Coat of Arms Terms for the Lettter ‘C’ Friday, Oct 31 2008 

Coat of Arms Gifts

coat of arms gifts

coat of arms gifts

Family Crest Gifts


Heraldry Terms with the letter ‘C’


Cabled, (fr. cablé): 1. of a cross with a cable pattern, i.e. of twisted rope; 2. of an anchor, &c., having a rope cable.


WENTWORTH. Caboshed, Cabossed, or Caboched, otherwise Trunked(old fr. caboche): terms applied to the heads of beasts, when borne full-faced and with no part of the neck being visible, so that it appears like the marks of a head. An example will be seen above, under bull, also under leopard: in the case of leopards’ heads, however, as the word is not found used, it does not appear to be necessary. The term rencontre supplies the nearest equivalent in French heraldry; thus arms here figured would be blazoned in French rencontre de cerf.

Argent, a buck’s head caboshed gules, attired or–TRYE, Glouc. Sable, a chevron between three leopard’s heads or–WENTWORTH. Argent, in chief, sable three leopard’s heads or–NORMAN.

Cabré(fr.) is applied by French heralds to a horse which, brought to a check, is rearing(but not so much as acculé). Cadency, marks of, otherwise called Distinctions, or Differences(fr. brisures): variations of the original arms of a family, or marks attached to them for the purpose of pointing out the several branches, and the relation in which they stand to each other and to their common ancestor. In ancient heraldry “a plain Label” (as Sir N. H. Nicolas remarks), “most frequently azure, appear to have been the distinction of the eldest son and heir apparent;” as, for instance, at the Siege of Caerlaverock, Maurice de BERKELEY, who joined in the expedition, is described as having over his arms(gules, crusilly with a white chevron) a label azure, because his father was still alive:

“E. Morices de Berkelée, Croissillie o un chievron blanc, Ki compaigns fu de cele alée, Ou un label de asur avoit, Banier ot vermeille cum sanc, Por ce que ses peres vivoit.”

And again, one bore his arms in no manner different from his father[the Earl of Lennox] except the azure label:

“Cele au Conte de Laonois …. Ne la portoit par nul aconte Patrik de Dunbar, fiz le Conte Fors de une label de inde diverse.”

It also appears “that younger sons bore the label variously charged, sometimes with the whole or part of their mother’s arms, or the arms of a distinguished family from which they were descended; that more distant branches changed the colours, or charges, of the coat; placed a bend over it; surrounded it with a bordure, or assumed a canton, plain or charged.” Although the charge of tinctures, and the addition, removal, or alteration of charges are very frequently marks of cadency, it must not be supposed that all families of the same name, and between whose arms there is some resemblance, are descended from the same ancestors, for the arms of ancient families have often been very unjustly granted with slight alteration to persons whose relation to such families consisted only in similarity of name. The differences now in use may be divided into two classes; those used by the royal family, and those which should be borne by all others. The sons and daughters of the sovereign all bear labels of three points argent. That of the Prince of Wales is plain, but those of the other princes and princesses are charged with crosses, fleur-de-lis, hearts, or other figures for the sake of distinction. Princes and princesses, being the sons and daughters of the above, are distinguished by labels of five points charged in the same manner. All such differences should be borne on the arms, crest, and supporters. The differences now in use for all families except that of the sovereign may be partially traced to the time of Edward III. They are as follows:–

FIRST HOUSE. First son. A label of 3 points. Fourth son. A martlet. Second son. A crescent. Fifth son. An annulet. Third son. A mullet. Sixth son. A fleur-de-lis.

Some heralds pretend that the seventh son was marked by a rose, the eighth by a cross moline, and ninth by eightfoil; but this theory does not seem to be borne out in practice. This first son of the first son of the first house bears a label upon a label(or more agreeably to ancient custom a label of five points). The second a label charged with a crescent, and so on for all other sons of this branch.

SECOND HOUSE. First son. A crescent charged with label of three points. Second son. A crescent charged with a crescent.

And so on for the rest, but it is not usual to bear more than double differences. There are no differences for sisters(except in the royal family), as they are all equal, but they should bear the differences which pertain to their fathers. Crescents, mullets, &c., used as differences, should be drawn smaller than usual, to distinguish them from ordinary charges. They may be placed upon any part of the arms which is most convenient. There does not appear to be any rule respecting their tinctures.

Sire Johan FILOL, de veer a un quarter de goules. Sire Johan son filz meisme les armes en le quarter un molet de or–Roll, temp. ED. II.

Caduceus, (fr. caducée): the rod of Mercury, with wings attached, and two snakes round it. Used chiefly as a crest.

Per saltire or and erminois, on a saltire azure between a caduceus in chief and a pine-apple in base proper, two swords in saltire argent, pomels and hilts gold–BARROW, Bath.

Calamine stone. See Metal. Calf. See Bull.

Caltrap. Caltrap, written also Calthrop, and Galtrap, and by French heralds Chausse-trap, is an abbreviated form of Cheval-trap: in instrument thrown upon the ground to injure feet of horses, consisting of four iron spikes, one of which is ever uppermost.

Argent, three cheval-traps sable–TRAP, Glouc. Azure, a cross between four caltraps or–WESTFALING, Bp. of Hereford, 1586-1603. Vert, on a lion rampant or caltraps sable–LIGHTORLES.

Calvary. See Cross of. Camel: the camel is borne but on few arms. Several branches of the CAMMEL family bear it.

Argent, a chevron between three camels sable–CAMMEL. Azure, a camel statant argent–CAMELL. Argent, a camel passing through a ford of water proper–CAMELFORD. Also borne by the following:–FALLOWERS, Cheshire; FALWITZ, Alderley; CLOVES, Wilts; WHEELER, Surrey; WILKIE of St.Vincent[a camel’s head]; STUTOILE[Ibid].

Cameleon. Cameleon, or Chameleon: the proper tincture is green, and it is drawn as in the margin.

Argent, a chevron sable between three cameleons vert–LANDON. Azure, in chief a sun or, in base a chameleon on sandy ground proper–ORY. Sable, three chameleons erect or, within a bordure argent charged with eight martlets sable–WORTHAM.

Camelopardel: the camelopard, or giraffe, with two long horns slightly curved backward, used only as a crest. Campaned: having bells attached. Canary. See Finch.

Candlestick. Candlestick, (fr. chandelier). The taper-candlestick, borne in the arms of the FOUNDERS’ Company, and usually drawn as represented in the annexed engraving, has a spike, or, as it is technically termed, a picket, upon which the taper is placed. Vide also Mortcour, which is used at funerals.

Or, three candlesticks sable–KYLE, Scotland. Azure, two candlesticks[? chalices] in fesse or–EMERLE. Ermine, three candlesticks, each enfiled with a wreath of laurel, and in chief … –TORRENS. …. A book expanded having a candlestick with a lighted candle in it above the book, on the leaves the words ‘Lucerna pedibus,’ &c.–College of S.Mary, MANCHESTER.

Cannelé, (fr.) invected. Cannet. See Duck. Cannon. See Bell, also Gun. Canting Arms(sometimes called allusive or punning arms, and by French heralds, armes parlantes) are very generally distributed. They are arms containing charges which are allusive to the name of the bearer. A few examples are annexed.

CASTILE. Gules, a castle triple towered or, and argent, a lion rampant gules(sometimes purpure, and often crowned or), quarterly–The kingdom of CASTILE and LEON. Sable, six swallows(fr. hirondelles), 3, 2, 1, argent–ARUNDEL, Wardour, Wilts. Barry of six, argent and gules–BARRY, Ireland. Gules, three covered cups or–BUTLER. [This family was originally named FITZWALTER, and bore Or, a chief indented azure, but one of them being appointed to the office of lord Butler of Ireland, they took the surname of BUTLER at the same time as their arms.] Argent, three eagles displayed gules–EGLESFIELD, Cumb. (Founder of Queen’s College, Oxford, 1340). Argent, three eels naiant in pale sable–ELLIS, Norf. Crest, a holy lamb–EVANS, Wales. [This is an allusion to S.John the Baptist; Evan being the Welsh form of the Christian name John.] Gules, on a chevron between three ostrich feathers argent, a pellet(or gun-stone)–FETHERSTON, Herts. Argent, on a mount in base vert, a hart lodged gules–HARTHILL. Crest, a talbot’s head couped argent, collared sable, to the collar a ring of the first–HAYWARD, Surrey. [This is a specimen of heraldic allusions of a more recondite character, the reference being to the Saxon haganpeapd. a house-dog.] Or, three boots(hosen) sable–HUSSEY. Azure, a cross moline or–MOLINEUX, Hawkley, Lanc. Gules, a fesse between four dexter hands couped argent–QUATREMAYNE, Oxfordsh. Azure, even acorns, 2, 3, 2, or–SEVENOKE(Lord Mayor of London, 1418). Argent, a stork sable, beaked and membered gules–STARKEY, Chesh. Azure, two trumpets pileways, between eight cross crosslets, 3, 3, 2, or–TRUMPINGTON, Cambr. (Sir Roger de Trumpington, ob. 1289).

Many even of early coats of arms allude, in some way or other, to the names of their bearer, and perhaps more than is commonly suspected would be found to be so, if we could always recover the early chance names given to the charges of which they are composed.

Geoffrey de LUCY, de goules a trois lucies d’or–Roll, temp. HEN. III. Nicholas de MOELES, d’argent a deux barres de goules, a trois molets en le chief de goules–Ibid. Thomas CORBETT, d’or deux carbeaux noir–Ibid. Roger de MERLEY, barree d’argent et de goulz, a la bordur d’azure, et merlots d’or en la bordur–Ibid. Odinel HERON d’azur a trois herons d’argent–Ibid.

Arms parlantes do not often occur of later date than King James I., about which time they began to grow into disrepute from ignorance and misapplication, and were nick-named canting or punning arms. They were numerous at all preceding periods, not only in England, but throughout Christendom. Canton, (fr. canton, but also franc quartier appears to be often used in this sense): resembles a first quarter of the shield in form, but of smaller dimensions; its size does not appear to be fixed, but is generally about one-third of the chief. In old French cauntel, (i.e.) canton, is used for Quarter, q.v. When the word is used alone, a dexter canton is intended; it may, however, be placed upon the sinister side, if so blazoned, and when with a bend. Cantons in base occur upon foreign arms, but it is believed are never used in English armory.

SUTTON. The canton is sometimes the only charge in a coat; but generally it is supposed to be an augmentation of the original arms, or a difference.

Argent, a canton sable–Oliver SUTTON, Bp. of Lincoln, 1280-99; Charles SUTTON, Bp. of Norwich, 1792, and Abp. of Canterbury, 1805-28; [also SUTTON, Baron Lexington, 1645, and other families of that name]. Argent, fretty gules, a canton gules–IREBY, Cumberland. Gul. LONGESPE, dazur, a sis liuncels dor–Soun frer au tel a une cauntel dermine–Roll, temp. HEN. III.

Where there is a bordure the canton always surmounts it, and when borne upon a coat consisting of there charges(2 and 1) it generally covers the whole or greater part of the first. If more than three it generally covers the whole of one, if not of more. In very exceptional cases, however(and then the arrangement must be duly described), the canton itself is partially covered by some ordinary(e.g. a bend). It is often charged with another bearing, though generally plain, and the most frequent tincture is ermine, which rather tends to bear out a theory that its origin was suggested by some badge of honour placed upon the shoulder of the warrior.


KIRBY[?]. Sable, a lion rampant argent, on a canton of the last a cross gules(i.e. a canton of S.George)–CHURCHILL, Duke of Marlborough. [Arms of Earl of Marlborough, 1689.] Gules, on a bordure sable eight estoiles or; on a canton ermine a lion rampant of the second; in fesse point an annulet of the third for difference–S.John BAPTIST’S College, Oxford[founded by Sir Thomas WHITE, 1557]. Or, three lioncels passant sable langued gules; on a canton of the second three bezants–GODWIN, Bp. of Bath and Wells, 1584-90. Monsire Philip le DESPENCER, port barre d’or et d’asur de vj peeces, a une quarter d’ermin–Roll, temp. ED. III. Azure, six lions rampant argent; on a canton or a mullet gules–KIRBY, Kent. [The arms engraved are from Haseley Church, and perhaps are those of LONGESPEE, Earl of Salisbury, with the canton for a difference.] Sire Walter TOUX de sable, billeté de or e un quarter de ermyn–Roll, temp. ED. II. Sire Rauf de ZEFOUL, d’argent, a une croys patee de verd; e en le cauntel un oysel de goulys–Roll, temp. ED. II.


PYPARD. A canton and fesse of the same tincture, as in the arms of WOODVILLE, should join, without even a line to part them. The same remark will apply to the uppermost of two or more bars, when occurring with a canton; but this is not so with a bend. When a canton and chief occur on the same coat the canton overlies it.

Argent, a fesse and canton gules–WOODVILLE. Argent, two bars azure on a canton of the second a cinquefoil or–PYPARD. [From glass formerly at Haseley.] Ernaud de BOYS, argent, deux barres et ung canton goulez–Roll of Arms, temp. HEN. III. Barry of six argent and azure, a chief ermine and a canton of the first–HOTHAM. [In some branches of the family a canton or.] Barry wavy of six argent and sable, a chief gules and a canton ermine–BARLOW, Derby. Barry of six argent and sable; a canton quarterly or and argent–BELSTED, Norfolk. Barry of five argent and gules, a canton as the last; over all a bend sable–Sire Johan du BOYS, Roll of Arms, 1308-14; M. Roger le BOYS, Roll of Arms, 1392-97.

Cantoned. A cross or saltire between four charges is sometimes said to be cantonnée, or cantoned with such charges. A fesse joined to a canton is also sometimes called a fesse cantoned. Cap: the principal caps in use as charges, parts of crests, or accessories to coats of arms, are the following:

Lord Mayor’s Cap. The Lord Mayor’s cap usually placed over the insignia of the city of London, or arms of a lord mayor, is thus represented. It is worn by the sword-bearer, and is of brown fur.


CAPPER. The caps borne by MAUNDEFELD are of a peculiar form, similar to that of the ‘Doge’s’ cap. Those borne by DROKENSFORD, and called pilia pastoralia(if caps at all), were possibly similar.

Quarterly, azure and or four caps counterchanged–DROKENSFORD.

The family of CAPPER bear caps, like the figure annexed.

Argent, three caps sable bended or–CAPPER, Cheshire.

Cardinal’s Cap. A Cardinal’s cap or hat is always red, and has tassels pendent from its labels in five rows, instituted by Innocent IV., at the Council of Lyons, 1245. The continental archbishops and bishops(especially those of France) bear green hats of the same form over their mitres, the former with five rows of tassels, and the latter with four. A black caps of the same shape, with three rows of tassels, belongs to abbats. Prothonotaries use a similar hat with two rows of tassels. A black hat or cap, with one tassel on each side, belongs to all other clergymen.

Cap of Maintenance. Cap of Dignity or maintenance, called also Chapeau, is a cap generally of red velvet turned up with ermine, formerly peculiar to dukes(whence it is sometimes called a duciper), but now often used to place crests upon instead of a wreath.

Argent, three chapeaus sable(or cap of maintenance)–HALWORTH. The cap of maintenance occurs as a charge in the insignia of the city of GLOUCESTER, and on the seals of Towns of WALLINGFORD and STAINES.

The term chapeau, however, is variously used for a cap or hat of any kind. In the arms of COPE it is probably a cap of maintenance; it that of KINGESTON it is probably a hat of some kind.

Quarterly ermine and azure, a chapeau gules turned up of the first between two greyhounds courant in pale or–COPE, Osbaston, Leicester. Argent, a chapeau azure[elsewhere a steel cap proper], with a plume of ostrich feathers in front gules–John KINGESTON, 1390.

The doctor’s cap in the arms of SUGAR refers probably to the University degree.

Sable, three sugar-loaves argent, in chief a doctor’s cap proper–SUGAR, Somerset.

