A Complete Guide to Heraldry/Chapter 29

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[ 453 ]

CHAPTER XXIX

BADGES

The exact status of the badge in this country, to which it is peculiar, has been very much misunderstood. This is probably due to the fact that the evolution of the badge was gradual, and that its importance increased unconsciously. Badges do not formerly appear to have ever been made the subjects of grants, and the instances which can be referred to showing their control, or attempted control, by the Crown in past times are very rare indeed. As a matter of fact, the Crown seems to have perhaps purposely ignored them. They are not, as we know them, found in the earliest times of heraldry, unless we are to presume their existence from early seals, many of which show isolated charges taken from the arms; for if in the cases where such charges appear upon the seals we are to accept those seals as proofs of the contemporary existence of those devices as heraldic badges, we should often be led into strange conclusions.

There is no doubt that these isolated devices which are met with were not only a part of the arms, but in many cases the origin of the arms. Devices possessing a more or less personal and possessive character occur in many cases before record of the arms they later developed into can be traced. This will be noticed in relation to the arms of Swinton, to which reference is made elsewhere. If these are badges, then badges go back to an earlier date than arms. Such devices occur many centuries before such a thing as a shield of arms existed.

The Heraldic Badge, as we know it, came into general use about the reign of Edward III., that is, the heraldic badge as a separate matter having a distinct existence in addition to concurrent arms, and having at the same time a distinctly heraldic character. But long before that date, badges are found with an allied reference to a particular person, which very possibly are rightly included in any enumeration of badges. Of such a character is the badge of the broom plant, which is found upon the tomb of Geoffrey, Count of Anjou, from which badge the name of the Plantagenet dynasty originated (Plantagenet, by the way, was never a personal surname, but was the name of the dynasty). [ 454 ]

It is doubtful, however, if at that early period there existed much if indeed any opportunity for the use of heraldic badges. At the same time, as far back as the reign of Richard I.—and some writers would take examples of a still more remote period—these badges must have been occasionally depicted upon banners, for Richard I. appears to have had a dragon upon one of his banners.

These banner decorations, which at a later date have been often accepted as badges, can hardly be quite properly so described, for there are many cases where no other proof of usage can be found, and there is no doubt that many such are instances of no more than banners prepared for specific purposes; and the record of such and such a banner cannot necessarily carry proof that the owner of the banner claimed or used the objects depicted thereupon as personal badges. If they are to be so included some individuals must have revelled in a multitude of badges.

But the difficulty in deciding the point very greatly depends upon the definition of the badge; and if we are to take the definition according to the manner of acceptance and usage at the period when the use of badges was greatest, then many of the earliest cannot be taken as coming within the limits.

In later Plantagenet days, badges were of considerable importance, and certain characteristics are plainly marked. They were never worn by the owner—in the sense in which he carried his shield, or bore his crest; they were his sign-mark indicative of ownership; they were stamped upon his belongings in the same way in which Government property is marked with the broad arrow, and they were worn by his servants. They were worn not only by his retainers, but very probably were also worn more or less temporarily by adherents of his party if he were big enough to lead a party in the State. At all times badges had very extensive decorative use.

