A Complete Guide to Heraldry/Chapter 12

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CHAPTER XII

BEASTS

Next after the lion should be considered the tiger, but it must be distinctly borne in mind that heraldry knows two kinds of tigers—the heraldic tiger (Figs. 322 and 323) and the Bengal tiger (Figs. 324 and 325). Doubtless the heraldic tiger, which was the only one found in British armory until a comparatively recent date, is the attempt of artists to depict their idea of a tiger. The animal was unknown to them, except by repute, and consequently the creature they depicted bears little relation to the animal of real life; but there can be no doubt that their intention was to depict an animal which they knew to exist. The heraldic tiger had a body much like the natural tiger, it had a lion's tufted tail and mane, and the curious head which it is so difficult to describe, but which appears to be more like the wolf than any other animal we know. This, however, will be again dealt with in the chapter on fictitious animals, and is here only introduced to demonstrate the difference which heraldry makes between the heraldic tiger and the real animal. A curious conceit is that the heraldic tiger will anciently be often found spelt "tyger," but this peculiar spelling does not seem ever to have been applied to the tiger of nature.

Fig. 322.—Heraldic tyger rampant.

Fig. 322.—Heraldic tyger rampant.

Fig. 323.—Heraldic tyger passant.

Fig. 323.—Heraldic tyger passant.

Fig. 324.—Bengal tiger passant.

Fig. 324.—Bengal tiger passant.

Fig. 325.—Bengal tiger rampant.

Fig. 325.—Bengal tiger rampant.

{{nop]] When it became desirable to introduce the real tiger into British armory as typical of India and our Eastern Empire, something of course was necessary to distinguish it from the tyger which had previously usurped the name in armory, and for this reason the natural tiger is always heraldically known as the Bengal tiger. This armorial variety appears towards the end of the eighteenth century in this country, though in foreign heraldry it appears to have been recognised somewhat earlier. There are, however, but few cases in which the Bengal tiger has appeared in armory, and in the majority of these cases as a supporter, as in the supporters of Outram, which are two tigers rampant guardant gorged with wreaths of laurel and crowned with Eastern crowns all proper. Another instance of the tiger as a supporter will be found in the arms of Bombay. An instance in which it appears as a charge upon a shield will be found in the arms granted to the University of Madras.

Fig. 326.—Leopard passant.

Fig. 326.—Leopard passant.

Fig. 327.—Leopard passant guardant.

Fig. 327.—Leopard passant guardant.

Fig. 328.—Leopard rampant.

Fig. 328.—Leopard rampant.

Another coat is that granted in 1874 to Augustus Beaty Bradbury of Edinburgh, which was: "Argent, on a mount in base vert, a Bengal tiger passant proper, on a chief of the second two other tigers dormant also proper." A tigress is said to be occasionally met with, and when so, is sometimes represented with a mirror, in relation to the legend that ascribes to her such personal vanity that her young ones might be taken from under her charge if she had the counter attraction of a hand-glass! At least so say the heraldry books, but I have not yet come across such a case.

The leopard (Figs. 326, 327, and 328) has to a certain extent been referred to already. Doubtless it is the peculiar cat-like and stealthy walk which is so characteristic of the leopard which led to any animal in that position being considered a leopard; but the leopard in its natural state was of course known to Europeans in the early days of heraldry, and appears amongst the lists of heraldic animals apart from its existence as "a lion passant." The animal, however, except as a supporter or crest, is by no means common in English heraldry. It will be found, however, in the crests of some number of families; for example, Taylor and Potts.

Fig. 329.—Leopard's head erased.

Fig. 329.—Leopard's head erased.

Fig. 330.—Leopard's head erased and affronté.

Fig. 330.—Leopard's head erased and affronté.

Fig. 331.—Leopard's face.

Fig. 331.—Leopard's face.

Fig. 332.—Leopard's face jessant-de-lis.

Fig. 332.—Leopard's face jessant-de-lis.

A very similar animal is the ounce, which for heraldic purposes is in no way altered from the leopard. Parts of the latter will be found in use as in the case of the lion. As a crest the demi-leopard, the leopard's head (Fig. 329), and the leopard's head affronté (Fig. 330) are often to be met with. In both cases it should be noticed that the neck is visible, and this should be borne in mind, because this constitutes the difference between the leopard's head and the leopard's face (Fig. 331). The leopard's face is by far the most usual form in which the leopard will be found in armory, and can be traced back to quite an early period in heraldry. The leopard's face shows no neck at all, the head being removed close behind the ears. It is then represented affronté. For some unfathomable reason these charges when they occur in the arms of Shrewsbury are usually referred to locally as "loggerheads." They were perpetuated in the arms of the county in its recent grant. A curious development or use of the leopard's face occurs when it is jessant-de-lis (Fig. 332). This will be found referred to at greater length under the heading of the Fleur-de-lis.

The panther is an animal which in its relation to heraldry it is difficult to know whether to place amongst the mythical or actual animals. No instance occurs to me in which the panther figures as a charge in British heraldry, and the panther as a supporter, in the few cases in which it is met with, is certainly not the actual animal, inasmuch as it is invariably found flammant, i.e. with flames issuing from the mouth and ears. In this character it will be found as a supporter of the Duke of Beaufort, and derived therefrom as a supporter of Lord Raglan. Foreign heraldry carries the panther to a most curious result. It is frequently represented with the tail of a lion, horns, and for its fore-legs the claws of an eagle. Even in England it is usually represented

Fig. 333.—Arms of Styria. (Drawn by Hans Burgkmair, 1523.)

