A Complete Guide to Heraldry/Chapter 33

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The science of marshalling is the conjoining of two or more coats of arms upon one shield for the purpose of indicating sovereignty, dominion, alliance, descent, or pretension, according to recognised rules and regulations, by the employment of which the story of any given achievement shall be readily translatable.

The methods of marshalling are (1) dimidiation, (2) impalement, (3) quartering, (4) superimposition.

Instances of quartered shields are to be met with possibly before impalements or dimidiation. The earliest attempt at anything like a regularised method of procedure to signify marriage was that usually males quartered the arms of their wives or ancestresses from whom they acquired their lands; whilst impaled coats were to all intents and purposes the armorial bearings of married women, or more frequently of widows who took an immediate interest in their husbands' property. This ancient usage brings home very forcibly the former territorial connection of arms and land. The practice of the husband impaling the wife's arms, whether heiress or not, probably arose near the close of the fifteenth century. Even now it is laid down that the arms of a wife should not in general be borne upon the husband's banner, surcoat, or official seal.

But impalement as we now know it was preceded by dimidiation. Dimidiation, which was but a short-lived method, was effected by the division of the shield down the centre. On the dexter side was placed the dexter half of the husband's arms, and on the sinister side was placed the sinister half of the wife's arms. With some coats of arms no objection could be urged against the employment of this method. But it was liable to result (e.g. with two coats of arms having the same ordinary) in the creation of a design which looked far more like one simple coat than a conjunction of two. The dimidiation of "argent, a bend gules" and "argent, a chevron sable" would simply result in a single coat "argent, a bend per pale gules and sable." This fault of the system must have made itself manifest at an early period, for we soon find it became customary to introduce about two-thirds of the design of each coat for the sake of demonstrating their separate character. It must soon thereafter have become apparent that if two-thirds of the design of a coat of arms could be squeezed into half of the shield there was no valid reason why the whole of the design could not be employed. This therefore became customary under the name of impalement, and the practice has ever since remained with us. Few examples indeed of dimidiation are to be met with, and as a practical method of conjunction, the practice was chiefly in vogue during the earlier part of the fourteenth century.

Occasionally quartered coats were dimidiated, in which case the first and third quarters of the husband's coat were conjoined with the second and fourth of the wife's. As far as outward appearance went, this practice resulted in the fact that no distinction existed from a plain quartered coat. Thus the seal of Margaret of Bavaria, Countess of Holland, and wife of John, Count de Nevers, in 1385 (afterwards Duke of Burgundy), bears a shield on which is apparently a simple instance of quartering, but really a dimidiated coat. The two coats to the dexter side of the palar line are: In chief Burgundy-Modern ("France-Ancient, a bordure compony argent and gules"), and in base Burgundy-Ancient. On the sinister side the coat in chief is Bavaria ("Bendy-lozengy argent and azure"); and the one in base contains the quartered arms of Flanders ("Or, a lion rampant sable"); and Holland ("Or, a lion rampant gules"); the lines dividing these latter quarters being omitted, as is usually found to be the case with this particular shield.

Certain examples can be found amongst the Royal Arms in England which show much earlier instances of dimidiation. The arms of Margaret of France, who died in 1319, the second queen of Edward I., as they remain on her tomb in Westminster Abbey, afford an example of this method of conjunction. The arms of England appear on the dexter side of the escocheon; and this coat undergoes a certain amount of curtailment, though the dimidiation is not complete, portions only of the hindmost parts of the lions being cut off by the palar line. The coat of France, on the sinister side, of course does not readily indicate the dimidiation.

Boutell, in his chapter on marshalling in "Heraldry, Historical and Popular," gives several early examples of dimidiation. The seal of Edmond Plantagenet, Earl of Cornwall (d. 1300), bears his arms (those of Richard, Earl of Cornwall, and King of the Romans) dimidiating those of his wife, Margaret de Clare. Here only the sinister half of his bordure is removed, while the Clare coat ("Or, three chevrons gules") is entirely dimidiated, and the chevrons are little distinguishable from bends. Both coats are dimidiated in other examples mentioned by Boutell, viz. William de Valence and his wife, and Alianore Montendre and her husband Guy Ferre. On the seal of Margaret Campbell, wife of Alexander Napier, in 1531, the shield shows upon the dexter side the arms of Lennox, and on the sinister the dimidiated coat (the sinister half of the quartered arms) of Campbell and Lorn. This results in the galley of Lorn being in chief, and the Campbell gyrons in base.

An early and interesting Irish example of this kind of marshalling is afforded by a dimidiated coat of Clare and Fitzgerald, which now figures on the official seal of the Provosts of Youghal (Clare: "Or, three chevrons gules." Fitzgerald: "Argent, a saltire gules, with a label of five points in chief"). Both these coats are halved. They result from the marriage of Richard Clare, Earl of Hertford, with Juliana, daughter and heir of Maurice Fitzgerald, feudal lord of Inchiquin and Youghal.

An even more curious case of dimidiation comes to light in the arms formerly used by the Abbey of St. Etienne at Caen, in which the arms of England and those attributed to the Duchy of Normandy ("Gules, two lions passant guardant or") were dimidiated, so that in the former half three of the fore-quarters of the lions appear, while in the sinister half only two of the hind-quarters are represented.

Dimidiation was not always effected by conjunction down the palar line, other partition lines of the shield being occasionally, though very rarely, employed in this manner.

Certain curious (now indivisible) coats of arms remain which undoubtedly originated in the dimidiation of two separate coats, e.g. the arms of Yarmouth, Sandwich, Hastings, Rye, and Chester. In all cases some Royal connection can be traced which has caused the Royal Arms of England to be conjoined with the earlier devices of fish, ships, or garbs which had been employed by the towns in question. It is worth the passing thought, however, whether the conjoined lions and hulks used by the Cinque Ports may not originally have been a device of the Sovereign for naval purposes, or possibly the naval version of the Royal Arms (see page 182).

One other remainder from the practice of dimidiation still survives amongst the presently existing rules of heraldry. It is a rule to which no modern authoritative exception can be mentioned. When a coat within a bordure is impaled with another coat, the bordure is not continued down the centre of the shield, but stops short at top and bottom when the palar line is reached. This rule is undoubtedly a result of the ancient method of conjunction by dimidiation, but the curious point is that, at the period when dimidiation was employed and during the period which followed, some number of examples can be found where the bordure is continued round the whole coat which is within it.

The arms of man and wife are now conjoined according to the following rules:—If the wife is not an heraldic heiress the two coats are impaled. If the wife be an heraldic heir or coheir, in lieu of impalement the arms of her family are placed on an inescutcheon superimposed on the centre of her husband's arms, the inescutcheon being termed an escutcheon of pretence, because jure uxoris she being an heiress of her house, the husband "pretends" to the representation of her family.

For heraldic purposes it therefore becomes necessary to define the terms heir and heiress. It is very essential that the point should be thoroughly understood, because quarterings other than those of augmentation can only be inherited from or through female ancestors who are in themselves heirs or coheirs (this is the true term, or, rather, the ancient term, though they are now usually referred to colloquially as heiresses or coheiresses) in blood, or whose issue subsequently become in a later generation the representatives of any ancestor in the male line of that female ancestor. A woman is an "heir" or "heiress" (1) if she is an only child; (2) if all her brothers die without leaving any issue to survive, either male or female; (3) she becomes an heiress "in her issue," as it is termed, if she die leaving issue herself if and when all the descendants male and female of her brothers become absolutely extinct. The term "coheir" or "coheiress" is employed in cases similar to the foregoing when, instead of one daughter, there are two or more.

No person can be "heir" or "coheir" of another person until the latter is dead, though he or she may be heir-apparent or heir-presumptive. Though the word "heir" is frequently used with regard to material matters, such usage is really there incorrect, except in cases of intestacy. A person benefiting under a will is a legatee of money, or a devisee of land, and not an heir to either. The table on page 527 may make things a little clearer, but in the following remarks intestacy is ignored, and the explanations apply solely to heirship of blood.

Charles in the accompanying pedigree is, after 1800, heir of David. Thomas is heir-apparent of Charles, being a son and the eldest born. He dies v.p. (vita patris, i.e. in the lifetime of his father) and never becomes heir. A daughter can never become an heir-apparent, as there is always, during the lifetime of her father, the possibility of a son being born. Mary, Ellen, and Blanche are coheirs of Thomas their father, whom they survive, and they are also coheirs of their grandfather Charles, to whom they succeed, and they would properly in a pedigree be described as both. They are heirs-general of Thomas, Charles, and David, and, being the heirs of the senior line, they are heirs-general or coheirs-general of their house. David being possessed of the barony "by writ" of Cilfowyr, it would "fall into abeyance" at the death of Charles between the three daughters equally.

