that complainant was never a soldier or captain before the Isle of
Rhe voyage, when he was made a captain, and afterwards ran away; and that
he dared the said W. F. to go to a fencing-school to fight it out with
him, &c.' The decree of the court was, that Barnfield should make
submission, find security for his good behaviour towards Fowke, and pay a
fine of £10 to the king, £10 to the complainant, and 20 marks costs; and,
in default, be committed to prison.

The assumption of the arms of a family, by persons bearing the same name,
though unauthorized by family connexion, brought many causes into this

West, Lord Delawarr, against West. A man who had been a famous wrestler,
and bore the sobriquet of 'Jack in the West,' acquiring a fortune by
keeping a public-house, assumed the regular surname of West, and the arms
of Lord Delawarr's family. In support of this double assumption he got
some venal member[269] of the College of Arms to furnish him with a
pedigree, deducing his descent, through three or four generations, from
the fourth son of one of the Lords Delawarr. His son, who had been bred in
the Inns of Court, and was resident in Hampshire, presuming, upon the
strength of his pedigree, to take precedence of some of his neighbours,
they instigated Lord Delawarr to prosecute him in the Court of Honour. At
the hearing, the defendant produced his patent from the heralds; but,
unfortunately for his pretensions, an antient gentleman of the house of
West, who had been long abroad and was believed to be dead, and whom our
innkeeper's son had claimed as his father's father, returned at this
juncture to England, and 'dashed the whole business.'[270] The would-be
West was fined £500, and commanded 'never more to write himself

On the breaking out of the civil wars the heralds espoused opposing
interests. The three kings of arms, with a few of their subordinates,
adhered to _their brother monarch_: the others sided with the Parliament.

When, in 1642, Charles was compelled to take up his residence at Oxford,
several of the officers of arms were in attendance upon him; and it
affords very high testimony of their respectability and learning that some
of them were admitted to the first distinctions the university could
bestow. The afterwards famous Dugdale (then Rouge-Croix) and Edmund
Walker, Chester, were created masters of arts, and Sir William le Neve,
Clarenceux, was admitted to the dignity of LL.D. In 1643 and 1644, George
Owen, York, John Philipot, Somerset, Sir John Borrough, Garter, and his
successor, Sir Henry St. George, were also honoured with the
last-mentioned degree.

It is singular that an institution so immediately connected with royalty
as was the College of Arms, should have been permitted to exist during the
Commonwealth; and still more so that while the republicans carried their
hatred to the very name of king so far as to alter the designation of the
_King's_ Bench, and to strike the word _kingdom_ out of their vocabulary,
that the principal functionaries of the College should have been allowed
to retain their antient titles of kings of arms. The royal arms, of
course, disappeared from the herald's tabard, though it does not very
clearly appear what was substituted; probably the state arms, namely, two
shields conjoined in fesse; dexter, the cross of St. George, and,
sinister, the Irish harp.[271]

Oliver Cromwell was, as Noble justly remarks, "a splendid prince, keeping
a most stately and magnificent court." Hence the heralds could by no means
be dispensed with. They attended at his proclamation, and on all
subsequent state occasions. The Protector's funeral was a pageant of more
than regal magnificence, and cost the extravagant sum of £28,000.[272]
But, notwithstanding the patronage of Cromwell, the College was far from
prosperous at this period, for the visitations were discontinued, and the
nobility and antient gentry, awaiting in moody silence the issue of the
system of government then in operation, paid little attention to
heraldric honours, which were disregarded by the nation at large, or, if
recognized at all, only to be associated (as they have too often since
been[273]) with the idea of an insolent and overbearing aristocracy.

The College of Arms, like all other public bodies, was put into very great
disorder by the return of the exiled Charles. Several of the officers who
had been ejected on account of their loyalty to his father were restored
to their former posts; those who had changed with the times were degraded
to the inferior offices; while those who had been appointed during the
Commonwealth and Protectorate were expelled. In Scotland the heralds were
restored to their former privileges. Sir Andrew Durham, created Lyon king
of arms in 1662, had, at his investment, a crown of gold placed upon his
head in full Parliament, and was harangued by the Chancellor and the Lord
Register on the duties and importance of the office conferred upon him.

The great fire of 1666 destroyed the buildings of the College of Arms; but
fortunately all the records and books were rescued from the flames and
deposited at Whitehall, whence they were afterwards removed to an
apartment in the palace at Westminster. The College was rebuilt some years
subsequently; a small portion of the necessary funds having been raised by
subscription; but by far the greater part was contributed by the officers
themselves.[274] At its completion in 1683 it was considered 'one of the
handsomest brick buildings in London.' The income of the heralds was, at
this time, little more than nominal; but they were principally persons of
good family, who possessed private property.

County Visitations were revived soon after the Restoration, but (with the
exception of those of Sir William Dugdale, which are amongst the best in
the College) they do not appear to have been conducted with so much
strictness as in former times; and at the Revolution of 1688 they were
entirely abandoned. During the intolerant proceedings against the
nonconformists under Charles II, the pursuivants were occasionally
employed in that disagreeable duty of their office from which they
originally borrowed their designation, (POURSUIVRE, Fr. v. a. to pursue),
that of bringing suspected persons up to London. Noble gives (from Calamy)
some instances of their being despatched to apprehend nonconformists in

James II "affected great state, and was the last of our monarchs who kept
up the regal state in its full splendour."[275] The investiture of some
new officers of arms in this reign was probably more splendid than any
that had previously taken place. But all the benefits they received from
the sovereign were countervailed by his insisting upon their attending him
to the Catholic worship on all high days and holidays, a proceeding which
very much disgusted them.

Nothing of particular importance relating to the College occurs in the
reign of William and Mary, except the refusal of the usual commissions to
hold visitations, as a practice discordant with the spirit of the times.
Under the antient system, a broad line of demarcation had separated the
nobility and gentry from the common people; but gradually the commercial
interests of the nation introduced that intermediate rank recognized as
the middle classes of society, and these, by means of the wealth acquired
in merchandise and trade, often eclipsed in the elegancies of life many of
the antient gentry. Hence the Heraldic Visitations, had they been
continued to our times, would have necessarily led to much invidiousness
of distinction on the part of the heralds, and probably to much ill
feeling between the representatives of far-descended houses and the
upstarts of a day.

At the union with Scotland, temp. Anne, it was determined that Lyon, the
Scottish king of arms, should rank in dignity next after Garter, the
principal English king.[276]

The reign of George I presents us with two incidents deserving of notice.
The first is the ceremony of the degradation of the Duke of Ormond,
attainted of treason, from the order of the Garter, which was performed
with the usual ceremonials at Windsor, in 1716. The other I give in the
words of Noble:

"In the year 1727, an impostor, of the name of Robert Harman, pretending
to be a herald, was prosecuted for the offence by the College of Arms, at
the quarter-sessions for the county of Suffolk, held at Beccles, and being
convicted of the offence, was sentenced to be placed in the pillory in
several market-towns on public market-days, and afterwards to be
imprisoned and pay a fine, which sentence was accordingly executed,
proving that the impudent and designing were not to encroach upon the
rights of the College with impunity."[277]

When war with Spain was proclaimed in the thirteenth year of George II,
the proclamation was made in the metropolis by the officers of arms,
according to antient usage. They also attended at the trial of the three
Scottish rebel lords in Westminster-Hall, in 1746. Fourteen standards
taken from the adherents of the Pretender were publicly burnt at
Edinburgh, by the common hangman. "The prince's own standard was carried
by the executioner, each of the others by _chimney-sweepers_ (!) The
former was first committed to the flames, with three flourishes of the
trumpets, amidst repeated acclamations of a vast concourse of people. The
same was done with each of the other colours separately; the _heralds_
always proclaiming the names of the 'rebel traitors to whom they

"After the battle of Dettingen, fought in 1743, his Majesty revived the
order of Knights-Bannerets, the last of whom had been Sir John Smith,
created a banneret by Charles I at the battle of Edgehill, the first in
the fatal civil war. The form of treating them formerly was, the
candidate presented his standard or pennon to the sovereign or his
general, who cutting off the skirt or tail of it made it square, when it
was returned: hence they are sometimes called knights of the square
banner. They precede all knights, not of the Garter or Bath, of England,
and even baronets, being reputed next to the nobility after those
preceding orders."[279] They have the privilege of using supporters to
their arms; but, as the honour is not hereditary, their descendants cannot
claim it.

In 1732 an unsuccessful attempt was made to revive the Court of Chivalry.
The earl-marshal's deputy and his assistant lords and the officers of arms
being present, the king's advocate exhibited complaints, _First_, against
Mrs. Radburne, for using divers ensigns at the funeral of her husband not
pertaining to his condition; _secondly_, against the executors of a Mr.
Ladbrook for using, on a similar occasion, arms not legally belonging to
the defunct; and, _thirdly_, against Sir John Blunt, Bart. for assuming,
without right, the arms of the antient family of Blount of Sodington. This
gentleman had been a scrivener, and was one of the projectors of the
well-known South-Sea Scheme or 'Bubble,' which ended in the total ruin of
so many respectable families. But "the whole business was imprudently
begun, and unskilfully conducted; the lawyers who were consulted laughed
at it;"[280] and, though the court proceeded so far as to fine some of the
parties, it was unable to carry its decisions into effect; and we hear no
more of the Court of Chivalry.

It would be tedious, and beyond the design of the present hasty sketch, to
notice all the great occasions on which the heralds were in requisition
during the reigns of the three predecessors of her present Majesty. During
this period several members of the College have shed lustre on their
office, and on the antiquarian literature of England. These will come
under review in my next chapter; and it will only be necessary here to add
a few particulars relating to the present state of the College.

The building, which stands upon the site of the _Derby House_ before
referred to, is approached by an archway on St. Benet's Hill, and has a
sombre appearance perfectly in keeping with the purposes to which it is
devoted. It comprises the great hall, the library, consisting of two
rooms; the outer one of the time of Charles II, fitted with dark
carved-oak panels, and containing a beautifully executed chimney-piece,
said to be the work of Sibborn; the inner, a spacious and lofty octangular
apartment, recently erected and rendered fire-proof, for the safer
preservation of the records and more valuable documents; and besides these
rooms there are separate apartments appropriated to the use of the several
officers. The great hall, where the Courts of Chivalry were antiently
held, and where the 'Chapters' of the heralds still take place, remains
almost _in statu quo_, with its high-backed throne for the earl-marshal,
surrounded with balustrades, and retaining somewhat of the awe-striking
solemnity of the tribunal. The panelling has recently been decorated with
shields of the several lords and earls-marshal from the origin of that
office till the present time. The library, it is scarcely necessary to
state, contains a large and extremely valuable collection of original
visitation books, records of the arms and pedigrees of families, funeral
certificates of the nobility and gentry, antient tournament and other
rolls of great curiosity; the sword, dagger, and ring of King James IV, of
Scotland; and probably every work illustrative, in any degree, of heraldry
and genealogy, that has issued from the press of this country, together
with many foreign works on those subjects. Of the great value of this
inexhaustible mine of information the historian and the antiquary are well
aware, and there is scarcely any work in their respective departments that
has not received some addition from this library.

The following is a list of the Corporation of the College as it now

    =Earl-Marshal= and Hereditary Marshal of England.

    Henry-Charles, Duke of Norfolk, &c. &c. &c.

    =Kings of Arms.=

    GARTER. Sir Charles George Young, Knt., F.S.A.

    CLARENCEUX. Joseph Hawker, Esq., F.S.A.

    NORROY. Francis Martin, Esq., F.S.A.


    SOMERSET. James Cathrow Disney, Esq.

    CHESTER. Walter Aston Blount, Esq. Genealogist and Blanc-Coursier
    Herald, of the Order of the Bath.

    RICHMOND. James Pulman Esq., F.S.A. Registrar of the College of Arms,
    and Yeoman-Usher of the Black Rod to the House of Lords.

    WINDSOR. Robert Laurie, Esq.

    LANCASTER. Albert William Woods, Esq. Gentleman-Usher of the Red Rod,
    and Brunswick Herald of the Order of the Bath.

    YORK. Edward Howard Gibbon, Esq., Secretary to the Earl-Marshal.


    BLUEMANTLE. George Harrison Rogers Harrison, Esq., F.S.A.

    ROUGE-DRAGON. Thomas William King, Esq., F.S.A.

    ROUGE-CROIX. William Courthope, Esq.

    PORTCULIS. George William Collen, Esq.



Distinguished Heralds and Heraldric Writers.

In the earliest ages after the introduction of Heraldry the laws of the
science must have been orally taught to novitiate heralds: but when the
regulations of chivalry were framed into a code they began to be committed
to writing, and among the earliest MSS. are some on this subject.[281] But
these generally have reference rather to feats of arms than to the
technicalities of blazon.

[Sidenote: A.D. 1441.]

The first author, of any note, on this subject is Doctor Nicholas Upton, a
native of Devonshire, who was honoured with the patronage of Humphrey,
"the good" Duke of Gloucester, temp. Henry IV, by whose influence he
became canon of Sarum, Wells, and St. Paul's. Previously to obtaining
these preferments he had served in the French wars under Thomas de
Montacute, earl of Salisbury; and it was during those campaigns he wrote a
Latin treatise, entitled 'De Studio Militari,' MS. copies of which are
preserved in the College of Arms, and elsewhere.[282] It consists of five
books; viz. 1, Of officers of Arms; 2, Of Veterans, now styled Heralds; 3,
Of Duels; 4, Of Colours; 5, Of Figures; forming altogether a systematic
grammar of Heraldry. The latinity of Upton is considered very classical
for the age in which he flourished.

One of the earliest treatises on Heraldry, as well as one of the first
productions of the press in this country, is contained in the
highly-celebrated =Boke of St. Albans=, printed within the precincts of
the monastery from which it is designated, in the year 1486. This singular
work contains tracts on hawking, hunting, and 'coot-armuris'--the last
constituting the greater portion of the volume. It is printed in a type
resembling the text-hand written at the period, and with all the
abbreviations employed in manuscript. The margin contains exemplifications
of the arms described in the text, stained with coloured inks. This
edition, like others of that early date, is now exceedingly scarce, there
being probably not more than five or six copies extant. Another edition
was published in 1496 by Wm. Copeland, and a single copy occurs of the
same date with the imprint of Wynkyn de Worde: these were probably of the
same impression with different title-pages. A new edition appeared in
1550; and another was included in Gervase Markham's 'Gentleman's
Academie,' in 1595.[283] The entire work was attributed, for the first
three centuries after its publication, to Dame Julyan Berners,[284]
prioress of Sopewell, and sister of Richard, Lord Berners, a woman of
great personal and mental endowments.[285] That a woman, and especially
the superior of a religious sisterhood, should have devoted her pen to
the secular subjects of heraldry and field-sports, at first sight, seems
singular; but the rude complexion of the times in which she lived renders
little apology necessary for this apparent violation of propriety; and we
may fairly venerate the memory of this gentle lady as a promoter of
English literature. Dallaway is the first, and, as far as I am aware, with
the exception of Mr. Haslewood, the only author who questions the
pretensions of Dame Juliana to the authorship of the whole work; and he
founds his doubts upon the difference observable between the style of the
heraldric essay and the previous ones. He considers the former as the work
of some anonymous monk of St. Albans. But as several almost contemporary
authors ascribe it to her, and there is no positive proof to the contrary,
far be from me that want of gallantry which would despoil the worthy
prioress of the honour of having indited this goodly tractate, this
'nobull werke!'[286]

If the reader has never seen the Boke of Saint Albans, and feels only half
as much curiosity to become acquainted with its contents as I did before I
had the good fortune to meet with it, I am sure he will not consider the
following choice bits of Old English, extracted from it, impertinently

Dame Julyan Berners merits honourable notice as one of the earliest of
English poetesses. The treatise on hunting is in rhyme, and consists of
606 verses. The style is didactic. Take a specimen:

  "_Bestys of venery._

  "Whersoever ye fall by fryth or by fell,
  My dere chylde take heed how Tristrom dooth you tell,
  How many maner beestys of venery ther were,
  Lysten to your dame and then schall you lere,
  Ffour maner beestys of venery there are;
  The first of them is the hert--the secunde is the hare,
  The boore is oon of them--the woolff and not oon moe."

  "_How ye schal break an hert._

  "Then take out the suet that it be not lefte,
  For that my child is good for lechecrafte (medicine),
  And in the myddest of the herte a boon shall ye fynde,
  Loke ye geve hit to a lord--and chylde be kynde.
  For it is kynd for many maladies."

In subsequent parts of the poem, 'the namys of diverse maner houndys,'
'the propertees of a good hors,' 'the company of bestys and fowles,' and
other sporting subjects are discussed, and interspersed with proverbs of a
somewhat caustic description. The composition very oddly concludes with an
enumeration of "all the shyeris and the bishopryckes of the realme of

From the heraldrical portion of the Boke many short extracts have already
been given. Some others follow:

"_Note here well who shall gyue cotarmures_:

"Ther shall none of the IV. orduris of regalite bot all onli the soueregne
kyng geue cootarmur. for that is to hym improperid by lawe of armys.[287]
And yit the kyng shall nott make a knyght with owte a cootarmure byfore.

"Ev'y knyght cheftayn i the felde mai make a cootarmur knight.

"_In how many places a knyght may be made_:

"A knyght is made in IV. dyuerse placis. in musturing in lond of werys. In
semblyng under baneris. In listys of the bath and at the sepulcur.

"_A gentylman spirituall_:

"Ther is a gentylman a churls sone a preste to be made and that is a
spirituall gentylman to god and not of blode. Butt if a gentylmannys sone
be made a preste he is a gentilman both spirituall and temperall. Criste
was a gentylman of his moder's behalue and bare cotarmure of aunseturis.
The iiij Euangelists berith wittenese of Cristis workys in the gospell
with all thappostilles. They were Jewys and of gentylmen come by the right
lyne of that worthy conqueroure Judas Machabeus but that by succession of
tyme the kynrade fell to pouerty, after the destruction of Judas
Machabeus, and then they fell to laboris and ware calde no gentilmen. and
the iiij doctores of holi church Seynt Jerom Ambrose Augustyn and Gregori
war gentilmen of blode and of cotarmures!"

The following are specimens of her directions for 'blasing of armys,' the
most important part of the work:

"Off armys palit crokyt and sharpe now I will speke.

"Loke and beholde how mony maner of wyse thes palit armys be borne
dyuersli, as it is shewyt in thys boke, and theis armys now shewyt here
[referring to the exemplification in the margin] be calde palit, crokyt
and sharpe, for in theys armys ij coloris paly ar put togethir: oon into
another crokytly and sharpe. Therefore it shall be sayd of hi' the wich
beris thes armis in thys wyse, first in latyn thus. Portat arma palata
tortuosa acuto de nigro et argento. Gallice sic: Il port pale daunsete de
sable et dargent. Anglice sic: He berith pale crokyt and sharpe of sable
and syluer."

"Off armys the wich ar calde frectis (Frets) here now I will speke:

"A certain nobull baron that is to say the lorde awdeley of the reame of
England baar in his armys a frecte, the wich certain frectis in mony armys
of dyurse gentillmen ar founde, other while reede other while golde, and
other while blac oderwhile simple and oderwhile double otherwhile tripull
and other while it is multepliet ou' (over) all the sheld as here it
apperith, and ye most vnderstande on gret differans bytwix armys bendit
and theis armys the wich be made with the forsayd frettys, wherefore it is
to be markyt that in bendyt armys the colouris contenyt equally ar
dyuydit. Bot in this frectis the felde alwai abydys hool as here, and this
forsayd lorde Audeley beris thus in latyn. Portat arma frectata de auro in
campo rubreo. Et gallice sic. Il por de gowles vng frecte dor. Anglice
sic. He berith gowles and a frecte of golde."

