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- O - Heraldic Terms

O in tricking stands for Or. Sometimes in old blazon o=ove, or fr. avec, eng. with.

FOREST.

WOOD.

SMITHSON. Oak, (fr. chêne): this tree very frequently finds a place in arms, especially in those in which the bearer's name admits of a meaning connected with it. Sometimes the whole tree is borne, sometimes the branches, sometimes sprigs, slips, leaves, &c., sometimes the acorns, q.v., and more frequently the tree is fructed, i.e. with the acorns of a different tincture. In one of the earliest rolls of arms the term kene occurs, which has been thought to be chêne, from the name of the bearer being ORSTEDE. In the same Roll fourché au kanee, in the arms borne by LEXINGTON, has been supposed to be forked like an oak branch. See Cross, §24.

Argent, on a mount an oak-tree all proper--FOREST. Argent, on a mount in base an oak-tree fructed all proper--WOOD, Devon. Rouland de OKSTEDE, ov ung Kene de goules--Roll, temp. HEN. III. Argent, a three masted ship under sail in sea proper between three oak-trees eradicated and fructed of the last--DAROCH. Argent, a greyhound courant gules in front of an oak-tre on a mount vert--LAMBERT, Norfolk, Argent, the trunk of an oak-tree sprouting afresh sable--HERE. Argent, out of a well gules an oak-tree growing vert--WELLWOOD, co. Fife. Argent, a horse passant gules holding in the mouth an oak sprig vert, acorns or--ASHTON. Azure, on a cross or an oaken ship vert--BRAYNE. Argent, a lion passant gules; on a chief three oak sprigs bearing acorns proper--JOHNSON. Argent, a chevron engrailed sable between three oak leaves vert--SMITHSON. Argent, three oak leaves in pale all proper--MILFORD, co. Devon. Argent, a bend, and in the sinister chief an oak leaf azure--COX, co. Salop. Or, semy of oak leaves vert a lion rampant azure; on a canton gules a buglehorn stringed of the first--PATCH, Tiverton, co. Devon. Argent, an oak branch with three[oak] apples proper--APPLOCK. Argent, a sinister hand in base issuing out of a cloud fessways, holding an oaken baton paleways proper, with a branch sprouting out at the top thereof surmounted of a bend engrailed gules--AIKMAN, Carnie.

The holly-oak(fr. chêne rouvre) does not appear in English arms, but is sculptured on one of the pillars of the church at ROUVRAY, Burgundy, in the arms of that town. The oak often occurs as a wreath. (See under Chaplet, the civic Crown.) Oar. See Boat. Oats. See Wheat. Ocean: the waves of the ocean, or sea, are occasionally painted on the base of the shield in modern heraldry, but can scarcely be considered as an heraldic charge.

Azure, the sun in splendour or; in base the ocean proper; on a canton argent an escutcheon gules charged with a lion passant gardant of the second--ROYAL INSTITUTION OF GREAT BRITAIN, established 1800. Sable, on the waves of the sea proper a lion passant or; in chief three bezants--HAWKINS, co. Dorset. Azure, a bend sinister or; in base the end and stock of an anchor gold issuant from waves of the sea proper; in chief two estoiles in like bend as the second--SHIFFNER, co. Sussex, 1818.

Oeil, (fr.): eye. Oge: one of the numerous terms for water-bouget. Ogles: the eyes. Ogress. See Pellet, also Roundle. Olive-tree, (fr. olivier). The tree is occasionally borne, but more frequently slips and branches of it, the latter especially in the dove's mouth(q.v.). The fruit seems only to occur in French arms.

Argent, on a mount in base an olive-tree proper--OLIVIER, co. Beds. Or, a fesse gules between three live branches proper--ROUNDELL, co. York. Or, two olive branches in saltire vert--VANHATTON, London. Argent, a fesse azure, two eagles displayed in chief and in base through an annulet gules a slip of olive and another of palm in saltire proper--KENNAWAY, co. Devon: Baronetcy, 1791. Argent, on a pile azure, a dove close bearing in her beak an olive branch proper; on a chief sable a cross potent between two escallops of the first--GRAHAM, Bp. of Chester, 1848. Argent, on a bend azure three doves of the first with olive branches in their mouths proper--THOMASON, co. Chester. D'argent, a trois olives de sinople--DE BREHIER, Bretagne.

Ombre, (fr.): in French arms a shadowy outline of the charge with the tincture named; but when ombré is used it seems to signify that the charge is shaded with a black line. See Adumbration. Ondé, (fr.). See Undy. Onglé, (fr.). unguled, or having claws. Opinicus. See Griffin. Oppressed, i.q. depressed. See debruised and surmounted by.