Fig. 333.—Arms of Styria. (Drawn by Hans Burgkmair, 1523.)

vomiting flames, but the usual method of depicting it on the Continent is greatly at variance with our own. Fig. 333 represents the same arms of Styria—Vert, a panther argent, armed close, vomiting flames of fire—from the title-page of the Land-bond of Styria in the year 1523, drawn by Hans Burgkmair. In Physiologus, a Greek writing of early Christian times of about the date 140, which in the course of time has been translated into every tongue, mention is made of the panther, to which is there ascribed the gaily spotted coat and the pleasant, sweet-smelling breath which induces all other animals to approach it; the dragon alone retreats into its hole from the smell, and consequently the panther appears to have sometimes been used as a symbol of Christ. The earliest armorial representations of this animal show the form not greatly dissimilar to nature; but very soon the similarity disappears in Continental representations, and the fancy of the artist transferred the animal into the fabulous creature which is now represented. The sweet-smelling breath, suozzon-stanch as it is called in the early German translation of the Physiologus, was expressed by the flames issuing from the mouth, but later in the sixteenth century flames issued from every opening in the head. The head was in old times similar to that of a horse, occasionally horned (as in the seal of Count Heinrich von Lechsgemünd, 1197); the fore-feet were well developed. In the second half of the fourteenth century the fore-feet assume the character of eagles' claws, and the horns of the animal were a settled matter. In the neighbourhood of Lake Constance we find the panther with divided hoofs on his hind-feet; perhaps with a reference to the panther's "cleanness." According to the Mosaic law, of course, a four-footed animal, to be considered clean, must not have paws, and a ruminant must not have an undivided hoof. Italian heraldry is likewise acquainted with the panther, but under another name (La Dolce, the sweet one) and another form. The dolce has a head like a hare, and is unhorned. (See A. Anthony v. Siegenfeld, "The Territorial Arms of Styria," Graz, 1898.)

The panther is given by Segar, Garter King of Arms 1603-1663, as one of the badges of King Henry VI., where it is silver, spotted of various colours, and with flames issuing from its mouth and ears. No doubt this Royal badge is the origin of the supporter of the Duke of Beaufort.

English armory knows an animal which it terms the male griffin, which has no wings, but which has gold rays issuing from its body in all directions. Ströhl terms the badge of the Earls of Ormonde, which from his description are plainly male griffins, keythongs, which he classes with the panther; and probably he is correct in looking upon our male griffin as merely one form of the heraldic panther.

The cat, under the name of the cat, the wild cat, the cat-a-mountain, or the cat-a-mount (Figs. 334, 335, and 336), is by no means infrequent in British armory, though it will usually be found in Scottish or Irish examples. The arms of Keates and Scott-Gatty in which it figures are English examples, however.

The wolf (Figs. 337-341) is a very frequent charge in English armory. Apart from its use as a supporter, in which position it is found in conjunction with the shields of Lord Welby, Lord Rendell, and Viscount Wolseley, it will be found in the arms of Lovett and in by far the larger proportion of the coats for the name of Wilson and in the arms of Low.

Fig. 334.—Cat-a-mountain sejant guardant.

Fig. 334.—Cat-a-mountain sejant guardant.

Fig. 335.—Cat-a-mountain sejant guardant erect.

Fig. 335.—Cat-a-mountain sejant guardant erect.

Fig. 336.—Cat-a-mountain passant guardant.

Fig. 336.—Cat-a-mountain passant guardant.

Fig. 337.—Wolf rampant.

Fig. 337.—Wolf rampant.

Fig. 338.—Wolf salient.

Fig. 338.—Wolf salient.

Fig. 339.—Wolf courant.

Fig. 339.—Wolf courant.

The wolf, however, in earlier representations has a less distinctly wolf-like character, it being sometimes difficult to distinguish the wolf from some other heraldic animals. This is one of these cases in which, owing to insufficient knowledge and crude draughtsmanship, ancient heraldry is not to be preferred to more realistic treatment. The demi-wolf is a very frequent crest, occurring not only in the arms and crests of members of the Wilson and many other families, but also as the crest of Wolfe. The latter crest is worthy of remark, inasmuch as the Royal crown which is held within its paws typifies the assistance given to King Charles II., after the battle of Worcester, by Mr. Francis Wolfe of Madeley, to whom the crest was granted. King Charles, it may be noted, also gave to Mr. Wolfe a silver tankard, upon the lid of which was a representation of this crest. Wolves' heads are particularly common, especially in Scottish heraldry. An example of them will be found in the arms of "Struan" Robertson, and in the coats used by all other members of the Robertson Clan having or claiming descent from, or relationship with, the house of Struan. The wolf's head also appears in the arms of Skeen. Woodward states that the wolf is the most common of all heraldic animals in Spanish heraldry, where it is frequently represented as ravissant, i.e. carrying the body of a lamb in its mouth or across its back.

Fig. 340.—Wolf passant.

Fig. 340.—Wolf passant.

Fig. 341.—Wolf statant.

Fig. 341.—Wolf statant.

Fig. 342.—A lynx coward.

Fig. 342.—A lynx coward.

Fig. 343.—Fox passant.

Fig. 343.—Fox passant.

Fig. 344.—Fox sejant.

Fig. 344.—Fox sejant.

Fig. 345.—A fox's mask.

Fig. 345.—A fox's mask.

Much akin to the wolf is the Lynx; in fact the heraldic representation of the two animals is not greatly different. The lynx does not often occur in heraldry except as a supporter, but it will be found as the crest of the family of Lynch. The lynx is nearly always depicted and blazoned "coward," i.e. with its tail between its legs (Fig. 342). Another instance of this particular animal is found in the crest of Comber.

A Fox (Figs. 343 and 344) which from the similarity of its representation is often confused with a wolf, is said by Woodward to be very seldom met with in British heraldry. This is hardly a correct statement, inasmuch as countless instances can be produced in which a fox figures as a charge, a crest, or a supporter. The fox is found on the arms and as the crest, and two are the supporters of Lord Ilchester, and instances of its appearance will be found amongst others in the arms or crests, for example, of Fox, Colfox, and Ashworth. Probably the most curious example of the heraldic fox will be found in the arms of Sir Watkin Williams Wynn, who for the arms of Williams quarters: "Argent, two foxes counter-salient gules, the dexter surmounted of the sinister." The face of a fox is termed its mask (Fig. 345).

The Bear (Figs. 346-349) is frequently found figuring largely in coats of arms for the names of Barnard, Baring, Barnes, and Bearsley, and for other names which can be considered to bear canting relation to the charge. In fact the arms, crest, and motto of Barnard together form such an excellent example of the little jokes which characterise heraldry that I quote the blazon in full. The coat is "argent, a bear rampant sable," the crest is "a demi-bear sable," and the motto "Bear and forbear."

