Royal Personages, when married, bear their own arms on a separate Shield; and a second Shield bears the arms of the husband and wife conjoined.
The circumstances of every case must exercise a considerable influence in determining the Marshalling of the Accessories of any Shield, Lozenge, or Group. As a general rule, however, the Helm always rests on the chief of the Shield: Commoners, Knights, Baronets, and Peers place their Crest upon the Helm: Peers and Princes place 175 their Helm upon the Coronet, and their Crest is placed upon the Helmet. The Sovereign places the Crest upon the Royal Crown, which is a part of the Royal Crest, and it is unusual to duplicate the Crown by repeating it below the Helmet. The Mantling is displayed from the back of the Helm: it is most effective when simple in its form and adjustment, and when it droops behind the Shield. The Motto is usually placed below the Shield; but if it has special reference to the Crest, above the Crest. A Scottish motto always goes over the Crest. Supporters are usually placed erect, as if in the act of really supporting the Shield: they ought to stand either on an appropriate ground, or on a Gothic basement to the entire Achievement. Badges, with all Official and Knightly Insignia, and all other Honourable Insignia of every kind, are rightly marshalled in an Achievement of Arms.
5. In No. 251 the initial A of the word AQVITANNIE has been omitted.
6. In No. 319 the bordure of De Dreux in the roundle in base is charged with Lions of England, as borne by John de Dreux; but the presence of these in the Seal of the Countess is uncertain. See No. 322.
Marks of Cadency are temporary or permanent— The Label— The Bordure— The Bendlet, Barrulet, and Canton— Change of Tincture— Secondary Charges— Single Small Charges— Differences of Illegitimacy— Cadency of Crests, Badges, &c.— Modern Cadency.
“Merke ye wele theys questionys here, now folowying!” —Boke of St. Albans, A.D. 1486.
Amongst his comrades in arms, or in the midst of a hostile array, the last object that a mediæval Knight would expect or desire to observe, on the morning of a battle or a joust, would be an exact counterpart of himself. Occasions, indeed, might sometimes arise, when it might be highly desirable that five or six counterfeit “Richmonds” should accompany one real one to “the field”; or, when a “wild boar of Ardennes” might prefer to encounter the hunters, having about him the choice of his own “boar’s brood,” garnished at all points exactly after his own fashion. These, however, are rare and strictly exceptional cases. And the Knight, to whom distinction was as the breath of his nostrils, as he closed his vizor trusted confidently to his heraldic insignia to distinguish him, while, in the fore-front of the fray, with sword and lance and axe he would strive manfully to distinguish himself. This implies that Heraldry, besides assigning to different families their own distinct insignia, should possess the faculty of distinguishing the several members, and also the various branches of the same family, the one from the other. A faculty such as this Heraldry does possess, in its marks of Cadency.
In “marking Cadency”—that is, in distinguishing the armorial insignia of kinsmen, who are members of the very same family, or of some one of its various branches, it is a necessary condition of every system of “Differencing” that, while in itself clear and definite and significant, it should be secondary to the leading characteristics of the original Coat of Arms which denotes the senior branch of the Family, and also declares from what fountain-head all the kinsmen of all the branches have derived their common descent.
Various methods for thus marking Cadency were adopted, and accepted as satisfactory, in the early days of Heraldry. Of these I now shall describe and illustrate such as are most emphatic in themselves, and in their character most decidedly heraldic,—such also as most advantageously may be retained in use in our own Heraldry of the present time. It will be seen that the “Differences” which mark Cadency necessarily resolve themselves into two groups or classes: one, in which the “Difference” is temporary only in its significance and use,—as, when an eldest son, on the death of his father, succeeds to the position in the family which his father had held, he removes his Mark of Cadency as eldest son from his Shield, assumes the unmarked Shield as his father had borne it before him, and transfers to his own son the mark that previously had distinguished his Shield from that of his father. In the other group, the Marks of Cadency are more permanent, and consequently may become integral elements of the heraldic composition in which they appear: thus, the mark of Cadency which distinguishes any particular branch of a family, is borne alike by all the members of that branch, and in that branch it is transmitted from generation to generation.
More than one Mark of Cadency may be introduced into the same Coat of Arms; and, for the purpose of some 178 form of secondary distinction, it is quite correct Heraldry to mark Marks of Cadency—to charge one variety of mark, that is, upon another.
No. 336.— Eldest Sons of Edward I. and II. No. 337.— Black Prince.
The Label, Nos. 271, 272, is blazoned as a Mark of Cadency in the earliest Rolls of Arms, and it appears discharging this duty in the earliest examples. The Label is generally borne with three points, as in No. 271; frequently with five, as in No. 272; and occasionally with four or with more than five points. It is quite certain that no significance was formerly attached to the number of the points, the object in all cases being to make the Label distinctly visible, and to adjust the points to the general composition of the Shield. Labels are of various tinctures. Edward I., Edward II., and Edward III., each one during the lifetime of his father, bore the Shield of England, No. 187, differenced with an azure label, sometimes of three points, as in No. 336, and sometimes having five points. Edward the Black Prince marked the Royal Shield of Edward III. with a label argent, as in No. 337; and a plain silver label has since been the Mark of Cadency of every succeeding heir-apparent to the English throne. The Label has been used in this manner by personages of all ranks who have borne arms, from the time of Henry III.; and examples abound in all the early Rolls of Arms, in Monuments, and upon Seals.
The Label, borne as a Mark of Cadency, was sometimes, 179 particularly in the cases of junior members of the Royal Family, charged with other figures and devices, as differences of a secondary rank. Or, when it is thus charged, the charges upon a Label may be considered to be elements of the Label itself, in its capacity of a Mark of Cadency. Edmond, the first Earl of Lancaster, as I have already shown, No. 249, differenced his father’s Arms of England with a Label of France, No. 338—an azure label, that is, charged with golden fleurs de lys, to denote his French alliance; and thus by the same process he was Marshalling and Marking Cadency. John of Ghent, Duke of Lancaster, differenced with an ermine Label, No. 339, derived from the ermine shield of Brittany (No. 15): and the Plantagenet Dukes of York charged each point of their silver Label with three torteaux, No. 340, which may be considered to have been derived from the shield of Wake (No. 82). In order to show them on a larger scale, the Labels in Nos. 338-343 are represented without the Shields on which they were charged. All these Shields would be repetitions of the same blazonry of France and England quarterly: Nos. 252 and 253.
The Label, with various Differences, has generally been the Royal Mark of Cadency; and now differenced silver Labels are borne, to mark Cadency, by every member of our Royal Family.
No. 341. No. 342. No. 343.
Like the points of Labels, the Charges blazoned on those points had no fixed or determinate numbers. That both the Labels and their Charges should be distinct and conspicuous, was the special object with which they were blazoned. Accordingly, in different examples of the same 180 Label the number of the repetitions of the Charges sometimes is found to differ. At the same time, in the earliest examples of charged Labels, the repetitions of the Charges, while devoid of any special differencing aim or meaning, may be considered to have been suggested by the sources from which the Charges themselves were derived. For example: the Label of Lancaster, No. 338, of Earl Edmond, derived directly from the Shield of France ancient, No. 247, with its field semée de lys, has three fleurs de lys upon each point, so that this Label has the appearance of being also semée de lys. Had it been derived from the Shield of France modern, No. 248, charged with three fleurs de lys only, a single fleur de lys in all probability would have been blazoned on each of the three points of this same Label. Upon this principle the Label of Prince Lionel, Duke of Clarence, second son of Edward III., which is differenced with cantons gules, has a single canton on each point, as in No. 341, evidently because only a single canton can be blazoned on a Shield. The figures and devices that are charged for secondary difference upon Labels vary widely in their character; but, however difficult it now may be in very many instances to trace these differencing charges to their sources, and so to determine the motive which led to their adoption, there can be no doubt that originally they were chosen and adopted for the express purpose of denoting and recording some alliance or dependency. Some early Labels are of a compound character; that is, they are charged with two distinct groups of devices, which are at once divided and conjoined by impalement. Such a Label was borne by Prince Henry, son of John of Ghent, between 181 the time of his father’s death and his own accession as Henry IV. (Feb. 3 to Sept. 30, 1399): it was a Label of five points per pale of Brittany and Lancaster, No. 342, being his father’s Label impaling that of his mother’s father. The second son of this Prince, Thomas Duke of Clarence, instead of adopting impalement, charged a red canton upon each point of an ermine Label, as in No. 343: while his brother, John Duke of Bedford, bore their father’s Label, No. 342.
No. 344.— Holland, of Kent.
The Bordure, both plain and charged, is a Mark of Cadency borne by Princes and by personages of various ranks. Edmond, youngest son of Edward I., differenced England with a plain silver bordure, as in No. 344: the Hollands, Earls of Kent, did the same: and the same silver bordure also was borne by Thomas, youngest son of Edward III., about the quartered shield of France ancient and England; and about the quartered shield of France modern and England by Humphrey, youngest son of Henry IV. Prince John of Eltham, as I have already shown, and after him the Hollands, Dukes of Exeter, differenced England with a Bordure of France: No. 24. Though not so numerous as Labels, Bordures employed to mark Cadency exist in very many early examples, and a variety of devices appear charged upon them for secondary Difference. See No. 140. In the Royal Heraldry of our own times the Bordure is not used as a Royal Difference; but its use is retained in Scotland for differencing Shields of less exalted rank.
In some few early Examples a Bendlet is charged upon the paternal shield as a mark of Cadency: and a Barrulet is found to have been also used for the same purpose. Thus, Henry, second son of Edmond the first 182 Earl of Lancaster, during the lifetime of his elder brother, differenced England with an azure Bendlet, as in No. 345: and, in the Seal of Henry de Percy, son and heir of Henry third Baron, the lion is debruised, for Difference, by a Barrulet which crosses the Shield in the honour-point. Possibly, this Barrulet may be a Label without points. A Canton, plain, or more frequently charged, and in many examples of ermine, is also added to Shields to mark Cadency, but more frequently nowadays its use denotes absence of blood descent. See Nos. 128, 129, 130.
No. 345.— Henry of Lancaster.
