Heraldy Symbol Meaning Glossary w/ Images

Heraldry Glossary

acorn

Amongst the natural objects depicted on a coat of arms, trees feature frequently, either in whole or as individual branches and leaves or fruit. 1A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P94, 262, 407. The acorn, often represented in its early state as vert (green) 2A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Acorn can be associated of course with the mighty oak, signifying, according to Wade, “antiquity and strength”, for obvious reasons.

adder

The adder or asp is one of the few named snakes to appear in heraldry, normally the generic term serpent is used. They can appear tied in knots but also in a more lifelike pose! 3A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Adder We might suppose that it shares with the serpent the meaning of “wisdom”. 4The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P101

alligator

The alligator is a very rare charge occuring on only a handful of English coats of arms, and is depicted as it is in life, rather then being one of the mythical creatures one might expect. 5A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:alligator The similar creature, the crocodile was after all, thought to the inspiration for the dragon! 6The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P26

almond slip

A slip is a step up from a leaf, being a twig with precisely three leaves upon it7 A Glossary of Terms used in Heraldry, J.B. Parker, 1894 P583, hence an almond slip is a twig brunatre (brown) with three almond leaves vert (green). In truth the Almond leaf does not have the distinctive shape of an oak or maple having a simple, classic, “leaf” shaped outline.

anchor

A wide variety of inanimate objects 8A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P281 appear in coats of arms, so of them still recognisable today, others now rather obscure. The images used are often simplified and stylised, the anchor is a typical case. For any meaning, we need look no further than a nautical or sea-faring heritage. Indeed, some arms go into great detail of the colours and arrangement of the stock, stem, cables and flutes of the anchor reflecting a detailed knowledge of the form and use of this device. 9A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:anchor.

angel

The middle ages was a deeply religious time, and since the bulk of heraldry was developed in countries that were almost entirely Christian it is no surprise that religious and church symbology was widely adopted for use in coats of arms. The angel Is a typical such usage. Wade assigns it the additional meaning of “dignity, glory and honour”. 10The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P104 They are depicted in conventional form, facing the viewer with wings extended. 11A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:ANgel

annulet

For easy recognition of the items on a coat of arms, and hence the quick identification of the owner, bold simple shapes are best. Hence, simple geometric shapes are often used for this purpose 12A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P146xz`, and the annulet is a good example, being a circular ring of any colour. They also appear interlaced or one within the other, both of which are very pleasing additions. Wade believes that these were one of the symbols of ancient pilgrims. 13The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P19

antelope

The ibex or antelope was drawn by heraldic artists in rather more fearsome aspect than its real-life appearance, with large horns, mane and a long tail. 14A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Antelope These days we regard the ibex as being a member of the goat family rather than an antelope, but in the middle ages there were was no real distinction between these animals. They could adopt many of the poses of the lion, such as rampant and statant. 15A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P210

antelopes head

The ibex or antelope was drawn by heraldic artists in rather more fearsome aspect than its real-life appearance, with large horns, mane and a long tail. 16A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Antelope These days we regard the ibex as being a member of the goat family rather than an antelope, but in the middle ages there were was no real distinction between these animals. They could adopt many of the poses of the lion, such as rampant and statant. 17A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P210

antique crown

Crowns are frequently observed in Heraldry 18Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P184, but we should not make the mistake of assuming that these are always on Royal arms 19The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P138. Many of the orders of nobility across Europe were entitled to wear crowns and coronets, Dukes, Earls, Viscounts and Barons in England each had their own distinctive headwear 20A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P350. The antique crown is an example of this, being a simple design but honourable. It may also be the case that a crown is added to an existing coat of arms as an augmentation in recognition of some service to a King 21Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 187.

anvil

It is important that a coat of arms be easily recognised and so everyday objects were frequently used as clearly identifiable charges – tools 22Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 69 being a common and important example of these, of which the anvil is typical and for meaning we need look no further than the craft of the blacksmith, with which the named family is likely to have been associated with. 23The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P98 In representation it is drawn in a realistic fashion, one of the few heraldic items to be shown with a certain amount of perspective. 24A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Anvil

apple

The apple, in conjunction with other fruit is said to signify “liberality, felicity and peace”. 25The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P132 The apple appears frequently in arms, sometimes stalked and leaved and usually gules (red). 26A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Apple

arm in armour

The Arm appears frequently in the crest of a coat of arms, often armoured and described in some detail as to its appearance and attitude. 27A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:arm It can also appear on the shield itself as a charge. The arm itself is said to signify a “laboorious and industrious person” 28The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P92, whilst the arm in armour may denote “one fitted for performance of high enterprise” 29A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P184

arrow

Given the martial nature of the origins of Heraldry, in the identification of knights and men-at-arms it can come as no surprise that mediaeval weaponry of all types are frequently to be found in a coat of arms 30Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 89. The regular prescence of the arrow, both singly and in groups is evidence of this. In British heraldry a lone arrow normally points downward, but in the French tradition it points upwards. 31A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Arrow. The presence of an arrow in a coat of arms is reckoned to indicate “martial readiness” by Wade. 32The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P111

ash tree

Amongst the natural objects depicted on a coat of arms, trees feature frequently, either in whole or as individual branches and leaves. 33A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P94, 262, 407. Sometimes the species or the part of tree was chosen as an allusion to the name of the bearer, as in Argent three tree stumps (also known as stocks) sable” for Blackstock 34A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P309. Trees of course had long been venerated and its use in a coat of arms may have represented some association with the god Thor 35The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P112Wade points out the the Ash Tree was particularly venerated by the Saxons. 36The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P128

ashen keys

Amongst the natural objects depicted on a coat of arms, trees feature frequently, either in whole or as individual branches and leaves. 37A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P94, 262, 407. Sometimes the species or the part of tree was chosen as an allusion to the name of the bearer, as in Argent three tree stumps (also known as stocks) sable” for Blackstock 38A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P309. Trees of course had long been venerated and its use in a coat of arms may have represented some association with the god Thor 39The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P112Wade points out the the Ash Tree was particularly venerated by the Saxons. 40The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P128The seed pods of the ash tree are known as ashen keys.

attires

The magnificent antlers of the stag are known in heraldry as attires, which can appear as a charge on their own (usually with part of the scalp attached) 41A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:attire, or a stag may be attired of a different colour. Like many similar forest creatures, stags and their antlers are probably intended to represent pleasure taken in the hunt. 42The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P30

axe

The Axe appears in many forms in heraldic art, coming from both the martial and the craft traditions, indeed someone today would have a hard time telling their common hatchet from a turner’s axe, but it is likely that those in the middle ages were more familiar with each. 43A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Axe Obviously the axe from a craft tradition may symbolise the holder being a practitioner of that craft, but the axes from a martial background are suggested by Wade to indicate the “execution of military duty”. 44The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P100

badger

Real animals 45A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P191 are perhaps one of the most common sights on coats of arms, especially animals of European origin. The badger Is a typical example of these, also known as a brock it is shown in realistic aspect. 46A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:badger

balance

Although we expect to find fierce creatures and fearsome weapons depicted in a coat of arms this is not always the case – sometimes simple household objects are used 47A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P281. The balance or scales is a typical example of this. Sometimes these objects were chosen for the familiarity they would have for the obsever, helping them identify the owner, and sometimes they were used because of some association with the owner, or a similarity to the family name. 48Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 100

baldcoot

The coot, also known as the baldcoot and moorhen is a water fowl, common both in Europe and in its coats of arms. 49A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Coot It is drawn in realistic fashion and may be beaked and legged of a different colour.

bar

The bar is a thin, horizontal stripe across the centre of the shield 50A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Bar, usually in groups of two or three (any more and there would be confusion with barry, a treatment of horizontal lines of alternating colours). Bars can be a distinctive and easily recognised device, early examples include those awarded by Henry III of England to the family MAUDYT Argent, two bars gules.

bar embattled

The bar is a thin, horizontal stripe across the centre of the shield, usually in groups of two or three (any more and there would be confusion with barry, a treatment of horizontal lines of alternating colours). It is also possible to place decorative edges along bars, typically these are smaller than those found on the major ordinaries like the fess and pale, but have the same design and share the same meanings. An edge which is decorated like the top of a castle wall is said to be embattled, or sometimes crenelle, from the original French. (In castle building terminology the parts of the wall that stick up are known as merlons, and the resulting gaps as crenels). A whole sub-section of heraldic terminology has sprung up to describe whether these crennellations appear on which edges, whether they line up or alternate, have additional steps or rounded tops. The interested reader is directed to the reference for the full set! 51A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Embattled For obvious reasons, use of this decoration is to be associated with castles and fortified towns, an early authority, Guillim suggest also some association with fire, but with out clear reason 52The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P41. In all, this is one of the more common, and most effective and appropriate of the decorative edges.

bar engrailed

The bar is a thin, horizontal stripe across the centre of the shield, usually in groups of two or three (any more and there would be confusion with barry, a treatment of horizontal lines of alternating colours). It is also possible to place decorative edges along bars, typically these are smaller than those found on the major ordinaries like the fess and pale, but have the same design and share the same meanings. The pattern engrailed is a series of scalloped indentations with the points facing outwards – and should not be confused with invected, which has the points facing inwards! Wade believes that both of these indented forms represent “earth or land”, and one perhaps can indeed see the furrowed earth embodied in them.

bar gemmel

The bar is a thin, horizontal stripe across the centre of the shield, usually in groups of two or three (any more and there would be confusion with barry, a treatment of horizontal lines of alternating colours). It is also possible to place decorative edges along bars, typically these are smaller than those found on the major ordinaries like the fess and pale, but have the same design and share the same meanings. Gemel simply means “doubled” 53A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Gemel, so whatever it is applied to appears twice, slightly reduced in size to occupy a similar amount of space to the original. This is different from having “two” of something, and indeed it is possible to have, for example two bars gemel, in which there are two, clearly separated pairs of bars.

bar nebulee

The bar is a thin, horizontal stripe across the centre of the shield, usually in groups of two or three (any more and there would be confusion with barry, a treatment of horizontal lines of alternating colours). It is also possible to place decorative edges along bars, typically these are smaller than those found on the major ordinaries like the fess and pale, but have the same design and share the same meanings. Nebulee (sometimes nebuly is a very pleasing pattern of interlocking curves, the name refers to “clouds” as it is reminscent of their soft abstract edges.

bar wavy

The bar is a thin, horizontal stripe across the centre of the shield, usually in groups of two or three (any more and there would be confusion with barry, a treatment of horizontal lines of alternating colours). It is also possible to place decorative edges along bars, typically these are smaller than those found on the major ordinaries like the fess and pale, but have the same design and share the same meanings. The decorative edge pattern Wavy, is a typical example of this. For obvious reasons it is associated with both water and the sea 54The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P40. Indeed, a roundel with alternating bars of azure and argent (blue and white) is known by the shorthand term fountain, representing water at the bottom of a well 55A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Water. Other colours have also been used and the result can be very pleasing to the eye.

barberry branch

Amongst the natural objects depicted on a coat of arms, trees feature frequently, either in whole or as individual branches and leaves. 56A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P94, 262, 407. Sometimes the species or the part of tree was chosen as an allusion to the name of the bearer, as in Argent three tree stumps (also known as stocks) sable” for Blackstock 57A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P309. Trees of course had long been venerated and its use in a coat of arms may have represented some association with the god Thor 58The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P112Only one example of the barberry branch is known in British Heraldry. 59A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Barberry

barley

Many items found in the natural world occur in coats of arms, including many plants that people of the middle ages would be familiar with. Several varities of bush and small plants frequently found in the hedgerows beside fields can be observed 60A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P270, in addition to the famous thistle of Scotland 61Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P147. The barley is a an example of such a plant, instantly recognisable to those in the mediaeval period and likely a symbol of the land and a farming heritage.

barrulet

The barrulet is the very narrowest member of the family of horizontal bands across the shield. The largest is the fesse, originally occupying one third of the height of the shield, barrulets are a mere one twentieth of the height and always occur in groups 62A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Barrulet. Like the other bar-like objects, Wade associates the use of this device with those who “set the bar…against angry passions and evil temptations” 63The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P46.

barry

When the field of the shield is filled with alternately coloured horizontal lines, this is known as barry, obviously because it is like having many separate bars across the field 64A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Barry. Such shields have great clarity from a distance, those awarded by Henry III of England to Richard de Grey were, for example, Barry argent and azure, simple blue and white horizontal stripes. According to Wade, there was no specific meaning to be attached to barry itself, but it affords the opportunity to display at equal importance two colours that may themselves have specific meanings 65The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P55.

barry nebulee

When the field of the shield is filled with alternately coloured horizontal lines, this is known as barry, obviously because it is like having many separate bars across the field 66A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Barry. As well as being drawn with straight edges, there some decorative effects that can be used, and, with careful, these can be very pleasing. The decorations are typically much smaller than those used on the major ordinaries, such as the fess so care must be taken to ensure clarity. Nebulee (sometimes nebuly is a very pleasing pattern of interlocking curves, the name refers to “clouds” as it is reminscent of their soft abstract edges.

barry wavy

When the field of the shield is filled with alternately coloured horizontal lines, this is known as barry, obviously because it is like having many separate bars across the field 67A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Barry. As well as being drawn with straight edges, there some decorative effects that can be used, and, with careful, these can be very pleasing. The decorations are typically much smaller than those used on the major ordinaries, such as the fess so care must be taken to ensure clarity. The decorative edge pattern Wavy, sometimes written as undy is, for obvious reasons, associated with both water and the sea 68The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P40. Indeed, a roundel with alternating bars of azure and argent (blue and white) is known by the shorthand term fountain, representing water at the bottom of a well 69A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Water. Other colours have also been used and the result can be very pleasing to the eye.

bars dancettee

The bar is a thin, horizontal stripe across the centre of the shield, usually in groups of two or three (any more and there would be confusion with barry, a treatment of horizontal lines of alternating colours). It is also possible to place decorative edges along bars, typically these are smaller than those found on the major ordinaries like the fess and pale, but have the same design and share the same meanings. Dancettee (sometimes spelled dancetty or dancy) is a bold, zig-zag pattern, perhaps the most distinctive of the patterned edges. Purists might argue that the French variant denché Is not the same, being of larger size and with the points being 90º, but there is much variation in actual practice so the difference is perhaps not that meaningful. Wade, quoting Guillim suggests that dancettee be attributed to mean water, in the same fashion as undy or wavy, and one can understand this allusion.

bars gemel

The bar is a thin, horizontal stripe across the centre of the shield, usually in groups of two or three (any more and there would be confusion with barry, a treatment of horizontal lines of alternating colours). It is also possible to place decorative edges along bars, typically these are smaller than those found on the major ordinaries like the fess and pale, but have the same design and share the same meanings. Gemel simply means “doubled” 70A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Gemel, so whatever it is applied to appears twice, slightly reduced in size to occupy a similar amount of space to the original. This is different from having “two” of something, and indeed it is possible to have, for example two bars gemel, in which there are two, clearly separated pairs of bars.

bars humettee

The bar is a thin, horizontal stripe across the centre of the shield, usually in groups of two or three (any more and there would be confusion with barry, a treatment of horizontal lines of alternating colours). Humettee is a word of uncertain origin that means couped or cut. It is applied to so-called ordinaries, the large features that typically extend across the whole of the field, but their description as humettee means that, whilst still occupying the bulk of the space, they are cut short before reaching the edge 71A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Humetty. Thus the bar humettee is one of small number of horizontal bars ending just short of either edge. Richard II of England granted an example of these in the arms of John de DABRICHECOURT, being Ermine, on 3 bars humetty 9 escallops or 3,3,3.

bars indented

The bar is a thin, horizontal stripe across the centre of the shield, usually in groups of two or three (any more and there would be confusion with barry, a treatment of horizontal lines of alternating colours). It is also possible to place decorative edges along bars, typically these are smaller than those found on the major ordinaries like the fess and pale, but have the same design and share the same meanings. An line drawn indented, i.e. in a saw-tooth pattern might be taken for dancettee, but in this case the individual “teeth” are much smaller. An early author, Guilllim seeks to associate this decoration with fire 72A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P39, and one can see the resemblance to flames.

bars wavy

The bar is a thin, horizontal stripe across the centre of the shield, usually in groups of two or three (any more and there would be confusion with barry, a treatment of horizontal lines of alternating colours). It is also possible to place decorative edges along bars, typically these are smaller than those found on the major ordinaries like the fess and pale, but have the same design and share the same meanings. The decorative edge pattern Wavy, is a typical example of this. For obvious reasons it is associated with both water and the sea 73The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P40. Indeed, a roundel with alternating bars of azure and argent (blue and white) is known by the shorthand term fountain, representing water at the bottom of a well 74A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Water. Other colours have also been used and the result can be very pleasing to the eye.

basket

Although we expect to find fierce creatures and fearsome weapons depicted in a coat of arms this is not always the case – sometimes simple household objects are used 75A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P281. The humble but useful basket is a typical example of this. Sometimes these objects were chosen for the familiarity they would have for the obsever, helping them identify the owner, and sometimes they were used because of some association with the owner, or a similarity to the family name. 76Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 100

bat wing

Birds of great variety occur throughout heraldry, at least in name 77A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P233. In truth, despite the proliferation of species, the actual depictions can sometimes be hard to distinguish! The crane, heron and stork are commonly to be found on a coat of arms but all tend to share the same stylised appearance 78A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P164. The bat wing is one of the more unusual examples of the usage of flying creatures in heraldry.

baton

The baton is not a short staff, as its usage today suggests, but a geometrical ordinary on the shield, being a bendlet sinister couped, i.e. a narrow diagonal band cut off at each end. 79A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Baton In ancient times it was said to be a mark of illegitimacy that should be retained for three generations. 80The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P51

beacon

The Beacon is an iron basket raised on a post used for signalling in the event of peril or invasion and can be borne in flames or empty. A similar device, used more prosaically as a street light is the cresset. 81A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Beacon Either device, for reasons that should be quite clear are to be regarded as emblems of “one who is watchful”. 82The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P116

bear

The bear is more common in the arms of continental Europe than in British arms (possibly due to the lack of bears native to that country!), although the county of Warwickshire famously includes a bear in its arms. 83A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Bear Wade tells us that the bear is the “emblem of ferocity and the protection of kindred”. 84The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P63

bears head

The bear is more common in the arms of continental Europe than in British arms (possibly due to the lack of bears native to that country!), although the county of Warwickshire famously includes a bear in its arms. 85A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Bear Wade tells us that the bear is the “emblem of ferocity and the protection of kindred”. 86The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P63

beaver

In the mediaeval period there was no real percieved difference between real and mythical animals, after all, much of the world remained unknown and who was to say what strange and magical creatures existed in distant lands? Nevertheless, real animals 87A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P191 are perhaps one of the most common sights on coats of arms, especially animals of European origin. The beaver Is a typical example of these.

bee

We might well expect thebee, industrious creator of honey with all its association of both work and sweet reward, 88Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 80, but we also find other members of the insect kingdom, both decorative, such as the butterfly and more of a nuisance, such as the cricket! 89A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P260.

beehive

The beehive appears in heraldry in its natural, rounded form, not the wooden box of the honey farm. 90A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Bee-hive In meaning it can treated in the same way as the bee symbolising “well governed industry”. 91The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P70

bell

The bell usually represents the church bell, which is shown in a realistic, shaded form and may have a clapper of a different colour. 92A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Bell In the middle ages Church bells were believed to have the power to disperse evil spirits and to summon guardian angels and we can assume a similar meaning for their depiction in a coat of arms. 93The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P147

bend

The bend is a distinctive part of the shield, frequently occuring and clearly visible from a distance – it is a broad band running from top left to bottom right 94Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 39-40. Indeed, so important is the bend that it was the subject of one of the earliest cases before the English Court of Chivalry; the famous case of 1390, Scrope vs Grosvenor had to decide which family were the rightful owners of Azure, a bend or (A blue shield, with yellow bend). 95A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P22. The bend is held in high honour and may signify “defence or protection” and often borne by those of high military rank 96The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P49.

bend bretesse

The bend is such a bold and clear shape, clearly visible on the shield, that its popularity should not be a surprise. One of the Heralds primary roles is ensure that each coat of arms be distinct from all others 97Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 258 and one way to accomodate the demand for the use of the bend was to draw them with a variety of decorative edges, thus distinguishing, at least from close up, one set of arms from another. The term bretesse refers to an edge drawn as if it were the battlements of a castle. Indeed, it is one of several, very specific terms which describes exactly how the battlements are to be drawn 98Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 44. Normally, if an ordinary, such as a fesse or bend is drawn embattled then the battlements appear only on the upper edge, however the use her of counter-embattled tells us that the lower edge should be likewise treated. In all cases, the use of this decoration, according to Wade, is clearly to be associated with fortifications such as castles and walled towns. 99The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P41

bend compony

The bend is such a bold and clear shape, clearly visible on the shield, that its popularity should not be a surprise. One of the Heralds primary roles is ensure that each coat of arms be distinct from all others 100Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 258 and one way to accomodate the demand for the use of the bend was to draw them with a variety of decorative edges, thus distinguishing, at least from close up, one set of arms from another. Compony, also known as Gobony (and a surprising number of other varying spellings!) 101A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Gobony is quite unusual in the world of heraldic art. Where most colours, patterns and furs can be applied more or less to any item on the shield, compony is specifically a patterning for the major, so called ordinaries – the larger charges such as the fess, pale and bordure. The large charge is split into a single series of large, square sections and colour alternately of two tinctures 102Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 33. There is another variant, with two lines of squares known as counter compony (or sometimes even compony-counter-compony. Wade, the noted heraldic authorgroups compony with the other “square” objects as symbols of “Constancy”.

bend cotised

The bend is a distinctive part of the shield, frequently occuring and clearly visible from a distance – it is a broad band running from top left to bottom right 103Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 39-40. To add extra impact it can be cotised, with the addition of narrower bends to either side, which may be other tinctures for even more distinction. 104A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P123. They are not common, but make a worthy and striking addition to any coat of arms.

bend crenelle

The bend is such a bold and clear shape, clearly visible on the shield, that its popularity should not be a surprise. One of the Heralds primary roles is ensure that each coat of arms be distinct from all others 105Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 258 and one way to accomodate the demand for the use of the bend was to draw them with a variety of decorative edges, thus distinguishing, at least from close up, one set of arms from another. An edge which is decorated like the top of a castle wall is said to be embattled, or sometimes crenelle, from the original French. (In castle building terminology the parts of the wall that stick up are known as merlons, and the resulting gaps as crenels). A whole sub-section of heraldic terminology has sprung up to describe whether these crennellations appear on which edges, whether they line up or alternate, have additional steps or rounded tops. The interested reader is directed to the reference for the full set! 106A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Embattled For obvious reasons, use of this decoration is to be associated with castles and fortified towns, an early authority, Guillim suggest also some association with fire, but with out clear reason 107The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P41. In all, this is one of the more common, and most effective and appropriate of the decorative edges.

bend dancettee

The bend is such a bold and clear shape, clearly visible on the shield, that its popularity should not be a surprise. One of the Heralds primary roles is ensure that each coat of arms be distinct from all others 108Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 258 and one way to accomodate the demand for the use of the bend was to draw them with a variety of decorative edges, thus distinguishing, at least from close up, one set of arms from another. One example of this isDancettee (sometimes spelled dancetty or dancy) , a bold, zig-zag pattern, perhaps the most distinctive of these patterned edges. Wade, quoting Guillim suggests that dancettee be attributed to mean water, in the same fashion as undy or wavy, and one can understand this allusion.

bend engrailed

The bend is a distinctive part of the shield, frequently occuring and clearly visible from a distance – it is a broad band running from top left to bottom right 109Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 39-40. It can be further distinguished by embellishing the edges. The pattern engrailed is a series of scalloped indentations with the points facing outwards – and should not be confused with invected, which has the points facing inwards! Wade believes that both of these indented forms represent “earth or land”, and one perhaps can indeed see the furrowed earth embodied in them.

bend nebulee

The bend is a distinctive part of the shield, frequently occuring and clearly visible from a distance – it is a broad band running from top left to bottom right 110Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 39-40. It can be further distinguished by embellishing the edges. Nebulee (sometimes nebuly is a very pleasing pattern of interlocking curves, the name refers to “clouds” as it is reminscent of their soft abstract edges.