There was never any fixed form for the badge; there was never any fixed manner of usage. I can find no fixed laws of inheritance, no common method of assumption. In fact the use of a badge, in the days when everybody who was anybody possessed arms, was quite subsidiary to the arms, and very much akin to the manner in which nowadays monograms are made use of. At the same time care must be taken to distinguish the "badge" from the "rebus," and also from the temporary devices which we read about as having been so often adopted for the purpose of the tournament when the combatant desired his identity to be concealed. Modern novelists and poets give us plenty of illustrations of the latter kind, but proof of the fact even that they were ever adopted in that form is by no means easy to find, though their professedly temporary nature of course militates against [ 455 ] the likelihood of contemporary record. The rebus had never an heraldic status, and it had seldom more than a temporary existence. A fanciful device adopted (we hear of many such instances) for the temporary purpose of a tournament could generally be so classed, but the rebus proper has some device, usually a pictorial rendering of the name of the person for whom it stood. In such a category would be included printers' and masons' marks, but probably the definition of Dr. Johnson of the word rebus, as a word represented by a picture, is as good a definition and description as can be given. The rebus in its nature is a different thing from a badge, and may best be described as a pictorial signature, the most frequent occasion for its use being in architectural surroundings, where it was constantly introduced as a pun upon some name which it was desired to perpetuate. The best-known and perhaps the most typical and characteristic rebus is that of Islip, the builder of part of Westminster Abbey. Here the pictured punning representation of his name had nothing to do with his armorial bearings or personal badge; but the great difficulty, in dealing with both badges and rebuses, is the difficulty of knowing which is which, for very frequently the same or a similar device was used for both purposes. Parker, in his glossary of heraldic terms, gives several typical examples of rebuses which very aptly illustrate their status and meaning. At Lincoln College at Oxford, and on other buildings connected with Thomas Beckynton, Bishop of Bath and Wells, will be found carved the rebus of a beacon issuing from a tun. This is found in conjunction with the letter T for his Christian name, Thomas. Now this design was not his coat of arms, and was not his crest, nor was it his badge. Another rebus which is found at Canterbury shows an ox and the letters N, E, as the rebus of John Oxney. A rebus which indicates Thomas Conyston, Abbot of Cirencester, which can be found in Gloucester Cathedral, is a comb and a tun, and the printer's mark of Richard Grifton, which is a good example of a rebus and its use, was a tree, or graft, growing on a tun. In none of these cases are the designs mentioned on any part of the arms, crest, or badge of the persons mentioned. Rebuses of this character abound on all our ancient buildings, and their use has lately come very prominently into favour in connection with the many allusive bookplates, the design of which originates in some play upon the name. The words "device," "ensign," and "cognisance" have no definite heraldic meaning, and are used impartially to apply to the crest, the badge, and sometimes to the arms upon the shield, so that they may be eliminated from consideration. There remains therefore the crest and the badge between which to draw a definite line of distinction. The real difference lay in the method of use, though there is usually a difference of form, [ 456 ] recognisable by an expert, but difficult to put into words. The crest was the ornament upon the helmet, seldom if ever actually worn, and never used except by the person to whom it belonged. The badge, on the other hand, was never placed upon the helmet, but was worn by the servants and retainers, and was used right and left on the belongings of the owner as a sign of his ownership. So great and extensive at one period was the use of these badges, that they were far more generally employed than either arms or crest, and whilst the knowledge of a man's badge or badges would be everyday knowledge and common repute throughout the kingdom, few people would know that man's crest, fewer still would ever have seen it worn.

It is merely an exaggeration of the difficulty that we are always in uncertainty whether any given device was merely a piece of decoration borrowed from the arms or crest, or whether it had continued usage as a badge. In the same way many families who had never used crests, but who had used badges, took the opportunity of the Visitations to record their badges as crests. A notable example of the subsequent record of a badge as a crest is met with in the Stourton family. Their crest, originally a buck's head, but after the marriage with the heiress of Le Moigne, a demi-monk, can be readily substantiated, as can their badge of the drag or sledge. At one of the Visitations, however, a cadet of the Stourton family recorded the sledge as a crest. Uncertainty also arises from the lack of precision in the diction employed at all periods, the words badge, device, and crest having so often been used interchangeably.

Another difficulty which is met with in regard to badges is that, with the exception of the extensive records of the Royal badges and some other more or less informal lists of badges of the principal personages at different periods, badges were never a subject of official record, and whilst it is difficult to determine the initial point as to whether any particular device is a badge or not, the difficulty of deducing rules concerning badges becomes practically impossible, and after most careful consideration I have come to the conclusion that there were never any hard and fast rules relating to badges, that they were originally and were allowed to remain matters of personal fancy, and that although well-known cases can be found where the same badge has been used generation after generation, those cases may perhaps be the exception rather than the rule. Badges should be considered and accepted in the general run as not being matters of permanence, and as of little importance except during the time from about the reign of Edward III. to about the reign of Henry VIII. Their principal use upon the clothes of the retainers came to an end by the creation of the standing army, the beginning of which can be traced to the reign of Henry VIII., and as badges never had any ceremonial use to perpetuate [ 457 ] their status, their importance almost ceased altogether at that period except as regards the Royal family.

Speaking broadly, regularised and recorded heraldic control as a matter of operative fact dates little if any further back than the end of the reign of Henry VIII., consequently badges originally do not appear to have been taken much cognisance of by the Heralds. Their actual use from that period onwards rapidly declined, and hence the absence of record.

Though the use of badges has become very restricted, there are still one or two occasions on which badges are used as badges, in the style formerly in vogue. Perhaps the case which is most familiar is the broad arrow which is used to mark Government stores. It is a curious commentary upon heraldic officialdom and its ways that though this is the only badge which has really any extensive use, it is not a Crown badge in any degree. Although this origin has been disputed it is said to have originated in the fact that one of the Sydney family, when Master of the Ordnance, to prevent disputes as to the stores for which he was responsible, marked everything with his private badge of the broad arrow, and this private badge has since remained in constant use. One wonders at what date the officers of His Majesty will observe that this has become one of His Majesty's recognised badges, and will include it with the other Royal badges in the warrants in which they are recited. Already more than two centuries have passed since it first came into use, and either they should represent to the Government that the pheon is not a Crown mark, and that some recognised Royal badge should be used in its place, or else they should place its status upon a definite footing.

