The Grammar of Heraldry/Chapter 4

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Charges are divided into three classes—Honourable Ordinaries, Subordinaries, and Common Charges. Of these, the ordinaries, as their name implies, are considered the most honourable, as they certainly are the most ancient. Unlike the common charges, which may consist of any object, the ordinaries seem to have been originally bands or bars riveted on the shield to strengthen it.

The ordinaries are nine in number:—

1. The Chief is the upper third portion of the shield, separated from the rest by a horizontal line.
The diminutive of this ordinary is the fillet, which is one fourth of the chief, and is placed in the lowest portion thereof.
2. The Pale is a perpendicular band, occupying, like the chief, one third of the field.
Its diminutives are the pallet and the endorse, which occupy one half and one fourth of the pale respectively.
3. The Bend is an ordinary similar to the pale, but crossing the shield diagonally from the dexter chief to the sinister base. When charged, it occupies one third of the field, but when uncharged only one fifth.
The diminutives of this ordinary are the bendlet, which is half the bend; the cost, or cotise, half the bendlet; and the riband, half of the cost.
When a bend is borne between two cotises, it is said to be cotised.
The riband is a cost couped, or cut off, at the ends, so that they do not extend to the edges of the shield.
4. The Bend Sinister is drawn in the opposite direction of the bend, viz. from sinister to dexter.
Its diminutives are the scarpe, one half its width; and the baton, one fourth.
The baton, like the riband, is couped; and is generally considered as a mark of illegitimacy.
5. The Fess is an ordinary horizontally crossing the middle of the shield, of which it occupies the third part.
6. The Bar, although one of the ordinaries, may be considered rather as the diminutive of the fess, as it differs from it only in its width, which is one fifth of the field. It is never borne without some other charge.
The closet and the barrulet are severally one half and one fourth the width of the bar.
When barrulets are placed together in couples, they are called bars gemelle.
7. The Chevron is composed of two bars, one fifth the width of the shield, issuing respectively from the dexter and sinister bases, and meeting at the fess point.
The chevronel contains a half, and the couple close a quarter of the chevron. The latter is borne, as its name implies, in couples, and usually cotising the chevron.
8. The Saltire is formed by the intersection of a bend and a bend-sinister. It has no diminutive.[1]

9. The Cross, in its simplest form, is a combination of the pale and the fess, as in the cross of St. George; but this ordinary is capable of numerous variations, which ought rather to be regarded as common charges. Guillim mentions 39 different crosses, Leigh, 46, Edmonson, 109, and Robson no less than 222. Of these most common are :—

The Greek Cross, or Cross of St. George, which has its four limbs of an equal length. Fig. 49.

When 'a cross' only is specified it is always to be blazoned as a Cross of St. George.

Latin Cross, in which the lower limb only is longer than the other three. Fig. 50.

Tau Cross, resembles the Greek letter of that name. Fig. 51.

Cross Humettée, or Couped, in which the limbs do not extend to the extremities of the shield. Fig. 52.

Patriarchal Cross is a Greek Cross of which the upper limb is traversed by a shorter. Fig. 53.

Pointed Cross, or Cross Urdée. Fig. 54.

Cross Nowy. Fig. 55.

Cross Quadrate. Fig. 56.

Almost all the varieties of the cross may be quadrate.

Cross Rayonnant has rays of light issuing from the centre. Fig. 57.

Cross Potent has its four limbs terminated like the fur of that name. Fig. 58.

Cross Patée, or Formée. Fig. 59.

The Maltese Cross closely resembles a cross patée, except that each extremity has usually an indentation.

Cross Moline, Fig. 60, has its extremities formed like a fer de moline, or mill rind, Fig. 158.

Cross Fleurie and Cross Fleurettée are almost identical; in the latter, however, the fleurs-de-lis are generally represented as issuing from the limbs,.
and not forming part of the cross itself. Figs. 61 and 62.

Cross Patonce, the cross fleurie expanded. Fig. 63. Cross Botonnée. Fig. 64.

Cross-crosslet has each of its limbs crossed. Fig. 65. When the central part of the four limbs of a cross is cut out, it is said to be voided, as at Fig. 66; if only at the less point, where the limbs are conjoined, quaterly-pierced. Fig. 67.