To mark Cadency by a change of Tinctures was a simple expedient, and such a one as would naturally be practised at an early period. It was effected, first, in the case of the Field: thus (H. 3) the brothers De la Zouche severally bear—Gu., bezantée, and, Az., bezantée; and the brothers Furnival (H. 3) bear—Arg., a bend between six martlets gu., and, Or, a bend between six martlets gu. Secondly, the change is effected in the Charges: thus, two William Bardolfs (H. 3 and E. 2) severally bear—Az., three cinquefoils or, and, Az., three cinquefoils arg. Thirdly, the tinctures are reversed: for example, for two Sir John Harcourts (E. 2)—Gu., two bars or, and, Or, two bars gu. Fourthly, there is a complete change in all the tinctures: and so, while Sir Andrew Loterel (E. 2) bears—Or, a bend between six martlets sa., Sir Geffrey Loterel (E. 2) bears—Az., a bend between six martlets argent. Finally, this system of marking Cadency admits various modifications of the changes already described: thus, in the Arms of Mortimer, No. 131, gules is substituted for azure; and, again, in the same Shield an inescutcheon ermine takes the place of the inescutcheon argent.
Another and a favourite method of marking Cadency, calculated to exercise a great and decided influence in the development of heraldic blazon, is the addition of secondary Charges of small size (not on a Label or a Bordure but) semée over the field of a Shield, or charged upon an Ordinary, or disposed in orle. In a large number of examples, these small charges are found to have been gradually reduced to six or three, in order to admit of their being blazoned on a somewhat larger scale, and consequently made more distinct. Again: while the number and the tinctures of the secondary differencing charges remain the same, in order to carry out the Cadency still farther the secondary charges themselves are varied: and, once more, in other cases the identity of the original secondary charges is retained, but their number is increased or diminished. I must be content to illustrate these various forms of Cadency with a few examples only. First, a group of shields of the Beauchamps:—Beauchamp of Elmely (H. 3)—Gu., a fesse or, No. 346: Beauchamp at Carlaverock—Gu., crusilée and a fesse or, No. 347: Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick—Gu., a fesse between six crosses crosslets or, No. 348: and Beauchamp of Bletshoe—Gu., a fesse between six martlets or, No. 349. Second, a corresponding group of shields of the Berkeleys:—Maurice de Barkele (or Berkeley)—Gu., a chevron arg. (H. 3): and then for other Berkeleys—Gu., a chevron between ten crosses pattées, six and four, arg.; and the same Ordinary, with either ten 184 cinquefoils of silver, or the same number of white roses. Three Corbets bear severally (E. 2)—Or, a raven sa.; Or, two ravens sa.; and, Or, three ravens sa. And, once more, their original Shield—Gu., a chevron or, is differenced by the Cobhams by charging the Ordinary with three lioncels, three eaglets, three crosslets, three mullets, three estoiles, three crescents, or three fleurs de lys, all of them sable. The particular devices and figures selected thus to mark Cadency, like those charged upon Labels or Bordures, must be considered to have a special significance of their own, though this significance may frequently fail to be discerned in consequence of our being no longer able to trace out their association with the sources from which they were obtained. The alliances and the incidents that give these various Marks of Cadency, when it is possible to ascertain what they may have been, illustrate in a striking manner the motives by which the early Heralds were influenced when they differenced the Arms of Kinsmen.
No. 346.— Beauchamp of Elmely. No. 347.— Beauchamp at Carlaverock.
No. 348.— Beauchamp of Warwick. No. 349.— Beauchamp of Bletshoe.
Official Insignia sometimes become Marks of Cadency. Thus, John de Grandison, Bishop of Exeter (A.D. 1327-1369), on the bend in his paternal arms, No. 89, substitutes a golden mitre for the central eaglet, as in No. 350. William Courtenay, Archbishop of Canterbury (A.D. 1381-1396), adopts a different course, and charges three golden mitres upon each point of the Label of Courtenay—Or, three torteaux, over all a label of three points az. charged on each point with as many mitres gold. And again, Henry le 185 Despencer, Bishop of Norwich (A.D. 1370-1406), places about his paternal shield an azure bordure charged with eight golden mitres (see the largest shield in No. 351). On his official seal the canopied effigy of the Bishop stands between this, his personal Shield, and the Shield of his see—az., three mitres or: but his Secretum, or private seal, is much more interesting, as an heraldic image of the man himself. Haughty, fierce, cruel, and pugnacious, his career not less inglorious as a military commander than as a churchman, this Henry le Despencer, a grandson of the unhappy favourite of the no less hapless Edward II., was one of the war-loving prelates who occasionally appear sustaining a strange, and yet as it would seem a characteristic, part in the romantic drama of mediæval history. His Secretum, No. 351, displays his Shield of Despencer, differenced with his bordure of mitres, couché from a large mantled helm, surmounted by a mitre, in place of a crest-coronet, which supports the Despencer crest, a silver griffin’s head of ample size; on either side are the Shields of the see of Norwich, and of Ferrers (the Bishop’s mother was Anne, daughter of William Lord Ferrers of Groby)—Or, seven mascles, three three and one, gu.; the legend is, S . HENRICI . DESPENCER . NORWICENSIS . EPISCOPI.
No. 350.— Bishop Grandison. No. 351.— Secretum of Bishop le Despencer.
No. 352.— Sir Fulk
At an early period, Cadency was marked by adding a single small charge to the blazon of a Shield, or by charging some secondary device or figure upon any accessory of a Shield of arms. Such a Mark of Cadency as this, obtained from some allied Shield, and charged upon an ordinary or principal bearing, or occupying a conspicuous position in the general composition, was in high favour with the Heralds of both the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. From the early examples, which exist in great numbers and in as great variety, it will be sufficient for me to adduce only a few specimens—a single example, indeed, illustrates the system. The Shield of Ufford, in the Seal of Matilda of Lancaster, which I have already described (No. 320), is thus differenced with a single fleur de lys in the first quarter. Precisely in the same manner Sir Fulk Fitz Warin differences the Shield of the head of his house, No. 17, by charging a mullet sable upon the first quarter, as in No. 352.
No. 354. No. 353.— Thomas le Scrope. No. 355.
Thomas le Scrope, on the other hand, for Cadency marks the golden bend upon his azure Shield, No. 111, with an annulet sable, as in No. 353. Two members of the family of Beauchamp charge their golden fesse (see Nos. 346-349), the one with a crescent sable, and the other with a pierced mullet of the same tincture: Nos. 354, 355. In like manner, in addition to various labels, the Nevilles charge no less 187 than eight different small figures upon their silver saltire, No. 121, to distinguish different members and branches of their powerful race: I give one of these Shields in No. 356, which was borne by George Neville, Lord Latimer, from the monument to Earl Richard de Beauchamp at Warwick—Gu., on a saltire arg. a gimmel-ring az.: another differenced shield of Neville, No. 357, has a cinquefoil charged on the saltire: a third example from this group I have already given, No. 122, differenced with a rose: this shield, No. 122, is now borne by the Earl of Abergavenny. Once more: Sir William de Brewys (E. 2) bears—Az., crusilée and a lion rampt. or, No. 358, which coat another Sir William de Brewys differences, to distinguish himself from his kinsman, while at the same time declaring their near relationship, by simply charging a red fleur de lys upon his lion’s shoulder.
No. 356.— Lord Latimer. No. 358.— Sir William de Brewys. No. 357.— Neville.
Differences of Illegitimacy, which rightly and indeed necessarily are included under the general head of “Cadency,” do not appear at any time to have assumed a definite or decided character, and yet they bring before the student of Heraldry much curious matter for inquiry and investigation. Early in the true heraldic era illegitimate sons are found to have differenced their paternal arms, as other sons lawfully born might have done: and it does not appear that any peculiar methods of differencing were adopted, palpably for the purpose of denoting illegitimacy 188 of birth, before the fourteenth century had drawn near to its close. And even then, if any express heraldic rule on this point ever was framed, which is very doubtful, it certainly was never observed with any care or regularity.
No. 359.— Henry,
Earl of Worcester.
The earliest known example of the arms of a man of illegitimate birth is the fine Shield of William Longespée, Earl of Salisbury, son of Henry II. and Fair Rosamond, No. 197. This Shield is supposed to have been assumed and borne by the Earl on his marriage with the daughter and heiress of D’Evreux, when in right of his wife he succeeded to the Earldom of Salisbury: but this theory does not rest upon any solid foundation, since it would be very difficult to show that the Shield with the six lioncels was certainly borne, on his armorial ensign, by the father-in-law of Earl William. Also, if a Shield charged with an escarbuncle and many lioncels, which has been assigned to Geoffrey Count of Anjou, was really borne by the Founder of the House of Plantagenet, Earl William Longespée may have derived his own Shield from his paternal grandfather. Upon his Counterseal the Earl displays his own “long sword” as his proper device. In like manner, certain other personages, also illegitimate, appear to have borne arms which were either expressly assigned to themselves by the Sovereign, or such as they assumed in right of their mothers or wives. In all such cases as these, the Arms were not the paternal coat in any way differenced, but what now would be designated “fresh grants.” Towards the beginning of the fifteenth century, however, a peculiar kind of Differencing for Illegitimacy gradually prevailed throughout Europe: thus, illegitimate children either altered the position of the charges in their paternal Shield; or they marshalled the entire paternal arms upon a bend or a fesse; or they composed for themselves a fresh Shield, either using their father’s badges and the actual charges of his Shield, or 189 adopting devices evidently derived from the paternal bearings; or they bore the paternal Shield differenced in a peculiarly conspicuous manner with certain marks by which they might be readily and certainly distinguished.
When the composition of the paternal Shield would admit of such an arrangement, the field not being argent, an illegitimate son sometimes bore his father’s arms marshalled fesse-wise, so as to leave both the chief and the base of his Shield plain white. Henry, Earl of Worcester, whose father was an illegitimate son of Henry Beaufort, third Duke of Somerset, bore the arms of Beaufort couped in this manner in chief and in base, as if they were charged upon a very broad fesse on the field: No. 359.
No. 360.— Beaufort before 1397. No. 361.— Beaufort after 1397.
John de Beaufort (great-grandfather of Henry, Earl of Worcester), eldest illegitimate son of Prince John of Ghent, before the Act for his legitimation was passed in the year 1397, bore his father’s hereditary arms of Lancaster—England with a label of France, No. 249—on a broad bend, the field being per pale arg. and az., the Lancastrian livery colours: No. 360. After their legitimation act had become 190 a law, this same John de Beaufort, with his brothers, sons, and grandsons, bore the Royal quartered shield of France and England, No. 361, differenced, not with labels, but with a bordure componée arg. and az. (the Lancastrian colours): the different members of the Beaufort family slightly varied the bordure, but by the head of their house it was borne as in No. 361. It will be seen that this is the coat that Henry, Earl of Worcester (himself the legitimate son of an illegitimate son), bore fesse-wise, as in No. 359. The father of this Earl Henry, Charles Somerset, Earl of Worcester (illegitimate son of the third Duke of Somerset), differenced Beaufort, No. 361, with a silver bendlet sinister, as in No. 362, the bendlet covering the quarterings, but being included within the bordure.
