A Complete Guide to Heraldry/Chapter 10

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CHAPTER X

THE HUMAN FIGURE IN HERALDRY

If we include the many instances of the human head and the human figure which exist as crests, and also the human figure as a supporter, probably it or its parts will be nearly as frequently met with in armory as the lion; but if crests and supporters be disregarded, and the human figure be simply considered as a charge upon the shield, it is by no means often to be met with.

English (but not Scottish) official heraldry now and for a long time past has set its face against the representation of any specific saint or other person in armorial bearings. In many cases, however, particularly in the arms of ecclesiastical sees and towns, the armorial bearings registered are simply the conventionalised heraldic representation of seal designs dating from a very much earlier period.

Seal engravers laboured under no such limitations, and their representations were usually of some specific saint or person readily recognisable from accompanying objects. Consequently, if it be desirable, the identity of a figure in a coat of arms can often be traced in such cases by reference to a seal of early date, whilst all the time the official coat of arms goes no further than to term the figure that of a saint.

The only representation which will be found in British heraldry of the Deity is in the arms of the See of Chichester, which certainly originally represented our Lord seated in glory. Whether by intention or carelessness, this, however, is now represented and blazoned as: "Azure, a Prester [Presbyter] John sitting on a tombstone, in his left hand a mound, his right hand extended all or, with a linen mitre on his head, and in his mouth a sword proper." Possibly it is a corruption, but I am rather inclined to think it is an intentional alteration to avoid the necessity of any attempt to pictorially represent the Deity.

Christ upon the Cross, however, will be found represented in the arms of Inverness (Fig. 251). The shield used by the town of Halifax has the canting "Holy Face" upon a chequy field. This coat, however, is without authority, though it is sufficiently remarkable to quote the blazon in full: "Chequy or and azure, a man's face with long hair and bearded and dropping blood, and surmounted by a halo, all proper; in chief the letters HALEZ, and in base the letters FAX."

Fig. 251.—Armorial bearings of the Royal Burgh of Inverness: Gules, our Lord upon the Cross proper. Mantling gules, doubled or. Crest: upon a wreath of the proper liveries a cornucopia proper. Supporters: dexter, a dromedary; sinister, an elephant, both proper. (From a painting by Mr. Graham Johnston in Lyon Register.)

Fig. 251.—Armorial bearings of the Royal Burgh of Inverness: Gules, our Lord upon the Cross proper. Mantling gules, doubled or. Crest: upon a wreath of the proper liveries a cornucopia proper. Supporters: dexter, a dromedary; sinister, an elephant, both proper. (From a painting by Mr. Graham Johnston in Lyon Register.)

No other instance is known, but, on the other hand, representations of the Virgin Mary with her babe are not uncommon. She will be found so described in the arms of the Royal Burgh of Banff. The Virgin Mary and Child appear also in the arms of the town of Leith, viz.: "Argent, in a sea proper, an ancient galley with two masts, sails furled sable, flagged gules, seated therein the Virgin Mary with the Infant Saviour in her arms, and a cloud resting over their heads, all also proper."

The Virgin and Child appear in the crest of Marylebone (Fig. 252), but in this case, in accordance with the modern English practice, the identity is not alluded to. The true derivation of the name from "St. Mary le Bourne" (and not "le bon") is perpetuated in the design of the arms.

A demi-figure of the Virgin is the crest of Rutherglen;[1] and the Virgin and Child figure, amongst other ecclesiastical arms, on the shields of the Sees of Lincoln ["Gules, two lions passant-guardant or; on a chief azure, the Holy Virgin and Child, sitting crowned, and bearing a sceptre of the second"], Salisbury ["Azure, the Holy Virgin and Child, with sceptre in her left hand all or"], Sodor and Man ["Argent, upon three ascents the Holy Virgin standing with her arms extended between two pillars, on the dexter whereof is a church; in base the ancient arms of Man upon an inescutcheon"], Southwell ["Sable, three fountains proper, a chief paly of three, on the first or, a stag couchant proper, on the second gules, the Virgin holding in her arms the infant Jesus, on the third also or, two staves raguly couped in cross vert"], and Tuam ["Azure, three figures erect under as many canopies or stalls of Gothic work or, their faces, hands, and legs proper; the first representing an archbishop in his pontificals; the second the Holy Virgin Mary, a circle of glory over her head, holding in her left arm the infant Jesus; and the third an angel having his dexter arm elevated, and under the sinister arm a lamb, all of the second"]. Various saints figure in different Scottish coats of arms, and amongst them will be found the following:—

