1902 Encyclopedia > Heraldry > Parts of Arms: The Escutcheon; The Ordinaries; Partition Lines; Charges

Heraldry
(Part 4)




PARTS OF ARMS.

These are (1) the escutcheon ; (2) the ordinaries ; (3) partition lines ; (4) charges.

The Escutcheon.

The Escutcheon, écu, or shield, called in blazon the field, upon which all lines are drawn and charges delineated, represents the shield borne in war upon which the arms of the knight were displayed. The figure of the shield varied in heraldry as in war. First came the long-pointed, kite-shaped or "pavesse," slightly convex, and used with chain armour. As late as the reign of Richard I. and John such may be seen on early effigies, commonly but by no means always without armorial bearings, which were not then generally in use (fig. 4). Varieties of this are the heart-shaped or pear shaped shields (fig. 5), and sometimes s shield representing a third part of a cylinder with square top and bottom, much used in siege operations. Early in the 13th century was introduced the small heater-shaped shield, also triangular but narrow, short, and somewhat lancet-shaped. This was in the use in the reign of Henry III., and in the Early English period of architecture (fig. 6). The three water budgets of Ros appear on a shield of similar form of the date of Edward I. in a Temple (fig. 7). As coats of arms were then simple, this shield was large enough to contain them without crowding, and therefore with sufficient distinctness. When drawn or carved in architecture it is suspended by its "guiges" or shield straps, either upright or by the upper sinister angle, when it is said to be "couché." Fig. 8 is from the great seal of Thomas de Beauchamp, earl of Warwick, and shows the form of shield in use during most of the Edwardian period.

As fluted and fancy plate armour came into fashion, the shield also altered its figure and became four-sided, and concave in the top and side edges, with a central point below ; a notch also was cut in the upper dexter corner to allow the lance to reach its rest, which projected from the breastplate, as in the shields upon the tower of the chapel of the Babingtons at Dethick, and on their tombhouse at Kingston (fig. 9). Such shields were called "chancre," or "à la bouche." They are frequently carved as an ornament in the Perpendicular style of architecture. As the shield ceased to be used in war, and was only known as a representation upon tombs or in pedigrees, it was altered to suit the fashionable practice of introducing large numbers of quartered coats, frequently twenty or thirty, and sometimes a hundred, as in an escutcheon of the earls of Huntingdon in Burnham church.

In the construction of the shield, while actually used in war, great strength had to be combined with as much lightness as possible, and this was attained by the use of cuirbouilli and plates of horn stretched upon a wooden frame. The cramps and cross pieces employed to stiffen the whole are sometimes seen upon early shields, and are supposed, with much reason, to have been painted or gilded as ornaments, and to the bars or ordinaries which predominate in the first simple coats. Our acquaintance with the forms and fashions of the earlier shields is chiefly derived from their representations on tombs but the actual shield of John of Gaunt was long preserved in old St Paul’s and that of the Black Prince still hangs above his tomb at Canterbury, as do those of his father and of Henry V. at Westminster. An unmarried woman did not place her arms upon an escutcheon, but, whether maiden or widow, upon a lozenge, an early practice in allusion probably to a fusil or distaff. When married she shared the shield of her husband.1 The lozenges is an ancient usage, being found in the seals of English ladies of the middle of the 14th century, and in Scotland a century later. In modern heraldry the shields of knights of an order a usually oval or circular, called "cartouche" shields, and enriched with a ribbon bearing the motto of the order. When married the knight’s arms are blazoned alone within the ribbon, and again represented with those of his wife in a second shield encircled with a plain ribbon, and placed on the sinister side of the other. The dexter side of the escutcheon is that on the proper right of the bearer and therefore on the left of the spectator.

To secure due precision in blazoning, nine points, indicated by as many names, are taken on the surface of the shield. Those (represented by the letters in fig. 10) are—at the top in a horizontal line three, the middle, dexter, and sinister chief ; at the base three, also horizontal, the middle, dexter, and sinister base ; and in the central or vertical axis also three, of which the upper is the honour point, the lower the nombril point, and the middle the fess point—the central point of the shield. The last three are of course in a line with the chief and base middle points.

Before passing to the ordinaries, it will be convenient here to mention a species of decoration applied to the shield, which, though not strictly heraldic, is often used in early heraldry and called "diaper." A shield "diapered," "bracteatus," is covered with a ground pattern usually in squares or lozenges with a flower or scroll work in each

FOOTNOTE (p. 693)

1 When an eminent geologist and proprietor of a well-known patent lozenge left his for the militia, and after a short time returned to civil life, it was said—

"So maidens who to Hymen yield

Exchange the lozenge for the shield.

But, when they lose the best of men,

Return to lozenges again."