David Cilfowyr, created Duke of London in the Peerage of the United Kingdom, remainder to him and the heirs male of his body, was Earl of Edinburgh in the Peerage of Scotland (with remainder to his heirs), and Lord Cilfowyr by writ in the Peerage of England (with remainder to his heirs-general). Died 1800.
Charles Cilfowyr, elder son and heir; head of his house, Duke of London, Earl of Edinburgh, and Lord Cilfowyr. Died 1840. Owen Cilfowyr, Esq., commonly called Lord Owen Cilfowyr by courtesy. Died 1870.
Robert Cilfowyr, Esq., eldest son, becomes heir male of his house in 1880 at the death of George, and as such succeeds as Duke of London. Died 1896. Philip Cilfowyr, Esq., second son. Died 1879. Cecil Cilfowyr, Esq., third son. When his brother succeeds in 1880 as Duke of London he petitions the Queen for that style and precedence which he would have enjoyed had his father lived to inherit the Dukedom. His petition being granted, he becomes by courtesy Lord Cecil Cilfowyr, until he succeeds in 1896, at the death of his brother, to the Dukedom of London.
Ada, only child, has no courtesy title. Living in 1900.
Harriet Cilfowyr, only child, by courtesy after 1880 Lady Harriet Cilfowyr. Died 1897.
  Thomas Cilfowyr, Esq., eldest son and heir-apparent, styled Earl of Edinburgh by courtesy. Died v.p. 1830, so never succeeds. Edmond Cilfowyr, Esq., second son, styled by courtesy courtesy Lord Edmond Cilfowyr until 1840, when he succeeds as Duke of London. Died 1850. John Cilfowyr, Esq., third son, styled by courtesy Lord John Cilfowyr until 1850, when he succeeds as Duke of London. London. Died 1870. = Edith Torkington, succeeds in 1861 as suo jure Baroness Neville by writ in England, and Countess of Torkington (to herself and her heirs) in Scotland. Died 1862. Irene Cilfowyr, styled by courtesy as Lady Irene Cilfowr Living 1900. Isabel Cilfowyr, styled by courtesy as Lady Isabel Cilfowyr. Living 1900.
Mary Cilfowyr, Countess of Edinburgh. Living 1900. Heir of Line. Ellen Cilfowyr, styled by courtesy Lady Ellen Cilfowyr. Living 1900. Blanche Cilfowyr, styled by courtesy Lady Blanche Cilfowyr. Living 1900. Grace Cilfowyr, styled by courtesy Lady Grace Cilfowyr, elder dau. Living 1900. Muriel Cilfowyr, styled by courtesy Lady Muriel Cilfowyr. Living 1900. George Cilfowyr, Esq., only son, and so styled until 1850, when his father succeeds as Duke of London. As son of a Duke he then becomes by courtesy Lord George Cilfowyr, and this is his proper description, because his father has no minor title which he could assume. Alice Cilfowyr, styled by courtesy Lady Alice Cilfowyr until 1885, when she succeeds as Countess of Torkington. Died 1887, s.p. Annie Cilfowyr, styled by courtesy Lady Annie Cilfowyr and Lady Annie Sherwin. Died 1870. = Reginald Sherwin. Died 1872.
The Barony of Cilfowyr falls into abeyance between these three equally. In Scottish phraseology they are termed heirs portioners.
But by a quite modern custom which has sprung up of late years he would very probably call himself "Lord Cilfowyr." In 1861 his mother succeeds in her own right to two titles, and by courtesy he would thenceforward be styled by her minor title as Lord Neville until her death in 1862, when he becomes Earl of Torkington in his own right and also Lord Neville. At his father's death in 1870 he becomes Duke of London. Died 1880. Arthur Sherwin, only son and heir, succeeds as Earl of Torkington and Lord Neville in 1887, at the death of his aunt. Died 1888. Lilian Sherwin, only daughter, known as Lady Lilian Sherwin until 1896, when she succeeds as Countess of Torkington and Baroness Neville. Living 1900.
  Dorothy Cilfowyr, styled Lady Dorothy Cilfowyr until 1880, when she becomes suo jure Countess of Torkington and Baroness Neville. Died s.p. 1885.
Maria Sherwin, called by courtesy Lady Maria Sherwin, succeeds in 1888 as Countess of Torkington and senior coheir to the Barony of Neville, which falls into abeyance between herself and her sisters. The Queen determines the abeyance in her favour, and she consequently becomes also Baroness Neville. Died s.p. 1889. Jane Sherwin, by courtesy Lady Jane Sherwin, succeeds as Countess of Torkington in 1889, but the Barony of Neville again falls into abeyance between herself and her younger sister. Died s.p. 1890. Hannah Sherwin, called by courtesy Lady Hannah Sherwin. She succeeds in 1890 as sole heir of her father, and consequently the abeyance determines of itself, and she becomes both Countess of Torkington and Baroness Neville. Died s.p. 1896.
In Scotland Mary, Ellen, and Blanche would be termed "heirs portioners," and Mary, being an heiress and the eldest born in the direct and senior line, would be termed the "heir of line." David being possessed of an ancient Scottish peerage not limited to males (the Earldom of Edinburgh), Mary, the heir of line, would at once succeed in her own right as Countess of Edinburgh on the death of her grandfather Charles. If the family were an untitled Scottish family entitled to supporters, these would descend to Mary unless they had been specifically granted with some other limitation.

At the death of Thomas in 1830 Edmond becomes heir male apparent, and at the death of his father in 1840 Edmond becomes heir male of his house until his death. David having been created a peer (Duke of London) with remainder to the heirs male of his body, Edmond succeeded as Duke of London at the death of Charles in 1840. Grace and Muriel are coheirs of Edmond after his death. They are not either coheirs or heirs-general of Charles, in spite of the fact that their father was his heir male. At the death of Charles in 1840, when Edmond succeeded as heir male, John succeeded as heir male presumptive to Edmond. He was not heir-apparent, because a son might at any moment have been born to Edmond. An heir-apparent and an heir-presumptive cannot exist at the same time, for whilst there is an heir-apparent there cannot be an heir-presumptive. John succeeded as heir male of his house, and therefore as Duke of London, in 1850, at the death of his elder brother Edmond; but, though John was the "heir male" of his said elder brother, he was not his "heir" (Grace and Muriel being the coheirs of Edmond), nor was he the "heir male of the body" of Edmond, not being descended from him. John, however, was "heir male of the body" of Charles. George is heir-apparent of John until his death in 1870, when George succeeds as "heir" of his father and heir male of his house, and consequently Duke of London. At his death in 1880 Dorothy becomes the "sole heir," or, more properly, the "sole heir-general," of her father George; but his kinsman Robert becomes his "heir male," and therefore Duke of London, in spite of the fact that there was a much nearer male relative, viz. a nephew, Arthur, the son of his sister. Robert also becomes the heir male of the body of Owen and heir male of his house, and as such Duke of London. He would also be generally described as the heir male of the body of David.

At the death of Dorothy in 1885 her coheirs were her aunt Alice and her cousin Arthur equally, and though these really were the coheirs of Dorothy (the claims of Alice and Annie being equal, and the rights of Annie having devolved upon Arthur), they would more usually be found described as the coheirs of George or of John. Annie was never herself really a coheir, because she died before her brother, but "in her issue" she became the coheir of Dorothy, though she would, after 1885, be usually described as "in her issue" a coheir of George, or possibly even of John, though this would be an inexact description. Arthur was heir of his mother after 1870, heir of his father after 1872, and heir-apparent of his father before that date; after 1885 he is a coheir of Dorothy, and after 1887 sole heir of Dorothy and sole heir of Alice. He would also be usually described as heir-general of George, and heir-general of John. Let us suppose that John had married Edith Torkington, an English baroness (suo jure) by writ (Baroness Neville), who had died in 1862. At that date the barony would have descended to her eldest son George until his death in 1880, when Dorothy, suo jure, would have succeeded. At her death in 1885 the barony would have fallen into abeyance between Alice and Arthur. At the death of Alice in 1887 the abeyance would be at an end, and the barony in its entirety would have devolved upon Arthur, who would have enjoyed it until at his death in 1888 the barony would have again fallen into abeyance between Maria, Jane, and Hannah equally. It is not unlikely that Her Majesty might have "determined the abeyance," or "called the barony out of abeyance" (the meanings of the terms are identical) in favour of Maria, who would consequently have enjoyed the barony in its entirety. At her death in 1889 it would again fall into abeyance between Jane and Hannah. At Jane's death in 1890 Hannah became sole heir, and the abeyance came to an end when Hannah succeeded to the barony. At her death it would pass to her aunt Lilian. Hannah would usually be described as "coheir and subsequently sole heir of" Arthur. If the Baroness Neville had been possessed of an ancient Scottish Peerage (the Earldom of Torkington) it would have passed undividedly and in full enjoyment to the heir of line, i.e. in 1862 to George, 1880 to Dorothy, 1885 to Alice, 1887 to Arthur, 1888 to Maria, 1889 to Jane, 1890 to Hannah, and 1896 to Lilian, the last (shown on the pedigree) in remainder. Lilian does not become an heiress until 1896, when the whole issue of her brother becomes extinct. Irene and Isabel never become heirs at all.

Robert, as we have seen, became heir male of his house and Duke of London in 1880. At his death (1896) Harriet becomes sole heir of Robert, but at her death in 1897 his niece Ada, the only child of his younger brother Philip, who had predeceased him, would be usually referred to as heir of Robert, whilst Cecil is heir male of his house.

When the term "of the body" is employed, actual descent from that person is signified, e.g. Arthur after 1885 is "collateral" heir-general of Dorothy, but "heir-general of the body" of Edith Torkington.

An "heir of entail," or, to use the Scottish term, the "heir of tailzie," is merely the person succeeding to property under a specific remainder contained in a deed of entail. This has no relation to heirship in blood, and the term, from an armorial point of view, might be entirely disregarded, were it not that some number of Scottish coats of arms, and a greater number of Scottish supporters, and some Scottish peerages and baronetcies, are specifically granted and limited to the heirs of entail. There are a few similar English grants following upon Royal Licences for change of name and arms.

Fig. 742.

Fig. 742.

Fig. 743.

Fig. 743.

Fig. 744.

Fig. 744.

The term "heir in expectancy" is sometimes heard, but it is not really a proper term, and has no exact or legal meaning. When George was alive his daughter Dorothy was his heir-presumptive, but supposing that Dorothy were a Catholic nun and Alice a lunatic, in each of which cases there would be very little likelihood of any marriage ever taking place, Arthur would very generally be described as "heir in expectancy," for though he was neither heir-apparent nor heir-presumptive, all probability pointed to the eventual succession of himself or his issue.

Anybody is said to be "in remainder" to entailed property or a peerage if he is included within the recited limits of the entail or peerage. The "heir in remainder" is the person next entitled to succeed after the death of the existing holder.

Thus (excluding heirs in expectancy and women who are heirs-presumptive) a marriage with any woman who is an heir or coheir results in her arms being placed upon an escutcheon of pretence over the arms of the husband. In the cases of all other women the arms are "impaled" only. To "impale two coats" the shield is divided by a straight line down the centre, the whole design of the arms of the husband being placed on the dexter side of the escutcheon, and the whole design of the wife's arms being placed on the sinister side (Fig. 742).

Fig. 745.

Fig. 745.

It may perhaps be as well to here exemplify the different methods of the conjunction of the arms of man and wife, arranging the same two coats in the different methods in which they might be marshalled before reverting to ancient practices.

Fig. 746.

Fig. 746.

