1902 Encyclopedia > Heraldry > Common Charges - Fishes

(Part 7)

FISHES.—The inhabitants of the water do not play a very im-portant part in heraldry, and are scarcely known among the more ancient coats, although a special and interesting volume has been written by Mr Moule on the heraldry of fishes. When borne horizontally they are "naiant ;" when vertically, "hauriant," though this is not always expressed ; when bent they are "em-bowed" as the dolphin in the crest of Courtenay.

The Pike, or luce, is the oldest example of a fish in heraldry.

Lucy of Charlecote, Shakspeare’s "Justice Shallow" : gules, semée of cross crosslets, three luces hauriant argent (fig. 110).

The Dolphin, whatever his zoological position may be, is heraldi-cally a fish, as is also the Whale. As the emblem of Dauphiné the dolphin was adopted with the name by the heirs-apparent of the old French monarchy, who quartered with the fleur-de-lys azure a dolphin hauriant or.

Fishacre of Fishacre: gules, a dolphin naiant argent.

Kendal of Pelyn: argent, a chevron between three dolphins naiant embowed sable.

Dean Swift says that his cousin Thomas Swift gave for his de-vice a swift or dolphin twisted about an anchor with the motto "Festina lente." This, however, was the device of the printer Aldus.

Whalley of Whalley: argent, three whales’ heads erased naiant sable.

The Barbel was also an early bearing, used by the counts of Bar, who bore azure, crusuly fitchy, two barbels erect embowed or, within a border engrailed gules,—a bearing found in the quarterings of many German princes.

The Herring occurs in the roll of Edward II.

Heringaud: gules, three herrings hauriant argent.

The manor of Earlton, Norfolk, was held by the service of present-ing annually at the exchequer certain herring pies.

Roach.—Peter de Rupibus or Des Roches, bishop of Winchester, bore three roaches.

Conger.—Chief-Justice Gascoyne bore argent, on a pale sable a conger’s head erased or.


Troutbeck: azure, three trouts fretted in triangle argent.

The Chabot, a sort of gurnet, was used as a badge by the family of Rohan-Chabot.

The Scallop, or escallop shell, is an old and popular charge, especially in Spain, as the emblem of St James of Compostella, which led to its being the sign of a pilgrim. The seal of the fraternity of St James at Wisby (about 1200) represents St James as a pilgrim with a scallop upon his scrip. Sir Walter Raleigh says—

"Give me my scallop shell of quiet,

My staff of faith to walk upon."

Scales: gules, six escallops argent, 3,2,1 (fig. 111).

Shelley: sable, a fess engrailed between three whelks or.

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