Compartment. The Idea is said to be copied and named from the linen cloths of Ypres. An often-quoted example of diaper, an a very good one, is the shield of Robert of de Vere upon his tomb at Earls Colne (fig. 4). Also the shield of William de Valence upon his effigy in Westminster Abbey is a very fine example of diaper. There the ground is divided into small squares, and contains a pattern. The row f shields in the tabernacle work of the old chapel of St Stephen’s Westminster, exhibits some fine specimens of diapered work in squares, lozenges, and circles. The shield of Earl Warren at Castle Acre Priory is a good example of diaper, as is the counterseal of Thomas le Despenser affixed to a Kenfig charter in 1397 (fig. 11).

Ordinaries and Partition Lines

The Ordinaries, or, as they are called in most heraldic books, "the honourable ordinaries," have been supposed to represent the clamps or fastenings f the shield, converted into ornaments by painting or gilding. They may be regarded as nine in number—the chief, the pale, the fess, the chevron, the bend, the cross, the saltire, the pile, and the quarter. When charged they are drawn somewhat broader than when black, and each has one or more diminutives. All were more or less in use in the earliest times of heraldry, and they were then drawn more boldly and narrower than is now the custom. When such of the ordinaries as admit of it are cut short so as not to reach to the margin of the field, they are said to be humettée or coupée.

Partition Lines, closely allied to the ordinaries named from them, and the lines by which shield may be divided, and which vary both in direction and pattern. It will be convenient to notice these before proceeding to a detailed account of the ordinaries, as the partition lines will be constantly referred t in the examples. When the field is divided in the direction of an ordinary it is said to be "party per" ordinary, as party per fess or per bend. Party per chief is rare, party per pile or per quarter unknown; party per cross is called quarterly un known ; party per cross is called quarterly ; party per cross and per saltire is gyronny. When the partition line is mentioned without qualification, it is a straight line, but it may be broken in a variety of ways, as indented, dancette, engrailed, invected, undy, nebuly, embattled, dove-tailed, and raguly. These partition lines in some cases if not in all, have arisen from the outline of a change or bearing. Thus Charnels of Snareston at first bore eleven lozenges conjoined in cross, which at a later date became a cross engrailed, and fusils, in the same way became converted into dancette. In English heraldry the partition lines are per pale, per fess, per chevron, per bend dexter and sinister, quarterly, per saltire, and gyronny.

The annexed shield (fig. 12) represents these partition lines. It may be blazoned—quarterly of nine coats : 1. Butler: or, a chief indented azure ; 2.Fleetwood: party per pale nebuly, azure and or, six martlets counterchanged; 3. Vavasour: or, a fess dancette sable; 4.—or, a chevron invected azure ; 5. Boyle :party per bend embattled, argent and gules ; 6. Trevor : party per band sinister , ermine and ermines, a lion rampant or ; 7. Lawrence: argent, a cross raguly gules ; 8. Bottetourt: or, a saltire engrailed sable; 9.—Party per fess dovetailed, or and sable. A good example of a cross raguly, not an armorial bearing, is found upon a 12th century tomb in the church of Llanfihangel-yn-Gwynfa in Powysland.

The French use parti and coupé for per pale and per fess ; they do not part per chevron, but per bend and per bend sinister are tranché and taillé ; quarterly is écartelé, and per saltire écartelé en sautoir ; gyronny is gironé. Besides these the french have a number of other divisions, as "tierce," when the shield is divided into three parts, as "tierce en pal, tierce en fasce, &c. Tierce en pal is convenient when the coats of two wives are to be marshalled on the husband’s shield.

Formerly such broken lines are were used not mere margins, but affected the whole ordinary ; a fess indented was a zigzag and called a daunce or danette. This practice is still preserved with the line undy. A bend undy or wavy is not a mere bend with a wavy edge, but the whole bend is in waves, whereas a bend nebuly or raguly has merely a particular kind of edge.

Returning to the ordinaries, it may be remarked that very many both of these and of the subordinaries in heraldry are very frequent constittuents in mouldings in the Norman style of architecture. The chevron and the billet are amongst the most common. The roundel forms the hood moulding of a door at Peterborough, and is inserted in a moulding in the intersecting arches of St Augustin’s Canterbury. The fret, the billet, and the roundel or pellet are largely used in the oldest parts of Malmesbury, and Lincoln tower is a good example of undy,—and this before the regular employment of heraldic bearings.

2.The Chief, chef, caput, is the upper part or head of the shield, covering one-third or it, and parted off by a horizontal line. It is found in the earliest examples of arms. In the roll of Henry III. it occurs fourteen times, in that of Edward II. twenty-one times.

De Vivonne : ermine, a chief gules (fig. 13).

Butler (see fig. 12).