St. Andrew, in the arms of the National Bank of Scotland, granted in 1826 ["Or, the image of St. Andrew with vesture vert and surcoat purpure bearing before him the cross of his martyrdom argent, all resting on a base of the second, in the dexter flank a garb gules, in the sinister a ship in full sail sable, the shield surrounded with two thistles proper, disposed in orle"]; St. Britius, in the arms of the Royal Burgh of Kirkcaldy ["Azur, ane abbay of three pyramids argent, each ensigned with a cross patée or. And on the reverse of the seal is insculped in a field azure the figure of St. Bryse with long garments, on his head a
Fig. 252.—Arms of Marylebone: Per chevron sable and barry wavy of six, argent and azure in chief, in the dexter a fleur-de-lis, and in the sinister a rose, both or. Crest: on a wreath of the colours, upon two bars wavy argent and azure, between as many lilies of the first, stalked and leaved vert, a female figure affronté proper, vested of the first, mantled of the second, on the left arm a child also proper, vested or, around the head of each a halo of the last. Motto: "Fiat secundum verbum tuum."

Fig. 252.—Arms of Marylebone: Per chevron sable and barry wavy of six, argent and azure in chief, in the dexter a fleur-de-lis, and in the sinister a rose, both or. Crest: on a wreath of the colours, upon two bars wavy argent and azure, between as many lilies of the first, stalked and leaved vert, a female figure affronté proper, vested of the first, mantled of the second, on the left arm a child also proper, vested or, around the head of each a halo of the last. Motto: "Fiat secundum verbum tuum."

mytre, in the dexter a fleur-de-lis, the sinister laid upon his breast all proper. Standing in ye porch of the church or abbay. Ensigned on the top as before all betwixt a decrescent and a star in fess or. The motto is 'Vigilando Munio.' And round the escutcheon of both sydes these words—'Sigillum civitatus Kirkaldie'"]; St. Columba, in the arms of the College of the Holy Spirit at Cumbræ ["Quarterly, 1 and 4 grand quarters, azure, St. Columba in a boat at sea, in his sinister hand a dove, and in the dexter chief a blazing star all proper; 2 and 3 grand quarters, quarterly, i. and iv., argent, an eagle displayed with two heads gules; ii. and iii., parted per bend embattled gules and argent; over the second and third grand quarters an escutcheon of the arms of Boyle of Kelburne, viz. or, three stags' horns gules"]; St. Duthacus, in the arms of the Royal Burgh of Tain ["Gules, St. Duthacus in long garments argent, holding in his dexter hand a staff garnished with ivy, in the sinister laid on his breast a book expanded proper"]; St. Ægidius (St. Giles), in the arms of the Royal Burgh of Elgin ["Argent, Sanctus Ægidius habited in his robes and mitred, holding in his dexter hand a pastoral staff, and in his left hand a clasped book, all proper. Supporters; two angels proper, winged or volant upwards. Motto: 'Sic itur ad astra,' upon ane compartment suitabil to a Burgh Royal, and for their colours red and white"]; St. Ninian, in the arms of the Episcopal See of Galloway ["Argent, St. Ninian standing and full-faced proper, clothed with a pontifical robe purple, on his head a mitre, and in his dexter hand a crosier or"]; and St. Adrian, in the arms of the town of Pittenweem ["Azur, in the sea a gallie with her oars in action argent, and therein standing the figure of St. Adrian, with long garments close girt, and a mytre on his head proper, holding in his sinister hand a crosier or. On the stern a flag developed argent, charged with the Royall Armes of Scotland, with this word, 'Deo Duce'"].