bend raguled

The bend is a distinctive part of the shield, frequently occuring and clearly visible from a distance – it is a broad band running from top left to bottom right 111Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 39-40. It can be further distinguished by embellishing the edges. Of the decorative edges raguly can be at first hard to identify, but once we understand that it arises from an old word raggguled meaning “chopped off”. 112A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Raguly we can see that the curious shapes are intended to represent boughs lopped off a tree trunk. (This is also the origin of the term “ragged staff” see so frequently with a bear in Heraldry). Wade suggests that the use of this decoration represents “difficulties that have been encountered” 113The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P41, and we can perhaps understand that the “hacked path” resulting shows that these difficulties have been overcome.

bend wavy

The bend is a distinctive part of the shield, frequently occuring and clearly visible from a distance – it is a broad band running from top left to bottom right 114Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 39-40. It can be further distinguished by embellishing the edges. The decorative edge pattern Wavy, sometimes written as undy is, for obvious reasons, associated with both water and the sea 115The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P40. Indeed, a roundel with alternating bars of azure and argent (blue and white) is known by the shorthand term fountain, representing water at the bottom of a well 116A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Water. Other colours have also been used and the result can be very pleasing to the eye.

bendlet

The bend is a distinctive part of the shield, frequently occuring and clearly visible from a distance – it is a broad band running from top left to bottom right 117Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 39-40. Indeed, so important is the bend that it was the subject of one of the earliest cases before the English Court of Chivalry; the famous case of 1390, Scrope vs Grosvenor had to decide which family were the rightful owners of Azure, a bend or (A blue shield, with yellow bend). 118A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P22. The bend is held in high honour and may signify “defence or protection” and often borne by those of high military rank 119The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P49.The Bendlet is quite simply a narrower version of the bend, and there may be a small number of these present.

bendy

Knowing that the bend is a diagonal stripe of colour, we can easily conclude that bendy is the variant whereby the whole of the shield is covered with diagonal stripes of alternating colours, usually around 4 or 5 of each colour. 120A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Bend We should not assign any particular significance to the choice of this pattern, but rather more to the colours they are composed of.

bezant

For easy recognition of the items on a coat of arms, and hence the quick identification of the owner, bold simple shapes are best. Hence, simple geometric shapes are often used for this purpose 121A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P146xz`, and the bezant Is a typical example of this, and in British Heraldry always takes the tincture or. It shares the same root as the name Byzantium, being associated with the gold coin of that city and indeed, in some heraldic traditions is represented as a coin-like disk in perspective. Wade suggests that the use of this device refers to ” one who had been found worthy of trust and treasure.” 122The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P122

billet

For easy recognition of the items on a coat of arms, and hence the quick identification of the owner, bold simple shapes are best. Hence, simple geometric shapes are often used for this purpose 123A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P146xz`, and the billet is a typical example of this, and can appear in any of the main heraldic tinctures. In form it is a simple rectangle though sometimes has a slightly rounded or ragged appearance to reflect one possible origin as a block of wood cut by an axe. 124A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Billet. Wade groups the billet with the other square charges as symbols of “honesty and constancy”. 125The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P95

billettee

The billet is a simple rectangular shape like a brick or ingot, and in fact is sometimes shown with simply shading to imply rounded corners, quite a rare feature in the largely solid and geometric art of heraldry. Billetty then comes to mean “strewn with billets”, i.e. the field is covered with regularly spaced rectangles with large gaps between them 126A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Billet. This kind of patterning is known as a treatment, and there are no fixed colours, any combination may be used.

bird

Birds of great variety occur throughout heraldry, at least in name 127A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P233. In truth, despite the proliferation of species, the actual depictions can sometimes be hard to distinguish! The crane, heron and stork are commonly to be found on a coat of arms but all tend to share the same stylised appearance 128A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P164.

bird bolt

Given the martial nature of the origins of Heraldry, in the identification of knights and men-at-arms it can come as no surprise that mediaeval weaponry of all types are frequently to be found in a coat of arms 129Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 89. Indeed, the sheer variety of different swords 130A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P302 can be bewildering and expaining the difference between a scimitar and a falchion is perhaps best left to the expert! Even so, the bird bolt is an important symbol in heraldry, it is a special form of arrow head. 131A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Bird bolt

bison

Bulls, and their close relations, cows, calves, oxen and the buffalo are relatively recent additions to the art of heraldry (and it is not always possible to distinguish between them in their renderings). 132A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Bull They can be found in a variety of poses and may have horns, hooves and collared in a different colour. The writer Guillim noted that the prescence of a bull could signify “valour and magnanimity”. 133A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P117

bit

It is important that a coat of arms be easily recognised and so everyday objects were frequently used as clearly identifiable charges – parts of the horse harness 134Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 69 being a good example of these, of which the bit is typical. The symbology is likely simply to be related to traits of good horsemanship, but also might sometimes be a play on words with the family name. 135A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:bit

bittern

Birds of great variety occur throughout heraldry, at least in name 136A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P233. In truth, despite the proliferation of species, the actual depictions can sometimes be hard to distinguish! The crane, heron and stork are commonly to be found on a coat of arms but all tend to share the same stylised appearance 137A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P164. The bittern is yet another variant of the heron group, the different name perhaps used because of a resemblence to the family name.

blackamoor

Heraldry is a human art, by and for people and it is not surprising that people themselves are frequently depicted in arms 138Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P174. Often these are images of knights and men-at-arms, or individual limbs, such as the “three armoured right arms argent” shown in the arms of Armstrong 139Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 60. As well as the nobility however, we also see both the mundane, ploughmen, fishermen and reapers; and the exotic in the form of club wielding savages and the Moorish or Saracen gentleman with his decorative wreathed turban 140A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P168. The blackamoor is a typical example of this use of the human figure.

blackbird

Birds of great variety occur throughout heraldry, at least in name 141A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P233. In truth, despite the proliferation of species, the actual depictions can sometimes be hard to distinguish! The crane, heron and stork are commonly to be found on a coat of arms but all tend to share the same stylised appearance 142A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P164. The blackbird is amongst the bird species to appear in heraldry, though in appearance can look a lot like the cornish chough.

blade

Given the martial nature of the origins of Heraldry, in the identification of knights and men-at-arms it can come as no surprise that mediaeval weaponry of all types are frequently to be found in a coat of arms 143Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 89. Indeed, the sheer variety of different swords 144A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P302 can be bewildering and expaining the difference between a scimitar and a falchion is perhaps best left to the expert! If a charge is described just as a simple sword then it will have a straight blade and cross handle, that may be of a different colour, and, unless specified, points upwards. Wade, quoting the earlier writer Guillim, signifies the use of the sword as representing “Government and Justice”.The term blade is likely used as another word for the typical sword

blood drop

The gutte or goutte is an elongated tear-drop shape with wavy sides and usually appears in large number spread evenly across the field. 145A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Gouttes Some frequently do they occur that special names have arisen for the various colours, guttee de sang being gules (or red) for its obvious resemblence to split blood.

boar

In the middle ages, the wild boar, a far more fearsome creature than its domesticated relative, the pig was a much more commonly seen animal than today. It was also known as a sanglier. 146Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 72 It can appear in many of the same poses that we see for the lion, but has its own (easily imagined!) position known as enraged! 147A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Boar We should not be surprised then that this “fierce combatant” is said to be associated with the warrior. 148The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P67

boars head

In the middle ages, the wild boar, a far more fearsome creature than its domesticated relative, the pig was a much more commonly seen animal than today. It was also known as a sanglier. 149Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 72 It can appear in many of the same poses that we see for the lion, but has its own (easily imagined!) position known as enraged! 150A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Boar We should not be surprised then that this “fierce combatant” is said to be associated with the warrior. 151The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P67

bombshell

Given the martial nature of the origins of Heraldry, in the identification of knights and men-at-arms it can come as no surprise that mediaeval weaponry of all types are frequently to be found in a coat of arms 152Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 89. Indeed, the sheer variety of different swords 153A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P302 can be bewildering and expaining the difference between a scimitar and a falchion is perhaps best left to the expert! Even so, the grenade is an important symbol in heraldry, borne with pride on many a coat of arms.

bone

The bone brings to heraldry the association with mortality that it holds outside of the subject. 154The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P93 The precise part of the body in question is often specified, but no significant difference in meaning can be ascertained. On other occaisions a weak pun seems to be the aim, for bones appear often in the arms of the family BAINES. 155A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Bones

book

Although we expect to find fierce creatures and fearsome weapons depicted in a coat of arms this is not always the case – sometimes simple household objects are used 156A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P281. The book is a typical example of this. Books could be open or closed and were usually richly decorated, sometimes described in detail, along with words upon the open pages. Wade tells us that the open book represents “manifestation” while the closed book signifies “counsel”. 157The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P146

border

The border, (sometimes bordure) is a band running around the edge of the shield, following the edge contours and being differently coloured, possibly holding a series of small charges placed on top of it 158A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Bordure. According to Wade, the bordure itself has no direct meaning, but is perhaps a container for the meaning of its colour or those additional charges placed upon it 159The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P50

border engrailed

The border, (sometimes bordure) is a band running around the edge of the shield, following the edge contours and being differently coloured, possibly holding a series of small charges placed on top of it 160A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Bordure. To distinguish it from similar arms, heraldic artists developed a series of decorative edges (obviously these are applied only to the inner edge). A common form of this patterning, engrailed is a series of scalloped indentations with the points facing outwards – and should not be confused with invected, which has the points facing inwards! Wade believes that both of these indented forms represent “earth or land”, and one perhaps can indeed see the furrowed earth embodied in them.

border flory

The border, (sometimes bordure) is a band running around the edge of the shield, following the edge contours and being differently coloured, possibly holding a series of small charges placed on top of it 161A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Bordure. To distinguish it from similar arms, heraldic artists developed a series of decorative edges (obviously these are applied only to the inner edge). Flory, we should not be surprised to find, refers to flowery, specifically the appearance of the stylised representation of the fleur-de-lys (lily flower) at key points 162A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Flory. We also find the terms floretty, fleury and similar spellings used in the same way. These flower symbols usually occur at corners, or in the case of items with long straight edges, small versions may appear spaced at regular intervals.

border indented

The border, (sometimes bordure) is a band running around the edge of the shield, following the edge contours and being differently coloured, possibly holding a series of small charges placed on top of it 163A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Bordure. To distinguish it from similar arms, heraldic artists developed a series of decorative edges (obviously these are applied only to the inner edge). An line drawn indented, i.e. in a saw-tooth pattern might be taken for dancettee, but in this case the individual “teeth” are much smaller. An early author, Guilllim seeks to associate this decoration with fire 164A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P39, and one can see the resemblance to flames. The visual effect is quite striking, an good example being the arms of DUNHAM (Lincolnshire), which are Azure, a chief indented or.

bordure compony

The border, (sometimes bordure) is a band running around the edge of the shield, following the edge contours and being differently coloured, possibly holding a series of small charges placed on top of it 165A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Bordure. To distinguish it from similar arms, heraldic artists developed a series of decorative edges (obviously these are applied only to the inner edge). Compony, also known as Gobony (and a surprising number of other varying spellings!) 166A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Gobony is quite unusual in the world of heraldic art. Where most colours, patterns and furs can be applied more or less to any item on the shield, compony is specifically a patterning for the major, so called ordinaries – the larger charges such as the fess, pale and bordure. The large charge is split into a single series of large, square sections and colour alternately of two tinctures 167Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 33. There is another variant, with two lines of squares known as counter compony (or sometimes even compony-counter-compony. Wade, the noted heraldic author groups compony with the other “square” objects as symbols of “Constancy”.

bordure invecked

The border, (sometimes bordure) is a band running around the edge of the shield, following the edge contours and being differently coloured, possibly holding a series of small charges placed on top of it 168A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Bordure. To distinguish it from similar arms, heraldic artists developed a series of decorative edges (obviously these are applied only to the inner edge). Invected is a very pleasing decorative pattern, the exact opposite of the decoration known as engrailed. It consists of a series of small arcs joined side by side, with points inwards, (i.e. a series of outward “bulges”). Wade suggests that these closely related decorative edges can be taken to signify “earth or land” 169The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P40.

bow

Given the martial nature of the origins of Heraldry, in the identification of knights and men-at-arms it can come as no surprise that mediaeval weaponry of all types are frequently to be found in a coat of arms 170Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 89. The bow is an important symbol in heraldry, borne with pride on many a coat of arms. In addition to its military associations it may also be a reference to Diana the huntress. 171The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P107

boys head

Heraldry is a human art, by and for people and it is not surprising that people themselves are frequently depicted in arms 172Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P174. Often these are images of knights and men-at-arms, or individual limbs, such as the “three armoured right arms argent” shown in the arms of Armstrong 173Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 60. As well as the nobility however, we also see both the mundane, ploughmen, fishermen and reapers; and the exotic in the form of club wielding savages and the Moorish or Saracen gentleman with his decorative wreathed turban 174A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P168. The boys head is a typical example of this use of the human figure.

bream

Fish in great variety abound in Heraldry, many different species inhabit coats of arms 175Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P150, although truth be told many of the actual images are sometimes indistinguishable, being shown as a stylised, and easily recognised “trout” shape 176A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P137 that a child might draw. The actual name used in the coat of arms may be some play-on-words or allusion to the family name, as in the famous arms of the de Lucy family, being “Gules, three lucies or”, 177Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 79 this being an ancient name for the fish we call today a “pike”. It is possible that the bream has been used in this fashion, or it may simply relate to some fishing activity in the history of the family.

brick axe

It is important that a coat of arms be easily recognised and so everyday objects were frequently used as clearly identifiable charges – tools 178Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 69 being a common and important example of these, of which the brick axe is typical. Some of these tools are rather obscure to modern eyes, who of us nowadays would recognise a hemp-break 179A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P163, let alone know what to use it for! For meaning we need not perhaps look much farther than the noble trade of construction.

brick wall

When used alone the brick wall is effectively a fess masoned of a particular colour. The fesse is a bold horizontal band across the centre of the shield, 180A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:fesse masoning being a pattern of offset rectangles like the mortar in the class brick wall construction known as stretcher bond. The wall and the masoning can be any colours, although a strong is best.

broken spear

Given the martial nature of the origins of Heraldry, in the identification of knights and men-at-arms it can come as no surprise that mediaeval weaponry of all types are frequently to be found in a coat of arms 181Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 89. The spear or lance is a typical example, often borne (for obvious reasons) in allusion to the crucifixtion. 182The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P111 Sometimes only the head is shown, and on other occasions the tilting or tournament spear is specified, familiar to us from many a jousting scene in the movies. 183A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Spear

buck

We should be surprised to find the stag or buck, noble quarry of many a mediaeval hunt, being illustrated in many a coat of arms. 184Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 69. It shares many of the poses to be found with the lion, but also one almost unique to the deer, grazing, as if the animal is still unaware of the hunter’s approach. 185A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Deer. In common with all symbols related to the hunt we probably need look further for their intended meaning than the pleasure taken by the holder in such pursuits! 186The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P30

buckle

Although we expect to find fierce creatures and fearsome weapons depicted in a coat of arms this is not always the case – sometimes simple household objects are used 187A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P281. Sometimes these objects were chosen for the familiarity they would have for the obsever, helping them identify the owner, and sometimes they were used because of some association with the owner, or a similarity to the family name. 188Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 100 The buckle may fall into this category, it is present in a surprising number of different forms and has a long heritage in use, 189A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Buckle being considered honourable bearings and are said to “signify victorious fidelity in authority”. 190The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P115

bucks head

The chief is an area across the top of the field 191Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 40. It appears in many different forms and can itself be charged with other charges and ordinaries, 192A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Chief, being treated almost as if it were a completely separate area. In its simplest form it can be clearly identified. Early examples include the award by Henry III of England to the knight Robert de MORTEYN BRETON of Ermine, a chief gules.

buffalo

Bulls, and their close relations, cows, calves, oxen and the buffalo are relatively recent additions to the art of heraldry (and it is not always possible to distinguish between them in their renderings). 193A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Bull They can be found in a variety of poses and may have horns, hooves and collared in a different colour. The writer Guillim noted that the prescence of a bull could signify “valour and magnanimity”. 194A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P117

buglehorn

The hunting horn, or bugle horn has a distinctive shape, being curved almost into a semi-circle, it can be decorated with bands of a different colour and typically hangs from a string, also coloured. 195A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:hunting horn. Apart from its obvious reference to the pursuit of hunting, it has also been used in allusion to the name of the holderr (HUNTER of Hunterston) and Woowward suggests it is also associated with those who have rights or obligations to the forest. 196A Treatise on Heraldry, J. Woodward, W & A.K Johnston, Edinburgh & London, 1896, P400

bull

Bulls, and their close relations, cows, calves, oxen and the buffalo are relatively recent additions to the art of heraldry (and it is not always possible to distinguish between them in their renderings). 197A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Bull They can be found in a variety of poses and may have horns, hooves and collared in a different colour. The writer Guillim noted that the prescence of a bull could signify “valour and magnanimity”. 198A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P117

bulls head

Bulls, and their close relations, cows, calves, oxen and the buffalo are relatively recent additions to the art of heraldry (and it is not always possible to distinguish between them in their renderings). 199A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Bull They can be found in a variety of poses and may have horns, hooves and collared in a different colour. The writer Guillim noted that the prescence of a bull could signify “valour and magnanimity”. 200A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P117

burling iron

It is important that a coat of arms be easily recognised and so everyday objects were frequently used as clearly identifiable charges – tools 201Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 69 being a common and important example of these, of which the burling iron is typical. Some of these tools are rather obscure to modern eyes, who of us nowadays would recognise a hemp-break 202A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P163, let alone know what to use it for! Who now for example, nows that the burling iron is actually a tool used in weaving, and hence probably references that trade within the family in question.

bustard

Birds of great variety occur throughout heraldry, at least in name 203A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P233. In truth, despite the proliferation of species, the actual depictions can sometimes be hard to distinguish! The crane, heron and stork are commonly to be found on a coat of arms but all tend to share the same stylised appearance 204A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P164. The bustard occurs only rarely but is equally welcome for all that.

butterfly

Wade assigns the butterfly as an emblem representing the soul. 205The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P146 It is a very pleasant symbol to find in a coat of arms, it may be multi-coloured and indeed French heraldry contains several words specifically for describing the colours of various parts of this delightful insect. 206A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:butterfly

caduceus

There were of course many widely recognised symbols that existed long before the advent of heraldry and it should be no surprise that some of these were adopted as charge in coats of arms 207A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P301. The caduceus is a typical example, adopted into the catalogue of heraldry and bringing with it its traditional meaning as the rod of Mercury, it usually is only to be found in the crest and not on the shield. 208A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Caduceus

calve

Bulls, and their close relations, cows, calves, oxen and the buffalo are relatively recent additions to the art of heraldry (and it is not always possible to distinguish between them in their renderings). 209A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Bull They can be found in a variety of poses and may have horns, hooves and collared in a different colour. The writer Guillim noted that the prescence of a bull could signify “valour and magnanimity”. 210A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P117

camel

In the mediaeval period there was no real percieved difference between real and mythical animals, after all, much of the world remained unknown and who was to say what strange and magical creatures existed in distant lands? Nevertheless, real animals 211A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P191 are perhaps one of the most common sights on coats of arms. The camel Is an unusual example of these, not frequently found and usually used as a form of pun (CAMELFORD for example). 212A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Camel

cameleon

The cameleon is, somewhat surprisingly, drawn not in fearsome aspect but rather as it appears in nature, and is conventionally shown vert (green). 213A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Cameleon It appears to have no specific meaning, other than perhaps its obvious reference to camoflage.

canary

Birds of great variety occur throughout heraldry, at least in name 214A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P233. In truth, despite the proliferation of species, the actual depictions can sometimes be hard to distinguish! The crane, heron and stork are commonly to be found on a coat of arms but all tend to share the same stylised appearance 215A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P164. The canary is actually represented as a finch, rather than the bird we think of today.

candlestick

Although we expect to find fierce creatures and fearsome weapons depicted in a coat of arms this is not always the case – sometimes simple household objects are used 216A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P281. The Candle stick is a typical example of this. Sometimes these objects were chosen for the familiarity they would have for the obsever, helping them identify the owner, and sometimes they were used because of some association with the owner, or a similarity to the family name. 217Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 100 It is depicted as expected, and may be described as aflame. 218A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Candlestick

cannon

Given the martial nature of the origins of Heraldry, in the identification of knights and men-at-arms it can come as no surprise that mediaeval weaponry of all types are frequently to be found in a coat of arms 219Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 89. The cannon is depicted as we might expect, if mounted the carraige may be a different colour. 220A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Guns We need look no further than the military connection for any meaning in this device.

canton

“The canton stands very high among honourable bearings”, according to Wade, a noted symbologist 221The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P48. The canton is a square shape, normally occupying the dexter chief of the shield. An early example is SUTTON, Bishop of Lincoln in the 13th century, who bore “argent a canton sable”. It occupies less space than a quarter and hence is sometimes added to an existing shield to difference branches of the same family, or, when a charge is added to it, to indicate some honour has been recieved 222A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Canton. Wade remarks, that, in common with all square features can be associated with the virtue of“constancy”.

cap

The cap, also known as infula/infuld appears in many forms, as charges on the shield, as part of the costume of various characters and in the crest. To determine the exact pattern of headwear more detail is normally given. 223A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:cap

cap of maintenance

The chapeau or cap of maintenance appears sometimes on the shield itself, but more often in the crest above it. 224The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P139 In appearance it is typically of red velvet with trim of ermine. 225A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:cap

carp

Fish in great variety abound in Heraldry, many different species inhabit coats of arms 226Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P150, although truth be told many of the actual images are sometimes indistinguishable, being shown as a stylised, and easily recognised “trout” shape 227A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P137 that a child might draw. The actual name used in the coat of arms may be some play-on-words or allusion to the family name, as in the famous arms of the de Lucy family, being “Gules, three lucies or”, 228Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 79 this being an ancient name for the fish we call today a “pike”. It is possible that the carp has been used in this fashion, or it may simply relate to some fishing activity in the history of the family.

carpenters square

It is important that a coat of arms be easily recognised and so everyday objects were frequently used as clearly identifiable charges – tools 229Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 69 being a common and important example of these, of which the carpenters square is typical. Some of these tools are rather obscure to modern eyes, who of us nowadays would recognise a hemp-break 230A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P163, let alone know what to use it for! The carpenter’s square is perhaps still somewhat recognisable to us today. Wade believes that it could represent someone “who would desire to conform … to the laws of right and equity”. 231The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P98

castle

Architectural items, from individual components to entire buildings 232Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 92 feature frequently as charges In a coat of arms. Not surprisingly, considering the times from which many arms date, fortifications are common. The castle is perhaps second only to the tower in this usage, and often described in some detail as to its construction, the disposition of windows and so on. 233A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Castle Continental examples also sometimes include attackers on scaling ladders. Wade tells us that the appearance of a castle indicates “granduer and solidity” and one can understand why. 234The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P100

cat

Cats occur often in heraldry, but the wild cat or cat-a-mountain is almost certainly intended rather than the domesticated felines we might at first come to mind! 235A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Cat It can appear in a variety of poses, similar to those of its larger relative, the lion, although we should be careful of stretching any meanings associated with the king of the beasts to their smaller brethren. Perhaps only an affinity with hills and the mountain country is intended.

cat passant

Cats occur often in heraldry, but the wild cat or cat-a-mountain is almost certainly intended rather than the domesticated felines we might at first come to mind! 236A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Cat It can appear in a variety of poses, similar to those of its larger relative, the lion, although we should be careful of stretching any meanings associated with the king of the beasts to their smaller brethren. Perhaps only an affinity with hills and the mountain country is intended.

catharine wheel

Given the martial nature of the origins of Heraldry, in the identification of knights and men-at-arms it can come as no surprise that mediaeval weaponry of all types are frequently to be found in a coat of arms 237Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 89. The Catherine wheel is an extraordinary device, being a large, spiked wheel, the instrument of martyrdom of St. Katherine. 238A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Wheel

cauldron

Although we expect to find fierce creatures and fearsome weapons depicted in a coat of arms this is not always the case – sometimes simple household objects are used 239A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P281. The ENTRY is a typical example of this. Sometimes these objects were chosen for the familiarity they would have for the obsever, helping them identify the owner, and sometimes they were used because of some association with the owner, or a similarity to the family name. 240Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 100 Conventionally, the cauldron is depicted with feet and a curving handle. 241A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Cauldron

ceres

There are occaisional examples of mythical beings illustrated in a coat of arms, either as an image upon the shield, or as a supporter, and Ceres is an example of this. Any meaning must really be ascribed from the charateristics of that being themselves, nothing additional is added through their heraldic use.

