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Title: A Complete Guide to Heraldry
Author: Fox-Davies, Arthur Charles, 1871-1928
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Complete Guide to Heraldry" ***

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

       *       *       *       *       *















T. C. & E. C. JACK




     CHAP.                                                             PAGE

           INTRODUCTION                                                  ix

        I. THE ORIGIN OF ARMORY                                           1


      III. THE HERALDS AND OFFICERS OF ARMS                              27

       IV. HERALDIC BRASSES                                              49

        V. THE COMPONENT PARTS OF AN ACHIEVEMENT                         57

       VI. THE SHIELD                                                    60


     VIII. THE RULES OF BLAZON                                           99


        X. THE HUMAN FIGURE IN HERALDRY                                 158

       XI. THE HERALDIC LION                                            172

      XII. BEASTS                                                       191

     XIII. MONSTERS                                                     218

      XIV. BIRDS                                                        233

       XV. FISH                                                         253

      XVI. REPTILES                                                     257

     XVII. INSECTS                                                      260

    XVIII. TREES, LEAVES, FRUITS, AND FLOWERS                           262

      XIX. INANIMATE OBJECTS                                            281

       XX. THE HERALDIC HELMET                                          303

      XXI. THE CREST                                                    326

     XXII. CROWNS AND CORONETS                                          350

    XXIII. CREST CORONETS AND CHAPEAUX                                  370

     XXIV. THE MANTLING OR LAMBREQUIN                                   383

      XXV. THE TORSE OR WREATH                                          402

     XXVI. SUPPORTERS                                                   407

    XXVII. THE COMPARTMENT                                              441

   XXVIII. MOTTOES                                                      448

     XXIX. BADGES                                                       453

      XXX. HERALDIC FLAGS, BANNERS, AND STANDARDS                       471

     XXXI. MARKS OF CADENCY                                             477

    XXXII. MARKS OF BASTARDY                                            508

   XXXIII. THE MARSHALLING OF ARMS                                      523

    XXXIV. THE ARMORIAL INSIGNIA OF KNIGHTHOOD                          561

     XXXV. THE ARMORIAL BEARINGS OF A LADY                              572

    XXXVI. OFFICIAL HERALDIC INSIGNIA                                   580

   XXXVII. AUGMENTATIONS OF HONOUR                                      589

  XXXVIII. ECCLESIASTICAL HERALDRY                                      600

    XXXIX. ARMS OF DOMINION AND SOVEREIGNTY                             607

       XL. HATCHMENTS                                                   609

      XLI. THE UNION JACK                                               611

     XLII. SEIZE-QUARTIERS                                              618

           INDEX                                                        623



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


      LINCOLN'S INN, W. C.





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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


(_Septem contra Thebas._)

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

1. _Tydeus._

("[Greek: Toiaun autôn,--nuktos ophthalmos prepei]"--Lines 380-386.)

 "... Frowning he speaks, and shakes
  The dark crest streaming o'er his shaded helm
  In triple wave; whilst dreadful ring around
  The brazen bosses of his shield, impress'd
  With his proud argument:--'A sable sky
  Burning with stars; and in the midst full orb'd
  A silver moon;'--the eye of night o'er all,
  Awful in beauty, forms her peerless light."

2. _Capaneus._

("[Greek: Echei de sêma,--PRÊSÔ POLIN]."--Lines 428-430.)

 "On his proud shield portray'd: 'A naked man
  Waves in his hand a blazing torch;' beneath
  In golden letters--'I will fire the city.'"

3. _Eteoclus._

("[Greek: Eschêmatistai,--purgômatôn]."--Lines 461-465.)

 "... No mean device
  Is sculptured on his shield: 'A man in arms,
  His ladder fix'd against the enemies' walls,
  Mounts, resolute, to rend their rampires down;'
  And cries aloud (the letters plainly mark'd),
 'Not Mars himself shall beat me from the Tow'rs.'"

4. _Hippomedon._

("[Greek: Ho sêmatourgos--phobon blepôn;]"--Lines 487-494.)

 "... On its orb, no vulgar artist
  Expressed this image: 'A Typhæus huge,
  Disgorging from his foul enfounder'd jaws,
  In fierce effusion wreaths of dusky smoke.
  Signal of kindling flames; its bending verge
  With folds of twisted serpents border'd round.'
  With shouts the giant chief provokes the war,
  And in the ravings of outrageous valour
  Glares terror from his eyes ..."

5. _Parthenopæus._

("[Greek: Hon mên akompastos--hiaptesthai Belê;]"--Lines 534-540.)

 "... Upon his clashing shield,
  Whose orb sustains the storm of war, he bears
  The foul disgrace of Thebes:--'A rav'nous Sphynx
  Fixed to the plates: the burnish'd monster round
  Pours a portentous gleam: beneath her lies
  A Theban mangled by her cruel fangs:'--
 'Gainst this let each brave arm direct the spear."

6. _Amphiaraus._

("[Greek: Toiauth ho mantis,--blastanei bouleumata]."--Lines 587-591.)

 "So spoke the prophet; and with awful port
  Advanc'd his massy shield, the shining orb
  Bearing no impress, for his gen'rous soul
  Wishes to be, not to appear, the best;
  And from the culture of his modest worth
  Bears the rich fruit of great and glorious deeds."


7. _Polynices._

("[Greek: Echei de--ta xeurêmata.]"--Lines 639-646.)

 "... His well-orb'd shield he holds,
  New wrought, and with a double impress charg'd:
  A warrior, blazing all in golden arms,
  A female form of modest aspect leads,
  Expressing justice, as th' inscription speaks,
 'Yet once more to his country, and once more
  To his Paternal Throne I will restore him'--
  Such their devices ..."


(_The Æneid._)

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

 "Choræbus, with youthful hopes beguil'd,
  Swol'n with success, and of a daring mind,
  This new invention fatally design'd.
 'My friends,' said he, 'since fortune shows the way,
 'Tis fit we should the auspicious guide obey.
  For what has she these Grecian arms bestowed,
  But their destruction, and the Trojans' good?
  Then change we shields, and their devices bear:
  Let fraud supply the want of force in war.
  They find us arms.'--This said, himself he dress'd
  In dead Androgeos' spoils, his upper vest,
  His painted buckler, and his plumy crest."

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

 "Next Aventinus drives his chariot round
  The Latian plains, with palms and laurels crown'd.
  Proud of his steeds, he smokes along the field;
  His father's hydra fills his ample shield;
  A hundred serpents hiss about the brims;
  The son of Hercules he justly seems,
  By his broad shoulders and gigantic limbs."

3. ("Sequitur pulcherrimus Astur--insigne paternæ."--Lib. x. lines

 "Fair Astur follows in the wat'ry field,
  Proud of his manag'd horse, and painted shield.
  Thou muse, the name of Cinyras renew,
  And brave Cupavo follow'd but by few;
  Whose helm confess'd the lineage of the man,
  And bore, with wings display'd, a silver swan.
  Love was the fault of his fam'd ancestry.
  Whose forms and fortunes in his Ensigns fly."



1. _Cilo_, § 171.

("[Greek: Kai sphi trixa exeurêmata egeneto--ta sêmêia poieesthai.]")

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

2. _Calliope_, § 74.

("[Greek: O deteros tôn logôn--epioêmon ankuran.]")

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


(_The Annals_.--Lib. 1.)

1. ("Tum redire paulatim--in sedes referunt."--Cap. 28.)

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

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

 'Accipit et pictos puppis adunca Deos.'

 'The stern with painted deities richly shines.'

"The ship wherein Europa was conveyed from Phoenicia into Crete had a
_bull_ for its flag, and _Jupiter_ for its tutelary deity. The Boeotian
ships had for their tutelar god _Cadmus_, represented with a _dragon_ in
his hand, because he was the founder of Thebes, the principal city of
Boeotia. The name of the ship was usually taken from the flag, as appears
in the following passage of Ovid, where he tells us his ship received its
name from the helmet painted upon it:--

 'Est mihi, sitque, precor, flavæ tutela Minervæ,
  Navis et à pictâ casside nomen habit.'

 'Minerva is the goddess I adore,
  And may she grant the blessings I implore;
  The ship its name a painted helmet gives.'

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

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 1.--Kiku-non-hana-mon. State _Mon_ of Japan.]

[Illustration: FIG. 2.--Kiri-mon. _Mon_ of the Mikado.]

[Illustration: FIG. 3.--Awoï-mon. _Mon_ of the House of Minamoto Tokugawa.]

[Illustration: FIG. 4.--_Mon_ of the House of Minamoto Ashikaya.]

[Illustration: FIG. 5.--Tomoye. _Mon_ of the House of Arina.]

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

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

Fig. 2, "Kiri-mon," is the personal _mon_ of the Mikado, formed of the
leaves and flower of the _Paulowna imperialis_, conventionally treated.

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

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 6.--Double eagle on a coin (_drachma_) under the
Orthogide of Kaifa Naçr Edin Mahmud, 1217.]

[Illustration: FIG. 7.--Device of the Mameluke Emir Toka Timur, Governor of
Rahaba, 1350.]

[Illustration: FIG. 8.--Lily on the Bab-al-Hadid gate at Damascus.]

[Illustration: FIG. 9.--Device of the Emir Arkatây (a band between two

[Illustration: FIG. 10.--Device of the Mameluke Emir Schaikhu.]

[Illustration: FIG. 11.--Device of Abu Abdallah, Mohammed ibn Naçr, King of
Granada, said to be the builder of the Alhambra (1231-1272).]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

    "'_21st November 1637._--W. Baker, gent., humbly sheweth that having
    some occasion of conference with Adam Spencer of Broughton under the
    Bleane, co. Cant., on or about 28th July last, the said Adam did in
    most base and opprobrious tearmes abuse your petitioner, calling him a
    base, lying fellow, &c. &c. The defendant pleaded that Baker is noe
    Gentleman, and soe not capable of redresse in this court. Le Neve,
    Clarenceux, is directed to examine the point raised, and having done
    so, declared as touching the gentry of William Baker, that Robert
    Cooke, Clarenceux King of Arms, did make a declaration 10th May 1573,
    under his hand and seale of office, that George Baker of London, sonne
    of J. Baker of the same place, sonne of Simon Baker of Feversham, co.
    Cant., was a bearer of tokens of honour, and did allow and confirm to
    the said George Baker and to his posterity, and to the posterity of
    Christopher Baker, these Arms, &c. &c. And further, Le Neve has
    received proof that the petitioner, William Baker, is the son of
    William Baker of Kingsdowne, co. Cant., who was the brother of George
    Baker, and son of Christopher aforesaid.' The judgment is not stated.
    (The original Confirmation of Arms by Cooke, 10th May 1573, may now be
    seen in the British Museum.--_Genealogist_ for 1889, p. 242.)"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 12.--_Helmschau_ or Helmet-Show. (From Konrad
Grünenberg's _Wappencodex zu München_.) End of fifteenth century.]

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

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

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

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

_Norroy_ is considered the most ancient title, being the only one in
England taken from the local situation of his province, unless _Marche_
should be derived from the same cause. The title of _Norroy_ was anciently
written _Norreys_ and _Norreis_, King of Arms of the people residing in the
north; _Garter_ being styled _Roy des Anglois_, of the people, and not
_d'Angleterre_, of the kingdom, the inhabitants of the north being called
_Norreys_,[1] as we are informed by ancient historians.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

_Volant_ also occurs upon record in the 28th Edward III., and _Vaillant_,
_le Roy Vaillant Heraud_, and _le Roy Vailland_, are likewise mentioned in

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The present _heralds_ are six in number, viz.:--

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

_Chester Herald_, instituted in the same reign.

_Richmond Herald_, instituted by King Edward IV.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 13.--Officers of Arms as represented in the famous
Tournament Roll of Henry VIII., now preserved in the College of Arms.]

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

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

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

Of the German officers of arms they, like the English, are divided into
three classes, known as _Wappenkönige_, _Herolde_, and _Persevanten_.
These, like our own officers, had peculiar titles; for example _Suchenwirt_
(an Austrian ducal herald), _Lub-den Frumen_ (a Lichtenstein pursuivant),
_Jerusalem_ (a herald of the Limmer Palatinate), _Romreich_ (an Imperial
herald). About the middle of the sixteenth century, the official names of
the heralds fell into disuse; they began to make use of their ancestral
names with the title of _Edel_ and _Ehrenvest_ (noble and honourable), but
this did not last long, and the heralds found themselves thrown back {41}
into the old ways, into which the knightly accoutrements had already

[Illustration: FIG. 14.--The velvet tabard of Sir William Dugdale, Garter
King of Arms from 26th April 1677 to 10th February 1686.]

[Illustration: FIG. 15.--William Bruges, the first Garter King of Arms,
appointed 5th January 1420. (From an illuminated MS. in the Museum at

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 16.--A Herald. (_Temp._ Hen. VIII.)]

[Illustration: FIG. 17.--A State Trumpeter. (_Temp._ Hen. VIII.)]

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

[Illustration: FIG. 18.--A State Trumpeter and a Herald at the coronation
of James I.]

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

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 19.--Peace proclaimed at the Royal Exchange after the
Crimean War.]

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

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 20.--A French Herald of the early part of the fifteenth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

_Lancaster._--The red rose of Lancaster ensigned by the Royal crown.

_York._--The white rose of York en soleil ensigned by the Royal crown.

_Richmond._--The red rose of Lancaster impaled with the white rose en
soleil of York, the whole ensigned with the Royal crown.

_Windsor._--Rays of the sun issuing from clouds.

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

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

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




_Member of the Monumental Brass Society, London; Honorary Member of the
Spalding Gentlemen's Society; Author of "A Brief History of Gosberton, in
the County of Lincoln."_

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 23.--Brass of Sir John D'Aubernoun at Stoke D'Abernon.
Arms: Azure, a chevron or. (From a rubbing by Walter J. Kaye.)]

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

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 25.--Brass of Sir Robert de Septvans in Chartham

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 27.--Brass of Elizabeth Knevet.]

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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



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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 28.--Taken from the tomb of Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count
of Anjou.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 29.--Shield of the Landgrave Konrad of Thuringia (died

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 30.]

[Illustration: FIG. 31.]

[Illustration: FIG. 32.]

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 33.--Arms of John (de Montfort, otherwise de Bretagne),
Duke of Brittany and Earl of Richmond. (From his seal.)]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 34.--Armorial bearings of Henry de Lacy, Earl of
Lincoln (d. 1311): Or, a lion rampant purpure. (From his seal.)]

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

 "Baniere ot de un cendall saffrin,
  O un lion rampant porprin,"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"_Bleu-céleste_, or _bleu du ciel_, appears occasionally, apart from what
we may term 'landscape coats.' That it differs from, and is a much lighter
colour than, azure is shown by the following example. The Florentine CINTI
(now CINI) bear a coat which would be numbered among the _armes fausses, or
à enquérir: Per pale azure and bleu-céleste, an estoile counterchanged_."

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 35.]

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

[Illustration: FIG. 36.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 37.--Arms of William de Ferrers, Earl of Derby (d.
1247): "Scutum variatum auro & gul." (From MS. Cott. Nero, D. 1.)]

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

[Illustration: FIG. 38.--Arms of Robert de Ferrers, Earl of Derby
(1254-1265). (From stained glass in Dorchester Church.)]

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

[Illustration: FIG. 39.]

[Illustration: FIG. 40.--Arms of Robert de Ferrers, Earl of Derby
(1254-1265). (From his seal.)]

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



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

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

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

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

When the Vair is so arranged that in two horizontal rows taken together,
either the points or the bases of two panes of the same tincture are in
apposition, the fur is known as COUNTER VAIR (CONTRE VAIR) (see Fig. 39,
_l_). Another variation, but an infrequent one, is termed VAIR IN PALE,
known in German heraldry as _Pfahlfeh_ (_Vair appointé_ or _Vair en pal_;
but if of other colours than the usual ones, _Vairé en pal_). In this all
panes of the same colour are arranged in vertical, or palar, rows (Fig. 39,
_m_). German heraldry apparently distinguishes between this and
_Stürzpfahlfeh_, or _reversed_ vair in pale. VAIR IN BEND (or in
bend-sinister) is occasionally met with in foreign coats; thus MIGNIANELLI
in Italy bears: _Vairé d'or et d'azur en bande_; while _Vairé en barre_
(that is, in bend-sinister) _d'or et de sable_ is the coat of PICHON of

"Vair en pointe" is a term applied by Nisbet to an arrangement by which the
azure shield pointing downwards has beneath it an argent shield pointing
downwards, and _vice versâ_, by which method the resulting effect is as
shown in Fig. 39, _n_. The German term for this is _Wogenfeh_, or wave
vair. Fig. 39, _o_, shows a purely German variety--_Wechselfeh_, or
alternate vair; and Fig. 39, _p_, which is equivalent to the English vairé
of four colours, is known in German armory as _Buntfeh, i.e._ gay-coloured
or checked vair.

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

A considerable number of British and foreign families bear _Vair_ only;
such are FERRERS and GRESLEY, above mentioned; VARANO, Dukes de CAMERINO;
VAIRE and VAIRIÈRE, in France; VERET, in Switzerland; GOUVIS, FRESNAY
(Brittany); DE VERA in Spain; LOHEAC (Brittany); VARENCHON (Savoy);
SOLDANIERI (Florence). _Counter vair_ is borne by LOFFREDO of Naples; by
uses: _de Contre vair, à lac otice de gueules brochante sur le tout_.

[Illustration: FIG. 42.]

[Illustration: FIG. 43.--Seal of Chimrad Pellifex, 1329.]

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

In _Plumeté_ the field is apparently covered with feathers. _Plumeté
d'argent et d'azur_ is the coat of Ceba (note that these are the tinctures
of _Vair_); SOLDONIERI of Udine, _Plumeté au natural_ (but the SOLDONIERI
of Florence bore: _Vairé argent and sable_ with _a bordure chequy or and
azure_); TENREMONDE of Brabant: _Plumeté or and sable_. In the arms of the
SCALTENIGHI of Padua, the BENZONI of Milan, the GIOLFINI, CATANEI, and
NUVOLONI of Verona, each feather of the _plumeté_ is said to be charged
with an ermine spot sable.

The bearing of PAPELONNÉ is more frequently found; in it the field is
covered with what appear to be scales, the heraldic term _papelonné_ being
derived from a supposed resemblance of these scales to the wings of
butterflies; for example the coat of MONTI: _Gules, papelonné argent_.
DONZEL at Besançon bears: Papelonné d'or et de sable. It is worthy of note
that Donzé of Lorraine used: Gules, three bars wavy or. The FRANCONIS of
Lausanne are said to bear: _de Gueules papelonné d'argent_, and on _a chief
of the last a rose of the first_, but the coat is otherwise blazoned:
_Vaire gules and or_, &c. The coat of ARQUINVILLIERS, or HARGENVILLIERS, in
Picardy, of _d'Hermine papelonné de {84} gueules_ (not being understood,
this has been blazoned "_semé of caltraps_"). So also the coat of CHEMILLÉ
appears in French books of blazon indifferently as: _d'Or papelonné de
gueules_: and _d'Or semé de chausse-trapes de gueules_. GUÉTTEVILLE DE
GUÉNONVILLE is said to bear: _d'Argent semé de chausse-trapes de sable_,
but it is more probable that this is simply _d'Argent papelonné de sable_.
The BARISONI of Padua bear: _Or, a bend of scales, bendwise argent, on each
scale an ermine spot sable, the bend bordered sable_. The ALBERICI of
Bologna bear: _Papelonné of seven rows, four of argent, three of or_; but
the ALBERGHI of the same city: _Papelonné of six rows, three of argent, as
many of gules_. The connection with _vairé_ is much clearer in the latter
than in the former. CAMBI (called FIGLIAMBUCHI), at Florence, carried:
_d'Argent, papelonné de gueules_; MONTI of Florence and Sicily, and
RONQUEROLLES of France the reverse.

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

POTENT, and its less common variant COUNTER POTENT, are usually ranked in
British heraldic works as separate furs. This has arisen from the writers
being ignorant that in early times _Vair_ was frequently depicted in the
form now known as _Potent_ (see Fig. 39, _q_). (By many heraldic writers
the ordinary _Potent_ is styled _Potent-counter-potent_. When drawn in the
ordinary way, _Potent_ alone suffices.) An example of _Vair_ in the form
now known as Potent is afforded by the seal of JEANNE DE FLANDRE, wife of
ENGUERRAND IV. (De Courcy); here the well-known arms of COURCY, _Barry of
six vair and gules_, are depicted as if the bars of vair were composed of
bars of _potent_ (VRÉE, _Généalogie des Comtes de Flandre_). In a _Roll of
Arms of the time of Edward I._ the _Vair_ resembles _Potent_
(-counter-potent), which DR. PERCEVAL erroneously terms an "invention of
later date." The name and the differentiation may be, but not the fact. In
the First Nobility Roll of the year 1297, the arms of No. 8, ROBERT DE
BRUIS, Baron of Brecknock, are: Barry of six, Vaire ermine and gules, and
azure. Here the vair is potent; so is it also in No. 19, where the coat of
INGELRAM DE GHISNES, or GYNES, is: Gules, a chief vair. The same coat is
thus drawn in the Second Nobility Roll, 1299, No. 57. POTENT, like its
original _Vair_, is always of _argent_ and _azure_, unless other tinctures
are specified in the blazon. The name _Potent_ is the old English word for
a crutch or walking-staff. Chaucer, in his description of "Elde" (_i.e._
old age) writes:

 "So olde she was, that she ne went
  A fote, but it were by potent."


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

[Illustration: FIG. 44.--Arms of John, Lord De la Warr (d. 1398). (From MS.
Ashm. 804, iv.)]

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

[Illustration: FIG. 46.--Arms of Gilbert Umfraville, Earl of Kyme (d.
1421). (From Harl. MS. 6163.)]

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

[Illustration: FIG. 47.--Lines of Partition.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 48.--Per fess.]

[Illustration: FIG. 49.--Per bend.]

[Illustration: FIG. 50.--Per bend sinister.]

[Illustration: FIG. 51.--Per pale.]

[Illustration: FIG. 52.--Per chevron.]

[Illustration: FIG. 53.--Per cross or quarterly.]

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

[Illustration: FIG. 54.--Per saltire.]

[Illustration: FIG. 55.--Barry.]

[Illustration: FIG. 56.--Barry nebuly.]

[Illustration: FIG. 57.--Paly.]

[Illustration: FIG. 58.--Bendy.]

[Illustration: FIG. 59.--Chevronny.]

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 60.--Arms of Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke:
"Baruly argent and azure, an orle of martlets gules." (From his seal.)]

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

[Illustration: FIG. 61.--The arms of John de Bretagne, Earl of Richmond.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 63.--A to B, the chief; C to D, the base; A to C,
dexter side; B to D, sinister side. A, dexter chief; B, sinister chief; C,
dexter base; D, sinister base. 1, 2, 3, chief; 7, 8, 9, base; 2, 5, 8,
pale; 4, 5, 6, fess; 5, fess point.]

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

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 64.]

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

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



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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 65.--Bend.]

[Illustration: FIG. 66.--Bend engrailed.]

[Illustration: FIG. 67.--Bend invecked.]

[Illustration: FIG. 68.--Bend embattled.]

[Illustration: FIG. 69.--Bend embattled counter-embattled.]

[Illustration: FIG. 70.--Bend raguly.]

[Illustration: FIG. 71.--Bend dovetailed.]

[Illustration: FIG. 72.--Bend indented.]

[Illustration: FIG. 73.--Bend dancetté.]

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

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 74.--Bend wavy.]

[Illustration: FIG. 75.--Bend nebuly.]

[Illustration: FIG. 76.--Bend compony.]

[Illustration: FIG. 77.--Bend barry.]

[Illustration: FIG. 78.--Bend within tressure.]

[Illustration: FIG. 79.--Bend lozengy.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 80.--Bendlets.]

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

[Illustration: FIG. 81.--Bend cottised.]

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 82.--Bend sinister.]

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 83.--Baton sinister.]

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 84.--Bendlets enhanced.]

[Illustration: FIG. 85.--Pale.]

[Illustration: FIG. 86.--Pale engrailed.]

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


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

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 87.--Pale invecked.]

[Illustration: FIG. 88.--Pale embattled.]

[Illustration: FIG. 89.--Pale raguly.]

[Illustration: FIG. 90.--Pale dovetailed.]

[Illustration: FIG. 91.--Pale indented.]

[Illustration: FIG. 92.--Pale wavy.]

[Illustration: FIG. 93.--Pale nebuly.]

[Illustration: FIG. 94.--Pale rayonné.]

[Illustration: FIG. 95.--Pale per fesse counter changed.]

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

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 96.--Pallets.]

[Illustration: FIG. 97.--The arms of Amaury de Montfort, Earl of
Gloucester; died before 1214. (From his seal.)]

[Illustration: FIG. 98.--Arms of Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester; died
1265. (From MS. Cott., Nero, D. 1.)]

[Illustration: FIG. 99.--Fess.]

[Illustration: FIG. 100.--Fess engrailed.]

[Illustration: FIG. 101.--Fess invecked.]

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


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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 102.--Fess embattled.]

[Illustration: FIG. 103.--Fess embattled counter-embattled.]

[Illustration: FIG. 104.--Fess raguly.]

[Illustration: FIG. 105.--Fess dovetailed.]

[Illustration: FIG. 106.--Fess indented.]

[Illustration: FIG. 107.--Fess dancetté.]

[Illustration: FIG. 108.--Fess wavy.]

[Illustration: FIG. 109.--Fess nebuly.]

[Illustration: FIG. 110.--The arms of Plowden.]

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 111.--Fess couped.]

[Illustration: FIG. 112.--Fess wreathed.]

[Illustration: FIG. 113.--Two Bars.]

[Illustration: FIG. 114.--Bars embattled.]

[Illustration: FIG. 115.--Bars engrailed.]

[Illustration: FIG. 116.--Bars invecked.]

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

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 117.--Bars raguly.]

[Illustration: FIG. 118.--Bars dovetailed.]

[Illustration: FIG. 119.--Bars gemel.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 123.--Barry, per chevron counter-changed.]

[Illustration: FIG. 124.--Barry-bendy.]

[Illustration: FIG. 125.--Paly-bendy.]

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

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 126.--Lozengy.]

[Illustration: FIG. 127.--Chevron.]

[Illustration: FIG. 128.--Chevron engrailed.]

[Illustration: FIG. 129.--Chevron invecked.]

[Illustration: FIG. 130.--Chevron embattled.]

[Illustration: FIG. 131.--Chevron embattled and counter-embattled.]

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


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

[Illustration: FIG. 132.--Chevron indented.]

[Illustration: FIG. 133.--Chevron wavy.]

[Illustration: FIG. 134.--Chevron nebuly.]

[Illustration: FIG. 135.--Chevron raguly.]

[Illustration: FIG. 136.--Chevron dovetailed.]

[Illustration: FIG. 137.--Chevron doubly cottised.]

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 138.--Chevron quarterly.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 140.--Chevronels.]

[Illustration: FIG. 141.--Chevronels braced.]

[Illustration: FIG. 142.--Chevron rompu.]

[Illustration: FIG. 143.--Pile.]

[Illustration: FIG. 144.--Pile engrailed.]

[Illustration: FIG. 145.--Pile invecked.]

[Illustration: FIG. 146.--Pile embattled.]

[Illustration: FIG. 147.--Pile indented.]

[Illustration: FIG. 148.--Pile wavy.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 149.--Pile nebuly.]

[Illustration: FIG. 150.--Pile raguly.]

[Illustration: FIG. 151.--Pile dovetailed.]

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


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

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 152.--Three piles, two in chief and one in base.]

[Illustration: FIG. 153.--Shakefork.]

[Illustration: FIG. 154.--Ecclesiastical pallium.]

[Illustration: FIG. 155.--Cross.]

[Illustration: FIG. 156.--Cross engrailed.]

[Illustration: FIG. 157.--Cross invecked.]

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


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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 158.--Cross embattled.]

[Illustration: FIG. 159.--Cross indented.]

[Illustration: FIG. 160.--Cross raguly.]

[Illustration: FIG. 161.--Cross dovetailed.]

[Illustration: FIG. 162.--Passion Cross.]

[Illustration: FIG. 163.--Cross Calvary.]

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

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

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



[Illustration: FIG. 164.--Crucifix.]

[Illustration: FIG. 165.--Cross couped.]

[Illustration: FIG. 166.--Cross botonny.]

[Illustration: FIG. 167.--Cross flory.]

[Illustration: FIG. 168.--Cross fleuretté.]

[Illustration: FIG. 169.--Cross moline.]

[Illustration: FIG. 170.--Cross potent.]

[Illustration: FIG. 171.--Cross patée (or formée).]

[Illustration: FIG. 172.--Cross patonce.]

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 173.--Cross crosslet.]

[Illustration: FIG. 174.--Cross parted and fretty.]

[Illustration: FIG. 175.--Cross patée quadrate.]

[Illustration: FIG. 176.--Cross quarter-pierced.]

[Illustration: FIG. 177.--Cross Tau.]

[Illustration: FIG. 178.--Maltese Cross.]

[Illustration: FIG. 179.--Patriarchal Cross.]

[Illustration: FIG. 180.--Cross crosslet fitched.]

[Illustration: FIG. 181.--Cross patée fitched.]

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

[Illustration: FIG. 182.--Cross patée fitched at foot.]

[Illustration: FIG. 183.--Crusilly.]

[Illustration: FIG. 184.--Saltire.]

[Illustration: FIG. 185.--Saltire engrailed.]

[Illustration: FIG. 186.--Saltire invecked.]

[Illustration: FIG. 187.--Saltire embattled.]


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

When a saltire is charged the charges are usually placed conformably

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

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


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

[Illustration: FIG. 188.--Saltire indented.]

[Illustration: FIG. 189.--Saltire wavy.]

[Illustration: FIG. 190.--Saltire nebuly.]

[Illustration: FIG. 191.--Saltire raguly.]

[Illustration: FIG. 192.--Saltire dovetailed.]

[Illustration: FIG. 193.--Saltire parted and fretty.]

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 194.--Chief.]

[Illustration: FIG. 195.--Chief engrailed.]

[Illustration: FIG. 196.--Chief invecked.]

[Illustration: FIG. 197.--Chief embattled.]

[Illustration: FIG. 198.--Chief indented.]

[Illustration: FIG. 199.--Chief dancetté.]

[Illustration: FIG. 200.--Chief wavy.]

[Illustration: FIG. 201.--Chief nebuly.]

[Illustration: FIG. 202.--Chief raguly.]

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

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 203.--Chief dovetailed.]

[Illustration: FIG. 204.--Arms of Peter de Dreux, Earl of Richmond (_c._
1230): Chequy or and azure, a quarter ermine. (From his seal.)]

[Illustration: FIG. 205.--Arms of De Vere, Earls of Oxford: Quarterly gules
and or, in the first quarter a mullet argent.]

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


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

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


[Illustration: FIG. 206.--Canton.]

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 207.--Chequy.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


[Illustration: FIG. 208.--Gyronny.]

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 210.--Bordure.]

[Illustration: FIG. 211.--Bordure engrailed.]

[Illustration: FIG. 212.--Bordure invecked.]

[Illustration: FIG. 213.--Bordure embattled.]

[Illustration: FIG. 214.--Bordure indented.]

[Illustration: FIG. 215.--Bordure wavy.]

[Illustration: FIG. 216.--Bordure nebuly.]

[Illustration: FIG. 217.--Bordure dovetailed.]

[Illustration: FIG. 218.--Bordure potenté.]

[Illustration: FIG. 219.--Bordure per pale.]

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

[Illustration: FIG. 220.--Bordure quarterly.]

[Illustration: FIG. 221.--Bordure gyronny.]

[Illustration: FIG. 222.--Bordure tierced in pairle.]

[Illustration: FIG. 223.--Bordure compony.]

[Illustration: FIG. 224.--Bordure counter compony.]

[Illustration: FIG. 225.--Bordure chequy.]

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


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

[Illustration: FIG. 226.--Orle.]

[Illustration: FIG. 227.--An inescutcheon within a bordure.]

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

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


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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 228.--Tressure flory and counter-flory.]

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

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

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

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

       *       *       *       *       *

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Royal tressure had at least twice been granted as an augmentation to
the arms of foreigners. James V. granted it to Nicolas CANIVET of Dieppe,
secretary to JOHN, Duke of ALBANY (Reg. Mag. Sig., xxiv. 263, Oct. 24,
1529). James VI. gave it to Sir JACOB VAN EIDEN, a Dutchman on whom he
conferred the honour of knighthood.

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

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

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

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


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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 230.--Lozenge.]

[Illustration: FIG. 231.--Fusil.]

[Illustration: FIG. 232.--Mascle.]

[Illustration: FIG. 233.--Rustre.]

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

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 234.--Arms of Roger de Quincy, Earl of Winchester (d.
1264): Gules, seven mascles conjoined, three, three and one or. (From his

[Illustration: FIG. 235.--Arms of Seiher de Quincy, Earl of Winchester (d.
1219): Or, a fess gules, a label of seven points azure. (From his seal.)]

[Illustration: FIG. 236.--Arms of Louis de Bruges, Earl of Winchester (d.

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


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

[Illustration: FIG. 237.--Arms of Hubert de Burgh, Earl of Kent (d. 1243).
(From his seal.)]

[Illustration: FIG. 238.--The Fret.]

[Illustration: FIG. 239.--Fretty.]

[Illustration: FIG. 240.--Arms of John Fitz Alan, Earl of Arundel (d.
1435): Quarterly, 1 and 4, gules, a lion rampant or (for Fitz Alan); 2 and
3, sable, fretty or (for Maltravers). (From his seal, _c._ 1432.)]

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

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


[Illustration: FIG. 241.--Flaunches.]

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

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


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

[Illustration: FIG. 242.--Fountain.]

[Illustration: FIG. 243.--The Arms of Stourton.]

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

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

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

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


[Illustration: FIG. 244.--Annulet.]

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

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


[Illustration: FIG. 245.--The Label.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

[Illustration: FIG. 246.--Arms of Hugh Courtenay, Earl of Devon (d. 1422):
Or, three torteaux, a label azure. (From his seal.)]

[Illustration: FIG. 247.--The Billet.]

[Illustration: FIG. 248.--Billetté.]

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

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

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


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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

{162} Various saints figure in different Scottish coats of arms, and
amongst them will be found the following:--

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

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

"The families who bear the names of saints, such as ST. ANDREW, ST. GEORGE,
ST. MICHAEL, have (perhaps not unnaturally) included in their arms
representation of their family patrons.

"The Bavarian family of REIDER include in their shield the mounted effigy
of the good knight ST. MARTIN dividing his cloak with a beggar (date of
diploma 1760). The figure of the great Apostle of the Gentiles appears in
the arms of VON PAULI JOERG, and JORGER, of Austria, similarly make use of
St. George.

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

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

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

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

"The Archangel ST. MICHAEL in full armour, as conventionally represented,
treading beneath his feet the great adversary, sable, is the charge on an
azure field of the VAN SCHOREL of Antwerp."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The arms of Londonderry afford an instance of a skeleton.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 253.--A savage's head.]

[Illustration: FIG. 254.--A blackamoor's head.]

[Illustration: FIG. 255.--A Saracen's head.]

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 256.--A woman's head and bust.]

[Illustration: FIG. 257.--A dexter hand.]

[Illustration: FIG. 258.--A sinister hand.]

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

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 259.--A hand "in benediction."]

[Illustration: FIG. 260.--A cubit arm.]

[Illustration: FIG. 261.--An arm couped at the elbow.]

[Illustration: FIG. 262.--An arm embowed.]

[Illustration: FIG. 263.--An arm embowed to the dexter.]

[Illustration: FIG. 264.--An arm embowed fesseways.]

[Illustration: FIG. 265.--An arm embowed the upper part in fesse.]

[Illustration: FIG. 266.--Two arms counter-embowed.]

[Illustration: FIG. 267.--Two arms counter-embowed and interlaced.]

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 268.--A cubit arm habited.]

[Illustration: FIG. 269.--An arm embowed in armour.]

[Illustration: FIG. 270.--A cubit arm in armour, the hand in a gauntlet.]

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 272.]

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

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 271.--Shield, helmet, and crest of Edward the Black
Prince, suspended over his tomb in Canterbury Cathedral.]

[Illustration: FIG. 273.]

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

[Illustration: FIG. 274.]

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 275.--Arms of Strange and Talbot. (From a design for a

[Illustration: FIG. 276.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

_Lion rampant guardant._--In this case the head of the lion is turned to
face the spectator (Fig. 285).

[Illustration: FIG. 277.--Lions. (Drawn by Mr. J. Forbes Nixon.)]

_Lion rampant regardant._--In this case the head is turned completely
round, looking backwards (Fig. 286).

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 278.--Lion passant guardant. (By Mr. G. Scruby.)]

[Illustration: FIG. 279.--Lion rampant. (By Mr. G. Scruby.)]

[Illustration: FIG. 280.--Lion rampant and lion statant guardant, by Mr. G.
W. Eve. (From "Decorative Heraldry.")]

[Illustration: FIG. 281.--Lion statant, lion passant guardant, and lion
passant regardant, by Mr. G. W. Eve. (From "Decorative Heraldry.")]

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 282.--A lion rampant. (By Miss Helard.)]

[Illustration: FIG. 283.--A lion rampant. (By Miss Helard.)]

[Illustration: FIG. 284.--Lion rampant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 285.--Lion rampant guardant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 286.--Lion rampant regardant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 287.--Lion rampant double queued.]

[Illustration: FIG. 288.--Lion rampant queue-fourché.]

[Illustration: FIG. 289.--Lion rampant, tail nowed.]

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 290.--Lion rampant, tail elevated and turned over its

[Illustration: FIG. 291.--Lion rampant, with two heads.]

[Illustration: FIG. 292.--Tricorporate lion.]

[Illustration: FIG. 293.--Lion coward.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 295.--Two lions rampant combatant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 296.--Lion passant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 297.--Lion passant guardant.]

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

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 298.--Lion passant regardant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 299.--Lion passant guard. dimidiated with the hulk of a

[Illustration: FIG. 300.--Lion statant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 301.--Lion statant tail extended.]

[Illustration: FIG. 302.--Lion statant guardant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 303.--Lion salient.]

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 304.--Lion sejant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 305.--Lion sejant guardant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 306.--Lion sejant regardant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 307.--Lion sejant erect.]

[Illustration: FIG. 308.--Lion sejant guardant erect.]

[Illustration: FIG. 309.--Lion sejant regardant erect.]

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

_Lion sejant regardant._--In this the head is turned right back to gaze
behind (Fig. 306).

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 310.--Arms of Sebastian Schärtlin von Burtenbach.]

[Illustration: FIG. 311.--Lion couchant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 312.--Lion dormant.]

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

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

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

_Lions as supporters._--Refer to the chapter on Supporters.

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

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 313.--Winged lion.]

[Illustration: FIG. 314.--Sea lion.]

[Illustration: FIG. 315.--Man-Lion.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Woodward gives the following very curious instances of the lion in

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

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

       *       *       *       *       *

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

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

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

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

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

"Among other curiosities of the use of the lion are the following foreign

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 317.--Arms of Bohemia, from the "Pulver Turme" at
Prague. (Latter half of the fifteenth century.)]

[Illustration: FIG. 316.--Arms of Richard of Conisburgh, Earl of Cambridge.
(From MS. Cott., Julius C. vii.)]

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

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

The demi-lion may be both guardant and regardant.

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

[Illustration: FIG. 318.--A demi-lion rampant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 319.--A demi-lion passant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 320.--A lion's head couped.]

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

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

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

_Demi-lion naissant_ issues from the centre of an ordinary, and not from
behind it.

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

[Illustration: FIG. 321.--A lion's face.]

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

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

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

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



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

[Illustration: FIG. 322.--Heraldic tyger rampant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 323.--Heraldic tyger passant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 324.--Bengal tiger passant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 325.--Bengal tiger rampant.]


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

[Illustration: FIG. 326.--Leopard passant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 327.--Leopard passant guardant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 328.--Leopard rampant.]

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 329.--Leopard's head erased.]

[Illustration: FIG. 330.--Leopard's head erased and affronté.]

[Illustration: FIG. 331.--Leopard's face.]

[Illustration: FIG. 332.--Leopard's face jessant-de-lis.]

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


[Illustration: FIG. 333.--Arms of Styria. (Drawn by Hans Burgkmair, 1523.)]

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 334.--Cat-a-mountain sejant guardant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 335.--Cat-a-mountain sejant guardant erect.]

[Illustration: FIG. 336.--Cat-a-mountain passant guardant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 337.--Wolf rampant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 338.--Wolf salient.]

[Illustration: FIG. 339.--Wolf courant.]

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

[Illustration: FIG. 340.--Wolf passant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 341.--Wolf statant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 342.--A lynx coward.]

[Illustration: FIG. 343.--Fox passant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 344.--Fox sejant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 345.--A fox's mask.]

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

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 346.--Bear rampant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 347.--Bear passant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 348.--Bear statant.]

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


[Illustration: FIG. 349.--Bear sejant erect.]

[Illustration: FIG. 350.--Bear's head couped (English).]

[Illustration: FIG. 351.--Bear's head couped (Scottish).]

[Illustration: FIG. 352.--Bear's head erased and muzzled (Scottish).]

[Illustration: FIG. 353.--Boar rampant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 354.--Boar passant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 355.--Boar statant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 356.--Boar's head erased (English).]

[Illustration: FIG. 357.--Boar's head couped (Scottish).]

[Illustration: FIG. 358.--Boar's head erased (Scottish).]

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

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

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


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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 359.--A chevalier on horseback.]

[Illustration: FIG. 360.--Horse rampant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 361.--Horse courant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 362.--Horse passant.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 363.--Horse-shoe.]

[Illustration: FIG. 364.--Sea-horse.]

[Illustration: FIG. 365.--Pegasus rampant.]

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

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

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

[Illustration: FIG. 366.--Pegasus passant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 367.--Arms of Herr von Frouberg.]

[Illustration: FIG. 368.--Talbot passant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 369.--Talbot statant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 370.--Talbot rampant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 371.--Talbot sejant.]

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


Dogs will be found of various kinds in many English and Scottish coats of
arms, though more frequently in the former than in the latter. The original
English dog, the hound of early days, is, of course, the talbot (Figs. 368,
369, 370, and 371). Under the heading of {204} supporters certain instances
will be quoted in which dogs of various kinds and breeds figure in
heraldry, but the talbot as a charge will be found in the arms of the old
Staffordshire family, Wolseley of Wolseley, a cadet of which house is the
present Field-Marshal Viscount Wolseley. The Wolseley arms are: "Argent, a
talbot passant gules." Other instances of the talbot will be found in the
arms or crests of the families of Grosvenor, Talbot, and Gooch. The arms
"Azure, three talbots statant or," were granted by Cooke to Edward Peke of
Heldchurchgate, Kent. A sleuth-hound treading gingerly upon the points of a
coronet ["On a ducal coronet, a sleuth-hound proper, collared and leashed
gules"] was the crest of the Earl of Perth and Melfort, and one wonders
whether the motto, "Gang warily," may not really have as much relation to
the perambulations of the crest as to the dangerous foothold amongst the
galtraps which is provided for the supporters.

[Illustration: FIG. 372.--Greyhound passant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 373.--Greyhound courant.]

Greyhounds (Figs. 372 and 373) are, of course, very frequently met with,
and amongst the instances which can be mentioned are the arms of Clayhills,
Hughes-Hunter of Plas Coch, and Hunter of Hunterston. A curious coat of
arms will be found under the name of Udney of that Ilk, registered in the
Lyon Office, namely: "Gules, two greyhounds counter-salient argent,
collared of the field, in the inner point a stag's head couped and attired
with ten tynes, all between the three fleurs-de-lis, two in chief and one
in base, or." Another very curious coat of arms is registered as the design
of the reverse of the seal of the Royal Burgh of Linlithgow, and is: "Or, a
greyhound bitch sable, chained to an oak-tree within a loch proper." This
curious coat of arms, however, being the reverse of the seal, is seldom if
ever made use of.

Two bloodhounds are the supporters to the arms of Campbell of Aberuchill.

The dog may be salient, that is, springing, its hind-feet on the ground;
passant, when it is sometimes known as trippant, otherwise walking; and
courant when it is at full speed. It will be found occasionally couchant or
lying down, but if depicted chasing another animal (as in the arms of
Echlin) it is described as "in full chase," or "in full course."

A mastiff will be found in the crest of Crawshay, and there is a {205}
well-known crest of a family named Phillips which is "a dog sejant
regardant surmounted by a bezant charged with a representation of a dog
saving a man from drowning." Whether this crest has any official authority
or not I do not know, but I should imagine it is highly doubtful.

Foxhounds appear as the supporters of Lord Hindlip; and when depicted with
its nose to the ground a dog is termed "a hound on scent."

A winged greyhound is stated to be the crest of a family of Benwell. A
greyhound "courant" will be found in the crests of Daly and Watney; and a
curious crest is that of Biscoe, which is a greyhound seizing a hare. The
crest of Anderson, until recently borne by the Earl of Yarborough, is a
water spaniel.

[Illustration: FIG. 374.--A sea-dog.]

[Illustration: FIG. 375.--Bull rampant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 376.--Bull passant.]

The sea-dog (Fig. 374) is a most curious animal. It is represented much as
the talbot, but with scales, webbed feet, and a broad scaly tail like a
beaver. In my mind there is very little doubt that the sea-dog is really
the early heraldic attempt to represent a beaver, and I am confirmed in
that opinion by the arms of the city of Oxford. There has been considerable
uncertainty as to what the sinister supporter was intended to represent. A
reference to the original record shows that a beaver is the real supporter,
but the representation of the animal, which in form has varied little, is
very similar to that of a sea-dog. The only instances I am aware of in
British heraldry in which it occurs under the name of a sea-dog are the
supporters of the Barony of Stourton and the crest of Dodge[17] (Plate


The bull (Figs. 375 and 376), and also the calf, and very occasionally the
cow and the buffalo, have their allotted place in heraldry. {206} They are
amongst the few animals which can never be represented proper, inasmuch as
in its natural state the bull is of very various colours. And yet there is
an exception to even this apparently obvious fact, for the bulls connected
with or used either as crests, badges, or supporters by the various
branches of the Nevill family are all pied bulls ["Arms of the Marquis of
Abergavenny: Gules, on a saltire argent, a rose of the field, barbed and
seeded proper. Crest: a bull statant argent, pied sable, collared and chain
reflexed over the back or. Supporters; two bulls argent, pied sable, armed,
unguled, collared and chained, and at the end of the chain two staples or.
Badges: on the dexter a rose gules, seeded or, barbed vert; on the sinister
a portcullis or. Motto: 'Ne vile velis.'"] The bull in the arms of the town
of Abergavenny, which are obviously based upon the arms and crest of the
Marquess of Abergavenny, is the same.

Examples of the bull will be found in the arms of Verelst, Blyth, and
Ffinden. A bull salient occurs in the arms of De Hasting ["Per pale vert
and or, a bull salient counterchanged"]. The arms of the Earl of
Shaftesbury show three bulls, which happen to be the quartering for Ashley.
This coat of arms affords an instance, and a striking one, of the manner in
which arms have been improperly assumed in England. The surname of the Earl
of Shaftesbury is Ashley-Cooper. It may be mentioned here in passing,
through the subject is properly dealt with elsewhere in the volume, that in
an English sub-quarterly coat for a double name the arms for the last and
most important name are the first and fourth quarterings. But Lord
Shaftesbury himself is the only person who bears the name of Cooper, all
other members of the family except his lordship being known by the name of
Ashley only. Possibly this may be the reason which accounts for the fact
that by a rare exception Lord Shaftesbury bears the arms of Ashley in the
first and fourth quarters, and Cooper in the second and third. But by a
very general mistake these arms of Ashley ["Argent, three bulls passant
sable, armed and unguled or"] were until recently almost invariably
described as the arms of Cooper. The result has been that during the last
century they were "jumped" right and left by people of the name of Cooper,
entirely in ignorance of the fact that the arms of Cooper (if it were, as
one can only presume, the popular desire to indicate a false relationship
to his lordship) are: "Gules, a bend engrailed between six lions rampant
or." The ludicrous result has been that to those who know, the arms have
stood self-condemned, and in the course of time, as it has become necessary
for these Messrs. Cooper to legalise these usurped insignia, the new
grants, differentiated versions of arms previously in use, have nearly all
been founded upon this Ashley coat. At any rate there must be a score or
more Cooper {207} grants with bulls as the principal charges, and
innumerable people of the name of Cooper are still using without authority
the old Ashley coat pure and simple.

The bull as a crest is not uncommon, belonging amongst other families to
Ridley, Sykes, and De Hoghton; and the demi-bull, and more frequently the
bull's head, are often met with. A bull's leg is the crest of De la Vache,
and as such appears upon two of the early Garter plates. Winged bulls are
the supporters of the Butchers' Livery Company. A bull's scalp occurs upon
a canton over the arms of Cheney, a coat quartered by Johnston and Cure.

[Illustration: FIG. 377.--Bull's head caboshed.]

[Illustration: FIG. 378.--Armorial bearings of John Henry Metcalfe, Esq.:
Argent, three calves passant sable, a canton gules.]

The ox seldom occurs, except that, in order sometimes to preserve a pun, a
bovine animal is sometimes so blazoned, as in the case of the arms of the
City of Oxford. Cows also are equally rare, but occur in the arms of Cowell
["Ermine, a cow statant gules, within a bordure sable, bezantée"] and in
the modern grants to the towns of Rawtenstall and Cowbridge. Cows' heads
appear on the arms of Veitch ["Argent, three cows' heads erased sable"],
and these were transferred to the cadency bordure of the Haig arms when
these were rematriculated for Mr. H. Veitch Haig.

Calves are of much more frequent occurrence than cows, appearing in many
coats of arms in which they are a pun upon the name. They will be found in
the arms of Vaile and Metcalfe (Fig. 378). Special attention may well be
drawn to the last-mentioned illustration, inasmuch as it is by Mr. J. H.
Metcalfe, whose heraldic work has obtained a well-deserved reputation. A
bull or cow is termed "armed" if the horns are of a different tincture from
the head. The term "unguled" applies to the hoofs, and "ringed" is used
when, as is sometimes the case, a ring passes through the nostrils. A
bull's head is sometimes found caboshed (Fig. 377), as in the crest of
Macleod, or as in the arms of Walrond. The position of the tail is one of
those matters which are left to the artist, and unless the blazon contains
any statement to the contrary, it may be placed in any convenient position.



The stag, using the term in its generic sense, under the various names of
stag, deer, buck, roebuck, hart, doe, hind, reindeer, springbok, and other
varieties, is constantly met with in British armory, as well as in that of
other countries.

[Illustration: FIG. 379.--Stag lodged.]

[Illustration: FIG. 380.--Stag trippant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 381.--Stag courant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 382.--Stag springing.]

[Illustration: FIG. 383.--Stag at gaze.]

[Illustration: FIG. 384.--Stag statant.]

In the specialised varieties, such as the springbok and the reindeer,
naturally an attempt is made to follow the natural animal in its salient
peculiarities, but as to the remainder, heraldry knows little if any
distinction after the following has been properly observed. The stag, which
is really the male red deer, has horns which are branched with pointed
branches from the bottom to the top; but a buck, which is the fallow deer,
has broad and flat palmated horns. Anything in the nature of a stag must be
subject to the following terms. If lying down it is termed "lodged" (Fig.
379), if walking it is termed "trippant" (Fig. 380), if running it is
termed "courant" (Fig. 381), or "at speed" or "in full chase." It is termed
"salient" when springing (Fig. 382), though the term "springing" is
sometimes employed, and it is said to be "at gaze" when statant with the
head turned to face the spectator (Fig. 383); but it should be noted that a
stag may also be "statant" (Fig. 384); and it is not "at gaze" unless the
head is turned round. {209} When it is necessary owing to a difference of
tincture or for other reasons to refer to the horns, a stag or buck is
described as "attired" of such and such a colour, whereas bulls, rams, and
goats are said to be "armed."

When the stag is said to be attired of ten or any other number of tynes, it
means that there are so many points to its horns. Like other cloven-footed
animals, the stag can be unguled of a different colour.

The stag's head is very frequently met with, but it will be almost more
frequently found as a stag's head caboshed (Fig. 385). In these cases the
head is represented affronté and removed close behind the ears, so that no
part of the neck is visible. The stag's head caboshed occurs in the arms of
Cavendish and Stanley, and also in the arms of Legge, Earl of Dartmouth.
Figs. 386 and 387 are examples of other heads.

[Illustration: FIG. 385.--Stag's head caboshed.]

[Illustration: FIG. 386.--Stag's head erased.]

[Illustration: FIG. 387.--Buck's head couped.]

[Illustration: FIG. 388.--Hind.]

[Illustration: FIG. 389.--Reindeer.]

[Illustration: FIG. 390.--Winged stag rampant.]

The attires of a stag are to be found either singly (as in the arms of
Boyle) or in the form of a pair attached to the scalp. The crest of Jeune
affords an instance of a scalp. The hind or doe (Fig. 388) is sometimes met
with, as in the crest of Hatton, whilst a hind's head is the crest of

The reindeer (Fig. 389) is less usual, but reindeer heads will be found in
the arms of Fellows. It, however, appears as a supporter for {210} several
English peers. Winged stags (Fig. 390) were the supporters of De Carteret,
Earls of Granville, and "a demi-winged stag gules, collared argent," is the
crest of Fox of Coalbrookdale, co. Salop.

Much akin to the stag is the antelope, which, unless specified to be an
_heraldic_ antelope, or found in a very old coat, is usually represented in
the natural form of the animal, and subject to the foregoing rules.

_Heraldic Antelope._--This animal (Figs. 391, 392, and 393) is found in
English heraldry more frequently as a supporter than as a charge. As an
instance, however, of the latter form may be mentioned the family of
Dighton (Lincolnshire): "Per pale argent and gules, an heraldic antelope
passant counterchanged." It bears little if any relation to the real
animal, though there can be but small doubt that the earliest forms
originated in an attempt to represent an antelope or an ibex. Since,
however, heraldry has found a use for the real antelope, it has been
necessary to distinguish it from the creations of the early armorists,
which are now known as heraldic antelopes. Examples will be found in the
supporters of Lord Carew, in the crest of Moresby, and of Bagnall.

[Illustration: FIG. 391.--Heraldic antelope statant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 392.--The heraldic antelope rampant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 393.--Heraldic antelope passant.]

The difference chiefly consists in the curious head and horns and in the
tail, the heraldic antelope being an heraldic tiger, with the feet and legs
similar to those of a deer, and with two straight serrated horns.

_Ibex._--This is another form of the natural antelope, but with two
saw-edged horns projecting from the forehead.

A curious animal, namely, the sea-stag, is often met with in German
heraldry. This is the head, antlers, fore-legs, and the upper part of the
body of a stag conjoined to the fish-tail end of a mermaid. {211} The only
instance I am aware of in which it occurs in British armory is the case of
the arms of Marindin, which were recently matriculated in Lyon Register
(Fig. 394). This coat, however, it should be observed, is really of German
or perhaps of Swiss origin.

[Illustration: FIG. 394.--Armorial bearings of Marindin.]


The ram (Figs. 395 and 396), the consideration of which must of necessity
include the sheep (Fig. 397), the Paschal lamb (Fig. 398), and the fleece
(Fig. 399), plays no unimportant part in armory. The chief heraldic
difference between the ram and the sheep, to some extent, in opposition to
the agricultural distinctions, lies in the fact that the ram is always
represented with horns and the sheep without. The lamb and the ram are
always represented with the natural tail, but the sheep is deprived of it.
A ram can of course be "armed" (_i.e._ with the horns of a different
colour) and "unguled," but the latter will seldom be found to be the case.
The ram, the sheep, and the lamb will nearly always be found either passant
or statant, but a demi-ram is naturally represented in a rampant posture,
though in such a case the word "rampant" is not necessary in the blazon.

Occasionally, as in the crest of Marwood, the ram will be found couchant.
As a charge upon a shield the ram will be found in the arms of Sydenham
["Argent, three rams passant sable"], and a ram couchant occurs in the arms
of Pujolas (granted 1762) ["Per fess wavy azure and argent, in base on a
mount vert, a ram couchant sable, armed and unguled or, in chief three
doves proper"]. The arms of Ramsey ["Azure, a chevron between three {212}
rams passant or"] and the arms of Harman ["Sable, a chevron between six
rams counter-passant two and two argent, armed and unguled or"] are other
instances in which rams occur. A sheep occurs in the arms of Sheepshanks
["Azure, a chevron erminois between in chief three roses and in base a
sheep passant argent. Crest: on a mount vert, a sheep passant argent"].

[Illustration: FIG. 395.--Ram statant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 396.--Ram rampant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 397.--Sheep passant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 398.--Paschal lamb.]

[Illustration: FIG. 399.--Fleece.]

[Illustration: FIG. 400.--Ram's head caboshed.]

[Illustration: FIG. 401.--Goat passant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 402.--Goat rampant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 403.--Goat salient.]

The lamb, which is by no means an unusual charge in Welsh coats of arms, is
most usually found in the form of a "paschal lamb" (Fig. 398), or some
variation evidently founded thereupon.

The fleece--of course originally of great repute as the badge of {213} the
Order of the Golden Fleece--has in recent years been frequently employed in
the grants of arms to towns or individuals connected with the woollen

The demi-ram and the demi-lamb are to be found as crests, but far more
usual are rams' heads, which figure, for example, in the arms of Ramsden,
and in the arms of the towns of Huddersfield, and Barrow-in-Furness. The
ram's head will sometimes be found caboshed, as in the arms of Ritchie and

Perhaps here reference may fittingly be made to the arms granted by Lyon
Office in 1812 to Thomas Bonar, co. Kent ["Argent, a saltire and chief
azure, the last charged with a dexter hand proper, vested with a
shirt-sleeve argent, issuing from the dexter chief point, holding a
shoulder of mutton proper to a lion passant or, all within a bordure

_The Goat_ (Figs. 401-403) is very frequently met with in armory. Its
positions are passant, statant, rampant, and salient. When the horns are of
a different colour it is said to be "armed."


_The Elephant_ is by no means unusual in heraldry, appearing as a crest, as
a charge, and also as a supporter. Nor, strange to say, is its appearance
exclusively modern. The elephant's head, however, is much more frequently
met with than the entire animal. Heraldry generally finds some way of
stereotyping one of its creations as peculiarly its own, and in regard to
the elephant, the curious "elephant and castle" (Fig. 404) is an example,
this latter object being, of course, simply a derivative of the howdah of
Indian life. Few early examples of the elephant omit the castle. The
elephant and castle is seen in the arms of Dumbarton and in the crest of

A curious practice, the result of pure ignorance, has manifested itself in
British armory. As will be explained in the chapter upon crests, a large
proportion of German crests are derivatives of the stock basis of two
bull's horns, which formed a recognised ornament for a helmet in Viking and
other pre-heraldic days. As heraldry found its footing it did not in
Germany displace those horns, which in many cases continued alone as the
crest or remained as a part of it in the form of additions to other
objects. The craze for decoration at an early period seized upon the horns,
which carried repetitions of the arms or their tinctures. As time went on
the {214} decoration was carried further, and the horns were made with
bell-shaped open ends to receive other objects, usually bunches of feathers
or flowers. So universal did this custom become that even when nothing was
inserted the horns came to be always depicted with these open mouths at
their points. But German heraldry now, as has always been the case, simply
terms the figures "horns." In course of time German immigrants made
application for grants of arms in this country, which, doubtless, were
based upon other German arms previously in use, but which, evidence of
right not being forthcoming, could not be recorded as borne of right, and
needed to be granted with alteration as a new coat. The curious result has
been that these horns have been incorporated in some number of English
grants, but they have universally been described as elephants' proboscides,
and are now always so represented in this country. A case in point is the
crest of Verelst, and another is the crest of Allhusen.

[Illustration: FIG. 404.--Elephant and castle.]

[Illustration: FIG. 405.--Hare salient.]

[Illustration: FIG. 406.--Coney.]

[Illustration: FIG. 407.--Squirrel.]

Elephants' tusks have also been introduced into grants, as in the arms of
Liebreich (borne in pretence by Cock) and Randles ["Or, a chevron wavy
azure between three pairs of elephants' tusks in saltire proper"].

_The Hare_ (Fig. 405) is but rarely met with in British armory. It appears
in the arms of Cleland, and also in the crest of Shakerley, Bart. ["A hare
proper resting her forefeet on a grab or"]. A very curious coat ["Argent,
three hares playing bagpipes gules"] belongs to an ancient Derbyshire
family FitzErcald, now represented (through the Sacheverell family) by Coke
of Trussley, who quarter the FitzErcald shield.

_The Rabbit_ (Fig. 406), or, as it is more frequently termed heraldically,
the Coney, appears more frequently in heraldry than the hare, being the
canting charge on the arms of Coningsby, Cunliffe ["Sable, three conies
courant argent"], and figuring also as the supporters of Montgomery
Cunningham ["Two conies proper"].

_The Squirrel_ (Fig. 407) occurs in many English coats of arms. It is
always sejant, and very frequently cracking a nut. {215}

_The Ape_ is not often met with, except in the cases of the different
families of the great Fitz Gerald clan. It is usually the crest, though the
Duke of Leinster also has apes as supporters. One family of Fitzgerald,
however, bear it as a charge upon the shield ["Gules, a saltire invected
per pale argent and or, between four monkeys statant of the second,
environed with a plain collar and chained of the second. Mantling gules and
argent. Crest: on a wreath of the colours, a monkey as in the arms, charged
on the body with two roses, and resting the dexter fore-leg on a saltire
gules. Motto: 'Crom-a-boo'"], and the family of Yorke bear an ape's head
for a crest.

The ape is usually met with "collared and chained" (Fig. 408), though,
unlike any other animal, the collar of an ape environs its loins and not
its neck. A winged ape is included in Elvin's "Dictionary of Heraldry" as a
heraldic animal, but I am not aware to whom it is assigned.

[Illustration: FIG. 408.--Ape collared and chained.]

[Illustration: FIG. 409.--Brock.]

[Illustration: FIG. 410.--Otter.]

_The Brock_ or _Badger_ (Fig. 409) figures in some number of English arms.
It is most frequently met with as the crest of Brooke, but will be also
found in the arms or crests of Brocklebank and Motion.

_The Otter_ (Fig. 410) is not often met with except in Scottish coats, but
an English example is that of Sir George Newnes, and a demi-otter issuant
from a fess wavy will be found quartered by Seton of Mounie.

An otter's head, sometimes called a seal's head, for it is impossible to
distinguish the heraldic representations of the one or the other, appears
in many coats of arms of different families of the name of Balfour, and two
otters are the supporters belonging to the head of the Scottish house of

_The Ermine_, _the Stoat_, and _the Weasel_, &c., are not very often met
with, but the ermine appears as the crest of Crawford and the marten as the
crest of a family of that name. {216}

[Illustration: FIG. 411.--Urcheon.]

