1902 Encyclopedia > Heraldry > Appendages

(Part 17)


These include whatever is borne outside the shield, as the crest, badge, motto, supporters, helmet, coronet, and some other additions. Strictly speaking, armorial bearings are confined to the contents of the shield; and heralds have never regarded the appendages as of the same importance.

The Crest was the ornament of the headpiece, and afforded protection against a blow. In early rolls of arms it is not noticed. In early seals when it appears it is rarely heraldic. Richard I wears a sort of fan-shaped ornament, but has a lion passant gardant on the front of his helmet. Edmund Crouchback in 1296 uses distinctlya crest. Of fourteen seals of horsemen in complete armour appended to the barons’ letter to the pope in 1301, three only have regular crests, although many have plumes. The three are—Thomas earl of Lancaster and Ralph earl of Gloucester, men of high rank, and Sir John St John, a great military commander. In the 14th century they became general. In 1355 the count of Hainault presented to Edward III. "unam galeam pretiosam cum apparatu quam idem comes solebat in capite suo gestare." This was the crest of the eagle seen on the count’s seal, and which the king regranted at the fords of Annan to Montagu, earl of Salisbury. Edward himself used the lion, which has continued to be the crest of the English sovereigns. Adam de Blencowe (1356-7) had a grant of arms and crest of the Greystoke bearings from William, lord of Greystoke.

Richard Beauchamp, earl of Warwick (died 1439), rests his feet upon the crests of the bear and griffin for Warwick and Montagu. His paternal crest, the swan’s head out of a ducal coronet, is placed upon his helmet, beneath his head, The dragon and wyvern were common crests, and the plume of feathers is still used by Scrope and Courtenay. Ralph, Lord Neville of Raby, used the bull’s head in 1353; Hastings, a bull’s head in 1347. Crests were, like arms, allusive. Grey of Wilton used a "gray" or badger; Lord Welles, a bucket and chain ; Botreaux, a buttress. The crest was sometimes placed on a ducal coronet, sometimes rises out of a wreath or torse of the colours of the arms. The coronet below the crest is not a mark of rank. In Carlisle cathedral is the crest of Davidson, a bird rising out of an earl’s coronet. This, however, is rare; the coronet so used is generally ducal. Crests were granted and bequeathed. In Germany it is usual to bear the crests of the "seize quartiers" or some of theni. This of course is inconsistent with the actual use of the crest in war. At first crests were con. ned to persons of rank, but they have long been included in every grant of arms. In England two or more can only legitimately be borne when the bearer has from the crown a grant of name and arms in addition to his own, as Chetwynd-Talbot, Fitz-Alan-Howard.

With the crest is usually combined some flowing drapery known as the "panache," "mantling," or lambrequin. This seems to have served to protect the helmet from beat and dust, and was also ornamental. It is represented in great perfection on tombs of the 15th and 16th centuries, commonly of some brilliant colour with a lining and tassels. The tilting helmet which supports the head of the effigy of Humphrey de Bohun (died 1267), at Gloucester, is ac-companied by a grand early Specimen of the lambrequin.

The Badge or Cognizance was not worn on the helmet, but displayed upon the persons of the retainers of great barons, and sometimes used to ornament the shield or seal. At the celebrated judicial combat at Coventry before Richard II. in 1398, Henry of Lancaster appeared with his housings of blue and green embroidered with swans and antelopes, his badges; and Mowbray had housings of crimson velvet, embroidered with silver lions and mulberry trees, his badges. The bear was the Beauchamp badge, derived possibly from Urso D’Abitot. They also used the ragged staff and the combination of the two.

The seal of Richard III, 1484, as lord of Glamorgan, exhibits the boar as a supporter, and the counterseal repeats it as a badge (figs. 134, 135). This seal well illustrates various heraldic points. Its blazon is per pale, baron and femme; baron, France modern and England quarterly, over all a label of three points ; femme, per fess, Beauchamp, and checquy, on a chevron five pards heads jessant fleurs-de-lys, for Newburgh combined with Cantilupe. The same arms are repeated on the shields and caparisons of the counterseal. Richard married Anne Neville, but the Neville saltire does not appear, only the arms of Beauchamp and Newburgh, both of whom were earls of Warwick.

"The rampant bear chained to the ragged staff" was in-herited by the Nevilles and Dudleys, and granted about 1759 to the Grevilles as the owners of Warwick castle. Pelham used a buckle, Percy a crescent, Boucher, Bowen, Dacre, Heneage, Hungerford, Lacy, Stafford, Wake, and Harrington used the knots that bear their names. Gower designates the great nobles of his day by their badges, as is done in the following satirical lines written about 144 :—

The rote1 is dead, the swan2 is goon,

The fiery cressett3 bath lost his lyght,

Therefore Inglond may mak gret mone,

Were not the helpe of God Almight.