[Sidenote: 1562]

The next author of any note on the subject of Heraldry is GERARD LEGH,
whose 'Accedens of Armorie' became, as Anthony à Wood phrases it, "the
pattern or platform of those who came after." This gentleman was son of
Henry Legh, of London, an illegitimate scion of a Cheshire family, who,
according to the proverb, were "as plenty as fleas." He was educated at
Oxford, and died in 1563, the year after the first appearance of his work.
The 'Accedens' obtained a degree of popularity not usual at that period,
and reached a fifth edition within half a century. It was the text-book
on the science until Guillim's 'Displaie' superseded it. The author, in
his preface, acknowledges the aid he had received from a work "on the
whole subject," by one Nicholas Warde, concerning whom nothing further is
known. He likewise acknowledges his obligations to eight other authors,
but somewhat singularly omits to mention the Boke of St. Albans, the
method of which he follows, and the very words of which he frequently
borrows. After the literary fashion of his times, his work is cast in the
form of a dialogue, the speakers being Gerard and Legh, his own christian
name and surname. The style is highly pedantic, yet withal sufficiently
amusing, and the illustrative woodcuts are executed with great spirit.
Specimens of his composition have already been cited.[288]

[Sidenote: 1572]

JOHN BOSSEWELL, gentleman, of whose personal history little or nothing is
known, next appears in the field of heraldric literature. His 'Workes of
Armorie, devyded into three bookes,' reached a second edition in 1597. His
design was an improvement upon the treatise of Legh, in which he partly
succeeded; but the admixture of the antient mythology, the moral virtues,
the marvellous attributes and fictitious anecdotes of animals, and other
foreign topics, with the more immediate subject of his work, renders it,
like that of his predecessor, almost unreadable, except to the initiated.
The following short extract will serve as a specimen of Bossewell's

    "=The field is of the Saphire, on a chiefe Pearle, a Musion....
    Ermines. This beaste is called a Musion, for that he is enimie to Myse
    and Rattes ... he is slye and wittie and ... seeth so sharpely that
    he overcommeth darknes of the nighte by the shyninge lyghte of his
    eyne. In shape of body he is like vnto a Leoparde, and hathe a great
    mouth. He dothe delighte that he enioyeth his libertie; and in his
    youthe he is swifte, plyante, and merye. He maketh a rufull noyse and
    a gastefull when he profereth to fighte with an other. He is a cruell
    beaste, when he is wilde, and falleth on his owne feete from moste
    highe places: and vneth is hurte therewith. When he hathe a fayre
    skinne, he is, as it were, prowde thereof, and then he goeth faste
    aboute to be seene.="[289]

Need the reader be informed that this beast of the 'rufull noyse,' which
falleth from 'highe places on his _owne_ feete,' is the common house CAT?

An anonymous quarto, which reached a fourth edition, made its appearance
in 1573, bearing the modest title of 'A very proper Treatise, &c.' and it
shows the attention paid to heraldrical 'tricking and painting' in the
time of queen Elizabeth, when an art which is now limited to
herald-painters was deemed a fitting accomplishment for 'gentlemenne.'

Among a host of small works on subjects connected with heraldry which
appeared about this time, one may be mentioned as a great curiosity. This
is a funeral sermon on the death of Walter, earl of Essex, to which are
prefixed copies of verses on his lordship's pedigree in Latin, _Hebrew_,
Welsh, and French! The author of this tract was 'Richard Davis, Bishoppe
of Saint Davys.'

[Sidenote: 1586]

SIR JOHN FERNE, Knight, descended from a good family in Leicestershire,
and connected, on his mother's side, with the noble house of Sheffield, is
believed to have studied at Oxford, though he never graduated. Great part
of his life was spent as a member of the Inner Temple. King James gave him
the office of secretary and keeper of the signet for the northern parts,
then established at York. He died about 1610. Henry Ferne, his eighth son,
was the loyalist bishop of Chester, and a writer of some note.

His 'Blazon of Gentrie,' published in 1586, is divided into two parts,
'The Glorie of Generositie,' and 'Lacie's Nobilitie;' the former treating
of blazon, and the latter of the genealogy of the family of Lacy, with a
view to disprove the claim of affinity to it set up by Albertus a Lasco,
Count-Palatine of Syradia, which is very successfully refuted. Of this
learned work, which our author tells us is "compiled for the instruction
of all gentlemen, bearers of arms, whom and none else it concerneth,"
Peacham speaks as "indeed very rare, and sought after as a jewell."
Dallaway describes it as "a continued dialogue, alternately supported by
six interlocutors, who discuss the original principles of nobility and the
due gradations of the other ranks in society, adjust military
distinctions, describe orders of knighthood, and adduce proofs of certain
symbols and devices, concluding with high commendations of heraldic
investigation. To Ferne the rank of a classic in heraldry will not be
denied. His studies were directed to the investigation of the laws of
chivalry, and he has transfused into his work the spirit of the voluminous
codes now forgotten, which he delighted to consult. It may be considered
therefore as the most complete epitome of them now extant. But we must
allow that he writes more for the amusement of the learned than for the
instruction of novices, and that he deals much more in criticism than

The interlocutors are 'Paradinus, the herald; Torquatus, a knight;
Theologus, a deuine; Bartholus, a lawier; Berosus, an antiquary; and
Columell, a plowman,' who converses in the dialect of Somerset. "There is
somewhat of a dramatic spirit in this dialogue; the characters are
supported by sentiments appropriate to each, particularly the clown, who
speaks freely both the language and opinions of the yeomanry at that time;
nor are the strong prejudices of the knight and herald described with less

As a copy of this "rare jewell" lies before me, I should certainly be to
blame if I did not present my reader with a specimen of its brilliancy.
The topic of discourse is the "blasing of armes."

"_Torq._ I pray you _pose_ me once again.

"_Parad._ Goe to then: you shall begin with a coate of easie charge to be
discried. Therefore, I pray you begin, and tell your soueraigne, what
coat-armour this knight beareth (for I tell you, it is the coate of a
knight), that your soueraine might know him by his signes of honour, sith
that perchaunce you know not his name.

"_Torq._ Me thinkes hee beareth Sable, a Musion[290] passaunt gardaunt Or,
oppressed with a frett gules, of eight parts, nayles d'argent.

[Illustration: _The cutter hath not done his duety._[291]

_Ignorance bringeth rash judgements of Armes, and signes honourable._]

"_Columel._ Iesa zir: call you this Armes? Now by my vaye, chad thought
Armes should not have been of zutche trifling thinges. Why, this is euen
the cat in the milke-house window. Full ill will her dayrie thriue, giffe
she put zutch a vermine beast in trust to keepe it.

"_Torq._ I am iust of thy minde: for thou hast reasoned as profoundly as
might be upon so bad a deuise.

"_Parad._ I perceaue (_Torq._) as clearkly as you seem to be in armory yet
are you far to seeke and must still be taught. This payssaunt's glosse is
euen comparable with your blazon: for bad is the best.

"_Torq._ I suppose my blazon cannot be amended.

[Sidenote: _The true blazon of the former coat._]

"_Parad._ Yes, it shall be amended, and your errour also corrected. Did
you euer see a fret thus formed before (I mean nayled?) To correct your
blazon, learne by this: Hee beareth Sable, a Musion, Or, oppressed with a
Troillis G. cloué dargent; for this, which you call a fret, is a lattice,
a thing well knowne to poore prisoners and distressed captiues, which are
forced to receaue their breath from heauen at such holes for want of more
pleasant windowes, &c."

[Sidenote: 1590.]

SIR WILLIAM SEGAR is, I believe, the first of our heralds who published on
the subject. His 'Book of Honor and Armes,' enlarged and republished in
1602, under the title of 'Honor Military and Ciuill,' relates as its
designation implies, not to the art of blazon, but to dignities. His zeal
for antiquity, like that of his contemporaries, outruns historical truth,
as a proof of which it may be mentioned that he deduces the origin of
knighthood from the fabulous Round Table of King Arthur. His work
possesses, however, great merit, and exhibits much learning and profound
research. Many of his unpublished MSS., genealogical and otherwise, are
still extant.

Segar, who was of Dutch extraction, was bred a scrivener, and obtained
his introduction to the College through the interest of Sir T. Heneage,
vice-chamberlain to Queen Elizabeth. Here, at length, his talents raised
him to the post of Garter, the _ne plus ultra_ of heraldic ambition. He
died in 1633.

[Sidenote: 1592.]

WILLIAM WYRLEY, author of 'The Trve Vse of Armorie,' is the next heraldric
author who had any official connexion with the College of Arms, in which
establishment he rose, however, no higher than the degree of a pursuivant.
He was a gentleman by birth, a native of Staffordshire, and died in 1618.
He did not confine his attention to heraldry, but studied antiquities at
large: his collections he bequeathed to the College. The 'Trve Vse,' his
only published work, is a scarce quarto of 162 pages, and is freer from
the irrelevant rubbish which blemishes most of the treatises of this
century than any one which preceded it, or any one which for a long time
subsequently issued from the press. Sir W. Dugdale makes great use of this
work in his 'Ancient Usage of bearing Arms,' 1681, and in return somewhat
ungratefully, robs Wyrley of the honour of its authorship, ascribing it,
upon hearsay evidence, to Sampson Erdeswicke, the historian of

We now come to a name which has shed more lustre upon the office of the
herald and the science of heraldry than any other our country has
produced--that of the justly-celebrated WILLIAM CAMDEN. Any biographical
notice, however brief, of so eminent a personage seems almost uncalled for
in these narrow pages. It will be sufficient, for the sake of uniformity,
merely to mention a few particulars respecting him. This laborious
antiquary and historian was born in London in 1551, and received his
education first at Christ's Hospital and St. Paul's School, and afterwards
at Oxford. He quitted the University in 1570, and made the tour of
England. At the early age of twenty-four he became second master of
Westminster School; and while performing the duties of that office devoted
his leisure to the study of British antiquities. Here, after ten years'
labour, he matured his great work, the 'Britannia,' which was first
published in 1586. Four years previously to its publication he visited
many of the eastern and northern counties, for the purpose of making a
personal investigation of their antiquities. The 'Britannia' immediately
brought him into notice, and he lived to enjoy the proud gratification of
seeing it in its sixth edition. It was written in elegant Latin, and in
that language passed through several of its earlier editions, the first
English version having been made, probably with the author's assistance,
by Dr. Philemon Holland, in 1610. This great national performance, which
Bishop Nicholson quaintly styles "the common sun whereat our modern
writers have all lighted their little torches," has been so highly
esteemed in all subsequent times, that it has been many times reprinted.
The last edition is the greatly enlarged one of Gough. In 1589 the bishop
of Salisbury presented him with a prebend in his cathedral, which he
retained till his death; and in 1597, the office of Clarenceux king of
arms becoming vacant, he was advanced to that dignity.

After his establishment in the College he published several emended
editions of The 'Britannia,' 'The Annals of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth,'
'An Account of the celebrated Persons interred in Westminster Abbey,' and
that very interesting little volume, 'Remaines concerning Britaine,'
which, as he tells us, was composed of the fragments of a projected work
of greater extent, which his want of leisure prevented his executing. All
these works, except the last, were written in Latin, a language for which
he had so great a predilection, that he even compiled pedigrees in it. As
an antiquary, Camden deserves the highest praise; as an historian, he is
charged with partiality towards the character of the virgin queen; and as
a herald, he was confessedly unequal to some of his contemporaries. In the
latter capacity he was much indebted to Francis Thynne, or Botteville,
Blanch Lion pursuivant, and afterwards Lancaster herald, of whom Anthony a
Wood gives a high character. Camden was concerned with that delightful old
chronicler, Holinshed, in the production of his famous work. He was mainly
instrumental in the formation of the original Society of Antiquaries,
whose discourses have been printed by Hearne. He was a great admirer of
the father of English poetry, and contributed many additions to Speght's
edition of his works. He left many unpublished MSS. amongst which was a
'Discourse of Armes,' addressed to Lord Burghley. The last years of his
life were spent in retirement at the village of Chislehurst, co. Kent,
where he died in 1623, in the 73d year of his age.

RALPH BROOKE, Rouge Croix pursuivant, and York herald, was contemporary
with Camden and his violent adversary. His skill as a herald has rarely
been questioned, but his whole career exhibits the character of a
petulant, envious, mean, and dishonest person. He pretended to be a
descendant of the antient family of Brooke of Cheshire; but it is
unfortunate for his pretensions that his father's name was not Brooke, but
_Brokesmouth_. He was bred to the trade of a painter-stainer, and became
free of that company in 1576. How he obtained his introduction to the
College does not appear, though it is certain that it would have been
better, both for himself and that body, had he never entered it. Noble
characterizes him as "so extremely worthless and perverse that his whole
mind seemed bent to malice and wickedness:" unawed by virtue or by
station, none were secure from his unmerited attacks. His enmity towards
Camden arose out of the circumstance of the antiquary's having been
appointed, on the demise of Richard Lee, to the office of Clarenceux, to
which, from a long connexion with the College, and greater professional
knowledge, he considered himself entitled; and it is but justice to admit
that he certainly had some ground for complaint, though the mode in which
he chose to give vent to his spleen cannot be defended. Camden's great
work, the 'Britannia,' had passed through several editions unimpeached as
to its general accuracy, when Brooke endeavoured to bring its
well-deserved popularity into contempt by a work entitled 'A Discoverie of
certaine Errours published in print in the much-commended Britannia,' a
production overflowing with personal invective. To this spiteful book
Camden replied in Latin, treating his opponent with the scorn he deserved,
exposing his illiteracy, and at the same time adroitly waiving such of the
charges as were really well founded. Never was reviewer more severely
reviewed. 'A second Discoverie of Errours' followed, and, as it remained
unanswered, Brooke might in some sort have claimed a triumph, particularly
as Camden, recognizing the maxim "Fas est ab hoste doceri," availed
himself, in the subsequent editions of the 'Britannia,' of his adversary's

In 1619 Brooke published a 'Catalogue and Succession of Kings, Princes,
and Nobilitie since the Norman Conquest,' a work of considerable merit,
though it did not escape censure, for Vincent, Rouge Croix, an adherent of
Camden, in a 'Discovery of Errors,' printed three years afterwards,
controverted many of its statements. Brooke still continued his paltry and
litigious proceedings, and was twice suspended from his office; and it was
even attempted to expel him from the College.[292] He closed his
unenviable life in 1625, and was buried in the twin-towered church of
Reculver, co. Kent, where a mural monument informs us that

              "quit of worldly miseries,
  Ralph Brooke, Esq., late York herald, lies.
  Fifteenth October he was last alive,
  One thousand six hundred and twenty-five
  Seaventy three years bore he fortune's harmes,
  And forty-five an officer of armes," &c.

ROBERT GLOVER, Somerset, temp. Elizabeth, wrote a treatise entitled
'Nobilitas Politica vel Civilis,' which was posthumously published in
1608, the author having died in 1588. He was a most learned and
industrious herald, and his authority in genealogy and heraldry is much
relied on by the officers of arms of the present day. His MSS. are in the
library of the College.

In 1610 appeared 'The Catalogue of Honour, or Treasury of true Nobility
peculiar and proper to the Isle of Great Britaine,' by Thomas Milles, esq.
of Davington-hall, co. Kent. This large folio of eleven hundred pages is
professedly a compilation from the MSS. of Glover, to whom Mr. Milles was
nephew; and although reliance is not to be placed upon all its statements,
it constitutes a remarkable monument of the persevering labour and
research of that herald.

EDMUND BOLTON, a retainer of Villiers, duke of Buckingham, was author of
several works. His principal heraldric composition is a small volume
entitled the 'Elements of Armouries,' to which are prefixed commendatory
epistles by Segar and Camden, honourable testimonies of its merit. In his
remarks upon the lines of partition, &c. he displays more geometrical than
heraldric knowledge. His religious opinions are discovered by his wish for
a new crusade. His style is highly pedantic, and the reader would scarcely
thank me for a specimen.

JOHN GUILLIM (Rouge Dragon pursuivant in 1617, in which office he died in
1621,) was of Welsh extraction, and a native of Herefordshire. His
'Display of Heraldrie,' one of the most popular of heraldric treatises,
has passed through numerous editions. Anthony a Wood asserts that the real
author of it was John Barkham, rector of Bocking in Kent, who composed it
in the early part of his life, and afterwards thinking it somewhat
inconsistent with his profession to publish a work on arms, communicated
the manuscript to Guillim, who gave it to the world with his own name.
What authority Wood had for this assertion does not appear, but from the
erudition displayed in the work, it is evidently not the production of a
very young man; and besides this, in the dedication to the king, Guillim
himself does not hesitate to claim the merit of originality, for he says
"I am the first who brought a method into this heroic art." It is
remarkable that three of the most celebrated books on our science, namely
those of Dame J. Berners, William Wyrley, and John Guillim, should have
been ascribed to other parties than those under whose names they have gone
forth to the world. The highly complimentary verses prefixed to this
volume by Guillim's seniors in office can hardly be supposed to have been
written to sanction a fiction in allowing him the merit of another's
labours.[293] The eulogium of one G. Belcher not only commends the work in
the highest terms, but, after enumerating the several authors who had
written on the same subject, namely Wynkenthewordius,[294] Leghus,
Boswell, Fernus, and Wyrleius, adds

  "At tu præ cæteris _Guillime_."

The 'Display' may fairly claim to be considered the first methodical and
intelligent view of heraldry published in England; and the addition of the
name of the family to every coat of arms cited as an example (which in all
earlier treatises is wanting) has conduced as much as its intrinsic merit
to give to Guillim's book the popularity it enjoys.[295]

HENRY PEACHAM (whose name is more familiar to the non-heraldric reader
than those of most other armorists of early date, in consequence of Dr.
Johnson, in his Dictionary, referring exclusively to him as an authority
for terms of blazonry,) wrote 'The Compleat Gentleman,' which professes to
treat of every necessary accomplishment befitting that character, and of
course, among other things, "of armorie or the blazon of armes." The 13th
chapter, devoted to this subject, is a compendious and scientific
production. 'The Compleat Gentleman' was one of the most popular books of
its time, and between 1622 and 1661 passed through six editions. In 1630
Peacham published another work called 'The Gentleman's Exercise, or an
exquisite practise as well for drawing all manner of beasts in their true
portraitures, as also the making of all kinds of colours to be used in
lymming, painting, tricking and blazon of coates and armes, with diuers
others most delightfull and pleasurable obseruations for all yong
Gentlemen and others.'

The two MARKHAMS, Gervase and Francis, were brothers, and flourished in
the early part of this century. The former republished the Boke of St.
Albans, under the title of 'The Gentleman's Academy;' and the latter wrote
a 'Booke of Honour,' one of the dullest of books upon a very dull subject.

The 'Titles of Honour' of the celebrated SELDEN demands for him a place
among heraldric authors.[296]

Hitherto, a review of our sixteenth and seventeenth century armorists
presents us with the names of men of erudition or of professional heralds,
but another class of authors now occasionally demands, each in his turn, a
passing remark. This is composed of the persons, who, possessed of few
qualifications beyond a knowledge of the technicalities of blazon and an
ardent zeal in the pursuit, have ventured to add to the already extensive
stock of heraldric lore. The earliest writer of the class alluded to is
JAMES YORKE, the Blacksmith of Lincoln, who in 1640 published 'The Union
of Honovr,' containing the arms, matches, and descents of the nobility
from the Conquest. Appended to it are the arms of the gentry of
Lincolnshire, and an account of all the battles fought by the English. It
is dedicated to Charles I; and there is also an epistle dedicatory to
Henry, son and heir of Thomas, earl of Arundel, earl-marshal, in which
Yorke very candidly avows his lack of erudition. "My education," says he,
"hath made me but just so much a Scholler as to feele and know my want of
learning." He hopes, however, that his noble patron will find the work
"decent." "I undertooke it not for vaine-glory, nor assume the credit of
mine authours to my selfe, onely am proud nature inclin'd me to so Noble a
study: _long was I forging and hammering it to this perfection_, and now
present it to your Lordship, as a _master-piece, not yet matched by any of
my trade_." In his address to the courteous reader he expresses his
apprehensions that "some will _smutch_ his labours with a scorne of his
profession." There was, however, little to fear on this head, for the book
is really a very '_decent_' production.