Aston: argent, a chief undy (fig. 14)

St John of Melchobourne: argent, on a chief gules, two mullets pierced or (fig. 15).

Cromwell of Tattershall : party per chief, gules and argent, a bend azure; which might also be blazoned as gules, a chief and a bend azure (fig. 16).

Heraldic writers give the fillet as a diminutive of the chief. It was a narrow strip laid upon the chief, a little above its lower margin. Guillim mentions, but gives no examples of it.

2. The Pale, pal, palus, is a vertical strip set upright in the middle line of the shield, and one-third of its breadth. One of its earliest examples, if indeed it be not a mere gilt ornament, is ascribed to Graintmaisnel, baron of Hinkloy, who is reported to have borne gules, pale or ; but the banner of the barons, of Hinkley carried by Simon de Montfort was per pale indented, gules and or. The "sable pale of Mar" well-known bearing of Erskine, argent, a pale sable (fig. 17), but when it was introduced into Scotland is not clear. In the roll of Henry III. there occurs no pale, but there are three examples of paly. Party per pale is also there found. In the roll or Edward II. there is also no pale. But party per pale occurs thirteen times. The latter is called simply "party:—Pluys, party d’or et goules."

The diminutives of the pale are the pallet, one-fourth, and the endorse, one-eighth, of the breadth of the pale, both unknown anciently. The pallet may be used singly, endorse only in pairs, one of each side of the pale.

Waldgrave : per pale or an gules.

Marshall, Earl Marshal and of Pembroke : party per pale or and vert, a lion rampant gules.

Fleetwood (see fig. 12).

When the pale is repeated, it is blazoned as "paly," and the number of pieces specified.

Kingdom of Aragon: paly of ten argent and gules (fig. 18).

Gurney: or, two pallets azure.

Wykes of Dursley: argent, on a pale endorsed sable three greyhounds heads erased or, collared gules (fig. 190.

Daniel or Cheshire :argent, a pale fusilly sable.

Lightford ; azure, a pale reyonée or (fig. 20).

3.The Fess, fesse, fascia, is a strip placed horizontally across the middle f the field. It occurs about twenty-five times in the roll of Henry III., and its diminutives about twenty-three times, or forty-eight times in all, against ninety in the roll of Edward II.

Hampsburg : gules, a fess argent (fig. 21.)

Charlotte, queen of George III. on her shield of Mecklenburg-Strelitz placed a scutcheon of pretence party per fess, gules and, or for Stargard.

Vavasour (see fig. 12).

Henry de Percy, ancient blazon, azure, a fess engrailed or (fig. 220. This is a way of describing what is better known azure, five fusils cojoined in fess or.

The seal of Walter son of Alan, steward of Scotland, 1190, gives a fess checquy. Probably the earliest trace of the Stewart coat.

Weld of Lulworth :azure, a fess nebuly between three crescents ermine (fig. 23).

De le Plaunch :argent, a fess embattled gules.

Paramour : azure, a fess embattled ounter-embattled, between three estoiles or.

The Temple banner "Beauseant" was party per fess sable and argent.

Nicholas de Criol : per fess or and gules.

Swinburne (modern) party per fess gules and argent, three cinquefoils counter changed.

Pearston :argent, a fess quarterly, sable and or (fig. 24).

The diminutives of the fess are the bar, covering one-fifth of the field ; the barrulet, one-half, and the closet, one-quarter of the bar. The closet is used in pairs only, usually called gemelles, and these are sometimes quadrupled, two pairs on each side, and sometimes are used without the bend between them. The bar is rarely used singly, the number must be specified if above four, when the coat is "barry" of the given number. The term fessy is not used.

Harcourt of Ankerwyke: gules, two bars or.

Basset of Tehidy: r, three bars wavy gules.

Blount: barry nebuly of eight pieces, or and sable.

Fitz Alan of Bedale : barry of six, argent and azure.

Dabridgecourt: ermine, three bars humetty gules, fesswise in pale.

Badlesmere : argent, a fess gemelled gules (fig. 25). This is from the roll of Caerlavorock, but the more used blazon is—argent, a fess and two bars gemelles gules, whih might be given—a fess closeted.

Fairfax of Denton ; argent, three bars gemelles gules, surmounted by a lion rampant sable, crowned or.

Huntercombe : ermine, two pair of gemelles gules.

Edmondson and some other writers described the gemelles as cotises.