Biblical characters of the Old Testament have found favour upon the Continent, and the instances quoted by Woodward are too amusing to omit:—

"The families who bear the names of saints, such as St. Andrew, St. George, St. Michael, have (perhaps not unnaturally) included in their arms representation of their family patrons.

"The Bavarian family of Reider include in their shield the mounted effigy of the good knight St. Martin dividing his cloak with a beggar (date of diploma 1760). The figure of the great Apostle of the Gentiles appears in the arms of Von Pauli Joerg, and Jorger, of Austria, similarly make use of St. George.

"Continental Heraldry affords not a few examples of the use of the personages of Holy Writ. The Adamoli of Lombardy bear: 'Azure, the Tree of Life entwined with the Serpent, and accosted with our first parents, all proper' (i.e. in a state of nature). The addition of a chief of the Empire to this coat makes it somewhat incongruous.

"The family of Adam in Bavaria improve on Sacred History by eliminating Eve, and by representing Adam as holding the apple in one hand, and the serpent wriggling in the other. On the other hand, the Spanish family of Eva apparently consider there is a sufficiently transparent allusion to their own name, and to the mother of mankind, in the simple bearings: 'Or, on a mount in base an apple-tree vert, fructed of the field, and encircled by a serpent of the second.'

"The family of Abel in Bavaria make the patriarch in the attitude of prayer to serve as their crest; while the coat itself is: 'Sable, on a square altar argent, a lamb lying surrounded by fire and smoke proper.'

"Samson slaying the lion is the subject of the arms of the Vesentina family of Verona. The field is gules, and on a terrace in base vert the strong man naked bestrides a golden lion and forces its jaws apart. The Polish family of Samson naturally use the same device, but the field is azure and the patriarch is decently habited. The Starckens of the Island of Oesel also use the like as armes parlantes; the field in this case is or. After these we are hardly surprised to find that Daniel in the lions' den is the subject of the arms of the Rhenish family of Daniels, granted late in the eighteenth century; the field is azure. The Bolognese Daniels are content to make a less evident allusion to the prophet; their arms are: "per fess azure and vert, in chief 'the lion of the tribe of Judah' naissant or, holding an open book with the words 'Libri Aperti Sunt' (Daniel vii. 10).

"The Archangel St. Michael in full armour, as conventionally represented, treading beneath his feet the great adversary, sable, is the charge on an azure field of the Van Schorel of Antwerp."

Other instances will be found, as St. Kentigern (who is sometimes said to be the same as St. Mungo), and who occurs as the crest of Glasgow: "The half-length figure of St. Kentigern affronté, vested and mitred, his right hand raised in the act of benediction, and having in his left hand a crosier, all proper;" St. Michael, in the arms of Linlithgow: "Azure, the figure of the Archangel Michael, with wings expanded, treading on the belly of a serpent lying with its tail nowed fesswise in base, all argent, the head of which he is piercing through with a spear in his dexter hand, and grasping with his sinister an escutcheon charged with the Royal Arms of Scotland. The same saint also figures in the arms of the city of Brussels; while the family of Mitchell-Carruthers bears as a crest: "St. Michael in armour, holding a spear in his dexter hand, the face, neck, arms and legs bare, all proper, the wings argent, and hair auburn."

St. Martin occurs in the arms of Dover, and he also figures, as has been already stated, on the shield of the Bavarian family of Reider, whilst St. Paul occurs as a charge in the arms of the Dutch family of Von Pauli.

The arms of the See of Clogher are: "A Bishop in pontifical robes seated on his chair of state, and leaning towards the sinister, his left hand supporting a crosier, his right pointing to the dexter chief, all or, the feet upon a cushion gules, tasselled or."

"A curious crest will be found belonging to the arms of a family of Stewart, which is: "A king in his robes, crowned." The arms of the Episcopal See of Ross afford another instance of a bishop, together with St. Boniface.

The arms of the town of Queensferry, in Scotland, show an instance of a queen. "A king in his robes, and crowned," will be found in the arms of Dartmouth ["Gules, the base barry wavy, argent and azure, thereon the hulk of a ship, in the centre of which is a king robed and crowned, and holding in his sinister hand a sceptre, at each end of the ship a lion sejant guardant all or]."