A cross voided to the extremities of the shield is voided throughout.

Quater-pierced signifies that the centre is perforated with a square opening, but smaller than quaterly pierced.

When the lower limb of a cross is pointed, so as to be fixed into the ground, it is called fitchée; thus Fig. 68 is an example of a cross potent, quadrate, fitchée.

A cross raised on steps is said to be on degrees, or degraded.

The ordinaries are not always represented by straight lines; they may be formed by any of the partition lines shown at pages 8 and 9. Thus we find crosses indented, engrailed, invected, &c.

Fig. 69 represents a cross ragulée. The same rule, of course, applies to chiefs, pales, fesses, &c. The example at Fig. 70 would be blazoned, Argent, a chief indented gules.

Crosses are frequently charged upon crosses; as in Fig. 71, which would be blazoned, Vert, on a cross argent, another of the field. On a casual glance, this diagram seems to be the same as No. 66, which is a cross voided; but it will be found that the shading is differently disposed.

When a shield consists of more than one tincture, and the partition is formed by a line drawn in the direction of any of the ordinaries, it is said to be party per that ordinary: thus, Fig. 2 is Party per pale, gules and azure; Fig. 3, Party per less, purpure and gules. A shield, however, is never party per chief, or of any of the diminutives of the ordinaries.


Besides the ordinaries already enumerated, there is a group of charges of less importance called the Subordinaries. This classification, however, is very arbitrary, as several devices, which some authorities include under this head, are reckoned by others as simple charges. Those which are generally included amongst the subordinaries are:—

The Pile, which is a figure in the form of a wedge. issuing usually from the middle chief, although it may proceed from any other part of the extremity of the shield. Fig. 72.

The Quarter is formed by two lines drawn in the direction of the pale and fess, and meeting at the fess point.

The Canton is rather smaller than the quarter, but like it is situated in the dexter chief of the field. See second quarter of Fig. 175.

The Gyron is formed by a diagonal line bisecting the quarter bendwise. Fig. 73.

This charge may be repeated, so as to cover the entire field, in which case it is blazoned as gyronny, and the number specified. Thus Fig. 74 is Gyronny of eight, argent and azure.

The Bordure is a band surrounding the entire shield. This ordinary may be engrailed, indented, invected, &c. Fig. 75.

If the bordure be formed of metal and colour alternately, it is called Compony. Fig. 76.

If there be a double row, Counter-copony. Fig. 77.

If more than two rows (heraldically termed tracks), Chequée. Fig. 78.

It may also be borne quaterly, Fig. 79, which would be blazoned, Arg.; a bordure quaterly, or and gules.

The Orle differs from the bordure, inasmuch as it does not extend to the extremity of the shield. Fig. 80.

The Tressure may be regarded as a diminutive of the orle. It is generally borne double, and fleury counter-fleury, as in the arms of Scotland: Or; a lion rampant, within a tressure fleurie counter-fleurie, gu. Fig. 81.

The Inescuteheon, or Shield of Pretence, is a small shield borne on the fess point. Fig. 82. See Marshalling.

The Lozenge is a diamond-shaped figure. Fig. 83.

The Fusil is an elongated lozenge. Fig. 84.

The Mascle is a lozenge voided. Fig. 85.

The Rustre is a lozenge perforated with a round opening. Fig. 86.

The Fret is a figure composed of a narrow saltire, interlaced with a mascle (see Fretty, p. 25). Fig. 8?.

The Pall is a charge borne only by archbishops. In form it resembles the letter Y, and is always charged with crosses patées fitchées. Fig. 88.

The Billet is a small rectangular oblong figure (see fourth quarter of Fig. 175).

Flanches, which are always borne in pairs, are formed by circular lines impinging on the dexter and sinister sides of the shield. Fig. 89.

Flasques and Voiders are flanches, which encroach less on the shield.

Small charges are frequently blazoned, as in fess, in pale, in orle, &c., which means that they are to be arranged in the form of those ordinaries.

The accompanying example (Fig. 90) would be blazoned, Barry of six, argent and qules; ten hurtes in orle.