No. 362.— Charles,
Earl of Worcester.
Since the fifteenth century, in English Heraldry, a narrow bendlet or baton sinister, couped at its extremities, either plain or charged, has usually been the mark employed as difference by the illegitimate descendants of the Royal Family. It was borne by Arthur Plantagenet, Viscount Lisle, son of Edward IV.: by Henry Fitz Roy, Duke of 191 Richmond, son of Henry VIII., and, variously differenced, by illegitimate descendants of Charles II.—that is, it is borne at the present day, argent, by the Duke of Buccleuch; ermine, by the Duke of Cleveland; componée arg. and az., by the Duke of Grafton; and, gules charged with three white roses, by the Duke of St. Albans.
No. 363.— Sir Roger de Clarendon. No. 364.— Radolphus de Arundel.
Sir Roger de Clarendon, illegitimate son of the Black Prince, bore on a sable bend the three Ostrich Feathers of his illustrious father’s “Shield of Peace,” the field of his Shield being golden, as in No. 363. Here the “Difference for Illegitimacy” is very emphatically marked in a singularly felicitous and beautiful Shield.
The paternal arms of illegitimate children have also sometimes been carried by them charged on a canton, either dexter or sinister, the rest of the Shield being left blank, or perhaps in some cases displaying the maternal arms; of this usage I am not able to give any good example, in English Heraldry, of certain authority: one other variety of these singular Shields, however, I must add to my small group of examples, which was first noticed by Mr. Montagu (“Guide to the Study of Heraldry,” p. 44). This is the Shield, No. 364, of Radolphus de Arundel; and it bears the quartered arms of the Earls of Arundel—Fitz Alan and Warrenne (gu. a lion rampt. or, and No. 68), “flanched,”—that is, blazoned only upon the flanches (see No. 141) of the Shield, the central area being blank.
For a lengthy period the use of the bend, bendlet, and baton sinister was usual for the purpose of denoting illegitimacy, but this has now given way to the use, in England, of a bordure wavy; in Scotland, of a bordure compony; whilst in Ireland both these bordures are used, more usually, however, the bordure wavy being employed. By a curious divergence the bordure wavy is not a mark of illegitimacy in Scotland, but a mark of perfectly legitimate cadency. The use of the bendlet sinister for the debruising of crests still exists in 192 England and Ireland, but crests are not usually differenced for any reason in Scotland.
In treating of this subject, some writers have maintained that the bordure componée is, in its heraldic nature, the most decided and unquestionable Difference for Illegitimacy: and this opinion these writers have derived from the singularly contradictory fact, that the Beauforts differenced with a bordure componée when they became legally legitimate. A bordure componée may, indeed, be used with such an intention, as it is used by the Duke of Richmond, who bears the arms of Charles II. within a bordure componée arg. and gu., charged with eight roses of the last; but by the Beauforts it was used with an intention exactly the reverse of this. The bordure, however, whatever its aspect or modification of treatment, remains still, as it was of old, an honourable Difference, until some abatement of honour has been associated with its presence under special circumstances. But the stereotyped use of the bordure wavy in England with a set meaning, gives to the wavy variety a lack of desirability. Marks of illegitimacy are intended to remain upon a shield for all time, although in a few historic cases their use has been discarded. And precisely the same words may be applied to any other charge that has been employed, or may be required to mark Cadency.
Marks of Cadency, as they are borne on Shields of Arms, may also be charged on Badges, Crests, and Supporters. As a matter of course, they appear on Armorial Banners and Standards under the same conditions that they are blazoned upon Shields and Surcoats. Such examples as may be necessary to illustrate heraldic usage in these cases, I propose to describe in the following Chapters.
It cannot be necessary for me to adduce any arguments in order to impress upon Students of Heraldry the importance of investigating early Cadency, or to assure them that a special interest is inseparable from this inquiry: I may 193 suggest, however, that it is most desirable that Students should arrange groups of allied Shields, and should carefully blazon them with their various “Marks of Cadency,” being careful also to record their authorities for every example.
Modern Cadency is marked by the Label and by single small Charges, which take precedence in the following order:—
1. The Label, No. 271.
2. The Crescent, No. 166, A.
3. The Mullet, No. 278.
4. The Martlet, No. 161.
5. The Annulet, No. 154.
6. The Fleur de lys, No. 246.
7. The Rose, No. 298.
8. The Cross Moline, No. 99.
9. The Octofoil, or Double Quatrefoil.
No. 365.— Seal of William Fraser: appended to Homage Deed, A.D. 1295, preserved in H.M. Record Office.
When they are adopted, Marks of Cadency now are generally placed upon the Honour Point of the Shield, or in some other conspicuous position: one of these Marks also may be charged upon another, if desired,—as a Martlet may be charged upon a Crescent to denote the fourth son of a second son; and so in other cases.
The Seal of William Fraser, No. 365, from Mr. Laing’s Collection, exemplifies in a singular and interesting manner the early use of a differenced Label. Here the Label appears, without any Shield, borne as if it were a Badge: and it is charged, on each of its three points, with two devices that have the appearance of mullets of six points, but which really may be fraises—strawberry-leaves, the rebus-device of Fraser. (See pp. 182-185.)
Differencing to denote Feudal Alliance or Dependency: Differencing without any Alliance— Augmentation— Abatement.
“Differencing, which comprises in truth the growth and ramification of Coat-Armour, and the whole system of its early development, has been strangely lost sight of in the numerous treatises on Armory that have satisfied recent generations of Englishmen.” —Herald and Genealogist, II. 32.
Differencing, using the term here as distinct from, or perhaps as not identical with, the subject of Cadency, includes not only the treatment of Coats of Arms and other armorial insignia, that denote and are based upon Feudal Alliance or Dependency, but without blood-relationship; but also implies a comprehensive system of distinguishing similar Arms, when they are borne by individuals or families between whom no kind of alliance is known to have existed. It is evident, on the one hand, that a feudal influence would naturally lead to some degree of assimilation to the Coat-Armour of the feudal Chief, in the Arms of all allies and dependants: and, on the other hand, it will readily be understood that, even in the early days of its career, Heraldry would see the necessity for providing for the constantly increasing demands upon its resources; and, consequently, that it would organise a system which would enable the same Ordinaries and the same principal Charges to appear in distinct Shields, without either confusion or misapprehension.
It is highly probable, and indeed it may be assumed to be certain, that what I have called a “feudal influence,” in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries in no slight degree affected the general composition of Coats of Arms. In very many instances the working of this influence is still palpable; and it is always interesting to the student of Heraldry, as it must always be eminently useful to the student of History, to detect its presence and to explore its method of action. Like Cadency, feudal Differencing is expressed by various means, all of them indicating, in a greater or a less degree, the motive which suggested their adoption. I proceed at once to examples, which illustrate and explain the system so clearly and so fully, that prolonged introductory remarks are altogether superfluous.
No. 366.— Earl
Upon his Seal, Ranulph de Blondeville, Earl of Chester (died in 1232) bears three garbs or wheat-sheaves; and Rolls of Arms of the time of Henry III. blazon the Shield of the Earl of Chester as—Az., three garbs or, No. 366. This Shield has been assigned to the Earls of Chester to this day: and, in token of feudal alliance, from the middle of the thirteenth century, “one or more garbs,” in the words of Mr. Planché, “are seen in the majority of Coats belonging to the nobility and gentry of the County Palatine of Chester.” Thus, since the year 1390, the arms of Grosvenor have been—Az., a garb or.
A cinquefoil, said to have been borne by him on a red Shield, was the device of Robert Fitz-Pernel, Earl of Leicester, who died in 1204. Accordingly, the cinquefoil, derived from him, as early as the thirteenth century, appears in token of feudal connection on the Shields of many families of Leicestershire. As I have already shown, (page 183) a Berkeley, who was of Leicestershire, substituted 196 ten cinquefoils for the ten crosses patée of the Berkeley Shield; and thus he combined feudal Differencing with Cadency.
No. 367.— Fitz Ralph.
Many a red chevron or chevronel, with other devices, charged upon a golden field, or a gold chevron on a red field, is a sign of feudal alliance with the great house of De Clare, whose Shield was—Or, three chevronels gu., No. 124. For example, the Fitz-Ralphs, near neighbours of the De Clares at Clare in Suffolk, differenced the Shield of the Earls by charging silver fleurs de lys on each chevronel, as in No. 367 (E. 2); and, for secondary difference, they sometimes added a bordure azure, as in the fine early Brass at Pebmarsh, near Clare. Again: by a change of tinctures, without affecting the charges of the Shield, the Arms of L’Ercedeckne (now Archdeacon) are—Arg., three chevronels sa.
At Carlaverock, Edmund de Hastings, brother of the Earl, bore—Or, a maunche gu., with a label of five points sa., the Earl himself bearing simply—Or, a maunche gu., No. 276. And, close by the side of Edmond de Hastings was his friend and companion, the feudal ally, without doubt, of his house, John Paignel, a very proper comrade, as the chronicler testifies—
“Un bacheler jolif et comté,”
who differenced Hastings by change of tinctures, and bore—Vert, a maunche or.
The Shield of the noble house of De Luterell, or Loterel, I have blazoned with changed tinctures for two near kinsmen bearing that name (page 182), thus showing in what manner they marked their Cadency. This same 197 shield, No. 368—Or, a bend between six martlets sa., was also differenced by other families to mark their feudal alliance with the house of Luterell. Thus, the De Furnivals, themselves a powerful and distinguished family, who held their lands by feudal tenure under the Luterells, in token of this alliance bore the Shield of De Luterell with a fresh change of tinctures; and, accordingly, the arms of the De Furnivals are well known as—Arg., a bend between six martlets gu. Then, while the Furnivals, for Cadency, differenced these arms amongst themselves, their feudal allies and dependants, the Ecclesalls or Ekeleshales, the Mounteneys, the Wadesles or Wadsleys, and the Worteles or Wortleys, all united in declaring their connection with their chief by assuming arms founded upon the Furnival Coat. These very interesting and characteristic examples of feudal Differencing are well blazoned, as follows, in the Roll of Edward II. For De Ecclesall—Sa., a bend between six martlets or: for De Mounteney—Gu., a bend between six martlets or: for De Wadsley—Arg., on a bend between six martlets gu., three escallops or, No. 369: and for De Wortley—Arg., on a bend between six martlets gu., three bezants, No. 370.