Another instance of a badge used at the present day in the ancient manner is the conjoined rose, thistle, and shamrock which is embroidered front and back upon the tunics of the Beefeaters and the Yeomen of the Guard. The crowned harps which are worn by the Royal Irish Constabulary are another instance of the kind, but though a certain number of badges are recited in the warrant each time any alteration or declaration of the Royal Arms occurs, their use has now become very limited. Present badges are the crowned rose for England, the crowned thistle for Scotland, and the crowned trefoil and the crowned harp for Ireland; whilst for the Union there is the conjoined rose, thistle, and shamrock under the crown, and the crowned shield which carries the device of the Union Jack. The badge of Wales, which has existed for long enough, is the uncrowned dragon upon a mount vert, and the crowned cyphers, one within and one without the Garter, are also depicted upon the warrant. These badges, which appear on the Sovereign's warrant, are never assigned to any other member of the Royal Family, of whom [ 458 ] the Prince of Wales is the only one who rejoices in the possession of officially assigned badges. The badge of the eldest son of the Sovereign, as such, and not as Prince of Wales, is the plume of three ostrich feathers, enfiled with the circlet from his coronet. Recently an additional badge (on a mount vert, a dragon passant gules, charged on the shoulder with a label of three points argent) has been assigned to His Royal Highness. This action was taken with the desire to in some way gratify the forcibly expressed wishes of Wales, and it is probable that, the precedent having been set, it will be assigned to all those who may bear the title of Prince of Wales in future.

The only instances I am personally aware of in which a real badge of ancient origin is still worn by the servants are the cases of the state liveries of the Earl of Yarborough, whose servants wear an embroidered buckle, and of Lord Mowbray and Stourton, whose servants wear an embroidered sledge. The family of Daubeney of Cote still bear the old Daubeney badge of the pair of bat's wings; Lord Stafford still uses his "Stafford knot." I believe the servants of Lord Braye still wear the badge of the hemp-brake, and those of the Earl of Loudoun wear the Hastings maunch; and doubtless there are a few other instances. When the old families were becoming greatly reduced in number, and the nobility and the upper classes were being recruited from families of later origin, the wearing of badges, like so much else connected with heraldry, became lax in its practice.

The servants of all the great nobles in ancient days appear to have worn the badges of their masters in a manner similar to the use of the royal badge by the Yeomen of the Guard, although sometimes the badge was embroidered upon the sleeve; and the wearing of the badge by the retainers is the chief and principal use to which badges were anciently put. Nisbet alludes on this point to a paragraph from the Act for the Order of the Riding of Parliament in 1681, which says that "the noblemen's lacqueys may have over their liveries velvet coats with their badges, i.e. their crests and mottoes done on plate, or embroidered on the back and breast conform to ancient custom." A curious survival of these plates is to be found in the large silver plaques worn by so many bank messengers. Badges appear, however, to have been frequently depicted semé upon the lambrequins of armorial achievements, as will be seen from many of the old Garter plates; but here, again, it is not always easy to distinguish between definite badges and artistic decoration, nor between actual badges in use and mere appropriately selected charges from the shield.

The water-bougets of Lord Berners, the knot of Lord Stafford, popularly known as "the Stafford knot"; the Harington fret; the ragged staff or the bear and the ragged staff of Lord Warwick (this [ 459 ] being really a conjunction of two separate devices); the Rose of England, the Thistle of Scotland, and the sledge of Stourton, the hemp-brake of Lord Braye wherever met with are readily recognised as badges, but there are many badges which it is difficult to distinguish from crests, and even some which in all respects would appear to be more correctly regarded as coats of arms.

It is a point worthy of consideration whether or not a badge needs a background; here, again, it is a matter most difficult to determine, but it is singular that in any matter of record the badge is almost invariably depicted upon a background, either of a standard or a mantling, or upon the "field" of a roundel, and it may well be that their use in such circumstances as the two cases first mentioned may have only been considered correct when the colour of the mantling or the standard happened to be the right colour for the background of the badge.