Fig. 346.—Bear rampant.

Fig. 346.—Bear rampant.

Fig. 347.—Bear passant.

Fig. 347.—Bear passant.

Fig. 348.—Bear statant.

Fig. 348.—Bear statant.

The bear is generally muzzled, but this must not be presumed unless mentioned in the blazon. Bears' paws are often found both in crests and as charges upon shields, but as they differ little if anything in appearance from the lion's gamb, they need not be further particularised. To the bear's head, however, considerable attention should be paid, inasmuch as the manner of depicting it in England and Scotland differs. The bear's head, according to English ideas of heraldry, would be depicted down to the shoulders, and would show the neck couped or erased (Fig. 350). In Scottish heraldry, bears' heads are almost invariably found couped or erased close behind the ears without any of the neck being visible (Figs. 351 and 352); they are not, however, represented as caboshed or affronté.

The Boar is an animal which, with its parts, will constantly be met with in British armory (Figs. 353-355). Theoretically there is a difference between the boar, which is the male of the domestic animal, and the wild boar, which is the untamed creature of the woods. Whilst the latter is usually blazoned as a wild boar or sanglier, the latter is just a boar; but for all practical purposes no difference whatever is made in heraldic representations of these varieties, though it may be noted that the crest of Swinton is often described as a sanglier, as invariably is also the crest of Douglas, Earl of Morton ["A sanglier sticking between the cleft of an oak-tree fructed, with a lock holding the clefts together all proper"]. The boar, like the lion, is usually

Fig. 349.—Bear sejant erect.

Fig. 349.—Bear sejant erect.

Fig. 350.—Bear's head couped (English).

Fig. 350.—Bear's head couped (English).

Fig. 351.—Bear's head couped (Scottish).

Fig. 351.—Bear's head couped (Scottish).

Fig. 352.—Bear's head erased and muzzled (Scottish).

Fig. 352.—Bear's head erased and muzzled (Scottish).

Fig. 353.—Boar rampant.

Fig. 353.—Boar rampant.

Fig. 354.—Boar passant.

Fig. 354.—Boar passant.

Fig. 355.—Boar statant.

Fig. 355.—Boar statant.

Fig. 356.—Boar's head erased (English).

Fig. 356.—Boar's head erased (English).

Fig. 357.—Boar's head couped (Scottish).

Fig. 357.—Boar's head couped (Scottish).

Fig. 358.—Boar's head erased (Scottish).

Fig. 358.—Boar's head erased (Scottish).

described as armed and langued, but this is not necessary when the tusks are represented in their own colour and when the tongue is gules. It will, however, be very frequently found that the tusks are or. The "armed," however, does not include the hoofs, and if these are to be of any colour different from that of the animal, it must be blazoned "unguled" of such and such a tincture. Precisely the same distinction occurs in the heads of boars (Figs. 356-358) that was referred to in bears. The real difference is this, that whilst the English boar's head has the neck attached to the head and is couped or erased at the shoulders, the Scottish boar's head is separated close behind the ears. No one ever troubled to draw any distinction between the two for the purposes of blazon, because the English boars' heads were more usually drawn with the neck, and the boars' heads in Scotland were drawn couped or erased close. But the boars head in Welsh heraldry followed the Scottish and not the English type. Matters armorial, however, are now cosmopolitan, and one can no longer ascertain that the crest of Campbell must be Scottish, or that the crest of any other family must be English; and consequently, though the terms will not be found employed officially, it is just as well to distinguish them, because armory can provide means of such distinction—the true description of an English boar's head being couped or erased "at the neck," the Scottish term being a boar's head couped or erased "close."

Occasionally a boar's head will be stated to be borne erect; this is then shown with the mouth pointing upwards. A curious example of this is found in the crest of Tyrrell: "A boar's head erect argent, in the mouth a peacock's tail proper."

Woodward mentions three very strange coats of arms in which the charge, whilst not being a boar, bears very close connection with it. He states that among the curiosities of heraldry we may place the canting arms of Ham, of Holland: "Gules, five hams proper, 2, 1, 2." The Verhammes also bear: "Or, three hams sable." These commonplace charges assume almost a poetical savour when placed beside the matter-of-fact coat of the family of Bacquere: "d'Azur, à un ecusson d'or en abîme, accompagné de trois groins de porc d'argent," and that of the Wursters of Switzerland: "Or, two sausages gules on a gridiron sable, the handle in chief."

HORSES

It is not a matter of surprise that the horse is frequently met with in armory. It will be found, as in the arms of Jedburgh, carrying a mounted warrior (Fig. 359), and the same combination appears as the crest of the Duke of Fife.

The horse will be found rampant (or forcene, or salient) (Fig. 360), and will be found courant (Fig. 361), passant (Fig. 362), and trotting.

Fig. 359.—A chevalier on horseback.

Fig. 359.—A chevalier on horseback.

Fig. 360.—Horse rampant.

Fig. 360.—Horse rampant.

Fig. 361.—Horse courant.

Fig. 361.—Horse courant.

Fig. 362.—Horse passant.

Fig. 362.—Horse passant.

When it is "comparisoned" or "furnished" it is shown with saddle and bridle and all appurtenances; but if the saddle is not present it would only be blazoned "bridled."

"Gules, a horse argent," really the arms of Westphalia, is popularly known in this country as the coat of Hanover, inasmuch as it was the most prominent charge upon the inescutcheon or quartering of Hanover formerly borne with the Royal Arms. Every one in this country is familiar with the expression, "the white horse of Hanover."

Horses will also be found in many cases as supporters, and these will be referred to in the chapter upon that subject, but reference should be particularly made here to the crest of the family of Lane, of King's Bromley, which is a strawberry roan horse, couped at the flanks, bridled, saddled, and holding in its feet the Imperial crown proper. This commemorates the heroic action of Mistress Jane Lane, afterwards Lady Fisher, and the sister of Sir Thomas Lane, of King's Bromley, who, after the battle of Worcester and when King Charles was in hiding, rode from Staffordshire to the south coast upon a strawberry roan horse, with King Charles as her serving-man. For this the Lane family were first of all granted the canton of England as an augmentation to their arms, and shortly afterwards this crest of the demi-horse (Plate II.).

