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Title: Peeps at Heraldry
Author: Allen, Phoebe
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Peeps at Heraldry" ***







[Illustration: PLATE 1.










  CHAPTER                                           PAGE



   III.  DIVISIONS OF THE SHIELD                      16



    VI. ANIMAL CHARGES                                39

   VII. ANIMAL CHARGES (CONTINUED)                    47

  VIII. ANIMAL CHARGES (CONTINUED)                    56

    IX. INANIMATE OBJECTS AS CHARGES                  63

     X. QUARTERING AND MARSHALLING                    70

    XI. FIVE COATS OF ARMS                            74




     OVER MAIL ARMOUR                     _frontispiece_

                                             FACING PAGE

  2. THE DUKE OF LEINSTER                             8
       Arms: Arg. saltire gu.
       Crest: Monkey statant ppr., environed
         round the loins and chained or.
       Supporters: Two monkeys environed
         and chained or.
       Motto: Crom a boo.

  3. MARQUIS OF HERTFORD                             16
       Arms: Quarterly, 1st and 4th, or on a pile
       gu., between 6 fleurs-de-lys az., 3 lions
       passant guardant in pale or; 2nd and 3rd gu.,
       2 wings conjoined in lure or. Seymour.
       Crest: Out of a ducal coronet or a ph[oe]nix
       Supporters: Two blackamoors.
       Motto: Fide et amore.

  4. THE EARL OF SCARBOROUGH                         41
       Arms: Arg. a fesse gu. between 3 parrots vert,
         collared of the second.
       Crest: A pelican in her piety.
       Supporters: Two parrots, wings inverted vert.
       Motto: Murus aëneus conscientia sana.

  5. BARON HAWKE                                     48
       Arms: Arg. a chevron erminois between three
         pilgrim's staves purpure.
       Crest: A hawk, wings displayed and inverted
         ppr., belled and charged on the breast with
         a fleur-de-lys or.
       Supporters: Dexter, Neptune; sinister, a
       Motto: Strike.

  6. SIR WILLIAM HERSCHEL                            73
       Arms: Arg. on mount vert, representation of
         the 40 feet reflecting telescope with its
         apparatus ppr., on a chief az., the
         astronomical symbol of Uranus irradiated or.
       Crest: A demi-terrestrial sphere ppr.,
         thereon an eagle, wings elevated or.
       Motto: C[oe]lis exploratis.

  7. THE FLAGS OF GREAT BRITAIN                      80
      (1) The Union Jack, (2) The Royal Standard.

  8. A CRUSADER IN MAIL ARMOUR            _on the cover_

    _Also fifty-five small black and white illustrations
         throughout the text._

        "... The noble science once
  The study and delight of every gentleman."

        "And thus the story
         Of great deeds was told."




What is heraldry?

The art of heraldry, or armoury, as the old writers called it,
consists in blazoning the arms and telling the descent and history
of families by certain pictorial signs. Thus from age to age an
authenticated register of genealogies has been kept and handed on from
generation to generation. The making and keeping of these records have
always been the special duty of a duly appointed herald.

Perhaps you think that explanation of heraldry sounds rather dull, but
you will soon find out that very much that is interesting and amusing,
too, is associated with the study of armorial bearings.

For heraldry, which, you know, was reckoned as one of the prime
glories of chivalry, is the language that keeps alive the golden deeds
done in the world, and that is why those who have once learnt its
secrets are always anxious to persuade others to learn them too.

"Although," says the old writer, Montague; "our ancestors were little
given to study, they held a knowledge of heraldry to be indispensable,
because they considered that it was the outward sign of the spirit of
chivalry and the index also to a lengthy chronicle of doughty deeds."

Now, it is in a language that is all its own that heraldry tells its
stories, and it is unlike any other in which history has been written.

This language, as expressed in armorial bearings, contains no words,
no letters, even, for signs and devices do the work of words, and very
well they do it. And as almost every object, animate and inanimate,
under the sun was used to compose this alphabet, we shall find as we
go on that not only are the sun, moon and stars, the clouds and the
rainbow, fountains and sea, rocks and stones, trees and plants of all
kinds, fruits and grain, pressed into the service of this heraldic
language, but that all manner of living creatures figure as well in
this strange alphabet, from tiny insects, such as bees and flies and
butterflies, to the full-length representations of angels, kings,
bishops, and warriors. Mythical creatures--dragons and cockatrices,
and even mermaidens--have also found their way into heraldry, just
as we find traditions and legends still lingering in the history of
nations, like the pale ghosts of old-world beliefs.

And as though heavenly bodies and plants and animals were not
sufficient for their purpose, heralds added yet other "letters"
to their alphabet in the shape of crowns, maces, rings, musical
instruments, ploughs, scythes, spades, wheels, spindles, lamps, etc.

Each of these signs, as you can easily understand, told a story of its
own, as did also the towers, castles, arches, bridges, bells, cups,
ships, anchors, hunting-horns, spears, bows, arrows, and many other
objects, which, with their own special meaning, we shall gradually
find introduced into the language of heraldry.

But perhaps by now you are beginning to wonder how you can possibly
learn one-half of what all these signs are meant to convey, but
you will not wonder about that long, for heraldry has its own
well-arranged grammar, and grammar, as you know, means fixed rules
which are simple guides for writing or speaking a language correctly.

Moreover, happily both for teacher and learner, the fish and birds and
beasts (as well as all the other objects we have just mentioned) do
not come swarming on to our pages in shoals and flocks and herds, but
we have to do with them either singly or in twos and threes.

Now, even those people who know nothing about heraldry are quite
familiar with the term, "a coat of arms." They know, too, that it
means the figure of a shield, marked and coloured in a variety of
ways, so as to be distinctive of individuals, families, etc.

But why do we speak of it as a _coat_ of arms when there is nothing to
suggest such a term?

I will tell you.

In the far-away days of quite another age, heraldry was so closely
connected with warlike exploits, and its signs and tokens were so much
used on the battle-field to distinguish friends from foes, that each
warrior wore his own special badge, embroidered on the garment or
_surcoat_ which covered his armour, as well as, later on, upon the
shield which he carried into battle.

And this reminds us of the poor Earl of Gloucester's fate at the
Battle of Bannockburn. For, having forgotten to put on his surcoat, he
was slain by the enemy, though we are told that "the _Scottes_ would
gladly have kept him for a ransom had they only recognized him for the
Earl, but he had forgot to put on his coat of armour!"

On the other hand, we have good reason to remember that the "flower of
knighthood," Sir John Chandos, lost _his_ life because he _did_ wear
his white sarcenet robe emblazoned with his arms. For it was because
his feet became entangled in its folds (as Froissart tells us) in his
encounter with the French on the Bridge of Lussac, that he stumbled
on the slippery ground on that early winter's morning, and thus was
quickly despatched by the enemy's blows.

"Now, the principal end for which these signs were first taken up and
put in use," says Guillim, "was that they might serve as notes and
marks to distinguish tribes, families and particular persons from the
other. Nor was this their only use. They also served to describe the
nature, quality, and disposition of their bearer."

Sir G. Mackenzie goes farther, and declares that heraldry was
invented, or, at any rate, kept up, for two chief purposes:

_First_, in order to perpetuate the memory of great actions and noble
deeds. _Secondly_, that governors might have the means of encouraging
others to perform high exploits by rewarding their deserving subjects
by a cheap kind of immortality. (To our ears that last sentence sounds
rather disrespectful to the honour of heraldry.)

Thus, for example, King Robert the Bruce gave armorial bearings to
the House of Wintoun, which represented a falling crown supported by
a sword, to show that its members had supported the crown in its
distress, while to one Veitch he gave a bullock's head, "to _remember_
posterity" that the bearer had succoured the King with food in
bringing some bullocks to the camp, when he was in want of provisions.

Some derive their names as well as their armorial bearings from some
great feat that they may have performed. Thus:

"The son of Struan Robertson for killing of a wolf in Stocket Forest
by a durk--dirk--in the King's presence, got the name of Skein, which
signifies a dirk in Irish, and three durk points in pale for his

We shall meet with numbers of other instances in heraldry where
armorial bearings were bestowed upon the ancestors of their present
bearers for some special reason, which is thereby commemorated.

Indeed, it is most interesting and amusing to collect the legends as
well as the historical facts which explain the origin and meaning of
different coats of arms.

Here are a few instances of some rather odd charges. (A charge is the
heraldic term given to any object which is _charged_, or represented,
on the shield of a coat of arms.)

To begin with the Redman family:

They bear three pillows, the origin of which Guillim explains--viz.:
"This coat of arms is given to the Redman family for this reason:
Having been challenged to single combat by a stranger, and the day and
the place for that combat having been duly fixed, Redman being more
forward than his challenger, came so early to the place that he fell
asleep in his tent, whilst waiting for the arrival of his foe.

"The people being meanwhile assembled and the hour having struck, the
trumpets sounded to the combat, whereupon Redman, suddenly awakening
out of his sleep, ran furiously upon his adversary and slew him. And
so the pillows were granted to him as armorial bearings, to remind all
men of the doughty deed which he awakened from sleep to achieve."

In many cases the charges on a coat of arms reflect the name or the
calling of the bearer.

When this happens they are called "allusive" arms, sometimes also
"canting," which latter word is a literal translation of the French
term, _armes chantantes_, although, as a matter of fact, _armes
parlantes_ is a more usual term. Here are some examples of allusive

The Pyne family bear three pineapples, the Herrings bear three
herrings, one, Camel of Devon, bears a camel _passant_; the Oxendens
bear three oxen; Sir Thomas Elmes bears five elm-leaves; three soles
figure on the coat of arms of the Sole family, and to the description
of the last armorial charge, old Guillim quaintly adds:

"By the delicateness of his taste, the sole hath gained the name of
the partridge of the sea."

The arms of the Abbot of Ramsey furnish, perhaps, one of the most
glaring examples of canting heraldry, for on his shield a ram is
represented struggling in the sea!

On the shield of the Swallow family we find the mast of a ship with
all its rigging disappearing between the capacious jaws of a whale,
whilst the Bacons bear a boar.

But whoever designed the coat of arms of a certain Squire Malherbe
must have surely been in rather a spiteful mood, and certainly had a
turn for punning. For on that gentleman's shield we find three leaves
of the stinging-nettle boldly charged!

In the armorial bearings of the Butler family we see allusion made to
their calling in the charge of three covered cups, which commemorates
the historical fact that the ancestor of the present Marquis of
Ormonde, Theobald Walter by name, was made Chief Butler of Ireland
by Henry II. in 1171, an office which was held by seven successive
generations of the Ormonde family. The family of Call charge _their_
shield very appropriately with three silver trumpets.

The Foresters bear bugle horns; the Trumpingtons, three trumpets.

Three eel-spears were borne by the family of Strathele, this being
the old name given to a curious fork, set in a long wooden handle, and
used by fishermen to spear the eels in mud.

The Graham Briggs charge a bridge upon their coat of arms.

A tilting spear was granted as his armorial bearings to William
Shakespeare, which he bore as a single charge; a single spear was also
borne appropriately by one Knight of Hybern.

As a last example of allusive arms, we may quote a comparatively
modern example--viz., the coat of arms of the Cunard family.

Here we find three anchors charged upon the field, in obvious allusion
to Sir Samuel Cunard, the eminent merchant of Philadelphia and the
founder of the House of Cunard.



Nothing is more fascinating in the study of heraldry than the cunning
fashion in which it tells the history either of a single individual
or of a family, of an institution, or of a city--sometimes even of an
empire--all within the space of one small shield, by using the signs
which compose its language. It is astounding how much information can
be conveyed by the skilful arrangement of these signs to those who can
interpret them.

For armorial bearings were not originally adopted for ornament, but to
give real information, about those who bore them.

[Illustration: PLATE 2.


  _Arms._--Arg: saltire gu:
  _Crest._--Monkey statant ppr. environed round the loins and
          chained or.
  _Supporters._--Two monkeys environed and chained or.
  _Motto._--Crom a boo.

Thus every detail of a coat of arms has its own message to deliver,
and must not be overlooked. Let us begin with the shield, which is
as necessary a part of any heraldic achievement[1] as the canvas of a
painting is to the picture portrayed upon it.

    [Footnote 1: Any complete heraldic composition is described as
    an _achievement_.]

It actually serves as the vehicle for depicting the coat of arms.

The word "shield" comes from the Saxon verb _scyldan_, to protect,
but the heraldic term "escutcheon," derived from the Greek _skûtos_,
a skin, reminds us that in olden days warriors covered their shields
with the skins of wild beasts.

Early Britons used round, light shields woven of osier twigs, with
hides thrown over them, whilst the Scythians and Medes dyed their
shields red, so that their comrades in battle might not be discouraged
by seeing the blood of the wounded. The Roman Legionary bore a wooden
shield covered with leather and strengthened with bars and bosses of
metal, whilst the Greek shield was more elaborate, and reached from a
man's face to his knee. Homer describes Æneas' shield in the "Iliad"

  "Five plates of various metal, various mould,
  Composed the shield, of brass each outward fold,
  Of tin each inward, and the middle gold."

But whether the shield were of basket-work or metal, whether it were
borne by a savage hordesman or by a nobly equipped and mounted knight,
it has always ranked as its bearer's most precious accoutrement, the
loss of which was deemed an irreparable calamity and a deep disgrace
to the loser.

How pathetically King David laments over "the shield of the mighty
which was vilely cast away," when Saul was slain! And everyone
knows that when their sons went forth to battle the Spartan mothers
admonished them to return either "with their shield or upon it"!

That they should return _without_ a shield was unthinkable! Thus,
naturally enough, the shield was chosen to bear those armorial devices
which commemorated the golden deeds of its owner.

It was probably in the reign of Henry II. that shields were first used
in this way; until then, warriors wore their badges embroidered upon
their mantles or robes.

In studying the heraldic shield, its shape must be considered first,
because that marks the period in history to which it belongs.[2]

    [Footnote 2: Parker states that twenty-one differently shaped
    shields occur in heraldry, but Guillim only mentions fourteen

Thus a bowed shield (Fig. 1) denotes those early times when a
warrior's shield fitted closely to his person, whilst a larger, longer
form, the kite-shaped shield, was in use in the time of Richard I.
(Fig. 2). This disappeared, however, in Henry III.'s reign, giving way
to a much shorter shield known as the "heater-shaped" (see Fig. 3).