_The Hedgehog_, or, as it is usually heraldically termed, the _Urcheon_
(Fig. 411), occurs in some number of coats. For example, in the arms of
Maxwell ["Argent, an eagle with two heads displayed sable, beaked and
membered gules, on the breast an escutcheon of the first, charged with a
saltire of the second, surcharged in the centre with a hurcheon (hedgehog)
or, all within a bordure gules"], Harris, and as the crest of Money-Kyrle.

_The Beaver_ has been introduced into many coats of late years for those
connected in any way with Canada. It figures in the arms of Lord Strathcona
and Mount Royal, and in the arms of Christopher.

The beaver is one of the supporters of the city of Oxford, and is the sole
charge in the arms of the town of Biberach (Fig. 412). Originally the arms
were: "Argent, a beaver azure, crowned and armed gules," but the arms
authorised by the Emperor Frederick IV., 18th July 1848, were: "Azure, a
beaver or."

[Illustration: FIG. 412.--Arms of the town of Biberach. (From Ulrich
Reichenthal's _Concilium von Constanz_, Augsburg, 1483.)]

It is quite impossible, or at any rate very unnecessary, to turn a work on
armory into an Illustrated Guide to Natural History, which would be the
result if under the description of heraldic charges the attempt were made
to deal with all the various animals which have by now been brought to the
armorial fold, owing to the inclusion of each for special and sufficient
reasons in one or two isolated grants.

Far be it from me, however, to make any remark which should seem to
indicate the raising of any objection to such use. In my opinion it is
highly admirable, providing there is some definite reason in each case for
the introduction of these strange animals other than mere caprice. They add
to the interest of heraldry, and they give to modern arms and armory a
definite status and meaning, which is a relief from the endless monotony of
meaningless lions, bends, chevrons, mullets, and martlets.

But at the same time the isolated use in a modern grant of such an animal
as the kangaroo does not make it one of the peculiarly heraldic menagerie,
and consequently such instances must be dismissed herein with brief
mention, particularly as many of these creatures heraldically exist only as
supporters, in which chapter some are more fully {217} discussed. Save as a
supporter, the only instances I know of the _Kangaroo_ are in the coat of
Moore and in the arms of Arthur, Bart.

_The Zebra_ will be found as the crest of Kemsley.

_The Camel_, which will be dealt with later as a supporter, in which form
it appears in the arms of Viscount Kitchener, the town of Inverness (Fig.
251), and some of the Livery Companies, also figures in the reputed but
unrecorded arms of Camelford, and in the arms of Cammell of Sheffield and
various other families of a similar name.

The fretful _Porcupine_ was borne ["Gules, a porcupine erect argent,
tusked, collared, and chained or"] by Simon Eyre, Lord Mayor of London in
1445: and the creature also figures as one of the supporters and the crest
of Sidney, Lord De Lisle and Dudley.

[Illustration: FIG. 413.--Bat.]

_The Bat_ (Fig. 413) will be found in the arms of Heyworth and as the crest
of a Dublin family named Wakefield.

_The Tortoise_ occurs in the arms of a Norfolk family named Gandy, and is
also stated by Papworth to occur in the arms of a Scottish family named
Goldie. This coat, however, is not matriculated. It also occurs in the
crests of Deane and Hayne.

_The Springbok_, which is one of the supporters of Cape Colony, and two of
which are the supporters of Viscount Milner, is also the crest of Randles
["On a wreath of the colours, a springbok or South African antelope statant
in front of an assegai erect all proper"].

_The Rhinoceros_ occurs as one of the supporters of Viscount Colville of
Culross, and also of the crest of Wade, and the _Hippopotamus_ is one of
the supporters of Speke.

_The Crocodile_, which is the crest and one of the supporters of Speke, is
also the crest of Westcar ["A crocodile proper, collared and chained or"].

_The Alpaca_, and also two _Angora Goats'_ heads figure in the arms of

_The Rat_ occurs in the arms of Ratton,[18] which is a peculiarly good
example of a canting coat.

_The Mole_, sometimes termed a moldiwarp, occurs in the arms of Mitford
["Argent, a fess sable between three moles displayed sable"]. {218}



The heraldic catalogue of beasts runs riot when we reach those mythical or
legendary creatures which can only be summarised under the generic term of
monsters. Most mythical animals, however, can be traced back to some
comparable counterpart in natural history.

The fauna of the New World was of course unknown to those early heraldic
artists in whose knowledge and imagination, no less than in their skill (or
lack of it) in draughtsmanship, lay the nativity of so much of our
heraldry. They certainly thought they were representing animals in
existence in most if not in all cases, though one gathers that they
considered many of the animals they used to be misbegotten hybrids.
Doubtless, working on the assumption of the mule as the hybrid of the horse
and the ass, they jumped to the conclusion that animals which contained
salient characteristics of two other animals which they knew were likewise
hybrids. A striking example of their theories is to be found in the
heraldic Camelopard, which was anciently devoutly believed to be begotten
by the leopard upon the camel. A leopard they would be familiar with, also
the camel, for both belong to that corner of the world where the north-east
of the African Continent, the south-east of Europe, and the west of Asia
join, where were fought out the wars of the Cross, and where heraldry took
on itself a definite being. There the known civilisations of the world met,
taking one from the other knowledge, more or less distorted, ideas and wild
imaginings. A stray giraffe was probably seen by some journeyer up the
Nile, who, unable to otherwise account for it, considered and stated the
animal to be the hybrid offspring of the leopard and camel. Another point
needs to be borne in mind. Earlier artists were in no way fettered by any
supposed necessity for making their pictures realistic representations.
Realism is a modernity. Their pictures were decoration, and they thought
far more of making their subject fit the space to be decorated than of
making it a "speaking likeness."

Nevertheless, their work was not all imagination. In the _Crocodile_ {219}
we get the basis of the dragon, if indeed the heraldic dragon be not a
perpetuation of ancient legends, or even perhaps of then existing
representations of those winged antediluvian animals, the fossilised
remains of which are now available. Wings, however, need never be
considered a difficulty. It has ever been the custom (from the angels of
Christianity to the personalities of Mercury and Pegasus) to add wings to
any figure held in veneration. Why, it would be difficult to say, but
nevertheless the fact remains.

_The Unicorn_, however, it is not easy to resolve into an original basis,
because until the seventeenth century every one fondly believed in the
existence of the animal. Mr. Beckles Wilson appears to have paid
considerable attention to the subject, and was responsible for the article
"The Rise of the Unicorn" which recently appeared in _Cassel's Magazine_.
That writer traces the matter to a certain extent from non-heraldic
sources, and the following remarks, which are taken from the above article,
are of considerable interest:--

"The real genesis of the unicorn was probably this: at a time when armorial
bearings were becoming an indispensable part of a noble's equipment, the
attention of those knights who were fighting under the banner of the Cross
was attracted to the wild antelopes of Syria and Palestine. These animals
are armed with long, straight, spiral horns set close together, so that at
a side view they appeared to be but a single horn. To confirm this, there
are some old illuminations and drawings extant which endow the early
unicorn with many of the attributes of the deer and goat kind. The sort of
horn supposed to be carried by these Eastern antelopes had long been a
curiosity, and was occasionally brought back as a trophy by travellers from
the remote parts of the earth. There is a fine one to be seen to-day at the
abbey of St. Denis, and others in various collections in Europe. We now
know these so-called unicorn's horns, usually carved, to belong to that
marine monster the narwhal, or sea-unicorn. But the fable of a breed of
horned horses is at least as old as Pliny" [Had the "gnu" anything to do
with this?], "and centuries later the Crusaders, or the monkish artists who
accompanied them, attempted to delineate the marvel. From their first rude
sketches other artists copied; and so each presentment was passed along,
until at length the present form of the unicorn was attained. There was a
time--not so long ago--when the existence of the unicorn was as implicitly
believed in as the camel or any other animal not seen in these latitudes;
and the translators of the Bible set their seal upon the legend by
translating the Hebrew word _reem_ (which probably meant a rhinoceros) as
'unicorn.' Thus the worthy Thomas Fuller came to consider the existence of
the unicorn clearly proved by the mention of it in Scripture! Describing
{220} the horn of the animal, he writes, 'Some are plain, as that of St.
Mark's in Venice; others wreathed about it, which probably is the effect of
age, those wreaths being but the wrinkles of most vivacious unicorns. The
same may be said of the colour: white when newly taken from the head;
yellow, like that lately in the Tower, of some hundred years' seniority;
but whether or no it will soon turn black, as that of Plinie's description,
let others decide.'

"All the books on natural history so late as the seventeenth century
describe at length the unicorn; several of them carefully depict him as
though the artist had drawn straight from the life.

"If art had stopped here, the wonder of the unicorn would have remained but
a paltry thing after all. His finer qualities would have been unrecorded,
and all his virtues hidden. But, happily, instead of this, about the animal
first conceived in the brain of a Greek (as Pegasus also was), and embodied
through the fertile fancy of the Crusader, the monks and heraldists of the
Middle Ages devised a host of spiritual legends. They told of his pride,
his purity, his endurance, his matchless spirit.

"'The greatnesse of his mynde is such that he chooseth rather to dye than
be taken alive.' Indeed, he was only conquerable by a beautiful maiden. One
fifteenth-century writer gives a recipe for catching a unicorn. 'A maid is
set where he hunteth and she openeth her lap, to whom the unicorn, as
seeking rescue from the force of the hunter, yieldeth his head and leaveth
all his fierceness, and resteth himself under her protection, sleepeth
until he is taken and slain.' But although many were reported to be thus
enticed to their destruction, only their horns, strange to say, ever
reached Europe. There is one in King Edward's collection at Buckingham

"Naturally, the horn of such an animal was held a sovereign specific
against poison, and 'ground unicorn's horn' often figures in mediæval books
of medicine.

"There was in Shakespeare's time at Windsor Castle the 'horn of a unicorn
of above eight spans and a half in length, valued at above £10,000.' This
may have been the one now at Buckingham Palace. One writer, describing it,

"'I doe also know that horn the King of England possesseth to be wreathed
in spires, even as that is accounted in the Church of St. Dennis, than
which they suppose none greater in the world, and I never saw anything in
any creature more worthy praise than this horne. It is of soe great a
length that the tallest man can scarcely touch the top thereof, for it doth
fully equal seven great feet. It weigheth thirteen pounds, with their
assize, being only weighed by the gesse of the hands it seemeth much
heavier.' {221}

"Spenser, in the 'Faerie Queen,' thus describes a contest between the
unicorn and the lion:--

 'Like as the lyon, whose imperial powre
  A proud rebellious unicorn defyes,
  T'avoide the rash assault and wrathful stowre
  Of his fiers foe, him to a tree applies.
  And when him running in full course he spyes
  He slips aside; the whiles that furious beast
  His precious horne, sought of his enimyes,
  Strikes in the stroke, ne thence can be released,
  But to the victor yields a bounteous feast.'

"'It hath,' remarked Guillim, in 1600, 'been much questioned among
naturalists which it is that is properly called the unicorn; and some have
made doubt whether there be such a beast or no. But the great esteem of his
horn in many places to be seen may take away that needless scruple.'

[Illustration: FIG. 414.--Unicorn rampant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 415.--Unicorn passant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 416.--Unicorn statant.]

"Another old writer, Topsell, says:--

[Illustration: FIG. 417.--Unicorn rampant.]

"'These beasts are very swift, and their legs have not articles. They keep
for the most part in the deserts, and live solitary in the tops of the
mountaines. There was nothing more horrible than the voice or braying of
it, for the voice is strained above measure. It fighteth both with the
mouth and with the heeles, with the mouth biting like a lyon, and with the
heeles kicking like a horse.'

"Nor is belief in the unicorn confined to Europe. By Chinese writers it is
characterised as a 'spiritual beast.' The existence of the unicorn is
firmly credited by the most intelligent natives and by not a few Europeans.
A very trustworthy observer, the Abbé Huc, speaks very positively on the
subject: 'The unicorn really exists in Tibet.... We had for a long time a
small Mongol treatise on Natural History, for the use of children, in which
a unicorn formed one of the pictorial illustrations.'"

The unicorn, however, as it has heraldically developed, is drawn {222} with
the body of a horse, the tail of the heraldic lion, the legs and feet of
the deer, the head and mane of a horse, to which is added the long twisted
horn from which the animal is named, and a beard (Figs. 414, 415, and 416).
A good representation of the unicorn will be found in the figure of the
Royal Arms herein, and in Fig. 417, which is as fine a piece of heraldic
design as could be wished.

The crest of Yonge of Colbrooke, Devonshire, is "a demi-sea-unicorn argent,
armed gules, finned or," and the crest of Tynte (Kemeys-Tynte of Cefn Mably
and Halswell) is "on a mount vert, a unicorn sejant argent, armed and
crined or."

The unicorn will be found in the arms of Styleman, quartered by Le Strange,
and Swanzy.

[Illustration: FIG. 418.--Gryphon segreant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 419.--Gryphon passant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 420.--Gryphon Statant.]

_The Griffin_ or _Gryphon_.--Though in the popular mind any heraldic
monster is generically termed a griffin, the griffin has, nevertheless,
very marked and distinct peculiarities. It is one of the hybrid
monstrosities which heraldry is so fond of, and is formed by the body,
hind-legs, and tail of a lion conjoined to the head and claws of an eagle,
the latter acting as its forepaws (Figs. 418-420). It has the wings of the
eagle, which are never represented close, but it also has ears, and this,
by the way, should be noted, because herein is the only distinction between
a griffin's head and an eagle's head when the rest of the body is not
represented (Fig. 421). Though but very seldom so met with, it is
occasionally found proper, by which description is meant that the plumage
is of the brown colour of the eagle, the rest of the body being the natural
colour of the lion. The griffin is frequently found with its beak and
fore-legs of a different colour from its body, {223} and is then termed
"armed," though another term, "beaked and fore-legged," is almost as
frequently used. A very popular idea is that the origin of the griffin was
the dimidiation of two coats of arms, one having an eagle and the other a
lion as charges, but taking the origin of armory to belong to about the end
of the eleventh century, or thereabouts, the griffin can be found as a
distinct creation, not necessarily heraldic, at a very much earlier date.
An exceedingly good and an early representation of the griffin will be
found in Fig. 422. It is a representation of the great seal of the town of
Schweidnitz in the jurisdiction of Breslau, and belongs to the year 1315.
The inscription is "+ S universitatis civium de Swidnitz." In the grant of
arms to the town in the year 1452, the griffin is gules on a field of

[Illustration: FIG. 422.--Seal of the Town of Schweidnitz.]

The griffin will be found in all sorts of positions, and the terms applied
to it are the same as would be applied to a lion, except in the single
instance of the rampant position. A griffin is then termed "segreant" (Fig.
418). The wings are usually represented as endorsed and erect, but this is
not compulsory, as will be noticed by reference to the supporters of the
Earl of Mar and Kellie, in which the wings are inverted.

[Illustration: FIG. 421.--Gryphon's head erased.]

[Illustration: FIG. 423.--Male gryphon.]

There is a certain curiosity in English heraldry, wholly peculiar to it,
which may be here referred to. A griffin in the ordinary way is merely so
termed, but a male griffin by some curious reasoning has no wings, but is
adorned with spikes showing at some number of points on its body (Fig.
423). I have, under my remarks upon the panther, hazarded the supposition
that the male griffin of English heraldry is nothing more than a British
development and form of the Continental heraldic panther which is unknown
to us. The origin of the clusters and spikes, unless they are to be found
in the flames of fire associated with the panther, must remain a mystery.
The male griffin is very seldom met with, but two of these creatures are
the supporters of Sir George John Egerton Dashwood, Bart. Whilst we
consider the griffin a purely mythical animal, there is no doubt whatever
that earlier writers devoutly believed that such animals existed. Sir John
Maundeville tells us in his "Travels" that they abound in Bacharia. "Sum
men seyn that thei han the body upward as an egle, and benethe as a lyoun;
and treuly thei seyn sothe that thei ben of that schapp. But a Griffoun
{224} hathe the body more gret and more strong than eight lyouns of such
lyouns as ben o' this half (of the world), and more gret and stronger than
an 100 egles such as we han amonges us ...," and other writers, whilst not
considering them an original type of animal, undoubtedly believed in their
existence as hybrid of the eagle and the lion. It is of course a well-known
fact that the mule, the most popular hybrid, does not breed. This fact
would be accepted as accounting for the rarity of animals which were
considered to be hybrids.

Though there are examples of griffins in some of the earliest rolls of
arms, the animal cannot be said to have come into general use until a
somewhat later period. Nowadays, however, it is probably next in popularity
to the lion.

The demi-griffin is very frequently found as a crest.

A griffin's head (Fig. 421) is still yet more frequently met with, and as a
charge upon the shields it will be found in the arms of Raikes, Kay, and
many other families.

A variety of the griffin is found in the gryphon-marine, or sea-griffin. In
it the fore part of the creature is that of the eagle, but the wings are
sometimes omitted; and the lower half of the animal is that of a fish, or
rather of a mermaid. Such a creature is the charge in the arms of the
Silesian family of Mestich: "Argent, a sea-griffin proper" (Siebmacher,
_Wappenbuch_, i. 69). "Azure, a (winged) sea-griffin per fesse gules and
argent crowned or," is the coat of the Barons von Puttkammer. One or two
other Pomeranian families have the like charge without wings.

_The Dragon._--Much akin to the griffin is the dragon, but the similarity
of appearance is more superficial than real, inasmuch as in all details it
differs, except in the broad similarity that it has four legs, a pair of
wings, and is a terrible creature. The much referred to "griffin" opposite
the Law Courts in the Strand is really a dragon. The head of a dragon is
like nothing else in heraldry, and from what source it originated or what
basis existed for ancient heraldic artists to imagine it from must remain a
mystery, unless it has developed from the crocodile or some antediluvian
animal much akin. It is like nothing else in heaven or on earth. Its neck
is covered with scales not unlike those of a fish. All four legs are scaled
and have claws, the back is scaled, the tongue is barbed, and the under
part of the body is likewise scaled, but here, in rolls of a much larger
size. Great differences will be found in the shape of the ears, but the
wings of the dragon are always represented as the wings of a bat, with the
long ribs or bones carried to the base (Figs. 424-426). The dragon is one
of the most artistic of heraldic creations, and lends itself very readily
to the genius of any artist. In nearly all modern representations the tail,
like the tongue, {225} will be found ending in a barb, but it should be
observed that this is a comparatively recent addition. All dragons of the
Tudor period were invariably represented without any such additions to
their tails. The tail was long and smooth, ending in a blunt point.

Whilst we have separate and distinct names for many varieties of
dragon-like creatures, other countries in their use of the word "dragon"
include the wyvern, basilisk, cockatrice, and other similar creatures, but
the distinct name in German heraldry for our four-footed dragon is the
_Lindwurm_, and Fig. 427 is a representation of the dragon according to
German ideas, which nevertheless might form an example for English artists
to copy, except that we very seldom represent ours as coward.

[Illustration: FIG. 424.--Dragon rampant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 425.--Dragon passant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 426.--Dragon statant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 427.--A German dragon.]

The red dragon upon a mount vert, which forms a part of the Royal
achievement as the badge of Wales, is known as the red dragon of
Cadwallader, and in deference to a loudly expressed sentiment on the
subject, His Majesty the King has recently added the Welsh dragon
differenced by a label of three points argent as an additional badge to the
achievement of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. The red dragon was
one of the supporters of the Tudor kings, being used by Henry VII., Henry
VIII., and Edward VI. Queen Elizabeth, however, whose liking for gold is
evidenced by her changing the Royal mantle from gules and ermine to gold
and ermine, also changed the colour of the dragon as her supporter to gold,
and many Welsh scholars hold that the ruddy dragon of Wales was and should
be of ruddy gold and not of gules. There is some room for doubt whether the
dragon in the Royal Arms was really of Welsh origin. The point was
discussed at some length by the present writer {226} in the _Genealogical
Magazine_ (October 1902). It was certainly in use by King Henry III.

A dragon may be statant (Fig. 426), rampant (Fig. 424), or passant (Fig.
425), and the crests of Bicknell and of the late Sir Charles Young, Garter
King of Arms, are examples of dragons couchant.

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

Variations such as that attributed to the family of Raynor ["Argent, a
dragon volant in bend sable"], the dragon overthrown on the arms of
Langridge as quartered by Lowdell, and the sinister supporter of the arms
of Viscount Gough ["The dragon of China or gorged with a mural crown and
chained sable"] may be noted. The Chinese dragon, which is also the dexter
supporter of Sir Robert Hart, Bart., follows closely the Chinese model, and
is without wings.

[Illustration: FIG. 428.--Wyvern.]

[Illustration: FIG. 429.--Wyvern with wings displayed.]

[Illustration: FIG. 430.--Wyvern erect.]

_The Wyvern._--There is no difference whatever between a wyvern's head and
a dragon's, but there is considerable difference between a wyvern and a
dragon, at any rate in English heraldry, though the wyvern appears to be
the form more frequently met with under the name of a dragon in other
countries. The wyvern has only two legs, the body curling away into the
tail, and it is usually represented as resting upon its legs and tail
(Figs. 428 and 429). On the other hand, it will occasionally be found
sitting erect upon its tail with its claws in the air (Fig. 430), and the
supporters of the Duke of Marlborough are generally so represented. As a
charge or crest, however, probably the only instance of a wyvern sejant
erect is the crest of Mansergh. A curious crest also is that of Langton,
namely: "On a wreath of the colours, an eagle or and a wyvern vert,
interwoven and erect on their tails," and an equally curious one is the
crest of Maule, _i.e._ "A wyvern vert, with two heads vomiting fire at both
ends proper, charged with a crescent argent."

Occasionally the wyvern is represented without wings and with the {227}
tail nowed. Both these peculiarities occur in the case of the crest of a
Lancashire family named Ffarington.

_The Cockatrice._--The next variety is the cockatrice (Fig. 431), which is,
however, comparatively rare. Two cockatrices are the supporters to the arms
of the Earl of Westmeath, and also to the arms of Sir Edmund Charles
Nugent, Bart. But the animal is not common as a charge. The difference
between a wyvern and a cockatrice is that the latter has the head of a cock
substituted for the dragon's head with which the wyvern is decorated. Like
the cock, the beak, comb, and wattles are often of another tincture, and
the animal is then termed armed, combed, and wattled.

[Illustration: FIG. 431.--Cockatrice.]

The cockatrice is sometimes termed a _basilisk_, and according to ancient
writers the basilisk is produced from an egg laid by a nine-year-old cock
and hatched by a toad on a dunghill. Probably this is merely the expression
of the intensified loathing which it was desired to typify. But the
heraldic basilisk is stated to have its tail terminating in a dragon's
head. In English heraldry, at any rate, I know of no such example.

_The Hydra_, or _Seven-headed Dragon_, as the crest, is ascribed to the
families of Barret, Crespine, and Lownes.

[Illustration: FIG. 432.--Camelopard.]

_The Camelopard_ (Fig. 432), which is nothing more or less than an ordinary
giraffe, must be properly included amongst mythical animals, because the
form and semblance of the giraffe was used to represent a mythical hybrid
creation which the ancients believed to be begotten between a leopard and a
camel. Possibly they represented the real giraffe (which they may have
known), taking that to be a hybrid between the two animals stated. It
occurs as the crest of several coats of arms for the name of Crisp.

_The Camelopardel_, which is another mythical animal fathered upon armory,
is stated to be the same as the camelopard, but with the addition of two
long horns curved backwards. I know of no instance in which it occurs.

The human face or figure conjoined to some other animal's body gives us a
number of heraldic creatures, some of which play no inconsiderable part in

The human figure (male) conjoined to the tail of a fish is known as the
_Triton_ or _Merman_ (Fig. 433). Though there are some number of instances
in which it occurs as a supporter, it is seldom met with as {228} a charge
upon a shield. It is, however, to be found in the arms of Otway, and is
assigned as a crest to the family of Tregent, and a family of Robertson, of

_The Mermaid_ (Fig. 434), is much more frequently met with. It is generally
represented with the traditional mirror and comb in the hands. It will be
found appearing, for example, in the arms of Ellis, of Glasfryn, co.
Monmouth. The crest of Mason, used without authority by the founder of
Mason's College, led to its inclusion in the arms of the University of
Birmingham. It will also be found as the crest of Rutherford and many other

_The Melusine, i.e._ a mermaid with two tails disposed on either side,
though not unknown in British heraldry, is more frequent in German.

[Illustration: FIG. 433.--Merman.]

[Illustration: FIG. 434.--Mermaid.]

[Illustration: FIG. 435.--Sphinx.]

[Illustration: FIG. 436.--Centaur.]

_The Sphinx_, of course originally derived from the Egyptian figure, has
the body, legs, and tail of a lion conjoined to the breasts, head, and face
of a woman (Fig. 435). As a charge it occurs in the arms of Cochrane and
Cameron of Fassiefern. This last-mentioned coat affords a striking example
of the over-elaboration to be found in so many of the grants which owe
their origin to the Peninsular War and the other "fightings" in which
England was engaged at the period. A winged sphinx is the crest of a family
of the name of Asgile. Two sphinxes were granted as supporters to the late
Sir Edward Malet, G.C.B.

_The Centaur_ (Fig. 436)--the familiar fabulous animal, half man, half
horse--is sometimes represented carrying a bow and arrow, when it is called
a "sagittarius." It is not infrequently met with in heraldry, though it is
to be found more often in Continental than in English blazonry. In its
"sagittarius" form it is sculptured on a column in the Romanesque cloister
of St. Aubin at Angers. It will be found as the crest of most families
named Lambert, and it was one of the supporters of {229} Lord Hood of
Avelon. It is also the crest of a family of Fletcher. A very curious crest
was borne by a family of Lambert, and is to be seen on their monuments.
They could establish no official authority for their arms as used, and
consequently obtained official authorisation in the early part of the
eighteenth century, when the crest then granted was a regulation
sagittarius, but up to that time, however, they had always used a "female
centaur" holding a rose in its dexter hand.

_Chimera._--This legendary animal happily does not figure in English
heraldry, and but rarely abroad. It is described as having the head and
breast of a woman, the forepaws of a lion, the body of a goat, the
hind-legs of a griffin, and the tail of a dragon, and would be about as
ugly and misbegotten a creature as can readily be imagined.

_The Man-Lion_ will be found referred to under the heading of lions, and
Elvin mentions in addition the _Weir-Wolf, i.e._ the wolf with a human face
and horns. Probably this creature has strayed into heraldic company by
mistake. I know of no armorial use of it.

_The Satyr_, which has a well-established existence in other than heraldic
sources of imagination, is composed of a demi-savage united to the
hind-legs of a goat.

_The Satyral_ is a hybrid animal having the body of a lion and the face of
an old man, with the horns of an antelope. I know of no instance of its

_The Harpy_--which is a curious creature consisting of the head, neck, and
breasts of a woman conjoined to the wings and body of a vulture--is
peculiarly German, though it does exist in the heraldry of this country.
The German name for it is the _Jungfraunadler_. The shield of the
Rietbergs, Princes of Ost-Friesland, is: "Sable, a harpy crowned, and with
wings displayed all proper, between four stars, two in chief and as many in
base or." The harpy will be found as a crest in this country.

_The Devil_ is not, as may be imagined, a favourite heraldic charge. The
arms of Sissinks of Groningen, however, are: "Or, a horned devil having six
paws, the body terminating in the tail of a fish all gules." The family of
Bawde have for a crest: "A satyr's head in profile sable, with wings to the
side of the head or, the tongue hanging out of his mouth gules." Though so
blazoned, I feel sure it is really intended to represent a fiend. On the
Garter Hall-plate of John de Grailly, Captal de Buch, the crest is a man's
head with ass's ears. This is, however, usually termed a Midas' head. A
certain coat of arms which is given in the "General Armory" under the name
of Dannecourt, and also under the name of Morfyn or Murfyn, has for a
crest: "A blackamoor's head couped at the shoulders, habited paly of six
ermine and ermines, pendents in his ears or, wreathed about the {230}
forehead, with bat's wings to the head sable, expanded on each side."

Many mythical animals can be more conveniently considered under their
natural counterparts. Of these the notes upon the heraldic antelope and the
heraldic ibex accompany those upon the natural antelope, and the heraldic
panther is included with the real animal. The heraldic tiger, likewise, is
referred to concurrently with the Bengal or natural tiger. The pegasus, the
sea-horse, and the winged sea-horse are mentioned with other examples of
the horse, and the sea-dog is included with other breeds and varieties of
that useful animal. The winged bull, of which only one instance is known to
me, occurs as the supporters of the Butchers' Livery Company, and has been
already alluded to, as also the winged stag. The sea-stag is referred to
under the sub-heading of stags. The two-headed lion, the double-queued
lion, the lion queue-fourché, the sea-lion (which is sometimes found
winged) are all included in the chapter upon lions, as are also the winged
lion and the lion-dragon. The winged ape was mentioned when considering the
natural animal, and perhaps it may be as well to allude to the asserted
heraldic existence of the sea-monkey, though I am not aware of any instance
in which it is borne.

[Illustration: FIG. 437.--Salamander.]

The arms of Challoner afford an instance of the _Sea-Wolf_, the crest of
that family being: "A demi-sea-wolf rampant or." Guillim, however (p. 271),
in quoting the arms of Fennor, would seem to assert the sea-wolf and
sea-dog to be one and the same. They certainly look rather like each other.

_The Phoenix_ and the _Double-headed Eagle_ will naturally be more
conveniently dealt with in the chapter upon the eagle.

_The Salamander_ has been represented in various ways, and is usually
described as a dragon in flames of fire. It is sometimes so represented but
without wings, though it more usually follows the shape of a lizard.

The salamander is, however, best known as the personal device of Francis
I., King of France. It is to this origin that the arms of the city of Paris
can be traced.

The remainder of the list of heraldic monsters can be very briefly
dismissed. In many cases a good deal of research has failed to discover an
instance of their use, and one is almost inclined to believe that they were
invented by those mediæval writers of prolific imagination for their
treatises, without ever having been borne or emblazoned upon helmet or

_The Allocamelus_ is supposed to have the head of an ass conjoined {231} to
the body of a camel. I cannot call to mind any British instance of its use.

_The Amphiptère_ is the term applied to a "winged serpent," a charge of but
rare occurrence in either English or foreign heraldry. It is found in the
arms of the French family of Potier, viz.: "Azure, a bendlet purpure
between two amphiptères or," while they figure as supporters also in that
family, and in those of the Ducs de Tresmes and De Gevres.

_The Apres_ is an animal with the body similar to that of a bull, but with
a bear's tail. It is seldom met with outside heraldic text-books.

[Illustration: FIG. 438.--Enfield.]

_The Amphisboena_ is usually described as a winged serpent (with two legs)
having a head at each end of its body, but in the crest of Gwilt ["On a
saltire or, interlaced by two amphisboenæ azure, langued gules, a rose of
the last, barbed and seeded proper"] the creatures certainly do not answer
to the foregoing description. They must be seen to be duly appreciated.

_The Cockfish_ is a very unusual charge, but it is to be met with in the
arms of the family of Geyss, in Bavaria, _i.e._: "Or, a cock sable, beaked
of the first, crested and armed gules, its body ending in that of a fish
curved upwards, proper."

[Illustration: FIG. 439.--Opinicus.]

_The Enfield_ (Fig. 438) is a purely fanciful animal, having the head of a
fox, chest of a greyhound, talons of an eagle, body of a lion, and hind
legs and tail of a wolf. It occurs as the crest of most Irish families of
the name of Kelly.

_The Bagwyn_ is an imaginary animal with the head of and much like the
heraldic antelope, but with the body and tail of a horse, and the horns
long and curved backwards. It is difficult to say what it is intended to
represent, and I can give no instance in which it occurs.

_The Musimon_ is a fabulous animal with the body and feet of a goat and the
head of a ram, with four horns. It is supposed to be the hybrid between the
ram and the goat, the four horns being the two straight ones of the goat
and the two curled ones of the ram. Though no heraldic instance is known to
me, one cannot definitely say such an animal never existed. Another name
for it is the tityron.

_The Opinicus_ (Fig. 439) is another monster seldom met with in armory.
When it does occur it is represented as a winged gryphon, with a lion's
legs and short tail. Another description of it gives it the {232} body and
forelegs of a lion, the head, neck, and wings of an eagle, and the tail of
a camel. It is the crest of the Livery Company of Barbers in London, which
doubtless gives us the origin of it in the recent grant of arms to Sir
Frederick Treves, Bart. Sometimes the wings are omitted.

_The Manticora_, _Mantegre_, or _Man-Tiger_ is the same as the man-lion,
but has horns attached to its forehead.

_The Hippogriff_ has the head, wings and foreclaws of the griffin united to
the hinder part of the body of a horse.

_The Calopus_ or _Chatloup_ is a curious horned animal difficult to
describe, but which appears to have been at one time the badge of the
Foljambe family. No doubt, as the name would seem to indicate, it is a
variant of the wolf.

Many of the foregoing animals, particularly those which are or are supposed
to be hybrids, are, however well they may be depicted, ugly, inartistic,
and unnecessary. Their representation leaves one with a disappointed
feeling of crudity of draughtmanship. No such objection applies to the
pegasus, the griffin, the sea-horse, the dragon, or the unicorn, and in
these modern days, when the differentiation of well-worn animals is
producing singularly inept results, one would urge that the sea-griffin,
the sea-stag, the winged bull, the winged stag, the winged lion, and winged
heraldic antelope might produce (if the necessity of differentiation
continue) very much happier results. {233}



Birds of course play a large and prominent part in heraldry. Those which
have been impressed into the service of heraldic emblazonment comprise
almost every species known to the zoological world.

Though the earliest rolls of arms give us instances of various other birds,
the bird which makes the most prominent appearance is the _Eagle_, and in
all early representations this will invariably be found "displayed." A
double-headed eagle displayed, from a Byzantine silk of the tenth century,
is illustrated by Mr. Eve in his "Decorative Heraldry," so that it is
evident that neither the eagle displayed nor the double-headed eagle
originated with the science of armory, which appropriated them ready-made,
together with their symbolism. An eagle displayed as a symbolical device
was certainly in use by Charlemagne.

It may perhaps here be advantageous to treat of the artistic development of
the eagle displayed. Of this, of course, the earliest prototype is the
Roman eagle of the Cæsars, and it will be to English eyes, accustomed to
our conventional spread-eagle, doubtless rather startling to observe that
the German type of the eagle, which follows the Roman disposition of the
wings (which so many of our heraldic artists at the present day appear
inclined to adopt either in the accepted German or in a slightly modified
form as an eagle displayed) is certainly not a true displayed eagle
according to our English ideas and requirements, inasmuch as the wings are
inverted. It should be observed that in German heraldry it is simply termed
an eagle, and not an eagle displayed. Considering, however, its very close
resemblance to our eagle displayed, and also its very artistic appearance,
there is every excuse for its employment in this country, and I for one
should be sorry to observe its slowly increasing favour checked in this
country. It is quite possible, however, to transfer the salient and
striking points of beauty to the more orthodox position of the wings. The
eagle (compared with the lion and the ordinaries) had no such predominance
in early British heraldry that it enjoyed in Continental armory, and
therefore it may be better to trace the artistic development of the German
eagle. {234}

In the twelfth and thirteenth centuries the eagle appears with the head
raised and the beak closed. The _sachsen_ (bones of the wings) are rolled
up at the ends like a snail, and the pinions (like the talons) take a
vertical downward direction. The tail, composed of a number of stiff
feathers, frequently issues from a knob or ball. Compare Fig. 440 herewith.

With the end of the fourteenth century the head straightens itself, the
beak opens and the tongue becomes visible. The rolling up of the wing-bones
gradually disappears, and the claws form an acute angle with the direction
of the body; and at this period the claws occasionally receive the "hose"
covering the upper part of the leg. The feathers of the tail spread out
sicklewise (Fig. 441).

[Illustration: FIG. 440.]

[Illustration: FIG. 441.]

[Illustration: FIG. 442.]

The fifteenth century shows the eagle with _sachsen_ forming a half circle,
the pinions spread out and radiating therefrom, and the claws more at a
right angle (Fig. 442). The sixteenth century draws the eagle in a more
ferocious aspect, and depicts it in as ornamental and ornate a manner as

From Konrad Grünenberg's _Wappenbuch_ (Constance, 1483) is reproduced the
shield (Fig. 443) with the boldly sketched _Adlerflügel mit Schwerthand_
(eagle's wing with the sword hand), the supposed arms of the Duke of

Quite in the same style is the eagle of Tyrol on a corporate flag of the
Society of the Schwazer Bergbute (Fig. 444), which belongs to the last
quarter of the fifteenth century. This is reproduced from the impression in
the Bavarian National Museum given in Hefner-Alteneck's "Book of Costumes."

A modern German eagle drawn by H. G. Ströhl is shown in Fig. 445. The
illustration is of the arms of the Prussian province of Brandenburg.

The double eagle has, of course, undergone a somewhat similar development.

The double eagle occurs in the East as well as in the West in very early
times. Since about 1335 the double eagle has appeared sporadically as a
symbol of the Roman-German Empire, and under the Emperor Sigismund (d.
1447) became the settled armorial device of the Roman Empire. King
Sigismund, before his coronation as Emperor, bore the single-headed eagle.


[Illustration: FIG. 443.--Arms of Duke of Calabria.]

[Illustration: FIG. 444.--Eagle of Tyrol.]

It may perhaps be as well to point out, with the exception of the two
positions "displayed" (Fig. 451) and "close" (Fig. 446), very little if any
agreement at all exists amongst authorities either as to the terms to be
employed or as to the position intended for the wings when a given term is
used in a blazon. Practically every other single position is simply
blazoned "rising," this term being employed without any additional
distinctive terms of variation in official blazons and emblazonments. Nor
can one obtain any certain information from a reference to the real eagle,
for the result of careful observation would seem to show that in the first
stroke of the wings, when rising from the ground, the wings pass through
every position from the wide outstretched form, which I term "rising with
wings elevated and displayed" (Fig. 450), to a position practically
"close." As a consequence, therefore, no one form can be said to be more
correct than any other, either from the point of view of nature or from the
point of view of ancient precedent. This state of affairs is eminently
unsatisfactory, because in these days of necessary differentiation no
heraldic artist of any appreciable knowledge or ability has claimed the
liberty (which certainly has not been officially conceded) to depict an
eagle rising with wings elevated and displayed, when it has been granted
with the wings in the position addorsed and inverted. Such a liberty when
the wings happen to be charged, as they so frequently are in modern English
crests, must clearly be an impossibility. {236}

[Illustration: FIG. 445.--Arms of the Prussian Province of Brandenburg.
(From Ströhl's _Deutsche Wappenrolle_.)]

Until some agreement has been arrived at, I can only recommend my readers
to follow the same plan which I have long adopted in blazoning arms of
which the official blazon has not been available to me. That is, to use the
term "rising," followed by the necessary description of the position of the
wings (Figs. 447-450). This obviates both mistake and uncertainty.
Originally with us, as still in Germany, an eagle was always displayed, and
in the days when coats of arms were few in number and simple in character
the artist may well have been permitted to draw an eagle as he chose,
providing it was an eagle. But arms and their elaboration in the last four
hundred years have made this impossible. It is foolish to overlook this,
and idle in the face of existing facts to attempt to revert to former ways.
Although now the English eagle displayed has the tip of its wings pointed
upwards (Fig. 451), and the contrary needs now to be mentioned in the
blazon (Fig. 452), this even with us was not so in the beginning. A
reference to Figs. 453 and 454 will show how the eagle was formerly

[Illustration: FIG. 446.--Eagle close.]

[Illustration: FIG. 447.--Eagle rising, wings elevated and addorsed.]

[Illustration: FIG. 448.--Eagle rising, wings addorsed and inverted.]

[Illustration: FIG. 449.--Eagle rising, wings displayed and inverted.]


[Illustration: FIG. 450.--Eagle rising, wings elevated and displayed.]

[Illustration: FIG. 451.--Eagle displayed.]

[Illustration: FIG. 452.--Eagle displayed with wings inverted.]

[Illustration: FIG. 453.--Arms of Ralph de Monthermer, Earl of Gloucester
and Hereford: Or, an eagle vert. (From his seal, 1301.)]

[Illustration: FIG. 454.--Arms of Piers de Gaveston, Earl of Cornwall (d.
1312): Vert, six eagles or.]

[Illustration: FIG. 455.--Double-headed eagle displayed.]

The earliest instance of the eagle as a definitely heraldic charge upon a
shield would appear to be its appearance upon the Great Seal of the
Markgrave Leopold of Austria in 1136, where the equestrian figure of the
Markgrave carries a shield so charged. More or less regularly, subsequently
to the reign of Frederick Barbarossa, elected King of the Romans in 1152,
and crowned as Emperor in 1155, the eagle with one or two heads (there
seems originally to have been little unanimity upon the point) seems to
have become the recognised heraldic symbol of the Holy Roman Empire; and
the seal of Richard, Earl of Cornwall, elected King of the Romans in 1257,
shows his arms ["Argent, a lion rampant gules, within a bordure sable,
bezanté"] displayed upon the breast of an eagle; but no properly
authenticated contemporary instance of the use of this eagle by the Earl of
Cornwall is found in this country. The origin of the double-headed eagle
(Fig. 455) has been the subject of endless controversy, the tale one is
usually taught to believe being that it originated in the dimidiation upon
one shield of two separate coats {238} of arms. Nisbet states that the
Imperial eagle was "not one eagle with two heads, but two eagles, the one
laid upon the other, and their heads separate, looking different ways,
which represent the two heads of the Empire after it was divided into East
and West." The whole discussion is an apt example of the habit of earlier
writers to find or provide hidden meanings and symbolisms when no such
meanings existed. The real truth undoubtedly is that the double-headed
eagle was an accepted figure long before heraldry came into existence, and
that when the displayed eagle was usurped by armory as one of its
peculiarly heraldic figures, the single-headed and double-headed varieties
were used indifferently, until the double-headed eagle became stereotyped
as the Imperial emblem. Napoleon, however, reverted to the single-headed
eagle, and the present German Imperial eagle has likewise only one head.

[Illustration: FIG. 456.--Napoleonic Eagle.]

The Imperial eagle of Napoleon had little in keeping with then existing
armorial types of the bird. There can be little doubt that the model upon
which it was based was the Roman Eagle of the Cæsars as it figured upon the
head of the Roman standards. In English terms of blazon the Napoleonic
eagle would be: "An eagle displayed with wings inverted, the head to the
sinister, standing upon a thunderbolt or" (Fig. 456).

The then existing double-headed eagles of Austria and Russia probably
supply the reason why, when the German Empire was created, the Prussian
eagle in a modified form was preferred to the resuscitation of the older
double-headed eagle, which had theretofore been more usually accepted as
the symbol of Empire.

By the same curious idea which was noticed in the earlier chapter upon
lions, and which ruled that the mere fact of the appearance of two or more
lions rampant in the same coat of arms made them into lioncels, so more
than one eagle upon a shield resulted sometimes in the birds becoming
eaglets. Such a rule has never had official recognition, and no artistic
difference is made between the eagle and the eaglet. The charges on the
arms of Piers Gaveston, Earl of Cornwall, are blazoned as eagles (Fig.
454). In the blazon of a few coats of arms, the term eaglet, however, still
survives, _e.g._ in the arms of Child ["Gules a chevron ermine, between
three eaglets close argent"], and in the arms of Smitheman ["Vert, three
eaglets statant with wings displayed argent, collared or"].

When an eagle has its beak of another colour, it is termed "armed" of that
colour, and when the legs differ it is termed "membered." {239}

An eagle volant occurs in the crest of Jessel ["On a wreath of the colours,
a torch fesswise, fired proper, surmounted by an eagle volant argent,
holding in the beak a pearl also argent. Motto: 'Persevere'"].

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

[Illustration: FIG. 457.--Eagle's head couped.]

Unless otherwise specified (_e.g._ the crest of the late Sir Noel Paton was
between the two wings of a dove), wings occurring in armory are always
presumed to be the wings of an eagle. This, however, in English heraldry
has little effect upon their design, for probably any well-conducted eagle
(as any other bird) would disown the English heraldic wing, as it certainly
would never recognise the German heraldic variety. A pair of wings when
displayed and conjoined at the base is termed "conjoined in leure" (Fig.
458), from the palpable similarity of the figure in its appearance to the
lure with which, thrown into the air, the falconer brought back his hawk to
hand. The best known, and most frequently quoted instance, is the
well-known coat of Seymour or St. Maur ["Gules, two wings conjoined in
leure the tips downwards or"]. It should always be stated if the wings (as
in the arms of Seymour) are inverted. Otherwise the tips are naturally
presumed to be in chief.

[Illustration: FIG. 458.--A pair of wings conjoined in leure.]

Pairs of wings not conjoined can be met with in the arms and crest of
Burne-Jones ["Azure, on a bend sinister argent between seven mullets, four
in chief and three in base or, three pairs of wings addorsed purpure,
charged with a mullet or. Crest: in front of fire proper two wings elevated
and addorsed purpure, charged with a mullet or"]; but two wings, unless
conjoined or addorsed, will not usually be described as a pair.
Occasionally, however, a pair of wings will be found in saltire, but such a
disposition is most unusual. Single wings, unless specified to be the
contrary, are presumed to be dexter wings.

Care needs to be exercised in some crests to observe the difference between
(_a_) a bird's head between two wings, (_b_) a bird's head winged (a form
not often met with, but in which rather more of the neck is shown, and the
wings are conjoined thereto), and (_c_) a bird's head between two wings
addorsed. The latter form, which of course is really {240} no more than a
representation of a crest between two wings turned to be represented upon a
profile helmet, is one of the painful results of our absurd position rules
for the helmet.

A pair of wings conjoined is sometimes termed a vol, and one wing a
demi-vol. Though doubtless it is desirable to know these terms, they are
but seldom found in use, and are really entirely French.

[Illustration: FIG. 459.--An eagle's leg erased à la quise.]

Eagles' legs are by no means an infrequent charge. They will usually be
found erased at the thigh, for which there is a recognised term "erased à
la quise" (Fig. 459), which, however, is by no means a compulsory one. An
eagle's leg so erased was a badge of the house of Stanley. The eagle's leg
will sometimes be met with couped below the feathers, but would then be
more properly described as a claw.

[Illustration: FIG. 460.--Phoenix.]

A curious form of the eagle is found in the _alerion_, which is represented
without beak or legs. It is difficult to conjecture what may have been the
origin of the bird in this debased form, unless its first beginnings may be
taken as a result of the unthinking perpetuation of some crudely drawn
example. Its best-known appearance is, of course, in the arms of Loraine;
and as Planché has pointed out, this is as perfect an example of a canting
anagram as can be met with in armory.

_The Phoenix_ (Fig. 460), one of the few mythical birds which heraldry has
familiarised us with, is another, and perhaps the most patent example of
all, of the appropriation by heraldic art of an ancient symbol, with its
symbolism ready made. It belongs to the period of Grecian mythology. As a
charge upon a shield it is comparatively rare, though it so occurs in the
arms of Samuelson. On the other hand, it is frequently to be found as a
crest. It is always represented as a demi-eagle issuing from flames of
fire, and though the flames of fire will generally be found mentioned in
the verbal blazon, this is not essential. Without its fiery surroundings it
would cease to be a phoenix. On the other hand, though it is always
depicted as a _demi_-bird (no instance to the contrary exists), it is never
considered necessary to so specify it. It occurs as the crest of the
Seymour family ["Out of a ducal coronet a phoenix issuant from flames of



_The Osprey_ may perhaps be here mentioned, because its heraldic {241}
representation always shows it as a white eagle. It is however seldom met
with, though it figures in the crests of Roche (Lord Fermoy) and Trist. The
osprey is sometimes known as the sea-eagle, and heraldically so termed.

_The Vulture_ (probably from its repulsive appearance in nature and its
equally repulsive habits) is not a heraldic favourite. Two of these birds
occur, however, as the supporters of Lord Graves.

[Illustration: FIG. 461.--Falcon.]

_The Falcon_ (Fig. 461) naturally falls next to the eagle for
consideration. Considering the very important part this bird played in the
social life of earlier centuries, this cannot be a matter of any surprise.
Heraldry, in its emblazonment, makes no distinction between the appearance
of the hawk and the falcon, but for canting and other reasons the bird will
be found described by all its different names, _e.g._ in the arms of
Hobson, to preserve the obvious pun, the two birds are blazoned as hobbies.

The falcon is frequently (more often than not) found belled. With the
slovenliness (or some may exalt it into the virtue of freedom from
irritating restriction) characteristic of many matters in heraldic blazon,
the simple term "belled" is found used indiscriminately to signify that the
falcon is belled on one leg or belled on both, and if it is belled the bell
must of necessity be on a jess. Others state that every falcon must of
necessity (whether so blazoned or not) be belled upon at least one leg, and
that when the term "belled" is used it signifies that it is belled upon
both legs. There is still yet another alternative, viz. that when "belled"
it has the bell on only one leg, but that when "jessed and belled" it is
belled on both legs. The jess is the leather thong with which the bells are
attached to the leg, and it is generally considered, and this may be
accepted, that when the term "jessed" is included in the wording of the
blazon the jesses are represented with the ends flying loose, unless the
use of the term is necessitated by the jesses being of a different colour.
When the term "vervelled" is also employed it signifies that the jesses
have small rings attached to the floating ends. In actual practice,
however, it should be remembered that if the bells and jesses are of a
different colour, the use of the terms "jessed" and "belled" is essential.
A falcon is seldom drawn without at least one bell, and when it is found
described as "belled," in most cases it will be found that the intention is
that it shall have two bells.

Like all other birds of prey the falcon may be "armed," a technical term
which theoretically should include the beak and legs, but in actual {242}
practice a falcon will be far more usually found described as "beaked and
legged" when these differ in tincture from its plumage.

When a falcon is blindfolded it is termed "hooded." It was always so
carried on the wrist until it was flown.

The position of the wings and the confusion in the terms applied thereto is
even more marked in the case of the falcon than the eagle.

Demi-falcons are not very frequently met with, but an example occurs in the
crest of Jerningham.

A falcon's head is constantly met with as a crest.

When a falcon is represented preying upon anything it is termed "trussing"
its prey, though sometimes the description "preying upon" is (perhaps less
accurately) employed. Examples of this will be found in the arms of Madden
["Sable, a hawk or, trussing a mallard proper, on a chief of the second a
cross botonny gules"], and in the crests of Graham, Cawston, and Yerburgh.

A falcon's leg appears in the crest of Joscelin.

[Illustration: FIG. 462.--Pelican in her piety.]

_The Pelican_, with its curious heraldic representation and its strange
terms, may almost be considered an instance of the application of the
existing name of a bird to an entirely fanciful creation. Mr. G. W. Eve, in
his "Decorative Heraldry," states that in early representations of the bird
it was depicted in a more naturalistic form, but I confess I have not
myself met with such an ancient representation.

Heraldically, it has been practically always depicted with the head and
body of an eagle, with wings elevated and with the neck embowed, pecking
with its beak at its breast. The term for this is "vulning itself," and
although it appears to be necessary always to describe it in the blazon as
"vulning itself," it will never be met with save in this position; a
pelican's head even, when erased at the neck, being always so represented.
It is supposed to be pecking at its breast to provide drops of blood as
nourishment for its young, and it is termed "in its piety" when depicted
standing in its nest and with its brood of young (Fig. 462). It is
difficult to imagine how the pelican came to be considered as always
existing in this position, because there is nothing in the nature of a
natural habit from which this could be derived. There are, however, other
birds which, during the brooding season, lose their feathers upon the
breast, and some which grow red feathers there, and it is doubtless from
this that the idea originated.

In heraldic and ecclesiastical symbolism the pelican has acquired a
somewhat sacred character as typical of maternal solicitude. It {243} will
never be found "close," or in any other positions than with the wings
endorsed and either elevated or inverted.

When blazoned "proper," it is always given the colour and plumage of the
eagle, and not its natural colour of white. In recent years, however, a
tendency has rather made itself manifest to give the pelican its natural
and more ungainly appearance, and its curious pouched beak.

_The Ostrich_ (Fig. 463) is doubtless the bird which is most frequently met
with as a crest after the falcon, unless it be the dove or martlet. The
ostrich is heraldically emblazoned in a very natural manner, and it is
difficult to understand why in the case of such a bird heraldic artists of
earlier days should have remained so true to the natural form of the bird,
whilst in other cases, in which they could have had no less intimate
acquaintance with the bird, greater variation is to be found.

As a charge upon a shield it is not very common, although instances are to
be found in the arms of MacMahon ["Argent, an ostrich sable, in its beak a
horse-shoe or"], and in the arms of Mahon ["Per fess sable and argent, an
ostrich counterchanged, holding in its beak a horse-shoe or"].

[Illustration: FIG. 463.--Ostrich.]

It is curious that, until quite recent times, the ostrich is never met with
heraldically, unless holding a horse-shoe, a key, or some other piece of
old iron in its beak. The digestive capacity of the ostrich, though
somewhat exaggerated, is by no means fabulous, and in the earliest forms of
its representation in all the old natural history books it is depicted
feeding upon this unnatural food. If this were the popular idea of the
bird, small wonder is it that heraldic artists perpetuated the idea, and
even now the heraldic ostrich is seldom seen without a key or a horse-shoe
in its beak.

The ostrich's head alone is sometimes met with, as in the crest of the Earl
of Carysfort.

The wing of an ostrich charged with a bend sable is the crest of a family
of Gulston, but an ostrich wing is by no means a usual heraldic charge.

Ostrich feathers, of course, play a large part in armory, but the
consideration of these may be postponed for the moment until the feathers
of cocks and peacocks can be added thereto.

_The Dove_--at least the heraldic bird--has one curious peculiarity. It is
always represented with a slight tuft on its head. Mr. Eve considers this
to be merely the perpetuation of some case in which the crude draughtsman
has added a tuft to its head. Possibly he is {244} correct, but I think it
may be an attempt to distinguish between the domestic dove and the
wood-pigeon--both of which varieties would be known to the early heraldic

The dove with an olive branch in its beak is constantly and continually met
with. When blazoned "proper" it is quite correct to make the legs and feet
of the natural pinky colour, but it will be more usually found that a dove
is specifically described as "legged gules."

The ordinary heraldic dove will be found most frequently represented with
its wings close and holding a branch of laurel in its beak, but it also
occurs volant and with outstretched wings. It is then frequently termed a
"dove rising."

[Illustration: FIG. 464.--Dove.]

The doves in the arms of the College of Arms are always represented with
the sinister wing close, and the dexter wing extended and inverted. This
has given rise to much curious speculation; but whatever may be the reason
of the curious position of the wings, there can be very little doubt that
the coat of arms itself is based upon the coat of St. Edward the Confessor.
The so-called coat of St. Edward the Confessor is a cross patonce between
five martlets, but it is pretty generally agreed that these martlets are a
corruption of the doves which figure upon his coins, and one of which
surmounts the sceptre which is known as St. Edward's staff, or "the sceptre
with the dove."

_The Wood-Pigeon_ is not often met with, but it does occur, as in the crest
of the arms of Bradbury ["On a wreath of the colours, in front of a
demi-wood-pigeon, wings displayed and elevated argent, each wing charged
with a round buckle tongue pendent sable, and holding in the beak a sprig
of barberry, the trunk of a tree fesswise eradicated, and sprouting to the
dexter, both proper "].

[Illustration: FIG. 465.--Martlet.]

_The Martlet_ is another example of the curious perpetuation in heraldry of
the popular errors of natural history. Even at the present day, in many
parts of the country, it is popularly believed that a swallow has no feet,
or, at any rate, cannot perch upon the ground, or raise itself therefrom.
The fact that one never does see a swallow upon the ground supports the
foundation of the idea. At any rate the heraldic swallow, which is known as
the martlet, is never represented with feet, the legs terminating in the
feathers which cover the upper parts of the leg (Fig. 465). It is curious
that the same idea is perpetuated in the little legend of the explanation,
which may or may {245} not be wholly untrue, that the reason the martlet
has been adopted as the mark of cadency for the fourth son is to typify the
fact that whilst the eldest son succeeds to his father's lands, and whilst
the second son may succeed, perhaps, to the mother's, there can be very
little doubt that by the time the fourth son is reached, there is no land
remaining upon which he can settle, and that he must, perforce, fly away
from the homestead to gather him means elsewhere. At any rate, whether this
be true or false, the martlet certainly is never represented in heraldry
with feet. If the feet are shown, the bird becomes a swallow.

Most heraldry books state also that the martlet has no beak. How such an
idea originated I am at a loss to understand, because I have never yet come
across an official instance in which the martlet is so depicted.

[Illustration: FIG. 466.--Martlet volant.]

Perhaps the confusion between the foreign merlette--which is drawn like a
duck without wings, feet, or forked tail--and the martlet may account for
the idea that the martlet should be depicted without a beak.

It is very seldom that the martlet occurs except close, and consequently it
is never so specified in blazon. An instance, however, in which it occurs
"rising" will be found in the crest of a family of Smith, and there are a
number of instances in which it is volant (Fig. 466).

_The Swallow_, as distinct from the martlet, is sometimes met with.

A swallow "volant" appears upon the arms usually ascribed to the town of
Arundel. These, however, are not recorded as arms in the Visitation books,
the design being merely noted as a seal device, and one hesitates to assert
definitely what the status of the design in question may be. The pun upon
"l'hirondelle" was too good for ancient heralds to pass by.

[Illustration: FIG. 467.--Swan.]

_The Swan_ (Fig. 467) is a very favourite charge, and will be found both as
a crest and as a charge upon a shield, and in all varieties of position. It
is usually, however, when appearing as a charge, to be found "close." A
swan couchant appears as the crest of Barttelot, a swan regardant as the
crest of Swaby, and a swan "rising" will be found as a crest of Guise and
as a charge upon the arms of Muntz. Swimming in water it occurs in the
crest of Stilwell, and a swan to which the unusual term of "rousant" is
sometimes applied figures as {246} the crest of Stafford: "Out of a ducal
coronet per pale gules and sable, a demi-swan rousant, wings elevated and
displayed argent, beaked gules." It is, however, more usually blazoned as:
"A demi-swan issuant (from the coronet, per pale gules and sable").

Swans' heads and necks are not often met with as a charge, though they
occur in the arms of Baker. As a crest they are very common, and will be
found in the cases of Lindsay and Bates.

_The Duck_--with its varieties of the moorhen and eider-duck--is sometimes
met with, and appears in the arms of Duckworth and Billiat. Few better
canting examples can be found than the latter coat, in which the duck is
holding the billet in its bill.

[Illustration: FIG. 468.--Cock.]

The other domestic bird--the _Cock_--is often met with, though it more
often figures as a crest than upon a shield. A cock "proper" is generally
represented of the kind which in farmyard phraseology is known as a
gamecock (Fig. 468). Nevertheless the gamecock--as such--does occur; though
in these cases, when so blazoned, it is usually depicted in the artificial
form--deprived of its comb and wattles, as was the case when it was
prepared for cock-fighting. Birds of this class are usually met with, with
a comb and wattles, &c., of a different colour, and are then termed "combed
(or crested), wattled, and jelopped"--if it is desired to be strictly
accurate--though it will be generally found that the term is dropped to
"combed and jelopped." If the bird is termed "armed," the beak and spurs
are thereby referred to. It occurs in the arms of Handcock (Lord
Castlemaine) ["Ermine, on a chief sable, a dexter hand between two cocks
argent"] and in the arms of Cokayne ["Argent, three cocks gules, armed,
crested, and jelopped sable"], and also in that of Law. It likewise occurs
in the arms of Aitken.

_The Sheldrake_ appears occasionally under another name, _i.e._ that of the
_Shoveller_, and as such will be found in the arms of Jackson, of

[Illustration: FIG. 469.--Peacock in his pride.]

The gorgeous plumage of the _Peacock_ has of course resulted in its
frequent employment. It has a special term of its own, being stated to be
"in his pride" when shown affronté, and with the tail displayed (Fig. 469).
It is seldom met with except in this position, though the well-known crest
of Harcourt is an example to the contrary, as is the crest of Sir Jamsetjee
Jejeebhoy, Bart., viz. "A mount vert, thereon {247} a peacock amidst wheat,
and in the beak an ear of wheat all proper." With the tail closed it also
figures as one of the supporters of Sir Robert Hart, Bart. ["Sinister, a
peacock close proper"]: its only appearance in such a position that I am
aware of.

A peacock's tail is not a familiar figure in British armory, though the
exact contrary is the case in German practices. "Issuant from the mouth of
a boar's head erect" it occurs as the crest of Tyrell, and "A plume of
peacock's feathers"--which perhaps is the same thing--"issuant from the
side of a chapeau" is the crest of Lord Sefton.

[Illustration: FIG. 470.--Crane in its vigilance.]

Another bird for which heraldry has created a term of its own is the
_Crane_. It is seldom met with except holding a stone in its claw, the term
for which stone is its "vigilance," a curious old fable, which explains the
whole matter, being that the crane held the stone in its foot so that if by
any chance it fell asleep, the stone, by dropping, would awaken it, and
thus act as its "vigilance" (Fig. 470). It is a pity that the truth of such
a charming example of the old world should be dissipated by the fact that
the crest of Cranstoun is the crane _asleep_--or rather dormant--with its
head under its wing, and nevertheless holding its "vigilance" in its foot!
The crane is not often met with, but it occurs in the arms of Cranstoun,
with the curious and rather perplexing motto, "Thou shalt want ere I want."
Before leaving the crane, it may be of interest to observe that the
derivation of the word "pedigree" is from _pied de grue_, the appearance of
a crane's foot and the branching lines indicative of issue being similar in

[Illustration: FIG. 471.--Stork holding in its beak a snake.]

Heraldic representation makes little if any difference when depicting a
crane, a stork, or a heron, except that the tuft on the head of the latter
is never omitted when a heron is intended.

Instances of the _Stork_ are of fairly frequent occurrence, the usual
heraldic method of depicting the bird being with the wings close.

More often than not the stork is met with a snake in its beak (Fig. 471);
and the fact that a heron is also generally provided with an eel to play
with adds to the confusion.

_The Heron_--or, as it was anciently more frequently termed heraldically,
the _Herne_ (Fig. 472)--will naturally be found in the arms of Hearne and
some number of other coats and crests. {248}

_The Raven_ (Fig. 473) occurs almost as early as any other heraldic bird.
It is said to have been a Danish device. The powerful Norman family of
Corbet, one of the few remaining families which can show an unbroken male
descent from the time of the Conquest to the present day, have always
remained faithful to the raven, though they have added to it sometimes a
_bordure_ or additional numbers of its kind. "Or, a raven sable," the
well-known Corbet coat, is, of course, a canting allusion to their Norman
name, or nickname, "Le Corbeau." Their name, like their pedigree, is
unique, inasmuch as it is one of the few names of undoubted Norman origin
which are not territorial, and possibly the fact that their lands of
Moreton Corbett, one of their chief seats, were known by their name has
assisted in the perpetuation of what was, originally, undoubtedly a
personal nickname.