The arms of Trevelyan afford an interesting example of a horse, being: "Gules, issuant out of water in base proper, a demi-horse argent, hoofed and maned or."

The heads of horses are either so described or (and more usually) termed "nags' heads," though what the difference may be is beyond the comprehension of most people; at any rate heraldry knows of none.

The crest of the family of Duncombe is curious, and is as follows: "Out of a ducal coronet or, a horse's hind-leg sable, the shoe argent."

Though they can hardly be termed animate charges, perhaps one may be justified in here mentioning the horse-shoe (Fig. 363), which is far from being an uncommon charge. It will be found in various arms for the name of Ferrar, Ferrers, Farrer, and Marshall; and, in the arms of one Scottish family of Smith, three horse-shoes interlaced together form an unusual and rather a curious charge.

Other instances in which it occurs will be found in the arms of Burlton, and in the arms used by the town of Oakham. In the latter case it doubtless has reference to the toll of a horse-shoe, which the town collects from every peer or member of the Royal Family who passes through its limits. The collection of these, which are usually of silver, and are carefully preserved, is one of the features of the town.

Fig. 363.—Horse-shoe.

Fig. 363.—Horse-shoe.

Fig. 364.—Sea-horse.

Fig. 364.—Sea-horse.

Fig. 365.—Pegasus rampant.

Fig. 365.—Pegasus rampant.

The sea-horse, the unicorn, and the pegasus may perhaps be more properly considered as mythical animals, and the unicorn will, of course, be treated under that heading; but the sea-horse and the pegasus are so closely allied in form to the natural animal that perhaps it will be simpler to treat of them in this chapter. The sea-horse (Fig. 364) is composed of the head and neck of a horse and the tail of a fish, but in place of the fore-feet, webbed paws are usually substituted. Two sea-horses respecting each other will be found in the coat of arms of Pirrie, and sea-horses naiant will be found in the arms of M‘Cammond. It is a matter largely left to the discretion of the artist, but the sea-horse will be found as often as not depicted with a fin at the back of its neck in place of a mane. A sea-horse as a crest will be found in the case of Belfast and in the crests of Clippingdale and Jenkinson. The sea-horse is sometimes represented winged, but I know of no officially sanctioned example. When represented rising from the sea the animal is said to be "assurgeant."

The pegasus (Figs. 365 and 366), though often met with as a crest or found in use as a supporter, is very unusual as a charge upon an escutcheon. It will be found, however, in the arms of the Society of the Inner Temple and in the arms of Richardson, which afford an example of a pegasus rampant and also an example in the crest of a pegasus sejant, which at present is the only one which exists in British heraldry.

Fig. 367 gives a solitary instance of a mare. The arms, which are from Grünenberg's Wappenbuch (1483), are attributed to "Herr von Frouberg from the Forest in Bavaria," and are: Gules, a mare rampant argent, bridled sable.

Fig. 366.—Pegasus passant.

Fig. 366.—Pegasus passant.

Fig. 367.—Arms of Herr von Frouberg.

Fig. 367.—Arms of Herr von Frouberg.

Fig. 368.—Talbot passant.

Fig. 368.—Talbot passant.

Fig. 369.—Talbot statant.

Fig. 369.—Talbot statant.

Fig. 370.—Talbot rampant.

Fig. 370.—Talbot rampant.

Fig. 371.—Talbot sejant.

Fig. 371.—Talbot sejant.

The ass is not a popular charge, but the family of Mainwaring have an ass's head for a crest.

DOGS

Dogs will be found of various kinds in many English and Scottish coats of arms, though more frequently in the former than in the latter. The original English dog, the hound of early days, is, of course, the talbot (Figs. 368, 369, 370, and 371). Under the heading of supporters certain instances will be quoted in which dogs of various kinds and breeds figure in heraldry, but the talbot as a charge will be found in the arms of the old Staffordshire family, Wolseley of Wolseley, a cadet of which house is the present Field-Marshal Viscount Wolseley. The Wolseley arms are: "Argent, a talbot passant gules." Other instances of the talbot will be found in the arms or crests of the families of Grosvenor, Talbot, and Gooch. The arms "Azure, three talbots statant or," were granted by Cooke to Edward Peke of Heldchurchgate, Kent. A sleuth-hound treading gingerly upon the points of a coronet ["On a ducal coronet, a sleuth-hound proper, collared and leashed gules"] was the crest of the Earl of Perth and Melfort, and one wonders whether the motto, "Gang warily," may not really have as much relation to the perambulations of the crest as to the dangerous foothold amongst the galtraps which is provided for the supporters.

Fig. 372.—Greyhound passant.

Fig. 372.—Greyhound passant.

Fig. 373.—Greyhound courant.

Fig. 373.—Greyhound courant.

Greyhounds (Figs. 372 and 373) are, of course, very frequently met with, and amongst the instances which can be mentioned are the arms of Clayhills, Hughes-Hunter of Plas Coch, and Hunter of Hunterston. A curious coat of arms will be found under the name of Udney of that Ilk, registered in the Lyon Office, namely: "Gules, two greyhounds counter-salient argent, collared of the field, in the inner point a stag's head couped and attired with ten tynes, all between the three fleurs-de-lis, two in chief and one in base, or." Another very curious coat of arms is registered as the design of the reverse of the seal of the Royal Burgh of Linlithgow, and is: "Or, a greyhound bitch sable, chained to an oak-tree within a loch proper." This curious coat of arms, however, being the reverse of the seal, is seldom if ever made use of.

Two bloodhounds are the supporters to the arms of Campbell of Aberuchill.

The dog may be salient, that is, springing, its hind-feet on the ground; passant, when it is sometimes known as trippant, otherwise walking; and courant when it is at full speed. It will be found occasionally couchant or lying down, but if depicted chasing another animal (as in the arms of Echlin) it is described as "in full chase," or "in full course."