Another form of shield had a curved notch in the right side, through
which the lance was passed when the shield was displayed on the breast
(Fig. 4).

The shield of a coat of arms usually presents a plain surface, but it
is sometimes enriched with a bordure--literally border. This surface
is termed the "field," "because, as I believe," says Guillim, "it
bore those ensigns which the owner's valour had gained for him on the

[Illustration: FIG. 1.]

[Illustration: FIG. 2.]

[Illustration: FIG. 3.]

[Illustration: FIG. 4.]

The several points of a shield have each their respective names, and
serve as landmarks for locating the exact position of the different
figures charged on the field. (In describing a shield, you must always
think of it as being worn by yourself, so that in _looking_ at a
shield, right and left become reversed, and what appears to you as the
right side is really the left, and _vice versa_.)

In Fig. 5, _A_, _B_, _C_, mark the chief--_i.e._, the highest and most
honourable point of the shield--_A_ marking the dexter chief or upper
right-hand side of the shield, _B_ the middle chief, and _C_ the
sinister or left-hand side of the chief. _E_ denotes the fess point,
or centre; _G_, _H_, and _I_, mark the base of the shield--_G_ and _I_
denoting respectively the dexter and sinister sides of the shield, and
_H_ the middle base. After the points of a field, come the tinctures,
which give the colour to a coat of arms, and are divided into two
classes. The first includes the two metals, gold and silver, and
the five colours proper--viz., blue, red, black, green, purple. In
heraldic language these tinctures are described as "or," "argent"
(always written arg:), "azure" (az:), "gules" (gu:),[3] "sable"
(sa:), "vert," and "purpure." According to Guillim, each tincture was
supposed to teach its own lesson--_e.g._, "as gold excelleth all other
metals in value and purity, so ought its bearer to surpass all others
in prowess and virtue," and so on.

    [Footnote 3: This term for red is thought to be derived either
    from the Hebrew _gulude_, a bit of red cloth, or from the
    Arabic, _gulu_, a rose.]

[Illustration: FIG. 5.]

In the seventeenth century one Petrosancta introduced the system of
delineating the tinctures of the shield by certain dots and lines, in
the use of which we have a good example of how heraldry can dispense
with words. Thus pin-prick dots represent or (Fig. 6); a blank
surface, argent (Fig. 7); horizontal lines, azure (Fig. 8);
perpendicular, gules (Fig. 9); horizontal and perpendicular lines
crossing each other, sable (Fig. 10); diagonal lines running from
the dexter chief to the sinister base, vert (Fig. 11); diagonal lines
running in an opposite direction, purpure (Fig. 12).

[Illustration: FIG. 6.--OR.]

[Illustration: FIG. 7.--ARG.]

[Illustration: FIG. 8.--AZ.]

[Illustration: FIG. 9.--GU.]

[Illustration: FIG. 10.--SA.]

[Illustration: FIG. 11.--V.]

[Illustration: FIG. 12.--PURPURE.]

Two other colours, orange and blood-colour, were formerly in use, but
they are practically obsolete now.

Furs constitute the second class of tinctures. Eight kinds occur
in English heraldry, but we can only mention the two most
important--viz., ermine and vair. The former is represented by black
spots on a white ground (Fig. 13).[4] As shields were anciently
covered with the skins of animals, it is quite natural that furs
should appear in armorial bearings. "Ermine," says Guillim, "is a
little beast that hath his being in the woods of Armenia, whereof he
taketh his name."

    [Footnote 4: When the same spots are in white on a black field
    it is termed _ermines_, whilst black spots on a gold field are
    blazoned or described as _erminois_.]

Many legends account for the heraldic use of ermine, notably that
relating how, when Conan Meriadic landed in Brittany, an ermine sought
shelter from his pursuers under Conan's shield. Thereupon the Prince
protected the small fugitive, and adopted an ermine as his arms.

[Illustration: FIG. 13.--ERMINE.]

From early days the wearing of ermine was a most honourable
distinction, enjoyed only by certain privileged persons, and
disallowed to them in cases of misdemeanour. Thus, when, in the
thirteenth century, Pope Innocent III. absolved Henry of Falkenburg
for his share in the murder of the Bishop of Wurtzburg, he imposed
on him as a penance _never_ to appear in ermine, vair, or any other
colour used in tournaments. And, according to Joinville, when St.
Louis returned to France from Egypt, "he renounced the wearing of
furs as a mark of humility, contenting himself with linings for his
garments made of doeskins or legs of hares."

As to vair, Mackenzie tells us that it was the skin of a beast whose
back was blue-grey (it was actually meant for the boar, for which
_verres_ was the Latin name), and that the figure used in heraldry to
indicate vair represents the shape of the skin when the head and feet
have been taken away (Fig. 14). "These skins," he says, "were used by
ancient governors to line their pompous robes, sewing one skin to the

Vair was first used as a distinctive badge by the Lord de Courcies
when fighting in Hungary. Seeing that his soldiers were flying from
the field, he tore the lining from his mantle and raised it aloft as
an ensign. Thereupon, the soldiers rallied to the charge and overcame
the enemy.

[Illustration: FIG. 14.--VAIR.]

Cinderella's glass slipper in the fairy-tale, which came originally
from France, should really have been translated "fur," it being easy
to understand how the old French word _vaire_ was supposed to be a
form of _verre_, and was rendered accordingly.

Much might still be said about "varied fields"--_i.e._, those
which have either more than one colour or a metal _and_ a colour
alternatively, or, again, which have patterns or devices represented
upon them. We can, however, only mention that when the field shows
small squares alternately of a metal and colour, it is described
as _checky_, when it is strewn with small objects--such as
_fleurs-de-lys_ or billets--it is described as "powdered" or "sown."
A diapered field is also to be met with, but this, being merely an
artistic detail, has no heraldic significance. Therefore, whereas
in blazoning armorial bearings one must always state if the field is
checky or powdered, the diaper is never mentioned.

In concluding this chapter we must add that one of the first rules to
be learnt in heraldry is that in arranging the tinctures of a coat of
arms, metal can never be placed upon metal, nor colour upon colour.
The field must therefore be gold or silver if it is to receive a
coloured charge, or _vice versa_. This rule was probably made because,
as we said above, the knights originally bore their arms embroidered
upon their mantles, these garments being always either of cloth of
gold or of silver, embroidered with silk, or they were of silken
material, embroidered with gold or silver.



Although in many shields the field presents an unbroken surface,
yet we often find it cut up into divisions of several kinds. These
divisions come under the head of _simple charges_, and the old heralds
explain their origin--viz.: "After battles were ended, the shields of
soldiers were considered, and he was accounted most deserving whose
shield was most or deepest cut. And to recompense the dangers wherein
they were shown to have been by those cuts for the service of their
King and country, the heralds did represent them upon their shields.
The common cuts gave name to the common partitions, of which the
others are made by various conjunctions."

[Illustration: PLATE 3.


  _Arms._--Quarterly 1st and 4th Or on a pile gu: between 6 fleurs
          de lys az: 3 lions passant guardant in pale or.
          2nd and 3rd gu: 2 wings conjoined in lure or. Seymour.

  _Crest._--Out of a ducal coronet or, a ph[oe]nix ppr.

  _Supporters._--Two blackamoors.

  _Motto._--Fide et amore.

The heraldic term given to these partition-lines of the field is
_ordinaries_. There are nine of these, termed respectively, chief,
fesse, bar, pale, cross, bend, saltire, chevron, and pile.

[Illustration: FIG. 15.]

[Illustration: FIG. 16.]

The chief, occupying about the upper third of the field, is marked
off by a horizontal line (Fig. 15); the fesse, derived from the Latin
_fascia_, a band, is a broad band crossing the centre of the field
horizontally, and extends over a third of its surface (Fig. 16). The
bar is very like the fesse, but differs from it, (_a_) in being much
narrower and only occupying a fifth portion of the field, (_b_) in
being liable to be placed in any part of the field, whereas the fesse
is an immovable charge, (_c_) in being used mostly in pairs and not
singly. Two or three bars may be charged on the same field, and when
an even number either of metal or fur alternating with a colour occur
together, the field is then described as _barry_, the number of the
bars being always stated, so that if there are six bars, it is said
to be "barry of six," if eight, "barry of eight" (Fig. 17). The pale,
probably derived from _palus_, a stake, is also a broad band like
the fesse, but runs perpendicularly down the shield, instead of
horizontally across it (Fig. 18).

[Illustration: FIG. 17.]

[Illustration: FIG. 18.]

[Illustration: FIG. 19.]

The cross, which is the ordinary St. George's Cross, is pre-eminently
_the_ heraldic cross, out of nearly four hundred varieties of the
sacred sign. It is really a simple combination of the fesse and pale.
Bend is again a broad band, but it runs diagonally across the field
from the dexter chief to the sinister base. It is supposed to occupy a
third portion of the field, but rarely does so (Fig. 19). The saltire
is the familiar St. Andrew's Cross, owing its name probably to the
French _salcier_ (see Fig. 20). The chevron, resembling the letter
V turned topsy-turvy, is a combination of a bend dexter and a bend
sinister, and is rather more than the lower half of the saltire. The
French word _chevron_, still in use, means rafters (Fig. 21). The
pile, derived from the Latin for pillar, is a triangular wedge, and
when charged singly on a field may issue from any point of the latter,
_except from the base_ (Fig. 22). If more than one pile occurs, we
generally find the number is three, although the Earl of Clare bears
"two piles issuing from the chief." Many old writers, notably
amongst the French, attribute a symbolical meaning to each of these
ordinaries. Thus, some believe the chief to represent the helmet of
the warrior, the fesse his belt or band, the bar "one of the great
_peeces of tymber_ which be used to debarre the enemy from entering
any city." The pale was thought by some to represent the warrior's
lance, by others the palings by which cities and camps were guarded;
the cross was borne by those who fought for the faith; the bend was
interpreted by some to refer to the shoulder-scarf of the knight,
whilst others describe it as "a scaling-ladder set aslope." Another
variety of the scaling-ladder was represented by the saltire. The
chevron, or rafters, were held to symbolize protection, such as a roof
affords, whilst the pile suggests a strong support of some sort.

[Illustration: FIG. 20.]

[Illustration: FIG. 21.]

[Illustration: FIG. 22.]

There is a tenth ordinary, which is known as the "shakefork" (Fig.
23). Practically unknown in English heraldry, it is frequently met
with in Scotch arms. It is shaped like the letter Y and pointed at
its extremities, but does not extend to the edge of the field. Guillim
attributes its origin to "an instrument in use in the royal stables,
whereby hay was thrown up to the horses" (surely this instrument must
have been next-of-kin to our homely pitchfork?), and he believes the
shakefork to have been granted to a certain Earl of Glencairne, who at
one time was Master of the King's Horse.

[Illustration: FIG. 23.]

Many historical stories are connected with the different charges we
have just been describing, but we have only space to mention two,
referring respectively to the fesse and the saltire.

The former reminds us of the origin of the arms of Austria, which date
from the Siege of Acre, where our C[oe]ur-de-Lion won such glory. It
was here that Leopold, Duke of Austria, went into battle, clad in
a spotlessly white linen robe, bound at the waist with his knight's
belt. On returning from the field, the Duke's tunic was "total
gules"--blood-red--save where the belt had protected the white of the
garment. Thereupon, his liege-lord, Duke Frederic of Swabia, father of
the famous Frederic Barbarossa, granted permission to Leopold to bear
as his arms a silver fesse upon a blood-red field.

The saltire, recalling the French form of scaling-ladder of the Middle
Ages, reminds us of how the brave Joan of Arc placed the _salcier_
with her own hands against the fort of Tournelles. And we remember
how, when her shoulder was presently pierced by an English arrow, she
herself drew it out from the ghastly wound, rebuking the women who
wept round her with the triumphant cry: "This is not blood, but

[Illustration: FIG. 24.]

In addition to the ordinaries, there are fifteen sub-ordinaries. These
less important divisions of the shield are known in heraldry as the
_canton_, _inescutcheon_, _bordure_, _orle_, _tressure_, _flanches_,
_lozenge_, _mascle_, _rustre_, _fusil_, _billet_, _gyron_, _frette_,
and _roundle_. Owing to limited space, we cannot go into detail with
regard to these charges, but we may mention that the canton, from
the French word for a corner, is placed, with rare exceptions, in the
dexter side of the field, being supposed to occupy one-third of the
chief. It is often added as an "augmentation of honour" to a coat of
arms. The badge of a baronet, the red hand, is generally charged on
a canton, sometimes also on an inescutcheon, and it is then placed on
the field, so as not to interfere with the family arms (Fig. 24).
The inescutcheon is a smaller shield placed upon the field, and, when
borne singly, it occupies the centre (Fig. 25). Three, or even five,
escutcheons may be borne together. The bordure (Fig. 26) is a band
surrounding the field, which may be either void--that is, bearing
no kind of device--or it may have charges upon it, as in the arms of
England, where the bordure is charged with eight lions. The orle and
the tressure are only varieties of the bordure, just as the mascle,
rustre, and fusil, are variations of the diamond-shaped figure known
as the "lozenge" (Fig. 27). The latter is always set erect on the
field. The arms of an unmarried woman and a widow are always displayed
on a lozenge. The mascle--a link of chain armour--is a lozenge square
set diagonally, pierced in the centre with a diamond-shaped opening,
whilst the rustre is a lozenge pierced with a round hole. The fusil is
a longer and narrower form of diamond.

[Illustration: FIG. 25.]

[Illustration: FIG. 26.]

[Illustration: FIG. 27.]

[Illustration: FIG. 28.]

The billet is a small elongated rectangular figure, representing a
block of wood, and is seldom used. The gyron (Fig. 28), which is a
triangular figure, does not occur in English heraldry as a single
charge, but what is termed a _coat gyronny_ is not unusual in armorial
bearings, when the field may be divided into ten, twelve, or even
sixteen pieces. All arms borne by the Campbell clan have a field
gyronny. The origin of the word is doubtful; some trace it to the
Greek for curve, others to a Spanish word for gore or gusset. The
introduction of a gyron into heraldry dates from the reign of Alfonso
VI. of Spain, who, being sore beset by the Moors, was rescued by his
faithful knight, Don Roderico de Cissnères. The latter, as a memento
of the occasion, tore three triangular pieces from Alfonso's mantle,
being henceforward allowed to represent the same on his shield in the
shape of a gyron. The frette, formerly known as a "trellis," from its
resemblance to lattice-work, is very frequent in British heraldry;
it also occurs as a net in connection with fish charges. In the Grand
Tournament held at Dunstable to celebrate Edward III.'s return from
Scotland, one Sir John de Harrington bore "a fretty arg., charged upon
a sable field."