[Illustration: FIG. 472.--Heron.]

[Illustration: FIG. 473.--Raven.]

Fig. 474 is a striking example of the virility which can be imparted to the
raven. It is reproduced from Grünenberg's "Book of Arms" (1483). Ströhl
suggests it may be of "Corbie" in Picardy, but the identity of the arms
leads one to fancy the name attached may be a misdescription of the English
family of Corbet.

[Illustration: FIG. 474.]

Heraldically, no difference is made in depicting the raven, the rook, and
the crow; and examples of the Crow will be found in the arms of Crawhall,
and of the _Rook_ in the crest of Abraham. The arms of the Yorkshire family
of Creyke are always blazoned as rooks, but I am inclined to think they may
possibly have been originally _creykes_, or corn-crakes.

_The Cornish Chough_ is very much more frequently met with than either the
crow, rook, or raven, and it occurs in the arms of Bewley, the town of
Canterbury, and (as a crest) of Cornwall.

It can only be distinguished from the raven in heraldic representations by
the fact that the Cornish chough is always depicted and frequently blazoned
as "beaked and legged gules," as it is found in its natural state. {249}

_The Owl_ (Fig. 475), too, is a very favourite bird. It is always depicted
with the face affronté, though the body is not usually so placed. It occurs
in the arms of Leeds--which, by the way, are an example of colour upon
colour--Oldham, and Dewsbury. In the crest of Brimacombe the wings are
open, a most unusual position.

_The Lark_ will be found in many cases of arms or crests for families of
the name of Clarke.

_The Parrot_, or, as it is more frequently termed heraldically, the
_Popinjay_ (Fig. 476), will be found in the arms of Lumley and other
families. It also occurs in the arms of Curzon: "Argent, on a bend sable
three popinjays or, collared gules."

[Illustration: FIG. 475.--Owl.]

[Illustration: FIG. 476.--Popinjay.]

[Illustration: FIG. 477.--Moorcock.]

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

_The Moorcock_ or _Heathcock_ is curious, inasmuch as there are two
distinct forms in which it is depicted. Neither of them are correct from
the natural point of view, and they seem to be pretty well interchangeable
from the heraldic point of view. The bird is always represented with the
head and body of an ordinary cock, but sometimes it is given the wide flat
tail of black game, and sometimes a curious tail of two or more erect
feathers at right angles to its body (Fig. 477).

Though usually represented close, it occurs sometimes with open wings, as
in the crest of a certain family of Moore.

Many other birds are to be met with in heraldry, but they have nothing at
all especial in their bearing, and no special rules govern them.

_The Lapwing_, under its alternative names of _Peewhit_, _Plover_, and
_Tyrwhitt_, will be found in the arms of Downes, Tyrwhitt, and Tweedy.

_The Pheasant_ will be found in the crest of Scott-Gatty, and the
_Kingfisher_ in many cases of arms of the name of Fisher. {250}

_The Magpie_ occurs in the arms of Dusgate, and in those of Finch.

Woodward mentions an instance in which the _Bird of Paradise_ occurs (p.
267); "Argent, on a terrace vert, a cannon mounted or, supporting a Bird of
Paradise proper" [Rjevski and Yeropkin]; and the arms of Thornton show upon
a canton the Swedish bird _tjader_: "Ermine, a chevron sable between three
hawthorn trees eradicated proper, a canton or, thereon the Swedish bird
tjader, or cock of the wood, also proper." Two similar birds were granted
to the first Sir Edward Thornton, G.C.B., as supporters, he being a Knight
Grand Cross.

[Illustration: FIG. 478.--The "Shield for Peace" of Edward the Black Prince
(d. 1376): Sable, three ostrich feathers with scrolls argent. (From his
tomb in Canterbury Cathedral.)]

Single feathers as charges upon a shield are sometimes met with, as in the
"shield for peace" of Edward the Black Prince (Fig. 478) and in the arms of
Clarendon. These two examples are, however, derivatives from the historic
ostrich-feather badges of the English Royal Family, and will be more
conveniently dealt with later when considering the subject of badges. The
single feather enfiled by the circlet of crosses patée and fleurs-de-lis,
which is borne upon a canton of augmentation upon the arms of Gull, Bart.,
is likewise a derivative, but feathers as a charge occur in the arms of
Jervis: "Argent, six ostrich feathers, three, two, and one sable." A modern
coat founded upon this, in which the ostrich feathers are placed upon a
pile, between two bombshells fracted in base, belongs to a family of a very
similar name, and the crest granted therewith is a single ostrich feather
between two bombs fired. Cock's feathers occur as charges in the arms of

In relation to the crest, feathers are constantly to be found, which is not
to be wondered at, inasmuch as fighting and tournament helmets, when
actually in use, frequently did not carry the actual crests of the owners,
but were simply adorned with the plume of ostrich feathers. A curious
instance of this will be found in the case of the family of Dymoke of
Scrivelsby, the Honourable the King's Champions. The crest is really: "Upon
a wreath of the colours, the two ears of an ass sable," though other crests
["1. a sword erect proper; 2. a lion as in the arms"] are sometimes made
use of. When the Champion performs his service at a Coronation the shield
which is carried by his esquire is not that of his sovereign, but is
emblazoned with his personal arms of Dymoke: "Sable, two lions passant in
pale argent, ducally crowned or." The helmet of the Champion is decorated
with a triple plume of ostrich feathers and not with the Dymoke crest. In
{251} old representations of tournaments and warfare the helmet will far
oftener be found simply adorned with a plume of ostrich feathers than with
a heritable crest, and consequently such a plume has remained in use as the
crest of a very large number of families. This point is, however, more
fully dealt with in the chapter upon crests.

The plume of ostrich feathers is, moreover, attributed as a crest to a far
greater number of families than it really belongs to, because if a family
possessed no crest the helmet was generally ornamented with a plume of
ostrich feathers, which later generations have accepted and adopted as
their heritable crest, when it never possessed such a character. A notable
instance of this will be found in the crest of Astley, as given in the
Peerage Books.

The number of feathers in a plume requires to be stated; it will usually be
found to be three, five, or seven, though sometimes a larger number are met
with. When it is termed a double plume they are arranged in two rows, the
one issuing above the other, and a triple plume is arranged in three rows;
and though it is correct to speak of any number of feathers as a plume, it
will usually be found that the word is reserved for five or more, whilst a
plume of three feathers would more frequently be termed three ostrich
feathers. Whilst they are usually white, they are also found of varied
colours, and there is even an instance to be met with of ostrich feathers
of ermine. When the feathers are of different colours they need to be
carefully blazoned; if alternately, it is enough to use the word
"alternately," the feather at the extreme dexter side being depicted of the
colour first mentioned. In a plume which is of three colours, care must be
used in noting the arrangement of the colours, the colours first mentioned
being that of the dexter feather; the others then follow from dexter to
sinister, the fourth feather commencing the series of colours again. If any
other arrangement of the colours occurs it must be specifically detailed.
The rainbow-hued plume from which the crest of Sir Reginald Barnewall[19]
issues is the most variegated instance I have met with.

Two peacock's feathers in saltire will be found in the crest of a family of
Gatehouse, and also occur in the crest of Crisp-Molineux-Montgomerie. The
pen in heraldry is always of course of the quill variety, and consequently
should not be mistaken for a single feather. The term "penned" is used when
the quill of a feather is of a different colour from the remainder of it.
Ostrich and other feathers are very frequently found on either side of a
crest, both in British and Continental armory; but though often met with in
this position, there is nothing peculiar about this use in such character.
German heraldry {252} has evolved one use of the peacock's feather, or
rather for the eye from the peacock's feather, which happily has not yet
reached this country. It will be found adorning the outer edges of every
kind of object, and it even occurs on occasion as a kind of dorsal fin down
the back of animals. Bunches of cock's feathers are also frequently made
use of for the same purpose. There has been considerable diversity in the
method of depicting the ostrich feather. In its earliest form it was stiff
and erect as if cut from a piece of board (Fig. 478), but gradually, as the
realistic type of heraldic art came into vogue, it was represented more
naturally and with flowing and drooping curves. Of later years, however, we
have followed the example of His Majesty when Prince of Wales and reverted
to the earlier form, and it is now very general to give to the ostrich
feather the stiff and straight appearance which it originally possessed
when heraldically depicted. Occasionally a plume of ostrich feathers is
found enclosed in a "case," that is, wrapped about the lower part as if it
were a bouquet, and this form is the more usual in Germany. In German
heraldry these plumes are constantly met with in the colours of the arms,
or charged with the whole or a part of the device upon the shield. It is
not a common practice in this country, but an instance of it will be found
in the arms of Lord Waldegrave: "Per pale argent and gules. Crest: out of a
ducal coronet or a plume of five ostrich feathers, the first two argent,
the third per pale argent and gules, and the last two gules." {253}



Heraldry has a system of "natural" history all its very own, and included
in the comprehensive heraldic term of fish are dolphins, whales, and other
creatures. There are certain terms which apply to heraldic fish which
should be noted. A fish in a horizontal position is termed "naiant,"
whether it is in or upon water or merely depicted as a charge upon a
shield. A fish is termed "hauriant" if it is in a perpendicular position,
but though it will usually be represented with the head upwards in default
of any specific direction to the contrary, it by no means follows that this
is always the case, and it is more correct to state whether the head is
upwards or downwards, a practice which it is usually found will be
conformed to. When the charges upon a shield are simply blazoned as "fish,"
no particular care need be taken to represent any particular variety, but
on the other hand it is not in such cases usual to add any distinctive
signs by which a charge which is merely a fish might become identified as
any particular kind of fish.

The heraldic representations of the _Dolphin_ are strangely dissimilar from
the real creature, and also show amongst themselves a wide variety and
latitude. It is early found in heraldry, and no doubt its great importance
in that science is derived from its usage by the Dauphins of France.
Concerning its use by these Princes there are all sorts of curious legends
told, the most usual being that recited by Berry.

Woodward refers to this legend, but states that "in 1343 King Philip of
France _purchased_ the domains of Humbert III., Dauphin de Viennois," and
further remarks that the legend in question "seems to be without solid
foundation." But neither Woodward nor any other writer seems to have
previously suggested what is doubtless the true explanation, that the title
of Dauphin and the province of Viennois were a separate dignity of a
sovereign character, to which were attached certain territorial and
sovereign arms ["Or, a dolphin embowed azure, finned and langued gules"].
The assumption of these sovereign arms with the sovereignty and territory
to which they belonged, was as much a matter of course as the use of
separate arms for the Duchy of Lancaster {254} by his present Majesty King
Edward VII., or the use of separate arms for his Duchy of Cornwall by
H.R.H. the Prince of Wales.

Berry is wrong in asserting that no other family were permitted to display
the dolphin in France, because a very similar coat (but with the dolphin
lifeless) to that of the Dauphin was quartered by the family of La Tour du
Pin, who claimed descent from the Dauphins d'Auvergne, another ancient
House which originally bore the sovereign title of Dauphin. A dolphin was
the charge upon the arms of the Grauff von Dälffin (Fig. 481).

[Illustration: FIG. 479.--Dolphin naiant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 480.--Dolphin hauriant.]

The dolphin upon this shield, as also that in the coat of the Dauphin of
France, is neither naiant nor hauriant, but is "embowed," that is, with the
tail curved towards the head. But the term "embowed" really signifies
nothing further than "bent" in some way, and as a dolphin is never
heraldically depicted straight, it is always understood to be and usually
is termed "embowed," though it will generally be "naiant embowed" (Fig.
479), or "hauriant embowed" (Fig. 480). The dolphin occurs in the arms of
many British families, _e.g._ in the arms of Ellis, Monypenny,
Loder-Symonds, Symonds-Taylor, Fletcher, and Stuart-French.

Woodward states that the dolphin is used as a supporter by the Trevelyans,
Burnabys, &c. In this statement he is clearly incorrect, for neither of
those families are entitled to or use supporters. But his statement
probably originates in the practice which in accordance with the debased
ideas of artistic decoration at one period added all sorts of fantastic
objects to the edges of a shield for purely decorative (!) purposes. The
only instance within my knowledge in which a dolphin figures as a heraldic
supporter will be found in the case of the arms of Waterford.

[Illustration: FIG. 481.--Arms of the Grauff von Dälffin lett och in
Dalffinat (Count von Dälffin), which also lies in Dauphiné (from
Grünenberg's "Book of Arms"): Argent, a dolphin azure within a bordure
compony of the first and second.]

_The Whale_ is seldom met with in British armory, one of its few
appearances being in the arms of Whalley, viz.: "Argent, three whales'
heads erased sable." {255}

The crest of an Irish family named Yeates is said to be: "A shark issuant
regardant swallowing a man all proper," and the same device is also
attributed to some number of other families.

Another curious piscine coat of arms is that borne, but still
unmatriculated, by the burgh of Inveraray, namely: "The field is the sea
proper, a net argent suspended to the base from the dexter chief and the
sinister fess points, and in chief two and in base three herrings entangled
in the net."

_Salmon_ are not infrequently met with, but they need no specific
description. They occur in the arms of Peebles,[20] a coat of arms which in
an alternative blazon introduces to one's notice the term "contra-naiant."
The explanation of the quaint and happy conceit of these arms and motto is
that for every fish which goes up the river to spawn two return to the sea.
A salmon on its back figures in the arms of the city of Glasgow, and also
in the arms of Lumsden and Finlay, whilst other instances of salmon occur
in the arms of Blackett-Ord, Sprot, and Winlaw.

_The Herring_ occurs in the arms of Maconochie, the _Roach_ in the arms of
Roche ["Gules, three roaches naiant within a bordure engrailed argent.
Crest: a rock, thereon a stork close, charged on the breast with a torteau,
and holding in his dexter claw a roach proper"], and _Trout_ in the arms of
Troutbeck ["Azure, three trout fretted tête à la queue argent"]. The same
arrangement of three fish occurs upon the seal of Anstruther Wester, but
this design unfortunately has never been matriculated as a coat of arms.

The arms of Iceland present a curious charge, which is included upon the
Royal shield of Denmark. The coat in question is: "Gules, a stockfish
argent, crowned with an open crown or." The stockfish is a dried and cured
cod, split open and with the head removed.

_A Pike_ or _Jack_ is more often termed a "lucy" in English heraldry and a
"ged" in Scottish. Under its various names it occurs in the arms of Lucy,
Lucas, Geddes, and Pyke.

_The Eel_ is sometimes met with, as in the arms of Ellis, and though, as
Woodward states, it is always given a wavy form, the term "ondoyant," which
he uses to express this, has, I believe, no place in an English armorist's

_The Lobster_ and _Crab_ are not unknown to English armory, being
respectively the crests of the families of Dykes and Bridger. The arms of
Bridger are: "Argent, a chevron engrailed sable, between three crabs
gules." Lobster claws are a charge upon the arms of Platt-Higgins. {256}

[Illustration: FIG. 482.--Whelk shell.]

The arms of Birt are given in Papworth as: "Azure, a birthfish proper," and
of Bersich as: "Argent, a perch azure." The arms of Cobbe (Bart., extinct)
are: "Per chevron gules and sable, in chief two swans respecting and in
base a herring cob naiant proper." The arms of Bishop Robinson of Carlisle
were: "Azure, a flying fish in bend argent, on a chief of the second, a
rose gules between two torteaux," and the crest of Sir Philip Oakley Fysh
is: "On a wreath of the colours, issuant from a wreath of red coral, a
cubit arm vested azure, cuffed argent, holding in the hand a flying fish
proper." The coat of arms of Colston of Essex is: "Azure, two barbels
hauriant respecting each other argent," and a barbel occurs in the crest of
Binney. "Vert, three sea-breams or hakes hauriant argent" is the coat of
arms attributed to a family of Dox or Doxey, and "Or, three chabots gules"
is that of a French family of the name of Chabot. "Barry wavy of six argent
and gules, three crevices (crayfish) two and one or" is the coat of
Atwater. Codfish occur in the arms of Beck, dogfish in the arms of Dodds
(which may, however, be merely the sea-dog of the Dodge achievement),
flounders or flukes in the arms of Arbutt, garvinfishes in the arms of
Garvey, and gudgeon in the arms of Gobion. Papworth also includes instances
of mackerel, prawns, shrimps, soles, sparlings, sturgeon, sea-urchins,
turbots, whales, and whelks. The whelk shell (Fig. 482) appears in the arms
of Storey and Wilkinson. {257}



If armorial zoology is "shaky" in its classification of and dealings with
fish, it is most wonderful when its laws and selections are considered
under the heading of reptiles. But with the exception of serpents (of
various kinds), the remainder must have no more than a passing mention.

[Illustration: FIG. 483.--Serpent nowed.]

The usual heraldic _Serpent_ is most frequently found "nowed," that is,
interlaced in a knot (Fig. 483). There is a certain well-understood form
for the interlacing which is always officially adhered to, but of late
there has manifested itself amongst heraldic artists a desire to break
loose to a certain extent from the stereotyped form. A serpent will
sometimes be found "erect" and occasionally gliding or "glissant," and
sometimes it will be met with in a circle with its tail in its mouth--the
ancient symbol of eternity. Its constant appearance in British armory is
due to the fact that it is symbolically accepted as the sign of medicine,
and many grants of arms made to doctors and physicians introduce in some
way either the serpent or the rod of Æsculapius, or a serpent entwined
round a staff. A serpent embowed biting its tail occurs in the arms of
Falconer, and a serpent on its back in the crest of Backhouse. Save for the
matter of position, the serpent of British armory is always drawn in a very
naturalistic manner. It is otherwise, however, in Continental armory, where
the serpent takes up a position closely allied to that of our dragon. It is
even sometimes found winged, and the arms of the family of Visconti, which
subsequently came into use as the arms of the Duchy of Milan (Fig. 484),
have familiarised us as far as Continental armory is concerned with a form
of serpent which is very different from the real animal or from our own
heraldic variety. Another instance of a serpent will be found in the arms
of the Irish family of Cotter, which are: "Argent, a chevron gules between
three serpents proper," and the family of Lanigan O'Keefe bear in one {258}
quarter of their shield: "Vert, three lizards in pale or." The family of
Cole bear: "Argent, a chevron gules between three scorpions reversed
sable," a coat of arms which is sometimes quoted with the chevron and the
scorpions both gules or both sable. The family of Preed of Shropshire bear:
"Azure, three horse-leeches;" and the family of Whitby bear: "Gules, three
snakes coiled or; on a chief of the second, as many pheons sable." A family
of Sutton bears: "Or, a newt vert, in chief a lion rampant gules all within
a bordure of the last," and Papworth mentions a coat of arms for the name
of Ory: "Azure, a chameleon on a shady ground proper, in chief a sun or."
Another coat mentioned by Papworth is the arms of Bume: "Gules, a stellion
serpent proper," though what the creature may be it is impossible to
imagine. Unfortunately, when one comes to examine so many of these curious
coats of arms, one finds no evidence that such families existed, or that
there is no official authority or record of the arms to which reference can
be made. There can be no doubt that they largely consist of misreadings or
misinterpretations of both names and charges, and I am sorely afraid this
remark is the true explanation of what otherwise would be most strange and
interesting curiosities of arms. Sir Walter Scott's little story in
"Quentin Durward" of Toison d'Or, who depicted the "cat looking through the
dairy window" as the arms of Childebert, and blazoned it "sable a musion
passant or, oppressed with a trellis gules, cloué of the second," gives in
very truth the real origin of many quaint coats of arms and heraldic terms.
Ancient heraldic writers seem to have amused themselves by inventing
"appropriate" arms for mythological or historical personages, and I verily
believe that when so doing they never intended these arms to stand for more
than examples of their own wit. Their credulous successors incorporated
these little witticisms in the rolls of arms they collected, and one can
only hope that in the distant future the charming drawings of Mr. E. T.
Reed which in recent years have appeared in _Punch_ may not be used in like

There are but few instances in English armory in which the _Toad_ or _Frog_
is met with. In fact, the only instance which one can recollect is the coat
of arms attributed to a family of Botreaux, who are said to have borne:
"Argent, three toads erect sable." I am confident, however, that this coat
of arms, if it ever existed, and if it could be traced to its earliest
sources, would be found to be really three buckets of water, a canting
allusion to the name. Toads of course are the charges on the mythical arms
of Pharamond.

[Illustration: FIG. 484.--Arms of the Visconti, Dukes of Milan: Argent, a
serpent azure, devouring a child gules. (A wood-carving from the castle of
Passau at the turn of the fifteenth century.)]

Amongst the few instances I have come across of a snail in British armory
are the crest of Slack of Derwent Hill ("in front of a crescent or, a snail
proper") and the coat attributed by Papworth to the family of {259} Bartan
or Bertane, who are mentioned as bearing, "Gules, three snails argent in
their shells or." This coat, however, is not matriculated in Scotland, so
that one cannot be certain that it was ever borne. The snail occurs,
however, as the crest of a family named Billers, and is also attributed to
several other families as a crest.

_Lizards_ appear occasionally in heraldry, though more frequently in Irish
than English or Scottish coats of arms. A lizard forms part of the crest of
Sillifant, and a hand grasping a lizard is the crest of McCarthy, and
"Azure, three lizards or" the first quarter of the arms of an Irish family
of the name of Cotter, who, however, blazon these charges upon their shield
as evetts. The family of Enys, who bear: "Argent, three wyverns volant in
pale vert," probably derive their arms from some such source. {260}



The insect which is most usually met with in heraldry is undoubtedly the
_Bee_. Being considered, as it is, the symbol of industry, small wonder
that it has been so frequently adopted. It is usually represented as if
displayed upon the shield, and it is then termed volant, though of course
the real term which will sometimes be found used is "volant _en arrière_"
(Fig. 485). It occurs in the arms of Dore, Beatson, Abercromby, Samuel, and
Sewell, either as a charge or as a crest. Its use, however, as a crest is
slightly more varied, inasmuch as it is found walking in profile, and with
its wings elevated, and also perched upon a thistle as in the arms of
Ferguson. A bee-hive "with bees diversely volant" occurs in the arms of
Rowe, and the popularity of the bee in British armory is doubtless due to
the frequent desire to perpetuate the fact that the foundation of a house
has been laid by business industry. The fact that the bee was adopted as a
badge by the Emperor Napoleon gave it considerable importance in French
armory, inasmuch as he assumed it for his own badge, and the mantle and
pavilion around the armorial bearings of the Empire were semé of these
insects. They also appeared upon his own coronation mantle. He adopted them
under the impression, which may or may not be correct, that they had at one
time been the badge of Childeric, father of Clovis. The whole story
connected with their assumption by Napoleon has been a matter of much
controversy, and little purpose would be served by going into the matter
here, but it may be added that Napoleon changed the fleur-de-lis upon the
chief in the arms of Paris to golden bees upon a chief of gules, and a
chief azure, semé of bees or, was added as indicative of their rank to the
arms of "Princes-Grand-Dignitaries of the Empire." A bee-hive occurs as the
crest of a family named Gwatkin, and also upon the arms of the family of
Kettle of Wolverhampton.

[Illustration: FIG. 485.--Bee volant.]


_The Grasshopper_ is most familiar as the crest of the family of Gresham,
and this is the origin of the golden grasshoppers which are so constantly
met with in the city of London. "Argent, a chevron sable between three
grasshoppers vert" is the coat of arms of Woodward of Kent. Two of them
figure in the arms of Treacher, which arms are now quartered by Bowles.

_Ants_ are but seldom met with. "Argent, six ants, three, two, and one
sable," is a coat given by Papworth to a family of the name of Tregent;
"Vert, an ant argent," to Kendiffe; and "Argent, a chevron vert between
three beetles proper" are the arms attributed by the same authority to a
family named Muschamp. There can be little doubt, however, that these
"beetles" should be described as flies.

_Butterflies_ figure in the arms of Papillon ["Azure, a chevron between
three butterflies volant argent"] and in the arms of Penhellicke ["Sable,
three butterflies volant argent"].

_Gadflies_ are to be found in a coat of arms for the name of Adams ["Per
pale argent and gules, a chevron between three gadflies counterchanged"],
and also in the arms of Somerscales, quartered by Skeet of Bishop
Stortford. "Sable, a hornet argent" is one blazon for the arms of Bollord
or Bolloure, but elsewhere the same coat is blazoned: "Sable, a harvest-fly
in pale volant en arrière argent." Harvest flies were the charges on the
arms of the late Sir Edward Watkin, Bart.

_Crickets_ appear in the arms ["azure, a fire chest argent, flames proper,
between three crickets or"] recently granted to Sir George Anderson
Critchett, Bart.

The arms of Bassano (really of foreign origin and not an English coat) are:
"Per chevron vert and argent, in chief three silkworm flies palewise _en
arrière_, and in base a mulberry branch all counterchanged." "Per pale
gules and azure, three stag-beetles, wings extended or," is assigned by
Papworth to the Cornish family of Dore, but elsewhere these charges (under
the same family name) are quoted as bees, gadflies, and flies. "Or, three
spiders azure" is quoted as a coat for Chettle. A spider also figures as a
charge on the arms of Macara. The crest of Thorndyke of Great Carleton,
Lincolnshire, is: "On a wreath of the colours a damask rose proper, leaves
and thorns vert, at the bottom of the shield a beetle or scarabæus proper."

Woodward, in concluding his chapter upon insects, quotes the arms of the
family of Pullici of Verona, viz.: "Or, semé of fleas sable, two bends
gules, surmounted by two bends sinister of the same." {262}



The vegetable kingdom plays an important part in heraldry. Trees will be
found of all varieties and in all numbers, and though little difference is
made in the appearance of many varieties when they are heraldically
depicted, for canting purposes the various names are carefully preserved.
When, however, no name is specified, they are generally drawn after the
fashion of oak-trees.

When a tree issues from the ground it will usually be blazoned "issuant
from a mount vert," but when the roots are shown it is termed "eradicated."

[Illustration: FIG. 486.--An oak-tree eradicated.]

_A Hurst of Trees_ figures both on the shield and in the crest of
France-Hayhurst, and in the arms of Lord Lismore ["Argent, in base a mount
vert, on the dexter side a hurst of oak-trees, therefrom issuing a wolf
passant towards the sinister, all proper"]. A hurst of elm-trees very
properly is the crest of the family of Elmhurst. Under the description of a
forest, a number of trees figure in the arms of Forrest.

The arms of Walkinshaw of that Ilk are: "Argent, a grove of fir-trees
proper," and Walkinshaw of Barrowfield and Walkinshaw of London have
matriculated more or less similar arms.

_The Oak-Tree_ (Fig. 486) is of course the tree most frequently met with.
Perhaps the most famous coat in which it occurs will be found in the arms
granted to Colonel Carlos, to commemorate his risky sojourn with King
Charles in the oak-tree at Boscobel, after the King's flight subsequent to
the ill-fated battle of Worcester. The coat was: "Or, on a mount in base
vert, an oak-tree proper, fructed or, surmounted by a fess gules, charged
with three imperial crowns of the third" (Plate II.).

_Fir-Trees_ will be found in the arms of Greg, Melles, De la Ferté, and

_A Cedar-Tree_ occurs in the arms of Montefiore ["Argent, a cedar-tree,
between two mounts of flowers proper, on a chief azure, a dagger {263}
erect proper, pommel and hilt or, between two mullets of six points gold"],
and a _hawthorn-tree_ in the arms of MacMurrogh-Murphy, Thornton, and in
the crest of Kynnersley.

_A Maple-Tree_ figures in the arms of Lord Mount-Stephen ["Or, on a mount
vert, a maple-tree proper, in chief two fleurs-de-lis azure"], and in the
crest of Lord Strathcona ["On a mount vert, a maple-tree, at the base
thereof a beaver gnawing the trunk all proper"].

_A Cocoanut-Tree_ is the principal charge in the arms of Glasgow (now
Robertson-Glasgow) of Montgrennan, matriculated in 1807 ["Argent, a
cocoanut-tree fructed proper, growing out of a mount in base vert, on a
chief azure, a shakefork between a martlet on the dexter and a salmon on
the sinister argent, the last holding in the mouth a ring or"].

The arms of Clifford afford an instance of a _Coffee-Tree_, and the coat of
Chambers has a negro cutting down a _Sugar-Cane_.

_A Palm-Tree_ occurs in the arms of Besant and in the armorials of many
other families. The crest of Grimké-Drayton affords an instance of the use
of palmetto-trees. An _Olive-Tree_ is the crest of Tancred, and a
_Laurel-Tree_ occurs in the crest of Somers.

_Cypress-Trees_ are quoted by Papworth in the arms of Birkin, probably an
error for birch-trees, but the cypress does occur in the arms of Tardy,
Comte de Montravel ["Argent, three cypress-trees eradicated vert, on a
chief gules, as many bezants"], and "Or, a willow (salix) proper" is the
coat of the Counts de Salis (now Fane-de-Salis).

The arms of Sweetland, granted in 1808, are: "Argent, on a mount vert, an
orange-tree fructed proper, on a chief embattled gules, three roses of the
field, barbed and seeded also proper."

_A Mountain-Ash_ figures in the shield and crest of Wigan, and a
_Walnut-Tree_ is the crest of Waller, of Groombridge ["On a mount vert, a
walnut-tree proper, on the sinister side an escutcheon pendent, charged
with the arms of France, and thereupon a label of three points argent."]

The arms of Arkwright afford an example of a _Cotton-Tree_.

The curious crest of Sir John Leman, Lord Mayor of London, affords an
instance of a _Lemon-Tree_ ["In a lemon-tree proper, a pelican in her piety

The arms of a family whose name appears to have been variously spelled
Estwere, Estwrey, Estewer, Estower, and Esture, have: "Upon an argent field
a tree proper," variously described as an apple-tree, an ash-tree, and a
cherry-tree. The probabilities largely point to its being an ash-tree. "Or,
on a mount in base vert, a pear-tree fructed proper" is the coat of arms of
Pyrton or Peryton, and the arms granted in 1591 to Dr. Lopus, a physician
to Queen Elizabeth, were: "Or, a {264} pomegranate-tree eradicated vert,
fructed gold, supported by a hart rampant proper, crowned and attired of
the first."

_A Poplar Tree_ occurs in the arms of Gandolfi, but probably the prime
curiosity must be the coat of Abank, which Papworth gives as: "Argent, a
China-cokar tree vert." Its botanical identity remains a mystery.

_Trunks of Trees_ for some curious reason play a prominent part in
heraldry. The arms of Borough, of Chetwynd Park, granted in 1702, are:
"Argent, on a mount in base, in base the trunk of an oak-tree sprouting out
two branches proper, with the shield of Pallas hanging thereon or, fastened
by a belt gules," and the arms of Houldsworth (1868) of Gonaldston, co.
Notts, are: "Ermine, the trunk of a tree in bend raguly eradicated at the
base proper, between three foxes' heads, two in chief and one in base
erased gules."

But it is as a crest that this figure of the withered trunk sprouting again
is most often met with, it being assigned to no less than forty-three

In England again, by one of those curious fads by which certain objects
were repeated over and over again in the wretched designs granted by the
late Sir Albert Woods, Garter, in spite of their unsuitability, tree-trunks
fesswise eradicated and sprouting are constantly met with either as the
basis of the crest or placed "in front of it" to help in providing the
differences and distinctions which he insisted upon in a new grant. An
example of such use of it will be found in the arms of the town of

_Stocks of Trees_ "couped and eradicated" are by no means uncommon. They
figure in the arms of the Borough of Woodstock: "Gules, the stump of a tree
couped and eradicated argent, and in chief three stags' heads caboshed of
the same, all within a bordure of the last charged with eight oak-leaves
vert." They also occur in the arms of Grove, of Shenston Park, co.
Stafford, and in the arms of Stubbs.

The arms matriculated in Lyon Register by Capt. Peter Winchester (_c._
1672-7) are: "Argent, a vine growing out of the base, leaved and fructed,
between two papingoes endorsed feeding upon the clusters all proper." The
vine also appears in the arms of Ruspoli, and the family of Archer-Houblon
bear for the latter name: "Argent, on a mount in base, three hop-poles
erect with hop-vines all proper."

The town of St. Ives (Cornwall) has no authorised arms, but those usually
attributed to the town are: "Argent, an ivy branch overspreading the whole
field vert."

"Gules, a flaming bush on the top of a mount proper, between three lions
rampant argent, in the flanks two roses of the last" is the coat of Brander
(now Dunbar-Brander) of Pitgavenny. Holly-bushes {265} are also met with,
as in the crests of Daubeney and Crackanthorpe, and a rose-bush as in the
crest of Inverarity.

The arms of Owen, co. Pembroke, are: "Gules, a boar argent, armed,
bristled, collared, and chained or to a holly-bush on a mount in base both

_A Fern-Brake_ is another stock object used in designing modern crests, and
will be found in the cases of Harter, Scott-Gatty, and Lloyd.

Branches are constantly occurring, but they are usually oak, laurel, palm,
or holly. They need to be distinguished from "slips," which are much
smaller and with fewer leaves. Definite rules of distinction between e.g.
an acorn "slipped," a slip of oak, and an oak-branch have been laid down by
purists, but no such minute detail is officially observed, and it seems
better to leave the point to general artistic discretion; the colloquial
difference between a slip and a branch being quite a sufficient guide upon
the point.

An example of an _Oak-Branch_ occurs in the arms of Aikman, and another,
which is rather curious, is the crest of Accrington.[21]

_Oak-Slips_, on the other hand, occur in the arms of Baldwin.

_A Palm-Branch_ occurs in the crests of Innes, Chafy, and Corfield.

_Laurel-Branches_ occur in the arms of Cooper, and sprigs of laurel in the
arms of Meeking.

_Holly-Branches_ are chiefly found in the arms of families named Irvine or
Irwin, but they are invariably blazoned as "sheaves" of holly or as
holly-branches of three leaves. To a certain extent this is a misnomer,
because the so-called "branch" is merely three holly-leaves tied together.

"Argent, an almond-slip proper" is the coat of arms attributed to a family
of Almond, and Papworth assigns "Argent, a barberry-branch fructed proper"
to Berry.

"Argent, three sprigs of balm flowered proper" is stated to be the coat of
a family named Balme, and "Argent, three teasels slipped proper" the coat
of Bowden, whilst Boden of the Friary bears, "Argent, a chevron sable
between three teasels proper, a bordure of the second." A teasle on a
canton figures in the arms of Chichester-Constable.

The Company of Tobacco-Pipe Makers in London, incorporated in the year
1663, bore: "Argent, on a mount in base vert, three plants of tobacco
growing and flowering all proper." The crest recently granted to Sir Thomas
Lipton, Bart. ["On a wreath of the colours, two arms in saltire, the dexter
surmounted by the sinister {266} holding a sprig of the tea-plant erect,
and the other a like sprig of the coffee-plant both slipped and leaved
proper, vested above the elbow argent"], affords an example of both the
coffee-plant and the tea-plant, which have both assisted him so materially
in piling up his immense fortune. "Or, three birch-twigs sable" is the coat
of Birches, and "Or, a bunch of nettles vert" is the coat of Mallerby of
Devonshire. The pun in the last case is apparent.

_The Cotton-Plant_ figures in the arms of the towns of Darwen, Rochdale,
and Nelson, and two culms of the papyrus plant occur in the arms of the
town of Bury.

_The Coffee-Plant_ also figures in the arms of Yockney: "Azure, a chevron
or, between a ship under sail in chief proper, and a sprig of the
coffee-plant slipped in base of the second."

A branch, slip, bush, or tree is termed "fructed" when the fruit is shown,
though the term is usually disregarded unless "fructed" of a different
colour. When represented as "fructed," the fruit is usually drawn out of
all proportion to its relative size.

Leaves are not infrequent in their appearance. Holly-leaves occur in the
various coats for most people of the name of Irwin and Irvine, as already
mentioned. Laurel-leaves occur in the arms of Leveson-Gower, Foulis, and

_Oak-Leaves_ occur in the arms of Trelawney ["Argent, a chevron sable,
between three oak-leaves slipped proper"]; and _hazel-leaves_ in the arms
of Hesilrige or Hazlerigg ["Argent, a chevron sable, between three
hazel-leaves vert].

"Argent, three edock (dock or burdock) leaves vert" is the coat of Hepburn.
Papworth assigns "Argent, an aspen leaf proper" to Aspinal, and "Or, a
betony-leaf proper" to Betty. "Argent, three aspen-leaves" is an
unauthorised coat used by Espin, and the same coat with varying tinctures
is assigned to Cogan. Killach is stated to bear: "Azure, three bay-leaves
argent," and to Woodward, of Little Walsingham, Norfolk, was granted in
1806: "Vert, three mulberry-leaves or."

_The Maple-Leaf_ has been generally adopted as a Canadian emblem, and
consequently figures upon the arms of that Dominion, and in the arms of
many families which have or have had Canadian associations.

"Vert, three vine-leaves or" is assigned by Papworth to Wortford, and the
same authority mentions coats in which woodbine-leaves occur for Browne,
Theme, and Gamboa. Rose-leaves occur in the arms of Utermarck, and
walnut-leaves figure in the arms of Waller.

A curious leaf--usually called the "sea-leaf," which is properly the
"nenuphar-leaf," is often met with in German heraldry, as are _Linden_

Although theoretically leaves, the trefoil, quatrefoil, and cinquefoil
{267} are a class by themselves, having a recognised heraldic status as
exclusively heraldic charges, and the quatrefoil and cinquefoil, in spite
of the derivation of their names, are as likely to have been originally
flowers as leaves.

_The heraldic Trefoil_ (Fig. 487), though frequently specifically described
as "slipped," is nevertheless always so depicted, and it is not necessary
to so describe it. Of late a tendency has been noticeable in paintings from
Ulster's Office to represent the trefoil in a way more nearly approaching
the Irish shamrock, from which it has undoubtedly been derived. Instances
of the trefoil occur in the arms of Rodd, Dobrée, MacDermott, and Gilmour.
The crowned trefoil is one of the national badges of Ireland.

[Illustration: FIG. 487.--Trefoil.]

[Illustration: FIG. 488.--Quatrefoil.]

[Illustration: FIG. 489.--Cinquefoil.]

A four-leaved "lucky" shamrock has been introduced into the arms of Sir
Robert Hart, Bart.

_The Quatrefoil_ (Fig. 488) is not often met with, but it occurs in the
arms of Eyre, King, and Dreyer.

_The Cinquefoil_ (Fig. 489) is of frequent appearance, but, save in
exceedingly rare instances, neither the quatrefoil nor the cinquefoil will
be met with "slipped." The constant occurrence of the cinquefoil in early
rolls of arms is out of all proportion to its distinctiveness or artistic
beauty, and the frequency with which it is met with in conjunction with the
cross crosslet points clearly to the fact that there is some allusion
behind, if this could only be fathomed. Many a man might adopt a lion
through independent choice, but one would not expect independent choice to
lead so many to pitch upon a combination of cross crosslets and
cinquefoils. The cross crosslets, I am confident, are a later addition in
many cases, for the original arms of D'Arcy, for example, were simply:
"Argent, three cinquefoils gules." The arms of the town of Leicester are:
"Gules, a cinquefoil ermine," and this is the coat attributed to the family
of the De Beaumonts or De Bellomonts, Earls of Leicester. Simon de
Montfort, the great Earl of Leicester, was the son or grandson of Amicia, a
coheir of the former Earls, and as such {268} entitled to quarter the arms
of the De Bellomonts. As stated on page 117 (_vide_ Figs. 97 and 98), there
are two coats attributed to De Montfort. His only status in this country
depended solely upon the De Bellomont inheritance, and, conformably with
the custom of the period, we are far more likely to find him using arms of
De Bellomont or De Beaumont than of Montfort. From the similarity of the
charge to the better-known Beaumont arms, I am inclined to think the lion
rampant to be the real De Bellomont coat. The origin of the cinquefoil has
yet to be accounted for. The earliest De Bellomont for whom I can find
proof of user thereof is Robert "Fitz-Pernell," otherwise De Bellomont, who
died in 1206, and whose seal (Fig. 490) shows it. Be it noted it is not on
a shield, and though of course this is not proof in any way, it is in
accord with my suggestion that it is nothing more than a pimpernel flower
adopted as a device or badge to typify his own name and his mother's name,
she being Pernelle or Petronilla, the heiress of Grantmesnil. The
cinquefoil was not the coat of Grantmesnil but a quaint little conceit, and
is not therefore likely to have been used as a coat of arms by the De
Bellomonts, though no doubt they used it as a badge and device, as no doubt
did Simon de Montfort. Simon de Montfort split England into two parties.
Men were for Montfort or the king, and those that were for De Montfort very
probably took and used his badge of a cinquefoil as a party badge.

[Illustration: FIG. 490.--From the seal of Robert Fitz-Pernell, Earl of
Leicester, d. 1206.]

The cinquefoil in its ordinary heraldic form also occurs in the arms of
Umfraville, Bardolph, Hamilton, and D'Arcy, and sprigs of cinquefoil will
be found in the arms of Hill, and in the crest of Kersey. The cinquefoil is
sometimes found pierced. The five-foiled flower being the blossom of so
many plants, what are to all intents and purposes cinquefoils occur in the
arms of Fraser, where they are termed "fraises," of Primrose, where they
are blazoned "primroses," and of Lambert, where they are called "narcissus

_The double Quatrefoil_ is cited as the English difference mark for the
ninth son, but as these difference marks are but seldom used, and as ninth
sons are somewhat of a rarity, it is seldom indeed that this particular
mark is seen in use. Personally I have never seen it.

_The Turnip_ makes an early appearance in armory, and occurs in the coat of
Dammant ["Sable, a turnip leaved proper, a chief or, gutté-de-poix"]. {269}

The curious crest of Lingen, which is "Seven leeks root upwards issuing
from a ducal coronet all proper," is worthy of especial mention.

In considering flowers as a charge, a start must naturally be made with the
rose, which figures so prominently in the heraldry of England.

_The heraldic Rose_ until a much later date than its first appearance in
armory--it occurs, however, at the earliest period--was always represented
in what we now term the "conventional" form, with five displayed petals
(Fig. 491). Accustomed as we are to the more ornate form of the cultivated
rose of the garden, those who speak of the "conventional" heraldic rose
rather seem to overlook that it is an exact reproduction of the wild rose
of the hedgerow, which, morever, has a tendency to show itself "displayed"
and not in the more profile attitude we are perhaps accustomed to. It
should also be observed that the earliest representations of the heraldic
rose depict the intervening spaces between the petals which are noticeable
in the wild rose. Under the Tudor sovereigns, the heraldic rose often shows
a double row of petals, a fact which is doubtless accounted for by the then
increasing familiarity with the cultivated variety, and also by the attempt
to conjoin the rival emblems of the warring factions of York and Lancaster.

[Illustration: FIG. 491.--Rose.]

[Illustration: FIG. 492.--Rose slipped and leaved.]

Though the heraldic rose is seldom, if ever, otherwise depicted, it should
be described as "barbed vert" and "seeded or" (or "barbed and seeded
proper") when the centre seeds and the small intervening green leaves (the
calyx) between the petals are represented in their natural colours. In the
reign of the later Tudor sovereigns the conventionality of earlier heraldic
art was slowly beginning to give way to the pure naturalism towards which
heraldic art thereafter steadily degenerated, and we find that the rose
then begins (both as a Royal badge and elsewhere) to be met with "slipped
and leaved" (Fig. 492). The Royal fleurs-de-lis are turned into natural
lilies in the grant of arms to Eton College, and in the grant to William
Cope, Cofferer to Henry VII., the roses are slipped ["Argent, on a chevron
azure, between three roses gules, slipped and leaved vert, as many
fleurs-de-lis or. Crest: out of a fleur-de-lis or, a dragon's head gules"].
A rose when "slipped" theoretically has only a stalk added, but in practice
it will always have at least one leaf added to the slip, and a rose
"slipped and leaved" would {270} have a leaf on either side. A rose
"stalked and leaved" is not so limited, and will usually be found with a
slightly longer stalk and several leaves; but these technical refinements
of blazon, which are really unnecessary, are not greatly observed or taken
into account. The arms of the Burgh of Montrose afford an example of a
single rose as the only charge, although other instances will be met with
in the arms of Boscawen, Viscount Falmouth ["Ermine, a rose gules, barbed
and seeded proper"], and of Nightingale, Bart. ["Per pale ermine and gules,
a rose counterchanged"].

Amongst the scores of English arms in which the rose figures, it will be
found in the original heraldic form in the case of the arms of Southampton
(Plate VII.); and either stalked or slipped in the arms of Brodribb and
White-Thomson. A curious instance of the use of the rose will be found in
the crest of Bewley, and the "cultivated" rose was depicted in the
emblazonment of the crest of Inverarity, which is a rose-bush proper.

[Illustration: FIG. 493.--Thistle.]

Heraldry, with its roses, has accomplished what horticulture has not. There
is an old legend that when Henry VII. succeeded to the English throne some
enterprising individual produced a natural parti-coloured rose which
answered to the conjoined heraldic rose of gules and argent. Our roses "or"
may really find their natural counterpart in the primrose, but the arms of
Rochefort ["Quarterly or and azure, four roses counterchanged"] give us the
_blue_ rose, the arms of Berendon ["Argent, three roses sable"] give us the
_black_ rose, and the coat of Smallshaw ["Argent, a rose vert, between
three shakeforks sable"] is the long-desired _green_ rose.

_The Thistle_ (Fig. 493) ranks next to the rose in British heraldic
importance. Like the rose, the reason of its assumption as a national badge
remains largely a matter of mystery, though it is of nothing like so
ancient an origin. Of course one knows the time-honoured and wholly
impossible legend that its adoption as a national symbol dates from the
battle of Largs, when one of the Danish invaders gave away an attempted
surprise by his cry of agony caused by stepping barefooted upon a thistle.

The fact, however, remains that its earliest appearance is on the silver
coinage of 1474, in the reign of James III., but during that reign there
can be no doubt that it was accepted either as a national badge or else as
the personal badge of the sovereign. The period in question was that in
which badges were so largely used, and it is not unlikely that, desiring to
vie with his brother of England, and fired by the {271} example of the
broom badge and the rose badge, the Scottish king, remembering the ancient
legend, chose the thistle as his own badge. In 1540, when the thistle had
become recognised as one of the national emblems of the kingdom, the
foundation of the Order of the Thistle stereotyped the fact for all future
time. The conventional heraldic representation of the thistle is as it
appears upon the star of that Order, that is, the flowered head upon a
short stalk with a leaf on either side. Though sometimes represented of
gold, it is nearly always proper. It has frequently been granted as an
augmentation, though in such a meaning it will usually be found crowned.
The coat of augmentation carried in the first quarter of his arms by Lord
Torphichen is: "Argent, a thistle vert, flowered gules (really a thistle
proper), on a chief azure an imperial crown or." "Sable, a thistle
(possibly really a teasel) or, between three pheons argent" is the coat of
Teesdale, and "Gules, three thistles or" is attributed in Papworth to
Hawkey. A curious use of the thistle occurs in the arms of the National
Bank of Scotland (granted 1826), which are: "Or, the image of St. Andrew
with vesture vert, and surcoat purpure, bearing before him the cross of his
martyrdom argent, all resting on a base of the second, in the dexter flank
a garb gules, in the sinister a ship in full sail sable, _the shield
surrounded with two thistles proper disposed in orle_."

_The Lily_ in its natural form sometimes occurs, though of course it
generally figures as the fleur-de-lis, which will presently be considered.
The natural lily will be found in the arms of Aberdeen University, of
Dundee, and in the crests of various families of the name of Chadwick. It
also occurs in the arms of the College of St. Mary the Virgin, at Eton
["Sable, three lilies argent, on a chief per pale azure and gules a
fleur-de-lis on the dexter side, and a lion passant guardant or on the
sinister"]. Here they doubtless typify the Virgin, to whom they have
reference; as also in the case of Marylebone (Fig. 252).

The arms of Lilly, of Stoke Prior, are: "Gules, three lilies slipped
argent;" and the arms of J. E. Lilley, Esq., of Harrow, are: "Azure, on a
pile between two fleurs-de-lis argent, a lily of the valley eradicated
proper. Crest: on a wreath of the colours, a cubit arm erect proper,
charged with a fleur-de-lis argent and holding in the hand two lilies of
the valley, leaved and slipped in saltire, also proper."

_Columbine Flowers_ occur in the arms of Cadman, and _Gillyflowers_ in the
arms of Livingstone. _Fraises_--really the flowers of the
strawberry-plant--occur, as has been already mentioned, in the arms of
Fraser, and _Narcissus Flowers_ in the arms of Lambeth. "Gules, three poppy
bolles on their stalks in fess or" are the arms of Boller.

_The Lotus-Flower_, which is now very generally becoming the recognised
emblem of India, is constantly met with in the arms granted to {272} those
who have won fortune or reputation in that country. Instances in which it
occurs are the arms of Sir Roper Lethbridge, K.C.I.E., Sir Thomas Seccombe,
G.C.I.E., and the University of Madras.

The _Sylphium-Plant_ occurs in the arms of General Sir Henry Augustus
Smyth, K.C.M.G., which are: Vert, a chevron erminois, charged with a
chevron gules, between three Saracens' heads habited in profile couped at
the neck proper, and for augmentation a chief argent, thereon a mount vert
inscribed with the Greek letters K Y P A gold and issuant therefrom a
representation of the plant Silphium proper. Crests: 1. (of augmentation)
on a wreath of the colours, a mount vert inscribed with the aforesaid Greek
letters and issuant therefrom the Silphium as in the arms; 2. on a wreath
of the colours, an anchor fesswise sable, thereon an ostrich erminois
holding in the beak a horse-shoe or. Motto: "Vincere est vivere."

The arms granted to Sir Richard Quain were: "Argent, a chevron engrailed
azure, in chief two fers-de-moline gules, and issuant from the base a rock
covered with daisies proper."

[Illustration: FIG. 494.--Fleur-de-lis.]

_Primroses_ occur (as was only to be expected) in the arms of the Earl of
Rosebery ["Vert, three primroses within a double tressure flory
counterflory or"].

_The Sunflower_ or _Marigold_ occurs in the crest of Buchan ["A sunflower
in full bloom towards the sun in the dexter chief"], and also in the arms
granted in 1614 to Florio. Here, however, the flower is termed a
heliotrope. The arms in question are: "Azure, a heliotrope or, issuing from
a stalk sprouting from two leaves vert, in chief the sun in splendour

_Tulips_ occur in the arms of Raphael, and the _Cornflower_ or _Bluebottle_
in the arms of Chorley of Chorley, Lancs. ["Argent, a chevron gules between
three bluebottles slipped proper"], and also in the more modern arms of
that town.

_Saffron-Flowers_ are a charge upon the arms of Player of Nottingham. The
arms granted to Sir Edgar Boehm, Bart., were: "Azure, in the sinister
canton a sun issuant therefrom eleven rays, over all a clover-plant
eradicated proper."

_The Fleur-de-Lis._--Few figures have puzzled the antiquary so much as the
fleur-de-lis. Countless origins have been suggested for it; we have even
lately had the height of absurdity urged in a suggested phallic origin,
which only rivals in ridiculousness the long since exploded legend that the
fleurs-de-lis in the arms of France were a {273} corrupted form of an
earlier coat, "Azure, three toads or," the reputed coat of arms of

To France and the arms of France one must turn for the origin of the
heraldic use of the fleur-de-lis. To begin with, the form of the
fleur-de-lis as a mere presumably meaningless form of decoration is found
long before the days of armory, in fact from the earliest period of
decoration. It is such an essentially natural development of decoration
that it may be accepted as such without any attempt to give it a meaning or
any symbolism. Its earliest heraldic appearances as the finial of a sceptre
or the decoration of a coronet need not have had any symbolical character.

We then find the "lily" accepted as having some symbolical reference to
France, and it should be remembered that the iris was known by the name of
a lily until comparatively modern times.

It is curious--though possibly in this case it may be only a
coincidence--that, on a coin of the Emperor Hadrian, Gaul is typified by a
female figure holding in the hand a lily, the legend being, "Restutori
Galliæ." The fleur-de-lis as the finial of a sceptre and as an ornament of
a crown can be taken back to the fifth century. Fleurs-de-lis upon crowns
and coronets in France are at least as old as the reign of King Robert (son
of Hugh Capet) whose seal represents him crowned in this manner.

We have, moreover, the ancient legendary tradition that at the baptism of
Clovis, King of the Franks, the Virgin (whose emblem the lily has always
been) sent a lily by an angel as a mark of her special favour. It is
difficult to determine the exact date at which this tradition was invented,
but its accepted character may be judged from the fact that it was solemnly
advanced by the French bishops at the Council of Trent in a dispute as to
the precedence of their sovereign. The old legend as to Clovis would
naturally identify the flower with him, and it should be noted that the
names Clovis, Lois, Loys, and Louis are identical. "Loys" was the signature
of the kings of France until the time of Louis XIII. It is worth the
passing conjecture that what are sometimes termed "Cleves lilies" may be a
corrupted form of Clovis lilies. There can be little doubt that the term
"fleur-de-lis" is quite as likely to be a corruption of "fleur-de-lois" as
flower of the lily. The chief point is that the desire was to represent a
_flower_ in allusion to the old legend, without perhaps any very definite
certainty of the flower intended to be represented. Philip I. on his seal
(A.D. 1060) holds a short staff terminating in a fleur-de-lis. The same
object occurs in the great seal of Louis VII. In the seal of his wife,
Queen Constance, we find her represented as holding in either hand a
similar object, though in these last cases it is by no means certain that
the objects are not attempts to represent the natural flower. A signet
{274} of Louis VII. bears a single fleur-de-lis "florencée" (or flowered),
and in his reign the heraldic fleur-de-lis undoubtedly became stereotyped
as a symbolical device, for we find that when in the lifetime of Louis VII.
his son Philip was crowned, the king prescribed that the prince should wear
"ses chausses appelées sandales ou bottines de soye, couleur bleu azuré
sémée en moult endroits de fleurs-de-lys or, puis aussi sa dalmatique de
même couleur et oeuvre." On the oval counter-seal of Philip II. (d. 1223)
appears a heraldic fleur-de-lis. His great seal, as also that of Louis
VIII., shows a seated figure crowned with an open crown of "fleurons," and
holding in his right hand a flower, and in his left a sceptre surmounted by
a heraldic fleur-de-lis enclosed within a lozenge-shaped frame. On the seal
of Louis VIII. the conjunction of the essentially heraldic fleur-de-lis
(within the lozenge-shaped head of the sceptre), and the more natural
flower held in the hand, should leave little if any doubt of the intention
to represent flowers in the French fleurs-de-lis. The figure held in the
hand represents a flower of five petals. The upper pair turned inwards to
touch the centre one, and the lower pair curved downwards, leave the figure
with a marked resemblance both to the iris and to the conventional
fleur-de-lis. The counter-seal of Louis VIII. shows a Norman-shaped shield
semé of fleurs-de-lis of the conventional heraldic pattern. By then, of
course, "Azure, semé-de-lis or" had become the fixed and determined arms of
France. By an edict dated 1376, Charles V. reduced the number of
fleurs-de-lis in his shield to three: "Pour symboliser la Sainte-Trinite."

The claim of Edward III. to the throne of France was made on the death of
Charles IV. of France in 1328, but the decision being against him, he
apparently acquiesced, and did homage to Philip of Valois (Philip VI.) for
Guienne. Philip, however, lent assistance to David II. of Scotland against
King Edward, who immediately renewed his claim to France, assumed the arms
and the title of king of that country, and prepared for war. He commenced
hostilities in 1339, and upon his new Great Seal (made in the early part of
1340) we find his arms represented upon shield, surcoat, and housings as:
"Quarterly, 1 and 4, azure, semé-de-lis or (for France); 2 and 3, gules,
three lions passant guardant in pale or (for England)." The Royal Arms thus
remained until 1411, when upon the second Great Seal of Henry IV. the
fleurs-de-lis in England (as in France) were reduced to three in number,
and so remained as part of the Royal Arms of this country until the latter
part of the reign of George III.

Fleurs-de-lis (probably intended as badges only) had figured upon all the
Great Seals of Edward III. On the first seal (which with slight alterations
had also served for both Edward I. and II.), a small {275} fleur-de-lis
appears over each of the castles which had previously figured on either
side of the throne. In the second Great Seal, fleurs-de-lis took the places
of the castles.

The similarity of the Montgomery arms to the Royal Arms of France has led
to all kinds of wild genealogical conjectures, but at a time when the arms
of France were hardly determinate, the seal of John de Mundegumbri is met
with, bearing a single fleur-de-lis, the original from which the arms of
Montgomery were developed. Letters of nobility and the name of Du Lis were
granted by Charles VII. in December 1429 to the brothers of Joan of Arc,
and the following arms were then assigned to them: "Azure, a sword in pale
proper, hilted and supporting on its point an open crown or, between two
fleurs-de-lis of the last."

The fleur-de-lis "florencée," or the "fleur-de-lis flowered," as it is
termed in England, is officially considered a distinct charge from the
simple fleur-de-lis. Eve employs the term "seeded," and remarks of it:
"This being one of the numerous instances of pedantic, because unnecessary
distinction, which showed marks of decadence; for both forms occur at the
same period, and adorn the same object, evidently with the same intention."
The difference between these forms really is that the fleur-de-lis is
"seeded" when a stalk having seeds at the end issues in the upper
interstices. In a fleur-de-lis "florencée," the natural flower of a lily
issues instead of the seeded stalk. This figure formed the arms of the city
of Florence.

Fleurs-de-lis, like all other Royal emblems, are frequently to be met with
in the arms of towns, _e.g._ in the arms of Lancaster, Maryborough,
Wakefield, and Great Torrington. The arms of Wareham afford an instance of
fleurs-de-lis reversed, and the Corporate Seals of Liskeard and Tamworth
merit reproduction, did space permit, from the designs of the fleurs-de-lis
which there appear. One cannot leave the fleur-de-lis without referring to
one curious development of it, viz. the leopard's face jessant-de-lis (Fig.
332), a curious charge which undoubtedly originated in the arms of the
family of Cantelupe. This charge is not uncommon, though by no means so
usual as the leopard's face. Planché considers that it was originally
derived from the fleur-de-lis, the circular boss which in early
representations so often figures as the centre of the fleur-de-lis, being
merely _decorated_ with the leopard's face. One can follow Planché a bit
further by imagining that this face need not necessarily be that of a
leopard, for at a certain period all decorative art was crowded with
grotesque masks whenever opportunity offered. The leopard's face
jessant-de-lis is now represented as a leopard's face with the lower part
of a fleur-de-lis issuing from the mouth, and the upper part rising from
behind the head. Instances of {276} this charge occur as early as the
thirteenth century as the arms of the Cantelupe family, and Thomas de
Cantelupe having been Bishop of Hereford 1275 to 1282, the arms of that See
have since been three leopards' faces jessant-de-lis, the distinction being
that in the arms of the See of Hereford the leopards' faces are reversed.

The origin may perhaps make itself apparent when we remember that the
earliest form of the name was Cantelowe. Is it not probable that "lions'"
faces (_i.e._ head _de leo_) may have been suggested by the name? Possibly,
however, wolf-heads may have been meant, suggested by _lupus_, or by the
same analogy which gives us wolf-heads or wolves upon the arms of Low and

[Illustration: FIG. 495.--Pomegranate.]

Fruit--the remaining division of those charges which can be classed as
belonging to the vegetable kingdom--must of necessity be but briefly dealt

_Grapes_ perhaps cannot be easily distinguished from vines (to which refer,
page 264), but the arms of Bradway of Potscliff, co. Gloucester ["Argent, a
chevron gules between three bunches of grapes proper"] and of Viscountess
Beaconsfield, the daughter of Captain John Viney Evans ["Argent, a bunch of
grapes stalked and leaved proper, between two flaunches sable, each charged
with a boar's head argent"] are instances in point.

_Apples_ occur in the arms of Robert Applegarth (Edward III. Roll)
["Argent, three apples slipped gules"] and "Or, a chevron between three
apples gules" is the coat of a family named Southbey.

_Pears_ occur in the arms of Allcroft, of Stokesay Castle, Perrins, Perry,
Perryman, and Pirie.

_Oranges_ are but seldom met with in British heraldry, but an instance
occurs in the arms of Lord Polwarth, who bears over the Hepburn quarterings
an inescutcheon azure, an orange slipped and surmounted by an imperial
crown all proper. This was an augmentation conferred by King William III.,
and a very similar augmentation (in the 1st and 4th quarters, azure, three
oranges slipped proper within an orle of thistles or) was granted to
Livingstone, Viscount Teviot.

_The Pomegranate_ (Fig. 495), which dimidiated with a rose was one of the
badges of Queen Mary, is not infrequently met with.

_The Pineapple_ in heraldry is nearly always the fir-cone. In the arms of
Perring, Bart. ["Argent, on a chevron engrailed sable between three
pineapples (fir-cones) pendent vert, as many leopards' faces of the first.
Crest: on a mount a pineapple (fir-cone) vert"], and in the crest of
Parkyns, Bart. ["Out of a ducal coronet or, a pineapple {277} proper"], and
also in the arms of Pyne ["Gules, a chevron ermine between three pineapples
or"] and Parkin-Moore, the fruit is the fir or pine cone. Latterly the
likelihood of confusion has led to the general use of the term "pine-cone"
in such cases, but the ancient description was certainly "pineapple." The
arms of John Apperley, as given in the Edward III. Roll, are: "Argent, a
chevron gules between three pineapples (fir-cones) vert, slipped or."

The real pineapple of the present day does, however, occur, _e.g._ in the
arms of Benson, of Lutwyche, Shropshire ["Argent, on waves of the sea, an
old English galley all proper, on a chief wavy azure a hand couped at the
wrist, supporting on a dagger the scales of Justice between two pineapples
erect or, leaved vert. Mantling azure and argent. Crest: upon a wreath of
the colours, a horse caparisoned, passant, proper, on the breast a shield
argent, charged with a pineapple proper. Motto: 'Leges arma tenent

[Illustration: FIG. 496.--Acorn slipped and leaved.]

_Bean-Pods_ occur in the arms of Rise of Trewardreva, co. Cornwall
["Argent, a chevron gules between three bean-pods vert"], and Papworth
mentions in the arms of Messarney an instance of cherries ["Or, a chevron
per pale gules and vert between three cherries of the second slipped of the
third"]. Elsewhere, however, the charges on the shield of this family are
termed apples. Strawberries occur in the arms and crest of Hollist, and the
arms of Duffield are: "Sable, a chevron between three cloves or." The arms
of the Grocers' Livery Company, granted in 1531-1532, are: "Argent, a
chevron gules between nine cloves, three, three and three." The arms of
Garwynton are stated to be: "Sable, a chevron between three heads of
garlick pendent argent," but another version gives the charges as
pomegranates. "Azure, a chevron between three gourds pendent, slipped or"
is a coat attributed to Stukele, but here again there is uncertainty, as
the charges are sometimes quoted as pears. The arms of Bonefeld are:
"Azure, a chevron between three quinces or." The arms of Alderberry are
naturally: "Argent, three branches of alder-berries proper." The arms of
Haseley of Suffolk are: "Argent, a fess gules, between three hazel-nuts or,
stalks and leaves vert." Papworth also mentions the arms of Tarsell, viz.:
"Or, a chevron sable, between three hazel-nuts erect, slipped gules." It
would, however, seem more probable that these charges are really teazles.