Observe the difference between ' in and ' on.' The former denotes that charges are to be arranged in the position of any specified ordinary, while the latter implies that they are to be blazoned on the ordinaries themselves. (Compare Fig.90 and the first and fourth quarters of Fig. 175.)

All the honourable ordinaries (but not their diminutives, except the pallet), the pile, quarter, canton, bordure, inescuteheon, lozenge, pall, and flanches, may be charged.


Roundles are small balls or bosses, which are charged upon a shield. There are generally reckoned in be seven, which are distinguished from each other by their several tinctures.

1. The Bezant, or. Fig. 91.

2. The Plate, argent. Fig. 92.

3. The Torteau (pl. torteaux), gules. Fig. 93.

4. The Hurte, azure. Fig. 94.

5. The Pellet, or Ogress, sable. Fig. 95.

6. The Pomme, vert. Fig. 96.

7. The Fountain, Barry of six, wavy, argent and azure. Fig. 97.

Golpes (purp.), guzes (sang.), and oranges (tenné,), are occasionally to be met with in examples of foreign heraldry.

The Bezant, Plate, and Fountain are always represented fiat; the others in relief, and must be shaded accordingly.

A Roundle may also be blazoned of a fur; and is sometimes, though very rarely, charged.

Guttæ., or Gouttes, as the name implies, are drops, which, like the roundies, are distinguished by their tinctures.

Goutres d'or are or.
d'eau ,, argent.
,, de sang ,, gules.
,, de larmes ,, azure.
,, de poix ,, sable.
,, d'olive ,, vert

Fig. 98 might be blazoned as Argent, guttée de sang, or guteé gules.


Fields are not always blazoned as of a simple tincture; sometimes the surface of the shield consists of a kind of pattern, on which the charges are placed. These patterns are formed by the lines representing the ordinaries and subordinaries, and from which they derive their names.

Paly means that the field is to be divided into an even number of pales, specifying the number. Thus the shield represented in the margin would be blazoned, Paly of six, arg. and ax.

Bendy.—The field to be divided into bends, in the same manner as paly.

Barry.—The field to be divided into an even number of bars. Fig. 90. When there are more than eight bars, it is called barruly.

Paly bendy is when the field is divded by lines drawn in the direction of the pale and bend. Fig. 100 is Paly bendy, arg. and gu.

Barry bendy is formed by a conjunction of lines drawn barwise and bendwise. Fig. 101.

Gyronny. See page 20, Fig. ?4.

Lozengy is produced by lines drawn in the direction of the bend and bend sinister; thus forming a number of lozenges. Fig. 102.

Fusilly is similar to lozengy, except that the lines are more vertical, and form fusils instead of lozenges.

Compony, Counter-compony, and

Chequée. See page 20, Figs. 76, 77, 78.

Fretty is when the field is covered with a number of narrow bars or sticks interlaced. Fig. 103; see also Fig. 78.

Charges are frequently blazoned as being of any of these varied tinctures.

A field or charge may be diapered, according to the taste of the herald. Diapering does not enter into the blazoning or description of a shield, as it is simply a fanciful embellishment. It consists of a small pattern or device, covering the entire field or charge, and is commonly represented by a slightly darker tint of the same tincture as that on which it is laid.

When a charge is repeated on a field an indefinite number of times, such a field is said, to be semée of the charge. A shield semée of Crosses-crosslet, is styled Crusillée; if of Billets, Billettée; of Bezants, Bezantée; of Hurts, Hurtée, &c.

Powdered has a signification similar to Semée, except that the charges axe smaller, and more thickly scattered.


We now come to the third class of heraldic devices, denominated Common Charges. These are far more numerous than the ordinaries, for there is not an object of any kind soever, either real or imaginary, but may be blazoned as a charge. Of animated beings, the Lion is that which is most commonly to be met with in heraldry. This animal is represented of every tincture, and in a variety of positions, the principal of which are the following:—

Statant—Standing in profile, and looking before him. Fig. 104. Charges are always represented as moving towards the dexter side of the shield, unless otherwise specified in the blazon.

Passant.—The dexter paw raised, as if walking, and, like statant, looking towards the dexter. Fig. 105.