The roundlet is simply a ring of metal or colour, and is much used in
coats of arms at all periods of heraldry. The family of Wells bears a
roundlet to represent a fountain, whilst the Sykes charge their shield
with three roundlets, in allusion to their name, "sykes" being an old
term for a well.

[Illustration: FIG. 29.]

In Fig. 29 we see an example of a shield charged with an inescutcheon
within a bordure.



In this chapter we shall deal with _blazoning_, in which "the skill of
heraldry" is said to lie.

The word "blazon" in its heraldic sense means the art of describing
armorial bearings in their proper terms and sequence.

"To blazon," says Guillim, "signifies properly the winding of a horn,
but to blazon a coat of arms is to describe or proclaim the things
borne upon it in their proper gestures and tinctures" (_i.e._, their
colours and attitudes) "which the herald was bound to do."[1]

    [Footnote 1: Our word "blast," as well as our verb "to
    blow," are obviously derived from the German _blasen_, the
    Anglo-Saxon _blawen_, to blow, and the French _blasonner_.]

The herald, as we know, performed many different offices. It was his
duty to carry messages between hostile armies, to marshal processions,
to challenge to combat, to arrange the ceremonial at grand public
functions, to settle questions of precedence, to identify the slain
on the battle-field--this duty demanded an extensive knowledge of
heraldry[2]--to announce his sovereign's commands, and, finally, to
proclaim the armorial bearings and feats of arms of each knight as he
entered the lists at a tournament.

    [Footnote 2: Do you remember that in the "Canterbury Tales"
    the knight tells the story of how, after the battle, "two
    young knights were found lying side by side, each clad in his
    own arms," and how neither of them, though "not fully
    dead," was alive enough to say his own name, but by their
    _coote-armure_ and by their _gere_ the _heraudes_ knew them

Probably because this last duty was preceded by a flourish or blast
of trumpets, people learnt to associate the idea of blazoning with
the proclamation of armorial bearings, and thus the term crept into
heraldic language and signified the describing or depicting of all
that belonged to a coat of arms.

The few and comparatively simple rules with regard to blazoning
armorial bearings must be rigidly observed. They are the following:

1. In depicting a coat of arms we must always begin with the field.

2. Its tincture must be stated first, whether of metal or colour. This
is such an invariable rule that the first word in the description
of arms is _always_ the tincture, the word "field" being so well
understood that it is never mentioned. Thus, when the field of a
shield is azure, the blazon begins "Az.," the charges being mentioned
next, each one of these being named before its colour. Thus, we should
blazon Fig. 44 "Or, raven proper." When the field is semé with small
charges such as fleur-de-lys, it must be blazoned accordingly "semé of
fleur-de-lys," in the case of cross-crosslets, the term "crusily" is

3. The ordinaries must be mentioned next, being blazoned before their
colour. Thus, if a field is divided say, by bendlets (Fig. 30), the
diminution of bend, it is blazoned "per bendlets," if by a pale (Fig.
18), "per pale," or "per pallets," if the diminutive occurs, as in
Fig. 31, whilst the division in Fig. 32 should be blazoned "pale per
fesse." The field of Fig. 17 is blazoned "arg., two bars gu." All the
ordinaries and subordinaries are blazoned in this way _except_ the
chief, (Fig. 15), the quarter (blazoned "per cross or quarterly")
the canton, the flanch, and the bordure. These, being considered less
important than the other divisions, are never mentioned until all the
rest of the shield has been described. Consequently, we should blazon
Fig. 48 thus, "Arg., chevron gu., three soles hauriant--drinking,
proper, with a bordure invected sa."

[Illustration: FIG. 30.]

[Illustration: FIG. 31.]

[Illustration: FIG. 32.]

The term _invected_ reminds us that so far we have only spoken of
ordinaries which have straight unbroken outlines. But there are at
least thirteen different ways in which the edge of an ordinary may
vary from the straight line. Here, however, we can only mention the
four best-known varieties, termed, respectively, _engrailed_, (Fig.
33, 1), _invected_ (2), _embattled_ (3), and _indented_ (4). Other
varieties are known as _wavy_, _raguly_, _dancetté_, _dovetailed_,
_nebuly_, etc. Whenever any of these varieties occur, they must be
blazoned before the tincture. Thus in describing the Shelley arms,
Fig. 50, we should say: "Sa, fesse indented, whelks or." Fig. 34 shows
a bend embattled, Fig. 35 a fesse engrailed.

[Illustration: FIG. 33.]

[Illustration: FIG. 34.]

4. The next thing to be blazoned is the principal charge on the field.
If this does not happen to be one of the chief ordinaries, or if no
ordinary occurs in the coat of arms, as in Fig. 38, then that charge
should be named which occupies the fesse point, and in this case the
position of the charge is never mentioned, because it is understood
that it occupies the middle of the field. When there are two or more
charges on the same field, but none actually placed on the fesse
point, then that charge is blazoned first which is nearest the centre
and then those which are more remote. All repetition of words must be
avoided in depicting a coat of arms, the same word never being used
twice over, either in describing the tincture or in stating a number.

[Illustration: FIG. 35.]

Thus, in blazoning Lord Scarborough's arms (see coloured plate), we
must say: "Arg., fesse gu., between three parrots vert, collared of
the second," the _second_ signifying the second colour mentioned in
the blazon--viz., gules. Again, if three charges of one kind occur in
the same field with three charges of another kind, as in the arms of
Courtenay, Archbishop of Canterbury, who had three roundles and three
mitres, to avoid repeating the word three, they are blazoned, "Three
roundles with as many mitres."

When any charge is placed on an ordinary, as in Fig. 41, where three
calves are charged upon the bend, if these charges are of the same
colour as the field instead of repeating the name of the colour, it
must be blazoned as being "of the field."

We now come to those charges known as "marks of cadency." They are
also called "differences" or "distinctions."

[Illustration: FIG. 36.]

Cadency--literally, "falling down"--means in heraldic language,
"descending a scale," and is therefore a very suitable term for
describing the descending degrees of a family. Thus "marks of cadency"
are certain figures or devices which are employed in armorial bearings
in order to mark the distinctions between the different members and
branches of one and the same family. These marks are always smaller
than other charges, and the herald is careful to place them where they
do not interfere with the rest of the coat of arms. There are nine
marks of cadency--generally only seven are quoted--so that in a family
of nine sons, each son has his own special difference. The eldest
son bears a label (Fig. 36, 1); the second, a crescent, (2); third, a
mullet (3)--the heraldic term for the rowel of a spur[3]; the fourth,
a martlet (4)--the heraldic swallow; the fifth, a roundle or ring (5);
the sixth, a fleur-de-lys (6); the seventh, a rose (7); the eighth,
a cross moline; and the ninth, a double quatrefoil. The single
quatrefoil represents the heraldic primrose. There is much doubt as to
why the label was chosen for the eldest son's badge, but though many
writers interpret the symbolism of the other marks of cadency in
various ways, most are agreed as to the meaning of the crescent,
mullet, and martlet--viz., the crescent represents the double blessing
which gives hope of future increase; the mullet implies that the third
son must earn a position for himself by his own knightly deeds; whilst
the martlet suggests that the younger son of a family must be content
with a very small portion of land to rest upon. As regards the
representation of the other charges, the writer once saw the following
explanation in an old manuscript manual of French heraldry--namely:
"The fifth son bears a ring, as he can only hope to enrich himself
through marriage; the sixth, a fleur-de-lys, to represent the quiet,
retired life of the student; the seventh, a rose, because he must
learn to thrive and blossom amidst the thorns of hardships; the
eighth, a cross, as a hint that he should take holy orders; whilst to
the ninth son is assigned the double primrose, because he must needs
dwell in the humble paths of life."

    [Footnote 3: A mullet is generally represented as a star with
    five points, but if there are six or more, the number must be
    specified. It must also be stated if the mullet is pierced, so
    that the tincture of the field is shown through the opening.]

The eldest son of a second son would charge his difference as eldest
son, a label, upon his father's crescent (Fig. 37), to show that he
was descended from the second son, all his brothers charging their
own respective differences on their father's crescent also. Thus,
each eldest son of all these sons in turn becomes head of his own
particular branch.

[Illustration: FIG. 37.]

When a coat of arms is charged with a mark of cadency, it is always
mentioned last in blazoning, and is followed by the words, "for a
difference." Thus Fig. 43 should be blazoned, "Or, kingfisher with his
beak erected bendways[4] proper with a mullet for a difference gu.,"
thus showing that the arms are borne by a third son.

    [Footnote 4: The individual direction of a charge should be
    blazoned, as well as its position in the field.]



After the "proper charges" which we have just been considering, we
come to those termed "common or miscellaneous."

(How truly miscellaneous these are we have already shown in our first
chapter.) Guillim arranges these charges in the following order:

_Celestial Bodies._--Angels, sun, moon, stars, etc.

_Metals and Minerals._--Under this latter title rank precious stones
and useful stones--such as jewels and millstones, grindstones, etc.,
also rocks.

_Plants and other Vegetatives._

_Living Creatures._--These latter he divides into two classes--viz.,
"Those which are unreasonable, as all manner of beasts" and "_Man,
which is reasonable_."

To begin with the heavenly bodies.

Angels, as also human beings, are very rare charges, though Guillim
quotes the arms of one Maellock Kwrm, of Wales, where three robed
kneeling angels are charged upon a chevron, and also the coat of arms
of Sir John Adye in the seventeenth century, where three cherubim
heads occur on the field. Both angels and men, however, are often used
in heraldry as supporters. Charles VI. added two angels as supporters
to the arms of France, and two winged angels occur as such in the arms
of the Earl of Oxford.

Supporters, you must understand, are those figures which are
represented standing on either side of a shield of arms, as if they
were supporting it. No one may bear these figures except by special
grant, the grant being restricted to Peers, Knights of the Garter,
Thistle, and St. Patrick, Knights Grand Cross, and Knights Grand
Commanders of other orders.

Charges of the sun, moon, and other heavenly bodies are comparatively
rare. One St. Cleere rather aptly bears the "sun in splendour," which
is represented as a human face, surrounded by rays. Sir W. Thompson's
shield is charged with the sun and three stars. The sun _eclipsed_
occurs occasionally in armorial bearings; it is then represented thus:
Or, the sun sable.

The moon occurs very often in early coats of arms, either full, when
she is blazoned "the moon in her complement," or in crescent. The
Defous bear a very comical crescent, representing a human profile.
Of these arms, the old herald says severely: "A weak eye and a weaker
judgment have found the face of a man in the moon, wherein we have
gotten that fashion of representing the moon with a face."

The moon is certainly not in favour with Guillim, for, after declaring
that she was the symbol of inconstancy, he quotes the following fable
from Pliny to her discredit:

"Once on a time the moon sent for a tailor to make her a gown, but he
could never fit her; it was always either too big or too little, not
through any fault of his own, but because her inconstancy made it
impossible to fit the humours of one so fickle and unstable."

The sixth Bishop of Ely had very curious arms, for he bore both sun
and moon on his shield, the sun "in his splendour" and the moon "in
her complement."

Stars occur repeatedly as heraldic charges. John Huitson of Cleasby
bore a sixteen-pointed star; Sir Francis Drake charged his shield with
the two polar stars; whilst Richard I. bore a star issuing from the
horns of a crescent. The Cartwrights bear a comet; whilst the rainbow
is charged on the Ponts' shield, and is also borne as a crest by
the Pontifex, Wigan, and Thurston families. The Carnegies use a
thunderbolt as their crest.

We now come to the elements--fire, water, earth, and air, which all
occur as charges, but not often, in armorial bearings.

Fire, in the form of flames, is perhaps the most frequent charge. The
Baikie family bear flames, whilst we have seen the picture of a church
window in Gloucestershire, where a coat of arms is represented with
a chevron between three flames of fire. The original bearer of these
arms distinguished himself, we were told, by restoring the church
after it had been burnt down. Fire often occurs in combination with
other charges, such as a ph[oe]nix, which always rises out of flames,
the salamander,[1] and the fiery sword.

    [Footnote 1: The salamander was the device of Francis I. of
    France, and on the occasion of the Field of the Cloth of Gold
    the French guard bore the salamander embroidered on their

Queen Elizabeth chose a ph[oe]nix amidst flames as one of her heraldic
charges. Macleod, Lord of the Isles of Skye and Lewis, bears "a
mountain inflamed"--literally, a volcano--on his shield, thus
combining the two elements, earth and fire.

"Etna is like this," says Guillim; "or else this is like Etna."

Water, as we know, is usually represented by roundlets, but the earth
may figure in a variety of ways when introduced into heraldry.

In the arms of one King of Spain it took the shape of fifteen
islets, whilst one Sir Edward Tydesley charged his field with three

Jewels pure and simple occur very rarely as charges. A single
"escarbuncle" was borne by the Empress Maud, daughter of Henry I., as
also by the Blounts of Gloucester. Oddly enough, however, mill-stones
were held to be very honourable charges, because, as they must
always be used in pairs, they symbolized the mutual dependence of one
fellow-creature on the other. They were therefore considered the most
precious of all other stones.

The family of Milverton bear three mill-stones.

Plants, having been created before animals, are considered next.

Trees, either whole or represented by stocks or branches, are very
favourite charges, and often reflect the bearer's name.

Thus, one Wood bears a single oak, the Pines, a pineapple tree, the
Pyrtons, a pear-tree. Parts of a tree are often introduced into arms.
For example, the Blackstocks bear three stocks, or trunks, of trees,
whilst another family of the same name charge their shield with "three
starved branches, sa." The Archer-Houblons most appropriately bear
three hop-poles erect with hop-vines. (_Houblon_ is the French for
hop.) Three broom slips are assigned to the Broom family; the Berrys
bear one barberry branch; Sir W. Waller, three walnut leaves. Amongst
fruit charges, we may mention the three golden pears borne by the
Stukeleys, the three red cherries which occur in the arms of the
Southbys of Abingdon, and the three clusters of grapes which were
bestowed on Sir Edward de Marolez by Edward I. One John Palmer bears
three acorns, and three ashen-keys occur in the arms of Robert Ashford
of Co. Down.