Or. Or, (fr. from Latin aurum): the chief of the tinctures, i.e. gold. It is called Sol by those who blazon by the sun and planets, Topaz(or Carbuncle) by those who have fancifully taken the names of precious stones. Engravers represent it by an indefinite number of small points. The term Gold is not unfrequently used by heralds to avoid repetition, and the French word Jaune, i.e. yellow, is met with in old heraldic poetry. For instance, at the Siege of Carlaverock instead of Or, a lion azure, we find:--

HENRI DE PERCI, son nevou ... Fu sa baner bien vuable Jaune o un bleu lyon rampant Roll of Carlaverock.

Jaune, o crois rouge engreelie--EUSTACE DE HACHE--Ibid.

Orange: both the tree and the fruit are found amongst heraldic bearings, but when by themselves they may be meant for roundlets tenné, q.v.

Argent, on a mount vert a lion rampant looking to the sinister gules supporting an orange tree leaved and fructed proper--DE LA MOTTE. Azure, three oranges slipped proper within an orle of thistles or--LIVINGSTONE, Viscount Tiviot. Argent, on a mount vert an orange tree fructed proper; on a chief embattled gules three roses of the field barbed and seeded also proper--SWEETLAND, co. Devon.

Orange colour. See Tenné. Orb, or, as it is also called from the French Monde a Mound royal, is supposed to represent the Universe, and then it is usually surmounted by a cross. This device is said to have been first used by the Emperor Justinian, and to have been introduced into England by King Edward the Confessor, upon whose seal it appears as a plain orb; but it is surmounted by the cross on the seal of William the Conqueror. The cross signifies the ascendancy of Christianity over the whole earth, and is referred to in out Coronation Service thus:--

CHAWLAS. "And when you see this orb set under the cross remember that the whole world is subject to the power and empire of Christ our Redeemer."

Or, a mound sable, encircled gules, ensigned with a cross avellane of the last--CHAWLAS. Azure, a mound or--LAMONT. Quarterly gules and azure, a royal orb argent banded and crossed or--Arms assigned to GILBERT UNIVERSEL, Bp. of London, 1128-34. Or, on an orb[qy. a torteau] gules a raven proper--RAVEN, Richmond Herald, temp. JAMES I. d. 1615.

Orbicular, said to be used of a number of stars arranged in a circle. Orders of Knighthood, (fr. Ordres de Chevalerie). See Knights. Ordinaries are certain charges in common use in arms, and in their simple forms are bounded by straight lines, so that they may well be supposed to have had their origin in the bars of wood or iron of different shapes used for fastening together or strengthening the portions of which the Shield might be composed. Their number has never been precisely agreed upon, but most heralds reckon nine principal ones which they call honourable, namely, the cross, the chief, the pale, the bend, the bend sinister, the fesse, the bar, the saltire, and the chevron. The following charges are generally reckoned as subordinaries, namely, the bordure, the canton, flanches, the gyron, the inescutcheon, the orle, the quarter, the pile, and the tressure, all of which appear to encroach, as it were, on the field. To these are added the fret, the label, the pall, and others, but there seems to be little reason to separate them from several other rectilinear charges. The diminutives of the ordinaries(which are never charged) may be reckoned as follows:--Fillets and Barrulets, Pallets, Bendlets, Scarpes, Closets, Cotises, Chevronels, Crosslets, and Saltorels. But there is much diversity; some consider the bar to be but a diminutive of the fesse. [See Synoptical Table.] An ordinary of arms is sometimes used in the sense of a collection of coats of arms, arranged under the various bearings. Oreillé, (fr.); of the ears of dolphins, shells, &c. Oreiller, (old fr. for pillow). See Cushion. Organ pipe. See Pipe. Organ rest. See Rest. Oriflamme. See Banner. Orle, (fr. orle): an ordinary in the form of a bordure, but detached from the sides of the shield, or, as it appeared to the more ancient heralds, an escutcheon voided, (old fr. faux escuchon). Double and triple orles are sometimes spoken of, and when one within the other they are spoken of as being concentric, but this term seems out of place in armoury; they should rather be blazoned tressures(q.v.). The orle like the bordure is usually dimidiated when impaled.

BALLIOL. John de BALLIOLL, de goules, ove ung faux escochon d'argent--Roll, temp. HEN. III. [Founder of BALLIOL COLLEGE, Oxford, which has adopted the same arms.] Roger BERTRAM, de goules et ung faux escucion et croisele d'or--Roll, temp. HEN. III. Sire Gilberd de LYNDESEYE, de goules, crusules[crosslets] de or a un escuchon de veer percee--Roll, temp. ED. II. Sire Wauter de MOLESWORTHE, meisme les armes, les crusules de argent--Ibid. Gules, an orle argent; over all a bend ermine--Town of RICHMOND, co. York. Gules, two concentric orles in a bordure argent--BURDON. Argent, two concentric orles gules[elsewhere two orles in fesse gules] BAGWAY. Azure, three concentric orles or--LANDLES.