Long Cap. The long Cap, of a peculiar shape, which occurs in the crests of WALPOLE and BRYDGES, is shewn in the margin, and a cap somewhat similar is termed an Albanian bonnet, probably that worn by the peasantry.

Azure, trois bonnets Albanois d’or–VAUX, France.

The Abacot, a mere corruption of bycocket, is said in Spelman’s Glossary to have been given to a cap worn by ancient kings of England, and is so copied into heraldic books. The Infula is used in one case in the sense of a cap.

Argent, an infula embowed at the end gules, turned up in form of a hat, and engrailed with a button and tassel at the top or–BRUNT.

Burgonet. Caps of Steel: of these there are various kinds, and they cannot properly be included under the term helmet. The first in the Basinet(fr.), or Basnet, properly a plain circular helmet resembling a basin, though sometimes they are drawn(improperly) like squires’ helmets. The Burgonet is a steel cap, worn chiefly by foot-soldiers, and of the shape shewn in the margin.


Morion. There is also the Morion(fr. chapeau de fer), which was worn by foot-soldiers, and is usually of the plain shape annexed, but it may be ornamented. In many ancient examples the points of these morions are turned to the dexter. A somewhat different morion is given on the crest of CECIL, Marquis of Salisbury.

Argent, a chevron gules between three basnets proper–BASNET. Argent, a fesse azure between three burgonettes[elsewhere morions] of the second garnished and nailed or–EVINGTON, Enfield, 1614. Argent, a chevron gules between three morions proper–BRUDENEL, Earl of Cardigan.

Caps(fr. chaperons) are also used for Falcons, q.v. Caparison, or housing(old fr. barde): the embroidered covering of a horse, which was often charged with the arms of the knight to whom the horse belonged, as on the seal of Edward CROUCHBACK, Earl of Lancaster. The horse represented upon his monument, and that of Aymer DE VALENCE, both in Westminster Abbey, are examples of the practice. The horses upon the great seals of King Edward I. and many of his successors are caparisoned with the royal arms. All animals embroidered upon the housing of a horse should face his head. The same they be said of all charges which are different on each side; thus a bend upon the right side of the caparison of a horse would appear as a bend sinister. Capital. See Gateway and Pillar. Capon. See Cock. Cappeline. See Mantling and Tent. Carbuncle. See Escarbuncle. Card for wool. See Woolcard. Cards: playing cards are used in the arms of the company.

Gules, on a cross argent between in chief the aces of hearts and diamonds, but in base the aces of clubs and spades proper, a lion passant guardant–Company of CARDMAKERS.

Careering, (fr. cabré): a term applied to a horse in a position which would be called salient if a beast of prey were spoken of. Carnation: (1) improperly used for flesh-colour, as no such tincture is recognised in heraldry(but frequent with French heralds); (2) a flower. The pink is also found.

Argent, three carnations gules, stalked and leaved vert–NOYCE. Azure, on a bend or within a bordure argent two pinks, slipped proper–WADE. Pinks are also borne by families of EDSIR(Surrey), of MARLOW, and of LEVINGSTON, and by SKEVINGTON, Bp. of Bangor, 1510-33.

Carp. See Mogul, fish of. Carpenter’s square. See Square. Carreau, (fr.) (1) a quarrel, a kind of arrow; (2) a square charge like a block or delf. Carter fish. See Turbot. Cartouche: an oval escutcheon used by Italian ecclesiastics. Cartwheel. See Wheel. Casque. See Helmet.

CASTILE. Castle, (fr. chateau): the word castle used alone generally signifies either a single Tower, q.v. or two towers with a gate between them. A castle triple-towered is represented in the ensign of the kingdom of CASTILE, and is frequently found quartered in the arms of Queen Eleanor. The illustration is from glass still existing in Dorchester Church, Oxon.

Argent, a lion rampant sable, quartering gules, a castle triple-towered or–CASTILE and LEON. Gules, three castles triple-towered within the royal tressure argent–Burgh of ABERDEEN. Sable, a castle triple-towered or–TOWERS, Bp. of Peterborough, 1639-49.

Amongst other varieties which occur, are triangular and quadrangular castles; castles seen in perspective, and castles extending quite across the field. Castles are also described as domed, turreted(fr. donjonné), embattled, breached, &c., and it is not uncommon to describe in detail towers, gates, loopholes, windows, vanes, portcullises, and the like. Where the masonry is shewn by the addition of lines the term masoned is used. The windows and doors are sometimes represented as of a different tincture, and then are supposed to be closed; and the same if they are of that of the castle itself; but if of the tincture of the field they are supposed to be open, and the term ajouré might be used. Coulissé signifies that the portcullis is down.

Sable, two bars between three castles masoned or–CLEAVER, Bp. of Chester, 1788; of Bangor, 1800; and S.Asaph, 1806-15. Gules, a castle towered and domed argent, masoned sable; on the dome a flag–Town of BARNSTAPLE, Devon. Sable, a castle with towers turreted in perspective argent standing in water wavy azure and argent–CASTLEFORD. Per fesse azure and argent; in base on a rock a castle breached, the Indian colours struck and flag-staff proper; in chief two eagles rising or–STIBBERT, London(1768). Argent, a castle(or tower) triple-towered sable, chained transverse the port or–OLDCASTLE, Kent. Per fesse vert and gules, in base a lion passant guardant on; in chief a quadrangle of castles walled argent–Town of LANCASTER. Argent, on a rock proper a castle triple-towered and embattled sable, masoned of the first, and topped with three vanes gules, windows and portcullis shut of the last–City of EDINBURGH.

Sometimes the terms Fort, Fortress, Citadel, &c., are used. The Castle, too, may be surrounded with a fortification.

Argent, on a fesse azure, between two Cornish Choughs proper in chief, and in base a lion passant gules crowned or, a fort of the field–GARSTON. Vert, on a chevron embattled … &c.; a chief charged with the gates and fortress of Seringapatam proper–HARRIS, Baron Harris, 1815. Per chevron azure and argent …. and on a chief silver the fortress of Khelat; a canton charged with the Dooranee badge–WILTSHIRE, 1840. Per chevron vert and argent; on a chevron or between, in chief two castles of the second, in base another surrounded by a fortification proper, three torteaux–GREEN, Kent, Baronetcy, 1786.

In connection with the Castle the Barbican(that is to say the advanced work) is described in some insignia, and the projecting turrets overhanging the embattled wall, called Bartizans, in others. Other additions are occasionally named, e.g. a trench, or the castle, may be standing in water or surrounded by a wall.

Gules, two barbican of a castle having loopholes, gate, and portcullis, with two pointed side tower; on each of the latter a pennon waving argent, and ensigned on the centre of the battlement by a royal coronet or–Town of DONCASTER. Gules, out of water in base, on embattled wall enclosing a castle with three gables from the embattled parapet, a piece of tapestry hung along the front between the bartizans and displaying three shields[shields described] … Town of NEWCASTLE-UNDER-LYNE.

JANE SEYMOUR. The badge of Jane Seymour, third queen of Henry VIII., blazoned upon a grant of lands made to her in 1536, presents a good example of a castle. The tincture are as follows:–

The walls argent, the ground vert, the tree of the same fructed gules, the phœnix or, in flames proper, and the roses alternately white and red.

Castles occur rarely in the old rolls of arms.

Monsire de GRANSON pale d’argent et d’azure de vi. piéces, a chastelez d’or en une bend gules–Roll, temp. ED. III.

The Castle is borne very frequently in the insignia of cities and towns, with other charges; of these insignia, however, the evidence is often only derived from the seal. The following may be named, but the list might probably be extended.


KEATE. Cat, (fr. chat): occurs not infrequently. Probably the wild-cat is generally intended, thought the special reference to the Cat-a-mountain in several arms seems to imply a distinction. A spotted cat is also referred to. Cats are found blazoned most frequently passant, but also rampant, salient, statant, and couchant. With French heralds the term effarouché is used to signify the cat when rampant(as if scared), and herissonée with ‘the back up.’ The wild-cat is supposed always to be represented guardant, although it be not stated in the blazoning. Musion, a fanciful name for a cat, is used by BOSSEWELL. A cat’s head is also found on one coat.

Argent, two cats passant gules–CATT. Gules, two cats passant guardant argent–CATTON. Per fesse azure and vert, in chief a cat argent couchant, coward; in base a pierced cinquefoil of the last–CATHARNE, Pembroke. Vert, a cat statant, tail erect argent, within an orle of eight trefoils slipped or–VAGHAN. Argent, three mountain-cats passant in pale sable–KEATE, Herts. Per pale sable and gules, a mountain-cat between three roses argent–LIMPENIE. Sable, on a fesse argent, between three mountain-cats or, a cross formy of the field–HILL, Berks. Sable, a chevron ermine, between three spotted cats passant argent–HARTHORP, London.

Cat-a-mountain. Cats are also borne by the families of CHIVAS, Aberdeen; DUANE, London; ADAMS, Northampton; TIBBETT; LIPPINGCOTE, Devon, GIBBS, Dorset; and KEATS, Dover. Azure, a cat’s head erased argent, between eight crosses crosslet of the second, 3, 2, 2, and 1–TOLDERREY, Kent.

The crest of the Duke of Sutherland is a cat-a-mountain sejant guardant proper: and two wild-cats are the supporters to the arms of FARQUHARSON of Invercauld; while the lezard, a beast somewhat resembling the wild-cat, is the dexter supporter of the SKINNERS’ and MUSCOVY Merchants’ Companies, as well as the crest of the former. Caterfoil=quatrefoil. Cathedral. See Church. Catherine Wheel. See Wheel. Caudé, (fr.): of tails of comets when of a different tincture. Cauldron: in found only in connection with the children in the cauldron. See example under Bishop. Cautel, or Cauntel(old fr.), found also spelt cantel and chantel: appears to be generally a corner at the Sinister chief point of the shield, but superseded in modern heraldry by the canton. See Quarter. Cave: this singular charge occurs in one coat of arms.

Gules, a cave proper, therefrom issuant a wolf at full speed regardant argent–WILLIAMS.

Cedar. See Pine-tree. Censer, (fr. encensoir): no example having been found in English arms the following French example is given.

D’or, à l’encensoir d’azur–LAMBERT, Limousin.

Centaur. See Satyr. Centre-point: the fesse-point. See Points of the escutcheon. Cercelé. See recercelé and Cross cercelée. Cerclé, (fr.): encircled, e.g. of a Tun or barrel. Cercle, (fr.): a large voided circle, only used in French arms. Chabot. See Perch. Chafant, (fr.): enraged, and is applied to the wild boar. Chaffinch. See Finch. Chain, (fr. chaine): (1) a series of annulets(q.v.) when interlaced are commonly called a chain, and are borne as distinct charges, as in the insignia of the kingdom of NAVARRE.

Gules, a cross and saltire of chains, affixed to an annulet in the fesse-point, and to a double orle of the same, all or–NAVARRE, taken after the battle of Tolosa, 1212. Argent, three circles of chains sable–Hoo. Argent, a chain of nine links in saltire, five gules and four azure–HATCHET. Azure, a chain couped in chevron between three mitres all argent; at the dexter end of the chain a padlock of the last–EVESHAM Benedictine Abbey. Gules, a chain of seven links in pale argent–KENDALL. Sable, three chains each of four links palewise argent–ANDERTON, co. Lancaster.

(2) Chains are also often fixed to the collars of animals and to other charges, e.g. to a portcullis, an anchor, &c., and are frequently of a different tincture from the charge, and the term chained is used either when two animals are chained together, or when a chain is attached to the collar of a single animal.

Argent, two barbels haurient, respecting each other, sable, collared and chained together or; the chain pendent and ringed at the end–COLSTON, Essex. Gules, a stag statant argent collared and chained or–BOIS, co. Brecknock.

Chain-shot. See Shot. Chair: this is used in one case in a singular manner.

Or, out of a chair resembling a mural coronet reversed argent a demi-lion rampant sable–TALSTOCK.

Chalice. Chalice: generally drawn in old examples as in the margin, though often with an octangular foot.

Azure, a sun in splendour, in base a chalice or; [otherwise a chalice or and in chief a sun]–VASSALL. Azure, two chalices in fesse or[elsewhere blazoned candlesticks]–EMERLE.

Chamber-piece. See Gun. Chameleon. See Cameleon. Chamfrain, (old fr.): signifying the armour-plates which cover the head of a horse. Champagne: rarely and irregularly used for the lower part of the shield generally, i.e. the ‘ground.’ See Point. Champaine, (1) Champaine(corrupted by some writers to Champion), otherwise urdé and warriated: is an embattled line, but with the top and bottom of each division pointed instead of square, and so resembling somewhat the line usually drawn in vair. It occurs, though rarely, as a line of partition.

Champaine. Purpure, a bend champaine argent–ARCHBY, Argent, a pale champaine vert–BOWMAN. Bendy of six champaine purple and argent–BOWBRIDGE. Gyronny of four champaine or, enarched argent and gules–BRAUNECK.

(2) The term Point Champaine, or Champion(q.v.) also is used. It is included in the forms of Abatement. Champion. See Champaine. Chape. See Sword. Chapeau. See Cap. See also Chapeaux under chaplet. Chapel. See Church. Chaperonne, Chapourn, or Shafferoon: (1) a name given to the small shields containing crests, initials, death’s heads, &c., placed upon the heads of horses, either with or without a hood, at pompous funerals; (2) Chaperonné, or chapourné, appears also to be used to signify hooded, being applied to falcons, &c.


DE BRESSY. Chapé: a partition of the shield used by French heralds, and found by two lines drawn from the centre of the upper edge of the shield, diverging towards the flanks, and leaving the field resembling somewhat a wide pile reversed; the tincture is applied to the two portions thus parted off. Chaussé is similar to Chapé, but with the lines diverging from the base towards the two corners, and leaving the field resembling an expanded pile. The line may be curved, and the partition is then blazoned chaussé arrondi, &c.

De gueules, chapé d’argent–BOUTREN de Franqueville, Normandie. Ecartelé d’argent, et de gueules, chapé de l’un en l’autre–DE MONTBAR, Bourgogne. De gueules, chaussé d’hermines–DE BRESSY de Sablous, Normandie.


Crown Triumphal. Chaplet, (old fr. chapelet, pl. chapeus): is, when not otherwise described, a garland of leaves with four flowers amongst them, at equal distances. It is to be distinguished from the wreath(q.v.), and though usually composed of leaves will be found blazoned of various tinctures.

Sire Rauf LE FITZ WILLIAM, burele de argent e de azure, a iij chapels[in Falkirk roll ‘chapeus’] de goules–Roll, temp. ED. II. Party per fesse, argent and azure, three chaplets counterchanged–DUKE. Sable, three chaplets argent–JODRELL, Stafford. Sable, three chaplets gyronny argent and gules–DYRWARD.

It is more usual, however, to designate the material of which the chaplet is composed. It may be of roses(and this, perhaps, is the most frequent) or of flowers generally, or it may be of leaves, and often of laurel leaves. In the latter case it is termed a crown triumphal.

Monsire William PLAICE, port d’asur, au chief d’argent deux chapeaux des roses vermals–Roll, temp. ED. III. Monsire de HILTON de Haderness, port d’argent, a trois chepeletts de roses vermaux–Ibid. [Chaplets of roses are also borne by the families of SAXTON; DEAN; FAULDER; GREYSTOCK; FITZRALPH; LASCELLES, and others.] Argent, on a chevron sable, between three chaplets of flowers gules, another chevron ermine–BOROUGH. Argent, a lion rampant azure, holding in his dexter paw a chaplet of laurel vert, in chief a scroll sable, thereon the word “Emmanuel” or–EMMANUEL COLL., Cambridge. Or, two bars azure, on a canton argent a chaplet of laurel proper–HOLME. Argent, a garland of laurel vert, between three pheons gules–CONQUEROR, Frierton. [Chaplets of laurels are also borne by the families of PELLEW; KEATS, Dover; NIGHTINGALL, Norfolk.]