A full-grown oak-tree, covered with acorns and growing out of the
ground, was given for armorial bearings by Charles II. to his faithful
attendant, Colonel Carlos, as a reminder of the perils that they
shared together at the lonely farmhouse at Boscobel, where the king
took refuge after the Battle of Worcester. Here, as you probably all
know, Charles hid himself for twenty-four hours in a leafy oak-tree,
whilst Cromwell's soldiers searched the premises to find him, even
passing under the very branches of the oak. Carlos, meanwhile, in the
garb of a wood-cutter, kept breathless watch close by. On the Carlos
coat of arms a fesse gu., charged with three imperial golden crowns,
traverses the oak.

In blazoning trees and all that pertains to them, the following terms
are used: _Growing trees_ are blazoned as "issuant from a mount vert";
a _full-grown tree_, as "accrued"; _when in leaf_, as "in foliage";
_when bearing fruit_, as "fructed," or _seeds_, as "seeded." If
_leafless_, trees are blazoned "blasted"; when the _roots are
represented_, as "eradicated"; _stocks_ or _stumps of trees_ are
"couped." If _branches_ or _leaves_ are represented singly, they
are "slipped." Holly _branches_, for some odd reason, are invariably
blazoned either as "sheaves" or as "holly branches of three leaves."

Some of our homely vegetables are found in heraldry. One Squire
Hardbean bears most properly three bean-cods or pods; a "turnip
leaved" is borne by the Damant family, and is supposed to symbolize "a
good wholesome, and solid disposition," whilst the Lingens use seven
leeks, root upwards, issuing from a ducal coronet, for a crest. Herbs
also occur as charges. The family of Balme bears a sprig of
balm, whilst rue still figures in the Ducal arms of Saxony. This
commemorates the bestowal of the Dukedom on Bernard of Ascania by the
Emperor Barbarossa, who, on that occasion, took the chaplet of rue
from his own head and flung it across Bernard's shield.

Amongst flower charges, our national badge, the rose, is prime
favourite, and occurs very often in heraldry. The Beverleys bear a
single rose, so does Lord Falmouth. The Nightingale family also use
the rose as a single charge, in poetical allusion to the Oriental
legend of the nightingale's overpowering love for the "darling rose."
The Roses of Lynne bear three roses, as also the families of Flower,
Cary, and Maurice. Sometimes the rose of England is drawn from nature,
but it far oftener takes the form of the heraldic or Tudor rose.
Funnily enough, however, when a stem and leaves are added to the
conventional flower, these are drawn naturally.

There are special terms for blazoning roses. Thus, when, as in No. 7
of Fig. 36, it is represented with five small projecting sepals of
the calyx, and seeded, it must be blazoned "a rose barbed and seeded";
when it has a stalk and one leaf it is "slipped," but with a leaf
on either side of the stalk, it is "stalked and leaved." A rose
surrounded with rays is blazoned "a rose in sun" (_rose en soleil_).
Heraldic roses are by no means always red, for the Rocheforts bear
azure roses, the Smallshaws a single rose vert, whilst the Berendons
have three roses sable.

The thistle, being also our national badge, has a special importance
in our eyes, but next to the "chiefest among flowers, the rose, the
heralds ranked the fleur-de-lys," because it was the charge of a regal
escutcheon, originally borne by the French kings. Numerous legends
explain the introduction of the lily into armorial bearings, but we
can only add here that although the fleur-de-lys is generally used in
heraldry, the natural flower is occasionally represented--as in the
well-known arms of Eton College; three natural lilies, silver, are
charged upon a sable field, one conventional fleur-de-lys being also
represented. Amongst other flower charges, three very pretty coats
of arms are borne respectively by the families of Jorney, Hall,
and Chorley. The first have three gilliflowers, the second, three
columbines, and the last, three bluebottles (cornflowers).

Three pansies were given by Louis XV. to his physician, Dr. Quesnay,
as a charge in a coat of arms, which he drew with his own royal hand;
and to come to modern times, Mexico has adopted the cactus as the arms
of the Republic, in allusion to the legend connected with the founding
of the city in 1325, when it is said that the sight of a royal eagle
perched upon a huge cactus on a rocky crevice, with a serpent in
its talons, guided the Mexicans to the choice of a site for the
foundations of their city.

One last word as to cereals.

The Bigland family bear two huge wheat-ears, which, having both stalk
and leaves, are blazoned "couped and bladed." As in the case of trees,
when represented _growing_, wheat-ears are described as "issuant out
of a mount, bladed and eared." Three ears of Guinea wheat, "bearded
like barley," are borne by Dr. Grandorge (Dr. Big-barley); three "rie
stalks slipped and bladed" occur in the arms of the Rye family; whilst
"five garbes" (sheaves) were granted to Ralph Merrifield by James I.

Wheat-sheaves (garbes) are very favourite charges. Lord Cloncurry
bears three garbes in chief; Sir Montague Cholmeley bears a garbe in
the base of his shield, as does also the Marquis of Cholmondeley.

Garbes and wheat-ears were also much used as crests.

The Shakerleys have a sheaf of corn for their crest, on the left
of which is a little rabbit, erect, and resting her forefeet on the
garbe; Sir Edward Denny's crest is a hand holding five wheat-ears;
whilst Sir George Crofton has seven ears of corn as his crest.

Though quite out of order amongst cereals, we may mention what is, I
believe, a rather rare example of the representation of the fern in
heraldry, Sir Edward Buckley's crest--a bull's head out of a fern



In dealing with charges of living creatures, we shall observe the
following order: (_a_) "Animals of all sort living on the earth";
(_b_) "such as live above the earth"; (_c_) "watery creatures"; (_d_)

_First_, amongst the animals, come those with undivided
feet--elephant, horse, ass. _Second_, those with cloven feet--bull,
goat, stag, etc. _Third_, those beasts that have many claws--lions,
tigers, bears, etc.

To blazon animal charges, many special terms are required, describing
their person, limbs, actions, attitudes, etc.

"And as," says Guillim, "these beasts are to explain a history, they
must be represented in that position which will best show it."

[Illustration: FIG. 38.]

[Illustration: FIG. 39.]

Moreover, each beast was to be portrayed in its most characteristic
attitude. Thus, a lion should be drawn erect with wide-open jaws and
claws extended, as if "about to rend or tear." In this posture he
is blazoned _rampant_ (Fig. 38). A leopard must be represented going
"step by step" fitting his natural disposition; he is then _passant_.
A deer or lamb "being both gentle creatures," are said to be
_trippant_ (Fig. 39), and so on; the heraldic term varying, you
understand, to suit the particular animal charge that is being
blazoned. Living charges when represented on a shield must always,
with rare exceptions, appear to be either looking or moving towards
the dexter side of the shield (see Fig. 39). The right foot or claw
is usually placed foremost as being the most honourable limb (see Fig.

The elephant, having solid feet, is mentioned first, although the lion
is really the only animal--if we except the boar's head--which occurs
in the earliest armorial bearings. The Elphinstones charge their
shield with an elephant passant, whilst the Prattes bear three
elephants' heads _erased_. This term implies that they have been torn
off and have ragged edges.

[Illustration: PLATE 4.


  _Arms._--Arg: a fesse gu: between 3 parrots vert collared of the
  _Crest._--A pelican in her piety.
  _Supporters._--Two parrots, wings inverted vert.
  _Motto._--Murus a[=e]n[=e]us conscientia sana.

After describing this charge, Guillim rather comically gives us this

"An elephant of huge greatness was once carried in a show at Rome, and
as it passed by a little boy pried into its proboscis. Thereupon,
very much enraged, the beast cast the child up to a great height, but
received him again on his snout and laid him gently down, as though he
did consider that for a childish fault a childish fright was revenge

[Illustration: FIG. 40.]

Horses, of course, figure largely in armorial bearings. One, William
Colt, bears three horses "at full speed" (Fig. 40). So also does Sir
Francis Rush--probably in allusion to his name--whilst horses'
heads _couped_--that is, cut off smoothly--occur very frequently. A
demi-horse was granted as a crest to the Lane family in recognition of
Mistress Jane Lane's heroism in riding from Staffordshire to the South
Coast on a roan horse, with King Charles II. behind her, after the
disastrous Battle of Worcester.

Donkeys were evidently at a discount with heralds. The families of
Askewe and Ayscough bear three asses passant charged on their shield,
and there is an ass's head in the arms of the Hokenhalls of Cheshire.

Oxen occur fairly often in heraldry. The Oxendens bear three oxen;
three bulls occur in the arms of Anne Boleyn's father, the Lord
of Hoo, whilst the same arms were given by Queen Elizabeth to her
clockmaker, Randal Bull of London. The Veitchs bear three cows' heads
erased, a rather uncommon charge, as female beasts were generally
deemed unworthy of the herald's notice. The Veales bear three calves
passant (Fig. 41), anent which Guillim adds: "Should these calves live
to have horns, which differ either in metal or colour from the rest of
their body, there must be special mention made of such difference
in blazoning them." Hereby, he reminds us of the important rule for
blazoning animals with horns and hoofs. Goats and goats' heads are
often used in heraldry. A single goat passant is borne by one, Baker;
three goats _salient_--leaping--occur in the Thorold arms, whilst the
Gotley family--originally Goatley--charge a magnificent goat's head on
their shield.

[Illustration: FIG. 41.]

Bulls, goats, and rams, when their horns differ in tincture from the
rest of their body, are blazoned "armed of their horns," these latter
in their case being regarded as weapons. When, however, special
mention is made of a stag's antlers, he is said to be "attired of his
antlers," _his_ horns being regarded as ornaments. (The branches of
his antlers are termed _tynes_.)

Stags, as you would expect, are highly esteemed by the old heralds,
who employed various terms in blazoning them. Thus, a stag _in
repose_ was "lodged," _looking out of the field_, "at gaze"; _in rapid
motion_, he was "at speed" or "courant"; whilst, when his head was
represented full face and showing only the face, it was blazoned as
"cabossed" from the Spanish word for head. (Many of these terms we
shall find in blazoning other animal charges.) Early heralds make
careful distinction between a hind or calf, brockets, stags and harts.
(A hind, you know, is the female, calf is the infant deer, brocket the
two-year-old deer, stag the five-year-old, and hart the six-year-old

The Harthills very properly bear a "hart lodged on a hill;" a single
stag, his back pierced by an arrow, occurs in the Bowen arms, and the
Hynds bear three hinds. Three bucks "in full course" are borne by the
Swifts. Deer's heads are very common charges, generally occurring in
threes. In the coat of arms of the Duke of Wurtemberg and Teck, we
find three antlers charged horizontally across the shield.

A reindeer is drawn in heraldry with double antlers, one pair erect
and one drooping.

The boar was deemed a specially suitable badge for a soldier, who
should rather die valorously upon the field than secure himself by
ignominious flight. Both the Tregarthens and Kellets bear a single
boar, whilst a boar's head, either singly or in threes, occurs very
constantly in coats of arms. A boar is blazoned "armed of his tusk" or
"armed and langued," when his tongue is shown of a different tincture.
Moreover, as Mr. Fox-Davies reminds us in his interesting "Guide to
Heraldry," an English boar's head is described as "couped" or erased
"at the neck," but the Scotch herald would blazon the same charge as
"couped and erased" "close."

The Earl of Vere takes a boar for his crest, in allusion to his name,
_verre_ being the Latin for boar.

The Grice family bear a _wild_ boar, formerly called a "grice."

The Winram family bear a single ram, the Ramsays of Hitcham bear three
rams on their shield.

A very pretty coat of arms belongs to the Rowes of Lamerton in Devon,
"gu: three holy lambs with staff, cross and banner arg:."

Foremost amongst the beasts that have "many claws" is the lion; next
to him come the tiger, leopard, bear, wolf, ranking more or less as
the aristocrats amongst their kind, whilst the cat, fox, hare, etc.,
are placed far beneath them. Of all the animal charges, none is more
popular amongst the heralds of all times and lands than the lion.
Extraordinary care was taken to blazon the king of beasts befittingly.
Fig. 38 has already shown you a "lion rampant," and so indispensable
was this attitude considered by the early heralds to the proper
representation of a lion, that if they were obliged to depict a "lion
passant"--that is, "one that looked about him as he walked"--he was
then blazoned as a _leopard_.

That is why the beasts in our national arms, although they are really
lions and meant for such, are not called so, because their undignified
attitude reduces them to the rank of heraldic leopards! A lion
rampant--and other beasts of prey as well--is generally represented
with tongue and claws of a different tincture from the rest of his
person; he is then blazoned "langued and unguled," the latter term
being derived from the Latin for a claw. A lion _in repose_ is
blazoned "couchant" when _lying down with head erect and forepaws
extended_; he is "sejant"--sitting; _seated with forepaws erect_,
he is "sejant rampant"; _standing on all fours_, he is
"statant"--standing; _standing in act to spring_, he is
"salient"--leaping; _when his tail is forked and raised above his
back_, he is said to have a "queue fourchée"--literally a forked tail.
(This last attitude is not often seen.) But when he is represented
_running across the field and looking back_, then the heralds label
the king of beasts "coward!"

A single lion is a very frequent charge, but two lions are rarer. The
Hanmers of Flintshire, descended from Sir John Hanmer in the reign
of Edward I., have two lions, and we find two lions "rampant
combatant"--that is, clawing each other--"langued armed" in the
Wycombe coat of arms; whilst one, Garrad of London, bears two lions
"counter-rampant"--_i.e._, back to back, and very droll they look.
Demi-lions rampant also occur in armorial bearings.

The different parts of a lion are much used; the head, either erased
or couped, the face cabossed, the paws, borne either singly or in
twos and threes, and lastly, we find the tail represented in various
postures. The Corkes bear three lions' tails.