An ordinary commoner impales his wife's arms as in Fig. 742. If she be an heiress, he places them on an escutcheon of pretence as in Fig. 743. If the husband, not being a Knight, is, however, a Companion of an Order of Knighthood, this does not (except in the case of the Commanders of the Victorian Order) give him the right to use the circle of his Order round his arms, and his badge is simply hung below the escutcheon, the arms of the wife being impaled or placed on an escutcheon of pretence thereupon as the case may necessitate. The wife of a Knight Bachelor shares the state and rank with her husband, and the only difference is in the helmet (Fig. 744). But if the husband be a knight of any order, the ensigns of that order are personal to himself, and cannot be shared with his wife, and consequently two shields are employed. On the dexter shield are the arms of the husband with the circle of his order of knighthood, and on the sinister shield are the arms of the husband impaling the arms of the wife. Some meaningless decoration, usually a wreath of oak-leaves, is placed round the sinister shield to "balance," from the artistic point, the ribbon, or the ribbon and collar, as the case may be, of the order of knighthood of the husband (Fig. 745). A seeming exception to this rule in the case of the recent warrant to Queen Alexandra, whose arms, impaled by those of His Majesty, are depicted impaled within the Garter, is perhaps explained by the fact that Her Majesty is herself a member of that Order. A Knight Grand Cross, of course, adds his collar to the dexter shield, and if he has supporters, these are placed outside the two shields.

A peer impales the arms of his wife as in the case of a commoner, the arms of the wife being, of course, under the protection of the supporters, coronet, and helmet of the peer (Fig. 746). If, in addition to being a peer, he is also a knight of an order, he follows the rules which prescribe the use of two shields as already described.

Fig. 747.

Fig. 747.

Fig. 748.

Fig. 748.

Supposing the wife to be a peeress in her own right, she cannot nowadays confer any rank whatever upon her husband; consequently, if she marry a commoner, the husband places her arms upon an escutcheon of pretence surmounted by a coronet of her rank, but the supporters belonging to her peerage cannot be added to his shield. The arms of the wife are consequently repeated alone, but in this case upon a lozenge on the sinister side of the husband's shield. Above this lozenge is placed the coronet of her rank, and the supporters belonging to her peerage are placed on either side of the lozenge (Fig. 747). But the arms of a peeress in her own right are frequently represented on a lozenge without any reference to the arms of her husband. In the case of a peeress in her own right marrying a peer, the arms of the peeress are placed upon an escutcheon of pretence in the centre of her husband's shield, the only difference being that this escutcheon of pretence is surmounted by the coronet belonging to the peerage of the wife; and on the sinister side the arms of the wife are repeated upon a lozenge with the supporters and coronet belonging to her own peerage. It is purely an artistic detail, but it is a happy conceit in such an instance to join together the compartments upon which the two pairs of supporters stand to emphasise the fact that the whole is in reality but one achievement (Fig. 748).

Fig. 749.

Fig. 749.

Now, it is not uncommon to see an achievement displayed in this manner, for there have been several instances in recent years of peeresses in their own right who have married peers. Every woman who inherits a peerage must of necessity be an heir or coheir, and, as will have been seen, the laws of armory provide for this circumstance; but supposing that the peeress were a peeress by creation and were not an heiress, how would her arms be displayed? Apparently it would not be permissible to place them on an escutcheon of pretence, and consequently there is no way upon the husband's shield of showing that his wife is a peeress in her own right. Such an instance did arise in the case of the late Baroness Stratheden, who was created a peeress whilst not being an heiress. Her husband was subsequently created Baron Campbell. Now, how were the arms of Lord Campbell and Lady Stratheden and Campbell displayed? I think I am correct in saying that not a single textbook on armory recites the method which should be employed, and I candidly confess that I myself am quite ignorant upon the point.

Fig. 750.

Fig. 750.

All the foregoing are simply instances of how to display the arms of man and wife, or, to speak more correctly, they are instances of the methods in which a man should bear arms for himself and his wife when he is married; for the helmet and mantling clearly indicate that it is the man's coat of arms, and not the woman's. In olden days, when the husband possessed everything, this might have been enough for all the circumstances which were likely to occur.

A lady whilst unmarried bears arms on a lozenge (Fig. 749), and upon becoming a widow, bears again upon a lozenge the arms of her husband impaled with the arms borne by her father (Fig. 750), or with the latter upon an escutcheon of pretence if the widow be herself an heiress (Fig. 751). The widow of a knight has no way whatever of indicating that her husband was of higher rank than an ordinary untitled gentleman. The widow of a baronet, however, places the inescutcheon with the hand of Ulster upon her husband's arms (Fig. 752). I have often heard this disputed, but a reference to the Grant Books at the College of Arms (vide a grant of arms some years ago to Lady Pearce) will provide the necessary precedent. If, however, the baronetcy is of Nova Scotia, this means of indicating the rank cannot be employed. The widow of a peer (not being a peeress in her own right) uses a lozenge of her husband's and her own arms, with his supporters and his coronet (Fig. 753).

Fig. 751.

Fig. 751.

Fig. 752.

Fig. 752.

If a peeress, after marriage with a commoner, becomes a widow she bears on the dexter side a lozenge of her late husband's arms and superimposed thereupon her own on an escutcheon of pretence surmounted by a coronet. (The coronet, it should be noted, is over the escutcheon of pretence and not above the lozenge.) On the sinister side she bears a lozenge of her own arms alone with her supporters and with her coronet above the lozenge. The arms of the present Baroness Kinloss would show an example of such an arrangement of two lozenges, but as Lady Kinloss does not possess supporters these additions could not be introduced.

Fig. 753.

Fig. 753.

The laws of arms provide no way in which a married woman (other than a peeress in her own right) can display arms in her own right during the lifetime of her husband, unless this is to be presumed from the method of depicting the arms of a wife upon a hatchment. In such a case, a shield is used, usually suspended from a ribbon, identical with the shield of the husband, but omitting the helmet, crest, mantling, and motto.

Impalement is used occasionally in other circumstances than marriage, i.e. to effect conjunction of official and personal arms.

With rare exceptions, the official arms which exist are those of Archiepiscopal and Episcopal Sees, of the Kings of Arms, and of the Regius Professors at Cambridge. Here certainly, in the ecclesiastical cases, the theory of marriage remains, the official arms being placed on the dexter side and the personal arms on the sinister, inasmuch as the laws of armory for ecclesiastics were made at a time when the clergy were celibate. The personal helmet and crest are placed above the impaled coat, except in the cases of bishops and archbishops, who, of course, use a mitre in place thereof. It is not correct to impale the arms of a wife upon the same shield which carries the impalement of an official coat of arms, because the wife does not share the office. In such a case it is necessary to make use of two shields placed side by side, as is done in conjoining the arms of a Knight of any Order with those of his wife.

In impaling the arms of a wife, it is not correct to impale more than her pronominal coat. This is a definite rule in England, somewhat modified in Scotland, as will be presently explained. Though it has never been considered good form to impale a quartered shield, it is only recently that the real fact that such a proceeding is definitely incorrect has come to light. It appears from the State Papers, Domestic Series, Eliz. xxvi. 31, 1561:—

"At a Chapitre holden by the office of Armes at the Embroyderers' Hall in London, anno 4o Reginæ Elizabethæ it was agreed that no inhiritrix eyther mayde wife or widow should bear or cause to be borne any Creast or cognizance of her Ancestors otherwise than as followeth. If she be unmarried to bear in her ringe, cognizaunce or otherwise, the first coate of her ancestors in a Lozenge. And during her widowhood to set the first coate of her husbande in pale with the first coate of her Auncestors. And if she mary on who is noe gentleman, then she to be clearly exempted from the former conclusion."

Whilst this rule holds in England, it must, to a certain extent, be modified in relation to the arms of a Scottish wife. Whilst the inalienable right to quarter arms derived from an heiress cannot be said to be non-existent in Scotland, it should be noted that the custom of indiscriminately quartering is much less frequent than in England, and comparatively seldom adopted, unless estates, or chief representation in an important or appreciable degree, follow the technical heraldic representation. In England the claim is always preferred to quarter the arms of an ancestress who had no brothers whether she transmitted estates or not. Of course, technically and theoretically the claim is perfectly correct, and cannot, and should not, be denied. But in practice in England it has in some cases reached a rather absurd extent, when a man on marrying an only daughter of the youngest son of the youngest branch of a family consequently acquires the right to display with his own ensigns the full arms and quarterings of the head of a house from which he has inherited no lands, and which is still thriving in the senior male line. In Scottish practice such an event would be ignored, and in that country it is not usual to add quarterings to a shield, nor are these officially recognised without a rematriculation of the arms. In England it is merely a question of recording the pedigree and proving heirship, and many quarterings are proved and recorded that there is not the slightest intention to use regularly. Rematriculation has a more permanent character than mere registration, inasmuch as the coat with its quarterings upon matriculation as far as usage is concerned becomes indivisible, and, consequently, for a Scottish wife the impalement should be of the indivisible arms and quarterings matriculated to her father in Lyon Register, with his bordure and other "difference" marks.

All the old armorists provide ways of impaling the arms of several wives, and consequently the idea has grown up that it is permissible and correct to bear and use the arms of two wives at the same time. This is a mistake, because, strictly and technically speaking, the right to impale the arms of a wife ceases at her death. Impalement means marriage, and when the marriage is dissolved the impalement becomes meaningless, and should be discontinued. A man cannot be married to two people at one time, nor can he as a consequence impale two coats of arms at the same time.

The matter is more clearly apparent if the question of an escutcheon of pretence be considered in place of an impalement. The escutcheon of pretence means that the husband pretends to represent the family of his wife. This jure uxoris he undoubtedly does whilst she is alive, but the moment she dies the actual representation of her family passes to her son and heir, and it is ridiculous for her husband to pretend to represent when there is an undoubted representative in existence, and when the representation, such as it was when vested in himself, has come to an end, and passed elsewhere. If his heiress-wife had been a peeress, he would have borne her escutcheon of pretence surmounted by her coronet; but it is ridiculous for him to continue to do so when the right to the coronet and to the peerage has passed to his wife's heir. The same argument holds good with regard to impalement. That, of course, raises the point that in every authority (particularly in those of an earlier period) will be found details of the methods to be adopted for impaling the arms of several wives. People have quite failed to appreciate the object of these rules. Armory from its earliest introduction has had great memorial use, and when a monument or hatchment is put up to a man it has been usual, prior to these utilitarian days of funeral reform, to memorialise all the wives he has been possessed of. In the same way, in a pedigree it is necessary to enumerate the names and arms of all the wives of a man. Consequently for tombs and pedigrees—when all being dead, there is no reason to indicate any particular woman as the present wife—plans have been devised for the combination of several coats into one memorial achievement, plans necessitated by the circumstances of the cases, and plans to which no objection can be taken. Tombs, pedigrees, and other memorials are the usual form in which the records of arms have chiefly come down to us, and from the frequency in which cases of achievements with double impalements have been preserved, a mistaken idea has arisen that it is correct to bear, and actually use and carry, two impalements at one and the same time. Outside memorial instances, I have utterly failed to find any instance in former days of a man himself using in his own lifetime two impalements, and I believe and state it to be absolutely incorrect for a man to use, say on a carriage, a bookplate, or a seal, the arms of a deceased wife. You may have been married to a presently deceased woman, therefore impale her arms in a record or memorial; but no one is married to a deceased woman, therefore it is wrong to advertise that you are married to her by impaling her arms; and as you cannot be married to two people at the same time, it is illogical and wrong to use or carry two impalements. I know of no instance of a grant to a man of arms to bear in right of a deceased wife. It is for these occasions of memorial and record that methods have been devised to show a man's marriage with several wives. They certainly were not devised for the purpose of enabling him to bear and use for contemporary purposes the arms of a series of dead women, the representation of whom is no longer vested in himself.