No. 368.— De Luterell. No. 369.— De Wadsley. No. 370.— De Wortley.
The Mounteneys further difference their common arms, for Cadency, after this manner. Instead of gules, Sir Ernauf de Mounteney has the field of his shield azure, his bend and martlets being golden: Sir John bears these same arms, but charges his bend with a mullet gules, No. 371: Sir T. de Mounteney bears Sir John’s arms, but with a field gules: 198 and another Sir John cotises his bend thus—Gu., a bend cotised between six martlets or, No. 372.
No. 371.— Sir John de Mounteney. No. 372.— Sir John de Mounteney.
North of the Tweed, also, the same principle is found to be exemplified in Scottish Heraldry. “In Annandale,” writes Mr. Seton, “the chief and saltire of the Bruces are carried (of different tinctures and with additional figures) by the Jardines, Kirkpatricks, Johnstons, and other families.” The arms of Bruce are—Or, a saltire and a chief gu., No. 73: those of Jardine are—Arg., a saltire and a chief gu., the latter charged with three mullets of the field, pierced of the second: and the arms of Kirkpatrick are—Arg., a saltire and chief az., the latter charged with three cushions or. This coat of Kirkpatrick is also borne by the Johnstons, the tinctures differenced thus—Arg., a saltire sa., and on a chief gu. three cushions or.
Once more, returning to the southern side of the Scottish border, of Richard de Neville, the renowned “King-maker,” we find it to be recorded that, so great was his popularity at Calais, of which city he was governor, that his Badges were universally adopted,—“no man esteeming himself gallant whose head was not adorned with his silver ragged staff (No. 294); nor was any door frequented, that had not his white cross (silver saltire, No. 121) painted thereon.” This was an extravagant application of the earlier usage in 199 denoting feudal alliance, such as was in keeping with the heraldic sentiment of the second half of the fourteenth century. Those good citizens of Calais, however, who were Neville-worshippers four hundred years ago, were not singular in exhibiting an armorial ensign at the entrance to their houses. Numerous, indeed, are the doorways in various parts of England, and particularly in the counties of Surrey, Sussex, and Norfolk, which in the “sign of the chequers” still display the insignia (chequée or and az., No. 68) of the once mighty Earls of Warrenne and Surrey; and thus show that relics of the old feudal influence are endowed with a tenacious vitality, which prolongs their existence for ages after the feudal system itself has passed away. But no doubt some cases must be referred to the less romantic explanation of the reckoning board of the Steward.
Differencing adopted, so far as now is apparent, simply for the sake of distinction, lays open before the student of Heraldry a wide and a diversified field of inquiry. All the miscellaneous charges that are associated in blazon with the Ordinaries, and also with the Subordinaries, thus are brought under consideration; and, without a doubt, it was for the express purpose of Differencing that many of these charges were introduced into English Heraldry. How far some remote degree of relationship, or some subordinate feudal motive now lost to sight and forgotten, may originally have affected the choice of Charges “for difference,” it is not possible now to determine; nor can we always follow the rebus-loving search for a “Difference,” that might speak through that allusive quality which is a primary element of the Herald’s science. We do know that the act of bearing the same arms by different families, without some heraldic Difference, was of very rare occurrence; and that, when it did occur, it was regarded with marked surprise, and on more than one occasion led to a memorable controversy: and, further, we find great numbers of early differenced 200 Shields, which illustrate in a very effective manner the growth and development of English Heraldry. Shields of this order have strong claims on our attention. The examples that I am able here to place before students are to be regarded simply as specimens, few in number, and yet sufficient to show some of the varied forms under which early Differencing was effected.
The proceedings in the High Court of Chivalry in the suit between Sir Richard le Scrope and Sir Robert Grosvenor, relative to the right to the Arms—Azure, a bend or, No. 111—commenced on the 17th of August 1385, and the final judgment of the King himself upon the appeal of the defendant against the finding of the Court was not pronounced till the 27th of May 1390. On the 15th of May 1389 the judgment of the Court assigned the arms—Azure, a bend or—to Sir Richard le Scrope; and to Sir Robert Grosvenor, these arms—Az., a bend or, within a plain bordure argent. Thus the Court confirmed to Sir Richard le Scrope the right to bear the Ordinary in its severe simplicity, without any other charge and without any Difference: and, at the same time, it was decided that these arms of Scrope should be differenced, in order that they might become the arms of Grosvenor, and the “Difference” was to be a plain silver bordure. The whole of the proceedings in this remarkable case are preserved, and have been published; and they derive a peculiar interest from the circumstance, that amongst the witnesses who gave evidence was the father of English Poetry, Geoffrey Chaucer. Appeal having been made to the Sovereign, Richard II. determined that a “plain bordure argent” was a Mark of Cadency, good and right, and perfectly sufficient as a Difference “between Cousin and Cousin in blood”; but that it was “not a sufficient Difference in Arms between two strangers in blood in one kingdom.” The King, therefore, cancelled and annulled the 201 sentence of the Court of Chivalry; and in so doing he gave a very clear definition of the distinction to be observed in Heraldry between kinsmen and strangers in blood. Then it was that the Shield, Azure, a garb or, was adopted as the arms of Grosvenor. We may assume, that the judgment of the Court would have been confirmed by the King, had Sir Robert Grosvenor been commanded to blazon his golden bend between two garbs, or charged with one or more garbs, or with three garbs on a chief, or with any other decided Difference which would be palpably distinct from a Mark of Cadency.
The examples of Differenced Shields which follow I have selected from the Roll of Edward II. It will be seen that in each small group of these examples some primary feature of the composition is common to every Shield, so that the distinction between the Shields in each group is effected either by a simple change of tinctures, or by the introduction of various secondary charges.
Chiefs.—Sir John de Arderne—Gu., crusilée and a chief or. Sir Thomas le Rous—Erm., on a chief indented gu. two escallops arg. Sir John de Clintone—Arg., on a chief az. two fleurs de lys or, No. 74. Sir John de Clintone, of Maxtoke—Arg., on a chief az. two mullets or, No. 75: here the Difference denotes Cadency as well as a distinct individuality.
Bends.—Sir Robert Poutrel.—Or, on a bend az. three fleurs de lys arg. Sir Walter de Bermyngham—Arg., on a bend gu., cotised az., three esallops or. Oliver de Bohun—Az., on a bend, cotised and between six lioncels or, three escallops gu., No. 321.
Fesses and Bars.—Sir John de Dageworth—Erm., a fesse gu. bezantée, No. 80. Sir G. de Wachesham—Arg., a fesse and in chief three crescents gu. Sir R. de Coleville—Or, a fesse gu., and in chief three torteaux. Sir J. de Geytone—Arg., a fesse between six fleurs de lys gu. Sir 202 G. de Ousflet—Arg., on a fesse az. three fleurs de lys or. Sir R. de Lomelye (Lumley)—Gu., on a fesse between three popinjays arg., as many mullets sa. Sir B. Badlesmere—Arg., a fesse between bars gemelles gu. Sir G. de la Mere—Or, a fesse between bars gemelles az., No. 84. Sir J. de Preieres—Gu., a fesse between bars gemelles arg. Sir J. Wake—Or, two bars gu., in chief three torteaux, No. 82. Sir B. Pycot—Az., two bars or, in chief three bezants. Sir R. de Wedone—Arg., two bars gu., in chief three martlets sa. Sir R. Bordet—Az., two bars or, on the uppermost three martlets gu. Sir R. de Royinge—Arg., three bars and an orle of martlets gu. Sir N. de Estoteville—Barry arg. and gu., three lioncels sa. Sir R. de Yngelfeld—Barrulée arg. and gu., on a chief or a lion pass. az. Sir W. de Monecastre—Barrulée arg. and gu., on a bend sa. three escallops or. Sir T. de Poninge—Barry or and vert, on a bend gu. three mullets arg.
Crosses.—Sir N. de Weylande—Arg., on a cross gu. five escallops or. Sir R. Bygod—Or, on a cross gu. five escallops arg. Sir Wm. Kirketot—Az., on a cross arg. five escallops gu. Sir Wm. de Berham—Sa., a cross between four crescents arg. Sir R. de Bannebury—Arg., a cross patée between four mullets gu. Sir J. Randolf—Gu., on a cross arg. five mullets sa. Sir G. de Durem—Arg., on a cross gu. five fleurs de lys or. Sir P. de Geytone—Arg., crusilée and three fleurs de lys az. Sir R. de Hoftot—Az., a cross patée erm. between four roses erm.
Chevrons.—Sir G. Rossel—Or, a chevron az., between three roses gu. Sir J. de Cretinge—Arg., a chevron between three mullets gu. Sir R. Malet—Sa., a chevron between three buckles arg. Sir T. de Anvers—Gu., a chevron between three mullets or. Sir Wm. de Berkeroles—Az., a chevron between three crescents or. Sir W. Bluet—Or, a chevron between three eagles vert. Sir R. de Caple—Arg., a chevron gu. between three torteaux. Sir T. Malet—Sa., a chevron 203 between three buckles arg. Sir R. de Peyvre—Arg., on a chevron az. three fleurs de lys or, No. 125. Sir R. de Boterels—Chequée or and gu., on a chevron az. three horseshoes arg.
Lions.—The Earl of Lincoln—Or, a lion rampt. purp., No. 194. The Earl of Arundel—Gu., a lion rampt. or. Sir Henry de Percy—Or, a lion rampt. az., No. 196. Sir John Mowbray—Gu., a lion rampt. arg., No. 193. Sir R. de Sottone (Sutton)—Or, a lion rampt. vert. Sir J. de Nortone—Vert, a lion rampt. or. Sir W. Fauconberg—Arg., a lion rampt. az. Sir G. de Hautville—Sa., crusilée, a lion rampt. arg. Sir —— de Mountfort—Arg., crusilée gu., a lion rampt. az. Sir Wm. Maufee—Arg., semée of escallops gu., a lion rampt. sa. Sir J. de Creppinge—Gu., billetée or, a lion rampt. arg. Sir R. de Asscheby—Arg., a lion rampt. sa. billetée or. Sir J. de Deyville—Gu., semée de lys, a lion 204 rampt. arg. Arg., within a bordure gu. bezantée, a lion rampt. sa., for Sir T. de Pickering; and, Arg., within an orle of roses gu., a lion rampt. sa., for Sir R. Pierpound, both apparently founded on the shield of the Earl of Cornwall, No. 140, which also is blazoned in this Roll. Sir J. Le Strange—Gu., two lions pass. arg., No. 191. Sir J. de Someri—Or, two lions pass. az. Sir R. de St. Waly—Or, two lions pass. gu. Sir N. Carru (Carew)—Or, three lions pass. sa. Sir J. Giffard—Gu., three lions pass. arg., No. 192. Sir R. le Fitz Payn—Gu., three lions pass. arg., over all a bendlet az. Sir G. de Canvyle—Az., three lions pass arg. In the beautiful chantry of Abbot Thomas Ramryge, at St. Albans, one of the large sculptured Shields is charged with a lion rampant within what may be considered to be an orle of roses—the arms, as I have just shown, assigned in the Roll of Edward II. to Sir R. Pierpound. This Shield, carefully drawn by the engraver himself from the original in the Abbey Church of St. Alban, is represented in No. 373.