Fuller includes Yorke among the 'Worthies' of Lincolnshire, and gives the
following quaint account of him and his work:--"James Yorke, a blacksmith
of Lincoln, and an excellent workman in his profession, insomuch that if
Pegasus himself would wear shoes, this man alone is fit to make them,
contriving them so thin and light, as that they would be no burden to him.
But he is a servant as well of Apollo as Vulcan, turning his Stiddy into a
Study, having lately set forth a Book of Heraldry, called the _Union of
Honour, &c._ and although there be some mistakes (no hand so steady as
always _to hit the nail on the head_) yet it is of singular use, and
industriously performed, being set forth _anno_ 1640."

The plain common-sense of our unlettered blacksmith presents a singular
contrast to the inflated and bombastic style of EDWARD WATERHOUSE, a
gentleman, and a man of education, who, twenty years later, published 'A
Discourse and Defense of Armory.' Anthony a Wood speaks of this writer and
of his works in terms of the highest contempt, characterizing the former
as "a cock-brained man," and the latter as "rhapsodical, indigested and
whimsical." Dallaway says, "The most severe satyrist whose intention might
be to bring the study of heraldry into contempt could not have succeeded
better than this author, who strove to render it fashionable by connecting
it with the most crude conceits and endless absurdities." Waterhouse is
supposed to have contributed the principal portion of the two works
published under the name of SYLVANUS MORGAN, an arms-painter of London.

The character of this last-named author must have been already inferred
from the quotations I have made from his works. The ponderous volume,
entitled 'The Sphere of Gentry,' and its successor, 'Armilogia, or the
Language of Armes,' may be safely pronounced two of the most absurd
productions of the English press. That the former contains much useful
information is proved by the eagerness with which it is sought after in
the formation of an heraldrical library; but this is so overlaid with
crude, unconnected, and irrelevant jargon, that although I have had the
volume many times upon my table, I never could muster the patience to read
three consecutive pages of it. Of the 'Armilogia,' we are told on the
title-page that it is "_a work never yet extant_!" This volume has the
imprimatur of Sir E. Walker and Sir W. Dugdale, kings of arms; but,
singularly enough, the terms of the license are so disparaging that the
printer has very judiciously placed it on the last page; for had it been
on the first, no _judicious_ reader would have proceeded beyond it. "In
this book are such strange conceits and wild fancies, that I do not know
of what advantage the printing of it can be to any that soberly desires to
be instructed in the true knowledge of arms,"--is one of the severe things
said of it by Dugdale.

Morgan died in 1693, at the age of 73. He seems to have been countenanced
by the members of the College of Arms. Gibbon, Bluemantle, who knew him
well, describes him as "a witty man, full of fancy [too full], very
agreeable company ... and the prince of arms-painters."[297]

Almost equal to Camden, in a literary point of view, and perhaps his
superior in his qualifications as a herald, stands the name of SIR WILLIAM
DUGDALE. Independently of his great works, 'The Baronage of England,' and
the 'Monasticon,' his 'Antiquities of Warwickshire,' and 'History of St.
Paul's Cathedral,' would have served to hand down his name to posterity
among the literary worthies of his country. Sir William died in 1685, at
the age of 80 years, nearly thirty-two of which he was a member of the
College of Arms, having passed through all the gradations of office to the
post of Garter, king of arms. It would be supererogatory, even if I had
space, to give the simplest outline of his life, by no means an uneventful
one; as his memoirs have been often written, and are accessible to every

ELIAS ASHMOLE (1617-1692), the friend and son-in-law of Dugdale, was the
son of a tradesman of Litchfield. His talents, which were of the most
versatile order,[298] raised him into notice and procured him many offices
of honour and trust, among which was that of Windsor herald. This
situation he obtained at the restoration of Charles II, and resigned, from
motives of jealousy, in 1676. His great work is the 'History of the Order
of the Garter.' He was an eminent collector of rarities, and founded the
Museum at Oxford which bears his name.

FRANCIS SANDFORD, Esq., Lancaster, published, besides several other works
of great value, 'A Genealogical History of the Kings of England,' one of
the most lordly tomes that ever appeared in connexion with our subject. It
was originally published in 1677, and was reprinted in 1707. It is well
executed, and Charles II pronounced it "a very useful book." The fine
plates, by Hollar and others, of the royal arms, seals, and monuments,
with which it is embellished, give it charms to a larger circle than that
which includes the mere students of heraldry.

In 1688 appeared decidedly the most curious heraldric treatise ever
printed. I mean Randle Holme's 'Academie of Armory, or a Storehouse of
Armory and Blazon.' Mr. Moule characterizes it as "a most heterogeneous
and extraordinary composition, which may be well denominated a Pantalogia.
The author was not a learned man, nor has he adopted any systematic
arrangement of its multifarious contents, but he has contrived to amass in
this _storehouse_ a vast fund of curious information upon every branch of
human knowledge, such as is not to be found in any other work, and of a
nature peculiarly adapted to the illustration of the manners and customs
of our predecessors, from the highest rank to the lowest menial."

It is one of the scarcest of books, there being, according to Mr. Moule,
not more than fifty copies in the kingdom.

It will be interesting to the general reader to know that "Dr. Johnson
confessed, with much candour, that the Address to the Reader at the end of
this book suggested the idea of his own inimitable preface to his

The volume, a large folio, is illustrated by numerous plates of objects
borne as charges in arms, as well as many that never entered the field of
heraldry. "The author's object," says Mr. Ormerod, "appears to have been
the formation of a kind of encyclopædia in an heraldic form."[300] To give
the merest outline of the subjects treated would occupy many pages;
suffice it to say that every imaginable created being, spiritual and
corporeal; every science and pseudo-science; every gradation of rank, from
the 'emperour' with the ceremonies of his coronation, to the butcher and
barber, with the implements of their trades; hunters' terms and the seven
deadly sins; palmistry and the seven cardinal virtues; grammar and
cockfighting; poverty and the sybils; an essay on time, and bricklayers'
tools; glass-painting and billiards; architecture and wrestling; languages
and surgery; tennis and theology, all find a place in this compendium, and
are all adorned with "very proper cuts," in copper.

I have had the good fortune to procure a copy of this amusing work. It
has, opposite the title, an engraving containing the external ornaments of
a coat of arms, the coat and crest being neatly inserted in pen-drawing.
Beneath is the following in letter-press, except the line in italics,
which is MS.:

  "The Coat and Crest of
  The ever Honoured and Highly Esteemed

  _S{r}. James Poole of Poole, Baronett_:

  To whom this First Volume of the Book Entituled
    The Academy of Armory is most humbly Dedicated
    and presented, from him who is devoted yours

                                 RANDLE HOLME."

This was probably a compliment paid to every subscriber, and it displays,
as Mr. Moule observes, the finest illustration extant of the "oeconomy
of flattery."

The following extract will give an idea of a large proportion of the
contents of this famous 'Storehouse,' which, like many other storehouses,
holds much that is of very little value. Honest Randle blazons one of his
fictitious bearings for the purpose of introducing the names of the
implements and terms employed by that useful personage the barber.

"LVII. He beareth Argent a =Barber bare headed=, with a =pair of Cisers=
in his right hand, and a =Comb= in his left, =cloathed= in Russet, his
=Apron Chequé= of the first and Azure, &c.

    "_Instruments of a Barber._

    The instrument case, in which are placed these following things in
    their several divisions:

    The glass or seeing glass.

    A set of horn combs, with teeth on one side, and wide.

    A set of ivory combs with fine teeth, and toothed on both sides.

    An ivory beard comb.

    A four square bottle with a screw'd head for sweet water, or Benjamin
    water, &c.

    The like bottle with sweet powder in; but this is now not used.

    A row of razors, &c. &c."

Then follow

    "TERMS OR ART _used in Barbing and Shaving_ (!!!)

    _Take the chair_, is for the person to be trimmed to sit down.

    _Clear the neck_, is to unbutton and turn down the collar of the man's

    _Cloath him_, is to put a trimming cloth before him, and to fasten it
    about his neck.

    _Powder the hair_, is to puff sweet powder into it.

    _Walk your combs_, is to use two combs, in each hand one, and so comb
    the hair with one after the other.

    _Quever the combs_, is to use them as if they were scratting on each
    side the temples.

    _Curle up the hair_, is to rowle it about a pair of curling or beard
    irons, and thrust it under the cap.

    _Lather the face_, is to wash the beard with the suds which the ball
    maketh by chaffing it in the warm water.

    _Hand the razor_, set it in a right order between the thumb and

    _Shave the beard_, is to take off superfluous hairs.

    _Hold him the glass_, to see his new made face, and to give the barber
    instruction where it is amiss.

    _Take off the linnens._

    _Brush his cloaths._

    _Present him with his hat_, and according to his hire, he makes a bow,
    with your humble servant, Sir."[301].

But, although the 'Academy of Armory' abounds in passages equally useless
and totally irrelevant of the subject of arms, it must be acknowledged to
contain a great body of information which, at a time when Encyclopædias
were unknown, must have been of considerable utility.[302]

ALEXANDER NISBET, Gent. appears at the beginning of the 18th century as an
heraldric writer. In 1702 he published 'An Essay on Additional Figures and
Marks of Cadency;' in 1718, 'An Essay on the Ancient and Modern Use of
Armories;' and in 1722, 'A System of Heraldry,' which are all
characterized by great intelligence and research. In the preface to his
'System' he tells us, in a style bordering upon the egotistical, yet in
perfect accordance with truth, "Though I have not been able to overtake
some things in the system of Heraldry as I first intended, yet I have
explained the true art of Blazon in a more ample, regular, and distinct
manner than anything I have ever yet seen on the subject."

Nisbet's illustrations are principally drawn from Scottish heraldry, and
he must be acknowledged to occupy a very high, if not the first, place
among his countrymen in this department of literature.

JOHN ANSTIS, a gentleman of fortune, was born at St. Neot's, co. Cornwall.
He sat for St. Germains in the first parliament of Queen Anne, and was
afterwards elected for Launceston. He was a strenuous Tory, and, being
attached to heraldrical pursuits, obtained a reversionary patent for the
office of Garter, king of arms. On the accession of George I, he was
imprisoned under the suspicion of a design to restore the Stuarts. At this
critical time the office of Garter becoming vacant, he petitioned for it
in 1717, and received his appointment the following year. He wrote many
works relating to heraldry, and edited 'The Register of the Garter,' with
an introduction and notes. "In him," says Noble, "were joined the learning
of Camden, and the industry, without the inaccuracy, of Dugdale; he was a
most indefatigable and able Herald, and though he lived to the age of
seventy-six, yet we wonder at the greatness of his productions."[303] He
died in 1744.

Glover, Brooke, Vincent, Dugdale, and others had long since paid much
attention to the genealogy of the noble families of this country, when
ARTHUR COLLINS, Esq. projected a more complete account of existing houses
in his afterwards celebrated 'Peerage.' This work, which first appeared in
1709 in a single octavo of 470 pages, was augmented in successive
editions, until the last, edited by Sir Egerton Brydges in 1812, reached
the goodly number of nine volumes. This work is too well known to require
the slightest eulogium. In 1720 he published the first edition of his
valuable 'Baronetage,' and subsequently one volume of a 'Baronage,' and
several independent family histories. Upon the whole, Collins was one of
the most laborious of writers; and none but those who have paid some
attention to the construction of genealogies can fully appreciate his
industry and research. Collins was born in 1682, and died in 1760.

The reigns of the first two Georges produced many other writers on
subjects connected with heraldry and titular honours, including (I) Kent
and Coats, and (II) Crawfurd on the 'Peerage of Scotland,' Wotton on the
'English Baronetage,' the learned Madox on 'Land-honours and Baronies,'
and the indefatigable _Mr. Salmon_. During the same period also appeared
innumerable volumes on the genealogies of our royal and noble families.

JOSEPH EDMONDSON, F.S.A. (author of 'Baronagium Genealogicum,' 1764, and
'A Complete Body of Heraldry,' 1780,) was of humble parentage. Becoming a
herald-painter, that pursuit led his naturally inquisitive genius to the
study of heraldry and family history, and the two works referred to are
sufficient monuments of his assiduity in both. His merits raised him to
the office of Mowbray Herald Extraordinary, but even after his appointment
to that honour, he continued his business as a coach-painter, thus uniting
the seemingly discordant avocations, science and trade. He died in 1786.
The 'Baronagium' consists of five folio volumes, and contains the
pedigrees of the peers, originally drawn up by Sir W. Segar, enlarged and
continued to 1764. The 'Complete Body' is in two volumes folio, and must
be regarded as the great standard work on the subject of English heraldry.
It contains numerous dissertations on the origin and history of the
science, on the great offices of state, on the heralds, on knighthood, on
the arms of corporate bodies, on blazon in all its departments, an
alphabet of 50,000 coats of arms, and various other interesting matters.
The celebrated Sir Joseph Ayloffe assisted the author in both these works.
Edmondson possessed what was somewhat rare in his day--_good taste_ on the
subject of blazon. He animadverts with becoming asperity on the ridiculous
landscape-painting which disfigures some modern arms and augmentations,
and justly remarks that the "several charges they contain, puts it out of
the power of a very good herald to draw new arms from their blazons." On
the subject of crests he adds, "Crests are objects intended to strike the
beholder at a distance," and then produces the instance of a crest lately
granted to the family of Titlow: "a book, on the book a silver penny! and
on the penny the Lord's Prayer!! and on the top of the book a dove,
holding in its beak a crow-quill pen!!!"[304]

FRANCIS GROSE, Esq., F.S.A., held the office of Richmond herald, but
resigned it in 1763 to become paymaster of the Hampshire militia. His
numerous antiquarian works are well known; but I am not aware that he
contributed anything towards the advancement of heraldric literature.

RALPH BIGLAND, Esq., Somerset, and at length Garter, published in 1764 a
very curious and useful book on Parochial Registers. He made large
collections for a History of Gloucestershire, which were posthumously
published by his son. He died in 1784.

The Rev. JAMES DALLAWAY, A.M. F.S.A., &c. obtained a well-deserved
celebrity as the author of 'Inquiries into the Origin and Progress of
Heraldry in England,' published in 1793. This learned and elegant work
traces the history of our science from its source in the feudal ages to
his own times; and has the merit of having made attractive to the general
reader a subject from which he had hitherto turned away in disgust. Moule
compares its style to that of Tacitus. A new edition, with additional
literary illustrations and more appropriate embellishments, appears to me
to be a desideratum.

The Rev. MARK NOBLE, F.S.A., rector of Barming, co. Kent, wrote, besides
several other works, 'Memoirs of the House of Cromwell,' and 'A History of
the College of Arms,' with lives of all the officers from Richard III to
the year 1805. The value of the latter production is generally
acknowledged, though Mr. Moule accuses the author of partiality in the
biographical department. To this work I am under great obligations,
particularly for many of the materials of Chapter XI of this volume.

THOMAS BRYDSON, F.S.A., Edinburgh, published in 1795 'A Summary View of
Heraldry, in reference to the usages of chivalry and the general economy
of the feudal system,'--an agreeable and intelligent work, which will be
read with much interest by those who study our science _historically_.
About the same time, a lady--for the first time I think since the days of
Dame Julyan Berners--makes her appearance in the field of heraldric
literature: 'Historical Anecdotes of Heraldry and Chivalry, by a Lady.'
This work, which was published at Worcester, is generally attributed to a
Mrs. Dobson, and abounds with curious information relative to the
acquisition of particular coats of arms.[305]

SIR EGERTON BRYDGES, Bart., wrote several works on the peerage,
particularly 'A Biographical Peerage of Great Britain,' and edited
Collins's voluminous and popular work.

The anonymous volume on the 'Historical and Allusive Arms' of British
Families, noticed at page 162, is ascribed to Colonel De la Motte. It
appeared in 1803.

The Rev. W. BETHAM, of Stonham-Aspall, Suffolk, published 'Genealogical
Tables' of the sovereigns of the world, and an elaborate 'Baronetage,' in
five volumes, 4to, (1805.) T. C. BANKS, Esq., between 1807 and 1816,
produced several works of great importance, particularly 'The Dormant and
Extinct Baronage of England,' an elaborate and spiritedly-written work. In
1809 appeared that most voluminous work, 'British Family Antiquity,' a
genealogical view of the titled classes of the United Kingdom, in nine
vols. 4to, by W. PLAYFAIR, Esq. JOSEPH HASLEWOOD, Esq., celebrated for his
vast bibliographical knowledge, reprinted in 1810 the treatises on
hawking, hunting, coat-armour, &c., known as the 'Boke of St. Albans,'
from the edition of W. de Worde, 1496. Mr. Haslewood's edition is printed
in black letter with fac-simile cuts, and is designated by Mr. Moule "one
of the choicest specimens of printing which have issued from the modern
press." Mr. W. BERRY, the compiler of several minor works, published in
1825, and following years, his 'Encyclopædia Heraldica,' 4 vols. 4to,
including dictionaries of the technical terms of heraldry and of family
bearings. Of the latter there are 90,000 examples. Mr. Berry has
subsequently published a series of volumes containing tabular pedigrees of
the principal families (contributed in part by the resident gentry) of
Kent, Sussex, Hants, Surrey, Bucks, Berks, Essex, and Herts, under the
general title of 'County Genealogies.' Some severe criticisms on one of
the early volumes of this work, in the 'Gentleman's Magazine,' induced the
editor to commence proceedings in the Court of King's Bench against the
conductor of that periodical for a libel. In 1830 appeared another large
compilation, entitled Robson's 'British Herald.' It was published at
Sunderland, in three vols. 4to. It contains the arms of many of the gentry
of Scotland and the Northern Counties of England, which are not to be
found in any previous work. In 1822, THOMAS MOULE, Esq., published
'Bibliotheca Heraldica,' a catalogue of all the works that have appeared
on heraldry and kindred subjects in this country. To this highly useful
publication I am greatly indebted. In 1842 Mr. Moule published a beautiful
and interesting volume entitled 'The Heraldry of Fish,' containing notices
of all the charges "with fin or shell" which occur in the arms of English
families, with excellent illustrations on wood.

"Within the last twenty years," observes Mr. Montagu, "there have been
published some of the very best works that have ever appeared, connected
with the subject of heraldry, and its kindred science, genealogy." I much
regret my inability to do justice to living and to recently deceased
authors in this department of literary effort. In this book-teeming age it
would be laborious merely to name all the persons who have written on the
subject within the last few years. It will suffice for my purpose to
mention some of those who stand _præ cæteris_, either in the intrinsic
merit or the magnitude of their productions.

SIR HARRIS NICOLAS has rendered essential service to the heraldric student
by the publication of several rolls of arms of early date and
unquestionable authenticity; namely, those of temp. Henry III, Edw. I
(Carlaverok), Edw. II, and Edw. III; and a splendid 'History of the Orders
of Knighthood of the British Empire,' in four 4to volumes. The late G. F.
BELTZ, Esq., Lancaster Herald, a gentleman of extensive antiquarian
research, published an interesting work, entitled 'Memorials of the Order
of the Garter.'

THOMAS WILLEMENT, Esq. who combines with the research of the antiquary the
skill of the artist, has produced, 'Regal Heraldry,' 'Heraldic Notices of
Canterbury Cathedral,' and some additional rolls of arms, viz. temp. Rich.
II and Hen. VIII. Mr. MONTAGU'S 'Guide to the Study of Heraldry,' evinces
a profound knowledge of the subject, and is elegantly written.

In addition to these works of general reference, several volumes of great
local interest have appeared, particularly several county visitations;
among which may be noticed the Visitations of Durham, 1575 and 1615; the
former edited by N. J. Philipson, Esq., F.S.A., and the latter by Sir
Cuthbert Sharp and J. B. Taylor, Esq.; and Middlesex, 1663, printed at the
expense of Sir Thomas Phillipps, Bart. Sir Thomas has also printed, at his
own press at Middle Hill, those of Wiltshire, 1623; Somersetshire, 1623;
and Cambridgeshire, 1619.