4.The Chevron, cheveron, canterius, frm whatever source derived, seems to have been named from its resemblance to the main rafters or principals of a roof, a familiar sight in early buildings. It is common to find orders on the royal foresters for so many pairs of chevrons. Mr Planché points out that in the earliest English examples of this ordinary, in the seal of Gilbert, earl of Pembroke, in the reign of Stephen, the upper edge of the shield is pointed lik a ridge roof, and the chevrons are parallel to it, and divide the shield into thirteen spaces. He regards as a part of the structure of the shield these chevrons, afterwards reduced to three and used as a part of the structure of the shield these chevrons, afterwards reduced to three and used as a regular heraldic bearing, by the house of Clare. The chevron occurs six times in the roll of Henry III., and the chevrons, its diminutive, nine times. The two occur ninety-two times in the roll of the Edward II. In breadth it is one-fifth of the shield. Its diminutives are the chevronel or étage, of half, and the couple-close, of a quarter its breadth. The latter is borne in pairs and below the chevron. When the chevron is repeated up to three they may be chevrons or chevronels. If exceeding that number the bearing is chevronny, unless the number be specified. The chevron is still used to denote the rank of the non-commissioned officers of the British army, but of late years has been borne by them inverted.

Stafford: or, a chevron gules (fig. 26).

Marler : argent, a chevron purpure, in dexter canton an escallop sable.

Fettiplace : gules, two chevrons argent.

Clare : or, three chevrons gules (fig.6).

Wyvill of Constable-Burton, derived from Fitz Hugh: gules, three chevronels brazed varir, and a chief or (fig. 27). [Brazed is interlaced.]

Kniveton : gules, a chevron party per chevron nebuly, argent and sable (fig. 28).

Fitz Walter : or, a fess between two chevrons gules (fig. 29).

Hungerford : per pale indented gules and vert, a chevron or (fig. 30).

Hotot: azure, a chevron couple-closed or, between three crescents argent (fig. 31).

Newport on Usk commemorates the Staffords, its ancient lords, by bearing a chevron reversed (fig. 32).





5.The Bend, bande, balteum, is a strip extended upon the shield from the dexter chief to sinister base, and in breadth one-fifth of the field. The diminutive are the bendlet, half the bend, and the cotise, or cost, a fourth part, borne in pairs, flanking the bend ; and the ribbon, one-eighth of the bend. The ribbon is used as a difference, and is sometimes couped or cut short, when it becomes a bâton, and is the French barre. The bâton, often marks illegitimacy. The term bâton, however, is also applied to the ribbon.

Scope of Danby : azure, a bend or ; a very celebrated example of the bend (fig. 33).

Culpepper : argent, a bend engrailed gules.

Wallop of Farleigh0Wallop : argent, a bend wavy sable (fig. 34).

Fortescue of Castle-Hill : azure, a bend engrailed argent, cotised or.

Clopton: sable, a bend between two cotises dancette or (fig. 35).

Boyle : party per bend embattled.1 argent and gules (see fig. 12.).

Byron of Rochdale : argent, three bendlets enhanced gules (fig. 36).

Montford : bendy of ten, or and azure.

Chaucer : per pale argent and gules, a bend counterchanged (fig. 37).

Fitz Herbert of Norbury ; argent, a chief vair, or and gules, over all a bend sable.

Widdrington : quarterly, argent and gules a ribbon sable (fig. 38).

Sir Hugh Baden : argent, on a bend double cotised sable three eagles displayed palewise or.

Keck of Stoughton : sable, a bend ermine between two cotises, flory counter-flory, or.

The Bend Sinister is a variety of the bend drawn from the sinister chief of the dexter base. Its diminutives are the scrape or scarpa half the breadth, and the ribbon or bâton sinister. A bend sinister

FOOTNOTE (p.695)

1 This is called also crenellated, and in French bretassé, from the bretasche or wooden gallery attached to the battlements of castle walls. When embattled on both faces the place is said to be "embattled counter-embattled." the notch in a parapet is an embrazure, the intermediate piece of masonry a merlon. When a second and a smaller merlon is placed on the first, the battlemnt is said to be stopped.



Is a rare bearing, and, with its diminutives, is frequently used to express illegitimacy, especially the bâton, though sometimes as a difference only.

Richard de Bury, bishop of Durham : party per bend sinister, or and azure, a bend counterchanged (fig. 39).

Trevor (see fig. 12).

The dukes of Orleans: azure, three fleurs-de-lys, a bâton argent (fig. 40).

6. The Cross, croix, crux, needs no description save that in heraldry it is usually the Greek cross, or that of equal arms. The breadth is one-third of the shield. It is an early and very common bearing, and whatever its origin it speedily became identified with the emblem of Christianity, and was popular throughout Christendom—

"Crux mihi certa salus, crux est quam semper adoro,

Crux domini mecum, crux mihi refugium.

Per crucis hoc signum fugiat procul omne malignum."



When plain it is blazoned only as "a cross." Thus the cross of St George is "argent, a cross gules," and the statutes of the Temple direct each knight to wear a red cross upon his "cotte d’armes," on breast and back. As a plain cross it occurs six times in the roll of Henry III., and in its varieties eleven times, and in the roll of Edward II. these numbers have risen from 17 to 102, when it was the most popular of the ordinaries.