No. 373.— At St. Albans.
Augmentation, or Augmentation of Honour, is a term employed to denote an addition to a Shield of arms, specially granted by the Sovereign to commemorate some worthy or illustrious deed, and forming an integral element of the Shield as an hereditary bearing. Such additions will be found marshalled in the forms of Chiefs and Inescutcheons as Cantons, or as Quarterings; or they may assume the character of additional charges. Also, this same term denotes similar additions of Crests, Badges, or any other accessories of Shields.
The Augmentation displayed upon the Ducal Shield of Wellington, a most honourable exception to the prevailing degenerate heraldic feeling of the period in which it was granted to the Great Duke, in characteristic and expressive qualities is second to no other example of its own class and order. This true Augmentation of Honour is the National 205 Device of the British Empire, as it is blazoned in the “Union Jack,” charged upon an inescutcheon, and displayed upon the honour point of the Duke’s paternal Shield.
An equally significant Augmentation of an earlier date is borne in the Arms of Howard. These Arms before the battle of Flodden were—Gu., a bend between six crosses crosslets fitchée arg. To commemorate the great victory won by him at Flodden Field, Sept. 9, 1513, when James IV. of Scotland was defeated and slain, Henry VIII. granted to Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk, and to his descendants, as an Augmentation of Honour, the Royal Shield of Scotland (No. 138), but having a demi-lion only, which is pierced through the mouth with an arrow, to be borne in the middle of the bend of his proper arms. This Shield is represented in No. 374; and in No. 374A the augmentation is shown on a larger scale.
No. 374.— Howard, after Flodden. No. 374A.—The Howard Augmentation.
A small group of additional examples will be sufficient to illustrate this most interesting class of historical Arms, and at the same time will not fail to excite in students a desire very considerably to extend the series through their own inquiries and researches. In memory of the devoted courage and all-important services of Jane Lane, after the disastrous battle of Worcester, Charles II. granted as an Augmentation a Canton of England (No. 187 marshalled on a canton), to be added to the hereditary Coat of Lane, 206 which is—Per fesse or and az., a chevron gu. between three mullets counterchanged. The Crest of the family of De la Bere is said to have been conferred by the Black Prince upon Sir Richard de la Bere, as a memorial of the good service rendered by that gallant knight on the memorable field of Cressi. This Crest is—Out of a crest-coronet a plume of five ostrich feathers per pale arg. and az., the Plantagenet colours—the device (as Mr. Lower observes) being evidently derived from the Prince’s own Badge, and also forming a variety of the “panache,” the Crest then held in such high estimation. The heart charged upon the shield of Douglas (see Nos. 156, 157, p. 74) is another remarkable Augmentation. So also is the adoption of the armorial insignia of the Confessor, No. 2, by Richard II., and his marshalling it upon his own Royal Shield, impaled to the dexter with the quartered arms of France and England.
English Heraldry has been required to recognise another and a perfectly distinct class of “Augmentations,” which consist of additions to the blazonry of a Shield or of additional quarterings or accessories, granted as tokens of Royal favour, for heraldic display, but without any particular “merit” in the receiver, or any special historical significance in themselves. Augmentations of this order may be considered to have been first introduced by Richard II., when he granted, “out of his mere grace,” to his favourite Robert de Vere, Earl of Oxford, Marquess of Dublin and Duke of Ireland, a differenced Coat of St. Edmund (No. 3)—Az., three crowns or, within a bordure argent, to be quartered with the De Vere arms as the arms of Ireland. In the same spirit, Richard II. granted, as similar Augmentations, the arms of the Confessor to be marshalled, with Differences, on their Shields by Thomas and John Holland, Dukes of Surrey and Exeter, and by Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk. It will be remembered that it was one of the capital charges against the 207 then Earl of Surrey, a lineal descendant of this Thomas Mowbray, the Duke of Norfolk, in 1546, that he had assumed, without the special licence of Henry VIII., the same arms of the Confessor as an augmentation.
By Edward IV. similar augmentations, “by grace” and not “for merit,” were granted; and by Henry VIII. the system was carried to excess in the grants made to augment the armorial blazonry of Anne Boleyn, and of his English consorts, her successors.
Abatement is a term which was unknown until it made its appearance in certain heraldic writings of the sixteenth century, when it was used to denote such marks or devices as, by the writers in question, were held to be the reverse of honourable Augmentation—Augmentations of dishonour indeed, and tokens of degradation. True Heraldry refuses to recognise all such pretended abatements, for the simple reason that they never did exist, and if they could exist at all, they would be in direct antagonism to its nature, its principles, and its entire course of action. Honourable itself, Heraldry can give expression only to what conveys honour, and it records and commemorates only what is to be honoured and held in esteem.
The very idea of an heraldic Abatement implies, if not a complete ignorance, certainly a thorough misconception of the character and the office of Heraldry. Even if Heraldry were to attempt to stigmatise what is, and what ought to be esteemed, dishonourable, who would voluntarily accept insignia of disgrace, and charge and display them upon his Shield, and transmit them to his descendants? And the believers in Abatement must hold that Heraldry can exert a compulsory legislative power, which might command a man to blazon his own disgrace, and force him to exhibit and to retain, and also to bequeath, any such blazonry. A belief in heraldic Abatement, however, is by no means singular or rare. A curious example of its 208 existence was recently brought under my notice, in connection with one of the most renowned of the historical devices of English Heraldry. The bear, the badge of the Beauchamps, Earls of Warwick, which appears at the feet of the effigy of Earl Richard in the Beauchamp chapel at Warwick, in accordance with a special provision to that effect, is “muzzled”; and, wearing a muzzle has this bear been borne, as their Badge, by the successors of the Beauchamps in the Warwick Earldom, the Earls of the houses of Neville, Dudley, Rich, and Greville. But, it would seem that a legend has found credence at Warwick Castle itself, which would associate the muzzle of the bear with some dishonourable action of an Earl of the olden time; and, consequently, it was proposed that at length this Abatement should be removed from the bears still at Warwick! Earl Richard de Beauchamp was not exactly the man to have displayed upon his bear any ensign of dishonour; nor were his son-in-law, the “King-maker,” and Queen Elizabeth’s Robert Dudley, at all more probable subjects for any similar display; still, it is quite certain that they bore the muzzled bear, as he appears on the seal of the great Earl, No. 448.7 That muzzle, doubtless, has its becoming heraldic significance, without in the slightest degree partaking in the assumed character of an Abatement. I hope eventually to be able to trace out conclusively what the muzzle may really imply, and I commend the research to other inquirers: meanwhile, neither at Warwick nor elsewhere is there any such thing as “Abatement” in English Heraldry.
7. See Frontispiece.
“On high their glittering crests they toss.” —Lord of the Isles.
“Then he bound
Her token on his helmet.”
The idea of a Crest, of some accessory specially designed to form its crowning adornment, appears inseparable from the existence and use of a Helm. The Warriors and Warrior Divinities of classic antiquity are represented to us, wearing head-pieces richly crested: and, in the Middle Ages, had no other Heraldry ever been devised, assuredly ornaments of some kind would have been placed on helms and basinets, and these insignia would have been held in high esteem and honour. Accordingly, about the time that Coat-Armour became hereditary, having been reduced to a system and accepted as an independent science, heraldic Crests began to be worn as honourable distinctions of the most exalted dignity by the mediæval chivalry.
No. 375.— Richard I. No. 376.— Henry de Perci. No. 377.— Henry de Laci.
Upon the Second Great Seal of Richard I. the cylindrical helm of the King appears surmounted by a kind of 210 cap or fan charged with a lion passant, the whole being arched over by a radiated ornament somewhat resembling a displayed fan, as in No. 375. Similar Crests, somewhat modified in their details, are represented in other seals of the same era, and with them the flowing Contoise or Scarf is sometimes associated, as in No. 376, from the seal of Baron Henry de Perci, A.D. 1300. Similar ornaments were also placed by the knights of those ages upon the heads of their chargers. The seal of Henry de Laci, Earl of Lincoln, A.D. 1272, shows the Fan-Crest both upon the helm of the Earl, No. 377, and the head of his war-horse. Another equally characteristic example is the Seal 211 of Alexander de Balliol, No. 378, appended to the “General Release” given by John Balliol to Edward I., 2nd January, 1292: it will be observed that this knight displays the arms of his house, No. 134, upon his Shield, and also, in addition to the Fan-Crest, upon the barding of his charger. Again I am indebted to the kindness and liberality of Mr. Laing for the use of his admirable woodcut of this fine and interesting seal.
No. 378.— Seal of Alexander de Balliol, A.D. 1292.
The flowing Contoise continued to be attached to helms till about the middle of the fourteenth century; unless, indeed, some veritable “lady’s favour” were worn in its stead by knights favoured as was Sir Launcelot, who, on a memorable day,—
“Wore, against his wont, upon his helm
A sleeve of scarlet, broidered with great pearls,
Some gentle maiden’s gift.”
No. 379.— Helm of Thomas, second Earl of Lancaster.