Badges are most usually met with in stained glass upon roundels of some colour or colours, and though one would hesitate to assert it as an actual fact, there are many instances which would lead one to suppose that the background of a badge was usually the livery colour or colours of its then owner, or of the family from which it was originally inherited. Certain is it that there are very few contemporary instances of badges which, when emblazoned, are not upon the known livery colours; and if this fact be accepted, then one is perhaps justified in assuming all to be livery colours, and we get at once a ready explanation on several points which have long puzzled antiquaries. The name of Edward "the Black Prince" has often been a matter of discussion, and the children's history books tell us that the nickname originated from the colour of his armour. This may be true enough, but as most armour would be black when it was unpolished, and as most armour was either polished or dull, the probabilities are not very greatly in its favour. Though there can be found instances, it was not a usual custom for any one to paint his armour red or green. Even if the armour of the prince were enamelled black it would be so usually hidden by his surcoat that he is hardly likely to have been nicknamed from it. It seems to me far more probable that black was the livery colour of the Black Prince, and that his own retainers and followers wore the livery of black. If that were the case, one understands at once how he would obtain the nickname. The nickname is doubtless contemporary. A curious confirmation of my supposition is met with in the fact that his shield for peace was: "Sable, three ostrich feathers two and one, the quill of each passing through a scroll argent." There we get the undoubted badge of the ostrich feather, which was originally borne singly, depicted upon his livery colour—black. [ 460 ]

The badges represented in Prince Arthur's Book in the College of Arms (an important source of our knowledge upon the subject) are all upon backgrounds; and the curious divisions of the colours on the backgrounds would seem to show that each badge had its own background, several badges being only met with upon the same ground when that happens to be the true background belonging to them. But in attempting to deduce rules, it should be remembered that in all and every armorial matter there was greater laxity of rule at the period of the actual use of arms as a reality of life than it was possible to permit when the multiplication of arms as paper insignia made regulation necessary and more restrictive; so that an occasional variation from any deduction need not necessarily vitiate the conclusion, even in a matter exclusively relating to the shield. How much more, then, must we remain in doubt when dealing with badges which appear to have been so largely a matter of personal caprice.

It is a striking comment that of all the badges presently to be referred to of the Stafford family, each single one is depicted upon a background. It is a noticeable fact that of the eighteen "badges" exemplified as belonging to the family of Stafford, nine are upon parti-coloured fields. This is not an unreasonable proportion if the fields are considered to be the livery colours of the families from whom the badges were originally derived, but it is altogether out of proportion to the number of shields in any roll of arms which would have the field party per pale, or party in any other form of division. With the exception of the second badge, which is on a striped background of green and white, all the party backgrounds are party per pale, which was the most usual way of depicting a livery in the few records which have come down to us of the heraldic use of livery colours, and of the eighteen badges, no less than eight are upon a parti-coloured field of which the dexter is sable and the sinister gules. Scarlet and black are known to have been the livery colours of Edward Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, who was beheaded in 1521. The arms of the town of Buckingham are on a field per pale sable and gules.

With regard to the descent of badges and the laws which govern their descent still less is known. The answer to the question, "How did badges descend?" is simple: "Nobody knows." One can only hazard opinions more or less pious, of more or less value. It is distinctly a point upon which it is risky to be dogmatic, and we must wait for the development which will follow the recent revival of the granting of standards. As cases occur for decision precedents will be found and disclosed. Whilst the secrecy of the records of the College of Arms is so jealously preserved it is impossible to speak definitely at present, for an exact and comprehensive knowledge of exact and [ 461 ] authoritative instances of fact is necessary before a decision can be definitely put forward. Unless some officer of arms will carefully collate the information which can be gleaned from the records in the College of Arms which are relevant to the subject, it does not seem likely that our knowledge will advance greatly.

The grant of supporters to the Earl of Stafford, as under, is worthy of attention.