De Burgh of Ireland : or, a cross gules (fig. 41).

Duckenfield of Duckenfield : argent, a cross pointed wavy sable, voided,

Ufford : sable, a cross engrailed or (fig. 42).

A seal of John de Ufford, probably about 1360, bears on a heater shield what would now be described as eight fusils conjoined in cross, and which is an early form of the Ufford coat. There is also a mullet in dexter canton, possibly to mark a younger branch.

Colley : argent, a cross wavy, voided, sable (fig. 43.).

Skirlaw, bishop of Durham: argent, six willow wands interlaced in cross sable, in allusion to his father, who was a basket-maker (fig. 44).

Lawrence (see fig. 12).

Party per cross or quarterly is an early and popular bearing.

Say: quarterly, or and gules (fig. 45).

Lacy : quarterly, or and gules, a bend sable.

Fitz Warin: quarterly, per fess indented, argent and gules.

Atkins of Saperton : argent, a cross sable, bordered with half fleurs-de-lys, between four mullets, sable.

Loraine of Kirkharle: quarterly, sable and argent a counter-quartered of the field.

When the central square of the cross is removed, it is said to be quarter-pierced, a cross quarter-pierced.

The varieties of the cross are almost innumerable. Edmondson gives 107 of them, and there are many more. Of these it will be sufficient to notice those comparatively few that are older and in general use; as the cross botany, the cross crosslet, the cross flory, Moline, patée, patonce, potent, recercelée, and voided. None of these varieties extended to the margin of the field. When a plain cross does not so extend it is blazoned as couped or humetty.

The cross botany, treflée, or modulate has each limb capped by a trefoil, or sort of button.

Northcote of Pynes: argent, three crosses botany sable, palewise in bend (fig. 46).

The cross crosslet has its extremities crossed. It is usually borne as a change in numbers, but not always.

Wasterley: argent, a cross crosslet sable.

Beauchamp, earl of Warwick: gules, a fess between six cross crosslets or (fig. 8).

When the lower limb is uncrossed and pointed it is "fitchy."

Belgrave: argent, a cross patée fitchy sable (fig. 47).

The cross patée was the emblem of the Knights of St John, and is known as the "Croix de Malthe." The cross patonce has expanded ends like the cross patée, but each terminates in three points. Patée and patonce were not always distinguished. At Caerlavrock Latimer is described as bearing a cross patée, whereas the regular coat of the family was gules, a cross patonce or.

Wm. de Fortibus, before 1241,: gules, a cross patonce vair (fig. 48).

The cross flory or fleurettée is capped in a similar way by fleurs-de-lys.

Lamplugh of Lamplugh: argent, a cross flory sable (fig. 49).

Richard Suwalt or Siward at Caerlavrock bore sable, a cross flory argent.

The cross moline is so called from the fer de moline, or millrind, the iron clamp of the upper millstone. When the millrind itself is borne it is pierced, but the cross moline is not necessarily so. Its extremities are split, curved outwards, and cut off square. It is an early bearing. When pierced this must be specified.

Bec of Eresby: gules, a cross moline argent.

Molyneux of Sefton: azure, a cross moline quarter-pierced or (fig. 50).

The cross potent, potence, or crutch or gibbet headed, has its extremities T-shaped.

An early example is seen in the arms of Jerusalem, argent, a cross potent between four crosslets or (fig. 51). Originally, however, the arms of the cross ended in knobs like the handles of a pilgrim’s staff, thence called "bourdonnée."

The cross recercelée has the ends split and curled outwards, but differs from the cross moline in having them pointed. The two bearings were occasionally confounded, and while the Baron Bec bore a cross moline, Bishop Antony Bec, his brother, is described as bearing a cross recercelée.

The cross voided is the outline only, called by the French "un croix faux;" the field is seen through it. The cross recercelée is usually also voided.

The lords of Crevecoeur bore "d’or, ung faux crois de goules, recercelée" (fig. 52). Basing, temp. Edward III.: azure, a cross recercelée and voided or.

The cross formée is, peculiar among these varieties, inasmuch as its extremities reach the edge of the field. In other respects it resembles the cross patée.

Lawley of Spoonhill: argent, a cross formée checquy, or and sable.

Among the other, later, and but little used varieties of the cross may be mentioned the avellane, ending in filbert husks ; the cross anchored, of which the limbs terminate in anchors ; the cross of the crucifixion or of Calvary, mounted on steps. A cross with a narrow border of another colour is "fimbriated" ; a cross pointed is where the ends are so cut.