Allegorical figures, though numerous as supporters, are comparatively rare as charges upon a shield; but the arms of the University of Melbourne show a representation of the figure of Victory ["Azure, a figure intended to represent Victory, robed and attired proper, the dexter hand extended holding a wreath of laurel or, between four stars of eight points, two in pale and two in fess argent"], which also appears in other coats of arms.

The figure of Truth will be found in the coats of arms for various members of the family of Sandeman.

The bust of Queen Elizabeth was granted by that Queen, as a special mark of her Royal favour, to Sir Anthony Weldon, her Clerk of the Spicery.

Apollo is represented in the arms of the Apothecaries' Company: "Azure, Apollo, the inventor of physic, proper, with his head radiant, holding in his left hand a bow and in his right hand an arrow or, supplanting a serpent argent."

The figure of Justice appears in the arms of Wiergman [or Wergman].

Neptune appears in the arms granted to Sir Isaac Heard, Lancaster Herald, afterwards Garter King of Arms, and is again to be found in the crest of the arms of Monneypenny ["On a dolphin embowed, a bridled Neptune astride, holding with his sinister hand a trident over his shoulder"].

The figure of Temperance occurs in the crest of Goodfellow.

The head of St. John the Baptist in a charger figures in the crest of the Tallow Chandlers' Livery Company and in the arms of Ayr, whilst the head of St. Denis is the charge upon the arms of a family of that name.

Angels, though very frequently met with as supporters, are far from being usual, either as a charge upon a shield or as a crest. The crest of Leslie, however, is an angel.

The crest of Lord Kintore is an angel in a praying posture or, within an orle of laurel proper.

Cherubs are far more frequently to be met with. They are represented in various forms, and will be found in the arms of Chaloner, Thackeray, Maddocks, and in the crest of Carruthers.

The nude figure is perhaps the most usual form in which the human being is made use of as a charge, and examples will be found in the arms of Wood (Lord Halifax), and in the arms of Oswald.

The arms of Dalziell show an example—practically unique in British heraldry—of a naked man, the earliest entry (1685) of the arms of Dalziell of Binns (a cadet of the family) in the Lyon Register, having them then blazoned: "Sable, a naked man with his arms extended au naturel, on a canton argent, a sword and pistol disposed in saltire proper."

This curious coat of arms has been the subject of much speculation. The fact that in some early examples the body is swinging from a gibbet has led some to suppose the arms to be an allusion to the fact, or legend, that one of the family recovered the body of Kenneth III., who had suffered death by hanging at the hands of the Picts. But it seems more likely that if the gibbet is found in any authoritative versions of the arms possibly the coat may owe its origin to a similar reason to that which is said, and probably correctly, to account for the curious crest of the Davenport family, viz.: "A man's head in profile couped at the shoulders proper, about the neck a rope or," or as it is sometimes termed, "a felon's head proper, about the neck a halter or." There is now in the possession of the Capesthorne branch of the Davenport family a long and very ancient roll, containing the names of the master robbers captured and beheaded in the times of Koran, Roger, and Thomas de Davenport, and probably the Davenport family held some office or Royal Commission which empowered them to deal in a summary way with the outlaws which infested the Peak country. It is more than probable that the crest of Davenport should be traced to some such source as this, and I suggest the possibility of a similar origin for the arms of Dalziel.

As a crest the savage and demi-savage are constantly occurring. They are in heraldry distinguished by the garlands of leaves about either or both loins and temples.

Men in armour are sometimes met with. The arms of O'Loghlen are an instance in point, as are the crests of Marshall, Morse, Bannerman, and Seton of Mounie.

Figures of all nationalities and in all costumes will be found in the form of supporters, and occasionally as crests, but it is difficult to classify them, and it must suffice to mention a few curious examples. The human figure as a supporter is fully dealt with in the chapter devoted to that subject.

The arms of Jedburgh have a mounted warrior, and the same device occurs in the crest of the Duke of Fife, and in the arms of Lanigan-O'Keefe.

The arms of Londonderry afford an instance of a skeleton.