A mastiff will be found in the crest of Crawshay, and there is a well-known crest of a family named Phillips which is "a dog sejant regardant surmounted by a bezant charged with a representation of a dog saving a man from drowning." Whether this crest has any official authority or not I do not know, but I should imagine it is highly doubtful.

Foxhounds appear as the supporters of Lord Hindlip; and when depicted with its nose to the ground a dog is termed "a hound on scent."

A winged greyhound is stated to be the crest of a family of Benwell. A greyhound "courant" will be found in the crests of Daly and Watney; and a curious crest is that of Biscoe, which is a greyhound seizing a hare. The crest of Anderson, until recently borne by the Earl of Yarborough, is a water spaniel.

Fig. 374.—A sea-dog.

Fig. 374.—A sea-dog.

Fig. 375.—Bull rampant.

Fig. 375.—Bull rampant.

Fig. 376.—Bull passant.

Fig. 376.—Bull passant.

The sea-dog (Fig. 374) is a most curious animal. It is represented much as the talbot, but with scales, webbed feet, and a broad scaly tail like a beaver. In my mind there is very little doubt that the sea-dog is really the early heraldic attempt to represent a beaver, and I am confirmed in that opinion by the arms of the city of Oxford. There has been considerable uncertainty as to what the sinister supporter was intended to represent. A reference to the original record shows that a beaver is the real supporter, but the representation of the animal, which in form has varied little, is very similar to that of a sea-dog. The only instances I am aware of in British heraldry in which it occurs under the name of a sea-dog are the supporters of the Barony of Stourton and the crest of Dodge[1] (Plate VI.).

BULLS

The bull (Figs. 375 and 376), and also the calf, and very occasionally the cow and the buffalo, have their allotted place in heraldry. They are amongst the few animals which can never be represented proper, inasmuch as in its natural state the bull is of very various colours. And yet there is an exception to even this apparently obvious fact, for the bulls connected with or used either as crests, badges, or supporters by the various branches of the Nevill family are all pied bulls ["Arms of the Marquis of Abergavenny: Gules, on a saltire argent, a rose of the field, barbed and seeded proper. Crest: a bull statant argent, pied sable, collared and chain reflexed over the back or. Supporters; two bulls argent, pied sable, armed, unguled, collared and chained, and at the end of the chain two staples or. Badges: on the dexter a rose gules, seeded or, barbed vert; on the sinister a portcullis or. Motto: 'Ne vile velis.'"] The bull in the arms of the town of Abergavenny, which are obviously based upon the arms and crest of the Marquess of Abergavenny, is the same.

Examples of the bull will be found in the arms of Verelst, Blyth, and Ffinden. A bull salient occurs in the arms of De Hasting ["Per pale vert and or, a bull salient counterchanged"]. The arms of the Earl of Shaftesbury show three bulls, which happen to be the quartering for Ashley. This coat of arms affords an instance, and a striking one, of the manner in which arms have been improperly assumed in England. The surname of the Earl of Shaftesbury is Ashley-Cooper. It may be mentioned here in passing, through the subject is properly dealt with elsewhere in the volume, that in an English sub-quarterly coat for a double name the arms for the last and most important name are the first and fourth quarterings. But Lord Shaftesbury himself is the only person who bears the name of Cooper, all other members of the family except his lordship being known by the name of Ashley only. Possibly this may be the reason which accounts for the fact that by a rare exception Lord Shaftesbury bears the arms of Ashley in the first and fourth quarters, and Cooper in the second and third. But by a very general mistake these arms of Ashley ["Argent, three bulls passant sable, armed and unguled or"] were until recently almost invariably described as the arms of Cooper. The result has been that during the last century they were "jumped" right and left by people of the name of Cooper, entirely in ignorance of the fact that the arms of Cooper (if it were, as one can only presume, the popular desire to indicate a false relationship to his lordship) are: "Gules, a bend engrailed between six lions rampant or." The ludicrous result has been that to those who know, the arms have stood self-condemned, and in the course of time, as it has become necessary for these Messrs. Cooper to legalise these usurped insignia, the new grants, differentiated versions of arms previously in use, have nearly all been founded upon this Ashley coat. At any rate there must be a score or more Cooper grants with bulls as the principal charges, and innumerable people of the name of Cooper are still using without authority the old Ashley coat pure and simple.

The bull as a crest is not uncommon, belonging amongst other families to Ridley, Sykes, and De Hoghton; and the demi-bull, and more frequently the bull's head, are often met with. A bull's leg is the crest of De la Vache, and as such appears upon two of the early Garter plates. Winged bulls are the supporters of the Butchers' Livery Company. A bull's scalp occurs upon a canton over the arms of Cheney, a coat quartered by Johnston and Cure.

Fig. 377.—Bull's head caboshed.

Fig. 377.—Bull's head caboshed.

Fig. 378.—Armorial bearings of John Henry Metcalfe, Esq.: Argent, three calves passant sable, a canton gules.

Fig. 378.—Armorial bearings of John Henry Metcalfe, Esq.: Argent, three calves passant sable, a canton gules.

The ox seldom occurs, except that, in order sometimes to preserve a pun, a bovine animal is sometimes so blazoned, as in the case of the arms of the City of Oxford. Cows also are equally rare, but occur in the arms of Cowell ["Ermine, a cow statant gules, within a bordure sable, bezantée"] and in the modern grants to the towns of Rawtenstall and Cowbridge. Cows' heads appear on the arms of Veitch ["Argent, three cows' heads erased sable"], and these were transferred to the cadency bordure of the Haig arms when these were rematriculated for Mr. H. Veitch Haig.

Calves are of much more frequent occurrence than cows, appearing in many coats of arms in which they are a pun upon the name. They will be found in the arms of Vaile and Metcalfe (Fig. 378). Special attention may well be drawn to the last-mentioned illustration, inasmuch as it is by Mr. J. H. Metcalfe, whose heraldic work has obtained a well-deserved reputation. A bull or cow is termed "armed" if the horns are of a different tincture from the head. The term "unguled" applies to the hoofs, and "ringed" is used when, as is sometimes the case, a ring passes through the nostrils. A bull's head is sometimes found caboshed (Fig. 377), as in the crest of Macleod, or as in the arms of Walrond. The position of the tail is one of those matters which are left to the artist, and unless the blazon contains any statement to the contrary, it may be placed in any convenient position.