In the genealogical department two classes of works of modern date possess
great value, namely, _County Histories_, such as Baker's Northamptonshire,
Surtees's Durham, Clutterbuck's Hertfordshire, and Ormerod's Cheshire;
and _Family Histories_, of which Rowland's History of the House of
Neville, and Shirley's 'Stemmata Shirleiana,' are splendid examples. Mr.
Drummond's 'Histories of Noble Families' bids fair to do honour to the
author, the subject, and the age. That the Messrs. Burke are indefatigable
in the heraldric field, their Existing and Extinct Peerages, Baronetages,
'History of the Landed Gentry,' 'General Armory,' &c. give ample proof. Of
other books of reference relating to the titled orders, the press is
annually pouring out a quantity which sufficiently proves the estimation
in which the aristocracy of this country is held. In fine, the
'Archæologia,' the 'Collectanea Topographica et Genealogica,' and that
veteran periodical, the 'Gentleman's Magazine,' contain innumerable papers
of great interest and value to the student of genealogy.




    "I must not give up my attachment to Genealogy, and everything
    relating to it, because it is the greatest spur to noble and gallant

        _Rev. Mark Noble._

    "It is a reverend thing to see an ancient castle or building not in
    decay; or to see a fair timber-tree sound and perfect; how much more
    to behold an ancient noble Family which hath stood against the waves
    and weathers of time?"

        _Bacon. Of Nobility._

A passion for deducing a descent from the most remote progenitor of a
family appears to be inherent in mankind; for we trace its existence in
all ages, and in almost every state of society. The Hebrews, the oldest
historical people in the world, entertained this feeling in a degree
perhaps unparalleled in any nation. The Egyptians, Greeks, Scythians,
Phrygians, and Romans claimed a very high, though probably a very much
exaggerated, antiquity. Alexander claimed descent from Jupiter Ammon;
Cæsar's pedigree was traced without an hiatus to Venus; Arthur's to
Brutus; Hengist's to Woden! The English peer views with complacency the
muster-roll of departed generations, which connects him with Charlemagne
or the Plantagenets. The democratic American is proud if perchance he
bears the name of a stock renowned in the annals of Fatherland; and even
the plebeian Berkeley or Neville of busy London walks a little more erect
as he tells you that his great-grandfather came from the same county where
dwells the coronetted aristocrat who bears his patronymic! The love of a
distinguished ancestry is universal.

The credibility of genealogy depends, like that of every thing else, upon
the nature of the evidence by which it is supported. I have met with
persons who could not trace their lineage beyond their grandfather; but
such instances are rare; for the oral traditions of a family, even in
middle life, generally ascend to about the fifth generation, or a century
and a half: beyond that all is obscurity. If we go to documents, such as
parish registers, monumental inscriptions, and court-rolls, numerous
families may be traced 300 years with absolute certainty. An hereditary
title or an entailed patrimony carries families of higher pretensions
still further; and antient wills, genealogical tables, and the public
records lead an exclusive few back to the glorious days of Cressy, to the
Norman Conquest, or even to the times of the Edreds and the Edwys. That
this antiquity is of the utmost rarity will appear from the data given

"At present," observes Mr. Grimaldi,[306] "there are few English families
who pretend to a higher antiquity than the Norman Invasion; and it is
probable that not many of these can authenticate their pretensions." The
claim to such an honour, as has just been intimated, is well founded in
some families. The Ashburnham pedigree, for instance, is carried two
generations higher than 1066; and the family still reside on the spot
from whence, at the commencement of the eleventh century, their great
ancestor derived his surname. The Shirleys have dwelt upon their estate of
Lower Eatington, co. Warwick, uninterruptedly for eight centuries from the
time of Edward the Confessor. In Collins's Peerage (edit. Brydges[307])
there is an abstract of the antiquity of the nobility, from which it
appears that out of the 249 peers, 35 could trace their descent beyond the

  49 beyond the year 1100
  29   "         "   1200
  32   "         "   1300
  26   "         "   1400
  17   "         "   1500
  26   "         "   1600
  30   "         "   1700

Mr. Grimaldi has ably illustrated the sources from which, and from which
only, the genealogies of English families can be derived, in his 'Origines
Genealogicæ,' and any one who will take the pains to consult that curious
work may easily convince himself of the futility of attempting to trace
pedigrees beyond the periods adverted to. Yet there was a time when the
most ridiculous notions prevailed respecting the antiquity of some of our
great houses. The royal family were traced in a direct line to the
fabulous Brutus, a thousand years before the Christian era; the Cecils
pretended to be of Roman origin, and the house of Vaux deduced themselves
from the kings of the Visigoths. Many Welsh families went farther, and
carried up their pedigree as far as it could well be carried, namely, to
Adam! The Scottish and Irish families pretended to an equal antiquity.
This taste in the nations descending from a common Celtic stock was
probably derived from the bards of antient times, whose office consisted
in the recital of the heroic deeds of mighty ancestors. The splendid
history of the family of Grace, drawn from a great variety of antient
sources, by Sheffield Grace, Esq., F.S.A., contains some of the finest
possible specimens of fictitious genealogy. The family is traced, in the
male line, to the time of Alfred, and through some female lines to the
founder of the human race himself. The pedigree of O'More begins with "God
the Father, &c., who was from all eternity [and who] did, in the beginning
of time, of nothing create red earth, and of red earth framed Adam, and of
a rib out of the side of Adam fashioned Eve; after which creation,
plasmatation and formation succeeded generation." The pedigree is
regularly deduced through Adam, Noah, Nilus, and the kings of Scythia to
Milesius, who conquered Spain and settled in Ireland. Thence through Cu
Chogry O'More, king of Seix, and M{c}Murrough, king of Leinster, in the
time of our Henry II, to Anthony O'More, dynast or sovereign of Seix,
whose daughter married Sir Oliver Grace about the year 1450!

Considering the vast number of individuals who in the course of a few ages
proceed from a common parent, and taking into account the mutations to
which families are subject, it is not surprising that the "high" are often
found to be "descended from the low, and, contrariwise, the low from the
high." I know a comparatively obscure country gentleman who can (by the
most undeniable evidences) prove his descent through three different lines
from William the Conqueror, and consequently from the Northman Rollo, the
founder of the duchy of Normandy in the tenth century. Two hundred years
ago we find some descendants of the line of the Paleologi, emperors of the
East, residing in privacy in the little village of Landulph, in Cornwall.
In the church of that place there is a small monument to the memory of
"Theodoro Paleologus, of Pesaro in Italye, descended from y{e} imperial
line of y{e} late Christian emperors of Greece, being the sonne of
Camilio, the son of Prosper, the sonne of Theodoro, the sonne of John,
y{e} sonne of Thomas, second brother of Constantine Paleologus, the 8th of
that name, and last of y{t} line y{t} rayned in Constantinople until
subdved by the Turks; who married w{t}. Mary, y{e} daughter of William
Balls, of Hadlye in Souffolke, Gent., and had issue 5 children, Theodoro,
John, Ferdinando, Maria, and Dorothy, and departed this life at Clyfton,
y{e} 21st. of Janu. 1636." Some female descendants of this individual
married persons of humble condition in the immediate vicinity of Landulph,
and hence, as Mr. Gilbert observes, the imperial blood may still flow in
the veins of the bargemen of Cargreen![308] On the other hand, many of our
peers descend from tradesmen, and other persons of plebeian condition. Not
to meddle with the pedigrees of some of our _Novi Domini_, the earl of
Dartmouth descends from a worthy London skinner of the fourteenth century;
the earl of Coventry from a mercer of the fifteenth; and Lord Dudley from
a goldsmith of the seventeenth.

"Genealogy," says Sir Egerton Brydges, "is of little value, unless it
discloses matter which teaches the causes of the decay or prosperity of
families, and furnishes a lesson of moral wisdom for the direction of
those who succeed. When we reflect how soon the fortunes of a house are
ruined, not only by vice or folly, but by the least deficience in that
cold prudence with which highly endowed minds are so seldom gifted, the
long continuance of any race of nobility or gentry seems to take place
almost in defiance of probabilities."[309]

Persons not conversant with antiquarian researches often express surprise
at the possibility of tracing the annals of a family through the long
period of five, six, or seven centuries. It may therefore be interesting
to mention the principal sources from which genealogical materials are

1. The several records which go under the general name of _Doomsday Books_
constitute, collectively, one of the most valuable monuments possessed by
any nation. They contain the name of every landowner, with the value of
his estate, and frequently refer to earlier proprietors antecedently to
the Conquest. The 'Great Doomsday Book' in the Chapter House, the 'Exon
Doomsday,' and the 'Inquisitio Eliensis,' were compiled between 1066 and
1086; the 'Winton Doomsday,' temp. Hen. I; and the 'Boldon Book' in 1183.
2. The next documents in point of antiquity are _Monastic Records_, such
as Chartularies, Leiger-Books, Chronicles, Obituaries, Registers of
Marriages and Burials, and Abbey Rolls. These usually contain much
information for the genealogist, particularly in relation to the founders
and benefactors of the respective establishments. Of Abbey Rolls the 'Roll
of Battel Abbey' is an eminent example. Its authenticity, however, is
extremely doubtful, and we have the authority of Camden for declaring
that, "Whosoever considereth it well shall find it always to be

It has been asserted that many records of great value were destroyed at
the dissolution of the religious houses, and there is probably truth in
the allegation; for John Bale, a contemporary observer, writes, that the
library books of [some of] the monasteries were reserved by the purchasers
of those houses to scour their candlesticks, to rub their boots, and even
for still viler uses. Some again, he says, were sold to grocers and
soap-sellers, or sent over sea to the book-binders. A merchant bought two
noble libraries for forty shillings. Peacham, in his 'Compleat
Gentleman,'[311] and several other authors declare that Polydore Vergil,
the historian, _burnt_ many of the best and most antient records he could
find in the conventual and cathedral libraries;[312] but the learned
Italian has been most ably defended against this heavy charge.[313] 3.
_Antient Charters_ and Deeds transferring lands, &c. are most excellent
authorities for genealogical particulars. Such documents are immensely
numerous. By series of these in the muniment-rooms of our nobility and
gentry, and other places, both family lines and territorial descent may be
clearly established for a great length of time. 4. _Monumental
Inscriptions_ are documents of great interest. Many of them are of very
high antiquity. That of King Arthur, described by Camden, is, if genuine,
more than thirteen centuries old. The legend is, "HIC JACET SEPVLTVS
this description belonging to the Norman period whose genuineness is not
questioned. There are two in my own locality; namely, the epitaph on
Gundred, wife of William de Warren, and daughter of William the Conqueror
(ob. 1085), in the church of Southover, Lewes, and that on Mangnus, a
Danish prince of the eleventh or twelfth century, in the wall of St. John
sub Castro.[314] Unfortunately _most_ of the monuments of those early
times have no inscriptions; so that, without the evidence of concurrent
tradition, they can scarcely be regarded as monuments at all. Monumental
_brasses_, a most interesting class of memorials, occur from the
thirteenth century to the era of the mural tablets now in use. Regular
genealogical series of them are sometimes to be found in our country
churches. 5. The _Public Records_, many of which have been printed at the
national expense, contain an inexhaustible mine for the genealogist and
historian. Particulars relating to knights' fees and other feudal matters
are found in the 'Black and Red Books of the Exchequer,' the 'Testa de
Neville,' the 'Nomina Villarum,' and the 'Hundred Rolls.' These are all of
very early date. The fine, charter, close, patent, nona, and numerous
other rolls, and particularly the Inquisitiones post mortem[315] and
Escheat rolls are rich in materials for pedigrees. Lists of English gentry
for certain counties occur temp. Edw. II; and the celebrated list of temp.
Hen. VI purports to contain the names of all the gentry in thirty
counties. 6. The _Wills_ proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury at
Doctors' Commons commence so early as 1383, and those in several of the
local registries are of considerable, though not of equal, antiquity.
These are of all documents the most confidently to be relied on,
containing as they do much information respecting the family-connexions of
the testators. From a single will a descent of four generations can
frequently be traced. 7. The _Heraldic Records_, gathered from documents
no longer extant, are most valuable. The Visitation-books, extending from
1528 to 1687, are in the College of Arms; and there are numerous other
collections of pedigrees in public and private MS. libraries. The funeral
certificates of the nobility and gentry preserved at the College are most
authentic and useful documents, though apparently little known even
amongst antiquaries. The following is a specimen:

    "1578. Sire John Gefferay, knyght, Lord Chief Baron of the quenes
    majesties exchequer Died at his house in London on Twesday the xiij
    daye of Maye, and from thense was conveyed to his Maner house at
    Chettingligh in the County of Sussex & was buryed at the p[ar]ishe
    churche of Chettingligh the xxij{th} daye of the same monthe A{o}.
    1578, he maryed to his fierst wiff Alis doughte{r} & heire aperante to
    John Apesley of London, gent. & by her had yssue Elizabethe his only
    doughte{r} and heire; secondly he maryed Mary doughter to George
    Goringe of Lewis in the county of Sussex, esquier, & by her had no
    yssue. The offycers of armes that se{r}vid their was Ric. Turpyn alias
    Windsor and Edmond Knyght alias Chester, herauldes. In Witnes of the
    truthe of this certyfycatt these [pt=]ies hereunder writen have
    subscribed their names the xxiij{th} daye of Maye a{o} 1578.

        (Sign'd) GEORGE GORINGE.
            W{M}. APSLEY. RICHARD JEFFERAY."[316]

8. Last, though not least, among the aids in tracing pedigrees, are
_Parish Registers_. The dispersion of the monks, who had previously been
the great register-keepers, gave rise to the necessity of these local
records. A mandate was issued in 1538, by Thomas Cromwell, the king's
vicar-general, for the keeping, in every parish, of registers of baptisms,
marriages, and burials. Many of the existing registers begin with that
year, but more generally they commence in 1558, the first year of

Parish registers, when carefully kept, are amongst the most useful of
public records. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and in the
earlier part of the eighteenth, they are in many instances a sort of
chronicles not only of the rites of baptism, marriage, and burial, but
also of interesting parochial events; such as fires, unusual mortalities,
storms, alterations in the churches, and short remarks on the baptisms or
burials of distinguished persons. The following extracts from various
registers may not be unamusing to the reader:

    "_Mr._ Henry Hastings, son & heir of Mr. Francis Hastings, was born on
    St. Nicholas' even, April 24, between the hours of 10 & 11 of the
    clock at night. Sign. Sagit. secund. die plenilunii Marte in Taurum
    intrato die precedente, & was christened May 17." _Eaton, co.

    "1597. M{m}. forgotten until now, that Edmond Denmark & Alice Smyth
    were married the 24th. of May, 1584." _Thorington, Essex._

    "1618. License to Lady Barbara Hastings to eat flesh in Lent, on
    account of her great age." _St. Mary, Leicester._

    "1643. Richard Snatchall, a stout yong man, a curious blacksmith, died
    of y{e} small-pox." _Chiddingly, co. Sussex._

    "1656. A time of mortality upon the Dicker. Richard Luccas, w{th}out
    any buriall was buried!" _Ibid._

It would be difficult to say how this was managed.

Some of the entries are occasionally very loose.

    "1658. Buried. Wickens, a lame boy. 1659. A maide of N. M. A maide of
    R. B." _Ibid._

    "An infant crisaned!"--Burials. "A mayde from the mill." "Black John."
    "A prentice of M{r}. Kirford." "A Tinker of Berye in Suffolk." Vide
    _Grimaldi's Orig. Geneal._

    "Richard Cole and _his wife_ were marryed the xixth. of May 1612.
    Symon Fuller was marryed the 3rd. of October, 1612." _Alfriston, co.

    "The son of a mason, buried x Feb. 1593."

    "Mother Fowler buried 18th. Nov. 1603."

    "Goody Hilton bur. April 7. 1699." _Ibid._

During the protectorate of Cromwell marriages were solemnized by justices
of the peace. The following entry of such a marriage, cited by Mr.
Grimaldi, is a curious specimen of magisterial literature:


    _Begone_ the 30. September, 1653.

    John Ridgway, _Bricklar_ and Mary Chart _widdow_ according to _a_ Act
    of Parliament _baringe_ date the 24. August 1653, _was_ three several
    times _publissed_ in the market-place, and afterwards _maried_ by
    _mee_ upon Tuesday, the _six_ of December, 1653.

        "THOMAS ATKIN."

    "1707. Married William Thunder and Eliz. Horscraft as is reputed but
    not certainly known _Anab.: Chiddingly._

    "1718. M{r}. Thomas Shirley, a young Gentleman of great hopes, who in
    all probability had he lived longer would have been very useful to his
    country and neighbours." _Ibid._

    "1722. This day were married by M{r}. Holloway, _I think_, a couple
    _whose names I could never learn_, for he allowed them to carry away
    the license." _Lincoln's Inn Chapel._

    "1705. Buried M{r}. Matt. Hutchinson, vicar of Gilling, worth £50 a
    year. 1706. M{rs}. Ursula Allen worth £600." _Richmond, co. York._

Many of the entries respecting local events are very curious; but as they
belong still less than the foregoing to my subject, I must resist the
temptation to transcribe any of them.

To these several principal sources of genealogical materials may be added
the private memoranda preserved in many families, correspondence, entries
in family bibles, and others which it is unnecessary to mention.

       *       *       *       *       *

There are some persons who cannot discriminate between the taste for
pedigree and the pride of ancestry. Now these two feelings, though they
often combine in one individual, have no necessary connexion with each
other. Man is said to be a hunting animal. Some hunt for foxes; others for
fame or fortune. Others hunt in the intellectual field; some for the
arcana of nature and of mind; some for the roots of words or the origin of
things. I am fond of hunting out a pedigree. _Parva decent parvum._

Family pride, abstractedly considered, is one of the coarsest feelings of
which our nature is susceptible.

  "Those who on glorious ancestors enlarge,
  Produce their debt instead of their discharge."

A great and wise man among the antients said

      "----Genus, et proavos, et quæ non fecimus ipsi,
  Vix ea nostra voco."

"The glory of ancestors," says Caius Marius, "casts a light indeed upon
their posterity, but it only serves to show what the descendants are. It
alike exhibits to full view their degeneracy and their worth."

  "Boast not the titles of your ancestours,
  Brave youths! They're _their_ possessions, none of _yours_;
  When your own virtues equall'd have their names,
  'Twill be but fair to lean upon their fames,
  For they are strong supporters; but, till then,
  The greatest are but growing gentlemen."
                                          _Ben Jonson._

I do not know that I can more appropriately close this last chapter of my
essay than by citing a passage from Lord Lindsay's introduction to his
'Lives of the Lindsays,' a passage which entitles its author to as high a
place among "virtue's own noblemen" as he deservedly occupies among the
great ones of man's creation.

"Be grateful, then, for your descent from religious as well as noble
ancestors: it is your duty to be so, and this is the only worthy tribute
you can now pay to their ashes. Yet, at the same time be most jealously on
your guard lest this lawful satisfaction degenerate into arrogance, or a
fancied superiority over those nobles of God's creation, who, endowed in
other respects with every exalted quality, cannot point to a long line of
ancestry. Pride is of all sins the most hateful in the sight of God; and
of the proud, who is so mean, who so despicable as he who values himself
on the merits of others? And were they all so meritorious, these boasted
ancestors? were they all Christians? Remember, remember, if some of them
have deserved praise, others have equally merited censure; if there have
been "stainless knights," never yet was there a stainless family since
Adam's fall. Where, then, is boasting? for we would not I hope glory in

  '=Only the actions of the Just
  Smell sweet and blossom in the dust.='

"One word more. Times are changed, and in many respects we are blessed
with knowledge beyond our fathers, yet we must not on that account deem
our hearts purer, or our lives holier, than theirs were. Nor, on the other
hand, should we for a moment assent to the proposition, so often hazarded,
that the virtues of chivalry are necessarily extinct with the system they
adorned. Chivalry, in her purity, was a holy and lovely maiden, and many
were the hearts refined and ennobled by her influence; yet she proclaims
to us not one virtue that is not derived from and summed up in
Christianity. The age of chivalry may be past--the knight may no more be
seen issuing from the embattled portal-arch on his barbed charger, his
lance glittering in the sun, his banner streaming to the breeze,--but the
spirit of chivalry can never die; through every change of external
circumstances, through faction and tumult, through trial and suffering,
through good report and evil report, still that spirit burns like love,
the brighter and purer;--still, even in the nineteenth century, lights up
its holiest shrine, the heart of that champion of the widow, that father
of the fatherless, that liegeman of his God, his king, and his country,
the noble-hearted but lowly-minded Christian gentleman of England."