The emblematical figure of Fortune is a very favourite charge in foreign heraldry.

A family of the name of Rodd use the Colossus of Rhodes as a crest: and the arms of Sir William Dunn, Bart., are worth the passing mention ["Azure, on a mount in base a bale of wool proper, thereon seated a female figure representing Commerce, vested argent, resting the dexter hand on a stock of an anchor, and in the sinister a caduceus, both or, on the chief of the last a tree eradicated, thereon hanging a hunting-horn between a thistle slipped proper on the dexter and a fleur-de-lis azure on the sinister. Crest: a cornucopia fesswise, surmounted by a dexter hand couped proper, holding a key in bend sinister or. Motto: 'Vigilans et audax.'"].

The crests of Vivian ["A demi-hussar of the 18th Regiment, holding in his right hand a sabre, and in his left a pennon flying to the sinister gules, and inscribed in gold letters, 'Croix d'Orade,' issuant from a bridge of one arch, embattled, and at each end a tower"], and Macgregor ["two brass guns in saltire in front of a demi-Highlander armed with his broadsword, pistols, and with a target, thereon the family arms of Macgregor," viz.: "Argent: a sword in bend dexter azure, and an oak-tree eradicated in bend sinister proper, in the dexter chief an antique crown gules, and upon an escroll surmounting the crest the motto, 'E'en do and spare not'"] are typical of many crests of augmentation and quasi-augmentation granted in the early part of the nineteenth century.

The crest of the Devonshire family of Arscot ["A demi-man affronté in a Turkish habit, brandishing in his dexter hand a scimitar, and his sinister hand resting on a tiger's head issuing from the wreath"] is curious, as is the crest granted by Sir William Le Neve in 1642 to Sir Robert Minshull, viz.: "A Turk kneeling on one knee, habited gules, legs and arms in mail proper, at the side a scymitar sable, hilted or, on the head a turban with a crescent and feather argent, holding in the dexter hand a crescent of the last."

The crest of Pilkington ["a mower with his scythe in front habited as follows: a high-crowned hat with flap, the crown party per pale, flap the same, counterchanged; coat buttoned to the middle, with his scythe in bend proper, habited through quarterly and counterchanged argent and gules"], and the very similar crest of De Trafford, in which the man holds a flail, are curious, and are the subjects of appropriate legends.

The crest of Clerk of Pennycuick (a demi-man winding a horn) refers to the curious tenure by which the Pennycuick estate is supposed to be held, namely, that whenever the sovereign sets foot thereupon, the proprietor must blow a horn from a certain rocky point. The motto, "Free for a blast," has reference to the same.

The arms of the College of Surgeons in Edinburgh, I fancy, afford the only instance of what is presumably a corpse, the blazon being: "Azure, a man (human body) fesswise between a dexter hand having an eye on the palm issuing out of a cloud downward and a castle situate on a rock proper, within a bordure or charged with several instruments peculiar to the art (sic); on a canton of the first a saltire argent surmounted of a thistle vert, crowned of the third."

When we come to parts of the human body instances of heads, arms, and legs are legion.

There are certain well-known heraldic heads, and though many instances occur where the blazon is simply a "man's head," it will be most frequently found that it is more specifically described.

Sloane Evans in his "Grammar of Heraldry" specifies eight different varieties, namely: 1. The wild man's; 2. The Moor's; 3. The Saracen's; 4. The Saxon's; 5. The Englishman's; 6. The old man's; 7. The woman's; 8. The child's.

The wild man's or savage's head is usually represented with a wreath of leaves about the temples, but not necessarily so (Fig. 253).

The head of the Moor, or "blackamoor," as it is more usually described, is almost always in profile, and very frequently adorned with a twisted wreath (torse) about the temples (Fig. 254).

The head of the Saracen is also usually found with wreaths about the temples (Fig. 255).

The head of the Saxon is borne by several Welsh families, and is supposed to be known by the absence of a beard.

The Englishman's head, which is borne by the Welsh family of Lloyd of Plymog, has no very distinctive features, except that whilst the hair and beard of the savage are generally represented brown, they are black in the case of the Moor and Saracen, and fair for the Saxon and Englishman.