chair

Although we expect to find fierce creatures and fearsome weapons depicted in a coat of arms this is not always the case – sometimes simple household objects are used 242A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P281. The ENTRY is a typical example of this. Sometimes these objects were chosen for the familiarity they would have for the obsever, helping them identify the owner, and sometimes they were used because of some association with the owner, or a similarity to the family name. 243Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 100

chamber piece

Given the martial nature of the origins of Heraldry, in the identification of knights and men-at-arms it can come as no surprise that mediaeval weaponry of all types are frequently to be found in a coat of arms 244Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 89. The cannon is depicted as we might expect, if mounted the carraige may be a different colour. 245A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Guns We need look no further than the military connection for any meaning in this device.Chamber piece is simply an alternative name for the barrel of a cannon

chapeau

The chapeau or cap of maintenance appears sometimes on the shield itself, but more often in the crest above it. 246The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P139 In appearance it is typically of red velvet with trim of ermine. 247A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:cap

chaplet

Laurel appears in several forms in heraldry, beginning with the whole bush. through branches, sprigs and leaves. Wade, the noted heraldic author, reckons that the leaves represent “tokens of peace and quietness”, whilst branches, especially in pairs are in memory of some great triumph. 248The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P125. The other major appearance of the laurel is in the form of the laurel wreath, also known as a chaplet. 249A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Laurel. This was worn as a token of victory by Roman emporers, and Wade futher suggests that a similar purpose is adopted in heraldic art.

chequy

Chequy (a word with a surprising number of different spellings!) is what is known as a treatment, a repeating pattern usually used to fill the whole background of the shield with a series of alternately coloured squares 250A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Chequy. These squares are usually quite small (there should be at least 20 in total), giving the appearance of a chess board, but any combination of colours may be used. It can also be used as a patterning on some of the larger ordinaries, such as the pale and fess, in which case there are three rows of squares. Wade, an authority on heraldic meaning groups chequy with all those heraldic features that are composed of squares and believes that they represent “Constancy”, but also quotes another author Morgan, who says that they can also be associated with “wisdom…verity, probity…and equity”, and offers in evidence the existence of the common English saying that an honest man is a “Square Dealer” 251The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P100.

cherub

There are occaisional examples of mythical beings or objects illustrated in a coat of arms, either as an image upon the shield, or as a supporter, and the Cherub is an example of this. Any meaning must really be ascribed from the charateristics of that object, nothing additional is added through their heraldic use. 252The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P124

cherubim

There are occaisional examples of mythical beings or objects illustrated in a coat of arms, either as an image upon the shield, or as a supporter, and the Cherub is an example of this. Any meaning must really be ascribed from the charateristics of that object, nothing additional is added through their heraldic use. 253The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P124

chessrook

Although we expect to find fierce creatures and fearsome weapons depicted in a coat of arms this is not always the case – sometimes simple household objects are used 254A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P281. The Chess Rook is a typical example of this and has been used in heraldry almost from the beginning. The word “rook” comes not from the bird but from the Italian word rocca, a “castle” or “tower”. 255A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Chess-rook

chevalier

Heraldry is a human art, by and for people and it is not surprising that people themselves are frequently depicted in arms 256Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P174. Often these are images of knights and men-at-arms, or individual limbs, such as the “three armoured right arms argent” shown in the arms of Armstrong 257Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 60. As well as the nobility however, we also see both the mundane, ploughmen, fishermen and reapers; and the exotic in the form of club wielding savages and the Moorish or Saracen gentleman with his decorative wreathed turban 258A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P168. The knight is a typical example of this use of the human figure.

chevron

The chevron is one the major shapes used upon a shield, known as ordinaries. The inverted ‘V’ of the chevron is perhaps thought to have originated to represent a military scarf folded on the shield 259A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, (various), or additional cross-pieces used to strengthen the shield and painted a different colour.260The Pursuivant of Arms, J. R. Planche, Hardwicke, London 1859. It has also acquired the meaning of “Protection… granted… to one who has achieved some notable enterprise” 261The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P45, possibly becuase of its resemblance to the roof truss of a house.

chevron dancette

The chevron is one the major shapes used upon a shield, known as ordinaries, being in the form of an inverted ‘v’ shape 262A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Chevron. It is a popular feature, visually very striking and hence developed to have various decorative edges applied to distinguish otherwise identical coats of arms. Dancettee (sometimes spelled dancetty or dancy) is a bold, zig-zag pattern, perhaps the most distinctive of the patterned edges. Purists might argue that the French variant denché Is not the same, being of larger size and with the points being 90º, but there is much variation in actual practice so the difference is perhaps not that meaningful. Wade, quoting Guillim suggests that dancettee be attributed to mean water, in the same fashion as undy or wavy, and one can understand this allusion.

chevron embattled

The chevron is one the major shapes used upon a shield, known as ordinaries, being in the form of an inverted ‘v’ shape 263A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Chevron. It is a popular feature, visually very striking and hence developed to have various decorative edges applied to distinguish otherwise identical coats of arms. An edge which is decorated like the top of a castle wall is said to be embattled, or sometimes crenelle, from the original French. (In castle building terminology the parts of the wall that stick up are known as merlons, and the resulting gaps as crenels). A whole sub-section of heraldic terminology has sprung up to describe whether these crennellations appear on which edges, whether they line up or alternate, have additional steps or rounded tops. The interested reader is directed to the reference for the full set! 264A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Embattled For obvious reasons, use of this decoration is to be associated with castles and fortified towns, an early authority, Guillim suggest also some association with fire, but with out clear reason 265The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P41. In all, this is one of the more common, and most effective and appropriate of the decorative edges.

chevron engrailed

The chevron is one the major shapes used upon a shield, known as ordinaries, being in the form of an inverted ‘v’ shape 266A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Chevron. It is a popular feature, visually very striking and hence developed to have various decorative edges applied to distinguish otherwise identical coats of arms. The edge pattern engrailed is a series of scalloped indentations with the points facing outwards – and should not be confused with invected, which has the points facing inwards! Wade believes that both of these indented forms represent “earth or land”, and one perhaps can indeed see the furrowed earth embodied in them.

chevron rompu

The chevron is one the major shapes used upon a shield, known as ordinaries, being in the form of an inverted ‘v’ shape 267A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Chevron. There is a special, and rather striking variant known as the chevron rompu, where rompu appears to mean “broken”. There have been several variants observed over time, but all of them involve the central, upper part of the chevron being broken away to create a very distinctive effect 268A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P125.

chevron wavy

The chevron is one the major shapes used upon a shield, known as ordinaries, being in the form of an inverted ‘v’ shape 269A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Chevron. It is a popular feature, visually very striking and hence developed to have various decorative edges applied to distinguish otherwise identical coats of arms. The decorative edge pattern Wavy, sometimes written as undy is, for obvious reasons, associated with both water and the sea 270The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P40. Indeed, a roundel with alternating bars of azure and argent (blue and white) is known by the shorthand term fountain, representing water at the bottom of a well 271A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Water. Other colours have also been used and the result can be very pleasing to the eye.

chevronel

Readers may already be aware of the chevron, the large inverted ‘V’ shape that extends across the whole shield but may be new to its smaller cousin the chevronel. This can equally cover the whole width but is at least half the width of the chevron, if not narrower. 272A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Chevronel There can be multiple chevronels present, normally these are stacked vertically, but there is a very striking variant whereby the chevronels are said to be interlaced, in which case they are side-by-side, overlapping and intertwined, creating a very striking effect 273A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P124. In common with its larger relative, Wade associates the chevronel with the idea of “Protection…and a reward to one who has achieved a notable enterprise” 274The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P45.

chevronels

Readers may already be aware of the chevron, the large inverted ‘V’ shape that extends across the whole shield but may be new to its smaller cousin the chevronel. This can equally cover the whole width but is at least half the width of the chevron, if not narrower. 275A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Chevronel There can be multiple chevronels present, normally these are stacked vertically, but there is a very striking variant whereby the chevronels are said to be interlaced, in which case they are side-by-side, overlapping and intertwined, creating a very striking effect 276A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P124. In common with its larger relative, Wade associates the chevronel with the idea of “Protection…and a reward to one who has achieved a notable enterprise” 277The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P45.

chief

The chief is an area across the top of the field 278Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 40. It appears in many different forms and can itself be charged with other charges and ordinaries, 279A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Chief, being treated almost as if it were a completely separate area. In its simplest form it can be clearly identified. Early examples include the award by Henry III of England to the knight Robert de MORTEYN BRETON of Ermine, a chief gules.

chief dancette

The chief is a separate area across the top of the field 280Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 40. It is normally marked by a straight line of partition, but for artistic effect, and for clarity of difference between coats of arms, heralds have developed a series of decorative patterns to be used along the edge. Dancettee (sometimes spelled dancetty or dancy) is a bold, zig-zag pattern, perhaps the most distinctive of the patterned edges. Purists might argue that the French variant denché Is not the same, being of larger size and with the points being 90º, but there is much variation in actual practice so the difference is perhaps not that meaningful. Wade, quoting Guillim suggests that dancettee be attributed to mean water, in the same fashion as undy or wavy, and one can understand this allusion.

chief engrailed

The chief is a separate area across the top of the field 281Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 40. It is normally marked by a straight line of partition, but for artistic effect, and for clarity of difference between coats of arms, heralds have developed a series of decorative patterns to be used along the edge. The pattern engrailed is a series of scalloped indentations with the points facing outwards – and should not be confused with invected, which has the points facing inwards! Wade believes that both of these indented forms represent “earth or land”, and one perhaps can indeed see the furrowed earth embodied in them.

chief indented

The chief is a separate area across the top of the field 282Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 40. It is normally marked by a straight line of partition, but for artistic effect, and for clarity of difference between coats of arms, heralds have developed a series of decorative patterns to be used along the edge. An line drawn indented, i.e. in a saw-tooth pattern might be taken for dancettee, but in this case the individual “teeth” are much smaller. An early author, Guilllim seeks to associate this decoration with fire 283A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P39, and one can see the resemblance to flames. The visual effect is quite striking, an good example being the arms of DUNHAM (Lincolnshire), which are Azure, a chief indented or.

cinquefoil

Natural objects abound in heraldry, and one category that gives especial delight are the many flowers and flowering plants that frequently occur 284A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P262. The cinquefoil is also of this type, being drawn, at least a little, realistically and often to very pleasing effect. It is shown as five-petalled flower, each petal quite rounded but with a distinct tip. It is sometimes pierced with a hole in the centre and usually appears on its own, without any leaves. 285A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Cinquefoil It has no fixed colour but can appear in any of the available heraldic tinctures.

civic crown

Crowns are frequently observed in Heraldry 286Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P184, but we should not make the mistake of assuming that these are always on Royal arms 287The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P138. Many of the orders of nobility across Europe were entitled to wear crowns and coronets, Dukes, Earls, Viscounts and Barons in England each had their own distinctive headwear 288A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P350. The civic crown is an example of this. It may also be the case that a crown is added to an existing coat of arms as an augmentation in recognition of some service to a King 289Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 187.

cloud

It should come as no surprise that items from the natural world are frequently adopted for use in the coat of arms 290A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P294. Celestial objects and natural phenomena have been given simple, easily identified representations. The cloud Is typical of charges derived from natural objects, Wade suggests that it may represent “arduous difficulties oversome”. 291The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P151

clove

Many items found in the natural world occur in coats of arms, including many plants that people of the middle ages would be familiar with. Several varities of bush and small plants frequently found in the hedgerows beside fields can be observed 292A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P270, in addition to the famous thistle of Scotland 293Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P147. The clove is drawn not quite in the form that we know it today but rather as small “drop” shape seeds. For meaning we perhaps need to look at the spice trade perhaps, as this is an important element within that trade. 294A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:clove

club

Given the martial nature of the origins of Heraldry, in the identification of knights and men-at-arms it can come as no surprise that mediaeval weaponry of all types are frequently to be found in a coat of arms 295Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 89. The club is more often found on the shoulder of a savage or wild-man than on the shield as a separate charge and is represented as we expect, in the form of a heavy, knobbly branch.

cock

The cock, and other members of its avian family are often found in coats of arms, although telling them apart simply from their images can sometimes be a challenge! Many times the precise choice of species arises as a play on words on the family name, sometimes now lost in history. 296A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Cock The cock itself, Wade points out is a “bird of great courage” and might be used as a symbol of “watchfullness”, being the herald of the dawn. 297The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P80

cockatrice

Nowadays we might conflate many mythical creatures under the heading of dragon but to the heraldic artists there was a whole menagerie of quite distinct beasts, the cockatrice or basilisk being one of them. 298A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Cockatrice Whilst both the dragon and cocaktrice are winged and scaled, the cocaktrice stands on two legs rather than four. Given the reputation of the basilisk we should not be surprised to find its meaning ascribed as representing “terror to all beholders”. 299The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P86

cocks head

The cock, and other members of its avian family are often found in coats of arms, although telling them apart simply from their images can sometimes be a challenge! Many times the precise choice of species arises as a play on words on the family name, sometimes now lost in history. 300A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Cock The cock itself, Wade points out is a “bird of great courage” and might be used as a symbol of “watchfullness”, being the herald of the dawn. 301The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P80

cog wheel

Although we expect to find fierce creatures and fearsome weapons depicted in a coat of arms this is not always the case – sometimes simple household objects are used 302A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P281. The cog wheel is a typical example of this. Sometimes these objects were chosen for the familiarity they would have for the obsever, helping them identify the owner, and sometimes they were used because of some association with the owner, or a similarity to the family name. 303Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 100

colt

In the mediaeval period there was no real percieved difference between real and mythical animals, after all, much of the world remained unknown and who was to say what strange and magical creatures existed in distant lands? Nevertheless, real animals 304A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P191 are perhaps one of the most common sights on coats of arms, especially animals of European origin. The horse Is a typical example of these.

comb

It is important that a coat of arms be easily recognised and so everyday objects were frequently used as clearly identifiable charges – tools 305Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 69 being a common and important example of these, of which the comb is typical. Some of these tools are rather obscure to modern eyes, who of us nowadays would recognise a hemp-break 306A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P163, let alone know what to use it for! Nevertheless, for mediaeval peasant it was a clearly identifiable symbol.

cony

The coney, which is an old word for rabbit and also used for hare is intended to perhaps represent “one who enjoys a peaceable and retired life”. 307The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P67 They can be found in a variety of poses, but most often sejant or seated in a pleasing fashion. 308A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Hare

coot

The coot, also known as the baldcoot and moorhen is a water fowl, common both in Europe and in its coats of arms. 309A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Coot It is drawn in realistic fashion and may be beaked and legged of a different colour.

cord

Cords and knots occur surprisingly often as images on the shield, and in a surprising variety of named forms that would delight many a scout! 310A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Cord The interested reader is directed to the reference which illustrates many of them.

cornish chough

Birds of great variety occur throughout heraldry, at least in name 311A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P233. The Cornish Chough is a member of the crow family and is often depicted as black with red or orange beak and legs. 312A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Cornish chough Wade gives it the role of “king of crows” and believes that its use denotes a “man of stratagems”. 313The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P82

cornucopia

There are occaisional examples of mythical beings or objects illustrated in a coat of arms, either as an image upon the shield, or as a supporter, and the Cornucopia is an example of this. Any meaning must really be ascribed from the charateristics of that object, nothing additional is added through their heraldic use. 314The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P124 It is illustrated in conventional form as the horn of plenty. 315A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Cornucopia

coronet

Crowns are frequently observed in Heraldry 316Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P184, but we should not make the mistake of assuming that these are always on Royal arms 317The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P138. Many of the orders of nobility across Europe were entitled to wear crowns and coronets, Dukes, Earls, Viscounts and Barons in England each had their own distinctive headwear 318A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P350. The coronet is an example of this. It may also be the case that a crown is added to an existing coat of arms as an augmentation in recognition of some service to a King 319Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 187.

cotton hank

When people are depicted in heraldry their clothing and appearance are often described in some detail 320Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P174. We also find individual items of clothing used as charges in a coat of arms, and cotton hank is a good example of this. Sometimes these items are drawn in a somewhat stylised fashion, but this helps with recognition, important in distinguishing arms.

covered cup

Cups of all kinds have been popular charges on coats of arms since at least the 14th century. 321A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Cup In appearance and description they range from simple drinking pots (GERIARE of Lincoln – Argent three drinking pots sable) to covered cups, more like chalices in appearance. 322A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P288. These were borne by the BUTLER family in reference to their name and Wade suggests that their appearance may also refer to holy communinion within the church. 323The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P117

crane

Birds of great variety occur throughout heraldry, at least in name 324A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P233. In truth, despite the proliferation of species, the actual depictions can sometimes be hard to distinguish! The crane, heron and stork are commonly to be found on a coat of arms but all tend to share the same stylised appearance 325A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P164. Guillim reckons the stork to the “emblem of filial duty” and also the “symbol of a grateful man”. 326The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P78

crescent

For easy recognition of the items on a coat of arms, and hence the quick identification of the owner, bold simple shapes are best. Hence, simple geometric shapes are often used for this purpose 327A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P146xz`, and the crescent Is a typical example of this, and can appear in any of the main heraldic tinctures. Some common is this device that there are special names for its appearance in various orientations – whilst it lies normally with points upward, the decrescent points to the sinister side, and the increscent to the dexter 328A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Moon. The allusion, obviously is to the shape of the moon in the sky (indeed, the French have a version “figuré” which includes a face!) and has been said to signify both “honour by the sovereign” and “hope of greater glory” 329The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P106.

crosier

The middle ages was a deeply religious time, and since the bulk of heraldry was developed in countries that were almost entirely Christian it is no surprise that religious and church symbology was widely adopted for use in coats of arms. The crosier Is a typical such usage, being a staff carried by a Bishop in ceremony. As well the adoption of religious imagery for the nobility, the Church itself has made extensive use of arms, such Ecclesiastical Heraldry 330A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P600 is a major subject in its own right, somewhat less “martial” than that of the nobility and with its own terms and special meanings.

cross

No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross 331Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47. Mediaeval Europe was a deeply religious and Christian and many of the nobility wanted to show their devotion by adopting the symbol of the cross as part of the arms. In its basic form, the cross is created from two broad bands of colour at right angles covering the whole extent of the shield. It has been subject to all manner of embellishment, and the interested reader is referred to the references, especially Parker’s Heraldic dictionary for many examples of these. 332A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Cross 333A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P106 334A Treatise on Heraldry, J. Woodward, W & A.K Johnston, Edinburgh & London, 1896, P160-173 Suffice it to say that any armiger would be proud to have such an important device as part of their arms.

cross ancred

No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross 335Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47. Mediaeval Europe was a deeply religious and Christian and many of the nobility wanted to show their devotion by adopting the symbol of the cross as part of the arms. Since no two arms could be identical there arose many variants of the cross, typically involving patterning along the edges 336Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P67, or fanciful, decorative endings to the arms of the cross 337A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P128. The cross ancred is an example of these, having decorative ends on the arms.

cross botonnee

No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross 338Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47. Mediaeval Europe was a deeply religious and Christian and many of the nobility wanted to show their devotion by adopting the symbol of the cross as part of the arms. Since no two arms could be identical there arose many variants of the cross, typically involving patterning along the edges 339Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P67, or fanciful, decorative endings to the arms of the cross 340A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P128. The cross botonnee has all four, even length arms ending in three bulges.

cross bow

Given the martial nature of the origins of Heraldry, in the identification of knights and men-at-arms it can come as no surprise that mediaeval weaponry of all types are frequently to be found in a coat of arms 341Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 89. The cross bow is illustrated in its conventional form that we would still recognise today. In common with the simple bow, it can be taken as a symbol of “martial readiness”. 342The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P111

cross calvary

No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross 343Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47. Mediaeval Europe was a deeply religious and Christian and many of the nobility wanted to show their devotion by adopting the symbol of the cross as part of the arms. Since no two arms could be identical there arose many variants of the cross. 344Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P67 The calvary cross is a special form that most closely represents the crucifixion, being mounted on a series of steps or grices. Wade suggests that three of these steps might represent “faith, hope and charity”. 345The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P103

cross crosslet

No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross 346Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47. Mediaeval Europe was a deeply religious and Christian and many of the nobility wanted to show their devotion by adopting the symbol of the cross as part of the arms. Since no two arms could be identical there arose many variants of the cross. The cross crosslet is one of these, being symetrical both vertically and horizontally and having an additional cross bar on each arm. 347A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Cross Crosslet Wade suggests that these additional crossing signify “the fourfold mystery of the Cross”. 348The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P103

cross crosslet fitchee

No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross 349Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47. Mediaeval Europe was a deeply religious and Christian and many of the nobility wanted to show their devotion by adopting the symbol of the cross as part of the arms. Since no two arms could be identical there arose many variants of the cross. The cross crosslet is one of these, having an additional cross bar on each arm. 350A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Cross Crosslet Wade suggests that these additional crossing signify “the fourfold mystery of the Cross”. 351The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P103 The final addition fitchee simply means pointed, and indicates that the lower end is pointed, as if it is to be struck into the ground. 352A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Fitché

cross embattled

No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross 353Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47. Mediaeval Europe was a deeply religious and Christian and many of the nobility wanted to show their devotion by adopting the symbol of the cross as part of the arms. Since no two arms could be identical there arose many variants of the cross, typically involving patterning along the edges 354Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P67, or fanciful, decorative endings to the arms of the cross 355A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P128. An edge which is decorated like the top of a castle wall is said to be embattled, or sometimes crenelle, from the original French. (In castle building terminology the parts of the wall that stick up are known as merlons, and the resulting gaps as crenels). A whole sub-section of heraldic terminology has sprung up to describe whether these crennellations appear on which edges, whether they line up or alternate, have additional steps or rounded tops. The interested reader is directed to the reference for the full set! 356A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Embattled For obvious reasons, use of this decoration is to be associated with castles and fortified towns, an early authority, Guillim suggest also some association with fire, but with out clear reason 357The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P41. In all, this is one of the more common, and most effective and appropriate of the decorative edges.

cross engrailed

No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross 358Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47. Mediaeval Europe was a deeply religious and Christian and many of the nobility wanted to show their devotion by adopting the symbol of the cross as part of the arms. Since no two arms could be identical there arose many variants of the cross, typically involving patterning along the edges 359Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P67. The pattern engrailed is a series of scalloped indentations with the points facing outwards – and should not be confused with invected, which has the points facing inwards! Wade believes that both of these indented forms represent “earth or land”, and one perhaps can indeed see the furrowed earth embodied in them.

cross fitchee

No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross 360Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47. Mediaeval Europe was a deeply religious and Christian and many of the nobility wanted to show their devotion by adopting the symbol of the cross as part of the arms. Since no two arms could be identical there arose many variants of the cross, typically involving patterning along the edges 361Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P67, or fanciful, decorative endings to the arms of the cross 362A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P128. The term fitchee can be applied to any cross and simply means that the lower arm is pointed, as if it is to planted in the ground.

cross flory

No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross 363Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47. Mediaeval Europe was a deeply religious and Christian and many of the nobility wanted to show their devotion by adopting the symbol of the cross as part of the arms. Since no two arms could be identical there arose many variants of the cross, typically involving patterning along the edges 364Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P67, or fanciful, decorative endings to the arms of the cross 365A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P128. The cross flory is typical of these, having each arm end in something very similar to the fleur-de-lys.

cross flory fitchee

No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross 366Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47. Mediaeval Europe was a deeply religious and Christian and many of the nobility wanted to show their devotion by adopting the symbol of the cross as part of the arms. Since no two arms could be identical there arose many variants of the cross, typically involving patterning along the edges 367Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P67, or fanciful, decorative endings to the arms of the cross 368A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P128. The cross flory fitchee is typical of these.

cross formee

No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross 369Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47. Mediaeval Europe was a deeply religious and Christian and many of the nobility wanted to show their devotion by adopting the symbol of the cross as part of the arms. Since no two arms could be identical there arose many variants of the cross, typically involving patterning along the edges 370Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P67, or fanciful, decorative endings to the arms of the cross 371A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P128. The cross formee is typical of these, (also known as a cross pattee) it has arms which broaden out in smooth curves towards the ends.