Differences, Abatements, Grant of Arms, etc. etc.

Appendix A.


A few remarks upon this interesting branch of Heraldry have been made at
p. 43 et seq. This subject is ably discussed by Wyrley, Camden, Dallaway,
and others, in their published works, but the following treatise, I have
good reason to believe, has never before appeared in print. It is the
production of Sir Edward Dering, a representative of the great family of
that name in Kent: the author, who enjoyed the friendship of Sir William
Dugdale, was knighted 22 Jan. 1618, and created a Baronet 1st Feb. 1626.

The only copy of this essay I have seen occurs in a copy of the Visitation
of Kent, 1619, transcribed from a MS. of Peter Le Neve, by Hasted, the
Kentish Historian, and now in the possession of Mr. J. R. Smith.


The differences of Arms by adding small and minute figures as of
Crescents, Mullets, Martlets, etc. is neither antient nor could be so: For
300 years since every man of note and family carried in the wars his
shield carved and coloured, and his armour painted suitable, and his coat
of arms to cover his armour embroidered of the same; besides the
caparison of his horse, if so be he served on horseback; you shall have it
by example as follows:--

    [A rude sketch of a brass of a man in armour with his surcoat of arms
    is here given, and beneath it--

    "This was copied from Pluckley Church, from the gravestone of John
    Dering, Esq., who dyed August 1550."]

The use of all this art was to distinguish and notify the party, and soe
his valorous atchievements might be seen and known, when his face was not.
The further off and the easier this view could be made, the better; for
that concurred to the end for which these signs were taken. Now these
petty variations were not to be seen, but when near at hand, requiring a
clear light and near approach to make them, and so consequently, the
bearers of them, discoverable.

In the last battle fought by the famous Earl of Warwicke for K. Henry 6th
against K. Edward the 4th, the day grew hopefull for Warwick by the valor
of the Earl of Oxford: Oxford's soldiery had his star, or rather mullet,
embroidered on their coats--K. Edward's men, saith Speed, the sun; but it
was indeed a little white rose, with the rayes of the sun-beams pointing
round about it. The day was overcast and foggy; Oxford had made such
impression upon the Yorkists, that many fled from the field at Barnet to
London, giving out the news that the day was Warwick's. Warwick, intending
to perfect the victory over that part of K. Edward's army, came up to
Oxford, when, the light being dull with mists, rendered Oxford's badge as
big as the king's, the difference in form and colours being but little; so
that Warwick's men by mistake let fly at those of Oxford. They seeing
Warwick's ragged staff and bear making havock at their backs, whilst they
were pressing forward on K. Edward's sun-beams, not knowing or guessing
the cause and Error, cryed out, "Treason! Treason! we are all betrayed."
Hereupon the Earl of Oxford, with 800 men fled the field, and the Yorkists
prevailed, with the death of the great Warwick and his brother the Marquis
of Montacute.

Other examples have been two; in Wyrley one, of the two Baliols--the
other of the French Lord of Chine, who laying up the Lord Courcy's banner,
the English of Sir Hugh Calvely's company, reputing them friends, were
thereby unfortunately slain, and the Lord Courcy had thereupon dishonour
spoken of him, though absent as far as Austrich.

  "This Chine did raise Lord Courcy's fair Devise,
    Which was 6 Bars of vairy and of red;
  This way the same or difference small so nice
    And slender that 'mongst them they error bred,
    Which now were either taken slain or fled.
  All men of younger house which banners bear
  Should have their difference glist'ning large and fair."
                                        _Capital de Bur_, p. 151.

These minute differences, as they were antiently dangerous and
insufficient, so in manner as they are now used they were then unknown;
neither is there art enough by any of our heralds' rules, though much
refined of late, to guide one so as to know which of the Crescent-bearers
was the uncle or which the nephew, and for Crescent upon Crescent, Mullet
upon Mullet, etc. in a pedigree of no great largeness, perspective-glasses
and spectacles cannot help you; but you must have Lyncean eyes, or his
that could write Homer's Iliads, and fold them into a nutshell.

There was an elder way of differencing in former ages, and very good,
though at no time regularly prescribed, yet it was much practised, as by
bordures, bars, bends, chiefs, etc. and something upon special motives of
relinquishing the whole devise and assuming another; all which are
eminently known in the families of Nevil, Howard, Berkeley, Beauchamp,
Stafford, Chaworth, Latymer, Grey and Bassett, Willoughby, etc. You shall
have an example of two in Kent leaving the chevron-bearers in imitation of
the great Lords of Clare and Criol, the ten variations and imitations of
Leyborne's Lions; and of Sandwich's indentings in like number, I will here
instance in Say and Cobham.

[Illustration: Sir Wm. de Say.]

[Illustration: Sir R. de Huntingfield.]

[Illustration: Sir Ibron de Huntingfield.]

[Illustration: Sir Alex. de Cheney.]

[Illustration: ... Huntingfield.]

[Illustration: Sir Ralph de Perington.]

[Illustration: St. Nicholas.]

[Illustration: Parrocke[318]]

There are more examples, but these are in Kent.

Now for an instance in the family of Cobham.

[Illustration: Wm. de Pluckley, Brother of John de Cobham.

John de Cobham Brother of Wm. de Pluckley.]

[Sidenote: _Vide Book of Differences_, p. 177.]

Henry Cobham, great grandchild of this John, and Joane, da. and heir of de


John de Cobham, son of Henry and Joane Bokeland, put his father's fleurs
de lizs upon his mother's cheveron, and had issue three sons, who did each
constitute a several family, and varied their arms.

[Illustration: Henry Cobham, the eldest son, married Joane, sister and
heir of Step{n} de Pencester.]

[Illustration: John, the 2d son, to whom his father gave the manor of
Cobham, and from whom the Lords Cobham descended.]

[Illustration: Reginald, the 3d, de Orkesden, from whom the Cobhams of
Sterborough are descended.]

This Henry by the great heir, his wife, was father of three sons, who all
of them followed the copy of their Mother's Arms, whereof

[Illustration: 1. Stephen de Cobham, Lord of Shorne, who leaving the
paternal coat, took his Mother's Arms.]

[Illustration: 2. John de Toneford, where he dwelt, a place in Chartham.]

[Illustration: 3. Stephen de Cobham, father of Henry, Lord of Dunstall.]

This elder Stephen was father of Sir John de Cobham of Rundale, and of
Robert de Cobham, which Sir John was father of Sir Thomas Cobham de
Rundale, and of John de Hever, who had the manor of Hever, and thence his

[Illustration: Robert de Cobham.]

[Illustration: John de Hever of Hever.]

John de Cobham, aforesaid, who bore the three lions on his cheveron, was
father of Henry Lord Cobham, and of John Cobham de Blackburg, in co.
Devon. Henry Lord Cobham was father of Henry Lord Cobham and of Thomas
Cobham, of Chafford in Kent. This Henry Lord Cobham was father of John
Lord Cobham and of Thomas Cobham, owner of Belunele and Pipards-clive, who
had issue two sons, Thomas and Henry; now all these younger Cobhams varied
their Arms as under.

[Illustration: John Cobham de Blackburg.]

[Illustration: Thos. Cobham de Chafford.]

[Illustration: Thos. Cobham de Belunele.]

[Illustration: Henry Cobham de Pypard's Clive.[319]]

In like manner the family of Dering, though not so eminent, (yet as
antient, and more numerous, for aught yet appears,) did, as the use and
necessity of those former ages required, vary their arms upon several
occasions, which need not here be repeated, being more visible in the
descent,[320] it shall therefore be enough in this place to set down the
several shields borne anciently and at present by this name and the
several branches thereof, by seals, monuments, old rolls, windows, &c. The
antient paternal coat of this family was (if tradition may persuade us)
only the blue fesse in a white field, until, say they, one of our
ancestors being slain in the king's wars, his shield was found to have
three great bloody spots in place where now the roundels are. I cannot
justify such far-fetcht storys; yet two things have a proportionate
correspondence with this tradition.

First, it is certain that Norman Fitz-Dering was sheriff of Kent, as shall
be evident in the part of the genealogical history which concerns him.
2dly. The Arms of William de Wrotham, Constable of Dover castle, and one
of this family, were by old rolls the fesse without the roundells, which
may confirm the report, because he was descended from Godred, brother to
Norman, who was slain as aforesaid, and not of the body of the said

The concurrence whereof has induced me to assign that coat unto all before
the said Norman Fitz-Dering.

So then the several shields borne by the several persons of this family
have been as follows, setting them down as they have first been in
antiquity used, and so in order successively.

[Illustration: Sired Fitz-Dering, t. W. Conqr./De la Hell, T. R. Steph.
ao. 1./Deerman ao. 1, Hen. 2d./W. de Wrotham, 1 R. Johis./Hamo de
Pirefeld, T. R. 1.]

[Illustration: Norman Fitz-Dering, 1 Hen. I and T. R. Steph.]

[Illustration: Arnaldus de Cuckeston, t, H. 2./Wm. de Cheriton, T. H. 3.]

[Illustration: Normannus de Ashde Fraxino--and de Fresne, Miles, T. R. 1
et H. 2.[321]]

[Illustration: Wm. de Perington Miles, T. Hen. 3.[322]]

[Illustration: Wimond Fitz-Wimond, T. Hen. 3./Hamo Wimond, filius ejus, T.
Ed. I.[323]]

[Illustration: Ricus Fitz-Dering, qui obiit II Ed. I.[324]]

[Illustration: Henry Dering, frater junior Ricardi.[325]]

[Illustration: John Dering, Dns. de Evering-acre in Pluckley, ao 1 Hen. 5
et Ricus filius ejus, occis apd. Bosworth.[326]]

[Illustration: Wm. Dering de Petworth in co. Sussex, et de Lisse in co.
Hants, Arm. T Hen. 7.[327]]

To these ten may be added two very antient, whose order gave them a
diversification, being Knights-Templers, and three other moderne, assigned
by Sir Wm. Segar, Garter.

[Illustration: Dns. Robtus. Dering, Miles ordinis militiae sci. Templi ad
dissolut. ejus ap{d}. Ewell.[328]]

The three modern ones assigned by Sir Wm. Segar are as follows:

[Illustration: Anthony Dering, of Charing, Esq.]

[Illustration: John Dering, of Egerton, Esq.]

[Illustration: Xtopher Dering, of Wickins.[329]]

[Sidenote: _So in old chartularies of abbeys I have often observed that
one and the same man varied his own name of addition by the change of
places where he made his abode._]

Besides the variations of arms, here is much change of sirname to be
observed, which among antiquaries is nothing new. Here are Dering, Wimond,
Dereman, De la Hell, Wrotham, Cuckeston, Pevington, Pirefield, Cheriton,
Ash, and de Fraxino, whereof the first three are assumed from forenames or
Xtian names, as have done the families of Herding, Herbert, Aucher, Bagot,
Bardolph, Hasting, Durand, Hubert, Oughtred, Leonard, and very many more;
all the others here were assumed by reason of lands possessed of that
name. Norman Fitz-Dering being Lord of Ash was called Norman de Fraxino,
de Fresne, and de Ash. Arnold, a son of another Norman Fitz-Dering, being
Lord of Cuckeston, was called Arnold de Cuckeston, whose grandchildren
were Wm. de Pevington and Wm. de Cheriton, and so the rest had their
surnames appropriated from their habitation and possession. In the family
of Cobham you have Toneford and Hever of the same blood. Mortimer and
Warren were brothers, and the sons of Walter de St. Martin. De Frydon, de
Pantley, and de Albdy, were three brothers, the sons of Hugh de
Saddington. Wm. Belward, lord of the moiety of Malpas, in Chester, had
issue David and Richard; from David came three sons, Wm. de Malpas, Philip
Gogh, David Golborne; and from them Egerton and Goodman--Richard, son of
Wm. Belward, had issue Thomas de Cotgreve, Wm. de Weston, and Richard
Little, father of N. Keneclerk and of John Richardson, (who would conceive
without good proof that Malpas, Gough, Golborne, Egerton, Goodman,
Cotgrave, Weston, Little, Kenclerk, and Richardson were all in short time
the issue of Wm. Belward.) Nay, to make the instance of better impression,
the antient earls of Norfolk having also Suffolk within their earldom did
write themselves of Norfolk, of Suffolk, and sometimes of Norwich,
indifferently, according to the place where they signed or subscribed, or
were in any instrument named. The like did the old earls of Dorset and
Somerset, using either title indifferently. Four earls of Chester had
several sirnames successively one after another--Randolph Meschines had
issue Randolph Gemers, father of Hugh Kivilicke, whose son was Randolph
Blundeville. If yet you wish a more full president, you have it in Lucas
de Hardres, who....

[N. B. The rest is wanting, or rather seems never to have been attempted
by the author.]

       *       *       *       *       *

The distinctions of arms to be borne by the several branches of the family
of Dering, according to Sir Edward Dering, knight and baronet. The younger
sons of the eldest house to give these differences instead of the
crescent, mullet, martlet, etc.:

  The 2d son a bordure sable.
  The 3d son a bordure gules.
  The 4th son a bordure purflewe, argent and azure.
  The 5th son a bordure azure.

Likewise the collar of the buck, their crest, was of the same colour as
their bordure.

Younger houses:

  The 2d house a chief sable.
  The 3d house a chief gules.
  The 4th house....
  The 5th house a chief azure.

Likewise the collar of the buck's head, the crest, the same colour as the

Younger sons of younger houses give the minute difference in the crest
besides the great one in the arms: as Nichs. Dering, of Charing, gives a
mullet on the buck's neck.

_Note._ Nich{s}. Dering quarters both Lambert's arms and Home's, tho'
descended but from one of them; whereas Finch Dering and his son, Brent
Dering, leave out the Home's.

Anthony Dering, son of Anthony by a second venter,[330] gives the fleur de
liz upon the buck's neck. The wreath on which the crest stands is in all
houses Or and sable....


Appendix B.

A very curious illustration of some antient heraldric usages is furnished
by an examination of the armorial bearings of families connected with the
county of Cornwall.

1. The arms of the county of Cornwall are SABLE, FIFTEEN BEZANTS--5. 4. 3.
2 AND 1., with two lions as supporters, and the motto 'One and all.'[331]
This coat is pretended to be derived from Cadoc, or Cradock, earl or duke
of Cornwall in the fifth century.

2. The families of Moreton and De Dunstanville, successively earls of
Cornwall after the Norman Conquest, bore personal arms totally different
from these; yet on the marriage of Roger Valetorte with Joan, daughter of
Reginald de Dunstanville, he surrounded his paternal arms (argent, three
bendlets gules,) with a =bordure sable bezantee=.

3. Whalesborough of Cornwall, temp. Henry III, bore the same arms, with
the =bordure sable bezantee=, whence he is presumed to have been a cadet
of Valetorte.

4. Henry II took the earldom into his own hands, and gave it to his
youngest son John, and John, on coming to the throne, gave it to his
second son, Richard, afterwards king of the Romans and earl of Poictou.
"Richard, 2nd son of king John, in the 9th year of king Henry III, his
brother, being crowned king of the Romans, writ himself _Semper Augustus_,
and had his arms carved on the breast of the Roman =eagle=. He bare
=argent, a lyon rampant gules=, crowned or, within a =bordure sable
bezantee=."[332] "He had," says Nisbet, "nothing of his father's royal
ensigns [his arms being] composed of his two noble Feus, viz. Argent, a
lion rampant gules, crowned or (the arms of Poictiers), surrounded with a
border sable bezantée, or, (the arms of Cornwall,) and which were on his
seal of arms appended to instruments, anno 1226."[333]

5. Edmund, his son and successor, bore the same arms, only omitting the
imperial supporter.

6. The same arms are borne as the ensigns of the borough of Grampound.
Boroughs usually took the arms of their over-lords.

7. Walter de Cornwall, knight of the shire in 1311, an illegitimate
descendant of one of the earls of Cornwall, bore the same arms.[334]

8. Sir Geoffrey Cornwall having taken prisoner the duke of Brittany,
received in reward that nobleman's arms, viz. Ermine, which he made the
field of his own, retaining the lion gules, &c.[335]

The descendants of the bastard offshoot of the earls of Cornwall became
widely scattered, and, according to the practice of antient times, varied
their arms in every house. For example:

9. De Cornewall, and Cornwall of Oxfordshire, bore the =red lion= of
Poictou, debruised by a bend =sable=, charged with three =bezants=.

10. Cornwall of Devon omitted all traces of Poictou, but retained the
characteristics of Cornwall, viz., On a cross patée =sable= five

11. Cornwall of Essex bore the =red lion= of Poictou, the ermine of
Burgundy, and the =sable bordure bezantee= of Cornwall.

12. Cornwall of Salop bore the same, except that he made his lion
reguardant. His descent from the princely stock of Cornwall is hinted at
in his crest, which is a _Cornish Chough_.

In Glover's 'Ordinary' are these two:

13. Cornwayle, Argent, on a fesse =sable=, three =bezants=.

14. Cornwall, Argent, on a cross-patonce =sable=, five =bezants=.

Many other coats borne by this name are given in various works of
reference. Nearly the whole of them retain one or other of the charges and
tinctures of the coat from which they were primarily borrowed. Similar
arms are also borne by other names connected with the county.

15. Chamberlayne, M.P. for Liskeard, temp. Edw. III, bore, Argent on a
bend =sable=, five =bezants=. It seems exceedingly probable that this
gentleman, or one of his ancestors, held the office (unde nomen) of
Chamberlain to the earls of Cornwall, who paid him for his services with a
few of their bezants.

16. Killegrew of Cornwall bore, Argent, an =eagle= displayed with two
heads =sable=, within a =bordure sable bezantee=. _Crest._ A demi-=lyon=
rampant, =gules=, charged on the flank with two =bezants=. I cannot trace
any connexion between this family (which was of great antiquity) and the
earls of Cornwall; but the similarity between these bearings and those of
the king of the Romans is too striking to admit a doubt of some connexion.

17. Cole of Cornwall bears, inter alia, a =bordure sable=, charged
alternately with =bezants= and annulets.

18. Carlyon of Cornwall bore =sable=, between three towers ... a =bezant=.
Query. Did the founder of this family hold the office of castellan to the
earls of Cornwall?

Many Cornish families bear double-headed =eagles=, and the number bearing
=bezants= is really astonishing. In the foregoing enumeration I have
confined myself to such of the latter as are borne upon sable.

It is probable that if the arms of other districts were examined they
would produce a similar result; and I doubt not that, carrying out a large
series of such investigations, the majority of our armorial bearings might
be traced to a comparatively small number of antient baronial coats.


Appendix C.


An Abatement of Honour is defined as a mark introduced into the paternal
coat to indicate some base or ungentlemanlike behaviour on the part of the
bearer. The number of these figures is, as usual, _nine_, and they are all
tinctured of the _stainant_ or disgraceful colours, tenné and sanguine.
The first is the delf tenné, assigned to him who revokes his challenge. 2.
The escocheon reversed sanguine, occupying the middle point of the arms,
is the sign of disgrace proper to him who offends the chastity of virgin,
wife, or widow, or flies from his sovereign's banner. 3. The point-dexter
parted tenné is for him who boasts of valiant actions he never performed.
4. The point-in-point sanguine is the badge of a coward. 5. The point
champaine tenné attaches to him who breaks the laws of chivalry by slaying
a prisoner after he has demanded quarter. 6. The liar should bear the
plain-point sanguine. 7. The gore sinister tenné is the punishment of the
soldier who acts in a cowardly manner towards his enemy. 8. The gusset
sanguine, if on the right side, denotes adultery, and if on the left,
drunkenness. 9. The last and greatest 'abatement of honour' is the
reversing or turning upside down of the whole shield: this belongs to the
traitor. From these abatements originates the expression--"He has a _blot_
in his scutcheon."

It is scarcely necessary to state that 'abatements of honour' exist only
in theory. Who ever did or would voluntarily bear a badge of disgrace?
Every one deserving either of them would sooner relinquish all claim to
the bearing of arms than continue it with such a stigma.