The old man's head, which, like that of the Saxon and Englishman, is seldom met with, is bald and grey-haired and bearded.

But for all practical purposes these varieties may be all disregarded except the savage's (Fig. 253), the blackamoor's (Fig. 254), and the Saracen's (Fig. 255). Examples of the savage's head will be found in the arms of Eddington of Balbartan ["Azure, three savages' heads couped argent"], in the arms of Gladstone, and in the canting coat of Rochead of Whitsonhill ["Argent, a savage's head erased, distilling drops of blood proper, between three combs azure"]. Moir of Otterburn bears the Moors' heads ["Argent, three negroes' heads couped proper within a bordure counter-indented sable and or"], and Moir of Stonniwood matriculated a somewhat similar coat in which the heads are termed Mauritanian ["Argent, three Mauritanian negroes' heads couped and distilling guttés-de-sang"]. Alderson of Homerton, Middlesex, bears Saracens' heads ["Argent, three Saracens' heads affronté, couped at the shoulders proper, wreathed about the temples of the first and sable"].

Fig. 253.—A savage's head.

Fig. 253.—A savage's head.

Fig. 254.—A blackamoor's head.

Fig. 254.—A blackamoor's head.

Fig. 255.—A Saracen's head.

Fig. 255.—A Saracen's head.

The woman's head (Fig. 256) in heraldry is always represented young and beautiful (that is, if the artist is capable of so drawing it), and it is almost invariably found with golden hair. The colour, however, should be blazoned, the term "crined" being used. Five maidens' heads appear upon the arms of the town of Reading, and the crest of Thornhill shows the same figure. The arms of the Mercers' Livery Company ["Gules, a demi-virgin couped below the shoulders, issuing from clouds all proper, vested or, crowned with an Eastern crown of the last, her hair dishevelled, and wreathed round the temples with roses of the second, all within an orle of clouds proper"] and of the Master of the Revels in Scotland ["Argent, a lady rising out of a cloud in the nombril point, richly apparelled, on her head a garland of ivy, holding in her right hand a poinziard crowned, in her left a vizard all proper, standing under a veil or canopy azure, garnished or, in base a thistle vert"] are worthy of quotation.

The boy's head will seldom be found except in Welsh coats, of which the arms of Vaughan and Price are examples.

Another case in which the heads of children appear are the arms of Fauntleroy ["Gules, three infants' heads couped at the shoulders proper, crined or"], which are a very telling instance of a canting device upon the original form of the name, which was "Enfantleroy."

Children, it may be here noted, are seldom met with in armory, but instances will be found in the arms of Davies, of Marsh, co. Salop ["Sable, a goat argent, attired or, standing on a child proper swaddled gules, and feeding on a tree vert"], of the Foundling Hospital ["Per fesse azure and vert, in chief a crescent argent, between two mullets of six points or, in base an infant exposed, stretching out its arms for help proper"], and in the familiar "bird and bantling" crest of Stanley, Earls of Derby. Arms and hands are constantly met with, and have certain terms of their own. A hand should be stated to be either dexter (Fig. 257), or sinister (Fig. 258), and is usually blazoned and always understood to be couped at the wrist. If the hand is open and the palm visible it is "apaumé" (Figs. 257 and 258), but this being by far the most usual position in which the hand is met with, unless represented to be holding anything, the term "apaumé" is not often used in blazon, that position being presumed unless anything contrary is stated.

Fig. 256.—A woman's head and bust.

Fig. 256.—A woman's head and bust.

Fig. 257.—A dexter hand.

Fig. 257.—A dexter hand.

Fig. 258.—A sinister hand.

Fig. 258.—A sinister hand.

The hand is occasionally represented "clenched," as in the arms and crest of Fraser-Mackintosh. When the thumb and first two fingers are raised, they are said to be "raised in benediction" (Fig. 259).

The cubit arm (Fig. 260), should be carefully distinguished from the arm couped at the elbow (Fig. 261). The former includes only about two-thirds of the entire arm from the elbow. The form "couped at the elbow" is not frequently met with.