The castell4 is wonne, where care begoun

The portecolys5 is leyde a doun ;

Yelosed we have oure Velvette hatte6,

That kepyd us from mony stormys brown.

The white lion7 is leyde to slepe,

Thorough the envy of the ape clogges8

and so on, through interminable further instances.

The Scottish clans wore native plants for their badges Chisholm, the alder; Menzies, the ash; M’Intosh, the box, &c.

The Motto.—In times when each chief tenant under the crown brought his own tenants into the field, and led them, distinct war-cries were common. The royal cry was "St George for England." The French cried, ‘Montjoye St Denis;" the cri de guerre of Bauffrement was their name; that of Barr, "Au feu"; Seyton, "St Bennet and Set on." The common Highland cry or slogan was "Claymore"; that of the Medici, "Palle, palle," alluding to their arms. The motto succeeded to this (1291) ; Bruce of Annandale used "Esto fortis in bello" ; Courtenay, "Passez bien devant"; Hastings, "Honorantes me honorabo ;" Kirkpatrick used the crest of the bloody dirk with the motto "I mak sicker." The Warren motto, alluding to the earls’ resistance to the "quo warranto," was "tenebo;" Vernon, "God save the Vernon," ill exchanged for "Vernon semper viret." The Scottish borderers, who lived by harrying their neigh-bours by moonlight, used stars and crescents for their arms, and such mottos as "Reparabit cornua Phoebe" for Scott of Harden, or "Watch weel" of Halyburton. In modern times Sir Dudley Ryder died while his patent of peerage was under seal. It was given to his son, who adopted as a motto "Fides servata cineri."

Supporters are now placed on either side of the shield, and are usually animals or human figures. They seem to have arisen from the ornaments introduced by the seal engraver, and became heraldic with the practice of quar-tering. The seal of Edmund Crouchback bears a shield flanked by two wyverns, probably ornaments. That seal (1286) and the seal of Henry of Lancaster in 1300 contain both crest and helm, lambrequin and supporters. The seal of Catherine, queen of Henry IV., has two antelopes, and her husband as prince used two swans. At Naworth the family supporters, of gigantic size, support the principals of the roof of the hall. Under the house of Tudor many families of knightly rank, as Babington, Stanhope, and Luttrel, used supporters, but at this time supporters are only granted to peers, knights of the garter, grand crosses of the bath, Nova Scotia baronets, and a few private persons who hold them by prescription. In Scotland they are used by heads of clans and by a few lowland families. Fletcher of Saltoun uses two griffins.

Another appendage is the Eagle, upon which some North Wales families place their shields, and the double-headed variety so used by nobles of the Holy Roman empire.

FOOTNOTES (page 710)

(1) Duke of Bedford.

(2) Bohun, for duke of Gloucester.

(3) Duke of Exeter. .

(4) Rouen. .

(5) Beaufort duke of Somerset.

(6) Cardinal Beaufort.

(7) Duke of Norfolk.

(8) Duke of Saffolk

The Livery has long lost its early signification, and is used only for the dress of the retainers in their lord’s colour. At Richard III.’s coronation 8000 badges of the white boar were wrought upon liveries of fustian. A statute of Henry IV. forbade the use of liveries under heavy penalties, but they reappeared in the Wars of the Roses. Richard III. used "collars of livery," but these were for persons of rank. One remains upon a Neville effigy at Brancepeth.

Crowns, Coronets, and Symbols of Rank.—The crown is the head attire of a sovereign prince, It is usually closed at the top by four arched bars called diadems, and sur-mounted by a globe and cross. Edward IV. is said to have first closed the English crown. That now in use is a circle of gold, jewelled, edged above with crosses patée and fleurs-de-lys alternate, and closed above with four bars and the cross and globe called in Germany the Reichsapfel (fig. 136). Since the Restoration the crown of the Princes of Wales has been surmounted by two bars, also with the Reichsapfel (fig. 137). They also use the plume of three ostrich feathers, with the words "Ich dien," adopted by the Black Prince (fig. 138). Figs. 139 and 140 give representations of the imperial crown of Austria and the crown of the old kings of France. The Pope places three crowns over his mitre or tiara (fig. 141), said to have been severally assumed in 1295, 1335, and 1411. The crown imperial of Charlemagne may be seen on a scutcheon of pretence on the arms of Hanover, as the elector’s badge of arch-treasurer. The doges of Venice and Genoa bore a peculiar cap or toque seen in Greek statuary, and upon the figures on the arch of Constantine.