Leigh, Guillim, and other old writers are sufficiently prolix on this
subject, which would seem to belong exclusively to English heraldry; for
Menestrier calls them _English fooleries_ ('Sottises Anglaises,') and
Montagu thinks "we shall seek in vain for a more appropriate designation."

A singular mistake prevails among the vulgar respecting the "bloody hand,"
borne in the arms of Baronets. I have been very seriously and
_confidentially_ told, that murders had been committed by the ancestors of
such and such families, and that the descendants were compelled to bear
this dreadful emblem in consequence. According to the same sapient
authorities, it can only be got rid of by the bearer's submitting, either
in his own person or by proxy, _to pass seven years in a cave, without
either speaking or cutting his nails and beard for that length of time_!
The intelligent reader needs not be informed that this supposed badge of
infamy is really a mark of honour, derived from the arms of the province
of Ulster in Ireland, the defence and colonization of which was the
specious plea upon which the order of Baronets was created by James I.


Appendix D.


(_Referred to at p. 35, note._)

A touts pñts et advenir qui ces pñts lettres verront ou orront Thomais
Trowte autrement dit Norrey roy d'armes du norst de cestuy royalme
d'Angleterre salut et dilection avec humble recomendacion: Equitie veult
et raison ordonne que les homes vertueulx et de noble courage soient
per leurs merites par renommee remunerez et non par seulment leurs
personnes en ceste vie mortelle tant breife & transitoire mes apres euls
ceulx qui de leurs corpes ystront et serront procreez soient en touts
placs degraund honneur perpetuellem{t} devant autres luisans par
certaines ensignes et de monstrances d'honneur et gentillesse. C'est
ascavoir de blason heaillme & tymbre a fine que a leur example autres plus
sefforcent de pseverement user leurs joures en faitz d'armes et ouvres
verteuces pour acquirer la renowme d'auncienne gentillesse en leurs lignes
& posterité: Et pource Je Norrey roy d'armes desusdit que non pas seulm{t}
par commune renoume mais aussi par le report et testemoigne d'autres
nobles homes dignes de fois suy pour vray adverty et enforme que Alan
Trowte natef de la counte de Norff. a longem{t}. poursuey les faicts de
vertues et tant en ce quen autres ces affayres s'est porte vertuesment et
honnor ablement gouverne tellement q'ill a bien deservy et est bien digne
que doresnavannt perpetuellement lui et sa posterite soyent en touts
placs honurables admits, renomeez, countez, nombrez, et receivez en nombre
et en la campaigne dez autreiz auncients gentils et nobleis hommes: et
pour la remembrance du celle sagentilesse par sa vertue del authorite et
povoir annexes et attribues a men dit office de roy d'armes Jay devise,
ordonne et assignee au dit Alan Trowte par luy et sa dite posterite le
blason, heaulme et tymbre, en la maniere qui sensuit c'est ascavoir ung
escu d'or ung cheveron de purpure troys testes moriens de sable crounes de
troyes trovels d'argent: le timbre sur le heaulme ung teste morien assis
dedans ung torse entre deux eliez pale du Champ et du cheveron & emant
elle de sables sommees de cinq foyles doublee d'or si come le picture en
le merge cy devant le demonstre: A voyir et tenir par luy et sa dit
posterite et eux on revestir a tous jourmais. En testemoiging de ce Je
Norrey roy d'armes desus nomée ay signe de ma main et selle de mon seale
ces p'senteis fait et donne a Londrez le viij jour de novebre l'an de
ñre seig{n} Jesus Christ mccclxxvj et l'an de ñre seig{n} roy Edwarde le
Tierce apres le conquest xvj.

    This Patent was examined with the Record in the College of Arms by
    Charles Townley, York Herald, 29. Apr. 1745.

N. B. There is a mistake in the date, either in the year of Our Lord, or
of the King.


Appendix E.


That the curious relic of brass found at Lewes (alluded to at p. 39[336]),
was the sword-pommel of Prince Richard, King of the Romans, was an easy
and natural inference from its rounded form, so similar to that observed
on ancient swords, and from its being found where that Prince is known to
have been engaged in the great battle of 1264. Further examination,
however, proves this supposition to be erroneous, and by reference to page
589, in vol. xxv of 'Archæologia,' it will be seen so closely to
resemble, in form, material, workmanship, and heraldic bearings, the two
ancient steelyard weights found in Norfolk, and there represented, that
its identity with their former use must be at once recognized. The Lewes
relic is smaller than the two other weights, and is deficient in the upper
part, through which the suspending hook was passed, but, as it now weighs
18-1/2 oz., it was probably, when perfect, a 2 lbs. weight. It is
remarkable that all these weights, thus found at distant localities, and
all evidently of the same era, the thirteenth century, should bear the
arms of the King of the Romans,[337] though in each instance intentionally
varied, in order, probably, to signify more readily to the eye the
intended amount of each weight when in use. Sandford (Geneal. Hist., p.
95) says that the King of the Romans did not bear the arms of his father,
King John, but on the larger Norfolk specimen the three royal lions are
exhibited passant, sinisterwise, a remarkable difference, of which only
one other similar example is known, on the ancient stamped tiles of
Horsted-Keynes Church, co. Sussex, where the Prince's arms, as earl of
Cornwall, are also extant. This Prince had a grant of the stanneries and
mines of Cornwall, held by service of five knights' fees, (vide Dugdale's
Baronage,) and Sandford says that "he got much money by farming the mint,"
but he would not appear to derive from these sources any peculiar right to
stamp with his own arms all the weights of the kingdom. He is also
mentioned (Madox, Hist. Exch.) as sitting with others of the king's
council in the Court of Exchequer in 14{o} and 54{o} of Henry III: there
was an ancient officer of that court, called a Pesour, Ponderator, or
Weigher, but the family of Windesore held this office for four generations
by hereditary serjeantry, during the reigns of kings John and Henry III.
It would seem more probable, therefore, that these weights were stamped
with his arms,[338] by the king of the Romans, in the ordinary exercise of
his baronial rights, for the common use of his own officers in his widely
extended domains, and especially for those of his own personal household,
in order efficiently to check the entries and deliveries of the stores of
food and forage necessary for the supply of his numerous retinue. The
contemporary accounts of his sister, the Princess Eleanor, wife of the
great Simon, earl of Leicester, in 1265 (recently published by the
Roxburghe Club), show with what minute detail and accuracy such expenses
in a large household were regulated, and superintended by the steward of a
great personage. The steward of the king of the Romans may have been thus
busily employed at Lewes in measuring out with this identical weight their
scanty rations to his Cornish troops, until surprised by the hurry of the
fatal battle, in which--for human bones were found with the weight near
the Castle gateway--he may have continued to clutch it faithfully, even in
death. Prince Richard embarked at Yarmouth in 1253, on his way to his
coronation as king, at Aix-la-Chapelle, and he went to Cologne in 1267, to
marry his German bride, Beatrice. On one of these occasions, when he would
have been accompanied by a large suite, or on some other passage through
Norfolk, which was a customary route to Germany, the two interesting
weights found there may have been accidentally dropped.




[1] Yorke's 'Union of Honour.'

[2] The general ignorance of Heraldry even among the well-educated may be
illustrated by the fact that not many months since the Commissioners of
Assessed Taxes decided that a person who sealed his letters with a Thistle
surrounded by the words '=Dinna Forget=,' was liable to the charge for
armorial bearings, albeit the device contained neither shield, helmet,
wreath, nor any other _necessary_ element of heraldric insignia!

[3] Woodham's 'Application of Heraldry to the Illustration of various
University and Collegiate Antiquities;' Nos. 4 and 5 of the publications
of the Cambridge Antiq. Soc.--an interesting essay, which would be none
the worse if divested of a few remarks on "church principles,"
"conventicles," "Cobbett," and the "Morning Chronicle,"--subjects as
irrelevant as the whims of old Morgan, or any other heraldric writer of
the sixteenth or seventeenth century.

[4] Woodham.

[5] Grimaldi. Orig. Gen. p. 82.

[6] Vide p. 254.

[7] Some curious specimens (for example) of this kind of history occur in
the writings of John Rous of Warwick, temp. Edw. IV. His _History of
England_ is compiled indiscriminately _from the Bible_ and from monastic
writers. Moses, he tells us, does not mention all the cities founded
before the deluge, but Barnard de Breydenback, dean of Mayence, does! With
the same taste he acquaints us, that, though the book of Genesis says
nothing of the matter, Giraldus Cambrensis writes, that Caphera or Cesera,
Noah's niece, being apprehensive of the deluge, set out for Ireland,
where, with three men and fifty women, she arrived safe with one ship, the
rest perishing in the general destruction! Vide Walpole's Historic Doubts.

[8] Morgan. Adam's Shield, p. 99.

[9] Morgan. Adam's Shield, p. 100.

[10] "God himselfe set a marke upon Cain. But you perhaps will say, that
was Stigma, and not Digma, a brand, not an ornament." Bolton's Armories.

[11] 'Three _rests_ gules.' A difference of opinion exists as to what this
charge represents. Some blazon it a _horseman's rest_, and assert that it
was the _rest_ in which the tilting-spear was fixed. Others contend that
it was a wind instrument called the Clarion or Claricorde; while "Leigh
and Boswell will have them to be _sufflues_, instruments which transmit
the wind from the bellows to the organ." Lastly, Minsheu advises those who
blazon them _rests_, to call them brackets or _organ-rests_; and this is
evidently the sense implied by Morgan.


[12] The correctness of these extracts, historically and etymologically
considered, needs no comment.

[13] Numb. ii. 2. "Every man shall pitch by his own standard, with the
ensign of his father's house."

[14] Gen. xlix.

[15] He couched as a lion....

[16] Zebulon shall be for an haven of ships....

[17] Issachar is a strong ass couching down between two burdens....

[18] Dan shall be a serpent by the way....

[19] He shall yield royal dainties....

[20] Naphtali is a hind let loose ... &c. &c. &c.

[21] Sprinkled with drops of water.

[22] Morgan gives the preamble of the Letters Patent of King David _for
the warrant of a pedigree_. It commences with "Omnibus, &c. David, Dei
gratiâ Rex Juda et Israel, universis et singulis," &c.!!

[23] Leigh's Accedens of Armory.

[24] Boke of St. Alb. It will be seen in this extract that the origin of
arms is referred to other times than those mentioned in the former
quotations. Several similar discrepancies occur in the work, proving it to
have been a compilation from different and conflicting authorities.

[25] Miscellaneous Collection.

[26] See vignette at the head of this chapter.

[27] Those who wish for other examples of this fictitious heraldry may
find in Ferne's 'Blazon of Gentrie,' the arms of Osyris king of Egypt,
Hercules king of Lybia, Macedonus, Anubis, Minerva, Semiramis, Tomyris,
Delborah (Judge of Israell), Jahel the Kenite, and Judith. These six last
mentioned, together with the Empress Maud, Elizabeth of Arragon, and Joan
of Naples, constitute the "nine worthies amongst women." Ferne, 220 et
seq., where their arms are engraved.

Upon the accession of James VI of Scotland to the throne of England, a
controversy arose between the heralds of the two nations respecting the
priority of right to the first quarter in the British achievement. The
Scottish officers maintained that as Scotland was the older sovereignty,
its tressured lion should take precedence of the three lions-passant, or,
as they called them, the _leopards_, of England. This was an indignity
which the English heralds could not brook, and they employed Sir William
Segar to investigate the antiquity of our national ensigns. Segar's
treatise on this subject, dedicated to his majesty, contains some fine
examples of fictitious heraldry. He begins with the imaginary story of
Brutus, king of Britain, a thousand years before the Christian era, and
his division of the island between his three sons. To Locheren, the
eldest, he gave that portion afterwards called England, with arms 'Or, a
Lion passant-guardant, gules.' To his second son, Toalknack, he assigned
Albania, or Scotland, with 'Or, a Lion rampant, gules,' which, says he,
with the addition of the double tressure, continue the arms of Scotland.
And to his youngest son he gave Cambria, with 'Argent, three Lions
passant-guardant, gules,' which the princes of Wales used for a long time.
Vide Nisbet's Essay on Arm. p. 162.

Bolton (Elements of Armories, 1610, p. 14,) gives the arms of Caspar and
Balthasar, two of the three kings who, guided by the 'Star in the East,'
came to worship our Saviour at Bethlehem. He admits, indeed, that there is
no 'canonicall proofe' of them, yet appears to think that a painting "in
the mother church of Canterburie, upon a wal, on the left hand, as you
enter the north ile of the first quire," is pretty respectable authority!
It was a favourite crotchet with this writer, that heraldry did not owe
its origin to any particular period or nation, but that it sprang from the
light of nature.

[28] Story of Thebes, p. 2.

[29] Romulus.

[30] Vide Donaldson on the Connexion between Heraldry and Gothic
Architecture, &c. &c. &c.

The far-renowned shield of Achilles was covered with so great a number of
figures _pictorially disposed_, that it resembled modern heraldry still
less than those above alluded to.

[31] Essay on Armories, p. 4.

[32] From a contemporary picture at Castle-Ashby, engraved in Pennant's
Journey from Chester to London.

[33] It is scarcely necessary to remind the reader that all early nations
had their national emblems, for the ox of the Egyptians, the owl of the
Athenians, the eagle of the Romans, and the white horse of the Saxons
(retained in the arms of Saxony and of Kent), must occur to the
recollection of every one.

[34] Vide the next chapter, where a _rationale_ of these figures is

[35] Dallaway, p. 9.

[36] _Blazon_ is closely allied to the Anglo-Saxon BLAWAN, to blow. There
are some however who deduce it from the German, _blasse_, a mark.--_Vide
Montagu's Guide_, p. 14.

[37] Planché Hist. Brit. Costume.

[38] Those who contend for the earlier origin of heraldry adduce a certain
shield occurring in the Bayeux tapestry, and resembling a modern coat
charged with a cross coupée between five roundles; but whatever may be
said of the cross, the roundles are probably only the studs or rivets of
the shield. Again, as there are several shields in which the ornaments are
exactly alike, the arms of a family cannot be intended. They also bring
forward the encaustic tiles taken up from the floor of a monastery at Caen
by Mr. Henniker, and now in the possession of the Society of Antiquaries,
which they presume to have been laid down at the time of the foundation of
the abbey in 1064. The arms upon these, supposed to have been those of
benefactors, have been proved to belong to a date considerably posterior.
Among them are the arms of England, three lions passant, an ensign which
had no existence till the reign of Richard I, upwards of a century later
than the foundation of the monastery of Caen.

[Illustration: (Caen Tile.)]

[39] Dallaway.

[40] _Lybbardes_--leopards. It has long been a matter of controversy
between French and English armorists, whether the charges of our royal
arms were originally leopards or lions. Napoleon always derisively called
them leopards. The author of the 'Roll of Karlaverok,' described in a
future page, speaking of the banner of Edward I, says it contained "three
leopards courant of fine gold, set on red, fierce, haughty, and
cruel."--_Nicolas' Karlav._ p. 23.

Nisbet, who, as a Scotchman, viewed English heraldry with a somewhat
supercilious eye, decides in favour of leopards, and cites the 'Survey of
London,' by John Stowe, who quotes a record of the city of London, stating
that Frederick, Emperor of Germany, in 1225, sent to Henry III three
living leopards, "in token of the regal shield of arms." The same author
likewise mentions an order of Edward II to the Sheriff of London, to pay
the keeper of the King's leopards in the Tower of London sixpence a day
for the sustenance of the leopards.--_Nisbet's Essay on Armories_, p. 163.

[41] Dallaway; but Nisbet (Armories, p. 61,) alludes to earlier examples

[42] Salverte. Essai sur les Noms d'Hommes, (Paris, 1824.) vol. I, p. 240.

[43] Dall. pp. 31-32. The offering of trophies to the Deity is of a much
earlier origin, and it was derived from the nations of antiquity. The Old
Testament furnishes us with several instances, the classics with many
more: "It was very common," says Robinson, "to dedicate the armour of the
enemy, and to suspend it in temples."--Vide Homer, Iliad, vii. 81, "I will
bear his armour to Troy, and hang it up in the temple of Apollo;" and
Virgil, Æn. vii, describes a temple hung round with

  ----"helmets, darts and spears,
  And captive chariots, axes, shields, and bars,
  And broken beaks of ships, _the trophies of their wars_."
                                    _Dryden_, vii. 252.

But, what is more to our purpose, "It was also customary to dedicate to
the gods their own weapons, when they retired from the noise of war to a
private life." (Rob. Archæolog. Græc.) From I Sam. xxi, 9, it appears that
David, after his victory over Goliath, had dedicated the Philistine's
sword to God as a trophy. "Behold it is here," says the priest, on a
subsequent occasion, "wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod." In I Chron. x,
10, we read that the Philistines put the armour of Saul "in the house of
their gods, and fastened his head in the temple of Dagon;" and, in xxvi,
27, we are told that "out of the spoils won in battles did they (the
Israelites) dedicate to maintain the House of the Lord."

[44] Hist. Poet. i, 302.

[45] The second book of Upton's treatise, written in the fifteenth
century, is entitled 'Of _Veterans_, now called Heralds.'

[46] Nicolas' Karlaverok, p. 4.

[47] Nicolas' Karlaverok, p. 44. The charge here blazoned, a cross patée,
is, in fact, a cross patonce.

[48] Ibid., Notes, p. 368.

[49] Waterhouse's Discourse, p. 77.

[50] Let it not be understood from this remark that I mean in the
slightest degree to advocate war as a means of acquiring national
greatness. The war which Edward waged against France was totally
unjustifiable; and the desolating civil wars which followed the
misgovernment of his pusillanimous grandson Richard, were (as many of our
subsequent wars have been) a disgrace to the very name of England.

[51] Strutt's Roy. and Eccl. Antiq.

[52] Holinshed.

[53] The engraving above is from Royal MS., 14 E. iii. Brit. Mus.

[54] Decline and Fall, v. 6, p. 59.

[55] Apparently the village of Retiers, near Rennes, in Brittany.

[56] De Controversia in Curia Militari inter R. de Scrope and R.
Grosvenor, Milites, Rege Ricardo Secundo, 1385-1390. E Recordis in Turre,
Lond. Asservatis, vol. i, p. 178.

[57] Vide Historical and Allusive Arms; Loud. 1803, p. 43, et seq.
Anecdotes of Heraldry and Chivalry; Worcester, 1795.

[58] Hutchinson's Cumberland, vol. i, p. 314. The arms borne by a junior
branch of the Blencowes are 'Gules, a quarter argent,' the original coat
of the family. The baron of Graystock's grant is sometimes borne as a
quartering. The arms of his lordship, from which it is borrowed, were
'Barry of six, _argent_ and _azure_, over all three _chaplets_ gules.'
According to a family tradition, Adam de Blencowe was standard-bearer to
the Baron. Vide West's Antiquities of Furness, quoted by Hutchinson.

[59] Montagu's Study of Heraldry, Appendix A.

[60] One of the earliest grants of Arms preserved in the Heralds' Coll. is
printed in the Appendix. It is of the time of Edward III.

[61] "Nihil sibi insignii accidisse quia nec ipse nec majores sui in bello
unquam descendissent." Waterhouse, quoted by Dallaway.

[62] Dallaway.

[63] This was called _dimidiation_.

[64] The dimidiated coat represented on p. 36, is not the arms of a
family, but those of the corporation of Hastings. Here three demi-lions
are conjoined with three sterns of antient ships--a composition compared
with which the griffin, cockatrice, and every other _hybrid_ of a herald's
imagination sinks into insignificance. That this singular shield is a
dimidiation of two antient coats cannot be doubted. Three ships, in all
probability, formed the original arms of the town--the dexter-half of the
royal arms of England having been superimposed in commemoration of some
great immunity granted to this antiently important corporation.

[65] Query--Might not some of our English maidens, who are verging
somewhat on the _antique_, resort to this mode of advertising for a
husband with advantage? The odious appellation of "old maids" would then
give place to the more courteous one of "Ladies of the half-blank shield."

[66] Nisbet's Essay on Armories, p. 70.

[67] A lineal ancestor of Sir John Shelley, Bart. The date of the lady's
death is 1513.