Rarer instances occur of chaplets of holly, or of hazel, or of brambles, while the single instance of the chaplet of rue is a name sometimes given to the crown of rue(q.v.) which occurs in the arms given by Frederick of Barbarossa to the Duke of SAXONY.

Argent, a fesse engrailed humetty sable, between three chaplets of holly leaves proper–Nicholas BUBBEWYTH, Bp. of Salisbury, Bath and Wells, 1408-24. Gules, on a chevron argent, between, in chief three chaplets of hazel or, and in base a plough proper, three shakeforks sable–PEER, Hazelwood, Devon. Argent, a lion rampant gules encircled by a wreath of brambles proper–DUSILVA, Portugal.

Civic Crown. When the material is oak the device is often blazoned as a wreath, and there is especially a ‘wreath of oak acorned’ which bears the name of the ‘Civic wreath,’ or the Civic Crown. It is supposed to represent the Roman crown conferred upon public benefactors, especially upon those who had saved the life of a citizen. The leaves should be represented tied together by a ribbon. The Ducal Coronet(q.v. under Crown) had originally oak leaves, but strawberry-leaves have been substituted.

Argent, a chevron gules; in base an oak wreath vert, tied azure; on a chief of the second, three mascles of the first–PELLEW, Cornwall, [1796]. Azure, on a fesse, between three garbs or, a wreath of oak vert between two estoiles gules–SANDBACH, Lancaster. [Chaplets of oak also borne by the families of STUDD, Ipswich; DICKSON, Norfolk; LLOYD, Sussex; MURRAY, Mexico, and others.] Gules, a lion passant guardant, and in chief two civic wreaths or, a chief wavy, charged with a ship of war before Algiers proper–PELLEW. Argent, a civic crown or wreath of oak acorned proper, on a chief azure a serpent nowed or, and a dove of the field respecting each other–SUTTON, Norfolk.

The Crown obsidional is also mentioned in old works on heraldry, which is a chaplet graminy, i.e. composed of twisted grass, and is fancifully said to have been bestowed upon any general who had held a city against a besieging force.

Gules, an eagle displayed argent armed or; on a canton of the second a chaplet graminy vert–GOODALL, Suffolk[granted Mar. 1, 1612].

The term garland as well as wreath, it will be observed, is used sometimes instead of chaplet. Chapourne. See Chaperonne. Charboucle. See Escarboucle. Charge, (fr. meuble, but more accurately meuble d’armoirie, or meuble de l’ecu): anything borne on a coat of arms, whether upon the field, as was more usually the case in ancient arms, or upon on ordinary, or indeed upon another charge. The position of a charge, unless occupying the centre of the field, i.e. the fesse-point, has to be stated. (See under the article blazon.) The great variety of the charges which have been adopted in Coats of arms, will be seen by the Synoptical view given in the Appendix, and this by no means contains all the minor varieties, nor all the extraordinary objects chosen in more recent times. The contrast between recent arms and the more simple bearings of the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth centuries is very marked. Charged with, (fr. chargé), signifies having a charge thereon. Charity: the representation of charity is thus blazoned from a seal.

A figure of Charity with one child in her arms, and three others standing near her naked; on the dexter side a shield hung on a tree, with the cross of S.Andrew on it, to which the figure is pointing; on the sinister side of the escutcheon a thistle issuing from the ground in base, stalked and leaved; over it a regal crown–The SCOTS CORPORATION[Incorporated 1665].

Chart: This device seems to be used in a solitary instance.

Per chevron wavy, azure and erminois, a chart of Chesterfield’s Inlet, between in chief two estoiles argent and in base on a mount vert a beaver passant proper–CHRISTOPHER, London.

Chased. See under Thunderbolt. Chastel: written sometimes for Castle. Chataignier, (fr.): the Chestnuttree, but not noted in any English arms. Châtelé, (fr.): by French heralds signifies charged with castles(e.g. the bordure of the royal arms of Portugal is so blazoned. Chaudière, or Chaudron, (fr.): a cauldron, in French arms, but rarely. Chausé. See Chapé. Chausse-trap. See Caltrap.

WARREN. Chequy, Checky, Checquer-bearing, (fr. échiqueté, old fr. eschequeré): terms applied to a field or charge divided by perpendicular and horizontal lines, into small squares of metal and colour alternately. There should be at least twenty squares in the shield. If less, the number is named(as in the shield of TOLEDO, where there are 15). When only 9, with the French heralds the terms equipollé is applied. This pattern is said by some to be derived from the game of chess, which if not originally introduced into Europe by the Crusaders was certainly revived by them. Others, however, with greater probably derived it from the Steward’s or ‘chequer’ board. In the Exchequer of the kingdom, and the Chancellor of that department, the word is still retained; and the ‘Checkers,’ a frequent sign of small inns, with the board painted in squares on the outside, still hands down the tradition of the account board. It is not, however, impossible that this board gave the name to the game of chess played upon it. While the number of pieces in the field must be, as already said, as least twenty, a fesse or other ordinary when blazoned chequy must contain three rows of squares, for if there be but one, the ordinary will be compony, and if but two, counter-compony. At the same time the field may have but two rows in chief of a fesse, for so the arms of Lord Clifford are represented in the glass windows at Dorchester, Hasely, &c. When a bend, chevron, or saltire is checquy, the square are not placed perpendicularly, but slanting in the direction of the ordinary.

CLIFFORD. Roger de CLIFFORD escheque d’or et d’azur ove ung fesse de goulz–Roll, temp. HEN. III. Le Conte de GARENNE[i.e. Warren] escheque d’or et d’azur–Ibid. Rauf le BOTELLIER de goules a ung fesse escheque d’argent et de sable et croiseletts d’or–Ibid. Or, a fesse chequy argent and azure–STEWARD, Scotland. Chequy of nine pieces or and azure–GENEVA. Chequy of twelve, sable and argent–ST.BARBE, Somerset.

At the same time there are some peculiar forms which may be noted.

Chequy in perspective argent and sable–PROSPECT. Chequy of lines palewise and chevronwise gules and or–SPOTWORTH.

Cherry: both the tree and the fruit of the tree are found in armorial bearings. The fr. crequier(q.v.) also is sometimes referred to as the wild cherry-tree. The griotte also occurs.

Argent, a cherry-tree fructed proper–ESTOWER. Argent, three cherry-trees, 2 and 1 vert fructed gules, each on a mount of the second–SHRUBSOLE, Canterbury. Argent, a saltire sable between four cherries gules slipped vert–SERGEAUX. … on a chevron between three martlets … as many cherries stalked; in chief three annulets … –CHERITON, Bp. of Bangor, 1436-47. The charge is also borne by the families of MESSARNEY and THORNTON.

CHALONER. Cherub, or Cherub’s head(fr. cherubin): this is drawn as the head of an infant between a pair of wings.

Argent, a chevron dancetty, between three cherubs gules–ADYER, Kent. Azure, a fesse dancetty between three cherub’s heads argent–ADNEY. Sable, a chevron between three cherubim or–CHALONER, Yorksh. Azure, a fesse dancetty between three cherubim’s heads or, faces argent–ADY, Kent.

Chess-rooks. Chess-rook, (old fr. rok): the figure called ‘rook’ in the game of chess, from the Italian rocca, a tower or castle. The chess-rook is an ancient bearing, and of frequent occurrence. It is also in the arms of ZULEISTEIN termed a zule, and this is borne on an escutcheon surtout by the Earls of ROCHFORD.

Sire Richard de WALSINGHAM,–de goules a iij roks de argent–Roll, temp. ED. II. Gules, three chess-rooks ermine–Simon le FITZ SYMON, Roll, temp. ED. I., Harl. MS. 6137. Or, three chess-rooks gules–COLVILL. Azure, a fesse between three chess-rooks or–BODENHAM, Hereford. Gules, three zules argent; a label of three points of the last–ZULEISTEIN.

The charge is also borne by the families of MARSHALL, AOLUITE, OGILVIE, and ORROCK. Cheval-trap. See Caltrap. Chevalier, (fr.): a man in complete Armour, q.v. Chever. See Goat. Cheverons: old term for ‘party per chevron.’ Chevillé, (fr.)=attired, is used of the stags’ horns, when they have five or any greater number or branches. The word ramé(fr.) is also used, and appears to be synonymous.


FITZWALTER. Chevron, (fr. chevron, old fr. cheveron): an ordinary occupying one-fifth of the field. The origin and meaning of this term has afforded ground for many guesses, but in diversifying the forms which bars across the shield may take, that of the chevron is a very natural one. The name itself is derived directly from the fr. chevron, i.e. rafter of a roof. It is found in the earliest of the Rolls of Arms, and is one of the most frequently employed of the Ordinaries. At the siege of Caerlaverock, for instance(A.D. 1300), Henry le TYES had a banner argent, or, as the poet writes, ‘whiter than a brightened lily,’ with a chevron gules in the midst. And at the same siege, Robert FITZWALTER, “who well knew of arms the business,” on a yellow banner had a fesse between two red chevrons. Both of these arms are to be seen in stained glass in Dorchester Church, Oxon, in a window which was probably nearly contemporary with the siege, and perhaps recording the benefactors to the Church.

Baniere ot Henris li TYOIS Plus blanche de un poli lyois O un chievron vermeil en mi.

O lui Robert le FIZ WATER Ke ben sout des armes le mester … En la baner jaune avoit Fesse entre deus cheverons vermaus.

It has two diminutives, the chevronel, which is half its width(more or less), and the couple-close, which is half the chevronel.

Moris de BARKELE,–goules ung cheveron d’argent–Roll, temp. HEN. III. Le Conte de WARREWIK,–chequy d’or et d’azur, a ung cheveron d’ermyn–Ibid.

A chevron is subjected to the same kind of variation in respect of outline as the bend, that is, it may be engrailed, indented, embattled, counter-embattled, dauncetty, wavy, raguly, fimbriated, &c.

Azure, a chevron embattled ermine–REYNOLDS, co. Leicester. Azure, a chevron dauncetty or–HAMELL, co. Buckingham, and HAMILTON, co. Gloucester. Argent, a chevron ermine fimbriated sable, between annulets gules–CLUTTON.

In one early roll two chevrons appear to be blazoned as a chevron gemel.

Sire William de HOTOT,–de azure, a iij cressanz de argent e un cheveron de or–Roll, temp. ED. II. Sire Johan de HOTOT,–meisme les armes, le cheveron gymile–Ibid.

It may be party as to tincture, compony or even quarterly, and, on the other hand, it may be voided, that is, the field may be made visible through it, leaving merely a narrow outline.

Argent, a chevron per pale or and gules–WESTON. Argent, a chevron quarterly sable and gules–HONYWOOD, Kent. Ermine, a chevron compony gules and argent–HILL.

DUDLEY. Further, the chevron may be charged with other devices of various kinds, and amongst these is especially to be noted the surmounting of one chevron by another. In the arms of STEER it will be observed that we have two different blazonings for the same arms, one describing the chevron as voided, the other as one chevron on another. And in the case of the arms of STALEY we have a further complication, since this chevron may be blazoned in two different ways, either as a chevron engrailed surmounted by a chevron plain, or as a plain chevron fimbriated. Precisely similar arms, as regards outline, are those of DUDLEY, which are blazoned as voided. It seems to be a case where authority can be found for either system of blazon, and it is difficult to say which is best.


THROCKMORTON. Argent, a chevron voided gules–STEER, Ireland. Argent, on a chevron gules another of the first–STEER. Azure, a chevron engrailed, voided or–DUDLEY, Berks and Bucks. Argent, on a chevron engrailed azure another plain sable–STALEY. [Or as it is elsewhere blazoned–Argent, a plain chevron sable, fimbriated and engrailed azure–STALEY.] Gules, on a chevron argent three bars gemells sable–THROCKMORTON. Gules, on a chevron argent …. bars nebuly sable–HANKFORD. Or, on a chevron engrailed azure bars wavy argent–BROWNE. Or, on a chevron gules bars sable–Lewis PROUDE, Charterhouse, 1619.

A chevron may be enhanced, that is, borne higher up on the escutcheon(no instance has been observed in which it is abased), and it may be reversed, that is, it may have its point downwards, like a pile, or it may be combined with a pile, but such variations are of rare occurrence. It is also sometimes found couped, that is, not extending to the edge of the escutcheon, or with the apex terminated by some other charge, when it may be said to be ensigned of such a charge.

Gules, a chevron enhanced argent–CARLYON. Argent, a chevron reversed gules–GRENDON. Ermine, a chevron couped sable–HUNTLEY; also JONES, 1730. Ermine, a chevron couped gules–AMOCK. Argent, a chevron embattled and ensigned on the top with a banner between in chief two estoiles, and in base a sun gules–EUENE. Argent, a chevron supporting on its point a cross patty sable–TRENEREEK. Sable, a chevron ending in the middle point with a plain de lis argent–KEY. Argent, a chevron, the top ending with a cross patty sable–FINDON; Harl. MS. 1386. Argent, a chevron sable and pile counterchanged–ATWELL, co. York; Harl. MS. 1465.

Chevron couched. Chevron couched: one which springs from one of the sides of the escutcheon. It should be mentioned whether it is dexter or sinister.

Or, a chevron couched dexter gules–TOURNEY. Or, a chevron couched dexter azure–DOUBLET. Argent, two chevrons, couched(and counterpointed?) vert–COUCHMASTER. Purpure, a chevron couched sinister or–BIGHTINE.


ARCHEVER. Chevron inarched. Of this form there are two varieties, as shewn in the margin, found in modern heraldic designs, but probably no ancient authority for the form exists.

Argent, a chevron inarched sable–HOLBEAME, Lincoln. Purpure, a chevron inarched argent–ARCHEVER, Scotland.

A Chevron arched(fr. courbé), resembles a semi-circular arch across the field. It only occurs in foreign arms, and is to be distinguished from the arched fesse by the curve being somewhat more decided. For Chevrons interlaced, see Angles. Besides the above there are various forms of broken chevrons. But the terms do not appear very distinctly defined by heralds, and the actual examples are but few. We find the terms fracted, disjoint, bruised, or debruised(fr. brisé), and rompu or downset, the last term, to all appearance, being a barbarism derived from the French dauncet, which would be equivalent to dancetty.

Broken chevron, fig.1.

Broken chevron, fig.2.

Broken chevron, fig.3. Argent, a chevron debruised between three crosses botonny fitchy sable–BARDOLPH, Stafford. Argent, a chevron debruised sable, between three cross-crosslets fitchée of the last–GREENWAY[Glover’s Ordinary]. Per pale argent and sable, a chevron bruised at the top, and in base a crescent counterchanged–ALEXANDER, Kinlassie. …. a chevron debruised by a fesse charged with a crescent, all between three annulets …. HEDLEY, Newcastle-on-Tyne. Azure, a chevron disjoint or broken in the head or–BROKMALE. Per fesse gules and sable, a chevron rompu counterchanged–ALLEN, Sheriff of London, 18¡¬deg; Jac. I. Or, a chevron rompu between three mullets sable–SALT, Yorks.

In the margin are given illustrations of one or two forms found in books, but no ancient examples have been observed. With the French engravers the chevron brisé is generally drawn in a similar manner to fig. 1, though the two portions are often still further apart, so as not to touch at all. Rompu and failli seem to be used by them when the sides of the chevron are broken into one or more pieces. In chevron would be applied to charges arranged chevronwise. Per chevron. See Party. Chevronelly, i.q. Chevronny. See at end of Chevron. Chevronny, (fr. chevronné): is used when the field is divided into an even number of equal portions chevronwise. Chevronelly appears to be used more correctly.

Chevronelly of four, argent and gules–WHITHORSE. Chevronelly of five, argent and gules, over all a lion rampant sable–WINTHORP, Suffolk. Chevronelly of six, gules and argent–CHALKHILL, Middlesex. Chevronelly of seven, or and gules, over all a lion rampant of the last–HASARD, Essex.