When the whole arm from the shoulder is used, it is always bent at the elbow, and this is signified by the term "embowed," and an arm embowed necessarily includes the whole arm. Fig. 262 shows the usual position of an arm embowed, but it is sometimes placed embowed to the dexter (Fig. 263), upon the point of the elbow, that is, "embowed fesseways" (Fig. 264), and also, but still more infrequently, resting on the upper arm (Fig. 265). Either of the latter positions must be specified in the blazon. Two arms "counter-embowed" occur in many crests (Figs. 266 and 267).

Fig. 259.—A hand "in benediction."

Fig. 259.—A hand "in benediction."

Fig. 260.—A cubit arm.

Fig. 260.—A cubit arm.

Fig. 261.—An arm couped at the elbow.

Fig. 261.—An arm couped at the elbow.

Fig. 262.—An arm embowed.

Fig. 262.—An arm embowed.

Fig. 263.—An arm embowed to the dexter.

Fig. 263.—An arm embowed to the dexter.

Fig. 264.—An arm embowed fesseways.

Fig. 264.—An arm embowed fesseways.

Fig. 265.—An arm embowed the upper part in fesse.

Fig. 265.—An arm embowed the upper part in fesse.

Fig. 266.—Two arms counter-embowed.

Fig. 266.—Two arms counter-embowed.

Fig. 267.—Two arms counter-embowed and interlaced.

Fig. 267.—Two arms counter-embowed and interlaced.

When the arm is bare it is termed "proper." When clothed it is termed either "vested" or "habited" (Fig. 268). The cuff is very frequently of a different colour, and the crest is then also termed "cuffed." The hand is nearly always bare, but if not represented of flesh colour it will be presumed and termed to be "gloved" of such and such a tincture. When it is represented in armour it is termed "in armour" or "vambraced" (Fig. 269). Even when in armour the hand is usually bare, but if in a gauntlet this must be specifically so stated (Fig. 270). The armour is always represented as riveted plate armour unless it is specifically stated to be chain armour, as in the crest of Bathurst, or scale armour. Armour is sometimes decorated with gold, when the usual term employed will be "garnished or," though occasionally the word "purfled" is used.

Gloves are occasionally met with as charges, e.g. in the arms of Barttelot. Gauntlets will be found in the arms of Vane.

Fig. 268.—A cubit arm habited.

Fig. 268.—A cubit arm habited.

Fig. 269.—An arm embowed in armour.

Fig. 269.—An arm embowed in armour.

Fig. 270.—A cubit arm in armour, the hand in a gauntlet.

Fig. 270.—A cubit arm in armour, the hand in a gauntlet.

Legs are not so frequently met with as arms. They will be found, however, in the arms of the Isle of Man and the families Gillman, Bower, Legg, and as the crest of Eyre. Boots will be found in the crests of various families of the name of Hussey.

Bones occur in the arms of Scott-Gatty and Baines.

A skull occurs in the crest of Græme ["Two arms issuing from a cloud erected and lighting up a man's skull encircled with two branches of palm, over the head a marquess's coronet, all proper"].

A woman's breast occurs in the canting arms of Dodge (Plate VI.) ["Barry of six or and sable, on a pale gules, a woman's breast distilling drops of milk proper. Crest: upon a wreath of the colours, a demi sea-dog azure, collared, maned, and finned or"].

An eye occurs in the crest of Blount of Maple-Durham ["On a wreath of the colours, the sun in splendour charged in the centre with an eye all proper"].

The man-lion, the merman, mermaid, melusine, satyr, satyral, harpy, sphinx, centaur, sagitarius, and weirwolf are included in the chapter upon mythical animals.


  1. Arms of Rutherglen: Argent, in a sea proper an ancient galley sable, flagged gules, therein two men proper, one rowing, the other furling the sail. Above the shield is placed a suitable helmet, with a mantling gules, doubled argent; and on a wreath of the proper liveries is set for crest, a demi-figure of the Virgin Mary with the Infant Saviour in her arms proper; and on a compartment below the shield, on which is an escroll containing this motto, "Ex fumo fama," are placed for supporters, two angels proper, winged or.