The tiger follows the lion and has terms of blazon peculiar to
himself. Thus, the single tiger borne by Sir Robert Love is depicted
as "tusked, maned and flasked." In the arms of the De Bardis family, a
tigress is represented gazing into a mirror, which lies beside her
on the ground. This odd charge alludes to the fable that a tigress,
robbed of her whelps, may be appeased by seeing her own reflection in
a glass. A tiger's head is used but seldom as a separate charge.

Apparently the bear stood higher in favour with the old heralds. The
family of Fitzurse charge their shield with a single bear passant,
the Barnards have a bear "rampant and muzzled," whilst the Beresfords'
bear is both "muzzled and collared." The Berwycks bear a bear's head,
"erased and muzzled," and three bears' heads appear in the arms of the
Langham, Brock, and Pennarth families.

A wolf is borne by Sir Edward Lowe of Wilts, Sir Daniel Dun, and by
the Woods of Islington. A wolf's head appears very early in armorial
bearings; Hugh, surnamed Lupus, Earl of Chester and nephew of William
I., used a wolf's head as his badge.


ANIMAL CHARGES (_continued_)

After "ravenous fierce beastes," we come to dogs, foxes, cats,
squirrels, etc. Sporting dogs are very favourite charges, and are
frequently termed _talbots_ in heraldry.[1]

    [Footnote 1: Some writers consider that the term "talbot"
    was restricted to a mastiff, but sporting dogs--foxhounds,
    harriers, beagles, etc.--were certainly occasionally blazoned
    as talbots.]

(A mastiff with short ears was termed an _alant_.)

The Carricks and Burgoynes bear one talbot on their shield, whilst the
Talbot family have three talbots passant.

The Earl of Perth has a "sleuthhound, collared and leashed" for his
crest; that of the Biscoe family is a greyhound seizing a hare. A dog
chasing another animal must be blazoned either "in full course" or "in
full chase." A foxhound nosing the ground is described as "a hound on

The fox rarely figures in heraldry. One Kadrod-Hard of Wales bore two
"reynards counter salient," and "the Wylies do bear that wylie beast,
the fox"; whilst three foxes' heads erased are borne respectively by
the Foxes of Middlesex and one Stephen Fox, of Wilts.

A fox's face is blazoned a "mask."

Cats occur fairly often in heraldry. "Roger Adams and John Hills, both
of the City of London," we are told, "bear cats"; Sir Jonathan Keats
charges three "cats-a-mountain"--wild cats--upon his shield, as also
do the Schives of Scotland; the Dawson-Damer's crest is a tabby cat
with a rat in her mouth. She would be blazoned as _preying_.

The dog, fox, and cat have each their typical meaning in heraldry. The
dog symbolizes courage, fidelity, affection, and sagacity; the fox,
great wit and cunning; the cat, boldness, daring, and extraordinary
foresight, so that whatever happens she always falls on her feet. She
was formerly the emblem of liberty, and was borne on the banners
of the ancient Alans and Burgundians to show that they brooked no

The squirrel is rather a favourite charge, notably in the arms of
landed gentry--such as the Holts, Woods, Warrens--because the little
nut-cracker is typical of parks and woodland property. It occurs
either singly or in pairs or trios. It is always represented _sejant_,
and usually cracking nuts, as seen in the arms of the Nuthall family.

A hedgehog usually figures in the arms of the Harris, Harrison,
Herries, and Herrison families, and is undoubtedly borne in allusion
to their surname, _hérisson_ being the French for hedgehog. Lord
Malmesbury--family name Harris--bears a hedgehog in his coat of arms.
It is generally blazoned as an "urcheon" in heraldry. The hare occurs
but rarely in English arms; the Clelands bear one as a single charge,
and the Trussleys charge their shield with three little hares playing
bagpipes, probably in allusion to the hare's traditional love of
music. The rabbit--known to heralds as a coney--is oftener met with
in armorial bearings; the Strodes of Devon bear three conies couchant;
the Conesbies, three conies sejant; the Cunliffes, three conies

[Illustration: PLATE 5.


  _Arms._--A chevron erminois between three pilgrim's staves purpure.

  _Crest._--A hawk, wings displayed and inverted ppr. belled and
          charged on the breast with a fleur de lys or.

  _Supporters._--Dexter, Neptune, Sinister, a Sea-horse.


Three moles are borne by Sir John Twistledon, of Dartford, Kent--a
mole was sometimes blazoned "moldiwarp"--whilst the Rattons very aptly
bear a rat.

We cannot say much of the toads,[2] tortoises, serpents, grasshoppers,
spiders, and snails which occur in heraldry.

    [Footnote 2: The legend which connects toads with the
    fleur-de-lys in the arms of France is too well known to need
    repetition here.]

The Gandys of Suffolk bear a single tortoise passant, and a tortoise
_erected_ occurs on the Coopers' coat of arms.

Serpents are blazoned in terms peculiar to themselves. Thus, a serpent
coiled, is said to be _nowed_--knotted--from the French _n[oe]ud_,
a knot; when upright on its tail, it is _erect_; gliding, it is
_glissant_ also from the French; when biting its tail, it is blazoned
_embowed_. The Falconers bear a "serpent embowed"; one Natterley has
an "adder nowed"--_natter_ is the German for adder--and Sir Thomas
Couch of London charges an adder "curling and erect" upon his shield.

To the Greek, the grasshopper signified nobility; hence amongst the
Athenians a golden grasshopper worn in the hair was the badge of high
lineage. In later days the heralds considered the grasshopper a type
of patriotism, "because in whatever soil a grasshopper is bred, in
that will he live and die."

Spiders were not only held symbolical of industry, but they were
highly esteemed for their supposed properties of healing.[3]

    [Footnote 3: As regards the spider's curative powers, Mr.
    Thistleton Dyer, in his "Folklore of Shakespeare," tells us
    that only "a few years ago a lady in Ireland was famous for
    curing ague with a large house-spider swallowed alive, thickly
    coated with treacle."]

One family of Shelleys bears three "house-snails" so termed in
heraldry to imply that they carry their shells. A type of deliberation
in business matters and perseverance is supposed to be furnished by
the common snail.

The "creatures that live above the earth"--_i.e._, having wings--come

[Illustration: FIG. 42.]

Various heraldic terms are in use for blazoning bird charges--viz.:

A bird _flying_ is "volant" (Fig. 42); _preparing to fly_, is "rising"
(Fig. 44); when _its wings are spread open_, they are "displayed";
when _folded_, they are "close (see Fig. 43)." Birds of prey and
barn-door cocks are "armed." Thus, the eagle is blazoned as "armed of
his beak and talons"; the cock as "armed of his beak and spurs"; he is
also blazoned as "combed and jellopped"--that is, with his crest and
wattles. An eagle or any other bird of prey devouring its prey is
described as "preying." In blazoning a very old eagle, the French
heralds use a special term, _pamé_;[4] our English equivalent would
be "exhausted," thereby alluding to the popular notion that with
advancing age an eagle's beak becomes so hooked that it is unable to
take any nourishment, and so dies of inanition. Birds that have web
feet and no talons are usually blazoned "membred." A swan with
her wings raised is said to be "expansed"; a peacock with his tail
displayed is said to be "in his pride" (Fig. 45); with folded tail he
is a peacock "close." A pelican feeding her young is a "pelican in her
piety" (see Plate III.); when wounding her breast, she is said to be
"vulning." The crane is another bird which enjoys a blazoning term
which is all its own--namely, "a crane in its vigilance." It is so
described when, as in the Cranstoun arms, it is represented holding a
stone in its foot. This charge refers to the old myth, that a crane
on duty as a sentinel always holds a stone in its foot, so that in the
event of its dropping asleep the sound of the falling stone may act as
an alarum.

    [Footnote 4: The word _pamé_ should be restricted to an
    expiring fish.]

Falcons are blazoned "armed, jessed and belled." A falcon is usually
called "goshawk" in heraldry.

Swans, geese, ducks, and other web-footed birds occur rarely in
heraldry. The Moore family bear one swan, the Mellishes two, and three
swans' necks are charged upon the Lacys' shield. One, John Langford,
bears a single wild goose. Three wild duck volant appear in the arms
of the Woolrich family. Three drakes--a very favourite charge--are
borne by the Yeos. The Starkeys bear one stork, the Gibsons three.

Three herons occur in the arms of Heron, one kingfisher in those of
one, Christopher Fisher (Fig. 43). Viscount Cullen, whose family
name is Cockayne, bears three cocks; three capons are borne by the
Caponhursts; whilst, drolly enough, three cocks are borne by the Crow
family. The Alcocks bear three cocks' heads.

[Illustration: FIG. 43.]

Eagles are of such wide and constant occurrence in heraldry that we
cannot attempt to do justice to them here. A single eagle is borne
by the Earls of Dalhousie and Southesk, and by seven families of
Bedingfield. A double-headed eagle was rather a favourite charge, and
coats of arms displaying as many as six eagles are very commonly met
with. But an eagle blazoned "close" is a rare charge.[5] Parts of an
eagle, such as head, wings, talons, and legs often appear in armorial
bearings as separate charges. Ostrich feathers, by the way, are also
introduced into heraldry, but the ostrich itself is of very seldom
occurrence.[6] Its introduction into heraldry, dates from the time
of the Crusaders, when Europeans first saw the bird. An ostrich is
usually represented with a horseshoe in its mouth, because it was a
popular idea that an ostrich could digest iron.[7] In Sir Titus Salt's
arms we find a demi-ostrich holding a horseshoe in its beak. Lord
Churston's shield is supported on the right by an ostrich with a
horseshoe in its beak, as is Lord Carysfort's, but _his_ ostrich is
represented with a key in its beak.

    [Footnote 5: The eagle was sometimes called "alerion" by
    the early heralds and when blazoned as such was usually
    represented with neither legs nor beak.]

    [Footnote 6: One Jervis, the principal founder of Exbridge,
    in Devon, bore six ostrich feathers, and in the heraldry
    of to-day they are occasionally met with as charges. The
    Fetherstons bear three ostrich feathers on their shield, and
    the Earl of Devon has seven ostrich feathers in his crest.

    We are all familiar with the Prince of Wales's plumes, but to
    go farther back into history, we find that a plume of ostrich
    feathers was often used by King Stephen as his badge, with
    the motto of his own making: "_Vi nulla invertitur ordo_"--"No
    force alters their fashion"--in allusion to the "fold fall of
    the feather," which was neither shaken nor disordered by the
    wind, and therefore symbolized the condition of well-ordered
    kings and kingdoms.

    In bygone times, we are told, "some doubted whether an ostrich
    should be reckoned as a beast or a fowl"!]

    [Footnote 7: "I'll make thee eat iron like an ostrich."

      _King Henry VI._

[Illustration: FIG. 44.]

Three hawks are borne by the Hawksworths; the Corbets bear a raven
as a single charge, whilst Dr. Raven, Queen Anne's physician, bears
a raven rising (Fig. 44). The swallow, which is the heraldic martlet
(see No. 4, Fig. 36), occurs repeatedly as a charge in coats of arms,
very often in threes; six is also a favourite number. The Wardes and
Temples bear five; the Chadwicks and Brownlows charge the orle of
their shield with eight martlets. The Pawne family bear three peacocks
"in their pride" (see Fig. 45), and this same charge occurs in the
arms of the Peacocks of Durham. A ph[oe]nix is borne by the Fenwicks.
The dove occurs occasionally in heraldry. A dove with an olive branch
in its beak was added as an augmentation of honour to his paternal
arms by one Walker, when he married the only child of Sir David Gam.
This charge was granted to Sir David after the Battle of Agincourt,
where he took the Duc de Nevers prisoner. It was this same Sir David
who, on being sent by the king to view the French Army before the
battle, brought word to his royal master that "there were men enough
to kill, enough to run away, and enough to make prisoners."

[Illustration: FIG. 45.]

Besides the birds already mentioned, the parrot, turkey, owl, chough,
pheasant, woodcock, and several others occur in heraldry.

Amongst winged insects, we find the bee in the arms of the Bye family,
whilst the Rowes of Cheshire bear a beehive, surrounded by buzzing
bees.[8] The bee was considered an honourable charge, symbolizing
loyalty to the chief, thrift and industry.[9]

    [Footnote 8: Lord Lansdowne uses "a beehive beset with bees"
    as one of his crests.]

    [Footnote 9: In blazoning the bee, Guillim cannot resist
    reminding his reader of the old saw:

        "The calf, the goose, and the bee,
         The world is ruled by these three."

The Burninghills bear three gadbees--horseflies--and the Papillons,
very properly, have three butterflies charged on their shield (Fig.

In concluding this chapter let us explain the term _augmentation_ used

By augmentation is meant any addition granted for some special reason,
to a coat of arms. Thus to one, William Compton, who was about
Henry VIII. and in great favour with him, the King actually granted
permission to add a lion passant guardant, taken out of his own royal
device, to his paternal arms, as an "honourable augmentation." "In
rememberance whereof," says Sir William Dugdale, "the said Compton at
his death bequeathed to the king a little chest of ivory, whereof the
lock was gilt, with a chessboard under, and a pair of tables upon it."

[Illustration: FIG. 46.]

The arms of Sir Atwel-King Lake show a curious augmentation--viz.,
a dexter arm embowed--bent--issuing from the sinister side of the
shield, holding in the hand a sword erect, thereto affixed a banner,
bearing a cross between sixteen escutcheons, etc. These sixteen
escutcheons were given to the original bearer of these arms, Dr.
Edward Lake, a devoted adherent of Charles I., to commemorate the
sixteen wounds that Lake received at the Battle of Naseby.

Lord Nelson was granted a very pictorial augmentation of honour.
"Waves or the sea, from which a palm-tree issues between a disabled
ship on the dexter and a battery in ruins on the sinister." Nelson
had also a crest of an "honourable augmentation," which he bore in
addition to that of his family. A naval crown with the chelengk, or
plume of triumph, presented to him by the Grand Sultan, Selim III.

The augmentation of honour granted to the great Duke of Wellington
took the shape of the Union Jack charged upon an inescutcheon, which
was superimposed upon his own shield.