CLARE. Chevronel: a diminutive of the chevron, of which it is nominally one half the width; the term being used properly when there is more than one chevron. With the older writers, however, the term chevron is used, and so may still be used when there are two or even three chevrons.

Or, three chevronels gules.–CLARE. Or, three chevronels per pale, the first azure and gules, the second gules and azure, the third as the first.–WALTER DE MERTON, Bp. of Rochester, 1274-77, and founder of Merton College. Argent, two chevronels sable, between three roses gules, barbed and seeded proper.–William of WYKEHAM, Bp. of Winchester, 1367-1404. [Founder of the College of S.Mary at Winchester and at Oxford.]

TRENOWITH. Other ordinaries may be charged with the chevronel, while it in its turn is subjected to the same varieties as the chevron; though, of course, but rarely such varieties occur.

Argent, on a fesse sable, three chevronels couched sinister of the field.–TRENOWITH, Corn.

Chevronels are sometimes interlaced, or braced, and under the latter term an illustration will be found. See also Couple-close. Cheyne: old fr. for Acorn.

LUMLEY. Chief, (fr. chef): the first of the Ordinaries, and occupying about one-third one the shield from the top downward. The fillet is by some considered its diminutive, while others hold that it can have none. Some English heraldic books, and most foreign, speak of instances of two chiefs, one abased below the other in the same coat, but no English examples are ever adduced. A chief is frequently charged with other bearings, and it may be nebuly, wavy, indented, dancetty, engrailed, embattled, bevilly, &c., but it is only the lower side which is subjected to these variations.

Robert de MORTEYN BRETON, d’ermyn a la cheif de goules. Roll, temp. HEN. III. Rauf le FITZ RANDOLF d’or ung cheif endente d’azur.–Ibid. Sire William DABETOOT, de ermyne od le chef bende de or e de sable. Roll, temp. ED. II. Or, a chief gules–LUMLEY, Essex. Paly of six, argent and sable; a chief wavy azure–BURMAN. Argent, gouty de poix; a chief nebuly gules–ROYDENHALL. Argent, a chief dancetty azure–GLANVILE, Earl of Suffolk.

A chief may also be party per pale, per bend, &c., or even quarterly. When divided by a horizontal line the expression per chief is more accurate than per fesse.

Abp. PECKHAM. Ermine, a chief quarterly gules and or–PECKHAM. [Abp. Cant. 1219-92]. Quarterly; first and fourth argent, a cross bottonnee gules; second and third gules, three suns in splendour or; over all on a chief party per pale gules and argent, three cinquefoils counterchanged–John CHRISTOPHERSON, Bp. of Chichester, 1557-58. Barry wavy of six, argent and azure; a chief per pale ermine and gules–BARLOWE, Derbyshire. Barry of six, gules and or per pale counterchanged; a chief, the dexter side per bend as the first and second, the sinister, per bend sinister like the second and first; over all an escutcheon argent–HAGELEY. Chequy gules and azure; a chief per chevron wavy of the first and or–Sir Nicholas HAUBERKES. [From Glover’s Ordinary.] Chequy azure and or; a chief per chief nebuly of the first and second–TAVESTOKE. [Ibid.]

CAREY. The chief does not, as a rule, surmount other charges, and consequently such have often to be abased. The bend, for instance, starts from the dexter corner just beneath the chief. When associated with a bordure(unless there is direct statement to the contrary) the bordure would be turned and continued beneath the base line of the chief.

Gules, a chief dancetty argent within a bordure azure–BARET[or BARRATT, Sheriff of London, 1379.] Argent, on a bend sable, three roses of the first; on chief gules three crosses patty or–CAREY, Bp. of Exeter, 1820, afterwards Bp. of S.Asaph, 1830-46.

Fillet. It is contended by some writers that the chief has a diminutive, and to a figure as shewn in the margin is given the name of fillet. French heralds, however, blazon this as chef retrait, the word filet being used for a diminutive of the cotice. The word combel is also given by some English heraldic writers as meaning the same thing. It is said that the fillet does not occur at all in English arms, but perhaps the following example may be cited–

Argent, two bars and a canton gules; over all a fillet sable–BOIS or DEBOYS, 1315, Ingham Church, Norfolk.

In Chief is a term frequently used when the charges are to be placed upon the upper part of the escutcheon, and differently from their ordinary position, There are also three points(q.v.) in the escutcheon connected with the chief, viz. the dexter chief point, middle chief point, and sinister chief point. Chieftain. See Head. Child: Children, bays and infants are represented on armorial bearings as early as the sixteenth century, and in a great variety of ways. Perhaps some of the oldest are those where the eagle snatches away the child from its cradle, which occurs in different families, and is variously depicted in the arms of the branches of the same family. Of course such arms are readily associated with tradition, but it is scarcely within the scope of a ‘glossary’ to discuss them. More frequently, however, the children’s heads(q.v.) alone occur.

Argent, an eagle sable, crined gules, standing on a child proper, swathed or lying in a cradle vert–COULCHIEFE. Azure, an eagle preyant sable upon a child swaddled gules–CULCHETH, Lancaster. Argent, a tree eradicated sable; on it a nest of the first, in which is a child proper, swaddled gules, seized on by an eagle volant of the second.–RISLEY.

The three children in a tub or vessel are generally referred to the miracle of S.Nicolas, who restored them after they had been murdered and salted down for food; and in the insignia of the SEE OF ABERDEEN the Bishop is represented as praying over them. (See under Bishop.) Some curious legend must account for the origin of the following.

Sable, a goat argent, attired or, standing on a child proper, swaddled gules, and feeding on a tree vert–DAVIES, Hope, Co. Montgomery.

To another, (probably that of W. de ALBINI) is due the arms of Richard BARNES, Bishop of Carlisle, in which a naked child, front faced, is represented in one instance as holding in both hands the tongue of a bear. The following is one blazon.

BARNES. Azure, on a bend argent, between two estoiles or, a bear passant sable, semie des estoiles of the third, ready to devour a naked child of the fourth; on a chief of the second, three roses gules radiated with rays of the sun proper–Richard BARNES, Bp. of Carlisle, 1570; Bp. of Durham, 1577-87.

Other blazoning of these arms is found.

Azure, a bend argent between two estoiles or, a bear passant sable estoiled or, seizing a man proper; on a chief azure three roses gules radiated or–BARNES. Azure, on a bend argent, between two estoiles or, a naked boy, front faced, holding in both hands proper sable the tongue of a bear statant of the last estoiled gold, a chief as the second charged with three roses gules radiated like the third.–BARNES[the arms confirmed 1571, Harl. MS. 5847].

The FOUNDLING HOSPITAL in London has for its insignia:

Per fesse azure and vert; in chief a crescent argent between two mullets of six points or; in base an infant exposed and stretching out its arms for help proper. Motto, ‘Help.’

Chimera. See Sphinx. China Cokar. See Palm.

Chisel. Chisel: this occurs variously in different branches of the family of CHESSELDEN. It also occurs in the crest of the Company of MARBLERS drawn as in the margin.

Argent, a chevron sable between three chisels or handled of the second–CHESELDON, Harl. MS. 1386. An arm embowed vested azure cuffed argent, holding in the hand proper an engraving chisel of the last–Crest of the MARBLERS’ Company.

Chough. See Cornish Chough. Chub, (leuciscus cephalus): this fish, common to England and belonging to the order cyprinidœ, seems only to have been chosen for the sake of the punning name, since it is only borne by the family of CHOBBE.

Vert, three chub fish haurient sable–CHOBB. Gules, on a chevron between three chub fish argent three shovellers sable; on a chief dancetty of the second three escallops of the first–CHOBBE[and one of the quarterings borne by Lord DORMER, of Wing, Bucks].

Seal of Lord DE LA ROCHE. Together with the above must be classed the roach(leuciscus rutilus, fr. rosse). The most authentic instance of a delineation of this charge is perhaps found on Lord de la Roche’s seal.

Gules, three roach naiant in pale argent–Seal of Thomas Lord DE LA ROCHE affixed to the Barons’ letter to Pope Boniface VIII., 1301.

Again it is represented on the seal to Thomas Arundel, Abp. of Canterbury, 1397-1414, where the shield bearing the fish(which are supposed to be roach) is represented as borne by one of the four murderers of Thomas à Becket, though what connection they had with the Roche family is not known. It may perhaps be noted that the application of this charge to the name of the family is a singular instance of the punning adopted in heraldic devices, for the remains of Roche Castle, founded by Adam de la Roche, still exist on an insulated rock(fr. roche) of great height, and it has been suggested that the proverb ‘sound as a roach’ has its origin in the same confusion of the French and English language. The roach is found borne differently by different descendants of the family, e.g.

Gules, three roach naiant or within a bordure engrailed argent–Sir David ROCHE of Carass, Limerick. Sable, three roach naiant in pale argent–De La ROCHE, Herefordshire. Azure, three roach naiant argent within a bordure or–Walter ROCHE of Bromham, Wilts. Gules, three roach naiant in pale argent–Peter de RUPIBUS[or Sir Pierre des ROCHES], Bp. of Winchester, 1206-38, Or, a bull passant gules between three roach haurient proper, a chief chequy or and azure–Sir William ROCHE, Lord Mayor of London, 1540. Argent, on a bend sable three roach of the field–HUYSHE, Devonshire. Gules, a chevron engrailed between three roach naiant argent; on a chief of the second three herons sable, billed and membered gules–HOBBS, Middlesex.


Heraldic Terms with the letter ‘A’ Wednesday, Oct 29 2008 

Coat of Arms Gifts

coat of arms gifts

coat of arms gifts

Family Crest Gifts



Heraldry Terms with the letter ‘A’

A or a in heraldic memoranda and sketches of arms in trick, is employed to signify Argent[and is better than ar., which might be mistaken for az, or for or]. Abacot. See Cap. Abased, (fr. abaissé): this term is used when a chevron, fesse, or other ordinary, is borne lower than its usual situation. Charges, however, when placed low down in the shield are said to be in base. Abatements, sometimes called Rebatements, are marks of disgrace attached to arms on account of some dishonourable act of the bearer. They are shewn by pieces of different shapes being to all appearance cut out of, or off from, the shield; their shapes and positions are represented by the following varieties, which are nine in number, and must be either sanguine or tenné, which the old writers call “staynande colours,” otherwise they are no abatements but honourable charges, viz.–

1. Delf. 4. Point dexter. 7. Gore sinister. 2. Inescutcheonreversed. 5. Point pointed. 8. Gusset dexter. 3. Plain Point. 6. Point champaine. 9. Gusset sinister.

As the use of arms in not compulsory, a bearer would of course rather relinquish them than publish his own disgrace by bearing them abated. Abatements such as the above exist only in systems of heraldry, and no instance of their actual use is on record: but under the several headings diagrams will be found explaining the meaning of the terms which are used by heraldic writers. Broken chevrons, and beasts turned towards the sinister, are supposed by some heraldic writers to have been given as abatements.

“And Edward the Third of England ordained two of six stars which a gentleman had in his arms to be effaced, because he had sold a seaport of which he was made governor.” [According to Sir George Mackenzie, in allusion to AYMERY OF PAVIA, a Lombard, governor of Calais in 1349, who bore azure, four mullets or.]

There is another mark of disgrace which is due only to the traitor: is consists in debasing or reversing the entire coat. Abbey. See Monastery, also Ruins. Abisme en, (fr.); in the middle fesse point. Abouttés, (fr.): with the ends united in the centre, e.g. of four ermines. See Cross of four ermines, §8. Absconded: entirely hidden by a superimposed ordinary, or charge. Accidents, (fr. accidents): a comprehensive term applying to marks of difference and the like. Accolé: 1. (from fr. col, the neck,) having a collar is synonymous with gorged(and occasionally with wreathed or entwined). 2. Is used still with French heralds when two shields are joined side by side; a practice sometimes adopted in England previously to the introduction impaling. Accompanied, (fr. accompagné), used only by old heralds, is practically the same as ‘between;’ e.g., a cross accompanied by four crescents, or a chevron accompanied by three roses. Accorné, (fr.): horned, but used only when the horns are of a different tincture. Accosted, (fr. accosté): 1. a term used when charges are placed on each side of another charge, as, a pale accosted by six mullets; though English heralds would generally say, between six mullets pallet-wise. 2. Applied to two beasts walking or running side by side. Unless they are accosted passant counter-passant the more distant should be a little in advance of the other.

Azure, a chevron between six rams accosted, counter trippant, 2, 2, and 2 argent, attired or–HARMAN, Suffolk.

Accroupi, (fr.): said of a lion or wild beast in a resting posture. Accrued: full-grown; applied to trees. Ace: See Cards. Achievements, spelt sometimes atchievements, and more frequently hatchments: coats of arms in general, and particularly those funeral escutcheons, which being placed upon the fronts of houses or in churches, or elsewhere, set forth the rank and circumstances of the deceased. The arms upon the latter may in all cases be either single or quartered. When the deceased is the last of his line a death’s head may be placed over his arms instead of, or besides, the crest. A. OFFICIAL PERSONAGES. 1, 2. A king or reigning queen, whether married or not.–The royal arms complete, upon a ground entirely black. 3. A queen consort.–The achievements of a queen consort should be arranged in a manner similar to that of the lady of a peer. 4. Archbishops and bishops.–An archbishop or bishop has his paternal arms impaled after the insignia of his see, both being surmounted by a mitre. The ground must be per pale, white on the dexter side, signifying that the see never dies, and black on the sinister, denoting the decease of the bishop. Whether the bishop be married or unmarried will make no difference in the arrangement of his achievement.

The arms of the bishops of Winchester and Oxford(the one, prelate, and the other, chancellor of the order of the garter) should be encircled by the garter, and have their badges pendent. The archbishops of Armagh and Dublin bear the badge of the order of S.Patrick in the same manner. Prelates having temporal jurisdiction, (as the bishops of Durham had,) may bear a crosier and sword saltirewise behind their arms; the hilt of the sword should be uppermost.

5, 6. The dean of a cathedral or collegiate church, or the head of a college, whether married or not.–The insignia of the deanery or college impaled with the paternal coat must be placed upon a ground parted per pale white and black, as in No. 4. A dean or other clerk should by no means bear a helmet, mantle, or crest.

The deans of Windsor, Westminster, and S.Patrick’s, Dublin, should bear the badges of their respective orders.

7. Kings of Arms.–The achievement of a king of arms should contain the insignia of his office and his paternal coat impaled together, and surmounted by his helmet, crest, mantling, and crown. Some kings of arms have encircled their shields with the collar of SS belonging to their office. The ground of this achievement must be, like the above, per pale white and black.

Achievement in case of a Bachelor. B. BACHELORS. All bachelors(official personages already mentioned being excepted), must have their arms complete, that is to say, with all the external ornaments belonging to their condition, upon a black ground, namely, if an esquire, with his wreath, helmet, and crest, and perhaps it may be with a mark of cadency on the arms. The arms being without any impalement, or any escutcheon of pretence, shews that the bearer was an unmarried man.

Achievement in case of a Husband.

Achievement in case of a Knight. C. HUSBANDS. 1. In general.–All husbands(except those whose wives are peeresses in their own right) should have a shield with the external ornaments proper to their rank, containing their own arms on the dexter side, impaled with their wives’ on the sinister side, or if the latter be heiresses theirs must be upon an escutcheon of pretence. In all cases the ground will be per pale black and white, the dexter being black to denote the husband’s decease.

According to some modern heralds it is not proper for a knight to include the arms of his wife within the collar, ribbon, or other insignia of his order. In compliance with this opinion it is customary for the achievement of a knight(whether a peer or not) to be arranged thus:–Two shields are placed side by side, the first, which is encircled by the garter or other distinction of the order, contains the husband’s arms alone, and the second those of the husband and wife. Both these shields are included within the external ornaments pertaining to the husband’s rank. The ground is perpendicularly divided at the middle of the second shield, the dexter side black, the sinister white. Marriages previous to the last one should not be noticed upon achievements.