Whilst admitting that for the purposes of record or memorial rules do exist, it should at the same time be pointed out that even for such occasions it is much more usual to see two shields displayed, each carrying its separate impalement, than to find two impalements on one shield. The use of a separate shield for each marriage is the method that I would strongly advocate, but as a knowledge of past observances must be had fully, if one is to read aright the records of the tombs, I recite what the rules are:—

(1) To impale the arms of two wives.—Either the husband's arms are placed in the centre, with the first wife on the dexter and the second wife on the sinister, or else the husband's arms are placed on the dexter side, and the sinister side is divided in fess, the arms of the first wife being placed in chief and those of the second in base. The former method is the one more generally employed of the two.

(2) Three wives.—Husband's arms in centre, first wife's on dexter side, second wife's on sinister side in chief, and third wife in base.

(3) Four wives.—Husband's in centre, first and second wives' in chief and base respectively on the dexter side, and third and fourth similarly on the sinister.

If one of two wives be an heiress her arms might be found in pretence and the other coat or coats impaled, but it is impossible in such a case to place a number to the wife, and it is impossible to display an escutcheon of pretence for more than one wife, as if the escutcheon of pretence is removed from the exact centre it at once ceases to be an escutcheon of pretence. Consequently, if more than one wife be an heiress, separate escutcheons should be used for each marriage. Plans have been drawn up and apparently accepted providing for wives up to nearly twenty in number, but no useful purpose will be served by repeating them. A man with more than four wives is unusual in this country.

Divorce nullifies marriage, and both husband and wife must at once revert to bachelor and maiden achievements respectively.

It is difficult to deduce any certain conclusions as to the ancient rules connected with impalement, for a simple reason which becomes very noticeable on an examination of ancient seals and other armorial records. In early times there can be no doubt whatever that men did not impale, or bother about the arms of wives who were not great heiresses. A man bore his own arms, and he left his father-in-law, or his brother-in-law, to bear those of the family with which he had matched. Of course, we find many cases in which the arms of a wife figure upon the husband's shield, but a careful examination of them shows that in practically every case the reason is to be found in the fact that the wife was an heiress. Husbands were called to Parliament in virtue of the peerages vested in their wives, and we cannot but come to the conclusion that whenever one finds use in early times of the arms of a wife, it is due to the fact that the husband was bearing them not because of his mere marriage, but because he was enjoying the estates, or peerage, of his wife.

For that reason we find in many cases the arms of the wife borne in preference to the paternal arms of descent, or meet with them quartered with the arms of the husband, and frequently being given precedence over his own; and on the analogy of the coats of arms of wives at present borne with the wife's surname by the husband under Royal Licence, there can be little doubt that at a period when Royal Licences had not come into regular vogue the same idea was dominant, and the appearance of a wife's coat of arms meant the assumption of those arms by the husband as his own, with or without the surname of the wife.

The connection between name and arms was not then so stereotyped as it is at present; rather was it a connection between arms and land, and perhaps more pointedly of arms and a peerage title where this existed, for there are many points and many facts which conclusively show that at an early period a coat of arms was often considered to have a territorial limitation; or perhaps it should be said that, whilst admittedly personal, arms have territorial attributes or connection.

This is borne out by the pleadings and details remaining to us concerning the Grey and Hastings controversy, and if this territorial character of a coat of arms is admitted, together with another characteristic no less important—and certainly equally accepted—that a coat of arms could belong to but one person at the same time, it must be recognised that the appearance of a wife's arms on a husband's shield is not an instance of a sign of mere marriage or anything analogous thereto. But when we turn to the arms of women, the condition of affairs is wholly reversed. A woman, who of course retained her identity, drew her position from her marriage and from her husband's position, and from the very earliest period we find that whilst a man simply bore his own arms, the wife upon her seal displayed both the arms of her own family and the arms of her husband's. Until a much later period it cannot be said to have been ordinarily customary for the husband to bear the arms of his wife unless she were an heiress, but from almost the beginning of armory the wife conjoined the arms of her husband and herself. But the instances which have come down to us from an early period of dimidiated or impaled coats are chiefly instances of the display of arms by a widow.

The methods of conjunction which can be classed as above, however, at first seem to have been rather varied.

Originally separate shields were employed for the different coats of arms, then dimidiated examples occur; at a later period we find the arms impaled upon one shield, and at a subsequent date the escutcheon of pretence comes into use as a means of indicating that the wife was an heiress.

The origin of this escutcheon is easy to understand. Taking arms to have a territorial limitation—a point which still finds a certain amount of acceptance in Scottish heraldry—there was no doubt that a man, in succeeding to a lordship in right of his wife, would wish to bear the arms associated therewith. He placed them, therefore, upon his own, and arms exclusively of a territorial character have certainly very frequently been placed "in pretence." His own arms he would look upon as arms of descent; they consequently occupied the field of his shield. The lordship of his wife he did not enjoy through descent, and consequently he would naturally incline to place it "in pretence," and from the constant occasions in which such a proceeding would seem to be the natural course of events (all of which occasions would be associated with an heiress-wife), one would be led to the conclusion that such a form of display indicated an heiress-wife; and consequently the rule deduced, as are all heraldic rules, from past precedents became established.

In the next generation, the son and heir would have descent from his mother equally with his father, and the arms of her family would be equally arms of descent to him, and no longer the mere territorial emblem of a lordship. Consequently they became on the same footing as the arms of his father. The son would naturally, therefore, quarter the arms. The escutcheon of pretence being removed, and therefore having enjoyed but a temporary existence, the association thereof with the heiress-wife becomes emphasised in a much greater degree.

This is now accepted as a definite rule of armory, but in reciting it as a rule it should be pointed out, first, that no man may place the arms of his wife upon an escutcheon of pretence during the lifetime of her father, because whilst her father is alive there is always the opportunity of a re-marriage, and of the consequent birth of a son and heir. No man is compelled to bear arms on an escutcheon of pretence, it being quite correct to impale them merely to indicate the marriage—if he so desires. There are many cases of arms which would appear meaningless and undecipherable when surmounted by an escutcheon of pretence.

"Sometimes, also (says Guillim), he who marries an heretrix may carry her arms in an inescutcheon upon his own, because the husband pretends that his heirs shall one day inherit an estate by her; it is therefore called an escutcheon of pretence; but this way of bearing is not known abroad upon that occasion."

A man on marrying an heiress-wife has no great space at his disposal for the display of her arms, and though it is now considered perfectly correct to place any number of quarterings upon an escutcheon of pretence, the opportunity does not in fact exist for more than the display of a limited number. In practice, three or four are as many as will usually be found, but theoretically it is correct to place the whole of the quarterings to which the wife is entitled upon the escutcheon of pretence.

Two early English instances may be pointed out in the fifteenth century, in which a husband placed his wife's arms en surtout. These are taken from the Garter Plates of Sir John Neville, Lord Montagu, afterwards Marquess of Montagu (elected K.G. circa 1463), and of Richard Beauchamp, fifth Earl of Warwick and Albemarle (elected K.G. circa 1400); but it was not until about the beginning of the seventeenth century that the regular practice arose by which the husband of an heiress places his wife's arms in an escutcheon en surtout upon his personal arms, whether his coat be a quartered one or not. Another early instance is to be found in Fig. 754, which is interesting as showing the arms of both wives of the first Earl of Shrewsbury. His first was suo jure Baroness Furnivall. Her arms are, however, impaled. His second wife was the daughter (but not the heir) of Richard Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, but she was coheir of her mother, the Baroness Lisle.

Complete Guide to Heraldry Fig754.png
Fig. 754.—Arms of John Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, K.G.: Quarterly, 1 and 4, gules, a lion rampant within a bordure engrailed or (Talbot); 2 and 3, argent, two lions passant in pale gules (Strange); impaling the arms of his first wife whose Peerage he enjoyed, viz.: quarterly, 1 and 4, argent, a bend between six martlets gules (Furnival); 2 and 3, or, a fret gules (Verdon); and upon an escutcheon of pretence the arms of the mother of his second wife (to whom she was coheir, conveying her mother's Peerage to her son), viz.: 1 and 4, gules, a lion passant guardant argent, crowned or (Lisle); 2 and 3, argent, a chevron gules (Tyes). (From MS. Reg. 15, E. vi.)

It should be borne in mind that even in Great Britain an inescutcheon en surtout does not always mean an heiress-wife. The Earl of Mar and Kellie bears an inescutcheon surmounted by an earl's coronet for his Earldom of Kellie, and other instances are to be found in the arms of Cumming-Gordon (see Plate III.), whilst Sir Hector Maclean Hay, Bart., thus bears his pronominal arms over his quarterings in continental fashion. Inescutcheons of augmentation occur in the arms of the Dukes of Marlborough and Wellington, Lord Newton, and on the shields of Newman, Wolfe, and others.

Under the Commonwealth the Great Seals of Oliver Cromwell and his son Richard, as Protectors, bore a shield of arms: "Quarterly, 1 and 4, argent, a cross gules (for England); 2. azure, a saltire argent (for Scotland); 3. azure, a harp or, stringed argent (for Ireland);" and upon these quarterings en surtout an escutcheon of the personal arms of Cromwell: "Sable, a lion rampant argent."