7. The Saltire, saltier, or sautoir, is known as the cross of St Andrew, and is a common constituent in Scottish coats of arms. The origin is said to be a sort of stirrup or crossed loop suspended from the saddle by the aid of which the knight leaped into his seat. Such a stirrup certainly appears on the steed of Patrick, earl of March, on his seal, and on the seal of am early Despenser, and this is the only suggestion that accounts for the name. The saltire is in breadth one-third of the field.

The Scottish emblem is azure, a saltire argent; that of St Patrick, argent, a saltire gules. Neville bore

"A silver saltive upon martial red,"

that is, gules, a saltire argent (fig. 53).

Bottetourt: or, a saltire engrailed sable (fig. 12).

Gage : party per saltire, argent and azure, a saltire gules (fig. 54).

Glanville of Catchfrench: azure, three saltires humetty or (fig. 55).

Bruce: or, a saltire and chief gules.

Common charges placed upon a horizontal or vertical ordinary, as a fess or chief or cross, are placed upright ; if on an inclined ordinary, as a bend or saltire, their position should be specified ; if upright, they are palewise; if inclined, bendwise or saltirewise. On the chevron they are upright unless otherwise specified.

Dalrymple: or, on a saltire azure nine lozenges of the first (fig. 56).

Here the charges slope with the limbs of the saltire, that in the centre being upright. The deanery of Hengham, dedicated to St Andrew, bore on its seal a saltire raguly. The saltire has no regular liminutives, but when several are borne they are couped.





8. The Pile, pieu, pila, is a triangular strip, its base one-third of the breadth of the shield, and usually applied to its upper margin, the point coinciding with the lower point of the shield. It has been derived from the Roman pilum, a military weapon, and from the pile of the engineer. The origin is obscure, but it is a very early bearing. It has no diminutive.

Sir John Chandos, as Froissart often tells us, bore "d’argent, a ung peel de goules, e un label d’azure "(fig. 57), and his ancestor Robert, temp. Henry III., bore or, on a pile gules three estoiles, between six of the same, counterchanged, an unusually complicated bearing for that age.

Waterhouse: or, a pile engralled sable.

Frequently more piles than one were used, generally three, when they are to be blazoned as meeting in base.

Holles: ermine, three piles sable meeting in base (fig. 58).

Hulse: argent, three piles sable, one issuant from the chief between two from the base.

When the base of the pile is applied to any other part of the shield than the chief it must be specified. The pile was used by Henry VIII. as a vehicle for some of his grants of augmentation.

9. The Quarter or franc-quartier covers the upper dexter quarter of the shield. If placed in the sinister quarter, this must be specified. Its diminutive is the canton, of two-thirds its area. Both are early bearings, but in the roll of Henry III. the quarter appears in several coats which in later rolls are blazoned with the canton. Both are frequently charged. When either occurs in conjunction with another ordinary or subordinary, they are placed above it, and therefore blazoned after it, as further from the field. Both are used as early differences, as in the families of Zouch and Basset, and both are always borne with straight edges. A canton is also called a corner, and a cross between 4 crosses is said to be cantoned of them.

De Clare (old): or, a quarter gules (fig. 59).

Shirley of Eatington: paly of six or and azure, a quarter ermine.

Sutton of Norwood : argent, a canton sable.

Samuel Clark, the martyrologist: gules, a fleur-de-lys or, a canton ermine (fig. 60).

Subordinate Ordinaries.—These are the border, the inescutcheon, the orle, the tressure, the fret, the gyron, the flasque, the lozenge, the fusil, the mascle, the rustre, the roundel, guttes or drops, the billet, and checquy.

The Border, bordure, fimbria, or limbus, though a very old and independent bearing, was frequently used as a difference, and occa-sionally as a mark of illegitimacy. It is what its name expresses, and its breadth is one-fifth of the field. When used in an impaled coat the border is not continued round the inner side ; in fact it is dimidiated. In old examples this was not always attended to. In a quartered coat the border is borne complete.

Sir Perdicas d’Albret, temp. Edward III.,

"Who guly shield about his neck did fling,

Wrought with dent bordure, silver shining,"

bore "gules, a border indented argent."

Rondell: ermine, a border compony, or and sable (fig. 61).

Hamelin, illegitimate brother of Henry II., seems to have borne around his arms, on a border gules, eight lioncels passant or. This was before quartering came into use. The augmentation granted by Henry VIII. to Courtenay, marquis of Exeter, was a border quarterly of England and France, the fleurs-de-lys and lions enurmy, or in orle (fig. 62).

The Inescutcheon, or écusson, is a small shield borne within and upon the greater one. It occurs in the earliest coats, and when voided becomes an orle.

Mortimer: barry of 6 or and azure, an inescutcheon argent, a chief of the first paly of the second between two gyrons of the same (fig. 63).