2. A husband of any rank, whose lady is a peeress in her own right.–Two escutcheons; the dexter containing the arms of the husband with the lady’s upon an escutcheon of pretence ensigned with her coronet: the sinister lozenge-shaped, with the lady’s alone. Each must be accompanied by all its proper external ornaments. The ground should be perpendicularly divided at the middle of the dexter escutcheon, and painted black and white. D. WIDOWERS. Their funeral achievements only differ from those of husbands, under similar circumstances, in the ground being totally black. Woman(sovereign princesses excepted) may not bear helmets, crests, or mantlings, but a peeress is entitled to her robe of estate. E. UNMARRIED LADIES OF ANY RANK. The arms of an unmarried lady must be placed in a lozenge, but no external ornaments of an heraldic nature should be used, unless she were a peeress. In that case her supporters, robe of estate and coronet, should be added: the ground entirely black. Shells, cherubims’ heads, and knots or bows of ribbon, are often placed above the arms of women, whether spinsters, wives, or widows. F. WIVES. 1. In general.–Their achievements are arranged precisely as their husbands’ would be, except that the helmet, crest, mantle, and motto, are omitted, and the ground painted per pale, white and black, or, to speak more accurately, black under the arms of the wife, and white under those of the husband. 2. The wife of an archbishop or bishop.–It is customary to arrange the achievement of the wife of a prelate thus:–Two shields, the first containing the impaled arms of the see and the bishop, surmounted by a mitre, and the second, the family arms of the bishop with those of his wife, and over them a knot of ribbons or a cherub’s head: the ground all white except that part under the arms of the wife(i.e. about one third per pale on the sinister side), which must be black.

Achievement in case of a Widow. G. WIDOWS. The achievements of widows differ from those of wives in two respects; the escutcheon or escutcheons are lozenge-shaped(escutcheons of pretence excepted), and the ground is entirely black. The arms should be encircled by a silver Cordon, which is the special symbol of widowhood. As the episcopal dignity in one in which a wife cannot participate, the achievement of a prelate’s widow should not differ from that of the widow of a private gentleman. The same may be said of the widow of a knight. The place for affixing the arms above described is against the residence of the deceased; but some years ago in many churches, but now in very few, helmets and banners of some deceased knight were frequently found remaining hung up in some aisle or chapel, and these also went by the name of hatchments. The banners in St.George’s, Windsor, afford the most complete example of the survival of an old custom, and here also the achievement is engraved on a plate in the stall held by each successive knight of the Order of the Garter. In France the litre, or lisiere, hung around the churches, answers, perhaps, to the hatchment. Acorn, (fr. gland, old fr. cheyne): this is usually represented vert, but they may be of other colours. They may also be slipped or leaved. An acorn-sprig is not unfrequently used in the arms, and is often used also as a crest. Sometimes, too, the acorn-cups are represented alone.

Sire Rauf de Cheyndut, de azure, a un cheyne de or, e un label de goules–Roll of Arms, temp. EDW. II. Argent, three martlets azure, on a chief gules an acorn between two mullets or–CAIRNS. An acorn slipped and leaved–Seal of town of WOKINGHAM. Argent, three acorns slipped vert–AIKENHEAD and TATTON. Vert, three acorns or–HARDING and SMITH, Middlesex. Quarterly, per fess indented first and fourth gules in chief a maunch argent, in base an acorn sprig–AKERMAN, Surrey. Argent, three cups of acorns, azure–ATHUL. Acorns are also borne by the families of ASHTON, Marketfield; ATASTER(or AKASTER); BRETTELL, Worcester; BOYS; CROMIE, Kildare; CUDDERLEY, Derby; DALLING; DUNCAN, Essex; FYFIELD; IFIELD; JOHNSON, Warrington; PALMER, Middlesex; SEVENOKE, and others.

Acorned, (of an oak)=fructed with acorns(fr. englanté). Adam and Eve. See Paradise. Adder’s tongue. See Fern. Adders, (old fr. givre or vivre, from lat. vipera) or asps: appear not to be distinguishable from serpents and snakes, except as regards size. They are represented as nowed, embowed, or erect. When not otherwise described they would be represented fesswise, but curling. Vipers’ heads also occur.

Gules, an adder nowed or–NATHERLY. Sable, three chevrons ermine between as many adders argent–WISE, Warwick. The same between three adders erect or–WISE, Brompton. Also embowed vert–WISE. Vert, three adders erect argent–HASSELL, Wraysbury. Azure, on a bend argent, three adders embowed of the first–CASTLETON, Surrey. Argent, three viper’s heads erased proper–HATSELL, 1708. Vert, three asps in pale or–ASPENDALL.

Addorsed, or endorsed(fr. adossé): said of two animals turned back to back. These terms(generally the latter) are also used with reference to axes(bills), to keys, when the keybits or wards are turned outwards, and to other similar objects, and more especially to wings and heads of birds, &c.

Argent, two lions rampant addorsed, the 1st azure, 2nd gules–LUCAS. Sable, two greyhounds endorsed argent–BARNARD, Hants. Sable, two bills addorsed in saltire argent–BILLINGFORD, Norfolk. Azure, an eagle’s wings endorsed or–EDMUNDS, Lyndhurst. Gules, two keys addorsed in bend or, interlaced with a sword in bend sinister argent, hilt and pomel of the second–PLIMPTON Monastery.

Adextre par, (fr.): having a charge on the right or dexter side. Adorned, (fr. adorné): a chapeau or other article of dress, charged, is sometimes said to be adorned with such a charge. Adumbration, or Transparency: the shadow of a charge, apart from the charge itself, painted the same colour as the field upon which it is placed, but of a darker tint, or perhaps, in outline only. The term belongs rather to the romance of heraldry than to its practice, and is imagined by the writers to have been adopted by families who, having lost their possessions, and consequently being unable to maintain their dignity, chose rather to bear their hereditary arms adumbrated than to relinquish them altogether. When figured by a black line the bearing is said to be entrailed. Adz, or Addice. See Axe. Affrontant, (fr. affronté): used when two animals face each other, e.g. of goats, stags, greyhounds; but the terms Confronting and Respecting each other, are more properly employed.

Sable, on a mount vert, two stags salient affrontant argent, attired or–JOHN FISHER, Bp. of Exeter, 1803; Bp. of Salisbury, 1807-25. Gules, two greyhounds salient affrontant or–DOGGETS, Norfolk.

Affronty, (fr. de front): facing the spectator(as the lion in the crest of Scotland), or in full aspect, which is the more correct term when applied to a bird. It is applied to a helmet, savage’s head, &c. [See a remarkable example given under Monastery.]

Per saltire, or and argent … in the chief centre section an open helmet affronty unbarred proper … –POWER. Gules, three savage’s heads affronty erased argent–VIGNE. Azure, a bull’s head affronty couped at the neck argent, between two wings or …. HOSTE.

African. See Man. Agnus Dei. See Lamb(Holy). Aigrette, (old fr.): an Egret or tufted heron. Aiguiere, (fr.) See Ewer. Aiguise, (fr.) or Equisé: sharply pointed, e.g. of a cross pointed. Aislé, (fr.): winged; but used only in respect of animals naturally without wings. Ajouré, (fr.): 1. of a chief when the upper part is crenellé, and the field shewn through; 2. of a building with the openings shewing the field at the back. A la quise. See erased. Alant. See Dog. Albanian Bonnet. See Cap. Alberia: a shield without ornament or armorial bearings, so called from being white. Alce. See Griffin. Alcyon, (fr.): an aquatic bird represented in its nest amidst the waves of the sea–MASSILLON, Ile de France. Alder: there is one species of alder bearing berries, and to this probably the arms following refer.

Argent, three bunches of alderberries proper–ALDERBERRY.

Alembick. See Limbeck. Alerons, Ailettes or Alettes. See Emerasses. Allerions, (fr. alérions): resembling eaglets displayed, but without beak or feet, and the points of the wings downward.

Gules, three allerions displayed or–LIMESEY. Or, on a bend gules, three allerions argent–Duchy of LORRAINE.

[These arms are supposed to have originated from the circumstance of Godfrey of Boulogne, duke of Lorraine, shooting three allerions with an arrow from a tower of Jerusalem “upon the direction of a prophetick person.” A far more probable supposition is, that the arms were intended as a play upon the name of the duchy.]

Alesé, or Alaisé(fr.), when an ordinary does not extend to the edge of the shield: but the English term couped is more usual, and of a cross humetty, §7. Alligator, and Crocodile. The only case of either of these borne in English arms is,

Gules, a chevron argent between three alligators …. –HITCHCOCK. Per chief gules and or, in base an olive-tree eradicated and fructed proper, in chief the head and fore-legs of a crocodile issuant proper–DALBIAC, Bedford.

Allocamelus. Allocamelus, called by Holmes am Ass-camel, is a fictitious beast borne as a crest by the EAST LAND COMPANY, and so far as has been observed by this Company alone.

[The Company was incorporated 1579, and Charter confirmed by Charles II.]

Allumé: applied by French heralds to the eye of a beast or bird when touched with red. Almond: parts of the Almond-tree are sometimes found, e.g.

Argent, an almond slip fructed proper–ALMOND. Sable, an eagle displayed between two bendlets argent; on a chief or three almond leaves vert–JORDAN, Surrey.

Altar. Altar: a tall circular pedestal, generally borne inflamed.

Sable, on a fesse dancetty of four, between three lions rampant gardant argent, each supporting an altar or, flaming proper, nine billets of the field.–SMIJTH, of Hill Hall, Essex.

Altar tomb. See Church. Alternate, or alternated, is sometimes applied to the tinctures; e.g. of a plume of feathers, where every other one is of a different tincture. In the use of the terms barry, chequy, and the like, ‘alternately’ is understood. Ambulant: walking; passant generally used. Amethyst. See Purpure. Amphistere. See Cockatrice. Ampty, or Anty. See Enty. Ananas, See Pine-apple. Ancettée. See Cross humetty, §7. Anché, (fr.): curved; used of a scimetar, &c.

SKIPTON. Anchor, (fr. ancre): this is frequently used as a charge, or crest, emblematical of hope, or of naval service. In old examples it is not unfrequently ringed at the point as well as at the head The parts are thus named: the shank or beam(fr. stangue): the stock, timber, or cross-piece(fr. trabe): the cable(fr. gumène): and the fluke(fr. patte). In some coats the anchor has a chain attached instead of a cable.

Argent, an anchor sable–SKIPTON. Gules, an anchor argent, the ring or–ZACHERT. Gules, an anchor argent, the stock or–GOADEFROY. Azure, a lion rampant supporting a cabled anchor or; on a chief wavy …. –RICHARDSON. Argent, an anchor erect(without a stock) proper, environed on the centre with the letter C or–CLEMENTS INN. An anchor between two smaller ones, within the beam and fluke–Seal of NAVY OFFICE. [See also MARINERS’ Company, Newcastle-on-Tyne, under Whistle.]

Anchored(fr. ancré), or ancred. See under Cross moline, §24. Ancient, or anshent: 1. a kind of flag; 2. used in the sense of Antique. Andrew, S., Cross of, and Banner of. See Saltire. Andrew, S., Order of, See Knighthood. Angel, (fr. Ange): The figure is always represented in full aspect, the wings extended with points upwards. Angels’ wings also occur; and in the singular arms of the family of RAPHAEL, Surrey, the angel Raphael is named in connection with Ararat, q.v. Angels are found as supporters, and a single angel frequently as a crest.

Argent, on a chevron sable three angels kneeling, habited in long robes close girt, their hands conjoined elevated upon their breasts, wings displayed or–MAELOR CRWM, Caernarvon. Azure, a pillar erect between two angel’s wings, elevated or–AWBORN. Gules, an Angel standing erect with hands conjoined and elevated on the breast, habited in a long robe, girt argent, wings displayed or–BRANGOR(or Berenger) of Cervisia, 1413.

Angemnes, (lat. ingemmœ): a series of round ornaments. See Sexfoils.

Angles. Angles: this bearing seems intended to represent the hook or fastening of a waistband(the arms of Wastley being allusive), and for this purpose the rings are attached; possibly for the same purpose, namely, that it might serve as a dress fastening, rings were attached to the Cross annuletty. This charge might be described also as two chevrons interlaced and couped.

Azure, three pairs of Angles interlaced fesswise; at each end an annulet azure–WASTLEY.

Anille. See Fer de Moline. Animé, (fr.). See Incensed. Annodated: bowed embowed, or bent in the form of the letter S. Annulet, (fr. Anneau and Anelet, written sometimes in plural Anelettz or Anels:) a small ring, possibly derived from the links composing chain armour. It is of frequent occurrence as a charge, and generally more than one appear: the two annulets are often linked in fess, or embraced; or they may be conjunct. Three may in like manner be interlaced in triangle. When three rings are interlaced the expression gimbal rings is sometimes used, and when more, they form a chain, q.v. The single annulet is likewise the difference, or mark of cadency, assigned to the fifth son.




interlaced. Annulets. Azure, three annulets argent, (of another branch or)–ANLETT. Sir Nicholas de VEPOUND de or a vj aneus de gules–Roll, temp. ED. II. Sire Johan de CROMWELLE de goules a vj aneus de or–Ibid. Monsire de BARTON de Fryton port d’ermin, sur fes gules trois anneletts d’or–Roll, temp. ED. III. Argent, two annulets linked together gules, between three crosses formy sable–THORNHAGH, Nottingham. Argent, two annulets conjunct sable, within an orle of trefoils slipped vert–John ETON. Ermine, three annulets interlaced in triangle gules–MANDERE. Gules, six annulets embraced or, two, two and two–BRACER. Gules, six annulets interlaced palewise in pairs, and a chief or–CLENCH. Argent, nine annulets in saltire interlaced[chain], five gules and four azure–HATCHET. Ermine, three annulets, one within another, gules–FYTTON.

(See also under roundles ‘faux rondelets’.) Annuletty, Annulated, or Ringed: crosses and saltires are occasionally couped and ringed at the ends. See angles and Cross annuletty, the couping being implied. Ant, (fr. fourmi). Of the insecta of the animal kingdom there are but few representatives. The ants, and with them the emmets, may be mentioned: the former are generally represented on their ant-hill(fr. fourmiliêre).

Vert, an ant argent–KENDIFFE. Sable, on a chevron between three ant-hills or, each charged with four ants proper, as many holly leaves azure–Benedictine Abbey of PERSHORE. Argent, a bend azure between three emmets sable–MASSY.

HARRIS. Antelope: it is now customary with herald-painters to draw animals as they appear naturally, which is, generally speaking, directly contrary to the practice of ancient artists, who drew them conventionally. Hence arises the distinction between the heraldic antelope and the natural. The form of the antelope, as drawn by the old heralds, has a mane and long tail, and differs considerably from the fawn-like appearance of the animal in nature. Antelopes’ heads are also frequently named, and both the animal and the head appear among the crests. The antelope gorged with a crown occurs amongst the badges of Henry V., and with an ordinary collar with chain attached amongst those of Henry VI.

Argent, an heraldic antelope gules, tusked, horned, maned and hoofed or–ANTILUPE. Sable, an antelope salient argent, attired, unguled, tufted, and maned or–HARRIS, Monm. and Devon. Argent, on a bend gules, three antelopes passant of the first, attired or–HALLIWELL, Lancaster. Azure, a fess nebuly ermine between three antelope’s heads erased argent–SNOW, London. Sable, three antelope’s heads couped argent armed or–BRUSARD.

With the heraldic Antelope must be grouped the Ibex, which resembles it, although belonging to the goat-tribe.

Argent, a fess engrailed between three ibexes passant sable–SEDBOROUGH, York. Lozengy argent and vert, on a bend azure an annulet in chief of two heraldic ibex’s heads or–Sir John YOUNG, Lord Mayor of London, 1466.

Antique, (fr.): a word not infrequent in the blazoning of coats of arms, signifying that the charge, &c., is to be drawn after the antique or ancient manner; e.g. an antique crown, boot, bow, escutcheon, ship, temple, plough, hulk, &c. The antique crown, for instance, is encircled by a series of plain triangular rays.