STAGS

The stag, using the term in its generic sense, under the various names of stag, deer, buck, roebuck, hart, doe, hind, reindeer, springbok, and other varieties, is constantly met with in British armory, as well as in that of other countries.

Fig. 379.—Stag lodged.

Fig. 379.—Stag lodged.

Fig. 380.—Stag trippant.

Fig. 380.—Stag trippant.

Fig. 381.—Stag courant.

Fig. 381.—Stag courant.

Fig. 382.—Stag springing.

Fig. 382.—Stag springing.

Fig. 383.—Stag at gaze.

Fig. 383.—Stag at gaze.

Fig. 384.—Stag statant.

Fig. 384.—Stag statant.

In the specialised varieties, such as the springbok and the reindeer, naturally an attempt is made to follow the natural animal in its salient peculiarities, but as to the remainder, heraldry knows little if any distinction after the following has been properly observed. The stag, which is really the male red deer, has horns which are branched with pointed branches from the bottom to the top; but a buck, which is the fallow deer, has broad and flat palmated horns. Anything in the nature of a stag must be subject to the following terms. If lying down it is termed "lodged" (Fig. 379), if walking it is termed "trippant" (Fig. 380), if running it is termed "courant" (Fig. 381), or "at speed" or "in full chase." It is termed "salient" when springing (Fig. 382), though the term "springing" is sometimes employed, and it is said to be "at gaze" when statant with the head turned to face the spectator (Fig. 383); but it should be noted that a stag may also be "statant" (Fig. 384); and it is not "at gaze" unless the head is turned round. When it is necessary owing to a difference of tincture or for other reasons to refer to the horns, a stag or buck is described as "attired" of such and such a colour, whereas bulls, rams, and goats are said to be "armed."

When the stag is said to be attired of ten or any other number of tynes, it means that there are so many points to its horns. Like other cloven-footed animals, the stag can be unguled of a different colour.

The stag's head is very frequently met with, but it will be almost more frequently found as a stag's head caboshed (Fig. 385). In these cases the head is represented affronté and removed close behind the ears, so that no part of the neck is visible. The stag's head caboshed occurs in the arms of Cavendish and Stanley, and also in the arms of Legge, Earl of Dartmouth. Figs. 386 and 387 are examples of other heads.

Fig. 385.—Stag's head caboshed.

Fig. 385.—Stag's head caboshed.

Fig. 386.—Stag's head erased.

Fig. 386.—Stag's head erased.

Fig. 387.—Buck's head couped.

Fig. 387.—Buck's head couped.

Fig. 388.—Hind.

Fig. 388.—Hind.

Fig. 389.—Reindeer.

Fig. 389.—Reindeer.

Fig. 390.—Winged stag rampant.

Fig. 390.—Winged stag rampant.

The attires of a stag are to be found either singly (as in the arms of Boyle) or in the form of a pair attached to the scalp. The crest of Jeune affords an instance of a scalp. The hind or doe (Fig. 388) is sometimes met with, as in the crest of Hatton, whilst a hind's head is the crest of Conran.

The reindeer (Fig. 389) is less usual, but reindeer heads will be found in the arms of Fellows. It, however, appears as a supporter for several English peers. Winged stags (Fig. 390) were the supporters of De Carteret, Earls of Granville, and "a demi-winged stag gules, collared argent," is the crest of Fox of Coalbrookdale, co. Salop.

Much akin to the stag is the antelope, which, unless specified to be an heraldic antelope, or found in a very old coat, is usually represented in the natural form of the animal, and subject to the foregoing rules.

Heraldic Antelope.—This animal (Figs. 391, 392, and 393) is found in English heraldry more frequently as a supporter than as a charge. As an instance, however, of the latter form may be mentioned the family of Dighton (Lincolnshire): "Per pale argent and gules, an heraldic antelope passant counterchanged." It bears little if any relation to the real animal, though there can be but small doubt that the earliest forms originated in an attempt to represent an antelope or an ibex. Since, however, heraldry has found a use for the real antelope, it has been necessary to distinguish it from the creations of the early armorists, which are now known as heraldic antelopes. Examples will be found in the supporters of Lord Carew, in the crest of Moresby, and of Bagnall.

Fig. 391.—Heraldic antelope statant.

Fig. 391.—Heraldic antelope statant.

Fig. 392.—The heraldic antelope rampant.

Fig. 392.—The heraldic antelope rampant.

Fig. 393.—Heraldic antelope passant.

Fig. 393.—Heraldic antelope passant.

The difference chiefly consists in the curious head and horns and in the tail, the heraldic antelope being an heraldic tiger, with the feet and legs similar to those of a deer, and with two straight serrated horns.

Ibex.—This is another form of the natural antelope, but with two saw-edged horns projecting from the forehead.

A curious animal, namely, the sea-stag, is often met with in German heraldry. This is the head, antlers, fore-legs, and the upper part of the body of a stag conjoined to the fish-tail end of a mermaid. The only instance I am aware of in which it occurs in British armory is the case of the arms of Marindin, which were recently matriculated in Lyon Register (Fig. 394). This coat, however, it should be observed, is really of German or perhaps of Swiss origin.

Fig. 394.—Armorial bearings of Marindin.

Fig. 394.—Armorial bearings of Marindin.

THE RAM AND GOAT

The ram (Figs. 395 and 396), the consideration of which must of necessity include the sheep (Fig. 397), the Paschal lamb (Fig. 398), and the fleece (Fig. 399), plays no unimportant part in armory. The chief heraldic difference between the ram and the sheep, to some extent, in opposition to the agricultural distinctions, lies in the fact that the ram is always represented with horns and the sheep without. The lamb and the ram are always represented with the natural tail, but the sheep is deprived of it. A ram can of course be "armed" (i.e. with the horns of a different colour) and "unguled," but the latter will seldom be found to be the case. The ram, the sheep, and the lamb will nearly always be found either passant or statant, but a demi-ram is naturally represented in a rampant posture, though in such a case the word "rampant" is not necessary in the blazon.