The seal of Thomas, second Earl of Lancaster, about A.D. 1320, gives an excellent example both of such figures as were beginning at that early time to supersede the Fan-Crests, and also of the Contoise; No. 379. About this same period the fashion was introduced of fixing two tall spikes, one on each side of the Crest, upon the helm, probably intended in the first instance to display the contoise. These singular spikes may have been derived by the English Heralds from their brethren of Germany, who 212 delighted, as they still delight, in placing upon helms as Crests, or as the accessories of Crests, small banners displayed from staves set erect and surmounted by spear-heads. In German Heraldry also Crests are very frequently placed between tall upright horns or trumpets: and, sometimes, upon a German helm the Crest stands between horns shaped like two elephant’s trunks (for which they have often been mistaken by English Heralds), placed in the same erect position, and, like the trumpets, so adjusted as to have the general aspect of the curved outline of a classic lyre. The helm of Sir Geoffrey Luterell, A.D. 1345, No. 380, drawn from a celebrated illumination, between the tall spikes has a late example of the Fan-Crest; and it exemplifies the practice sometimes adopted of charging armorial insignia upon Crests of this fan form. The Arms of Luterell—Or, a bend and six martlets sa.—were borne by Sir Geoffrey thus differenced (E. 2)—Az., a bend and six martlets arg. A pair of lofty upright wings 213 were held in much esteem in the Heraldry of both England and Scotland, to form the accessories of Crests. The Seal of Sir Robert de Marny, A.D. 1366, No. 381, shows his armorial shield—Gu., a lion rampant arg., suspended from a tree, between two crested helms, the crest in both cases being a winged chapeau, having the wings very tall and very slender.
No. 380.— Helm and Crest of Sir Geoffrey Luterell: A.D. 1345. No. 381.— Seal of Sir Robert de Marny, A.D. 1366.
From the earliest times, Crests have occasionally been identical with the principal charge in the Shield of Arms, or they have repeated the principal charge with some slight modification of attitude or accessory: but, more generally, Crests have been altogether distinct. The Dragon and the Wyvern, the latter well exemplified in No. 315, are amongst the earliest figures that were borne as Crests in England. Other early Figure-Crests are the Lion, crowned and assumed for the first time by an English Sovereign by Edward III.; and the Eagle, borne by the same Prince. Various devices and figures are found gradually to have been added to these earliest Crests. The graceful and peculiarly appropriate Panache soon joined them, with the heads of various animals and other creatures: and, as the fourteenth century advances, the Crest-Coronet, No. 232, the Crest-Wreath, No. 233, and the Chapeau, No. 224, assume their places in connection with Crests; and the Mantling falls in rich folds from them, covering the back of the Helm. In the succeeding century, with Helms less dignified in form, but more elaborately enriched, and with strangely fantastic Mantlings, Crests become considerably larger in their proportions; and they often are extravagant in their character, devices constantly being assumed and borne as Crests, which are no less inconsistent with true heraldic feeling, than with the peculiar conditions and the proper qualities of true heraldic Crests. The Crest of the Duke of Hamilton, No. 301, is far from being one of the most inconsistent devices that were intended to be worn 214 upon helms. And, as it is scarcely necessary for me to add, every really consistent Crest should be such a figure or device as might be actually worn upon his helm, by a mediæval knight, with dignity and with a happy effect.
No. 382.— Seal of William de Wyndesor.
Early examples of Panache-Crests exist in considerable numbers, and they show much variety of treatment. No. 285, already given at page 142, shows a Panache of several heights of feathers, the general outline having an oval contour. In No. 283, from the Seal of Edward de Courtenay, Earl of Devon, A.D. 1372, there are three heights of feathers, and the outline has a square form. Again, the Seal of William le Latimer, A.D. 1415, gives the peculiar Panache, with the no less peculiar variety of mantling, shown in No. 284. A Panache of ample proportions, and of exceedingly graceful form, is represented in the Seal of William de Wyndesor, A.D. 1381. The comparatively small size of the armorial Shield, as it generally appears when introduced into the composition of Seals in the fourteenth century, is shown in a striking manner in this same example, No. 382, which in the woodcut is slightly enlarged, in order to show the device more clearly: the arms are—Gu., a saltire or. Other fine examples of Panache-Crests may be seen in the effigies of Sir Richard de Pembridge, K.G., A.D. 1375, in Hereford Cathedral; of Sir Robert de 215 Marmion, A.D. 1400, at Tanfield, Yorkshire; and of Sir Thomas Arderne, about the same date, at Elford, in Staffordshire. The very fine effigy of Sir Edward de Thorpe, A.D. 1418, at Ashwelthorpe, in Norfolk, has a helm of rare beauty of form, with a rich mantling, and a most graceful Panache of peacock’s feathers; and peacock’s feathers also form the Panache of Lord Ferrers of Chartley, in his Brass, A.D. 1425, at Merevale, in Warwickshire. And, once more, upon the Seal of Thomas de Hatfield, Bishop of Durham, A.D. 1345, the Panache rises from the episcopal mitre, after the same manner as it does in No. 383 from a Coronet.
No. 383.— Crest of Sir Richard Grey, K.G., A.D. 1420.
Another episcopal Seal, that of Bishop Henry le Despencer, No. 351, shows a Shield of small size when compared with the helm and crest, the latter being the favourite device of a gryphon’s head between two tall upright wings. The Seals of the FitzAlans, Earls of Arundel, and the Seal of John Tiptoft, Earl of Worcester, may be specified as displaying fine examples of the same Crest. With them may be grouped the Crest of Sir Richard Grey, K.G., Lord Grey of Codnor, A.D. 1420—A peacock’s head and neck, between two wings erect, the feathers az., and their pens (quills) arg., No. 383, from the Garter-plate at Windsor. This Crest rises from such a Crest-Coronet as was borne on their helms by noblemen in the time of Henry V.
No. 384.— Helm, Crest, Mantling, and Badge of Richard II., from Westminster Hall.
The use of the Chapeau, or Cap of Estate, instead of a Crest-Coronet, to support a Crest upon a helm, I have already illustrated with Nos. 198 and 199, severally the Lion-Crests of the Black Prince and of his son Richard II. Like No. 199, No. 384 is from one of the unrivalled series of helms sculptured in Westminster Hall, 216 with the Crest and Ostrich-feather Badge of King Richard II. In both of these examples the adjustment of the Mantling is shown. Two famous Lion-Crests are those borne by the great families of Howard and Percy, severally Dukes of Norfolk and Northumberland. The Howard lion, originally granted by Richard II. to Thomas Mowbray, Earl Marshal, and now borne by the Duke of Norfolk, is a lion statant guardant, his tail extended or, and ducally gorged arg.: the Percy lion is statant, his tail extended or: each lion stands upon a chapeau. The Lion-Crest of the Black Prince, being charged with the silver Label (which he may be said to wear after the fashion of a collar), exemplifies the prevailing practice of differencing Crests with marks of Cadency. Crests admit every variety of Difference: and Mantlings also are frequently differenced with small charges, or with badges; as in the Garter-plate of Sir John Beaumont, K.G., and in the Brass at Little Easton, Essex, to Sir Henry Bourchier, K.G., Earl of Essex.
The Crest-Wreath first appears about the middle of the fourteenth century. The earliest example to which I can refer is represented in the Brass to Sir Hugh Hastings, at Elsyng, in Norfolk, A.D. 1347. In this most remarkable engraven memorial, the finial of the principal canopy is surmounted by a helm with mantling, wreath, and the crest of Hastings—a bull’s head sable; No. 385. In the effigy of Sir R. de Pembridge, K.G., already noticed, the date of which is 1375, the crest is united to the great helm that supports the head of the knight by a wreath formed of a band of four-leaved flowers. A little later, A.D. 1384, at Southacre, in Norfolk, the Brass of Sir John Harsyck has a 217 Crest-Wreath formed of two rolls, probably of silk, twisted as in No. 386. In the second half of the next century, amongst many good examples of Crest-Wreaths I select as typical specimens those which appear in the Brasses to Sir William Vernon, A.D. 1467, at Tong, in Shropshire, No. 386; and to Sir Robert Harcourt, K.G., No. 387, at Staunton Harcourt, Oxfordshire.
No. 385.— Crested Helm
of Sir Hugh Hastings; A.D. 1347. No. 386, 387, and 388.
The Crest-Wreath in the form shown in the last examples, and now almost universally used in representations of such Crests as are without the Crest-Coronet and the Chapeau, may fairly be considered to have been derived from the rich ornamentation, generally, as it would seem, formed of costly textile fabrics, if not executed in jewelled or enamelled goldsmith’s work, that was frequently wreathed about knightly basinets. These wreath-like ornaments are represented in numerous effigies both sculptured and engraven; and they are shown to have been worn either flat, as in No. 388, or wrought to high relief, as in No. 389. These two examples are severally from the effigies of a knight in Tewkesbury Abbey Church, about A.D. 1365, and of Sir Humphrey Stafford, A.D. 1450, at Bromsgrove, in Worcestershire. The enamelled effigy of Earl William de Valanece, A.D. 1296, at Westminster, has a 218 wreath of delicate workmanship in relief, which once was set with real or imitative jewels.
No. 389.— Basinet with Crest-Wreath,
Effigy of Sir Humphrey Stafford, A.D. 1450.
For many years after their first appearance, heraldic Crests were regarded as insignia of great dignity and exalted estate; and it was not till a considerably later period that the right to bear a Crest came to be regarded as an adjunct of the right to bear arms. Still later, when they were granted with Coat-Armour to corporate bodies, communities, and institutions, Crests altogether lost their original significance; and they became, in their use, Badges in everything except the habit of placing them, with their accessories of Wreath or Crest-Coronet, of Chapeau and Mantling, upon representations of helms.
When they were actually worn, Crests were undoubtedly constructed of some very light materials. It is probable that cuir bouilli (boiled leather), the decorative capabilities of which were so well understood by mediæval artists, was generally employed.
It has been sometimes held that Crests are personal bearings only; and, therefore, not hereditary, though capable of being bequeathed or granted by their possessors. This theory is not sustained by early or general usage; and, 219 accordingly, Crests must be pronounced to be hereditary, as is Coat-Armour.
It is evident that as one person may inherit, and therefore may quarter, two or more Coats of Arms, so the same person might claim to bear two or more Crests by a similar right of inheritance. This in early times resulted in selection because no early British precedent exists for the simultaneous display of two Crests. But it was soon recognised that as no woman could bear a Crest, she ought not to transmit one, and the idea of the inheritance of the Crest with a quartering from a female ancestress ceased. At the present day, several Crests, each with its own helm and mantling, are occasionally represented above a Shield of arms: but, in England, by strict heraldic rule, two (or more than two) Crests can be borne by one individual, only when he has obtained the Royal licence to bear and use the Surname and Arms of another family in addition to those of his own family, or, by a special grant from the Crown.
“Might I but know thee by thy household Badge!” —Shakespeare, Henry VI., Part 2.