Argent, a lion rampant gules, crowned with an antique crown or–ROCHE, Ireland. Azure, an antique bow in fess, and arrow in pale argent.–MULLER. Or, on a lion rampant sable, an antique escutcheon or, charged with a cross patty gules–POWNALL.

Anvil. Anvil: this charge appears to be borne but rarely, and annexed is the form it takes.

Per chevron argent and sable, three anvils counterchanged–SMITH of Abingdon, Berks. Azure, an anvil or–ARNULF. Gules, a smith’s anvil argent–ANVAILE or ANVIL.

Apaumy, or Appalmed, (fr. appaumé): said of a hand open, shewing the palm. The term is, however, scarcely necessary, as every hand not blazoned as aversant, or dorsed, is supposed to be appalmed.

Vert, an arrow fesswise in chief and a dexter hand apaumy couped in base argent–LOUGHMAN, Ireland.

Ape: this is the only representative of the Quadrumana used as a charge; a monkey occurs sometimes as a crest.

Sable, a chevron or between three apes argent, chained of the second–LOBLEY. Vert, an ape sejant holding up the paw braced round the middle, and chained to the sinister side of the escutcheon argent–APPLEGH.

Apollo: a figure of Apollo, as the inventor of Physic, occurs in the insignia of one Company.

Azure, Apollo proper with the head radiant, holding in the left hand a bow, and in the right hand an arrow or, supplanting[or bestriding] a serpent argent–APOTHECARIES’ Company[inc. 1617].

Apple, (fr. pomme): the apple-tree is rarely borne; the fruit is more frequently so.

Argent, an apple tree vert fructed proper–ESTWIRE. Gules, a bird argent standing upon an apple or–CONHAM, Wilts. Argent, a fesse sable, between three apples gules stalked vert–APPELTON. Argent, on a bend sable, three apples slipped or–APULBY. Azure, a bar argent; in base three apples erect proper–HARLETON. Azure, a bar argent; in base three apples transposed or–HARLEWYN.

Apple of Granada. See Pomegranate. Appointé, (fr.): of two charges whose points meet, e.g. cf. chevrons, swords, arrows, &c.

Apre. Apre, a fictitious animal, resembling a bull with the tail of a bear.

The sinister supporter of the arms of the Company of MUSCOVY Merchants.

Aquilon, (fr.): the north wind is represented by an infant’s features with the cheeks puffed out(perhaps used only in French coats of arms). Ararat: this mount is mentioned in a very curious manner, namely, in the arms of the family of RAPHAEL.

Quarterly azure and argent a cross moline or, in the first quarter the sun in splendour; in the second the ark on the summit of Mount Ararat, and a city at the base, with this inscription in the Armenian language, NAKSIVAN; in the third quarter the angel Raphael and Tobias standing on a mount, thereon a fish proper; in the fourth an anchor with the cable entwined in band or–RAPHAEL, Ditton Lodge, Surrey.

Arbalette, (fr.): a steel cross-bow.

ARCHES. Arch: this may be single or double, i.e. springing from two of three pillars, which may be of a different tincture from the rest, as also may the imposts, or caps, and bases. See also Bridge.

Gules, three arches, two single in chief, and one double in base argent, the imposts or–ARCHES. Gules, three arches conjoined in fess argent; caps and bases or–ARCHES[Harl. MS. 613].

Arched, or Archy: said of an ordinary which is embowed. Archer: this figure is used as a charge only on one coat of arms, but it occurs at times as a supporter.

Gules, three arches azure–ABRENCIS or AVERING, Kent.

Ardent, (fr.): inflamed and burning.

Argent. Argent, (fr.): the tincture Silver. By those who emblazon according to the Planetary system it is represented by the Moon, just as the tincture of gold is represented by the Sun. Hence it is sometimes fancifully called Luna in the arms of princes, as also Pearl in those of peers. As silver soon becomes tarnished, it is generally represented in painting by white. In engraving it is known by the natural colour of the paper; and in tricking by the letter a. In the doubling of mantles it may be called white, because(as the old heralds say) it is not in that case to be taken for a metal, but the skin of a little beast called a Litvite. Sometimes, too, in old rolls of arms the term blanc is used.

Argent, simple–BOGUET, Normandy. Blank ung rey de soleil de goules–RAUF DE LA HAY, Roll, temp. 1240.

Ark: See Noah’s Ark. Arm, (fr. bras, but usually dextrochere or senestrochere, q.v.): the human arm is often found as part of a crest, although it is not very frequent as a charge. It should be carefully described as being dexter or sinister; erect, embowed, or counter-embowed; vested, vambraced, armed, or naked, as the case may be: sometimes it is cuffed. If couped, care should be taken to describe where. When couped at the elbow, it is called a cubit-arm. When armed the metal-plates for the elbow are termed brassarts.

TREMAYNE. Gules, three dexter arms conjoined at the shoulders, and fixed in triangle[like the legs in the ensign of the Isle of Man], vested or, with fists clenched, proper–TREMAYNE, Cornwall. Sable, three dexter arms conjoined at the shoulder, and fixed in triangle, vested or, cuffed argent, the fists clenched, proper–ARMSTRONG. Gules, three dexter arms braced[i.e. vambraced] argent, hands proper–ARMSTRONG, Ballycumber. Gules, a naked arm embowed, issuing from the sinister holding a battle-axe erect proper–HINGENSON, Bucks. Gules, an arm in armour proper, holding a Danish battle-axe argent–HINGSTON, Holbeton, Devon. Gules, issuing from the sinister side a cubit dexter arm unvested, fesswise grasping a sword proper–CORNOCK, co. Wexford. The arm is also borne by the families of ARMORBERY–DE LA FAY–PUREFOY–BORLASE–ARMORER–RENNCEVALE–HANCOCK–CHAMBERLAYNE, and many others.

An Arm, when used as a Crest, more frequently holds a dagger, arrow, &c.; also two arms sometimes occur. Armed, (fr. armé): when any beast of prey has teeth and claws, or any beast of chase(except stags, &c.) horns and hoofs, or any bird of prey beak and talons, of a tincture different from its body, it is said to be armed of such a tincture, though, as regards hoofs, hoofed, or unguled(fr. onglé), is the more accurate term. The lion is usually langued of the same tincture. The application to beasts and birds of prey is because their talons are to them weapons of defence.

Argent, three bars azure, over all an eagle with two heads gules, armed or–SPEKE, Cornwall.

When the term is applied to arrows it refers to their iron points: and when a Man is said to be armed at all points it signifies that he is entirely covered with armour except his face. Armes parlantes: canting-arms. Armes pour enquerir, (fr.): Applied to Arms where there is irregularity, e.g. metal on metal, as in the Arms of Jerusalem, or colour on colour. See Cross Potent, §31. Armined, i.q. Ermined. Armoiries, (fr.): Coats of Arms; Achievements. Armour: the grants of coats of arms having been of old frequently for services rendered in the battle-field it is but natural that portions of the armour should at times form devices emblazoned on the shields, and be used for Crests. The Helmet, for instance, besides being an appendage to the shield, became a charge, and was represented differently, besides which there were several varieties of metal head-coverings, such as the Cap of Steel, the Bassinet, the Burgonet, and the Morion, all different from the esquire’s helmet, which was that usually represented. The hauberk and the habergeon, as well as the cuirass, or breastplate, are found as bearings. So also armour and brassarts for the arm, gauntlets for the hand, and greaves for the leg occur. We find a “Man in Armour,” or, as he may be termed, a Chevalier, and this last is often employed as a ‘supporter.’ To describe all the various portions of armour, and their several names at different periods, would be beyond the limits of this work, though in its origin Heraldry, as the “Science of Armoury,” is intimately associated with the subject.

Vert, a horse thereon a man in complete armour, in the dexter hand a sword proper–MAGUIRE. Sable, a chevalier in full armour with halbert proper–ARGANOR. Sable, a demi-chevalier in plate armour, couped at the thighs proper, holding in his dexter hand a battle-axe–HALFHEAD. A man on horseback in full speed, armed cap-a-pie, and bearing on his left arm his shield charged with the arms of France and England quarterly; on his helmet a cap of maintenance; thereon a lion statant guardant ducally crowned; his dexter arm extended and holding a sword erect, the pomel whereof is fastened to a chain which passes from the gorget; the horse fully caparisoned–Seal of the Town of WALLINGFORD. A man in armour also borne by families of MONCURRE, ANSTROTHER, ARMSDRESSER, O’LOGHLEN, GRIMSDITCH, NEVOY, &c.

Armoyé, (fr.): charged with a shield of arms. Arms in heraldry signify the Armorial bearings(fr. Armoiries), and strictly speaking the term is applied only to those borne upon the shield. Crests, badges, and the like are not properly so described. The origin, or even date, of the earliest examples of armorial bearings has occasioned much dispute, so that the subject requires a treatise to itself. The various modes of acquiring, and reasons for bearing arms are differently described by different writers, but the following varieties will be found to represent the more usual classification. Arms of Dominion are those borne by sovereign princes; being those of the states over which they reign: while Arms of Pretension are those borne by sovereigns who have no actual authority over the states to which such arms belong, but who quarter them to express their prescriptive right thereunto. Arms of Succession, otherwise called feudal arms, are those borne by the possessors of certain lordship or estates: while Arms of Family are hereditary, being borne(with proper differences) by all the descendants of the first bearer. Arms of Assumption are such as might rightfully be taken, according to certain laws, from the original bearer otherwise than by grant or descent: and Arms of Alliance are those of a wife, which a man impales with his own, or those which he quarters, being the arms of heiresses who have married into his family. Arms of Adoption are those borne by a stranger, when the last of a family grants him the right to bear his name and arms, as well as to possess his estates: and Arms of Concession are granted when an important service has been rendered to the Sovereign. The grant almost always consists of an Augmentation, q.v. Arms of Patronage: those of the lesser nobility or gentry derived from the arms of the greater. Arms of Office, such as those borne by Bishop, Deans, Kings of Arms, &c.; and lastly, Arms of Community, those borne by cities, towns, abbeys, universities, colleges, guilds, mercantile companies, &c. The arms of abbeys and colleges are generally those of their founders, to which the abbeys usually added some charge of an ecclesiastical character, as a crosier, mitre, or key. Such arms, as well as those borne by Sovereigns, are more properly termed Insignia. The Royal Arms. Arms have been assigned in subsequent times to all the early kings of England from Alfred the Great onwards, but the earliest English sovereign for whose insignia we have any contemporary authority is Richard Cœur-de-Lion. From that time onwards the series is complete; and in most cases the great seal of each successive reign affords a good illustration. The following notes will be found to represent a brief summary of the more important changes.


STEPHEN. Though we have no authority for the arms of WILLIAM I., WILLIAM RUFUS, or HENRY I., writers agree in ascribing to them the following.

Gules, two lions[or leopards] passant gardant in pale or.

Some ingenious writer, knowing that the Sagittarius was ascribed as the badge of KING STEPHEN, substituted it for the lions in the Royal arms, but following late examples, placed three instead of two upon the shield.


RICHARD I.(?) According to a theory of comparatively late date, HENRY II., upon his marriage with Eleanor, daughter and heiress of the Duke of Aquitaine and Guyenne, added another lion, and hence the Insignia of England(q.v.)

Gules, three lions passant gardant in pale[called the lions of England] or.

These arms appear very distinctly upon the great seal of his successor, RICHARD I., but there is a second great seal of this king(perhaps even earlier), in which a portion of the shield is shewn, and(possibly by carelessness of the die-cutter) this contains a lion counter-rampant. The great seals of JOHN, HENRY III., and EDWARD I. exhibit the arms of England very clearly. The seal of EDWARD II. is without a coat of arms, but there is abundance of other evidence for ascribing the same to him.

Le Roy de ENGLETERRE, porte de goules a iij lupars passauns de or–Roll, temp. ED. II.

EDWARD III. EDWARD III., for some years after his accession, bore the same arms, but after 1340 he bore–

Quarterly 1 and 4; azure semy of fleur-de-lis or[for France] 2 and 3, arms of ENGLAND.

On the seal is represented, for the first time, a distinct crest(a lion passant on a chapeau). There are several authorities for the same arms being borne by RICHARD II.; but towards the end of his reign he impaled the imaginary arms of EDWARD THE CONFESSOR, his patron Saint.

Azure, a cross patonce between five martlets or.

HENRY IV. bears on his great seal the same arms, and apparently a similar crest. The badges of HENRY V. are sometimes given as the supporters of the arms of HENRY IV., but on no good authority. HENRY V. bears the same arms, but CHARLES VI. of France having reduced the number of fleur-de-lys in the arms of that kingdom to three, the arms of HENRY V. were then altered, and appear so in the great seal. HENRY VI. the same; and the arms appear with two antelopes argent, attired, unguled, and spotted or, gorged with crowns as supporters, and the motto, Dieu et mon droit. EDWARD IV., EDWARD V., and RICHARD III., the same arms, with supporters ‘a lion rampant argent, and a bull sable armed and unguled or;’ and in one case ‘two white boars armed, unguled, and bristled or.’ HENRY VII. and HENRY VIII., EDWARD VI., MARY and ELIZABETH the same arms, excepting that after Mary’s marriage with king Philip, she bore the arms of the two sovereigns impaled, viz. with that of PHILIP on the dexter. Throughout the supporters appear varied. A dragon gules and a greyhound argent appear with the arms of HENRY VII. A dragon and greyhound, also a lion and greyhound, with those of HENRY VIII. A lion and dragon with those of EDWARD VI. A lion and greyhound with those of MARY, and a lion and dragon with those of ELIZABETH. But the authorities, chiefly in sculpture and painting, are not much to be depended on. JAMES I. On his great seal we find the following:–

JAMES I. Quarterly, I. and IV. counter quartered: 1 and 4 FRANCE; 2 and 3 ENGLAND. II. Or, a lion rampant within a double tressure flory counter flory gules–SCOTLAND. III. Azure, a harp or stringed argent–IRELAND.

These arms were continued to be used by CHARLES I., CHARLES II., and JAMES II., and are usually represented in carving, painting, &c., with the same supporters, namely, the lion and the unicorn. It may be noted, however, that CROMWELL, as Protector, bore:–

Quarterly 1 and 4; argent a cross gules[i.e. of St.George, for ENGLAND]. 2, Azure, a saltire argent[i.e. of St.Andrew, for SCOTLAND]. 3, Azure, a harp or, stringed argent[for IRELAND], and on an escutcheon surtout sable a lion rampant gardant argent[for CROMWELL].

WILLIAM and MARY bore the same arms, but the former with an escutcheon surtout bearing the arms of NASSAU(Azure, semé of billets and a lion rampant or). Queen ANNE bore the arms of JAMES II., but on the union with Scotland in 1707 the Royal Arms were marshalled:–

Quarterly 1 and 4, ENGLAND impaled with SCOTLAND; 2 FRANCE; 3 IRELAND;

GEORGE I. and GEORGE II. the same, except that in the fourth quartering the arms of HANOVER were substituted for ENGLAND. GEORGE III. After the Treaty of Amiens in 1801 the Arms of France were abandoned and the Royal Arms were:–

Quarterly 1 and 4 ENGLAND; 2 SCOTLAND; 3 IRELAND; an escutcheon with the arms of HANOVER surtout ensigned with the electoral bonnet[afterwards with a crown].

GEORGE IV. and WILLIAM IV. the same. VICTORIA as follows:–

Quarterly 1 and 4 ENGLAND; 2 SCOTLAND; 3 IRELAND.

From JAMES I. onwards the Lion and Unicorn remained the supporters, generally with the same motto, Dieu et mon droit. Arms accollés. See Marshalling. Arms composed. See Marshalling. Arraché, (fr.), or arrasht: (1) of trees, pulled up by the roots=eradicated; (2) of heads of animals, &c., torn off=erased. Arrière, (fr.): Volant en arrière of a bird or insect flying with the back to the spectator. Arrondi, (fr.): rounded off.