"To all and singular to whom these Presents shall come, John Anstis Esqr Garter principal King of Arms, sends greeting, Whereas his late Majesty King James the Second by Letters Patents under the Great Seal, did create Henry Stafford Howard to be Earl of Stafford, to have and hold the same to him and the heirs males of his body; and for default thereof to John and Francis his Brothers and the heirs males of their bodies respectively, whereby the said Earldom is now legally vested in the right Honble William Stafford Howard Son and Heir of the said John; And in regard that ye said Henry late Earl of Stafford omitted to take any Grant of Supporters, which the Peers of this Realm have an indisputable Right to use and bear, the right Honble Henry Bowes Howard Earl of Berkshire Deputy (with the Royal Approbation) of his Grace Thomas Howard Duke of Norfolk Earl Marshall and Hereditary Marshall of England hath been pleased to direct me to grant to the said right Honble William Stafford Howard Earl of Stafford the Supporters formerly granted to ye late Viscount Stafford, Grandfather to the said Earl; as also to order me to cause to be depicted in the Margin of my said Grant ye Arms of Thomas of Woodstock Duke of Gloucester quartered with the Arms of the said Earl of Stafford, together with the Badges of the said Noble Family of Stafford: Now these presents Witness that according to the consent of the said Earl of Berkshire signified under his Lordship's hand and seal I do by the Authority and power annexed to my Office hereby grant and assign to ye said Right Honourable William Stafford Howard Earl of Stafford, the following Supporters which were heretofore borne by the late Lord Viscount Stafford, that is to say, on the Dexter side a Lion Argent, and on the Sinister Side a Swan surgiant Argent Gorged with a Ducal Coronet per Pale Gules and sable beaked and membered of the Second; to be used and borne at all times and upon all occasions by the said Earl of Stafford and the heirs males of his body, and such persons to whom the said Earldom shall descend according to the Law and Practice of Arms without the let or interruption of any Person or Persons whatsoever. And in pursuance of the Warrant of the said Earl of Berkshire, The Arms of Thomas of Woodstock Duke of Gloucester, as the same are on a Plate remaining in the Chapel of St George within ye Castle of Windsor, set up there for his Descendant the Duke of Buckingham [ 462 ] are depicted in the margin, and quartered in such place and manner as the same were formerly borne by the Staffords Dukes of Buckingham, together with Eighteen badges belonging to the said most ancient and illustrious Family of Stafford, as the same are represented in a Manuscript remaining in the College of Arms (Fig. 674). In Witness whereof I the said Garter have hereto subscribed my Name and affixed the Seal of my Office this First Day of August Anno Domini 1720.

"John Anstis Garter
 "Principal King of Arms."
Fig. 674.—The Stafford Badges as exemplified in 1720 to William Stafford Howard, Earl of Stafford.

Fig. 674.—The Stafford Badges as exemplified in 1720 to William Stafford Howard, Earl of Stafford.

[ 463 ]

It may be of interest to call attention to the fact that in this exemplification the Royal Arms are displayed before those of Stafford. On the face of it, the document—as far as it relates to the badges—is no more than a certificate or exemplification, in which case it is undoubted evidence that badges descend to the heir-general as do quarterings; but there is the possibility that the document is a re-grant in the nature of an exemplification following a Royal Licence, or a re-grant to remove uncertainty as to the attainder. And if the document—as far as its relation to the badges goes—has any of the character of a grant, it can have but little value as evidence of the descent of badges. It is remarkable that it is absolutely silent as to the future destination of the badges. The real fact is that the whole subject of the descent and devolution of badges is shrouded in mystery. Each of the badges (Fig. 674) is depicted within a circle adorned with a succession of Stafford knots, as is shown in the one instance at the head. Five of these badges appear upon a well-known portrait of Edward, Duke of Buckingham. The fact that some of these badges are really crests depicted upon wreaths goes far as an authority for the use of a crest upon livery buttons for the purposes of a badge.

In ancient days all records seemed to point to the fact that badges were personal, and that though they were worn by the retainers, they were the property of the head of the family, rather than (as the arms) of the whole family, and though the information available is meagre to the last degree, it would appear probable that in all cases where their use by other members of the family than the head of the house can be proved, the likelihood is that the cadets would render feudal service and would wear the badge as retainers of the man whose standard they followed into battle, so that we should expect to find the badge following the same descent as the peerage, together with the lands and liabilities which accompanied it. This undoubtedly makes for the inheritance of a badge upon the same line of descent as a barony by writ, and such a method of inheritance accounts for the known descent of most of the badges heraldically familiar to us. Probably we shall be right in so accepting it as the ancient rule of inheritance. But, on the other hand, a careful examination of the "Book of Standards," now preserved in the College of Arms, provides several examples charged with marks of cadency. But here again one is in ignorance whether this is an admission of inheritance by cadets, or whether the cases should be considered as grants of differenced versions to cadets. This then gives us the badge, the property in and of which would descend to the heir-general (and perhaps also to cadets), whilst it would be used (if there were no inherited right) in token of allegiance or service, actual, quasi-actual, [ 464 ] or sentimental, by the cadets of the house and their servants; for whilst the use of the cockade is a survival of the right to be waited on and served by a soldier servant, the use of a badge by a cadet may be a survival and reminder of the day when (until they married heiresses and continued or founded other families) the cadets of a house owed and gave military service to the head of their own family, and in return were supported by him.

From the wording of the recent grants of badges I believe the intention, however, is that the badge is to descend of right to all of those people on whom a right to it would devolve if it were a quartering.