The fruit of the oak--the _Acorn_ (Fig. 496)--has already been incidentally
referred to, but other instances occur in the arms of Baldwin, Stable, and
Huth. {278}

Wheat and other grain is constantly met with in British armory. The arms of
Bigland ["Azure, two ears of big wheat erect in fess and bladed or"] and of
Cheape are examples, and others occur in the arms of Layland-Barratt,
Cross, and Rye ["Gules, on a bend argent, between two ears of rye, stalked,
leaved, and slipped or, three crosses cramponné sable"].

[Illustration: FIG. 497.--Garb.]

_Garbs_, as they are invariably termed heraldically, are sheaves, and are
of very frequent occurrence. The earliest appearance of the garb (Fig. 497)
in English heraldry is on the seal of Ranulph, Earl of Chester, who died in
1232. Garbs therefrom became identified with the Earldom of Chester, and
subsequently "Azure, three garbs or" became and still remain the
territorial or possibly the sovereign coat of that earldom. Garbs naturally
figure, therefore, in the arms of many families who originally held land by
feudal tenure under the Earls of Chester, e.g. the families of Cholmondeley
["Gules, in chief two helmets in profile argent, and in base a garb vert"]
and Kevilioc ["Azure, six garbs, three, two, and one or"]. Grosvenor
["Azure, a garb or"] is usually quoted as another example, and possibly
correctly, but a very interesting origin has been suggested by Mr. W. G.
Taunton in his work "The Tauntons of Oxford, by One of Them":--

"I merely wish to make a few remarks of my own that seem to have escaped
other writers on genealogical matters.

"In the first place, Sir Gilbert le Grosvenor, who is stated to have come
over with William of Normandy at the Conquest, is described as nephew to
Hugh Lupus, Earl of Chester; but Hugh Lupus was himself nephew to King
William. Now, William could not have been very old when he overthrew Harold
at Hastings. It seems, therefore, rather improbable that Sir Gilbert le
Grosvenor, who was his nephew's nephew, could actually have fought with him
at Hastings, especially when William lived to reign for twenty-one years
after, and was not very old when he died.

"The name Grosvenor does not occur in any of the versions of the Roll of
Battle Abbey. Not that any of these versions of this celebrated Roll are
considered authentic by modern critics, who say that many names were
subsequently added by the monks to please ambitious parvenus. The name
Venour is on the Roll, however, and it is just possible that this Venour
was the Grosvenor of our quest. The addition of 'Gros' would then be
subsequent to his fattening on the spoils of the Saxon and cultivating a
corporation. 'Venour' means hunter, and {279} 'Gros' means fat. Gilbert's
uncle, Hugh Lupus, was, we know, a fat man; in fact, he was nicknamed 'Hugh
the Fat.' The Grosvenors of that period probably inherited obesity from
their relative, Hugh Lupus, therefore, and the fable that they were called
Grosvenor on account of their office of 'Great Huntsman' to the Dukes of
Normandy is not to be relied on.

"We are further on told by the old family historians that when Sir Robert
Grosvenor lost the day in that ever-memorable controversy with Sir Richard
le Scrope, Baron of Bolton, concerning the coat of arms--'Azure, a bend
or'--borne by both families, Sir Robert Grosvenor took for his arms one of
the garbs of his kinsman, the Earl of Chester.

"It did not seem to occur to these worthies that the Earl of Chester, who
was their ancestor's uncle, never bore the garbs in his arms, but a wolf's

"It is true that one or two subsequent Earls of Chester bore garbs, but
these Earls were far too distantly connected with the Grosvenors to render
it likely that the latter would borrow their new arms from this source.

"It is curious that there should have been in this same county of Chester a
family of almost identical name also bearing a garb in their arms, though
their garb was surrounded by three bezants.

"The name of this family was Grasvenor, or Gravenor, and, moreover, the
tinctures of their arms were identical with those of Grosvenor. It is far
more likely, therefore, that the coat assumed by Sir Robert after the
adverse decision of the Court of Chivalry was taken from that of Grasvenor,
or Gravenor, and that the two families were known at that time to be of
common origin, although their connection with each other has subsequently
been lost.

"In French both _gros_ and _gras_ mean fat, and we have both forms in
Grosvenor and Grasvenor.

"A chief huntsman to Royalty would have been Grandvenor, not Grosvenor or

"All these criticisms of mine, however, only affect the origin of the arms,
and not the ancient and almost Royal descent of this illustrious race. Hugh
Lupus, Earl of Chester, was a son of the Duke of Brittany, as is plainly
stated in his epitaph.

"This connection of uncle and nephew, then, between 'Hugh the Fat' and
Gilbert Grosvenor implies a maternal descent from the Dukes of Brittany for
the first ancestor of the Grosvenor family.

"In virtue of their descent from an heiress of the house of Grosvenor, it
is only necessary to add the Tauntons of Oxford are Grosvenors,
heraldically speaking, and that quartering so many ancient coats through
{280} the Tanners and the Grosvenors with our brand-new grant is like
putting old wine into new bottles.

"Hugh Lupus left no son to succeed him, and the subsequent descent of the
Earldom of Chester was somewhat erratic. So I think there is some point in
my arguments regarding the coat assumed by Sir Robert Grosvenor of Hulme."

Though a garb, unless quoted otherwise, is presumed to be a sheaf of wheat,
the term is not so confined. The garbs in the arms of Comyn, which figure
as a quartering in so many Scottish coats, are really of cummin, as
presumably are the garbs in the arms of Cummins. When a garb is "banded" of
a different colour this should be stated, and Elvin states that it may be
"eared" of a different colour, though I confess I am aware of no such

"Argent, two bundles of reeds in fess vert," is the coat of Janssen of
Wimbledon, Surrey (Bart., extinct), and a bundle of rods occurs in the arms
of Evans, and the crest of Harris, though in this latter case it is termed
a faggot.

_Reeds_ also occur in the crest of Reade, and the crest of Middlemore ["On
a wreath of colours, a moorcock amidst grass and reeds proper"] furnishes
another example.

_Bulrushes_ occur in the crest of Billiat, and in the arms of Scott
["Argent, on a mount of bulrushes in base proper, a bull passant sable, a
chief pean, billetté or"].

_Grass_ is naturally presumed on the mounts vert which are so constantly
met with, but more definite instances can be found in the arms of Sykes,
Hulley, and Hill. {281}



In dealing with those charges which may be classed under the above
description one can safely say that there is scarcely an object under the
sun which has not at some time or other been introduced into a coat of arms
or crest. One cannot usefully make a book on armory assume the character of
a general encyclopædia of useful knowledge, and reference will only be made
in this chapter to a limited number, including those which from frequent
usage have obtained a recognised heraldic character. Mention may, at the
outset, be made of certain letters of the _alphabet_. Instances of these
are scarcely common, but the family of Kekitmore may be adduced as bearing
"Gules, three S's or," while Bridlington Priory had for arms: "Per pale,
sable and argent, three B's counterchanged." The arms of Rashleigh are:
"Sable, a cross or, between in the first quarter a Cornish chough argent,
beaked and legged gules; in the second a text T; in the third and fourth a
crescent all argent." Corporate arms (in England) afford an instance of
alphabetical letters in the case of the B's on the shield of Bermondsey.

[Illustration: FIG. 498.--Anchor.]

_The Anchor_ (Fig. 498).--This charge figures very largely in English
armory, as may, perhaps, be looked for when it is remembered that maritime
devices occur more frequently in sea-board lands than in continents. The
arms of the town of Musselburgh are: "Azure, three anchors in pale, one in
the chief and two in the flanks or, accompanied with as many mussels, one
in the dexter and one in the sinister chief points, and the third in base
proper." The Comtes de St. Cricq, with "Argent, two anchors in saltire
sable, on a chief three mullets or," will be an instance in point as to

_Anvils._--These are occasionally met with, as in the case of the arms of a
family of the name of Walker, who bear: "Argent, on a chevron gules,
between two anvils in chief and an anchor in base sable, a bee between two
crescents or. Mantling gules and argent. {282} Crest: upon a wreath of the
colours, on a mount within a wreathed serpent a dove all statant proper."

Arches, castles, towers, and turrets may be exemplified, amongst others, by
the following.

Instances of _Castles_ and _Towers_ will be found in the arms of Carlyon
and Kelly, and of the former fractured castles will be found in the shield
of Willoughby quartered by Bertie; while an example of a quadrangular
castle may be seen in the arms of Rawson. The difference between a Castle
(Fig. 499) and a Tower (Fig. 500) should be carefully noticed, and though
it is a distinction but little observed in ancient days it is now always
adhered to. When either castle or tower is surmounted by smaller towers (as
Fig. 501) it is termed "triple-towered."

[Illustration: FIG. 499.--Castle.]

[Illustration: FIG. 500.--Tower.]

[Illustration: FIG. 501.--Tower triple-towered.]

An instance of a _Fortification_ as a charge occurs in the shield of
Sconce: "Azure, a fortification (sconce) argent, masoned sable, in the
dexter chief point a mullet of six points of the second."

_Gabions_ were hampers filled with earth, and were used in the construction
of fortifications and earthworks. They are of occasional occurrence in
English armory at any rate, and may be seen in the shields of Christie and
of Goodfellow.

The arms of Banks supply an instance of _Arches_. Mention may here perhaps
be made of William Arches, who bore at the siege of Rouen: "Gules, three
double arches argent." The family of Lethbridge bear a bridge, and this
charge figures in a number of other coats.

_An Abbey_ occurs in the arms of Maitland of Dundrennan ["Argent, the ruins
of an old abbey on a piece of ground all proper"], and a monastery in that
of McLarty ["Azure, the front of an ancient monastery argent"]. A somewhat
isolated instance of a _Temple_ occurs in the shield of Templer.

A curious canting grant of arms may be seen in that to the town of Eccles,
in which the charge is an _Ecclesiastical Building_, and similar {283}
though somewhat unusual charges figure also in the quartering for Chappel
["Per chevron or and azure, in chief a mullet of six points between two
crosses patée of the last, and in base the front elevation of a chapel
argent"], borne by Brown-Westhead.

_Arrows_ are very frequently found, and the arms of Hales supply one of the
many examples of this charge, while a bow--without the arrows--may be
instanced in the shield of Bowes: "Ermine, three bows bent and stringed
palewise in fess proper."

_Arrow-Heads_ and _Pheons_ are of common usage, and occur in the arms of
Foster and many other families. Pheons, it may be noticed in passing, are
arrow-heads with an inner engrailed edge (Fig. 502), while when depicted
without this peculiarity they are termed "broad arrows" (Fig. 503). This is
not a distinction very stringently adhered to.

Charges associated with warfare and military defences are frequently to be
found both in English and foreign heraldry.

[Illustration: FIG. 502.--Pheon.]

[Illustration: FIG. 503.--Broad arrow.]

[Illustration: FIG. 504.--Battle-axe.]

[Illustration: FIG. 505.--Caltrap.]

_Battle-Axes_ (Fig. 504), for example, may be seen in the shield of Firth
and in that of Renty in Artois, which has: "Argent, three doloires, or
broad-axes, gules, those in chief addorsed." In blazoning a battle-axe care
should be taken to specify the fact if the head is of a different colour,
as is frequently the case.

The somewhat infrequent device of a _Battering-Ram_ is seen in the arms of
Bertie, who bore: "Argent, three battering-rams fesswise in pale proper,
armed and garnished azure."

An instrument of military defence consisting of an iron frame of four
points, and called a _Caltrap_ (Fig. 505) or _Galtrap_ (and sometimes a
Cheval trap, from its use of impeding the approach of cavalry), is found in
the arms of Trappe ["Argent, three caltraps sable"], Gilstrap and other
families; while French armory supplies us with another example in {284} the
case of the family of Guetteville de Guénonville, who bore for arms:
"D'argent, semée de chausse-trapes de sable." Caltraps are also strewn upon
the compartment upon which the supporters to the arms of the Earl of Perth
are placed.

As the well-known badge of the Royal House of Tudor, the _Portcullis_ (Fig.
506) is familiar to any one conversant with Henry VII.'s Chapel at
Westminster Abbey, but it also appears as a charge in the arms of the
family of Wingate ["Gules, a portcullis and a chief embattled or"], where
it forms an obvious pun on the earliest form of the name, viz. Windygate,
whilst it figures also as the crest of the Dukes of Beaufort ["A portcullis
or, nailed azure, chained of the first"]. The disposition of the chains is
a matter always left to the discretion of the artist.

[Illustration: FIG. 506.--Portcullis.]

[Illustration: FIG. 507.--Beacon.]

[Illustration: FIG. 508.--Grenade.]

Examples of _Beacons_ (Fig. 507) are furnished by the achievements of the
family of Compton and of the town of Wolverhampton. A _fire chest_ occurs
in the arms of Critchett (_vide_ p. 261).

_Chains_ are singularly scarce in armory, and indeed nearly wholly absent
as _charges_, usually occurring where they do as part of the crest. The
English shield of Anderton, it is true, bears: "Sable, three chains
argent;" while another one (Duppa de Uphaugh) has: "Quarterly, 1 and 4, a
lion's paw couped in fess between two chains or, a chief nebuly of the
last, thereon two roses of the first, barbed and seeded proper (for Duppa);
2 and 3, party fess azure and sable, a trident fesswise or, between three
turbots argent (for Turbutt)." In Continental heraldry, however, chains are
more frequently met with. Principal amongst these cases maybe cited the
arms of Navarre ("Gules, a cross saltire and double orle of chains, linked
together or"), while many other instances are found in the armories of
Southern France and of Spain.

_Bombs_ or _Grenades_ (Fig. 508), for Heraldry does not distinguish, figure
in the shields of Vavasseur, Jervoise, Boycott, and many other families.

Among the more recent grants _Cannon_ have figured, as in the case of the
Pilter arms and in those of the burgh of Portobello; while an earlier
counterpart, in the form of a culverin, forms the charge of the Leigh
family: "Argent, a culverin in fess sable."

[Illustration: FIG. 509.--Scaling ladder.]

[Illustration: FIG. 510.--Lance or javelin.]

[Illustration: FIG. 511.--Tilting-spear.]

The _Column_ appears as a crest in the achievement of Coles. Between two
cross crosslets it occurs in the arms of Adam of Maryburgh ["Vert, a
Corinthian column with capital and base in pale proper, between two cross
crosslets fitchée in fess or"], while the arms of the See of Sodor and Man
are blazoned: "Argent, upon a pedestal the Virgin Mary with her arms
extended between two pillars, in the dexter hand a church proper, in base
the arms of Man in an escutcheon." Major, of Suffolk, bears: "Azure, three
Corinthian columns, each surmounted by a ball, two and one argent." It is
necessary to specify the kind of column in the blazon.

[Illustration: FIG. 512.--Arms of William Shakespeare the poet (d. 1616):
Or, on a bend sable, a tilting-spear of the field.]

_Scaling-Ladders_ (Fig. 509) (viz. ordinary-shaped ladders with grapnels
affixed to the tops) are to be seen in the English coats of D'Urban and
Lloyd, while the Veronese Princes della Scala bore the ordinary ladder:
"Gules, a ladder of four steps in pale argent." A further instance of this
form of the charge occurs in the Swiss shield of Laiterberg: "Argent, two
ladders in saltire gules."

_Spears_ and _Spear-Heads_ are to be found in the arms of many families
both in England, Wales, and abroad; for example, in the arms of Amherst and
Edwards. Distinction must be drawn between the lance or javelin (Fig. 510)
and the heraldic tilting-spear (Fig. 511), particularly as the latter is
always depicted with the sharp point for warfare instead of the blunted
point which was actually used in the tournament. The Shakespeare arms (Fig.
512) are: "Or, on a bend sable a tilting-spear of the field," while "Azure,
a lance or enfiled {286} at its point by an annulet argent" represents the
French family of Danby.

_Spurs_ (Fig. 513) occur in coat armour as such in the arms of Knight and
Harben, and also occasionally "winged" (Fig. 514), as in the crest of

_Spur-Rowels_, or _Spur-Revels_, are to be met with under that name, but
they are, and are more often termed, "mullets of five points pierced."

Examples of _Stirrups_ are but infrequent, and the best-known one (as
regards English armory) is that of Scudamore, while the Polish Counts
Brzostowski bore: "Gules, a stirrup argent, within a bordure or."

[Illustration: FIG. 513.--Spur.]

[Illustration: FIG. 514.--Winged spur.]

[Illustration: FIG. 515.--Sword.]

_Stones_ are even more rare, though a solitary example may be quoted in the
arms of Staniland: Per pale or and vert, a pale counterchanged, three
eagles displayed two and one, and as many flint-stones one and two all
proper. The "vigilance" of the crane has been already alluded to on page
247. The mention of stones brings one to the kindred subject of
_Catapults_. These engines of war, needless to say on a very much larger
scale than the object which is nowadays associated with the term, were also
known by the name _balistæ_, and also by that of _swepe_. Their occurrence
is very infrequent, but for that very reason one may, perhaps, draw
attention to the arms of the (English) family of Magnall: "Argent, a swepe
azure, charged with a stone or."

_Swords_, differing in number, position, and kind are, perhaps, of this
class of charge the most numerous. A single sword as a charge may be seen
in the shield of Dick of Wicklow, and Macfie, and a sword entwined by a
serpent in that of Mackesy. A flaming sword occurs in the arms of Maddocks
and Lewis. Swords frequently figure, too, in the hands or paws of
supporters, accordingly as the latter are human figures or animals, whilst
they figure as the "supporters" themselves in the unique case of the French
family of Bastard, whose shield is cottised by "two swords, point in base."
The heraldic sword is represented as Fig. 515, the blade of the _dagger_
{287} being shorter and more pointed. The _scymitar_ follows the form
depicted in Fig. 516.

A _Seax_ is the term employed to denote a curved scimitar, or falchion,
having a notch at the back of the blade (Fig. 517). In heraldry the use of
this last is fairly frequent, though generally, it must be added, in
shields of arms of doubtful authority. As such they are to be seen, amongst
others, in the reputed arms of Middlesex, and owing to this origin they
were included in the grant of arms to the town of Ealing. The sabre and the
cutlass when so blazoned follow their utilitarian patterns.

_Torches_ or _Firebrands_ are depicted in the arms and crest of Gillman and

_Barnacles_ (or _Breys_)--horse curbs--occur in some of the earlier coats,
as in the arms of Wyatt ["Gules, a barnacle argent"], while another family
of the same name (or, possibly, Wyot) bore: "Per fess gules and azure (one
or) three barnacles argent".

[Illustration: FIG. 516.--Scymitar.]

[Illustration: FIG. 517.--Seax.]

[Illustration: FIG. 518.--Church-bell.]

[Illustration: FIG. 519.--Hawk's bell.]

_Bells_ are well instanced in the shield of Porter, and the poet Wordsworth
bore: "Argent, three bells azure." It may be noted in passing that in
Continental armory the clapper is frequently of a different tincture to
that of the bell, as, for instance, "D'Azure, à la cloche d'argent,
butaillé [viz. with the clapper] de sable"--the arms of the Comtes de
Bellegarse. A bell is assumed to be a church-bell (Fig. 518) unless
blazoned as a hawk's bell (Fig. 519).

_Bridle-Bits_ are of very infrequent use, though they may be seen in the
achievement of the family of Milner.

The _Torse_ (or wreath surmounting the helm) occasionally figures as a
charge, for example, in the arms of Jocelyn and Joslin.

_The Buckle_ is a charge which is of much more general use than some of the
foregoing. It appears very frequently both in English {288} and foreign
heraldry--sometimes oval-shaped (Fig. 520), circular (Fig. 521), or square
(Fig. 522), but more generally lozenge-shaped (Fig. 523), especially in the
case of Continental arms. A somewhat curious variation occurs in the arms
of the Prussian Counts Wallenrodt, which are: "Gules, a lozenge-shaped
buckle argent, the tongue broken in the middle." It is, of course, purely
an artistic detail in all these buckles whether the tongue is attached to a
crossbar, as in Figs. 520 and 521, or not, as in Figs. 522 and 523. As a
badge the buckle is used by the Pelhams, Earls of Chichester and Earls of
Yarborough, and a lozenge-shaped arming buckle is the badge of Jerningham.

_Cups_ (covered) appear in the Butler arms, and derived therefrom in the
arms of the town of Warrington. Laurie, of Maxwelltown, bear: "Sable, a cup
argent, issuing therefrom a garland between two laurel-branches all
proper," and similar arms are registered in Ireland for Lowry. The Veronese
family of Bicchieri bear: "Argent, a fess gules between three
drinking-glasses half-filled with red wine proper." An uncovered cup occurs
in the arms of Fox, derived by them from the crest of Croker, and another
instance occurs in the arms of a family of Smith. In this connection we may
note in passing the rare use of the device of a _Vase_, which forms a
charge in the coat of the town of Burslem, whilst it is also to be met with
in the crest of the family of Doulton: "On a wreath of the colours, a
demi-lion sable, holding in the dexter paw a cross crosslet or, and resting
the sinister upon an escutcheon charged with a vase proper." The motto is
perhaps well worth recording; "Le beau est la splendeur de vrai."

[Illustration: FIG. 520.--Oval buckle.]

[Illustration: FIG. 521.--Circular buckle.]

[Illustration: FIG. 522.--Square buckle.]

[Illustration: FIG. 523.--Lozenge-shaped buckle.]

The arms of both the city of Dundee and the University of Aberdeen afford
instances of a _Pot of Lilies_, and _Bowls_ occur in the arms of Bolding.




Though blazoned as a _Cauldron_, the device occurring in the crest of De la
Rue may be perhaps as fittingly described as an open bowl, and as such may
find a place in this classification: "Between two olive-branches vert a
cauldron gules, fired and issuant therefrom a snake nowed proper." The use
of a _Pitcher_ occurs in the arms of Bertrand de Monbocher, who bore at the
siege of Carlaverock: "Argent, three pitchers sable (sometimes found gules)
within a bordure sable bezanté;" and the arms of Standish are: "Sable,
three standing dishes argent."

The somewhat singular charge of a _Chart_ appears in the arms of
Christopher, and also as the crest of a Scottish family of Cook.

[Illustration: FIG. 524.--Chess-rook.]

[Illustration: FIG. 525.--Crescent.]

[Illustration: FIG. 526.--Increscent.]

_Chess-Rooks_ (Fig. 524) are somewhat favourite heraldic devices, and are
to be met with in a shield of Smith and the arms of Rocke of Clungunford.

The _Crescent_ (Fig. 525) figures largely in all armories, both as a charge
and (in English heraldry) as a difference.

Variations, too, of the form of the crescent occur, such as when the horns
are turned to the dexter (Fig. 526), when it is termed "a crescent
increscent," or simply "an increscent," or when they are turned to the
sinister--when it is styled "decrescent" (Fig. 527). An instance of the
crescent "reversed" may be seen in the shield of the Austrian family of
Puckberg, whose blazon was: "Azure, three crescents, those in chief
addorsed, that in base reversed." In English "difference marks" the
crescent is used to denote the second son, but under this character it will
be discussed later.

Independently of its use in conjunction with ecclesiastical armory, the
_Crosier_ (Fig. 528) is not widely used in ordinary achievements. It does
occur, however, as a principal charge, as in the arms of the Irish family
of Crozier and in the arms of Benoit (in Dauphiny) ["Gules, a pastoral
staff argent"], while it forms part of the crest of Alford. The term
"crosier" is synonymous with the pastoral or episcopal staff, and is
independent of the cross which is borne _before_ (and not _by_) {290}
Archbishops and Metropolitans. The use of pastoral staves as charges is
also to be seen in the shield of Were, while MacLaurin of Dreghorn bears:
"Argent, a shepherd's crook sable." The _Palmer's Staff_ (Fig. 529) has
been introduced into many coats of arms for families having the surname of
Palmer, as has also the palmer's wallet.

[Illustration: FIG. 527.--Decrescent.]

[Illustration: FIG. 528.--Crosier, or pastoral staff.]

[Illustration: FIG. 529.--Palmer's staff.]

[Illustration: FIG. 530.--Shuttle.]

[Illustration: FIG. 531.--Woolpack.]

[Illustration: FIG. 532.--Escarbuncle.]

_Cushions_, somewhat strangely, form the charges in a number of British
shields, occurring, for example, in the arms of Brisbane, and on the shield
of the Johnstone family. In Scottish heraldry, indeed, cushions appear to
have been of very ancient (and general) use, and are frequently to be met
with. The Earls of Moray bore: "Argent, three cushions lozengewise within a
double tressure flory-counterflory gules," but an English example occurs in
the arms of Hutton.

_The Distaff_, which is supposed to be the origin of the lozenge upon which
a lady bears her arms, is seldom seen in heraldry, but the family of Body,
for instance, bear one in chief, and three occur in the arms of a family of

_The Shuttle_ (Fig. 530) occurs in the arms of Shuttleworth, and in those
of the town of Leigh, while the shield of the borough of Pudsey affords an
illustration of shuttles in conjunction with a woolpack (Fig. 531).

_The Escarbuncle_ (Fig. 532) is an instance of a charge having so developed
by the evolution of an integral part of the shield itself. In {291} ancient
warfare shields were sometimes strengthened by being bound with iron bands
radiating from the centre, and these bands, from the shape they assumed,
became in course of time a charge in themselves under the term escarbuncle.

The crest of the Fanmakers' Company is: "A hand couped proper holding a
_fan_ displayed," while the chief charge in the arms is "... a fan
displayed ... the sticks gules." This, however, is the only case I can cite
of this object.

The _Fasces_ (Fig. 533), emblematic of the Roman magisterial office, is
very frequently introduced in grants of arms to Mayors and Lord Mayors,
which no doubt accounts for its appearance in the arms of Durning-Lawrence,
Knill, Evans, and Spokes.

[Illustration: FIG. 533.--Fasces.]

[Illustration: FIG. 534.--Fetterlock.]

[Illustration: FIG. 535.--Fleam.]

An instance of _Fetterlocks_ (Fig. 534) occurs in the arms of Kirkwood, and
also in the coat of Lockhart and the crest of Wyndham. A chain is often
substituted for the bow of the lock. The modern padlock has been introduced
into the grant of arms to the town of Wolverhampton.

_Keys_, the emblem of St. Peter, and, as such, part of the insignia of His
Holiness the Pope, occur in many ecclesiastical coats, the arms of the
Fishmongers' Livery Company, and many families.

_Flames of Fire_ are not frequently met with, but they are to be found in
the arms of Baikie, and as crests they figure in the achievements of
Graham-Wigan, and also in conjunction with keys in that of Flavel. In
connection with certain other objects flames are common enough. The phoenix
always issues from flames, and a salamander is always in the midst of
flames (Fig. 437). The flaming sword, a device, by the way, included in the
recent grant to Sir George Lewis, Bart., has been already alluded to, as
has also the flaming brand. A notable example of the torch occurs in the
crest of Sir William Gull, Bart., no doubt an allusion (as is his
augmentation) to the skill by which he kept the torch of life burning in
the then Prince of Wales during his serious illness in 1871. A flaming
mountain occurs as the crest of several families of the name of Grant.

A curious instrument now known nearly exclusively in connection with its
use by farriers, and termed a _Fleam_ (Fig. 535), occurs on the chief of
the shield of Moore. A fleam, however, is the ancient form and name of a
surgeon's lancet, and some connection with surgery may be presumed when it
occurs. It is one of the charges in the arms recently granted to Sir
Frederick Treves, Bart.

_Furison._--This singular charge occurs in the shield of Black, and also in
that of Steel. Furisons were apparently the instruments by which fire was
struck from flint stones.

[Illustration: FIG. 536.--Clarion.]

[Illustration: FIG. 537.--Bugle-horn.]

[Illustration: FIG. 538.--Bugle-horn stringed.]

Charges in connection with music and musical instruments do not occur very
frequently, though the heraldic use of the _Clarion_ (Fig. 536) and the
_Harp_ may perhaps be mentioned. The bugle-horn (Fig. 537) also occurs
"stringed" (Fig. 538), and when the bands round it are of a different
colour it is termed "veruled" or "virolled" of that colour.

_The Human Heart_, which should perhaps have been more correctly referred
to in an earlier chapter, is a charge which is well known in heraldry, both
English and foreign. Perhaps the best known examples of the heart ensigned
with a crown is seen in the shields of Douglas and Johnstone. The legend
which accounts for the appearance of this charge in the arms of Douglas is
too well known to need repetition.

_Ingots of silver_ occur in the shield of the borough of St. Helens, whilst
the family of Woollan go one better by bearing ingots of gold.

_A Maunch_ (Fig. 539), which is a well-known heraldic term for the sleeve,
is, as it is drawn, scarcely recognisable as such. Nevertheless its
evolution can be clearly traced. The maunch--which, of course, as a
heraldic charge, originated in the knightly "favour" of a lady's
sleeve--was borne from the earliest periods in different tinctures by the
three historic families of Conyers, Hastings, and Wharton. Other garments
have been used as heraldic charges; gloves in the arms of {293} Fletcher
and Barttelot; stockings in the arms of Hose; a boot in the crest of Hussy,
and a hat in the arms of Huth. Armour is frequently met with, a cuirass
appearing in the crest of Somers, helmets in the arms of Salvesen, Trayner,
Roberton, and many other families, gauntlets (Fig. 540), which need to be
specified as dexter or sinister, in the arms of Vane and the crest of
Burton, and a morion (Fig. 541) in the crest of Pixley. The Garter is, of
course, due to that Order of knighthood; and the Blue Mantle of the same
Order, besides giving his title to one of the Pursuivants of Arms, who uses
it as his badge, has also been used as a charge.

_The Mill-rind_ or _Fer-de-moline_ is, of course, as its name implies, the
iron from the centre of a grindstone. It is depicted in varying forms, more
or less recognisable as the real thing (Fig. 542).

_Mirrors_ occur almost exclusively in crests and in connection with
mermaids, who, as a general rule, are represented as holding one in the
dexter hand with a comb in the sinister. Very occasionally, however,
mirrors appear as charges, an example being that of the Counts Spiegel zum
Desenberg, who bore: "Gules, three round mirrors argent in square frames

[Illustration: FIG. 539.--Maunch.]

[Illustration: FIG. 540.--Gauntlet.]

[Illustration: FIG. 541.--Morion.]

[Illustration: FIG. 542.--Mill-rind.]

Symbols connected with the Sacred Passion--other than the cross itself--are
not of very general use in armory, though there are instances of the
_Passion-Nails_ being used, as, for example, in the shield of Procter viz.:
"Or, three passion-nails sable."

_Pelts, or Hides_, occur in the shield of Pilter, and the Fleece has been
mentioned under the division of Rams and Sheep.

_Plummets_ (or _Sinkers_ used by masons) form the charges in the arms of

An instance of a _Pyramid_ is met with in the crest of Malcolm, Bart., and
an _Obelisk_ in that of the town of Todmorden. {294}

The shield of Crookes affords an example of two devices of very rare
occurrence, viz. a _Prism_ and a _Radiometer_.

Water, lakes, ships, &c., are constantly met with in armory, but a few
instances must suffice. The various methods of heraldically depicting water
have been already referred to (pages 88 and 151).

_Three Wells_ figure in the arms of Hodsoll, and a masoned well in that of
Camberwell. The shields of Stourton and Mansergh supply instances of
heraldic _Fountains_, whilst the arms of Brunner and of Franco contain
Fountains of the ordinary kind. A _Tarn_, or _Loch_, occurs in the shield
of the family of Tarn, while Lord Loch bears: "Or, a saltire engrailed
sable, between in fess two swans in water proper, all within a bordure

[Illustration: FIG. 543.--Lymphad, sail furled.]

The use of _Ships_ may be instanced by the arms of many families, while a
_Galley_ or _Lymphad_ (Fig. 543) occurs in the arms of Campbell, Macdonald,
Galbraith, Macfie, and numerous other families, and also in the arms of the
town of Oban. Another instance of a coat of arms in which a galley appears
will be found in the arms recently granted to the burgh of Alloa, while the
towns of Wandsworth and Lerwick each afford instances of a _Dragon Ship_.
The _Prow of a Galley_ appears in the arms of Pitcher.

[Illustration: FIG. 544.--Rainbow.]

A modern form of ship in the shape of a _Yacht_ may be seen in the arms of
Ryde; while two Scottish families afford instances of the use of the _Ark_.
"Argent, an ark on the waters proper, surmounted of a dove azure, bearing
in her beak an olive-branch vert," are the arms borne by Gellie of
Blackford; and "Argent, an ark in the sea proper, in chief a dove azure, in
her beak a branch of olive of the second, within a bordure of the third"
are quoted as the arms of Primrose Gailliez of Chorleywood. Lastly, we may
note the appropriate use of a _Steamer_ in the arms of Barrow-in-Furness.
The curious figure of the lion dimidiated with the hulk of a ship which is
met with in the arms of several of the towns of the Cinque Ports has been
referred to on page 182.

_Clouds_ form part of the arms of Leeson, which are: "Gules, a chief nebuly
argent, the rays of the sun issuing therefrom or."

The _Rainbow_ (Fig. 544), though not in itself a distinctly modern charge,
for it occurs in the crest of Hope, has been of late very frequently
granted as part of a crest. Instances occur in the crest of {295} the
family of Pontifex, and again in that of Thurston, and of Wigan. Its use as
a part of a crest is to be deprecated, but in these days of complicated
armory it might very advantageously be introduced as a charge upon a

An unusual device, the _Thunderbolt_, is the crest of Carnegy. The arms of
the German family of Donnersperg very appropriately are: "Sable, three
thunderbolts or issuing from a chief nebuly argent, in base a mount of
three coupeaux of the second." The arms of the town of Blackpool furnish an
instance of a thunderbolt in dangerous conjunction with windmill sails.

[Illustration: FIG. 545.--Estoile.]

[Illustration: FIG. 546.--Mullet (Scottish star).]

[Illustration: FIG. 547.--Mullet pierced (Scottish spur-revel).]

_Stars_, a very common charge, may be instanced as borne under that name by
the Scottish shield of Alston. There has, owing to their similarity, been
much confusion between _stars_, _estoiles_, _and mullets_. The difficulty
is increased by the fact that no very definite lines have ever been
followed officially. In England stars under that name are practically
unknown. When the rays are wavy the charge is termed an estoile, but when
they are straight the term mullet is used. That being so, these rules
follow: that the estoile is never pierced (and from the accepted method of
depicting the estoile this would hardly seem very feasible), and that
unless the number of points is specified there will be six (see Fig. 545).
Other numbers are quite permissible, but the number of points (more usually
in an estoile termed "rays") must be stated. The arm of Hobart, for
example, are: "Sable, an estoile of eight rays or, between two flaunches
ermine." An estoile of sixteen rays is used by the town of Ilchester, but
the arms are not of any authority. Everything with straight points being in
England a mullet, it naturally follows that the English practice permits a
mullet to be plain (Fig. 546) or pierced (Fig. 547). Mullets are
occasionally met with pierced of a colour other than the field they are
charged upon. According to the English practice, therefore, the mullet is
not represented as pierced unless it is expressly stated to be so. The
mullet both in England and {296} Scotland is of five points unless a
greater number are specified. But mullets pierced and unpierced of six
(Fig. 548) or eight points (Fig. 549) are frequent enough in English

The Scottish practice differs, and it must be admitted that it is more
correct than the English, though, strange to say, more complicated. In
Scottish armory they have the estoile, the star, and the mullet or the
spur-revel. As to the estoile, of course, their practice is similar to the
English. But in Scotland a straight-pointed charge is a mullet if it be
pierced, and a star if it be not. As a mullet is really the "molette" or
rowel of a spur, it certainly could not exist as a fact unpierced.
Nevertheless it is by no means stringently adhered to in that country, and
they make confusion worse confounded by the frequent use of the additional
name of "spur-rowel," or "spur-revel" for the pierced mullet. The mullet
occurs in the arms of Vere, and was also the badge of that family. The part
this badge once played in history is well known. Had the De Veres worn
another badge on that fatal day the course of English history might have
been changed.

[Illustration: FIG. 548.--Mullet of six points.]

[Illustration: FIG. 549.--Mullet of eight points.]

[Illustration: FIG. 550.--Sun in splendour.]

The six-pointed mullet pierced occurs in the arms of De Clinton.

The _Sun in Splendour_--(Fig. 550) always so blazoned--is never represented
without the surrounding rays, but the human face is not essential though
usual to its heraldic use. The rays are alternately straight and wavy,
indicative of the light and heat we derive therefrom, a typical piece of
genuine symbolism. It is a charge in the arms of Hurst, Pearson, and many
other families; and a demi-sun issuing in base occurs in the arms of Davies
(Plate VI.) and of Westworth. The coat of Warde-Aldam affords an example of
the _Rays_ of the sun alone.

A Scottish coat, that of Baillie of Walstoun, has "Azure, the moon in her
complement, between nine mullets argent, three, two, three and one." The
term "in her complement" signifies that the moon is full, but with the moon
no rays are shown, in this of course differing from the sun in splendour.
The face is usually represented in the full moon, {297} and sometimes in
the crescent moon, but the crescent moon must not be confused with the
ordinary heraldic crescent.

In concluding this class of charges, we may fitly do so by an allusion to
the shield of Sir William Herschel, with its appropriate though clumsy
device of a _Telescope_.

As may be naturally expected, the insignia of sovereignty are of very
frequent occurrence in all armories, both English and foreign. Long before
the days of heraldry, some form of decoration for the head to indicate rank
and power had been in vogue amongst, it is hardly too much to say, all
nations on the earth. As in most things, Western nations have borrowed both
ideas, and added developments of those ideas, from the East, and in
traversing the range of armory, where crowns and coronets appear in modern
Western heraldry, we find a large proportion of these devices are
studiously and of purpose delineated as being _Eastern_.

With crowns and coronets as symbols of rank I am not now, of course,
concerned, but only with those cases which may be cited as supplying
examples where the different kinds of crowns appear either as charges on
shields, or as forming parts of crests.

Crowns, in heraldry, may be differentiated under the Royal or the Imperial,
the Eastern or antique, the Naval, and the Mural, which with the Crowns
Celestial, Vallery and Palisado are all known as charges. Modern grants of
crowns of Eastern character in connection with valuable service performed
in the East by the recipient may be instanced; _e.g._ by the Eastern Crown
in the grant to Sir Abraham Roberts, G.C.B., the father of Field-Marshal
Earl Roberts, K.G.

In order of antiquity one may best perhaps at the outset allude to the arms
borne by the seaport towns of Boston, and of Kingston-on-Hull (or Hull, as
the town is usually called), inasmuch as a tradition has it that the three
crowns which figure on the shield of each of these towns originate from a
recognised device of merchantmen, who, travelling in and trading with the
East and likening themselves to the Magi, in their Bethlehem visit, adopted
these crowns as the device or badge of their business. The same remarks may
apply to the arms of Cologne: "Argent, on a chief gules, three crowns or."

From this fact (if the tradition be one) to the adoption of the same device
by the towns to which these merchants traded is not a far step.

One may notice in passing that, unlike what from the legend one would
expect, these crowns are not of Eastern design, but of a class wholly
connected with heraldry itself. The legend and device, however, are both
much older than these modern minutiæ of detail.

The Archbishopric of York has the well-known coat: "Gules, two keys in
saltire argent, in chief a regal crown proper." {298}

The reputed arms of St. Etheldreda, who was both Queen, and also Abbess of
Ely, find their perpetuation in the arms of that See, which are: "Gules,
three ducal (an early form of the Royal) crowns or;" while the
recently-created See of St. Alban's affords an example of a celestial
crown: "Azure, a saltire or, a sword in pale proper; in chief a celestial
crown of the second." The _Celestial Crown_ is to be observed in the arms
of the borough of Kensington and as a part of the crest of Dunbar. The See
of Bristol bears: "Sable, three open crowns in pale or." The Royal or
Imperial Crown occurs in the crest of Eye, while an _Imperial Crown_ occurs
in the crests of Robertson, Wolfe, and Lane.

The family of Douglas affords an instance of a crown ensigning a human
heart. The arms of Toledo afford another case in point, being: "Azure, a
Royal crown or" (the cap being gules).

_Antique Crowns_--as such--appear in the arms of Fraser and also in the
arms of Grant.

The crest of the Marquess of Ripon supplies an unusual variation, inasmuch
as it issues from a coronet composed of fleurs-de-lis.

The other chief emblem of sovereignty--_the Sceptre_--is occasionally met
with, as in the Whitgreave crest of augmentation.

The Marquises of Mun bear the Imperial orb: "Azure, an orb argent, banded,
and surmounted by the cross or." The reason for the selection of this
particular charge in the grant of arms [Azure, on a fess or, a horse
courant gules, between three orbs gold, banded of the third] to Sir H. E.
Moss, of the Empire Theatre in Edinburgh and the London Hippodrome, will be
readily guessed.

Under the classification of tools and implements the _Pick_ may be noted,
this being depicted in the arms of Mawdsley, Moseley, and Pigott, and a
pick and shovel in the arms of Hales.

The arms of Crawshay supply an instance of a _Plough_--a charge which also
occurs in the arms of Waterlow and the crest of Provand, but is otherwise
of very infrequent occurrence.

In English armory the use of _Scythes_, or, as they are sometimes termed,
_Sneds_, is but occasional, though, as was only to be expected, this device
appears in the Sneyd coat, as follows: "Argent, a scythe, the blade in
chief, the sned in bend sinister sable, in the fess point a fleur-de-lis of
the second." In Poland the Counts Jezierski bore: "Gules, two scythe-blades
in oval, the points crossing each other argent, and the ends in base tied
together or, the whole surmounted in chief by a cross-patriarchal-patée, of
which the lower arm on the sinister side is wanting."

Two sickles appear in the arms of Shearer, while the Hungerford crest in
the case of the Holdich-Hungerford family is blazoned: {299} "Out of a
ducal coronet or, a pepper garb of the first between two sickles erect
proper." The sickle was the badge of the Hungerfords.

A _Balance_ forms one of the charges of the Scottish Corporation of the
Dean and Faculty of Advocates: "Gules, a balance or, and a sword argent in
saltire, surmounted of an escutcheon of the second, charged with a lion
rampant within a double tressure flory counterflory of the first," but it
is a charge of infrequent appearance. It also figures in the arms of the
Institute of Chartered Accountants.

[Illustration: FIG. 551.--Water-bouget.]

Bannerman of Elsick bears a _Banner_ for arms: "Gules, a banner displayed
argent and thereon on a canton azure a saltire argent as the badge of

[Illustration: FIG. 552.--Arms of Henry Bourchier, Earl of Essex, K.G.:
Quarterly, 1 and 4, argent, a cross engrailed gules, between four
water-bougets sable (for Bourchier); 2 and 3, gules, billetté or, a fess
argent (for Louvain). (From his seal.)]

_Books_ are frequently made use of. The arms of Rylands, the family to
whose generosity Manchester owes the Rylands Library, afford a case in
point, and such charges occur in the arms of the Universities of both
Oxford and Cambridge, and in many other university and collegiate

_Buckets_ and _Water-bougets_ (Fig. 551) can claim a wide use. In English
armory Pemberton has three buckets, and water-bougets appear in the
well-known arms of Bourchier (Fig. 552). Water-bougets, which are really
the old form of water-bucket, were leather bags or bottles, two of which
were carried on a stick over the shoulder. The heraldic water-bouget
represents the pair.

[Illustration: FIG. 553.--Escallop.]

For an instance of the heraldic usage of the _Comb_ the case of the arms of
Ponsonby, Earls of Bessborough, may be cited. Combs also figure in the
delightfully punning Scottish coat for Rocheid.

Generally, however, when they do occur in heraldry they represent combs for
carding wool, as in the shield of Tunstall: "Sable, three wool-combs
argent," while the Russian Counts Anrep-Elmpt use: "Or, a comb in bend
azure, the teeth downwards."

_Escallops_ (Fig. 553) rank as one of the most widely used heraldic charges
in all countries. They figured in early days outside the limits of heraldry
as the badge of pilgrims going to the Holy Land, and may {300} be seen on
the shields of many families at the period of the Crusades. Many other
families have adopted them, in the hope of a similar interpretation being
applied to the appearance of them in their own arms. Indeed, so numerous
are the cases in which they occur that a few representative ones must

[Illustration: FIG. 554.--Arms of Hammersmith: Party per pale azure and
gules, on a chevron between two cross crosslets in chief and an escallop in
base argent, three horseshoes of the first. Crest: on a wreath of the
colours, upon the battlements of a tower, two hammers in saltire all
proper. Motto: "Spectemur agendo."]

[Illustration: FIG. 555.--Arms of the Great Central Railway: Argent, on a
cross gules, voided of the field, between two wings in chief sable and as
many daggers erect in base of the second, in the fess point a morion winged
of the third, on a chief also of the second a pale of the first, thereon
eight arrows saltirewise banded also of the third, between on the dexter
side three bendlets enhanced and on the sinister a fleur-de-lis or. Crest:
on a wreath of the colours, a representation of the front of a locomotive
engine proper, between two wings or. [The grant is dated February 25,

They will be found in the arms of the Lords Dacre, who bore: "Gules, three
escallops argent;" and an escallop argent was used by the same family as a
badge. The Scottish family of Pringle, of Greenknowe, supplies an instance
in: "Azure, three escallops or within a bordure engrailed of the last;"
while the Irish Earls of Bandon bore: "Argent, on a bend azure three
escallops of the field." {301}

_Hammers_ figure in the crests of Hammersmith (Fig. 554) and of Swindon
(Plate VI.), and a hammer is held in the claw of the demi-dragon which is
the crest of Fox-Davies of Coalbrookdale, co. Salop (Plate VI.).

A _Lantern_ is a charge on the shield of Cowper, and the arms of the town
of Hove afford an absolutely unique instance of the use of _Leg-Irons_.

Three towns--Eccles, Bootle, and Ramsgate--supply cases in their arms in
which a _Lighthouse_ is depicted, and this charge would appear, so far as
can be ascertained, not only to be restricted to English armory, but to the
three towns now named.

_Locomotives_ appear in the arms of Swindon (Plate VI.) and the Great
Central Railway (Fig. 555).

Of a similar industrial character is the curious coat of arms granted at
his express wish to the late Mr. Samson Fox of Leeds and Harrogate, which
contains a representation of the _Corrugated Boiler-Flue_ which formed the
basis of his fortune.

[Illustration: FIG. 556.--Catherine wheel.]

[Illustration: FIG. 557.--Staple.]

[Illustration: FIG. 558.--Hawk's Lure.]

[Illustration: FIG. 559.--Fylfot.]

An instance of the use of a _Sand-Glass_ occurs in the arms of the Scottish
family of Joass of Collinwort, which are thus blazoned: "Vert, a sand-glass
running argent, and in chief the Holy Bible expanded proper."

A Scottish corporation, too, supplies a somewhat unusual charge, that of
_Scissors_: "Azure, a pair of scissors or" (Incorporation of Tailors of
Aberdeen); though a Swabian family (by name Jungingen) has for its arms:
"Azure, a pair of scissors open, blades upwards argent."

_Barrels_ and _Casks_, which in heraldry are always known as _tuns_,
naturally figure in many shields where the name lends itself to a pun, as
in the arms of Bolton.

_Wheels_ occur in the shields of Turner ["Argent, gutté-de-sang, a {302}
wheel of eight spokes sable, on a chief wavy azure, a dolphin naiant of the
first"] and Carter, and also in the arms of Gooch. The _Catherine Wheel_
(Fig. 556), however, is the most usual heraldic form. The _Staple_ (Fig.
557) and the _Hawk's Lure_ (Fig. 558) deserve mention, and I will wind up
the list of examples with the _Fylfot_ (Fig. 559), which no one knows the
meaning or origin of.

The list of heraldic charges is very far, indeed, from being exhausted. The
foregoing must, however, suffice; but those who are curious to pursue this
branch of the subject further should examine the arms, both ancient and
modern, of towns and trade corporations. {303}



Since one's earliest lessons in the rules of heraldry, we have been taught,
as one of the fundamental laws of the achievement, that the helmet by its
shape and position is indicative of rank; and we early learnt by rote that
the esquire's helmet was of steel, and was placed in profile, with the
visor closed: the helmet of the knight and baronet was to be open and
affronté; that the helmet of the peer must be of silver, guarded by grilles
and placed in profile; and that the royal helmet was of gold, with grilles,
and affronté. Until recent years certain stereotyped forms of the helmet
for these varying circumstances were in use, hideous alike both in the
regularity of their usage and the atrocious shapes into which they had been
evolved. These regulations, like some other adjuncts of heraldic art, are
comparatively speaking of modern origin. Heraldry in its earlier and better
days knew them not, and they came into vogue about the Stuart times, when
heraldic art was distinctly on the wane. It is puzzling to conceive a
desire to stereotype these particular forms, and we take it that the fact,
which is undoubted, arose from the lack of heraldic knowledge on the part
of the artists, who, having one form before them, which they were assured
was correct, under the circumstances simply reproduced this particular form
in facsimile time after time, not knowing how far they might deviate and
still remain correct. The knowledge of heraldry by the heraldic artist was
the real point underlying the excellence of mediæval heraldic art, and
underlying the excellence of much of the heraldic art in the revival of the
last few years. As it has been often pointed out, in olden times they
"played" with heraldry, and therein lay the excellence of that period. The
old men knew the lines within which they could "play," and knew the laws
which they could not transgress. Their successors, ignorant of the laws of
arms, and afraid of the hidden meanings of armory, had none but the
stereotyped lines to follow. The result was bad. Let us first consider the
development of the actual helmet, and then its application to heraldic
purposes will be more readily followed.

[Illustration: FIG. 560.]

[Illustration: FIG. 561.]

[Illustration: FIG. 562.]

[Illustration: FIG. 563.]

To the modern mind, which grumbles at the weight of present-day {304} head
coverings, it is often a matter of great wonder how the knights of ancient
days managed to put up with the heavy weight of the great iron helmet, with
its wooden or leather crest. A careful study of ancient descriptions of
tournaments and warfare will supply the clue to the explanation, which is
simply that the helmet was very seldom worn. For ceremonial purposes and
occasions it was carried by a page, and in actual use it was carried slung
at the saddle-bow, until the last moment, when it was donned for action as
blows and close contact became imminent. Then, by the nature of its
construction, the weight was carried by the shoulders, the head and neck
moving freely within necessary limits inside. All this will be more readily
apparent, when the helmet itself is considered. Our present-day ideas of
helmets--their shape, their size, and their proportions--are largely taken
from the specimens manufactured (not necessarily in modern times) for
ceremonial purposes; _e.g._ for exhibition as insignia of knighthood. By
far the larger proportion of the genuine helmets now to be seen were
purposely made (certainly at remote dates) not for actual use in battle or
tournament, but for ceremonial use, chiefly at funerals. Few, indeed, are
the examples still existing of helmets which have been actually used in
battle or tournament. Why there are so few remaining to us, when every
person of position must necessarily have possessed one throughout the
Plantagenet period, and probably at any rate to the end of the reign of
Henry VII., is a mystery which has puzzled many people--for helmets are
not, like glass and china, subject to the vicissitudes of breakage. The
reason is doubtless to be found in the fact that at that period they were
so general, and so little out of the common, that they possessed no greater
value than any other article of clothing; and whilst the real helmet,
lacking a ceremonial value, was not preserved, the sham ceremonial helmet
of a later period, possessing none but a ceremonial value, was preserved
from ceremonial to ceremonial, and has been passed on to the present day.
But a glance at so many of these helmets which exist will plainly show that
it was quite impossible for any man's head to have gone inside them, and
the sculptured helmets of what may seem to us uncouth shape and exaggerated
size, which are occasionally to be found as part of a monumental effigy,
are the size and shape of the helmets that were worn in battle. This
accounts for the much larger-sized helmets in proportion to the size of
shield which will be found in heraldic emblazonments of the Plantagenet and
Tudor periods. The artists of those periods were accustomed to the sight of
real helmets, and knew and drew the real proportion which existed between
the fighting helmet and the fighting shield. Artists of Stuart and Georgian
days knew only the ceremonial helmet, and consequently adopted and
stereotyped its impossible shape, {305} and equally impossible size.
Victorian heraldic artists, ignorant alike of the actual and the
ceremonial, reduced the size even further, and until the recent revulsion
in heraldic art, with its reversion to older types, and its copying of
older examples, the helmets of heraldry had reached the uttermost limits of

The recent revival of heraldry is due to men with accurate and extensive
knowledge, and many recent examples of heraldic art well compare with
ancient types. One happy result of this revival is a return to older and
better types of the helmet. But it is little use discarding the "heraldic"
helmet of the stationer's shop unless a better and more accurate result can
be shown, so that it will be well to trace in detail the progress of the
real helmet from earliest times.

[Illustration: FIG. 564.]

[Illustration: FIG. 565.]

[Illustration: FIG. 566.]

[Illustration: FIG. 567.]

[Illustration: FIG. 568.]

[Illustration: FIG. 569.--Painted "Pot-Helmet," _c._ 1241.]

[Illustration: FIG. 570.--"Pot-Helmet," from the _Eneit_ of Heinrich von

In the Anglo-Saxon period the common helmet was merely a cap of leather,
often four-cornered, and with a serrated comb (Figs. 560 and 561), but men
of rank had a conical one of metal (Fig. 562), which was frequently richly
gilt. About the time of Edward the Confessor a small piece, of varying
breadth, called a "nasal," was added (Fig. 563), which, with a quilted or
gamboised hood, or one of mail, well protected the face, leaving little
more than the eyes exposed; and in this form the helmet continued in
general use until towards the end of the twelfth century, when we find it
merged into or supplanted by the {306} "chapelle-de-fer," which is first
mentioned in documents at this period, and was shaped like a flat-topped,
cylindrical cap. This, however, was soon enlarged so as to cover the whole
head (Fig. 564), an opening being left for the features, which were
sometimes protected by a movable "ventaille," or a visor, instead of the
"nasal." This helmet (which was adopted by Richard I., who is also
sometimes represented with a conical one) was the earliest form of the
large war and tilting "heaume" (or helm), which was of great weight and
strength, and often had only small openings or slits for the eyes (Figs.
565 and 566). These eyepieces were either one wide slit or two, one on
either side. The former was, however, sometimes divided into two by an
ornamental bar or buckle placed across. It was afterwards pointed at the
top, and otherwise slightly varied in shape, but its general form appears
to have been the same until the end of the fourteenth century (Figs. 567,
568). This type of helmet is usually known as the "pot-shaped." The helmets
themselves were sometimes painted, and Fig. 569 represents an instance
which is painted in green and white diagonal stripes. The illustration is
from a parchment MS. of about 1241 now in the Town Library of Leipzic. Fig.
570 shows another German example of this type, being taken from the _Eneit_
of Heinrich von Veldeke, a MS. now in the Royal Library in Berlin,
belonging to the end of the twelfth century. The crest depicted in this
case, a red lion, must be one of the earliest instances of a crest. These
{307} are the helmets which we find on early seals and effigies, as will be
seen from Figs. 571-574.

[Illustration: FIG. 571.--Helmet of Hamelin, Earl of Surrey and Warenne (d.
1202). (From MS. Cott., Julius, C. vii.)]

[Illustration: FIG. 572.--From the seal of Richard de Clare, Earl of
Gloucester and Hertford (d. 1262).]

[Illustration: FIG. 573.--From the seal of John de Warenne, Earl of Surrey
(d. 1305).]

[Illustration: FIG. 574.--From the seal (1315) of John de Bretagne, Earl of

The cylindrical or "pot-shaped" helmet of the Plantagenets, however,
disappears in the latter part of the thirteenth century, when we first find
mention of the "bascinet" (from Old French for a basin), Figs. 575-579.
This was at first merely a hemispherical steel cap, put over the coif of
mail to protect the top of the head, when the knight wished to be relieved
from the weight of his large helm (which he then slung at his back or
carried on his saddlebow), but still did not consider the mail coif
sufficient protection. It soon became pointed at the top, and gradually
lower at the back, though not so much as to protect the neck. In the
fourteenth century the mail, instead of being carried over the top of the
head, was hung to the bottom rim of the helmet, and {308} spread out over
the shoulders, overlapping the cuirass. This was called the "camail," or
"curtain of mail." It is shown in Figs. 576 and 577 fastened to the
bascinet by a lace or thong passing through staples.

The large helm, which throughout the fourteenth century was still worn over
the bascinet, did not fit down closely to the cuirass (though it may have
been fastened to it with a leather strap), its bottom curve not being
sufficiently arched for that purpose; nor did it wholly rest on the
shoulders, but was probably wadded inside so as to fit closely to the

[Illustration: FIG. 575.]

[Illustration: FIG. 576.]

[Illustration: FIG. 577.]

[Illustration: FIG. 578.]

[Illustration: FIG. 579.]

It is doubtful if any actual helm previous to the fourteenth century
exists, and there are very few of that period remaining. In that of the
Black Prince at Canterbury (Fig. 271) the lower, or cylindrical, portion is
composed of a front and back piece, riveted together at the sides, and this
was most likely the usual form of construction; but in the helm of Sir
Richard Pembridge (Figs. 580 and 581) the three pieces (cylinder, conical
piece, and top piece) of which it is formed are fixed with nails, and are
so welded together that no trace of a join is visible. The edges of the
metal, turned outwards round the ocularium, are very thick, and the bottom
edge is rolled inwards over a thick wire, so as not to cut the surcoat.
There are many twin holes in the helmet for the aiglets, by which the crest
and lambrequin were attached, and in front, near the bottom, are two +
shaped holes for the T bolt, which was fixed by a chain to the cuirass.

The helm of Sir Richard Hawberk (Figs. 582 and 583), who died in 1417, is
made of five pieces, and is very thick and heavy. It is much more like the
later form adapted for jousting, and was probably only for use in the
tilt-yard; but, although more firmly fixed to the cuirass than the earlier
helm, it did not fit closely down to it, as all later helms did.

Singularly few examples of the pot-helmet actually exist. The "Linz"
example (Figs. 584 and 585), which is now in the {309} Francisco-Carolinum
Museum at Linz, was dredged out of the Traun, and is unfortunately very
much corroded by rust. The fastening-place for the crest, however, is well
preserved. The example belongs to the first half of the fourteenth century.

[Illustration: FIG. 580.]

[Illustration: FIG. 581.]

[Illustration: FIG. 582.]

[Illustration: FIG. 583.]

The so-called "Pranker-Helm" (Fig. 586), from the chapter of Seckau, now in
the collection of armour in the Historical Court Museum at Vienna, and
belonging to the middle of the fourteenth century, could only have been
used for tournaments. It is made of four strong hammered sheets of iron 1-2
millimetres thick, with other strengthening plates laid on. The helmet by
itself weighs 5 kilogrammes 357 grammes. {310}

[Illustration: FIGS. 584 and 585.--The "Linz" Pot-Helmet.]

[Illustration: FIG. 587.]

The custom of wearing the large helm over the bascinet being clumsy and
troublesome, many kinds of visor were invented, so as to dispense with the
large helm, except for jousting, two of which are represented in Figs. 575
and 579. In the first a plate shaped somewhat to the nose was attached to
the part of the camail which covered the mouth. This plate, and the mail
mouth-guard, when not in use, hung downwards towards the breast; but when
in use it was drawn up and attached to a staple or locket on the front of
the bascinet. This fashion, however, does not appear to have been adopted
in England, but was peculiar to Germany, Austria, &c. None of these
contrivances seem to have been very satisfactory, but towards the end of
the fourteenth century the large and salient beaked visor was invented
(Fig. 587). It was fixed to hinges at the sides of the bascinet with pins,
and was removable at will. A high collar of steel was next added as a
substitute for the camail. This form of helmet remained in use during the
first half of the fifteenth century, and the large helm, which was only
used for jousting, took a different form, or rather several different
forms, which may be divided into three kinds. In this connection it should
be remembered that the heavy jousting helmet to which the crest had
relation was probably never used in actual warfare. The first was called a
bascinet, and was used for combats on foot. It had an almost spherical
crown-piece, and came right down to the cuirass, to which it was firmly
fixed, and was, like all large helms of the fifteenth century, large enough
for the wearer to move his head about freely inside. The helm of Sir Giles
Capel (Fig. 588) is a good specimen of this class; it has a visor of great
thickness, in which are a great number of holes, thus enabling the wearer
to see in every direction. The "barbute," or ovoid bascinet, with a
chin-piece riveted to it, was somewhat like this helm, and is often seen on
the brasses of {311} 1430-1450; the chin-piece retaining the name of
"barbute," after the bascinet had gone out of fashion.

[Illustration: FIG. 586.--Pranker-Helm.]

[Illustration: FIG. 591.--German Tilting Armour, 1480, from the Collection
in the Museum at Vienna.]

[Illustration: FIG. 592.--Tilting-Helmet of Sir John Gostwick, 1541.]

[Illustration: FIG. 588.]

The second kind of large helm used in the fifteenth century was the
"jousting-helm," which was of great strength, and firmly fixed to the
cuirass. One from the Brocas Collection (Figs. 589 and 590, date about
1500) is perhaps the grandest helm in existence. It is formed of three
pieces of different thicknesses (the front piece being the thickest), which
are fixed together with strong iron rivets with salient heads and thin
brass caps soldered to them. The arrangements for fixing it in front and
behind are very complete and curious.

The manner in which the helmet was connected with the rest of the armour is
shown in Fig. 591, which is a representation of a German suit of tilting
armour of the period about 1480, now in the collection of armour at the
Royal Museum in Vienna.

Of the same character, but of a somewhat different shape, is the helmet
(Fig. 592) of Sir John Gostwick, who died in 1541, which is now in
Willington Church, Bedfordshire. The illustration here given is taken from
the _Portfolio_, No. 33. The visor opening on the right side of the helmet
is evidently taken from an Italian model.

[Illustration: FIG. 589.]

The third and last kind of helm was the "tournament helm," and was similar
to the first kind, and also called a "bascinet"; but the visor was
generally barred, or, instead of a movable visor, the bars were riveted on
the helm, and sometimes the face was only protected by a sort of wire-work,
like a fencing-mask. It was only used for the tourney or mêlée, when the
weapons were the sword and mace.

[Illustration: FIG. 590.]

The "chapelle-de-fer," which was in use in the thirteenth, fourteenth, and
fifteenth centuries, was a light iron head-piece, with a broad, flat brim,
somewhat turned down. Fig. 593 represents one belonging to the {312} end of
the fifteenth century, which is one of the few remaining, and is delicately
forged in one piece of thin, hard steel.