STANDARD. Arrow, (fr. flêche): the ordinary position of an arrow is in pale, with the point downward, that is, falling(fr. tombante), but to prevent the possibility of a mistake, it would be better always to mention it, because in French coats they are more frequently the other way. When represented as rising, it should be stated “with point upwards,” &c. Arrows appear blazoned as barbed(fr. ferré) or armed(fr. armé) of the tincture of their points, and flighted or feathered(fr. empenné) of that of their feathers; also notched(or nooked) (fr. encoché) of the tincture of the end which rests on the bowstring. The tincture given is that of the shaft, but with French heralds it is sometimes named as shafted(fr. futé) of such a tincture.

Vert, an arrow in pale, point downwards, or, barbed and feathered argent–STANDARD, Oxfordsh. [A particular arrow was called a standard, and hence this is a canting coat.] Gules, two arrows in saltire argent, over all a fess chequy of the second and first–MACAULAY. Argent, two arrows in saltire, points upward azure between four 5-foils of the last–JAMESON. Per pale embattled gules and azure an arrow in bend or, barbed and feathered argent, point upward–CUGLER, Hertfordshire. Gules, three arrows double pointed or–HALES.

When arrows are in bundles such bundles are called sheaves of arrows(the number and position being in some cases mentioned).

Gules, three bundles of as many arrows argent–BYEST, Salop. Gules, three sheaves of arrows points upwards argent–JOSKYN. Gules, three bundles of as many arrows, two in saltire and one in pale or, feathered headed, and tied in the middle with a string argent–BESTE.

A bird-bolt again differs, not being barbed as an ordinary arrow: it may be described as a blunt-headed arrow used to shoot birds, and shot from a cross-bow. An old French word, ‘boson,’ also occurs, which appears to mean the same.


Broad arrow. Argent, three cross-bows bent, each loaded with a three-headed bird-bolt sable; a chief vert–SEARCHFIELD, Bp. of Bristol, 1619. Argent, three bird-bolts gules, headed and feathered or–BUSSHAM, Lincolnshire. Argent, three bird-bolts in fess gules–BOLTON. Argent, three bird-bolts in pile gules–BOUZUN. Argent, three bird-bolts gules, headed or, and feathered of the first–BOWMAN, Norfolk. Or, three bird-bolts gules, nooked and pointed of the first; a label gules–BEARUM. Sire Peres BOSOUN de argent a iij bosons de gules–Roll, temp. Hen. III.

A broad arrow differs somewhat, perhaps, from the above in the head, and resembles a pheon(q.v.), except in the omission of the jagged edge on the inside of the barbs. By the term broad arrow, the head alone is meant. The bolt and the quarrel were shorter arrows, used with the cross-bow.

Argent, three broad arrows azure–HALES, Stafford. Gules, a broad arrow between two wings argent–ZINGELL. Argent, three bolts in pale gules–BOLTSHAM, Devon. Gules, three quarrels argent–BAGGSHAM. Arrows are also borne by the families of ARCHARD, HYAM, ZINGEL, TINGEWICK, FLOYER, FORSTER, and many others.

Arrow-head. See also Pheon. Ascendant: said of rays, flames, or smoke issuing upwards. Ascents, or Degrees: steps. Ash: this tree occurs in more than one coat, rather, perhaps, in consequence of the frequency of the syllable ash in proper names. It probably refers to the common ash(i.e. fraxinus), unless otherwise expressed. But examples occur of mountain ash, properly called the rowan-tree(and in one case rodey).

Argent, an ash-tree proper issuing from the bung of a tun–ASHTON, Cornwall. Argent, an ash-tree vert–ESTWREY. [By one branch of the family a chevron vert between three bunches of ashen keys proper.] Argent, on a chevron gules between three branches of rowan[or rodey] tree proper, as many crescents or. [Also by another blazoning between three trees proper, fructed of the second]–RODEY, Liverpool. Argent, on a chevron azure, between three branches of mountain-ash vert, as many crescents of the first–ROWNTREE.

Ashen keys. The seed-vessels of the common ash-tree are called Ashen keys.

Argent, three ashen keys vert between two couple-closes sable–ASHFORD, Devon. Argent, a chevron between three branches of ashen keys vert–ASHFORD, Cornwall.

Ash. See Colour. Asker. See Effet. Asp. See Adder. Aspect: a term expressive of the position of an animal, as in full aspect means full-faced, or affronty(fr. de front). In trian aspect means between passant and affronty.

Or, an eagle in full aspect gules, standing on a perch issuing out of the sinister side argent–BODY. Gules, on a mount vert a stork in train aspect to the sinister argent–ARNALT.

Aspectant: used improperly for respectant. Aspen leaf. See Poplar. Aspersed: the same as(fr.) semé, strewed, or powdered. Ass, (fr. âne): this animal in theoretical heraldry is emblematical of patience, but appears mainly to be used in arms as punning upon the name. The Mule is sometimes named, (but erroneously in arms of MOYLE. See under Bull).

Sable, an ass argent–ASSIL. Argent, a fesse between three asses passant sable–ASKEWE. Sable, a fesse between three asses passant argent–AYSCOUGH, Bp. of Salisbury, 1438-50. Argent, an ass’s head erased sable–HOLKNELL. Gules, an ass(or mule) passant within a border argent–MOYLE, Kent. Sable, a fesse ermine between three mules passant argent–STOMPE, Berks.

Assaultant, or Assailant: i.q. Salient. Assis, (fr.) sitting; of domestic animals: of wild animals sejant. Assumption. See Arms of. Assurgent: rising out of. Astroid: another name for an ordinary mullet. Astrolabe: the old astronomical instrument described by Ptolemy, used for taking altitudes.

Az, an astrolabe or–ASTROLL. Per fess or and gules, an astrolabe proper held in the dexter paw of a lion rampant counterchanged armed and langued az.–MIDDLETON, Frazerburgh.

Astronomical signs. See Letters. Asure, and Assure: written sometimes for Azure. At bay. See Deer. At gaze: a term applicable to beasts of the stag kind, as statant gardant is to beasts of prey. Attire, (fr. ramure): may be used for a single horn of a stag. Both the horns are commonly called a stag’s attires(sometimes written tires), and are generally borne affixed to the scalp(fr. massacré). The word attired(fr. chevillé and ramé) is used when stags and some other beasts, e.g. goats, are spoken of, because it is supposed that their horns are given them as ornaments, and not as weapons. The main stem of the antler is termed the beam.

COCKS. Sable, a chevron or, between three stag’s attires fixed to the scalps argent–COCKS(Viscount Eastnor and Earl Somers). Sable, a stag lodged regardant, and between the attires a bird or–NORTOST, Norfolk. Argent, a chevron between three stag’s attires fixed to the scalps azure–COCKS. Argent, a hart statant azure, attired or–HARTINGTON.

Auger, or wimble: a tool for boring.

Gules, three augers argent, handles or–BUNGALL. Ermine, a pile gules, charged with a lion passant gardant in chief or, and a wimble in base proper; a fesse chequy azure and of the third; thereon two escalops sable–WIMBLE, Lewes.

Augmentations: additional charges to the family arms granted to persons by their sovereign as a special mark of honour. Such marks frequently consist of portions of the royal arms, as lions, or roses, that flower being one of the royal badges.

Richard II. is the first English sovereign who is recorded to have granted augmentations of arms to his subjects. Having added the legendary arms of S.Edward the Confessor(i.e. azure, a cross patonce between five martlets or) to his own, he granted the same in 1394 to Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, to be impaled by him in the same manner. One of the charges brought against this nobleman’s descendant, Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, in the reign of Henry VIII., was the bearing of this augmentation, which, it was alleged, implied a claim to the crown. King Richard also gave the same arms, with a bordure ermine, to Thomas Holland, Duke of Surrey, and Earl of Kent. The augmentation of arms granted by K. Henry VIII. to Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk, for this victory over the Scots at Bramston, or Flodden-Field, where James IV., king of Scotland, fell(Sep. 9, 1513), is an escutcheon or, charged with a demi lion rampant, pierced through the mouth with an arrow, within a double tressure flory counter-flory gules. It will be observed that this augmentation bears a considerable resemblance to the arms of the vanquished king. K. Henry granted an augmentation to the family of SEYMOUR, upon his marriage with his third queen, Jane, in 1536. It is ‘or, upon a pile gules, between six fleur-de-lis azure, three lions passant gardant in pale or,’ and is generally borne quarterly with their paternal coat, in the first and fourth quarters. Another of Henry’s grants was to Richard Gresham, mayor and alderman of London, whose arms were argent, a chevron ermine between three mullets sable pierced of the first. To these were added, on a chief gules a pelican close between two lion’s gambs, erased or, armed argent. Sir Stephen Fox, who faithfully served K. Charles II. during his exile in France, was very appropriately rewarded with a canton azure, charged with a fleur-de-lis or, being a portion of the insignia of that kingdom.

Anciently the chief, the quarter, the canton, the gyron, the pile, flasques, and the inescutcheon, were chosen to receive the augmentations of honour. In modern times the chief and canton have been generally used. Many of the augmentations granted for naval and military services about the commencement of the present century are so absurdly confused, that all the terms of heraldry cannot intelligibly describe them. Indeed they sometimes rather resemble sea views and landscapes than armorial bearings. Foreign sovereigns have occasionally granted augmentations to British subjects.

In 1627 Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden, knighted Sir Henry Saint George(who was sent to him with the Garter), and gave him the arms of SWEDEN(azure, three crowns or) to be borne in an inescutcheon; and the king of Prussia, and the Prince of Orange, conferred certain augmentations of arms upon the Earl of Malmesbury, which K. George III. gave him permission to assume in 1789.

PAYLER. From the nature of the usual method of exhibiting the augmentation on the coat of arms, the original charge is frequently debruised(as it is also by the marks of cadency); hence with the French heralds both are included under the term brisures. The example of the arms of the family of PAYLER, possibly arising from an augmentation, exhibits this in a remarkable manner, as the central lion is nearly absconded. But the debruising must not be supposed in any way to be a mark of abatement, as it is quite the reverse.

Gules, three lions passant gardant in pale argent, over all a bend or charged with three mullets–PAYLER.

Auk, (lat. alca): this bird occurs in the following arms, and as in another blazoning of the same arms the term murr occurs instead of auk, we may presume that it is synonymous. The name Razor-bill(alca torda) also occurs on one coats of arms.

Or, a chevron sable between three auks(or murrs) proper–CARTHEU, Cornwall. Or, the head of an auk proper–AUKES. Argent, three razor-bill’s heads, couped sable–BRUNSTAUGH.

Aulned, Awned, or Bearded: words used when ears of corn are spoken of. See Wheat. Auré, (fr.). See Gutté d’or. Auriflamme. See Banner. Avellane. See Cross, §12. Averdant: covered with green herbage: applied chiefly to a mount. Averlye, (old fr.), i.q. Semé. Aversant, or Dorsed: of a hand of which the back only is seen. Avocetta. See Snipe. Awl: the ordinary brad-awl used by carpenters, and with this may be named the gimlet.

Azure, a chevron between three awls, points reversed argent, hafts or–AULES. Argent, a chevron gules between three[nine] gimlets sable–CLAPHAM.

Axe, (fr. hache): there are various kinds of axes and hatchets. It is impossible to classify them, or give the whole of the varieties; but the following will be found the chief forms which appear. The handle of the axe is sometimes called the stave, or an axe may be hafted(fr. manché), and the blade is often referred to.

Common hatchet.

Turner’s axe. 1. The common axe or hatchet, is usually represented as shewn in the margin. In the arms of the TURNERS’ Company it is represented somewhat differently.

Gules, three axes argent–AXALL. Azure, three axes argent, handles or–AXTELL, Devon.

2. Adz or Addice: this has the blade set transversely to the flattened handle, and is sometimes called the carpenter’s axe.

Argent, three addices azure, handles or–ADDICE. Azure, three carpenter’s axes argent–WRIGHT, Scotland. Gules, a chevron between three carpenter’s axes or, hafted argent–PENFOLD.

Bricklayer’s axe. 3. Brick, or Bricklayer’s-axe: a charge in the armorial insignia of the Company of BRICKLAYERS and TILERS, of London. The metal portion only of the axe in exhibited, and this is made broad with the sides hollowed, as shewn in the margin.

Azure, a chevron or; in chief a fleur-de-lys argent enters[i.e. between] two brick axes palewise of the second; in base a bundle of laths of the last–BRICKLAYERS’ Company, incorp. 1508.

Chipping-axe. 4. Chipping-axe: this occurs in the arms of the London Company of MARBLERS(afterwards united to the MASONS), and is the axe which is still used by quarrymen in chipping the stones before they leave the quarry.

Gules, a chevron argent between in chief two chipping-axes of the last and in base a mallet or–Company of MARBLERS.

Slaughter-axe. 5. The Slaughter-axe. The axe used by butchers for killing animals. Such an axe occurs in the arms of the BUTCHERS’ Company.

Azure, two slaughter-axes addorsed in saltire argent, handles or between three bull’s heads couped as the second armed of the third, viz. two in fess and one in base, on a chief silver a boar’s head couped gules, between two block brushes (i.e. bunches of knee holly or butcher’s broom) vert–COMPANY OF BUTCHERS, London and Exeter.


Paviour’s Pick. 6. The Pick-axe seems to be the miner’s pick-axe, also called the hew; somewhat similar to it is the double Coal-pick, and the tool called a Paviour’s pick.

Sable, three pick-axes argent–PIGOTT, Cambridge. Argent, three hews or miner’s pick-axes sable–William CHARE, in Trinity College Chapel, Cambridge. Azure, three pick-axes or–PACKWOOD, Warwick. Argent, three pick-axes gules–PICKWORTH. Argent, on a cross engrailed sable a compass dial in the centre between four pheons or; a chief gules charged with a level staff enclosed by two double coal-picks or–FLETCHER, co. Derby, granted 1731.

See also Mill-pick.

Battle-axe. 7. Battle-axe(fr. hache d’armes), is variously represented. The common form is given in the margin, and it is found very frequently employed as a crest.

Azure, a battle-axe or, headed argent, the edge to the sinister–HEYNGESTON. Argent, a battle-axe, head downwards, held by a lion rampant guardant proper, within a border azure–CRACKNELL, Devon. Azure, three battle-axes or, staves argent–BAINBRIDGE. Azure, a battle-axe in pale or, headed argent–OLDMIXON, Somerset.

Broad-axe. 8. The Broad-axe seems to be so called only from the breadth of the blade differing in no other respect from other axes.

Sable, three broad axes argent–Sir John PORTER. Gules, three broad axes argent, a demi fleur-de-lis joined to each handle with inside or, between as many pierced mullets of the last–Thomas TREGOLD.

Danish axe. 9. The Danish axe was probably so called because it occurred in the royal arms of that kingdom, in which it is drawn like a Lochabar axe, but some apply the named to an axe whose blade is notched at the back. There is a form without the notch borne by HAKELUT, and called a Danish hatchet. The Indian tomahawk occurs in the arms of HOPKINS, granted 1764.

Sire Walter HAKELUT, de goules, a iij haches daneys de or, e une daunce de argent–Roll, temp. EDW. II. Sable, three Danish axes argent–DAYNES, Devon. Gules, five Danish axes palewise in saltire argent–ROGER MACHADO, [Clarenceux King of Arms, temp. Henry VIII.] Gules, a Danish battle-axe argent, held by an arms in armour proper–HINGSTON, Devon.

Lochabar axe. 10. The Lochabar axe has a curved handle and a very broad blade, and represents perhaps a Scotch axe.

Gules, a Lochabar axe between three boar’s heads erased argent–RANKEN, Scotland. Argent, two Lochabar axes in saltire heads upward, between a cock in chief and a rose in base–MATHESON, Benetsfield.

Pole-axe. 11. Pole-axe, or Halbert, (fr. haillebarde): the axe with a long pole, often called the halbert or halberd. It was used by the men at arms in processions and on great occasions for keeping back the crowed.