cross formee fitchee

No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross 372Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47. Mediaeval Europe was a deeply religious and Christian and many of the nobility wanted to show their devotion by adopting the symbol of the cross as part of the arms. Since no two arms could be identical there arose many variants of the cross, typically involving patterning along the edges 373Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P67, or fanciful, decorative endings to the arms of the cross 374A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P128. The cross formee is typical of these, (also known as a cross pattee) it has arms which broaden out in smooth curves towards the ends.The fitchee term simply indicates that the lower arm is pointed, as if it is to be planted in the ground

cross fourchee

No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross 375Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47. Mediaeval Europe was a deeply religious and Christian and many of the nobility wanted to show their devotion by adopting the symbol of the cross as part of the arms. Since no two arms could be identical there arose many variants of the cross, typically involving patterning along the edges 376Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P67, or fanciful, decorative endings to the arms of the cross 377A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P128. The cross fourchee, as its name suggests is forked at the ends of its four, even length arms.

cross lorraine

No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross 378Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47. Mediaeval Europe was a deeply religious and Christian and many of the nobility wanted to show their devotion by adopting the symbol of the cross as part of the arms. The cross lorraine is a particular variant that is especially decorative.

cross masculy

No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross 379Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47. Mediaeval Europe was a deeply religious and Christian and many of the nobility wanted to show their devotion by adopting the symbol of the cross as part of the arms. Since no two arms could be identical there arose many variants of the cross, the cross masculy is a particularly interesting variant. The mascle is a diamond shaped charge, actually a lozenge voided (with the background showing through). Hence the cross masculy is a cross made up of a number of mascles, touching at the outer points. A striking and effective charge in whatever colour is chosen.

cross moline

No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross 380Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47. Mediaeval Europe was a deeply religious and Christian and many of the nobility wanted to show their devotion by adopting the symbol of the cross as part of the arms. Since no two arms could be identical there arose many variants of the cross, typically involving patterning along the edges 381Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P67, or fanciful, decorative endings to the arms of the cross 382A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P128. The cross moline is typical of these whereby each arm of the cross expands and curves outwards, reminscent of the fer-de-moline from which it gets its name. These cross variations are probably largely for decorative effect, and to differentiate the arms from similar ones and hence their significance is that of the Christian cross itself.

cross moline voided

No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross 383Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47. Mediaeval Europe was a deeply religious and Christian and many of the nobility wanted to show their devotion by adopting the symbol of the cross as part of the arms. Since no two arms could be identical there arose many variants of the cross, typically involving patterning along the edges 384Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P67, or fanciful, decorative endings to the arms of the cross 385A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P128. The cross moline is typical of these whereby each arm of the cross expands and curves outwards, reminscent of the fer-de-moline from which it gets its name. These cross variations are probably largely for decorative effect, and to differentiate the arms from similar ones and hence their significance is that of the Christian cross itself.

cross patonce

No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross 386Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47. Mediaeval Europe was a deeply religious and Christian and many of the nobility wanted to show their devotion by adopting the symbol of the cross as part of the arms. Since no two arms could be identical there arose many variants of the cross, typically involving patterning along the edges 387Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P67, or fanciful, decorative endings to the arms of the cross 388A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P128. The cross patonce is typical of these, whereby each arm of the cross expands and ends in a bud-like projection. These cross variations are probably largely for decorative effect, and to differentiate the arms from similar ones and hence their significance is that of the Christian cross itself.

cross pattee

No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross 389Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47. Mediaeval Europe was a deeply religious and Christian and many of the nobility wanted to show their devotion by adopting the symbol of the cross as part of the arms. Since no two arms could be identical there arose many variants of the cross, typically involving patterning along the edges 390Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P67, or fanciful, decorative endings to the arms of the cross 391A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P128. The cross pattee is typical of these, pattee meaning “spreading”, and so the ends of the arms of the cross curve gently outwards to rather pleasing effect. 392A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Cross Pattée

cross pattee fitchee

No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross 393Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47. Mediaeval Europe was a deeply religious and Christian and many of the nobility wanted to show their devotion by adopting the symbol of the cross as part of the arms. Since no two arms could be identical there arose many variants of the cross, typically involving patterning along the edges 394Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P67, or fanciful, decorative endings to the arms of the cross 395A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P128. The cross pattee fitchee is typical of these, pattee indicating that the upper arms spread out at the ends, fitchee showing that the lower arm ends in a point as if is to planted in the ground.

cross potent

No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross 396Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47. Mediaeval Europe was a deeply religious and Christian and many of the nobility wanted to show their devotion by adopting the symbol of the cross as part of the arms. Since no two arms could be identical there arose many variants of the cross, typically involving patterning along the edges 397Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P67, or fanciful, decorative endings to the arms of the cross 398A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P128. The cross potent has square cross pieces at the very ends of its four equal length arms.

cross raguly

No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross 399Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47. Mediaeval Europe was a deeply religious and Christian and many of the nobility wanted to show their devotion by adopting the symbol of the cross as part of the arms. Since no two arms could be identical there arose many variants of the cross, typically involving patterning along the edges 400Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P67, or fanciful, decorative endings to the arms of the cross 401A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P128. Of the decorative edges raguly can be at first hard to identify, but once we understand that it arises from an old word raggguled meaning “chopped off”. 402A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Raguly we can see that the curious shapes are intended to represent boughs lopped off a tree trunk. (This is also the origin of the term “ragged staff” see so frequently with a bear in Heraldry). Wade suggests that the use of this decoration represents “difficulties that have been encountered” 403The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P41, and we can perhaps understand that the “hacked path” resulting shows that these difficulties have been overcome.

cross tau

No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross 404Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47. Mediaeval Europe was a deeply religious and Christian and many of the nobility wanted to show their devotion by adopting the symbol of the cross as part of the arms. Since no two arms could be identical there arose many variants of the cross. The Tau Cross, or Cross of St. Anthony is a special form rather like a stylised ‘T’ shape.

cross voided

No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross 405Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47. Mediaeval Europe was a deeply religious and Christian and many of the nobility wanted to show their devotion by adopting the symbol of the cross as part of the arms. Since no two arms could be identical there arose many variants of the cross, typically involving patterning along the edges 406Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P67, or fanciful, decorative endings to the arms of the cross 407A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P128. The cross voided actually takes a slightly different approach, in which only the outline of the cross is shown, the background of the shield showing through. Any shape of cross may be voided, to give yet further variation on this popular charge.

crow

Birds of great variety occur throughout heraldry, at least in name 408A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P233. In truth, despite the proliferation of species, the actual depictions can sometimes be hard to distinguish! The crow, raven, rook and many older names are commonly to be found on a coat of arms but all tend to share the same appearance 409A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P164. Wade discusses the symbolism of the crow, disputing Sloane-Evans suggestion as an emblem of “long life” and preferring “a settled habitation and a quiet life” instead. 410The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P81

crown

Crowns are frequently observed in Heraldry 411Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P184, but we should not make the mistake of assuming that these are always on Royal arms 412The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P138. Many of the orders of nobility across Europe were entitled to wear crowns and coronets, Dukes, Earls, Viscounts and Barons in England each had their own distinctive headwear 413A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P350. The crown is an example of this. It may also be the case that a crown is added to an existing coat of arms as an augmentation in recognition of some service to a King 414Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 187.

crusily

The word semee is an old word that is best translated as “strewn” or “scattered with” and refers to the background of the shield, or large shapes upon, being sprinkled with a large number of the following objects. 415A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Seme In this case semee of crosses crosslet means that the field is covered with small crosses, each arm of which is also crossed. The resulting pattern is particularly pleasing and of course signals the piety of the holder – indeed Wade believes that it represents “the fourfold mystery of the cross” 416The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P103Crusily may also be used as an alternate name

cup

Cups of all kinds have been popular charges on coats of arms since at least the 14th century. 417A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Cup In appearance and description they range from simple drinking pots (GERIARE of Lincoln – Argent three drinking pots sable) to covered cups, more like chalices in appearance. 418A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P288. These were borne by the BUTLER family in reference to their name and Wade suggests that their appearance may also refer to holy communinion within the church. 419The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P117

cupid

There are occaisional examples of mythical beings or objects illustrated in a coat of arms, either as an image upon the shield, or as a supporter, and the being Cupid is an example of this. Any meaning must really be ascribed from the charateristics of that object, nothing additional is added through their heraldic use. 420The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P124

cushion

Although we expect to find fierce creatures and fearsome weapons depicted in a coat of arms this is not always the case – sometimes simple household objects are used 421A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P281. The Cushion is a typical example of this. Sometimes these objects were chosen for the familiarity they would have for the obsever, helping them identify the owner, and sometimes they were used because of some association with the owner, or a similarity to the family name. 422Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 100 The cushion is typically decpicted as square, with a tassle at each corner and may also have some other device upon them. 423A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:cushion

cutlas

Given the martial nature of the origins of Heraldry, in the identification of knights and men-at-arms it can come as no surprise that mediaeval weaponry of all types are frequently to be found in a coat of arms 424Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 89. Indeed, the sheer variety of different swords 425A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P302 can be bewildering and expaining the difference between a scimitar and a falchion is perhaps best left to the expert! The cutlas is a naval weapon, again quite hard to distinguish from the sabre. 426A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Sabre

dagger

The dagger, a very personal weapon occurs frequently in coats of arms, and its appearance is sometimes described in great detail. It is known by many different names, including dirk, skein and poignard. 427A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Dagger

decrescent

For easy recognition of the items on a coat of arms, and hence the quick identification of the owner, bold simple shapes are best. Hence, simple geometric shapes are often used for this purpose 428A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P146xz`, and the crescent Is a typical example of this, and can appear in any of the main heraldic tinctures. Some common is this device that there are special names for its appearance in various orientations – whilst it lies normally with points upward, the decrescent points to the sinister side, and the increscent to the dexter 429A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Moon. The allusion, obviously is to the shape of the moon in the sky (indeed, the French have a version “figuré” which includes a face!) and has been said to signify both “honour by the sovereign” and “hope of greater glory” 430The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P106.

deer horn

Many different forms of the deer, hart, roe-buck and other appear in rolls of arms, though often of similar appearance. The precise choice of animal possibly being a reference to the family name. 431A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Deer If there is any symbology intended it is probably that of enjoyment of the hunt, deer in all its form being a popular prey. 432The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P30

demi lion

The demi-lion is a variant of the typical creature shown only from the waist upward. It can take all same poses and attitudes of its fully represented brethren and often appears to be emerging from some other device such as a fess or chief. 433A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Lion No special significance should be given to the demi appearance and it should be taken to have the same meanings and interpretations as the noble king of beasts itself.

dog

Dogs of all breeds are common in heraldry and are largely depicted in a realistic fashion for that species. The obviously have a role as “man’s best friend” and can demonstrate a passion for the pursuit of hunting, but may also occur as a play on words with the family name. 434A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:dog (and others) Wade suggests that all dogs, of whatever breed should be taken as tokens of their “courage, vigilancy, and loyal fidelity”. 435The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P69

dolphin

In the days before television and the internet it was a rare heraldic artist that had ever seen a dolphin for real, so we should not be surprised that the heraldic representation is not instantly recognisable. Despite this, we should not forget that these artists considered the dolphin to be the king of fish, playing the same role as the lion in the animal kingdom. 436A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Dolphin For reasons not immediately clear, Wade suggests that the dolphin was regarded as an “affectionate fish, fond of music”. 437The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P83

donkey

In the mediaeval period there was no real percieved difference between real and mythical animals, after all, much of the world remained unknown and who was to say what strange and magical creatures existed in distant lands? Nevertheless, real animals 438A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P191 are perhaps one of the most common sights on coats of arms, especially animals of European origin. The horse Is a typical example of these.The Donkey can be taken to have the same significance as the horse.

double-headed eagle

Where the lion is undisputed king of the animals, the eagle undoubtedly plays the same role in the realm of the birds, its use in this form dating back to at least the Roman period 439A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Eagle. They tend to be illustrated in quite some detail, especially in continental European arms, and have almost as wide variety of postures and accessories as the lion, well illustrated in the reference 440A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P235-238 as well as being just the eagle’s head or eagle’s leg. The symbology of the eagle is deep and complex, Wade devotes several pages to the subject 441The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P72-74, but suffice it say that it has long been associated with Empire and those held in high honour – any armiger would be pleased to have any form of Eagle upon their arms!The Double-headed eagle is a variant often seen in Germanic heraldry.

dove

Birds of great variety occur throughout heraldry, at least in name 442A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P233. In truth, despite the proliferation of species, the actual depictions can sometimes be hard to distinguish! The dove is an example of this, closely related birds such as pigeon and stock dove are frequently mentioned in arms but visually almost identical. 443A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Dove The dove itself is said to represent “loving constancy and peace” 444The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P80, the other birds possibly some play on words with the family name (PIDGEON for example).

dragon

Dragons have a long history in Heraldry and indeed have come to symbolise entire countries. Originally they were perhaps based on garbled descriptions of crocodiles given by returning travellers but soon developed a widely accepted representation. 445A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Griffin Wade suggests that their appearance signifies “a most valiant defender of treasure”, a trait of dragons that we are still familiar with today. 446The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P86

dragons head

Dragons have a long history in Heraldry and indeed have come to symbolise entire countries. Originally they were perhaps based on garbled descriptions of crocodiles given by returning travellers but soon developed a widely accepted representation. 447A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Griffin Wade suggests that their appearance signifies “a most valiant defender of treasure”, a trait of dragons that we are still familiar with today. 448The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P86

ducal coronet

Crowns are frequently observed in Heraldry 449Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P184, but we should not make the mistake of assuming that these are always on Royal arms 450The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P138. Many of the orders of nobility across Europe were entitled to wear crowns and coronets, Dukes, Earls, Viscounts and Barons in England each had their own distinctive headwear 451A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P350. The ducal coronet is an example of this, being gold with a brim of strawberry leaves and a cap of crimson velvet. 452A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Crown It may also be the case that a crown is added to an existing coat of arms as an augmentation in recognition of some service to a King 453Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 187.

ducal crown

Crowns are frequently observed in Heraldry 454Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P184, but we should not make the mistake of assuming that these are always on Royal arms 455The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P138. Many of the orders of nobility across Europe were entitled to wear crowns and coronets, Dukes, Earls, Viscounts and Barons in England each had their own distinctive headwear 456A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P350. The ducal coronet is an example of this, being gold with a brim of strawberry leaves and a cap of crimson velvet. 457A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Crown It may also be the case that a crown is added to an existing coat of arms as an augmentation in recognition of some service to a King 458Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 187.

duck

We can consider the goose and duck together here as the former is quite rare, the latter appear in several forms, but both share the same meaning. Guillim, the 17th century author points out that such birds can swim, fly and run and thus their use may symbolise those who “have many ways of eluding their enemies”. 459A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P158 Other names for the ducks especially mayh have been used because of some assocation with the family name, the smew may fall into this category. 460A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Goose and Duck

dungfork

Europe in the middle ages was still a largely agrarian society, and the wealth of the nobility resided in their estates and land. Since most people still lived and worked on the land they would find farm implements instantly recognisable, (an important feature for a coat of arms), even if they seem obscure to us today, the garb 461Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 86 might fall into this category. The dungfork is a typical example of farming implements and represents that farming heritage.

eagle

Where the lion is undisputed king of the animals, the eagle undoubtedly plays the same role in the realm of the birds, its use in this form dating back to at least the Roman period 462A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Eagle. They tend to be illustrated in quite some detail, especially in continental European arms, and have almost as wide variety of postures and accessories as the lion, well illustrated in the reference 463A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P235-238 as well as being just the eagle’s head or eagle’s leg. The symbology of the eagle is deep and complex, Wade devotes several pages to the subject 464The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P72-74, but suffice it say that it has long been associated with Empire and those held in high honour – any armiger would be pleased to have any form of Eagle upon their arms!

eagle preying on infant

Where the lion is undisputed king of the animals, the eagle undoubtedly plays the same role in the realm of the birds, its use in this form dating back to at least the Roman period 465A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Eagle. They tend to be illustrated in quite some detail, especially in continental European arms, and have almost as wide variety of postures and accessories as the lion, well illustrated in the reference 466A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P235-238 as well as being just the eagle’s head or eagle’s leg. The symbology of the eagle is deep and complex, Wade devotes several pages to the subject 467The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P72-74, but suffice it say that it has long been associated with Empire and those held in high honour – any armiger would be pleased to have any form of Eagle upon their arms!

eagles head

Where the lion is undisputed king of the animals, the eagle undoubtedly plays the same role in the realm of the birds, its use in this form dating back to at least the Roman period 468A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Eagle. They tend to be illustrated in quite some detail, especially in continental European arms, and have almost as wide variety of postures and accessories as the lion, well illustrated in the reference 469A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P235-238 as well as being just the eagle’s head or eagle’s leg. The symbology of the eagle is deep and complex, Wade devotes several pages to the subject 470The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P72-74, but suffice it say that it has long been associated with Empire and those held in high honour – any armiger would be pleased to have any form of Eagle upon their arms!

eagles leg

Where the lion is undisputed king of the animals, the eagle undoubtedly plays the same role in the realm of the birds, its use in this form dating back to at least the Roman period 471A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Eagle. They tend to be illustrated in quite some detail, especially in continental European arms, and have almost as wide variety of postures and accessories as the lion, well illustrated in the reference 472A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P235-238 as well as being just the eagle’s head or eagle’s leg. The symbology of the eagle is deep and complex, Wade devotes several pages to the subject 473The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P72-74, but suffice it say that it has long been associated with Empire and those held in high honour – any armiger would be pleased to have any form of Eagle upon their arms!

ear of wheat

Many items found in the natural world occur in coats of arms, including many plants that people of the middle ages would be familiar with. Several varities of bush and small plants frequently found in the hedgerows beside fields can be observed 474A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P270, in addition to the famous thistle of Scotland 475Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P147. The ear of wheat is a an example of such a plant, instantly recognisable to those in the mediaeval period and still a proud symbol today.

eel

Fish in great variety abound in Heraldry, many different species inhabit coats of arms 476Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P150, although truth be told many of the actual images are sometimes indistinguishable, being shown as a stylised, and easily recognised “trout” shape 477A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P137 that a child might draw. The actual name used in the coat of arms may be some play-on-words or allusion to the family name, as in the famous arms of the de Lucy family, being “Gules, three lucies or”, 478Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 79 this being an ancient name for the fish we call today a “pike”. It is possible that the eel, also known as a grigg has been used in this fashion, or it may simply relate to some fishing activity in the history of the family.

elephant

The Elephant is not common on shields, although it occurs sometimes as a supporter of the shield and its trunk or proboscide is very frequently to be found in crests. 479A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Elephant In meaning, it tends to adopt its more common usage and is said to represent someone who is both “sagacious and courageous”. 480The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P64

ermines

Ermine and its variants is a very ancient pattern. It has a long association with royalty and the nobility in general and hence represents “Dignity” wherever it is found 481The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P39. The ermine pattern is white with, typically, a three dots and a dart grouping representing the tail of the furred creature.482Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 28. Ermines is a variant in which the field is sable (black) and the ermine tails argent (white), the inverse of the normal pattern.

escallop

The escallopoccurs often in arms, represented as the outside of the shell, sometimes “fluted” of a different colour 483A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Escallop. It has been part of heraldic tradition almost from the beginning of the art, Henry III of England awarded Gules, 3 escallopes argent to Herbert de CHAMBERLEYNE in the 13th century, and it is present in the heraldry of almost all countries 484A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P299. It is believed that they were adopted as badges of those going to the Holy Land and can be found in the arms of many a crusading family. Hence Wade’s suggested association of the scallop with those that “complete long journeys to far countries” 485The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P91.

escarbuncle

The escarbuncle is a very ancient symbol that actually predates heraldry, although of uncertain origin. In appearance it resembles the “boss” at the centre of a shield and the strengthening rods radiating from it, and this has become its recognised heraldic form. 486A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Escarboucle. Wade refers to its original meaning as a “symbol of supremacy”. 487The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P114

escutcheon

The escutcheon simply represents smaller shield shapes included within the shield, and its close relative, the inescutcheon is just a larger version occupying most of the field. 488A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Escutcheon There is no particular significance that can accorded to the escutcheon itself, but attention should be paid to the colour and devices that are borne upon it. The escutcheon may also be added to an existing coat of arms either as recognition of some additional honour (an escutcheon of augmentation”) or in the case where arms that are already quartered are to be combined an escutcheon with the new arms may be placed overall (an “escutcheon of pretence”). 489Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 126 & 141

esquires helmet

We should not be surprised to find items of armour depicted on shields, and perhaps to the wearer none is more important that the helmet. Wade suggests that its presence denotes “Wisdom and surety in defence”. 490The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P139 There are many variations of helmet described, now almost indistinguishable to modern eyes, and not having any particular significance – perhaps because of some play on words with the family name. There are complex heraldic rules and guidelines for the depictions of helmets belonging to various grades of nobility, lack of space prevents us from listing them all here!491A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:helmet

estoile

There were of course many widely recognised symbols that existed long before the advent of heraldry and it should be no surprise that some of these were adopted as charge in coats of arms 492A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P301. The estoile is a typical example, reflecting the stars in the sky and represented with six wavy points, often with a little shading to give it some depth. 493A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Estoile. The ancient writer Guillim assigns these symbols as the emblems of God’s goodness”. 494A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P77

falcon

Birds of great variety occur throughout heraldry, at least in name 495A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P233. The falcon is a bird long associated with hunting and we need look no further than a liking for this pursuit for its presence on many early coats of arms. 496A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Falcon We also find many of the accessories used in falconry depicted on arms, and a surprising number of terms from the art of falconry have found use in modern English idioms and the interested reader is recommended to search out the origins of the phrases hoodwinked and “cadging” a lift.

feather

The feather, especially that of the ostrich appears with great regularity in the crests of a full achievement of arms, typically in the shape of a plume. Wade associates this device with “willing obedience and serenity of mind”. 497The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P74 They are much less common on the shield itself, unless part of an arrow, which may be feathered of a different colour, or a quill pen. 498A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Feathers

fern

Many items found in the natural world occur in coats of arms, including many plants that people of the middle ages would be familiar with. Several varities of bush and small plants frequently found in the hedgerows beside fields can be observed 499A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P270, in addition to the famous thistle of Scotland 500Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P147. The fern is a an example of such a plant, instantly recognisable to those in the mediaeval period and still a proud symbol today.

ferret

Animals commonly to found in the European countryside are frequently found in coats of arms, so we should be surprised to find the Ferret so represented. 501A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P191 The exact intention of the use of this particular creature has now been lost, but may have been related to the name of the original family.

fess embattled

The fesse is a broad horizontal band across the centre of the shield, in very ancient times it was said to occupy one third of the area height of the shield 502A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P117, however it soon became somewhat narrower. This created an opportunity to add decorative edging to the band, of many forms, and to very pleasing artisitic effect, at least close up – it must be admitted that at distance some of the forms are hard to distinguish! An edge which is decorated like the top of a castle wall is said to be embattled, or sometimes crenelle, from the original French. (In castle building terminology the parts of the wall that stick up are known as merlons, and the resulting gaps as crenels). A whole sub-section of heraldic terminology has sprung up to describe whether these crennellations appear on which edges, whether they line up or alternate, have additional steps or rounded tops. The interested reader is directed to the reference for the full set! 503A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Embattled For obvious reasons, use of this decoration is to be associated with castles and fortified towns, an early authority, Guillim suggest also some association with fire, but with out clear reason 504The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P41. In all, this is one of the more common, and most effective and appropriate of the decorative edges.

fesse

The fesse (also found as fess) is one of the major ordinaries to found in heraldry, being a bold, broad, horizontal band across the centre of the shield. It may originally have arisen from the planks of which a wooden shield can be constructed, the centremost plank being painted a different colour 505A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Fesse. It is instantly recognisable as a symbol, for example the arms of COLEVILLE granted during the reign of Hery III are simply or, a fesse gules. With this clear association with the construction of the shield itself, Wade believes that the fesse can be taken to be associated with the military, as a “girdle of honour”.

fesse botonnee

The fesse (also found as fess) is one of the major ordinaries to found in heraldry, being a bold, broad, horizontal band across the centre of the shield. It may originally have arisen from the planks of which a wooden shield can be constructed, the centremost plank being painted a different colour 506A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Fesse. It is instantly recognisable as a symbol, for example the arms of COLEVILLE granted during the reign of Hery III are simply or, a fesse gules. With this clear association with the construction of the shield itself, Wade believes that the fesse can be taken to be associated with the military, as a “girdle of honour”.