AYLMER DE VALENCE, Earl of Pembroke. An orle of martlets should rather be blazoned eight martlets in orle, although, as seen below, the term is quite legitimate, and has ancient authority. The number of charges placed in orle is generally in later heraldry understood to be eight, unless some other number is mentioned. (See also under Bordure.) Though some few other charges are borne in orle, the martlets are the most frequent in the ancient coats of arms.

William de VALENS, burelee d'argent et d'azur, ung urle des merlotts de goules--Roll, temp. HEN. III. Le Conte de VALENCE, burle d'argente et d'azur a merloz de goules bordears[i.e. in bordure]--Another Roll, Ibid.

De Walence Aymars li vaillans O la bordure poralée Bele baniere i fu baillans Tout entour de rouges merlos. De argent e de asur burelée Roll of Carlaverock.

Le Counte de PENBROC, burele de argent e de azure od les merelos de goules--Roll, temp. ED. II. Walter de FAUCOMBE, noir ung quinte-fueile d'argent et les merlotts d'argent entour--Roll, temp. HEN. III. Monsire de HARDESHILL, port d'argent a une chevron sable, et une urle des merletts gules--Roll, temp. ED. III. Monsire de VAUX, port argent, a une urle de merletts gules a une eschochion gules--Ibid. Monsire de PIERPOINT, port d'argent a une lyon de sable rampant, et une urle de cinqfoiles gules--Ibid. Argent, two annulets conjunct sable within an orle of trefoils slipped vert--John ETON.

An orle, like the ordinaries, may be indented, engrailed, &c., but does not seem to occur charged, as is the case with the bordure.

Or, an orle indented on the inner edge azure--LEND, Scotland. Gules, an orle engrailed on the inner side or, within a bordure also engrailed of the last--RUTLAND, co. Surrey. Argent, an orle gules, flory and counter flory on the outer edge vert, in the centre a dagger in pale azure, hilt and pomel or--CONSIDINE.

Osier. See Willow. Ostrich, (fr. autruche): this bird occur but in one or two coats of arms.

Sable, an ostrich argent--MATTHEWS, Cornwall. Sable, a fesse between three ostriches argent membered gules--BOYTON. Argent, an ostrich sable holding in the beak a horseshoe or(otherwise gules)--MACMAHON, Ireland. Per fesse argent and gules, three ostrich's heads erased, each holding in the beak a horseshoe, all counterchanged--RYED.

More frequently, however, the ostrich feathers are named, a plume of which(q.v.) is now the cognizance of the Prince of Wales. (See also Escroll.)

Azure, semy of fleur-de-lis a lion rampant guardant argent; on a bend gules an ostrich feather of the second between two bezants--HOLLAND, London. Azure, two ostrich feathers in saltire between three boar's heads, couped at the neck, argent, bristled and tusked or--NEWTON, co. Kent.

Otelles, (fr.): a term used by some French heralds for four figures described as resembling four peeled almonds, the thickened portion meeting in the centre, something after the fashion of the filberts in the Cross avellane, §12, but in saltire instead of in cross, and the ends pointed instead of fleury.

De gueules, a quatre otelles d'argent adossés en sautoir--COMMINGES, Guienne and Gascoigne.

Otter, (fr. loutre): this animal was more frequent in streams than now, and otter-hunting was once a favourite pastime. The stream near Hexham was called the Otterbourne, from which the family mentioned below derive their name. Otters are borne in the arms of several families. The two otters borne as supporters to the arms of NORREYS are represented collared and chained, each devouring a fish, as may be seen in the stained glass at Ockwells in Berkshire. As supporters to the arms of the SALTERS' Company they are represented sable bazanty, ducally collared and chained, each devouring a fish. Two otters rampant proper are the supporters to the arms of BALFOUR of Orkney, and of KINLOCH. The family of LUTTRELL bear otters in allusion to the French name; possibly by the sea dogs(q.v.) otters are intended.