During the fourteenth century a new kind of helmet arose, called in England
the "sallad," or "sallet." The word appears to have two derivations, each
of which was applied to a different form of head-piece. First, the Italian
"celata" (Fig. 594), which seems originally to have been a modification of
the bascinet. Second, the German "schallern," the form of which was
probably suggested by the chapelle-de-fer. Both of these were called by the
French "salade," whence our English "sallad." The celata came lower down
than the bascinet, protected the back and sides of the neck, and, closing
round the cheeks, often left only the eyes, nose, and mouth exposed. A
standard of mail protected the neck if required. In the fifteenth century
the celata ceased to be pointed at the summit, and was curved outwards at
the nape of the neck, as in Fig. 595.

[Illustration: FIG. 593.]

The "schallern" (from _shale_, a shell, or bowl), was really a helmet and
visor in one piece; it had a slit for the eyes, a projecting brim, and a
long tail, and was completed by a chin-piece, or "bavier" (Eng. "beaver"),
which was strapped round the neck. Fig. 596 shows a German sallad and a
Spanish beaver. The sallad was much used in the fifteenth century, during
the latter half of which it often had a visor, as in one from Rhodes (Fig.
597), which has a spring catch on the right side to hold the visor in place
when down. The rivets for its lining-cap have large, hollow, twisted heads,
which are seldom found on existing sallads, though often seen in sculpture.

[Illustration: FIG. 594.]

[Illustration: FIG. 595.]

[Illustration: FIG. 596.]

[Illustration: FIG. 597.]

The schale, schallern (_schêlern_), or sallad, either with or without a
{313} visor, is very seldom seen in heraldic use. An instance, however, in
which it has been made use of heraldically will be found in Fig. 598, which
is from a pen and ink drawing in the _Fest-Buch_ of Paulus Kel, a MS. now
in the Royal Library at Munich. This shows the schallern with the slit for
seeing through, and the fixed neck-guard. The "bart," "bavière," or beaver,
for the protection of the under part of the face, is also visible. It is
not joined to the helmet. The helmet bears the crest of Bavaria, the
red-crowned golden lion of the Palatinate within the wings of the curiously
disposed Bavarian tinctures. Fig. 599 (p. 316) is a very good
representation of a schallern dating from the latter part of the fifteenth
century, with a sliding neck-guard. It is reproduced from the _Deutscher
Herold_, 1892, No. 2.

[Illustration: FIG. 598.--Schallern, with Crest of Bavaria (Duke Ludwig of
Bavaria, 1449).]

Until almost the middle of the fifteenth century all helmets fitted on the
top of the head, or were put right over; but about 1440 the Italians made a
great improvement by inventing the "armet," the lower part of which opened
out with hinges, so that when put on it enclosed the head, fitting closely
round the lower part of it, while its weight was borne by the steel collar,
or "gorget." The Italian armet had a roundel or disc to protect the opening
at the back of the neck, and a bavier strapped on in front to cover the
joining of the two {314} cheek-pieces. The earlier armets, like the beaked
bascinet, had a camail attached by a row of staples (Fig. 600), which was
continued later, but then fixed either to a metal band or leather strap and
riveted to the base of the armet. This form of helmet was not in common use
in England until about 1500.

Fig. 600 shows the earliest form of Italian armet, with a reinforcing-piece
on the forehead, and a removable visor. Date 1450-1480. Fig. 601 represents
an armet of very fine form (probably Italian), which is a nearer approach
to the close-helmet of the sixteenth century, as the visor cannot be
removed, and the eye-slit is in the visor, instead of being formed by the
space between it and the crown-piece, and there is also no
reinforcing-piece in the crown. Date 1480-1500. Fig. 602 is still more like
the sixteenth-century helmet, for it opens down the sides instead of down
the chin and back, and the same pivot which secures the visor also serves
as a hinge for the crown and chin-piece. The small mentonnière, or bavier,
is equal on both sides, but it was often of less extent on the right. Date
about 1500.

Fig. 603 shows a German fluted helmet, of magnificent form and workmanship,
which is partly engraved and gilded. Date 1510-1525. It opens down the
chin, like the early armets, but the tail-piece of the crown is much
broader. The skill shown in the forging of the crown and the fluting of the
twisted comb is most remarkable, and each rivet for the lining-strap of the
cheek-pieces forms the centre of an engraved six-leaved rose. A grooved rim
round the bottom of the helmet fitted closely on a salient rim at the top
of the steel gorget or hause col, so that when placed on its gorget and
closed, it could not be wrenched off, but could yet be moved round freely
in a horizontal direction. The gorget being articulated, the head could
also be raised or lowered a little, but not enough to make this form of
joint very desirable, and a looser kind was soon substituted.

Fig. 604 shows what is perhaps the most perfect type of close helmet. The
comb is much larger than was the custom at an earlier date, and much
resembles those of the morions of this period. The visor is formed of two
separate parts; the upper fits inside the lower, and could be raised to
facilitate seeing without unfixing the lower portion. It is engraved with
arabesques, and is probably Italian. Date 1550-1570. Fig. 605 is an English
helmet, half-way between a close helmet and a "burgonet." It is really a
"casque," with cheek-pieces to meet in front. The crown-piece is joined
down the middle of the comb. This helmet was probably made for the Earl of
Leicester. Date about 1590.

The word "burgonet" first appeared about the beginning of the fifteenth
century, and described a form of helmet like the "celata," and {315} called
by that name in Italy. It was completed by a "buffe," or chin-piece,
similar to the bavier.

[Illustration: FIG. 600.]

[Illustration: FIG. 601.]

[Illustration: FIG. 602.]

[Illustration: FIG. 603.]

[Illustration: FIG. 604.]

[Illustration: FIG. 605.]

During this century the "morion," really an improved "chapelle-de-fer," was
much in use. It had a curved top, surmounted by a comb, and a broad,
turned-up brim, and was often elaborately engraved and gilt. The "cabasset"
was a similar head-piece, but had a peaked top, surmounted by a small spike
turned backwards, and generally a flatter, narrower brim than the morion.
These three forms of helmet were all called casques.

[Illustration: FIG. 606.--"Grid-iron" Helmet (fifteenth century).]

The barred or grilled helmet owed its introduction to tournaments with
swords and clubs, which necessitated better opportunities of vision than
the earlier tilting-helm afforded, sufficient though that was for
encounters with the tilting-spear. The earliest form of this type of helmet
will be seen in Fig. 606, which is termed a "grid-iron" helmet, developing
shortly afterwards into the form of Fig. 607, which has a lattice-work
visor. The former figure, the "grid-iron" helmet, is a {316} representation
taken from an original now in the possession of Count Hans Wilczek, of
Vienna. Fig. 607, the helmet with the latticed visor, is from an example in
the German National Museum at Nürnberg. Neither of these types of helmet
appears to have been regularly adopted into heraldic art. Indeed they are
seldom, if ever, to be found in heraldic emblazonment. For pictorial and
artistic purposes they seem to be entirely supplanted in paintings, in
seals, and in sculpture by the "grilled" helmet or "buckler." Whether this
helmet, as we find it depicted in paintings or on seals, was ever really
worn in battle or tournament seems very doubtful, and no actual instance
appears to have been preserved. On the other hand, the so-called
"Prankhelme" (pageant helmet) bucklers, frequently made of gilded leather
and other materials, are extant in some number. It is evident from their
nature, however, that they can only have been used for ceremonial or
decorative purposes.

Fig. 608 shows one of these buckled "pageant" helmets surmounted by the
crest of the Margraviate of Burgau. Fig. 609 shows another of these pageant
helmets, with the crest of Austria (ancient) or of Tyrol. These were borne,
with many others of the same character, in the pageant of the funeral
procession of the Emperor Frederick III. (IV.) in 1493. The helmets were
made of leather, and gilded, the two crests being carved out of boards and
painted. The Burgau wings, which are inclined very far forward, are: "Bendy
of six argent and gules, charged with a pale or." In their normal position
the wings are borne upright. The second crest, which is 86 cm. in height,
is black, and adorned on the outside with eared pegs 4 cm. long, from which
gold linden-leaves hang. These helmets and crests, which were formerly in
St. Stephen's Cathedral, are now in the Vienna Historical Museum.

At the beginning of the seventeenth century the workmanship became
inferior, and beauty of line was no longer sought after. Shortly afterwards
helmets ceased to be worn outside the regular army, and with the subsequent
evolution of military head coverings heraldry has no concern.

As a part of a heraldic achievement the helmet is not so old as the shield.
It was not until the introduction of the crest that any one thought of
depicting a helmet with a shield.

[Illustration: FIG. 599.--Schallern (end of fifteenth century).]

[Illustration: FIG. 607.--Helmet, with Latticed Visor (end of fifteenth

A careful and attentive examination of the early "Rolls of Arms," and of
seals and other ancient examples of heraldic art and handicraft, will at
once make it plainly apparent that the helmets then heraldically depicted
were in close keeping and of the style actually in use for warfare, joust,
or tournament at the period. This is particularly noticeable in the helmets
on the stall plates of the Knights of the Garter in St. George's Chapel at
Windsor. The helms on the early {317} stall plates, though far from being
identical in shape, all appear to be of the same class or type of
tilting-helm drawn in profile. Amongst the early plates only one instance
(Richard, Duke of Gloucester, elected 1475) can be found of the barred
helmet. This is the period when helmets actually existed in fact, and were
actually used, but at the end of the sixteenth and the beginning of the
seventeenth centuries, when the helmet was being fast relegated to
ceremonial usage and pictorial emblazonment, ingenious heralds began to
evolve the system by which rank and degree were indicated by the helmet.

[Illustration: FIG. 608.--Pageant Helmet, with the Crest of Burgau.]

[Illustration: FIG. 609.--Pageant Helmet, with the Crest of Austria
(ancient) or Tyrol.]

Before proceeding to consider British rules concerning the heraldic helmet,
it may be well to note those which have been accepted abroad. In Germany
heraldry has known but two classes of helmet, the open helmet guarded by
bars (otherwise buckles or grilles), and the closed {318} or "visored"
helmet. The latter was the helmet used by the newly ennobled, the former by
the older families of higher position, it being originally held that only
those families whose birth qualified them to tilt were permitted to use
this buckled helmet. Tournaments were of course always conducted on very
strict lines. Woodward reprints in his "Treatise on Heraldry" the "Tourney
Regulations for the Exposure of Arms and Crest, drawn up by René, Duke of
Anjou, King of Sicily and Jerusalem," from Menêtrier's _L'Origin des
Armoiries_. The rules to be complied with are there set out. Fig. 12 herein
is a representation of a "Helmschau," where the examination of the crests
is being carried on. It is interesting to notice therein that the whole of
the helmets without exception have the grilles. Germany was perhaps the
earliest country to fall from grace in the matter, for towards the end of
the fifteenth century the buckled helmet is found with the arms of the
lower Briefadels (those ennobled by patent), and the practice continued
despite the violent protests of the tournament families, who considered
their prerogative had been infringed. The closed helmet consequently sank
gradually in Germany to the grade of a mere burgess's helmet, and as such
became of little account, although in former times it had been borne by the
proudest houses.

Similarly in France the "buckled" helmet was considered to be reserved for
the military noblesse, and newly ennobled families were denied its use
until the third generation, when they became _bons gentilhommes_. Woodward
states that when "in 1372 Charles V. conferred on the bourgeoisie of Paris
the right to use armorial bearings, it was strenuously denied that they
could use the timbred helm. In 1568 an edict of Charles IX. prohibited the
use of _armoiries timbrées_ to any who were not noble by birth." The
grilles of the helmet produced with the old French heralds the opportunity
of a minutiæ of rule which, considering the multitude of rules fathered,
rightly or wrongly, upon British heraldry, we may be devoutly happy never
reached our shores. They assigned different numbers of grilles to different
ranks, but as the writers differ as to the varying numbers, it is probable
that such rules were never officially accepted even in that country. In
France the rule was much as in this country, a gold helmet for the
Sovereign, silver for princes and great nobles, steel for the remainder. It
is curious that though the timbred helm was of course known in England
whilst the controversy as to its heraldic use was raging in France and
Germany, no heraldic use of it whatever occurs till the beginning of the
seventeenth century. From Royalty to the humblest gentleman, all used for
heraldic purposes the closed or visored helms.

The present rules concerning helmets which hold in Great Britain are that
the helmet of the Sovereign and the Royal princes of this {319} country
shall be of gold, placed in an affronté position, and shall have grilles.
The helmet of a peer shall be of silver, shall be placed in profile, and
shall have golden grilles, frequently stated to be five in number, a detail
not stringently adhered to. The helmet of a knight or baronet shall be of
steel, placed full-faced, and shall be open; whilst the helmet of an
esquire or gentleman shall be of steel and in profile, with the visor
closed. Within these limits considerable latitude is allowed, and even in
official grants of arms, which, as far as emblazonment goes, are very much
of a stereotyped style, actual unvarying adherence to a particular pattern
is not insisted upon.

The earliest instance amongst the Garter plates in which a helmet with
grilles is used to denote the rank of a peer is the stall plate of Lord
Knollys in 1615. In the Visitations but few instances can be found in which
the arms of peers are included. Peers were not compelled to attend and
enter their arms and pedigrees at Visitations, doubtless owing to the fact
that no Garter King of Arms ever made a Visitation, whilst it has been the
long-asserted prerogative of Garter to deal with peers and their arms by
himself. At the same time, however, there are some number of instances of
peers' arms and pedigrees in the Visitation Books, several occurring in the
1587 Visitation of Yorkshire. In these cases the arms of peers are set out
with supporters and mottoes, but there is no difference between their
helmets and what we should now term the helmet of an esquire or gentleman.
This is all the more curious because neither helmet nor motto is found in
the tricks given of the arms of commoners. Consequently one may with
certainty date the introduction of the helmet with grilles as the
distinguishing mark of a peer in this country between the years 1587 and
1615. The introduction of the open full-faced helmet as indicative of
knight or baronet is known to date from about the period of the

Whilst these fixed rules as to helmets are still scrupulously adhered to by
English heralds, Lyon King of Arms would seem to be inclined to let them
quietly lapse into desuetude, and the emblazonment of the arms of Sir
George Duff-Sutherland-Dunbar, Bart., in the Lyon Register at the recent
rematriculation of his arms, affords an instance in which the rules have
been ignored.

Some of the objections one hears raised to official heraldry will not hold
water when all facts are known; but one certainly thinks that those who
object to the present helmet and its methods of usage have ample reason for
such remarks as one frequently sees in print upon the subject. To put it
mildly, it is absolutely ridiculous to see a helmet placed affronté, and a
lion passant looking out over the side of it; or to see a helmet in profile
with the crest of a man's head {320} affronté placed above it, and as a
consequence also peeping over the side. The necessity for providing a
resting-place for the crest other than unoccupied space has also led to the
ridiculous practice of depicting the wreath or torse in the form of a
straight bar balanced upon the apex of the helmet. The rule itself as to
the positions of helmets for the varying ranks is officially recognised,
and the elaboration of the rule with regard to the differing metals of the
Royal helmet and the helmets of peers and knights and baronets is
officially followed; though the supposed regulation, which requires that
the helmet of an esquire or gentleman shall be of steel alone is not,
inasmuch as the helmet painted upon a grant is _always_ ornamented with

These rules in England only date from the times of the Stuarts, and they
cannot be said to be advantageous from any point of view; they are
certainly distinctly harmful from the artistic standpoint. It is plainly
utterly impossible to depict some crests upon a profile helmet, and equally
impossible to display others upon an affronté helmet. In Scotland the
crests do not afford quite such a regular succession of glaring examples
for ridicule as is the case in England. No need is recognised in Scotland
for necessarily distinguishing the crest of one family from that of
another, though proper differences are rigidly adhered to with regard to
the coats of arms. Nevertheless, Scotland provides us with many crests
which it is utterly impossible to actually carry on an actual helmet, and
examples of this kind can be found in the rainbow which floats above the
broken globe of the Hopes, and the coronets in space to which the hand
points in the crest of the family of Dunbar of Boath, with many other
similar absurdities.

In England an equal necessity for difference is insisted upon in the crest
as is everywhere insisted upon with regard to the coat of arms; and in the
time of the late Garter King of Arms, it was rapidly becoming almost
impossible to obtain a new crest which has not got a row of small objects
in front of it, or else two somethings, one on either side. (Things,
however, have now considerably improved.) If a crest is to be depicted
between two ostrich feathers, for example, it stands to reason that the
central object should be placed upon the centre of the helmet, whilst the
ostrich feathers would be one on either side--that is, placed in a position
slightly above the ears. Yet, if a helmet is to be rigidly depicted in
profile, with such a crest, it is by no means inconceivable that the one
ostrich feather at the one side would hide both the other ostrich feather
and the central object, leaving the crest to appear when properly depicted
(for example, if photographed from a profile view of an actual helmet) as a
single ostrich feather. Take, for instance, the Sievier crest, which is an
estoile between two ostrich feathers. If that crest were properly depicted
upon a profile helmet, the one ostrich feather {321} would undoubtedly hide
everything else, for it is hardly likely that the estoile would be placed
edge-forwards upon an actual helmet; and to properly display it, it ought
to take its place upon an affronté helmet. Under the present rules it would
be officially depicted with the estoile facing the side, one ostrich
feather in front over the nose, and the other at the back of the head,
which of course reduces it to an absurdity. To take another example, one
might instance the crest of Sir William Crookes. It is hardly to be
supposed that a helmet would ever have been borne into a tournament
surmounted by an elephant looking out over the side; it would most
certainly have had its head placed to the front; and yet, because Sir
William Crookes is a knight, he is required to use an affronté helmet, with
a crest which most palpably was designed for use in profile. The absurd
position which has resulted is chiefly due to the position rules and
largely a consequence of the hideous British practice (for no other nation
has ever adopted it) of depicting, as is so often done, a coat of arms and
crest without the intervening helmet and mantling; though perhaps another
cause may have had its influence. I allude to the fact that an animal's
head, for example, in profile, is considered quite a different crest to the
same animal's head when placed affronté; and so long as this idea holds,
and so long as the rules concerning the position of the helmet exist, for
so long shall we have these glaring and ridiculous anomalies. And whilst
one generation of a family has an affronté helmet and another using the
same crest may have a profile one, it is useless to design crests
specifically to fit the one or the other.

Mr. G. W. Eve, who is certainly one of the most accomplished heraldic
artists of the present time, has adopted a plan in his work which, whilst
conforming with the rules to which I have referred, has reduced the
peculiarities resulting from their observance to a minimum. His plan is
simple, inasmuch as, with a crest which is plainly affronté and has to be
depicted upon a profile helmet, he slightly alters the perspective of each,
twisting round the helmet, which, whilst remaining slightly in profile,
more nearly approaches the affronté position, and bringing the crest
slightly round to meet it. In this way he has obtained some very good
results from awkward predicaments. Mr. Joseph Foster, in his "Peerage and
Baronetage," absolutely discarded all rules affecting the position of the
helmet; and though the artistic results may be excellent, his plan cannot
be commended, because whilst rules exist they ought to be adhered to. At
the same time, it must be frankly admitted that the laws of position seem
utterly unnecessary. No other country has them--they are, as has been
shown, impracticable from the artistic {322} standpoint; and there can be
very little doubt that it is highly desirable that they should be wholly

It is quite proper that there should be some means of distinction, and it
would seem well that the helmet with grilles should be reserved for peers.
In this we should be following or closely approximating to the rules
observed formerly upon the Continent, and if all questions of position are
waived the only difficulty which remains is the helmet of baronets and
knights. The full-faced open helmet is ugly in the extreme--anything would
be preferable (except an open helmet in profile), and probably it would be
better to wipe out the rule on this point as well. Knights of any Order
have the circle of that order within which to place their shields, and
baronets have the augmentations of their rank and degree. The knight
bachelor would be the only one to suffer. The gift of a plain circlet
around the shield or (following the precedent of a baronet), a spur upon a
canton or inescutcheon, could easily remove any cause of complaint.

But whilst one may think it well to urge strongly the alteration of
existing rules, it should not be considered permissible to ignore rules
which undoubtedly do exist whilst those rules remain in force.

The helmets of knights and baronets and of esquires and gentlemen, in
accordance with present official practice, are usually ornamented with
gold, though this would not appear to be a fixed and unalterable rule.

When two or more crests need to be depicted, various expedients are
adopted. The English official practice is to paint one helmet only, and
both the crests are detached from it. The same plan was formerly adopted in
Scotland. The dexter crest is naturally the more important and the
principal one in each case. By using one helmet only the necessity of
turning the dexter crest to face the sinister is obviated.

The present official method adopted in England of depicting three crests is
to use one helmet only, and all three crests face to the dexter. The centre
one, which is placed on the helmet, is the principal or first crest, that
on the dexter side the second, and the one on the sinister the third.

In Germany, the land of many crests (no less than thirteen were borne above
the shield of the Margraves of Brandenburg-Anspach), there has from the
earliest times been a fixed invariable practice of never dissociating a
crest from the helmet which supported it, and consequently one helmet to
every crest has long been the only recognised procedure. In the United
Kingdom duplication of crests is quite a modern practice. Amongst the
Plantagenet Garter plates there is not a single example to be found of a
coat of arms with more than a single crest, and there is no ancient British
example of more {323} than one helmet which can be referred to for
guidance. The custom originated in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries
in Germany. This point is more fully dealt with in the chapter devoted to
the consideration of crests, but it may be here noted that in Austria a
knight may place two and a baron three helmets over his shield. The
Continental practice is as follows: When the number of the helms is even,
they are arranged so that all look inwards towards the centre line of the
escutcheon, half being turned to the dexter, half to the sinister. If the
number be uneven, the principal helm is placed in the centre affronté, the
others with their crests being turned towards it; thus, some face to the
dexter, some to the sinister. The crests are always turned with the
helmets. In Scandinavia the centre helm is affronté; the others, with their
crests, are often turned outwards.

English officialism, whilst confining its own emblazonments to one helmet
only, has never sought to assert that the use of two or more was either
incorrect or faulty heraldry, and particularly in these later days of the
revival of heraldic art in this country, all heraldic artists, following
the German example, are inclined to give each crest its own helmet. This
practice has been adopted during the last few years by Lyon King of Arms,
and now all paintings of arms in Lyon Register which have two crests have
the same number of helmets. Some of the Bath stall plates in Henry VII.'s
chapel in Westminster Abbey also display two helmets.

When two helmets are used, it has been customary, still following the
German model, to turn them to face each other, except in the cases of the
full-faced helmets of a knight or baronet, and (with the same exception)
when three helmets have been employed the outer ones have been placed to
face the centre, whilst the centre one has been placed in profile, as would
be the case were it standing alone. But the multiplication of English
crests in number, all of which as granted are required to differ, has
naturally resulted in the stereotyping of points of difference in attitude,
&c., and the inevitable consequence is unfortunately that without
sacrificing this character of differentiation it is impossible to allow the
English heraldic artist the same latitude and freedom of disposition with
regard to crests that his German confrère enjoys. These remarks apply
solely to English and Irish crests, for Scottish practices, requiring no
differentiation in the crests, have left Scottish crests simple and
unspoiled. In England the result is that to "play" with the position of a
crest frequently results in an entire alteration of its character, and
consequently, as there is nothing whatever in the nature of a law or of a
rule to the contrary, it is quite as usual to now find that two profile
helmets are both placed to face the dexter, as placed to face each other.
Another point seems also in {324} England to have been lost sight of in
borrowing our methods from Germany. They hold themselves at liberty to, and
usually _do_, make all their _charges on the shield_ face to the centre.
This is never done in England, where all face to the dexter. It seems
therefore to me an anomaly to apply one rule to the shield and another to
the helmet, and personally I prefer that both helmets and all charges
should face the dexter.

In British heraldry (and in fact the rule is universal) no woman other than
a reigning Sovereign is permitted to surmount her arms by a helmet.
Woodward states that "Many writers have denied the right of ecclesiastics
(and, of course, of women) to the use of helmet and crest. Spener, the
great German herald, defends their use by ecclesiastics, and says that, in
Germany at any rate, universal custom is opposed to the restriction. There
the prelates, abbots, and abbesses, who held princely fiefs by military
tenure, naturally retained the full knightly insignia."

In official English heraldry, there is a certain amount of confirmation and
a certain amount of contradiction of this supposed rule which denies a
helmet to an ecclesiastic. A grant of arms to a clergyman at the present
day, and at all times previously, after the granting of crests had become
usual, contains the grant of the crest and the emblazonment shows the
helmet. But the grant of arms to a bishop is different. The emblazonment of
the arms is surmounted by a mitre, and the crest is depicted in the body of
the patent away from and distinct from the emblazonment proper in the
margin. But the fact that a crest is granted proves that there is not any
disability inherent in the ecclesiastic which debars him from the
possession of the helmet and crest, and the rule which must be deduced, and
which really is the definite and accepted rule, is that a mitre cannot be
displayed together with a helmet or crest. It must be one or other, and as
the mitre is indicative of the higher rank, it is the crest and helmet
which are discarded.

There are few rules in heraldry to which exceptions cannot be found, and
there is a painting now preserved in the College of Arms, which depicts the
arms of the Bishop of Durham surmounted by a helmet, that in its turn being
surmounted by the mitre of episcopal rank. But the Bishopric of Durham was,
in addition to its episcopal character, a temporal Palatinate, and the arms
of the Bishops of that See therefore logically present many differences and
exceptions from established heraldic rules.

The rules with regard to the use of helmets for the coats of arms of
corporate bodies are somewhat vague and vary considerably. All counties,
cities, and towns, and all corporate bodies to whom crests have been
granted in England, have the ordinary closed profile helmet {325} of an
esquire or gentleman. No grant of a crest has as yet been made to an
English university, so that it is impossible to say that no helmet would be
allowed, or if it were allowed what it would be.

For some reason the arms of the City of London are always depicted with the
helmet of a peer, but as the crest is not officially recorded, the
privilege necessarily has no official sanction or authority.

In Scotland the helmet painted upon a grant of arms to town or city is
always the open full-faced helmet of a knight or baronet. But in the grant
of arms to a county, where it includes a crest, the helmet is that of an
esquire, which is certainly curious.

In Ireland no helmet at all was painted upon the patent granting arms to
the city of Belfast, in spite of the fact that a crest was included in the
grant, and the late Ulster King of Arms informed me he would not allow a
helmet to any impersonal arms.

Care should be taken to avoid errors of anachronism when depicting helmet
and shield. The shapes of these should bear some approximate relation to
each other in point of date. It is preferable that the helmet should be so
placed that its lower extremity reaches somewhat over the edge of the
shield. The inclined position of the shield in emblazonment is borrowed
from the natural order of things, because the shield hanging by its chain
or shield-strap (the guige), which was so balanced that the shield should
most readily fall into a convenient position when slung on the rider's
shoulders, would naturally retain its equilibrium only in a slanting
direction. {326}



If uncertainty exists as to the origin of arms, it is as nothing to the
huge uncertainty that exists concerning the beginnings of the crest. Most
wonderful stories are told concerning it; that it meant this and meant the
other, that the right to bear a crest was confined to this person or the
other person. But practically the whole of the stories of this kind are
either wild imagination or conjecture founded upon insufficient facts.

The real facts--which one may as well state first as a basis to work
upon--are very few and singularly unconvincing, and are useless as original
data from which to draw conclusions.

First of all we have the definite, assured, and certain fact that the
earliest known instance of a crest is in 1198, and we find evidence of the
use of arms before that date.

The next fact is that we find infinitely more variation in the crests used
by given families than in the arms, and that whilst the variations in the
arms are as a rule trivial, and not affecting the general design of the
shield, the changes in the crest are frequently radical, the crest borne by
a family at one period having no earthly relation to that borne by the same
family at another.

Again, we find that though the occasional use of a crest can (by isolated
instances) be taken back, as already stated, to a fairly early period, the
use of crests did not become general until very much later.

Another fact is that, except perhaps in the persons of sovereigns, there is
no official instance, nor any other authentic instance of importance, in
which a crest appears ever to have been used by a woman until these recent
and unfortunate days when unofficial examples can be found of the wildest
ignorance of all armorial rules.

The foregoing may be taken as general principles which no authentic
instance known can be said to refute.

Bearing these in mind, let us now see what other results can be obtained by
deduction from specific instances.

The earliest form in which anything can be found in the nature of a crest
is the lion upon the head-dress of Geoffrey, Count of Anjou (Fig. 28). This
has been already referred to. {327}

The helmet of Philippe D'Alsace, Count of Flanders (_c._ 1181), has painted
upon the side the same figure of a lion which appears upon his shield.

What is usually accepted as the earliest authenticated instance of a
regular crest is that afforded by the Great Seal of King Richard I. of
England, which shows over the helmet a lion passant painted upon the
fan-shaped ornament which surmounts the helmet.

If one accepts--as most people nowadays are inclined to do--the Darwinian
theory of evolution, the presumption is that the development of the human
being, through various intermediate links including the ape, can be traced
back to those cell-like formations which are the most "original" types of
life which are known to us. At the same time one is hardly disposed to
assert that some antediluvian jellyfish away back in past ages was the
first human being. By a similar, but naturally more restricted argument,
one cannot accept these paintings upon helmets, nor possibly can one accept
paintings upon the fan-like ornaments which surmounted the helmet, as
examples of crests. The rudiments and origin of crests doubtless they were.
Crests they were not.

We must go back, once again, to the bed-rock of the peacock-popinjay vanity
ingrained in human nature. The same impulse which nowadays leads to the
decoration of the helmets of the Life Guards with horsehair plumes and
regimental badges, the cocked hats of field-marshals and other officers
with waving plumes, the képis of commissionaires, and the smasher hats of
Colonial irregulars with cocks' feathers, the hat of the poacher and
gamekeeper with a pheasant's feather, led unquestionably to the
"decoration" of the helmets of the armoured knights of old. The matter was
just a combination of decoration and vanity. At first (Fig. 569) they
frequently painted their helmets, and as with the gradual evolution and
crystallisation of armory a certain form of decoration (the device upon his
shield) became identified with a certain person, that particular device was
used for the decoration of the helmet and painted thereupon.

Then it was found that a fan-shaped erection upon the helmet improved its
appearance, and, without adding greatly to its weight, advantaged it as a
head protection by attracting the blow of an opponent's sword, and
lessening or nullifying its force ere the blow reached the actual
crown-plates of the helmet. Possibly in this we see the true origin (as in
the case of the scalloped edges of the mantling) of the serrated border
which appears upon these fan-shaped erections. But this last suggestion is
no more than a conjecture of my own, and may not be correct, for human
nature has always had a weakness for decoration, and ever has been
agreeable to pay the extra {328} penny in the "tuppence" for the coloured
or decorated variety. The many instances which can be found of these
fan-shaped ornaments upon helmets in a perfectly undecorated form leads me
to unhesitatingly assert that they originated _not_ as crests, nor as a
vehicle for the display of crests, but as an integral and protective part
of the _helmet_ itself. The origin of the crest is due to the decoration of
the fan. The derivation of the word "crest," from the Latin _crista_, a
cock's comb, should put the supposition beyond any doubt.

Disregarding crests of later grant or assumption, one can assert with
confidence that a large proportion of those--particularly in German armory,
where they are so frequent--which we now find blazoned or depicted as wings
or plumes, carrying a device, are nothing more than developments of or
derivatives from these fan-shaped ornaments.

[Illustration: FIG. 610.--From the seal (1301) of Richard FitzAlan, Earl of

[Illustration: FIG. 611.--From the seal (1301) of Humphrey de Bohm, Earl of

[Illustration: FIG. 612.--From the seal (1305) of Edward of Carnarvon,
Prince of Wales.]

These fans being (from other reasons) in existence, of course, and very
naturally, were painted and decorated, and equally of course such
decoration took the form of the particular decoration associated with the
owner, namely, the device upon the shield. It seems to me, and for long has
so seemed, essentially strange that no specialist authority, writing upon
armory, has noticed that these "fans" (as I will call them) are really a
part, though possibly only a decorative part, of the helmet itself. There
has always in these matters been far too great a tendency on the part of
writers to accept conclusions of earlier authorities ready made, and to
simply treat these fans as selected and chosen crests. Figs. 610-612 are
instances of helmets having these fans. All are {329} taken from seals, and
it is quite possible that the actual fans upon the seal helmets had some
device painted upon them which it was impossible by reason of the size to
represent upon the seal. As has been already stated, the great seal of
Richard I. does show a lion painted on the fan.

There are many examples of the heraldic development of these fans,--for
their use obtained even in this country long after the real heraldic crest
had an assured footing--and a typical example occurs in Fig. 613, but
probably the best-known instance, one which has been often illustrated, is
that from the effigy of Sir Geoffrey de Luttrell (_c._ 1340), which shows a
fan of this character upon which the entire Luttrell arms are depicted.

[Illustration: FIG. 613.--Arms of the family of Schaler (Basle): Gules, a
bend of lozenges argent. (From the Zürich Roll of Arms.)]

[Illustration: FIG. 614.--Modern reverse of the Common Seal of the City of
London (1539).]

A much later instance in this country will be found in the seal (dated
1539) of the City of London, which shows upon the helmet one of these
fan-shaped ornaments, charged with the cross of the City arms (Fig. 614).

The arms of the City of London are recorded in the College of Arms
(Vincent) without a crest (and by the way without supporters) and this seal
affords a curious but a very striking and authentic instance of the extreme
accuracy of the records of the College of Arms. There being no crest for
the City of London at the time of the preparation of this seal, recourse
was had to the ancient practice of depicting the whole or a part (in this
case a part) of the device of the shield upon a fan surmounting the helmet.
In course of time this fan, in the case of London, as in so many other
cases, has through ignorance been {330} converted or developed into a wing,
but the "rays" of the fan in this instance are preserved in the "rays" of
the dragon's wing (charged with a cross) which the crest is now supposed to

Whilst dealing with the arms of London, one of the favourite "flaring"
examples of ancient but unrecorded arms often mentioned as an instance in
which the Records of the College of Arms are at fault, perhaps I may be
pardoned for adding that the shield _is_ recorded. The crest and supporters
are not. The seeming omission as to the crest is explained above. The real
supporters of the City of London, to which a claim by user _could_ (even
now) be established (they are two lions, not dragons), had, with the single
exception of their use upon the Mayor's seal, which use is continued to the
present day, been practically discarded. Consequently the lions as
supporters remained unclaimed, and therefore are not recorded.

The supporters now used (two dragons) are _raw new_ adornments, of which no
example can be found before the seventeenth century. Those naturally, being
"assumed" without authority at so recent a date, are not recorded, which is
yet another testimony to the impartial accuracy of the Heralds' College

The use of the fan-crest has long been obsolete in British armory, in which
it can hardly ever be said to have had a very great footing, unless such
use was prevalent in the thirteenth century; but it still survives in
Germany at the present day, where, in spite of the fact that many of these
fans have now degenerated into reduplications of the arms upon wings or
plumes of feathers, other crests to a considerable number are still
displayed upon "fans."

Many of the current practices in British armory are the culmination of
long-continued ignorance. Some, mayhap, can be allowed to pass without
comment, but others deserve at any rate their share of criticism and
remark. Amongst such may be included the objectionable practice, in the
grants of so many modern crests, of making the crest itself a _shield_
carrying a repetition of the arms or some other device, or of introducing
in the crest an escutcheon. To the resuscitation of these "fan" repetitions
of the shield device there is not, and cannot be, any objection. One would
even, in these days of the multiplication of differentiated crests,
recommend this as a relief from the abominable rows of assorted objects
nowadays placed (for the purposes of differentiation) in front of so many
modern crests. One would gladly see a reversion to the German development
(from this source) of wings charged with the arms or a part of the armorial
device; but one of the things a new grantee should pray to be delivered
from is an escutcheon of any sort, shape, or form in the crest assigned to
him. {331}

To return, however, to the "fans" upon the early helmets. Many of the
examples which have come down to us show the fan of a rather diminutive
height, but (in the form of an arc of a much enlarged circle) projected far
forward beyond the front of the helmet, and carried far back, apparently as
a safeguard from blows which would otherwise descend upon the neck. (A
survival of the fan, by the way, may perhaps be found in the dragoon
helmets of the time of the Peninsular War, in the firemen's helmets of
to-day, and in the helmets now worn by different regiments in the Italian
army.) The very shape of these fans should prove they were originally a
protective part of the helmet. The long low shape, however, did not, as a
general circumstance, lend itself to its decoration by a duplication
thereupon of the whole of the arms. Consequently these fans will nearly
always be found simply adorned with one figure from the shield. It should
not be forgotten that we are now dealing with a period in armory when the
charges upon the shield itself were very much, as far as number and
position are concerned, of an indeterminate character. If they were
indeterminate for the shield, it evidences that there cannot have been any
idea of a necessity to repeat the whole of the device upon the fan. As
there was seldom room or opportunity for the display of the whole device,
we invariably find that these fan decorations were a duplication of a
distinctive part, but not necessarily the whole of the device; and this
device was disposed in the most suitable position which the shape of the
fan would accommodate. Herein is the explanation of the fact that whilst
the arms of Percy, Talbot, and Mowbray were all, in varying tinctures, a
lion rampant, the crest in each case was a lion passant or statant. In
short, the fan did not lend itself to the representation of a lion rampant,
and consequently there is no early instance of such a crest. Perhaps the
insecurity of a large and heavy crest balanced upon one leg may be an added

The next step in the evolution of the crest, there can be little doubt, was
the cutting of the fan into the outline of the crest, and though I know of
no instance of such a crest on any effigy, there can be no reasonable doubt
on the point, if a little thought is given to the matter. Until a very much
later period, we never find in any heraldic representation that the helmet
or crest are represented in an affronté position. Why? Simply because
crests at that period were merely profile representations.

In later days, when tournament crests were made of leather, the weight even
of these was very considerable, but for tournament purposes that weight
could be endured. Half-a-dozen courses down the _barrière_ would be a
vastly different matter to a whole day under arms in actual battle. Now a
crest cut out from a thin plate of metal set {332} on edge would weigh but
little. But perhaps the strongest proof of all is to be found in the
construction of so many German crests, which are adorned down the back with
a fan.

Now it is hardly likely, if the demi-lion in relief had been the earliest
form, that the fan would have been subsequently added to it. The fan is
nothing more than the remains of the original fan-shaped ornament left when
the crest, or most likely only the front outline of it, had been cut out in
profile from the fan. We have no instance until a very much later period of
a crest which could not be depicted in profile, and in the representations
of crests upon seals we have no means of forming a certain judgment that
these representations are not of profile crests, for the very nature of the
craft of seal-engraving would lead the engraver to add a certain amount of
relief, even if this did not actually exist. It is out of the question to
suppose, by reason of their weight, that crests were made in metal. But if
made of leather, as were the tournament crests, what protection did the
crest add to the helmet? The fact that wreaths and coronets did not come
into use at the earliest advent of crests is confirmatory evidence of the
fact that modelled crests did not exist, inasmuch as the fan prolonged in
front and prolonged behind was narrowed at its point of contact with the
helmet into such a diminished length that it was comparatively easy to slip
the mantling by means of a slit over the fan, or even drape it round it.

Many of the old illustrations of tournaments and battles which have come
down to us show no crests on the helmets, but merely plumes of feathers or
some fan-shaped erection. Consequently it is a fairly safe conclusion that
for the actual purposes of warfare modelled crests never had any real
existence, or, if they had any such existence, that it was most limited.
Modelled crests were tournament crests. The crests that were used in battle
must have been merely cut out in profile from the fan. Then came the era,
in Plantagenet times, of the tournament. We talk glibly about tournaments,
but few indeed really know much about them. Trial by combat and the real
tournament _à l'outrance_ seldom occurred, and though trial by combat
remained upon the statute-book until the 59 Geo. III., it was seldom
invoked. Tournaments were chiefly in the nature of athletic displays,
taking the place of our games and sports, and inasmuch as they contributed
to the training of the soldier, were held in the high repute that polo, for
example, now enjoys amongst the upper and military classes. Added to this,
the tournament was the essential climax of ceremony and ceremonial, and in
all its details was ordered by such strict regulations, rules, and
supervision that its importance and its position in the public and official
estimate was far in advance of its present-day equivalents. {333}

The joust was fought with tilting-spears, the "tourney" with swords. The
rules and regulations for jousts and tournaments drawn up by the High
Constable of England in the reign of Edward IV. show clearly that in
neither was contemplated any risk of life.

In the tourney the swords were blunted and without points, but the
principal item was always the joust, which was fought with tilting-spears
and shields. Many representations of the tourney show the participants
without shields. The general ignorance as to the manner in which the tilt
was run is very widespread. A strong barrier was erected straight down the
centre of the lists, and the knights were placed one on either side, so
that by no possible chance could the two horses come into contact. Those
who will read Mallory's "Morte d'Arthur" carefully--bearing in mind that
Mallory described legendary events of an earlier period clothed in the
manners and customs of his own day (time of Edward IV.), and made no
attempt to reproduce the manners and customs and real atmosphere of the
Arthurian times, which could have had no relation to the manners and
proceedings which Sir Thomas Mallory employs in telling his legends--will
notice that, when it came to jousting, some half-dozen courses would be all
that were run between contending knights. In fact the tournament rules
above referred to say, for the tourney, that two blows at passage and ten
at the joining ought to suffice. The time which this would occupy would not
exceed the period for which any man could easily sustain the weight of a
modelled crest.

[Illustration: FIG. 615.--Crest of Roger de Quincey, Earl of Winchester (d.
1264). (From his seal.)]

[Illustration: FIG. 616.--Crest of Thomas, Earl of Lancaster. (From his
seal, 1301.)]

Another point needs to be borne in mind. The result of a joust depended
upon the points scored, the highest number being gained for the absolute
unhorsing of an opponent. This, however, happened comparatively seldom, and
points or "spears" were scored for the lances broken upon an opponent's
helmet, shield, or body, and the points so scored were subject to deduction
if the opponent's horse were touched, and under other circumstances. The
head of the tilting-spear which was used was a kind of rosette, and
heraldic representations are really incorrect in adding a point when the
weapon is described as a tilting-spear. Whilst a fine point meeting a
wooden shield or metal armour would stick in the one or glance off the
other, and neither result in the breaking of the lance nor in the unhorsing
of the opponent, a broad rosette would convey a heavy shock. But to effect
the desired object the tilting-spear would need to meet resistance, and
little would be gained by knocking off an opponent's ornamental crest.
Certainly no prize appears to have been allotted for the performance of
this feat (which always attracts the imagination of the novelist), whilst
there was for striking the "sight" of the helmet. Consequently there was
nothing to be gained from the protection to {334} the helmet which the fan
of earlier date afforded, and the tendency of ceremonial led to the use in
tournaments of helmets and elaborate crests which were not those used in
battle. The result is that we find these tournament or ceremonial crests
were of large and prominent size, and were carved in wood, or built up of
leather. But I firmly believe that these crests were used only for
ceremonial and tournament purposes, and were never actually worn in battle.
That these modelled crests in relief are the ones that we find upon
effigies is only natural, and what one would expect, inasmuch as a man's
effigy displayed his garments and accoutrements in the most ornate and
honourable form. The same idea exists at the present day. The subjects of
modern effigies and modern portraits are represented in robes, and with
insignia which are seldom if ever worn, and which sometimes even have no
existence in fact. In the same way the ancient effigies are the
representations of the ceremonial dress and not the everyday garb of those
for whom they stand. But even allowing all the foregoing, it must be
admitted that it is from these ceremonial or tournament helmets and crests
that the heraldic crest has obtained its importance, and herein lies the
reason of the exaggerated size of early heraldic crests, and also the
unsuitability of some few for actual use. Tournaments were flourishing in
the Plantagenet, Yorkist, and Lancastrian periods, and ended with the days
of the Tudor dynasty; and the Plantagenet period witnessed the rise of the
ceremonial and heraldic crest. But in the days when crests had any actual
existence they were made to fit the helmet, and the crests in Figs. 615-618
show crests very much more naturally disposed than those of later periods.
{335} Crests appear to have come into wider and more general use in Germany
at an earlier period than is the case in this country, for in the early
part of the thirteenth century seals are there to be met with having only
the device of helmet and crest thereupon, a proof that the "oberwappen"
(helmet and crest) was then considered of equal or greater value than the

[Illustration: FIG. 617.--Crest of William de Montagu, Earl of Salisbury
(d. 1344). (From his seal.)]

[Illustration: FIG. 618.--Crest of Thomas de Mowbray, Earl of Nottingham,
and Earl Marshal. (From a drawing of his seal, 1389: MS Cott., Julius, C.

The actual tournament crests were made of light material, pasteboard,
cloth, or a leather shell over a wood or wire framework filled with tow,
sponge, or sawdust. Fig. 271, which shows the shield, helmet, and crest of
the Black Prince undoubtedly contemporary, dating from 1376, and now
remaining in Canterbury Cathedral, is made of leather and is a good example
of an actual crest, but even this, there can be little doubt, was never
carried in battle or tournament, and is no more than a ceremonial crest
made for the funeral pageant.

The heraldic wings which are so frequently met with in crests are not the
natural wings of a bird, but are a development from the fan, and in actual
crests were made of wooden or basket-work strips, and probably at an
earlier date were not intended to represent wings, but were mere pieces of
wood painted and existing for the display of a certain device. Their shape
and position led to their transition into "wings," and then they were
covered with dyed or natural-coloured feathers. It was the art of heraldic
emblazonment which ignored the practical details, that first copied the
wing from nature.

Actual crests were fastened to the helmets they surmounted by {336} means
of ribbons, straps, laces (which developed later into the fillet and
torse), or rivets, and in Germany they were ornamented with hanging and
tinkling metal leaves, tiny bells, buffalo horns, feathers, and projecting
pieces of wood, which formed vehicles for still further decorative

Then comes the question, what did the crest signify? Many have asserted
that no one below the rank of a knight had the right to use a crest; in
fact some writers have asserted, and doubtless correctly as regards a
certain period, that only those who were of tournament rank might assume
the distinction, and herein lies another confirmation of the supposition
that crests had a closer relation to the tournament than to the

Doubts as to a man's social position might disqualify him from
participation in a tournament--hence the "helme-schau" previously referred
to--but they certainly never relieved him from the obligations of warfare
imposed by the tenure under which he held his lands. There is no doubt,
however, that whatever the regulation may have been--and there seems little
chance of our ever obtaining any real knowledge upon the point--the right
to display a crest was an additional privilege and honour, something extra
and beyond the right to a shield of arms. For how long any such supposition
held good it is difficult to say, for whilst we find in the latter part of
the fourteenth century that all the great nobles had assumed and were using
crests, and whilst there is but one amongst the Plantagenet Garter plates
without a crest where a helmet has been represented above the shield, we
also find that the great bulk of the lesser landed gentry bore arms, but
made no pretension to a crest. The lesser gentry were bound to fight in
war, but not necessarily in the tournament. Arms were a necessity of
warfare, crests were not. This continued to be the case till the end of the
sixteenth century, for we find that at one of the Visitations no crests
whatever are inserted with the arms and pedigrees of the families set out
in the Visitation Book, and one is probably justified in assuming that
whilst this state of feeling and this idea existed, the crest was highly
thought of, and valued possibly beyond the shield of arms, for with those
of that rank of life which aspired to the display of a crest the right to
arms would be a matter of course. In the latter part of the reign of Queen
Elizabeth and in Stuart days the granting of crests to ancient arms became
a widespread practice. Scores upon scores of such grants can be referred
to, and I have myself been led to the irresistible conclusion that the
opportunity afforded by the grant of a crest was urged by the heralds and
officers of arms, in order to give them the opportunity of confirming and
recording arms which they knew needed such confirmation to be

{337} rendered legal, without giving offence to those who had borne these
arms merely by strength of user for some prolonged but at the same time
insufficient period to confer an unquestioned right. That has always seemed
to me the obvious reason which accounts for these numberless grants of
crests to apparently existing arms, which arms are recited and emblazoned
in the patents, because there are other grants of crests which can be
referred to, though these are singularly few in number, in which the arms
are entirely ignored. But as none of these grants, which are of a crest
only, appear to have been made to families whose right to arms was not
absolutely beyond question or dispute, the conclusion above recited appears
to be irresistible. The result of these numerous grants of crests, which I
look upon as carrying greater importance in the sense that they were also
confirmations of the arms, resulted in the fact that the value and dignity
of the crest slowly but steadily declined, and the cessation of tournaments
and, shortly afterwards, the marked decline in funereal pageantry no doubt
contributed largely to the same result. Throughout the Stuart period
instances can be found, though not very frequently, of grants of arms
without the grant of a crest being included in the patent; but the practice
was soon to entirely cease, and roughly speaking one may assert that since
the beginning of the Hanoverian dynasty no person has ever been granted
arms without the corresponding grant of a crest, if a crest could be
properly borne with the arms. Now no crest has ever been granted where the
right to arms has not existed or been simultaneously conferred, and
therefore, whilst there are still many coats of arms legally in existence
without a crest, a crest cannot exist without a coat of arms, so that those
people, and they are many, who vehemently assert a right to the "_crest_ of
their family," whilst admitting they have no right to arms, stand
self-convicted heraldically both of having spoken unutterable rubbish, and
of using a crest to which they can have no possible right. One exception,
and one only, have I ever come across to the contrary, and very careful
inquiry can bring me knowledge of no other. That crest is the crest of a
family of Buckworth, now represented by Sir Charles Buckworth-Herne-Soame,
Bart. This family at the time of the Visitations exhibited a certain coat
of arms and crest. The coat of arms, which doubtless interfered with the
rights of some other family, was respited for further proof; but the crest,
which did not, appears to have been allowed, and as nothing further was
done with regard to the arms, the crest stood, whilst the arms were bad.
But even this one exception has long since been rectified, for when the
additional name and arms of Soame were assumed by Royal License, the arms
which had been exhibited and respited were (with the addition of an ermine
spot as a charge upon the chevron) granted as the arms of Buckworth to be
borne quarterly with the arms of Soame.




With the cessation of tournaments, we get to the period which some writers
have stigmatised as that of "paper" heraldry. That is a reference to the
fact that arms and crests ceased to be painted upon shields or erected upon
helmets that enjoyed actual use in battle and tournament. Those who are so
ready to decry modern heraldry forget that from its very earliest existence
heraldry has always had the _same_ significance as a symbol of rank and
social position which it now enjoys and which remains undiminished in
extent, though doubtless less potent in effect. They forget also that from
the very earliest period armory had three uses--viz. its martial use, its
decorative use, and its use as a symbol of ownership. The two latter uses
still remain in their entirety, and whilst that is the case, armory cannot
be treated as a dead science.

But with the cessation of tournaments the decorative became the chief use
of arms, and the crest soon ceased to have that distinctive adaptability to
the purpose of a helmet ornament. Up to the end of the Tudor period crests
had retained their original simplicity. Animals' heads and animals passant,
human heads and demi-animals, comprised the large majority of the early
crests. Scottish heraldry in a marked degree has retained the early
simplicity of crests, though at the expense of lack of distinction between
the crests of different families. German heraldry has to a large extent
retained the same character as has Scottish armory, and though many of the
crests are decidedly elaborated, it is noticeable that this elaboration is
never such as to render the crest unsuitable for its true position upon a

In England this aspect of the crest has been almost entirely lost sight of,
and a large proportion of the crests in modern English grants are utterly
unsuitable for use in relief upon an actual helmet. Our present rules of
position for a helmet, and our unfortunate stereotyped form of wreath, are
largely to blame, but the chief reason is the definite English rule that
the crests of separate English families must be differentiated as are the
arms. No such rule holds good in Scotland, hence their simple crests.

Whether the rule is good or bad it is difficult to say. When all the pros
and cons have been taken into consideration, the whole discussion remains a
matter of opinion, and whilst one dislikes the Scottish idea under which
the same identical crest can be and regularly is granted to half-a-dozen
people of as many different surnames, one objects very considerably to the
typical present-day crest of an English grant of arms. Whilst a collar can
be put round an animal's neck, and whilst it can hold objects in its mouth
or paws, it does seem {339} ridiculous to put a string of varied and
selected objects "in front" of it, when these plainly would only be visible
from one side, or to put a crest "between" objects if these are to be
represented "fore and aft," one toppling over the brow of the wearer of the
helmet and the other hanging down behind.

The crests granted by the late Sir Albert Woods, Garter, are the crying
grievance of modern English heraldry, and though a large proportion are far
greater abortions than they need be, and though careful thought and
research even yet will under the present régime result in the grant of at
any rate a quite unobjectionable crest, nevertheless we shall not obtain a
real reform, or attain to any appreciable improvement, until the "position"
rule as to helmets is abolished. Some of the crests mentioned hereunder are
typical and awful examples of modern crests.

    Crest of Bellasis of Marton, Westmoreland: A mount vert, thereon a lion
    couchant guardant azure, in front of a tent proper, lined gules.

    Crest of Hermon of Preston, Lancashire, and Wyfold Court, Checkendon,
    Oxon.: In front of two palm-trees proper, a lion couchant guardant
    erminois, resting the dexter claw upon a bale of cotton proper. Motto:
    "Fido non timeo."

    Crest of James Harrison, Esq., M.A., Barrister-at-Law: In front of a
    demi-lion rampant erased or, gorged with a collar gemelle azure, and
    holding between the paws a wreath of oak proper, three mascles
    interlaced also azure. Motto: "Pro rege et patria."

    Crest of Colonel John Davis, F.S.A., of Bifrons, Hants: A lion's head
    erased sable, charged with a caltrap or, upon two swords in saltire
    proper, hilted and pommelled also or. Motto: "Ne tentes, aut perfice."

    Crest of the late Sir Saul Samuel, Bart., K.C.M.G.: Upon a rock in
    front of three spears, one in pale and two in saltire, a wolf current
    sable, pierced in the breast by an arrow argent, flighted or. Motto: "A
    pledge of better times."

    Crest of Jonson of Kennal Manor, Chislehurst, Kent: In front of a
    dexter arm embowed in armour proper, the hand also proper, grasping a
    javelin in bend sinister, pheoned or, and enfiled with a chaplet of
    roses gules, two branches of oak in saltire vert.

    Crest of C. E. Lamplugh, Esq.: In front of a cubit arm erect proper,
    encircled about the wrist with a wreath of oak and holding in the hand
    a sword also proper, pommel and hilt or, an escutcheon argent, charged
    with a goat's head couped sable. Mottoes: "Through," and "Providentia
    Dei stabiliuntur familiæ."

    Crest of Glasford, Scotland: "Issuing from clouds two hands conjoined
    grasping a caduceus ensigned with a cap of liberty, all between two
    cornucopiæ all proper. Motto: "Prisca fides."

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

It is very usually asserted that until a comparatively recent date crests
were not hereditary, but were assumed, discarded, and changed at pleasure.
Like many other incorrect statements, there is a certain modicum of truth
in the statement, for no doubt whilst arms themselves {340} had a more or
less shifting character, crests were certainly not "fixed" to any greater

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

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

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

The translation of this Patent (Patent Roll 339, 17 Ric. II. pt. 1, {341}
memb. 2) is as follows: "The King to all to whom, &c., Greeting, Know that
whereas our well-beloved and faithful kinsman, Thomas, Earl-Marshal and
Earl of Nottingham, has a just hereditary title to bear for his crest a
leopard or with a white label, which should be of right the crest of our
eldest son if we had begotten a son. We, for this consideration, have
granted for us and our heirs to the said Thomas and his heirs that for a
difference in this crest they shall and may bear a leopard, and in place of
a label a crown argent, without hindrance from us or our heirs
aforesaid.--In witness, &c. Witness the King at Westminster, the 12th day
of January [17 Ric. II.]. By writ of Privy Seal."

Cases will constantly be found in which the crests have been changed. I
necessarily totally exclude from consideration crests which have been
changed owing to specific grants, and also changes due to the discarding of
crests which can be shown to have been borne without right. Changes in
crests must also be disregarded where the differences in emblazonment are
merely differences in varying designs of the same crest. Necessarily from
none of these instances can a law of inheritance be deduced. But if other
changes in the crests of important families be considered, I think it will
be very evident that practically the whole of these are due to the
inheritance through heiresses or ancestresses of an alternative crest. It
can be readily shown that selection played an important part in the
marshalling of quarterings upon an escutcheon, and where important
quarterings were inherited they are as often as not found depicted in the
first quarter. Thus the Howards have borne at different periods the wings
of Howard; the horse of Fitzalan; and the Royal crest granted to the
Mowbrays with remainder to the heir general; and these crests have been
borne, as will be seen from the Garter plates, quite irrespective of what
the surname in use may have been. Consequently it is very evident the
crests were considered to be inherited with the representation of the
different families. The Stourton crest was originally a stag's head, and is
to be seen recorded in one of the Visitations, and upon the earliest seal
in existence of any member of the family. But after the inheritance through
the heiress of Le Moyne, the Le Moyne crest of the demi-monk was adopted.
The Stanleys, Earls of Derby, whatever their original crest may have been,
inherited the well-known bird and bantling of the family of Lathom. The
Talbot crest was originally a talbot, and this is still so borne by Lord
Talbot of Malahide: it was recorded at the Visitation of Dublin; but the
crest at present borne by the Earls of Shrewsbury is derived from the arms
inherited by descent from Gwendolin, daughter of Rhys ap Griffith. The
Nevill crest was a bull's head as it is now borne by the Marquess {342} of
Abergavenny, and as it will be seen on the Garter plate of William Nevill,
Lord Fauconberg. An elder brother of Lord Fauconberg had married the
heiress of the Earl of Salisbury, and was summoned to Parliament in her
earldom. He quartered her arms, which appear upon his Garter plate and
seal, in the first and fourth quarters of his shield, and adopted her
crest. A younger son of Sir Richard Nevill, Earl of Salisbury, bore the
same crest differenced by two annulets conjoined, which was the difference
mark added to the shield. The crest of Bourchier was a soldan's head
crowned, and with a pointed cap issuing from the crown, but when the barony
of Bourchier passed to the family of Robsart, as will be seen from the
Garter plate of Sir Lewis Robsart, Lord Bourchier, the crest of Bourchier
was adopted with the inheritance of the arms and Barony of Bourchier.

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

In Scotland crests have always had a very much less important position than
in England. There has been little if any continuity {343} with regard to
them, and instances of changes for which caprice would appear to be the
only reason are met with in the cases of a large proportion of the chief
families in that kingdom. To such a widespread extent has the permissive
character been allowed to the crest, that many cases will be found in which
each successive matriculation for the head of the house, or for a cadet,
has produced a change in the crest, and instances are to be found where the
different crests are the only existing differences in the achievements of a
number of cadets of the same family. At the present time, little if any
objection is ever made to an entire and radical change in the crest--if
this is wished at the time of a rematriculation--and as far as I can gather
such changes appear to have always been permitted. Perhaps it may be well
here to point out that this is not equivalent to permission to change the
crest at pleasure, because the patent of matriculation until it is
superseded by another is the authority, and the compulsory authority, for
the crest which is to be borne. In Germany the crest has an infinitely
greater importance than is the case with ourselves, but it is there
considered in a large degree a territorial appanage, and it is by no means
unusual in a German achievement to see several crests surmounting a single
coat of arms. In England the Royal coat of arms has really three crests,
although the crests of Scotland and Ireland are seldom used, which, it may
be noted, are all in a manner territorial; but the difference of idea with
which crests are regarded in Germany may be gathered from the fact that the
King of Saxony has five, the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin five, the
Grand Duke of Saxe-Meiningen six, the Grand Duke of Saxe-Altenburg seven,
the Duke of Anhalt seven, the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha six, the Prince
of Schwartzburg-Sondershausen six, the Prince of Schwartzburg-Rudolstadt
six, the Prince of Waldeck-Pyrmont five, the Prince of Lippe five, the Duke
of Brunswick five, and instances can be quoted of sixteen and seventeen.
Probably Woodward is correct when he says that each crest formerly denoted
a noble fief, for which the proprietor had a right to vote in the "circles"
of the Empire, and he instances the Margraves of Brandenburg-Anspach, who
were entitled to no less than thirteen crests. In France the use of crests
is not nearly so general as in England or Germany. In Spain and Portugal it
is less frequent still, and in Italy the use of a crest is the exception.

The German practice of using horns on either side of the crest, which the
ignorance of English heralds has transformed into the proboscides of
elephants, is dealt with at some length on page 214. The horns, which are
termed buffalo's or bull's horns until the middle of the thirteenth
century, were short and thick-set. It is difficult to {344} say at what
date these figures came to be considered as heraldic _crests_, for as mere
helmet ornaments they probably can be traced back very far beyond any proof
of the existence of armory. In the fourteenth century we find the horns
curved inwards like a sickle, but later the horns are found more erect, the
points turning outwards, slimmer in shape, and finally they exhibit a
decidedly marked double curve. Then the ends of the horns are met with
open, like a trumpet, the fact which gave rise to the erroneous idea that
they represented elephants' trunks. The horns became ornamented with
feathers, banners, branches of leaves, balls, &c., and the orifices
garnished with similar adornments.

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

But though British crests are presumed to be subject to the recognised
marks of cadency, as a matter of fact it is very seldom indeed that they
are ever so marked, with the exception that the mark used (usually a cross
crosslet) to signify the lack of blood relationship when arms are assumed
under a Royal License, is compulsory. Marks of distinction added to signify
illegitimacy are also compulsory and perpetual. What these marks are will
be dealt with in a subsequent chapter upon the subject. How very seldom a
mark of difference is added to a crest may be gathered from the fact that
with the exception of labels, chiefly upon the Royal crest, one crest only
amongst the Plantagenet Garter plates is differenced, that one being the
crest of John Neville, Lord Montague. Several crests, however, which are
not Royal, are differenced by similar labels to those which appear upon the
shields; but when we find that the difference marks have very much of a
permissive character, even upon the shield, it is not likely that they are
perpetuated upon the crest, where they are even less desirable. The arms of
Cokayne, as given in the funeral certificate of Sir William Cokayne, Lord
Mayor of London, show upon the shield three crescents, sable, or, and
gules, charged one upon the other, the Lord Mayor being the second son of a
second son of Cokayne of Sturston, descending from William, second son of
Sir John Cokayne of Ashborne. But, in spite of the fact that three
difference marks are charged upon the shield (one of the quarterings of
which, by the way, {345} has an additional mark), the crest itself is only
differenced by one crescent. These difference marks, as applied to arms,
are in England (the rules in Scotland are utterly distinct) practically
permissive, and are never enforced against the wish of the bearer except in
one circumstance. If, owing to the grant of a crest or supporters, or a
Royal License, or any similar opportunity, a formal exemplification of the
arms is entered on the books of the College of Arms, the opportunity is
generally taken to add such mark of cadency as may be necessary; and no
certificate would be officially issued to any one claiming arms through
that exemplification except subject to the mark of cadency therein
depicted. In such cases as these the crest is usually differenced, because
the necessity for an exemplification does not often occur, except owing to
the establishment of an important branch of the family, which is likely to
continue as a separate house in the future, and possibly to rival the
importance of the chief of the name. Two examples will show my meaning. The
crest of the Duke of Bedford is a goat statant argent, armed or. When Earl
Russell, the third son of the sixth Duke of Bedford, was so created, the
arms, crest, and supporters were charged with a mullet argent. When the
first Lord Ampthill, who was the third son of the father of the ninth Duke
of Bedford, was so created, the arms of Russell, with the crest and
supporters, were also charged with mullets, these being of different
tinctures from those granted to Earl Russell. The crest of the Duke of
Westminster is a talbot statant or. The first Lord Stalbridge was the
second son of the Marquess of Westminster. His arms, crest, and supporters
were charged with a crescent. Lord Ebury was the third son of the first
Marquess of Westminster. His arms, crest, and supporters were charged with
a mullet. In cases of this kind the mark of difference upon the crest would
be considered permanent; but for ordinary purposes, and in ordinary
circumstances, the rule may be taken to be that it is not necessary to add
the mark of cadency to a crest, even when it is added to the shield, but
that, at the same time, it is not incorrect to do so.