fesse chequy

The fesse is a broad horizontal band across the centre of the shield, in very ancient times it was said to occupy one third of the area height of the shield 507A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P117, however it soon became somewhat narrower. This created an opportunity to add decorative edging to the band, of many forms, and to very pleasing artisitic effect, at least close up – it must be admitted that at distance some of the forms are hard to distinguish! Chequy is a repeating pattern alternately coloured squares 508A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Chequy, any combination of colours may be used. As well as covering the whole field, it can also be used as a patterning on some of the larger ordinaries, as here, in which case there are three rows of squares. Wade, an authority on heraldic meaning groups chequy with all those heraldic features that are composed of squares and believes that they represent “Constancy”, but also quotes another author Morgan, who says that they can also be associated with “wisdom…verity, probity…and equity”, and offers in evidence the existence of the common English saying that an honest man is a “Square Dealer” 509The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P100.

fesse counter embattled

The fesse is a broad horizontal band across the centre of the shield, in very ancient times it was said to occupy one third of the area height of the shield 510A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P117, however it soon became somewhat narrower. This created an opportunity to add decorative edging to the band, of many forms, and to very pleasing artisitic effect, at least close up – it must be admitted that at distance some of the forms are hard to distinguish! The term counter-embattled refers to an edge drawn as if it were the battlements of a castle. Indeed, it is one of several, very specific terms which describes exactly how the battlements are to be drawn 511Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 44. Normally, if an ordinary, such as a fesse or bend is drawn embattled then the battlements appear only on the upper edge, however the use her of counter-embattled tells us that the lower edge should be likewise treated. In all cases, the use of this decoration, according to Wade, is clearly to be associated with fortifications such as castles and walled towns. 512The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P41

fesse dancette

The fesse is a broad horizontal band across the centre of the shield, in very ancient times it was said to occupy one third of the area height of the shield 513A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P117, however it soon became somewhat narrower. This created an opportunity to add decorative edging to the band, of many forms, and to very pleasing artisitic effect, at least close up – it must be admitted that at distance some of the forms are hard to distinguish! Dancettee (sometimes spelled dancetty or dancy) is a bold, zig-zag pattern, perhaps the most distinctive of the patterned edges. Purists might argue that the French variant denché Is not the same, being of larger size and with the points being 90º, but there is much variation in actual practice so the difference is perhaps not that meaningful.

fesse dancettee

The fesse is a broad horizontal band across the centre of the shield, in very ancient times it was said to occupy one third of the area height of the shield 514A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P117, however it soon became somewhat narrower. This created an opportunity to add decorative edging to the band, of many forms, and to very pleasing artisitic effect, at least close up – it must be admitted that at distance some of the forms are hard to distinguish! Dancettee (sometimes spelled dancetty or dancy) is a bold, zig-zag pattern, perhaps the most distinctive of the patterned edges. Purists might argue that the French variant denché Is not the same, being of larger size and with the points being 90º, but there is much variation in actual practice so the difference is perhaps not that meaningful.

fesse embattled

The fesse is a broad horizontal band across the centre of the shield, in very ancient times it was said to occupy one third of the area height of the shield 515A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P117, however it soon became somewhat narrower. This created an opportunity to add decorative edging to the band, of many forms, and to very pleasing artisitic effect, at least close up – it must be admitted that at distance some of the forms are hard to distinguish! An edge which is decorated like the top of a castle wall is said to be embattled, or sometimes crenelle, from the original French. (In castle building terminology the parts of the wall that stick up are known as merlons, and the resulting gaps as crenels). A whole sub-section of heraldic terminology has sprung up to describe whether these crennellations appear on which edges, whether they line up or alternate, have additional steps or rounded tops. The interested reader is directed to the reference for the full set! 516A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Embattled For obvious reasons, use of this decoration is to be associated with castles and fortified towns, an early authority, Guillim suggest also some association with fire, but with out clear reason 517The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P41. In all, this is one of the more common, and most effective and appropriate of the decorative edges.

fesse engrailed

The fesse is a broad horizontal band across the centre of the shield, in very ancient times it was said to occupy one third of the area height of the shield 518A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P117, however it soon became somewhat narrower. This created an opportunity to add decorative edging to the band, of many forms, and to very pleasing artisitic effect, at least close up – it must be admitted that at distance some of the forms are hard to distinguish! The pattern engrailed is a series of scalloped indentations with the points facing outwards – and should not be confused with invected, which has the points facing inwards! Wade believes that both of these indented forms represent “earth or land”, and one perhaps can indeed see the furrowed earth embodied in them.

fesse indented

The fesse is a broad horizontal band across the centre of the shield, in very ancient times it was said to occupy one third of the area height of the shield 519A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P117, however it soon became somewhat narrower. This created an opportunity to add decorative edging to the band, of many forms, and to very pleasing artisitic effect, at least close up – it must be admitted that at distance some of the forms are hard to distinguish! An line drawn indented, i.e. in a saw-tooth pattern might be taken for dancettee, but in this case the individual “teeth” are much smaller. An early author, Guilllim seeks to associate this decoration with fire 520A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P39, and one can see the resemblance to flames. The visual effect is quite striking, an good example being the arms of DUNHAM (Lincolnshire), which are Azure, a chief indented or.

fesse lozengy

The fesse is a broad horizontal band across the centre of the shield, in very ancient times it was said to occupy one third of the area height of the shield 521A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P117, however it soon became somewhat narrower. A special form, the fesse lozengy is made up of single coloured lozenge (diamond) shapes placed vertically, side by side across the field, where the fesse would normally be. Arguably, this should really be described as so-many lozenges conjoined in fess, to avoid confusion with the patterning lozengy, which is a treatment over the whole field of alternating coloured diamond shapes 522Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 321. Whatever the terminology this is a striking addition to any coat of arms, and the square-like form has encouraged Wade, the noted heraldic author to associate its use with Constancy…verity and probity” 523The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P100.

fesse nebulee

The fesse is a broad horizontal band across the centre of the shield, in very ancient times it was said to occupy one third of the area height of the shield 524A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P117, however it soon became somewhat narrower. This created an opportunity to add decorative edging to the band, of many forms, and to very pleasing artisitic effect, at least close up – it must be admitted that at distance some of the forms are hard to distinguish! Nebulee (sometimes nebuly is a very pleasing pattern of interlocking curves, the name refers to “clouds” as it is reminscent of their soft abstract edges.

fesse raguly

The fesse is a broad horizontal band across the centre of the shield, in very ancient times it was said to occupy one third of the area height of the shield 525A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P117, however it soon became somewhat narrower. This created an opportunity to add decorative edging to the band, of many forms, and to very pleasing artisitic effect, at least close up – it must be admitted that at distance some of the forms are hard to distinguish! Of the decorative edges raguly can be at first hard to identify, but once we understand that it arises from an old word raggguled meaning “chopped off”. 526A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Raguly we can see that the curious shapes are intended to represent boughs lopped off a tree trunk. (This is also the origin of the term “ragged staff” see so frequently with a bear in Heraldry). Wade suggests that the use of this decoration represents “difficulties that have been encountered” 527The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P41, and we can perhaps understand that the “hacked path” resulting shows that these difficulties have been overcome.

fesse wavy

The fesse is a broad horizontal band across the centre of the shield, in very ancient times it was said to occupy one third of the area height of the shield 528A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P117, however it soon became somewhat narrower. This created an opportunity to add decorative edging to the band, of many forms, and to very pleasing artisitic effect, at least close up – it must be admitted that at distance some of the forms are hard to distinguish! The decorative edge pattern Wavy, sometimes written as undy is, for obvious reasons, associated with both water and the sea 529The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P40. Indeed, a roundel with alternating bars of azure and argent (blue and white) is known by the shorthand term fountain, representing water at the bottom of a well 530A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Water. Other colours have also been used and the result can be very pleasing to the eye.

fetterlock

It is important that a coat of arms be easily recognised and so everyday objects were frequently used as clearly identifiable charges – tools 531Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 69 being a common and important example of these, of which the shacklebolt, a form of padlock, is typical.Fetterlock seems to be another name for the same device

fish

Fish in great variety abound in Heraldry, many different species inhabit coats of arms 532Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P150, although truth be told many of the actual images are sometimes indistinguishable, being shown as a stylised, and easily recognised “trout” shape 533A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P137 that a child might draw. The actual name used in the coat of arms may be some play-on-words or allusion to the family name, as in the famous arms of the de Lucy family, being “Gules, three lucies or”, 534Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 79 this being an ancient name for the fish we call today a “pike”.

flames

Flames can appear as a device on their own, or as an adjunct to many other devices, not all of which we would immediately expect to be on fire! 535A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Fire When described as proper they are gules (red) and or (yellow) and should be drawn to lifelike effect.

flaming sword

Given the martial nature of the origins of Heraldry, in the identification of knights and men-at-arms it can come as no surprise that mediaeval weaponry of all types are frequently to be found in a coat of arms 536Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 89. Indeed, the sheer variety of different swords 537A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P302 can be bewildering and expaining the difference between a scimitar and a falchion is perhaps best left to the expert! Sometimes the sword is described as flaming for added visual effect.

flaunch

There are a number of major, simple and easily recognisable shapes and big patterns that are known as ordinaries. 538A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Ordinaries The flaunch (or more properly flaunches as they are always in pairs) is a interesting example of the type, being a shape curving inwards from edge vertical edge, each reaching about one third of the distance across. 539A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Flaunch Wade’s researchs into the symbology of heraldry leads him to conclude that they represent a “reward given for virtue and learning”. 540The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P52

fleshhooks

Although we expect to find fierce creatures and fearsome weapons depicted in a coat of arms this is not always the case – sometimes simple household objects are used 541A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P281. The ENTRY is a typical example of this. Sometimes these objects were chosen for the familiarity they would have for the obsever, helping them identify the owner, and sometimes they were used because of some association with the owner, or a similarity to the family name. 542Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 100

fleshpot

Although we expect to find fierce creatures and fearsome weapons depicted in a coat of arms this is not always the case – sometimes simple household objects are used 543A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P281. The ENTRY is a typical example of this. Sometimes these objects were chosen for the familiarity they would have for the obsever, helping them identify the owner, and sometimes they were used because of some association with the owner, or a similarity to the family name. 544Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 100 Conventionally, the cauldron is depicted with feet and a curving handle. 545A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:CauldronThe Flesh Pot is a variant that tends to somewhat taller and narrower.

fleur-de-lis

The fleur-de-lys (“flower of the lily”) has a long and noble history and was a symbol associated with the royalty of France even before heraldry became widespread. 546Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 3. The Lily flower is said to represent “Purity, or whiteness of soul”547The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P134 and sometimes associated with the Virgin Mary. The fleur-de-lys is also used as a small “badge”, known as a mark of cadency to show that the holder is the sixth son of the present holder of the arms 548A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P489

flute

Music was as popular in the middle ages as it is today and musical instruments are frequently to be found in coats of arms 549A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P292. Sometimes these are a “play on words” such as the trumpets appearing for Trumpington 550Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 100, but sometimes just for the pleasure and ease of identification that these objects allow. The flute is an example of this.

foot

Heraldry is a human art, by and for people and it is not surprising that people themselves are frequently depicted in arms 551Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P174. Often these are images of knights and men-at-arms, or individual limbs, such as the “three armoured right arms argent” shown in the arms of Armstrong 552Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 60. As well as the nobility however, we also see both the mundane, ploughmen, fishermen and reapers; and the exotic in the form of club wielding savages and the Moorish or Saracen gentleman with his decorative wreathed turban 553A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P168.

fountain

Fountain is represented in two forms in heraldry. In the British tradition it refers to a roundel with blue and white stripes (a roundel wavy azure and argent), reprenting the water at the bottom of a well. 554The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P123 In French heraldry it represents the decorative fountain to be found in gardens and may have sprays in a different colour. 555A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Fountain

fox

The fox occurs frequently in arms, possibly a reference to the enjoyment of the hunt. It certainly holds no negative connotations but should be seen as a creature of great “wit and facility of device” (“as cunning as a fox”). 556The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P62 It can appear at first glance quite similar to the wolf but should be smaller, with a bushier tail, kept low to the ground. 557A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Fox

fret

The fret is a striking charge, often occupying the whole of the field and being two instersecting diagonal lines interlaced with the outline of a square. 558A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Fret It is believed to be derived from the image of a fishing net, which it does indeed resemble, and hence Wade believes that it should signify persuasion, although other writers regard it separately as the “the heraldic true lovers knot” 559The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P118

fretty

Fretty is a very pleasing patterning of the field whereby it is split into diamond shapes by overlapping and interwoven diagonal bands, where the background and the band colours may be any of the heraldic tinctures. 560A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Fret. The family CAVE, from Kent are blessed with the simple arms of Azure, fretty or. Ancient writers, such as Guillim believed that the pattern represented a net and hence symbolised those skilled in the art of “persuasion”! 561A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P234

furison

Furison is an ancient word, now fallen out of use, but means fire-iron or fire-steel – the peice of metal struck against a flint to create a spark and ignite a fire. It has been used as play on words for families named STEEL or BLACK. 562A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P292

fusil

The fusil is a shape rather like a lozenge but taller and narrower, hence fusily refers to a field of similar shapes arranged in a regulat pattern. 563A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Fusil It is though that the shape originally derived from that of a spindle of yarn. Wade believes that the symbol is of very great age and quotes an earlier writer, Morgan who ascribes it the meaning of “Negotiation”. 564The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P117

fusily

The fusil is a shape rather like a lozenge but taller and narrower, hence fusily refers to a field of similar shapes arranged in a regulat pattern. 565A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Fusil It is though that the shape originally derived from that of a spindle of yarn. Wade believes that the symbol is of very great age and quotes an earlier writer, Morgan who ascribes it the meaning of “Negotiation”. 566The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P117 The variant fusily refers to a treatment in which the entire field of the shield is covered in a pattern of fusils in alternating colours.

garb

Europe in the middle ages was still a largely agrarian society, and the wealth of the nobility resided in their estates and land. Since most people still lived and worked on the land they would find farm implements instantly recognisable, (an important feature for a coat of arms), even if they seem obscure to us today. 567Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 86 The garb for example is an ancient word for wheatsheaf, something now more frequently seen in Inn signs than in the field! 568A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Garbe

garland

Laurel appears in several forms in heraldry, beginning with the whole bush. through branches, sprigs and leaves. Wade, the noted heraldic author, reckons that the leaves represent “tokens of peace and quietness”, whilst branches, especially in pairs are in memory of some great triumph. 569The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P125. The other major appearance of the laurel is in the form of the laurel wreath, also known as a chaplet. 570A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Laurel. This was worn as a token of victory by Roman emporers, and Wade futher suggests that a similar purpose is adopted in heraldic art.Garland is simply an alternative term for chaplet

gauntlet

The gauntlet is an armoured glove, part of a knights attire and when used as a device on the shield it should be stated which hand it is for. 571A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Gauntlet They are quite a complex device visually, with distinct panels and rivets visible. Wade tells us, probably with good reason that it represents “a man armed for performance of a martial enterprise”. 572The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P93

gem ring

The most common form of household jewelery in heraldry is the ring or gem ring, shown with a jewel which may have a different colour. 573A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:ring Wade, incorrectly terms the annulet a finger ring, but assigns the meaning of “fidelity” to it – more properly this meaning belongs to the gem ring. 574The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P94

gillyflower

Although little known today, the gillyflower or July flower occurs quite often in heraldry. 575A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Gilly-flower It is a pretty flower with bright crimson petals and looks a little like a carnation. 576A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P271

globe

A wide variety of inanimate objects 577A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P281 appear in coats of arms, so of them still recognisable today, others now rather obscure. The images used are often simplified and stylised, the globe is a typical case.

glove

The gauntlet is an armoured glove, part of a knights attire and when used as a device on the shield it should be stated which hand it is for. 578A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Gauntlet They are quite a complex device visually, with distinct panels and rivets visible. Wade tells us, probably with good reason that it represents “a man armed for performance of a martial enterprise”. 579The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P93

goat

In the mediaeval period there was no real percieved difference between real and mythical animals, after all, much of the world remained unknown and who was to say what strange and magical creatures existed in distant lands? Nevertheless, real animals 580A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P191 are perhaps one of the most common sights on coats of arms, especially animals of European origin. The goat Is a typical example of these. Guillim, writing in the 17th century suggested that it may represent a “martial man who wins victory by…policy [rather] than valour”, a diplomat by any other name. 581A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P119

goats head

In the mediaeval period there was no real percieved difference between real and mythical animals, after all, much of the world remained unknown and who was to say what strange and magical creatures existed in distant lands? Nevertheless, real animals 582A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P191 are perhaps one of the most common sights on coats of arms, especially animals of European origin. The goat Is a typical example of these. Guillim, writing in the 17th century suggested that it may represent a “martial man who wins victory by…policy [rather] than valour”, a diplomat by any other name. 583A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P119

golden fleece

There are occaisional examples of mythical beings or objects illustrated in a coat of arms, either as an image upon the shield, or as a supporter, and the Golden Fleece is an example of this. Any meaning must really be ascribed from the charateristics of that object, nothing additional is added through their heraldic use. 584The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P124

goldfinch

Birds of great variety occur throughout heraldry, at least in name 585A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P233. In truth, despite the proliferation of species, the actual depictions can sometimes be hard to distinguish! The crane, heron and stork are commonly to be found on a coat of arms but all tend to share the same stylised appearance 586A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P164. The goldfinch is amongst the major bird species to appear in heraldry.

goose

We can consider the goose and duck together here as the former is quite rare, the latter appear in several forms, but both share the same meaning. Guillim, the 17th century author points out that such birds can swim, fly and run and thus their use may symbolise those who “have many ways of eluding their enemies”. 587A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P158 Other names for the ducks especially mayh have been used because of some assocation with the family name, the smew may fall into this category. 588A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Goose and Duck

grapes

Grapes do not often appear on their own, at least in English arms, but are to be found still on the stem as part of the vine. 589A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Vine, often of a different colour to the vine plant. Its symbology is likely simply to reflect the profession of the holder, or be a play on words with the family name. 590A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P264

grappling iron

Given the martial nature of the origins of Heraldry, in the identification of knights and men-at-arms it can come as no surprise that mediaeval weaponry of all types are frequently to be found in a coat of arms 591Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 89. The grappling iron resembles a set of large hooks, familiar to use from many a castle siege in the movies! Its meaning needs little explanation beyond its military nature.

grasshopper

According to Wade, the Grasshopper was regarded by the Athenians as a “special symbol of nobility” and believes that this meaning be also applied to its use within a coat of arms. 592The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P70 It is not a common device but when shown is drawn in lifelike fashion. 593A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Grasshopper

grave

Grapes do not often appear on their own, at least in English arms, but are to be found still on the stem as part of the vine. 594A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Vine, often of a different colour to the vine plant. Its symbology is likely simply to reflect the profession of the holder, or be a play on words with the family name. 595A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P264

grenade

Given the martial nature of the origins of Heraldry, in the identification of knights and men-at-arms it can come as no surprise that mediaeval weaponry of all types are frequently to be found in a coat of arms 596Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 89. Indeed, the sheer variety of different swords 597A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P302 can be bewildering and expaining the difference between a scimitar and a falchion is perhaps best left to the expert! Even so, the grenade is an important symbol in heraldry, borne with pride on many a coat of arms.

greyhound

Unlike many of the creatures to be found in heraldry, the Greyhound is shown in a very natural aspect and lifelike poses. 598A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P204 It is probably the most common member of the dog family to be found in arms 599A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Dog, and Wade suggests that we see in its appearance the suggestion of“courage, vigilance and loyal fidelity”. 600The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P69

greyhounds head

Dogs of all breeds are common in heraldry and are largely depicted in a realistic fashion for that species. The obviously have a role as “man’s best friend” and can demonstrate a passion for the pursuit of hunting, but may also occur as a play on words with the family name. 601A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:dog (and others) Wade suggests that all dogs, of whatever breed should be taken as tokens of their “courage, vigilancy, and loyal fidelity”. 602The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P69

griece

Griece, or grice or degree refers to one of the steps on a calvary cross. Sometimes this type of cross has the precise number of steps carefully enumerated. 603A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Grieces

griffin

In the mediaeval period there was no real percieved difference between real and mythical animals, after all, much of the world remained unknown and who was to say what strange and magical creatures existed in distant lands? As heraldry developed a whole menagerie of imagined creatures 604Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P164 came into being, and their various representations became more or less standardised in form and appearance. The griffin is perhaps the most common of these creatures, being a chimera with the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle. 605A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Griffin. It is most often in the pose known as rampant segreant, on its hind legs with claws and wings extended. Vinycomb has much to say on the subject of the griffin, perhaps summarised in his belief that it represents “strength and vigilance”.]606Fictitious & Symbolic Creatures…in British Heraldry, J. Vinycomb, Chapman & Hall, London, 1906, P150

griffins head

In the mediaeval period there was no real percieved difference between real and mythical animals, after all, much of the world remained unknown and who was to say what strange and magical creatures existed in distant lands? As heraldry developed a whole menagerie of imagined creatures 607Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P164 came into being, and their various representations became more or less standardised in form and appearance. The griffin is perhaps the most common of these creatures, being a chimera with the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle. 608A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Griffin. It is most often in the pose known as rampant segreant, on its hind legs with claws and wings extended. Vinycomb has much to say on the subject of the griffin, perhaps summarised in his belief that it represents “strength and vigilance”.]609Fictitious & Symbolic Creatures…in British Heraldry, J. Vinycomb, Chapman & Hall, London, 1906, P150

gurnet

Fish in great variety abound in Heraldry, many different species inhabit coats of arms 610Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P150, although truth be told many of the actual images are sometimes indistinguishable, being shown as a stylised, and easily recognised “trout” shape 611A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P137 that a child might draw. The actual name used in the coat of arms may be some play-on-words or allusion to the family name, as in the famous arms of the de Lucy family, being “Gules, three lucies or”, 612Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 79 this being an ancient name for the fish we call today a “pike”. It is possible that the gurnet has been used in this fashion, or it may simply relate to some fishing activity in the history of the family.

guttee

Goutes are wavy tear drop shapes and guttee indicates a field strewn with such shapes. They can be any of the main heraldic colours, and it is those colours from which they would take any meaning, if that is what is intended. 613A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Goutes

guttee de poix

The gutte or goutte is an elongated tear-drop shape with wavy sides and usually appears in large number spread evenly across the field. 614A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Gouttes Some frequently do they occur that special names have arisen for the various colours, guttee de poix being vert (or green) for its obvious resemblence to peas!

guttee de sang

The gutte or goutte is an elongated tear-drop shape with wavy sides and usually appears in large number spread evenly across the field. 615A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Gouttes Some frequently do they occur that special names have arisen for the various colours, guttee de sang being gules (or red) for its obvious resemblence to split blood.

guttee deau

The gutte or goutte is an elongated tear-drop shape with wavy sides and usually appears in large number spread evenly across the field. 616A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Gouttes Some frequently do they occur that special names have arisen for the various colours, guttee d’eau being argent (or white) for its obvious resemblence to drops of water.

guttee dor

The gutte or goutte is an elongated tear-drop shape with wavy sides and usually appears in large number spread evenly across the field. 617A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Gouttes Some frequently do they occur that special names have arisen for the various colours, guttee d’or or gutte aure being or (gold) for who would not delight in a field strewn with drops of gold!

gyronny

Gyronny is a very distinctive pattern covering the whole field of the shield, being a series of triangles, drawn from the edges and meeting in the centre of the shield 618A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Gyronny. Each triangle is known as a gyron, and these sometimes appear as charges in their own right 619Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 55. Wade suggests that the use of gyrons upon a shield should be taken to denote “unity”.

halberd

Given the martial nature of the origins of Heraldry, in the identification of knights and men-at-arms it can come as no surprise that mediaeval weaponry of all types are frequently to be found in a coat of arms 620Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 89. Indeed, the sheer variety of different swords 621A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P302 can be bewildering and expaining the difference between a scimitar and a falchion is perhaps best left to the expert! The halberd is special form of axe, also known as a pole-axe, being placed on a long handled pole.