Passant guardant is the same as passant, except that it is affrontée, or full-faced, as the lions of England. Fig. 106.

Passant reguardant.—Passsant, with the head turned towards the sinster. Fig. 107.

Rampant—Standing on one hind leg, with the fore paws elevated; the head the same as passant. Fig. 108.

Rampant guardant is the same as rampant, with the head affrontée.

Rampant reguardant differs from the former two only in having the head towards the sinister.

Salient.—With both hind legs on the ground, and the two fore paws raised, as if in the act of springing. Fig. 109.

Sejant.—Sitting down, but with its fore limbs erect. Fig. 110.

Couchant.—Lying down, with head erect. Fig. 111.

Dormant.——Asleep, with its head resting between its paws. Fig. 112.

A lion with its tail between its legs is said to be coward; when furnished with two tails, queue fourchée; and if it have no tail, defamed. Two rampant lions, face to face, are said to be combatant; and when placed back to back, addorsed.

If an ordinary should be placed on (or, to speak in proper heraldic terms, over) a lion or other animal, it is debruised by that ordinary. The sub-joined example (Fig. 113) would be blazoned, Ermine, a lion rampant gules, debruised by a bend sinister, argent.

A portion only of a lion may form a charge, as:—

A demi-lion rampant, which is the upper portion of a lion rampant, couped,. or cut, at the shoulder. Fig. 114.

A leg, called in heraldry a jambe.

A paw, which extends only to the first joint.

A head, which may be turned in any of the directions before assigned.

A tail, or queue. The family of Cork bears three lions' tails for arms.

When a portion of any animal is cut clean off, as in Fig. 114, it is said to be couped; but when it is ragged or torn, as in Fig. 115, it is erased. Particular attention must be paid, in blazoning part of an animal, to specify whether it be couped or erased.

Lions charged on an ordinary, or when there are two or more blazened on a shield, are frequently styled lioncels. A lion is armed of its teeth and claws, and langued of its tongue. It is always represented as armed and langued gules, unless the animal itself or the field be of that tincture, in which case it is armed and langued azure.

Bears, Tigers, Bulls, Boars, Wolves, Antelopes, Stags, Goats, Foxes, Badgers (called by heralds Grays), Talbots or hounds, Squirrels, and many other animals, are to be found blazoned as charges. Even the much-abused Ass is allowed to appear. The family of Hackwell bear as their arms, Or, an Ass's head erased, sable. The Askews, Hokenhulls, and Ayscoughs also bear this charge.

The Holy or Paschal Lamb is a lamb passant, supporting with its front sinister leg a banner bend sinisterwise, charged with a cross.

Almost all the terms applied to lions, are used in describing the position and attributes of other animals; the principal exceptions are the following:—

A stag passant is said to be tripping; when affrontée, at gaze; when salient, springing; when running, at speed or courant; and when sejant, lodged. It is attired, not armed, of its tynes, or horns.

Bulls, unicorns, and other animals having hoofs, are said to be unguled of them. An animal devouring another is described as vorant. When two animals are face to face, they are respecting each other. An animal wounded is vulmed; if smoke be issuing from the mouth and ears, it is incensed.


The Eagle, in heraldry, holds supremacy amongst birds, as the Lion does, amongst animals. The most common position assigned to the eagle is displayed, Fig. 116. This appellation is peculiar to birds of prey; other birds (such as the dove), when their wings are extended as in the accompanying example, are said to be disclosed.

The student must bear in mind the difference between an eagle displayed, and an eagle with wings displayed; when the latter term is employed, the bird is supposed to be perched. The eagles of ancient Rome, France, and the United States would be blazoned as with wings displayed; those of Russia, Austria, and Prussia, as displayed.

A bird of prey is said to be armed of its beak and claws; but other birds are beaked and membered. The same law which governs the tinctures of the arms and tongues of lions, mentioned at page 29, is observed with regard to the claws and beaks of eagles.

Small eagles, charged as lioncels, are styled eaglets.

When Hawks are represented with bells on their feet, they are described as belled; and when the jesses, or straps with which the bells were attached, are hanging loose, they are belled and jessed. They may also be hooded. A Falcon is always supposed to be close, unless specified to the contrary.