The use of badges having been so limited, the absence of rule and regulation leaves it very much a matter of personal taste how badges, where they exist, shall be heraldically depicted, and perhaps it is better to leave their manner of display to artistic requirements. The most usual place, when depicted in conjunction with an achievement, is on either side of the crest, and they may well be placed in that position. Where they exist, however, they ought undoubtedly to be continued in use upon the liveries of the servants, and the present practice is for them to be placed on the livery buttons, and embroidered upon the epaulettes or on the sleeves of state liveries. Undoubtedly the former practice of placing the badge upon the servants' livery is the precursor of the present vogue of placing crests upon livery buttons, and many heraldic writers complain of the impropriety of placing the crest in such a position. I am not sure that I myself may not have been guilty in this way; but when one bears in mind the number of cases in which the badge and the crest are identical, and when, as in the above instance, devices which are undoubtedly crests are exemplified as and termed badges, even as such being represented upon wreaths, and even in that form granted upon standards, whilst in other cases the action has been the reverse, it leaves one under the necessity of being careful in making definite assertions.

Having dealt with the laws (if there ever were any) and the practice concerning the use and display of badges in former days, it will be of interest to notice some of those which were anciently in use.

I have already referred to the badge of the ostrich feathers, now borne exclusively by the heir-apparent to the throne. The old legend that the Black Prince won the badge at the battle of Crecy by the capture of John, King of Bohemia, together with the motto "Ich dien," has been long since exploded. Sir Harris Nicolas brought to notice the fact that among certain pieces of plate belonging to Queen Philippa of Hainault was a large silver-gilt dish enamelled with a black escutcheon with ostrich feathers, "vuo scuch nigro cum pennis de [ 465 ] ostrich," and upon the strength of that, suggested that the ostrich feather was probably originally a badge of the Counts of Hainault derived from the County of Ostrevaus, a title which was held by their eldest sons. The suggestion in itself seems probable enough and may be correct, but it would not account for the use of the ostrich feathers by the Mowbray family, who did not descend from the marriage of Edward III. and Philippa of Hainault. Contemporary proof of the use of badges is often difficult to find. The Mowbrays had many badges, and certainly do not appear to have made any very extensive use of the ostrich feathers. But there seems to be very definite authority for the existence of the badge. There is in one of the records of the College of Arms (R. 22, 67), which is itself a copy of another record, the following statement:—

"The discent of Mowbray written at length in lattin from the Abby booke of newborough wherein Rich 2 gaue to Thomas Duke of norff. & Erle Marshall the armes of Saint Edward Confessor in theis words:

"Et dedit eidem Thome ad pertandum in sigillo et vexillo quo arma Sti Edwardi. Idcirco arma bipartata portavit scil' 't Sci Edwardi et domini marcialis angliæ cum duabus pennis strutionis erectis et super crestam leonem et duo parva scuta cum leonibus et utraq' parto predictorum armorum."

Fig. 675.—The arms granted by King Richard II. to Thomas de Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, and showing the ostrich feather badges.

Fig. 675.—The arms granted by King Richard II. to Thomas de Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, and showing the ostrich feather badges.

Accompanying this is a rough-tricked sketch of the arms upon which the illustration (Fig. 675) has been based. Below this extract in the College Records is written in another hand: "I find this then [ 466 ] in ye chancell window of Effingham by Bungay in the top of the cot window with Mowbraye & Segrave on the side in glass there."

Who the writer was I am unaware. He appends a further sketch to his note, which slightly differs. No helmet or crest is shown, and the central shield has only the arms of Brotherton. The feathers which flank it are both enfiled below the shield by one coronet. Of the smaller shields at the side, the dexter bears the arms of Mowbray and the sinister those of Segrave. Possibly the Mowbrays, as recognised members of the Royal Family, bore the badge by subsequent grant and authorisation and not on the simple basis of inheritance.

An ostrich feather piercing a scroll was certainly the favourite badge of the Black Prince and so appears on several of his seals, and triplicated it occurs on his "shield of peace" (Fig. 478), which, set up under the instructions in his will, still remains on his monument in Canterbury Cathedral. The arms of Sir Roger de Clarendon, the illegitimate son of the Black Prince, were derived from this "shield for peace," which I take it was not really a coat of arms at all, but merely the badge of the Prince depicted upon his livery colour, and which might equally have been displayed upon a roundle. In the form of a shield bearing three feathers the badge occurs on the obverse of the second seal of Henry IV. in 1411. A single ostrich feather with the motto "Ich dien" upon the scroll is to be seen on the seal of Edward, Duke of York, who was killed at the battle of Agincourt in 1415. Henry IV. as Duke of Lancaster placed on either side of his escutcheon an ostrich feather with a garter or belt carrying the motto "Sovereygne" twined around the feather, John of Gaunt used the badge with a chain laid along the quill, and Thomas, Duke of Gloucester, used it with a garter and buckle instead of the chain; whilst John Beaufort, Duke of Somerset, placed an ostrich feather on each side of his shield, the quills in his case being compony argent and azure, like the bordure round his arms.