A Badge, like a Coat of Arms, is an armorial ensign that is complete in itself, and possesses a definite signification of its own. In use with a decided heraldic significance long before the adoption of systematic Heraldry, Badges have always held a conspicuous position in the estimation of Heralds. A Badge resembles any single charge in Heraldry, in being a figure or device that is assumed as the distinctive cognisance of a particular individual or family: but, unlike a charge, it may be borne by itself, without any Shield, and also without any accompanying accessory, with the exception, in some instances, of a Motto (See “Motto,” p. 138). Badges, however, are found depicted on roundels of the livery, and upon Standards, and for decorative purposes are often depicted upon mantlings. It will be evident that a Badge may be the very same figure or device as a Crest; but, it must be remembered that a Badge always differs from a Crest, in usually being altogether without crest-wreath or coronet, in consequence of having no connection whatever with the knightly helm. There was, however, a period in which the Badge was much confused with the Crest, which has resulted in many devices which are really Crests being officially recorded as Badges.
After the establishment of a true Heraldry, Badges were generally used to commemorate remarkable exploits, or in 221 reference either to some family or feudal alliance, or to indicate some territorial rights or pretensions. Very many Badges are allusive, and consequently they are Rebuses (see “Rebus,” p. 146). Some are taken from the charges of the bearer’s Shield, or they have a more or less direct reference to those charges. Some trace of Marshalling or of feudal Difference may constantly be observed in Badges; and even where the motive for the selection of certain devices has not been discovered, it may fairly be assumed that a good heraldic motive still exists, although it has become obscured or been forgotten. It was not uncommon for the same personage or family to use more than one Badge; and, on the other hand, two or more Badges were often borne in combination, to form a single compound device, as in Nos. 235 and 270. The ragged staff, in like manner, No. 294, and the bear, both of them Badges of the Beauchamps, Earls of Warwick, were sometimes united to form a single Badge, and by the successors of that great family the “bear and ragged staff” were generally borne as a single device. (See No. 448, and p. 319.)
Two distinct classes of Badges were in general use in the fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth centuries. Those of the first class, well known as the insignia of certain eminent personages and powerful houses, were borne by all the followers, retainers, dependants, and partisans of those personages and houses: and they were so borne by them, and they were used by their owners for every variety of decorative purpose, because they were known and understood; and, consequently, because the presence of these Badges would cause all persons and objects bearing them to be readily and certainly distinguished. By means of these most useful devices a wide and comprehensive range was given to the action and the influence of true Heraldry, without infringing in the slightest degree upon the lofty and almost sacred exclusiveness of the Coat-Armour of a noble or 222 a gentle house. In the words which Shakespeare teaches Clifford to address to Warwick, “Might I but know thee by thy household Badge!” it is implied that all the followers of Warwick were well known by his “household Badge,” which was displayed by them all, while some other insignia were worn by the great Earl upon his own person.
Mr. Lower has remarked (“Curiosities of Heraldry,” p. 145) that “something analogous to the fashion” of embroidering the household Badges of their lords “upon the sleeves or breasts” of the dependants of great families in the olden times, “is retained in the Crest which adorns the buttons of our domestic servants.” The accomplished writer might have added that, in thus employing Crests to discharge Badge-duties, we are content to indulge a love for heraldic display without observing becoming heraldic distinctions. Crested livery buttons are heraldic anomalies under all circumstances—even the head of a house himself, if he were a Herald, would not display his Crest, as a Crest, upon buttons to be used exclusively by himself. Crests are to be borne on helms, or represented as being borne on helms: Badges are decorative insignia, and fulfil with consistent significance their own distinct and appropriate functions.
Badges of the second class were devices that were borne exclusively by the exalted personages who were pleased to assume them, often for temporary use only, and generally with some subtle or latent significance, which had been studiously rendered difficult to be detected, and dubious in its application.
These Badges, thus displayed rather to effect disguise or to excite curiosity than to secure recognition, must be regarded for the most part as the expressions of heraldic revelry—as the fantasies and eccentricities of an age, which loved to combine quaint conceits and symbolical allusions with the display of gorgeous magnificence. Accordingly, 223 Badges of this order are found generally to have been assumed on the occasion of the jousts or Hastiludes, the masques, and other pageants that in feudal times were celebrated with so much of elaborate and brilliant splendour.
The adoption of Badges of this peculiar character is exactly in keeping with the sentiment which prompted men of exalted rank and eminent distinction to appear in public, on occasions of high festivity, bearing the arms of some friend, kinsman, or ally, instead of their own. A mark of especial favour and of peculiar distinction would be conferred, when a Sovereign or a Prince thus would display upon his own person the armory of some honoured subject or comrade. Edward III. delighted thus to honour the most distinguished cavaliers of his chivalrous Court. For example, in or about the year 1347, royal Hastiludes were celebrated at Lichfield with great splendour, the jousters consisting of the King and seventeen Knights, and the Earl of Lancaster and thirteen Knights. A conspicuous part was taken in these festivities by the King’s daughter Isabelle, afterwards Countess of Bedford, and by six Ladies of high rank, with twenty-one other Ladies, who all wore blue dresses and white hoods of the same materials as well as the same colours as the robes of the Knights, together with various masks or vizors. On this occasion, the King himself over his armour wore a surcoat with the Arms of Sir Thomas de Bradestone. These Arms in a Roll of Edward III. are blazoned as—Arg., on a canton gu. a rose or (see Archæologia, xxxi., pp. 40 and 118). On another occasion, during Hastiludes at Canterbury, Edward III. “is said to have given eight harnesses, worked with the arms of Sir Stephen de Cosynton (az., three roses arg.), to the Prince of Wales, the Earl of Lancaster, and six other Knights.” In the same spirit, Richard de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, at a great festival of arms held at Calais under 224 his presidency, on the first day entered the lists decorated with the arms of his ancestor the Lord Toney: on the second day, he wore the arms of Hanslap: and, on the third day, “he appeared as the Earl of Warwick, quartering Beauchamp, Guy, Hanslap, and Toney, on his trappings; his vizor open, and the chaplet on his helm enriched with pearls and precious stones.” In such times, Badges of curious device and occult signification could not fail to enjoy a popularity, not the less decided because of the restricted use and exclusive character of the Badges themselves.
No. 390.— Secretum of Robert Bruce, Earl of Carrick; A.D. 1296. No. 391.— Seal of Sir Walter de Hungerford, K.G., A.D. 1425.
Examples of Badges, such as are distinctive, and consequently of the class that I have first described. The Badges of Percy are a silver crescent and a double manacle: of Howard, a white lion: Pelham, a buckle: Douglas, a red heart: Scrope, a Cornish chough: Clinton, a golden mullet: Talbot, a hound: Bohun, a white swan: Hungerford, a sickle: Peverel, a garb: Stourton, a golden “drag” or sledge. The various “Knots,” described and illustrated in Chapter X., Nos. 219, 235, 263, 270, 274, 304, and 313, are Badges. The bear and ragged staff of the Beauchamps, and, after them, of the Nevilles and Dudleys, I have already noticed. Seals frequently have Badges introduced upon them, in very early times, by themselves, the Badge in each case constituting the device of the Seal (see p. 193). The Secretum or private Seal of Robert Bruce, Earl of Carrick, the father of the King, appended to the homage-deed extorted by Edward I. from the Scottish nobles, is a good example, No. 390: this is another of Mr. Laing’s beautiful woodcuts. Badges also constantly appear upon Seals in association with Shields of arms. Thus, a Seal of one of the Berkeleys, A.D. 1430, has a mermaid on each side of an armorial shield. Two other examples of this kind I have already given: No. 318, the Seal of Joan de Barre, which is charged with the castle and lion of Castile 225 and Leon, as Badges: and No. 321, the Seal of Oliver de Bohun, charged, about the Shield, with the Bohun Swan. On his Seal, No. 391, Sir Walter de Hungerford, K.G., Lord of Heytesbury and Homet (the latter a Norman barony), displays his own Badge, the sickle, in happy alliance with the garb of Peverel (borne by him in right of his wife, Catherine, daughter and co-heir of Thomas Peverel), to form his Crest. The Crest, it will be observed, in No. 391, is a garb between two sickles. The Shield of Hungerford only—sa. two bars arg., and in chief three plates, is also placed between two sickles. Two banners, denoting important alliances, complete the Heraldry of this remarkable composition: the banner to the dexter, for Heytesbury, bears—per pale indented gu. and vert., a chevron or; and that to the sinister, for Hussy—barry of six erm. and gu. Lord Hungerford died in 1449, and was succeeded by his eldest surviving son, Sir Robert de Hungerford. The Seal of this Sir Robert, used by 226 him during the lifetime of his father, precisely the same in its heraldic composition as his father’s Seal, is remarkable from having each of its four sickles differenced with an ermine-spot upon the blade, to mark Cadency; and also, with the same motive, it shows that a label of three points was charged upon the Shield, and upon each of the two banners; No. 392.
No. 392.— Seal of Sir Robert de Hungerford: before A.D. 1449.
Through an alliance with the Hungerfords, sickles were borne, as one of their Badges, by the great family of Courtenay. They appear, with a dolphin, a tau cross, and this same tau-cross having a bell attached to it, as in No. 393, sculptured on the fine heraldic chimney-piece, the work of Bishop Peter de Courtenay (died in 1492), now in the hall of the Episcopal Palace at Exeter.
A Courtenay Badge,
The Badges of our early Heraldry are comparatively but little understood. They invite the particular attention of students, both from their own special interest, and the light they are qualified to throw upon the personal history of the 227 English people, and also from their peculiar applicability for use by ourselves at the present day. Indeed, at this time, when the revival of true Heraldry is in the act of being accomplished with complete success, it appears to be peculiarly desirable that Badges should be brought into general use. It is not enough for us to revive our old English Heraldry as once in the olden time it flourished in England, and to rest content with such a revival: but we must go on to adapt our revived Heraldry, in its own spirit and in full sympathy with its genuine feeling, to conditions of our age and of the state of things now in existence. And very much may be done to effect this by the adoption of Badges, as our favourite and most expressive heraldic insignia, both in connection with Coat-Armour and for independent display. Unlike Crests, which must necessarily be associated with helms and the wearers of helms, and consequently have both a military and a mediæval character, Badges are equally appropriate for use by Ladies, as well as by men of every profession, and they belong alike to every age and period. This has been recognised officially, to the extent that the officers of arms have now reverted to the ancient practice of granting and confirming badges and Standards.