Occasionally, as in the crest of Marwood, the ram will be found couchant. As a charge upon a shield the ram will be found in the arms of Sydenham ["Argent, three rams passant sable"], and a ram couchant occurs in the arms of Pujolas (granted 1762) ["Per fess wavy azure and argent, in base on a mount vert, a ram couchant sable, armed and unguled or, in chief three doves proper"]. The arms of Ramsey ["Azure, a chevron between three rams passant or"] and the arms of Harman ["Sable, a chevron between six rams counter-passant two and two argent, armed and unguled or"] are other instances in which rams occur. A sheep occurs in the arms of Sheepshanks ["Azure, a chevron erminois between in chief three roses and in base a sheep passant argent. Crest: on a mount vert, a sheep passant argent"].

Fig. 395.—Ram statant.

Fig. 395.—Ram statant.

Fig. 396.—Ram rampant.

Fig. 396.—Ram rampant.

Fig. 397.—Sheep passant.

Fig. 397.—Sheep passant.

Fig. 398.—Paschal lamb.

Fig. 398.—Paschal lamb.

Fig. 399.—Fleece.

Fig. 399.—Fleece.

Fig. 400.—Ram's head caboshed.

Fig. 400.—Ram's head caboshed.

Fig. 401.—Goat passant.

Fig. 401.—Goat passant.

Fig. 402.—Goat rampant.

Fig. 402.—Goat rampant.

Fig. 403.—Goat salient.

Fig. 403.—Goat salient.

The lamb, which is by no means an unusual charge in Welsh coats of arms, is most usually found in the form of a "paschal lamb" (Fig. 398), or some variation evidently founded thereupon.

The fleece—of course originally of great repute as the badge of the Order of the Golden Fleece—has in recent years been frequently employed in the grants of arms to towns or individuals connected with the woollen industry.

The demi-ram and the demi-lamb are to be found as crests, but far more usual are rams' heads, which figure, for example, in the arms of Ramsden, and in the arms of the towns of Huddersfield, and Barrow-in-Furness. The ram's head will sometimes be found caboshed, as in the arms of Ritchie and Roberts.

Perhaps here reference may fittingly be made to the arms granted by Lyon Office in 1812 to Thomas Bonar, co. Kent ["Argent, a saltire and chief azure, the last charged with a dexter hand proper, vested with a shirt-sleeve argent, issuing from the dexter chief point, holding a shoulder of mutton proper to a lion passant or, all within a bordure gules"].

The Goat (Figs. 401-403) is very frequently met with in armory. Its positions are passant, statant, rampant, and salient. When the horns are of a different colour it is said to be "armed."

OTHER ANIMALS

The Elephant is by no means unusual in heraldry, appearing as a crest, as a charge, and also as a supporter. Nor, strange to say, is its appearance exclusively modern. The elephant's head, however, is much more frequently met with than the entire animal. Heraldry generally finds some way of stereotyping one of its creations as peculiarly its own, and in regard to the elephant, the curious "elephant and castle" (Fig. 404) is an example, this latter object being, of course, simply a derivative of the howdah of Indian life. Few early examples of the elephant omit the castle. The elephant and castle is seen in the arms of Dumbarton and in the crest of Corbet.

A curious practice, the result of pure ignorance, has manifested itself in British armory. As will be explained in the chapter upon crests, a large proportion of German crests are derivatives of the stock basis of two bull's horns, which formed a recognised ornament for a helmet in Viking and other pre-heraldic days. As heraldry found its footing it did not in Germany displace those horns, which in many cases continued alone as the crest or remained as a part of it in the form of additions to other objects. The craze for decoration at an early period seized upon the horns, which carried repetitions of the arms or their tinctures. As time went on the decoration was carried further, and the horns were made with bell-shaped open ends to receive other objects, usually bunches of feathers or flowers. So universal did this custom become that even when nothing was inserted the horns came to be always depicted with these open mouths at their points. But German heraldry now, as has always been the case, simply terms the figures "horns." In course of time German immigrants made application for grants of arms in this country, which, doubtless, were based upon other German arms previously in use, but which, evidence of right not being forthcoming, could not be recorded as borne of right, and needed to be granted with alteration as a new coat. The curious result has been that these horns have been incorporated in some number of English grants, but they have universally been described as elephants' proboscides, and are now always so represented in this country. A case in point is the crest of Verelst, and another is the crest of Allhusen.

Fig. 404.—Elephant and castle.

Fig. 404.—Elephant and castle.

Fig. 405.—Hare salient.

Fig. 405.—Hare salient.

Fig. 406.—Coney.

Fig. 406.—Coney.

Fig. 407.—Squirrel.

Fig. 407.—Squirrel.

Elephants' tusks have also been introduced into grants, as in the arms of Liebreich (borne in pretence by Cock) and Randles ["Or, a chevron wavy azure between three pairs of elephants' tusks in saltire proper"].

The Hare (Fig. 405) is but rarely met with in British armory. It appears in the arms of Cleland, and also in the crest of Shakerley, Bart. ["A hare proper resting her forefeet on a grab or"]. A very curious coat ["Argent, three hares playing bagpipes gules"] belongs to an ancient Derbyshire family FitzErcald, now represented (through the Sacheverell family) by Coke of Trussley, who quarter the FitzErcald shield.

The Rabbit (Fig. 406), or, as it is more frequently termed heraldically, the Coney, appears more frequently in heraldry than the hare, being the canting charge on the arms of Coningsby, Cunliffe ["Sable, three conies courant argent"], and figuring also as the supporters of Montgomery Cunningham ["Two conies proper"].

The Squirrel (Fig. 407) occurs in many English coats of arms. It is always sejant, and very frequently cracking a nut.

The Ape is not often met with, except in the cases of the different families of the great Fitz Gerald clan. It is usually the crest, though the Duke of Leinster also has apes as supporters. One family of Fitzgerald, however, bear it as a charge upon the shield ["Gules, a saltire invected per pale argent and or, between four monkeys statant of the second, environed with a plain collar and chained of the second. Mantling gules and argent. Crest: on a wreath of the colours, a monkey as in the arms, charged on the body with two roses, and resting the dexter fore-leg on a saltire gules. Motto: 'Crom-a-boo'"], and the family of Yorke bear an ape's head for a crest.