The coronet is the head attire of a noble. In England those of princes of the blood are bordered with crosses patée and fleurs-de-lys under a regulation of 13 Charles II. (fig. 143). The princesses alternate the same ornaments with strawberry leaves (fig 141).

The coronet of a duke is bor-dered with eight strawberry leaves (figs. 145); that of a marquis with four alternating with four pearls placed on low points (fig. 146). An earl’s coronet has eight strawberry leaves alternating with eight pearls upon tall points (fig. 147). The viscount borders his coronet with an indefinite number of pearls, set close upon the rim (fig. 148). The baron’s coronet, granted to the order by Charles II., carries six pearls placed on the rim at equal intervals,—four being seen at once (fig, 119). These coronets are all lined with ermine, and enriched with jewels. On occasions of state, when not worn by the peer, they are carried before him on a cushion. The eldest sons of peers above the rank of viscount wear the coronet due to their father’s second title. The crowns of the kings-at-arms are of gold, bordered with and encircled by the motto "Miserere mei, Domine." The ducal, as an ancient form of coronet, is often used without reference to rank, as the base for a crest. It was so used by Sir Simon de Felbrigge in 1442.

A bishop has neither crest nor coronet, but ensigns his arms with a mitre. The bishops of Durham, while palatines, placed their mitre in a ducal coronet, as—though without authority—do the archbishops (fig. 150). The Berkeley crest is a mitre. The ancient mitre was low, and of linen stiffened with vellum. The central band and the margin, embroidered with fleurs-de-lys or other patterns, were called the orphreys. The pendent side ribbons were the "infulae." Prelates of the church of Rome ensign their shields with a hat, the tassels of which indicate their rank. A cardinal has four rows of red tassels, arranged 1, 2, 4, 8, or 15 on each side; an archbishop the same, but green. A bishop has three rows, an abbot two; the abbot’s hat is black. Prelates and legates place a patriarchal cross in pale behind their shield.

The Helmet also indicates the rank of the wearer. It is placed above the shield, and beneath the crest. The sovereign and the royal family bear the helmet full-faced or affrontée with six bars, all of gold (fig. 151). Those of dukes and marquises are of gold with five steel bars (fig. 152). The lesser nobles have silver helmets borne in profile with gold ornaments and four silver bars. Those of baronets and knights are of steel, full-faced and open (fig. 153). An esquire’s helmet is of steel, represented in profile, with the vizor closed (fig. 154). These distinctions were probably introduced after the Restoration.

The Mantling is a sort of cloak or mantle of fur extended behind the shield, and sufficiently ample to include the whole achievement. Those of sovereigns are of gold doubled with ermine, and are called "pavillons." Peers mantlings are of crimson velvet, doubled with white fur and barred with ermine spots; a duke has four bars, a marquis three and a half, an earl three, a viscount two and a half, and a baron two. Commoners use red mantlings lined with white fur. The prior of St John, whose place was on the right of the temporal barons, used a sable mantling doubled with niurrey. The pavillon of France was of blue velvet, powdered with gold fleurs-de-lys, and lined with ermine. Such a mantling may be seen behind the arms of Beaumont in Rotbley Temple chapel, in right of their descent from the blood-royal of France.

Certain officers of state accompanied their armorial shields with exterior marks of their rank. The Earl Marshal placed two truncheons saltirewise behind his shield, tipped above with the arms of England, and below with his own arms. His deputy places one truncheon in bend dexter.

In Scotland the Lord High Constable, the earl of Errol, Places on either side of his shield an arm issuant from a cloud, and grasping a sword. Under the old monarchy the French colonels commandant placed the standards of their regiments saltirewise behind their shields.

The Lords High Admiral have been variously distinguished. Thomas de Berkeley bears on his brass a collar of tritons. Thomas, duke of Exeter, sealed with a ship and his arms on the mainsail. The anchor in some form or other was a common emblem.

Merchants’ marks are scarcely heraldic, though they took the place of arms with the trading classes. They were usually monograms of the name or initials. They were protected by law as marks on goods, and are seen on merchants’ tombs and sometimes in architecture.

Read the rest of this article:
Heraldry - Table of Contents

About this EncyclopediaTop ContributorsAll ContributorsToday in History
Terms of UsePrivacyContact Us

© 2005-23 1902 Encyclopedia. All Rights Reserved.

This website is the free online Encyclopedia Britannica (9th Edition and 10th Edition) with added expert translations and commentaries