In the heraldry of the Continent of Europe it has long been the custom for an elected sovereign to place his hereditary arms in an escutcheon en surtout above those of his dominions. As having obtained the crown by popular election, the Kings of the Hellenes also place en surtout upon the arms of the Greek kingdom ("Azure, a Greek cross couped argent") an escutcheon of their personal arms. Another instance is to be found in the arms of the Dukes of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Whilst all the descendants of the late Prince Consort (other than his Majesty King Edward VII.) bear in England the Royal Arms of this country, differenced by their respective labels with an escutcheon of Saxony en surtout as Dukes and Duchesses of Saxony, the late Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha bore the arms of Saxony, placing the differenced Royal shield of this country en surtout.

We now come to the subject of quartering. Considering the fact that every single text-book on armory gives the ordinary rules for the marshalling of quarterings, it is strange how many mistakes are made, and how extremely funny are the ideas of some people upon the subject of quartering. As has already been stated, the rules of quartering are governed by the simple, but essential and important fact, that every quartering exhibited means the representation in blood of some particular person. Quarterings, other than those of augmentation, can only be inherited from or through those female ancestors who are in themselves heirs or coheirs in blood, or whose issue subsequently become in a later generation the representatives of any ancestor in the male line of that said female ancestor. Briefly speaking, a woman is an heiress, first, if she is only child; second, if all her brothers die without issue in her own lifetime; and third, if the entire issue, male and female, of her brothers, becomes extinct in her own lifetime. A woman becomes an "heiress in her issue," as it is termed, if she die before her brothers, if and when all the descendants of her brothers become absolutely extinct.

If the wife be either an heir or coheir, she transmits after her death to all her children the arms and quarterings—as quarterings to add to their paternal arms, and as such only—which she was entitled to place upon her own lozenge.

The origin and theory of quartering is as follows: If the daughter be an heiress or coheiress she represents either wholly or in part her father and his branch of the family, even if "his branch" only commenced with himself. Now in the days when the science of armory was slowly evolving itself there was no Married Women's Property Act, and the husband ipso facto became to all intents and purposes possessed of and enjoyed the rights of his wife. But it was at the same time only a possession and enjoyment by courtesy, and not an actual possession in fee, for the reversion remained with the wife's heirs, and did not pass to the heirs of the husband; for in cases where the husband or wife had been previously married, or where there was no issue of their marriage, their heirs would not be identical. Of course during the lifetime of his wife he could not actually represent his wife's family, and consequently could not quarter the arms, but in right of his wife he "pretended" to the representation of her house, and consequently the inescutcheon of her arms is termed an "escutcheon of pretence."

After the death of a wife her children immediately and actually become the representatives of their mother, and are as such entitled of right to quarter the arms of their mother's family.

The earliest example which has been discovered at the present time of the use of a quartered coat of arms is afforded by the seal of Joanna of Ponthieu, second wife of Ferdinand III., King of Castile and Leon, in 1272. This seal bears on its reverse in a vesica the triple-towered castles of Castile, and the rampant lion of Leon, repeated as in the modern quarterings of Spain. There is, however, no separation of the quarters by a line of partition. This peculiarity will be also noticed as existing in the quartered coats of Hainault a quarter of a century later. The quartered coat of Castile and Leon remains upon the monument in Westminster Abbey erected in memory of Eleanor of Castile, who died in 1290, the first wife of Edward I.

Providing the wife be an heiress—and for the remainder of this chapter, which deals only with quarterings, this will be assumed—the son of a marriage after the death of his mother quarters her arms with those of his father, that is, he divides his shield into four quarters, and places the arms of his father in the first and fourth quarters, and the arms of his mother in the second and third. That is the root, basis, and original rule of all the rules of quartering, but it may be here remarked, that no man is entitled to quarter the arms of his mother whilst she is alive, inasmuch as she is alive to represent herself and her family, and her issue cannot assume the representation whilst she is alive.

Complete Guide to Heraldry Fig755.png
Fig. 755.—Arms of Thomas Stanley, Earl of Derby (d. 1572); Quarterly, 1. quarterly, i. and iiii., argent, on a bend azure, three bucks' heads caboshed or (Stanley); ii. and iii., or, on a chief indented azure, three bezants (Lathom); 2 and 3, gules, three legs in armour conjoined at the thigh and flexed at the knee proper, garnished and spurred or (for the Lordship of Man); 4. quarterly, i. and iiii., gules, two lions passant in pale argent (for Strange); ii. and iii., argent, a fess and a canton gules (for Wydeville). The arms on the escutcheon of pretence are not those of his wife (Anne Hastings), who was not an heiress, and they seem difficult to account for unless they are a coat for Rivers or some other territorial lordship inherited from the Wydeville family. The full identification of the quarterings borne by Anthony, Lord Rivers, would probably help in determining the point.

But it should not be imagined that the definite rules which exist at the moment had any such unalterable character in early times. Husbands are found to have quartered the arms of their wives if they were heiresses, and if important lordships devolved through the marriage. Territorial arms of dominion were quartered with personal arms (Fig. 755), quarterings of augmentation were granted, and the present system is the endeavour to reconcile all the varying circumstances and precedents which exist. One point, however, stands out clearly from all ancient examples, viz. that quartering meant quartering, and a shield was supposed to have but four quarters upon it. Consequently we find that instead of the elaborate schemes now in vogue showing 10, 20, 50, or 100 quarterings, the shield had but four; and this being admitted and recognised, it became essential that the four most important should be shown, and consequently we find that quarterings were selected in a manner which would seem to us haphazard. Paternal quarterings were dropped and the result has been that many coats of arms are now known as the arms of a family with quite a different surname from that of the family with which they originated. The matter was of little consequence in the days when the "upper-class" and arms-bearing families were few in number. Every one knew how Stafford derived his Royal descent, and that it was not male upon male, so no confusion resulted from the Earls of Buckingham giving the Royal coat precedence before their paternal quartering of Stafford (see Fig. 756), or from their using only the Woodstock version of the Royal Arms; but as time went on the upper classes became more numerous, arms-bearing ancestors by the succession of generations increased in number, and while in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries it would be a physical impossibility for any man to have represented one hundred different heiresses of arms-bearing families, in later days such became the case. The result has been the necessity to formulate those strict and rigid rules which for modern purposes must be conformed to, and it is futile and childish to deduce a set of rules from ancient and possibly isolated examples originating in and suitable for the simpler genealogical circumstances of an earlier day, and assert that it is equally permissible to adopt them at the moment, or to marshal a modern shield accordingly.

Complete Guide to Heraldry Fig756.png
Fig. 756.—Arms of Edward Stafford, Duke of Buckingham (d. 1521): Quarterly, 1 and 4, quarterly, i. and iiii., France; ii. and iii., England, within the bordure argent of Thomas of Woodstock; 2 and 3, or, a chevron gules (for Stafford). (From MS. Add. 22, 306.)

The first attempt to break away from the four quarters of a shield was the initiation of the system of grand quarters (see Figs. 755 and 756). By this means the relative importance could roughly be shown. Supposing a man had inherited a shield of four quarters and then married a wife in whom was vested a peerage, he naturally wished to display the arms connected with that peerage, for these were of greater importance than his own four quarterings. The problem was how to introduce the fifth. In some cases we find it borne in pretence, but in other cases, particularly in a later generation, we find that important quarter given the whole of a quarter of the shield to itself, the other four being conjoined together and displayed so as to occupy a similar space. These, therefore, became sub-quarters. The system also had advantages, because it permitted coats which by constant quartering had become indivisible to be perpetuated in this form. So definite was this rule, that in only one of the series of Garter plates anterior to the Tudor period is any shield found containing more than four quarters, though many of these are grand quarters containing other coats borne sub-quarterly. The one instance which I refer to as an exception is the shield of the Duke D'Urbino, and it is quite possible that this should not be quoted as an instance in point. He appears to have borne in the ordinary way four quarters, but he subsequently added thereto two quarterings which may or may not have been one and the same coat of arms by way of augmentation. These he placed in pale in the centre of the others, thus making the shield apparently one of six quarters.

Complete Guide to Heraldry Fig757.png
Fig. 757.—Arms of George Nevill, Baron Abergavenny (d. 1535): Quarterly, 1. gules, on a saltire argent, a rose of the field (Nevill); 2. chequy or and azure (Warenne); 3. or, three chevrons gules (Clare); 4. quarterly argent and gules, in the second and third quarters a fret or, over all a bend sable (Le Despencer); 4. gules, on a fess between six cross crosslets or, a crescent sable (for Beauchamp). (Add. MS. 22, 306.)

But one is safe in the assertion that during the Plantagenet period no more than four quarters were ordinarily placed upon a shield. Then we come to the brief period of "squeezed in" quarterings (Figs. 757 and 758). In the early Visitations we get instances of six, eight, and even a larger number, and the start once being made, and the number of four relinquished, there was of course no reason why it should not be extended indefinitely. This appears to have rapidly become the case, and we find that schemes of quarterings are now proved and recorded officially in England and Ireland some of which exceed 200 in number. The record number of officially proved and recorded quarterings is at present held by the family of Lloyd, of Stockton in Chirbury, co. Salop, but many of the quarterings of this family are mere repetition owing to constant intermarriages, and to the fact that a single Welsh line of male descent often results in a number of different shields. Welsh arms did not originally have the hereditary unchangeability we are accustomed to in English heraldry, and moreover a large proportion are later inventions borne to denote descent and are not arms actually used by those they stand for, so that the recorded scheme of the quarterings of Mr. Money-Kyrle, or of the sister Countesses of Yarborough and Powis, respectively Baroness Fauconberg and Conyers and Baroness Darcy de Knayth are decidedly more enviable. Nobody of course attempts to bear such a number. In Scotland, however, even to the present day, the system of four quarterings is still adhered to. The result is that in Scotland the system of grand quarterings is still pursued, whilst in England it is almost unknown, except in cases where coats of arms have for some reason or another become indivisible. This is a very patent difficulty when it becomes necessary to marshal indivisible Scottish coats with English ones, and the system of cadency adopted in Scotland, which has its chief characteristic in the employment of bordures, makes the matter sometimes very far from simple. The system adopted at the present time in the case of a Royal Licence, for example, to bear a Scottish name and arms where the latter is a coat of many quarterings within a bordure, is to treat such coat as made indivisible by and according to the most recent matriculation. That coat is then treated as a grand quartering of an equivalent value to the pronominal coat in England.