[68] In the great hall at Fawsley, co. Northampton, the seat of Sir
Charles Knightly, Bart., is a shield containing the unprecedented number
of 334 quarterings. Vide Baker's Northampton, vol. i, p. 386.

[69] Vide Appendix.

[70] In the Temple Church, London. Tomb of Sir Geoffrey de Magnaville.
Vide woodcut at the head of the Preface.

[71] Boke of St. A. and Dall.

[72] The arms of the See of Hereford at this day are identical with those
of Thomas Cantilupe, who held the episcopate in the thirteenth century,
and was canonized as St. Thomas of Hereford, 34{o} Edward I.

[73] It is almost unnecessary to observe that the expression 'a merchant's
mark' is by no means appropriate; for such devices were employed in a
great variety of ways. They appear, primarily, to have been used as
signatures by illiterate though wealthy merchants, who could not write
their names. At a later date they were employed for _marking_ bales of
goods. Within the last century, many flockmasters in the South of England
used them for marking sheep. Although the illiterate of our own times
substitute a + for their proper names, it was far otherwise two centuries
ago, when they generally made a rude monogram, or _peculiar_ mark,
analogous to the merchant's mark of earlier date.

[74] Dallaway.

[75] C. S. Gilbert's Hist. Cornw. vol. i, Introd. to Herald.

[76] Historical and Allusive Arms, p. 347.

[77] Montagu, Study of Heraldry. But this is, perhaps, an isolated
instance of such early date, for Dame Julyan Berners, more than a century
later, says, "There be vi differences in armys; ij for the excellent and
iiij for the nobles; Labelle and Enborduryng for lordis; Jemews,
Mollettys, Flowre delyce and Quintfoyles for the nobles," (i. e. gentry).

[78] Cited by Dall. p. 127.

[79] Memoirs, p. 287. Cott. MS., Calig. A. xviii.

[80] Vide my English Surnames, 2d edition, p. 194 et seq.

[81] Montagu, p. 42.

[82] If Heraldry had to be established _de novo_, something of the sort
might be done, by giving each family a patent right to a particular
ordinary, provided the ordinaries were much more numerous than they are.
But as nearly every ordinary and charge is common to many families,
Dugdale's system cannot possibly be carried out.

[83] Hugh Clark's 'Introduction to Heraldry,' which may be purchased for a
few shillings, contains everything necessary to a thorough knowledge of
the art of blazon.

[84] Spenser uses this word:

  "How the red roses flush up in her cheeks,
  And the pure snow with goodly _vermeil_ stain."

[85] Roll of Karlaverok, p. 26.

[86] In the 'Secretes of Master Alexis of Piedmont' are many recipes for
making this article.

[87] There is an extraordinary difference of opinion respecting the
Mediæval Latin, _Sinopis_. Ducange, with the authorities quoted above,
make its colour green; but the _sinoper_, or ruddle of commerce, is of a
dark red or purplish hue. In one of the Cottonian MSS. Nero, c. vi, fol.
156, is the following account of it: "Sinopim, colorem videlicet illum
cujus tres sunt species, videlicet _rubea_, _subrubea_, et inter has
media, invenerunt primitus, ut scribit Ysidorus viri regionis Ponticæ in
urbe eorum quam solent ipsi Sinopem vocitare."

[88] Page 205.

[89] It is a prevailing error that the bend sinister is a mark of
dishonour, as betokening illegitimacy; this seems to have arisen from its
having been confounded with the baton, which bearing differs from it both
in being much narrower, and in being cut off from the borders of the

[90] Among the sovereign states whose armorial ensigns are formed of such
stripes are Cyprus, Hungary, Saxony, Austrasia, Burgundy, Arragon, and
Germany under the descendants of Louis the Debonaire. The private families
who bear armories so formed are innumerable.--_Brydson_, p. 66.

[91] These, as Mr. Planché (Hist. Brit. Costume, p. 151,) observes, are
mostly heraldric terms. Ounding, or _undeing_, signifies a waved pattern
or edge.

[92] Blaauw's Barons' War.

[93] Mylneris, miller's; yrne, iron; mylnys, mills; mylne-ston,

[94] Furetiere, quoted by Dall.

[95] Accid. fol. 121.

[96] By a statute of temp. Edw. II. (apud Winton) every person not having
a greater annual revenue in land than 100 pence, was compelled to have in
his possession a bow and arrows, with other arms both offensive and
defensive; but all such as had no possessions (in land), but could afford
to purchase arms, were commanded to have a bow with sharp arrows if they
resided without the royal forests, and a bow with round-headed arrows if
their habitation was within the forests. The words of the statute are,
"Ark et setes hors de foreste, et en foreste ark et _piles_." The word
pile is supposed to be derived from the Latin 'pila,' a ball; and Strutt
supposes this kind of missile to have been used to _prevent_ the owners
from killing the king's deer. In the following reign archery, as a pastime
of the common people, began to be neglected, which occasioned the king to
send a letter of complaint to the sheriffs of London, desiring them to see
that the leisure time upon holidays was spent in the use of the bow. In
the thirty-ninth year of this reign, 1365, the penalty incurred by
offenders was imprisonment at the king's pleasure. The words of the letter
are, "arcubus et sagittis, vel _pilettis_ aut boltis," with bow and
arrows, or piles or bolts. _Vide Strutt's Sports and Pastimes. Edit.
Hone_, pp. 54, 55.

[97] Nisbet.

[98] Vide p. 47, Arms of Echingham, &c.

[99] '_Gules_, a tri-corporated lyon issuant out of the three corners of
the field, and meeting under one head in fesse, _or_,' was the coat-armour
of Edmund Crouchback, second son of Henry III. This is the earliest
specimen of _differencing_ I have met with.

[100] This is the usual notion of the old armorists, but Bossewell gives a
different statement: "The pellicane feruently loueth her [young] byrdes.
Yet when thei ben haughtie, and beginne to waxe hote, they smite her in
the face and wounde her, and she smiteth them againe and sleaeth (kills)
them. And after three daies she mourneth for them, and then striking
herself in the side till the bloude runne out, she sparpleth it upon
theire bodyes, and by vertue thereof they quicken againe."--Armorie of
Honour, fol. 69. On the brass of Wm. Prestwick, dean of Hastings, in
Warbleton church, co. Sussex, there is a representation of a pelican
feeding her young with her blood, and the motto on a scroll above,

'=Sic Epus dilerit nos=,'--'Thus hath Christ loved us.'

[101] The Heraldry of Fish, by Thomas Moule, Esq. London, 1842.

[102] Vide cut at the head of this chapter.

[103] Loadstone.

[104] Op. Maj. edit. Jebb. 232.

[105] Halliwell's Sir John Maundevile, p. 319.

[106] Succinct Account of Religions and Sects, sect. 4, No. 42.

[107] Some of the Greek coins of Sicily bear an impress of three legs
conjoined, exactly similar to this fanciful charge, except that they are
naked, and have at the point of conjunction a Mercury's head.

[108] Dallaway.

[109] The flower of the 'sword-grass, a kind of sedge.' _Dict._

[110] A work on the Fleur-de-Lis, in 2 vols. 8vo (!), was published in
France in 1837.

[111] The following jest on the _fleur-de-lis_ may amuse some readers. Sir
William Wise "having lente to the King (Henry VIII) his signet to seale a
letter, who having powdred eremites engrayl'd in the seale, [qy.
ermine?--Several families of Wise bear this fur:] 'Why, how now, Wise,'
quoth the King, 'What? hast thou _lice_ here?' 'And if it like your
Majestie,' quoth Sir William, 'a _louse_ is a rich coate, for, by giving
the louse, I part armes with the French King, in that he giveth the
_floure de lice_.' Whereat the king heartily laugh'd, to heare how pretily
so byting a taunt (namely, proceeding from a Prince,) was so sodaynely
turned to so pleasaunte a conceyte." (Stanihurst's Hist. of Ireland in
Holinshed's Chron.) Nares thinks that Shakspeare, who is known to have
been a reader of Holinshed, took his conceit of the '_white lowses_,'
which 'do become an old coat well,' in the Merry Wives of Windsor, from
this anecdote. (Heraldic Anom. vol. i, p. 204.)

[112] Essay on Armories, p. 10.

[113] Chevaux-de-frise (in fortification), large joists of wood stuck full
of wooden spikes, armed with iron, to stop breaches, or to secure the
passes of a camp.--_Bailey's Dict._

[114] Heywood's Epigrams and Prov. 1566. No. 13.

[115] _Wende_, thought; _mulne_, mill.

[116] Modern naturalists place it in the class cryptogamia, and give it
the name of _Tremella nostoc_.

[117] In reading this list it will be seen that it contains several
monsters not of the 'Gothick' but of the Classical era, as the chimera,
harpy, and sagittary; but it is a curious and characteristic fact that the
purely classical monsters were never great favourites in heraldry.

[118] Nisbet on Armories, edit. 1718; pp. 12-13.

[119] Workes of Armorie, folio 66.

[120] Cocatryse, basilicus, _cocodrillus_! Prompt. Parv. Camd. Soc.

[121] Hence sometimes called the basilisk, from the Greek [Greek:

[122] Mallet (Northern Antiquities, ch. ix) says, "The thick misshapen
walls winding round a rude fortress, on the summit of a rock, were often
called by a name signifying SERPENT or DRAGON. Women of distinction were
commonly placed in such castles for security. Thence the romancers
invented so many fables, concerning princesses of great beauty guarded by
dragons and afterwards delivered by young heroes, who could not achieve
their rescue till they had overcome those terrible guards."

[123] Anon, Parag.

[124] Brydson's Summary View.

[125] Probably, also, by frightening their horses, to throw their ranks
into confusion.

[126] By an oversight in the drawing some small vestiges of wings have
been omitted.

[127] Barons' War, p. 168.

[128] 'Sir Degore.' Warton's Hist. Poet., p. 180, ibid.

[129] Barons' War, p. 169.

[130] "Regius locus fuit inter _draconem_ et standardum."

[131] Barnes's Hist. Edw. III.

[132] Vide Promptorium Parvulorum, Camd. Soc. voc. _griffown_. Leigh's
Accedens, &c.

[133] Æn. iii, 212, &c.

[134] Vide Vignette at the head of this Chapter for Maundevile's
representation of an Ipotayne.

[135] Kitto's Pictorial Bible, Job xxxix.

[136] Vide Congregational Mag. 1842 or 43.

[137] Kitto, ut sup.

[138] "What reason," asks Morgan, "can be given why the three brothers,
Warren, Gourney, and Mortimer, should every one bear a severall coat, and
derive (hand down) their sirnames to posterity, all of them yet retaining
the metal and colour of or and azure, the one _checky_, the other _pally_,
and the other _barry_?" Armilogia, p. 41.

[139] Huge.

[140] Accedens, fol. 194 et seq.

[141] Heralds.

[142] Accedens, fol. 7.

[143] Sphere, Nobility Native, p. 101.

[144] Ibid.

[145] Bibl. Herald, p. 168.

[146] Accedens, fol. 90.

[147] Ib. fol. 92.

[148] Accedens, fol. 98.

[149] Display, p. 230.

[150] Ibid. p. 203.

[151] Ibid. p. 215.

[152] These seem originally to have been arms of office. Their "character
was strictly emblematical, and their import obvious, consisting, as they
generally did, of a representation of the various official implements or
ensigns." "Little doubt can be entertained but that much of our personal
heraldry is derived from such a source." (Woodham's Application of
Heraldry to the Illustration of Collegiate Antiquities, p. 79.)

[153] Between 1240 and 1245. (LXIV in Coll. Arm.)

[154] Chaffinch.

[155] Sphere of Gentry.

[156] Vide cut at the head of the present chapter.

[157] Vide English Surnames, p. 72, second edit.

[158] Gibbon, Bluemantle pursuivant, who flourished subsequently to
Camden, made a collection of "Allusive Arms" containing some thousands of
such coats. His MS. is in the College of Arms.

[159] Vide the Chapter of Rebuses, appended to my 'English Surnames,'
second edit. p. 261.

[160] It is a fact not unworthy of notice that Nicholas Breakspeare (Pope
Adrian IV) and William Shakspeare both bore canting-arms; the former, 'Gu,
a broken spear, or;' and the dramatist, 'Argent, on a bend sable, a spear
of the first.'

[161] Debrett, edited by Wm. Courthope, Esq. [now Rouge-Croix.]

[162] Essai sur les Noms, &c., I, 240.

[163] Brydson's Summary View of Heraldry, pp. 98-9.

[164] Menestrier.

[165] Study of Heraldry, p. 70.

[166] Berry, Encycl. Herald.

[167] The ducal coronet antiently denoted command, and the chapeau,
dignity; but in their modern application they have no such meaning.

[168] Edward III is the first monarch who introduced a crest (the lion
statant-guardant) into his great seal. But this cannot be regarded as the
first instance of the use of crests, for they appear nearly half a century
earlier upon the seals of Edmund Crouchback, Earl of Lancaster. That they
were in common use in Chaucer's time is obvious from the poet's
description of the one borne by Sire Thopas, the tower and lily. Vide page

[169] The crest of Exmew is generally blazoned as 'a dove supporting a
text =r= by a branch of laurel.' As to the letter, it is certainly an X,
not an R; and the bird is quite as much like a sea-gull, or MEW, as a
dove. Hence a rebus upon the name was doubtless intended =x=-MEW! The
crest of Bourchier shows the manner in which the crest was affixed to the

[170] Herald-painters of the present day neglect this rule, and generally
paint the mantlings red, doubled or lined with white or ermine.

[171] In the seal of Ela, Countess of Salisbury, who was born in 1196, two
lions rampant, or rather _crawling_, are introduced to fill up the spaces
_on each side of the lady's effigies_. It is engraved in Sandford's
Geneal. Hist.

[172] The following are the royal supporters, as given in Sandford's
Genealogical History: Richard II, two angels; Henry IV, swan and antelope;
Henry V, lion and antelope; Henry VI, two antelopes; Edward IV, lion and
bull; Edward V, lion and hind; Richard III, two boars; Henry VII, dragon
and greyhound; Henry VIII, lion and dragon; Edward VI, lion-guardant
crowned and dragon; Mary, eagle and lion; Elizabeth, as Edward VI; James
I, &c. lion and unicorn, as at present.

[173] According to Nisbet, the earliest royal supporters of England were
two angels. The transition from one angel to two, and from two angels to
two quadrupeds is very natural.

[174] C. S. Gilbert's Cornwall, pl. 3.

[175] Ormerod's Cheshire.

[176] Archæologia, vol. xxx.

[177] Hone's Table Book.

[178] In the above sketch I have ventured to supply the head which in the
original is wanting.

[179] Montagu, Guide, p. 48.

[180] The coat-armour of a great family was of too sacred a character to
be used as the personal ornament or distinction of their retainers, the
private herald only excepted; and it was long ere this functionary was
allowed to invest himself in his master's armorials.

[181] Vide Chapter IX.

[182] Viz. Warbleton Priory, Robertsbridge Abbey, and the churches of
Thundridge, (co. Herts.), Crowhurst, Burwash, Laughton, Chiddingly, Ripe,
East Hothly, Wartling, and Dallington. As a proof of the value of
heraldric insignia in ascertaining the founders of antient buildings, it
may be remarked that, so far as I am aware, the Buckles which adorn the
whole of the _churches_ here enumerated, furnish the only evidence (and
most irrefragable evidence it must certainly be admitted to be) that the
family of Pelham were concerned in their erection or enlargement. There
are _histories_ as well as 'sermons' 'in stones!'

[183] From a Paper on the 'Pelham Buckle' read before the first meeting of
the Archæological Association at Canterbury, 11th September, 1844.

[184] Montagu.

[185] The dogs here alluded to were greyhounds, a Yorkist badge.

[186] Guide, p. 59.

[187] Still retained in the collar of SS.

[188] Vide Chapter XI.

[189] The 'Hawthorn' is probably the 'crown in a bush,' used in
conjunction with the letters =H. R.= as the badge of Henry VII. This badge
originated in the finding of the crown of Richard III in a bush after the
battle of Bosworth-Field. (Vide Fosbroke's Encycl. of Antiq. p. 757.)

[190] Montagu, p. 75, from a MS. in the Pepys. Lib. Cambridge.

[191] Vide Exodus, iii, 14.

[192] Vide Judges, vii, 18.

[193] By _Montjoye_ is supposed to be intended the national banner, on
which the figure of some saint was embroidered.

[194] The motto of the royal arms, 'Dieu et mon droit,' is older, and is
ascribed to Richard I.

[195] Guide, p. 56.

[196] The modern motto of the family is 'Crede Biron.'

[197] 'Per linguam bos inambulat.' Ant. proverb.

[198] Vide 'The Principal Historical and Allusive Arms borne by Families
of the United Kingdom; collected by an Antiquary,' quarto, Lond. 1803.
Moule says, "But few copies of the work were sold, and the remaining
impressions were destroyed in the fire at the printing-office, which has
rendered it _a particularly scarce book_." (Bibl. Herald., p. 497.) On
this account I am induced to make extensive use of the volume, and to
carry this chapter much beyond my original intention.

[199] Archæologia, xxix.

[200] Harl. MS. 2035.

[201] "Arthgal, the first Earl of Warwick, in the days of King Arture, and
was one of the Round Table; this Arthgal took a _bere_ in his arms, for
that, in Britisch, soundeth a bere in English." (Leland's Collect.)

[202] A very similar coat of arms, borne by the Lloyds of Denbighshire,
Barts., is said to have originated under similar circumstances in 1256.

[203] Hist. and Allusive Arms.

[204] Ibid.

[205] Fun. Mon., p. 629.

[206] Vide 'English Surnames,' 2d edit. p. 100.

[207] Vol. ii, p. 87, edit. 1768.

[208] Enumerated at p. 146.

[209] The vignette at the head of the present chapter was copied from a
brick at Laughton Place. The inscription, which is in relievo, is W. P.

[210] The painting is upon panel. An engraving of it is given in Bigland's
Gloucester, vol. i, p. 312. Hist. and Allus. Arms, p. 52.

[211] Hist. and Allus. Arms, p. 60.

[212] I use the present tense _bear_, although in many cases the families
may have become extinct.

[213] Gough's Camden, vol. i, p. 89.

[214] _Bowles_--'Azure, a crescent argent, in chief the sun or.'
_Smith_--'Vert a cheveron gules between three Turks' heads couped in
profile proper, their turbans or.' This was an augmentation borne
quarterly with the antient arms of Smith.

[215] Supporters of Sir William Draper, K. B. (Hist. and Allus. Arms, p.

[216] Vide Robertson, Smollet, Stewart, &c. _in loco_; Grose's Antiq. of
Scotland, &c.

[217] Hist. and Allus. Arms, pp. 316-18.

[218] The name of Carlos is presumed to have become extinct; that of
Penderell is by no means so. The representative of the family still
continues to receive the pension of 100 marks originally granted to
Richard Penderell. Several members of the family, in various conditions in
life, have been connected for some generations with the county of Sussex.
One of them, a few years since, kept an inn at Lewes, bearing the sign of
the _Royal Oak_.

[219] A lion rampant within a double tressure, &c.

[220] A unicorn.

[221] Sable, a cheveron between three astroits, or mullets, argent.
(Historical and Allusive Arms.)

[222] Ibid.

[223] Hist. and Allus. Arms, p. 400.

[224] Hist. and Allus. Arms. (1803.)

[225] "Over against the parish church [of St. Olave, Southwark] on the
south side of the streete was sometime one great house builded of stone,
with arched gates, which pertained to the Prior of Lewes in Sussex, and
was his lodging when he came to London: it is now a common hostelry for
travellers, and hath to sign the Walnut-Tree." (_Stowe_, p. 340.) The last
remains of this inn were destroyed in making the approach to the new
London Bridge. For an account of them, see 'Archæologia,' vol. xxv, p.

[226] The supporters of this family are 'two leopards argent, spotted

[227] Page 437.

[228] Peerage, II, 486.