Royal Badges.—I conclude this chapter with a concise list of the more important of the Badges that have been borne by the Sovereigns and Princes of England; and with some general remarks upon the famous Badge of the Ostrich Feathers, now considered to be exclusively the Ensign of the Princes of Wales, not as such, but as the heirs-apparent to the Throne.
The Planta-genista, or Broom-plant, No. 21, is well known as an English Royal Badge, from the surname derived from it for one of the most remarkable 228 of the Royal Houses that ever have flourished in Europe.
As well known are the Rose, Thistle, and Shamrock, severally the Badges of the three realms of the United Kingdom of England, Scotland, and Ireland. A golden Rose stalked proper was a badge of Edward I.: and from it apparently were derived, but by what process it is unknown, the White Rose of York, the Red Rose of Lancaster, and the White and Red Rose of the House of Tudor.
William Rufus: A Flower of five foils.
Henry I.: A Flower of eight foils.
Stephen: A Flower of seven foils: a Sagittarius.
Henry II.: The Planta-genista: an Escarbuncle: a Sword and Olive-Branch.
Richard I.: A Star of thirteen rays and a Crescent: a Star issuing from a Crescent: a Mailed Arm grasping a broken Lance, with the Motto—“Christo Duce.”
John and Henry III.: A Star issuing from a Crescent.
Edward I.: An heraldic Rose or, stalked ppr.
Edward II.: A Castle of Castile.
Edward III.: A Fleur de lys: a Sword: a Falcon: a Gryphon: the Stock of a Tree: Rays issuing from a Cloud.
Richard II.: A White Hart lodged: the Stock of a Tree: A White Falcon: the Sun in splendour: the Sun clouded.
Henry IV.: The Cypher SS: a crowned Eagle: an Eagle displayed: a White Swan: A Red Rose: a Columbine Flower: A Fox’s Tail: a crowned Panther: the Stock of a Tree: a Crescent. His Queen, Joan of Navarre: An Ermine, or Gennet.
Henry V.: A Fire-beacon: a White Swan gorged and chained: a chained Antelope.
Henry VI.: Two Ostrich Feathers in Saltire: a chained Antelope: a Panther.
Edward IV.: A White Rose en Soleil: a White Wolf and White Lion: a White Hart: a Black Dragon and Black Bull: a Falcon and Fetter-lock: the Sun in splendour.
Henry VII.: A Rose of York and Lancaster, a Portcullis and a Fleur de lys, all of them crowned: a Red Dragon: a White Greyhound: a Hawthorn Bush and Crown, with the cypher H. R.
Henry VIII.: The same, without the Hawthorn Bush, and with a White Cock. His Queens: Catherine of Aragon—A Rose, Pomegranate, and Sheaf of Arrows. Anne Boleyn—A Crowned Falcon, holding a Sceptre. Jane Seymour—A Phœnix rising from a Castle, between Two Tudor Roses. Catherine Parr—A Maiden’s Head crowned, rising from a large Tudor Rose.
Edward VI.: A Tudor Rose: the Sun in splendour.
Mary: A Tudor Rose impaling a Pomegranate—also impaling a Sheaf of Arrows, ensigned with a Crown, and surrounded with rays: a Pomegranate.
Elizabeth: A Tudor Rose with the motto, “Rosa sine Spinâ” (a Rose without a Thorn): a Crowned Falcon and Sceptre. She used as her own motto—“Semper Eadem” (Always the same).
James I.: A Thistle: a Thistle and Rose dimidiated and crowned, No. 308, with the motto—“Beati Pacifici” (Blessed are the peacemakers).
Charles I., Charles II., James II.: The same Badge as James I., without his motto.
Anne: A Rose-Branch and a Thistle growing from one branch.
From this time distinctive personal Badges ceased to be borne by English Sovereigns. But various badges have become stereotyped and now form a constituent part of 230 the Royal Arms, and will be found recited later in Chapter XVIII.
The Ostrich Feather Badge. The popular tradition, that the famous Badge of the Ostrich Feathers was won from the blind King of Bohemia at Cressi by the Black Prince, and by him afterwards borne as an heraldic trophy, is not supported by any contemporary authority. The earliest writer by whom the tradition itself is recorded is Camden (A.D. 1614), and his statement is confirmed by no known historical evidence of a date earlier than his own work. As Sir N. Harris Nicholas has shown in a most able paper in the Archæologia (vol. xxxi. pp. 350-384), the first time the Feathers are mentioned in any record is in a document, the date of which must have been after 1369, and which contains lists of plate belonging to the King himself, and also to Queen Phillipa. It is particularly to be observed, that all the pieces of plate specified in this roll as the personal property of the Queen, if marked with any device at all, are marked with her own initial, or with some heraldic insignia that have a direct reference to herself. One of these pieces of plate is described as “a large dish for the alms of the Queen, of silver gilt, and enamelled at the bottom with a black escutcheon with Ostrich Feathers—eym in fund vno scuch nigro cum pennis de ostrich.” And these “Ostrich Feathers,” thus blazoned on a sable field upon the silver alms-dish of Queen Philippa, Sir N. H. Nicholas believed to have been borne by the Queen as a daughter of the House of Hainault; and he suggested that these same “Ostrich Feathers” might possibly have been assumed by the Counts of the Province of Hainault from the Comté of Ostrevant, which formed the appanage of their eldest sons.
No. 395.— At Peterborough Cathedral. No. 394.— At Worcester Cathedral. No. 396.— At Peterborough Cathedral.
At the first, either a single Feather was borne, the quill generally transfixing an escroll, as in No. 394, from the monument of Prince Arthur Tudor, in Worcester 231 Cathedral; or, two Feathers were placed side by side, as they also appear upon the same monument. In Seals, or when marshalled with a Shield of Arms, two Feathers are seen to have been placed after the manner of Supporters, one on each side of the composition: in such examples the tips of the Feathers droop severally to the dexter and sinister: in all the early examples also the Feathers droop in the same manner, or they incline slightly towards the spectator. Three Feathers were first grouped together by Arthur Tudor, Prince of Wales, eldest son of Henry VII., as in Nos. 395 and 396, from Peterborough Cathedral; or with an escroll, as in No. 397, from a miserere in the fine and interesting church at Ludlow. The plume of three Feathers appears to have been encircled with a coronet, for the first time, by Prince Edward, afterwards Edward VI., but who never was Prince of Wales: No. 398, carved very boldly over the entrance gateway to the Deanery at Peterborough, is a good early example. In No. 399 I give a representation of another early plume of three Ostrich Feathers, as they are carved, with an escroll in place of a coronet, upon the Chantry of Abbot Ramryge in the Abbey Church at St. Albans: and again, in No. 400, from the head of a window near the east end of the choir, on the south side, in Exeter Cathedral, the three 232 Feathers are charged upon a Shield per pale azure and gules, and this Shield is on a roundle.
No. 397.— In Ludlow Church. No. 398.— The Deanery, Peterborough.
No. 399.— In the Abbey Church of St. Alban. No. 400.— In Exeter Cathedral.
The Ostrich Feathers were borne, as a Badge with his Shield of Arms, upon one Seal of Edward III. himself: they were used, as an heraldic device, about the year 1370, by Philippa, his Queen: they appear on some, but not on all, the Seals of the Black Prince, and they are omitted from some of his Seals after the battle of Cressi (A.D. 1346): and they were also borne, generally with some slight difference, marking Cadency, in all probability by all the other sons of Edward III.—certainly by John of Ghent, Duke of Lancaster, and by Thomas of Woodstock, Duke 233 of Gloucester. They were adopted by Richard II., and placed on either side of his crested Helm in the heraldic sculpture of Westminster Hall, as appears in two of these beautiful examples, Nos. 199 and 384: by this Prince the Ostrich Feathers were placed on his first Royal Seal, and they were habitually used for decoration and heraldic display; and they also were formally granted by him, as a mark of especial favour, to be borne as an Augmentation of the highest honour, to his cousin Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk. The Ostrich Feathers were borne, in like manner, by the succeeding Princes, both Lancastrian and Yorkist: by at least two of the Beauforts: by the Princes of the House of Tudor: and by their successors the Stuarts. Thus, it is certain that the Ostrich Feathers were held to be a Royal Badge, from the time of their first appearance in the Heraldry of England about the middle of the fourteenth century; and that in that character they were adopted and borne by the successive Sovereigns, and by the Princes, sometimes also by the Princesses (as in the instance of a Seal of Margaret Beaufort, the mother of Henry VII.), of the Royal Houses, without any other distinction than some slight mark of Cadency, and without the slightest trace of any peculiar association with any one member of the Royal Family. From the time of the accession of the House of Stuart to the Crown of the United Kingdom, however, the coroneted plume of three Ostrich Feathers appears to have been regarded, as it is at this present day, as the special Badge of the Heir to the Throne.
In accordance with the express provision of his will, two armorial Shields are displayed upon the monument of the Black Prince in Canterbury Cathedral, which Shields the Prince himself distinguishes as his Shields “for War” and “for Peace”; the former charged with his quartered arms of France and England differenced with his silver 234 Label, No. 337; and the latter, sable, charged with three Ostrich Feathers argent, their quills passing through scrolls bearing the Motto, “Ich Diene” No. 401. The same motto is placed over each of the Shields that are charged with the Feathers, as in No. 401: and over each Shield charged with the quartered arms (there are on each side of the tomb six Shields, three of the Arms, and three of the Feathers, alternately) is the other motto of the Prince, “Houmout.” In his will, the Black Prince also desired that a “black Pennon with Ostrich Feathers” should be displayed at his Funeral; and he further appointed that his Chapel in Canterbury Cathedral should be adorned in various places with his Arms, and “likewise with our Badge of Ostrich Feathers—noz bages dez plumes d’ostruce.”
No. 401.— Shield “for Peace” of the Black Prince.
The will of the Black Prince proves the Feathers to have been a Badge, and not either a Crest or the ensign of a Shield of Arms, since twice he expressly calls them “our Badge”: and it also is directly opposed to the traditional warlike origin and military character of the Feathers, as a Badge of the Black Prince, for it particularly specifies the peaceful significance of this Badge, and distinguishes it from the insignia that were worn and displayed by the Prince 235 when he was equipped for war. The Mottoes “Ich Diene” and “Houmout” are old German, and they signify, “I serve,” and “magnanimous.” It has been suggested by Mr. Planché, that “Houmout” is Flemish, and that the three words really form a single Motto, signifying, “Magnanimous, I serve,” that is, “I obey the dictates of