Rokeley : ermine, an inescutcheon azure

Allestree of Allestree: argent, a chief azure, on a bend gules three inescutch-eons party per chief, vert and argent (fig. 64).

The arms of Maxwell, Lord Herries and earl of Nithsdale, afford a good example of this subordinary. They are, argent, ail eagle displayed sable, beaked and membered gules, surmounted with an inescutcheon of the first, charged with a saltire of the second, surcharged with a hedgehog or, for Herries.

The Orle is the edge or hem, ourlet, of the inescutcheon, voided, and is therefore blazoned by the French as a false escutcheon.

John de Baliol: "De goules, ove ung faux escochon d’argent," that is, "gules, an orle argent" (fig. 65).

Winnington of Stanford: argent, an inescutcheon voided, within an orle of martlets sable (fig. 66).

The Tressure is in fact a narrow orle, almost always borne double, and usually flowered. It is a favourite Scottish bearing, and is set with fleurs-de-lys placed alternately, the upper and the lower half on each face of the tressure, when it is blazoned "flory-counter-flory." This, in the Scottish royal arms, is said to denote the early alliance between that country and France. The bearing is, or, a lion rampant within a double tressure, flory-counterflory, gules (fig. 67). The tressure was a common grant of augmentation from the crown for services or in memory of an alliance. Scott of Thirlstane had it from James V. and bore or, a bend azure, charged with a mullet pierced, between two crescents of the first, the whole within a double tressure flory-counterflory of the second—

"The tressured fleurs-de-lys he claims

To wreath his shield."

The Fret was originally borne fretty, representing a trellis. The single fret is very rare in ancient arm, but many of those families who at first bore fretty afterwards bore a fret. Fretty is usually composed of eight pieces.

Maltravers: sable, fretty or, which soon became and continued sable, a fret or

(fig. 68).

When nailed at the joints it is said to be clouée.

Trussel: gules, a trellis (fretty) clouée or.

Harrington: sable, a fret argent, called also a Harrington knot (fig. 69).

Vernon of Sudbury: argent, a fret sable.

The Gyron, also an old bearing, is the lower half of a quarter divided diagonally. It is a Spanish ordinary, and said to come from "giron," a gusset. It is seldom borne singly, and usually is gyronny, when the shield is divided per pale, per fess, per bend dexter, and per bend sinister into eight sections. If more, the number must be specified. In the earliest examples the divisions are twelve.

Bassingbourne: gyronny of twelve, or and azure.

Campbell: gyronny, or and sable (fig. 70).

The Flasque, or flaunch, is the segment of a circle taken out of the two sides or flanks of the shield, the margin of which forms the chord. They are always used in pairs, one on each side. This bearing is not of great antiquity.

The Voider, the diminutive of the flasque, has a flatter curve. The voider in defensive armour was a gusset-piece either of plate or of mail, used to cover a void or unprotected space at the elbow or knee joints.

Frere: gules, two pards’ faces between as many flasques or (fig. 71), alluded to in Whistlecraft by Mr Hookham Frere—-

"Two leopards’ faces were the arms he bore."

When the bearer was asked to give some verses descriptive of his arms to be placed at the head of a history of the family, his answer was:—

"The flanches, on our field of gules,

Denote, by known heraldic rules,

A race contented and obscure,

In mediocrity secure,

By sober Parsimony thriving,

For their retired existence striving,

By well-judged purchases and matches,

Far from ambition and debauches.

Stich was the life our fathers led;

Their homely lesson, deep inbred

In our whole moral composition

Confines us to a like condition."

The lozenge, the mascle, and the rustre are all derived from the fret or fretty, and. do not appear originally to have been used singly.

The Lozenge is a square, set up diagonally like the diamond in playing cards. It is seldom used alone, and when the shield is covered with it, it is called lozengy. Fitzwilliam: lozengy, argent and gules (fig. 72).

De Burgh: gules, seven lozenges vair conjoined 3,3,1.

The Mascle, or rather masculy, for originally it was so used, is said to represent a net.

Rokele Of Suffolk: masculy, gules and ermine.

Poges of Stoke-Poges: masculy, argent and gules.

De Quincy, earl of Winchester: "gueles, six mascles d’or, voydés du champ; and afterwards, gules, seven mascles or, conjoined 3,3,1 (fig. 74).

The Rustre is of later introduction, and is not a common bearing. It is a lozenge pierced in its centre by a round hole.

Custance: or, a rustre sable (fig. 73).

The Fusil is an elongated lozenge, from the French fuseau, a spindle, and is supposed to represent a distaff charged with yarn. A very early example of its use is

Montacute: "d’argent avec ung fess engralé de geules de trois pièces," which speedily became "argent, three fusils conjoined in fess gules" (fig. 75).