[229] In the History of Birds, by the Rev. Edward Stanley (now Bishop of
Norwich), vol. i, 119, are some interesting anecdotes of the asportation
of infants by eagles, illustrative of the family crest, and the
corresponding story of King Alfred's peer, "Nestingum," who received that
name from his having been found, in infancy, in the nest of an eagle. For
further remarks, vide Mr. Ormerod's interesting paper on the "Stanley
Legend," in the Collect. Topog. et Geneal. vol. vii, which has been
reprinted in the form of a private tract.

[230] Penes Rev. Henry Latham, M. A., Rector of Selmeston, &c. &c., to
whose kindness I am much indebted.

[231] Vide notice of _Rebuses_, at p. 125.

[232] C. S. Gilbert's Cornwall, vol. i.

[233] The earldom of Oxford continued in this family during the
unprecedented period of five centuries and a half.

[234] Itin. vol. vi, p. 37.

[235] Leland, Collect. vol. ii, p. 504.

[236] Or, a fesse chequy argent and azure.

[237] Anonymous Paragraph.

[238] It is not unworthy of remark that among the North American Indians,
symbols are employed for the purpose of distinguishing their tribes. The
Shawanese nation, for example, was originally divided into twelve tribes,
which were subdivided into septs or clans, recognized by the appellations
of the Bear, the Turtle, the Eagle, &c. In some cases individuals,
particularly the more eminent warriors, formerly assumed similar devices,
commemorative of their prowess. "And this," says Mr. R. C. Taylor, an
American antiquary, "is _Indian Heraldry_, as useful, as commemorative, as
inspiriting to the red warrior and his race, as that when, in the days of
the Crusades, the banner and the pennon, the device and the motto, the
crest and the war-cry exercised their potent influence on European

[239] Reflections on the Revolution in France.

[240] Blackstone, Rights of Persons, ch. xii.

[241] Cited in Nares's Herald. Anom.

[242] History of Knighthood, quoted by Nares.

[243] Vide pp. 34, 35.

[244] A military expedition.

[245] The Tanner.

[246] There are two other expressions applied to this respectable class
which are extremely incorrect, namely, _gentlemen-farmers_ and
_tenant-farmers_. A person who by birth, education, and wealth, is
entitled to the distinction of gentleman, and who chooses to devote his
capital to agriculture may be properly designated a _farming-gentleman_,
though the occupation of a large estate without those qualifications can
never constitute a _gentleman_-farmer. _Tenant-farmer_, a phrase which has
lately been in the mouth of every politician, is as fine a piece of
tautology as 'coat-making tailor' or 'shoe-mending cobbler' would be.

"It maketh me laugh to see," says Sir John Ferne's _Columel_, "a jolly
peece of worke it were, to see plow-men made Gentle-men!"

[247] Quoted by Blackstone.

[248] Page 89 et seq.

[249] He was living in 1638, and was son, brother, and uncle to three
successive earls of Huntingdon. An account of him coinciding in many
particulars with the one here given is painted in gold letters beneath an
original portrait in the possession of his descendants: it is said to have
been written by the celebrated earl of Shaftesbury. (Vide Bell's
Huntingdon Peerage.)

[250] "The hall of the Squire," says Aubrey, "was usually hung round with
the insignia of the squire's amusements, such as hunting, shooting,
fishing, &c.; but in case he were Justice of Peace it was _dreadful to
behold_. The skreen was garnished with corslets and helmets, gaping with
open mouths, with coats of mail, launces, pikes, halberts, brown bills,
bucklers, &c."

[251] Glory of Generositie, p. 15.

[252] The vignette is copied from the common seal of the College, which
has the following legend in Roman characters:


[253] Dallaway.

[254] The former appellation was given to this mansion because it was
originally the inn or town residence of Sir John Poulteney, who flourished
under Edward III, and was four times lord mayor. Stowe calls it
Cole-Herbert, but by other authors it is generally spelt as in the text.
The name Cold-Harbour is common to many _farms_ in the southern counties
of England. There are several in Sussex which are by no means remarkable
for the bleakness of their situation, and a house in Surrey bearing this
singular designation is placed in a remarkably sheltered spot, at the foot
of a range of hills. Harbour means not only a sea-port or haven, but any
place of shelter or retreat: the epithet 'cold' is doubtless a corruption
of some other word.

[255] The title of Surroy was changed to Clarenceux by Henry V, in
compliment to his brother Thomas, duke of Clarence; the first king of this
name having been the private herald attached to the duke's establishment.

[256] Quoted by Dall. p. 141.

[257] At modern funerals it is no part of the heralds' duty to render
their 'coats' _guttée des larmes_!

[258] Equal, probably, to £1200 or £1500, at the present value of money.

[259] After the death of Richard upon the field of Bosworth, a pursuivant
(perhaps one of his own creation) was employed to carry his remains to
Leicester. "His body naked to the skinne, not so much as one clout about
him," says Stowe, "was trussed behinde a _Pursuivant of Armes_, like a
hogge or calfe."

[260] Among the Dugdale MSS. are the following memoranda of Tong, Norroy,
made during a visitation of Lancashire, temp. Henry VIII: "John Talbot of
Salebury, a verry gentyll Esqwyr, and well worthye to be takyne payne
for." "Sir John Townley of Townley. I sought hym all day rydynge in the
wyld contrey, and his reward was ij{s}, whyche the gwyde had the most
part, and I had as evill a jorney as ever I had." "Sir R. H. Knyght. The
said Sir R. H. has put awaye the lady his wyffe, and kepys a concobyne in
his howse, by whom he has dyvers children. And by the lady aforsayd he has
Leyhall, whych armes he berys quarterde with hys in the furste quarter. He
sayd that Master Garter lycensed hym so to do, and he gave Mr. Garter an
angell noble, but he gave me nothing, nor made me no good cher, but gave
me prowde words." Certes _he_ was a very naughty and '_un_gentyll Esqwyr.'

[261] It frequently happened in those days, as well as at the present
time, that parties used arms for which they had no authority either from
grant or antient usage. These were publicly disclaimed by the heralds who
made visitation. In a copy of the Visitation of Wiltshire, in 1623, are
the names of no less than fifty-four persons so disclaimed at Salisbury.
(Montagu's Guide, p. 21.)

[262] Noble, p. 105. In these heraldric displays the arms of the sovereign
generally found a conspicuous place. "The royal arms placed over doors or
upon buildings was an antient mode of denoting that they were under the
protection of the sovereign. When some troops of a tyrant were ravaging
the estates of the Chartreuse de Montrieu, the monks had recourse to the
antient remedy. They put up the arms of the king over the gate of the
house; but the depredators laughed at it, saying that it might have been
efficacious in times past (que cela étoit bon autrefois) and persecuted
them with more severity." (Mem. de Petrarque, quoted by Fosbroke.)

[263] Hist. Coll. Arms, 102.

[264] Ib. 102.

[265] Ib. 107.

[266] Mr. Woodham, in his tract (No. 4 of the publications of the
Cambridge Antiq. Soc.) says, "The styles of blazonry admit of
classification like those of Gothic Architecture. The bare deviceless
ordinaries agree with the sturdy pier and flat buttress of the _Norman_
age; the progress of ornament uniting still with chasteness of design may
be called _Early English_; the fourteenth century exhibits the perfection
of both sciences, as displayed in the highest degree of _Decoration_
consistent with purity; and the mannerism of Henry VIII's time, with its
crowded field and accumulated charges, is as essentially _Florid_ and
flamboyant as any panelling or tracery in the kingdom." (p. 11.)

[267] See Chapter XII.

[268] A 'Society for the Suppression of Duelling,' lately established,
enrols among its members many of the greatest and best men of our times.
All success to it!

[269] That the College at this period comprised several officers of
unimpeachable integrity cannot be doubted, while it is equally certain (at
least, according to popular opinion) that others were less scrupulous. "An
herald," says Butler:

                    "An herald
  Can make a gentleman scarce a year old
  To be descended of a race
  Of antient kings in a small space."


              "For a piece of coin,
  Twist any name into the line."

The satire may have been deserved at the time--it was a corrupt age; but I
am not sure that the reputation of the College has not suffered, even to
our days, from this biting sarcasm, which is as far from the truth, as
applied to the learned and respectable body now composing it, as Hudibras
is from poetry.

[270] Rushworth.

[271] In the churchwardens' accounts of Great Marlow are the following

  "1650, Sept. 29. For defacing of the King's Arms £0 ,, 1 ,, 0.

  "1651. Paid to the painter for setting up the State's Arms £0 ,, 16 ,, 0."

Three years earlier there is an entry of 5s. 'payd the ringers when the
king came thorowe the towne!'

[272] Dallaway.

[273] Witness the French Revolution, a period at which these distinctions
of gentry were temporarily abolished, as if, forsooth, bends and fesses
and lions-rampant had conduced to the previous misgovernment of the
nation! From the blow which heraldry received in France during that bloody
struggle it has never recovered; although, from some recent movements, it
appears evident that heraldric honours will, ere long, receive that
attention which they deserve in every antient and well-constituted state
in Christendom.

[274] The expense of the N.W. corner was defrayed by Dugdale, then Norroy.

[275] Noble.

[276] The present heraldic establishment of Scotland consists of Lyon,
king of arms; six heralds, Albany, Rothsay, Snowdoun, Marchmont, Yla, and
Ross; and six pursuivants, Unicorn, Kintire, Bute, Dingwall, Ormond and
Carrick. The Scottish College, as Noble observes, has not been much
distinguished for literature; there is, however, one example, a name
familiar to the readers of Marmion:

  "Sir David Lyndsay of the Mount,
  Lord Lyon king at arms,"

who was author of 'The Dreme,' 'The Complaynt,' and other politico-moral
poems; also of 'The Three Estates,' a satirical piece of great humour; his
most popular work was 'The History of Squire Meldrum,' which "is
considered as the last poem that in any degree partakes of the character
of the metrical romance." The principal functionary for Ireland is styled
Ulster, king of arms: under him are two heralds, Cork and Dublin, and one
pursuivant, Athlone.

[277] Hist. Coll. Arms, p. 352.

[278] Ibid. p. 372.

[279] Noble, p. 372.

[280] Noble.

[281] Dallaway.

[282] It was printed in 1654 by Sir Edward Bysshe, Garter.

[283] That portion of the original edition which relates to arms is
reprinted in the Appendix to Dallaway.

[284] Or, by corruption, Barnes.

[285] Bale, de Script. Brit. viij. 33.

[286] It is worthy of remark, as sustaining the claim of Dame Julyan to
the authorship of the heraldric portion of the Boke, that at the end of
the treatise on arms there is a passage in which evident recurrence is
made to her former and undisputed essays. Speaking of the necessity of
attending to precise rules in the study of heraldry she adds in
conclusion, "Nee ye may not overryn swyftly the forsayd rules, bot
dyligently have theym in yowr mind, and be not to full of consaitis. For
he that will hunt ij haris in oon howre, or oon while oon, another while
another, lightly he losys both."

[287] Here the good Dame contradicts her own assertion; vide p. 36.

[288] Vide pp. 108, 109, 116, 117, &c. &c.

[289] Armorie of Honour, fo. 56.

[290] The heraldric term for a _cat_; vide p. 252, ante.

[291] The nails are omitted.

[292] Bishop Gibson records a piece of malicious revenge practised by
Brooke which alone would be sufficient to stamp his character with
opprobrium. Having a private pique against one of the College he employed
a person to carry to him a ready-drawn coat of arms, purporting to be that
of one Gregory Brandon, a gentleman of London then sojourning in Spain,
desiring him to attest it with his hand and seal of office, and bidding
the messenger return with it immediately, as the vessel by which it was to
be transmitted was on the point of sailing. The officer, little suspecting
Brooke's design, did what was required of him, received the customary fee,
and dismissed the bearer. Brooke immediately posted to the Earl of
Arundel, one of the commissioners for the office of earl-marshal,
exhibited the arms, which were no other than _the royal bearings of
Spain_, and assured his lordship that Brandon, the supposed grantee, was a
man of plebeian condition, no way entitled to the honour. The Earl laid
the matter before the king, who ordered the herald to be cited into the
court of Star Chamber, to answer for the insult offered to the court of
Spain. He, having no alternative, submitted himself to the mercy of the
court, only pleading, in extenuation of his offence, that he had acted
without his usual circumspection in the business, in consequence of
Brooke's urgency, on the pretence that delay was impossible. Brooke was
compelled to admit his own knavery in the transaction, and the consequence
was that both himself and the other herald were committed to prison,
himself for treachery, and the other for negligence.

[293] Moule.

[294] Referring to the edition of the Boke of S. A., printed by Wynkyn de

[295] For extracts from it see several of the preceding chapters.

[296] In this hasty glance at writers on the subject of armory it would be
unjust to omit the names of several heralds and others who are either
almost unknown to the general student of English literature, or are
recognized in some other character than that of illustrators of our
science. In the former class may be noticed Sir Edward Bysshe, Garter,
(who published the 'De Studio Militari,' and another treatise of Upton,
and the 'Aspilogia' of Sir H. Spelman;) John Philipot, Somerset, and his
son Thomas; Thomas Gore; John Gibbon, Bluemantle; and Matthew Carter,
author of 'Honor Redivivus;' and among the latter Speed, Weever, Heylyn,
and Stowe.

[297] Moule.

[298] He was a musician, a lawyer, an alchemist, a herald, a naturalist,
an historian, an antiquary, an astrologer, and to use the encomium of his
friend, the notorious Lilly, "the greatest virtuoso and curioso that was
ever known or read of in England."

[299] Beloe's Anecdotes of Literature, vi, 342.

[300] Hist. of Cheshire.

[301] Book III, Chap. iii.

[302] The Holmes of which our author was a member were a remarkable
family. They were of gentle origin, their ancestors having been seated at
the manor of Tranmere in the Hundred of Wirral, in Cheshire.

                      WILLIAM HOLME, of Tranmere.
                           Thomas Holme, third son.
  (1.) Randle Holme, 1st son, deputy to the Coll. of Arms for Cheshire,
  Shropshire, and North Wales; paid a fine of £10 for contempt in
  refusing to attend the Coronation of Chas. I. Mayor of Chester 1634;
  married the widow of Thos. Chaloner, Ulster King of Arms. Died 1655.
  (2.) Randle Holme, a warm royalist, Mayor of Chester in 1643, during
  the siege. Died 12 Charles II.
  (3.) Randle Holme, author of the 'Academy,' Sewer of the Chamber in
  extraordinary to Chas. II. He followed the employment of his father and
  grandfather as deputy to the Kings of Arms. Died 1700, and was
  succeeded in office by his eldest son.
  (4.) Randle Holme. Died in 1707, in reduced circumstances.
  (5.) Randle Holme and his sisters died before their father.

The heraldric collections of the first four Randle Holmes, relating
chiefly to their native county, are in the British Museum. Ormerod's
Cheshire; Moule's Bibliotheca, p. 240 et seq.

[303] Hist. Coll. Arms, p. 377.

[304] Moule, 435.

[305] The following works appeared between the years 1760 and 1800.
Douglas's Scotch Peerage, 1764, (reprinted in 1813). Kimber's Peerage and
his Baronetage. Jacob's Peerage, 3 vols. fol. Almon's Peerages; these
afterwards went under the name of Debrett; Peerages by Barlow, Archdall,
Catton and Kearsley. Many of these compilations bear the names of the
publishers. Two popular elementary treatises also appeared, viz. 'The
Elements of Heraldry,' by Mark Antony Porny, French Master at Eton,
several editions; and Hugh Clark's 'Introduction to Heraldry,' the 13th
edition of which, lately published, is one of the prettiest little manuals
ever published on the subject. Clark also published 'A Concise History of
Knighthood,' 2 vols. 8vo.

[306] Orig. Gen. p. 4.

[307] 1812.

[308] A village on the western bank of the Tamar in the parish of

[309] Desultoria, p. 6.

[310] This roll professes to give the names of the distinguished
personages who accompanied William the Conqueror in his invasion; but it
is a fact strongly militating against its genuineness that many of the
names occurring in it are not to be found in the Doomsday books.

[311] 1622, p. 51.

[312] The reason assigned by Peacham for Polydore's thus playing '_old
gooseberry_' with the records is that "his owne historie might passe for

[313] Vide Sir H. Ellis's Polydore Vergil, printed for the Camden Soc.
1844. Preface.

[314] Vide notices of each in Horsfield's Lewes, vol. i.

[315] "The proof of pedigrees has become so much more difficult since
Inquisitiones post mortem have been disused, that it is easier to
establish one for 500 years before the time of Charles II than for 100
years since." (Lord C. J. Mansfield.)

[316] I, 10, p. 91, in Coll. Arm.

[317] The register of Alfriston, co. Sussex, begins with marriages if I
mistake not, in the year 1512, but as all the entries up to 1538, or
later, were evidently written at one time, they were doubtless copied from
a _private_ register kept by the incumbent prior to the mandate of the
Government. I mention this fact because I never heard of another parish
register of equal antiquity.

[318] In the MS. the tinctures of these shields are shown in the usual
manner by lines, &c. Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, are quarterly, or and
gules. The bordure of No. 2 is sable; the label of No. 3 is sable; that of
No. 4 purpure; and that of No. 5 sable, charged with plates; the charge of
No. 6 is a plate; the chief of No. 7 is quarterly, or and gules; and that
of No. 8 gules and or. The coat No. 7 is identical with that of Peckham of
Kent and Sussex.

[319] These shields are all, as to the fields, gules; as to the cheverons,
or; and as to the charges, sable.

[320] Id est, in the family pedigree. _Ed._

[321] The shields are all argent, the fesses azure, and the roundels,

[322] Quarterly, or and gules, a plate.

[323] Argent, a fesse azure between six torteaux.

[324] Or, a saltire sable.

[325] Ditto, with a chief gules.

[326] Gules, three bucks' heads, or.

[327] Or, a saltire sable, a canton gules.

[328] The first of these two is or, a saltire sable, the second argent, a
fesse azure, in chief three torteaux; the chiefs are both gules, a cross

[329] These three are alike, or, a saltire sable, the differences being in
the chief; the first is sable, the second gules, and the third azure. As
the MS. bears evident marks of haste, the reader is desired not to depend
upon the blazon here given.

[330] _Venter_, [a law term] a mother. _Bailey._

[331] In general the arms assigned to a county are those of one of its
chief, or most antient, boroughs. Thus the arms of Sussex are identical
with those of East Grinstead, once the county town; (although within the
last 10 years, for some unexplained reason, the _fictitious_ bearings
ascribed to the South-Saxon kings have been employed as the official arms
of the county.) But the arms of Cornwall are those of its antient feu,
attached to the territory, and not to any particular family.

[332] Morgan's Armilogia, p. 158.

[333] Armories, p. 39.

[334] Sandford's Geneal. Hist. gives Richard, king of the Romans, two
natural sons, viz. Richard de Cornwall, ancestor of the knightly family
commonly called Barons of Burford, and Walter de Cornwall, to whom he gave
lands in Branel. Walter de Cornwall mentioned in the text was probably
descended from the latter.

[335] Nisbet, 37.

[336] It is now in the possession of Mr. Wm. Davey of Lewes. The engraving
(from a drawing by Mr. Wm. Figg,) is of the actual size of the object.

[337] The charges on the shields are conjectured to be, 1, The
lion-rampant of Poictou; 2, The double-headed eagle of the King of the
Romans; and 3, The lion of Poictou, surrounded by the bezantée bordure of
Cornwall, (vide p. 310.) The workmanship is so extremely rude that the
bezants are scarcely perceptible.

[338] A similar example of ancient measures thus guaranteed by Heraldry
exists in the market-place of Aisme, a small town in Piedmont, where a
large marble block is adapted by four excavations of different sizes for
corn measures from half a bushel to two bushels. On the front of this are
two heater shields, apparently of the thirteenth century, with the arms of
Savoy and Val Tarentaise. (Vide p. 32, vol. xviii, N. S. Gent. Mag.)

Transcriber's Notes:

Passages in italics are indicated by _italics_.

Passages in Gothic font are indicated by =Gothic=.

Superscripted characters are indicated by {superscript}.

The original text includes Greek characters. For this text version these
letters have been replaced with transliterations.

The original text contains letters with diacritical marks that are not
represented in this text version.

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