Argent, two halberts in saltire azure–ECCLES, Scotland. Gules, two pole-axes in saltire or, headed argent, between four mullets of the last–PITMAN, Suffolk. Gules, three pole-axes or–Sir Walter HAKELETT, temp. Edward I. Azure, a halbert or, the edge to the sinister, its lance-head argent–HEYNGESTON. Ermine, two halberts in saltire sable–MAGDESTON, Lincoln.

Aylet. See Cormorant. Ayrant. See Eyrant. Az: in tricking may be used for azure, but bl. is more usual.

Azure. Azure, bright blue, i.e. the colour of an eastern sky, probably derives the name from the Arabic lazura(conf. lapis lazuli, Gr. , Span. azul, Italian azurro, Fr. azur), the name being introduced from the East at the time of the Crusades. It is sometimes called Inde from the sapphire, which is found in the East: (see example under cadency.) Heralds who blazon by planets called it Jupiter, perhaps from his supposed rule over the skies; and when the names of jewels are employed it is called Sapphire. Engravers represent it by an indefinite number of horizontal line.

Family Crest Gifts Tuesday, Oct 28 2008 

Family Crest Gifts


family crest gifts

family crest gifts

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Heraldry Symbolism Tuesday, Oct 28 2008 




coat of arms meanings

coat of arms meanings

What do the symbols on your family coat of arms mean ?

Most of the meanings have been lost over time. One family may have had a different reason for putting a TREE on their coat of arms than another family may have had. It may have meant they were loggers, or maybe the lived near a large oak tree or a forest.

That being said, there is a list of “GENERALIZED” meanings for the different symbols in Heraldry. This list is not definitive, but it is accurate a large percentage of the time.

Colors and Metals

Or, yellow or gold – Generosity.

Argent, white or silver – Peace and sincerity.

Sable or black – Constancy, sometimes grief.

Azure or blue – Loyalty and truth.

Gules or red – Military fortitude and magnanimity.

Vert or green – Hope, joy and sometimes loyalty in love.

Purpure, purple – Royal majesty, sovereignty and justice.

Tenne or tawney – Worthy ambition.

Murray or sanguine – Not hasty in battle, and yet a victor.

Heraldic Lines

Nebulee or Nebuly – The sea or water.

Engrailed and Invected – Earth or land.

Indented – Fire.

Dancette – Water.

Ragulee or Raguly – Difficulties which have been encountered.

Embattled – Fire or the walls of a fortress or town.


Chief – Dominion and authority.

Cross – Chevron – Protection.

Fess – Military belt or girdle of honor.

Bar – For “one who sets the bar of conscience, religion and honor against angry passions.

Pale – Military strength and fortitude.

Palet – Same as Pale.

Pile – Same as Pale.

Canton – Bearing of honor. When borne charged, it often contains some special symbols granted by the sovereign in reward for the performance of eminent service.

Quarter – Bearing of honor. Similar to the Canton.

Bend – Defense or protection.

Battune Sinister – Marks a royal descent that is barred by illegitimacy from succession to the throne.

Orle or Tressure – Preservation or protection.

Flasques – Given by a king for virtue and learning, and especially for service in embassage.

Voiders – Given to gentlewomen who have deserved highly.

Bordure or Border – Frequently adopted as a “difference” between relatives bearing the same arms.

Gyron – Unity.

Common Charges

Lion – Deathless courage.

Tiger – Great fierceness and valor when enraged to combat; one whose resentment will be dangerous if aroused.

Bear – Ferocity in the protection of kindred.

Wolf – Denotes valiant captains that do in the end gain their attempts after long sieges and hard enterprises. One whom it is dangerous to assail or thwart.

Rhinoceros – Great ferocity when aroused.

Elephant – Courage and strength.

Heraldic Tiger – Same as Tiger.

Leopard – Valiant and hardy warrior.

Panther – As a lion may be said to signify a brave man, so may a panther a beautiful woman, which, though fierce, is very tender and loving to her young, and will defend it with the hazard of her life.

Horse – Readiness for all employments for king and country.

Bull or Ox – Valor and magnanimity.

Boar – A fierce combatant when at bay, and ceases fighting only with its life, and therefore may be properly applied as the armorial bearing of a warrior.

Goat – Emblem of that martial man who wins a victory by the employment rather of policy than valor.

Lamb – Gentleness and patience under suffering.

Ram – Authority.

Hares and Rabbits – One who enjoys a peaceable and retired life.

Squirrel – Sylvan retirement being the delight of its bearer.

Hedgehog – Provident provider.

Beaver – Industry and perseverance.

Fox – One who will use all that he may posses of sagacity, wit or wisdom in his own defense.

Talbot, Mastiff and Greyhound – Courage, vigilancy and loyal fidelity.

Cat or Cat-A-Mountain – Liberty, vigilance, forecast and courage.

Camel – Docility, patience and indefatigable perseverance.

Bee – Well-governed industry.

Ant – Symbolizes a man of great labor, wisdom and providence.

Spider – Wisdom, labor and providence in all affairs.

Grasshopper – Wisdom and nobility.

House Snail – Deliberation and perseverance.

Double Eagle and Eagle – Signifies a man of action, ever more occupied in high and weighty affairs, and one of lofty spirit, ingenious, speedy in apprehension and judicious in matters of ambiguity.

Alerion – Signifies one who having been maimed and lamed in war, was thus prevented from fully asserting his power.

Wings – Celebrity, sometimes protection or coverture.

Feathers (usually ostrich) – Willing obedience and serenity.

Falcon or Hawk – One eager or hot in the pursuit of an object much desired.

Hawks or Falcons Bells – One who feared not to signal his approach in either peace or war.

Owl – One who is vigilant and of acute wit.

Peacock – Beauty and pride of carriage.

Pelican – Devoted and self-sacrificing charity.

Stork – Filial duty, emblem of a grateful man.

Swan – A lover of poetry and harmony.

Goose and Duck – A man of many resources.

Gannet – To subsist by the wings of his virtue and merit, having little land to rest upon.

Swallow – One who is prompt and ready in the dispatch of his business.

Cock – Courage, always ready for battle, ready to fight to the death.

Dove – Loving constancy and peace.

Raven – One who, having derived little from his ancestors, has through Providence become the architect of his own fortunes or one of an enduring constancy of nature.

Crow – Signifies a settled habitation and a quiet life.

Dolphin – Charity and a kind affection towards children.

Tortoise – Invulnerability to attack.

Unicorn – Extreme courage.

Griffin – Sets forth the property of a valorous soldier whose magnanimity is such that he will dare all dangers, and even death itself, rather than become captive.

Dragon – A most valiant defender of treasure.

Cockatrice – Terror to all beholders.

Sphinx – Omniscience and secrecy.

Pegasus – Exceeding activity and energy of mind whereby one may mount to honour.

Harpy – Ferocity under provocation.

Mermaid – Eloquence.

Centuar – For those who have been eminent in the field.

Hydra – The conquest of a very powerful enemy.

Phoenix – Resurrection.

Stag, Hart, Buck and Deer – Policy, Peace and Harmony.

Horns and Antlers – Strength and Fortitude.

Escallop Shell – One who has made long journeys or voyages to far countries, who had borne considerable naval command or who had gained great victories.

Other Shells – Protection of Providence.

Heart – Charity, sincerity.

Flaming Heart – Ardent affection.

Hand – Faith, sincerity and justice.

Red Hand – Usual mark for a baronet if borne on a small escutcheon.

Arm – A laborious and industrious person.

Gauntlet – Signify a man armed for the performance of martial enterprise.

Leg – Strength, stability and expedition.

Shoe – Same as Leg.

Foot – Same as leg.

Human Head – Honor.

Blackamoor Head – Deeds of prowess in the Crusades.

Skulls – Mortality.

Crossed Thigh-bones – Mortality.

Eye – Providence in Government.

Millstones – The mutual converse of human society.

Sceptre – Justice.

Trident – Maritime dominion.

Crown – Royal or seigniorial authority.

Celestial Crown – Heavenly reward.

Pastoral Crosier – The emblem of a shepherd’s watchfulness over his flock, and denotes episcopal jurisdiction and authority.

Annulet or Finger Ring – Fidelity.

Lozenge – Honesty and constancy, also held to be a token of noble birth.

Billets – Their first bearer was a man who obtained credence, knowledge and faith in his words and deeds, and who was secret in his affairs.

Pen – Emblematic of the liberal art of writing and of learned employments.

Inkhorn – Same as pen.

Harp – Contemplation.

Lyre – Same as harp.

Scythe – Hope of a fruitful harvest of things hoped for.

Sickle – Same as Scythe.

Anchor – Succor in extremity and the Christian symbol of hope.

Ship, Lumphiad or Galley – All such symbols would point to some notable expedition by sea, by which, perhaps, the first bearers had become famous.

Cubes, squares or dice – Constancy, wisdom, verity probity, and equity.

Lozenge – Same as Cubes.

Axe — Execution of military duty.

Purse – A frank and liberal steward of the blessings that God has bestowed .

Tower or Castle – Grandeur and solidity. Sometimes granted to one who has held one for his king, or who has captured one by force or stratagem.

Bridge – Signifies a governor or magistrate.

Pillar or Column – Fortitude and constancy.

Snake – Wisdom.

Scaling Ladder – One who was fearless in attacking.

Crosses – Symbolic of some Christian experience or sentiment.

Trestles and stools – Hospitality.

Cushions – Marks of authority.

Angels, Cherubs and Seraphs – Dignity, glory and honor.

Estoiles – Emblems of God’s goodness or of some eminence in the first bearer above the ruder sort of men.

Mullet – Denotes some Divine quality bestowed from above.

Gold Spur – Dignity of knighthood.

Silver Spur – An esquire.

Sun – Glory and splendor.

Crescent – Signifies one who has been enlightened and honored by the gracious aspect of his sovereign.

Moon – Serene power over mundane actions.

Fire – Zeal.

Lightning – The effecting of some weighty business with great clarity and force.

Rocks – Safety, refuge and protection.

Portcullis – Effectual protection in emergency.

Hunting Horn – One who is fond of high pursuits.

Trumpet – Ready for the fray.

Cannon, Mortars, Cannon Balls and Grenades – Well bestowed on those who have dared their terrors in sieges and battles.

Sword – Indicates the bearer to a just and generous pursuit of honor and virtue in warlike deeds.

Arrows and Arrowheads – Martial readiness.

Spear or Lance – Knightly service and devotion to honor.

Spear Heads or Pheons – Dexterity and nimbleness of wit to penetrate and understand matters of highest consequence.

Shield – A defender.

Saddles, Stirrups and Spurs – Preparedness for active service.

Horse Shoe – Good luck.

Trunk of a Tree – An object of veneration.

Fusil – Travel and labour.

Shacklebolt – Victory in war.

Water Bougets – Conferred on those who had brought water to an army or besieged place.

Catharine Wheel – Emblem of one who is prepared to undergo great trials for the Christian faith.

Escarbuncle – Supremacy.

Buckles – Victorious fidelity in authority.

Clarion or Rest – Same as Trumpet.

Beacons or Cressets – One who is watchful for the commonwealth or who gave the signal in time of danger.

Chains – A reward for acceptable or weighty service.

Fusil of Yarn – Negotiation.

Fret – Persuasion

Gold Roundles – One who has been found worthy of trust and treasure.

White Roundles – Generosity.

Wheel – Fortune.

Cornucopia – Bounty of Nature’s gifts.

Chaplets and Wreaths – Granted for special service.

Ancient Spanish Family Crests Tuesday, Oct 28 2008 

Typical Family Crest Plaque

Typical Family Crest Plaque



De Jesus
De La Cruz
De La Rosa
De Leon
Del Rio

500 most common English / Welsh / Isle of Man Family Crests Tuesday, Oct 28 2008 


Welsh / English / Manx Family Crest Gifts


typical coat of arms plaque

typical coat of arms plaque






















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































These names are available in our complete line of family crest gifts, including:  family crest rings, coat of arms glassware, family crest plaques, coat of arms flags, coat of arms rings, family crest jewelry, family crest embroideries, mugs, steins, pendants, canvas prints, parchment prints, jpg downloads, jpeg emailed graphics, coat of arms pictures, family crest images and much, much more, all available at:

Reverse Seal Wax Seal Family Crest Rings Friday, Oct 24 2008 

Wax Seal Family Crest Rings

wax seal family crest rings

wax seal family crest rings



* STERLING SILVER or GOLD available.
* Details and name are REVERSED
, as this is a WAX SEAL RING.
* We have most all names of European origin.
* Hallmarked in Dublin Castle upon completion.
* Presentation Box included.
* FREE Wax Seal sample from your new seal ring.
* One Stick of Sealing Wax included to make your own seals.

In times of old, when sending letters, the sender would secure the document by melting wax over the closing point of the document and then make an impression in the fresh wax with their Family Seal Ring.
This would ensure that the recipient knew the correspondence was genuine and that it wasn’t tampered with.
These wax seal rings would often be passed down from generation to generation.
Now 4CRESTS.COM offers your family a wonderful opportunity to continue this family tradition.
Every seal ring is individually crafted by our Expert Jewelers & finished to extremely high standards.

Family Crest Rings Friday, Oct 17 2008 

Family Crest Rings

Family Crest Rings

Family Crest Rings

Order Your Family Crest Rings Here:


For those of you who don’t know what Heraldry is all about, below is a simple explanation.

As early as predynastic Egypt, an emblem known as a serekh was used to indicate the extent of influence of a particular regime, sometimes carved on ivory labels attached to trade goods, but also used to identify military allegiances and in a variety of other ways, even leading to the development of the earliest hieroglyphs. This practice seems to have grown out of the former use of animal mascots literally affixed to staves or standards, as depicted on the earliest cosmetic palettes of the period. Some of the oldest serekhs consist of a striped or cross-hatched box, representing a palace or city, with a crane, scorpion, or other animal drawn standing on top. Before long, the Horus-falcon became the norm as the animal on top, with the individual Pharaoh’s symbol usually appearing in the box beneath the falcon, and above the stripes representing the palace.

Shields of Magister Militum Praesentalis II. Page from the Notitia Dignitatum, a medieval copy of a Late Roman register of military commandsAncient warriors often decorated their shields with patterns and mythological motifs. These symbols could be used to identify the warriors bearing them when their faces were obscured by helmets. Army units of the Roman Empire were identified by the distinctive markings on their shields, although these were not heraldic in the medieval and modern sense, as they were associated with units, not individuals or families.

Coat of Arms Tattoos Tuesday, Oct 7 2008 

Coat of Arms Tattoo / Family Crest Tattoo

family crest tattoo

family crest tattoo



 We can research & draw your authentic, accurate Coat of Arms for TATTOOS. We can then email your Family Crest Tattoo to you as a JPG email attachment. Shipping is Free on this item since it is emailed to you as an email attachment.

4CRESTS.COM can create the coat of arms tattoo graphic that you will need to give to your tattoo artist. This is what he will need to draw it on your skin. This is a quick, accurate way of seeing what your family crest looks like. Getting a family crest tattoo or family coat of arms tattoo is an important decision.

Getting a coat of arms tattoo or family crest tattoo is a decision we hope you don’t take lightly. Many tattoos are designed with different types of symbols and images from pictures or other artwork, usually a person has a reason for a particular design. Please keep in mind that the family crest tattoos or family coat of arms tattoos shown here are assigned to an individual surname, not to all family lines with the same last name. The only way to know if the tattoo you want to use is actually yours, is to have your family lineage / genealogy researched.


Crest Rings Wednesday, Oct 1 2008 

Family Crest Rings

Order your Crest Ring Here:

Family Crest Ring

Family Crest Ring

This Ring is the CREST only portion (Part above the helmet of the coat of arms).
Please allow approx. 10-14 working days for this item to be completed, and another 5-7 days for shipping.

Family Crest Rings

Order your Crest Ring Here:

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