A Game Cock, besides being armed of his beak, claws, and spurs, is crested, and jowlopped of his wattles.

A Peacock affrontée, with its tail displayed, is blazoned as in its pride. A Pelican feeding its young in the conventional manner in which it is generally represented, is described as a pelican in her piety, or vulning herself.

The following terms apply equally to all birds:—

Rousant.—A bird rising, or about to take wing.


Close.—With wings closed.

Inverted, or Conjoined in lure.—Wings displayed, witch their tips directed downwards. Fig. 117.


Addorsed.—Including backwards. Fig. 118.

Feathers are also included amongst heraldic charges. They are always borne straight; except those of the ostrich, the tips of which are represented as drooping.

The following axe the birds usually blazoned in heraldry:—

The Eagle, Falcon, Allerion (an eagle without feet or beak), Swan, Cock, Swallow, Cornish Chough (sable, membered gules), Pelican, Heron, Martlet (a swallow without legs or beak), Parrot or Popinjay, Crow, Goose, Raven, Owl, Ostrich, and Dove.


are represented as naiant, or swimming (Fig. 119); hauriant (Fig. 120); uricant (Fig. 121); and '

embowed (Fig. 122), in which position the Dolphin is usually represented.

Irish axe described as scaled and fined

Among Shells, the Escallop or Scallop, and the Whelk, are those for which heralds have shown the greatest predilection. The accompanying diagrm (Fig. 123) would be blazoned: Argent, a cross gules, cantoned by four escallops

Reptiles and Insects.

Of Reptiles, the Serpent, Scorpion, and Tortoise the most common; and of Insects, the Bee, Butterfly, and Grasshopper.

Serpents may be nowed (twisted or knotted, Fig. 124); erect (placed in pale); erect wavy; or involved, which later means curved in a circle, without being nowed.

A tortoise passant, is gradient.

The Human Figure and its Parts

Are charges frequently to be met with. In blazoning an entire figure, its position should be first stated; and then whether it be habited or naked.

A head may be borne either affrontée or in profile; and may be couped or erased. It is usually represented with a wreath of leaves, or twisted silk bound around the temples; in which case it is said to be wreathed.

An arm encased in amour is vambraced. Thus Fig. 125 would be blazoned; Argent; a dexter arm, embowed, vambraced, ppr.[2] The hand is not supposed to be gauntleted unless so specified.

In blazoning a hand it is necessary to state whether it be the dexter or sinister; and if clenched or appaumée (open). Fig. 126 is Argent; a sinister hand, couped, erect, appaumée, gules. This charge, borne on an inescutcheon or canton, is the badge of all Baronets of the United Kingdom; and is called the Badge of Ulster.

The leg, thigh, and heart are the other parts of the body which are generally blazoned as charges.

Human figures, Tritons, Mermaids, and Hapies, are crined of their hair.

Imaginary Beings

Under this head are included:—

The Dragon, which is a winged monster, represented with four legs, armed with talons, and a serpent's tail. Fig. 127.

The Griffin, which is an animal produced by a combination of an eagle with a lion. Fig. 128.

A male Griffin is destitute of wings.

The Cockatrice, which has the head, body, wings, and feet of a cock (scales being substituted for feathers), and the tial of a dragon. It is crested and jowlopped. The head alone is frequently used as a charge. Fig. 129.

The Wyvern, which is a flying serpent, somewhat resembling the cockatrice; it has, however, a dragon's head. Fig. 130.

The Phœnix, Fig. 131; Triton, Fig. 132; Mermaid, Fig. 133.

Besides these may be enumerated the Harpy, which is a vulture with a woman's head and breast; the Chimera, possessing the head of a lion, the body of a goat, and the tail of a dragon; the Pegasus, or winged horse; the Winged Bull, Lion, and Deer; the Sphinx, Salamander, Unicorn, Sagittarius, &c.

The Celestial Bodies.

The Sun is always supposed to be proper, or in his glory, and is blazoned or, unless otherwise specified. It is represented by a circle, from which commonly proceed a number of wavy rays. A single ray may constitute a charge.

When eclipsed, it is blazoned sable.