ANIMAL CHARGES (_continued_)

Fish occur rarely in heraldry, for although they were considered
typical of unfailing industry and vigilance, "always swimming against
the stream and never falling asleep," yet they were held in far
less esteem by the heralds of old than either the "earthy or airy

Fish have, of course, their own heraldic terms for blazoning--viz.:

A fish _charged horizontally upon the field_, is "naiant"--swimming
(Fig. 47); _perpendicularly with its head upwards_, it is "hauriant"
(Fig. 48)--literally, taking a draught; when placed _vertically with
its head downwards_, it is "uriant"--diving; _with undimmed eyes_,
it is "allumé"--alight; when _gasping with wide-open mouth_, it is
"pamé"--exhausted. A fish is also blazoned as "finned of its fins,"
and when (as is always the case with the dolphin) its tail curves
towards the head, it is "embowed." If the fish is _feeding_, it must
be described as "vorant"--devouring--because watery creatures always
swallow their prey whole. When two or three fish of the same kind
are represented on a field swimming in opposite directions, they are
blazoned as "contra-naiant"--swimming against each other.

[Illustration: FIG. 47.]

Mr. Fox-Davies quotes an example of this charge in the arms of
Peebles, where one salmon is depicted swimming towards the dexter
side of the shield, whilst two are swimming towards the sinister. This
charge alludes evidently to the popular idea that for each salmon that
ascends the river to spawn, two salmon return to the sea.

When an eel is borne on a shield, it is always represented in a wavy
form and is usually blazoned "ondoyant"--literally, wavy.

Fish charges almost always come under the head of "canting
heraldry,"[1] so that they mostly repeat the name of their bearer, or,
at any rate, carry a very direct allusion to it. This is the case with
the families of Dolphin, Godolphin, Salmon, Sole (Fig. 48), Herring,
Herringham, Bream, Roach, Sprat, Ellis (who bear three eels) and
Troutbeck (who have three trouts). These latter are blazoned "fretted
in a triangle, _tête-à-queue_"--literally, "netted head to tail,"
whilst we are reminded that the old name for pike was luce, when we
see pikes borne by the Lucy family. Crabbe of Robslaw bears one crab;
the Prawnes, as you would expect, bear prawns; and the Tregarthens
of Cornwall have "lobster claws saltire-wise, gules," that last word
implying that the luckless owner of those claws had been clearly
boiled (Fig. 49)!

    [Footnote 1: "Canting heraldry" is derived from the French
    _armes chantantes_ or _armes parlantes_, meaning, literally,
    arms that speak.]

[Illustration: FIG. 48.]

[Illustration: FIG. 49.]

[Illustration: FIG. 50.]

The escallop shell, being pre-eminently the pilgrim badge, was given
a very honourable place in heraldry, and occurs in the arms of many
of our highest nobility, notably in those of the Dukes of Bedford,
Marlborough and Montrose. One branch of the Shelley family bears three
escallop shells (Fig. 50), and a lion between escallop shells is a
common charge. One William Moffat bears a lion between eight escallop

    [Footnote 2: Escallop shells are represented in such
    infinitely varied devices and in so many coats of arms that
    some lovers of heraldry make this charge a special study.]

A fish with a ring in its mouth occurs fairly often in heraldry, and
owes its origin probably to the many old legends associating fish with
coins, rings, gems, etc. The arms of the Bishopric of Glasgow, where a
salmon and a ring are depicted, are said to allude to the fable of the
distracted bride, who, having dropped her wedding ring into the River
Clyde, besought St. Kentigern, Bishop of Glasgow, to help her to
recover it. In answer to the Prelate's prayers, a salmon was taken in
due time, with the lady's ring between his jaws.

And now at last we have reached those charges connected with that
"most noble creature, man," who, as we are told, "is borne in
heraldic achievements both limbwise and entire. And as a man should be
represented in his greatest dignity, a king should be depicted on his
throne, a bishop in his robes, a soldier in military habit, and so

In the royal arms of Seville, we find "a crowned and sceptered king on
his seat royal," wearing his ermine cape, but as a matter of fact, the
whole human figure occurs very rarely as a charge in a coat of arms.

"A wild man of the woods, with a garland round his head and waist and
a club on his shoulder, standing between two forest trees," is
charged on the shield of the Mayo family, and Basil Wood bears
three demi-savages, each with a club. Human heads and limbs are more
frequently used.

Sir Richard Griffith bore three Englishmen's heads "in profile, couped
at the head and bearded"; the Tanners of Cornwall bear three Moors'
heads couped. Three infants' heads are charged on the Fauntleroy
shield "couped arg: crined or," crined being the heraldic word for
blazoning hair. The Vaughans have a very odd coat of arms--viz.,
three children's heads "couped, each enwrapped about the neck with a
serpent." (Ghastly as that arrangement sounds, the children look out
at you with remarkably gleeful countenances!)

One Black bears three men's heads with black hair, and the De la Haye
family has the rare charge of three eyes.

The human heart is much used in heraldry. Henry de Wingham bears a
winged heart, and the shield of the Heart family is charged with three

The Cornhills bear a left hand and arm, whilst an arm grasping the
stump of an uprooted tree is appropriately borne by Armstrong. Very
literal _arms_ are borne by the Tremaynes--viz., three right arms with
clenched fists, forming a triangle.

A dexter hand is a fairly common charge. Two arms seizing the head, or
pole, of a hart are borne by the Catchpoles, and three hands occur
in the armorial bearings of the Maynards of Medstone and those of
Wicklow, as also in the coat of arms of the Maynes of Bucks. The
Quartermaynes bear four right hands (Fig. 51).

Amongst other families, the Haddens and Shrigleys bear a human leg.

In conclusion, we must mention what Guillim calls "amphibious and
exorbitant creatures," which figure as charges in heraldry. Under the
amphibious charges we have the beaver, seal, otter, and others. With
the beaver we are fairly familiar, as nowadays it occurs so frequently
in the armorial bearings of persons connected in any way with Canada.
It is well represented in the arms of Lord Strathcona.

[Illustration: FIG. 51.]

The otter is borne by the Setons of Mounie, and also occurs as a
supporter in the arms of Lord Balfour of Burleigh.

As to what Guillim calls "exorbitant creatures," or, so to speak,
monsters, we may mention the wyvern, a species of dragon; the griffin,
supposed to have the body and claws of a lion, with the hooked beak,
piercing eyes, and wings of an eagle; the dragon; the unicorn, whose
appearance is too well known to need description; the cockatrice; the
mermaid; the sea-dog, or marine wolf; and, lastly, the harpy. Three
wyverns are borne by the Drake family, and two fiendish-looking
wyverns act as supporters to the shield of Lord Clifford of Chudleigh.

The red dragon is, of course, the badge of Wales; and three dragons'
heads are borne by the Stanleys. The heraldic dragon is always
represented as a winged monster with four legs.

With the unicorn, the sinister supporter of our Royal Arms, every
child is well acquainted. It represents Scotland, the royal shield
of that country being supported by two unicorns. Of all the mythical
creatures, it is perhaps the favourite in our heraldry. Not only does
it occur repeatedly as a supporter, notably in the armorial bearings
of Lord Chetwynd, Lord Colchester, and Lord Manners, who each have two
unicorns, but we find it constantly represented on coats of arms.

According to some old writers, it was deemed a very honourable charge,
because, no one ever having succeeded in capturing this fabulous
creature, either dead or alive, they account for this stubborn fact in
the following cunning fashion: "The unicorn hath too much greatness of
mind to suffer himself to be taken alive, choosing rather to die
than to be taken captive." Therefore, a unicorn was considered a
very suitable charge for a warrior, who should, of course, share that
creature's "greatness of mind."

The Farrington family bear three unicorns; and the unicorn's head is
not uncommon in coats of arms. The Goston family bear one as a single
charge; one Anthony Smith, bears two; whilst three are borne by a
family of Shelley.

The griffin is very common in heraldry, either as a crest or a
supporter. Lord Churchill of Wychwood has a griffin for his crest and
one for his dexter supporter.

The cockatrice, "a little king amongst serpents," is borne by the
Bogan family, whilst one Ellis bears a mermaid, crined or, with a
mirror in one hand and a comb in the other (a veritable Loreley!).

Three sea-dogs, or marine wolves, are borne by one John Fenner.

And, lastly, we find in Guillim's work the presentment of a harpy as
a charge on a coat of arms--a monster with a woman's head, hair, and
face, and the body, legs, and wings of a vulture, her "wings displayed
and hair flottant." As to the name of the bearer of this hideous
charge, the old herald is discreetly silent.



Under this heading so many and such various objects are included
that we cannot attempt to mention one half of the items in this
miscellaneous collection. First come crowns, mitres, croziers (a
crozier is borne by an Irish family of that name), swords, maces,
etc., all of which represent estate and dignity. Then come books,
billets, pens (one Cowpen bears three pens), single letters of the
alphabet, notably Y and T (three T's are borne by the Tofte family),
musical instruments--_i.e._, violin, organ-pipes, harp, etc. (the harp
appears in the arms of one Harpham).

Musical instruments signified that their bearers were "men of a
well-composed and tempered judgment"; whilst the Book symbolized
primarily the Word of Life; the pen, the wisdom of the learned;
and the single letters stood for the thoughts of absent or silent

In the Conroy arms, the field is charged with "an ancient book,
open, indexed, edged or." This charge represents the honourable and
hereditary office of Leanachie bard and herald to the O'Connors, Kings
of Connaught. The motto under the coat of arms signifies that "history
once written in this book cannot be destroyed by time." It was the
privilege of the ancient bard of the tribe "to stand alone with the
new-made King upon the sacred mount of Carn Fraoich and there to
deliver into his hands the white wand or sceptre of royalty."

Mechanical objects follow next--ploughs, harrows (the Harrows bear
three harrows), scythes, spades, cartwheels (the latter occur in the
arms of Carter and Cartwright). These are all typical of husbandry,
and suggest agricultural industry on the part of the original bearers.
Chaucer's son-in-law, Sir Payne Roet--derived doubtless, from the
French _rouet_, a wheel--bore three wheels on his shield, and in
blazoning this coat of arms (Fig. 52), Guillim quotes Pliny's fable
of the Roman farmer who was accused to the authorities of being
a magician, because his fields were fruitful, whilst those of his
neighbour were barren.

[Illustration: FIG. 52.]

"Wait," said the farmer, "and I will show you my conjuring tools;" and
therewith he produced his plough and a cartwheel. From this anecdote
we gather that Sir Payne Roet must have been distinguished as an

Then come the implements for making clothes as well as some items
of dress. Wool-cards are borne by the Cardingtons; shuttles by the
Shuttleworths; Sir John Maunsel bears three maunches (sleeves); the
Bartlelots, gloves; the Hose family bear stockings; the Arthurs of
Ireland three boots, blazoned as "three Irish brogues"; the Huths have
a hat (_hut_ being the German for hat).

One family of Palmers charges their shield with three palmer's staves;
another has a pilgrim's scrip. The Spences bear three penny-pieces,
this latter charge symbolizing commerce.

Workman's tools--pickaxes, hammers, levels, squares, hatchets, nails,
plummets, etc.--had all great heraldic significance. The pickaxe
was to remind its bearer "whence he was digged"; the level that his
actions must be justified by the rule of reason and justice; the
square taught the cultivation of an even judgment; the nails, fixity
of purpose; the plummet, prudence in fathoming the problems of life.

The objects wrought by these tools follow. First, come works of

One Oldcastle bears a "tower triple-towered"; Sir Edward Mansel, a
tower with a scaling ladder against it; whilst three castles occur in
the arms of the Scarborough family. The heralds, be it noted, made a
great distinction between a tower and a castle, when charging either
upon a shield. For, whereas a tower must never occupy the whole of the
field, a castle "extendeth itself all over the shield from one side
to the other." Three arches are borne by the Archers; the Trowbridges
bear a bridge.

Keys occur fairly often, being borne either singly or in threes. The
Bells very properly bear bells, and these latter we also find in the
Dobell coat of arms, which affords an excellent example of canting
heraldry (Fig. 53). One, Stratford, bears three trestles meant to
imply their bearer's love of hospitality.

[Illustration: FIG. 53.]

Amongst other inanimate charges are flesh-pots, bellows, lamps. The
Lamplaws bear three lamps; cups are borne by Bowles, Warcupp, and
Butler; dishes are borne by the Standish family (a boar's head in
a golden dish was a rather favourite charge), as were also clocks,
watches, dials, etc.

Next we find ships and all things pertaining to them.

The Earl of Caithness bears a ship; the Cavells bear three sails; the
Chappels have an anchor. Three anchors are a fairly common charge.

Objects connected with hunting, hawking, and fishing come next. The
Hatheways bear a hunter's horn; the Langhornes three bugles; the
Plankes, three hawk-bells, whilst a lure with a line and ring, "all
a falconer's decoy," are borne by one, Lie, "a suitable name, seeing
that a falconer is ever used to deceive." Three mascles, representing
the meshes of a net, are borne by the Belgraves, whilst a net
enclosing three sturgeons is introduced into the Sturgeons' coat
of arms, and is blazoned as a "fret." The Medvilles bear three

Now we come to objects associated with games--chessmen, dice, balls,
etc. One of Charles V.'s generals bore as his arms a ball with two
balloons, with the motto, "The harder I am struck, the higher I

Then we have military weapons and implements, cannon, battering-rams,
swords, lances, as well as banners, drums, trumpets, clarions, etc.

Guillim blazons the Earl of Cumberland's arms as "three murthering
shots." One Bowman bears three bows, whilst arrows[1] and swords are
of constant occurrence, the latter borne either singly or crossed

    [Footnote 1: An arrow has its peculiar terms of blazon. It
    is _armed_ of its head, _flighted_ of its feathers, whilst a
    bundle of arrows is a _sheaf_. An arrow with a blunt head is
    known in heraldry as a "bird-bolt."]

On the Earl of Lindsey's shield there are three battering-rams in the
first and fourth quarters, and a shattered "castle triple-towered"
is represented in the second and third quarters. The origin of this
unusual coat of arms is historical. One Robert Bertie, afterwards
created Earl of Lindsey, was serving in the army, which, during Queen
Elizabeth's reign, laid siege to Cadiz under the Earl of Essex's
command. When the English troops made a furious onslaught on the gates
of the city, every inhabitant within its walls strove to drive back
the enemy, the old women flinging down heavy stones from the ramparts.
One of these missiles felled young Bertie to the ground, so that when,
after the taking of Cadiz, the youth was knighted for his gallant
conduct that day, the newly made knight exclaimed: "The squire was
knocked down by an old woman with a stone, but the general bade him
arise a knight."