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

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

When two or more crests are depicted together, and when, as is often the
case in England, the wreaths are depicted in space, and without the
intervening helmets, the crests always all face to the dexter side, and the
stereotyped character of English crests perhaps more than any other reason,
has led of late to the depicting of English {346} helmets all placed to
face in the same direction to the dexter side. But if, as will often be
found, the two helmets are turned to face each other, the crests also must
be turned.

Where there are two crests, the one on the dexter side is the first and the
one on the sinister side is the second. When there are three, the centre
one comes first, then the one on the dexter side, then the one on the
sinister. When there are four crests, the first one is the dexter of the
two inner ones; the second is the sinister inner one; the third is the
dexter outer, and the fourth the sinister outer. When there are five (and I
know of no greater number in this country), they run as follows: (1)
centre, (2) dexter inner, (3) sinister inner, (4) dexter outer, (5)
sinister outer.

A very usual practice in official emblazonments in cases of three crests is
to paint the centre one of a larger size, and at a slightly lower level,
than the others. In the case of four, Nos. 1 and 2 would be of the same
size, Nos. 3 and 4 slightly smaller, and slightly raised.

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

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

If a family at the time of the Visitations had two crests recorded to them,
these would be now allowed. If descent can be proved from a family to whom
a certain crest was allowed, and also from ancestors {347} at an earlier
date who are recorded as entitled to bear a different crest, the two would
be allowed unless it was evident that the later crest had been granted,
assigned, or exemplified _in lieu_ of the earlier one. Two crests are
allowed in the few cases which exist where a family has obtained a grant of
arms in ignorance of the fact that they were then entitled to bear arms and
crest of an earlier date to which the right has been subsequently proved,
but on this point it should be remarked that if a right to arms is known to
exist a second grant in England is point-blank refused unless the petition
asks for it to be borne instead of, and in lieu of, the earlier one: it is
then granted in those terms.

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

In Scotland, where re-matriculation is constantly going on, two separate
matriculations _to the same line_ would not confer the right to two crests,
inasmuch as the last matriculation supersedes everything which has preceded
it. But if a cadet matriculates a different crest, _and subsequently_
succeeds to the representation under an earlier matriculation, he legally
succeeds to both crests, and incidentally to both coats of arms. As a
matter of ordinary practice, the cadet matriculation is discarded. A
curious case, however, occurs when after {348} matriculation by a cadet
there is a _later_ matriculation behind it, by some one nearer the head of
the house to which the first-mentioned cadet succeeds; in which event
selection must be brought into play, when succession to both occurs. But
the selection lies only between the two patents, and not from varied
constituent parts.

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

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

The other cases in which double and treble crests occur are the results of
exemplifications following upon Royal Licenses to assume name and arms. As
a rule, when an additional surname is adopted by Royal License, the rule is
that the arms adopted are to be borne in addition to those previously in
existence; and where one name is adopted instead of another the warrant
very frequently permits this, and at the same time permits or requires the
new arms to be borne quarterly with those previously possessed, and gives
the right to two crests. But in cases where names and arms are assumed by
Royal License the arms and crest or crests are in accordance with the
patent of exemplification, which, no matter what its terms (for some do not
expressly exclude any prior rights), is always presumed to supersede
everything which has gone before, and to be the authority by which the
subsequent bearing of arms is regularised and controlled. Roughly speaking,
under a Royal License one generally gets the right to one crest for every
surname, and if the original surname be discarded, in addition a crest for
every previous surname. Thus Mainwaring-Ellerker-Onslow has three crests,
Wyndham-Campbell-Pleydell-Bouverie has four, and the last Duke of
Buckingham and Chandos, who held the record, had one for each of his
surnames, namely, Temple-Nugent-Brydges-Chandos-Grenville. In addition to
the foregoing, there are one or two exceptions which it is difficult to
explain. The Marquess of Bute for some reason or other obtained a grant, in
the year 1822, of the crest of Herbert. The original Lord Liverpool
obtained a grant of an additional crest, possibly an augmentation, and his
representative, Lord Hawkesbury, afterwards created Earl of Liverpool, for
some reason or other which I am quite at a loss to understand, obtained a
grant of a crest {349} very similar to that of Lord Liverpool to
commemorate the representation which had devolved upon him. He subsequently
obtained a grant of a third crest, this last being of augmentation. Sir
Charles Young, Garter King of Arms, obtained the grant of a second crest,
and a former Marquess of Camden did the same thing; Lord Swansea is another
recent case, and though the right of any person to obtain the grant of a
second crest is not officially admitted, and is in fact strenuously denied,
I cannot for the life of me see how in the face of the foregoing precedents
any such privilege can be denied. Sir William Woods also obtained the grant
of a second crest when he was Garter, oblivious of the fact that he had not
really established a right to arms. Those he used were certainly granted in
Lyon Office to a relative, but no matriculation of them in his own name was
ever registered. {350}



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

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

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

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

"In Assyrian sculptures deities and kings are shown wearing diadems,
apparently bands of stuff or leather studded with discs of _repoussé_ work.
Some of these discs, detached, have actually been found. Similar discs were
plentifully found at Mycenæ, which were very likely used in a similar way.
Some of the larger ornamental head-dresses worn by Assyrian kings appear to
have been conical-shaped helmets, or perhaps crowns; it is now difficult to
say which, {351} because the material of which they were made cannot be
ascertained. If they were of gold, they were probably crowns, like the
wonderful openwork golden Scythian head-dress found at Kertch, but if of an
inferior metal they may have been only helmets.

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

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

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

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

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

"On the plaques of the crown of Constantine Monomachos are also fine enamel
portraits of himself and his queen Zoë, wearing similar crowns. The
cataseistas, or jewelled chains, one over each ear and one at the back,
which occur on all these crowns, may be the survival of the loose ends of
the tie of the original fillet. {352}

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

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

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

The development of the crown of the English sovereigns has been best told
by Mr. Cyril Davenport in his valuable work on "The English Regalia" (Kegan
Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co.). Mr. Davenport, whose knowledge on these
matters is probably unequalled, may best be allowed to tell the story in
his own words, he and his publishers having very kindly permitted this
course to be taken:-- {353}



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

[Illustration: FIG. 619.]

[Illustration: FIG. 620.]

[Illustration: FIG. 621.]

[Illustration: FIG. 622.]

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

"On King Alfred's own coins there is unfortunately nothing which can be
recognised as a crown. {354}

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

[Illustration: FIG. 623.]

[Illustration: FIG. 624.]

[Illustration: FIG. 625.]

[Illustration: FIG. 626.]

"William I. on his Great Seal wears a crown with three points, at the top
of each of which are three pearls (Fig. 624), and on some of his coins a
more ornamental form of crown occurs having a broad jewelled rim and two
arches, also apparently jewelled, and at each side are two pendants with
pearl ends (Fig. 625). William II. on his Great Seal has a crown with five
points (Fig. 626), the centre one being slightly bigger than the others,
and at the top of each a single pearl. At each side of the crown are
pendants having three pearls at the ends.

[Illustration: FIG. 627.]

[Illustration: FIG. 628.]

"On some of the coins of Stephen a pretty form of crown is seen. It has
three fleurs-de-lis and two jewelled arches (Fig. 627). The arches
disappear from this time until the reign of Edward IV. On the Great Seal of
Henry I. the king wears a simple crown with three fleurs-de-lis points, and
two pendants each with three pearls at the ends (Fig. 628), and after this
the pendants seem to have been discontinued.

[Illustration: FIG. 629.]

[Illustration: FIG. 630.]

"On the first Great Seal of Henry III. a crown with three fleurs-de-lis is
shown surmounting a barred helmet (Fig. 629), and Edward I. wore a similar
crown with three fleurs-de-lis, but having supplementary pearls between
each (Fig. 630), and this form lasted for a long time, as modifications of
it are found on the coins of all the kings till Henry VII. On the third
Great Seal of Edward IV. the king wears a crown with five fleurs-de-lis,
the centre one being larger than the others, and the crown is arched and
has at the top an orb and cross (Fig. 631). Henry VI. on his first seal for
foreign affairs, on which occurs the English shield, uses above it a crown
with three crosses-patée and between each a pearl (Fig. 632), this being
the first distinct use of the cross-patée on the English crown; and it
probably was used here in place of the fleurs-de-lis hitherto worn in order
to {355} make a clear distinction between it and the French crown, which
has the fleurs-de-lis only and surmounts the coat of arms of that country.
The king himself wears an arched crown, but the impressions are so bad that
the details of it cannot be followed.

[Illustration: FIG. 631.]

[Illustration: FIG. 632.]

"Henry VII. on his Great Seal uses as ornaments for the crown,
crosses-patée alternately with fleurs-de-lis, and also arches with an orb
and cross at the top (Fig. 633) and, on some of his coins, he reverts to
the three fleurs-de-lis with points between them, arches being still used,
with the orb and cross at the top (Fig. 634). An ornamental form of crown
bearing five ornamental leaves alternately large and small, with arches,
orb, and cross at the top (Fig. 635), occurs on the shillings of Henry VII.
On the crowns of Henry VIII., as well as upon his Great Seals, the
alternate crosses-patée and fleurs-de-lis are found on the rim of the
crown, which is arched, and has an orb and cross at the top, and this is
the form that has remained ever since (Fig. 636). So we may consider that
the growth of the ornament on the rim of the crown has followed a regular
sequence from the points with one pearl at the top, of Æthelstan, to the
trefoil of Canute; the arches began with Edward the Confessor, and the
centre trefoil turned into the cross-patée of Henry VI. The fact that the
remaining trefoils turned eventually into fleurs-de-lis is only, I think, a
natural expansion of form, and does not appear to have had anything to do
with the French fleur-de-lis, which was adopted as an heraldic bearing for
an entirely different reason. The Royal coat of arms of England did bear
for a long time in one of its quarterings the actual fleurs-de-lis of
France, and this, no doubt, has given some reason to the idea that the
fleurs-de-lis on the crown had also something to do with France; but as a
matter of fact they had existed on the crown of England long anterior to
our use of them on the coat of arms, as well as remaining there
subsequently to their discontinuance on our Royal escutcheon.

[Illustration: FIG. 633.]

[Illustration: FIG. 634.]

[Illustration: FIG. 635.]

[Illustration: FIG. 636.]

"The cross-patée itself may possibly have been evolved in a somewhat
similar way from the three pearls of William I., as we often find the
centre trefoil, into which, as we have seen, these three points eventually
{356} turned, has a tendency to become larger than the others, and this
difference has been easily made more apparent by squaring the ends of the
triple leaf. At the same time it must not be forgotten that the cross-patée
was actually used on the sceptre of Edward the Confessor, so it is just
possible it may have had some specially English significance.

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

[Illustration: FIG. 637.]

[Illustration: FIG. 638.]

[Illustration: FIG. 639.]

[Illustration: FIG. 640.]

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

"There is one other crown of great interest, which, since the time {357} of
James Sixth of Scotland and First of England, forms part of our regalia.
This is the crown of Scotland, and is the most ancient piece of State
jewellery of which we can boast.

"Edward I., after his defeat of John Baliol in 1296, carried off the crown
of Scotland to England, and Robert Bruce had another made for himself. This
in its turn, after Bruce's defeat at Methven, fell into Edward's hands.
Another crown seems to have been made for Bruce in 1314, when he was
established in the sovereignty of Scotland after Bannockburn, and the
present crown probably consists largely of the material of the old one, and
most likely follows its general design. It has, however, much French work
about it, as well as the rougher gold work made by Scottish jewellers, and
it seems probable that the crown, as it now is, is a reconstruction by
French workmen, made under the care and by order of James V. about 1540. It
was with this crown that Queen Mary was crowned when she was nine months

[Illustration: FIG. 641.]

"In 1661 the Scottish regalia were considered to be in danger from the
English, and were sent to Dunnottar Castle for safety. From 1707 until 1818
they were locked up in a strong chest in the Crown-Room of Edinburgh
Castle, and Sir Walter Scott, in whose presence the box was opened, wrote
an account of them in 1810. The crown consists of a fillet of gold bordered
with flat wire. Upon it are twenty-two large stones set at equal distances,
_i.e._ nine carbuncles, four jacinths, four amethysts, two white topazes,
two crystals with green foil behind them, and one topaz with yellow foil.
Behind each of these gems is a gold plate, with bands above and below of
white enamel with black spots, and between each stone is a pearl. Above the
band are ten jewelled rosettes and ten fleurs-de-lis alternately, and
between each a pearl. Under the rosettes and fleurs-de-lis are jewels of
blue enamel and pearls alternately. The arches have enamelled leaves of
French work in red and gold upon them, and the mount at the top is of blue
enamel studded with gold stars. The cross at the top is black enamel with
gold arabesque patterns; in the centre is an amethyst, and in this cross
and in the corners are Oriental pearls set in gold. At the back of the
cross are the letters I. R. V. in enamel-work. On the velvet cap are four
large pearls in settings of gold and enamel (Fig. 641).

"Generally, the Scottish work in gold is cast solid and chased, the foreign
work being thinner and _repoussé_. Several of the diamonds are undoubtedly
old, and are cut in the ancient Oriental fashion; and many of the pearls
are Scottish. It is kept in Edinburgh Castle with the rest of the Scottish
regalia. None of the other pieces at all equal it in interest, as with the
exception of the coronation ring of Charles I. {358} they are of foreign
workmanship, or, at all events, have been so altered that there is little
or no original work left upon them."

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

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

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

St. Edward's crown is the crown supposed to be heraldically represented
when for State or official purposes the crown is represented over the Royal
Arms or other insignia. In this the fleurs-de-lis upon the rim are only
half fleurs-de-lis. This detail is scrupulously adhered to, but during the
reign of Queen Victoria many of the other details {359} were very much "at
the mercy" of the artist. Soon after the accession of King Edward VII. the
matter was brought under consideration, and the opportunity afforded by the
issue of a War Office Sealed Pattern of the Royal Crown and Cypher for use
in the army was taken advantage of to notify his Majesty's pleasure, that
for official purposes the Royal Crown should be as shown in Fig. 642, which
is a reproduction of the War Office Sealed Pattern already mentioned. It
should be noted that whilst the cap of the real crown is of _purple_
velvet, the cap of the _heraldic_ crown is _always_ represented as of

[Illustration: FIG. 642.--Royal Crown.]

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

"This beautiful piece of jewellery was made by Roundell & Bridge in 1838.
Many of the gems in it are old ones reset, and many of them are new. The
entire weight of the crown is 39 ozs. 5 dwts. It consists of a circlet of
open work in silver, bearing in the front the great sapphire from the crown
of Charles II. which was bequeathed to George III. by Cardinal York, with
other Stuart treasure. At one end this gem is partly pierced. It is not a
thick stone, but it is a fine colour. Opposite to the large sapphire is one
of smaller size. The remainder of the rim is filled in with rich jewel
clusters having alternately sapphires and emeralds in their centres,
enclosed in ornamental borders thickly set with diamonds. These clusters
are separated from each other by trefoil designs also thickly set with
diamonds. The rim is bordered above and below with bands of large pearls,
129 in the lower row, and 112 in the upper. [The crown as remade for King
Edward VII. now has 139 pearls in the lower row, and 122 in the upper.]
Above the rim are shallow festoons of diamonds caught up between the larger
ornaments by points of emeralds encircled with diamonds, and a large pearl
above each. On these festoons are set alternately eight crosses-patée, and
eight fleurs-de-lis of silver set with gems. The crosses-patée are thickly
set with brilliants, and have each an emerald in the centre, except that in
front of the crown, which {360} contains the most remarkable jewel
belonging to the regalia. This is a large spinal ruby of irregular
drop-like form, measuring about 2 ins. in length, and is highly polished on
what is probably its natural surface, or nearly so. Its irregular outline
makes it possible to recognise the place that it has formerly occupied in
the older State crowns, and it seems always to have been given the place of
honour. It is pierced after an Oriental fashion, and the top of the
piercing is filled with a supplementary ruby set in gold. Don Pedro, King
of Castille in 1367, murdered the King of Granada for the sake of his
jewels, one of which was this stone, and Don Pedro is said to have given it
to Edward the Black Prince after the battle of Najera, near Vittoria, in
the same year. After this, it is said to have been worn by Henry V. in his
crown at Agincourt in 1415, when it is recorded that the King's life was
saved from the attack of the Duc D'Alençon, because of the protection
afforded him by his crown, a portion of which, however, was broken off. It
may be confidently predicted that such a risk of destruction is not very
likely to happen again to the great ruby.

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

[Illustration: FIG. 643.--Queen Alexandra's Coronation Crown.]

"Not counting the large ruby or the large sapphire, this crown {361}
contains: Four rubies, eleven emeralds, sixteen sapphires, 277 pearls, 2783
diamonds. [As remade for King Edward VII. the crown now has 297 pearls and
2818 diamonds.]

"The large ruby has been valued at £110,000.

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

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

Fig. 643 represents the crown of the Queen Consort with which Queen
Alexandra was crowned on August 9, 1902. It will be noticed that, unlike
the King's crowns, this has eight arches. The circlet which forms the base
is 1½ inches in height. The crown is entirely composed of diamonds, of
which there are 3972, and these are placed so closely together that no
metal remains visible. The large diamond visible in the illustration is the
famous Koh-i-noor. Resting upon the rim are four crosses-patée, and as many
fleurs-de-lis, from each of which springs an arch. As a matter of actual
fact the crown was made for use on this one occasion and has since been
broken up.

There is yet another crown, probably the one with which we are most
familiar. This is a small crown entirely composed of diamonds: and the
earliest heraldic use which can be found of it is in the design by Sir
Edgar Boehm for the 1887 Jubilee coinage. Though effective enough when
worn, it does not, from its small size, lend itself effectively to
pictorial representation, and as will be remembered, the design of the 1887
coinage was soon abandoned. This crown was made at the personal expense of
Queen Victoria, and under her instructions, owing to the fact that her late
Majesty found her "State" crown uncomfortable to wear, and too heavy for
prolonged or general use. It is understood, also, that the Queen found the
regulations concerning its custody both inconvenient and irritating. During
the later part of her reign this smaller crown was the only one Queen
Victoria ever wore. By her will the crown was settled as an heirloom upon
Queen Alexandra, to devolve upon future Queens Consort for the time being.
This being the case, it is not unlikely that in the future this crown may
come to be regarded as a part of the national regalia, and it is as well,
therefore, to reiterate the remark, that it was made at the personal
expense of her late Majesty, and is to no extent and in no way the property
of the nation. {362}


[Illustration: FIG. 644.--Coronet of Thomas FitzAlan, Earl of Arundel.
(From his monument in Arundel Church, 1415.)]

[Illustration: FIG. 645.--Crown of King Henry IV. (1399-1413). (From his
monument in Trinity Chapel, Canterbury Cathedral.)]

In spite of various Continental edicts, the heraldic use of coronets of
rank, as also their actual use, seems elsewhere than in Great Britain to be
governed by no such strict regulations as are laid down and conformed to in
this country. For this reason, no less than for the greater interest these
must necessarily possess for readers in this country, English coronets will
first claim our attention. It has been already observed that coronets or
jewelled fillets are to be found upon the helmets even of simple knights
from the earliest periods. They probably served no more than decorative
purposes, unless these fillets be merely turbans, or suggestions thereof.
As late as the fifteenth century there appears to have been no regularised
form, as will be seen from Fig. 644, which represents the coronet as shown
upon the effigy of Thomas FitzAlan, Earl of Arundel, in Arundel Church
(1415). A very similar coronet surmounts the head-dress of the effigy of
Beatrice, Countess of Arundel, at the same period. In his will, Lionel,
Duke of Clarence (1368), bequeaths "two golden circles," with one of which
he was created Duke. It is of interest to compare this with Fig. 645, which
represents the crown of King Henry IV. as represented on his effigy.
Richard, Earl of Arundel, in his will (December 5, 1375), leaves his
"melieure coronne" to his eldest son Richard, his "second melieure coronne"
to his daughter Joan, and his "tierce coronne" to his daughter Alice.
Though not definite proof of the point, the fact that the earl distributes
his coronets amongst his family irrespective of the fact that the earldom
(of which one would presume the coronets to be a sign) would pass to his
son, would seem to show that the wearing of a coronet even at that date was
merely indicative of high nobility of birth, and not of the possession of a
substantive Parliamentary peerage. In spite of the variations {363} in
form, coronets were, however, a necessity. When both dukes and earls were
created they were invested with a coronet in open Parliament. As time went
on the coronet, however, gradually came to be considered the sign of the
possession of a peerage, and was so borne; but it was not until the reign
of Charles II. that coronets were definitely assigned by Royal Warrant
(February 19, 1660) to peers not of the Blood Royal. Before this date a
coronet had not (as has been already stated) been used heraldically or in
fact by barons, who, both in armorial paintings and in Parliament, had used
a plain crimson cap turned up with white fur.

[Illustration: FIG. 646.--Coronet of the Prince of Wales.]

The coronet of the Prince of Wales is exactly like the official (St.
Edward's) crown, except that instead of two intersecting arches it has only
one. An illustration of this is given in Fig. 646 (this being the usual
form in which it is heraldically depicted). It should be noticed, however,
that this coronet belongs to the prince as eldest son of the Sovereign and
heir-apparent to the Throne, and not as Prince of Wales. It was assigned by
Royal Warrant 9th February, 13 Charles II. The coronet of the Princess of
Wales, as such, is heraldically the same as that of her husband.

[Illustration: FIG. 647.--Coronet of the younger children of the

The coronets of the sons and daughters or brothers and sisters of a
sovereign of Great Britain (other than a Prince of Wales) is as in Fig.
647, that is, the circlet being identical with that of the Royal Crown, and
of the Prince of Wales' coronet, but without the arch. This was also
assigned in the warrant of 9th February, 13 Charles II. Officially this
coronet is described as being composed of crosses-patée and fleurs-de-lis

The grandchildren of a sovereign being sons and daughters of the Prince of
Wales, or of other sons of the sovereign, have a coronet in which
strawberry leaves are substituted for the two outer crosses-patée appearing
at the edges of the coronet, which is officially described as composed of
crosses-patée, fleurs-de-lis, and strawberry leaves.

Princes of the English Royal Family, being sons of younger sons of a
sovereign, or else nephews of a sovereign being sons of brothers of a
sovereign, and having the rank and title of a duke of the United Kingdom,
have a coronet composed alternately of crosses-patée and strawberry leaves,
the latter taking the place of the fleurs-de-lis upon {364} the circlet of
the Royal Crown. This coronet was also assigned in the warrant of 9th
February, 13 Charles II.

It will be observed by those who compare one heraldic book with another
that I have quoted these rules differently from any other work upon the
subject. A moment's thought, however, must convince any one of the accuracy
of my version. It is a cardinal rule of armory that save for the single
circumstance of attainder no man's armorial insignia shall be degraded.
Whilst any man's status may be increased, it cannot be lessened. Most
heraldic books quote the coronet of crosses-patée, fleurs-de-lis, and
strawberry leaves as the coronet of the "grandsons" of the sovereign,
whilst the coronet of crosses-patée and strawberry leaves is stated to be
the coronet of "nephews" or cousins of the sovereign. Such a state of
affairs would be intolerable, because it would mean the liability at any
moment to be degraded to the use of a less honourable coronet. Take, for
example, the case of Prince Arthur of Connaught. During the lifetime of
Queen Victoria, as a grandson of the sovereign he would be entitled to the
former, whereas as soon as King Edward ascended the throne he would have
been forced to relinquish it in favour of the more remote form.

The real truth is that the members of the Royal Family do not inherit these
coronets as a matter of course. They technically and in fact have no
coronets until these have been assigned by Royal Warrant with the arms.
When such warrants are issued, the coronets assigned have up to the present
time conformed to the above rules. I am not sure that the "rules" now exist
in any more potent form than that up to the present time those particular
patterns happen to have been assigned in the circumstances stated. But the
warrants (though they contain no hereditary limitation) certainly contain
no clause limiting their operation to the lifetime of the then sovereign,
which they certainly would do if the coronet only existed whilst the
particular relationship continued.

The terms "grandson of the sovereign" and "nephew of the sovereign," which
are usually employed, are not correct. The coronets only apply to the
children of _princes_. The children of princesses, who are undoubtedly
included in the terms "grandson" and "nephew," are not technically members
of the Royal Family, nor do they inherit either rank or coronet from their

By a curious fatality there has never, since these Royal coronets were
differentiated, been any male descendant of an English sovereign more
remotely related than a nephew, with the exception of the Dukes of
Cumberland. Their succession to the throne of Hanover renders them useless
as a precedent, inasmuch as their right to arms and coronet must be derived
from Hanover and its laws, and not {365} from this country. The Princess
Frederica of Hanover, however, uses an English coronet and the Royal Arms
of England, presumably preferring her status as a princess of this country
to whatever _de jure_ Hanoverian status might be claimed. It is much to be
wished that a Royal Warrant should be issued to her which would decide the
point--at present in doubt--as to what degree of relationship the coronet
of the crosses-patée and strawberry leaves is available for, or failing
that coronet what the coronet of prince or princess of this country might
be, he or she not being child, grandchild, or nephew or niece of a

The unique use of actual coronets in England at the occasion of each
coronation ceremony has prevented them becoming (as in so many other
countries) mere pictured heraldic details. Consequently the instructions
concerning them which are issued prior to each coronation will be of
interest. The following is from the _London Gazette_ of October 1, 1901:--

      _October 1, 1901_.

    "The Earl Marshal's Order concerning the Robes, Coronets, &c., which
    are to be worn by the Peers at the Coronation of Their Most Sacred
    Majesties King Edward the Seventh and Queen Alexandra.

    "These are to give notice to all Peers who attend at the Coronation of
    Their Majesties, that the robe or mantle of the Peers be of crimson
    velvet, edged with miniver, the cape furred with miniver pure, and
    powdered with bars or rows of ermine (_i.e._ narrow pieces of black
    fur), according to their degree, viz.:

    "Barons, two rows.

    "Viscounts, two rows and a half.

    "Earls, three rows.

    "Marquesses, three rows and a half.

    "Dukes, four rows.

    "The said mantles or robes to be worn over full Court dress, uniform,
    or regimentals.

    "The coronets to be of silver-gilt; the caps of crimson velvet turned
    up with ermine, with a gold tassel on the top; and no jewels or
    precious stones are to be set or used in the coronets, or counterfeit
    pearls instead of silver balls.

    "The coronet of a Baron to have, on the circle or rim, six silver balls
    at equal distances.

    "The coronet of a Viscount to have, on the circle, sixteen silver

    {366} "The coronet of an Earl to have, on the circle, eight silver
    balls, raised upon points, with gold strawberry leaves between the

    "The coronet of a Marquess to have, on the circle, four gold strawberry
    leaves and four silver balls alternately, the latter a little raised on
    points above the rim.

    "The coronet of a Duke to have, on the circle, eight gold strawberry

     "By His Majesty's Command,
     "NORFOLK, _Earl Marshal_."

      _October 1, 1901_.

    "The Earl Marshal's Order concerning the Robes, Coronets, &c., which
    are to be worn by the Peeresses at the Coronation of Their Most Sacred
    Majesties King Edward the Seventh and Queen Alexandra.

    "These are to give notice to all Peeresses who attend at the Coronation
    of Their Majesties, that the robes or mantles appertaining to their
    respective ranks are to be worn over the usual full Court dress.

    "That the robe or mantle of a Baroness be of crimson velvet, the cape
    whereof to be furred with miniver pure, and powdered with two bars or
    rows of ermine (_i.e._ narrow pieces of black fur); the said mantle to
    be edged round with miniver pure 2 inches in breadth, and the train to
    be 3 feet on the ground; the coronet to be according to her
    degree--viz. a rim or circle with six pearls (represented by silver
    balls) upon the same, not raised upon points.

    "That the robe or mantle of a Viscountess be like that of a Baroness,
    only the cape powdered with two rows and a half of ermine, the edging
    of the mantle 2 inches as before, and the train 1¼ yards; the coronet
    to be according to her degree--viz. a rim or circle with pearls
    (represented by silver balls) thereon, sixteen in number, and not
    raised upon points.

    "That the robe or mantle of a Countess be as before, only the cape
    powdered with three rows of ermine, the edging 3 inches in breadth, and
    the train 1½ yards; the coronet to be composed of eight pearls
    (represented by silver balls) raised upon points or rays, with small
    strawberry leaves between, above the rim.

    "That the robe or mantle of a Marchioness be as before, only the cape
    powdered with three rows and a half of ermine, the edging 4 inches in
    breadth, the train 1¾ yards; the coronet to be composed of four
    strawberry leaves and four pearls (represented by silver balls) {367}
    raised upon points of the same height as the leaves, alternately, above
    the rim.

    "That the robe or mantle of a Duchess be as before, only the cape
    powdered with four rows of ermine, the edging 5 inches broad, the train
    2 yards; the coronet to be composed of eight strawberry leaves, all of
    equal height, above the rim.

    "And that the caps of all the said coronets be of crimson velvet,
    turned up with ermine, with a tassel of gold on the top.

     "By His Majesty's Command,
     "NORFOLK, _Earl Marshal_."

The Coronation Robe of a peer is not identical with his Parliamentary Robe
of Estate. This latter is of fine scarlet cloth, lined with taffeta. The
distinction between the degrees of rank is effected by the guards or bands
of fur. The robe of a duke has four guards of _ermine_ at equal distances,
with gold lace above each guard and tied up to the left shoulder by a white
riband. The robe of a marquess has four guards of _ermine_ on the right
side, and three on the left, with gold lace above each guard and tied up to
the left shoulder by a white riband. An earl's robe has three guards of
ermine and gold lace. The robes of a viscount and baron are identical, each
having two guards of plain _white_ fur.

By virtue of various warrants of Earls Marshal, duly recorded in the
College of Arms, the use or display of a coronet of rank by any person
other than a peer is stringently forbidden. This rule, unfortunately, is
too often ignored by many eldest sons of peers, who use peerage titles by

The heraldic representations of these coronets of rank are as follows:--

The coronet of a duke shows five strawberry leaves (Fig. 648). This coronet
should not be confused with the ducal _crest_ coronet.

The coronet of a marquess shows two balls of silver technically known as
"pearls," and three strawberry leaves (Fig. 649).

The coronet of an earl shows five "pearls" raised on tall spikes,
alternating with four strawberry leaves (Fig. 650). {368}

The coronet of a viscount shows nine "pearls," all set closely together,
directly upon the circlet (Fig. 651).

The coronet of a baron shows four "pearls" upon the circlet (Fig. 652).
This coronet was assigned by Royal Warrant, dated 7th August, 12 Charles
II., to Barons of England, and to Barons of Ireland by warrant 16th May, 5
James II.

All coronets of degree actually, and are usually represented to, enclose a
cap of crimson velvet, turned up with ermine. None of them are permitted to
be jewelled, but the coronet of a duke, marquess, earl, or viscount is
chased in the form of jewels. In recent times, however, it has become very
usual for peers to use, heraldically, for more informal purposes a
representation of the circlet only, omitting the cap and the ermine edging.

[Illustration: FIG. 648.]

[Illustration: FIG. 649.]

[Illustration: FIG. 650.]

[Illustration: FIG. 651.]

[Illustration: FIG. 652.]

The crown or coronet of a king of arms (Fig. 653) is of silver-gilt formed
of a circlet, upon which is inscribed part of the first verse of the 51st
Psalm, viz.: "Miserere mei Deus secundum magnam misericordiam tuam." The
rim is surmounted with sixteen leaves, in shape resembling the oak-leaf,
every alternate one being somewhat higher than the rest, nine of which
appear in the profile view of it or in heraldic representations. The cap is
of crimson satin, closed at the top by a gold tassel and turned up with

[Illustration: FIG. 653.--The Crown of a King of Arms.]

Anciently, the crown of Lyon King of Arms was, in shape, an exact replica
of the crown of the King of Scotland, the only difference being that it was
not jewelled.

Coronets of rank are used very indiscriminately on the Continent,
particularly in France and the Low Countries. Their use by no means implies
the same as with us, and frequently indicates little if anything beyond
mere "noble" birth.

The _Mauerkrone_ [mural crown] (Fig. 654) is used in Germany principally as
an adornment to the arms of towns. It is borne with three, four, or five
battlemented towers. The tincture, likewise, is not {369} always the same:
gold, silver, red, or the natural colour of a wall being variously
employed. Residential [_i.e._ having a _royal_ residence] and capital towns
usually bear a Mauerkrone with five towers, large towns one with four
towers, smaller towns one with three. Strict regulations in the matter do
not yet exist. It should be carefully noted that this practice is peculiar
to Germany and is quite incorrect in Great Britain.

[Illustration: FIG. 654.--Mauerkrone.]

[Illustration: FIG. 655.--Naval crown.]

The _Naval Crown_ [Schiffskrone] (Fig. 655), on the circlet of which sails
and sterns of ships are alternately introduced, is very rarely used on the
Continent. With us it appears as a charge in the arms of the towns of
Chatham, Ramsgate, Devonport, &c. The Naval Coronet, however, is more
properly a crest coronet, and as such will be more fully considered in the
next chapter. It had, however, a limited use as a coronet of rank at one
time, inasmuch as the admirals of the United Provinces of the Netherlands
placed a crown composed of prows of ships above their escutcheons, as may
be seen from various monuments. {370}



The present official rules are that crests must be upon, or must issue
from, a wreath (or torse), a coronet, or a chapeau. It is not at the
pleasure of the wearer to choose which he will, one or other being
specified and included in the terms of the grant. If the crest have a
lawful existence, one or other of them will unchangeably belong to the
crest, of which it now is considered to be an integral part.

In Scotland and Ireland, Lyon King of Arms and Ulster King of Arms have
always been considered to have, and still retain, the right to grant crests
upon a chapeau or issuing from a crest. But the power is (very properly)
exceedingly sparingly used; and, except in the cases of arms and crests
matriculated in Lyon Register as of ancient origin and in use before 1672,
or "confirmed" on the strength of user by Ulster King of Arms, the ordinary
ducal crest coronet and the chapeau are not now considered proper to be
granted in ordinary cases.

Since about the beginning of the nineteenth century the rules which follow
have been very definite, and have been very rigidly adhered to in the
English College of Arms.

Crests issuing from the ordinary "ducal crest coronet" are not now granted
under any circumstances. The chapeau is only granted in the case of a grant
of arms to a peer, a mural coronet is only granted to officers in the army
of the rank of general or above, and the naval coronet is only granted to
officers in his Majesty's Royal Navy of the rank of admiral and above. An
Eastern coronet is now only granted in the case of those of high position
in one or other of the Imperial Services, who have served in India and the

The granting of crests issuing from the other forms of crest coronets, the
"crown-vallary" and the "crown palisado," is always discouraged, but no
rule exists denying them to applicants, and they are to be obtained if the
expectant grantee is sufficiently patient, importunate, and pertinacious.
Neither form is, however, particularly ornamental, and both are of modern
origin. {371}

There is still yet another coronet, the "celestial coronet". This is not
unusual as a charge, but as a coronet from which a crest issues I know of
no instance, nor am I aware of what rules, if any, govern the granting of

Definite rank coronets have been in times past granted for use as crest
coronets, but this practice, the propriety of which cannot be considered as
other than highly questionable, has only been pursued, even in the more lax
days which are past, on rare and very exceptional occasions, and has long
since been definitely abandoned as improper.

In considering the question of crest coronets, the presumption that they
originated from coronets of rank at once jumps to the mind. This is by no
means a foregone conclusion. It is difficult to say what is the earliest
instance of the use of a coronet in this country as a coronet of rank. When
it is remembered that the coronet of a baron had no existence whatever
until it was called into being by a warrant of Charles II. after the
Restoration, and that differentiated coronets for the several ranks in the
Peerage are not greatly anterior in date, the question becomes distinctly
complicated. From certainly the reign of Edward the Confessor the kings of
England had worn crowns, and the great territorial earls, who it must be
remembered occupied a position akin to that of a petty sovereign (far
beyond the mere high dignity of a great noble at the present day), from an
early period wore crowns or coronets not greatly differing in appearance
from the crown of the king. But the Peerage as such certainly neither had
nor claimed the technical right to a coronet as a mark of their rank, in
the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. But coronets of a kind were used,
as can be seen from early effigies, long before the use of crests became
general. But these coronets were merely in the nature of a species of
decoration for the helmet, many of them far more closely resembling a
jewelled torse than a coronet. Parker in his "Glossary of Terms used in
Heraldry" probably correctly represents the case when he states: "From the
reign of Edward III. coronets of various forms were worn (as it seems
indiscriminately) by princes, dukes, earls, and even knights, but
apparently rather by way of ornament than distinction, or if for
distinction, only (like the collar of SS) as a mark of gentility. The
helmet of Edward the Black Prince, upon his effigy at Canterbury, is
surrounded with a coronet totally different from that subsequently assigned
to his rank."

The instance quoted by Parker might be amplified by countless others, but
it may here with advantage be pointed out that the great helmet (or, as
this probably is, the ceremonial representation of it) suspended above the
Prince's tomb (Fig. 271) has no coronet, and the crest is upon a chapeau.
Of the fourteen instances in the {372} Plantagenet Garter plates in which
the _torse_ appears, twelve were peers of England, one was a foreign count,
and one only a commoner. On the other hand, of twenty-nine whose Garter
plates show crests issuing from coronets, four are foreigners, seven are
commoners, and eighteen were peers. The coronets show very great variations
in form and design, but such variations appear quite capricious, and to
carry no meaning, nor does it seem probable that a coronet of gules or of
azure, of which there are ten, could represent a coronet of rank. The
Garter plate of Sir William De la Pole, Earl of (afterwards Duke of)
Suffolk, shows his crest upon a narrow black fillet. Consequently, whatever
may be the conclusion as to the wearing of coronets alone, it would seem to
be a very certain conclusion that the heraldic crest coronet bore no
relation to any coronet of rank or to the right to wear one. Its adoption
must have been in the original instance, and probably even in subsequent
generations, a matter of pure fancy and inclination. This is borne out by
the fact that whilst the Garter plate of Sir Henry Bourchier, Earl of
Essex, shows his crest upon a torse, his effigy represents it issuing from
a coronet.

Until the reign of Henry VIII., the Royal crest, both in the case of the
sovereign and all the other members of the Royal Family, is always
represented upon a chapeau or cap of dignity. The Great Seal of Edward VI.
shows the crest upon a coronet, though the present form of crown and crest
were originated by Queen Elizabeth. In depicting the Royal Arms, it is
usual to omit one of the crowns, and this is always done in the official
warrants controlling the arms. One crown is placed upon the helmet, and
upon this crown is placed the crest, but theoretically the Royal
achievement has two crowns, inasmuch as one of the crowns is an inseparable
part of the crest. Probably the finest representation of the Royal crest
which has ever been done is the design for one of the smaller bookplates
for the Windsor Castle Library. This was executed by Mr. Eve, and it would
be impossible to imagine anything finer. Like the rest of the Royal
achievement, the Royal crest is of course not hereditary, and consequently
it is assigned by a _separate_ Royal Warrant to each male member of the
Royal Family, and the opportunity is then taken to substitute for the Royal
crown, which is a part of the sovereign's crest, a coronet identical with
whatever may be assigned in that particular instance as the coronet of
rank. In the case of Royal bastards the crest has always been assigned upon
a chapeau.

The only case which comes to one's mind in which the Royal crown has
(outside the sovereign) been allowed as a crest coronet is the case of the
town of Eye.

The Royal crown of Scotland is the crest coronet of the sovereign's {373}
crest for the kingdom of Scotland. This crest, together with the crest of
Ireland, is never assigned to any member of the Royal Family except the
sovereign. The crest of Ireland (which is on a wreath or and azure) is by
the way confirmatory evidence that the crowns in the crests of Scotland and
England have a duplicate and separate existence apart from the crown
denoting the sovereignty of the realm.

The ordinary crest coronet or, as it is usually termed in British heraldry,
the "ducal coronet" (Ulster, however, describes it officially as "a ducal
crest coronet"), is quite a separate matter from a duke's coronet of rank.
Whilst the coronet of a duke has upon the rim five strawberry leaves
visible when depicted, a ducal coronet has only three. The "ducal coronet"
(Fig. 656) is the conventional "regularised" development of the crest
coronets employed in early times.

Unfortunately it has in many instances been depicted of a much greater and
very unnecessary width, the result being inartistic and allowing
unnecessary space between the leaves, and at the same time leaving the
crest and coronet with little circumferential relation. It should be noted
that it is quite incorrect for the rim of the coronet to be jewelled in
colour though the outline of jewelling is indicated.

[Illustration: FIG. 656.--Ducal coronet.]

Though ducal crest coronets are no longer granted (of course they are still
exemplified and their use permitted where they have been previously
granted), they are of very frequent occurrence in older grants and

It is quite incorrect to depict a cap (as in a coronet of rank) in a crest
coronet, which is never more than the metal circlet, and consequently it is
equally incorrect to add the band of ermine below it which will sometimes
be seen.

The coronet of a duke has in one or two isolated cases been granted as a
crest coronet. In such a case it is not described as a duke's coronet, but
as a "ducal coronet of five leaves." It so occurs in the case of

The colour of the crest coronet must be stated in the blazon. Crest
coronets are of all colours, and will be sometimes found bearing charges
upon the rim (particularly in the cases of mural and naval coronets). An
instance of this will be seen in the case of Sir John W. Moore, and of
Mansergh, the label in this latter case being an unalterable charge and not
the difference mark of an eldest son. Though the tincture of the coronet
ought to appear in the blazon, nevertheless it is always a fair presumption
(when it is not specified) that it is of gold, coronets of colours being
very much less frequently met with. On this point it is interesting to note
that in some of the cases where {374} the crest coronet is figured upon an
early Garter plate as of colour, it is now borne gold by the present
descendants of the family. For example on the Garter plate of Sir Walter
Hungerford, Lord Hungerford, the crest ["A garb or, between two silver
sickles"] issues from a coronet azure. The various Hungerford families now
bear it "or." The crest upon the Garter plate of Sir Humphrey Stafford,
Duke of Buckingham ["A demi-swan argent, beaked gules"], issues from a
coronet gules. This crest as it is now borne by the present Lord Stafford
is: "Out of a ducal coronet per pale gules and sable," &c.

Another instance of coloured coronets will be found in the crest of
Nicholson, now borne by Shaw.[22]

Probably, however, the most curious instance of all will be found in the
case of a crest coronet of ermine, of which an example occurs in the Gelre

A very general misconception--which will be found stated in practically
every text-book of armory--is that when a crest issues from a coronet the
wreath must be omitted. There is not and never has been any such rule. The
rule is rather to the contrary. Instances where both occur are certainly
now uncommon, and the presence of a wreath is not in present-day practice
considered to be essential if a coronet occurs, but the use or absence of a
wreath when the crest issues from a coronet really depends entirely upon
the original grant. If no wreath is specified with the coronet, none will
be used or needed, but if both are granted both should be used. An instance
of the use of both will be found on the Garter Stall plate of Sir Walter
Devereux, Lord Ferrers. The crest (a talbot's head silver) issues from a
coronet or, which is placed upon a torse argent and sable. Another instance
will be found in the case of the grant of the crest of Hanbury.

A quite recent case was the grant by Sir Bernard Burke, Ulster King of
Arms, of a crest to Sir Richard Quain, Bart., the blazon of which was: "On
a wreath argent and azure, and out of a mural coronet proper a demi-lion
rampant or, charged on the shoulder with a trefoil slipped vert, and
holding between the paws a battle-axe also proper, the blade gold."

Other instances are the crests of Hamilton of Sunningdale and Tarleton.

Another instance will be found in the grant to Ross-of-Bladensburg.
Possibly this blazon may be a clerical error in the engrossment, because it
will be noticed that the wreath does not appear in the emblazonment (Plate

I wonder how many of the officers of arms are aware of the {375} existence
of a warrant, dated in 1682, issued by the Deputy Earl-Marshal to the
Companies of Painters, Stainers, and Coachmakers, forbidding them to paint
crests which issue out of ducal coronets without putting them upon "wreaths
of their colours." The wording of the warrant very plainly shows that at
that date a wreath was always painted below a crest coronet. The warrant,
however, is not so worded that it can be accepted as determining the point
for the future, or that it would override a subsequent grant of a crest in
contrary form. But it is evidence of what the law then was.

No crest is now granted without either wreath, coronet, or chapeau.

An instance of the use of the coronet of a marquess as a crest coronet will
be found in the case of the Bentinck crest.[23]

There are some number of instances of the use of an earl's coronet as a
crest coronet. Amongst these may be mentioned the crests of Sir Alan Seton
Steuart, Bart. ["Out of an earl's coronet a dexter hand grasping a thistle
all proper"], that granted to Cassan of Sheffield House, Ireland ["Issuant
from an earl's coronet proper, a boar's head and neck erased or langued
gules"], James Christopher Fitzgerald Kenney, Esq., Dublin ["Out of an
earl's coronet or, the pearls argent, a cubit arm erect vested gules,
cuffed also argent, the hand grasping a roll of parchment proper"], and
Davidson ["Out of an earl's coronet or, a dove rising argent, holding in
the beak a wheat-stalk bladed and eared all proper"].

I know of no crest which issues from the coronet of a viscount, but a
baron's coronet occurs in the case of Forbes of Pitsligo and the cadets of
that branch of the family: "Issuing out of a baron's coronet a dexter hand
holding a scimitar all proper."

Foreign coronets of rank have sometimes been granted as crest coronets in
this country, as in the cases of the crests of Sir Francis George
Manningham Boileau, Bart., Norfolk ["In a nest or, a pelican in her piety
proper, charged on the breast with a saltire couped gules, the nest resting
in a foreign coronet"], Henry Chamier, Esq., Dublin ["Out of a French noble
coronet proper, a cubit arm in bend vested azure, charged with five
fleurs-de-lis in saltire or, cuffed ermine, holding in the hand a scroll,
and thereon an open book proper, garnished gold"], John Francis Charles
Fane De Salis, Count of the Holy Roman Empire ["1. Out of a marquis'
coronet or, a demi-woman proper, crowned or, hair flowing down the back,
winged in place of arms and from the armpits azure; 2. out of a ducal
coronet or, an eagle displayed sable, ducally crowned also or; 3. out of a
ducal coronet a demi-lion rampant double-queued and crowned with a like
{376} coronet all or, brandishing a sword proper, hilt and pommel of the
first, the lion cottised by two tilting-spears of the same, from each a
banner paly of six argent and gules, fringed also or"], and Mahony, Ireland
["Out of the coronet of a Count of France a dexter arm in armour embowed
grasping in the hand a sword all proper, hilt and pommel or, the blade
piercing a fleur-de-lis of the last"].

A curious crest coronet will be found with the Sackville crest. This is
composed of fleurs-de-lis only, the blazon of the crest being: "Out of a
coronet composed of eight fleurs-de-lis or, an estoile of eight points

A curious use of coronets in a crest will be found in the crest of Sir
Archibald Dunbar, Bart. ["A dexter hand apaumée reaching at an astral crown
proper"] and Sir Alexander James Dunbar, Bart. ["A dexter hand apaumée
proper reaching to two earls' coronets tied together"].

[Illustration: FIG. 657.--Mural coronet.]

Next after the ordinary "ducal coronet" the one most usually employed is
the mural coronet (Fig. 657), which is composed of masonry. Though it may
be and often is of an ordinary heraldic tincture, it will usually be found
"proper." An exception occurs in the case of the crest of Every-Halstead
["Out of a mural coronet chequy or and azure, a demi-eagle ermine beaked

Care should be taken to distinguish the mural crown from the "battlements
of a tower." This originated as a modern "fakement" and is often granted to
those who have been using a mural coronet, and desire to continue within
its halo, but are not qualified to obtain in their own persons a grant of
it. It should be noticed that the battlements of a tower must always be
represented upon a wreath. Its facility for adding a noticeable distinction
to a crest has, however, in these days, when it is becoming somewhat
difficult to introduce differences in a stock pattern kind of crest, led to
its very frequent use in grants during the last hundred years.

Care should also be taken to distinguish between the "battlements of a
tower" and a crest issuing from "a castle," as in the case of Harley; "a
tower," as in that of Boyce; and upon the "capital of a column," as in the
crests of Cowper-Essex and Pease.

Abroad, _e.g._ in the arms of Paris, it is very usual to place a mural
crown over the shield of a town, and some remarks upon the point will be
found on page 368. This at first sight may seem an appropriate practice to
pursue, and several heraldic artists have followed it and advocate it in
this country. But the correctness of such a practice is, for British
purposes, strongly and emphatically denied officially, and whilst we
reserve this privilege for grants to certain army officers of high {377}
rank, it does not seem proper that it should be available for casual and
haphazard assumption by a town or city. That being the case, it should be
borne in mind that the practice is not permissible in British armory.

The naval coronet (Fig. 658), though but seldom granted now, was very
popular at one time. In the latter part of the eighteenth and the early
part of the nineteenth centuries, naval actions were constantly being
fought, and in a large number of cases where the action of the officer in
command was worthy of high praise and reward, part of such reward was
usually an augmentation of arms. Very frequently it is found that the crest
of augmentation issued from a naval coronet. This is, as will be seen, a
curious figure composed of the sail and stern of a ship repeated and
alternating on the rim of a circlet. Sometimes it is entirely gold, but
usually the sails are argent. An instance of such a grant of augmentation
will be found in the crest of augmentation for Brisbane and in a crest of
augmentation granted to Sir Philip Bowes Broke to commemorate his glorious
victory in the Shannon over the American ship _Chesapeake_.

[Illustration: FIG. 658.--Naval crown.]

[Illustration: FIG. 659.--Eastern crown.]

Any future naval grant of a crest of augmentation would probably mean, that
it would be granted issuing out of a naval coronet, but otherwise the
privilege is now confined to those grants of arms in which the patentee is
of the rank of admiral. Instances of its use will be found in the crests of
Schomberg and Farquhar, and in the crest of Dakyns of Derbyshire: "Out of a
naval coronet or, a dexter arm embowed proper, holding in the hand a
battle-axe argent, round the wrist a ribbon azure." The crest of Dakyns is
chiefly memorable for the curious motto which accompanies it; "Strike,
Dakyns, the devil's in the hempe," of which no one knows the explanation.

Why a naval crown was recently granted as a badge to a family named Vickers
(Plate VIII.) I am still wondering.

The crest of Lord St. Vincent ["Out of a naval coronet or, encircled by a
wreath of oak proper, a demi-pegasus argent, maned and hoofed of the first,
winged azure, charged on the wing with a fleur-de-lis gold"] is worthy of
notice owing to the encircling of the coronet, and in some number of cases
the circlet of the coronet has been made use of to carry the name of a
captured ship or of a naval engagement.

The Eastern Coronet (Fig. 659) is a plain rim heightened with spikes.
Formerly it was granted without restriction, but now, as has {378} been
already stated, it is reserved for those of high rank who have served in
India or the East. An instance occurs, for example, in the crest of
Rawlinson, Bart. ["Sable, three swords in pale proper, pommels and hilts
or, two erect, points upwards, between them one, point downwards, on a
chief embattled of the third an antique crown gules. Crest: out of an
Eastern crown or, a cubit arm erect in armour, the hand grasping a sword in
bend sinister, and the wrist encircled by a laurel wreath proper"].

[Illustration: FIG. 660.--Crown vallary.]

[Illustration: FIG. 661.--Palisado crown.]

Of _identically_ the same shape is what is known as the "Antique Coronet."
It has no particular meaning, and though no objection is made to granting
it in Scotland and Ireland, it is not granted in England. Instances in
which it occurs under such a description will be found in the cases of
Lanigan O'Keefe and Matheson.

The Crown Vallary or Vallary Coronet (Fig. 660) and the Palisado Coronet
(Fig. 661) were undoubtedly originally the same, but now the two forms in
which it has been depicted are considered to be different coronets. Each
has the rim, but the vallary coronet is now heightened only by pieces of
the shape of vair, whilst the palisado coronet is formed by high
"palisadoes" affixed to the rim. These two are the only forms of coronet
granted to ordinary and undistinguished applicants in England.

The circlet from the crown of a king of arms has once at least been granted
as a crest coronet, this being in the case of Rogers Harrison.

In a recent grant of arms to Gee, the crest has no wreath, but issues from
"a circlet or, charged with a fleur-de-lis gules." The circlet is
emblazoned as a plain gold band.


Some number of crests will be found to have been granted to be borne upon a
"chapeau" in lieu of wreath or coronet. Other names for the chapeau, under
which it is equally well known, are the "cap of maintenance" or "cap of

There can be very little doubt that the heraldic chapeau combines two
distinct origins or earlier prototypes. The one is the real cap of dignity,
and the other is the hat or "capelot" which covered the top of the helm
before the mantling was introduced, but from which the {379} lambrequin
developed. The curious evolution of the chapeau from the "capelot," which
is so marked and usual in Germany, is the tall conical hat, often
surmounted by a tuft or larger plume of feathers, and usually employed in
German heraldry as an opportunity for the repetition of the livery colours,
or a part of, and often the whole design of, the arms. But it should at the
same time be noticed that this tall, conical hat is much more closely
allied to the real cap of maintenance than our present crest "chapeau."

Exactly what purpose the real cap of maintenance served, or of what it was
a symbol, remains to a certain extent a matter of mystery. The "Cap of
Maintenance"--a part of the regalia borne before the sovereign at the State
opening of Parliament (but _not_ at a coronation) by the Marquesses of
Winchester, the hereditary bearers of the cap of maintenance--bears, in its
shape, no relation to the heraldic chapeau. The only similarity is its
crimson colour and its lining of ermine. It is a tall, conical cap and is
carried on a short staff.

[Illustration: FIG. 662.--The Crown of King Charles II.]

Whilst crest coronets in early days appear to have had little or no
relation to titular rank, there is no doubt whatever that caps of dignity
had. Long before, a coronet was assigned to the rank of baron in the reign
of Charles II.; all barons had their caps of dignity, of scarlet lined with
white fur; and in the old pedigrees a scarlet cap with a gold tuft or
tassel on top and a lining of fur will be found painted above the arms of a
baron. This fact, the fact that until after Stuart days the chapeau does
not appear to have been allowed or granted to others than peers, the fact
that it is now reserved for the crests granted to peers, the fact that the
velvet cap is a later addition both to the sovereign's crown and to the
coronet of a peer, and finally the fact that the cap of maintenance is
borne before the sovereign only in the precincts of Parliament, would seem
to indubitably indicate that the cap of maintenance was inseparably
connected with the lordship and overlordship of Parliament vested in peers
and in the sovereign. In the crumpled and tasselled top of the velvet cap,
and in the ermine border visible below the rim, the high conical form of
the cap of maintenance proper can be still traced in the cap of a peer's
coronet, and that the velvet cap contained in {380} the crown of the
sovereign and in the coronet of a peer is the survival of the old cap of
dignity there can be no doubt. This is perhaps even more apparent in Fig.
662, which shows the crown of King Charles II., than in the representations
of the Royal crown which we are more accustomed to see. The present form of
a peer's coronet is undoubtedly the conjoining of two separate emblems of
his rank. The cap of maintenance or dignity, however, as represented above
the arms of a baron, as above referred to, was not of this high, conical
shape. It was much flatter.

The high, conical, original shape is, however, preserved in many of the
early heraldic representations of the chapeau, as will be noticed from an
examination of the ancient Garter plates or from a reference to Fig. 271,
which shows the helmet with its chapeau-borne crest of Edward the Black

[Illustration: FIG. 663.--The Chapeau.]

Of the chapeaux upon which crests are represented in the early Garter
plates the following facts may be observed. They are twenty in number of
the eighty-six plates reproduced in Mr. St. John Hope's book. It should be
noticed that until the end of the reign of Henry VIII. the Royal crest of
the sovereign was always depicted upon a chapeau gules, lined with ermine.
Of the twenty instances in which the chapeau appears, no less than twelve
are representations of the Royal crest, borne by closely allied relatives
of the sovereign, so that we have only eight examples from which to draw
deductions. But of the twenty it should be pointed out that nineteen are
peers, and the only remaining instance (Sir John Grey, K.G.) is that of the
eldest son and heir apparent of a peer, both shield and crest being in this
case boldly marked with the "label" of an eldest son. Consequently it is a
safe deduction that whatever may have been the regulations and customs
concerning the use of coronets, there can be no doubt that down to the end
of the fifteenth century the use of a chapeau marked a crest as that of a
peer. Of the eight non-Royal examples one has been repainted, and is
valueless as a contemporary record. Of the remaining seven, four are of the
conventional gules and ermine. One only has not the ermine lining, that
being the crest of Lord Fanhope. It is plainly the Royal crest
"differenced" (he being of Royal but illegitimate descent), and probably
the argent in lieu of ermine lining is one of the intentional marks of
distinction. The chapeau of Lord Beaumont is azure, semé-de-lis, lined
ermine, and that of the Earl of Douglas is azure lined ermine, this being
in each case in conformity with the mantling. Whilst the Beaumont family
still use this curiously coloured chapeau with their crest, the Douglas
crest is now borne (by {381} the Duke of Hamilton) upon one of ordinary
tinctures. Chapeaux, other than of gules lined ermine, are but rarely met
with, and unless specifically blazoned to the contrary a cap of maintenance
is always presumed to be gules and ermine.

About the Stuart period the granting of crests upon chapeaux to others than
peers became far from unusual, and the practice appears to have been
frequently adopted prior to the beginning of the nineteenth century. Some
of these crest chapeaux, however, were not of gules. An instance of this
kind will be found in the grant in 1667 to Sir Thomas Davies, then one of
the sheriffs of the City of London, but afterwards (in 1677) Lord Mayor.
The crest granted was: "On a chapeau sable, turned up or, a demi-lion
rampant of the last." The reason for the grant at that date of such a
simple crest and the even more astonishingly simple coat of arms ["Or, a
chevron between three mullets pierced sable"] has always been a mystery to

The arms of Lord Lurgan (granted or confirmed 1840) afford another instance
of a chapeau of unusual colour, his crest being: "Upon a chapeau azure
turned up ermine, a greyhound statant gules, collared or."

There are some number of cases in which peers whose ancestors originally
bore their crests upon a wreath have subsequently placed them upon a
chapeau. The Stanleys, Earls of Derby, are a case in point, as are also the
Marquesses of Exeter. The latter case is curious, because although they
have for long enough so depicted their crest, they only comparatively
recently (within the last few years) obtained the necessary authorisation
by the Crown.

At the present time the official form of the chapeau is as in Fig. 663,
with the turn up split at the back into two tails. No such form can be
found in any early representation, and most heraldic artists have now
reverted to an earlier type.

Before leaving the subject of the cap of maintenance, reference should be
made to another instance of a curious heraldic headgear often, but _quite
incorrectly_, styled a "cap of maintenance." This is the fur cap invariably
used over the shields of the cities of London, Dublin, and Norwich. There
is no English official authority whatever for such an addition to the arms,
but there does appear to be some little official recognition of it in
Ulster's Office in the case of the city of Dublin. The late Ulster King of
Arms, however, informed me that he would, in the case of Dublin, have no
hesitation whatever in certifying the right of the city arms to be so
displayed (Plate VII.).

In the utter absence of anything in the nature of a precedent, it is quite
unlikely that the practice will be sanctioned in England. The {382} hat
used is a flat-topped, brown fur hat of the shape depicted with the arms of
the City of Dublin. It is merely (in London) a part of the official uniform
or livery of the City sword-bearer. It does not even appear to have been a
part of the costume of the Lord Mayor, and it must always remain a mystery
why it was ever adopted for heraldic use. But then the chain of the Lord
Mayor of London is generally called a Collar of SS. Besides this the City
of London uses a Peer's helmet, a bogus modern crest, and even more modern
bogus supporters, so a few other eccentricities need not in that particular
instance cause surprise. {383}



The mantling is the ornamental design which in a representation of an
armorial achievement depends from the helmet, falling away on either side
of the escutcheon. Many authorities have considered it to have been no more
than a fantastic series of flourishes, devised by artistic minds for the
purpose of assisting ornamentation and affording an artistic opportunity of
filling up unoccupied spaces in a heraldic design. There is no doubt that
its readily apparent advantages in that character have greatly led to the
importance now attached to the mantling in heraldic art. But equally is it
certain that its real origin is to be traced elsewhere.

The development of the heraldry of to-day was in the East during the period
of the Crusades, and the burning heat of the Eastern sun upon the metal
helmet led to the introduction and adoption of a textile covering, which
would act in some way as a barrier between the two. It was simply in fact
and effect a primeval prototype of the "puggaree" of Margate and Hindustan.
It is plain from all early representations that originally it was short,
simply hanging from the apex of the helmet to the level of the shoulders,
overlapping the textile tunic or "coat of arms," but probably enveloping a
greater part of the helmet, neck, and shoulders than we are at present
(judging from pictorial representations) inclined to believe.

Adopted first as a protection against the heat, and perhaps also the rust
which would follow damp, the lambrequin soon made evident another of its
advantages, an advantage to which we doubtless owe its perpetuation outside
Eastern warfare in the more temperate climates of Northern Europe and
England. Textile fabrics are peculiarly and remarkably deadening to a
sword-cut, to which fact must be added the facility with which such a
weapon would become entangled in the hanging folds of cloth. The hacking
and hewing of battle would show itself plainly upon the lambrequin of one
accustomed to a prominent position in the forefront of a fight, and the
honourable record implied by a ragged and slashed lambrequin accounts for
the fact that we find at an early period after their introduction into
heraldic art, that mantlings {384} are depicted cut and "torn to ribbons."
This opportunity was quickly seized by the heraldic artist, who has always,
from those very earliest times of absolute armorial freedom down to the
point of greatest and most regularised control, been allowed an entire and
absolute discretion in the design to be adopted for the mantling. Hence it
is that we find so much importance is given to it by heraldic artists, for
it is in the design of the mantling, and almost entirely in that
opportunity, that the personal character and abilities of the artist have
their greatest scope. Some authorities have, however, derived the mantling
from the robe of estate, and there certainly has been a period in British
armory when most lambrequins found in heraldic art are represented by an
unmutilated cloth, suspended from and displayed behind the armorial
bearings and tied at the upper corners. In all probability the robes of
estate of the higher nobility, no less than the then existing and
peremptorily enforced sumptuary laws, may have led to the desire and to the
attempt, at a period when the actual lambrequin was fast disappearing from
general knowledge, to display arms upon something which should represent
either the parliamentary robes of estate of a peer, or the garments of rich
fabric which the sumptuary laws forbade to those of humble degree. To this
period undoubtedly belongs the term "mantling," which is so much more
frequently employed than the word lambrequin, which is really--from the
armorial point of view--the older term.