Fig. 676.—Seal of King James II. for the Duchy of Lancaster.

Fig. 676.—Seal of King James II. for the Duchy of Lancaster.

There is a note in Harl. MS. 304, folio 12, which, if it be strictly accurate, is of some importance. It is to the effect that the "feather silver with the pen gold is the King's, the ostrich feather pen and all silver is the Prince's (i.e. the Prince of Wales), and the ostrich feather gold the pen ermine is the Duke of Lancaster's." That statement evidently relates to a time when the three were in existence contemporaneously, i.e. before the accession of Henry IV. In the reign of Richard II. there was no Prince of Wales. During the reign of Edward III. from 1376 onwards, Richard, afterwards Richard II., was Prince of Wales, and John of Gaunt was Duke of Lancaster (so cr. 1362). But John of Gaunt used the feather in the form above stated, and to find a Duke of Lancaster before John of Gaunt we must go [ 467 ] back to before 1360, when we have Edward III. as King, the Black Prince as Prince, and Henry of Lancaster (father-in-law of John of Gaunt) as Duke of Lancaster. He derived from Henry III., and like the Mowbrays had no blood descent from Philippa of Hainault. A curious confirmation of my suggestion that black was the livery colour of the Black Prince is found in the fact that there was in a window in St. Dunstan's Church, London, within a wreath of roses a roundle per pale sanguine and azure (these being unquestionably livery colours), a plume of ostrich feathers argent, quilled or, enfiled by a scroll bearing the words "Ich dien." Above was the Prince's coronet and the letters E. & P., one on each side of the plume. This was intended for Edward VI., doubtless being erected in the reign of Henry VIII. The badge in the form in which we know it, i.e. enfiled by the princely coronet, dates from about the beginning of the Stuart dynasty, since when it appears to have been exclusively reserved for the eldest son and heir-apparent to the throne. At the same time the right to the display of the badge would appear to have been reserved by the Sovereign, and Woodward remarks:—

"On the Privy Seals of our Sovereigns the ostrich feather is still employed as a badge. The shield of arms is usually placed between two lions sejant guardant addorsed, each holding the feather. On the Privy Seal of Henry VIII. the feathers are used without the lions, and this was the case on the majority of the seals of the Duchy of Lancaster. On the reverse of the present seal of the Duchy the feathers appear to be ermine."

Fig. 678.—Badge of Edward IV.

Fig. 678.—Badge of Edward IV.

Fig. 677.—Badge of King Henry II.

Fig. 677.—Badge of King Henry II.

Fig. 676 shows the seal of James II. for the Duchy of Lancaster. The seal of the Lancashire County Council shows a shield supported by two talbots sejant addorsed, each supporting in the exterior paw an ostrich feather semé-de-lis. It is possible that the talbots may be intended for lions and the fleurs-de-lis for ermine spots. The silver swan, one of the badges of King Henry V., was used also by Henry IV. It was derived from the De Bohuns, Mary de Bohun being the wife of Henry IV. From the De Bohuns it has been traced to the Mandevilles, Earls of Essex, who may have adopted it to typify their descent from Adam Fitz Swanne, temp. Conquest. Fig. 33 on the same plate is the white hart of Richard II. Although some have traced this badge from the white hind used as a badge by Joan, the Fair Maid of Kent, the mother of Richard II., it is probably a device punning upon his name, "Rich-hart." Richard II. was not the heir of his mother. The heir was his half-brother, Thomas Holand, Earl of Kent, who did use the badge of the hind, and perhaps the real truth is that the Earl of Kent having the better claim to the hind, Richard was under the necessity of making an alteration which the obvious pun upon his [ 468 ] name suggested. There is no doubt that the crest of Ireland originated therefrom. The stag in this case was undoubtedly "lodged" in the earliest versions, and I have been much interested in tracing the steps by which the springing attitude has developed owing to the copying of badly drawn examples.