Complete Guide to Heraldry Fig758.png
Fig. 758.—Arms of Henry Algernon Percy, Earl of Northumberland (d. 1527): Quarterly, 1. quarterly, i. and iiii., or, a lion rampant azure (Percy); ii. and iii., gules, three lucies haurient argent (Lucy); 2. azure, five fusils conjoined in fess or (for Percy); 3. barry of six or and vert, a bendlet gules (Poynings); 4. gules, three lions passant in pale argent, a bendlet azure (FitzPayne), or three piles azure (Brian).

But reverting to the earlier chart, by the aid of which heirship was demonstrated, the following were entitled to transmit the Cilfowyr arms as quarterings. Mary, Ellen, Blanche, Grace, Muriel, and Dorothy all had the right to transmit. By the death of Dorothy v.p. Alice and Annie both became entitled. Maria Jane and Hannah would have been entitled to transmit Sherwin and Cilfowyr, but not Cilfowyr alone, if there had been no arms for Sherwin, though they could have transmitted Sherwin alone if there had been arms for Sherwin and none for Cilfowyr. Harriet would have transmitted the arms of Cilfowyr if she had survived, and Ada would, each subject to differences as has been previously explained.

As has been already explained, every woman is entitled to bear upon a lozenge in her own lifetime the arms, quarterings, and difference marks which belonged to her father. If her mother were an heiress she adds her mother's arms to her father's, and her mother's quarterings also, marshalling the whole into a correct sequence, and placing the said sequence of quarterings upon a lozenge. Such are the armorial bearings of a daughter. If the said daughter be not an heraldic heiress in blood she cannot transmit either arms or quarterings to her descendants. Needless to say, no woman, heiress or non-heiress, can now transmit a crest, and no woman can bear either crest, helmet, mantling, or motto. A daughter not being an heiress simply confers the right upon her husband to impale upon his shield such arms and difference marks as her father bore in his own right. If an heiress possessing arms marry a man with illegal arms, or a man making no pretensions to arms, her children have no arms at all, and really inherit nothing; and the rights, such as they are, to the arms of the mother as a quartering remain, and must remain, dormant unless and until arms are established for their father's line, inasmuch as they can only inherit armorially from their mother through their father. In England it is always optional for a man to have arms assigned to him to fill in any blanks which would otherwise mar his scheme of quarterings.

Let us now see how various coats of arms are marshalled as quarterings into one achievement.

Fig. 759.

Fig. 759.

Fig. 760.

Fig. 760.

Fig. 761.

Fig. 761.

The original theory of quartering upon which all rules are based is that after a marriage with an heiress, necessitating for the children the combination of the two coats, the shield is divided into four quarters. These four are numbered from the top left-hand (the dexter) corner (No. 1) across towards the sinister (No. 2) side of the shield; then the next row is numbered in the same way (Nos. 3 and 4). This rule as to the method of numbering holds good for any number of quarterings.

In allocating the position of the different coats to their places in the scheme of quarterings, the pronominal coat must always be in the first quartering.

In a simple case (the exceptions will presently be referred to) that places the arms of the father in the first and fourth quarters, and the arms of the mother in the second and third; such, of course, being on the assumption that the father possessed only a simple coat without quarterings, and that the mother was in the same position. The children therefore possess a coat of four quarters (Fig. 759). Suppose a son of theirs in his turn marries another heiress, also possessing only a simple coat without quarterings, he bears arms as Fig. 760, and the grandchildren descending from the aforesaid marriage put that last-mentioned coat in the third quarter, and the coat, though still of only four quarters, is: 1 and 4, the pronominal coat; 2, the first heiress; 3, the second (Fig. 761).

If another single quartering is brought in, in a later generation, that takes the place of No. 4. So far it is all plain sailing, but very few text-books carry one beyond this point. Another single quartering inherited gives five quarterings to be displayed on one shield. The usual plan is to repeat the first quartering, and gives you six, which are then arranged in two rows of three. If the shield be an impaled shield one sometimes sees them arranged in three rows of two, but this is unusual though not incorrect. But five quarterings are sometimes arranged in two rows, three in the upper and two in the lower, and with a shield of the long pointed variety this plan may be adopted with advantage. Subsequent quarterings, as they are introduced by subsequent marriages, take their places, Nos. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and so on ad infinitum.

In arranging them on one shield, the order in which they devolve (according to the pedigree and not necessarily according to the date order in which they are inherited) must be rigidly adhered to; but a person is perfectly at liberty (1) to repeat the first quartering at the end to make an even number or not at his pleasure, but no more than the first quartering must be repeated in such cases; (2) to arrange the quarters in any number of rows he may find most convenient according to the shape of the space the quarterings will occupy.

Upon the Continent it is usual to specify the number and position of the lines by which the shield is divided. Thus, while an English herald would say simply, Quarterly of six, and leave it to the painter's or engraver's taste to arrange the quarterings in three rows of two, or in two rows of three, a French or German herald would ordinarily specify the arrangement to be used in distinct terms.

If a man possessing only a simple coat of arms without quarterings marry an heiress with a number of quarterings (e.g. say twenty), he himself places the arms and quarterings of his wife in pretence. Their children eventually, as a consequence, inherit twenty-one quarterings. The first is the coat of their father, the second is the first coat of the mother, and the remaining nineteen follow in a regular sequence, according to their position upon their mother's achievement.

To sum the rule up, it is necessary first to take all the quarterings inherited from the father and arrange them in a proper sequence, and then follow on in the same sequence with the arms and quarterings inherited from the mother.

The foregoing explanations should show how generation by generation quarterings are added to a paternal shield, but I have found that many of those who possess a knowledge of the laws to this extent are yet at a loss, given a pedigree, to marshal the resulting quarterings in their right order.

Given your pedigree—the first quartering must be the pronominal coat (I am here presuming no change of name or arms has occurred), which is the coat of the strict male line of descent. Then follow this male line back as far as it is known. The second quartering is the coat of the first heiress who married your earliest ancestor in the male line who is known to have married an heiress. Then after her coat will follow all the quarterings which she was entitled to and which she has "brought in" to your family. Having exhausted these, you then follow your male line down to the next heiress, adding her arms as a quartering to those already arranged, and following it by her quarterings. The same plan must be pursued until you arrive at your own name upon the pedigree. Unless some exceptional circumstance has arisen (and such exceptions will presently be found detailed at length), all the quarterings are of equal heraldic value, and must be the same size when displayed.

If after having worked out your quarterings you find that you have more than you care to use, you are quite at liberty to make a selection, omitting any number, but it is entirely wrong to display quarterings without those quarterings which brought them into the paternal line. Supposing your name to be Brown, you must put the Brown arms in the first quarter, but at your pleasure you can quarter the arms of each single heiress who married an ancestor of yours in the male line (i.e. who herself became Mrs. Brown), or you can omit the whole or a part. But supposing one of these, Mrs. Brown (née Smith), was entitled to quarter the arms of Jones, which arms of Jones had brought in the arms of Robinson, you are not at liberty to quarter the arms of Jones without quartering Smith, and if you wish to display the arms of Robinson you must also quarter the arms of Jones to bring in Robinson and the arms of Smith to bring in Robinson and Jones to your own Brown achievement. You can use Brown only: or quarterly, 1 and 4, Brown; 2 and 3, Smith: or 1 and 4, Brown; 2. Smith; 3. Jones: or quarterly, 1. Brown; 2. Smith; 3. Jones; 4. Robinson; but you are not entitled to quarter: 1 and 4, Brown; 2. Jones; 3. Robinson, because Smith, which brought in Jones and Robinson, has been omitted, and there was never a match between Brown and Jones.

Quarterings signifying nothing beyond mere representation are not compulsory, and their use or disuse is quite optional.

So much for the general rules of quartering. Let us now consider certain cases which require rules to themselves.

It is possible for a daughter to be the sole heir or coheir of her mother whilst not being the heir of her father, as in the following imaginary pedigree:—

1st wife
(an heiress).
Mary Conyers
= John Darcy =  
2nd wife.
Margaret Fauconberg.
Joan (only daughter),
heir of her mother
but not of her father.
Thomas. Henry.
In this case Joan is not the heir of her father, inasmuch as he has sons Thomas and Henry, but she is the heir of her mother and the only issue capable of inheriting and transmitting the Conyers arms and quarterings. Joan is heir of her mother but not of her father.

The husband of Joan can either impale the arms of Darcy as having married a daughter of John Darcy, or he can place upon an escutcheon of pretence arms to indicate that he has married the heiress of Conyers. But it would be quite incorrect for him to simply place Conyers in pretence, because he has not married a Miss Conyers. What he must do is to charge the arms of Conyers with a dexter canton of the arms of Darcy and place this upon his escutcheon of pretence.[1] The children will quarter the arms of Conyers with the canton of Darcy and inherit likewise all the quarterings to which Mary Conyers succeeded, but the Conyers arms must be always thereafter charged with the arms of Darcy on a canton, and no right accrues to the Darcy quarterings.

The following curious, but quite genuine case, which was pointed out to me by the late Ulster King of Arms, presents a set of circumstances absolutely unique, and it still remains to be decided what is the correct method to adopt:—

1st wife.
Lady Mary, dau. and coheir of Thomas Bermingham, Earl of Louth. Married 1777, died 1793.
= William St. Lawrence, 2nd Earl of Howth. = 2nd wife.
Margaret, dau. of William Burke.
Three other daughters and coheirs of their mother. Thomas St. Lawrence,
3rd Earl of Howth.
Lady Isabella St. Lawrence, 2nd dau. and coheir of her mother, but not heir of her father, therefore entitled to transmit the arms of Bermingham with those of St. Lawrence on a canton. First wife of Earl Annesley. Married 1803, died 1827. = William Richard Annesley, 3rd Earl of Annesley. = Priscilla, 2nd dau. of Hugh Moore.
William, 4th Earl of Annesley. Hugh, 5th Earl of Annesley.
Lady Mary Annesley, only child and sole heir of her mother and coheir of her grandmother, but not heir of her father or of her grandfather. She is therefore entitled to transmit the arms of Bermingham with St. Lawrence on a canton plus Annesley on a canton. Married 1828. = William John M‘Guire of Rostrevor.

How the arms of Bermingham are to be charged with both St. Lawrence and Annesley remains to be seen. I believe Ulster favoured two separate cantons, dexter and sinister respectively, but the point did not come before him officially, and I know of no official decision which affords a precedent.

