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page ix. Burke's General Armory

page ix. Burke's General Armory

Burkes General Aromory



HERALDRY. " Mauleverer (Arncliffe, co. York). Sa. three greyhounds courant in pale ar, collared or. " in pale signifying that the greyhounds are borne perpendicularly on e above the other. When charges are three, whether with or without ordinaries, the usual they are borne is two in chief and one in base, and this is understood without being mentioned; but if they be not so placed, or exceed the number three, their position must be specifically described, according to the preceding rule; or it' horizontal rows, of an equal or unequal number, their number, &c., must be stated. Tile last remark, the arms of Brouncker will tend to elucidate, viz.: "Ar. six pellets in pale, three, two, and one, a chief embattled sa.," implying that the six pellets are borne in the C.^. rows, three in the uppermost, two in the second, and one in the lowest. MARSHALLING ARMS. Marshalling arms is defined by Guillim and Mackenzie to be " the conjoining of two or more coats in one shield," or, strictly speaking, the proper arrangement in one shield, either by impaling or quartering, of two or more ensigns. " IMPALING " applies to the method of using the wife's arms, and is usually practiced by dividing the shield into two equal parts, and placing the husband's arms ill the dexter, with the wife's in the sinister. When there happens to be a border round one or both of them, the portion of the border where the two coats unite is omitted. There are, however, two rules to be attended to : No husband can impale his wife's arms with his own on a sat-coat, ensign, or banner, nor can a Knight of the Garter, or of any other Order, when Surrounding the shield with the motto of his knighthood, bear his wife's coat within it; for, saith Sandford, although the husband may give his equal half of her escutcheon, yet he cannot share his temporary order of knighthood with her, except she be Sovereign of the Order. This restriction is not allowed by Edmondson, who argues that there is not a single article in all the Statutes of the Order, that debars the new-made knight from continuing to impale, as he had done previously, his wife's arms. It has always struck me that the churlish regulation of modern heraldry, which precludes a knight from bearing his wife's arms within the ribbon or collar of .his order, is an anomaly. The wife of a knight shares the precedence, title, and dignity of her husband. Why then should she be debarred participation in the heraldic bearings, and the beautiful garter that encircles them ? This exclusion is not of ancient date. The old Stall Plates of the Knights afford proof of the contrary, and gives several instances of husband's and wife's arms impaled within the Garter. In the monu-ment at Stanton Harcourt there is not only the Garter tied round Lady Harcourt's left arm, but at the head of the tomb appear the bearings of her husband impaling within a Garter the lady's own arms. If a man marries an heiress or co-heiress, instead of impaling his wife's arms with his own ho bears them on an ESCUTCHEON OF PRETENCE in the centre or fess point of his paternal coat, but he cannot so bear them during the lifetime of his wife's father. When a lady who is an heiress dies leaving her husband surviving, his right to bear her arms on an escutcheon of pretence ceases ; the right to bear her arms descends to her issue to be borne as a quartering. A man cannot bear his wife's arms as an impalement after her death: he must bear his arms as before his marriage, otherwise there is no heraldic mode of showing that his wife is dead. The case differs, however, as regards a widow: whilst she remains such, she is obliged to bear the arms of her deceased husband ; and I am inclined to think that a widower should continue to impale or otherwise associate his late wife's arms with his own if there was issue of the marriage. A husband whose wife is by descent entitled to a shield of quarterings, may impale all tile quarterings his wife is entitled to; but this is not usual.


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last updated on: April 3rd, 2017

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