PROUDE. Azure, three otters passant in pale or, each holding in the mouth a fish argent--PROUDE, Kent. [The arms are sculptured in the cloisters of Canterbury Cathedral.] Argent, a fesse sable between three otters sable, [Crest: an otter sable, in his mouth a fish proper]--LUTTRELL, co. Warwick. Argent, a fesse sable between three otters of the last; in each mouth a fish proper--LUTTRELL, Luttrelstown, Ireland. Argent, three otters passant sable--WORSELL. Sable, a chevron between three otters passant ermine--HARTOPP, co. Leicester[Granted, 1596]. Argent, on a mount vert in base an otter proper; a chief gules charged with a dove of the field between two crosses patty fitchy or--COLERIDGE. Argent, a demi-otter sable issuing out of a lock in base proper--LITHGOW, Scotland. Argent, three otters issuant out of a fesse wavy sable--MELDRUM, Tyvie, Scotland. [Another branch of the family bears one otter. See also under Crown antique.] Ermine, a chevron between three otter's heads couped sable; a chief vert--OTTERBOURNE. Gules, an otter's head erased argent between two crosses crosslet fitchy in fesse or; on a chief of the second as many mullets azure--ROWAND, Ireland. Argent, an open boat proper between three otter's heads erased sable; on a chief vert as many crescents of the field--M'NABB.

Ounce. See Panther. Ounde de long. See under Paly. Oundy, or Ondé. See Wavy. Ours, (fr.): Bear. Ousel, or Oysel(?): supposed to be intended for the black bird. Outstickers, Basket-maker's. See Basket. Ov and Ove, old fr.=avec.

GREY.

WOOD.

CURTEYS. Over all, surtout, (fr. sur-le-tout): said of a charge placed over several other charges or over a particoloured field, as also of as escutcheon placed over four or more quarters. French heralds also employ the term brochant sur le tout(see example under fasces). In the first example given below, i.e. in the arms of GREY, and in similar instances of particoloured fields, the words over all are understood, and therefore may be omitted, but in the other examples they are almost indispensable.

Barry of six argent and azure, [over all] a bend gules(as a mark of cadency)--Lord GREY, of Rotherfield Greys, Oxon, (c. 1300). Argent, three bars gemelles gules, over all a lion rampant sable, crowned or--FAIRFAX, Yorkshire. Sable, a chief gules, over all a lion rampant or--WOOD, Bp. of Lichfield and Coventry, 1671-92. Or, a bull passant gules; over all a pale ermine--Sir Thomas BROKE, Temp. HEN. VIII. Azure, a pale sable, over all a fesse gules voided of the first, cotised of the second--AKELAND, co. Devon. Or, two pallets azure; surtout on a fesse checky azure and sable three martletts or--Richard CURTEYS, Bp. of Chichester, 1570-82. Coupé d'argent et d'azur, a la croix ancrée de l'un en l'autre; à la bande de gueules brochante sur le tout--DU PUY or DE PODIO.

Overt, (fr.), or ouvert: open, of gates, doorways, &c.: it is also applied to birds, and is synonymous with disclosed. See Wings.

PRESCOTT.

FOWLER. Owl, (fr. hibou): this bird is frequently found in armorial bearings, and it is always depicted full-faced. It is found in an old roll of arms(as is supposed) under the name of hilt. In one coat the horned owl is named. An owlet, fr. hulotte, is only borne in French arms: the French also have the chouette, which is the screech-owl. The chat-huant, also a kind of owl, is borne by the family of D'HUC DE MONSEGOUT.

Sable, a chevron between three owls argent--PRESCOTT, co. Hertford. Argent, three owls sable, beaked and legged or--BRIGGE, Norfolk. Or, three owls in fesse sable--OULRY. Gules, three hilts[owls in margin] argent--Sir Richard BERINGHAM, Roll, temp. 1308. Sable, a chevron between three owls argent; on a chief three roses gules--OLDHAM, Bp. of Sodor and Man, 1481-86. Ermine, on a canton gules an owl or--FOWLER. Vert, a lion rampant between three owls argent--HOLGRAVE. Azure, a bend engrailed or between three owls argent, each on a tun lying fesswise of the second--CALTON. co. Cambridge, 1567. Argent, on a mount a tree, on the top an owl proper, in chief two mullets gules--BOUCHIER, London. Sable, three horned owls argent--FESTING. Owls are borne also by the families of APPLEYARD, co. Norfolk; ATLOW; BURTON, co. Buckingham; BRIDGES, (Bp. of Oxford. 1604-18); BROUGHTON, co. Salop; FINN, Ireland; FORD, co. Devon; FORSTER; GOSSETT; HERWART, 1730; HEWETT; HOOKES, co. Denbigh; LEMARCHANT, Guernsey; OLDGRAVE, co. Chester; ROWTON; SKEPPER, co. Lincoln; THURCASTON; TREWOLA, co. Cornwall; WAKEFIELD, co. York; WESTERDALE.

Ox. See Bull. Oyster-dredge is given as the badge of the family of GOLDINGHAM[Harl. MS. 4632].

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last updated on: April 3rd, 2017

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