The reverse of the foregoing affords another curious point when a woman is the heir of her father but not the heir of her mother:—

John Smith = Mary Jones.
1st husband.  
John Williams
=   =   2nd husband.
Henry Roberts.
Ethel Smith, only child and heir.
Alice Williams, only child and heir of John Williams. = Arthur Ellis. Edward Roberts, heir of his mother.
Theodore Ellis,
who claims to quarter:
1 and 4, Ellis; 2. Williams; 3. Smith.

It is officially admitted (see the introduction to Burke's "General Armory") that the claim is accurately made. The process of reasoning is probably thus. John Williams places upon an escutcheon of pretence the arms of Smith, and Alice Williams succeeds in her own right to the arms of her mother because the latter was an heiress, and for herself is entitled to bear, as would a son, the arms of the two parents quarterly; and having so inherited, Alice Williams being herself an heiress, is entitled to transmit. At any rate Arthur Ellis is entitled to impale or place upon his escutcheon of pretence Williams and Smith quarterly. To admit the right for the descendants to quarter the arms Arthur Ellis so bore is no more than a logical progression, but the eventual result appears faulty, because we find Theodore Ellis quartering the arms of Smith, whilst the representation of Smith is in the line of Edward Roberts. This curious set of circumstances, however, is rare in the extreme.

It frequently happens, in devising a scheme of quarterings, that a person may represent heiresses of several families entitled to bear arms, but to whom the pedigree must be traced through an heiress of another family which did not possess arms. Consequently any claim to quarterings inherited through the non-armorial heiress is dormant, and the quarterings must not be used or inserted in any scheme drawn up. It is always permissible, however, to petition for arms to be granted to be borne for that non-armorial family for the purpose of introducing the quarterings in question, and such a grant having been made, the dormant claim then becomes operative and the new coat is introduced, followed by the dormant quartering in precisely the same manner as would have been the case if the arms granted had always existed. Grants of this character are constantly being obtained.

When a Royal Licence to assume or change name and arms is granted it very considerably affects the question of quartering, and many varying circumstances attending these Royal Licences make the matter somewhat intricate. If the Royal Licence is to assume a name and arms in lieu of those previously used, this means that for everyday use the arms are changed, the right to the old arms lapsing except for the purpose of a scheme of quarterings. The new coat of arms under the terms of the Royal Licence, which requires it first "to be exemplified in our Royal College of Arms, otherwise this our Royal Licence to be void and of none effect," is always so exemplified, this exemplification being from the legal point of view equivalent to a new grant of the arms to the person assuming them. The terms of the Royal Licence have always carefully to be borne in mind, particularly in the matter of remainder, because sometimes these exemplifications are for a limited period or intended to devolve with specified property, and a Royal Licence only nullifies a prior right to arms to the extent of the terms recited in the Letters Patent of exemplification. In the ordinary way, however, such an exemplification is equivalent to a new grant affecting all the descendants. When it is assumed in lieu, for the ordinary purpose of use the new coat of arms takes the place of the old one, but the right to the old one remains in theory to a certain extent, inasmuch as its existence is necessary in any scheme of quartering to bring in any quarterings previously inherited, and these cannot be displayed with the new coat unless they are preceded by the old one. Quarterings, however, which are brought into the family through a marriage in the generation in which the Royal Licence is obtained, or in a subsequent generation, can be displayed with the new coat without the interposition of the old one.

If the Royal Licence be to bear the name of a certain family in lieu of a present name, and to bear the arms of that family quarterly with the arms previously borne, the quarterly coat is then exemplified. In an English or Irish Royal Licence the coat of arms for the name assumed is placed in the first and the fourth quarters, and the old paternal arms figure in the second and third. This is an invariable rule. The quarterly coat thus exemplified becomes an indivisible coat for the new name, and it is not permissible to subsequently divide these quarterings. They become as much one coat of arms as "azure, a bend or" is the coat of arms of Scrope. If this quarterly coat is to be introduced in any scheme of quarterings it will only occupy the same space as any other single quartering and counts only as one, though it of course is in reality a grand quartering. In devising a scheme of quarterings for which a sub-quarterly coat of this character exemplified under a Royal Licence is the pronominal coat, that quarterly coat is placed in the first quarter. Next to it is placed the original coat of arms borne as the pronominal coat before the Royal Licence and exemplified in the second and third sub-quarters of the first quarter. When here repeated it occupies an entire quarter. Next to it are placed the whole of the quarterings belonging to the family in the order in which they occur. If the family whose name has been assumed is represented through an heiress that coat of arms is also repeated in its proper position and in that place in which it would have appeared if unaffected by the Royal Licence. But if it be the coat of arms of a family from whom there is no descent, or of whom there is no representation, the fact of the Royal Licence does not give any further right to quarter it beyond its appearance in the pronominal grand quartering. The exact state of the case is perhaps best illustrated by the arms of Reid-Cuddon. The name of the family was originally Reid, and representing an heiress of the Cuddons of Shaddingfield Hall they obtained a Royal Licence to take the name and arms of Cuddon in addition to the name and arms of Reid, becoming thereafter Reid-Cuddon. The arms were exemplified in due course, and the achievement then became: Quarterly, 1 and 4, Reid-Cuddon sub-quarterly, 2. the arms of Reid, 3. the arms of Cuddon. In Scotland no such thing as a Royal Licence exists, the matter being determined merely by a rematriculation following upon a voluntary change of name. There is no specified order or position for the arms of the different names, and the arrangement of the various quarterings is left to be determined by the circumstances of the case. Thus in the arms of Anstruther-Duncan the arms of Anstruther are in the first quarter, and the matter is always largely governed by the importance of the respective estates and the respective families. In England this is not the case, because it is an unalterable rule that the arms of the last or principal surname if there be two, or the arms of the one surname if that be the case when the arms of two families are quartered, must always go in the 1st and 4th quarters. If three names are assumed by Royal Licence, the arms of the last name go in the 1st and 4th quarters, and the last name but one in the second quarter, and of the first name in the third. These cases are, however, rare. But no matter how many names are assumed, and no matter how many original coats of arms the shield as exemplified consists of, it thereafter becomes an indivisible coat.

When a Royal Licence is issued to an illegitimate person to bear the name and arms of another family, no right is conferred to bear the quarterings of that family even subject to difference marks. The Royal Licence is only applicable to whatever arms were the pronominal coat used with the name assumed. Though instances certainly can be found in some of the Visitation Books and other ancient records of a coat with quarterings, the whole debruised by a bendlet sinister, notably in the case of a family of Talbot, where eight quarters are so marked, the fact remains that this practice has long been definitely considered incorrect, and is now never permitted. If a Royal Licence is issued to an illegitimate woman the exemplification is to herself personally, for in the eyes of the law she has no relatives; and though she may be one of a large family, her descendants are entitled to quarter the arms with the marks of distinction exemplified to her because such quartering merely indicates the representation of that one woman, who in the eyes of the law stands alone and without relatives. In the case of a Royal Licence to take a name and arms subject to these marks of distinction for illegitimacy, and in cases where the arms to be assumed are a sub-quarterly coat, the mark of distinction, which in England is now invariably a bordure wavy, will surround both quarterings, which remain an indivisible coat.

If an augmentation is granted to a person whose pronominal coat is sub-quarterly, that augmentation, whatever form it may assume, is superimposed upon all quarterings. Thus a chief of augmentation would go across the top of the shield, the four quarters being displayed below, and the whole of this shield would be only one quartering in any scheme of quartering. An inescutcheon is superimposed over all. If the augmentation take the form of a quartering, then the pronominal coat is a grand quartering, equivalent in size to the augmentation. If a person entitled to a sub-quarterly coat and a double name obtains a Royal Licence to bear another name and arms, and to bear the arms he has previously borne quarterly with those he has assumed, the result would be: Quarterly, 1 and 4, the new coat assumed, quarterly 2 and 3, the arms he has previously borne sub-quarterly. But it should be noticed that the arrangements of coats of arms under a Royal Licence largely depends upon the wording of the document by which authority is given by the Sovereign. The wording of the document in its terms is based upon the wording of the petition, and within reasonable limits any arrangement which is desired is usually permitted, so that care should be taken as to the wording of the petition.

A quartering of augmentation is always placed in the first quarter of a shield, but it becomes indivisible from and is depicted sub-quarterly with the paternal arms; for instance, the Dukes of Westminster for the time being, but not other members of the family, bear as an augmentation the arms of the city of Westminster in the 1st and 4th quarters of his shield, and the arms of Grosvenor in the 2nd and 3rd, but this coat of Westminster and Grosvenor is an indivisible quarterly coat which together would only occupy the first quarter in a shield of quarterings. Then the second one would be the arms of Grosvenor alone, which would be followed by the quarterings previously inherited.

If under a Royal Licence a name is assumed and the Royal Licence makes no reference to the arms of the family, the arms for all purposes remain unchanged and as if no Royal Licence had ever been issued. If the Royal Licence issued to a family simply exemplifies a single coat of arms, it is quite wrong to introduce any other coat of arms to convert this single coat into a sub-quarterly one.

To all intents and purposes it may be stated that in Scotland there are still only four quarters in a shield, and if more than four coats are introduced grand quarterings are employed. Grand quarterings are very frequent in Scottish armory. The Scottish rules of quartering follow no fixed principle, and the constant rematriculations make it impossible to deduce exact rules; and though roughly approximating to the English ones, no greater generalisation can be laid down than the assertion that the most recent matriculation of an ancestor governs the arms and quarterings to be displayed.

A royal quartering is never subdivided.

In combining Scottish and English coats of arms into one scheme of quartering, it is usual if possible to treat the coat of arms as matriculated in Scotland as a grand quartering equivalent in value to any other of the English quarterings. This, however, is not always possible in cases where the matriculation itself creates grand quarterings and sub-quarterings; and for a scheme of quarterings in such a case it is more usual for the Scottish matriculation to be divided up into its component parts, and for these to be used as simple quarterings in succession to the English ones, regardless of any bordure which may exist in the Scottish matriculation. It cannot, of course, be said that such a practice is beyond criticism, though it frequently remains the only practical way of solving the difficulty.