The Moon, when full-faced and shining, is described as in her complement; when eclipsed, in her detriment.

A half-moon, with the horns directed upwards, is a Crescent. Fig. 178.

A half-moon, with the horns directed towards the dexter, Increscent.

A half-moon, with the horns directed towards the sinister, Decrescent.

She is always to be blazoned argent, unless she be in her detriment, when sable is substituted. Like the sun, she is usually surrounded by rays (which, however, are straight), and has sometimes a human face depicted in the centre.

The Star, or Etoille (Fig. 134), is distinguished from the mullet in having its rays wavy, instead of straight.

Trees, Plants, and Flowers.

Of Trees, the Oak, Pine, Olive, and Palm are the most commonly blazoned in heraldry. A branch only frequently serves as a charge.

The following terms are applied to this class of charges:—

Eradicated: when the roots axe exposed.

Couped: when a branch is cut off evenly.

Slipped (not Erased): torn or broken off.

Blasted, or Starved: deprived of leaves.

Accrued: full-grown.

Fructed, Blossomed, or Seeded: bearing fruit, flowers, or seeds.

Pendent: drooping.

Trees are generally blazoned proper, or in their natural colours.

The Garb, or wheat-sheaf (Fig. 135) is borne by many noble families; amongst others, by the Earl of Hereford, who quarters in his coat, Az.; three garbs or.

The Fleur-de-lis (Fig. 136)is one of the most frequent and ancient of heraldic charges, and was blazoned in the royal arms of England from a.d. 1299 until a.d. 1801 (see Introduction).

The Rose is sometimes blazoned and drawn proper; exhibiting the stem and leaves; the emblem of England is thus represented. The Heraldic Rose is shown in Fig. 137. The small points around it represent the leaves, of which it is said to be barbed. When a Rose only is mentioned in the blazon, it is always to be understood as the Heraldic Rose.

It will be remembered that a rose gu. was the Lancastrian badge, and a rose arg. the Yorkist. Edward IV., in 1461, surrounded his badge with the rays of the sun; hence the charge,, Fig. 138, which was subsequently adopted by his adherents.[3]

The Trefoil, Quatrefoil, and Cinquefoil (Fig. 139) are leaves bearing three, four, and five cusps, respectively. The former is usually represented slipped, as in the arms of the Frost of Yorkshire, who bear Arg.; a chevron gu., between three trefoils, ped, az. Fig. 140.

The Quatrefoil is but seldom to be met with.

When Leaves are borne on a shield, they are always supposed to be erect; if placed horizontally or diagonally, their position must be expressed as bar-wise or bend-wise.

The base of a shield, for about one fifth of its entire height, is sometimes occupied by a representation of a rising piece of ground usually tinctured vert, ad though covered with grass; this is heraldically termed a mount.


It would be almost impossible to enumerate the various inanimate objects with which a shield may be charged. I shall therefore content myself with mentioning those which have been most in favour amongst heralds.

Amulet.—A ring (see Fig. 176).

Arrow.—It is armed or barbed of its head, and flighted of its feathers.

Barnacles.—An instrument used to compress the nose of an unbroken or restive horse. Fig. 141.

Battering-Ram.— Fig. 142.

Battle-axe.—It is helved of its handle. Fig. 143.

Beacon.—An iron vessel, containing some combustible substance in flames, placed on the top of a pole, against which stands a ladder. Fig. 144.

Buckles.—In blazoning, their form, whether oval, round lozenge, or square, must be specified. Fig. 145.

Caltrap, or Cheval-trap.—An instrument formerly used in warfare, composed of four small strong spikes, conjoined in such a manner, that when thrown on the ground, one would always be erect. Its purpose was to retard the progress of an enemy's cavalry, by laming the horses. Fig. 146.

Three cultraps sable, on a field argent, are borne by the family of Trapps.

Carbuncle, or Escarbunele.—A conventional device, usually represented as in Fig. 147. Sometimes the extremities of the staves are joined together by a band running round them.

Castle.—An embattled fortress, on which commonly placed three towers. Fig. 148.