Amongst the many Royal and other badges in this country there are some of considerable interest. Fig. 677 represents the famous badge of the "broom-cod" or "planta genista," from which the name of the dynasty was derived. It appears to have been first used by King Henry II., though it figures in the decoration of the tomb of Geoffrey, Count of Anjou. "Peascod" Street in Windsor of course derives its name therefrom. The well-known badges of the white and red roses of York and Lancaster have been already referred to, and Fig. 678, the well-known device of the "rose-en-soliel" used by King Edward IV., was really a combination of two distinct badges, viz. "the blazing sun of York" and the "white rose of York." The rose again appears in 679, here dimidiated with the pomegranate of Catharine of Aragon. This is taken from the famous Tournament Roll (now in the College of Arms), which relates to the Tournament, 13th and 14th of February 1510, to celebrate the birth of Prince Henry.

Fig. 679.—Compound Badge of Henry VIII. and Catharine of Aragon. (From the Westminster Tournament Roll.)

Fig. 679.—Compound Badge of Henry VIII. and Catharine of Aragon. (From the Westminster Tournament Roll.)

Fig. 681.—Two badges of Henry VII., viz. the "sun-burst" and the crowned portcullis.

Fig. 681.—Two badges of Henry VII., viz. the "sun-burst" and the crowned portcullis.

Fig. 680.—Badge of Richard I.

Fig. 680.—Badge of Richard I.

Richard I., John, and Henry III. are all said to have used the device of the crescent and star (Fig. 680). Henry VII. is best known by his two badges of the crowned portcullis and the "sun-burst" (Fig. 681). The suggested origin of the former, that it was a pun on the name Tudor (i.e. two-door) is confirmed by the motto "Altera securitas" which was used with it, but at the same time is rather vitiated by the fact that it was also used by the Beauforts, who had [ 469 ] no Tudor descent. Save a very tentative remark hazarded by Woodward, no explanation has as yet been suggested for the sun-burst. My own strong conviction, based on the fact that this particular badge was principally used by Henry VII., who was always known as Henry of Windsor, is that it is nothing more than an attempt to pictorially represent the name "Windsor" by depicting "winds" of "or." The badge is also attributed to Edward III., and he, like Henry VII., made his principal residence at Windsor. Edward IV. also used the white lion of March (whence is derived the shield of Ludlow: "Azure, a lion couchant guardant, between three roses argent," Ludlow being one of the fortified towns in the Welsh Marches), and the black bull which, though often termed "of Clarence," is generally associated with the Duchy of Cornwall. Richard III., as Duke of Gloucester, used a white boar.

The Earl of Northumberland used a silver crescent; the Earl of Douglas, a red hart; the Earl of Pembroke, a golden pack-horse with collar and traces; Lord Hastings bore as badge a black bull's head erased, gorged with a coronet; Lord Stanley, a golden griffin's leg, erased; Lord Howard, a white lion charged on the shoulder with a blue crescent; Sir Richard Dunstable adopted a white cock as a badge; Sir John Savage, a silver unicorn's head erased; Sir Simon Montford, a golden lily; Sir William Gresham, a green grasshopper.

Fig. 682.—Badge of the Duke of Suffolk.

Fig. 682.—Badge of the Duke of Suffolk.

Fig. 683.—Badge of Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk.

Fig. 683.—Badge of Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk.

Fig. 684.—Stafford Knot.

Fig. 684.—Stafford Knot.

Fig. 685.—Wake or Ormonde Knot.

Fig. 685.—Wake or Ormonde Knot.

Fig. 686.—Bourchier Knot.

Fig. 686.—Bourchier Knot.

Fig. 687.—Heneage Knot.

Fig. 687.—Heneage Knot.

Two curious badges are to be seen in Figs. 682 and 683. The former is an ape's clog argent, chained or, and was used by William de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk (d. 1450). Fig. 683, "a salet silver" (MS. Coll. of Arms, 2nd M. 16), is the badge of Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk (d. 1524). Various families used knots of different design, of which the best known is the Stafford knot (Fig. 684). The wholesale and improper appropriation of this badge with a territorial application has unfortunately caused it to be very generally referred to as a "Staffordshire" knot, and that it was the personal badge of the Lords Stafford is too often overlooked. Other badge knots are the Wake or Ormonde knot (Fig. 685), the Bourchier knot (Fig. 686), and the Heneage knot (Fig. 687).

[ 470 ]

The personal badges of the members of the Royal Family continued in use until the reign of Queen Anne, but from that time forward the Royal badges obtained a territorial character; the rose of England, the thistle of Scotland, and the shamrock of Ireland. To these popular consent has added the lotus-flower for India, the maple for Canada, and in a lesser degree the wattle or mimosa for Australia; but at present these lack any official confirmation. The two first named, nevertheless, figured on the Coronation Invitation Cards.