The ape is usually met with "collared and chained" (Fig. 408), though, unlike any other animal, the collar of an ape environs its loins and not its neck. A winged ape is included in Elvin's "Dictionary of Heraldry" as a heraldic animal, but I am not aware to whom it is assigned.

Fig. 408.—Ape collared and chained.

Fig. 408.—Ape collared and chained.

Fig. 409.—Brock.

Fig. 409.—Brock.

Fig. 410.—Otter.

Fig. 410.—Otter.

The Brock or Badger (Fig. 409) figures in some number of English arms. It is most frequently met with as the crest of Brooke, but will be also found in the arms or crests of Brocklebank and Motion.

The Otter (Fig. 410) is not often met with except in Scottish coats, but an English example is that of Sir George Newnes, and a demi-otter issuant from a fess wavy will be found quartered by Seton of Mounie.

An otter's head, sometimes called a seal's head, for it is impossible to distinguish the heraldic representations of the one or the other, appears in many coats of arms of different families of the name of Balfour, and two otters are the supporters belonging to the head of the Scottish house of Balfour.

The Ermine, the Stoat, and the Weasel, &c., are not very often met with, but the ermine appears as the crest of Crawford and the marten as the crest of a family of that name.

Fig. 411.—Urcheon.

Fig. 411.—Urcheon.

The Hedgehog, or, as it is usually heraldically termed, the Urcheon (Fig. 411), occurs in some number of coats. For example, in the arms of Maxwell ["Argent, an eagle with two heads displayed sable, beaked and membered gules, on the breast an escutcheon of the first, charged with a saltire of the second, surcharged in the centre with a hurcheon (hedgehog) or, all within a bordure gules"], Harris, and as the crest of Money-Kyrle.

The Beaver has been introduced into many coats of late years for those connected in any way with Canada. It figures in the arms of Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal, and in the arms of Christopher.

The beaver is one of the supporters of the city of Oxford, and is the sole charge in the arms of the town of Biberach (Fig. 412). Originally the arms were: "Argent, a beaver azure, crowned and armed gules," but the arms authorised by the Emperor Frederick IV., 18th July 1848, were: "Azure, a beaver or."

Fig. 412.—Arms of the town of Biberach. (From Ulrich Reichenthal's Concilium von Constanz, Augsburg, 1483.)

Fig. 412.—Arms of the town of Biberach. (From Ulrich Reichenthal's Concilium von Constanz, Augsburg, 1483.)

It is quite impossible, or at any rate very unnecessary, to turn a work on armory into an Illustrated Guide to Natural History, which would be the result if under the description of heraldic charges the attempt were made to deal with all the various animals which have by now been brought to the armorial fold, owing to the inclusion of each for special and sufficient reasons in one or two isolated grants.

Far be it from me, however, to make any remark which should seem to indicate the raising of any objection to such use. In my opinion it is highly admirable, providing there is some definite reason in each case for the introduction of these strange animals other than mere caprice. They add to the interest of heraldry, and they give to modern arms and armory a definite status and meaning, which is a relief from the endless monotony of meaningless lions, bends, chevrons, mullets, and martlets.

But at the same time the isolated use in a modern grant of such an animal as the kangaroo does not make it one of the peculiarly heraldic menagerie, and consequently such instances must be dismissed herein with brief mention, particularly as many of these creatures heraldically exist only as supporters, in which chapter some are more fully discussed. Save as a supporter, the only instances I know of the Kangaroo are in the coat of Moore and in the arms of Arthur, Bart.

The Zebra will be found as the crest of Kemsley.

The Camel, which will be dealt with later as a supporter, in which form it appears in the arms of Viscount Kitchener, the town of Inverness (Fig. 251), and some of the Livery Companies, also figures in the reputed but unrecorded arms of Camelford, and in the arms of Cammell of Sheffield and various other families of a similar name.

The fretful Porcupine was borne ["Gules, a porcupine erect argent, tusked, collared, and chained or"] by Simon Eyre, Lord Mayor of London in 1445: and the creature also figures as one of the supporters and the crest of Sidney, Lord De Lisle and Dudley.

Fig. 413.—Bat.

Fig. 413.—Bat.

The Bat (Fig. 413) will be found in the arms of Heyworth and as the crest of a Dublin family named Wakefield.

The Tortoise occurs in the arms of a Norfolk family named Gandy, and is also stated by Papworth to occur in the arms of a Scottish family named Goldie. This coat, however, is not matriculated. It also occurs in the crests of Deane and Hayne.

The Springbok, which is one of the supporters of Cape Colony, and two of which are the supporters of Viscount Milner, is also the crest of Randles ["On a wreath of the colours, a springbok or South African antelope statant in front of an assegai erect all proper"].

The Rhinoceros occurs as one of the supporters of Viscount Colville of Culross, and also of the crest of Wade, and the Hippopotamus is one of the supporters of Speke.

The Crocodile, which is the crest and one of the supporters of Speke, is also the crest of Westcar ["A crocodile proper, collared and chained or"].

The Alpaca, and also two Angora Goats' heads figure in the arms of Benn.

The Rat occurs in the arms of Ratton,[2] which is a peculiarly good example of a canting coat.

The Mole, sometimes termed a moldiwarp, occurs in the arms of Mitford ["Argent, a fess sable between three moles displayed sable"].


  1. Armorial bearings of Dodge: 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.
  2. Armorial bearings of James Joseph Louis Ratton, Esq.: Azure, in base the sea argent, and thereon a tunny sable, on a chief of the second a rat passant of the third. Upon the escutcheon is placed a helmet befitting his degree, with a mantling azure and argent; and for his crest, upon a wreath of the colours, an ibex statant guardant proper, charged on the body with two fleurs-de-lis fesswise azure, and resting the dexter foreleg on a shield argent charged with a passion cross sable. Motto: "In Deo spero."