Chess-rook.—A piece used in chess; in form more resembling a bishop than a modern rook. Fig. 149. The family of Walcot bear this charge on their arms, which they are said to have derived from the following circumstance: —John Walcot, of Shropshire, 'playinge at the chesse with Henry, the fift kynge, he gave hym the checke matte with the rouke, whereupon the kynge chaunged his coate of armes, which was the crosse with flower de lures, and gave hym the rouke for a remembraunce.'

Crosier.—A staff bearing a cross on the top, belonging to an archbishop, as an emblem of his dignity. Bishops and abbots are commonly, though erroneously, supposed to bear a crosier with a rounded head, somewhat resembling a shepherd's crook. This should properly be called a Pastoral staff.

Escarbuncle. See Carbuncle.

Fan, Scuttle, or Winnowin-basket. Fig. 150.

Gauntlet.— An iron glove, usually depicted without fingers, which is its most ancient fore. In blazoning, it is necessary to state whether the gauntlet be the dexter or sinister. Fig. 151.

Gurge.—A whirlpool. This charge covers the entire field, and as always blazoned[ argent and azure. Fig. 152.

Hawl's-bell. Fig. 153:

Hemp-break, or Hackle.—An instrument used for bruising hemp or flax. Fig. 154.

Helmet.—When blazoned as a charge, it is represented as in Fig. 185.

Knots. See page 44.

Lure.—Two wings conjoined, with the tips downwards (as in Fig. 117), to which is attached a line and ring. Formerly used as a decoy in training hawks.

Lymphad, or Galley.—A one-masted ship; represented with the sails furled, and propelled by oars. Fig. 155.

Manche, or Maunche.—A hanging sleeve. It is represented in a variety of manners, all however, bearing some resemblance to Fig. 156.

Millstone.—Fig. 157. The iron clamps which support it on each side are the Mill-Rinds, or fers de moline, which are frequently borne as a charge.

Mullet.—A charge resembling a spurt rowel of five points. Fig. 158. When of more than five, the number must be specified. It is generally borne pierced, as in the diagram. Compare this with the Etoille.

Pheon.—The head of a dart. Fig. 159. A pheon engrailed on the outward edge is blazoned as a broad arrow.

Portcullis.—An iron gate, formed of bars, armed at the base, and bolted in trellis. Fig. 160.

Scaling-ladder.—Usually represented as shown at Fig. 161.

Shake-fork.—Resembles a palll, humettée, and pointed. Fig. 162.

Spur.—May be represented in its modern form.

The Prick-spur has but a single point. Fig. 163.

Sword.—Must be blazoned as pommelled and hilted, of whatever tincture it may be. The sword has the various names of scimitar, seax, falchion,[4] &c., according to its form.

Tilting spear.—It is sufficient to blazon this weapon as a spear. Fig. 164. When a simple spear is intended, it must be described as a javelin.

Trellis.—Differs from the fret, inasmuch as the pieces are not interlaced, but are carried throughout, and nailed at the points of contact. Fig. 165.

Turret.—A smsll tower commonly set upon a castle, as shown at Fig. 148.

Water-bouget.—Was formerly used by soldiers for carrying water. It is represented either as at Fig. 166 or, Fig. 167. The latter is the more general form.

Winnowing-basket. See Fan.

Besides these may be enumerated the Horse-shoe, Plough, Harrow, Trumpet, Pen, Comb, Key, &c.; but, as their fore is so familiar, it would be superfluous to give illustrations.


Form a distinct group of early heraldic charges, and take their names from the families which bear them. Figs. 168 to 172.

The family of Harrlngton also bear a knot called by their name; but this is simply a fret, with the extremities of the saltire couped.

  1.  The cross of St. Andrew of Scotland is Az., a saltire arg. (Fig. 48); and that of St. Patrick, Arg., a saltire gu.
    This ordinary may be justly considered as but a variation of the cross.
  2. If the hand were turned towards the sinister side, it would be counter-embowed.
  3.  Shakespeare alludes to the Rose-en-soleil in Richard III., where he says:
    'Now is the winter of our discontent
    Made glorious summer by this sun of York.'

  4. The seax is a scimitar with a semicircular notch cut at the back. For illustration of falchion see crest of Fig. 189.