Until comparatively recent times, if amongst quarterings inherited the Royal Arms were included, it was considered a fixed, unalterable rule that these should be placed in the first quarter, taking precedence of the pronominal coat, irrespective of their real position according to the date or pedigree place of introduction. This rule, however, has long since been superseded, and Royal quarterings now take their position on the same footing as the others. It very probably arose from the misconception of the facts concerning an important case which doubtless was considered a precedent. The family of Mowbray, after their marriage with the heiress of Thomas de Brotherton, used either the arms of Brotherton alone, these being England differenced by a label, or else placed them in the first quarter of their shield. Consequently from this precedent a rule was deduced that it was permissible and correct to give a Royal quartering precedence over all others. The position of the Mowbrays, Dukes of Norfolk, as Earls Marshal no doubt led to their own achievement being considered an exemplary model. But it appears to have been overlooked that the Mowbrays bore these Royal Arms of Brotherton not as an inherited quartering but as a grant to themselves. Richard II. apparently granted them permission to bear the arms of Edward the Confessor impaled with the arms of Brotherton, the whole between the two Royal ostrich feathers (Fig. 675), and consequently, the grant having been made, the Mowbrays were under no necessity to display the Mowbray or the Segrave arms to bring in the arms of Brotherton. A little later a similar case occurred with the Stafford family, who became sole heirs-general of Thomas of Woodstock, and consequently entitled to bear his arms as a quartering. The matter appears to have been settled at a chapter of the College of Arms, and the decision arrived at was as follows:—

Cott. MS., Titus, C. i. fol. 404, in handwriting of end of sixteenth century.

[An order made for Henry Duke of Buckingham to beare the Armes of Thomas of Woodstock alone without any other Armes to bee quartered therewith. Anno 13 E 4.]
Memorandum that in the yeare of the Reigne of our Soveraign Lord King Edward the iiijth, the Thurtein in the xviijtin day of ffeverir, it was concluded in a Chapitre of the office of Armes that where a nobleman is descended lenyalle Ineritable to iij. or iiij. Cotes and afterward is ascended to a Cotte neir to the King and of his royall bloud, may for his most onneur bere the same Cootte alone, and none lower Coottes of Dignite to be quartered therewith. As my Lord Henry Duke of Buckingham, Eirll of Harford, Northamton, and Stafford, Lord of Breknoke and of Holdernes, is assended to the Coottes and ayer to Thomas of Woodstoke, Duke of Glocestre and Sonne to King Edward the third, hee may beire his Cootte alone. And it was so Concluded by [Claurancieulx King of Armes, Marche King of Armes, Gyen King of Armes, Windesor Herauld, Fawcon Herauld, Harfford Herald].

But I imagine that this decision was in all probability founded upon the case of the Mowbrays, which was not in itself an exact precedent, because with the Staffords there appears to have been no such Royal grant as existed with the Mowbrays. Other instances at about this period can be alluded to, but though it must be admitted that the rule existed at one time, it has long since been officially overridden.

A territorial coat or a coat of arms borne to indicate the possession of a specific title is either placed in the first quarter or borne in pretence; see the arms of the Earl of Mar and Kellie. A singular instance of a very exceptional method of marshalling occurs in the case of the arms of the Earl of Caithness. He bears four coats of arms, some being stated to be territorial coats, quarterly, dividing them by the cross engrailed sable from his paternal arms of Sinclair. The arms of the Earls of Caithness are thus marshalled: "Quarterly, 1. azure, within a Royal tressure a ship with furled sails all or." For Orkney: "2 and 3. or, a lion rampant gules." For Spar (a family in possession of the Earldom of Caithness before the Sinclairs): "4. Azure, a ship in sail or, for Caithness"; and over all, dividing the quarters, a cross engrailed "sable," for Sinclair. The Barons Sinclair of Sweden (so created 1766, but extinct ten years later) bore the above quartered coats as cadets of Caithness, but separated the quarters, not by the engrailed cross sable of Sinclair, but by a cross patée throughout ermine. In an escutcheon en surtout they placed the Sinclair arms: "Argent, a cross engrailed sable"; and, as a mark of cadency, they surrounded the main escutcheon with "a bordure chequy or and gules." This arrangement was doubtless suggested by the Royal Arms of Denmark, the quarterings of which have been for so many centuries separated by the cross of the Order of the Dannebrog: "Argent, a cross patée throughout fimbriated gules." In imitation of this a considerable number of the principal Scandinavian families use a cross patée throughout to separate the quarters of their frequently complicated coats. The quarterings in these cases are often not indicative of descent from different families, but were all included in the original grant of armorial bearings. On the centre of the cross thus used, an escutcheon, either of augmentation or of the family arms, is very frequently placed en surtout.

The main difference between British and foreign usage with regard to quartering is this, that in England quarterings are usually employed to denote simply descent from an heiress, or representation in blood; in Scotland they also implied the possession of lordships. In foreign coats the quarterings are often employed to denote the possession of fiefs acquired in other ways than by marriage (e.g. by bequest or purchase), or the jus expectationis, the right of succession to such fiefs in accordance with certain agreements.

In foreign heraldry the base of the quartered shield is not unfrequently cut off by a horizontal line, forming what is known as a Champagne, and the space thus made is occupied by one or more coats. At other times a pile with curved sides runs from the base some distance into the quartered shield, which is then said to be enté en point, and this space is devoted to the display of one or more quarterings. The definite and precise British regulations which have grown up on the subject of the marshalling of arms have no equivalent in the armorial laws of other countries.

Very rarely quartering is affected per saltire, as in the arms of Sicily and in a few coats of Spanish origin, but even as regards foreign armory the practice is so rare that it may be disregarded.

The laws of marshalling upon the Continent, and particularly in Germany, are very far from being identical with British heraldic practices.

Fig. 762.—Arms of Hans Wolf von Bibelspurg.

Fig. 762.—Arms of Hans Wolf von Bibelspurg.

Fig. 763.—Arms of Hans Wolf von Bibelspurg and his wife Catherina Waraus married in 1507 at Augsburg.

Fig. 763.—Arms of Hans Wolf von Bibelspurg and his wife Catherina Waraus married in 1507 at Augsburg.

Fig. 764.

Fig. 764.

The British method of impaling two coats of arms upon one shield to signify marriage is abroad now wholly discarded, and two shields are invariably made use of. These shields are placed side by side, the dexter shield being used to display the man's arms and the sinister those of the woman's family. The shields are tilted towards each other (the position is not quite identical with that which we term accollé). But—and this is a peculiarity practically unknown in England—the German practice invariably reverses the charges upon the dexter shield, so that the charges upon the two shields "respect" each other. This perhaps can be most readily understood by reference to Figs. 762 and 763. The former shows the simple arms of Von Bibelspurg, the latter the same coat allied with another. But it should be noted that letters or words, if they appear as charges upon the shield, are not reversed. This reversing of the charges is by no means an uncommon practice in Germany for other purposes. For instance, if the arms of a State are depicted surrounded by the arms of provinces, or if the arms of a reigning Sovereign are grouped within a bordure of the shields of other people, the charges on the shields to the dexter are almost invariably shown in reflection regarding the shield in the centre. This practice, resting only on what may be termed "heraldic courtesy," dates back to very early times, and is met with even in Rolls of Arms where the shields are all turned to face the centre. Such a system was adopted in Siebmacher's "Book of Arms." But what the true position of the charges should be when represented upon a simple shield should be determined by the position of the helmet. It may be of interest to state that in St. George's Chapel at Windsor the early Stall plates as originally set up were all disposed so that helmets and charges alike faced the High Altar.

Fig. 765.

Fig. 765.

Fig. 766.—Arms of Loschau or Lexaw, of Augsburg.

Fig. 766.—Arms of Loschau or Lexaw, of Augsburg.

Fig. 767.

Fig. 767.

Fig. 768.—Arms of the Elector and Archbishop of Treves.

Fig. 768.—Arms of the Elector and Archbishop of Treves.

The conjunction of three coats of arms in Germany is effected as shown in Fig. 764. Although matrimonial alliance does not in Germany entail the conjunction of different coats of arms on one shield, such conjunction does occur in German heraldry, but it is comparable (in its meaning) with our rules of quartering and not with our rules of impalement. No such exact and definite rules exist in that country as are to be met with in our own to determine the choice of a method of conjunction, nor to indicate the significance to be presumed from whatever method may be found in use. Personal selection and the adaptability to any particular method of the tinctures and the charges themselves of the coats to be conjoined seem to be the determining factors, and the existing territorial attributes of German armory have a greater weight in marshalling than the principle of heirship which is now practically the sole governing factor in British heraldry. One must therefore content oneself with a brief recital of some of the various modes of conjunction which have been or are still practised. These include impalement per pale or per fess (Fig. 765) and dimidiation (Fig. 766), which is more usual on the Continent than it ever was in these kingdoms. The subdivision of the field, as with ourselves, is most frequently adopted; though we are usually confined to quartering, German armory knows no such restrictions. The most usual subdivisions are as given in Fig. 767. The ordinary quartered shield is met with in Fig. 768, which represents the arms of James III., Von Eltz, Elector and Archbishop of Treves (1567-1581), in which his personal arms of Eltz ("Per fess gules and argent, in chief a demi-lion issuing or") are quartered with the impersonal arms of his archbishopric, "Argent, a cross gules." Another method of conjunction is superimposition, by which the design of the one shield takes the form of an ordinary imposed upon the other (Fig. 769). A curious method of conjoining three coats is by engrafting the third in base (Fig. 770). The constant use of the inescutcheon has been already referred to, and even early English armory (Figs. 706 and 710) has examples of the widespread Continental practice (which obtains largely in Spanish and Portuguese heraldry) of surrounding one coat with a bordure of another.

Fig. 769.

Fig. 769.

Fig. 770.

Fig. 770.

Fig. 771.

Fig. 771.

The German method of conjunction by incorporation has been frequently pleaded in British heraldry, in efforts to account for ancient arms, but with us (save for occasional use for cadency differencing at an early and for a limited period) such incorporation only results in and signifies an originally new coat, and not an authorised marshalling of existing arms of prior origin and authority. The German method can best be explained by two examples. Let us suppose a coat "per fess argent and gules," with which another coat "gules, a fleur-de-lis argent," is to be marshalled. The result would be "per fess argent and gules, a fleur-de-lis counterchanged." With smaller objects a more usual method would duplicate the charges, thus "per bend argent and azure," and "argent, a star of six points azure" would result in "per bend argent and azure, two stars of six points counterchanged" (Fig. 771).

  1. Arms borne on a sinister canton suggest illegitimacy.