William of Waynflete and Wilson-Patten: fusilly, ermine and sable, a canton or (fig. 76).

It has been suggested that the Percys derived their fusils from their lordship of Spindleton.

Trefusis of Trefusis: argent, a chevron between three spindles sable.

The Roundel, if of metal, is a simple disk ; if of colour, it is convex, half a globe. It is seldom borne singly, and is named specially from its colour.

If Or, a Bezant.

Argent, a Plate.

"Azure, a Hurt.

"Gules, a Torteau.

"Sable, a Pellet, Gunstone, or Ogress.

If Vert, a Pompey.

Tenny, an Orange.

"Sanguine, a Gaze.

"Purpure, a Golpe.

The last four are almost unknown in English heraldry. Akin to these is the fountam, a disk barred wavy, argent and azure, to represent water. Although bezants, plates, hurts, and torteaux are given in early rolls of arms, their names do not always carry their colours. They are blazoned as roundels d’or, pelottes d’argent, torteaux de goules. The torteau is sometimes called a séruse. The pellet often stands for the roundel, and the bezant is called a talent, from a coin of that name current with the bezant in the East.

Alan La Zouch: Gales, bezanty. This was afterwards reduced to ten bezants, 4,3,2,1, with a quarter and sometimes a canton of Britanny, that is, "ermine" (fig. 77).

Camoys: or, on a chief gules three plates (fig. 78).

Wellesley: gules, a cross argent between twenty plates, 5,5,5,5.

Baskerville of Old Withrington: argent, a chevron between three hurts (fig. 79). Hurting: argent, ten hurts, 4,3,2,1.

Courtenay: or, three torteaux (fig. 62).

Babington: argent, ten torteaux, 4,3,2,1, a label azure (fig. 9).

Fulkyn: sable, on a cross between twelve billets argent three golpes.

Greville: sable, on a cross engrailed or five pellets.

Bridgeman: argent, ten ogresses, on a chief a lion rampant of the second.

Stourton of Stourhead: sable, a bend or between three fountains (fig. 81).

In early lists the annulet is blazoned as a false roundel; thus Vipont is said to bear gules, six false roundels or.

Guttes or drops are represented pear-shaped with a tail like a Rupert’s drop, or the tears on funeral draperies. They are not found in the earliest coats. They, like roundels, are named from their colour, thus : or—gutté d’ or gules—gutté de sang; argent—gutté d’eau. ; sable—gutté de poix ; azure—gutté de larmes ; very—gutté d’huile.

Malory: argent, a cross cable. gutté d’or.

Winterbottem: azure, gutté d’eau.

Kington: argent, gutté de larmes; on a chief azure three barons’ coronets or (fig. 80).

Fitz of Fitzford: argent, gutté de sang, a cross of the same.

Chichester city: argent, gutté de poix, on a chief indented gules a lion of England.

Marshal: argent, on a fess gules three drops ermine.

The Billet or delve is a small parallelogram usually borne in numbers and set up on one end.

Coudray: gules, billetty or.

Delves. argent, a chevron gules, fretty or, between three delves sable (fig. 82.).

Somewhat akin to these subordinaries is a division of the field known as checquy, where the field is divided into small squares like a chess-board. Their number is not specified, but usually is made up of seven squares in a line, and in depth according to the length of the shield. Hugh, earl of Vermandois, is said to have borne checquy, or and azure, and as his daughter married Warren, it is possible that the earls of Surrey thence derived their well-known coat.

Warren: checquy, or and azure (fig. 83).

Tateshal: checquy, or and gules, a chief ermine.

Checquy was not confined to the field, but was also applied to the charges upon it.

Stuart: or, a fess checquy, argent and azure.

Where there is but one row of squares, the bearing is called gobonny or compony, if of two rows, counter-compony.

Gray: barry of six, argent and azure, a bend compony of the first and gules (fig. 84).

Fitz Roy: gules, a border quarterly, ermine and counter-compony, or and azure.



Common Charges.

Next to the purely heraldic figures connected with the shield and their diminutives and subordinaries, come those imported into heraldry as charges from all quarters, in-cluding an immense variety of objects, natural and artificial, beasts, birds, fishes, reptiles and insects, flowers, and the fruits of the field, chimaeras, astronomical and celestial figures, man and his parts, arms and armour, implements of war and the chase, ships, articles of dress, and a mis-cellaneous budget far too heavy to enumerate.

The rules for the placing of these charges are simple. If single, they stand in the centre of the shield; if two, in pale, or one over the other; if three, 2 and 1 ; if the number is longer the order must be specified (see fig. 85). The French carry the unexpressed understanding much further. With them, four pieces are placed 2 and 2 five pieces, in saltire; six are 3,2,1 ; seven are 3,3,1 ; eight are in orle ; and nine are 3,3,3.


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