hammer

It is important that a coat of arms be easily recognised and so everyday objects were frequently used as clearly identifiable charges – tools 622Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 69 being a common and important example of these, of which the hammer is typical. Some of these tools are rather obscure to modern eyes, who of us nowadays would recognise a hemp-break 623A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P163, let alone know what to use it for! The hammer is usually drawn conventionally, with a wooden handle and large metal head. 624A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Hammer

hand

The hand, unless we are told otherwise is a dexter (right) hand shown palm outwards and fingers upwards.625A Glossary of Terms used in Heraldry, J.B. Parker, 1894 P305. It demonstrates faith, sincerity and justice, and in the form of two right hands clasped can mean union or alliance626The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W Cecil Wade 1898 P92. There is a special form called the “Hand of Ulster” which is a sinister hand gules on an argent background (a left hand, red upon white). Originally the Badge of Ulster, the Province of Northern Ireland, it has come to be used as an addition to existing arms, in an escutcheon (small shield) or canton (small square) to indicate that the holder is also a Baronet.627Heraldry Historical and Popular, Charles Boutell, 1864 P56

hands conjoined

Heraldry is a human art, by and for people and it is not surprising that people themselves are frequently depicted in arms 628Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P174. Often these are images of knights and men-at-arms, or individual limbs, including hands conjoined. It will come as no surprise that the use of this device is said to denote “union and alliance”. 629The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P92

hare

The coney, which is an old word for rabbit and also used for hare is intended to perhaps represent “one who enjoys a peaceable and retired life”. 630The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P67 They can be found in a variety of poses, but most often sejant or seated in a pleasing fashion. 631A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Hare

harp

Although often associated with the country of Ireland, the harp also appears in the coat of arms of some families. It is usually depicted in a lifelike fashion and can be stringed of a different colour for a more pleasing effect. 632A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Harp Guillim suggests that the harp represents one of a “well-composed and tempered judgement”. 633A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P243

hart

Many different forms of the deer, hart, roe-buck and other appear in rolls of arms, though often of similar appearance. The precise choice of animal possibly being a reference to the family name. 634A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Deer If there is any symbology intended it is probably that of enjoyment of the hunt, deer in all its form being a popular prey. 635The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P30

harts head

Many different forms of the deer, hart, roe-buck and other appear in rolls of arms, though often of similar appearance. The precise choice of animal possibly being a reference to the family name. 636A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Deer If there is any symbology intended it is probably that of enjoyment of the hunt, deer in all its form being a popular prey. 637The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P30

hautboy

Music was as popular in the middle ages as it is today and musical instruments are frequently to be found in coats of arms 638A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P292. Sometimes these are a “play on words” such as the trumpets appearing for Trumpington 639Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 100, but sometimes just for the pleasure and ease of identification that these objects allow. The trumpet is an example of this, and is also sometimes known as the hautboy. In common with most instruments, Wade believes that the symbology of these devices is “ready for the fray”. 640The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P109

hawk

Birds of great variety occur throughout heraldry, at least in name 641A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P233. The falcon is a bird long associated with hunting and we need look no further than a liking for this pursuit for its presence on many early coats of arms. 642A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Falcon We also find many of the accessories used in falconry depicted on arms, and a surprising number of terms from the art of falconry have found use in modern English idioms and the interested reader is recommended to search out the origins of the phrases hoodwinked and “cadging” a lift.

hawks bell

The Hawk’s bell is a small bell attached to the collar of a hawk, spherical and clearly different to the church bell. 643A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Hawk bell In addition to showing an affection for the hunt, Wade suggests that it also symbolises someone “not afraid to advertise their presence”. 644The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P76

hazel branch

Amongst the natural objects depicted on a coat of arms, trees feature frequently, either in whole or as individual branches and leaves. 645A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P94, 262, 407. Sometimes the species or the part of tree was chosen as an allusion to the name of the bearer, as in Argent three tree stumps (also known as stocks) sable” for Blackstock 646A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P309. Trees of course had long been venerated and its use in a coat of arms may have represented some association with the god Thor 647The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P112

hazel sprig

Amongst the natural objects depicted on a coat of arms, trees feature frequently, either in whole or as individual branches and leaves. 648A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P94, 262, 407. Sometimes the species or the part of tree was chosen as an allusion to the name of the bearer, as in Argent three tree stumps (also known as stocks) sable” for Blackstock 649A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P309. Trees of course had long been venerated and its use in a coat of arms may have represented some association with the god Thor 650The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P112

heart

The heart is represented by the conventional symbol that we see today on playing cards. In later arms it can also appear emflamed and crowned. 651A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Heart Guillim, the 17th century heraldic author, believes that it shows the holder to be a “man of sincerity…who speaks truth from his heart”. 652A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P184

heathcock

The Moor cock occurs in a number of coats of arms but always seems to be reference to the family name (e.g. MOORE) rather than having any special significance as a type of bird. 653A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Moor-cockThe Heath cock is an alternative name for moor cock.

hedgehog

In the mediaeval period there was no real percieved difference between real and mythical animals, after all, much of the world remained unknown and who was to say what strange and magical creatures existed in distant lands? Nevertheless, real animals 654A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P191 are perhaps one of the most common sights on coats of arms, especially animals of European origin. The hedgehog Is a typical example of these.

helmet

We should not be surprised to find items of armour depicted on shields, and perhaps to the wearer none is more important that the helmet. Wade suggests that its presence denotes “Wisdom and surety in defence”. 655The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P139 There are many variations of helmet described, now almost indistinguishable to modern eyes, and not having any particular significance – perhaps because of some play on words with the family name. There are complex heraldic rules and guidelines for the depictions of helmets belonging to various grades of nobility, lack of space prevents us from listing them all here!656A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:helmet

hempbreaker

It is important that a coat of arms be easily recognised and so everyday objects were frequently used as clearly identifiable charges – tools 657Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 69 being a common and important example of these, of which the hempbreaker is typical. Some of these tools are rather obscure to modern eyes, especially this one. Who nowadays would recognise this tool used for pounding hemp prior to twisting them into ropes? 658A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:hemp-break

heraldic tiger

In the mediaeval period there was no real percieved difference between real and mythical animals, after all, much of the world remained unknown and who was to say what strange and magical creatures existed in distant lands? 659A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P191 The tiger is an interesting example here being named after a real animal but depicted in rather and mythical appearance. 660A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Tiger Later arms came to use a more lifelike appearance and the usage of heraldic tiger and natual tiger arose to make the distinction. Wade tells us that the mythical bearing of such a creature signifies “great fierceness and valour when enraged” and suggests that we should be wary as the holder may be “one whosee resentment will be dangerous if aroused”! 661The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P63

heron

Birds of great variety occur throughout heraldry, at least in name 662A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P233. In truth, despite the proliferation of species, the actual depictions can sometimes be hard to distinguish! The crane, heron and stork are commonly to be found on a coat of arms but all tend to share the same stylised appearance 663A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P164. Guillim reckons the stork to the “emblem of filial duty” and also the “symbol of a grateful man”. 664The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P78

hillock

The mount (also known as a hillock 665Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 324) is the area at the base of the shield and when so described is almost always green, and somewhere that another charge is placed, to appear more realistic, or give it a specific relationship to other charges around it. 666A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Mount Indeed, unlike like most of the flat, geometric shapes used to divide the field of the shield, the mount may be drawn with tufts of grass and a distinct slope!This is especially likely if the mount is described by its alternative name of hillock

hind

Many different forms of the deer, hart, roe-buck and other appear in rolls of arms, though often of similar appearance. The precise choice of animal possibly being a reference to the family name. 667A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Deer If there is any symbology intended it is probably that of enjoyment of the hunt, deer in all its form being a popular prey. 668The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P30

hinds head

Many different forms of the deer, hart, roe-buck and other appear in rolls of arms, though often of similar appearance. The precise choice of animal possibly being a reference to the family name. 669A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Deer If there is any symbology intended it is probably that of enjoyment of the hunt, deer in all its form being a popular prey. 670The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P30

holly

Amongst the natural objects depicted on a coat of arms, trees feature frequently, either in whole or as individual branches and leaves. 671A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P94, 262, 407. Sometimes the species or the part of tree was chosen as an allusion to the name of the bearer, as in Argent three tree stumps (also known as stocks) sable” for Blackstock 672A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P309. Trees of course had long been venerated and its use in a coat of arms may have represented some association with the god Thor 673The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P112Wade assigns the additional meaning of ‘Truth’ to the use of any aspect of the Holly bush 674The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P131

holly bush

Amongst the natural objects depicted on a coat of arms, trees feature frequently, either in whole or as individual branches and leaves. 675A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P94, 262, 407. Sometimes the species or the part of tree was chosen as an allusion to the name of the bearer, as in Argent three tree stumps (also known as stocks) sable” for Blackstock 676A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P309. Trees of course had long been venerated and its use in a coat of arms may have represented some association with the god Thor 677The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P112Wade assigns the additional meaning of ‘Truth’ to the use of any aspect of the Holly bush 678The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P131

holly leaf

Amongst the natural objects depicted on a coat of arms, trees feature frequently, either in whole or as individual branches and leaves. 679A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P94, 262, 407. Although sometimes described simply as a tree most often the specific species was named, and the holly leaf is a typical example. Sometimes the species or the part of tree was chosen as an allusion to the name of the bearer, as in Argent three tree stumps (also known as stocks) sable” for Blackstock 680A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P309. Trees of course had long been venerated and its use in a coat of arms may have represented some association with the god Thor 681The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P112

holly tree

Amongst the natural objects depicted on a coat of arms, trees feature frequently, either in whole or as individual branches and leaves. 682A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P94, 262, 407. Sometimes the species or the part of tree was chosen as an allusion to the name of the bearer, as in Argent three tree stumps (also known as stocks) sable” for Blackstock 683A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P309. Trees of course had long been venerated and its use in a coat of arms may have represented some association with the god Thor 684The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P112Wade assigns the additional meaning of ‘Truth’ to the use of any aspect of the Holly bush 685The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P131

horse

In the mediaeval period there was no real percieved difference between real and mythical animals, after all, much of the world remained unknown and who was to say what strange and magical creatures existed in distant lands? Nevertheless, real animals 686A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P191 are perhaps one of the most common sights on coats of arms, especially animals of European origin. The horse Is a typical example of these.

horsebit

It is important that a coat of arms be easily recognised and so everyday objects were frequently used as clearly identifiable charges – parts of the horse harness 687Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 69 being a good example of these, of which the bit is typical. The symbology is likely simply to be related to traits of good horsemanship, but also might sometimes be a play on words with the family name. 688A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:bit

horses head

In the mediaeval period there was no real percieved difference between real and mythical animals, after all, much of the world remained unknown and who was to say what strange and magical creatures existed in distant lands? Nevertheless, real animals 689A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P191 are perhaps one of the most common sights on coats of arms, especially animals of European origin. The horse Is a typical example of these.

horseshoe

Although we expect to find fierce creatures and fearsome weapons depicted in a coat of arms this is not always the case – sometimes simple household objects are used 690A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P281. The horseshoe is a typical example of this. Sometimes these objects were chosen for the familiarity they would have for the obsever, helping them identify the owner. 691Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 100. In addition, the horseshoe, which is one the earliest symbols found in heraldry 692A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Horse-shoe can be seen as a “safeguard against evil spirits” and may still be found nailed above doorways today. 693The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P112

hound

Dogs of all breeds are common in heraldry and are largely depicted in a realistic fashion for that species. The obviously have a role as “man’s best friend” and can demonstrate a passion for the pursuit of hunting, but may also occur as a play on words with the family name. 694A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:dog (and others) Wade suggests that all dogs, of whatever breed should be taken as tokens of their “courage, vigilancy, and loyal fidelity”. 695The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P69

human eye

Heraldry is a human art, by and for people and it is not surprising that people themselves are frequently depicted in arms 696Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P174. Often these are images of knights and men-at-arms, or individual body parts, such as the human eye. 697A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Eye Wade tells us that the use of this symbol should be taken to mean “providence in government”. 698The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P93

hunting horn

The hunting horn, or bugle horn has a distinctive shape, being curved almost into a semi-circle, it can be decorated with bands of a different colour and typically hangs from a string, also coloured. 699A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:hunting horn. Apart from its obvious reference to the pursuit of hunting, it has also been used in allusion to the name of the holderr (HUNTER of Hunterston) and Woowward suggests it is also associated with those who have rights or obligations to the forest. 700A Treatise on Heraldry, J. Woodward, W & A.K Johnston, Edinburgh & London, 1896, P400

hurt

For easy recognition of the items on a coat of arms, and hence the quick identification of the owner, bold simple shapes are best. Hence, simple geometric shapes are often used for this purpose 701A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P146xz`, and the hurt Is a typical example of this, and can appear in any of the main heraldic tinctures.

ibex

The ibex or antelope was drawn by heraldic artists in rather more fearsome aspect than its real-life appearance, with large horns, mane and a long tail. 702A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Antelope These days we regard the ibex as being a member of the goat family rather than an antelope, but in the middle ages there were was no real distinction between these animals. They could adopt many of the poses of the lion, such as rampant and statant. 703A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P210

increscent

For easy recognition of the items on a coat of arms, and hence the quick identification of the owner, bold simple shapes are best. Hence, simple geometric shapes are often used for this purpose 704A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P146xz`, and the crescent Is a typical example of this, and can appear in any of the main heraldic tinctures. Some common is this device that there are special names for its appearance in various orientations – whilst it lies normally with points upward, the decrescent points to the sinister side, and the increscent to the dexter 705A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Moon. The allusion, obviously is to the shape of the moon in the sky (indeed, the French have a version “figuré” which includes a face!) and has been said to signify both “honour by the sovereign” and “hope of greater glory” 706The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P106.

indented quarterly

Quarterly, as its name suggests is a method of dividing the shield into 4, more or less equal parts, conventionally of two alternating colours. 707A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Quarterly To further provide differentiation between arms the lines of the quartering can be given repeating patterns. An example of this is are lines drawn indented, i.e. in a saw-tooth pattern. An early author, Guilllim seeks to associate this decoration with fire 708A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P39, and one can see the resemblance to flames. The visual effect is quite striking, an good example being the arms of DUNHAM (Lincolnshire), which are Azure, a chief indented or.

inescutcheon

The escutcheon simply represents smaller shield shapes included within the shield, and its close relative, the inescutcheon is just a larger version occupying most of the field. 709A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Escutcheon There is no particular significance that can accorded to the escutcheon itself, but attention should be paid to the colour and devices that are borne upon it. The escutcheon may also be added to an existing coat of arms either as recognition of some additional honour (an escutcheon of augmentation”) or in the case where arms that are already quartered are to be combined an escutcheon with the new arms may be placed overall (an “escutcheon of pretence”). 710Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 126 & 141

infant swaddled

Heraldry is a human art, by and for people and it is not surprising that people themselves are frequently depicted in arms 711Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P174. Often these are images of knights and men-at-arms, or individual limbs, such as the “three armoured right arms argent” shown in the arms of Armstrong 712Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 60. As well as the nobility however, we also see both the mundane, ploughmen, fishermen and reapers; and the exotic in the form of club wielding savages and the Moorish or Saracen gentleman with his decorative wreathed turban 713A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P168. The infant swaddled is a typical example of this use of the human figure.

ink moline

The mill-rind, also known by a rather surprising number of names (fer-de-moline, inkmoline, mill-ink amongst others) is a distinctive symbol, but hard to place by modern viewers. It is a square or diamond shape with arms extending above and below and in fact represents the piece of iron that connects a circular timber axle to a mill-stone, used for grinding corn. 714A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Fer-de-moline These would obviously have been more familiar to those of the middle ages than they are today.

ivy branch

Amongst the natural objects depicted on a coat of arms, trees feature frequently, either in whole or as individual branches and leaves. 715A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P94, 262, 407. Sometimes the species or the part of tree was chosen as an allusion to the name of the bearer, as in Argent three tree stumps (also known as stocks) sable” for Blackstock 716A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P309. Trees of course had long been venerated and its use in a coat of arms may have represented some association with the god Thor 717The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P112

jay

Birds of great variety occur throughout heraldry, at least in name 718A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P233. In truth, despite the proliferation of species, the actual depictions can sometimes be hard to distinguish! The crane, heron and stork are commonly to be found on a coat of arms but all tend to share the same stylised appearance 719A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P164. The jay is amongst the mjaor bird species to appear in heraldry.

jewel

A wide variety of inanimate objects 720A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P281 appear in coats of arms, so of them still recognisable today, others now rather obscure. The images used are often simplified and stylised, the jewel is a typical case.

key

Although we expect to find fierce creatures and fearsome weapons depicted in a coat of arms this is not always the case – sometimes simple household objects are used 721A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P281. The key is a typical example of this. Sometimes these objects were chosen for the familiarity they would have for the obsever, helping them identify the owner, and sometimes they were used because of some association with the owner, or a similarity to the family name. 722Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 100 In other cases, Wade suggests that their appearance can be taken to indicate “guardianship and dominion”. 1723The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P47

knight

Heraldry is a human art, by and for people and it is not surprising that people themselves are frequently depicted in arms 724Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P174. Often these are images of knights and men-at-arms, or individual limbs, such as the “three armoured right arms argent” shown in the arms of Armstrong 725Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 60. As well as the nobility however, we also see both the mundane, ploughmen, fishermen and reapers; and the exotic in the form of club wielding savages and the Moorish or Saracen gentleman with his decorative wreathed turban 726A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P168. The knight is a typical example of this use of the human figure.

knights helmet

We should not be surprised to find items of armour depicted on shields, and perhaps to the wearer none is more important that the helmet. Wade suggests that its presence denotes “Wisdom and surety in defence”. 727The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P139 There are many variations of helmet described, now almost indistinguishable to modern eyes, and not having any particular significance – perhaps because of some play on words with the family name. There are complex heraldic rules and guidelines for the depictions of helmets belonging to various grades of nobility, lack of space prevents us from listing them all here!728A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:helmet

label

The label holds a special place in heraldry, originlly being a temporary mark, used by the oldest son while his father was still alive. In appearance it is a horizontal bar near the top of the shield from which descend 3 or 5 “points” or small rectangles descending from the bar. 729A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Label In more recent use it has come to used as charge in its own right 730A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P154 and may have additional charges on each point, which can create a pleasing visual effect.

lamb

The lamb may refer either to the young of the sheep, in which case it is shown entirely in profile, or to the paschal or holy lamb, which turns to face the viewer and has both a halo and a flag on a pole. The flag may be charged with additional items. 731A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Lamb Its significance is obviously religious in nature, “befitting one a brave, resolute spirit”, according to Guillim. 732The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P68

lamp

Although we expect to find fierce creatures and fearsome weapons depicted in a coat of arms this is not always the case – sometimes simple household objects are used 733A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P281. The (domestic, not street!) lamp is a typical example of this. Sometimes these objects were chosen for the familiarity they would have for the obsever, helping them identify the owner, and sometimes they were used because of some association with the owner, or a similarity to the family name. 734Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 100

lamprey

Fish in great variety abound in Heraldry, many different species inhabit coats of arms 735Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P150, although truth be told many of the actual images are sometimes indistinguishable, being shown as a stylised, and easily recognised “trout” shape 736A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P137 that a child might draw. The actual name used in the coat of arms may be some play-on-words or allusion to the family name, as in the famous arms of the de Lucy family, being “Gules, three lucies or”, 737Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 79 this being an ancient name for the fish we call today a “pike”. It is possible that the lamprey has been used in this fashion, or it may simply relate to some fishing activity in the history of the family.

lance

Given the martial nature of the origins of Heraldry, in the identification of knights and men-at-arms it can come as no surprise that mediaeval weaponry of all types are frequently to be found in a coat of arms 738Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 89. The spear or lance is a typical example, often borne (for obvious reasons) in allusion to the crucifixtion. 739The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P111 Sometimes only the head is shown, and on other occasions the tilting or tournament spear is specified, familiar to us from many a jousting scene in the movies. 740A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Spear

laurel sprig

Laurel appears in several forms in heraldry, beginning with the whole bush. through branches, sprigs and leaves. Wade, the noted heraldic author, reckons that the leaves represent “tokens of peace and quietness”, whilst branches, especially in pairs are in memory of some great triumph. 741The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P125. The other major appearance of the laurel is in the form of the laurel wreath, also known as a chaplet. 742A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Laurel. This was worn as a token of victory by Roman emporers, and Wade futher suggests that a similar purpose is adopted in heraldic art.

laurel wreath

Laurel appears in several forms in heraldry, beginning with the whole bush. through branches, sprigs and leaves. Wade, the noted heraldic author, reckons that the leaves represent “tokens of peace and quietness”, whilst branches, especially in pairs are in memory of some great triumph. 743The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P125. The other major appearance of the laurel is in the form of the laurel wreath, also known as a chaplet. 744A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Laurel. This was worn as a token of victory by Roman emporers, and Wade futher suggests that a similar purpose is adopted in heraldic art.

leaf

Amongst the natural objects depicted on a coat of arms, trees feature frequently, either in whole or as individual branches and leaves. 745A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P94, 262, 407. Sometimes the species or the part of tree was chosen as an allusion to the name of the bearer, as in Argent three tree stumps (also known as stocks) sable” for Blackstock 746A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P309. Trees of course had long been venerated and its use in a coat of arms may have represented some association with the god Thor 747The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P112

leg

Heraldry is a human art, by and for people and it is not surprising that people themselves are frequently depicted in arms 748Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P174. Often these are images of knights and men-at-arms, or individual limbs, such as the “three armoured right arms argent” shown in the arms of Armstrong 749Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 60. As well as the nobility however, we also see both the mundane, ploughmen, fishermen and reapers; and the exotic in the form of club wielding savages and the Moorish or Saracen gentleman with his decorative wreathed turban 750A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P168.

leopard

In the mediaeval period there was no real percieved difference between real and mythical animals, after all, much of the world remained unknown and who was to say what strange and magical creatures existed in distant lands? Nevertheless, real animals 751A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P191 are perhaps one of the most common sights on coats of arms, especially animals of European origin. The leopard Is a typical example of these.

leopards face

The leopard’s face (sometimes, incorrectly referred to as a leopard’s head occurs very frequently in heraldry 752A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Lion. Early heraldic artists tended to treat lions and leopards as the same animal, but during the development of British Heraldry the heads of the two creatures have adopted separate, and more realistic forms. Wade would have us associate leopards with warriors, especially those who overcome “hazardous things by force and courage” 753The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P65

leopards faces jessant-de-lis

The singular device, known as the leopard’s face jessant-de-lys is striking, if perhaps a little gruesome. It is believed that this began as a face decorated with a fleur-de-lys but eventually came to be represented as a face with lower part of the symbol coming from the mouth and the upper part behind the head 754A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P275. The Wade quotes a story from Newton (“Display of Heraldry”) to suggest that it was a symbol conferred by Edward III to recognised victory in his French campaigns – the English Lion swallowing the French Lily! 755The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P65

leopards head

The leopard’s face (sometimes, incorrectly referred to as a leopard’s head occurs very frequently in heraldry 756A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Lion. Early heraldic artists tended to treat lions and leopards as the same animal, but during the development of British Heraldry the heads of the two creatures have adopted separate, and more realistic forms. Wade would have us associate leopards with warriors, especially those who overcome “hazardous things by force and courage” 757The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P65

lily

Natural objects abound in heraldry, and one category that gives especial delight are the many flowers and flowering plants that frequently occur 758A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P262. Whilst the fleur-de-lys, the French “Flower of the Lily” may have become stylised almost beyond recognition 759A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P141, it still sometimes appears in a more pictorial form as the “lily of the garden”. The lily is also of this type, being drawn, at least a little, realistically and often to very pleasing effect.

lion couchant

The art of heraldry would be significantly poorer if we were without the lion in all its forms. Most general works on Heraldry devote at least one chapter solely to this magnificent creature and its multifarious depictions 760A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P172 761Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 63 762Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P140. Some of the earliest known examples of heraldry, dating right back to the knighting of Geoffrey of Anjou in 1127, where he is shown with six such beasts upon his shield 763A Treatise on Heraldry, J. Woodward, W & A.K Johnston, Edinburgh & London, 1896, P45 .The great authority on heraldic symbology, Wade, points out the high place that the lion holds in heraldry, “as the emblem of deathless courage” 764The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P60, a sentiment echoed equally today.The phrase couchant indicates a sleeping lion, though no less a fearsome creature for being so! 765A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Lion

lion passant

There can be no animal more clearly associated with Heraldry than the lion, majestic King of the Beasts. Originally it appeared only in one pose, erect, on one paw, with the others raised 766Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 64 but such was the popularity of this figure, and the need to distinguish arms from each other, that it soon came to be shown in an enormous range of forms 767Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P136-141. The lion passant is an example of these modified form, showing the creature on all fours, as if walking proudly. In common with all reprensentations of the lion it can be taken to be an “emblem of deathless courage”. 768The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P61

lion rampant

There can be no animal more clearly associated with Heraldry than the lion, majestic King of the Beasts. Originally it appeared only in one pose, erect, on one paw, with the others raised 769Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 64 but such was the popularity of this figure, and the need to distinguish arms from each other, that it soon came to be shown in an enormous range of forms 770Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P136-141. The lion rampant is an example of these modified form, and any family would be proud to have such a noble creature displayed on their arms. Rampant is the default attitude of the lion, raised on its hind legs, facing to the dexter and with front paws extended in a fearsome and powerful pose.