The heraldic mantling was, of course, originally the representation of the
actual "capeline" or textile covering worn upon the helmet, but many early
heraldic representations are of mantlings which are of skin, fur, or
feathers, being in such cases invariably a continuation of the crest drawn
out and represented as the lambrequin. When the crest was a part of the
human figure, the habit in which that figure was arrayed is almost
invariably found to have been so employed. The Garter plate of Sir Ralph
Bassett, one of the Founder Knights, shows the crest as a black boar's
head, the skin being continued as the sable mantling.

Some Sclavonic families have mantlings of fur only, that of the Hungarian
family of Chorinski is a bear skin, and countless other instances can be
found of the use by German families of a continuation of the crest for a
mantling. This practice affords instances of many curious mantlings, this
in one case in the Zurich _Wappenrolle_ being the scaly skin of a salmon.
The mane of the lion, the crest of Mertz, and the hair and beard of the
crests of Bohn and Landschaden, are similarly continued to do duty for the
mantling. This practice has never found great favour in England, the cases
amongst the early Garter plates where it has been followed standing almost
alone. In a {385} manuscript (M. 3, 67_b_) of the reign of Henry VII., now
in the College of Arms, probably dating from about 1506, an instance of
this character can be found, however. It is a representation of the crest
of Stourton (Fig. 664) as it was borne at that date, and was a black
Benedictine demi-monk proper holding erect in his dexter hand a scourge.
Here the proper black Benedictine habit (it has of later years been
corrupted into the russet habit of a friar) is continued to form the



[Illustration: FIG. 664.--The Crest of Stourton.]

By what rules the colours of the mantlings were decided in early times it
is impossible to say. No rules have been handed down to us--the old
heraldic books are silent on the point--and it seems equally hopeless to
attempt to deduce any from ancient armorial examples. The one fact that can
be stated with certainty is that the rules of early days, if there were
any, are not the rules presently observed. Some hold that the colours of
the mantling were decided by the colours of the actual livery in use as
distinct from the "livery colours" of the arms. It is difficult to check
this rule, because our knowledge of the liveries in use in early days is so
meagre and limited; but in the few instances of which we now have knowledge
we look in vain for a repetition of the colours worn by the retainers as
liveries in the mantlings used. The fact that the livery colours are
represented in the background of some of the early Garter plates, and that
in such instances in no single case do they agree with the colours of the
mantling, must certainly dissipate once and for all any such supposition as
far as it relates to that period.

A careful study and analysis of early heraldic emblazonment, however,
reveals one point as a dominating characteristic. That is, that where the
crest, by its nature, lent itself to a continuation into the mantling it
generally was so continued. This practice, which was almost universal upon
the Continent, and is particularly to be met with {386} in German heraldry,
though seldom adopted in England, certainly had some weight in English
heraldry. In the recently published reproductions of the Plantagenet Garter
plates eighty-seven armorial achievements are included. Of these, in ten
instances the mantlings are plainly continuations of the crests, being
"feathered" or in unison. Fifteen of the mantlings have both the outside
and the inside of the principal colour and of the principal metal of the
arms they accompany, though in a few cases, contrary to the present
practice, the metal is outside, the lining being of the colour. Nineteen
more of the mantlings are of the principal colour of the arms, the majority
(eighteen) of these being lined with ermine. No less than forty-nine are of
some colour lined with ermine, but thirty-four of these are of gules lined
ermine, and in the large majority of cases in these thirty-four instances
neither the gules nor the ermine are in conformity with the principal
colour and metal (what we now term the "livery colours") of the arms. In
some cases the colours of the mantling agree with the colours of the crest,
a rule which will usually be found to hold good in German heraldry. The
constant occurrence of gules and ermine incline one much to believe that
the colours of the mantling were not decided by haphazard fancy, but that
there was some law--possibly in some way connected with the sumptuary laws
of the period--which governed the matter, or, at any rate, which greatly
limited the range of selection. Of the eighty-seven mantlings, excluding
those which are gules lined ermine, there are four only the colours of
which apparently bear no relation whatever to the colours of the arms or
the crests appearing upon the same Stall plate. In some number of the
plates the colours certainly are taken from a quartering other than the
first one, and in one at least of the four exceptions the mantling (one of
the most curious examples) is plainly derived from a quartering inherited
by the knight in question though not shown upon the Stall plate. Probably a
closer examination of the remaining three instances would reveal a similar
reason in each case. That any law concerning the colours of their mantlings
was enforced upon those concerned would be an unwarrantable deduction not
justified by the instances under examination, but one is clearly justified
in drawing from these cases some deductions as to the practice pursued. It
is evident that unless one was authorised by the rule or reason governing
the matter--whatever such rule or reason may have been--in using a mantling
of gules and ermine, the dominating colour (not as a rule the metal) of the
coat of arms (or of one of the quarterings), or sometimes of the crest if
the tinctures of arms and crest were not in unison, decided the colour of
the mantling. That there was some meaning behind the mantlings of gules
lined with ermine there can be little doubt, for it is noticeable that in a
case in {387} which the colours of the arms themselves are gules and
ermine, the mantling is of gules and argent, as by the way in this
particular case is the chapeau upon which the crest is placed. But probably
the reason which governed these mantlings of gules lined with ermine, as
also the ermine linings of other mantlings, must be sought outside the
strict limits of armory. That the colours of mantlings are repeated in
different generations, and in the plates of members of the same family,
clearly demonstrates that selection was not haphazard.

Certain of these early Garter plates exhibit interesting curiosities in the

1. Sir William Latimer, Lord Latimer, K.G., c. 1361-1381. Arms: gules a
cross patonce or. Crest: a plume of feathers sable, the tips or. Mantling
gules with silver vertical stripes, lined with ermine.

2. Sir Bermond Arnaud de Presac, Soudan de la Tran, K.G., 1380-_post_ 1384.
Arms: or, a lion rampant double-queued gules. Crest: a Midas' head argent.
Mantling sable, lined gules, the latter veined or.

3. Sir Simon Felbrigge, K.G., 1397-1442. Arms: or, a lion rampant gules.
Crest: out of a coronet gules, a plume of feathers ermine. Mantling ermine,
lined gules (evidently a continuation of the crest).

4. Sir Reginald Cobham, Lord Cobham, K.G., 1352-1361. Arms: gules, on a
chevron or, three estoiles sable. Crest: a soldan's head sable, the brow
encircled by a torse or. Mantling sable (evidently a continuation of the
crest), lined gules.

5. Sir Edward Cherleton, Lord Cherleton of Powis, K.G., 1406-7 to 1420-1.
Arms: or, a lion rampant gules. Crest: on a wreath gules and sable, two
lions' gambs also gules, each adorned on the exterior side with three
demi-fleurs-de-lis issuing argent, the centres thereof or. Mantling: on the
dexter side, sable; on the sinister side, gules; both lined ermine.

6. Sir Hertong von Clux, K.G., 1421-1445 or 6. Arms: argent, a vine branch
couped at either end in bend sable. Crest: out of a coronet or, a plume of
feathers sable and argent. Mantling: on the dexter side, azure; on the
sinister, gules; both lined ermine.

7. Sir Miles Stapleton, K.G. (Founder Knight, died 1364). Arms: argent, a
lion rampant sable. Crest: a soldan's head sable, around the temples a
torse azure, tied in a knot, the ends flowing. Mantling sable (probably a
continuation of the crest), lined gules.

8. Sir Walter Hungerford, Lord Hungerford and Heytesbury, K.G., 1421-1449.
Arms: sable, two bars argent, and in chief three plates. Crest: out of a
coronet azure a garb or, enclosed by two sickles argent. Mantling (within
and without): dexter, barry of six {388} ermine and gules; sinister, barry
of six gules and ermine. (The reason of this is plain. The mother of Lord
Hungerford was a daughter and coheir of Hussey. The arms of Hussey are
variously given: "Barry of six ermine and gules," or "Ermine, three bars

9. Sir Humphrey Stafford, Earl of Stafford, 1429-1460. Arms: or, a chevron
gules. Crest: out of a coronet gules, a swan's head and neck proper, beaked
gules, between two wings also proper. Mantling: the dexter side, sable; the
sinister side, gules; both lined ermine. Black and gules, it may be noted,
were the livery colours of Buckingham, an earldom which had devolved upon
the Earls of Stafford.

10. Sir John Grey of Ruthin, K.G., 1436-1439. Arms: quarterly, 1 and 4,
barry of six argent and azure, in chief three torteaux; 2 and 3, quarterly
i. and iiii., or, a maunch gules; ii. and iii., barry of eight argent and
azure, an orle of ten martlets gules; over all a label of three points
argent. Crest: on a chapeau gules, turned up ermine, a wyvern or, gorged
with a label argent. Mantling or, lined ermine.

11. Sir Richard Nevill, Earl of Salisbury, K.G., 1436-1460. Arms:
quarterly, 1 and 4, quarterly i. and iiii., argent, three lozenges
conjoined in fess gules; ii. and iii., or, an eagle displayed vert; 2 and
3, gules, a saltire argent, a label of three points compony argent and
azure. Crest: on a coronet, a griffin sejant, with wings displayed or.
Mantling: dexter side, gules; the sinister, sable; both lined ermine.

12. Sir Gaston de Foix, Count de Longueville, &c., K.G., 1438-1458. Arms:
quarterly, 1 and 4, or, three pallets gules; 2 and 3, or, two cows passant
in pale gules, over all a label of three points, each point or, on a cross
sable five escallops argent. Crest: on a wreath or and gules, a
blackamoor's bust with ass's ears sable, vested paly or and gules, all
between two wings, each of the arms as in the first quarter. Mantling paly
of or and gules, lined vert.

13. Sir Walter Blount, Lord Mountjoye, K.G., 1472-1474. Arms: quarterly, 1.
argent, two wolves passant in pale sable, on a bordure also argent eight
saltires couped gules (for Ayala); 2. or, a tower (? gules) (for Mountjoy);
3. barry nebuly or and sable (for Blount); 4. vairé argent and gules (for
Gresley). Crest: out of a coronet two ibex horns or. Mantling sable, lined
on the dexter side with argent, and on the sinister with or.

14. Frederick, Duke of Urbino. Mantling or, lined ermine.

In Continental heraldry it is by no means uncommon to find the device of
the arms repeated either wholly or in part upon the mantling. In reference
to this the "Tournament Rules" of René, Duke of Anjou, {389} throw some
light on the point. These it may be of interest to quote:--

    "Vous tous Princes, Seigneurs, Barons, Cheualiers, et Escuyers, qui
    auez intention de tournoyer, vous estes tenus vous rendre és heberges
    le quartrième jour deuan le jour du Tournoy, pour faire de vos Blasons
    fenestres, sur payne de non estre receus audit Tournoy. Les armes
    seront celles-cy. Le tymbre doit estre sur vne piece de cuir boüilly,
    la quelle doit estre bien faultrée d'vn doigt d'espez, ou plus, par le
    dedans: et doit contenir la dite piece de cuir tout le sommet du
    heaulme, et sera couuerte la dite piece du lambrequin armoyé des armes
    de celuy qui le portera, et sur le dit lambrequin au plus haut du
    sommet, sera assis le dit Tymbre, et autour d'iceluy aura vn tortil des
    couleurs que voudra le Tournoyeur.

    "Item, et quand tous les heaulmes seront ainsi mis et ordonnez pour les
    departir, viendront toutes Dames et Damoiselles et tout Seigneurs,
    Cheualiers, et Escuyers, en les visitant d'vn bout à autre, la present
    les Juges, qui meneront trois ou quatre tours les Dames pour bien voir
    et visiter les Tymbres, et y aura vu Heraut ou poursuivant, qui dira
    aux Dames selon l'endroit où elles seront, le nom de ceux à qui sont
    les Tymbres, afin que s'il en a qui ait des Dames médit, et elles
    touchent son Tymbre, qu'il soit le lendemain pour recommandé."
    (Menêtrier, _L'Origine des Armoiries_, pp. 79-81.)

Whilst one can call to mind no instance of importance of ancient date where
this practice has been followed in this country, there are one or two
instances in the Garter plates which approximate closely to it. The
mantling of John, Lord Beaumont, is azure, semé-de-lis (as the field of his
arms), lined ermine. Those of Sir John Bourchier, Lord Berners, and of Sir
Henry Bourchier, Earl of Essex, are of gules, billetté or, evidently
derived from the quartering for Louvaine upon the arms, this quartering
being: "Gules, billetté and a fess or."

According to a MS. of Vincent, in the College of Arms, the Warrens used a
mantling chequy of azure and or with their arms.

A somewhat similar result is obtained by the mantling, "Gules, semé of
lozenges or," upon the small plate of Sir Sanchet Dabrichecourt. The
mantling of Sir Lewis Robessart, Lord Bourchier, is: "Azure, bezanté, lined

"The azure mantling on the Garter Plate of Henry V., as Prince of Wales, is
'semé of the French golden fleurs-de-lis.'... The Daubeny mantling is 'semé
of mullets.' On the brass of Sir John Wylcote, at Tew, the lambrequins are
chequy.... On the seals of Sir John Bussy, in 1391 and 1407, the mantlings
are barry, the coat being 'argent, three bars sable.'"

There are a few cases amongst the Garter plates in which badges are plainly
and unmistakably depicted upon the mantlings. Thus, on the lining of the
mantling on the plate of Sir Henry Bourchier (elected 1452) will be found
water-bougets, which are repeated on a fillet round the head of the crest.
The Stall plate of Sir John Bourchier, Lord {390} Berners, above referred
to (elected 1459), is lined with silver on the dexter side, semé in the
upper part with water-bougets, and in the lower part with Bourchier knots.
On the opposite side of the mantling the knots are in the upper part, and
the water-bougets below. That these badges upon the mantling are not
haphazard artistic decoration is proved by a reference to the monumental
effigy of the Earl of Essex, in Little Easton Church, Essex. The differing
shapes of the helmet, and of the coronet and the mantling, and the
different representation of the crest, show that, although depicted in his
Garter robes, upon his effigy the helmet, crest, and mantling upon which
the earl's head there rests, and the representations of the same upon the
Garter plate, are not slavish copies of the same original model.
Nevertheless upon the effigy, as on the Garter plate, we find the outside
of the mantling "semé of billets," and the inside "semé of water-bougets."
Another instance amongst the Garter plates will be found in the case of
Viscount Lovell, whose mantling is strewn with gold padlocks.

Nearly all the mantlings on the Garter Stall plates are more or less
heavily "veined" with gold, and many are heavily diapered and decorated
with floral devices. So prominent is some of this floral diapering that one
is inclined to think that in a few cases it may possibly be a diapering
with floral badges. In other cases it is equally evidently no more than a
mere accessory of design, though between these two classes of diapering it
would be by no means easy to draw a line of distinction. The veining and
"heightening" of a mantling with gold is at the present day nearly always
to be seen in elaborate heraldic painting.

From the Garter plates of the fourteenth century it has been shown that the
colours of a large proportion of the mantlings approximated in early days
to the colours of the arms. The popularity of gules, however, was then fast
encroaching upon the frequency of appearance which other colours should
have enjoyed; and in the sixteenth century, in grants and other paintings
of arms, the use of a mantling of gules had become practically universal.
In most cases the mantling of "gules, doubled argent" forms an integral
part of the terms of the grant itself, as sometimes do the "gold tassels"
which are so frequently found terminating the mantlings of that and an
earlier period. This custom continued through the Stuart period, and though
dropped officially in England during the eighteenth century (when the
mantling reverted to the livery colours of the arms, and became in this
form a matter of course and so understood, not being expressed in the
wording of the patent), it continued in force in Lyon Office in Scotland
until the year 1890, when the present Lyon King of Arms (Sir James Balfour
Paul) altered the practice, and, as had earlier been done in England, {391}
ordered that all future Scottish mantlings should be depicted in the livery
colours of the arms, but in Scotland the mantlings, though now following
the livery colours, are still included in the terms of the grant, and
thereby stereotyped. In England, in an official "exemplification" at the
present day of an ancient coat of arms (_e.g._ in an exemplification
following the assumption of name and arms by Royal License), the mantling
is painted in the livery colours, irrespective of any ancient patent in
which "gules and argent" may have been _granted_ as the colour of the
mantling. Though probably most people will agree as to the expediency of
such a practice, it is at any rate open to criticism on the score of
propriety, unless the new mantling is expressed in terms in the new patent.
This would of course amount to a grant overriding the earlier one, and
would do all that was necessary; but failing this, there appears to be a
distinct hiatus in the continuity of authority.

Ermine linings to the mantling were soon denied to the undistinguished
commoner, and with the exception of the early Garter plates, it would be
difficult to point to an instance of their use. The mantlings of peers,
however, continued to be lined with ermine, and English instances under
official sanction can be found in the Visitation Books and in the Garter
plates until a comparatively recent period. In fact the relegation of peers
to the ordinary livery colours for their mantlings is, in England, quite a
modern practice. In Scotland, however, the mantlings of peers have always
been lined with ermine, and the present Lyon continues this whilst usually
making the colours of the outside of the mantlings agree with the principal
colour of the arms. This, as regards the outer colour of the mantling, is
not a fixed or stereotyped rule, and in some cases Lyon has preferred to
adopt a mantling of gules lined with ermine as more comformable to a peer's
Parliamentary Robe of Estate.

In the Deputy Earl-Marshal's warrant referred to on page 375 are some
interesting points as to the mantling. It is recited that "some persons
under y^e degree of y^e Nobilitie of this Realme doe cause Ermins to be
Depicted upon ye Lineings of those Mantles which are used with their Armes,
and also that there are some that have lately caused the Mantles of their
Armes to be painted like Ostrich feathers as tho' they were of some
peculiar and superior degree of Honor," and the warrant commands that these
points are to be rectified.

The Royal mantling is of cloth of gold. In the case of the sovereign and
the Prince of Wales it is lined with ermine, and for other members of the
Royal Family it is lined with argent. Queen Elizabeth was the first
sovereign to adopt the golden mantling, the Royal tinctures before that
date (for the mantling) being gules lined ermine. The mantling of or and
ermine has, of course, since that date been rigidly denied to {392} all
outside the Royal Family. Two instances, however, occur amongst the early
Garter plates, viz. Sir John Grey de Ruthyn and Frederick, Duke of Urbino.
It is sometimes stated that a mantling of or and ermine is a sign of
sovereignty, but the mantling of our own sovereign is really the only case
in which it is presently so used.

In Sweden, as in Scotland, the colours of the mantling are specified in the
patent, and, unlike our own, are often curiously varied.

The present rules for the colour of a mantling are as follows in England
and Ireland:--

    1. That with ancient arms of which the grant specified the colour,
    where this has not been altered by a subsequent exemplification, the
    colours must be as stated in the grant, _i.e._ usually gules, lined

    2. That the mantling of the sovereign and Prince of Wales is of cloth
    of gold, lined with ermine.

    3. That the mantling of other members of the Royal Family is of cloth
    of gold lined with argent.

    4. That the mantlings of all other people shall be of the livery

The rules in Scotland are now as follows:

    1. That in the cases of peers whose arms were matriculated before 1890
    the mantling is of gules lined with ermine (the Scottish term for
    "lined" is "doubled").

    2. That the mantlings of all other arms matriculated before 1890 shall
    be of gules and argent.

    3. That the mantlings of peers whose arms have been matriculated since
    1890 shall be either of the principal colour of the arms, lined with
    ermine, or of gules lined ermine (conformably to the Parliamentary Robe
    of Estate of a peer) as may happen to have been matriculated.

    4. That the mantlings of all other persons whose arms have been
    matriculated since 1890 shall be of the livery colours, unless other
    colours are, as is occasionally the case, specified in the patent of

Whether in Scotland a person is entitled to assume of his own motion an
ermine lining to his mantling upon his elevation to the peerage, without a
rematriculation in cases where the arms and mantling have been otherwise
matriculated at an earlier date, or whether in England any peer may still
line his mantling with ermine, are points on which one hesitates to express
an opinion.

When the mantling is of the livery colours the following rules must be
observed. The outside must be of some colour and the lining of some metal.
The colour must be the principal colour of the arms, {393} _i.e._ the
colour of the field if it be of colour, or if it is of metal, then the
colour of the principal ordinary or charge upon the shield. The metal will
be as the field, if the field is of metal, or if not, it will be as the
metal of the principal ordinary or charge. In other words, it should be the
same tinctures as the wreath.

If the field is party of colour and metal (_i.e._ per pale barry,
quarterly, &c.), then that colour and that metal are "the livery colours."
If the field is party of two _colours_ the principal colour (_i.e._ the one
first mentioned in the blazon) is taken as the colour and the other is
ignored. The mantling is _not_ made party to agree with the field in
British heraldry, as would be the case in Germany. If the field is of a
fur, then the dominant metal or colour of the fur is taken as one component
part of the "livery colours," the other metal or colour required being
taken from the next most important tincture of the field. For example,
"ermine, a fess gules" has a mantling of gules and argent, whilst "or, a
chevron ermines" would need a mantling of sable and or. The mantling for
"azure, a lion rampant erminois" would be azure and or. But in a coat
showing fur, metal, and colour, sometimes the fur is ignored. A field of
vair has a mantling argent and azure, but if the charge be vair the field
will supply the one, _i.e._ either colour or metal, whilst the vair
supplies whichever is lacking. Except in the cases of Scotsmen who are
peers and of the Sovereign and Prince of Wales, no fur is ever used
nowadays in Great Britain for a mantling.

In cases where the principal charge is "proper," a certain discretion must
be used. Usually the heraldic colour to which the charge approximates is
used. For example, "argent, issuing from a mount in base a tree proper,"
&c., would have a mantling vert and argent. The arms "or, three Cornish
choughs proper," or "argent, three negroes' heads couped proper," would
have mantlings respectively sable and or and sable and argent. Occasionally
one comes across a coat which supplies an "impossible" mantling, or which
does not supply one at all. Such a coat would be "per bend sinister ermine
and erminois, a lion rampant counterchanged." Here there is no colour at
all, so the mantling would be gules and argent. "Argent, three stags
trippant proper" would have a mantling gules and argent. A coat of arms
with a landscape field would also probably be supplied (in default of a
chief, _e.g._ supplying other colours and tinctures) with a mantling gules
and argent. It is quite permissible to "vein" a mantling with gold lines,
this being always done in official paintings.

In English official heraldry, where, no matter how great the number of
crests, one helmet only is painted, it naturally follows that one mantling
only can be depicted. This is always taken from the livery colours of the
chief (_i.e._ the first) quartering or sub-quartering. {394} In Scottish
patents at the present day in which a helmet is painted for each crest the
mantlings frequently vary, being in each case in accordance with the livery
colours of the quartering to which the crest belongs. Consequently this
must be accepted as the rule in cases where more than one helmet is shown.

In considering the fashionings of mantlings it must be remembered that
styles and fashions much overlap, and there has always been the tendency in
armory to repeat earlier styles. Whilst one willingly concedes the immense
gain in beauty by the present reversion in heraldic art to older and
better, and certainly more artistic types, there is distinctly another side
to the question which is strangely overlooked by those who would have the
present-day heraldic art slavishly copied in all minutiæ of detail, and
even (according to some) in all the crudity of draughtmanship from examples
of the earliest periods.

Hitherto each period of heraldic art has had its own peculiar style and
type, each within limits readily recognisable. Whether that style and type
can be considered when judged by the canons of art to be good or bad, there
can be no doubt that each style in its turn has approximated to, and has
been in keeping with, the concurrent decorative art outside and beyond
heraldry, though it has always exhibited a tendency to rather lag behind.
When all has been said and done that can be, heraldry, in spite of its
symbolism and its many other meanings, remains but a form of decorative
art; and therefore it is natural that it should be influenced by other
artistic ideas and other manifestations of art and accepted forms of design
current at the period to which it belongs. For, from the artistic point of
view, the part played in art by heraldry is so limited in extent compared
with the part occupied by other forms of decoration, that one would
naturally expect heraldry to show the influence of outside decorative art
to a greater extent than decorative art as a whole would be likely to show
the influence of heraldry. In our present revulsion of mind in favour of
older heraldic types, we are apt to speak of "good" or "bad" heraldic art.
But art itself cannot so be divided, for after all allowances have been
made for crude workmanship, and when bad or imperfect examples have been
eliminated from consideration (and given always necessarily the essential
basis of the relation of line to curve and such technical details of art),
who on earth is to judge, or who is competent to say, whether any
particular style of art is good or bad? No one from preference executes
speculative art which he knows whilst executing it to be bad. Most
manifestations of art, and peculiarly of decorative art, are commercial
matters executed with the frank idea of subsequent sale, and consequently
with the subconscious idea, true though but seldom acknowledged, of
pleasing that public which will {395} have to buy. Consequently the
ultimate appeal is to the taste of the public, for art, if it be not the
desire to give pleasure by the representation of beauty, is nothing.
Beauty, of course, must not necessarily be confounded with prettiness; it
may be beauty of character. The result is, therefore, that the decorative
art of any period is an indication of that which gives pleasure at the
moment, and an absolute reflex of the artistic wishes, desires, and tastes
of the cultivated classes to whom executive art must appeal. At every
period it has been found that this taste is constantly changing, and as a
consequence the examples of decorative art of any period are a reflex only
of the artistic ideas current at the time the work was done.

At all periods, therefore, even during the early Victorian period, which we
are now taught and believe to be the most ghastly period through which
English art has passed, the art in vogue has been what the public have
admired, and have been ready to pay for, and most emphatically what they
have been taught and brought up to consider good art. In early Victorian
days there was no lack of educated people, and because they liked the
particular form of decoration associated with their period, who is
justified in saying that, because that peculiar style of decoration is not
acceptable now to ourselves, their art was bad, and worse than our own? If
throughout the ages there had been one dominating style of decoration
equally accepted at all periods and by all authorities as the highest type
of decorative art, then we should have some standard to judge by. Such is
not the case, and we have no such standard, and any attempt to arbitrarily
create and control ideas between given parallel lines of arbitrary thought,
when the ideas are constantly changing, is impossible and undesirable. Who
dreams of questioning the art of Benvenuto Cellini, or of describing his
craftsmanship as other than one of the most vivid examples of his period,
and yet what had it in keeping with the art of the Louis XVI. period, or
the later art of William Morris and his followers? Widely divergent as are
these types, they are nevertheless all accepted as the highest expressions
of three separate types of decorative art. Any one attempting to compare
them, or to rank these schools of artistic thought in order of superiority,
would simply be laying themselves open to ridicule unspeakable, for they
would be ranked by the highest authorities of different periods in
different orders, and it is as impossible to create a permanent standard of
art as it is impossible to ensure a permanence of any particular public
taste. The fact that taste changes, and as a consequence that artistic
styles and types vary, is simply due to the everlasting desire on the part
of the public for some new thing, and their equally permanent appreciation
of novelty of idea or sensation. That master-minds have arisen to teach,
and {396} that they have taught with some success their own particular
brand of art to the public, would seem rather to argue against the
foregoing ideas were it not that, when the master-mind and the dominating
influence are gone, the public, desiring as always change and novelty, are
ready to fly to any new teacher and master who can again afford them
artistic pleasure. The influence of William Morris in household decoration
is possibly the most far-reaching modern example of the influence of a
single man upon the art of his period; but master-mind as was his, and
master-craftsman as he was, it has needed but a few years since his death
to start the undoing of much that he taught. After the movement initiated
by Morris and carried further by the Arts and Crafts Society, which made
for simplicity in structural design as well as in the decoration of
furniture, we have now fallen back upon the flowery patterns of the early
Victorian period, and there is hardly a drawing-room in fashionable London
where the chairs and settees are not covered with early Victorian chintzes.

Artistic authorities may shout themselves hoarse, but the fashion having
been set in Mayfair will be inevitably followed in Suburbia, and we are
doubtless again at the beginning of the cycle of that curious manifestation
of domestic decorative art which was current in the early part of the
nineteenth century. It is, therefore, evident that it is futile to describe
varying types of art of varying periods as good or bad, or to differentiate
between them, unless some such permanent basis of comparison or standard of
excellence be conceded. The differing types must be accepted as no more
than the expression of the artistic period to which they belong. That being
so, one cannot help thinking that the abuse which has been heaped of late
(by unthinking votaries of Plantagenet and Tudor heraldry) upon heraldic
art in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries has very
greatly overstepped the true proportion of the matter. Much that has been
said is true, but what has been said too often lacks proportion. There is
consequently much to be said in favour of allowing each period to create
its own style and type of heraldic design, in conformity with the ideas
concerning decorative art which are current outside heraldic thought. This
is precisely what is not happening at the present time, even with all our
boasted revival of armory and armorial art. The tendency at the present
time is to slavishly copy examples of other periods. There is another point
which is usually overlooked by the most blatant followers of this school of
thought. What are the ancient models which remain to us? The early Rolls of
Arms of which we hear so much are not, and were never intended to be,
examples of artistic execution. They are merely memoranda of _fact_. It is
absurd to suppose that an actual shield was painted with the crudity to be
met {397} with in the Rolls of Arms. It is equally absurd to accept as
unimpeachable models, Garter plates, seals, or architectural examples
unless the purpose and medium--wax, enamel, or stone--in which they are
executed is borne in mind, and the knowledge used with due discrimination.
Mr. Eve, without slavishly copying, originally appears to have modelled his
work upon the admirable designs and ideas of the "little masters" of German
art in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. He has since progressed
therefrom to a distinctive and very excellent style of his own. Mr. Graham
Johnson models his work upon Plantagenet and Tudor examples. The work of
Père Anselm, and of Pugin, the first start towards the present ideas of
heraldic art, embodying as it did so much of the beauty of the older work
whilst possessing a character of its own, and developing ancient ideals by
increased beauty of execution, has placed their reputation far above that
of others, who, following in their footsteps, have not possessed their
abilities. But with regard to most of the heraldic design of the present
day as a whole it is very evident that we are simply picking and choosing
tit-bits from the work of bygone craftsmen, and copying, more or less
slavishly, examples of other periods. This makes for no advance in design
either, in its character or execution, nor will it result in any
peculiarity of style which it will be possible in the future to identify
with the present period. Our heraldry, like our architecture, though it may
be dated in the twentieth century, will be a heterogeneous collection of
isolated specimens of Gothic, Tudor, or Queen Anne style and type, which
surely is as anachronistic as we consider to be those Dutch paintings which
represent Christ and the Apostles in modern clothes.

Roughly the periods into which the types of mantlings can be divided, when
considered from the standpoint of their fashioning, are somewhat as
follows. There is the earliest period of all, when the mantling depicted
approximated closely if it was not an actual representation of the capelote
really worn in battle. Examples of this will be found in the _Armorial de
Gelre_ and the Zurich _Wappenrolle_. As the mantling worn lengthened and
evolved itself into the lambrequin, the mantling depicted in heraldic art
was similarly increased in size, terminating in the long mantle drawn in
profile but tasselled and with the scalloped edges, a type which is found
surviving in some of the early Garter plates. This is the transition stage.
The next definite period is when we find the mantling depicted on both
sides of the helmet and the scalloped edges developed, in accordance with
the romantic ideas of the period, into the slashes and cuts of the bold and
artistic mantlings of Plantagenet armorial art.

Slowly decreasing in strength, but at the same time increasing in
elaboration, this mantling and type continued until it had reached its
{398} highest pitch of exuberant elaboration in Stuart and early Georgian
times. Side by side with this over-elaboration came the revulsion to a
Puritan simplicity of taste which is to be found in other manifestations of
art at the same time, and which made itself evident in heraldic decoration
by the use as mantling of the plain uncut cloth suspended behind the
shield. Originating in Elizabethan days, this plain cloth was much made use
of, but towards the end of the Stuart period came that curious evolution of
British heraldry which is peculiar to these countries alone. That is the
entire omission of both helmet and mantling. How it originated it is
difficult to understand, unless it be due to the fact that a large number,
in fact a large proportion, of English families possessed a shield only and
neither claimed nor used a crest, and that consequently a large number of
heraldic representations give the shield only. It is rare indeed to find a
shield surmounted by helmet and mantling when the former is not required to
support a crest. At the same time we find, among the official records of
the period, that the documents of chief importance were the Visitation
Books. In these, probably from motives of economy or to save needless
draughtsmanship, the trouble of depicting the helmet and mantling was
dispensed with, and the crest is almost universally found depicted on the
wreath, which is made to rest upon the shield, the helmet being omitted.
That being an accepted official way of representing an achievement, small
wonder that the public followed, and we find as a consequence that a large
proportion of the bookplates during the seventeenth and eighteenth
centuries had no helmet or mantling at all, the elaboration of the edges of
the shield, together with the addition of decorative and needless
accessories bearing no relation to the arms, fulfilling all purposes of
decorative design. It should also be remembered that from towards the close
of the Stuart period onward, England was taking her art and decoration
almost entirely from Continental sources, chiefly French and Italian. In
both the countries the use of crests was very limited indeed in extent, and
the elimination of the helmet and mantling, and the elaboration in their
stead of the edges of the shield, we probably owe to the effort to
assimilate French and Italian forms of decoration to English arms. So
obsolete had become the use of helmet and mantling that it is difficult to
come across examples that one can put forward as mantlings typical of the

Helmets and mantlings were of course painted upon grants and upon the Stall
plates of the knights of the various orders, but whilst the helmets became
weak, of a pattern impossible to wear, and small in size, the mantling
became of a stereotyped pattern, and of a design poor and wooden according
to our present ideas.

[Illustration: FIG. 665.--Carriage Panel of Georgiana, Marchioness of

Unofficial heraldry had sunk to an even lower style of art, and {399} the
regulation heraldic stationer's types of shield, mantling, and helmet are
awe-inspiring in their ugliness.

The term "mantle" is sometimes employed, but it would seem hardly quite
correctly, to the parliamentary robe of estate upon which the arms of a
peer of the realm were so frequently depicted at the end of the eighteenth
and in the early part of the nineteenth centuries. Its popularity is an
indication of the ever-constant predilection for something which is denied
to others and the possession of which is a matter of privilege. Woodward,
in his "Treatise on Heraldry," treats of and dismisses the matter in one
short sentence: "In England the suggestion that the arms of peers should be
mantled with their Parliament robes was never generally adopted." In this
statement he is quite incorrect, for as the accepted type in one particular
opportunity of armorial display its use was absolutely universal. The
opportunity in question was the emblazonment of arms upon carriage panels.
In the early part of the nineteenth and at the end of the eighteenth
centuries armorial bearings were painted of some size upon carriages, and
there were few such paintings executed for the carriages, chariots, and
state coaches of peers that did not appear upon a background of the robe of
estate. With the modern craze for ostentatious unostentation (the result,
there can be little doubt, in this respect of the wholesale appropriation
of arms by those without a right to bear these ornaments), the decoration
of a peer's carriage nowadays seldom shows more than a simple coronet, or a
coroneted crest, initial, or monogram; but the State chariots of those who
still possess them almost all, without exception, show the arms emblazoned
upon the robe of estate. The Royal and many other State chariots made or
refurbished for the recent coronation ceremonies show that, when an
opportunity of the fullest display properly arises, the robe of estate is
not yet a thing of the past. Fig. 665 is from a photograph of a carriage
panel, and shows the arms of a former Marchioness of Cholmondeley displayed
in this manner. Incidentally it also shows a practice frequently resorted
to, but quite unauthorised, of taking one supporter from the husband's
shield and the other (when the wife was an heiress) from the arms of her
family. The arms are those of Georgiana Charlotte, widow of George James,
first Marquess of Cholmondeley, and younger daughter and coheir of
Peregrine, third Duke of Ancaster. She became a widow in 1827 and died in
1838, so the panel must have been painted between those dates. The arms
shown are: "Quarterly, 1 and 4, gules, in chief two esquires' helmets
proper, and in base a garb or (for Cholmondeley); 2. gules, a chevron
between three eagles' heads erased argent; 3. or, on a fesse between two
chevrons sable, three cross crosslets or (for Walpole), and on an {400}
escutcheon of pretence the arms of Bertie, namely: argent, three
battering-rams fesswise in pale proper, headed and garnished azure." The
supporters shown are: "Dexter, a griffin sable, armed, winged, and membered
or (from the Cholmondeley achievement); sinister, a friar vested in russet
with staff and rosary or" (one of the supporters belonging to the Barony of
Willoughby D'Eresby, to which the Marchioness of Cholmondeley in her own
right was a coheir until the abeyance in the Barony was determined in
favour of her elder sister).

"In later times the arms of sovereigns--the German Electors, &c.--were
mantled, usually with crimson velvet fringed with gold, lined with ermine,
and crowned; but the mantling armoyé was one of the marks of dignity used
by the Pairs de France, and by Cardinals resident in France; it was also
employed by some great nobles in other countries. The mantling of the
Princes and Dukes of Mirandola was chequy argent and azure, lined with
ermine. In France the mantling of the Chancelier was of cloth of gold; that
of Présidents, of scarlet, lined with alternate strips of ermine and _petit
gris_. In France, Napoleon I., who used a mantling of purple semé of golden
bees, decreed that the princes and grand dignitaries should use an azure
mantling thus semé; those of Dukes were to be plain, and lined with vair
instead of ermine. In 1817 a mantling of azure, fringed with gold and lined
with ermine, was appropriated to the dignity of Pair de France."

The pavilion is a feature of heraldic art which is quite unknown to British
heraldry, and one can call to mind no single instance of its use in this
country; but as its use is very prominent in Germany and other countries,
it cannot be overlooked. It is confined to the arms of sovereigns, and the
pavilion is the tent-like erection within which the heraldic achievement is
displayed. The pavilion seems to have originated in France, where it can be
traced back upon the Great Seals of the kings to its earliest form and
appearance upon the seal of Louis XI. In the case of the Kings of France,
it was of azure semé-de-lis or. The pavilion used with the arms of the
German Emperor is of gold semé alternately of Imperial crowns and eagles
displayed sable, and is lined with ermine. The motto is carried on a
crimson band, and it is surmounted by the Imperial crown, and a banner of
the German colours gules, argent, and sable. The pavilion used by the
German Emperor as King of Prussia is of crimson, semé of black eagles and
gold crowns, and the band which carries the motto is blue. The pavilions of
the King of Bavaria and the Duke of Baden, the King of Saxony, the Duke of
Hesse, the Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, the Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach,
the Duke of {401} SaxeMeiningen-Hildburghausen, the Duke of Saxe-Altenburg,
and the Duke of Anhalt are all of crimson.

In German heraldry a rather more noticeable distinction is drawn than with
ourselves between the lambrequin (_Helmdecke_) and the mantle
(_Helmmantel_). This more closely approximates to the robe of estate,
though the _helmmantel_ has not in Germany the rigid significance of
peerage degree that the robe of estate has in this country. The German
_helmmantel_ with few exceptions is always of purple lined with ermine, and
whilst the mantel always falls directly from the coronet or cap, the
pavilion is arranged in a dome-like form which bears the crown upon its
summit. The pavilion is supposed to be the invention of the Frenchman
Philip Moreau (1680), and found its way from France to Germany, where both
in the Greater and Lesser Courts it was enthusiastically adopted. Great
Britain, Austria-Hungary, Spain, Portugal, and Würtemberg are the only
Royal Arms in which the pavilion does not figure. {402}



The actual helmet, from the very _earliest_ heraldic representations which
have come down to us, would sometimes appear not to have had any mantling,
the crest being affixed direct to the (then) flat top of the helmet in use.
But occasional crests appear very early in the existence of "ordered"
armory, and at much about the same time we find the "textile" covering of
the helmet coming into heraldic use. In the earliest times we find that
frequently the crest itself was continued into the mantling. But where this
was not possible, the attaching of the crest to the helmet when the
mantling intervened left an unsightly joining. The unsightliness very soon
called forth a remedy. At first this remedy took the form of a coronet or a
plain fillet or ribbon round the point of juncture, sometimes with and
sometimes without the ends being visible. If the ends were shown they were
represented as floating behind, sometimes with and sometimes without a
representation of the bow or knot in which they were tied. The plain fillet
still continued to be used long after the torse had come into recognised
use. The consideration of crest coronets has been already included, but
with regard to the wreath an analysis of the Plantagenet Garter plates will
afford some definite basis from which to start deduction.

Of the eighty-six achievements reproduced in Mr. St. John Hope's book, five
have no crest. Consequently we have eighty-one examples to analyse. Of
these there are ten in which the crest is not attached to the lambrequin
and helmet by anything perceptible, eight are attached with fillets of
varying widths, twenty-one crests are upon chapeaux, and twenty-nine issue
from coronets. But at no period governed by the series is it possible that
either fillet, torse, chapeau, or coronet was in use to the exclusion of
another form. This remark applies more particularly to the fillet and torse
(the latter of which undoubtedly at a later date superseded the former),
for both at the beginning and at the end of the series referred to we find
the fillet and the wreath or torse, and at both periods we find crests
without either coronet, torse, chapeau, or fillet. The fillet must soon
afterwards (in the fifteenth century) have completely fallen into
desuetude. {403} The torse was so small and unimportant a matter that upon
seals it would probably equally escape the attention of the engraver and
the observer, and probably there would be little to be gained by a
systematic hunt through early seals to discover the date of its
introduction, but it will be noticed that no wreaths appear in some of the
early Rolls. General Leigh says, "In the time of Henry the Fifth, and long
after, no man had his badge set on a wreath under the degree of a knight.
But that order is worn away." It probably belongs to the end of the
fourteenth century. There can be little doubt that its twisted shape was an
evolution from the plain fillet suggested by the turban of the East. We
read in the old romances, in Mallory's "Morte d'Arthur" and elsewhere, of
valiant knights who in battle or tournament wore the favour of some lady,
or even the lady's sleeve, upon their helmets. It always used to be a
puzzle to me how the sleeve could have been worn upon the helmet, and I
wonder how many of the present-day novelists, who so glibly make their
knightly heroes of olden time wear the "favours" of their lady-lovers, know
how it was done? The favour did not take the place of the crest. A knight
did not lightly discard an honoured, inherited, and known crest for the
sake of wearing a favour only too frequently the mere result of a temporary
flirtation; nor to wear her colours could he at short notice discard or
renew his lambrequin, surcoat, or the housings and trappings of his horse.
He simply took the favour--the colours, a ribbon, or a handkerchief of the
lady, as the case might be--and twisted it in and out or over and over the
fillet which surrounded the joining-place of crest and helmet. To put her
favour on his helmet was the work of a moment. The wearing of a lady's
sleeve, which must have been an honour greatly prized, is of course the
origin of the well-known "maunch," the solitary charge in the arms of
Conyers, Hastings, and Wharton. Doubtless the sleeve twined with the fillet
would be made to encircle the base of the crest, and it is not unlikely
that the wide hanging mouth of the sleeve might have been used for the
lambrequin. The dresses of ladies at that period were decorated with the
arms of their families, so in each case would be of the "colours" of the
lady, so that the sleeve and its colours would be quickly identified, as it
was no doubt usually intended they should be. The accidental result of
twining a favour in the fillet, in conjunction with the pattern obviously
suggested by the turban of the East, produced the conventional torse or
wreath. As the conventional slashings of the lambrequin hinted at past hard
fighting in battle, so did the conventional torse hint at past service to
and favour of ladies, love and war being the occupations of the perfect
knight of romance. How far short of the ideal knight of {404} romance the
knight of fact fell, perhaps the frequent bordures and batons of heraldry
are the best indication. At first, as is evident from the Garter plates,
the colours of the torse seem to have had little or no compulsory relation
to the "livery colours" of the arms. The instances to be gleaned from the
Plantagenet Garter plates which have been reproduced are as follows:--

Sir John Bourchier, Lord Bourchier. Torse: sable and vert. Arms: argent and

Sir John Grey, Earl of Tankerville. Torse: vert, gules, and argent. Arms:
gules and argent.

Sir Lewis Robsart, Lord Bourchier. Torse: azure, or, and sable. Arms: vert
and or. [The crest, derived from his wife (who was a daughter of Lord
Bourchier) is practically the same as the one first quoted. It will be
noticed that the torse differs.]

Sir Edward Cherleton, Lord Cherleton of Powis. Torse: gules and sable.
Arms: or and gules.

Sir Gaston de Foix, Count de Longueville. Torse: or and gules. Arms: or and

Sir William Nevill, Lord Fauconberg. Torse: argent and gules. Arms: gules
and argent.

Sir Richard Wydville, Lord Rivers. Torse: vert. Arms: argent and gules.

Sir Henry Bourchier, Earl of Essex. Torse: sable and vert. Arms: argent and
gules. [This is the same crest above alluded to.]

Sir Thomas Stanley, Lord Stanley. Torse: or and azure. Arms: or and azure.

Sir John Bourchier, Lord Berners. Torse: gules and argent. Arms: argent and
gules. [This is the same crest above alluded to.]

Sir Walter Devereux, Lord Ferrers. Torse: argent and sable. Arms: argent
and gules. [The crest really issues from a coronet upon a torse in a
previous case, this crest issues from a torse only.]

Sir Francis Lovel, Viscount Lovel. Torse: azure and or. Arms: or and gules.

Sir Thomas Burgh, Lord Burgh. Torse: azure and sable. Arms: azure and

Sir Richard Tunstall, K.G. Torse: argent and sable. Arms: sable and argent.

I can suggest no explanation of these differences unless it be, which is
not unlikely, that they perpetuate "favours" worn; or perhaps a more likely
supposition is that the wreath or torse was of the "family colours," as
these were actually worn by the servants or retainers of each person. If
this be not the case, why are the colours of the wreath termed the livery
colours? At the present time in an English or Irish {405} grant of arms the
colours are not specified, but the crest is stated to be "on a wreath of
the colours." In Scotland, however, the crest is granted in the following
words: "and upon a wreath of his liveries is set for crest." Consequently,
I have very little doubt, the true state of the case is that originally the
wreath was depicted of the colours of the livery which was worn. Then new
families came into prominence and eminence, and had no liveries to inherit.
They were granted arms and chose the tinctures of their arms as their
"colours," and used these colours for their personal liveries. The natural
consequence would be in such a case that the torse, being in unison with
the livery, was also in unison with the arms. The consequence is that it
has become a fixed, unalterable rule in British heraldry that the torse
shall be of the principal metal and of the principal colour of the arms. I
know of no recent exception to this rule, the latest, as far as I am aware,
being a grant in the early years of the eighteenth century. This, it is
stated in the patent, was the regranting of a coat of foreign origin.
Doubtless the formality of a grant was substituted for the usual
registration in this case, owing to a lack of formal proof of a right to
the arms, but there is no doubt that the peculiarities of the foreign arms,
as they had been previously borne, were preserved in the grant. The
peculiarity in this case consisted of a torse of three tinctures. The late
Lyon Clerk once pointed out to me, in Lyon Register, an instance of a coat
there matriculated with a torse of three colours, but I unfortunately made
no note of it at the time. Woodward alludes to the curious chequy wreath on
the seals of Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany, in 1389. This appears to have
been repeated in the seals of his son Murdoch.

The wreath of Patrick Hepburn appears to be of roses in the Gelre
"Armorial," and a careful examination of the plates in this volume will
show many curious Continental instances of substitutes for the conventional
torse. Though by no means peculiar to British heraldry, there can be no
manner of doubt that the wreath in the United Kingdom has obtained a
position of legalised necessity and constant usage and importance which
exists in no other country.

As has been already explained, the torse should fit closely to the crest,
its object and purpose being merely to hide the joining of crest and
helmet. Unfortunately in British heraldry this purpose has been ignored.
Doubtless resulting first from the common practice of depicting a crest
upon a wreath and without a helmet, and secondly from the fact that many
English crests are quite unsuitable to place on a helmet, in fact
impossible to affix by the aid of a wreath to a helmet, and thirdly from
our ridiculous rules of position for a helmet, which result in the crest
being depicted (in conjunction with the {406} representation of the helmet)
in a position many such crests never could have occupied on any helmet, the
effect has been to cause the wreath to lose its real form, which encircled
the _helmet_, and to become considered as no more than a straight support
for and relating only to the crest. When, therefore, the crest and its
supporting basis is transferred from indefinite space to the helmet, the
support, which is the torse, is still represented as a flat resting-place
for the crest, and it is consequently depicted as a straight and rigid bar,
balanced upon the apex of the helmet. This is now and for long has been the
only accepted official way of depicting a wreath in England. Certainly this
is an ungraceful and inartistic rendering, and a rendering far removed from
any actual helmet wreath that can ever have been actually borne. Whilst one
has no wish to defend the "rigid bar," which has nothing to recommend it,
it is at the same time worth while to point out that the heraldic day of
actual helmets and actual usage is long since over, never to be revived,
and that our heraldry of to-day is merely decorative and pictorial. The
rigid bar is none other than a conventionalised form of the actual torse,
and is perhaps little more at variance with the reality than is our
conventionalised method of depicting a lambrequin. Whilst this conventional
torse remains the official pattern, it is hopeless to attempt to banish
such a method of representation: but Lyon King of Arms, happily, will have
none of it in his official register or on his patents, and few heraldic
artists of any repute now care to so design or represent it. As always
officially painted it must consist of six links alternately of metal and
colour (the "livery colours" of the arms), of which the metal must be the
first to be shown to the dexter side. The torse is now supposed to be and
represented as a skein of coloured silk intertwined with a gold or silver
cord. {407}



In this country a somewhat fictitious importance has become attached to
supporters, owing to their almost exclusive reservation to the highest
rank. The rules which hold at the moment will be recited presently, but
there can be no doubt that originally they were in this country little more
than mere decorative and artistic appendages, being devised and altered
from time to time by different artists according as the artistic
necessities of the moment demanded. The subject of the origin of supporters
has been very ably dealt with in "A Treatise on Heraldry" by Woodward and
Burnett, and with all due acknowledgment I take from that work the
subjoined extract:--

"Supporters are figures of living creatures placed at the side or sides of
an armorial shield, and appearing to support it. French writers make a
distinction, giving the name of _Supports_ to animals, real or imaginary,
thus employed; while human figures or angels similarly used are called
_Tenants_. Trees, and other inanimate objects which are sometimes used, are
called _Soutiens_.

"Menêtrier and other old writers trace the origin of supporters to the
usages of the tournaments, where the shields of the combatants were exposed
for inspection, and guarded by their servants or pages disguised in
fanciful attire: 'C'est des Tournois qu'est venu cet usage parce que les
chevaliers y faisoient porter leurs lances, et leurs écus, par des pages,
et des valets de pied, deguisez en ours, en lions, en mores, et en
sauvages' (_Usage des Armoiries_, p. 119).

"The old romances give us evidence that this custom prevailed; but I think
only after the use of supporters had already arisen from another source.

"There is really little doubt now that Anstis was quite correct when, in
his _Aspilogia_, he attributed the origin of supporters to the invention of
the engraver, who filled up the spaces at the top and sides of the
triangular shield upon a circular seal with foliage, or with fanciful
animals. Any good collection of mediæval seals will strengthen this
conviction. For instance, the two volumes of Laing's 'Scottish Seals'
afford numerous examples in which the shields used in the thirteenth and
fourteenth centuries were placed between two creatures {408} resembling
lizards or dragons. (See the seal of ALEXANDER DE BALLIOL, 1295.--LAING,
ii. 74.)

       *       *       *       *       *

"The seal of John, Duke of Normandy, eldest son of the King of FRANCE,
before 1316 bears his arms (FRANCE-ANCIENT, _a bordure gules_) between two
lions rampant away from the shield, and an eagle with expanded wings
standing above it. The _secretum_ of Isabelle de FLANDRES (_c._ 1308) has
her shield placed between three lions, each charged with a bend (Vrée,
_Gen. Com. Flanr._, Plates XLIII., XLIV., XCII.). In 1332 AYMON OF SAVOY
places his arms (SAVOY, _with a label_) between a winged lion in chief and
a lion without wings at either side. Later, on the seal of AMADEUS VI., a
lion's head between wings became the crest of SAVOY. In 1332 AMADEUS bears
SAVOY on a lozenge between in chief two eagles, in base two lions.
(CIBRARIO, Nos. 61, 64; and GUICHENON, tome i. No. 130.) In Scotland the
shield of REGINALD CRAWFORD in 1292 is placed between two dogs, and
surmounted by a fox; in the same year the paly shield of REGINALD, Earl of
ATHOLE, appears between two lions in chief and as many griffins in
flanks.--LAING, i. 210, 761.

"The seal of HUMBERT II., Dauphin de Viennois in 1349, is an excellent
example of the fashion. The shield of DAUPHINY is in the centre of a
quatrefoil. Two savages mounted on griffins support its flanks; on the
upper edge an armed knight sits on a couchant lion, and the space in base
is filled by a human face between two wingless dragons. The spaces are
sometimes filled with the Evangelistic symbols, as on the seal of YOLANTE
DE FLANDRES, Countess of Bar (_c._ 1340). The seal of JEANNE, Dame de
PLASNES, in 1376 bears her arms _en bannière_ a quatrefoil supported by two
kneeling angels, a demi-angel in chief, and a lion couchant guardant in

Corporate and other seals afford countless examples of the interstices in
the design being filled with the figures similar to those from which in
later days the supporters of a family have been deduced. But I am myself
convinced that the argument can be carried further. Fanciful ornamentation
or meaningless devices may have first been made use of by seal engravers,
but it is very soon found that the badge is in regular use for this
purpose, and we find both animate and inanimate badges employed. Then where
this is possible the badge, if animate, is made to support the helmet and
crest, and, later on, the shield, and there can be no doubt the badge was
in fact acting as a supporter long before the science of armory recognised
that existence of supporters.

Before passing to supporters proper, it may be well to briefly allude to
various figures which are to be found in a position analogous to that of
supporters. The single human figure entire, or in the form {409} of a
demi-figure appearing above the shield, is very frequently to be met with,
but the addition of such figures _was and remains purely artistic_, and I
know of no single instance in British armory where one figure, animate or
inanimate, has ever existed alone in the character of a single supporter,
and as an integral part of the heritable armorial achievement. Of course I
except those figures upon which the arms of certain families are properly
displayed. These will be presently alluded to, but though they are
certainly exterior ornaments, I do not think they can be properly classed
as supporters unless to this term is given some elasticity, or unless the
term has some qualifying remarks of reservation added to it. There are,
however, many instances of armorial ensigns depicted, and presumably
correctly, in the form of banners supported by a single animal, but it will
always be found that the single animal is but one of the pair of duly
allocated supporters. Many instances of arms depicted in this manner will
be found in "Prince Arthur's Book." The same method of display was adopted
in some number of cases, and with some measure of success, in Foster's
"Peerage." Single figures are very frequently to be met with in German and
Continental heraldry, but on these occasions, as with ourselves, the
position they occupy is merely that of an artistic accessory, and bears no
inseparable relation to the heraldic achievement. The single exception to
the foregoing statement of which I am aware is to be found in the arms of
the Swiss Cantons. These thirteen coats are sometimes quartered upon one
shield, but when displayed separately each is accompanied by a single
supporter. Zurich, Lucerne, Uri, Unter-Walden, Glarus, and Basle all bear
the supporter on the dexter side; Bern, Schweig, Zug, Freiburg, and
Soluthurn on the sinister. Schafhausen (a ram) and Appenzell (a bear) place
their supporters in full aspect behind the shield.

On the corbels of Gothic architecture, shields of arms are frequently
supported by _Angels_, which, however, cannot generally be regarded as
heraldic appendages--being merely supposed to indicate that the owners have
contributed to the erection of the fabric. Examples of this practice will
be found on various ecclesiastical edifices in Scotland, and among others
at Melrose Abbey, St. Giles', Edinburgh, and the church of Seton in East
Lothian. An interesting instance of an angel supporting a shield occurs on
the beautiful seal of Mary of Gueldres, Queen of James II. (1459); and the
Privy Seal of David II., a hundred years earlier, exhibits a pretty design
of an escutcheon charged with the ensigns of Scotland, and borne by two
arms issuing from clouds above, indicative of Divine support.[24] {410}

Of instances of single objects from which shields are found depending or
supported the "Treatise on Heraldry" states:--

"Allusion has been made to the usage by which on vesica-shaped shields
ladies of high rank are represented as supporting with either hand shields
of arms. From this probably arose the use of a single supporter. MARGUERITE
DE COURCELLES in 1284, and ALIX DE VERDUN in 1311, bear in one hand a
shield of the husband's arms, in the other one of their own. The curious
seal of MURIEL, Countess of STRATHERNE, in 1284, may be considered akin to
these. In it the shield is supported partly by a falcon, and partly by a
human arm issuing from the sinister side of the _vesica_, and holding the
falcon by the jesses (LAING, i. 764). The early seal of BOLESLAS III., King
of POLAND, in 1255, bears a knight holding a shield charged with the Polish
eagle (VOSSBERG, _Die Siegel des Mittelalters_). In 1283 the seal of
FLORENT of HAINAULT bears a warrior in chain mail supporting a shield
charged with a lion impaling an eagle dimidiated.

       *       *       *       *       *

"On the seal of HUMPHREY DE BOHUN in 1322 the _guige_ is held by a swan,
the badge of the Earls of HEREFORD; and in 1356 the shield of the first
Earl of DOUGLAS is supported by a lion whose head is covered by the crested
helm, a fashion of which there are many examples. A helmed lion holds the
shield of MAGNUS I., Duke of BRUNSWICK, in 1326.

       *       *       *       *       *

"On the seal of JEAN, Duc de BERRI, in 1393 the supporter is a helmed swan
(compare the armorial slab of HENRY of LANCASTER, in BOUTELL, Plate
LXXIX.). Jean IV., Comte d'ALENÇON (1408), has a helmed lion sejant as
supporter. In 1359 a signet of LOUIS VAN MALE, Count of FLANDERS, bears a
lion sejant, helmed and crested, and mantled with the arms of FLANDERS
between two small escutcheons of NEVERS, or the county of Burgundy ["Azure,
billetty, a lion rampant or"], and RETHEL ["Gules, two heads of rakes
fesswise in pale or"].

       *       *       *       *       *

"A single lion sejant, helmed and crested, bearing on its breast the
quartered arms of BURGUNDY between two or three other escutcheons, was used
by the Dukes up to the death of CHARLES THE BOLD in 1475. In LITTA'S
splendid work, _Famiglie celebri Italiane_, the BUONAROTTI arms are
supported by a brown dog sejant, helmed, and crested with a pair of
dragon's wings issuing from a crest-coronet. On the seal of THOMAS HOLLAND,
Earl of KENT, in 1380 the shield is buckled round the neck of the white
hind lodged, the badge of his half-brother, RICHARD II. Single supporters
were very much in favour in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, and
the examples are numerous. {411} CHARLES, Dauphin de VIENNOIS (_c._ 1355),
has his shield held by a single dolphin. In 1294 the seal of the Dauphin
JEAN, son of HUMBERT I., bears the arms of DAUPHINÉ pendent from the neck
of a griffon. The shields of arms of BERTRAND DE BRICQUEBEC, in 1325;
PIERRE DE TOURNEBU, in 1339; of CHARLES, Count of ALENÇON, in 1356; and of
OLIVER DE CLISSON in 1397, are supported by a warrior who stands behind the
shield. In England the seal of HENRY PERCY, first Earl, in 1346, and
another in 1345, have similar representations.

"On several of our more ancient seals only one supporter is represented,
and probably the earliest example of this arrangement occurs on the curious
seal of William, first Earl of Douglas (_c._ 1356), where the shield is
supported from behind by a lion 'sejant,' _with his head in the helmet_,
which is surmounted by the crest.

"On the seal of Archibald, fourth Earl of Douglas (_c._ 1418), the shield
is held, along with a club, in the right hand of a savage _erect_, who
bears a helmet in his left; while on that of William, eighth Earl (1446), a
_kneeling_ savage holds a club in his right hand, and supports a couché
shield on his left arm."

[Illustration: FIG. 666.--Arms of Sigmund Hagelshaimer.]

An example reproduced from Jost Amman's _Wappen und Stammbuch_, published
at Frankfurt, 1589, will be found in Fig. 666. In this the figure partakes
more of the character of a shield guardian than a shield supporter. The
arms are those of "Sigmund Hagelshaimer," otherwise "Helt," living at
Nürnberg. The arms are "Sable, on a bend argent, an arrow gules." The crest
is the head and neck of a hound sable, continued into a mantling sable,
lined argent. The crest is charged with a pale argent, and thereupon an
arrow as in the arms, the arrow-head piercing the ear of the hound.

Seated figures as supporters are rare, but one occurs in Fig. 667, which
shows the arms of the Vöhlin family. They bear: "Argent, on a fesse sable,
three 'P's' argent." The wings which form the crest are charged with the
same device. This curious charge of the three letters is explained in the
following saying:--

 "Piper Peperit Pecuniam,
  Pecunia Peperit Pompam,
  Pompa Peperit Pauperiem,
  Pauperies Peperit Pietatem."


There are, however, certain exceptions to the British rule that there can
be no single supporters, if the objects upon which shields of arms are
displayed are accepted as supporters. It was always customary to display
the arms of the Lord High Admiral on the sail of the ship. In the person of
King William IV., before he succeeded to the throne, the office of Lord
High Admiral was vested for a short time, but it had really fallen into
desuetude at an earlier date and has not been revived again, so that to all
intents and purposes it is now extinct, and this recognised method of
depicting arms is consequently also extinct. But there is one other case
which forms a unique instance which can be classified with no others. The
arms of Campbell of Craignish are always represented in a curious manner,
the gyronny coat of Campbell appearing on a shield displayed in front of a
lymphad (Plate II.). What the origin of this practice is it would be
difficult to say; probably it merely originated in the imaginative ideas of
an artist when making a seal for that family, artistic reasons suggesting
the display of the gyronny arms of Campbell in front of the lymphad of
Lorne. The family, however, seem to have universally adopted this method of
using their arms, and in the year 1875, when Campbell of Inverneil
matriculated in Lyon Register, the arms were matriculated in that form. I
know of no other instance of any such coat of arms, and this branch of the
Ducal House of Campbell possesses armorial bearings which, from the
official standpoint, are absolutely unique from one end of Europe to the

In Germany the use of arms depicted in front of the eagle displayed, either
single-headed or double-headed, is very far from being unusual. Whatever
may have been its meaning originally in that country, there is no doubt
that now and for some centuries past it has been accepted as meaning, or as
indicative of, princely rank or other honours of the Holy Roman Empire. But
I do not think it can always have had that meaning. About the same date the
Earl of Menteith placed his shield on the breast of an eagle, as did
Alexander, Earl of Ross, in 1338; and in 1394 we find the same
ornamentation in the seal of Euphemia, Countess of Ross. The shield of Ross
is borne in her case on the breast of an eagle, while the arms of Leslie
and Comyn appear on its displayed wings. On several other Scottish seals of
the same era, the shield is placed on the breast of a displayed eagle, as
on those of Alexander Abernethy and Alexander Cumin of Buchan (1292), and
Sir David Lindsay, Lord of Crawford. English heraldry supplies several
similar examples, of which we may mention the armorial insignia of Richard,
Earl of Cornwall, brother of Henry III., and of the ancient family of
Latham, in the fourteenth century. A curious instance of a shield placed on
the breast of a _hawk_ is noticed by Hone in his "Table {413} Book," viz.
the arms of the Lord of the Manor of Stoke-Lyne, in the county of Oxford.
It appears therefrom that when Charles I. held his Parliament at Oxford,
the offer of knighthood was gratefully declined by the then Lord of
Stoke-Lyne, who merely requested, and obtained, the Royal permission to
place the arms of his family upon the breast of a hawk, which has ever
since been employed in the capacity of single supporter. What authority
exists for this statement it is impossible to ascertain, and one must doubt
its accuracy, because in England at any rate no arms, allocated to any
particular _territorial estate_, have ever received official recognition.