All kinds of escutcheons were also charged upon a shield, as well as
helmets and gauntlets. Trophies and tokens of martial victory also
occur in heraldry, such as chaplets, torses--the wreath surrounding
the helmet--along with the more melancholy charges--fetters, shackles,
chains, denoting the subjection and captivity of the vanquished.

Bridles, bits, buckles, and stirrups are of frequent occurrence in
heraldry. Lord Stanhope bears three stirrups, buckles, and straps,
whilst spurs are borne very appropriately by the Knights.

Before closing this chapter we must mention that besides the charges
emblazoned on the shield, which we have been considering at some
length, a coat of arms has certain accessory ornaments. These are
known as the crest, helmet, mantling, supporters--we have spoken of
the latter elsewhere--scrolls,[2] and mottoes. The crest,[3] which is
the only part of armorial bearings which is in constant use, is the
device placed above an escutcheon, and originally worn upon a helmet,
but it now occurs on a coronet, wreath, or cap.

    [Footnote 2: The ribbon bearing the motto is called
    heraldically "escroll"--scroll.]

    [Footnote 3: "Crest" is obviously derived from _crista_,
    a bird's comb or crest. Its heraldic term is "cognizance,"
    because the crest worn upon his helmet served to insure
    recognition of a leader by his followers on the battle-field.]

As regards the representing of helmets in armorial bearings,
the following rules must be noted: A king's helmet must be gold,
six-barred, full face, and open; a duke's helmet is steel with five
gold bars, and set slightly in profile; baronets and knights have also
steel helmets with no bars--these must be drawn full faced with visor
raised; steel helmets are also used by esquires, visor down, with
gold ornaments and represented in profile. Full-faced helmets denote
authority, side-faced ones symbolize attention and obedience towards

Mantling or lambrequin is the term used for the mantle or a piece of
scarf-like drapery, attached to the helmet and showing jagged and torn
edges to suggest the cuts received in battle. Generally, however,
we find the mantling in heraldry takes the shape of graceful flowing

In the motto we have, no doubt, the survival of the war-cries; many
(besides expressing the name of the bearer or some allusion to the
charges on the coat of arms)[4] contain very interesting historical
references--viz., the "Grip Fast" of the Earl of Rothes recalls how
his ancestor rescued the good Queen Margaret from the river, where she
and her palfrey were drowning, and exhorted her to "grip fast" to his

    [Footnote 4: As, for instance, "Fare fac," the Fairfax motto,
    or the Weare's motto, "Sumus"--we are--whilst the motto of
    the Clerks of Penicuik, "Free for a blast," alludes to their
    crest, a man blowing a horn. This refers to the odd condition
    under which the Barony of Penicuik is held--viz., that the
    proprietor must sit on a piece of rock called the Buckstone,
    and wind three blasts of a horn whenever the sovereign shall
    come to hunt on the Borough Muir, near Edinburgh.]

The motto is generally placed beneath the escutcheon, but we sometimes
find it above the crest.



In these "Peeps at Heraldry," we can only glance at much that should
still be mentioned if space permitted.

We must say something, however, about quartering and marshalling, two
very important departments in heraldry.

Hitherto, we have dealt with shields bearing only one coat of arms,
but now we must speak of those which bear more than one.

Quartering means dividing the shield into quarters, so that several
coats of arms may be represented on the same escutcheon. Fig. 54 shows
the simplest form of quartering--viz., by two lines, fess-wise and
pale-wise. This arrangement gives room for four different coats of
arms, but if it is necessary to represent more than four, the shield
is further cut up into the requisite number of divisions, then
blazoned according to that number--_e.g._, "quarterly by eight," "by
twelve," and so forth. It also sometimes happens that in a shield
already quartered, each quarter has to be quartered again, and this
arrangement is known in heraldry as "compound quartering." The four
original quarters are then blazoned as "grand quarters," the secondary
ones as "quarterly quarterings."

[Illustration: FIG. 54.]

One of the chief uses of quartering is to record the alliances between
different families, generally made through marriage.

(The arms of the Duke of Portland afford a good example of a shield
bearing a record of such alliances. For in the first and fourth grand
quarters quarterly we find the arms of the Bentincks--the original
family arms; in the second and third quarterlies the Cavendish arms
appear; whilst on the second and third grand quarters the arms of
Scott are represented, thus recording the alliance of the house of
Bentinck with those of Cavendish and Scott.)

A husband may only add the arms of his wife's family to his own when
she is heiress or co-heiress of her own line. He then bears those arms
on what is called an "escutcheon of pretence," which he charges on
his own family coat. All the sons of an heiress or co-heiress may use
their mother's arms after she is dead as quarterings with those of
their father, dividing the shield as in Fig. 54 and placing their
paternal arms in the first and fourth quarters and their maternal in
the second and third.

When three coats of arms are to be represented on a shield, the most
important occupies the first and fourth quarters. A familiar example
of this is furnished by the royal arms of Great Britain, where we
see the lions of England in the first and fourth quarters, the lion
rampant of Scotland in the second, and the harp of Ireland in the

The Earl of Pembroke, in 1348, was the first subject, so Mr. Hulme
tells us, who quartered his arms.

When a great number of quarterings are charged upon the shield, the
order in which these quarterings are marshalled[1] or arranged is very
important, the original arms being always placed in the upper dexter
of the field--that being the most honourable point--and the other
arms following in the sequence in which they were introduced into the
family coat of arms.

    [Footnote 1: _Marshalling_ means the art of grouping or
    arranging various coats of arms on one and the same shield.]

[Illustration: PLATE 6.


  _Arms._--Arg. on mount vert, representation of the 40 ft.
          reflecting telescope with its apparatus ppr. on a chief
          az: the astronomical symbol of Uranus irradiated or.

  _Crest._--A demi terrestrial sphere ppr. thereon an eagle, wings
          elevated or.

  _Motto._--C[oe]lis exploratis.]

There were two methods of marshalling in early heraldry. One was
known as "dimidation," which means cutting a coat of arms in half,
pale-wise, and matching it with another half of another coat of arms,
so as to make one achievement of the two joined halves. Thus, when
a wife's arms were to be represented on the same shield as her
husband's, both coats were halved, and then placed upon the shield,
the husband's arms occupying the right side, and those of the wife the

As you can imagine, however, the result of this chopping and joining
was seldom satisfactory and sometimes very comical, as, for example,
in the arms of Yarmouth, where half a lion is running to join half a

The second method of marshalling was by impalement. This term means
the joining together of different coats of arms by a pale.

[Illustration: FIG. 55.]

In this arrangement the shield was divided pale-wise as before (Fig.
55 shows the shield divided ready to receive the two coats), but the
whole of each coat was crowded respectively into each side of the
shield, the right side being charged with the husband's arms, the
left with his wife's. Naturally, however, in order to suit this
arrangement, the arms suffered a certain amount of alteration.

Nowadays, according to Mr. Fox-Davies, the following rules are
observed with regard to the arms of man and wife--viz.: "If the wife
is not an heraldic heiress the two coats are impaled. If the wife be
an heraldic heiress or co-heir, in lieu of impalement, the arms of
her family are placed on an escutcheon, being termed an 'escutcheon of
pretence,' because ... the husband _pretends_ to the representation of
her family."

A widow may have the coat of arms borne by her husband and herself
marshalled, not on a shield, but on a lozenge, whilst an unmarried
daughter may bear her father's arms on a lozenge also, but without a

Finally, under the head of marshalling comes the arrangement of all
the accessories, of the shield of which we spoke in our last chapter.



In this chapter we must say a few words about the five "achievements"
which are shown in the coloured plates. These represent respectively
the armorial bearings of a duke, marquess, earl, baron, and

    [Footnote 1: We have to apologize to our readers for the
    omission--owing to want of space--of an example of the
    armorial bearings of a viscount.]

To begin with No. 1.

This coat of arms belongs to the Duke of Leinster, and should be
blazoned--as you will know by this time--viz.: "Arg : a saltier gu
: _crest_, a monkey statant ppr : environed about the middle with a
plain collar and chained or. ; _supporters_, two monkeys, environed
and chained as the crest"; _motto_, "Crom aboo"--literally "Crom
to victory," Crom being the name of an old castle belonging to the

Now, in this achievement the trio of monkeys tell the story, _not_ of
their bearer's grand deeds, but of the noble feat performed by one of
_their_ own ancestors. And this is the monkey's story:

Long, long ago, in the reign of Edward I., John Fitz-Thomas Fitzgerald
(later first Earl of Kildare,[2] but at that time only an infant), was
staying in the Castle of Woodstock, when the building suddenly broke
into flames. In the first panic caused by the fire no one remembered
the poor baby lying helpless in his cradle; but when, later on, some
of the servants went back to search for him, they found only the
smouldering remains of his cradle on the charred floor of the
burnt-out nursery. Distracted with remorse, they wandered about
the smoking ruins, vainly seeking for the child. Suddenly, a queer
chattering attracted their attention to one of the high, blackened
towers of the castle, and there, outlined against the sky, stood the
pet ape of the household, holding the baby boy safe and sound in his
long, hairy arms! On this occasion, the monkey had put his betters to
shame, and had saved the helpless life which they had left to perish.

    [Footnote 2: The eldest son of the Duke of Leinster is the
    Marquess of Kildare.]

In gratitude for that monkey's devotion, John Fitzgerald adopted a
monkey for his crest, whilst two additional apes act as supporters to
the Duke of Leinster's shield. Thus, you see, in this case it is the
golden deed of a far-away monkey that heraldry keeps alive.

The arms of the Marquess of Hertford are very pretty ones, and afford
a good example of the use of the pile as an augmentation of honour.
It is introduced into the first and fourth grand quarters, bearing
the charge of three lions, whilst the second and third quarters are
occupied by two wings conjoined by lure. These arms, being precisely
the same as those of the Duke of Somerset, serve to remind us that
the Marquess of Hertford, whose family name is also Seymour, is a
descendant from one and the same ancestor. For whereas the wings in
the coat of arms represent the armorial bearings of the Seymours, the
pile was an augmentation of honour granted by Henry VIII. to Sir John
Seymour on the occasion of the King's marriage with Lady Jane Seymour,
his daughter. The same crest, a ph[oe]nix rising out of flames
surmounting a ducal coronet, does duty for both achievements, but
whereas the Duke of Somerset's supporters are a unicorn and a
bull, the Marquess of Hertford has two blackamoors, which are
blazoned--viz., "wreathed about the temples or, sa : habited in short
golden garments; adorned about the waist with green and red feathers;
each holding in his exterior hand a shield, az : garnished or, the
dexter charged with the 'sun in splendour,' gold, the other with a
crescent, silver. _Motto_, 'Fide et amore'--'With faith and love.'"

The Earl of Scarborough's coat of arms shows no quarterings. Here the
field is divided fesswise and charged with three parrots (they are
usually termed popinjays in heraldry). A pelican in her piety is the
crest, whilst we find parrots again with wings inverted as supporters.
These arms are of great antiquity, having been adopted by Sir
Marmaduke Lumley, who derived them from his mother, Lucia, co-heiress
of the ancient house of Thweng in the beginning of the fourteenth
century. Their motto is, "A sound conscience is a wall of brass."

Baron Hawke's achievement hints very plainly at the grand naval feats
performed by the founder of the house, Edward Hawke, the gallant
sailor, who, at the early age of thirty-one, was made Admiral of the
White. His brilliant victory over the French in 1747, when he captured
six large ships of the enemy's line, is matter of history. His arms
are "Arg : a chevron erminois between three pilgrims' staves purple,
the crest, a hawk rising, beaked, belled, and charged on the breast
with fleur-de-lys or ; whilst most appropriately the supporters of
this naval hero's shield are--dexter supporter, Neptune in a sea-green
mantle, crowned with an eastern coronet or, his dexter arm erect,
darting downwards his trident sa : headed silver, resting his sinister
foot on a dolphin, also sable ; sinister supporter, a sea-horse,
sustaining in his fore-fins a banner, arg : the staff broken ppr."
_Motto_, "Strike."

The fifth coat of arms, a very pictorial one, was assumed by the
great astronomer and musician, Sir William Herschel, and serves as our
example of a baronet's armorial bearings.

(You will note that it has no supporters, and that the baronet's
badge, a sinister hand charged on an escutcheon, is placed on the
dexter side of the field.) This coat of arms tells the story of its
bearer's grand discovery of the new planet, Uranus.[3]

    [Footnote 3: We strongly advise our readers to refer to "A
    Peep at the Heavens" for further information on this point.]

This Herschel achieved with the aid of a telescope of his own
making. And so very properly a telescope[4] with all its apparatus is
represented on the field, whilst the astronomical symbol of Uranus is
charged in the chief. The crest is a demi-terrestrial sphere with
an eagle thereon, wings elevated. _Motto_, "The heavens having been

    [Footnote 4: Sir William Herschel made and erected a telescope
    40 feet long at Slough, completing it in 1787.]

So this coat of arms, you see, shows the result of the labours of its
original bearer, along with the telescope which was instrumental in
making the wonderful discovery.

And now a few last words about the frontispiece. This shows the herald
in his tabard, which, as the official habit of heralds, has remained
unchanged in Great Britain ever since the office of herald was first
instituted. The tabard--really, a tunic--was originally worn over mail
armour, being blazoned back and front, as it is now, with the arms of
the sovereign for the time being.

Though the general name of tabard was given to this particular kind
of official garment, it was further distinguished by the term of
"tunique," when worn by the King-at-Arms. It was then made of "riche
fyne velvet." When worn by the heralds, the tabard was known as a
"plasque," and made of satin, whilst the pursuivant's tabard was
called a "coat of arms," and made of damask silk.

A King-at-Arms ranks first amongst heraldic officials. It is his duty
to direct heralds, to preside at their chapters, and to him belongs
the jurisdiction of arms.

We have three English Kings-of-Arms,[5] styled respectively, Garter,
Clarencieux, and Norroy. The officer attached to the Order of the Bath
is also styled "Bath King-at-Arms."

    [Footnote 5: The term of "King-at-Arms" is also sometimes

Scotland has her "Lyon King-of-Arms," Ireland her "Ulster

We have three chief heralds and six subordinate or provincial
ones--viz., York, Lancaster, Chester, Windsor, Richmond, and Somerset.
On the accession of George I., two more were appointed and styled the
"Hanover Herald," and "Gloucester King-at-Arms."