lion saliant

There can be no animal more clearly associated with Heraldry than the lion, majestic King of the Beasts. Originally it appeared only in one pose, erect, on one paw, with the others raised 771Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 64 but such was the popularity of this figure, and the need to distinguish arms from each other, that it soon came to be shown in an enormous range of forms 772Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P136-141. The lion saliant is an example of these modified form, and any family would be proud to have such a noble creature displayed on their arms.

lion sejant

The art of heraldry would be significantly poorer if we were without the lion in all its forms. Most general works on Heraldry devote at least one chapter solely to this magnificent creature and its multifarious depictions 773A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P172 774Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 63 775Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P140. Some of the earliest known examples of heraldry, dating right back to the knighting of Geoffrey of Anjou in 1127, where he is shown with six such beasts upon his shield 776A Treatise on Heraldry, J. Woodward, W & A.K Johnston, Edinburgh & London, 1896, P45 .The great authority on heraldic symbology, Wade, points out the high place that the lion holds in heraldry, “as the emblem of deathless courage” 777The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P60, a sentiment echoed equally today.The lion variation sejant indicates that the creature is posed sitting down, with head erect (not sleeping). 778A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:sejant

lions combatant

The art of heraldry would be significantly poorer if we were without the lion in all its forms. Most general works on Heraldry devote at least one chapter solely to this magnificent creature and its multifarious depictions 779A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P172 780Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 63 781Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P140. Some of the earliest known examples of heraldry, dating right back to the knighting of Geoffrey of Anjou in 1127, where he is shown with six such beasts upon his shield 782A Treatise on Heraldry, J. Woodward, W & A.K Johnston, Edinburgh & London, 1896, P45 .The great authority on heraldic symbology, Wade, points out the high place that the lion holds in heraldry, “as the emblem of deathless courage” 783The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P60, a sentiment echoed equally today.The variation of lions combattant refers to two lions rampant, face to face as if in combat. 784A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:lion

lions gamb

The art of heraldry would be significantly poorer if we were without the lion in all its forms. Most general works on Heraldry devote at least one chapter solely to this magnificent creature and its multifarious depictions 785A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P172 786Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 63 787Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P140. Some of the earliest known examples of heraldry, dating right back to the knighting of Geoffrey of Anjou in 1127, where he is shown with six such beasts upon his shield 788A Treatise on Heraldry, J. Woodward, W & A.K Johnston, Edinburgh & London, 1896, P45 .The great authority on heraldic symbology, Wade, points out the high place that the lion holds in heraldry, “as the emblem of deathless courage” 789The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P60, a sentiment echoed equally today.The variant lion’s gamb is another word for leg, and its significance remains the same as its parent animal

lions head

There can be no animal more clearly associated with Heraldry than the lion, majestic King of the Beasts.790Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 64 The head of the lion also appears alone on many coats of arms, but its use in this form is largely to enable a clear difference from similar arms that use the complete animal, and its significance should be taken to be the same as the lion entire, being a symbol of “deathless courage”. 791The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P59

lizard

In the mediaeval period there was no real percieved difference between real and mythical animals, after all, much of the world remained unknown and who was to say what strange and magical creatures existed in distant lands? Nevertheless, real animals 792A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P191 are perhaps one of the most common sights on coats of arms, especially animals of European origin. The lizard Is a typical example of these.

lobster

Also crevice (crayfish) Fish in great variety abound in Heraldry, many different species inhabit coats of arms 793Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P150, although truth be told many of the actual images are sometimes indistinguishable, being shown as a stylised, and easily recognised “trout” shape 794A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P137 that a child might draw. The actual name used in the coat of arms may be some play-on-words or allusion to the family name, as in the famous arms of the de Lucy family, being “Gules, three lucies or”, 795Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 79 this being an ancient name for the fish we call today a “pike”. It is possible that the lobster has been used in this fashion, or it may simply relate to some fishing activity in the history of the family.

long cross

No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross 796Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47. Mediaeval Europe was a deeply religious and Christian and many of the nobility wanted to show their devotion by adopting the symbol of the cross as part of the arms. Since no two arms could be identical there arose many variants of the cross, the latin or long cross is an example of this, being named for the extended lower limb of the cross, which is placed clearly separated from the edges of the shield.

lozenge

For easy recognition of the items on a coat of arms, and hence the quick identification of the owner, bold simple shapes are best. Hence, simple geometric shapes are often used for this purpose 797A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P146xz`, and the lozenge Is a typical example of this, and can appear in any of the main heraldic tinctures. It can appear on its own, voided (with the background visible through the middle), and can also be conjoined, whereby adjacent lozenges touch point-to-point. 798A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Lozenge Guillim groups the lozenge with all square shapes as being symbolic of “verity, probity, constancy and equity”. 799A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P262

lozengy

Anyone who has seen a typical Jester’s or Harlequin’s outfit has seen the treatment known as lozengy – a pattern of interlocking diamonds of two different colours 800A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Lozengy. It normally covers the whole field of the shield, as in the ancient arms of FITZ-WILLIAM, Lozengy, argent and gules, a striking example of the form.

lucie

Fish in great variety abound in Heraldry, many different species inhabit coats of arms 801Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P150, although truth be told many of the actual images are sometimes indistinguishable, being shown as a stylised, and easily recognised “trout” shape 802A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P137 that a child might draw. The actual name used in the coat of arms may be some play-on-words or allusion to the family name, as in the famous arms of the de Lucy family, being “Gules, three lucies or”, 803Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 79 this being an ancient name for the fish we call today a “pike”. It is possible that the lucie has been used in this fashion, or it may simply relate to some fishing activity in the history of the family.

lure

The hawk’s lure is a training aid used with hunting hawks, depicted as a feathered ball on a short line. 804A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P301. Like all images relating to hunting it can largely be taken at face value, as being associated with armigers who enjoy the passions of the hunt.

lynx

In the mediaeval period there was no real percieved difference between real and mythical animals, after all, much of the world remained unknown and who was to say what strange and magical creatures existed in distant lands? Nevertheless, real animals 805A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P191 are perhaps one of the most common sights on coats of arms, especially animals of European origin. The panther Is a typical example of these, although has the distinction of often being depicted with flames coming from its mouth and ears! 806A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:PantherLynx is simply another name for the same creature (at least in Heraldry!)

magnetic needle

Although we expect to find fierce creatures and fearsome weapons depicted in a coat of arms this is not always the case – sometimes simple household objects are used 807A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P281. The rather singular device magnetic needle is a typical example of this. Sometimes these objects were chosen for the familiarity they would have for the obsever, helping them identify the owner, and sometimes they were used because of some association with the owner, or a similarity to the family name. 808Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 100. In this case it may also have been due to some feat of navigation.

maidens head

Heraldry is a human art, by and for people and it is not surprising that people themselves are frequently depicted in arms 809Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P174. Often these are images of knights and men-at-arms, or individual limbs, such as the “three armoured right arms argent” shown in the arms of Armstrong 810Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 60. As well as the nobility however, we also see both the mundane, ploughmen, fishermen and reapers; and the exotic in the form of club wielding savages and the Moorish or Saracen gentleman with his decorative wreathed turban 811A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P168. The maidens head is a typical example of this use of the human figure.

mallet

It is important that a coat of arms be easily recognised and so everyday objects were frequently used as clearly identifiable charges – tools 812Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 69 being a common and important example of these, of which the hammer is typical. Some of these tools are rather obscure to modern eyes, who of us nowadays would recognise a hemp-break 813A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P163, let alone know what to use it for! The hammer is usually drawn conventionally, with a wooden handle and large metal head. 814A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Hammer

man in armour

Heraldry is a human art, by and for people and it is not surprising that people themselves are frequently depicted in arms 815Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P174. Often these are images of knights and men-at-arms, or individual limbs, such as the “three armoured right arms argent” shown in the arms of Armstrong 816Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 60. As well as the nobility however, we also see both the mundane, ploughmen, fishermen and reapers; and the exotic in the form of club wielding savages and the Moorish or Saracen gentleman with his decorative wreathed turban 817A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P168. The man in armour is a typical example of this use of the human figure.

mans head

Heraldry is a human art, by and for people and it is not surprising that people themselves are frequently depicted in arms 818Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P174. Often these are images of knights and men-at-arms, or individual limbs, such as the “three armoured right arms argent” shown in the arms of Armstrong 819Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 60. As well as the nobility however, we also see both the mundane, ploughmen, fishermen and reapers; and the exotic in the form of club wielding savages and the Moorish or Saracen gentleman with his decorative wreathed turban 820A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P168.

marigold

Natural objects abound in heraldry, and one category that gives especial delight are the many flowers and flowering plants that frequently occur 821A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P262. Whilst the fleur-de-lys, the French “Flower of the Lily” may have become stylised almost beyond recognition 822A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P141, it still sometimes appears in a more pictorial form as the “lily of the garden”. The marigold is also of this type, being drawn, at least a little, realistically and often to very pleasing effect.

marlets

The martlett is by far the most common bird to appear in British Heraldry, perhaps only equalled by the eagle, however it is not a species ever to be found in an ornithologists handbook! The word itself is though to have come from the French word merlette, the female blackbird and itself a similar type of charge used in French Heraldry. 823A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Martlet. Over time the image has become quite stylised, without visible legs or distinctive feathers. Wade suggests that this representation arises from “the appearance of the bird of paradise to ancient travellers” 824The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P79. Other bird species may be named in coats of arms (cornish chough is a frequent example) but in actual execution their appearance is often indistinguishable from the martlet.

martins

Birds of great variety occur throughout heraldry, at least in name 825A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P233. In truth, despite the proliferation of species, the actual depictions can sometimes be hard to distinguish! The crane, heron and stork are commonly to be found on a coat of arms but all tend to share the same stylised appearance 826A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P164. The martins is amongst the mjaor bird species to appear in heraldry.

martlet

The martlett is by far the most common bird to appear in British Heraldry, perhaps only equalled by the eagle, however it is not a species ever to be found in an ornithologists handbook! The word itself is though to have come from the French word merlette, the female blackbird and itself a similar type of charge used in French Heraldry. 827A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Martlet. Over time the image has become quite stylised, without visible legs or distinctive feathers. Wade suggests that this representation arises from “the appearance of the bird of paradise to ancient travellers” 828The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P79. Other bird species may be named in coats of arms (cornish chough is a frequent example) but in actual execution their appearance is often indistinguishable from the martlet.

mascle

The mascle is a close relative of the lozenge or diamond shape, but with the centre cut away revealing the background underneath. 829A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Mascle. Guillim, writing in the 17th century reckoned the mascle to represent the mesh of a net, being the biblical symbol for “persuasion, whereby men are induced to virtue and verity”. 830A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P234

matches

Although we expect to find fierce creatures and fearsome weapons depicted in a coat of arms this is not always the case – sometimes simple household objects are used 831A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P281. The ENTRY is a typical example of this. Sometimes these objects were chosen for the familiarity they would have for the obsever, helping them identify the owner, and sometimes they were used because of some association with the owner, or a similarity to the family name. 832Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 100

maunch

When people are depicted in heraldry their clothing and appearance are often described in some detail 833Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P174. We also find individual items of clothing used as charges in a coat of arms, and maunch is a good example of this, representing a loose sleeve. Sometimes these items are drawn in a somewhat stylised fashion, not always obvious as to what it represents. 834A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Maunch Wade suggests that its use came from a role in the tournament in which a part of clothing or some other trinked was given as a token to knights in combat by their supporters. 835The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P50

mermaid

The mermaid is depicted exactly as we now picture the mythical creature, and is almost always shown with dishevelled hair and looking into a hand mirror. 836A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Mermaid They tend to more frequent as supporters than being illustrated upon the shield itself. Wade cites Sloane Evans in his belief that the mermaid represents the “Eloquence” of the bearer.

midas head

In the mediaeval period there was no real percieved difference between real and mythical animals, after all, much of the world remained unknown and who was to say what strange and magical creatures existed in distant lands? As heraldry developed a whole menagerie of imagined creatures 837Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P164 came into being, and their various representations became more or less standardised in form and appearance. The midas head Is a typical example of a mythical creature, as real to a person of the middle ages as dogs, cats and elephants are to us today.

mill pick

It is important that a coat of arms be easily recognised and so everyday objects were frequently used as clearly identifiable charges – tools 838Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 69 being a common and important example of these, of which the mill pick is typical. Some of these tools are rather obscure to modern eyes, who of us nowadays would recognise a hemp-break 839A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P163, let alone know what to use it for! Nevertheless, for mediaeval peasant it was a clearly identifiable symbol.

millrind

The mill-rind, also known by a rather surprising number of names (fer-de-moline, inkmoline, mill-ink amongst others) is a distinctive symbol, but hard to place by modern viewers. It is a square or diamond shape with arms extending above and below and in fact represents the piece of iron that connects a circular timber axle to a mill-stone, used for grinding corn. 840A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Fer-de-moline These would obviously have been more familiar to those of the middle ages than they are today.

millstone

Although we expect to find fierce creatures and fearsome weapons depicted in a coat of arms this is not always the case – sometimes simple household objects are used 841A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P281. The ENTRY is a typical example of this. Sometimes these objects were chosen for the familiarity they would have for the obsever, helping them identify the owner, and sometimes they were used because of some association with the owner, or a similarity to the family name. 842Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 100

mitre

The middle ages was a deeply religious time, and since the bulk of heraldry was developed in countries that were almost entirely Christian it is no surprise that religious and church symbology was widely adopted for use in coats of arms. The mitre Is a typical such usage. As well the adoption of religious imagery for the nobility, the Church itself has made extensive use of arms, such Ecclesiastical Heraldry 843A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P600 is a major subject in its own right, somewhat less “martial” than that of the nobility and with its own terms and special meanings.

mole

In the mediaeval period there was no real percieved difference between real and mythical animals, after all, much of the world remained unknown and who was to say what strange and magical creatures existed in distant lands? Nevertheless, real animals 844A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P191 are perhaps one of the most common sights on coats of arms, especially animals of European origin. The mole Is a typical example of these.

moon

It should come as no surprise that items from the natural world are frequently adopted for use in the coat of arms 845A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P294. Celestial objects and natural phenomena have been given simple, easily identified representations. The moon Is typical of charges derived from natural objects, and being emblematic of “serene power the mundane” 846The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P106. It can be shown in various phases, known as incresent (facing right), decrescent (facing left), or if full then with a human face. 847A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:moon

moor

The head of a Moor is frequently borne on the arms of those at one time involved with crusades, possibly associated with some “deeds of prowess”. 848The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P93 The head is shown typically in a realistic fashion but the precise details are left to the imagination and skills of the artist! 849A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Head

moorcock

The Moor cock occurs in a number of coats of arms but always seems to be reference to the family name (e.g. MOORE) rather than having any special significance as a type of bird. 850A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Moor-cock

moors head

The head of a Moor is frequently borne on the arms of those at one time involved with crusades, possibly associated with some “deeds of prowess”. 851The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P93 The head is shown typically in a realistic fashion but the precise details are left to the imagination and skills of the artist! 852A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Head

moose

In the mediaeval period there was no real percieved difference between real and mythical animals, after all, much of the world remained unknown and who was to say what strange and magical creatures existed in distant lands? Nevertheless, real animals 853A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P191 are perhaps one of the most common sights on coats of arms, especially animals of European origin. The moose Is a typical example of these.

mortar

Although we expect to find fierce creatures and fearsome weapons depicted in a coat of arms this is not always the case – sometimes simple household objects are used 854A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P281. The ENTRY is a typical example of this. Sometimes these objects were chosen for the familiarity they would have for the obsever, helping them identify the owner, and sometimes they were used because of some association with the owner, or a similarity to the family name. 855Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 100

mount

The mount (also known as a hillock 856Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 324) is the area at the base of the shield and when so described is almost always green, and somewhere that another charge is placed, to appear more realistic, or give it a specific relationship to other charges around it. 857A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Mount Indeed, unlike like most of the flat, geometric shapes used to divide the field of the shield, the mount may be drawn with tufts of grass and a distinct slope!

mountain cat

Cats occur often in heraldry, but the wild cat or cat-a-mountain is almost certainly intended rather than the domesticated felines we might at first come to mind! 858A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Cat It can appear in a variety of poses, similar to those of its larger relative, the lion, although we should be careful of stretching any meanings associated with the king of the beasts to their smaller brethren. Perhaps only an affinity with hills and the mountain country is intended.

mullet

The heraldic mullet, not to be confused with the fish of that name, is shown as a regular, five pointed star. This was originally, not an astronomical object, but represented the spur on a horseman’s boot, especially when peirced, with a small circular hole in the centre it represents a type of spur known as a “rowel” 859Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 97. A clear example can be found in the arms of Harpendene, argent, a mullet pierced gules. The ancient writer Guillim associated such spurs in gold as belonging to the Knight, and the silver to their esquires 860A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P107. In later years, Wade linked this five pointed star with the true celestial object, the estoile and termed it a “falling star”, symbolising a “divine quality bestowed from above” 861The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P105.

mural crown

Crowns are frequently observed in Heraldry 862Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P184, but we should not make the mistake of assuming that these are always on Royal arms 863The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P138. Many of the orders of nobility across Europe were entitled to wear crowns and coronets, Dukes, Earls, Viscounts and Barons in England each had their own distinctive headwear 864A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P350. The mural crown exhibits decoration rather like brickwork, and has battlements on top. It is said to have been award by the Roman legions to the first who breached the walls of a besieged town or fortress. 865The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P142

mushroom

Many items found in the natural world occur in coats of arms, including many plants that people of the middle ages would be familiar with. Several varities of bush and small plants frequently found in the hedgerows beside fields can be observed 866A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P270, in addition to the famous thistle of Scotland 867Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P147. The mushroom is a an example of such a plant, instantly recognisable to those in the mediaeval period and still a proud symbol today.

nags head

In the mediaeval period there was no real percieved difference between real and mythical animals, after all, much of the world remained unknown and who was to say what strange and magical creatures existed in distant lands? Nevertheless, real animals 868A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P191 are perhaps one of the most common sights on coats of arms, especially animals of European origin. The horse Is a typical example of these.The Nagbeing an affectionate term for a less-than-pedigree horse!

nail

It is important that a coat of arms be easily recognised and so everyday objects were frequently used as clearly identifiable charges – tools 869Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 69 being a common and important example of these, of which the nail is typical. Some of these tools are rather obscure to modern eyes, who of us nowadays would recognise a hemp-break 870A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P163, let alone know what to use it for! Nevertheless, for mediaeval peasant it was a clearly identifiable symbol.

naval crown

Crowns are frequently observed in Heraldry 871Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P184, but we should not make the mistake of assuming that these are always on Royal arms 872The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P138. Many of the orders of nobility across Europe were entitled to wear crowns and coronets, Dukes, Earls, Viscounts and Barons in England each had their own distinctive headwear 873A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P350. The naval crown is an example of this. It may also be the case that a crown is added to an existing coat of arms as an augmentation in recognition of some service to a King 874Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 187.

oak branch

Amongst the natural objects depicted on a coat of arms, trees feature frequently, either in whole or as individual branches and leaves. 875A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P94, 262, 407. Although sometimes described simply as a tree most often the specific species was named, and the oak tree or oak leaf is a typical example that frequently is depicted in arms, sometimes fructed with acorns of a different colour. 876A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Oak For good reason, Wade assigns the meaning of “antiquity and strength” to this symbol. 877The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P126

oak leaf

Amongst the natural objects depicted on a coat of arms, trees feature frequently, either in whole or as individual branches and leaves. 878A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P94, 262, 407. Although sometimes described simply as a tree most often the specific species was named, and the oak tree or oak leaf is a typical example that frequently is depicted in arms, sometimes fructed with acorns of a different colour. 879A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Oak For good reason, Wade assigns the meaning of “antiquity and strength” to this symbol. 880The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P126

oak tree

Amongst the natural objects depicted on a coat of arms, trees feature frequently, either in whole or as individual branches and leaves. 881A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P94, 262, 407. Although sometimes described simply as a tree most often the specific species was named, and the oak tree or oak leaf is a typical example that frequently is depicted in arms, sometimes fructed with acorns of a different colour. 882A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Oak For good reason, Wade assigns the meaning of “antiquity and strength” to this symbol. 883The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P126

oaken batton

The staff raguly or ragged staff frequently occurs in heraldry and is intended to show a rough-hewn branch for use as a walking aid or club, and sometimes appear in flame at the top. 884A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Staff Famously, a ragged staff appears with a bear in the arms associated with the family and county of Warwick in England. 885A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P458Other uses of the staff, such as pilgrim’s staff must be described as such, otherwise the ragged staff will probably be assumed.

ogress

For easy recognition of the items on a coat of arms, and hence the quick identification of the owner, bold simple shapes are best. Hence, simple geometric shapes are often used for this purpose 886A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P146 One of the simplest such shapes is the plain circle, known to heralds as the roundle. 887A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Roundle So popular is this charge that a shorthand has arisen for roundles of a particular colour and pellet is a roundle sable, or black. It is also known as an ogress or gunstone. Most authorities agree that the English usage signifies the “Manchet cake” or communion wafer and thus is a symbol of religious allegiance.

old fashioned helmet

We should not be surprised to find items of armour depicted on shields, and perhaps to the wearer none is more important that the helmet. Wade suggests that its presence denotes “Wisdom and surety in defence”. 888The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P139 There are many variations of helmet described, now almost indistinguishable to modern eyes, and not having any particular significance – perhaps because of some play on words with the family name. There are complex heraldic rules and guidelines for the depictions of helmets belonging to various grades of nobility, lack of space prevents us from listing them all here!889A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:helmet

old mans head

Heraldry is a human art, by and for people and it is not surprising that people themselves are frequently depicted in arms 890Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P174. Often these are images of knights and men-at-arms, or individual limbs, such as the “three armoured right arms argent” shown in the arms of Armstrong 891Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 60. As well as the nobility however, we also see both the mundane, ploughmen, fishermen and reapers; and the exotic in the form of club wielding savages and the Moorish or Saracen gentleman with his decorative wreathed turban 892A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P168. The old mans head is a typical example of this use of the human figure.

olive branch

The olive branch should not surprise as in being regarded as the emblem of ” peace and concord”, from its biblical significance in the story of Noah and the Dove returning to the ark. 893The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P129. Indeed we often find the olive branch depicted on a shield being carried by a dove. 894A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Olive-tree

orb

The middle ages was a deeply religious time, and since the bulk of heraldry was developed in countries that were almost entirely Christian it is no surprise that religious and church symbology was widely adopted for use in coats of arms. The orb Is a typical such usage. As well the adoption of religious imagery for the nobility, the Church itself has made extensive use of arms, such Ecclesiastical Heraldry 895A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P600 is a major subject in its own right, somewhat less “martial” than that of the nobility and with its own terms and special meanings.

organ pipe

The middle ages was a deeply religious time, and since the bulk of heraldry was developed in countries that were almost entirely Christian it is no surprise that religious and church symbology was widely adopted for use in coats of arms. The organ pipe Is a typical such usage. As well the adoption of religious imagery for the nobility, the Church itself has made extensive use of arms, such Ecclesiastical Heraldry 896A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P600 is a major subject in its own right, somewhat less “martial” than that of the nobility and with its own terms and special meanings.

organ-rests

The middle ages was a deeply religious time, and since the bulk of heraldry was developed in countries that were almost entirely Christian it is no surprise that religious and church symbology was widely adopted for use in coats of arms. The organ-rests Is a typical such usage. As well the adoption of religious imagery for the nobility, the Church itself has made extensive use of arms, such Ecclesiastical Heraldry 897A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P600 is a major subject in its own right, somewhat less “martial” than that of the nobility and with its own terms and special meanings.