[Illustration: FIG. 667.--Arms of Vöhlin of Augsberg.]

In later years, as indicative of rank in the Holy Roman Empire, the eagle
has been rightly borne by the first Duke of Marlborough and by Henrietta
his daughter, Duchess of Marlborough, but the use of the eagle by the later
Dukes of Marlborough would appear to be entirely without authority,
inasmuch as the princedom, created in the person of the first duke, became
extinct on his death. His daughters, though entitled of right to the
courtesy rank of princess and its accompanying privilege of the right to
use the eagle displayed behind their arms, could not transmit it to their
descendants upon whom the title of Duke of Marlborough was specially
entailed by English Act of Parliament.

The Earl of Denbigh and several members of the Fielding family have often
made use of it with their arms, in token of their supposed descent from the
Counts of Hapsburg, which, if correct, would apparently confer the right
upon them. This descent, however, has been much questioned, and in late
years the claim thereto would seem to have been practically dropped. The
late Earl Cowper, the last remaining Prince of the Holy Roman Empire in the
British Peerage, was entitled to use the double eagle behind his shield,
being the descendant and representative of George Nassau Clavering Cowper,
third Earl Cowper, created a Prince of the Holy Roman Empire by the Emperor
Joseph II., the patent being dated at Vienna, 31st January 1778, and this
being followed by a Royal Licence from King George III. to accept and bear
the title in this country.

There are some others who have the right by reason of honours of lesser
rank of the Holy Roman Empire, and amongst these may be mentioned Lord
Methuen, who bears the eagle by Royal Warrant dated 4th April 1775. Sir
Thomas Arundel, who served in the Imperial army of Hungary, having in an
engagement with the Turks near Strignum taken their standard with his own
hands, was by Rodolph II. created Count of the Empire to hold for him and
the heirs of his body for ever, dated at Prague 14th December 1595. This
patent, of course, means that every one of his descendants in the male
{414} line has the rank of a Count of the Empire, and that every daughter
of any such male descendant is a Countess, but this does not confer the
rank of count or countess upon descendants of the daughters. It was this
particular patent of creation that called forth the remark from Queen
Elizabeth that she would not have her sheep branded by any foreign
shepherd, and we believe that this patent was the origin of the rule
translated in later times (_temp._ George IV.) into a definite Royal
Warrant, requiring that no English subject shall, without the express Royal
Licence of the Sovereign conveyed in writing, accept or wear any foreign
title or decoration. No Royal Licence was subsequently obtained by the
Arundel family, who therefore, according to British law, are denied the use
of the privileged Imperial eagle. Outside those cases in which the double
eagle is used in this country to denote rank of the Holy Roman Empire, the
usage of the eagle displayed behind the arms or any analogous figure is in
British heraldry most limited.

One solitary authoritative instance of the use of the displayed eagle is
found in the coat of arms of the city of Perth. These arms are recorded in
Lyon Register, having been matriculated for that Royal Burgh about the year
1672. The official blazon of the arms is as follows: "Gules ane holy lambe
passant regardant staff and cross argent, with the banner of St. Andrew
proper, all within a double tressure counter-flowered of the second, the
escutcheon being surmounted on the breast of ane eagle with two necks
displayed or. The motto in ane Escroll, 'Pro Rege Lege et Grege.'"

Another instance of usage, though purely devoid of authority, occurs in the
case of a coat of arms set up on one of the panels in the Hall of Lincoln's
Inn. In this case the achievement is displayed on the breast of a
single-headed eagle. What reason led to its usage in this manner I am quite
unaware, and I have not the slightest reason for supposing it to be
authentic. The family of Stuart-Menteith also place their arms upon a
single-headed eagle displayed gules, as was formerly to be seen in
Debrett's Peerage, but though arms are matriculated to them in Lyon
Register, this particular adornment forms no part thereof, and it has now
disappeared from the printed Peerage books. The family of Britton have,
however, recently recorded as a badge a double-headed eagle displayed
ermine, holding in its claws an escutcheon of their arms (Plate VIII.).

Occasionally batons or wands or other insignia of office are to be found in
conjunction with armorial bearings, but these will be more fully dealt with
under the heading of Insignia of Office. Before dealing with the usual
supporters, one perhaps may briefly allude to "inanimate" supporters. {415}

Probably the most curious instance of all will be found in the achievement
of the Earls of Errol as it appears in the MS. of Sir David Lindsay. In
this two ox-yokes take the place of the supporters. The curious tradition
which has been attached to the Hay arms is quoted as follows by Sir James
Balfour Paul, Lyon King of Arms, in his "Heraldry in relation to Scottish
History and Art," who writes: "Take the case of the well-known coat of the
Hays, and hear the description of its origin as given by Nisbet: 'In the
reign of Kenneth III., about the year 980, when the Danes invaded Scotland,
and prevailing in the battle of Luncarty, a country Scotsman with his two
sons, of great strength and courage, having rural weapons, as the yokes of
their plough, and such plough furniture, stopped the Scots in their flight
in a certain defile, and upbraiding them with cowardice, obliged them to
rally, who with them renewed the battle, and gave a total overthrow to the
victorious Danes; and it is said by some, after the victory was obtained,
the old man lying on the ground, wounded and fatigued, cried, "Hay, Hay,"
which word became a surname to his posterity. He and his sons being
nobilitate, the King gave him the aforesaid arms (argent, three escutcheons
gules) to intimate that the father and the two sons had been luckily the
three shields of Scotland, and gave them as much land in the Carse of
Gowrie as a falcon did fly over without lighting, which having flown a
great way, she lighted on a stone there called the Falcon Stone to this
day. The circumstances of which story is not only perpetuated by the three
escutcheons, but by the exterior ornaments of the achievement of the family
of Errol; having for crest, on a wreath, a falcon proper; for supporters
two men in country habits, holding the oxen-yokes of a plough over their
shoulders; and for motto, "Serva jugum."'

"Unfortunately for the truth of this picturesque tale there are several
reasons which render it utterly incredible, not the least being that at the
period of the supposed battle armorial bearings were quite unknown, and
could not have formed the subject of a royal gift. Hill Burton, indeed,
strongly doubts the occurrence of the battle itself, and says that Hector
Boece, who relates the occurrence, must be under strong suspicion of having
entirely invented it. As for the origin of the name itself, it is, as Mr.
Cosmo Innes points out in his work on 'Scottish Surnames,' derived from a
place in Normandy, and neither it nor any other surname occurred in
Scotland till long after the battle of Luncarty. I have mentioned this
story in some detail, as it is a very typical specimen of its class; but
there are others like unto it, often traceable to the same incorrigible old
liar, Hector Boece."

It is not unlikely that the ox-yoke was a badge of the Hays, Earls of
Errol, and a reference to the variations of the original arms, crest, {416}
and supporters of Hay will show how the changes have been rung on the
shields, falcon, ox-yokes, and countrymen of the legend.

Another instance is to be found in the arms of the Mowbray family as they
were at one time depicted with an ostrich feather on either side of the
shield (Fig. 675, p. 465), and at first one might be inclined to class
these amongst the inanimate supporters. The Garter plate, however, of John
Beaufort, Duke of Somerset, probably supplies the key to the whole matter,
for this shows not only the ostrich feathers but also supporters of the
ordinary character in their usual position. From the last-mentioned
instance, it is evident the ostrich feathers can be only representations of
the badge, their character doubtless being peculiarly adaptable to the
curious position they occupy. They are of course the same in the case of
the Mowbray arms, and doubtless the ox-yoke of the Earl of Errol is
similarly no more than a badge.

A most curious instance of supporters is to be found in the case of the
arms of Viscount Montgomery. This occurs in a record of them in Ulster's
Office, where the arms appear without the usual kind of supporters, but
represented with an arm in armour, on either side issuing from clouds in
base, the hands supporting the shield.

When supporters are inanimate objects, the escutcheon is said to be
cottised--a term derived from the French word _côté_ (a side)--in
contradistinction to supported. An old Scottish term for supporters was

Amongst other cases where the shield is cottised by inanimate objects may
be mentioned the following. The Breton family of "Bastard" depict their
shield cottised by two swords, with the points in base. The Marquises
Alberti similarly use two lighted flambeaux, and the Dalzells (of Binns)
the extraordinary device of a pair of tent-poles. Whether this last has
been officially sanctioned I am unaware. The "Pillars of Hercules" used by
Charles V. are, perhaps, the best known of this group of supporters. In
many cases (notably foreign) the supporters appear to have gradually
receded to the back of the shield, as in the case of the Comte d'Erps,
Chancellor of Brabant, where two maces (or) are represented saltirewise
_behind_ the shield. Generally, however, this variation is found in
conjunction with purely official or corporate achievements.

A curious example of inanimate supporters occurs on the English seal of
William, Lord Botreaux (1426), where, on each side of a couché shield
exhibiting a griffin "segreant" and surmounted by a helmet and crest, a
buttress is quaintly introduced, in evident allusion to the owner's name. A
somewhat similar arrangement appears on the Scottish seal of William
Ruthven (1396), where a tree growing from a mount is placed on each side of
the escutcheon. Another instance is to be {417} found in the seal of John
de Segrave, where a garb is placed on either side of the shield. Perhaps
mention should here be made of the arms (granted in 1826) of the National
Bank of Scotland, the shield of which is "surrounded with two thistles
proper disposed in orle."

Heraldic supporters as such, or badges occupying the position and answering
the purpose of supporters, and not merely as artistic accessories, in
England date from the early part of the fourteenth century. Very restricted
in use at first, they later rapidly became popular, and there were few
peers who did not display them upon their seals. For some reason, however,
very few indeed appear on the early Garter plates. It is a striking fact
that by far the larger number of the ancient standards display as the chief
device not the arms but one of the supporters, and I am inclined to think
that in this fact we have further confirmation of my belief that the origin
of supporters is found in the badge.

Even after the use of two supporters had become general, a third figure is
often found placed behind the shield, and forms a connecting link with the
old practice of filling the void spaces on seals, to which we have already
referred. On the seal of WILLIAM STERLING, in 1292, two lions rampant
support the shield in front of a tree. The shield on the seal of OLIVER
ROUILLON, in 1376, is supported by an angel, and by two demi-lions
couchant-guardant in base. That of PIERRE AVOIR, in 1378, is held by a
demi-eagle above the shield, and by two mermaids. On many ancient seals the
supporters are disposed so that they hold the crested helm above a couché

The counter-seals of RUDOLF IV., Archduke of AUSTRIA, in 1359 and 1362,
afford instances in which a second set of supporters is used to hold up the
crested helm. The shield of AUSTRIA is supported by two lions, on whose
volets are the arms of HAPSBURG and PFIRT; the crested helm (coroneted, and
having a panache of ostrich feathers) is also held by two lions, whose
volets are charged with the arms of STIRIA, and of CARINTHIA (HUEBER,
_Austria Illustrata,_ tab. xviii.).

In 1372 the seal of EDMUND MORTIMER represents his shield hanging from a
rose-tree, and supported by two lions couchant (of MARCH), whose heads are
covered by coroneted helmets with a panache (azure) as crest.

BOUTELL directs attention to the fact that the shield of EDMUND DE ARUNDEL
(1301-1326) is placed between similar helms and panaches, without the
supporting beasts ("Heraldry: Historical and Popular," pp. 271-418).

Crested supporters have sometimes been misunderstood, and quoted as
instances of double supporters--for instance, by LOWER, "Curiosities of
Heraldry," who gives (p. 144) a cut from the {418} achievement of the
French D'ALBRETS as "the most singular supporters, perhaps, in the whole
circle of heraldry." These supporters are two lions couchant (or), each
helmed, and crested with an eagle au vol leve. These eagles certainly
assist in holding the shield, but the lions are its true supporters; nor is
this arrangement by any means unique. The swans which were used as
supporters by JEAN, DUC DE BERRI, in 1386, are each mounted upon a bear.
Two wild men, each _à cheval_ on a lion, support the escutcheons of GERARD
D'HARCHIES (1476) and of NICOLE DE GIRESME (1464). Two lions sejant, helmed
and crested (the crest is a human head with the ears of an ass) were the
supporters of ARNAUD D'ALBREY in 1368.

Scotland, which is the home of curiosities of heraldry, gives us at least
two instances of the use of supporters which must be absolutely
unique--that is, the surcharging of an escutcheon with an inescutcheon, to
the latter of which supporters are attached. The first instance occurs in
the cases of Baronets of Nova Scotia, a clause appearing in all the earlier
patents which ordained "that the Baronets, and their heirs-male, should, as
an _additament of honour_ to their armorial ensigns, bear, either on a
canton or inescutcheon, in their option, the ensign of Nova Scotia, being
_argent_, a cross of St. Andrew _azure_ (the badge of Scotland
counterchanged), charged with an inescutcheon of the Royal Arms of
Scotland, supported on the dexter by the Royal unicorn, and on the sinister
by a savage, or wild man, proper; and for crest, a branch of laurel and a
thistle issuing from two hands conjoined, the one being armed, the other
naked; with the motto, "Munit hæc et altera vincit." The incongruity of
these exterior ornaments within a shield of arms is noticed by Nisbet, who
informs us, however, that they are very soon removed. In the year 1629,
after Nova Scotia was sold to the French, the Baronets of Scotland, and
their heirs-male, were authorised by Charles I. "to wear and carry about
their necks, in all time coming, an orange-tawny silk ribbon, whereon shall
be pendent, in a scutcheon _argent_, a saltire _azure_, thereon an
inescutcheon, of the arms of Scotland, with an Imperial crown above the
scutcheon and encircled with this motto: 'Fax mentis honestæ gloria.'"
According to the same authority, this badge was never much used "about
their necks," but was carried, by way of canton or inescutcheon, on their
armorial bearings, without the motto, and, of course, since then the
superimposed supporters have been dropped.

The same peculiarity of supporters being surcharged upon a shield will be
found, however, in the matriculation (1795) to Cumming-Gordon of Altyre.
These arms are depicted on Plate III. In this the entire achievement (arms,
crest, motto, and supporters) of Gordon of Gordon {419} is placed upon an
inescutcheon superimposed over the arms of Cumming.

In Scotland the arms, and the arms only, constitute the mark of a given
family, and whilst due difference is made in the respective shields, no
attempt is made as regards crest or supporters to impose any distinction
between the figures granted to different families even where no blood
relationship exists. The result is that whilst the same crests and
supporters are duplicated over and over again, they at any rate remain in
Scotland simple, graceful, and truly heraldic, even when judged by the most
rigid mediæval standard. They are, of course, necessarily of no value
whatever for identification. In England the simplicity is relinquished for
the sake of distinction, and it is held that equivalent differentiation
must be made, both in regard to the crests and the supporters, as is made
between the shields of different families. The result as to modern crests
is truly appalling, and with supporters it is almost equally so, for by
their very nature it is impossible to design adequate differences for
crests and supporters, as can readily be done in the charges upon a shield,
without creating monstrosities. With regret one has to admit that the
dangling shields, the diapered chintz-like bodies, and the fasces and other
footstools so frequently provided for modern supporters in England would
seem to be pedantic, unnecessary, and inartistic strivings after a useless

In England the right to bear supporters is confined to those to whom they
have been granted or recorded, but such grant or record is very rigidly
confined to peers, to Knights of the Garter, Thistle, and St. Patrick, and
to Knights Grand Cross, or Knights Grand Commanders (as the case may be) of
other Orders. Before the Order of the Bath was divided into classes,
Knights of the Bath had supporters. As by an unwritten but nowadays
invariably accepted law, the Orders of the Garter, Thistle, and St. Patrick
are confined to members of the peerage, those entitled to claim (upon their
petitioning) a grant of supporters in England are in practice limited to
peers and Knights Grand Cross or Knights Grand Commanders. In the cases of
peers, the grant is always attached to a particular peerage, the
"remainder" in the limitations of the grant being to "those of his
descendants upon whom the peerage may devolve," or some other words to this
effect. In the cases of life peers and Knights Grand Cross the grant has no
hereditary limitation, and the right to the supporters is personal to the
grantee. There is nothing to distinguish the supporters of a peer from
those of a Knight Grand Cross. Baronets of England, Ireland, Great Britain,
and the United Kingdom as such are not entitled to claim grants of
supporters, but there are some number of cases in which, by special favour
of the sovereign, specific Royal Warrants have been {420} issued-either as
marks of favour or as augmentations of honour--conveying the pleasure of
the sovereign to the kings of arms, and directing the latter to grant
supporters--to descend with the baronetcy. Of the cases of this nature the
following may be quoted: Guise (Royal Warrant, dated July 12, 1863),
Prevost (Royal Warrant, October 1816), Guinness, now Lord Ardilaun (Royal
Warrant, dated April 15, 1867), Halford (Royal Warrant, May 19, 1827),
Otway (Royal Warrant, June 10, 1845), and Laking. These, of course, are
exceptional marks of favour from the sovereign, and this favour in at least
two instances has been extended to untitled families. In 1815 Mr. George
Watson-Taylor, an especial intimate of the then Prince Regent, by Royal
Warrant dated September 28, 1815, was granted the following supporters: "On
either side a leopard proper, armed and langued gules, collared and chained
or." A more recent instance, and, with the exception of an Irish case
presently to be referred to, the only other one within the knowledge of the
writer, is the case of the Speke[25] arms. It is recited in the Royal
Warrant, dated July 26, 1867, that Captain John Hanning Speke "was by a
deplorable accident suddenly deprived of his life before he had received
any mark of our Royal favour" in connection with the discovery of the
sources of the Nile. The Warrant goes on to recite the grant to his father,
William Speke, of Jordans, co. Somerset, of the following augmentations to
his original arms (argent, two bars azure) namely: on a chief a
representation of flowing water superinscribed with the word "Nile," and
for a crest of honourable augmentation a "crocodile," also the supporters
following--that is to say, on the dexter side a crocodile, and on the
sinister side a hippopotamus. Some number of English baronets have gone to
the trouble and expense of obtaining grants of supporters in Lyon Office;
for example Sir Christopher Baynes, by grant dated June 10, 1805, obtained
two savages, wreathed about the temples and loins, each holding a club over
the exterior shoulder. It is very doubtful to what extent such grants in
Scotland to domiciled Englishmen can be upheld. Many other baronets have at
one time or another assumed supporters without any official warrant or
authority in consequence of certain action taken by an earlier committee of
the baronetage, but cases of this kind are slowly dropping out of the
Peerage books, and this, {421} combined with the less ostentatious taste of
the present day in the depicting of armorial bearings upon carriages and
elsewhere, is slowly but steadily reducing the use of supporters to those
who possess official authority for their display.

Another fruitful origin of the use of unauthorised supporters at the
present day lies in the fact that grants of supporters personal to the
grantee for his life only have been made to Knights Grand Cross or to life
peers in cases where a hereditary title has been subsequently conferred.
The limitations of the grant of supporters having never been extended, the
grant has naturally expired with the death of the life honour to which the
supporters were attached.

In addition to these cases there is a very limited number of families which
have always claimed supporters by prescriptive right, amongst whom may be
mentioned Tichborne of Tichborne (two lions guardant gules), De Hoghton of
Hoghton (two bulls argent), Scroope of Danby (two choughs), and Stapylton.
Concerning such cases it can only be said that in England no official
sanction has ever been given to such use, and no case exists of any
official recognition of the right of an untitled family to bear supporters
to their arms save those few exceptional cases governed by specific Royal
Warrants. In many cases, notably Scroope, Luttrel, Hilton, and Stapylton,
the supporters have probably originated in their legitimate adoption at an
early period in connection with peerage or other titular distinction, and
have continued inadvertently in use when the titular distinctions to which
they belonged have ceased to exist or have devolved upon other families.
Possibly their use in some cases has been the result of a _claim_ to _de
jure_ honours. The cases where supporters are claimed "by prescriptive
right" are few indeed in England, and need not be further considered.

Whilst the official laws in Ireland are, and have apparently always been,
the same as in England, there is no doubt that the heads of the different
septs assert a claim to the right to use supporters. On this point Sir
Bernard Burke, Ulster King of Arms, wrote: "No registry of supporters to an
Irish chieftain appears in Ulster's Office, in right of his chieftaincy
only, and without the honour of peerage, nor does any authority to bear
them exist." But nevertheless "The O'Donovan" uses, dexter, a lion
guardant, and sinister, a griffin; "The O'Gorman" uses, dexter, a lion, and
sinister, a horse; "The O'Reilly" uses two lions or. "The O'Connor Don,"
however, is in the unique position of bearing supporters by unquestionable
right, inasmuch as the late Queen Victoria, on the occasion of her last
visit to Dublin, issued her Royal Warrant conferring the right upon him.
The supporters granted to him were "two lions rampant gules, each gorged
with an antique crown, and charged on the shoulder with an Irish harp or."

The right to bear supporters in Scotland is on a widely different basis
from that in any other country. As in England and Ireland, peers and
Knights Grand Cross are permitted to obtain grants of these distinctions.
But outside and beyond these there are many other families who bear them by
right. At the official inquiry concerning the Lyon Office, the Lyon-Depute,
Mr. George Tait, put in a Note of Persons whom he considered might lawfully
bear supporters under Scottish Heraldic Law. The following is the text of
the note in question:--

    "NOTE OF PERSONS who are considered by GEORGE TAIT, Esq., Lyon-Depute,
    to be entitled to supporters, furnished to the Commissioners of Inquiry
    by their desire, intimated to him at his examination this day, June 27,

    "1. _Peers._--By immemorial usage, Peers have right to supporters, and
    supporters are commonly inserted in modern patents of Peerage. This
    includes Peeresses in their own right.

    "2. _Ancient Usage._--Those private gentlemen, and the lawful
    heirs-male of their bodies, who can prove immemorial usage of carrying
    supporters, or a usage very ancient, and long prior to the Act 1672,
    are entitled to have their supporters recognised, it being presumed
    that they received them from lawful authority, on account of feats of
    valour in battle or in tournament, or as marks of the Royal favour (see
    _Murray of Touchadam's Case_, June 24, 1778).

    "3. _Barons._--Lawful heirs-male of the bodies of the smaller Barons,
    who had the full right of free barony (not mere freeholders) prior to
    1587, when representation of the minor Barons was fully established,
    upon the ground that those persons were Barons, and sat in Parliament
    as such, and were of the same as the titled Barons. Their right is
    recognised by the writers on heraldry and antiquities. Persons having
    right on this ground, will almost always have established it by ancient
    usage, and the want of usage is a strong presumption against the right.

    "4. _Chiefs._--Lawful heirs-male of Chiefs of tribes or clans which had
    attained power, and extensive territories and numerous members at a
    distant period, or at least of tribes consisting of numerous families
    of some degree of rank and consideration. Such persons will in general
    have right to supporters, either as Barons (great or small) or by
    ancient usage. When any new claim is set up on such a ground, it may be
    viewed with suspicion, and it will be extremely difficult to establish
    it, chiefly from the present state of society, by which the traces of
    clanship, or the patriarchal state, are in most parts of the country
    almost obliterated; and indeed it is very difficult to conceive a case
    {423} in which a new claim of that kind could be admitted. Mr. Tait has
    had some such claims, and has rejected them.

    "5. _Royal Commissions._--Knights of the Garter and Bath, and any
    others to whom the King may think proper to concede the honour of

    "These are the only descriptions of persons who appear to Mr. Tait to
    be entitled to supporters.

    "An idea has gone abroad, that Scots Baronets are entitled to
    supporters; but there is no authority for this in their patents, or any
    good authority for it elsewhere. And for many years subsequent to 1672,
    a very small portion indeed of their arms which are matriculated in the
    Lyon Register, are matriculated with supporters; so small as
    necessarily to lead to this inference, that those whose arms are
    entered with supporters had right to them on other grounds, _e.g._
    ancient usage, chieftainship, or being heirs of Barons. The arms of few
    Scots Baronets are matriculated during the last fifty or sixty years;
    but the practice of assigning supporters gradually gained ground during
    that time, or rather the practice of assigning supporters to them,
    merely as such, seems to have arisen during that period; and it appears
    to Mr. Tait to be an erroneous practice, which he would not be
    warranted in following.

    "British Baronets have also, by recent practice, had supporters
    assigned to them, but Mr. Tait considers the practice to be
    unwarranted; and accordingly, in a recent case, a gentleman, upon being
    created a Baronet, applied for supporters to the King--having applied
    to Mr. Tait, and been informed by him that he did not conceive the Lord
    Lyon entitled to give supporters to British Baronets.

    "No females (except Peeresses in their own right) are entitled to
    supporters, as the representation of families is only in the male line.
    But the widows of Peers, by courtesy, carry their arms and supporters;
    and the sons of Peers, using the lower titles of the peerage by
    courtesy, also carry the supporters by courtesy.

    "Mr. Tait does not know of any authority for the Lord Lyon having a
    discretionary power of granting supporters, and understands that only
    the King has such a power.

    "Humbly submitted by

                                                   (Signed) "G. TAIT."

Though this statement would give a good general idea of the Scottish
practice, its publication entails the addition of certain qualifying
remarks. Supporters are most certainly not "commonly inserted in modern
patents of peerage." Supporters appertaining to peerages are granted by
special and separate patents. These to English subjects {424} are now under
the hand and seal of Garter alone. In the event of a grant following upon
the creation of an Irish peerage, the patent of supporters would be issued
by Ulster King of Arms. But it is competent to Lyon King of Arms to
matriculate the arms of Scottish peers with supporters, or to grant these
to such as may still be without them. Both Lyon and Ulster would appear to
have the right to grant supporters to Peers of the United Kingdom who are
heraldically their domiciled subjects. With regard to the second paragraph
of Mr. Tait's memorandum, there will be few families within its range who
will not be included within the range of the paragraph which follows, and
the presumption would rather be that the use of supporters by an untitled
family originated in the right of barony than in any mythical grant
following upon mythical feats of valour.

Mr. Tait, however, is clearly wrong in his statement that "no females
(except peeresses in their own right) are entitled to supporters." They
have constantly been allowed to the heir of line, and their devolution
through female heirs must of necessity presuppose the right thereto of the
female heir through whom the inheritance is claimed. A recent case in point
occurs with regard to the arms of Hunter-Weston, matriculated in 1880, Mrs.
Hunter-Weston being the heir of line of Hunter of Hunterston. Widows of
peers, providing they have arms of their own to impale with those of their
husbands, cannot be said to only bear the supporters of their deceased
husbands by courtesy. With them it is a matter of right. The eldest sons of
peers bearing courtesy titles most certainly do not bear the supporters of
the peerage to which they are heirs. Even the far more generally accepted
"courtesy" practice of bearing coronets is expressly forbidden by an
Earl-Marshal's Warrant.

Consequently it may be asserted that the laws concerning the use of
supporters in Scotland are as follows: In the first place, no supporters
can be borne of right unless they have been the subject of formal grant or
matriculation. The following classes are entitled to obtain, upon payment
of the necessary fees, the grant or matriculation of supporters to
themselves, or to themselves and their descendants according as the case
may be: (1) Peers of Scotland, and other peers who are domiciled Scotsmen.
(2) Knights of the Garter, Knights of the Thistle, and Knights of St.
Patrick, being Scotsmen, are entitled as such to obtain grants of
supporters to themselves for use during life, but as these three orders are
now confined to members of the peerage, the supporters used would be
probably those appertaining to their peerages, and it is unlikely that any
further grants for life will be made under these circumstances. (3) Knights
of the Bath until the revision of the order were entitled to obtain grants
of supporters to themselves for {425} use during their lifetimes, and there
are many instances in the Lyon Register where such grants have been made.
(4) Knights Grand Cross of the Bath, of St. Michael and St. George, and of
the Royal Victorian Order, and Knights Grand Commanders of the Orders of
the Star of India, and of the Indian Empire, are entitled to obtain grants
of supporters for use during their lifetimes. (5) The lawful heirs of the
minor barons who had the full right of free barony prior to 1587 may
matriculate supporters if they can show their ancestors used them, or may
now obtain grants. Though practically the whole of these have been at some
time or other matriculated in Lyon Register, there still remain a few whose
claims have never been officially adjudicated upon. For example, it is only
quite recently that the ancient Swinton supporters have been formally
enrolled on the official records (Plate IV.). (6) There are certain others,
being chiefs of clans and the heirs of those to whom grants have been made
in times past, who also have the right, but as no new claim is likely to be
so recognised in the future, it may be taken that these are confined to
those cases which have been already entered in the Lyon Register.

During the latter part of the eighteenth century, the executive of Lyon
Office had fallen into great disrepute. The office of Lyon King of Arms had
been granted to the Earls of Kinnoul, who had contented themselves with
appointing deputies and drawing fees. The whole subject of armorial
jurisdiction in Scotland had become lax to the last degree, and very many
irregularities had crept in. One, and probably the worst result, had been
the granting of supporters in many cases where no valid reason other than
the payment of fees could be put forward to warrant the obtaining of such a
privilege. And the result was the growth and acceptance of the fixed idea
that it was within the power of Lyon King of Arms to grant supporters to
any one whom he might choose to so favour. Consequently many grants of
supporters were placed upon the records, and many untitled families of
Scotland apparently have the right under these patents of grant to add
supporters to their arms. Though it is an arguable matter whether the Lord
Lyon was justified in making these grants, there can be no doubt that, so
long as they remain upon the official register, and no official steps are
taken to cancel the patents, they must be accepted as existing by legal
right. Probably the most egregious instance of such a grant is to be found
in the case of the grant to the first baronet of the family of Antrobus,
who on purchasing the estate of Rutherford, the seat of the extinct Lords
Rutherford, obtained from the then Lyon King of Arms a grant of the peerage
supporters carried by the previous owners of the property.

With regard to the devolution of Scottish supporters, the large {426}
proportion of those registered in Lyon Office are recorded in the terms of
some patent which specifies the limitations of their descent, so that there
are a comparatively small number only concerning which there can be any
uncertainty as to whom the supporters will descend to. The difficulty can
only arise in those cases in which the arms are matriculated with
supporters as borne by ancient usage in the early years of the Lyon
Register, or in the cases of supporters still to be matriculated on the
same grounds by those families who have so far failed to comply with the
Act of 1672. Whilst Mr. Tait, in his memorandum which has been previously
quoted, would deny the right of inheritance to female heirs, there is no
doubt whatever that in many cases such heirs have been allowed to succeed
to the supporters of their families. Taking supporters as an appanage of
right of barony (either greater or lesser), there can be no doubt that the
greater baronies, and consequently the supporters attached to them,
devolved upon heirs female, and upon the heir of line inheriting through a
female ancestor; and, presumably, the same considerations must of necessity
hold good with regard to those supporters which are borne by right of
lesser barony, for the greater and the lesser were the same thing,
differing only in degree, until in the year 1587 the lesser barons were
relieved of compulsory attendance in Parliament. At the same time there can
be no doubt that the headship of a family must rest with the heir male, and
consequently it would seem that in those cases in which the supporters are
borne by right of being head of a clan or chief of a name, the right of
inheritance would devolve upon the heir male. There must of necessity be
some cases in which it is impossible to determine whether the supporters
were originally called into being by right of barony or because of
chieftainship, and the consequence has been that concerning the descent of
the supporters of the older untitled families there has been no uniformity
in the practice of Lyon Office, and it is impossible from the precedents
which exist to deduce any certain and unalterable rule upon the point.
Precedents exist in each case, and the well-known case of Smith-Cunningham
and Dick-Cunningham, which is often referred to as settling the point, did
nothing of the kind, inasmuch as that judgment depended upon the
interpretation of a specific Act of Parliament, and was not the
determination of a point of heraldic law. The case, however, afforded the
opportunity to Lord Jeffrey to make the following remarks upon the point
(see p. 355, Seton):--

"If I may be permitted to take a common-sense view, I should say that there
is neither an inflexible rule nor a uniform practice in the matter. There
may be cases where the heir of line will exclude the heir male, and there
may be cases where the converse will be held. In {427} my opinion the
common-sense rule is that the chief armorial dignities should follow the
more substantial rights and dignities of the family. _If the heir male
succeed to the title and estates, I think it reasonable that he should also
succeed to the armorial bearings of the head of the house._ I would think
it a very difficult proposition to establish that the heir of line, when
denuded of everything else, was still entitled to retain the barren honours
of heraldry. But I give no opinion upon that point."

Mr. Seton, in his "Law and Practice of Heraldry in Scotland," sums up the
matter of inheritance in these words (see p. 357): "As already indicated,
however, by one of the learned Lords in his opinion on the case of
Cuninghame, the practice in the matter in question has been far from
uniform; and accordingly we are very much disposed to go along with his
relative suggestion, that 'the chief armorial dignities should follow the
more substantial rights and dignities of the family'; and that when the
latter are enjoyed by the female heir of line, such heir should also be
regarded as fairly entitled to claim the principal heraldic honours."

The result has been in practice that the supporters of a family have
usually been matriculated to whoever has carried on the name and line of
the house, unless the supporters in question have been governed by a
specific grant, the limitations of which exist to be referred to, but in
cases where both the heir of line and the heir male have been left in a
prominent position, the difficulty of decision has in many cases been got
over by allowing supporters to both of them. The most curious instance of
this within our knowledge occurs with regard to the family of Chisholm.

Chisholm of Erchless Castle appears undoubtedly to have succeeded as head
and chief of his name--"The Chisholm"--about the end of the seventeenth
century. As such supporters were carried, namely: "On either side a savage
wreathed about the head and middle with laurel, and holding a club over his
exterior shoulder."

At the death of Alexander Chisholm--"The Chisholm"--7th February 1793, the
chieftainship and the estates passed to his half-brother William, but his
heir of line was his only child Mary, who married James Gooden of London.
Mrs. Mary Chisholm or Gooden in 1827 matriculated the _undifferenced_ arms
of Chisholm ["Gules, a boar's head couped or"], without supporters, but in
1831 the heir male _also_ matriculated the same _undifferenced_ arms, in
this case with supporters.

The chieftainship of the Chisholm family then continued with the male line
until the death of Duncan Macdonell Chisholm--"The Chisholm"--in 1859, when
his only sister and heir became heir of line of the later chiefs. She was
then Jemima Batten, and by Royal {428} Licence in that year she and her
husband assumed the additional surname of Chisholm, becoming
Chisholm-Batten, and, contrary to the English practice in such cases, the
arms of Chisholm _alone_ were matriculated in 1860 to Mrs. Chisholm-Batten
and her descendants. These once again were the _undifferenced_ coat of
Chisholm, viz.: "Gules, a boar's head couped or." Arms for Batten have
since been granted in England, the domicile of the family being English,
and the arms of the present Mr. Chisholm-Batten, though including the
quartering for Chisholm, is usually marshalled as allowed in the College of
Arms by English rules.

Though there does not appear to have been any subsequent rematriculation in
favour of the heir male who succeeded as "The Chisholm," the undifferenced
arms were also considered to have devolved upon him together with the
supporters. On the death of the last known male heir of the family,
Roderick Donald Matheson Chisholm, The Chisholm, in 1887, Mr. James
Chisholm Gooden-Chisholm claimed the chieftainship as heir of line, and in
that year the Gooden-Chisholm arms were again rematriculated. In this case
supporters were added to the again undifferenced arms of Chisholm, but a
slight alteration in the supporters was made, the clubs being reversed and
placed to rest on the ground.

Amongst the many other untitled Scottish families who rightly bear
supporters, may be mentioned Gibsone of Pentland, Barclay of Urie, Barclay
of Towie, Drummond of Megginch, Maclachlan of that Ilk, "Cluny" Macpherson,
Cunninghame, and Brisbane of that Ilk.

Armorial matters in the Channel Islands present a very unsatisfactory state
of affairs. There never appears to have been any Visitation, and the arms
of Channel Island families which officially pass muster must be confined to
those of the very few families (for example, De Carteret, Dobrée, and
Tupper) who have found it necessary or advisable on their own initiative to
register their arms in the official English sources. In none of these
instances have supporters been allowed, nor I believe did any of these
families claim to use them, but some (Lemprière, De Saumerez, and other
families) assert the possession of such a distinction by prescriptive
right. If the right to supporters be a privilege of peerage, or if, as in
Scotland, it anciently depended upon the right of free barony, the position
of these Channel Island families in former days as seignorial lords was
much akin. But it is highly improbable that the right to bear supporters in
such cases will ever be officially recognised, and the case of De Saumerez,
in which the supporters were bedevilled and regranted to descend with the
peerage, will probably operate as a decisive precedent upon the point and
against such a right. There are some number of families {429} of foreign
origin who bear supporters or claim them by the assertion of foreign right.
Where this right can be established their use has been confirmed by Royal
Licence in this country in some number of cases; for example, the cases of
Rothschild and De Salis. In other cases (for example, the case of Chamier)
no official record of the supporters exists with the record of the arms,
and presumably the foreign right to the supporters could not have been
established at the time of registration.

With regard to impersonal arms, the right to supporters in England is not
easy to define. In the case of counties, crests and supporters are granted
if the county likes to pay for them.

In the case of towns, the rule in England is that an ordinary town may not
have supporters but that a city may, and instances are numerous where
supporters have been granted upon the elevation of a town to the dignity of
a city. Birmingham, Sheffield, and Nottingham are all recent instances in
point. This rule, however, is not absolutely rigid, and an exception may be
pointed to in the case of Liverpool, the supporters being granted in 1797,
and the town not being created a city until a subsequent date. In Scotland,
where, of course, until quite recently supporters were granted practically
to anybody who chose to pay for them, a grant will be found for the county
of Perth dated in 1800, in which supporters were included. But as to towns
and cities it is no more than a matter of fees, any town in Scotland
eligible for arms being at liberty to obtain supporters also if they are
desired. In grants of arms to corporate bodies it is difficult to draw the
line or to deduce any actual rule. In 23rd of Henry VIII. the Grocers'
Livery Company were granted "two griffins per fess gules and or," and many
other of the Livery Companies have supporters to their arms. Others, for no
apparent reason, are without them. The "Merchant Adventurers' Company or
Hamburg Merchants" have supporters, as had both the old and the new East
India Companies. The arms of Jamaica and Cape Colony and of the British
North Borneo Company have supporters, but on the other hand no supporters
were assigned to Canada or to any of its provinces. In Ireland the matter
appears to be much upon the same footing as in England, and as far as
impersonal arms are concerned it is very difficult to say what the exact
rule is, if this is to be deduced from known cases and past precedents.

Probably the freedom--amounting in many cases to great laxity--with which
in English heraldic art the positions and attitudes of supporters are
changed, is the one point in which English heraldic art has entirely
ignored the trammels of conventionalised officialism. There must be in this
country scores of entrance gates where each {430} pillar of the gateway is
surmounted by a shield held in the paws of a single supporter, and the
Governmental use of the Royal supporters in an amazing variety of
attitudes, some of which are grossly unheraldic, has not helped towards a
true understanding. The reposeful attitude of watchful slumber in which the
Royal lion and unicorn are so often depicted, may perhaps be in the nature
of submission to the Biblical teaching of Isaiah that the lion shall lie
down with the lamb (and possibly therefore also with the unicorn), in these
times of peace which have succeeded those earlier days when "the lion beat
the unicorn round and round the town."

[Illustration: FIG. 668.--The Arms used by Kilmarnock, Ayrshire: Azure, a
fess chequy gules and argent. Crest: a dexter hand raised in benediction.
Supporters: on either side a squirrel sejant proper.]

In official minds, however, the sole attitude for the supporters is the
rampant, or as near an approach to it as the nature of the animal will
allow. A human being, a bird, or a fish naturally can hardly adopt the
attitude. In Scotland, the land of heraldic freedom, various exceptions to
this can be found. Of these one can call to mind the arms used by the town
of Kilmarnock (Fig. 668), in which the supporters, "squirrels proper," are
depicted always as sejant. These particular creatures, however, would look
strange to us in any other form. These arms unfortunately have never been
matriculated as the arms of the town (being really the arms of the Boyd
family, the attainted Earls of Kilmarnock), and consequently can hardly as
yet be referred to as a definite precedent, because official matriculation
might result in a similar "happening" to the change which was made in the
case of the arms of Inverness. In all representations of the arms of
earlier date than the matriculation, the supporters, (dexter) {431} a camel
and (sinister) an elephant, are depicted _statant_ on either side of the
shield, no actual contact being made between the escutcheon and the
supporters. But in 1900, when in a belated compliance with the Act of 1672
the armorial bearings of the Royal Burgh of Inverness were matriculated,
the position was altered to that more usually employed for supporters.

The supporters always used by Sir John Maxwell Stirling-Maxwell of Pollok
are two lions sejant guardant. These, as appears from an old seal, were in
use as far back as the commencement of the fifteenth century, but the
supporters officially recorded for the family are two apes. In English
armory one or two exceptional cases may be noticed; for example, the
supporters of the city of Bristol, which are: "On either side, on a mount
vert, a unicorn sejant or, armed, maned, and unguled sable." Another
instance will be found in the supporters of Lord Rosmead, which are: "On
the dexter side an ostrich and on the sinister side a kangaroo, both
regardant proper." From the nature of the animal, the kangaroo is depicted

Supporters in Germany date from the same period as with ourselves, being to
be met with on seals as far back as 1276. At first they were similarly
purely artistic adjuncts, but they have retained much of this character and
much of the purely permissive nature in Germany to the present day. It was
not until about the middle of the seventeenth century that supporters were
granted or became hereditary in that country. Grants of supporters can be
found in England at an earlier date, but such grants were isolated in
number. Nevertheless supporters had become hereditary very soon after they
obtained a regularly heraldic (as opposed to a decorative) footing. Their
use, however, was governed at that period by a greater freedom as to
alteration and change than was customary with armory in general. Supporters
were an adjunct of the peerage, and peers were not subject to the
Visitations. With his freedom from arrest, his high social position, and
his many other privileges of peerage, a peer was "too big" a person
formerly to accept the dictatorial armorial control which the Crown
enforced upon lesser people. Short of treason, a peer in any part of Great
Britain for most practical purposes of social life was above the ordinary
law. In actual fact it was only the rights of one peer as opposed to the
rights of another peer that kept a Lord of Parliament under any semblance
of control. When the great lords of past centuries could and did raise
armies to fight the King a peer was hardly likely to, nor did he, brook
much interference.

Of the development of supporters in Germany Ströhl writes:--

"Only very late, about the middle of the seventeenth century, were
supporters granted as hereditary, but they appear in the arms of {432}
burghers in the first half of the fifteenth century, and the arms of many
towns also possess them as decorative adjuncts.

"The first supporters were human figures, generally portraits of the
arms-bearers themselves; then women, young men, and boys, so-called
_Schildbuben_. In the second half of the fourteenth century animals appear:
lions, bears, stags, dogs, griffins, &c. In the fifteenth century one
frequently encounters angels with richly curling hair, saints (patrons of
the bearer or of the town), then later, nude wild men and women
(_Waldmenschen_) thickly covered with hair, with garlands round their loins
and on their heads. The thick, hairy covering of the body in the case of
women is only to be met with in the very beginning. Later the endeavour was
to approach the feminine ideal as nearly as possible, and only the garlands
were retained to point out the origin and the home of these figures.

"At the end of the fifteenth and in the sixteenth century, there came into
fashion lansquenets, huntsmen, pretty women and girls, both clothed and
unclothed." Speaking of the present day, and from the executive standpoint,
he adds:--

"Supporters, with the exception of flying angels, should have a footing on
which they can stand in a natural manner, whether it be grass, a pedestal,
a tree, or line of ornament, and to place them upon a ribbon of a motto is
less suitable because a thin ribbon can hardly give the impression of a
sufficiently strong support for the invariably heavy-looking figures of the
men or animals. The supporters of the shield may at the same time be
employed as bearers of the helmets. They bear the helmets either over the
head or hold them in their hands. Figures standing near the shield, but not
holding or supporting it in any way, cannot in the strict sense of the word
be designated supporters; such figures are called _Schildwächter_
(shield-watchers or guardians)."


Of all figures employed as supporters probably human beings are of most
frequent occurrence, even when those single and double figures referred to
on an earlier page, which are not a real part of the heraldic achievement,
are excluded from consideration. The endless variety of different figures
perhaps gives some clue to the reason of their frequent occurrence.

Though the nude human figure appears (male) upon the shield of Dalziel and
(female) in the crest of Ellis (Agar-Ellis, formerly Viscount Clifden), one
cannot call to mind any instance of such an occurrence in the form of
supporters, though possibly the supporters of the {433} Glaziers' Livery
Company ["Two naked boys proper, each holding a long torch inflamed of the
last"] and of the Joiners' Livery Company ["Two naked boys proper, the
dexter holding in his hand an emblematical female figure, crowned with a
mural coronet sable, the sinister holding in his hand a square"] might be
classed in such a character. Nude figures in armory are practically always
termed "savages," or occasionally "woodmen" or "wildmen," and garlanded
about the loins with foliage.

[Illustration: FIG. 669.--Arms of Arbroath: Gules, a portcullis with chains
pendent or. Motto: "Propter Libertatem." Supporters: dexter, St. Thomas à
Becket in his archiepiscopal robes all proper; sinister, a Baron of
Scotland armed cap-à-pie, holding in his exterior hand the letter from the
Convention of the Scottish Estates, held at Arbroath in the year of 1320,
addressed to Pope John XXII., all proper.]

With various adjuncts--clubs, banners, trees, branches, &c.--_Savages_ will
be found as the supporters of the arms of the German Emperor, and in the
sovereign arms of Brunswick, Denmark, Schwarzburg-Sondershausen, and
Rudolstadt, as well as in the arms of the kingdom of Prussia. They also
appear in the arms of the kingdom of Greece, though in this case they
should perhaps be more properly described as figures of Hercules.

In British armory--amongst many other families--two savages are the
supporters of the Marquess of Ailesbury, Lord Calthorpe, Viscount de Vesci,
Lord Elphinstone, the Earl of Elgin and Kincardine, the Duke of Fife, Earl
Fitzwilliam (each holding in the exterior hand a tree eradicated), Lord
Kinnaird, the Earl of Morton; and amongst the baronets who possess
supporters, Menzies, Douglas of Carr, and Williams-Drummond have on either
side of their escutcheons a "savage." Earl Poulett alone has both man and
woman, his supporters being: "Dexter, a savage man; sinister, a savage
woman, both wreathed with oak, all proper." As some one remarked on seeing
a realistic representation of this coat of arms by Catton, R.A., the blazon
might more appropriately have concluded "all improper."

Next after savages, the most favourite variety of the human being adopted
as a supporter is the _Man in Armour_.

Even as heraldic and heritable supporters angels are not uncommon, and are
to be met with amongst other cases in the arms of the Marquess of
Waterford, the Earl of Dudley, and Viscount Dillon.

It is rare to find supporters definitely stated to represent any specific
person, but in the case of the arms of Arbroath (Fig. 669) the supporters
are "Dexter: 'St. Thomas à Becket,' and sinister, a Baron of Scotland."
Another instance, again from Scotland, appears in a most extraordinary
grant by the Lyon in 1816 to Sir Jonathan Wathen Waller, Bart., of Braywick
Lodge, co. Berks, and of Twickenham, co. Middlesex. In this case the
supporters were two elaborately "harnessed" ancient warriors, "to
commemorate the surrender of Charles, Duke of Orleans, at the memorable
battle of Agincourt (that word being the motto over the crest) in the year
1415, to Richard Waller of Groombridge in Kent, Esq., from which Richard
the said {434} Sir Jonathan Wathen Waller is, according to the tradition of
his family, descended." This pedigree is set out in Burke's Peerage, which
assigns as arms to this family the old coat of Waller of Groombridge, with
the augmented crest, viz.: "On a mount vert, a walnut-tree proper, and
pendent therefrom an escutcheon of the arms of France with a label of three
points argent." Considerable doubt, however, is thrown upon the descent by
the fact that in 1814, when Sir Jonathan (then Mr. Phipps) obtained a Royal
Licence to assume the name and arms of Waller, a very different and much
bedevilled edition of the arms and not the real coat of Waller of
Groombridge was exemplified to him. These supporters (the grant was quite
_ultra vires_, Sir Jonathan being a domiciled Englishman) do not appear in
any of the Peerage books, and it is not clear to what extent they were ever
made use of, but in a painting which came under my notice the Duke of
Orleans, in his surcoat of France, could be observed handing his sword
across the front of the escutcheon to Mr. (or Sir) Richard Waller. The
supporters of the Needlemakers' Company are commonly known as Adam and Eve,
and the motto of the Company ["They sewed fig-leaves together and made
themselves aprons"] bears this supposition out. The blazon, however, is:
"Dexter, a man; sinister, a woman, both proper, each wreathed round the
waist with leaves of the last, in the woman's dexter hand a needle or." The
supporters of the Earl of Aberdeen are, "dexter an Earl and sinister a
Doctor of Laws, both in their robes all proper."

Highlanders in modern costume figure as supporters to the arms of
Maconochie-Wellwood, and in more ancient garb in the case of Cluny
Macpherson, and soldiers in the uniforms of every regiment, and savages
from every clime, have at some time or other been pressed into heraldic
service as supporters; but a work on Armory is not a handbook on costume,
military and civil, nor is it an ethnographical directory, which it would
certainly become if any attempt were to be made to enumerate the different
varieties of men and women, clothed and unclothed, which have been used for
the purposes of supporters.


When we turn to animals as supporters, we at once get to a much wider
range, and but little can be said concerning them beyond stating that
though usually rampant, they are sometimes sejant, and may be guardant or
regardant. One may, however, append examples of the work of different
artists, which will doubtless serve as models, or possibly may develop
ideas in other artists. The _Lion_ naturally first claims {435} one's
attention. Fig. 670 shows an interesting and curious instance of the use of
a single lion as a supporter. This is taken from a drawing in the
possession of the town library at Breslau (_Herold_, 1888, No. 1), and
represents the arms of Dr. Heinrich Rubische, Physician to the King of
Hungary and Bohemia. The arms are, "per fesse," the chief argent, a "point"
throughout sable, charged with a lion's face, holding in the jaws an
annulet, and the base also argent charged with two bars sable. The mantling
is sable and argent. Upon the helmet as crest are two buffalo's horns of
the colours of the shield, and between them appears (apparently as a part
of the heritable crest) a lion's face holding an annulet as in the arms.
This, however, is the face of the lion, which, standing behind the
escutcheon, is employed as the supporter, though possibly it is intended
that it should do double duty. This employment of one animal to serve a
double armorial purpose is practically unknown in British armory, except
possibly in a few early examples of seals, but in German heraldry it is
very far from being uncommon.

[Illustration: FIG. 670.--Arms of Dr. Heinrich Rubische.]


Winged lions are not very usual, but they occur as the supporters of Lord
Braye: "On either side a lion guardant or, winged vair." A winged lion is
also one of the supporters (the dexter) of Lord Leconfield, but this, owing
to the position of the wings, is quite unique. The blazon is: "A lion with
wings inverted azure, collared or." Two lions rampant double-queued, the
dexter or, the sinister sable, are the supporters of the Duke of Portland,
and the supporters of both the Earl of Feversham and the Earl of Dartmouth
afford instances of lions crowned with a coronet, and issuing therefrom a
plume of ostrich feathers.

Sea-lions will be found as supporters to the arms of Viscount Falmouth
["Two sea-lions erect on their tails argent, gutté-de-l'armes"], and the
Earl of Howth bears: "Dexter, a sea-lion as in the crest; sinister, a
mermaid proper, holding in her exterior hand a mirror."

The heraldic tiger is occasionally found as a supporter, and an instance
occurs in the arms of the Marquess of Dufferin and Ava. It also occurs as
the sinister supporter of the Duke of Leeds, and of the Baroness Darcy de
Knayth, and was the dexter supporter of the Earls of Holderness. Two
heraldic tigers are the supporters both of Sir Andrew Noel Agnew, Bart.,
and of the Marquess of Anglesey. Of recent years the natural tiger has
taken its place in the heraldic menagerie, and instances of its appearance
will be found in the arms of Sir Mortimer Durand, and as one of the
supporters of the arms of the city of Bombay. When occurring in heraldic
surroundings it is always termed for distinction a "Bengal tiger," and two
Royal Bengal tigers are the supporters of Sir Francis Outram, Bart.: "On
either side a Royal Bengal tiger guardant proper, gorged with a wreath of
laurel vert, and on the head an Eastern crown or."

The griffin is perhaps the next most favourite supporter. Male griffins are
the supporters of Sir George John Egerton Dashwood: "On either side a male
gryphon argent, gorged with a collar flory counterflory gules."

A very curious supporter is borne by Mr. Styleman Le Strange. Of course, as
a domiciled English commoner, having no Royal Licence to bear supporters,
his claim to these additions would not be recognised, but their use no
doubt originated in the fact that he represents the lines of several
coheirships to different baronies by writ, to some one of which, no doubt,
the supporters may have at some time belonged. The dexter supporter in
question is "a stag argent with a lion's forepaws and tail, collared."

The supporters recently granted to Lord Milner are two "springbok," and the
same animal (an "oryx" or "springbok") is the sinister supporter of the
arms of Cape Colony. {437}

Goats are the supporters of the Earl of Portsmouth (who styles his "chamois
or wild goats"), of Lord Bagot and Lord Cranworth, and they occur in the
achievements of the Barony of Ruthven and the Marquess of Normanby. The
supporters of Viscount Southwell are two "Indian" goats.

Rams are the supporters of Lord de Ramsey and Lord Sherard. A ram is also
one of the supporters attached to the Barony of Ruthven, and one of the
supporters used by the town of New Galloway. These arms, however, have
never been matriculated, which on account of the curious charge upon the
shield is very much to be regretted.

The supporters of Lord Mowbray and Stourton afford an example of a most
curious and interesting animal. Originally the Lords Stourton used two
antelopes azure, but before the seventeenth century these had been changed
to two "sea-dogs." When the abeyance of the Barony of Mowbray was
determined in favour of Lord Stourton the dexter supporter was changed to
the lion of Mowbray, but the sinister supporter still remained a "sea-dog."

The horse and the pegasus are constantly met with supporting the arms of
peers and others in this country. A bay horse regardant figures as the
dexter supporter of the Earl of Yarborough, and the horses which support
the shield of Earl Cowper are very specifically detailed in the official
blazon: "Two dun horses close cropped (except a tuft upon the withers) and
docked, a large blaze down the face, a black list down the back, and three
white feet, viz. the hind-feet and near fore-foot." Lord Joicey has two
Shetland ponies and Lord Winterstoke has "two horses sable, maned, tailed,
and girthed or."

The arms of the City of London are always used with dragons for supporters,
but these supporters are not officially recorded. The arms of the City of
London are referred to at greater length elsewhere in these pages. The town
of Appleby uses dragons with wings expanded (most fearsome creatures), but
these are not official, nor are the "dragons sejant addorsed gules, each
holding an ostrich feather argent affixed to a scroll" which some
enterprising artist designed for Cheshire. Dragons will be found as
supporters to the arms of the Earl of Enniskillen, Lord St. Oswald, the
Earl of Castlestuart, and Viscount Arbuthnot. The heraldic dragon is not
the only form of the creature now known to armory. The Chinese dragon was
granted to Lord Gough as one of his supporters, and it has since also been
granted as a supporter to Sir Robert Hart, Bart.

Wyverns are the supporters of the Earl of Meath and Lord Burghclere, and
the sinister supporter of both Lord Raglan and Lord Lyveden. {438}

The arms of the Royal Burgh of Dundee are quite unique. The official blazon
runs: "Azure, a pott of growing lillies argent, the escutcheon being
supported by two dragons, their tails nowed together underneath vert, with
this word in an escroll above a lilie growing out of the top of the shield
as the former, 'Dei Donum.'" Though blazoned as dragons, the creatures are
undoubtedly wyverns.

Wyverns when figuring as supporters are usually represented standing on the
one claw and supporting the shield with the other, but in the case of the
Duke of Marlborough, whose supporters are two wyverns, these are generally
represented sejant erect, supporting the shield with both claws. This
position is also adopted for the wyvern supporters of Sir Robert Arbuthnot,
Bart., and the Earl of Eglinton.

Two cockatrices are the supporters of Lord Donoughmore, the Earl of
Westmeath, and Sir Edmund Nugent, Bart., and the dexter supporter of Lord
Lanesborough is also a cockatrice.

The basilisk is the same creature as the cockatrice, and in the arms of the
town of Basle (German Basel), is an example of a supporter blazoned as a
basilisk. The arms are: "Argent, a crosier sable." The supporter is a
basilisk vert, armed and jelloped gules.

The supporters of the Plasterers' Company, which were granted with the arms
(January 15, 1556), are: "Two opinaci (figures very similar to griffins)
vert pursted (? purfled) or, beaked sable, the wings gules." The dexter
supporter of the arms of Cape Colony is a "gnu."

The zebra, the giraffe, and the okapi are as yet unclaimed as supporters,
though the giraffe, under the name of the camelopard, figures in some
number of cases as a crest, and there is at least one instance (Kemsley) of
a zebra as a crest. The ass, though there are some number of cases in which
it appears as a crest or a charge, does not yet figure anywhere as a
supporter, nor does the mule. The hyena, the sacred cow of India, the
bison, the giant-sloth, and the armadillo are all distinctive animals which
still remain to be withdrawn from the heraldic "lucky bag" of Garter. The
mythical human-faced winged bull of Egyptian mythology, the harpy, and the
female centaur would lend themselves well to the character of supporters.

Robertson of Struan has no supporters matriculated with his arms, and it is
difficult to say for what length of time the supporters now in use have
been adopted. But he is chief of his name, and the representative of one of
the minor barons, so that there is no doubt that supporters would be
matriculated to him if he cared to apply. Those supporters in use, viz.
"Dexter, a serpent; sinister, a dove, the heads of each encircled with
rays," must surely be no less unique than is the strange compartment, "a
wild man lying in chains," which is borne {439} below the arms of Struan
Robertson, and which was granted to his ancestor in 1451 for arresting the
murderers of King James I.

The supporters belonging to the city of Glasgow[26] are also unique, being
two salmon, each holding a signet-ring in the mouth.

The supporters of the city of Waterford, though not recorded in Ulster's
Office, have been long enough in use to ensure their official
"confirmation" if a request to this effect were to be properly put forward.
They are, on the dexter side a lion, and on the sinister side a dolphin.
Two dolphins azure, finned or, are the supporters of the Watermen and
Lightermen's Livery Company, and were granted 1655.


Whilst eagles are plentiful as supporters, nevertheless if eagles are
eliminated the proportion of supporters which are birds is not great.

A certain variety and differentiation is obtained by altering the position
of the wings, noticeably in regard to eagles, but these differences do not
appear to be by any means closely adhered to by artists in pictorial
representations of armorial bearings.

Fig. 671 ought perhaps more properly to have been placed amongst those
eagles which, appearing as single figures, carry shields charged upon the
breast, but in the present case, in addition to the shield charged upon it
in the usual manner, it so palpably supports the two other escutcheons,
that we are tempted to include it amongst definite supporters. The figure
represents the arms of the free city of Nürnberg, and the design is
reproduced from the title-page of the German edition of Andreas Vesili's
_Anatomia_, printed at Nürnberg in 1537. The eagle is that of the German
Empire, carrying on its breast the impaled arms of Castile and Austria. The
shields it supports may now be said both to belong to Nürnberg. The dexter
shield, which is the coloured seal device of the old Imperial city, is:
"Azure, a harpy (in German _frauenadler_ or maiden eagle) displayed and
crowned or." The sinister shield (which may more properly be considered the
real arms of Nürnberg) is: "Per pale or, a double-headed Imperial eagle
displayed, dimidiated with bendy of six gules and argent." {440}

The supporters of Lord Amherst of Hackney are two _Herons_: "On either side
a heron proper, collared or."

[Illustration: FIG. 671.--The Arms of Nürnberg.]

The city of Calcutta, to which arms and supporters were granted in 1896,
has for its supporters _Adjutant Birds_, which closely approximate to
storks. Two woodpeckers have recently been granted as the supporters of
Lord Peckover. {441}



A compartment is anything depicted below the shield as a foothold or
resting-place for the supporters, or indeed for the shield itself.
Sometimes it is a fixed part of the blazon and a constituent part of the
heritable heraldic bearings. At other times it is a matter of mere artistic
fancy, and no fixed rules exist to regulate or control nor even to check
the imagination of the heraldic artist. The fact remains that supporters
must have something to stand upon, and if the blazon supplies nothing, the
discretion of the artist is allowed considerable laxity.

On the subject of compartments a great deal of diversity of opinion exists.
There is no doubt that in early days and early examples supporters were
placed to stand upon some secure footing, but with the decadence of
heraldic art in the seventeenth century came the introduction of the gilded
"freehand copy" scroll with which we are so painfully familiar, which one
writer has aptly termed the heraldic gas-bracket. Arising doubtless from
and following upon the earlier habit of balancing the supporters upon the
unstable footing afforded by the edge of the motto scroll, the
"gas-bracket" was probably accepted as less open to objection. It certainly
was not out of keeping with the heraldic art of the period to which it owed
its evolution, or with the style of armorial design of which it formed a
part. It still remains the accepted and "official" style and type in
England, but Scotland and Ireland have discarded it, and "compartments" in
those countries are now depicted of a nature requiring less gymnastic
ability on the part of the animals to which they afford a foothold. The
style of compartment is practically always a matter of artistic taste and
design. With a few exceptions it is always entirely disregarded in the
blazon of the patent, and the necessity of something for the supporters to
stand upon is as much an understood thing as is the existence of a shield
whereon the arms are to be displayed. But as the shape of the shield is
left to the fancy of the artist, so is the character of the compartment,
and the Lyon Register nowadays affords examples of achievements where the
supporters stand on rocks and flowery mounds {442} or issue from a watery
abiding-place. The example set by the Lyon Register has been eagerly
followed by most heraldic artists.

[Illustration: FIG. 672.]

It is a curious commentary upon the heraldic art of the close of the
eighteenth and the early part of the nineteenth centuries that whilst the
gymnastic capabi