A pursuivant is an attendant upon the herald, and belongs to the third
or lowest order of heraldic officers.

There are four English pursuivants, styled respectively, Rouge Croix,
Blue Mantle, Rouge Dragon, and Portcullis. Three pursuivants belong to
the Court of Lyon in Scotland--Unicorn, Carrick, and Bute.

On the cover we have the figure of a Crusader in his mail armour,
bearing on his breast the badge of a red cross charged upon a white

Looking at the massive, closely knit armour portrayed in our
illustration, we can easily understand that the wearer encased within
it must have suffered cruelly in the East, when the burning sun poured
down upon his metal armour, and that, as a natural consequence, the
surcoat of some woven fabric was introduced, to be worn over the coat
of mail as a protection against the scorching rays of the sun.



Pennons, banners, and standards are so closely associated with
heraldry that we must not leave them altogether unnoticed.

In the Middle Ages three distinct classes of heraldic flags appear to
have been in use in England.

[Illustration: PLATE 7.


  1. The Union Jack.    2. The Royal Standard.]

The first was the pennon; this was an armorial lance flag, narrow
and tapering, and was the mark of knightly rank. Sometimes it was
triangular in form, but it was oftener forked or swallow-tailed at the
fly. It was borne on a lance, and served as the personal ensign of
the bearer, being charged with his badge or some other part of his
armorial bearings.

The banner was a square flag, very often representing the whole
coat of arms of the bearer, in exactly the same way as a shield was
blazoned. A banner was carried by all above the rank of a knight,
kings included.

An emperor's banner was 6 feet square, a king's 5, a nobleman's only

The standard was the third variety of early heraldic flags. It was
chiefly in use in the fifteenth century, though some standards were
certainly in use some fifty years sooner.

In old days the term "standard" was loosely applied to any large flag
on which a badge and motto were represented; in fact, there is no
doubt that the standard was originally designed for the special
purpose of displaying armorial bearings. Nevertheless, a standard
proper was a tapering flag, richly embroidered, and slit slightly at
the narrow end. The standard of an emperor or king was 11 yards long
when it was planted before his pavilion, but when it was carried into
battle it was reduced to 9 yards in length. It is, therefore, quite
incorrect to speak of the square banner on which our royal arms are
blazoned as a _standard_, for it is most distinctly a _banner_. It
displays, as you all know, the armorial bearings of the sovereign
fully blazoned, just as they are marshalled in the royal shield. This
banner should only be hoisted over a palace when the king or some
member of the royal family is actually in residence.

In the Navy, the Royal Standard--falsely so-called--is considered the
supreme flag of Great Britain, and is only flown on a ship when the
monarch, or someone belonging to the royal family, is on board.

The Union Jack is the national banner of Great Britain and Ireland.

It represents the three united crosses of St. George for England, the
saltire of St. Andrew for Scotland, and the cross of St. Patrick for
Ireland. St. George's Cross is red on white; St. Andrew's is white
on blue; St. Patrick's (saltire-shaped like St. Andrew's) is red on

Some writers have derived the word _jack_ from Jacques for James
I., because he was the monarch who united the flags of England and
Scotland; but this is held to be incorrect. The old heraldic name
for a surcoat was "jacque," hence obviously our word "jacket," which
recalls the German _jacke_ for coat, and therefore undoubtedly "jaque"
survives in the "Union _Jack_," which is intended to represent the
national arms, and thus certainly fulfils the purposes of a coat of

The Union Jack first came into use after James I.'s accession, when
England and Scotland became united. Till then, the English flag bore
St. George's Cross, a rectangular red cross on a white field, whilst
the Scotch flag showed the white diagonal cross of St. Andrew on a
blue ground.

The union of the two flags was effected by retaining the blue field
of St. Andrew's Cross, whilst the red field of the English flag was
represented by adding a narrow border of that colour to the limbs
of St. George's Cross. The heraldic term for this addition is
"fimbrication"--literally _bordering_. This combined flag remained
in use till 1801, when, Ireland having joined the Union, it became
necessary to incorporate the cross of St. Patrick into the national
banner. But, lest it should be thought that either of the diagonal
crosses took precedence of the other, care was taken that the white
and red borders of each should be alternately uppermost.

The Lord Lieutenant of Ireland flies the Union Jack with the harp of
Ireland on an escutcheon charged upon it. So also does the Governor of
India, but in this case the Union Jack bears the Star of India in the
centre, charged with a rose, and surmounted by an imperial crown.

We have three flags constantly in use nowadays, which are always
spoken of as _ensigns_. These are:

_First_, the Red Ensign, a plain red flag, bearing a Union Jack in a
canton on the dexter side. This is know as the "Ensign of England,"
and when displayed at sea distinguishes all vessels not belonging to
the Royal Navy.

_Second_, the White or St. George's Ensign; the original banner of St.
George with a "jack" cantoned in the first quarter. This is the ensign
of the Royal Navy.

_Third_, the Blue Ensign, a plain blue field with the Union Jack
cantoned in the dexter side. This is the ensign of the Naval Reserve.

The Admiralty flag, displaying a yellow anchor and cable set fesswise
on a red field, may be grouped with the three ensigns.

As regards military flags, the cavalry standards--banners
properly--are the true survivals of the knightly banners of the Middle
Ages. The colour of the field repeats that of the regimental facings,
and each standard bears the number, motto, and specific title of its
own regiment, as well as its own heraldic badge. Upon these standards
are also blazoned the regimental "honours," such as "Waterloo,"
"Alma," "Lucknow," thus commemorating the services rendered by that
corps to their country.

Infantry regiments have their "colours," or, properly, _pair of
colours_. One of these is the sovereign's colour, always crimson,
displaying a Union Jack, charged with the regimental device; the other
is the regimental colour, repeating the tincture of the facings. Upon
this the "honours" and "devices" of the regiment are charged, whilst a
small "jack" is cantoned on the dexter side of the flag.

The regimental "colours" of the Guards is the Union Jack.

The Royal Artillery have neither colours nor standards.

It would be curious to note the various forms of banners which have
been in use since the days when the old Roman general hoisted a small
truss of hay as his ensign, but surely one of the queerest flags that
ever found its way into history was that displayed by our own Henry
V., when, in 1420, he made his entry into Paris, riding between
Charles VI. and Philippe, Duke of Burgundy. For then, we are told,
that, amongst other banners, the English monarch bore a lance with a
fox-tail attached to it, for being "a great hunter of foxes," this was
his own personal badge.

       *       *       *       *       *

Here we must close our "Peeps at Heraldry," but please, dear eyes,
that have been peeping with me up to this point, do not close too.

Otherwise the object with which this little book has been
written--namely, to _open_ your eyes to the rudiments of heraldry, so
that, having begun with a peep, you may go on to take an exhaustive
view of the art and its developments--will be sadly defeated.

For this small volume pretends to be nothing more than a simple
introduction, a path-finder, to that fascinating language, in
which the golden deeds of chivalry and patriotism, of science and
philanthropy, are kept alive from age to age in all quarters of the
civilized world.



    =Abased=, applied to a charge placed lower than its usual

    =Accollée=, side by side.

    =Accrued=, fully grown.

    =Achievement=, complete heraldic emblazonment.

    =Addorsed=, back to back.

    =Agroupment=, grouping of two or more shields to form one

    =Ailettes=, part of mail armour for protecting neck.

    =Appaumée=, open hand, showing palm (Fig. 51).

    =Arménie=, ermine.

    =Armes parlantes=, allusive arms.

    =Armory=, heraldry.

    =Aspersed=, scattered over.

    =Assurgeant=, rising from the sea.

    =Barbute=, chin-piece of helm.

    =Bardings=, horse-trappings.

    =Basilisk=, cockatrice, produced from egg, laid by cock and
    hatched by a toad on a dunghill.

    =Basinet=, steel cap; part of old armour.

    =Beacon=, fire chest of burning combustibles set on a pole
    with a ladder against it.

    =Bezant=, disc-like coin.

    =Birdbolt=, arrow with a blunt head.

    =Breys=, horse curbs.

    =Brisure=, mark of cadency.

    =Caltrap=, or =Cheval-trap=, used to maim horses in battle.

    =Cameleopardel=, mythical beast.

    =Chape=, or =Crampet=, decorated top of sheath.

    =Chatloup=, fabulous horned animal.

    =Chess-rook=, chess piece.

    =Chevronel=, small chevron.

    =Chimera=, legendary beast.

    =Cinque-foil=, leaf or flower of five foils.

    =Closet=, bar diminished to half its width.

    =Clouée=, nailed, nail-heads showing.

    =Conjoined in lure=, wings united; tips in base.

    =Contournée=, facing to the sinister.

    =Cornish-chough=, crow with red beak and legs.

    =Coronet=, badge of Peer; _Duke's_, with eight
    strawberry-leaves of equal height above rim; _Marquis's_, four
    strawberry-leaves alternating with four pearls on points of
    same height as leaves; _Earl's_, same as Marquis's, but pearls
    raised above leaves; _Viscount's_, with twelve silver balls on
    coronet; _Baron's_, with six silver balls set close to rim.

    =Côtise=, diminutive bend.

    =Coupled-close=, half a chevronel.

    =Cresset=, a beacon.

    =Crusilly=, sown with cross crosslets.

    =Cubit-arm=, human arm couped at elbow.

    =Debased=, reversed.

    =Debrusied=, when an ordinary surmounts an animal or other

    =Decollated=, said of a decapitated lion.

    =Decrescent=, half-moon, with horns to the left.

    =Defamed=, said of a lion looking backwards.

    =Degraded=, set on steps.

    =Demembered=, figure cut into bits, with original figure left

    =Depressed=, surmounted.

    =Dimidiated=, cut in halves pale-wise, and one-half removed.

    =Doubling=, lining of a mantle.

    =Eaglet=, little eagle.

    =Embowed=, bent.

    =Embrued=, blood-stained.

    =Endorse=, a little pale.

    =Enfiled=, pierced with a sword.

    =Enhanced=, raised towards the chief.

    =Ensigned=, ornamented.

    =Erne=, eagle.

    =Escroll=, ribbon bearing motto.

    =Erminites=, fur, white, with black spots, and a red hair each
    side of spots.

    =Fermail=, a buckle.

    =Ferr=, horseshoe.

    =Fetter-lock=, chain and padlock.

    =Fillet=, diminutive of chief.

    =Fitched=, pointed at base.

    =Flexed=, bowed and bent.

    =Fylfot=, curious cruciform figure.

    =Gadbee=, horse-fly.

    =Gambe=, or =Jambe=, leg of beast of prey.

    =Gorged=, encircled round the throat.

    =Gradient=, walking.

    =Grand quarters=, four primary divisions of the shield.

    =Greeces=, steps.

    =Guige=, a shield-belt.

    =Hames=, parts of horse harness.

    =Hastilude=, tournament.

    =Hatchment=, achievement of arms in a lozenge-shaped frame
    placed over residence of a lately deceased person.

    =Heights=, applied to plumes rising in rows above one another.

    =Hirondelles=, swallows.

    =Hoist=, depth of flag from chief to base.

    =Hurst=, clump of trees.

    =Jessant=, shooting forth.

    =Ladycow=, ladybird.

    =Lambel=, label.

    =Lion morné=, lion sans claws or teeth.

    =Luce=, =Lucy=, a pike.

    =Lymphad=, old galley.

    =Membered=, used to denote legs of birds.

    =Nag=, often used for horse.

    =Opinicus=, fabulous beast.

    =Oriflamme=, square scarlet banner with three tails.

    =Overt=, with open wings.

    =Panache=, a plume arranged fan-wise.

    =Pascuant=, grazing.

    =Pean=, a fur.

    =Pelt=, for hide.

    =Pheon=, pointed spear-head.

    =Potent=, variety of heraldic cross; also fur; also a crutch.

    =Prasin=, green.

    =Purfled=, bordered.

    =Ragully=, cut off roughly.

    =Rebated=, snapped off.

    =Retorted=, intertwined.

    =Reynard=, fox.

    =Roundle=, a circular figure; when gold, a bezant; when
    silver, a plate; when gules, a torteau; when azure, a hurt;
    when sable, a gunstone; when vert, a pomme.

    =Roussant=, about to fly.

    =Sallet=, a kind of helm.

    =Sarcellée=, sawn through the centre.

    =Shelldrake=, kind of duck.

    =Tennée=, or =Tawny=, deep orange colour.

    =Timbre=, the true heraldic crest.

    =Torse=, crest-wreath, made of two skeins of silk twisted

    =Tressure=, a subordinary.

    =Tricked=, sketched in outline with pen and ink.

    =Trussed=, said of birds with closed wings.

    =Tun=, barrel or cask.

    =Tynes=, branches of a stag's antlers.

    =Varvals=, small rings.

    =Verdy=, sown with leaves.

    =Vol=, two wings conjoined.

    =Undy=, wavy.

    =Unguled=, hoofed.

    =Zona=, old word for fesse.









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       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Note

  _ _ represents italic text.

  = = represents bold text.

  (The prices in the Book List at the end were in bold text. As the
  symbol used to represent bold text in the main part of the book
  was the same as the character used for 0 in the Book List, the
  'bold text' indicator was omitted from this section to avoid

  Sundry missing or damaged punctuation has been repaired.

  Both hyphenated and non-hyphenated variants of many words occur
  in this book. All have been retained.

  The book contains many heraldic terms, derived from French, Arabic,

  Any illustration which interrupted a paragraph has been moved to
  a more convenient location, between paragraphs.

  Some chapters contain many Footnotes, usually marked * and † on
  each page they occur. To avoid confusion, the Footnotes have been
  numbered sequentially within each chapter, and indented and placed
  below their relative paragraph.

  Page 49: The Legends of the Fleur-de-Lys can be found here:

  Page 74: 'repectively' corrected to 'respectively'.

  "These represent respectively the armorial bearings...."

  Page 75: Some armorial descriptions use spaced colons. These have
  been retained as printed.

  Page 80: 'On the cover we have the figure of a Crusader in his
  mail armour, bearing on his breast the badge of a red cross
  charged upon a white field.'

  The Crusader's badge would appear to be somewhere behind his
  shield, or perhaps under his surcoat.

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