orle

Over time the shape of the heraldic shield has become most frequently represented as the rounded triangle known as a heater shape. So pleasing is this shape that it appears in its own right both as an escutcheon (the filled shape) and the orle, which is a broad outline of the shape. 898A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Orle. A larger number of small charges may also be described as in orle when they are arranged to mimic the shape of the shield outline. 899A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P141

ostrich

The feather, especially that of the ostrich appears with great regularity in the crests of a full achievement of arms, typically in the shape of a plume. Wade associates this device with “willing obedience and serenity of mind”. 900The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P74 They are much less common on the shield itself, unless part of an arrow, which may be feathered of a different colour, or a quill pen. 901A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Feathers

ostrich feather

The feather, especially that of the ostrich appears with great regularity in the crests of a full achievement of arms, typically in the shape of a plume. Wade associates this device with “willing obedience and serenity of mind”. 902The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P74 They are much less common on the shield itself, unless part of an arrow, which may be feathered of a different colour, or a quill pen. 903A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Feathers

otter

Otters were more common in the middle ages and were a favourite prey for hunting, so we should not be surprised to find them depicted on coats of arms. They appear in quite realistic form and may be collared and shown eating fish. 904A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Otter

ounces head

The leopard’s face (sometimes, incorrectly referred to as a leopard’s head occurs very frequently in heraldry 905A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Lion. Early heraldic artists tended to treat lions and leopards as the same animal, but during the development of British Heraldry the heads of the two creatures have adopted separate, and more realistic forms. Wade would have us associate leopards with warriors, especially those who overcome “hazardous things by force and courage” 906The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P65

owl

Birds of great variety occur throughout heraldry, at least in name 907A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P233. The owl has long been associated with heraldry and is depicted in a clearly recognised aspect, always with its face to the viewer. 908A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Owl It comes as no surprise that previous generations of heraldic writers ascribed to it the traits of “vigilance and acute wit”. 909The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P77

ox

Bulls, and their close relations, cows, calves, oxen and the buffalo are relatively recent additions to the art of heraldry (and it is not always possible to distinguish between them in their renderings). 910A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Bull They can be found in a variety of poses and may have horns, hooves and collared in a different colour. The writer Guillim noted that the prescence of a bull could signify “valour and magnanimity”. 911A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P117

padlock

Although we expect to find fierce creatures and fearsome weapons depicted in a coat of arms this is not always the case – sometimes simple household objects are used 912A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P281. The ENTRY is a typical example of this. Sometimes these objects were chosen for the familiarity they would have for the obsever, helping them identify the owner, and sometimes they were used because of some association with the owner, or a similarity to the family name. 913Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 100

pale

The Pale is one of the major, so called ordinaries, significant objects that extend across the entire field of the shield. The pale being a broad vertical band up the centre of the shield 914A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Pale. In origin, the word probably has its roots in the same place as palisade, a defensive wall made of closely space upright timbers. Indeed, it is possible that the original “pales” arose where a wooden shield was constructed of vertical planks painted in different hues 915A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, Chapter 1. This is perhaps why Wade, a writer on Heraldic Symbology suggested that denotes “military strength and fortitude” 916The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P47.

palet

The palet is a smaller version of the pale, being and narrow vertical stripe extending the full height of the shield. 917A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Pale There can be several of these side-by-side, that they would show their significance with their larger relative sign of ” military strength and fortitude”. 918The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P47

palm branch

In addition to its religious significance the palm and the palm branch are regarded as emblems of ” victory, justice and royal honour”. 919The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P129 They are much more common in French heraldry than in English, and are also known as cocoa-nut trees. 920A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:palm

paly

Play is what is known as a treatment, a regular patterning, usually over the whole background of the shield. The word comes from the pale, the major vertical stripe that appears on some shields, paly is obvious its little cousin, consisting of, typically, 6 or more vertical stripes, alternately coloured 921A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Paly. The stripes can be any combination of the heraldic tinctures, an early example is that of GURNEY, being simply paly of six, or and argent. Paly can be combined with other effects, such as decorative edges on each stripe, or overlaid with other treatments such as bendy, and these can be very effective and pleasing to the eye 922A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P121.

pansey

Natural objects abound in heraldry, and one category that gives especial delight are the many flowers and flowering plants that frequently occur 923A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P262. Whilst the fleur-de-lys, the French “Flower of the Lily” may have become stylised almost beyond recognition 924A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P141, it still sometimes appears in a more pictorial form as the “lily of the garden”. The pansey is also of this type, being drawn, at least a little, realistically and often to very pleasing effect.

panther

In the mediaeval period there was no real percieved difference between real and mythical animals, after all, much of the world remained unknown and who was to say what strange and magical creatures existed in distant lands? Nevertheless, real animals 925A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P191 are perhaps one of the most common sights on coats of arms, especially animals of European origin. The panther Is a typical example of these, although has the distinction of often being depicted with flames coming from its mouth and ears! 926A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Panther

parroquet

The parrot is a fairly recent usage, but the ancient form of popinjay was more common 927A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Parrot. Commonly coloured vert (green) with beak and legs gules (red) it is usually depicted with a high degree of realism. 928A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P249

parrot

The parrot is a fairly recent usage, but the ancient form of popinjay was more common 929A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Parrot. Commonly coloured vert (green) with beak and legs gules (red) it is usually depicted with a high degree of realism. 930A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P249

paschal lamb

The lamb may refer either to the young of the sheep, in which case it is shown entirely in profile, or to the paschal or holy lamb, which turns to face the viewer and has both a halo and a flag on a pole. The flag may be charged with additional items. 931A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Lamb Its significance is obviously religious in nature, “befitting one a brave, resolute spirit”, according to Guillim. 932The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P68

passion cross

No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross 933Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47. Mediaeval Europe was a deeply religious and Christian and many of the nobility wanted to show their devotion by adopting the symbol of the cross as part of the arms. Since no two arms could be identical there arose many variants of the cross. 934Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P67 The calvary cross is a special form that most closely represents the crucifixion, being mounted on a series of steps or grices. Wade suggests that three of these steps might represent “faith, hope and charity”. 935The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P103

peacock

Birds of great variety occur throughout heraldry, at least in name 936A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P233. The peacock provides an instantly recognisable species, almost always facing the viewer with the full glory of the tail expanded in a pose known as in his pride. 937A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Peacock Wade reckons it the “most beautiful and proudest of birds”. 938The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P77

peacock tail

Birds of great variety occur throughout heraldry, at least in name 939A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P233. In truth, despite the proliferation of species, the actual depictions can sometimes be hard to distinguish! The crane, heron and stork are commonly to be found on a coat of arms but all tend to share the same stylised appearance 940A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P164. The peacock tail is more often found in crests than as a device upon the shield but is no less welcom for it.

pean

Special patterns, of a distinctive shape are frequently used in heraldry and are know as furs, representing the cured skins of animals 941Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 28. Although they were originally derived from creatures such as the ermine (mink) and the squirrel the actual patterns have become highly stylised into simple geometric shapes 942Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P46-49. pean is a variant of ermine in which the field is sable (black) and the ermine spots or (gold).

pear

Given the martial nature of the origins of Heraldry, in the identification of knights and men-at-arms it can come as no surprise that mediaeval weaponry of all types are frequently to be found in a coat of arms 943Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 89. The spear or lance is a typical example, often borne (for obvious reasons) in allusion to the crucifixtion. 944The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P111 Sometimes only the head is shown, and on other occasions the tilting or tournament spear is specified, familiar to us from many a jousting scene in the movies. 945A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Spear

pegasus

In the mediaeval period there was no real percieved difference between real and mythical animals, after all, much of the world remained unknown and who was to say what strange and magical creatures existed in distant lands? As heraldry developed a whole menagerie of imagined creatures 946Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P164 came into being, and their various representations became more or less standardised in form and appearance. The pegasus Is a typical example of a mythical creature, as real to a person of the middle ages as dogs, cats and elephants are to us today.

pelican

The pelican is often associated with parenthood and “devoted and self sacrificing charity”. 947The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P77-78 It is almost always shown with its young in their nest (in its piety) or pricking its breast in readiness to feed its young with its own blood (vulning herself. 948A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Pelican

pelican in her piety

The pelican is often associated with parenthood and “devoted and self sacrificing charity”. 949The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P77-78 It is almost always shown with its young in their nest (in its piety) or pricking its breast in readiness to feed its young with its own blood (vulning herself. 950A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Pelican

pelican vulning herself

The pelican is often associated with parenthood and “devoted and self sacrificing charity”. 951The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P77-78 It is almost always shown with its young in their nest (in its piety) or pricking its breast in readiness to feed its young with its own blood (vulning herself. 952A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Pelican

pellet

For easy recognition of the items on a coat of arms, and hence the quick identification of the owner, bold simple shapes are best. Hence, simple geometric shapes are often used for this purpose 953A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P146 One of the simplest such shapes is the plain circle, known to heralds as the roundle. 954A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Roundle So popular is this charge that a shorthand has arisen for roundles of a particular colour and pellet is a roundle sable, or black. It is also known as an ogress or gunstone. Most authorities agree that the English usage signifies the “Manchet cake” or communion wafer and thus is a symbol of religious allegiance.

pellettee

Pellettee is a shorthand way of referring to a field of any colour, strewn with the black roundels known as pellets or gunstones these being simple black circles, or more properly, roundles. It can used either on the field as a whole or to good effect on some of the larger ordinaries, HUNT for example includes a bordure of the last (being or) pellety. 955A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Pellet

pennant

The Pennant is an example of a flag, more often carried by the figure of a knight or flying from a castle than appearing as a charge in its own right. 956A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Flag It can be any colour and may itself carry other charges and any meaning that is intended should be inferred from those rather than the appearance of the pennant itself.

per bend

To add variety and interest to the arms, heraldic artists began to divide the background of the shield into two parts, giving each a different colour. They were named for the ordinary that they most resembled, so the diagonal division of the shield, similar to the ordinary known as the bend came to be called per bend 957Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P63. As a means of creating a distinctive shield it is very effective, for example the early arms of HAWLEY are simply per bend or and vert – the “most important” of the colours is given first, in this case the or (gold) colour occupies the upper triangle. 958A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Party

per bend crenelle

To add variety and interest to the arms, heraldic artists began to divide the background of the shield into two parts, giving each a different colour. They were named for the ordinary that they most resembled, so the diagonal division of the shield, similar to the ordinary known as the bend came to be called per bend 959Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P63. Visually rather striking, it became popular and artists added decorative effects to the partition line to distinguish otherwise very similar coats of arms. 960A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Party. An edge which is decorated like the top of a castle wall is said to be embattled, or sometimes crenelle, from the original French. (In castle building terminology the parts of the wall that stick up are known as merlons, and the resulting gaps as crenels). A whole sub-section of heraldic terminology has sprung up to describe whether these crennellations appear on which edges, whether they line up or alternate, have additional steps or rounded tops. The interested reader is directed to the reference for the full set! 961A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Embattled For obvious reasons, use of this decoration is to be associated with castles and fortified towns, an early authority, Guillim suggest also some association with fire, but with out clear reason 962The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P41. In all, this is one of the more common, and most effective and appropriate of the decorative edges.

per chevron

To add variety and interest to the arms, heraldic artists began to divide the background of the shield into two parts, giving each a different colour. They were named for the ordinary that they most resembled, so the division of the shield by an inverted ‘V’ shape, similar to the ordinary known as the chevron came to be called per chevron 963Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P63. Visually rather striking, it can be even more effective if one charge is placed below the point, and two others above and to the sides. 964A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Party. Wade considers the use of the per chevron division to indicate “constancy, with peace and Sincerity”. 965The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P150

per chevron embattled

To add variety and interest to the arms, heraldic artists began to divide the background of the shield into two parts, giving each a different colour. They were named for the ordinary that they most resembled, so the division of the shield by an inverted ‘V’ shape, similar to the ordinary known as the chevron came to be called per chevron 966Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P63. Visually rather striking, it became popular and artists added decorative effects to the partition line to distinguish otherwise very similar coats of arms. 967A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Party. An edge which is decorated like the top of a castle wall is said to be embattled, or sometimes crenelle, from the original French. (In castle building terminology the parts of the wall that stick up are known as merlons, and the resulting gaps as crenels). A whole sub-section of heraldic terminology has sprung up to describe whether these crennellations appear on which edges, whether they line up or alternate, have additional steps or rounded tops. The interested reader is directed to the reference for the full set! 968A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Embattled For obvious reasons, use of this decoration is to be associated with castles and fortified towns, an early authority, Guillim suggest also some association with fire, but with out clear reason 969The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P41. In all, this is one of the more common, and most effective and appropriate of the decorative edges.

per fesse

The background of the shield can be divided into two potrtions in a variety of ways, and each portion coloured in a different fashion. In European Heraldry there is a tendency to use these areas to combine two different coats of arms, but in British and Scottish heraldry the preference is to treat the divided field as a single decorative element with other features placed as normal. Whatever tradition is followed, one of the most common divisions is per fesse, a simple separation along a horizontal line. 970Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P63. Not quite as common as the alternative vertical partioning, per pale it still presents a pleasing aspect 971A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Party.

per fesse indented

The background of the shield can be divided into two potrtions in a variety of ways, and each portion coloured in a different fashion. In European Heraldry there is a tendency to use these areas to combine two different coats of arms, but in British and Scottish heraldry the preference is to treat the divided field as a single decorative element with other features placed as normal. Whatever tradition is followed, one of the most common divisions is per fesse, a simple separation along a horizontal line. 972Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P63. Visually rather striking, it became popular and artists added decorative effects to the partition line to distinguish otherwise very similar coats of arms. 973A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Party A line drawn indented, i.e. in a saw-tooth pattern might be taken for dancettee, but in this case the individual “teeth” are much smaller. An early author, Guilllim seeks to associate this decoration with fire 974A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P39, and one can see the resemblance to flames. The visual effect is quite striking, an good example being the arms of DUNHAM (Lincolnshire), which are Azure, a chief indented or.

per pale

The background of the shield can be divided into two potrtions in a variety of ways, and each portion treated differently. In the heraldry of continental Europe there is a tendency to use these areas to combine two different designs, but in British and Scottish heraldry the preference is to treat the divided field as a single decorative element with other features placed as normal. Whatever tradition is followed, one of the most common divisions is per pale, a simple separation along a vertical line. Wade assigns no particular meaning to the use of this division, but suggests that they simply arose from the multi-coloured garments typically worn at the time of the birth of heraldry. 975The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P56

per pale indented

The background of the shield can be divided into two potrtions in a variety of ways, and each portion treated differently. In the heraldry of continental Europe there is a tendency to use these areas to combine two different designs, but in British and Scottish heraldry the preference is to treat the divided field as a single decorative element with other features placed as normal. Whatever tradition is followed, one of the most common divisions is per pale, a simple separation along a vertical line. An line drawn indented, i.e. in a saw-tooth pattern might be taken for dancettee, but in this case the individual “teeth” are much smaller. An early author, Guilllim seeks to associate this decoration with fire 976A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P39, and one can see the resemblance to flames. The visual effect is quite striking, an good example being the arms of DUNHAM (Lincolnshire), which are Azure, a chief indented or.

per saltire

To add variety and interest to the arms, heraldic artists began to divide the background of the shield into two parts, giving each a different colour. They were named for the ordinary that they most resembled, so the division of the shield by opposing diagonal lines, similar to the ordinary known as the saltire came to be called per saltire 977Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P63. Visually rather striking, it became popular and artists added decorative effects to the partition line to distinguish otherwise very similar coats of arms. 978A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Party.

pheon

Given the martial nature of the origins of Heraldry, in the identification of knights and men-at-arms it can come as no surprise that mediaeval weaponry of all types are frequently to be found in a coat of arms 979Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 89. The pheon is a specific type of arrow head with barbs and darts and hence quite distinctive in appearance. 980A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Pheon Like the other symbols related to arrows, Wade suggests the symbolism is that of “readiness for military service”. 981The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P111

phoenix

In the mediaeval period there was no real percieved difference between real and mythical animals, after all, much of the world remained unknown and who was to say what strange and magical creatures existed in distant lands? As heraldry developed a whole menagerie of imagined creatures 982Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P164 came into being, and their various representations became more or less standardised in form and appearance. The phoenix Is a typical example of a mythical creature, as real to a person of the middle ages as dogs, cats and elephants are to us today.

pickaxe

The pickaxe is not a weapon of war but a tool of the builder and its appearance in a coat of arms is more likely to denote the profession of the holder or be some play on words on the family name. 983A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Axe it is shown conventionally as a wooden handle with a long, curved metal spike, very similar to its appearance today. 984A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P268

pigeon

Birds of great variety occur throughout heraldry, at least in name 985A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P233. In truth, despite the proliferation of species, the actual depictions can sometimes be hard to distinguish! The crane, heron and stork are commonly to be found on a coat of arms but all tend to share the same stylised appearance 986A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P164. The pigeon is amongst the mjaor bird species to appear in heraldry.

pigeons head

Birds of great variety occur throughout heraldry, at least in name 987A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P233. In truth, despite the proliferation of species, the actual depictions can sometimes be hard to distinguish! The crane, heron and stork are commonly to be found on a coat of arms but all tend to share the same stylised appearance 988A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P164. The pigeons head is an occaisional sight in British coats of arms.

pike fish

Fish in great variety abound in Heraldry, many different species inhabit coats of arms 989Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P150, although truth be told many of the actual images are sometimes indistinguishable, being shown as a stylised, and easily recognised “trout” shape 990A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P137 that a child might draw. The actual name used in the coat of arms may be some play-on-words or allusion to the family name, as in the famous arms of the de Lucy family, being “Gules, three lucies or”, 991Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 79 this being an ancient name for the fish we call today a “pike”. It is possible that the pike fish has been used in this fashion, or it may simply relate to some fishing activity in the history of the family.

pile

The pile was originally quite a simple shape, being a triangle reaching from the top of the shield down to a point near the lower centre 992A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Pile. A clear example being that of CHANDOS awarded in 1337, Or a pile gules. There is some argument as to the origin, Wade suggests some similarity with the meaning of “pile” in construction (a foundation) and hence that the shape could be adopted by those who have demonstrated some ability in the building trade 993The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P48. An earlier writer, Guillim, perhaps more plausibly suggested that the shape echoes those of a pennant or triangular flag 994A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P52 The shape is quite distinctive however and became popular, leading to many embellishments to distinguish it from its close fellows, with multiple piles meeting at various points, starting from various edges and with additional decoration, leading to potentially quite complex descriptions!

pile wavy

The pile was originally quite a simple shape, being a triangle reaching from the top of the shield down to a point near the lower centre 995A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Pile. It can also be given a decorative egde style, and Wavy works well in this respect. It is, for obvious reasons, associated with both water and the sea 996The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P40. Indeed, a roundel with alternating bars of azure and argent (blue and white) is known by the shorthand term fountain, representing water at the bottom of a well 997A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Water. Other colours have also been used and the result can be very pleasing to the eye.

pillar

The Pillar, according to Wade symbolises “fortitude and constancy”. 998The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P101 Typically the pillar is a plain column with simple cushion capitals but architecture fans will be pleased to know that other orders (doric, ionic etc.) can be specified! 999A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Pillars

pine cone

The pineapple is not the tropical fruit (virtually unknown in mediaeval Europe) but litterally the “apple” found on a fir tree, otherwise known as a fir cone or pine cone. 1000A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P276 Wade suggests that it symbolises “life”, perhaps due to the promise of new birth from the seeds contained with the cone. 1001The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P130

pine leaf

Amongst the natural objects depicted on a coat of arms, trees feature frequently, either in whole or as individual branches and leaves. 1002A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P94, 262, 407. Sometimes the species or the part of tree was chosen as an allusion to the name of the bearer, as in Argent three tree stumps (also known as stocks) sable” for Blackstock 1003A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P309. Trees of course had long been venerated and its use in a coat of arms may have represented some association with the god Thor 1004The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P112

pine tree

Amongst the natural objects depicted on a coat of arms, trees feature frequently, either in whole or as individual branches and leaves. 1005A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P94, 262, 407. Sometimes the species or the part of tree was chosen as an allusion to the name of the bearer, as in Argent three tree stumps (also known as stocks) sable” for Blackstock 1006A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P309. Trees of course had long been venerated and its use in a coat of arms may have represented some association with the god Thor 1007The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P112

pineapple

The pineapple is not the tropical fruit (virtually unknown in mediaeval Europe) but litterally the “apple” found on a fir tree, otherwise known as a fir cone or pine cone. 1008A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P276 Wade suggests that it symbolises “life”, perhaps due to the promise of new birth from the seeds contained with the cone. 1009The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P130

plate

For easy recognition of the items on a coat of arms, and hence the quick identification of the owner, bold simple shapes are best. Hence, simple geometric shapes are often used for this purpose 1010A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P146 One of the simplest such shapes is the plain circle, known to heralds as the roundle. 1011A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Roundle So popular is this charge that a shorthand has arisen for roundles of a particular colour and plate is a roundle argent, or white. Most authorities agree that the English usage signifies the “Manchet cake” or communion wafer and thus is a symbol of religious allegiance.

plow

Europe in the middle ages was still a largely agrarian society, and the wealth of the nobility resided in their estates and land. Since most people still lived and worked on the land they would find farm implements instantly recognisable, (an important feature for a coat of arms), even if they seem obscure to us today, the garb 1012Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 86 might fall into this category. The plow is a typical example of farming features that speak of a long heritage in the countryside.

plumb

It is important that a coat of arms be easily recognised and so everyday objects were frequently used as clearly identifiable charges – tools 1013Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 69 being a common and important example of these, of which the plumb is typical. Some of these tools are rather obscure to modern eyes, who of us nowadays would recognise a hemp-break 1014A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P163, let alone know what to use it for! The plumb is a lead weight used by builders to determine a vertical drop and its use may refer to that profession.

pomegranate

Many items found in the natural world occur in coats of arms, including many plants that people of the middle ages would be familiar with. Several varities of bush and small plants frequently found in the hedgerows beside fields can be observed 1015A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P270, in addition to the famous thistle of Scotland 1016Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P147. The pomegranate is a an example of such a plant, instantly recognisable to those in the mediaeval period and still a proud symbol today.

pomeis

The word Pomeis is a simple short-hand for the charge otherwise known as a roundle vert, and represented as a plain green circle. Its origin is obviously in the French word pomme, meaning “apple”. Indeed, Wade conflates the symbology of the “pomeis” with that of all fruit representations, being suggestive of “liberality, felicity and peace”.

porcupine

In the mediaeval period there was no real percieved difference between real and mythical animals, after all, much of the world remained unknown and who was to say what strange and magical creatures existed in distant lands? Nevertheless, real animals 1017A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P191 are perhaps one of the most common sights on coats of arms, especially animals of European origin. The hedgehog Is a typical example of these.In appearance, the porcupine is almost indistinguishable

portcullis

The portcullis is the strong metal framework used to secure the drawbridge of a castle, and is often drawn alongside the chains used to raise it up. 1018A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Portcullis We should therefore not be surprised that Wade assigns to it the meaning of ” an effectual protection in emergency”. 1019The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P108 The symbol also occurs on small value British coinage.

primrose

Natural objects abound in heraldry, and one category that gives especial delight are the many flowers and flowering plants that frequently occur 1020A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P262. The primrose is also of this type, being drawn realistically and often to very pleasing effect. In meaning it is similar to that of the quatrefoil in bringing good luck. 1021The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P135

proboscis

A term probably unfamiliar to many readers, proboscis is a term often found in the heraldry of continental Europe and represents the trunk of an elephant. They are exclusively found in pairs, and only in the crest above the shield in a full achievement of arms. The mouth may be a different colour, and in some cases may hold objects such as ostrich feathers. Little is actually known about their origin or meaning, an interesting mystery for future heraldic scholars to address.

quatrefoil

Natural objects abound in heraldry, and one category that gives especial delight are the many flowers and flowering plants that frequently occur 1022A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P262. Like its close heraldic relative the cinquefoil, the quatrefoil is a rather sytlised flower showing four rounded petals, usually pierced by a circle at the centre.

rake

It is important that a coat of arms be easily recognised and so everyday objects were frequently used as clearly identifiable charges – tools 1023Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 69 being a common and important example of these, of which the rake, a hay maker’s tool is typical. Some of these tools are rather obscure to modern eyes, who of us nowadays would recognise a hemp-break 1024A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P163, let alone know what to use it for! Nevertheless, for mediaeval peasant it was a clearly identifiable symbol.

ram

Both the Ram and the ram’s head appear in heraldry, depicted in a lifelike aspect. 1025A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:ram Wade assigns it the meaning of “leader” on account of its role within the flock.